Friday, January 29, 2010

Internet Dangers.

I found this random video on YouTube that used our song "Shades Off" at the end and thought it was funny and wanted to share it with everyone.

It's a perfect use of the song.

So, to whoever made this video -- I expect our check is in the mail. (Kidding, of course).



Have a good weekend yall.

Holler.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm So Tired.

Good Thursday.

Stine is on his game, Sentence is on his game. I actually don't really have anything to do. We are planning on getting up in the studio again on Saturday to keep it moving.

It was snowing crazy hard in Brooklyn when I was walking to the train. But when I got into Manhattan there wasn't any snow on the ground. And when I got back to Brooklyn there wasn't any snow either. Like it never happened at all. Kind of a metaphor for how this week has gone. Not that I dislike snow. But, you know.

Had a great talk with my boss this morning. Feel much better about my work situation.

Things are feeling much better overall.

I think I mentioned it in an earlier blog, but I think we are going to try and put together an EP of us doing the rappity rap over Arcade Fire's "Funeral," which is another one of my favorite albums. So I guess I will get to work finding the right songs to rock over.

Any suggestions?

We also got a couple of shows coming up, which is tight. We haven't played in a while. I will be updating the websites and stuff with the dates soon.

I slept on 30 Rock for too long. That show is incredible.

I won't be blogging tomorrow. Have a great weekend everyone.

Holler.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union.

I really liked the speech tonight. Politics aside, I dug hearing a powerful, hopeful statement.

Also, Obama going at the Supreme Court was priceless. And the Chiefs of Staff sitting there stone-faced while he was talking about letting gays in the military was incredible too. What are you scared of, fellas?

I felt good today again. Making moves.

Negotiations going ahead with the DJ to do the cuts for our project. Stine is mixing his ass off. Sentence is putting together dope videos.

I did a bunch of laundry and ate Mexican food for dinner.

Joe Lieberman can eat a fat dick. So can Linsday Graham. And that Republican response was the most vanilla, boring shit I have ever witnessed.

We don't quit. I don't quit.

Holler.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

10,000 Miles.

I've been working as a dog walker in New York for the past five years. With the exception of tours, and vacations (two real vacations in five years), I have been walking walking walking.

I average about ten miles a day.

In my boredom today, I did a little math. I figured out that I probably walk around 2,000 miles a year. So, after five years of walking, I have probably walked close to 10,000 miles. I tweeted this fact today, and my sister tweeted back that, if I had walked that distance straight, I could have made it to Darwin, Australia by now. I'd be 2,000 full miles past Hong Kong. (I didn't check my sister's facts. But she is a lot smarter than me, so, you know).

The weird part is that I am back in the same neighborhood I was when I started this job. 10,000 miles to get back to where you started. Walking the same streets, thinking the same thoughts, hoping to catch the same breaks. It's been tough, realizing all of this. I have been in a funk recently. A baaaaaad fuuuuuuunk.

In these blogs, I don't mean to complain. These aren't a cry for help. I'm a hopeful person, which is probably why my experiences in the music business have been so devastating. I realized when I started that the next couple of months were going to bring about a bunch of serious life changes. I just want to document, if only for myself, each day as it passes, honestly. Yesterday I was too upset to blog. I am upset today, but feeling better.

I am tired of being one of the poorest people I know. And I am tired of leaving important matters of my life in other peoples' hands. And I'm just tired, in general. I feel all 10,000 miles of it -- my feet, my knees, my back. My body hurts every single morning when I wake up. And there are people who work a lot harder than me, for a lot less.

I know it's gonna change soon though. Change gon' come. Oh yes it will.

Stine sent over his first draft of a mix for the 9th project tonight. Sounds good. Little tweeking and it's there. He could mix all day and all night and it wouldn't be fast enough for me right now. I'm the least patient person of all time. He, on the other hand, is a very patient person with me.

So is my baby.

We also are in negotiations with a legendary DJ to do the cuts for the EP. I'm superstitious, so I won't mention his name until everything is ironed out.

I'm smoking too much -- back to around a full pack a day. What a vicious cycle smoking is at $10 a pack.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ummmm.

I'm realizing that my grand blog idea is going to be hard when there is nothing much to talk about, in terms of everything moving forward. I will still press on.

Sentence is finishing up a promo video.

We figuring out the cuts situation.

Tomorrow is Friday.

I would post a random music video up for fun but it would crash my computer right now.

