MC Lars Interview and Poe Playlist (music)

Happy Wednesday!

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Unfortunately I was unable to get a picture with MC Lars after the show however when I think back, this is about what I think it’d look like.

MC Lars was the fourth and final artist I saw at the Manchester show.  I really liked his set, I was vaguely familiar with his music before now but after the show I’ve found a new nerdcore great.

The First song I heard from MC Lars was a song about Edgar Allen Poe(1).

 

Then recently when I started listening to him rap, I noticed a trend:

 

 

Big thank you goes to MC Lars for the following interview:

OBOP: Who inspires you? Musically, artistically, writing, personally? (As many answers as you want, don’t worry about restricting yourself to one source)

MC Lars (MCL): My biggest influence is definitely “Weird Al” Yankovic! I love how he was able to, as Lin-Manuel Miranda said on Marc Maron’s podcast recently, strip music of its “genre clothes” and comment on everything. He’s definitely my biggest influence and I was so stoked that he thanked me in his last album.

OBOP: Did you always want to be a musician/songwriter or was there a “monkey touch monolith” moment?

(MCL): I always wanted to be a cartoonist, but when I did my first Shakespeare rap in 1998, I knew I was onto something!

OBOP: What do you consider your greatest artistic and/or professional and/or personal achievement? (Feel free to answer all three or one or a combination, whatever man)

(MCL): Definitely playing Carnegie Hall in 2012! We debuted “Flow Like Poe” and I felt like I’d finally made it.

OBOP: What superpower would you have if you could have one and why/what would you do with it? (Seriously anything, from the mundane, to the established, to something completely original)

(MCL): I’d have the power to heal people’s hearts. 🙂 I try to do that with music anyway!

OBOP: If you could be in possession of a pocket dimension that you could travel into and out of at will, that contained any established cannon (books, movies, comics, video games, Salvador Dali paintings, anything) what would it be and what would you want to most do in there?

(MCL): It would be amazing to go into the Bible and meet Jesus – I’d love to hear what he has to say about today’s political climate.

MC Lars is one of the most approachable people I’ve ever met, I mean that includes all celebrities and everyday people,  when he says

I’d have the power to heal people’s hearts. 🙂 I try to do that with music anyway!

-MC Lars

I can really buy it.  Funny thing is my friend and I had gotten to Manchester a few hours early and we thought the doors opened at 7.30 and so we walked in and there was like this hush of when people are present who aren’t immediately recognized and like 5 dudes standing around.  I thought we were early and didn’t think much of it until one of the roadies (I assume, maybe he was an employee of the club) asked me if we had tickets and I said yea and as he was informing us that we were 30 minutes before the door this big dude, who I didn’t at first recognize as MC Lars comes over to us and asks us if we’re here to see the show.

This giant man has a butter melting smile and his handshakes turn into back-pat hugs, even with me and my mate who were strangers to him.  We get to talking and MC Lars hears my accent and asks me where I’m from, I frequently forget that I have a discernible accent, and I tell him I’m from St Louis and how I’ve been trying to see MC Chris in concert for 10 years and had missed him in concert in St Louis 3 times including October 2016 and all that.  He then asks how long I’m here for and all that which leads me into talking about how I’m a study abroad student and somewhere around minute 5 of me rambling on I realise this guy has been giving me his ENTIRE attention as if I was an old friend and we were catching up. As my friends can tell you, I have no problem talking(2), but I’m not always used to having someone pay so much attention to what I have to say much less this strange celebrity.

I feel bad because I remember asking him where he was from as well and couldn’t tell you where without looking it up but I do remember he told me that he studied abroad when he was in college too.  He told me it really changed his life.  Dude’s a great artist, writer, performer, and if you ever see him live don’t be afraid to approach him.  If he doesn’t approach you first.

Footnotes:

  1. Remember “Offbeat, On-point: A literary blog…kinda”
  2. One of my friends has described me as “Fin doesn’t say much until you get him talking.  Then you can’t get the guy to shut the fuck up.”

Koo Koo Kanga Roo! (interview)

Happy Wednesday!

First I want to thank Valeria Quinn for the links to some bonus Mega-Ran song!

