Song of the day 9/30/10

S.O.S By Blaq Poet

I’m not the hugest Blaq Poet fan but this song is my shit. Mostly for the beat but Poet holds it down for sure. As you can tell, I’m super out of it when it comes to rap made in the last 5 years as that’s all I really have to say about this song. Primo made the beat, right? sounds like it. Glad to hear he’s still got it.

My neighbor, The faceless pussy.

I got home from a two week tour late last night. I go check my mail and come across something from “the neighborhood watch”. I ignore it immediately cause, what is this, Some suburban town where mail boxes are getting vandalized? Fuck that shit. My girlfriend, however, is a little more curious than I am, so she opens it and reads it. Instead of some lame “we gotta make this neighborhood safe” propaganda pamphlet, it’s actually a pointed (and anonymous) letter directed at all the people who live in my building. In particular, some people who live on the top floor (whom I’ve never met). As my girl is reading the letter, she stops and tells me my name is in the letter. Wha? I snatch it from her hand and , lo and behold, the last paragraph is aimed at me. Instead of explaining it further, here’s a scan of the actual letter. )I covered up the names, addresses and whatever cause, well, the internet is full of creeps and I don’t trust you motherfuckers.)

(click on it if it’s not big enough for your weak ass eyes)

Anyway, suffice to say this was one of those moments where I’m both furious but also pretty amused.
Furious cause of what I’m being accused of and amused at the amazing amount of wrong info this guy/girl had gathered about me. Even more amusing/Infuriating was the way the dickhead wrote it. From the childish baiting to the embarrassing usage of “Old Skool” , this person needs a avage beating only a jail snitch would be able to fathom.
I later go into the hallway of my building and notice the letter has actually been posted in the buildings common area. That was pretty much it. Because this letter was completely anonymous (yet obviously from some dickbag in my building) I took it upon myself to respond with my own letter, which i hung up in the hallway. I tried to be somewhat civilized but, in a case like this, you can only hold back so much.
Before going into that, there are a few things you need to know about me and this building
1)I’ve lived here for about 8 years and I own my apartment.
2)There is a communal backyard in the building that is shared by about 8 different apartments. In all the time I’ve lived here, I’ve spent maybe 2 minutes out there. It’s boring, It means I have to socialize with my neighbors and I have no interest in being around nature, even in it’s smallest doses.
3)I go out of my way , in this building, to keep to myself. I’m polite to all but I’m not trying to make friends. Because of this, i tend to keep fairly quiet (minus a few days here and there when friends are over pre-drinking or watching a sporting event). I even don’t make music at night. In other words, I’m very aware of noise and my neighbors.
Ok, so, with that, here’s my response:

Dear “concerned residents of 14th, 15th and 16th” street AKA “The Neighborhood watch”,

I recently got home from being out of town for two weeks to your anonymous letter concerning noise issues you have been having with some of the people in xxx Wxxth st. I’m not familiar with the xxxx family you so rudely decided to make an example of, but as a person who has lived in this building for almost 10 years, I can’t say I’ve ever noticed any sort of overtly loud parties coming from the top floor. But that’s besides the point, I’m more writing this to defend myself, as I am sure the xxxx’s are capable of that themselves. I’m more writing to make a few corrections to the letter you seemingly pulled directly out of your assumpton filled asshole. An asshole , I might add, that belongs to a total and complete asshole.
Allow me to formally introduce myself to you , even though you seem to know all about me already, judging from you’re childish and misinformed letter.
Hi, my name is Tony Simon. I DO live in Apartment xxx. I have lived here since 2002 (not since 2008). I am , indeed, a musician (although, I’m curious where you got the whole Reggae thing from. It’s called “Google”, it’s not that hard).
Here’s where things get a little confusing. According to you, I’m responsible for numerous loud parties in the back yard that can be heard from blocks away (we both know this is complete bullshit but let’s not get hung up on details). Well, guess what? In the 8 years I’ve lived here, I’ve never once had a party in the backyard. NOT A SINGLE PARTY. Hell, as any of my neighbors can attest to, I pretty much never set foot out there. At best, I’ve had friends over but it’s always stayed indoors and I can assure you XXX (my upstairs neighbor) is only person who would be close enough to hear that.
So, I ask of you, instead of writing anonymous letters like a scorned child and spreading false personal info about myself or the xxxx’s, I’d appreciate if you approached the problem like an adult and maybe discuss this kind of thing in person. I’d also ask that you not make things up , cause it kinda makes you look like a dipshit. An “OLD SKOOL” dipshit. At least, do us the honor of having your facts right. I realize we are all “mindless trailer trash” (I , for one, have lived in Greenwich Village my entire life, so i can see how that might come into play) but I think all parties involved would prefer a direct approach over this slanderous one you got working right now. You’re obviously a master of the internet as you found out info about myself and the xxxx’s, so put that genius to use and perhaps find our phone numbers and give them a call.
I will be reporting your letter the Condo company in hopes that, if anything, I can at least find who wrote this spineless letter in the first place. Maybe we can get together? I can play you some of my awesome reggae tracks. It’ll be a downright party!

Tony Simon AKA The Bob Marley of xxth street.

Not that bad, right? I could have been a much bigger asshole but I feel like sometimes taking the high road (well…sorta high) , works best these kind of situations.
Well, I posted this up and called my building manager’s today. Apparently , this letter has been all the rage this week and they have no idea who sent it. It also turns out , the party this person was complaining about was a fucking baby shower with a Karaoke machine. A FUCKING BABY SHOWER! Call the cops! A baby is being born. there must have been at least a pound of cocaine in there stuffed inside baby bjorns!
Thankfully, no one in the building took this at all seriously and the family the letter is about is actually pursuing legal action once they find out what anonymous cocksucker actually wrote the letter.
Well, I gotta go right now cause my horn section just showed up. We’re recording a remake of “stir it up” in my backyard. It’s gonna be epic. I even purchased riot sirens.

The art of shitty small talk

I realize this blog has become like a “things blockhead hates about flying” expose the last few weeks. This is strictly due to the amount of traveling I’ve been doing lately. Trust that in a week or two, I’ll be back to normal and probably writing scathing blogs about samplers and extension cords. But this isn’t really about flying. This is more about the world of forced conversations. A world I pretty much live in every time I fly anywhere.

So, allow me to describe what’s going on right now (I’m typing on the plane). I’m flying continental from LAX to Newark. This is about a 5.5 hour long flight. For some reason, there is no entertainment…no little TV’s. No communal movies. Nothing. On top of that, my IPOD has about 5% energy left. I simply do not have the imagination to keep myself amused for that long a time while sitting in a cramped , shitty little chair. The icing of this situation is that the dude sitting next to me is some Jersey bro type in his early 20’s who had a few drinks before the flights and is feeling very talkative. He immediately leads into the convo by asking me what I do for a living (A personal peeve of mine as I could give a shit what any stranger is doing ever). In general, I try to be as vague as possible about answering that question. This is because, when it comes to strangers, I really don’t feel like talking about it. Explaining to someone that you work in a Niche genre of music that is somewhere between hip hop and electronic music tends to be fairly futile as, for one, most people don’t listen to that kinda shit and explaining what it is you do to someone not at all knowledgable in music is a waste of time for both of us. God forbid they actually know who I am (it’s only happened once) and I have to talk about all sorts of bullshit. Anyway, I tell the bro that I’m a “DJ” (this is a lie but it’s my easiest way out of the question). That sends him into a detailed description of all the awesome clubs he hits in NYC and him asking me if I’ve played in them. After he exhausts of listing his meat packing district haunts the conversation somehow finds it’s way to me describing what NYC as like before Gulianni. He chimes in about how Gulianni really cleaned up the city. I agree but add even though it did make it safer , I do think it certainly took a large part of the edge away from what made NYC special. He then decides to say that , because of his work after 9/11 , that guilliani should be president and how he’d vote for him in a second cause “If he can clean up new york, imagine what he can do for the rest of the country”. I hold my tongue after that simply cause I don’t feel like having this kind of conversation with this type of guy. The east coast version of a redneck. He adds in “And he’d be better than the clown we got in office now…”” I can’t help but react a little to this but , still, I don’t wanna talk about this with this guy. So, under my breath i murmur “I don’t know about all that…” and slowly reach for my Ipod. I turn it on and it runs out of batteries in like two minutes. As of this moment, I’m typing this with the ear buds still in my heads. I figure between that and me furiously typing he’ll just go back to reading his GQ magazine and listening to that “follow me” house song on his Ipod.
The thing that bugs me out about conversations like that are that I can’t imagine the point where one’s brain decides to take a friendly (and forced) chat about nothing and kick it up a notch to where political opinions come into play. After all, we are complete strangers who know nothing about each other. The last thing I wanna do on a 6 hour flight is offend or enrage the person sitting shoulder to shoulder with me. It’s awkward enough this guy had already dropped the “You can’t hate of Lady GaGa, she’s makin’ money!” argument on me while explaining how he gets down when he hangs in the city, let alone anything that actually matters. Not to mention, this is a flight from L.A. to NYC. I think it’s a safe bet the majority of people going to or from those places are probably more on the liberal side of things. By making those statements, this guy was just swinging blindly.
Conversing is something I’ve always seen as having pretty simple ground rules. Be cordial. Listen to the other person. Follow the flow. The same way bars have those “no religion, no politics” rules, should apply to two strangers conversing on a plane.. The second some guy starts having a weird agenda within a pointless conversation, it’s time for that talk to start winding down. Trust me, as an opinionated person, I’m constantly quelling my urges to blather about all sorts of off color topics in friendly conversations, but , because I was not raised in a retard barn, I chose not to.
The whole situation (and others just like it) remind me of something I heard a stand up comic talk about (I think it was Doug Stanhope). His bit was about , how when ever an american leaves the country and runs into another american, it’s like this automatic bond. I’ve certainly had this happen to me a bunch of times. He then goes on to say how the awful thing about this forced nationalism is that the person you’re all of a sudden best friends with is very likely a person you wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire back in your hometown. basically, trying to create a bond of out thin air Is just some forced shit people do out of habit. I feel like , under no circumstances, should two people feel the need to talk in any depth just cause they happen to be placed next to one another (except , perhaps stranded on a desert island). A brief greeting and the tiniest of small talk is all you really need. Once it becomes a chat, the person who’s leading the conversation has officially over stepped the subtle laws of human interaction. They have now invaded my (or your) space and can be safely filed under dipshit from that point on. This is only not the case if the two people are flirting, in which case, a flight can be the easiest blind date a person’s ever had.

My childhood thanks you

For deleting this scene. Judging by the amount of views , I’m late to the game on this one.
When I was a kid, I fucking loved “The Goonies”. Sloth. The Truffle Shuffle. Martha Plimpton’s busted face.
Well, I can’t honestly say this horrible octopus scene woulda ruined it for me but I definitely feel like , at my current age , I appreciate them never letting this shit show slip into the final edit.
It’s nice when movie makers get shit right.

Notes from the road Part 3

I caught an episode of “The Price Is RIght” while chilling the hotel. What the fuck is up with Drew Carey? He lost tons of weight and is slowly morphing into Bob Barker…except Bob Barker never looked like a scarecrow with full blown AIDS.
Watching this show also put how out of touch I am with the prices of things. Being that I really only buy food and drinks I had no clue a brand new Porche, A huge pool table, a million inch flat screen TV and whole entertainment set up would only cost like $70,000. I would have guessed $250,000. And this is why I will never win on The Price Is Right. That and Plink-O is obviously rigged.

Merch booth placement is crucial. Ideally, you want a spot near or within view of the stage. Preferably, off to the side. The last few shows I’ve done the booth has been in another room. Like waaaaay in the back. Sure, this might cut into sales a little but if people want to buy shit, they’ll find you. It’s not like they stuffed me in a broom closet. My beef with distant merch booths is that it opens the door for people to corner you. I’m sitting there, way in the back. In a room or section with no other purpose for people to be in except buy shit from me. But , instead of buying shit, people sometimes use it as a “come up and talk for a 45 minutes” booth. i actually don’t mind this usually cause , for the most part, people are cool and I do like chatting people up (particularly when I’m a little drunk). However, there should be a ten minute limit to anyone chatting. ESPECIALLY guys. I don’t mean that in a “I’m trying to get pussy” kinda way at all. I’m just saying the people who set up camp in the merch booth tend to be dudes who wanna talk at length about everything. I’m down to bro-down and all…just not all night.

On a similar note,
Every now and then you get a dude who’s in it for the long haul and , pretty much always, you find out this dude is a promoter of some sort. God bless promoters. It’s a shitty job where you deal with shitty people and put on , mostly, shitty shows. Especially in small markets with unestablished scenes. It’s a labor of love for sure. But sometimes, they gotta know when to keep it moving. Chances are, if i’m performing in your city that night, it’s gonna be a while before I return. Trying to book me for a month from now isn’t helping anyone. And If i give you my booking agents info, use it. There’s a reason he and my manager exist. It’s so I don’t have to deal with any of the business side of music making. It’s the worst part and the more involved you get in it, the less fun making music becomes. So, to all promoters who wanna chop it up at shows, let me just write out what my part of the conversation will be like

What’s up man,
Nice to meet you.
Oh , word? I’d love to come do a show at _____ (your city here)
holler at my booking agent
Now, unless you wanna talk about porn or basketball, we’re about done here.

What’s the deal with super high toilet bowl? I’m 6 feet tall and the majority of shitters I’ve sat in at venues have been so high I’m on my tippy toes. I feel bad for you short guys. It must be like shitting on a barstool. a literal BAR-STOOL. Get it? sorry…

Notes from the road part 2

So, we had to drive from Portland to San Diego. well, not “we” , as I don’t drive anything. I actually got to sit in the back and play some awesome IPhone game called “angry birds” for like 5 hours while everyone else dealt with traveling. regardless, we left Portland on sunday morning and arrived in S.D. monday night. Not too shabby.

Speaking of San Diego, I strolled around the Ocean Beach section and I kinda felt like I just walked into a hypodermic needle filled with piss and hackey sacks. That said, the burrito I had was fucking amazing and only cost 4 bucks. From the limited parts of S.D. I have seen, it reminds of the beach in the movie Fletch. I don’t feel at all unsafe but the majority of the people I saw were definitely not familiar with bathing and hygiene and there is a palpable low life aura to the place. The thing is, I can see how that could happen out here. Everything is cheap. The beach is right in front of you. All you gotta do all day is sell a few glass pipes a day by the sand and just kick it. One of the dudes I’m traveling with, who has lived in S.D. in the past, said how the young girls here are the hottest but once they get into their early 30’s, they start to age double time. The beach will do that to a person, I suppose.

You know you’re old when you tell someone you’re age and they say “no way! you look way more like you’re 29” and they are being completely sincere and complimentary.

Speaking of things you know, you know you’ve been eating like shit when you get a hold of some grapes and feel, by eating them, you’re doing your body some great health filled service. Grapes. They go really well with M&M, Nerd ropes and potato skin chips.

And finally, the worst fan guy ever.
At the show in San Diego, there was this one extremely drunk dude. That may explain his behavior to an extent. I’m willing to give him that much.
This dude rolled up to the merch booth with a weird sense of entitlement that you rarely see coming from a dude who looks like the nerdy best friend on every 80’s sitcom. He did this thing where he was hot and cold. At first, he’s throwing extreme praise and the next second he’s yelling at you for some shit that isn’t even real. Our conversation started with him telling me how much he likes my music (That’s cool) and slowly drifted into him being mad at me for never playing Seattle (which I had played three days earlier and during the summer). Turns out he “knows” promoters and they’ve been “calling” “me” forever and I’m an asshole for not returning calls. First of all, I have a booking agent and a manager that handles all that shit. I explain this to him and he can’t let go of the “How come you never called me back?!?!?!” sentiment. This goes on for a while and he explains to me that he knows DJ Shadow , but he’s just “Josh” to him (Cool story , bro) and that he also works for so I should give him free cd’s. I explain that it doesn’t work like that and Pitchfork has never really given a shit about me anyway so that point doesn’t quite cut it. He then threatens to give me bad reviews on pitchfork (Super cool story, lying bro) and, without missing a beat, asks for a free cd. He was eyeing this $5 tour cd I have. I reject the awesome offer once again until I eventually get $4 out of him just so he’ll go away. He does (after about 15 awkward pounds and minor insults) and was later seen pouring beer directly on the cd I sold him. So, yeah, Fuck that guy.
Dude, If you’re reading this, I hope you’re not that much of a complete dipshit in everyday life and that you were blackout drunk. Honestly, I would believe that was possible, so if we cross path’s again, no hard feelings (but if you’re really anything like the person I met last night, please never come anywhere near me again).