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It might be that I'm paying more attention, but 2013 is smoking 2012 for me. I dunno what my #1 is though.

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I disagree with 2013 being weaker than 2012 but of course I would disagree. I'd attribute this to getting more out of rap this year than last year and understanding that the big name big event releases are now more than ever not for me, which in turn lets me move faster on smaller name artists and labels and bounce between new sounds and ideas at a nearly constant rate. My "to listen to" queue only became empty just recently, for maybe half a week, and since then I've finished five more records and have four waiting for me.

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You must enjoy comically bad lyrics and Kanye just outright abandoning the one thing he was actually good at, production.

The bad lyrics really hurt Yeezus, but man, if you don't like the production I just have no idea what to say to that. Only 808s and Heartbreak rivals the production on this album.

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You must enjoy comically bad lyrics and Kanye just outright abandoning the one thing he was actually good at, production.

 

 

Craziness.  I don't know how you could not appreciate the production on 'Yeezus'.  I really don't.  The songs are fucking HUUUUUGE.  Put 'Black Skinhead' on a good sound system or headphones and it's just massive: the thundering drums, galloping beat, and, man...everything.  But, then again, if you love 'MBDTF', then I guess I could understand hating 'Yeezus' from that viewpoint, because it's as diametrically opposed to it as there is.  Where 'MBDTF' was ambitious but radio-friendly, 'Yeezus' is angry, frustrated, abrasive and not interested in radio-play whatsoever.  Even the bad lyrics thing is overblown, sure there are some clunkers ("Keep it 300 like the Romans" and the bit about Asian pussy and S&S are eye-rollers), but there's so much goodness.  "I'm aware I'm a wolf" is just cool.  And I don't think I've heard a sadder Kanye song than 'Hold My Liquor', or the "If you loved me why'd let me go" at the end of 'Guilt Trip'.  

 

But, don't take my word for it, take Lou Reed's.

 

http://thetalkhouse.com/reviews/view/lou-reed

 

 

There are moments of supreme beauty and greatness on this record, and then some of it is the same old shit.  But the guy really, really, really is talented.  He's really trying to raise the bar.  No one's near doing what he's doing, it's not even on the same planet.

 

 

Very often, he'll have this very monotonous section going and then, suddenly —"BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP!" — he disrupts the whole thing and we're on to something new that's absolutely incredible.  That's architecture, that's structure — this guy is seriously smart.  He keeps unbalancing you.  He'll pile on all this sound and then suddenly pull it away, all the way to complete silence, and then there's a scream or a beautiful melody, right there in your face.  That's what I call a sucker punch.

 

 

And it works.  It works because it's beautiful — you either like it or you don't — there's no reason why it's beautiful.  I don't know any musician who sits down and thinks about this.  He feels it, and either it moves you too, or it doesn't, and that's that.  You can analyze it all you want.

 

 

 If you like sound, listen to what he's giving you. Majestic and inspiring.

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Was listening to Pendulum's live brixton set from a couple of years ago.

 

I'm utterly convinced that their music can be converted to be played by a big band.

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I'm split on the production on Yeezus. I think the idea that it's pushing anything forwards is ridiculous, but many of the co-producers (specifically Arca, HudMo/TNGHT, and Gesaffelstein) are artists i respect who are doing what people say Yeezus has done. So is the scene Kanye says to be pulling from, of Chicago house and Juke. So is the new wave of these noise rap acts, like B L A C K I E (who actually got word back from an engineer that kanye was playing his music for inspiration) who's been about this sound since 2008. I'm not sure if he's just trying to compliment all this stuff and it just fails to interface with what he's trying to do lyrically, like it's coming too far to try and establish the same mood. The sound is like the embodiment of the idea of the elite co-opting the culture of the poor, and it just creeps me out.

 

Other minor issues:

-it's kind of frustrating that he debuted the record with these two anti-establishment songs and then the rest of the record is about his sex game actively dehumanizing people. -All the guest spots either end up sabotaged (Frank Ocean) or are just generally godawful (Keef, Assassin, Vernon). Exception granted to Charlie Wilson, and I am kind of eager to hear a Kanye-produced Wilson record which they've been talking about

-And it's not like his production ear's totally gone: Kanye's responsible for a lot of the better beats on Pusha T's record, which I love the hell out of. Yeezus just seems to be made in very ugly, isolated mindset.

-I cannot help but wonder if this is what we all earned for praising My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which I've found to not be aging particularly well (mainly because as I learn more about how to engineer recordings, MBDTF sounds tackier and tackier)

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Oh fuck yes.  P.O.S. side project?  SOLD.

