Odds and Ends 007
Hip-Hop Doesn't Have to Try to Be Hard--It Damn Well Is Hard
Speech Debelle: Freedom of Speech (Big Dada)
Atmospheric rapper conveys advanced thought and warm feelings with pliant voice, enveloping beats, and lyrics that have their sharper moments ("Studio Backpack Rap," "Collapse," "Shawshank") ***
Danny Brown: XXX (Fool's Gold)
"No apologies/For the misogyny," although students of the class system and serious cunnilingus fans might forgive him anyway ("Scrap or Die," "I Will") ***
Common: The Dreamer/The Believer (Think Common/Warner Bros.)
Still on a major label, he's damn well gonna act it ("Raw [How You Like It]," "The Believer") ***
Atmosphere: The Family Sign (Rhymesayers)
More memorable than many more interesting rappers as he singsongs medium-tempo of his mature values, his life as an entertainer, and his lost dog ("Became," "She's Enough") ***
K'Naan: More Beautiful Than Silence (A&M/Octone)
Too much to prove, and neither Nelly Furtado nor Nas can help ("Nothing to Lose," "Coming to America") **
Dark Time Sunshine: Vessel (Fake Four Inc.)
Seattle MC Onry Osborne ne Michael Martinez d/b/a Cape Cowen meets Chicago beatmaker Zamara for grown-up illbient that makes the most of the world's and its own incomprehensibility ("Vessel," "All Aboard") **
Tinie Tempah: Disc-Overy (Capitol)
Finally grime-ragga-whatevs produces one of the mildly likable commercial rappers we thought we had such a monopoly on ("Till I'm Gone," "Simply Unstoppable") *
Buck 65: 20 Odd Years Volume 4: Ostranenie (Warner Music Canada)
Maybe it's me‑-well, almost definitely it's me‑-but I like him better on baseball than on romance and on album than on EP ("Joey Bats," "Legendary") *
More risk of Last-Wordism here, of course, but I would argue that one of the more regrettable aspects of internet discussions are ruthless endings. Bam -- new thread starts, discussion should not carry over, I say. But that doesn't mean that some reflection on what's been said earlier isn't in order. So here's some gasbaggery. And for the foreseeable future in EW anyway, all I have to say on the topic of identity and internet posts.
As is often the case with too-fast moving post exchanges, I think three issues got snarled together here: 1. Using real names for posts 2. Moderating posts 3. The public and private sphere.
After mulling a bit, I believe the first two easily fold into the third. Should underscore that I never claimed internet nicknames were a problem for EW -- I simply don't believe it's good for long-term internet discourse that they become the unchangeable norm.
I also think they would help with self-moderating and moderating in general.
Here's an interesting post on rules for commenting on blogs at the New York Times:
and a follow-up from the chief moderator:
Particularly instructive, I think, is this comment --
Think of it as a discussion around the dinner table. New takes on old stuff - or taking a different angle on the subject at - hand is fun, but eyes start examining the wallpaper when old grudges are dredged up or tired old stories repeated. Keep it light and remember your mom is sitting right next to you so watch your mouth.
This seems like a comforting attitude, even wise advice. But it's wrong.
Not only can family conversations be bloody trainwrecks no matter what you do, the metaphor is off. Unless access is highly restricted, internet chat is not like a private get-together. It's not even parallel to a bar or club. It's much more like a radio or TV broadcast except that every participant is on the same stage and has a mike. But it doesn't feel like a public medium. Hell, most of the time you're alone with a machine in a room. Even so, you're really standing on a street the whole world can walk down.
A public medium. That's why I feel it's more ethical for the norm to be real names -- take responsibility for your expressions. That's why I think moderation is both good and necessary. There's a lot of dulcet territory between anarchy and lockdown on commentary. There's places for everyone, but rotten apples can't just roll into wherever, whenever they want.
Everybody realizes EW is unusual because it has flourished with minimal fuss in its own sweet spot. All the more reason to think long and hard about how to encourage such a situation elsewhere. After all, there will always be a hefty bunch that gets off on, even profits from, toxic chaos.
Sorry to interject into the current discussion, but a headline under the music news section caught my attention:
Rush Limbaugh was playing Rage Against the Machine on his show??!! Was he being ironic or something? Don't his producers do any research or are they just completely clueless?
That is too weird.
Cam, thanks for the gospel.
even if they don't, they treat each other with respect
Wow, things must have changed a lot on ILX since I stopped going regularly.
The danger with (some) ILX-style handles is they contain in-jokes you have to know a decade of ILX lore to understand.
Last time I poked my head in, everybody seemed to have entire f**king sentences for a handle, and to be changing those all the time on top of that. How the hell did that get started?
Since I've been silenced for so long let's be brief and informative:
GO WUSSY (and Sonic Youth but that's more personal) !
As for personal names, as long as we can continuously identify you on this forum not only are we okay but there's no way we could tell the difference. Names are only a mean of identification for the government, there's no thing as real names among private persons...
Wouldn't really work for us, as the only one we'd feel comfortable wielding the banhammer is Xgau
That makes my day.
And Bris P.: I was a little worried that you would take my earlier comment about the value of real names following so closely after your personal story as a disagreement with your desires and needs. Not the case in any way. More that I was strongly disagreeing with the Gawker guy's argument about the internet needing to be/remain anonymous as a matter of general cultural principle. That one I still don't get.
Even if we disagree, this marvelous international communication tool is (or should I say could be) all about connections. Which if we managed it (meaning ourselves) properly could lead to understanding, rather than increasing the social distance that leads to yet one more reason to see other humans as Them. Witnesses are excellent role models for those connections, seems to me.
EDIT: "I am currently an undergrad seeking interim employment before grad school" -- Yet another valid personal reason for situational anonymity, rather than general cultural principle.
1) makes posting and reading an absolute breeze (one single web page per thread, with no continuation pages -- sounds clunky, but in practice it's really make or break)
2) allows participants to flag posts they think are unfit for the board (unlike our thumbs, the flags are only visible to moderators)
3) allows moderators to impose temporary or permanent bans on users -- "temporary" for good-faith users who get overheated; "permanent" for spammers.
But without many more Milos, it's a long shot
The condition I was born in. And the torrential winds have convinced me to accept.
I've been liking Wrecking Ball a TON. Sound gets your attention, the songs have power. This is the Bruce we love.
I think in an ideal world/internet, we would all be more responsible and less transient with names. But without many more Milos, it's a long shot. I like the optimism though, and I guess I'm doing my part although my picture is CLEARLY Andy Van Slyke!!
Wait a minute...you mean we're arguing about this subject because you're bored? ****, man -- I have most of these records in my hard drive. I'll send them to you.
Okay, excellent point. I'd love some details. How can this be spread around?
I'm far from an expert on this, more of a witness. I will say, though, that unlike other message boards I've seen, ilx runs on proprietary software that 1) makes posting and reading an absolute breeze (one single web page per thread, with no continuation pages -- sounds clunky, but in practice it's really make or break); 2) allows participants to flag posts they think are unfit for the board (unlike our thumbs, the flags are only visible to moderators); and 3) allows moderators to impose temporary or permanent bans on users -- "temporary" for good-faith users who get overheated; "permanent" for spammers. Mods can also lock threads that go off the rails. My impression, though, is things generally run w/o much policing.
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.