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iPOD Journal


Sorry–been a bit busy with some other writing endeavors that are long-term and keeping me away from blogging but will be totally worth it when they finally show up. For the moment, I’ll point you towards a weird, who-knows-what-it-will-mean Tumblr project I started a couple weeks ago: The iPOD Journal. I’m figuring it out as I go along and I guess I’m still waiting to see the effects/results if any of this kind of cataloging, but yeah–check it out. Joseph of Geek Down started his own too. It’s called EyePod, so check it out.

Also, I’m no longer associated with the website 41Yo.Com for a number of reasons I’ll get into at some point.

Written by Brandon

July 8th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Posted in iPOD

Notes On Otherness, Part One: Wes Anderson

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When I first read that the new Wes Anderson movie was took place in India, I was nervous. My first thought was, it seems a grotesque catering to his twenty-something audience (of which I am a part), many of which (this part, I’m not a part of) idealize India and go there to “study abroad”. Just as Anderson enabled their love of everything from Asics to 60s pop, he was now indulging in their strange obsession with India. Within a few minutes of reading about ‘Untitled Wes Anderson India Project’, I readjusted my thoughts and considered Anderson’s previous four movies, all of which are reversals of expectations and essentially, genre deconstructions. As ‘Bottle Rocket’ parodied the heist movie, ‘Rushmore’ the youth rebellion picture, ‘Tenenbaums’ the screwed-up family drama, and ‘Life Aquatic’ the action movie, it is safe to say ‘The Darjeeling Limited’ will take an equally complicated view on the “going to a foreign country and finding one’s self” movie, making Jonah Weiner’s article for Slate ‘How Wes Anderson Mishandles Race’ all the more frustrating.

I’m not one to immediately dismiss claims of racism or “race mishandling” but I do like to take a close look at such claims because when the claims are unwarranted, it only makes it harder for the worthwhile accusations to be taken seriously. I haven’t seen ‘Darjeeling’ yet, so I’m admittedly talking half out of my ass here, but I’ve seen all of Anderson’s movies quite a few times, wrote an 80-page Undergraduate thesis about one but also wouldn’t exactly call myself a member of the Anderson cult; he’s a good, not great director. What annoys me about Anderon’s work is what annoys many, his twee-ness, his quirky obsessions, but what I love about Anderson is that in every movie, the quirks are ultimately demolished by real-world problems, emotions, and yes, social and cultural politics. Even as Anderson seems to be stumbling around in his obsessive, doll-house unreality, his movies are constantly poking at and highlighting aspects of our real-world. For example, Jeff Goldblum’s streamlined and cold scientist is a parody of Apple product-obsessed elitists (there’s a quick visual gag involving an iPod in ‘Hotel Chevalier’ too).

Anderson is an ironist, not in the sense of him not taking anything seriously, for his movies are very, very affecting but an ironist in the sense of being highly aware of himself and his movies and what they are doing. Anderson is well aware of genre, film history, and is Kubrick-ian in his casting of actors for their past filmography and their real-life personae. So, when Jonah Weiner reads ‘The Darjeeling Limited’ as simply “…beware of any film in which an entire race and culture is turned into therapeutic scenery.”, I can’t help but think he made this decision before seeing the movie with Edward Said’s ‘Orientalism’ in-hand. Of course, Weiner has seen the movie and I haven’t, but it seems to be a movie about movies in which white characters find themselves through another race/culture and not a movie in which that happens and is validated.

The basic plot involves three brothers, headed by Owen Wilson in what seems to be an update of his Dignan role, using India to find themselves. I know an ongoing joke in the movie is the way the characters are given laminated itineraries for the day, that will highlight the many “spiritual” places in India (Stanley Fish would’ve called the brothers’ actions “boutique multiculturalism”). The joke of the movie seems to be the way a bunch of white brothers search-out transcendent moments. The irony is of course, that one cannot contrive or seek-out life-changing events (reading the should-come-with-a-spoiler-alert article in the new ‘Film Comment’, it seems like the brothers lives actually become changed once they veer off-course).

Weiner essentially says this (“Sometimes Wes Anderson winks at the brothers’ fetishistic attitudes toward India, but he eventually reveals his own”) and then cites said SPOILER-ALERT scene as an example. Okay, so SPOILER-ALERT: There’s a scene where the brothers, at their lowest point, end up having to save three drowning Indian boys; one drowns, they attend his funeral. On an artistic level, I think Anderson is depending too much upon these kinds of “moments”; in the trailer I saw, I even spotted it as that “moment” because of the hand-held cameras…but as a part of the movie, this does not sound like a scene that suggests that some Indian boy had to die for the brothers to stick together but that it’s the point where they are suddenly immersed in the reality of India and reality of the world (DEATH.). It is at that point in the movie (if it follows Anderson’s past formula) where they can no longer sit back and objectify their reality (and India).

Weiner’s second problem with this scene is that comedy is derived from it. At the same time, he critiques Anderson for not “wink[ing]” at the scene’s obvious borderline offensiveness (forgetting the movie itself is in part, one huge wink) but Weiner’s thesis is how Anderson uses India and jokes- especially when the punchline is purposefully misinterpreted- become obvious examples of not taking an issue seriously. A joke that Weiner ignores that I recall from the aforementioned ‘Film Comment’ article is that one of the brothers, holding the dead child, says “I didn’t save mine.” If that isn’t a joke about (not at) the brothers’ cultural objectification, I don’t know what it is! Weiner instead focuses on a joke that comes after the un-winking funeral sequence, in which the brothers are shown in “gorgeous late-day sunlight” (signifying gained knowledge?) and then “the camera slowly zooms out to reveal a cartload of Indian porters behind them, carrying the brothers’ considerable baggage”. This is reduced to a “sight gag” by Weiner but it is a loaded sight-gag. Presumably one about how all that junk that just happened to the brothers, witnessing a drowning, attending the funeral, only kinda sorta changed their perspective; they are still blissfully ignorant assholes, in short, they are still humans (people like Weiner do not like movies full of humans, they prefer symbols). The scene is not a joke at the expense of those Indian porters but a joke at the brothers’ obliviousness (and a purposefully corny joke about literal and figurative baggage). Weiner makes the rookie mistake of conflating what an artist portrays with what he supports.

The next move is a willful misinterpretation of the “minority” characters in Anderson’s movies. I will certainly concede that Anderson is not the greatest handler of race, however I’d dare Weiner to name another Hollywood director that even makes an attempt to address issues of race and class. Anderson, in movies that are never directly about race (although often about class, Anderson handles this flawlessly), still finds places to subtly address and acknowledge it and for that, he is snarkily challenged…most apparently in a simplistic laundry-list dismissal of Anderson’s minority characters.

