Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's already that time...

Time to proclaim what you liked most from the first couple months of the year. Judging what you like most as the year goes is the good way to get a solid long list, shortened from what could be a laundry list of records/songs/etc., going into the end of a year, where your top 10/five/25 list determines your manhood, er... personhood, in the music world.

I'm going to post one top five a day this week. First up:

Top 5 Music Writings of the '06 First Quarter

5. "Status Ain't Hood" by Tom Breihan - "Three 6 Mafia: Oscar Winners." -- A lot of people had a lot of shock and awe to get across after this WTF Oscar moment. Some people didn't even seem to care about that other upset in light of the face that three nigorant motherfuckers from Memphis won an Academy Award. Breihan, in a strange moment of actual journalistic savoir faire, follows up on the story. Crazy.

4. The FADER's piece (finally) on Against Me! -- This peice, either done by Nick Barat or Will Welch (both of whom are great, but I prefer Mr. Welch) was a perfect, apt and even poigant description of Against Me!'s essence. The writer even compares Against Me!'s "surging ... populist" attitude to Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Mellencamp. Straight hustlin' out of Gainesville, Florida, son.

3. The New York Times' Kelefah Sanneh - "Dancehall With a Different Accent" -- Finally, finally, finally! Someone with a megaphone and nice, tall, clean soapbox puts Matisyahu in his place. The fucking kike. He's such a fake, insincere act. If he's not completely doing his bad, imitation, rip-off dancehall for the money, then he's just an idiot parallel to the likes of Fred Durst who mindlessly Crow Jim co-opt more of black culture. You know (well, I know) his audience is 98 percent Abercrombie white preppy stoners. "Play that Marley, dude whooooooooooooooo!" Faggots.

2. "Status Ain't Hood" by Tom Breihan - "The Grammy Awards: A Running Diary" -- Breihan could do these for a living, these awards shows run downs. Some of my favorite excerpts: "8:09: Stevie Wonder makes goony jokes about how Alicia Keys looks good. But he can't see! Because he's blind." Also: "John Legend reminds me of WWE Monday Night Raw announcer Coach." This one's a scorcher: "8:30: In either a technical fuckup or a bold and experimental move, Sugarland allow "Something More" to be interrupted by ambient walkie-talkie noises."

Also: "9:32: Teri Hatcher says that she feels like she's been blessed. Michael Buble says that Teri Hatcher is the sexiest critic he's ever met. Clearly, Michael Buble has never met me." And possibly the funniest: "10:03: I should go back and listen to the original again, but I don't remember a part in 'Dance to the Music' where Will.i.am raps horrendously while dancing like a spaz." In a reference to the FAMU Marching 100: "10:40: Kanye and Jamie Foxx are dressed as dueling marching bandleaders. This may be a bad idea ... 10:42: Nevermind, it's awesome."

And the most bizarre comment: "11:06: John Legend shocks absolutely no one by winning the Best New Artist award. He thanks Man Man? And Devo? John Legend is weird!" Apparently, "Devo" was Devo Springsteen, a producer in G.O.O.D. Music.

1. Pitchfork Media's Chris Dahlen - Kind of Like Spitting - "Learn: The Songs of Phil Ochs" review -- Usually, I ignore what many P4K writers have to say, especially on the website itself, and even moreso on their cringe-inducing, embarassing, scatterbrained blogs.

Dahlen, I think, is one of them. He wrote the infamous T.Mo goose egg review of "Travistan," which was embarassing to not only other rock critics or P4K's other writers, but any true fan of music that has a brain in their head and doesn't mindlessly agree with everything P4K, or any other music publication that publishes opinion, says. Thankfully, with this review, Dahlen may have seen the light of clarity a little bit, even if he probably couldn't write out the definition of "brevity" in less than 500 words to save his life.

And don't get it twisted, Dahlen doesn't even fucking review the album. Hardly anyone at P4K does that-- no, no. He lengthily (and I mean LENGTHILY, but this time righteously) pontificates on how our generation "can't cough up a great protest singer today." I've been wanting a rock critic to bring this up for a long time. "He criticizes the listener for non-particiation," he says. "For supporting the war but dodging the draft, for skipping out on the riots at the '68 convention, for not stopping a rape or helping the poor. Ochs turned his angriest words on the liberals who talked big and did nothing." Ochs did this in the late '60s, but it applies now, Dahlen seems to say.

"Today we lack the literacy, the specificity and the argument of a Phil Ochs song because we don't participate, and we have nothing at stake." Damn right. Only now is more music, popular and underground, starting to get expressly, and I can only hope virulently, political. In my opinion, in times of strife like now, all music is ultimately politically and socially conscious even when they don't take a stance. Its easy to seperate the wheat from the chaff of conscious citizenry in times like today.

"Bring back the draft," Dahlen proposes. That'll get 'em off their ass, he seems to say. I agree. That's the only way the protesting, anti-war, activist (or at least awarist) base in this country will ever actually DO ANYTHING. "We won't wag a finger at the TV [with a draft]; we'll march in the streets," he says. I couldn't agree more, I tell ya.

Dahlen ends with a hopefuly statement: "Here's hoping the next Phil Ochs shows up to call 'bullshit' on us all." Maybe it takes a rock critic to call bullshit on us first.


Blogger Matt Gilmour said...

I'm not big on Matisyahu. I enjoyed the Live at Stubbs album, but I don't know if I'll listen to it again. Either way, I wouldn't say the man is without talent.

Now the issue of sincerity and culture robbing--well, that's trickier. He doesn't come off full of shit in the interviews I've read. And since you accuse pretty much every white person who plays "black" music of co-opting their culture (which, as I've told you before, is pretty fucking narrowminded too), I can't entirely trust your judgments here. You've yet to provide a set of standards under which white people playing "black" music is acceptable outside of your own personal taste.

Furthermore, I don't think the majority of his audience is white preppy stoners. I think they are mostly Jewish. Either way, it doesn't really mean anything.

Finally, you should probably avoid throwing "kike" around in a public blog, since not everyone knows that you're Jewish.

PS: Buju Banton would totally kick his ass

4/05/2006 12:56 PM  
Blogger Konflict of Interest said...


4/05/2006 3:35 PM  

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