Regardless of how you feel about Odd Future, New York Times has an excellent article on the return of Thebe Kgositsile, aka, Earl Sweatshirt, who was sent by his mother to Coral Reef Academy, a therapeutic retreat for at-risk boys in Vaitele, outside of the Samoan capital of Apia shortly before the group's rapid rise to fame and controversy. Earl, considered by many to be the most talented rapper of the lot, has recently returned from what is tantamount to exile in the age of the internet, and it seems he underwent some changes:
As part of the Coral Reef curriculum he also performed community service, spending time working at Samoa Victim Support Group, a center for survivors of sexual abuse, including children.
“That was a pivotal moment,” he said one afternoon at Bristol Farms, a supermarket near his manager’s office. One of the things Earl Sweatshirt had been prized for as a rapper was his extreme imagery, bordering on vile. “You can detach imagery from words,” he said, adding that he “never actually pictured” the things he rapped about. (“Lyrics About Rape, Coke, And Couches Will Be Blaring In Your Ears,” was how “Earl,” the album, was advertised on Odd Future’s Tumblr when it was released in March 2010.)
The article goes on to vaguely illustrate the conflicts between Odd Future and Earl's mother, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and how Earl is now negotiating his newfound perspective and his newfound fame and wealth, most of which he's been absent from until now.
[Earl] arrived in Samoa resentful. “That’s why I was gone for so long,” he said, discussing the stages of acceptance most of the participants in the program go through: resistance, false commitment, then finally, actual growth. “When the kids that got there at the same time as me were all leaving, it was like, damn,” he said. “There’s such a clear difference between someone who’s faking it and someone who’s like, ‘O.K., maybe I don’t hate my mom.’ ”
I’ve known that Dave Mustaine was my biological father ever since last year when I found my mother’s trunk full of Metallica/Megadeth paraphernalia hidden deep within a closet. It took one look at that ridiculous mane of poofy ginger-blonde hair and smirking face to realize that this smug hesher posing with a flying V guitar, this male doppelganger, was undoubtedly my father. I was born in LA in 1983, the year that he was kicked out of the #1 metal band in the world, Metallica, and before he started the #2 metal band, Megadeth. My independent single mother sighed when I confronted her with the truth; she was ashamed of the groupie cling-on status of her past, particularly with this famed hesher fuckup. She confessed the truth and conceded to set up a meeting just a few weeks ago before Megadeth left for their next tour.
by Erin Resso
on Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 11:58 AM
...allow me to recommend Montreal producer CFCF's upcoming Exercises EP. These sonic explorations are understated and meditative, yet contain an uplifting element that is just enough to save you from the OMG-I-just-saw-my-favorite-band-in-the-world-now-what? blues.
So, according to ConAgra, March 6 is National Frozen Food Day. That's right, March 6 is the day you can now spend remember all those frozen dinners that threw themselves into a microwave for you. Sure, they're portion controlled, but you just eat two at a time. Frozen food is big business these days:
This is one of the reasons why frozen food is up 22% or $10 billion annually (Packaged Facts, 2006-2010) and is projected to be a $70 billion category by 2015.
That's hella chicken nuggets people! Anyway, as Owl City says in the offending song (placed after the jump), "Here's your one chance/To make a difference." The only way you can help the hungry now is to buy frozen dinners from your ConAgra Frozen Food Overlords™ and then punch the 8-digit purchase code into their widget. According to the Daily Swarm, Owl City's song "Here's Hope" is the theme song for the whole thing. All of which reminds me, I haven't had my daily intake of refined foods yet. I'm off to QFC for a Marie Calendar® Turkey Pot Pie! See you on the toilet.
The poet/writer/actor/musician was born on February 29 in 1972, which means he gets one birthday for every four we non-Leap Year birthday folks get. Saul Williams: Enjoy it! Everyone else: Enjoy Saul Williams (as produced by Rick Rubin).
Collapse Board's Bianca Valentino has a great interview with Kathleen Hanna. It covers how she got her start in music*, and what she's up to both musically (the Julie Ruin) and in general, and fairly extensively discusses her politics and the state of being a woman in rock today. If you need something important to ruminate on this Friday morning (I did), this is a great place to start. Here's an excerpt:
I recently did an interview with Kate Nash, she does an After School Rock N’ Roll for Girls program kind of like Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls in the US. She told me she had interviewed the girls in the program at the beginning of it and it broke her heart that a lot of them said they were reluctant to pursue music because they thought you had to be pretty and they felt they weren’t pretty enough.
KH: Wow! I mean it’s a whole different world now. We have American Idol and that new ‘the whole package’ idea where it’s like you have to be a model first and a singer second. I think there’s a whole other way to keep women from playing music, it’s to say that you have to look a certain way. The thing is there is always some kind of thing!
