music notes, quasimoto, ynq, calexico

A couple music-related thoughts:
– There’s a 68-meg Quasimoto mix tape available for download from Stones Throw. Quasimoto is, of course, the pitch-shifted alter-ego of Madlib, a favorite. The new Quas album comes out tomorrow; the remix is by DJ Troubl, who is easily one of the 300 best DJs to ever come out of Poitiers, France.
– Speaking of Madlib alter-egos, I finally picked up Stevie yesterday, by the “jazz” “combo” Yesterdays New Quintet. (The joke being that all five members of the “quintet” are all Madlib, who plays all the instruments under assumed names like Monk Hughes and Joe McDuphrey.) The album is all Stevie Wonder songs, reinvented as fusion jazz with a smidge of hip-hop bounce. Jeezumpete, is it ever good! Perfect party music, great driving music.
Video of Calexico covering Guided By Voices’ “Non-Absorbing” at this year’s SXSW. Sound quality’s only okay, but it’s still better than GBV’s studio version.
– Speaking of Calexico, percussionist John Convertino has an album out. Piano-driven track available here.
And one non-music note, a posting from Craigslist Seattle: “Hi. I’m a journalist. Or a reporter. Whatever word pisses you off more, I’m part of the mainstream media, the liberal media, the so-called liberal media. I am the epitome of all that is wrong with contemporary journalism. That is why I need you to fuck me until I feel as disgraced sexually as I do professionally.”

livingston awards finalist

More self-love: I’m a finalist for the 2004 Livingston Awards, which is a $10,000 prize for the best work by an American journalist under 35. There are three of them, for local, national, and international reporting (which is why there appear to be so many finalists). I’m a finalist in international reporting, for my Zambia stories last year.
I have precisely zero chance of winning the thing, for the record. But, as Susan Lucci used to say every year at the Daytime Emmys, it’s an honor just to be nominated.
Congrats go out to the other finalists I know: My DMN colleagues Reese Dunklin and Katherine Yung; Anne Barnard of the Boston Globe, formerly of my college paper; Charles Duhigg of the LAT, who I got drunk with a couple times in college even though he worked for the rival paper; and Alec MacGillis, another college classmate of mine and a great education reporter for the Baltimore Sun.