Music’s 3Rs 01.07.13: Should Ridiculous Acquaintance Be Forgot
Posted by Sean Comer on 01.07.2013
From Outkast reuniting on a Frank Ocean track and Liam Gallagher throwing hate at Mumford and Sons to Azealia Banks catching hell from GLAAD and Perez Hilton and more, 411's Sean Comer breaks down the Right, the wRong and the Ridiculous from the week in music!
We're back like vertebrae, Babies. Welcome to the first proper Music's 3 R's of the new year. My thanks to Jeremy Thomas and company for bearing with a stop-gap "clip show" of a column last week, but it feels oh-so-fine to be nestled warmly beneath the Arizona sun again.
What's more, I'll feel positively orgasmic when I ascertain who is responsible for the salsa-mash-up remix of "Losing My Religion" that just raped my ears here at the Southern & Longmore Starbucks in Mesa. Justice need not always be swift. Sometimes, it merits considering the executioner's glee.
Oh, but p'shaw, and such. There's time enough for the bodies to hit the floor and pile to the sky. There's news afoot! R's, Assemble!
Lindsey Stirling to mount 2013 world trek:
What? Don't look at me that way.
Hey, Jeremy Lambert gets his puppy-love affection for that gangly faux-awkward, man-eating sociopath Taylor Swift. Matthew Sforcina gets his perpetual Victoria/Tara devotion. Grant me my ardent devotion to one of 2012's most enjoyable, dynamic "new" artists to break through without mass television or radio exposure. Consider it my "thing," and I'll gladly back off my torch-bearing march when she's awarded a Best Female Artist Grammy.
Last year, Stirling mounted a sizeable tour in support of her self-titled debut album that saw venue after venue swapped on short notice, due to greater-than-expected ticket demand. This month, she's following up a YouTube-streamed New Year's Eve concert in New York City with a brand-new 2013 world tour.
If you've yet to experience her blending of classical violin with dubstep and hip-hop, there's just no imploring you enough to check out her lindseystomp YouTube channel. With the exception of maybe Dave Matthews Band's Boyd Tinsley, I can't name many artists who create more ethereally beautiful melodies in pop stylings than her.
You…the one who just briefly thought, "What about Yellowcard?" The corner … go sit in it. You're not coming out, either.
She's as mesmerizing visually as her music alone, in all its aural pleasures. She blends a certain capricious, pixyish charm and joie de vivre in her playing with dance and movement in her music videos that transcends even her playing's virtuosity by itself.
For ticket information, visit Lindseystirlingviolin.com (SEAN'S NOTE: In what I have to believe is a 411 rarity, this column's original inclusion of the tour dates actually exceeded a character limit that I didn't know existed. Check the site, Babies. The dates are all there, along with meet-&-greet and on-sale info.) I missed her fall gig here in Phoenix, but I will walk through Hell's every circle of Katy Perry concert movies and Nickleback's "Stick your dick in it…" bets to catch her April 5 stop in Tempe.
That said…get those tickets when you can. As mentioned above, stops on her previous tour sold out easily.
Common to be 2013's gift to hip-hop that keeps on giving
We've known each other a minute now, Babies. In that time, I've hopefully made one thing abundantly, tequila-clear.
Where it concerns the present-day state of hip-hop, I'm rarely exactly what one would call "impressed" with the drowning of substance in style the way Domino's desecrates perfectly good chicken wings with an over-abundance of overly pungent sauces.
There. That reminder should leave little doubt why it's so very exciting to read Common's confirmation to Jimmy Fallon (as reported viaBillboard) that his 2013 agenda includes his first-ever mixtape, an EP accompanying his self-produced coming-of-age film LUV, and a new full-length album.
Last year, his ninth full album The Dreamer, The Believer reached #4 on Billboard's Rap Albums charts and peaked at #5 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
"[LUV is] a coming of age story for an inner city kid who actually goes out with his uncle for a day. His uncle wants to show him the good parts of life but he ends up teaching how to be a man and shows him the good and the bad," Common told Fallon.
