I've missed y'all like Angelina Jolie misses carbs. Apparently the month of November no longer exists - its been torn from my nonexistent calender like it never happened. It's as if I didn't celebrate my least favorite holiday: Thanksgiving, with food I generally dislike and whose historical origins I find slightly suspect. As if those four weeks of devil's playtime (AKA school) were just a bad LSD experience, and the nightmare of midterm after midterm was finally replaced in my subconscious by the usual public nudity experience, and more recently by being trapped in Tom Cruise's basement. Surprisingly, I welcome the bad dreams of imprisonment by an insane Scientologist. Its a warm blanket compared to statistics.
My November break from sanity did allow me some restructuring ideas for Umbrellas. Since UFT has been strictly about media; music and movies since its immaculate conception, I'll be continuing on with my music blog. Sometimes I'll have other interjections - political, social, entertainment, whatever. Usually it will be something requiring excessive mocking and ridicule. If you haven't deduced so yet, sarcasm is an integral part of daily survival for me. If I can't love it or laugh about it, sometimes a combination of both, you won't find it here.
From here on out I'll be making regular posts. Every Monday, for example, I'll be putting out a Case of the Mondays Mixtape. New Release Tuesdays will round up the best of the week's releases - what music is worth your hard earned greenbacks and what CDs would be better put to use as a surface for all the cocaine you're not doing. A mirror or one-dimensional disco ball perhaps. Fridays I'll compile the best music on TV this week - that track on CSI that sealed the case for you, and the coda on Grey's Anatomy that almost made you forget how much the show currently sucks. (Sidenote: If the writer's strike continues I'll review past classic TV tracks or switch to movies). Every entry will have mp3 links to download songs I've talked about or promoted. These are for educational purposes only, and therefore will be deleted after 7 days of posting. If you like what you hear, I encourage you to support these amazing artists by buying their albums, and better yet, going to see them live.
Seeing as I missed out on a couple of integral posting opps, I'll try and best summarize this past month in music.
Best New Releases
Though I was disappointed by The Killer's new Sawdust, and the fact that they're still Mormon, there were plenty of new releases to put my non-polygamist faith back in music this month.
Daft Punk - Alive 2007
Daft Punk's Discovery changed electronic music production forever - and now, so many years later, we get to hear all our favorite classics remixed and live. Christmas comes in November apparently. Buy this CD and be amazed by how much fun sobriety can be.
Daft Punk - Around the World / Harder Better Faster Stronger (Alive 2007)
Daft Punk - One More Time / Aerodynamic (Alive 2007)
Jay-Z - American Gangster
Sean Carter has come out of retirement once again to release American Gangster along with the motion picture of the same name. Let's all thank the ROC boy for not searing our eardrums with another half-ass LP like Kingdom Come, forcing us to wade through so much smack talk, self-promotion, and boasting of his own wealth to find the few, and I mean very few, quality tracks. American Gangster was a return to the old HOVA - the sweet-flowing, former drug-dealing, unyieldingly charismatic rapper we learned to love on The Blueprint, and my personal favorite, The Dynasty. His stories might be reruns, but Jay has the ability to spit old memories of life on the streets with new, rejuvenating rhymes. Bringing the best elements of hip-hop, r&b, and seventies soul to Gangster the listener is transported into the size thirteens of street smart Sean Carter. We can feel the plight of the hustler from the comfort of our two-story home. I am less inclined to believe in Jay's promise that this is the last release of his career. LTK is most certain we'll be hearing from the mogul again - and maybe this time he'll bring us some new, more complex or layered material worthy of his insistent self-praise.
Jay-Z ft. Lil Wayne - Hello Brooklyn 2.0
Jay-Z - ROC Boys (And the Winner Is...)
The Hives - The Black and White Album
Rock out like you never expected. The spiffiest dressed rock and rollers I've ever seen deliver on their latest release, with a new unique sound, and more quality tracks (over their previous releases when quantity was the construct). Listen for a little Pharrell Williams production magic; somehow the man's talent is gold for others and Kryptonite for his solo efforts. These rockers should be praised for their 50's style throwbacks (you just don't see neckties enough in popular music today) and their quirky, infectious, chord heavy sound. More comes out of Sweden than just furniture.
The Hives - Tick Tick Boom
Favorite New Single
Bloc Party has re-released their latest, Weekend in the City to include the new single Flux. I can't say that I was impressed by the original release of the album, considering the wow factor of 2005's Silent Alarm. Why would anyone choose to watch Saved By the Bell: The New Class when you could replay your favorite Zak and Kelly moments instead? Bloc Party set the bar high with their debut, and since then it seems they've been scrambling to impress us as much as tracks like "Helicopter" and "This Modern Love" wowed us 2 yrs back. The re-release of Weekend has one standout bright spot, and that is the new track, Flux. I see a return to the post-punk energy of Silent Alarm, a reminder of the uniquely textured sound that is BP's roots.
Bloc Party - Flux
Stay tuned this Monday for my very first Case of the Mondays Mixtape. I'll also have some exciting concert news, and a plug for some of my favorite soundtracks on the scene right now.
PS. 25 Days Till Christmas! In the spirit of the Holiday, check out this insane blog dedicated to the worst Christmas music ever made! Amazing, right?