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Full Albums:

  • Action Bronson, The Program EP1
  • The Cool Kids, Tacklebox2
  • Cults, Cults3
  • Deftones, Adrenaline4
  • Foster the People, Torches
  • Gorillaz, Plastic Beach
  • Incubus, If Not Now, When?5
  • Jay-Z and Kanye West, Watch the Throne6
  • Oasis, (What’s the Story?) Morning Glory
  • Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, The Main Ingredient
  • Seasick Steve, You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks7
  • Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life8
  • Television, Marquee Moon9
  • Tom Vek, Leisure Seizure and We Have Sound
  • The Weeknd, House of Balloons

Random Excellence:

  • Van Halen, “Ice Cream Man”
  • The-Dream, “Rockin’ That Shit”
  • The Rolling Stones, “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”
  • Pearl Jam, “Satan’s Bed”
  • Driver F, “Two Words, Mr. President: Plausible Deniability”

Songs of the Week:

  • Trae the Truth, “I’m On”
  • Warren Zevon, “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me”
  • The Police, “Message in a Bottle”
  • GZA, “Investigative Reports”
  • The-Dream, “Mr. Yeah”

Reviews:

1. One of my coworkers recommended this to me because they thought he sounds a lot like Ghostface Killah, and he’s very right. Everything from his pacing to his pronunciation to even his production sounded distinctly like this dude hails from Shaolin. Yet, he’s a white dude from Queens, so maybe that isn’t that far off…suuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

2. Holy shit, if I ever meet these dudes who call themselves the “L.A. Leakers,” I’m probably going to punch them in the face. There’s more of them on this mixtape than The Cool Kids. Every time I start enjoying a song, boom, “BROUGHT TO YOU BY BY BY THE. ELL. AY. LEAKERS.” Sure, that’s an incredibly punny name and I’d be proud of it, too, but you’re not a musician. The way you guys spin it, you’re a couple of dudes with a computer. And if you’re really a couple of DJ’s, I get the impression you have to make mixtapes because no one will hire you to show up and scream “L.A. LEAKERS” in their ears.

3. I’m not really sure what happened here. I think the lead singer’s supposed to be extremely pretty, so they’ve got that going for them? I was incredibly frustrated in the beginning because it reminded me so much of that bullshit Best Coast, but I was incredibly surprised when I stumbled upon “Oh My God.” I should probably give the whole thing another listen because if I like at least one song, they don’t suck as much as Best Coast.

4. Ever have one of those days where you just need a whole bunch of filthy, maddeningly distorted metal riffs and bass lines paired with an incredibly adept but not excessive drummer laced with a layer of furious lyrics? This was a great way to end a terrible day.

5. Man, remember when they were good? There were that alternative rock band who were secretly playing with all the precision (and chords) of a jazz band. Now they just make me want to sleep. Or remaster this album with some distortion pedals. If not now, then hopefully next album?

6. I honestly felt a little weird about some of the content. The contrast between a man doing way too much coke and a man who somehow got away with selling too much coke is a little jarring. Like Kanye’s looking over in the booth with his best “See? I know what you’re talking about!” grin on to impress Papa Hov. Some of the songs are really quite incredible (“Lift Off,” “Gotta Have It,” “Who Gon Stop Me” and “Why I Love You”), but some of it is bizarre and cringe-worthy (“That’s My Bitch”–what would Beyonce say! For shame, Kanye. For all time. FOR ALL TIME!). And the exclusion of “H.A.M.” is just as ridiculous as rapping in Pig Latin (Ed Note: Better swine-related joke for this sentence, tk).

7. Sweet Blessed Mother of Moses, what an album. Some of it might be a little cheesy, but listening to “Whiskey Ballad” at 4AM on a Sunday while walking home in the rain is nothing short of the very definition of the blues. And then following that song with “Back in the Doghouse” is just sheer genius. Indeed, Seasick Steve, why, oh why, would you ever be in the doghouse–on an album about an old dog stuck in his ways–if you’re drowning your sorrows in whiskey? But sure, follow that with some songs about marriage; mistakes are part of life and, hopefully, Mr. Steve learned to kick the habit before he set himself up for some more blues. Whatever it is you’re doing, maybe you don’t need some new tricks because these ones are sure as hell working.

However, I’ll admit I don’t really need the hobo stories. I just want more music.

8. I’m obviously not the only person who loves this album. This is the first time I’ve ever heard Stevie sing most of these songs, but not the first time I’ve heard any of them. I think just about all of the songs here have been lovingly sampled by almost every rapper in existence. Which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just nice to hear the originals. “Black Man” and “All Day Sucker” are just incredible.

9. I went out and bought this album a ring. No calls; we’re on a honeymoon.

Comment:

Sometimes I pull my head up from my desk and wonder what the hell I’m doing with myself. Just about everything I love requires no more than a computer, a keyboard, the Internet and some excellent programs, but it feels like there are so many restrictions and absurd disqualifications. “Oh, you haven’t written expandable flash copy before? That’s strange.” “This is your first copyediting test? How have you never taken a copyediting class?”

I feel like all of my responses for this an other things is probably along the lines of, “I like all of these things and I guess I haven’t restricted myself to any one profession because years of being forced to freelance in an imploding industry during a recession allowed me to wear many hats; but the difficult part of wearing all those hats is being told, ‘Well, now you have to choose just one.’ I would pick just one in a heartbeat, but I’d like a salary and benefits first. I’ve shown I’m good with words and I have a track record of rising to occasions; I’m not sure I need to jump these hurdles. I listen and I adapt. I’ll be here, let me know.”

Maybe that’s a little harsh on potential employers, though. Maybe it really is my own fault for not just manning up and taking a copyediting course.

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One Comment

  1. re: Watch the Throne (listening to it for the first time now and only on the second track, but I digress) and its content: “Murder for Excellence” is dedicated to a Pace student who was shot and killed by a Pville cop last year in Thornwood (the town next to Pville). CRAZY!


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