Demo Reviews Vol. 40

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Welcome to another edition of Demo reviews. That thing where readers send me in songs so I can tell them what I think. Why they do it? i dunno. But it keeps going so I keep doing it. On the bright side, While I’m NOT accepting new submissions right now, that day is coming. Sometimes Next week I’ll announce the flood gates opening (along with the strict rules that all submitters must follow closely) and you cans end me you shit. SO, be on the look out for that.
As for this week, gotta say, after the shit show that was the last edition, this may b the most solid batch I’ve ever gotten. Is it coincidence that EVERY demo I got this week features vocals? No clue. Whatever it is, I can’t recall a week with more solid contributions. Well done.
Anyway, the reviews work like so: I write a paragraph or two giving my thoughts and then rate the songs from 1 to 10 in these arbitrary categories:
Production
Vocals
Listenability
originality

Simple stuff really. Let’s get into it.

Artist: Clamber Standback
Song:Dreaming my days away


Hmm…I honestly don’t know what to with this. First off, the picture of a mime threw me off from the start. Kinda wish this guy was mime though.
Anyway, this is silly and harmless but also pretty bad on any serious level. It sounds like someone rapping who doesn’t really rap (or even like rap that much). I can’t be that mad at it though cause the silliness factor is so through the roof I can’t take it that seriously. On the bright side, The production isn’t bad. It’s simple but the sounds are good and it’s well mixed. So points for that.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:2 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:4.5 out of 10

Artist:H.W.
Song: Walk with me


The beat is pretty awesome. It samples some old gospel shit without sounding like some shitty Moby song. It’s almost too clean (the drums could heavier) but I like it. The rapper is…well…fine. He’s not bad but he got dat white voice pretty badly and that’s always a tall hill to climb, no matter how good your lyrics are. Still, overall, this is decent.
Production:6.5 out of 10
Vocals:4 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist:Sleep Sinatra
Song:No rest for the Wicked


This kinda reminds me of a decent album cut from any number of late 90’s indie hip hop albums. The beat is cool and the rapping is solid. Nothing really makes it stand out to me but it’s nothing if not listenable. I might turn down those scratches at the end though, they come on mad loud, especially considering how mellow this song is.
Production:5.5 out of 10
Vocals:5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
originality:2 out of 10

Artist: Galactic Brethren
Song: Time Bandits


The name “Galactic Brethren” had me nervous. It’s very 90’s or techno but it turns out that these dudes are pretty good. I like the understated beat and the rappers can do their thing as well. It’s spacey, which I suppose is why they are the Galactic brethren.
The production changes in a nice subtle way throughout and works more as a compliment to the rappers, which , in my eyes, is a good thing.
Production:6.5 out of 10
Vocals:5.5 out of 10
Listenability:6 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Raymond Strife
Song:En Sabah Nur


This is one of those not good/not bad demos. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it. But there also isn’t a thing about it that would make me wanna hear it again. The beat sounds like a Freeway throwaway track from the early 2000’s and the rapper isn’t quite stable yet. It almost feels like he’s winging it off the head at times but I’m pretty sure he’s not. He’s just kind of a lazy writer. It’s too bad cause there is potential in there somewhere. He just needs to tighten the screws a little and focus.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:4 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Minotaur
Song: Cameron Vale


This is some lo-fi shit made by someone who LOVES cage. I mean, it’s over the top how much he tries to sound like old cage.

It also sounds like the beat was made by someone who LOVES Madlib.
So ,clearly, this isn’t winning points in the originality category. That said, he’s a pretty good rapper. Perhaps he’ll find his own lane and something original and fresh will come of that.
The beat is weirder than it is good but fits the mood I suppose. Also, it sounds like this was recorded on a cassette deck.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
originality:1 out of 10

Artist: Gangstatank
song:Grillz


I’m not sure if this is parody or not. That’s not a good thing. Either way it’s not particularly funny or it’s just a really bad rap song. The more it goes on, the more i think it’s a joke. Whelp, that’s unfortunate. The beat is a nightmare of shitty synth sounds and failed trappy drums. The rapping is dudes trying way too hard (Or joking) who just aren’t good at rapping at all. Regardless, doing parody rap making fun of gangster-ish rap is about 15 years past any point of relevance or interest.
Production:2.5 out of 10
Vocals:3 out of 10
Listenability:3 out of 10
originality:2 out of 10

Artist: This side up
song: Power


I like the sample aspects of this beat but the drums are simply not doing the job. The beats got a cool vibe though. The rapping is fine. I’m a known skeptic of rapping in foreign accents but this doesn’t bother me much. Irish rapping. Who knew? They aren’t really doing anything special lyrically but it’s solid.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist:Hard Target
Song: Down a road


This is a good “Times is tough, I’m downtrodden” rap song. It’s been done to death but, hey, when you can pull it off, more power to you. The rapper is good and raps in a musical manner that works half the time. The hook is kinda corny to me though. Not mad at what he tried to do, it just didn’t work for me. The beat is good too. It’s the perfect backdrop for this kinda song.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:5.5 out of 10
Listenability:5.5 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10


Artist:Jac Sound
Song: Sugar Ants


Whoa…what’s going on here? I’m so not used to getting songs with singers on it It took me a minute to figure out this was an actual person singing a song. Well, now that the confusion has subsided…This is strange. It’s kinda 80’s in it’s tone and the singer has a definite drama club dork lean to him. Like he should be on broadway over emoting his words. His voice is fine though. Musically, it’s a bit of a mess but not a total disaster. I dunno…I’m still confused.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:4 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:5 out of 10

So, what do you think?

Ask Dr. Tony Vol. 32


The Doctor is back, fake diploma on the wall and everything. This is a column where I take questions from readers about things like love and life and do my best to walk them through it. To be clear, I’m not a registered doctor. I didn’t even graduate college. So, this is just like advice from a buddy minus all the sugar coating cause, well, I don’t know you. What do I care? That said, I’m a generally level headed guy and will tell you what needs to told with no agenda or cushion for your feelings.
If you have questions of the heart that you’d like me to take a stab at, send them my way: phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comments below. It’s all anonymous so this is a safe place. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

A friend with benefits has recently become more than just a friend with benefits. We both have feelings for each other and she definitely wants me to commit and make her my girlfriend. I first started hooking up with her senior year of high school. We ended up going to the same college and hooking up throughout the first half of freshmen year. She got a boyfriend and dated him until we graduated college (26 years old now). We stayed friends the entire time and we share many of the same close friends now back at home.

She’s an attractive, laid back girl with a good personality and sense of humor. Once she became single after college we started boning on and off again. Within the past 4 months we’ve become a lot more serious. You could basically say we’re dating but I refuse to admit that we’re a couple.

Here’s why: she fucked one of my best friends about 8 months ago. This is a dude that we hang out with all the time. People keep telling me to not let her go, that she’s a keeper, blah blah blah. BUT SHE FUCKED THE HOMIE. I can’t seem to get over it. If it wasn’t for this I would probably be all about getting serious with her. Am I overreacting? Are my feelings warranted? WHY DID SHE HAVE TO FUCK THE HOMIE?
Forgot to mention that the hookup between said girl and my good friend was a drunken one night stand and that I was banging another girl at the time…

Getting bent out of shape about a girls past lovers is some bitch shit. Get over it, bro. So she fucked your friend. She doesn’t like him. Shit happens. You gotta be man enough to not be threatened by that. Unless you’re somehow intimidated by the prowess this guy might have had with your “girl” but, even then, she likes you. That’s all that matters.
This question is one that I’ve noticed come up a few times here and in real life amongst people I actually know. I’ve always felt it was a non-issue. It’s only a problem if she actually seriously dated your friend or has an open and long standing sexual relationship with him currently. Then I’d understand why one might balk. But a drunken one off? Who cares. Would you think less of her if you had fucked one of her friends? you wouldn’t even blink at that. Think of it this way, you weren’t fucking her at the time , she didn’t know the future between you, AND she just got out of a long term relationship. Guess what? She got laid that night. Good for her. Don’t be a vaginal warden.
But really, this all comes down to you and how secure you are. I certainly have friends who could not handle that kinda of thing on any level and have ditched good girls cause of it. So, if that’s deal breaker for you, it is what it is. But, personally? I think it’s not worth a second thought. You like her and she’s indeed a “keeper”, don’t let your insecurities and sexual puritanism get in the way of that.

