East Bay View (a blog about several things)

now 98% free of substantive content

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Top ten: The world's most dangerous places

1. Lil Wayne, "I'm Me"; "Tie My Hands" (ft. Robin Thicke): Since Obama is also at least as socially responsible as K-Fed, I'm sure he knows it's not enough just to ask like the boss: you have to back it up. Wayne's Tha Carter III sounds about as much like a bestselling classic as any album can in this age, the highlight being the post-Katrina song "Tie My Hands", in which Weezy, Robin Thicke and producer K. West out-Root the Roots. But even that's not as thrilling as "I'm Me", the lead track on The Leak EP (included with some versions of the album). He takes particular pleasure in expressing, in descending syllables, the first word of the first verse, "unfuckingbelieveable": pleasure in polysyllabicity as much as obscenity.

2. Be Your Own Pet, "The Kelly Affair"; "Heart Throb": Right now these adventurers are the most accomplished young band around. "Heart Throb" discovers excitement in temptation itself. Hopefully they understand that not everyone finds that fidelity gets easier with age. In the "The Kelly Affair", a rehash of Meyer/Ebert's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Jemima Pearl makes casual sex and partying all the time seem like something to feel genuinely uneasy about. The gifted Jonas Stein plays garage-punk Honeyman Scott, slinging terse riffs where they fit.

3. Alicia Keys, "Teenage Love Affair": A slightly more grown-up prodigy, Keys's string of hits grows ever more impressive. This particular affair celebrates feeling each other up before going home to Mom. Of extreme importance, though, is the qualifier "my first": long ago she learned there was more than one way to fall.

4. Nik Bärtsch's Ronin, "Modul 36": Pianist Bärtsch's percusses minimally, while the rest of his band wants to be the JB's. I hear there's a lot more where this came from; would Bärtsch and/or ECM please get it on Rhapsody or eMusic? Thanks.

5. Sugababes, "About You Now": Back when they still had two-thirds of their original lineup, they covered the Numan-Adina Howard mash-up "Freak Like Me"; this time they all-but-cover "A Stroke of Genius". The lyrics aren't as good though.

6. Orchestra Baobab, "Beni Baraale": Specialistest in old styles, Orchestra Baobab here covers a Guinean hit from the Sixties. Barthelemy Attisso leads guest Babe Nabe through some high-level guitar.
7. Mavis Staples, "Eyes on the Prize": After a few months, We'll Never Turn Back is sounding more and more like an album of the year (2007, 2008, whatever) to me: even the trad songs motorvate thanks to the dedication of Staples, the second most famous member of Jeremiah Wright's congregation, with major assistance from drummer Jim Keltner -- producer Ry Cooder thankfully condemns his son Joachim to percussion. Not quite a Buena Vista Socialist Club -- but there's an idea.

8. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, "More News from Nowhere": Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! is, after 23 years, their first really good album (and I've heard all of them); not coincidentally, it's their funniest.

9. Steinski, "It's Up to You (Television Mix)": Nothing Steinski has done solo has been as epochal as the Lessons he created with Double Dee and a cast of hundreds. Still, this assemblage, first put together around the time of the First Gulf War, lets us retrospectively extends the history of Bushisms. (Please let us snigger: small pleasures, small pleasures.)
10. No Age, "Brain Burner": Sucker for pretty that I am, I liked not loved Weirdo Rippers; I love Nouns.

Thirteen more: King Sunny Ade, "Nibi Lekeleke Gbe Nfosho" and "Ori Mmi Maje N'te" (medleys from Gems from the Classic Years); Nik Bärtsch's Ronin, "Modul 33" and "Modul 38_17"; Björk, "Declare Independence"; Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, "Lie Down Here (And Be My Girl)" and "We Call Upon the Author"; DJ Khaled ft. a bunch of people, one of whom is Lil Wayne, "We Takin' Over"; Lil Wayne, "Dr Carter" and "Dough Is What I Got"; Orchestra Baobab, "Ami Kita Bay"; Portishead, "Silence"; Santogold, "I'm a Lady".

Does this mark me as a hopeless urbaniser? I prefer Miley Cyrus to Taylor Swift.



Post a Comment

<< Home