“I fantasized ’bout this back in Chicago…”
Continue reading “Can We Get Much Higher: Kanye West’s Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy Ten Years Later”
Long before Kanye West was a pop pariah / media megalomaniac / Christian contrarian, he was merely a polarizing figure who would interrupt Taylor Swift and liken himself to Michael Jackson repeatedly. Two albums later, he would make a whole song about how he loves himself. But at some point, Kanye was a true artist, the kind that calls himself a genius and for all its worth… is right. There is an apex to all ability, however, and it’s nearly always noticed in hindsight. When MBDTF dropped a decade ago, an artist had his most quintessential work- an endlessly quote-able, often repugnant, undeniably gorgeous, sonically diverse, musically challenging album. It was an artist reaching a zenith so shortly after his emotional nadir, and a masterpiece that has aged well in spite of its creator.
Every generation seems to think it’s the one that has it all figured out. Then it comes to find that merit and valor are intangible, subjective wares. We assume the mantle of our predecessors and say that things will be better than before. Then we see the residual exhaustion and indifference permeating our own hearts, and say to the next generation, “I hope you leave the world better than you found it.” That objectivity and clarity often comes far too late in life, when our ability to impact is already taken from us. But what if the moment we’re in now is so woven into the fabric of our flesh that it resonates in spite of our differences. On his surprise near-instrumental album Long Violent History, that is precisely what is presented, twofold.
Continue reading “The Worst That It’s Been: Tyler Childer’s Long Violent History”
Life is full of chance encounters that, in hindsight, seem like they were a puzzle piece sliding into place. Back in April, what feels more like five years than five months ago, I had one of those moments that have genuinely aided my journey through this, the strangest of years. I tried to ease my way into a Friday work day at home by putting on Spotify’s Classical New Releases playlist. One artist that grabbed my attention was Chad Lawson. The song was “Stay,” and by day’s end I had probably listened to it twenty times. He released an EP of the same name on May 1st, but now the project is released in full as the LP You Finally Knew.
Continue reading “Calm in an Anxious Era: Chad Lawson’s ‘You Finally Knew’”
As someone who grew up in the 1990’s, the Jock Jams series of songs were everywhere in my life. I heard them at sporting events- like, all sporting events. I heard them at junior high and high school dances. I heard wedding parties use them to as introduction music. They were everywhere.
And even though some of the songs weren’t great, or even very good, there is something about these massive ESPN-produced mixtapes (all released under the Tommy Boy Music label) that just feels fun. That being said, why just enjoy nostalgia when you can, instead, over-analyze and use math to suck out all the fun of these songs so you can rank which Jock Jams album is the best one?
Hey, everyone… let’s get ready to rumble.
Continue reading “The Jock Jams Compilations, Ranked (Y’all Ready For This?)”
Let’s call this part the final part, The Closer: The National League.
Part One, The Starter, I delved into a bit of history regarding our ballyhooed National Anthem as well as provided somewhat cogent thoughts on what songs could replace the National Anthem for each American League city. Part Two, The Closer, we will hit the National League cities, but first a few questions:
Why the fuck are we playing the National Anthem at all? What patriotism comprises the beginning of a ballgame? Should we play a game before we battle another country? Is that what we should be doing now? Send our troops over to a foreign country and force them to play an American game before war games commence?
Continue reading “Dear MLB owners – play something else besides the National Anthem, Part Two”
Let’s call Part One – First Starter: The American League
Is there a more perfect time to make a change in how you start a ballgame than now? It’s a question posited by fellow Fancy Boy Jake Breunig and frankly a damn good one.
Now Jake wrote a fabulous article about abolishing the National Anthem this past August. I will defer to him his over-arching replacement choice(s) and instead give each city their just due. However, let’s first take a look at our National Anthem. What we sing is not the entire song. Why? Well it’s what one could call a little shitty toward ‘freemen’ AKA ‘slaves who were freed yet still being treated like shit on both sides.’ As with every war involving America, only the poor and minorities are asked/told to pick up a rifle. During the War of 1812 (when Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that became a song… and later the anthem), freemen were not only ‘enlisted’ to fight for the American side, but the British took a lot of them and “allowed them to fight against their oppressors” which is code for “hello good dark chap, take this rifle and hustle up to the front lines and sacrifice yourself for our cause.”
Continue reading “Dear MLB owners – play something else besides the National Anthem, Part One”
If you’re like me, you make mixes. I love putting together a series of songs for a person or for an event or even just for myself. I need just the flimsiest of reasons to open up my itunes, fire up the cd burner, and look for a group of songs.
However, it’s Halloween… A GREAT TIME TO MAKE A MIX!
Continue reading “Five Songs For Your Halloween Mix”
Every year, one song defines the season as a landmark in American culture. It may have no relevance to current events, in fact, it would be better if it didn’t. 2019 just took a DNA test, and turns out “Truth Hurts” is 100% the Song of the Summer.
Continue reading “It Is Time To Declare the 2019 Song of the Summer”
The 2019-2020 NFL football season is upon us. Though my interest in American football expeditiously faded after only receiving a portion of my entitled winnings from a fantasy championship win, due to a lack of performance in a dual-commissioned league (if I ever see your cousin again, I’ll break his fucking legs, Phil.), I still find myself adjacent to the cherished traditions practiced across the nation that tickle the senses; The smell of sweaty, encased meats on a Weber grill at a tailgate, the vivid cornucopia of colors of the vast variety of jerseys, and as of the last few Thanksgivings, the piercing squawk of a dipshit aunt spouting her thoughts on the National Anthem.
Continue reading “5 Songs That Could Replace The Star-Spangled Banner”
Life is hard. It’s a cliché, but lord knows often it is all too true. In the ever-fading days of youth, we tend to forget what makes us human; what makes us beautiful as a species. It is our inherent ability to rise from the fruit of our faults and become greater than we thought we could be. Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance from The Shining quotes the brilliantly brief age-old elucidation into mankind’s most futile ritual- “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” If there is not joy to life, if there is no pleasure, what is our purpose? To live life without a shred of gratification would be to fail as a human being. Enter late spring, 2001. America is unaware of the perilous age that lies ahead. On the radio, one particular song was set to take over the summer. That song would be the inverse credo of that damning proverb. Perhaps we could do ourselves a favor and think back to a time when a group of young men from Atlanta and their friend from St. Louis asked the simplest of questions- “Where the Party At?”
Continue reading “If The Party’s Where You’re At, Then Let Me Know: How Jagged Edge Crossed Over and United a Nation”