The first issue with Weiner’s list is the way that it only relates to brown or yellow people. Why is Klaus in ‘Life Aquatic’ not a mishandling of Germans? Ms. Cross of ‘Rushmore’ has hints of the cliche of the British intellectual but this is not a concern of Weiner’s. Anderson’s movies too, often do women a bit of a disservice, as they are either sexless or sexually overactive. By only reading those brown and yellow people as misrepresented, it puts Anderson’s work into a conventional Hollywood sense of race and representation the director has never subscribed to: Anderson’s movies use archetypes (and stereotypes) that apply to all of the characters, from Margaret Yang to Steve Zissou. It is very easy to reduce any of Anderson’s characters to offensive stereotypes if one is so inclined.

But that is a writerly sin of omission (however convenient it might be to omit European and Women characters) and Weiner’s big sin is commission, as he willfully misinterprets the minority characters he does address. Anderson’s minority characters are shown to be sane and rational in a way that his privileged whites choose not to or in more sympathetic moments, just seem unable to be. Yes, ‘Bottle Rocket’s Inez is a “projecting screen” for Anthony’s romantic ideals but this is never seen as a good thing. I would also say that very few movies that aren’t directly about Latino culture, give a better outsider’s perspective on the culture than ‘Bottle Rocket’ and this is obviously because Anderson is from Texas! ‘Rushmore’s lack of minorities is only appropriate, for it is simply a fact that you’re not going to find a lot of minorities at a prep school. Margaret Yang begins as a parody of the studious Asian but she turns out to be a lot like Max. Recall that Max sort of really falls for her when she admits she faked the results of her science project; she is NOT the studious, do-gooder Asian. If the movie were called ‘Margaret Yangmore’ I might have a problem with such a simplistic presentation but given her total of like 10 minutes on-screen, it’s fairly complex. Danny Glover’s Henry Sherman of ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ is a true supporting character in the movie and is pretty much the only sane character of the bunch. Sherman does not “meekly endure” Hackman’s racist jabs, he strikes back screaming, in a scene that only ends when Etheline breaks them up. Hackman calling him “Coltrane” is a joke on the petty idiocy of racial comments: How is Coltrane even offensive? That’s the joke of the scene and reasons for Henry’s initial meekness: he’s unsure how he’s even being offended. ‘Life Aquatic’s multi-cultural crew is a nod to 60s or 70s concepts of diversity; one must remember that Anderson must cast a crew that Zissou would cast and Zissou is an out-dated guy so, he still subscribes to out-dated concepts of racial sensitivity. It is also frustrating that Weiner takes this jab at Anderson when Weiner’s perception of race is incredibly simplistic, the kind of faux “with-it” dislike of whiteness only found in a white person:”Wes Anderson situates his art squarely in a world of whiteness: privileged, bookish, prudish, woebegone, tennis-playing, Kinks-scored, fusty.” Other than “privileged” (and even that is up for debate) none of the other descriptors scream-out “whiteness”.

Weiner’s coup de grace is when he chastises Anderson for yes, in one way, “point[ing] out his characters racial sensitivities” but “ultimately [presenting them] as endearing quirks”. First, what separates Anderson from many of his peers is that his characters’ quirks end up being far from endearing. His characters begin as cute and quirky but those slowly become real-life fuckups that leave the characters stagnate. For example, look at something like ‘Garden State’ wherein Natalie Portman’s tendency to lie is shown as cute and endearing. That is never given a real-world perspective (in the real world, we call her a LIAR). Viewing ‘Hotel Chevalier’, it is clear that Anderson is playing off of ‘Garden State’s “quirkiness” and shows the downside of it, the manipulative, harsh side, exemplified by Portman’s cruel manipulation of Schwartzmann. So, the characters’ racial insensitivity is not an endearing quirk but simply a quirk, which you know, is sort of what it is. Anderson’s characters are rarely overtly racist (even Hackman does it out of malice, not racism) and show equal amounts of ignorance when they try to talk to others, consider others’ emotions, and even consider their own. The racial insensitivities of Anderson’s characters is rightfully presented as a minor, personal flaw which when lined-up with problems like dead parents, depression, suicide, incestual longings, etc. just makes sense.

Written by Brandon

October 2nd, 2007 at 5:42 am

Posted in Irony, Wes Anderson, iPOD

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Apple’s iPhone One Month Later: Plenty More Practical Than You Thought It Would Be
Roughly a year ago, when I first heard that Apple was developing a phone, I was slightly intrigued but not set on it being my next phone. Then, I found out that AT&T, then Cingular, was going to be the carrier… I signed up for e-mail updates from AT&T. I basically decided that I was going to wait for the iPhone to be available to upgrade. But then June 29th rolled around…and I found myself completely disinterested. Too much money, the hype was making the phone absurdly urgent and I just felt like…I really don’t even care about phones that much.

I think my brother has made me hate phones. When you live with your 13 year old kid brother, who likes the Yankees (particularly Giambi) and thinks that he really is into electronics (iPods and the like)…you hear a lot about cell phones. The kicker about this age group is that they really know nothing about how electronics work. I spent hours on the computer on December 25, 2006 trying to teach someone who is disinterested in learning, how to synch his new iPod to the computer and add songs. He currently has what I call “the Zoolander phone”, the super-tiny Pantech camera phone. His wallpaper is currently a picture of him with Hooters girls. The kid likes to think he can stunt.

It really irritates me when anyone, 13 year olds included, try to replace confidence with something else…be it electronics, clothes…whatever…you get what I am saying. Phones are a primary item that people use to try to represent themselves…and truthfully, some of the poorest people I know have the best phones. And that is cool…do whatever you want, but I can’t be sympathetic when they seem to be the people always telling me about how much debt they have, how broke they are…etc.

On July 11, 2007…13 days since the release of the iPhone. I changed my mind. I decided it was probably worth it. Large purchases, for me, are nothing if not impulsive and I’m sort of sorry to say that this was not really as impulsive as it could have been. But the Megatrondon’s iPhone review revealed to me, for the first time, that it could actually be a practical “investment” that would, in fact, increase efficiency. Wesley Case bluntly advised me that it was stupid to invest money at age 21 (although, I still think Certificate of Deposits are a great, stable short term option!). And really…it’s better that I bought the phone with the $500 than on my notorious summer shopping spree in New York City (although, that might still happen).

