Well, off to a good start I guess, but I did at the end realize I ought to get back to my dissertation so discussion of the actual song is a bit superficial, yes.
Carnegie Mellon University, where I go to school, has a gymnasium which is nice for basketball and everything and is called Weigand Gymnasium but it might as well be called Why Have Musical Acts Play In Here At All Because It Always Sounds Like Absolute Assgand Gymnasium. The high ceilings and polished hardwood make the whole thing an echo-y, muddled and sweaty mess. This venue can make you actually start hating your favorite band, I think. (Case in point: I went to see They Might Be Giants
there about five years ago, who were once my favorite band, although at the time they were not, but I actually just left the show because it sucked so bad. And then I didn't listen to them for five years, but actually I think the new album The Else
is pretty good.) I'm pretty sure the artists would just like feign equipment failure and go home if it weren't for the $30,000 or whatever that CMU pays for a concert and the well-meaning crowd who, because they live in Pittsburgh, have probably not ever been to a proper show where you can, you know, hear the music.
Anyway hip hop
... like any white boy I like hip hop crossovers like OutKast
but have never explored it in depth. I think Blackalicious
is a real stupid band name. I actually happened to be walking by the WhyHave...AssGand Gymnasium when Blackalicious was playing in there last year and stayed for a few minutes, even though I am fully aware of the perils, and indeed the show was absolutely horrid. CMU cops started giving me scheiss because I had my camera with me at the time and this is apparently verboten so I left and filed Blackalicious in the mental DO NOT LISTEN pile (why do I always get so excited about these missteps
?) until this year when my music sharing buddy nolacoaster
hooked me up with his music collection at work. It does have stuff like Less Than Jake and Third Eye Blind (I won't even link those) so it's not exactly indietopia but I have an open mind policy now so I've been listening through almost everything that is not Ska or 90s alternata. You know what? Blackalicious is really great. It is less all over the map than OutKast but the production is really top notch; the songs complex and interesting and not all about cliche subjects; and Daddy Gabby really does have impressively fast lips. This album is worth listening to in its entirety and it has several very good songs (oh this is The Craft
), such as Powers
, World of Vibrations
, etc. Each of those others had some tiny thing that annoyed me, so my pick is Side to Side
even though it does has like carnival trumpets in it (but so does +81
, right?). Cleverly arranged and hilarious lyrics.