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Last week on my radio show, Awesome New Place, I was joined by author and Nation of Thizzlam blogger Willy Staley, for a special episode called G-Chat.

Our talk circled loosely around rap in the YouTube era, touching on rappers getting famo, memes vs. trends, scraper bikes staying relevant, DIY cereal backpacks and instructional dance videos, Bubb Rubb, turf dancing, format wars, the Lil B – Soulja Boy connection, the culdesac vs. the hood, haul videos and mommy blogging, bros icing bros, 4Loko, white tees, vans, and “How the Looming Specter of Viral Marketing Ruins Rap Songs About Consumer Goods.”

Though we raised more questions than we answered, its definitely a must-listen chapter in FAT’s ongoing discussions of famo, viral marketing, and rap.

Stream the show right here and view the playlist for tons of links to relevant vids and media on all the above topics and so much more.

“If you’re doing the reverse running man in skinny teal jeans in your culdesac and no one is there to film it, what are you really doing?” – Willy Staley, 2010

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Posted on September 8, 2010


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I spent most of this year working at Wax Poetics, where I got introduced to a lot of these 2009 releases through promos sent to the magazine for review. The synths were big again this year, and merited a few repeat artists from ’08, notably Stones Throw’s Dam Funk and James Pants. While certainly I seek out electronic music as part of a well-balanced breakfast, this mix came out extra fortified, with programmed drums and sine-wave arpeggios melted into the nooks and crannies of other genres I was listening to. It was all put to good use in afrobeat (Chico Mann), dub (Major Lazer), grown-man-Steely-Dan-mellow (9dw), library kitch (Douglas Wood), breezy tropicalia (Antena), and sex jams (Chin Chin). The older and reissued material lends some context via a smattering of house (Lil Louis) and unreleased bedroom tapes from a maestro of Hi-NRG (Cowley). Hope you like.

listen online

# Artist – Song (Year Label)

1. Harald Grosskopf – So Weit So Gut (1980 Sky)
2. Patrick Cowley & Jorge Socarras – Memory Fails Me (2009 Macro)*
3. Nite Jewel – What Did He Say (2009 Gloriette)
4. James Pants – Sky Warning (2009 Stones Throw)
5. Junior Boys – Work (2009 Domino)
6. Hercules and Love Affair – You Belong (2008 DFA)
7. Lil Louis & The World – I Called U (1989 Epic)
8. Chico Mann – Go to that Place (2009 Furious Panther)
9. Subway – Jupiter (2009 Soul Jazz)
10. Major Lazer – Pon de Floor feat. Vybz Kartel (2009 Downtown)
11. Lykke Li – Complaint Department (2008 EMI)
12. Dam Funk – Searchin’ 4 Funk’s Future (2009 Stones Throw)
13. x
14. 9dw – Synthetic Avenues (2008 Catune)
15. Brian Bennett – Spiv (2009 Wax Poetics)*
16. Chin Chin – GG and The Boys (2009 Def Jux)
17. Antena – Bye Bye Papaye (2004 Numero)*
18. Douglas Wood – Moon Nightclub (2009 Trunk)*
(*reissues. original release dates may vary.)

Here in the future, the combination of promotional platforms like Myspace and the ubiquity of mp3s (and their $0 production cost) hardly give geographically local music scenes a chance to marinate into something distinct. Pre-internet, you had bounce in NOLA, go go in DC, and Detroit techno, but with the aid of digital distribution, noise bands in Providence sound like noise bands in Baltimore, and nationally, all music eventually distills into Lady Gaga. The geographic distinctions are melting, and while I’m not necessarily advocating for a locavore movement for music, it has had me searching for a new outlet for amateur, self-released, DIY sounds.
Luckily those same self publishing tools have allowed millions of other people (musicians and otherwise) to record themselves doing any number of things and upload it to YouTube, aka the Dollar Bins of the 21st Century. This year I tried to get omnivorous, and realized that for me, “digging” for YouTube videos is just as legit as LPs. Why prioritize one format over another? I get just as much satisfaction coming across some amazing vid with under 500 views as I do finding some bizzaro local LP (and now CDs and tapes too!) in a thrift store. And I want to play it for people.
This is my first attempt at a YouTube-sourced mix – a proof of concept. Putting together an audio mix from video material was a good exercise in keeping my ears open to good sounds in unexpected places, and I think the result has a sometimes radio-drama effect, mixing music, narration, and field recordings into a cohesive whole. I have more favorites where these came from, so expect something bigger down the line.

