Strange Famous Records

SFR screenprint poster, podcast download, and RSS feeds

We should have these SCREEN PRINTS available for sale by Friday for the RI show.

SFR Showcase screenprint poster

SFR Showcase screenprint poster

Pete from a crew called Ghost-Town designed these for us and asked if he could print some up. He has a poster print place across from our office. The posters they do are sick. So big ups to him for putting this together on the fly.

there will be 200 limited prints, signed and numbered by Pete. Whatever we don’t sell at the RI show and the SXSW show will go up for sale on the website.

ENDING NOTES:

1) RSS feeds are now operational so subscribe to the artist blogs.

2) Almost every SFR artist has written a blog now. The one that has caused the biggest stir is B. Dolan’s open letter to Justin Timberlake. I think it’s brilliant in ways that haven’t even been discussed yet. JT fans think otherwise, but they’re entitled to their own opinion. Also, fuck em.

3) Here’s a free download of a SFR podcast that hasn’t even been POSTED yet. I’m giving this for free right now just to see who is or isn’t checking these blogs out:

http://rcpt.yousendit.com/656585946/608fde637ec3e6dade01ac5c5f9bd17d

It’s available only for a limited time, but we will be making each podcast downloadable from time to time. Stay updated, foo!

www.strangefamous.com

Feb 24

Funny story… breaking news

So, here’s a weird bit of scandalous information I’ve been hanging onto for a few months…

It involves one of my tourmates, a sadomasochistic fetish community, and a prominent conservative politician you may know.  Titillated?  READ ON.

Earlier this year, after playing an afternoon show in Chicago,  the tour i was on found itself in a pretty posh hotel, with no show scheduled for the next day.  This was our first night off in weeks, and everyone was pumped as we got there.

I arrive at the hotel on a mission to zone out.  Got some pizza.  Got some laundry to do.  Got my bag out of the van and I’m about to head upstairs.

Briefly, I notice that one of my tourmates, we’ll call him Grunge 65 le sac bastid, has struck up a conversation over cigarettes with a girl sitting on a bench outside.  I leave the two of them there and head in.

Focused on pizza and laundry.  Walking quickly through the lobby.  Only vaguely aware of anything unusual going on when I see a girl walk by in some dominatrix gear.  There’s bound to be at least one dominatrix in any big city hotel lobby, I’m guessing.  No big deal.

Sitting on a stool in front of the elevators is an heavy-set, 50 year old woman in a nurse costume with fishnet stockings.  She’s holding a clipboard and makes too much eye contact as I approach.  Why not.  Get on the elevator and head up to my room.

About an hour goes by, and my tourmate, who I’m sharing the room with, hasn’t come up to the room since we unloaded the van.  I’m thinking, “ya dawg.”  My pizza is in my belly.  I’m chilling and checking emails.

Suddenly, Grunge 65 le sac bastid comes barreling into the room, clearly fucked up and also stoned.

“Dude.  Dude.”

“Haha… what happened?”

“That girl?  That girl I was smoking the cigarette with?  She’s here with some kind of  S&M convention.  We just smoked a lot of weed in her car, and then I followed her into a conference room where a naked chick was suspended from the ceiling by ropes.  She just invited me to the gang bang in room 503!  Apparently room 402 is completely covered in plastic tarps and there’s a shitload of people in there pissing on each other!”

Yikes.

To make a long story short, Grunge 65 le sac bastid proceeded to have a long night of weird experiences with this girl, which may or may not have included a trip to the piss & slide.

HOWEVER,

The really weird part of this story was told to me the next morning.

Paraphrasing G65lscbastids’ account:

“I’m out in front of the hotel smoking a cigarette with this girl, and suddenly I see a black limo pull up.  Out of the hotel comes a guy that I saw earlier, in the suspension demonstration.  He looks vaguely familiar, and suddenly the limo makes me remember where I’ve seen him before.  He’s your ambassador to the UN…”

me: “JOHN BOLTON?!”

