Answers for Questions Vol. 230

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Hi there! Welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”. You ask, I answer. Simple stuff, really. If you’d like to partake in this magic, fire away. I’m not picky. Either leave the questions in the comment section below or email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com. Have fun with it.
Oh, also, I’m heading out on the road this week for the next few months. Lots of North American dates…Check my website for details:
http://blockheadmusic.com/
Come to my shows and tell me how little you enjoy my blog. It’s okay. You wouldn’t be the first. Anyway, let’s get into this weeks batch…

Do you ever feel odd when a fan from another country speaks to you in English, and your unable to speak back in theirs? I’m sure many people in other countries know English as a 2nd language, while us Americans (many of us) only speak in one language.

It is. When I’m in foreign countries I constantly feel insecure about speaking to the natives. Not only cause I feel like I immediately come off as a dumb American but even trying to speak a tiny bit of their language is off putting. Like saying “merci” in France. I feel as though even trying to speak the language is disrespectful. In reality, that’s logic make no sense but I definitely feel that way at all times overseas. It kinda sucks actually. I should learn another language but, you know, that’s hard and fuck all that. USA! USA! :eats five hot dogs and shoots a machine gun into the sky:

Would you rather be married to a professional mountain climber that always made you come on expeditions where you had to camp in the mountains and cook dehydrated food over a campfire, or a female version of Riff Raff that rapped in a different language and constantly asked you for advice about beat making but then told you your ideas were bad and just did the opposite anyway?
Ughh…i think I’d go with the mountain climber. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s hard to date someone who does what you do. I’ve never even remotely come close to that but considering simply being friends with people like that can be a chore, adding intimacy and feelings to that, it sounds like a total nightmare. I mean, so does dating that fucking mountain climber but at least i wouldn’t be arguing about rap with her all day.
I don’t mind talking rap and nerding out with my buddies but , ideally, i wanna be able to come home and not do that. Personally, a Girlfriend should be a sanctuary from that that kind of conversation.

Do you think Katy Perry’s breasts are overrated, or underrated?
I’d have to see them in the nude to truly tell but, from what I can see, they look pretty good to me. I’d say they’re fairly rated until proven otherwise. Unless she had jacked up nipples or tons of veins, how bad could they really be?

I’ve seen most of your demo reviews and I have yet to see you give any 9s or 10s in any of the categories, what are some hip hop tracks that you would give a 9-10 in all of the categories production, vocals etc. I’m really curious what you consider to be a 9 or 10, I was really surprised when you reviewed daylight I easily thought it deserved a 9 in each category, although I do agree with you on most of your demo reviews.

Hmm…i feel like 10’s exist as something untouchable. They are perfect and there is no such thing as a perfect song. So nothing one earth could ever get a 10. A nine? “Follow the leader” by Eric B and Rakim could get that for beats and rhymes. “Ny state of mind” by Nas. “The guidelines” by Aceyalone. “Releasing hypnotical gases” by Organized Konfusion. “Aquameni” by Outkast. I’m just rattling off random ones but those would all get that kinda rating from me.

You said that Aes hadn’t nearly reached his potential on Daylight. When do you think he really came into himself fully as a rapper? Obviously there are a lot of aspects to rapping so it may be a tough question but you know… I’m channelling my nerd power.

I think , as a rapper, Aes found his voice on the Fast cars ep and perfected it on “None shall pass”. Since then, he’s gotten better with every album. There aren’t many rappers you can say that about. He found his groove, flow wise and , lyrically, he settled into a nice medium between his old extremely verbose styles and a more down to earth approach that he first used on “No regrets”.

flash to the present to your eating days for this scenario. suppose some mystical fattie you met in the grocery store offers you a fridge that’s always regenerating food. you never have to fill it and you get unlimited food to infinity. but it never changes inventory, so you have to pick what food you want to constantly be able to eat forever. do you barefoot contessa some list to maximize your food options or pass and just fill the freezer with burritos and totinos pizza rolls?
I mean, if the list can be incredibly long I’d be all over it but if he offers me 5 foods, fuck all that. I like variety. In fact, I love it. Food is my favorite thing on earth so , unless my list of foods can be like 50 pages long, i’d pass on it completely and just keep living my life how I live it. These genies always trying to come into your life and throw curveballs at you. Can i live, genies?

Do you believe in the singularity? Ray Kurzweil thinks that humankind will merge with computers around 2045 and that we’ll all live forever in a kind of A.I. techno eden. He foresees that some humans will reject the whole thing and choose to stay as human beings in nature reserves while the rest of the planet is turned into a giant computer. Which side will you be on?

I’d like to think I’ll side with the humans. I love many of the benefits computers have given us. Hell, I’m admittedly addicted to the internet but I’m also a person who lived as an adult before this shit was all encompassing. life was fine back then. It would actually do a good amount of people a service to know what that was like cause I fear large portion of people today would probably end up on the computer side of things.
While i can’t really call it on the exact date he has decided on, I definitely agree with Kurzweil in some ways. We are barreling towards a world that will be impossible to exist in without computers. It already is but it’s only going to get worse.

