Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Quote of the Week - Hartford

Steve Martin 

"A banjo will get you through times of no money,
But money won't get you through times of no banjo."

For banjo, substitute any instrument, or art form you practice, or want to practice. Not only will it keep your spirit centered, it can turn into money! No, not by going to the pawn shop, by sharing your art and receiving remuneration for your gifts.

I want a ukelele.

This quote was posted by my friend Matan a while back on FB - thanks for sharing!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Quote of the Week - Corelli

Kindred Spirits by Asher B. Durand

"Life has two moments of ecstasy, one when the spirit catches sight of truth, the other when it meets a kindred spirit."

This one came from Saba Malik on FB. I love it. i think there is a third possible moment - when the two moments occur simultaneously. 

Kindred Spirits, the painting above has an interesting story and connects painter Thomas Cole with his friend, writer and poet, William Cullen Bryant. Marie Corelli is also an interesting figure - worth investigating, surely!

Which brings us back to National Poetry Month! I hope you are celebrating well!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

30/30 Zesty Style!

Yes - we are a lot of poets in here. Yes, it's National Poetry Month. Yes, there is such a thing as writing 30 poems in 30 days, which we've nicknamed the 30/30 and NaPoWriMo.

If you're looking for E. Amato's 30/30 - look here.

For Angelique Palmer's 30/30 sign up here.

(Yes, you have to sign up and ask to be added.)

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Quote of the Week - Mosley

"We are not trapped or locked up in these bones. No, no. We are free to change. And love changes us. And if we can love one another, we can break open the sky. "
Walter Mosley

I so often feel trapped in these bones. But Mosley's words seem to make flight possible.

Image is of the embracing skeletons found in Italy.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Groove Theories: this is pizza boy.

by Sean Morris

Last fall, when scads of hip-hop fans were jizzing in their pants over Run the Jewels 2, I looked down at my Bart Simpson leggings and wondered why they were (relatively) dry. Part of it was that Mike and El released the album’s best song as the lead single, but mostly it was because of pizza boy. The self-proclaimed “premier struggle rapper” released his futility. EP the same day, brimming with impish gallows humor, manic techno trap beats, and shrewd self-analyses. That beats another nun in a cumshot any day.

Two seasons later, it’s happening all over again. Dr. Dre’s latest protege has the so-called rap game in a tizzy, while I nod appreciatively and think, “hmm, this is very good, but it’s no pizza boy.” this is pizza boy. combines the introspection of futility. and the filth flarn filth of no tip necessary. with frequently brilliant results. Every track is titled “this is me, ________,” and considering his entire recorded output is still shorter than your average Oscar bait, allow him to re-introduce himself as many times as he wants.

“reception of this album might be pretty lukewarm
and it would be completely my fault…
but now is the time to bet on myself
with everything to lose, shit better go well”

Posdnous of De La Soul once famously declared “every word I say should be a hip-hop quotable,” and pizza boy. turns this boast into sage career advice. The fact that he immediately posts all of lyrics on genius.com shows how proud he is of his writing, as well he should be. He claims his “voice is grating… just say when,” but I disagree. Besides, pinched over-enunciation has served many a superstar MC quite well. After listening to this is pizza boy., there should be no question regarding his rhyming skill. He navigates over different tempos, styles, and topics with enviable ease.

“Get off my lawn” hipster hop heads may not be ready to acknowledge that Madvillain is now over a decade old and ripe for appropriation, but pizza boy. rips a loop of the “Raid” intro to shreds on “this is me, technically speaking.” Apart from the obvious MF DOOM name drop, he also addresses rap’s growing generation gap, ponders why homophobia continues to linger, and asks for some dildo batteries for his Game Boy. And that’s just the second verse.

Compulsive masturbation is generally treated either as a joke or a pitiful affliction, but hardly ever as both at the same time, and here again pizza boy. shines. There are references to blacked.com, Bree Olson’s fake orgasm noises, and a “porn advocator” interlude imparting the wisdom, “fap to what you fap to.” Meanwhile, “this is me, air drying my soggy knees” thoughtfully details his relationships (or lack thereof) with actual women.

“I know you’d love to call me Jaleel White
meets Marshall Mathers
not realizing I'm playing characters
I'm not your ‘nice guy,’ nerd, or misogynist
I don't think I'm entitled to shit; calm your tits”

pizza boy. gives his contradictions some of the best hugs I’ve witnessed in ages. As a young Melanin-American who has more of a chance ending up like Michael Brown than Raven-Symone, he realizes pursuing a rap career is predictably quixotic, but that’s not going to deter him.

“I don’t have a lane
so I’ll get down and pave a way.”

Sonically, this is pizza boy. is all over the place in the best way possible. Like the rapper who they’ve furnished their beats to, none of them are anywhere near being household names but make strong cases for themselves as up and coming forces to be reckoned with. Ian Ewing laces the wistful “this is me, crushing on her” with jazzy piano, and it segues surprisingly well into Ghostfish Goon’s hyphy-tacular “this is me, flexing on your bitch ass.” The lyrical and production centerpiece is undoubtedly “this is me, trying not to be an edutainer,” as much this album’s mission statement as “atlas shrugging” was futility.’s. pizza boy. and producer Drones deliver the Three 6 Mafia-tronica song Kanye wishes he could make (prove me wrong, So Help Me God). The fuckboy-taunting chant is a nice nod to RTJ, while the rhymes indict the bro culture that has embraced them.

“Why you white-washed this rap thing
so I couldn’t see a speck of dirt in this crowd
Wow, I’m the only black one at this rap show
And somehow that makes me the asshole”

The first time I listened to this brutal gut punch of race-baiting and dick measuring, I listened to it five more times after that. While the majority of this is pizza boy. falls into backpacker Nintendocore territory, this is a bonafide club banger. At the same time, it drives home a point that hasn’t been made since House Party. Even upwardly mobile youth who occasionally bump militant rap music just want to finish school and dance with their hands on whoever’s ass is the prettiest. Hopefully this is the song that gets pizza boy.’s foot in whatever door he catches slightly ajar. A friend asked me if she thought pizza boy. was going to “make it,” and I immediately thought of Chuck D’s closing words on The Roots' Illadelph Halflife:

“their concept has not yet blown up
and it is quite possible it won’t.”

I am quite certain pizza boy. should. I spend an obscene amount of time and money on already established artists struggling to remain relevant, but I am also willing and able to do the same to support someone struggling to exist as a musician. Here's hoping he finds more listeners willing to do the same.

Listen/download pizza boy.'s music on:

Zestyverse's resident Music Geek Sean Morris is an SF Bay Area native with a photographic memory and encyclopedic knowledge of popular culture. He is a graduate of UCLA's School of Theater, Film, and Television, a former Los Angeles Slam Team member, part of the collective Art 4 A Democratic Society, and a music blogger for The Owl Mag. Find him on TwitterSoundCloud, and YouTube.