Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our Newest Contributor: Texts from Last Night!

(419): The new Black Eyed Peas song is the stupidest shit I've heard since the last Black Eyed Peas song.

Dear Random Person from Toledo, OH,

Thank you. I couldn't agree more.


The evidence: the new single.

And the old single:

I kinda miss BEP pre-Fergie. Truth is, they actually used to not be terrible. Proof?

Just saying, Fergie's the devil.

Friday, August 21, 2009

On Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.

When I was 16, I went on a service trip with a bunch of kids from my high school. We didn't really know each other all that well in the beginning, and so, in the very beginning, there were a few awkward silences. However, without fail, every time they happened, my friend Bill Houston would always look around and say, "Shhhh, Weezy, baby! By the end of the trip, it became the unofficial punchline to just about every joke that was told (that, or yelling the last name of one of the kids on the trip, Jim Shields, as loudly as possible).

We were not brilliant kids.

Anyway, it's been about fourteen months since the release of Tha Carter III, the last album from cough syrup connoisseur Lil Wayne. Since it came out (on my 19th birthday, no less), it's been almost unanimously praised by just about everyone, topping a bunch of best-of lists at the end of 2008. It also won four Grammys, and in a time where album sales are down across the board, it's still managed to sell over three million copies in America alone. Meanwhile, as I've watched this all going on, the only thing that I could ask was, "Well, why?"

The song that I had heard most before was the uber-annoying radio single "Lollipop," which probably wasn't fair, but every time I heard it, I strongly considered punting a baby out a window. After all, it sounded like the song was filtered through a bottle of Robitussin, as opposed to the all-too-popular Autotuner. However, there's no way that literally everyone could have been wrong about this, so eventually, way, way, way later, within the last month or so, I finally downloaded Weezy's last two albums, Tha Carters II and III.

(Note: I know, I didn't get the first one, and that without any "background," I could have been completely lost. I took my chances.)

So, here's the thing: like most hip-hop albums today, both of these are too long (both albums are over 76 minutes long), and though I'll give Weezy some credit for keeping skits to a minimum, both still have ridiculous moments where he just sort of, uhh, goes off on ridiculous tangents. Tha Carter III ends with this ridiculous thing where Weezy just makes fun of Al Sharpton for a while.

But that's nitpicking, I guess I shouldn't hold a grudge against him for something that a lot of rappers do. And after all, there's a lot of good in there. Weezy gets great producers to give great beats, and even though the dude has some ridiculous kind of stream-of-consciousness/ADD/something (he references Stuart Scott, Beetlejuice, Stevie Wonder, Randy Savage, Dennis Rodman, Orville Redenbacher, and the movie Bad Boys in the first three tracks of Carter III), it somehow works for him. The guy is really clever when he isn't sippin' on some sizzurp, or, you know, when he cares at all.

The major problem is that he doesn't always care, and so you get some downright awful stuff sometimes. Ready? "He's a beast, he's a dog, he's a muthafuckin' problem/OK, you're a goon, but what's a goon to a goblin?" I have no idea what it means either.

There's also a track (not on either of these albums) where he rhymes "head and tail" with "head and tail..." about five different times. It's actually kind of embarrassing, so if I can find it, I'll post it. (EDIT: Got it, starting at 1:45. A downright awful verse.) And his delivery, well, is pretty awful overall (short of one brief moment at 2:19 of the aforementioned YouTube clip).

So that, in a nutshell, is Weezy. He's definitely ridiculous (and what in the hell is up with his kind of creepy relationship with that other guy from the Cash Money Millionaires?), but the guy is clever, to be sure, one of the better rappers around now. More often than not, his punchlines are great. The problem is, it's pretty tough to deliver them when you're lounging or out swimming in Purple Drank Pond (located, of course, in Promethazine Park).

Also, I think that Weezy should probably go out an make an album like The Blueprint before he starts referring to himself as the "Mr. Carter." Just saying.

Consume at your own risk. Anyway, enclosed are some Weezy tracks.


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Thursday, August 20, 2009

No Age/Dan Deacon/Deerhunter (No Deachunter? Dan Agehunter? Deer! No, Deacon!)

The above T-shirt design (yes, with all three bands in the womb) was sold at all of these shows. It was designed by one of the lunatics in CSS, and it honestly freaks me out a bit. Moving on!

