Whitey Morgan Plays #RealCountry bro, at the Vinyl in Las Vegas

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My father is big NASCAR fan. It’s weird because he’s from Argentina and has an accent and is not your typical NASCAR dude, on one level. On the other he’s a truck driver from family that raced motorcycles in Argentina and has lived in the US now for over 30 years.

Me, not a huge fan, but that didn’t stop me from accompanying him to a recent NASCAR weekend here in Vegas, and while there’s a lot to say about that weekend, this is about Whitey Morgan. During that NASCAR race I was drunk, sun sickened, covered up in 100 degree weather like a character from Arabian Nights. My memory of the day isn’t great, but I do remember being informed by a NASCAR nation memeber’s shirt, that this guy named Whitey Morgan was hashtag #realcountry.

I’ve tired of people letting me know that something is “Real X Genre of Music”. I don’t like hearing that Common is “real Hip Hop” or that Blink 182 isn’t “real punk”, it’s getting “real stupid” to hear that stuff everywhere. So obviously this wasn’t the best way for me to be introduced to Whitey. But because of Spotify I can see if I like something without having to buy it. (oh fuck you Spotify, you suck, rich people aren’t getting enough from your streams…shut the hell up). I listened and I enjoyed it and few months later there he was on Songkick, gonna play in Las Vegas.

Now, punk rock and hip-hop and what not, don’t have have too much trouble finding people to check that stuff out. Country music is different story. I went by my lonesome like a Hank Williams song. Wasn’t the first time at a show alone and won’t be the last. In fact being there solo allowed me to pay closer attention.

Whitey Morgan’s music translates better live than it does from the recordings. That says a lot because I enjoyed the albums I listened to enough to decide I wanted to see him live. The guitar riffs, the singing, the back and forth with the audience and the strangeness of a guy from a working class northern town in Michigan playing a very southern form of our American music, all came together to make a great entertaining show. It was whiskey shots and country hero covers and bunch of people in cowboy hats getting rowdy.

So #realcountry bro, that’s lame. But good country music, well that’s definitely Whitey Morgan and the 78s.

Earl Sweatshirt, Vince Staples Rock the Hard Rock in Las Vegas 05/15

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Earl Sweatshirt and Vince Staples stopped in Vegas on the Not Redy 2 Leave tour. The tour has already taken them through the east coast and after Vegas they finish off with some stops in Texas and Arizona. Remy Banks of World’s Fair is support on the tour and local indie opener Ekoh opened Friday night’s Vegas show at the Hard Rock Café on the Strip.

Earl Sweatshirt’s popularity continues to grow and his fans seem as passionate as ever, especially about his old music, something he let crowd know he was bored of playing. After rapping the entirety of his new album “I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside” (not in order the Vince Staples cut was played at the beginning) he told the audience they did their part and now he’ll play the songs he wrote when “he was 14” and the crowd went wild when he played songs like “Earl” off of his mixtape from 2010 and “Orange Juice” the one and only EarlWolf song.

My guess is that this is one of the nicer venue’s Earl has played during this tour. The Hard Rock Café like most things Hard Rock is filled with music memorabilia, records nailed to the wall and employs plenty of security. The Hard Rock is nice, but a little too upscale in general for it to ever become one of my favorite venues. Despite the corporate feel of the location the crowd was ready and his fans were in full force.

One of the best things about Earl’s performance was the zero set up time between his set and his opener’s set Vince Staples. Vince finished his music and Earl came right out and the duo performed all the songs on which they share features. Vince walked off stage sick but still victorious and Earl took over.

The new album has been out just long enough that the crowd was feeling many of the songs. On my first listen of IDLS,IDGO I tweeted:

Earl’s beats in a live setting still had a dark and personal feel, but the tweet showed me I either need better speakers or I should just listen to everything on my headphones. Earl’s style is like hip hop chamber music, made for medium sized venues and like most hip hop translate best when fans who love the music are around. The Odd Future attitude was strong present too:

“We’re gonna do some call and response, don’t be that motherfucker that don’t participate.”

The only real negative at the show was no vinyl. Bullshit.

The aforementioned Vince Staples also had many people familiar with his music. Vince Staples is the odd man out of Odd Future and a clear friend of Earl’s. There has been some press in the past about Earl’s other friend Tyler the Creator not liking Vince. So hip hop beefs with friends in middle, but the beef isn’t real. It’s one of the things that makes Vince interesting and something I was curious to see crowd reaction, because the people that love Tyler, really love Tyler. Odd Future has a weird fan base,so the unexpected is expected.

