12 March 2011

An Interview with Das Racist!

"Europeans do what they're told."

We previewed Das Racist a week ago, and recently I got the chance to ask them a bunch of random questions. If you know anything about them at all, then you shouldn't expect a normal interview. However, if you don't know, Das Racist is a duo (or a trio, kinda) of rappers out of Brooklyn composed of Victor Vasquez or Kool A.D, Himanshu Suri or Heems, and hype man Ashok Kondabolu or Dapwell. Other people describe their music as anti-consumerist, "Harold and Kumar existentialism" and whatever, but those labels don't really stick when you hear lines like "Catch me drinking lean in Italy like I was Pisa." At their core, Das Racist embody rap's essential poetic self-aggrandizement by replacing bitches and cars with being smart, making jokes, and just "getting it."

 Photo from DasRacist.net by Ariana Gilrie

They recently finished a tour in Europe and are playing tonight at the Maison as a big part of Foburg.

Art/Official: What does Dapwell do? I’ve only seen videos of y’all doing Beastie Boy covers and cooking Thanksgiving dinners, so I don’t know what an actual live performance is like. Is he like the black dude with the double blonde mohawk from Major Lazer + a blogger?

Dapwell: I'm also a baby! I'm not nearly as cool as Skeritt Bwoy, also.

Heems: He's a hypeman and spiritual advisor.

Kool A.D.: He's a witch doctor.

Art/Official: How did anyone in Europe come even close to understanding what the fuck you guys were saying? Follow up: You’re remarkably clear-speaking for rap music or whatever, and I know a lot of people speak English over there, but other than your most obvious fast food rhymes I don’t see how anyone would have any idea. I mean even your average American fan probably Wikipedias a lot of your lyrics.

Heems: Victor?

Kool A.D.: No idea.

Heems: I don't know. Rap is melodic?

Kool A.D.: Europeans do what they're told.

Dapwell: Europeans are a silly lot. Most of their countries are old news bears. Give it up!

Art/Official: Who’s Gordon Voidwell? His production is the most banging shit on both of your mixtapes. Is he a close friend or just some guy in the industry back in the New York? You’ve played a couple of shows with him.

Heems: He's an awesome singer, producer, performer you can download the music of for free.

Kool A.D.: Gordon Voidwell is one of the best out.

Dapwell: Gordon Voidwell is an incredible man. He makes music as well as love (to the ladies).

Art/Official: Was there a specific point where you first realized you were rappers, like "professional" rappers? How’d you react?

Dapwell: When I quit my job maintaining a website for a law school.

Heems: Probably the first time someone asked me what I do and I said, "I'm a professional rapper." Still feels weird.

Kool A.D.: I always feel a little weird.

Art/Official: I found this old article that said you met in a “students of color for social justice dorm; that’s not true, right?

Heems: True story.

Kool A.D.: It is true. I was his RA until I lost my job and got suspended for a minor altercation.

Art/Official: When you watch TV or see anything getting a bunch of media attention, like that Charlie Sheen deal, do you feel like you gotta rap about it?

Heems: Sometimes, but I try to avoid that.

Kool A.D.: Don't watch TV, watch Ian Cohen.

Art/Official: What do your parents think?

Dap: They're happy I'm doing something that allows me to travel and make money although they barely understand many of the things we're talking about. How presumptuous to ask, what if they were dead!

Heems: They're proud of me?

Kool A.D.: My parents think what they want to think, more or less.


That's it, guys. Thanks to Das Racist, The Templum Group, and Winter Circle Productions.

~You can get both of DR's mixtapes for free on the internet (legally). To get them click here!

**Also be sure to check out this great video of this even greater track:

--Article and interview by Jeffrey Silberman

House Party!!


Tomorrow, March 13th (Sunday), Open House Music will host a plethora of Foburg bands in their backyard. Come out early, see some music, have some drinks, and shake your rump!! The best part? ART/OFFICIAL will be doing an hour DJ set along with all the other great acts. It's only $5 and is bound to be a blast on such a beautiful weekend. I hope to see all your beautiful faces.




Visual Art section to join ART/OFFICIAL

In the coming weeks as art/official begins a revamp of our layout, we plan to add a visual art section to the blog. No more will we primarily cover just music in the city, but a wide range of visual art. We are very excited for this next step in art/official. As a teaser we would like to inform our readers about a very cool exposition by Lafayette photographer Herman Mhire going on this evening in New Orleans. For more info check out the press release by clicking "read more!"

Hype Williams-One Nation(LP)

They've done it again. Denna Francis and Roy D. Blunt aka Hype Williams know what kind of music they want to make. You get that feeling every time you listen to the previous record "Find Out What Happens When....", and its not much different with the new material. It was released last week on Boomkat, through Hippos In Tanks. More gloomy this time around, with humorous sampling and occasional bass heavy beats accompanied by droning synths. The two are all over the map with influence.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In terms of a defined genre, they don't have one. Tunes for groovers, shakers, creatures of the night, etc. Below is a track from "One Nation". Pick up the LP or download directly from boomkat.

11 March 2011

Where to get Foburg Tickets

So Foburg starts tonight, we hope to see all of you out there. Check out our tab up top for previews and a schedule.

Here's where to get tickets:

2116 Chartres Street
New Orleans, LA 70116

or you can get them on line by clicking here!

10 March 2011

[new] Battles - "Ice Cream"

Listen to the radio rip of the new song from genre-pushing NYC band Battles. The track is called "Ice Cream" and is the first listen from their upcoming sophomore effort Gloss Drop via Warp, which follows up their outstanding 2007 debut, Mirrored.

