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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Full Albums:

  • Bar-Kays, The Best of Bar-Kays
  • Beyonce, 4
  • Childish Gambino, Campfire1
  • Drake, Take Care2
  • Jay-Z and Kanye West, Watch the Throne
  • Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  • Left Lane Cruiser, Bring Yo’ Ass to the Table
  • Porcupine Tree, The Incident3
  • Spoon, Gimme Fiction
  • The Weeknd, House of Balloons
Random Excellence:
  • The Wu-Tang Clan, “Da Mystery of Chessboxin'”
  • The xx, “Intro”
  • Van Halen, “Unchained”
  • Spoon, “Take the Fifth”
  • Raekwon, “Wu-Gambinos”
Songs of the Week:
  • Them Crooked Vultures, “No One Loves Me & Neither Do I”4
  • Bar-Kays, “Too Hot to Stop (Part One)”
  • Yelle, “Tu Es Beau”
  •  Mayer Hawthorne, “No Strings”
  • Ladyhawke, “Back of the Van”

Reviews:

1. This was kind of a delight. It’s a little graphic and dark, but it also has some pretty great lines on it. Production is literally leaps and bounds ahead of his first EP.

2. This one’s like the third-grade class clown who keeps getting bullied: Sometimes it’s the center of all the attention, spitting out jokes and puns left and right, then it just got punched in the kidney and it’s crying in the corner by itself. But the worst part seems to be that his bullies are the girls he was just entertaining. I think that’s it. He’s in some kind of loop where he seduces every woman in sight, gets caught, then feels sad, works off the sadness, and goes back to the seduction. A vicious cycle of sadness where he’s the only reason he’s sad. But I’m not sure that’s the case; what I can definitively tell you is, it’s a spotty album where I’ll skip a bunch of songs because he’s crying again. I just want the jokes, funny man. I think you can couch your jokes in your sadness, but wallowing is probably too much. Get to a psychologist so you can take proper care of yourself.

3. This is a really difficult album to stomach. It’s a lot of really dense music paired with some simple songs. I actually had to take a break from it because it’s so big and so diverse. I didn’t realize, until doing some research for this, that it was originally packaged in two CDs. That should probably give you a better understanding of what I’m saying: I think most LPs (no more than, say, 30 minutes) aren’t enough and most double albums (pretty much 65 minutes or more, though CDs fit about 80 minutes) are too much. The way most people seem to listen to music demands switching from album to album after 45 to 55 minutes. And when an album mixes so much quiet, peaceful music with so much rock, it’s going to be a challenge. That said, it’s a difficult album–not a bad one.

4. What a bridge, am I right? I can feel my face melt a little every single time.

Comment:

Sometimes I have this recurring nightmare where I’m the teacher in what I think is some kind of haunted school. It scares the crap out of me and always make me wonder if I’m being haunted when I wake up. Things will always happen differently and I never really remember my students’ names, but they seem to always be the same.
This time around, I saw one of the students by the bus stop. I decided I needed to show him an app on my phone. I realized while displaying it, I could neither remember which part I needed to show him nor why I thought he’d be interested. He told me it was okay, then dropped a nickel down the water grate to his right. I apologized again and told him I was now sorry he’d lost his nickel, too. He wasn’t concerned.
Then a car raced past and crashed around the corner. I dropped my things and sprinted over. The car had flipped. I unbuckled the driver and pulled her out. I ran around and unbuckled the passenger. I carried him away from the leaking car and laid him down next to the driver. Someone else had called for help, so I started to ask the operator for advice on their vitals.
Then I woke up.
My workout routine and my work researching websites and apps appears to have become more stressful than usual. I look forward to taking some time to  just catch up with my family. Yes, I can only barely wait for Thanksgiving.

Full Albums:

  • The Afghan Whigs, Unbreakable
  • Bar-Kays, 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Bar-Kays1
  • Big K.R.I.T., K.R.I.T. Wuz Here
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
  • Kelly Clarkson,  Stronger2
  • Kendrick Lamar, Section.80
  • Kings of Leon,  Come around Sundown
  • Left Lane Cruiser, All You Can Eat!! and Bring Yo’ Ass to the Table
  • Mayer Hawthorne, How Do You Do
  • Terius Nash, 1977

Random Excellence:

  • Radiohead, “All I Need”
  • Queens of the Stone Age, “Regular John”
  • Pearl Jam, “Animal”
  • Katy Perry, “Hummingbird Heartbeat”
  • The Hold Steady, “You Can Make Him Like You”

Songs of the Week:

  • Spoon, “Was it You?”
  • Bar-Kays, “Holy Ghost”
  • Ludacris, “Undisputed”
  • Fall Out Boy, “(Coffee’s For Closers)”
  • Eagles of Death Metal, “So Easy”

Reviews:

1. Man, on the recommendation of a couple of people, I signed all the way up for Last.fm because this and the other album I’m reviewing are the only ones I could remember from last week. Actually, this is the only one I actually played last week (more on that below). So these dudes are pretty amazing. When you listen to The Blues Brothers talk about real musicians plying their craft, I think of people like Booker T. and The MGs, The JBs and these guys. I’ve also been (doing a bad job of) looking for them since I first saw the opening credits of Superbad. “Too Hot to Stop” and “Holy Ghost” are probably just the definition of funky. I stumbled upon the latter while listening to a playlist with every song sampled by The Beastie Boys’s Paul’s Boutique and realized I had to keep the funk train going. So this album is pretty phenomenal.

