Live: Simon Reynolds Panel Gets Post-Punk'd

A YEAR IN A MINUTE

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Drumming post MTV's Punk'd

Simon Reynolds: Postpunk 1978-1984
Mo Pitkins
February 28

Almost didn't get into this one--oversold a few weeks ago I heard. Must-read peanut butter blogger Mike Powell and I admitted to ourselves we really just wanted to see James Chance, who had teased us with TV Party simulacra and a skronky cameo in Downtown 81. Happy to hear him talk too but you know.

The panel was of/for/by shoptalkers, the weird catch-22 being that you couldn't have really followed the dialogue entirely if you hadn't read Reynolds's inquiry into post-punk and new pop, Rip It Up & Start Again, but if you had read the book, some of the panel's bigger points were rehash, and Reynolds discussed them far more eloquently and far less flippantly in his pages.

But we came for flip. We were there to see Orange Juice drummer Steven Daly taking swipes at the Strokes and remembering NME stories about CBGBs and the New York post-punks, Blondie and Talking Heads and Television, and being so angry he couldn't actually hear them--New York for him was a "locus of the imagination." We came for James Chance recalling a time he was mugged: He was walking around downtown in the early 80s and had a dollar bill sticking out of his coat jacket pocket, and somebody yoinked it right out. UK Post-punk journalist Vivien Goldman wondered aloud whether one day the music industry will regress back to medieval times, democratized to the return point of regional heroes, town bards, etc.. When Reynolds said the no-wave band Mars was the most punishing of the scene, China Burg, the lead singer of Mars who last night was going by another name last night I think, said, as if after the fact, "We weren't looking for followers."

Since the book does tease out differences between the UK and the US at the time, we got some of that too, specifically in regards to race relations. While Daly spoke fondly of Northern Soul's reception or how "reggae records could be top ten hits," Burg recalled Bob Marley getting booed off the stage at Max's Kansas City. There were boundaries, is how Chance put it; beyond racially they extended through genre, where Chance had trouble fitting into the avant-jazz loft scenes in Soho because jazz musicians refused to play with rock musicians. Tit for tat, UK's Goldman said the avant scene was much more welcoming by comparison, less jazzcentric and more "whimsical."

A strong but gentle host, Reynolds kept the speakers concise and moved them to share time, but in the end these are all people I would assume who do better expressing themselves musically than verbally. Otherwise we wouldn't have seen Green Day skewered or heard the phrase "geography is destiny" or other half-rockisms about when and where the music died (George Michael apparently built his career on "rock and dole.") "We need a general societal collapse," said Chance at one point, on something of a rant about New York's lack of creativity, high of cost of living, the usual. But then he said "Creativity is not democratic." Hey, he did write "Contort Yourself."


Download: Every Album Ever

SPACE FUNK (EXTENDED VERSION)

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Killah Priest dares you to download a Killah Priest album

The "New" MP3 Blogs

Jumping off the mp3blog co-optation paranoia, I got yet another email this morning about yet another new blog that doesn't just do the two-sentence setup, yousendit link punchline, funny rapper photo posts--it offers downloads for entire albums. The relative speed increase on web-based filesharing sites like Rapidshare and Zshare and a bunch others has helped this post one song--->post entire album transformation along, and the more lax these sites get with repeat downloads (i.e. site like Yousendit "expire" the link when it's been clicked enough times), the more we'll see of them.

Opinions are assholes, but some of these guys don't even go past the one-sheet, cutting and pasting album descriptions onto blogspot templates for what's often boiling down to sloppy, visionless file stashes. The pride is hit counts:

1000 users!!!!!
Filed under: Music

CONGRADS EVERYBODY!!!! we’ve hit 1000 users!!! and congrads to the user cvantez who is the lucky guy! Keep the good comments comin’ and we’ll keep the music playin’

Not really looking to get into the morality discussion, or the "what blogs can and can't do, what's a blog's real function, etc" one. We can take for granted that upping a new album from a living, breathing artist who supports himself off this stuff or wants to--that's pretty shitty, even if you disclaim that "All music posted here is for a 24 hour testing period. It is not my responsibility to make sure that you follow these rules, it is your own. I will not be held accountable."

MP3song blogs can rationalize teasing an album, drumming up interest, etc. The best of them have focus past NEW SHIT NEW SHIT, either curating old with new or taking advantage of the internet's collective memory to preserve some random seven-inch or mixtape freestyle nobody will remember if someone doesn't decide it should be.

But mp3-album bloggers barely get past a genre name. One blog, after putting up a rapidshare link for The Knife's Silent Shout LP, ripped Mark Pytlik's Pitchfork review completely, no credit. Other blogs barely move past the Amazon or AMG descriptions, since both websites are good spots to pick up album art too.

"A bunch of kids with lots of access but they don't know shit about music"--we've heard this before, and it's weird for me to be on the speaking side of it here, because I can't vouch for the "know shit about music" part anyway. But at least people are trying to process all this information, this horrific glut, trying to carve a path or a personality or their own genre even, branding themselves, etc. There's something to be said about the proper channels not because they were proper, but because they were channels at all--graduations of difficulty to score music that slowed down consumption, demanded processing.

What does interest me is that, we all laugh at the "24-hour testing period" line, but of course that's exactly the lifespan these albums might face now. Unfairly, since some need more time and others less, and the move could potentially be that good album=one that sounds good on computer speakers and is entirely legible on first listen. I'd be excited to see musicians keeping up those standards, the sorts of innovations they need to make. But here's yet another instance of information glut, with not enough gluttons. We're awash in sound but nobody's listening.

Live: Ariel Pink Takes Credit for Tammy Nyp Blog Hoax

GODZILLA BANKROLL

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"Yes that's correct, five snake pizzas"

Ariel Pink
Knitting Factory
February 24

Download: "Jules Lost His Jewels"
Download: "Helen"

Missed stretched-songers Belong, frustrating because that album is tops and would have loved to feel out the warm red and orange Fenneszian fuzz in real space, not just on headphones or in my sardine can apartment. Reports appreciated below.

Let's be reasonable about Ariel Pink. LA's backwoods/backwards DIY madman is not an idiot savant, not particularly backwoods or madmannish either. He's an artiste, and his put-on is that he dwells in the AM radio kitsch we've all forgotten about or given up on for the next big Next Big Thing. To another, he's something along the lines of a real-life Weekend at Bernie's where Pink is Jonathan Silverman and Bernie Lomax is decades of now-listless chord changes and spent turns of phrase and once bleeding-edge keyboard and drum sounds. I don't know where this leaves Weekend at Bernie's 2, but I'm pretty sure it probably has something to do with grime.

There's a place for this sort of crooked institutional memory, but it's uncomfortable, a little brute, on-the-nose. Pink's songs make it clear how quickly pop's tropes turn over, what a ruse timelessness actually is. The reaction itself is kitschy, like thinking about all the old Legos you had to take down and Brio trains that you just gave away, just so you could move in your Quadra 610 or new stereo speakers. But it is affecting, unsettling, and I imagine that's why some people really love this shit, and how it fits into others' endless fountain of the new agenda.

Pink is funny too occasionally, which excuses the headiness of this whole affair, and which goes back to the artiste thing--he knows exactly what he's doing. I don't know the song, but whatever one the scruffy, long-haired Pink--he was wearing something of a muumuu, thus casting himself as the Cobainish character from Last Days--but he just kept singing "Night time is GREAT! Night time is GREAT!" over and over, maybe ten minutes over the same keyboard loops (he had ditched last time's guitars and backing band, the Haunted Graffiti). At one point though, while pulling back his mane so he could see, Pink smirked a little, delighted in our discomfort. We don't get that smirk on the record obviously, but it really moves the "who's taking whose piss?" debate from Paw Tracks/Animal Collective curatorial hee-haw to Oh, Pink Has a Schtick, and I think I'm more excited about the latter than the former, even if it means the live performance was dogshit.

He played "For Kate I Wait," a few of the first songs from the first album of his everyone heard, all of them stretched out and always too long, letting the pop he redeemed destroy itself via overexposure, yet again. Pink had a few Gary Wilson moments (if we're generous), karoake moments elsewhere, ad-libbing falsettos and Idol posing, and that's all cute. But for so conceptual an act his mere physical appearance on stage really distracted. On record he's possibly brilliant, but live it's like seeing a porn star in street clothes, no makeup, boobs deflated, struggling to carry bags of groceries she bought for her family. Do you help her?

