Disco Sin, Sans, and Without Dollars
The African ability to manufacture major exhilaration out of marginal economics is a skill young American musos should wrap their minds around. These 14 tracks, selected by ace German compiler-annotator Georg Milz from the decade-plus history of a broadly conceived genre that's not about to quit, modernize highlife with electronics, rap, and the occasional excursion into reggae. Their only program is getting parties started. These parties are as raunchy as they wanna be‑-"Toto Mechanic" means "Pussy Mechanic" in Ga. But they're markedly more relaxed than, for instance, the HI-NRG bashes evoked by VP's new Ultimate Soca Gold Collection‑-as if they've figured out that the toto feels better to both partners when all day and all night includes breathers. A MINUS
Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque (Strut)
The title means exactly what it says. Selected by a London dance collective called Sofrito, which is also the name of a fatback-based Puerto Rican staple, two-thirds of these 15 obscurish dance tracks are from the disco era of 1976-1980, almost all sound it a little, and all are from Africa, Colombia, and the Caribbean. Like a DJ set designed to blast rather than lure you out of your seat, they start strong, end classic, and let you sit down in the middle. Whether they achieve their pan-tropical goals is unclear; I probably prefer the African tracks‑-especially the Zaiko Langa Langa spinoff "Je Ne Bois Pas Beaucoup"‑-because I always prefer the African tracks. So let me now praise two barn burners I would never otherwise have checked out: a lead cut featuring cumbia stalwart Lisandro Meza and‑-from Guadeloupe, whose music generally leaves me feeling like I haven't eaten‑-a speedy call-and-response workout by gwo ka drummer Ti Céleste. DJ-annotator Hugo reports that this is his crate-digging crew's most-played track. You can hear why. A MINUS
(See "Thumb and Tongue Tales" in Zap comix.)
(And hey, I like the Black-Eyed Peas.)
Cat's Cradle will host a New Year's Eve Party with The Wusses
Although not a metal fan in the slightest -- punk and whatnot showed me the light that had always been there -- I've been very much enjoying Cam's posts, and I wish the good doctor (ahem) would collect them somewhere. Which leads me to a very amusing conundrum.
Growing up in Birmingham, AL, I was a gigantic KISS fan. I mean, I had all the records -- by which I mean the first six, AND both live doubles, AND the re-recorded Double Platinum. Then of course, I grew up. (BAM once had this hysterical Tommy Stinson quote: "the Partridge Family with a Marshall Stack," and the revelation that the band recorded "Black Diamond" "strictly as a joke.") Now, Ace Frehley is doing a signing at my bookstore for his new memoir (titled No Regrets...oh, dear). I know I'm going to be involved in that in some capacity...I'm a key person. Yet, what do I say? "I loved your music when I was a kid...before I realized it was cheesy sexist claptrap?" "I download Destroyer when I'm feeling nostalgic?" (My brother bought me a Destroyer pin and a VU and Nico pin...we both have similar senses of humor.) What to do, what to do...
Wow, no AC/DC best-of? I'm surprised
I'm not. It means you gotta buy all the albums to get the songs you want.
[Edit] P.S. I think AC/DC is one of those few bands that refuses to permit downloads, too. So I guess they are convinced they will make more money by only selling albums with no compilations or downloads. (Although Mark above is right.)
My sky breaks in two when I listen. Hence, why I stay inside with the blinds closed. Far too devastating.The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
There'll be sun!
Just thinkin' about
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!
When I'm stuck a day
I just stick out my chin
The sun'll come out
So ya gotta hang on
Come what may
I love ya
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.