Saturday, December 30, 2006

FMT: Massive

Sounds from the big P-E-R-F-I-D-I-O-U-S-A-L-B-I-O-N

Your main clairvoyant canine Sordid Puppy has been checking the U.K. Hip-Hop scene for some years now. I spent the first of my nascent years in Salford, Limeyland, and the extended (and, indeed, immediate) pooch family tree mostly begins and ends in the Rebel County, so my connection to that side of the pond remains stout. Along the way, during holidays and whatnot, I've done my best to bless friends and relatives over yonder with the best of the American crop of rapping artists and to smuggle any and everything the U.K. has had to offer back stateside.

Rappers from the perfidious Albion have had a difficult time winning any sort of airplay or commercial success from us puritans, and the scene as a whole has had an impossible time making any sort of impression. Yes, Lady Sovereign got signed by Jay-Z, and yes, she is English and raps, but she seems more a novelty act than a legitimate ambassador for U.K. Hip-Hop, so in this Puppy's opinion she doesn't really count.

Dizzee Rascal won the Mercury Prize, England's top honors for music of all genres, a few years back with Boy In Da Corner, and built up enough hype to sell a coupla records in the U.S.A., but he wasn't exactly invited to pretend to freestyle on Rap City. Dizzee's still putting out material, and 2004's Showtime, while not as good as Boy In Da Corner, was a decent album (a couple of classic videos: "Stand Up Tall" and "Dream"); since then, he's popped up here and there, selling out shows at Irving Plaza in NYC and continuing to put out records. Point is, Dylan Mills is a good rapper, but you're not likely to hear him on the latest Big Mike mixtape because we'd rather listen to derivative douchebags than something with a bit of originality and style.

There are a couple of other acts to mention, such as The Streets and Kano and maybe a couple others (Roots Manuva?), among the number of U.K. artists that have made some impact in the U.S. They're all distinct from one another, and a few, on comparison, don't even seem like they'd fit in the same genre of music, and maybe they don't. What's similar about all of them, though, is that, despite critical acclaim and reasonable stateside commercial success, they haven't managed to open many doors for their own countrymen. They're not seen as fit for comparison with American rappers, and I'm not entirely sure why.

U.S. hip-hop is stuck -- no, entrenched -- in a bit of a creative rut at present, and the formula of venerable yet aging rappers making records to revitalize rap doesn't seem to be working. The current standards keep plodding along, making the same sort of music they've always made, and the public steadily loses interest.

It's likely that the aspects of the U.K. scene that I find so appealing are the direct results of its failure to achieve commercial success and thus enter the fold of the corporate music industry machine. U.K. hip-hop records get constant play from venues like Channel U, but MTV, even over here (and even on its strictly rap/r&b station, MTV Base), is much quicker to play the latest Chingy ballad than the latest homegrown rap. The same goes for the selection at your local HMV or Virgin Records stores. My point is that though I'm sure U.K. rappers get much love from their local fans and make money selling mixtapes and playing shows, it's hard to imagine any of them being extravagantly wealthy, and most radiate ravenous hunger.

At its worst, U.K. hip-hop is a shameless, empty imitation of its U.S. cousin and elder. U.K. records that blatantly attempt to reproduce American tracks fail in every way, and often end up biting styles that are dated and/or lacking in credibility. Imagine a pack of English characters doing their best St. Lunatics impression. Worse still are the acts that espouse the most negative aspects of U.S. hip-hop, and do so for the sake of having done so; absent from such music is any shred of soul or artistic integrity.

At its best, U.K. hip-hop is a great and refreshing thing. The relative youthfulness of the scene proves capable of translating not into immaturity but rather a new sound and attitude, one that represents a marked deviation from the rap that dominates the American mainstream. Roll Deep, a U.K. crew with whom Dizzee Rascal was once affiliated, has the number 3 or 4 video on Channel U at the moment, titled "Badman," and it's an exploration of the negative effects of gun violence on English communities. It also feels like an indictment of the belligerence and one-upmanship that a great deal of (American) rap glorifies. After the video runs, an advertisement for www.stoptheguns.org flashes across the screen. This is a great song with a great message, and, what's more, it doesn't come off as insincere.

I'm also feeling Craze 24. "Ghetto Hotels" is blowing up on Channel U and U.K. hip-hop radio at the moment, and yes, it's a bleak and forbidding portrayal of life in inner-city London, but it's also hopeful; Craze raps about conquering the boundaries that exist between him and his folk and success. Drug dealing and addiction are confronted, not celebrated.

As you'd expect, U.K. hip-hop -- good U.K. hip-hop, at that -- isn't all concerned with examining social ills. I've posted about Sway in the past, but he's good enough to mention again; "Little Derek" is one of my favorite songs of the past couple years, and I appreciate his expressed frustration with the impervious nature of the U.S. scene. A-Tola's sound seems a bit more derivative of the American MCs he undoubtedly admires, but his swagger is decidedly U.K.-by-way-of-West-Indies, and the music is fresh. The "Rep Ur Endz" series of tracks, one for each of London's various regions, is unlikely to leave you scratching your head at the complexity of the MCs' rhymes, but the earnestness of the songs is infectious.

U.K. hip-hop's detractors have adequate fodder for their criticisms. Its MCs and beatmakers are relatively young and unseasoned and, quite obviously, the scene simply hasn't evolved to the extent that its American counterpart has. However, at a time when hip-hop fans thirst for something stylistically and musically original, U.S. rap continues to disappoint, and the U.K. scene offers a burgeoning alternative. While this Puppy certainly hopes against hope that Papoose's debut album isn't utter tripe and that Killer Mike releases something other than a mixtape in the next twenty-five years, in the meantime you can probably catch him bumping an import. I'm in need of some soulful music, and I don't mean Common rapping over Will.I.Am beats about how soulful he is. I mean MUSIC that has a SOUL.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy Thing with the Earth and the Sun

This is how Santa do on New Years

Sordid Puppy and I were anxious midwives to a bouncing baby blog back in the summer and since our beloved Foodmantooth has undergone the trials of internet infancy: irrelevance, growing pains, almost the shit, and finally at the half-year mark, officially the motherfucking donkey poop.

So the life of FMT has been basically mirrored the career of Lily Allen, even if she kinda sucks and FMT does the totality of actions that constitute the negation of sucking. Many things have gone down in the last half year, and some of them were good. I’m not indulging in the old top ten this or that of the year, because those are usually bad or wrong. I’m just gonna throw up five good things, five bad things, and one beautiful thing, which is Slothra himself. That shall be the year in Slothra’s eyes.

THE GOOD:

ONE: OG indie rock from the early 80s bringin it back home.
Sonic Youth’s Rather Ripped and Mission of Burma’s The Obliterati were two of the best albums of the year. Dinosaur Jr. played the best show Slothra saw this year. J. Mascis wore a powder blue t shit with feathers on it. And he destroyed Slothra’a brain with his Jazzmaster. Old dudes who think guitars make art actually do make art. Young kids should take lessons. This is some late style shit. These bands couldn’t care less about conceit, they just do the same shit they’ve been doing, without the burden of proof that comes from bands who are trying to get blog hype and “bands to watch” pieces in Spin after touring for 5 years and releasing 7 albums (“have you heard of this new rapper E-40?” I shouldn’t talk actually, I though E-40 was Too Short’s hypeman until that ghostriding the whip thing on the TV).

TWO: The Wire
Slothra doesn’t understand why all the talk about The Wire always refers to its “intricate plots”? Since when is this show hard to follow or off kilter in any way. Slothra is a retarded, larded sea mammal and he can can solve Poincare’s Conjecture, whip up a soufflé that’ll clean behind your ears, and cast his next rap opera all while following the goings on in Simon’s Bmore. The appeal for Slothra is the engrossing, streamlined plots. Nothin new in it really, (still no Homicide), but the sheer breadth is unparalleled. There are basically 7 shows in one. The first scene, where Snoop buys the nail gun, was utterly, transcendentally, almost sublime. The season was made in the first five minutes.

THREE: Brick
Now, this movie is something that’s hard to follow. Slothra’s fav of year. Wait, was Cache this year? Slothra’s not looking that up. Those movies are good, either way.

FOUR: Ornette Coleman
Hey, remember Jazz? You know, the one with the instruments and the heroin. Old dude named Ornette hooked up with his son and two bass players and recorded a concert that is probably the best album of the year. You don’t like Jazz? Oh you do, you own a Miles Davis album AND a Coltrane album. Wow, you cultured fuck. Ornette’s about 384 years old and you’ve been sleeping under his bed eating ice cream the whole time. Turn off that music with people singing on it and wake the fuck up to the master. Holy shit I’m fucking pissed.

