Thursday, August 26, 2004

While by no means do I approve of anyone duetting with Mark McGrath - honey, you can do so much better - it's quite possible that Shania Twain's Greatest Hits could be the pop event of the autumn. I mean, c'mon! Just look at that tracklisting. Wowza.

Speaking of pop moments, I still don't think that a better pure pop album has been released in the nearly 6 years since New Radicals' Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too. came out back in October of '98. Tracks like "Jehovah Made This Whole Joint For You" and the single "You Get What You Give" are appallingly hooky, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-head pop-soul a la Hall & Oates (who, in fact, subsequently covered the heartbreaker "Someday We'll Know") in the best of ways. Gregg Alexander - the solitary New Radical - has gone on to write and produce for the likes of Ronan Keating, but I ache for him to return to the world of recording. Brainwashed is easily one of my 5 most-played albums of the past half-decade, and will likely continue to get spun just as much over the next 5. It frankly doesn't get much better. A

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Thank you for the heads-up, John.
Thank you for the service you've done for humanity, Kia.
And thank you, Michael Phelps' parents, for his genetics.
Like whoa!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Like Stebbins, I watch the Olympics in part for prurient reasons. The (male) gymnasts, divers, and water polo players (among others) are fucking hot, and show a lot of skin (or, in the case of the gymnasts, outlines of skin, if you catch my drift). So last night I flipped over to NBC's Olympic coverage at 11pm (EST), after another great hour of A&E's Airline, one of my favorite shows. And what I saw was stunning, nothing I'd ever seen. As you've likely all heard by now, the crowd let the judges know what they thought about the marks being given in men's high bar last night - for 10 minutes. It actually made for fairly exciting television (and for once I was glad I didn't already know the result), even with idiot rah-rah blowhard Al Trautwig mouthing off. [Memo to Al: we know you want the U.S. to win, but does that have to be to the exclusion of all other athletes?! And could you sound more like a "USA love it or leave it" moron?] Unfortunately, I've gotta work tonight, so I'll miss the finals of the men's 3M springboard. But trust that I'll be rooting for Canada's Alexandre Despatie - though I wouldn't mind if Russia's legendary Dmitri Sautin won, either.

Blowfly's 1984 record "Electronic Pussy Sucker" is, in all likelihood, the most brilliant XXX-rated slab o' wax I've ever heard. Ever.

Yes, I'm fully aware that this blog's been a bit on the content-free side of late; i.e., all list-y. Inspiration's been hard coming, and what there has been has been fleeting, in doses, measured out like a damned prescription. I'm working on a couple of pieces (which will immediately be jinxed by my mention of them here), one on Parliament's "Chocolate City," and what it said to both Black and White America back in '75, and another (possibly) on the legacy (yes, legacy) of SWV. Now we'll get to see if they ever reach publishable form, together.

Chaka Khan let me rock you
Let me rock you Chaka Khan
Let me rock you that's all I wanna do
Chaka Khan let me rock you
Let me rock you Chaka Khan
Let me rock you 'cause I feel for you
Chaka Khan won't ya tell me what you wanna do
Do you feel for me
The way I feel for you
Chaka Khan let me tell you what I wanna do
I wanna love you wanna hug you wanna squeeze you too
Let me take you in my arms (and)
Let me fill you with my charms Chaka
'Cause you know that I'm the one to keep you warm Chaka
I'll make you more than just a physical dream
I wanna rock you Chaka baby
'Cause you make me wanna scream
(Let me rock you/Rock you)

- Melle Mel, from Chaka Khan's "I Feel For You" (I Feel For You, Warner Bros., 1984)

Just because.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Daddino's CDR700 Go! for 1984, "Bonjour Monsieur Orwell!," really is the shit, you know. Also, he's updated Land of a Thousand Dances, so no excuses.

