The recently thriving Harry Fraud/Action Bronson power duo got locked up with the Greedhead gang for this track “Special Effects” that features Bronsalino, Meyhem Lauren, and Heems (who it seems might just be going by Himanshu now? The artist formerly known as Heems?) all going in over a Blue Velvet sampling beat from Fraud that’s as dirty as Frank Booth. Himanshu also directed the video, which is apparently set in his apartment.
This track comes from that oft rumored marathon recording session that the artists undertook whilst in Austin for SXSW earlier this year, and is now set for release as a mixtape entitled Respect The Fly Shit which will be out (for free) on Greedhead very soon. Also, if you’re looking for a Das Racist affiliated hat but don’t feel like going full Hasid, you could always peep the Relax Snapback. I’m shameless on this internet game.
Grime crew Virus Syndicate recently released the video for “Money”, their turnt up take on the classic Pink Floyd track of the same name. Wisely eschewing the appropriation of a majority of that song’s lyrics (gotta let some things rest, na’mean?), the boys from Manchester flip the melody and chorus into a wobbly barn burner, flipping over it with aggressive rhymes.
The video is pretty cool too, showing a night in the life of a pissed off shop girl that turns increasingly nefarious as the night goes on. Virus Syndicate have a big summer ahead of them, with the growing popularity of this track (which is getting heavy BBC Radio 1 spins from Mista Jam) as well as their collaborative track “Like This” with SkisM, which Skrillex has been working into his set recently. Viruses: always spreading. Look for a release on June 24th from Midication Recordings.
This party is going to be so good that portions of this flyer are literally shuddering through into the 3rd dimension, but don’t worry because flyer shark is there to chomp down on anything trying to escape into our realm. Thank you flyer shark, we will continue to praise you and submit offerings to you of our finest mead and most well bred goats. Protect this dimension from all interlopers. Amen to you flyer shark.
Tomorrow night, Pendu will be putting on a party at Glasslands Gallery headlined by Canadian techno beasts Jokers of The Scene. Must be their awesome energy that summoned the shark. Todd Pendu also russled up Tezeo and JDH from Fixed to perform for your entertainment pleasure. Sweet.
I wish this list was one item long and that item was the Indiana Pacers, but unfortunately that possibility was shot down in a hail of Danny Granger protestations last week. Besides that, we’re not talking about the Big Three type of Heat today, we’re talking about the lower case, atom-shaking, back sweat creating, egg frying on the sidewalk heat that’s currently set its demonic sight on New York City and presumably other places (there are places other than New York?).
Humans have an incredible ability to lie to themselves, cleanly erasing past memories of unpleasant situations. Unlike mice, we have a tendency not to learn from trying to eat the electrified pellet. As such, when I walked outside this weekend, despite having spent years and years dealing with hot summers I once again said to myself “holy shit, this is unbearable. What in gods name am I supposed to do?” One idea would be a giant bio-mechanical cryosuit much like Mr. Freeze has. If they’re not selling those down at your local bodega, then maybe try out some of these other options. Here are the High Five.
5. Personal Mister
So here’s the most achievable version of the aforementioned Victor Freeze suit, a little personal misting thing that you can pick up from Skymall or Brookstone or even the wall rack in some of your more upscale/misguided bodegas. It may be covered in dust and tacked up right next to the vibrating cock ring condoms, but they’ll sure hit you with a jet of sweet sweet life giving mist when the times get tough and the degrees get tougher.
The downside, of course, is that you will look like a huge buffoon whilst you’re attempting to cool yourself. For you social anxious folks out there, the extra heat brought about by your embarrassment while pumping up your cylindrical savior may in fact outweigh any sort of air-conditioning properties. Be sure to calculate that ratio before purchase. Pro tip: throw a little mint into the water reservoir, for a little bite with your mist. Treat yourself friends.
4. Shaved Ice/Halo Halo
You know what are good? A good old fashioned American Sno-Cone. You know what’s even better? Literally every other countries take on the shaved ice portable dessert. Leave it up to the US of A to just cut up ice into random chunks and then soak it in brightly colored sugar syrup while everyone else is taking the time to shave their shit up in interesting ways, creating a more palatable fluff texture. Italy is good at it. But Southeastern Asia in particular has that shit DOWN.
