Scene Report: Prep Hoops, Apple Valley at Hopkins

Disclaimer: If you're looking for play-by-play accounts of the games and a bunch of stats, you've landed in wrong place. There are a few really good sites covering metro area prep hoops in a professional and thorough manner, but this is not one of them. Don't get me wrong, I am lifelong player and fan of the game, and an Elite Basketball Mind, but this column is about looking at the game and all the peripherals in an interpersonal and sometimes comedic manner. If you want to know which team has the best jerseys, which players have cool haircuts or need tans, how basketball makes me feel, and what I might purchase from the concessions, well then, I'm your guy. 

Apple Valley vs. Hopkins; Hopkins, MN; 12/10/13
This marks the second time of the season that I've seen both these teams, as well as my second visit to the Lindbergh Center. Second time in four days on all fronts, actually. I was able to make it out to the Breakdown Tipoff Classic last Saturday where I saw Hopkins beat the ever-loving shit out of St. Michael-Albertville, a really good girl's game that had Hopkins narrowly beating Andover, and the main event between last year's 3A and 4A State Champions, DeLaSalle and Apple Valley; a game that, despite missing one of the key players in an injured Reid Travis, lived up to all of the hype. That game, which Apple Valley won, was pure basketball bliss on so many levels, believe me. And on top of that my Twitter game was clearly the best in the building. Leave your stats at home; I got jokes on jokes on jokes.

As fellow music journalists know, we are smack dab in the middle of the dreaded list season. That means all of my spare time is devoted to writing, writing, writing. In addition to doing my usual hip-hop lists for Scene Point Blank--20 each, best rap albums and best rap mixtapes--this year I've been assigned (read: volunteered myself, stupidly) to compile a list of the 30 best punk and hardcore records of the year. 30! What am I, an idiot? Don't answer that.

Writing year-end lists is an excruciating process. Not only do you have figure out your favorites, rank them (which is a fairly absurd idea actually), and write about them in a way that doesn't sound like you just said "this is really good" a million times; but you also have to deal with all the various types of self-induced mental torment. I have this weird self-gratifying, completion-ist mentality that wants me to include everything that doesn't undeniably suck. For me, one of the hardest things to do is eliminate something from the list. As someone who recently had to decide who was invited to my wedding and who wasn't, and more importantly, why those that weren't were not, let me tell, this is absolute fucking misery and totally unfair. That's probably why I write lists in incriminates of 20 and 30. On top of that, there's this looming peer pressure-y demand to include things that you think you're supposed to like, things that you think will make you seem cooler than you really are, and things that you didn't hear until five minutes before you sat down to make your list when you saw it on someone else's and realized it was indeed so awesome that it would be criminal not to include it on yours. The part of me that assumes nobody will respect my opinion because I didn't think that the Danny Brown album was all that good is a real bitch. At the risk of discrediting everything I have written in the past, and will write hence forth, I have to say this: Year-end list-writing, and for that matter, music journalism in general, is total bullshit.

What's not bullshit whatsoever though, is how goddamn good Tyus Jones is at basketball.

Game notes:

- Even thought it was piped in, tonight marks the first time I've heard a school fight song this year. Although it's not very punk of me to admit, I'm a sucker for a school song. I'm especially a sucker for a school song done by a pep band. So I still have that to look forward to.

- The home bleachers at Hopkins are brutal. There is plenty of room for your legs to stretch out, which is really nice, but the distance between them also means you can't do that thing where you lay back with your shoulders against the seat behind you. But when I say brutal, I'm mostly referring to the sheer filth. I have no idea how often they are cleaned, but as I've mentioned I've been out there twice in the last four days, and both times I've set my jacket on the seat next to me. When I put it on to leave, I end up looking Vigo Mortensen in The Road.

- After trading baskets for a good chunk of the opening minutes, Apple Valley took their first timeout at 13:17, down 13 - 10 to Hopkins. Coming out of the TO, Tyus hits a huge 3 for the tie.

- AV's sophomore big Brock Bertram got two early fouls, which put him on the bench until the 5:00 mark. He had to put up with the Hopkins student section's ruthless chant of "Ogar, Ogar, Ogar." Kids can be so mean.

- At 8:45 AV had gone up 27 -21. The Royals coach Ken Novak Jr. called a timeout hoping to keep the Eagles in check, as they were beginning to show signs of pulling away. Someone played Drake's "Forever" over the PA, which is typical, and I thought to myself, "Last name Ever. First name Greatest...yeah, yeah, shut up Drake. That's a good line, but you're not that good."

- Coming out of the timeout, AV's Tre Jones, the 8th grade brother of future Duke Blue Devil and future Mr. Basketball, Tyus entered the game for the first time. He looks green as hell out there with the big boys, but to no fault of his own. I get it - it's on that into the fire tip, and that's how you get better. I'll be curious, as will pretty much everybody in the state of Minnesota, to see how he develops over the next five years.

