Thursday, 28 January 2010

R.I.P J.D. Salinger

I'm genuinely saddened to hear about the death of J.D Salinger this week. A truly amazing author who started my love affair (That's a little romantic. It's more a debauched fling that we'll both regret in the future) with the written word when I read 'Catcher In The Rye' for the first time too many years ago now.

I hope for Jerome David's sake up there that OPM were wrong when they sang 'Heaven is a Halfpipe'. I hope it's more, y'know, a reclusive house in the middle of nowhere. No phonies or people thinkin' they're big shots allowed.

"Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Laughing Out Loud Whilst a Record Plays.

"He's behind you!" Have I ever mentioned how much I despise pantomimes? Probably not. I'd rather watch a Creed gig. With Joss Stone supporting.

I've bought one comedy CD before. It was a Mitch Hedburg one when I was at university. I never really listened to it that much in truth. I mean I listened to a few tracks on it now and then and they were really funny but I never found myself in a position where I wanted to play the whole thing right through. Those last three Neil Young albums, yeah, same with those although that's really not relevant. All that stuff aside, I pre ordered another one, Aziz Ansari's 'Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening', last week sometime and it arrived on Monday. I've been listening to it in the car because let's be honest, no one really pays any attention to the actual road, do they? For me, listening to some tunes or *gasp* some comedy in the car really makes a lot of sense. At least it saves you from getting bored and in your distraction veering off the road and (knowing your luck) hitting someone really worthy who probably does a lot more in the community and for the human race than you ever will.

'IMFASE' (ooh catchy) is really really good. Anzari is so likeable and although I'm yet to work out whether he is really really funny or not, his delivery is so great that he just has you from the off. I've driven to work four times this week I think (I say I think because every day truly is the same, it's a bit like Groundhog Day apart from this is my actual life, not a Hollywood movie with Bill Murray in it) and I've listened to this album each day whilst driving both ways so that's eight times in total, genius. Now, I'm not really sure how you're meant to listen to these things. In one sitting? Bit by bit over a long period of time like that bastard Komodo Dragon eatin' that water buffalo on 'Life' a while back? Either way, the show is still very funny when I listen to it now and with a comedy record, that says a lot. Below are five moments from this CD I cannot listen to without laughing (okay at least smiling broadly and saying "That's actually pretty funny.")

1. 'Sheets' - "296?!" Are you shitttttinn' me man?!"
2. Kanye West vs. Darwish ' - "I don't know, it's pretty messed up!"
3. 'Harrassing Harris On Facebook' - "I started poking him like crazy and sending him vampire requests - whatever the fuck that is."
4. 'Random Roommate' - "Oh, I'm a douchebag huh?!"
5. 'CVS' - "Two ain't gettin' CDs though."

Yeah truly, get this album.You can stream it from spotify if you're a nerd. Link here. Yeah yeah, I suppose you could download it too. A little word though, if you're going to download this thing, don't go talking about it a whole lot after, you just end up bumming people out. "I don't pay for my albums. rah rah rah. Why should I? mu hah hah. I just downloaded the 18th series of LOST. I probably won't even watch it! My external hard drive is nearzzzzzzz" Yeah, go do something more productive bedroom dweller. Fill some potholes in the road or something. Actually, I've heard there's some fields in various war torn areas that may or may not still be scattered with unexploded landmines. Someone's gotta run through and find out some day. Be a hero, yeah?

Monday, 25 January 2010

The Gagged Mouth

Disclaimer: Post not about BDSM. Sorry guys! For that kinda stuff, click here. I don't judge, I just help others see? I'm good like that. Unless you're murdering someone obviously. There are always exceptions.

That's the sound of several readers logging off right there but yo. I'm not here for long, just stopping by to trickle a couple of words out before I go and do something even less productive then writing on this blog. That being sleeping. Just laying there under some sheets for 6 hours doing absolutely nothing. Nothing aside from dreaming up weird and twisted stories that Tim Burton could only, erm, dream about writing. Hey Tim! I bet Johnny Depp would be really good in a wacky surreal version of Alice In Wonzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Oh don't tell me Blogspot has censored that cool photo of Jay-Z, Kanye and myself and replaced it with a black square?! Censorship man, honestly.

