Monthly Archives: December 2009

Joe Lieberman Cordially Invites You To Another War

Joe Lieberman was one of the most vocal supporters of invading Iraq after the attacks of September 11, 2001. He also harbored fantasies of being John McCain’s Secretary of Defense and can barely restrain his enthusiasm when the bad guys get what’s comin’ to ‘em (even if it’s only in a Hollywood film).

Lieberman likes expressions of American power. A few years ago, I was in a movie theatre in Washington when I noticed Lieberman and his wife, Hadassah, a few seats down. The film was “Behind Enemy Lines,” in which Owen Wilson plays a U.S. pilot shot down in Bosnia. Whenever the American military scored an onscreen hit, Lieberman pumped his fist and said, “Yeah!” and “All right!”

The Anatomy of a Blogger: The Stu Reid Experiment

The Stu Reid Experiment is a Boston-based music blog that stimulates your brain and melts your face.  BTR challenged TSRE to a couple thought-provoking questions, and they have insightful commentary on geography and technology, as they relate to music.  Enjoy songs from artists like Alela Diane, Mountain Man, Darwin Deez and more.  For even more, be sure to visit The Stu Reid ExperimentTune in now!

00:00 DJ Mimi (In The Mausoleum – Beirut)
00:38 Waving At The Shore – Throw Me The Statue
05:05 Chris of The Stu Reid Experiment on Alela Diane
05:47 To Be Still – Alela Diane
11:08 Don’t Haunt This Place – The Rural Alberta Advantage
13:40 Zack of TSRE on TSRE
14:50 Two Weeks – Grizzly Bear
18:51 Animal Tracks – Mountain Man
21:12 Chris on Bon Iver
22:00 For Emma – Bon Iver
25:35 None Shall Pass – Aesop Rock
29:27 Ben of TSRE on TSRE
30:24 The Horror – RJD2
34:33 Volcano (Lavaflow Mix) – Anti-Pop Consortium
37:40 Zack on geography and music
39:50 Ambling Alp – Yeasayer
43:48 Walkabout (w/ Noah Lennox) – Atlas Sound
47:45 Ben on music and technology
50:09 Warm Heart of Africa (Metronomy Remix) – The Very Best
53:04 Chris on Darwin Deez
53:38 Radar Detector – Darwin Deez
56:41 DJ Mimi (In The Mausoleum – Beirut)
57:25 If I Had a Heart – Fever Ray


Mountain Man
Feb 6 @ Book Zoo – Oakland, CA
Feb 13 @ The Josephine – Seattle, WA
Feb 14 @ The Northern – Olympia, WA


RJD2
Dec 31 @ City Hall – Denver, CO


Anti-Pop Consortium
Jan 30 @ Howard Gilman Opera House (BAM) – Brooklyn, NY

BTR DJs Pick Their Top 10s of 2009

December 30, 2009

Circle the wagons, it’s time for the BTR DJs to drop lists. This is the music that left significant impressions upon us in 2009, and if you listen to BTR regularly, a lot of these picks should be obvious. Each DJ lists 10 albums and 10 songs that really struck their fancy, in order or not in order, depending upon their personal whims. Like  a favorite food, different things work for different people, you know?

Much love and thanks for listening to BTR all year long!

DJ Wynn

Albums (10 to 1):

Moondagger – Deastro
Welcome To Mali – Amadou & Mariam
Con Law – Generationals
Ambivalence Avenue – Bibio
Jewellery – Micachu
It’s Blitz! – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Ecstatic – Mos Def
Two Suns – Bat For Lashes
Veckatimest – Grizzly Bear
Merriweather Post Pavilion – Animal Collective

Songs:

“Build Voice” – Dan Deacon
“Sleepyhead” – Passion Pit
“Ship” – Micachu
“When They Fight, They Fight” – Generationals
“Stillness Is The Move” – Dirty Projectors
“Causers Of This” – Toro Y Moi
“Two Weeks” – Grizzly Bear
“Jealous Of Roses” – Bibio
“Walkabout” – Atlas Sound feat. Panda Bear
“My Girls” – Animal Collective

DJ Madalyn

Albums:

10. Darlings – Yeah I Know
9. Ducktails – s/t
8. Here We Go Magic – s/t
7. The Antlers – Hospice
6. Real Estate – s/t
5. Woods – Songs of Shame
4. Smith Westerns – s/t
3. Japandroids – Post Nothing
2. Wavves – Wavvves
1. Micachu and the Shapes – Jewellery

