East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Top ten: The fruits of war, or, cherry bombs over Baghdad

The effects of the once-in-a-decade musical summer begin to trickle through below - there's much more where this came from.

1, 5. Brakes, "Porcupine or Pineapple"; "Spring Chicken": On Brakes' first album Give Blood, they established themselves as the modern masters of the sub-90 second song with tracks like "Heard About Your Band" (1:29) and "Cheney" (0:10). On The Beatific Visions, only "Porcupine or Pineapple" (1:04) is micro-length, but it's their best song yet. Spiky riffs emphasise Eamon Hamilton's proclamations on the, uh, fruitlessness of war. "Spring Chicken" has the nerve to not only stretch to two minutes, but to revive the birdie dance as "The Terrorist". All part of getting dumb, dumb, dumb.

2, 8. Spoon, "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb"; "The Underdog": Oooh, horns. Jon Brion's arrangement on "The Underdog" rollicks, but it doesn't match the put-on innocence of "Cherry Bomb", which would be the best Motown song ever if it had James Jamerson. And Gladys Horton. And Holland, and Dozier, and Holland.

3, 9. The White Stripes, "Icky Thump"; "Rag and Bone": Finally, Jack's learned to write cutting lyrics without ripping them off from Herman J. Mankiewicz. Not that "Icky Thump"'s anti-nativist reasoning is original, but he and Meg tubthump the message into its new home. "Rag and Bone" is more trad Stripes, Jack stringing together phrases and Meg being rude.

(Aside: There are still debates on YouTube comment threads over whether J & M are brother and sister. What part of DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS do people not understand?)
4. Young Jeezy, "My Hood": Yes, I'm two years late on this, but said hood isn't going anywhere, unlike that Ford Taurus.

6. Bokoor Band, "Maya Gari": In Ghana, rhyming slang for Mariah Carey.
7, 10. Balkan Beat Box, "BBBeat"; "Hermetico": Gogol Bordello's stoner counterparts, they're brassy like some modern day Gypsy landslide.

Ten more: Arctic Monkeys, "Fluorescent Adolescent"; Be Your Own Pet, "We Will Vacation, You Will Be My Parasol"; Beyonce ft. Slim Thug, "Check on It"; Bokoor Band, "Trouble Man"; Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, "Underwater"; Miranda Lambert, "Desperation"; LCD Soundsystem, "All My Friends", New York Dolls, "Take a Good Look at My Good Looks"; Powerhouse Sound, "King to Crown Pt 1/Acid Scratch Pt 2"; Spoon, "The Ghost of You Lingers".

I hope Popjustice is correct in claiming he's better than his singles, because his singles are terrible: Mika.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Nothing funny about a quagmire, and that goes double for Family Guy

My review of Ghost Rider is reasonably hilarious.

My review of No End in Sight is not.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

But there are only 117 days left

You know what September means: time to start working on end of year lists.

OK, maybe it's just me.

Anyway, unless Kanye turns out to be as good as I keep saying he is, M.I.A.'s Kala takes album of the year in a walk, though that's not a shock, as her only previous album was my favourite of 2005. I've listened to Kala more frequently than any new record in five years (every day). What's surprising is that Gogol Bordello's Super Taranta! is in clear second place (last album: #28 of 2005).

Anyway, here's their melting pot predecessor:

40 favourite songs of the Nineties, #23: Cornershop, "Brimful of Asha"

Wouldn't one suffer bosom discomfort in short order?