For all the urgency related to the release date, there is a secret about Apple products that actually make them worth getting soon after the release date: The first and/or earlier generation always seems to be the best. For example, with the iPod, the earlier generations were not only better made but came with all the amenities needed, aside from a car adapter. Additionally, the packaging design gets increasingly less impressive. It seems as though Apple really knows what is going on without feedback from consumers. If you read any Apple support message board you will see some of the worst people ever complaining about shit that CLEARLY does not matter. So, this created my own urgency to get the first generation of the phone. And now there is already talk about how they will be coming out with a cheaper version. Although, this is supposed to be a cheaper option, I’m sure that Apple will make something on the current iPhone additionally plastic to make it lighter…and I hate that shit.

Since my first phone in 2001, I have had more Nokia phones than any other brand. They are dependable, have good battery life, and a simple interface. These are the primary aspects of a phone that I am concerned with..secondarily, however, I do like my phone to be aesthetically pleasing and have buttons that are comfortable. This is the subjective basis on which I will be judging the iPhone. Also, please note that a huge reason I really went through with the purchase is because I have an Apple computer.


Unlike the majority of people that will briskly contemplate an iPhone in an AT&T or Apple store, I trust Apple. I have had an iPod since 2004 and a MacBook since July 2006 and have had both serviced/repaired while under warranty. Their customer service is nothing less than impeccable…possibly to make up for widespread irrational doubt of their products or maybe they truly believe in something…which would be just as douchey as it is endearing. Basically, I’m an Apple customer, not a self proclaimed MacGenius that totes my computer to every wireless hotspot in this hemisphere.

Debit card in hand, I felt comfortable dropping 500 on an Apple phone because I know if something happens to it, I can easily take it to get repaired. Whereas with a Treo, Blackberry, or Sidekick…I’m positive that I would either end up with a replaced phone or shit out of luck. Most would prefer a replaced phone which I’ve never quite understood.

If anything, I would say that the iPhone’s interface may even be an homage to the Nokia interface with regard to simplicity. The set-up of the main screen reminds me of the immutable Nokia menu with each component being represented by a symbol…but clearly a true upgrade from the Nokia with better design and ease of use. As with all Apple products, the transitions that occur while navigating through the interface from menu to feature are very smooth and manage to distract the user as they wait by entertaining them with improved graphic transitions.


The first inclination I had that phones might go in a buttonless direction was with the LG Chocolate phones: a slider phone that integrated “touch buttons”. I had two friends that had the “black chocolate” (?!), the touch buttons seemed to be their favorite feature. I think its some sort of mental thing that humans have…somehow just touching something and getting a response is easier than pressing a button and getting the same response. Biologically speaking, we are on to something…it does, in fact, require the use of more muscles (and therefore a small increase in energy) to apply force to a button than it does to simply place a finger on a designated area.. Touch, although one of the most important and versatile senses, also tends to be the least rewarding and skill requiring…

Apple is undoubtedly concerned with ideas. Releasing a buttonless phone was a huge risk for Apple to take. But not an unexpected type of risk from people who are concerned with a niche market that tends to be far from the “average” sensibility. It is conceptually complicated in a way that could be completely disastrous if not perfected. But perfecting innovation to a marketable level is something that Apple tends to frequently achieve.

I didn’t try the iPhone in the store before I bought it. I felt sort of weary about it being difficult to type on the keyboard. Upon trying it, it definitely works better than you would think that it would. It seems to respond to where the center of your finger is placed which is a skill that is quickly learned.

Keeping in mind that the iPhone is truly capable of multiple features that my previous Nokia phone was not, the battery life seems to be substantial. On the first run, it made it two and a half days without streaming video or playing music through the iPod feature. I tend to not really use the video/iPod capabilities. Maybe I’ll use these features more when I get back to school. Even so, the battery was quick to charge.

Before I purchased the phone, I read online that it is a honking $79 to replace the battery. I’m not sure what to make of this…other than to think that I will deal with that when I get to it and maybe report back on how much it sucks.

Other Notable Features
-As with all Apple products, the brightness is unmatched. I’m sure this takes away from a potentially more efficient use of the battery but…worth it. The sleep button may redeem the inefficient use by allowing the phone to be put to sleep whenever the user decides. So…basically, if you have your brightness jacked…you can shut the phone off so that you can enjoy every eye straining-ly bright moment the battery has to offer.

-The Safari browser and Calendar are my two most used applications on my computer. Safari has become my favorite browser even though it ends up not working with many secure sites and calendar helps me to organize all the crap I have to do. My very frequent use of calendar is certainly a reason that I chose the iPhone. I’m not sure how this works with Windows, but I can directly synch all of my bookmarks from Safari and all of my Calendar events when I hook my phone to my computer.

Written by Monique

August 7th, 2007 at 3:37 pm

Posted in iPOD, iPhone

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No Trivia Presents iPOD Week, Part Four: Mike’s Mixes.

Mike also made mixes. When he’d come back home for Winter or Summer break, Mike, right before you left his house for the night, would silently stick a CD-R in your hand. Always ‘IMATION’ brand, always labelled by Genre, always in his, to quote Monique “small-ass handwriting”, always around 70 minutes containing 13-14 tracks. There would also often, be one or two tracks that sort of didn’t fit, like how the 80s mix has ‘Foreplay/Long Time’ on it…Looking back, they were almost like these conceptual art projects or something. Here are a few of them.
-Click here to download ‘rap’.
-Click here to download ’soul’.
-Click here to download ’80s’.
-This one was a year before the others, the writing’s a little bigger. Click here to download ‘prog’.

Written by Brandon

May 19th, 2007 at 11:29 pm

Posted in iPOD, mix CD

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No Trivia Presents iPOD Week, Part Three: Death Mix.
To download my ‘Death Mix’ as a single mp3 click here.

About a month or so after the death of my friend Mike, Monique gave me a mix she made that, to put it simply, was about Mike’s suicide. It wasn’t a bunch of songs he liked or even really songs that “reminded” us of him; it was more of a narrative or story through songs, the feelings we had in the fall-out of someone shooting themselves and also some musical act of empathy getting into Mike’s brain and just maybe, maybe what he was feeling. It’s hard to explain. It was very affecting. Others write poems about their friends or make paintings or write songs, mix CDs worked as well…it moved me to make one too.

