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"Ugly Truth" and "Failure" Review Thread
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Strange Famous Forum > SFR Artists, Albums & Merch!

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mancabbage



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Posts: 9256
Location: london
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arrived friday with the failure, put off listening as i was out the house all weekend.

been listening to ugly truth all day at work

fucking hell.

loving it, every beat has my head nodding, reanimator is giving lessons here...and prolyphic maaaan... sounds like he has a fire up his arse, hungry as hell..flow like :O
.. need some time to digest the lyrics (artist goes pop is the shit) but yeah all great stuff,

crazy crazy crazy year (couple of weeks) for music so far....

not checked out the failure yet, will listen tonight
Post Tue May 06, 2008 10:10 am
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b. dolan
FBI agent


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 5698
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FranktheP wrote:
I am only about 5 tracks into "The Failure" and I like what I hear so far. Its kind of dark to me so I need a good long night drive (which is coming soon) to give it the proper feel. But congrats on the release B. I really look forward to giving this a better listen.


thanks sir. i do kind of wish i had been able to get it togetha for a winter release. it's definitely a snowed-in kind of album... worst comes to worse just put the cd in the closet with some mothballs...
Post Tue May 06, 2008 10:38 am
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19356
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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This is my blog today about Skycycle blues, and how The Failure works as a kind of Grimoire.
http://mercurialfuturist.blogspot.com/2008/05/b-dolan-and-artist-as-shaman.html

The actual above link has more pictures to go with the text. Oh yeah, and none of this actually probably reaches any level of coherency. I'm hungover, starving, and my room feels like an oven. But whatever. I probably could have written four times as much on this.


Quote:




The artist as magician. Anyone that has been reading my blog for awhile, knows that the intersection of art and magic, and their interchangeability is something that I'm intensely interested in. Today I'm going to discuss it using my favorite current artist B. Dolan as my example, since a lot of the language and techniques he uses accurately invoke more than a few popular rituals of the shaman. And plus he has an album that's out today, it's disgustingly ill. It's like horror-core apocalyptic spoken word Ragnarök grinding. Basically right in the wheel house for me and a lot of the people probably reading this blog.

Anywho. You can get his music here. You can also listen to the whole "Failure" album in it's entirety, and listen to exactly what I'm talking about here.

The thing I'd like to open up with first is his poem Skycycle Blues. Skycycle blues is a spoken word performance about Evel Knievel the daredevil. What's interesting about this piece is that when it was performed, for the longest time, Dolan would dress up in a Evel jumpsuit and helmet and start priming the crowd. Bringing the crowd into a frenzy, before making a jump on a bike over some small school buses. This would be coupled with the actual piece, which is an invokatory piece. What's fascinating is the act of costuming, and masking here, takes on a transformative effect on Dolan. His facial expressions change. His body language is different, and on certain nights he is Evel Knievel. And there's this electricity, that supercedes the reality of the moment. He's jumping over small school buses, but the energy that act generates is tremendous, and it feeds into the rest of the piece.

What's fascinating even moreso than that, is how in the middle of the piece, Dolan uses Knievel as a tool to invoke and deal with Death. In a way, Knievel is used in the same way that one might use a Vodoun crossroads god to speak with someone from beyond that reality.

" So this is what you call a fucking one shot deal:
This helmet,
is to protect me from my own momentum
This costume
is to protect YOU from the realness of what is happening here!
I am calling on DEATH
and she comes growling and snapping into the arena
and opens her jaws up wide on both sides of my landing ramp!
Gasoline!
Throttle!
My heart is a spark plug!
My heart is pumping 100% Fuck You!
Thumbs up!
Open her up!
Let the arrow fly and
Tear into the fabric of an instant! "

To some extent Dolan allows himself to be taken over(mounted) by the Daredevil god Knievel. Because who better to invoke when trying to evoke death and pass along a request? Who is more brave in the face of death, than a daredevil?

The piece concludes:
"he deserves mercy, death.
mercy..."

Which when you take into the context that Dolan is in the guise of Knievel, asking for mercy for Knievel(who died recently) is also in some ways asking for a favor from death towards his own ends.

The last thing I'll say on Skycycle blues is this. On the EP record that you can buy, the Live Evel EP, on the back of it it recounts how Dolan became inspired to write the Knievel poem. It describes an experience he had in his car where his radio went out, and just like Phillip K. Dick's pink laser, a laser enters Dolan, and on the heals of that laser is the voice of Knievel coming in over the speaker. The story skips ahead some time and says "when I came to, I had spent a year onstage as Evel Knievel. At the end of that time, I wrote "The Skycycle Blues"."

