Stones Throw Records Tells Its Story in New Doc Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton

That thing where one extreme is so extreme it fully transcends to the opposite end of the spectrum. Hip-hop heavyweight Stones Throw Records is so painfully nerdy, the hard plastic lattice of back-, back-room crates comprises its backbone. Its earnest ambition erupts so untarnished the label warps itself into the audio equivalent of the iron-livered dude with perfect hair who never looks dumb in his leather jacket.

Filmmaker Jeff Broadway scraps and stitches together the label's winding, often dark history in Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton: This Is Stones Throw Records. The documentary pays close attention to label head Peanut Butter Wolf (Chris Manak, pictured above), the mysterious, brilliant dude behind the movement -- and all those stacks on stacks on stacks of wax.

See also: MUST OWN: The Jesus Lizard Book

More »

"I Got That Weed": A Song For Our Times

Categories: Weed

Raised Fist Propaganda
Mighty Casey and Knight Blade

It's been a big month for marijuana-rights activists. Colorado and Washington become the first two states to legalize the drug for recreational use. And, perhaps more importantly, rapper Mighty Casey (of "BET Un:Cut" and "White Girls" fame) and his new band Knight Blade released "I Got That Weed." The stars have seemingly aligned for the single, whose casual conversational approach to the subject has come to mirror much of how the media's framed the first visages of a marijuana-friendly American society. We caught up with Casey, who has also been busy of late writing a book about the Jamaican C.I.A. and helping launch a streaming music app where he aided in assembling the bulk of the reggae playlist, to discuss "I Got That Weed" becoming a telling song of our times.

See also: Sean Price: "Cornell West Is the Devil"

More »

The Prison Saga of Ceschi

Categories: Weed

Dane Abernathy
Hip-hop artist, multi-instrumentalist and indie label Fake Four co-founder Ceschi (real name Julio Ramos) was to serve an 18 month prison sentence after police discovered Christmas presents stuffed with 100 pounds. of marijuana in a vehicle on his property. That was the soundbite that echoed nationwide from pundit to pundit in the days following his December 9th, 2010 arrest, with the 24 hour news cycle unofficially crowning it the feel good bust of the holiday season. But, like so many here-today gone-today headlines, for most, the story stopped there. In the three years since the incident, Ceschi's let Fake Four's friends and fans stay abreast of how he's been processed by the legal system and the media, and in return, supporters have come out in droves to keep Fake Four afloat.

See also: Tyler, The Creator Gets Pinched: Real Or Amusing PR Stunt?

More »

We Smoked Weed With Total Slacker at the Olive Garden in Times Square

Total Slacker Carbo Load Crew L-R: Emily Oppenheimer, author Jamie Peck, Zoe Brecher, Dave Tassy and Tucker Rountree
"Are you excited to be here?" I ask.

"I'm, like, fucking cumming in my pants," replies Tucker.

It is 8:45pm on a Sunday evening, and I am waiting in a fake Tuscan piazza with the members of Total Slacker (Tucker Rountree, Emily Oppenheimer, Dave Tassy and Zoe Brecher) -- a Brooklyn band who specialize in slowed down, fuzzed out '90s alt rock twirled around the fork of psych, grunge, noise and punk -- for a table at the Olive Garden's Times Square location. The lights of giant ads flash at us through picture windows which seem specially designed to let this happen. Foreign languages are being spoken, children are crying, and the three-story restaurant is filled to capacity with visitors seeking a taste of this most quintessential part of the American (if not the New York) experience. We have been waiting for nearly an hour (they don't take reservations) and the giant buzzing token has just gone off in my purse, making us feel like we've won the lottery. Tucker is especially excited.

See also: Live: Total Slacker, Ava Luna, and Beach Fossils Side Project Red Romans Turn on the Air Conditioning at Union Pool

More »

Interview: Wavves' Nathan Williams on Drugs and the Beach

"Musically...the Beach Boys...I'm sorry, I don't understand the question. I'm really high right now."


Nathan Williams has spent 2009 busy and stoned. Rapturous press attention for his lo-fi pop project Wavves quickly translated into a Fat Possum record deal and a transcontinental tour schedule--best of all, the 22-year-old will finally be moving out of his parent's San Diego house. His latest effort, Wavvves--which was recorded in Apple's GarageBand, at a fidelity that might charitably be described as substandard--features three-chord anthems about boredom, beaches, and weed. We called to find out how this combination could possibly bring about success, and left just as confused.

More »

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart Make Mashed Potatoes

Somehow this was never a Chappelle Show bit. Instead, we get to explore this risible odd-couple juxtaposition in real time, real life, the very parody of parody, along with live-audience titters and racial undertones by way of pepper color. ("I ain't never seen white pepper!" Snoop sniffs. "I like black pepper, mane!") About halfway through this clip, the Doggfather fittingly forgets what the hell they're both making ("That smell good. What is this again?") and then Martha bizarrely asks the porn-dabbler if he's going to perform at the Inauguration ("If I'm admitted to"--pretty certain he means "permitted" and pretty certain the answer is no). Even better: when Snoop spikes his potato bowl with a bottle of Cognac ("yack yack") shaped like Joan Holloway and Martha undresses it her. I was wrong: this is why the internet was invented. 

Live: Brightblack Morning Light on a Boat, 08.06.07

Categories: Weed

Hippies sailin' on: Brightblack Morning Light

Brightblack Morning Light, Endless Boogie
The Rocks Off Concert Cruise Boat
August 6, 2007

By David Marchese

Brightblack Morning Light, "Everybody Daylight"(MP3)

A boat, some blunts and Brightblack Morning Light. For the dreamily swaying and deep-toking numbers aboard the Half Moon last night, that's undoubtedly a trifecta approaching Tinkers to Evers to Chance levels of perfection. For me, not so much. I like to stand, or in the case of a Brightblack show, sit with my mind quiet and mouth agape as much as the next fella—and getting zonked from time to time is probably necessary for maintaining sanity in this dirty, noisy town—but a state of zonk can be brought about by many things. Just last night, the soft undulations of the East River, the geometric beauty of light reflecting on water, the glowing windows of the island's office buildings—there was plenty aside from the music to get lost in. But the step between coaxing a dream and compelling a snooze is a difficult one. It's also one Brightblack couldn't make; at least not for me, not sober, and not nearly as well as undercard act Endless Boogie.

More »