May 22, 2004

philosophical quizlet

If I got The Best of Gregory Isaacs and the Easy Star All-Stars' Dub Side of the Moon on the same day, and I vastly prefer Dub Side, is that evidence of rockist tastes? How about if the Isaacs record is mostly just with songs from three albums ca. 1982 (including "Night Nurse" etc.) and not much from the rest of his career? How about if I also think Dub Side is a better album than Dark Side? Which of my unacknowledged preconceptions are at work here? Which do I need to question? Show your work.

Posted by Douglas at May 22, 2004 3:38 PM
Comments

So you don't like Isaacs reggae ballads or lovers rock as it's called? Isaacs music can be a bit samey in feel, but that voice helps me transcend the songwriting limitations.

What about with r'n'b or old soul or rock? Is it no ballads for you and just upbeat pop and rock and whatever? I'm just asking questions here. Please correct me if I'm assuming or guessing wrong here.

I'm also just asking so as to help you figure out your own question about whether you're rockist.

One other thing, I don't have your Prince article in front of me but I liked it and noted that you pointed out, like a few discerning others have, but not the big media reviewers of Musicology, that Prince hasn't been able to adapt to the rise of hiphop. You've noted elsewhere that while you listen to commercial hiphop radio you also find much of hiphop "cold." Maybe you should spell out sometime what you you dislike and like about hiphop, or what would make you and Prince like more of it. Not that I know that you two are personal pals sitting around listening to James Brown bootlegs, rather than crunk compilations!!!

Posted by: Steve on May 23, 2004 9:38 AM

Hi Steve--

"Samey" doesn't even begin to describe the Isaacs thing (again, drawing from more than 3 years' worth of his career might've helped). I don't think I've ever said I find hip-hop cold (except maybe Wiley, ba-dump bump), although I may have said that SOME of it leaves ME cold.

Slow stuff currently on iTunes (note that there's only 4.5 meg in there) includes tracks by the 6ths, ABBA, Al Green, Annisteen Allen, Arthur Russell, Belle & Sebastian, Bessie Smith, Big Star, Bill Doggett, blah blah blah--I don't think upbeatness is an issue.

iTunes, incidentally, thinks the following artists on the Pod are "Hip Hop" or "Rap": De La Soul, Eric B & Rakim, Jimmy Spicer, Ludacris, Mantronix, Outkast, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, T La Rock, Brand Nubian, Ghostface, Black Sheep, Geto Boys, Kwest tha Madd Ladd, Organized Konfusion, Scarface. It also thinks Ann Peebles is "Rap," and doesn't know what to do with the Jungle Brothers, TES, Notorious B.I.G. or Eyedea & Abilities, but you can't have everything.

(And it claims the following artists on the Pod for "reggae": The Congos, Dave & Ansel Collins, Derrick Harriott, Lee Perry, Lucky Dube, Sir Lord Comic, U-Roy, and, uh, Serge Gainsbourg. No, seriously, go check out "Aux Armes Et Caetera" if you think that's wrong. Serge backed up by Sly & Robbie et al., plus the new reissue has some excellent deejay versions.)

What I like and dislike about hip-hop is almost exactly what I like and dislike about punk rock: that, on the one hand, it is the best music EVER MADE; that, on the other, there are a whole lot of really lame examples of it floating around.

Posted by: Douglas on May 23, 2004 10:15 AM

I think it makes perfect sense that you like the Dub Side album more. I honestly think it's a better album.

The first album was always criticized (by rock critics) as being to pretentious and navel-gazing and obtuse and dark. There's quite alot of joy in the Dub Side version. (Get it? Version.) Anyway, it seems to make more sense that Dub musicians would be able to add some sense of humor and maybe righteous indignation to this ode to "life". Seems like that's what most Dub albums are about anyway.

Album highlights for me include the toasting (time is the master and time can be a diaster), the bong hit loop, and the play on the line, "the lunatic is on the grass." Heheheheheheh.

Posted by: Liz on May 24, 2004 10:17 AM
Post a comment