Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Justice

Alright, since its Wednesday and everyone I know is drinking in their respective offices, enjoy this Justice mix done exclusively for The Fader's 50th anniversary party...Its nasty...I realize you could just go there and get it but hey...



Justice - Sexclusive for The Fader 50

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Beautiful/Decay Gift Guide

This is genius...a clever video presentation by the B/D folks...possibly inspired by their recent Vis/Ed presentation? Who knows.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays.

Beautiful/Decay Gift Guide

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Hot Chip - Made in the Dark

Album Review: Hot Chip - Made In the Dark


So I just got to interview Owen from Hot Chip (he is second from the center above, kind of looks like a member of new order...more on that later) about their new album "Made In the Dark". We had a great little conversation that will eventually end up in MetroPop magazine.

In natural preparation for the interview I spent the last couple days balls deep in the new album (due out next February) and it's fantastic. Its a huge spinning blender of all the elements that make Hot Chip interesting: UK garage, Prince-worship, charmingly bad musicianship, found sounds, roaring synths, hip-hop posturing, afro-beat (?), and the fantastic sequencing of dancing and subsequent chilling.

They've also done a better job of capturing their live sound. Hot Chip live shows sound nothing like their albums. A few songs on here fully capture the energy they pull off live...because they were recorded live. "Shake a Fist" opens up the album a complete ecstatic freakout that breaks down, stops, starts, and discos the fuck out into a huge party anthem. "One Pure Thought", with its lyrics based on simply being confused and scatterbrained, opens with a rhythm guitar lick so nice it sounds sampled (its not) and eventually devolves into a talking-heads type chanted rhythm session with Alexis coo-ing, "I'll help you on your way...there is nothing more to say". "Hold On" follows the same idea of the uni-rhythm, clipping along for six minutes of actual "jamming" until it becomes a toy percussion afrobeat thing, ending with the statement, "I'm only going to heaven if it tastes like caramel".

Its not all absurd fun though, the album slows down on shit like "we're looking for a lot of love", with its slow jam sensibility and blasts of tape hiss, and "made in the dark", the effortless title track about elements that just seem to come together on their own.

I don't know, Im crawling up my own ass here, but the album is great. It has everything you want from a Hot Chip record. Its flawed in only charming ways, and I think by the next record they will have perfected the "Hot Chip Sound". Which is fine because watching them change has been fucking fantastic. Finally, just listen to "Ready For the Floor". Its brilliant, pop damn music.
Ready for the Floor

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Also...the first time I saw them in person I thought they were some kind of fucked up supergroup...observe.


Bottom (Left To Right):

Owen - "The Joy Division One". Looks like a cross between Ian Curtis, Stephen Morris and...Buck 65...



Felix - Angus from Liars.



Alexis - Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo.



Top (Left to Right)

Al - Trey Anastasio from Phish


Joe - I couldn;t really place him...the best I could do is Shane Smith, co-founder of Vice magazine...


That took way too long...with minimal returns. Have a great day.

Monday, November 12, 2007

"Don't Crucify Me Bro"

My boy Andrew over at Metropop has been taking full advantage of yer-boy-as-free-labor these days...I think this is the 5th review I have put in for their upcoming issue.

Fuck it though, I love writing, and the 100 word format is like trying to have an orgy in an outhouse. Great times.

Other than that, my sister was just out in New York (she helped write one of these) and I got a tattoo.

Can - Anthology
Well I was going to write a really snarky review here that name dropped James Murphy (the guitarist from Disincarnate and the hairy DFA guy), !!!, James Joyce, Gong, and your mom, but then this song, “Halleluwah” from CAN’s Tago Mago came on and I just gave up. I am now lost in the rhythmic absurdity that makes this band so damn great. This 2 disc set is a perfect collection of their music (for an absolute beginner like myself) that had me smacking my forehead repeatedly. I now know that CAN is responsible for all that time I’ve spent listening to Boredoms, Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, Battles, and LCD Soundsystem …there I go name-dropping again…shit.


Beach House – Devotion
Yes, this is supposed to be all dreamy and lo-fi and quaint, but in the words of my sister (she’s 17 and really likes Cute is What We Aim For), “it’s kind of boring”. Devotion, the second album from indie darlings Beach House is full of great melodies, slow reverb, and distant tambourine slaps, which would be really cool if I was being seduced by Natalie Portman in a Wes Anderson flick…but I’m not. Instead I’m in my apartment, its raining, and I am illegally downloading The Darjeeling Limited.


Kisses,
Re-Re

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Place to Bury Strangers

I've been cramming this down many a throat lately, but I have forgotten to do it digitally. Call me a little late to this one, but Ive been happily ripped apart by these for a while now. Its all about the distortion, and the live show is pretty awesome...like if Joy Division fucked a modem through a broken amp at a merzbow show....or something.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Chill Will (Ft. Willis Hajitosan Jackson) - So Crazy





Alright. This is a collabo I helped put together. Shouts to Debbie for providing the rapper, me for providing the producer, and Jackson for being crazy.

Chill Will is the rapper, he's 19, and he's from long island. Yes, he's 19. Jackson is the producer, he is a lunatic I've known since middle school, now he lives in San Fran making beats and screaming on hooks.

GET THIS AND TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The New Pop, Etc.

OK OK OK. I know I do this a lot, but I've been Awol. I did a sick amount of writing gigs and did the whole CMJ thing, and I've been trying to differentiate my ass from my elbow ever since. Here you will find:
1. A piece I wrote for the inimitable New Pop in Connected Magazine
2. A few reviews I did for MetroPop magazine.
3. A video of the horrifyingly good Justice performance at Exit (Terminal 5) that almost lost me my girlfriend. Note the version of "We are your friends" hacked into Ministry's "Psalm 69". Genius. Sorry about the shaky video, I really only posted it for the audio...and no, that fool singing along to the samples is not me.
4. The newly released video for the live version of Daft Punk, "Harder Better Faster Stronger". Filmed live at that show in Brooklyn they did that changed my life. Yes. Changed my life.

You guys are pretty damn cool I tell you. Thanks.


THE NEW POP - Connected Magazine

The NEW POP. It’s a play on pop art I suppose, but damn if they aren’t perfectly suited for our “Hey look at me I’m fuckin awesome” times. Not only are they set up to work within this culture of self-gratification, cool shoes, and egos, they are set to break new ground. NEW POP.

I’m getting ahead of myself. The NEW POP is a tight crew of New York City (all born and raised) artists and thinkers that are so driven it makes anyone standing near them say, “Damn I need to get my shit together”. There’s Trevz, the videographer, TONE, the photographer/videographer, and recent addition Texas, photographer and official NEW POP muse.

The NEW POP started as Trevz’ project, but evolved into its own after TONE joined, and became complete once Texas jumped on board. They are a family, and their shared blood is New York. It is their common love for that wild city that holds them together, inspires them.

What they do is documentation. They go out into the world and use a combination of video, photography, and music to create mini-documentaries that they post on their site, www.thenewpop.com. The format of one of their “episodes” is an examination of a theme (nightlife, graffiti, general NYC culture, streetwear, current events, music, etc.) set within a framework that fits short attention spans (episodes range from 3-9 minutes) but caters to the hard thinkers and big idea people alike.

On the surface, there’s a tendency to lump them in with the trend of “nightlife photography”, but NEW POP’s “art from art” is a little different than the half nekkid drunk folks on nightlife photo blogs. Sure they go out at night and capture people having a good time, but more importantly, The New Pop chases down genuine New York City culture, and celebrates the amazing things said culture can accomplish under the right conditions, nah, any conditions.

On a deeper level, there’s also a desire in their work for something larger, more substantive. In New York City right now, in the music and arts culture, egos are winning. The NEW POP are looking to balance things out a bit. In everything they do, there is a need for something more genuine, positive. More for the ‘whole’ and less for the ‘scene’…

So what’s next? Well, right now is a great time for The NEW POP. As the seasons change they are coming into their own so successfully, they couldn’t even stop if they tried. With the help of recently enlisted bad-ass Katie Longmyer (Good Peoples) handling their business development, The NEW POP has huge plans for ’08. I’m not saying their competition should be scared, I’m just saying they had better be ready to play catch up.