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On the subject of Kanye West, am I the only one who thinks that all of the commentary on his interviews after the fact the exact reason he is upset.  How much of the Kimmel interview focuses on him saying he is a creative genius(he actually is) and not on him talking about the disrespectful way that the paparazzi and media misrepresent him.  It's ironic that the media gets critisized about misrepresenting someone's words and responds by misrepresenting that person's words. 

 

I'm not a fan of Yeezus, but I don't know if it is actually bad.  Pusha T was on the Juan Epstein podcast and they asked whether his new album was something new or just the best version of what rap albums are.  He answered he made the best version of what rap albums currently are.  Kanye West is the exact opposite of Pusha as an artist.  Kanye wants to make a rap album that is something completely new and unique in the realm of rap.  Yeezus doesn't sound like any other rap album, and while I don't like it I do respect what he did with it.  With that said, I think all of the rest of his work is stellar, and at this point he is a top 3 rap producer of all time so he can do whatever he wants. 

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"Yeezus is derivative of all these other artists"

one day passes

"Yeezus doesnt sound like any other rap album"

should i have like included citations or animated gifs or something because what

 

Although you are totally on point with the Kimmel stuff.

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"Yeezus is derivative of all these other artists"

one day passes

"Yeezus doesnt sound like any other rap album"

should i have like included citations or animated gifs or something because what

 

Although you are totally on point with the Kimmel stuff.

Yeezus is the conglomeration of a bunch of different influences, but that is kind of the point. Everything he does is about pushing the boundries of what rap music is further and further.  The derivation of the other artists is kind of what the entire genre of music is about.  My point was more that he is constantly trying to move the culture forward than whether or not Yeezus took something from other artists.  Yeezus is much different from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which is different than Graduation, which is different than 808s and Heartbreak, all of which are different than what was going on in rap at the time.  There were people doing some of the same things, but his ability to see where the culture is moving, pushing it further and doing it better is his greatest contribution as an artist. 

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I was going to just ignore your comments, but since you're so upset about people ignoring them, here we go..

 

I'm split on the production on Yeezus. I think the idea that it's pushing anything forwards is ridiculous,

Why is it ridiculous?  There is nothing out there that really sounds like it, save for some rappers/producers most have never heard of.  Instead of making a collection of bangers and radio hits, he went somewhere really different, so how is that not trying to push anything forward?

 

but many of the co-producers (specifically Arca, HudMo/TNGHT, and Gesaffelstein) are artists i respect who are doing what people say Yeezus has done.

Yeah, but if a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear it?  We're not talking about some producers/underground guys pushing a genre forward, but the biggest rapper in the world taking rap in an entirely different direction than any biggest rapper in the world before him.  I can make a whole rap album using barking dogs as samples, it doesn't mean that anyone other than me and my dog are going to hear it.  It doesn't mean that anyone is going to be inspired by it.  I might have created a different sound, but the genre doesn't move forward because of me.  But when the biggest rapper in the world does something different, even if it was inspired by someone else, it changes things, he pushes the genre forward, because he's capable of changing the genre.  I mean, I'm sure you'd hate someone like Drake, but you can already feel influences by 'Yeezus' on 'Nothing Was the Same', where the songs are long, have surprising breakdowns and different segments, just the way 'Yeezus' did and don't always go for the easy, radio-friendly hook.

 

The sound is like the embodiment of the idea of the elite co-opting the culture of the poor, and it just creeps me out.

Welcome to music! This has been going on forever.

 

-it's kind of frustrating that he debuted the record with these two anti-establishment songs and then the rest of the record is about his sex game actively dehumanizing people.

First off, lyrically, a whole album of anti-establishment would be boring, and would lead to people complaining that he's ripping off Dead Prez or something.  Second of all, you could argue that sonically, the whole album is anti-establishment, the only thing on here that sounds like classic Kanye/radio-friendly Kanye is Bound 2, so that's another way you could argue it's anti-establishment.  And I wouldn't say the rest is about his sex game, and I don't think it's bragging either: it's about loneliness, an inability to settle down, trying to balance a family life with a love of the nightlife, feeling trapped and lost, and heartbreak.  Just because the subject is sex doesn't make it bad, doesn't not make it anti-establishment, either.

 

All the guest spots either end up sabotaged (Frank Ocean) or are just generally godawful (Keef, Assassin, Vernon). Exception granted to Charlie Wilson, and I am kind of eager to hear a Kanye-produced Wilson record which they've been talking about

That's all opinion, and I completely disagree: Ocean's hook is amazing, the Keef/Vernon parts of 'Guilt Trip' are among the more heartbreaking on the album.