Just wander down into Chinatown and look for someone carrying a heaping mound of deliciousness that sort of looks like an inverted Sombrero. Ask them where they got it, strap on the feedbag, and get the fuck over there. Get some impossibly light shaved ice piled high with tapioca, condensed milk, cold fruits like dragonfruit and taro and shit, coconut milk and all kinds of amazing exotic goodness. All for a couple bucks. If you’re feeling fancy, get the Halo Halo at Talde in Park Slope. Holy fuck that stuff is delicious.
Sort of a curveball I know, but if you’re in a city then you need to find yourself some green buddies. Get your body in the presence of some good solid photosynthesis and you’ll find that body temperature dropping down from brain boilingly insane to surprisingly bearable. It may require a trip all the way up to the park (I know. I know) but if you can snag some real estate underneath a tree and nuzzle up to some grass, life will get better.
Plants are our friends, except we eat and or smoke them all the time. They don’t know that though, they’re just stupid plants. Black, heat collecting asphalt is not your friend, and he’ll radiate waves of discomfort that quite literally bends the air in front of you. And there’s nothing cool about that.
2. Spiderman Head Popsicle from Mister Softee Truck
An item from the Mister Softee truck had to make it on to this list. When you hear that unforgettable jingle coming drown the street, it will Pavlov you into jetting out the door, throwing ‘bows on little neighborhood kids lining up to get to the front, and handing over your crumpled up greenbacks for a sweet treat from the freezer.
There’s a lot of ways to go here, let’s not kid ourselves. Classic cone would be the obvious choice, but honestly that aerated ice cream kind of freaks me out, and I always end up getting it coated in that cherry stuff then forget that it’s not very good. I’ve also been known to go push pop, but at the end of the day I’m gonna side with the Spiderman Popsicle thing. You get to eat Spiderman’s head, you get all the flavors of a rocket pop BUT it’s also got two gumballs as eyes. Done deal.
1. Canned Budweiser, 16oz
So simple, so effective, and so good. Don’t fuck with me about micro-brews or whatever. There’s a time and place for that. When the heat is on, and you’re either on a roof or brown bagging it down the street, the only choice is the Bud heavy 16oz, preferably in the limited edition Baseball can that’s currently in effect for Summer 2012.
The 12oz can is too small. You’ll finish it too quickly PLUS it will also heat up in like two seconds. The 24oz on the other hand is just a tad bit too heavy to lug around, and also more difficult to conceal. The 16oz though, that is the size that all should aspire to. And don’t even talk to me about bottles. Can beer homies, be about that life. If you’ve got one of these malty delights in your hand this summer, you’ll be just fine.
This album is awful. There really isn’t any nicer way to put it. The gay Coldplay have managed to create a giant mess of an album, as a calculated attempt to grasp some sort of youth market. Hot on the heels of the success of Glee kids Fun., Scissor Sisters seem to throw down Magic Hour, their cabaret gauntlet, in a sad attempt to regain the throne of New York pop queens. The only problem, is just like Fun., this shit is boring and tired. Really? An album produced by Pharrell Calvin Harris and Diplo? Three artists that have pretty much expired in their own right does not seem like the formula for revitalizing a tired idea of a band.
Really, there’s no fun and no camp here. What you get is tired dance beats and posh vocals. Maybe the mainstream eats this up, but since disco never went anywhere, there fact that a group that takes pride in its homosexuality are making music that reads like a shoebox diorama of Studio 54. This cardboard facsimile doesn’t even warrant much of an analysis. Bad disco (the lead single “Only the Horses”, shitty Erotica-era Madonna rip offs (“Let Have a Kiki”) and Khia clones (“Keep Your Shoes On”) all belie the fact that this album was created in a board meeting and not the backroom of some sleazy leather bar. Really, no matter where you live, a trip to any old drag night at your local gay bar is bound to be more entertaining than this.
It’s Thursday which means that my weekly party is happening again tonight at the Flat. I’m DJing as always but I’m also joined by Rahill who sings in Habibi. I’m also joined by Mike Hodges from Pop Zeus and JR from Jailbait. Also, this band the Rompers is playing at 9pm. If you want to see them you have to pay $4 but it’s free after they’re done. As an added lure there’s free vodka drinks between 9:30 and 10pm.
