Sunday, February 26, 2006

Two albums for the price of one... DJ, that is! Oh!

Check out the video for DMC & Sarah MacLachlan's rap-rock remake of "Cat's In The Cradle," titled "Just Like Me," on DMC's site.

For those who obeyed my sadistic command, two questions:

1. Near the end, are DMC and MacLachlan standing in front of a giant blow-up photo of Johnny Cash?

2. If yes, why the fuck are they standing in front of a giant blow-up photo of Johnny Cash? At first I thought it was Ian Curtis. But that's crazy.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

I'm a late convert to the whole Amy Rigby thing, but I am converted. I didn't think she'd be as fun as she is, cuz only Robert Christgau goes on about her. And since I've only heard Little Fugitive, I've got a decade's worth of music to explore. Giddiness over backlog, something I survived on back in the late 90s, is a rarer and rarer commodity for me these days, thanks to a fondness for new music and disinterest in sifting through mediocrities for forgotten highlights - whatever part of me bought every Fall album through 2000 is quite dead. But Rigby's supposedly been a consistent source of quality material, all of which I'm excited to hear (knock on wood it's not just another case of the stuck "A" key).

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Note the new link on the right.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Penn State College Logo Putter Cover

This sleek, durable putter cover is the perfect fit for any thin-headed putters. Embroidered with the team logo, this long lasting material is in school colors.

We have a winner! Paul Thompson of State College, PA. Hometown represent!

November, 2001:

11/3 - God Bless America by Various Artists - the first pre-country-jingoism
chart reflection of post-9/11, this one features Ms. Celine Dion--who is most
assuredly still a French Canadian in birth only--singing the hot fuck outta
"God Bless America." Noteworthy not only for its cheap cash-in on the
groundswell of patriotism, but for its not-so-cheap status as the first charity
album to hit #1 on Billboard since We Are The World.

11/10 - The Great Depression by DMX - Darkman X's fourth, this was the one that
finally found the media willing to cast aspersions on his hardly-latent
homophobia. Ironically, there are fewer instances of the word "faggot" in its
lyrics than most of his other records combined. Of note elsewhere is the song
"Who We Be," an iambic laundry list that'd make any Cash Money Millionaire

11/17 - Invincible by Michael Jackson - Jacko's last hurrah 'til his Chinese
Democracy, and despite a good first week, perhaps the Hudson Hawk of the Hot
200. I don't feel I have to tell you that this was its only appearance at the
top of the chart, although I am compelled to say your boy Robby Christgau gave
her an A-. Fellow defendant Kells does a track, too; "Cry."

11/24 - Britney by Britney Spears - Whoa, did you know Dido co-wrote "I'm Not a
Girl (et. al)?" Two Neptunes tracks, "Bombastic Love," and a Joan Jett tune (I
bet you know which one!). Why wasn't this her Glitter?

Why so noteworthy? Wellsir, none of these albums ever hit the top of the charts
again; a strange feat given the inclusion of two of the best-selling artists of
the past 40 years. An unflincingly crass version of our second-national
anthem-in-command by the 12th child of a fucking Canuck was the best 9/11 could
cough up 'til Alan Jackson's Drive a full two months later. And DMX, for some
reason, rears his ugly head betwixt his three more logical foes. I mean, yeah,
Il Divo is weird, but in a world where "My Humps" is king, that's a minor
aberration next to the balls-out failure of "U Rock My World." Don't you think?

Another good month: March 2002, which starts with the aforementioned Drive, then
the J. Lo remix album, then Alanis' Under Rug Swept, then the O Brother
soundtrack (which'd been out nearly two years at that point) for two weeks.


As soon as he sends his address, Paul will be receiving 7 CDs of modern hip-hop/r&b majesty.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Question: In Billboard Top 200 history, has there ever been a weirder batch of #1s than in February 2006?

February 4: First album in over 11 years from Jamie Foxx, Academy-award winning actor turned smooth r&b crooner, who first rose to fame by playing Wanda, a homely sex freak, on In Living Color. Single features Ludcaris.

February 11: The sophomore release from Il Divo, an "opera-pop" quartet made up of attractive male vocalists from America, Spain, Switzerland and France. The group was created by Simon Cowell and sings everything from classical standards to "Hero."

February 18: Barry Manilow, The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties

February 25: The soundtrack to a film adaptation of Curious George - a collection of lullabies, campfire songs and other collegiate hippie bullshit, performed by Jack Johnson.

If you can think of a month with four goofier #1s, e-mail me your address and win The Golden Pen Of R. Kelly, a 6 CD-R retrospective including cameos, songs written for other artists, album tracks and assorted ephemera. Find a month with FIVE and I'll throw in Featuring Ludacris, a CD-R of some of the rapper's greatest guest verses.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Whatever You Say I Am, That's What I'm Not for Miami.

"They're songs for everyone - from the shy romantic whose hopeless with the opposite sex, to the guy who'd still take you home, even though he "can't see through your fake tan" ('Still Take You Home')." - New Musical Express

Yup, that's everyone.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

In Miranda's world, they're called "misunderstood" touches.

Hyperromantic tales of underage sexuality and indie quirk are bad enough (the false ending has the psychotic leads tearfully placing a framed photo of a bird in a tree, the real one is even cornier), but including a subplot about a cold-hearted gallery owner who learns to appreciate the writer/director/star's conceptual art after accepting her inner pederast is really pushing it. Me And You And Everyone We Know reaffirmed that I need to trust my instincts re: the popular American arthouse film and avoid this shit like the plague.

