Yesterday, the puritans over in Wildwood passed a law that finally settles the age-old question, “What’s appropriate attire for the Wildwood Boardwalk?”
Those who strut the boards shoeless, shirtless or with pants below three inches from their hip will now be subject to a possible fine, maybe even 40 hours of community service. For those who don’t know, men and women are already prohibited from wearing bathing suits on the boardwalk unless covered by other clothing.
Ya know, because heaven forbid the impressionable eyeballs of our youth be subjected to the same thinly veiled adult genitalia on the boardwalk that they are just a few feet from over on the beach.
While it’s unclear how the exact amounts will be determined, the proposed fines would range anywhere between $25 to $100 for the first offense and $200 for subsequent offenses. I’m just guessing it’ll be something along the lines of $15 per bare foot, $50 per exposed ass cheek. Any number of exposed nipples clearly warrants community service.
Extra small cropped tops and coochie cutters with “DTF?” printed across them? Well, that’s still totally cool.
Way to class things up, Wildwood!
What’s goin’ on over there, Tricky? You saw this tour coming, and you couldn’t get your Visa act together, hunh? Well, we were pretty excited for your show this week, and we put it in the paper’s Philly Now calendar:
“Tricky put out two records in the ‘90s that were mind-blowing: 1995’s Maxinquaye and 1996’s Pre-Millenium Tension. Of course, he’d been an integral part of the groundbreaking Massive Attack until then, but these two LPs felt like achievements—complete, brilliant artistic statements. The 45-year-old Bristol, U.K., native’s a pretty odd duck, so it feels only appropriate that he made his big-screen debut in 1997’s The Fifth Element. But some of the weirdest dudes on earth have proven to be some of our most inspiring and game-changing musicians.
And with this brand new and fresh False Idols, Tricky says he found himself again. Luckily for us, it’s an incredibly strong LP, harkening back to those debut solo LPs, and reflects the Tricky Kid we’ve always known and loved. Sure, there’ve been some discs in his deep catalogue that weren’t homeruns, but the man’s a legit legend in the trip-hop world. His grimy, gravelly rumbles over blissed-out beats are one of a kind, and he has a real ear for tapping angelic young female vocalists to flesh out his visions—or night terrors, same diff. The fact that Philly’s one of his 10-date domestic tour destinations is truly celebration-worthy. Trip-hop fans rejoice, and get your asses to Union Transfer for a really memorable occasion.
8:30pm. $20. With Royal Canoe. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com”
The show’s been moved back to October 1st. This came over from his publicist (and the man himself):
“Due to unforeseen US Visa issues preventing from him entering the country, Tricky is postponing his upcoming US tour dates in support of his new album False Idols. The rescheduled dates will take place in October, when Tricky is in the US to play Treasure Island Music Festival and Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit.
All tickets for the postponed June dates will be honored for re-scheduled dates in the same city (even if venue has changed). In the case that the re-scheduled date is not an option, refunds will be available at point of original ticket purchase.”
Addressing the issue, Tricky himself stated:
“I’m really sorry to have to tell you that I have to postpone the forthcoming US dates. It is a situation that is compeletely beyond my control due to a US Visa issue. All I can do is go through the proper channels and secure the right visa. I hope you’ll bear with me, and I’ll make sure that the rescheduled shows are worth the wait. All tickets will be honored for the re-scheduled dates.”
Once upon a time, I fell in love with Major Lazer and, by default, Diplo. But that feels like AGES ago. I had only been in Philadelphia for about six months when I moved to Northern Liberties, to Wildey Street just west of Front Street. The night before I moved in, I walked around with my new roommate and we strolled through a newly-finished Ghost Town that was the nascent Piazza at the time. There was not yet a Swift Half, a Fabric Horse, a PYT or any of the other businesses that rushed in. But what DID hit me like a ton of bricks that summer, was “Pon de Floor.” I vividly remember bringing Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do down to our DVD player, our default CD player in the house, and spinning it for my roommate’s girlfriend and proclaiming (admittedly, with a beer buzz on) “This is going to be the song of the summer!” I twerked and twerked and twerked.
Turns out, I was pretty much right. That record, perhaps not coincidentally carrying the momentum built by the stunning success of a local-gone-to-Brooklyn’s debut, Santogold, became a massive success. “Hold the Line,” a collab with her and Mr. Lexx, was technically the first single. But Guns was full of sleeper classics: “Bruk Out” is a humble but bangin’ dark gem of a story about a stripper love affair, “When You Hear the Bassline” boldly introduces the album’s tones of the Caribbean and herb, “Mary Jane” employs killer snares and goofball good times for an irresistably high-enducing hit, and “Keep It Goin’ Louder” satisfies that nightclubbing, fist-pumping dancefloor banger you didn’t even realize the record needed.