Getting back to the Babes In Toyland show, people were saying that they are “too pretty” and if Kat was someone that people considered by traditional standards to be unattractive people would have been saying they’re “too ugly”. It doesn’t matter what you do, if you’re not a straight white male you’re going to get more harshly criticised than other people so you might as well just do whatever the fuck you want. It really is true that they are always going to find fault but yes, it is totally depressing. It’s depressing to be an older lady, who is doing music and is feeling like, is anybody going to want to listen to my music because I’m not a model that has a contract with an agency, who also happens to make music.
If this seems invasive, remember that our subject co-starred in a television series in which all she did was stumble around and yell at people.
Whitney Houston is tragically dead, and I'm not here to guess at what killed her (drink/drugs/drowning/combo platter?) I'm here to guess at what drove her toward the things that killed her, and if this seems invasive and of dubious morality, remember that our subject co-starred in a television series in which all she did was stumble around and yell at people. (Two wrongs don't make a right, but it's a good start.)
Whitney Houston Destruction Myth #1: She lived her life as a deeply religious closeted lesbian. Rumors about Houston and her ever-present best friend Robyn Crawford date back to the earliest '90s, and proponents of this myth posit a timeline that has Houston seeking to squash the rumors that were torturing her mother and jeopardizing her career by marrying Bobby Brown in 1992. Mythmakers contend that the mindfucking heartbreak of leaving the love of her life for a sham marriage inspired Whitney to become a serious user of the things that would eventually lead to her death.
Whitney Houston Destruction Myth #2: She was a deeply religious African-American woman who allowed herself to be shaped into the the peppy pop doll the world fell in love with via "How Will I Know?" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." After years spent playing this "Black Barbie" role, Houston was fed up with "the burden of perfection" and ready to rebel, and had a vast fortune with which to fuel her rebellion. This myth basically casts the whole second half of Houston's life, from her marriage to Bobby Brown on, as one long (perhaps subconscious) fuck you to anyone who bought the Whitney Houston Doll image of the '80s.
Whitney Houston Destruction Myth #3: Like everyone else on earth, Whitney Houston was complicated. Also, partying is fun, Whitney Houston liked to party, and she had the means to make it a second career.
To conclude this cavalcade of wrongness, a poll.
Which Whitney Houston Destruction Myth seems to contain the most truth as you see it?
This unit-moving controversy has now escalated to dizzying heights. Chris Brown and Rihanna are collaborating on music again. Odd Future and Chris Brown + Rihanna is all anyone can talk about on the internet, and this blog post is making it worse. And as sick as you might get of hearing about this stuff, as someone pointed out somewhere, at least it's all at the forefront of debate now, which I feel like is a good thing, although I think a billion comments could be made on the internet and still everyone will just think what they already thought anyway. I'm just a hopeless fatalist though.
Who would you rather jettison into outer space at this point?
I hate this question not because I don't want to be asked, but because I can never answer it. For some reason, my brain just locks up (this happens more than I care to admit), and I have to take a minute until I can think of something. This also happens when I walk into a record store. Nine times out of 10, I'll forget what I went in for unless it's written down. This is just the way my brain works, and yes, I've been diagnosed with major ADD, so fuck you! Anyway, this is what I can't stop listening to today:
The whole album is polling me out of a recent funk. Just listen to it! It keeps reminding me of the Buzzcocks.I do not know why. Ceremony's Zoo, drops March 6, and they play at the Vera Project Saturday, April 7.
Country music superstar Troyal Garth Brooks was born on this day in 1962. At last tally in October 2011, Brooks had sold 68,561,000 records. In the year 2000, Brooks attempted to donate his liver to country music singer Chris LeDoux, but the liver was incompatible and LeDoux tragically died.
"The ingredients in Necco Wafers are sugar, corn syrup, gelatin (an animal by-product), gums, colorings, and flavorings."
Brooks released an LP in 1995 called Fresh Horses and another the year before entitled In Pieces.
Garth Brooks is married to Trisha Yearwood, who has been married three times. In August 2008, Yearwood was on a flight from Massachusetts to Oklahoma, during the flight one of the windows cracked at 30,000 feet. The plane made an emergency landing in Baltimore, Maryland. John Waters is a filmmaker from Baltimore, Maryland who released a film called Female Trouble in 1974.
In 1999, Garth Brooks created a musical alter ego named Chris Gaines, an outlet for Brooks' alternative rock music. A film called The Lamb based around the Gaines character was developed by Paramount Pictures but was shelved because of lack of interest. Garth Brooks married his college sweetheart named Sandy Mahl in 1986. They divorced on December 17, 2001.
An anagram for Garth Brooks is STARK BRO HOG. Happy birthday, Garth Brooks!
