Black Friday


There's a theme here. Let's see if anyone else gets it.

Had to start this off with a banger...

Blackstreet - No Diggity

Still, and always will be, one of my top 5 songs I go to when nobody else knows/cares what they wanna hear at a party but wanna keep the party going.

Amy Winehouse - Back to Black 

Miss her and her voice dearly. This album, Back to Black, is something I return to quite often. Whether it’s for clarity with a female perspective because what she sang came through so vividly and sincere or whether it’s to hear a voice that’s simultaneously timeless, old school and current, I go back to it.

Big L - All Black

I got down with this guy later on as I delved deeper into hip hop. It’s interesting how people discover music because there’s no “right” way: you come across it however you can as long as you keep your ears open. I’m sure most people my age heard of him through Eminem referencing him in songs or through grainy youtube freestyle videos. I saw an album cover of his in a cd store - The Big Picture - and saw this dude with glasses looking back at me like he was trying to burn a hole through my head.
Also, this hook is so gangster. It’s weird to hear lyrics like this guy’s and not cringe a little. As Kanye says, “Last year Chicago had over 600 caskets…man, killin’s some wack shit.” But this was the era. This song was what it was to be a Harlem rapper: come at the mic like it talked about you behind your back. One of those “gotta wonder what else he could’ve done” guys, for sure.

Black Iris Music - Fire Hydrant Floods

There was this movement, sparked by Mitsubishi and Nissan, where car commercials yanked little-known but well-produced songs and fit them to commercials like a tailored suit. This company, Black Iris Music, was a company that was a tonal haberdashery for these kind of striking visuals. Like I’ve always done, I dove in and did my Youtube comment research and found it. Hell of a beat.

Thom Yorke - Black Swan

I’m listening to this song while I write down all of these. I chose this one to carry me through transcribing my thoughts. I think that says enough.

Soundgarden - Fell On Black Days 

There are probably 20 songs that were on rotation back in the early-to-mid 90’s that I knew by heart, phonetically, but might not have caught the meaning or even known the band name. Sponge’s “Plowed.” Blind Melon’s “No Rain.” “Cumbersome” by Seven Mary Three… these songs blended in and out and I loved it. Something about Soundgarden made me listen a little more intently. They, along with others, I’m sure, made me give a shit about what I was hearing.
EDIT - Add in Pearl Jam’s “Black” as a song that I didn’t know (title or lyrics) but could hum right now, end to end, if you asked me.

Black Star - Respiration

I have a hip-hop scholar of a friend named Pat. We’ve bonded on music so much so that, even though we haven’t seen each other in a while and miss out on opportunities to hang and all of that stuff, anytime we hang, it’s all smiles because we almost always end up bringing it back to music. We’ll bust out our microscopes and get down to the DNA of songs and subsequently expand those notions to galactic perspectives and man, it’s always a good time. We differ on a lot, as intelligent people with opinions do, but this is one of the songs he and I vibed with on a level of sameness and congruence that it was weird. Amongst the many other thoughts that it brought up, there’s one image that stands out with this tune: Chicago.

Death Cab For Cutie - Black Sun

Great tune from their newest album. One of those bands I’ll always follow.

Dan Black feat. Kid Cudi - Symphonies

A friend of mine, Dan, had just bought these new padded, legit looking headphones. I hungoverly stumbled into his new apartment with a few friends and I noticed them and wondered if I could try them out.
This isn’t about the headphones, but about the first time I heard this song and how I don’t remember one detail of the headphones but I remember this song making my skin hot and having to hide the reaction. That’s what music does, right there.

Guerilla Black - Hearts of Fire

Like most 80’s/90’s kids, you knew you were making an investment in an artist when you bought an album on CD. Boom or bust, once you bought it, you were committed and if you bought it for one song and knew nothing else about the artist, it was quite a gamble, especially if you had already crushed your allowance on a Playstation game or new sneakers. Not to say that this guy’s stuff wasn’t great, but I just didn’t vibe with it. Never got past track 4.
But this was the introductory track and it still goes in workout playlists.