Word up.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Well Alright Then.

No blog yesterday, but it wasn't my fault, I swear. My internet crapped out and I was unable to blog. It's all good, though, because there was nothing new to report. Actually, my plan was just to post the Beyonce song "Ego" because that song is amazing. Not the version with Kanye on it. I dig Kanye, but that verse is terrible.

I just got back from the studio where Sentence and I completely finished the vocals for the 9th project. It feels maaaaaaaaaaaaaad good. I almost skipped to the train when we were done. Shit sounds great too. Fixed up a couple lines, rewrote some weak lines, rapped with more purpose here and there. No bourbon this time, Momma. Just focused people getting a job done.

Next up is getting the cuts on it. Like I mentioned before, getting the legend Kid Capri is an option. There is also another, equally exciting option that we are trying to figure out. I will keep that option secret, though. Just so I can feel special.

We are scrapping the White Stripes mash-up idea. It's too hard to mash up our EP. Plain and simple. I think the idea now is to do something along the lines of the Business Casual project me and Sentence were involved with (along with our good friends Domer, Kats, and BrokeMC) and rap over some of our favorite indie rock songs. Any suggestions?

By the way, you can check out that Business Casual project (which was dope -- Domer did all the production) along with a bunch of other fantastic free music HERE!

In a good mood. Feeling good. Lady had baked ziti waiting for me when I got back from the studio. It was delicious. Excited tomorrow is already Thursday.

Hope everyone else is doing well too.

Holler.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Be Correct.

So, just to let heads know -- when I say blog everyday, that don't mean weekends kiiiiiid. No F, Sat., or Sun. blogs. That's a personal rule.

I went over to Sentence's tonight and we shot some footage on the flip cam for a little promo-video we are putting together for the 9th project when we decide to roll it out. It was mad fun. We drove around Bushwick in circles and shot a bunch of us just bullshitting in the car. Sentence just sent out the first little draft of the video and it looks dope. This flip cams are not to be slept on. So tiny, yet so so good at what they're supposed to do.

It was funny looking back at the footage we took during our time in NC (we will be releasing it all at some point) -- it's been a couple months since we were down there, and it's amazing how much you can forget. More than anything, though, watching the footage I realized how much fun we had down there and how good of a dude 9th is. We spent much time just joking around and talking. Obviously we made a bunch of music too. But my favorite memories of the experience are just hanging out in the studio and bullshitting.

Also, Sentence put together some new designs for some shirts and bags we want to press up soon. I figured I would share them here. If people are reading this blog and dig, or don't dig, or have constructive criticisms, whatever, that's cool. Let us know before we spend the money to print this ish up. I think they are seriously dope.

Here's a bag design idea:



And here's a shirt:



And here's another shirt:



Whaddya think?

Holler.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Word.

Not much to report today.

Interviewed twice before Christmas for a job. Felt good about the possibility of actually getting it. Got the call today that I didn't get it. I have a job, but would have really enjoyed this new one. Been kind of in a funk all day. Don't really have the energy to write.

Right after I found out I didn't get the job a janitor in a building whipped around with his mop and hit me smack in the middle of my forehead with the handle. It was actually the best thing that could have happened to me today. It got me to the "shit is going so poorly today that it's actually hilarious" mindset.

I bloodied my hand somehow today. I was walking around smoking cigarettes and didn't notice that my right hand was covered in blood. I would have looked crazy to the other people on the street, but with the advent of the smart phone nobody actually looks up or around anymore.

It's funny because right before I got the phone call I was feeling upset that we don't have the 9th shit done yet. It's so hard to be patient. I want this shit done, and I want to be making moves. Too much waiting recently. One of the shoes just dropped, I guess, so I no longer have to wait to hear about this job. Silver lining, son.

Imma feel better tomorrow. Back at 'em, and whatnot.

Holler.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We Blog. Yup, Yup, We Blog.

So we got into the studio tonight and went over the vocals to the EP with 9th, as was planned. Saw Sentence for the first time in a second, which was great. Kid had been on a crazy work grind for a bit, but all that is over with.

We indulged in some Bourbon (and Hennessey, haha) and did our thing. There's not much for us to do on our end -- just make sure everything is exactly how we want it. And it's fun work. Like I've mentioned, after a long time handling other areas of the Metermaids business, etc., it's been nice recently to get back to creating and making music.

The plan is to get back up again next Wednesday and finish everything up for good, at least as far as what we can do.