FIVE: The Hills
Laguna Beach was good enough. Stupendously seminal even. But LC and Heidi brought it to a another (whole nother) level. Or maybe they were just hot and relatively charming and it is the geniuses at MTV that put it together. Either way, so far this is the best reality show I’ve ever seen (except Man vs. Beast, but that wasn’t a series). The episode when Heidi’s boyfriend comes over and balls his face off, then Heidi just brushes him off and we never see him again—probably the best moment of the year on regular cable. And the reentry of Beard Kid into my consciousness. The episode when he was wasted, wearing a top hat for some reason, and saying things to LC like “hey, yo, like you always act like this, and I don’t know how I act to make you act like this!” And he’s obviously too retarded to be acting! But LC broke my heart when she took Beard Kid over the internship in Paris. We all know she’s shooting for the pseudo celebritydom that her LB couterpart Kristen parlayed, and you don’t exactly need an ill CV and a properly phrased cover letter for that sort of employ, but come on, girl, what in God’s name were you thinking?

THE BAD

ONE: Tom Breihan
The internet hate all over the rap internet about TB almost made me become a Mennonite. None of it really had to do with anything, although it really spun things up and got people slingin ones and zeros like I’ve never seen. But pointless as all that was, Breihan himself ended up pissing me off more than any of the messageboard fools when he didn’t even address any of the issues brought up, which are ultimately much more important than his own aloof standing. That shit when on for a week straight and he’s writing about fucking Ian Makaye and carefully crafting his Pitchfork best of 2006 list, like there’s nothing to say.

TWO: Rap albums released in Dec.
More Fish has a few tracks that are up with Ghostface’s best work (“Block Rock”, “Alex [Stolen Script]) but I have less interest in the Theodore Unit that I do with Jay-Z’s supposed unimpeachable status. Hip Hop is Dead is not bad at all, maybe his best since Illmatic, but there are a couple points on there that ruin it. Why the fuck is Will I am allowed anywhere near a self-respecting hip hop album. I don’t understand this. Clipse came up with the best of the bunch, for sure, and anyone who paid mind to the “hey indie rock blogsters like this, so it makes the album worse” thinking is a straight gumptruck. Pharrell redeemed himself with some of those beats, and the overall coherence that rap albums have been so allergic to of late. A truly punishing album. Not sure Pusha and Mal philosophize too much about glocks and keys, more about the cold delivery than anything, but I appreciate the balls not to have a real single or any frivolous blubber.

THREE: Kneejerk praise for TV on the Radio and The Hold Steady.
The indie rock world swallowed these two underwhelming albums whole, took their surface characteristics and convinced themselves that these equal some kind of elusive cool genius. Not so. Both of those albums are average, but the indie infrastructure, which at this point has entrenched itself beyond repair, latches on to consensus for its own good. There’s no criticism involved here.

FOUR: Slothra’s broken CD player
I had my 5 disc changer in my trunk and our twinky train, of which I was the caboose, got bogged down in some seaweed, nahmsayin. Needless to say, there was some turbulence, and by the time I got home and threw in NOW 2354 with all the Nelly Furtado songs on it, I was getting no love. The tray wouldn’t even come out. FUCK. Slothra hasn’t been able to play CDs ever since. His computer has a sound card that makes everything sound like early Guided By Voices, so he’s gotta re-up the iPod everytime he cops the latest hit LP at the local record shoppe. Since his computer is a Commodore 64, it takes a fortnight to go from unwrapping a CD to juice out the pod, so now Slothra is weeks behind all the other bloggers who get enough traffic and google ad clicks on their sites to pay for CDs made out of Golden Manatee toenails (yes we have them), if they didn’t get all that shit for free anyway. Slothra wishes his blubbery fins could hold a Phillips head so he could break his Sony open like your auntie’s dome during that scuffle in ’83.

FIVE: Blogs
Blogs don’t have editors. Slothra can refer to himself in the third person and write things that are stupid and no one tells him he has to go to grammar school. But other blogs don’t write things. They post pictures of concerts and the 23485th remix of “My Love” but not many words. Slothra doesn’t understand why anyone would bother remixing “My Love” or any such banger. Why take the bang out of a banger, and change it into a lounger. Actually “My Love” might be a Barcalounger outfitted with cartoon mallets. Slothra understands less why anyone would post mp3s of my love remixes and then many people care about this. Anyway, FMT is getting calls from Palo Alto VCs left, right, and center, so SP and I aren’t gonna hafta worry about all this pretty soon.

THE BEAUTIFUL:

Monday, December 25, 2006

R.I.P. James Brown/Happy Birthday Jesus

Happy Holidays to all from your favorite aquatic mammals. James Brown, one of the most influential and imitated artists of all time, passed away today. We have witnessed the passing of a true icon. Today's date is better known as the anniversary of the naissance of another man, a man whose actions shaped, in great part, the world we live in today. On future 12/25s, we should be sure to celebrate JB as we cut the turkey in memory of JC.

In these violent and strepitous times, I hope 12/25 can provide us all with a moment of clarity. The world is divided along religious lines in very real and terrifying ways, and it seems that many of us have missed the point of all the Sunday School, Hebrew School, etc. teachings that we heard when we were young. It's mercy, forgiveness, and love that are needed to guide us all to peace, not vindictiveness, paranoia, and hatred. It's much easier to resent others for the differences we see between them and ourselves than it is to promote mutual understanding, but it's hard work that's needed to set things right.

Foodmantooth ain't no religious blog, yo, (no Richard Dawkins) and this message isn't exclusively for Christians or Muslims or Jay-Z stans or whatever. SP and Furman wish you and yours all the best this season; open your minds and hearts to the people in your lives and you may be so lucky as to witness human nature at its finest.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

S.P. News/No Yelling

The Foodmantooth of DJ mixtape albums.

I feel like a dumbass for having neglected this site for so long: Undergroundhiphop.com (No backpack cheeseheads) is worth keeping up on, particularly for their Top 40 singles chart. Seriously good tracks on here. Search the site for all the underground joints that you used to love (remember Push Button Objects???).

The anti-Breihan backlash has taken on many forms, not least of which is the criticism of his alleged "fetishization" of the more negative aspects of hip-hop. Sordid Puppy ain't taking sides, but this movement seems to be gaining steam: Dallas Penn weighs weightily in, and the NYTimes have a story about a film on the subject. Fascinating insights on the influence of corporations (and white people in general) on this trend.

Pharrell's live show sounds excruciatingly boring.

The Juggaknots are one of my favorite hip-hop groups of all time; their 2003 Clear Blue Skies (Re:Release) counts among the best albums I've ever heard. This past October, they released Use Your Confusion, their first studio album in three years, and I stupidly failed to pay attention. Their Myspace page has a bunch of audio. You may know lead MC Breezely Brewin as the narrator of Prince Paul's 1999 A Prince Among Thieves (check for Xzibit and Sadat X in classic form at the end of the flick. not to mention everlast...jesus).

Friends, lovers -- I know you've been stressing what to get SP for Christmas. Never fear -- here's a little direction: Mini Madvillain.

New J Dilla album, March 2007. I trust Stones Throw to restrain themselves from 'Pac-like gratuitous posthumous releases. Hopefully I don't lose that trust.

Ho-ho-hoing and things of this nature: watch Adult Swim. Tonight. DVR it for Sordid Puppy.

Friday, December 22, 2006

a.k.a. Iced Out Ornithopters

Sordid Puppy's late, venerable great-grand-uncle, Michael Collins.

Your favoritest pen pal Sordid Puppy will be reporting to you from Ireland for the next few weeks, my variously-legged friends. The vortex of hype surrounding Nas's Hip-Hop Is Dead and Styles P's Time Is Money dropping in the same 24-hour time frame scared me poopless, and I had to flee the country. The hive over at Nahright seem disappointed by Pinero's latest long-player (remember A Gangster and a Gentlemen?? that was no classic, but it got much play in SP's discatee), which I think tops off the most disappointing, over-hyped series of potentially knock-down-drag-out releases that I can remember.

I haven't heard much of Hip-Hop Is Dead, and I don't like the title cut, but "Hustlers" is fucking badass and I'll probably buy the album because I'm a sucker for Mr. Jones. I stumbled into a discussion of the worst Nas records ever the other day, and several of those involved agreed that Street's Disciple tops the list (or brings up the rear, or however that works (NO GAY SHEEP)), but I'm a huge fan of this song and if the album it's on is worse than HHID, then I figure HHID is worth buying. Plus that The Game verse on "Hustlers" where he raps about stealing Illmatic and The Chronic is fucking sweet. I guess this means that Nas beat everyone else, from Styles to Hov to Snoop to The Clipse to whoever, because he made a decent album and it'll probably go platinum eventually.

