Tuesday, February 10, 2004


The Voice's 2003 Pazz and Jop Awards just hit. Can't argue THAT much.

This is the part where I post all my favorite quotes so if you're not into that sort of nonsense, skip down to the bottom.

"Be r*al! If somebody else stepped up with the beat from Cee-Lo's "I'll Be Around" or Missy's "Wake Up" or Timbaland and Magoo's own "Indian Flute," you'd have a heart attack and start pitching features."


I say: Fuck, YES! I have nothing against the Neptunes; they grew on me like old pizza in the dorm room: eventually there's simply nothing else left. StarTrax, Matrix, et.al. certainly have their charms, no question. But Timbos the King.
NO other producer has been as influential as Timbaland has been for the past eight years. No one. Period. Dre comes close, but no cigar.
And every year they say he's played out his hand and it's time to get a seat in the old producers home, even this year there's a quote about how played out he is.
Listen: Missy is Em as Timbo is Dre and Missy will produce her own beats and come back to the well occasionally for the big hits. But Bubba is what Outkast was at Aquemeni: one big hit and a decent album away from being the next big thing... four big hits and two good albums away from an album of the year Grammy under the arm. Tim rolls on. History will vindicate his ass.
"Why didn't parents' groups and Fox pundits fuss over 50 Cent like they did over Eminem? Because Eminem stages cartoon violence that threatens to spill into real life, while 50 writes songs where real life gets vacuumed into a cartoon—Get Rich or Die Tryin' was like Kill Bill, so bloody it was bloodless. It compressed gangsta carnivorousness into a Darwinian cliché and capitalist tool, its nihilism more silly than spooky. Forget that it's not really that good: It's an escapist masterpiece, and not only for bored white boys. Inner-city black kids who switched on 50's cartoons en masse didn't see something painful about their own lives confirmed, elaborated, and ennobled like with Tupac and Biggie, but rather confirmed, flattened, and swept away with a grin and a gush of fake blood."

Brooklyn, New York

I say: Sad but true and revealing in the sense that it's a serious limitation. Once the artifice is played out, what's underneath? Limited long term appeal.
New York life had me waist deep in Fiddy but man, the whole fuggin city reached saturation on this cat. I heard DIE RICH and BEG FOR MERCY roughly three million times. I can't even work out to 50 anymore; there's no snap and excitement on ANY of the tracks for me these days. Last year was Fiddy in a big way, but I have a sneaking suspicion he's headed Juvenile's route. We'll see him again, but no more SNL appearances. Back to the underground, son. Enough is a-friggin'-nough.
"R. Kelly is party to a long tragicomic tradition. Johnny Ace lost at Russian roulette. Sam Cooke was shot in a low-rent motel. Otis Redding's plane crashed. Jackie Wilson had a stroke onstage. Al Green had steaming grits tossed on him. Marvin Gaye was assassinated by his cross-dressing father. Sly coked away his career. Bobby Brown married the queen and lost his kingdom. And then there's Michael Jackson. If you're the pre-eminent r&b loveman of your era, you are destined to be a huge fuckup. As Sly said, 'You see it's in the blood.'"

Brooklyn, New York

I say: Nelson's on to something there.
Seriously though, R. Kelly can't go to prison. He'll be forced to serenade coupling jailbirds, you know that, right?
Do you want to live in a world where that sort of thing can happen?
"I've been trying to figure out why crunk has caught on. It's nothing more than Miami booty bass wed to '80s synthpop, right? With a healthy dose of dancehall thrown in, with house-music chants and sea-shanty growling. And it's smarter than anyone notices, and its artists are all work- aholic freakniks who pump out two or six albums a year and guest all over. So yeah, some big mystery here. Holy hell I love this stuff."

Madison, Wisconsin

I say: dirty south reprazent.
"Emo is like indie rock with better production values and more hair products. Defining moment: the Dashboard Confessional video where Chris Carrabba's perfectly coiffed skinny girlfriend (or the Suicide Girl hired to play her) walks out the door and he just sits there playing with his model train. I mean, everyone's supposed to feel sorry for these guys, but everyone knows that they treat girls worse than Mötley Crüe ever did, in more boring and passive-aggressive ways."

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I say: I lived with an emo posterchild prior to them acquiring the diagnosis. This is accurate. They're also lousy drunks and they tend to leave a REALLY fucked up bathroom behind.
"When the RIAA lawsuits hit, I decided: That's it, you assholes, when you start trying to destroy people who are nothing to you so regulatory agencies will approve your mergers, your means have become unjustifiable. I am no longer buying non-used copies of anything on the RIAA's member labels. There are plenty of other good things to spend money on."

Portland, Oregon

I say: Viva la corporatefucking!
"The sooner all of the major labels merge into one big label, the better, because when it eventually goes bankrupt it's just a matter of time before Lars Ulrich can get down to doing what he really wants: coming to your house personally to beat you up."

Toronto, Ontario

I say: HAW HAW! I laugh big-like, yes!
"Can I cast a Pazz & Jop vote for my iPod? For the La Monte Young double-CD-R sets at Other Music, which a clerk told me were "semi-legal"? For exclusive downloads on the Steve Jobs Music Store? For my friend Rich's year-end mix CD?"


I say: Truth in advertising. It's passe to bitch about the death of the album, but it's also moot. If you like to enjoy your music in that format, it's out there. But I haven't purchased and listened to an "album" front to back in almost two years. Everything gets ripped onto the hard drive and dissected. The only problem is making time for it all, but that's why god made IPods.
"What separates White Stripes and OutKast from other notionally mainstream artists is that neither is daunted by the obligation to make transcendent music. For them, mythic significance is just another cool toy to play with."

I say: What if Andre and Jack White traded partners? Andre and Jack would have beautiful babies and Big Boi would bust one all over Meg in a heartbeat.
"More conveyance, less contrivance."

San Francisco, California

I say: Brevity is the soul of etc.
"It was the year of the Woman Best Seen and Not Heard. Society didn't just disagree with these women, it loathed them. Madonna wasn't allowed to be a critic of American life. The Dixie Chicks weren't allowed to dis the president. Amy Lee wasn't allowed to get pissed at radio jocks objectifying her. And Liz Phair was absolutely not allowed to go mainstream pop. "

Brooklyn, New York

I say: And silent Meg. I think the reason the Yeah Yeah Yeahs got so much attention was Karen O's willingness to say fuck and such without saying excuse me afterward. Ladies? Hey Ladies? Holla if ya hear me!
"Despite what her justifiably proud husband said in his last autobiography, June Carter Cash was never one of the greats of country music. She had, however, have one of the great American lives. She co-wrote the indelible "Ring of Fire." She flirted with Elvis Presley and dated James Dean and studied acting under Lee Strasberg. If she hadn't wrung the drugs out of Cash and saved him for the rest of us, she might have developed her cornpone Little Junie Carter act and given Minnie Pearl a run for her money. She made the right choice."

Werner Trieschmann
Little Rock, Arkansas

I say: I miss you Johnny.
"It almost seemed scripted that, so soon before Bush's go-it-alone war, we should lose Mister Rogers, the last beautiful American. Hey, he was a singer-songwriter too and as far as "Won't You Be My Neighbor," "Tree, Tree, Tree," and all the rest go, we've seen worse material for boxed sets, and will again."

Adam McGovern
Mount Tabor, New Jersey

I say: I miss you Mr. Rogers.
The P+J was my introduction to the diversity of music that was New York and was ridiculously influential over my listening habits. I knew I was a New Yorker when I stopped reading the Voice for everything except the reviews, the schedules and the Pazz and Jop. Good shit.

Dap expended. I'm off to dl everything on there that I don't already have. Curious George gonna enjoy.