Friday, March 25, 2011

Record Shopping in Philadelphia, Part Two.

So as I was leaving Repo Records, I asked the clerk if she knew of any other record stores in the area. She pointed me right around the block, where I ran into what you see up there: the Philadelphia Record Exchange. It was hard to tell what to expect from the outside, and when I went in, it was still tough to make any sense of it. The place wasn't a complete mess, but it seemed like only pockets of it were organized. There were signs hung from the ceiling to denote genres, but I found out that they were only loose guidelines.

I found a fat box of 7"s near the entrance, camped on those for a while, and then strolled around the store and flipped through some of the 12" singles near the back of the store, which were kind of a mix of dance and hip hop and whatever else had found its way in there. Then, almost exactly as it had happened at Repo, I spotted some stairs. I headed down, and here's what I found:

Turns out all the rock was down there. Mostly 60's/70's/80's stuff, but I actually came across a copy of Hazel's Toreador of Love down there, which I thought was pretty random. The other side:

Again, I found myself overwhelmed. I could have spent a day down there. I gave it a good go, but I didn't end up looking through half the stuff. At this point it was almost 7:30, and I wanted to hit one more shop before I called it a night. I only ended up grabbing two things from the Record Exchange:

Rottin Razkals - "Oh Yeah" 12"

Don't think I've written about these dudes before, but if you've never heard these mid-90's Naughty By Nature prodigies, you are missing out. Dope hip hop that, as far as I know, got mostly overlooked. This single contains songs that are on their album, but it features instrumentals and a cappella mixes, too. Nothing too mind-blowing as far as that goes, but I'm happy to have it.

Homostupids - Cat Music 7"

This may be my favorite thing that I purchased on my trip. So many great things about it. First off, the band is called Homostupids. Second, the single is called Cat Music. Third, the entire thing is about two minutes long, and contains three tracks. Sample lyric: "One more fuckin' prune/ Rat's ass/ Rat's ass/ Give me a balloon." Also: there appear to be horns on it. I really can't say enough about this record. It is just tremendous.

Like I said, I wanted to hit one more spot before I called it a night. I was hoping to make it Long in the Tooth Records, which I had been told was great, but after calling there, I found out they closed at 8, and I wouldn't have time to make it. So, I went to my next option, which was farther away, but open until 9: Beautiful World Syndicate.

It was a mile walk from where I was, which put me two miles away from my hotel, but I was feeling ambitious. I brisk-walked over there and made it by 8, which gave me plenty of time to flip through the store's thick selection of records. As a first-time customer, it's hard for me to know how much rotation goes into their New Arrivals section, but it was the most expansive one I've ever seen. Six or seven rows across, and so deep that I could barely reach the back of it. And I'm not a little dude.

Their 7" section was equally huge, and packed with all the obscure punk you could ever want. I had heard of very little of it, though I actually saw a few Portland bands in there, which was cool. Bottom line: they had a ton of cool shit. They also had a bunch of slightly overpriced jazz/reggae/world LPs, which is the hipster bullshit you can expect from a place like that, so that's fine. I gave it a good 45 minutes in there, but was starving and had to walk the two miles home so I headed out before they kicked me out. Here's what I got:

Schoolly D - "Another Sign" 12"

They used to play this video on Bohemia Afterdark when I was in high school and for whatever reason, I thought it was cool as all get-out. Not your typical Schoolly D song, but his flow sounds dope on this track. I picked up a lot of rap singles on this trip, didn't I?

USAISAMONSTER - Citizens of the Universe

Definitely my most random purchase of the trip. I thought the cover was awesome-looking, and the homemade appeal of the whole thing (the artwork appears to be silkscreened) kept me coming back to it. I sampled a little bit of it on the turntable there, and it sounded just weird enough to work. I've barely listened to this thing, but I'm looking forward to getting to know it.

The Doors - Mr. Mojo Risin'

Bootleg record that appears to include both live performances and interviews, and also seems to have been released while the band was still together, or, you know, before Morrison died. Haven't had a chance to listen to this one yet.

The Doors - Weird Triangle

Hey, I'm into Doors bootlegs right now - can you tell? Didn't plan on buying both of these, but I couldn't get one and not the other, and they were both just too good to pass up. Haven't had a chance to play this one, either, but I'm looking forward to it. Only has five songs on it, so I'm really curious to see what the deal is.

And, that was that. After I was done there, I had to walk two miles back to my hotel with two fat bags of records under my arm, and then I had to haul these damn things back with me on the plane. But it was worth it. It's always worth it. Philadelphia, you were good to me. I just wish I would have had more time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Record Shopping in Philadelphia, Part One.

I just spent two days and three nights in Philadelphia for work, and while I hadn't planned on having much time to do any dicking around, I was able to set aside about four hours last night, and I made the most of it. In other words: nuts to the Liberty Bell - I'm going record shopping.

And go I did. I did some web searching and asked a few people who live in Philly about where to go, all while taking into account the location of my hotel and the fact that I didn't want to waste any money on cab fare and didn't want to deal with public transportation. I was hoofin' it.

I set out at about six from the Old City area, and walked about a mile to South Street, where I knew I could find at least two shops. The one I was most interested in was Repo Records, which had both been recommended to me by a colleague and had one of the more intriguing websites I came across. Meaning that it looked like a place I would enjoy. I found it easily, and as you can see from the photo above, its storefront is awesome. That's what a record store should look like.

Their selection was all over the board, with a focus on indie rock, weird stuff, and hip hop. Their used hip hop section was particularly great, with really reasonable prices and tons of old shit that you would never come across in a store in Portland. Their indie section reminded me of Jackpot in Portland: any of the new shit you'd be looking for, but not many used gems. Plus, they had tons of classic rock, country, and odds and ends. And a New Arrivals section, which I always appreciate.

So I was having a great time flipping through the vinyl, pulling out some stuff that I wanted to buy, when I noticed a "50 cent basement sale" sign by a door that led to some stairs. Yahtzee. I headed down, and this is what I found:

That was one side of the basement. Here's the other side:

And, on a ramshackle table in the corner, there was this crazy mess of 7"s:

I could have spent days down there. But, my time was limited, so I poked around the best I could and grabbed a few things. In the end, this is what I took away from Repo Records:

The Dismemberment Plan - Emergency & I

Two-LP reissue, first time on vinyl, some bonus tracks, and a really sweet package. Had been meaning to buy this for a while, and finally saw it and just made it happen. Gatefold package with extensive liner notes, incredibly thick wax, and a price tag that reflects all that. But, I was treating myself. And this record is really, really good. So there's that.

