Saturday, May 13, 2006

the shuffle. [5/13/06]

I spent my Saturday on some very good vibes shit. Wifey and I went out to the mall, mainly to cop her a serious gang of maternity clothes. People kept downtalking Motherhood's price range, but she got mad tops and bottoms and we didn't even go over $300, which is good shit in my book. We ate the American Cafe that is located in the mall... the food was excellent, but that service was fucking ridiculous. Shitty floors, very retarded servers... just an overall downer on some great meals. I actually spent money on myself today, too! I copped a pair of Timbs, a pair of S Dot's for like $50 (!!!), and a Boondocks T-Shirt. All in all, a great way to spend a Saturday with the misses. We took the girls to cop shoes at Payless, and had a fun Burger King dinner. Chilled, etc... watched De La Hoya murk out on Mayorga, who is a fucking horse med taking fool.

In any case, most of this has nothing to do with a pretty wicked week in the world of entertainment and shit. shuffle on, peeps:

1> The Beatles' Apple label
lost a battle against the Apple computer company, who is still allowed to use their 'Apple logo' on the iTunes Music store. Great, another 15 years before people can purchase Abbey Road on iTunes.

2> The
E3 Expo went down this week, and people got to see the first glimpse of the Playstation 3. Who wants to buy this badboy for me? There's no way I'm spending $500 on a PS3, not right now. Nigga, I got kids. That shit can wait. I heard there's a Reservoir Dogs video game coming on it, though... which might sway me (even though I've never watched the flick in it's entirety).

3> Mobb Deep got a big lift with their G-Unit affiliation. They
have the #3 spot on lock, right under new albums from Tool and Pearl Jam, which is a good look for them. Now if they could only do an album without 50...

4> Faggot ass 'Prince' Naseem Hamed
got into a car accident recently. Hopefully, this will derail his planned return to the US boxing circuit. He was funny for 2 fights, but when you realized he couldn't fight, the comedy ended. Good riddance...hopefully??

5> Outed writer James Frey
admitted that his 2nd book, My Friend Leonard, has some fabricated situations in it. I wanted to read this; I read Million Little Pieces before all of the hype, and loved it. I understood why he might want to embellish in that one... but the 2nd one? It just makes me not want to even take a peek at the shit. Fuck that, James. Speak to me. In your real voice. About your real life.

6> Chris Daughtry, the man I picked to win it all during this year's American Idol was booted this week, but his some good luck. The rock band Fuel asked him to join their group. Good. I hope he does well, b/c America fucked up on that one. Whomever wins this season will be cursed. Well not cursed, but they won't do any spectacular numbers sales-wise.

7> Ya boy OJ is a funny dude. This nigga is out there fronting like he's selling his Bronco for some PPV hour show he's getting made. And he's saying he's not getting paid for this? He's got to be the dumbest nigga out there, esp. for someone that the gossip rags claim has a cocaine addiction. He's in need of a good job... maybe UPS is hiring?

8> Chris Tucker signed on to Rush Hour 3 for fucking $25 million!!! I had no idea Rush Hour 2 was the highest grossing comedy flick of all time --- $600 mill in total?!?!? How nuts is that. I guess that's why Chris can ask for that. Hopefully it's as good as the last 2 were. That first 15 mins is classic -- Chris singing MJ tracks?!?! "CHA-MOHN, CHA-MOHN LEE!!"

9> Lupus is the disease that claimed Jay Dee (aka J Dilla). His mother, Maureen Yancey, is calling on everyone to raise awarness on this disease. I'm here to do my part: check out these websites for more info.

10> Hip-Hop Shock Jock Star of the Star & Buckwild Show fame was fired from his station, Power 105.1, for some fucked up comments regarding Hot 97's DJ Envy (and his family) on the radio earlier this week. He actually ended up getting arrested over this nonsense, too, and he is lucky. Envy got suspended over this shit, but I can't blame him. That's his lil baby and his wife that this man was threatening. Fuck the dumb shit, Star should be either in the hospital being fed through tubes or 6 feet deep. After he made those fucked up comments about Aaliyah back in 2001, I disliked that nig with a passion. Now I have even more reason.