Today, you can give a listen to the highly-anticipated and highly-awaited sophomore. However, things are different. First of all, the two primary co-conspirators that Diplo had in his charge for Guns are gone: Swith and Skerrit Bwoy have left (for creative and religious reasons). The 5.7 Pitchfork review that landed today isn’t terribly kind and yet sees hope in the highs and credits the lows with missteps in judgement. In are “Trinidad-born Jillionaire and Black Chiney’s Miami-via-Jamaica sound system member Walshy Fire,” plus a bazillion guests. See, the guests on the debut were just much more of a thing you had to hunt for in the liner notes. And they were way more obscure. These guests on Free the Universe, save for a few tracks, seem to be why we’re supposed to buy the record. But some of em’ just don’t work.
It’s pretty easy to get into the tracks we’ve already heard that feature big indie names: Amber from Dirty Projectors on the super-chill and vacation-y “Get Free,” and Ezra Koenig on the romantic “Jessica.” Meanwhile, there are a few downright near-catastrophes: the Peaches and Timberlee joint, “Scare Me,” could be so much better (love for Peaches but she doesn’t belong here), Shaggy and Wynter Gordon sounds like it could be a cool combo, but “Keep Cool” is not a success story, and neither is the garbage that was conjured up when they invited Wyclef Jean into the brotherhood of dancehall cool with the atrocious “Reach for the Stars.” And then there’s that obvious trend-grabbing on the dubsteppy and house-friendly “Jet Blue Jet,” which seems practically built to be remixed but not to stand on its own as an original track. Flux Pavillion’s moment, “Jah No Partial,” cashes in on the Skrillex craze, too; brutal ear pollution skronkshit. However, my clear favorite is the bizarre team-up of Bruno Mars, Tyga and Mystic on the immediately smile-creating “Bubble Butt.”
There isn’t a single song like “Pon de Floor,” the way it jumps out of speakers and heaphones and screams ‘You’ll never get tired of me!’ Diplo’s elevated status, due to the unbelievable success of Guns, may have allowed him to reach into his wallet and shell out for some big names, but he wasn’t able to capitalize on the underground infectiousness and energy that bursts forth from the collective’s debut effort. It actually seems to stand as a landmark for the Philadelphia producer’s climb to international acclaim. But this new one doesn’t do him any favors (or half of the guests at his employ). But I will twerk to “Bubble Butt” at the club if it comes on. Yes I will.
You may’ve heard about Jay-Z and Beyonce’s fifth wedding anniversary trip to Cuba and the ensuing mini-scandal brought on by two Republicans calling for an investigation into the legality of the trip. We know that tourism and traveling to the Communist island’s restricted for Americans, but why The First Couple of Hip-Hop are being questioned for their sponsored and planned-out trip is pretty weird. Then, this morning, on SoundCloud, Jay-Z unleased a friggen’ nasty response called “Open Letter” and It. Is. Sick.
And maybe it was Stacey Dash’s dumbass tweet that sent Jay over the edge (probably not). But Dash’s used her Twitter to express lame views in the past, including a Mitt Romney endorsement and other inane conservative tidbits in 140 characters or less (often with less-than-savory grammatical attention to detail, one of the many dangerous pitfalls of trying to communicate something serious via Tweets).
Here’s what she tweeted:
Here are some of they lyrics from Hova’s venomous track addressing many different kinds of haters:
“Politicians never did shit for me/ Except lie to me, distort history/ They wanna give me jail time and a fine– Fine, let me commit a real crime/ Obama said, ‘Chill, you’re going to get me impeached’/ You don’t need this shit anyway, chill with me on the beach,” and “I woulda moved the Nets to Brooklyn for free/ Except I made millions off you fucking dweebs/ I still own the building, I’m keeping my seats/ You buy that bullshit, you better keep your receipts.”
The Swizz Beats and Timbaland-produced track is pretty much straight-up fire. And the fact that it seems like he whipped it up in a matter of days is an even more impressive feat. Let’s hope it slays a thousands-strong crowd in Philly this summer with it if he decides to get on the mic at his Made In America festival on the Parkway.
Photo c/o Bonjour Girl.
Alright, we’re going to get first-personal here. I just got off the phone with Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, one of the four dudes in a Danish punk band called Iceage. They rip. There’s no question about it. Their debut in 2011, New Brigade, was a slap in the face. No one had heard of them in the States (they’d been gestating in Denmark since at least ‘09), and everyone went nuts. It made its way to a bunch of Best Of The Year lists, and our friend Brian McManus wrote this great story about them after a Barbary set way back when. It was in anticipation of an impending Kung Fu Necktie date, and today, our conversation was in anticipation of their April 19th gig at the Church. I definitely was curious about how challenging an ‘interview’ with a 21/22-year-old punk whose first language isn’t English would be, but as it turns out, the problem wasn’t a language barrier or a punk mindset. It was that I didn’t ask “interesting enough” questions. He hung up on me after five minutes.
