21 April 2006
FALL OUT BOY VS. KILLERS
Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz apparently asked Killers singer Brandon Flowers out to dinner, in an attempt to end a longstanding feud between the two bands. "I'd just like to make peace," Wentz told MTV. "I'd like to go out to dinner with Brandon, because I think he'd be an interesting dude to eat with. But I don't think he would go out to dinner with me. We'll go to Nobu or something like that. I'll get the rock shrimp, some California rolls, perhaps a little spicy tuna."
Nobu, early evening
Pete Wentz: Hey let's split an order of rock shrimp for appetizers, what do you think?
Brandon Flowers: I'm ordering the California rolls for myself.
Pete Wentz: Well OK! I'll order the rock shrimp for myself. Ha.
Brandon Flowers: ...
Pete Wentz: Ha, I'm ordering rock, and you're ordering rolls. Look at us. Rock and rolls. Hilarious.
Brandon Flowers: You're ordering rock shrimp.
Pete Wentz: Right, I'm just saying we ordered rock shrimp and rolls. And we're both in rock and roll bands. It's just too funny.
Brandon Flowers: I ordered California rolls.
Pete Wentz: Know what would be fun? If we ordered some sake.
Brandon Flowers: ...
Pete Wentz: Oh come on! It's so good.
Brandon Flowers: Only if it's pasteurized.
Pete Wentz: Good idea. How about a caraffe of So..ko...joe? Is that how I say that? God I wish I knew a language. Do you know languages?
Brandon Flowers: Is it pasteurized?
Pete Wentz: Don't take this the wrong way, but I really didn't think you were gonna go for this.
Brandon Flowers: What?
Pete Wentz: Like, dinner. With me. Your arch enemy. It's pronounced "ark" right? I always forget. But I know it means 'big'. Fucking words man.
Brandon Flowers: The food was OK.
Pete Wentz: But now we're all cool. I'm so happy we did this. Soo happy.
Brandon Flowers: I don't have any cash or credit cards on me.
Pete Wentz: That's OK, I got this one, you get the next, OK?
Brandon Flowers: I lost my checkbook.
20 April 2006
LENNY KRAVITZ CLOGS RIFF MARKET'S TOILET
APRIL 19--For the third year running, Lenny Kravitz has been sued over a toilet that overflowed in the rock star's Manhattan penthouse in mid-2004. As with two prior lawsuits, Kravitz has just been named in a New York State Supreme Court complaint charging him with negligence in connection with the August 2004 toilet incident.
Negligence? Let's give Kravitz credit: He was probably trying to do something pretty awesome with that toilet. Here are a few theories floating around:
- Lenny Kravitz just signed the Absolut Kravitz deal and decides he wants to celebrate. "I want to fly away," he says. He sits down on the toilet and flushes it 500 times.
- Lenny Kravitz wants to throw an Absolut Hell party. He doesn't want to dress as the devil but is a good sport about it. To simulate the flames, Lenny Kravitz covers his floor in gasoline, plays the guitar solo from "Getaway" five times, then lights the floor on fire by playing the drum parts from "Getaway." His apartment is now completely in flames. In the bathroom: the chick drummer from the "Are You Gonna Go My Way" video, shitting.
- Lenny Kravitz is hanging out with the chick drummer from the "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" video. She tells him she wants to go his way. Lenny Kravitz tells her to go into the bathroom and wait for him--he wants to put something special on for her. She is so excited she flushes the toilet 450 times.
- Lenny Kravitz wants to change his apartment plumbing from regular water to Kravitz water, which is just Absolut Kravitz vodka he's stolen from the Absolut Kravitz vodka factory. Because Kravitz doesn't get along well with the building super, he decides to take matters into his own hands. First Lenny Kravitz drinks twenty bottles of Absolut Kravitz vodka; his body is now flushed with the namesake liquid. Then Lenny Kravitz goes to the bathroom. He plans to pee out Absolut Kravitz in the small window of time between after you flush a toilet but before the bowl is refilled. "This is how Kravitz water is made," says Kravitz. Nobody is listening.
19 April 2006
BLOOD THIRSTY RIFFS
TV on the Radio
Holy shit, so this is what all the indies who took swingdance lessons ten years ago are listening to now. "This is a jumping song," Tunde introduced one song. "Yeah, it's a jump jive and wail song," I added in my head, hilariously. My friend Matt agreed. "It's an important jump." Apparently both of us have dropped several thousand dollars on swing lessons.
Still can't tell if the Beatles-be-gone rock revisionism at play here has teeth beyond gosh gees and holy molars, but I forgot how much I like these guys. Especially that first EP, I remember just being so impressed at how fearless these guys were. They did Touch & Go, so violently white and kill rock's blackness a label, but they fucked with blues scales and gospel changes almost exclusively, and I felt like they were getting away with something, like when my dad and I would watch Joe Jackson Live in Tokyo on Christmas eve while my mom furiously wrapped the presents, or the existence of Huey Lewis and the News in general.