Do you miss doing The Rogglecast? Do you miss Pollyne? Has she run into Moby yet? (so many queries..)

I miss Pollyne more than doing the Rogglecast. Don’t get me wrong, I loved doing that but it was only around for a year. I’ve known Pollyne for like 15 years. There’s more to miss there than a weekly recorded conversation.
I don’t think she’s met moby but she did meet Anders from Workaholics and Eric Andre. So, that’s a start, right?

New Mighty Jones Video!

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For those who don’t know, I’m part of a group called The Mighty Jones. It consists of me , singer Joanna Erdos (of The Midnight Show) , Guitarist Damien Paris (of The Giraffes ), Bassist Jeremy Gibson (AKA Sir Jarlsberg) and Bayli Mckeithan (of The Skins).
We’ve been working on an album for a long time. I mean…a REALLY long time. Here’s an old post I made about it 5 years ago…it has lots of good info and even some old demos of ours you can download
https://phatfriend.com/2010/07/22/introducing-the-mighty-jones/
But, finally , the album done. Mixed and mastered. It should be ready for public consumption in the very near future. It’s called “Gone Long” and we are very happy with it.
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But, before that drops, here’s q new video we made for Wreckroom for our song “Rumblepack”.

Also, The Mighty Jones will be playing at SXSW this year! Unfortunately, I won’t be there cause I’ll be touring elsewhere but, luckily, they can do fine without me on a live stage as all I do is press “play”. If you’re in Austin for SXSW, definitely check them out.
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Oh and , all very important…we have a website up! Including other videos, pics and all the info you need.
So peep that. Even if it’s just cause you’re a creep and wanna look at the pretty girls, I won’t judge you.
http://www.themightyjones.com
And “Like” us on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/themightyjonesband
Follow us on Instagram: @mightyjones
Okay?!?! Thanks and enjoy. Album coming soon! I promise.

Demo Reviews Vol. 63

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Hi there and welcome to another edition of “Demo reviews”. Can’t say I’ve missed it much but the streets are calling. Well, that’s not ever true. The people who submitted demo’s are calling for it. I imagine the rest of you feel kinda like i do about this.
ANNNNYWAAAYYYY, this is where you guys send me demos and I review them. Why me? No clue. Probably cause I’m the only guy offering such services. The review work like so: I listen once, write a few thoughts down and then rate the songs from 1-10 in these categories:
Production
Vocals
Listenability
Originality

Those rating are pretty arbitrary so, you know, don’t read into them too much.
Okay? cool…this week is full of instrumental stuff, which I’m not crazy about in general but, hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

Artist: YY
Song: Brand new day


This is a moody little piece that would work very nicely as a film score. It’s well done but I personally don’t know what to do with music like this. It’s good but I can’t imagine ever finding a place to listen to it. Driving at night, maybe? Songs like this aren’t so much about the song itself and more about an overall mood. This certainly captures something though
Production:5.5 out of 10
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:5.5 out of 10
Originality:4.5 out of 10

Artist: Corporeal
Song: Veins…


This is interesting. On one hand, I think the production is sound and the song structure is nice. It’s a well made (and mixed) song. The vocals are iffy to me cause they aren’t really rapping…more spoken word poetry type shit (which I loath). But, clearly, this isn’t meant to be a rap song so I suppose judging it on those merits isn’t fair. But the talky rap style is a bit too kitty pryde for my taste.
Production:6 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:5.5 out of 10

Artist: WFM
Song: My Blocky head


The song title got me all sorts of “hmmm….”.
Well, this is just a beat with one extra layer. I’d say the best part is the drums. Other then that, it’s pretty uneventful and has that “forced emotional” feel to it.
Those kind of piano progressions tend to do that. Thing is, you can work with those if they’re a backbone of a song and not the featured part. I’d say, this song needs a lot more to it to be interesting.
Production:4.5
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Dr. Apple
Song: Big bang boogie


Honestly, it’s just nice to hear a rap song finally.
This is okay. The beat is a nice loop but the drums are pretty whatever. Not terrible but they coulda been the deciding factor for a song like this.
The rapper is decent. I like his voice and he says some pretty funny shit on here. My biggest gripe would be that he makes some unfortunate choices vocally. It’s not that big a deal but sometimes what separates a decent rapper from a good rapper is the nuance.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:4.5 out of 10

Artist: A’Daleis
Song: Mellow Feet


Good drums with a jazz loop. It’s always an efficient way to get a beat started. It’s definitely not at all original but I certainly can’t knock the hustle. Thing is, i don’t really like the main loop. It’s got a mood but there’s a weird tone to it. It’s not out of key but it feels a little dissonant. And the changes/additions don’t do much to help that case. This beat is fine though…I dunno if I’d really call it a song.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Artist: mconan
song: Across oceans