I'm making my prediction official right now: by the time 2013 ends, at least one (if not all) of the introspective Chicago MC's releases will place near the top of this site's year-end album accolades. Few MCs today realize hip-hop's full potential for commentary and narrative quite as he does.
Frank Ocean brings Outkast back together
Getting my hopes up? Leaping daringly to conclusions?
Absolutely not. I'm just savoring what is.
NME reported this week that the opportunity to revisit a hot Frank Ocean track will bring Outkast back together in the studio in the very near future.
Big Boi and Andre 3000, who last released Speakerboxxx/The Love Below together in 2006 and have since been exploring various & sundry solo endeavors, will join the breakthrough Grammy-nominated wordsmith to touch up "Pink Matter" from Ocean's rightfully acclaimed Channel Orange. Big Boi himself announced the pairing for the remix via his blog, complete with photos of his own lyrics in progress. Later, he added via Twitter that getting his partner on board took some convincing.
"[He] didn't want an OutKast Record Coming out on anybody else's LP," he claimed. The 2006 double-solo albums aside, the pair have in the interim worked together on "Royal Flush" with Raekwon in 2008 and on "Lookin' For Ya" in 2010.
There's just nothing negative to be found here – not even Andre's harboring such reverence for the ATLiens' legacy that he was reticent to release new material under any name except strictly their own. The crowned Kings of Stankonia are two of the most perpetually imaginative, musically inclined minds not just in hip-hop, but in music, period. Even if this proves a one-off, given Big Boi and Andre's recent remarks indicating their reluctance to pour themselves into a new full-length Outkast release at this juncture, let's all just sit back and enjoy every meeting of these minds that we can.
Legendary Bobby Womack afflicted with Alzheimers
There's just no defeating time.
Legendary soul artist Bobby Womack is battling Alzheimer's disease at the age of 68, NME reported this week. The 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, who wrote and originally recorded the Rolling Stones hit "It's All Over Now" among numerous other songs in his 50-year-plus career, just spent 2012 both defeating colon cancer and releasing a new album, The Bravest Man in the Universe.
"The doctor says there are signs of Alzheimer's. It's not bad yet but will get worse," Womack himself said. "How can I not remember songs I wrote? It's frustrating. I don't feel together yet. Negative things come in my mind and it's hard for me to remember sometimes."
Womack has spent the past half-century backing up the likes of artists from the legendary Sam Cooke to Mos Def and Gorillaz, playing and writing from a repertoire spanning country, soul, R&B, rock and roll, doo-wop and gospel.
Even here, there's a certain "Right" to be found: in a grand "f*** yo couch!" to the debilitating, tragically common form of dementia, 2013 begins with Womack already preparing another new album, The Best is Yet to Come.
Liam Gallagher takes great big crap on Mumford & Sons
What, exactly, is your damage, Liam?
The founding member of Oasis spouted off mightily to Q Magazine regarding his folksy, earthy, Grammy-lauded countrymen. Suffice to say, he doesn't see the big fuss amounting to much.
"Everyone looks like they've got fucking nits and eat lentil soup with their sleeves rolled up. They all look like they live on the heath," Gallagher said. "Maybe that's where they record. Everyone's fucking Don McLean — far too many acoustic guitars, no style. They look like they shop at Oxfam. I wouldn't put any posters up of any band if I was a 16-year-old lad. There's none of that sitting down on fucking stools for me, sweetheart."
Because, of course, what f***ing good is any music that isn't Oasis? Because, y'know…Oasis.
Look, I love the Gallaghers. By the time their band had reached its rope's end, they'd really transcended early snark that their music was infinitely more appealing decades before when the Beatles made it. They managed to bring a certain sneer to otherwise quite radio-friendly alternative rock made for arenas, but with less of Queen's bombast and (for the most part) more the intimate art in craftsmanship of, say, The Stone Roses.
That said…f*** right off, Liam. There's a place in hearts & minds for "F***in' in the Bushes" and there's a rightful "stool" for "I Will Wait." There's also little denying that by the last years of Oasis, the band had somewhat gone the way of Bush before them and stagnated. Mumford & Sons are earning their warranted respect not with explosions of electric pyrotechnics and attitude, but writing from an organic place that's perpetually as refreshingly raw and real as what Life itself has placed before the pen-holders themselves.