Steady B - Going Steady

My brother is a big Steady B fan, and he'll be getting this if he doesn't have it on vinyl already. The price was right and the hi-top fade that Steady's rocking on the back made it irresistible. 1989 was a great year for hip hop, though this isn't usually cited as an example of why. What? People don't love "Nasty Girls"?

Genius/GZA - "Cold World" 12"

Just because. It's got three versions of "Cold World" (LP, clean, and instrumental), and the LP version of "I Gotcha Back," so there's nothing here that's too notable. But the cover is sweet, the Geffen LP label is odd to me for some reason (seems very 80's and non-Wu-Tang), and on the back in big red letters it says, "The GZA a.k.a. Maximillion" which is pretty sweet.

The Phantastic Phillies

Couldn't pass this one up while I was in the city, and I probably would have picked it up if I'd seen it anywhere. "Relive all the great moments from the 1980 Championship Season featuring exciting play-by-play highlights and interviews from the regular season, playoffs, and World Series - and including the 'Big Event'... the post-season celebration!" This is going to be sweet.

Prime Minister Pete Nice & Daddy Rich - "Rat Bastard" 12"

Another hip hop 12" that doesn't really give me much I don't have (though I guess the "What the !?*# Mix" could be interesting), but will look sweet on my shelf. This record appears to have never been played, still has about half the shrink on it, and also has the ol' hole punch through the barcode. Pete Nice mean-muggin' on the cover. Dope.

I also picked up some 50-cent gems in the basement, but I'll probably end up featuring those on the Sly Records site, so I'm not going to go into those at this time. Just know that they are crazy weird.

I hit two more stores, which I'll feature in Part Two, coming soon.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Break.

Posts will be sporadic for the next few weeks because I'm going to be traveling/taking some much-needed time off work.

But I shall return soon.

Try to keep yourselves busy without me.

Radiohead - The Bends (LP, 1995)

A band releasing a sophomore album superior to their debut isn't that uncommon, but a band surpassing their debut by the margin that Radiohead did is pretty rare. The Bends is not only a great record, it's an important record, and one that would take the majority of the world a few years to catch up with. That included me.

I have a vague memory of being somewhere (a relative's house or something?) in 1995 and seeing the video for "Fake Plastic Trees" and not feeling much other than, "Huh, they're still at it, eh?" At the time, I wasn't really in a space to be handling what Radiohead was offering, but even if I was, I don't know that it would have really reached me. I know the videos for "Just" and "High and Dry" also got some minor MTV play, but I don't remember seeing them. Honestly, it wasn't until I embraced OK Computer that I went back and bought The Bends and listened to it incessantly for like two years.

And this is the kind of record that you can do that with. From beginning to end, this LP is brilliant, with almost every track sounding like it could be a single. Seems like about half of them were, in fact. And while the band clearly had experience with making songs that hit the mainstream hard, they had never made songs with this much complexity, vigor, and warmth.

From the opening wind-blown swirl that begins the album and "Planet Telex," you can tell this is the work of a band with something to prove. People want to read too much into Yorke's supposed depression-based lyrics on this album, but honestly, a lot of the lyrics here could be interpreted in a ton of different ways. And for me, while I certainly think Radiohead's lyrics are an integral part of the band's approach, I also think melody and arrangement are the forces that drive their songs and really make them powerful. "Fake Plastic Trees" and "Just" are so smart and precise in this regard, it's staggering. Same with the closer, "Street Spirit (Fade Out)," which is layered so smoothly that you can listen to dozens of times before hearing every element at work.

Some folks probably put this record and OK Computer on the same level, and though I probably give the edge to OK Computer, there's a great argument to be made for this record being equally great, and equally important. It's not often you see a band make so much progress in such a short period of time, in such a complete way. Not a stinker on this thing. And that title track: man, that's a good song. But now I'm rambling.

I somehow have an original import Parlaphone pressing of this album, which I think I bought from a friend or something...? Anyway, it's a sweet copy and it sounds incredible. So don't touch it.

"High and Dry"

Friday, March 18, 2011

Radiohead - My Iron Lung (CD, 1994)

If you're looking for the bridge that spans the gap between "Creep"-era Radiohead and "Fake Plastic Trees"-era Radiohead, this is it. And I mean that literally - it was released between Pablo Honey and The Bends. But, it's also the first place where you hear things starting to get noticeably abstract, with both Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood stepping up their respective games considerably.

Yorke's lyrics weren't exactly shitty on Pablo Honey, but some of them were less than memorable - ironic considering they probably represent the most easily decipherable words he would ever sing. His mumbly slur starts to take hold on this EP, but along with it, the ambition in his words takes some real leaps forward. And when he sings, "This, this is our new song/ Just like the last one/ A total waste of time," on the title track, you can tell he's all pissy about their "Creep"-induced rise to stardom, and that sort of harnessed anger might just be what makes this EP such an interesting group of songs.

It also might be because Jonny Greenwood is auditioning a bunch of new sounds and styles with his guitar on these tracks, and though not all of them totally hit it out of the park, it's really cool to hear him going nutso in a variety of ways. "The Trickster" features a much more jagged guitar approach than anything from their debut, and the rest of the band sounds energized as a result. "Lewis (Mistreated)" is one of their more punky songs, with Greenwood's guitar sounding glassy, sharp, and confrontational. "Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong" is more tonally precise, hinting at some of the larger-scope songs the band had yet to write, where atmospherics and mood took precedence over slamming melodies into the listener's head.

"Lozenge of Love" and "You Never Wash Up After Yourself," two short, acoustic songs that don't seem to feature much more than Greenwood and Yorke, wrap up the album proper, and offer a rare glimpse into a stripped-down version of the band. The inclusion of the acoustic version of "Creep" on the end of this EP just reeks of record company interference, but I'm not basing that on anything other than the fact that everything else about this EP seems to point toward a deliberate shift away from that song and everything it represented. Also weird considering that it was already available on the "Stop Whispering" single. But this would mark the last time the song and the band would be connected for a while.

