30 April 2010
hprill's review on Rate Your Music (4.5/5):
If MBV ever released a collection of songs that doesn't even carry an ounce of pretentiousness in it, this is it; this is as straight as MBV ever were. The five tracks on this EP aren't artsy, dreamy or shoegazey; they are great pop music without all the bubblegum and the polish.
Everything is as tight as it can get. The title track is urgent, powerful and noisy; "Slow" is, well, slow and heavy on the bass. "Thorn" surprises with acoustic guitars and a post-Smiths attitude that other British bands must have envied well into the early 1990s.
Don't expect anything like Loveless -- there are no blobs of sound on this album, even though traces of the band's future sound are noticeable. But here the drums are still pounding, the lyrics still understandable, and the songs are compact and don't flow (or float) around the room.
As fantastic as British indie pop ever got in the late 80s."
Or, you can go with my review on the same site (5/5, though I'd give it a 6/5 if I could):
"Amazing that in this transitional period the band managed to release the most cogent and concise work in their œuvre. The songs come on, whoosh past you; ephemeral.
Now time to start hunting for this on vinyl."
Get it here.
28 April 2010
As some, most, all, or none of you may know, Guru, the legendary MC of Gang Starr (whose albums have been posted before; younger readers may know him as 8-ball in GTA III) passed away last week from multiple myeloma. He was 48.
I'm not going to go into the circus surrounding his death, or how his new producer, Solar, most likely penned a letter slamming DJ Premier. You can google all this yourself, and I'd like to just let the music speak for itself.
Here's allmusic's review (4/5):
"Gang Starr came out hard on their 1994 album, Hard to Earn, an album notably different from its two predecessors: Step in the Arena (1991) and Daily Operation (1992). While those two classic albums garnered tremendous praise for their thoughtful lyrics and jazzy beats, Hard to Earn seems much more reactionary, especially its lyrics. Guru opens the album with a tough, dismissive spoken-word intro: "Yo, all you kids want to get on and sh*t/Just remember this/This sh*t ain't easy/If you ain't got it, you ain't got it, motherf*cker." While this sense of superiority is undoubtedly a long-running convention of not just East Coast rap but rap in general, you don't expect to hear it coming from Gang Starr, particularly with such a bitter tone. Yet this attitude pervades throughout Hard to Earn. Songs such as "Suckas Need Bodyguards" and "Mass Appeal" take aim at unnamed peers, and other songs such as "ALONGWAYTOGO" similarly center on "whack crews." The best moments on Hard to Earn aren't these songs but instead "Code of the Streets" and "Tonz 'O' Gunz," two songs where Guru offers the type of social commentary that made Gang Starr so admirable in the first place. Yet, even though Hard to Earn is a bit short on such thoughtful moments, instead weighed down a bit with harsh attitude, it does offer some of DJ Premier's best productions ever. He's clearly at -- or, at least, near -- his best here. There isn't a song on the album that's a throwaway, and even the interludes are stunning. Given the subtly bitter tone of this album, it perhaps wasn't surprising then that Guru and Premier took some time to pursue solo opportunities after Hard to Earn. You can sense the duo's frustration with the rap scene circa 1994. The two didn't return with another Gang Starr album until four years later when they dropped Moment of Truth, a succinct comeback album that reaffirmed their status as one of New York's most thoughtful and artistic rap acts."
Get it here. And while you're at it, get the following:
Step in the Arena (1991)
Daily Operation (1992)
Here's Preemo's official statement on Guru's passing:
IT WAS A SAD DAY FOR ME TO GET CONFIRMATION ON THE DEATH OF A MAN WHO I WILL CONTINUE TO CALL MY BROTHER, KEITH ELAM, BETTER KNOWN AS GURU OF THE LEGENDARY GANG STARR.
FROM 1988-2004, WE EXPERIENCED SO MUCH SUCCESS TOGETHER THAT WE WERE ABLE TO EXPAND OUR BUSINESSES INDEPENDENTLY AND GIVE EACH OTHER WHAT GURU CALLED “CREATIVE SPACE”, BEFORE PLANNING TO REUNITE FOR OUR 7TH LP WHEN THE TIME WAS RIGHT. TRAGICALLY, WE WILL NEVER REACH THAT DAY.