8/20/04 (at-work) headtape
Mint Condition, "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)" (still one of the all-time great slow jams - could they get some props, please?)
Sade, "Is It A Crime"
Jon B, "Don't Talk" (also slept on)
Gene, "Sleep Well Tonight" (best Smiths tribute band ever)
Faith Hill, "Breathe"
Mary J. Blige, "Beautiful Ones"
Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, "Say Say Say" (don't front, you know you love it)

8/21/04 (at-work) headtape
Joe, "I Wanna Know" (this generation's beggin'-ass Keith Sweat)
Aaliyah, "Back and Forth"
Method Man, "Bring the Pain"
Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard, "Suddenly" (don't ask)
Bell Biv DeVoe, "Poison" (Spidaman and Freeze in full effect!)

Thursday, August 19, 2004

8/18/04 (at-work) headtape
Terror Squad f/Fat Joe and Remy, "Lean Back"
Nelly, "Country Grammar (Hot Shit)" (remember when he wasn't so fucking annoying?)
The Notorious B.I.G., "Big Poppa"
Eric B. & Rakim, "Follow the Leader"
Billy Joel, "Pressure"
Pogues, "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" (coz of this slab o' CDR700MB Go! brilliance)
2Pac & Snoop Dogg, "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted"
Grant Hart, "2541"
10,000 Maniacs, "Eat for Two"
Bee Gees, "More Than A Woman"
Madness, "Our House" (I've got a great homemade remix of this, in my head. If I ever learn how to do such things, perhaps I'll make it)

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Speed round:

Amazing to learn that Postal Service's Give Up is now the second-best selling album in Sub Pop's history (one guess what's #1), at a frankly astounding 300K and counting. Sometimes the good does win out, I guess?

What a lineup! Mozzer, Siouxsie, the Killers, Tears for Fears, and so many more? *drools uncontrollably*

I know I'm like the last voice to join the chorus, but dear Lord, could the redesigned AllMusic suck any more?!

Mistah Daddino is so right: United State of Electronica are really, really, really fucking great. And have I mentioned how much I'm looking forward to his upcoming get-outta-NYC-during-the-RNC visit?

Speaking of Brits, as I do below, I've been on a bit of a Smiths bender lately. Simon Goddard's The Smiths: Songs That Saved Your Life is an amazing, exhaustive piece of work, examining every song Morrissey/Marr/Rourke/Joyce ever laid down - and not just their recorded careers, but the songs' lives in concert, on radio, and on the tube as well. "How Soon Is Now" gets 6 (well-warranted) pages. This book is full of insight and info, and is utterly splendid in its further illumination of the Smiths' legacy. Then there's the "Mojo Special Edition" on Morrissey & the Smiths, which is full of great storytelling, new interviews (with all but Mozzer), and fine critical evaluation. And, of course, there are all those brilliant albums.

Whoa. The Streets' A Grand Don't Come For Free is light-years on from Original Pirate Material, more musically than lyrically - though lyrically, it's much more on-point and tight, too. Mike Skinner, who many are already ready to crown Man of the Year, has earned it this time. This is also one of the most purely Brit albums to come down the pike since, oh, Parklife? [If you're down with the Oasis-as-Faces theory, maybe Definitely Maybe, then.] As for my earlier criticism for "Fit But You Know It," I won't say I was wrong, per sé, but will say that it works much, much better in the context of the album - and after repeated spins, works much better than I'd thought as a stand-alone single. And speaking of repeated spins, with each one, this Grand sounds better and better. More of a full review to come, prob'ly. Guv.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Just in case you needed another reason to loathe Trick Pony - you know, besides the fact that their music uniformly sucks - now you have it. [And yes, I'm aware that some artists I like, including Lee Ann Womack, are apparently stumping for Dubya as well; the difference is that Womack actually has, you know, talent, however misguided her politics may be.]


So much in the news this past week. I've waited to comment, however, in part to better crystallize my thoughts and in part to not appear to simply be joining the (loud) blogger chorus.

