Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I am feeling:

Dizzee Rascal's Showtime. Yesterday on Pitchfork, I said that Wiley was better than Dizzee. I wrote that before I'd heard Showtime, and I was dead wrong. I've never been too into Boy In da Corner; I thought it was basically a novelty thing (British rap! Weird electronic noises!). Maybe Showtime is just a more American-sounding record, but Dizzee has finally started to resonate with me. For one thing, his production style sounds both more and less like hip-hop: more because it's slower with harder drums and a heavier reliance on menacing plings, and less because you can now hear the influence of jungle and garage - it's more distinctively British and rave-derived. For another thing, he sounds hard as fuck. "Learn" is one of the most gangsta tracks of the year because he sounds like he means every last thing he says, and I'll take "You ain't got the guts / I ain't got the time" over "Flushing MCs down the loo / If you don't believe me bring your posse bring your crew" any damn day. There's more brash confidence and steely danger in his voice, and he's learned to ride beats instead of running all over them. He's become a great MC.

24 on DVD. I don't watch regular TV at all anymore, but TV shows on DVD are roughly one million times better anyway, and it's not just because you can adjust them to your schedule and eliminate commercials and all that good stuff. 24 in particular is built around cliffhanger endings, which must be totally intolerable if you're actually watching it from week to week. But with DVDs, you can just be like, "OK, fuck it," and go straight to the next episode. This means you might do some dumb shit like watch like seven episodes in a row, which I've been known to do. It also means you can totally tell when the newest plot development is some bullshit that the writers just came up with minutes before they started filming. Season two is so far a lot better than season one, but they really busted out some ridiculous crap at the end of season one.

The part of the Inperspective Records in the Mix CD about 56 minutes in where the drums drop out and leave this huge celestial feedback-choir Eno synth-wash and the MC says, "Swirls round like an ocean wave - beautiful" with real awe in his voice. I'm not really very into drum & bass, but this moment makes the entire CD worthwhile. It's an instant of sheer bliss amidst the chaos, and it's amazing.

I am not feeling:

Britpop dance night at the Ottobar. Holy shit did this thing ever fall off. When I first started going to Britpop dance nights three years ago, they were a total revelation for me, a place where I could hear songs I loved and see everyone I knew and get utterly blasted without giving too much of a shit who noticed me. I met Bridget at one of these a year and a half ago. I went on Friday night for the first time in months and it is now just uber-lame. The crowd is all dorky-ass college students and suburban kids, and they play, like, the token synth-pop track on the Rock Against Bush comp. And everyone is trying to outdress each other. And nobody's having any fun. It's hella weak.

John Kerry. He's started to go on the attack, finally, but it may be too little too late. You know your campaign isn't going too well when every single person out there knows exactly what you need to be doing and you still aren't doing it. Show some teeth!

Kim on 24. What is this girl's problem? Her character seems to exist just so that she can get into ridiculous situations and either get rescued or find her own way out of them. Bridget was saying that the show has a really weird view of women: there are plenty of strong female characters, but most of them seem to end up either dead or evil. And the one consistently sympathetic female character is dumber than Jessica Simpson.

The Gap commercials with Sarah Jessica Parker. I've never really liked her, but I've also never felt embarrassed for her. I can't go into the Gap anymore because her cute/adorable poses could curdle milk. She would not be hot if I was drunk and she was wearing terry-cloth gym shorts and making out with Scarlett Johanson. And plus, Lenny Kravitz. Come on. We do not need this.