So, a common question people ask me at shows is “Hey, are you gonna upload this set anywhere?” To which I typically respond “Nope” cause, in 2017, my live show is really one of the last ways I can rely on making money as a musician. So, you know, I gotta keep my shows exclusive so people have a reason to come see me play. It may be flawed logic but I’ve always ran with that. Welllllll…Perhaps I’m getting softer in my old age but I figured I change my ways…kinda. I happened upon a recording of an old set of mine. I don’t know where it was from and the only clue was “2012”. It’s a little under an hour but it gives you an idea of what I typically do live. Mixing and matching parts of all my records, as well as throwing in stuff from all over. Soul, hip hop, even country music. Nothing is out of bounds. I’ll also add that the levels and quality of the mix aren’t perfect (I didn’t record it so I didn’t get to fine tune any aspect of any of how it sounds). So keep that in mind if the levels seem iffy at times.
So, yeah, this ones for all the people who’ve been asking over the years. My hope is that you’ll hear this, think it’s cool and come see me do it lives sometime. So, lemme roll these dice right quick…
What’s up everyone? How’s life? Great.
This is, of course, Answers for questions. You ask me stuff, i answer. I need questions though…that’s where you come in. please send me questions about ANYTHING to email@example.com or leave them in the comment section below. Also, I’m accepting “Ask Dr. Tony” Questions as well , if you’re having life problems.
This weeks batch starts out interestingly as I basically am asked to make up a story on some “creative writing 101” shit…but it was fun. So, feel free to ask me those kind of things as well. Why not?
After a night of extremely heavy drinking, you awake to find yourself in the back of cement truck, wearing clogs and dungarees. The King of Sweden has passed out next to you, there are grapes all over the floor and, in the distance, a village is on fire. How did it happen?
The night started out like any other. I was passing through Stolkholm , on my way back from some tour dates. Having a day off, I was roaming aimlessly around the city. Bored, I sheepishly enter a bar and have a seat. Some Soccer is on TV and the place is pretty riled up. I don’t give a fuck about soccer but some dude next to me really does and keeps buying everyone drinks. I am no exception. As the night progresses, I talk more to this man and learn he is the “King of Sweden”. Well, that’s what he says. He’s actually just a really drunk Swede who loves company. Nice enough guy and everyone seems to know him well enough. They call him “Kung”. After a few hours, I am properly wrecked. The whole bar is. I guess some local Soccer team won something or whatever but the party does not stop here. Along with a group of about 20 people, we all leave the bar and head to our second destination. We hop in various cars. Weird cars. Some are sports cars, some look like they belong to the city. Threre’s even a tractor and a garbage truck…an american garbage truck at that but I was too drunk to ask any questions.
We drive for what seems like hours (it was probably like 30 minutes) and pull into a grape orchard. I didn’t even realize that could exist near Stolkholm but I guess it does. Everyone takes their shoes off and runs towards a small wooden shack in the middle of the orchard. Keep in mind, I don’t speak swedish so I’m just kinda blindly following whatever these lunatics are doing. With my shoes in hand, I get to the shack and am handed some clogs. “Des, a fur stompin!” says the woman who gives them to me. “Also, you might to take off your pants! it get messy!” she said in broken english. So, I take off my pants, put on the clogs and enter the shack. Inside, there’s a huge vat of grapes. We are hear to stomp on grapes…doesn’t seem sanitary but, hey, the fuck if I know how wine is made. Everyone dumps into the vat and just starts stomping around. It’s actually a pretty fun drunken activity. Everyone seems to really be enjoying themselves. I notice that, as this goes on, the act is getting more and more aggressive. As if this is more of a mosh pit. I see people start to throw one another down. All of a sudden , in my drunk stupor, I realize this isn’t some normal grape stomping party. No…this is a battle royale. At that moment. a small blonde man jumps on my back and tries to take me down. he’s small enough that I just flip him over my shoulder. I see as he falls into the pit, a collage of feet, stomping away at his petite frame like so many grapes. It’s then when I get scared and realize I must make an exit. Doing my best Beastmode impression, I lower my shoulders and plow through a sea of drunken swedes. I get to the edge of the vat and barrel roll over the side. It’s only like a 5 foot drop so I land safely enough. Partially cause I land on a pile of passed out bodies. Are they dead? I don’t really know. Not trying to find out. The action in the vat is such that I am able to sneak out the cabin unnoticed…but here I am…Alone in a swedish wine vineyard with no pants. I look in the distance and see a few of the people ambling towards the garbage truck. I figure they might be my only way out of there. Right then, I notice a pile of pants outside the door. I can’t find mine but I find some really awkward dungarees that don’t really fit me, but fuck it…they will have to do. I stiffly run towards the garbage truck, clogs kicking up dirt as I go. The two guys are now in the front seat and the garbage truck is pulling off. I make it just in time to hope in the back without being noticed. As I jump in, I crack my head on the side on some big metal part of the truck. I pass out.