Dr. Tony, will try to make this as short as possible
3 months ago i met this guy through a good friend, we all went out for drinks and i remember being immediately attracted to him, a little through the night he began to flirt with me and eventually we made out in the club and couldn’t get our hands off each other,we really bonded through deep drunken conversations and confessions, it felt like weve been friends for a long time and i dont think ive ever felt that comfortable with someone that i just met. (because i had just gotten out of a dreadful relationship i really wasn’t looking for anything beyond a little fun and sex.) therefore i decided to go with the flow and sleep with him that night. i ended up spending the whole night and next day with him, it was great. he also told me that hes never felt that comfortable with someone new, no awkwardness or anything. so that next day ended when i had to travel back to my country. we exchanged numbers and i went to the airport thinking last night was great but it will clearly not go anywhere as we live in different countries.
I text him a day later telling him that i had a great time etc. and since then we started texting and calling eachother daily, we got to know more about eachother yet, how much can you know when the person is not in your face?!
About 3 weeks after daily texting, calling and phone sex, i was traveling again for a month to a country thats near his country, so he came to see me the first weekend, and we spent 3 days together. it turned out to be even better than the first time we met. I still didn’t have my hopes up for anything to escalate and i wasn’t thinking of it too much i was just busy being carried away with the moment. Also most importantly, that weekend he referred to me as his girlfriend. Another 2 weeks pass and he comes to see me again for one night, every time we see eachother it just seems to be getting better n better. that last night he told me that hes developing really strong feelings for me and i def was on the same page as he is. everything was going just fine, up until a week after the last time i saw him he suddenly started acting a little distant, less phone calls, no texts, which is always a bad sign, plus i know that long distance never works out so i also had that in mind. he told me that he was very stressed from work and i understood that, i never gave him a hard time about it as i really believe in giving ppl their space. for a good week he would suddenly act distant then suddenly be all caring and nice, and i just went along with it like theres nothing, at that time he told me that he will be going for masters in summer which means he will be in a completely different continent and time zone.
His family member gets a serious health issue, which brings him to be more distant for yet another and final week. i tried to be there for him yet in the same time i didnt want to impose too much.
to cut this very long story short, he calls me end of that week and tells me that he wants to put what we have on hold (which i understood as a break up) as he has alot going on right now and he cant handle having any obligations. I was very understanding and accepting of what he was saying, i also believed it was for the best as i still think long distance ruins everything. at the end of the break up phone call he told me that hes falling for me. ironic.
3 days after the break up he calls me briefly to check up on me and thats the last ive heard from him.
ive been around enough to doubt things around me, so my question is, did this guy play me just to get what he wants or does this whole thing sound genuine? i mean he was getting the sex anyway so why go through all the hassle? or did he just realize shit this is going nowhere and distance is a bitch. i also thought maybe he met someone else or something. i dont know. im just a little weirded out by the whole turn of events. maybe in a different time and place.
Sorry for the long ass essay, plz help! it feels good to rant.

Anytime someone write “I’ll make this as brief as possible” it basically means “This is gonna be loooooong as fuck”. All good, you got across your point and question.
Wellllll…this is tough cause , honestly, it could be any number of things. He could have honestly felt the way he did, threw himself into a long distance relationship more than he should have and then got overwhelmed. Or he could have had another girl…or he’s one of those guys who treats every hook up he has like he’s falling in love again thus, confusing the shit out of every girl he hooks up with.
I can only judge from what I wrote but it does seem like he invested a decent amount of time in you though. Honestly, any dude willing to actually talk on the phone extensively with a girl in 2014 is going the extra mile. Most would keep it to text, email or skype (for some of that chat sex!), ESPECIALLY long distance.
It sounds to me that the distance and personal issues on his side were a real factor. Even if it wasn’t the personal issues, the distance was. Maybe he started being distant in an effort to make the break easier…or maybe he was fucking some other girl. That’s the problem with long distance relationships. You will never truly know. Not to mention, this is a guy you met at a club. For all you know he could be a serial Killing pedophile. In which case, I’d say you dodged that bullet!


So I work with international students who coincidentally come from countries where plastic surgery is rampant in the upper classes (L.A. has nothing on them,I swear). I’m very close with some of the girls who come study here….almost like an older sister. And it breaks my heart when a 17yo beauty talks about getting butt and breast implants when she gets home or when a 22yo talks about changing her entire fucking face! To put my question into general terms – when you have a mentor-type kind of relationship with teens/young adults….is there anything at all you can do or say to prevent them from making stupid decisions…or is it futile to even try?

As someone who has no kids, this advice is definitely based on nothing but here it goes. Kids are gonna be kids. And , as they get older, they only get more grounded in their opinions and ideals. Think of yourself when you were that age? When I was 17, I would have probably ended friendships over someone telling me Kool G Rap was a bad rapper, let alone something that really mattered to me. Basically, people that age have the unfortunate balance of thinking they know everything and knowing absolutely nothing. All libido and no foresight.
If a 17 year old has their mind made up about something like that (especially something that is, in a way, rebelling) they’re gonna do it. Problem is, getting your face and tits remade isn’t like a navel ring or a tattoo on your ankle. That shit is expensive surgery. I suppose, all you can do it try and reason with them using the “Trust me, in five years you will regret this deeply”. That’s what I tell any young person who wants to get a music based tattoo (meaning a band or rapper they like at that moment). But, overall, the best you can do is try and reason with them on their level. Appeal to their ego and insecurities. That’s why they wanna do that shit in the first place.

hey Dr T, could you elaborate more on “many of us tend to know our long term plans for a girl very early on. We know how far we’re willing to let this thing go before it’s past the point of us being into it.” how would u determine these plans ? based on what ?

This is something I mentioned in an earlier edition of “Ask Dr. Tony”. I forget the original question but my point was that, with men, we generally have a decent idea of how far we want to go with a girl emotionally when we first meet them. By that , I mean we can think “Oh, I wanna hit that a few times” or “I’d have long term casual sex with her” or “I could totally wife her up”. Thing is , this is our initial reaction and that is subject to change. I’m sure girls do a variation of the same thing. Only difference is, I find girls are able to open up to dudes down the line in a way I’d say most guys are incapable of. A woman’s attraction levels can go from “He’s disgusting” to “I want to date him” over the course of a night depending on what that guys brings to the table, intelligence, humor and charm wise. Why do you think there are so many hot girls with busted dudes? Guys, however, are far more shallow and that kind of flip in attraction only occurs over long periods of time. Sure, most guys will put their dick in anything but they’re aware of the ceiling , where that girl is concerned.
So, what determines these plans?
I’d say it’s different for all guys. The first thing we see is the physical side. We can look at a girl and be like “Is she hot enough to actually date?”. Yes, this is wildly presumptuous, but it’s what we actually do. Keep in mind, this is going on first impressions. Attraction does tend to shift the more you’re around someone. So, if she’s not “wifey” standard hot, then you find where she lands on the attractiveness scale. She’s cute, sexy, busted, etc…ALso, keep in mind this is done in reverse. Meaning, the scale starts with “would I hit it?” and goes up from there.
The next step is figuring out her personality. Is she cool? Is she annoying? Is she smart? Is she a girl who clearly only will sleep with a boyfriend? Is she a party girl who seems down for whatever? Like I said earlier, it’s really on a guy to guy basis and dependent on what they’re looking for. Some guys like big titties. They see big titties and that girl is placed on a higher plateau. It’s all relative.
I know this sounds absolutely terrible but , for many guys, it’s how we think. It’s in our nature. The same way a girl can meet a dude for five minutes and know she’s gonna have sex with him. It’s all based on a feeling. But, sadly, it’s also based heavily on the physical side of things. A persons depth and value doesn’t actually come into play until you actually know them. Such is life!

