Saturday, September 20, 2008

Will Get Fooled Again - or - Six More Years

I'm always scared when a band I love releases new material. When this happens I often purchase or download a record as soon as I can, but don't listen to it for days or weeks, waiting for the perfect moment when I have cleared my mind enough of preconceptions to be able to give it a fresh, level headed listen.

Max Tundra's Mastered By Guy At the Exchange is one of the best records of the 21st century, and after six years, it's follow-up, Parallax Error Beheads You is coming out in November. Given my fondness for idiosyncratic pop musicians with distinctive and conversational lyrical voices, this should come as no surprise. What's surprising is that I managed to force myself to listen to the first single so soon.

It did not let me down:

This is the video for "Will Get Fooled Again" which I understand to be the album's first single.

I saw this for the first time the other day and, having never before witnessed Mr. Tundra in motion, I was primarily amazed by not the song, but by the fact that he was as charismatic visually as he is on record. While this song isn't the strongest thing he's ever released, (see "Lysine" or "Lights" for that) it's probably the best video he's done and, after six years devoid of any new recorded output, it's welcome as hell. The dance he does here toward the middle of the video is enough to make my day for days.

Most importantly, the song retains many of the indispensable qualities of Mastered by Guy: Max's clipped, unassuming voice against the sort of meticulous and playful beats the likes of which I've only ever heard from him. My rationale for loving Max Tundra as I do, stated simply, would read something like "only Max Tundra can be Max Tundra." It would have been a real travesty if he had somehow lost himself in the past six years, and I am overjoyed that it seems like he didn't. If this record doesn't end up as one of my favorites for 2008 I'll be mightily surprised and thoroughly disappointed.

If the video above didn't work, you should be able to watch it here.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

G Unit Iron Ore -or- Formula 50 Strontium

I don't know how this didn't set the internet on fire. From a Forbes profile on 50 Cent:

That adds to an existing stable of other business divisions, including a G-Unit clothing line, a boutique recording label, and even a stab into gaming. “The financials of the music business have changed to the point that we have to find ways to make money in other places," 50 Cent brand manager Barry Williams recently told Forbes. “I didn’t think six years ago when we started trying to sell music that we'd be selling VitaminWater and shoes and clothes. Now we're moving into other directions, and four or five years from now, it's exciting to think about us looking at natural resources and raw materials and other businesses.”

That last sentence is so good. First, though William later clarifies this statement, hinting at a pending deal for G Unit branded diamonds, somehow 50 shilling for Exxon/Mobil still makes sense. The formula 50 jokes are just too easy. And second, in four or five years, the way things are going, 50 could perhaps more easily be a richer, scarier Eminem, or Cube without the acting to fall back on than a diversified mogul. Lord save us from a scenario where 50 is dressing like Puffy and selling us precious gems.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

A Review Thing: Rhys Chatham's "A Crimson Grail"

This is belated, but I wrote this review of the canceled August 15 performance of Rhys Chatham's "A Crimson Grail". Click it to read it at Tiny Mix Tapes.

I have things I want to say about other stuff, too, but it'll have to wait. Look for the Doug Schrashun concert series of concert reviews of shows I saw, coming soon.

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