I don’t know how long I’ve been out but, when I awaken, I’m sitting there, in clogs and dungarees. Grapes everywhere. I look in the distance and the entire vineyard is ablaze. I turn my head and see “The king of Sweden” , laying there with a little smirk on his face, eyes half shut in that “still drunk” kinda way.. I ask “What the fuck just happened!?!?” and he looks at me and says “Soccer, man”.
i like to think of myself as a highly functional stoner. what do you suppose the odds are i’m bullshitting myself?
I’ve definitely met many high functioning stoners so it’s not totally impossible. i do think the average stoner who thinks that doesn’t realize what being functional can truly be like but, yeah, you got a chance. I’d say, if you can read a book, make reservations or do your work while high AND be effective, you’re good at being high. Congrats. But if being a functional stoner means not forgetting to pick your kid up from school, might be time to reevaluate your life.
are you able to keep houseplants alive? do you keep any houseplants?
I have never tried but I’d imagine , if I wanted to, I would be very good at that. I’m one of those people who, if I get a regiment, I stick to it. So, if watering a plant became something I did every day, then I’d do it. That said, I travel way too much for that to work and I never wanna be a person who asks another person “Hey man, can you water my plants while I’m gone?”.
from your travels, what do you suppose the best alternative to nyc is for a person who wants to live cheap? if you ever had money troubles, would you move out of nyc? where would you go?
I mean…there isn’t anywhere like NYC that’s cheap. It wouldn’t be cheap cause everyone would wanna live there.
I guess somewhere like Toronto would be my first choice. It’s not cheap but, compared to NYC it is. It’s a fun city.
Or maybe , if you want that old NYC feel, Philly. Again, not the same as NYC at all but it’s an east coast city with flavor and history. Can’t say I’d ever wanna live there but it’s at least nearby and not Boston.
If I came into money problems and couldn’t afford NYC, I really don’t know what I’d do. San Francisco would be my second choice but that’s as, if not more, expensive as NYC. Honestly, I’m thinking it won’t be an issue cause I own my apartment. Worst case, I can live here for cheap, forever. Maybe even rent it out for a profit, and live off that.
what do you do when you get really fucking bored at home?
I bask in boredom. I spend the bulk of most of my days at home, bored and I love it. I watch tv, I watch movies, I play video games, I eat, I eat more, I look at the internet. I’m very content doing nothing. Honestly, it’s when I’m bored that I make the most music too. So, it kinda works itself out. To me, boredom at home isn’t a bad thing…cause it results in me doing things I love doing anyway.
When you were a kid, do you remember the first music you heard that you loved? When did you first hear rap?
The first song I recall ever hearing that i loved was “Eye of the tiger” by survivor. I was in Maine with my family (my dad taught at an art school up there for the summer) and it came on the radio and I distinctly recall freaking out over it and singing it over and over again. That and the theme to “The greatest american hero” are my earliest memories of music.
The first time i heard rap was not long after that, maybe two years…when the movie “Beat Street” came out. i was about 8 years old. I made my mom take me to it (and she did, which still blows my mind to this day). The Santa rap was the first I ever heard and I was obsessed the second I saw it.
Bear with me here cause this all connects in a very loose manner.
I was on a plane the other day , earbuds plugged in, ready to watch two free episodes of “Blackish” cause, well, that’s what was available. The plane was seemingly boarded and I had the whole aisle to myself. Sufficed to say, I was psyched about that. Out of nowhere, 5 more people bustled onto the plane , two of whom plopped down next to me. They were a young couple. At first glance, I’d say they were ,at most, 22 years old. I paid them little mind as I was invested in Blackish at this point and, also, I’m not a chatty traveler. The couple however, did not subscribe to the same game plan. Within moments of fastening his seatbelt, the guy (who was sitting next to me) turned to me as if it was his job and asked “So, you from Dallas?” (I was flying from Dallas to Austin). I removed my ear buds and asked “beg your pardon?”. He repeated his question and I said “nope, just traveling through”. In general, i try and not get into why I’m on planes (I’m doing shows 99% of the time) much cause then it becomes that awful game of “Have you heard of me?” with a stranger who has most certainly not heard of me. I always say “I’m just here visiting friends”. Insistent on continuing this convo (something I noticed a GREAT deal of people do while traveling in the southwest. You motherfuckers LOVE some small talk), he then asked me “So, what do you do?”. This is yet another question I dance around for the same reasons I don’t like telling people I’m in town to play a show. It always ends up with me having to half-assedly describe what kind of music I make to someone who doesn’t really give a shit either way. So, i opt to say “I’m a DJ”. Which is funny…cause I’m not a DJ at all. But , for some reason, it at least relieves the questions of “What kind of music do you make?” and the dreaded “What instrument do you play?!!?”. But this kid kept digging so we eventually told him the truth, he wrote “Blockhead” down in his Iphone notes with promises of checking me out (to be honest, I believe he actually will) and pushed ahead with the discussion. He informed me that he was working his first real job now and how exciting it was. He spoke of how his office was so funny cause he worked with a mormon, a catholic and a jew! He also dropped in that he was a baptist and that his dad was a preacher. He dropped that in various times in the conversation, in fact. The girl with him ,who I later learned was his new wife, was chiming in here and there but he was driving the conversation. They even mentioned going to Turkey recently and how it was weird cause everyone there looked like a terrorist. Cool! Somehow, politics came into it and , man, there is nothing I wanna do less than talk politics while flying through the air, strapped into a seat I can’t jump out of. Add on I’m talking to a 22 year old texas baptist and his child bride and it’s like X10000000. He starts going on about Rand Paul and hillary Clinton and all this horseshit I don’t care about. Was he right? i don’t even know. I don’t follow politics. From the conversation, i learned they were both conservative libertarians. I also, gathered they were both a little racist and definitely weird about sexual politics as well. The think Black people and jews are fine but they’d be pretty bummed if their kid married one.
