Thursday, April 17, 2003

Tossed off a quick ‘n dirty mix for this guy this week; suffice it to say we have very similar tastes in music. Largely rhythmic, mostly stuff he doesn’t have (no highspeed connection yet, poor boy), it’s titled he who rocks the party rocks the body.

1. Eminem, “Kim.” Still his greatest single record (albeit with “Lose Yourself” nipping at its heels), this is hiphop as primal scream therapy, the natural Jungian progression of pop(ular) music. Draw the line from Synchronicity to this, six minutes of brutal anguish. Disturbing, yes, but you can’t listen to it and not be moved in one direction or another. And contrary to popular (kneejerk liberalistic) belief, this isn’t about killing or misogyny – it’s about little Marshall crying out to be loved. His “Kim, Kim? Why didn’t you love me?” wail is chilling, and sad.
2. N.W.A., “Straight Outta Compton.” The black Sex Pistols, no less, no more – just as important, just as fleeting. “Fuck tha Police” may have been the lit match, but “Compton” was the gasoline-soaked fuse.
3. Panjabi MC featuring Jay-Z, “Beware of the Boys (Mundian to Bach Ke) (Remix).” Thanks to Jigga, America’s finally starting to hear some bhangra, and understand (hopefully) that Indian music isn’t limited to Bollywood tracks sampled by the likes of Dre and Tim. Because of its world-conquering appeal (thanks to David Hasselhoff’s talking car?), this is the Magna Carta of bhangra, or at least its “Rock Around the Clock.” Not the first, but the first hit. And thus the template for many.
4. Cam’ron featuring Juelz Santana, “Oh Boy.” The best single Just Blaze produced in ’02, without the annoyingly cloying, sucking-up-to-radio feel of Cam’s “Hey Ma” followup. That pitched-up “oh boy” sample is a worldbeater.
5. Camp Lo, “Luchini (AKA This Is It).” Does everything Gerry Mulholland says a single’s supposed to do, perfectly. Their one shining moment, but what a moment.
6. Justin Timberlake, “Rock Your Body (Video Version).” I’m increasingly convinced that this is the single of the year, even more than “Cry Me A River.” J.T. pulls off this smooth, r-and-b-flavored pop/dance track, so effortlessly, like he’s not even breaking a sweat. The video version adds in my favorite J.T. mannerism: more beatboxing! Then Justin says “gonna have you naked by the end of this song” – and before you know it, you’re in bed, body-rockin’ all night long. There are worse things, you know.
7. the Neptunes, “I’m A Slave 4 U (Instrumental).” Do you think Britney’s a nasty girl? Pharrell and Hugo do. Proof that the Neptunes can do anything, produce anyone. Amazing track.
8. Vanity 6, “Nasty Girl.” Well, I had to. Wouldn’t you?
9. Go Home Productions, “I’m A Slave 4 Daft Britney.” Which sends La Brit to her logical conclusion: space. She’s interplanet Janet, she’s a galazy dream. GHP (with some help from Daft Punk) proves it definitively.
10. Basement Jaxx, “Miracles Keep On Playin’ (Red Alert Remix).” The Brixton boys supercharge their most powerful engine, “Red Alert,” and put diesel in the tank to boot. House on steroids, but without that nasty edge.
11. VHS Or Beta, “Teenage Dancefloor (live).” Bad-ass would-be indie boys getting down with their bad selves, in much more convincing fashion than the Rapture and their ilk. This is the sound of a dreamed-of collaboration between Steve Albini and Nile Rodgers.
12. Chic, “My Forbidden Lover.” And from one of their children to the parent themselves. Not (just) great disco, but great funk, great soul, and one of the greatest bands ever. Nile Rodgers practically invented the modern-era chicken-scratch guitar style of riffing, and with Bernard Edwards behind him on drums (and two heavenly femme singers), he couldn’t lose. If you only know them as the group behind “Le Freak” and “Good Times,” get their Risqué album and learn. This, an album track therefrom, is one of their career highlights.
13. brainchild, “countryside.” This former blogger (we miss ya, kid!) composed this original track which he said reminded him of long country drives while growing up in Indiana. A lovely, loping, shuffling beat and some nearly detuned notes atop it, too short at 1:08. A genuine beat treat.
14. Aaliyah, “One In A Million.” The sexiest song ever, complete with crickets chirping softly in the background to remind you that it’s nighttime – the right time for love.
15. Marianne Faithfull, “Broken English.” Not as jarring a segue as you might think, Faithfull’s 1980 leap into the great forwards suits her more perfectly than ever, now. Her cracked-leather vox melds expertly with the synth-heavy sonics of the (then) day and a guitar line which reminds me of Rush (in a good way, I mean).

What up Tom?

Got a track you might wanna check out; I can e-mail you

came across your blog googlin'


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