I love mconan? Not really.
This is some electronic shit that just doesn’t appeal to me. The sounds are all kinda thin/stock sounds and musically it’s just kinda there. The drums are chaotic and don’t really match the mood of the music at all. That said, this is so out of my wheelhouse of musical interest, it could be great and i’d have no idea. It just sounds like a chaotic mess to me though.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:3 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: The shadow Factory
Song: Contend the dark


This is a beat, bro. Not a song. Sure, you threw some vocal samples on it but..it’s a beat. The fact it’s on bandcamp is actually shocking as this sounds definitively like some soundcloud shit. Thing is, it’s not even a good beat. Like, if someone was rapping on it, I’d still be like “meh”. The sample is just boring and a little lazy. So, yeah, this one isn’t working for me.
As someone who samples everything, I gotta say, if you can’t find a good sample to loop, beat making might not be for you. it’s literally the easiest part of making tracks.
Production:3 out of 10
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:3.5 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Beat em up
Song: Ich ban ja so high


This is one of those tracks that feels like someone with potential just starting out. It hasn’t reached it’s fully formed stage yet. The sounds are all a tiny bit thin and the structure just isn’t there yet. But, like I said, I do see potential.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Deebio
Song: De L’amour


From the first note of this, I can tell that people who read this column will be all over it. Like this should win this week hands down. I don’t disagree. It’s a cool, choppy jazz loop with a drum style that’s still “in”. All that said, it’s literally just a few loops so this barely qualifies as a song. But it’s very well made…People really need to stop sending me these fucking beats and calling them songs. I WANT SONGS GODDAMNIT!
Production:6 out of 10
Vocals:n/a
Listenability:5.5 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

So, what do you think?

Is it too late for Jay Electronica?

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It’s rare that old rap heads get excited about new rap nowadays. It’s even more rare when that excitement is a rapper who might actually be relevant in todays musical landscape. When I first heard Jay Electronica, my initial reaction was “What’s up with this corny name?”. It sounded like an EDM producer from a third world country. But when I heard the raps, I felt something I hadn’t in a long time. There was something about Jay’s voice, flow and lyrics that took me back. They made me get the same feeling I would , back in the day, after I would buy cassettes at Disc-o-rama on west 4th street. I’d come home , Throw down my book bag, put a tape into the cassette player and just let it run. While it played, i’d meticulously go through the liner notes. Reading the production credits, looking at the artwork and checking the shout outs to see who this group/rapper knew. This was a time when i was a teenager and everything was exciting. Especially rap music. Flash forward 20 years and it’s a different story. I don’t listen to albums like that any more. I can’t. I got shit to do. At best, I’ll throw it in my Ipod and walk around with it and catch he whole thing over the course of a few weeks. Even then, I’ll get 20 seconds into a track, decide I’m not into it and skip it. Between aging and technology, it’s simply a different ball game.
So, when I heard Jay Electronica (this was probably 5 years ago at this point), it hit a nerve. He was a rapper who was clearly from my era of rap fans (IE he was old) BUT he had an edge that didn’t make him sound like a revivalist. One song in and I wanted to know everything about him. Since liner notes were not an option, I turned to the internet which is like liner notes for earth. A little research and I found Jay had a few mixtapes (which I quickly downloaded). He had enough material to really dig into. One would almost think , at that point, you were dealing with a prolific artist. And that’s a funny concept once you get familiar with Jay Electronica.
Since that time, it would appear Jay has hit a wall. Not of creativity but of production. After dropping stellar mix tapes and loose tracks in short period of time, he finally got the attention he deserved. Puffy, nas and Jay-Z all were knocking on his door. He did songs with two of them eventually. Word was he signed to Defcon records. Then word was he signed to The Roc (Jay-z’s label) and that’s where the trail went cold. Electronica started to become the Andre 3000 of underground rap. Every fan begging for an album…or even a song, but nothing. Every now and then, out of nowhere, he’d drop a song that would remind us all of why we desperately wanted new material but, as quick as that song would come, he would vanish into thin air with only a faint promise of “The album drops soon, guys…”.
There was even gossip going around. He was with Erykah Badu AKA the hip hop baby factory but then he was supposedly having an affair with a married woman from the insanely rich Rothchild family. There was talk of him being a drunk and having a terrible work ethic. All the while, he was supposedly working on his solo album “Act II: Patents of Nobility” for Roc nation records. There was even a leaked tracklisting that may or may not have been real. Then I heard that the album was done, Jay-z loved it, but was sitting on it cause it didn’t have any hits. Which seemed counterproductive to anyone familiar with Electronica’s music. He’s not a guy who makes hits. He’s a tried and true rapper. Trying to milk him for success isn’t in the cards for him. He’s a dude who will much sooner have 20,000 devoted fans than 1,000,000 people who’ve even heard of him, like one song but really have no opinion o him outside of that.
So, with all this push and pull, Jay’s fans are seemingly left in a strange position. It’s like an abusive relationship. We love this person but they just keep disappointing us. For every gentle kiss on our forehead, there’s a back handed slap to the face and the door slamming behind them that follows it. My question, for fans of Jay, is it too late? Can he still make an album that you want to check out? Personally, I’m a forgiving person and , more than anything, the quality of the songs he’s released has no waned. He may drop one song a year but I’ll be damned if that song isn’t great.
So, last week, a new song of his leaked “Road to perdition” and, surprise, it’s really good.
Here that it:
Road to Perdition
http://www78.zippyshare.com/v/OrWNPEb1/file.html
Also, I put together a folder of some of my favorite songs of his so, to the uninitiated , this could be a good starting point for you:
http://www78.zippyshare.com/v/cw02YdXU/file.html