LCD SOUNDSYSTEM – 45:33 + Bonus tracks

For my money, the best part about LCD Soundsystem’s music is that moment when it breaks past the point of “song” and heads into “freakout”. Where ol’ James Murphy pushes a song’s groove to its absolute peak and then sets it free, letting its own momentum carry to the end. The songs on this EP don’t really do that. The 45 minute Nike track is amazing and I am so glad they inserted track breaks, but the rest of the B-sides on this didn’t really grab me. I mean, I don’t really see the point of a “North American Scum” without the genius vocal, but its on here anyway. This is great for rabid fans/track stars, but if you really want an LCD EP, get the one with the John Cale version of “All my Friends”. Shiny.


RADIOHEAD - IN RAINBOWS

This album is brilliant. Let’s put aside the shouts and hollers that “the Radiohead model is changing the music business” and just realize that this record is concise (Hail to the Thief was a little long for me), beautifully layered, simply directed, and balanced, in that there is enough wanky Thom Yorke glitches and quality ‘rocking’ to make everyone happy. I can’t asses it any further now; I’m too excited to experience this one in every possible state of mind: Staring at my eyelids with my headphones on, riding in a stolen car, sitting solemnly under my home speakers, playing it on sticky jukeboxes, and finally…hopefully…with my hands in the air at a show. See you there.


SONS AND DAUGHTERS – THIS GIFT


This is one of those bands I have trouble classifying because I never listened to this type of shit when my brain was soft. I’m sure if I listened to more PJ Harvey and less Norwegian black metal I would have more reference points. Anyway, this is good music. It’s a little dark, flashing a female Joy Division at random points…like if Ian Curtis’ wife was writing the songs and not him. Yet again it has high points, with tons of tambourines, angular rockabilly riffs, “na-na-na-na” chants, and all kinds of mutated Americana-via-Glasgow. This is the best music to come out of a barn in Scotland that I have heard all month.

Justice - We Are Your Friends (Live Psalm 69 Pigfuck Version)

Yup..................




OK BYE.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Iron and Wine - The Shepherd's Dog


I'd like it to be a little louder but I am too comfortable to get up. This apartment is fantastic when it isn't filled with close friends, at the outset of fall time, when the cool air does the opposite of thawing and has yet to lose its novelty.

'Give me good legs, and a Japanese car', Sam Beam sings on peace beneath the city. I started this album in the middle by accident, but the second act is beautiful. I haven't spent much time in the south, but this is a perfectly romanticized version of it, good enough for me. A string of counties populated by naked people, stray dogs, buried riverside tragedies/casualties, overgrown land, and the ashes of a fire, where newborns are respected, and are just as likely to become elected officials as you are. Where its more acceptable to use the legs god gave you than some foreign made contraption.

That feedback noise running through the song is genius.

Its hard to believe that this is the same guy who once cooed "papa died sunday" at me through a wind tunnel of tape hiss over nothing more than his guitar and fingers. Yet on the other side of the (boy with a) coin its not so hard to believe. Sam Beam's music always sounded like breathing to me. Literally and figuratively, he has always given himself plenty of breathing room, deeper space to fill as he continued a music career that sounds more like a gravel accident than any sort of theologic plot. "The Song of the Shepherd's Dog" is pushed to the point of scratching dub. Literal dub music, with its Talking Heads rhythm, echoing itself back and forth from the upbeat to the down, screwed and chopped honky tonk to reggae to a fadeout that rivals Metallica's "One" for leaving me screaming (whispering) "need more."

They will also tell you that "The Devil Never Sleeps" is "Iron and Wine Rocking Out", they are right, but he could cover "Raining Blood" through a stack of broken Marshall stacks and it would still be anchored by that wonderful plodding rhythm and cool religious gait. So I suppose it depends on your definition of "rocking out".

The production values are higher, and the sound is thicker, which is where I had my first memorable experience with Sam Beam. The track "Trapeze Swinger" sounds like the pilot episode for The Shepherds Dog. Seriously, watch the entire film "In Good Company", just to hear that song come in in the last 30 seconds to validate the last 90 minutes.

So it is, thicker, it is fatter, but its still Iron and Wine. Everything you liked about him is still here, the rhythm, the air, and the thoughtful writing. These ideas are just expanded upon, each taken to their logical next step. I trust Sam Beam. He will never lead me astray, he's a family man, for God's sake.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

World War Z

So my good friend Ryan West (the man who gave me first experience setting up a live show, which ended in a blacked out noise-hoedown on stage) set up an amazing site devoted to zombie stories. Seriously, thats all thats on there.

He just emailed me the other day to let me know my story "Untitled" won second place in his first writing contest. Check it out here.

http://talesofworldwarz.com/

Im not even mad about second, the first place story was pretty damn good, mine had more swearing though so thats cool. Anyway, enjoy.

Have a good night.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bjork Live

Here is the show from MSG. The link will expire in a few days.
Bjork - MSG 9-24-07 (Part 1)
Bjork - MSG 9-24-07 (Part 2)


It was a great show for a Bjork show, I really only paid attention when the beats were involved.

Check out 'Hyperballad' where Mark Bell flips and throws on his classic, "Freak" by LFO.

And the end of 'Declare Independence' when she marches the boys from Justice on stage to bug out on the ReacTable.

Enjoy this Mr. Hower.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Beyonce - Flaws and all

Im telling you, the drum programming on this song (yeah I said it) is unbelievable. And the video is 5 minutes of Beyonce mugging for the camera under grainy footage, being fine as hell. Laugh all you want, but deep down, you are glad I put you on to this.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Pierced From Within

I'm fuckin excited. Work got me a badge for CMJ this year, so I will be covering the shit out of it. I can't wait. I will be running around downtown like a maniac, going to way too many shows, learning too much at the panels and most likely destroying myself thoroughly. We'll see if I make it.

Also, Im going to the premiere of Control tomorrow. Excited as fuck for that too. Ive buried myself in Joy Division lately, read his wife's book, etc in preparation for this movie. Look for a review when I get done.

Also worked at the Pussy Party (second one down) this weekend. Made money, wore a shirt that said "Sine Your Pitty on the Runny Kine". I made one for my boy Jargy that said "Breaka Breaka One Hymen". It was the Pussy Party after all. Shouts to Roxy, Katie, and Jules.

Check below for magazine reviews and a "review" of a Finntroll show I went to recently.

Going to see Bjork tonight at MSG, will let you know how that goes.

Love
Your Mother.

Reviews 9-24-07

Some reviews I did for the upcoming issue of Beautiful Decay...


Buck 65 - Situation
Buck has a new number to scratch up in his intros: 57. Situation is centered around the year 1957, a year that Buck believes to be one of the most important in western history, for all of its atomic paranoia, white people doing black things, and howling poet types, I’m not sure if there is supposed to be a modern day parallel but it’s an easy line to draw. The beats are more “Square” than “This Right Here”, and the subject matter takes a few listens to really sink in and become rewarding, but this is a Buck album no matter what, so you can bet on dusty loops, gritty voice, and (refreshingly) outdated subject matter.


Iller Than Theirs - Iller Than Theirs
This is definitely real. Nuk Fam’s Tone Tank and Krayo put together a nice little piece of honest, undiluted hip hop on Iller than Theirs. Tone and Kray won’t bullshit you; in fact, they spend the short 40 minutes of this album deliberately doing the opposite. Of course every hip hop album wants to be a reaction to all things fake and ‘mainstream’ (whatever that means these days) but very few can achieve such a real attitude without even trying. Highlights: ‘After All’ had me actually believing that “it’s not so bad after all” (it was the ill piano loop that did it), ‘Good peoples’, an ode to all the decent people in your circle, made me call up every friend who let me crash on their couch and eat their pop tarts, and ‘The Same’ (with a fantastic verse from Masta Ace), a track railing against the gentrification of Brooklyn, made me feel like a dick for moving to New York and even setting foot in Brooklyn. Enjoy.


Ivan Ives - Iconoclast
What’s with headquarters hitting me off with all of these Russian rappers? It’s all good I’m broke. Ivan Ives came from the former U.S.S.R. and has spent time on both U.S. coasts. His style reflects his multicultural background, but this is essentially an “East Coast” record. Ives’ cultural identity is that of an immigrant kid who was brought up from the Bloc to the Block. His flow is deep and world weary, but always looking up, embracing the dark and shitty times as a step to something better (namely on ‘Mad Game’), and lapsing only occasionally into his native tongue because lets face it, sometimes there just aren’t enough words in the English language. Iconoclast is dope, but if you have any doubt, just know that at one point he claims he is “better than jay-z on reasonable doubt”. Check it out and see if he is full of shit or not.