Songs:

10. Dan Deacon – “Snookered”
9. Bishop Allen – “The Ancient Commonsense of Things”
8. Harlem Shakes – “Sunlight”
7. Generationals – “When They Fight, They Fight”
6. Blake Miller – “Tomorrow Sorrow”
5. Air Waves – “Shine On”
4. Best Coast – “When I’m With You”
3. Alela Diane – “White As Diamonds”
2. Wavves – “No Hope Kids”
1. Japandroids – “Young Hearts Spark Fire”


DJ RePete

Albums/EP’s:

Throw Me The Statue – Creaturesque
Almost Charlie – The Plural Of Yes
One Eskimo – One Eskimo
The Sounds – Crossing the Rubicon
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Higher Than The Stars
Speech Debelle – Speech Therapy
Bishop Allen – Grrr…
Violens – Violens EP
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Matt & Kim – Grand

Songs:

Here We Go Magic – “Fangela”
Big D & The Kids Table – “Doped Up Dollies On A One Way Ticket To Blood”
One Eskimo – “Hometime”
Phoenix – “1901”
Throw Me The Statue – “Hi-Fi Goon”
Skidmore Fountain – “Cloudless Blue”
Matt & Kim -” Daylight”
Gates of Berlin – “The Curse Of The Kiss”
B. Fleischmann – “Not Given Lightly”
Bishop Allen – “Oklahoma”

DJ Drew

Albums:

10 Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II
9 Phaseone – Thanks But No Thanks (Online Release)
8 Groundation – Here I Am
7 Andy Milonakis – Hot Soup (Online Release)
6 Weird Al – Internet Leaks
5 Dinosaur Jr. – Farm
4 The Points – The Points
3 NOFX – Coaster
2 The Black Seeds – Solid Ground
1 Pissed Jeans – King of Jeans

Songs:

10 Converge – “Damages”
9 Sean Bones – “Sugar In My Spoon”
8 Boozoo Bajou – Same Sun (Tontelas Roots Version)”
7 77 Klash – “Code For The Streets”
6 Ninjasonik – “Somebody Gonna Get Pregnant”
5 John Brown’s Body – “The Gold (Dubmatix Runnin’ Remix)”
4 Fucked Up – “Year Of The Rat”
3 Pissed Jeans – “Human Upskirt”
2 Weird Al -” CNR”
1 NOFX – “Creeping Out Sara”


DJ Patrick

Albums:

1. The Hunches – Exit Dreams LP
2. Nunparty – S/T CD-R
3. Times New Viking – Born Again Revisited LP
4. The Twerps S/T CS
5. Home Blitz – Out of Phase LP
6. The Yolks S/T LP
7. Fever B – The Sailor Sessions EP
8. Degraders – Psychedelic Friends LP
9. Nobunny – Raw Romance CS
10. RTFO Bandwagon – Dums Will Survive LP

Songs:

1. Nunparty – “Frida’s Birthday Bash”
2. RTFO Bandwagon – “Like a Dan Shearer Over Troubled Water”
3. Psychedelic Horseshit – “Sun-Bleached Kool Aid”
4. Sea Lions – “Beautiful Day”
5. The Mantles – “Don’t Lie”
6. The Cave Weddings – “Bring Your Love”
7. Christmas – “Winter”
8. Meth Teeth – “Never Been to Church”
9. G Green – “Crap Culture”
10. White Wires – “Pretty Girl”

DJ Lottie

Albums:

Heartless Bastards – The Mountain
Casiotone For The Painfully Alone – Vs. Children
Julie Doiron – I Can Wonder What You Did with Your Day
Grizzly Bear – Veckatemist
Benjy Feree – Come Back to the Five and Dime Bobby Dee Bobby Dee
Tim Fite – Change of Heart
Alec Ounsworth – Mo’ Beauty
Here We Go Magic – Here We Go Magic
Lou Barlow – Goodnight Unknown
Karl Blau – Zebra

DJ Audrey II

Albums:

