Posted tagged ‘menya’

Chaz Kangas’ FREE album ‘A Personal Reference’ is OUT NOW! DOWNLOAD HERE!

April 1, 2011

Here's the cover!

As I type this, it’s 11:21 PM on March, 28th 2011, year of our Lord. In about a half-hour I will be releasing something that I’ve been working on for almost two years, longer than I’ve worked on any other project, to the cold unforgiving void of the internet. While I’ve never been more confident in anything with my name attached to it*, there is a certain number of butterflies/dragonflies/fireflies in my stomach to match my excitement. Since there may be a number of you who read this site unfamiliar with my musical endeavors, allow me to demystify the previous paragraph and explain that the very Chaz Kangas who has been shocking your eyelids with reviews of the KFC Double Down and Top Ten Lists of obscene rap videos is a rap artist himself and really doesn’t like speaking in third person so let me cut to the chase and say my album A PERSONAL REFERENCE is available for FREE RIGHT HERE:

A Personal Referencehttp://chazkangas.bandcamp.com/album/a-personal-reference

A Personal Reference (Clean Version) http://chazkangas.bandcamp.com/album/a-personal-reference-clean-version

Being this blog is my primary long-form contact with the world, I’ve been going back-and-forth about how I was going to write about it. Strange as it may sound, I’ve never really been a big “talk about my own music” type of guy. I’ve known plenty of people who respond to a “Hey, what’s up?” with a 15 minute monologue about their latest project, but that’s never really been me. While I appreciate their enthusiasm for..themselves(?), I’m well aware that I’m the guy who once wrote 1,000 words on the Street Fighter soundtrack, so I guess my conversational passion falls in the category of everyone’s music EXCEPT my own. Still, A Personal Reference is my baby and I absolutely love reading artists I admire talk about their own work, so on the off-chance anyone actually likes the music I make, I think I owe it to them to explain how these 38 minutes of madness came to be.

I had known Richard (AKA Good Goose) for about a year. His group Menya had become one of my favorite live acts after a few subsequent conversations at different Nyle concerts, decided we wanted to work together. We recorded the first song “Garlic” a week after the Union Square Virgin Megastore, the last Virgin Megastore in the Western World, closed. I had been working there and going down with the ship was a sad process. I was a year out of college and in the five years I had been there seen New York City completely change. Everyone whose ever lived in NYC for any period of time has echoed this sentiment, but it seemed like everything in my life was slipping away really, really fast. When it comes to any art, I’ve always believed a changing man is infinitely more interesting than a changed man**, and the changes over the past two years that Goose and I made this album were among the biggest in my life. I put them all out on the table, made some obscure references about them, a few quick puns, and recorded it, and there you have A Personal Reference.

Here's the tracklisting!

As you can probably tell, I’ve very pleased with the record. The guest appearances, from Mac Lethal disemboweling “Scrambled Eggs” as the Q-Tip to my Mobb Deep, Alaska sending up conspiracy theorists on the political-rap satire “Truth ‘n’ Stuffz” and Homeboy Sandman bringing his special brand of awesome to “I Think, I Know,” I’m as excited to share their contributions as I am my own. J57 and Coco Dame make some fine cameos as well. Caroline Sinders took some incredible pictures of us at an Arby’s and Sneed put together a fantastic layout. My cousin Nick also bought me the Bloodsport t-shirt for Christmas two years prior, and I attribute that to my success more than anything.

That’s all I’m going to say about the album unprovoked. If you have any questions about it, put them in the comments and I will gladly reply. I’m not going to rate the album as this is the one time I might be slightly bias so in the name of my own credibility I’m going to refrain from giving it the world’s first seven out of five rating.

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!

*With the possible excepting being a short film I made in 2002 for my American History class that had Louie Armstrong, Al Capone and Charles Lindberg snowed-in at a cabin they each though they had rented on the same weekend. Yes, I stand by Louie & Charlie’s Cabin Fever to-this-day as the most entertaining way for your children to learn about the Scopes Trial, Prohibition and Sinclair Lewis.

**If you’ve ever see Nyle’s “Let the Beat Build” video (and let’s be real, who hasn’t), when he says the line “my best friend says that music comes from someone in transition,” he’s referring to me. I’m also a “zigazig-ah.”

“Young Gifted and Chaz,” “Butt2Butt,” Good Goose and Me.

October 21, 2010

So I’m releasing a new song from my album, Personal References, every Thursday over the next nine (9) weeks until the full 15-track thing drops on December 14th. The album is entirely produced by my friend and homie Good Goose. You may know him from his group Menya or his numerous remixes as heard on his awesome blog. Our worlds have collided and since last week he explained his side of the story on how we came together, this week I’m giving you my account.

Richard and I first met sometime in Spring, 2008. It was the beginning of what was the most miserable time in my life, so I’m pretty sure my memory has suppressed most of it. What I remember unquestionably though, was my first time seeing Menya perform. It was fall 2008 during one of the early MeNyle shows that would feature Menya, Nyle and friends, with Nyle’s sets predominately being tributes to a certain artists/albums. I had just moved back to Manhattan after a summer in Brooklyn and no-one had really seen me for sometime, so Nyle wanted me to be a surprise guest. I wanted to make it as real a surprise as possible by hiding backstage for the entire night from before doors even opened. The two benefits from this were A) getting to genuinely surprise a typically jaded NYC audience and B) getting to see the absolute frenzy that Menya whips a crowd into. It was just frequent-compadre GenesisBe and myself backstage when I heard something female and vulgar come from the stage and had to investigate. What unfolded before my eyes were Menya members Good Goose, Coco-Dame and Angie Ripe turning into three technicolor balls of energy and making the crowd explode into a human popcorn maker. The only times my eyes weren’t fixated on the ensuing chaos in front of me were glancing back at Genesis to see if she was seeing the same things that I saw.

I spent the next year or so building a friendship with Richard and posting up in the back of Menya shows to see how they turn even the most stoic of concert-goers into a sixth-grade lip-syncing dance party. If you ever get to see them live, do it. Richard and I finally sat down and began working on the songs that would become Personal References in July, 2009. I’ve always believed a changing man was more interesting than a changed man*, and this was the start of a pretty big transitional time for me, which I’m happy to say that the album conveys. Richard and I are as similar as we are different, emphasizing each other’s strengths, covering each other’s weaknesses, and not afraid to tell each other “Chaz, that’s a horrible idea.”

Here’s what we have released thus far –

“Young, Gifted and Chaz”

“Butt2Butt”

*If you’ve seen Nyle’s “Let the Beat Build” video, you’ve heard at 1:14 the line “my best friend said that music comes from someone in transition.” This is a reference to me and that philosophy. The original line was “my n*gga Chaz said…” but I assumed it was changed for obvious reasons.