Eli Porter in the building! No, seriously...

For Frank151, I covered the documentary screening of Eli Porter at Apache Cafe. It was only the first half, but it was a good first half, as we got the whole dissection of the YouTube video where Eli Porter diiid it. Here's an excerpt of my coverage:
Yes, there was the comedy factor with appearances from Andy Milonakis and drunken Chamblee High classmates of Eli, but it also included constructive analysis from journalists Dallas Penn and Jay Smooth on nearly every aspect of what happened in that video. The film dissected everything that was going on in the Twilight Zone-looking YouTube video - from the powerful Eli punchline "I did it," to the odd stuff going on in the back (the heart that pops up around Eli after his turn, Marv-O's adventurous hands, Envy's possibly pre-written battle raps, and much more) - the audience sat in awe as they found out the details of the video.

Jeffrey Butzer Talks Toy Piano Album and Show at Drunken Unicorn

While developing a relationship with many Atlanta musicians through Examiner and AOL, I receive tons of emails with the city's best hidden gems. Jeffrey Bützer is a multi-instrumentalist notorious for blessing my inbox and leaving behind pieces reflective of Atlanta's greatest current musicianship.
Under many band names - West End Hotel, Midwives, The Compartmentalizationalists, and The Bicycle Eaters - Bützer is one man of many genres and a wide variety of compositions in his holster. His last release with Claire Lodge called Past Wanstead Flats exemplified his ability to make life - however long the album may seem - aurally feel like a movie (click the title to see the story I wrote about it for AOL to see what I mean). Bützer is showing no signs of slowing down, with a few more releases coming soon this year. Although cinema is his major influence, he is so much more than a guy who can make a mean film score. I spoke with him about his new solo release, an untitled box set with compositions from a toy piano unofficially called "the Toy Pop Box," and just a general idea of what's been up with the composer.

Instead of asking this question generically, I’ll give it a little twist. What words best describe your sound?

For the bulk of my music I would say, minimal, French, cinematic, I hope.

I would like to talk about this album you are working on, the toy piano project.

I actually have three things coming out back to back to back. In short, the first is a soundtrack I made last year. It will be a three-inch CD through Lona Records. Then a seven-inch is coming with my full band The Bicycle Eaters, and then the Toy Pop album will be part of a boxed set, both via AcidsoXX Records.

So how is the toy piano project going to sound? How is this gonna be different from the last album you did w/ Claire?

I play guitar with Claire, accordion piano and things with bicycle eaters, but the Toy Pop Box is closer to my solo albums. It is a mini album, so I'm going for a more minimal sound. 

Do you play toy piano, and how long have you played it?

I bought my first toy piano in 2003. I wanted a lighter sound on my first record to double some accordion and organ lines. I had heard mostly Rob Burger, of Tin Hat Trio, play them.

What other elements of your musicianship are in your album?

This mini album is for a toy boxed set. So it is mostly toy piano, toy accordion and other toy instruments. But there is some piano, guitar and other things. Unlike my recent recordings, I am playing everything on this album.

When is this album coming out?

I'm not sure about the release date. AcidsoXX is waiting on some artists to finish their albums.

What do you plan on doing next as far as making music is concerned?

I am doing a live score to Buster Keaton's film The Balloonatic at the Drunken Unicorn on May 28. The score has bits and pieces from the album - it's sort of a collage score. I also just finished a seven inch with The Bicycle Eaters, and myself and Claire Lodge have a new set of songs we are recording with The Compartmentalizationalists.

An Interview with A Fight To The Death

One thing I do with Examiner is a Get to Know Q&A with some of the Atlanta musicians who stop by Little Five Points. It usually covers their creations, upcoming projects, living in the A, and whatever I can typically fit within a 20-minute conversation. This one features an eccentric band called A Fight to the Death, and the band member really gave me a glimpse into the complications of the Atlanta indie scene and being a band in general. Here's an excerpt of it, but I suggest just go to the whole interview here:
At this rate, where do you see A Fight To The Death within the next five years?

I hope that we are able to use the geographic distance and also use the challenges and convenience in modern technology to become more of a national band, and I mean that well. I hope that that’ll allow us to play more and out of our comfort zone, and overcome the complacency that we have in Atlanta. I really hope it gets us out of Atlanta more and make us a national or at least a multiregional band. I hope our songwriting grows and becomes more bizarre and interesting, like I will not have any idea what our next record will sound like. I see us growing and crafting songs that have a greater longevity than just writing songs that we’ll be performing live as we won’t be in that setting anymore. Our focus will be a little different.

Album Review: Tyler, The Creator - Goblin

Goblin [Explicit]Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA) has definitely taken over the hiphop scene armed and dangerous with anti-Christ contents and a mean chip on their shoulder. Anyone who claims to be a music critic, blogger, or journalist that mistaken these cats - specifically Tyler, The Creator - as a joke has eaten their words because of the massive reception from their mixtapes and, if that wouldn't be enough, their amazing ability to put words together AND make sense. Although the sense they make is not a popular one (at least for the religious people), they are impossible to ignore with cover stories from several magazines like Billboard and more.

