s / s / s /Serengeti
The Diverse Moods of Serengeti
s / s / s: Beak & Claw (Anticon)
Serengeti has long been fascinated by the upper-middle class arty-farties David Brooks once tried to lampoon as "bobos." But though he's always been wittier and smarter about bourgeois bohemians than Brooks, collaborators like Tony Trimm and Polyphonic have seldom provided the eclectrobeats his jokes and ideas deserved. This one-off EP with singer-songwriter cum symphonist Sufjan Stevens and semiclassical drum'n'bassmaker Son Lux is different, because the primary function of his raps is to ground the beautiful musics his collaborators contribute. Stevens's Auto-Tuned apostrophe, Shara Worden's soprano harmonies, the layered chorus hooks and electro-percussion‑-all would float into the arty-farty ether without Serengeti stumbling through his fictional misunderstood life, and that confluence is the point. Croons Stevens: "If I could figure out what it was all about." Repeats Serengeti: "I had the world figured out beyond any doubt." Both are lost‑-but touchingly and even nobly. A MINUS
Serengeti: Kenny Dennis EP (Anticon)
A surprise comeback EP from the long-silent Grimm Teachaz crew may be for Kenny Dennis fans only, but he deserves more of them. Who knew from the likes of "Dennehy" that this superfan could speed-rap like on "Flat Pop"‑-and also, who knows what he's saying when he does? Kenny never falters as he disses Shaquille O'Neal, goes to bat for shamed Cub fan Steve Bartman, and packs a Ruger as he smacks down a loud kid, helps a stranded motorist, and tears up his parking tickets. The beats are as basic as in classic Teachaz, only modernized with extra effects, and the rhyming remains prime: "I'm Charles Bronson, I'm from Wisconsin/Chicken MCs call 'em Swanson/They get grilled up like a porkchop/Catch 'em on the street right in front of their bus stop." A MINUS
',,,, er ,,,,'
Look, Cam, if you want a thing...
Big KRIT sounds nice; I need to listen to it moar. If Xgau doesn't review Minaj, I'm pretty sure something's wrong with him!
(Since 5+ people are autistic, I was joking on both counts.)
This is a duplicate post, courtesy of Clankface. I'm leaving it in here only to pinpoint when the old robot began to experience Electron Reflux Disease.
is Milo saying that Atzmon's pro-Palestine position or collaboration with a crippled Stalinist makes his work ipso facto less acceptable?
No, no -- I'm only saying that his evident antisemitism makes him a jerk. I thought the pro-Palestine stance of Exile was a plus. It has nothing to do with the quality of the work. I've always thought Wyatt's politics were on the ridiculous side, but as long as he expressed it through things like a cover of the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet, all was swell. I'm only sorry that nowadays he's collaborating with a strong player who's, sadly, not only pro-Palestine and anti-Israel but carries the last aspect into outright bigotry. (I disliked the recent Wyatt albums, but that was before I recognized who Atzmon was or knew anything about his antisemitic statements.) I think adding an addendum to the positive review would have shown a lot more fortitude than yanking it entirely.
And yeah, shunning drives directed at artists and artwork are invariably foul projects that usually smell like elephant dung.
Feels like the one trick Sleater-Kinney missed that could have lifted them
As a to-the-core SK fan, I totally agree with you bradluen. Which is strange actually because I think I saw them smile on stage at and with each other more than any other band I've ever seen. But when it came to simple light heartedness or straight out comedy. . . nope, not really.
There is a book coming out this year edited by Laura Lovett and Lori Rotskoff that tries to reckon with the many meanings of this important work of second-wave feminism. Should be interesting...
(Hey thanks Shady for Serengeti tips!)
I'm still mad at myself for not seeing Wild Flag when they played here in Seattle.
Hope there's a next time. I've been streaming Portlandia on Netflix and it's a riot.
I should warn those of you who figure to rejoin the conversation once I stop writing about hip-hop records you never heard of that the wait might just surprise you.
Any truth to the rumor I just now made up that Michelle Moore is working on a Nebraska remix?
Not that anyone on the planet would be interested in me sharing what I don't know about Serengeti. Just like jreamteam, I promise to make him a project. Soon, I swear.
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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