- The Purple Rose of Cairo
- Nelson Algren–The Man with the Golden Arm
- Sunset Rubdown — Shut Up I’m Dreaming
- Love — Forever Changes
- Duck Soup
- Raymond Chandler — The Big Sleep
- Arrested Development
- Double Indemnity
- Back to the Future I, II, & III
- Herman Melville-Moby Dick
- The Doors-L.A. Woman
- Breaking Bad
- Aesop Rock-Labor Days
- Allen Ginsberg-“Kaddish”
- Rammellzee & K. Rob-”Beat Bop”
- Jack Kerouac-Visions of Cody
- Skip James-”Devil Got My Woman”
- Joan Didion-Slouching Towards Bethlehem
- Ghostface Killah-Supreme Clientele
- Hunter S. Thompson-Hells Angels
- The Grateful Dead – Live at Barton Hall, Cornell University (5/08/1977)
- The Maltese Falcon
- Fitzgerald-The Great Gatsby
- Fast Times At Ridgemont High
- Tom Wolfe-The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
- Modern Times
- Bill Watterson-Scientific Progress Goes Boink!
- Talking Heads-More Songs About Buildings and Food
- Robinson Jeffers-“Shine Perishing Republic”
- Bob Dylan-Bringing it All Back Home
- Chef Raekwon-Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
- The Stooges-Raw Power
- Nathaniel West-Day of the Locust
- E.B. White - One Man’s Meat
- Jim Carroll - The Basketball Diaries
- Miles Davis – A Tribute to Jack Johnson
Jeff Weiss is a writer/journalist/haberdasher based in Los Angeles, Ca. He has been editor-in-chief of the Passion of the Weiss since 2005, when a little birdman conscripted him into a life of oil wildcatting and semi-professional blogging. He has since written about music and pop culture for a variety of publications including Esquire, The Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Rolling Stone, Spin, Pitchfork, Wax Poetics, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, Village Voice, Resident Adviser, NME, Idolator, New York Magazine’s Vulture Blog, Stylus, Details, Nylon, The Arizona Republic, and the short-lived webzine, “Who is your Vlade (and What Does He Do)?” He also regularly contributes to Mary Anne Hobbs’ XFM Program on British radio.
His articles, “Who’s Biting J Dilla’s Beats” and an “Interview With J.Dilla’s Mother, Maureen Yancey,” were chosen for inclusion in the 2009 Best Music Writing Anthology. His essay, “Soulja Boy: Cranking the Chain” was selected for the 2008 Edition. Jeff also contributed eight essays to Hip Hop: A Cultural Odyssey, published by Aria in 2010. If you would like to pay him some form of lucre to write for your publication, he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. He prefers silver drachmas.
Jeff’s list of 13 Great American Achievements, subject to change at any dime.
- Raekwon – Only Built for Cuban Linx
- Burial – Untrue
- Portishead – Dummy
- Madvillain – Madvillainy
- Freddie McGregor – Bobby Babylon
- Main Source – Breakin Atoms
- Dizzee Rascal – Boy in Da Corner
- The Bug – London Zoo
- O.V Wright – A Nickle & a Nail
- Tom Waits – Rain Dogs
The Senior editor of Passion of the Weiss, Son Raw (previously known as Sach O) was born Sacha Orenstein in Montreal to two loving parents through whom he learned love, compassion and justice. As for his innate funkiness, well that’s anyone’s guess, but his first musical memories involve Sade’s “Smooth Operator” and The Police’s “Roxanne.” A troubled youth growing up far away from the crime side (but occasionally visiting the New York Times side), a 12 year old Sach quickly developed an affinity for both the funky styling’s of Bad Boy and Death Row Records as well as the grunge-punk sounds of The Offspring and Nirvana; all acts that instilled within him a profound appreciation for a rebellious, hardcore musical aesthetic. It was chance exposure to Method Man’s “Bring the Pain” at 14 however that set him off on the path of the hardcore Hip-Hop head and he soon purchased a pair of turntables and a mixer, rocking the occasional house party with a blend of oldschool rap and abstract trip-hop beats as was the style at the time. Yes, he wore a backwards baseball cap.
Sach’s interests soon spilled beyond rap into the original records sampled by his productions heroes DJ Premier and The RZA. While his peers were busy tightening their pants and listening to Bloc Party, Sach dove into music from Stax, Motown, Trojan, Blue Note and more, indentifying with the soulfulness and struggle of the African-Diaspora’s music rather than the ironic detachment and ugly fashion of contemporary indie (give or take a couple of bands.) Determined to influence the course of music and filled with the wide-eyed enthusiasm and spare time of a College Freshman, our hero soon started his own blog “Chungking Express in BK” named after his favorite Wong Kar Wai film and New York borough. A few months later, he’d joined the seminal online snark collective Ohword.com, contributing careful criticism and spot-on parody to the site including his legendary Baduizm pamphlet warning against the perils of intercourse with neo-soul songstresses.
