I think I may have to pull a page out of the John Kerry big book of election no-nos here and flip flop slightly on something. Sometime this month, DJ Shadow’s much maligned third album, “The Outsider” was supposed to be released, but the album has disappeared from any release schedule. It’s not even listed on Amazon at this point. Some of the negative buzz must’ve given some record executive cold feet or sent Shadow back in the studio to rework the record, I don’t know. I know that I’m guilty in creating some of the negative buzz towards the album because when I first heard it, I wasn’t impressed by it all. Shadow went and made a hyphy record and I’m just not a fan of that stuff. Then the rest of it just reminded me of RJD2’s last album, “Since We Last Spoke,” (great album by the by) with too many guest appearances.
Being back at school this week and killing time from walking in the parking lot to my class, I’ve been listening to bits and pieces of the album the past couple of days. Never the whole album, but always little more than half of it and I have to say that I’m liking the album a little more than upon the first listen. I recall somebody saying that Shadow should’ve released the album under a different name because it’s not a traditional Shadow album. There are little flourish and moments of the Shadow we know and love, but the album is about him entering a new phase in his career; the making beats for other people so my kid can have cool cords from Baby Gap phase. Nothing wrong with that because honestly, how much money does it pay to bang on an MPC full of old funk samples? With that said though, I’m listening to the album again and the vocals on most of the songs disappear. That was probably my biggest problem with “The Outsider,” is the vocals. This may sound weird and a bit like Bill Pullman’s character in David Lynch’s Lost Highway, but I like to create my own stories for DJ Shadow’s music. With a song like “Keep ‘Em Close,” a coke rap/hyphy hybrid I guess tells a story that’s nowhere as interesting as the story I create in my head every time I listen to something like “Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain”. Shadow knows that the instrumentals on their own can be as powerful as a couple of verses. A song like “Seein Things” with David Banner is great, but his vocals just get in the way of a song that has a great deal emotion in it without the verses. Then again, a song like “Backstage Girl,” only works because of Phonte Coleman. So the more and more I listen to “The Outsider,” it’s starting to grow on me. Don’t dust off now, but you know, pull it out in a couple of weeks from now and try it out again. Maybe it’ll work for you.
Also, if Shadow was making an album about where he’s from, then why didn’t he have any of the Hieroglyphics crew on there?
I think that’s the biggest thing to happen out of being back in school currently. It’s been rather hot the last couple of days and as we all know that the only form of exercise I get is the hike from the very back of the parking lot to the building all the way across campus and the walk back to my car after class. So I’ve been rather sweaty, which is always a quality ice breaker for meeting new people. Then, there’s zoning out during lectures because there’s two dudes in front of you playing grab ass with each other and making slide shows of photos of each other on their cell phones and their need to share it with every one around them, regardless of if they’re friends or not. Then there are people discussing how they’ve been negatively affected by the stereotypes propagated by shows like “The OC,” and “Laguna Beach,” as they clutch onto their Louis Vutton purse. One can’t complain about the rest of the country perceives to be spoiled and rich because of a couple of TV shows about rich kids while wearing $200 dollar jeans. The dirt bags that live out here, have all the rights in the world to complain because if people assume that they’re rich because they live in the county as Seth Cohen, that’s mondo retardo. But you know if somebody is rockin’ a pair of True Religion jeans and a gigantic pair of Dior sunglasses, then the stereotype is accurate. I don’t know, perhaps I’m just not ready to be a discussion base class just yet. Give me a week or two. I haven’t been sleeping well lately.
Speaking of “The OC,” how weird does the cast photo look without Mischa Barton? Not to mention, it seems as if the cast knows that it’s the last season, which is a total bummer because it may not make it to syndication after all is said and done.
And while on the matter of Orange County related TV, “Laguna Beach,” last night, I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. The hero, Tessa and her friend, Raquel/“Rocky” (who constantly needs a title card every time she’s on screen because she’s so boring that we’ve forgotten her name) are so boring and speaking with no inflection in their voices at all. If their voices were displayed on an EQ meter or whatever the fuck it’s called, there’d be no movement on it at all. Just one single straight line. Then there’s that Chase dude who wants to jam Tessa, but I think there has to be a legal iggy involved or Tessa just never put out. All of that business is boring. You know, the moral majority is boring and once again, promiscuity wins out. Kendra (with a ‘y’ though) with her peanut butter skin and affinity for wearing underpants and blazers to go eat sushi with himbos is the show’s saving grace. Even Kyndra’s mother knows that her daughter will be the best part of the show as she watched her get dressed for a date and allowed her to leave the house wearing nothing more than, well, nothing really. If the mother has given up, then you just have to wonder what Kyndra does when the MTV camera crews have stopped following her for the day. I bet she does a better job of dancing to Luke’s “Doo Doo Brown” than these people do. It might be more like this, but at the same time like that scene in Requiem for a Dream with Jennifer Connelly. I don’t think I need to go any further. I’ll come back for stuff like that, but you know, if the show is mostly going to be about how Tessa needs a haircut and how Rocky throws in big words into her sentences, then I’m through.
Probably not, I’m always looking for a material. Can anybody explain why that guy had to take off his shirt when he was singing? I don’t get that why skinny Incubus style lead singer dudes have to always take off their shirt while performing? The Blood Brothers, I understand because it ups the sass factor, but you know alt, prog rock, punk rock, brocore, Jared Leto wanna bes, I don’t get.
New Shins album in January ’07. Took them long enough and here’s the thing, the album will probably be like 30 minutes long. Oh well, new Shins music is always a good thing.
Another reason why I hate the movies: The Covenant, a Renny Harlin picture.
Why is it whenever two celebrities are photographed together, they’re both usually looking at different cameras or different directions? What are they a 5 year old child who’s seeing him or her self for the first time on a jumbotron at a baseball game and wave in the direction of the jumbotron? Not so much in this photo, but most of the photos in the random celeb pairing genre are like that. I just believe the pairing of Usher and Ashlee Simpson makes no sense. Why isn't she hanging out with Mischa B or something? They'd look like twins or at least, sister and closely related cousin. You know, people start to talk about how Ashlee Simpson wants to become exactly like her sister, then like two weeks later, she's trying to be like another celebrity. She should really date Brad Pitt because you know how Brad Pitt basically assumes whatever identity the woman he's dating has. Well, Ashlee could finally be herself and have somebody else to pretend to be like her or the twosome would just sit in a blank room and stare at each other and probably die from not eating like a kid logging 4 straight days playing World of Warcraft.