Here are some photos from last week’s party when the DJs were JR, Me and Jonathan Toubin. Also the bands YOU, Monozoid and Bootblacks performed.
Michael’s raps impressed me right away. It’s obvious from any of his work that he every verse is VERY well thought out and carefully crafted. His style reminds me almost of how a rapper like EL-P can squeeze high concepts and detail-focused stories into complex, technical flows.
Nick Vogt: Alright I’ll begin at the beginning as I always like to do: How did you get started rapping? What made you want to rap and how long have you been doing it?
Michael Suess: It’s something that I’ve been trying to do since I was younger. I’ve always had a knack for it. But, I never officially rapped because I wanted to do something my parents were proud of. It started my Freshman year of college and my last year of High School. I was trying to be a chef. I was in culinary school. I kind of started rapping more. Just writing stuff here and there. Not really doing it seriously. Friends would come over and we’d spit. I was just kind of rapping on the side until I got kicked out of culinary school.
Oh shit. Do you think that was maybe like “a sign” that you should focus more on rapping? That’s a weird question. It’s a bummer you got kicked out…but, my dad likes to say “Everything Happens For A Reason.”
MS: Yeah. I had the choice to go back to culinary school or not. And I got more into hip hop than into cooking.
Your style is pretty different from a lot of other rappers in this generation and I wanted to ask you: Who are some of your influences?
MS: I’d say my top two are Nas and Wu Tang Clan. And if I’d have to list more I’d say Biggie…Nujabes—his production really inspired me—Big L, Big Pun…A little bit of The Lox. I like a lot of Big Bang music and Funk and Jazz. I like a lot of instrumental metal, too. But, even though I like a lot of diverse music I think hip hop incorporating other genres has gotten a bit played out.
All those rappers you mentioned I can hear in your raps. Not like you’re biting them, but I can tell that’s the era of hip hop you grew up on. And, that’s why I wanted to ask about influences. Nas is probably my favorite rapper ever and 36 Chambers was really opened my mind about music when I heard it. Not just about hip hop, but about all music. So, I love that you said Wu and Nas as your main influences. I always say Nas is my favorite rapper and I’m aware he’s made some pretty dull music. But, he’s made some AMAZING shit, too. So, I can forgive him for the lamer stuff.
MS: The way Nas built concepts and did storytelling was a huge influence on me. I’m trying to bring a lot of that back into hip hop. Illmatic was definitely great, but one of my favorite Nas songs is called “Small World.” It’s continuously slept on and it’s on I Am… which is an album that’s considerably slept on. It’s a story about how people are connected. How things can come back to haunt you. That song really helped shape my storytelling ability. That along with Ghostface and Raekwon’s storytelling. My favorite Ghostface album is Big Doe Rehab—
Really? I don’t think a lot of people would list Big Doe Rehab as their favorite Ghostface album actually.
MS: I thought that was where he perfected his style. Ghost has always been nasty lyrically. But, I think his storytelling and his concepts are best on that album.
I think my favorite Ghostface is Fishscale. It was the first Ghostface solo album I heard actually. I used to have it in my car and I listened to it almost every time I drove somewhere so it’s a real part of my consciousness. So, that might be why I like Fishscale so much. But, it’s also really awesome. I like Big Doe Rehab a lot, too though. Speaking of concepts, you definitely go for that on a lot of your music. One of my favorite songs of yours is “Here Comes The Spider-Suess.” Not only because I love Spider-Man, but also for how well you work with that concept. And, it’s also a tribute to Miles Morales, the new Ultimate Spider-Man.
MS: I’m an avid comic book reader as well as a hip hop fan. I connected with Miles almost immediately because I’m also black and Puerto Rican. Writing that song I wanted to do something that would connect with old Marvel themes and not just hip hop. I tried to make it the least gimmicky I possibly could. It didn’t take a long time to write. I think the biggest challenge of it was doing everything justice. I definitely didn’t expect the song to get as big as it did. I actually spoke to Marvel about the song.