- AV's freshman offensive threat Gary Trent Jr. was jacking 3s all night, but he got one blocked by Hopkins sophomore Amir Coffey, in a high drama moment. The two went chest to chest afterwards, but split before the refs got involved.

- There was plenty of jaw-jacking on the court, but some of the more noticeable stuff was happening down on the baseline between AV's Dennis Austin & Tyus and a Hopkins student that was sitting in the front row of the bleachers. Eventually the student was scolded by a staff member.

- I forget what the score was at halftime because I was distracted by the guy behind me that was feeding his son full of misinformation. One thing that I can't stand about bleachers is that  you can always hear the conversations of those sitting behind you. And more often than not it's a bunch of incorrect crap like, "Tyus is going to Kansas" or "Amir Coffey's dad used to play in the NFL." Come on man, that's just bad parenting.

- At 13:55 the Hopkins student section started the "I believe that we will win" chant. I have mixed feelings about this chant, and at which time is the best to bust it out.  I feel like at this point in the game it was too early.  I say either go for the bold move of doing it at the start of the game, or wait 'til near the end, when a win is either imminent or still possible. I know that latter is a safe move, but I fee like doing it in the middle causes it to lose a bit of its effectiveness.

- At 5:05 of the second half, the Royals' Jake Wright, a Citadel commit, hit three back to back 3s to tie the game once more; this time at 80 a piece.

- At one point Hopkins senior PG Kamali Chambers had to leave the game because of blood on his jersey. He was guarding Tyus on the baseline on an inbound play when Tyus turned to the ref, pointed at Chambers and said, "He's got blood on him." Kamali looked down, disappointingly acknowledged the blood, and then said to Tyus, "Are you bleeding?" To which Tyus just goes "not me." It was comical. Not as comical as Kamali getting away with an illegal jersey switch though. Shoutout to Parker Beak for offering up the #0 so his man could get back in the game.   

- At 1:39 Jake Wright hit his 8th 3 of the game but it wouldn't be enough, as the Royals fell to Eagles 96 - 90.

- The biggest takeaway is the same as it is every time Apple Valley plays - the awesomeness that is Tyus Jones. He's far and away the best player in the state. Wise beyond his years, it's the little things he does that are as equally as impressive as his scoring and assists. Like when he's double-teamed, he sees that neither man is squared up on him, so he just plows through the opening, drawing the obvious foul. Or, like, pointing out the blood on his opponents jersey, thus removing one of their best defenders from the game. Or, when his teammate Brock Bertram is on the foul line at the end of the game, and all of the Hopkins squad comes up to harass him, Tyus comes to his aid and then lines up for the rebound even though the rest of his team is back on D. And the fact that he ends with 34 points (most of which came at the rim,) at least 10 boards, and a handful of assists doesn't hurt.

- Hopkins' Treyvon Edwards gets best shoes for his colorful KD35s. Although he got lucky because Amir Coffey didn't wear the ones he had on at the Breakdown Tipoff Classic, which were also KD35s but a better colorway.

- Best mustache goes to Tre Jones, the 8th grader. Just amazing. This is the same kid that just two years ago was running around at AV games eating Fun Dip. Ah, they grow up so fast don't they.

- $5 got me a hotdog, Twix, and a Coke Zero. And I wonder why I punch myself in the stomach every time I look in a mirror.

Nathan G. O'Brien

Next up for me is Thursday night, Buffalo at Osseo. I'd love to go to the Whitney Young vs. Apple Valley ESPN game but I that will be a mad house. I'm DVRing that shit for after the Osseo game. Then this Saturday, you can catch me all day at Minnetonka for the boys Breakdown Tipoff Classic. Tweet me if you wanna meetup and buy me some fresh-baked cookies, or, you know, talk about stuff.


Scene Report: Prep Hoops, Holy Family at Washburn

Disclaimer: If you're looking for play-by-play accounts of the games and a bunch of stats, you've landed in wrong place. There are a few really good sites covering metro area prep hoops in a professional and thorough manner, but this is not one of them. Don't get me wrong, I am lifelong player and fan of the game, and an Elite Basketball Mind, but this column is about looking at the game and all the peripherals in an interpersonal and sometimes comedic manner. If you want to know which team has the best jerseys, which players have cool haircuts or need tans, how basketball makes me feel, and what I might purchase from the concessions, well then, I'm your guy. 

Holy Family vs. Mpls-Washburn; Washburn High School; Minneapolis, MN; 12/5/13
Well, on the coldest day of the year so far, I dragged my butt off of the couch and out the door to brave arctic temps to take in what amounts to only my sixth game the season so far. That's counting four Wolves games.