A nice little EP, but ultimately only a tease of what they would come up with next. And the title track is an incredible song. Think I forgot to mention that.

"My Iron Lung"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Radiohead - Pablo Honey (LP, 1993)

The revisionist history on Pablo Honey usually goes a couple different ways: Either people (the most loyal of fanboys) claim that it's way better than it is and lament its supreme underratedness, or people (ultimate cool guys) shit on it to the point where they don't even acknowledge it as part of the Radiohead catalog.

How much it pains people to admit that the post-Nirvana band of our generation is the same peroxide-blond, grunge-leaning group that scored big with "Creep"! Oh, come on. Who cares.

Radiohead must feel some serious solidarity with Beck, because in the mid-90's, society had written both of them off as one-hit wonders ten minutes into their career, after they had captured the hearts of a disaffected youth with self-deprecating anthems that the artists themselves hadn't even considered particularly strong songs. And then they both, somehow, managed to distance themselves from those ubiquitous tracks and go on to a huge career while never again reaching the masses in that same singular way ever again. Very few artists have done it. Very few would want to.

Along those same lines, Thom Yorke reminds me of Mike Patton in way. (Bear with me here.) Both dudes came out fairly young, scored big with a song with which they'll forever be inextricably linked, and both made some fashion choices that they probably lived to regret. They also both quickly acquired a fanbase of people who they never expected to relate to them, and after realizing what they had done, decided to pull an abrupt 180 and assume that anyone who was really down would follow them.

"Hey, remember that huge radio hit I had last year when my hair was all styled up? Yeah, well, I hate myself for doing that now, and it's led me to a dark, fucked-up place that has somehow turned me into a weird genius. Anyway, I'm writing some incredible songs now, but they sound nothing like that one that you and your friends used to sing along to. In a bit of what might turn out to be career suicide, I'm actually anticipating alienating half of our audience with this stuff. You probably won't like it, But if you do, you'll actually like it way more than that first shit I did, and you'll respect me more, and you'll buy everything else we put out until I die. And when I do, they're going to put the name of that first fucking song on my headstone, but you and I: we'll know the deal."

Too far with that? Possibly. Anyway.

The truth is, Pablo Honey is somewhere in between those two opposing viewpoints I mentioned in the beginning. People who say they can hear the genius of the band trying to poke through on this LP can go ahead and tell themselves that, but it's really not readily apparent. These are the songs that Radiohead had been working on since forming, and some of them are pretty darn good ("Stop Whispering," "You," "Prove Yourself"), and some of them are on the better side of OK ("Vegetable," "I Can't," "How Do You?"). It's almost like the band had to purge itself of all its early material to get to where they were going on their next album. And that's cool. Plenty of bands do that.

But not a lot of bands go on to make records like OK Computer and Kid A. And that's why it's too late for this record to get a fair shake. There's too much big shit that's happened after it. But it's a good record. Maybe a little dated-sounding, but good. And I've actually had a fun time listening to it the past couple days. And that's also good.

"Stop Whispering"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

R.E.M. - Murmur (CD, 1983)

When it comes to albums I own just because I feel like I should, R.E.M.'s Murmur is right up there with Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. I'm not overly fond of either of them, but I like the records well enough, and they have been so critically knob-slobbed that I apparently developed a need to own them to further legitimize my cool-guy cred.

I'm sure I have other records like this, but I can't think of them right now. Honestly, I try my best to not fall prey to this sort of bullshit, because I hate the idea of liking something because I feel like I should. (It's currently the reason I have never listened to a Kanye West record. Well, one of many reasons.) And with this record (and the Neutral Milk Hotel one), it's not like I don't like it. I do. I just don't think I love it in the way that some people do, and maybe that's what interests me. I really do enjoy Murmur, but I've been waiting for that "holy-fucking-shit-this-is-brilliant" moment to click with me for 20 years, and I don't think it's going to happen. And that's fine.

When I was a teenager, there were a handful of records that would always show up in magazines like Spin and Request as the Greatest Rock Albums of All Time. Or maybe it was "most important" or something. Whatever it was, it wasn't a list that included the Beatles or anything like that. It was an alt-leaning list that usually listed London Calling at the top, and also mentioned Never Mind the Bollocks, The Feelies' Crazy Rhythms, Television's Marquee Moon, maybe the first Velvet Underground record, possibly It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, and almost always, Murmur.

Before I even heard that record, I had heard R.E.M., but their critically-acclaimed past was really intriguing to me. Maybe it was that boggy, washed-out cover, or maybe it was just that this record kept popping up as a revolutionary moment in music, according to many magazines that I trusted. I think I finally found a used cassette copy of it when I was a teenager, and, like I said, it was underwhelming to me. Possibly too jangly for my hormone-heavy teenage mind. No idea when I got this CD.

I went through a little R.E.M. phase around the "Losing My Religion" era (yeah, I still have my "Shiny Happy People" cassette single, what about it?), but it never stuck. And, not to sound like the ultimate predictable music cock, but I can't stand any of their stuff from the last 20 or so years. This record, the Chronic Town EP, and about half of Document was about as far as I took it. Pretty sure that's as far as I'm ever going to take it.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Queens of the Stone Age - Era Vulgaris (3x10", 2007)

I have been revisiting the shit out of this record as of late, and realizing that maybe I didn't spend nearly enough time with it when it was released. Not only have I been repeatedly listening to the opening track, the incredibly awesome "Turnin' on the Screw," but I've been remembering why I thought "Sick Sick Sick" was such a sweet song when it came out.

Not sure when I sort of lost track of this one, but I definitely hadn't spent much time with it in the last couple years. I think at some point I had just oversaturated myself with Queens of the Stone Age, and I ended up taking an intentional break that lasted an unintentionally long time. This last week has been great, because I've been getting back in touch with all their music, but this record has been the one that's hit me the hardest.

Probably makes sense because it's the most recent one and the one that I've obsessed over the least, but damn: this one is a go-getter. The 47-minute running time doesn't hurt. The band was getting really expansive in their couple LPs before this one, and while that was cool, they were lengthy. This one's 11 tracks (12 on the vinyl version, with the bonus cut "Running Joke" thrown in right in the middle), and just a lot easier to play and replay.

