7 Questions in Heaven

7 Questions in Heaven with DJ_BASKETBALL

7 Questions DJB

I met DJ_BASKETBALL on Twitter after a friend of a friend told me that if I like funny and weird, I should definitely follow @focra. We became Twitter friends, and then he told me he was releasing his album of midi covers sometime. THAT SOMETIME IS NOW. DJ_BASKETBALL sat down at his computer last week and answered all my questions for your reading pleasure. HERE IT IS. Download his album MIDI MIXXES for free here and WELCOME TO THE TECHNICOLOR WORLD OF DJ_BASKETBALL.

1. Describe your new album in 3 emoticons.

Emoji ghost (I like the android one better than iOS tbh,) cat smiley :3 and probably the o___o

2. Why is your name DJ_BASKETBALL?

I was talking to a friend online (and I guess I’ve only known him online, so) and we were spitballing DJ names.¬† DJ_BASKETBALL was one of mine and it stuck.
from haroldsavage.com

from haroldsavage.com

3. If you could pick any actress to live in a world where your music was the constant soundtrack, who would it be and why?

Maaaaaan.¬† Uh.¬† Emma Watson and / or Christina Ricci because they would probably “get it.”¬† But I’m probably projecting.

4. Who is your favorite pop star and why?

I thought about this one a whole lot and I think I’ve settled on Nicki Minaj.¬† While she hasn’t really been around to stand any test of time, I appreciate her vivid, up-front persona.¬† I like the fact that it doesn’t come off as forced, or manufactured by anyone outside of herself, but I’m sure many would disagree.¬† (Haven’t caught her on American Idol because I don’t think I’ve watched American Idol in years.)
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5. Why did you pick the songs you covered for the album? Which one is your favorite?

Just naturally drawn to all of the songs.¬† The process was disappointing sometimes, because some of them would just turn out to be poorly made / orchestrated MIDI files, but these made the cut on that front.¬† With that in mind, I think that OVENS and BENNIE_JETS are my personal favorites, because they’re the most dynamic tracks.

6. You are also a chapbook author by your IRL name. Give an excerpt of your favorite chapter.

this is from my first chabook, and I usually make it a point to read this out loud:
courtney love is tap dancing somewhere, at some point in time
robert rodriguez is channelling someone distant
during the penultimate refreshor other kinds of archiving gmails
i call out a really
i want to get powerfully drunk with you for only five minutes
i want to climb on top of a building and be very scared
during your life
and about it
there was a boring synchronicity of costco memberships

COVER_FINAL

7. You’re ALSO a visual artist. Describe what you listen to/drink/eat/scream when you’re drawing alone in your apartment.

1.¬† Listen –¬† put my 15+ year library on shuffle, and if something STRIKES me I’ll listen to more of it / stuff along those lines / music I listened to around that point in time.¬† If not that, all kinds of RAP.
2.  Drink РWhiskey, usually.
3.  Eat РBig fan of pretzels.
4.  SCREAM РNot usually.
from haroldsavage.com

from haroldsavage.com

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7 Questions in Heaven, Minneapolis, Music

7 Questions in Heaven with Phillip Morris

In heaven, there is Phillip Morris times 5. You better behave.

In heaven, there is Phillip Morris times 5. You better behave.

I met Phillip Morris at a sick ass Halloween party in Northeast a couple weeks ago. He was in charge of the cups, very polite and dressed as Dartanian from the 3 Musketeers. I was a little bummed because I thought his gigantic wig was his real hair (hey, it was a great look). Later in the evening, we were sitting by the fire and started talking about music and shit. I had recognized his name from my friend in Seyah and their CD release show a year and a half ago at the Entry (local famous musico babez Lizzo and Sophia Eris performed at that show well). However, I don’t think I got to see Phillip Morris that night because he was on his way back from Chicago and got to the show extra late, or I was being a total bum and had to be in bed by midnight. WHATEVER OK.

Anyways, the night partied on beautifully, twitter handles were exchanged, and the rest my good internet pals is this: Phillip Morris and Wide Eyes (which consists of Minneapolis artists/producers Sean Anonymous, Tony Phantom, DJ NAME and Dimitry Killstorm) have banded together to collaborate on an album released last week titled “The Sick and the Dead“. It is awesome and really cool. Download it below, throw these talents a few bones, and settle in all cozy-like with an awesome interview below from your new favorite rapper, Mr. Phillip Morris.

1) How long have you been making music? Why did you start making music?