Vince came out like Michael Jordan or Dirk (not like James Harden who sat on the bench and watched his team come back), despite having a flu he got up and killed it. His new songs had audience participation and his old stuff including tracks from “Hell Can Wait” also killed. Vince has rapping ability, I want to see him grow and set himself apart from the pack. I want to see him find that special thing. Excited for his first official release “Summer Time ‘06” which comes out June 30th.

Remy Banks opened and he talked about New York a lot. He was good, I’m not familiar with a lot of his music. I do like World’s Fair and posted music from them in the past. I enjoyed his set enough to check out his mixtape “higher” when it drop on May 18th.

How to Listen to The Music

Earl Sweatshirt:
Earl mixtape
Doris On Spotify.
I Don’t Do Shit I Don’t Go Outside On Spotify.

Vince Staples:
Hell Can Wait On Spotify. Some of the tracks he played live from this album were “Hands Up” and “Blue Suede
Stolen Youth can be found on Datpiff, he played “Guns & Roses”.
Winter in Prague on Datpiff.
Shyne Coldchain Vol 2 on Datpiff.
Shyne Coldchain vol 1 on Datpiff.

Remy Banks
World’s Fair on Sound Cloud

Earl Sweatshirt’s I Don’t Like Shit: I Don’t Go Outside First Listen Tweets

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Finally gave a first listen to Earl Sweatshirt’s new album I don’t like shit: I don’t go outside. Kept putting it off because I wanted to give it a legitimate first listen, not just put it on in the background, but I had a ton of Bad Religion to listen to because of their two day foray in Vegas.

The punk rock is behind me for the moment and below are the initial reactions to listening to the album.

This second tweet got a lot favorites and retweets because someone in Rat King’s/Wiki’s camp retweeted it. I guess they’re on on their social media marketing. This is my favorite song so far on the early listens, Wiki’s flow just like Earl’s and Tyler’s takes some time to grow on you but when it does their features are pleasant surprises.

This is what got tweeted to me as a recommendation to start. Good interview, lots to say about this too:

This tweet encompasses the most important thought about the album. The flows and the beats are lazy, smokey and maybe boring and repetitive at first. It sucks to say that and it’s impossible to explain why I’ve kept listening, but here’s this droning repetitive sort of cool sounding beat, an MC that’s sort of doing the same thing. But why do I think it’s good then? Get back to you on that, but it is good.

Clearly I’m a dumbass. Shuffle is only for albums you know really well or for greatest hits albums. Otherwise listen to the songs in the order they’re presented or start in the middle if you’re tired of the early songs.

Definitely gotta get back to you on lyrical content. I’m sure he’s going somewhere with the mood on that too. To be honest I don’t expect the young and wise lyrics I got from Kendrick’s album, but we’ll see.

Arena Negra by The Myrrors [Review]

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Listen to the guitars drone and slowly build build build build to nothing. The first track is over 11 minutes and it’s layers and layers of musical drone. It just drones. On top of that vocals sound like they’re being chanted in the background.

It’s…so…good.

At no point above was I being sarcastic or negative.
Droning fuzzy riffs.
Yeah.

The Myrrors’ new album Arena Negra feels like desert people making music. Despite the horns and the violins and the flutes, they sound nothing like Jethro Tull but they sound everything like the sand and the cactus and the perspiration you feel in the middle of the night in July in any southwest city.

I’m still working to get beyond the fuzz. I’ve listened to the album 5-6 times and I haven’t been able to identify each instrument listed on the back cover. The gives you a lot to travel through and a lot to discover. Dig through the fuzz man.

2014 Top Ten Albums

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I totally cheated this year by making three albums tied for tenth place. So my top ten albums of the year is actually a top 12. I did this totally scientifically, I made a short list and album by album I asked myself which of the two I liked more and gave the winner one point. I definitely did the A is better than B but B is better than C but C is better than A confusion thing, but who cares, I normally regret these lists later anyway.

For example El-P’s Cancer 4 the Cure was a disappointment to me in 2012 and it almost for sure would be number 1 if I had to do the list over again. The number 1 album would probably drop out of the top ten completely.

