Saturday, January 29, 2011

Inside the mind of Lil Wayne.

Just in case you don't get Rollling Stone, here are a couple of excerpts from a feature-length interview with Lil Wayne.

(For those of you not into hip-hop as much as I am, Mr. Lil is a rapper who just happened to have a loaded .40-calibre pistol with him on a tour bus, which cops found because they smelled marijuana smoke near the bus and decided to have a bit of a peek inside. The Wayner spent 242 days at the Greybar Hotel for that little misdeed, but he's back out... thank goodness!)

After Mr. Carter (his given name is Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.) watched a Heat-Hornets game and didn't get personally greeted by LeBron James and Dwayne Wade courtside:

Them n***as never speak to a n***a. They don't chuck me the deuce or nothing! N***a spent all that money on them fucking tickets... come holla at me!

Later, regarding the same incident:

I asked my ho why they don't speak to me, and she said, "'Cause you always rooting against them." But everybody they've played, I'm cool with a n***a on the other team! We sit right there by them little bitch-ass n***as. At least come ask me why I'm not rooting for you.

Regarding the lack of conjugal visits in prison, and how it wasn't really a problem (over dinner with a girl he's currently dating):

If you meet a girl on tour, you know she just wants to get fucked. But I don't fuck. I make love. If you get it on with me, you gotta know I'm gonna look you in the eyes. You're gonna be touched. You're gonna feel it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna take a few minutes to go talk to my girl.

From a new song he was working on:

We 'bout everything and everything goes
Bitch, n***a, shit, bitch, take a picture
Tonight I'll probably fuck another n***a's girl
Party time, excellent, Wayne's World.

Listen, I realize this guy doesn't represent all hip-hop artists; a friend of mine who's much more familiar with the genre made the analogy of, "He is to hip-hop what the Insane Clown Posse is to rock." But, as another friend of mine often says when some knucklehead acts like an idiot and besmirches the good name of other members of their identifiable group: "You're not helping."

In unrelated news, I get the feeling Rogers doesn't like me using torrents to download things. I have one going presently (for what I will not say), and it's only coming down at maybe 100 kbps — nowhere near enough to use up all my bandwidth — but is slowing all other internet data to an absolute crawl. As soon as I pause the torrent, everything else is bunny-quick. So much for Net Neutrality, eh?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Brown Sugar": A Lyrical Deconstruction.

I did this before with Foreigner's "Hot Blooded," and the crowd went wild. So, I present to you the second in a 3500-part series of Lyrical Deconstructions: the song "Brown Sugar" from the Rolling Stones, found in their excellent 1971 release, Sticky Fingers.

If you've listened to an hour's worth of any classic rock radio station, chances are you've heard this song at least three times. But after I bought the album and listened to it on my own, I really started to appreciate how bitchingly-awesome this song is. Keef's opening riff is a classic (and is stupidly easy to play if you switch to an open-G tuning, which he often uses), and the whole thing just swings like a badass track should.

A fine cut, indeed. Now to the lyrics. (Repetitious choruses were omitted.)

* * * * * * * *

Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields
Sold in a market down in New Orleans
Off to a solid start, Mick: glamorizing the slave trade through song.

Scarred old slaver knows he's doing alright
Hear him with the women just around midnight
Some old guy — who buys and sells humans for a living, and is horribly disfigured to boot — gets more quinny than Jim Carrey, Tom Brady and Charlie Sheen combined. And yet, I find meeting women exceptionally difficult. The plot thickens.

Brown sugar, how come you taste so good?
Brown sugar, just like a young girl should
Much like Foreigner's Lou Gramm, the protagonist has an obsession with young women; specifically, probably, cunnilingus with said young women. The question is, if the slave girl is under 18, is it still stat rape if she's not technically a "person" under the law?

Drums beating, cold English blood runs hot
Lady of the house wonderin' when it's gonna stop
The phrase "English blood runs hot" might be the most ridiculous one ever used in song. When you think "English men," you think about Prince Charles, Richard Attenborough and Hugh Grant (when he's not getting beejers from hookers): stuffy and stodgy, not "hot blooded" like a certain American band we all know and love.

House boy knows that he's doing alright
You shoulda heard him just around midnight
The term "house boy" could go a couple of different ways here. Is it a young male slave who does work around the house and seduces white wives with his African libido in his spare time? Let's say yes.

I bet your mama was a tent show queen
And all her boyfriends were sweet sixteen
The girl's mother may have been the feature performer at a "tent show," in a travelling circus.* Was she the Bearded Lady? Records from that era are spotty at best. Also, her mom may have been a fellow pedophile, like the protagonist. What kind of a circus are they running here?

I'm no schoolboy but I know what I like
You shoulda heard me just around midnight
The protagonist cops to being older. Finally, a moment of truth.

I said yeah, yeah, yeah, woo
How come you... how come you taste so good?
Because they spent an entire ocean voyage being penned-up like veal calves, that's why.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, woo
Just like a... just like a black girl should
So now he's saying black girls "should" be kept in the horrific conditions found on slave ships? Not only does he have a thing for (then-) taboo sexual trysts, he is a proponent of slavery. (As were most of the Founding Fathers of the USA, for the record.)

* * * * * * * *

In conclusion, the focal point of the story appears to be a mildly pedophilic pro-slavery slave-lover. I guess that's not too hard to wrap your brain around, except when you realize this story was woven into one of the greatest rock and roll songs ever made (it made Rolling Stone magazine's Top 500 of all time).
* Indiana post-alternative band Murder By Death started its own label in 2006, called Tent Show Records. It's a fact.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Neil Young, Young Old Man.

