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[In Which We Wonder About the Worth of a Man.]

Gil Scott-Heron, known alternately as the Grandfather of Hip-hop and that guy that Kanye sampled on “Who Will Survive in America”, has passed away today.  He was too young, just shy of 63.

Scott-Heron was an exceptional artist.  Uncompromising and compassionate.  Full of fire and alive with a heart that beat anger and mercy and intelligence.  His words could embrace and lacerate in equal measure, and his voice met and matched them in gravitas and fury.

I’m not sure what I feel today.  Gratitude for a literary and musical giant.  Sadness that his life and work was cut so short.  Scott-Heron was, to me, the heir apparent to the legacy of Langston Hughes, in both a literal and worldly sense, and in my own creative growth.

I cannot express my appreciation for the often troubled road he walked down and bravely illuminated.  Regardless of how he died, what is most important is the life that he lived and the words he’s left.

[They sent a limousine from heaven to take him to god, if there is one.]

[Come See The Band Alternately Described as "Fun!" and "Chaperone!"]

As I sit here in my bedroom (or, as it’s more commonly known, my apartment), watching M*A*S*H on mute while listening to Destroyer records, I’m struck by the fact that, in this world, few things are guaranteed.  The sun rises and sets, the tides wax and wane, Alan Alda is perpetually handsome, my cats vomit on dry-clean only clothes; but, short of that, we are promised very little.  We, here in Chaperone, are aiming to change that.

We’d like to promise you a good time (not necessarily in a sexy way).

At every show, through every song, with every broken string and missed cue, we’d like to make sure that you feel the same degree of joy that we do, the self-same extraordinary amount.

Come put our promise to the test at one of the eighteen-thousand shows we’re playing this April, the first of which is taking place at The Beat Kitchen on April 9th with blackgrass superheroes O’Death.

Be there so we can shower you with affection and admiration.

Thou art our joy,

-Chaperone

[Would be an awesome name for a ST:tOS Episode.]

First: Yonkers.  Which is not exactly safe for work.

Oh, really, you produced the beats, directed the video and can do a badass kickflip?  OFWGKTA are too young to be this talented.  Tyler, The Creator is right, he is a unicorn, he is a table, he can be anything that he wants to be.

Yes, admittedly, I could take the time to write about the more off-putting elements of the Odd Future oeuvre, but, truth is, more talented and insightful writers than I have already tackled the subject at length.

What interests me about the last piece (other than the writer’s contention that MF DOOM may not be incredible) is that, near it’s conclusion, the writer suggests that Odd Future needs to “grow up”.  This is, for me, one of the most fascinating things about the collective, that they are both mature beyond their years and absolutely indicative of what it’s like to be barreling out of adolescence, confused, talented beyond your years and not quite formed.

[Also, lastly, can we please all call a moratorium on the word 'hipster', regardless of its connotations?]

 

 

[We're going for a hard-R with this one.]

It’s 11:46PM in Chicago, and the last few minutes of Valentine’s Day are winding their way to a slow, breathless close.  Bedroom lights are being dimmed, candles blown out, chocolate wrappers are being left on tables, resting gently next to roses who know too well that they’re best days are behind them.  All throughout Chicago, and Illinois and the world, they’re making lover’s rock.

But, universality is rarely the strong suit of the universe, and, somewhere, a young boy is crying.  His hands are clenched tightly around a purple jewel-case, creating small pressure cracks through the ornate heart he drew in glitter paint across the front cover.  He’s wondering what he did wrong, why, after hours of hard work scouring the internet and uncounted dollars tossed at iTunes, he’s still ended up alone.  We’re here to walk him through it.

Chaptraxx(xxxxxxxxx) knows that mixtapes are a delicate art.  And no mixtape is more delicate than the “Hey, I fancy you” genus.  A single misstep can lead to disastrous results.  This is why we took to the Chaptraxx(xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) Blanket-and-Chairs-Fortress-of-Community (which is very echo-y): to help you avoid potentially date-crushing mixtape missteps.

