Friday, 26 December 2008

ye olde

it's not all bad news. i can think of two or three lamer years: 2004 was pretty dull, and in 1943 there was a war on!!

notwithstanding the invasion of poland, 2008 was the year of old man strength. the best albums were all by musicians at least ten years 'deep' in the 'game': aidan moffatt's rambling spoken-word sexpert opus i can hear your heart, tindersticks' elegant, modest hungry saw (review), and the breeders' woozy, nagging grower, mountain battles. the best gigs, too, were by chaps who might have liked a sit down afterwards: leonard cohen bringing electric clarinet to the royal albert hall, my bloody valentine bringing earplugs to the roundhouse, and the jesus & mary chain paying tribute to earl brutus' nick sanderson at the forum.

most of the middling stuff was also from veterans: dependable records rather than career highlights from nick cave, bonnie prince billy, portishead, gutter twins, glenn campbell and spiritualized, from ageing metallers like the /dc, the priest, and the 'N Roses, and from rappers around since at least the late 90s: EMC, pete rock, heltah skeltah, lil' wayne, scarface, q-tip, nas, vast aire, el-p, RZA, GZA, tricky and roots manuva. Not Common, though. hell no.

next year one can only expect the same, as market forces, the global credit crisis, and the collapse of the once-sturdy rock pension scheme forces more and more ageing rockers onto the comeback trail.
do remember to keep warm during the winter months.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

west coast bad boys - 'high fo' xmas'

christmas and rapping go together like pigs and shit, if you'll excuse my language.

from 'christmas rapping' to 'christmas in hollis' to a dipset xmas, there's enough material for a guardian blog post, let alone an entry in galactic mystery solvers. put simply, violence is that much more violent at christmas; incarceration that much more bleak; smoking weed that much more festive.

if i could go back in a time machine, dispensing goodwill to my fellow man, i'd travel to no limit HQ in 1998, and convince master p to put together a christmas album featuruing his full-strength roster (and mr serv-on), cementing his position as the phil spector of mostly-awful southern rap.

of course, master p did release a christmas album, albeit with a thinner roster, in his early, indie days on the west coast. high fo' xmas by the west coast bad boys, a half-hour tape released in 1994, is far more enjoyable than its big-budget west-cast-counterpart, suge knight's xmas on death row.

saddeningly, there is no line rhyming "christmas tree" with "penitentiary", but there are a few gems, not least from king george, who laments that "christmas in the ghetto got me paranoid / makes me wanna spray around with my shiny toy". elsewhere, 'rev. do-wrong xmas party' injoins revellers to celebrate "til you throw up, with some egg-nog, gin and some roll-up" over a 'party n bullshit' sample. 'jackin fo xmas' pinches well-known west coast beats for an entertaining seasonal medley. strangest of all is 'ghetto nite', a thin, echo-laden rendition of 'silent night', which sounds like something animal collective might release: what it's doing on a numbskull gangsta christmas record is anyone's guess.

king george (feat. master p) - 'lock up fo xmas'

king george, big ed & lil' ric - 'rev. do-wrong xmas party'

west coast bad boys - 'ghetto nite'

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

"like a bottle of chateauneuf du pape"

"i'm fine like wine when i start to rap"

what's that he's reading? ross mckibbin?

beastie boys - 'body movin'' (green lantern remix, with bits of gangstarr and ludacris, from ny state of mind)

Monday, 22 December 2008

"get my slippers, before i go gung ho"

i've had my eye on these slippers for a while now. come christmas day, i might be in luck.

ghostface, predictably, says all that needs to be said about the lust, panic and envy of slippers. rrrrrremixx:

ghostface killah - 'hidden darts' (from hidden darts: special edition)

slang democracy

Sunday, 21 December 2008

pavement - 'sebadoh'

the first rule of successful metal is to name a song after yourself.

in an ideal world, this song would appear on your eponymous debut album. i'm thinking, of course, of 'iron maiden' by iron maiden, off of iron maiden.

in cases of extreme largesse, bands even name songs after other bands. talking heads wrote 'radiohead' more than a decade before radiohead were even formed. but radiohead are profoundly important like that.

pavement did this several times, paying tribute to the likes of jon spencer and (hey!) polvo, as well as singing the priases of REM, smashing pumpkins, and stone temple pilots. if they don't release them on their super-deluxe-back-catalogue-10th-anniversary-domino-records-reissue-fandango-series-of-decade-long-pitchfork-reassessment-reminiscence thing, i might post some more. i, too, pratice, largesse. here's the best one:

pavement - 'sebadoh'

it would be cool if sebadoh were to cover this. yeah, cool.