Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

new british anti-cocaine spots

apparently the Brits are going with an uncomfortable satiric humor approach to getting kids to stop doing coke. Talking mascots include a tiny, fluffy dog that they claim is being used as a mule (couldn't really hold much innit?), a bag of coke and a dude's nostrils. Seeing this fake stuffed dog with a hole in its stomach is totally weird and will probably make a lot of people uncomfortable. but I think that's the point.



this one has the talking baggie, which is reminiscent of the Oprah's minge episode of South Park. This one in particular makes me cringe, mostly just because I hate this guy's stupid accent and the unfunny jokes. also, it's apparently a Scottish bag.



then there's this one with the nostrils. uninspired comedy and predictable premise, outside of those two things the message is delivered like a brochure in a high school guidance counselor's office.



so these ads are lame and will (like pretty much every single anti-drug campaign) simply give fodder to those who already use. But, in 2009 (yup), the success of campaigns is pretty much measured in one way, and you're seeing it right here. Word-of-mouth is all that matters, and these spots seem like they were made with the youtube/blog world explicitly in mind. Like the new Burger King "Whopper Virgins" campaign, this already has people talking. So if the responsible parties were trying to get people commenting on threads about how much they hate these ads, then they may have already succeeded. But getting kids to stop buying coke? Try introducing some American rap mixtapes into lesson plans and curriculums. This will teach them just how despicable it is to be a "fiend." They will look down on "customers." Sure, you'll have a generation of kids who aspire to be drug dealers, but it hasn't really failed here in the States, plus, if everyone's dealing then no one's using! Young Jeezy will work well, I'm sure. I mean, it's probably better than showing them a bag of coke for over a minute and a girl blowing a line off a toilet seat and a "disco" kid dancing in a club.

Monday, December 08, 2008

bill murray

Bill Murray is my personal patron saint. I feel like I know him because I've grown up with him. He raised me. Not only is he my favorite actor of all time, he's easily one of the figures who has made the most significant mark on my sensibilities and humor. From movies like, first, Ghostbusters (which was pretty much the only thing I cared about when I was like 5 years old), then Groundhog Day and Scrooged, then Caddyshack, and then Rushmore and to a lesser extent Lost In Translation. The only other movies that had as big of an influence besides Bill Murray movies were probably Tim Burton and Wayne's World.

But the idea that he walks around nowadays like some sort of wandering trickster/Socrates type is really interesting to me. Apparently the man is into social experimenting and people's reactions to strangers doing strange things to them and pretty much just fucks with people.

There’s an urban legend that’s gone around until no one is sure who it happened to, or if it happened at all. It was late one night, a few years ago, when a young man was walking through Union Square Park. He suddenly felt someone behind him, their hands over his eyes. When he turned in surprise, there was Bill Murray, his creased face leaning in close. Bill whispered, “No one is ever going to believe you,” and then just walked away.

— From an article in this week’s Page Six Magazine (not yet online), which looks at Murray’s recent forays into Brooklyn house parties and wonders aloud if he is going through a mid-life crisis.

I also read a comment on Gawker that someone wrote in which they described a moment in a bar when Bill Murray suddenly made eye contact with them and then ran up and started tickling them. This is important work this man is doing.

And then there's this. lolbrooklyn

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I Watched as the Light Changed Over the Water - FICTION

I followed Adam out of the drug store and stumbled back onto State. St. People quickly crossed my blurred vision, all busy in their routines. No one saw me behind my sunglasses except for my friend, the only other person on the street who knew what to do with the tin foil and baking soda he just bought from Walgreen’s.

It's never been clear whether Adam is serious. He's an ambiguous caricature of himself, crafted through hundreds of half-sarcastic quips and asides that began as funny in-jokes among our friends but now seem more and more real. So it never really fazed me when he joked about crack, something he had done countless times since I met him.
I had seen him do some pretty crazy things, but crack is just too silly. People who smoke crack live in trailer parks, not in Statesider. It carries such an intense stigma that it seems like a universal line that no one can cross, even the most adventurous. I never thought he was serious.

Giggling, he clutched his plastic shopping bag like it was a new puppy and I tried to keep up with him as we rushed through the pedestrian traffic. I had begun to figure out what this field trip was really about.
“Dude, what the hell are you doing?” I yelled, grabbing his shoulder and spinning him around. With a menthol cigarette dangling from his mouth, holding his pants up with one had and squeezing the shopping bag to his chest with the other, he stared blankly at me. I was now shouting loudly on the sidewalk in front of his building, normal people enjoying the summer weather and the sun beating down on us.

Adam shook me off and ran up the stairs to his apartment, slammed the door and locked it. He had just moved in so it was empty except for a few boxes, a stereo and an overflowing ashtray. It now seemed like an ideal environment for deviant behavior.

He had been hanging on by a thread for the past couple years, barely maintaining sanity. The day’s activity did not seem like a positive development for him and I did my best to voice my disapproval. But as he prepared, his excitement filled the room. It was like watching a child unwrap presents at his birthday party.

He laughed and excitedly bounced around his tiny kitchen building some sort of deranged contraption. He explained every detail as he followed the directions he had found by Googling the words “making crack.”
I felt depraved and twisted knowing that I was in a room that would shortly become a crack house, but I was having a hard time containing my laughter. I stared with rapt attention and my hand covering my open mouth, the way I would probably gawk at a freak show. This felt more like rubbernecking after a bad accident on the highway, though.

When Adam finally lowered the torch lighter over the foil, I stopped pacing and pulling at my hair to peer over his shoulder. The bubbling powder spilled over the sides of the measuring cup. That’s when I knew we both had finally lost it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

rap rotation

I think I'm gonna do this more often. here's my current late-08 rotation


OJ Da Juiceman "Culinary Art School"
ridiculously ignorant drug rap of the highest order. Post-Gucci Mane mush-mouthed South flow with one of the most unique Ad Lib games in recent history. maybe this is like the new Trap Or Die.


I'm convinced that Gucci is not only one of the most entertaining rappers around but he's also not actually a human living in the USA in 2008. dude is definitely something else...He doesn't speak English, his mouth doesn't really make the same types of sounds, and he looks really fucking scary.


get the fuck off my blog if you don't like scarface


Classic. Probably my favorite and most listened-to cd/mix/whatever of the past 6 months. PRGz should be the new Beatles.