“Yeah, yeah that’s him.  So I asked the girl you know… ‘is he a member of your group?’ and she says ‘well we’re supposed to protect everyone’s names and be anonymous, but yeah.  he’s really into bondage.  teaches classes on it sometimes.’”

Another interesting bit of info obtained from this girl, was the fact that this whole S&M community is apparently made up of white Republicans.  Earlier in the night she’d hinted at the fact that the community was an “exclusive group,” (i.e. that no black person would ever be allowed to join it.)

So, there you have it.  As told to me by Grunge 65 le sac bastid:

John Bolton, the controversial former US Ambassador to the UN, belongs to an racist republican S&M community, and is something of an expert in bondage.

For those who need a refresher on who John Bolton is and was, check the attached video.

So you see, this isn’t earth shattering news.  Not front page of Knowmore.org material, but eyebrow raising nonetheless.  Blog-worthy maybe.  I hope your eyebrows were raised.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuqNWG9sbuE[/youtube]

p.s. I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking it’s hypocritical of me to put John Bolton on blast while protecting the identity of my tourmate.   To which I’d say, get lost Timberlake.

Feb 22

Prayers for Atheists show review

For those not in the know, Prayers for Atheists is a punk(ish) Providence band headed by Mr. Jared Paul.  You know, the guy who got in a heap of legal trouble for listening to music at the RNC (www.conspiracytoriot.com)

PFA

PFA

People in Providence have seen Jared do his thing for over 10 years now, whether it was yelling into megaphones at protest rallies, organizing community events, or waxing poetic on slam stages (no def jam.) It wasn’t until recently that he joined up with a musical outfit that actually helps propel his lyrical intensity and expressive manic-ness in a way that enhances the overall message.

Alan Hague is the musician who stepped in and helped develop the songs with Jared, providing all musical elements in the studio recordings. Then came Dave Booth on drums and Cousin Tom on bass for the live show. Then came last night’s performance in Providence that proved that this Prayers for Atheists thing is steps above anything people have seen from Jared or Alan in the past.
The crowd at AS220 was packed, filled with some old faces and some fresh new faces. We all shared a similar reaction that went something like, “Holy shit…this is TIGHT.” Not that it should be a surprise, but it was a bonding experience between us all where we realized we were witnessing one of the first shows from a band that is making serious moves. All I can say is that this was one of the few moments where I looked at a friend of mine on stage and felt truly proud. And I know pride is a bad thing, but I felt it. I’ve been through so much with Mr. Jared Paul and now he’s fronting a band with songs that get me moving like I’m a fresh new face.

Lots of things are in the works for PFA. Jared Paul is about to leave on a spoken word tour with B. Dolan but when they return the Prayers for Atheists EP will be ready for release (half of the songs have been posted on their myspace page.) PFA’s next performance will be at our office space at the Grant in Pawtucket, RI on Feb. 27th along with myself, B. Dolan, Prolyphic and Shane Hall. Details are on the tour page.

To Jared Paul, Alan Hague, Dave Booth and Cousin Tom…fantastic job last night. It envigorated me.

Jared and Alan getting pretty for the camera.

Jared and Alan getting pretty for the camera.

Dave Booth

Dave Booth

Feb 21

Headz Ain’t Ready

Back in early May of 2007, I flew out to Providence, RI to spend 3
weeks practicing with Sage after he had asked me to handle the DJing
duties of his live set for the Human the Death Dance Tour. That tour
was first time I got to spend a good amount of time with Bernard.
Before then, I would talk to him once in a while on AIM but it was
usually pretty brief. One day, a few months before I went to
Providence, Bernard sent me a song that he had done with Sole, which
surprised me, because I had no idea that he made music at this point.
I knew that he was always really busy with Knowmore.org, and when I
first met him in San Francisco two years earlier, he made no mention
at all of doing music. I wasn’t sure what to expect when he sent over
the song…all he had said was it was “some rap shit”. The song was
“Young Americans” which was on “The Failure”. This was the first time
I heard Bernard rap. I was immediately impressed. Bernard was a
complete emcee package. Dope lyrics, dope voice, dope delivery. His
raps had a similar vibe to the kind of hip-hop that I really was into
in the mid 90′s. On some Ras Kass, Organized Konfusion, Saafir, Chino
XL, O.C. type of vibe. Not that he sounded like any of those artists,
just that he made you listen by having dope lyrics, a dope voice and a
dope delivery.