Upon hearing the announcement of the No Age/Deerhunter/Dan Deacon "Round Robin/Pitchfork Wet Dream" Tour and the corresponding dates, I wasn't really sure how to react: the tour is only a week long, and other than Brooklyn, there wasn't a single place that made much sense to me (Newport, KY?). One of the dates was about twenty minutes from my house, but I couldn't make it because I'm in New York for the summer. The next-best option, in Brooklyn, was another that I couldn't make because of All Points West, so I thought I was kind of out of luck.

Then, well, unforeseen circumstances brought me to Millvale, Pennsylvania. This is a place you never want to visit on your own. I promise. Really, the whole Pittsburgh area is a place that you don't want to visit voluntarily. In October, a movie called The Road will be released, and the trailer basically paints a bleak picture of the apocalypse. In a move that can only be described as genius, the movie studio elected to film in Pittsburgh because it already looks like the apocalypse happened there. I'm serious. They didn't have to change all that much.

But I digress.

The show itself was a bit of a strange experience. All three acts came out at first and played a Deerhunter track to start, and then things settled down, with each act playing one song at a time. About halfway in, each band started playing their songs in pairs, and eventually, they all closed the set out together again. For a while, I was totally fine with this. After all, the first 12 songs or so were so high-energy, you could barely tell the difference.

The point that the energy started to drop was when Deerhunter came out and played "Microcastle." From then on, the transitions were a bit slower, and a bit awkward. With none of the bands blitzing into their songs anymore, coupled with no band ever getting a chance to play more than like three tracks in a row, you could start to see the lack of cohesiveness affecting the show.

But overall, it was solid. All of the bands were great, especially No Age, but I just wish Dan Deacon would stop it with the random stupid party games during his songs. Check this out:

Granted, with each band switching on and off, it would have been tough for the show to flow perfectly, but this obviously doesn't help, does it? Dan Deacon: 27 year old man-baby.

Anyway, here are some videos from each. Sadly, there aren't good Deerhunter or No Age videos from this show, but you get the idea.


No Age:

Dan Manbaby and a screeching cat:

And finally, one of the opening acts, Ed Schrader. A little background on this guy: he apparently hosts a radio show in Baltimore entitled "The Ed Schrader Show." Go figure. Also, I think he lost his mind a while back. He came out on stage singing something from the musical "Man of La Mancha," and everyone assumed he was just a sound check guy. Twenty minutes later, everyone was really, really confused.

Just try and get through all of this from the Baltimore show (he played it in Millvale too):

Yup. It was all like this. Just him and his drum, but way less cute than the little drummer boy.

He looks like a fucking mad scientist, does he not?

On that, I'm off. Tomorrow: Weezy.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Apologies (to the Queen Mary. I couldn't resist.)

Dear Readers (mainly, Dear Kevin Nihill),

I apologize for not updating this. I wish I could say it was 100% because I was busy, but I think we all know that that isn't the case. I also apologize for making lots of promises about future updates and then failing to deliver on those. Frankly, I'm pretty ashamed of my performance.

But, I promise, I'm gonna make it up to you guys (guy?). Starting tomorrow, there will be updates, probably about one a day, for at least the next three days, and likely more. I can safely say this because there's a ton of stuff to write about. The "No Deachunter tour" entry is all but finished. I still want to write about finally sitting down and listening to Lil' Wayne. (The devil in print form/purveyors of the hipster bible) Pitchfork is putting out their 500 best songs of the decade through the week, and I have a lot to say about it, so, the only thing will be forcing myself to actually write stuff down. However, though promises I make on this blog don't really mean much, I'm making another one.

However, there's one thing I ask of you guys. I made a couple of small changes to the layout, most notably the "interesting/not interesting" boxes at the bottom of the entry. I realize that a lot of the people who read this don't comment, but just as proof to me that you're even looking, I humbly request you at least check one of those boxes at the end of each post.

With that said, I leave you with this picture, sent to me by my friend Marie.

Obviously, we at TDoFS make a lot of jokes at Nickelback's expense, but I'm genuinely having a hard time trying to come up with a band that's had so much hatred directed at them (Milli Vanilli?). Granted, it isn't everyone (evidently their last five albums have gone platinum in the U.S., and i have a hard time thinking that everyone is setting those CDs on fire), but their critical disapproval is overwhelming, almost unanimous. Really, the suggested search results say it all.

In a related story, I'd really like for Google to sponsor this blog. I think that they get us, you know?

So on that note, farewell for now, but not for long, readers. I'll be back tomorrow.