“It’s a Tough Day, Hard Day”

Talibam! may have come from the school of spontaneous noise-rock, but they’re now riding the surreal shitstorm of whatever-the-fuck — and they’re getting weirder by the minute. This year alone, the duo released with Sam Kulik one of the more puzzling releases in awhile (Discover AtlantASS), unveiled the world’s first #noschoolrap track (“Step into the Marina”), forced Rhys Chatham to show his true colors on camera, and overdubbed some deliciously crazy sounds/noise/etc. on top of the entirety of Dirty Projectors’ new album.

Talibam!’s latest, a rap video for “It’s a Tough Day, Hard Day,” is equally absurd. It’s also really awesome/extremely terrible. Inspired by the likes of The Mighty Boosh and Flight of the Conchords, Talibam! bitch and whine, sarcastically (I think) yet somewhat honestly (I think), about their oddball role in the music industry: “It’s nice to hypothesize what could have been/ But that’s a bad idea ‘cause you’ll reach for the gin/ And my future is open and I bought a new suit/ It’s crazy orange leather made from alien antelope poop,” raps Matt Mottel on the first verse. Kevin Shea continues the could-have-beens: “Talibam!: we got 27 records, 19 tours of Europe, yet we can’t do any better? With bands like Wavves too doped to play a show, we be professional musicians who can be trusted with yer dough.” Elsewhere, Mottel gives props to an old Minneapolis favorite of mine (Quad Muth — called Quad “Muff” in this song), while Shea points out how artists he used to hang with (TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone, Battles’ Ian Williams) are all famous while he’s decidedly not.

It all adds up to an extremely brilliant pile of shit, an incisive/limp criticism on the state of the music biz. I love/hate it. I hate/love it. It’s actually really fun to wrap your mind around/impossible to listen to, and I can/can’t imagine anyone wanting to willfully listen to this stuff. But/And it doesn’t/does matter, because Talibam! are effectively showing how taste itself is pretty fucking boring and that humor, even of the most absurd, idiotic kind, can shake us from a stupor. But does anyone want to be shaken at this point? I do! And don’t!

Check out the also-absurd video for “It’s a Tough Day, Hard Day,” directed by Steve Five (producer of the forthcoming film I RAZOR):

• Talibam!: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Talibam/102564367491
• Critical Heights: http://www.criticalheights.com

Meyhem Lauren

“Braised Duck Tacos”

I have to admit, I have a soft spot for food rap. I’m still waiting for Action Bronson to team up with Waka and Rick Ross on the Food Network with the culinary equivalent of Yo! MTV Raps. Until then, we have “Braised Duck Tacos,” a sick new track from Queens rapper Meyhem Lauren that couldn’t come at a better time: tacos are EVERYWHERE right now — they’ve become as refined as craft beer. The beat is decadent too, popping like some primo duck breast on the skillet. Too bad I’ll probably have to settle for Taco Bell.

• Mayhem Lauren: http://www.meyhemlauren.com

Chris Weisman

“Saved in Chats”

Attn: Chris Weisman geeks and/or everyone else in the entire universe. The fine folks at Feeding Tube Records have reissued a classic album from the avant-pop genius. Fresh Sip, once available only on cassette tape, now exists in a gorgeous 2xLP format.


Or, listen to this brilliant song, the first cut off the album, and THEN rejoice.

• Feeding Tube Records: http://www.feedingtuberecords.com

A$AP Rocky

“Pussy Money Weed”

Before you ask, this is not a cover of the well-known Lil Wayne song from a few years ago. Beefed-up with some classic production from legendary mixtape MC DJ Clue?, A$AP’s take on the holy trinity is a straightforward chillaxin’ anthem: a little more upbeat than Weezy’s slow-jam, but still swathed in a blanket of haze. A$AP’s satiny flow continues to solidify his reputation as one of the smoothest operators in the game right now, but it’s also nice to hear DJ Clue?’s periodic shouts. Nothing like a seasoned veteran teaming up with one of rap’s most promising up-and-comers.

• A$AP Rocky: http://www.asapmob.com
• DJ Clue?: http://www.djclue.com

Various Artists: Lillerne Tapes

Compilation #2 [album stream]

Lillerne Tapes (a.k.a. Gabe Holocombe’s world contribution; thanks Gabe) has been pumping out zines, mixtapes, and cassettes from a Chicago apartment since 2007. The label is responsible for some of the earliest releases from Midwest basement-dwelling staples like Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk, Vehicle Blues, Boo and Boo Too, and numerous others from the kind of soda-fizz filtered pop bands that have been making house shows fun since before this cassette tape thing caught on again. This dude deserves some credit.

The newest compilation spreads songs from some of the label’s past artists among tracks from other well-known labels such as Solid Melts, Life Like, and Bridgetown Records.

It doesn’t take much more than a look at the long list of out-of-print tapes on the Lillerne Tapes page to give you an idea of the gold on this compilation. So, if you are looking for some new music to check out, start with this one, but don’t be blame me a few months from now when your tape collection is taking up all of your floor space and you can’t afford to pay the water bill.

• Lillerne Tapes: http://www.lillernetapes.com

Chocolate Grinder Mix 53

Man: What a Mess

Ima ruin this mix for you right-quick: speeding to slow your roll, crushing high expectations, exotic elements mistranslated, ravenous biological dissection, guilt ad nauseum, savage foreign confessions, guttural collective effervescence, oblivious alpha domination, fucking with plugs, gear-shift dick dreaming, knockin’ em down, man becomes woman, “don’t say much,” mastering technique, booty anthem zoning, and wizardom.

The mix is just shy of 28 minutes and perfect for any commute. Shit’s rough around the edges too; bear with it, please. But maybe that’s what makes it human, and not something polished perfect because it was made on a computer. And I’ve always had a weird perception of mixing music. Like, where to input your own style. So, I suppose it’s all about individual choice and where you’re directing listeners. If that’s my case, this mix is all about choice and direction. That or this. HI FRIFRI!!!!!!!!!!

Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.

[00:00] Montmeló, Spain - “Formula 1 Circuit de Catalunya”
[00:08] Lloyd Banks - “Bring It Back (feat Fabolous)” [excerpt]
[03:00] Pflugerville, TX - “January 25th Thunderstorm”
[03:06] Rick Ross - “High Definition”
[05:56] Triad God - “Luung”
[05:57] Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument - “Dancing Albatross”
[06:56] San Diego Zoo - “Lion’s Roar”
[07:10] Kool Keith - “Fat Pussy”
[07:42] Charlemagne Palestine & Janek Schaefer - “Fables From a Far Away Future” [excerpt]
[09:39] CULP - “Apologize”
[10:40] Anders Behring Breivik - “Emergency Phonecall”
[10:51] Aaron Dilloway - “Tremors”
[11:15] Kauffman Stadium - “Booing at Home Run Derby July 9th”
[11:33] Lil B - “Bitch of the City”
[15:03] Keith Fullerton Whitman - “High Zero Generator” [excerpt]
[15:13] Schoolboy Q - “Sex Drive”
[17:51] Baton Rouge, LA - “USBC Open”
[18:03] Mykki Blanco - “Betty Rubble (I Got The Midas Touch)”
[22:05] Lantern - “Don’t Say Much” [excerpt]
[22:07] Patrick Higgins: Bachanalia - “Gavotte, Cello Suite No.6”
[23:50] Heat Wave - “Smoke Rings”
[24:03] Juicy J - “Bands A Make Her Dance”
[27:32] Foxy Digitalis - “Orange Mile Interview” [excerpt]
[27:48] Montmeló, Spain - “Formula 1 Circuit de Catalunya (Reprise)”


CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.