Shot Of Rhythm

[ Saturday, February 19, 2005 ]


I got a million of 'em

Overheard yesterday, from a graduate Teaching Assistant:

"I had to straighten one of my students out the other day. She kept saying 'diabolical' when she meant 'ingenious.'"

On the box right now: Elvis Costello and the Attractions, ALL THIS USELESS BEAUTY. Working on a multi-disc Costello mix, up to this underappreciated record from 1996. "That Day Is Done" and "Complicated Shadows" rank with his best work.


Dove With Claws [7:30 AM]

[ Thursday, February 17, 2005 ]


Grad school quote of the day

"I don't even wanna talk about Elvis' tacky ass."

On the box right now: Various Artists, WOW GOSPEL 2005, Disc 2.


Dove With Claws [12:48 PM]

[ Tuesday, February 15, 2005 ]


More grad school wisdom

All three of the following things were said today.

1. "There's lots of books about lots of stuff."

2. "What I mean is...(5 seconds go by)...I guess...(5 seconds go by)...I don't know (5 seconds go by)...maybe...(5 seconds go by)...never mind."

And my favorite:

3. "Everything that's happening is what's happening?"

On the box right now: Percy Sledge, SHINING THROUGH THE RAIN. The first album in over 10 years from one of the great country-soul voices. The album's not great, but it's good, and the fact that it's more than a disappointment is reason enough to celebrate.


Dove With Claws [5:14 PM]

[ Monday, February 14, 2005 ]


Grad school quote of the day

" happens."

On the box right now: Lyle Lovett, STEP INSIDE THIS HOUSE, Disc 1.


Dove With Claws [10:37 AM]

[ Sunday, February 13, 2005 ]


He's on Channel Zero

Okay, I finished a paper, so - being that I have a few minutes before I start my next project - here I go on Flavor Flav. Now, I don't know if y'all remember this, but Flava was once one of the most revolutionary figures in American popular culture. Along with Chuck D, Flav represented the absolute pinnacle of confrontational, militant hip-hop, providing theme songs for Spike Lee movies, performing wild rhymes over PE's louder-than-a-bomb soundscapes, and jamming with heavy metal bands. (By the way, that Run-DMC and Aerosmith thing was cool, but Public Enemy and Anthrax was the real beginning of the rap-rock alliance.) He certainly played the fool, but he was always on the Brer Rabbit/Richard Pryor side of the line. (In fact, Craig Werner wrote a great mini-piece about this in his book A CHANGE IS GONNA COME.) Flav's best songs were as good as anything on those classic records. The best Flav performances, by the way, were (for my money): "911 Is A Joke," "Don't Believe The Hype," "What What," "Can A Woman Make A Man Lose His Mind" and "She Watch Channel Zero!?!."

On that last one, while Chuck takes the verses and chorus (which are structured almost like a rock and roll song), Flav unleashes these in-between torrents of insults and vitriol, aimed at a woman who's become infatuated with the idiot box, which he repeatedly refers to as being "that GARBAGE." At one point, in fact, I saw a live clip of "Zero" where Flav started screaming "Fuck TV! Fuck TV!" A little overboard? Sure, but that's the goddamn point.

So imagine my bemusement when Flavor Flav become a TV star, first on THE SURREAL LIFE and now with his new flame Brigitte Neilsen on STRANGE LOVE. The first thing I've gotta say - and I'm a fan of bad TV - is that these shows really suck. I mean, if you're talking about "that GARBAGE," you can't get much better/worse than these two shows, and Flav's "performance" on these shows seems to be basically set on destroying any images of him as a revolutionary or relevant pop cultural force. He wears ridiculous hats (even for Flava), engages in terrible "musical" performances, and basically embarasses himself 5 or 6 times an episode. Worst of all, from my point of view, is that Ms. Neilsen refers to him as "Foofy Foo." Wouldn't quite have had the same ring if, in the middle of "Bring The Noise," Chuck D handed off the mic to "Foofy Foo," would it?

I appreciate that Flav's probably gettin' paid nicely for these shows, and that's (honestly) fine by me. I've also personally heard Chuck D talk about Flav's rather inconsistent personal radar as it relates to these things. Plus, if P.E. puts out another motherfucker of a record, I'll care even less about this. Still, this is a paradigm shift I was neither prepared for nor all that happy about. What's next? Zach De La Rocha as a judge on AMERICAN IDOL? Cypress Hill on a Saturday morning cartoon? It'll take a nation of millions to hold me back.

Then, just when I thought I was done having to watch my revolutionary cultural icons become another brick in the U.S. pop-culture wall, I turned around and found that Ice Cube...Ice Cube..."crazy motherfucker named Ice Cube" leading the box office in a family comedy. Need I list the things that Cube has said/done in the past that would have made such a thing seem completely impossible to me even two years ago? Goddamn. Of course, Cube's making money too, so good on him. At least he's not known as "Cubey Poo" or something like that.

On the box right now: Public Enemy, THERE'S A POISON GOIN' ON. "What what? What what? Let Flava blow it up!" Oh, I yearn for the day...


Dove With Claws [12:29 PM]