By the way, if you need a better understanding of who they are then you must understand hiphop a whole lot deeper than lyricism, producing and other mechanics as they are extremely darker than every rapper out now yet are lyrically better than just about any rapper out now. Imagine if the Gravediggaz was as lyrical as Wu-Tang, if Nas continued down the path of the "when I was 12, I went to Hell for snuffing Jesus" line, and if MF Doom, People Under The Stairs, Tech N9ne, Brotha Lynch Hung and Sage Francis warped into a group of Black kids from California and gave less than a damn about rapping like hiphop's norm.

Tyler, The Creator has released his first album under XL Records called Goblin, a follow-up to his debut solo project BastardGoblin reveals the true objective of OFWGKTA: lashing out at the inability to stay teens forever and the frustration behind being extremely talented yet unexpressive. Tyler brings his group to the spotlight as just being teenagers who want to exercise, in the fullest force possible, their free speech. Meanwhile, they have roped in so many young folks who feel the same way about being able to express themselves in unorthodox ways - whether it's as a Jesus-hating, roach-eating Cali dude with an affinity for Yonkers or a Dad-less brat who has extremely mixed ideas about women (see "She," "Her" and "Bitch Suck Dick").

Speaking of "Bitch Suck Dick," here's where Tyler and Odd Future begin to sound unfortunately familiar to the wastes of talents we all know and love (i.e. Lil' Wayne, Waka Flocka, etc) from their repetitious and simplistic execution to their suggestive lyrics. Note: they are suggestive, but usually in the context of not sounding like a COMPLETE waste of time. But "Bitch Suck Dick" is just unruly to be unruly, and in turn becomes unjustifiable.

Continuing the minimalist hiphop production, Goblin shows a wide variety of musical elements that exemplifies Tyler's knowledge of music (he makes his own beats, by the way), specifically the alternative urban music sounds within hiphop. As seen in the past OFWGKTA projects, Odd Future brings the Cali sunshine flavor to hiphop music, which is usually accommodated with soothing key tunes and basslines. They also can turn around and bring some hot trunk-rattling big bass beats that originates from crunk music in the South. At times Tyler brings in 80s New Wave and electronic-style music, as well as most of the dark elements seen in old school hiphop music.

Sometimes it’s best to stay mysterious, especially when it comes to the material Odd Future puts out. Unfortunately, Tyler decides to let us know who he is and what he’s about. Goblin has an N.E.R.D Seeing Sounds kind of feel to it because Tyler’s justifying his extreme lyricism and content, which comes off as almost corny. With “Radicals,” which was unnecessarily long and extremely disclosed for even OFWGKTA, he messes up in giving the world all the details in why Tyler is Tyler. Same for “Golden” – minus Tyler, but add Ace and Thurnis Haney. Anyone who truly listens to Odd Future knows good and well those three are the same person, so there was no need for Tyler to display that explanation so blatantly. There are some of the greatest artists who would put themselves out like that, but not as lucid as Goblin. Think of any quirky, out-there artists and not one moment will come to mind when they just laid out their former or current selves in their work.

Ultimately, we learn through this album (and looking retrospectively from their discography) that OFWGKTA lashes out sarcastic lyrics that just so happen to tap into hiphop's original values and norms, letting them know that individualism is key to living, not necessarily all having the same cohesive mindset. This is a liberal mindset that hiphop has yet to grab, despite the outcry from cats like Lil' B claiming to be pretty bitches, disrespecting prominent Black "figures" like Steve Harvey, and so on. Tyler also shows his sarcasm isn't much more than someone is within the adult age range (although 20 is debatable among some) who wishes to still be a kid, so his lashing out is a form of goofiness he possesses. Fortunately for him, he has a gift of strong lyricism that can carry that silliness of not wanting to grow up on to better things. Unfortunately, and this has become a problem for hiphop lovers across the world, this leaves the question of whether or not we take these projects of groups like OFWGKTA (who just so happen to speak to an untapped audience) seriously.

I honestly blame the way these cats blew up so fast that the hype for them turned against them. Not mad though, the success may be damaging, but a talented guy like Tyler and Odd Future will figure something out.

Star's Grade: B

Obama's Walk: His Exit Music

If you have been asleep since around 10 p.m. last night, good morning, and boy, did you miss out! Our President Barack Obama announced last night that his secret operation from months ago to kill Osama bin Laden has reached success and Osama is now dead (and buried apparently??). This playlist has little to do with us killing Osama bin Laden, sorry Americans!

This mix has EVERYTHING to do with Obama's gangsterific exit away from his podium and out of the hallway. Here's a clip if you need it:

Now, with that said and shown, here is a playlist of his exit music because I feel he totally needed that to match his composure as he walked down that hallway, his calmness in his stroll, and, hell, his SWAG! There are tunes from nearly all genres that accentuate Obama's badassedness, from being the first Black President to being the President to take down Osama, as well as his ability to be so smooth! Sit tight, this is a surefire doozie...

Cheers, Obama. This mix is for you!