There are other even stronger magical metaphors sprinkled throughout the album for the discerning listener. This is just the one that was the keyhole for me. But I mean, what's the significance of this? You'll actually find these kind of metaphors in performance art a LOT. And I guess that's really what I'm trying to play with here. Actors, spoken word poets, musicians, rappers--they are all magicians/shamans. And the best of them can and will put you under their spell.

This gets into some of what Alan Moore was talking about. In terms of the role of the artist. As with marketers, we are talking about people of high magical skill. People that can take others minds to places that they wouldn't go on their own. They can be the gateway to higher enlightenments and realizations of self.

Or they dumb you down. They can put you to sleep. They can dull the senses. And they can hasten our devolution. With all of the new things that we have, the old metaphors are the most primal. They are the ones most connected with the roots of our evolution. They are the ones closest to our inner most consciousness. And art, because it IS magic, is a way to communicate with these consciousnesses.

I don't know what I'm totally rambling on to. But it's something akin to, the role of the shaman in the community was to offer a way for the community to bridge gaps between the spiritual and the corporeal, and in doing so allow the community to know about itself and it's history in a much more real and fulfilling way. By connecting into that powerful communal back consciousness, the decisions for the future of the community can be enlightened and enjoyed. So I'm saying, listen to the music. Listen in between the music. And uh....I dunno. Buy B. Dolan's album. There's some great references to Divine Horsemen in there for you to find. As well as some great breakdowns for how magic intrinsically works. If you wanted to, you could take this album and teach yourself a magical system that will work, and will take your brain to new crazier places.

You can put yourself out into a dark forest, invoke old gods till your drunk and delirious, and watching them hover at the edge of your own perception, ask them favors, ask them for wisdom, ask them for something, because right now, people are asking in your stead constantly, the party is jumping off.

The Failure is the club banger jump off for 2008.

www.SFRstore.com
www.myspace.com/bernarddolan
www.bdolan.net
Post Tue May 06, 2008 12:36 pm
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mancabbage



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Posts: 9256
Location: london
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scorching weather today, went to the park intending on reading a book and listening to the failure.. ended up fucking the book and just listening to the record instead (nice mental picture that eh?)...

... i'll be honest, i'm not big into the poetry thing, spoken word stuff has never really tickled my earlobes. I'd not heard anything from this record before putting it on and bought it more as a means of supporting SFR and having faith in the good words the tour version was getting from people on here. (hey, free t-shirt helped too :-) )


[edit, shit... i just remembered i saw the youtube vid preview thing]


but woooow, this shit is INTENSE.... dark as hell, i really, really like it - maybe its my inexperience in this genre (is that the right word?) but this sounds so fresh to me, I love cohesive nature of the album.. I couldn't pick out one track to advise people to listen to in order to check it out, it feels more like one of those records that needs to be heard as one.

I see what people meant when they were saying something along the lines of this being a 'sitting inside in winter and listening' kinda album... in that it really commands attention, you gotta sit there and absorb it - this isn't one of those albums i'll put on whilst im working (i'd get nothing done).. intense deep dark stuff... if anyones in two minds about whether to get this, get off the fence and commit, great record.

Congrats

I'll be genuinely shocked if anything comes along later this year that could displace this, the ugly truth and life gives you lemons from my top 3 albums of the year, thankfully got 8 months to work out which order those three go in :)
Post Wed May 07, 2008 1:47 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19356
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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I got my tax rebate today, so I ordered the Failure with the quickness.
What any sensible adult would do.
Post Wed May 07, 2008 3:35 pm
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Bring that Beat Back



Joined: 20 Mar 2007
Posts: 854
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A few thoughts on the new releases...

The Ugly Truth is just so dope I don't really know where to start.

When you love an artist's work as I do Reanimators' you get a bit nervous wondering if the magic he produces can continue. I guess that comes from being burned by so many other releases from artists, who released crazy good albums only to followed them up with garbage.

But really why the nerves? This is Reanimator. A producer who has yet to put a beat out that doesn't hit hard. Yet to put out a beat that I don't like. The streak continues.

Prolyphic is consistent on this release - good lyrics and rapping. Right now my favorite Prolyphic moments are on Flashlight. But he's great throughout.

This is one of those rare cds you could throw in, hit random play and whatever song ends up playing is going to get you going.

My track is 'The Way That I See It'. The beat is so hard and the break down at the end. Damn! I listened to this track 3 times in a row on my way into work today.
it's your world babyit's your world babyit's your world baby

The Failure is such a different album from The Ugly and I guess from pretty much all of the records I own. I listened to the Tour version and loved it but this version is different. More complete somehow?

Like others have mentioned it is dark and full of ambiance you're not necessarily use to. It commands your attention and after hearing a few tracks you kind of feel guilty if you can't provide your full attention to listen.

It's an album you want to share with so many people. But you know some won't give it that attention. Too many of your friends will dismiss it because it is different. So you realize it's their loss and share the appreciation with the ones that get it.