Miles Davis: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, But His Son Can't Afford a Ticket to the Party

RUN THE VOODOO DOWN

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I think you can buy that dress at Urban Outfitters

Spilt Milk?

The 21st annual Rock And Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony happens March 13 at the Waldorf Astoria--big ticket $$$ to foot the Waldorf bill prob but also because the Rock Hall is non-profit, no? You'd think they'd throw the media a bone (or a sandwich); instead, if you're covering this event, you're stuck in some backroom with TV monitors beaming in the ballroom blitz and (if you're lucky) ad hoc press conferences whenever any of the inductees choose to accept an invitation to meet the press. Right, like the Lynyrd Skynyrd dudes are gonna accept an invitation.

Inductees this year include Lynyrd Skynyrd, then a usual list of tokens: Black Sabbath (metal), Blondie (disco; woman), Sex Pistols (punk), Herb Alpert (not really rock and roll but "understood the spirit" dog), and Miles Davis (black; trumpet).

Weird thing we were tipped to this morning, Davis's first son Gregory--who if you've read the Miles autobios was the son who stuck close to his father around the Bitches Brew years, 68-69-70 and beyond, right when Davis was flirting with rock and funk and crazy sunglasses and wah-wah pedals and all the stuff that's getting him into the hall of fame--is apparently having trouble getting comped for the induction. "I was with him at an early age traveling with him, and as he got older and he got sick, I was the one that he called upon," says Gregory over the phone. He currently lives in the city, plays trumpet in a Miles Davis tribute band, owns 25% of the publishing rights for post-63 Miles material.

"The very period Miles is being acknowledged for is the period when Gregory was most closely associated with the music," says Gregory's lawyer Lloyd Jassin. "We were not asking for Gregory to receive the award, merely to be part of the cocktail reception. They were quite rude in dealing with me." Tickets for the event, report Jassin, cost about $2000 each, which Gregory just can't afford.

"It's a charity event. We're a not-for-profit organization, and this is our only fundraiser," says Elizabeth Freund, who handles the event's PR. The Rock Hall's policy is that each inductee only receives two comps, expectation being hey, these inductees are famous rock stars, they have the money to buy tickets for the people who want to come. They gave those two tickets to the Davis estate. "I heard they bought seven other tickets," says Gregory, "but none of them coming to me or his grandchildren."

Gregory blames his half-sister, Cheryl-Ann Davis, for systematically keeping him away not only from the Davis induction, but the Davis estate purse period--he was left out of the will. "They haven't offered me a penny that they've made off of Miles Davis's name," he says, pointing out that Cheryl-Ann isn't even Davis's daughter--she was born to Gregory's mother during her marriage to Davis, but by a different man. "There are no Davises in that institution that they call the Miles Davis estate. They're just throwing his music around, selling it for what they can get. Cheryl-Ann, she even said it out of her own mouth, she don't even like jazz, and he never did anything for me, which is a lie."

If Gregory was so close to his father, why was he left out of the will? Gregory says it's an elaborate conspiracy. "My father was told a lie on his deathbed," says Gregory. "I talked to his girlfriend, I had just entered Long Island University Brooklyn Campus, and I needed to buy a roundtrip ticket, I didn't have the money. His girlfriend talked to me and said, 'Gregory you really need to be here, tell the office to send you a ticket.' But they wouldn't give me a ticket. Two days later he was gone."

He just wants to raise a glass of champagne to his father, says Jassin--he'll even stand in the back and bring his own champagne. Gregory has a different way of putting it. "Why shut me out? I'm not a crazy person."


Exclusive: Best Exercise Music

YO HAND ME MY SURFBOARD

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Exceptercize

It's Gym Time at Riff Raff

Been a while since we've talked about the intersection of health and music here at Riff Raff--not that it isn't important. Since the concept of ripsters has moved past a hilarious thing I saw happen at gyms to a slightly less hilarious thing I watch myself do in front of the mirrors by the stretching area, I've been forced to think more about how--and, crucially, why--health and music should intersect when I'm ripping it. I'm talking about making exercise playlists.

Lots of short songs vs. one long song, rock music for jazzercising vs. jazz music for rockercizing (i.e. butt busting)--these are the exercise world's two big debates, and different people are going to tell you different things. My advice is: Take advice from your fattest friend--he never gets to the gym probably because he can't stop thinking about stuff like this.