One night before tour, we all went out to eat. On the way back,
Bernard was playing stuff in his car and he put on “The Four Horsemen”
by Aphrodite’s Child, one of my favorite songs from that band. I said
“bump this shit!”. He did. We rocked out to the massive drums. Hell
yes.

Bernard did a bunch of shows with us on the HTDD tour. He drove his
car because there was no room in the van, so most of the time I would
ride to the next city with him in his car, playing each other crazy
prog rock, psyche soul, electronic weirdness songs. Also during these
drives we talked about working on a few songs together at some point
in the future. I told him I would be down to do some production for a
couple songs if our schedules matched up. He said he had a project he
had to finish first (The Failure). We agreed we’d figure it out.

I moved back to Portland, Maine in August of 2007. I had started an
album, but scrapped it and started over once I got back to Maine. I
worked quickly on my new album (Resurgam) and had it finished by the
start of March. I like to take breaks from music after I finish an
album. So I chilled out for a bit and then Bernard and Sage hit me up
in May of 2008 about producing for Bernard. When Bernard and I had
talked about it months before, we had only talked about doing a few
songs. But now we were talking about me producing an entire album. I
was really excited. I had always wanted to produce an entire hip-hop
album. Some of my favorite hip-hop albums have one producer (or
production team) throughout the entire record. When I worked with
Sole on Selling Live Water, the original plan was for me to produce
that entire album. We recorded enough songs for it, but when mixing
and mastering time came, Sole decided to cut a bunch of songs and
replace them with songs produced by Nosdam, Jel and Telephone Jim
Jesus.

So with “Fallen House, Sunken City”, I’m finally getting the chance to
produce an entire hip-hop album. It’s been a return to form in some
ways. Most of my past releases have been more electronic, with not
much sampling. This album is sample heavy. And it’s been a fun
challenge to chop up samples beyond recognition. The drums are HUGE.
They are compressed the fuck out. They knock in your Mitsubishi.
They have to…matching the intensity of Bernard’s raps is tough
sometimes. So massive drums are in order. The music we’ve done so
far is some of the most in-your-face stuff I’ve ever been involved
with. This isn’t some music you put on to do your homework to. This
isn’t some music to put on in the background while you throw a dinner
party. This is some music Ice Cube would make with a 2009 Bomb Squad
if he wasn’t doing Disney movies now. I’ve played a song or two for a
few people when they come to my studio. Usually, at the end of the
song they say “holy shit…I didn’t know that dude rapped like that.
I had no idea!” I can’t wait to see what other folks say when they
hear B straight killin’ it. Yikes…

Feb 21

I used to seeeeell… mixtaaapes…

I haven’t bought a new mixtape in a long time. Not because I’m not an enthusiast – quite the opposite, but as someone who was once on top of my game and knew what most DJ’s day to day moves were on a daily basis, I know how tough it can be to stay even a few steps behind what’s happening, let alone ahead of it all… And I’m talking about the days before widespread internet and high speed connections (I know I sound like an old fashioned grump sometimes but I find it fascinating how things have changed so seamlessly and how the internet has been intergrated into everything so easily…). It seems crazy how a while back when you wanted to know the name of a track you’d have to go through some mental and full on name game type shit… I’m talking about the old old days, early 90′s… So let’s go through the options in this 20th century name game : Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 20

Grown Man Talk

The term “grown man talk”. I’m not feeling it. I heard it used in a TV interview with Busta Rhymes and The Game. The Game was explaining to Busta about how he plans on putting his music career aside for a while to take care of his family and spend more time with his kids. I found that to be commendable, but at the some time I thought of a Chris Rock punchline from “Bigger and Blacker”.

setup: Man wanting credit for taking care of his kids
Rock’s punchline: “You’re suppose to take care of your kids you dumb motherfucker. What do you want a cookie?”

