Generation Bass Presents: Transnational Dubstep (Six Degrees)
In 1994 Wax Trax' Ethnotechno proved a politely polyrhythmic techno reachout to straightforward international dance musics it secretly found quaint. It listened well and stuck poorly, the "ethnotechno" tag itself its main contribution to international understanding. Conceived, assigned, and sequenced by DJ Umb, the London-born son of Kashmiri exiles who promotes such all-embracing terms as "transnational bass" at his Generation Bass blog, this array of whomping exotica reflects its creator's appetite for any Third World dance movement he can get his ears on, including such new ones on me as kuduro, barefoot, and--from the mysterious depths of the District of Columbia--Moombahton! Plus, of course, the bassy evolution of techno beatmaking since 1994. Speaking as someone who will never enter a barefoot club (my doctor prescribed those orthotics, dammit), I hereby extend my thanks to whoever invented that shuddering synth low end that turns background music into foreground fun without requiring you to kiss your ass goodbye. And I also testify that not a damn thing here sounds quaint. Which is to make no predictions as to how any of them will sound 17 years from now. A MINUS
Yuck: Yuck (Fat Possum)
These four Brits are compared to so many '80s-'90s bands you should figure they don't sound much like any of them‑-and that they recall every one more than they do such modern tunemongers as Best Coast or Sleigh Bells. But in the end modern tunemongers is how they sort out, Amerindie-style because guitars stopped being indie over there before Oasis broke. Adding a wistful variation on Best Coast's forlorn romanticism to a sunstruck variation on Sleigh Bells' principled distortion, they seem like nice kids with talent who may have the spiritual wherewithal to stop vaguing out and go somewhere. A MINUS
Finished "The Year Before the Flood" this evening. Had to pull "Cuba and Its Music" off the shelf to make room for the new book in the permanent collection. I really need to organize my bookshelf this year and unload some books to make room for new stuff. Or I could just buy the Kindle now instead of later. Later, I think. Look forward to rereading the Cuba book.
Tonight's listening included:
George Jones: My Favorites of Hank Williams (Liberty)
Otis Redding: The Dock of the Bay (Atco 1968)
Madonna: You Can Dance (Sire 1987)
I play George often so that one was no surprise. I love that album as much as any Hank. The Otis hadn't been played in a while and I think it's one of his weakest albums. I believe Steve Cropper compiled it from the vaults so they could issue an album to go with Otis' last great single. A few great tracks (Don't Mess with Cupid, Tramp) but Tramp and Ole Man Trouble were on earlier albums. Overall, I'd give Otis' Dock of the Bay album a B+ at best. My girlfriend had the CD edition of Madonna's You Can Dance in her collection so I played that and loved it. Even the extra remixes (CD bonus tracks) were great.
(What, you miserable pile of microchips? Mentioning the artwork of the person who recorded Blue gets your post classified as spam? Yuck, indeed.)
do you recall the "Grand Inquisitor" chapterIn the running for the finest piece of prose ever made. Anybody whose mind isn't erased reading it for the first time is only dreaming they're reading it.
I'd explain my don't apologize philosophy further and it has something to do with "on the internet, nobody knows you're a dog, or Caliban," but it's just my philosophy (on line, with those I consider strangers) not any sort of recommendation for anybody to follow.
Leonard thinks that Dickens "deserved" better than Nabokov's opinion of him. (????) Also, considering that Nabokov penned a book about a child molester and another about incestuous twins, I don't think he had much of a problem with the "carnal."I think he meant a "better analysis of his work," though that sentence is a bit short-handy. As to the second, that was Leonard's point: Nabokov writes about monsters and monstrous acts himself, yet he jumps on a chair, hikes up his skirts and starts screaming when Doshtoyeffsky and others he disapproves of do it.
Michael: After fifty-two years of living here, I still don't understand the South, but it's too late to stop trying. Still, give me a full tank of gas and a stack of new cds, and I'm always up for a summer roadtrip...
I'm laughing so hard I'm pounding my palm on the desk, Blair. Make it stoooooooooop!!!
EDIT: I apologize for how this was worded previously. I re-read it this morning and was shocked at how differently it read from what I had intended. I should just have gone with the more traditional FOTFLMAO rather than try to be clever. Thanks for "The Jerk" quotes Blair, they are hilarious. Too bad I f'd this up before we got to his "Special Purpose".
Cam: Please don't change, not on that one. I've been quiet so far on this topic but now have to go back to a quote attributed to Aristotle: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is carrying a heavy burden."
I've found it to be true and therefore worth observing. If my cost-free genuine apology makes your daily load a little lighter, what possibly could stop me.
I've heard the "don't apologize" idea in several different forms and don't much care for it no matter how it's phrased, I have to say.
Remember that scene in "The Jerk" where Steve Martin jumps around like a goof, flapping his arms and saying, "The new phone books are out! The new phone books are out!"
That's me right now >>> "Alex is back! Alex is back!"
I vaguely recall that weird noise you described! I can't place it, but do recall getting off on it. I haven't listened to that album in over six years since I gave it and about 100 of my less desired albums to this former Bee Gee's engineer and co-worker of mine.
I've got the new TVOTR queued up! Can't wait to hear it!
And some inspirational excerpted Auden I found in a poetry book of mine:
"The nightingales are sobbing in
The orchards of our mothers,
And hearts that we broke long ago
Have long been breaking others;
Tears are round, the sea is deep:
Roll them overboard and sleep."
from "Song of the Master and Boatswain"
Cam -- though I legitimately appreciated the advice (or at least the way it was put) when it appeared the first time, my reappropriation of it here was for a cheap and probably ill-mannered laff. (Sorry.) My own view is that there's no harm in indulging the urge to apologize, and the person receiving has every right to take it or refuse it on grounds of insincerity/insufficiency/however they're feeling that day. (Sorry again.)
Alex -- so glad you're back. I'll have you know I was asked to check up on you several times when you were M.I.A. (and you were recording Maya).
Joe Levy -- so glad everytime you show up.
Cam -- How come you and Jeff live on the east coast?
It's a sad, sad situation! And it seems to get more and more ab-zurd! Sorry seems to be the hardest word...to say in an online chat discussion.
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.