Here's a 1971 performance of a then-new song, "Heart Of Gold," off After the Gold Rush, which is one stupendously fantastically amazing album.

A few things about this:
  1. Even though he was 26 when this was filmed, he somehow comes across like a 50 year old. Sorta looks like one, and definitely acts like one.
  2. His diction is a hundred times clearer than any modern pop song. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but one of the reasons I don't generally pay attention to lyrics is because I can't fucking make them out most of the time, thank you Kurt Cobain.
  3. I love how he's casually fumbling around for a harmonica in the right key, making small-talk, looking a bit lost or clumsy, then drops an astonishing song on an unsuspecting crowd like a god damn atomic bomb.
  4. He has a really weird voice, but it somehow fits. I have no idea why.
I'd never seen Jimmy Fallon's impression of Neil Young before, but it's a good one. Here he is on his show, as Neil, singing a song based on one performed by a very kooky hopeful from American Idol (who, as you might guess, didn't make the cut). He's dead-on. (You may have to turn your volume down slightly, as it's a bit loud.)

I'm impressed. And yes, it's "Pants On The Ground."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Well, this is nice.

Rush Limbaugh has a take on the Tuscon shooter, natch.

What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He's sitting there in jail. He knows what's going on, he knows that...the Democrat party is attempting to find anybody but him to blame. He knows if he plays his cards right, he's just a victim. He's the latest in a never-ending parade of victims brought about by the unfairness of America...this guy clearly understands he's getting all the attention and he understands he's got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything that they can to make sure he's not convicted of murder — but something lesser.

Well, that's nice of him to say.

* * * * * * * * *

In other, much less consequential news, I hope you didn't get the impression from my last post that I didn't like any music these days. I just listened to side 1 of Blitzen Trapper's Black River Killer EP from '09, and it is fucking great. Next up (after side 2, of course) is their 2010 full-length, Destroyer of the Void, and I expect that'll be good, too. Take that, assholes.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I know what's wrong with music today.

Hardly anybody has soul anymore.

Jack White has it, and he's trying his hardest to spread the word, which is commendable.

Kings of Leon used to have it, and they try to repress it as much as they can so they can sell more records.

Aretha Franklin could read the phone book with more soul than everything every top-40 radio station has played in the last decade, combined.

Quirky artists like the Flaming Lips don't have it, but they're fun enough to be farily interesting (despite me not really liking the Flaming Lips too much).

I'm listening to Cat Stevens' excellent Tea for the Tillerman, which I picked up used for a buck in Seattle last week, and the soul practically drips from the vinyl. (This adds to my oddly-large collection of albums from the year 1970; I'm probably up around ten.)

Blue Rodeo has it. So do the Sadies.

Jon Spencer has a bit, but acts like he has a lot. I wish he had more, and so does he, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

The Black Eyed Peas have none, and they seem to revel in it.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

You don't out-Conservative a Conservative.

It's been a while since I've watched the 5pm politics show on CBC Newsworld... so much so that:
  1. The channel isn't called Newsworld anymore, it's CBC News Network
  2. Don Newman retired and was replaced by the Corporation's jack-of-all-trades, Evan Solomon (aka "the Ralph Benmergui of the 21st Century")
As my headachey self nestled under the duvet on the couch to take in a roundtable discussion between an advisor to Steve Harper, a Liberal MP from St. John's and an NDP MP from Vancouver, I was reminded again why I dislike debating anything with (modern) conservatives:

Often, they are smarmy douches.

A good example of this was when Solomon addressed a question to the three of them about Steve's latest Cabinet shuffle, specifically the appointment of former Global TV news anchor Peter Kent as the new Minister of the Environment.

The Liberal: "Five Ministers of the Environment in the past four years? This shows that the Conservatives really don't care about the environment too much."

The NDPer: "We're the international laughingstock when it comes to the environment. We've become followers instead of leaders."

The Con: "Canadians want the economy to stay the course. We're staying the course. We cut taxes. We stay the course. Oh, and Canadians want us to stay the course."

Way to dodge the question, buddy. Then again, I suppose it's your job to pass off shitburgers as Big Macs, ain't it?

Anyway, the point I was trying to make was that the Conservative hack managed to drag the Liberal MP into a debate about the economy (surprise, surprise; fuck, why do people take the bait so easily?). This prompted the Liberal to proudly tout that, under Paul Martin, they balanced the budget, cut taxes, and so on — essentially, using plays out of the Conservative playbook.

Short response: Don't do that, asshole!

Longer response: Look, if people want someone to cut their taxes and fuck their gov't services up the ass, they're never going to vote for a Liberal anyway. And if you keep shouting from on-high that you're awesome at cutting taxes, your Liberal base is going to start wondering, "Hey, wait a minute, are you a Liberal or a Conservative?" Then they stop voting for you, and you have... uh... wait, how many years has Steve Harper been our fucking Prime Minister, anyway?


Anyway, I hurt. Time for Tylenol and horizontality.
(I must say, the eye-candy on this show is better than it was in Newman's tenure: the foxy Reshmi Nair provides news updates now and again. Oww! Well done, Mothership! I now have a new Basic Cable Crush... first Oga Nwobosi, then Sarika Sehgal, and now the comely Ms. Nair... hmm, I seem to have a thing for women-of-colour telling me information.)