But I ask you, Is it too late for this guy? Answer the poll (you can pick more than one answer, btw)…

Notes from the road- Tel Aviv

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Last Week I covered my european dates while on tour and this week, I wanted to talk about my brief time in Tel Aviv Israel.

I gotta lot to say about this.
First off, I wanna point out the opposition I received on Facebook concerning my trip to Israel. As soon as I posted that I was playing in Tel Aviv, A handful of people started bombarding me with “Boycott Israel” memes and basically telling me I was a piece of shit for playing there. Well, let me explain.
I’m a musician. My job is to play gigs. i don’t pick where I play and , for what it’s worth, this is how I make my living. Beyond that, I’m not at all informed of any political dealings in or out of Israel.I have friends who both support and do not support Israel but that’s the extent of my knowledge. I simply don’t pay attention to much news. I’m half jewish but I feel but I feel no deep bond to people in Israel. To put it bluntly, I don’t give a fuck. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way. I simply don’t think about that kinda stuff. Perhaps I’m a shitty person because of that but I tend to only worry about what’s within my control. I’m speaking of any political aspect to any country I play in. I’d play Palestine if they asked me. So, when people started coming at me on some “How dare you!” shit, I was shocked. The idea of me playing a show anywhere angering people had never for a moment crossed my mind. Once the backlash started coming in, I was like “Oh shit…” but, you know what? The show must go on and, fuck it, I wanted to see what Tel aviv was like. People on Facebook were acting like I was performing for the fucking leaders of the country and not some regular young people who simply enjoy music and going out. I think that’s what gets lost in a lot of political bullshit. Yes, there are some shitty people in many places. Some more than others. But the second you think a whole country is evil cause you don’t agree with their leaders policies? You’re really not being fair. There are good , kind, normal people everywhere. In fact, a decent amount of the Israeli’s I spoke to were adamantly against what was going on in their country. It reminded me of the first time I went to the UK and I struck up a conversation with my cab driver. He started going in about how great G.W. Bush was and I was like “uhhh….fuck that guy”. So, to the people who had an issue, I respect your right to feel some sorta way about that country. You’re obviously more involved and informed than I am…but I’m just a dude who makes music and plays shows. I have no dog in this fight and really don’t care to. Also, taking firm political stances on the Facebook pages of niche underground hip hop artist is fucking ridiculous. Go find a message board or something. Better yet, talk to a friend.