I hereby take a well-deserved hiatus from reporting about mainstream U.S. hip-hop. For the next three weeks, Sordid Puppy's sordid posts will consist exclusively of my thoughts on U.K. grime (talking a whole lot about a bunch of songs that are all called "Da Endz"), breakfast sausages whose composition is something other than straightforward (NO GAY GORILLAS), and of course the inimitable Irish woman. Or maybe I'll just write about how GUINNESS IS GOOD FOR YOU. AND DELICIOUS. Slainte.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Slothra owns a crossbow


Right now, I am sitting here listening to a playlist of the 29 songs that I just ganked from the Pitchfork Top 200 Songs of 2006…and polishing my compound crossbow with wigster fat and Hypnotiq. I ended up with 29 songs because I had some of the songs already and all the major labels obviously didn’t let Fork just lay their IP out on the internet meat market like that. These songs were streaming or had youtube links or whatever. For some reason internet sluts think I will stream music and be satisfied with it. They forget that I am an anarcho-syndicalist gangster who has a woman for each day of the advent calendar.

This playlist is not surprising in any way. There are a lot of remixes and techno, which is for gays being gay or Europeens (not me, I kill people with my crossbow if they look at one of my advent-calendar-women, and then I listen to NY mixtape rappers with Patrick Bateman). The thing you will notice is that these hegemonic snobbaskets do not like Nas or Jay-Z, the two people who invented music and ETHERED EACH OTHER SO HARD AND WITHOUT HOMO THAT THEY BECAME BETTER THAN EVERYTHING AND WE CAN WRITE SO MANY JOKES ABOUT HOW EITHER ONE OF THEM COULD FART AND MAKE BETTER MUSIC THAN LITTLE WAYNE. This might be because Nas’ album hasn’t come out yet, but it’s obvious that that album’s wrapping is better than any songs by that harp chick who sounds like if the Devil were a fetus doing karaoke. These people obviously don’t cop beef patties on Nostrand Ave. in BK. They get their bagels with subservient salmon cream cheese on Bergen St. in Park Slope, where they push around their babies, who are in very wigster strollers that have Clipse mixtapes playing in their BOSE systems. These babies are learning to fetishize hip hop and cocaine, rather than actually being crack babies with no spinal chords, which has a status that is VERY hood. These babies are being taught to become Weezy/Clipse stans who will later be ETHERED SO HARD NO MUMU (wordplay/joke that makes sure everyone knows I have a woman for every day of the advent calender) on their blackberrys as they try to convince everyone on the internets that Jay-Z and Nas have baby-making devices that are shorter than Tom Breihan.

Ghostface, TI, Lil Wayne, and Grizzly Bear are on that list. Ghostface is the worst rapper in the world but hipsters love him because he makes them write term papers about him. TI is obviously homo because he’s a thespian too (urbandictionary.com told me that means he’s not no Mario Cuomo [my Women conceive of various creative not-gay manners of servicing me every single day]). I S my H at the wigsters and then I shoot them 50 times with arrows as I L my A off because Sean Bell has very much to do with people in Park Slope who like the Clipse too much and don’t know what twinky trains are.

Recently my partner Sordid Puppy and I have been destroying the hip-hop blogosphere and commenting so well on other very good blogs, such as Nah Right Dot Com and Dallas Penn Dot Com. Those are two blogs that are written by people from NY who understand what classic hip-hop is and the need for many etherings of Wigsters who try to peek out from their indie-rock gayfests, where people try to recreate mafia greetings and end up kissing their fake fathers on the mouth. SP doesn’t realize like I do that NYC is the only place where people who listen to hip hop can actually read and not slurr words because their mother drank when they were buns in ovens. SP has incited the wrath of Dallas Penn himself and Eskay of Nah right, who have ethered him so resolutely on the FMT comments section, causing him to lapse into wigster catatonia, symptoms of which include trying to eat his 39 copies of Most Known Unknown and the reading of novels. I, Slothra realize that SP has forgotton that NY hip hop invented the study of Physics and gardening. He has somehow gone astray and embraced the poop humor of Little Wayne, the luridly colored hoodies of Clipse and the blogstache of El-P. Hopefully my crossbow threats and gaggle of womenfriends shall convince him that Kingdom Come makes good pancakes and that Hip Hop is Dead is better at golf than Kim Jong IL.

There is a new blog, called Idolator, which is pink and likes other blogs. Idolator has a lotta $$ from a website called Gawker, so Idolator can post all day, make hilarious jokes about other bloggers and then buy that extra end table with a fish tank inside of it. Slothra was up in their clamshell with his typing and was mistaken for one of their employees by speciesist bloggers that made a site with cool artwork called Ohword.com. This website called Slothra a porpoise, which is a fast swimming sea beast that makes Slothra envious, for he doesn’t so much swim as float with the current and wiggle his stumpy fins futilely. Although the people at ohword.com make funny comics about the Wu-Tang Clan, they obviously hate the sea, and are very bad at making blog posts, which makes Slothra hate them.

All this blogginess and strummy pitchfork songs have made me tired, and Slothra just wants to listen to Sonic Youth or Mission of Burma, who made two of the best rap albums of the year.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

FMT: Grow Up Before We Blow Up

FMT in Bertolucci's 1900. Furman played by De Niro, Depardieu as Sordid Puppy

Bernardo Bertolucci just dropped a couple sick throwback joints, The Conformist (Le Conformiste) and 1900 (Novecento). Eskay and his not-so-small army of drones over at Nahright.com say Jay-Z's Fade To Black is the best cinematic achievement ever, and that Hova totally ethered all the Bertolucci stans when he invented that fake champagne.

There's been a whole lot of blubber going around since Complez magazine said Lil Wayne said that he was better than Jay-Z and doesn't particularly like the Clipse and Pharrell and Tom Breihan said that he's right and Eskay said he's fucking mental, not to mention gay, and Combat Jack said who the fuck are you, Tom Breihan, to say that Pitbull is better than Nas? Dear Tom, don't even get CJ started on those fatuous claims regarding Scritti Politti. P.S., try to come to the hood and pop that Scritti Politti drivel, and WE'LL SEE what's really crackin. Love, the ghetto.

Yes, birds and bees, the man whose Status Ain't Hood just got his ghetto pass resoundingly revoked by just about everyone who sat down to a 'pooter over the past week. It sucks for the Clipse, because in the midst of all this they dropped a fucking good album and all the hardcore gangstas who spend 4 hours a day posting on Nahright, XXL, and OhWord message boards don't seem to want to talk about it so I assume they're not buying it either. Breihan wrote a bit about how it's too bad Hell Hath No Fury didn't sell more copies, but his status ain't hood totally ain't hood so what the fuck does he know. Plus he's 6'11", so he, like, looks down on everyone. Fucking asshole.

In between bouts of extreme anxiety over my fundamentally conflicted existence as a white Puppy who listens to rap who's not from NYC and who is sort of tall (FUCK!), I've been doing some thinking. It seems like the problem with Nahright -- and I'll spare him the cliche accusations of being under Def Jam's thumb - is that if it's not from New York or sounds like it's from New York, he's not interested in it, period. I see no other reason why Uncle Murder gets mentioned more often than ANY Southern or West Coast artist that's not The Game or that isn't getting made fun of -- no, better yet, "ethered" (can we put this term to rest? Please?). The same appears to be true of Combat Jack and all the other message board-ers who proffer no better retort to Weezy's claims than "That's fucking ridiculous" or "He's a fucking fag" or, more specifically, "Only pretentious rich white people believe him. People in the hood think Jay-Z is the greatest thing since sliced bread, etc., etc." What you mean to say, CJ, is that people in the hood in BROOKLYN are bigger fans of Jay than Wayne, and that said hood is more discerning or more important or whatever than any other hood in the world.

There's a whole lot of classically educated hip-hop fans, writers, critics, etc. (rappers) who are getting all defensive about the fact that Jay-Z and Nas are past their prime and NYC hip-hop in general is in a sorry state. I'm as big a D-Block fan as the next white boy who doesn't know shit about shit, and I like Cam'ron and Saigon and Wu-Tang and bunch of other cats, but none of these people put out albums with any regularity. I guess Ghostface is the most consistent act coming out of New York right now, but he never makes much of it. Ghostdini never comes up in the incessant message board discussions of who's the best out, maybe because he's from Staten Island and SI doesn't have the name recognition attached to Brooklyn, Harlem, or the Bronx. I just bought More Fish, and sure, I wish Theodore Unit wasn't all over the thing, but it's a good album and the Ghostface verses are better than anything I've heard off Kingdom Come or Hip Hop Is Dead by a long shot.