A message to people being shitty on the internet

trollsm
Are you an asshole on the internet? It’s possible. I’ve certainly been called that before and they’re not wrong. The way I see it, there are two types of assholes on the internet (this statement is 100% false as there are actually millions of different types of assholes but for the sake of this rant, just pretend it’s all black and white).
1) The people who say obnoxious things into the ether as either jokes or as provocateurs. These things are generally about people and things that person has no personal ties to and , in reality, don’t matter. The aim is to make a joke, for better or worse. I fall firmly in this group. Nothing I say on the internet really matters. Nothing I say on the internet is even that serious. These very words I’m writing right now included.
2) People who say shitty things of no comedic value directly to other people online when no one asked them for their input but they do it anyway cause…well…they’re bored or just contrarian assholes. Things like “You suck” or “I fucking hate you” you are examples. These people, in general, lack any creativity in their asshole-ic ways and serve only as frowny faced trolls to the entire internet around them.

Now, this is something I’ve harped on before so my apologies if I sound like a broken record. But I wanted to focus on one particular barb that I seem to get with some regularity that truly makes my blood boil. Not cause it hurts my feelings but cause , when a person says it, they’re just simply being lame as fuck.
Here’s what happens.
I make music for a living. This has been established. I also spend a decent amount of time online joking around. It’s fun for me. I enjoy it.
I write a tweet or a status update on facebook. This is always a dumb joke or maybe something slightly more observational. Regardless, it’s generally as harmless as a new born faun.
Then I get a response like this:
Screen shot 2014-01-28 at 6.25.51 PM
I read this and think of how I should respond. The correct answer is “Not at all” but I’m simply not that strong willed a man. So, I consider writing “FUCK YOUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!”. However, That’s a bit harsh, considering I know this persons intent wasn’t to elicit that response. In fact, I know that person is just busting my balls and, at the same time, strangely telling me they want to hear more music. (Side note: The dude who wrote this tweet and I exchanged a few tweets and they were totally cordial so , please, don’t be an asshole to him or whatever. I merely used his tweet as an example cause it’s the most recent “Why aren’t you making music constantly!?” related tweet i’ve gotten). Still, as someone who likes making jokes on the internet, being told to shut up and make music, as if both aren’t simultaneously possible is pretty fucking annoying. Especially considering I’ve been pretty prolific over the last few years and even have a new album finished at this very moment. If my joke/tweet wasn’t funny to you, fair enough. I’d rather someone write “Not funny” (which, by the way, would still be unnecessary and shitty to do) than to patronize me like I’m some worker bee that can only sit in a studio cranking out music 24/7 and do nothing else whatsoever. By the way, that’s not how making music works. Turns out, when you make music for a living, there’s tons of downtime. Why do you think every time you see a musician in the studio, they’re playing with their phones? but I digress.

This whole thing bothers me. Not cause it hurts my feelings but cause the person who’s writing it is 100% always and forever just being shitty. Without fail.This is not to say they’re bad people. This isn’t even saying that their intent is to piss me off. In fact, I’d venture to say that people who write that sentence are brain farting right back at me. But, you gotta understand…it’s shitty and shows a really poor instinct to be “That guy”. The guy who feels the need to respond to everything ESPECIALLY when they have nothing of value to add. This particular type of comment is missing the point on so many levels it’s hard to even begin to explain it. It’s like when a person asks a musician “Why can’t you make an album like your first one again?”. To truly explain that would take so much time, it’s never worth it. In the same note, for me to explain, in 140 characters or less, why I’m not making music all the fucking time and wasting my time writing a tweet that took 8 seconds to think up, is simply not worth the breath. In reality, 9/10 times, when I respond to these types of comments , with something snarky, the writer responds in a completely apologetic tone. Surprised I’d even respond in the first place. As if I don’t read my own twitter feed and have real human thoughts. In reality, they didn’t even mean to be shitty, They seemingly got caught up in a moment and couldn’t help themselves.

I’m not writing this as a “Leave Blockhead alone!!!” manifesto. Cause, truth be told, this is a minor annoyance at best. I’m more saying this to maybe make people stop and consider what they’re adding to a discussion when they write petty, short sighted and pointless remarks lacking any humor or value. It’s really that simple. Unless you have something constructive or funny to add, why are you talking?

The faceless nature of the internet has got us too comfortable. It’s like the world is one big youtube comment section. With twitter and facebook, people have access to musicians, actors, politicians, etc like never before. I could literally tell the president of the USA to eat a bag of dicks and dog shit right now if i wanted to (I would never do that though). It’s THAT open. While I do see some good in this kind of open forum, motherfuckers still should know their role. If I’m a celebrity that did something crazy…like Justin Bieber or Chris Brown. I’d fully expect a shit storm in my mentions on the regular. Same way I’d expect tons of support from fans and naked pics from underaged girls in my DM’s. It’s really par for the course. But if I’m me…a niche musician with a small fan base who’s biggest offense is making an album you didn’t like and making bad jokes on the internet, what’s the point of needlessly pushing my buttons? I mean, I see why people do it (trolls are called trolls for a reason)…but really…why? Is it fun? Hell, maybe it is. I’ve just never been the type who purposely says petty shit to people I don’t know with the sole intention to be getting their attention. It’s like the people who feel the need to correct grammar on twitter. It’s fucking twitter! Much like there is no crying in baseball, there are no grammar rules on twitter. It is the Deadwoods of grammar. Lawless. God forbid you have a typo! But if you see a grammar error, a typo or you just wanna be one of those people who vocalizes every stupid thought you have in your head directly at a person who has not addressed you even remotely, at least make it funny. Cause, otherwise, you’re just another voice from the peanut gallery saying something of no constructive value for the sake of hearing your own voice (or reading your own words, in this case).
If you’re offended by something I said, then I get it. I have it coming. Even if you are being an overly sensitive pussy about a joke…I get that. You ride razor scooters and I made a joke about them so you’re taking offense. That’s fine. you’re standing up for your razor scooter lifestyle. Do you! But , otherwise? Stop it. That’s my entire message. Stop it. In fact, I could have saved a lot of time writing this whole thing and just had those two words under the header but I’m a sucker for long winded explanations. Oh well, too late. But seriously, next time you (not anyone in particular) get the urge to write something shitty to someone else (be it a celebrity on twitter, a “friend” on facebook , a niche beat maker or President Obama) online, ask yourself “What good will this do?”. If the only answer you get out of it is “It will annoy the person I’m writing this to” then either don’t write it or accept that you are, in fact, an asshole who is shitty to people on the internet…and not that awesome first kind I described earlier either. you’re the second kind. Shame on you!
grumpy-face

Yay or Nay: GOD

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First off , shout out to Steadybloggin.com for putting me on to this…
Now before you answer the question in the header, let me be clear…I’m not talking about your lord and savior (though a “Yay or Nay” on him would be interesting). No, I’m talking about a chicago based rapper who has chosen the name GOD (in all caps!) for himself. That takes balls…but when you think about it, the search for the most powerful rap name had to end there. People have been calling themselves all sorts of things over the years. Noreaga, Capone, Bird gang Taliban…The fact someone hasn’t named them selves Hitler yet is actually surprising to me (shout out to Gunplay’s Swastika tattoo though). So why not call yourself GOD? The only downsides I see (aside from offending millions of christian people) is the high expectations a name like that might carry as a lyrical miracle spitter and googling yourself might prove to be frustrating. But whatever, enough about the name, let’s discuss the man himself. After all, a name is just a name.