I did, indeed, anticipate this intellectual challenge. As a writer, we like to be prepared for an interview. Some writers might have over a dozen perfectly typed-out questions, maybe they’re even strategically ordered. I don’t like to do that. I think it takes away from the naturalness of a conversation if you’re just running through prepared questions and spending a lot of mental energy figuring out what questions were already answered in the previous questions, or which ones you should jump to next or scratch all together. That being said, I put together about 10 bulleted topics/ideas that I thought appropriate to ask about. Mostly because of this publicist’s threat:
“Also, we really appreciate when people do a bit of research before interviews. Iceage isn’t so into answering the same questions they’ve been asked over & over again (as with any artist) — i.e. how did you start the band? what are your inspirations? how do you like touring the states? We realize some of those are more ice breaking questions, but they’ll definitely give a better interview for those who delve a bit deeper.”
Then I was given these six links: a Pitchfork feature, a New York Times review, a Rolling Stone feature, a Fader feature, a SPIN review and an MTV piece. Read em’ all. Read the full Pitchfork reviews of New Brigade and You’re Nothing. As I did this I listened to their, on average, 20+-minute albums on repeat. I watched their videos. I thought I was ready. I was supposed to talk to another member, Johan Surrballe Wieth, but he was asleep. Elias got on the phone from New Mexico and gave me five minutes of his time before I failed to pass the “interesting” test.
Most of the features linked above talk about their press prickliness. I tried to prepare myself. And after I got hung up on, I had to push the negativity out of my heart and refute the inclination to say to myself, Am I not capable of conducting a compelling interview with a buzzed-about band of young Danes who thrash like Wire, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Nirvana and Metallica combined? Nah, fuck that. Looks like this youngblood Copenhagen intellect thinks he’s above fielding writers’ questions that aren’t challenging or entertaining.
Real quick, let’s run through the questions I did get to ask and the nearly unintelligible answers he gave.
Me: So everyone tends talks about these records with certain terms – the first record we all talked about how young you are, with the second it’s about how mature the sound’s become in two years. So what’ll we be talking about with the third record?
Elias: We’ve already started recording new material and it’s more of a departure than the change you saw between New Brigade and You’re Nothing. It’s definitely violent.
Punk music and your records aren’t typically the kind of music one wants to listen to all day. You definitely have to be in a mood, be it angry or frustrated, to connect with the sound. Do you guys have to get yourself in a mood to perform or write or record?
You definitely have to get yourself in a mindset. [hard-to-understand mumblings]
As a listener, it’s hard to pull out specific lyrics if it’s not a chant, a refrain or a chorus and you just tend to hone in on the drum part or the guitars. Is that bothersome to you?
If you don’t pay attention to the lyrics, I don’t care. You can read it if you like.
You’ve said your lyrics on the newer one have been informed by certain books (from the Pitchfork review: “Rønnenfelt has said You’re Nothing was inspired in part by his readings of Bataille, Genet, and the like.”). Does Denmark have more readers than in the U.S. and do you think the references are lost on Americans?
Maybe not your friends.
Much has been said about your shows being bloody and violent. What can we expect at your show at the Church? Lots of moshing and fist-pumping?
If you’re not going to ask interesting questions I’m going to hang up.
Alright, can you tell me about your new project Vår? The video for “In Your Arms” is awesome.
He’s been lighting up the guest moments on Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon this week. These performances are totally solid. Dancers, full band, he looks great. I really don’t get where one of my favorite Gawker voices, Rich Juzwiak, is coming from on this one. Seriously, check out these SNL performances and then link to the Fallon performance of “Pusher Love Girl.” The 20/20 Experience, his first solo album in seven years, drops next week. Oh, and tickets are on sale for his appearance in Philly alongside Jay-Z on August 13th at Citizens Bank.
When “212″ started taking off and everyone was going HAM on her and talking about her like she was the shit and she was gonna revolutionize hip-hop, I wasn’t mad. I was into it. I bought that damn EP on the iTunes. Then that mixtape, Fantasea, came out and I was leveled. Dead. It was in my ears everyday for a minute there. She’s exciting because she’s a sickeningly fierce young black girl from Harlem and she’s just that to a T.
But then the dark stuff started happening. She’s put back the release date (or drama with the label or whatever it is) multiple times for Broke With Expensive Taste. She’s got mad videos, yes, and they are vicious. Then she started getting obnoxious about Twitter and calling all this weird attention to her because she’s used the gay f-bomb and thinks she can use it however she wants because of the depth and gravity of the concept of the word fagg*t. She’s beefed with Angel Haze (who might be more professional) and Perez Hilton publicly and in Tweetlish (I just made that up) and it’s just ugly. Oh, and talked shit on Baauer as a whole “Harlem Shake” thing went down.
The other day she posted this creepy cover (above and here) art for her forthcoming single (March 26th), presumably one of the songs on her forthcoming record. And picked another fight with the Stone Roses – look at this gem:
“Fuck those old saggy white niggas stone roses. I wish them nothing but excrement and death. Wow! I must really fucking be a superstar… You’ve got an established band trying to sabotage my lil rap bitch shine. Wow a bunch of old white men trying to bully a young black girl…. What the fuck else is new in this world ???”
STOP. Or rap and perform professionally like all the other bad bitches we love are capable of doing.