when the crowd gets loud it can burn up the roof or make the walls all fall down

This media blow stacks the tracks and cuts the wax that split the facts and rock the racks.

Atmosphere: If you haven’t already checked out the hippest cat on the underground scene, I can sum up the best parts of Slug and Ant’s live act with the following. Ten minutes before the end of his sadly shortened set (all-ages show, early curfew), Slug grabbed the mic and said, “All right, instead of doing that fake ass pretentious encore shit, I’m just gonna sing two more songs, then I’m out.” I HAVE FOUND THE LAST REAL MC.

Even if you don’t know every track he raps on, you can’t help but bob along with Slug’s delivery – lyrical but not too clever for his own good, rhythmic but not predictable. As big a fan as I am, I probably only knew about half the songs they played – When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold had only dropped on Tuesday, and apparently more people liked God Loves Ugly than I did. Still, I’d change nothing but the curfew.

Johnny Cash – “Hurt”: I saw the first 30 seconds of this video on YouTube, back when it made the rounds, and thought, “Oh, it’s just like the original song, only slower” and shut it off. For whatever reason I came back to it the other day and listened the whole way through.

Wow. I was so wrong it’s fucking embarrassing. I could not have been any more wrong and still been speaking in the English language.

If you have never seen it before, watch it alone or with a trusted friend:

The Editors: Pretty good. Indie without being slowcore or atonal. They have the same symphonic bombast as Arcade Fire and the same lead singer who can sing but has clearly never had voice lessons as Interpol. I listened to An End Has A Start and liked it; you could probably talk me into listening to others.

David Gray: On a whim I picked up his Greatest Hits the other day. Maybe my musical tastes have mellowed with age – I don’t know if this guy would have made the same impression on me contemporaneously as he does now. Though I remember liking “Babylon” at the time. Good, chill pop music. “Shine” has been wrecking my face pretty continuously for about a week or so now.

Gnarls Barkley: Give it up for Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse, who completely flipped the mainstream hip-hop concept by rapping about fear, self-consciousness, hubris and isolation. The Odd Couple, their sophomore effort, covers a lot of the same ground as their debut. Cee-Lo spits simple-sounding tracks that come from a complicated place, emotionally. Not as many toe-tappers as on St. Elsewhere (no “Crazy,” no “Smiling”, no “Gone Daddy Gone,” no “Last Time”), so it might not stand the test of time.

The GZA: To break up the monotony of top 40 pop and emo heartbreak for a minute, here’s the Genius’s hardcore track “Knock Knock.” Chappelle’s Show fans will recognize the song, though not the video, from Season 2.

Dave Matthews Band: I stopped listening to these guys after Crash came out; I’ll argue I made no mistake. I picked Crash back up again after maybe a decade of not having listened to it and I still loved it. Aside from “Cry Freedom” and “Proudest Monkey” you can’t find a sleeper on there.

Trent Reznor: I’ve had “The Hand That Feeds” stuck in my head for about a week now. I listen to that one, plus something off of Wu-Tang’s Enter The Thirty-Six Chambers, plus at least one Soundgarden song, at least once a week at work. I’ve turned 27 and suddenly I just want to hit 17 again.


10 Responses

  1. David Gray – I just looked at the tracklisting for the Greatest Hits album, and if you haven’t heard “Silver Lining” or “Say Hello Wave Goodbye,” you must. He’s still one of my favorites, and those are my favorites of his work.

  2. Vickie – Tell me something; tell me something I don’t already know. 😉

  3. There was an SA thread about summing up an entire song in one line.

    Trent Reznor, “Hurt”: Life sure can be painful.
    Johnny Cash, “Hurt”: You kids don’t know shit.

    If you can find the Austin City Limits with David Gray on it, watch it, it’s damned good.

  4. Dude I fucking LOVE Atmosphere – but unfortunately I think When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold is the world’s worst album with the world’s best title.

    The track they leaked ahead of time, “Shoulda Known”, is incredibly tight musically and I love the lyrics too – that bit about “I got a restraining order against Satan’s daughter / and I keep it at the bottom of this Jameson and water”, well, I fucking love that. But the rest of the album? Crooning on top of piano and mediocre guitar? What the hell, it’s like when LL decided to start making raps “for the ladies” – which is doubly ironic, given that he bashed LL for exactly that in one of his earlier jams.

    If you haven’t gotten it, grab the free album “Strictly Leakage” from their website. I think it’s the best single body of work Atmosphere’s ever done.

  5. Jimbo – I’ve already been rocking “Strictly Leakage” for a minute. “And I’m like, ‘What – are you gonna fuck her in my den?'”

    And I don’t recall all the new stuff he played on Saturday, but I did really like “Music Box.”

  6. It’s even more haunting to note that Johnny Cash’s former home–where much of the video for “Hurt” was filmed–burned down in 2007 while it was being renovated by new owner Barry Gibb:


    There’s strangely very little about the House of Cash museum available online. What appears to be their “official” website has clearly not been significantly touched in at least ten years: http://www.stevenmenke.com/HouseOfCash.htm

  7. I hope nixing the fake ass encore shit becomes a trend.

  8. Also, half your goddamn videos are unavailable.

  9. w00t! I’m crashing the system!

  10. TMBG did something similar when it came to encore time. One of the Johns announced “This is the fake last song!” then when the song was over, they all turned their backs to us for about 20 seconds while we appluaded, then played 2 or 3 more songs.

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