10 ft. Ganja Plant - Presents

There's two types of dub in my mind. The first (chronologically, and for the sake of this review) is that blunted, warm, lowdown and lo-fi sound that makes you wonder why we ever desired to ditch the analog. The second is that clean, updated digi-dub shit that makes you realize the benefits of our modern (but still blunted) technology.
This album is a beautiful specimen of the first class. John Brown's Body core members put together an album far from their jammy expansions, reducing their dub sound to a mellow, old-school uni-rhythm, scratched on the surface by analog delay and haze in the air. I want to go on, but to quote my father on the day I was born, "As usual, I'm way too high for this."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Finntroll

"What do you think of priests here in America?"

"We think you should eat them. Eat the priest!"

And they ripped into a weird mix of general metal shreddiness, Scandinavian polka rhythms, and of course, black metal...

I put my drink in the air and tried not to sneeze. Thanks to an impulsive entry to win tickets to this thing, I was now in the worst venue in New York with a 9 dollar black russian in my hand when I should have been at home getting better. Fucking Finntroll.

I wasn't that mad though, it felt good to be out of the house, and I hadn't paid for shit more than a bottle of water. It could have been worse.

The band, as their faux corpse paint/tribal facial tattoos ran like mascara off of their faces, ripped into a straight up accordion and drums polka rhythm. On purpose, and I was instantly reminded of my grandma, Dot.

Polka Dot, was the name. It was her clown name, and she wasn't afraid to point out the classic humor in a name like that, as if you didn't get the joke, that she spent her widowed nights out at the Bel-Ray or some Lion's Club proxy, dancing the polka with "the fellas", and that her name, Dorothy, had been traditionally cut to a curt "Dot" by generations before her. Good joke grandma.

Her dance card was always full, and the clown thing was for real, she did my birthday party in full clown gear, all squirting flowers and balloon animals. She did the same at my day care's carnival, an event that I, all of 11 years old took it upon myself to spearhead. I booked my grandmother as talent when I was 11.

I don't think she ever got paid, and I don't think she thought for one second, as she picked up that clown suit from the dry cleaners, "I wonder if this whole thing is weird for a lady my age." No, she thought, "I am Polka Dot."

I don't think she would have liked Finntroll though, no matter how far they leaned towards traditional polka, the satanism and distortion would have given her another stroke. Actually, the satanism wouldn't have really turned her off, it would have been the distortion and screaming.

One night, as my cousin and I rocked out to Wrecx N' Effect's "Rump Shaker" in my room over my brother's hand me down chrome shelf system, she beat down my door, demanding that we turn down what she called "that boom boom music". See, she slept in the next room from me, and it was the bass that got her.

If I had been listening to Darkthrone or Immortal, or Finntroll for that matter, I'm not sure what she would have said "Turn down that (makes vomit retching noise and then actually vomits) music." I can't say I blame her, she had impeccable taste and I was jiving to a song that goes "All I wanna do is zoom-a-zoom zoom zoom and a-boom boom (just shake your rump!)" at 2 in the morning on a Friday.

The more I think about it, my grandma is inextricably linked to my black-metal pot smoking days. For all intents and purposes, Dot lived in my house for most of my adolescent life. Many nights, sneaking in stoned, praying I don't encounter a parent, praying that my friends don't chuckle too loudly at the refrigerator, she would be the only one to wake up and hassle us for being out too late.

One stoned summer night after a marathon session with a graduated cylindrical bong-thing, my friend Jason insisted that she opened her door and engaged him in a standoff for bathroom rights. "Her eyes turned red and she morphed into a turkey", he told me later, thus giving her the nickname "Turkey" among all my friends. Since then Jason has been in and out of a few different institutions, but he is OK now.

As the Kaluha drained out, and as the ice finally succumbed to gravity and hit me in the lips I realized I still would have told her about this. I would have honestly tried to bridge the gap with her, between my black metal and her polka, in Finntroll we would have found that common ground. As I drove, learner's permit style through the streets of Bloomington in her 4-door go-kart 86 Chevy Nova with the P.O.L.K.A. (Polka Lovers Klub of America) sticker on its bumper and baseball cap in the back window ("I have it there so people think I'm a fella, they would be less likely to hassle a fella when he's driving"), I would throw a Finntroll album into her after factory tape player and explain to her that somewhere, buried in all of this noise, there lay polka, and that she should love it.

I set my drink down and looked up, hoping to see her bubbled brown-black haircut (she never died it once, and was proud of that fact), weaving through the crowd, dancing that weird jig-mosh thing that people do at shows like this.

I didn't though, all I saw were sweaty metal kids trying to give the impression they loved this this more than they actually did.

I inherited that car by the way. She willed it to me, P.O.L.K.A. sticker and all, and I drove it proudly for years.

We left BB Kings early into the allergenic night air of Times Square. As we left the lights and things got darker towards Bryant Park, I thought of the last time I "spoke" to ol' Dot.

They were about to pull the plug, and my auntie Jer stuck her phone to my grandmother's last face. I was to speak for my cousin and myself, he couldn't bring himself to do it...

Its hard to know what to say to someone who you know is going to die. You are not going to get by with automatic "get well soon" and "we all cant wait to see you again" phrases. Suddenly your arsenal of bullshit is severely limited and you have no choice but to be real.

I was tongue tied as I could hear nothing except her machine assisted breathing, too perfect and too metered to be humane any longer. "Grandma, Justin and I just want you to know that we love you...and we will miss you so much, but if you have to go, go ahead. We love you. We love you."

Or something to that effect...I'm not quite sure how it came out, but thats what I meant.

She died on Christmas Eve, and from that point on we raise our glasses and drop tears, "To Polka Dot, Merry Christmas, We miss you".

Thanks, Finntroll.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Drivers

Ha. Another zombie story eh? This blog is getting silly...


You’d never believe it, but the true badasses, the real fucking heroes of this entire thing were not the soldiers (‘we are SO ready for the last war’), the police, the government, the “human spirit” or even Zack. No. The real fucking heroes are the pizza delivery guys. I shit you not.

It really got fucked when the only place I could find was a foot locker, about 3 feet square to hide in. I closed it on myself and it somehow stayed that way…

Think about it, the very idea of pizza delivery sprang up once folks decided to barricade themselves in suburban homes to keep dangerous minorities away from their lives and their expensive shit. This is kind of the same situation, except the trend of barricading your entire family extended itself into an actual life and death matter.

How The Drivers took hold I will never know…but they did. At first they spent their time fortifying their own shops, stealing generators, living off of stored ingredients. They had enough to support themselves while they got their shit together.

They swarmed, they always do, at first it was only a few, but eventually I could hear them piling up…

They were on some road warrior shit. Half of them were packing anyway, not the pimply college kids working a summer job. Most of them got chewed up as soon as the shit hit the fan. I’m talking about the lifers, the guys with DUIs on their record, no education, NRA memberships, bad backs and drug problems. Those guys took over.

Think about it, all these people barricaded in their homes, churches, whatever, they needed food. And The Drivers could get it to them.

I’m sure they only delivered a few actual pizzas initially, after their stores ran out, eventually they became more like paid scouts, heading out into the white zones to pick up spare food and deliver it to whoever paid.

They were piled so high on top of the box that parts of it started to dent in. I could hear them, inches away from me, snarling and biting each other. Trying to get to me.

And I will say it again; they were fucking bad-ass. Their uniforms changed from dorky shorts and embroidered polo shirts to heavily reinforced leather and work fabrics. Some of them even worked up some chain mail to cover the weak parts. It helped protect them but made them a little slow, which affected tips. The crazy part is they maintained their corporate identities. They hacked the patches and insignias off of their old uniforms and stitched them onto their new ones.

They also did insane things to their cars. Delivery drivers already know how to change their oil, and do general repairs, but who knew they knew how to weld steel plating, wire insanely bright halogen light sets, throw in new suspension and beefed up engines to handle the extra weight. These things were fucking tanks, with gun ports, spikes everywhere, and yes, even those damn light up pizza siren things.

So there they were, gangs of roving maniacs, out saving the world (for a price). The Drivers. They stayed loyal to their colors too. Dominos was the first to get a foothold in the market, on account of a local general manager, Louie Bruno, being an ex green-beret/martial arts expert/general Brooklyn bad ass. I heard that before the storm once, he was ambushed on his way to make a night drop at the bank. Instead of giving up the money like those corporate training videos told him to do, he beat the shit out of the guy, grabbed his gun and chased him to his car, calling him a pussy the entire time.

