8.10.2014

EX-PEC-TATION


    That thing where

                        I could get exactly what I
                                                 want, if only I could 

                                                                   STOP///WANTING////IT.



     It could all be good
                             If I just could
       

                                           L''E''T''''G''O
                                                           of this 
                                
                                                                    stranglehold on certainty


                                     

                                                release the


                         >--   I    R    O    N       G    R    I    P -->
          

                                         & let specifics bleed.




      Blurry novelty--

                             a foil.



                                  Not to oldness,
                                                     but to                                                                                         
                                                        S//T///A//G///N//A///T//I///O//N.

ASCENSION









7.18.2014

PRESS PLAY - THE CHAUFFEUR//TRIPLE FEATURE

I've been on the run since the first of this month and haven't had a single sedentary moment. Here I finally am, 18 days later: in Texas seeking sweet air conditioned respite from the hellacious weather in my sister's apartment.

As a music lover though, no matter how busy I become, I'm constantly looking into any recommendations I'm given, influences to artists I love, and perusing the auditory annals of the internet for new dope shit. I heard the Warpaint cover of "The Chauffeur" a few months ago when searching on Spotify for the original, which is my favorite Duran Duran song. I considered for a moment, whether it was even fair to press play, considering the heavenly esteem in which I hold this track. It is a perfect combination of eerie, sexy, and melodic. It seems that the stronger connection I have with either the song being covered or the covering band, the more doomed my listening experience will be. I steeled myself for disappointment and I pressed play.....


THE ORIGINAL:



The Chauffeur by Duran Duran
Track off the album Rio, released in 1982 on Capitol's Harvest Records

As Duran Duran legend has it, Simon Le Bon showed up to his audition for the band in 1980 with a book of poetry containing this song (and many of their other early hits) in poem form. Founding member Nick Rhodes reportedly decided Le Bon was perfect for the group before even hearing him sing simply based on his fabulous outfit: a brown suede jacket and hot pink-leopard print pants

 Tension builds from the first celestial notes and carries throughout nearly five minutes of articulate lyricism and throbbing bass drums. The overall effect is an alternately approaching and receding textural melee, somehow both spare and unexpected, which stimulates the sharp edges of the consciousness and also the visceral fray of the primal instincts. The lyrics are inaccessible and voyeuristic and the vocals fluctuate between polished reserve and a raw yelping wail. 

Clearly, I love this fucking song and should not have ventured into the world of covers....


THE COVER:


A track from the Duran Duran tribute album Making Patterns Rhyme which was released July 15 on Manimal records.

I'm sorry if I misled you into thinking I was going to say I was surprised, because I was definitely still disappointed, BUT surprisingly I was less disappointed that I thought I would be.

I love Warpaint // just like the rest of the internet, but this issue fell short for me. The texture--a breathy ethereal vibe inflated to dreamy heights by architectural, echoing drum beats--mimics the original but never really allows the tension of the song to truly build or break. The result is more trance-y background music than ticking time bomb. As the months have passed since my first listen, I've been able to appreciate this version as it's own song. It's a good listen, although it neither imitates nor departs from the original drastically enough to really satisfy this listener. Moby's Rio cover does more for me.


THE ALTERNATIVE:

I'm still a fan of the Deftones version, from B-Sides & Rarities released on Maverick Records in 2005. This version does more to capture the emotions I love from Le Bon and crew, while still departing instrumentally from the electronic heavy original. I love the distorted, grating guitar and full drum sounds. 

Neither version ever does real justice to Le Bon's ocarina (!!!!!!) solo at the end--A fact I'm forced to chalk up to the white magic of the 80's that will, for now, remain unrivaled.

6.18.2014

PLAY ME


niggas on the moon by Death Grips
released on Harvest/Third World Records a few days ago

This is a special urgent edition of my new music section that I felt compelled to shout from the rooftops or at least CAPSLOCK FROM THE BLOG TOP.  I'm admittedly late to the Death Grips game because I'm pretty unenthused by the "rap" genre in general. I know some of you are out there thinking "But Alexandra, all the misogyny, violence, and ignorance...... what's not to love?" and to you I'll say: "When in Rome."

 The other day, this mixtape popped up on a music blog I follow, and I guess I was pretty bored because I pressed play. One thing lead to another until a few consecutive listens later, I had been reduced to a twitchy, gelatinous lump of rage. "niggas on the moon" feels sort of like watching a slideshow of your neighbors vacation--if your neighbors had gone to a Satanic sacrifice ritual inside a game of Minecraft and you were watching their slideshow on fast forward after smoking PCP.

A lot of the reviews I've read regarding this release involved simultaneous praise and disdain for the relative inaccessibility of the music. I think one of the main pitfalls of writing and reviewing music is that journalists often feel the need to form some sort of conclusion on the relative value of the music they are writing about. Listening to this album is kind of like staring at a Pollock painting and having the existentially humbling realization that the creator of this work really doesn't give a fuck about whether you like it, hate it, or even have any real use for it.  Reviewing the material is a totally futile exercise.

Why I Dig It:  The nuanced beats and subtly shocking lyricism ("Say hey kid, don'tcha O.D.") take several listens to fully appreciate.

Why You Should Too: It's angry, it's ugly, at times it's hot. It's a truly schizophrenic roller coaster ride of an album.

TL;DR Press Play On: Say Hey KidBlack QuarterbackVoila, Have A Sad Cum