Here’s the thing, the dude can rap. He’s not as typical as I imagine a few of you might presume upon hearing him for the first time. He’s got that edge that tends to separate regular skilled boring rappers from the dudes I actually wanna hear more than once. Let’s start it here cause , what better jumping point than a song that could seemingly play as his thesis statement for a term paper about himself.

How bout something a little more traditional?

Maybe something a little more trappy for you new rap heads

Or this joint…

Say what you will but the dude does have some versatility in his music. So, what do you think? Do you like GOD?

Answers for questions vol. 172

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Whattup. Still freezing? Me too. How bout those grammy’s though? I saw an hour of it and wanted to throw my tv out the window but peace to Daft Punk for not only winning but probably sweating five gallons in those helmets the whole night.
Anyway, this is where you send me questions and I answer them. Most everything is in play here. I’m not shy. So, if you’d like to join the fun and ask me stuff, either leave questions in the comment section below or email them to me at Phatfriendblog@gmail.com.
Both work equally well and they’re both anonymous. Feel free to get weird.
Let’s get into this weeks batch, biatch.

Any advice for beginning bloggers? Do you read any other blogs? Do you recommend using your real name or a pseudonym?

Oh I have no idea. I literally began this one for fun and as an outlet to talk shit. It’s not even very successful so I dunno if any advice I have to give would be beneficial. I will say that having a blog and keeping up with it is actually work. You gotta do actually be willing to commit time if you want it to be more than just one post a month. In fact, being obsessive over it is the only way it’ll ever get legs.
As for other blogs, I read Kid Mero’s blog “Victory light” and I check a few pop culture related gossip type blogs like wwtdd.com cause they can be funny/give me shit to rant about. Mostly, I kinda just catch stuff when I catch it. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to reading in general so , if I know something isn’t getting posted every day, I probably will check it with less frequency.
As for using a real name or pseudonym, i guess it depends who you are and what you’re writing. I would have used my own name on this if I wasn’t already know by my music name. As far as I know, writing on the internet isn’t like rapping. You can use your real name and it’s totally normal. Unless, of course, you plan on saying salacious shit and you don’t want anyone knowing who you are, then a fake name works. Also, you’re then an internet coward but , hey, aren’t we all?

Have you ever had a threesome and do you think they are common? I’ve had a few, but they never played out as sexy as what you see in porn (surprise, surprise), but they were fun none the less. The idea of a threesome seems so be a fantasy for most guys, though. I generally think that humans are pretty dirty and, therefor, threesomes probably aren’t THAT uncommon. I’m a chick though, so in all of our girly magazines they say that threesomes never happen, ruin relationships, ruin friendships, etc. That never happened for me, at least, and I generally think women’s magazines are bullshit. So, as a dude, have you had a threesome and how was it? And how common do you think they are?

Yes I have and wrote about it a long time ago. Here’s that:
https://phatfriend.com/2010/03/29/three-the-hardish-way/

Now do I think they’re common? I suppose that depends on your definition of common. I’d say , in certain groups, they’re common but to others they mights as well be a unicorn. I have friends who have had tons of them and I have friends who can’t even fathom how they would pop off. In my case, I was in the right place at the right time. In general, I don’t live in that “Threesomes on the regular” world. I also didn’t go to college for more than a year so maybe I missed out on a whole new world of sexual exploration.
I’ve heard dudes talk about how they used to double team girls all the time and how it was the preferred sexual dynamic…which, to me, is fucking weird cause I feel like, if given the choice, I’ll always pick “Me and a girl” over “Me, a girl, and my bro holding his hard dick”. I suppose it takes a certain kinda guy to be into that. Not saying their gay or anything but I do think guys who like to fuck girls with their homeboys are , at the very least, creeps who look at girls a breathing joy dolls. I mean, shit, camaraderie with your boy is one thing but…CUMaraderie? Why? But I digress…Basically, as a girl, threesomes are gonna be as common as you want them to be. If you got a homegirl who’s into doing that shit, you will have no trouble finding a guy to be the centerpiece to that party. If you like having two guys at once, same thing. There are always gonna be willing participants when it comes to putting dicks in vaginas.

Are there any words you hear English speakers using (because they’re trying to sound fancy) that make you giggle? For example, “vodka” as “whudka” comes to my mind, but I’m sure there are others (not talking about people who actually speak more than one language in this case).

The only clear example of this I can think of I when some clearly white person feels the need to pronounce mexican food with a thick ass accent in the midst of an otherwise english spoken sentence. Like I don’t need to hear anyone named Becky pronounce the “tilde” in the word Tamale (I don’t know how to type the actual “tilde” in there). It just sounds ridiculous when anyone is speaking normal english then goes out of their way to jazz up foreign word pronunciations. It happens the most with italians. The soprano’s got assholes pronouncing Mozzarella like “Mutzarell” when , in reality, any real italian would laugh in your face if you ever said it that way.
I feel , as dumb americans, we need to just embrace how we say the names of foreign food. You don’t need to build a wall of phlegm in your mouth just to say “Croissant”. Just pronounce it how it’s spelled. sure, it’s the wrong way to say it but you’re in america with a bunch of other dumb americans. No one here cares and no one will think you’re a worldly traveler just cause you can correctly roll your r’s when ordering at taco bell.

As an artist/musician, do you have a team? Like do you have a manager? accountant? lawyer? label rep? etc.

I have a manager, who I’ve had since I started. He’s the best and makes my life easier on every level. I also have a few booking agents for shows(One for the US and one for europe). I have an accountant but that I got through my family and has no connection to the music people whatsoever. I think I have a lawyer…but i’ve never needed him outside of contractual stuff so my interaction with him is rare and generally via my manager. My manager basically deals with anyone at any label so, while they do exist, I don’t interact with them much. That’s the thing about having a manager when you do music. It’s their job to handle the business side of this shit show. I make music. Therefor, I’m a fucking moron when it comes to pretty much everything else that goes with making music that isn’t actually creating the music itself. A Manager is your buffer. They’re also there to be the bad cop when you don’t wanna deal with things. I can’t stress to artists their importance. They aren’t cheap but , if they’re good, they’re worth every penny.

Being a steady porn lover, I have developed a couple of things that I dont like while enjoying my favourite pastime.
What I mean is, for example; I can never be eating anything whilst watching porn, i’d gag,especially eggs.
Can you think of anything?Any OCD while you are trying to get your porn on?

Umm…yeah..i don’t like eating when I watch porn either. Who does that? I watch porn ONLY when I jerk off. So, it’s not like I’m juggling responsibilities when it’s on. Time has been set aside to , i dunno, put down the egg and cheese sandwich and enjoy some me time.
At worst, I’ll be texting with someone and just have to do some left handed texting with extra curt responses. In fact, the only time I really use smily faces in texting is when I’m jerking off. It’s a time saver.

Blockhead-San,

How much of your inspiration do you think comes from your environment? Not just the city you live in but the actual neighborhood itself. I’m an artist and for years I’ve been wanting to get to a more urban, high foot-traffic and artsy fartsy kind of area of my city. However the apartments there tend to be either too expensive or run down studios in bad areas with horrible insulation resulting in sky-high utility bills. I say this because whenever I’m in an area where there’s tea shops, festivals in the summer time, art galleries, interesting restaurants and niche places and the like, I feel inspired and want to do more creatively.

