Monthly Archives: January 2008

Taking Sides: Boat Shoe Core

Quickly, before we start, a Google search:

Results 1 – 10 of about 28,500 for vampire weekend boat shoes. (0.31 seconds)

doorknobs: i’ve almost exclusively listened to vampire weekend today
doorknobs: i think i’m officially ostracized from cool kid club
Tyco Nightglow: guh
Tyco Nightglow: I bet you’re feeling very happy and twee
doorknobs: not particularly twee, but happy, yes
Tyco Nightglow: to me that’d be like eating nothing but lik m aid all day
doorknobs: man, what an asshole i am
doorknobs: haha
Tyco Nightglow: they really do just sound like guster or dispatch to me
Tyco Nightglow: not actively TRYING to be a grouchy hater
doorknobs: i know yr not
doorknobs: maybe i didn’t listen to enough guster or dispatch, but i don’t hear it
doorknobs: diff strokes/folks i guess
Tyco Nightglow: just artificially sunny
Tyco Nightglow: in a squint-inducing way
doorknobs: what makes it artificially sunny?
Tyco Nightglow: maybe I hate the sound of “happy”
Tyco Nightglow: haha
doorknobs: hahahahaha
doorknobs: yeah maybe
Tyco Nightglow: something about the tone of the voice, the tone of the guitars, and most importantly, the tone of the songs themselves just feels…..guh. Words are failing me on this one
Tyco Nightglow: it’s what one calls a “visceral dislike”
Tyco Nightglow: they seem like assholes and I hate them
Tyco Nightglow: there
Tyco Nightglow: is that concrete enough?
doorknobs: you see, i was with you when you were talking about tones of instruments and feel, and then……….
Tyco Nightglow: hahahaha
Tyco Nightglow: their music feels like music made for and by assholes
doorknobs: ok
doorknobs: i shouldn’t have brought this up
doorknobs: sorry
doorknobs: haha
Tyco Nightglow: haha
Tyco Nightglow: no I’m enjoying myself
doorknobs: clearly
doorknobs: :–(
Tyco Nightglow: 😀
Tyco Nightglow: :-*
Tyco Nightglow: 😛
Tyco Nightglow: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand
Tyco Nightglow: :-X
doorknobs: hahah
doorknobs: there ya go
doorknobs: never to be spoken of again
doorknobs: however, i AM thinking about corner bistro tomorrow
Tyco Nightglow: YES
Tyco Nightglow: this I am down with
Tyco Nightglow: FEY
Tyco Nightglow: that is the word I am looking for
Tyco Nightglow: something horribly fey about the tone of the songs and the playing itself
Tyco Nightglow: all of Stephen Malkmus’s worst spoiled-prince tendencies married to little toy-keyboard shuffles that no weight or viscera
Tyco Nightglow: I viscerally react to a lack of viscera
Tyco Nightglow: this Nitsuh review, who I really really like, nails what he likes and what I dislike: Koenig, the lead singer, is a “happy observer who never bores you with how he feels”
Tyco Nightglow: he just sounds smugly, airily entitled to me, which I wouldn’t care about if he made music with some semblance of grit or life
Tyco Nightglow: okay, now I’m done
Tyco Nightglow: that was a tad more articulate, though, no?
Tyco Nightglow: though I do really like this Nitsuh review
Tyco Nightglow: I tend to like his writing more than the records he enthuses over, I find
Tyco Nightglow: RESPOND TO MY TORRENTIAL OUTPOURING
Tyco Nightglow: haha
doorknobs: hahahhaa
doorknobs: this is a great and studied and NOT DUMB response
doorknobs: thank you
doorknobs: “i think they’re assholes who make music for assholes” somehow wasn’t cutting it for me
doorknobs: haha
doorknobs: i ❤ nitsuh
Tyco Nightglow: hahaa
Tyco Nightglow: yes, I like nitsuh too
Tyco Nightglow: hey
Tyco Nightglow: think this could be an IM post?
doorknobs: mayhaps!
doorknobs: it might feel a bit one-sided w/o me saying why i actually LIKE these fuckers
doorknobs: haha
doorknobs: but
Tyco Nightglow: so….why do you like this????
doorknobs: lemme paraphrase myself from a different convo
Tyco Nightglow: please do
doorknobs: nothing that’s gonna convince anyone
doorknobs: but
doorknobs: thassok
doorknobs: i think it’s fun and well written and sincere and smart
doorknobs
: people may disagree with sincere, or take “smart” to mean the wrong thing (note: the loadedness all of a sudden of equating smart and COLLEGIATE, RE: nitsuh review)
doorknobs: but that’s how i feel
doorknobs: also, on a simpler note: i think the songs are really strong
doorknobs: and, as you know
doorknobs: i also just kinda think the arguments that are about their sweaters or what college they went to or saying the afro-pop part is “contrived” or whatever…it’s just so lazy and annoying to me
Tyco Nightglow: I think the Afro-pop isn’t so much “contrived” so much as another example of their giggliness
Tyco Nightglow: for lack of an actual word
Tyco Nightglow: haha
Tyco Nightglow: but I hear the general point
Tyco Nightglow: also: pretty much when people say that an indie rock band is “smart” or that their lyrics are “smart” this ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS means “collegiate”
doorknobs: yeah true
doorknobs: but when i first wrote that out, i meant smart as like “smart songwriting” or, like, smart/interesting arrangements, etc
Tyco Nightglow: right
Tyco Nightglow: that I buy
doorknobs: but the COLUMBIA/etc. connotations are too prevelant to ignore i guess
doorknobs: i also think they are distinctly different from, say, the decemberists, RE: smart/collegiate
doorknobs: and way way less willfully obscure/potentially annoying
Tyco Nightglow: hmm
Tyco Nightglow: I don’t know
Tyco Nightglow: here’s what I was going to say, but it took me too long to type it haha:
Tyco Nightglow: (it’s no longer relevant)
Tyco Nightglow: cuz lyrically “smart” usually means stuff like “What she asked of me at the end of the night/Caligula would have blushed” more than “Cops come blocking the
ave/I put the glock in the stash/slabs and tops in the trash/still stop and i laugh, ma put
them rock in your ass/ the rest twat in ya bag, dag, hop in a cab”
Tyco Nightglow: but yes
doorknobs: oh totally, i know what you mean
doorknobs: i’m not disagree w/that at all
doorknobs: i mean, it’s weird to say this considering how much we’ve talked about it, but i think the key to my enjoyment has been UNDERthinking and kinda gut enjoyment…..it worked for me and against you, in terms of enjoying it
doorknobs: but like
doorknobs: i think the first sentence (regardless of the rest of this mumbo jumbo i’ve typed out) just kinda sums up my take on them
doorknobs: and why i dig it
Tyco Nightglow: also, you’re an asshole
doorknobs: also, it’s hilarious that this could be an IM post
Tyco Nightglow: ZING!
Tyco Nightglow: cut, print, post