Meanwhile, there is so much other shit to do. We are going to try and shoot a video for a song off the EP, which obviously takes a ton of planning. If anyone knows a dope director who's down to shoot on the cheap holler at your boys. We are also trying to get our online-store-steelo more on point. We've got new dope tiger-logo shirts (the exact same logo at the top of the blog), but we are trying to get a few more designs printed up. We are thinking to design an over-the-shoulder bag and then sell packages -- like, for $30 bucks we will throw a t-shirt and a bunch of CD's in the bag. BAM. Commerce yo. Straight commerce.

We will stay working on the mash-up, which is exciting. At the same time we are starting to work on more new music. I feel manic. Lots of ideas, lots of shit to do. Feels good. No more January chain-smoking lazy.

I'm not a praying man, but my thoughts go out to the people of Haiti. The news coverage has been devastating. So, so unfair. I get paid tomorrow, and then I'll be able to send some money to the charities that are already holding it down.

On a happier note, do yourselves a favor and go check out Domer and Kats' new project "Bohemian Rap CD" -- the first song is at HipHopLinguistics (what up Nat!). You can check it out HERE! Shit is amazing.

Hope everyone is good.

Holler.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day Twoooooooooo.

Day two of my project, and I'm still blogging. Hiyo!

I went to the studio today and me and Matty Stine started putting together the White Stripes mash-up EP. I'm not going to shout out the Stripes' songs that we are using, but we got some really great shit to go with "Shades Off" and "Blackout Baby." Really exciting, and really fun to do.

I had never really seen Stine work an MPC before, but he was killing shit. Mad fun. So, yeah, I think we are going to go ahead with the project. If it keeps going this smoothly, we might be able to release it very soon.

Not much news to report in any other areas. We are going to try to get into the studio again tomorrow to get cracking fixing up the vocals on our EP with 9th. Not much to fix up. Maybe a line here or there. Still exciting to get our hands back on it. Naturally, I've been obsessively listening to the rough mixes for the past week.

In the meantime, I found this review of our previous EP at RapReviews. Feels good to get good reviews. I'm not gonna lie -- I read them all, and if they are bad they really hurt my feelings. Full disclosure, muhfuckas.

www.rapreviews.com

as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Smash Smash Bang]


Swell and Sentence, the duo behind the pseudonym Metermaids, list a diverse range of influences to their rap style - Otis Redding, Modest Mouse, Stevie Wonder and The Roots among others. Well then! From that list I'd expect the Metermaids to be soulful, alternative rock style live hip-hop musicians with poignant lyrics. Amazingly their previous release "Nightlife" seems to have struck most of those chords, being described by one of our own staffers as "cater(ing) so perfectly [to] the more open-minded kids that love rock AS MUCH as they love hip-hop."


I walked into the "Smash Smash Bang" EP with the preconceived notion I'd find their music to be equal parts Linkin Park, Beastie Boys and Stetsasonic and was not dismayed by the musical results. Although it can be hard to get a handle on a group over the short span of five tracks, there's no question that Swell and Sentence are well met and form an ideal duo, offering raps so thematically and vocally united that it's difficult (and ultimately unimportant) to remember who is who. "Blackout Baby" sums up their musical style quite well - energetic, a little bit angry, provocative and tailor made to get you up on your feet slam dancing to their beats. Even though the Metermaids duo say there's "no tomorrow" on the chorus, the lyrics still offer hope:


"Spin the bottle, kiss the sky
It's live or die, it's all or nothing
Taste the blood, the hands are shaking
I'm just trying to chase the sun
Now or never, a place to run
I'll part the streams, I'll fucking sing, I'll make shit up
And this from Brooklyn ugly
How she holds your face in your mistakes
It's creating the pace lovely
I don't know what I have
but there's nothing left that you can take from me"


With a "less is more" philosophy to their hip-hop rock, Metermaids songs on this EP rarely (and just barely) crack the 3:30 mark. "Planes Down" is a 2:29 intense blast of audio terrorism promising to "bumrush the building (to) see what the inside's like." "Matchbooks" is their slowest and most somber song, punctuated by a soulful piano and tearful memories of the past. "Ghosts in the Radio" is more their style though, a speedily delivered rap loping across a jazzy rock'n'roll melody guaranteed to rock any juke joint. As good as the Metermaids sound on this EP, one really gets the feeling they burn brightest at a live show, so I hope I have the opportunity to see them soon.

Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10

Monday, January 11, 2010

1/11

So, with my history of inconsistent blogging, I might be setting myself up for a big let down here, but here is what I'm thinking: we, as Metermaids, are in a very interesting little time period that will be unfolding over the next couple of months, and I want to honestly document it, if only for myself, day by day.

I'll explain why.

It is pretty much make it or break it time for Rap's Bad News Bears. Sentence and I have been doing this together for three, maybe four years together. Now this might not seem like a long time tom some. But with all of the things we have gone through together, it sure as hell feels like a long time. We have had complete shit-show national tours, and we have had insanely dope national tours. We have played shows for thousands of people. We have played shows for two people. We have sat down with massive industry people who have asked us if we were ready to be famous, and we have had seemingly sure-thing record deals evaporate in front of us.

We have talked at length about how all we really want out of our experience is to be able to make music as our job. Not to be rich, not to be famous. Just to earn a living off of music. Now that is not a small wish -- I wouldn't even venture to guess what percentage of musicians ever achieve this lofty dream. Probably 1%, if that. Nonetheless, this is our end goal.

As I have mentioned on this blog before, we finished recording vocals for an EP with legendary producer 9th Wonder in November. I think everyone involved with Metermaids sees this EP as the realest chance we have at being successful in the biiiiiiiz, to actually achieve the dream of making decent money. As in, if this record can't do it, then nothing can, and it would be wise to bow out gracefully. Or semi-gracefully. Or in a weeping, heaving mess, whatever.

Not that I, or Sentence, will stop creating music. I have written music since I was 14 years old, and don't see it ever stopping. But as far as the many sacrifices that come with trying to have a real go at a career in music -- that will most definitely be doneski.

We just got the tracks from 9th back this weekend, so I feel like it is a good time to start with my little project.

This week we will head in to the studio and put the finishing touches on our vocals. From there, we need some DJ cuts -- since we share a manager with Kid Capri, his name has been tossed around as a possibility to do these cuts, but he is an extremely busy man, so we will see. But Kid Capri on the cuts would be fucking amazing yo. We're talking about the World's Greatest DJ here, for reeeaaaaaaaaals.

After that it needs to get mixed.

I don't know when it will be done and ready to be shopped. I hope soon, for the sake of my sanity. But I need to learn to be more patient.

On some "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink" type shit too, I think that we might be putting together a mash-up of our last EP "Smash Smash Bang" with the White Stripes album "Icky Thump" to release for free. I am heading to the studio tomorrow, hopefully, to see if we can do that.

That's all for now. I hope this is at all interesting to anyone.

Holler.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Video Premier of "Matchbooks" at PopCultureMadness.

Yes, yes, yes.

A while ago, we went to a park in Williamsburg with our friend Tim Young (who directed the Funk Terrorist and Feel Alive videos) and quickly put something together for our song Matchbooks. Considering how quickly it was thrown together, and how loose the concept was (I don't even know if it can be called a concept, really) I think Tim did a wonderful job, as he is a very talented guy.

Anyway, it's supposed to be funny.

You can check it out HERE!

Hope you dig, and have a good weekend.

Holler.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Republic of Loose.

BAM. I would have to say that my favorite band that I discovered in 2009 was Republic of Loose. We share a manager, and had the opportunity to open a couple of shows for them when they came to NYC (they're from Ireland) last year around this time. They were fantastic live, and it got me to go back and check out a bunch of their stuff. It has been what I have listened to the most consistently this year. You can ask my baby. She makes fun of me for listening to them so much. (We sing I Like Music to each other all the time though).

My love for Loose has spread to a bunch of my peoples too. When my sister moved into her new apt. in Harlem we played Loose the whole time, and it was rad.

I have posted their "I Like Music" video on this blog a bunch of times, but I am going to again, because it is amazing. I am also going to post a bunch of their other shit that I bump all the time to get me in a good mood. I suggest, if you are reading this, that you check them out. Your house parties will never be the same.

I Like Music


The Steady Song


The Ritual


23 Things I Don't Like


You Know It


Them's the jams sonions.

Holler.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Great "Smash Smash Bang" Review From Consequence of Sound.

So, I just went about a month without updating the blog. And, to be honest, it was due to a lack of energy. 2009 was one of the toughest years of my life. 2008 ended with a lot of promise and a number of opportunities we were hoping to capitalize on. Most of these didn't work out. Haha.