New ripsters have found the short songs approach to work best, idea being, you are rewarded with a new song for every two minutes you keep going. It slices the workout, particularly in a cardiovascular situation, into small, manageable battles--sort of like cutting a pizza into eight slices, or cutting a pizza into four slices but remembering to do the napkin-grease thing too. 2manyDJ's As Heard On Radio Soulwax Vol. 2 seems to be a big hit in the short song circles; Haunted House Sounds Volume 4, a collection of 168 Halloween sound effects including four separate sounds made by ghost spiders, does not exist yet--but that hasn't stopped ripsters from ripping it on the treadmill to Volume 2's suite of angry snakes singing showtunes.

But say you've never ripped it. The worst possible thing to happen is: You've made it through 12 songs, but you've only been at the gym for about five minutes, which means you've gotten zero out of your workout. Take it from somebody who listened to snakes belting out the overture from Damn Yankees twelve times in a row--it's pretty disheartening.

If you're like that, might I suggest a different exercise playlist: one long, awesome track. The idea is to pick a song that can take you through your gym time start to finish, from swiping in at the door, to hiding your stuff in an unlocked locker because you don't want to pay an exorbitant locker fee, to ripping it, to yelling really loudly because the maintenance people stole your shit out of the unopened locker again.

Hey though, that's just cardio--that's where the big debate is. The weird thing is that everybody in gyms agrees on the music you're supposed to listen to for different exercises: rock music (benchpressing), Eiffel 65's "Blue" (hanging out in the locker room), microhouse (biceps), deep house (punching stuff), grime (returning the towel to the front desk), Wu-Tang Clan (eating sandwiches at the snackbar), Wu-Tang solo albums (hitting on girls), Daft Punk's "Harder Better Faster Stronger" (complaining about how expensive the gym is), "Harder Better Faster Stronger (Neptunes Remix)" (cancelling your membership).

And because I love all you crazy Brits threatening how you're going to beat me up the next time you see me on the BBC: Now's your chance to weigh in. What's your exercise playlist strategy?


T-Pain: A Riff Raff Interview

RIFFA TERNT RAFFA

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Going to the club

T-Pain: The Riff Raff Interview

After "I'm Sprung" got him on the Billboard Pop 100 charts, Florida "hard & b" artist T-Pain is back again with a new hit, "I'm N Luv (Wit A Stripper)". With the help of Mike Jones,T-Pain weighs the pros and cons of this love. Pain also reports he's produced Trick Daddy's first single from his next album, that Charlie Wilson/Snoop track, and recently wrote and produced a few tracks for Britney Spears--today, he catches up with Riff Raff.

I've been in love with strippers for a while. When did you catch the bug?

...

Wait where are you?

I'm in Miami!

I remember loving strippers there. What are some of your favorite strippers there.

I like Diamonds down here in Miami. Disheveled Fox, Magic in Jacksonville, Florida--man, I'm pretty much stripped out.

In your free time I bet you come up with some pretty great parody stripper names.

The most popular stripper name is Destiny. I definitely remember that one.

She's never a great stripper though, is she.

No, never. It's always the one that has the great name that's the suckiest stripper.

The name of your album is Rapper Ternt Sanga. Have you thought about naming the follow-up Rapper Ternt Sanga Ternt Stripper?

I haven't really thought about that one.

Right, but the thing with "I'm N Luv (Wit A Stripper)," is that it's not just funny, it's serious too. Think about all the strippers out there, and then think about all the men who fall in love with them. And then think about us.

And there it is.

It's very personal. Mike Jones is on "Stripper" too; did this make you sad?

He's one of my best friends. I was definitely happy about that. And no matter how much you guys are friends, it's hard to get other artists on a song.

On the track, you guys come up with a few reasons why it's good, encouraged even, to love strippers. Tell me about that conversation, the brainstorm session. Where were you?

He was in Houston. We were just talking about a song that's coming up on my album that he can get on. It was brainstorming what kind of song we should do together, and we both like strip clubs, so that was the concept.

Hey so we were talking about strippers. You're in love with a stripper in the song, but there are probably some things that bother you about them too.

Strippers are--they show off a lot, like, I want everybody to know I'm a stripper, I'm gonna try to seem happy in front of everybody. But then they go home and cry and don't know why... blah blah blah. That's the thing I hate about strippers.

And beyond that, it seems like strippers are always taking their clothes off. My question is, you're in the club, you're with some strippers--do they start taking their clothes off?

It's the things that they wear, period. They don't have to take clothes off, because they don't have much on to begin with. That's the problem with me.

So your problem is there's not enough stripping.

Like, I know you're a stripper. But I don't want people to see it when I'm with you.

If you were a stripper, would you keep T-Pain as your stripper name?

Probably, since it's already out there.

Do you think the "Pain" of T-Pain would scare people off? How about T-Bone?

...

You have that line on "Studio Luv": Stroke your body like I do my keyboard." As you may or may not know, I was wondering whether you've ever used that as a pickup line.

No, I haven't used that one before.

How about "I'd like to kiss your mouthpiece like I do my clarinet?"

Ha! Definitely not.

"I'd like to hit you with sticks like I do my drum kit?"

...

You can use that one if you want.


Dem Franchize Boyz: Riff Raff Interview

FACE BEATS UP HAND

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Oh man remember Porn Star clothing?

Dem Franchize Boyz: The Riff Raff Interview

From Urban Dictionary:

SNAP MUSIC: A style of music originating in the Dirty South. Unlike Crunk music, Snap music has a slower tempo but still talks about clubbin' and strippers. It is characterized by the finger snap effect in place of the snare drum. Different people may be able to take credit for originating this style from Fabo, D4L, & Dem Franchize Boyz.

To go along with the music, Dem Franchize Boyz have invented a dance, the "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It" (video here), which also happens to be a song on their new album, On Top of Our Game. I got one of the Boyz on the phone yesterday to talk about the dance's popularity, and the future of snap.

I want to talk about the dance.

What's going on.

Just the dance.

What about it.

It's the best dance I've ever seen.

We're trendsetters.

Did this come to you in a dream?

No it came from the "White Tee" song. That's what we used to do around the neighborhood. I like to think I added a twist to it, came over the song and everything, and the rest is history. It is what it is.

That's awesome. But why lean wit it first and then rock wit it? Why not rock wit it first?

Because in the dance you lean first, then you rock wit it.

So you're saying it would look pretty funny if you rock first.

Yeah it would look funny if you rock first.

Who's the best at this dance?

Parlae outta the Franchize.

How about among your friends, who's the best?

Oh yeah! Friends, fans, celebrities, athletes, everybody's doing it their own sexy little way. Ain't no exact way to do it. You do it how you want.

Right, like if you want to rock wit it first.

Add your little flavor to it.

Jermaine Dupri is probably pretty bad at this dance.

Oh yeah! He got his own little flavor. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Parlae do it the best.

Do you think the Lean Wit It Rock Wit It is better than the Macarena?

I mean, yeah. You really got to get sweaty, but if you want to get sweaty, you can.

One of the things you say in the song, gangsters don't dance--is that true you think?

Well, some gangstas don't. They just lean wit it, rock wit it. They might just set in one place, moving back and forth or moving side to side--or leaning and rocking.

It just seems like gangsters would want to dance. Like, you're a gangster--dance. Do you have any dances in the works for gangsters?

It just came about. In "White Tee", we were leaning and rocking. Folks started catching on. So Parlae figured out: Name the dance and perfect it, and expose it to the world.

People are calling your dance the Electric Slide of the South.

It's something like that.

Other people are calling it Atlanta's hokey-pokey.

Atlanta's hokey-pokey.

Yeah.

I ain't gonna agree with no hokey-pokey.

Snap music is big now; what's the next snap?

What's the next snap?

Do you think people will start slapping each other on the butt?

Excuse me?

What's the next snap?

If it ain't broke don't fix it.


Live: Gang Gang Dance Accept Blame for Cheney Shooting

BIRD SHOT

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Her arm is made of grapes

Rusty Santos + Gang Gang Dance
Cake Shop
February 15

GGD Download: "Nomad for Love"
GGD Download: "North Sixth 05.01.04"
Rusty Santos Download: "Live in Berlin"

Something says this wasn't for too public of consumption, this show, more of a who's who of Brooklyn musicmakers than a what's what, so inveterate and clustered a fuck Cake Shop played host to. "It's difficult, because I like them all as people--as human beings," was the most a man stepped into out-of-sympathy, which means I must have seemed four steps further gone, what with my scribbling and bottom-lip biting, the weirdo who shows up at the local grade school piano recital or scours iMesh for college marching band mp3s.

