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
Congrats to my local Gotye for three Grammys including Record of the Year- the first Aussie since Olivia Newton John to take that gong. Taken a while, but things have improved, if you measure these things by Grammys, which I don't.
Thanks Cam for the Musicares tribute update. A good song list and I look forward to the last act, apparently he is quite good. John, ditto on Sting.
The Neil Young Musicares tribute was actually ok, even if just to see the look of embarassment by the honouree. Most songs survived with the exception of "Harvest Moon" and "Helpless, two songs which deserved better. The Keith Urban/Fogerty "Keep on Rockin' in the Freeworld, kept on rockin'.
PS a longer review of the Neil Young Musicares kept getting eaten up by Clankface.
Dave, those dates i posted are right from the band's Facebook page which currently has 2683 likes. Funny thing is I seem to know about 1000 of those people.
Sadly it looks like I will only make it to the Philadelphia show. Another NYC show will have to wait. They are so popular in Seattle we may get two shows again this summer. Last year's duo show was amazing.
Neil Young, "Born in the U.S.A."- My first thought was "Man, I'd love to hear that". Second thought "No he wasn't"
Sting, "Lonesome Day"- leave it to Sting to do the lousiest one.
Bomba Estereo: "Ponte Bomb": Colombia's ranking electrocumbia crew covers "Pump Up the Jam". Singer Li Saumet has the attitude of ****xis Krauss, with better taste in headwear.
Margaret Berger: "I Feed You My Love": I'm glad Norway respects Eurovision's audience enough to enter something that could conceivably be played in a club. A dimly lit club with vampires and the Argento family lurking in the corners, but I presume they have many of those in Norway.
I was vaguely aware of Musicares (although I should know a lot more about it shouldn’t I?) but evidently they have a person of the year award and Springsteen received it this year. Check out the set list for the ceremony:
Alabama Shakes, "Adam Raised a Cain"
Patti Smith, "Because the Night"
Natalie Maines, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, "Atlantic City"
Ken Casey (from Dropkick Murphys), "American Land"
Mavis Staples and Zac Brown, "My City of Ruins"
Mumford & Sons, "I'm on Fire"
Jackson Brown and Tom Morello, "American Skin (41 Shots)"
Emmylou Harris, "My Hometown"
Kenny Chesney, "One Step Up"
Elton John, "Streets of Philadelphia"
Juanes, "Hungry Heart"
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, "Tougher Than the Rest"
Tom Morello and Jim James, "The Ghost of Tom Joad"
John Legend, "Dancing in the Dark"
Sting, "Lonesome Day"
Neil Young, "Born in the U.S.A."
Bruce Springsteen, "We Take Care of Our Own"
Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello, "Death to My Hometown"
Bruce Springsteen, "Thunder Road"
Bruce Springsteen, "Born to Run"
Bruce Springsteen and friends, "Glory Days"
1) The Maura Johnston piece sangfreud linked to is just terrific
2) Moody is like the primordial Indie Boy, only more talented. He is talented, obviously.
3) Often seems to me that an unacknowledged subtext of this kind of dispute connects to how seriously and literally the commenter takes romantic love. I don't know anything about Moody's personal life and have never wanted to read his fiction, but from what I can gather he makes a great deal of the dysfunctional family. For all her celebrity bubble etc., Swift takes these matters seriously--more than many in the celebrity bubble. This in itself excites Moody's contempt. See: primordial Indie Boy.
Frank Zappa [and the Mothers of Invention, no matter how reluctant the current management is to acknowledge this], *Greasy Love Songs*
Good-to-great-things that had no reason to happen.
And as an extra added bonus, here's another Xgau playlist featuring his own personal Dylan faves.
June 21, 2007 UNCANONICAL DYLAN
Some of my favorite Bob Dylan songs are on albums few play, including me – with the possible exception of 1970’s New Morning, which seems to have gained admirers lately, and which is the vintage Dylan album I’ve played the most over the past few years. We’ll see when/if the same ever happens to 1990’s Under the Red Sky, which deserves much better than the opprobrium it usually receives.
Catfish BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 1-3
Day of the Locusts NEW MORNING
Most Likely You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine (live) BEFORE THE FLOOD
It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (alt.) BOOTLEG SERIES VOL 1-3
Wiggle Wiggle UNDER THE RED SKY
On a Night Like This PLANET WAVES
Tough Mama PLANET WAVES
Blood in My Eyes WORLD GONE WRONG
Wedding Song PLANET WAVES
Winterlude NEW MORNING
One More Weekend NEW MORNING
Quit Your Lowdown Ways BOOTLEG SERIES VOL 1-3
My Blue Eyed Jane SONGS OF JIMMIE RODGERS
Call Letter Blues BOOTLEG SERIES VOL 1-3
Blind Willie McTell BOOTLEG SERIES VOL 1-3
Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie BOOTLEG SERIES VOL 1-3
Knockin on Heavens Door (live) UNPLUGGED
Brownsville Girl GREATEST HITS VOL 3
If Dogs Run Free NEW MORNING
JeffC, here's Xgau's playlist of his edited version of Dylan's Tell Tale Signs. I play this CD-R often.
Herewith, an attempt to make listening sense of Bob Dylan’s Tell Tale Signs (Bootleg Series Vol. 8), which like any outtakes collection ain’t exactly unalloyed genius front to back. My biggest regret being unable to access the very tuneful but, on the A version, oversung and overproduced “Born in Time.” The alternate is on a bonus disc not made available to Rhapsody – or to any consumer reluctant to lay out an extra hundred bucks for a geegaw-bedecked “deluxe edition.”
Mississippi (unreleased, Time out of Mind, 1997) 6:03
Miss the Mississippi (unreleased 1992) 3:20
Red River Shore (unreleased, Time Out of Mind, 1997) 7:36
Series of Dreams (unreleased, Oh Mercy, 1989) 6:27
God Knows (unreleased, Oh Mercy, 1989) 3:12
Born in Time (unreleased version # 2, Oh Mercy, 1989) 4:19 (only available on Disc 3 of Deluxe Version of Tell Tale Signs)
Marchin’ to the City (unreleased, Time Out of Mind, 1997) 6:36
Huck’s Tune (from Lucky You OST, ) 4:09
Can’t Escape from You (unreleased, 2005) 5:22
Dignity (piano demo, Oh Mercy, 1989) 2:09
Dignity (unreleased, Oh Mercy, 1989) 5:25
Lonesome Day Blues (live, Sunrise FL 2/1/02) 7:37
High Water (for Charlie Patton) (live, Niagara Falls, Ontario 8/23/03) 6:40
p.s.: I wanted to leave the "everyone" out of my 3rd to last line since that's so patently stupid as to default his critic's credentials all by itself. Ever seen those lists of least favorite composers on ultra-high brow classical music sites? The famous are not unanimously admired. But since he included it in his point, the logic would have eroded in mine if I had left it out. Still, it's wrong.
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.