Dirty Projectors- Bitte Orca
Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavilion
Fever Ray – Fever Ray
Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career
Tim Hecker- An Imaginary Country
Why?- Eskimo Snow
Ducktails – Landscapes
A Sunny Day In Glasglow – Ashes Grammar
Holiday Shores – Columbus’d The Whim
Robert A.A. Lowe – Fazo IV: La Kvalito de Speguloj

Songs:

“I Knew” – Lightning Dust
“Sleepyhead” – Passion Pit
“When I Grow Up” – Fever Ray
“It Took The Night To Believe” – Sunn0))
“Bicycle” – Memory Tapes
“Seagull’s Flight” – Ducktails
“Phones Don’t Feud” – Holiday Shores
“James” – Camera Obscura
“Ecstacy” – jj
“100 Years Ago” – Tim Hecker


DJ Chris H

It’s been a great year for Australian and New Zealand music in 2009. As always, some top quality releases battled it out for my Top 10. I tried to whittle them down as best I could so here are my best AU/NZ albums in no particular order:

Call Signs – Black Cab
They Blind The Stars, And The Wild Team – Decoder Ring
Moon Sweet Moon – Via Tania
Songs For Tuesdays – Summer Cats
Mister Pop – The Clean
My Electric Family – Bachelorette
Champagne In Sea Shells – Liam Finn & Eliza Jane
Cosmic Egg – Wolfmother
Heavy Profession – St Helens
Zounds – Dappled Cities

And my honorable non-AU/NZ mentions:

The Warp20 Compilation
Islands – The Mary Onettes
A Certain Distance – Lusine
Ambivalence Avenue – Bibio
Goodnight Unknown – Lou Barlow
Zebra – Karl Blau
Columbus’d The Whim
– Holiday Shores
Veckatemist – Grizzly Bear
Con Law – Generationals
Bitte Orca – Dirty Projectors

DJ Latola

Albums:

Tyondai Braxton – Central Market
Cass McCombs – Catacombs
Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle
Micachu – Jewellery
Dan Deacon – Bromst
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue
Morningbell – Sincerely, Severely
ASPE – The Dark

Songs:

“Even Think” – Drink Up Buttercup
“The Duck And The Butcher” – Tyondai Braxton
“Causers Of This” – Toro Y Moi
“King Mango Strut” – Morningbell
“Golden Phone” – Micachu
“The More That I Do” – The Field
“The Believers” – Fol Chen
“Gilberta” – Jumbling Towers
“Snookered” – Dan Deacon
“Harmonia” – Cass McCombs

DJ Emily

Songs:

10) “Golden Phone” – Micachu and The Shapes
9) “Jealous of Roses” – Bibio
8) “Stolen Houses (Die)”- Iron and Wine.
7) “This Tornado Loves You” – Neko Case
6) “Daylight” – Matt and Kim
5) “Stillness Is The Move” – Dirty Projectors
4) “Blood Bank” by Bon Iver
3) “Two Weeks” – Grizzly Bear
2) “Ships With Holes Will Sink” – We Were Promised Jetpacks
1) “1901” – Phoenix

Link to this article:
http://www.breakthruradio.com/index.php?b=article.php?id=1266

God Bless Weirdmerica

December 30, 2009

00:00 DJ Madalyn
00:51 Feel It All Around – Washed Out
03:54 Sad Sams – Toro Y Moi
06:46 Should Have Taken Acid With You – Neon Indian
09:05 DJ Madalyn
09:21 Modern African Queen – Ganglians
12:44 Onward Flour – Julian Lynch
15:05 Heartpaper Lover – Marissa Nadler
19:03 Red Oak Way – Lotus Plaza
23:08 DJ Madalyn
23:38 Before My Voice Fails – Gang Gang Dance
28:56 Glass Blocks – These Are Powers
32:32 Conch – Ecstatic Sunshine
35:07 DJ Madalyn
35:27 1928 – Califone
39:50 He Who Flattened Your Flame Is Getting Torched – Danielson
42:36 Please, Please, Please – Hortlax Cobra
47:50 DJ Madalyn
48:42 Visiting Friends – Animal Collective

