Posts Tagged ‘Spank Rock’

The Best Albums of 2011: A list

January 20, 2012

Do you need an introduction? Well, I liked all these albums.

20) Patrick Stump – Soul Punk

Fall Out Boy stan for lyfe. Stump has his Timberlake moment and he nails it. The lyrics are cheesy but that’s because he has no time for winks and artifice. Dude wants to dance, girl.

19) Wild Flag – Wild Flag

Carrie wanted to rock again so she assembled a wrecking crew and done wrecked some shit.

18) Spank Rock – Everything Is Boring and Everyone Is a Fucking Liar

Spank Rock has important things to say and ideas to relate but thankfully he still makes booty jams. Go with what you know.

17) Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

In the Foo Fighter’s documentary Back and Forth, Dave Grohl points out that it was miraculous that There Is Nothing Left To Lose won a Grammy and it was recorded in his basement. He was equally incredulous when Wasting Light was nominated this year since it was recorded on tape in his garage. For his next one he should put Butch Vig in his pantry and Pat Smear in the laundry room.

16) Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – Lost In Translation

A really good rapper who loves to rap about being under appreciated and getting head. Well, someone appreciates you, eXquire.

15) Beyoncé – 4 (Deluxe Edition)

The regular version is fine but you need the deluxe version for the song where she convinces her companion (Hov one presumes) to stay home from the club and makes the point that if he stays home he gets to have sex with Beyoncé. Well played, B.

14) Rival Schools – Pedals

Walter still sounds tougher than he looks and Ian is still a casual guitar god.

13) Justice – Audio, Video, Disco

In a way, Justice are taking a piss. But their interviews are so sincere and they say things like “My favorite book is the Bible” and aren’t kidding. They already did their half ass version of Don’t Look Back and now they’re doing a variation on Boston, except their spaceship crashed.

12) Cut Copy – Zonoscope

Divisive, this one. If In Ghost Colours cured cancer than this one took care of scoliosis.

11) Limp Bizkit – Gold Cobra

Wes Borland saved up all his best riffs and didn’t even use them in his own fucking band. It’s like he knew one day he’d want to put on the ol’ body paint and play “Break Stuff” for the millionth time. Fred Durst is now full on hilarious and lacking in apparently any self awareness, naming a song “Douchebag” and taking it’s chorus to homoerotic realms previously unexplored. He also refers to himself by the name “Polar Bear”, as his rhymes are indicative to the native climate of Siberia.

10) DJ Quik – The Book of David

DJ Quik is the kind of guy who will brag about things that no one else brags or even necessarily cares about. But that’s because Quik only deals in tangibles. He really does play piano, write his own rhymes, and once pistol whipped his sister for black mailing him. Also he still has all of his hair.

9) The Rapture – In The Grace Of Your Love

Jesus saves? Alright, just this once. Seeing as you brought all these jams with you.

8) Win Win – Win Win

Banger city, population: these guys. The Glenn Beck parody is on point too and I don’t generally fux with skits.

7) Das Racist – Relax

They’re still funny but most importantly the beats are fire. I’m not mad they put “Rainbow In The Dark” on it since “Rainbow In The Dark” rules so who gets mad when a good song comes on? Not me, that’s for sure.

6) SebastiAn – Total

SebastiAn took his time putting out his debut album, some might say past the sell by date of this particular sound and style of music, in this case ’07 era blog house filter disco. But that stuff is great! And unlike dubstep you can dance to it. Everybody still likes to dance, right?

5) Lady Gaga – Born This Way

What a thrill to have Lady Gaga finally take her philosophy to making music videos and applying it to her music. That philosophy of course is more, more, more, steal, steal, steal. Love it. Her videos are still shit though.

4) Fred Falke – Part IV

Daft Punk make boring soundtracks now and Mylo won’t come out of his house except to yell at Kylie Minogue so Fred Falke rolled up his sleeves and did the hard work for them. I don’t want to say Fred’s a genius or anything but this thing is front to back bangers so maybe he is. Have him take a test and get back to me.