Monique and I discussed presenting what I’ve jokingly called “death mixes” for this iPOD week but a couple of hours ago decided it was not a good idea. She had more reservations than I. For whatever reason, I’m going back on that decision and presenting mine. I don’t think it will be “fun” reading but it’s gotta be at least interesting…

1. Goodie Mob – Serenity Prayer (from ‘Soul Food’)
I thought of this as a sort of ‘preface’ to the mix, just a quick piece of advice and acknowledgment of God or religion or spirituality because I feel that anything addressing death needs to also at least address religious-type things. This I felt, was particularly important on this mix because I am a vehement disbeliever and since the mix is in some way trying to be about (ahem) healing or understanding, me acknowledging religion would be a good idea. I’ve always been moved by the serenity prayer because of its connections to addiction and its sagacious truth. There’s shit you can control and shit you can’t and you better realize that and take care of your shit. Also, I can think of no one better than Goodie Mob and no album better than ‘Soul Food’ to present the mix of anger and empathy that I felt in the wake of Mike shooting himself.

At the funeral, I read a selection from ‘La Morte D’Arthur’ by Sir Thomas Malory, which invokes Jesus and questions of the after-life. I felt it was important to find something that did this instead of picking something super-personal. At the same time, I was reading it I was thinking about how I can only be moved by the writing as an idea not as truth. Two days after Mike’s suicide I was driving with my father discussing all of the events and he admitted to me what I expected for many years…that he too, wasn’t a believer. He told me about how, the night before, my mother had asked where my father thought Mike was; the word my Dad used was “wormfood”.

2. Pharcyde – Splatitorium (from ‘Labcabincalifornia’)
This is the true beginning of the mix. The Goodie Mob was like the scrolling text at the beginning of ‘Star Wars’ or something. The idea for this song was going back, to before Mike shot himself. It was supposed to invoke the strange feeling you often have with friends, having fun, like more fucking fun than you’ve ever had before but there’s something a little off about it and you sort of realize that and part of the fun is because maybe it is too much, maybe it is out of control…Life is nothing if the reality of death and wormfood are not constantly creeping in, to feel any other way is to be in denial. The song is about smoking weed and having a good time and joking around but it has sadness underneath it, particularly through the Vince Guaraldi samples in the beat. Perhaps it’s a bit too perverse but the word “splat” being in the title too seemed appropriate on a mix about a friend who took his own life with a shotgun.

3. Dmitri Shostakovich – Allegro Molto (from ‘String Quarter No. 8 in C Minor’)
This is supposed to be the point where I or even we, my friends, realized what probably happened. See, Mike hadn’t been answering his phone or emails for a few days which was odd because we all saw or talked on a daily basis, so we went up to his apartment to find his car caked with ice (all other cars had been scraped), a Chinese menu sitting in front of his door, and the sound of the DVD menu for ‘Thief’ playing loudly from his television. Repeated knocks were not answered and it was slowly setting in on all of us that something was really wrong. The strings are like a horror movie and that’s really what it was like. So horrible its over-the-top like the strings in this song, like, totally unreal. Mike’s fucking dead? What?

4. UGK – One Day (from ‘Ridin’ Dirty’)
The transition from the chaos of the Shostakovich to the sad, laid-back qualities of ‘One Day’ is a bit like the point where the death sinks-in and you still feel awful but you’ve accepted it…for me, it was leaving Mike’s apartment complex once the police officially told us they found his body and driving back home with my friends, not really saying much. Yep, it’s true one day you’re here and the next day you’re gone.

I cry every time I hear this song, I did before Mike died but now it’s even stronger. I know it’s different because Pimp C and Bun B are discussing the loss of friends often to street violence but their sentiments about death are universal. “I saw him once before he died, wish it was twice man” is exactly how I feel. Also the line, “So shit, I walk around with my mind blown in my fuckin’ zone” describes the feeling after someone dies and exactly the feeling I felt and still feel. When someone dies, especially to suicide, everyone is so fucking afraid of it, it’s annoying. They treat you like you put the shotgun in his mouth. They judge and get freaked-out because it’s a further denial of instability and chaos and insanity and death and all the shit they’d rather not think about.

5. Fabio Frizzi – Sequence 2 (from ‘Zombie OST’)
This is the sound of the couple of days after. Just feeling worn out, almost drugged…this has this great late-70s/early-80s warm synth tone that I love and associate with almost social-realest zombie movies like Fulchi’s ‘Zombie’ (from which this song comes) or ‘Dawn of the Dead’. The end of ‘River’s Edge’ one of Mike and all of my friends’ favorite movies sort of feels like this as well. I also think the synths have a strained quality that sort of sounds like the Shostakovich strings.

6. Lee Hazelwood – We All Make the Flowers Grow (from ‘Trouble Is A Lonesome Town’)
“Wormfood” in song form. This song was intended to interact with or even, counteract the vaguely religious aspects of the Goodie Mob intro. It is also here to counteract a certain melodrama or overwrought-ness that comes from this mix being so serious or even, self-serious. We all end up in the same place and the world keeps going and no one besides the people you know gives a shit. That’s reality.

The song is darkly funny but deadly serious as well, it’s resigned in a way, accepted the fact that there’s no God or order to anything and in that resignation, finds humor and at least, the strength to articulate that resignation and not get lost in it. It’s “just” a folk/country song but through Hazelwood’s voice and really smart lyrics, you can tell that he isn’t trying to shock you with his “wormfood” assertions, it’s the kind of belief he’s earned.

7. Ekkehard Ehlers – John Cassavetes 2 (from ‘Plays’)
I thought of this song as representing the viewing and funeral aspects of going through Mike’s suicide. Like the Shostakovich, it’s string-based and like that song I feel it’s a little over-the-top, a little unreal which is exactly what it’s like to be carrying your best friend’s coffin with your other best friends…and it just keeps going, you lose a sense of how long you’ve been listening to it or when it is going to end. The experience of listening to it is to be constantly in-the-moment, temporal, which is all you can do when something really horrible happens. You’re being led around and anything can trigger bad feelings and you’re in a room or a cemetery brought together because of someone’s death and one moment you’re talking to someone about him, the next you’re giving a hug to someone you barely even know, and the next you’re laughing your ass off telling some story about some hilarious shit he once did.