Now that that’s out of the way, lemme talk about my trip there. It started rough. I arrived in the Tel Aviv Airport around 12:30 am. People had warned me that they were tight about letting people in. Obviously. It’s fucking Israel. So, I was mentally preparing myself for some bullshit. So, I walk to the passport inspection line. It’s a mile long. Not only that, it’s not moving. Each teller is taking 5 to 10 minutes with EVERY person. It might as well have been a doctors office but with like 200 people in it. So, I’m waiting on this line and theres a group of russian women get in line after me. i notice them hedging to cut me. The line is so slow that it’s very clear to spot. With every half step forward, this dumpy one slowly angles her body to be a centimeter ahead of me. I’m watching this happen and trying to figure out what kind of argument I’m going to get in once the line gets shorter. At this point, we’re so far away that it doesn’t even matter. I simply must stand my ground. I notice a teller walk into an empty booth next to the one I’m waiting for.. He’s an angry looking bald man with a flack jacket on. He’s taking his sweet time setting up , turning away people who think they might catch a break. Like I said, the line I’m on is very long. Looking into the booth of my lines teller, i see a girl who could literally be a sports illustrated swimsuit model. No joke. She looked almost exactly like Claudia Shieffer. Suddenly, the angry bald teller start accepting people. I have to make q quick choice. Do i wait on this never ending line and deal with the pretty woman or do I leap into action and jump on the short line with the angry bald guy. As I always do, I impulsively go with the quicker choice and get on the line with the bald guy. For better or worse, I’ll take slight discomfort and speed over luxury and waiting. I”m now behind 3 people, as opposed to the 35 on the previous line. The Russian lady cut squad is now definitively behind me and they can’t do shit. So i’m feeling pretty good about that. Waiting for my turn, I look at the bald guys body language as he deals with people. Unlike the other tellers, he’s standing. He’s obviously very much on a power trip and looming over all those before him is a big deal. His face scrunches up as he asks questions. Grilling 75 year old women and making their husbands wait their turn, instead of taking both at the same time like the other tellers. At this point, I feel as though I fucked up. I coulda just waited and dealt with an angel who probably just wanted to get off work so she could go meet her hot friends at a hookah bar but, instead, I got a guy who probably resents his penis and takes it out on any and every person he comes across.
Finally , I get to his booth. He looks me up and down with a somewhat disgusted look on his face.
“Why you here?”
i tell him I’m a Dj and I’m playing a show. He asks where and tell him. he then asks “Where are you?”
I give him a confused look and say “Israel?”
He responds, “No! Where are you!?” I pause and ask him to repeat the question. He does and it make just as little sense as before. I say “RIght here…standing in front of you?” And I was not being snide. I literally didn’t understand what he was asking. This exchange goes back a forth a few more times and begins to feels like a “who’s on first” routine but with an angry israeli dude who wants to strangle me. Turns out, he wanted to know what part of Israel I would be staying in.
“ohhh…Tel aviv. I’m sorry I was confused”
He does not accept my apology and asks me if I’m getting paid for my gig. I sheepishly say yes , now realizing that I might be missing a work visa. I’m kinda shitting my pants. He then snatches my passport and says “Go to passport room…wait”
I ask if I can get my passport back and says “I bring there. You wait”.
And wait I did.
I went to small room where others like myself were sent. It was a room full of frustrated people literally holding their heads in their hands. Women with babies. Sweet old ladies. Rude eastern european cunts who refuse to sit quietly. I’m waiting there and unsure if my passport has even made it into the room. Not having my passport with me in Israel is definitely stressing me out. So, the waiting continues. Everyone in this small room is cursing every passing second. It’s seriously one of those moment where every five minutes pass you just sit there and say “Fucking motherfucker…” to yourself under your breath. As the herd thins out, people who who came in much later than I did have come and gone. At about the 2.5 hour mark, I’m finally called into a room. I sit down, the woman takes a look at my passport, asks me two quick questions and lets me go. Fucking motherfucker…Let this be a lesson to you all. When faced with a fork in the road, even if one side of the road is longer, always take the one with the hot girl at the end and not the angry bald dude.
Side note, the people in general who worked at the Airport were all attractive. Not only that, they girls dressed up a little. Wearing fancy shoes and tasteful make up. I saw them all getting off of work and I don’t doubt they all went straight to the club.
So, I’m finally in Tel Aviv. it’s about 3 am at this point. Thankfully, the promoters are still at the airport waiting for me. I was definitely worried they might have bailed after the second hour of waiting.
They are two local guys where are awesome. friendly and accommodating. They take me to my hotel and I sleep my dick off. The bright side of this late arrival is that I have an entire day to check out the city. I wake up and go get lunch with the promoter. The food is great. Like the kinda shit I could 5 times a week no problem. I walk around most of the city and it’s just a really cool place. old and new. A much wider variety of people than I expected. The one downside is that the city is infested with stray cats.

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If you read this blog or know me, I fucking hate cats. So, to see them by the dozens everywhere…not my shit. Apparently, the city was over run with mice a long time ago so they bought in 1000 (or so) cats to handle that business. Well, they handled it…but then bred like the animals they are, leaving over a million stray cats roaming the city. Fuck that shit. So, all you cat lovers? Go to Tel aviv and eat your fucking heart out. It’s crazy to say but I’d rather have the mice.
So, yeah, Tel Aviv is beautiful. The weather, the beaches and buildings. And I don’t even typically care about shit like that. But I do appreciate a good city and Tel Aviv is one of those without question. The people I met were awesome and it might be the “straight men dancing with straight men” capitol of the world (refer to last weeks “Notes from the road for what that means). It’s an ill sight to see so many swarthy dudes sweating and in motion and for it to be completely heterosexual.
So, my show ended at 3 am and I had to be at the airport around 6 am. Why? Cause you need to be at the airport 3 hours in advance. Why? Cause it’s Israel, that’s why. I get through the first part of the airport pretty smoothly. There’s a whole lot of Passport checking and question asking but it’s much less intense than the way in. I get to the bag x-ray portion of the trip and this is where things hit a wall. Keep in mind, there are people LEAVING the country. They make you take everything electronic out of my bag (which is quite a few things as I’m traveling doing music). After waiting for them to meticulously check the peoples bags in front of me for 30 minutes, it’s my turn. I strike up a friendly conversation with the security guy as he asks me question about the equipment I have. He’s a drummer and is curious about the launchpad I use. The conversation somehow angles into us talking about the movie “Whiplash” and how he felt the scenes where the lead actors hands are bleeding were bullshit. Hey, he’s a drummer, he’d know better than me. I feel as though this friendly rapport might speed my process through the bad check. MMMMMMNOPE. They send my shit through the x-ray machine and focus on my backpack. This is a backpack I carry all my equipment in and pretty much any important thing I need when I travel. It’s also where I stuff random crap. Papers, cd’s, stickers, loose change. It’s got all sorts of nooks and crannies , which I had honestly never considered until I saw israeli security go through it. They plucked every loose coin and painstakingly looked at each one. Every old gum wrapper. A box of pepto bismal. It took about 40 minutes of them removing things, rubbing some electronic stick on everything and re-running my bag through the x-ray over and over again. They even went through my dirty cloths. Lucky for me, they had no idea i was keeping a tiny bomb tucked under my nut sack. SUCKERS. Nah, but seriously…feeling secure is cool and all but…jesus fucking christ Israel. Relax a tiny tiny bit. I Know you’re a target bit the tired american hip hop producer with the jewish last name , who is on his way out is not a threat.
So, even though it was one day, it felt like more. I would have loved to say longer and actually gotten to party there. It’s a great city and despite the haters, I’d go back in a second. I just wish the getting in and getting out parts weren’t so fucking awful.

