New York needs American Clave now more than ever. Have you taken a walk down the Bowery recently? Start at Cooper Union, take a deep breath, and just throw yourself headlong southward into the abyss. What the fuck happened? Have you SEEN that horrible apartment complex on Bond Street between Bowery and Lafayette? It looks like Spider-Man threw up all over half of the block. CBGB's is gone, that gas station on Great Jones and Bowery is now a hotel that serves $40 pizzas, there are more duplex taverns on each block than ever before, and even some of the restaurant equipment suppliers are closing down... It's all inevitable, yes. Didn't they turn Astor's first home in Argentina into a Chinese food restaurant? Hell, if you can't beat 'em, eat 'em, I suppose...

...So somewhere amidst all of this bizarro-world metropolitan brain-fucking, Kip started sneaking these amazing records out here and there by Robby & El Negro, Silvana DeLuigi, Piri Thomas... Christ, there was even a new Conjure record, and it was a fucking DOUBLE ALBUM. And then he disappeared again. And now he's got a new album out, as Kip Hanrahan, just like the old days, and guess what? It's the best thing he's put his own name to since Tenderness waaaaay back there in Knitting-Factory's-still-on-Houston-Street New York folklore. The kidney-punching caveat? It's only out in Japan right now. WTF? Three cheers, EWE, in all seriousness, but c'mon - who else is stepping up to the plate? These aren't iTunes-friendly pick-n-mix variety assortments - and you should all know, because let's be honest, I'm really just preaching to the surly converted right now - these are records that need time. Strike that - they want time. YOUR time. They want you to buy them dinner first (a $40 pizza, perhaps?), they want you to read them some Chomsky before bedtime, and they want you more than anything to stop being a dip-shit - to shut your mouth, stop text messaging your ex, and just LISTEN for a changee.

I'd even go so far as to call Kip a "world citizen", like Ryuichi Sakamoto, perhaps - though while Sakamoto's identity (musically) isn't primarily defined by Japan (this can obviously be argued, so just agree with me - for now - for simplicity's sake, okay?), I'd say without question that a major part of Kip's identity is defined by New York. Imagine American Clave's roots sprouting from another city in America - Chicago? New Orleans? Detroit? Christ... Los Angeles? Don't think so. American Clave didn't form in a bubble - it formed in an apple.

If this is your first time with American Clave - welcome. I'm pretty sure you're going to enjoy what you find here. If you're an old resident who stumbled drunkenly back into the 'hood after an extended "sabbatical" - nice to see you, just make sure anything that comes out of an orifice gets cleaned up.

Mikey IQ Jones

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