Scott Creney

Tyler, The Creator @ The Zoo, Brisbane, 05.06.11

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by Scott Creney

Brisbane is even lovelier than I expected. And so are the members of No Anchor, who welcome me at the airport with a box of souvenir Australian donuts. Man, Koala Kremes are the best!

After a couple of warm-up shows in (what I’ve been told) a couple of hick-town backwaters called Sydney and Melbourne; Tyler, The Creator, was ready to bring his unique style to Australia’s finest city. Here’s a video from Sydney’s show.

Tyler’s an incoherent mess of unresolved contradictions, and there’s a line around the block of journalists willing to take a shot on his behalf. It’s hard not to. But their need to find simple answers, neat and clean, at the end of their questions is becoming tiresome. His nihilism, the endless negations that manifest themselves as anger, are a natural outgrowth of his surroundings. His desire to watch the world burn and be king of it all isn’t any more novel than Sarah Palin’s.

Like Eminem, Tyler wants to be the guy who was ‘sent here to piss the whole world off’. And to have a good time while he does it. Tyler, and the OddFuture klan he represents, is the guy blasting rap music in his car stereo — in part because he loves it, and in part because it annoys other people — and is every bit as profound.

Even his bullying comes across as weakness — a particularly vulnerable kind of hate, accompanied by wheezing and shouting, asthma and steroids. Like a kitten, Tyler wants you to love him, to stroke him behind the ears, but his refusal to be domesticated will result in him attempting to claw your eyes out just before he begs you to feed him.

Tyler’s the guy who shouts ‘fuck me’ to the people in the room, and ‘fuck you’ to the people who he thinks won’t be listening. He’s a coward with a messiah complex, a loudmouth without any convictions. He revels in his suffering, and is unable to enjoy his pleasure because he knows it isn’t going to last (he’s going to make sure of it). Tyler really gives a fuck about whether or not you know that he doesn’t give a fuck. He really cares about making sure you know that he doesn’t care about anything.

He’s a rapper/producer who says he doesn’t like hip-hop. He presents himself as a dumbass kid, but his record-buying tastes are as eclectic and voracious as anyone’s on this site. Tyler adores Joy Division, (relatively) obscure shit like Roy Ayers and James Pants, as well as French jazz (though he probably calls it ‘French Jizz’ around his buddies), old soundtracks, and stuff he got from the library. Tyler’s a writer who says that words don’t mean shit. He’s a studio obsessive who flew all the way to Australia to play three shows, the last of which is (like me) in Brisbane.

The Zoo may be the finest venue in all of Australia. It’s called The Zoo for a reason, and not just because there’s shit all over the floor and someone just gave birth to a litter of baby elephants. Tonight it’s a zoo because it’s crammed full of folks clamoring for a glimpse of the most talked about man in music. Unfortunately, the show starts nearly an hour later than it’s supposed to. A source tells me Tyler needed the extra time to get in some extra rape fantasies before he took the stage. Which is OK because they were only just fantasies.

He and his friends take the stage and the place goes mental. Hands are placed in the air, then waved around in a way that demonstrates that the audience just doesn’t care — a lack of caring that is appropriate given the context. With all the anger and screaming, the show is closer to group therapy than to music. Group therapy with the counselor tied up and locked in a closet. The show is Lord of the Flies with the microphone seving as a conch shell. But what’s with all the people singing along? I’m sure he has no problem with the ‘faggots’ and the ‘bitches’, but I wonder what Tyler thinks/feels when he sees a predominantly white audience shouting his “nigger/nigga’s” back at him.

There’s a lot of pain in the world. Is Tyler’s show providing a catharsis? Or does it just perpetuate that pain? I’m sure for some people, it’s one. And for some people the other. Hell, maybe it’s just one more spectacle for the privileged to enjoy, a reality tv show come to life, a roomful of voyeurs out to watch a sensitive kid have a nervous breakdown.

Like Nirvana, or Limp Bizkit for that matter, Tyler’s audience takes what they want from his rage and moves on, leaving Tyler alone and no closer to a solution. The idea that music will save you is bullshit sentimentalism. It might save the listener, but it tends to destroy the musician.