There's still a bit of 'good singer=bad band, bad singer=good band' mangled logic leftover from decades of punk/DIY misinterpretation too, so to me Tunde singing as well as he does takes some manner of balls. Maybe that only makes sense to us talented singers? Lots of times a TS will be at a friend's birthday party, and everybody knows he's a TS, and when "Happy Birthday" comes around the TS will intentionally sing poorly so as not to seem like he's hamming it up on somebody else's big day. Tyondai, in contrast, etc.
Yet--and this is the fucked-up thing about TV on the Radio for me, beyond just not knowing the names of tunes last night--I can never remember a lick past that first EP. I know I enjoyed listening to Desperate Youth, thought it was pretty, but never really wanted to figure out why. I don't think a single sound this band's made really bothers me. Last night the guitars sounded really clangy hollow, very early Sonic Youth in spots too, and that's gravy. So maybe I don't remember hooks because the verses have too many words? Maybe the parts are too subservient to Tunde's pipes, no tug or pull kind of thing? Maybe I just haven't listened to the record enough? For instance, I love the shit out of Mobb Deep's "Pearly Gates" (featuring 50 Cent), but it took me at least three listens to figure out that 50 said "I'm special with the flow" and not "I'm special with the hoe."
So the catchiness question got to me a bit, why we value it, why it's become some sort of pop crit gold standard when most of us can't remember to do our laundry let alone the hook X from song Y by band Z, and fucking so on. We all know the answer but let's not name names. Granted it's not like TVOTR hasn't written some big catchy tunes--"Satellite" remains monster, so too "Ambulance" and a new song called "Dirty Little Whirlwind" could keep this band on Interscope if it gets the radio spins it deserves--but as I write this and listen to both the first EP and LP I like those songs even more than two hours ago. Imagine this: I picked up Young Liars because I thought "Young Liars" was a Liars tribute band, and "TV on the Radio" was a covers collection. I was really disappointed at first--no open hi-hat? But look where we are now.
18 April 2006
Here's something I've wanted to do since I heard about mydeathspace.com, the site that tracks down the myspace.com profiles of the recently deceased: find the bands and rappers who are killing our children.
I finally brought myself to do it this morning, and you won't believe what I found. Granted I only made it through the first two pages of mydeathspace.com before one of the pages mysteriously started playing "Don't Look Back in Anger" and I took the shit in my pants as an omen, but here's what I got for you:
- Several casualties listened to "hip hop and underground rap" and "mostly rap and hip hop" exclusively. But other people--living people--also listen to rap music. So what's the big deal with hip-hop? Rap and hip-hop heads, I think you know what I'm getting at here.
- One girl took one of those "What rock band are you?" quizzes and posted the result: Slipknot. For kicks I headed over to the lead singer of Slipknot's myspace page; you'll notice he hasn't taken the quiz yet, or at least hasn't posted the results. But this doesn't change the fact that one of them is dead.
- I have a good idea which band got this kid: Music everything starting from... Britney Spears. Madonna. SublimE. Stoked. SPADE. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Maroon 5. Nirvana. Modest Mouse. Jack Johnson. Green Day. Postal Service. Bob Marely.The Clash. The Killers. The Cure. Cyndi Lauper. Foo Fighters.The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.Pearl jam.Pink floyd.Jimmy Eat World.The Clash.The Ramones.The Strokes.The Cure.LIT.The Used.311.Greenday.Metallica ACDC. Beatles.Eagles.Guns n Roses.Franz Ferdinand.Van Halen.
- Same here: Music is a Major part of my life. Here are some artists/bands i like: Blink 182,Gorillaz, Sum41, Sugar Cult, Green Day, Hoobastank, Brand New, Incubus, Journey, Linkin Park, Beasie Boys,AVENGED SEVENFOLD, Simple Plan,My Chemical Romance, Yellow Card,Eminem,Ashlee Simpson, Breaking Benjamin, UnderOath,HelloGoodbye No Doubt,Creed,The Used, The Killers, Nirvana, White Stripes, Switchfoot, 3 Doors Down,Streetlight Manifesto, Bowling for Soup, The Ramones,Head Automatica,Greek Artists, and much more..
- And finally, here's a man who gave his life to find a solution to online peer-to-peer music theft: Yes, I buy CDs. I support the artists, producers, and illegal aliens who clean the bathroom stalls at the studios :). Pirates are dead for a reason! Yep, death by angry ghost pirate.
17 April 2006
YALL RIFFAS REMIND ME OF A STRIP CLUB
Riff Market 'Print This Out and Read it at the Gym' Post-Holiday Edition
Download: Clipse [ft. Pharrell]: "Mr. Me Too"
Download: Pharrell: "I'm A G" (Freestyle)"
Friday I was driving down 309 to see Riffmarket affiliates Jake the Snake and Assman, then go to one of those indie dance parties we inevitably end up at. The ride takes about 40 minutes front to back; if you time the lights right on Lincoln Drive (the road that killed Teddy Pendergrass, ostensibly for not timing said lights right), you can get away with saying you live "30 minutes from the city," which in high school meant you could also say you drank 66% more beer over the weekend than you actually did. Eventually the 65minute kids from Quakertown stole that bit and ruined it for everybody, but we'll get to that later.