G-SIDE "Starshipz and Rocketz"
more Alabama. killing it. like a mix of Organized Noise circa ATLiens and G Space Age Pimpin 8Ball & MJG...this is a filthy good country rap album.


I don't how the someone who can barely be qualified as sane can even make three albums in a little over a year PLUS go to jail, but Prodigy has made three DOPE albums in a row. it's fun to listen to his ridiculous, delusional paranoia and crack stories.


this goes in just for The Greatest Mixtape Cover of All Time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

lose your life

Al-al-al-al-chemist.

Not taking yourself too seriously + animation + gore + zombie gangsters who rise from the grave to go George Romero on a hipster = GOLD

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

someone at a magazine has infiltrated my brain

these are three consecutive pages from the current issue of Antenna (or at least they're consecutive images on their Web version of the current issue):








FUCKING WEIRD

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"We're joined now, via hologram, by Will.i.am." - Anderson Cooper

you get the Trill.i.am moniker back for now, buddy. I can't top the hologram live in the Situation Room Hi-Def Fortress of Solitude/Stable of 70 Pundits. Will, you, sir, are at election 2012-level humanlike rendering and we'll all just spend the next four years thinking about that. Future.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

dan aykroyd, crystal skulls, and Newfoundland vodka (wtf informercial)



ok, I don't know what the fuck is going on here but this is one of the weirdest things I've ever watched. When I was a really little kid, there was nothing in the world that I loved more than Ghostbusters. The movie, the toys, merchandise. I watched it a million times. Now Dan Aykroyd is apparently really into ghosts and UFOs ancient legends about mystical skulls. So into it, in fact, that he's decided to launch a line of premium vodka that is contained in replica crystal skulls. The skulls are, according to Aykroyd, A REALLY BIG DEAL!!! And so is the vodka!!! This video is really weird. I don't know if it's a joke or not, but just please make it to the Canadian distiller named Phil cuz it's funny.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

swag songz


this is seriously dope in a beautiful, shiny, sexy way. Trey Songz making every single dope track of the moment his own. I've never seen an rnb singer do the freestyle thing like a mixtape rapper for a full length tape before in my life and dude just splashes all over these songs. this is going into rotation.



<3

Monday, September 08, 2008

stop making rap

holy shit this is so dope. I thought T-Wayne jumping around like lunatics with their underwear showing was gonna be the highlight but obviously we missed this little performance. Kanye is taking his whole persona to levels I had not imagined. Grey suit with a red flashing LED heart on the lapel? It's like Pee Wee Herman in a tim burton movie or some shit. DAMN. Also, dude sounds like what pop music should sound like in 2012. He's so ahead of everyone that he's using some other shit that's not autotune but is clearly cooler sounding and makes him sound like some sort of heartbroken cyborg who who's only heard N*E*R*D* and Talking Heads records. This clip is fucking phenomenal. MTV's production value was epic and the purple and red foggy backgrounds were killing it behind Ye's army of synchronized drummers. SHIT IS SO ILL when all the lights go down and you just get him looking like a rap David Byrne.

Oh yeah this song is incredible and is such a good move I can't even really wrapped my head around it. Dude has officially manifested himself into being all that he thought he was or could be. GENIUS.



OK. I happen to be a fan of Travis barker. I think he's cool, I like his new schtick as the guy who "remixes" rap songs by just playing drums to them way louder than they were originally recorded. I also am a fan of DJ AM. That really doesn't need explanation. But this little partnership they've arranged seems a little lame and kinda contrived. I like everything about it until it gets into MTV's hands: a drummer and a DJ, that's cool. This, however, is isn't:

TRVSDJAM - "Wonderwall (Remix)

The collaborative DJ/drummer combo TRVSDJAM re-mix a tune from Oasis to highlight what's coming up next. (2008 MTV Video Music Awards)


the LAAAAME writing (seriously MTV holler at some talented writers a fucking monkey could come up with more interesting copy than that), the MSTRKRFTian name (such an LA thing right now, wouldn't be surprised if they remixed some Does It Offend You, Yeah? tracks or "Paper Planes" remixes, too). when did MTV become completely ignorant about actual MUSIC.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

from the archives: a letter I sent to the Badger Herald re: the comic "Better Left Unsaid"

From "MATTHEW ABRAHAM GARDNER"
Sent Monday, May 7, 2007 10:49 am
To better@badgerherald.com
Cc
Bcc
Subject Genius

To the "authors" of Better Left Unsaid,
Is it really the last week readers will be graced with the pleasure of reading your incoherent, idiotic rants? Wow, it truly is a sad day for all the bigots, meatheads and ignorant morons of the UW campus (which apparently is a HUGE demographic since you guys managed to convince someone to keep publishing your garbage this long). I would just like to tell you guys that I've read your comic strip as much as possible since I first discovered it, and you have absolutely NO
talent or future whatsoever in satire, writing, comedy, graphic design (HA!) or animation, and the editors of the Badger Herald should be ashamed with themselves.
Trust me, I "get it," I understand the type of offensive, subervise approach you're going for, but you just suck at it. Really, really badly. Journey to a coastie's vagina? Are you fucking kidding me? I couldn't even enjoy that on the shitter in college library, where I enjoy pretty much anything. You want to know why? BECAUSE IT WASN'T FUNNY, IT DIDN'T MAKE SENSE AND YOU DIDN'T REALLY PUSH ANY BOUNDARIES OR GIVE THE READERS ANYTHING THEY COULDN'T TAKE, like the best of the type of comedy you guys wish you could imitate. It was just an insignificant, childish peak at the bong-soaked conversations you and your pathetic friends have on a regular basis, a jealousy-fueled rant against people that probably have way more fun than you in college. It wasn't "edgy," unless you consider the scrawlings of a 12-year-old with [red.] syndrome "edgy." (Hey, maybe you guys have been going for the outsider art thing this whole time.) You know how someone released the plays written by Cho, the VT killer? When I read them, I was INSTANTLY reminded of your moronic peice of shit comic strip, because you guys sound like fucking complete idiots.
Anyway, good luck with your future. You guys should put the Better Left Unsaid comic strip on your resumes. There's a real feather in your cap!

Monday, August 11, 2008

"I have a nightmare...of a man...who is made of cotton balls..."

this is the future of TV. Maury is so next level right here I just decided that I love him. Dude actually had TWO guys come out dressed as cotton ball mummy monsters and run on stage to scare this pathetic woman into tears on live television!!!

Serious. Think about this. The man had some broad's actual phobia-fueled nightmare manifested in the flesh and then shoved it in her face and laughed. That's a real life horror movie!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

i'm on patron and purp I can't think



It's weird how anachronistic this video seems. Lil Jon, the King of Crunk, who was planning to come out with a Rock album and use this has his first single, jumped on the Snap train and got one rapper associated with the Hyphy movement and another with Crunk and made a snap track, then got Hype Williams to make a tripped out ravey-ass video with strobes and rainbow colors. The video is one of my favorites, and the beat seems to be a kind of template for a bunch of HUGE T-Pain records that have come out since that kind of echo that synth line a little too closely (examples: "Cyclone," "Low," "Got Money"). Shit is still murder though, and this video encapsulates the swagger and professional touch that Lil Jon put into to what could have been a pretty typical throwaway club jam. A few months ago I wrote about TVT, the label for whom I once interned, going under. During my time there, and I'm sure for a few years before that, Lil Jon was pretty much the big focus for the label, what with the dude becoming a cultural icon at the turn of the millennium. I remember dude was all about his myspace, always on his sidekick and pretty much pulled all the strings when it came to his online presence (unlike any artist of his caliber that I've come across) to the point where he would even give us updates on what he was doing day-to-day. At that time (summer '06) this consisted of him kicking it in Vegas and "working on" his next album Crunk Rock but really I think it involved as much Patron as the ATF in Nevada could manage to get across the border. That album was supposed to come out in October or November of that year but of course, as everyone loves to ntoe in any mention of the label, it got caught up in some sort of limbo with TVT execs (read: that one dude who owned the label probably, not gonna name names).

What's so funny about it to me is that at the time Jon thought the Rock sound would be the best look for him to bust out on his first album without the Eastside Boys. But now, two years later, doing a rock-inspired rap album would be about as relevant as doing a ragtime-inspired country album. Dude needs to rename his album in a more '08-friendly way, something like Disco Crunk or Crunk House and ride that shutter shades, AA-wearing Daft Punk sampling neon bandwagon. Oh wait he already did (can Bun turn down a guest spot please?)

But, trends be damned, because the album is now free from its label chains and will most likely see the light of day at some point in the near future. Who knows what he has written or recorded or thrown away since that summer, but all I know is that some of his major appearances since "Snap Yo Fingers" have been pretty classic, like "Act a Fool", "The Anthem" and "Get Buck In Here." I was originally really looking forward to hearing what he could do with a full album on his own, almost like a great DJ/producer finally ditching the 12-inch format and going for the artist album. I think he knows what he wants and has some great vision of what he wants his album to be, and that's why he never let it trickle out through a feeble TVT marketing machine. For some reason I don't think a few SUVs wrapped with Lil Jon's mug would have done the trick for this album.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

they were all in love with dying, they were doing it in Texas



just because this popped into my head today and I realized it's one of my very favorite songs of all time. It reminds me of Camp Wildwood, being a semi-weirdo wannabe skater brat, sequestered in a tiny Maine backwoods town in a sports camp for the summer. Normally, when not in camp, I was a devout MTV zombie, at the ripe age of ten years old literally absorbing every single detail of every alt rock video they played on the channel until I could call each one before the credits popped up in the left hand corner after about 10 seconds (REMEMBER HOW VIDEOS USED TO HAVE THOSE CREDITS??? THEY DON'T EVEN DO THAT ANYMORE!!) This was a good way to pass the time and a fun game to play with my orhtodox or Israeli babysitters Ronnie, Atara, Orit. They were always very impressed. So when I was at camp I had to gage what was going on by infrequent trips in camp vans to random field trips or sometimes sneaking a listen to my counselors radio or even heading up the radio station and browsing through all the CDs they had there (one of the only trophies I ever won there was Most Improved for Radio. seriously, if that's not the most embarrassing thing ever...I feel like I should go back in time and tease the younger version of myself). I have a vague memory of this song having its little moment in that summer, which would have been 1996, my tenth year of life on this planet. What isn't vague, though, is the impression the song has had on me since then. The chorus is so engrained in my consciousness I feel like even if I hadn't ever thought of it again I would still know every single word to it when I'm 80 years old like some sort of lullaby or collective consciousness folklore nursery rhyme. Whatever cultural currents or perfect storm of post-Nirvana, height of MTV-fueled alt rock surge this song caught in order to propel itself to #1 on Modern Rock Tracks I'm glad I spent my formative years gestating within them. Just the fact that the Surfers managed to make a hit song is enough to realize how fucking cool the 90s were. Something like this could never EVER be a "popular" song again. It's half-rapped but stream of consciousness and abstract. It's chorus is steeped in reverb. The whole thing breaks down into a swirl of guitar feedback and tape loops. But people were feeling it. Now we have Nickelback and Flobots. The shit they played on MTV back then sounded like this!!!! Is that mindblowing to anyone else but me? It's like how me and my friend Danny decided that the litmus test for your child's future drug use when we were kids should have been whether they enjoyed Ren & Stimpy: if they did, you got a pothead, mom and pop. Loving "Pepper" as a ten-year-old should have been a similar tip off for my parents, except not just for pot but for everything else, too.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

black and silver american flags

jeezy somehow managed to get more intense and depressed and cynical over the course of a three year period in which he went from unheard of, barely-talented ATL rapper to messiah status in that city and top-tier rapper in all cities. Dude is so serious right now I love it and I'm feeling like his new album is gonna be a real good one, like a real ALBUM not just a collection of phoned-in favors like his second one (which I think will eventually seem like an anomaly sandwiched between his debut, which is an undeniable CLASSIC OF ALL CLASSICS, and The Recession). Anyway, Felipe went over to Def Jam yesterday and got Jeezy to spill a little bit of info (he's been extremely tight on giving away anything about the new album) and as you can see in the video he was kind of, well, grave. So over three albums he's gone from motivation to inspiration to reality check.

anyway, I'm really feeling the Frank Miller/Robert Rodriguez/Christopher Nolan blacks and whites and greys and dystopian urban America/shiny deep space (in one case) of some of these new videos. I can feel a little Dark Knight ripple effect. Also, The Spirit has ScarJo in it!







