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Full Albums:

  • Big K.R.I.T., Krit Wuz Here and Return of 4eva1
  • Curtis Mayfield, The Very Best of Curtis Mayfield2
  • Foo Fighters, Wasting Light3
  • Driver F, Chase the White Whale4
  • Does it Offend You, Yeah?, You Have No Idea What You’ve Gotten Yourself Into
  • Faces, A Nod Is as Good as a Wink…to a Blind Horse5
  • Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, The Main Ingredient
  • Pharmocolypse, The Unknowable6
  • Run-DMC, Greatest Hits7
  • The Strokes, Angles8
  • TV on the Radio, 9 Types of Light9
  • Wiz Khalifa, Rolling Papers10


Random Excellence:

  • Mos Def, “Life in Marvelous Times”
  • Keri Hilson, “Beautiful Mistake”
  • Kings of Leon, “Be Somebody”
  • James Brown, “Super Bad”
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo”


Songs of the Week:

  • Yeasayer, “O.N.E.”
  • TV on the Radio, “New Cannonball Run”
  • Run-DMC, “Down with the King”
  • Fleetwood Mac, “Gypsy” and “Everywhere”
  • Driver F, “I Have Better Things to Do Tonight than Die”
  • Big K.R.I.T., “Country Shit (Remix Feat. Ludacris & Bun B.)”


Reviews:


1. As far as I can tell, the reason this album exists was so Bun B and Ludacris could come in and make a hot track like 10 or 18 times hotter. This mixtape kind of felt like a holding pattern whereas the first one was a slew of above average with hints of awesome. Then again, I feel like he and Wiz Khalifa have a lot in common in that they’re both poised to take over rap, even though I’m not a big fan of their new stuff.


2. “Superfly” and “Pusherman” are amazing but I don’t know if Curtis is really for me. The music it obviously hugely influential, you can trace Kanye, Beastie Boys, Run-DMC and seemingly endless new music directly back to a lot of his work, but I don’t know what went wrong for me. Something about the pacing and the falsetto that weren’t quite right for me. I also wonder how influential drugs were in his life; a lot of his songs seem to involve either a pusherman or someone being manipulated by a pusherman. I can’t tell if it was a reaction to his hatred for his personal dealer or a genuine hatred for dealers destroying communities. Some songs seem like they’re explicitly the latter, but the frequency makes me wonder if he, say, had a relative in the business or something–a constant source of emotional pain he tried to work out in his music. Needless to say, I’m going to need to force myself to get past that tempo/falsetto gut reaction to figure this all out.


3. Speaking of things I’m going to have to revisit, I know I liked this, but I think the only songs that stood out were “Rope” and “Arlandria.” I always like a Foo Fighter album almost devoid of acoustic guitars. Particularly since “White Limo” sounds a lot like a song off of Queens of the Stone Age’s Songs for the Deaf. Maybe the problem with this album was enjoying every song so much that nothing stood out. Straight up rock and roll.


4. I went to high school with these guys so I’m surprised this is the first time I’ve ever heard the whole album–despite the fact that it’s been out for four years now. If I had gotten this as a record or something instead of as a as an iTunes gift from a friend, I’d probably be ruining it by now from listening to it on repeat so much. They’re not breaking up, but the fact that they’re going to have to replace their drummer before they make their next album is still sad because I’d like some more. I remember thinking “You want to play ska?” when I was in high school with them, not realizing the only band that matters was kind of a ska band. But the more I listen, it’s just rock the way rock’s supposed to be made. It’s not Reel Big Fish or the Mighty Mighty Bosstones or Cherry Popping Daddies. I rejected it at the time because I hated that crap. These days, there’s rarely a rock band that doesn’t have horns lacing the track–so why not just add the horn players as actual band members instead of studio musicians? Plus, that there boy can fuckin’ sing. 


5. The first and last songs are incredible. I also like how the whole album has the feel of Rolling Stones album with a guy occasionally imitating Dylan while singing. That said, though, all the momentum was definitely at the beginning and the end–it sort of felt like they got bored in the middle.


6. I wish the beats were more prominent. Chiptune’s cool and all, but I think this would have been more exciting with hella awesome beats. Then again, my standard is Gameboy Variations. I think I kept hoping someone was going to start rapping over them, too.


7. There’s just not enough music on here. In high school I might have been the drum line’s biggest fan, but something about the sparsity here just doesn’t work for me. Sure, I love those main like five Run-DMC songs everyone loves, but the only real revelation here was “Down with the King,” probably because it’s featuring C.L. Smooth and produced by Pete Rock. I think that kind of says it all: my new favorite Run-DMC song wasn’t even produced by Jam-Master Jay, but by Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth.


8. This album is gorgeous. Gorgeous, I tell you.


9. The title makes me wonder which song is the source of the darkness. Other than that, I was pleasantly surprised by this album. Their last two records were excellent, surely there’s no way they can keep their streak going–but of course they did. Sadly, they released it just in time to lose a band member, but he left some great gifts for us. Not to sound too selfish or anything, but he made some great basslines, particularly all of “New Cannonball Run.”


10. There might not have been a way for this to be any more boring. I was incredibly excited when he released “Black and Yellow” because I thought he was going to make a transition, bring great rap skills to amazing beats while becoming more commercially viable, more mainstream, but all we have is this piece of crap. Sure, the whole thing didn’t suck, but it was seriously underwhelming.


Comment:


Pie came out much better this time. Still making mistakes at both jobs, but it’s just a process. As long as I can keep learning from mistakes, I should be okay. It might have been a little rough, but it definitely felt good for a couple of reasons: I love learning and I still don’t work in retail. I do sometimes worry that by sitting at my desk and using earbuds I get a lot of work done but miss out on the social aspect.
But then again, I have a social life again and the place where I might be missing out on the social interaction the most has the best rooftop parties I’ve been to. Consume feces, retail.
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