Not just beatmakers
Lisbon-based, Angola-born DJ-beatmaker Pedro Coquenao had made a project of melding bassy modern electrobeats with the older Angolan pop that is close kin, just ask Angola-born Sam Mangwana, to the older pop generated in Kinshasa 350 miles north. So my first thought was soukous update. But in fact guitars are sparse. Instead Coquenao updates kudoro, tr. "hard-ass," an Angolan electro that pushes the beats way forward the way soca does in Trinidad. Because his tastes in this dance music run melodic, however, the update is retro-nuevo in flavor. And his thing for strong lyrics makes a difference vocally and texturally whether you know the language or not. A MINUS
Diplo: Express Yourself (Mad Decent)
It is a fate toward which all producers converge to be only as good as their frontpeople. So give it up to My Name Is Kay on "No Problem" and especially Sabi on the woozily provocative "Barely Standing"‑-both dubstep-identified, some would note, but I'm dubious‑-for lifting this six-song EP off its indubitably excellent beats. Of which the most self-sustaining are the moombahton "Butters Theme" and yet another in the long line of unclassifiable oddities that bear the title "Set It Off." B PLUS
That sounds like a term used by a gang of roving bullies as it picks out targets. :)
They can often be a source of inspiration (ExWit), although indeed much more often and elsewhere a source of amusement / a welcome rejoinder to a hypocritical article / a useful way of drawing some kind of consensus on a topic as long as you take into account the website's readership.
I always read at least the first one or two comments of every online article I read. If the top comment doesn't really register with me, or make me look at the article in a new way, or make me laugh- then yeah, waste of time. And yeah, you could lament the passing of the authoritative determinism of an untouchable article, but you could also not. If you're going to put your big pungent opinion out in the open air of the reverberating web, then you've got to learn to love it.
Furthermore I feel that the Internet has far longer been the realm and refuge of hackers/trolls/gamers/nerds/wankers than it has been of erudite commentators, and if you don't like the turf, well...
Jeff, I know pretty much zip about Australian Rockabilly. When I first came here from the UK as a little tacker back in '78, Johnny O'keefe had just died. He was Australia's original rock and roller and his late 50's string of hits including "Wild One". His life went in a familiar downward drug and alcohol spiral from the early 60's to his death at only 43.
I have asked a few friends about Australian Rockabilly and apparently there are music clubs around the Country where the genre is alive and kicking. vicrock.com.au may be a good place to start. Also, Toby Creswell, a respected music journo, has written considerably on Australian music over the past 40 years including "Adventures in Rock and Roll 1957- now (1999). He would be a terrific contact. His book, "1001 songs- The Great Songs of All Time" I treasure greatly and recommend to all bloggers here.
Forgive me if anyone here has brought this up before, but fellow fans of the Jazz Satellites: Electrification comp should know that a Vol. 2 was put together but never released. You can see the artwork and track listing by g00gling the following: kozmigroov jazz satellites ii
(presumably the links to digital files are expired - but if anyone can track those down, please let us know!)
EDIT: turns out yanojo mentioned Jazz Satellites 2 way back in the Club Hits/Taylor Swift thread, but I'll leave this here anyway for Witnesses who weren't around at the time.
There's many things that suck about not having a major media outlet where you Have To Be On Top of the Zeitgeist, but the one aspect I'm always grateful to be without is having to say something about every big deal that comes down the pike. I can't get worked up one way or the other about Beyonce. She seems cut from a standard pop-diva mold, so I enjoy when I want and ignore when I don't. Now, if I had to pay as much attention to her as I would need to Be On Top of the Zeitgeist, I might very well soon slip into a very polarized attitude, one way or the other. Or at least spend far more time than I truly desire to find out exactly what I think of her and her work. So I'm glad to let somebody else do that and will enjoy reading Beyonce commentary when I want and ignore when I don't.
In other news, got sent a very-ry interesting looking book called *The Mistakes of Yesterday, the Hopes of Tomorrow: The Story of the Prisonaires* by John Dougan as part of the Umass Press series on American Popular Music (Jeff Melnick a series co-editor). I will be in touch with the publicist so the volumes can go right to me instead of taking a detour through Philadelphia, which guarantees I will get them late. (I mean, after all, the Prisonaires are as interesting a topic as the rise of rock criticism!)
It's also a real bummer that she has to follow the "never, ever read the comments" dictum. I so wish for her an audience much like the one Xgau's got here.
Dawn? Decadence? Little of each?
GOOGLE: columbia magazine the unedited man
Long time fan and first time poster here, following up to Christgau’s comments on Pamelo Mounk’a: “In the fall of 1982 my friend Sue Stewart took me to an African disco in Soho, London. The DJ played five or six songs that sounded real fine, then put on something by this Congo-Brazzaville soukous veteran, I know not what. I jumped, I raved, I gibbered. Six months later Sue brought me a copy of Mounk'a's Propulsion!, on French Sonics, thirty-plus minutes of soukous whose understated floodtide grew into my groove record of the year. Utilizing my scanty research facilities, I determined that Mounk'a's most famous song was the niftily entitled "L'Argent Appelle l'Argent," with an album of the same name attached. I never found it, to my knowledge never even heard it: never saw Propulsion! anywhere else either.”
Spent a long time looking for “Propulsion” and whatever it was that caught Christgau’s ear and body that night. I found “Propulsion” a few years ago and perhaps the other music he mentioned. It certainly moves me and my wife in any case. “Propulsion” is available on Amazon as an mp3 download from the Mounk’a collection “L’Essential” (tracks 5-8), or you can make a terrific Pamelo Mounk’a best of (includes three quarters of “Propulsion”) for only $9.90. Gorgeous love songs in French and Bantu just in time for Valentine’s Day.
PAMELO MOUNK’A – Best of the Eddy Gustave Productions
1. Lucie from "L’Indispensable”
2. Ca Ne Se Prete Pas from “L’Incontournable”
3. Amour Quand Tu me Prends from “L’Indispensable”
4. Ce N'est Que Ma Secretaire from “L’Indispensable”
5. Burla Yayi Mambu from “L’Indispensable”
6. Samantha Fille D'un Autre Pays from “L’Indispensable”
7. L'Argent Appelle L'Argent from “L’Essential”
8. Laisse Toi Vivre Mamouni from “L’Essential”
9. Yhiayhia Dzellat from “L’Essential”
10. Mariaker from “L’Essential”
As regards the Grammys and other awards shows-
thank god for the greatest invention ever-the fast forward button.
Particularly for the Grammys-where mediocrity is rewarded at
every turn-however well meaning. I mean it's music, right?
Brubeck thing wasn't half bad though.
Thanks in advance!
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.