Vox Hunt: A Favorite Song from ’06

Audio:  Share one of your favorite songs from 2006.

Pitchfork: There was a track written about on Pitchfork recently, "Something Isn't Right", the first track on Scale,
and the writer, Mark Pytlik, said that you could tell in a few moments
it was a Herbert track. And I think that's true; despite how different
your records sound from each other, there is something there, a thread
through them. I know that at various times you've talked about music as
a way of getting away from ego, but I do feel like there is something
you can't get away from. I'm not sure exactly what it is; to me it
seems like a rhythmic sensibility that informs your work, a swing that
sound like Herbert. Are you aware that a part of yourself is in there,
regardless of the materials you're working with?

MH: I'm not. I'm really not. I know I have patterns and I've always
tried hard to avoid them. There are definitely certain things in my
music, if I'm looking back, "Well, that was a period where I was
experimenting with a certain kind of chord structure or a certain kind
of sound." I've tried really hard, but I'd be hard pressed to tell you
what that sound, what that tangible sound of "me" is. I think rhythm
is, when you talk about rhythmic sensibility, quite perceptive in that
I like to have at least one thing that is at least common or familiar
to the audience. Other than rhythm, the only thing I could say is that
I take a great deal of pride in every single sound I use. I'm always
making sure that I'm not using a pre-set or something that everyone
else has done. I try to be original in every piece of music I do, and
of course I probably fail every time.

Pitchfork: Let me ask you– that moment in "Something Isn't
Right" where he sings, "Do you re-mem-ber?" First time I heard that it
reminded me of "September" by Earth Wind & Fire. I was sitting with
my wife and I asked her, Do you think that's a direct reference to that
song, or is it just a few notes that sound similar?

MH: There is a very slight reference there. It's a reference to the
11th of September because that's what the Earth Wind & Fire tune
was called. I almost had it "Do you remember? The 11th of September?"
But there was no way I could possibly put that in.

Pitchfork: So that's the kind of reference you're talking about, where you embed those kinds of things in the music.

Exactly. And the record's full of them in different places. It's
kind of like, trying to use every weapon in your arsenal to point
people in a certain direction.


Kwanzaa ’06: Kujichagulia

Self-determination is more than just a notion, according to Sassy Redbone:

Take a moment today to think on the labels that have been flung at
you. Are you reinforcing them? Are you doing it because you want to or
are you scared to move outside of the box??? It is uncomfortable and it
is scary to move forward.

If you are reading this please take a moment to determine yourself…

Over at Something Good, o-my-goddess weighs in:

Because so much of Kwanzaa involves
cooperation and unity, self determination should be looked at as making
decisions that are not only good for ourselves but good for our family
and the greater community. Doesn’t this sound a lot like what we try to
do here at Something Good when we focus on ways that we can minimize
our waste and use less resources?

suggestion is to take a few minutes to think about how you can make
sure that your own behavior reflects your care and respect for the
things and people around you. Perhaps you could use this opportunity to
consider quitting smoking, as it has a harmful effect on both one’s own
body and the physical and emotional well-being of family and
friends. Maybe you want to experiment with switching from chemical to
natural cleaners in order to make a healthier home for your children
and a less polluted planet for all of us. By determining your own
behavior, you can have a significant impact on those who rely upon
you. What a wonderful way to do Something Good.

Blogging's a useful, balanced part of my own self-determination, how I get beyond things you (may think you) know about me just by looking at me toward things neither you nor I know (until we find out together).


Kwanzaa ’06: Umoja

(Crossposted from

About half a dozen blogs fall into a category I'd call "practical magic": Lifehacker-like advice for right speech, thought and action. I'll list them at some point, but the one that comes to mind most readily today is the indispensable So what can I do?, who last year just so happened to have kicked off the holiday with tips. Oh, and Oxford University Press has a little somethin'-somethin' for you too. And if you ain't been by Cobb in a minute, do so. Read the poem, dig the wayback-wordage and watch the Google Video.

[…] This is something I say I officially learned this year but has been a lesson a long time coming. One should always pay attention to the quality of one's enemies, which is to say one should never be so lazy as to allow those opposed to you believe lies when the truth is at your disposal. It is in this spirit that I defend Kwanzaa. It is in this spirit that I represent as a black man. I never say that what I know is something you can't understand, because it always implies that I'm either incapable or unwilling to explain. […]


It’s the eye of the [tig]er

… it's the thrill of the hand-gesture.


Eddie Murphy’s early James (hold the thunder)

Eddie Murphy – Delirious – Singers No.2
James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub!