What up. Welcome to another edition of that thing where i answer that question you have. Will it ever end? I hope not. I need the blog content. Speaking of which, send me more questions. Leave them in the comments below or email me them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t be shy. I’m an open book (mostly).
Anyway, here’s this weeks batch. The last one officially wins the award for dumbest question ever. But as there are no bad questions, well done, sir.
A few months back I saw you Tweet with Aesop about a David Blaine experience you had back in the day. It sounded like he kinda freaked you out which is understandable b/c that dude is a fucking weirdo. When I saw your funny David Blaine Facebook post this morning it reminded me to ask what happened when you met him?
Oh. Okay, this was so long ago I was still rapping. So we’re talking like 97ish. My group, The Overground, was playing a show at some now closed shithole venue on Houston St. called “The Spiral”. Our shows would go one of two ways: We’d play for 7 people or we’d play for like 30. The Spiral was tiny enough that 30 seemed like a great night. Regardless of how many people were there, we always sucked and the whole area in front of the stage would be cleared out like a murder scene. Anyway, this one night, we had one of our more well attended shows. My boy Chase Phoenix would rap on a few of our songs so he was usually in attendance. He knew this dude Cassidy who was good friends with an “up and coming magician” named David Blaine. Now, hearing someone being referred to as an “up and coming magician” was as comical as it sounds. None of us had any idea who he was but you can be sure we all thought that concept of a dude who’s blowing up off card tricks was about as cool as that up and coming librarian we had been hearing so much about.
We did the show. It went as well as that crap could have gone I guess. Afterwards, everyone was chilling by the bar getting drunk. And Blaine was walking around the room doing card tricks for people. I was rolling my eyes from afar cause, you know, it’s fucking card tricks. He seemed to be doing really well with them though as people (especially girls) were quite fascinated by this up and coming star of the dark arts.
Eventually, he comes to where I’m sitting with a few people and asks if we wanna see a trick. We all say yes and he began doing tricks to each person who was there. I gotta admit, I was somewhat impressed as they were not the typical “guess my card” bullshit. He got to me and I’m sure my face still read as skeptical. In fact, I distinctly recall sharing a silent moment of him looking at me and vice versa wher ethere’s no way he couldn’t read my expression as anything but “Okay bro, do your little card trick for me”. He handed me an unopened deck of cards (still in the wrapper) and said in his monotone voice “Think of a card…but not the ace of spades. That’s what everyone thinks of…”
So, I thought of something random like the 5 of clubs. He then told me to unwrap the pack and hand it back to him and adamantly told me not to tell anyone what card I was thinking of. Instead, write it down on a piece of napkin and hold onto it myself. I did so , making sure to hide what I was writing from anywhere he could possibly see it. I was definitely trying my hardest to not make his trick go over. I handed him back the pack and he flipped open the cardboard top. He didn’t remove the cards. He just held it open there staring at me with those weird ass raccoon eyes of his. He then flicked the bottom of the card case and one card popped up. Yup. It was my fucking card. The joy he must have felt to see my smug, non-believing ass face change to “Wait a second…get the fuck outta hereeeeeee!”.
Suffice to say, since that day, I’ve been convinced that if Jesus ever came back, he’d probably be a magician.
I really appreciate your point of view and music. That being said, I could use some perspective.
I recently (past two years) just flipped a bitch with my life. I went from studying art and percussion and devoting my free time to everything related, to working for land conservation agencies and studying Wildlife Ecology. I literally have done a 3 mile hike to remove a barbed wire fence from a sensitive ecosystem while wearing chucks. Anyways. It’s safe to say that I love the outdoors and I can kick it out of my tent for pretty long periods of time (5 months being the longest) but all of my artistic ability has suffered. My paradiddles are starting to sound like a person trying to masturbate with a broken hand. Before I was doing pretty well in school, probably because liberal arts papers can be bull shited and lab reports cannot, and now I’m struggling with the first fraction of my semester. I regularly question whether or not I should do what comes natural (reading art blogs, drinking coffee, and playing music) or do what I believe the world needs (also have a guarantee of a salary from the National Parks Service..) Should I just (wo)man-up and do it all?
As a musician, I will tell you that it’s very hard to procure a future making music. Because of that, I will always advise a person to do the other thing. Whatever it is. It could be saving the world or it could be working in an office where you get health insurance. Stability is underrated and hard to come by these days. The thing about art is that it’s always there. If you do it cause you love it, though you may get rusty, you can always pick it up again. Ideally, you could get on a career path and that will open up time for you to do both. So, my advice would be to save the world now and do art later. To be honest, both can be pretty fruitless and frustrating but at least you can make enough money to eat a few meals a day when you’re saving the world.
That’s not a given with art and music. Just ask every waiter you know.
I am a New Zealander.
Apparantly many people believe New Zealand is a place where sheep=automobile, singlet and gumboots=well dressed and grass paddock=nightclub.
My questions: have you ever been to New Zealand? and if you had a choice, would you rather be picked up from Auckland airport and taken to a venue in Downtown Auckland, to perform to a crowd of humans with differing levels of wideness in the eye area, wearing jeans of assorted bagginess, OR ride a sheep to a paddock, to do a show stemming from a multi-box plugged in a cow milking shed, infront of some drunken farmers wearing singlets and gumboots somewhere between Taupo and Turangi?
I have never been to New Zealand. Though I hear it’s very nice there. I have been to Australia though, and I loved it (I know New Zealanders hate when you add that on to this question but I couldn’t resist).
