monday mixtape edification

April 8th, 2013 by | Tags: ,

monday mixtape edification from brothers on 8tracks Radio.

Eight songs here, which should play in random order. The list:

-Esperanza Spalding – Black Gold – Radio Music Society
-Lana Del Rey – Off to the Races – Born To Die
-Bobby Womack – Dayglo Reflection feat. Lana Del Rey – The Bravest Man In The Universe
-Otis Redding – Satisfaction – Live On The Sunset Strip
-Curtis Mayfield – Miss Black America – Curtis!
-Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM – IRM
-D’Angelo – Cruisin – Brown Sugar
-Jessie Ware – Wildest Moments – Devotion

Strictly sangers this time.

I missed out on Lana Del Rey when her hype machine was in full swing. The machine didn’t make her music sound like something I wanted to hear, I think. The sticker on the vinyl I bought said something like “’50s Hollywood style with emcee swag,” which is as repellent as it is nonsensical. Worse than that, the vast majority of the criticism I found tended to be about how she’s a faking faker with another name, and a bunch of other dumb ideas I don’t remember. I think I caught that weirdly sad SNL performance on youtube, too. So I tabled the idea of paying attention to her.

She showed up, of all places, on Bobby Womack’s album. It was my first time listening to her, as opposed to just hearing her. It was nice. Her voice is in that range that puts me in mind of other lady vocalists I dig. I poked around on Twitter and people said her album was pretty good, but I still held off.

Liz Barker wrote about digging Lana Del Rey recently, and she made her sound very cool. I like the idea of “sexy music that feels like being asleep,” so I checked out Born to Die and was pretty impressed.

Liz nailed the feel of the album. Her piece got me into the right space to appreciate it, and I copped the vinyl shortly after I listened to the album. I’m into it. I was surprised to hear “Y’out there? Louder!” on the first track, since that’s one of my favorite rap samples. I don’t usually associate that with singers, even today, so that was a nice surprise. It’s mixed way down in the track, too, which is interesting.

Now that I’m comfortable with this album, I want to know more. I want to know what’s up with her album having two separate references to Nabokov’s Lolita, assuming you include the bonus tracks. That seems like a lot, right? There’s something there. I’m on the look for more now. I liked this Jessica Hopper piece my dude Chris Randle linked me. I need to find more. I kinda wish I lived near the musically-inclined people I like online. I’d love to be able to just sit in a dark, smoky room and chew the fat over this and everything else.

I love Otis Redding’s performance on “Satisfaction,” from the intro to the outro. Curtis Mayfield’s “Miss Black America” makes me wish I had a daughter.

-This week was short on reading material. I’ve been doing research for a big project, which means reading, rereading, watching, and rewatching things that are hard to link. In the meantime:

I dig Strawberry Fields Whatever, created by Jen May, Laura Jane Faulds, and Liz Barker. They’re all really good, and I’m routinely impressed by how they approach music and the way they talk about music’s place in their life. They’ve been really helpful to me, both directly and indirectly. Even when I don’t know the nitty-gritty of what they’re talking about, I dig the way they talk about it. I learn things.

I dig Maura Magazine, edited by Maura Johnston. Johnston is a writer whose work I’ve dug for a while now, and she launched this iPad magazine earlier this year. Thirty bucks gets you a year of weekly issues, $0.99 gets you a one-shot issue. Each issue has a new roster of writers and new subjects grouped under a loose umbrella idea. The magazine, like SFWhatevs, routinely writes about things I’m ignorant of, but I eat it up. There was a piece on teenaged girl Olympic swimmers that was fascinating, and I’m not the type of guy who particularly cares about Olympics or competitive swimming.

I dig Comics of the Weak, written and organized by Tucker Stone, with regular assists from Abhay Khosla and Nathan Bulmer. Abhay absolutely murders the Rick “Hobo Piss” Remender situation this week. I have a lot of thoughts on that even still. But I hate talking about it, so I’m going to try and just leave this here and leave it alone.

I did like this read on being sober for a year by Kristina Wong, though.

I wrote about David Hine & Shaky Kane’s Bulletproof Coffin Disinterred for ComicsAlliance.

-I saw Jurassic Park in IMAX 3D this weekend. It’s not as life-changing as it was when I was a kid, but it’s still an incredibly ill movie and utterly enjoyable. Even if you can’t see it in 3D, you should probably watch it again pretty soon. The animatronic dinosaurs aged extremely well. The CG ones still look good, but not quite as good as they once did.

There’s one shot I love, when Lex is in the grates above the control room and the raptor bumps the grate she’s crawling on and then the camera cuts to an overhead shot of her falling through while the raptor recovers on the ground. Makes me smile every time I see it. It’s so immaculate.

Open thread. What’re you reading/watching/hearing/enjoying?

