Odds and Ends 010
If, That Is, You Actually Have a Head to Blow
Katy B: On a Mission (Columbia)
The Diana Ross to Adele's Aretha Franklin, the Vicki Sue Robinson to Adele's Gloria Gaynor, or‑-most likely‑-the Vicki Sue Robinson to Adele's Gladys Knight ("Katy on a Mission," "Why You Always Here") ***
Chromeo: Business Casual (Big Beat/Atlantic/Vice)
Great move to bring Solange in midway through, only she immediately steps to the front of the personality parade ("When the Night Falls," "Night by Night") ***
Blow Your Head Vol. 2: Dave Nada Presents Moombahton (Downtown/Mad Decent)
I love one of these fashioners of listenable reggaeton derivatives so much that he tempts me to fib about the others (Dillon Francis, "Masta Blasta"; Dillon Francis & Diplo Featuring Maluca, "Que Que") ***
SBTRKT: SBTRKT (Young Turks)
Hot Chip he's not, though from what I hear he's hiring ("Wildfire," "Something Goes Right") **
Santigold: Master of My Make-Believe (Atlantic/Downtown)
Deep in neither beats nor conceits ("Disparate Youth," "Go!") **
Tracey Thorn: Love and Its Opposite (Merge)
IDM, midlife midtempo edition ("Singles Bar," "Hormones") **
The Ting Tings: Sounds From Nowheresville (Columbia)
Fun enough example of arty equaling shallow and maybe vice versa ("Guggenheim," "Day to Day") *
Lana Del Rey: Born to Die (Polydor)
Convincing and occasionally compelling proof that money can't buy happiness ("Video Games," "This Is What Makes Us Girls") *
"I put your sh-t into a bag and pushed it down the stairs"Ew.
I've never liked the awful-apocalypse/mudermother/serial dismemberment/violate-every-principle-aspect of latter-day metal offshoots. It may be the oldest dead end in human experience. Good movie-soundtrack outlet these days, though, right?
Metal has always seemed like an electric-sound phenomenon to me. The weird buzz in the Sun Studios. The noise the Yardbirds used to become more aggressive. To live up to the not-nice aspect of their name.
GO! -- Santigold
Que Que -- Diplo and Dillon Francis
Katy On A Mission -- Katy B
Night By Night -- Chromeo
Masta Blaster -- Dillon Francis
Disparate Youth -- Santigold
Video Games (Joy Orbison Remix) -- Lana Del Rey
Hormones -- Tracey Thorn
Guggenheim -- The Ting Tings
This Is What Makes Us Girls -- Lana Del Rey
Singles Bar -- Tracey Thorn
When The Night Falls -- Chromeo
Wildfire -- SBTRKT
Something Goes Right -- SBTRKT
Why You Always Here -- Katy B
Day to Day -- The Ting Tings
The only liberty I took with the tracks Bob listed was to substitute the Joy Orbison remix of "Video Games" for the original album track. I'm not sure it's actually a better version, the beats erode some of the emotional claustrophobia packed into the original, but the beats also make it flow better in this semi-club context.
Among other things I like how the commonplace sentiments of "Day to Day" wrap up and put a bow on the many preceding dramas. Tho' that could just me being a tired old coot.
The other guy hereabouts who listens to heavy/stoner/doom metal
Sleep, Dopesmoker (2012 edition)
They're never gonna get this g-ddamned thing right. This is, what, the third (fourth?) issue of it?
Don't get me wrong. It's the best batch yet. Pointless sludge has been scraped away. The guitar riffing finally has the wooly-mammoth-rolling-over-you crunch it needs. The bass sonics have a more complementary and less redundant relation to the guitar. The vocals are most improved of all and (as a tonal quality) I actually think they're kinda idiot-clever rather than nothing. But the drums are still buried under 17,000 pounds of ganja distillate the consistency of snot.
And I liked the cover art of the 2003 version a lot more.
I know about four people who would be amused by five-10 minutes of this after an hour of gnawa classics. And then there's the couple of wackos who like it already. But yer not gonna convert the infidels. I guess, ever.
This is one of the very few instances where I think re-recorded drums might be in order. Keep this version in circulation; make a new drum track that, sonically, doesn't lie at the feet of the rest of the instruments (won't be as good but won't be drowning in goo), put it out as the 21st-Century Treatment and never think of "Dopesmoker" again.
(The added live track is no better and no worse than the other marginalia trash added to previous reissues.)
No, I've never listened to it stoned.
I graduated from a small Connecticut high school in '06. Pretty sure the class song was Green Day's "Good Riddance." No complaints.
Anyway, she's never written back. I kind of wish she would, though. Despite everything, she's definitely cute. Maybe you should try dipping those virtual pigtails into the virtual inkwell?
Pardon me for still not knowing how to gray this direct quote-of-quote:
That Tracey Thorn album is so not IDM, or at least no more than the Lana is
I said "midlife midtempo." Neither a modifier ever attached to any kind of "real" IDM. Thorn's album is intelligent, and it derives from her partner's electronica flirtations. No?
How weird to think of old Lenny filling that space....
Lindsay Zoladz gives the new Beach House a 9.1, the highest Pitchfork rating of the year so far. (Somebody please care so I don't have to.)
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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