bennett4senate youtube finds mix

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1. dog malfunction
2. Miami HEAT Fan Conduct Announcement Slow Jammed
3. Computer Teacher Beatdown
4. Spanish Rap Project
5. mathematics (independent) – math rap
6. The Slope Formula Snoop Dogg Style “Math Rap”
7. I show how to make trance in Fl studio (by Sonix 1241) #4
8. beamz Music Performance System
9. american girl music video – The Best Burrito I’ve ever had – parry gripp
10. Avatar Makeup tutorial
11. Epic Slow Clap and double OT victory
12. Pancho the singing parrot
13. Brookline is My Lady pt. 1
14. manualist plays young holt unlimited – soulful strut – on his hands!

2009 Shoutouts:
Lets Get Serious, my other blog, and home of Mike McGill and Tackleberry of A Downtown Affair.
DJ Ghostdad (& the Fully Fitted family) who had Sober1, my main homey Josh Dunn, and myself on Mofo Radio this fall for a really fun show.
Trent, for having me as a guest on the special 45s and 40z edition of Sound and Safe.
WFMU in general, and what.cd for their dedication to quality!

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Posted on January 2, 2010


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I, like many of my generation, spent a fair percentage of my youth firing foam darts at my older brother . We used to throw our Ninja Turtles against the wall until they broke and then re-arrange the body parts, but somehow we never thought to take apart our NERF guns to enhance their speed, range, or firepower.
Maybe it was just a simpler time, when all one had was their Arrowstorm and the second amendment to keep from becoming a Nerf P.O.W.

Things have changed since 9-11, but thanks to people like YouTube user uin13 we can rest assured knowing that good old-fashioned American ingenuity will help maintain our technological edge against the twisted minds of terrorists and older brothers alike. In the following MagStrike Mod, he walks us through how to double your clip capacity without pumping in between. Terrorists hate freedom, but they really really hate foam darts.

Maybe not the most professional How-To, but almost better this way, to share in the discovery, frustration and “fuck it – just use duct tape” attitude that come up in any taking-things-apart session.

More options in the Mods section of Nerf Haven.

This bout of nostalgia is brought to you by “May is National Make a F***ING Post Month” and the fact that I just graduated from college.

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Posted on May 18, 2008


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At the first glance TINA seems to be the best “attention-h0″ ever, famous for her trashy and brave “user generated content”. Her youtube videos are absolutley authentic, the internet loves her, and she has a big fanbase. But why would a person expose itself in such a excessive way? Just for being internet famous?

Her recent flyer promoting “Tina’s Essay Contest” looks so perfectly trashy and 90s style, that it smells like the work of a professional. Color, typography, well-cropped backgrounds – it’s hard to do it better. Compare the flyer of TINA with Bennet4$senate’s (F@ Lab artist)

s6hais__opt_2.jpg b

Is this the work of professional amateurs? For me, it is “internet famo art”, following even bigger footsteps than Lonelygirl15:

TINA also stands for “There Is No Alternative“, a term of the famous sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. Wikipedia quotation: Bourdieu claims that how one chooses to present one’s social space to the world, one’s aesthetic dispositions, depicts one’s status and distances oneself from lower groups. DAMN!

As TINA knows how-to present her social space to the world really well, we should look forward to her further career. See also: http://internetfamo.us/class/

Links to Tina:


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