11> David Blaine couldn't do it. This shriveled up nigga couldn't hold his breath past the 7 minute 8 second mark, but the amazing feat is not that he stayed in water for a week straight; it's that people like me give a shit. I had been a fan of his when his first specials aired; the card tricks are legendary, the chicken thing, the fake levitation was even hot. Then this standing in a block of ice/on top of a high pole/staying for 44 days in a box type shit is not magic. Yes, people come see it but it is not magic. During the 2 hour snorefest, he did end up doing street magic. He pulled out some chick's teeth and spit them back into place... weird shit.

Whoa. 11 pieces this week eh? Good. Been saving some of these jammies; In any case, I'd like to wish all of the mothers out there HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! I'll be grilling for my lady tomorrow. Do something nice for the mothers in your life.

khal, out.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Friday, May 12th 2006 playlist

What's really goings on? It's another Friday playlist. Mother's Day is on Sunday, so you guys might want to get your mom songs on (I'll give you a few choice cuts either tonight or tomorrow), but for Friday and Saturday, it's time to party. The Hip-Hop game, in terms of new-ness, has been kind of not hitting too hard, so some of my pics are either very old, or on some promo/advance copy ish. You know how it is Drum & Bass wise, so you might not have heard a lot of my choices. Holla at the kid.

Drum & Bass

1> Phobia "The Messenger" [renegade hardware]
2> Random
Movement "They Locked Me Down" [progress]
3> Chino "Creation Blues" [diverse products]
4> Submorphics "Make It Happen" [vibez]
5> Bladerunner "Leave Dem Alone" [dread]
6> Silent Witness & Break "The Question" [dnaudio]
7> Calibre "Dirty Mind" [signature]
8> The Tesco Project "Gunshot" [tesco value]
9> A-Sides "Showstopper" [metalheadz platinum]
10> Zen "Break Even" [grid]


1> Obie Trice ft. The Game "Growing Up In The Hood" [these 2 murder that classic beat, I think it's Compton's Most Wanted?]
2> Fat Joe "We Getting Money" [yes, Crack is back and it's a PROBLEM!]
3> NWA "Straight Outta Compton" [one of the best examples of the aggression encased on the Amen break]
4> Poor Righteous Teachers "Word Iz Life" [big up Jersey all day, Wise Intelligent interview coming soon... fingers crossed!]
5> Obie Trice "Black Boy" [can't get enough of that beat and the way he does his thing... even if his flow is kind of Hov-esque]
6> Papoose "The Boyz In The Hood" [best sample of Boyz 'N The Hood since Remarc's "Ricky"]
7> DJ Khaled ft. Beanie Sigel & Jadakiss "Problem" [forthcoming on Khaled's album... FIYAH!]
8> JR Writer "U Not Like Me" [off that Big Mike 'Gametime 2006' mixtape -- that beat is murder on the woofers!]
9> Cory Gunz ft. Lil' Wayne "What U Know About This" [also off the Gametime 2006 mixtape, produced by Just Blaze. big beat.]
10> Freeway ft. 50 Cent "Bang Bang" [yup. Freeway album coming out on Roc-A-Fella/G-Unit soon, apparently...]

1 to grow on> The Roots "No Alibi" [this one goes out to my nigga Nappy -- hold your head, bro. keep pushin'!]

So that's what my weekend might sound like... maybe not. Keep it locked for some more developments... Horizons Music, Wise Intelligent, more reviews (I'm slackin' on my mackin')... all of that. I'm gonna go breeze for right now though. BE EASY!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

RIP Floyd Patterson

RIP to one of the more classic fighters of our time. He was 71 years old, and had some medical problems going on. "Pretty Boy" had some memorable highs in his career, and I am at a loss for words about his life in and out of the ring. He will be remembered as a role model and a good sport, and will be sorely missed by try boxing aficionados.

LOST, Season 2: "?" [recap]

For those looking for answers about Michael’s secret being told to the rest of the survivors, you might as well avoid this recap now. In typical LOST fashion, this piece of information has been held to the side to explore another story, and boy was it a doozy for those who are into the mythology of the island. It was an Eko specific episode, so you know there was a large amount of faith and speculation involved. Let’s jump right into things.

