“Greg Tate, on the $: “The double standard is fascinating n disgusting—i mean, the press fawns over every bite Lady Gaga takes out of Madonna’s ass. Like the pop version of racial profiling—Beyonce gets called thief; Gaga gets points for ‘quotation’ and postmodern pastiche… tension caused by the self-mastery of ex-slaves, even entertaining ones, is why there’s a Tea Party.””—Josh Kun quoting the forever on-point Greg Tate on Gaga on Twitter. I think this also sort-of correlates to how many [straight white male] reviewer dudes were bored by the Beyonce album (which I like quite a lot), but more on that later. Or not!
“LARRY: “Artie, you shouldn’t be up, you just had surgery.”
ARTIE [drunk]: “Yeah, but that knife was wielded by a relative stranger.”
HANK [also drunk]: “You’re as young as you feeeeel!””—
-I am so, so happy the “Larry Sanders Show” is on Netflix streaming. Never saw it before, highly recommended if you’re into acerbic chutzpah and/or a meta-show about making a television show that was birthed into the world when Sorkin was still a promising young politically minded script finesser and Tina Fey was doing community theater. They owe so much to Garry Shandling, I CANNOT. MUST WATCH.
Also, Janeane Garofalo has a medium-ish role and is packing some serious unplucked eyebrows and floral-print cutoffs. I’m doing a series of Janeane outfit screenshots to be compiled and presented to you at a later date. Two words, crushed velvet and a grunge boyfriend.
Waiiiiiiiiittttttt. i am a (new) contributor for music blogs.
SHOULD I BE GETTING PAID??? i never asked the editor about $$$$$........
OHMYGOD THIS QUESTION IS SO SO REAL. Yo. Okay, generally, all people should be paid for their services (and time and knowledge jewels), otherwise it reinforces the hellplague entitlement of the technology era that worships at the table of “CONTENT” and is often getting paid $$$ by people who manufacture high-end juiceboxes or segways, and you’re not seeing none of it.
BUT. Sometimes I think there are exceptions? Like, if you’re just starting out and “cutting your teeth” so to speak, and the music blogs are ones that more than 10 people read, the experience and the exposure might outweigh the negatives of not getting paid. And if said blogs are not making money, sometimes you do it for the tradeoff: the promos or the guestlists or the LOVE or, in very few instances, the exposure they’re giving your writing (tho this is tricky in itself — some places will take advantage). And if you’re trying to make a profession out of it, make sure you’re sending links and pitches to bigger music blogs/sites/publications that you like and DO pay, so eventually you can step it up to the big checks.* But ultimately it’s all about the dollars-to-readers-to-yr-output ratio — if it’s clear the blogs are not making money, it’s probably a little bit more acceptable that you’re not either. Use yr judgment.
That said, ALWAYS ASK. Don’t let anyone take advantage of yr labor! Unionize if you have to. Only semi kidding. And if it seems like they are? Fuck ‘em, you might as well just put your work on your own Tumblrlog and “BUILD UP YOUR PERSONAL WEB PRESENCE/BRAND.” [douchechills but it’s true]
* I still have an un-cashed check for $7 from Ryan Schreiber for writing a 75-word Tracks review on Pitchfork years ago, back when they could only pay a little bit. It’s so funny. I remember opening the envelope and being like “Why did you guys even bother wasting the paper?” It’s been on my inspiration board** for years.
“John Singleton first approached Ice Cube for the role of Dough Boy while backstage at Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet show. This was at The Palace Theater (now Avalon) in Hollywood. I don’t know the specific details of their conversation, but I can confidently recall that Cube gave John a ride back to USC in his Samurai Suzuki.”—
Brent Rollins aka America’s babeliest* designer (sorry sorry) (but I mean come on) made the logo for definitive ’90s gangland flick Boyz N the Hood. Over at ego trip, he spilled the Gs on some trivia about the making of the film that you might not know*. Must-read.
*he’s also one if its most talented, and is responsible for maybe like 70% of what we now think of as classic hip-hop aesthetic, fontally speaking. also, this ingenious piece of work, which deserves several awards.
*unless you read my interview with John Singleton in VIBE magazine’s 2004 Juice issue!!! ;)
“Cocksure online opinions are not a new or shocking phenomenon, but something still feels odd about this. I mean, I spent four hours following Kreayshawn around and asking people questions about her, and I certainly couldn’t tell you anything all that profound about her identity. So how the hell could random Internet commenters watch one video and know who she is and who she’s not?”—
Just in general, I like Nitsuh Abebe’s writing a super lot, and in part it’s because of pieces like this —- he has the ability to be calm, adult, rational and often right, when the rest of the internet/world is peeing their pantitos.