Ant tied up the family car, so I ended up with Pop John's red Ford Explorer, Eddie Bauer edition. This one doesn't have a working CD or cassette deck--crucial detail, since Philly radio is rough unless you love Led Zeppelin exclusively, and yes that means Puffy's "Come With Me" too. Me, I gave up on Philly radio in the spring of 2000, when every fucking DJ in the city was giving rewinds to DMX's "Party Up," to the point that you could switch from Power 99 to Philly 103.9 mid-song and DMX would still be doing the strip club verse. When the traffic reporters started using the horn samples to open up their reports, and when a commercial for a local theater production of Othello changed the song's chorus to "Iago make me lose my mind," I finally bought one of those CD adapters and listened to Primus's Antipop nonstop like I probably should have been doing anyway.
I put on Power 99. There's a Beanie Sigel freestyle I've never heard, and the DJ Q Deezy keeps bringing it back, no explanations. He does this like eight or nine times, enjoying lazy dead air between rewinds, saying things like "something's not right" or "we're gonna do the top 15" or "OK I'm really tired of this Beanie Sigel freestyle I keep playing" but inevitably playing the record again, and the stop-start-repeat is totally infuriating, especially on this particular highway. 309, my parents tell me, was intentionally designed like a race car track--quick turns, no visibility, low shoulders--and since everybody's parents have told them this, everybody's going 75mph and tailgating for no strategic reason and laughing with their carmates at all the people going 60--they just don't know.
It's more infuriating though because when you get down towards the PA turnpike entrance, the road physically deteriorates. It becomes something of an obstacle course. Barricades come up on both sides, the lane space shrinks significantly, three and sometimes four separate lane lines compete for your obedience, pot holes surface, and three entrance ramps pump more traffic into the mix. I'm thinking American Gladiator--the Eliminator--Jazz, Nitro, and Siren are chasing your car with joust sticks, except now Siren can actually hear you. Where is Blaze? She is in the police helicopter directly above you, and she's very angry you're speeding.
Here on this stretch Deezy drops Clipse's "Mr. Me Too." I haven't had much to say about this song beyond the obvious, but there's something about simultaneously fearing for my life and wondering how Gemini was so fucking unstoppable at powerball that really gets me thinking. "Clear the streets out, come on with it." Well okay, Skateboard.
I tend to hear rap off tapes and blogs, on headphones and nanos and my hi-fi if it's before midnight. Never on the radio though Hot 97 is right there and I did meet Jae Millz at Shade 45 once, and never on a car radio. So obviously I miss stuff. I overprivilege lyrics and discount sonics, don't care that much about your subwoofers, don't understand the appeal of records chopped and/or screwed. I'm the east coast rap upper you love to hate; I even like Papoose.
What I missed the first 100 times through "Mr. Me Too" on headphones, the beat is some really scary shit. That static always lay low but I didn't know it oozed back and forth like that, like a dinosaur's shaking your car or like Jeff Goldblum's going batshit in your trunk because you've just kidnapped him and plan to harvest his organs. The main synth riff rings dead for the sound a cardoor makes when it's left open--never resolves, aims for sevenths but the whole thing shifts pitch last second no dice--and the snares don't snap but splatter, clipped and dragged and tired. First time through I said "oh it's Unsolved Mysteries ghosts of rap edition," but now I actually want to see that episode.
The idea has been tossed around since the track first hit, but Pharrell's verse really is the best one here, and in the car I figured out why. In the midst of a track that's so unsettling and so paranoid itself--ghost dinosaur paranoid--Pharrell remains completely calm. He's the only calm thing here actually, never a consonant clipped or chomped or spat:
Just last week I was out in Aspen
Me and Puff hoppin off the plane, both us laughing
A week before that, I was out in Italy
Italian heart throbs could not get rid of me
Up in Donatella's crib, me and like ten hoes
Call from the cell phone, give me that enzo
He catalogues his wealth, reps BBC, flexes his connects, probably pipes half this shit but what I like is his precision. Especially on In My Mind: The Prequel, Pharrell does bling post-Bad Boy but these aren't just status symbols--Pharrell really loves his earthlies, loves talking about them, knows every detail of every thing he owns, like a kid who can rattle off the stats, price, and acquisition date of every baseball card in his collection.
A bit one-track (as if Clipse aren't), but it's charming, childlike, and my guess is there's a bit of F. Scott banality of lavishness here too, which gives the Diddy shoutout some teeth. It's the apocalypse out there and this guy's talking about his fucking sneakers, and for whatever reason that's exactly what I needed to hear then. I'm not saying Pusha and Mal dropped the ball, but at song's end Q Deezy got back on, let out a huge sigh, then ran the track back, and I'm afraid it wasn't for "Pyrex stirrers turned into Cavalli furs."