Saturday, September 16, 2006

Thank You Falettinme...

Get down Friday night

Stephanie McKay - "Take Me Over" (mp3)
(purchase here)

Allow me to indulge in bloggerdom for a moment to heap praises on my Awesome personal life: thanks to all the homies who showed up for the flophouse fiesta last night. Was especially pleased that the seemingly disparate points of my life could come together, meet and dig each other. Having my hearts in the house was the hands down highlight, as well as meeting a personal hero, but seeing how this is a quasi-music site, here're some music 'ludes of note:

  • Dropping "It's Tricky" and being asked, "Did someone black request this?"
  • Being asked to play something people can dance to. Then being called racist for my selections.
  • Blending Diplo's remix of Madonna's "Hung Up" with "Temperature" and overhearing the response, "Oh, this is a good one."
  • Actually getting my hearts to dance. And that is highest praise...

    Which makes me think, maybe I should start a new section: Overheard from the Booth? Hm...

    Now, I'm all for the days of simple, stoopid party funness. However, time is working against that grain, so gk and I agreed a new dynamic is in order. Look out kids: as the leaves fall and change to shades of grey; as the air begins to bite and tighten your collar; v.4.0 will mean red velvet grown'n sexy. Hardly a couples-only affair, it'll just mean being Duke: in a sophisticated mood. And it'll be a chance to be mice elf when I spin (as opposed to being the dance monkey).

    On that note, I leave you with a preview: some grown tones courtesy Stephanie McKay. Stephanie who? Stephanie McKay, put her in your mouth. Then circulate her tape all through the North, East, West and South. She's put in work with Kwa and Tricky, as well as the circuit with Kelis, Mos and BK Funk Essentials blah blah blah--you get the picture. But dig the Geoff Barrow production on her first outing. Hardly the weepy, goth-hip-hop affair of his other jawns, McKay's 2003 debut and her pending follow-up Tell It Like It Is (early 2007) are about strong woman stands and get your mind right visions.

    Now, what was that about bringing sexy back? Shoot, sexy done been here this entire time...
  • Monday, September 11, 2006

    Variations on a Theme

    Never thought he'd affect so many people? Get sainted.

    David Bowie - "Five Years" (mp3)
    (purchase here)

    "The tiny band... who planned September 11 essentially lucked out. If the testimony... of Al Qaeda's master planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is to be believed, what happened stunned even him... Those two mighty towers came crumbling down in that vast, roiling, near-mushroom cloud of white smoke before the cameras in the fashion of the ultimate Hollywood action film (imagery multiplied in its traumatizing power by thousands of replays over a record-setting more than ninety straight hours of TV coverage). And that imagery fit perfectly the secret expectations of Americans--just as it fit the needs of both Al Qaeda and the Bush Administration."
    ~ Tom Englehardt, "9/11 in a Movie-Made World"

    Five years, and still the same docu-drama.

    One year, and still the same song.

    One year, and still much to do.

    "In the army of love, only the wounded may serve."
    ~ Thornton Wilder

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    So You

    not bad meaning bad...

    Ween - "Tastes Good on th' Bun" (mp3)
    (purchase here)

    I did it again last night. Call it the curse of the educator, call it the paradox of objectivity... or just plain call it talkin' shit about your friends, it deserves an explanation.

    Passing along the Great Santino's mix to cPd, she asked, "How is it?" to which I replied, "It's pretty (him)" ...which sounds backhanded and condescending, yes. And I am also aware that the more accepted "It's good," or "It's bad" are, um, more accepted.

    However, how much do either of those statements convey? And how does positive/negative reinforcement move the conversation along? Thank goodness for analysis of artistic process, otherwise I really wouldn't have shit to say.

    Yes, I liked his tape. I just like talking about why. Because it's so him. Each track speaks to his personality: his passions, his obsessions, and his general Santos-ness. Dude, the nearness of you (mvb, Cursive and unicorn stickers) on magnetic tape: kudos.