My guess is that it reminds me of when I was in college and the energy was alive with people acting on or crafting their purpose in life. There was always a project to work on or a new technique to research. Over the years after graduation that fire went to a little spark, which fizzled down to a tiny ember that’s barely here as the result of moving back to the suburbs and abeing separated from a more ‘electric’ atmosphere. Couple that with the fact that I’ve only had one job (for two months mind you) in my field of video game development and it has me feeling like I’m at a stale-mate. I can only imagine the creative flow in New York and now exciting that may be.

My true question is do you think you would be either the same kind of musician (if one at all) if you didn’t grow up in the melting pot that is Manhattan? And do you think someone that’s hit an artistic wall could really benefit from moving into an area of town that they thought had more to offer as far as stimulation?

That’s hard to say. I don’t know what my creative output would have been if I grew up elsewhere. There are so many factors that play into me making music that, if you remove one of them, I could have easily never gotten into this profession at all.
I do think a vibrant city does inspire people to work.But more in the sense of you see all the movement around you and realize you need to keep up. I definitely tend to get a rush of creativity whenever I return to new york after being away for a while. But, that might also just me being happy to be home.
That said, at least in respect to what i do, I’m not a huge believer in tangible “inspiration”. I sample things, therefor, those samples often dictate the direction a song goes. It’s not from me walking around the busy NYC streets and observing the humanity around me. If inspiration means the little flame that gets lit under your ass that causes you to be creative, than maybe your environment makes a big difference. But if you mean what actually inspires the sounds? That’s all in your head. Ideas pop up from anywhere. Sure, being in a city where things are whizzing by your head all day can definitely spark ideas but so can toiling away on the internet all day. It really just depends what you’re looking for and where you draw your own inspiration from.
I find that, when it’s cold out, I end up making more beats cause I don’t wanna leave my house. While, in the spring time, I’m not as productive. So, most of the time, I’m as inspired as my options. There are exceptions when I’ll just be in bed and hear something in my head that I want to execute musically…then do it. But , mostly, I have a very go with flow mentality about making music.

Being that you are from New York, what’s your favorite TV show or film that takes place there? Taxi Driver is pretty damn good. What’s your favorite Law & Order: SVU episode?

I’ve never watched a nano-second of any law and order or SVU type shows. Dunno why, I just haven’t. I think I have something inside me that says “Don’t watch dramas on major networks”.
My favorite Tv show in NYC? Probably Seinfeld or the Cosby show. Both existed in a fantasy version of the city but they both were awesome. Seinfeld , in particular, captured a lot of amazing nuances about the city.Granted, it was an upper west side and very white jewish version but that’s as real as anyone else’s.
As for movies, there is a difference between my favorite movies that happen to take place in NYC and movies that I felt nailed how it was/is to live in NYC. Like “Kids” isn’t the best NYC movie by a long shot but that movie nailed being a teenager in the 90s , downtown. Like, that was literally shit I used to do (minus the raping and AIDS). Even that movie “The Wackness” captured parts of the city that resonated deeply with me.
But those two movies aren’t remotely close to the “best” NYC movies.Taxi Driver is up there. The Mean Streets. The pope of greenwich village has a special place in my heart (even though it’s pretty flawed). To be honest, so many movies have been made here it’s hard to even begin to wrap my head around picking one.

It’s so cold out, I made a mix

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I don’t know where you live but if you’re anywhere near the northeast coast of North America right now, you’re probably wearing long johns and hating life. It’s frigid out and has been for over a week. I’m fairly certain it’s not just us (screw you Australia!). My house is struggling. My heat is week and I’ve slept in a sweater and sweatpants under two comforters the last three nights. In honor of this occasion, I put together a compilation of songs that one could listen to while sitting inside , feeling miserable about the weather , possibly wrapped up in a blanket. Mostly mellow, mostly depressing, these songs can incapsulate the feeling of never wanting to leave your bed.
Over the years, I’ve given away a lot of these types of mixes so, let it be known, there’s a good chance a bunch of these songs are songs I’ve uploaded before. For that, I’m sorry. But, also, it’s free so go fuck yourself. I can’t possible keep track of that kinda stuff. This blog is 4 years old now. It’s got a mind of it’s own.
So, for the rest of you, enjoy these songs. It’s a mix of soul, jazz and a few more random genres thrown in for good measure. There’s even a Bruce Springsteen song on there for christ sake and I don’t even like “The boss”. So, have at it and,most of all, stay warm.

Download here!
1)Colours: Donovan
2)If you let me: Eddie Kendrick
3)I’ll take care of you: Bobby “blue” Bland
4)Help the poor: BB King
5)In the rain: The dramatics
6)Paper Tiger: Beck
7)Soul Lament: Kenny Burrell
8)Spaced Cowboy: Sly and the family stone
9)Winter in America: Gil Scott Heron
10)Young Liars:Tv on the Radio
11)Coffee Cold: Galt Macdermot
12)I cry in the morning: Dennis Olivieri
13)State Trooper: Bruce Springsteen
14)Yesterday is here: Tom Waits
15)You are mine: Eddie Ray
16)Celestial Blues: Andy Bey
17)Free Ride: Nick Drake
18)The time for us: Joe Pass
19)High Street: Magic Carpet
20)Star Children: The mighty RIders
21)The evening news: Cee-lo
22)California Dreaming: Lee Moses
23)Down by the river: buddy Miles
24)Don’t know why: O.V. Wright
25)Isn’t it a pity: The three Degrees
26)Man oh man: The Impressions

RoggleCast #2!

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It’s been a long time but we are back. I’ll tell you, the holidays, my touring schedule and Pollyne losing her voice singing karaoke are all roadblocks to making a consistent podcast. Hopefully, they are behind us.
Anyway, we have returned this week with a fairly low brow discussion of topics such as masturbation (always and forever), deal breakers, native New York rules and that thing when obviously dumb famous people say dumb things and people act like they’re surprised.
We hope to be dropping there weekly so, yeah…have at it. We’re working on getting it on I-tunes but that’s proving to be really fucking annoying to do. Still, we’ll figure it out. So, for now, Bask in the rogglecast in all it’s soundcloud glory. And download it if you feel like it.

Oh, and if you’re a creepy type and wanna know more about Pollyne, follow her on Instagram and Twitter @po_lite but, also know, she’s most likely not gonna have sex with you ever.

Defending my tweets vol. 4

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Twitter keeps me on my toes. Not in the sense that I’m always saying sharp witted things but more that I’m always awaiting the next flood of offended people taking my words the wrong way. It’s part of the game I suppose. Because of this, I started doing this column a little while back. It’s blatant rip off of a skit of “The Jesilnik offensive” and I’m okay with that. That show got cancelled and I do this for free with no plans of stopping. I win. So, here are some tweets I did that garnered mixed reactions and my explanations/defense of them. In the end, just know that everything I tweet should be read while smirking and giving an occasional wink. That’s my vibe. I swear.