I don't mean to imply that I was being lazy, because in all actuality I had already had pretty productive day. One that included making breakfast with two types of meat, eggs and cheese; washing the dishes; folding laundry that consisted mostly of old punk tees, various flannel pajama pants, and Smart Wool and Nike basketball socks; assembling some zines; watching The League season finale (which is actually kind of lazy;) and working out for the first times since I threw my back out on some Hindu squats a week and a half ago.

How does one throw their back out on Hindu squats, you may ask. Well it's called being old and not stretching. AKA treating your body like an asshole. Basically I was cramped for time and wanted to get a quick workout in before heading off for the night to drink beers with my friends. I didn't do any sort stretching or warm-up; instead choosing to jump right into a WOD, and boom, wouldn't you know it, there goes my back. Anyway, it felt good to be able to get some work in again. It's also the first time I've actually been a gym in several months, as I prefer to do my WODs outside. I'll push myself right up until the snow falls before I go back to the stuffy confines of "the gym."

I had originally planned to drive down (and over) to Eden Prairie for the Lakeville North vs. EP game. But plans changed when the terrorist attack known as a Minnesota snow storm prevented that from happening. (BTW it's been rescheduled for Sat, Jan 11th, 7 PM. See you there?) So instead I opted for my second choice, Holy Family at Washburn.

I have sort of adopted Washburn, along with DeLaSalle and sometimes Apple Valley, as my makeshift "home teams." As I have previously discussed, De is an easy, and pretty much non-negotiable choice. Apple Valley happens because of, well, Tyus Jones. Duh. And Washburn, ah, I'm not totally sure. But I'd guess it probably has something to do with that fact that I have lived near it in some capacity for over a decade now.

My uncle went to Washburn. He was the only one on my mom's side of the family that was able to break away from the private Catholic school tradition that my grandfather had laid out for them. He still has a tee shirt that says "Washburn Millers: The Original Cake Eaters." Rather than get into a discussion about economics and cultural diversity, I'll just say that terminology like that implies different things these days than it did in the '60s, and in no way whatsoever is applicable to the present-day Washburn Millers.

I took a community education oil painting class there back in 2006, where I re-discovered how much I dislike structured art classes and/or anything remotely close to "classically trained" instructors. I like my art the same way I like my music: loud, fast, and fucked-up. On the last day of class we were doing a portrait study and I finally lashed out, painting our subject in KISS makeup and dreadlocks. It earned a few chuckles from ladies, but the instructor was flabbergasted at my lack of discipline. A few years later I took all the bullshit still life paintings I had done in that class and wrote graffiti over the top of them with bold black magic marker. I don't think my mother was very impressed with that, as she had paid for the class as a Christmas gift. Anyway, there was something strangely familiar about being there. In many ways it reminded of an inner-city version of the old Bigfork High School; where I spent grades 7 through 12 as a rap music-craving white boy trapped in the middle of the woods.

Walking into the Washburn gymnasium, hearing A$AP Ferg over the PA feels a little like coming home.

Game notes:

-Things got out of hand rather quickly. It didn't take long for the Holy Family Fire (which, religious implications aside, is a great name) to pull away. At 9:10 of the first half the score was only Fire 22, Millers 13, but it was apparent that the distance was only going to swell, and quickly.

-I always like to how much Washburn uses their bench. In the first half alone they had already gone 10 guys deep. Growing up playing for a coach that wouldn't dare extend the rotation beyond six, maybe seven guys unless we had 40 point lead with only a minute and a half left on the clock, the idea of frequent substitutions still blows my mind. Up north, back in the day, the only schools that we played against that I can remember employing a large rotation were Deer River and Remer-Northland. And us Huskie bench mobbers were envious, believe me.

-Gopher football commit Jeff Jones swung a high elbow that caught his defender in the face, knocking him to the ground. In disappointing fashion, he then threw the ball to his downed opponent, earning him a technical foul and a seat on the bench for the rest of the half. He would return in the second half but it seemed as though his desire to compete had been stifled.

-At halftime the Fire had already nearly doubled the Millers in points at 57 to 29, and I had determined that the best shoes on the court were in the form a pair of camouflage Jordans belonging to Holy Family senior forward Joe Hanel. Washburn does a get a shoutout for their matching blaze orange Nikes though.

-Speaking of apparel, I have to also give it to Holy Family on the unies front because of their Adidas-made ones. They are a crisp white, with dark green trim ala Michigan State or the less-popular Beavers of Bemidji State. Color-wise, Washburn's orange and blue combo is much more aesthetically pleasing to my eyes, but their Jordan brand unies are showing the wear 'n' tear of that last few seasons now.