Wednesday, July 23, 2008

it is what it is

usually it's best to let others express the feelings that we can't on our own.

sometimes an album comes along and hits a spot in a person's life by either filling in a void with what's missing or providing reflective, cathartic soundtrack to the emotional haze. Trae and Z-Ro are becoming like my own personal poet laureates. Weeks before our friend passed away this album dropped and was exactly what was needed in my life for the combination of reasons above. Now it's like almost too somber, like they know me and they know everything that could ever happen in a person's life and they've been through every single depressed moment and paranoid all-night freakout and drug-fueled cycle and letdowns and disappointments and embarrassments. They're like motivational speakers for the Lexapro generation. I don't even wanna get into the woozy and haunting and booming typically-houston shit you will hear or the way they hum and wail and harmonize like old bluesmen in a jukejoint (because really this music is BLUES) because it's whatever, these guys have put out dozens and dozens of albums and if they're not rap legends by now then rap is bullshit.

due to rap-a-lot's BLATANT INEPTITUDE at promoting their own artists when they've dropped dope albums over the past YEAR (see DEVIN, BUN, SCARFACE) this album is un-googlealbe. but they have it at amazon.

but I'm gonna link it up right here for the time being because this just needs to be heard.





















OH AND BY THE WAY TRAE GOT HIS OWN DAY IN THE CITY OF HOUSTON!!!!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

jay reatard and deerhunter split 7"

covering each other's songs!! according to Jay's myspace it's the next in his series of limited edition 7"s on matador. jay is the king right now and my love for deerhunter goes way back....to '07. excited to hear these covers

Monday, June 30, 2008

robin thicke

it's got nothing to do with the fact that he's been on a certain rapper's last two albums or that he's signed to the label that happens to be owned by a Major dude (who also produced most of his secondalbum). I remember when he first was coming up he seemed like pretty typical post-hip hop R&B, blue eyed soul crap . And then I was escorted to a very fancy and quite lovely New Years Eve party that made me feel kind of like an immigrant street urchin and his dad (the famous TV guy) was there, and as I shook his hand and stared into his eyes I felt the power of a thousand years of familiarity rushing through my pathetically television-addled brain but couldn't place who he was until like ten minutes later. Anyhoo. I thought, "Yeah, that guy's son has to be a douche." Then when his last album came out it was so dope. Listen to it and don't feel kinda gay because real men should listen to music that girls like, too (totally guessing here).

His new single sounds like 70s perv disco with Philly International strings and blaxploitation funk horns and bongos. Fuck yeah Robin. And then there's the falsetto bridge...

"If these trends continue...Ayyy!"

Saturday, June 28, 2008

bravo vice, bravo

haters wish they could feel the wood

This is the kind of shit that meth-manufacturing bikers would decree “righteous.” It is the kind of shit that makes you want to simultaneously “make it” with a “foxy mama,” peak on four hits of pure windowpane, and fire off a greasy, hot AK-47 indiscriminately into a forest, all on New Year’s Eve, which also just happens to be your birthday and you just got out of jail.

mute helps for optimum comedic effect

the hat really just puts the whole thing over the edge







via different kitchen

Thursday, June 26, 2008

boy 8-bit horror mix















AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Fuck yes. probably my favorite post ever....

Italian horror film scores + Boy 8-Bit = this guy right here! Fulci, Argento, Romero....it doesn't get any better than that, folks.

CLASSIC trailers from some of the flicks in the mix:

Tenebrae



Zombi 2



Demons 2



The House By The Cemetery



City of the Living Dead



Inferno

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

summer robot rap

so I posted about "Put On" right when it came out and I wasn't so crazy about it at the time. I think the true breadth of the track needed time to simmer and burrow itself into my already autotune-rap-filled consciousness. But this is so fucking epic it's like confusing me. There's nothing about this track besides the personnel that would point to it becoming a big hit right now during the summer. It sounds dark and sad, big synths and drama but not in a "Got Money" way. I could see it being a big street track for Jeezy fans who loved that Shawty Redd, Southern gothic sound from Thug Motivation, but add an event appearance from Kanye and you don't know what you're gonna get. As has been mentioned elsewhere on these innernets, Kanye sounds like a dying robot who just found out how to feel feelings and wants to sing all about it. I got to give one thing to the dude, he's never satisfied. Which is good, considering he just came off like the biggest tour ever and basically knows he's the shit in every conceivable way right now. But there's still bitches that owe him sex!!!

Of course, the verse is tinted with a little bit of melancholy, being only one of three major appearances he's made since his mom died. This verse is proof positive that Kanye is a world class rock star, taking a pretty good concept (if not entirely mundane) and elevating it to his vaguely-delusional bizarro universe where Kanye is Jesus and Jay-z combined times a billion. But I have to call bullshit. Dude, I was at your Chi "Glow In The Dark" show and you didn't Put On. Also, this verse is a lesson in overtly exaggerated sentimentality. We know you Kanye. This is the guy that cried after he didn't get a fucking MTV award. I'm not claiming the guy doesn't miss his mother or isn't feeling a little slighted (and for his credit this dissatisfaction is clearly driving him to what looks like some of his best and most interesting work yet), but I am questioning whether he really gives a shit at all about all the people he "put on from the 'Go"..."The top is so lonely" but you forced yourself up there, would never even consider yourself anywhere else.

But besides all that, the love for this song is the most encouraging thing this year, for me. After a endless strings of "Low"s and "Crank Dat"s people are feeling these two guys for their weird, dark, overly dramatic selves. Jeezy is one of my favorites right now, and he's doing something that most other rappers don't have the balls to do, just doing themselves and whatever comes with that. And people are feeling him.

jeezy and kanye last night at BET via nahright


"Put On" is an unexpected summer jam. And with the "Lollipop" Remix and "Got Money" it forms the 2008 Triumvirate of Autotune Masters and a strange network of Weezy, Yeezy and T-Pain dominated bangers and ubiquitous Hot97 summer-in-BK car window blasters. (Props to Maino and T.I. for having the other best songs out right now).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

sincerely yours, southside


















This is the weirdest/coolest mixtape I've ever heard from a deflating mega star rapper like 50 Cent. He managed to win me over (for the time being) with an awesome idea and a pretty good sense of humor and TASTE. If you haven't heard about it yet, this mix, which is given away free at thisis50, consists of a bunch of classic 70s and 80s R&B and dance tracks...not beats but TRACKS. Fif basically throws a verse onto the intro of each one and then lets the rest play out while he plays goofy hypeman and yells about how great he is. This includes the appropriation of "Genius of Love," "I Wanna Be Your Lover" and "Ring My Bell." (!) This last one deserves a big AYO! After the "Rider Pt. 2" video and those Village People-esque navy outfits, 50 and the whole Unit is a little suspect! Free Buck!!

some of the songs used for the mix:









Thursday, June 19, 2008

lexie mountain boys (girls)

these girls are so next level I don't even want to show my internet face anymore in fear of being totally outdone. They're like so beyond any existing cool spectrum for anything: art school hipsters, musicians, crazy people you see walking around the street, crazy people you party with and who do too many drugs. Way past that. There are so many things that are cool about Lexie Mountain Boys that you could ignore their music totally and the list would still be pretty thorough.