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So, this day, I was watching “Catfish”. If you don’t know about “Catfish”, shame on you…but also read the first part of this:https://phatfriend.com/2013/01/23/mtv-is-kinda-doing-things-right-now/
On this particular episode, a guy got “catfished” by an obese girl pretending to be a hot girl. Shocking, I know. This girl was a good 300 pounds. When asked why she felt the need to lie, instead of saying she was self conscious about her wieght and looks, she opted to blame the media. Yup, she said something like “Well, with the unfair standards the media sets for women, I didn’t feel comfortable blah blah blah”. Now, I’m not about fat shaming. I know how fucked up life can be if you’re fat. However, there’s a difference between being fat and being obese. As annoying as I find Lena Dunham at times, her stance on body image is not without some validity. Sure, she could exercise and actually not look like a bean bag chair with legs but that’s not her point. Her body is hers , there’s nothing inherently wrong with it and people just have to accept that. But the thing is, she’s in a situation where she’s not too overweight it’s a danger to her life. Her heart will keep pumping for the foreseeable future. Basically, she’s doing her and has every right to. The media may give her shit about showing off her “not particularly attractive” body but that’s her right to do so if she pleases (and, boy, does she please). But this 300 pound mouth breather on catfish? Nah. Sorry, girl, you’re about 100 pounds past blaming the media. Yes, the media does set unfair body standards for young women to follow. Without question. But i don’t think you get to complain when you’ve thrown in the towel on a level so dire you could drop dead trying to open a jar of pickles. You lose all right to point fingers when things get that far our of hand.
Her blaming the media for being fat is like a one inch dick guy blaming porn for him having a small dick or a drug addict blaming his dealer for selling him drugs. She woulda been that way no matter what. Now, if she had a glandular issue or something of that nature, that’s a valid excuse (she apparently did not, cause I was waiting for her to mention it). But simply sitting around all day like a sleepy manatee and eating everything in sight is not okay. Don’t bring the media into your unhealthy life habits. If you’re overweight and feel the pressure of society on you, that’s one thing. You can accept it and live you life or try and fix that. either way, your own personal health should be your responsibility. Not the medias. But if you’ve given up on a level so deep that you’ve accepted you will never set eyes on your own genitals again, that’s on you. Put the fast food down and get off your ass. Or don’t! Just don’t point the finger at some invisible thing that has nothing to do with you and your shitty life choices.

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You walk around any metropolis and you’ll often see the glory that is physically mismatched couples. Sure, sometimes you’ll happen across a strapping young man who, for some reason or another, found a life partner in a human aardvark of a lady BUT more often than not, it’s the other way around. A beautiful girl with a true catfish (the fish not the show). This is especially common in hipster neighborhoods. Where pixie faced girls are being duped world wide by chinless, chubby losers who happen to be able to grow a beard and wear glasses. It’s like some sort of alternative Groucho Marx costume that gets you laid.
This fashion swing leading to normally less than attractive dudes getting ass is nothing new. Back in the baggy jeans era, tubby wiggers everywhere were getting over simply by wearing huge jeans and growing a razor thing chin strap beard that created the illusion of them having a jaw line. Now, beards are what are hot in the streets and those guys are raking it in. To be clear, I’m not even mad. I don’t have a beard but I certainly rock some stubble. When cleanly shaven, I look like a baby white whale. I get why it’s a thing. The fact of the matter is, if you have decent eyes but the rest of your face is suspect, you can cover it all up with hair and your problem is solved. It still kinda baffles me how so many girls loved this (as I’d imagine kissing a dude with a beard must not feel great) but, then again, girls have always been willing to overlook physical downsides of men for their greater good. Us dudes are generally very much about the surface, when we meet girls. But, if you work at a coffee shop with a cute girl long enough, grow that beard out long enough and get the right frames for your glasses, anything is possible. It’s actually quite uplifting.

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Doing these “demo reviews” have been a miserable yet enlightening experience. It’s like a peak behind a curtain and have no interest in peaking behind. I think I wrote this tweet after a particularly rough week of reviews and it was met with a whole lot of “Actually…”‘s , which on twitter is pretty much the golden standard for someone being a dipshit. It’s the bored know it all contrarians go to phrase.
Well, this is defend your tweet so lemme do that…
I think all beat makers who sample have to start somewhere. We don’t all have great sample sources at our fingertips. I know, for the first few years of my beat making life, I was at the will of my parents record, tape and cd collection. Which meant i sampled nothing but jazz. opera and classical music. I did this not cause i wanted to but cause I had to. I definitely went through a stage of sampling classical songs. It was then when I learned that
a)when you sample classical music, all your songs sound kinda the same. Dramatic strings. The thing about sampling genres of music based mostly on one or two instruments, is that it’s limiting. If I buy a Klezmer album to sample, best believe I’m gonna get a dope sample out of it…but it’s only gonna be one sample cause all the other samples will sound kinda the same.
b)Some classical songs are extremely well known and, while they are public domain, you can’t sample a standard. Not in the legal sense, but in they “hey listen to this awesome Bach loop, son” kinda way. A lot of sampling is about the context in which you use the materials. There simply is no right context for sampling a well known classical standard.
To any producer who strives to get better, these two things become clear quickly and you abandon classical music forever AKA you grow out of it. To a less savvy beat maker though, you just keep plugging away and making shitty sounding , heavy string based, beats that only rappers who “spit fire” 1998 style would ever wanna touch.
Also, no one should eat Mcdonalds every day by choice. That’s not the way to live.

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This one is all about wording and how people love to misinterpret personal taste with intolerance. The thing about tweeting brain farts into the ether is that you forget that people will literally see a small part of the phrase and , based entirely off that, blow a gasket. Case in point, I mention “women with underarm hair”. Now, the entire point of this tweet is me saying “eh, it’s not for me” while also saying “hey, do what you want with your body”. Pretty simple. I’m not chastising girls who prefer to let the underarm hair fly in the wind. I’m simply stating that it’s not up my alley, in terms of what gives me boners. There’s no anti-feminist agenda with this one. But, of course, one cannot write something like this without people flying off the handle about it. I kinda knew it would happen and it did. Kinda. It honestly wasn’t that bad but the people who did take offense, took a lot of offense. So, just to be clear…Just cause I don’t find your underarm hair attractive doesn’t mean you’re gross to the world. I am but one man. It would be like me getting mad at a girl who says she doesn’t like guys who wear sneakers and hats. It might sting a little but I’d accept the loss and realize that not everyone likes everything and I’d definitely not take it as a personal attack on me. We all make life choices with how we present ourselves. If you are a lady and don’t feel like tending to your underarm hair, good for you. I support you in your life choice. It’s just not for me personally. Hey, I don’t snowboard either…but me not snowboarding isn’t a grand statement against dudes who wear beanies and goggles who give strange pounds when you meet them. Know what I mean?
But , really, underarm hair is pretty gross guys. I don’t know how you girl deal with our disgusting hairy man bodies. God bless your souls.

Answers for Questions vol. 171

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Ohhhh dip. Back from the south. Thanks to all those people who came to see my shows with Emancipator this week. It was fun.
A travel day set me back a day so here’s a rare tuesday edition of “answers for questions”. You got questions? I got answers. send them to me with no shame. This week is actually a great example of the types of questions I like. Minus the one asking if I life a specific band. Those questions generally suck (though this weeks was admittedly a deeper question). But, otherwise, it’s a good bunch. So, if you got something to ask, fire away. Email it to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comments below. It’s all anonymous and feel free to get creative with it.
Here’s this weeks batch…

Do you have a driver’s license? I’m pretty sure you do not drive, because living in the city the best modes are walking and bike.

Not only do I not have a drivers license, I literally don’t know how to drive a car. I’ve driven once in my life when I was about 15 and it was on a side road in Cape Cod. I drove for about 25 feet and was like “eh, I’m good…” and that was it. Obviously, when New York City is buried under a tidal wave and I somehow survive, I’ll probably need to learn how to drive. But, until then, it’s not really a necessity for me in my life. Also, I’m terrible at learning things.

what is your stance/opinion on Jambands (not their fanbase), and how they approach improvisational music live? (IE – Grateful Dead, Phish, The Disco Biscuits) Have you taken the time to check any out? If not, why?

I don’t really have an opinion on them that’s that deep. I definitely don’t listen to them or go to their shows but, as for the music itself, it just kinda exists outside my reality.
From what I can gather, Jam bands are generally highly skilled technical musicians who play 3 hour shows of a hybrid folk/rock/funk genre that appeals to people who are on drugs. Lots of noodling. While I can’t fathom that being enjoyable, I’m also not a drug guy so, Immediately, I’m out. I’ve always felt that if you need drugs to enjoy something, it’s probably not that good to begin with. Sure, drugs can enhance something from good to great but if , as a sober person, you were put in the same situation and didn’t like it…it might be time to reevaluate your interests. Not saying that’s the case with all jam bands, it just would appear that being really high at their shows is a given for most of the fan base.
As for taking the time to check them out, nah. Not only have I never really been a rock and roll guy, I’m also not really a live show guy. I’m mostly over that at this point in my life. That’s a young man’s game. The last thing I’d wanna see is a 3 hour show of some dude noodling out the jams with a bunch of people who are tripping balls. I’m simply not that guy. Also, my tolerance for hippies is such that I can only deal with so many at a time. Nice people , in general, but a man can only stand for so many white dudes with dreads and scarves on their heads talking about crystals.
So, from my outside perspective, I feel like jam bands are talented yet, ultimately, boring. It’s very “middle of the road” music as it seems to exist to be background noise. It’s not offensive on any level but it’s also not good. it’s just sorta there. I’d argue that the people who are heavily into it are almost more there for the whole package (the show,drugs, friendships, etc…) than the music itself. But, again, I’m basing this on some looking from the outside in…from very far away.

What is your view/opinion on experimental hip hop artists like death grips, ratking etc? Death grips have already gained a big following (kanye for example) and I think, with a rapper like Wiki, it won’t take long for Ratking to gain a wider audience. So do you think this may be the way forward for hip hop as a genre or will hip hop artists continue to hark back to 90’s boom bap, will yeezus be forgotten and will it always remain a sort of love/hate sub genre, only for people wanting something more from hip hop?


Good music is good music. I’m a fan of weird rappers in general but one thing they have to have is actual rap skills. That’s of the upmost importance to me. Cause people being weird for the sake of being weird while possessing no actual talent is typically some old bullshit. Bullshit, I might add, that has an extremely short shelf life.
I like rat king. But mostly cause the dude can rap well. Death Grips I’m not sure about. It’s more that , personally, it’s not my cup of tea. I was never into hardcore or heavy electronic type shit and Death grips seems to fall somewhere in the middle of that , with hip hop added in. It’s generally too abrasive for my taste. That said, I haven’t heard a lot of their stuff. The things I did hear, though, didn’t grab me.
As for Yeezus, all my thoughts about that album can be read here, in a review I wrote of it when it dropped:
https://phatfriend.com/2013/06/19/yay-or-nay-this-yeezus-album/

Rapid fire mini interview:

What is your first album that you bought as kid?
Hmm…I’m not sure what the first one I actually purchased was. I seem to recall Thriller on vinyl getting in there. But the first cassette I remember owning was the soundtrack to “Beat Street” that I bought at a flea market.

Who is your favorite super hero?
I was never a super hero guy. Which is weird cause , every kid goes through that stage. I did own Superman Pajama bottoms (that i clearly remember filling with shit one fateful morning as a child) as a kid though and people used to tell me I looked like him in college, so I’mma go with that. But, in general, I could care less about the entire genre.

What’s your favorite venue?
(Perform/attend shows)

To perform? I’ve had a lot of fun at Cervantes in Denver. It’s definitely not the best (the sound can be iffy and the backstage is a madhouse) but I love the people who work there and I’ve played there a million times. 930 Club in D.C. is one of the nicest clubs I’ve played in. I wish I had played there more.
As far as seeing shows, I have a lot of fond memories of Mercury Lounge on Houston St. In NYC. Not cause it’s a good venue ( it’s a shithole) but it’s a place I’ve played and friends have played for as long as I can remember. It just feels like home.

If you could beat up any famous person who would be?
It would be fun to knock Emile Hirsch out. I just hate his face and think his acting is a little over the top. I realize this is uncalled for and he might be a great guy but I just can’t stand him in any movie he’s in.

Is their one recording artist who you’ve collect more then anyone else?

Collected? I don’t collect recording artists. I’m not a serial killer.
I used to be a person who wanted everything by certain artists but that has faded with age. I barely own anything anymore that’s not on a hard drive. But, I did own everything “Boogie Down Productions” had ever done at one point. So, I guess them.

What the gnarliest injury you’ve recovered from?
I’ve been pretty lucky in life with injuries. The worst injury I ever had was tearing three ligaments in my right ankle while playing basketball when I was about 22. It was extra bad cause I didn’t have health insurance and I never rehabbed it so it healed very slowly. i don’t think I played ball for about 8 months or so. When it was all said and done, I had lost about 10 inches in my vertical leap (I went from being able to dunk to being able to just touch the rim). To be honest, it totally changed how I played basketball but, in a way, it forced me to get better. It made me not rely on jumping over every one and actually develop a jumpshot. Old man game in effect.

How many times a day do you say fuck?
I say fuck all day long. It’s unquantifiable.

Do you believe in ghosts/aliens/Bigfoot?
Ghosts and bigfoot: no.
Aliens: I’m not sure. I dunno if i believe in the myths that go along with them but the idea of there being other life forms in the endless universe doesn’t seem too crazy to me.

Do you have a kryptonite?
The sound of styrofoam being handled. It makes me wanna curl up in a ball and chop my ears off. I can’t even touch the stuff. Not all styrofoam though. Just the bigger pieces they use to pack electronics with.
Other things that I can’t handle:
the sound of pencils writing: I haven’t used a pencil since grade school for that very reason. The SAT’s were torture for me because of this.
The smell and taste of beets:It tastes like red dirt mixed with someones lower intestine.
someone vomiting near me: I will usain bolt my ass out of a room where any vomiting is taking place. It’s a good thing I’m not a girl cause there is no fucking way I’d hold anyones hair while they hurl.

Let’s assume you have Tourette’s syndrome.
You can’t control your verbal tick but can choose the one word you repeat.
It has to be a racial slur.
Go

You see, this is a set up. There is no correct answer here and , even though you noted I “can’t control it”, it’s still gonna end up with me making a case for the “best” racial slur. so, for that reason, I’mma pick “cracker”. Why? cause it wouldn’t stop a room every time I said it. As a white person, i can say that to whoever I want and they can’t really say shit back to me. Though, in the south, I’d imagine I might get my shit rocked if I said that an actual cracker. Still, I’m going with that. Even though I’m fairly sure the person who asked this was praying I’d pick some shit like “Gook”. Sorry, bro.

I’ve head a lot of New Yorkers complain about people moving to the city. A lot of “hipsters on Mom and Dad’s trust fund” apparently. My question is that at what point does someone crossover from an outsider to a real New Yorker? Is there a certain amount of time you should live in the city or, if you’re not born there, you won’t ever be a New Yorker? If that’s the case, I’m guessing if you had children in the city, they’d get to be natives then? And, finally, for those who move to the city, is there a way to be less annoying to the natives? I just definitely hear a lot of bitching about the people who move to NYC.

This is a wonderful question and one I’ve discussed with people endlessly in my life.
Here’s the way I see it:
You have native new yorkers. These are people who were born and LIVED here their entire lives. Like me. I’ll also bend a little on this and say if you went to high school in NYC and then lived here after that, I might argue that you get a pass. The point being is that, to be a native New Yorker, you have to have spent your formative years here. Not coming in on weekends. Not spending your summers here. But actually living here full time. To me , these are the only TRUE new yorkers. Even a person who’s lived here for 50 years but came to the city in their early 20’s isn’t a native.

