Gold Panda/Standard Fare
Gold Panda: Lucky Shiner (Ghostly International)
Pieced together by a London DJ while he dogsat for relatives in an Essex village over Christmas 2009, this begins with "You," the most fetching piece of glitch-hop I heard in 2010. Belonged on my singles list, I realized too late: after a here-and-gone intro that resembles the door-slam sound on an email program, one or two notes in three differently-voiced but similarly-paced 16-note plates advance over varied beats. If that sounds too simple, well, (a) it isn't and (b) that's the way great singles are sometimes (though you can skip the remix EP). After I got over my high I began to feel the rest of the album was a letdown, but far from it‑-just lesser variations on his trick of deploying short samples as beats without settling for staccato. Kind of like in rock and roll even if you'd never know it to listen to it‑-only to think about it. A MINUS
Standard Fare: The Noyelle Beat (Bar/None)
A staunch supporter of staunch voices, I can still see why Sheffield lass Emma Kupa might get on gauze fans' nerves. No kid at 27, she's so confident, so sensible, so relentlessly upbeat about avowedly autobiographical relationships that sure sound flawed from here. Maybe that's the ironic point. Maybe the point is that her provincial positivity will triumph over the petty difficulties she strives so bravely to put behind her. Or maybe she hasn't thought about it that much. Melodically and rhythmically, the two male musicians behind her provide the support she may deserve and definitely needs. A MINUS
You're right Bob, it ain't Solid Gold. However, it would have been a lot closer had they put the 2008 single "Second Life" at the end, as they did on the vinyl, 50 dollar box, etc. If I'm pumping it up, it's because I'm a little chargrined at how the record has been dismissed by Pitchfork, and all the other usual suspects.
Not to dodge the Go$, oops not a cap, Go4 discussion, but before I hit the hay I have to say out loud how much I desperately love "Little Lungs" by Kate Cooper and An Horse. How it starts scattered, fragile and angry, barely hanging on, moves through friends' good advice, and ends with the simple personal acts of breathing and concentration which turn into the resolute power of self-determined mindfulness.
"With little lungs we breathe." Sometimes that's all we got. Most of the time that's all we need.
1. The Gang of Four have always straddled the irony line with their anti-capitalist rhetoric -- I mean come on, they were on Warner Bros. Don't think they weren't totally aware of this, and don't think they didn't revel in it. This self-conscious irony, very British of course, is crucial to their appeal. This also separates them from the dorks in Rage Against the Machine.
2. The X-box commercial that features "Natural's Not in It" reminds me of the Beatles' "Revolution" appearing in a Nike commercial -- in a hundred years, who is going to know or care? The difference is: Michael Jackson didn't need the money. On the other hand, indie artists really do want to make a living too, you know...maybe get their music heard? I say, who cares?
3. The new record is much better than anyone is giving it credit for. Then again, no one liked Solid Gold when it was first released either. The medium is the message, and I say their message rocks.
I probably haven't heard "Green Manalishi" for 40 years, or thought about it for 38 and 1/2, but for 99 cents, it's as hot as I remember. When FM rock was new, it was a staple. Thanks STB.
How am I supposed to buy toothpaste, by the bucket? I only have 32 teeth.
If "Capital (It Fails Us Now)" was in a Goldman-Sachs ad, it might be a somewhat uncomfortable fit. But those are pretty high standards to hold anybody to. I mean, I probably indirectly cause the death of a dozen Third World peasants every time I go grocery-shopping. And don't be too sure about whatever machine you're typing your posts on.
Ted Nugent in a PETA commercial.
Please God, please!!!!
EDIT: Just FTR, that's a diss on Nugent. Just FTR.
GMort - *L* Yeah, I'm not exactly sure why I ended up putting Kate Nash's 2nd album on my want list, seeing as how I didn't like the first one. I think it's supposed to be punkier?
Cam - If you make the accumulation of capital your reason for existing, it will fail you (note: I have no idea if that is what Gof4 had in mind).
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.