Monday, October 24, 2011

Watch the Throne

this is most of a counterpoint I wrote for Cokemachineglow and never sent

Yeah, dudes seem invigorated by the challenge they’ve set themselves. Recording in the same room, minimal guest spots to ease the glare: listening to them trade the mic is indeed a joy, and a novelty in this age. Jay (of D.O.A) is once again Quixote, trying to resurrect the rap he once owned and loved, and Kayne is his loyal Sancho, playing an adorable, Mr. Me Too hypeman. And in “Lift Off,” Beyonce sounds about as real as Dulcinea, somehow rendered absolutely sexless, as if the child in her womb is already sponging up all the talent. Fucking placentas.

Humor me, fellow readers, in a workmanlike rundown of the album, so we’re all on the same page or at least know specifically where our differences lie. “No Church in the Wild” in an enthralling start, Jay busting out the Gothic imagery he’ll return to so effectively in the equally exciting “Why I Love You” These book-ending epics alone justify the hype, don’t color me ungrateful. But both are neighbors to egregious mistakes: “Lift Off” and “Made in America,” two of the most hollow tracks in either’s oeuvre, gravity sinks best deleted and never spoken of again.

“Otis” is palpable joy, and the video reiterates what a labor of love this experience was. “Niggas in Paris” “That’s My Bitch” and “Gotta Have It” are all fun that we won’t return to often, only to be happily surprised by how well they move.
“New Day” “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Murder to Excellence” mostly work, thanks primarily to Jay’s openness rather than Ye’s bluster. “Who Gon Stop Me” features Yeezy going too far and straight up ruining a track with his Holocaust grandstanding. Jay isn’t much better: yes, Hov, we know this “black strap” of which you speak. That flow was weak the first time, we didn’t need it twice more.

As for the bonus tracks “Illest Motherfucker Alive” is absolutely worth searching out and takes “America’s” place nicely. “Primetime” is good clean sub-“Otis” fun. “H*A*M”(fisted) is a at once trend-hopping and once-ups-man-ship that ends up a mess badly in need of the remix I think we all expected. “The Joy” is more good from Jay, more overdone out of Kayne. Lest you believe me to be a Jay partisan, let me say that this is one of my favorite Hov albums and my least favorite Yeezy album.

So, Watch the Throne is defiantly not-of-the-moment, in thankful juxtaposition to the soulless Luger by way of Miami, and vice versa, sound that’s taken over, an affirmation that two titans can still make smart rap without having to trade mics with up-and-comers or throw Rihanna on a track to get a hit. Apropos of nothing, how much longer do we think Drake’s loyalty will last? I’d rather have Ye in my corner and Jay was wise as always to consolidate his base, re-affirm his ally and trusty lieutenant while simultaneously re-demonstrating his skill and, post-Fantasy, showing who’s still top dog. “Wasn’t I a good king?” Better than good.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Colin Meloy aka Mr. Decemberist wrote a children's/YA book on the premise that Forest Park is a place called Wildwood where weird shit happens. I am going to buy it on the premise that it is for the neighbor kids and then read it first. I sorta wish Colin Meloy would shown up in the video, with Dwight and Sam Adams in the same shot, because I'm sort of suspicious they're all the same person. He also got the Portlandia folks, Fred sporting the SE ubiquitous Mary's Club tee. That shit's streaming on Netflix yall

that's my Stumptown, yo!

dude got a second nytimes writeup today. Share the wealth, man!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Best Podcast

Had I had been a smarter college DJ, I would have just played the Cokemachineglow podcast every week and pretended that I had come up with it. If you wanted to start from scratch and build yourself an amazing taste in music, you could do no better or easier. Shit has carried me through the last week of work. Really need to make that donation I promised those guys....

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

My Favorite Podcast

The PERs-system
Pick a snack
Eat a snack
Rate a snack

Tom Cavanaugh and Michael Ian Black were on my favorite show as a teenager- Ed- so I'm sure half the reason I like it so much is its sort of like unearthing lost episodes of Ed and Phil trapped at a boring day in the bowling alley, eating at the snack bar. But my comedienne friend Angie digs it a lot too, and she never watched the show, so you should give it a try. Got me thru 27 hours of soul-crushing work this summer, at least once per episode making me laugh-snort my mosquitoes all over the place.

What's YOUR favorite podcast?