Strange Warnings from Rose Elinor Dougall plays the long game. It sticks with me, and the more I listen to it, the more I uncover in it's dense layers. The bridge at 1:53 drones on in the best way possible. It gives way to a tambourine part I find myself pretending to play in my car. I can imagine someone in another car seeing this and thinking my air tambo playing is me pretended to shake dice, or worse. Still, I can't help it. Strange Warnings is put together perfectly.
It's July. Football, Etc., Foxing and my band are finishing up a tour to Canada. Besides a few bumps in the road, a strange show at a Chinese restaurant, a broken van window and other car trouble, the tour had gone well. We arrived at label owner, best bud and notorious gamer Keith Latinen's apartment in Michigan close to 5 AM. No matter. We know he's up. In fact we know we will up for the next few hours laughing and talking despite being exhausted. The next day, walking to a mysterious apartment pool I had know idea existed, Lindsay from Football says to me, "I never revise. Whatever I write stays. I don't care if it sucks." I admired that. I thought of how crappy songs i ended up loving turned out, and how that never exists for Football.
Everything they write must be gold from the start because the entire album is great. I can't wait to see them on the road again at Fest.
Lil' B ( The Based God) might be more committed to satire than any artist I can think of. Everything he does and says seems to be a deconstruction of the hip-hop genre, and it's only slightly more extreme than the reality of what he is making fun of. He has beats with so much bass (no pun intended) that they distort the entire song even at a low volume. There are constant shout out's to things that don't exist and over use of the word "swag." His lyrical content is violent, misogynistic and in the same breath he is promoting positivity and the love of life. Lil' B is ridiculous and it's brilliant.
Just when I thought I understood Lil' B, he hit me with a serious song "Age of Information," and it turns out he is talented and thoughtful. The second verse of this song [starting at 2:00] is one of my favorite verses in hip-hop period. The line "honestly asking Google about things I should learn about" is amazing to me. Before Lil' B put this song out he said, "I'm above rap." He was right.
Every week that Keith was writing this record I got a new email containing new lyrics to a new Empire song, and every week I was treated to Keith's most interesting, descriptive and personal lyrics to date. I thought Keith was a great writer before we even met. The first time I thought this was upon hearing the line "she never faced a fear quite as sharp, but her sister did and it broke her heart."
Now Keith and I have a long history; a history as long as it's taken them to write this dang second full length. I can assure you that when it does drop it will be worth the wait. This was an important record for Keith and Cathy to finish on their own time and on their own terms. Judging from what I have heard, you guys will have a new emo classic on your hands in 2014.
Next Up is Jeff Takacs of Rocket Fuel Podcast! Going to Fest this year? Head over to his site to hear his special episode on all things Fest 12 related!