Shouldn't the discursive community be able to agree that Kingdom Come was a pretty hollow project and that for Nas to flip the same exact sample for "Hip Hop Is Dead" that he did for "Thief's Theme" is borderline insulting to the fans (no, "stans" - no, fuck you)? I'm not mad at Eskay for being NY-centric; I think he's from Younkers, and so whatever, if he thinks New York is where rap begins and ends, fair play to him. Breihan's been doing his thing for awhile now, and I don't agree with everything he says, but he definitely does a good job of tapping into regional acts and giving them some shine. As far as FMT, maybe it's cause we're young that we don't dig Jay-Z's adult contemporary (word to Furman motherfucking P.) or Nas's senility, and it's for the same reason that Weezy's brash defiance appeals to us. In any case, if you think that Papoose is what rap is all about and Lil Wayne sucks, then you and I will never agree, but then that's the beauty of the community.

Half man half -atee


In tuesday's paper, the NYtimes reviewed this sweet new porn site. They usually don't review porn, but I guess this one is worthy of high brow attention. Here's one of the salacious seacows populating this great site.

Monday, December 11, 2006

yuh EE yuh EE


the thing that makes rock music

1. Dinosaur Jr. at Rebel, NYC –

The cabbie on the way there was a bald guy from Yugoslavia who was coming from a band practice. Getting into the cab, I remember thinking “this guy looks like he’s in Anthrax.” Indeed, he was playing with a metal band. Guy would not stop talking. Must’ve been dissolving trucker meth in his Red Bull. One of my retarded drunk co-horts asked him if he could name seven songs by some one hit wonder hair metal band (Survivor maybe) and he was on number four or five when we had to stop him out of fright. He claimed to have about 39 guitars in the trunk, which he offered to show us, but since we were about to be eaten by the hurricane of guitar sounds known as J Mascis, we thought it was best to decline.

The actual show. One of the loudest things I’ve ever heard. I only realized how loud it was when I walked outside and my head started oscillating. J Mascis is a narcoleptic savant guitar hero of the frontest rank. Lou Barlow plays bass like a guitar. Murph plays drums like a bald sweaty man named Murph.

Lou – “Man I’m sweaty as hell.” *looks at J*
J – “…” *looks like he wants to take a nap*
Lou – “For some reason J never seems to sweat”
J – “…” *looks like he doesn’t know he’s alive*

I was drenched by the end. “Ah, swamp stomach,” pointed out one of my co-horts. Goddamn right, Okefenokee shit. Good thing it was 25 degrees outside and we had to walk around for an hour looking for some hoes who kept switching bars. Ended up at a sports bar that had “Big Buck Hunter Pro 2” and more TVs than customers.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fantasia feat Big Boi - Hood Boy

The best R&B singer/rapper collab I've heard since Yummy Bingham & Jadakiss teamed up for "Come Get It"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Young Jeezy - Bury Me a G

Omar and Wee-Bey of The Wire on the same team? Inconceivable. Good song though.

Friday, December 01, 2006

S.P. News/Get Some Gear

This holiday season, don't get got!!!

Check this Indo G video for a dope, albeit very late-90s-looking, Three 6 Mafia cameo. Song's not half bad, either...

The new Ghostface album that Furman and I are anticipating with guarded optimism drops next Tuesday. Check "Ghost Block Rock" off More Fish at Madlib's Myspace page. Ghost and Madlib the Bad Kid...this song fucking rules.

Another video off Chrome Children. This guy doesn't get blessed by the talented puppies over at Adult Swim, but he wins out on dancing skills alone. James Pants - Do a Couple of Things.

Celebrity blogger Eskay of Nahright.com says Weezy must be on drugs to claim superiority over Hova. Sordid Puppy strongly disagrees, though not with the assertion that Weezy may have been on drugs when he said it. A mutually respectful rivalry born?

Pretty tight new Jeezy. The Runners produced this; they're the same crew that produced "Born n Raised," the video I posted earlier this year.

R.I.P. Sean Bell, eff the swine, but will any lasting changes actually come of this fiasco? In the meantime, Papoose's "Change Gon Come (50 Shots)"

As Indo G reminds us, it's Christmas time, Chanukah time, days off from school/work time, whatever, and SP wants FMT fans to spend their (and their friends and relatives') hard-earned dough on the flyest accoutrements this year. Here are some pages from this dog's sartorial handbook for the holidays.

District Footwear, home of much nice merchandise and one of the best places to cop GrnAppleTree, designers and manufacturers of hands-down the nicest hoodies on the market.

Highsnobiety.com; it is to progressive urban fashion what Nahright.com is to hip-hop, except Highsnobiety doesn't harbor irrational resentment for the best player in the game.

Save your money, because they Sold Out already anyway.

As far as I can tell, these guys lead a fairly pleasant lifestyle: The Hundreds. Peep their shop for fresh Cali gear.

Sneakers: Creative Recreation

Finally, Banned, featuring the best selection of Nike SB for online purchase that I've come across.

Feel like giving a little something back to FMT for keeping you in-the-know year-round? Ask (for our addresses) and you shall receive (permission to buy us presents). We love you.

Weed is Vegetables

No Richard Simmons

Flow touchin the pedal in that F5 yellow
Jussa movin through the city like blood in a vessel
I'm a fuckin professional, so intellectual
It's Mr. Fat Stax, my pockets got high cholesterol
I need vegetables -- is weed vegetables?
I'm past commas -- right now I'm seein decimals.

Uh...the major bison of the boulevard
The barracuda, fightin off the fishin rod
Yea! I get around like a business card
And you can see me everywhere but the prison yard
I'm on that sizzy hard, and that kush tough
Weezy stay high. Just look up.

Lil Wayne beats Ghostface, Eminem to the punch with 4th quarter '06 me-and-my-derivative-crew mixtape, Young Money Vol. 1: Lil Weezyana. It's funny that Jr.'s is free, but I would buy it, and Eminem's tape is getting the legit-album treatment (read: $14 at Best Buy, $350 at Sam Goody, Border's), but I wouldn't even bother wasting the time to download it. Weezy Baby up.
Richard Simmons' Exploding Steamer

This has nothing to do with Hell Hath No Fury.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Feel like a chuck wagon cuz I'm all 12 horses


William Congreve, newest member of the Re-Up Gang

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."

-William Congreve, The Mourning Bride (1697)

No Shakespeare didn't write that shit. Yes it's misquoted, just like Bogart never said "play it again, Sam" and no one ever said anything that is actually quoted. Yes, Clipse thought the quote was "hell hath no fury like a couple of brothers from the same mother who have been slighted by music business M&A." So the scorn'd woman doesn't really make it into the album, just like the Doctor didn't make it into the album that claims to advocate him. Yes, both albums should've been called The Chocolate Starfish and The Hot Dog-Flavored Water. Yes, this album is very good, if only because there are no skits that don't involve Ghostface and a foul-mouthed rugrat...and there's a reference to "Blues Clues."

BTW, FMT is in talks with a couple of esteemed but obscured and hermetic rap scholars who have reportedly been working on a complete annotation of HHNF. Both of these cave-dwelling boom-bap thinkers have published myriad treatises in rare but much sought-after trade journals regarding Wu-Tang chess schematics, Kool Keith's displaced schizoid diatribes, and Ja Rule's retardedness. Rumors have attributed their work to JD Salinger by way of Thomas Pynchon and Fluff Guppy by way of Pharaoh Monch. Trust us, however, these two heretofore-anonymous scholars are very real; indeed, they enjoy afternoon bocci matches and weekend outings to thimble museums. FMT is in talks for publishing rights to the HHNF annotation project, and it looks good. Sordid Puppy will most likely be tapped for and introduction.

We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Halloween

Mr Bean was a classic TV show. Too bad the movie was crap.

Happy Thanksgiving from your homeboys at Foodmantooth. It's worth mentioning that the inspiration for the title of this humble weblog came from a fervent desire for vittles. We love sustenance, and you should too. Thanksgiving is fantastic because of its simplicity; no gifts are exchanged besides heaping bowls of mashed potatoes and stuffing, and the holiday escapes the commercializing forces that are rampant among its peers. I'm not sure if holidays can be said to be each other's peers.

Eat, drink, and eat and drink more. That's the Foodmantooth way.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Can't Feel Your Fist

El-P's I'll Sleep When You're Dead...March 20 2007

Thunderball is my favorite Bond flick ever. Connery plays the role he was born for better than ever, and there's a dope underwater harpoon battle at the end. SP just saw Casino Royale the other day after reading Manohla's open groupie application to underwhelming narcissistic douchebag David Craig (and his bitch-ass crew, who if you want to be down with...). It's bad, really bad, worse than any of the Pierce Brosnan tripe and almost as bad as Yo Momma!. CR opens with an awkwardly overdone chase scene, featuring acrobatics worthy of Hot Flying Sheninjas, but I kept an open mind thereafter because I REALLY WANTED TO LIKE this flick. There's a couple of hot chicks in the movie, and several bitchin cars, but everyone knows that these shows are meant to be a showcase for Bond and his tantalizing slimy carry-on. David Craig is about as slick as my epidermis in the dead of nuclear winter and he carries his one-liners off about as well as Dimmer's cohorts ("I didn't know they made leprechauns in black"...nice) do theirs. Craven Dead better go the way of George Lazenby, or the world is going to be submitted to more of this homoeroticism (no Dancehall Reggae...but oiled up naked man has no place in a Bond movie, and you know this). They need to hire someone else -- Furman P, perhaps -- before this franchise is permanently discredited.

