Too Many Rappers: Summer Wrapup

Too Many Rappers: Summer Wrapup
By Nathan G. O'Brien on Scene Point Blank

Holy crap, has this summer been hot or what? Like, hot as in temperature hot.  Like, literally hot.  Which might be confusing now that Merriam-Webster and Oxford dictionaries as well as Google say “literally” doesn’t necessarily have to mean literally anymore. They literally changed the definition of “literally.”  That sucks, if anything, for this one reason alone:  It’s now totally feasible that a Kardashian sister will say, “I literally died” and not get made fun of on The Soup.  I am not OK with this.

Speaking of people literally dying this summer, there was that one time a kid died at the Gathering of the Juggalos and nobody gave a shit because he was only one person out of thousands at an event where it is widely acceptable behavior by everyone who is not there to wish death upon everyone who is.  Juggalo or not, nobody deserves to die in a steamy tent, surrounded by scary clowns and Faygo-soaked hockey jerseys.  I am not OK with this either.

Then there was that one time Kendrick saved hip-hop with his verse on “Control,” but everyone quickly forgot about it because Daredevil became Batman, and then Miley twerked on live TV and everybody went insane because a 20 year-old white girl did some 20 year-old white girl stuff.  This clearly means one thing:  By proxy, Miley Cyrus and her foam finger, with a little help from a soon-to-be washed up superhero, literally killed hip-hop, which was only very recently literally saved from dying.  Do the math – it works.  Depending on your definition of “literally,” the math literally works.  And this, for some reason, I am OK with.

Word definers, dead Juggalos, Kendrick Lamar, Ben Affleck, and Miley Cyrus aren’t the only ones having a hot summer.  My shit has been cray-cray too.  For example, when I’m not putting out zines, riding my bike, watching Drew League highlights on YouTube while I’m at work, running the Tough Mudder, eating lots of grilled meats, shotgunning beers in a forest with my homies, championing The Challenge: Rivals II to anyone that will listen, getting quasi-arrested for graffiti, hate-watching Total Divas, getting married, penning scatterbrained column intros in which I summise Miley Cyrus killed hip-hop, or writing longwinded self-important lists of things I did this summer, I am literally stressing about stupid things like how there’s too many rappers.  ...read entire column, including mixtape reviews and more here.


see it in lights

Minnesota State Fair, St.Pl, MN, 8/23/13


Racist Sheep Barn

Minnesota State Fair, St.Pl, MN, 8/23/13


MSF Round #1

Minnesota State Fair, St. Pl, MN, 8/23/13



endless fire

Crow Hasaan Park Reserve, Rogers, MN, 8/4/13



Record Review: Infectious Garage Disease - Discography

Infectious Garage Disease - Discography (Negative Reaction / MVD Audio)
By Nathan G. O'Brien on Scene Point Blank

The gods of weird have unearthed yet another obscure group of misfits and re-unleashed them upon those of us that zealously engross ourselves in all things loud, fast and fucked up. This is the complete discography of Northern California’s short-lived thrashing party punks, Infectious Garage Disease... ...if you have a penchant for fast songs about cheap beer, shoplifting, and pornography and have a high threshold for blatant misogyny and the grotesque, you likely won’t be disappointed.  ...Read entire review here.


Scene Report: We Did Some Stuff On Saturday

Remember in like, the early to mid-‘00s when everyone was blogging? The time before Facebook and Twitter blew up and MySpace was still kind of cool and everyone had a WordPress or Blogspot instead of Tumblr, and was all excited about disposable indie rock bands that were trying to be Death Cab For Cutie or Modest Mouse or Guided By Voices or whatever. You know, the time when The O.C., One Tree Hill, and Gilmore Girls all used that same Band of Horses song at the end of the episode to really drive home how dramatic shit was. That time when punk rockers started listening to electronic music like Justice or Crystal Castles and so everyone called them hipsters because they were really confused by what was going on. Blogging was the new perzine was the new tour diary was the new mass email was the new holiday letter was the new journaling through some rage was the new using a sharp rock to etch stick men and buffalo onto the wall inside of a cave…or something. Let’s do some fucking blogging, amirite! (Remember back when everyone said “amirite?”)

On Saturday morning we rode our bikes to Minnehaha Falls and watched some people walking around for a while. There was a giant Asian youth church group wandering around whom all were wearing matching Asian youth church group tee shirts with very skinny jeans and flip flops. Many of them also had punky haircuts. It reminded me of an article about “Asian hair styles” that I read in Giant Robot magazine in 1999 or 2000. We also hiked down to the bottom of the falls where we witnessed some very stern and kind of upsetting parenting. Apparently kids are not allowed to have fun on family outings, and under no circumstances whatsoever should they ever have fun in, on, or around stuff like shallow streams or swimming areas that are designed just for kids to have fun with. If a kid has the audacity to have fun in such scenarios, they will be scolded by their suburban, jean shorts-wearing mother who is still angry at their father for getting her pregnant and stealing her future from her. Then we hiked back up to the top of the falls, but not before seeing an egret, a muskrat and some encouraging graffiti that said “Keep Going.” Once we were at the top I made the declaration that I would be eating ice cream multiple times during the day. Spoiler alert: I didn’t.

After that we rode on to Lake Harriet, sticking to the parkway the whole way. I should probably pause here for a quick introduction. When I a say “we”, I mean me—my name is Nathan (AKA White Nate AKA TC Crusher AKA Southside Drifter AKA Ballin’ on a Budget AKA King of Punk AKA Minneapolis' Best-Kept Secret)—and my wife (AKA My Former Girlfriend AKA The Wife Formerly Known As “The GF.”) Spoiler alert: we’re married now. Anyway, on the way to Lake Harriet we said hello to a statue of a rabbit, which I named “Frank” many years ago. I named him that because he reminds me of the dude from Donnie Darko. I think he’s supposed to be the rabbit from a famous children’s story or something but I don’t care – the dude is named Frank as far as I’m concerned. Besides, he’s a statue – he doesn’t care what his name is. Someday I will teach my children that he is named Frank and then they will look stupid when they say to their friends “Nugh-ah, he’s not the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland; he’s Frank from Donnie Darko. My dad said so.”