3) Sloan – The Double Cross

Sloan are great. They made another great album. They’ve taken Diddy’s words to heart.

2) Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne

The first time I listened to this album I thought it was good. Then I listened to it again and I thought it was still good but maybe had some other issues. I went back a third time to check out those issues but also to listen to the three song stretch of “Niggas In Paris”, “Otis”, and “Gotta Have It” which is the best 9 minute stretch of any album this year. I went back a fourth time and really started to enjoy the new lyrics on “That’s My Bitch”. The fifth time through I was in traffic and just kinda vibed with it. The sixth time I listened to it I had taken a break so it was all fresh and new again. Definitely started to appreciate Jay’s fire on “Why I Love You” but had started skipping “Made In America” at this point. On my seventh listen I was more amused than irritated by “Lift Off”, which only exists because Kanye was dying to use that NASA sample. On my eighth listen I pondered why they didn’t figure out some way to work “H.A.M.” into the equation instead of as a bonus track. On my ninth listen I was sure that someone should have told RZA to calm down with the ghostly wails on “New Day” so we could actually hear all of the lyrics. That said, just hearing these guys say “Me and the RZA connect” is treat enough. On my tenth listen I reconciled the fact that even if “Who Gon Stop Me” samples dubstep these guys at least take it’s bludgeoning sound to a logical conclusion and take that shit all the way over the top with Holocaust references, since dubstep is sorta the Holocaust of music scenes.  I just listened to Watch The Throne for fun after that. Good album!

1) Friendly Fires – Pala

Friendly Fires are too pure for this world. Even their sad songs are iridescent dance jams. Ed MacFarlane sings like he might die tonight and we’ve got to make the most of it, right now. “Are you ready, there’s not much time.” “Where are we going?” “I don’t know, but we’re going to dance the whole way!”

Advertisements

20 Songs I liked in 2011

December 28, 2011

Just the other day someone told me that they think I just hate everything. Strong words with just a touch of hyperbole and a basis around the fact that the new albums by Common, Young Jeezy and Drake are some lame horseshit. Well, the Jeezy album is more boring than terrible. But that Common album. Oh my lord. But if you go through the archives on this very blog you’ll find that more often than not the compulsion to post to the internet was to shit all over something like Law Abiding Citizen(which I’m discovering has it’s share of defenders) or Transformers 3 and not sing the praises of, say, Drive. A valid criticism. So in a show of acknowledgment to my critics here are twenty songs that I enjoyed in 2011. I’m sure you’ll be kind in the comments.

20. Cher Lloyd – “Swagger Jagger

Apparently a celebrity in the U.K., Cher Lloyd is repeatedly stalked by critics, haters and sycophants. To combat them, she made this song where she cutely raps about how they can’t get enough of her because they be jealous and are simply jocking her steez(Or swagger jagging) and then she sings the chorus over a pulsing electro beat that rocks so hard the ground shakes in the video. This dumb thing stole my heart.

19. Rihanna – “Where Have You Been

No Rihanna, where has this song been? I know it’s made up of other songs and it’s not really all that original but it’s a fucking banger and anyone who knows me knows I love fucking bangers. She’s screaming “Where! Have! You! Been! All my liffffffeeeee!” and synth lazers are firing under her and then the world explodes. Oh, production by Calvin Harris? That makes sense.

18. Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – “The Last Huzzah!” feat. Despot, Das Racist, Danny Brown & El-P

The beat to “Huzzah” is hot as fuck so Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire invited all his bestest friends over to rap on it. And rap they do. El-P spits fire, Danny Brown makes me reconsider everything I’ve ever said about him, Das Racist kill it as usual and this Despot guy is pretty good too. eXquire gets the last word because hey, it’s his song. Necro produced this? Thrilled I can enjoy something he has created that isn’t sad or disgusting.

17. Rival Schools – “69 Guns

United By Fate was my shit in 2002. This was unsurprisingly my shit in March.

16. Justice – “Helix

My favorite song on that new Justice album everybody didn’t like. I don’t fux with 70’s radio rock but I enjoy Justice’s decision to smash and chop it into danceable guitar solos. Y’know, like Daft Punk used to do. Remember them?

15. Young L – “Bottle of Rose’

Sifting through the myriad of hip hop mixtapes that come out every two days is worth it for those moments when some marginally talented misogynist gets ahold of a wrecking ball beat and kills that shit dead. Really, what would you say over a beat this sick? Nice things? No you wouldn’t.

14. Foo Fighters – “Rope

This band has three guitarists now. Three! I think they all get to do something fun here.

13. Limp Bizkit – “Why Try

In which Fred Durst spends the entire first verse and chorus literally killing you only to have you come back to life in the second verse just to get killed all over again. Nothing if not thorough. Wes Borland approximates an actual buzzsaw guitar, everyone else does their job and I pretend I’m in 11th grade again.

12. Beyoncé – “Love On Top

Listen, I like “Countdown” just fine. More than fine actually. But when it comes down to it, I will always pick the songs that choose Off The Wall as their inspiration.

11. Lady Gaga – “Bad Kids

I have to say that the bad behavior displayed in the track is pretty benign. Much like Lady Gaga in general, best to just move on and not dwell on it. But the Hi-NRG meets hair metal tableau works, despite the horror that is hair metal. I won’t call it magic. Maybe luck?

10. SebastiAn – “Kindercut

For everyone who was disappointed that the new Justice album didn’t sound like the old Justice album, SebastiAn has a banger for you.

9. The Rapture – “How Deep Is Your Love

Five years gone The Rapture pop back in with a straight up disco floor filler, acting like they haven’t been gone a millisecond. Good work, gentlemen.

8. DJ Quik – “Ghetto Rendezvous

Only DJ Quik would air out his grievances with his sister on a beat this funky.  Enjoy the groove while DJ Quik tells his sister she has a yeasty vagina.

7. Das Racist – “Michael Jackson

I feel you. Holla.

6. Sloan – “The Answer Was You

Picking a standout from an album of standouts is a challenge (a delightful challenge) but hey, Jay is on fire here. His best song since “Don’t You Believe A Word”.

5. Spank Rock – “Race Riot

XXXChange is my dawg 4 lyfe. I’ve been eagerly awaiting an actual recording of this song since seeing Spank Rock perform it live four years ago. Worth the wait, Spank Rock and XXXChange channel the Yoyoyoyoyo era with blaring horns and cowbell. Of course the centerpiece is the “Shake it till my dick turns racist” instruction. Yeah, this is a song about cumming.

4. WIN WIN – “Interleave With You” feat. Alexis of Hot Chip

Hey, it’s XXXChange again. The guy is great. Alexis has a great, sad vocal here but the MVP is that distorted bass synth line that creates a subtle background melody. You know the one. This is the song you play at your cyborg wedding AFTER you play “All Is Full Of Love“. Respect.

3. The-Dream – “Body Work/Fuck My Brains Out

Originally a teaser for the now set for release in 2012 new The-Dream album, “Body Work/Fuck My Brains Out” is a nine and half minute career high. The first half all midtempo slow grind, The-Dream yowling and moaning out his desire, stopping and starting the beat at his discretion for emphasis and to do one his trademark “Ohhhh”‘s. So intense is his obsession for this woman at one point he admits he can’t even defecate if she isn’t around. Damn. “Fuck My Brains Out” is the raunchiest earworm this side of Prince’s “P-Control” and it’s “Listen to me baby” line has become a personal lyric meme between my wife and I.

2. Friendly Fires – “Hurting

Is it going to hurt some feelings if I say that “Hurting” is Friendly Fires best song? The truth hurts.

1. Jay-Z & Kanye West – “Niggas In Paris

They did this song five times when they played Pittsburgh but I certainly could have heard it a few more times. Basically, Jay-Z starts off killing it, Kanye comments that Jay just killed it so hard that it’s kinda crazy, then Kanye kills it, more affirmation of said craziness, then the world explodes. Let’s do that again! My wife played this in the car about five or six times in the last two days, and it was the first song that played on random when she drove to work this morning. THIS MEANS SOMETHING. What it means is that this song is great and we listen to it all the time.