Like, they probably support gay rights but also wouldn’t wanna share a bathroom with one.
Now, here’s the thing…i say all that to say this…
I’m a patient person. I’m also a person who avoids conflict. Sure, i could have made this interaction awkward a number of times. The fact this kid was just blurting out all the crap at me , assuming I was gonna ride with it was actually pretty confounding to me. He knew I was a liberal yankee. But regardless, i took the high road…or the cowards road, Depending how you look at it. The way i see it, me arguing on a plane with a 22 year old baptist kid isn’t helping anyone. Not me. Not them. Not the people sitting around us. Sometimes, you just gotta let shit go. Especially when it’s some harmless yet completely oppositional lifestyle type thing. These two went to church their whole life, They probably had sex for the first time AFTER they got married. The were raised to believe in certain things that couldn’t be farther from my reality. But, hey, good for them. That’s why they’re who they are and I am who i am. So, like i do in most social interaction, I opted to keep it light and friendly. It would eventually end and my life would go on unscathed.
This interaction got me thinking about two very specific types of people. People with bad luck and people who SEEMINGLY walk under black cloud. One type just seems to have negativity follow them where ever they go. Not cause they bring it upon themselves but cause , for some reason, life hates them. People who have friends dying around them all the time. People who get their houses broken into. People who , inexplicably , just seem like they eat shit all the time. Life just seems like an endless string of misfortune and there truly isn’t an explanation for it. I’m sure my baptist friends would bring god into this but I’m prone to think these types of people just are given a raw deal in life for no reason. They’re good people. They’re kind people. They are people who, if in the same situation as me on that plane, would’ve reacted just like me and their life would simply continue once they got off that plane. Shitty as that life may be at times, it wouldn’t be disrupted by a harmless , if not annoying, chance interaction with some kids on the plane. Those are the bad luck people.
The black cloud people…well…that’s a different story. Black cloud people are those who THINK they’re unlucky but are, in fact, assholes who control their own destiny and choose wrong ALL THE TIME. They are entitled. They have chips on their shoulders. Maybe it’s due to pride. Maybe it’s just the have bad reactions. Maybe it’s cause they’re unaware of their own temper. Whatever it is, it makes their life a series of “unexplainable” mishaps that lead to problems…constantly. ” Oh man, I dunno why but me and this dude got into a screaming match on line at the bagel shop. Second time this week!”
Well…i wasn’t there…but I could venture a guess that whatever happened was AT LEAST 80% your fault. AT LEAST. Cause, as we know , normal sane people don’t get into screaming matches at bagel shops. No, the Black cloud people roam the earth in a smelly dust bowl like Pig pen from Charlie brown, wondering why everyone is out to get them. Not realizing that pig pen just needs to take a fucking shower.
In the situation i was in on that plane…had i been a Black cloud type…I would imagine it would have ended in yelling and possible interaction with a air marshall. If i was that black cloud person, I’d later tell all my friends about these two assholes I met on a plane who started with me about politics and how I let them have it. i would be proud of this. Probably cause, as a black cloud person, I am guided by my own pride. My big , dumb, cunty pride. It’s funny how that word can mean both such good things and bad things. There are so many things an individual can be proud of. But your ego is no one of them.
