Okay, so like everybody else you liked ska in high school but as you got older, you just grew out of it for some reason. But you still like the good records from the era - your Impossibles, your Suicide Machines, your Operation Ivy's and so on. I think a lot of that lies in the fact that there aren't really many (or some would argue any) ska/punk bands that are still kickin' out the serious goods.
I feel like if Slow Gherkin put out Shed Some Skin now it'd be a watershed moment for the umpteenth wave of ska. I just saw these guys for the first time, playing a reunion show in Santa Cruz w/ MU330 and featuring a lot of songs off this record… the fact that they somehow got lost in the shuffle of the ska/punk boom but Home Grown and Mest DIDN'T is an enormous fucking disappointment. Great lyrics, creative songwriting, impeccably played, Pavement-y interludes, recurring motifs, and even a song about a cat - this is a capital A ALBUM. Buy it from Asian Man Records, better yet, buy this AND their posthumous Run Screaming which is also pretty fantastic, or even better yet, don't buy either - offer Mike Park some kind of trade for 'em. He loves free shit.
As anyone who's tuned into the cacophonous air horns, "Drop It Like It's Hot" ripoffs and autotuned bullshit on Hot 97 can attest, mainstream hip-hop has gotten pretty fucking horrific over the past five years. While underground hip-hop has done its part to step up to the plate with its earnest introspective jams (excluding that one group of homophobic dumbasses), there's been a void left by Kool Keith, Prince Paul, MF Doom and that whole class… basically there hasn't been any ridiculous shit going on in rap in some time. So I'm super glad Das Racist exist, with lyrics like "see me voice acting in Space Chimps like my man Stanley Tucci does" and the dumb/awesome idea to sample "Return to Innocence" by Enigma. This mixtape is full of amazing beats and "what, what the fuck?!" lyrics. Get it get it get it.
After the riffy, jammy Real Emotional Trash, there are plenty of reasons to get hella fucking excited about the Jicks' next release.
1) Their usual cycle goes pop record, followed by bluesy record, followed by pop record… and Malkmus can write the shit out of a pop song.
2) It is to be produced by Beck and while you can say what you will about the quality of his records severely dropping off after Sea Change, there's no denying that the dude has had some of the most interestingly arrange songs of the past two decades.
3) You know how when you watch a lot of the Simpsons, you tend to get all the good jokes and stuff if your head and casually say them in conversation, but all wrong? Dude was on tour with the reunited Pavement over the past year, which is presumably while he was writing this record. Not that I want Malkmus to just make a record that sounds like Pavement or anything, but, no, fuck it, yes. I want another Pavement record and this feels like the closest we might get.
I have my own memories of the first time I saw this and it changed my life, but the first comment on youtube pretty much says all there is to say. "I full-heartedly believe that this may be the greatest performance in American history, if not all time."
OR you could just watch this bonus video of Pearl Jam playing Hunger Strike with Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney singing Chris Cornell's parts… which also has bonus footage of Eddie Vedder speaking Spanish for a minute beforehand.
Is there anything that we missed this week? Let us know in the comments. Next Monday's post will be by Kevin Nunn of Wormburner/North Lincoln!