2. I must’ve played this back when it came out, but it got buried down behind a whole bunch of The Replacements. Sometimes it was a little boring and sometimes it was a little angsty, but, holy god, it’s probably 3 or 4 times better than My December. “You Love Me” is really quite good. I think she might be the only American Idol vet I ever like because she’s such a good singer. I mean, there’s that, how she was the first and how I just don’t give a shit about American Idol. That said, this is just another really solid album for her.

Comment:

Sometimes I look at my homework and wonder if I’m even smart enough to be a copy editor. Like the only thing that’d help me would be 20 extra IQ points or something. Swear to Chicago Manual of Style. The copy editors I meet are way nerdier than me or any of my friends. Like, professional indoor people who have 13 cats and the ability to read with more comprehension than anyone you know. They were Classics majors and make puns in multiple languages. They know the difference between “lay” and “lie” cold, whereas I have to keep looking that crap up. (To be clear, I’m not poking fun, just wondering how I can get to that level of grammar knowledge and cat ownership.)

There might be a chance, though. A lot of what my class seems to be reiterating is that I really need to just start a list of rules I forget and words I can’t always spell. It’d be a good way to have, say, a life cheat sheet. Maybe that sheet can be my 20 extra points. Maybe I should go through Chicago and make my list before I edit these posts. Then, maybe scope some “may”/”might” jams from Fowler and other guide goodies. Doesn’t seem like too terrible an idea.

Full Albums:

  • Broken Social Scene, Broken Social Scene1
  • Battles, Mirrored2
  • The Cure, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
  • Driver F, Chase the White Whale
  • Foster the People, Torches
  • LCD Soundsystem, This Is Happening!
  • Left Lane Cruiser, All You Can Eat!! and Bring Yo’ Ass to the Table
  • Living Things, Ahead of the Lions
  • M83, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
  • Mayer Hawthorne, How Do You Do
  • Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, All Souled Out and The Main Ingredient3
  • Saves the Day, Stay What You Are
  • Steel Panther, Balls Out4
  • The-Dream, Love Hate
  • Them Crooked Vultures, Them Crooked Vultures5
  • The Replacements, Pleased to Meet Me and Tim
  • Wale, Ambition6

Random Excellence:

  • The Clash, “Police on my Back”
  • Spoon, “Was it You?”
  • Three 6 Mafia, “Hood Star”
  • Pearl Jam, “W.M.A.”
  • Cults, “Oh My God”

Songs of the Week:

  • Ray Parker Junior, “Ghostbusters”7
  • The Replacements, “Election Day” and “Alex Chilton”
  • Left Lane Cruiser, “Justify” and “Heavy”

Reviews:

1. I get the impression what I listened to wasn’t the whole album, but you can tell there’s a ton of musicians contributing; it’s bulky and dense. It’s an album that will only give you more, the more you listen.

2. Sometimes I felt this one was too quirky for me. Yet, I still like it. I’d probably enjoy listening to it more often, but I’ve been all about the Left Lane Cruiser for a while know. I think these guys and BSS might be getting pushed to the back burner for a little bit while listen obsessively to Left Lane sing about the back burner.

3. As far as I’m concerned, they’re the goddamned gold standard.

4. I don’t know if it’s hilariously bad or just hilarious. It sounds just like metal out of the eighties with lyrics right out of the pharmacy right around the corner. Some horrifyingly hilarious work. It’s really the kind of album you and some of your friends can listen to, but would never put a playlist for parties; heaven forbid you accidentally put that playlist on while family or children are in the room. End of career.

5. It’s funny how stepping away from this one gave me new ears. It’s really just so good. However, I will gladly admit that “Warsaw Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up” and “Spinning in Daffodils” are terrible. Just terrible; it’s outweighed by all the awesome all over the rest of the album, though.

6. I don’t know if it’s because Big Ghost wrecked him, but I was a little disappointed by this one. I think one of the major points everyone keeps coming back to is that it felt a little disjointed. Like, is it titled Ambition and paired with Wale’s stare toward the top because he feels like he’s doing well but isn’t on top yet? Then a ton of the songs are about sex…where he’s usually on top. Yes, I used his sexy rap songs as a metaphor for his rap skills: I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like he’s getting out-shadowed by Rick Ross by being on his label. He’s on a major label, but he’s the critical darling living in the shadow of a popular darling. Like, he’s pressed by Warner Bros, and his All Music Guide categories still have him filed under “Underground Rap.” I wonder if he’s pigeon-holing himself somehow by making moves under the wings of one of the biggest (pun intended) birds in the rap flock.

7. This is Halloween. Maybe “Werewolves of London” and some other select jams, but this is just how I do it.

Comment:

Just so you know, the last t.w.i.m. was my 300th post. I looked over some stuff and realized my next project really should be to go through and edit this stuff. I’ve written here for three years and I can probably use three years worth of minor errors as a pretty solid editing gift to myself. (Want more copyediting practice? How about every error you’ve personally made in the last three years on your personal blog? Problem solved.) Yet, the real problem is going to be finding the time for that. I’m behind on just about everything right now. I might be able to pull it all together, though.

Also, sorry for a double-edition of t.w.i.m.; I’ve had some busy weekends (most notably, Halloween) and had little ability to publish this on time. Again, I apologize and hope your Halloween was excellent. I kind of had some other things to comment about, but I think I’ll leave it there for now. It just seems like a nice way to say, “Hey. I’m still here, maybe you are too. Let’s do this dance.”