 

-I cannot help but wonder if this is what we all earned for praising My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which I've found to not be aging particularly well (mainly because as I learn more about how to engineer recordings, MBDTF sounds tackier and tackier)

Ugh.  This is like saying "I find 'Moby Dick' to be less of a novel since I've been taking night classes of creative writing".

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buhhhhhh.I'll address the person I was actually directing that at and then put the other thing in spoiler tags.

First, I guess "go punctuationless" is not enough of a "I am facetiously incredulous" sign. I just found that sequence of events funny, of saying this one exact thing and then having it totally dropped. No malice in that, nothing other than a slight ribbing. Sorry if it came off as anything but. 

I definitely understand the "pop artist as cultural aggregation" angle, and that's a totally fair counterpoint.  I spend all my time at the other end of that exchange so it gets hard to see the larger payoff sometimes over the initial "well this is obviously this song, this scene beat him to this" sort of reaction. And I think your point about how Kanye is often strategically off point is something I missed. I had this 808s and Heartbreaks comparison lined up, of "this is him pushing things forwards" because the top of the music industry is dominated by guys with that sound right now. It's too early to see if Yeezus has any effect like that. I guess the more interesting point is that it seems like MBDTF didn't have that particular ripple effect. No accounting for that, although it could have something to do with how much of a character study it is versus a thing like 808s. Just a theory, though.

 

 

Okay. Hi caley.

1. It's ridiculous because there is a world outside the mainstream. There are hosts of other people reaching the conclusion he hit on this record. I used more obscure examples because if you went and did rudimentary research it would've been obvious, but since you're looking at a broader picture without doing due dilligence, here's a broader example: Skrillex. In the last few years he broke HUGE on fusing noise with club sounds. But since he's newer, and since he's pushing against the grain, he doesn't have any respect. Kanye has more cache. So at best, Kanye West assumes the role a teacher grading other people's papers, and at worst he's cosplaying Alexander Graham Bell. 

 

2. The issue here is detailed quite wonderfully in the phrase you chose to use. You are fixated on the spectacle and not the reality. See, a tree doesn't just go up and over. Things happen to the tree's roots, the weather around it, the earth underneath it, et cetera. All of this leads to the tree falling, but it's irresponsible to reduce this event to simply "This tree fell." It's certainly very modern to just reduce it to something memetic and clear, but the world simply is not this way. It's downright mean to discredit the people who have produced the inertia and circumstances that allowed Yeezus to happen.

 

2a. It is totally unfeasible that Drake changed large parts of his record's style in three months because Kanye West put out an ugly skronking thing in June. He started making Nothing Was The Same in 2012. 

 

3. Man, no. That's not music, that's industry. There's too much history outside of the existence of "music as mass produced commodity" to even entertain that's "been going on forever." It is a prominent feature of the situation we're alive in, sure, but it's not the whole of it.

 

4, I didn't call for a record of all anti-establishment lyrics. Many albums misrepresent themselves in the run-up to their release, and I was let down to see Kanye fell into the same trap. Also, yes, I agree you could argue those things. Nor is sex bad. The problem is how he invokes sex, as though his desire completely overrides the idea of other consciousnesses existing in an equal measure. "One more fuck and I could own you." Like, I know other lines get thrown around to say the lyricism is bad, and some of them are pretty solid examples, but that line right there is the overriding point of the whole fucking record. It is impossible to consider 

 

5. Those are all opinions too.

 

6. Oh, and then you disrespect me. Neat. I'm self taught musician, learning how to engineer and record. I've written, produced, and released three albums, all of which I have shown on here. But, I'm criticizing a piece of art you like (which is different than criticizing you). So instead of asking "what do you mean," which I clearly would've been glad to explain, you insult me. Alright.

 

Addendum: I'm going to make sure to have a beer tonight for going through three posts about this without invoking the obvious "YEEZUS RIPS _____ OFF" counterpoint that stained the discussion back in June. You will have to fill in the blank, because otherwise I don't get to have the beer.

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buhhhhhh.I'll address the person I was actually directing that at and then put the other thing in spoiler tags.

First, I guess "go punctuationless" is not enough of a "I am facetiously incredulous" sign. I just found that sequence of events funny, of saying this one exact thing and then having it totally dropped. No malice in that, nothing other than a slight ribbing. Sorry if it came off as anything but. 