Julia Child's passing is a big deal to me. When I was 12, 13, I was nearly obsessed with Ms. Child. I watched her, faithfully, each week on PBS, and read (yes, read) her cookbooks Julia Child and Company and Julia Child and More Company. She fascinated and enthralled me, this funny woman who cooked exotic dishes and drank wine in the kitchen. I didn't want her as a mother, but perhaps the eccentric aunt all the nieces and nephews loved? I commented to Chrisafer last night that she was the Steve Jobs of cooking, completely revolutionizing it in ways we didn't realize were possible. Julia didn't change the playing field, she created a new one. Food Network, of course, would not exist were it not for Julia Child. It seems she lived a very full and robust life, just like her cooking and her personality. R.I.P., Julia. You will, in fact, never be forgotten.

New Jersey Governor and newly-out gay man Jim McGreevey would make a much better gay icon were his administration not, apparently, riddled with levels of corruption to make the Dem machine in Chicago look like an amateur operation. But he is awfully cute, in that whitebread kind of way.

The Opening Ceremonies of the 28th Olympiad were, honestly, rather stunning, and largely free of the Cirque de Soleil-style overcooked theatrics of recent openings. The Greeks have, of course, the most impressive history to draw on for such an event, and they did so, well, impressively. The only musical performer was - yay! - Bjork, who performed "Oceania," a brand-new song, which sounded mighty - at least, what I could hear under Costas and Couric's blathering. reports that "Oceania" will appear on her forthcoming Medulla, which, as per her entire career, sounds at a minimum to be fascinating. Back to the Olympics, the Parade of Nations is always my favorite, watching those teeny-tiny nations march in with their delegations of two athletes, oh-so proud, beaming brilliantly. Seeing the athletes from Iraq march in, knowing that this time, finally, they didn't have to fear recriminations and beatings (or worse) depending upon their performance, was thrilling. And honestly, the Olympics are one of those few times (especially lately) when I feel rather profoundly patriotic - except when watching the pampered divas of the men's hoops squad. Lord, was yesterday embarassing to watch, or what? Tim Duncan, I'm sorry; you're the one member of this team with class and dignity, who's out there busting his balls for "W"s. But the rest can, frankly, fuck off and go back to appearing on MTV Cribs. Bleh. I'm honestly surprised, however, by how much I'm watching, and enjoying, this year's Olympics. But allow me to state for the record that table tennis - a/k/a ping-pong - should not be an Olympic sport. I mean, please. No bowling, no golf, but ping-pong?!?! Whatev.

And of course I was completely obsessed with coverage of Hurricane Charley, whatchu thinkin'?! Pray for the survivors.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

The cold rock stuff:

SportsCenter Old School has been pretty much pure pleasure to watch this week (it concludes tonight at 11pm EST on, duh, ESPN), especially last night's pairing of Chris Berman and Greg Berman, who between them host the two best NFL shows on the tube today.

Ray Parker Jr.'s "The Other Woman," for when he sings "Makes me wanna grab my guitar/and play with it all night long" - and then he does.

Arthur magazine is some good stuff, suitable for reading at your local fair grounds coffee house. The interview with Kim Gordon in their current ish is premium.

There are few TV sights more enjoyable than seeing The Weather Channel in commando mode (not that kind of commando). Having Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Charley hitting FL at virtually the same time is like MonicaGate and Whitewater occuring simultaneously for CNN. Feel the excitement.

"Fire Destroys Black Eyed Peas' Gear": because the fucking idiots forgot to blow out candles. Proof that sometimes, bad things do happen to bad (or at least hideously untalented, I-wish-they'd-get-buried-alive) people. I hope they get the bill for the damage to the building, too.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The cold rock stuff:

My new "Alive: Body by Jamba" tee which the bf got for me. Not only is it tagless, but it's made of this new fabric which wicks sweat from your body, somewhat akin to the stuff Nike uses in much of their clothing, I believe.