The Game's new album came out last week, and the NYTimes, who seem eager to establish themselves as the newest humpers of mainstream hip-hop, drooled. I couldn't be bothered, because I downloaded the "One Blood" remix and it's 27 hours long so I feel like the album's not worth my money. Jay-Z's Kingdom Come dropped today, a fact I was reminded of early this morning when I roused myself and caught Oliver Wang ethering him and his on NPR in eloquent fashion. Looks like I will not be contributing to Memphis Bleek's do-rag fund this time around. A week from today, Hell Hath No Fury, the Clipse's new album, which I won't describe as "long-awaited" or "eagerly anticipated," because that would be trite, will hit shelves. I don't mean to be the one to cleave the rainclouds, but "Mama I'm Sorry," which made its way onto this mixtape, isn't stimulating any glands (For what it's worth, the D-Block tracks on the same tape show real promise for that crew's upcoming releases (not that this wasn't enough)). I'm not making any rash projections here, for fear that Furman might launch me into the next dimension, but if Hell is anything less than stellar we're going to have a problem.

Next Tuesday, a young canine's devotion to an art form is tested for what may be the last time. Don't forget to tune in.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Across the herbaceous nap below..."

Reportedly, this is the cover of Hell Hath No Fury

Hey! Everyone cares about this.

Through routes and thoroughfares unbeknownst to yours truly, a copy of Thomas Pynchon's new novel, Against the Day, landed in my unreadied mitts today. It's due to drop out of the heavens next Tues, but, if like me, you maintain in your ward a posse comitatus of ninja/pirate mule operatives, you can probably procure the 9 years-coming beast (1085 pages, 3 lbs 6 oz) now with relative felicitousness. Funny, my specially-bred retinue of warrior-pariahs didn't even tell me they were gonna hook me up. Anyway, if you don't roll deep with shadowy underlings who can tap the most down-lowest subterranean black markets with with the casual flick of a shuriken or point of a scimitar, you gon hafta wait til tuesday. Oh yeah I heard it's soon gonna be illegal not to read this book, so getcha paper up. This bastard goes for 35 ramshackles.

I've read about 20 pages. It opens with a boisterous quintet of aeronauts, called the "Chums of Chance" aboard the flying-ship Inconvenience. Here are their names:

Randolph St. Cosmos
Darby Suckling
Lindsay Noseworth
Miles Blundell
Chick Counterfly
...and their Henry James-reading dog, Pugnax

Choice quotes:

"...moreover, the complexities that would attend rigging Blundell in the necessary paraphernalia would tax the topological genius of Herr Riemann himself."

"Across the herbaceous nap below, in the declining light, among the brighter star-shapes of exploded ballast-bags, running heedless, as across some earthly firmament, sped a stout gentleman in a Norfolk jacket and plus-fours..."

I feel like I just got Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2, 3, and 4 all on the same day. You really gotta get yourself some ninja/pirates.

Luca Brazzi...


Ghost - Mr. esteemed largemouth bass, you look like you need to eat some fake drugs.
Bass - No, what I need is to suppress my incredulity with regards to this album actually coming out.




Ghost - Yo, someone in there who ain't gonna cold dog this fade?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Cali Agents - The Good Life

It's like 73 degrees out. I feel like I live in CA. That's why I'm going to listen to this classic record all day long.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote or Suck

If you vote, she'll like you. I swear. Go vote.

*Disclaimer: Foodmantooth still ain't no political blog, yo, but this needs saying. These statements are Sordid Puppy's, not Furman's.

At times, it sort of sucks being part of America's youth. Don't take that statement as an appeal to the sort of whiny, "emo" (already regretting having used that term) sensibilities that bemoan the very opportunities and luxuries afforded us, those we enjoy just for living (as citizens) in the U.S.A. In many ways, young Americans have it better than anyone on the planet: economic and social disadvantages aside, educational opportunity abounds. We have, historically, a relatively open class system, one that avails most of us of a fighting chance to move up in society. We are, on average, wealthier than our peers on other parts of the globe; we own (or are give access to) cars by the time we're twenty and live in apartments with our friends when we go off to college. Jobs, dead-end and otherwise, are plentiful and help us fill our pockets so that we can empty them at the bar, the mall, or the bank. Yeah, it's pretty great being young in America -- things are made gloriously easy for us.

I suppose, then, that I should rephrase: America's youth sucks. For those of you living in a textbook or on a barstool or on top of your significant other, today is November 7th, 2006, and it's Election Day. Across the country today, grown ups add another chore to their daily routines: they vote. By grown ups, I am referring to anyone with the intellectual and moral maturity to recognize that our Escalades on spinners drive around cities, towns, and fields that are part of states that are part of a country called the United States, and that said country is a Democratic society with a representative government. Armed with this awareness, grown ups choose to take an active part in the decisions of said government and the selection of the people that will represent them in government.

In 2004, Snuff Pity launched the "Vote or Die" campaign (or whatever), whose aim, I think, was to get young people to vote. If it was, this wasn't really made clear by anything but the inane slogan itself, and the aberration that was "Vote or Die" makes crystal our problem. "Vote or Die" was far less a declaration of political determination than a fashion statement. It was a passing fad, a way for Diddy to self-promote and make a few dollars off t-shirts. Those same t-shirts, emblazoned with the "movement's" disingenuous motto, ended up in the bargain bin at my local Against All Odds just days after the election. As I recall, they shared shelf space with the stupid, stupid "Why?" tees modeled off the one Jada wore in his ineffectual "conscious" video of the same name (on a side note, it's funny that Kiss now refers to himself as "Al-Qaeda Jada," considering his previously asserted distress over 911). All the while, the geezers, whose comfort was (and still is) ensured by youthful apathy, pointed and laughed at the pathetic appeals for change.

Sordid Puppy wants to let his inner dog out on Diddy, Jada, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and every other person of influence who claim to have a vested interest in seeing young Americans stand up for themselves but fail to follow through and see that it happens. SP also calls out every news network that has a bias, one way or another, that does not exercise the responsibility it has to clearly articulate its (hopefully) informed opinion. Fox News is a behemoth in America's cultural battlefield because it leaves absolutely no question as to the agenda that it pushes, and that is why it is effective. CNN is an absolute sham because it dances around opinion pieces and balks at sounding partisan. I'm not really sure what MSNBC's story is, but I know that this man is the best out on cable news.

Sordid Puppy, speaking of his own mind, and not wishing to misrepresent the illustrious Furman, is kicking off a campaign of his own, whose slogan is not too many letters away from Diddy's but whose effect, in contrast, is real. "Vote or Suck" is the mantra. If you wake up today and do not vote, then you probably don't give a shit. However, if you wake up today and get your daily Foodmantooth fix, hear about "Vote or Suck," and STILL don't vote, then your failure to participate will result in the nagging, unremitting awareness that you are a douchebag. This is not my intention -- it is, rather, that this knowledge spurs you to exercise your rights.

Choose voting, not sucking. I love you.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Project Pat - Raised In The Projects

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Xgau disses Greil Marcus with 128 bars

Are they drinking pounders?

Just when you thought a band couldn’t possible eclipse the royal ball-washing that was the critical reception to TV on the Radio’s Return to Cookie Mountain, there came a bunch of dudes from Minneapolis who like beer, AC/DC, and apparently make music as good as Bob Dylan. Yes, folks, The Hold Steady, already big with critics [1] because their music seems to be about words and America rather than notes and outerspace, recently dropped their third album, Boys and Girls in America, and as a result, the Times gave them a exciting interactive feature: a map of the US, dotted with free (!) snippets (better than nothing) of Hold Steady songs about the corresponding place on the map. The profile that spawned said cool interactive feature was written by inveterate anti-rockist Kelefa Sanneh and was considered to be so good that it costs $4.95 to read online (on TimesSelect, which has a orange icon that tells you it’s special).

Luckily, I know people who know people who hacked into LexisNexis, so I got that shit sans ads about “Classic Paul Krugman” columns (that guy does have a solid mustache, though). Anyway, Sanneh loves The Hold Steady, probably because they aren’t from New York (even though they live in Brooklyn now), really skinny, in their mid-twenties, clad in patent-leather white belts, recycling angular post-punk chugging art rock, and featuring gypsy instrumentation, nautical narratives or singers who sound constipated and really sad. This is true for other critics too. The Hold Steady are a refreshing respite from bands whose music and lyrics are just trying so hard either to be important art like Sonic Youth, or to seem like they really aren’t trying, like Pavement.