Answers for Questions vol. 229

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Whattup everyone…back from Europe and ready to feel regular again. Thanks to all the people who came out to the shows. It was a great time.
Anyway, this is “Answers for questions”. You ask, I answer. I always need for questions so wend them my way. Email them to me at phatfriendblog@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. I can’t stress enough to get creative. I’ve gotten a bunch lately that are all kinda boring music related questions , which is fine, but I need some weird ones too to keep this interesting. Give me your best shot.

Ill be at the aesop show here in NY soon and i wnated to ask you, is it hard to attend an aesop show since his fans are your fans? can you enjoy the show without someone dapping you every 10 mins when youre in the crowd?

It’s very easy. I fly under the radar to a point where I’d say maybe 5% of the people at his shows can recognize me by my face. That’s the good thing about being a producer. You’re behind the scenes and it allows for the most anonymity. I can walk through the crowds at my own shows and generally go unnoticed. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m super normal looking and dress how I do so I don’t exactly stand out in crowds.

If you had to pick one song to be your theme song (30 seconds of any song) what would it be? Mind you, it plays whenever you walk into a room/with more than 5 people.
I’ve long said “Downtown Swinger” by MOP would be the music I’d come out to if I was a boxer. I think I’d stick with that one. On the downside, if I was walking into , say, a funeral, that would be shitty but I can’t base my entire life around the off chance I’m gonna be at a funeral. I feel like the smart move would be to pick something non-offensive and kinda background music-ish. Like a Kenny G song. Man, how funny would it be to have “Songbird” play every time I entered a room…That would actually be amazing.
Side note…how crazy is it that that song was a hit. I’m talking it was on pop radio and had major sales. Can you imagine that now? If some dude with a sax made an instrumental joint that got played on pop radio?

Is it just me or is the amount of static electricity this winter way more intense than usual??? I keep getting crazy-strong static shocks all over the place!
I haven’t noticed. Do you perhaps have shag carpeting?

Have you ever accidentally said a text abreviation out loud, like LOL, ROFL or OMG? I am ashamed, but I actually said LOL out loud once. I blame an extreme amount of texting that week, mixed with some serious sleep deprivation. Luckily I was only around a few family members, and I don’t think anyone really noticed. I still feel deep sham

I pride myself on not doing that. For one, I’m an adult. Secondly, all that text abbreviation shit came way after my brain had locked into how it’s ways so it would take a lot for something like that to seep in. I try to not even use those type of things in texts, let alone actual human interaction. I’m more of a “HAHAHAHAHA” guy than and “LOL” guy, if that makes sense.


You find out that your girlfriend has been cheating on you for the past year. Would you rather it be with a skinny little asian guy or a huge, jacked muscular black dude?

I think anyone who doesn’t go with the little asian dude is lying. Men are so ego driven that the last thing we want to think about is our girl with a greater physical specimen. Not to shit on skinny little asian guys but, you know, I’m kinda tall, broad and far from little. I think the idea that we could take whoever the guy is in a fight is strangely comforting. Then again…if she was cheating this the buff black guy, I’d get that. He’s a buff black dude. Where as a skinny little asian guy would feel like it came out of left field. So, I’d have to assume it was for emotional reasons which might be worse…but still…that male ego gonna do what it does. I think the worst thing would be if it was with a dude who looked just like me. But, for the sake of my ego, I’d go with Skinny asian dude.

On your social networks, (aside from English) what are the most common languages that your fans (attempt to) communicate to you in?
I don’t think anyone has ever tried to communicate with me in a foreign language…which makes sense as I speak english and most people can tell that on all my networks. The closest I get to anything else is when I get tagged in tweets or facebook posts written in other languages.

I wonder how you handle/work (around) your add.