I can appreciate the freedom of the show, the chaos, the sense of abandon. I wish more people lived their lives like that — entertainers and otherwise.

And just like Tyler, I have the freedom to say whatever the fuck I want to. And so do you. It’s time we took advantage of that fact.

Otherwise, all of this Odd Future shit is a colossal waste of time for everyone involved.

29 Responses to Tyler, The Creator @ The Zoo, Brisbane, 05.06.11

  1. Lucy June 5, 2011 at 8:38 am

    *bows down to Scott Creney*

  2. Tom June 5, 2011 at 10:43 am

    This is a terrible review. You’re so lost in your own sneering critique of Tyler’s style that you completely avoid actually talking about any aspect of the gig at all. Save for your brief comments about crowd participation I have no idea how this gig went down. What songs did they play? What other OF members were present, and how were they? What did Tyler actually do onstage?
    You want to write an article about Odd Future then fine, but don’t try and hide it behind the façade of a review.

  3. Darragh June 5, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Tom’s comment is hilarious.

  4. Tom R June 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    This piece gets the biscuit. I was at the 1 July show – there was a massive fucking circle pit behind the moshpit (yeah … with stagediving by band and audience alike) with short, muscled dudes having their way with one another and anyone else who found themselves by accident on the fringe of their “catharsis” . The audience – or at least a significant sector of it – skim something from the top that vibes with their own limited ambitions.

    People even vaguely familiar with OF’s songs know that there is often an elasticity of form, and an unsettling, slightly dissonant quality to the the music in their productions. This quality was absent live. The focus was on noise, their skeletal productions stripped further back and battered and bruised for maximum “hype” in live consumption. There was little of what hepcats would call “the pocket” – little digging into the groove, although Tyler did do some a cappella rapping that was particularly fine.

    So it might not come as a surprise that several times during the show it occurred to me that what I was watching was closer in spirit and execution to certain varieties of hardcore punk.

    OF actually played three shows in Sydney at the Opera House and one in Melbourne, so by the time they got to Brisbane they could have been hitting their stride or (judging from their member’s twitter feeds) getting really fucking homesick for LA.

    The funny thing is that Tyler was easily the most rational-looking member of the collective. We bore witness to Hodgy Beats slapping people in the audience at one point, then losing his shit after their go at “Fuck The Police” because we weren’t hype enough, Mellow Hype concluding that “all us niggahs must love the police out here”. As Hodgy’s histrionics peaked with the repeated pronouncement that he “didn’t give a fuck”, Tyler stood sniggering in the corner of the stage, breaking only to steadily say “don’t break the mic” a couple of times.

  5. Darragh June 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Tom, you know what, I agree. It was as if Scott Creney wasn’t even there!

  6. sleevie nicks June 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    yeah i was there and it’s hard to believe scott was as he never mentioned how the roof was on fire and tyler said he let the mother fucker burn and how we didn’t need it. add arsonist to the long line of things you can sling at old tyler perry the creator.

  7. golightly June 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Without a doubt, the most honest critique I’ve ever read of any live performance… then again, I did buy a copy of the NME recently so my gauge could be off somewhat.

  8. Scott Creney June 6, 2011 at 5:16 am

    Here’s a minute’s worth of video from the Brisbane show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-qeyOyyGZc

  9. Micro June 6, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Err… wasn’t it at the Hi Fi Bar?

  10. Everett True June 6, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Err… wasn’t it at the Hi Fi Bar?

    I believe so.

  11. Ben G June 6, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Conflating Tyler the solo artist with Odd Future the collective was the real piece de resistance in this accurate pastiche of the wafer-thin, cookie-cutter-shaped writing that abounds on this topic. That way you get to ape their focus on his/his presumed audience’s “angry young man from a broken family” shtick (as the journalists of yore loved to do when “reviewing” Kurt Cobain, I mean Nirvana) and his use of the word “faggot” twice during the show, including once that wasn’t about himself.

    The reviewer slipped a bit at the end with the mention of “the freedom of the show, the chaos, the sense of abandon” and what that suggests for the listener, the artist, the writer. No one’s mentioned that since actual music critics used to write about OF, last year some time. You don’t pick up that theme from the tabloid/broadsheet-liftout approach of reading the lyric sheet and lurking in some internet forums.