09 March 2011

Sorry No Ferrari! (But that don't mean they won't take you there)

They’re no Xbox; they’re more Atari. Southern indie instrumental progressive rock, despite all the adjectives, has a lot of history. From Explosions in the Sky to STS9, anyone who likes riffs and hates words and yankees has a lot of music to chase after. Readers of this blog can add Sorry No Ferrari to their docket. Though they combat file-sharing in bizarre ways like password protecting their own Mediafire files, what you’ll get with this band is slightly experimental but mostly Spartan, textbook prog rock.

If Explosions in the Sky is the best soundtrack to the “Great Planes” episode of Planet Earth and STS9 is the best soundtrack to “Shallow Seas,” Sorry No Ferrari is the “Seasonal Forests” of progressive rock—quality and fantastic technique, but not what you watch when you invite your friends over to try out your new bong.

That being said, you should see them live. They’re playing this weekend’s Foburg Fest as part of the festival’s instrumental and progressive showcase alongside ImagineIAM and locals Smiley with a Knife at the Dragon’s Den (Downstairs), but be advised the schedule indicates the venue may change.

Here are some tracks and remixes:

Deft Jams + art/official Foburg Showcase ft. Small Black, Toro y Moi, Cults, Cloud Nothings, & Sun Airway


Mardi Gras is finally over; all of the staff members at art/official have survived (that we know of so far), and Foburg is fast approaching. The music festival, which takes place this coming weekend, has done a fantastic job of securing great local, national, and even international acts to perform this year around.
It stands to reason that a smaller, but similar festival would suffer from being scheduled on the same weekend as Austin’s SXSW, but the opposite stands true. Many bands participating in SXSW this year, anxious to make the best of their time in the dirty south, will be playing at both festivals this weekend and all of the heavy hitters on the bill for Sunday night's showcase at the Saturn Bar are a testament to this. Thanks to our friends at Deft Jams, many of the biggest names on this years Foburg lineup will be sharing the same stage - or spot on the floor at the front of the main room in the Saturn Bar.
First on the list is a band always eager to work with Deft Jams, Small Black, hailing from Brooklyn, New York. These guys were in New Orleans last on October 28, two days after the release of their first full length LP, the hazy, nostalgia drenched New Chain. This very talented outfit has been described as anything from synth-pop, to chillwave, to acoustamatic.


Next on the lineup is Toro y Moi, stage name for chillwave poster boy Chazwick Bundick. Toro y Moi is currently on tour following the February release of his second studio album, Underneath the Pine. The album has been described by many as step in a direction away from the chillwave genre, characterized at times by a feel that is borderline funk, but this hasn't seemed to hurt his success in the least bit. Pine received a "best new music" from Pitchfork, which could be argued as one of the pinnacle achievements in the independent music world. Furthermore, in between the close release of his first two albums, Bundick has stayed busy releasing a plethora of other material, such as remixes and the like. I hope he has a live drummer with him...

Tyler The Creator - French - Toro y Moi Remix

Yet another big name on the lineup for this Sundays showcase is Cults. Still without an entire full-length to their name, this indie pop band created huge amounts of buzz in 2010 with the release of their painfully catchy single "Go Outside." The track is a lazy retro feeling gem with a jangling glockenspiel riff and lyrics that will stick in your head untill your sick of them.

Cloud Nothings are an energetic and noisy lo-fi punk/power pop group from Cleveland that really likes braided hair - maybe even a bit too much. Their music is full of catchy hooks that are a product of the mastermind behind Cloud Nothings, Dylan Baldi. The bands latest self titled full-length was released at the beginning of this year via Wichita/Carpark records.

The last band on the lineup is "bliss-pop" duo from Philadelphia, Sun Airway. The groups depute full-length, Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier (what a name), came out late last year. I don't know too much about these guys, but their music is hazy and dreamy. It makes me anxious for the summer and has been compared by many to Animal Collective, which is a good thing. Besides, who doesn't love adorable hipster girls frolicking in the ocean, riding a bicycle care-free through a city, or even better, laying in bed in her underwear, dreaming?

Foburg festival and this show are definitely two things you shouldn't miss out on if you're in New Orleans this weekend. It isn't everyday we get the opportunity here to experience so much great music all in the time frame of a single weekend - take advantage of it.

- Article written and compiled by Justen Cheney

When's the last time you listened to a Canadian Jew play accordion?

Just here to spread the word of a lesser known music man known as Geoff Berner. His new album, Victory Party, just dropped yesterday-- and it's certainly worth giving it a listen, if only to diversify that electronically-oriented head of yours. I've generously provided the means to do so... and you'll certainly feel cool telling your friends about a sweet song that currently has less than 300 hits on youtube. Yeah, when's the last time that happened?

[video] The National - "Conversation 16"

Brooklyn brood-rock kings The National just put out a video for their song "Conversation 16." The track serves as the second single off of their outstanding, best-of-2010 list-topping album, High Violet. The video features "Mad Men" star John Slattery and "Flight Of The Conchords"/"Daily Show" star Kristin Schaal, along with the men of The National, in this political spoof of sorts. This video just continues to show the dynamic nature of this incredible band. They create some of the greatest dark music out there, but in outlets like these, they are also able show their more fun-loving side, demonstrating that they never take themselves too seriously. Enjoy the video below:

The National

08 March 2011

[new] Explosions In The Sky - "Trembling Hands"

Happy Mardi Gras! Today, Austin, TX instrumental post-rock ambient masters Explosions In The Sky released the first song from their upcoming album Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, which is out on April 26 via Temporary Residence. The track is called "Trembling Hands," and is available for streaming below. You can download the track, and pre-order the album at their website: