Radioclit Presents: The Sound of Club Secousse Vol. 1 (Crammed Discs)
Dancefloor-tested by a London DJ partnership comprising one Frenchman and one Swede, these 17 tracks from contemporary Africa are high and speedy instrumentally, with male voices to bring them down to pavement. West Africa with its muscle and beseeching gravity is absent, and not enough of the songs stick as songs. But there are so many major exceptions in the second half‑-the shouted "Zuata Zuata" by Angola's Puta Prata, the nutty "African Air Horn Dance" by Zimbabwe's Jusa Dementor, the airy "On Est Ensemble" by Congo's Kaysha, the very high and speedy old "Xipereta" by South African falsetto Dr. Thomas Chauke‑-that the hyper beats and nonstop electrosounds of the first half start sorting out into minor exceptions themselves. B PLUS
BLNRB: Welcome to the Madhouse (Out Here)
In which minor German electronic music duo Gebrüder Teichmann, major Berlin techno-populists Modeselektor, and sexy Euro-multiculturalists Jahcoozi take up residence in Kenya via Goethe-Institut Nairobi and spend a month working out a fusion with local rappers. Miraculously, they avoid paternalism and other mismatches until an emotive singer-guitarist initiates a downshift. Until then it's an excited Afro-minimalist blast, with "first lady of Kenyan rap" Nazizi and aspiring electropoppers Just a Band bringing extra spritz and tune to a delighted mesh that's at its best when a sinuous synth buzz snakes like a digital didgeridoo through four tracks that begin with one called "Ma Bhoom Bhoom Bhoom." Even the dubby stuff at the end gathers contemplative charm. It's like a crew album where the crew has real mojo. A MINUS
I think it's a form of reverse psychology. Because a solid sub-strata of the US has always agreed with Adolph.
Because a solid sub-strata of the US has always agreed with Adolph.
Sad but true. The way I think of it is this -- not all the Nazis lived in Germany in the 30's and 40's. I bet I use that phrase at least once a week. Sometimes it's people I know.
The Best of Roger Miller Vol. 1: Country Tunesmith
The Best of Roger Miller Vol. 2: King of the Road
I wonder why right-wingers invoke Hitler's name with Obama so much.
I think it's a form of reverse psychology. Because a solid sub-strata of the US has always agreed with Adolph. Joe Kennedy. Charles Lindbergh. On and on. Unto this day. Endless force and endless war always works. Identify one enemy after the other to be eliminated. Lots easier than forging a more and more superior society at home.
As even mainstream politicians once realized, what the world admired about the US was our commitment to justice and rights, not our invincible military.
- Jens Lekman, An Argument with Myself (EP): What Carly Simon needed was not to be Swedish, it was to be less self-involved, which might have been the same thing back then but hasn't been since Olof Palme was shot.
- Radioclit Presents: The Sound of Club Secousse Vol. 1: Jess Harvell, Pitchfork: ""African Air Horn Dance" by Jusa Dementor takes the kind of chintzy air horn noises that have been blaring through rap, dancehall, and rave mixes for decades and uses them like synth stabs, a continuous manic blare that runs through whole track." miyynxxx, YouTube: "never in all my dreams did i think you could actually sing bata mwana atsika banana."
- Ry Cooder, Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down: "Christmas Time This Year" is harsh, cheap, and essential. Major regret noted while trying but failing to avoid judgement: only one line of the song is an administration out of date.
- Note of Hope: The main effect of this has been to make me care about Jackson Browne, who convinces me to show solidarity with lawyers in love with the proletariat. Other choice cuts: Nellie McKay (play this next to the Kurt Elling and tell me with a straight face that jazz singing is all that), Studs Terkel.
- Fruit Bats, Tripper: These are good pieces of music, but rarely good songs, and I'm old-fashioned that way. Then again, the one I really like seems like it's mostly arpeggiated chords and "She should dance if she wants to dance" repeated ad infinitum.
- BLNRB, Welcome to the Madhouse: Brought to you by the Nairobi branch of the Goethe-Institut! Funkier than a Michael Haneke film festival!
Thanks for the shoutouts yesterday. I had a whole page of Owl City notes, all of them, er, "hoots." One of the many I didn't use: a note about that line about him no longer "sleeping with the night light on." My immediate thought: "How in the world can his parents see him when they tuck him into bed?" Talk about a nightmare of a cultural marker.
I wonder why right-wingers invoke Hitler's name with Obama so much. Maybe because he's one of the rare 20th century dictators that the United States government never once backed, financially or otherwise.
I wrote that in 1995 -- first thing I had written on music in at least 15 years. Sent it to Christgau, but the Voice didn't run it. At the time I could have sworn that I picked up the box set on Bob's recommendation -- in Playboy I thought, but it must have been someone else. I was very familiar with Miller's TV years, but the first disc was a revelation. (Most of it was previously available on The Best of Roger Miller Vol. 1: Country Tunesmith.)
Looking back at CG, one thing I find rather odd was that when Miller died in 1992, Bob reviewed the very thin 9-cut King of the Road on Epic when Mercury's superior 20-cut (44:26) The Best of Roger Miller Vol. 2: King of the Road was also available.
Tom Ewell: Gin?
Marilyn: Sure, I'll have a glass of that.
I'm not too sure about Madonna performing at the Super Bowl - she'd be the first name at the top of the list of "most likely to have a wardrobe malfunction".....
Not any more. She showed it all when the showin' was good. Been there, done that. (As with Marilyn, however, I think her earliest nudie shots are the most intriguing.)
Double thumbs up to both of ya'.
And Michael T. since I neglected yesterday: Double thumbs up for the Al Jackson jr. mention this month. Too bad drummers don't get retrospective double albums or box sets. His would be awesome.
a few 78 songs i like (to dance/groove to):
Bar-Kays - Holy Ghost
Cheryl Lynn - Got to Be Real
Z.Z. Hill - Let's Make a Deal
Bootsy's Rubber Band - Bootzilla
Chic - At Last I am Free
Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers - Bustin' Loose
The Fatback Band - I like Girls
Fela Kuti - Shuffering and Schmiling
Foxy - Get Off
Funkadelic - One Nation Under a Groove
Earth, Wind and Fire - September
Heatwave - The Grooveline
Lee Dorsey - Soul Mine/Keep On Doing it to Me (or how about all of Night People)
Marvin Gaye - Is that Enough
Allen Toussaint - Viva La Money
Parliament - Aqua Boogie
Bohannon - Let's Start the Dance
Rick James - You & I
Ohio Players - Time Slips Away
I don't love Isley Bros. "Groove with You" - it sounds like they were covering lame Boyz to Men in a time warp - but i'll mention it because people liked groove in 78
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.