A couple days ago, the Web site Paper Thin Walls sent Future Rapper‘s song “Grizzly and the Tentacle Sucker-Punched” to No. 1. Well, actually, it gave the track a score of 1 out of a possible 10. Trying to describe the track, Nate Patrin tortured the language until terms like “borderline-autistic self-conscious pop-cult flogging for its own sake” spilled out. He then ended his review with some typographic noise that I guess is supposed to represent how pointless he thinks the recording is.
Let’s leave the discussion of “echo reviewing” (e.g., Pitchfork critic “reviews” Bobby Bare Jr. album, which was recorded in 12 hours, in—get this—12 minutes!) or why a song by Future Rapper is billed to Land of a Thousand Rappers (nothing is simple when it comes to these borderline-autistic self-conscious pop-flogging types) for another day. What’s important here is that a few minutes after the review went up, Mike Kaufmann, the Future Rapper himself, e-mailed me asking for some suggestions of classic twee bands to sample and/or namecheck in an answer song he was composing.
I know Mike because I interviewed him for my book about Christian rock (he’s the assistant director of Asthmatic Kitty, which manages to record a number of Christian artists without being a Christian label). I know about twee music because—well, that’s not important. Let’s just say I have some records in my basement that wouldn’t make great walk-out music for closing pitchers. I sent Mike a few MP3s that evening, and he e-mailed back a rough version of this track the next morning. Rappers work so quickly! So here it is—the first diss song to namecheck Talulah Gosh and the Jasmine Minks. And while this is the type of rap feud I feel pretty safe writing about, no one should ask me about my Westlake singles without a bit of trepidation. You don’t want to see what happens when we indie geezers get our backs up.