Back to the interview. So, Busta nods his head and says to Game, “that’s some grown man talk right there”. Grown man talk? What? Why should it be suprising that he is talking like a grown man? Yea, I hope what he is saying is Grown Man Talk. The Game is over 21, appears to have a family, I hope he is talking like a grown man. I turned the TV off and couldn’t help but to start to think a little deeper into this term. Do we actually needs this term? Shouldn’t it be a given that a grown man is using grown man talk. I started to think about our American culture and pop culture. A lot of people in America have a tough time taking responsibility for their actions, but that’s not the worst part. The worst part is…they get away with it. Look at the banking crisis, housing market crisis, WMD mistakes in Iraq, Ex-Mayor Blogdonvich, etc. They are all pointing fingers and passing the blame. “He did it, She did it”. But that is only a short list to a  list that  goes on forever and will continue to go on forever. Because everyone enjoys passing the blame. Why? Because its easy and if you can get away with it! Why not? On our television we watch our own government get away with it. The MBTA gets away with it. The old “i didn’t do it, he did it” routine from our childhood. Who’d a thunk it would still work as an adult? Apparently a lot of people do. I inadvertently heard A-Rod’s press conference yesterday as he explained that “he was just a stupid kid” for taking steroids. “I was just a stupid kid at 23 and I didn’t know what I was taking. I didn’t know. I thought they were magic power pills from Central America that cost me 5 hundy. Can you blame a kid for being stupid?” Yes A-Rod, you can blame a kid for being stupid. Especially when the kid is 23-25 and he needs to produce big numbers at the plate cuz he just signed a 5 hundy milli dollar contract. Stupid fucking kids. Michael Phelps is another stupid fucking kid at 21 or whatever stupid fucking age he is. Does age matter when you’re a stupid fucking kid? Can’t you just be a stupid fucking kid forever? There are probably a lot of stupid fucking male kids in America. I’ve bumped into a couple. I’ve literally bump into a couple because, you know, they’re stupid. I say, “Hey you stupid fucking kid watch where ya going, you might end up becoming a doctor or some shit being so fucking stupid.” (Bill Cosby does a great bit on brain damaged kids saying and doing stupid shit.) It’s pathetic. What’s the point of playing a game with rules when everyone breaks them? Why have the rules? Is it fair that some of us have to obey and others don’t? Is that the point? And why are some rules enforced, but others aren’t? For me it just adds to the pile of shit that we ship over to the poor parts of Cambodia and China and leave for them to deal with. (Even our own shit and stuff we have to dump on other people. Our TV’s, computers and other electronic gizmos we no longer have use for. We fucking dump it on someone else.) What stupid fucking kids we are. And it makes sense that we produce stupid fucking kids. And we act like stupid fucking kids. I am not excluded. So, maybe I’m wrong about the term “Grown Man Talk.” Maybe we need this term to spark some more grown man talk in this country.

blogging it.

Prolyphic

Feb 18

Street Rapping

I’ve been a street rapper for years. When I say street rapper, I don’t mean I’m from the streets and I’m all thugged out, I was raised on a farm. What I mean is I street perform for cash by rapping. I got into it when I was homeless so I could make money to buy sandwiches. I was gonna be freestyling all day anyway so I figured I might as well do it in a busy area with a donation box in front of me.

