Critics, what do they know?
Lil Wayne: I Am Not a Human Being II (Cash Money/Republic)
Oh no. He's rhyming about almost nothing but‑-yuck and/or bor-ing‑-sex. Hasn't he heard of artistic growth? Probably he has, actually‑-his star bubble is no more hermetic than anybody else's. In fact, I say it's progress that 11 of the 15 tracks here deploy the P-word the way God intended (as opposed to the p****-a**-n**** form, which I'd as soon he s***can myself). It suggests that, unlike most rappers and related pop lifeforms who brag about sex, Weezy really seems to savor it (especially‑-psst‑-oral--both ways!). Plus his posse cuts are finally showing some savor too, albeit not on the vestigial guns 'n' violence ones‑-the Gunplay collab is easily the dullest music here. Brightest: a pro-sex theme song featuring Drake and Future and called, officially, "Love Me." You want socially conscious themes? Really? A loose-lipped ship-sinker is what he was meant to be. A MINUS
Skrillex: Leaving (Owsla download)
There aren't even three new songs on this for-fans-only EP‑-just two, totaling nine minutes, plus "Scary Bolly Dub," a reggae remix of "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," already available X3 on the debut EP of the same name. But messing with songs is what he does, and until that "Oh my God" hook he found officially displaces Gary Glitter in the American heart, I say he should keep on messing. Nor are the new compositions screwed-and-chopped liver. "The Reason" subjects that potentially pleasurable human faculty to the sensory scrutiny it deserves. And "Leaving" promises the vulgar new vistas chill-out ambience deserves. A MINUS
Hunkered down in Cambridge, MA. Lucky to be with my wonderful family...
Report is that they've confirmed homemade bombs.
If Clapton's Crossroads Festival wasn't hot-even Keef made an
appearance (click on right)-than define hot.
I got to see Marisa Monte at the Hammersmith Apollo tonight. First time to see her and be in the Apollo, so a real treat. This was obviously an evening for the Brazilian ex-pat community in London. A majority of the people I saw/heard were not speaking English, and several of the English people (men mainly) seemed to be with Brazilian partners. It was also a well-dressed audience—not opera nice, of course, but snazzier than most of the shows I attend. Wearing jeans and a basic collared, long-sleeve shirt, I was at the lower end of the dress spectrum. (The beauty spectrum, too. There were a lot of attractive people there, men and women.)
No opening act. Monte and her band—g-b-d plus 2nd guitarist (who doubled on ukulele, etc.), keybs, and two violins, viola and cello—started behind a sheen curtain upon which were projected random shapes and lights. During the second song (both from her latest album), she stretched her arms out downward, raised them, up came the curtain, and the crowd roared. Monte stepped forward and the lights focused in on her. She wore a black-patterned, knee-length dress that had a white undercoat sticking out. (Halfway through the show the black came off, and the undercoat was revealed to be a white dress, which she wore the rest of the show.)
I’ve seen plenty shows—well not compared to most of you, but compared to normal people—but few of the acts I’ve seen had Monte’s star power: that ability to connect with an audience and lead it into the provisional transcendence of a great performance. She stalked and danced across the stage when she wasn’t playing guitar herself. Her voice soothed as it seduced. Every move seemed simultaneously calculated and natural. (The light show was carefully choreographed, but in a way that buttressed Monte’s performance. At the end of the show she noted that the videos that had been playing, had been done by leading young artists from Brazil.) She built up the enthusiasm in waves before climaxing the show. By the end the audience was singing (and dancing as much as the movie-style seating would let you) along to every word. It was one of those moments—an illusion maybe, but a powerful one—in which performer and audience were united in celebration.
Big shout out to Dr Cam for bringing Monte to my attention with his Brazil project.
Hey, I thought that was my job.
p.s.: See how good I am at it.
But then you couldn't read EW!!
"Milo: Hehe. I better clarify. The big news stories reached me despite the lack of internet where I was."
"Blimey" is short of "God blind me."
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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