Similar Posts:

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

10 comments to “monday mixtape edification”

  1. I don’t know if it’s a trick or a trap, but I’ve pitched myself fully into the idea that ‘Lana Del Rey is saying stuff cleverly’. A friend mentioned she didn’t like the album because she repeatedly calls romantic partners “daddy”.. I’m just like why, Lana? What’s your code?

    Liz was really spot-on with “sexy music that feels like being asleep,” I keep thinking about that description again and again.

  2. @Claire: Yeah! The different ways she uses her voice put me in mind of this album being a performance. I mean, all art is performance on a certain level, but you know what I mean. She’s performing a specific thing or playing a certain role. The combination of daddy & Nabokov & the strangely sarcastic baby voice she uses sometimes (“Light of my life, fire of my loins”) makes me feel like there’s a puzzle here, and I love puzzles.

  3. @david brothers: Have you watched any of her videos? They’re like, proper Music Videos, just as secretively communicative as the songs alone.

  4. I’ve been listening to this strange Chubby Checker record from the 70’s called Chequred. It was labeled as a psychedelic soul album and I am always curious when an artist tries to reinvent himself in a new era. It doesn’t always work (Electric Mud), but when it does, it’s awesome (Bo Diddley’s Black Gladiator).

    This tho, is really wierd. I was kind of expecting a smattering of psych pop covers ala Nancy Sinatra doing Day Tripper, but lo and behold, Checker was going all in. 7 minute tracks, all new stuff he wrote himself talking about making love in space, Dylan-esque social commentary, and getting stoned. There is a long mournful trip from the perspective of Jesus Christ getting crucified. Checker’s voice never had a lot of range, and on this it sounds like Arthur Lee coming off a cold. Still, it is really compelling weird album.

  5. I’m really glad you linked to Abhay’s thoughts on the Remender thing, because I’d been waiting ALL WEEK for him to weigh in, and it was just as incredible as I’d hoped.

    Right now I’ve been rereading Scott Morse’s Strange Science Fantasy to try and salvage a failed essay I half-wrote on it. If you haven’t read it, it’s pretty fascinating how he controls the pacing through a really simple panel layout.

  6. Caught a midnight showing for the Evil Dead remake, which ended up being a lot better than I expected it to be. I wouldn’t call it a better movie than the original trilogy, because it’s not as visually inventive (and the digital video does make a lot of the shots appear flat), but I loved how it ties the Final Girl into drug rehab (there’s also a subtext about how terribly addicts are often treated in this country).

    That’s about it for me, unfortunately.

  7. Jurassic Park 3D holds up really, really well, not just in the special effects, but also in the plotting. I also hadn’t seen it since I was younger, and I was very taken with some of the subtlety of the storytelling; we’re treated to a parade of things not working the way they should all throughout the movie, long before the first dinosaur escapes, and there’s all kinds of little scenes where people’s interactions with either the natural world or the created space go slightly wrong. Also, pretty much any sequence with the raptors is pure story-boarding gold. (The raptors in the next Jurassic Park movie better have feathers, though. The time to be wishy washy on that is pretty much past.)

    Also, the song “Accidental Racist” has been on repeat here for a little while, because I find myself absolutely fascinated by it. To me it represents a fatally flawed and aesthetically terrible attempt to reconcile the concept of “southern pride” with the fact that the South did some terrible things, and yet the song is also fascinated by how we really shouldn’t judge each other and also black people wear stupid shit, too, dig? It’s the most astonishingly awkward collision of ideas I’ve seen, and pretty much everything about it undercuts everything else. I have no idea what to make of it.

    At least we’ll always have Brad Paisley’s cover of “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.” What did you think of that Justified season finale, David?

  8. I started playing Dishonored last week. I’m hoping to follow a stealthy, minimal killing route, but based on how my escape from the prison went, I’m not sure that’s gonna happen.

    I’m reading Outlaw, by Angus Donald. It’s a Robin Hood story, done a bit more, realistically, I guess, than a lot of the movies. By which I mean Robin’s not nearly as nice a guy (though he can be quite generous at times), he can be vicious, and so there’s a lot of graphic violence and such. I can’t decide how I feel about it. For what it is, it’s pretty well written, but I think I preferred the sillier, more sanitized version of Robin we got in the animated Disney film.

  9. I got the impression that majority of people on the internet won’t or can’t go past this “authenticity” business. I just find it weird. I’ll put the links to some stuff that i think is interesting.

    Interview at GQ there’s backstory to a couple of songs.
    Monologue from Ride music video
    Sort of follow up piece
    Part 1, Part 2 italian interview which isn’t as informative as it’s just strange(?), i don’t know
    Basically Lana Del Rey vs pop music

  10. Hey David, if you dig Strawberry Hills Whatever, I (and the Mindless Ones, for that matter) cannot recommend Then Play Long highly enough. Check it out if you haven’t already!