Friday, January 27, 2006

In The News...

Journalist tracks down 40+ former & current members of The Fall (tip o' the blog to Sasha)

Canadian music journalists rant out of control, offering a few shockingly accurate observations along the way

Snake befriends hamster that was intended as lunch

BBC's Jesus sings "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" with Happy Monday Bez as disciple

Michael Jackson spotted in women's clothing at mall in Bahrain

And last, but certainly not least...

Saddam To Sue Bush for War Crimes

Before you begin relishing the delicious irony of the above story, ask yourself why this item is from the goddamn MTV News website and not the Guardian, the Globe and Mail, or the New York Times.

Coming Soon: the Best of Baltimore!

UPDATE:: Well, how the hell did I miss THIS? I never liked Jay-Z's voice (a little nasal and needy for my taste), but I always thought he had some handy rhymes - so much for that. This goes beyond quoting in homage; once you start lifting that many lines, you've crossed over into thievery. Maybe this is what happens when you don't write down any of your lyrics and just spit off the top of your head.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Retrovertigo: Stuff I Dug From '05

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently started conrtibuting to Tiny Mix Tapes, a mutli-faceted music site refreshingly devoid of agenda. Of course, no working relationship is without its kinks: when TMT asked its staff for their Top 25 albums of the year, I realized I'd barely heard twenty-five albums released in 2005. After scraping the bottom of my cerebellum to complete my list (which admittedly gets rather spotty past #14), my Top 25 were cross-collated with the other TMT contributors to produce the Collective List. A brief comparison between the two lists reveals two rather telling details.

The first is that nearly everything I listed was a new release by an old favourite - the Fall, Oxes, Mu, Lake Trout, Number Girl - without a debut artist in the top 10. Secondly, there was absolutely no crossover between my list and the collective Top 25. Shit, Pitchfork went as far as a Top 50 and only held two albums in common with me.

It's official: I'm out of the loop. And though I've bitched about this before, seeing the Writing On the Web certifies this fact - and what a relief. Circumstance has stripped me of my membership to the Media-Savy Hipoisie, and I am free at last, free at last!

No more scouring file-sharing networks for advance copies of new releases! No more soul-searching about why I hate Animal Collective! No longer am I troubled by the Pop Apologist Pod People! Who cares if I can't stand Crunk? Does it matter that I still haven't heard that Wolf Parade album? Hell, I haven't even heard one single goddamned minute of "Trapped In the Closet."

And why should I? I'm a skeptic expat living in Japan; there's no reason I should feel a kinship with art students from NYU or McGill. Not that anyone was twisting my arm, demanding that I jump on board any band's wagon, of course, but I still feel divested of a certain responsibility. Now I'm free to sit in my six-tatami spiderhole, surrounded by European film scores and sloppy J-Rock, unperturbed by the chest-beating of cred hounds across the ocean.

But I digress: here are ten tunes from releases that I loved in 2005.

"Do Do Do Do" by Afrirampo

"Le 65isme" by Buck 65
(from Secret House Against the World)

"April 6" by Fantomas
(from Suspended Animation)

"Ano Musume Ni 1mm Demo Chokkai Ka" by Ging Nang Boyz
(from an album whose title I won't even begin to attempt)

"Oh No" by Gogol Bordello
(from Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike)

"Now We Know" by Lake Trout
(from Not Them, You)

"Tigerbastard" by Mu
(from Out Of Breach: Manchester's Revenge)

"SoStRx" by Need New Body
(from Where's Black Ben?)

"Bem Querer" by Seu Jorge
(from Cru)

"What About Us" by the Fall
(originally released on Fall Heads Roll; this version is from the Peel Sessions box)

"Mur Mur" by Toddle
(from I Dedicate D Chord)