1. They're from Baltimore.
2. They're girls.
3. They wear beards on stage.
4. They don't need any gear or even microphones when they play shows.
5. Their music is pretty much just them humming and chanting and chirping and breathing(!) and banging on things.
6. They have a song called "Fried Swash Accidental" and another called "Glasses Are Classy."

Even though they sound like cave-women I imagine them to be really attractive. Not clicking on their myspace because I want to hold on to that, OK? Some of my favorite excerpts from the email interview of theirs that I just coded:

"we got big religion. we are souls growing together and looking out on the world from the mountain we form. we got a big mountain of religion."

"Acapella music in general sounds vaguely religious, it is spare cause the lord don't like no junk cluttering up His praise."

"We are zealous and dedicated and backsliding and contrarian so that makes us a new scary type of ultra-conservative -- so far left we've already fed everyone in the world and so far right we enforced mandatory helmet-wearing and smoking-cessation."

"I tease at the Idea of us being a goober cult."

"Beards protect our delicate faces from the harsh elements, filter large particles from the air we breathe and delight children far and wide. In their furry fettering of our faces, they allow us to do our work freely and unfettered indeed."

"I like peering out of a beard. It is like armor and like fun underwear."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"day 'n' night" crookers remix

so this is that latest internet remix to get love from DJ nerds and work at mainstream Betty and stripe shirts spots, apparently. I wouldn't know. What I do know is that the OG is one of the catchiest, spaciest melodies I've heard in forever, and it's a strange track that I've never really known where to place. It's somewhere between the hispter-hop and blawg haus hype worlds and just some normal pop shit for the radio. Then there's the monster remix from the crazy ass rave-talians that just takes all concepts of a normal dancefloor and smashes them straight into the sides of your brain until you forget what it was supposed to look and sound like. These dudes have a way with the heavy-handed house rhythms and rave energy that basically no onther remixers or even producers at their level can keep up with right now. That's why they're in F55! It's lose-your-shit type of stuff...like the track off their EP "Big Money Comin" is what I imagine life to sound like when they invent the prefect drug tailored for each person individually and parties stop being about who you know or who you are and everyone just automatically gets assigned to their party-mates for the night with whom you have the greatest night ever with every night. This Kid Cudi thing is like that except less rave and more swagger. It's a special track, like a nu-disco banger on hgh, but without the super beefiness or over-the-top samples. A lot of that has to do with the tastefulness of Kid Cudi's original, but I a lot of credit is due to crookers for realizing that a peak time killer doesn't always have to be all whistles and molly and shit














this is what Uzbekistan looks like. So crazy cuz when I was in 2nd grade I used to study maps like a weirdo and it was right around the time that the USSR broke up so all the new maps came out with all these bizarre new countries on them. And I used to love telling people I knew all the capitals of all the -Stan countries like Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan and how I could tell them all apart. Then Borat came out and now everyone knows what Kazakhstan is. But this shit is real and people actually live in places like this.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

caspa & rusko fabriclive

In the crisp sense of self-awareness I'm feeling right now since I got my haircut and shaved and changed my pants I now realize how much blogging there is for me to do. I think I'm just gonna write every time I listen to something I love instead of saving the posts for the stuff that HOLY SHIT I FUCKING LOVE!!! (you see how well that's working for me)...I no longer look like a dissevelled, fuzzy, crazed lunatic with a perma-shadow (for the next day or two on that front) and my pants don't look like they're painted on with the navy blue lead pain that I saw them rolling onto the iron hand rails leading down to the depths of the Montrose station this morning, dripping off my ass cuz they're too big in the waist. The iced coffee I'm drinking and change in sentiment has really amplified the brooding yet oddly exhilirating rush from the dubstep that's quietly playing on the stereo in the fader office right now. I think I'm the only one really feeling it, but that might be because I had a progressive weirdo-house epiphany the other night at Cielo while Francois K spun deep tech-house with some Norweigian dude on Fender Rhodes and other crazy keyboards. It's kind of odd to know that this bizzarre music is like sweeping European dance music circles. Instead of pumping your fist in your striped shirt and shiny black shoes I imagine this being played to (and by) angry British kids in black hoodies and white Air Force 1s, which is so cool. I love that evil-but-social vibe that music can have sometimes. Like I've been listening to a lot of Three 6 Mafia lately and wondering how so many people in Memphis could have adopted that shit as their anthemic city-pride music in the late 90s and early 00s when it was so dark and evil and nihilistic and scary-sounding. I imagine dudes driving around on a sunny, 90-degree spring day (know these two well now) blasting Chapter 2: World Domination like dudes have been bumping the Weezy Yeezy "Lollipop" remix in BK this summer. Did that happen? I don't know, but if it did Memphis would have been like the set of a Rob Zombie movie for five years...

So bobbing your head face-down with your eyes closed to ethereal, spooky samples of old rasta chants and WHUMPing bass is what's hot in some dance scene now, which makes me feel good because I like doing that anyway and if I can do it in a snazzy club with ridiculous sound and a bunch of Stella then what the hell. This Caspa & Rusko mix is like Big Club, Pacha-style dance for people on codeine. Or what a big club in Barcelona would sound like in a Ridley Scott movie. The thought of Fabric filled with people raging to this seems like London is a different universe from New York. But so is a Memphis where the big hometown tunes are about scattering body parts or NYC when all the music was either gay divas or girl group obsessed greasers. There's nothing easy or inviting about this music. Why are British people so quick to adopt and tranfsorm the best, most populist American music and then create indigenous stuff that sounds like a stuttering robot army about to explode and destroy the city. Resident Advisor claims the first track "is still very much a party-rocking, feel-good track." It makes me feel good but I'm a borderline personality with a set of iPhone earbuds and a venti iced coffee who likes Ghostface and the Misfits. The fact that this is "party-rocking," though, is inexplicable and, frankly, pretty awesome. There's a party out there with a room full of a thousand goth/jock hybrids eating amphetamines and trying to get in fights or something...jamming to old reggae melodies and rhythms over swirling, nauseous synths and the most brutal, distrorted bass ever recorded. It's a vision that I will have to hold onto, that's for sure, until I hit up a dubstep rave, which won't happen and would only when the genre has long passed into the cultural wood chipper.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