The spot I picked was on 8th and Idaho in Boise in front of this big corporate banking firm type place. The second day I went out I sold a couple cds to some skater kids for sandwich money. About 15 minutes later a cop rolled up and gave me a ticket for illegal vending. Someone inside must have saw me and called him because they didn’t want me street rapping in front of their big fancy corporation. I didn’t have cds laid out or a booth or anything. I was just slangin em out of my backpack. I wound up with a fine for 800 dollars. The cop said I could take donations but that it was illegal to sell cds. So out of spite, I went back to that spot and street rapped 3 or 4 times a week for what must have been about 5 months all day during business hours. I met alot of cool people, pissed alot of people off, and ate alot of sandwiches. The funniest part was when idaho gangster rappers would try to battle me.

What kind of society do we live in when all kinds of harmful things are legal to sell but a guy can’t sell a rap song for a sandwich?

I’m out in Portland for awhile and its a pretty good place to street rap. I went out the other day and scored 28 bucks. The rain sucks but I like it when its overcast becuase I sunburn easily.

If your an emcee interested in making money for sandwiches while rapping or you just want to street rap for fun, there are a few approaches you can take. If you wanna go big so people can hear you a block away, I suggest buying a Roland Micro Cube. They kick out alot of a good amount of bass. However, if your on the street rapping with out a microphone when no one is there you look insane. Plus if your a homeless emcee rapping for sandwich money you probably can’t afford a mini amp from guitar center. For the more casual approach, I suggest rapping with no mic and a cool lookin boom box. It makes you almost blend in like your some guy rappin along to Lil Jon because he has nothing better to do.

When I first got into street rapping I was trying to slang cds so I just did my set over and over again but whats really fun is freestyling. I like to freestyle and if some one ask me to do a written song I’ll bust one out or maybe just freestyle and do a written song once in awhile. I started out freestyling over Doom instrumentals but then after awhile I got into freestyling over nothing but drum machine beats. It has a raw feel that reminds me of freestyling over someone beat boxing.

If your in the portland area maybe you’ll catch me street rapping down around Pioneer square. I’ll be the guy who sounds like Katherine Hepburn.

Feb 18

Praying for Atheists

True Story…

My cousin Tom is the bassist in Prayers for Atheists. And he’s been kicking ass online promoting for the upcoming PFA shows, including hitting up family members (we have a huge family- almost 20 first cousins in between the ages of 16-29 years old and could probably fill a small venue with just our cousins and their respective partners/friends).

I got an excited email from Cousin Tom last week explaining that two of my younger cousins from Connecticut (who I love and don’t see nearly enough) were making the trip up to Providence for our show on the 20th. I thought it was odd, because they hardly come up here and last I knew, they weren’t really into music as aggressive as ours- but I just figured they thought it was cool that Tom had joined the band with (cool older cousin) Jared and that was enough to make the trip.

Tom and I were both pumped to see them, I mean, sincerely appreciative and really looking forward to it.

Then, just a few days ago I got this email from Cousin Tom:

“okay… really funny story. Matt and Zach selected ‘attending’ for the show off the Facebook invite. Because they thought it was a ‘praying for atheists’ event. One in which people all over the world would simultaneously pray for atheists… so… bad news, they’re not coming. Good news, that’s hilarious.”

Prayers for Atheists… ha.

Prayers for those who’ve lost their way…

Hymns of Hope, for those who no longer believe in god or the empire around them…

Songs from the bottom of a mineshaft; or Psalms of Victory.

This whole thing could get really interesting, on a lot of levels.

*(Matt and Zach! If you end up seeing this: We definitely got some different beliefs but your big cousin loves you. Always. Keep praying for us if it feels right. I’m sure there’s power there, one way or another, and I got a feeling I’m going to need all the help I can get.)

Feb 18

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Sleep of Oldominion's new album "Oregon Failure" (produced by Maulskull) is OUT NOW! SIGNED CD and MP3 Download available here.

SFRstore EXCLUSIVE! Prolyphic & Buddy Peace Limited Edition, Tri-Colored, Hand-Screenprinted 7-inch Vinyl! Features Sage Francis & Metermaids. See all available options here.

B. Dolan will be joining Sage Francis on the Copper Gone Tour this May! Check out the latest installment of his "House of Bees" mixtape series here.

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