MS: Funny story: I wanted to release the song as like a single and I did my research and I eventually was able to talk with the right person at Marvel about getting sample clearance. He said Marvel doesn’t own the rights to that original 1960s theme Toy Trains sampled for my song. So, for now, it’s still free. I’m still looking for who has the rights and trying to get the sample clearance, though.
Free’s good in a way. I know you’d like to make money from your music, but if something’s free then more people can hear it. Which is always a good thing. Speaking of Toy Trains, I feel like there’s a real scene in Florida right now. There’s you, Toy Trains and Dior Sentai, Grant, XXYYXX, Kitty Pryde…it seems like you all work together and know each other.
MS: I have two groups I work with and they’re one of them. It’s great working with all of them and bouncing off ideas. I love working with them and I love the fact that they’re a part of my life. If it wasn’t for Toy Trains and Grant right now I would not be in as good of a place. Toy Trains especially has helped me grow as an artist. And he’s said he’s helped me grow as a producer. I think of him like he’s my little brother. In a sense.
Are Toy Trains and Grant pretty much the only producers you work with?
MS: Most of my production is actually from a guy named Devin Morrison. I work with him very closely as well. I met Devin and Toy Trains in the same class. After I went back to school after I got expelled from Culinary school I went to Orlando Tech for audio production. Everyone made beats or rapped or sang…I met Toy Trains and Devin at the same time. It was getting to know everyone. That’s the year I released my mixtape “De-Klien-ed: An Epic Failure.” And I released “De-Klien-Ed: Volume Two” the following year…Oh, and there’s another guy I have to bring up: a guy from New Zealand named Tamagotchi. He’s amazing.
How did you end up working with him?
MS: I guess he found my Soundcloud or Twitter. And we linked up from there. Grant, Toy Trains, Devin and Tamagotchi are my main four producers right now.
Nice. What are you working on for future projects?
MS: I’m working on a mixtape called Neverland. A mixtape over some hip hop classics called The Glass Cassette and an unnamed EP that’ll be free before the album.
That’s a lot of stuff, man.
MS: Yeah. And I might try to squeeze another mixtape in there before the album. I’m trying to build up as much of a presence as possible before I drop the album. Especially because my first two mixtapes are slept on.
If the filmmaking style of precious auteur Wes Anderson turns you off, stay the hell away from Moonrise Kingdom, for it is by far the most quintessential Wes Anderson film Wes Anderson has ever made. It’s his thesis film populated with melancholic youngsters listening to records in tents and wishing for liberation in their mini-hyperliterate-robot voices. Everything is framed perfectly and designed intricately within long and impressive dolly shots. The whole thing is beautiful. The man is an aesthetics wizard, no doubt.
What Moonrise Kingdom lacks is an effective emotional punch. The kind we got in Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and even Bottle Rocket (I may have cried a little when Dignan got arrested). Moonrise Kingdom is a definite improvement over The Darjeeling Limited, but watching the blossoming love between two 12-year-olds and their subsequent separation didn’t feel authentic. The fact that they talk in a cold monotone doesn’t help either.
It’s 1965 and on a small island off the New England Coast, orphan Sam (Jared Gilman) ditches his Khaki Scout troop to meet up with his troubled pen pal girlfriend Suzy (Kara Hayward). Sam’s incredible scouting skills help them survive while scout master Ed Norton, Suzy’s lawyer parents Bill Murray and Frances McDormand, and police officer Bruce Willis are on their heels. Sam and Suzy fish, set up camp, and dance to Francoise Hardy. They also stare at each other a whole lot. Jared Gilman, who strikingly resembles a young Gregory Peck, is terrific as Sam, who obviously would have excelled as a scout if he wasn’t ostracized by the other kids. Kara Hayward’s Suzy feels like a shrunken Margot Tenenbaum with all of her seriousness and heavy eye-shadow.
While the kids pretend to be adults in the woods, the parents act like children in their pursuit of them. All of them have their own issues to deal with besides runaway kids. The always versatile Bruce Willis plays the forlorn cop really well, especially in his scenes with Sam. The other actors are great too, but Bill Murray’s character is completely wasted. He spends most of his screen time just looking off into the distance as he does his best Bill Murray impression.