Animal Collective

1/8 – The Museum of Natural History – New York, NY

Califone

1/26 – New Frontier On Main – Park City, UT

1/27 – Egyptian Theater – Park City, UT

1/28 – Holiday Village Cinema II – Park City, UT

1/29 – Broadway Centre Cinemas IV – Salt Lake City, UT

2/7 – Adams Center – Missoula, MT

2/9 – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall – Porland, OR

2/10 – The Paramount Theater – Seattle, WA

2/12 – The Royal Theater – Victoria, BC Canada

2/13 – David Lam Park – Vancouver, BC Canada

2/15 – Nothern Alberta Jubilee – Edmonton, AB Canada

2/16 – Southern Alberta Jubilee – Calgary, AB Canada

2/17 – TCU Place – Saskatoon, SK Canada

2/19 – DECC Auditorium – Duluth, MN

2/20 – Overture Center for the Arts – East Lansing, MI

2/21 – Wharton Center for the Arts – East Lansing, MI

2/23 – Hamilton Place Theater – Hamilton, ON Canada

2/24 – Centennial Hall – Londong, ON Canada

3/9 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL

3/10 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL


Neon Indian

1/8 – Empire – Sydney, Australia

1/9 – Chillwave Festival – Melbourne, Australia

We’re All Friends Here

It’s the comedy chat show with boundary issues! Join hosts Mark Normandand Matt Ruby as they bring New York City’s best comedians onstage to open up about their personal lives, sex, drugs, religion, race, and more.

00:00 Mark Normand and Matt Ruby Intro
01:30 Mark and Matt Live
27:01 Mark and Matt
28:00 Robert Dean Interview
47:40 Mark and Matt
49:55 Eric Bergstrom
82:30 Mark and Matt Outro


Blaine Perry


Robert Dean


January Adds: Featuring Computer Perfection, Ideal Soul Mart, and Little Girls

Computer Perfection

We Wish You Well On Your Way to Hell

Computer Perfection are a five piece outfit from Detroit, Michigan, featuring ex members of Pas/Cal. The band has only been around a short while, but has been receiving lots of attention after their standout performance at this year’s (2009) CMJ festival in New York City. The group released their debut, We Wish You Well On Your Way to Hell on Le Grand Magistery, and it is great! The twelve song EP is filled with dreamy, psychedelic pop. The entire album has beautiful melodies and harmonies that are really far out.

The music is full of synthesizers and can become quite crazy when there are no vocal.  For example, “Maurice on the Water” is entirely instrumental. Other tunes like “How I Won The War” are straight up pop hits.

See them live:

Dec 31 2009   Magic Stick -Detroit, MI


Ideal Soul Mart

Ideal Soul Mart

Ideal Soul Mart is an Austin, Texas based duo consisting of Clay Fain and Adam Luikart. The two came up with the idea after the demise of their other bands, Crawling with Kings, Emily Sparks, The Ashes, Friends of Lizzy. and The Drawing Board.

The duo named their group after a convenience store in Austin. Their MySpace page explains it like this:

The original Ideal Soul Mart is a convenience store on the east side of Austin that sells the usual assortment of alcohol, soda, and snacks – but unfortunately, not a shot at better living, or a fresher start, like the name might imply. The hunger for a more ideal something is what drove multi-instrumentalists Clay Fain and Adam Luikart out from behind the wreckage of previous bands and back onto the stage, booking shows before songs were written and working it out in front of the crowd.

Their eight song debut is full of high energy pop, delivered straight to you by the duo. The two create a sound thicker than what may be expected from a small outfit. The guitar is beautiful, but keeps to a minimum allowing for percussion and piano parts to fill in the spaces with quirky nuances.  I recommend “Don’t Fight It”, “Wrk”, and “Head is Full”.

Little Girls

Concepts

2009 has seen it’s fair share of lo-fi bands come and go. Writers seem to love them and talk about them excessively. Music kids flock to their shows, and other bands want to be them. Honestly, I can’t wait until it’s over. There is one band that can pull off this sort of style and that’s Toronto’s Little Girls. The lo-fi use in their album, Concepts, takes more of an artistic approach. The eleven song album, released on Canada’s Paper Bag records was written entirely by Josh Mcntryre between December 2008 and August 2009.

McIntyre’s approach is simple and defined throughout the entire album. Simple, danceable drum beats, guitars with lots of reverb, and the standout, muffled background vocals. My favorite part of the entire album are the guitar parts. They are simple, yet very eerie. The music has a dark tone, and takes many influences from post punk. My only question is, How many albums can you make like this?