Then…Sach disappeared. Like MF DOOM, Sach vanished into the ether for over a year, communicating only through the occasional cryptic blog post. Some say he won an Elephant race across Thailand blindfolded while playing the mandolin. Others claim he spent his time DJing classic soul in Cambodian dive bars for unemployed Mancunian construction workers. Others still claim his heart was broken in Vietnam by a one eyed prostitute named Uyen-Bui. In any case, his gradual reemergence in North America was punctuated by collaborations with the Mighty Jeff Weiss, eventually culminating with a full time writing gig at this very website. Covering Reggae, French Rap, Canto-Pop, Madchester and electronica, his Digging in the Digital Crates series soon became a marquee attraction at The Passion while his friendship with Jeff was solidified over their shared love of beats and blunts. “Jeff and I are like Red & Meth…or was it Ghost & Rae? Either way we resemble some sort of Wu-Tang related duo” – said Sach.
Today, Sach DJs under the name Son Raw, having fallen in love with London’s newest wave of Bass music, namely Dubstep, Grime and Funky. His All Your Bass are Belong to Us series has been covered by publications such as the Chicago Reader and he’s recently collaborated with underground Noir-Rap duo the 5 ’O Clock Shadowboxers for their Twilight Spoiler mix. With the future looking bright on both the DJing and writing front, Sach expects to achieve singularity with God sometime in the near future, thus precipitating his transformation into absolute energy of the purest kind. He no longer wears a backwards baseball cap.
10 Records that influenced Sach profoundly (in no particular order)
The Senior Writer at Passion of the Weiss and a staff writer Pitchfork, Douglas Martin is a producer, guitarist, aspiring author and Tumblr-addict who has resided in Seattle for more than a decade, where he laughs heartily at people over the age of eight who wear galoshes in public.
In addition to spending hundreds of dollars every month on records and obsessing over the works of Gerhard Richter, he is also a “food person” whose favorite television program is Iron Chef America. Martin’s first national exposure came with the opening quote of the controversial New York Times story on “blipsters”, which he deeply apologizes to everyone for.
The managing editor of Passion of the Weiss, Aaron Matthews was born in 1989 in the rough-and-tumble suburbs of Toronto. The height of Mugsy Bogues and the complexion of mayonnaise, Aaron began life as an avid Elvis fan,complete with the world’s smallest leather jacket. Years later, he moved to Ottawa to study communications and romance Yugoslavian women. His work has appeared in Exclaim Magazine, Maximum Fun, Supreme Magazine, Hip Hop Is Read and Metal Lungies. When he’s not practicing the Jadakiss laugh or deciphering Radiohead lyrics, he maintains his own blog Canned Thinking.
We only speak his true name in the hushed tones of those who have survived the wrath of his “inglorious mercy” but William James (“B.J.”) Steiner, the future and everlasting Supreme Dictatorial Autarch Of Earth-Realm and all her territories, wasn’t always the schadenfreude monger known as “The Good Doctor Zeus.” He was once a mild-mannered film student with a passion for Star Wars films, Cleveland sports teams and the Tao of the Wu-Tang.
Raised in the killing fields of the SOHH message boards, the boy who would become “Doc Zeus” developed a hunger for the sweet, fleshy taste of “righteous misanthropy” that would forever dominate his destiny. Soon, he grew a fanatical need to “hate” on shit that he deemed remotely displeasing to to his taste. After making a name for himself as a comment whore during the Breihanic Revolution, Zeus started the hip hop blog, “Not A Blogger,” as a manner of satiating his thirst for hate-based wit. Known for it’s wit, sarcasm and a flair for the only most grand of delusions, Zeus became a mainstay amongst the hip hop bloggerratti. However, things weren’t always sweet for our glorious leader, a deep depression brought on by LeBron James betrayal in the summer of 2010 caused Zeus to quietly close the doors on his blog to the chagrin of absolutely no one. Fear not, sports fans because Doc Zeus is bringing his talents to “The Passion Of The Weiss” where he plans to be as big as an insufferable nuisance as ever. Who will be his latest victim of irascible ire? Likely Cam’ron but stay tuned!
B.J. Steiner lives in the borough of Brooklyn where he enjoys hipster kickball, alcohol poisoning and the zen of irresponsibility. He does not care about your kids.
Former Mayor of New York City
Born in Brooklyn and raised by the beach in Santa Monica, California, Max (James is his government/occasionally penname name) Bell is a writer/journalist/Bukowski addict going into his senior year at the University of California, Berkeley. When he’s not dropping knowledge in the English department, he writes for The Daily Californian, Passion of the Weiss, and for himself.
He is currently dividing his time between devouring the two canons—Hip-Hop and English literature—and trying to contribute to them in any way he can. Let’s just hope he doesn’t pick up a mic.