trill.i.am

Friday, May 09, 2008

the first (fake) issue of MAD NOISE




















that there is part of my final project for my Multimedia Graphic Design class. As I stated before, I discovered that I really don't have a gift for this sort of thing, and luckily I'm relying on other skills to break into the industry (pffffff)...I don't think this is so bad though. I like it, so I'm posting it on my blog. My idea was a magazine for Madison's music scene, but one from my perspective that reflects my taste in music, cuz why not? No one's gonna make the thing anyway, so I might as well put Ian St. Pé's grill on the cover and pretend like Ladyhawk and the Cool Kids are a big deal. Thank god there are other, better mags out there, with designers who know what they're doing. The spread I made for the inside of the pretend magazine is pretty dope, too. Featuring the Greatest Band in America, BLACK LIPS:











these are probably the last time I will ever have to make visual art so don't worry eyeballs everywhere will be safe from now on. click on the spread if you really want to see it. disclosure: I ripped the quote above the photo (which is also stolen) from the badger herald. ALSO: the photo of Ian on the cover is from this guy's flickr account.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

the Cool Kids show at MU

just passing on the good word from my boy Mikey that the Cool Kids will be doing an in-store this Friday at Flow (bka Cook)...WAS CANCELLED

if you don't know you better axe somebody






















been following these guys for a while and find it crazy how they blew up so big without releasing a single proper record. Seems like they're really riding a nice little hype wave as the only hipster-rap collective to really get that buzz, but they're dope and even held they're own on this Kidz in the Hall remix with two of THE BEST RAPPERS ALIVE (maybe THE two best rappers alive?)...

I remember when I heard they were gonna be a big deal after last year's SXSW and how they were supposed to come out on Fool's Gold, which would have been a very good look for both parties. SOmething must have gone down cuz that never happened and they have since switched over to Chocolate Industries and I guess coming out on their own imprint, C.A.K.E. Recordings. I tried to interview them last September but had a hard time getting in touch. Seems like they got new management...

Originally, the blogger talking points on these guys were their throwback aesthetic and general good-guy attitudes. "They wear gold ropes! They sound like 1988! They're from Chicago?!" All I know is the white girls of Madison's headband and scarves-in-springtime scene have endorsed this group for some reason and will be out in full at their show on Friday night, at the Union. "Gold and a Pager" went off big time to my surprise last Friday night at Montmartre at about 1:30 am so they are being felt by non-rap fans around here. I don't know if it's they're look - which is like Pharrell mixed with Flight of the Conchordes - or their non-threatening rhymes about bmx bikes, dressing well, being good on the mic, rap's golden years and now, apparently, baked goods. Also, they're mad photogenic:





Monday, May 05, 2008

On "Put On"

the latest addition to the autotune revolution in popular music, Young Jeezy ft. Kanye West "Put On"

an excerpt from a facebook message conversation:

but yeah I like "put on" but if kanye and jeezy are gonna do a big event single where kanye experiments with vocal effects it totally should have been about somehting other than repping your city...I mean just a normal street song or maybe if ye had jsut rapped it would be cool but if theyre gonna do this it should be about somethin else...especially since jeezy is like the new ll cool j

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

albums from 2008 that I love: Black Mountain
















Ahhhhhhhhh. This record is like jumping into a big comfy time machine. It feels very nostalgic to me, but nostalgic for a time that was more than a decade before my own birth. I grew up on real nerdy, guitar-dork classic rock like Zeppelin and Floyd and Sabbath, stuff that is decidedly uncool as checkpoints for new indie rock. Sometimes this sound comes back in, and in recent memory bands like Wolfmother, Mars Volta, Muse, have mined the riffs and pomp of the Gods of dinosaur rock, to pretty uncool results. I normally try not to revisit this era of my musical taste, it being second only to my extensive foray into jam band fandom on the embarrassment scale. Black Mountain totally love Blue Cheer and Deep Purple (I'm guessing) and kind of sound like "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." But this is really good! And everyone loves it. Strange how they managed to keep some of the lame stuff from 70s stadium/prog/psych rock and still keep it a cool indie rock album form 2008 - a pretty hard thing to do no matter what type of influences you're using. I mean, their web site is called BlackMountainArmy.com!!!

I think what keeps the album fresh and easy to embrace is that the band doesn't simply rely on the Sabbath riffs for 80 minutes straight. There are plenty, but they're balanced out by beautifully restrained organs or passages of soft acoustic guitars and flutes or something like that. There's an equal emphasis on psychedelia as there is on brute force riffage. Songs like "Tyrants" switch from stompy prog to atmospheric psych at the drop of a hat, which helps to keep the band from sounding too stuck in one mode or the other. Even when they are getting pretty or trippy the Rick Wakeman synths and monster guitars aren't too far behind. A perfect example is "Wucan," maybe my favorite track. The shared vocals really save some of the songs from their stupid lyrics. "You've got to change your evil ways"!?!? Amber Webber's voice is incredible and so is the dude's. This album is totally badass in ways that albums really haven't been in a while; unabashedly rocking out in some parts but keeping it psychedelic and kind of druggy at the same time, not caring about "hip" influences, silly lyrics, alternating scary/beautiful parts, long epic tracks. It seems kind of anachronistic, but there is a weird thing going on in Vancouver with a bunch of dudes with beards who are in awesome rock bands. Big synths, kraut-ish grooves, Sabbath riffs aren't exactly ground-breaking, but I can't think of many indie rock records that are as unpretentious and listenable.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

new GTA looks crazy



I wouldn't think that I'd be excited about a video game ever again, but this looks really awesome. The only way I could really care enough to sit down for more than 20 minutes and do something like that would be if the game is so ridiculous and offensive that it's actually like a subversive act just playing it. This looks interesting. Some nutbar conservative attorney in Florida (obv.) is demanding that Take Two be indicted and claims that the game is as big of threat to our children as Polio. Yeah. Sign me up (for the game, not Polio).