As for the question, the obvious choice is the first one. I don’t think I’ve ever been put in a situation where I’ve been forced to play for local farmhands but I can’t imagine it would go over too well. What kind of music do they even listen to? In my mind, that music involves the sounds of rubberbands being pulled and maybe syncopated pig slaughter.
So I have a question that you have touched on briefly, but it would be great if you could greatly elaborate on the subject. As much as possible anyway. At one point you had mentioned your position on people charging artists to record them, master their tracks, produce beats, etc etc and how you didn’t think anyone had any business charging until either side was making some money at doing so. Well I’ve been trying to get something recorded lately, and have spoken to a few people about it and all of them have basically asked me if I am prepared to pay them for it. I find this hilarious because none of them that I have really inquired about recording me have proper studios, and don’t really have any significant following. Granted they may record themselves and have some DECENT recording, but its not like they are pulling worthwhile crowds or are known to any significant extent. Basically, I want you to go at this subject, if you would. From all the angles: MC’s, Producers, Mixing/Mastering, Studio Time, you name it… I would like you to comment on all of it since you make a living off of music. So are these assholes out of their minds or what? Everyone thinks they are worth money because they have USB mics and some kind of platform to record on, and its time this shit got set straight cause its getting out of hand. Please, let these fuckers know.
Yes, I’m just buying a mic and recording myself but the reason I wanted to get recorded by someone else is it would be nice to cultivate a relationship with someone who’s work I have faith in and work on stuff together but as soon as one of these boobs (yes, I said boob, because I feel like that is more insulting then the overused douche bag) tries to charge me for their unproven skills, I laugh in their fucking face and remind them they are no one special and probably never will be if they are trying to charge people that are on the same level as them, neither of which are making any REAL money yet from music.
Man, that question could have been like one paragraph…people reading this, use this as a “how not to” question. Just make your point and get tot the heart of the matter.
To answer it,
The only reason you shouldn’t have to pay people to do studio work is if they’re your friends. If you’re using them for a service, you pay them for that service. The only exception is using peoples beats. Some producers will just give beats away cause it’s no big deal and it can’t hurt. I think that’s where you misunderstood my initial point. To be clear:
If two people are both equally not famous, I don’t see a point in either of them charging each other for music. Be it the rapper or the producer. Friend of acquaintance. That’s called collaborating. It’s also the most efficient way to get these types of things done. If the producer has a studio and you’re using his beats, i’d say it’s not crazy to expect to do it for free as you’re both involved.
If this is about recording, mixing or any of the laborious aspects of making music, and that person isn’t you’re close buddy (and isn’t involved in the creative process), then you gotta pay. Some people may be cool about not taking money as it’s just experience but you can’t expect that. That said, if they’re just some dude with protools and a mike, it should be pretty fucking cheap.
this is mostly a food related question, or series of questions. i’m from chicago, and we put giardiniera on everything pretty much. i went to philly, and asked for giardiniera on my bmt at subway and they looked at me like i was crazy. or speaking a foreign language, which i guess i was. but no one else in philadelphia knew what i was talking about. so my (first) question is, with nyc being guido as fux, do you have/know what giardiniera is? or is this so called italian topping another chicago ethnic creation like the italian beef or jibaritos. in which case i feel sorry for the world. second question, why the hell would you put saurkraut on a hot dog? ew. or is that just a myth.
First off, Nyc is far from guido as fux. Manhattan, itself, is pretty much devoid of that type in general. Almost all the guido’s you might see here are exported from the outer boroughs , jersey and long island. That said , I’m not italian and don’t know what goes on in that world so there’s a good chance they know what that shit is.
I have never heard of Giardiniera. The fact you were able to spell it right in the question so many times is actually really impressive. I’m sure it delicious though cause you chicago heads are no joke when it comes to making heart stopping yet tasty spin offs of sausage.
As for the saurkraut , some people do that. I don’t…but many other do. But don’t you guys no put ketchep and mustard on your hot dogs? That’s crazy talk right there. That shit is delicious.
Yo Block! Have you ever considered what would you do if you were gay? Please specify two scenarios:
1. still working in music industry: would you make country, dubstep, be in a boysband or something else?
2. non-music industry: would you be hair-stylist, work in fashion industry, sell hot-dogs ot sth else?
Man, not a day goes by when I don’t consider life as a gay man. Think of all the perks!
Seriously though, this may be the dumbest question I’ve ever gotten (I’m not even mad about it though cause i appreciate every question i get). I mean, holy shit dude…have you met a gay person before? They aren’t like a different species of human. Yu might as well have asked me what I’d do if I was a dog for a day.
So, to answer your questions:
1)Because there is no way on earth a gay person could make the kind of music I make,obviously, I’d be in a band that’s music is made up entirely of the sound pounding assholes. It would be a chorus of skin slapping and deep, guttural grunts. Perhaps I’d be the Fred Schneider of the group and just scream little catch phrases in the background.
2) I don’t think I’d work. I’d just sit around thinking of all the hot boys I wanna have sex with. I mean, how do gay people ever work jobs when there are soooooo many hot guys out there? I bet walking down the street is hell for them…boners everywhere. Gays…how do they do it? Because of this, I’d probably stay indoors all day. Maybe knitting or baking tiny cupcakes. If not for any other reason then to quell my deep, dark uncontrollable gay urges.
(I shouldn’t have to clarify that I’m kidding here but you’d be amazed how often people don’t “get” the most obvious shit…Just preempting the “blockhead is a homophobe!” backlash from that one person out there who doesn’t understand how jokes work.)