I definitely understand the "pop artist as cultural aggregation" angle, and that's a totally fair counterpoint.  I spend all my time at the other end of that exchange so it gets hard to see the larger payoff sometimes over the initial "well this is obviously this song, this scene beat him to this" sort of reaction. And I think your point about how Kanye is often strategically off point is something I missed. I had this 808s and Heartbreaks comparison lined up, of "this is him pushing things forwards" because the top of the music industry is dominated by guys with that sound right now. It's too early to see if Yeezus has any effect like that. I guess the more interesting point is that it seems like MBDTF didn't have that particular ripple effect. No accounting for that, although it could have something to do with how much of a character study it is versus a thing like 808s. Just a theory, though.

I honestly don't think it matters if Yeezus changes the direction of the music industry.  I think his point is to try a new style every time and make the absolute best album possible in that style.  808s and Heartbreak was him pushing autotune to a place where other people haven't even tried to reach.  It's such an overtly emotional album, where most autotune continues to be used for club songs.  I would argue that Good Kid m.A.A.d. City is influenced by MBDTF with all the voice changes and the shifts in production.  It is 100% Kendrick, but I don't know if that album sounds like it does if MBDTF doesn't come first.  Hip hop is an artform that is all about using everything that came before as building blocks for the future, and I think Kanye whole life is dedicated to creating new blocks.  I don't know if rap will turn into the strange, industrial, noise rap that is Yeezus, but now all those ideas are in the realm of possibility. 

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It's a good thing all the streams this week are albums I cant vet, because there's something way more important to address

 

Posted Image

 

That right there is a cover to "Not Here/ Not Now" by SWANS.

 

If you want to pre-order the new live CD/fund the upcoming album, you'd better move fast. Note the /2000 in the upper right there.

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Nifty, though sadly this has hit while my bank account is at its nadir, and $45 ain't something I can swing.

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I've watched this 3 times in a row and still can't believe what I am seeing. Probably(hopefully) a career low as far as on stage stuff goes.

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My random music thought is that the new Pearl Jam album is awesome.

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After paying seventy-five bucks a pop for tickets to see Mr. and Mrs. Reznor's side project How To Destroy Angels this past spring, I broke that record by shelling out two C-notes (plus LiveNation vig) so me and my date could stand on the floor of Brooklyn's new Barclays Center to witness Nine Inch Nails proper.

 

I did not regret either purchase.

 

If you have ANY interest in NIN past or present, the current stage production and touring band will shear the top of your head clean off.

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I saw Animal Collective live last night and it was completely bonkers and awesome.  One of the best live shows I've seen in terms of combining music and visuals.

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After paying seventy-five bucks a pop for tickets to see Mr. and Mrs. Reznor's side project How To Destroy Angels this past spring, I broke that record by shelling out two C-notes (plus LiveNation vig) so me and my date could stand on the floor of Brooklyn's new Barclays Center to witness Nine Inch Nails proper.

 

I did not regret either purchase.

 

If you have ANY interest in NIN past or present, the current stage production and touring band will shear the top of your head clean off.

Can never go wrong seeing NIN live.  Wanted to see them here in Denver but the show sold out instantly.

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Can never go wrong seeing NIN live.

 My fear was - after seeing several live streams of the summer festival tour - there'd be no surprises at the Brooklyn show.

 

WRONG.

 

New lighting rig.  New band members: hellOOO, Pino Palladino and backup singers!  New set list (mercy-killing "Closer" in favor of a large swath of HESITATION MARKS? I approve).  First time in concert-going memory I actually banged my head (modestly) in places.

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It is nice to have at least one song that no matter how shitty you feel can always make you feel better. Good thing too since it is said in the song.

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Can never go wrong seeing NIN live.

 My fear was - after seeing several live streams of the summer festival tour - there'd be no surprises at the Brooklyn show.

 

WRONG.

 

New lighting rig.  New band members: hellOOO, Pino Palladino and backup singers!  New set list (mercy-killing "Closer" in favor of a large swath of HESITATION MARKS? I approve).  First time in concert-going memory I actually banged my head (modestly) in places.

 

They cut Closer? Thank god. Now if they just eliminate Hurt from the setlist, I'd be a happy NIN fan. They're in Nashville on Tuesday, but I have to work :(

 

I still have my personalized ticket from the Lights in the Sky tour in 2008. Best show I've ever seen. Only payed like, $45 for it though. That's insane if ticket prices for Reznor's show went up that high.

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Festival Supreme happened today. And with the exception of Adam Sandler, it was awesome.

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