According to the article, the video above "strips the game of all context and merely shows scenes of sexual content and violence, one after the other...and since the acts are shown one after the other, the game can be portrayed as a nonstop sexual experience." it's nsfw obviously

I also thought this was funny: via wikipedia
"Grand Theft Auto IV takes place in a redesigned Liberty City consisting of four boroughs, based on four of the boroughs of New York City. Broker is the equivalent of Brooklyn, Queens is Dukes, the Bronx is Bohan and Manhattan is Algonquin. Adjacent to the city is the independent state of Alderney based on New Jersey and named after the Channel Island of the same name. A Staten Island-esque area is not featured in the game as Rockstar Games believes that game play in such an area would not be amusing."

so who's apartment am I hitting up tomorrow for some gangster sex and violence gaming???

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

new no age











I've been anticipating the new album from this band since I heard the news that they signed to Sub Pop. Their first LP, Weirdo Rippers, is one of my absolute favorite albums of the decade. I've listened to it a million times and they've become one of my favorite bands. I kinda wish every band sounded more like them: incredible melodies, NOISE, thrashing guitar and drums, honest and simple lyrics that are either sort of hummed and barely audible or shouted/barked.

Needless to say, I was kinda nervous about Nouns. A band like this is a fragile thing, and while they clearly had a ton of potential and room to grow there was also the enormous possibility of a let-down. Everything about the band was so perfect; a series of great EP's released on tiny indies, a small following, a scene. I was equally scared that they would come out with a clunker and hesitant to even think about the album's hype. Well, it leaked and I downloaded it.

After my first few listens I was prepared to be officially disappointed. Nothing on it was as immediate as "Everybody's Down" or "Every Artist Needs A Tragedy." They also seemed to have changed their sound a little bit to a cleaner, more straight-ahead punk band sound. There weren't as many blissful, static-y moments like "Neck Escaper." But after a few more listens I've realized that this album is GENIUS. The new sound isn't as drastic as I thought. It's subtle, yes, but it's just as powerful as before, it's just more focused. Here, when they do noise, they do it for a full two minutes. When they write a song, they play it. When they thrash, they thrash and then move on to the next one. But when these sounds come together the band is at their most brilliant and sublime. On their early songs they would sometimes juxtapose two of these sounds together on one track, but there are moments on Nouns that get closer to that perfect fusion of noise and volume and power and melody. I'm really relieved and just happy that I have a new album to dissect and listen to over and over for the next few months. Thank you dean and randy

you should pre-order it

and also check out their blog
and go see them

Thursday, April 17, 2008

albums from 2008 that I love: Cut Copy




















This one definitely took me by surprise. Back in 2004 Cut Copy's debut seemed like an 80s pastiche album from some fruity Australian guys who loved neon and synthesizers. While it may have been slightly ahead of the curve, it feels very much part of the whole new-rave thing that is still pretty much dominating indie and dance music. So it has been easy to lump them in with a bunch of other bands, many of whom are from Australia or even on their label Modular. Maybe I wasn't paying attention or maybe it's a new development, but at some point this band became really creative and ambitious, incorporating sounds and approaching territory that is pretty foreign to all those other bands in the hypem/remix/bloghouse continuum. They also got way, WAY better.

This inventiveness is apparent right off the bat with the opening "Feel The Love," starting with oddly hummed vocals and synth flourishes over strummed acoustic guitars. Right away it sounds slightly more psychedelic, more unabashedly joyful than what is expected of a band like this, and it's clear that it belongs to some other sphere of influence, with a melody too perfect and so many bubbling elements that it sounds like it has nothing to do with everything that's going on right now. "Feel the Love" is pretty enough to make me wonder if the band had suddenly gone hippie until the end finally brings in the beat. That's what everyone is waiting for anyway these days. But what makes this album stand out is the sticky sound that surrounds each element of the songs, not to mention the incredible melodies. Songs like "Out There On The Ice" and "Lights and Music" sound so genuinely New Wave that it's easy to ignore the fact that these guys made an album full of danceable, four-on-the-floor house-rock tracks that work much more strongly as an LP, that is as a great album.

One of the most engaging features of the album is the feeling of an ebb and flow that occurs throughout it. Songs like "Lights and Music," which is the new single and is a pretty direct dancefloor track, have these incredibly sublime breakdowns in them where the band lets the ever-present synths soar or bounce or just wash over you. The whole album is padded with a distorted wash of noise that comes and goes, sometimes giving way to powerful beats or serene breakdowns or odd samples. There are even several short, ambient instrumental tracks that act in a similar way, bridging moments of bliss with fuzzy atmospherics or pounding drums. They really don't shy away from the noise, either. "So Haunted," which was the first track to leak, alternates between pretty, lilting choruses and clanging post-punk guitar before giving way to a breakdown that sounds like it was taken straight off a German or French electro-house record. Seriously. And then there's "Far Away," which has got to be one of thee best songs this year. I don't really feel like saying much about it because it speaks for itself, but I would like to add that the breakdown on this one is one of my favorite moments on any recent album. That sample thrown in the middle of the song blows my mind, too.

In a million years I never would have expected this album. Somehow, Cut Copy became a truly original art rock band. Instead of straight ripping from their influences they built an homage to many of them. Everything comes down to influences these days, because it's so hard to sound new in an environment in which New Order and Daft Punk have as much influence as Prince and Brian Wilson. In Ghost Colours uses its influences perfectly, letting them in but allowing them to pass by freely without weighing the music down. This will hold up as a great album and will be hard to beat for my album of the year.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

mixtape monster

YES!















I love mixtapes like these that collect all of a rapper's recent guest spots and whatnot when they're in between albums. One of my favorite mixtapes from the past year was very similar to this, Young Dro's Purp By The Pound. Jeezy is having something of a renaissance right now, all of a sudden turning into an R&B love machine. His verse on "Love In This Club" is great because everyone can rap along to those first few lines ("Seshully, emoshunlly!") but it's a laughably simple and kind of stupid verse. Although I think he may have topped that one with his verse on this new Mariah track "Side Effects" which will probably be on her new album (EDIT: I'm retarded, it's already out). The verse is notable if only for its opening line, in which Mr. 17.5 exclaims that either he or the subject of his sexually seductive verse is "magnifical or should I say magnificent?" Amazing. There's also a track with The-Dream that I had never heard that is pretty awesome, but that's expected since it is The-Dream. I strangely haven't heard anything about a new Jeezy album but he's put out a bunch of good guest spots and remixes in the past year or so, and the remix of "Superstar" with T.I. has added to my slowly reversing opinion on Lupe (used to hate him, coming around...) Also, this mix has me checking for Slick Pulla, which is cool I guess. There's a track on here called "Fuck The Other Side" that I'm definitely feeling.