And what I get most from the album is that B. is passionate. Passionate about the subjects within and passionate about his art.

The skycycle blues and kate remain my favorite tracks... for now.

Amazing album Bernard!
Post Wed May 07, 2008 8:16 pm
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Marcus Forealius



Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 546
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I've really been enjoying both of these albums.

'The Ugly Truth' has met and exceeded all of the expectations I had for it. It's definitely Prolyphic's best work yet, which is masterfully complemented by Reanimator's production. There are so many great change-ups throughout the entire album with the variations from hard-hitting beats with a little more intensity in Prolyphic's rapping to more laid back songs with a bit more of a mellow vibe, but always on point both lyrically and musically.

I've listened to the 'The Failure' a couple of times now in its entirety, and it's an incredible piece of work, just a great finished product after having heard the tour version last year. There's so many standout tracks on this album, specifically for me, Skycycle Blues, Kate, Heart Failure, Crow on the Riddle, Young Americans, and I could go on.

It's easy to see how much everyone involved in the making of these projects has put into their craft, and that's clearly evident upon listening to both of these albums. Great work, guys. Looking forward to hearing more great stuff from you guys in the future.
Post Thu May 08, 2008 8:40 am
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Reggie



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 5765
Location: Queens, NYC
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I listened to The Failure three times in the last two days. Overall, I think it's a pretty excellent album. It's a good blend of straight hip-hop and well-written and nicely performed poetry. I liked the bits with the computer voice, kind of reminds me of the Mr. Hood album. My biggest complaints are that some of the vocals seem to be mixed very low, and the album is a little too concept-heavy for my tastes; I would have liked to hear more performed pieces and less banter with the computer voice. But this is a really solid album, I'm glad I checked it out.
Post Thu May 08, 2008 10:18 am
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21557
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Reggie wrote:
I liked the bits with the computer voice, kind of reminds me of the Mr. Hood album.


I said the same exact thing. B hasn't heard that album, and I've been meaning to track it down for him. I think he'll get a kick out of it.
Post Thu May 08, 2008 10:20 am
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Dream Inspired



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 2121
Location: genoa
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got the failure in the mail this morning...
man, this thing looks superb.
the artwork inside and out really goes well with the album. it kind of accentuates the feel of the album... almost foreshadows it before you listen to it.
it sounds A LOT better than the streamed version. my car was thirsty for new music and now it's quenched. even at high levels the album sounds good. i was a little afraid that B's scary ass voice was gonna pop my speakers, but nope. i wish that gas wasn't so damn expensive cuz i want to roll around and bump it all day long.

i also received a little red flag with the words sage glued onto it in felt lettering... it smells like cheap hookers and scotch but is pretty damn cool. i'll stake it into the moon when i finally make it there for you.
all and all, AWESOME!!!!!!
thanks
Post Thu May 08, 2008 1:19 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21557
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hahahaaaaaa

you gotta show a picture of the red flag
Post Thu May 08, 2008 1:22 pm
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Dream Inspired



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 2121
Location: genoa
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frank,
our refrigerator has never felt so cool.
our electricity bill thanks you!
much love,
adam


har har
Post Thu May 08, 2008 2:34 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21557
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I'm really glad it found a good home.
Post Fri May 09, 2008 10:36 am
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Lusid
http://youtube.com/watch?v=skCV2L0c6K0


Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 5081
Location: Dr. Pepperland
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Alternate universe B. Dolan.
Post Fri May 09, 2008 11:41 am
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Dyss



Joined: 05 Sep 2002
Posts: 1517
Location: SWE
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The last year have been intense for SFR! First HTDD in may last year, Sage second best album to date closely behind personal journals. Then Situation with Buck, that album is so good and it gets rotation on a weekly basis. I even rank it higher up than Talking Honky Blues that was my favourite album until Situation dropped. And now The Ugly Truth hit me like boot in the nuts. The expectations on Prolyphic wasnt very high set since I only mildly enjoyed Times Table scraps. I knew Reanimator kills it though. But to my surprise Prolyphic is the real star here! So many good tracks on this album. All the featured artists mix in perfect on every song, Macromantics is great and the "survive another winter" track is SFR at its best. Im going to listen to this for a long time ahead.

"The Failure" doesnt hit me as hard though. I would like B.Dolan to rap more as I enjoy those songs Ive heard of him. A Reanimator/Dolan album or a Alias/Dolan album would be a complete banger. This album cant hold my attention even though there are some gems hidden inside of there. I am not a spoken word kind of type but I loved Buddy Wakefields release last year so I know it can be enjoyable. Im going to listen to the album more of course to give it a fair chance. Joan of Arcadia, Heart Failure and The crow on riddle are awesome songs.

SFR is where its at nowadays for sure.
Post Sat May 10, 2008 7:23 am
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