I originally started writing short stories in 4th or 5th grade, as my defense mechanism. I was getting picked on and bullied pretty frequently since i was really short and uber nerdy. That ended up resulting in me starting to make music approximately 15 years ago. After I ate LSD for the first time, i decided that I wanted to seriously make music for a living. I was NOT a good rapper then, but that was the turning point where i decided to take it much more seriously and start practicing a lot more. It took me about 6 more years to finally get to a point where I was comfortable performing in front of Chicago crowds.
Phillip Morris. Foto de Facebook

Phillip Morris. Foto de Facebook

2) You just released an album with Wide Eyes called “The Sick and the Dead“. What inspired this album?

First of all I have a lot of love and respect for Wide Eyes. Not only are they some stand up dudes, but they are definitely responsible for me becoming popular in Minneapolis. I was living in Chicago when i met them, the first big Mpls show I did was at their video release party for Borrowed Time, and after that show the momentum just kept going. So yeah, one day my younger whiter twin brother by the name of Sean Anonymous approached me with the idea of doing a collaborative project together and I was like YUP YUP HOME SKILLET THAT’S A STELLAR IDEA and then we began working on it. The official release party is 11/15 at Triple Rock (West Bank in Minneapolis).
Sean Anonymous and Phillip Morris lookin' all rad as hell and shit.

Sean Anonymous and Phillip Morris lookin’ all rad as hell and shit.

3) Lady Gaga is going to be the first artist to perform a song in space in 2015. Which planet would you most like to perform on, and why?

I would most like to perform on Uranus because then when girls would ask me when’s my next show I could be like “Hey there girl…thanks for asking! I’m currently touring across Uranus.” and they might just mistakenly think i was talking about touring their bootyhole. (Okay that was a bit juvenile, but it made me giggle) Yup. Uranus all day. But okay, the real reeeeal reason is that it’s the only planet named after a Greek God (as the rest are named after Roman gods) and I am a huge mythology buff but i prefer Greek over Roman. (Sidenote: I have won 1st place in 3 separate citywide mythology competitions in Chicago. Mythology nerd. Yup. Okay, I’m done)
Look! It's Phillip Morris touring Uranus.

Phillip Morris touring Uranus, 2017.

4) Describe your new album in 3 words.

Fastidious Metaphor Jamboree?

5) If you were taking your soulmate on a date to a live show, which Minneapolis artist would you see perform and why?

Hmmmmmm, that’s a really hard question. So much talent in this city. I’d have to say though, out of all the live shows I’ve seen from Minneapolis the one that might have blown my mind the most was Carnage The Executioner when he headlined the Rogue Citizen Art Opening back in October. It might have honestly been one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen in my life. The energy was phenomenal. So yeah, I’d have to say him (but I’d ask him in advance if he was willing to give my soulmate a shoutout in beatbox format, so that’d make me look a little cooler)
Carnage the Executioner's City Pages cover.

Carnage the Executioner’s City Pages cover.

6) What’s your favorite line from your new album?

“I know that there’s no containing the craziness baby, maybe it’s the shiniest of thoughts on the stormiest days…maybe it’s heinously redundant explaining the story…maybe it’s a Delorean painted a glorious shade of Dorian Gray”

7) Who is your dream collaboration, dead or alive?

I’d have to say…I’d either like to collaborate with Saul Williams or Corey Feldman, but I have a very difficult time deciding which one. Can I pick both? On the same track? Please? ;)
Your wish is my free online photo editor's command.

Your wish is my free online photo editor’s command.

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7 Questions in Heaven

7 Questions in Heaven with Jus Post Bellum

jus post bellum band music

I was first introduced to Jus Post Bellum‘s music over too many cocktails with band member Hannah Jensen’s sister Kitty (who is also a musical wunderkind along with their Minneapolis music scene ICON mother Wendy Lewis). I can’t even being to quote her, but it was summer, we were drunk on the sidewalk patio of Cause, and Kitty said something like “my sister’s band is fucking awesome!!!” Which is all you really need to hear to give something a listen.

Pic from Lauren of Bonnie and Lauren

Pic from Lauren of Bonnie and Lauren

It’s so cool when you listen to music like Jus Post Bellum, especially because it’s something that transports you directly to another era with one bass note or a drum cadence. In “Stonewall Jackson” you are sent to a field, feeling the sluggish heat and bugs biting your ankles; in “Shotgun Wedding” you’re riding in the back of a truck driving down a dirt road; from the title track of their first full album release, “Devil Winter”, you can hear the existential drain of winter, yet hopeful defiance that spring is on its way. It’s the kind of music that draws you in to listen, instead of demanding your attention like the sometimes obnoxious thump of a dubstep drop.