I couldn’t move, they were right on top of me. Their spit and blood and fluid was leaking into the box, and I kept puking on myself from their smell… after a few hours I was dry heaving, an hour after that it was blood, and I kept passing out…

Louie trained his Dominos guys. They were the original bad asses. They didn’t fuck with guns very much. They would roll up, three or four of them would jump out of the back of a van/tank with Lobos and machetes and other randomly thrown together melee weapons. 2 would go to work clearing Zack out of the delivery area while the other two would unload the goods onto the customer.

Little Caesar’s was next up, and they were pretty hardcore too. Remember their mascot, the little cartoon dictator or whatever? He had those pizzas on the end of that fucked up pitchfork? Well The Caesars had those things too. Cast iron, two prongs, long as hell, strapped to their back. I received a delivery once, the driver was getting ready to give me the food when a quick one surprised him. Before I could even start bitching that he forgot my Cinna Sticks, he had his fork out and buried straight into the G’s chest.

Fucking thing was stuck there, thrashing around like crazy on the end of that stick. The Driver just held him there, pinned to the pavement like it was nothing. I then realized why they made their weapons so long. Same concept as a dog catchers leash/lasso/pole thing, keep the rabid shits as far away as possible. He didn’t seem to mind. It was damn hard calculating 20 percent with a thrashing zombie 5 feet away from me.

After about 4 hours I came to... gunshots…someone else was in the room…


Loyalty and turf became a huge fucking deal. Delivery zones became sacred, if 2 opposing crews ended up on the same road there wasn’t any kind of discussion. These massive steel hulking bulldozer fucking cars would just slam right into each other until one crew was dead. They really did stick to their own zones though, so collisions were rare, but the roads were so fucked that detours were inevitable.

I heard about a Papa John’s squad coming across a lone Domino’s Driver in their zone. The Domino had gotten separated from his crew on a botched delivery and wandered into the wrong zone.

The Papas were particularly gnarly. A lot folks said it was on account of all the sugar in their sauce and dough. Some said it was their mob-bred roots. Anyway, they took this poor fucker, stripped off his armor, strapped him to the front of their transport, and went about their business making deliveries. The whole time he was there he acted as a kind of lightning rod for Zack. They would all swarm on him and rip him apart, leaving room for The Papas to get paid. Eventually he turned, of course, so they wasted him and left him strapped there. Hood ornament.

The more shots I heard the louder everything around me get, as layers of them fell off of my putrid stronghold.

Eventually, resources ran so low that The Drivers became pretty hardcore about their money, or whatever it was you were giving them in exchange for food. When it got really desparate, the luckiest houses were the ones that had women. Those pornos where the pizza guy stops by to deliver the “extra sausage” pizza and ends up railing two already-naked (she just came over to use the shower) stay-at-home moms… well that shit happened all the time…except in this version the pizza guy is covered in gore and the moms are all malnourished and half-crazy. Nice.

Payment of any kind was serious business too. I heard about a customer who owed them money for like 3 months. After three months The Drivers, a crew from Pizza Hut (pussies by driver standards) came to collect. They knocked down every door in the house, and raided the place. They grabbed everything of any kind of value. Not money but booze, pornos, prescription drugs, medical supplies, clothes, books, magazines, anything they wanted. They took all of this as payment and left. And they didn’t stop to put the doors back up.

Eventually they ran out of bullets…I could tell they had switched to melee weapons now as I could hear the sounds of stabbing, slicing, bones breaking, rotted skulls caving in…
They got close to me, I could hear them killing the last layer, and…”FUCK!” I screamed as 3 feet of rusty pipe came punching through the roof of the box, right through my calf…


“FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! YOU FUCKERS ARE NOT GETTING ANY KIND OF TIP FROM ME!! FUCK!!”

To be continued

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

EDIT: The (beats on the) new Kanye album...

...is (are) better than I want to admit.

Shit.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

AVP2

Alright, Couple of things.

First and foremost. They released the trailer for the new Aliens Vs. Predator movie. My friend Matt texted me and told me about it on Saturday and it was the happiest day of my life. The last one was an abortion (although I still watch the motherfucker because I have a problem) but this one looks up.

The first glimpse of the thing is a restricted trailer, so they are clearly marketing this is a gory, brutal, mayhem-rich horror film, which it should have been in the first place. I actually don't quite give a fuck if they get the story right, as long as they nail the violence I will be happy...and from the looks of the trailer it seems they have...that part where the girl gets slammed up against the wall is amazing.

Also, the Predators in this one look like the lithe hunters they were meant to be...not some bulky mess that can't even move around without a whole budgets worth of CG.

Yes I am still talking about this.

There also seems to be some new shit...a Predator whip (why didn't anyone think of that yet) and the appearance of the sure to be bad-ass Predalien. Yes, that's a predator and alien hybrid. I get a little jumpy though when they bring new shit into the series...Resurrection's "Newborn" was pitiful and a waste of money...they could have just casted Eric Stoltz in that fucked up Mask make up. Fucking Rocky Dennis.
However, the brief shots of the Predalien make it look bad ass.

Also, and this is VERY important. They kill a kid...even in the preview. This is a sure sign of quality cinema. In FEAST they killed a kid, and in Battlestar Galactica they killed a fucking BABY! In the first 10 minutes! This kind of gnarliness is good for the story. The bar gets set low, now even babies can die, fuck yeah.

Yes I am still talking about this.

All in all, I am very excited. The R rating is a big win for us, and at the very least we will get to see Aliens and Predators kicking the shit out of each other and generally disrespecting humans, as god intended.

Ok, enough out of me. Go HERE, and click the link for the trailer on the right hand side of the screen. Its worth it.

Second, I saw a sweet band a few weeks back. The Mae Shi. I stumbled across their phenomenal track "Run to Your Grave" (on the myspace, do it) and got a chance to see them in Brooklyn. They put on a fantastic show. Check them out and love them.

These guys opened for them. They were also entertaining as fuck. Some snobs may bitch about a lack of lyrical content, but theatrics and entertainment factor can be a more than adequate substitute for substance if you have had enough substances. Fuck. Their mash up of "Run to Your Grave" with their track (don't know what its called) called "Run to the Facts" is AWESOME. Plus, the beats are pretty damn sweet.

Other than that...uhh......

Friday, August 24, 2007

This is me and music.

Disclaimer: There are mass amounts of pretense and self satisfaction all over this thing.

I’m talking now about the experience of being a music fan.

It’s a personal thing, and the casual listener (I don’t know any) against the rabid fan, both will understand this. You can trace your entire fandom down to a few key images, sounds, songs, or ideas. It’s a lineage you can trace to figure out why exactly you like the shit you like.

For me it was either the Ghostbusters soundtrack (namely the theme song), Murray Head’s “one night in Bangkok”, Bob Marley, or the Iron Maiden poster (‘the trooper’, the coolest picture ever) on my brothers bedroom wall.

The Ghostbusters jump-off was easy for me. It was attached to a movie I liked, the record sleeve was bad-ass with that huge evil swirling green cloud, and holding it, listening to it, even held a little bit of danger for my young mind. It was associated with ghosts, and if you take out the dry Bill Murray wit, it’s actually kind of a creepy song. This is where I picked up curiosity about the music’s origin. I read through the liner notes to see if Dan Akroyd was credited with writing the song. I had no idea who the fuck “Ray Parker Jr.” was (I still don’t), I actually thought to myself, “Ray’s last name was not ‘Parker’ it was Stantz”, and chalked it up to a misprint. Right there, I became a music snob.

Actually, it might have been earlier than that. My Auntie Jer could have been the coolest Aunt I could possibly ask for. She left a life of crime after a brutal Jeep accident that left her unable to move speak walk think. She came out of this experience quite a different person, and just in time for my cousin and myself to be born. The way I see it, she was going to show us her world now, the way she saw it in scale with all she had lost, gained and visited on this earth. Honestly.

So she took care of us at around the age of 2. She split duties with my other Aunts parents and day care, but there was a period when the bulk of our Oshkosh B Gosh days were spent in her apartment, with the vague smell of long cigarettes, prisms, and Bob Marley Records.

I’ve written about this before, as it is one of my proudest achievements… at a time when I could list “not falling over”, “talking”, and “wearing big boy pants” as my other proud achievements. I was a Bob Marley fan. A big one. We both were. And we were elitist, not even the other wailers could leave their sleeves without us A) Knowing something was wrong B) being outright pissed about it. My aunt, scheming and smart as she was, tested this theory by playing a Peter Tosh record, (I really hope it was ‘legalize it’…she would) and telling us it was Bob. We cried, screamed and threw fits, demanding she set it right. We stopped once she put Bob back on. We were snobs, trying to dictate how someone else listened to their own music in their own home. You know you have pulled this classic music snob move before. I was doing that shit while I was still in diapers.

