Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Meyhem Lauren and Soul 7

I reviewed Meyhem Lauren's "Respect the Fly Shit" this week at RapReviews. He's got a dirty mouth, but the man can rap, and has solid production behind him.

I reviwed the Soul 7 Comp two weeks ago. I'm a fan.

Listening to a lot of Rolling Stones and Beatles.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Random Thoughts

I'm supposed to be either packing or writing a midterm or writing the first two chapters of my capstone project right now, but instead I will share these random thoughts.

1. Bikini Kill's Reject All American is one of the best punk albums ever, right up there with the first Ramones album, Minor Threat's discography, Black Flag's Damaged, the Subhumans From The Cradle To the Grave, Operation Ivy's discography, Jawbreaker's 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, and X's Los Angeles.

Need proof? Listen to "Capri Pants."

2. Mayhem Lauren is one of the better young rappers I've heard in a while, only he's almost too dirty for me.I've never been into X-rated rhymes, and he has several songs in which his sexual adventures are described in pornographic detail.

3.As part of my new initiative to listen to entire pieces of music rather than just snippets,  I've been listening to Steven Reich's "Music For 18 Musicians." It has a wonderful hypnotic quality.

4. I've also been listening to William Basinksi's "Disintegration Loop." It's loops of music he had recorded on audio tape that started to fall apart as he tried to record it to a CD. I believe this video is from the rooftop of his friend's apartment where they listened to it as the sun set on 9/11, with the song become this eulogy to the surreal and horrible experience of that day. It's haunting and mesmerizing, although not so much that I've ever managed to listen to all 60 minutes of it.

5. I watched part of "Basquiat" last night, Julian Schnabel's biopic. It was fugging terrible. I'd recommend you watch "Downtown 80" instead to get a real look at him.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

The White Album

I just bought a used copy of the new reissue of the Beatles' 1968 White Album. I've never owned or listened to the entire album before. For a while I had a cassette in which I cherry picked the songs I liked on to one side. It's an amazing album, if totally incohesive. It contains some of their most beautiful songs, like "Dear Prudence," "Blackbird," and "Julia." It contains some of their heaviest songs, like "Yer Blues" and "Helter Skelter." It contains some really weird shit, like "Revolution 9" and "Wild Honey Pie." And it contains some of my favorite songs, like "I'm So Tired."

The Beatles were one of the first bands I ever listened to and loved. I remember listening to my mother's copy of Meet the Beatles when I was in first grade. It's amazing how much they changed in their brief lifespan. In seven years they went from the teeny-bop of "Love Me Do" to the psychedelic weirdness of "I Am the Walrus" to the heavy rock of "Get Back." A lot of it was the times: their trajectory followed the trajectory of popular culture, but I'm not sure how much of that was them following the trends or setting them. My only real problem with the Beatles is that I've heard their songs so much I frankly get sick of them. Which is why it's nice to rediscover their later material, which I have not had as much exposure to. Listening to them is like listening to home: comforting, familiar, sweet, and also dysfunctional and a little discordant.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Maundz Review

I reviewed Aussie rapper Maundz's Zero on RapReviews this week. Aggressive rap in the vein of Jedi Mind Tricks. Good for what it is, but not my thing.

In other news, Stones Throw's reissue label Now Again records started a subscription service. I just joined and got the Witch box set and two funk/soul collections. "Introduction" has become my new theme song.

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