Monday, December 15, 2003

Glenn, of TWAS fame, has Big Country. I have Magic Dirt...

I wouldn't begin to argue that Magic Dirt are particularly innovative these days, or that they have great lyrics. And I'm definitely nervous about lead vocalist Adalita ever since she took singing lessons. They're not dumb enough to be plain dumb fun, and they're far from smart. Nonetheless, they keep filling my rawk requirements better than anyone else I know. Off the top of my head, I can't think of an American band that's started off in Sonic Youth/Stooges territory prior to top 40 success, which is part of what intrigues me about MD these days. Imagine if, say, Mudhoney had retained their early sound while learning to write radio-readys that were actually successful.

I just got the Aussie CD single for Plastic Loveless Letter from Magic Dirt's recent Tough Love album, and as usual with this band the b-sides (well, two of the three) are fantastic. The one that immediately knocked my socks off is Love Me which is Rolling Stones fake funk with fuzz vocals that ultimately evolves into a heavy metal sing-along. I doubt the joke is intentional, but the line that I'm hearing as "We're not the greatest pretenders in the world" is pretty funny given that the band's been taking heat as "a hard rock Pretenders" ever since their switch to a more accessible style an album ago. But maybe they're actually singing "Koala Vegemite Sydney or the Bush" in which case my theory is wrong.

I don't generally (i.e. almost never) flip over rap/hip-hop, but I can't seem to stop playing Lactose and Lecithin by MF Doom from this year's Viktor Vaughn Vaudeville Villain CD. Here's what I like about it:

1. It's like a compressed screenplay for some sci-fi/ghetto flick to be produced by Tarantino (Oh, god, that sounds awful -- forget I said that).

2. It's probably the best song-to-listen-to-on-the-subway that I've heard this year -- I think the backing track reminds me of Space Mountain.

3. The songs on the record are linked together by cartoon samples (Doom did this on Operation Doomsday as well) and I think it's a gimmick that has a surprisingly long shelf-life.

4. Not to get all English teacher, but it's pretty neat the way Doom flips from 3rd to 1st person and past to present tense in the blink of an eye.

5. Finally, it's actually kind of amazing how much narrative gets crammed into the track in just over two minutes.

Tomorrow I'll probably get all twee, just for balance.

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