8. Goodie Mob – I Didn’t Ask To Come (from ‘Soul Food’)

The strings in this beat I thought, sort of continued the strings of Ehlers’ song. I know Goodie Mob are rapping about the impoverished and true victims of an unsympathetic system but there’s an emotionally-honest aspect to them that is perfectly kept in-line with their anger and insight. Cee-Lo’s verse is the obvious connection, as he describes attending a funeral: “As he laid in his final resting place/He has such a peaceful expression on his face” I don’t know if he intended to suggest it but I’ve always read that line as being about surprise and then reassurance in that surprise: Surprised that the corpse of his friend has a peaceful expression. I recall entering the funeral home and seeing, from outside of the room, Mike’s open-casket, a bandage over his eyes because (to be real) the shotgun blast probably ripped them out of his head. He didn’t have a peaceful expression but it was still a surprise to see his face becuase it wasn’t anything how I’d imagined it to look because you can’t really imagine what it will look like. It didn’t matter that he has tons of makeup on and that his forehead had an extra like, two inches on it because they had to sort of glue the top of his head back on, at least I was seeing his face one more time.

9. Talk Talk – New Grass (from ‘Laughing Stock’)

The transition here is mainly through the drums, so it’s like the beat of ‘I Didn’t Ask To Come’ morphs into the soft, near-jazz drumming of this Talk Talk song. I don’t even know what the hell the lyrics are to this song, they are more like a mumble and that allows one to project any kind of pathos one wants to project. The progression of the song, its slow build of piano and guitar and vague electronics felt to me, like the process of adjusting to life without your best friend. The song is never about like, absolution or something, at points it comes back down, like 3:20 in when the piano takes control for a few moments, and that’s like, just when you think you maybe sort of kind of have it figured out, it hits you again: “Fuck…”

10. Love – Be Thankful (For What You Got) (from ‘Real to Reel’)
Sort of an obvious pick, at least in message, but I liked the idea of going back to the didacticism of the intro track. Basically a secular version of the Serenity Prayer.

Written by Brandon

May 18th, 2007 at 5:24 am

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No Trivia Presents iPOD Week, Part Two: Monique’s Playlist With Potential.

-Click here to download this mix.

For iPOD week, I agreed to “de-lurk” and take on some writing because I am a fellow Ipod owner. I have a veteran scroll wheel model from 2004. Ultimately, I’m not really sure what I think about the iPOD as a product. It seems like I’ve always had a way to make my music portable. My mom bought me my first portable tape player for Christmas when I was about 4. I can only recall two tapes that I listened to on the regular: Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ and the Oliver and Company soundtrack, specifically ‘Why Should I Worry?’ by Billy Joel (probably a thousand times). I’d say both of those things are still true to my taste…and looking back at my mom’s tape collection, other aspects of my taste are vaguely illuminated. Tapes like: Billy Ocean ‘Tear Down These Walls’, Bell Biv DeVoe ‘Poison’, Freddie Jackson ‘Just Like The First Time’, U2 ‘Joshua Tree’, Anita Baker ‘Giving You the Best That I Got’, Nelson ‘After the Rain’, Bobby Brown ‘Don’t Be Cruel’…these are among the many…you get the idea. I don’t know how many of these tapes actually were my dad’s (who was out of the picture pretty early on) but I vividly remember sitting on the floor while he was listening to records and on other occasions, watching him play the bongos in one of his many “jam” sessions with his two younger brothers.

Anyhow, I eventually ported my music around with a portable CD player (very inefficient battery usage) and then a mini-disc player (very efficient battery usage). So, in ’04…the Ipod was the logical progression of portability. Honestly, I don’t actually use it that much…but find it is really worth the money in combination with Bose noise-canceling headphones the night before a test or during plane rides. Most students on my college campus walk/run/bike with the ear bud headphones but I find that whenever I try to walk to class or just walk around with my headphones (not ear buds because they are horrible), I am always compulsively changing the track. So- to remedy this- I load mix CDs from friends or organize playlists of my own.

I consider these playlists that usually become mix CDs to be pretty personal. But it’s Ipod week…which means its mp3 (or AAC for all of you that haven’t learned how to change that) week…which is inherently connected with SHARING. The making of a true mix is an ‘art’. I completely agree with Jim Breihan when he says: “With my mixes I like to tell a story or at least make a point. I also don’t see the point of making a mix if it’s not going to have a diverse mix of music on it.”

Last summer, my friend asked me to make her a mix CD. She has since gone to France for the year and I haven’t had a chance to physically give it to her. So, it just exists as a playlist on my iTunes. With the CD, I was trying to explain rap music, why I like it, and how even though it is, now, a “mainstream” form of music, it is just as abstract (sometimes this translates to “cool”) as other less known forms of music. I had a bit of a “reality moment” last summer about my friends and I.. I was with four of my best female friends and not one of them (including the one who is African-American, like really, she was born here, her parents are from Nigeria) knew who Rick Ross was. It was in that moment that I realized just how much explaining I had to do…and not just about Rick Ross… but about rap. But there were questions too…what makes me different from these four broads that I consider my closest friends? Is it possible to be friends with someone who doesn’t understand rap?

We went to the same high school that was over 50 percent non-white…we attended the same school dances that played nothing BUT rap. In a hopeful rush of a moment, I impulsively (like most things in my life, including the writing of this entry) decided that I was going to try to explain rap, as I know it, to my friend.

‘untitled playlist’

1. Consequence ft. Kanye West, Common, Talib Kweli- ‘Wack Niggas’ (from ‘Take Em’ To The Cleaners Mixtape’)
The primary motivation for this, being the first track, was to ease my friend into this. I think it’s a track that’s really easy to like and goes with the way my friends view me. She would expect a song like this from me. Since high school, I have always been viewed as an “asshole”, so much so, that the friend in that this mix is for used to not talk to me. I think she understands this more now and I am a lot less angry and a little happier than I was in high school so it works out.

This track is legitimately hilarious. The mention of a Chrysler Sebring is so great. It’s also one of those jokes that you have to be on the level of the person saying it to get it. And that is sort of what I am proposing, as well, by using this as the first track. Sort of a message to Christine…saying that we could be on the same page and she could understand my Rick Ross jokes if she wanted to…
Side note: I like how Talib tends to be a better rapper when he doesn’t have creative control of the song. Annoying.

2. Fennesz- ‘Herbert Missing’ (from ‘Hotel Parallel’)
This is a really short, almost interlude-like song. As for the storyline of this mix, it is supposed to set the tone for the next song by representing the way one feels after saying something shitty about another person. It’s ALWAYS more complicated than criticisms.

In my post high school world, I have a heightened consciousness of how I impact those around me. Admittedly, I feel pretty horrible after I (again usually impulsively) say something mean. Like the one time, I yelled out the window to an asshole driver in a mini-cooper something about how he was Asian….Although laughing at the memory, I am completely aware of why that is a bad look. Even if the guy really wasn’t pulling up for someone to make a turn and holding up 6 cars worth of traffic…

3. The Dramatics- ‘Hey You! Get Off My Mountain’ (from ‘The Best of the Dramatics’)
I thought it was pretty important to make the connection between soul music and rap music in addition to the connection that I am inadvertently (at least initially) making with electronic music. Giving Christine the benefit of the doubt, I decided against including any more soul songs…assuming, she would get it.

