In a recent music video by producer and rapper LE1F (watch below) the camera pans from a larger-than-life ice cream sundae to what could be the crooning lovers of LE1F and his beau (they’re actually best friends), behind them a kaleidoscope of candy-colored Gotham City lights. Singing from a high-rise apartment in Manhattan, the two could be at a birthday party at Def Jam studios or perhaps just broke in to celebrate by themselves, leaving mixtapes as evidence.
Listening to the Future, or 2011, will sound a lot like LE1F. A senior at Weslyan University, LE1F makes rap music that is as educated in hip-hop aesthetics as it is a complete departure from them. Situated partly in the gothic, brooding work of Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul or rapping with the morose weight of Z-Ro, LE1F draws on the gravity of crunk’s best while infusing it with his own brand of banjee queerness that blends, melts, and makes multi-flavored ice cream sundaes of 21st-century club music.
Amongst work for Das Racist and Spank Rock, LE1F is preparing his first official mixtape for release at the beginning of the year entitled Dark York. Limited to 100 physical copies, Dark York will be packaged in fully recycled material, and feature a combination of LE1F’s own productions, raps, and collaborations. To help fund this project LE1F is doing what future, next-level artists like himself should be doing—raising money from fans and supporters to subsidize projects. Check out a video he produced in honor of the fundraising, and then head over to Kickstarter where you can donate as little as a $1 to the fund. You’ll no doubt be tempted to contribute more though, as donations of $100 or more get the privilege of naming a track and a handmade wood pendant.
Also, download a LE1F collaboration from the Dark York mixtape with L.A. duo NGUZUNGUZU called “hate2wait,” which begins as a love song dedicated to internet-rap phenom and BASED GOD Lil’ B.
Two Fingers, Amon Tobin is all I needed to hear. I bought his first full length album. “Adventures In Foam” (Ninja Tune) from Wax Trax in Chicago back in 1996. The album produced under one of Tobin’s many alias’s, Cujo, was a limited edition release of 5000 units (I still have mine, the artwork and packaging is dope.)
Two Fingers is one of Tobin’s latest projects, with partners Double Click and Sway. The collective produced a series of bootlegs in anticipation of their debut album “Two Fingers” out on Big Dada on March 30, 09.
Below are tracks for your downloading pleasure, they are the first of 2 from the collection, Backyard Betty – Spank Rock/Dustmen Rhythm, and Best Best – Missy Elliot/Moth Rhythm.
This is what Trash Menagerie was throwing down during the month of September. Features, interviews, parties, and plenty’a mix and MP3 download. We’re snuggling in for the busy month of October. Have you started thinking about your Halloween costume yet? We’re looking for ideas, so please hit us up and let us know if you’ve got any. Last year we gave you a heads up on how to MAKE YOUR OWN DAFT PUNK COSTUME. Hipster Runoff offered up a bit of inspiration, “WTF SHOULD I B 4 ALL HALLOW’S EVE”, But is it “ok” to be a Justice this year, if you were a Daft last year?
A truly scary option, the United States Vice Presidential Republican
Candidate and current Governor of Alaska – Sarah Palin.
Hmm, I guess she didn’t get understand the memo regarding last year’s Halloween Party. It was a Nordic theme. Looks like she still won anyway, even though she didn’t really come close to qualifying.
Sarah Palin 7 Months Preggers “I can hide my belly in a sexy, yet sophisticated, little black business suit.”
Goodness, her belly is HUGE, she looks like she’s going to pop any day now, right?
This is what Demi Moore looked like when she was seven months preggers . . .
Photo: Vanity Fair
Sarah Palin’s Witch Doctor . . .
Other potential options – “Sarah Palin Mayor of Meth”, “Sarah Palin Miss Alaska”, “Sarah Palin Soccer Mom”. Wow, and to think, the election isn’t even over yet, we’ve still got a few weeks to go . . . goodness, i’m sure we’ll have so many more choices to choose from. Maybe i’ll pull off one of those “couple costumes,” and we can go together as “Foreign Palin Policy“. One of us will be Russia, and the other Alaska, and we’ll stand on opposite sides of the room and say “I can see ya over there, behave yourself!”
Even though September is coming to an end, streetwear supply company Krudmart’s September mixtape will continue to beone of my favorite mixes of the fall season.
Entitled, Autumn Love, Krudmart head honcho Steve Kream hand made this wonderful mix that stresses the feelings of fall. It’s getting darker earlier, the air is getting colder, leaves are changing colors and both sexes are wearing more clothing but romance, sex and love seem to be the highest this time of year.
Besides having great taste in music, Krudmart has great clothing and wares for purchasing. You can pick up a Mishka shirt, a pair of APC jeans, Sabre Vision Sunglasses, and head out on the town with Autumn Love playing on your headphones.
1. The Jets – Crush On You
2. Fred Falke – Wait For Love
3. Holy Ghost – Hold On
4. Nicolette Larson – Lotta Love
5. Sebastien Tellier – La Ritournelle (Metronomy Mix)
6. Hercules & Love Affair – Blind
7. Herbert – The Audience
8. Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You
9. Morgan Geist – Most of All
10. Spiller – Groovejet
11. Human League – Don’t You Want Me Baby
12. When in Rome – The Promise
13. Masters at Work – Deep Inside
14. Pnau – Baby (Breakbot Remix)
15. The Juan Maclean – Love is in the Air
16. Knee Deep – Big Love
17. Puzique – Don’t Go
18. Anita Ward – Ring My Bell
19. Luomo – The Present Lover
20. Royksopp – Remind Me
21. CSS – Lets Make Love (Spank Rock Remix)
22. Felix Da Housecat – Ready 2 Wear
23. The Similou – All This Love
Summer is coming to and end, its been a good one, kept me busy, got to do some traveling, made my way across the country and back a few times, ran into old friends, made some new ones, found myself at more day events and festivals than clubs, which was really great. Soon enough its going to be cold here in New York, and ill be taking shelter in a club and paying $8 for cocktails. Since i’ve been slacking in the post department, i’m going to try and make up for lost time with a “summery” of my 2008.
Santogold @ sound check for Radio 1 – Annie Mac show, WMC March 2008
Saw Santogold perform a few times, although unfortunately, I missed her dates with Coldplay. I did however see her just about everywhere else I went, on the side of buses, in the subway, in magazines, TV, on the wall of Terminal 5 when I went to see Brian Jonestown Massacre (Joel performed, it was great, nobody got in a fight, bummer.) Anyway, you get the idea, Santi is everywhere, repping in style for Converse Connectivity. I have to say, the campaign is pretty tight, they did good, no one is trying to shove blatant adverts your way, the micro site is crafty, there’s a lot going on, you can even design your own kicks, and sonically, the artists on board, I genuinely like and listen to. Someone in the marketing department did their homework.
Brian Jonestown Massacre, Terminal 5, New York July 25 08
Crowd gathering for Radiohead – Lollapalooza Chicago, Aug 1 08
Lollapalooza in Chicago was definitely one of the highlight’s of my summer, I traveled from NY with Spank Rock and crew – Amanda Blank, Devlin & Darko, and Natalie. Their schedule was as full as it could for the weekend, press, after parties, and of course, their Saturday performance on the Citi Stage. Everyone rolled in Friday night, and headed over to the festival site for Radiohead.
I ran into the Foals, which was a super unexpected and pleasant surprise. I grabbed a piece of lawn and had a few drinks with Yannis and Jack, caught up, talked about the past year, how things have changed since we had last had seen each other in New York, when they were recording their album. They’ve got the typical touring band schedule, traveling constantly, playing tons of great festivals, waking up and not knowing where they are. Yannis and I tried to recall what it was that we were debating a few months back in regard to minimal techno (we are both fans – Minitek!!! ), never did figure it out. Soon more Foals came to graze, a grass fight ensued, and it was truly an “Electric Bloom” moment when they started shoving chunks of earth down each others shirts, it was my “Warning Call” to make an exit, so I galloped away to wait in the mile long line for a Vodka and Vitamin water.
While I was waiting in line, Radiohead took to the stage, all day everyone I ran into was gushing in anticipation of their performance, I was no different. It had been almost 2 years to the day that I had seen them last, also in Chicago, but in a theater setting, this time, it was outside to a sold out crowd of well over 70k, I love festivals. When Radiohead went on, the masses were well into it as expected, I had a side view, so I wasn’t able to see much of the production, that being the massive LCD’s and light show, or even much of the band for that matter, but hearing was good enough. What I was able to see was the woman at the front of the stage signing Radiohead’s lyrics, dancing, and clearly having the time of her life. (Note to self – learn sign language, what a great gig to have.) During their performance I was filled in on the fact that Thom Yorke is in fact a big fan of Spank Rock, and listed the album, Yo, Yo, Yo, Yo, Yo, as one of his top 10 albums of 2007, my eyes bugged out of my head a bit. Really?
