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 +10Posted on Jul 15th | re: Conor Oberst Rape Accuser Admits She Lied (73 comments)

This is such a terrible mess. I have a friend whose daughter accused a family member of rape. It was scary and everyone felt they were required to draw lines, even though the story was iffy. Without going into full details, her story was full of questionable information, so while we wanted to support her, we couldn’t help but wonder. In the end, she revealed the whole thing was a lie and it became apparent thereafter it was a symptom of a much larger problem. She got into even bigger trouble not long after, though she began going to therapy and taking medication and has since gotten her life together. Still, I have to wonder about her, as it is scary to think anyone could be accused by her regardless of their innocence.

Rape isn’t something to joke about, and I do believe that if someone accuses another of rape, it should be taken very seriously. A terrible event like this should not change that. But I do think all the facts must be considered before we damn someone for these things, especially when the evidence simply doesn’t add up.

I’m glad she came out and admitted it was a lie, though this is the kind of thing that will probably continue to destroy her life along with Oberst’s. As everyone has noted, many will never believe Oberst’s innocence, though just as many will never believe anything Faircloth ever says again. The problem with this is Faircloth wasn’t her real name and her true identity and appearance aren’t widely known, whereas Oberst is a walking target.

Whether you’re a woman or a man, rape is a terrible thing and must be taken seriously. Damn Faircloth for ruining someone else’s life and potentially damaging the credibility of those actually abused, regardless of her circumstances, but don’t take her misdoings as a justification to negate claims of rape or other abuses. We must take them just as seriously as ever, though we also have to be ready to ask the tough questions when issues arise. It’s a slippery slope, but the only way to deal with it is to do it right. That’s vague as hell, but saying we have to consider all the facts sounds terrible to others regardless if it’s true. Events like this make it clear how difficult these things get and why there has to be a better way to handle terrible acts and accusations like this, as well as why we need to find a way to break the stigma and shame that rape and abuse victims feel that keeps them from letting people know when they do need support.

Honestly, your “grumpy post” is completely accurate. I’m happy for her but if she doesn’t do something, AND I MEAN REALLY DO SOMETHING AND REALLY SOON, then who cares? She wasted her lead being difficult, and in hip-hop, or whatever she wants to call what she’s doing (didn’t she say she’s not a rapper despite rapping and not really singing?), that year or two killed her career, at least in the US.

I really liked 212 and Fantasea and I’ve wanted to hear more from her ever since. Here is her chance, and she better not screw it up, OR ELSE!

 +1Posted on Jun 17th | re: Premature Evaluation: Aphex Twin Caustic Window (9 comments)

It is officially a Caustic Window release. I would assume the major publications are calling it an Aphex Twin release for just the reason you stated.

 +6Posted on Jun 11th | re: Album Of The Week: clipping. CLPPNG (19 comments)

The arguments about Death Grips being unintelligent or MC Ride not rapping are both wrong, though there is some truth to latter issue.

Ride can rap, yes, but apart from his work on Exmilitary and The Money Store, he hasn’t done much resembling rapping since. Yes, he raps on No Love Deep Web, Government Plates and N___as On The Moon, but it’s not very formed and his vocals are generally dominated by his shouts and rants, coming off more like hardcore, as arsetothat stated, or a sample-based manipulation than a coherent message. Furthermore, for every intelligent reference on The Money Store like sloppymilkshake’s aforementioned quote from Hacker (“sandwiches named after me”, etc.), there are lines like “I’m the coat hanger in your man’s vagina” from Deep Web.

What really stands out is that Death Grips aren’t a “rap” or “hip-hop” group, despite Ride rapping at times. Also, I don’t feel like their more recent work is nearly as interesting as what they were doing two years ago, with some of their material feeling phoned-in, but that’s just how I feel. After all the weird things they’ve done over the last two years, I don’t know whether to take them seriously or not, which is probably part of their grand plan. If so, they’re masters at disillusionment, though it could also be they’re just not as good as they were.

True story: I was at an indie shop I frequent recently and the guy behind the counter was chatting with me about clipping. and Death Grips. His words, which I thought were brilliant, were that “Death Grips are like a Will Ferrell movie; you can never take him seriously, even when he’s trying to be serious, because he’s always looking to yank your chain”.

To bounce back to clipping., I really like their new album and feel it’s a big move forward from their previous release. Diggs sounds much more inspired and focused on both of these releases than on his solo mixtape, and despite being heavily noise-influenced, Snipes’ and Hutson’s beats are so much more than just clicks and glitches. The storytelling and production are top notch and I can’t wait to hear more from them.

