Since I stopped doing the blog I have gotten a lot of emails to re-upload certain things. About the time I stopped updating mediafire started making my files private so I couldn't share them. Pretty much everything is taken down. I have gotten a lot of emails asking me to re-up things but there is just so much stuff that I can't get on top of it nor would I know where to start. So if you email me asking for something specific I am probably not going to reupload it as I would have to reupload everything. I may return to the blog at some point in the future but now is not that time.
After some considerable thought I have decided to put Besides Asides to bed. After seeing so many other music blogs bite the dust over the past year it just became not so fun anymore. It sucks but nothing gold can stay and all that. I hope this blog gave you a chance to explore your love for music whether it was punk/hardcore or even the occasional hip-hop post.
You can always drop me a line and I may respond. As always the password is on the side of the blog. It baffles me when people can find my email but not the password haha.
Ohio has had cranking some really sweet bands lately, though they probably always have been and I just didn't notice. Northwestern is one of those bands. They meld traditional 90s midwest noodly emo sounds with the kind of early 2000s pop punk that got mistaken for emo like the Get Up Kids. Go check out their EP they put out late last year at their bancamp and you can pick it up at a PWYC price (including free). Really neat stuff. Enjoy!
Big Syke isn't exactly the most recognizable name in hip-hop but he played a central role in the career of one of its key figures of 1990s, 2Pac. Big Syke started out in the group Evil Minded Gangstas who released a tape in 1992 and then met 2Pac in 1993, eventually going on to join his group Thug Life. If you listen to the Evil Minded Gangstas tape you can see its sound heavily influenced the Thug Life album along with New York's Live Squad. Big Syke also introduced 2Pac to produced Johnny "J" Jackson who produced much of the E.M.G. record and would go on to be one of the main producers for 2Pac while he was on Death Row Records.
Big Syke joined 2Pac over at Death Row and appeared on All Eyez On Me and started working on an album with 2Pac for his new group, the Outlaw Immortalz, as well as a solo album. Yet, these things weren't meant to be as Syke decided to sign his own record deal and 2Pac severed ties with him. This is why Big Syke doesn't appear on 2Pac's Makaveli album or any of the subsequent Outlawz albums as more than a guest. He ended up recording Be Yo' Self without input from 2Pac and the Outlawz and released it in October 1996. Syke is a more than capable rapper with a distinct voice and flow but perhaps the best part of the album is that most of it is produced by Johnny "J" in his prime. There are elements of several songs that are the same as unreleased versions of 2Pac songs that Big Syke appeared on as well. There is also a few great features by Above The Law and former Thug Life/Outlawz member Mopreme Shakur. This album went out of print and when Syke signed to southern hip-hop institution Rap-A-Lot in the early 2000s some of the album was included with a different mix/master on the new album Big Syke Daddy. This is a shame because the whole album is really a superb piece of mid-90s west coast hip-hop. Big Syke has that great balance where he spins hardcore rhymes but also reflects on the consequences of a violent lifestyle and takes time out to just relax and have a good time on the record. There is memorable lines and catchy hooks, what more could you ask for?
Anyways, I've seen this album go for anywhere from $40 to $90 (for a CD!!!!) used on Amazon, discogs and ebay so I hope some people enjoy this rip from my collection. I've also included "Forever Ballin'" from The Fan soundtrack as a bonus. It is produced by Johnny "J" and came out in 1996 so I assume it was from the same recording sessions as the rest of the album. As a final bonus I've included the song "Hittin' Cornaz" from the non-album single of the same name from 1998, as far as I know this is the only thing he released between Be Yo' Self and Big Syke Daddy which is a shame because it is one of his best songs.
In October 2001, singer-songwriter Greg MacPherson and Weakerthans frontman John K. Samson did a shared solo set in Altona, Manitoba as a benefit for Amnesty International at W.C. Miller Collegiate. This is between Weakerthans 2nd and 3rd LPs, so conceivably "One Great City" and "Reconstruction Site" were brand new. Another nifty gem is a cover of the Clash's "Bank Robber" that features Greg and John playing and sharing vocal duties. If you've never heard Greg MacPherson before you are in for a treat as he has an awesome voice and vivid lyrics and this serves as as good an introduction as any.
The sound of the recording is great and I've had it for awhile waiting for the right time to post it but it seems like I was scooped last fall as someone posted a torrent of it BUT it seems like people weren't looking for it and it isn't exactly seeded and healthy so I decided I'd upload it myself for the blog. Also the torrent doesn't have the exact recording date which I do. As always enjoy!
I'm a bit of an odd Replacements fan in that my favourite release isn't Let It Be or Tim but Pleased To Meet Me and I don't completely shit on their final two LPs. While promoting Don't Tell A Soul (one of those LPs that often gets shit on by fans) their record company ended up sending out this EP, Inconcerated Live, to radio stations. The set was recorded at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, it is a nice selection of their career and the band isn't too drunk or sloppy but has a perfectly measured energy. The best part of it for me is the version of "Talent Show" which highlights how Don't Tell A Soul could have been a lot better if it felt a little looser and spontaneous. It also contains an extra little portion of the song "Portland" which was scrapped and became "Talent Show". This is a great, somewhat obscure, piece of the band's career and although this was up on other blogs before, none of the links seem to be active and this is a high quality rip from my own collection. Enjoy!
Kitty Little are (were?) a band from Albany that play a distorted power pop/indie/punk with guy/girl vocals that definitely has influence from the 90s but nothing I can pick out off the top of my head as a main influence, perhaps some early Superchunk? Either way, they have most of their releases up on their bandcamp for PWYC/free download but I think the best place to start would be their full-length record, Know No Shame. Check it out and throw 'em a few dollars if you like what you hear.