I finally got a copy of Wale's 'Attention Deficit' in the post the other day. I say finally because I've been waiting for a long long time for this thing. I'd not listened to a note of it aside from lead single 'Chillin'' and second single 'Pretty Girls' so its arrival was pretty exciting. Now, upon unwrapping the blighter I noticed that it had one of those white stickers across the top that are usually hard to get off (ya know the ones you always get on Sub Pop releases) that read "Wale - Attention Deficit (edit)'. I wasn't sure entirely what this meant other than, obviously, it had been edited in some way. So, I play the disc for the first time. A couple of minutes later I stop it because...


NO I do not like that. I get it, sure. Ya don't want your little kid's first words to be "Bitchass ho" cos you've been playing too much Ludacris in the car on the way to school but for me, it ruins albums. It's not because I get some cheap kick outta bad words or anything, I mean, I am fully grown. If I felt like that I'd just quit my job and swear in the mirror all day whilst giggling. It's more because these words are there for a reason a lot of the time. They fit and, yes, they really mean something that a second of silence just can't convey. Below I've posted a song that wouldn't work censored. It also gives me the chills each and every time I listen to it. It is the main reason why I believe in Wale so much. When he's good, he's really good. Review of 'Attention Deficit' to follow soon...

Wale - The Kramer

"The colour of my skin/content of my character..."

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Eels - End Times

Noah ain't been the same since he moved to LA and started watching too much cable.

When Eels released that last effort 'Hombre Lobo', I contemplated giving up on them. The lead single really dissapointed me more than anything. I expected big things but when I heard that 'Fresh Blood' song all I really thought was "...dat it?!" Same kinda thing each morning when (after a night of hard praying that I get snowed in) I awake to see that there isn't feet upon feet of snow outside but instead only about five snowflakes and a few drops of pissy rain have fallen overnight and that yep, you gotta go to work homeboy. Dat It?!

To me 'Hombre Lobo' sounded like a half baked 'Souljacker' more often than not and that album wasn't exactly king milkshake. Still, in my efforts to never actually get my life together and buy good things that last and improve your life, I've again reverted to buying more CDs than all the CD factories can make (burn? Whatever.). So, yeah, I really loved Eels once so I bought 'End Times' the other day.

I'm really liking it too. Perhaps it doesn't warrant it's own blog post but I think it's the nostalgia getting to me. If you know Eels, you'll know what themes this album will cover and E still sounds like he always has but there's some lovely little songs on this record. The fun little stomp of 'Paradise Blues' has got a lot of plays in my car this week which ain't blue nor no paradise and 'In My Younger Days' is resonating a little too strongly with my impending birthday on the way like a jail on wheels. This is a well crafted record that corresponds well with some of the quieter (and best) moments of 'Blinking Lights...' and sounds a lot like a band who are comfortable with with who they are and how they sound. Those things, of course, are the only things they are comfortable with mind. Don't even mention girls, love or friends. Hell, don't even talk about leaving the damn house sometimes with these guys.

"She locked herself in the bathroom again/So I am pissing in the yard"
- Eels - 'A Line In the Dirt'

The scene of a urine incident, yesterday.

All those moons ago I pored over those 'Beautiful Freak' liner notes that read '"One day the world will be ready for you and wonder how they didn't see." Well, when it comes to this record, people have grown up, grown apart. The world did notice you know, it just didn't care a whole lot.