I’VE BEEN ASKED TO COMMENT ON A LETTER SPEAKING ILL OF ME WHICH WAS SUPPOSEDLY WRITTEN BY GURU IN HIS DYING DAYS. ALL I WILL SAY ABOUT IT IS THAT OUR TIME TOGETHER WAS BEAUTIFUL, WE BUILT A HIP HOP LEGACY TOGETHER, AND NO ONE CAN RE-WRITE HISTORY OR TAKE AWAY MY LOVE FOR HIM. ONE THING I WOULD NEVER DO IS PLAY AROUND WITH THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS LIFE.
I WILL CELEBRATE GURU’S LIFE… I WILL HONOR HIS MEMORY… I WILL GRIEVE WITH THE ELAM FAMILY OVER HIS UNTIMELY DEATH… I WILL REMEMBER THE GANG STARR FOUNDATION AND ALL OF THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS OF GANG STARR WHO CAME BEFORE ME – WE ALL KNOW EACH OTHER… MOSTLY, I WILL CHERISH EVERYTHING WE CREATED TOGETHER AS GANG STARR, FOREVER. I’M GONNA MISS HEARING HIS SIGNATURE MONOTONE VOICE WHEN HE WALKS IN THE ROOM, BUT THE SONGS WILL ALWAYS BRING IT BACK TO ME….HIS RHYME FLOWS WERE INSANE, AND I WILL NEVER REMOVE HIM FROM MY HEART AND SOUL…….REST IN PEACE TO THE MAN WHO FELT “SATISFACTION FROM THE STREET CROWD REACTION” … I LOVE YOU GOO…….DJ PREMIER
18 April 2010
This is the original version of the album. Two tracks, ripped from vinyl. Just give it a listen. If I had to stress one word while listening to this album, it'd be "patience". And man, if you do any psychedelic/dissociative drugs, this is a GREAT album to trip to (well, at least SWIM says so).
"the car's on fire and there's no driver at the wheel
and the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
and a dark wind blows
the government is corrupt
and we're on so many drugs
with the radio on and the curtains drawn
we're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
and the machine is bleeding to death
the sun has fallen down
and the billboards are all leering
and the flags are all dead at the top of their poles
it went like this: ...
the buildings tumbled in on themselves
mothers clutching babies picked through the rubble
and pulled out their hair
the skyline was beautiful on fire
all twisted metal stretching upwards
everything washed in a thin orange haze
i said: "kiss me, you're beautiful -
these are truly the last days"
you grabbed my hand and we fell into it
like a daydream or a fever
we woke up one morning and fell a little further down -
for sure it's the valley of death
i open up my wallet
and it's full of blood"
Get it here.
17 April 2010
16 April 2010
Believe the hype when I tell you this is one of the best releases so far in 2010. Beach house’s Teen Dream is just one of those albums that sound good at first listen. I was quite skeptical when I heard this was a great album considering their other releases have been kind of lacking imo. When it comes down to it, a lot of the songs are just catchy as hell and have substance as well. It’s a very layered sound, so you are going to have to give it a couple of listens to analyze all the sounds. At the same time you can listen to this without really thinking and truly take pleasure in it. Give it a download and enjoy it on these fine spring days.
09 April 2010
03 April 2010
Well, I apologize for the lack of posts lately. My job leaves me too tired to post anything, and the clinical depression robs me of what little energy I have on my days off.
I thought my friend(s) would be helping out on this blog, but I suppose I was wrong. You know what they say: if you want something done right, do it yourself (or, as I like to say: don't ever depend on other people, as they'll only let you down time after time).
Maybe there will be a post in the future. I dunno. As of right now, I just don't have the time/motivation/etc. to do it.
I mean, what's the incentive, really? People have dl'ed over a terabyte of music, and have left probably a grand total of 30 comments over the past 1+ years.