The production in this song is by far what makes it what it is. It truly does sound magical. And again, in relation to the story line, its sort of supposed to be the “shook” feeling that I get post-being a jerk….and empathizing with the person that I potentially just made feel like shit.

4. Tim Hecker- ‘Neither More Nor Less’ (from ‘Mirages’)
I wasn’t aware that this was one of dead friend’s favorite songs because we never talked about this CD together but this song now, subjectively, has more meaning than it did when I first put it on this mix.

5. Masami Akita & Russell Haswell- ‘Fend Off Your Miserable Grief’ (from ‘Satanstornade’)
Tracks four and five were originally supposed to (I don’t think she (Christine) would have caught on to this without explanation) sort of illustrate/earn the idea that the person saying the shitty thing can feel equally as shitty as the person receiving the comment about making the comment. This seems like nothing, at first, or unskilled but the more you listen to it the less you are concerned with understanding it. And that is the same chain of understanding that sort of makes me feel like shit after I say something crappy. I try really hard at first to try to figure out things like: “why did I say that?”, “how does that person feel now?” etc. Then, it’s just a weird confused feeling because saying mean shit is supposed to make you feel better (or it did in middle school).

6. Brian Eno – ‘Here Come the Warm Jets’ (from ‘Here Come The Warm Jets’)
Sort of the beginning of going full circle with the idea…in that, ultimately, it doesn’t really matter about being a jerk. Primarily, this song was chosen because it’s certainly a sort of epic song that has to be earned on a mix CD and Christine has never heard it. It’s definitely, in my opinion, one of the best songs ever made.

7. Three 6 Mafia- ‘Niggaz Ain’t Barin’ That’ (from ‘Triple-Six Underground Vol. 1)
I absolutely love this song and it is over six minutes long. About three weeks ago, I was listening to this song particularly loud in my dorm room and my roommate came back. She was very confused. But she has probably caught on more over these two semesters than I think Christine ever will even after hearing this mix CD. Recently, my roommate has been into James Blunt and Baby Boy Da Prince. Although, my roommate calls rap music “ghetto music” and that is not a good look. But I don’t really know how to explain that to her…other than to say what she says all the time: “erroneous”…and hope she doesn’t say it to the wrong person.

8. Consequence ft. Rhyme Fest- ‘Yard 2 Yard’ (from ‘ Take Em’ To The Cleaners Mixtape’)

These last two songs are what I am considering the meat and potatoes of this mix. I am trying to give Christine, after getting through 6 minutes of just noise and 6 minutes of “niggaz ain’t barin that”, what I think she really wants. The song is about connection even if you’re in different areas, still being close without being close in location. Therefore, the song was fitting at the time because she was leaving for France in a couple weeks and I wanted to encourage, in a friendly way, that its great that she was doing her own thing (some of my other friends were a little disappointed that she was leaving for a whole year). “I’ll put an AK to work for a friend of me” – as a representation of my dedication to our friendship on some hilarious level that would probably end up offending her rather than communicating this message. I think its really awful when friends are sad or annoyed because you are leaving. I think it’s really important, in regard to relationships in general, for people to continue to experience different things. It keeps the conversations interesting and forces people to, at least slightly, evolve their sensibilities. Allowing people to do their own thing is certainly much more affecting than a mix CD.

9. Cam’ron ft. Juelz Santana- ‘Hey Ma’ (from ‘Come Home With Me’)

Ultimately, I think/thought this is what Christine wants. Poppy song…sort of has the exact feeling of “hanging out”…sort of an “anything can happen” feeling. But, in retrospect, I think Christine would have thought something like Atmosphere, Murs, RJd2, or Sage Francis..and maybe she would have gotten that if this mix was coming from Monique, junior year of high school…but I couldn’t afford to compromise my taste that much for the sake of a learning curve.

Maybe I wouldn’t have ever taken the time to truly explain this to her the way I have here…but that’s sort of why all this is stupid. I don’t think I can really make someone understand why rap music is good…its just sort of something one has to “know”. And, I know for a fact that Chrisine’s parents didn’t listen to the same music that mine did. Her dad is a college professor and local folk musician who specializes in the harp…my dad is sort of a dead-beat that grew up in Gary, Indiana and now is a free-lance artist in the Ft. Myers area of Florida. These things make for two different types of people and I think it’s important (now, I’ve got it) that you understand that sometimes people just aren’t going to understand things the way that you do (or understand you or your actions).

So, I don’t think that I was successful in what I was trying to “teach”. Not only because we are two people with different sensibilities but because I really don’t know if my friend will ever even hear this CD and I’m sure that if I did give it to her when I said I was going to, it would have ended up as just a bunch of random songs on her computer that might come up in a iPOD party shuffle…and that is sort of where the Ipod brings us today…which is, I spend all this time planning this (what I perceive as) involved explanation of rap music…and it ends up on a level playing field with stuff like Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart and even, a Django Reinhardt CD I let her borrow to put on her computer.

Written by Monique

May 16th, 2007 at 5:25 am

Posted in iPOD, mix CD

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No Trivia Presents iPOD Week, Part One (Continued): Shuffle Songs.

7. Fortified – Pharrell & DJ Drama (from ‘In My Mind: The Prequel’)
I may be one of the only people that really loves DJ Drama’s screaming and sound-drops. This is a brief track, Pharrell rapping over a beat that I don’t recognize. Pharrell’s rapping while not typically good, is really entertaining and works, sort of like Kanye’s style on his early mixtape and ‘College Dropout’. In mainstream rap, there aren’t enough weirdo rappers, everyone sort of has something resembling the same flow and content, most are technically good or great which actually becomes a little boring. Pharrell’s sloppy rapping along with his weird references and metaphors (“lookin’ like a bullfrog pregnant”, David Blaine, “backwards cigarette”) makes him stand out. I actually really like ‘In My Mind’ but I see why those that heard this first would be disappointed.

