Friday, March 05, 2004

 
From Allmusic:

Instead, _____ has created the great lost Prince album — the platter that the Purple One recorded somewhere between Around the World in a Day and Sign 'o' the Times. It's not just that the music and song titles cheekily recall Prince...it's that ______ disregards any rules on a quest to create his own interior world, right down to a dialogue with God.

Funny how you change a few proper names to ______'s and the answer could just as well be PM Dawn. I was somewhat surprised that their 1995 album Jesus Wept didn't seem to come up during the endless discussions about Outkast last year. Granted there are some major differences: PM Dawn are more serious (their album has a sense of humor but it's much more subtle than Andre's) and better songwriters. Their album doesn't have any skits, and it's concerned with religion rather than sex. Nonetheless, back in 1995 a black hip-hop band put out an album that combined a love of Prince, a love of alt. rock (they include a cover of the Talking Heads' Once In A Lifetime in their album closing medly), and a willingness to include unusual musical influences (Nilsson!). Not that it did them much good sales-wise.

Anyway, I think the opening of this album is amazing. Here's Intro and here's Downtown Venus, and I'm going to beg you to set these up to play in order without a pause, as they do on the CD. It makes a difference. (One strange little coincidence that's neither here nor there is the fact that Intro includes a sample from Peanuts, and someone felt the need to have the Peanuts gang perform Hey Ya [which is gone now, but you might want to read the letter from Charlie Brown's attorney]. Clearly Schultz speaks to the hip-hop community.) Finally, here's Apathy...Superstar!? which would have been my pick for the second single.

I must admit that I still can't make it straight through Andre's album...I don't want to dredge up an argument that's now ancient, but to me he just sounds like a hack, playing with a bunch of more-interesting influences. I think Hey Ya and its accompanying video were wonderful, but I honestly can't hear one single thing on the rest of the album that's of any consequence (as opposed to the other disc, which actually is pretty inspired). I'll be interested to see how people look back on The Love Below in five years or so.

I went to the NY premier of Guy Maddin's The Saddest Music In The World last night. It was packed, which surprised everyone (you've never heard so many people pull out their cell phones to call friends and tell them that "the line is going around the block!") I heard someone say that Lou Weed was there, but I can't recognize faces out of context, so I can't confirm or deny. Isabella Rossellini was gorgeous, the movie was as strange as Maddin's stuff usually is, and Chris Dedrick (Free Design, as I mentioned once before) did an amazing job on the score. Downside: I didn't like its visuals as much as those in some of Maddin's previous movies, and the Q&A (Guy was there) was exactly two questions. This was especially annoying because Maddin is a truly fascinating bizzaro with a unique oddball charisma, and listening to him talk can be almost more interesting than watching his movies. The Saddest Music In The World opens in April, and at the very least I can guarantee you that you're not going to walk out saying "That was just like _______" unless "_________" is another Guy Maddin film.

By the way, if you've never read The War Against Silence, today might be a good day to check it out as this week's post revisits the two pillars of TWAS' world view. glenn and I actually have a lot in common re: musical taste, if you just substitute The Dustdevils for Big Country and Lisa Suckdog for Tori Amos. In all seriousness, TWAS is one of my favorite sites for reviews of records that I'm never going to buy (of course the one time I broke my rule it was for a Japanese import that cost me big $ and reaffirmed my commitment to said rule -- perhaps I'll devote a day to Zeppet Store ...someday).



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