And if anyone named Bob ever entered our developing vision, friend or foe, we would instantly call him out for not being black and cool. Woe be to any man named Robert, Bobby or Bob in our presence. Woe.

I am also surprised I didn’t develop a thicker weed habit, but we’re talking about music here.

I digress. From this early experience I like to think that beyond snobbery and elitism, the steady rhythm got into me, at least on some level, because as a listener now I am instantly drawn to rhythm. I would even say rhythm beats vocals, lyrics, anything else.

So now we’re building an arsenal here. Rhythm, my first weapon has stayed trustily by my side throughout my entire experience of music fandom. (Side note – this has also made me a fantastic dancer).

Somewhere in there, away from my aunt’s discerning taste, most likely in transit between providers (this was total radio music); I picked up Murray Head’s classic “One Night in Bangkok” as my jam. My Mom would crank it up in the dark and watch me bug out, “I see an angel standing next to me”, or something. I could pick out the track from a split second stab as the dial was moving from one station to the next and holler until the dial came back to ol’ Bangkok so I could rock out. I wish I knew what Thai hookers were like when I was 4…the gravity of the song was lost on me.

So there goes the single. From that point on, I was imprinted with the need to know what’s going on in the world of top 40 slop and foam. I kill for a single. My girl is constantly ragging on me for having all these great artists in my ipod without having more than a few songs by each. I’m still convinced Mouse on Mars never topped ‘Wipe that Sound’, and Van Morrison never made ANYTHING worth listening to after ‘Sweet Thing’.

This is why I get anxious when a band has a truly great song on an album. For I know that once I find this song in the context of an album, that song becomes the album, and I rarely make it past that song in future listens. The first single off of the new Liars album (not out yet, ahem…’press copy’) ‘Plaster Casts of Everything’ is fucking AMAZING. Its everything I now want to hear out of a Liars track, tight, noisy, droning, constant, energetic. But the second I heard it I said, “Fuck. Now the rest of the album might as well not even exist”. I honestly had to force myself to listen to the following tracks. I only made it to about track 5 before I went right back to chase the dragon.

Same thing happened with Peter Bjorn and John’s, ‘Writer’s Block’. I made it to the first song ‘Object of My Affection’ and after hearing it, took me about 3 weeks to discover ‘Young Folks’.

That’s another thing, Hype destroys music for me. Especially in the context of already pretentious indie-rock. When the general hipster press lauds a song for being amazing, (as was the case with ‘Young Folks’) I am instantly turned off, no matter how good of a song it is, I’m tired of it, simply from seeing its name in print.

Only months later, once the glow has faded, will I grab the song and plaster it all over every mix CD (playlist??) I make for the following three years. The same thing happens with other social trends (I JUST bought a chain wallet and realized it was a stupid idea) but that isn’t relevant.

My pop single disorder (we’ll call it the “Murray Head Effect” or “The Bangkok Agenda”) is why the list of albums I will actually listen to all the way through is pretty fucking short:

1. Viktor Vaughn – Vaudeville Villain
2. Strapping Young Lad – City (even though its so front loaded I’m fried by track 6)
3. Roots Manuva – Dub Come Save Me

I honestly don’t think I left anything out. It’s a problem.

So, Rhythm, Singles. I am now walking upright.

Then there was the poster. I remember looking at that painting for hours (seemed like it at the time, it was probably more like minutes) on end in my brothers room. Surrounded by big haired hardbodies in bikinis (a whole ‘nother formative discussion right there) there was Eddie. A fucking Redcoat, Eddie. Charging toward me those dead eyes, back to a massive cliff, nothing but carnage behind him. That dead hand sticking up, “who is that?” I thought, “How did he die?”, and that cannon…”the cannon couldn’t even stop this thing?” Even death was there, following and tagging the bodies. That picture shook me deep and I would stare at it for extremely extended periods of time. I might have even snagged an accidental lesson or two about Colonialism and the states’ rights but who fucking knows.

What really got me was its attachment to music. The visual, the theatrics, and in most cases in my short life/small room, the scary and threatening. In fact, all imagery that really broke through to me was scary as fuck and always associated with heavy metal.

Vic Rattlehead on a Megadeth poster, The Slayer Guy, and anything involving Iron Maiden were the strongest images I had associated to music I had never heard… And then I heard the music. I don’t know what I expected, but one of the first bridges I was allowed to build, my brother played me “In the beginning”, that freaky-ass first song/noisescape/rant from Motley Crue’s shout at the devil.

“The depths of hell…the blackest of hate…rise children of the beast”. I was only 6, for fuck’s sake.

Right then the image and the music became inseparable. The cover of that album transformed into something entirely different than the existing faggy ‘Road Warrior meets Legion of Doom at a Drag Show’ thing they had going on. The cover of the album (tape) transformed into a highly stylized painting of a massive, winged, horned, demon; Abstract, making it even scarier, monolithic, and terrifying. I don’t know where that image came from, or if it was ever an official cover to the album, but my imagination did not quite give a fuck.

So now when I experience music my minds eye generates the cover of the album as I listen, and every strain of the music is colored with the same scheme as the actual cover. Also, the fact that the bar was set low, as the first images at my disposable were dark, perverse, and scarier than the music, makes it now hard to shock me when it comes to music and its brutal imagery.

This is why “Eaten” by Bloodbath ranks in my top ten of all time. I was ready for it.
I was only going to put a snippet, but fuck it, this is too great to abridge.

I've had one desire since I was born
To see my body ripped and torn
To see my flesh devoured before my eyes
I'm here for you, I volunteer as a human sacrifice

[Chorus]
Carve me up, slice me apart
Suck my guts and lick my heart
Chop me up, I like to be hurt
Drink my marrow and blood for dessert
EATEN...
My one desire, my only wish is to be-
EATEN...
The longer I live the more I'm dying to feel the pain
EATEN...
I would do anything to be-
EATEN...
My one desire, my only wish is to be-
EATEN...

I finally found you, my personal slaughter
As an appetizer, I let you taste my daughter
Call me sick but this is what I need
My only purpose here is for you to feed

[Chorus]
Carve me up, slice me apart
Suck my guts and lick my heart
Chop me up, I like to be hurt
Drink my marrow and blood for dessert
EATEN...
My one desire, my only wish is to be-
EATEN...
The longer I live the more I'm dying to feel the pain
EATEN...
I would do anything to be-
EATEN...
My one desire, my only wish is to be-
EATEN...

Desecrate me
Tear me limb from limb
Eviscerate me
Chew me to death

EATEN...
My one desire, my only wish is to be-
EATEN...
The longer I live the more I'm dying to feel the pain
EATEN...
I would do anything to be-
EATEN...
My one desire, my only wish is to be-
EATEN...


This whole shocking cover art experience is also the reason that I spent hours and hours, days and days, and hundreds of dollars of my life as a teenager in shitty record stores where titles like “Fucked with a Knife” and “Tampon Tea Bag” were more common than “I only have eyes for you”, or whatever it was everyone else was listening to.

So now it is rhythm, the single, and the imagery. The three legged dog from the cover of that Alice In Chains album.

That’s basically it. Those three things have driven my entire career as a music fan. The rhythm and the shocking imagery led me to industrial music (thanks to the Demon Knight soundtrack). The shocking imagery carried me through the death metal days, as I pumped nothing but gore and brutality into my ears through my headphones. The rhythm alone kept me doing the stupidest dances known to man at illegal parties in Midwestern warehouses (that Dateline shit). The Bangkok Agenda has led me to judge entire rapper’s careers solely on the strength of their most recent BET output (Ja Rule is STILL fuckin’ up, Lil’ Wayne is doing the opposite)…and so much more.

It goes on and on. Whew that was fun, now wipe my kids off of your face and go trace your own lineage.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

An Un-Sound Theory

As I was being levelled by a combination of brownies and beer, Daft Punk turned shades darker. Their good vibes pyramid became a mangling drill, and for about 5 minutes the beats and sounds were dark and horrifying. People fucking loved it. I fucking loved it. But I, like them, loved it ecstatically, not angrily. It was bliss listening to dark, distorted beats.

Which led me to this new revelation. In 5 years time, gabber and hardcore will be the new pop music. I'm not talking about top 40 shit yet, (thats 7 years, and only in Japan) but the "hip" music, the kind of pop music that the landed upper class claim to "get", yet the peasant masses probably dance much better to. For instance instead of your semi-hip older brother putting Peter Bjorn and John on a mix CD, you'd probably get a bunch of Hellz Army and Three Da Hard Way.

