Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"as long as you owe me, you won't get a damn thing, sir."

"state of grace" by raekwon is, far and away, the best rap song i've heard all year. this makes me REALLY excited for only built 4 cuban linx part two. as many of you know, the first installment of cuban linx is my all-time favorite rap record. let's hope the rest of the album is this amazing.

Monday, November 28, 2005

i was wrong.

i only admit being wrong for self-gratifying purposes:

i was in the car on the way to work this morning, and i hear a really great punk song. it sounded as though it was from the early eighties or something. then, i listen to the chorus:

"i bet that you look good on the danceflooooooor..."

no fucking way. i was wrong about these guys. then, i listened to more songs, and realized that i was making a premature reaction to all the hype they had been recieving. my bad.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

mike jones gets punk'd!

Nothing's better than watching people like Mike Jones get punk'd. I've decided to live-blog this for you guys in all its' glory.

10:11 PM: "This rapper started his career by writing songs for strippers." Uh duh!
10:12 PM: The punk starts. All Mike Jones is doing is laughing and chilling with his buddies. In an Escalade.
10:13 PM: An angry driver complains that the Escalade is in his way.
10:13 PM: Mike Jones gets into a minor disagreement
10:14 PM: A kid slams his bike into the Escalade, flies over the hood, Mike Jones freaks out.
10:15 PM: Mike comes back to the scene, is questioned by police. "It's some suburban kids!" Cops argue with Mike and the angry driver
10:15 PM: "Man, that bullshit! He lyin!"
10:16 PM: Mike Jones admits that he doesn't drink. Suuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrreeeee.
10:16 PM: Angry driver gets arrested, Mike Jones still bitchin' about the incident.
10:17 PM: Ashton shows up: "Why'd you take off runnin'?"
10:17 PM: Mike Jones admits he got punk'd. Bethanne cries because this punk was lame. Besides seeing how much of a wuss Mike Jones really is.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

live review: the long winters [featuring ghost stories and slender means]; the crocodile cafe; friday, november 25, 2005.

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i could have sworn that the show started at nine, so i get to the croc at about 8:50, and there were people standing in line. this being my first time at this particular venue, i just decided to do as the romans. a good-looking young woman asks noone in particular, "is this the line to get in?" "i have no idea," i replied.

finally, we were let in, and i promptly headed towards the merch booth, where i ritualistically buy a couple of buttons [it's tradition: i've done it for every show i've been to]. a clean-shaven john roderick was peddling his own merch, and so was sonny votolato, the guitarist for slender means. i gave them both a copy of the north caroline ep as a present, and they both thanked me sincerely, which was really unexpected but very flattering.

after about a half-hour, ghost stories took the stage. they played their first number, which was a slower piece for the audience to get their toes wet to. from that very first song, i was hooked. i suppose i'm just a sucker for indie-pop bands, but everything about their set was top-notch. the boy-boy-girl harmonies, the instrumentation, the fast-slow-fast-slow pace of the set; everything. if i had to give them a comparison, they reminded me of the comas. plus, the multi-instrumentalist had this keyboard that had a mouthpiece. a keyboard.... with a mouthpiece! i wish i knew the correct name for it, because i want one. i tried to google the band, but nothing comes up about them. they have no website, no myspace [trust me, i looked there, too, and the ghost stories that they had was like a screamo band], just a lasting impression on my brain. someone please give that band a record deal. UPDATE: here it is: http://www.myspace.com/gstories

slender means took the stage shortly after setting up, and you can tell that the young kids [well, young as in "early 20's", due to the fact the show was 21+] were there to see them. they had a really nice following of pretty young women and their boyfriends. oh yeah.. music. i almost forgot. slender means sounded very tight and professional at the show. you'd think that they had a major-label deal or something. as far as the sound, if i had to make a comparison, i'd have to bring up the cars. slender means is going to be big. you heard it here first.

as the clock struck midnight, the guitarist for the long winters comes onstage, and starts playing a riff. then, the drummer comes out and brings the beat in. the bassist joins the duo, and they all play whatever they're playing. then, a tall figure struts onstage. it's john roderick. IN. A. FUCKING. CAPE. priceless! they jump into the first song [and i'm not intensely familiar with their catalog, so i couldn't name it for you if i tried].

let me tell you something: john roderick is the king of onstage banter. "so, we have a new ep out. we really wanted to do a full-length album but the label wouldn't let us, because that's not 'indie', so we came out with an ep."

a heckler shouts, "and you didn't have enough songs!"

