Canadian Ham: … or rather, a Maclean’s article about a brother from another planet country. (via Cecily)

Saul Williams on Macy Gray: … excerpted from the September 2001 issue of Interview magazine.

SW: You seem to focus a lot on self-expression and exploring your taboos on the album. Are you OK with discussing some taboo issues?
MG: Of course.
SW: Do drugs play a role in your creative life?
MG: There are a few songs — probably the majority of the album — that were written when I was a little, you know, beyond. I think what drugs do is send you to places that you normally don’t go and you can see things from a different perspective.
SW: Do you think that the use of hallucinogens in the black community could have a powerful effect on how black people perceive their experiences? Especially with all that talk about “keeping it real” — what if reality was altered a little bit?
MG: I don’t know, but speaking for myself, it happened to me when I was at USC, which was mostly white. One time when I was on acid at a party, I had this big revelation that because I was one of the only black people in the crowd — the only one who had what I had — I was powerful. That was the first time I completely flipped being black. And I’ve thought that way ever since.
SW: How dominant was the issue of race when you were growing up?
MG: My mother was an activist in our city [Canton, Ohio], and I was always really proud to be black. But I went to a boarding school with all these rich white kids. I think there were about 12 black people in the whole school. So even if you are proud of who you are and where you come from, [in a mostly white environment] you still have to do with subtle insults and being slighted. So I’m just saying that that [experience] was the first time I saw that for myself — that I felt powerful.
SW: Do you think that black people are free?
MG: No. We’ve been so sucked into what society has brainwashed us to be — you know, that slave mentality, that we’re secondary. And I think subconsciously most of us have bought into it. But I think society has given us everything it’s going to. No more emancipations of freedom or whatever else we feel they owe us. If we want to go any further, we have to emancipate ourselves, and think about ourselves differently.

Suggestions: … for covering the transgender character on the upcoming CBS drama “The Education of Max Bickford.” (via jessi)

  • DO refer to Helen Shaver’s character as Erica. Only refer to Shaver’s character as Steve as needed to detail Erica’s backstory.
  • DO use female pronouns when referring to Erica.
  • DON’T use quotation marks around “female,” “woman,” “Erica” or female pronouns when referring to Helen Shaver’s character.
  • DO use the term “gender identity” to describe Erica’s sense of herself as a woman. Gender identity is not the same as sexual orientation.
  • DO refer to Erica as “a transgender woman,” or “a male-to-female transgender person” – not as “a transgender.” “Transsexual” may be used, but “transgender” is preferred. Do not use “transvestite.”
  • DON’T say that Erica is “pretending” to be a woman or “posing” as a woman, or imply that Erica is not “really” a woman.
  • DO use the words “many” and “most” when discussing transgender people. The transgender community is very diverse, and over-generalizations should be avoided.
  • Today’s tune: … is Zap Mama’s “Call Waiting” (narrowly beating out “Songe”).

    an eerily acid-jazzy extension of the Alexander Graham Bell fixation Daulne revealed on Seven’s “Telephone.”

    The only weak link in the tracks of Am A Zone is “Call Waiting’s” very basic drum n’ bass and an ungraceful attempt at trance; Zap Mama sounds more like Bjork and the dialing and telephone ringing blares like it?s supposed to hammer the songs? name into our heads.”

    Une d�claration d’amour par fax. Les moyens de communication modernes sont un th�me r�current de l’album. Nous sommes aujourd’hui tellement press�s que tout doit se faire par t�l�phone ou par les autoroutes de l’information.

    This song just makes me grin, due to the fact that, well, it’s just so simply sexy.

    “Call Waiting” features Marie Daulne’s haunting voice set to light drum-and-bass and the brisk, striking sound of pizzicato violins and an acoustic bass. If the boys of Massive Attack were to grab some djembes and African folk records, hang out with Angelique Kidjo and smile (much) more, the result might sound something like this.

    Madonna: … first condoms (a kind she doesn’t seem to like, actually), then a bit of common sense (which I think she’ll like even less).

    By insisting so neurotically on her four-year-old daughter’s femininity — when the nearest Lourdes should be getting to make-up is Burnt Sienna on her nose during finger-painting sessions — Madonna reveals more about her own insecurity than we ever wanted to know. We’ve seen her nipples, we’ve seen her bush, we’ve seen it all – but her naked psyche is, I fear, the most unacceptable private part of them all.

    DJ Spooky: …last night, That Subliminal Kid played with Matthew Shipp at the Aldrich Museum on Main St. (heh, DJ Spooky, playing on Main Street — now that’s overground acceptance!) in Ridgefield, Conn. Anybody know how it went?

    I mean, I only know ’bout it ’cause I went to the Stamford Advocate’s homepage looking for a Patrick Verel article on bhangra and found this.

    “Anything can be remixed, whether it’s the sound of wind or the rain, even satellite feedback,” he says. “It’s just the basic ways it all flows. All songs are just remixes of each other; there’s nothing that’s really original.”

    But if, as Miller states in the liner notes of “Under The Influence,” “hip-hop, techno, ambient, illbiant, drum’n’bass, and dancehall reggae are just terms used to hold a place in our minds where we dance together,” how does he know where to begin?

    “I just go on my own internal intuition,” he says. “It’s like a language that we all speak. You can understand music better than even a foreign language.”