High Five – week of June 14 2012

It’s the annual Best of Calgary issue meaning everyone’s going off on everything they love about this city. To cut into the good vibes a little and tone down the saccharine sweetness however I’ve decided to spread a little hate with an all-beefs edition of High Five. Here’s a look at all the crazy artists who are butting heads bruising egos and stirring up trouble this week.


About two weeks ago the Flaming Lips released a video for the song “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” which prominently featured naked shots of musical collaborator Erykah Badu and her sister Nayrok. Once the NSFW clip was released Badu wrote a lengthy open letter to the Flaming Lips on her Twitter explaining that the original pitch for the video was completely different from the nipple-heavy bloody-boobed shock clip that hit the web adding “By the way you are an ass.” The Flaming Lips issued an official apology but frontman Wayne Coyne has since suggested that Badu was looking for controversy from the very beginning telling BBC Radio 1 “I think Erykah knew she could play into it if we made a video that could be perceived as derogatory otherwise I don’t think she’d be interested in it. I think [her reaction] is still in the realm of a creation of controversy.”


Never one to shy away from some well-placed probably jealousy-inspired shots Smashing Pumpkins frontman (and only original member) Billy Corgan has set his bald-headed sights on Radiohead. Speaking with Antiquiet Corgan said “I can’t think of any people outside of Weird Al Yankovic who have both embraced and pissed on rock more than I have. Obviously there’s a level of reverence but there’s also a level of intelligence to even know what to piss on. ’Cause I’m not pissing on Rainbow. I’m not pissing on Deep Purple. But I’ll piss on fuckin’ Radiohead because of all this pomposity. This value system that says Jonny Greenwood is more valuable than Ritchie Blackmore. Not in the world I grew up in buddy. Not in the world I grew up in.” While it’s painfully clear that Radiohead has worked so much harder to remain relevant and interesting this far into their careers while Corgan has only increased in douchiness I’m a fan of this quote thanks to the mental image of Jonny Greenwood and Ritchie Blackmore engaging in a guitar battle.


This week Waka Flocka Flame released his long-awaited sophomore album Triple F Life: Fans Friends & Family. The album sounds almost nothing like Flockaveli the unhinged rabid fight-starter that was his 2010 calling card. Maybe that’s because the aggressive production style popularized by Lex Luger and Southside has been aped mercilessly since then. Speaking with Complex Waka made a compelling argument about how he changed rap. “They love the sound. They can’t run away from it. That shit re-sparked niggas’ careers…. It’s crazy when I came out with it everybody laughed at it but the next year everybody’s doing it. They getting credit for the shit you started. You be like ‘Damn how is this nigga a genius for doing something I started?’” More specifically Waka’s referring to Rick Ross who has made a whole career rapping over Luger beats both real and fake. “This nigga out here making 30 fucking songs with your sound” Waka said of Ross. “He watering it down just putting words together that sounded good. Shit would be harder if it was the truth.”


Of course a section about batshit musicians wouldn’t be complete without crazy Mr. Kardashian himself Kanye West. While on tour with Jay-Z in Dublin someone threw a coin onstage while he was performing “The Good Life” causing him to have his own little meltdown. “Y’all threw a fucking coin up here and threw it all the way up here. Don’t throw no hard shit up here while we performing. Seriously you fucked it up for everybody. I was having a perfect show — flawless victory. Don’t throw no shit on my stage please.”


Earlier this year Volkswagen released a commercial with a track that sounded pretty damn similar to denial rock champs Beach House’s “Take Care.” Then it came out that the car company had previously reached out to use their music. The band declined the offer. Naturally they were accused of ripping off Beach House and threats of legal action were made. Volkswagen has since released a statement saying “We greatly respect the talent of Beach House and never set out to replicate a specific song of theirs or anyone else’s.” Beach House responded by Tweeting “VW cop out big time” and their manager Jason Foster told the Wall Street Journal that they were considering a lawsuit though they had some concerns about the cost involved.