Thursday, March 15, 2007

Reasons I Haven't Been Posty McPosts-a-lot.

1. Philadelphia Me doesn't need this like State College Me did.

2. State College me listened to the radio everyday, and Philadelphia Me can't even GET radio. Discmans with radios are too expensive, and the walkman I bought last fall (for real, I bought a walkman!) gets craptastic reception. Plus I got an Ipod for Christmas and nuff said. Without radio pumping the same 20+ songs into my ear as I walk around town, it's hard for me to gain the kind of personal relationship with New Pop Hits that makes me want to wax poetic. I've only heard the current #1 "Glamorous" ONCE, and that was when I was making a Itunes playlist called 40 Oz. Of Ludacris (a 40 song extension of the Featuring Ludacris CD-R I made last year) on my girlfriend's computer, well before it was a single.

3. Said girlfriend (of almost a year) is very distracting. And awesome.

4. My input glut and other people's output glut. I've got several dozen LPs and about a hundred CDs culled from used bins and such, sitting in alphabetical piles, waiting to be judged. Either I'll toss them, put them in my collection, or throw them on the pile of hit-or-miss I need to cull key tracks from. Said culling pile is about 40+ deep itself, waiting for when I clear out the 44 hours of music on my computer I need to put into 70+ minute playlists and burn onto disc. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it, but it's time-consuming and I'm not inspired to describe in detail why I kept these 7 tracks off of Washing Machine and not the other four. If the album's profound, usually somebody's already noted that, and if it's just a preferred guitar sound over consistent beats, somebody's usually called that one profound as well. I'd rather move on and King Solomon Crappin' You Negative.

5. While I still read every week and download mp3s from Forkcast and Idolator almost every night, the cost-benefit of perusing new releases regularly seems awful. The only upcoming album I know I'll be buying asap is Era Vulgaris by Queens Of The Stone Age. I still check out stuff from my housemate Sara's promo pile, and occasionally some pop product will be enticing enough to get me on limewire collecting singles'skits'n'all, but when I go to AKA to shop, I usually walk out with some used CDs I used to have on cassette, and a shoegaze album from 1990 (my version of "pure moods") that's avaiable for $10. Not Neon Bible.

6. If I knew screencaps and soundclips like Rich, I'd probably detail my adventures in DVD-land (thanks to my job I see plenty), but as of now I'm too lazy to bite his motif like I should. I'm thinking about jackin' Joshua "Jane Dark" Clover's soon, though. I'd be so lowbrow in comparison you wouldn't even notice.

7. I really shouldn't say this out loud, but I think I want to write a novel...wait for it...based on a dream I had two years ago. NOW you can laugh. Yes, sometimes I feel like I want to make the jump from critic to avid fan/mediocre artist. I've got Ira Kaplan's Disease. Maybe I'll get Leila to harmonize with me in an acoustic duo called The Gun In Betty Lou's Handbag. How is that NOT better than a blog?

8. Pop culture seems very sickly and unimpressive right now, and I don't really have a baby boomer's courage of conviction to either give it my all or wail repeatedly about how Taking Back Sunday is barely fit to lick Sponge's asshole.

Thing is, writing this has made me curious to actually review Neon Bible, if only to ponder whether people got this excited about the Waterboys. I also should praise the glory that was Tommy Lee Jones in 2006. Having voiced my neuroses, I'll probably just return to the blurbier, multi-post format I used to have, rather than this one-biweekly-treatise-at-a-time set-up I've got now. That way I can save my deeper thoughts for the novel!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tony Sunshine Is Right

Full disclosure: I am Tony Sunshine. My readership* is small enough that I'm not worried about public outcry if I reveal that I was paid a hefty sum to let some 21st century Zelma Davis pretend he handled the vocals on this remake of the Patrick Swayze classic. It's all good, though - I didn't do it for fame. I did it for financial reward, emotional catharsis** and the artistic challenge of conveying the song's anguish in a lithe hip-hop context. While I think some of the song's character is lost (without the climactic key change underlining the swing from torment to bittersweet acceptance, the song's mood is merely pensive), I'm proud of my "baby, PLEASE" embellishments. The track still succeeds as erotic ear candy.

That said, there remains an obvious flaw: the lack of Diddy. The original "She's Like The Wind," for all its earnest majesty and commercial success (Swayze, despite his continuing status as a renaissance man, has yet to top it), is a left-field choice for a streetwise make-over. Due to historical precedence, it's the kind of initially off-putting interpolation most people associate with Diddy and his self-regarding "uh"s. Lumidee's vocal presence*** is minimal enough that there's plenty of room for the music impresario's grunted verbal encouragement. As it stands, "She's Like The Wind" lacks the grandeur necessary to bring listeners back to the time when multiplatinum was a matter of weeks rather than months and the internet**** had yet to remove all luster from the artform.

The singles on Press Play are doing better than they have any right to, but "She's Like The Wind" shows by comparison how far he's strayed from his initial mission: turning '80s cornflake into feel-good struts for the youth of America with a minimum of fuss. While he still dresses like a champion***** and does his best to make his songbirds sound good, recent singles lack the infectious obviousness that made his late '90s heyday so rewarding to proto-poptimists. It was so much more fun to laugh in the jealous faces of haters and wanna-bes when his accomplishments seemed effortless.

Here's an example of better times, when Diddy was capable of instilling fresh energy into a forgotten slice of retro-chintz with bravado to spare:

If I was still on speaking terms with Mario Winans, I'd try to get him to propose We Invented The Reggaeton! Don't act like it wouldn't rule.


*especially after a full month without posts, sorry.
**I've known the pain of an unreliable lover, yes.
***I was under the impression this track was being produced for Zooey Deschanel's upcoming debut album, Limelight Fantasies: A Personal Journey Through American Film, and hopeful our collaboration would increase my chances of meeting/doing her, but you never know where songs will wind up nowadays. While I have no interest in meeting/doing Lumidee, I wish her all the best with her psuedo-career and anxiously await a song where she's in key.
****and MIMS.