Monday, April 14, 2008

According to a recent SPIN article

Bloggers make roughly $35,000 a year.



why wasn't I informed?

who's signing my check that I do not receive?

or to paraphrase every money-hungry rap song ever:

"where my money, bitch?"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I'm - I'm just bein' honest

Outkast makes me sad.

Not because of their music, really, but because they should have been this generation's Beatles, and they screwed that up. They had the style, the grace, the hip-hop and the pop and the soul and the avantfunkwhathaveyou, and, more importantly, they had their fingers on the pulse of cool and the the ears of the world in their pockets. In 2004, "Hey Ya!" was number one on the charts; number two was "(I Like) The Way You Move." Two songs by the same band at the two highest spots; the only artist to do this previously was, in fact, the Beatles.

Outkast could have, and should have, been the 2000s Big Artist, the Beatles or the Zeppelin or the Run-DMC or the Nirvana, the Important Ones, and all because of one album, 2003's Speakerboxxx / The Love Below, an album easily as good as Zeppelin IV or Nevermind. Outkast had other fantastic albums, like Stankonia and Aquemini, but it was this one that was IT. It reigned the charts, and absolutely everyone adored it. "Hey Ya!" proved their pop mettle / importance, "(I Like) The Way You Move" earned them street cred, "Roses" combined the aesthetics of Uranus' second-best frontman (after Prince), Andre "3000" Benjamin, and the durrrty South's most intelligent and capable MC, Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, and the whole dual-identity and quirkiness of the album as a unit earned them major artistic and critical credibility. They had Importance in the palm of their hands. In 2003 and 2004, Outkast ruled the world.

But of course, they threw it all away. They dawdled about in a bunch of nothing for a while, Andre 3000 doing some mediocre acting, Big Boi doing...nothing, I suppose, until 2006 saw the release of their joint film and soundtrack Idlewild, a commercial and critical flop that, for now at least, effectively sealed their fate.

This is really unfortunate, because few people now seem to remember that Outkast was amazing, and it was solely because of the personas of the main players (playas?). Both coming out of the durrrty South / G-Funk thing, they diverged on such different paths that it's a shock that they even could work together. Andre 3000 is one of the more stylish and eccentric men in popular music, with a borderline-whiny soul voice and a prodigious flow (which, like fellow soul eccentric Cee-Lo Green, he seriously underutilizes), not to mention a flair for the theatrical, weird, and glamorous. Big Boi, on the other hand, is a typical b-boy, all thugglife hippity-hop, but with a twist; Big Boi is intelligent. He's probably one of the smartest rappers of all time (except maybe Ice Cube, but that's debatable; Chuck D was bright too, but he was sort of radical, and maybe just convinced people he was smart...the jury's still out). So you take this soul-glam ingenue and the most literate thug rapper this side of Atlanta, and you mash them together to create either one of the most unlistenable, pretentious creations of modern music, or today's Beatles.

Outkast began, so promisingly, as the latter; they're quickly, and unfortunately, devolving into the former. I can only hope they come back. We miss you, Outkast.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Humanity Fails at Life

This is taken directly from the Hummer fan page on Facebook:

"The objective of this group is to bring all hummer fans together and to get people to appreciate Hummer as a do it all SUV, not a gas guzzling behemoth that pollutes the environment. back in the late 70's and 80's trucks and SUV's looked like hummers and now some uneducated people are trying to ruin its reputation, here is what i have to say to them (if you cant afford them, or never drove them then shut up) as for environmentalists, you want to save the world get rid of your old crappy cars and do some more research this car is a great truck and have proven their worth over and over again all over the world."

Of course! OF COURSE! We can save the environment by getting rid of our small cars and stocking up on "great trucks" that have "proven their worth" (which seems to have nothing at all to do with the issue at hand, but I digress)! This is a brilliant, revolutionary concept!

Thank you, anonymous writer, for so clearly and coherently expressing your opinions and beliefs. You've certainly convinced me!

Damn Dirty Apes

Charlton Heston is dead?

Thanks (I guess) to Kevin.

Heroes and Monsters

I like music. I like new music. I like new, weird music.

I like Villains.

Villains is a band (or a man, or, or a 19th century French vivisectionist, or a baby genius floating in formaldehyde) from Los Angeles who traffics like a dirty Colin Meloy character in under-the-bridge avant-noir jazzfolkindiepopsomething, and it's very, very good.

I think the best thing about Villains, or at the very least my favourite thing, their music notwithstanding (which is, need I hammer in further, very good), is the fact that they have an aesthetic, which most bands simply do not have. It's borderline intangible, and yet very, very obvious. Villains is like a band of Franco-Italian gypsies rolled into one man, all art and commerce and Edward Gorey. Few other bands have a real aesthetic like that. The Arcade Fire does; they're like sharp-dressed church workers dealing with their own issues on the wrong side of a violin. Of Montreal has it, if free-wheeling acid dreams count as aesthetics. And now Villains has it, and the music itself is better for it. It feels somehow more real, even though it isn't. It's almost like the best alt-country bands in this respect.

Frankly, more music needs to have the romantic sense of whimsy and winking drama that Villains has so masterfully cornered.

Also, supposedly their name will be shortly changed to "Painted Ladies." Just keep an eye out for that.

I Should Really Get Back to Blogging

It's been a remarkably long time, hasn't it?

Months and untold months...

oh well.

I'm (probably) back.

Here are some videos of Black Kids live on Jools Holland for you while I think of something interesting to write: