I finally saw “David Chappelle’s Block Party” last weekend in my brother over the weekend. Personally I think its brilliant. There have been a couple of comparisons to ‘Wattstax‘ in a some of the reviews I have read so far. To me they are more than apt. This is by far the closest thing I’ve seen to that movie ever. I’d review it, but far smarter and more eloquent people have already done that in several places online. My favourite so far is the Boston Globe review. I am simply going to talk about the music.
Now if you are one of those people who has made up their minds to treat all hip-hop music as violent, angry, nihlistic, misogynistic musoc with little if any redeeming social value then you will not get what made the music so great. If you aren’t, you might have heard of some of the people who played, or at least you should have. That concert basically got together some of the best musicians alive today. People whose music has kept me company for literally thousands of hours over the last decade or so. At the very least you might want to open up your minds and grab the soundtrack when it hits. I know I will.
Otherwise, these are the albums that I have been inspired to play this week.
The Roots: Things Fall Apart, Phrenology and The Tipping Point
Mos Def: Black on Both Sides
Takib Kweli: Train of Thought, Quality
Black Star: Black Star
Common: Like Water for Chocolate
Kanye West: The College Dropout
The Fugees: The Score
Dead Prez: Lets Get Free
Erykah Badu: Mama’s Gun
Jill Scott: Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds, Vol. 1
Sidenote: While I’d personally love to see this movie get some Oscar recognition in the documentary category, I’ll wager a small amount of money that it’ll never happen.
Either way, good listening.
I have such a huge (and growing) music collection that these days unless I really feel like listening to something in particular, I use Amarok‘s ’50 random songs’ feature to decide what I’ll be listening to. Its proving to be a great way to explore my collection. Since a couple of blogs I read feature ‘random 10’ lists, I figured, why not. So, my first ‘random 10’ list.
Sidenote: Amarok is easily the best media player I have seen on any OS. And its a Linux app! The future approaches.
1. Aaliyah – 4 Page Letter
2. Zero 7 – When It Falls
3. Thelonius Monk – Hornin’in (alt. take)
4. Santessa – Phased
5. Soul Position – Candyland pt. 3
6. Talib Kweli – I Try
7. Outkast – My Favourite Things
8. DJ Spinna – Surely
9. Maxwell – Everwanting: To Want You To Want
10. Floetry – Say Yes
1. I’ve been listening to Common’s new album ‘Be’ almost exclusively since it was released on Tuesday. In my opinion its an early candidate for album of the year. Granted, at 11 tracks its not the longest CD you’ll ever hear but every track is quality. From what I hear its also shaping up to be his highest selling album to date. I’m really happy for him, Especially after the violently negative reception his last album ‘Electric Circus’ received. Personally I liked Electric Circus, still do. The exploratory nature of its production really turned people off though, unfortunately. Ironically, most of the same people loved Andre 3000’s ‘The Love Below’. I can’t explain it.
2. Has everyone else heard R.Kelly’s latest multi-part auditory abortion? Otherwise known as ‘In the Closet parts 1-3’ these songs are so horrifically bad it feels like one of those really bad science fiction movies that were the staple of ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’. Its so incredibly horrible that you find yourself watching it in amazement that an actual thinking person came up with this and had the bravery to release it. From the generally positive reaction that this, and other crappy R-Kelly songs have received, I believe that he should consider giving up his singing career (well, that he should do anyway for the sake of humanity) and become a cult leader. If he can convince people that putting bad soap opera scripts to music is an act of genius, what else can he get them to do? Honestly I wish I had that gift. I’d use it to put together a harem.
3. Two of my favorite TV shows are not being renewed. The Sly Stallone reality boxing show ‘The Contender’ and UPN first decent prime time drama ‘Kevin Hill’. For those of you who missed both if these, you missed out. Especially The Contender, which, along with Spike TV’s ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ actually made me regularly watch reality TV. At least ‘The 4400’ is coming back. For those of you who haven’t seen it, think ‘Lost’ but better.