-As for the 2nd half, there's not much to report. It was straight blow-out style. Fire 67, Millers 37 at the 9:37 mark. Out of boredom rather than hunger I went the concessions where I bought the Miller Combo. It's a hotdog, chips and soda for $3. Chili Cheese Fritos and Diet Coke for me. At one point shortly after eating it I thought I was going to have diarrhea, but luckily I escaped it. I haven't done the biz in a high school bathroom since Mr. Molland's study hall in 10th grade and I intend to keep that streak (no pun intended) alive.

-Final score was Holy Family 84, Washburn 50. Of note was the absurd foul count, which had the Millers with 10+ and the Fire with just 4.

-In the best haircuts department, we have a four-way tie! Washburn junior guards come through strong with Even Shepherd's wavy fade, and JoBreil Powell's shoulder-length dreads. Meanwhile Holy Family's senior guards are holding their own with starter Kyle Schumer's Cali surfer-meets-Mad Men thing, and bench mobber Evan Stedronsky's curls that are very reminiscent of Oregon-era Luke Ridnour.

-As for who needs tans, well that award goes to ALL of Holy Family. Come on dudes, I know there's a tanning booth in Chaska.

-Nathan G. O'Brien

I'll be in Hopkins at the girl's Breakdwon Tip-Off Classic most of the day on Saturday, trying to secure a seat for the big DeLaSalle vs. Apple Valley boys game that headlines the event. If you feel inclined, come on out and say hi. Look for the middle-aged dude that's dressed like a twenty-something. I'll be sitting next to him; older and dressed like a teenager. Or just tweet me and we'll meet up for some popcorn and jokes. Or, even better, you could save me a seat!


Scene Report: Prep Hoops, Blake at DeLaSalle

Disclaimer: If you're looking for play-by-play accounts of the games and a bunch of stats, you've landed in wrong place. There are a few really good sites covering metro area prep hoops in a professional and thorough manner, but this is not one of them. Don't get me wrong, I am lifelong player and fan of the game, and an Elite Basketball Mind, but this column is about looking at the game and all the peripherals in an interpersonal and sometimes comedic manner. If you want to know which team has the best jerseys, which players have cool haircuts or need tans, how basketbll makes me feel, and what I might purchase from the concessions, well then, I'm your guy. 

Blake vs. DeLaSalle, DeLaSalle High School, Mpls, MN, 12/3/13
As I walk through the doors of DeLaSalle High School for the first of what will surely be several times this season, it occurs to me how ironic it is that I am listening on my iPod to a band called Broken Prayer. I am entering a private Catholic institution afterall. Aside from pausing briefly to Tweet about it, because duh, EVERYTHING MUST BE TWEETED, I don't give it much more thought. If you're into punk and you're not up on Broken Prayer yet, well geez man, what are you listening to? Their self-titled record came out early this year and has held a favorable place on my turntable and the aforementioned iPod for some time now. In case you're wondering, said iPod is a purple 16 gig Nano that's named Skol Vikings and is jam-packed with punk, rap and wrestling podcasts.

Although there have been games going on for a week or so now, real life things like hanging out with old college friends in Dundas, eating massive amounts of turkey and pie in Nashwauk, and over-imbibing on craft brews at the Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub on 38th street with my wife have not permitted me to attend any until tonight. And it's only fitting that it be at De; my father's old high school, a virtual mecca of Minneapolis basketball, and one of my favorite gyms in the city. I've gone to so many games at De over the last few years that things have become somewhat ritualistic in nature.

Part of that ritual starts when I get ready for work in the morning. I have a real life job in downtown where I am nice to people for a living. I dress sort of business-casual-meets-aging-hipster, or, basically, however I want provided I don't look like a complete slob. In other words, If I'm going to wear an old Snapcase tee shirt I should probably dress it up with a cardigan. So mostly I wear of a lot of cardigans. I also wear jeans and a wide variety of footwear. Whenever I know I will be heading to De for a game after work, I instinctively wear a pair of basketball socks and shoes. I suspect this stems from some deep-rooted thing that... Ah, I'm stuck on how to word this... Basically I think there is some part of me, a part of my youth maybe, that feels fucked-up if I'm wearing anything other that basketball shoes when I'm in a gymnasium. It's probably the same reason I won't play pickup ball against someone who's wearing jeans.

Once I clock out of work, it's time for the medium-sized walk from downtown across the Hennepin Bridge to the island. It's almost always windy, rainy and/or snowy, and biting cold. But I like it because it gives me time to listen to rad bands like Broken Prayer on Skol Vikings and think about important life things like how there's too many rappers, why people jump off of bridges, and what I might get from the concessions stand even though I know I shouldn't be eating ANY of that stuff.

A few of my dad's old friends still go to De games. So when I get there I always look for them because they will have saved me a seat in the lower bleachers near mid-court and just up from the De bench, and often times, next to the mother of De's point guard Jarvis Johnson. I forget her name right now but she's really nice. Then they say things like, "Hey kid, how ya doin'?" I really like this part because no matter how old you are, when someone calls you "kid" it's pretty damn great. And then they tell me the same stories they tell me every time, that I would never get sick of, about how they went to school at De and what the gym was like back then and how my dad was a troublemaker and a ladies man.

