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Monthly Archives: August 2010

Full Albums:

  • The Afghan Whigs, 1965
  • Big Boi, Sir Luscious Leftfoot…Son of Chico Dusty
  • Empire of the Sun, Walking on a Dream
  • Fall Out Boy, From Under the Cork Tree
  • The Gaslight Anthem, The ’59 Sound
  • Katy Perry, Teenage Dream1
  • Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Trouble Is…
  • Ladyhawke, Ladyhawke
  • Lykke Li, Youth Novels
  • Mike Posner, 31 Minutes to Takeoff2
  • Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth, Mecca & the Soul Brother3
  • Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • The Roots, How I Got Over
  • Sleigh Bells, Treats4
  • Spoon, Transference
  • The-Dream, Love-Hate, Love King (Deluxe Ed.)
  • Van Halen, Van Halen
  • Warren Zevon, Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon

Randomly Excellent Songs:

  • The XX, “Shelter”
  • Transplants, “I want it all”
  • Lonely Island, “Lazy Sunday”5
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo”6
  • A Tribe Called Quest, “The Hop”

Songs I went out of my way to listen to:

  • Prince, “Bambi”
  • Julian Casablancas, “11th Dimension”
  • Genesis vs. Katy Perry, “Invisible Gurls”
  • Miley Cyrus, “Party (and Bullshit) in the USA (Feat. Notorious B.I.G.)”

Reviews:

1. I feel like this album’s kind of the celebration of the American male and as an American male, I definitely like parts of it. “Who am I living for?” pisses the everloving shit out of me. I’m not a fan of sneaking the big old Jesus song into a pop album.

2. This was kind of the surprise release of last week. I knew I liked the single but I was very much pleasantly surprised to find I enjoyed the rest of the album. Pretty much didn’t listen to the new Eyrkah Badu because of this album.

3. Sometimes I just have to listen to this album. It’s kind of a perfect album as far as I can tell, the kind of album that reveals its greatness ore and more with every listen.

4. Hip hop beats and metal guitar riffs? Of course I love this, I guess I just wasn’t sure about that two weeks ago. I feel like the album’s structured like a book in the sense there’s a long buildup, “Rill Rill” is the climax and then there’s a short denouement with the last three songs. Really good stuff.

5. This one popped up–as per the regulations of the “Random Excellence” section–and I nearly skipped passed it. I listened to it and found the timing oddly perfect since they rap about my neighborhood and since it played right before my Mom was set to arrive in town. Of course, I played the video for her this morning and she loved it.

6. Oh, hell yes.

Comment:

I kinda fixed my computer on Tuesday but my Mom landed on Wednesday so I decided to just set the post aside until the end of her visit.

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My computer caught a mean virus last night, something called Security Suite, so as soon as I figure out how to get this shit off my computer I’ll turn in this week’s This Week In Music. Accuracy, however, is not guaranteed since play counts will start moving into this week…

Sent from my iPad.

Full Albums:

  • Bun B, Trill O.G.1
  • The Gaslight Anthem, American Slang
  • Gorillaz, Plastic Beach
  • The Hold Steady, Stay Positive2
  • Jay-Z, Hard Knock Life, Vol. 2
  • Kelly Clarkson, All I Ever Wanted
  • The Roots, How I Got Over
  • Sleigh Bells, Treats3
  • The-Dream, Love Hate, Love King (Deluxe Edition) and Love vs. Money
  • Wu Tan vs The Beatles, Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers
  • Yelawolf, Trunk Muzik4

Random Excellence:

  • UGK, “Pinky Ring”
  • The Police, “Message in a Bottle”
  • Living Things, “I Owe”
  • The Beastie Boys, “Sabotage”
  • Beck, “Girl”

Song of the Week:

  • Yelle, “Tu Es Beau”

Reviews:

1. From what I’ve heard so far, I like it. I need to be able to listen to it more to be able to fully comment, although I do love “Let ‘Em Know.” Listened to like 5 seconds of it and was like, “Yep, this one’s set to go.” But this 5 microphones business? Debatable at this juncture.

2. Trying to make all of “Constructive Summer” my mantra. Indeed, toast to Saint Joe Strummer. Yes, summer has granted us the power to drink on rooftops because I can’t find any water towers. I will very soon be something bigger.

3. I really like “Rill Rill,” but so far the jury’s out on the rest of the album. I think the first song’s pretty good too, but the rest of the album seems like it might need less distortion. I can’t believe I said it either. Either way, it’s fairly obvious why M.I.A. likes this band so much.

4. The poor guy can’t write a hook for the life of him, but at least his raps are excellent.

Comment:

Sorry I turned this in late. I’ll get a note from my mother.

I jaywalked carefully today. I stared down each passerby instead of peering through them to avoid touching them. I tried to breathe deeply to release the clenching in my chest.