With me a very structered job helps a lot (as you may have noticed im quite impulsive and sometimes cant keep my mouth shut ) if not im lost/chaotic. I also find it very difficult to bring structure in my personal life. Maybe you have Some good tips and tricks for me.

When making tracks you get in hyper focus?
Do you have any struggles because of add on professional or personal level?
How do you bring structure in your life?

I bring structure to my life by simply having a regiment. This blog is actually part of it. During the week, i get up, write this blog, go eat then start my day. It’s the only constant for me , as what follows is dependent on what I’m doing that day. Sometimes I’ll work on music, other times I run errands, other times I go to the gym, other times I’ll just chill and watch TV while I fuck around on the internet.
But the way I start the day is crucial to me. So much so that when it’s bothered, it’s annoys me. That actually happens pretty often but I feel as though at least having that structure keeps me in order.
As for making tracks and focus, I’m very much a person who finishes what I started. So I generally see a beat the entire way through in a day , if I’m working on it. I’m like that outside of music too. I just like things to be done with. Not a fan of things being open ended.

Hey blockhead, been a massive fan for years, i bought music by cavelight with the bonus aesop rock instrumentals and been hooked ever since. Anyway, are you more of a hardware producer or computer based??

This is on some FAQ shit but I’ll answer it cause you’re so damn complimentary.
I use an ASR 10 and Abelton live. That’s it. So I’m both but my roots are firmly in hardware as the ASR 10 is all I used for the first 10 years of beat making.

Notes from the Road- The European edition.

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It’ s been a minute since I left the US of A and did some dates overseas with DJ Cam. In the past, I’ve done little rundowns of my trips and pointed out the “quirks” of places that aren’t where I live. To be honest, I could do this kinda thing within the US but it’s generally more glaring on another continents. Thing is, I’ve covered most of these things. yes, the beds in some european hotels are seemingly built for Jockeys. Yes, the food in some countries is fucking weird. Yes, being in a place where you’re unsure of peoples ability to understand english is stifling for a dumb americans such as myself. These are all givens. So, with those out of the way, let’s take a look at my trip to Europe…and Israel (I’ll cover that later).

Berlin

I’ve played Berlin a few times and it’s a city I tend to enjoy. For some unknown reason, I always end up eating mexican food while I’m there. Of all the places on earth to eat mexican food, Germany makes no fucking sense. But, honestly, I’m a creature of comfort and when I see a genre of food in a foreign country that I can immediately recognize, I go for it like the pussy that I am. German Burritos are odd. Like lots of more “americanized” foods, european places tend to make the food as if their recipe was based entirely on a photo of that food. This burrito looked like a burrito. it didn’t taste bad or anything. It was just…off. Like the meat was minced into a pulp and served with an ice cream scooper and they used curried rice. Again, it wasn’t bad…it’s just wasn’t really what I expected. This same thing would occur again when I ate hamburgers in Kiev. They were cooked well done, had a tiny piece of meat and a bun big enough to make love to with a few friends on each side and never have your dicks touch. But that’s Kiev…This was Berlin. Anyway, I always like my time there but there was nothing out of the ordinary to discuss about the show or time there except my weird ass burrito.

Kiev

Going to Kiev I had a few reservations. I do not keep up on current events and , apparently, i know some people who also don’t keep up on current events but still feel compelled to let me know what’s going on in the Ukraine. From some people (european people) I had heard the warring had moved out of Kiev a long time ago and it was totally safe. From other people, I heard I’d be walking into a scene of “Call of duty” but with more Borsht. Turns out, the euro’s know best. Kiev was fine. Not only was it safe (My hotel was 2 blocks from where all the shit went down and that area literally looks like midtown manhattan during christmas) but the people were awesome and friendly. Aside from the questionable burger I mentioned above, this night and show were awesome. In my experience, Eastern European crowds go hard. All night. They dance. They yell. They’re drunk. That’s fine with me. It was here that I noticed a trend that would follow me throughout the rest of my dates overseas. Men. Dancing. Lots of men. All men. It’s the strangest thing. In the states, when i have people dancing, I’d say it’s generally 80% women and a few guys going in. Out here? It’s the opposite. The men of europe (and Tel aviv) get the fuck down. Sweating all over each other and dancing from beginning to end. It was insane. I’m not gonna lie. i’d much prefer to look down off stage and see a bunch of tits flopping around but I would never knock the dedication and exuberance of these fellas.

Linz, Austria

Linz is a small town an hour or two outside of Vienna. It’s adorable. The people are awesome and unlike many of the austrians I’ve met in VIenna. They’re a looser breed. That said, it’s still austria and it’s pretty mellow. It’s more of a “smoke a bowl and ride a bike” kinda place than a “Go see a show and have fun” kinda place. The hotel I was at was a few feet away from this statue. It was commemorating the bubonic plague that historically fucked europe in the ass many centuries ago.11043088_10152617316566781_473730357376188957_n

A plague statue is pretty real. It’s like a really ornate AIDs quilt or something. Oh, a highlight of this visit was talking to the girl who drove Cam and I around. I was telling her about to US and what cities to visit. Somehow, Baltimore came up and I was like “Well, it’s kinda dangerous” and she was like “Well, that’s okay though cause doesn’t everyone in the US have a gun?” and she wasn’t joking. That was precious. We really gotta work on our image.

