5 O’Clock Shadowboxers
Digital liner notes (because my inner record geek won’t let me go to bed just yet).
For everyone who’s been asking, well here we are! For those who just caught wind of this album the past few weeks from the good folks running the blogs who posted some songs and videos, please…take off your shoes and cool out for a minute. A geisha girl will be by shortly with a cigar and Sunny Delight.
Today marks the 8th official release for Beat Garden Entertainment since our inception in 2006, and I must say this one was the Big Kahuna Burger. That isn’t a slight to the previous LPs, EPs, and mixtapes we’ve released the past 3 years–it’s just that album was finished waaaay back in January of this year, and it’s available to you today, June 23, 2009. That’s a bit dubious for a free internet download, no?
Then again, nothing about this album has been orthodox. My collaborator Doulgas Martin reached out to me in December 2007 with the track “High Noon” after enjoying some of the songs I had posted on Passion of the Weiss as a contributor to my column The Beat Generation. Since then, we’ve been lucky enough to craft an album that is frankly the antithesis of summer. And by “lucky”, I mean we have awful timing.
Douglas and I have never met. We have never even talked on the phone. But this being the Digital Age and all, why the hell should simple human contact stop two people on two separate coasts from making a noir-hop album based on samples of skinny white guys mashing up lo-fi guitars?
Hence, The Slow Twilight.
If you’ve enjoyed my previous solo outings or my work with my brother Nico the Beast in our group Clean Guns, this album might throw you for a curve. And that was the point–to do something challenging and terrifying with little to no regard for what people might say or think or blog or “like” on Facebook.
I do “like” People Falling Down Stairs on Facebook, for the record.
It was really difficult writing this album. Some songs were done in a day. Some took more than 3 months to write. And some were being re-recorded and transformed just days before the final deadline. But it was all done for the sake of a quality hip hop album that sounded like nothing before it. I don’t have enough ideas in my head to flood the internet with four songs a week, so if you’ve been a fan for a while, I truly appreciate your patience. I’ve put a lot of things on hold to see this album all the way through because I believe in the quality of the material. The feedback has been tremendous from the gate and the comments from people really made me feel like this album was tapping into something cool while we were waiting to get it in to your hands.
Wait…where was I?
Oh yeah–European socialism. It’s really taking shape since the late 1990’s and it’s not just for hip—oh wait.
Writing The Slow Twilight.
Who really cares?
You’ve already downloaded the damn thing and it’s sitting on your desktop just WAITING to be dragged onto your iTunes, and you have 3 other windows open, and you’re tweeting from your cell.
WELL SO AM I, DAMMIT!!!!!
Jokes aside, this is the THANK YOU segment (feel free to skip ahead if you’re a heartless wench who just wants free crap). This album would not look and sound and be as available as it is without the extensive labors of our publicist Jonathan Kim (it’s truly been an honor to work with you), our good friend Jeff Weiss who A&R’d the damn thing (you should’ve signed us to that “1995 Bad Boy contract” and caked forever off this thing), our wonderful graphic artiste Danielle Zarrella who banged out the striking artwork in record time (I still owe you one for “Tropic Thunder” tickets), our tireless video director Henry Choi who concocted “Weak Stomach” seemingly high off peyote and killed it regardless, our young bol photographer Jimmy Giambrone (I might have to buy you another cheese steak at London after this is all done–great work as usual, Jimbo!), my business partners and best friends Big O and Nico the Beast, who supported this project from day one even when it made no frickin sense and now look like eccentric geniuses because, well, they are, ALL of the bloggers, writers, critics, etc. who helped spread the word about this album, past, present, and future, and the good folks at Wawa and Netflix, the true pillars of this project during the recording of this album.
Most importantly, I want to thank God, my entire family, my friends, and all of the artists I admire because they’ve both made me realize I’m just a goofy vessel for their energy, their inspiration, their will, their patience, their work ethic, their creativity, and their penchant for fart jokes.
Finally, this album was inspired by all the good and the bad events that marked my life from 2007-2008. If you were around during any part of that time, then there’s a small piece of our interactions somewhere in this album. Believe me.
I’m not just saying that.
It’s not a hoax to make you listen to the whole thing, though that would be nice.
I went to Catholic school for 12 years–I’m trustworthy and pious.
Take my word for it.
I’m typing this on a blog. What more do you need?
-Stephen “Zilla Rocca” Zales
June 23, 2009