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posted : Monday, July 21st, 2014

"I wrote a whole album about you" - Robin Thicke

  • This is the text conversation that plays out over Robin Thicke's new music video for "Get Her Back." The song comes off of the self-apologetic, totally awkward redemption album that is 'Paula' and aims to be earnest while mostly failing to do so. Because -big surprise- even though the song might be targeted at his wife, it still ends up being about himself. "All I wanna do is keep it light / make it right / get you back tonight," he sings desperately as he pouts into the camera. "All I wanna do is give you that thing / play you that song that you and your girlfriends sing." All poor Robin wants is some relief.
  • To be fair, this stuff is perfectly fine boy-band fare. That is, none of us would care had Robin himself not drilled it into our heads that, while he's always been a sensitive man, this is his newest way of showing us that he still is one. Where the last stage of his career was devoted to remaining young and coy and sexy, the next stage of his career will be about being a man who owns up to his bullshit and saves his marriage. If only he was as convincing as the people who schemed this thing up wanted him to be.
  • It's hard to tell whether the uncomfortable break-up (/divorce!?!) texts that propel the video for "Get Her Back" forward are fake or not. They're depressing any way you put it. The voice that is undeniably meant to be Paula's laments on her husband's transgressions, equally parts devastated and resigned. The voice that is very obviously Thicke's drips with the kind of remorseful self-loathing that's more self-fulfilling than anything else; the kind that focuses on the apologizer's *me* instead of the *you*. Appropriately enough, the exchange culminates with the kind of confident, not-gonna-take-no-for-an-answer vibes that he's tried to blur lines with in the past. "Can I come over?" he asks at one point. "I wrote a whole album about you." Needless to say, the answer was "No."
  • (Transcribed the text convo too. Find it below.)
  • Paula: I kept trying to warn you, you were pushing me too far
  • Paula: We had everything
  • Paula: Why Why Why Why Why????
  • Robin: I'm sorry
  • Robin: Can I talk to you?
  • Paula: You drink too much
  • Paula: You embarrassed me
  • Paula: I can't make love to you anymore
  • Robin: I hate myself
  • Robin: Can I come over?
  • Paula: It's too soon
  • Robin: I wrote a whole album about you
  • Paula: *I don't care*
  • Paula: I don't even know who you are
  • Robin: I miss u
  • Paula: You ruined everything
  • Paula: How could you do that to me?
  • Paula: you're reckless
  • Paula: I have to go
  • Robin: This is just the beginning
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posted : Monday, June 23rd, 2014

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posted : Thursday, June 19th, 2014

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posted : Thursday, June 19th, 2014

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posted : Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

this is the sound of summer approaching

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posted : Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

"Life is too serous for me to go on writing."


Life is too serous for me to go on writing. Life used to be easier, and often pleasant, and then writing was pleasant, though it also seemed serious. Now life is not easy, it has gotten very serious, and by comparison, writing seems a little silly. Writing is often not about real things, and then, when it is about real things, it is often at the same time taking the place of some real things. Writing is too often about people who can’t manage.

Lydia Davis, “Writing”

<3 <3 <3

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posted : Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

reblogged from : UNBORN WHISKEY

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posted : Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Philip Sherburne and I collected some thoughts on DJ Rashad by way of writers talking about their favorite Rashad tracks. Listen to the jams and read our friends’ thoughts over at SPIN. My own on “I Don’t Give A Fuck” below:

So much about club music like footwork lives in the beat: where the pummeling bass or snares pull your insides out onto the dance floor, forcing your feet to follow along in whatever way they can. So rarely in club music does a set of lyrics convey that very visceral feeling. On “I Don’t Give A Fuck,” the combination of the two shows Rashad at his wiliest. The setup is minimal and intense: Wavy layers of quietly throbbing synths abruptly cut to an onslaught of frantic, paranoid bleeps. “I don’t give a fuck,” whispers a voice into ether. The hushed murmur turns into a snarl: “I don’t give a fuck about you / I don’t give a fuck about myself.” As the frenzied bass line kicks in, officially inviting listeners to wild the fuck out alongside him, Rashad’s middle-finger flip becomes one of his most heart-wrenching club moments.

The song is taken from an EP of the same name — a four-track, 13-minute set that feels like a narrative in miniature. There’s the borderline nonchalance, the moseying swag, that underlies the title track’s stubborn refusal. Then comes Rashad’s rendition of Cajmere and Dajae’s “Brighter Days,” the Freshmoon collab “Everybody,” and, finally, “Way I Feel.” The latter, a collaboration with DJ Manny, balances the opener’s abrasive thrashing with a moment of calm by way of a soul-searching sample from Mary J. Blige’s “Be Happy.” The EP has Rashad bringing his dance-floor catharsis — the anger, the self-loathing, the vulnerability — full circle. He can’t help the way he feels, and he tells us the best way he can. We can’t help the way we feel now that he’s gone.

