Life Just Bounces don't you get worried at all. (A weblog of music and otrogenerica)

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Weird collabo of the arbitrary time period

Guess what! A new album by purveyors of tripped-out percussive indie-dub-noise crew (and performers of my current ringtone in the shape of "Oxygen Demo Riddim", uninteresting trivia fans) Gang Gang Dance is here.

Its name is Saint Dymphna, and on initial listening it appears to have progressed in a more electronic direction from their first one,
God's Money. Seems to be a slow burner rather than anything instantly overwhelming, but then again i only listened the once, and i seem to recall the same thing about God's Money – a dense psychey sludge-out that took a bit to get into but then just kept on getting better and better over the following months.

Probably the most immediately noticeable about the record is that, weirdly, East London grime head Tinchy Stryder turns up as if wandering in from another record altogether. Eh? For once a record company press release tells no word of a lie:

“Princes” is the real shocker of the bunch. The first appearance of London-based MC Tinchy Stryder and his “Oh shit! Gang Gang!” toast will cause more than a few moments of “Did I accidentally switch records?” before the conclusion that this stuff is smashing apart genre conventions in a way that few bands have been willing to experiment with. The song plays like the weirdest Grime track (or the weirdest Gang Gang Dance track for that matter) you’ve ever heard. Either way, it re-emphasizes the group’s club potential, experimental success and beyond all, true understanding of good music no matter what label critics decide to obsess over on a given day.

Hm... maybe some words of an exaggeration, though. But they're right about the "huh?" factor of TS's arrival.

And Saint Dymphna? The press release pegs her as the patron saint of "outsiders, taboo subject matter and general disorder". Well, um, sort of. She actually accounts for those who suffer from mental illnesses and nervous system disorders, epileptics, mental health professionals, happy families, incest victims (the last two a pretty strange combo, if you think about it), and runaways.

A lot of that is accounted for by her own life story: when her mother died at fourteen, her father searched the world in vain for an equally beautiful replacement, until someone pointed out that his daughter looked quite like her mother (duh) and he decided to cut his losses and try and have a crack at her. She fled to Europe with her priest mentor, but was followed by the father who cornered them in the temple, beheaded the priest, demanded that Dymphna return to Ireland with him, and beheaded her too upon her refusal. Her burial place has long been associated with "miracle cures" for mental illness.

Phew, eh. It's a wonder Christian types spend time getting het up about aspects of modern culture when their mythology is rammed full of stuff like this.

: Gang Gang Dance feat. Tinchy Stryder — "Princes"

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

News in brief (scanning thru Beeb website)

Concern over Katona TV appearance
An erratic appearance by former pop star Kerry Katona on ITV1's This Morning caused viewers to call in with concerns about her health.

The singer's slurred words prompted host Phillip Schofield to say: "You don't seem right to me... Your speech is a bit slurred, how are you feeling?"

Katona seemed surprised by the question, but blamed prescription drugs she had taken to help her sleep.

Former pop star does drugs, you say? Gosh, This Morning viewers are an incisive bunch. Still less of a concern, i'd say, than the continued pollution of our screens by tossers like J. Oliver, J. Clarkson, J. Kyle, Heston "Jellyfish and Banana Quiche" Blumenthal* et al.
* (for instance)

Also, Phil Schofield is one smooth bastard. i'm definitely trying out the line "you don't seem right to me" next time i hit the town.

Police 'exaggerate demo numbers'
Police "over-egg" the number of people taking part in demonstrations to justify the amount of cash they have spent, a climate protester has claimed.

Phil McLeish, from Climate Camp, said police used to "downplay" the number of protesters at demonstrations.

But now they were "colluding" with protest groups to make demonstrations appear bigger than they were.

A police source told BBC News: "This is a bit rich. They always criticise us for underestimating the numbers."

That last sentence is like a customer in a restaurant telling the chef that part of his food is still frozen, and the chef replying with "That's a bit rich. You usually criticise me for burning it." The point being, neither are really particularly desirable.

Bad policeman, no doughnut.

Naked man found wedged in chimney
A naked man found wedged in the chimney of a supermarket in Wigan has been arrested on suspicion of burglary.

Police officers discovered him trapped in a chimney breast of a Tesco Express store on Ormskirk Road, Pemberton.

Firefighters were called to rescue the man who had become trapped in the chimney as he tried to get out.

Police said that because the man was naked he was taken to hospital as a precaution but was treated and discharged before being arrested.

A GMP spokeswoman said: "It is believed some of his clothes came off as a result of him struggling to get out of the chimney."

Not a lot to really add to the awesomeness of this one, except i quite like the idea that someone being naked is now considered a sign that precaution should be taken.

And finally, Mohammed al-Fayed may be a child sex offender. Don't worry, i'm sure it'll only be a matter of hours before it turns out to be all a conspiracy to discredit his good name, planned and executed by MI6, Prince Phillip and the Loch Ness Monster.

MP3: Aesop Rock feat. Rob Sonic — "Dark Heart News"

Monday, 20 October 2008

(SAY WHAT, SAY WHAT?!?!) I'm a baaad, baaad man

Another installment in the somewhat vague and irregular Awesome '90s Verse of the Day series, today we revisit the crucial question of what the scenario is. Now, everyone in the world already knows the original "Scenario", whether cuz of Spike Lee's ace old-skool video or simply due to its status as arguably the best ever posse cut.

However, not everybody knows that nestling on the flip of the original 12" (also: rather gratuitously tacked on to The Love Movement seven years later) is the "Scenario" remix, featuring brand new verses from each of the five MCs on the A-side, plus previously absent LONS member Cut Monitor Milo (Busta's cousin) and one Kid Hood.