Ever since breaking my jaw on Friday the 13th in the fifth grade, I’ve become convinced that today is a day that karma, fate, destiny or just some greater force sets aside to catch up with me, to finally punish me for something terrible I did but don’t remember.

As a man raised by a scientist, this is completely absurd. And yet I still go out of my way not to go outside, to find a place free of danger and sharp objects. I am not surprised at all that two different groups of friends want to hang out tonight. I would expect nothing less of the universe: when I want introvert time most, I receive summons from two different social circles, both of which require at least 45 minutes of public transit just to get there.

It’s completely antithetical to everything I want, but I’m going. I will walk with my eyes towards the sky, fully expecting an air conditioner in the face, but I will walk outside anyway because I know I will get whatever I deserve before midnight. I may want introvert time, but I need to be around people, regardless of the date. Maybe the train will run slow, maybe I’ll trip on a set of stairs, but I’m going to walk out that door and take whatever I get.

And, most likely, I’ll be scared shitless the entire time.

I saw The Girl Who Played with Fire two weeks ago and holy shit it was awesome. I don’t know why I’m only getting around to writing about it now, though.

The subject matter is neither pretty nor clean, but it’s an amazing story. It is absolutely refreshing to be able to sit through an entire movie and not be able to predict what happens next. Most of the movies I see these days it’s, “Seen the preview, know the entire plot now, will go to see if they add any funnier jokes or plot lines anyway.” That is, undeniably, the only thing that keeps me going to the movies these days: jokes and proving myself wrong. If I don’t get to prove myself wrong, then I usually get popcorn (Thanks, AMC Moviewatcher card!).

But this was one of those movies where I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. People talk about pitch-perfect movies and I’m convinced this is one of them. When the screen finally went to black, I wasn’t the only person who sighed in relief. Endless tension, endless driven plot with endless epiphanies.

A phenomenal movie.

Full Albums:

  • Big Boi, Sir Luscious Leftfoot…The Son of Chico Dusty1
  • The Black Keys, Brothers
  • The Gaslight Anthem, American Slang2
  • Ghostface Killah, Supreme Clientele
  • GZA, Pro Tools
  • Kate Nash, My Best Friend is You
  • Kings of Leon, Only by the Night
  • LCD Soundsystem, This is Happening!
  • Outkast, ATLiens and Aquemini
  • Passion Pit, Manners
  • Queens of the Stone Age, Era Vulgaris3
  • The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely

Random Excellence:

  • Wiz Khalifa, “In the Cut”
  • Wu Tang vs. The Beatles, “Release Yo Self”
  • Nine Inch Nails, “Discipline”
  • The Kooks, “Down to the Market”
  • The Hold Steady, “Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night”

Songs of the Week:

  • Common, “The Light”
  • The Roots, “The Fire”
  • Big K.R.I.T, “Hometown Hero (Remix Feat. Yelawolf)”
  • S-Preme, “Popular”
  • Snoop Dogg, “Gangsta Luv (G-Mix Feat. Mayer Hawthorne)”4

Reviews:

1. This album is literally too good. I’d like to herald this as the “return of rap.” I know that’s a stretch but compared to what’s happening in modern rap, this album sticks out like me in a gay bar. Amid gimmicky rappers like Lil’ Wayne, Drake and–yes, I know this is an odd comparison but I listed to this album right before I picked up Leftfoot–this is a return to rapping chronologically, rapping without setting everything up for a one-word punchline. Despite Andre 3K’s only contribution in the form of a production credit on “You Ain’t No DJ (Feat. Yelawolf)” it feels like an Outkast album–and that’s why it’s good. Dirty south raps from a man who switched record labels because he knew he was sitting on a good album. And this Yelawolf character? Word on the street is he’s got a mixtape out I need to scoop up.

2. I listen to these guys and I can only be convinced that they aren’t getting further mass appeal because of their looks. They write these epic rock songs deeply rooted in sixties rock, Motown soul, and an undying love of the essence of Miles Davis that just seems to have been sped up a little. Literally, they write about love, death, cowboys, dancing and jazz–there’s nothing more American. They frequently get compared to Bruce Springsteen and Bruce has played with them on stage and endorsed them publicly. I don’t really know a lot of Bruce but he seems deeply rooted in the same area of New Jersey and Americana. The great relief is that this album’s more about NYC and America than Jersey and is thus more understandable…at least for me. New…Jers…whosywhatsit?

3. The great songs on this album outweigh the terrible songs. Sure, I can’t listen to the last two songs, but I will gladly listen to the first three on repeat.

4. Just…disgustingly good.

Comment:

I swear to God I will never make a playlist capable of pleasing anyone but myself. Even on my epic DiaDelValentin mixtapes, people always complain about not liking the R&B songs. If they like the R&B songs, they don’t like the electronica. And it circles onward and onward until I refrain from asking opinions.