The screenplay, written by Anderson and Roman Coppola, is filled with witty replies and minimalist humor. Anderson’s films have always been filled with visual eccentricities and Moonrise Kingdom offers a wealth of them. The comedy excels when it’s visual: the escape tunnel in Sam’s tent, a motorcycle in a tree, etc. There is one hugely distracting piece of effects work near the end in which Ed Norton makes a superhuman jump. It looked incredibly silly and not in the good “dog wearing a top hat” way.
All emotional coldness aside, Moonrise Kingdom is a gleefully surreal, aesthetically amazing film with an ensemble of adults you can’t front on and a mini-Gregory Peck who will out-scout you. The film’s tone see-saws through darkness and light until it climaxes into a warm, fuzzy ball of absolute delight. The score is incredibly realized and helps weave together all of the technical gimmickry Anderson has mastered over his career. So go, dear reader. Go and fall in love off the coast of New England.
There are a number of disciplines that have helped build what is known today as Mixed Martial Arts. You have western boxing, Greco roman and freestyle wresting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Karate, etc. Arguably one of the fastest growing of all of these is the art of Muay Thai. A form of kick boxing originated in Thailand that incorporates the use of clinches, knees, and elbows. It’s a brutal yet beautiful sport to watch, and you shouldn’t be sleeping on it!
Meet Jay Matias. A 22 year old fighting out of Aziz Nabih’s Sitan Gym located in Astoria, Queens. (Queens get the money!). Training at the age of 15, Matias knew he wanted nothing more than to learn and master ‘the art of the 8 limbs’. Quickly after moving to New York from Florida, Jay was put in touch with Aziz through Omar Chebali who originally trained Jay back home.
Matias has won a number of awards that include WKA 2011 North American Lightweight Amateur Champion, WKA Eastern Regional Lightweight Amateur Champion, WKA 2007 132ibs North American Lightweight Champion, as well as Take On Productions 2011 “Fight of the Year” against Jake Mainini. http://youtu.be/AyBK_DQCanM. On top of all of that, the hard working 22 year old has been ranked #2 in the U.S. under WBC.
In a sign of greatness and perfect timing, Jay Matias will be fighting on June 2nd, the same weekend as our other Mishka affiliated fighters, Zachary Ochoa and Diego Lopez. Richmond, VA will be hosting the first ever WKA Full Rules Pro Title fight and Jay is looking to avenge a loss he was given back in 2007 against Ognjen Topic, a fight Topic won by split decision. Jay Matias is Engineered To Destroy and we’re 100% behind him, and you oughta be too.
Much of Hyperdub’s most transcendent work has, oddly enough, had to do with voices. Whether it be the perfect intertwining of Kode9′s messy soundscapes with Spaceape’s proclamatory deadpan delivery, Burial’s tortured reshaping of forlorn samples, chopping up familiar words into raw pangs of emotion, and now the work done by Laurel Halo on her album Quarantine. I didn’t quite anticipate my enjoyment of this album after the first track “Airsick”, where Halo (real name Ina Cube, which begs the question of “why a pseudonym?”) stacks her voice on top of itself, giving it body but also robbing it of sharp edges, burying it beneath pleasantly rolling ambient track. I thought the song was fine, but it’s nothing compared to highlight “Years”, and indeed much of the rest of Quarantine.
Though the voices are quite different, the feeling behind the vocals on “Years” – clean, idiosyncratic, open, emotive, lilting, weird – that remind me of Bjørk and Joanna Newsom, two artists that I really love. Halo has by no means hit the stylistic peak of either of those artists – at least not yet – but it belies a confidence in vision that endeared me to this album, even if it does meander, if only slightly, at times. And that meandering can be to its benefit, as songs fade in and out of each other, slowly lulling you into a sort of trance-like listening experience. I’ll say this: you won’t be compelled, or even think to, constantly check back in on the track list. You’ll instead lounge in the digi-club of “Holoday” or be stunned by the extended vocal volcano of “Wow”, take in the creepily lovesick anthem “Tumor”, or the ever growing “Morcom”. I guess you could say that Quarantine is slightly flat, and could use a couple more climactic moments, but when the plateau is high enough it’s hard to complain.