The episode started out with a scene showing Eko chopping wood, seemingly for his church. Where he got an axe, I have no clue. In any case, he’s chopping away and Ana-Lucia steps in and speaks to him for a minute. She let’s Eko know that he has to help out Locke. She also goes from her normal looking face to showing him the blood on her head and in her chest. He is startled by this image, and realizes it’s a dream. He has another dream, featuring his brother Yemi, in the hatch (The Swan). Yemi tells him that he has to find the Question Mark (“?” for now on), and Locke will help him; Locke does not want to help him, but this is Eko’s job. He has to get Locke to restore his faith in this island and it’s many mysteries. With this in mind, Eko awakens and, axe in hand, goes to the hatch…

The flashbacks are also Eko-specific. They tell a tale of him during his priesthood residency. We start with him in the confessional booth, looking someone bored/distraught/annoyed with the whole deal, and we find out there is a man there who he paid to get him a passport so he can travel to Los Angeles for an undisclosed reason. He is told that he cannot do this, for he has to go see about proving/debunking this woman’s claims of a miracle. Long story short, this woman’s daughter drowns in a pool, and is considered dead. On the autopsy table, as we heard on a tape in the coroner’s office, during the procedure she is awakened, and is alive! The mother wants this reported to the Vatican, but by Vatican rule, each miracle must be investigated, and since Eko was originally skeptic, he has been chosen as Sherlock. The meeting with the coroner is eerie, hearing the girl’s screams, and I think that might have made Eko a little more interested in this case. When he goes to his scheduled meeting with the girl, but her father jumps outside and ushers the daughter and her mother inside. He looks familiar, and confirms many fans’ suspicion (I have to give my wife credit, she picked it up right away) when he went into his tirade. He said he knows his wife is pulling a fast one, but she is doing it because of his profession. He is a fraud psychic, who finds out about the people who come to see him for advice and guidance. He researches them and then feeds them BS. He is, in fact, the psychic that Claire met with in Season 1, the one who told her to go to LA and sell her baby to a family. Eerie, right? The flashbacks end a little later; for another undisclosed reason, Eko is preparing to board Oceanic 815 when he glances over his shoulder and sees the daughter! She tells him that while she was “between places” (presumably Life and Death), Eko’s brother Yemi told him that he has to be strong, have faith, and that he will see him soon. Eko grows hostile, for good reason, but calms down and gets ready for his plane. Libby made a cameo in that scene, making sure everything was kosher… but nothing was kosher for her.

On their way back at the Swan, Sawyer, Kate, Jack & Locke are speaking about how Ana-Lucia got the gun from Sawyer, when Michael stumbles out of the door, shouting how Henry got the gun, shot Ana-Lucia and Libby and him in the arm, and took off. Eko appears from behind, telling them he will help Jack tend to Michael, and as they all enter the hatch. They see the destruction: Ana-Lucia, dead. Libby, seemingly dead until Sawyer catches a face full of her bloodspit. Jack says there’s not much he can do, due to the gunshot wounds to the stomach. He can make her comfy, but cannot work anything else. He asks for the heroin, which Sawyer has. Kate is told to go with Sawyer, and she does not get it; Jack played his cards right, because Sawyer has to go grab the smack from his stash or risk Libby in unbearable pain (FYI – Sawyer’s stash was in his camp, right under his sleeping quarters. Slick, right?). They go off, as does Eko and Locke, trying to track Henry’s trail.

During the tracking, Locke realizes Eko isn’t there to hunt Mr. Gale, and Eko lets him know of Yemi’s plan to find the ?. Locke wants to go back, but is met with a Wesley Snipes headbutt. He awakens to find Eko’s built a fire and set up camp. He asks about the ?, and let’s Locke know that he knows what the ? is. After some haggling, Locke pulls out the crude map he drew from what he saw briefly on the blast door. Eko immediately picks up on it and they set out to find the ?. Locke’s faith has been waining, and initially it shows. It’s not until he has a weird dream that his interest heightens: we see Eko, walking with a limp mind you, axe in hand, following Yemi. Yemi climbs the wall that once held the plane Boone crashed in. Eko is using that axe to climb the wall, and when he reaches the top, he sees Yemi sitting in a wheelchair, gets startled and loses his grip. Locke wakes up, and tells Eko of his dream. Eko realizes that Yemi is speaking to Locke too, and is charged up. He uses the axe to climb the wall and makes it to the top. Once there, he notices a circle-shape on the ground, ending where the burned plane sits. He investigates and realizes the ground is salted, like someone did this intentionally. With a little moving around, he finds what he must have been looking for: metal. After digging and moving the plane, Locke realize that they found a door, which turns into a new hatch! “The Pearl”, as it is called in a new orientation video (no film reels in this hatch) has 2 leather chairs, a number of TV screens, and a bank-drive through looking chute. The host on the tape explains that this station is used for observation. He says that the people in the hatch do not know they are being observed, for obvious reasons – they use this Pearl hatch to test different experiments. One of the TVs had a direct feed into the Swan, among other spots. Everything is recorded by tape and was to be recorded by the Pearl inhabitants; once they noted everything in their journals, they’d put them in the chute, to be picked up by the Hanso people. Weird shit, right? Eko asked what I knew he’d ask (“Would you like to watch that again?”), but Locke was visibly pissed. His faith was tested, he wained from it, and he saw this video and it confirmed what he thought. He told Eko this, but Eko told him about Yemi’s travels and how he got back his cross from his brother and such. He asked Locke, essentially, with all of this going on, and us finding this hatch, this does nothing but REINFORCE what we’ve been doing. Eko even went as far to say that if Locke won’t hit the button, he will.

