Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Miscellaneous Post

A couple of things, cause I feel like I should probably update before my annual attempt at March Madness-induced suicide:

1) I was driving back from a friend's house this morning and listening to Since I Left You by the Avalanches. This made me realize that:

*The Avalanches should come out with another album. Seriously, they only made one, it's almost been nine years, and they've apparently been working on this new one for something like five years. Why not?
*I should have insisted that this blog be named "Two Hearts in 3/4 Time." Such a good name. Missed opportunity.

For those of you who don't know, the Avalanches are (were?) this group from Australia who made their record by putting together a bunch of samples. I'm certainly not saying that this was a unique practice, but there are something in the neighborhood of 6.4 billion samples included.

EDIT: OK, so Wiki says it was only 3500, but it's still ridiculous, especially because they range from Madonna to showtunes to a John Waters movie.

Anyway, here's the video for one of the singles, "Frontier Psychiatrist." Honestly, it's one of the most bizarre songs I've ever heard, but I've always really liked it. Equal parts terrifying and hilarious... and the video is well worth a watch or twelve.

2) I kind of wish that the genre of "music about partying without even a trace of irony" caught on more. For every good example (the Hold Steady and Be Your Own Pet), where the bands might not be ironic but still have a sense of humor, there are far worse (but funnier) ones like Andrew W.K. and whatever this Asher Roth thing is:

Poignant quote: "I love college. I love drinking. I love women. I love college." - Asher Roth

Anyway, this song kind of unleashes Asher clumsily rapping about all the "craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy partying" that he does over a beat that might sample/probably samples/was at least heavily influenced by "Say It Ain't So" by Weezer. I could nitpick about several little things (who's been to a party where people just pour you beer from the bottle that they were drinking out of as you walk around?), but really, it doesn't seem worth it.

Last December, hip-hop magazine XXL put Charles Hamilton (pretty good, and bonus points cause he's been known to drop references about Sonic the Hedgehog), B.o.B (not familiar), and Wale (responsible for the pretty well-produced, certainly far more clever than average, undeniably thoughtful Mixtape About Nothing, which I'll talk about in a bit) on their cover. Inevitably, it was probably something about the future of hip-hop. However, XXL made a huge mistake: they put Asher on the cover with those other guys. What in the hell is this clown doing with that kind of company?

I really wish that some part of this was a joke, but I really don't think it is. I'm not even gonna talk about the rhyme of "beer pong" with "Allen Iverson." Even worse, as bad as I personally think that this is, as my friend Kevin pointed out, it seems like it could easily become some kind of frat anthem. I've already seen it as a couple of my friend's away messages.

And this brings us back to the pioneer of unironic party music, the creative genius behind "Party Hard," "Party 'til You Puke," "It's Time to Party," (all from the same album) "Long Live the Party," and, of course, "Party, Party, Party," classically-trained pianist (not a joke) Andrew WK.

Apparently, all of that blood wasn't his:

"Initially, I had this little piece of a cinder block, like a brick. I was able to get bloody noses very easily when I was younger, so I wanted to give myself a bloody nose, and then take a picture of it. But my nose didn't bleed enough after I hit myself with the brick. I had to use this follow-up plan, which was [to take] this little water bottle full of pig's blood that I'd gotten from the butcher shop. I just ended up using that because there was not enough blood from my nose after I hit myself. So, it turned out good."

At any rate, included in the playlist will inevitably be a bunch of Andrew's party hits. I promise, those are five different songs, no matter how unbearably similar they sound. I really think the jokes write themselves about these.

3) Wale. I'm probably pretty late to the game on this one, but I've just gotten a chance to give The Mixtape About Nothing a real listen. Some backstory: it's kind of gimmicky, in that it's an homage to Seinfeld. All of the tracks are named like Seinfeld episodes (i.e. "The Kramer," "The Opening Title Sequence"), the first track actually samples the Seinfeld theme, there are jokes from episodes woven in, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Elaine) actually makes a guest appearance.

Here's another thing: it's great. Like I said earlier, it's far more thoughtful than the average hip-hop record, as Wale kind of deals with everything from the Michael Richards tirade at that comedy club to not being signed to raising children and so on. Seriously, I recommend this to everyone, cause I've pretty much got it on repeat. I'll leave the full reviews on this page to Kristina.

And that's about it. More from me when I come out of my debilitating case of March Madness.


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