The Hold Steady are “compiling a guide to the country's wasted wayward youth” Sanneh writes. So in turn, Sanneh compiled a guide to the Hold Steady’s “states of America,” which runs though all the places Finn writes about, such as Minneaolis, MN, Modesto, CA, and Hostile, MA, which doesn’t exist. I suppose the way Finn writes specifically, rather than metaphorically or allegorically, about all the places where kids get drunk, listen to punk rock and kiss each other, is grounding and unpretentious; instead of telling us, for instance, that he’s an “American aquarium drinker” (come on, that would be gross). Sanneh’s article is a bit bizarre, as he doesn’t explicitly evaluate the Hold Steady’s music, let alone call them the best band in the world; although he is basically implying as much by writing a 2000-word profile about them in the Times. I mean, Frank Rich only gets like 1000, and he writes about how art can change the world, or something.

The internet loves the Hold Steady too. Pitchforkmedia.com, the taste-making website that has convinced all the aspiring hipsters in the world that indie rock and coke rap are the only really cool musics, gave it up to Finn and his merry men by slapping a 9.4 on Boys and Girls in America. Like a rogue gymnastics judge, ‘Fork may have irresponsibly commended a stunted, prepubescent Chinese girl. Or sold a shitload of Hold Steady albums to kids wearing Chuck Taylors that were made 39 years after the great salesman/basketball player died [2]. Pitchfork is a site that made its name with overblown, name-dropping, pedantic 1000 word reviews that come conveniently labeled with visible ratings. So if a band gets a 9.3, that means that 93% of their album is NOT derived from Pere Ubu or 93% or their choruses will make semi-attractive girls take off their clothes. More than anything, though, Pitchfork is a buyers guide, or downloaders guide, or shoplifters guide [3] for indie kids. As much as mp3 blogs generate conspiratorial instahype, it takes a good rating from Pitchfork to get your indie album cyberjumpin off the cybershelves of iTunes. In the case of the Hold Steady, the indie kids coppin Boys and Girls aren’t gonna find ominous melodies that sound like they were recorded in caves, or accordions, or “literate lyrics”—the stuff they have been taught is music that will make the girl with bangs like you. They’re gonna find Thin Lizzy and a guy mumbling about something.

So enter Chris Ott, former Pitchfork writer, to diagnose the critical success of The Hold Steady in one installment in a series for the Village Voice called “Blogwash: Deciphering Internet Praise” [4] Ott is positioning himself as a Dale Peck of music criticism, pulling hatchet jobs on heavily lauded bands of late: “the death-dirge apocalypso fusion of Bowie/Byrne protégés TV on the Radio and the Arcade Fire, and the ill- defined nihilism of Deerhoof.” [5]. Or more precisely, it is the critical hordes responsible for the consensus that deserve the blade. For Ott, recent pop music criticism is an “anxious universe of early adoption” which has “celebrated the dourest, most difficult or deranged music [it] can find.” Calling TVOTR and The Arcade Fire the most difficult and deranged music around is certainly a strange position. Both bands write structured songs, use simple rock progressions, sing in a language that is not made up, don’t wear assless pants, etc. I would agree that the dressing is conceptual and pretentious, and in both cases impedes what is basically some kind of relatively exciting rock music. But difficult and deranged these two bands aren’t. Deerhoof is the farthest of the Ott’s triumvirate away from typical rock song structures, and their singer is a little Japanese woman, but its not like they’re playing Ascension-era Coltrane or writing rap songs about Centaurs. Ott makes another inexplicable claim when he writes that all three of said bands “descended” from Pere Ubu (who I’ve already referenced here once so Ott knows I’m down). It would be one thing to say that all three bands were influenced by Pere Ubu, or that Pere Ubu was such a revolutionary post-punk band that almost all of the bands still playing off-kilter smart punk rock are cribbing them, or at least paying homage (although you could site another more successful post-punk band from Ohio as having the same influence). It’s another thing to say that Pere Ubu is the one and only father of all three bands. Ott puts a quarter in his ass with that one.

In the Hold Steady piece, Ott hangs out with the band and shows them the Pitchfork review, which they laugh at. The review compares the band to Pulp, which Ott says is ridiculous because Jarvis Cocker is skinny and does a lot of coke, whereas Finn is fat and drinks beer. Ott also talks to the band about critics’ insistence on comparing Boys and Girls to Springsteen. “Because there’s piano?” the guitarist asks before he says that he’s more likely pay royalties to Jimmy Page. Personally I think he should pay the guy who invented music. Naturally, though, Finn is most indebted to Paul Westerberg. Hailing from the same Midwestern coldplace as the Replacements, The Hold Steady aspire to play the kind of everypunk beer music Westerberg and co. did so thrillingly.

The problem with this comparison though, is that Westerberg was a great songwriter, and one of the best rock singers of all time. Finn on the other hand, is not a singer at all. It’s not that he “has a bad voice,” like Dylan or “has no range” like Strummer or that “he doesn’t bother to sing in tune” like Malkmus. All three of those guys are tremendous singers because they end up conquering and using to their advantage what at first seems to be limitation. As Dave Berman, a great singer who can’t sing, says, “all my favorite singers couldn’t sing;” indeed, besides Paul McCartney, who is probably Kaiser Soze, and Jeff Buckley, who should’ve taken drunken swimming lessens, the history of rock is all frontmen who can’t really sing. The best of them find such a commanding way to try that they fool us into thinking they’re actually musically accomplished in a technical way.

Finn is more aptly compared the incorrigible post-punk bleaters Mark E. Smith and John Lydon (formerly Rotton), both of whom have little interest in or capacity for making sounds with their voices that have much to do with what the people playing instruments behind them are doing. For the fan-critics, Finn’s mumbling is a virtue, because it puts his lyrics upfront, even if they’re unintelligible. His nuanced yet commonplace tales of kids getting messed up are supposed to tell us something “specifically universal” or “universally specific” about America. Or something like that. But, come on, its not like he’s Ice Cube! Some of his lines would have even Papoose on his heals, and some of the stories are worthy of Kerouac’s methed-up, pit-stained beat scroll [6]—all are very difficult to hear.

I should say that Finn does try to sing more on Boys and Girls, and when he parleys with the guitars, the songs take off: “Chips Ahoy!” and “Massive Nights”. The melodies come out and bring the lyrics with them, not vice versa. I never heard the words on the first two Hold Steady albums, because, save the “Hoodrat Friend” song, Finn and the guitars were in different places entirely. They couldv’t slapped some Tupac verse on there and the effect wouldn’t have been much different. The pianos and keyboards, played by a guy named Franz Nicolay who has a Poirot mustache, help reconcile Finn and the power chords/four on the floor AC/DC rock. About half the record is very good in this way. As far as the other half goes, the songs don’t make you want to bust out 140 pound dumbbell sets with each arm, so you don’t end up caring about what Finn is blathering about.

Ott seems to like the album more than me, but this might be because he got to hang out with the band. He’s more concerned with the blogwash, though, which he thinks might be “more damaging than any dances or dates Finn was coldly ejected from.” According to Ott, “boundless praise” has dug a “dank hole” [7] for the Hold Steady to climb out of. I’m not sure what he means by this. Is this metaphorical moist cavern making Finn sad because he won’t have the thrill of eating mustard for lunch, or is it that critics, even though they like him and his band, don’t really understand them.

Call me crazy, but if you’re in a band, and some modicum of people buy your records, rather than say, throw a handful of thimbles at you when you play, aren’t you one of the luckiest people above the poverty line? Aren’t you supposed to be happy people are letting you play guitars and yell into microphones for a living? I hope Finn and co. aren’t in the frame of mind Ott implies, because that would make them raging fuckbaskets. Bands have only one responsibility, and that’s to be a band and make records. Any band that lets themselves be killed by critics is not worthy of their own hair.

More likely, what’s going on here is that Ott wants to play a game of critical one-upsmanship, which has nothing to do with music, or anything besides criticism. He implies that the Hold Steady are in on his game, but I have a feeling they’re not looking checking the equine orthodontia like he implies. Ott drinks beers with the Hold Steady and they totally know what he means and they laughed with him about the Pitchfork guy, so they’re bros. But The Hold Steady do stuff that people can get drunk to. Ott writes words.

