This media blow stacks the tracks and cuts the wax that split the facts and rock the racks.
Atmosphere: If you haven’t already checked out the hippest cat on the underground scene, I can sum up the best parts of Slug and Ant’s live act with the following. Ten minutes before the end of his sadly shortened set (all-ages show, early curfew), Slug grabbed the mic and said, “All right, instead of doing that fake ass pretentious encore shit, I’m just gonna sing two more songs, then I’m out.” I HAVE FOUND THE LAST REAL MC.
Even if you don’t know every track he raps on, you can’t help but bob along with Slug’s delivery – lyrical but not too clever for his own good, rhythmic but not predictable. As big a fan as I am, I probably only knew about half the songs they played – When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold had only dropped on Tuesday, and apparently more people liked God Loves Ugly than I did. Still, I’d change nothing but the curfew.
Johnny Cash – “Hurt”: I saw the first 30 seconds of this video on YouTube, back when it made the rounds, and thought, “Oh, it’s just like the original song, only slower” and shut it off. For whatever reason I came back to it the other day and listened the whole way through.
Wow. I was so wrong it’s fucking embarrassing. I could not have been any more wrong and still been speaking in the English language.
If you have never seen it before, watch it alone or with a trusted friend:
The Editors: Pretty good. Indie without being slowcore or atonal. They have the same symphonic bombast as Arcade Fire and the same lead singer who can sing but has clearly never had voice lessons as Interpol. I listened to An End Has A Start and liked it; you could probably talk me into listening to others.
David Gray: On a whim I picked up his Greatest Hits the other day. Maybe my musical tastes have mellowed with age – I don’t know if this guy would have made the same impression on me contemporaneously as he does now. Though I remember liking “Babylon” at the time. Good, chill pop music. “Shine” has been wrecking my face pretty continuously for about a week or so now.
Gnarls Barkley: Give it up for Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse, who completely flipped the mainstream hip-hop concept by rapping about fear, self-consciousness, hubris and isolation. The Odd Couple, their sophomore effort, covers a lot of the same ground as their debut. Cee-Lo spits simple-sounding tracks that come from a complicated place, emotionally. Not as many toe-tappers as on St. Elsewhere (no “Crazy,” no “Smiling”, no “Gone Daddy Gone,” no “Last Time”), so it might not stand the test of time.
The GZA: To break up the monotony of top 40 pop and emo heartbreak for a minute, here’s the Genius’s hardcore track “Knock Knock.” Chappelle’s Show fans will recognize the song, though not the video, from Season 2.
Dave Matthews Band: I stopped listening to these guys after Crash came out; I’ll argue I made no mistake. I picked Crash back up again after maybe a decade of not having listened to it and I still loved it. Aside from “Cry Freedom” and “Proudest Monkey” you can’t find a sleeper on there.
Trent Reznor: I’ve had “The Hand That Feeds” stuck in my head for about a week now. I listen to that one, plus something off of Wu-Tang’s Enter The Thirty-Six Chambers, plus at least one Soundgarden song, at least once a week at work. I’ve turned 27 and suddenly I just want to hit 17 again.