Wednesday, September 26, 2007
MUNICIPAL WASTE IS GONNA FUCK YOU UP
That line last night signaled the end of yesterday night's metal show at Europa, (Skeletonwitch, Toxic Holocaust, Municipal Waste, another band I forget), wherein I officially realize I could care less about being in the pit or really doing anything active beyond dancing or crowding the stage. I gave it a shot every now and then, but I get nothing from it and I'm signed off of going to shows by bands whom I think make shitty records or I'm not already really into. The former decision is based off of boredom, the latter financial. But I made a mental note to never return to Europa for any sort of show that involves crowd participation, since the hexagonal upstairs show floor is highly unwieldy for that sort of that. A good 73% of bands sound great live regardless of shitty songs, so I can't really make a judgment until I pirate their discography, but Toxic Holocaust seemed to have really good songs. Then again, this might turn into Stinking Lizavetta all over again, when I'm wowed by something, buy/download a record, and its even worse than a T.I. record. But, my next shows are the Hives, Comedians of Comedy, maybe High On Fire, and definitely Ghostface/Rakim. Then, I'm getting a fucking job. Living is costly, son.
I have a list of things I wanted to cover for post topics, but, thankfully, they won't be quite exhausted as yet, since some real shit is going down. First of all, I, as of 5 minutes ago caught Evo Morales on the Daily Show, and during the awkward Rosetta Stone-process that was his translation (awkward for the fact that the usually annoying as shit Daily Show audience was, for once, rendered completely silent for its duration) he dropped some ill science on the audience (via a Bolivian-English Babelfish) after expressing how he felt cultural and regional differences should be understood and respected, and on his socialist grind, he said,
"I've heard a lot of talk about global warming, climate change; they don't say why, where's it coming from! Why? Where's all this coming from? Perhaps from a western culture, perhaps excesses in relation industry, perhaps excesses in luxury, excesses in consumption....and please don't consider me to be part of the 'Axis of Evil'!"
Its great that on a Viacom-owned channel with reasonably high viewer-ship, someone finally point to the elephant in the room that is industrialized consumption and consumerism, which, along with overpopulation (please, stop having so many goddamn kids), is the main underlying cause of a myriad of social woes.
I'm glad there are a few guys like Morales, despite people's meely-mouthed cocksucking of their own political ideals, whether inherited or learned from the media and feeding into their biases and myopic perspectives, provide some fresh air and at least a small feeling that in the current climate (OMFG POST-9/11 POST-MODERNISM, LOLZ!!) that there's avenues of non-PBS based discourse with people from the world community. At this point, I'd settle for someone who is, I don't know, at least 5% closer to the truth that what CNN, Fox News, and the current political parties and commentators can offer.
Cocksuckers, all of them.
On at the same time, was BET's budget-ass (seriously? I recall production values being less cable-access looking when I used to watch Rap City in junior high) attempt at a debate (although the description as a town hall discussion is a lot more apt). I'm going to scour the internet later for part 1, but part 2 was pretty predictable. Poor moderation, not enough time (two hours on air? And, from what I've seen, they're not repeating it any time soon. WTF, BET?) alloted, uninformed generalizations, people getting constantly cut-off, panel members with nothing to ass, cliches repeated*, etc. I'm not going to completely dissect every issue yet, since all the tired, retread points of order have been touched upon before and I don't have a transcript of the topics they discussed handy to e-shit all over. I do have a few beefs to nitpick about, from this gaping flapper cunt of a network.
*I'd like to take a second to bring up how dumb the myth of "white kids from the 'burbs buy hip-hop albums mostly" is. One, that shows a weird complete unawareness of the majority ethnicity in this country, Euro-Americans, and the fact that there are more than six kinds of music (I've accepted that to the casual pop consumer, they are: Rap, R&B, Rock, Techno, Country, and Metal) that aren't bogged down in race identity. Also, someone should learn statistics, since the stat given is that around 70% or more of the sales of rap albums are from white people, which would be shocking in Johannesburg or Ecuador, but not in a country with at least 200 million white people. The black population in America is outnumbered three to 1 by the majority ethnic cluster (You know...crackers.), so the primary consumers of albums for every genre will end up being white based on numbers and logistics, alone. If every black or mulatto/mixed (::cough::) identifying person in this country bought rap albums, the statistic of about 63-67% wouldn't decrease that much. I just wonder why when you Google "White people hip-hop album myth", you only get one decent response to dispel this.
Anyway, it occurs to me, watching the painfully pathetic "Hip Hop vs. America" special, how much I hate Toure. Every smug, swishy thing that comes out of his mouth and all of his terrible Rolling Stone reviews just rubbed me wrong since day one. Ever since dude was a talking head for VH1, I wished people would stop hiring him. This was emphasized at the end of the special when Toure's beak squawked something like "If you don't talk about hip-hop, YOU killed it". This is the kind of kid in my high school I'd be friends with cuz we would talk about Black On Both Sides being one of the best albums made in history of man, and then he would go on some rant about Spoon or Modest Mouse when I tried defending Three 6 Mafia or UGK. I hated those faux-bourgeoisie bohemian smug assholes. Sadly, that comprised half of my school when I went there. Anyway, what amounted in the broadcast was basically Melyssa Ford continuing to be insightful and professional, and Michael Eric Dyson continuing to, as Star from Star and Bucwild used to say, be a "slick talker".