I had the audacity to tempt fate at work again on Saturday and make a 23-song playlist from scratch where I went out of my way to put only rap songs on it. Literally, the complaints I was getting about my playlist from the last time were “only white boys like old school rap” and “no white people music.” Indeed, the latter complaint was leveled against a B.B. King song. Roots of modern music–both rap and rock–aside, I can only handle menial tasks in silence for so long so I went out of my way to add nothing but rap released in the last five years.

I took the garbage out and came back to find out my music had been turned off. I asked why only to find out that my music was “boring” and “guy music” in a room full of “girls.” I cannot win. There seems to be no way I can please anyone with my taste in music unless I write about it.

Sigh.

I stopped following @KanyeWest.

I started following him the day he joined and four or five days later I was tired of his tweets. I even came to view his tweets as spam1.

The novelty of Twitter is being able to receive one-liners from your favorite comedians, celebrities, models, brands, etc in real time. But the real genius of Twitter was switching the vocabulary: instead of “subscribe” to this person’s RSS feed–essentially what you’re doing and what you can do in Google Reader anyway–they’ve had you “follow” people. Thus, your friends are on the same level as celebrities. You follow them, you merit their 140 characters valuable.

But Kanye was the stick that broke my Twitter account’s back. I had been following maybe 10 rappers or so and I swiftly trimmed that crowd down to about two or three. I have friends on Twitter who write genuinely humorous material; indeed, they justify the “follow” nomenclature. And, as per the operating theory of why Twitter is successful, they tend to share things I enjoy more often than not. Kanye broke that trust for me: it turns out the only peek I want into his life is the peek that comes every two to three years in the form of an approximately forty five minutes of rapping2.

As for the other rappers, I suffered some internal turmoil before I concluded, “Screw it.” I am a fan of their work, I follow them, their careers, their albums. I know that I don’t have to prove it to them by following them on Twitter. Furthermore, I don’t give a shit about random follower #1,045 who got a retweet because he said something one of my favorite rappers enjoys along the lines of “This is a good song.” I’m glad the both of you think that, but I’d like to be able to judge for myself or at least be able to find the things my friends have said and your original content. Unless your content reads like Kanye’s.

I thoroughly enjoy @Therealbigboi’s tweets because he answers questions, but he answers them for everyone instead of just for the person who asked. I also like @Chamillionare’s tweets because he’s using Twitter the way we all do: either to share something funny or ask a question, to get a recommendation. He’s keeping the conversation alive. And furthermore, @Ludacris is funny. Also, tweets like “In terms of landscape, alcoholism and literary prowess, The South is America’s Ireland.” are why you should be following @pattonoswalt. That shit is epic.

1. I will say I enjoy following Eric B. The first tweet I saw from him was “Hope you had a good day.” Uh, hell yes I did–hope you had fun making one of the most important albums of all time. I’mma let you Finnish, terrible Kanye tweets. BOOM! Live-texting from Sweden and a Taylor Swift joke all at once!
2. I was very careful about my word choice here. “Rapping.”

Full Albums:

  • Crash Kings, Crash Kings
  • Gorillaz, Plastic Beach
  • Jay-Z, Blueprint 3
  • Ladyhawke, Ladyhawke
  • Ludacris, Chicken & Beer
  • Pearl Jam, Ten
  • Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • The Roots, How I Got Over1
  • Roykskopp, Junior
  • The-Dream, Love King (Deluxe Edition)
  • Usher, Confessions2 and Raymond V Raymond
  • Vampire Weekend, Contra
  • Van Halen, Diver Down and Fair Warning
  • Wale, Attention Deficit
  • The xx, xx

Top Notch Tidbits:

  • Wale, “W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E.”
  • Sadat X, “Turn It Up (Feat. Pete Rock3)”
  • Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair”
  • The Roots, “Quills”4
  • John Mayer, “Covered In Rain”

Songs of the Week:

  • The Roots, “The Fire”
  • Common, “The Light”

Reviews:
1. This one was definitely overshadowed by The-Dream for me. But now that I’m beginning to surface from my Love King character study, this one is becoming better and better each time I listen to it. Seriously, “The Fire” is thoroughly enjoyable to me. The last five songs or so remind me of how The-Dream’s suites (See “Yamaha,” “Nikki Part 2” and “Abyss;” “Fast Car” through “Purple Kisses;” or “Take U Home 2 My Momma” through “Love Vs. Money, Pt. 2.”)
2. This one’s seriously growing on me. As a whole, it’s beginning to come together for me. I think I’d made a mistake of letting my iTunes sort songs by every artist on the song instead of just Usher: thus “My Boo” was listed under “Usher and Alicia Keys” and wouldn’t get played when I was listening to the abbreviated Confessions album.
3. Pete Rock is the shit.
4. I would like to think that I too am scientific with my reflex gangster. Time will tell.