Fix Your Face
Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker has had plenty of side gigs over the years. Box Car Racer and +44 also featured other Blink members, while the duo TRV$DJAM included his friend Adam Goldstein. Known as DJ AM, Goldstein, who was with Barker in a Learjet crash that killed four people in September 2008, died late last month in an apparent drug overdose.
Goldstein's death has overshadowed Blink's reunion and subsequent national tour, and the band has been performing a song called "Down" in his honor. The recent MTV Video Music Awards brought a focus on AM's collaborations with Barker as well. At the 2008 VMAs, the pair served as the house band, with Goldstein behind the boards and Barker on drums. After backing artists like Katy Perry, LL Cool J and Lupe Fiasco, they went on to release a pair of rock and hip-hop mixtapes, Fix Your Face, Vol. 1 and Fix Your Face, Vol. 2 – Coachella '09.
Considering that he was a member of nu-metalish group Crazy Town and performed with emcees like Will Smith and Jay-Z, Goldstein's penchant for hip-hop was well documented. But Barker's affinity for the genre is less known – surprisingly so, because he has built up an amazing résumé as a rap producer and performer. With his appearance on G-funk godfather Warren G's new album, The G Files, it's tempting to call Barker more hip-hop than most current rappers.
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His best-publicized foray into the genre was probably his contribution to The Game's 2008 frenetic, blazing single "Dope Boys" — Barker's explosive drums are easily the best thing about the track. During Blink's hiatus, he also fashioned a series of remixes of songs from everyone from Soulja Boy to Rich Boy to Flo Rida, and it's fair to say the majority of them improved upon the originals.
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Barker has also played drums on numerous rap albums and made beats for everyone from T.I. (!) to the Black Eyed Peas. Additionally, he produced the first song off of Paul Wall's latest album, and the two have been known to perform together as the duo Expensive Taste.
In any case, with Goldstein no longer with us, one suspects that Barker will continue on with these rap side projects, if only as a way to keep his friend in his thoughts.
One hopes so, anyway.
As an outgrowth of its wildly successful "No Service Fee" summertime promotion, last week Live Nation announced its "Club Passport," which, except for sold-out shows, gets purchasers into any show in selected Live Nation venues for the remainder of the year, House of Blues in Houston's case. The passport is available for $49.99 — plus the service fee colloquially referred to as "tax" — for a limited time at www.livenation.com. Because we ate all our vegetables, Live Nation was kind enough to give the Houston Press two passports to give away. See our music blog Rocks Off at blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks for more details.
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1. Jay-Z, The Blueprint 3
2. Whitney Houston, I Look to You
3. Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2
4. LeToya Luckett, Lady Love
5. Najee, Mind Over Matter
6. J. Blackfoot, Woof Woof Meow
7. K'Jon, I Get Around
8. Drake, Born Successful
9. Beanie Sigel, Broad Street Bully
10. Trey Songz, Ready
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Selections from PeteG's September 13 playlist
1. Bobby Hutcherson, "Matrix"
2. Chris Potter, "Ultrahang"
3. Keith Jarrett, "Take Me Back"
4. Splinters, "Two in One Hundred"
5. Anthony Braxton, "Blue Bossa > Tad's Delight"
6. Tom Harrell, "Maharaja"
7. Alex Cline, "Steadfast"
8. The Peter Evans Quartet, "Bodies and Souls"
9. Latin Jazz Quintet & Eric Dolphy, "Caribe"
10. Dave Brubeck, "What Is This Thing Called Love?"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)
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