10. Indian’s From All Purity, Doom Metal
Son Lux’s Lanterns, Triphop
Sleep’s Oregon Failure, Hip Hop
9.Grieves- Winter and the Wolves, Hip Hop
8.Sisyphus’s Self Titled Album, Triphop,Hip Hop, Indie Rock
7.Clipping’s CLIPPNG, Experimental/Noise Hip Hop
6.White Lighter’s Self titled Album, Modern Rock
5.Sage Francis’ Copper Gone, Hip Hop
4.Run the Jewels’ Part II, Hip Hop
3.Knifefight’s Self titled EP, Hip Hop
2.Sd Lalka’s That’s Hara Kiri, Electro/Noise
1.Jeffertitti’s Nile’s The Electric Hour, TRANSCENDENTAL SPACE-PUNK DOO-WOP

clipping. Release a New Weird Video for “Summertime”

Summertime comes off of their second album CLIPPNG. The video features an almost regular beach scene with MC Daveed Diggs’ face copied and pasted over other people’s faces. Like everything clipping. releases it’s the right amount of strange, entertaining and interesting.

Horror Movie Music: Cannibal Corpse Brings “A Skeletal Domain” to Las Vegas

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Horror movies exist and are popular because the allow us to explore our uncomfortable fight or flight feelings without actually being in any danger. Kids can’t parse the reality with the fiction and have more trouble sleeping at night after a well paced ghost story or scream filled blood bath. Horror films themselves have changed over the years, Dracula and The Mummy eventually gave way to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre which inspired the crazy 80s slasher flicks where Freddy Kruger killed teenagers in their dreams, Jason chased around people with a knife, Michael Myers did the same and Chuckie was a murderous children’s toy.

Horror in the 90s and 2000s gave way to more gruesome scenes but also aimed at being psychological. The psychology manifested itself in the style of the Japanese remakes of the Grudge and The Ring also in the puzzle filled mayhem of the Saw series. Today we have a ton zombies. Tons and tons of zombies.

The same ideas in horror movies exist in music too. There is the Rob Zombie type of industrial influenced catchy hard rock and there are death metal bands like Cannibal Corpse.

Except for the Death, that created the death metal genre, Cannibal Corpse are the most popular and most relevant death metal band in the world. Take the most disgusting thing you can think of, say stabbing a vagina with a knife or ejaculating blood, maybe necrophilia? Cannibal Corpse has horror story type lyrics for all these things. In fact necrophilia has its own subset of urinating on maggot filled assholes, necrophilia with amputees and the “sucking out the goo, feast on her crotch” sort of necrophilia which you know doesn’t have a scientific name but nonetheless is a thing because there’s a Cannibal Corpse lyric about it.

If you get the feeling that Cannibal Corpse are being shocking for the sake of being shocking? Yup you got it right.

Their new album A Skeletal Domain seems to have taken up the Resident Evil and Walking Dead, undead murdering mutant thing. I prefer that, but the old stuff is what it is, silly B horror movie crap. If you’re a fan of Cannibal Corpse already then you’ll like this, it’s nothing new, but you’re a fan and you don’t want anything new. You want the same violent brutal, no clean singing, intense death metal you’ve come to know and love from Corpse Grinder and the crew.

My preference in the world of Death Metal has always been the technical death metal like Suffocation or grindcore bands like Carcass and Cryptopsy. Then there’s Gorguts, who have transcended death metal and still remain filled with both death and metal. Cannibal Corpse is a mainstay and anything they release or anytime they come through town they are a metalhead must. You’ll lose your hesher license if you’ve never seen Cannibal Corpse live.

They came through Vegas on February 6th along with Behemoth (who I also have something say about), and their fans were in full force. The 130 pound female security guard in the pit was head banging while attempting to keep fat bearded white dudes of questionable levels of sanitation safe.

No worries, she had blue gloves on.

You may be actually grossed out if you took the time to read the lyrics, but why are trying to get so deep with something that was never meant to be taken seriously?

Cannibal Corpse live makes you see the horror movie connection better than listening to the recorded music. Zombies and serial killers, being grossed in the safety of a film or death metal song, that’s Cannibal Corpse and live they’re a bunch of fat dudes head banging.

George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher was annoyed that the crowd wasn’t head banging to every song. It was by no means a sedated crowd in Las Vegas that night, the main pit never calmed down and the small pits that opened up near the stage got especially crazy. Cannibal Corpse is built for one thing: extreme metal hand banging.

Enjoy it and fire up those chain saws, cut their fucking heads off!

White Lighter’s Self-Titled New Album [REVIEW]

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Are you into rock albums?

How about well written non-pretentious not too artsy rock lyrics that work with the music that surrounds it?

Well boy, then I got a deal for you!