"AND.. we didn't have enough songs."

i would post some of the night's best quotes, but there were so many, that i wouldn't know where to start. like, seriously. i'm drawing a blank, but take my word for it. oh, and if you ever want to have john roderick explain to you why the long winters don't do encores, ask him. it's very complicated.

seeing the long winters is like going to your best friend's college dorm for the weekend. the only people you know out of everyone is them, but they do everything they can to make everyone feel like part of the party. it wasn't like they were the most technically-proficient live act ever, but i'll be damned if i had more fun at another show. sometimes, that's what a great live act is all about.

set highlights: "cinnamon", john's solo acoustic version of "ultimatum", and the two songs from the long winters' forthcoming album. EVERYONE shouting along to the chorus of "the sound of coming down" ["you know noooobody's chasin' us..."] and john's banter in general.

her skin is cinnamon.

i just woke up. i didn't get home from the long winters show until about 2am. expect a full-review [no pics, sorry] when i get home from work. until then, here are some spoilers:

+ john roderick's wit is legendary, and his onstage banter rivals bob pollard's as the greatest of all time.

+ the good-looking kids all came to see slender means.

+ if it weren't for john roderick's charisma, amazingly strong voice, and overall ability to keep the crowd in the palm of his hand [oh, did i mention his banter?], ghost stories would have been, without question, the best band of the night.

see you all in a few hours.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

the nme's cool list. not very cool.


today, the nme put out their annual "cool list". names like pete doherty, brandon flowers, and a cornucopia of british [and american] musicians that i've never fucking heard of, are all on the list. here are some of my thoughts about the top 20 artists on this list.

number one. alex turner from the arctic monkeys:
[i still don't know what all the fuss is about over this band. i must be a hater, because i don't hear the greatness. i hear a bunch of libertines covers.]

number two. liam gallagher of oasis:
[his grumpiness and shit-talking is legendary. i don't necessarily agree with everything he says, like his views on bloc party, my favorite british band SINCE oasis. but we need more rock stars like liam gallagher. rock stars who aren't afraid to say whatever the fuck they feel.]

number three. kanye west:
[ummm.. i can't say enough that kanye's coolness is overrated. he's an ambitious artist, but there's nothing cool about pretentiousness, unless you're liam gallagher.]

number five. brandon flowers:
[he's not really that cool. he started a beef with the bravery, and then had the gall to say that they started it. sure, he wears eyeliner and dior jackets. but, he's just a boring dude trying to be a rock staar.]

number six. devendra banhart:
[finally. someone who really is cool.]

number seven. pete doherty:
[he's a creative dude, but self-destruction isn't cool. it worked with kurt, but pete isn't as much of a genius.]

number nine. bob dylan:
[of course he's fucking cool, but this is common knowledge. you don't need to put him on a list. saying "bob dylan is number nine on this list" is like saying "pete doherty is cooler than jesus." blasphemy.]

number fourteen. julian casablancas:
[sure he's cool. but he didn't do anything this year. he's really fucking cool, though. i guess he deserves to be on the list.]

the rest of them, i don't either know about [the only things i know about the girl from be your own pet is that she's like 18 and she's HOT], or didn't care to speak on [billie joe armstrong and gerard way, here's looking at you]. for the most part, the list didn't do anything for me. maybe next year. maybe next year.

game gets dropped!


