Paine brings the pleasure: straight to your G-spot
Sick of reading Thomas Paine’s seminal pamphlet Common Sense? If so, you’re in luck, because apparently Mr. Paine spent the last 232 years getting his M.D. and researching the art... Read more
It is only the street and the street is nothing, there have been many streets before and they are everywhere, and they are asphalt and dirt and have many footprints.... Read more
Critical Voices: Dark Was The Night
4AD’s decision to greenlight Dark Was the Night, curated by the National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner, must have been all too easy: great lineup, 32 exclusive tracks, and a great... Read more
A message for President Obama: go green, baby, go green
Newly appointed Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele won’t push his party in a new direction. This is the man who coined the phrase “Drill, baby, drill,” so often attributed to Sarah Palin, and whose acceptance speech lacked any real substance.
Ready to Beg
You woke up with a sore throat, a growling stomach, and a pounding head. Thump, thump, thump. It was Monday. You thought that maybe you were still stoned, but you... Read more
Critical Voices: Kanye West , “808s and Heartbreak”
Much has been made of Kanye West's transformation from gloating hip-hop megastar to brooding synth-popper. Would 808s and Heartbreak be a disposable gimmick or a real artistic statement? Surprisingly, the answer leans more toward the latter.
As Justin sees it
For my last column of the semester, some predictions and superlatives. Lil Wayne released his Dedication 3 mixtape last week, and it's pretty bad. Whether you like auto-tune or not, Weezy has clearly become so infatuated with himself that he considers even his turds worthy of release. The whole mess is uninspired and not worth your time. It's sad to say it, but it's looking more and more like he peaked with 2006's Da Drought 3-I predict he'll never make anything that exciting again.
Critical Voices: Love Is All, “A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night”
The good news is that Love Is All's follow-up, A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night, mostly retains that sound, though there is considerably more space in its mix. The bad news is that while it retains some of the band's high points, it's missing the same sense of hyperkinetic energy that made the debut so compelling. But though the group feels tighter and seasoned in a way that most bands strive for, it's a maturation that can actually work against their strengths.
For nearly two decades, Guns ‘N Roses haven't been timely--gods of a decadent late 80s scene that seems particularly incomprehensible today. But, barring yet another setback, Axl's new Roses (Slash and Izzy Stradlin are long gone) will be relevant once more with Chinese Democracy. Set for release on November 23, it is perhaps the most hyped comeback album of all time, and that fact probably sets it up for failure.
Critical Voices: Q-Tip, “The Renaissance”
n 2002, Q-Tip completed Kamaal the Abstract, a genre-bending album with hints of funk, rock, and hip-hop. While it shared the laid-back feel he showcased as head of A Tribe Called Quest, the album was much more ambitious-and arguably, less marketable-than anything he'd done before, and Arista refused to release it. It's taken Q-Tip six years to rebound, but The Renaissance is every bit as good as his first solo joint, 1999's Amplified. While it's got nothing on his best work with the Tribe, it's worth a listen-a little Q-Tip is always good for the soul.