The G-O-D

I'm running cutting down trees with fucking swords. I do this at night, not because I think I will get caught, but because I like being hidden. That's an important distinction. I have at least two swords at a time. And I sell drugs. I do it to prove a point. The point is people call me the antihero. 
I wear a black sweat suit and ski mask, black air forces. I hear black keys on the piano, whispering in the trees, rustling; the only sound outside of my speed, agility, my nasty racing through the woods. 
I steal from people. Sometimes they don't know it, sometimes I let them know it. I am like a human air force, a human strike team, guerilla, covert, a rambo-type motherfucker, except I'm fast. And I choose who hears me talk. 
The trees are only a byproduct of my one path: the swords are meant for people. They are vampires and all fang. Some may call me a cog in this system of dark survival- I AM the system. 
This nighttime-creeping that I live in, these acts that I do, this cutting that I rain down most heavily on the cityfolk, is hegemonic. I know that. I LIKE slashing. Most deserve it. They don't know anything about it. That's not an important distinction.
But I've already told you too much... The swords are vampires and all fang. The Swords are the P-R-O-P-H-E-T. The night is the G-O-D. 



How did I miss this in 2008? I kept scrolling through my iTunes ignoring things I have yet to hear until today, I found There's Me and There's You, done by the Matthew Herbert Big Band. The album's genre was the number eight, so I had to see for myself what this was.

I'd never heard of Matthew Herbert or his Big Band before, so I did some research. Apparently this album is about an abuse of power, and the British avant-garde, electronic musician, &c. recorded most of the Big Band's samples for the album in the British House of Parliament. Side question: Now that we got Obama, when is Girl Talk or Madlib going to do the same in The Capitol?

But, seeing as we are a blog that likes talking about our feelings, I'm going to get into how the first track made me feel, rather than talk about who Matthew Herbert is. (But I'd suggest checking him out, read the link.)

"The Story", the opening track, literally goes in with a bang. The following series of crescendos; electric spider beats, echo, drum, voices, bass, and fazed out guitar announce the beginning, which is the arrival of something potentially epic. I was a little disappointed when the final lift reached its climax and petered out,

until the horns chimed in, replacing heavenly layers of chaotic melody with smooth, funky soul. I felt suspended, for a brief moment in this transition, unaware of what would come next, wishing the introduction had been longer, or at least more thematic of the song itself, until the singer finally began.

Her voice so sexy and suave, she'd swoon as though she were moving her hips wherever she was when she sang it. I imagined her, hands gripping oversized headphones, pop-filter shielding her microphone from her face, eyes closed, mouth swaying and shimmying as she harmonized, moving and grooving.

But there was also a tinge of jagged lemon as her song vigorously tore away from the flow of the horn section. They say John Lennon was the lemon juice to Paul McCartney's olive oil, but the singer, whoever she is, seems to have both, moving between or somehow mixing the two.

After the opening track, the introduction, I find the album is incredibly diverse. Herbert mixes samples of many different types of these "nu-jazz" songs. Some are showtunes! SHOWTUNES! and I actually thought it was good?



As Promised

Recently, we have had some new feedback. As promised, if the feedback could be expounded upon, shall we say, more precisely, I promised to post it. here it is. please give us more feedback. we love constructive criticism in all forms...

when i read this tyler dudes shit, it sounds like hes bringing more attention to how dope he can write and how big his vocab is rather than what hes actually writin about. ya feel me? that pisses me off

why write more and say less when u can write less and say more? tell me, what sounds more real

"i bulls-eyed the song's heart, i plotted each fanfare, each cry" 


"i truly FELT the pain in that song"

in my opinion, when u leave it at that (or whatever) its like ur inviting whoevas readin into feelin it too without giving away too much. u let them experience it fo themselves

i dunno man, r my ramblins gonna stop u fools from writing like a buncha intellectuals who look down at fools like me and go "oh he must listen to t-pain, he must be uncultured"? probably not. ye i listen to hip-hop, maybe u guys should too... and not just the hiphop that pitchfork recommends. yall ever heard smif-n-wessun? bump some of "dah shinin" its a straight classic

dont assume i listen to t-pain. that fools got dolla signz in his eyez. 