It’s pretty tight, I liked it a lot.  Feel free to leave music recommendations.  FAIR WARNING: I have at least 2 more interviews for the nerdcore series and a couple of bands to follow up on first but I am open to suggestions!

Koo Koo Kanga Roo! is a fun duo and put on an excellent show.

When they came up on stage, in their gold sneakers and gold fanny/bum packs (worn on the front), they put on some music and had been warming up and told the crowd “We are a dance along kind of show” which was followed by instructions for the crowd to learn some dance moves, one maybe two and all pretty easy, per song starting with a warm up song.  I wish I could remember their line up however here are some fun songs by them:

Dinosaur Stomp

I’m pretty sure this is the first song they opened with.

Pancakes for Dinner

I know they played this one.

Fanny Pack

I remember this one was particularly funny since in the UK fanny…doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in the US.

And here’s the interview:

  1. Who inspires you? Musically, artistically, writing, personally? (As many answers as you want, don’t worry about restricting yourself to one source).

    We like any group or band or performer that puts on a great live experience. We started the band after seeing bands like Dance Band, Zibra Zibra, of Montreal and the Flaming Lips.

  2. Did you always want to be a musician/songwriter or was there a “monkey touch monolith” moment?

    Always liked music and wanted to be apart of it some how. Didn’t know how until college.

  3. What do you consider your greatest artistic and/or professional and/or personal achievement? (Feel free to answer all three or one or a combination, whatever man)

    Just the fact that we are still doing this crazy little project is cool to us, but feel like there are still bigger things we want to get to.

  4. What superpower would you have if you could have one and why/what would you do with it? (Seriously anything, from the mundane, to the established, to something completely original)

    I want to have a pocket of gummi bears always loaded up. Fully stocked at all times.

  5. If you could be in possession of a pocket dimension that you could travel into and out of at will, that contained any established cannon (books, movies, comics, video games, Salvador Dali paintings, anything) what would it be and what would you want to most do in there?

    I would go into the Mighty Ducks universe and hang with the team. Maybe be their water boy.

Thanks. Answers from Bryan in Koo Koo Kanga Roo. 
 
Bryan

Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Big thank you goes to Koo Koo Kanga Roo for playing along!

If you liked this or have a music recommendation feel free to leave a comment and share.

Heart Attack (comic)

I feel like this is what’s going to get me one day. Happy Valentine’s day. 

Sorry for the late posting.  It’s been a pressure cooker week and I fell asleep at 7pm local time.  

If you’re single, sad , and/or just in need for an extra laugh check in Monday for a review of the very funny book of essays “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris.  

Tell me a story pt 2 (comic)

Happy Friday! 

Louie: What is this?!

Fin: Isn’t it cool? I found the projector room!!

One day while Beeman was out driving…

A wild Flower Cop appears! “You’ve gone too far this time Beeman. You’ve deflowered your last…flower.”

Feel that, Beeman? That’s the sweet sting of justice!” 

Why do cats chase rats? (Mythology #1)

Happy Monday!

Saturday, 28 January 2017, was Chinese New Year and I got to thinking about this anime I used to watch when I was seeing this girl who was like really into anime.

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Fruits Basket, pretty amusing from what I remember.

I remember there being a 13th character in the show, a cat and I forgot all about why or what happened to the cat and I figured this might be an apt time.

Roughly the story goes as follows:

The Great Race

The Jade Emperor of Heaven decided as a way to celebrate his birthday he would invent time.  He decided on a 12 year cycle, based on Jupiter’s orbit and for festivities he summoned all the animals and announced that he wanted to hold a race and the first 12 animals to cross the finish line will have a year named after them.

Just before the finish line was a river.  The Cat and the Rat reached the river first but neither could swim.  Along came the Ox who could swim and, being a nice person, em offered the Cat and the Rat a ride on it’s back.  Just as they were reaching the shore, the rat pushed the Cat off the Ox’s back and jumped for the shore and won first place.  The Ox was a close second.

The Tiger, who also swam, arrived third and explained to The Jade Emperor that em would have arrived sooner but despite em’s strong swimming skill, the current kept pushing em down delaying arrival.