Two final things: First off, Tom, I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but Williams Mix is an interpretation of a John Cage work of the same name, and they even credit him as the author of the piece in the credits to CLPPNG. If anything, it’s more of a shout-out to one of their influences than simple abstraction or noise for noise’s sake. That might not make you enjoy it more, but I think it’s important for framing the perspective. Second, I suppose you didn’t have to mention Snipes’ history in Captain Ahab, but I think that also shows some of where clipping.’s influence and style comes from. He was in a group messing with standard concepts of music and performance, much like Zach Hill is with Hella and the ten-thousand other groups he’s contributed to. Death Grips and clipping. have a lot in common, though I hope people are able to see past the easy comparisons since both groups are otherwise almost completely different from each other.

 +2Posted on Nov 23rd, 2013 | re: Grimes Responds To Criticism From Dogmatic Asshole Vegans (192 comments)

Grimes fits into my “basically a Vegan” category, because she’s a Vegan but doesn’t adhere to the requirements 100% of the time. You’d be amazed how many militant Vegans do this but won’t admit it or make an occasional mistake but justify it. I think she’s Vegan, and she can do what she wants, but of course if she started eating all kinds of non-Vegan foods I think she would lose that label. People slip up, people take little breaks, things happen. Sometimes it’s necessary, and not just because it might be all that you have, you might need a break from extremities. So attacking her, at least to me, is ridiculous, especially by the holier-than-thou Vegan community. She says she’s a Vegan, she’s a Vegan. Like the gentlemen who mentioned himself being basically straight-edge, I’ve said that about myself as well since I’ve never did illicit drugs of any sort (NONE! I know, hard to believe, and I’m not discounting anything, I’ve never even smoked pot.), never smoked a cigarette and rarely drank alcohol (I’ve never gotten drunk.). I have sex though so I know I’m not straight-edge, not to mention I don’t feel a need to be a part of that community, I feel it’s belief system is too extreme, and while I don’t think I’ll ever use drugs or get ripped on alcohol, I feel it’s my choice. If I do it once and never do it again, I won’t refer to myself as basically straight-edge, but I will say that I don’t drink regularly or use recreational drugs. But Grimes, she’s a Vegan, she believes in Veganism, and she practices it, I would assume, most of her life quite seriously. So, she’s a Vegan. Good for her. And for anyone hating, stop it, it’s not attractive and won’t get you laid. Though if you’re straight-edge, that probably doesn’t matter.

Am I going to get negative votes for those last lines?

 +2Posted on Feb 15th, 2013 | re: Baauer And Azealia Banks Beef Over "Harlem Shake" Takedown (27 comments)

This is so ridiculous. I think Azealia is great, but not even her supposed bisexuality makes it okay to call anyone a “faggot”. I understand hating Perez Hilton, as he is the penultimate internet troll, and I understand getting pissed at Baauer for being completely wrong in this situation, but using the other F word is not acceptable. Of course, some will say, “if Odd Future can get away with it, why not Miss Banks?” It isn’t cool for Tyler to say it, no matter how great he and the rest of the OF crew are, and it isn’t cool for Azealia to say it. It’s worth noting that Perez has said it before as well and it wasn’t alright then, no matter how much the masses hate Here’s hoping someone will either set Azealia straight about this or we’ll at least learn something about her that takes the edge off this topic, a la it’s a communal thing where she was raised or lives and it’s acceptable there, much like OF. Again, that won’t make it alright, but it makes it easier for people to ignore.

All of this said, Baauer is clearly an idiot if he has never seen rappers freestyling over his beat. If it’s not acceptable for Azealia Banks, El-P, or any number of other rappers to rhyme on his beat, why is it okay for everyone with a phone or a webcam to upload a video of them dancing like idiots to his beat? Is he this frightened by free publicity that earns no one other than himself money? I’m sure this is just as big an issue in the hip-hop community as Azealia using saying “faggot” to others. In the NY hip-hop community there might even be some improper argument making it acceptable to call someone a “faggot”, but not letting everyone rap over your beat? Someone is going to get some serious hate over this, if not serious damage to their still young career.

Last things on Azealia, all of this could also be stupid press activity. Are we really to believe that her label doesn’t monitor her actions? Would it be surprising to find her label is involved? How do you react to the bisexual woman from club culture using a derogatory word that she might be allowed to use by some unwritten rulebook? It would have been another thing entirely if she had used the term or something similar during the Angel Haze brouhaha, but perhaps she or her handlers are sharp enough to know that wouldn’t have been good? I read something where someone said Haze had bested Banks with both of her tracks, but only her first had truly devastating lines while her second sounded like the rant of a petulant child who couldn’t bother to record their response with anything beyond a micro-cassette recorded. Azealia’s rap wasn’t better, but her presentation certainly was and is. She’s smart enough to have made it this far, I’m sure none of these things are mistakes, so let’s take this all with a grain of salt. What more, while once again stating it’s not acceptable to use THAT WORD, would we care if it was a hard-nosed male rapper saying it in a freestyle or Twitter feud? Everything about “this” feels like there is a double-standard.