And then we watch the Islanders play basketball.

Game Notes:

-Missing in action tonight was recent Stanford commit, and 2014 Minnesota "Big 3" dude, senior big Reid Travis. My sources (read: I overheard his dad talking in the hallway) say he'll be out "another week or two." Kind of a bummer that he will miss the big high profile match-up against Apple Valley this Saturday. Junior Jeffrey Daubanton started in his place, and did quite well.

-At the 15:04 mark, junior point guard Jarvis Johnson capped off an 8 - 0 run by De to start the game with a huge dunk.

-De Coach Dave Thorson got a lot of really effective play out of his bench. Realistically, he could have gotten by not playing any of his starters tonight and come up with similar results.

-At halftime the score was DeLaSalle 51, Blake 19. I went to the bathroom, where I heard a couple of De students saying the F word and talking about girls; which made me feel weird about not feeling weird about hearing Catholic high school kids say the F word and talking about girls in front of an adult.

-De senior guard and North Dakota commit Geno Crandall dazzled the audience with a plethora of flamboyant yet spot-on passes and assists. He's highly entertaining and worth every single "ooooh" and "ahhhh" that he gets.

-De appears to have gotten new unies since last year. Jordan ones. Pretty dope except for on the back of them, where a name would be, it says Islanders. I get what they're going for there but I'd just assume no words on the back. Blake's unies looked dirty. Like someone accidentally washed them with bleach and a brown sock.

-With 9:00 left on the clock, the score was DeLaSalle 79, Blake 36. For De, there were some impressive minutes from freshman Goanar Mar and junior Josh Collins. Personally, I would have liked to see more of senior guard Mike Pucci, as I think he matches up well against the Blake dudes. That and he's a senior, who's paid his dues on the JV last year; which is something the bench mob-er in me can totally identify with.

-Everytime De's senior big and South Dakota commit James Lawson hits a tre I am reminded that he can hit them.

-Final score was DeLaSalle 86, Blake 48. At some point, I think around the 5:00 mark, they went to the mercy clock. I was actually impressed how well Blake kept their collective chin up throughout the game despite taking a massive beating.

-De junior Sacar Anim lead all scores with 22 points, and all hairstyles with, well, the best one.

-I was hoping to only get by with a bottle of water, but ended up having both a hotdog and a bag of peanut M&Ms. It only cost me $4.00 but the shame and love handles will last me a lifetime.

Nathan G. O'Brien

Weather-depending, my next game will be Lakeville North at Eden Prairie on Thursday. If it's too crappy to make the drive from where I live in South Mpls, I will run over to Washburn for their match-up with the visiting Holy Family. If you feel inclined, come on out and say hi. Look for the middle-aged dude that's dressed like a twenty-something. I'll be sitting next to him; older and dressed like a teenager. Or just tweet me and we'll meet up for some popcorn and jokes.


Record Review: Autistic Youth - Nonage

Autistic Youth - Nonage (Dirtnap)
By Nathan G. O'Brien on Scene Point Blank

I nearly died one night in the kitchen of Mexican restaurant I was cooking at. When it came time to clean up the floors at the end of my closing shift, I erroneously (read: stupidly) mixed ammonia and bleach in a mop bucket full of steaming hot water. One breath of that potent mixture and I was seeing stars and scrambling for fresh air. I sometimes wonder what that scene would have looked like to the person that found me the next morning if had I dropped right there; me piled over a mop bucket, butt in the air, face first in the floor sink, with my cheese and verde-covered Doc Martens stuck out to the sides like some sort of punk jester. Anyway, on that night, as with most shifts back then, I was probably listening to something that sounded just like this album on the kitchen’s boom box.  ...Read the full-length review at this place right here.


Record Review: Useless Eaters - Hypertension

Useless Eaters - Hypertension (Jeffery Drag)
By Nathan G. O'Brien on Scene Point Blank

The songs “Moody Bitch” and “Addicted to the Blade” could be the soundtrack to a Southern California surf blog. You know, those ones with lots of pictures of skinny dudes wearing striped tee shirts under jean vests, with sailor caps on and stuff. Maybe throw in a button or patch with a picture of an anchor on it and a wrist band that used to be the top of tube sock. Yeah, you get it.  ...Read the entire review on the next page.


up nortz

Whenever I'm up north and looking for meth, I just find the nearest I.C.P. graffiti and wait five minutes.

 JK, JK - I don't go up north.

