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These Days: Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Death: After West Coast took over rap behind Death Row Records’ Dre and Snoop, the East Coast regrouped and returned fire with a year long blast that included Illmatic, Ready To Die and The Infamous Mobb Deep. The latter featuring G’s Havoc and Prodigy. Hugely influential, Mobb Deep is one of the templates for New York rap as we know it and his death from sickle cell anemia which he had since birth (immortalized by T-Pac on “Hit ‘Em Up”) at the age of 42. The hip hop world is reeling and so are we. A huge loss.

Old Music: Obviously, straight to Mobb Deep for the day, and also I was listening to Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane because, hey, we’re only human. I picked up a Monk at Monterey Tee shirt while I was at it.

More Old Music: I’ve been thinking of working my way album by album through the entire Costello catalog… the problem is, what’s left to say about My Aim Is True? If I can get past that and take closer looks at stuff like North, Mighty Like A Rose, For The Stars, it might be interesting. Then I was thinking of waiting till I finished maybe Presley or Paul before working on another white man. My great regret is I can’t figure out James Brown’s recorded history well enough to work on him. It’s a little early for Jay Z…

New Music: Lorde’s Melodrama is my big album right now this minute, with Jason Isbell bringing up the rear. Oh, and the new 2Chainz is better than I thought it would be.

Concerts: I have high hopes for Queen Of The Stone Age’s Mark Ronson produced upcoming album and invested in a nosebleed for my first ever QOTSA gig, meanwhile Lorde goes on presale today at noon. After being blown away at Governors Ball at the start of the month, and loving the album, I am ready for another look but will have to wait for April.

USA: The GOP won the battle for the sixth district of Carolina. Karen Handel defeated Jon Ossoff. Yet again, the press is saying one thing while the people prove them wrong at the ballot box. All that worst approval ratings stuff fails to mention that he hasn’t lost anybody who voted for him. “We have a lot work to do,” Ms. Handel said. “A lot of problems we need to solve”. Oh, please.

Foreign Policy: Prince bin Salman, the 31 year old son of King Salman of Saudi Arabia, a firebrand and relatively anti-American, is now first in line for when the 81 year old King dies. Say Salman dies at 91 years of age, that would make Prince bin Salman 41 years old,m the youngest King imaginable.

Sports: Yanks lost again, six in a row, and have lost first place in the standings while they were at it. Let’s see if home cooking can save em. Meanwhile the Mets got blown apart by the Dodgers 0 – 12.

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