Join Me To See Get Busy Committee at The Viper Room Wednesday

As you probably already know, I’m co-managing a band called Get Busy Committee. GBC is Ryu from Styles of Beyond/Fort Minor (and many know him as the voice of Crystal Method’s “Name of The Game”), Apathy of Demigodz/Army of The Pharoahs, and super-producer Scoop Deville. Since I started writing these blog posts you’ve heard more from Scoop Deville than you probably realized, he produced Snoop Dogg’s “I Wanna Rock” as well as Fat Joe’s “Ha Ha” and has bangers coming — look for new Scoop-produced tracks from Busta Rhymes and a bunch of others this summer and fall.

There’s been a TON going on with Get Busy Committee the last couple of months — the SXSW shows were amazing (thanks to everyone who supported!), we made our goal with the platinum 12″, this Beatminerz track is hot, the group has so many new tracks done they’re trying to decide if they’re doing a new EP or a new album this summer, etc. To be honest between my day/evening/weekends job, helping GBC, having a three year-old, a nineteen year-old, a wife, and taking care of myself with an occasional run or trip to the skate park I haven’t had any free time to blog. Sorry about that.

Get Busy Committee Live @ The Viper Room, Hollywood, May 12 2010

But I wanted to crank a quick post out tonight to let you know about this TOUR OF LA we have going on right now and encourage you to come check out Get Busy Committee at The Viper Room on Wednesday, May 12th. It’s our first real show in Los Angeles and we’d the hometown support would mean a lot to us. Please buy a $10 ticket here and come on through. If you’re so inclined, come have dinner with us before the show. Details here.

Get Busy Committee LIVE @ The Viper Room, Los Angeles

For those of you who have already gotten behind the band, I thank you. As I’ve said from the beginning I know the album isn’t for everyone but for those of us who grew up on NWA and Beastie Boys it’s a pretty easy call. There *is* more to it than just rhymes, though, I love the record because it’s got *songs*, not the “one beat, one chorus, three verses” rut hip hop has fallen in to. Yeah there are samples but actually the majority of the tracks on the record don’t have ANY samples — there’s a pretty diverse selection of beats on here, something for everyone.

But there’s also a live show now. Apathy and Ryu have done countless shows over the past 15 years in front of hundreds of thousands of people. Scoop’s a natural. DJ Cheapshot is a pro (in fact he has a weekend gig for the summer DJ’ing for New Kids On The Block — I know that sounds like a joke but it’s a fact). They spent a ton of time pulling videos together for each and every song for the show and have a full video DJ set up a la Mike Relm (actually very special thanks to Mike Relm for helping us get the bugs worked out).

Watch the video below. In 8 minutes you get a sense of what I love about the show: great music, good fun, moving a crowd, not taking itself too seriously, entertaining video production, and under it all they’re skilled MCs who have the confidence and swagger of those who have been in the game a long time. From Apathy’s acapella mic check to that cat in the video (that cat is CHILLIN!) to the little bits of Missy Elliott, Eazy, BBD, and BDP, to Ryu taking a shot he was handed from the audience, I love that clip. It was fun as hell to be there even though I’m bored by most hip hop shows at this point and I’ve already seen GBC five times in the past two months.

Come see for yourself. Wednesday. At The Viper Room. Dinner before if you’re into it. See you there.

Come early, King Fantastic is opening. This King Fantastic record is incredible. Be sure to grab all his weekly remixes between now and the album release over at This week’s was a cover of Ice-T’s “Colors”. Hell yeah.

Hollyrock Jam Session from King Fantastic on Vimeo.



Ian MacKaye on How Skateboarding Changed His Worldview

The Skateboard Mag

Skateboarder/photographer Atiba Jefferson has a new magazine simply called The Skateboard Mag. Each month they feature someone well-known in the non-skate world who also skates. Last month it was Teen Idols/Minor Threat/Embrace/Fugazi/The Evens/Dischord Records’ Ian MacKaye.

To say Ian was a major influence on me would be an understatement. I’m sure I’ve already said this elsewhere in this blog but watching him in Another State of Mind on USA Networks late at night in the 80s was a turning point for me. I didn’t relate to Mike Ness putting on mascara, but Ian MacKaye talking about not knowing what he wanted to be but knowing what he *didn’t* want to be — that’s where I was at 15, I didn’t know what I wanted to be but I knew I didn’t want to be like everyone around me in Goshen, Indiana.

It’s funny, in searching for this video I realize this is almost the only part of the movie I remember. And I must have seen this movie a hundred times before I was 16.

Ian MacKaye in The Skateboard Mag

But that was 25 years ago. In 2010 Atiba does a one-page interview with Ian in The Skateboard Mag. You can read the full text here. What inspired me to post tonight is Ian’s description of how skateboarding contributed to his worldview:

What I can say about skateboarding is that I really learned how to reassign properties to the world around me. This was not a conscious practice, but still it was occurring. Suddenly the weather means something completely different to you. Swimming pools take on a new potential reality. You’re not just taking a swim anymore. If you go into a parking lot and there’s a little bank on the side of it, you make a mental note of it. The surface of the streets, are they rough or smooth? There are any number of lines that you start to see.

I think when skaters walk down the street, they’re looking at it with an entirely different grid in their minds. I think this practice enabled me to redefine the world around me—to take what was given and then readjust it to make it work. When I got into music, specifically punk rock, that sort of redefinition was central. I would look at a situation, the circumstances that had been presented, and think, “Okay, I’m just going to change all of this, or at least change the way I’m thinking about it.” I come at things from a different place, and I think that’s something I really developed through skating.

To this day I swim to the bottom of swimming pools just to check out the transition.

We all look at the world through the prism of what’s familiar. But I agree with Ian, looking at the world through the skateboarder lens, working with what you’ve got but constantly redefining what’s possible with the tools you’ve been handed, has always served me well. The Solitary Arts in general seem to spawn useful thought and good people, most of the people in my life are represented in Geoff McFetridge’s piece below, especially if you take that typewriter and add a CPU and an Internet connection…

(another) ian