Tag Archives: on random play

So the new Justice album…

21 Oct

Audio Video Disco seems to take an array of unhip influences such as AC-DC, The Alan Parsons Project, Yngwie Malmsteen and attempts to fuck them into Daft Punk records. Surprisingly the album works because it forgets the rules of Moroder and turns their french disco into something that could easily be soundtracking Tron and the denouement performance in Revenge of The Nerds.

But, seriously it’s kind of a good album, I found myself actually enjoying the experience, there’s some earnestness within all that grandiose cheese and quite frankly any band that tries to make their synths sound different deserves respect in this Foster the People(yes they really are the Jesus Jones of modern times) laden dancefloor era.

For a band that could’ve written themselves into irrelevant…I find myself willing to vouch for Justice’s ability to bring the good times. Will it just napalm the dance floor? Probably not. That may be exactly why I like it…But, then again like the creators of this album I also have an array of Yngwie and Alan Parsons on my iTunes.

On Random Play: Bass Drum Of Death-GB City

1 Sep

Simple effective rock and roll. Wheel not reinvented though. No synthesizers appearing=victory and points in its favor. I like the band, it’s a perfect compliment to your already ballooning collection of Japandroid and Wavves albums. I could prattle on, but I’m doin this Christgau style. If you are seriously tired of the current synth-pop badness, you should get it.

Best Track:Heartbreak Kid

Revisiting:Nirvana Unplugged

28 Jul

On Spotify I have been hearing a smattering of tunes all of which pop up from random instincts within my brain, such is the pain and pleasure of having an immense database of music at your disposal. At 4am I found myself listening to Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged album for the first time in years.(which yes of course I own, but Spotify makes it easy to just pull stuff up!) I’m not sure why it’s been so long, it’s not that I haven’t heard Nirvana, maybe I just felt that it had been superseded by the recent release of their legendary set at the Reading festival. I mean that album IS Nirvana personified. Three chords at their loudest, all of the hits up to that point, charismatic perilous vocals by Kurt Cobain, and the energy of a nuclear crowd and a band hungry to prove themselves. This one Reading album makes up for the array of posthumously assembled compilations and box sets and is a necessary addition to any collection of Nirvana and rock and roll in general.
However what about the first posthumous release, Unplugged? I mean obviously everyone saw the special on loop after Cobain’s unfortunate suicide and they released 4 or 5 singles/videos of the performance. Everyone’s certainly heard the album, but listening to it again I never realized how jarring this album actually is. By jarring I don’t mean the typical spiraling cacophony of the band’s sound, it’s more about the choices made by the band itself for this special.
For example, looking at the actual album and program, there are indeed Cobain originals such as Something In The Way, About A Girl, Come As You Are, but there is a deliberate lack of hits on the album. No Heart Shaped Box? No Smells Like Teen Spirit? No Lithium? For the Nirvana newbie this album gives no impression of what the band really embodied…
And yet it is the immense(in stature and number) array of covers that have caused this album to cast a long shadow over the whole band’s discography. Where Did You Sleep Last Night(In The Pines), Man Who Sold The World, a troika of songs by the Meat Puppets all stand as monuments to the brilliance of Kurt Cobain the artist, singer and rock star. It takes balls to say, we’re doing a Lead Belly song, fuck doing another performance of Serve The Servants. Or In Bloom, it could sound good on acoustic, but not as awesome as Lake Of Fire! It’s a total rock star move that had to have the producers freaking out and only adds to the band’s legend.
Of course if you remember this performance well, you’ll notice how I haven’t mention the band’s cover of The Vaselines’ Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam. Now I love the Vaselines original, but hearing the Nirvana cover of this song again shook me. I’ve heard it hundreds of times since 1994, but yet it shook me up. Maybe it had just been so long since I had heard it, but it drove me to find the original performance on youtube to remember how it all really went down, how they looked. I hadn’t done it with any of the other songs, but this one I needed to see.
There was Kurt Cobain aged 26, bleached and comfortable in a swiveling office chair guitar slung over his lap. His face both pained and comfortable with his reading of the dour song. He never had a chance to look any different, he was gone in less than a year.
Krist Novoselic is on accordion, standing like a giant in galoshes over the rest of the seated band, using an instrument that wouldn’t be caught dead in the hands of the other bands of the era. A lady cellist adds to the gloom off to the side. Pat Smear is there too, a punk legend turned hired hand, sits with his brightly colored guitar keeping the rhythm intact.
Then hiding in the back, impending rock megastar, Dave Grohl looking younger than I ever remembered him being, actually plays guitar on Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam. I didn’t remember it being that way at all, especially with the muted rhythm that appears throughout the song, I never realized he just kind of pulled off a kind of simplified one man band for this song.
The performance of the song itself is still perfect and moving of course, Nirvana always added an earnestness that was often missing from The Vaselines tongue in cheek anthems.
Sitting there watching them do the song, after a few spins on Spotify to reunderstand why it’s so good, I realized I haven’t really WATCHED the band in years. I mean in my head I think of Nirvana and I remember how they made me feel and why I liked them and what they meant to me as I really started my love affair with music. (I was in 8th grade when Cobain killed himself) But, I’m now older than Kurt was in that performance and by attempting to remove the lens of the band’s legacy and cultural influence, and everything that was soon to happen, I saw the whole band differently. I mean the Reading album may showcase Nirvana at the height of their power, but this Unplugged performance shows them with an innocence and sincerity. Everyone looks so young, despite the stardom and the burdens and the expectations, the covers almost seem freeing almost fun away from some of the hyperpersonal lyrics of the typical band material. In that 4 minutes, Novoselic cracks a smile, Grohl almost rushes to make sure he doesn’t fuck up, and Cobain almost seems determined to show you that yeah he really does know what he’s doing and he’s gonna prove to you all over again.