The Sunday New York Times: the formerly-grey lady is still the best read on Sundays, period.

Opening up last week's New Yorker and discovering, accompanying Sasha's excellent piece on Dizzee Rascal and the Streets, a stunning Avedon portrait of the two men together. Wowza.

31 days.

The revelation that in Collateral that is - you expect me to say Jamie Foxx, don't you? But some of us have known he's got it in him for a while now (since Any Given Sunday, in fact). No, I'm referring to Jada Pinkett Smith, who save for Set It Off really hasn't made that many good films over her career. But not only is Collateral a brill piece of work, so is her performance in a small but pivotal role. And damned if she doesn't look gorgeous.

Alicia Keys's "If I Ain't Got You" is great. Making it a duet with Usher is, actually, even better. Good luck tracking it down - I've heard rumors it's on a European single - but it's well worth your time and expense.

Had another fine-ass cassette haul yesterday. Picked up a cheapo (under $5) walkman, too. That's the way to do it with tapes these days - and if you think I'm getting rid of all of my ol' skool cassettes, think again. I've still got my original '86 tape of The Queen Is Dead, bitches!

Prince and the Revolution, Parade: Music from the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon: For me, still his second-best album, after SOTT. Complete, awe-inspiring ideas executed like no one else does, or has. "Kiss" is merely the tip of this iceberg.

Culture Club, Kissing to Be Clever: I am so mad that I never knew that the cassette version of this has bonus tracks: a Dub Version of "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" and the instrumental of "Time." At least I've got it now.

Ray Parker Jr., Greatest Hits: For whatever reason, Christgau's review of this has stuck with me since I first came across it in his '80s Record Guide; his use in particular of "inspired journeyman" intrigued me before I even truly understood it. I'll add, however, that this longplayer rides on its side 1, leading off with its strongest track in "The Other Woman."

SWV, Greatest Hits: Frontloaded even moreso than Ray's hits, this is in many ways surprisingly solid, making a case for S-Dub as the #3 girlgroup of the '90s (after TLC and En Vogue, of course). Side 1 is downright packed, from "Right Here/Human Nature" (in a mix working in actual lyrical chunks from Jacko) through "Weak" and the Wu-Tang mix of "Anything." The second side doesn't acquit itself as tidily, with album tracks bulking out the collection, but almost makes up for it with the addition of the "'96 Anthem" take on "You're the One." Come back, ladies, all is forgiven!

The Time, Pandemonium: Whyohwhy did this superb comeback get slept on so back in '90? By furlongs their finest album, and their finest collection of songs to boot - just the back-to-back of "Sometimes I Get Lonely" and "Data Bank," buried int he middle of side 2, will tell you that. If I ever get around to doing a "top xx albums of all-time" list, this is a lock for a top 100, if not top 50. And it proves what some thought impossible: Morris Day is actually a good singer!

The Isley Brothers, It's Your Thing: Not their boxset, but one in a myriad of cheapo comps Sony's done on them over the years. This one, however, has amongst its 8 songs "The Pride," "Footsteps in the Dark," "Voyage to Atlantis," "Groove with You," and "Fight the Power." And that most certainly makes its purchase fine (though "That Lady" woulda been appreciated, natch).

Parliament, The Best of/20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection: 11 slabs of the finest funk of the '70s, and all the neophyte needs - or, for simplicity's sake, my 1990 car stereo.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Go. Run. See Collateral. Now.
This might just be the year Michael Mann wins that Best Director Oscar; he certainly deserves it for this. Jamie Foxx's year just gets better and better, doesn't it? And unquestionably, this is Tom Cruise's finest performance to date. Towering. Suspenseful. Go.

8/7/04 headtape
New Edition, "You're Not My Kind of Girl"
Prince, "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man"
DMX, "What's My Name"
The Notorious B.I.G., "Big Poppa"
Crazy Town, "Butterfly" (quite possibly still the worst hit single of the '00s)
Neil Young, "Cinnamon Girl"
Funkadelic, "(not just) Knee Deep"
Talking Heads, "Nothing But Flowers"

Saturday, August 07, 2004

I've received email from two Robbie Nevil fans thus far (see below). We exist, we really do!

