And we’re back. Welcome to the Lightning Round. Don’t try to figure anything out. It’s not so much a rant as it is a broken train of thought. Or maybe you just can’t see the tracks. Treat all the paragraphs and separate thoughts and don’t wonder what my problem is. I have no idea.
In this episode, the guys come full circle to the topic of their very first episode, only with an updated spin: Why hip-hop still? Including, but not limited to: Wedding talk! Matt thinks a lot of music he used to love doesn’t hold up! Kelen makes a case for sampling! How “Started From The Bottom” and Kendrick Lamar brought Kelen back from the brink! More talk of how they listen to less conscious rap! How Matt learned how to love other genres from hip-hop! “There’s a hip-hop song for every moment that I need to get through my day!” Kelen reminisces on What’s The 411! Too much music?! Kelen’s favorite 2Pac song! And so much more like that one Fat Joe song! Your favorite podcast is back again, so you better press play before we start charging a fee!
In this edition, Kelen and Matt take on a subject everyone has wondered: Is Kanye West crazy? Along the way, they discover that Kanye is a genius a*****e, that Kelen really loves Roc-A-Fella, Matt muses what present day Kanye would think of 2005 Kanye, that Kanye says things like this, “I was raised better than that, that was very arrogant.”, that Kanye is always a little more crazier at the MTV Video Music Awards, and much more! Also, 50 Cent is a genius, Amber Rose was hotter pregnant than Kim Kardashian was, how South Park is the king of “too soon”, and why we don’t listen to Talib Kweli anymore! So while we want Kanye to find happiness, we also want you to press play, and watch out for that stop sign!
By Jacob Slater
Or, Goodbye, Farewell and Amen
This article was originally written as a sort of Paul Simon’s ‘The Only Living Boy in New York” type tribute to a friend of mine, Alec Berry, who as you’ll read was going to be moving to Minnesota for an internship. I’ve seen him once since we both got out of college, talked with him maybe a couple of times besides that, and it’s in moments like this that you realize how much you miss a friend. And was a friend, as much as anyone else I’ve referenced in these articles, even if I didn’t bust his chops about the Dandy Warhols or record a radio show with him. He thought enough of me to give me a spot on the station’s website, which a handful of you have read over the past weeks, so I could write about music and bullshit about my neuroses and such. Even if no one had read these fucking things, even if no one reads these fucking things now, I still appreciated it. That something I wrote could be placed on a pedestal of sorts, that people other than myself might care about something I wrote, build self-respect and responsibility and all that shit. Even if it was about as small a pedestal as you could get, I appreciated it. Thanks buddy.
By Jacob Slater
Or, The Impact of Royalty in America in the Late 20th Century
I wrote a Facebook post recently that said that every time I revisited the work of Prince, it’s still as awesome as I remember. While some harsh words could be said about his later work, and indeed it seems like only recently he’s had something of a career revival thanks to his performances at the Super Bowl and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, the fact is that his work in the 80s ranks as some of the best pop music that’s ever been done. Music that was definitely indicative of the era it was made in (synth-fetishists might want to turn the lights down low when Controversy comes on). but music that much like the Beatles in the 60s and Bowie in the 70s strived for experimentation and the broadening of what pop was and what it could be. Funk, Electronica, Psychedelia, in its best moments a Prince album could be a wonderful kaleidoscope of various genres all working in harmony. Beautifully expansive yet intimate. Brazenly seductive yet blatant sexual. No one else was ever quite on the same level as Prince in the 80s; Not Michael Jackson, not Rick James, definitely not Lionel Richie. Dude was in a league of his own.
By Jacob Slater
Or, OH YEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH
I’ve listened to a lot of weird stuff in my day. I own Eskimo, for example, which was a concept album by the Residents which replicates the life of an Inuit hunter in a way that barely resembles traditional music. The Butthole Surfers, Primus, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, all weird. However, weird as they may be, I think there are far more people who listen to those guys who have heard Randy Savage’s rap album, and far fewer that will say they actually liked it. Well I’m one of those people who did both, and I felt so strongly on the subject that I decided to write an article about it. Really, what better follow up to Ol’ Dirty Bastard could there have been than the Macho Man? Really, what better concert tour could there have been than ODB/Savage? These are the questions you need to ask yourself when you come across greatness like this.
By Jacob Slater
Or, It’s Always Summer When I’m With You
Maybe it’s because I got into music via the 60s and 70s, but there’s just something about that era that I tend to place higher than any other. There’s the Golden Age of Rock to consider of course, but the same goes for pop and soul music, which in retrospect I’d say hit upon the right combination of commercial viability and critical acceptance that was only rarely touched upon in the years since. Which may be Old Man Thunderbird talking, because I rarely listen to pop music these days and when I do I honestly have difficulty telling different musicians apart. Except for Miley and Kanye, that shit is the bomb.
By Jacob Slater
Or, A Magical Mystery Tour of Hell
I really don’t like this review. Not because I dislike Pentagram or this album or anything, but I just remember the writing process being a bitch and a half to get through. Normally when I wrote these things, when I write anything really, I kind of bullshit and improv until I get a kind of groove going so I can get to work, which is why so many of my articles start with me bullshitting about something tangential to the subject. That’s just my system, for better or worse, unless I have to have a crystalline image in my head on how it’s supposed to work. Never really got any strong impressions to jump onto after listening to this record, so by the time the deadline rolled around, I had to force out what little my brain allowed me creatively. Still recommend the record, but probably felt different at the time.
In this second episode, Kelen tries to hijack the show and make it all about Eminem, the guys refuse to bow to Queen Beyonce, Tom loves Stevie Wonder but thinks he could learn how to wrap it up, a Big Dipper song leads to a prolonged conversation about Shonen Knife, Natalie Merchant had a lot of fun in college, Kay Hanley is talented and hot, and the Doobie Brothers has the guys doing Jalen Rose impressions! Listen. Now.
The Genuine Fakes – Irreplaceable
Stevie Wonder – Rocket Love
Big Dipper – Faith Healer
Natalie Merchant – Carnival
Kay Hanley – This Dreadful Life
The Doobie Brothers – Long Train Runnin’