From up the river bank came a pad-pad-padding, the rabbit was hopping down the river bank.  The Emperor asked “How did you cross the river?” the Rabbit answered “I found a set of hopping stones.” The Rabbit is granted fourth place.

Down comes flying the Dragon and The Emperor is very surprised that the Dragon, who has the ability to fly, did not get first place.  The Dragon explains em self “on my way here, there was a village on fire, so I brought them rain then while flying over the river I saw Rabbit slip on a log crossing the river and gave em a helping  claw.” The Emperor was very pleased and granted the Dragon fifth place.

From down the bank, again comes a funny noise. This time it’s a clop-colp-clopping of the Horse’s hooves, confidently striding towards the finish line when the Snake drops off the front hoof of the horse giving the Horse a great fright, for the Horse did not know the snake was hitching a ride, causing the Horse to loose sixth by a nose.

Down the river comes a raft with the Goat, the Monkey, and the Rooster.  They explained to The Emperor that they could not but worked together to secure a raft and crossed the river together.  The Emperor is pleased and grants them eighth, ninth, and tenth respectively.

The dog comes swimming ashore and The Emperor is again surprised, why should the dog who is the strongest swimmer finish so late? The Dog explains that em was having such a good time playing that em wasn’t ready to call it yet.  The Dog is given eleventh.

Lastly comes the Pig trotting down, looking fully satisfied regardless of being so late.  The Pig starts to go on about all the food em found on the way, which gave everyone a hearty chuckle.

The Emperor declares the race over and the victors named.  When the soaking wet, half drowned cat washes up ashore the only one to notice was the Cat’s former friend, the Rat.  The Cat made a revenge promise which is why cat’s chase rats today.

 

All this talk about a thirteenth sign reminds me about this thing I heard about on the radio originally, back in 2009 some time around the time The Prince of PoP’s reign ended, something about a thirteenth zodiac sign.  I never investigated it much until now but apparently this idea isn’t new and originally popped up in the with the book “The Thirteen Signs of the Zodiac” by Walter Berg in 1995.  The book was a best seller in Japan in 1996 and influenced some popular video games at the time such as Final Fantasy IX.

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Remember this side quest?

The symbol for Ophiuchus (pronounced “o-few-cus”) is the Rod of Asclepius symbol, wielded by Asclepius a Greek hero and god in medicidne, commonly confused with the Caduceus symbol, wielded by Hermes.

Anyway it’s now the year of the Rooster.  Happy Chinese New Year!

 

 

Let’s Have a Selfie (comic)

Happy Funny Friday!

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Let’s Start a Revolution! (playlist)

Happy Wednes…wait wait wait, I just can’t do it today folks.

Yea everyday is supposed to be a happy day or something but I am really angry and you should be too.

Being an American abroad I am painfully aware of my nation’s reputation outside of our boarders especially after the results of the November 2016 presidential election.

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My face when Trump was declared the next president of the United States.

Regardless of where you stood before the election, now that he has taken office he has done some objectively questionable things for someone who is supposed to be the leader of the free world. Some examples include but are not limited to:

All this doesn’t even begin to touch his litany of flagrant actions regarding control of the press by ordering the EPA to remove climate change statics from their site, his intention to cut safety regulations by 75%, nor his reinstating of the Global gag rule which bans international NGOs with US funding from providing abortions or providing information.

Don’t get me wrong ALL of these things horrify, disgust, offend, embarrass, and infuriate me.  However one thing that has me deeply worried is his pick for the head of the FCC: Ajit Pai.  Ajit Pai is against Net Neutrality and that is very very bad.

If you don’t already know what Net Neutrality is, watch this short video by CGP Grey and find out.

While we’re at it, let’s me provide a video also from CGP Grey explaining how, even though Trump lost the popular vote, he still won the election and why that’s a major problem in our system.

Now that you’re familiar with Net Neutrality and as most of my audience are fellow bloggers, I’m sure you can start to see the nature of the problem.  People like you, fellow blogger, and me, a person who can barely afford groceries and is going deeper into student debt, there is NO WAY I will be able to afford to pay fees to keep a fair amount of bandwidth coming to my site to provide you with wonderful content three times a week and this is just the smallest of concerns.  What really terrifies me is the implications on independent media outlets or really any media outlets that the FCC, aka Trump, doesn’t like and want’s to deny service or any media company that wants to squish the competition even further from the already small number of companies that provide 90% of the media to the country.