    So, today's theme is about celebrating the you in you. And what other band knows itself better than Ween?

    Sure, Dean and Gene Ween have always run the gamut of music history. The group's latest, Shinola, Vol. 1, still reflects this as the 'brothers' channel the Bootsy-on-mescaline Standing in the Shadows of Motown outtake "Boys Club" before sauntering down Abbey Road for "I Fell in Love Today." Perhaps because the record is a rarities collection meant to make the heads go huzzah, the press circuit is trying to play Shinola down as some Ween geek off-piece. Fuck that: the whole record is chock full of their peculiar filter (hash?). Sure, it's a bit syrupy with sentimentality and some tracks run long... though the life observations of "Big Fat Fuck" is pretty spot on for those "I'm never gonna smoke weed again" moments and for my "Why am I fatter than Nicole Richie/Carson from Queer Eye?" peoples. But the gems scream, "Ween!" After all, who else can make a crack about a bum sub, an ass sandwich?

    Ween: stayin' true to they school. Penguin.

    Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    Can't Truss' 'Em?

    even a young mod got time on the mind

    Bob Dylan - "Spirit on the Water" (mp3)
    (purchase here)

    Key tenet of critcism: debunk the cliche. Cliche runs rampant in daily convo. An idea becomes filtered, condensed as a catch phrase that can be repeated with ease. Just keep it (the convo) movin' along, movin'along. So the critic sits in the ivory tower fishing the idea out with a life preserver, resuscitating it with a breath of analysis.

    Rock crits do indeed get all the chicks: and there're a doozy of two floozies to greet you at the door. The first windmills her fist to the tune of "Don't Trust Anyone Over 30." The second doesn't even make eye contact and announces you must be on the list: Presley, Dylan, Bowie... Yet, it's 2006 and half these cats is knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door. What's a poor scribe to do?


    New York is like that card game where the guy moves three cards around and tricks you into thinking the ace is still in the middle (and outta 20 bones). The city gives you the gift of gab -- and at what volume! -- to throw most folks off guard... which gives you the entry point for whatever you want. Trident recalled how his brother, fresh out of being in-city, walked past the line and ran up on the bouncer to holler, "B, am I in??" Pretty Boy Linebacker was so shook that someone would break line, so he let him in. Holly act kinda weird, indeed.

    We return to our regularly scheduled programming: the Clash at NY's Palladium. Paul doesn't get it. Iconic image. It only took 'em another six years to figure it out: Cut the Crap.


    I was not a big Dylan fan. Just not a big fan of the voice. Certainly, he can write for days, but music isn't solely text -- and this ain't no poetry gig. The form remained the same and that's the game. In a word, the spirit didn't move me. Call it being unamerican?

    Of course, it took a trip abroad to come to my senses. One summy summer afternoon, weaving through Toscana in a two-door Peugeot crammed with four sweaty Italian guys, the gorgeous sister of one of them and a couple sixers (talk about exploding the myth), I had my revelation: a greatest hits tape belting a whining fiddle, a sweeping organ and the voices of six kids bending down the highway.

    For me, I found Dylan's spirit not in his voice, but in his vision. It's love, life and rock in wide angle, deep focus. His composition has spanned numerous styles, from documentary to dada, but remained singular. I can almost understand Hilburn's near-annual fellating of the dude. Almost.

    How appropriate a title then for his latest. A reference to a past future vision and a past vision of contemporary (are we past pomo and onto poco now? Un poquito... y una mas, perhaps?), yet that constant fixation. Call it staying the course, a trip down that lane.

    "Spirit on the Water" trots down the old, winding path. He recalls familiar faces, sights that artists will recognize: "I'm wild about you, gal / You oughta be a fool about me." The road is uneven -- a stumbling piano line here, a crackling voice there -- but traversed with devil-may-care grace. Love is in the air, love is still there after all this time. Why? "I take good care of what belongs to me."

    Pay no mind to the ballyhoo or the boos and take a cue from the City. In between are some tunes for those in between days.

    I kinda like Bob.