i try not to overanalyze what i read and what i hear. thats what bitches do, which is why they neva know what the fuck they want in life. don't be a bitch... keep it simple boyz


A quick response...
We appreciate comments. We don't appreciate insults. First off, This is a creative writing blog, not a file sharing blog, or a US weekly, etc... In defense of Tyler, he never claimed that you/ the reader liked T-Pain (although we hope you do), he claimed HE liked T-Pain. As do I- and NOT ironically. Sincerity is something truly lacking in today's pop culture. That is what we appreciate about your comments. Respect, though, that we are also being sincere, expressing ourselves to our friends and those interested. That is what art is. That is why this blog exists- the whole meaning IS feeling. So it seems kind of pointless to say, this song made me feel something. That would get repetitive and dull. 
So, just for you, Levelle (and of course myself, which is why I started this blog in the first place), look out for some posts on hip hop very soon. But don't expect me to post it and say "I like this." This is a creative writing blog. Keep that in mind. Don't like it, don't read it.



Bon Iver - "Woods" (this is for sampling purposes)

Last week I was invited to a friend's home for dinner. I was not the only guest, and then there was her family, there were maybe eight or nine of us altogether so we had to collect chairs. I took an office chair, spent most of the meal rolling back and forth between the dining table and a computer, playing DJ. I played the new Bon Iver EP in its entirety and I couldn't contain my excitement for "Woods", which meant I blabbed all about the song, what it is, what it's built out of. I played it loud and I smiled BIG, BIG, BIG. One of my friends laughed and kept laughing; vocoders crack her up, auto-tune cracks her up. Her husband (an incredible musician, a thoughtful man) was struggling not to. He told me that, to him, the use of vocoder and/or auto-tune auto-matically "makes the song so urban." I felt compelled to recite the lyrics to them --

I'm up in the woods, I'm down on my mind.
I'm building a still to slow down the time.

It was a coat-of-arms, a panoply, not like prayer but like worship -- ostentatious, but beautiful. I listened through the table sounds. I thought if I told everyone to keep going with me, to wait until the end, then they'd listen too and they'd get it. I told them it was like Prince and I was mostly kidding. I told them it was like T-Pain and I was flat-out lying. I couldn't imagine how anyone could hear this music, really hear it, and hear urban, which to me suggests at a minimum that people run rampant, that the heat you feel comes from living bodies. The landscape knows your secrets. "Woods" is the landscape. It's dead, celestial and full. It could never be alone, it's too free.


[photograph by {the excellent} Derek Vincent]


Clay's Self-Reflections #1

Once and a while I will take some time to think about myself, my thoughts, my opinions, how things affect me and those around me and try to remember them or write them down.
I found a few in a notebook of mine recently...

Nirvana gives me a semi.
Thirteen going on kickass.
Do strippers have unions?
Found this yesterday:



Walked a few blocks too far.  They said it was 915, but somehow we'd managed to walk to 1080.  Fuck.  It was how many blocks past the subway? 

Found the place, seven bucks at the door.  Snuck in some 40s and drank them in the most clandestine way we could think:  in the bag.  put 'em at your feet when you're not.  

Some girl from NYU kept hitting on me.  

And somewhere between awkward conversations, Snakes Say Hiss, and some nonplussing hindie Brooklyn rock and roll, Hearts of Darknesses ripped apart the room, kniving through the audience: christ-like, subterranean group of twentysomethings and college students with the synth line in "Vibes".  

I was just standing there; paralyzed, St. Ides in hand, staring straight ahead, but inside I was dancing, repeating a phrase in my head over and over.  It was one that's been stuck in my head for months now.  

"Clementine, Everything is falling apart."  

A few weeks later, I'm sitting in the ruins, smiling out from where the walls once were.