Saturday, November 5, 2011

Essay: Three Stray Thoughts (Unedited)

1) I've recently been digging into more hip hop, and between discovering the joys of Wu-Tang solo albums via Ghostface Killah and finally getting into the Madlib Blue Note jazz remix record I have, I've been setting aside the reviews and/or other albums I meant to be working on right now to enter into one of these pure discovery periods. What I mean is, I'm listening to music as a pure listener/fan and not a critic. I'm not worrying about whether or not I'm going to review something; I'm not thinking about things I want to say or pose about it.

I think this is how Madlib always makes music.

The dude is ridiculously prolific, to be sure, but I get the feeling for him it's all about pure creation when making music and pure enjoyment when listening to it.

Madlib's debut as his alter ego Quasimoto, called The Unseen, is one of the weirdest hip hop records I've ever heard. It has such a sluggish, slow motion/stoned flow to it...even if you're perfectly sober, it seems to last for two hours. It's an album of scope and variety such that one track, even on your first listen, is bound to hook you and keep you coming back until you love it all.

2) I'm working on a series of essays to discuss and define all those bands like the Vivian Girls, Thee Oh Sees, Black Angels, Woods, Wavves, White Fence, Wooden Shjips, Crystal Stilts, Best Coast, Surfer Blood, Kurt Vile (to some extent), The War On Drugs, Ducktails, Real Estate, Girls, Beach Fossils, etc. I feel like they all have a certain retro vibe in common even though they all sound different.

It's got me to thinking about what sets apart certain bands from other similar bands. How do we define sound in terms of differences? I feel like I resort to vague explanations like “they're more jammy” or “they're more noisy”, but in the end, aren't all genre labels just vague explanations? You could take any genre or subgenre and find a few bands that don't precisely fit your parameters. Yet it's a paradox because without genre labels or vague explanations, it's almost impossible to talk about music in any meaningful way.

3) Lately I've been thinking about doing more posts about non-music topics, so let me use this opportunity to say that the weird CGI Resident Evil movie is on Netflix instant streaming, and that it's well worth a watch if you're a fan of the series. It practically feels like watching a Let's Play of a Resident Evil game, or perhaps an hour and a half or so of cutscenes from a game edited into a movie.

1 comment:

thevoid99 said...

I think you should do those essays although I think with these essays. Just try and take your time. I'm nearly done with an essay on one of my favorite films in Breaking the Waves while still in the middle of writing one on My Bloody Valentine's Loveless.

I'm not trying to rush anything. It's something I've been getting into as I feel like it's an extension of the reviews I wrote for both of my blogs.