Monday, 4 January 2010

10 Years Is a Long Time If You're Countin' The Days

MMD II: 10 Years Is a Long Time If You're Countin' The Days

So 2010 has arrived with a whole load of snow. Ya heard? You've probably noticed that various television channels are providing pretty much constant updates on the weather by now. It's got to the point where seeing a car helplessly wheelspinning on ice and/or an old granny saying she's "..never seen anything like this in all her x years," is getting a little tiresome. Still, 2010 is here! We enter the 'tens'! Together, we all enter a new decade and we ignore the people calling this year "twenty ten" in the same way we ignored those that for the past ten years spoke of the "noughties". Don't even dare to say "naughty noughties" to me and expect me to do anything but curse your name, run to the hills and never socialise with another human again. That phrase is that hideous.
An end of decade review without a single review? Yes, we can.

It was a strange decade that last one wasn't it. For all that was good about these past ten years (and there were some really great things going down), there was plenty of the opposite too. Lots of insecurity and lots of intangible fear but with all things considered, one thing we can agree on is that there were many things to make 01/01/00 to 31/12/09 just, well, memorable. Rarely has so much happened in one decade that will largely act to influence the shape of the decade to follow. Still, this ain't no political commentary thang I got here, this right here is about the music maaaaaaannnn.

Yeah, pretty memorable.

The music of that decade then, how was it? Good, I think. How could I review this decision you ask? Well, I could've reviewed my favourite albums of the decade and all that. Yes. I could've posted a certain number each week throughout December and it could've been like a little countdown. I could've done that too. I am starting to feel a bit bad for not doing this, by the way. However, I left things late as always and if I'm honest with you, I saw little point in it. I mean, I write about what? Indie rock and hip hop pretty much. These things are discussed as much as the goddamn weather ffs. Would there really be any *shocks* in my list?! "Yeah wow! I really dug that Antony & The Johnsons album too!" "Can't believe you thought 'Hell Hath No Fury' was white hot! Totally agree man."

Depressing how this would be called 'retro' now. The pros of iPods (listen to your music whilst walking about) still marginally outweigh the cons (simply apple fanboys).

Instead I've decided to make a playlist. I'm aware this looks like a cop out but I think it's a better idea. I sort of wanted a good playlist to listen to (not mentioning what fun it was making it) and with Spotify being so good for sharing, you can have it too. So I sat down and hammered out my 100 favourite songs of the last decade* and I'm pretty pleased with the results. Sure, there's a lot of obvious picks on there but what can a man do? NOT choose 'What You Know' , 'Crazy In Love' or 'The Rat'?! Getouttahere.

Not my banner, funnily enough. People that know me please note: Upon my death, please use a good photo in any subsequent internet RIP banners yeah?

I tried to only use one band or artist once. I sneakily crept around this self made rule to include some songs I wanted to so yes, Big Boi is on there as are OutKast etc. I suggest that if you've got any issues with this then take them up with Big Boi.

"Go back to the internet, nerd."

Some personal highlights of mine:

- The delivery of "The plan is to put the rap game in the choke hoollddd" from 'In Da Club'.

The two little synth claps before Pimp C's verse on 'International Players Anthem...'.

- That mental little squiggle after "No matter where we are/We're always touching by
underground wires..." from Of Montreal's 'The Past Is a Grotesque Animal'.

1:22 into 'John Wayne Gacy, Jr' by Sufjan Stevens. Shit is chilling.

- The much mentioned but still golden "Forever, forever, ever, forever, ever?" from 'Ms Jackson'. Coincidentally, this line of Andre's is taken from my favourite hip-hop verse of the decade. Just inspired.

- The closing verse of Okkervil's 'A Stone'. Just listen to it man.

- How Tom Waits has written a song about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict (not easy) and it is as good lyrically as 'Road To Peace' (majorly not easy.)

- The segue between cassette recording and the actual song on 'Someday I Will Treat You Good' by Sparklehorse.

- That spoken word intro on 'Ignition (remix)'. He doesn't usually do this, ya know.

I could go on forever. These are a good bunch. Take a listen. Happy New Year.

*That are on Spotify. There are some complete beauties that aren't on there. I could do another 100 on what isn't actually. If it's like properly good and it isn't in my list, it ain't on spotify brother.