A “new yorker”: These are people who have simply lived here for a long ass time. They’ve earned the right to call themselves new yorkers. They’re still not natives, but they’re the closest thing to them. The “get it” and the subscribe to all that NYC is about. I’mma say you get this title somewhere between 15 and 20 years of living here. Cause, by then, it’s real. You could live here for ten years in your 20’s then go back to where ever it is you came from and you wouldn’t ever be a new yorker. A part of being a new yorker is that you know you’re never going to leave it.

As for kids, same rules apply. If you’re born and raised here, you’re a new yorker. My parents were not born and raised here but I was. They would both classify as the secondary “new yorkers” , while I would classify as a “native”.

as for the people moving here who are trying to not be annoying, it’s really easy.
1)Accept that this isn’t your city. You just live here. By this, I mean, don’t move to NYC with an attitude like you’re special. No one here is special. Natives included. The worst kinda person is one who moves here and, after living in Greenpoint for two years, thinks they are the lord of all that NYC. Basically, know your roll.
2)Only move here if you want to live in a real city. A huge issue going on right now is staples of NYC being shutdown due to rent hikes or people moving into formerly cool neighborhoods and deciding they want those hoods to fit their needs. Meaning, shut down all the great bars, close the mom and pop restaurants and open up more nail salons. I will never understand why someone would want to go somewhere just to change it into the thing the left behind. To those people: We don’t want or need you. It’s crowded enough here as is. Please, fuck off. Fuck off hard…and die.
3)Don’t think you’re special cause you live on the cusp of the ghetto. This isn’t the fucking wilderness, bro. You’re in a metropolis. Just cause you can only afford to live in a questionably safe hood doesn’t speed your “new yorker” process up any more. If anything, you’re the ones fucking it up for everyone else. All those people in your hood who look at you funny? It’s for a reason. It’s cause, 10 years ago white dorks didn’t have the gaul to set foot in those neighborhoods let alone open a juice bar/coffee chop in them. You’re the reason they might actually have to move out of those neighborhoods in a few years when the prices get too high. You are and will always be a visitor in those places. There is no such thing as street cred when you’re simply living somewhere cause you can.
4)You’re NEVER allowed to complain about the “old new york” if you’ve only lived here post 1995. You shut the fuck up about that. I’ve heard people who have lived here for less than 5 years lament about the good old days as if they aren’t the exact reason people lament about the good old days.

Listen, All you gotta do is come here and embrace it for what it is. As long as you do that and respect what was here long before you, it’s all good. I’ve seen people come here and , all of a sudden, they’re different people. That should never happen.
Be you, know your role and , most of all, learn the train system.

Demo reviews Vol. 39

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Welcome once again to another addition of hell on earth…I mean “Demo reviews”. This is where I asked my readers to send in their original music so I can tell them what I think. We’re almost 40 editions deep now and it amazes me that people still want me to review their stuff. I mean, you guys no I hate almost everything right? Well, more power to you all and I praise the thick skin you have shown during the process.
If you’re curious about sending me a demo, I’m afraid now is not the time. SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED. When they re-open, I’ll announce them but, until then, don’t send me anything. I won’t even open the emails.
The review style is simple. I do a brief write up then rate the songs from 1-10 in these categories:
Production
Vocals
Listenability
originality

I can’t stress enough how pointless the number ratings are but people seem to like when you quantify art (I get that) so, here ya go!
Okay, on with this weeks batch.

Artist: Pyer
Song: Blue Spruce


This can definitely filed under “Not my wheelhouse”. That said, it’s not made poorly. It sounds like if Bobby Mcferrin was a machine. I’d probably take out the sound that sounds like bugs swarming MUCH earlier cause, even though it’s got it’s point, it’s really grating. In the end, I don’t really know where this one is going. It’s not that interesting when it’s all said and done.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:N/a
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:5.5 out of 10

Artist: The Cloudmakers
Song: Never growing up


I’m not gonna front, I was biased against this from the first blip of that dubby bass tone. Not a fan. But, I’ll be the bigger man and give it a chance beyond that.
Well…it’s not good. But it’s not that bad. The rappers are capable while being completely forgettable. The second guy actually sounds like friend to the blog Alaska. This just may be a case of this being some young guy rap I just can’t get into. But the beat doesn’t do much for me and the raps are forgettable.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist: ESH & ARC
Song: Bonafide Napoleon


This is kinda fun. I don’t love the beat but it’s got a good energy to it. Reminds me of an old posse cut beat from the mid 2000’s. The rapper is decent. Some clever lines and some not as clever as he thinks they are lines. More than anything it’s well recorded and refined.That’s always a nice bonus.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:5 out of 10
Listenability:5.5 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist: D Skape
Song: Drowny in hibachi


That hi hat…it’s really bad. Work on that. The loops is really bugged out and I thought it was out of key with itself but it works pretty well. The rapping sounds like Joaquin Phoenix in a drug haze. Put down the drugs or whatever it is you’re on guys. It doesn’t work with rapping. It’s mumble core rap and that should never become a thing. MF doom killed that style 10 years ago.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:2 out of 10
Listenability:3.5 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Drisa
Song: Hallay!


I’m curious if the person who made this, finished it, listened back and was like “I enjoyed that!”. There’s no way. It’s not even THAT bad so much as what’s the point of this even being a song? It’s a warbled bass tone with some hissy drums and random vocal sample chops. It doesn’t even really have a mood except it’s kinda uncomfortable to sit through. I know music is art and there are no rules but I think it’s a good idea to have a reason behind making a song. Even something as simple as “It sounds good” is a good enough reason.
Production:3 out of 10
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:2 out of 10
originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Skobie Won
Song: Burn


This is a song that wants to be epic so badly but it just isn’t. It’s got the aggressiveness and the cute production tricks but it just doesn’t hit. Partially cause the beat is just not that good and it’s a bad kinda abrasive. Also because the rapper is not up for the task of making a song of this magnitude. You need insane confidence to pull that shit off that this dude sounds like he’s not ready for prime time. Voice and flow wise.

Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:3.5 out 10
Listenability:3 out of 10
originality:3.5 out of 10

Artist: B. Done
Song: Karate Kickin’ Consonants


I have a strange feeling this is gonna be one of those beats that someone in the comments is gonna be like “That beat is from _________”. If not, props. I don’t love it, but it’s weird is a cool way and doesn’t really sound like many other beats. The rapping…it’s just kinda there. Kinda like the dude above, he’s not ready for a song like this. He’s got potential but he’s too robotic at this point in his evolution. It’s soulless rapping.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:4 out of 10
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
originality:4.5 out of 10

Artist:About 9
Song:These four walls


This is pretty and mellow. Nothing really special about it but it’s certainly not rubbing anyone the wrong way. Sounds like folk-hop. Is that even a thing? Well, now it is! The drums are a simple yet cool break. I like the bells. The guitar riff is very Tracy Chapman but it’s fine. Not bad.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:5 out of 10
originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Krak
Song: Awake


I don’t really know what to do this. A simple loop some mediocre drums and a meandering guitar. I suppose I could fall asleep to this the same way listening to talk radio might put me under. I like the weird vocal sample that comes in but it feels out of place with how the rest of the song feels. Even more out of place? The rap vocal samples.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Imijasis
Song: Words


This is what college sounds like. A mixture of self righteous poetry , experimentation, singer/songwriter,and too many influences. I’m not even mad at it cause this is the kinda song every artist has hidden away somewhere that, when we look back at it, we blush and want to burn it with a flame thrower. I’d venture to guess this guy could evolve into something listenable one day and will eventually look back at this song with deep shame. It might be a matter of focusing on exactly what his sound needs to be…maybe not rapping. I dunno. He’ll figure something out.
Production:3 out of 10
Vocals:3.5 out of 10
Listenability:3.5 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

So, what do you think?