So, if you’re reading this and feel like you are “bad luck” kinda person, ask yourself this…do other people close to you get in arguments and fights with strangers on a regular basis or is it just you? Do you constantly feel slighted by everyday things that most people don’t even react to? Do you ever feel like a situation could have been avoided if you just simply didn’t say what was on your mind? If the answer is yes or even maybe to either of those questions, guess what? I got great news for you. YOU DON’T HAVE BAD LUCK! Nope…you’re just an asshole. A black cloud over you at all times , pig pen, pride fueled asshole. And the sooner you realize that, the better. Cause…hey, it’s never to late to just hop in the shower.
I am very much a “take life as it is” kinda guy. I don’t believe in much. God, ghosts, aliens, conspiracy theories. I’m a skeptic by design. With these types of things I look at it as , while anything is possible, most things aren’t probable . Sure, Aliens could exist. In fact, it would be weird if we were the only life forms in this entire universe. But some yokel getting dragged up into a spaceship and tested with different gauged buttplugs? Sounds like an excuse some guy would use to tell his wife to get out of admitting he’s possibly gay. I’m not saying it has NEVER happened, but I doubt it.
So, let’s talk about ghosts. Here’s the thing about those guys. I’ve always felt that, in order for ghosts to be real then there’s a chain of things I don’t believe in that would also be real. Like if ghosts are real, that means, our souls are real. If our souls are real, that means there is a higher power, if there is a higher power, does that mean there is a heaven and hell? Obviously, all these things don’t connect up perfectly but once you start considering one, it opens up the reality of another, all the way to the point where an Athiest , such as myself, might be like “wait a minute….”. So really, my disbelief in ghosts has as much to do with that as it does with me thinking dead people just die and that’s that. I mean, considering how many people die all day, every day, if ghosts existed, we’d be overrun by them. There would be like 200 ghosts in every room of every house. It’s not like death ever stops. But, still…every now and then some weird shit happens and you have that X-files moment. Here’s mine…
So, around 7 am yesterday, i was awoken by the sounds something clattering in my apartment. I live in a duplex. My bedroom is downstairs and the sounds came from upstairs. I would normally freak out, get a bat , head upstairs and see what the sound way but, honestly, I was so tired that I rolled my eyes , accepted “Hey, I could be murdered right now but , on the off chance it’s nothing, I’d rather be asleep”. Lucky for me, nothing happened. When I finally did wake up and head upstairs, I had already forgotten about the noise that woke me up hours earlier. As I reached the top of the stairs, though, I was quickly reminded. Atop a dresser I have, is a collection of Chachkis (sp?!?). Things people have given me over the years. Weird stuffed animals, small art pieces, funny action figures. Shit like that. These things have all been placed atop the dresser and fashioned in a way to display them. They also haven’t been adjusted or moved in months. Reaching the top of my stairs, i see 3 or 4 of these guys scattered around the floor. All the pieces on the floor were fairly light plastic pieces. The type of things that could have just given away to months of time and shifting. However, I look up and there’s this one piece…it’s an old clay head my dad had made. It’s about the size of a coke can and weighs about 2 pounds. 2 pounds doesn’t sound like much but it’s certainly enough weight to keep something in place in a room with no wind. This piece had not only moved about 5 inches but it was turned half way around. What the fuck. I check my doors. They were both locked. I look to see if anything else had been moved around. Nothing. Clearly, I have a ghost. Now, I was surprised by how quickly I accepted this as fact. It was like “aww man…i gotta a ghost now? Ughhh”. Kinda like how one might react to finding out they have allergies.
I started to think about this ghost.
First off, who the fuck is he/she? How long has he/she been here? Why here? I’m pretty sure ghosts don’t only exist where they die…but I’ve never heard of someone dying in my apartments history. I could be wrong but still..if that’s the case, this ghost BEEN chilling for a minute. He/she has seen some shit. Then I started thinking about how boring the life of a regular ghost must be. Like, if ghosts like this are real…do you realize they spend all day watching people look at their computers, watch tv and masturbating? Like…this ghost has seen me jerk off sooooo much. Sure, occasionally he/she gets lucky and sees a little sex show but still…I wonder if he/she watches or just kinda throws his/her ghost hands in the air and floats out the room in disgust, the second I take out some coconut oil.
Being a ghost sounds boring as fuck. Beyond that…it seems like a person who is forced to watch a tv show they may or may not have interest in. My life isn’t exciting. I work on computers. I chill hard. It’s very low on drama. Perhaps, by knocking over my chachkis, the ghost was telling me “Hey dude, I’m dying over here (lol, get it?), step up the entertainment!”. Who knows? For all I know, this ghost could be from the 1800’s and just be so fucking confused by literally every facet of my life. Like he/she could look at something as simple as my microwave and just be like “I don’t get it!!!!!”, let alone a man pleasuring himself to internet porn.
