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flag US - North Carolina - Full Moon 103 - 02/24/05

The Moppets

coverpic Human Pippi Armstrong
Aka Mr Twist, aka Acorn One, aka Lefty Lucy and the Boberry Band, aka Wreckmaster Tabletot, aka Stab Master Curfew

Human Pippi Armstrong and Andy Rooney Kickball are the two halves of the North Carolina experimental hip-hop collaboration "The Moppets". Of course, each of them have hours and hours of their own taped creations. On his numerous recordings, Human Pippi Armstrong plays the turntable machine, a removable flute mouthpiece, the accordian, a dr. sample, and many other odds and ends. There's no telling what some of the sounds he makes are, honestly. While an honorable instrumentalist, Pippi is also an extremely gifted MC, able to rhyme free-style at approximately 10,000 words per minute.

(un)Fortunately, as of 2005, Pippi has yet to hit it "big-time". He makes and records his beats in his bedroom, and holds down day-jobs the best he can. The recordings he makes are sometimes weird, sometimes hilarious, and always top-notch. His turntable playing could perhaps be compared to Fog or Mix Master Mike, but only as a reference point. There is definitely no ripping off going on here. Back in the old days, Pippi went to a few DJ Competitions, but unlike most of those types of people the idea of competition with other "disk jockies" didn't fuel his fire much at all. There is a very definite signature to Pippi's sound that is hard to pin down into words. I think "sense of humor" has a lot to do with it, though. It's very funny what dialogue he chooses to sample from movies, for instance. I think there's also a pretty big element of simple sound experimentation involved. Pippi seems to have a lot of fun playing with sound.

Neither of these extraordinary musicians have been signed to a label, and I think they're better off for it. Experiencing Pippi's music, for me, has consisted of songs on the web, a single Human Pippi Armstrong CD/R given to me by Andy Rooney, and The Moppet's simply incredible live show. Maybe it's just my partial disillusionment with the popular, but basically speaking, Pippi makes literally perfect music. I certainly don't mean it can't grow and get better, but throughout every aspect of how this music is made, from Pippi's lifestyle to his beats to his drawings, there simply is nothing wrong about it.

It's pretty difficult getting your ears on this fun and very vital music, but there are a few things I can think of: there are 2 MP3s and a good number of astonishing drawings of Pippi's here. If you use Soulseek, PIPPI X might be able to help you out. Another option is sending Old Mr. Armstrong an electronic mail. Fourthly, keep an eye on the "upcoming shows" on his website and make a trip to the west side of the old north state for the real deal.

coverpic Andy Rooney Kickball
Aka Madwerdz, aka Change83, aka Lennydee, aka DJ Black Rumplestilzkin, aka DJ Piss, aka DJ Dead, aka Richard Fronteer

Andy Rooney is the Scotty Pippin to Armstrong's Michael Jordon. He owns Cocteau Twins, King Geedorah, Barbara Streisand, and New Kids on the Block albums. His room is painted this odd forest green color. He says "Sad times make the best music". Of the Moppetsville people I've met, I know Mark, aka Mr Andy Rooney, the best personally. Like Pippi (aka Nate), he's from Charlotte, but unlike Pippi, Andy Rooney moved to Boone in 2002 to attend a fairly shitty little technical college. He often likes to get drunk before his sculpture class. He hates his English teacher, and plans to possibly put a cap in her ass (or kick her in the face, if he's feeling nice) before the end of the semester.

I met Mr Rooney one night after a show he'd done at Cafe Portofino in Boone. And let me tell you, that motherfucker had us all in stitches that night. You see, Mr Andy Rooney is an extremely funny man, one of the funniest I've ever met. And, yep, you guessed it: it informes his music.

Dialogue samples, 80s samples, old hair rock samples, soul samples, old wulitzer organs, little snippits of voice, old brass-band samples. Picture perfect cuts. Mad styles. Mad fuckin rhymes. What else can I say about this Boone Bagelry going man. Like Pippi, this fellow knows what the hell he's doing, and we're goddamned lucky to have him around. Listen to these song titles: "Wooden Stake Beat", "Sorry Dude, You'll Get No Donations from Here", "Leap Frog Beat", "I Don't Get It Either", "Child Star Skyler Schoolslittle Beat", "Cashin' In My Coins".

And now on to the interview. In order to facilitate humor, i've decided to use some "hip-hop language" in the questioning, which is totally wrong yet terribly funny:

Luna Kafé: Yo son, where dem beats and rhymes comin' from?
Mr Rooney: Massachusetts, A.D.D., Witches and, uh, lack of nutrition.

Luna K: When's that Moppet shit droppin, bwa? And how can these childrin get they hands on it?
Mr R: The albums already "dropped", uh, strait e-mail Human Pippi Armstrong. Or, call your mom up, she's got a copy too.

Luna K: What's up with you livin' in Boone, paul? You holdin' it down out there?
Mr R: Basically, I tried to escape a sad county to a sadder county, and uh, I really like the cold, and I enjoy not getting any pussy, so I said "hey, what's a better place?"

Luna K: I hear Boone's full of hippies. And shit dirty, a man can't even get a drink of liquor in town.
Mr R: Well, there is an ABC store that's about a ten minute bike ride from my house. Second of all, I am a hippy, I'm just bald and shit, and I don't really smoke weed that much any more, but, all those hippies can lick my ass.

Luna K: Those bastids took down the flyers for your Boone Saloon show.
Mr R: Well, they're trying to censor me man, and there are a lot of people that don't want to see what's out there man, and I'm trying to show people some things besides college, your family, christmas dinner with your step-dad, and church.

Luna K: Any idea when The Moppets will be playing live? I know there must be a NC man or woman out there reading this.
Mr R: Hopefully real soon, as soon as I get all my dental work taken care off. Soon as I get all my cavities filled, we'll be in full effect.

Luna K: Alright B, one final question: you gots over a thousand reckids, can you narrow it down to your 5 favorite to listen to?
Mr R: Hahahahah, whooo weeeee! Alllright. That's a real personal question. Loretta Lynn - Cold Miner's Daughter. Fuckin, give me a second... Lamp Shade - Turn the Lights Off. Fornication - Purified Water Filter. Crush Metal Water - Peepee Cucka on Drums. And #4... Vagina Dentata Organ - Music for Hashanines. One more: Jim Beam - George Dickel is a Bitch.

Copyright © 2005 Bill Banks e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Moppets article/review: Gregory Peck Has a Headache.

© 2011 Luna Kafé