Azealia Banks earns more notice for a cheap gay slur than her music
I know…shocking, right?
What should really bake your ziti is wondering whether I'm sarcastically referring to the bisexual female rapper getting more noticed for an ill-timed use of "f*****" or that someone has a problem with Perez Hilton.
The flamboyant blogger recently chose a side in the diss-track war between Banks and Angel Haze, and it left Banks publicly calling Hilton "dickbreath" and a "messy f*****."
That in turn left GLAAD and Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde with respective bad tastes in their mouths.
Spoiler: not exactly the taste of "dick."
"Let me be clear: 1. I've been a big fan of@AZEALIABANKSmusic 2. If you think@PerezHiltonis mean, than call him that, not ‘faggot'," Werde said via Twitter. "And 3. It's some honest advice. The past months, literally every time Azealia Banks hits my radar, it's some kind of beef and not music."
Banks shot back via her own Twitter account, "A faggot is not a homosexual male. A faggot is any male who acts like a female. There's a BIG difference. Really not as moved by this f word thing as u all want me to be. As a bisexual person I knew what I meant when I used that word. And I meant what I meant when I used that word."
And finally, Hilton himself chimed in, "It's not just about me. It's bigger than me. Like, if I called you an ignorant "N" word, that would be offensive to so many! Gay and bisexual people can sometimes be the most homophobic. ‘He's such a f*****!'…'That queen is so fucking femme! Ewww!'
"You think it's funny, but you perpetuating the false myth that it is okay to use the F word is NOT funny. And it's wrong," Hilton concluded.
I personally can't stand Hilton. I think GLAAD is rivaled only by PETA in the annals of exaggerated, look-at-us temper tantrums. In this instance, I can't deny their points, though.
I see the point from whence Banks speaks; it's a stupid one, too. It need be explained no further than the N-Bomb parallel drawn above: you can't have it both ways. Determining that certain people under certain circumstances in certain contexts may invoke a "slur" without reproach guarantees not only that the poisonous words survives, but that it thrives.
It speaks to Banks' intelligence somewhat – whether she'd mean it to or not – that she couldn't muster any more substantive invective against Hilton than base name-calling. In no genre more so than hip-hop must quick, acerbic, observant wit be a well-honed instinct. If Banks can't muster anything more cutting than jabs that have probably landed squarely on Hilton's chin more often than even he can count, then she has no business holding the same mic as Haze.
You might notice a sparse collection of "Ridiculous" this week. That's not without cause.
I've breached my own modus operandi for 2013 and made a writer's resolution for the next year: be about the music.
To be perfectly honest, that's my vision for this column: for it to truly be a music forum. I could've ranted thousands of words more on end about Lil Wayne's rumored voice-acting turn as a Pixar-animated dinosaur. I could've taken cheap jabs at Justin Bieber's marijuana use. I could've even taken still more slaps at the redundant saga of Rihanna and Chris Brown.
What would've really been the point, though?
This isn't to say that I'll never address artists' personal-life entries to the gossip universe. When Chad Kroeger dares a simpleton to lop his cock off in a twirling fan blade, how could I possibly resist? Still, likewise, how many possible more ways could I possibly reiterate, "Chris Brown is walking, talking excrement with the IQ of a cruller?"
Now, when it comes to remarking on Rihanna cashing shamelessly in on being a famous domestic violence victim because even she must now realize that she's let the curiosity of her having a screw loose replace displaying actual talent? Now therein, I have opinions.
In the case of the former, though, what am I really contributing to an artistic dialogue?
The Ridiculous shan't languish, nor escape my eye. I've just resolved to be a bit more choosy. After all, if I'm deferring too easily to humor that's of a lower brow than I know speaks to me, then to what extent am I really living up to the capstone credo that wraps up every week's column?
Lest you think for even a moment that I'm about to suck the fun out of this Sunday-night sojourn through the music world's sights, sounds and shit I couldn't make up if I tried…MOMENT OF GWAR!
Thanks for reading, Babies. I'm Sean. You're not. Never dull your colors for someone else's canvas.