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Anyways, as for the actual people behind Jus Post Bellum, there is Geoffrey Wilson (lead vocals, guitar), Hannah Jensen (vocals), Zach Dunham (drums, percussion, vocals), and Daniel Bieber (bass, cello, vocals). Below, Geoffrey answers my 7 Questions in Heaven about the birth of Jus Post Bellum, race in America and drinking with the hottest emancipator of all time, Abe Lincoln.

1) How did the idea behind Jus Post Bellum come about? What is it about the civil war that inspired you to start a band? 

jus post bellum music

Pic by Lauren of Bonnie and Lauren

One version goes that¬†Jus Post Bellum got its start in the apartment I had while living in the New York Hudson Valley. I had just graduated from college(I studied music and American Studies) and was working full-time at a school for kids with developmental disabilities. I was also waiting tables and bar tending. I was gifted one of those 70’s era organs with foot pedals and funny analog instrument sounds from a man named Dr. Kim, a loop pedal from a friend John, an old Kay guitar from another friend John. I also had an array of woodwind and and percussion from my collection(*note I am a hoarder of instruments and other stuff) I played saxophones in a Minimalist-Afrobeat band and in my free time recorded weird multi-layered acoustic tracks on the looper. Fast-forward a couple years, I moved to Brooklyn for grad-school and and continued secretly writing and recording ambient singer song-writer inspired tunes. At a very low point, I went alone to a party and met a girl named Hannah. During our year long courtship I wrote the first official JPB song ‘Stonewall Jackson’ in homage to that complicated war hero, and realized my interest in American History and folk style music worked very well together. Duh! Hannah encouraged me to come out of my shell a bit and sing her some songs. Then we started singing together. The rest is history.

2) If you had one night to drink whiskey with any civil war era historical figure, who would it be and why?

Obviously Abe Lincoln. Though I am most interested in the lesser known subtleties of that era. It would really be foolish to skip that chance. I so admire his pragmatism and in a big way it is at the root of how I approach the characters in my songs. I often choose to write from the perspective of a white southern man, a woman, a child. I look to find the good in “villains” and tell complicated histories, and injustices borne by both sides. This all is an effort to illuminate the complexity of our American History. Jus Post Bellum means Justice After War, and one of my goals has been to explore the full scope of what is just and unjust in that period of time.

 

Baebraham Drinkin'

Baebraham Drinkin’

 

3) You just released a beautiful teaser trailer (directed and filmed by Alyssa Pagano, William Hereford and Oscar Hudson)¬†for “Gimme That Gun”, a song off your upcoming album¬†Oh July. Does this mean you will you be releasing more music videos for this album?¬†

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Indeed! We have 2 full length videos set to be released over the coming weeks [one of which is shot by Drew Weigel and Bushwick Happy Hour]. We are so excited for them and so thankful for the many people that dedicate their time to help us make these works of art happen. One will be a more classic “Music Video” directed and shot by Oscar Hudson in upstate NY at a house where I used to live. It was an overnight shoot and a bunch of our friends and local folks jumped in last minute to play characters. Its a bit light hearted, and was so much fun. The second was done by a collective of artists here in Brooklyn (and fellow minnesotans!) and is a beautifully conceived and executed work of art. Both are very different from one another but serve the music really well.
 

4)¬†This article by Andrea Swensson about local Minneapolis fave Caroline Smith’s new soul sound and of course Miley Cyrus’ self-described new “black sound” are hot topics concerning race and cultural appropriation in America today. Being that your sound and subject matter is inspired by the American Civil war and American history in general, are racial issues something you guys talk about on your new album? Why or why not?

 
Pic by Wendy Lewis

Pic by Wendy Lewis

This is a great question, and perhaps more than I can tackle at one time. Speaking for myself as an African American person and more broadly as an American, addressing the topic of race is a complicated task. It is fraught with many differing opinions, and one which opens you up much criticism wherever your opinion may fall. If we limit this conversation to race as it relates to art, we are inevitably going to discuss the performative aspects of art, specifically music. In my mind these are inextricable from the larger context of the performative aspects of culture. I.E Blackness, whiteness, wealth, poverty. I’m writing you as a black guy, singing a fairly white American(at least in appeal) style of Folk derived music, likely appropriated in large part from black musicians in the rural south.