8. Ultimate Flow – Clipse (from ‘We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 2)
Pusha’s verse is one of my favorite verses on any rap song: “All the money in the world and I ain’t fulfilled/But what could be missing? I mean the wrist’s on chill/The neck all frozen I should feel like the chosen/Waterfront home overlooking the ocean/All these shoes one should be humored and amused/But more often than not, I find myself confused/Crusin’ in that drop and still I feel/As if I’m nothing more than a hamster in a wheel/Enough with the women they don’t see past the chain/I don’t see past the ass, two can play the game/Gotta thank God for ‘caine, I guess that’s the twist/Cause if I never sold, my rhymes would sound like this/You know I just be standin’ here lookin’ funny, nothing to say, a bunch of and shit…/It’s like a double-edged sword, a catch-22, you damned if you don’t, you damned if you do.”

9. Fall Breaks and Back to Winter – Jim O’Rourke (from ‘Smiling Pets’)

This is from an, I think-out of print compilation called ‘Smiling Pets’ basically lots of cool, hip musicians doing Beach Boys covers. I only found this in an obsessive search to find everything Jim O’Rourke recorded and it is easily one of my favorite songs of all time. I like the warmth of the electronics and the jagged noises that appear about a minute in which mix with, what sounds like manipulated piano chords or something. About 1.50 in you get these female vocals and actual piano playing and it breaks out the same way the best Beach Boys tracks breaks out. Also reminds me of Fennesz’s ‘Plays’ single which contains abstract covers of the Beach Boys’ ‘Don’t Talk Put Your Head On My Shoulder’ and the Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’.

10. Hi-Life – UGK (from ‘Ridin’ Dirty’)
Pimp C gets a lot of crap because he is teamed with Bun B, one of the best rappers of all-time and it makes his mediocrity stand out more. His mediocrity is also used to depreciate the overall quality of UGK which is really unfair because Pimp C produces these great tracks and his content is always honest and real. I like how he mentions his Grandmother giving him crap for not going to church, it’s just really real, you know? This song is also the point on ‘Ridin’ Dirty’ in which the album sort of circles back to overtly sad, emotionally honest songs. I love every track on this album but the Dr. Dre influence of the middle in particular starts to wear thin at about ‘That’s Why I Carry’ and following up that song with ‘Hi-Life’ is a great move for moving the album along.

11. The Finest (featuring Tommy Gunn) – MF Doom (from ‘Operation Doomsday’)

I’ve been obsessed with this CD since Noz mentioned it here. I’ve always been half-interested and half-bored by Doom, primarily because my only exposure was his later stuff which is, as Noz suggested, more lame and more pandering to his nerd audiences. I’m big on owning the stuff I like so I was really frustrated by this album’s lack of availability and it led me to purchase ‘Live From Planet X’ because, I don’t know why, a burned copy of ‘Operation Doomsday’ wasn’t enough or something…I’ve also had a recent obsession with single-track live or mix-type albums (‘Death Mix 2’, Daft Punk’s ‘Alive 1997’) so it fit right in. I sort of really enjoy ‘Live From Planet X’ but Noz’s comments are dead-on as you can easily compare the post-‘Doomsday’ tracks to the ‘Doomsday’ tracks in terms of their overt cartoon and other super-obvious pop-culture references…as for this track, I like Doom’s sampling of 80s-sounding shit that I legitimately love that others would consider corny.

12. You Are Invited – The Dismemberment Plan (from ‘Emergency & I’)

The Dismemberment Plan are one of the few indie rock groups that I liked and still listen to…most indie rock is so fucking disposable and insincere. They also used electronics and such really well, it never seemed attention-grabbing or a way to differentiate themselves in a superficial way because the band’s influences stretched way beyond other indie rocks bands…this songs is dominated by some really simple drum machines sounds and some near-spoken word singing about finding a mysterious invitation to a party or something. It’s very positive and sincere and when the song finally breaks out into more than just synth/drum machine noodling into the whole band, well rocking-out, it’s actually exciting. It’s also like, unbridled in a sense, unbridled in its enthusiasm which borders on Tony Robbins motivational speaking: “You are invited by anyone to do anything!” These guys never seemed cool, their music, their style, their live show; they were really upfront about everything; irony-free.

13. Cariocinesi – Franco Battiato (from ‘Fetus’)

Italian-Prog, oh shit…this is from ‘Fetus’ which would is easily one of my ten favorite albums of all-time, any genre. This is the worst song on that album though. It’s not exactly bad but it’s almost bad. All of ‘Fetus’ has the impressive ability to mix all kinds of sounds and instruments together in a way that should never ever work let alone be like, profound but it rarely falters. It starts out with some submarine-radar-sounding electronics and Battiato’s heavily-echoed vocals that kicks-in with this weird country-music sounding violin and a repetitive piano part which often stops for Battiato to croon a few more lines in Italian. You really gotta hear it. I’m already regretting calling the track weak because as I listen to it as I type this, I don’t want to listen to anything else ever…

14. 976-Bun-B – UGK (from ‘The Southern Way’)
Early(ish) Southern rap production has a strange mix of sophistication that I still don’t think most rap production has figured-out but it also has a certain amount of what feels like naiveté to it, for example, sampling Steve Miller Band as this track does. It’s not really naiveté though, it’s more like not giving a shit about conventional, ever-changing rap rules and only being half-interested in trends. It’s also a really well-chopped sample that doesn’t even rely on how well-known ‘Fly Like An Eagle’ is, it’s used the same way a producer would use, say, some obscure soul sample or something…and like every UGK track, there’s always a point where Bun B is so on-beat its ridiculous…

15. Snowblind – Sleep

A Black Sabbath cover from one of the best post-Sabbath bands. Not a lot to say about this. The Sabbath version is great, this cover by Sleep is pretty great too. I like Al Cisneros’ vocals a lot, he has a sort of mix between a growl that isn’t too modern metal and something that you’d hear on a 80s college rock record. Sleep also have this hypnotic power to their metal that makes it a step away from typical rock (which Sabbath sort of still were), the thick wall of noise on the guitars and the simple drumming makes you sort of lost in the song. Even on this relatively straight cover you hear the hints of the hour-long ‘Dopesmoker’ and the rhythm section’s later band OM. Matt Pike, later of High On Fire has a few really awesome solos here as well. These guys never really “rock” which is great, everything is always sort of subdued and controlled but it’s never too-tight or proggy either.

Written by Brandon

May 14th, 2007 at 11:34 pm

Posted in iPOD, mix CD

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No Trivia Presents iPOD Week, Part One: Introduction & Fun With the Shuffle.