So, here, presented for your listening pleasure, are the nine songs that we feel should never, ever, under any circumstance end up on a first date mixtape.

Please, be warned that this weeks episode contains pervasive strong language, crude sexual innuendo and infuriatingly racist, homophobic and misogynist lyrics.  It is not safe for work.

I will write it larger, for emphasis: PERVASIVE STRONG LANGUAGE.  DOES IT OFFEND YOU?  YEAH.

For those willing to endure all of the swears, slang terms and racial epithets, god speed to you, keep the lighthouse in sight.

At this time, the file is too large to stream, but, if you’ve got thirty extra megs available on your iPod, you can download it here.

Stream, comment and download at Soundcloud.

[I'm eating this tortilla soup for you and Hector Elizondo.]

I’ve ruined my sleep schedule.  I’ve filled my self with single serving pizzas.  I’ve slaved over a pot of boiling soup.  I’ve crumbled chips and grated cheese.  I’ve done this for you.  I’ve done this for us.

Presented here, for the first time, is Chaperone’s fledgling podcast.  It’s rough, it’s self-indulgent, it’s free.

For those who don’t know (namely, all of you), the podcast is something we’re going to try to do every other week, and, doubtless, something that we’ll never get much better at.  Think of it as the geese in Fly Away Home.  Only permanently grounded.  And Anna Paquin-less.

Now, before we put this out into the world, a few disclaimers:

1. With apologies to my family, this episode contains coarse language, not suitable for the ears of ladies or gentlemen of more delicate sensibilities (you’ve been warned, Rutherford Bloomsfield Featherbottom III).  I’ll be working on a clean version, which you can expect within the next few days.  So, mom and dad, please wait for that one.  I love you.

2. We’ll solve problems as we continue with this experiment, but if you notice anything glaring (excluding the clear problems with our collective taste levels) send us an email: chaperonemusic@gmail.com

3. For those who enjoy footnotes, please see here (at the 4:50 mark) and here.

4. If you’d like to be a guest on a future podcast, recommend a topic or receive a mix, please email us at the aforementioned address.  We’ll be more than willing to oblige.  Maybe too willing.  Hide your kids, hide your wife, etc…

Well, my loves, without further ado, please enjoy episode 101 of the poorly named Chaptraxx (the extra ‘x’ is for Professor Xaviar, an ardent supporter of both mutant rights and podcasting.)

Download

Stream

Download a Stream (right click and select ‘save link as’)

 

[Or, What's Miles Eating At 4:45AM?]

Dear Oven,

These homemade potato skins are delicious.  Keep up the good work.

Love,

-Miles

[As tempting as it was to post a picture of John Boehner here, I have a feeling that we'll all be seeing far too much of him in the next two years.]

Those who know me well, and, if you’re a frequent reader of this blog, I count you among that number, know that I am little more than a ball of tears constantly threatening to burst.   Here is a small list of things that have made me cry uncontrollably:

      • A League of Their Own
      • Several commercials for Applebees
      • “February” by Dar Williams
      • Where the Wild Things Are
      • Almost every episode of The Gilmore Girls
      • Etc…

And, for comparison, a list of things that did not make me cry:

      • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II

As such, I figure it’s only proper to keep you all abreast on the things that make me weepy.

This weeks edition comes to us care of the trailer for Mike Leigh’s (Secrets and Lies, Happy-Go-Lucky) newest film, Another Year.  Leigh is an incredibly talented filmmaker whose ability to conjure crushing sadness is matched only by his acumen for achieving heights of quiet elation previously unknown to humankind.

So, on a scale from 1 to “that-hallmark-commercial-where-the-elderly-woman-doesn’t-get-any-mail-so-the-single-mother-and-her-son-who-live-across-the-street-send-her-a-card-only-to-have-her-respond-by-giving-the-boy-a-mason-jar-of-soup-which-he-brings-to-his-mom-with-the-phrase-‘Mrs.-Masini-gave-this-to-me,-I-think-she-was-crying.'” this trailer is about a three.

What’s made you cry openly in public this week?  Was it the music of Todd Rundgren?

I hope so,

-Miles

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