Concepts lacks definition from song to song, that is why I have little hope that a second album would even be necessary. To me, an album like this is a piece of art on it’s own. A follow up would seem silly and excessive. From start to finish, the songs are very conceptual, taking the listener from track to track without altering the mood. I would say that as long as you are happy recreating the past, being part of a short lived era or part of the saturated scene of hipster lo-fi bands the album is perfect and sometimes, that is good enough.

Listen up to BTR from music from all of these albums!

Link to this article: http://www.breakthruradio.com/index.php?b=article.php?id=1265

– Lottie Leymarie

TSRE Wonders: Exclusive Interview With Brother Ali

It’s no secret that we’re big Brother Ali fans around these parts. I happen to think that he is one of the most impressive voices in the rap game, and his story is exceptionally interesting. Recently we had a chance to catch up with Ali for an interview, check it out!

The Stu Reid Experiment: You’re on tour right now, aren’t you?

Brother Ali: Yeah. Just rollin’ into LA. About half way through a ten week tour.

Is it going well so far?

It’s amazing man, just really really good. We got a great crew. We put a lot a lot of work into preparing the overall show – not just my set, but the whole show. Me and my DJ BK-One put a lot of work into preparing the whole thing, and we really saw it as a three and a half hour show, not just our set, you know what I mean?

Definitely. I read somewhere on your twitter account that you were re-arranging songs to work with a live band, is that right?

Yeah, yeah. My DJ is a trained musician, he comes from Jazz – piano and vibes and organ and stuff like that. So we try to really make him be the band. So we brought musicians in to recreate some of my beats so that we can take them in different directions and re-arrange them for the live setting. And then, just, you know the whole night of it. We brought all these different people’s beats together: mine and Toki Wright’s and Evidence’s and tried to really approach it like a band would as far as transitions between songs, transitions between sets. Kind of like a momentum that builds during the night.

On Us you used a lot more live instrumentation in the studio.

Yeah, it’s all live instruments, there’s no samples on that whole album.

Do you feel like that changed your recording process at all?

It really did, yeah. Basically what we did was me and Ant spent like two months making demos of the songs at his house, which is what we always do. We usually spend a year doing that but this time we had like 2-3 months. He came with the basic ideas, the basic outlined structures of what the music would be, I wrote the songs at his house, and then he spent a month in the studio with the musicians fleshing out his ideas.

I wasn’t allowed to sit in on that because he wanted me to be objective when I heard it. He didn’t want me to see the process and then become invested in it because of seeing it, you know what I mean? He wanted me to hear it fresh and say yes, no, change this, change that. And that’s exactly what I did. There were things that I really liked, things that I really hated, things that I was like “I don’t really know about this, I need to hear it mixed differently.” And then once that was all straight, then I went in and laid down all my vocals. And then me and him arranged the album together, for the most part. He did most of it, but I sat in on all the sessions and had a lot of input.

We always give each other complete input on what we’re doing. It’s funny, I made a song on here called “Bad Motherfucker Too” where it was just me kinda braggin’, you know, exaggerating – what we call ‘signifying’, just talking shit. There’s nothing really true about that song. But I figured this was my first…

There were certain words I would say where he was like, “that’s not you,” or, “you shouldn’t say that.” He definitely had a ban on certain words, like, “you’re not allowed to say this, this, this, and this.” And same thing with the music. I would say, you know, this flute just doesn’t sound right. I can’t fuck with this.

Is there one song on the album that you feel particularly proud of?

“The Travelers” and “You Say Puppy Love.”

Why is that? Do you just connect with those better?

I mean, “The Travelers” is a song that I’ve wanted to write all my life, since I’ve been writing songs. I just never quite knew the approach for it – it really just kinda came together magically. We made all these songs in really cold winter, and I went over to Ant’s house on Christmas at like four in the morning, and heard that music, sat down and wrote it, recorded it, and did a little bit of rewriting, but for the most part that’s what we wrote. “You Say Puppy Love” – I’ve never written a song like that before, like a relationship song like that. And I’ll go ahead and say that – both of those songs – no rapper has ever written anything like either of those songs. I’m not saying they’re better or anything else, I’m just saying that no MC ever has written anything like those two songs. Ever.

Career-wise you have kind of trended toward the positive side of things – your music definitely isn’t all puppy dogs and sunshine, but it seems like you’ve kind of established a niche as a rapper with a positive message. Is that something you consciously tried to create, or did it just happen on its own?