 +3Posted on Feb 14th, 2013 | re: Deconstructing: Chris Brown, Surfer Blood, And Villainizing Entertainers (114 comments)

I feel like your article is missing the point, though its heart is in the right place. Personally, my issue with someone like Chris Brown is that he did something terrible and continues to act like it was nothing and that he’s worth forgiving. He can have good songs and people can like them, but it’s one thing to screw up once, it’s another thing to keep doing it and acting like we’re the ones messing up. When Chris Brown beat Rhianna, if he had honestly said “I’ve done a terrible thing” and repented for his actions I’d have less of an issue with him, but it’s well documented that everything he’s done since seems half-assed, and he continues to act like a repugnant jerk. There is a moment when you have to put your career to the side and acknowledge there are more important things than your fame, fortune or recognizability. He clearly hasn’t gotten there yet.

Regarding the fellow from Surfer Blood, I don’t know much about him and will openly admit that. It’s well known that couples, even loving ones, have fights, sometimes quite violent ones. I’m not saying that’s alright or that they should stay together, but do we know the whole story? I’m sure only those involved know all the facts about the Chris Brown story, but the kernel of truth shines through Brown’s actions, and that kernel says he’s an asshole.

Let me jump to another well-known musician, or at least formerly better known, that has had issues with violence against their lovers. Nick Oliveri was kicked out of Queens Of The Stone Age for beating up his girlfriend. Josh Homme has openly noted that Nick is and always will be his friend, but he wouldn’t allow him to remain in his band as he didn’t support his actions. Josh has a criminal record himself, but he hasn’t beat up any girlfriends or wives to the best of my knowledge, and I guess there is a line between being an outlaw and a villain. Is that kind of stupid? Yeah, but I’d much rather support the person with good intentions who is concerned about those around them than the one that isn’t. All of this said, Nick has had multiple problems since, has substance abuse issues, and has been trying to rectify them. Is he innocent? Of course not, but unlike Chris Brown he’s got a surprisingly better track record.

I have a hard time supporting anyone, be it monetarily or via publicity, if I know they’re doing wrong. 2Pac is recognized as a star and classic by many, but I’ve always had an issue with a guy that was convicted of rape and could openly yell to the world about his hatred for other rappers that was fueled by record label politics. I don’t buy his records, don’t support his legacy and don’t like more than a few songs I’ve heard by him. I care even less for Chris Brown. I choose to dislike everything about Chris Brown because I don’t see anything redeeming about him, and I don’t want to hear his songs or look at his art because that’s how I feel. Furthermore, his attitude continues into his art, with the infamous “beat the pussy up” line in a mixtape after the Rihanna incident. Why is that so shocking? I don’t hear anyone defending Ike Turner. And like Chris, Ike never made a real attempt to right his wrongs, and he deserves to be ignored for that. I’m amazed R. Kelly keeps getting chances, though I get the impression he might not fully understand how insane he looks to the public. Chris Brown has no excuse.

Okay, my attempt at a well written rant is over.

 0Posted on Mar 31st, 2012 | re: Sign "O" The Times Turns 25 (28 comments)

Okay, I’m a die hard and I easily fall into the trap of this being my favorite Prince album. That said, I think it’s fair to say, whether you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Prince fan (with purple pubes no less?) or a newcomer, this is easily one of his most satisfying and engaging works. If I ever felt the need to make a desert island disc list, this would surely be on it, and it would probably be the only thing I’d need by Prince to be included. It’s just so… complete. Funny to think it was almost a triple album, one of equal quality but certainly not as concise, if you can label a double album that.

I’m also of the minority that doesn’t look at Purple Rain as a favorite, but more as a very targeted attempt at making him a megastar. Great songs there, all of them, but it doesn’t have the same cohesive vibe of his best works. 1999, Parade, Dirty Mind, they are all so nicely formed. Even his later period works like Come and The Gold Experience are frustratingly underrated, although Gold treads a similarly difficult line as it wants to include everything in one package, logic be damned.

I’m hoping that sometime soon, Prince will come to his senses and embrace his back catalog with reissues and some of his countless, unreleased recordings. At the end of the day I’m sure he wants to get paid first and foremost, and good for him, that’s the American way after all, but I feel like he’s forgetting all the people that would gladly pay if gave them the opportunity. Make your bank account and your fans happy, Prince, because your fans will thank you time after time, whereas your accountants are just glad you’re paying them.