There's more finesse in these tracks than simply full-on pummeling rock, and it really works. Songs like "Make it Wit Chu" and "Suture Up Your Future" are very un-Queens, but they're cool. "Into the Hollow" is a song that I had forgotten about, and I don't know how. Same with "Misfit Love." both awesome. And both weird. This whole thing's weird. "I'm Designer" is flat-out bizarre, at least for QOTSA.

To go along with that oddness, the band issued this album on triple 10", which is one of the sweetest moves ever. There's only two songs on each side of the records, so it makes listening to it a real workout, but it's one of the cooler packages I own and, as corny as it sounds, the format gets you really involved with the songs, which I like.

All this Queens has gotten me excited for their new record, which I think they're recording right now. Bring it. But for now, we move to the R's.

"Misfit Love"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Queens of the Stone Age - Over the Years and Through the Woods (CD, 2005)

Ah, the sign that a band has really made it: the holiday-season live album. I know I got it for Christmas in 2005, and I couldn't have been happier. And while records like this are usually a shameless cash-grab (anyone remember Big Boi & Dre Present... Outkast?), this thing is so full of material that it's certainly well worth whatever the asking price was those six years ago.

Not only does this package include a 14-track, 75-minute live CD, but it also comes with a DVD that contains an almost two-hour, (very) pro-shot live show, as well as a ton of random bonus features that cover the band's entire career. So, yeah: in that regard, this wasn't something that was thrown together to capitalize on the band's hugeness at the time. Or, if it was, it was thrown together really, really well. Any fanboy would be happy to have this in their Queens collection, as I certainly was/am.

The main material, though all culled from one (or maybe two?) shows, finds the band playing stuff from all of their albums, and does a fine job of capturing the band at their beefiest: five, sometimes six members deep. They sound huge, and though I prefer a more raw Queens, these recordings are still very impressive, and the band sounds great.

The bonus features on the DVD contain live performances from years previous, most too grainy to ever be considered for inclusion on an official release, but perfect as add-ons here. Seeing the earliest version of the band do "Mexicola" and "The Bronze" at some outdoor show in front of like a hundred people is awesome. And the Rated R-era stuff is gold, too.

There's too much stuff on this thing to list, really. There's also a bunch of hidden features that I haven't even ever checked out, because by the time I watch the main feature, the bonus features, and listen to the CD, I'm Queensed out. But I might get to it soon. I'm enjoying it pretty hard right now.

Might be worth mentioning here that the only time I've seen Queens of the Stone Age live was right around this same time - actually about two months before this package was released. In September of 2005 I saw Nine Inch Nails at the Rose Garden in Portland, just so I could see Queens of the Stone Age, after many flubbed opportunities to see them previously. The venue wasn't ideal, but the band put on a great show. I remember Josh Homme saying, "Hey, we're Queens of the Stone Age and we're really fucking drunk." And then he proceeded to shred for like 55 minutes. Think he was wearing white boots, too, which I thought was stupid. Also, he clowned some guy in the crowd hard, making a joke about how the guy can't help but piss on his balls because his dick's so small. Or something like that. It was all very Rock & Roll.

And then Trent Reznor came out and I felt like a choad for being there.

My point: Queens of the Stone Age are a sweet live band, and this is an awesome representation of that.

"The Fun Machine Took a Shit and Died"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Queens of the Stone Age - Lullabies to Paralyze (CD, 2005)

While this is definitely my least favorite Queens of the Stone Age record (and the one with the hokiest title), given their previous output, it's not shocking that they couldn't - in my mind at least - find a way to top their first three insanely good records. And don't get me wrong: this isn't a bad group of songs, by any means. It's just cursed by being preceded by three albums that were very, very strong.

Maybe it has something to do with the departure of Nick Oliveri, or the fact that Homme, aside from a few vocal turns by Mark Lanegan, is playing with an entirely new group of dudes. It doesn't make for an awkward sound, but the focus on trying to be dark and devious is a little too pronounced in parts. The 1-2 combo of a pair of seven-minute songs, "Someone's in the Wolf" and "The Blood is Love," right in the middle of the record, is a bold move, and one that usually finds me zoning out. The tracks fit the atmospherics laid out by the creepy blues of the awesome "Burn the Witch" and the steady stomp of the great "I Never Came," but they just don't pack the same oomph.

But plenty of the other songs do. "Tangled Up in Plaid" is huge, and "Everybody Knows That You Are Insane" is a fantastic track to follow the two two-minute pre-thoughts that kick off the record. "Little Sister," the first single from this album, isn't as immediately catchy as some of their other lead singles, but its grittiness and speed are sweet. "In My Head" was never one of my favorite Queens songs, but it works as a single, and I definitely don't dislike it.

Along with the two seven-minute songs I mentioned earlier, the tail end of the album drags a little bit, with "Skin on Skin" and "Broken Box" sounding slightly b-side-ish. But "You've Got a Killer Scene There, Man..." and "Long Slow Goodbye" end things on a solid note, with some of the more sparse and groove-y material on the record.

So, like I said, definitely not a bad record. In fact, it's a pretty damn good record. But it does sound a bit like a band trying to figure out where they're going next, and I guess that makes sense. Part of me misses Oliveri and his wild vocals, but part of me also enjoys the mostly Homme-fronted version of the band, because it seems more steady. Which is something the Queens hadn't been before. And that, somehow, makes this album their weirdest one.

"Burn the Witch"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Guest Post - I Went to a Show: Eddie Spaghetti at The Club Congress in Tucson (Mar. 11, 2011)

(Ed. note: This is Stallion Alert's first-ever guest post, provided by my brother/frequent commenter, Pocaroba. I sent him out on assignment, and hot damn: he delivered. My thanks to him, and I hope you nerds enjoy his Special Report, straight from Tucson, AZ, where they don't blink an eye at doing a patio show in March.)

I have been happily following the exploits of Eddie Spaghetti since I was a 13 year old who was obsessed with the NW music explosion that was happening around me in Oregon back in 1991. Back then he was the fearless leaders of the Supersuckers, the world's greatest rock n roll band (or whatever). Nowadays he seems to be splitting time between the Supersuckers and his more country-flavored solo work. It was this solo work that he brought to the Club Congress here in Tucson this past Friday night. I have been a fan of Spaghetti's for so long that he has entered into a rare stratosphere in my mind. Like Ice Cube or Mike Patton, Spaghetti will always be a supreme stallion to me, no matter what decisions he's made in his late career (like covering "Hey Ya"). Like the other aforementioned musicians, I'm just happy he's still making music. Now, to the show.

