Wednesday, July 30, 2008

all y'all

Monday, July 28, 2008

i interviewed a girl and i liked it

Before you ask, yes, her album's diminished for me in the weeks following. It's still better than you think.


Bradford Cox should've called this one Cryptograms; I don't understand what makes it go (neither does he), but going it is. Songs I guess? Songlike blobs anyway, with a voice so passively delivered it needs to dress in drag and pull PR stunts and exploit its jarring body to be noticed in the mix. The codas still don't accumulate much mass, and this will never be Best or New anything. But it is Music; the haze is more Leaves Turn Inside You than Spiritualized. Good.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

your mouth is stuck to a thousand fags

Only a year late, I got the words "fuck the heck, you guys" into Voice papers all over the region. Your move, Southall.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Read all about my history of fucking to Portishead.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

y'all exploit rap culture, then y'all flip on us

to debate a few points I'm reading:

on the charge that Nas is "cynical."

"We trust no black leaders, use the stove to heat us
Powdered eggs and government cheeses
The calendars with Martin, JFK and Jesus
Gotta be fresh to go to school with fly sneakers
Schools with outdated books, we are the forgotten
Summers, coolin off by the fire hydrant
Yeah I'm from the ghetto
Where old black women talk about their sugar level - it's not unusual
To see photos of dead homie's funerals
Aluminium foil on TV antennas
Little TV sit on top the big TV, eating TV dinners
Girls dye their hair with Kool-Aid
They gave us lemons, we made lemonade"

...and that's from the one called "N.I.G.G.E.R. (The Slave & the Master)!"

Next, from the Pitchfork review, on the consensus embarrassment "Sly Fox":

"The main difference is that "Channel Zero" risked alienation by confronting its target head on, whereas when it comes to preaching to the choir and picking easy fights, Nas has no problem being the Morgan Spurlock of this rap shit."

I know the guy who wrote this, and I respectfully dissent: who was the target of "Channel Zero?" Women? TV? Women who watch TV? Why is it less "head-on" to name the target "Fox" in the title? The Morgan Spurlock comparison...fair enough, but this is hip-hop, a genre with a rich history of cheap attention-whoring, cheaper controversy and butt-blatant political talking points. Enjoying the Obvious on Parade boils down to personal taste I guess, but what are we expecting, the 9/11 Commission? The Roots' album ain't deep either; it's also great. These albums are to put us in the mood for "revolution;" music alone doesn't change shit. And please, if he didn't want C-R-E-A-M, he'd be in the non-profit sector. Let's not pretend that by announcing a polemic venture Mr. Jones was taking some kind of Bodhisattva vow.

At which point, someone will point out that the beats are dull. I count two of those: "America" and "Testify." And they're still pretty good, easier to handle being sandwiched around a rocker. Actually, there's more variety here most of Nas' historically dull past beats. Besides the no-argument-here excellent "Queens Get the Money" and "Fried Chicken": blues guitar on "You Can't Stop Us Now" giving way to tastefully regal horn charts, "Sly Fox"'s dated and fun riffs 'r' us, "Louis Farrakhan"'s quietly intense backward-string collage, and--like it or not--two beauteous synth-poppers to rest your head, one featuring--egad--a teen heartthrob. Maybe this is another matter of personal taste, but I like a little "I burn so many trees I keep environmentalists angry" and "I'm over their heads like a bulimic on a seesaw" between manifestos.

Is Nas confused? Yes. Has there ever been a rapper who wasn't?

crown heights get the money

me: any thoughts on the upcoming randy newman

Alfred: it's slipped under my radar
is there a concept?

me: it's self-titled so maybe it's about kikes

Alfred: AT LAST
writing about Real People!