Back at the Swan, Hurley is there with Libby. No one knows how he didn’t know for a day that Libby was hurt, as he was waiting for her to come back, but he was visibly shaken. He was there to see Jack administer the final dose of smack to Libby, and said he was sorry for not getting the blankets (sad moment, really made some people cry, too). Jack shot her with the smack, and for a moment Libby was alive, shaken, scared, and said “Michael” before dying… Jack figured she was asking if he was OK, but we know she was really trying to say that Michael capped her. Very sad ending, but the previews look like the game is ON!

In the preview, we see Michael with his arm in the sling. There seems to be much chaos going down, and this might be the episode where Michael either has flashes of his time with the Others (we see shots of him being injected with needles, and shots of him being taken off), and other scenes of him telling his story (or possibly covering up his story?). I am kind of foggy on what happened honestly, but that’s why I love my DVR! I’ll add to this more.

During this show, they showed a new Hanso commercial, this time with a new web address in it: Upon further investigation, this turned out to be part of a new Sprite ad campaign. Sort of how the LOST Experience game showed up on as well. (If you aren't into it, check out The LOST Experience Clues blog.)

That's enough of my LOST obsession for now. Tune in next week for more recap loveliness.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

[rock the dub Interview]: Akrobatik

Boston is not known for being a place where Hip-Hop lives, on a mainstream level anyways. Most Hip-Hop heads can only name Benzino and Ed OG as being cats from that area. There is actually a pretty solid underground that is peeking its head out of that neck of the woods. One of those mastadons is Akrobatik, an MC many might consider "underground", but he is more than that. He is 1/3 of The Perceptionists, with long time collaborators and friends Mr. Lif and DJ Fakts One. He has a quality album in stores, Balance, where he truly shows the differing sides of a man, an MC, and a human being, guts and all. He is currently working on a new album, but took the time to bless us with news on what to expect, as well as his views on Live Hip-Hop shows, who he considers some of the superheroes of the game, and other odds and ends...

khal: First off, congrats on all of the props you have received for the PerceptionistsBlack Dialogue album. How does it feel to have one of your albums deemed one of the best of 2005, as well as have been up for a Plug Award?

Akrobatik: Thanks a lot! It was definitely hot to get the recognition we did for that album. It was a long time coming, and we really hoped it would be well-received. I'm glad we got together and made the project happen, and I look forward to doin' more joints as The Perceptionists.

khal: Personally, when I listen to Black Dialogue, it feels like a back-to-the-future type of thing: while the sonics are very current and at times futuristic ("
Blo" for example), the content, whether its political or just tracks like "Party Hard" take it back to how people used to rock in the "golden era" of Hip-Hop.

Akrobaitik: Yeah, I feel that way, too. That's why we went with the artwork design that we did for the album. Our influences stem from that era where content was important, and we wanted to make an album that we thought would get respect from the cats that we look up to as well as the new fans and cats that been down with us since day 1.

khal: You’ve been dropping tracks on various labels, from Detonator and Coup D’etat to Rawkus and Def Jux. Recently, you signed with NYC’s Fat Beats for the release of your upcoming album, Absolute Value. Why’d you sign with Fat Beats, and not stick with Def Jux to put out your album?

Akrobatik: Well, Def Jux is a quality label, without question. But they have their hands full with artists that have been holdin' them down from jump, so I needed to set myself up in a situation where I would be top priority. Fat Beats definitely gives me a chance to spread my wings, expand my audience, and get the attention I feel I deserve as a soloist.

khal: Can you give us any insight as to what’s going on with the Absolute Value LP? Is there a central theme/concept throughout the album? Who’s on the beats? Any guest MCs?

