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Archive for the ‘David Rees’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: ROCKWELL KNUCKLES-“Silly Human” (2011).

This song was NPR’s song of the day on July 7th.  I’d never heard of Rockwell Knuckles before.  He’s a rapper from St. Louis and has at least one other album out as far as I can tell.  I was rather fond of this song for, as the NPR page says, he often prefers to be absurd.

This song has fast, manic music–jittery and confusing and the rap over the top of that music, especially the chorus, is equally frenetic and hard to fathom on one listen.  But the chorus has a interesting twisty melody and the lyrics (the ones that I can follow) are bizarre and thoughtful and not typical “street life” lyrics.

I listened to this sevral times in a row, and will defitely check out his full length (which you can stream here, and the songs I listened to are equally weird and catchy).

[READ: July 6, 2011] Lucky Peach Issue 1

McSweeney’s has yet another new periodical to occupy my ever diminishing reading time.  This one is a food magazine which, as the cover states is “the new food quarterly from Momofuku’s David Chang.”  I don’t especially like food magazines (Sarah subscribes to several, but I just can’t get into them–reading recipes to me is the equivalent of looking at XHTML code for most people).  I mean, I like to cook sometimes, but I don’t look for new recipes or anything like that.  So, I am probably the least likely recipient of this magazine.  Not to mention I’ve never heard of David Chang and only know about Momofuku because of the Elvis Costello album.

And then geez, the first issue is about Ramen?  Who gives a fuck about Ramen?  It’s that crappy stuff you buy 10 for $1 at the supermarket.  And you’re really going to devote 174 ad-free (except, obviously lots of mentions of Momofuku) pages to ramen?

Well, yes they are.  And holy shit if it wasn’t amazing.  David Chang is a really funny guy and co-editor Peter Meehan is a great foul-mouthed humorist.  [I have never seen so many “fucking”s in a cooking magazine before–in fact I suspect I’ve never seen any in a cooking magazine before].  The articles were funny and a little low brow (I doubt most cooking magazines mention people throwing up either), but they were engaging and interesting too. (more…)

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hapersSOUNDTRACK: THE REPLACEMENTS-Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash (1981).

sorrymaSince I’ve been talking about The Replacements so much, it made me want to go back and listen to their stuff.  The Replacements are the quintessential band that “grew up” or “matured” and for better or worse sounds utterly different from their first album to their last (a span of only nine years!).  In fact, I don’t imagine that there are too many people who would enjoy all seven of their discs.  One suspects that if the band themselves were given a copy of their All Shook Down disc in 1981, they would have smashed it.

So this was their first release. It has 18 songs in about 30 minutes.  That’s pure hardcore, right?  Well, not exactly.  Even though the songs are short and fast and quite sloppy, there’s something about Paul Westerberg’s voice and delivery that makes these songs seem not quite hardcore.  He enunciates!  And you can understand him most of the time. And, maybe this is a better indicator: there’s parts to these songs, it’s not just breakneck pacing.  They also have song titles that belied how good their song writing would become.  Like: “Shiftless When Idle.”

In fact, “Johnny’s Gonna Die” isn’t fast at all.  It shows what the kind of songs that they would eventually write: literate and moving indie rock.

There must have been something in the water in 1981 in Minnesota.  Hüsker Dü, the other amazing punk outfit out of Minnesota (referenced in the ‘Mats song “Something  to Du”) also put out a blistering live hardcore record in 1981 called Land Speed Record (17 songs in 26 minutes, listed as 2 tracks on CDs because they don’t pause in between songs).  Like the ‘Mats, Hüsker Dü wouldn’t recognize their later incarnations in 1981 either.  And why are The Replacements abbreviated as The ‘Mats?  I don’t know.

But this ‘Mats record is the kind of sneaky record that can get you to enjoy punk even if you don’t think you like it.  There’s something so fun about Sorry Ma, that you don’t really notice that it’s all done so fast.

[READ: May 22, 2009] “My Great Depression”

This essay collection is tough to catalog.  Do I include all of the authors in the title of the post, do I pick selected ones, or just go with none.  Yes, go with none.

Harper’s asked ten authors/artists to send stories from the near future, after the economic collapse of the country. All of the pieces are three columns or less, and some are more enjoyable than others. (more…)

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