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Friday, May 8, 2009


Cross-posted at Mind Grapes.

Like many people newly arrived in New York, I have questions about Staten Island. Questions like, "Why?" And, "How?" And, "Really?" Sometimes, I think we should all call it, preferably in some kind of "spooky" voice, "The Mysterious Island." Or maybe some kind of "fantasy" "middle-earth" name like "Gathaladriel." Really, I don't know anything about Staten Island, except that (apparently) the only way to get there is via ferry, which is a kind of boat. I didn't even know we had boats anymore! But we do—and we take them to get to Staten Island.

So: the reason I bring this up is that last weekend Jimmy and I got an email from a band called Paragraph, a band from, of all places, Staten Island. And as shocked as I was that there were "musicians" from "Staten Island," I was probably even more shocked that they have email. Technology! And in this Staten Island email, this band, Paragraph, was an MP3.

Now—as famous, wealthy bloggers, we get a lot of emails, many from doctors offering us experimental sex procedures or jewelers who, recognizing our wealth, offer us Rolex watches. Also, publicists, and, sometimes, Nigerians, many of whom have lost their family fortunes. And because we are often having "sex" with "models," we're not always able to check our jewel-encrusted jPhones (next-gen iPhones) to see what emails we get. But when bands send us MP3s, and those MP3s end up being pretty good, well, we don't do much but post 'em.

So here it is: an MP3 from noted Staten Island band Paragraph. I've only heard four songs from these guys, I think, and this one is the best—less like a short-pocketed Gang of Four tribute band, the way their MySpace YouTube videos sound (not bad but, uh, it's not 2003 anymore, let alone 1983) and more like a tightly-wound R&B group with a very, very serious talent for grooves (the track is basically begging to be edited/remixed for the floor). The only hesitation is this weird little autotune bit at the end, which sounds kind of out of place, if not from an entirely different planet (it sort of reminds me of rap-rock favorites Crazytown); everything else I fully endorse (Jimmy hates the autotune part, deeply, with what I can sense is every fiber of his body). The song on their MySpace isn't quite as good as this, but its own WTF element (a sweet summery guest rap from a young lady named "Star's Da Limit") sounds way more natural (and good). And you know—I kind of can't be down on a band that's putting weird little bits of other planets in their songs. Especially because, you know, what else are you going to do on Staten Island?

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