Nah, that happened on its own. I’m saying, my music is positive, but all of it is about pain and struggle. Damn near. I’ve made two happy-ass songs in my life – “Fresh Air” on this album and “Ear to Ear” on the last album. But the thing is that I always talk about pain the way I feel, which is an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to grow. I always find beauty in pain.

This album is called an upbeat and positive hip hop album, and it’s about rape and slavery, depression and murder.

And I guess what fans see is the ability that you have to find positive things in all that ugliness and all that hatred.

Yeah, and there’s definitely something to that.

Tying that together with being on tour, a lot of your songs are about your life and tough times that you’ve been through. Is it hard to get on stage and talk about the bad times that you’ve experienced every night?

No. It’s just such a part of what I have. I’m not a person who tries to escape – I don’t do the escape thing. When there’s a problem, I run towards it full speed ahead. I feel like it’s here to stop me, it’s here to challenge me. And so it’s my job to figure out how to overcome it, and then overcome it and dwell on that. So I dwell on the problem until I figure out how to solve it – I don’t just sit around and pout and focus on it, but I figure out how to solve it and how to beat it and how to conquer it. And then after I do, I dwell on the fact that I was able to conquer it and I’m thankful and grateful for it. So that’s what my happy songs are about – being grateful.

Also, I want my fans to hear what they’ve done for me. I was telling the audience last night that my happy-ass songs – that’s how all these people feel. All these rappers, all these tough rappers that are successful, that’s how they feel on the inside. They just don’t know how to say that and so they wear a big chain to show you that they’re celebrating their success. They’re not allowed to say, in the environment that they’re from, “Man, shit’s great, I’m happy”. They’re not allowed to say that. So they wear a big ass chain and they pull out a full bottle of champagne just to show you how they celebrate. But I don’t have those same things, so I can just say I’m happy and I’m appreciative. I worked hard for this and I love my life, I love the people I work with, that I’ve built all this stuff with.

I wanted to get your opinion on this – there’s a community in Florida (Ed.’s note: info here) where a councilman is trying to ban hip hop shows. There was a stabbing outside of a concert and he says that hip hop shows encourage that type of violent behavior. What do you think about that?

That shit is so 1996. Like KRS and Ra-Kim and Chuck D and all those guys, they covered all that back in the late 80’s. That’s like people thinking Elvis is gonna ruin their daughter. I mean, with people like that – that’s what American politics has generated into, like “What are we against?” Motherfuckers just need something to be against so everybody is going to have some group that’s going to be against them at some point. It’s like, man, grow the fuck up and figure out what you want to do. Try to unite people behind something you’re for, not something you’re against.

I hear you on that. So what’s next for Brother Ali after this tour? Are you headed back to the studio, taking a break for a little while?

No break. More tour. After this tour: more tour. And then more tour and then more tour and then more tour. No this one that we’re on right now is 10 weeks. It was a week of college shows, kind of to just gear up for it and get the budget – get a nice little float budget going on. And then we did a week in Europe, just to be like “Whatup Europe”, you know what I mean? “We got a new album, you guys should check it out.” And they’re like “uh, yeah, no thanks.” And then we were like alright, cool. So now we came and we’re doing 9 weeks in the states, headlining and then go home for about three weeks or something like that and do our laundry, have a lot of sex with our wives, try to convince them not to leave us, then go to Australia for a couple weeks, then we go to Europe for a couple weeks. Then we come back and do Canada so that they can calm down. Every time you do a tour and you don’t do Canada they take that shit personal. It’s like “man, you’re doing a tour and you’re not doing Canada?” and it’s like “Man, I’m in Texas.”

And it’s January and negative 20 degrees in Canada.

Exactly, yeah exactly. And as a band – man. You know in Europe they have special rap police that just fuck with rappers. On the border, they have band police. They don’t call them that, but they do, they have special shit just for bands. They have a bus crossing – special taxes, special searches, special asshole lines. And they just bust your balls, whenever you go into that country and whenever you come out. They humiliate you and they talk to you like you’re four years old and it’s just like fuck! Every time we go over there we have to deal with this shit. Then we drive for like four days between cities to play for a hundred people.

But you know what? Those one hundred people are awesome.

And I’m sure those hundred people are the ones who love you most for making that trip, too.

