By Steve Brennan
By Ashley Zimmerman
By Michele Eve Sandberg
By Abel Folgar
By Ashley Zimmerman
By New Times Staff
By Abel Folgar
By Laurie Charles
How did Diplo, a dinosaur-loving, crunk-spinning white kid from Florida, become the hottest party DJ in Philadelphia (if not the world)? It sure as hell isn't through answering questions with complete sentences. You can't blame the superstar producer/remixer/label head/indie music darling for being busy, especially during his current tour with Bonde do Role and Cansei de Ser Sexy. Still, in lieu of in-depth responses to an e-mail interview, Outtakes is forced to translate what we can only assume he meant by his brief answers. This is what you get for being too busy, Diplodocus:
Outtakes: What role has the mixtape culture played in your come-up? Where do you see the scene heading in the future?
Diplo wrote: only the way to make money, be poor without it
What he probably meant: "Suck it, ASCAP and BMI. I'm rich, bitch!"
YourPiracy Funds Terrorism mixtape caused quite a stir in the music community. Do you currently have anything else like that in the works?
Diplo wrote: new record, working on it here and there, most amazing record ever, it's crazy, gonna change everything
What he probably meant: "I'm experimenting with a new form of meta-sampling in which I sample other DJs' samples. On my next mixtape, Stole Your Jamz, I just record a Kid Koala cassette playing out of a boom box for about 40 minutes. It's dope."
What's up with M.I.A. not being able to come to the States anymore?
Diplo wrote: she can come now
What he probably meant: "After a preposterous and completely unwarranted investigation by several federal government agencies, my little sugar bunny was absolved of any wrongdoing and can roam within the borders of this wonderful country. Which is cool, cuz otherwise she couldn't pick up her checks from those Honda Civic commercials and pay me back for giving her a goddamned career."
Your Hollertronix party series in Philadelphia has become almost mythical at this point. How did that come about?
Diplo wrote: came out of the city needing something, it's a mean city, everybody hates each other, hates the music, people in philly needed an alternative, hollertronix gave it to them, something that everyone loves.
What he probably meant: "Was sick of Fresh Prince reruns."
I read that you wanted to be a paleontologist as a child. Do you find any parallels between your childhood dream and what you have become?
Diplo wrote: no, i want to be a fireman too
What he probably meant: "Why even bother recognizing the parallel between digging through fossils and digging through record crates? I've got groupies to attend to. If you need anything else, don't hesitate to e-mail!" Drexel Faris
Diplo joins Bonde Do Role on Monday, August 14, at Studio A, 60 NE 11th St., Miami. Doors open at 10 p.m. Tickets cost $5. Call 305-358-7625, or visit www.studioamiami.com. Regular Joe
The late John Mellor's nom de rock, Joe Strummer, wasn't so much a pseudonym as it was a description of an ordinary, regular, guitar-playing Joe. Of course, this particular guitar-playing Joe was anything but ordinary or regular as anyone with even a casual knowledge of rock 'n' roll will tell you, Strummer was one of the greats. But Strummer himself didn't seem to think so. Even though his old band, the Clash, was keen on describing itself as "the only band that matters," in the last years before his 2002 death from a congenital heart defect, Strummer thought of himself simply as a hard-working musician with a job to do. He just wanted to sell his record and keep the crowd happy. That's the gist of producer/director (and Clash confidant) Dick Rude's recently released DVD, Let's Rock Again!
The film is a document of Strummer and his band, the Mescaleros, as they embark on a promotional tour for their album Global a Go-Go. Over the course of an hour and ten minutes, Rude and his cameras follow Strummer from gig to gig (and interview to interview), depicting him as a humble soul who has one goal to do his job well. One of the more telling scenes involves Strummer's trying to get a radio station to promote an Atlantic City gig. He shows up at the front door, a copy of Global a Go-Goin hand, and tells the employees he used to be in the Clash. The DJ recognizes him, puts Strummer on the air, but seems most excited to be playing "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" the band's lightest, most commercial hit. This would bug the hell out of some artists, but not the always eloquent Strummer. He's just happy to be back in the game and get those few moments of precious airtime.
Another poignant moment is a clip of Strummer's quietly chatting with a few young punk rock kids. They're as eager to hear his stories as he is to share them. But it's not a passing of the punk rock baton-type moment it's more like a group of students hanging on to a favorite professor's every word.
There are a couple of Clash songs on the disc, but the best stuff is saved for the bonus features covers of reggae standards like Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come" and Toots Hibbert's "Pressure Drop." Also included are some interesting bonus interviews and a Q&A session with the filmmaker. When it comes down to it, the heart of this film is the music. After all, it is called Let's Rock Again! And the Mescaleros do rock, mixing Strummer's classic Dylanesque storytelling with the world beat and reggae influence that always informed Strummer's most enduring work. Lewis GoldbergBack on the Bus