White Lighter is a new project from Mark Salomon and Steven Dail from the golden age of “we’re not a christian band, but christians in a band” era of hard rock. Mark Salomon you may know from his most popular group Stavesacre, he has also done interesting stuff with The Crucified, Neon Horse and memorable guest spots with Argyle Park and Chatterbox (go find Chatterbox kids.. really go we’ll wait). Outer Circle, his foray into old school punk is one of my favorite punk albums ever.

Steven Dail played his part in one of the better Nu-Metal bands Project 86, yup I called them that, and was also a member of Neon Horse and the cray cray under appreciated Crash Rickshaw one off album.

Now along with Jason Martin who’s paid his dues in Starflyer and Neon Horse (wait a second, isn’t this group literally Neon Horse?) and a soon to be released project called Low and Behold.

That’s more background than I’m used to giving.

Mark Salomon is a guy that probably waits tables by day, yet his song writing has had a profound effect on me. I’ve enjoyed its mystery and its nuance, I’ve loved the way it allowed me to insert my own meaning to the words despite knowing he’s probably writing about something completely different.

On some occasions his song writing style has allowed me to interpret them in different ways across different moments in my life.

I am a fan. You may not be.

This album might be too standard for you. But when it comes to these three I’m used to nuance and I expect it and I get it here.

This probably won’t go down as my favorite piece of work by anyone in this group, simply because I’m older and I’ve been influenced by other art at a time I was more apt to be influenced. But these artists haven’t let me down, I am aware of the standard and quality I’m going to get from them and that’s why I buy their music and that’s why I’ll watch them live if they mosey through Las Vegas.

White Lighter’s debut album is good piece of work and is a definite must if you’re familiar with the group and perhaps if you’re young enough, an album whose music and lyrics will leave an imprint on your heart and mind.

Run the Jewels II [REVIEW]

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I did not like Run the Jewels II better than Run the Jewels I. That’s the only negative thing I can say about this album.

Run the Jewels II is another great piece of work by the best tag team in hip hop. I’ve been a fan of El-P’s work for quite some time now, but as great a producer as he has been for more than a decade he really didn’t make an album that could be on my short list for all time favorite hip hop release until the work he did on Killer Mike’s RAP Music and his own solo album Cancer 4 the Cure.

Please understand, I loved I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead and Fantastic Damage. And I love his instrumental work too. But on those albums he didn’t quite mix the vocals correctly with the beat. It was almost as if he was trying to say “Beats are my strength and these vocals are secondary”. And that was probably true, but lately, with Run the Jewels I and II, with his last solo effort, with what he’s done with Killer Mike, the man has come into his own as a complete wizard of hip hop. El-P is like a basketball player who came into the league as a defensive liability and towards the end of his careers starts finding himself on the NBA all defensive squad. He’s become one of my favorite lyricists and has become a rapper who’s flow I respect more and more.

Killer Mike is just a work horse. As far as skill, lyrics and passion for his craft go, Killer Mike is one of the most underrated rappers in the game. Now that he’s connected with El-P and has returned to some semblance of fame (on his own muthafuckin’ terms) with Run the Jewels, people will start rediscovering how good he’s been on the albums he’s released in the last decade and a half.

Run the Jewels is free and it’s as good as anything that’s come this year or the last few years. Killer Mike and El-P, the best tag team in hip hop, the Bushwackers of hip hop.

The Electric Hour by Jeffertitti’s Nile [REVIEW]

Jeffertitti's Nile The Electric Hour

Transcendental Space-Punk Doo Wop, that’s everything you need to know about Jeffertitti’s Nile. When you’re not on drugs sometimes this psychedelic stuff can start to sound the same. But so can punk and hip-hop, metal and anything else. Jeffertitti’s Nile might feel like that on the first listen, but like most great albums in this genre eventually it injects itself into your bloodstream no drugs required, none by you required, the band appears to require a lot of them.

This album moves in and out the modern hippy affair and its echoey vocals whirling guitar work eventually hypnotize you against your will much like a woman in a Japanese porn eventually you realize how much you love it and you allow the ecstasy to spill over you.

Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records seems to have a lot good bands like Jeffertitti’s Nile and is a label I will be keeping my eyes on in the future.

  • Watching Reading Listening Doing

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    Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943 by Anthony Beevor

    Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by
    Brian Tracy

    Sandman by Neil Gaiman

    LISTENING

    Colored Sands by Gorguts

    Run the Jewels II by Killer Mike and El-P

    Concerto in A Minor for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 129 written by Robert Schumann performed by Yo-Yo Ma

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    Futurama

    Star Trek Original Series Season 1

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    Studying for Chartered Professional Analyst Level II Exam

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