The wife and I arrived at about 6:45 in anticipation of the 7:00 start time. The Club Congress is an old hotel in downtown Tucson that has a stage, a couple restaurants and a patio area out back. Its claim to fame is that Dillinger hid out there at the height of his infamy. We sat in the outdoor portion of one of the restaurants since Eddie was going to be playing in the outdoor patio area. He was milling about and seemed to be catching up with old friends. I assumed this since Tucson is his hometown. The crowd seemed to be an odd mix. I was surprised by the sheer lack of fanboys. I only saw a couple of Supersucker shirts. A good portion of the crowd seemed to be in their late 40s-early 50s. There were parents there with their children, a small faction of buzzards, and some people that seemed to be there since they happened to be staying at the hotel. Altogether I would say that there were about 75 people there, not the crowd I was expecting for a free show in his hometown on a Friday. Whatever. I was still super stoked, especially when I realized that this was the first show I have been to in Tucson. It only took me four years.

As the night progressed it became apparent that the show was not going to start on time. After an hour and fifteen minutes, a couple of fancy cocktails (my Old Fashioned had a sphere of ice in it) Eddie finally took the "stage" at 8:00. He was accompanied by new Supersuckers guitarist "Metal" Marty Chandler and the duo kicked it off with some material from the new album. It sounded fine enough and made me feel better about my pre-arranged plan to buy his new vinyl. Eddie seemed in OK spirits but was not as chatty as I have seen him in the past and seemed to not really be all too thrilled to be in Tucson. The first non-solo song he played was "Roadworn and Weary," which he said his dad always tells him is the best song he's ever written. He also made sure to mention that his dad lived 20 minutes away but "I guess is too busy to come down and see his son play." Things like this and old cronies chatting him up earlier in the evening may have led to his less than outgoing attitude.

Later he played "Creepy Jackalope Eye," "Supersucker Drive-By Blues," and "Sail On," which he said was "the best divorce song that Nicole Richie's dad ever sang." So there you go. Later into the set he took a couple requests ("Sail On" was actually a request). I considered yelling out "17 Poles," my long-time favorite Supersuckers song, but resisted. I didn't think he would bust it out and besides, who am I to tell Eddie Spaghetti what to do? Literally five minutes after relaying this information to my wife he announced that he was going to play some Tucson-themed songs. He told the story behind "17 Poles," apparently past Houghton and 22nd Ave, and launched into 2 minutes of pure stallionism. I would kill for an acoustic version of that one. He then played "Going Back to Tucson," which if anything, must have been confusing for the less-knowledgeable members of the crowd. Here you are expecting a fun romp about partying in your home town and what you get is a depressing tune about "where it all went wrong." I dug it, though.

Close to the end he busted out perhaps my least favorite song of his, "Killer Weed" ("Breakin' Honey's Heart" gives it a run for it's money"). I have no problem with songs about weed (well okay, maybe I kind of do) but this tune has just never done it for me. He managed to get the crowd singing along which just further proves that I am in the minority when it comes to disliking cliched odes to weed. The night came to a close with the standard "Born With A Tail" closer. After four fancy cocktails (and some terrific fancy nachos) and an hour of Spaghetti, our evening out came to a close. I finished off the night by approaching the merch table, cash in hand, where the man himself was manning the table. He brought a dude with him who was selling stuff during the show but apparently he bailed the moment Eddie got done. Or something. Anyways, when we approached there was some lady talking to him, showing him texts or something on her phone, and all we heard him say was "it's water under the bridge." He looked clearly uncomfortable with the situation. Things like that would make me not really want to play in my hometown, too. I have never spoken to Eddie before and was a little surprised at just how nervous I got at the last second. I ended up being reduced to a fawning fanboy. As I was buying the record and a shirt with his face on it all I could get out was "17 Poles is like, my favorite song of yours. I'm like, so excited that you played it. Thank you for coming." And then I quickly retreated, ashamed at my lameness. The woman had not warmed him up and he was cordial but didn't really seem into talking. So yeah, I wimped out. Did I get a picture of me with him? An autograph? Of course not. That would have made too much sense.

All in all, it was a super fun night. It was solid mix of new songs and old and it was cool to see him in such a different environment, acoustic outside of a restaurant instead of all amped-up on a stage in a crowded club. I realized it was my wife's first time seeing him live when she asked questions like, "Why is he wearing his sunglasses at night?" and "What's up with the cha cha cha thing?" That's just part of the show, girl. Go with it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf (CD, 2002)

This album is a beast.

In my heart of hearts, I'll always be a Rated R man, but I enjoy the shit out of this record almost as much. If it weren't for the 60-minute running time and the radio DJ intermissions that don't accomplish much aside from interrupting the flow of the album, I think they'd be in a dead heat. But, it's not a competition. And when this thing came out, I listened to it a lot. Maybe not quite as much as Rated R, but pretty darn close. So it's safe to say I love it.

I was hotly anticipating the new Queens of the Stone Age record after my year-long obsession with their major-label debut, and when I heard that Dave Grohl was joining the band on drums, I got even more excited. This was still back when you didn't hear an album until you actually bough the CD and took it home, and I'm almost positive I bought this the day it came out. I still have my copy, the special edition (probably limited to a million) with the bonus DVD of live clips and band-shot studio footage.

I don't know why I get such a boner from watching Dave Grohl play drums with this band, but I really do get a rise out of it. I've gotta say: of all the incarnations of QOTSA, the combo of Homme, Oliveri, Grohl, and sometimes Lanegan is my all-time favorite. Watch this vid and tell me that seeing Grohl punish the bejeezus out of his drums isn't awe-inspiring. It's brutally sweet. The dude had been fronting Foo Fighters for a while at this point, and you can tell he was juiced up to be back behind the kit. Love it.

The band covers an insane amount of ground over the course of these 14 tracks, and the fact that a lot of folks consider this their signature album doesn't surprise me. In fact, I might agree that it represents their body of work better than any other single record in their catalog does. And Homme has never sounded sharper as a vocalist. On songs like "The Sky is Fallin'" and "Do it Again," he's a force, sounding both incredibly confident and able to match sounds with the ridiculously huge guitar.