"If You Need Another Reason Not to Watch the Grammys: How about because Chris Brownwill be performing three years after he beat up Rihanna en route to the awards show."
SERIOUSLY, WORLD? Are you for reals? Sometimes you disappoint me so hard.
Rihanna also will perform at the show. She's nominated for four awards, including the top prize—album of the year—for her platinum effort Loud.
Among the phrases that make me lose my shit, "Chris Brown comeback" ranks up there very, very high. And Rihanna continues to impress and amaze me by making hot songs about rough sex and controversially rapist-murdering videos and basically telling anyone who expects her to act a certain way just because she was a victim of domestic violence to fuck right off, please.
I don't really have an that much of an opinion on Lana del Rey, other than that the below video is pretty funny, and that this NYTimes piece, which is more about the arc of stardom in the internet age than it is about Lana Del Rey, is a good read:
It's already difficult to remember Lana Del Rey, but let’s try. She was a meme of 2011, a singer who emerged seemingly fully formed from the ether who was in short order revealed to be, get this, a singer who was not always fully formed. That moll with the dangerous tastes in men and pastimes and the puffed-out lips and hair? That songwriter who used words like “velvet” and “exotic” in the tiki-lounge way of overemphasizing noir culture? Yep, it was a pose, cut from existing, densely patterned cloth. Just like all the other poses. And all the other cloths.
Take a minute to unload whatever’s been bringing you down. Big or small, doesn’t matter. Sometimes it just helps to get it out there and know someone heard it.
Take a minute to read about someone else’s issues. Then choose a song to help get them through the pain. We'll send it along to them.
Here is the FAQ for the site. The creator, a freelance web developer named Robyn, calls it an art project.
I dunno. I kind of feel like when the "what music should I listen to for my x and y type of emotional pain" feeling hits, you just ask your friends. That's what they're for! And also the Top 25 song list is not very encouraging. But on the other hand, hot damn. This could get seriously addictive, right? Trying to perfectly assuage a complete stranger's pain with music? Has anyone tried it?
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 9:50 AM
While listening to Jandek’s Six and Six CD this morning, I looked into the mirror to examine how much gray was in my stubble (I like to get daily updates) as the track "Delinquent Words" was playing. Exactly when I peered at my salt-and-pepper beard, Jandek intoned, “Age makes no difference.” Whoa, duly noted.
In the first corner, Elvis Presley, born January 8, 1935, who is often regarded as the King of Rock 'n' Roll for being white and taking a bunch of African American tunes to screaming white women all over network television, shaking his hips all the way into bigtime controversy (and thereby setting a blueprint for stardom that pop artists follow to this day). Then he died at the age of 42 partly because he took too many pills all the time. His first big hit:
In the second corner, David Bowie, born David Robert Jones on January 8, 1947, made a name for himself with the psychedelic rock classic "Space Oddity," then recreated himself as glam/space rock with the Ziggy Stardust persona, then again recreated himself as the Thin White Duke, then basically recreated himself forever and stayed excellent (Except for that Glass Spider tour).
The Awl has collected from "43 music writers, editors, critics and assorted Awl music lovers... the most played songs in their digital-music libraries, as counted on iTunes or Spotify accounts." For example:
Amanda Dobbins, New York Magazine “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, 1748 plays
Caryn Ganz, Spin "’Till the World Ends" by Britney Spears, 58 plays
Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker “Katy On A Mission” by Katy B/“Tangerine” by Led Zeppelin, play count n/a
That "n/a" is a cop out, SFJ! And sorry to hear about your breakup, Amanda (there can be no other reason to listen to a single Adele song 1,748 times, right?).
I wish I had one to share, but I don't have my home computer here to check. I only remember one time years ago, when a coworker borrowed my computer and discovered while browsing my iTunes that Kelis's "Milkshake" was my most played song. I didn't even know the thing was keeping track. Dang you, technology!
MUSICIANS Making regrettable decisions since the beginning of music.
Here's a favorite:
Shenandoah Davis (Shenandoah Davis): I regret agreeing to stay in a place called “Shit Mansion” in Buffalo, New York. It smelled like cat pee, human pee, cigarettes, and decomposed food. I also regret sitting through a performance in Provo, Utah, where a young singer-songwriter mourned the successes of Barack Obama. It was called “Black Butterfly” and was met with violent applause. Ick.
I was pointed in the direction of this video today after commenting that Salt-N-Pepa's Very Necessary was my Monday morning walk to work music. And what great Monday morning music it makes. Here's Spinderella's edition of "What's in My Bag?" from Amoeba Records. (Tiny spoilers: (1) The first one is "My Sharona"; (2) she does have some S&P records in there; (3) doesn't she look abso-fucking-lutely amazing??!)