Speaking of shit and "pushing it," there are even more precious scenes of children discussing sex and scatology in the DVD's Special Features.

Friday, February 10, 2006

This week's Billboard Top Ten features four adult contemporary albums, three 'mature R&B' albums, two OPERA albums and Eminem's Greatest Hits. The top dog is Barry Manilow.

She Wants Revenge debuts at no. 38.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

What happens when they let him direct.

For two nights in a row, I've watched a dopey thriller and discovered during the bafflingly proud documentary included on the DVD that the films (Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever and Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers) were written by an enthusiastic and amiable hack by the name of Alan McElroy. What's even creepier is that I easily might have rented Left Behind, Spawn, Wrong Turn or Rapid Fire tomorrow, had I not discovered that he wrote them all. I can't pretend I'm not curious about films in which Kirk Cameron witnesses the apocalypse, John Leguizamo wears heavy padding to play a demon clown, Eliza Dushku runs from 'cannibalistic mountain-men,' and Brandon Lee doesn't get shot.

Upcoming Alan McElroy scripts to look forward to, courtesy of IMDb:

Thr3e: Innocent lives hang on the whim of an elusive psychopathic murderer whose strange riddles and impossible timelines force three people into a mission to end the game before one or all of them die.

The Marine: A Marine returns from battle to find that his girlfriend is ensnared in a kidnapping plot. Starring John Cena.

Jornada del Muerte: A modern-day Western where gangs, drug trafficking and broken codes of honor rule. Directed by John Milius.

Bonesaw: The world is imperiled when Bonesaw and other demonic characters from a woman's hit fantasy horror novels are about to enter reality.

I'm not making any of this up, except the part about not renting Left Behind tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Just when you think you're tired of talking about Fred Durst, he puts out an album by this guy, one that apes Interpol (not Joy Division, Interpol) in the most brazen, ridiculous manner. An album credited to She Wants Revenge, who are currently opening for Electric Six.

Please watch the video for "Sister." Paul Banks must be creeped the fuck out.

Never stop, Fred. Never stop.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I wonder how many people who were at Ford Field last night could sing you part of "Rough Justice." If the band really had balls, they would have done "One Hit To The Body" with Jagger flanked by a couple dozen cheerleaders.

Friday, February 03, 2006

IMDb's plot outline to Basic Instinct 2:

Novelist Catherine Tramell (Stone) is once again in trouble with the law, and Scotland Yard appoints psychiatrist Dr. Andrew Glass (Morrissey) to evaluate her. Though, like Detective Nick Curran before him, Glass is entranced by Tramell and lured into a seductive game.

"Have you ever fucked on cocaine? It's nice."
"I have never had no one ever."

Thursday, February 02, 2006

What Are You On? for Miami. The first album of 2006 I declare to be awesome.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

These are comments I submitted to the pazz'n'jop poll this year, typos and all:

I live in PHILLY now, which means I get to frequently associate with other Pazz'n'Joppers for the first time since Carey Price moved from State College to NY in '03. I thought I'd hear less indie now that I'm estranged from college radio, but between my housemate's promo stash and you-send-it bearing pals I feel like I've heard more than enough.

Evidently all that stood in the way of Metallica evading actual criticism for their 'challenging' album was their Y chromosomes. If you people don't stop kissing their ass and give them the audience to actually WIN OVER, Sleater-Kinney's going to drop a Metal Machine Music and its gonna be the hardest four-star review of your professional life.

I tried to listen to that Stones album (liked that line about Mick drunk on the couch and becoming a grouch but 'I Walk The Streets Of Love' cancelled that interest fast) but fuck if I care if they can still arena rock unembarassingly (and, btw, they can't). It's not my white male generational baggage on the line.

I'm embarassed that two of the albums on my list weren't even commercially available in 2005. While I think the obsession with macro-social relevance in pop music is an overreach inspired by folks who need to redeem their medium fetish, I've got enough of that noble-ass value system ingrained in my system that the obscurity of the music that mattered most to me does irritate. That doesn't mean I'm going to pretend that Robyn and Electric Six didn't make albums that were stronger, nuttier, funnier and smarter than everybody else's. Hell, maybe I'll vote for them again in 2006.

The way p'n'j comments tend to frame world issues in the solipsistic context of music obsessives is just tough for me to get enthusiastic about (reading, or writing them). People doing their part by overrating Kanye, if not a gaggle of pimps from the tri-state area. Sometimes I'm actually more comfortable with music as background or mere escapism, rather than a symbolic stand-in for political action. At my most self-loathing moments, it all just seems like a gregarious distraction, with the faux-benign fireworks from Green Day to MIA made more offensive by their pretensions.

Our Hero Kanye's biggest hit warned against greedy bitches. Not that it wasn't a classic pop single: infectious, loaded with detail, funny, etc. It was the grandest example of a very popular trend this year: musically engaging, lyrically considered ho-baiting. It's possible I'm overemphasizing a ubiquitous constant, but it really did feel that the muse was strong this year for that side of the gender war. Anybody got ideas as to why?

Music I got really excited about this year: apocalyptic but inclusive disco-metal, open-hearted but well-edited memoirs of adolescence, sex beats from witty cads, jittery drone strums, women who probably know every word to 'I Will Survive,' the most bombastic track on an indie orchestra album, Lil Jon cutesypoo, any new wave single that broke a billboard chart and every batshit word that came out of R. Kelly's mouth.


Here's my ballot. I'm the only person to vote for "Goin' Crazy" and "Toma." Shame on you all.