• Hillary the Gun Nut? Brush that shit off your shoulders.

From the latest Rolling Stone. Can you look at that caricature of Hillary and not laugh? She’s Cheney with a wig and lipstick. Obama’s look isn’t that close to reality either, but he needs to stop standing around and waiting for Hillary to knock herself out of the election. He’s going to have to do it himself, if he doesn’t I’m worried he’ll look weak in November.


• Fantasy: The Other Reality

Dubya is your stoner uncle who’s angry at his dad for making him work with Walker Bush’s cohorts. He’s as willing to pardon stoners as he’s willing to pardon turkeys on Thanksgiving.

New York City is Liberty City: where you can drive anywhere you want, take your frustrations out on anything, and instantaneously transport yourself to an even more fantastical world where everybody’s as bloodthirsty as you are.

Rich millionaire alcoholics who built their empires on war can have moments of truth when they realize they can be robotic genius liberators (No Dubya) by night. Your buddy is Terrence Howard and your Secretary is Gwenyth Paltrow.

War is actually just a game, and the concept of soldiers being mentally manipulated translates to a scientific device, not the death of mass media. And it’s being beta tested to get the bugs out instead of becoming a quagmire.

This current stretch of time is geeky as all get the fuck out.

• Atmosphere Paint them Blues Gold

Last Summer, Slug @ Rock The Bells, Randall’s Island

I met Slug one day in Tennessee, at the autograph table at Bonnaroo. I was getting a Bonnaroo map autographed for my friend who was back home in Daley’s beloved Twin Cities. From the brief moment I was in contact with him, I discerned a couple of things which are relevant when talking about Atmosphere’s latest record, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold, which comes out tomorrow, but has been on sale for a brief minute at the finer indie hip hop stores.

The first is that he’s incredibly personable. Helping him out with this was the fact the line of people waiting for autographs was the mellowest I’d seen, so fans had a second to say what they had to say. Every other autograph table I’ve been to was a variant on that scene from The Christmas Story when Ralphie is on line to talk to Santa. You’re more apt to hear “NEXT!” than anything personal. A recent issue of XLR8R magazine had an interview with Atmosphere where he explains a method of writing lyrics similar to (final movie reference, I promise) that scene in Wonder Boys where Michael Douglas and Robert Downey Jr. are sitting in the bar drumming up backgrounds for random barflies.

It turns out that about 80% of the songs on the album are based off of people Slug saw from a bench next to a Minneapolis intersection (whose location was unspecified, but outside of the place he grabbed his morning coffee). For an artist who’s been so damn introspective you think he might get lost inside his own carotid artery, it’s nice that he can extricate himself, at least on the most outer level, as each of the songs finds Slug’s sympathies with these commuters explored in one way or another. The second single, “Guarantees,” finds Slug’s voice partnered with a riffing guitar as he unfurls a Sobotka-esque tale of the fall of a middle class family, something he has not only seen at the stop light, but something he lived in his broken household as a kid. The song back and forths it’s way between being subdued and teetering on the verge of furious.

The second thing I remember about seeing Atmosphere in Tennessee is from the performance, some fans from Minneapolis who had a giant cardboard sign that said, well, MINNEAPOLIS, and it also had the highway names and distances and such. This adulation showed me that there are a fair bunch of Minnesnowtans really do believe that Daley represents them. And for a rapper who takes pride in his region, there’s not much more to ask.

Except of course that they make a good album. Some bullet points – hey, the lazy man’s paragraphs! – about the album:

– “In Her Music Box” is a really oddly named song. I like the song, but wish I could talk about it without saying the title.

– Some don’t like the new “singing” that Slug does on the album. I’m not one of them. It works for me. Maybe because I heard “Sunshine” back in the summer, when they closed their set at Rock The Bells with it. Further: I think “Sunshine” might have been an album quality track, not just an EP song.

– The Bonus DVD is basically 45 minutes from a concert, so it’s well worth the extra clams to get the deluxe edition.

– Tunde of TVOTR’s cameo on “Your Glasshouse” is so similar to the rest of his vocals that it’s surprising to hear him on an Atmosphere record. At the same time, it’s great to hear him doing his thing. I mean, the guy has a voice. For an example from another song with the word ‘house’ in it, see “Playhouses,” from Return To Cookie Mountain.

– The other cameos that rock critics will be all over and probably getting a lot of them to listen if they weren’t up on Atmosphere, is Tom Waits beatboxing on “The Waitress.” The beatboxing is the backbeat for the song, and it’s subtle enough to miss the first time but once you know it’s there, it’s damn good enough to admire.

Finally, I have to say that this might be Slug and Ant’s “big” record. I’m not sure. I don’t know if they know, but this one has legs to it.