Spank Rock is also a big fan of Radiohead and Thom Yorke. For a slight second I wondered if there was anyway for the two of them to meet, considering they had this mutual artist respect thing going on. But I also realized it was probably next to impossible, i’m sure everyone and their mother was probably trying to have a chat with the band that night, plus, it was a massive show. I put to rest the idea trying to make the introduction, got back to reality. The band did a few encore’s everyone was blissed out, it was a very memorable evening. We took off right as they were doing their last song to avoid getting caught up in the mass exodus. 70k people all leaving at once is a bit much. After parties were popping off all over the city, Foals were DJ’ing, Bloc Party, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, all kinds of madness, but I was exhausted, and Saturday was going to be crazy so I called it a night.
Saturday, well, I ended up not hitting after parties, but went to a local bar and tied one on with some old friends. We made a late night run to Rockstar Dog’s, ordered a couple of “Los Lobos”, and “tots” and yeah, we felt like what we ingested. When we woke up the next day we asked ourselves what the hell were we thinking? Oh! We were not thinking, we were drunk.
No time to be hungover, there was stuff to do, no rest for the wicked. I headed over to the Hard Rock Hotel, to meet up with the Spank Rock crew for Spin & Metromix’s gifting suite. They threw down, excellent grub, fancy juices, energy drinks, spa services, and sweet schwag. This was good, I was starting to feel better. Then it was interview time, Ms. Amanda Blank was losing her voice, and was under Dr.’s orders not make a peep until the Lolla performance later that afternoon. She made a clever name tag and attached it to her shirt letting everyone know, hey, I can’t talk, and worked some sign language of her own. The girl is amazing, she still managed to convey what she wanted to say, and charmed everyone.
Spank Rock & Amanda Blank Interview for Metromix @ Lollapalooza, Aug 2 08
Interviews were over, the crew split up, Spank Rock (Naeem, solo) and I jetted off (actually crawled through major traffic) as he was DJ’ing at the Diesel store. It was his first gig outside of Philly, he’s been dj’ing regularly every Monday night at a party he started called The Jang House, it all goes down at the Barbary. I’ve been told by many this night is hot, and hella fun, so it’s on my “to do” in the very near future list. I’ve never heard Naeem DJ before, he plays an eclectic mix of retro, disco, mash-up’s, heard some Prince, said ‘oh yes, I love this too!”, when he threw on a remix of MGMT’s, “Electric Feel”, we both agreed the video was sexy as hell and wish we could have been in it.
It was nearing Spank Rock’s 5:00pm stage time, we high tailed it outta the Diesel store, jumped in a car, and headed to the Lolla site. The first thing that reached our ears when we got on site, MGMT, of course, go figure. We sighed, got over the fact we were missing their performance, and jumped on a golf cart that delivered us to the Citi Stage. Booka Shade was just wrapping up their set. For me, seeing them provided some solace for the MGMT loss, hey were amazing as always. Spank Rock took to the stage and performed to a charged up crowd, Amanda’s voice was in top form, the crew brought the party, Plastic Little jumped on stage and did a guest spot, everyone was caught up in their energy, the stage and the audience may have well been one.
The Lolla performance was over, but the day was is not, one more interview with Fuse TV, then back over to the Hard Rock for an after party performance with Mark Ronson and Spank Rock. We were starting to feel like we might be hitting the wall, festivals are fun, but they are hot, and have the ability to suck the energy out of you. Besides being tired, everyone was hungry, we had dinner reservations at the China Grill, which thank god, we didn’t have to go far for, as it was adjacent to the hotel. Dinner was excellent, but now we were really tired, time to rest. We made our way out the door mumbling about various things in our food comas, then everyone got really quiet. After we walked outside the door, we looked at each other, and all at once started talking – “hey that guy looked really familiar?”,”do you know that guy?”, “who was that?”, “was that Thom Yorke?”, “That WAS Thom Yorke.” We snapped out of our comas. Damn, It’s Thom Yorke.
All things considered, Thom being a fan of Spank Rock, and vice versa, we should go over and say hello, right? It was kinda too ironic that we were having dinner in the same place at the same time. But everyone agreed, interrupting him, or anyone for that matter, during dinner, who probably already has a hard time in the “peace & quiet” department, we didn’t want to go there. So we continued on to our rooms where we twiddled our thumbs. It was definitely one of those “what would Jesus do?’ moments.