Akrobatik: Well, as of now it's still a work in progress. The concept is a loose one. My focus on this album is to have end-to-end bangers that are gonna kick ass when I hit the road. I'm definitely not trying to be super-conceptual with this album. I prefer to go against the grain. Absolute Value is gonna be a headbangin', ass-movin' LP, with hard beats and rough rhymes, just the way so many hip-hop heads love it. I got beats from Illmind, Beatminerz, Therapy, J-Zone, Fakts One, 9th Wonder, all types of cats. B-Real from Cypress Hill, Freddie Foxxx, Mr. Lif, and a few other special guests will stop in, too...

khal: Take us into the studio with you: how do you come up with your tracks? Are you bringing a full book of rhymes to the studio and working out those ideas, or do your songs come to fruition when you hit the studio? Also, does your process differ when you are working with the Perceptionists as opposed to doing your solo tracks?

Akrobatik: A lot of producers are probably frustrated with me, because they give me CDs full of dopeness, and I only end up choosing one or two. I listened to thousands of beats while I was writing this album, and I really only picked beats that told me they needed me to write to them. In other words, I listen to hear a song out of a track before I even write anything. I don't keep books full of rhymes; I just think I stay ready to write "THAT" song to "THAT" beat. With the group, I think the process was similar, but it's cool to have someone to bounce ideas around with.

khal: I was on another blog the other day, where they were kind of dissing Hip-Hop live shows for not being innovative and what have you, with that being the reason as to why most Hip-Hop artists don’t make as much loot on shows as opposed to Rock acts or what have you. What do you try to do live that separates your show from the next mans?

Akrobatik: It's funny you ask that, because I am in the process of a complete overhaul of my live show. I'm really gonna try to make my show worth well beyond the price of admission. I totally agree that a lot of shows are lackluster. I think I do a good job as a soloist, but I've always felt it could be even better. That's definitely a focus of mine. As I get older, I'm realizing the importance of cardiovascular health. I wanna be out there 20 years from now still doing this if I want, so I'm just trying to master breath control and pacing myself. Aside from that, I just like to be personal with the crowd, and make sure that everything I say can be heard clearly. I treat Emceein' like a sport, and the shows are the big games. I try to show up and and do my best every time.

khal: You’ve got a lot of classics tracks, from "SayYesSayWord" to "
Remind My Soul" to "Internet MCs" and the "Fat Shit" tracks with Lif. What is YOUR favorite track that you’ve done? Why? Do you have any tracks out there that you are not so happy with?

Akrobatik: I think my favorite track is a joint off my new album. It's the first song on the album, and I think it's gonna go down as my signature track. It's just gets me hyped as hell. Throw that shit on, and my adrenaline starts flowin' immediately. But as far as joints that I have previously released, it would have to be "Remind My Soul". I have other songs that I think I like more, but that one has effected so many people in so many positive ways that I can't overlook how much it means to me.

khal: What’s good about Hip-Hop these days? What’s something that you wish would be kept out of the scene?

Akrobatik: What's good about Hip-Hop is that there is an audience out there large enough to keep independent artists alive and relevant. Also, Hip-Hop remains to be our most powerful voice. It's a shame that so many abuse that, but that doesn't erase the fact that the vessel is still there to be used for the greater good. For me, I would love it if the whole crack dealer/gun runner shit would die out. It's played and not really believeable anymore. So many people are tryin to be "THAT" dude, that the creativity is leaking out of Hip-Hop. But, I think there are enough creative and talented cats out there keepin' the real shit alive. Even in gangsta rap, you have plenty of dudes who still approach the shit as emceein', and that's all I really ask.

khal: You’ve connected with plenty of artists out there, but it’s a big world out there. If you could do an EP with ANY producers/MCs/artists out there, who would you choose and why?

Akrobatik: I wanna do an album with Illmind. His beats are incredible. I would also love to put together a supergroup of black superhero emcees like Ghostface, Doom, Pharoahe Monch, Bumpy Knuckles, Black Thought, and myself. Although I realize that would be putting myself in very exclusive company. Those guys are all some of the all-time greats.

khal: Your success has taken you all over the world on tour; what state/city/country has the livest crowd? On the flipside, what’s the WORST experience you have had during a live show?