Hwy 65, "up north", 11/28/13



Mpls, MN, 11/30/13

Seattle, WA, Winter -'11 (pic credit: RO'B)

Rogers, MN, 8/3/13 (pic credit: The Darkhorse)



Record Review: California X - Self-Titled

California X - Self-Titled (Don Giovanni)
By Nathan G. O'Brien on Scene Point Blank

This is what the soundtrack to Easy Rider would be like if it was made two decades later and starred J. Mascis, Bob Mould and Cris Kirkwood instead of Hopper, Fonda and Nicholson. Recently a friend of mine told me about a dude he knows who regularly wears a tee shirt that says, “Bring back the early ‘90s.” That dude would love this record.  ...Read the whole review after the jump.


HDD Radio #19: 36 Chambers & Midnight Marauders 20 Year Anniversary

Hi, and welcome to the 19th episode of HotDogDayz Radio! This time around we pay tribute to the 20 year anniversary of two of hip-hop's most highly revered albums. We play the Wu-Tang Clan's Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in it's entirety, as well as a Native Tongues set revolving around the 20th anniversary of A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders. Listen as our DJ meanders aimlessly, as is his wont, about "things he remembers." As always we appreciate any feedback. Now get to listening...
Wu-Tang Clan – Bring da Ruckus
Wu-Tang Clan – Shame on a N*gga
Wu-Tang Clan – Clan In da Front
Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber
Wu-Tang Clan – Can It All Be So Simple
Wu-Tang Clan – Da Mystery of Chessboxin’
Jungle Brothers – The Promo
De La Soul – Me, Myself and I
A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It?
Jungle Bothers – Beyond This World
De La Soul – A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturday
A Tribe Called Quest – Check The Rhime
De La Soul – En Focus
A Tribe Called Quest – We Can Get Down
Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit
Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.
Wu-Tang Clan – Method Man
Wu-Tang Clan – Protect Ya Neck
Wu-Tang Clan – Tearz
Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber, Pt. 2

Subscribe in iTunes here.  Direct download here.  Thanks for listening!


random pic dump

Mpls, MN, 11/7/13

St. Paul, MN, 11/10/13

Mpls, MN, 11/16/13

Mpls, MN, 11/21/13


Record Review: Nö Pöwer - No Peace

Nö Pöwer - No Peace LP (Sorry State)
By Nathan G. O'Brien on Scene Point Blank

The drums and bass step outside the Dis zone for brief periods of erratic improvisation, trying as best as they can to keep up with the lightning fast guitars, which squeal and swirl all over the place; driving the band’s sonic direction into face-melting realms. While there’s nothing quite that bizarre on this LP, Nö Pöwer is still pushing the limitations of the big D beyond monotonous reiteration. Attention all other bands: start doing this now!  ...Read full review here.


blunt mag

More bonus material hitting the mail with copies of TSK #5 and HDD #5.  Holla at us if you're into it...

'90s scans


Too Many Rappers: Fall Roundup

Too Many Rappers: Fall Roundup
By Nathan G. O'Brien on Scene Point Blank

The Minnehaha Creek is just one of the many places I do my thinking. I mean, as a human being with a fully functional brain, I do a lot of thinking in, at, or near a lot of places. It’s not like thinking is something we can control. It just sort of…no, not sort of…it is just something that happens. Anyway, the Minnehaha Creek is one of the places I do my thinking. Like my thinking thinking. Like, purposeful, deep, hard thinking. There are some regular things that I think about when I’m here—things like work, having kids, securing a future, getting healthier, my family, and other, you know, life things. And at this particular time, as I stand in the blackened, whispering wind of a crisp Minneapolis fall evening, overlooking the Minnehaha Creek, I drink a few secret beers, I as I often do here, and think about a variety of things that aren’t necessarily life things but aren’t any less meaningful.

I think about how fucked up it is that the older you get the less likely you are to hang out with your friends, and how not only is it fucked up, as I stated, but also incredibly depressing. The lyrics to LCD Soundsytem’s “All My Friends” keep running through my head, which is puzzling, because I am certain that there are other songs that mean more to me. Yet I keep repeating the lyrics, “Where are your friends tonight?” and “If I could see all of my friends tonight!” And then, for unexplained reasons, I am overwhelmed with the urge to scream, “I felt so fucking alive!” It’s a line that Daniel Roebuck’s character “John” says in in the 1986 teen-angst-murder-coming-of-age-y film Rivers’s Edge. This may seem a bit strange, as I have not (spoiler alert) choked my girlfriend to death. But I’ve seen the movie so many times that it’s sort of ingrained itself into my being at this point. And well, I am standing near a body of moving water too. So there’s that. Then something from my past pops into my head and I immediately send a handful of good friends the following text message:

Sitting here, having some beers Han Solo-style at the Minnehaha Creek and all I can think of is…SHIT YOUR GODDAMN PANTS!