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2 Comments

Filed under blogosphere echo chamber, IM, Posted by Doorknobs, Posted by Tyco, rock/roll

I’m Bad. (I’m Back.) I’m Mad. (I’m Strapped.)

rawws.jpg

Yup.

This will be the second time this blog has incorporated or mentioned fat sayer-of-words Rick Ross. Which is a little weird since tonight represents the first time I’ve actually sat down and listened to the man. (Yes, this is what I am doing at 11:05PM on a Monday night. At age 26. I’m listening to Rick Ross.) I just got a tentative deal to review the man’s sophomore effort and am sitting down to listen to his blindingly overproduced first album, Port of Miami.

The general consensus on this man is that he is a big fat lucky moron who bought one of 2006’s best novelty tracks and proceeded to rhyme “Atlantic” with “Atlantic” over it. Even Tom Breihan, widely considered the Gene Shalit of rap critics, called him a terrible rapper. I certainly don’t disagree — I’ve heard enough of his alarmingly heavy-breathing “freestyles” on the terrible mixtapes I used to buy five at a time from the corner bodega to have no illusions about the man’s rhyming abilities.
And yet when I sit down with this album, I’m surprised right away. No, it isn’t “good” — though the first third is decent — and Rick Ross is not someone I could call a “good rapper” and look at myself in the morning. But he’s at least competent. On “Push It” and “Blow,” he tosses vowel sounds around in a nimble-for-a-fat-guy way, like seeing your dad hustle to scoop a ground ball at the company softball game . I mean, “I handle coke like a vandal off the banana boat/Bananas in the rifle, no ciphers, I’m just a man of note” certainly isn’t worthy of Rakim, but its better than the line “Mo’ trucks (mo’ trucks, mo’ bucks, mo’ freaks, mo’ butts” would suggest he’s capable of. By my count, at least, there’s more wordplay in the first four songs of Port of Miami than on 50 Cent’s last two studio albums. And that’s a really damning statement…..about me, mostly because it implies that I’ve listened to enough Rick Ross and 50 Cent to make the comparison.

To be sure, Rick Ross has nothing resembling “flow;” he just kind of mumbles all his words before the beat hits and hopes all the pieces fall into place. He also never varies the tone of his voice. And yet there’s something oddly hypnotic about his wounded-rhinocerous cadence, especially the way he punches in the lat two syllables of EVERY LINE. This is borne, of course, of his inability to string together two lines of the English language back-to-back, but the odd emphases created by this technique are ear-catching. Say what you want about this guy, and plenty of rap critics have lobbed some pretty toxic spitballs, but he has taken the rudimentary tools available to him and created a language all his own, like rap’s Nell.

nell.jpg

Taaay iiinna WEEEEEEND.

Or for another comparison, take this verse of “Hustlin,” where he rhymes “twenty-two” with “twenty-two” SEVEN TIMES IN A ROW, punching the words in at the end like a watermark every time.

Don’t tote no … (punch-in): “TWENTY-TWO’S!!”

Magnum cost me ... (punch-in):”TWENTY-TWO!!”

Tatted on the … (punch-in): “TWENTY-TWO!!”

Birds go for … (punch-in): “TWENTY-TWO!!!”

Lil mama super thick, she say she … (punch-in): “TWENTY-TWO!!!”

She seen them … (punch-in): “TWENTY-TWO’S!!!”

We in room … (punch-in): “TWO TWENTY-TWO!!!”

Rawwss understands repetition’s ability to create slack-jawed, glassy-eyed obedience at least as well as this guy (LOL TOPICAL).

Sigh. There. I can now say with relief that while I am regrettably not done thinking about Rick Ross, I am at least done thinking about him FOR FREE.

Kisses.

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Filed under Posted by Tyco, RAP MUSIC, Re-assess, Scraping the Crust off of the underside of the bottom o