Picture getting clearer here? I really hope so.  Now it’s not all bad news.  Massachusetts is setting a good example by going full green by 2035 and in not American news India banned all forms of disposable plastics in it’s capital.

However great these pieces are,  they’re still a drop in the bucket.  The way we can really fight is to back a grass roots political REVOLUTION! Want to know how? Sign up and support Justice Democrats for real progressive candidates and the change us the people ACTUALLY want.

I can hear you now, “Fin! It’s Music Wednesday, where are the tunes?!” I’m getting to it.  I’m sorry but I had to get all that off my chest and when rallying up for a revolution, you have to know what you’re getting all worked up for. Anyway here’s some music to get your inner anti-establishment punk rocker riled up and ready to take some action!

To start we have a real classic by Rage Against the Machine, or more affectionately known as Rage.  Lyrically, its pretty basic but so is the message: The forces that be are out of control and this includes police brutality especially against minorities.

Next up we have a classic from the Misfits, Fiend Club. The lyrics are pretty basic here too but the message is simple: we march and we fall, we’re one and for all.  I felt like it was a particularly fitting song given the women’s march is believed to be the BIGGEST DEMONSTRATION EVER SEEN IN US HISTORY! We’re in this together folks, one and for all.

 

Woodkid is one of my all time favourites.  Such a bae but also his music is beautiful, his voice, his music videos all just so so fit! Iron is a a great song to capture that “calm before the storm” feeling of getting ready for some action jack.

I have already written about Dance with the Dead before but this song, Riot just gets me going.  Especially after that scream at 15s.

Now I realize that it’s kinda late for some of you, it’s like 10.30pm here (London time) or maybe you’re just really anxious about the state of affairs and prefer to calm down a bit.  Don’t worry, I got just the thing.

Science discovered that this one song reduces anxiety by 65%.

 

Anyway, remember folks: Democracy is not a spectator sport. We have the power. Not corporations, not the mega-rich, not reality television stars turn politicians. Get Angry. Get Active.

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Tell Me a Story #1 (comic)

Happy Friday!

My friend Evan, a very funny and talented writer, inspired this comic.  This one’s for you, buddy.

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I learned that beelzebub is portrayed as a bee in some texts. I learned this when I was writing an essay on Emily Dickinson‘s “I heard a Fly Buzz – When I Died” or the more catchy title (591) and I postulated that the Fly was actually a flying buzzing bug rather than specifcially a fly.

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Tune in next Friday to see what happens next!

Andreas Beats interview and Exclusive Track

Happy Wednesday!

I have something new this week for my music bit.  As I mentioned last week I reached out to Andreas Beats and he accepted to do an interview and also sent me an unreleased single which he gave me permission to share with my readers.  So without further ado:

Since I don’t have a premium plan for wordpress I had to upload the track to soundcloud but here is a link: C – Strings

Questions:
1) how long have you been making music? did you always want to make a career out of it or did it just happen?
Andreas: I started making hip hop beats back in 96 with a friend of mine. We kept at it for a few years, but I eventually got solo with no real aim or plan. I just kept doing the music that I like without the intention of anybody else beeing interested in it. I wanted to make a living from music for a while but it’s such a shaky business. I make a track for some company’s clip or something like that once in a while. But it’s not anything I pursue. When I’m asked I’ll do it. But nowadays I mostly make music for climbing movies, which is my passion besides music. But I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon.
2) It seems like you do more than just make music, what are your other professional projects or hobbies?
Andreas: My passion and my job is climbing. I work as a routesetter. And when I have a minute to spare I climb. Can’t get enough of it!
3) Who inspires you? In anyway, like musical influences or personal heros or whatever?
Andreas: Who inspires me? Tricky one. I don’t know if I have a person that inspires me. Nature does. And sounds.
4) What advice would you give aspiring artists/musicians/producers etc?
Andreas: I’d say, just have fun and do what you like. Don’t try to emulate or follow trends. Just make the tunes you yourself would want to listen to. And put in the time. Music comes from inspiration, but inspiration isn’t present all that often. And in between the nuggets of inspiration you just have to work, work and work. Let it take the time it takes.
5) What sort of change would you like to see in your community (anything like the music scene, your country, the world at large, whatever you work towards personally that you’d like to see happen at large)?
Andreas: I cannot say all that much about the music scene and what needs changing since I am positioned on the very fringe of it. I sit at home and make stuff for the joy of it and don’t circulate in the “music scene” and that is in a way by choice. I’m quite happy beeing an outsider of the music industry.
But as for the community in general I would like to see a step in the other direction from where it’s going now. Towards compassion and not towards racism and hate. Seems like in all countries now there is a racist party on the rise. And it needs to be turned around if it’s not going to end ugly.
Thanks goes out to Andreas Beats for being so generous with his time and content.
I have more interviews lined up for the nerdcore rappers I saw in Manchester in November.  I intended to get it out sooner but I was trying to wait on everyone to get back to me however, I have 3 of 4 and I will proceed with out the last guy if need be.

