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New Music
-Kanye West “Robocop”

The biggest problem with this song is the Late Registration problem of letting the beats ride out for like a minute-plus without rapping–or in this case, signing–presumably, because Kanye’s so in-love with the brilliance of his own music. Otherwise, this song’s pretty great and hilarious and again, like “Heartless” actually feels complete.

-Mos Def “Life in Marvelous Times

One of the things about Mos Def is that he’s always sort of been sloppy and half-assed, as all the songs that aren’t awesome on Black on Both Sides attest. This song too, is at least a minute too long, but for most of it, it’s just Mos sort of going off over a kind of terrible but also glorious and terrifying too. It’s sort of like a Young Jeezy song for smart people. In the past few years, we’ve grown really used to hearing terrifying synthesizers and pummeling electronics over the sweetest of R & B pop, so it’s cool to get a song like this–or those 808s & Heartbreaks songs–that seem to be actually using the sounds behind them towards some actual end

-Song of the Week from

“I’ve been playing this song once a day for the past week and each time I find something else to love about it. The first impression one might get is that “Hostile” sounds like it was recorded in an abandoned warehouse somewhere along the East River. There isn’t a shred of melodic content to latch onto, just a thumping drum pattern and a subterranean bassline that threatens to drown everything out at any moment.”

-Music For a…Sunday: Remember Hip-Hop? from Straight Bangin:

Joey puts up a couple of good rap songs with his always-insightful commentary. I especially like the way he articulates ambivalence or concern about artists and songs and so, it never devolves into songs being simply awesome or terrible. Related Thoughts: I have no idea what to think of the new Kanye album at this point. The new Q-Tip will apparently be really good, but I worry it’ll have Hell Hath No Fury or Return of the Mac appeal of just being sorta consistent and immediate and therefore exciting but flash forward two months and I’ve sold this to a CD store to buy some new noise record or something. Cam’ron’s over and it’s very sad.

-“In Defense of ‘Ballast” by Stephen Boone from

“The second time I saw Ballast, I dragged a friend along to Manhattan’s Film Forum (where it recently closed after a brief run). I told her that this film was everything I had been arguing for in American cinema (mostly on internet message boards, in my drawers—sad, really): Its angelic patience, its reverence for faces, silences and subjective experience (with more watchful over-the-shoulder shots than a ‘Nam combat doc) could teach American audiences how to look and listen again. Second time around, I was able to appreciate these qualities even more, as the story became fairly transparent, cleverly delineated though it was. Second time around, it was all about the beauty.”

-“The Lost Years & Last Days of David Foster Wallace” by David Lipsky from this month’s Rolling Stone

In a way, this is my version of silly gossip magazine articles. A big, long border-line trashy article about David Foster Wallace’s mental issues that led to his suicide. On another level though, it’s an article that does a good job of respectably dropping a lot of info about his life and mental health that when he was alive, friends, family, and intellectual peers were kind enough to honor and not talk up anywhere. Also, full of affecting personal photos and stuff. I’ve never seen the un-cropped version of the famous Infinite Jest bandana image and I like the big photo that introduces the article, Wallace staring straight uncomfortable but ironic, in a Basquiat shirt.

Are You a Serious Comics Reader?

In case you didn’t know, my friends and I started this comics blog and you should read it!

Movie For the Week: Dr. Slump Episode One

Album For the Week: The Sea & Cake Car Alarm

I’d really like a new rap album to enjoy because it’s freaking me out that the constant album in my life for the past few weeks is an album of sissified, kinda jazzy, post-rock. But really, this album’s great. It’s not this immediate exciting thing but it isn’t like contemplative or intellectual either. Like The Modern Jazz Quartet for the post-rock set, The Sea and Cake do a kind of precise (but still loose) mix of ideas and genres (that’s never “pastiche”). This album really picks up halfway through, with modern dance-punk meets Detroit techno jam “Weekend” and into “New Schools” which maybe has a backwards guitar solo in it?

Written by Brandon

October 27th, 2008 at 12:40 am

Posted in links

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