Ultimately, all this hubbub about the Hold Steady is about delivering indie-rock from its own annoying rubric. It still loves itself and insists that indie-rock isn’t really a genre, thus unwittingly perpetuating itself. But for writers, indie-rock has been decidedly uncool for about 10 years, when Pavement broke up and Sonic Youth bought a minivan. Yet since the post-2000 renaissance of cool indie-rock brought about by well dressed New York bands who knew exactly who to bite and how, indie-rock became an annoying pop-cultural [8] infrastructure. And the critical opinion about faux-critics, which moves infinitely faster than the culture which aligns the faux-critics, is instantly allergic to consensuses that come about when an cultural infrastructure like indie-rock’s solidifies. So critics like Ott and Sanneh, who position themselves outside of the indie consensus, have been floundering to find an antidote to the problem. They’ve been grasping all over the extrarock horizon, from MIA to the Clipse to Tom Ze and fucking Cam’ron of all people, to gain respite from Conor Oberst, Sufjan Stevens, and other little indie guys who are very annoying. But the problem is that most pop music critics are rock fans who want a fucking rock band to rock out to that also unwittingly making the greatest art ever. (Basically, this non-existant band is Radiohead if they were an unassuming American band that didn’t have anxieties about technological progress.) They are dying for a rock band to somehow reinvent a genre that’s been unreinventable since 1978. Not just a reason to throw modestly priced beer at people, but a reason to throw expensive beer at people and then send a time-capsule into outer space because aliens need to feel this science.


Notes:


[1] Which every critic makes sure he or she mentions, to make sure that he or she is not coming across like “hey I’ve got the scoop on this band”; rather, he or she is letting the reader know that he or she is outside any buzz machine and even though he or she is writing a “review” or a “profile,” he or she wants to comment on the perceived critical acclaim as much as the band or record in question. This way, he or she is above the pedestrian “review” or “profile” form, and on his or her way to becoming the next Hunter S. Thompson. What if the grammatical construction “he or she” was changed to “pat”? Would anyone be opposed to that?

[2] Chuck Taylor died in 1969 of a heart attack, but, according to Wikipedia, not before he making excellent use of the Converse Corporation’s expense account while on the road hocking shoes. I can’t tell you how glad that some Wikipedia scholar made sure to research Chuck Taylor’s spending habits. I mean, I’m about to eat a sandwich.

[3] “Yo, I totally just jacked Destroyer’s Rubies.” “Why?...Because I only have enough bones for Hell Hath No Fury and I wanna make sure the counter girl knows I’m hard and I like wordplay.” “It got pushed back again? Well fuck, Pitchfork reviewed it, I read the review this morning, they said there was a lot of wordplay!” “Pitchfork only reviewed it because a guerrilla/pirate label released it in Djbouti? Oh well shit can I mail order the import?” “What?...There are no planes in Djbouti? Well how’d ‘fork get it?” “It was smuggled in by the guy in the Decemberists who stowed away on a Morrocan merchant clipper?” “Fuck maybe I’ll just pay for this then.” “Wait what did the Decemberists get…an 8.4?” “Nah its gotta be above 9.0 for me to utilize my bones and cop it when it drops.” “Fuck it, I’m buyin Futurefuck/Assclown, girls love that guy and when I buy it, the counter girl, I think her name’s “Summer” or “Autumn,” mos def one of the seasons, I forget which one—anyway, she’s gonna respect me so much for admitting I like JT that she’s gonna ask me if I wanna share a California roll later!”

[4] “Blogwash” is a good blog pun, although “blogorhea” is still my favorite. But man, besides puns, there is so much blogslang (not in the lexical archives of urbandicionary.com) its all so hard to keep track of. Even “blog” is slang for “weblog” which is short for “world wide web log.” I love the luddites who use the term “weblog,” but not as much as I love people who say “the web” instead of “the internet.” Anyway, here’s an entry at urbandicitonary that is by far the best thing I’ve seen on that site. I mean, this was clearly written by a genius:

blogosphereatronisaurausrex

a blogosphereatronisaurausr ex is the latest hot shit, its whats so much cooler then top 8 on myspace. its when you paste a picture of aunt jemima maple syrup on your page, with a picture of your number one friend on the bottle instead of aunt jemima. yeah its pretty awesome

insert picture of a bottle of syrup with your best friends picture on it, and not aunt jemimas, unless aunt jemimas your best friend in which case i love you.
" my friend lil suzy took me off her top 8 an replaced me with some girl named muffinhips, but its ok, cause iam on here blogosphereatronisaurausr ex so i knw iam still her #1 boo. "

tags: batcave blog pogs ice skateing latin porn
by Jeph` roseville Aug 29, 2006


I like that whoever wrote it (not me by the way) made sure to put the appropriate tags on there.

[5] Now even though I’m not as up on my death-dirge apocalypso as I used to be, I would agree that critics [insert fellatio reference] TVOTR and the Arcade Fire like their [insert male genitalia (plural) reference] are made of [insert something that is sweet yet savory, like grilled shrimp]. TVOTR’s latest, mentioned at the head (NPI), is the most egregious example of plainly inaccurate critical consensus since Late Registration, which is for everyone to poop on all the time (besides "Diamonds are Forever"). The Arcade Fire played one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen, so I have more love for them, even if everyone does too and their record has the old “doesn’t capture the live show” thing going on. Ott is way off the mark with Deerhoof, however. Not only is the ‘Hoof the unimpeachable kind of shit, they’re too off-kilter and they have a singer who sounds too much like a Pokemon to get the same kind of mainstream critical attention as TVOTR and the Arcade Fire.

[6] Another thing reviewers of Boys and Girls in America make sure you know is that the title is from On the Road, which Finn invokes in the first lyric: “there are nights when I think that Sal Paradise was right. / Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together.” If I interviewed Finn, I would ask him if his wife engineered a clothesline rotisserie of T-shirts like ‘Ouac’s did as he hammered furiously at the scroll that would make him the voice of people who hated culture and were mad, mad, and delirious to write parodies of him as soon as his style became stale.

[7] Why is this metaphorical hole “dank”? Music critics should not be allowed to use adjectives anymore.

[8] The Indie-rock/hipster culture must be thought of as a decidedly Pop-cultural phenomenon. Whereas OG, actual independent rock (ie The Minutemen, Pavement, SY, Mission of Burma) actually stood against pop culture, the new alliance of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the internet (Pitchfork and the blogosphere) with artistically ambitious rock music has created a startlingly homogenous culture that anyone in the world can not only instantly access but also opt into wholehog without any connection to a social or musical movement against some conception of the mainstream or pop sensibility. So although indie-rock is identified with literature, critics, and art, it is in effect no different from any other permutation of pop cultural music, such as hip-hop, emo or TRL pop.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Zion I & The Grouch - Hit 'Em ft. Mistah FAB

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Merry Christmas

Featuring "The Most Dangerous Man In the World," Ken Shamrock

Time for FoodManTooth's first annual Halloween feast:

B-Real & Dr. Dre - Puppet Master, originally released on DJ Muggs's Soul Assassins Volume 1. Peep B-Real of Cypress Hill done up all Goldfinger-like (no Anderson Cooper).

In the "Stay Fly" video, Juicy J pioneered a new trend, bitten first by Sordid Puppy and then by everyone else in the universe. This will remain one of my favorite songs ever.

It's too bad Rap is only interested in embracing regional genres like hyphy and crunk and whatever else. Horrorcore has yielded more quality tunes over the years than all of those put together. "Tell me your deepest fear. TELL ME YOUR DEEPEST FEAR!"

Don't get Horrorcore confused with this tripe. This shit is really popular where I grew up, which I'm fairly certain is not a good thing.

This might scare you, if you're afeared of Dipset or the idea of covering a song from Reasonable Doubt and then groping for publicity by dissing Jay-Z makes you queasy. "Imitate Jim Jones/End up like Cory Lidle" - Joe Budden

When I was in, say, 7th grade, I saw this video and thought it the best thing I'd ever seen. It's still a good song. This is the first and last time I post about Tool.

Gravediggaz. I guess this video's a little heavier with the imagery, but "Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide" is an absolute classic.

This is just terrifying.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Più Pesce

This album wipes its ass with Paul McCartney

So, if we believe the Wu-Tang website, and some excerpted interview with Jay-Z on the XXL website, which FMT obviously found out about from Nahright, Ghostface has an another album coming out right after Xmas, called More Fish. Since releasing rap albums is, like naming your kid Adolf, somthing you just don't do these days, I'm thinkin' about this like I do about owning an elephant that I can ride around town on. But since Pretty Ton' is basically the only living person as smart as Shakespeare and Einstein COMBINED, I'm excited anyway.

Ghost's been on the scene these days:



Ghost - Yo boom God, Jigga, I got More Fish at the stash house in Hackensack, shizzam bangles, powder blue wallies is wicked.
Jay - ...uh...
Ghost - yo you know I hit mics like Ted Koppel, rifle expert. Yo we gotta go at this one harder than Fishscale, ninja street teams, hoodied up, blood in in their eyes, you know. Instead of Ne-Yo, maybe get Luther Vandross. You know his people?
Jay - He's dead.
Ghost - Yo, aight, Weekend at Bernie's whatever, we gotta get Luther.
Jay - Who are you again?

