Tuesday, November 25, 2003

More odds & ends:

Fetishes are funny things. I've no idea where the majority of mine came from, only that they turn me on. But I wonder why sometimes. And no, I won't tell you what they are, thankyouverymuch.

The recent "official" news of the disbanding of Stone Temple Pilots saddened (but didn't suprise) me. One of the most critical underrated bands of the '90s, STP made a blissful marriage of Scott Weiland's oh-so-flexible vox with a heavy-duty guitar-bass-drums attack - but one which could croon as well as wail (cf. "Sour Girl," or most of their fine Unplugged performance from '93). Their swan song, the hits comp Thank You, features the previously unreleased "All In the Suit That You Wear," and it's prime STP. It won't convince you if you're a nonbeliever, but if like me you're a fan, it certainly does the justice.

Anyone who refers to Junior Vasquez as "feckless" - and can write about the synchronicities of deep house and life in such a manner - has my eternal respect. That means you, Geoffrey. [BTW, if you don't know John, you really need to; he's one of us.]

Dr. Tom Davis has always been one of the classiest coaches in men's college hoops. I can't imagine that returning to Iowa tonight - as the opposing coach - will be easy, or fun for him. But it's yet another reason to respect him.

Happy birthday, Erik!

More reasons I'm waiting this year to put together my "best of '03" lists: Alicia Keys's "You Don't Know My Name" and Anthony Hamilton's "Comin' From Where I'm From" get better - and closer to my 2003 top 20 - with each listen, as do (to a likely non-top 20 extent) various tracks from Bubba Sparxxx's Deliverance (P&J cult hip-hop record of the year?) and Britney's In the Zone, Elephant Man's "Pon De River, Pon De Bank" (which I just picked up on), Vivian Green's "Emotional Rollercoaster" (ditto, and watch her pick up a couple Grammy nods next week), Kelis's "Milkshake" (undeniable, and I shoulda just admitted it from day one), Lemar's "50/50" (better than "Dance With U"), OutKast's "Hey Ya!" (took me a while, but still only my fourth- or fifth-favorite from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below), and Nelly Furtado's "Powerless." And then there's...

OH! The Glorious Return - artistically I mean, they've never gone away - of the Pet Shop Boys. Their new 2CD best-of, Pop Art, came out yesterday in the U.K. (and the triple-disc version, including a CD of their favorite remixes of their own songs, is available as an import, hint hint wink wink), and its first single is a corker. "Miracles" entered this week's British Top 40 at the lofty heights of #10, but more importantly, it's marvelously great, marrying Neil Tennant's pitch-perfect lyrics (celebrating, in this case, the glory of love in a decidedly non-Ceteran manner) with up-to-date electronics (coproduced by Adam F, interestingly). Better than anything off their last album, Release (which sounded a bit rote, truth be told) or its subsequent Disco 3 set, this is the sound of a rejuvenated and carefree PSB. Praise be, they've still got it!

Finally, a couple of worthwhile pieces on the apparently retiring (literally, from hip-hop at least) Jay-Z: Elizabeth Mendez Berry looks at the man and his self-created myth in "The Last Hustle" (from this week's Village Voice), while Jigga himself all-too-briefly reviews his own catalog for MTV.com's "Hova Rates Hova."

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