Growing up I lived for 10 years in North Minneapolis on Washburn Avenue, and then moved to Golden Valley for my adolescent years. Both my folks are from the economically poor, and predominantly black and hispanic side of San Antonio, Texas. I think moving to Minnesota, and specifically to the suburbs, my parents wanted to provide us with a sense of community with a more broad range of identities and possibilities.¬†It should come as no surprise I’m not big on overtly performative aspects of race. More than once I’ve been asked indirectly or very directly why I don’t act black. I’ve never had a great answer other than to say all I can do is be myself. Like Prince;)

You mentioned Caroline Smith. We shared a bill out here in NYC a while back, but I haven’t seen her new, more soul inspired work. My estimation is that stylistically her performance might be a larger reflection of “pop music” moving towards a more stereotypically black aesthetic. Hip Hop and Pop music becoming more and more synonymous. Much is being said about this topic so I wont go into it except to say that if as Andrea Swensson suggested in her recent article music deserving an equal audience is being ignored in the nearby North Minneapolis community in favor of something more palatable and in fact co-opting the label “black music”, we may have a problem. And no doubt this happens all over the country. But if it is as I expect, simply that audiences enjoy Caroline’s voice, music, etc, and are excited about her expanding her palate and genre as a larger reflection of enthusiasm over soul music, so be it. What right do we have to deny her talent because of her race? ¬†While I’ve turned more than a few heads, especially singing our more country tinged numbers, name dropping “Stonewall Jackson” and the “N Word!”, especially in the south, no one has told me I can’t sing “white folks music”, yet…

In regards to the record: I intentionally say the songs are inspired by the Civil War. Some of them are overtly about figures or topics directly related to the period, others simply use that time period as a sort of working point and may not mention it at all. “Abe and Johnny” is most obvious, it is an homage to their parallel tragedies. “Sonny” is a fictionalized story about a confederate army deserter and pacifist. Others like “Oh July”, “Tell Me Mama”, or “For the Brokenhearted” mention elements of war or conflict as a backdrop for a romantic, or other tragic occurrence. Race certainly plays a part in the songs, but as in the war itself, race was only one element of a larger conflict.

 

Pic by Lauren of Bonnie and Lauren

Pic by Lauren of Bonnie and Lauren

 

5) Describe your new album in 5 words.

Harmonious
Raw
Reflective
Searching
Romantic
Still from the "Gimme That Gun" video shot, directed and produced by William Hereford , Alyssa Pagano and Oscar Hudson.

Still from the “Gimme That Gun” video shot, directed and produced by William Hereford , Alyssa Pagano and Oscar Hudson.

 

6)  What has been your favorite place to tour so far and why? Are you planning a tour to support this album? 

Much of our touring has been through the south. I’d hate to offend any one of the many amazing folks who helped us along the way, that wouldn’t be very Minnesotan of me now would it? So suffice it to say, we ate a lot of delicious BBQ and stayed in many great towns. And if your town has a great BBQ joint and a thrift store, we will come, eat, play, and stay the night.

We will be touring the first couple weeks of november. We will also be doing a show or two in Minnesota over the Christmas holiday, so stay tuned. Dates below:

11/5/13: Washington DC -Hill Country, 8:30PM FREE

11/6/13: Cincinnati, OH –¬†MOTR Pub¬†with¬†The Young Heirlooms,¬†10PM¬†FREE

11/7/13: Chicago, IL –¬†The Burlington, Doors¬†9PM¬†$5 donation

11/8/13: Louisville, KY –¬†Atlantic No5¬† TBD

11/10/13: New York, NY РRECORD RELEASE SHOW! with Cassandra Jenkins,Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2 Р9PM FREE

11/12/13: Boston, MA –¬†The Beehive,¬†8PM-12AM¬†FREE

11/13/13: Cambridge, MA –¬†The Beat Hotel,¬†8PM-12AM¬†FREE

11/14/13: Philadelphia, PA –¬†Tin Angel¬† TBD

 

Pic by Wendy Lewis

Pic by Wendy Lewis

7) If you had to pick one pop star, dead or alive, to feature on a track, who would it be and why?

Woody Guthrie or Bob Dylan. Both of them made folk-art in service to their times, but not limited by that context. This is something I greatly admire. There are many other lesser known American Blues and Folk artists who contributed greatly to this cannon but for me these guys are the top. Guthrie continues to inspire me to look closely at complicated and real histories and capture them in plainspoken, simply executed ways. Dylan encourages me to be aware of my time and place, and to not be afraid to use language, metaphor, and more importantly things said, unsaid, or merely suggested lyrically to stretch the boundaries of songwriting and the tolerance of our audience. And they also happened to have great voices ;)
Woody Guthrie Bob Dylan
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Minneapolis, Music

Music MPLS: Lizzo is tearin’ shit up on her new album “LIZZOBANGERS”

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Have you heard of Lizzo yet? HAVE YOU?! She’s everywhere in the Minneapolis music scene. For real. Last year she was girl-groupin’ it with The Chalice, a 3-piece girl group comprised of staples in the Mpls music scene: Ms. Lizzo, Sophia Eris, Claire de Lune. This year, she’s been busy with another girl group called GRRRL PRTY (Lizzo, Manchita and Sophia Eris) and her own solo release radly titled LIZZOBANGERS (which, by the way, I believe was titled waaaaay before Miley Cyrus swooped in with her Bangerz album¬†BUT WHATEVS MILEY. WHAT-EVZ).