And then at some the mtvU Woodie Awards (yeah I don't know what that is either) with Lady Sovereign.



Ghost - Yo boom God, they got wallies in size 3 too.
Sov - Geezers need excitement.
Ghost - Queen Elizabeth rub on my leg, had ketchup on her dress from a whopper. Fuckin with Diana. Two rows across, Dirty giving hickeys to Vanna White, fingering Pamela Lee
Sov - Where's Hova, Jim Jones just told me Def Jam's gettin sued by Rick Rubin's beard.
Ghost - Capo? Starks and Cappadon' used a throw skelly wit Jimmy.
Sov - I don't know what that means.



Jim Jones - BALLIN!!....yo Ghost where's Cappadonna, I owe him a tip for the cab ride.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Twist Starts from the Heart

So both of them are gay?

Top Ten Things I, Slothra Could Post About Right Now (not including top ten lists--fuck a charlie kaufman)

10. My recent discovery of Everything Bagels. I once feared the populist cacophony of bits stuck to the holy staple. Now I welcome it. The onion plays well off cream cheese, yet is tempered by the sesame and poppy seeds. There is a metaphor in here about the 80s celtics.

9. Dane Cook. Not about how he's not funny or that lame people like him (i think lame people hate him now too) but about how people, such as Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone have an insatiable need to tell everyone that he sucks. Ok, he sucks, stand-up sucks in general, yadda yadda yadda. The guy is just a business machine. Is there a need to announce every once and awhile that Piff Duddy can't rap? No, that would be like me announcing to people I pass that my appendix is not the most ambitious organ in my body. Who cares, move on.

8. Beach House. A dude and a chick from Baltimore, the city that must end up in every other FMT post. New band, blog hype, but a good band just the same, listen when there are amateur fireworks around.

7. The Knife. Puppy downloaded some shit a while ago, and I didn't really pay enough attention to it to tell that they're the fucking shit. Swedish siblings, synths, lyrics about how "you make me like charity." This is music to listen to with 6 foot tall models wearing patent leather body suits while eating 151 soaked maraschino cherries.

6. Scorcese. Saw The Departed twice. Upset "Theif's Theme" didn't make it on to the soundtrack, even though it's in the movie for seven seconds, when Leo and the greasy cousin are talking about selling drugs near Worchester. Don't know why I care what's on the soundtrack since there's no way I buy that shit.

5. Galoshes. Chicks love these shits these days.
- "Is it raining?"
- "No, sprinkling a little maybe....uh....you put on your galoshes before I said maybe"
- "What are galoshes?"
- "those rubber lime green shits on your feet"
- "oh I just call em boots or rubber boots"
- "either way, it's not raining"
- "it's spitting, I need my boots"
- "..."

4. Kenny Rodgers Dirtgate. Love when people add -gate to shit. Esp. when it's inappropriate.
- "you wanna go get lunchgate"
- "excuse me?"
- "lunchgate!"
- "take your hand off my face please."

3. Robert Chirstgau writing for RS. Like John Coltrane's cadaver joining a Linkin Park cover band cover band.

2. My desire for the FMT logo to be in old english font against a raised background of a manatee picture; and my inability to make this happen. Puppy?

1. The 3000 words posts that I write for no reason and then don't post because it takes too long to proofread them.

Monday, October 23, 2006

S.P. News

Get your kicks pimped by Johnny Jaywalker

Nahright's got a great new mixtape from the other S.P. Cop it here (download WinRAR to decompress).

I'm really feeling the few tracks I've heard from Philly native Oddisee, particularly "Once Again" featuring Freddie Foxxx.

Okayplayer's got an artist spotlight for Nicolay, as well; he deserved at least half the credit for one of my favorite albums of 2004, and "I Am the Man," which you can download here, satisfies.

Juicy J and DJ Paul lend Juicy's older brother Project Pat some phlogiston for his new single.

Salad Fingers, Burnt Face Man, etc.

Quite possibly the illest tee I've ever laid eyes upon.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Rich Boy feat Polow - Throw Some D's

Monday, October 16, 2006

You're a Neat Girl

"Heineken?!?! Fuck that shit!! Pabst Blue Ribbon!!!"

Here's the link for the second video off Chrome Children.
Jay-Z's video for "Show Me What You Got" debuted today. If you don't feel like watching it on YouTube, just turn on your telly and tune into BET at any time; I think they're playing it continuously all day. The track itself leaked a week or two ago, and it's a good song, but it functions best as the theme music to Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. driving Ferraris around Monaco. F. Gary Gray directed this, Jay's most decadent video to date, and it's fun to watch and everything, particularly because of the, um, cars and boats and girls and stuff. Danica Patrick is hot? Jay-Z disses Cristal and suavely presents some scorcher with a briefcase containing a bottle of champagne (Veuve Clicquot? Who cares?). Now THERE is an important statement made.
There's a few really nice Hi-Tek tracks on this Big Mike mixtape: "Music Is Life," "Go Back," and "Josephine." Apparently, these joints and others (including "Where It Started At") are making it onto Hi-Teknology 2: The Chip, which is dropping...drum roll, please...tomorrow. Wait -- an album gets great publicity off a mixtape and a video and then actually comes out on time, so as to capitalize on the exposure? This can't be happening. Babygrande will pull it -- oh wait, shit, Babygrande?!?!?!?! The independent label that houses (and consistently puts out albums from) artists from the Gza to Immortal Technique to Purple City? No WONDER Hi-Tek had a chance, unlike some of his less fortunate peers.
It seems like huge labels are about the worst places to be right now if you're ever interested in putting material out in a timely fashion (or, in some cases, at all). IF your album IS released, don't expect to get a video or any other kind of promotion that you don't do on your own. Def Jam handed The Roots and Method Man a couple of poop sandwiches and told them to eat. The Clipse seem doomed to catch cases instead of the platinum plaques that they unquestionably deserve. Hell Hath No Fury has a November 28th release date; if it never drops, it's us, the public, that should go all Frank Booth on Jive. Something's gotta give.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My Heritage

Looks 55% percent like Sordid Puppy; narrowly beat out by Claudia Schiffer

The gentleman pictured above is Aswami bin Ani, known to his countless adoring fans as Mawi. He's the premier male singer of the moment in Malaysia, and he's the former champion of Akademi Fantasia 3, which I think is like Malaysian Idol or something. Described by wikipedia as a "raw talent," an "ambassador of seven commercial products," and likened to "famous Malaysian singer and icon, Siti Nurhaliza," I'm not unhappy to declare that Mawi is the celebrity that looks 5th most like your boy SP, according to http://www.myheritage.com.

Who, you ask, beats out the above international superstar for the coveted positions of fourth, third, second, and first most similar in appearance to your favorite hound? The numbers are in, and TIED for third and fourth place, with a 57% Sordid Puppy similarity rating, are none other than Claudia Schiffer and Eva Herzigova. Apt comparisons, to be sure.

Schiffer and Herzigaga weep, for not even their near-immaculate beauty quite matches that of Eliza Dushku, who pulls in a staggering 60% on the SP likeness meter. However, in staggering departure from this enviable lineup, this geezer scores a 66% and takes home first prize. I'm left wondering why I shouldn't have his fortune with the fairer sex.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

S.P. News

I'm looking forward to Blue Carpet Treatment

New Lids Fresh Goods Fridays October release...I'm pretty sure this is the cap Cameron sports in the One Eyed Willy video...BALLLIN!!!

VH1 Hip-Hop Honors airs next Tuesday at 9 PM; New York heads rejoice.

This is fucking atrocious.

Rap City continues to be the biggest piece of shit on earth. Last week, when it came on after "The Center," (yes, I flip through "The Center," and you know goddamn well why), I thought maybe it was going back to its two-hour playlength. I was wrong. It got downgraded to the slot BEFORE reruns of "The Wayans Bros." It's now back to the hour before 106 & Park, but it's still AWFUL. J-Nicks, Mad Linx, Q45 and whatever other STUPID NAMED idiot personality that is NOT Big Tigger should get dummysmacked for the rest of his pathetic life. The studio looks like it was designed by Queer Eye, half the time the guests don't spit, and when they do, the hosts LOOK LIKE IDIOTS BECAUSE THEY DON'T FREESTYLE. This is a travesty. Tigger should be knocking people out. Rap City is obviously not a priority for BET anymore, and that sucks. Now I have to watch "Direct Effect" and "Sucker Free", neither of which are cool, and I'm pissed.

Hey Fuckface, This Is My Nude Beach, at London's Frieze Art Fair.

A cool label, still going strong. Can't wait to pick up Kid Koala's novel about a clarinet-playing mosquito.