Pitch Black - It’s All Real

I think I heard this around the same time And 1 had a grip on ESPN’s schedule like Gary Sheffield gripped a baseball bat. Maybe I heard it in a video for that show…? Regardless, I hear this song and can’t stop thinking of crossovers and huge slams and people losing their minds.

Black Balloon - Goo Goo Dolls


Black Balloon - The Kills

Not classic... yet.

and finally...
Johnny Cash - Man In Black

Gotta finish strong with a guy that proves you can still be cool and intimidating and blaze a trail when you're old.

All songs that have been used in prominent spots so much that they almost got worn out…but they’re too good.

Kanye West - Black Skinhead

***Won "Trailer Of The Year" last year.

Yes, that was a BLACK FRIDAY commercial. My mind is boggled.

Albums that, while writing this, can’t wait to listen to, entirely.

Mos Def - Black On Both Sides 

I sometimes feel apprehensive about proclaiming that I love this album… ‘cuz I’m a white guy. Like, really white... So white that I regret writing “‘cuz” back there. And this album is so NOT white. But every single note that comes up in this album is something I’ve admired and I vibe with it on every level. Every lyric is something I’ve studied and it's influenced me in ways and thoughts that still come up. Saying “Race relations is an issue” is like saying “the Earth has water in some parts of it,” so I won’t even try to craft a thought on that right now, but this album has made me more intelligent on the “issue” by miles and miles and I’m glad I know this album so well.

I can name probably 20 albums that are so engrained in my brain that I know the order of the tracks (Encore = 4, Threat = 7, Justify My Thug = 11, Allure = 13). Succinct but verbose, upbeat and dramatic, genuine and cavalier. A guy who deserves to be mentioned as one of the greatest to have ever spoken into a microphone.

Muse - Black Holes And Revelations 

Simply put, bands have albums that push them into “headliner” status. This is that album for Muse.

Bands that are as good as Thanksgiving leftovers

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

I feel cooler listening to their music. Eons cooler than I actually am.


It’s them, The Beatles and The Strokes. No order, no favorite. There are obviously hundreds of others, but those are the 3 for me.

A marvel with the elemental aspects, a catalog demonstrating fantastic versatility and longevity, respect amongst his peers and a crew that are killers. The Roots are the San Antonio Spurs of music and Black Thought is an obviously more charismatic Tim Duncan.

This was one of the few posts that I hope others catch. Hope y'all dig it.

Less than a god, more than a man...

One of, if not the first, edits I ever made was a Michael Jordan highlight. It was to this song - Steve Miller Remix - and it wasn't that bad. Looking back, I can remember it not being fantastic, and if I ever find it, I'll toss it on here, but for now, just imagine a few stop-reverse edits and grainy color correction.

He made it watchable.

Anyway, once in a while, when I'm in need of some inspiration or just need to remember what it was like to watch this guy rule the landscape, I go to this Youtube channel - Hoopsencyclopedia - and it's a great way to relive what I remember and discover what I never got a chance to see.
Here are examples of both:

Here's a really well edited piece, what might be the last great edit that originates from his highlights. In HD, too.

Michael Jordan. Nick Miller said he was "the first man that taught me that I could love a man." Comedic and sarcastic, but I can't deny it. Watching him was like watching a waterfall originate: it was sudden, powerful and elegant all at the same time.

23 forever.

Tomorrow's another day...

"Don't do tomorrow what you can do today."
~ Benjamin Franklin, followed by everyone that's come across an image search for "crossfit motivation."

Crossing things off your list. Bringing things across the finish line. Ask anyone that's been deemed, by their own hand or someone else's, a "creative" person and they'll tell you it's a sad realization when they look at the 4 or 5 projects that they've been "creative" with for a spell and not one has had a bow tied around it.