Anyways, LIZZOBANGERS¬†was released this week out of local Minneapolis cool kid record label Totally Gross National Product. The album was produced by Lazerbeak (Doomtree) with creative guidance by Ryan Olson (Poli√ßa). If you listen to the Current or Radio K, you’ve probably heard her first single “Batches and Cookies” (featuring Sophia Eris) allllll ova the airwaves. It’s a hip ass song for two reasons: sick beat and WHO THE FUCK DOESN’T LOVE COOKIES. Maybe we’re entering into a new trend in the Minneapolis music scene. After all, Caroline Smith sings about lemons in her latest single “Magazine.” Perhaps as a metro area, we really connect and identify with songs featuring foodstuffs. I know I do.

SO. If you’re into hip hop, kool chicks and mpls tunes,¬†LIZZOBANGERS is the album 4 U. There are 13 tracks and there’s a song called “Bus Passes and Happy Meals” which is basically my new Wednesday afternoon anthem on the 16. Pick it up on iTunes RIGHT HERE¬†BABIES.

lizzo-bangers-300x297

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Celebrité, Music

Will Britney’s new song “Work Bitch” deliver us from evil?

Britney released the video for her latest single, “Work Bitch” and it’s a step in a good direction. In the vid, Britster¬†moves her legs way more in the dance scenes than in past videos of recent history. See “Till the World Ends” for the modern Britney arm wave dance-like reference. So yeah, this is pretty huge, folks.¬†I can’t help but think every single time I see her perform in a video or live that her dancing just isn’t there anymore. But in this video, her dancing is creeping back to almost good again. As you may or may not know, in 2004 Ms. B broke her knee on the set of the video for “Outrageous,” thus leading into the downward spiral we all sort of lovingly remember. In the knee breaking video, you can see how FUCKING AWESOME she was moving. But she just can’t do it like she used to. Of course I feel like a shit fan for wishing and hoping she would dance like the old days.

Hope is such a dangerous drug.

“Work Bitch” also raises important societal questions like:

Will Britney’s new song inspire millions of people to work?

Will everyone who has been avoiding the gym finally get out of their laptop/couch coma and get to sweatin’?

Will Congress finally get their shit together after a Britney dance party?

if_britney_can_make_it_through_2007-4892

This is my favorite thing on the internet

Let’s hope so. I know I’ve gotten through some weird times by listening to Britney. There’s something ethereal and existentially comforting about listening to a woman ask a stranger to fuck her in the back room of the club, all over super hot club beats. The air of “Fuck it” and “Imma get what I want!” is so inspiring. When you’re knee deep in quarter-life crisis, it’s important to have Britney there as a reminder that you REALLY, REALLY can make it through anything.

CAN a pop song inspire a nation to quit being lazy shitbags on a personal and professional level and “Work Bitch”? Time will only tell if our Godney will deliver us from evil.

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Minneapolis, Music

Music: Caroline Smith’s new vid for “Magazine” is SUPER FUN

GOD DAMN I LOVE THIS SONG. Minneapolis wundergal Caroline Smith is gearing up to release her latest album titled “Half About Being a Woman.” And it’s gonna be killer. Like, this chick is blowin’ up killer. Because if you haven’t heard of her yet, holy shit. She’s about to blow your world. She has a show on the 27th of Sept. at First Avenue in MPLS, otherwise I’m sure she’ll be on tour in a city near you soon. You’ll wanna see it.

The first time I saw her live was 8 years ago when we were all in college, at the 400 bar. She had hand written CDs and gave me one fo’ free cuz I was cash poor/my friend was dating her friend. My favorite song from that (I think) first little album was “Clench My Teeth.” Very folky, very pretty.¬†I am so proud of her, not only because she’s fucking awesome but also because she’s an awesome part of the music scene in the good ol’ MSP. AND I’m also excited to see where her career goes from here, because I have a feeling its gonna be amazing!!

Def check out her new album when its out, which is I believe Sept. 27. YAY!!!!!

caroline smith

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