douglas: so, dr. dre is rumored to have dropped the game.
bethanne: haha. no way!
bethanne: that's because the game probably got hit on
douglas: angie martinez [a dj on the insanely popular hot 97 radio station in new york] is the one that said it on the radio.
bethanne: damn
bethanne: i'll be on watch for MTV's news and see if they bring it up. haha
douglas: haha; good idea.
bethanne: totally
douglas: damn. the game is having the worst year ever. i kinda feel sorry for him.
bethanne: dude, he tattooed a TEAR and a BUTTERFLY on his face
douglas: the tear is a gang-related symbol. the butterfly is unjustifyable, though.
bethanne: oh really?
bethanne: i didn't know that about the tear
douglas: yes. it really is.
douglas: i can name about four or five rappers who have them.
douglas: plus, i've seen gang members with them.
bethanne: okay, i can forgive the tear
bethanne: but the butterfly?
bethanne: i mean, shit, i have a butterfly too
bethanne: but i'm a girl
douglas: true.
bethanne: girls are allowed butterflies
bethanne: see, this is why i was rooting for karamo from real world philly in his knife fight with the game
douglas: hahahaha..
bethanne: at least he has balls to admit "yeah, i'm a thug and i like cock!"

Monday, November 21, 2005

brrrrr... long winters.

i'm going to see the long winters on friday.
expect a review on like saturday night or something.
maybe sunday night. it depends.

Friday, November 18, 2005

i can't stand the sight of a motherfuckin' tattle: such a waste of life.

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(photo courtesy of the fresh cherries from yakima myspace site: another shameless plug.)

i just wanted to get everyone excited for the month of december, where i will be doing a month-long year-end special, where i will post a list every day. but don't tell anyone. it's a surprise.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

the 40 best bands in america: armchair novelist edit.


so, the big news of the day is how information leafblower made their second-annual "top 40 bands in america" list. i suppose this list is going for quality instead of who is REALLY at top, because if that were the case, we'd have bands like goddamn nickelback on the list. most of my favorite blogs were invited to send their top-ten lists, and since i'm an unknown in the blogging community, i thought it would be appropriate to make my own top-ten.

also, in an event suitable only for the scourge of the internets known as "the armchair novelist", i am going edit information leafblower's top-40 list. i'm not going to change anything around, you anti-revisionists; i'm just going to add my opinions.

armchair's top-ten american bands for 2005:
(no worries: fresh cherries from yakima is nowhere on this list)

one. the decemberists:
[arguably] america's best songwriter started off the year with a well-recieved solo tour with an outstanding morrissey covers ep, that's not only probably selling for ghastly amounts on e-bay, but further heightened his legendary obsession with [arguably] the world's best living songwriter. in march, he and his troop of vagabonds came to seattle and put on one of the best shows i've ever seen in my life [with people singing along to the then-unreleased album, which wouldn't be out for another four days]. our hero released the album, traveled the world, brought paper whales on stage, and covered fleetwood mac with death cab for cutie in new york. colin meloy should be having the best year of his life.

two. death cab for cutie.
released their major-label-debut, and got in the top five. say what you want about ben gibbard, but for a seattle boy like me, death cab for cutie getting the credit they deserve is like the seattle seahawks winning the superbowl. although plans is not their best work [like i've said before; it's not their worst, either], if transatlanticism is the album that got them to the big dance, plans is the album that will turn them into future prom kings.

three. clap your hands say yeah.
i first heard about this band from brooklyn vegan, and from there, the hype was a big mushroom cloud. they self-released one of the best albums of the year, and has a direct distribution deal in america [no label, bitches]. they get more shine than the band they're opening for. and after what should be called "overexposure", they're still riding the wave all the way to the bank [they make $8 off of every album sold, bitches]. plus, "in this home on ice" is the frontrunner for song of the year.

four. bright eyes.
now, although you can't put the words "conor oberst" without putting "pretentious" in the same sentence, with i'm wide awake, it's morning, the boy done good. he actually caught up to the massive amounts of potential that critics were gassing him up with. if he learns how to get off of his soapbox and stops preaching to the choir about the ills of society, and focuses on writing songs as fucking good as "landlocked blues" and "lua", then all of those "next-bob dylan" claims will have a little merit.

five. mf doom.
[arguably] the world's best rapper, known for being notoriously prolific, hasn't let us down in 2005. although he [only] came out with one album this year, and he jumped in bed with a major corporation to do so, it's still [without question] the year's best rap album. what else did he do this year? he hopped on a sped-up soul sample, and became one of the only known people in the world who can absolutely BURN rza on his own beat. that's right, my favorite rapper still has the game sewn up like thread and bobbin' bonus pack.