Matt Shea’s interest in music began at a young age when he mistook his father’s Ray Charles 45” for a giant piece of liquorice. Since then, he has eaten many types of media – developing a particular taste for Maxell MX audio cassettes – before the digital revolution forced him to actually listen to music. Although born in New Zealand, Matt currently resides in Australia, where he has written for Scene Magazine, Junior, The Coolhunter, The Comment Factory, Way Cool Jnr and his own film blog, 20/20 Filmsight. Matt also copywrites and performs ghostwriting for a variety of shady, two-timing characters. He now eats burgers.
Aaron Frank was born in Louisville, KY and currently resides in Los Angeles. Having had the importance of soul and jazz music instilled by his father at an early age, Aaron’s love for electronic and hip-hop music seemed like a natural progression. While finishing his undergrad at the University of Louisville, he began reviewing albums for the LEO Weekly and interviewed rappers like Ice Cube and T.I. for HHNLive.com. He met Jeff during a feisty game of craps behind Silverlake Lounge and now writes about electronic music, hip-hop and indie rock for Passion of the Weiss.
Evan Nabavian writes about beats and rhymes for Passion of the Weiss. He is the editor of Metal Lungies and he has appeared in Billboard, The Daily, and Smooth Magazine, but he hopes to leave writing behind when he finds an investor for his line of Smart Toilets® that tell you exactly what you ate. If you see him in the streets of New York, compliment him on his eyebrow(s) and offer him a swig of your Red Stripe. His interests: syringes, rubber bands, needles, the 60s. T-Boz once tried to talk to him.
Following a somewhat lengthy trial process, Chris Daly was adopted by his birth parents at a reasonable age. Since barely avoiding a serious head wound caused by a harmonica thrown into the audience at his first concert (thanks a lot, Huey Lewis), Chris Daly has recognized a burning, almost syphilis-like lust for music in his blood. Having no discernable talent with any instrument beyond the triangle, he did what all wanna-be musicians do and turned to criticism.
Fueled largely by his desire to befriend third world rap groups, he has written for a number of prominent music blogs over the years, namely, seven. Chris Daly previously took break dancing lessons from one of the dancers at a local amusement park, but typically only mentions this when challenged by lesser B-Boys. His moves still are talked about in hushed circles by the three participants in the Greatest Break Dance Off Ever Held at a Piggly-Wiggly Brand Conference. Sadly, his love for beatboxing does not match his capabilities to do the same. Currently, he is trying to teach his newborn the art of baby ninjitsu. While not “really” that into furries, he does recognize their keen sense of fashion, an ability he one day aspires to have himself. For even lamer puns and the occasional quadruple entendre, Chris Daly also writes regularly at www.oddbloggings.com.
Jonah Bromwich lives in Madison, Wisconsin but was born and raised in Washington D.C., where he mastered the art of listening to music and saying stuff about it. He’s a bartender and aspiring author who prefers Biggie to Tupac, Sunset Rubdown to Wolf Parade and Donuts to any other beat record ever. He eats tacos and drinks beer for about one of every three meals.
Born and raised in San Diego, Tosten Burks is for some reason currently a student in Chicago. He really wants a fish taco. Right now he’s in class, dicking around. He has a twitter, a tumblr, a blog, and a couple other webby things, none of which are really worth checking out. He really wants a fish taco. Strengths: Good slice serve, very good volleys, nice hair. Weaknesses: none. Snapback > Fitted. Jay-Z > Nas. Cardigan sweaters > All. He really wants a fish taco.
Native Lagosian. That makes me quadruple-black, which in turn makes the opinions I express around here approximately five (5) times more important and/or valid than any of my colleagues’. Me-likes fried plantains, women that can make fried plantains, racism, econometrics, soccer, basketball, Nas, Freddie Gibbs, Juicy J and expensive underwear. I don’t like anything else. Ask me stuff on twitter or tumblr.
I love travelling, humor and music. I would really love to be a music journalist, but for the moment I’m just a regular journalist. I’ve been blogging/writing for years, but you can find most of my recent and decent stuff at the creatively named www.jimmyness.com.
I’ve been to 9 countries, hoping to see more soon.
Like the rest of the PotW team, I pray at the temple of Ghostface Killah. But I also hold a special place in my heart for the Notorious BIG, 90s R&B, Swedish space Metal, olives and basketball.
You get the point: young man, Ghost stan, olive fan, I wanna see Japan.
If you’re from Rolling Stone and you’re reading this, contact me at email@example.com. Luckily, everyone else can speak to me there too.
Slava P is a retired superhero from Toronto, ON. Both the “Venomous” Spiderman story-arc and the middle-section of the biography about Steve Jobs is loosely based on his teenage years. Because Slava realizes that the only way to boost your self-worth is to cast judgement upon others, he can often be found watching local struggle-rappers or local struggle-stand up comedians preform. The three most famous people he’s ever touched are Tommy Chong, Rick Ross, and the Pope.