Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I'd like to eat rice cakes and listen to classical music

Buck 65 - Wicked & Weird - Yesterday I promised, as Fatcitizen noted in a comment, some Buck 65. The occasion? He's finally getting a US Release! In January, Virgin will drop This Here is Buck 65 a compilation of some of Bucks greatest stuff from the past few years as the US's introduction to Canadas foremost white trash rapper. Wicked & Weird seems to be the radio single at the moment, and it's a fine choice for an introduction to Buck. The backing track is Beck-esque mix of equal parts country-funk and spacey electro blues, with a dash of turntablism, but what carries the song is Bucks utterly inimitable MC-ing. The voice is a ciggarette and whiskey scorched gravel reminiscent of Tom Waits in some ways, or what Kid Rock was always trying to be, and the rhymes are as tight as anything coming out of the conventional, urban hip-hop world - but it's the subject matter that sets Buck apart. Self aggrandizing, with the tossed off Jesus reference, sure, but this is a song about and for the road - thats clear all throughout, and besides, lines like "Back on the road, not a moment too soon / Dish ran away with some other spoon" are just classics.

Buck 65 - Centaur (Acoustic Version) - But This Here Is isn't entirely repackaged Buck tracks. There's a pair of new cuts too, particularly this alternate, acoustic take on the classic track "Centaur". Narrowly skirting the line between mythology and metaphor, "Centaur" is both novelty track and the heartbreaking lament of a man who just wants some privacy and some honesty. The acoustic take plays up the more serious side of the song (in part because the lyrics are cleaned up a bit, probably at the request of Virgin for a single), with a slow, melodic take on the instrumental, and a vocal track that plods through depressed and lonely.

[This Here Is drops in January. Those who can't wait should pick up Talkin' Honky Blues from Amazon.com]

In other news, I'm saddened to note that internet icon Waxy has recieved a C&D from Disney for linking to Mp3's of the Kleptones A Night at the Hip Hopera. For those that haven't heard me say it before, I'll say it now. I think the Kleptones are the absolute masters of the bootleg/mashup genre. They bring a level of technical skill and invetiveness to things that noone else in the game does. Yoshimi Battles the Hip-Hop Robots was good. Hip-Hopera is probably the best bootleg album this year. I can't be one of the many folks out there doing a full album mirror, so I'm gonna do the next best thing. For the next few weeks, I'm going to post this album track by track, along with each days post. And with the track, I'm gonna post links to buy the source of every single sample on the track. And when you buy one of those CD's, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, post a comment here, so that we can show Disney & the rest of the IP obsessed fools of the world exactly what they are suppressing here.

The Kleptones - Precession - the opening track of the album, is primarily a Queen track, with various snippets of fun dialogue scattered about it. It's nothing special in it's own right, and primarily serves as an introduction to much much much more fun to come. Grab it while it's hot. It's the beginning of something special.

[Buy Queen II from Amazon.com!]

Finally, I'm one of the panelists in Kyle over at Information Leafblowers 2nd annual top 40 American bands poll. Since the Cool Kids are posting their ballots, here's what I sent to Kyle over the weekend. Keep in mind that my list was constructed with the following directions in mind: "...the Top 40 Bands In America today. Not last year when they were hot or when their new record drops in '05, I mean right the fuck now." As a result, the list tends towards acts that have just dropped albums, and/or rising stars. Also, the USA only rules cut off a whole buttload of Canadian bands that would probably dominate my list at the moment. There's something in that northern water I say. I also voted a bit strategically, leaving off a few artists I was convinced would rank well without me. Some did (Interpol), some charted lower than I'd've liked (TV On the Radio), and some amazingly didn't chart (Mission of Burma). That said, here's what I sent Kyle:

1) Gogol Bordello
-- Eugene Hutz has, over the past 3 years, completed his transformation from drunken ukrainean punk to rock and roll god. Gogol Bordellos live performances have become the stuff of legend thanks to his unmatched stage presence and the tightly chained chaos the band can unleash. Gogol Bordello are the most essentially American band out there - a hodgepodge of Immigrants from all over, brought together in NY by gypsy punk rock, and good alcohol, this sounds like nothing else on this earth. Take the mantra to heart: Drink Locally - Fuck Globally.

2) The Fiery Furnaces
-- 'Fork hype aside, the siblings Friedberger have put out an album that managed to challenge every hipster preconception of current music while simultaneously enthralling us with hooks, storytelling, and an album more generally packed full of STUFF than anything else this year.

3) The Mountain Goats
-- John Darnielle is, quite simply, the best working American songwriter. For anyone else, the addition of a band, as Darnielle did on 2002's Tallahassee would have been career suicide, the backlash enormous. But for the Mountain Goats, it was only a logical extension, as Darnielle is still telling the same stories, of broken homes and everlasting hope.