Singer-songwriter in scare quotes Rusty Santos, jesus fucking christ. He's a genius behind the boards, by no means the Animal Collective svengali but he knows how to make guitars sound awesome, electric mimicking acoustic mimicking electric, box-inside-box production that's both prettier and noisier than it ever lets on. But on his own, blame his boyish looks and lopsided mop, Santos tries for misunderstood Steding-type, bratty turned batty, something like a pop star past his prime and discarded on arrival, mascara running and tuxedo shirt untucked, his lovelost cliches piling on with frequent recourse to "heaven" and "hell" and "we will be one" and "touching the sky" which rhymes with "lie" and Santos is totally "wondering why."

He's clearly taken some cues from Ariel Pink, but at least Pink has the celebrity-obsessed Hollywood recluse backstory to sell his records and more practice dicking around the audience, mania, etc.. If Santos is going meta lo-fi, maybe even parody, he could stand to oversell it. But that's a terrible idea, since Santos does have a knack for dr. sampling, his first song a steady compounding of kneetaps and wordless coos, then later guitar scratches I could have listened to forever if Santos's words didn't get in the way.

As for Gang Gang Dance, tonight they were debuting new material post-God's Money, further away from the sludge and drudge of their self-titled Fusetron drones and the relentless percussion breaks of Revival and Survival of the Shittest, more into New Age, hipster Enya type stuff. Maybe it's adult-oriented reappropriation--the double drumming, part electric part acoustic, definitely keeps the Gang's jammier, more ethereal parts moving, and the lead GGDancer's vocal melodies have more form to them than not anymore, less reliant on the echo box, more blunt melodically--but I don't know. Maybe it's some bizarre take on "world music," Babel rebuilding project, pre-national even. There's a lot to talk about, of course, but other things--like how the night turned into a tall person pissing contest, tall douchebag after tall douchebag filing up to the front so nobody past them could see anything, and yes I'm talking about you, Snoopy-looking dreadlocks dude who would occasionally nibble on the tip of one dread like you were toking from your own brain--were more revealing.


Brrreeeport: Brooklyn's No Things

DO SOMETHING MAGICAL AND DISAPPEAR

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Rocking out to Jamiroquai
Photo: Alexis Scherl / flybutterphoto.com

Riff Raff "Totally Loving These Guys" Series

n0 things Download: "Just Say It"
n0 things Download: "Coward"
n0 things Download "Nina Pinta Maria"

Not the most popular opinion, but I loved that second Liars album, front-to-back, all the parts people said were unlistenable and all the others people said weren't unlistenable enough. Much was made of the band's lineup change before Drowned dropped--they lost bassist Pat "Nature" Noecker and drummer Ron Albertson, two Nebraskans who had responded to a Liars bassist/drummer want-ad around Brooklyn--and that shuffle crux'd too many reviews, that Nature and Albertson were the band's straight lacers, technically talented but meat-and-potatoes, while Liars' Angus Andrews and Aaron Hemphill were the artistes, brains of the Liars project, etc. Their relationship was symbiotic, the line went, and when the band split Hemphill and Andrews frumped about while the other two just disappeared.

All around, sorta not true. Come 2004, Noecker and Albertson along with voxist/guitarist Christian Dautresme started playing around as No Things (or n0 things). Given the split you'd think the band would go for some sound that's wildly different from their Liars work, but weirdly the tracks I've heard are uncannily like what Liars themselves have been recording without them--a move away from smart-alecky disco-punk and DANCING towards heavier "tribal music" and more tom-toms, yelps, interest in ambience, and so on. Curious is all, and shit, when Dautresme gets into falsetto for "Nina Pinta Maria" (linked above), he's dead-ringing for Andrews on the upcoming Drum's Not Dead, maybe even a little more convincing theatrically. No slight, Andrews's appeal is his amateurism, the discomfort he seems to give off in that range.