We discussed the irony at hand. I thought Thom & Naeem should meet, it was kind of a no brainer. And I admit, I had my own selfish reasons, I also really wanted to chat with Thom first hand about music industry politics. I think i’ve easily done 20 + posts about Radiohead and/or Thom. When the band released In Rainbows, it was kind of a big deal.
Everyone I know carefully watched how the band’s, name your own price, self release, limited edition box set concept was going to unfold. For weeks it was the hottest topic of conversation. So the release day came, people got online and placed their order, and continued to watch the concept unfold. In my opinion, it was a beautiful. No, Radiohead didn’t fix everything that was wrong with the industry, and what they did, most bands can’t really afford to do. (I discussed this with LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, read it here). They did kick open the door of the major labels, and sent a very strong message. They gave their fans a choice, they made room for both artists and others in the industry, to do even more inspired and creative things, perhaps even take risks they might not have before. They let people know, that yes, you can release music in a non-traditional way and it can work. Not only that, you can do it on your own, they exact way YOU want to do it, real freedom of expression. And isn’t that what everyone wants? Not only in art, but in life.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I live for these kinds of moments, i’m all for pushing the envelope, DIY, thinking outside of the box, stick it to “the man”, all those common cliches. I feel i’ve fallen off course at this point, so let me get back to the story and how it all ends.
I lived in Chicago for 16 years, it just so happens that I know the manager of the China Grill, I figure I might as well take advantage of that, so I head back to the restaurant, tell him the story. He tells me that Thom and his friends were almost done with their meal, and adds that they are really pleasant, he offered to ask them if they would be so inclined to meet us. I agreed this would be appropriate, and so it goes, “Thom would love to meet Spank Rock”.
I made my way back up to our floor, and my heart fluttered a bit when I told Naeem, come on, we’re going to go and say hello to Thom, and so we did. I hung back as they spoke about music, production, the writing process, how it can be difficult and unnerving process. As an artist, you second guess yourself, wonder if what your writing is good enough, you feel pressure to create something and your not always sure where you’re going with it, or what it is you want to create. Thom shared that he most certainly felt like that, and felt most everyone does, its part of the process of creating, and if those moments where you question yourself didn’t happen, that would seem to be a bit odd, and that perhaps was when an artist should worry. So as it turns out, Thom’s just like the rest of us, word. We spoke about their performance the day before, I told him I really only got to see the woman signing, he said she was great, stole the show. I got my politics on, we discussed the interview he and David Byrne did with Wired Magazine, on the real value of music.
Thom said it was an interesting interview, rather quiet, not as much talking between the two of them as one might think. Which kind of surprised me, I would assume they would carry on for hours. However, I’ve seen a few live interviews with Byrne, he’s incredibly intelligent, insightful, (I closely follow his industry politics as well), but I could see why a bit of silence between the two, might be the case. There is a particular interview Byrne did that stands out, with Daniel Levitin (author of This Is Your Brain On Music), you can check it out at Seed Mag online. We also discussed the In Rainbows release, Thom was very humble, when I expressed how I felt about the release, he said the release was just a minor start toward rebuilding an ailing music industry, and that there is still a lot of work to be done, particularly when it comes to radio. We had been carrying on for some time now, espressos were to be had, they were off to a show the next day, and exhausted from a day of boating on Lake Michigan, we had our own show, call time was just an hour away, we said our goodbye’s and floated away.
Spank Rock hit the stage for the Spin & Metromix after party, the room was packed, but the crowd was a bit lethargic, however, when these guys hit the stage, it doesn’t take long to get a room going. Lindsay Lohan and Sam Ronson were in attendance with their posse, so in honor of the occasion, Spank Rock finished the set with Lindsay Lohan’s Revenge. I think the posse was caught off guard, as they exited the room before the song was over. Funny stuff.
Amanda Blank & Natalie – Hard Rock After Party, Aug 2
Naeem – Hard Rock After Party, Aug 2
I also hit a few Rock The Bells shows – saw Tribe Called Quest, Pharcyde, Mos Def, Nas, even a stellar, surprise performance in Denver from Black Star.
All in all, great summer, and as this post is quickly becoming a novella, I shall end it here, and leave you with this entertaining video of what I can only assume are cheerleaders learning new dance routines at summer camp to “Bump”. The dude the runs out to lead them rocks.