six. sufjan stevens.
in the second-installment of his absurdly ambitious "50 states project", he created what a vast majority of critics are calling the best album of 2005. sufjan effortlessly balances emotion [the "oh my god" in "john wayne gacy jr.'], sincerity ["chicago"] and humor [his five-night stand in new york city, where each night had a different theme] unlike any other songwriter of this generation. sufjan will undoubtedly go down as the definitive singer/songwriter of this decade.

seven. iron & wine.
both of his full-length albums are critically heralded. all of his ep's [especially the two he released this year] are the most impressive run of non-album material this side of NOBODY. only kyp malone from tv on the radio has a more impressive beard. and he's the father of two young girls. you fucking wish your dad was this cool. not even MY dad is that cool, and my dad looks like jay-z.

eight. kanye west.
hate him or love him, sometime this year-- before or after the now-classic george bush rant [us black people have been saying georgie doesn't care about us for like six years, now. it's not exactly a shock], before or after he paid two million dollars to make his sophomore album, before or after his tantrum at the american music awards [and subsequent... and predictable.. redemption at the grammy's]-- kanye west unseated eminem as the world's biggest rapper. if only for that reason, he gets applause from me.

nine. devendra banhart.
with cripple crow, devendra steps out of the stupidly-named "freak-folk"genre, and becomes an acclaimed songwriter. this effort is easily the most expansive record of his career, creatively as well as musically. plus, his backing band's name is "hairy fairy". oh, and he has the third-most impressive beard in indie-rock.

ten. okkervil river.
they opened for the decemberists in the spring, made what is more than likely the best record of 2005, and not much else. let the music speak for itself.

honorable mention: tv on the radio, ryan adams.

armchair's edit of the top-40 bands in america:

one. sufjan stevens. [deserves to be here. 'nuff said.]

two. the national. [should be lower, just because their opening band upstages them on a nightly basis. i know it's the hype's fault, but if the national had album of the year, they wouldn't have this problem.]

three. kanye west. [should be on the list, but not so high. way to blow up his ego. like he needed it or something.]

four. lcd soundsystem [don't care for them. don't see what the fuss is about.]

five. sleater-kinney. [finally getting the respect they deserve. the new album's overrated, though. my sister, who almost exclusively listens to r&b, really likes "jumpers", though.]

six. the hold steady. [sorta like harvey danger, but the singer doesn't sing. so, it's like harvey danger meets art brut. they're okay.]

seven. green day. [they made the most artistically ambitious album of their career, and they got rewarded heavily for it. american idiot is the only green day album i actually like.]

eight. the fiery furnaces. [UNDOUBTEDLY, the most polarizing band of our generation. you either love them or you hate them. noone says, "fiery furnaces? they're aiight, but nothing special." me? i can't stand their music. that's just one man's opinion, though.]

nine. the decemberists. [my number one. my second-favorite band of all time.]

ten. spoon. [britt daniel is one of the most underrated songwriters in music today. "i turn my camera on" is easily one of the best songs of 2005.]

eleven. the mountain goats. [john darnielle is one of the only living american songwriters that will put on equal billing as colin meloy, and that's saying A LOT.]

twelve. my morning jacket. [don't love them, don't hate them. they're okay.]

thirteen. fiona apple. [definitely the comeback kid of 2005. give her a game ball.]

fourteen. rogue wave. [they're not a knockoff shins like people think, but they're also certainly not as good.]

fifteen. bright eyes. [i've said enough about conor. i really like dude's songs, though.]

sixteen. kelly clarkson. [double-u, tee, eff? seriously. someone's got some explaining to do. i think her indie-cred is due in whole to hipsters' obsession with irony.]

seventeen. death cab for cutie. [fuck backlash. i still love them.]

eighteen. animal collective. ["who could win a rabbit" > feels as a whole.]

nineteen. ryan adams. [mark my words. 29 is going to be the best record of his career. even better than heartbreaker.]

twenty. crooked fingers. [i can't say anything, because i've never heard a crooked fingers song.]

twenty-one. kings of leon. [my friend ryan saw them when they opened for u2, and said they are amazing live. i really like "taper jean girl."]