A Brief Incoherent Live Thought Review of a Weezy Mixtape

14 Jul

Lil Wayne-Sorry 4 The Wait

So this is a quick hits live thought recap(i.e. I’m hearing it right now as I make comments) of the new Weezy mixtape, which has the ever present beat jackin used to greatest effect on Drought 3.

Ok tracks 1 and 2 Tunechi’s Back and Rollin are both missing the energy of greater works. These seemed tossed off at the end of a night’s work.

Shockingly hearing Weezy take on the absurdly overrated Kreayshawn jam Gucci Gucci is somewhat satisfying. Maybe because the beat is odd and should be tailor made for Weezy to actually go off. And yet he almost emulates what she does for the chorus, which wasnt particularly good in the first place.

Sex jam time comes in the form of a Drake take off (Marvins Room)…similar to the weirdness of I’m Single, it’s actually the best song I’ve heard on here with the strangest punchline(Im not a killer but dont push me, but I’ll OJ Simpson that pussy)

Sure Thing-Another interesting r&b beat that actually works with the weird Loverman persona Weezy has been using at times the past year or two. It’s not bad.

Racks-This has at least the kind of beat(from YC originally) that Weezy killed on his last noteworthy mixtape(No Ceilings, because Road to Carter 4 wasnt official or that great). Horns, typical bad 808 drum track aka every good Southern rap song of the past 10 years. Even here Weezy sounds a bit tired, but at least there are flashes of good on this one.

Hands up-Another low key R&B beat allows more slow autotunedish love jams that is kind of meh.

At this point I find it necessary to just skip to the Lil B and Weezy collaboration-Grove St. Party

Hey a beat ripped from Waka, this is more promising. The sheer insanity of Lil B and slight unhinged Weezy appear together, which is enough to make the song good even if Weezy still doesnt hit it half as hard as we ‘ve seen on the assorted Carter IV moments that have been out.

Ghetto feat Akon- Hey this beat sounds like an old 90s west coast beat with Akon doing a hook. Hmm just a snippet of a far larger song from Carter IV. That minute and a half was pretty good though.

Inkredible-Is a perfectly lame Young Money showcase with a Weezy verse. Basically like the Young Money album.

Run The World is just a MVPs by Ice-T style shout out, meh.

Weezy does Adele on the Sorry 4 The Wait this could be interesting… OMG Weezy can rap within the rhythm of the song again. At least he goes in on this, and at least makes new Adele sound better than it is.

Throwed Off has a fantastic beat that I do not recognize and yet somehow to almost prove how unispired this mixtape is…Weezy lets Gudda Gudda kill him on this track. How in the hell did that happen?

Overall this was def more Dedication 3 than Drought 3, full of clunkers with the one or two tunes you’ll prob keep in some retrospective Weezy mix. And it did make me decide to get yet another Lil B mixtape though.