Favorite Albums of the 2000’s: 100 – 91

February 5, 2010

When Pitchfork first announced their intention to rank the best singles and albums of the last decade I expressed admiration towards their efforts to attempt to complete such a herculean task. When they actually posted the lists, I realized that I just had to do one of my own because I couldn’t believe how low they ranked The Black Album. It took me awhile and I almost gave up a few times, but nobody likes a quitter. Embarking on my own journey through the last ten years of songs and full lengths, memories and stories flooded back. I’m not saying every album has a story attached to it that I’m going to tell you about, but more than a few gave me the ol’ warm fuzzies. I started with a list of around 150 albums and just snipped and prodded it down to a still massive 100. 100 albums that shaped me or just made me happy. Albums I sought to share with others and others shared with me.

100.Phoenix – United (2000)

“Too Young” was my going out Jam with a capital J in the winter and spring of 2004. First discovering it via the Lost In Translation soundtrack, I was thrown by the unbridled joy and that chorus where “…everybody’s dancing'”. The rest of United is just as joyful, where even the sad songs are actually fun, Thomas Mars barely able to keep a smile off his face. For a debut United isn’t tied down to a singular sound as Phoenix take dips in faster guitar rock(“Party Time”) and whatever the heck “Funky Squaredance” is. While I agree that they’ve expanded their sound on later records, United is so much more than a rough draft. It is a declaration of fun to come.

99.  Hot Hot Heat – Make Up The Breakdown (2002)

When I worked in at my college radio station, we were deluged with literal mountains of promo CDs. This is not surprising or unique. What was surprising and unique were the rare times a randomly grabbed CD (literally) pulled from the bottom of a teetering stack of jewel cases would not only catch your ear but have you grabbing people aside to play it for them. Make Up The Breakdown was discovered just like that, a random choice from a random pile of categorized albums that would later either be tossed or lazily marked “Alternative”. Catchy is the first word that comes to mind when talking about MUTB, jam-packed with hooks, sharp riffs and angular guitars back when people liked that sort of thing. Moving at a quick clip (31.9 minutes according to iTunes) Hot Hot Heat don’t waste any time, moving breathlessly from dance anthem to dance rocker and back again. The lead singer has one of those “Is this annoying? I’m not sure yet” voices that actually could be annoying but the music is so good you never really care if it is or not. I think the later albums affirm that it is annoying, but those albums suck so there you go.

98.  Nine Inch Nails – Year Zero (2007)

I can fully attest that for about two years I would swear up and down that this album wasn’t very good. I liked a couple songs but “something feels off”. I used to blame the drum sound, but I’d always head back and realize that that wasn’t the case. The drum sound is actually pretty awesome. But I always came back, threw it on again trying to figure out why it wasn’t clicking with me. When I began making this list I didn’t initially consider it because, well, I had already officially told people I didn’t like it. But why was I listening to it so much, even more than records I actually attested to like, such as those last couple Morrissey albums? I mean, Morrissey is arguably as big if not a bigger downer than Trent Reznor. Well, when I was giving this a listen a few weeks ago, not even considering it for this list the fucker cracked me in half. Right then I understood it all and Year Zero understood me. We were one and the universe moved in sync with our movements. Then I went to bed without writing anything down and here it is at #98.

97.  John Mayer – Room For Squares (2001)

John Mayer isn’t very likable now. On Room For Squares however, Mayer is empathetic and self-deprecating; witty and wistful.  The subject matter of awkward dates, childhood nostalgia, and the pressure of going out into the world as an adult and proving yourself are all topics that in the right hands can’t be anything less than appealing. I’ve been struggling to think of how to describe the music. Spare for the right moments and never overproduced, Room For Squares tends toward a sound I’ll call attractive and familiar. Plenty of tracks have an old familiarity to them, sounding less like original works and more like old standards passed down. The most important feature of the album is that John Mayer comes across as a guy still figuring it all out, making mistakes and trying to just be a better person. Jeez, how did that turn out?