I finally got an Ipod! I’m not one of those luddite douche-bags who refused to get one on principle and I didn’t not get one because I wanted to be one of those guys who likes to proudly proclaim shit like “I’ve never seen ‘Star Wars’ and I never will”, I just didn’t really have a need for one and I’m incredibly stubborn about buying practical things. When my record player needle started fucking up, I chose to listen to awful-sounding records rather than cough-up money for a new record player and even then, I waited until ‘Best Buy’ advertised this totally wack record player for 34.99…which by the way, really is shitty, other than it looking hilarious and being cheap which were its main draws, the CD player can’t play any CD-Rs or any CDs with enhanced content (so no ‘Wu Tang Forever’) and the radio reception is terrible…I currently have the wire antenna scotch-taped to my wall and then and only then, does it sort of get reception…anyways, I was able to get a second-hand iPOD from my sister who at some point recently upgraded to one with more space…

I’ve taken to driving around with my iPOD on which I believe is illegal but like my record player anecdote, I’m not too big on buying practical things so a fucking $50 dollar ‘iTRIP’ is not high on my list of things to buy, I’d rather drop $50 on records and CDs…

The most interesting thing about the iPOD is how it makes your life like one extended movie montage. When you have music up against your ears all the time, it starts to feel like you’re driving, walking, writing, whatever to the beat or rhythm of a song. I got out of my car last night and walked quickly into the house because I’m sort of scared of the dark and the propulsive drums from the intro to Lou Reed’s ‘Oh Jim’ were playing and it was like I was walking with a purpose, like I was in a Scorsese movie or some shit…

Anyways, the theme for this week of ‘No Trivia’ is iPOD week. The most interesting thing about the iPOD is how it’s one more way of making the borders of damn near everything porous. You put that fucker on ‘shuffle’ and all kinds of weird songs complement or juxtapose with one another and it’s all pretty interesting. Along with editor Monique, we’ve planned a week of weird mixes with way-too-in-depth explanations and other kinds of stuff…could be fun.

I put my pod on shuffle and these were the first fifteen songs it spit out… By the way, I stole the idea for this from Richard whose ‘iPOD rundown’ posts are often interesting and illuminating…

1. Liberation – Outkast (from ‘Aquemini’)
Outkast/Organized Noise are one of the few production teams that can mix live instrumentation into rap, truly “experimenting” and it still coming out listenable and resembling rap even as it seems miles away from traditional “hip-hop”. When I was younger, I liked Outkast but always felt they were a bit too derivative of Parliament/Funkadelic but I don’t really feel that way anymore or it maybe doesn’t matter to me. Their music in a lot of ways, takes the emotions of something like ‘Maggot Brain’ and translates it into rap language…that said, there’s not really any rap on this song but it still feels like a rap song while say, Jay-Z’s ‘Beach Chair’ or El-P’s stuff to me, doesn’t…

2. GreatDayInDaMornin/Booty – D’Angelo (from ‘Voodoo’)

As I said here, I stole ‘Voodoo’ from my mom’s CDs and have become obsessed. It actually feels similar to ‘Liberation’ only way more boring but that isn’t entirely a bad thing. I honestly couldn’t tell you without looking at the CD what track number this is because the entire album just sort of flows as one long, blissed-out, hazy, stoned groove. When the track changes, presumably the ‘Booty’ part, the drums turn into something resembling a typical beat and it’s really exciting. The typical thing about music being tension and release, almost feels in reverse on this track as if most of the track is release, kinda free and messy and then at the end, the ‘Booty’ part, it becomes tighter, the tension part. Or something?? What?! Fuck you guys…

3. My Buddy – Derek Bailey (from ‘Ballads’)
I really like this album, “free” guitarist Derek Bailey playing jazz standards like ‘Stella by Starlight’ and this track (I also have a Chet Baker album with his cover of the song). This is another album, like ‘Voodoo’ wherein the tracks seamlessly bleed into one another. I like how clean the guitar sounds on this album and how that counteracts the relative “free”-ness of the playing. Around the thirty-five second mark, the playing starts to go totally nuts but it’s never painful to listen to or basically bullshit noise, there’s always this sense that you won’t get totally lost in the improvisation.

4. Spaceship – Kanye West featuring Consequence & GLC (from ‘College Dropout’)

Yeah…this song is just amazing, everything about it, really. When it came out, it took me awhile to warm-up to Kanye’s super-obvious sampling of stuff, like the Marvin Gaye sample but I was still immediately affected by the production (in a rock sense) if not the beat-making. I love how full of all kinds of crap these tracks are, two different chipmunk vocal samples, the ‘Distant Lover’ sound, an almost marching-band snare loops that breaks free before it all starts over, the additional vocals by John Legend… It’s still essentially loop-based-beat making but the loops are like twenty seconds instead of five. Kanye’s verse is like every verse on this album, a good mix of personal and political and a wise merging of the two. GLC and Consequence will probably never sound better or write better than this. I said it
before, but I like how the spaceship sound that ends Kanye’s verse sounds like the gunshot sound that ends GLC’s, making a subtle comment on the inter-connectedness of our idealistic and self-destructive impulses.

5. Radio Spiricom – Tim Hecker (from ‘Harmony In Ultra-Violet’)
Tim Hecker is really good at making a track than can begin one way and by the end, totally sound like a different song without you, the listener really being aware that these shifts even happened. Hecker uses noise really well, he mixes it and manipulates it in a way that makes it less abrasive and confrontational, focusing instead on the hypnotic elements and for lack of a better way of putting it, the certain beauty of noise.

6. Here Today – The Beach Boys (from ‘Pet Sounds’)
It’s fucking ‘Pet Sounds’ what could I possibly have to say about it? I generally don’t respond to lyrics that are more general than specific but the lyrics on ‘Pet Sounds’ are so moving that they feel specific and rarified even if they are purposefully aiming towards generalities. There’s also the production which is of course legendary. What works about the production for me is a certain raw feeling and messiness that exists even as the tracks feel as if they were worked-on for months even years, which of course, they were. Listen to those thick drums, or the, I guess it’s sort of a bridge, where you get the drums and a nice keyboard sounds and an almost soul-clap that makes me think of Dilla’s soul-claps even though it’s the other way around. Yeah. This is great.

I’m tired so I’ll finish this tomorrow. For now, here’s the rest of the songs…

7. Fortified – Pharrell & DJ Drama
8. Ultimate Flow – Clipse
9. Fall Breaks and Back to Winter – Jim O’Rourke
10. Hi-Life – UGK
11. The Finest – MF Doom featuring Tommy Gunn
12. You Are Invited – Dismemberment Plan
13. Cariocinesi – Franco Battiatio
14. 976-Bun-B – UGK
15. Snowblind (Black Sabbath Cover) – Sleep

Written by Brandon

May 14th, 2007 at 5:50 am

Posted in iPOD, mix CD