I've known about him for a while and seen him in action before (mostly from Maher's show), and he's clearly been on another panel, because he knows how to economize the small amounts of time given on these sorts of panels. The man spit a good page of science in two minutes, whereas Nelly, bless his heart, got two salient points out the entire show (Being that people should stop clamoring for the golden age and focusing on making the present better, which is really fucking spot-on, and that the protests about "Tip Drill" prevented him from getting his half-sister her marrow, and is why she died from Leukemia, so some perspective is in order regarding his body of work and beliefs and life). He, and the rest of the panel, might've said more, but the poor editing and short duration leave that up in the air for now. I will say, I used to like Cornel West during my "Kill Whitey" teenage years, but that motherfucker is as batshit crazy as KRS-ONE and reaches more than Dhalsim. Fuck him and Mos Def* (*more on that later).
Sad that in the only section of the two night telecast I say, night two, everyone else was ineffectual. His albums are weedplates, but I love T.I. as a human being. Real talk. Ever since "Be Easy" came out and I read his XXl (or Source...can't remember. As if it really matters. The difference between then is like the difference between the Daily News and NY Post...just one has a slightly higher reading level and less messy layout) interview. But he and Nelly didn't do much but provide people unfamiliar with them as rappers and people with opportunities to go "Wow, he's so well-spoken and aware!". I was slightly hoping something past BET's notorious 7% watchability rate, but, no. Eh. Someone off this albatross of a network and hire me to make a black Telemundo. Shit'd be fly, dun. Outdated slang and all.
The one good thing BET has done of late is giving Kanye maximum exposure. Despite shitty prodcution values and attempts and special effects (Why not a cheesy star wipe to add to your easter hued-haze, BET?) Kanye proves why I feel the need to equate him as the last respite of hip-hop. I repeat, KANYE WEST IS HIPHOP. I feel the need to bring up how great his performances are, and that the only person besides Jay-Z and Eminem I've seen transcend the pattern post-Golden Era lazy-ass muffled performances (You can enunciate and keep pace on record but not on a stage standing still? Fuck outta here.). He has an understanding of gimmick and pacing and flow and what does and doesn't work in a live setting that most bands being forced down the trough of blogs and music sites have no concept of. Although, to expand an earlier point, being great live and on record aren't always correlary.
Good example: World/Inferno Friendship Society. Cute, but not good. Live, though, a great, great band that could probably, and have, play anywhere. Same with Gogol Bordello and Municipal Waste. You aren't (I hope) going to see them for their music, you're going for the experience, and the music is a placeholder, a sort of proxy to amplify the length at which you can enjoy a circle pit and etc. One of many beliefs of mine is that everything has a place, in the grand scheme there's a place and outlet for everything the human mind can create. I rag on a lot of bad, bland music these days, but that the same time, that needs to exist. Its the sort of creation/destruction or life/death thing. In the same way, its more than fine to have bands that exist only as live bands, whose quality of catalog is immaterial to how much they rule when you're 6 inches away from their sweaty Gypsy armpits. After all, the basic idea is that, though I myself fetishize albums as a whole piece of musical artistic or commercial product, music exists to be PERFORMED. Its a bummer to know that most of the albums I love, I might never see the artist live or even in their prime, (its also weird to consider how many people that doesn't bother), but the option is appreciated, especially in NYC where we're spoiled and only scene-ass hardcore kid shows don't stop here.
Basically, Kanye seems, from the three televised performances I've seen, be perfectly able to transition from serious artist (Coldplay) contrivances, to MTV Unplugged-style joking and storytelling, to Jay-Z like surprise guest baiting and confidence, to just being some hipster geek (the interplay between him and A-Trak is, quite honestly, cute. I get the feeling they read Vice and drink 8th Continent soymilk together when not cuddling during "Entourage".). I'm all for what Kanye does because, because of the law of diminishing returns in music, everyone sucks except him and the south. Seriously. Just him and the south, when it comes to people in the limelight for the moment in hip-hop. Therefore, why not cheer for the last vestige of quality? Who cares if he he always sounds like he's struggling to rap? It's endearing, and everything else he does is great, from the live show to his personality to the music itself. Plus, HE MIGHT BE GAY! How awesome would that be for this motherfucker to come out in twenty years? We still have 10 more years to wait for Busta and Jay to open up about their gape, and that's assuming their careers are still sluggish then.
"99% of people listening (to music) ain't planning on killing people, that day"- Kanye, on not rapping about killing people
EDIT: As I watch part 1 on BET.com, it occurs that, it was actually really good. Part 2 was awful, as I mentioned earlier, but so far part 2 addressing all the major issue and hit on a lot of insightful points. I love that Nelly and Michael Eric Dyson managed to make a lot more salient points in this portion and that Nelly called the "White suburban kids buy hiphop" myth out on the statistics game, pointing out that all music genres are consumed by primary white-identifying people, being the mathematical majority. It was also great when TI yelled at Dyson "ITS NOT THAT DEEP" when Dyson did the whole "slave block" cliche correlation to video models and etc. Someone needed to say it. Way to go BET. I guess.
BET.com has all three sections. Pretty interesting.
Also Baltimore Sun had a good blurb that won't get linked for some goddamn reason.