Akrobatik: I love Paris. I love album release shows in Boston. Crowds in Baltimore have always been live for me for some reason, too. Internationally when you do the festivals, those are definitely the livest crowds. Illest show I've ever done though was at the Bonnaroo Festival in '05. It was Perceptionists, RJD2, and De La Soul. 10,000 people in a tent whilin' for hours. Mad fun...
As far as the worst experience, one time I was doing a show in Berlin. My DJ threw on the vocal version of "SayYesSayWord", and when I turned around to let him know, he had his back turned diggin' through records.

khal: Most people know you are a Boston head, and are into sports heavy. What’s going on with your Patriots this coming season?

Akrobatik: Ahh... I can't say I'm not disappointed about losing Vinatieri, McGinest, and Givens. But we drafted well. I trust that the organization will once again field a product that cats can be proud of. It's a tough league though. It could be decades before another team accomplishes what the Pats have done in the last 5 years.

khal: I read in XXL a while back that you are seriously into WWE, and wrestling in general. Who would you say is the superstar that is most like Akrobatik, and why? Do you think you could take any of the WWE stars in a match?

Akrobatik: I guess I would have to say John Cena. Aside from the Hip-Hop thing, the way he does a lot of his slams and stuff like that is similar to my style in the ring. He bounces around a lot, and I'm the same way. Charisma-wise, though, I'd say Stone Cold Steve Austin. He's the man.

khal: Which MCs (dead or alive) are in your top 5?

Akrobatik: Man that's NOT easy. Here goes, no order:
Pharoahe Monch
Black Thought...
ya know what I'm not gonna do this. There are too many dope emcees to narrow it down to just a top 5. And what are we basing greatness on?
Ain't no best.

khal: Let’s wrap this up; do you have any final words and/or shout outs to drop?

Akrobatik: Just check for me when the album drops in October, and on the road this summer! Hit me up online at or

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Sopranos, Season 6: "The Ride" [recap]

So Season 6 is almost over, and we've gotten 2 marriages already. The first was Johnny Sack's daughter, Allegra, and now we are introduced to Christopher's new wife, Kelli, who is also with child. She thought he was going to whup the shit out of her ass, but he instead held her close, rubbed her belly, and wanted to "make a day" out of a trip to Atlantic City to get hitched. We know this is something he wanted but could not have with Adrianna, due to her plumbing, so there should be NO surprise that he jumped at the opportunity. Speaking of Adrianna, she does come up a few times this episode... let's get it going.

On a trip to PA, Tony and Christopher stop off somewhere so Tone can drain the lizard. Out of their Escalade, they see a few guys, who we find out later are members of some Vipers biker gang, jacking some nice boxes of wine. They figure, why not pilfer from the pilfering? They load up when all of the sudden, the fucking Vipers roll out of the spot with an ATM MACHINE! Chrissy quickly pulls out his piece, and when the Vipers ask if they are cops, they play along. Right before they decide to leave, Chrissy squeezes a cap out, and all hell breaks loose. One of the Vipers reaches for his ratchet, and shots are exchanged... by the time Chris gets back in the window (he was hanging out, bucking like a wild man), one of the Vipers is down, and Tony's ankle is sprained. They get a great dinner, and Chris even drinks some of the wine that Tony is getting lit off of. Funny thing about this scene is, Chrissy is championing the 12 steps, how his son will be his strength, but then gives in when T pours him a glass... now, wasn't this the same Christopher who was sniffing coke off the hooker's chest back in Hollywood? Why is that OK but drinking WITH TONY some kind of crazy idea? Anyways, they spend some time drinking more wine outside, when Chrissy and T share an intimate moment, talking about how much they have been through, and such. We are treated to a scene from the past, where Chris comes to T and tells him that he found out Adrianna flipped to the Feds. We sense the hostility in Tone, grabbing at Chris to check for the wire, probing him for information. We get to see Chris at his lowest, balling over Ade, telling T he can't pull the trigger, and he won't let T make him. It's very touching, and a scene many fans have wanted to see for some time now... later on, we see Christopher again with his homeboy, the smackhead who arranged the hit on Rusty. Christopher pays him his money, which is a little less than what was discussed, but he drops some H in there for good keeping. The dude gets worked in the whip, asking Chris if he wants. Chris first "toots" some, but then decides to go balls deep and mainline. We are treated to a pretty nicely done sequence of Chrissy making nice with a dog, all the while strung out, watching the sky, nodding off in the fair, etc. Some help REHAB did for him.