The recipients of this text are the only people in the world that would ever understand it’s meaning, but that’s precisely the point. I laugh out loud, as I think about how great it is that a ridiculous inside joke can be the foundation that lifelong friendships are built upon.  One of them texts back, “Ain’t that the way it goes. Another says, “Just whisper it.” And all is right in the world.

Another beer sinks in, my mind wanders, and I end up spending an excessive amount of time thinking about how it’s been 20 years since the Wu-Tang Clan’s outstanding debut Enter the Wu-Tang Clan: 36 Chambers dropped. “20 years, dudes; 20 years,” I say out loud to nobody whatsoever. I will always feel like I missed out a little bit on the initial excitement because I was so wrapped-up in flannel shirts, Doc Martens, and anything Seattle at the time. My otherwise fierce proclivity for discovering new rap music had briefly taken a back seat to my re-found interest in weird, punk-tinged white people music. Honestly, I didn’t fully engulf myself in 36 Chambers until a year or so after seemingly everyone else had. I think about how I might go to the record store tomorrow—probably the Electric Fetus— and buy 36 Chambers, and how it will most definitely be on CD so I can play it in my car, which I’m not embarrassed to admit still has a bass cannon in the trunk. Oddly enough, the only copy of 36 Chambers that I have is a dubbed cassette that I’ve dragged around with me for roughly 19 years. I’ve never been one to let format be a deciding factor when it comes to personal importance of an album.

I think about how, for better or worse, (and most likely worse,) rap music has changed a lot since the Wu-Tang Clan first hit the scene. I think about how there was once a time when nine guys, or 10 guys if you count Cappadonna, (which I’m inclined not to,) didn’t seem like too many rappers. And then I think to myself, damn, there you have it – that's your Too Many Rappers segue right there… 

Read entire column, complete with mixtape reviews and streams here.



Hi people,
We are doing major zine mailings this week. Each order is getting additional items. That's less clutter for us, and more for you. Dig it!
Your buddies at HDD

'90s scans


HDD Radio #18

Shit got kinda wacky.  If you have a spare hour to kill, consider this episode your last option.  Nah, JK, JK, it's actually pretty good.  Nearly an hour of '80s punk, '90s alt, hair metal, rap music, and other weird shit; cut with prank phone calls, pro-wrestling promos, answering machine messages, and other snippets; where the only time the DJ opens his mouth it sounds like smoking meth underwater.  Just kidding, I don't know what that's like - I've never been underwater.  Nah, JK, JK.  In other news, a new issue of HotDogDayz dropped earlier this week - HOTDOGDAYZ//STRAIGHT GULLY FANZINE//ISSUE #5. Get yourself a copy - there's a lot left. Email: bnb@hotdogdayz.com  
Fugazi - Version
CRASS - Have a Nice Day
My Bloody Valentine - Touched
HR - Let's Have a Revolution
Dr. Ocotogon - Halfsharkalligatorhalfman
Das EFX - Dum Dums
Bullet Boys - Smooth Up in Ya
Cinderella - Gypsy Road
Hawd Gankstuh Rappuhs MCs Wid Ghatz - Docrapolips Now
Japanther - Mission
No Crisis - Speed Hungry
Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death - The Salted Ones, Into the Mud
Suicidal Tendencies - Join the Army
Faith No More - Caffeine

Subscribe in iTunes here.  Direct download here.  Thanks for listening! Please let us know what you think.


HotDogDayz issue #5 OUT NOW~!

Oh look, this thing happened...
Found items, hijacked emails, mail art, reader submissions, fan letters, crusty art, raw photography, rail monikers, graffiti, and hilarious multilayered jokes that may seem simple on the surface but are so secretly brilliant that they're basically the (insert name of a person similar to Bob Dylan or Ian Astbury) of jokes.

Let us know if you want one and you'll have it in your mailbox in no time!


Record Review: Jaw Clencher - Demo cassette

This review by Nathan is an excerpt from the brand new The Soda Killers issue #5. If you want a copy let us know and we'll gladly get it out to ya!  In the meantime, listen to these episodes of HotDogDayz Radio to get an idea of the types of music you can expect to read about.  Thanks!

Jaw Clencher – Demo cassette (Hostile Input, 2012)
By Nathan G. O'Brien

Raw, primitive D-beat noise. Sent to me from Shayne of Hostile Input records and Stabbing Brains fanzine, who may or may not play in the band. I can’t remember. Recorded live on a cassette recorder. The type of blown-out wall of noise that either clears a room or drenches those left in attendance in high-pitched feedback. It’s fucking glorious and pretty much everything I love about current hardcore. Hardcore is not supposed to feel safe; it should always feel as if you’re teetering on the brink, about to erupt into to chaos and violence. This tape effectively conveys that feeling. Three of these songs appear on their 7” that came out earlier this year, which I have yet to hear, but can only assume is as raging as this demo. Highly recommended.