twenty-two. we are scientists. [meh, they're late-comers into the genre.]

twenty-three. devendra banhart. [should have been higher. i guess there's no demand in america for spanish folk songs like "in niel". it's my favorite off the album.]

twenty-four. okkervil river. [golly, they're good.]

twenty-five. mf doom. [in an alternate universe, mf doom would be where kanye is on this list.]

twenty-six. gwen stefani. [i used to have a crush on her in 7th grade. i'm so over it.]

twenty-seven. andrew bird. [he's the most amazing whistler i've ever heard.]

twenty-eight. black keys. [did they do anything this year? oh well, they're good.]

twenty-nine. someone still loves you boris yeltsin [i've heard of them, but haven't heard them. blogs, you have forsaken me.]

thirty. two gallants. [they're good enough to be on saddle creek. then again, so is criteria.]

thirty-one. american analog set. [another band i've heard of, but haven't heard. oh well. something tells me i'm not missing much.]

thirty-two. sunno))) [something tells me i don't want to hear of these guys.]

thirty-three. the juan mclean. [not really my thing; that's all.]

thirty-four. giant drag. [i've heard one song. and it's prety good. i know better bands that should be on this list.]

thirty-five. iron & wine. [he's had more and better releases this year than a lot of people. it's a fucking crime sam beam's not higher on this list.]

thirty-six. wilco. [they didn't do much this year, but still should be higher.]

thirty-seven. antony and the johnsons. [i'm not really into the band.]

thirty-eight. out hud. [meh...]

thirty-nine. john vanderslice. [one of the better songwriters on this list, but still comes in lower than both kelly clarkson and gwen stefani.]

fourty. explosions in the sky. [double meh..]

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

o, danielle.

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now, everyone who reads the armchair novelist knows that i don't regularly champion bands/artists; deconstructing popular culture is more my forte. however, last night, i was checking my myspace account for fresh cherries from yakima [shameless plug: http://www.myspace.com/freshcherriesfromyakima], and i had a friend request from a young lady that makes music. i went to the site, and her music was so fucking good that i was amazed that i had never heard of her.

this is from her myspace site:

Danielle Stech Homsy was born into visions and questions. With a gay Syrian painter and a Ukrainian flamenco dancer for parents, peculiar circumstance and mysterious blessings were the norm, laying the foundation for the peculiar and mysterious artistic expression that would eventually come. Danielle's songwriting reflects a vast scope of influence from techno to traditional folk to early and contemporary classical, drawing on literature as well as music, from ancient to avant, and incorporating elements of chance. Her crystalline vocals, delicately strummed baritone ukulele and found sonic elements evoke the strange delight of a dream where the dreamer's authority is always in question. In her own words, it is "music that wants to listen as much as be heard." Danielle has performed and recorded with a variety of artists, including Tim Fite, Devendra Banhart, CocoRosie, Larry Yes, and the Art of Flying. She is a part of the French/International collective the Black and White Skins, and her song "Everyone is Someone's" was released this year on a compilation of the same title. Her album A Bride's Guide to Waiting Music (purchase on website) is an art object inside and out. It is not to be missed.

my advice to you all is go to her myspace site, listen to "tiger trap" and "everyone is someone's" [fuck it, listen to everything, but those two are my favorites] put her on your blog, and PLEASE DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO MAKE THIS WOMAN FAMOUS! if anyone deserves it, it's her. http://www.myspace.com/daniellestechhomsy

p.s. i don't think the young ladies in cocorosie are racist. i was overreacting. i even like some of their music [keyword: some. it's really hit-and-miss].

the g-unit book club.


so, as most of you already know, mtv books has signed an unprecedented book deal with 50 cent. i could insert a comment here regarding the illiteracy of g-unit, but that would be plain juvenile. 50 cent is the literary genius that brought us timeless pieces such as "just a lil bit" and "candy shop". in an exclusive post to end all exclusive posts, riff raff runs through tentative ideas for upcoming g-unit books. maybe a couple of them will go on largehearted boy's "52 books in 52 weeks" campaign. post-script: happy birthday.

god bless curtis jackson for contributing to the literacy of inner-city youth.