The fair, the fair. The St. Elzear's fair was held by cost cutting Paulie, which ended up biting him in the ass. We knew it was trouble when the new parish asked for an increase in his pay, from $10K to a cool $50Gs. Paulie was none to happy, so St. Elzear did not get a new hat. He cut so many corners, he almost endangered Janice, Domenica and lil Bobby on the fucking teacups. The ride gives way, and some kid gets smacked in the face by the equipment. Janice hams it up at dinner, saying Bobby didn't do shit to help, so what's he do? He finds the operator, asking for $25K for his wife, who is now sporting a new neck brace (yawn). The operator snitches on Paulie, saying he was the one who scrimped on the funds. Bobby causes a scene at the fair, calling Paulie out, saying he owed him scrilla for the medical bills. Paulie, of course, wants no part of that @ all. Later on, they sit down to eat at Christopher's party, but Bobby bounces when he sees Paulie. Tony asks Paulie to make it right with Bobby, but Paulie has been going through some things of his own. He is tripping about this biopsy that he had, due to the possibility of his having prostate cancer. Sad story, but loot is loot. Paulie wouldn't let anyone else cut corners for personal reasons, so he has to not be surprised when folks are mad at him for his usage of funds. We see Paulie’s portion close when he gets out of a restless sleep and strolls down to the Bing at 3AM. There’s a shot of him walking past the dance floor, and all of the sudden, a quick cut to a huge Virgin Mary statue standing on the dance floor! As soon as it appears, we get a shocked look on Paulie’s face (and a jolt in the heart, if you are like me), and then a shot of the Virgin gone… spooky. He goes to his mother/aunt’s house later that night, probably for some comfort. She asks him if he wants some cookies and they sit, together, watching a rerun of the Lawrence Welk show. He needs that compassion, and he will not get that sympathy from anyone but the woman he knew as his mother.

Now back to Adrianna for a mite. At the fair one night, Carmela sees Adrianna’s mom, Liz, who seems to be very distraught. She says that she KNOWS that Christopher killed her, mainly because the FBI had come to her house asking all types of questions. Carmela thinks she has been drinking, but Liz says what Carm is seeing is depression. A day or so later, Carm presents this info to Tony, who has to lie to protect his boy. In the end, that’s wrong, but he has to think of his family first. He told Carm the usual malarkey, even downplaying the domestic violence angle (“First and foremost, there is always a body”). His story for Christopher is tight, and Christopher really didn’t pull the trigger (Sil did), but Carmela left that convo still distraught and perplexed.

Now, that’s the main meat and potatoes of the episode. There are some odds and ends that I noticed, and wanted to share:

The whole scene where Tony is asking Phil Leotardo if he wants to knock off that truck TONIGHT was a big set up for next week. Phil makes his sly “spare John the stress of having to hear about this” comment, like he really gives a fuck about Johnny’s well being. He wants to live well, and be the big man.

The scene towards the end, where baby Domenica is at the fair one morning with Tone, Carm and her parents, and Domenica runs to the fence surrounding the close-down teacups ride. She starts balling, and all Janice wanted to do was to show everyone how her baby wants to go on the teacups again. Tony, who is maturing in every episode, shows his softer side, picking Nica up and twirling her around in the air. Touching scene, and a good play on where T and Janice’s heads are at.

Next week’s preview played up the whole THREE EPISODES LEFT thing, which doesn’t make me happy going into this summer, but what can you do. There was some interesting shit going on with Vito, it seems:

Phil Leotardo looks to be getting cut out of things. Ginny Sack’s brother was seen talking to Tony, basically saying Phil should be kept out of some deal or scheme. There is a picture of Phil’s face looking kind of shocked (shook?) about SOMETHING. In that arc, there was a man in Johnny’s cell also making references to Johnny talking/ratting on his homies. We’ll see how that plays out… it’s not in his nature to be a rat, unless he can manipulate the situation his way.

Bacala seems to be getting shit on by Tony, probably involving money. Bobby has been taking an odd turn this season, from a lovable oaf to a sneaky bastard. Don’t be surprised if he turns up the heat, his temper seems to be unruly at times…

The other main chunk was seeing Vito again. He looked to be talking to the Johnny Cakes firefighter biker guy about his family coming to get him?!?! Then there’s a scene were a gang of firefighters are around SOMEBODY on the ground, and the body is getting hit/cut with an axe?!?!

3 episodes left… stranger things have happened.

Do you guys have any theories on how this will play out? Scream at me.