Kept track of my "headtapes" (darlin', email me! I lost your URL) at work the past two nights:

8/4/04 headtape
Huey Lewis and the News, "Doing It All For My Baby" (all night) and "Jacob's Ladder"
Usher, "You Make Me Wanna"
ZZ Top, "Legs"
Wet Wet Wet, "Wishing I Was Lucky" (who came up in two separate conversations this week - really!)
Curiousity Killed the Cat, "Misfit"
Nona Gaye, "Inner City Blues"
Nick Heyward, "You're My World"
Barenaked Ladies, "It's All Been Done" (I really loathe this song)
Jodeci, "Feenin'" and "Cry For You"

8/5/04 headtape
D12, "My Band"
Dionne Warwick, "Deja Vu"
John Sebastian, "Welcome Back" (don't get me started on Mase's take)
N*E*R*D, "Lapdance"
Rod Stewart, "D'ya Think I'm Sexy"
Cherrelle featuring Alexander O'Neal, "Saturday Love"
The Time, "Sometimes I Get Lonely" (remind to tell you just how underrated I find Pandemonium! sometime)
Crystal Waters, "Come On Down"
The Cars, "Heartbeat City"
The Smiths, "A Rush And A Push And the Land Is Ours"

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Is it wrong that when I saw this headline, I immediately thought it was about him?

And speaking of '80s musicians, I had Robbie Nevil's "Dominoes" stuck in my head at work last night. That was the follow-up to the eternal "C'est La Vie." Anyone else remember it?

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Single file:

What is it about "Slow Motion" - the new #1 single in the country, natch - by Juvenile featuring Soulja Slim that's so seductive? I can't figure it out, unless it's the slinky groove. But I'm hooked.

Also hooking me in is that great Jadakiss track, "Why?," featuring Anthony Hamilton on the hook as 'Kiss asks some tough questions to a Havoc beat (yeah, that Havoc, from Mobb Deep, mawfuckas, recognize!).

Damn Kenny Chesney for making "Young, part 3," a/k/a his latest single, "I Go Back" (his second to reference "Jack and Diane," in case you're counting). It's not great, but it's awfully good - and makes for an awfully good sing-along.

I'm thrilled to finally have the great Remy Martin back, but am a little sorry it's vis-a-vis Terror Squad's so-so "Lean Back." And Fat Joe is an ignorant, fat fuck.

I hate to admit it, but Avril Lavigne's "My Happy Ending" is an excellent kiss-off song - better than JoJo's "Leave (Get Out)," even, which I also am loathe to admit is pretty solid.

Maroon5, have you met the Gin Blossoms?

Monday, August 02, 2004

The cold rock stuff, current edition:

Collateral: generating Oscar buzz for both Messrs. Cruise and Foxx (having a damned fine year, if you've not noticed), and it looks sooo good and dark and gritty. Like a Michael Mann flick, then. Opens Friday the 6th.

Great American Country, a/k/a GAC: CMT's country half-brother, this is the UHF version. Not nearly as slick, but with a lot more country music per pound. Since getting a loaner TV set yesterday, pretty much all I've watched is country videos and the Weather Channel, because of...

Tropical Storm Alex: have I mentioned how much I love severe weather? Not being in it, mind you, nor the damage it does. But it just thoroughly amazes me what weather can do. Plus, tropical storms = more facetime for Jim Cantore, the Weather Channel's #1 piece of manmeat.

College football: it's time, already, thank God. The preseason coaches' poll is out (Purdue's #23!), with USC topping it by a wide margin. The Trojans, of course, are led by their QB, Caifornia-cute Matt Leinart - who has a blog 1st and 11. [11's his uni number.]

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?