Hood, born Troy Anthony Hall, was a friend of Q-Tip's that the latter intended on introducing to the world by having him open up the remix, which he does in glorious storming fashion (shirtless and in one take, according to Tip), even beating out Bus-a-Bus for Best 16 (which on a '91–'92 posse cut is no mean feat). Hood and Tip were also supposed to do an album together, apparently. On this evidence, this would surely have been ace.

But we can only ever speculate: the "Scenario (remix)" opener turned out to be Kid Hood's last recording as well as his first, as he was beaten and shot in the head only two days after taping it. Which is sort of cringily ironic given some of the lines in his verse (the bit where he promises to "pump slugs in your face, and dump that ass in the river", for instance).

Q-Tip paid tribute with a sleevenote on the 12" and the line "Peace to Hood, baby, from the midnight crooner" in his verse. Phife would later pay his own tribute on "Peace, Prosperity and Paper" from the, erm, High School High OST, with the line "Kid Hood restin in heaven, I hope to see you soon". The eminently quotable "bad, bad man" bit line from the end of the verse turned up scratched into "Gimme the Loot" off Biggie's Ready to Die. And that was just about that.

The gap left by the extreme shortness of Hood's recorded career filled up with back-and-forth speculation about his wasted potential among hip-hop followers. Today, descriptions of him still alternate between "one of the most promising MCs of the 1990s" and, bizarrely, one of its most overrated (purely as a result of the said speculation). Whatever, 16 years on he still smacks the shit out of this verse. RIP Hood, we hardly knew ye.

[Hood] (ATCQ & LONS)
Check the vibe, walk that ass or get got
Eff it (SHIIIT!!) I lick buckshots
Hood, madman, I rip up stages
Lay down all your wages, I'm wild like Larry Davis
Extra, extra, pick up a clip
I'll tear ass out the frame (HUH?!) and grab my dick (OHHH!!)
I'm a Rock 'Em-Sock 'Em Robot kid, I drop bombs
I'm rugged and deadly, so I shit on the petty
I baseball bat a bastard, I'm bad news
I'm crazy and clever, cut those of crews
Death on the phono, my skills are porno
You say "oh no!" you bitch-ass homo
I bag up waste, electrifying, I'm prime time
I slaughter a slime, I'm the greatest of all time
Sick-ass brother, nasty-ass nigga
Pump slugs in your face, and dump that ass in the river
Two tears in a bucket, fuck it, kick the can
(SAY WHAT, SAY WHAT?!?!) I'm a baaad, baaad man...

Other ace factors in this remix:

• The way it tests the very concept of the "remix" by not actually including any of the elements of the original at all, except for...

• The gang vocals and interplay. Including but not exclusive to: "C. Brown, are we in the clear? — YEAHHH!"... "RAWWR, RAWWR, RAWWR!" as Busta's dragon returns... the fine rendition of Michael Jackson's "Remember the Time"... the "HUH?!... OHHH!!" when Hood warns you that he'll tear ass out the frame and grab his dick... the bit during Brown's verse where they all just get rowdy for a couple of bars... pick your favourite.

• "Vanilla Ice platinum? That shit's ridiculous!" Tell them, Phife.

• Shaheed hooking up Kool & the Gang's "Soul Vibrations" several years before Just Blaze did it on Joe Budden's "Pump It Up".

• Busta's intro: "Whereas there are seven MC's, six which are in physical form, one which is in spiritual essence, and he goes by the name of, uh... HOOD!"

• Tip's roll call: "Eight black brothers in the public eye, If you listen very close, I will tell you why /(HOOD!) Phife, Milo, Dinco and C. Brown, Shaheed, myself, and Busta Bust Down"...

MP3: A Tribe Called Quest — "Scenario (remix)"

Thursday, 16 October 2008

In defence of noted fashion staple the hood.

Here's a ridiculous letter written to The Chester Standard by one Billy Mason of Little Neston, concerning hood-wearers and why he views them all as criminal scum, allied to a redemptive message of hope that all those of us afflicted by hood-wearing can one day "come out of our shell" because "society needs ya(sic), you can bridge that distance". Well, erm, thanks for that, Billy, i'm sure i'll bear it in mind next time i'm out clothes shopping.

Also included: my mildly tongue-in-cheek poetic response, written off-the-cuff on the back of a Highland packet while "assisting" in filming a new OFA video and actually submitted to the Standard in response to Billy's little diatribe. Let's see if they print this ish.

Hey i'm just trying to be me and nobody else
That is why i pick the clothes i like best for myself
But some ignorant folk claim i'm "up to no good"
Just cuz i like to wear a hood.

How dare you judge me? You've never even met me.
So how could you possibly say correctly?
Prejudice lies at the heart of your argument.
(That, and my hooded garment.)

You wouldn't write poetry packed with such loathing
Directed at others' selections of clothing.
You'd be making a crude generalisation
The clothes make not the persuasion.

(Although MPs wear suits and start unlawful wars
And bankers wear suits, gambling money that's yours,
And half-dressed "celebs" invite national shame.
And you figure hoods are to blame.)

And i'm boundlessly creative. i'm not "in my shell".
i don't wear a scarf. i behave very well.
Don't lazily label me "misunderstood"
Cuz i enjoy wearing a hood.

These baseless slurs just raise up my cholest'rol.
i terrorize nobody. You're disrespectful
For calling folk "coward" and "stuck in the mud"
Just for choosing to wear a hood.

A hoodie goes nicely with T-shirt and jeans
(And i'm not "walkin' aroung" — whatever that means)
If people "despise" me, their ignorance is tragic.
A hood's just a piece of fabric.

In summary, then — i will say it once, loudly:
No-one's hiding in hoods. We're wearing 'em proudly.

MP3: gay against you — "I Put My Hood Up"
MP3: Mogwai — "Like Herod (Hood mix)"