Why is this going to happen? Because folks are being grown up to handle more, not less. It is for this reason that Happy Hardcore will not be "the next shit" (thank fuck). No, it will definitely be that shit that sounds like Steven Hawking being kicked in the face over and over again at 190 BPM.

We're not there yet, but there is a few signs. Justice is getting pretty big off of distorting basically everything about dance music. Literal distortion, the sound of interference at high volumes, not a wanky music writer's metaphor. Sure, 'D.A.N.C.E.' is a pretty clean track, but 'Waters of Nazareth' is just fucking nasty. Also, say what you will about Bjork and her "art", but its hard to argue that she does not consistently break new ground. Her new album wraps up with "Declare Independence", a track that is about 20 bpm away from being a slow DJ Skinhead track.

After Hardcore techno becomes the next "hip" music, it will inevitably have its flash near the top of the charts. Think about it, its going to happen sometime, as the world has not had a harcore track infect its top ten to date (La Bouche notwithstanding). Personally I'm looking forward to seeing "Upside Down Cunt (Herpes Version A)" by Omar Santana and DJ Skinhead cracking the top ten, securing its place on one of those horrid re-heated 'Now! Thats What I Call Music' compilations.



...Ten minutes after writing this...I realized that gabber and hardcore music is patently stupid and full of gay-ass imagery and created by a bunch of dutch dickheads.

the only exceptions are the song "Pull the trigger" by 3 Da Hard Way and The Hellfish and DJ Producer album 'Bastard Sonz of Rave'

Why did I post this, you ask? Because I still hope it happens, and I am really fucking up on getting new content up here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

RIP Tony Wilson

Tony Wilson, founder of the Manchester label Factory Records (home to outstanding bands like Joy Division, New Order, and the Happy Mondays), and founder of The Hacienda, one of the most influential spaces in music history, died on Friday. Fuck.

The man knew music so well, he knew what people wanted to hear, see, and do, and he found it all and radiated it from Manchester, a place that seems so vile and dismal. he threw all kind of 'fuck you's' into the face of the modern music business. Signed contracts in blood, and remained truly independent, setting a new standard for ground-up music promotion right until the very end.

This is fucking terrible. If I had ever had the chance to talk to this guy, I'm sure he would think I was a complete twat, and he would be right. Whether I realize it or not, I've been trying to BE Tony Wilson ever since I saw the film 24 Hour Party People.

I was once lucky enough to stand in the presence of this guy, an idol of mine, and I will never forget it. I'm pretty sad that he's gone. Shit.

Tonight, I'm going to pour one out for Tony, and then start a label. You should do the same.


Rest In Peace.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Daft Fucking Punk

Yeah I know its been awhile blah blah blah.

I saw what I now believe is the greatest show I have ever seen last night.

Daft Punk, at Keyspan Park right on the ocean.

That is how i fucking ROLL from now on. Huge spectacle shows played by fucking robots.

I missed The Rapture opening, which initially I was pissed about, but once the brownies kicked in and Daft Punk was on, The Rapture to me seemed like a band of mere humans playing on a stage. I have seen that before.

Every track was fucking amazing, sound pushed to the highest quality peaks over a pristine sound system. It was a fucking spectacle and was basically an ecstatic mash up of every good song they have ever done, played together. "One more time" bled into "Aerodynamic", "Around the world" bled into "Harder better faster stronger" and "Human after all" bled into fucking everything.

They are Robots, they figured it out. And I am now proud to be a human. fuck.

The greatest show I have ever seen. I am rendered inarticulate.
Videos:
The beginning:






More to come...other shit/shows/music. Fuck Im lazy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Three Fingers Deep

So, Ogre came to hang out in NY...
I ended up too physically and mentally demolished to write my own account of what happened so I left it up to him.
This "happened"...in the same way that "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is supposedly a true story. Ogre is a genius.



I visited Rex in NY a few weeks ago, and I've been trying to plot out how I could retell the story in an entertaining way. I've decided to use the metaphor method of telling the story, and using a night at the strip club as the subject. Not that we went to any strip clubs or anything.

The arrival at the strip club began in a very classy section that was ripe for some debauchery. At first it was only me and my guy from college, so we had to work it overtime to make ourselves visible. We met some strippers and some bar employees and found the classy section of the strip club was only there for the suckers to get completely wasted and to forget the whole point of being at the strip club. The ensuing wastedness seemed to last a full day before the blackout happened. The blackout was picture perfect, as proven by the pocket digi camera, and apparently one of us didn't forget the goal of the night. My friend found a stripper that had something special about her and decided to take her home. I woke up on couch with a bloody lip, and my friend woke up with an unused condom on his floor. The story was probably good, but we had to high tail it to the chinatown bus to get on our way to the better strip clubs up the coast. The only thing of note I accomplished was almost getting thrown out of an expensive cigar store for yelling "Show me your Cubans." The employee treated the situation as if I yelled bomb in an airport.

The next strip joynt happened with more friends, but the friends brought their own brand of turmoil. Mr. Clitosaurus and the other guy came to the party with different ideas on where we should view these boobies. We ended up going from club to club trying to find the perfect fit for all of our special needs. A night that began with sushi ended with a gothic themed strip club where the chicks served us Milwaukee's best and talked to other guys. The only stripper we were able to snare in our four sided trap was quickly turned off by the story of the unused condom and his potential for ED. Before we got a chance to shut him up we were outside eating bleu-cheese burgers. Normally this would seem an odd way to end a night, but it was only the beginning. The new guy in the bunch found a friend in a homeless guy with diabetes and a wheelchair outside, and started yelling at him to get a job. Despite the fact the guy might lose his leg to diabetes, new guy kept pushing the fact that he was a drain on society and nobody should help him but himself. I paid him a dollar to leave and new guy got himself a cab. Before any of us had time to reason with him, we were drinking scotch, getting high, and smoking hookah, while chewing bandits. The morning couldn't come early enough, and we had to get back on it soon.

The last day was the crowning achievement of the trip. We decided to leave the nice clubs and check out what the other boroughs had to offer. We started with a place where the chicks were nice, but standoffish. We weren't able to infiltrate the regulars, or really figure out what was going on. We didn't really try though, as we were mainly amazed how such a small town place could exist in such a big town setting. The place was called the yard, and the best thing to come out of it was the joke "Who's milkshakes brought us to this place?" Which is only minimally funny. Soon we were back on our way drinking Pabsts whenever we could and climbing in a cab to our next goal. A man met us at the door and immediately took the camera. He was a 5th place finisher in the 96 olympics as a wrestler, and none of us were going to argue. This place seemed to fit all of our styles. It was empty, and the chicks were half extremely hot, and half extremely down for whatever we wanted them to do. The club itself had no regard for laws or ordinances. The law says no touching: we touched. The law says bottoms stay on: the bottoms came off. The stripper says the lap dances cost $20 bucks: the lap dances cost $30 bucks. The law says no smoking inside buildings: The waitress offered me a cigarette. The dancers weren't paying attention to us for a minute: The waitress danced on me for a dollar. After several girls were used and abused, we moved on to better things.

The next club described itself as the only bar to offer short puerto ricans that will dance with you for $2. Rex, you're a better man than I. The rest of us hit on the bartender cuz that chick was hot. At least she was in our hormone clouded view at the time. Unused condom guy got a email address: who gets an email address? The next bar seemed to have nothing to offer except a chance to quickly move on to another site, but it had staying power. The club had karaoke and ugly people, except for four semi to more than semi-attractive chicks, who didn't mind talking to four guys who could barely keep it in the pants. The chicks were definitely professionals, but it seemed to be too late at night to find a better option. An amazing rendition of Psychokiller changed the complexion of the night and pretty soon the oldest stripper in the place began accosting us for our goods. Someone shouted "you just gave me an erection from dancing with you" and we knew we had to leave. Unused condom guy was the only guy to get busy, but a second bout of ED kept him from enjoying it. Luckily we were able to pass out on the couch.

The last morning was mainly breakfast and Flight of the Conchords references, which was all that was needed. It was concluded that the next round of this trip should include more rub n tugs and less time wasted. Also more flight of the conchords. Right Bret?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

BK Hip Hop Festival, etc

In DuMBO, right under the Brooklyn Bridge, they had no beer.