Anyway, 2010 is starting the same way 2009 did. A bunch of irons in the fire, etc. Hopefully we have learned from the mistakes of 2009 and will be better prepared to take advantage of what comes our way. And hopefully we can catch some lucky breaks, too -- lucky breaks that absolutely did not come this past year.

We are waiting to get the finished tracks back from 9th Wonder so we can start to mix our five song EP (which we could not be more excited about). And there are a number of other possibilities floating around as well.

I also randomly found this great review of "Smash Smash Bang" on Consequence of Sound (http://consequenceofsound.net/2009/12/29/listen-metermaids/) on January 1st, which feels like a good sign to me. Even if it was written on December 29th. Ha.

Here it is:

Everything you ever do will already be working in the confines of a pre-established system, a set of rules always working against you and toward a moment where you’re standing in your underwear hawking high end fashion, or you’ve grown dreads and gone metal. But Brooklyn’s Metermaids, MCs Swell and Sentence, have done something about that. Their latest EP, Smash Smash Bang, best represents who they are and the aim of their sound. At the same time that they’ve bucked all notions and stereotypes, they’ve also readily embraced their outcast status.

It’d be unfair to call these guys a rap-rock group. They’re a rap group with rock tendencies. Musically, it’s all crunchy, rhythmic guitars and plenty of banging drums that play out like some countrified blues rock, ala a less-garage-rock-enthusiast version of the White Stripes. Attitude wise, they’re a couple of white guys who confront listeners with the energy of frat boys, but mixed with the depth and sincerity of a couple of street poets. “Shades Off” best demonstrates the group’s true real wheel: A massive party track complete with some rocking piano line straight out of the coolest gospel choir ever, that smuggles in a menacing guitar with the consistency of a rumbling semi-truck. But the condemnation of the greed of our culture, especially with the economic downturn, and the message of being happy with what you’ve got says a lot about their moral standings and their overall musical sensibilities. It also harks back to a time in rap where social awareness was crucial.



“Ghosts In The Radio” truly captures their full speed ahead energy, with a big old guitar sound that sounds like old country and western or rockabilly distorted to oblivion, while the keys play like a revivalist dance party. It’s a celebration of the energy you feel about giving up on bad feelings and even worse relationships. The big explosion of organ keys and screaming and fuzzy radio burnout toward the end only make you feel glad they got away. “Planes Down” channels that mischievous energy into a tune about the end of one world, a conclusion that their violence and abandonment is happily facilitating, and the frantic hope for something new that lies afterward.

“Blackout Baby” captures the feeling of being angry and confused and completely unimportant, and the beauty of accepting that and living life as a perpetually enraged zero. Their songs are filled with lyrical constructs like “I hear the music clearly, I taste the nicotine/I feel the buildings close in, I see the city scream/I hear you talk about me, I see your finger shake/I know the pain inside you, I hear the glasses break/I don’t regret a second, there’s honey in my veins.” They use their home of Brooklyn as a representation of the duality of life and their kind of living (”Isn’t Brooklyn pretty?/The way she holds your fingers to the flames” and “Isn’t Brooklyn ugly?/How she holds your face in your mistakes.”) “Matchbooks” is the least exciting and dynamic; a lonely piano and some spoken word turns into tribal hand claps and chanting. The keys take a hopeful turn, taking on more of a sound like a baptism by streetlight or a religious awakening in the cold night of Brooklyn. It’s a much more hopeful theme (”And the last thoughts I have are the pretty ones/The last split second I’m awake/And I’ve never been afraid and the dark don’t scare me/’Cause some things you can never take away”) than the other tracks without losing some of that underdog mentality.

It’s hard not to get caught up in the emotional allure of the duo. So many bands have attempted to make music that exudes angst and hopeful disgust regarding the world they live in. Metermaids readily do it without making concessions lyrically or in the way in which they present the entire package. Each song resonates with a level of authenticity, created in a frame where both confusion and anger have just as much power and relevancy as the promise of tomorrow. But they haven’t forgotten the importance of sonics, creating a hybrid noise that portrays the fury of rock and the intensity of any street rap beat, with plenty of rhythm and groove to spare. For those white MCs of the world, the future just got a little brighter.

Hope everyone was safe and happy on New Year's Eve. And shout outs to one of my best friends, and the brains behind 27 Sound, Matty Stine, who just got engaged to his wonderful girlfriend (fiancee now, obviously) Liz.

More to come.