So, yeah…I might be haunted. The other possibility is that I have a rat loose in my crib but I’m refusing to believe that cause I don’t wanna have to move. I really hope it’s just a ghost. Ain’t nobody got time for rats. Fuck all that noise. Ghosts>rats
I used to write these more frequently. Probably cause , when I’d tour I’m be surprised by something or weird things would happen on occasion. Well, that hasn’t been the case the last few times i’ve hit the road. The Song remains the same. Airports are still airports. The lifestyle of “drive/fly, hotel, soundcheck, eat, wait, play show, back to the hotel, sleep, repeat” is pretty much the gold standard for my touring life. It’s not glamorous. It’s lazy and , somehow, exhausting. I’m not complaining, of course. It’s always fun performing for fans, meeting the people from all over who have been effected by your music. That’s the good part. It’s certainly better than having a real job. I think , all I’m saying is, my lack of “notes from the road” write ups has more to do with the monotony of the lifestyle. It doesn’t help that I barely drink when I tour and I don’t party at all cause sleep is so much more crucial. All that said, I was reflecting on a recent tour I was on with Eliot Lipp (We’re hitting the west coast for 4 dates in early may , btw. Check http://blockheadmusic.com/ for more info) and a few interesting stories…And they both take place in the south. My apologies if anyone involved in these stories read this and feel slighted but, you know what? You’re were fucked up and out of line so perhaps you earned this one. No names were spoken…cause i don’t know your name. So, hey, it’s all good.
The first story takes place in Lexington, Kentucky.
I had never played there before. It was a tuesday night so , in all honesty, expectations were low. Not cause of lexington but cause of the day of the week. Well, around 9 pm, I pop out to man the Merch booth (I work my own merch cause it’s more fun than sitting alone backstage and, also, it helps sell stuff better). Sitting there, watching the early crowd I notice that this crowd is unusually drunk. It’s 9pm…on a tuesday , yet, it feels like mardi gras in this bitch. I have casual chats with a few people. The typical “Hey, man, you know where the coat check is?” interaction comes cause people don’t know what I look like and need to check their coats. But, I’m also chatting with fans, taking pics, signing stuff. Business as usual. Eliot Lipp goes on and he’s doing his thing. during the middle of his set, an older women walks up to the merch table. She’s probably in her early 50’s. Not your typical Blockhead/eliot Lipp fan. Within moments , i can see she is very drunk. Wasted. All kinda of fucked up. She’s also got a somewhat unhappy look on her face. “I need your help!” huh? She proceeds to tell me about her son. He’s 17 or 18. He’s a budding musician who plays many instruments and lives in her basement. “I want you to talk to my son!” So many questions are racing though my mind. WHo? Why? Where? When?
Before I can ask one, she swivels her head towards the stage, points at Eliot and says “He can do this!”. She pauses…” I mean…I know he can do that!!!”
So I ask “Well, is he here?”
“Noooooo! He’s at home but I need you to talk to him!”
“He needs someone to tell him how to do this! He’s so talented but he needs guidance!”
Bear in mind, this is all said in the form of screams and in a the form of an argument. She seemed livid by the whole interaction. I calmly replied “Well…here’s the thing…if he’s not here, I can’t talk to him”
“No, give me your number and you will call him!”
“I’m not doing that…besides…I’m not one to teach anyone anything. What kinda music does he even make?”
“He makes shit like Sparklehorse but I want him to do this kinda music (pointing at Eliot once again)”
I had no idea who Sparklehorse was but, later when I looked it up it became clear that this woman just losing her mind in thinking , even though her son does one thing, he should focus elsewhere. She kept coming after me about “helping” him, Like i’m some sort or successful record label A&R man and all I could tell her was “Hey, you just gotta support what he does. Keep having his back…but a talk with me? That’s not gonna help anything…” this conversation kept devolving until she was pretty much ice grilling me from across the merch table. Furious. She slammed her fists down on the table and walked away as if I told her we didn’t accept food stamps. As she walked away, I just sat there, somewhat befuddled by what had gone on. Did i really just get yelled at by a mom at my own show? Like…it didn’t even make sense. Her rage, the fact her son makes an entirely different genre of music and plays instruments and she was talking to me like I was fucking Quincy Jones with the key to the secrets of success. Had she forgotten I was playing in Lexington on a tuesday? Who knows. Anyway, I let it go and it was now my turn to play. I was doing my set per usual. At one point, I look down towards stage left and see this woman, leaning over the barricade…motionless…staring a hole in my head. The only way I can describe the look on her face was that of the evil old woman from the Goonies. There was just…visible disdain shooting right at me. I just kind of ignored it and kept going. A little while later, I check down, and she’s now seemingly fallen over the barricade. It’s possible she walked around it and then fell down…but…I dunno. That’s a whole lot of work. Someone in the crowd noticed and the security picked her up off the ground and carried her away. I later heard, she had driven there and the people from the venue , wisely, wouldn’t let her drive her car. After all, she was as drunk a 14 year old girl. I guess she put up a stink about it and was eventually arrested.