The other two songs No Things have up for download fall in that glorious region between Liars' first LP and the Fins to Make Us More Fish-Like EP, the last songs Noecker and Robertson cut with them. Which is to say, they're somewhere in neighborhood of dance-skronk or disco-noise, lyrics strung out an inch too far, so they start sounding deep or just crazy depending on how you handle incomprehensibility. It's not roundabout pop, but it is some sort of roundabout or freakish approximation of it; haven't ever heard a simple line like "I need your love" come off so goddamn creepy and desperate, the emphasis not on the "your" or "love" but on the "I" and "need" especially, bottles breaking in the song's background, cowbells a given.

The Best Valentine's Day Mixtape Ever

NOT SO MUCH TO BE LOVED

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Which means Code Red must involve some sort of assassin spider

Thanks, Mom

TMI, but my mother still sends me packages on Valentine's Day, even though we broke up several years ago. In addition to the Blue Mountain e-cards she seems to be drafting me every hour, I just got an email that says she has finished putting together an iTunes iMix Valentine's Day mixtape, with some new songs she thought I might like. I've copied/pasted her email below verbatim, with mom's personal notes on why she chose the songs she did. Apologies on her behalf for any grammatical/formatting errors; she's not technologically adept, but she means well.

Riff Raff Exclusive: Riff Raff's Mom's Valentine's Day Mixtape for Riff Raff

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY MIX!
BY MOM

BEYONCE FT SLIM THUG: CHECK ON IT !! YES! THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO, CHECK ON IT (YOU). HOW ARE YOU? YOU HAVE SO MUCH MAIL AT THE HOUSE

JAMES BLUNTS: YOURE BEAUTIFUL THIS SONG IS SO TRUE, WHEN I HEAR IT I THINK I HOPE YOU HEAR THIS AND HOPE YOU KNOW I AM THINKING ABOUT YOU WHEN I HEAR THIS. YOU ARE MY OLDEST SON I LOVE YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH

NELLY GRILLZ!!: GRILLZ THIS REMINDS ME OF SUMMER WHEN I WOULD COOK STUFF ON THE "GRILLZ" AND LISTEN TO THE RADIO HOPING THERE WOULD BE A SONG ABOUT HAVING SONS. IF YOU COME HOME I PROMISE I WILL CLEAN THE GRILL SO YOU DON'T GET SALAMANDER POISONING

ALL AMERICAN REJECTS: DIRTY LITTLE SUCRET I THINK YOU KNOW MY DIRTY LITTLE SEUCRET! [I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOUR SISTERS]

NATASHA BEDDINGFELD: UNWRITTEN PLEASE COME HOME

CHRIS BROWN: RUN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I KNOW YOU THINK THIS SONG IS MEAN BECAUSE OF WHEN I USED TO MAKE SURE YOU WEREN'T ALLOWED TO PLAY SOCCER FOR MORE THAN HALF THE GAME BECAUSE I WAS WORRIED ABOUT YOUR HEART MURMERS, BUT I HOPE YOU ARE 'RUNNING IT' IN THE WRITING SENSE (AND NOT SPORTS) PS DON'T JOIN YOUR FATHERS FANTASY LEAGUE

FALL OUT BOYS: DANCE DANCE DANCE!! (DONT DANCE TOO FAST NICK)

KELLY CLARKSONG: BECAUSE OF YOUBECAUSE OF YOU I AM A MOM! THIS SONG IS SO HONEST

NE-YO: SO SICK MAKE SURE YOU LISTEN TO THE LYRICS TO THIS SONG NICK, THEY ARE ABOUT SONGS! I LOVE SONGS

EMINEM: SHAKE THAT I KNOW YOU LIKE THAT PEEDI PEEDI SONG 'SHAKE' BUT SHAKE WHAT? I DO NOT LIKE UNCLEAR SONGS. THIS SONG IS MORE CLEAR, ALSO I WOULD MUCH RATHER YOU SHAKE SOMETHING, NOT YOURSELF. WHEN YOU ARE NOT HERE I SOMETIMES CALL THIS SONG 'SNAKE THAT'

BLACK EYE PEAS: PUMP IT LIKE A SOCCER BALL! PLEASE REMEMBER WHAT I TOLD YOU ABOUT SPORTS

T PAIN/MIKE JONES: I'M N LUV WITH STRIPPERS THI S IS A FUNNY SONG THAT YOUR SISTERS LIKE, I DO NOT LIKE IT BUT I HOPE YOU KNOW WHOEVER YOU BRING HOME IS FINE AS LONG AS SHES CATHOLIC

LOVE YOU!
BY MOM


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