It was outdoors, right on the water, the stage framed on either side by the Brooklyn Bridge and the train-laden Manhattan Bridge, sun shining, old school hip hop blaring, and there was no beer.

I spent the first five minutes walking about the park like a lost kid in the mall, searching for a beer tent. I was stunned into disbelief that an outdoor event could exist without beer. All I could find was coolers full of some horrifying new diet Pepsi they were cross-promoting.

After finally accepting that I would not get a sun-buzz for this one, I relaxed in the grass and watched Dres from Black Sheep, of "Where are they now remix" fame. Not bad, he seems to have gained a pretty good outlook on music in his down time. He put out his own record on his own label, and from what I could tell, its decent. Naturally, the place went sort-of nuts when he broke out the classic "The Choice is Yours".

Consequence took the stage, The DT's took over my body, so Albert and I went down the fucked up ass streets of Dumbo for some wheat beer before Ghostface came on. I came back and to my horror, the entire Boot Camp Clik was on stage finishing their last song. Damned alcoholism.

Finally, after some odd discussion on stage about park closing times (why this needed to happen on the mic, I wasn't sure), the opening "sample" from "The Champ" started blaring across the park, dragging the sun down lower and lower. The beat hit, and Ghost was on stage with some key members of Theodore Unit.

Ghost killed it through basically all of the catalog shit you would want to hear from him, ("Cherchez LaGhost" was missing, but I think that wouldn't fit the 'outdoor concert' vibe, more suited for a 'robitussin party in a shitty basement' vibe) led everyone in a sing-a-long of ODB's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya", brought Fat Joe out on stage to do his verse from that song with Ja Rule, did the beginning of some Wu-classics, did "Biscuits" by request and wrapped it up with some amazing stage banter.

All in all, he was probably on for about a half an hour, but it felt like I had hung out with the dude all day. Fantastic.

Brooklyn Bodega did a hell of a job with the festival, despite the lack of beer. Next year I am going to show up earlier and do my homework so I can recognize the random ass people that wander up on stage.

I left to go to my old boss' birthday party in the east village, creating a solid hangover to work off on the beach.


Ghost n em


Joe n em

OH YEAH. Getting girls to take naked pictures with Mac Photo Booth is my new favorite thing in the world. Next up: Video chat.

Have a great day.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mandy

I just went to a Luncheon with Mandy Moore. In the rolling stone offices, they give you free food and about 30 people hang out and do a Q and A session with some random celebrity. These happen a lot, so I go as often as possible because the food is fuckin great and I am broke. I also try and get my picture taken with each. So far all I have is Ludacris and Lilly Allen. I'm pissed I didn't do it for this one.

Anyway, she's damn pretty, taller than you would think, and she had her "hi beams" on, which was awesome, it was chilly up in there, so its only natural. She's also pretty smart, used words like "amalgamation", "innate" and "catharsis". She also falls asleep at 10 like an old woman, gets drunk on two glasses of wine, and hates the music she was making when she was 15.

I sat and stared shamelessly. Thats the thing about people like that, they make a living being watched so you can sit there and stare at every inch of them and not even worry about it. So thats what I did.

Ok, thats basically it. Have a nice day, I'm hungover.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Eradication - a pointless rant about the state of the music business.

A whole label just got liquidated. This is the second time I have seen this happen. The difference is that the first time, a small crew was kept around to keep the pilot light on. This time, no one is left, even the name of the label is now nothing but a ghost.

A smaller label, based solely on the internet. A great idea in theory, especially in these "modern" times when no one, besides your parents, is buying Cd's. Obviously, this poor internet label was not executed properly. Their roster was not strong, and it seems even fewer people are buying tracks online than they are buying Cd's. Especially from very obscure bands.

I always felt though, that an all-digital label like the now deceased, would flourish in some strange way if it held on long enough to adapt to this new environment as it chose to fall in place.

That's the thing, no one really knows where the fuck this is all going. Profits are waaaay down, 400 people in my company became "gone" one month ago, entire arms (retail) of label groups are being slashed and burned, and I just saw about 6 of my good work friends get laid off without warning.

I'm not whining, and I am not angry, maybe because I still have my job, maybe because I am barely considered "entry-level", but these were "label people". The types who heard all of the stories, saw the movies, loved the music, and busted every inch of ass to make it "in". Now, they get vomited out unceremoniously under the guise of "preserving" this business. Preservation is not being achieved, what is happening is an almost complete change.

The music business can not be the profit-beast that it once was, at least not now, and I hope label heads have realized that fact. There is no way in hell we can hand over fist over platinum the money like we used to. T.I.'s "Trap Muzik" just went platinum, and it came out something like 2 years ago.

OK, then where is this going? Corporate Communications departments will tell you that "digital" is the next step. It might be, but the "how" is still a bit nearsighted.

Much less myopic are these facts:
1) People want music, and they are willing to use any means necessary to do it. Whether it is just to hear it once, put it on a CD-R for the floor of their car, play it on their phone, own it, love it, hate it, review it, play it in the club, or put it on their SecondFaceSpace profile. The reasons and desires have not changed much, the means to possess music has. Paying for it has become a pretty lame move.

2) The labels own a lot of music, a shit load. Between the four major labels, the amount of music in their vaults is staggering. So what does that mean? Does it mean that the labels should form watch dog groups and run around saying "Mine!" to witch-hunt down every poor college student with "stolen" music on their computer? I don't think so. I don't think destroying the trust and scaring off our last garrison of consumers is a good idea. No one wants to buy music from a whiny tribunal, when they could get it easily from a benign, wide open fruit on the internet. We also cant pretend that once the music is out there, it won't be shared. That is bullshit, short sighted, unrealistic thinking. People will always find ways to get that shit for free, the technology is out there, and it is NOT going away. The music business has always had an element of elasticity, but these times call for a stretch that is near-superhuman (save your Fantastic 4 references for your aunt Tilly) and I don't know if the majors are ready to bend that far. I wouldn't be surprised if we started to see CEO's walking out with their hands up, exasperated, but still rich as fuck.

OK, smart guy, then what is it?

I'm not sure, I never ever pretended to have the answers, I am just learning. Some things I can say now though:

Yes, digital initiatives (ringtones, virtual worlds, social networking, ad-sponsored sites) are cool, but unless the labels can truly find a way to generate even half a visible stack of money (it's possible) from such ventures, there will be no staying power, and the artists will cease to see what the point of a major label even is.

Also, concerts, concerts, concerts. I feel that getting people all in one place to collectively sweat, rock out, and touch each other is always going to be attractive. The kids might not take as many drugs as they used to, but then again, people on drugs don't buy shit at the bar. The concert as of now is a bit under-utilized I feel. Concert goers are down for fucking anything, get them involved, have them video tape shit for free, use the unbelievably interconnected capacity of those little things they hold up now instead of lighters during ballads, provide a truly mind blowing experience, because "kids these days" are bored as fuck, but once you are done providing it, sell them the experience, sell them something, that is, if you want to continue as a "business".

Or, fuck it, just give it all away. Personally, all I want is for the music to stick around, and it will. What I am talking about here is the Music Business (emphasis on 'business') and whether or not it will survive. This and the rant above comes from the fact that there has been a lot of discussion on the fate of this particular institution lately, I hear a lot about it because...well shit, I am part of it. I suppose this is me "weighing in" (a slight quiver on the scale) on the issue or whatever the fuck.

I will probably rant more later. Thoughts?

Record Reviews

Here are some reviews I just wrote for Beautiful/Decay. I'm sorry for the lack of posting. Please, if you know my email address, email me and suggest some shit to write about. All I can think of is zombies and being a pervert in the city. It's been done.


Lodeck - Behold
Lodeck is a Russian import with one of the sickest voices I have ever heard. He talks about what its like to pour out booze for decayed crackhead friends, how fucked up the deep end of Brooklyn is for an immigrant youth, how foolish humanity is, how the world could get better with the slightest bit of imagination and hustle, and how awesome/terrible toothless blowjobs are. The beats are fantastic (Bad Touch: tell your friends), Breeze Evahflowin' shows up, Blockhead turns in two amazing remixes, Jedi throws in some cuts, the production is thick and sparse at the same time, he doesn’t ever say “overstand”, and the choruses do not suck. Why you do not own this yet is far beyond me. Use your head(phones): Support Lodeck.