Oliveri's vocal performances on this record are insane as well. Dude handles lead vox on four tracks, wails like a maniac, and adds an element of chaos to the album that neither Homme or Lanegan even bother to try to compete with. This would be the last Queens LP that Oliveri would appear on, and while I don't think the band has necessarily gotten worse since he left, the diversity that he brought as a vocalist and a songwriter is definitely missed. But that's the way it goes.

Really wish I would have bought this on vinyl the few times I saw it. Now I'm going to have to shell out 80 bucks on eBay at some point, and I'm not looking forward to that. But this is such a crazy-good record, that in a way, it'll be worth it.

"Go With the Flow"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Queens of the Stone Age - Rated R (CD, 2000)

This is the record that introduced me to Queens of the Stone Age, and it'll probably always be my favorite. I've listened to it hundreds of times, and though I don't rock it as regularly as I did in years past, I never have any trouble coming back to it.

One of my friends turned me onto this record when it came out, bugging me to listen to it. He failed to mention that it was the guys from Kyuss, and I had yet to figure that out on my own. I thought the band name sounded sort of meat-headed, and the first time I heard "Feel Good Hit of the Summer," its only lyrics being "Nicotine, valium, Vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol...c-c-c-cocaine!," I hated it. But when "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret" kicked in, I changed my tune. And after the album sucked me in and took me over, "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" had a context, and it all made sense to me. And I loved it.

I remember reading an interview with Josh Homme about the recording of this record where he said he was inspired by the concept behind The Stooges' Fun House. There were only seven songs on that LP, but those songs were flawless. He wanted to do the same thing. Maybe there wouldn't be a ton of tracks on the album (there are 11 on Rated R) but each one would be worked on until it was perfect. (I'm totally paraphrasing a memory from a decade ago here, so this could be way off. But you get the point.)

The dude pulled it off. There's no fluff on this record. (Unless you want to count the horn loopage that closes out the record's final track, "I Think I Lost My Headache," but I'd still argue that that's not wasting space.) Every song is carefully structured, brilliantly sequenced in the LP's running order, and produced meticulously. And the variance in sound is staggering when compared to their first release. A song like "Better Living Through Chemistry," my favorite cut on Rated R, is proof positive of how far Homme and Nick Oliveri had come as musicians and songwriters. There's hand-drum percussion, like eight different parts, and sparse lyrics that are vaguely druggy but not in an over-the-top cornball way. It's just a fantastic song.

And while that acts as the core to this LP, it's just part of an incredible whole. Tracks like "Leg of Lamb," "Auto Pilot," and "In the Fade" (featuring a lead vocal assist from Mark Lanegan), are stellar, and all house completely unique vibes. Homme had clearly taken things to new level by this point, with any shyness he was previously harboring disappearing, never to show up again. And he was just getting started.

If you don't own this record, you are a sucker.

"Feel Good Hit of the Summer"

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Queens of the Stone Age/Beaver - The Split CD (CD, 1998)

There's conflicting information on the web as to whether this came out before or after Queens of the Stone Age, and though I'm actually inclined to believe that it was released previous to their debut, I somehow didn't put that together yesterday, so it's here today. If it is chronologically off, it's not by much. So there you go.

I bought this around the same time (possibly even the same day) that I picked up up the Queens' debut, and I'm glad I did. This CD has become impossible to find, and since it's only got two QOTSA songs on it - with one of those being an instrumental - I wouldn't be looking to shell out serious dough for it. (The last copy I saw on eBay went for $60. Yikes.) But I do love having it. There's a 10" version that I would love to have more, but that thing's even more in demand. Collecting Queens of the Stone Age vinyl is an expensive habit. Check completed eBay listings sometime. It's nuts. But I'm getting off track here...

Not a ton to say about this one, though. The Queens songs are "The Bronze," a badass three-and-a-half minute rocker that would have fit in perfectly on their debut, and the wonderfully titled "These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For," a loopy instrumental that gets a little nutso in parts, but mostly sounds like a slightly refined jam. Cool song, though.

The two Beaver songs make nice companions for the Queens tracks, as they're equally thick and a little more sprawling.

Also: came across an article that was published today, featuring Josh Homme talking about what went into Queens of the Stone Age. Good read. Check it out.

"The Bronze"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Queens of the Stone Age - Queens of the Stone Age (CD, LP, 1998)

How cosmic that I would end up writing the entry for this album on the same day it was reissued. It's also probably the same day that my CD copy of this record went from being worth $40 on eBay to being worth a buck. This disc's been out of print for a long-ass time, and folks have been internet-clamoring for it for a while. Always thought about selling my copy, but my LP, like my Kyuss/QOTSA split, is a confirmed (yet nicely-made) bootleg, so I guess the thought of not having a legit copy left a bad taste in my mouth.

But that's me: I'm a Queens purist.

Truth be told, I don't mind owning two copies of this album, because it is awesome. Part Kyuss and part something totally brand-new, this record is riff-rock at its finest, even if the production value sludges some of it together in parts. Eh, it really doesn't matter. The bass and drums are huge, and Homme's songwriting is - while in retrospect not fully realized - badass. Tracks like "Mexicola" and "You Can't Quit Me Baby" are rumblers, with thick-ass basslines that lay the foundation for Homme's huge leads and oft-hypnotic noodling.

I bought this CD after hearing (and becoming obsessed with) 2000's Rated R, and honestly, I figured it'd be their "finding their sound" record. Instead, it's pretty much QOTSA right out the gate, with songs like "Regular John" and "You Would Know" sounding like the Queens of two years in the future.

I'm hoping now that this thing's being reissued that it'll get the respect it deserves. I don't think it's underrated, by any means; I just think a lot of people don't associate it with the band as much as their major-label stuff. And while that's understandable, it's a shame. Because while I don't think this record is quite as strong as Rated R, I wouldn't scoff at you if you told me you thought it was. If that makes sense.

I probably won't get the reissue, because I've got the bonus tracks on other releases, but who knows. If they put it out on vinyl, I might pick it up. As sweet as my red vinyl bootleg is, I hate that it's not legit. Yet I still have it... Huh.

"Give the Mule What He Wants"

Monday, March 7, 2011

Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age - Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age (CD, LP, 1997)

I've got this one filed under Queens of the Stone Age in my collection, so I guess that's why I'm writing it up here instead of having done it when we covered the few Kyuss albums I own. As you probably know, a few of the dudes from Kyuss (Josh Homme and Alfredo Hernández) formed Queens of the Stone Age after Kyuss broke up, and if there's ever been a transitional album, this would be it.