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posted : Friday, May 2nd, 2014

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posted : Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

“ It’s remarkable how outsiders have treated [twerk]—seeing a four-year-old twerking is not an uncommon thing in New Orleans. These kids grow up in a community where there’s no innuendo; it’s acrobatics, it’s expression, it’s part of music culture. People see a female ass move and think it’s only good for one thing: provoking or providing sex. The controversy speaks to the level of sexual maturity in pop; that they don’t see the world, or movement, as a complex tapestry.

Bounce queen Big Freedia's long-time DJ Rusty Lazer on the rise of twerking in Puja Patel's "Bouncing Back", a piece about bounce culture and the first all-female brass band to win New Orleans’ Street Kings competition. (via pitchfork)

When I was down in New Orleans last month I visited the Street Kings brass band competition in Treme and talked to the Original Pinettes (NoLA’s first and only all-female group), Rusty Lazer, Nicky Da B, and Mannie Fresh about where the city’s local jazz + brass band culture overlaps with bounce. We chatted about twerking as tradition and the celebration of movement instead of the oversimplified, oversexualized trend it’s become in pop. Really happy I got to speak to these people and write this.

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posted : Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

reblogged from : Pitchfork

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posted : Sunday, November 10th, 2013

RAPPY HOUR For The Seeds II has finally arrived! This happy hour event presented by Senari and Building Beats allows some of your favorite writers to play DJ in order to raise money for underfunded after-school music programs. It will be taking place on Thursday, November 7th at Arrow Bar, which is located at 9 Avenue A in Manhattan right off of the F and L trains. Party starts promptly at 6pm. There is a $3 suggested donation at the door. 


A little bit about Building Beats:

Building Beats is a registered non-profit organization that helps find, gather, and provide funding to after-school music programs in underfunded and tapped-out communities. The organization was founded by Phi Pham - a nighttime DJ and daytime professional in the non-profit sector - and is kept in motion by him and a small, close-knit team of music-loving folk who come from backgrounds in that vary from the creative (venue booking, PR, social media, video editing, design, journalism) to suit-and-tie (law, finance). We work hand-in-hand with partner organizations and members of the global DJ community who share our vision of free and accessible music education for all. Together we strive to raise awareness about the lack of funding and importance of music in schools, organize workshops for participating programs, and invest in creative arts programs that help build larger-picture life skills through Building Beats. Visit them online and check out a video from one of their recent workshops.


And a little bit about our DJs for the evening:

- Corban Goble is an Associate Editor for Pitchfork  where he regularly writes about the newest onslaught of rap mixtapes among other things. In his spare time he reps Kansas and will happily talk to you about Andrew Wiggins even though he already does so for Grantland. Read his interview with Drake.

- Kiese Laymon is a Contributing Editor at Gawker, the author of Long Division, and a GENIUS SCRIBE WHO HAS BROUGHT ME TO TEARS (really) while writing about race, politics, culture, gender and the intersection of those things. Make time to read his essay How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.

- Julianne Escobedo Shepherd is a writer and editor whose work has appeared practically everywhere, including in Spin, Billboard, Vibe, Rookie, NYT, MTV, and the Fader among others. She will easily out-vogue every other writer in this list on the dance-floor. Read about the time she went on tour with Odd Future or hung out in Paris with Waka Flocka.

- Nick Murray is an Associate Editor at the Village Voice and contributes to Spin, Rhapsody, EMusic, and Capital New York. He is as much a country stan as he is a rap stan and would like to talk to you about hick-hop (a real thing!) when you have a free moment. Read his review of Drake’s Nothing Was The Same or about the time he basked in the fay-glow of the Gathering of the Juggalos.

- I am Puja Patel. I serve on the Board of Directors for Building Beats and have written for Spin, Pitchfork, Stereogum, MTV, Rolling Stone, and WashPo among others. I enjoy exploring where regional dance and rap worlds merge and all things club. Feel free to read this thing I wrote on re-popularization of TRAP or #SheezusTalks ie. a convo that I was a part of on ye olde YEEZUS.

- Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland where he Explains It All, Discovers America, and has recently written an open letter to Kanye on behalf of Michelle Obama. His pop-culture musing make the Internet lol on the regular and he reps Atlanta in his sleep. Read this piece he wrote on the #RihannaPlane and R.Kelly that killed me.

- Tracy Garraud is the co-host of Sway In the Morning on Shade 45 and has written for Vibe, Billboard, and Rolling Stone among others. She delivers amazing interviews and pop-gossip insight is one of (/the only) reason that I figured out how to get Sirius XM in my car while I was home. Read her Vibe cover story on Azaelia Banks.

- Vivian Host is the current editor of Vice’s Thump and has previously been a contributing editor or writer with FACT Mag, RBMA, URB, and XLR8R. She is part of the Brooklyn-based Trouble & Bass DJ and label collective and plays anything from grime, club, and UK funky, to house, and every corner of bass. Read her story on the who’s who of vogue.

- Zach Baron is a staff writer for GQ and has previously written for NYT, The Daily, Village Voice, Grantland, Pitchfork, and the Fader among others. He is one of my favorite personal essayists and artist-profilers and I can guarantee that he will not be wearing shorts at this event. Read about the time he went to Morocco with French Montana or his interview with new era T.I.



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posted : Friday, November 1st, 2013

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posted : Wednesday, October 30th, 2013