Thursday, October 26, 2006

Paranoia is kind of an amazing thing. Even if you're aware that you've got it, it's completely impossible to tell where it starts or ends, whether you're feeling its influence too accutely or not enough. It's like an Ouroborous, you can't tell if it's swallowing itself or creating itself. (if that's how it works. whatever.) I should note that at the age of 25, I'm tucking tail and making preparations to move into Mother's womb, I mean basement. And the timing might be just right. My continued existence seems very frustrating to people, and they're not afraid to vocalize it. I've grown convinced the neighbourhood crackheads are planning some sort of an attack on me, although I'm not sure whether they have a pipe-beating or gang rape in mind. So I guess what we've got here is a confluence of circumstances. Fine, you all win, I'm out. Like Ghost said, "I don't wanna see 2Pac." And if anyone says I stood down I'm gonna fucking find them. All I've learned from 5 years in this beautiful, god-forsaken city is: fuck Vancouver, fuck the upper middle class, fuck sunshine and fuck anyone who thinks they've got anything on you. Fuck everyone. Surrey what! Surrey what!
Anyways, who cares. You're only good for what you're good for, right? Maybe I'll find myself or some such nonsense. The tunes, brother, the tunes.
If obscure is on your agenda, you might just wanna hit that back button. Right now I'm jamming J Dilla's The Shining and Converge's No Heroes pretty heavily. What can I say, they make me happy.
My man Kutcorners at Beat Street tried to tip me to Slum Village's Fantastic Vol. 2 some years back, but I wasn't hearing nothing but El-Producto and Illmatic at the time, so Dilla and I didn't cross paths till that Jaylib thing, and then he went and died of Lupus. (first hip hop artist to die of natural causes? anyone? i fucking hate myself.) And I won't be able to weigh in on Donuts for five years at least. Certifiable genius works from hospital bed, trying to say as much as possible while he still can? Seem overwrought? I don't know, it's a humdinger.
So this Shining disc is the posthumous cash grab, right? You can see a big pile of em at the Virgin fucking Megastore, right next to some guy with a fauxhawk. Busta Rhymes is involved. And, like the best hip hop, the foul reek of commerce just doesn't stick. They've subverted it. It's the underdog, pay up. And maybe contributions by the likes of Common, Guilty Simpson and Black Thought are workmanlike, but workmen built this goddamn house, and it's Dilla's house anyways. Versatility and a shocking amount of talent at whatever he does, that's what's up. This one's impossibly lush and psychedelic. See, I've spent too much time talking about "issues" and now I'm burnt out on talking about "music." This is why modern life is hell, there's so many layers to peel back before you get anywhere near the core of anything.
Wah, wah, wah, boo hoo.
More is more, The Shining is amazing. I'll still like it a month from now.
And while it's for a completely different set of heads, the name Converge carries a similar amount of weight. In the liners to the When Forever Comes Crashing reissue, when Chris Gramlich says they were considered "too heavy," "too raw," "too dark," "too arty," "too hardcore," "too metal," "too extreme," you know that for whoever didn't get scared off, they might've meant just about everything.
I mean, Botch and Coalesce are limited, Isis and Neurosis are boring, Mastodon and Lamb of God are on a guitar tech's sweatshirt, Meshuggah and Opeth aren't even worth mentioning (oops), the best part of Today is the Day's back catalogue is out of print (OOPs) and Earache only released so many good albums, so thank sweet Christ for Converge. Four masterpieces of truly abrasive rage under their studded belts, I don't think I'd be breaking anyone's heart to say their best work is behind them. They're still more potent than anything. No Heroes is the first thing they've done that doesn't try to redefine the universe, so I guess it's formulaic, but what I'm saying is the formula is good. The driving, hint-of-Fugazi anthemics of Petitioning the Empty Sky meet the jagged crush of Jane Doe. They may have made concessions to the public on the fronts of high end damage and willful ugliness, and lines like "I wanna live / without the guilt we give / I wanna die / without this pain" don't hit anywhere near as hard as "With a gun in my mouth / I pray for the sunshine," but I don't doubt I'll listen to this 100 times at least.
Also, Tonight's the Night, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, and Season 2 of Wonder Showzen. Canucks are 6-4-0-1. Keep hatin.


Blogger 200lbu said...

Yo man, you totally forgot to mention the D'Angelo/Common 'So Far to Go' joint on 'The Shining'. Shit's smoove + the total winner in the lot...

Converge always seemed like a NKOTB version of Rorschach. Never appealed to me, even though I tried time and time again. Whatever...



3:49 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I dunno mang, E=MC2 hits like bricks. I think Dilla croons a little on the last one too. Iz nice. Still, D'Angelo + Common = pure panty stripper.

You know I'm looking up Rorschach right now. If I read some All Music reviews and download a couple albums, that means I "get" the scene. It's like when I saw Negative Approach open for Discharge. Ngunw. I "got" Bouncing Souls and Face To Face.

Donnie was the badass, right? Didn't he throw a pizza box at someone off his motorcycle?

2:57 AM  

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