Prague

Prague is pretty cool but I didn’t really get that much time there. It’s another one of those eastern euro countries where you routinely see 9’s working shit jobs and you can’t help but think there must be more in this world for a girl so pretty. Not that i would ever even consider doing so, but it’s places like prague where I get why a financially stable American would live there for a period of time, find his wife and take her home with him. Then, when they moved back, the wife would be a year or so into her marriage when she realized the dude she married is a fucking loser and every guy in the city she lives in would be willing to date her. Her street value would be realized. She’d eventually leave the guy who bought her to the states or just divorce him as soon as she had citizenship and live the life of a queen. She’d probably just be a waitress but whatever…it’s better than working in a toll booth in Prague.

Brussels

I love Brussels. Not much to say about it beyond that. Everything was good there. I’d say, of all the places I played, the men danced the hardest there.

Amsterdam

I hadn’t been to Amsterdam in over ten years. Not much has changed. It’s still full of bikes whizzing by you at every corner. Full of tourists and kinda filthy. I’m into it. I almost got hit with about 4 different types of wheeled machines at various times. It really keeps you on your toes. Anyway, I could go into the show and talk about that. it was awesome. The crowd was great and it made me feel good to be back there after all those years , knowing I still have love out there. But, I’d rather talk about the red light district. Dj Cam and I took a daytime stroll through it cause, why the fuck not? Now, I’m not sure what the hours are like for those ladies but I assume the more desirable women work the night shifts. These day shift hoes, though? Esssh….Now, to be fair, i saw some bangers. Legit hot girls with insane bodies, standing in windows waiting for any dude with 50 euro’s to fuck them. It’s really surreal to see as an outsider. You probably know what I’m talking about though cause I assume anyone who’s ever been to amsterdam has done this exact same stroll. But I wanted to bullet point a few things about the red light district.

1- The sad hookers As you walk down the skinny side streets, you see some girls standing, giving eyes to anyone walking by. They’re selling. But every 3rd or 4th girl will be sitting there looking like she’s completely miserable. Probably cause she’s a hooker. Just a guess. But it got me wondering if there were creeps out there who specifically went after the sad ones. The poor girl slumped over on her little stool, frowning as she sadly texts someone from her phone. I gotta think , without a doubt, that is some guys turn on. Man…guys are the worst.

2- Variety! From the looks of it, certain alley ways specialize in certain kinds of girls. There was the Fat black woman section where no lady was under 200 pounds and the skimpy lingerie they were wearing was being devoured by every crevice of fat their body created. I had the urge to wait to see a guy actually go in to one of those rooms and watch him come out. Just to see what his head space was like. Would he be proud? Ashamed? Relaxed? the whole thing was very curious to me. Aside from that area, there was Asian alley which was unfortunately placed right near transexual way. So close , in fact, it had Dj Cam and I questioning who did and did not have penis for the rest of the day. Lady boys can be quite confusing and I’d imagine there are more than a few drunken frat boys who have been out there looking for some asian girls and were surprised with a dick. Jokes on you, brah!

3- The prime spots Location, location, location! The hottest girls I saw where the ones on the main walk way. These girls were legit gorgeous. Like on some “WHY ARE YOU A HOOKER??!?!” shit. Seeing them, i assumed they were very busy. Do you think these ladies wish for busy days? Also, what’s the after sex cleaning ritual? I have so many questions that it would almost be worth it to pay the 50 euro’s just to interview them about it all. But, i’m cheap and fuck all that.

Just a few random thoughts about europe in general…

Why do all the street names have to be like 15 syllables? Getting directions is like entering a spelling bee. “Take a right on hieffwenenger then turn right brukenstrussel and you’ll see flurganwetzalnien road right there.”

I used to always think Americans held the title for being fat sacks of human garbage (and , to be clear, we do still hold the title) but don’t sleep on europe. It’s not all fashionable , lean people. Taking the trains exposed me to a different side of the people in certain areas. The Jerry Springer cast member looking side. It was actually nice to see.

Do you know how weird it is to not see a black person for a week? It didn’t even dawn on me until I was in brussels and noticed a few black dudes and I was like “holy shit…I forgot that this continent is white as fuck…”. It’s obvious but something that just sorta popped out at me.

I’m writing this on a train to Hamburg, Germany for my final show. in a day, i’ll be home and most likely sleep for about 48 hours. It’s been fun, europe…but, goddamn, you’re exhausting. Also, I’ll be doing a whole write up about Tel Aviv cause that trip definitely needed it’s own post. Stay tuned next week.