That Jeezy cover is just TOO ILL though! I woke up to great news (news? whatever) and this is just hitting the spot. I wish I could have done Rap Mixtape Cover Art as the subject of my Multimedia Graphic Design 15-page research paper because I think it's one of my favorite media for graphics in the world right now. Some of my favorites that are out right now:













Tuesday, April 15, 2008

ryan leslie "diamond girl"



I can't decide on this song. I guess I like it. Sometimes synths are just not that great, too much of a good thing maybe. I also think he's kinda forgettable, especially on the rap at the end...I'll still take The-Dream or even "Sexy Can I" over this.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

a review of the Dipset (12)










It's been a while since the Dips have been relevant, and they've sort of become uncool. I have the feeling there are a lot of people out there who are pretending they weren't into this in 2004-05. But they were. And it's still great stuff, no matter how many internet rap cycles away we are. The height of the movement is long gone, but I'd like to just remind you of how dope it really was to see these crazy dudes giving NY rap some excitement and originality for the first time in so long. I mean, who's ever gonna touch the Dips on the swagger levels alone? Didn't they birth that whole thing anyway? I think it's almost a good thing that they imploded so they never got too crappy while they were still an official unified group. Although Killa Season flopped and the two More Than Music comps were pretty forgettable (too many shitty second tier dudes), they went out the same way they came in: quick and confusing. I think it's just important to remember that they created some of the weirdest music of the decade.

This post is to commemorate the greatest moments in Dipset audio/video history



Cam'ron "Hey Ma"
The first real Diplomats moment, the coming out party. Not much to say about this. They're like a bunch of comedians in this one. The dance is amazing, of course.



Diplomats "Bout It Bout It...Part III"
Crazy old video from the first Diplomats album. A relic of the throwback jersey era, incredible outfits with matching hats and bandanas all around. Looks like they got all of Harlem to come out for this. A remake of an old Master P and TRU track, with the Ice Cream Man in the video. Classic and grimey as hell.



Juelz Santana "Dipset (Santana's Town)
Juelz first real solo smash. Not a real hit but a Dipset classic nonetheless. Great pink moment in the beginning with Cam in the car, bandanas around the neck and wrist. This song is too ill, a perfect example of the Dipset sound: hammering Trackmasters beat, chanting chorus, stuttering verses with a lot of words that rhyme with themselves.



Diplomats "S.A.N.T.A.N.A."
God I love this one. IM BAAAAACK...The high pitched little kid sample is so recognizable and weird and just out there. The whole thing sounds like it was made by some aliens or something, especially the beat. The furs in the video, the whole NYC setting, the driving...This was Dipset 2.0 at its best. (sorry about the AOL videos, it's impossible to find this one on YouTube)



Jim Jones "Crunk Muzik"
This shit is just frightening. Amazing track, one of the hardest ones they ever made. The quintessential Juelz verse, a hillarious "Tuttie frutti" Cam verse and a sick hook. This should have been a bigger hit... The video is really dope, too, probably my favorite. Great Warriorz theme with Sizzurp bottles.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

albums from 2008 that I love: Atlas Sound




















OK, here's the first in a series of posts that I've been meaning to start. It shouldn't be that hard because there really aren't many albums coming out that I like enough to even bother with, but so far Atlas Sound has been my favorite album of the year. I never thought I would like Bradford's solo album as much as I love last year's incredible LP/EP output from his main band Deerhunter. I usually don't like sad-sack music that much and I'm really not into all the new indie that comes out every week and takes the campus by storm (although I'm thinking about going to see Blitzen Trapper and Fleet Foxes tonight and they're both pretty damn indie and the latter is pretty sad-sounding). But something about Bradford Cox has got me hooked on his music. He has a schtick, that's for sure: high-pitched, aching, overdubbed vocals over swelling, gauze-packed shoegaze drones. I always go for sound and style first and content/lyrics/whatever well after the fact, so maybe that's why I love the warm, fuzzy, electric pillow-ness of the music, because if I was paying attention to the lyrics more I would probably want to kill myself.

Bradford is known to have a thing for pills, and I know that the feeling of being on anti-depressants and/or anti-anxiety medication has influenced his sound a lot. Whether or not this has had some sort of druggie subconscious attraction for me is unimportant really, because even if I don't enjoy hearing a dude basically nail my own fucked up anxiety-ridden thoughts with every lyric, I KNOW I love to soak in the sonic equivalent of it. It's like if a violent, sociopathic necrophiliac sat around listening to Cannibal Corpse everyday for the lyrics, it probably wouldn't help him curb his problems. I prefer that I can't understand what he's saying sometimes because I'm afraid I'll go off the deep end if I paid attention too hard. It strikes a great balance between being about what I feel and sounding like how I feel, which is way more important to me. Sure, sometimes I feel like "Chokes me 'til I'm dead / There are places in my head / That I could never conquer"... But I'd rather just hear guitars and distant voices and gently tapped keyboards wash over me and try not to think about it while I focus on other stuff.

The sonic effect of the music is what grabs me. This album has served as a fuzzy counterpart to all the other stuff I've listened to this year, which has been all pounding bass, sharp drums and upfront vocals. Even though it's a complete emotional detachment, which is the theme of his writing and his sound, this is the only type of thing I can listen to for an emotional resonance without wanting to throw up. He never gets heavy-handed, always staying within the range of the repeating noises or echoing whispers that flow throughout the space of each song. Even when he says "I'm trying to make friends but I'm always on guard," you can barely tell it's there. If it weren't for the beautiful and comforting setting he creates for each song then the impact wouldn't be half as strong. Even the instrumentals, such as "Ready Set Glow," have as strong of a cathartic coziness as a song like "Quarantined," which, in addition to being one of my favorite songs on the album, has arguably the most apparent meaning of any of the songs here. I can't decide if I have found such a close resonance with his music because I often feel so much of what he sings about or if it is because the sounds he creates have filled some empty space in my listening with the warm, static-y goodness that it needed. Or could one not exist without the other?