In fact, does anyone know of another album like this? Where the old band does a split with the new band that the main guy goes on to form, essentially ending the first band and beginning the new one? There's gotta be a few more, but I can't think of any.

This six-song EP features three tracks from each band, with Kyuss offering up two eight-minute bruisers (a cover of Black Sabbath's "Into the Void," and the original "Fatso Forgotso"), as well as a comparably ultra-brief, two-minute, fast-tempoed (for them) jam ("Fatso Forgotso Phase II") that closes out their side. While not their strongest songs, the tracks are vintage Kyuss: lo-fi, brutally dense, and aiming to pound your skull in.

The QOTSA side is, as far as I know, the earliest recorded work from the band. Homme, though not a veteran behind the mic at this point, sings pretty well (even though his vocals are buried in the mix) on the catchy opener, "If Only Everything," and even better on the more Kyuss-ish "Born to Hula," which is probably the best song on this disc. Both of these tracks would get re-recorded, with "If Only Everything" abbreviated to "If Only" and released on the band's self-titled debut, and "Born to Hula" redone sometime around Rated R, where it shows up as a b-side on a single. The later versions are probably technically "better," but these originals still hold up.

The Queens' side finishes up with "Spiders and Vinegaroons," a six-and-a-half minute clappy noodler that foreshadows some of the darker elements the band would eventually embrace and become known for. It's a badass song, but lengthy and vocal-less. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I have this on CD and LP, though I think my CD is a 2000 reissue and I'm fairly certain my LP's a bootleg. So that kind of sucks. I was at the record store like, "Whoah! I didn't even know they put this out on vinyl!" That's because they didn't, idiot. I've learned to never make purchases like that without consulting my iPhone. Looks legit, though, so I don't really care.

Oh, and get ready for Queens of the Stone Age week!

"Born to Hula"

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Quasimoto - The Further Adventures of Lord Quas (CD, 2005)

I found this CD used after getting deep into Quas's first one, and did not hesitate to give it a shot.

Though it was released five years after The Unseen, it basically picks up the flow of that one and keeps going, though the production quality seems to have increased a bit. The beats are still sample-heavy as all get-out, but the helium vocal style isn't quite as dominating a presence. But it's still there. This is another long-ass album, at 26 tracks and over an hour of music, and it's noticeably denser than his debut.

I don't know for a fact that stoners love Quasimoto, but it would shock me if they didn't. (Quas is a shameless weedhead: the song "Greenery" leaves no doubt about that.) These records are so random, so long, and so filled with off-the-wall chopped-up bits and pieces, that it strikes me as a bong-hitter's dream. And while that would often be an insult, in this case, it's a compliment. I've listened to this record many times, and I still hear new slices and dices when it comes through the shuffle on the iPod.

Speaking of that - and this is totally not worth mentioning but I'm doing it anyway - my iPod loves Quasimoto. You know how sometimes your iPod will just latch onto an album or an artist and seem to play them more than anything else in your library? My iPod serves up Lord Quas more than anything. And that actually ends up being cool, because as much as I love the dude's music, I've found that I prefer it in small doses: over an hour can be a bit taxing.

But don't let me dissuade you: if you come across any Quas on the cheap, I say go for it.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Quasimoto - The Unseen (CD, 2000)

I have a random memory of my brother telling me, probably seven years ago, that our friend Matt Fargo wouldn't stop talking about this rapper called Quasimoto. That he was Matt's favorite rapper, and that he couldn't stop listening to him. Matt's tastes were mostly to be trusted, but though the name sounded familiar to me, I didn't think much of it.

A few years later I came across this CD in a used bin, remembered the second-hand recommendation, and scooped it up. When I heard Lord Quas, I wasn't too surprised that Fargo had dug it so much.

Madlib supposedly created the alter ego of Quasimoto (and this record) during a week-long 'shrooms binge, but stories like that, while cool to reference, are most often apocryphal. I've never met anyone who got anything accomplished while on mushrooms, let alone a 24-track LP that received notable critical acclaim. But this album is weird as shit, so who knows what street pharmaceuticals were consumed during its creation. And who cares.

Trying to explain what Quasimoto sounds like is a bit difficult, but "lo-fi, sample-heavy beats with helium vocals" is probably a start. Sound a bit precious? It kind of is, but it's mostly awesome. I didn't expect to enjoy this record much (I don't know what other Madlib stuff I've even heard), but it's held a spot on my iPod for years, and it's going to stay there. It's just so odd and unlike anything else I own, that I keep sticking with it. And as a whole, the record flows brilliantly.

It's probably not for everyone, but I've grown to love it.

"Come On Feet"

Friday, March 4, 2011

700th Post: My Record Collection Has Never Been So Stallionistic.

Before we get into the usual breakdown, I wanted to mention that I finally made it to Portland's sort-of-new 99 Cent Records today, after months of not making it happen. Among other gems (including Naughty By Nature's first LP), I found the Stallion record that you see up top there, which I've been on the lookout for ever since I found the first Stallion LP a few years ago.

Don't let the name fool you: not all of their records sell for 99 cents. But a lot of them do. The Stallion record cost me three bucks, which I was happy to pay. Anyway, just wanted to say that it's a cool place worth checking out, and the guy who runs it was super nice. I'll be going back soon.

Now, on to the stats!

The past and current numbers breakdown, as it relates to CDs vs. vinyl:

At my 200th post, the score was 116-84; roughly 58% CDs to 42% vinyl.

By my 300th post, it was 179-112; about 61% to 39%.

At post 400, it was 217-156, which sent it back to 58% CDs and 42% vinyl.

At the ever-impressive 500th post, the tally was CDs: 250, LPs: 211. That breaks down to 54% CDs, 46% vinyl.

When we reached the 600th post, vinyl had finally overtaken CDs, by a score of 272-266, or 51% LPs, 49% CDs.

Since then, things have remained about the same, with vinyl gaining a little bit more, thanks to me replacing more of my CDs and going back and adjusting the entries. (Yes, I'm meticulous with this shit.)

The score as we sit right now is 311-302, keeping things at 51%-49% ratio with, as I said, LPs leading the charge.

