Himanshu/Tha Grimm Teachaz
Himanshu: Nehru Jackets (free download)
Following his partner Kool A.D.'s more scattered Palm Wine Drinkard mixtape by just a few weeks, Das Racist's Heems comes up with a free album highlighted by two songs as strong as anything on Relax: "Womyn," a theological codicil to the devotional "Booty in the Air," and "NYC Cops," a brutal, fact-filled catalogue of people of color dead by peace officer. It dips in the middle, and though the PSAs from Ravi Shankar and, if I'm not mistaken, the late great Jocko Henderson sustain themselves, the up-and-comer cameos‑-Action Bronson, Danny Brown, Mr. Muthafuckin Ed, Puerile Gambino‑-make you wish the new veteran would jump back in. And then, starting with the quasi-autobiographical "Desi Shoegaze Taiko" two thirds of the way in, the material rights itself so smartly you'd think he could do this forever. So remember that he can't and get it while you can. A MINUS
Tha Grimm Teachaz: There's a Situation on the Homefront (Breakfast)
Dennehy: The Prequel‑-the newly unearthed 1993 album by KDz and his buddy PMDF, later known as Serengeti's phone repairman pal Kenny Dennis and Serengeti's partner in hip-hop-twice-removed Hi-Fidel. It's a typically elaborate joke about the silliness of what some now romanticize as rap's golden age, with its funk loops and Hiroshima-meaner-Regina-schemer-carpet cleaner-Pasadena-Beemer-Ipanema rhymes. Yet as always with Serengeti, it's filled with affection for the things it mocks. A mite specialized, sure. But funny, musical, and also warm. A MINUS
Well done Joey!
'Young professionals on the margins of the art, publishing, and design world?'
I was, and know a lot of people, who'd fall in this category. They are not hipsters (at least, not by image association, by and large).
'The youngsters who hang out at the Intelligentsia coffee shop on Clark St. in Chicago, go to art galleries on Friday—not entirely for the free Two-Buck Chuck (they also look at the art)—and listen to too much Grizzly Bear, are neither trashy, and, if anything, are all too sincere.'
These are borderline. (And, by your description, I think you know that.)
In fact, I've been so busy so often lately that I was reminded of something: the very fact of my busy-ness, in retrospect, is essentially what got me into the Dean's record reviews in the first place. Unlike some of ya'll, whom I envy, I seldom have the time, and never the dough, to pick up and evaluate records on my own—that is, without a recommendation from somebody trustworthy. Hell, I seldom even have time to comment here, which I sincerely wish wasn't the case. But somewhere along the way a few years ago I realized I agreed very often with the judgment of a guy who wrote about and listened to music more or less like a mad scientist—and that made things a whole lot easier for me.
Of course, that also means my top tens at the end of each month tend to look pretty similar to our host's (a "coincidence," no doubt, one or two misguided local wiseguys would call sycophancy), not because I like everything I hear but because very often what Xgau recommends is almost all I hear—aside from the myriad classical recordings my girlfriend has introduced me to. I guess the point I'm babbling toward is that some of us who crave great music simply don't have schedules that permit us the time to search for and rigorously evaluate records, and so we're grateful to entrust that task to someone who is damn good at it. Duh, ultimately we form our own evaluations of whatever we hear, but Xgau's insights often pave the way for my own. Dunno about you, but I'm fine with that.
Thanks, Bob (and Cam, Milo, Irene, Nicky, Joey, Ryan, and all the rest of you folks with ears approximately as sharp as your pens), for shedding light on sounds that I for one probably would have blissfully ignored were it not for your dedicated efforts. Ain't nothing like a good song.
Do we really need this definition of hipster?
Do we really need this definition of hipster? I mean, surely we all know what a hipster is (at least, a modern one).
God, hipster is such an easy one—it blows my mind
I'm happy to announce that as of about 6pm yesterday, we are fully funded on our campaign to launch Best Music Writing as an indie press! Thank you so much for your support. It's been amazing to see all the blog posts, Tweets, and emails in support of the book, and we promise to get it you with the highest quality and on time this September!
Our funding will cover the editorial board, guest editor, and reprint rights for authors, which means the book will be mostly made, but of course we could always use a little padding for our designers, web set up fees, and...labor...so if you could post a final push this evening through your Facebook, Twitter, or other networks, we'd really appreciate it.
'See, mind-reading is a superpower I do not possess, so my default position is to assume, that people like, what they say they like. Plus, it is my firm belief, that there is less than nothing to be gained, by pretending to enjoy music you don't like.'
I didn't say that. Someone said they like non-mainstream stuff, which is usually not the case. There are just things that are cool enough for hipsters to like; mainstream rarely has anything to do with it (EG, I'm pretty sure My Dark, Beautiful, Twisted Fantasy is hipster juice—not that it matters). IE, a lot of hipster-ish albums are quite well known. IE, there is a lot more to it than just mainstream/non-mainstream, which is a cliché about hipsterdom.
The new M.I.A. single is streaming at they-are-good-for-something Pitchfork. It's called "Bad Girls" and it's about Lana Del Rey. Actually, it's a remake of a Vicki Leekx snippet.
What is Xgau's highest finisher that you just didn't "get?"
I long to live in a world where will be judged by the content of our characters, rather than the obscurity of our record collections.Screw that. I'm an a**hole with a decent record collection.
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.