The next day, i receive this message in my facebook music page inbox
The punch she’s referring to is one she exchanged with my tour manager…who she thought was me before she even met me. Clearly, it was black out city after that. I’d be willing to bet she doesn’t even remember the merch booth exchange.
I think the moral of this story is this…Don’t pre game too hard. If it’s 9 pm and you’re already sloppy, you’re night is as good as over. Also, be good to your children. support them in their art. And if their art doesn’t happen to be the kind of art you want them to do? Tough break. It’s not all about you. Let them breath and find their own direction.
Okay, so the second story is more an explanation…
When i saw the tour dates of where I was playing, I was happy to see Atlanta on the list. I love Atlanta. I have great shows there. The people are great and it’s just a fun city in general. The club I was playing, Iris, was not a familiar name to me. I figured, hell, what do you I know. I’m not from ATL so it’s probably fine. The first day of promoting shows , I start getting an immediate influx of “Why are you playing at the Iris!?!?” from people on facebook. I’ve literally never seen such a negative response to a venue before. In my mind, how bad could it be? It’s got good sound and place for people to stand? Seems like that should be enough. I went back at forth with some of the complainers trying to explain that but, the more i did that, the more other people would add on “nah, man…it’s really the worst…”.
So, what would normally be a highlight show for any tour down south was now under the black cloud of doubt. It didn’t help when I saw how it was being promoted. It was a rave, basically. They spoke of giveaways, bottle service and “the iris dancers”. To be clear, all this is fine and dandy. It’s just soooooo not the scene I’m in. I make hip hop beats with weird samples and limited 808’s. No triplets. Not bass drops. It’s just not my style. So, this only made me more anxious heading into ATl.
We finally get there and I see exactly what I’m dealing with. It’s a club. Like a straight up club. I got thoroughly frisked walking in…DURING SOUNDCHECK. Literally the first time that’s ever happened. The dj booth was on an extremely high , multi tiered stage (which was cool for me cause I didn’t wanna be stuck on the floor level in a literal booth). Everyone who worked there was nice. The promoters were nice. Honestly, as much as the room felt “wrong” , part of me was relieved that maybe this wouldn’t be that bad cause all the involved parties were seemingly into what was going on.
When I got on, this dude was just playing a set of some heavier bass music. The room was pretty packed and very excited. I look down into the crowd and see a sea of young ravers…there’s all sorts of raver balloons and glow sticks being handed out to the crowd. That’s odd. I get on, take the mic and greet the crowd. Typically , if I’m headlining a show, when I do this, I am met with some sort of reaction. After all, People are there to see me, right? On this night…I’m met with a quiet murmur. Okey dokey. SO, I start my set. Within moments I see the floor start to clear. There were two other room of music going on. I can only assume they were the correct kinds of music for such a venue cause that’s where everyone went. Looking into the crowd, there were some people into it. People who knew my music. But, for the most part, it was confusion. About 15 minutes into my see, I see a bunch of girls on the side of the stage. I assume these are the “Iris girls”. From what i can gather, they are hired to dance there, dressed in lingerie. Umm…okay. So they saunter out on stage and start attempting to dance to my set. Here’s the thing…I don’t think they know how to dance to something in the 95-100 beat per minute range. They looked noticeably uncomfortable. The stuck it out for a song or two then retreated, exchanging looks of “wtf is this shit?!!?”. It was fine with me cause, honestly, scantily clad dancing women and my live set don’t make much sense. I’d be better off with a crew of break dancing midgets. My set continues on and the crowd is thinning even more. All I can think about it “Man…I’m in ATL and this is the show I’m playing…” and it’s bumming me out. At some point, the Iris girls come out again but this time they have bags of balloons. The throw them into the crowd and the crowd seems to love it. In fact,the love it so much, they just start loudly popping the balloons at a rapid rate. So that sounded cool. Much like the firecracker scene in “Boogie nights”.
The peak moment during my set soon followed. I looked down at the front of the stage and I caught a glimpse of this one girl. She was literally sitting there frowning with her arms crossed. Like…who took your teddy bear?
I guess at some point, this inner rage boiled to the surface and she felt it was time to take things into her own own hands. I’m actually happy I got to see this all happen as it unfolded. I saw her, barrel roll onto the first tier of the stage (it was about 4 feet off the ground) and, like a zombie in world war z, jump into action, climbing a second tier on the stage to get to my level. She had a look on her face. It was just pure anger.She got up to where I was, ran around the booth and I felt a firm tap on my shoulder. I turned and saw her eyes shooting death into mine but before she could get out a word, the bouncers grappled her up and dragged her ass off stage. It was nuts. So much fury, in the name of bass.
