Big Baby Gandhi
Smart Dumb Kid's Progress
Big Baby Gandhi: Big Fucking Baby (free download)
Like his patron Heems, this Bangladeshi-American is from the part of Flushing "where the smart kids act dumb and the dumb kids act dumb." He just acts dumb in a smart way. You could say his lo-fi debut favors degraded rhythm samples and soprano voices, only from the boat-rocking "Been Around Ya Girl" to the deep-soul "Summertime Thing" to the Indian-children's-song-plus-keyboard(???)-loop "Woof Woof" you'd be missing a lot. The flow seems effortlessly idiomatic, only not South Asian idiomatic, whatever that would sound like besides Heems. The rhymes bespeak a brainy slacker with an analysis underway, only he's watched so much porn and heard so much hip-hop that he's dumber than need be about sex. Here he's all "she's chokin' just hopin' to provoke a nut," there he's telling her he was only kidding about that handjob. Figure by now he's here and there both. He is a kind of famous rapper, after all. A MINUS
Big Baby Gandhi: No1 2 Look Up 2 (free Greedhead mixtape)
"Terrorist with no turban/Lyricist with no sermon," he admits he'll be proud to graduate from college and with the help of two resourceful young beatmakers I never heard of cleans up his production like he's ready to go pro. But for all his "Get $$$," he hasn't quite managed it yet. He's still a kid getting his thoughts together one surprise rhyme at a time, weeding out enough sex and dope to make room for a holy Bollywood "Long Ass Intro," a law-abiding uncle who kept him out of the army, a joke he jacked from Fall Out Boy, and other evidence of grown manhood. A MINUS
Also, I continue to pump Bruce Sterling.
Then there's the unpublished science-fiction novel by my favorite female writer.
And that's coming from someone who would lick the bottom of Stephin Merritt's feet clean (if he wanted me to).
Nicki Minaj shoved her Philip K. Dick in my face.
Now there's a funny image (esp. with his little beard-head on the end). But yeah, like they say, when sci-fi failed to predict computers its future was all over.
I do think that nowadays a visionary director (del Toro maybe?) could do a ripping version of Ted Sturgeon's More Than Human.
I read a great deal of science fiction when I was young. But I wouldn't read any now even if Nicki Minaj shoved her Philip K. Dick in my face.
Edit: unless J.G. Ballard counts. Probably not, but worth mentioning.
Milo, glad to know of a fellow enthusiast for The Stuffed Owl.
I swiped the quote from Am*z*n, but I do have a copy somewhere. I would also plug W.H. Auden's collection of light verse as a lotta fun pentameter.
I'm off to Manchester for the day tomorrow. It's a great place for record buying, but I might not have much chance because I'm going to a match in Old Trafford right in the middle of opening hours (game is on 1.30 to c. 3.30, my favourite two shops are only open 12 to 5 on Sundays).
Tonight's Ar an Imeall now at http://i.mixcloud.com/CBPriJ
More music from 20 years ago, 1992: REM, Prince, A House, Bikini Kill, Public Enemy, Nirvana, George Jones. I couldn't play my favourite Prince song from the squiggle album (before Prince himself became squiggle), which is "Sexy MF", because there are too many bad words.
Speaking of Chris Monsen, my archival efforts pale into insignificance compared to his marvellous 1984 project, well worth checking out if you haven't already: http://bit.ly/l1brRK
"It would seem at a hasty glance that to make an anthology of Bad Verse is on the whole a simple matter . . . On the contrary . . . Bad Verse has its canons, like Good Verse. There is bad Bad Verse and good Bad Verse. It has been the constant preoccupation of the compilers to include in this book chiefly good Bad Verse."
Four friends in Monte Carlo for a luxurious girls’ vacation find themselves in prison, accused of a crime.
A happy and successful Hollywood director discovers that someone is embezzling large sums of her money.
Peter Knight pursues a murderer who is trying to destroy the London Olympics.
A teacher travels back to 1958 by way of a time portal in a Maine diner. His assignment is to stop Lee Harvey Oswald.
On the subject of recently silent Witnesses, I was wondering where my fellow Europeans had gone - Ioannis? Walter? Ziggy? Chris Monsen? [Edit: I see from Chris's website he's on "hiatus" but will be back soon.] At least Alex is back. Hope everyone is OK. The other Liam from Australia has also been quiet of late.
Bad art can have its rewards, but it's probably better at poem length rather than novel length (cf The Stuffed Owl anthology, which is pretty funny I think).
Milo: the bad-is-good sensibility to which you refer is called camp.
Hey, I've read Susan Sontag and I'm not so sure that's exactly what I mean. I think of bad Dolly Parton as camp or maybe Celine Dion (though Carl Wilson is talking me into thinking she's more schmaltz) or inept hair metal. Stuff that's around a C- or a D+. Stuff like the Shaggs, lowest rungs of lounge, the E albums out there -- I think of them as garbage, not camp fodder.
Or, lemme put it this way: any bad art can be camp, but not just any bad art.
I think you're right why more folks wallow in bad music than bad lit, though.
What are these novels?
Here's a Top 10 list by an expert --
look up "Robin Ince's Top 10 truly bad books"
Here's a guide to writing bad novels --
look up "How to Write Bad Novels"
WTF Clankface -- links are now verboten??
What are these novels?
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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