Stream of Consciousness Theatre Presents: Bubbles

Happy Mystery Monday!

NOTE: I’m really sorry, I was trying to get this up while it was still Monday in my timezone (London time) but today has been one long piss take though I guess that’s what I can expect from the first day of the term.  Anyway…

Bubblegum and rice.

Some time in the last month I remember i was having a bout of insomnia and a derby of racing thoughts and in the lower left hand corner of my head-space a small window of bubbles opened up, clear and black lit by a bright reflection and a grey backdrop. Like a scene in the cutting room the bubbles were cut into or rather imposed on the middle of the film. I read a mediation on rocks or pebbles and I thought about bubbles. Empty, temporary, lively.

When I want to clear my mind, the bubbles come bubbling up in my brain like cherry cola into my nose though these bubbles don’t tickle into my scalp up to my hair.  Hair is something that lives on and in my head or rather on my head and mind. I always believed  you could tell more about a person by the hair on their head than the shoes they wear. Hair can be smooth and thick indicating healthy and happy hair. Thin and brittle on the contrast.  Colour from natural redheads to out of the box. Colours, styles, and cuts.  Length, combed, out and down or up and about. Everything says something about the person from plats(1) to pins. Shoes can say how someone walks and where.  It can indicate status or wealth. Hygiene and age.  However what can shoes say about a person that hair can’t equally articulate?

Fizz is something miss(ed) about beer. I like soda and tonic for the same reason. I remembered a lot of things after detoxing in May: I love candy.(2)  Bubble gum and taffy, and the jokes. I have a joke I want to submit to Laffy Taffy: “What did the dog say to the book? Nice Tale.”  😀 <—this is my favourite emoji, it is the ridiculous face that I like to make when I make a funny.

Laughter and anger bubble and boil. The Buddha said “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”

Found a bobble(3) of wood beads in front of the management building. Matches well with my green Pendle jumper(4). Black watch, forest green jumper, brown wood beads(5). I feel reasonably balanced in my ensemble. I wear the same stuff so often it becomes like a brand or a uniform. “Switch up” theme party(6) 2009 C, a previous flame, and I interpreted it as “cross dress night” and i wore one of her dresses and she wore my outfit which at that time was a forest green t-shirt, a loop style buckle brown cloth belt, and faded blue jeans to which G said, while our childhood friend got stoned for the first time “wow…that is the ‘Fin outfit'”.

water-bubbles

 

Footnotes:

  1. Braids.
  2. A common symptom of alcohol detox is sugar cravings, something I learned but sort of remembered via a study I read in a class I took at Mizzou “sociology of deviant behavior” saying that candy is really popular in prison because it’s a natural mood stimulant, likely in demand due to detox and poor situations.
  3. Elastic band, usually used for hair ties.
  4. Hoodie, can also be used in reference to a sweater.
  5. My flatmate said “these are like rosary beads“.
  6. A couple of brothers who used to throw great themed parties used to have themed all the time with themes like “ugly sweater party”, “wine and cheese”, “bring someone famous” (we supposedly had a [former?] cardnals baseball player [no idea who] which give the size and extroverted social scope of the core party hosts and guests, it didn’t surprise me).