• The First Saturday In May

Follow That Horse

I’ve looked around town and the news is that the weather will be shit tomorrow (Sunday, April 20), if it is, I have a great suggestion on how to spend the day: see “The First Saturday In May,” a pretty damn good documentary about the culture of horse racing, which culminates on the first Saturday in May at the Kentucky Derby. See it Sunday for it to stay alive in the indie theaters. Here’s a link to see where it’s playing near you.

It’s told quite close in connection to the lives of the trainers, the owners, the grooms, the jockeys, all of their kids, and of course, the horses themselves.

I know you might be saying “A Horse Racing Documentary, Henry? Are you high?” I’m kind of tipsy, but that’s not even connected. I wasn’t sure of what I was going to see going in as I knew nothing, really. I once rode a horse when I was at Bard, during Spring Fling, shouts to the Bard Equestrian Club. But this novice came out a fan of the sport. Now that I can follow UFC (and a lot of others are as well), I think it’s safe to agree with the film’s director that this is the best sport you’re not watching.

Thanks to Ben of FeinDining for getting me and Jared to see the movie.

• THIS, THIS!?!, is the cover for Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III,” WTF Wayne?

So Lil Wayne is “unique.” Even Sasha Frere-Jones already knew that. But … ^^this^^? Thoughts?

Is this what he’s meant all along when he’s said Weezey F. Baby?

Does he love to photoshop Emmanuel Lewis’ baby photos?

Seriously, Wayne, if this is what you want, then do it.

But, Wayne, if you’re reading this (and I know you’re not) put down the syrup. This is not the album cover of a man who sticks to normal drugs, you know, like weed. Did you just wake up and think today was April Fool’s Day or something?

Honestly, I’m pretty sure the point of this is that Wayne wants to prove that he can sell a billion and a half records even if they all have the single silliest cover in at least a decade.

I’m working on a post about technology, and to preface it, I’d like to thank my RSS reader for finding this for me right before I’m going to go to bed, guaranteeing me at least one nightmare, two if Chucky is involved. C3, You, Carter 3, sometime soon.


LINKS: Amazon Item Listing

• “I’m Going On” … To Cover Everything I Havn’t Talked About Since I’ve Been Gone – Part 1: The Election

Obama:Austin Powers::McCain:Dr. Evil::Hillary Clinton:Dr. Evil’s Hairless Cat Mr. Bigglesworth

In the time since I’ve posted seriously, I’ve left the apartment on Leonard Street. I’m temporarily in residence with my parents, in SoHo. Temporarily being the important word, underline that shit thrice, as I’m barely unpacking anything.

“Going On” by the Gnarls guys has to have been my theme song over the last few weeks. The grandiose momentum behind the song, that feeling of pushing yourself beyond the bullshit and those who heap it upon you. I took ‘smart moves’ off of my Interests list on der facebook, but let me tell you, I’m still all about those smart moves. To choose peace over distraction, cooking my own meals for a week upstate rather than be at work when I was at a moment of over-saturation, and to choose a 30 minute walk to work over the Trains-To-Dachau experience that is the 8:30AM L train from Williamsburg: these are decisions I can support.

Speaking of things I can support, let me be frank. I will vote for anybody whose name isn’t John McCain, if I can’t vote for Barack Obama (who, let me remind you, is the mathematical deadlock for the nomination, but try telling that to Hillary). Anyone but McCain, I say: Droopy Dog, Ralph Wiggum, Beavis and/or Butthead (but didn’t we just elect them?) and I’d even vote for Gaius Frakking Baltar before I’d vote for McCain.

If I have to I am going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Yes, I’m not one of those “My candidate or McCain dems.” As much as I’ve despised her during the last few months of primaries, she’s better than McCain. By more than just a dash of good and a sprinkle of sanity, but she’s not perfect. I’ve talked about this before, but I can’t stop harping on this one moment because I kind of don’t believe it happened.

The 3 a.m. Phone Call commercial that scares me into thinking that Hillary is just as creepy as your average Dubya Admin. suit. Not that she’s got the intellect of a town of lego-people and would be led by Cheney and the rest into the single biggest fuckup I’ve seen America conduct in my life (not to mention the single best reason to start using the word ‘boondoggle’ again), but it’s this whole win-at-any-costs even if it fucks up the Democratic Party’s 08 chances thing. It’s not that Obama supporters want Hillary to stop because she doesn’t deserve to win or something. It’s that Hillary is running with a campaign that has lost it’s last ounce of credibility. It’s also that she’s incredibly PAINFUL TO WATCH. Take this video for evidence:

No sense of humor at all, and yes, that’s almost a category I find important.

I’ll vote for her because John McCain is incredibly problematic, and for the across-the-board everybody should be able to understand this, I offer you this: McCain says Roe v. Wade should be overturned. He is a douchebag the likes of which I don’t think we’ve honestly had in a single seat in the oval office in years. It’s like Cheney’s level of competence in the Bush’s chair.