Then we made a mental note to come back later and check out some abandoned stuff like dirty sleeping bags under a bridge that we passed. Spoiler alert: we never did. You might think if you’ve seen one dirty sleeping bag under a bridge that you’ve seen them all, but as a connoisseur of dirty sleeping bags under bridges, I can tell you that each one of them is their own unique snow flake and deserving of being checked out. Then we saw some more bad parenting when a pale-skinned, badly-tattooed overweight woman who probably dropped out of Roosevelt High School back when white people still let their kids go there screamed at her children to “RIDE!”

When we passed by the basketball courts at Lynnhurst Park, I made us ride especially slow so that I could check out the talent and see if I could still hang. Lynnhurst is traditionally some of the best pickup games on the south side. I used to run there every Saturday morning back in the early ‘00s. Although, The GF said one of the guys had gray hair, I guessed that I was older than the oldest person playing, by at least a decade. I’m sure I could hang but I’d really hope I didn’t end up on the skins team because of fatness.

When we got to Lake Harriet, we finally got some ice cream. She had a cup of mint chocolate chip, while I had a strawberry cone and a plastic cup of Fat Tire. In my travels I have come to realize that beer that is not light, domestic, and canned is very delicious when paired with ice cream. Light domestic canned beer is delicious with most things, except for ice cream. After we ate our ice cream, drank my beer, and overheard a man telling another man this his youngest son was a “crabby ginger,” we laid under a tree and pretended to take a nap but mostly just talked about really important life stuff and looked at our smart phones. I should clear up the part about the man talking to the other man. The man talking was talking about his own child, not the other man’s child. The exact quote he used to describe his crabby ginger is “He’s a crabby ginger. He gets sunburned and then is like, ‘argh.’ He fuckin’ hates his life, but whatever.” After we were done pretending to nap, we decide we should get some real food, as we had not eaten since our leftover pizza early in the morning. Spoiler alert: it was Papa John’s.

We then rode up into Linden Hills in search of some sort of sandwiches. We stopped into Turtle Bread but quickly exited as soon as we read “spicy mustard” on the description of the pre-made sandwiches. I would like to go on record right now, as I have many times in the past, as saying: FUCK SPICY MUSTARD! Also, fuck horseradish, fuck wasabi, and DOUBLE FUCK ANY PLACE THAT PUTS ANY SORT OF CONDIMENT WHATSOEVER ON A PRE-MADE SADWHICH! This is America – people should have the right to choose their own damn condiments. We eventually ended up at the Linden Hill Co-Op, which is now located in the same building that was formerly known as the Sunnyside Market or something like that. I used to go in there all the time and get fried chicken when I was driving large trucks with heavy trailers full of heavy landscaping machinery on them. Anyway, I got the tuna melt with tomatoes and she got a sandwich that was tons of bacon and an entire avocado. You heard that right – tons of bacon and an entire avocado. Her sandwich was good vs. evil in a cage match, where the cage was made of wheat bread. My tuna melt was delicious. (That’s what she said.) I got not one, but two cans of La Croix mineral water – one coconut and one pamplemouese, which means grapefruit in some fancy language. There was a young man sitting near us that had two slices of pizza and a ginormous plate of three or four different salads on it – stuff like couscous and pesto pasta. He ate every single bite of it and I was so impressed I couldn’t help but stare at him. Then another guy came and sat down and proceeded to eat a whole pint of some caramel organic ice cream. Again, I was enthralled. I was still hopeful at this point, but that was before I knew that I would not be eating anymore ice cream, as I had proclaimed I would earlier. We saw a man park in the lot of the co-op, then walk over to the high-end liquor store across the street, walk out with a twelve of PBR, and put it in his trunk. He then went into the co-op, and came out with some bread and some unidentified item. For some reason he put the bread in the trunk with the beer and put the unidentified item on the back seat. It was baffling. We will never know what the item was that was unfit for the trunk was.

Nothing really eventful happened on our eventual ride back home, other than we saw what looked like a mild domestic dispute being squashed by the MPD at the Rose Gardens. They looked like a nice couple but for some reason were separated by officers and saying apologetic things like, “Yeah, I know, I know – it’s OK, it’s OK.” Our vaginas and taints were beginning to hurt so we decided to walk our bikes sometimes. I pointed out a bridge where I remembered smoking a oney back in ’99. Then I thought about how I wished I could draft Matthew Stafford for my starting QB in fantasy football but I’m in a keeper league and another guy is keeping him already. I want him not only because he changed his name from Matt to Matthew, which is going to be a long struggle that I totally can identify with, but because I kind of like his hair. Not that I would ever have my hair like that or normally even like dudes that have hair like that, but for some reason it really works for him and I dig it. Also, I believe he does commercials for Van Heusen, which is the brand of one of my favorite dress shirts of all time. It’s a checked blue and white one that my uncle bought at a second-hand store and gave to me sometime during the ‘90s. I still wear it to this day, even though it’s beginning to fray on the collar. Anyway, I didn’t tell her that I was thinking about how I wished I could draft Matthew Stafford though. I think that would have really ruined the moment. 

Then we went home and I think we went to Target or something but I can’t really be sure. I know I didn’t have any more ice cream, as was originally planned, which isn't too much of a bummer.