5 of 38 people found the following review helpful:

Cover image is wrong!, June 12, 2008
By M. Bell "Jill Scott's #1 FAN" (Atlanta, GA) - See all my reviews

Lil Wayne is a joke. The cover pic of him as a toddler with gang symbols and bling is wrong. Role model he ain't. Crimminal he is.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I miss

the days when the Donnas were bubblegum in riot grrls' clothing.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Girl Talk

See, artists usually get better. Munchkins I deemed overhyped in '04, '05, 06: Antony, Hot Chip, Dizzee, Weezy, and sure, Conor Oberst. Grownups making my year in '08: Antony, Hot Chi--you get the idea. The trend continues; maybe because there's been so much hype with the mp3 blog explosion around the above years that I should've known they were onto something. But Greg Gillis? I didn't have anything to expect from a guy whose deal is something I once claimed to be able to do myself. I'll listen back to Night Ripper, but I'm secure this deepening one-trick pony has never made a record as good as Feed the Animals, which has a lovely title in an AC/DC you-want-blood-you-got-it way.

Same deal, new mash-ups. But these are less name-that-tune and more tune-that-rap, and the samples are more practical and melodic and they last a little longer, just enough this time to actually get your fill. Miracles include the best "Since U Been Gone" I've ever heard (braided with Nine Inch Nails), the best "Jessie's Girl" I've ever heard (Chipmunked: perfect), the only "Born Slippy" I've ever needed, M.I.A.'s toneless warble tuning itself to the Cranberries, and my favorite moment: "Whoomp! There It is" over the celebratory guitar break from "In a Big Country." Thanks for the emphasis on palm-muted 80s guitar, the previously unknown correlation between "Ghetto Supastar" and Yo La Tengo, and the funeral Pimp C deserves...over Journey.

Monday, July 07, 2008


I did a brief interview with Ponytail.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

idolator sez

List your favorite album from each year since you were born. So I'll play.

1985 - The Velvet Underground - VU
1986 - The Indestructible Beat of Soweto
1987 - Paul Simon - Graceland
1988 - Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
1989 - Aerosmith - Pump
1990 - The Chills - Submarine Bells
1991 - My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
1992 - Alice in Chains - Dirt
1993 - Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville / PJ Harvey - Rid of Me (tie)
1994 - Sonic Youth - Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star
1995 - Tricky - Maxinquaye / Luna - Penthouse (tie)
1996 - DJ Shadow - Endtroducing...DJ Shadow
1997 - Radiohead - OK Computer
1998 - Sonic Youth - A Thousand Leaves / Sunny Day Real Estate - How it Feels to be Something On (tie)
1999 - The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs / The Dismemberment Plan - Emergency & I (tie)
2000 - Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP
2001 - Unwound - Leaves Turn Inside You
2002 - The Mountain Goats - Tallahassee
2003 - Yo La Tengo - Summer Sun
2004 - Nellie McKay - Get Away From Me
2005 - Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
2006 - Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
2007 - The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
2008 (so far anyway) - Be Your Own Pet - Get Awkward

edit: ten bonus years just for the hell of it

1975 - Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks
1976 - Brian Eno - Another Green World
1977 - Television - Marquee Moon
1978 - Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians
1979 - Nick Lowe - Labour of Lust
1980 - Jon Hassell/Brian Eno - Fourth World Vol. 1: Possible Musics
1981 - X - Wild Gift
1982 - Lou Reed - The Blue Mask
1983 - R.E.M. - Murmur
1984 - The Replacements - Let it Be

Thursday, July 03, 2008

oh and

I did end up meeting Ned! And Alex in NYC! Good, slightly overpriced, times.


Who cares that the title was excised by Pussies On Top? This is the real Hip Hop is Dead. Except it's America is Dead. Slyer and less dry than the Roots' excellent-and-still-gaining Rising Down, Nas is his smartest and most motivated album since his last smartest and most motivated one (he only has three). And while there will be more on this in my Illmatic essay for WWIA later this summer, anyone who thinks "sleep is the cousin of death" or "fuck with your soul like ether" is deeper than "Coon Picnic (These are Our Heroes)" or "Poppa Was a Playa" needs to check themself before they riggedy wreck themself.