Pop Heat from Northern Democracies
Teddybears: Devil's Music (Big Beat/Atlantic)
Where the nominally similar Gorillaz are cool and detached, Teddybears want the world and they want it soon. Early in the lead track Eve‑-you remember Eve‑-utters, in fact sings, "I am the robot Elvis rocking my bionic pelvis/I'm Technotronic sipping vodka tonics yeah I'm selfish/I am the Killer shaking up some more rock and roll," at which point a vocodored Patrick Arve, Joakim Ahlund, or (most likely) Klas Ahlund murmurs, "Them drum machines ain't got no soul." Joke or gauntlet? The cheap answer is both, but let's make it gauntlet. Not afraid to be funny because they're having so much fun, Arve-Ahlund-Ahlund are one more electrobeat-wielding Swedish cartel bent on proving that rock and roll proceeds from enlightened capitalism like we had in America before our plutocrats started expanding the national income gap up past Colombia's. As soon as Eve is through, here come B.o.B. exulting about how he's gon' "Get Mama a House," Wayne Coyne having a go at "Crystal Meth Christians," Cee-Lo and the B-52's praising a pussycat who happens to be named "Cho Cha." There's also some unusually cheerful Krautrock and the antidrug "Cardiac Arrest," featuring the Teddybears' close personal business associate Robyn, who's why they got to make another U.S. album. Last one was Soft Machine, 2006. Sounded good then. Now it sounds like rock and roll busy being reborn. A
The Russian Futurists: The Weight's on the Wheels (Upper Class)
Throwing off his electrofuzz duvet, bedroom-pop solitary Matthew Adam Hart ambles over to a handy recording studio, where he dispenses with comforting layers of echo as if he's finally decided to let the obscure objects of his desire understand his intentions. A few tunes do some stretches, and then a young woman decides it's worth her while to look good too. Soon she and Hart are back in the bedroom, but together, spending "the rest of the night under the covers." Hart suffers his usual second thoughts: "I don't even know what it's like to be honest." But the warmth they shared sticks with him. Maybe he's finally decided that in Toronto you need all the warmth you can get. A MINUS
Patrick: I could go with exactly the same first line, but then would have to add --
1. Bob Dylan -- "Mississippi"
I love that song. I like that song. I admire that song. I respect that song. I appreciate that song. I luuurve that song. I loave that song. I luff that song, two F's. I esteem that song greatly. And I nub that song.
1. R. Kelly - "Ignition (Remix)"
(BTW, John Darnielle is a huge fan of the song and started a must-read thread on I Love Music in its honor)
But they wouldn't have understood Bob in a tutu either, which was how he was dressed the first time I saw him.That got me laughing and laughing and laughing, and then I realized you meant Bob Stinson.
I actually have it on good authority that Fleet Foxes will, without warning or prior EW review, appear 8th on the Dean's list...just to mess with Alex's mind.
That's not funny Tatum. Not funny at all.
Don't talk about baseball around Minnesotans like me right now. We get all depressedPlease, I'm an Mariners' fan. I lost count of how many games we've lost by 1-0.
"Frontier Psychiatrist" - The AvalanchesThanks Joey, I'll risk the 99 cents for that one, you haven't steered me wrong so far. As far as Let it Be, wow Minneapolis sure was a hot bed for great music in the mid '80's. Speaking of Minneapolis, I can't get enough of that Hold Steady/Baseball Project Twinkies song. Oops I just called them Twinkies, sorry Craig
I just thought that by using the Jamaica story, you were expressing your own opinion on the choice of music. That was my mistake.
Thanks Jacob, I'm buying that Buck 65 song right now, and KRS One as well. I love the obscure songs you picked. It would easy to just take Bob's list and say ditto, which was still half my list. Those Bush bashing songs on Bob's list are pretty sweet, I have to say. But hey, welcome to the future.
Update: I'd heard Buck 65's "Country Cooking" from the Square cd but hearing the food part as a stand alone song is a definite plus.
I love greatest songs of the 21st century lists! "
The only one I stand by is the first one, which I cannot be wrong about.
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.