My set finished in like 10 more minutes and went out with a whimper. I said thank you to the crowd and the response might as well have been me asking if any one has seen a blue nissan parked in a tow away zone.
As i walked of stage, i was bummed. It was a waste of a chance to play in ATL. I ran into the sound guy and he was very kind about it. “Man, i like what you did up there but I have no idea why you played this place”. I agreed. He went on to tell me that, typically, no matter who’s playing that main room, it’s packed to the gills. So, I basically did the impossible and cleared the room of people who are not discerning at all. I then ran into one of the promoters and kinda was like “ooof…that was rough…” He was understanding and explained they were trying to do something new and perhaps open me up to a different fan base via this crowd. Cross branding. Which, in theory, isn’t a bad idea. I mean, shit, If I can come away with 5 new fans from that crowd the next time I do a show down there…that’s not a bad thing. But, still…it felt like a waste. I don’t play that area much and, when I do, I wanna do it for the people who actually wanna see me. Not a bunch of 20 year old ravers who only wanna hear bass drops for 4 hours. But, hey, i got paid so I can’t really complain.
But, yeah…ATL…Hopefully I’ll be back in the right place next time. I look forward to seeing you guys.
That’s all I got. i had a great time otherwise and I can’t wait to hit the west coast with Lipp. You guys never disappoint. See y’all soon!
Hi Everyone! Welcome to another edition of “Answers for questions”. You ask, i answer. Wanna be a part of the magic? Well, it’s as simple and thinking of a question and asking me. Do that first part, type it and send it to me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave it in the comment section below. Ask anything you want. all i ask of you is to try and make it interesting. Get creative. Okay? Great. Can’t wait to hear from you.
Where was the sketchiest place you’ve ever done drugs?
I’ve never really been one to do hard drugs in sketchy places (or at all ,really). When I’ve done molly or shrooms, it’s been in safe environments. Does smoking weed count? Cause I’ve definitely smoked weed in some unsavory places. Creepy apartments in the hood, run down shacks in the burbs. Those kinda places.
In general, when I think of being the least comfortable getting fucked up I always think back to this random house party I went to in high school. Some girl from my school had a place in long island and invited us city kids to come party. I had assumed it was some fancy mansion type shit. We get there and it looked like a juggalo’s asshole. A fucked up little house with a lawn that looked like it had been burned. Out back there was a pool with brown water in it filled with years of discarded beer bottles. Her friends were all local scum bags doing weird drugs I had never seen before. The kind you get a super markets that aren’t meant to be drugs. I was just drinking 40’s like a civilized man. At one point, i was on some filthy couch with a friend and some random townie. He was smoking something that wasn’t weed. He proceeded to go on a long rant about how blacks and jews are taking over, casually dropping N-bombs like it’s nothing. It was literally the first time I had been around a truly , out the box racist. Shit blew my mind. My friend and I (both partial jews) just nodded and crept away when his high kicked in enough to not notice us. That was a shady night for sure. Half cause of the whole scene but also cause it was in the middle of nowhere and I would have no idea how to get home had I not had a ride.
I’m sure this has been covered before, but which rappers/producers do you think have the best twitters, instagrams, etc.?
Let’s be honest, musicians (ESPECIALLY rappers) are awful at social networks. Instagram is a little easier but twitter? Goddamn…Thank god for the “mute” button.
That said, there are some people who do a great job.
My man Elaquent’s instagram is mad funny. El-P has a good instagram. Rob Sonic is always good on both twitter and instagram. Open mike Eagle has a good twitter.
You know, looking at it now, it’s not that rappers/producers have a bad social network presence (I’m sure there are plenty of people who feel that way about me, btw) it’s just they post shit that doesn’t interest me. I’m sure their fans are into it. But things like pics with their friends I don’t know, food, tour buses, and their pets? Eh, I’m good on that.
If you had to be in a group like franky valley and the 4 seasons, which guy would you be?
Tiny super high pitched front man?
Low key super deep voice dude?
One of the mid range guys?
Hmm…that’s tough. It depends if we’re talking about my actual singing capabilities or if this is more about personality. I’d say, singing wise, I’d probably be a mid range guy but I can kinda hit some of those high notes when I sing from my throat. But , if you mean in a more metaphorical sense, I’d be the low voice guy. Kinda in the background but ,at the same time, holding it all together.
When does rap with rock influences cross into rap rock? Or is there a line at all?
Like when does it work? Rarely. I think the only time it works is when it’s done naturally. Also, all parties involved have to have an intimate understanding of what makes good rap music and what makes good rock music. The problem with the mixing of those two styles is that you got one rock guy and one rap guy. Neither really understand the other genre with any real depth so they’re taking the other persons word for it. There’s no middle ground for someone to be like “But wait, that’s corny!”. I’ve long said that the meshing of rap and rock has sucked since run dmc/aerosmith. There have been a few exceptions where people were able to find a really nice happy medium. Honestly, it works best when the rock dudes understand rap. Then they can kinda get in the pocket and adhere their styles to what the rappers do. Cause when rappers try to “rock out” it’s fucking embarrassing for everyone involved.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
let’s see…I’ll be a few years from 60.