Yeah, and that’s why we do it. Even in the states we play a lot of little towns, where it’s like man – there’s only 150 hip hop fans in this city that actually have the time and money to come to a hip hop show. So that’s all it’s gonna be. But it’s worth it. It’s worth it to get in front of them and connect with them again. And it’s true that we love doing this so much. It’s the only thing we really care about doing this much to make all these sacrifices and stuff. So I’m just kinda tongue in cheek bitchin’ about it because the reality is that when we can’t do it any more we’ll be so sad.

And you know the fans appreciate it. I’m certainly looking forward to catching you when you come to Boston on November 8th.

At the Paradise this time. I love Boston man, I love playing shows there. It’s a crazy place – it’s not the most welcoming city in America to outsiders, but nothing wrong with that. You don’t have to be welcoming, you just have to be decent. But in terms of shows, it’s great. It’s a great place to play a show – people appreciate it. They give you as much as you give them.

Just one more question, and it’s a question that we ask everyone. What’s your opinion on music blogs? Do you think they’re good for music, bad for music? Are they good for young musicians but not more established artists?

I think they’re fun. I think they’re a lot like TV. I would say that they’re fun – I look at them every day. I got like 4 that I look at every day, and it’s like TV. You get to see like…let me sit down and watch Glasses Malone write a song or do an interview. I mean, check out what Kanye West is talking about. That shit’s a lot of fun to watch. But the thing is that I think everybody that’s too closely tied to those things grossly underestimates – it’s an artificial reality, it’s not real. It doesn’t translate to sales, it doesn’t translate to fans, it doesn’t translate to people coming to your shows. The fact that people will click on a little box and watch you do something for two and a half minutes does not mean that they’re your fan, and it doesn’t mean that you’ve connected with them, and it doesn’t mean that they really care.

Like, I’ll watch Real Chance At Love, but do I give a fuck about those dudes? Hell no. I’ll watch it because it’s entertaining. And I don’t really watch it, but you know what I mean. It’s like one of those things where you watch it ‘cause it’s there, but you don’t really care. And I think that a lot of younger guys, their head is all fucked up because they think that because they have a presence on the blogs, that means that they made it.

And it’s like no man, until you touch somebody to the point – especially the people that are on the blogs, since they’re the people who get the most free music – until you touch somebody in a way that makes them say “I want to own this. Not only am I going to click on this, I want to own it, I want it to live in my house, I want to wear your shirt, I’ll pay $15 and drive to another state to watch you stand on a stage and perform these songs that I love. That’s what it’s about.

Because when I came in, me and the people in my circle started the whole DIY punk rock style of touring within underground rap. Slug was doing it, Slug taught me how to do it. There were a few other people doing it, but nobody was really doing it like him. I don’t care what anybody says, Slug invented this shit. In terms of 50 and 60 city tours in the U.S. for underground rap. I mean that’s not – the legends were touring, other people were touring, but nobody was doing Boseman and Spokane and Missoula, you know what I’m saying. In terms of underground rap, Slug fathered a lot of shit including that.

But you know, you holla at these kids and it’s like “yo, I think you’re tight, you want to come on tour” and they say “word, how much I get? How much am I gonna get?” Like well, you shouldn’t get shit motherfucker. You’re gonna get fans. What do you mean how much am I gonna get? You’re gonna get 50 chances to stand in front of an audience.

It’s kinda like what you talk about on some of your songs like “Backstage Pacing”

And that’s why we bring family with us. We bring our crew with us. People that – they’re head is in that space. You get a guy like Toki Wright, he just wants to rap, he just wants to perform. And it’s not about money, it’s not about the money. It’s about attitude, about the approach, and the things that people choose to prioritize.

And this time we got Evidence out here with us, who won a Grammy with his group, and now he’s starting his solo career so he’s treating himself like a new artist. And somebody like that who will come out and open for me, he’s done way more shit than I’ve done with his group.

But he’s not afraid to take it down a notch and come out and support you.

He’s not, he’s investing in himself. And he’s supporting what we’re doing, but he’s investing in

himself and saying “I’m going to build this new brand of me” as a solo artist, so I’m going to start over again and treat myself like I’m new. And that’s what these kids are missing – because they don’t invest in themselves.

Many thanks to Brother Ali for talking with us!

You are now Stu Reid at The Stu Reid Experiment.

– The Stu Reid Experiment