Monday, November 14, 2005

no shortlist this year.


so, apparently, due to marketing disagreements or whatnot, there will be no shortlist music prize this year. to indie snobs such as myself who see it as the only award that really matters, today is a really fucking sad day. a new shortlist-esque prize is being formed, called the new pantheon, which has such credible judges as dave matthews and elton john. douglas martin could not be reached for comment.

Friday, November 11, 2005

the only black guy at an indie-rock show.

[click on "multimedia"]

if you ever find a black girl dancing to gbv, and she's cute, please e-mail me. i could use a girlfriend these days. thank you, largehearted boy; you're doing the lord's work.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

metalface wednesdays!

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sorry for not posting the brilliance that is doom for the last couple of weeks. i'm behind.

"no names [black debbie]"

Well, Debbie thinks this is all about her biological clock
And I...
She stopped screaming long enough to tell you that?
[Marco]Huh? No no no no, no, the other Debbie
Debbie the teacher?
[Stormy]Oh, you mean... {*whispering*} Black Debbie
[Sparks]Whoa whoa whoa whoa, why is she "Black" Debbie?
[Stormy]No, not in a BAAAD way
It's just to tell them apart because she's... black!

[MF Doom]True, Doom rolled on through with a whole crew
That stole on you for holding old brew, who told you?
Even if it's crap, mind your own business
They raps ain't got no gift like a lonely Christmas
Real phony with beats that's hardly fresh
How they manage to deal is anybody's guess
Yours is as good as mine, she's sure fine
From the hood where you squeeze your nine off the free cheese line
All you saw was a {*edit*} do a bee's line
to where she stood and sipped the Nehi Grape, the sweet kind
Circle you, thicker by de-sign
Be-hind swingin like bring it back, come rewind
Uhh, excuse me boo
She stuck out her tongue, it was purple number two
FDA approved played it smoother than a doo rag
What a brother gotta do to get a taste a some of you?
Bagged, and he don't mean coach
Then she saw the mask, acted like she seen a roach
The mirror shine reflect colors like your CD's
Show love to others, we all brothers like the Bee Gees
All except the broads and you
Hold your applause, they break God's laws and who pays?
The taxpayer that's who
Catch a rapper by his toe and smack off his tattoos
That's gonna leave a bruise
Leave 'em grievin blues like believin in evening news
They must be eatin glue
Heave it all back, and we even Steven Sue
Sprinkle lyrics like seasoning beef stew
and sneezin all in it after breathin in the flu
Get a clue, his reasoning is askew
As to all the feverin and heavin up goo
Either that or... dude
Leave your girl around this man whore and she's too screwed
Just in case she's in a "what you wanna do" mood
Bring your plate to the Metal Face and get your food chewed...
tastes like chicken
He wastes no time like the bassline kickin in
Or like a lace eye with you through thick and thin
Raw humor, face pie to a frickin chin
New York'n, a hell of a finer town
Choose your words wisely from the Boogie Down to Chinatown
Or be found with a hole in your designer gown
In the role of public opinion it earned a minor frown
If you think you're slick, you might could wish, but uhh
As a few good men set sights to link with your chick
You have to find a new hen fight to drink your liq'
Ten years later, see how Enzyte'll shrink your... wallet
As you wallow in a sorrow pit
Cheers, is that your beer kid? Then swallow it
or get chased by the Sandman, on some Apollo {shit}
Flow so weird, his own peers couldn't follow it
On the phone, he sounded like a real paid {"whoa whoa whoa"}
Then we met in person, he was three shades blacker
That's why he saved money over ball and chain dames
We all the same, no callin names

I'm as smart as him!
What? I got Ph.D's in four scientific disciplines
Why do you think they call me Dr. Quinn?
Um, I just thought that was a nickname
You know, like Dr. Dre

Monday, November 07, 2005

yeah, it's old news, fuck it.

Ladies and gentleman, I bring you the never-changing Paris Hilton:

And this is what your daughters are striving to be as they grow up.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

college kids are stupid.


it couldn't have been rigged, due to the audible reception the corporate screamo bands were getting, according to brooklyn vegan. ALL of the best bands/artists got snubbed. the only bands that i like that got an award were death cab and muse.

question: since when did college make you stupid?