I have no idea. I imagine I’ll have a kid or two. I also imagine I will not be touring or making rap beats anymore. Man…20 years from now is a scary prospect. So, I’mma go with “I’ll be a person who died in the great manhattan consuming tidal wave of 2032”. That’s an easy answer but as likely as any other bullshit I’ll come up with now.
In high school did you ever skip class, vandalize, or cause ruckus?
I was not that kind of kid. I mean, I did dumb shit but never on a major level. I didn’t get in fights or fuck up school property (outside of drawing on desks).Although I did possibly assist in throwing an entire desk out of a 3 story window. I can’t confirm or deny that though.
I don’t think I even skipped classes, which is funny cause I was someone who didn’t give a shit about school. But I was also someone who didn’t really think outside the box like that. Skipping class had consequences (being in school more) so I figured why bother?
What i did do was get kicked out of class all the time. I was somewhat of a class clown/wise ass and would get thrown out of class on a fairly regular basis for saying dumb shit. It was always in the context of the class though. Like, in 8th grade, I had this unmarried orthodox jewish guy teaching us sex ed. I didn’t know much back then but I was pretty sure he was a virgin. so, I thought it was funny that he was teaching us about sex. I once asked him ” But…What does sex feel like?” and he got furious and bounced me outta class. After that, I made it my mission to ask him uncomfortable questions about sex. He eventually kinda gave up on scolding me and just told me to shut up every time I had a question. It felt like a personal victory.
This is a pointless little story but I figure I’d share it cause it’s friday and who cares?
Man, being old and out of touch sucks. Especially when you actually do make a tiny effort to stay somewhat in the loop. Even when you do that, there’s always going to be something that flies over your head. Where slang is concerned, I generally don’t follow it but I can figure out what it means. Words like “Fleek” or “Thot” come around and all you need to do is hear them in a certain context and you get it. You’d be a fool to use them in real life but, still, you can at least understand them. Other terms,however, are not as simple.
Case in point, this Drake song “Know yourself“. Admittedly, I’ve been running some tracks off the new Drake mixtape. Judge me with all the rap snobbery you got but, you know what? I’m old, very likely know more about rap than you and I can like what I want to like so blow me. Still, while I do tip my hat to drake a little I also think he’s fairly ridiculous. But that’s neither here nor there. This is about a line in a drake song.
So, in this song, there’s a break in the middle (Go to 1:31 in the above video to hear it) and he goes into exclaiming “I was runnin’ through the 6 with my woes!”. it’s the pinnacle of the song. Every rap listening teen knows that part. There have been gifs, vines and everything. Now, I know “The 6” is toronto. That I know! But, when I heard this line I was kinda fascinated. Like “What a fucking weird thing to say!”. I imagined Drake, walking around Toronto , with his hood up just thinking about his life issues AKA his woes. I thought he might be on some Aceyalone shit. I mean, let’s be real, Drake is nothing if not an emo dude. It would make sense for him to pace around Toronto with a lot on his mind. He’s definitely a cryer. I dunno…the whole thing just seemed like a strange, bold and interesting choice of words for him to use. Add on that it’s followed by him saying “You know how that shit go” and it seemed like the sentiment was real. Yes, drake. i do know how that shit go. I’ve had a lot on my mind and walked around the city , trying to make sense of it all. What a relatable sentiment, Aubrey. I was even in Toronto a few weeks back and that song was in my head like crazy. I was walking around Toronto singing it to myself. It was somewhat embarrassing, now that I look back at it but , hey, music does what it does.
Flash forward to me at the YMCA this past monday. I play ball there a few times a week and it’s filled with a wide variety of people. One major type is teenagers. (Unrelated but, holy shit, teenagers are the fucking worst). So, I’m shooting around with some people before a game and one of the kids starts rapping that verse from “Know yourself” in it’s entirety. Other chime in. a few grown men even get in on the action as well. I say “Man, it’s crazy how drake made an anthem about being sad”. The kid that started the sing along looks at me and says “Huh?” and I say “yeah, like he’s got you all singing about how he runs around his city crying and shit…” this was met with patronizing laughter and the kid explaining to me that his “woes” are his boys. Most likely a shortening of the southern term Whodies. Well, fuck me. I felt 200 years old. What a let down. i won’t lie, it’s made me like the song less. I much prefer the idea of drake and his actual woes over the visual of drake and his corny friends going clubbing. Goddamn it. Oh well, this whole topic got me running through my social network timelines with my actual woes. But you know how that shit go.