96.  Cody ChestnuTT – The Headphone Masterpiece (2002)

Cody ChestnuTT is a guy who can do anything. That appears to be the main subject of The Headphone Masterpiece. ChestnuTT jumping from style to style, genre to genre proving not only that he can do r&b/rock/soul, he can do it well. At two discs, The Headphone Masterpiece is bloated; bloated with ideas, jokes, riffs, garbage, misogyny, apologies, family, and more than few mentions to ChestnuTT’s sexual prowess. It’s also very funny, catchy and frankly a goddamn masterpiece. All of ChestnuTT’s contradictions just make him more appealing and his decision to record the whole thing on a 4-track sounds like a dare that he won.

95.  Deftones – Deftones (2003)

The culmination of their career at that point, Deftones’ self-titled album is the band at the peak of their abilities, finally achieving what previous efforts had only hinted at. The ambient tracks that Chino always forces the band to put on their albums tend to be the weak moments(see Saturday Night Wrist) but on Deftones those tracks shine. Of course, no one who listens to Deftones is there for those slow moments, they want the throat scorching fury. “When Girls Telephone Boys” might be Deftones most blazing moment on record, while “Bloody Cape” possesses their most indelible riff and shrillest finale. A compliment. Considering their tendency to be heaped into the nu-metal category, Deftones is a defiant embrace of hard rock, metal and punk influences. Definitely a good look.

94.  Spank Rock – Yoyoyoyoyo (2006)

The beats make the difference between a wack track and a banger. You could be the dopest, freshest, wittiest, most energetic MC in the game, but if your beats suck, you suck. You could also be a pretty mediocre rapper and ride out to fame on some hot tracks. Those are just facts. The rhymes on Yoyoyoyoyo are largely focused on the familiar hiphop tropes of women and fame, but they hang over such innovative musical beds. Producer XXXChange isn’t exactly a genius but he’s certainly a master of making the best of a small budget(so I’ve read of this album’s creation). XXXChange doesn’t take any shortcuts to repeat himself so every track is a new idea. Be it the funk guitar and 60’s girl group vocals evoked on “Sweet Talk” or the video game sfx on “Rick Rubin”, XXXChange is seemingly a master of all styles. The mind reels of what he could do with a Kanye budget.

93.  Love Is All – Nine Times That Same Song (2005)

I just love these bands full of energy and enthusiasm, writing songs about songs, and also songs about keeping people’s bodies in freezers. Is it bad that I’ve listened to this album a ton of times, know it’s songs extremely well but only can tell you it’s peppy, fun, and catchy?

92.  Clipse – We Got It 4 Cheap, Volume 2 (2005)

Pretty much the greatest mixtape ever. If you’ve heard better, don’t shame me, educate me. In the meantime, goddamn. The Clipse have a swagger and attitude that is the epitome of cockiness. While their sales might not echo it, Clipse are kinda the best, so this attitude makes sense. On this mixtape they rap over plenty of top shelf beats including “Daytona 500” and “Hate It Or Love It” and murder it all over the goddamn place. It’s seriously disgusting how good they are, and criminal how ignored they’ve become commercially.

91.  The Twilight Singers – Blackberry Belle (2003)

Greg Dulli is a indie rock god. He wrote Gentleman, he wrote “Uptown Again”; his legacy is written. Yet Blackberry Belle is arguably one of his finest works. A tribute to deceased friend Ted Demme, Blackberry Belle is as dark as any mid career Afghan Whigs album, but often quieter and more somber than the Whigs ever were. When Dulli suggests we “black out the windows/it’s party time” we know we’re in for some melancholy vibes. Yet tracks like “Teenage Wristband” evoke a sense of rebellion and nostalgia that is one could almost confuse with “fun”. Easily the least obvious eulogy for the creator of Yo! MTV Raps.