  12. Darragh June 6, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Err… wasn’t it at the Hi Fi Bar?

    I believe so


  13. Rob June 6, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I don’t have a problem with the ‘review’ as such but the fact the lad in the comments section is lambasted for not ‘getting’ the point of the piece is a sad indictment of what this website seems to be about – a small group of very narrow minded music critics/journalists/whatever the fuck you call yourselves laughing at what you perceive to be beneath you. Collapse Board as a whole is quite an amazing site – it consistently maintains an unbelievably high level of pretentiousness about it, while producing some real gutter ‘journalism’. Quite the feat.

    It’s so obvious how out of touch a lot of the writers on here are, I just hope this isn’t the main job.

  14. Everett True June 6, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I don’t have a problem with the ‘review’ as such but the fact the lad in the comments section is lambasted for not ‘getting’ the point of the piece is a sad indictment of what this website seems to be about

    Actually, I thought some of Tom R’s comments were very insightful, and was thinking of asking him if he wanted to come on board. Oh, and Rob? We like to think that a high level of pretentiousness mixed in with some ‘real’ gutter journalism is one of Collapse Board’s unique selling points.

    Sadly, however, this is the main job for all of us. I demand nothing less.

  15. Darragh June 6, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    I’m actually a robot.

  16. Everett True June 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I’m actually a robot.

    As long as you’re not a re-boot.

  17. Ben G June 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I’m a rowboat

  18. Ben June 7, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Are you going to change it to The Hi-Fi, or is that “The Zoo is an apt name for this place!!!” thing just too original to cut out?

  19. Scott Creney June 8, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Alright, dudes. Everyone take a deep breath. First off, check the date. The article appeared at 7:50 am the morning of the show. Second off, do you really think I flew all the way from Athens, Ga to see Tyler? And No Anchor met me at the airport with a box of souvenir donuts? And I went to the wrong venue to see the show? For that matter, IS KOALA KREME A REAL FUCKING TYPE OF DONUT?!? What the hell’s wrong with you people?

    So yeah, I didn’t fly 22 hours to see Tyler’s goddamn show. Don’t be mad. I was just trying to be like Tyler. I’m just a kid who likes to fuck with people. Odd Future fans love that shit, right? My article’s just words, y’all. They don’t mean anything. It’s all an act. And besides, I don’t give a fuck what any of you motherfuckers think. What can I say, my dad was an asshole when I was growing up.

    Here’s a review from someone who was there. It took me 15 seconds to find it.


  20. Krissi Weiss June 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Reviews from people halfway across the world that don’t even see the show? Slanging matches between readers that get waaaay too personal? I am still confused as to whether this site is pure genius or the Spinal Tap of music journalism – it sways between the two. Moments of prodigenous insight are punctuated by moments of journalistic shame. Well I guess things needed to be shaken up around here.

  21. Krissi Weiss June 17, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Yes I did mean prodigenous not prodigious – apparently it’s urban slang and I was trying to be all ‘street’ and shit.

  22. Ben June 18, 2011 at 2:04 am

    Thanks for the link Scott! Obviously the reason I complained is because I was desperate to read a review of this show.

    Oh! -I was so peeved. But now that you’ve explained the joke, your reiteration of the same trite observations people have been making for weeks and weeks is *funny*.

  23. sleevienicks June 18, 2011 at 7:19 am

    i think ben is gunning for the collapseboard fact checker job….

  24. Scott Creney June 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I don’t know who Krissi Weiss is, but I hope she’s going to be writing for Collapse Board in the future. Everett?

  25. Everett True June 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    On it already. Her Facebook page reveals she’s studied music journalism at QUT. That intrigues me. I haven’t found anyone there who has the remotest clue how it works: I’m not saying that they don’t exist, just that they haven’t revealed themselves to me.

    the critic formerly known as Everett True

  26. Krissi Weiss June 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Music/Journalism – double degree 🙂

  27. Krissi Weiss June 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Double major I meant – fucking Rekorderlig cider and cold and flu tablets!

  28. Pingback: “We criticise because we care” <– this is still one of the best things I wrote – Cold Turkey Music

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