As noted before, I like Kreayshawn, and have for quite some time (you may recall my incredulous tweet from SXSW in March, when I met KREAYSHAWN and CARLES within a span of 10 minutes. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). I do not think she is going to REVOLUTIONIZE RAP, but she has a knack for over-the-top fun joints that I can appreciate for their ridiculosity (that new song rich whores bums me out, but). I have BEEN saying I wish she were bigger than Ke$ha, tho I certainly did not anticipate a million-dollar deal, which is absurd and no doubt racially driven in some way (on the label’s part, because everyone knows major labels are comprised of bottom-line-humping demons), but it was also certainly motivated by the fact that Ke$ha is gianormous and lots of people, including those whose writing I respect, wrote about her being a legit rapper, so why not sign someone who actually grew up with rap? Makes sense.
I think some of it is that people [generally, read: white boyz] who have been extolling/defending the virtues and artistic merits of Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame for years now can’t handle it wrapped in a different [generally, read: white girlz] package. Which is not to say that I think Kreayshawn’s delivery is as tight or succinct as the staccato jammers Gucci/Waka bark out, but I don’t think she’s that much worse as a rapper from a purely stylistic standpoint. Lyrics are debatable (on the parts of all!), but let’s see what she does with her budget, and how she develops. But like, seriously dudes, you’re gonna push yrself into an early grave defending Gucci/Waka, then immediately disown Kreay? I mean have an opinion but form it before you spit it nahmean.
The Daily News titled this photograph “Mexican American Female Gang” when it ran the photo in 1942 but the systematic criminalization of Mexicans in the 1940s as a justification for racially-motivated attacks (especially directed at zoot suiters) makes me a little wary of the title. In any…
SO MUCH HAS CHANGED SINCE 1942! Anyway, agreed… these chicks are intense and amazing. Remind me of old pics of my tias, too, in the 40s and 50s.. they were in Wyoming and super poor so there’s no zoot suitery happening, but these kindsa hairdos, poses and attitude were all they needed.
I wrote a piece on the next phase of New York ball culture in the Fader in Sept 2008, which is issue 56 and had Busy Signal and The Tough Alliance on the cover in case you actually have that sitting around. Why is it not on the goddamn internet? Anyway, I delved deep into both the midtown/old-school/drag scene at Escuelita off Times Square, and in the newer, younger scene based in Bed-Stuy that was rooted in the first kids who graduated from Harvey Milk High after it was accredited. Two of whom were Raul and Shayne of Hood by Air, who went on to help make Ghe20 Gothik happen. It was an unforgettable experience (particularly since during the course of reporting it I dislocated my elbow, the most painful and disgusting thing that’s ever happened to me, and I have been hit by a car).
EVERYONE needs to go to a ball ASAP if you’re even remotely interested in the best dancing, the best subculture, gorgeous subversiveness, any manner of banjee shit, and a certain type of house music that’s been laboring in its own little bubble for a long time up until recently with the popularity of DJ MikeQ!
Personal note sidebar, if you are a fan of my friends and boyfriend’s band Das Racist and that terrible song “Pizza Hut Taco Bell,” listen closely to the beat, and then listen to some ball house. Production on that stupid, stupid track was done by my palzini L31F, and is ABSOLUTELY MADE FOR SUICIDE DIPS.
I just read your piece on Da Drought 3, and just wanted to say that it was great. It just reminded that no rapper today who base their identity in drugs was on the level of Lil Wayne just a few years ago ("I'm so motherfucking high I can eat a star", too good of a line).
Sorry, this is not really a question.
SUCH A great line. Also muchos gracias! I actually think that I will never top that piece in the rest of my career. I should probably just pack it in now. Here is the column in question in case anyone else wants to read it.
“The Attorney-General’s kind remarks are noted and appreciated. I’ve spoken to Ed Burns and we are prepared to go to work on season six of The Wire if the Department of Justice is equally ready to reconsider and address its continuing prosecution of our misguided, destructive and dehumanising drug prohibition.”—
Wow. If you want to know when I first got serious about wanting to be a writer, it was when I was 17 and funneled most of the money I earned as a Subway sandwich artist into printing my own fanzine. I didn’t go to college (did my music/skateboarding fanzine eat my tuition?!) and self-published for a long time until I moved to PDX OR and got the cojones to send a query to the weekly there, the Willamette Week. They hired me on as a freelancer; I wrote about local bands and synthesizers (really). After that, I lucked out when the Stranger in Seattle started a new weekly in Portland and, after several grueling interviews, hired me as its arts editor, despite having no formal education to speak of and little pro publishing experience. I mean, I wrote my cover letter ON JAPANESE STATIONERY. WITH HAMSTERS ON IT. DEAR ANYONE IN NEW YORK LOOKING FOR MAG JOBS: DO NOT DO THIS. But apparently it helped impress those kooks. So yeah, a couple years in and nice/talented Alex Pappademas gave me my first assignment for SPIN and from then on it’s just been grinding and, arguably, the fact that I’m very fun at parties.
We are so honored that you are following us. You are one of our very favorite writers. Plus you wrote some very nice things about our boyfriend's band back in 2003 when no one else really seemed to give a shit.
HOLY CRAP I JUST FIGURED OUT HOW TO WORK THESE QUESTION THINGS! Well hello and thank you! You are doing awesome stuff on yr tumblr, more nuance for everyone. I don’t know who/what band you’re talking about (tell me!), but I’m glad! x0