I know that I own about 700 LPs, so we're still not even halfway done, even though the alphabet would suggest otherwise. The S's are going to take three months, methinks. Minimum.

Categories have remained basically the same, though 2000's hip hop has now over taken 2000's rock for the coveted third spot. And, we've got a new one: 2010's rock! Look for more from this decade in the future.

And thanks for reading again. You know how I have to take breaks from this thing here and there to reinvigorate myself. I'm feeling pretty good about it right now, so keep checking back. Now on to the Q's!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Music Review: Eddie Spaghetti - Sundowner (LP, 2011)

Welcome to a new feature on Stallion Alert, where I'll be reviewing new albums that I've purchased. Think I've done this before, but I never bothered to title is as such. So from here on out, I'll do my best to write up the newly-released LPs and CDs that I've picked up, and add 'em to this new category. Here we go.

This is the third solo LP from the Supersuckers' Eddie Spaghetti, and the first to not see release on the Supersuckers' (now defunct) Mid-Fi label. I didn't expect the label situation to change anything, and it hasn't. This picks up where Old No. 2 left off, which picked up where The Sauce left off: with Eddie doing mostly-acoustic versions of some of his favorite songs, along with a few originals. It's a formula that I think works really well, so if he's not looking to fix what ain't broke, I don't see a damn thing wrong with that.

I picked up the LP version of this, which has 12 songs on it, but comes with a download card for a 14-track digital version that includes two bonus tracks. I'll get to those. But I wanted to mention the LP, because it's pretty sweet. Thick vinyl, nice album art, limited edition of 1000, and, like I said, comes with extra tracks. And they're not trying to gouge you on the price. Which is very cool.

I've been listening to this record fairly steady for a few weeks now, and I've really been enjoying it. Eddie's two originals, the title track and the opener, "Never Thought I Would," are strong, and hold up nicely next to the random selection of covers. He also reworks the Supersuckers track "Marie" towards the end of the record, and while it's nice to hear an acoustic studio version of the song (he plays it live solo quite a bit, and it's on at least one recording), it sort of feels like filler. But it's such a good song that it doesn't really hinder the overall feel of the album.

So, what does? A few things. His cover of Willie Nelson's "Always On My Mind" is certainly heartfelt, but its slow tempo threatens to derail the peppy feel of the LP, especially since it's sandwiched between the rousing "Sundowner" and the awesome (and upbeat) cover of the Lee Harvey Oswald Band's "Jesus Never Lived on Mars." And while his choices for covers are almost always semi-obscure, this one strikes me as a little too middle-of-the-road. But he's a huge Willie fan, so it adds up on that level.

He also includes a song by his pre-teen son, a brief number that closes out the album, called "When Do I Go?" Now, I don't want to sound like a jerk here, because it really is a touching gesture, but I honestly don't understand who this is for, aside from the people who did it and their immediate families. I felt the same way when Big Boi put his toddlers on Outkast records. I'm not trying to be snarky. I just really don't see the purpose of it.

Other than that, this thing is a good time. While his cover of the Dwarves' "Everybody's Girl" isn't quite as awesome as the Junkyard Dogs' cover of "Drugstore," it is still plenty sweet. There's also a Steve Earle track ("If You Fall in Love"), a Johnny Cash tune ("What Do I Care?"), and a Del Reeves classic ("Girl on the Billboard"). All solid.

The bonus tracks live up to their name. Eddie's been doing Thelonious Monster's "Sammy Hagar Weekend" live for a while now, and I was excited to see that it was one of the extra tunes included with the LP purchase. But it was the other one that really caught me off guard: a country-twang version of Prince's "Delirious" with reverbed-out vocals that is cool as shit. Both tracks could have easily made it onto the LP proper. And that's how they'll be sequenced on my iPod.

You can download "Never Thought I Would" here, and if you like it, you should buy this thing.

"Everybody's Girl"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Public Enemy featuring Paris - Rebirth of a Nation (2xLP, 2006)

I bought this album on CD shortly after it was released, and then somehow managed to find a used copy of the vinyl last year. I'm not sure if I'd call this album underrated, because I get the vibe that the reviews were positive, but it may not get the appreciation it deserves. Of course, I'm a big-time Paris fan, so maybe my opinion is a little skewed. But I don't think so. I really just think this is just a pretty darn good group of songs

Hearing Paris, Public Enemy, and MC Ren all on one song (the badass opener, "Raw Shit") was something I never even considered, and the track, as random as the lineup is, delivers. Ren still has one of the coolest voices in rap, and when he gets serious, he sounds like he means it. I can dig that. But shit really gets bumping with the second cut, the electric guitar-heavy "Hard Rhymin'." This is where the collabo really starts to make sense: it sounds like Chuck D rapping over a classic Paris beat.

Flavor Flav goes buckwild on the fun-as-shit "They Call Me Flava" later on the record, and by that time, after hearing serious shit from Dead Prez and Professor Griff, it's a nice break. It's those same songs (much like any record that either of these artists have recorded in the past) that might turn some people off to this. The tracks are very pro-black (their words, not mine), very angry, and very serious.

But to me, the content often takes a backseat to sweet beats, hard-ass flows, and just really good songs. And I can't argue with that.

"Raw Shit"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Public Enemy - He Got Game (CD, 1998)

Sometimes you find a Public Enemy CD in a dollar bin, and when you see that it has Masta Killa on it, you buy it.

After hearing the "For What Its Worth"-biting title track (or maybe seeing the video) when this came out, I didn't have much desire to hear this record. I always thought that beat was insipid and lazy beyond all measure, and coming from PE it seemed way worse. If they were trying to make a cash run, I guess I can't fault them for that, but still: it just didn't seem like something they should be doing.

Turns out that's one of the weaker tracks on this record, and the rest of it, while not mind-blowing, isn't too bad. The track with Masta Killa ("Resurrection") was dark, fluid beat, and even though Masta sounds like he's rapping through a telephone, hearing him and Flavor Flav on the same song is bizarrely cool. Some of the songs on here must be movie-specific, because otherwise I can't make any sense of the mess that is "Shake Your Booty."

This album came out around the time that PE was clearly having trouble finding their place in modern music, and you can hear some of that, but this thing's definitely not an awkward stinker. But do I listen to it all the time? Nah. But I should probably get to know it better than I do. My Public Enemy game just ain't what it should be, I'm afraid.

"He Got Game"