4) Brian Wilson
-- 37 years later, and the mans still got it. Smile is everything we were promised and more.

5) Ted Leo / RX
-- Smart. Literate. Politically charged. Catchy as fuckall. Can anything be said about Ted Leo that hasn't already? Shake the Sheets continues his growing move into his role as the Billy Bragg of a new generation - it suits him.

6) The Hold Steady
-- Like a Heavy Metal Sonic Youth, The Hold Steady burst out of the gate this past winter with "...Almost Killed Me", an album of blazing distorted guitar insanity and a twisted proclamatory lyrical style that is utterly inimitable.

7) MF DOOM
-- Does Metalmouth ever sleep? First he collaborates with Madlib on the fantastic Madvillainy, before assuming his Viktor Vaughn persona for another posse release, and now he's poised to drop MMM FOOD, home to the sickest beats and the best rhymes on the continent at the moment.

8) ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
-- Getting their label to agree to pay for the replacement of all equipment destroyed while on tour was the smartest thing these Texans ever did. As they prepare to release a new album in a few months, they've been touring relentlessly, tearing shit up left and right, and showing hints of a broadened sound that brings in flashes of prog and krautrock to an already explosive mix of no-wave distortion and smart pop song construction.

9) Green Day
-- My teen years have returned from the grave with a political vengance. Who'd've thought Green Day had it in them to return from a decade of mediocrity with the most powerful and anthemic protest album in decades? If President Bush is what it takes to make Punk rock relevant again, than maybe 4 more years is just what the doctor
ordered...

10) The Decembrists
-- They aren't Neutral Milk Hotel, but noone ever will be. They carry the torch like none other though, and thats more than enough.


And a quick show announcement for New Yorkers: The Blow will be playing at Barnard tomorrow night (tonight?) the 18th, with YACHT, Knife Skills, and Dear Nora. It's 5 bucks. More info at WBAR.org. You should go. Because I can't.

10 Comments:

At 11/18/2004 06:37:00 AM, Blogger mr gilbert said...

Now I think I sorta did my top ten list all wrong, like I misread the "instructions" or something. I tried to base mine not just on who's hot/buzz or whose album just dropped, keeping those factors in mind but taking a step back to look at it in perspective - but that wasn't really what was asked, was it? Damn, whatever. This sh** ain't scientific or definitive or anything. And like any good "indie" list, it's getting ripped on left & right.

Gogol Bordello, Hold Steady & Trail of Dead just missed my list, btw. In hindsight, perhaps I should have included Doom as well, just because the cat is so damn prolific it's embarrassing to most other musicians. Thanks for the Mm..Food? tracks - I may have to pick that disc up.

Agreed re: The Kleptones. I finally stumbled across A Night At The Hip-Hopera about a month or so ago, and it's freakin' great. I was thinking about posting something about the Waxy shutdown as well, but I don't think I have anything particularly new to say about it. Cheers to you though, Keith, for taking initiative & posting the tracks as well as the sample lists - which are often long. Will you be including the quoted movies/dvds too (Bueller, Aqua Teen & such)?

Solid post, yo.

[I don't know if I should be labeled as "cool", but that's up to you I suppose.]

 
At 11/18/2004 10:46:00 AM, Blogger Fuzzy said...

Buck 65 is so, just right-on. I first heard him this spring and was amazed I'd never heard of him before.

 
At 11/18/2004 11:43:00 AM, Blogger No Frontin' said...

yeah, i hope to add to the ripping of the worst list ever created in the near future.

 
At 11/18/2004 02:21:00 PM, Blogger Dumbek said...

Good call on The Hold Steady. One of my favorite surprises of last year. The Fiery Furnaces drive me crazy though. "Challenging" is an understatement. I just don't get them.

 
At 11/18/2004 02:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If President Bush is what it takes to make Punk rock relevant again, than maybe 4 more years is just what the doctor ordered...Too true. It's been years since I've wanted to listen to good oldschool punk rock the way I've been jonesing for it as of late. Nothing else quite satisfies.

MoeRex

 
At 11/18/2004 10:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how tragic that the ODB song would be paired with "Another One Bites The Dust". We've been having a few too many celebrity deaths lately.

 
At 11/21/2004 07:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to see the decemberists made the list. love the buck 65 stuff. :o)

 
At 11/27/2004 01:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hellz yeah!

that acoustic centaur by buck 65 rocks my world!

-cb

blog.ofmirroreye.net

 
At 10/01/2005 07:57:00 PM, Blogger unrepentant resources said...

Looking for cds day edited green info tonight I came across this cds day edited green post. I was impressed. I love cds day edited green and am glad I found this post. Keep it up!!

Paul

 
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