Amongst a few things more weighty in life that I'm getting to, I've put off a lengthy list of things to watch. From dvds literally collecting dust to that storyboard of that one idea I had while I was driving home, I sincerely hope I can get to it all and hope that, at the very least, my reviewing what I've put off I may actually get to instead of simply remembered that it's been stored. My "Watch Later" collection on Vimeo, a list I've accumulated without the faintest intention of getting to, is something that I discovered and I figure putting most of them here would give me a better shot at checking them out.

If you've seen them and know of something just as mesmerizing or informative, stop by my contact page and let me know what it is and how you found it. Over this past year, I've learned that I'm as responsible for putting out my own work as much as I am for vocalizing my approval for that which spurs me on to go after it even more. To not purvey the knowledge is to worsen your own future.

Can't say I've seen that on any Instagram.

Did find this, though. Enjoy Neil Armstrong's inspiring finish, and then some cool stuff to watch.


Hiro is kinda my hero

Hiro Murai

I was scrolling through my Vimeo likes and I realized that Hiro Murai, a director based out of LA, has stranglehold on half my list.

He's been a major purveyor of images that have ran parallel to one of my favorite musician's best works.

He's hypnotized me into spending hours watching the same video over and over.

And even after all that he's made, he still humbly stoked when his creations garner attention, just as I hope to be.

I could keep going on and on but I'm walking dangerously close to "thirsty" conditions so I'll just say that homey is a badass and I hope I can work with him or at the very least gank some dope move he does and thank him for it later.

Pool Scraps

As much as I'd like not to, let's put the omnipresent pearls of beauty aside for just a moment and recognize the skill: This video is badass.

Created in a wave pool apparently set in Saudi Arabia, this is shot pristinely and cut like a sexy switchblade to a Gil Scott Herron song that I never saw coming. One of those videos that changed the way I listened to this song, and music, in general, since watching it.

So yeah, what was I talking about again...?

GANG life

Take a peek into a world you might know about if you didn't, at first glance, cast its inhabitants aside.

Good stuff in this one. Makes me perceive producing videos in an attainable, yet still courageous way.

Thanks to Dazed And Confused for this one. Always checkin' for what wildness they're catapulting into the world.


Look down. Right now.

"Awareness requires a rupture with the world we take for granted." Technological philosopher Shoshana Zuboff threw that out into the world years ago. Perfectly put and sincerely realized after I watched this video.

I love these kinds of projects: random messages thrown in with images that you see daily, set to a song that'd make a champion weightlifter weep. I've made videos like these and always enjoyed them.

The comments on this video are enlightening, as well. And speaking almost solely English, the poetry of a foreign language is also a major draw. Add in the fact that it's edited cleanly, uses a fantastic song from Interstellar and has all the makings of a high-priced production but could've also been covered on a weekend by one shooter with a tripod, a few of their friends and a boatload of color correction, my imagination runs wild with this video...

And then it's over. Play again.

Alberto Gastesi has a fantastic Vimeo page featuring a few other videos I enjoyed, including a short film, Alejandra. Give him a shot.

Fincher Fest

Might be my favorite director. Of all of the films that I've seen, I find myself placed into an awe-like, "what have I been doing with my life?" perspective by his more often than anyone else's.

These videos are ones that slowly fly over his career like a helicopter on the 4th of July, bringing into view fireworks from close up and far away that you'd never see otherwise or hadn't gleaned even though they're closer to you than you think, from a perspective you hadn't imagined, all while the planet you're looking at is cloaked in black.

Dude's awesome.

By the way, peep his IMDB page -  - not only for his films, but for his music videos, like this one...

That's right: Fincher.

Bow down.

Mirror City

This is as good as it gets. Anytime I've had a chance to show someone "something I saw online," this is what I go to.
Be sure to read the details of the video on Michael Shainblum's Vimeo page. Took this guy quite a while to snag this footage.

Worth the work.