Record Review: Clell Miller's Corpse - The Bill Chadwell Demo CD-r

This review by Nathan is an excerpt from the brand new issue (#5) of The Soda Killers fanzine. Let us know if you want a copy and we'll get it out to you ASAP!

Clell Miller's Corpse – The Bill Chadwell Demo CD-r (Clell Miller CD-r Label, 2013)
By Nathan G. O'Brien

The liner notes say this was recorded in 1998 but not originally released until 2000, and only in a run of five copies. In 1998 I was living in northern MN in a city called Bemidji, and would have just died to walk into a basement party where some creepy, mean-sounding noise-type shit like Clell Miller's Corpse was freaking people out. I don’t know why but for some reason this really makes me think of that time period and that place; which is strange because it’s not pop-punk or Busta Rhymes or the Fugees or whatever else it was that was on the stereos at the house parties back then. Even though, to best of my knowledge nothing like Clell Miller’s Corpse this was going on in Bemidji (although I wouldn't be surprised if it was and I just didn't know about it) I can totally picture it happening there. Anyway, I am not much of a musician myself, so I have no idea what instruments are at play here. It’s possibly guitar, keys, and some type of electronic contraption that one would use to manipulate sound…maybe some sampling equipment like an MPC. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the work of one person. I’m thinking heavily distorted synths saturated in feedback with a very horror movie soundtrack vibe to it. Very high-pitched like they took the screechy violin part from the Psycho movies and just focused on that. Despite actually running across this type of thing fairly regularly, as it seems to be a type of music favored by the mail art underground, it always manages to take me by surprise. Not entirely my thing, but I appreciate it for what it is and am psyched that this type of stuff exists.


Thoughts on Jeff Hanneman and Slayer

The following Cheyenne B piece first ran in The Soda Killers issue #4, which there are a very limited number of copies still left of. Get in contact if you're interested in receiving one.

Thoughts on Jeff Hanneman and Slayer
By Cheyenne B.

The last time I caught a Slayer show was on the 2010 tour with Megadeth and Testament, where they played Seasons in the Abyss, start to finish. Despite catching a lot of shit from some of the more pretentious Slayer fans, I think Seasons is a solid album that houses some really vicious tunes, so I was pretty stoked on it and had a kickass time. That was almost three years ago now, and up until that point I had seen Slayer at least once every other year, if not more, since I was 12. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I realized that particular show was my last Slayer concert ever, under the circumstances that guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed on earlier this month due to cirrhosis of the liver.

No one can say for sure what Slayer’s next move is going to be as far as writing and touring goes, but I think it’s safe to predict that I will never see Slayer live again. Even if they don’t call it quits and keep on truckin’ sans Hanneman AND drummer Dave Lombardo, I have no desire to see the remaining weakest links plus a couple of hired guns pretend to be Slayer. See, at that last Slayer gig I saw, singer and bassist Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King were just going through the motions. Araya couldn’t belt out a warcry like he used to, King was butchering solo after solo, and when they weren’t doing that, they were just standing there. Even Lombardo was a little lax on the skins. I realize that those guys are getting up there in age, but the severe lack of effort was disheartening. However, Hanneman was up there bangin’ it out and nailed it. Now I have accepted the fact that I will have to listen to Show No Mercy on loop playback for all eternity in lieu of ever seeing them live again.

So why does the death of a person I didn’t even know have any sort of effect on me? Well, because Slayer was my gateway drug into everything metal and punk. It was somewhere in my early preteen years that I rerouted my life down the Left-Hand Path, and I can at least partially, if not fully, attribute that to Slayer. At that point in my life I was suffering an identity crisis and needed to escape from the monotony and torture of the pop vomit that infiltrated the minds of my middle school classmates. When I first heard Slayer, I wasn’t anywhere near prepared for it. The song was “South of Heaven,” from a mix CD that a friend burned for me - I was just decimated. I didn’t know that kind of music was allowed. It awakened new levels of discomfort and anxiety, as well as rage that made me just want to get up and start breaking shit. That was exactly the contradiction of emotions I needed to get me through my middle school identity calamity. Since then, Slayer has been a staple through every phase of my life. I can directly link the band to some of my best memories.

Hanneman’s music has had a profound impact on multiple generations of metalheads and punks alike. Everyone from my 11 year old nephew, who I have forced Slayer upon since he was just a tyke, to my more middle aged friends who have worshipped Slayer since the tape trading days, has been cranking their favorite Slayer albums in mourning remembrance. My personal choice has been Show No Mercy. Hanneman’s riffs and compositions were truly a driving force in shaping the future of underground music and spawned infinite legions of metal and punk bands for years to come. He will be dearly missed.

It’s the beginning of the end of an era. All of my heroes are dying.

R.I.P. Jeff.