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Monthly Archives: January 2013

To build a little on last year’s first resolution, I hereby resolve to continue making my grammar document, but to also create a new one comparing the spelling differences between The Chicago Manual of Style, The Associated Press Stylebook, The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, and, when those much shorter lists are ready, Merriam-Webster’s.

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Full Albums:

  • A$SAP Rocky, Long.Live.A$AP1
  • T.I., Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head2
  • Tyvek, On Triple Beams3
  • Chief Keef, Finally Rich4
  • Big Boi, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors
  • Money Making Jam Boys, The Prestige
  • Queens of the Stone Age, Era Vulgaris

Random Excellence:

  • Cut Copy, “Take Me Over”
  • Eddie Money, “Where’s the Party”
  • Koko Taylor, “I’m a Woman”
  • Kendrick Lamar, “HiiiPower”
  • Schoolboy Q, “Raymond 1969”
  • The-Dream, “Veteran”
  • Wale, “Mirrors”

Songs of the Weeks:

  • The Stranglers, “Peaches”
  • Buzzcocks, “Why Can’t I Touch It?”
  • T.I., “Go Get It” and “Ball”
  • Schoolboy Q, “There He Go”

Reviews:

1. Everyone get on the “1Train,” am I right? It’s not just that he already has one of the better albums of the year under his belt, he also just crammed in every rapper who’s had a good two years or so onto one song. But of course, that’s just the tip of this iceberg. If he didn’t talk about Harlem every once in a while, you’d think this’d be one of the better Southern rap albums in a while, too. He’s sipping purp, rhyming right, and hustling the game’s pants off.

2. With the exception of the two songs of the weeks as well as the Cee-Lo and Andre 3000 songs, this is just a terrible album. Seriously, just abysmal. To be fair, though, those two songs of the week are genuinely excellent. More like Trouble Rhymes: Heavy is the Hand.

3. This one was a head turner. I found some songs almost too aggressive, but there were also some songs designed perfectly for rocking doors off of hinges and televisions out of windows. It’s not my favorite album, but it has its moments. It’s sort of like a garage-punk freakotut that I really want to particpate in for maybe 15 minutes at most.

4. Good god, why. I pretty much just winced my way through this album. Barely a thing on there I liked, particularly considering how “Don’t Like” was his, but then the whole G.O.O.D. Music crew came through and did it better. In fact, this album is that shit I don’t like.

Comment:

I’m deep in the midst of a serious session of funemployment. It’s a little weird, because I haven’t had to play this game in probably about two years, but I think my résumé’s in an excellent place. Even better, all of my friends are in the same industry as I am. So that’s actually what’s been the most fun: looking around and realizing I can work for pretty much anyone right now. The options are out there, it’s just up to me to keep pursuing them.

I guess I also have to start looking for an apartment. The roommates and I seem to generally agree that, despite the excellent accoutrements and location, it’s in all of our best interest to move out. We just dislike the way management treats its residents as well as a number of debatably legal and renovation proceedings on some of the other floors.

So when people use the old cliché, “New year, new you,” I guess it applies more to me now than it ever really has.

Full Albums:

  • Big Boi, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors1
  • The-Dream, 1977
  • The Game, Jesus Piece2
  • Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream
  • The Replacements, Pleased to Meet Me and Let it Be
  • Jessie Ware, Devotion

Random Excellence:

  • Mayer Hawthorne, “Henny & Gingerale”

Songs of the Weeks:

  • Blood Orange, “Sutphin Avenue”
  • Big Boi, “CPU,” “Shoes for Running,” and “Mama Told Me”
  • The Game, “Jesus Piece”

Reviews:

1. What an album. The diversity of the guests and the quality of his raps are absolutely incredible. During my first listen, I sent nearly every song via Spotify to friends who I thought would appreciate the bumpin’ tracks. The bonus songs are a little weak (good that they’re bonus songs, right?), but there’s a solid chunk of songs that are pretty much pristine. And of course, he’s still putting a spacey, intriguing take on anything from picking up chicks to coming to terms with his pops. It’s been such a delight that I even impulse bought the CD at a Best Buy while getting gifts for the family. Which might not be saying much these days, but I felt like it was the least I could do to support the guy. (And it probably is, considering how most of his revenue most likely comes from tours.)

2. My roommates signed us up for the premium package from Time Warner a while back. That means we seem to have 800 channels at out fingers, but watching any of them is hit or miss because sometimes they’re pay-per-view or a music channel or something just as stupid. It’s the only part of my life that makes me feel like a luddite: I hate turning on the cable because I can never find anything I would ever care about and when I do, the excess of stupid commercials for ITT Tech and The General (all the fucking time, always written terribly) make me want to put the remote through not just our TV but also every TV in the neighborhood.

So at some point I somehow managed to accidentally stumble onto this show on VH1 called Marrying the Game. And here’s The Game mumbling to this A-Type who, honestly, I didn’t find attractive on a number of levels (physically, personality, etc.). But she really just walked all over him during this episode, talking about the counseling sessions and how important it is for him to focus on her more.

Now, I’m not trying to be a misogynist or to call her a bitch, I’m just saying that she seemed to hold all the cards in the relationship. I got the impression it was just a whole bunch of steamrolling on her end. And that really makes a whole bunch of sense when you look at this album, or even the dude’s whole career. He’s obviously had a hard life and his street credit absolutely exists, but there’s just always been something soft about him, like everyone’s waiting to take their turn walking over him.

So he laid down some more soft rhymes about some really hard shit. But I don’t think this album would be any good without his guests–they’re consistently the strongest performers on the dude’s album. And all his homophobic talk didn’t help, either. The album just sounds like the kind of accessory you put on while you’re posturing, not something earned or proven.

Comment:

My iPods died again, so this is mostly based on Last.fm stats, albums I got for Christmas, and weak memories. I think the new generation of iPods just aren’t built as sturdily as the last one was. I used to be able to run two, three years with these things in my hand–sweat all over them–and drop them maybe as often as once a quarter of a year without any ill effects. Now I take them for one run and they stop running. At least I have a warranty on this crap, but I’m going to look into waterproofing options because this is just ridiculous.

Before I went home, I got a raise and a bonus at work. Pretty satisfying, though it was very confusing to find out that the week after Christmas was designated a power-save-mode week two weeks before going back. That basically meant I was able to work from home, but not much was required of me. In fact, all I really did during that time was catch up on some research. Yet, I’d booked a plane two months in advance, fully expecting to have to be back at work. So it was fairly annoying to think that I could’ve had more time with friends and family, if only my company had had a little better planning.

And speaking of family, my grandma had a surgery the day before I left. It was only a minor one and information since has revealed it’s been wildly successful, but it would’ve been nice to see her a little more. Beyond that, the family seems to be doing well, though pops can’t seem to talk about much else besides retiring. We’ll see how it all goes.