Raheem Jamal - Boombox
Wait till it gets nice outside, hang your boombox out your window, and blast this album. If anyone yells at you to turn it down, get rid of them. If anyone compliments you on your choice of street music, invite them in, give them beer, and start this record from the beginning. Instant summer. Raydar Ellis’ beats are warm-weather-class with big soul jazz samples, fat drums, smooth guitar, string sections, and horn blasts. And Raheem, who doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously, spits easily about girls, the city (Boston), the good times, the hard times, and all of the things we love about hip hop. Raheem and his Project Move buddies should have released this on tape. My boombox only plays tapes.


Dos Noun and Burns - The Fall of '98.
In the fall of 1998 I was pushing an ’86 Chevy Nova 4 door go-kart with a warped Rhymesayers tape stuck in the deck, and the only time I touched a booty was by accident on an escalator at the Mall of America. Hindsight can’t even make that shit look cool, but I do remember that “hip hop” was fuckin’ everywhere, and it was cool because it was a resistance to “rap”. Back then folks still made that distinction, because you could either pay 3 bucks to see 19 emcees in a hot basement, or you could turn on BET and bust Jadakiss in a shiny suit. I get the feeling that Dos Noun and Burns from Pittsburgh feel the same way. The Fall of ‘98 is that underground record, the one that some dude sold you for 5 bucks out of his backpack, the one that proudly ended up stuck in your deck.


Let me be honest,
"We family, we family, lemme talk to ya"
-Bernie Mac

Maaaybe you can tell they were written a little hastily, my schedule was kicking my ass at the time, yet I always wait till the last minute to do that shit. That last one, I had a problem, I really didn't like the record, I will be honest. It had a lot of the problems of an underground hip hop record, the choruses were too long and bad, the album itself was too long, and sometimes the lo-fi production got in the way of enjoying the record. Sorry to any B/D folks reading this, I wasn't feeling it, but since it was for the "Recommends" section, I tried to stay positive, or at least entertaining.

Anyway, the music is good, go check that shit out. And let me know what the fuck I need to be writing about on here. I'm too broke to go out and act like an ass...I will wait until I get paid, or maybe wait until Ogre comes to visit. That's going to be fuckin sweet.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Drew's typical Saturday night

You come to and your body looks like yours. Obscure metal t-shirt, check. 70's bellbottoms, check. Crippling rage issues, check. You are Drew, and you are in a bathroom now. You know deep in your heart that you can't handle your shit, but now you are astonished at how big of a blackout lightweight you are. The last thing you remember is shotgunning a Bartles and James Pear Passion Lime Estrogen Wine Cooler at 7 pm.

The bathroom is well lit, its almost morning, your pants are around your ankles and there is a 2 year old Penthouse crumpled at your feet. Most likely the product of a failed masturbation session. Now you are scared. You don't remember how you got into this bathroom.

At least you know who's bathroom it is. It belongs to your good friend Clitoris Rex, and he did this to you.

Your pre-existing anger problem starts bubbling and you instantly burst a blood vessel in your eye for no apparent reason. "No time to panic", you think, "I will simply grab this here door knob, twist, and pull, and I will be free of this bathroom, on my way to fall asleep on a couch, huzzah." You grab for the doorknob, and realize, THERE IS NO DOORKNOB!

Panic. What happened to the doorknob? Is this some kind of sick game? Is the doorknob surgically buried in some infant's chest and the only way I can survive is to chew the knob out of the screaming infant?

That would actually be sweet, you think, thankful for the moment of clarity.

You plunge back into panic mode again and your heart races to the point of almost popping. You think, "The door will not open, perhaps a few light raps upon the door will be enough to wake the bathroom owners, who could come let me out, yeah, that's the ticket."

"Ziggy says this doesn't look good Sam."

No one responds. What will you do? Will you improvise a comfortable way to sleep in the bathtub? You are so tired, your body hurts from too much headbanging, and you have the lyrics to Pantera's 'Becoming' cycling through your head on repeat.

Fuck the bathtub, you say. The panic has now completely taken over, sending all of your blood screaming through your head, so you scream back. The adrenaline takes your voice up a few pitches so now you sound like a pre-menstrual field hockey player. What a pussy.

LET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!!!!
AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!
WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!!!
WHO DID THIS TO ME???!!!!!
HOW DID I GET HERE!!!!!!!!
WHERE IS THE FUCKING DOORKNOB!!!!
WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!!!!
SOMEONE PLEASE FUCKING HELP ME I'M SO SCARED!!!!

The door opens, finally, somehow, its your friend/captor Patrick. You are sweating, close to tears, and fighting off a massive stroke/seizure/aneurysm/case of the runs.

"Dude, you are the worst alarm clock ever."

WHY DIDN'T YOU LET ME OUT??!!!
DIDN'T YOU HEAR ME SCREAMING??!!!
I SOILED MYSELF BECAUSE OF YOU!!!

You scream, but its no use, everyone is already laughing. No one even notices your struggle because you have been upstaged. All of your stress and pain went unnoticed in the face of the aftermath of a vicious piss whirlwind that has swept through the entire apartment. Thanks to a non-housetrained drunk girl, no one cares that you just had an existential crisis in a bathroom in queens.

What a pussy.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I figured out how to write like a Predator.



The big font says, "Bear Fucker"
The little one says, "Your bitch don't really got no ass, she just pokes it out."

You care about this.
I rule.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bah-jork



So I went to the Bjork show at Radio City last night.

I'm not the hugest Bjork fan (Joey, you know this you wanky twat), Bjork fans all seem to have this connection to her music that's all "mystical" and "ethereal" meaning they did mushrooms in their older brothers college dorm room and bugged out to Vespertine, or their shuffle accidentally found something off of Homogenic while they were stoned on some "super heady Kind Buds" or going through a break up, or whatever...I digress into negative territory, I don't dislike Bjork so much as the utterances from the people who listen to it. We'll leave it at that.

BUT, I like good beats, and Bjork always kills it in that department (the appearance of Lightning Bolt's drummer and Timbaland on her new album can verify this) so i figured I would dig around for those hard to find tickets and check it out with my Bjork-fan roommate, his Bjork-fan girlfriend, and our indifferent friend Albert. It was worth it, for a few reasons.

1. She's adorable. Painfully so. She rolls her R's so they sound like the beating of dragonfly wings, and she should get a trophy for "cutest utterance of the phrase 'thank you' in the last 400 years". I didn't so much want to sleep with her as hang her from a mobile above my bed and have her tell me stories while I used her for warm fuzzy target practice.

2. Getting to see what Antony from Antony and the Johnsons looks like in person. The guy has the most bizarre voice ever, he sounds like a wavering drag queen singing hyper-emotive opera recorded on warped tape. So there's no telling what he looks like. Turns out, he's massive. An oafish, shy type, he came out wearing a huge black tablecloth to du-it with Bjork on "Dull Flame of Desire". Short cute Bjork, and awkward, towering Antony looked like the main characters in a Disney movie. I kept expecting Bjork to jump on his shoulders and ride off to beat up neighborhood bullies.

3. The Beats! Oh those beats. Mark Bell and Damien Taylor manned the electronics and laptop rigs, the highlight of the show. I could give a fuck what Bjork was saying as long as I could hear shit like that ringing through Radio City's perfect acoustics.

They were also manning some needlessly lit up and amazing looking instruments, I don't know what they were, but they looked like if you turned that motorcycle game from Tron into a synthesizer.

4. "Army Of Me". That song is gnarly as FUCK. I never realized it before, but it is positively devastating how good it is. Check the Tank Girl soundtrack and the Helmet cover for verification.

5. "Pluto". Some song of hers that I've never heard before, probably will never sound that great ever again, album or otherwise. The 4/4 rave thump, the lasers, and the assholes waving their glow-in-the-dark drink stirrers around gave me an Ecstasy flashback.

6. She sings just as well live as she does recorded.

7. "Declare Independence". This is a song off the new album, and it is probably the only song I will admit to liking outright. Its noisy as fuck, she doesn't even sing, she just screams about 'raising your flag' and 'don't let them do that to you!', just a few BPMs from being a brutal dutch hardcore track. Shit, this guy might as well have produced it.

8. It was short. Wanky musicians tend to spend their time coating your face with three hours of their own self indulgence. Not the Bjork, we got an hour and ten minutes. PERFECT.

It was a good show, I had a great time. I won't say I'm a bjork fan because if I did then I wouldn't get to talk shit to the next guy who says he is "Venus as a Boy" in his myspace profile, that shit is just uncalled for, but I can say I had a good time.

After that I went to the Korrupt party at Hiro ballroom to say hello to some people, and then left early because I am sick and needed orgasm-therapy.

More pics from the show once my roommate gets them to me.