Hip-hop minded Phoenix readers this past week might have noticed that we got shafted in the year-end issue. While every other genre was allotted space, rap music was nowhere to be found among the other round-ups.It’s all good though, as I’ve done more wrap-up shit this month than ever before. Between THIS PLAY LIST, THIS LOOK at the year in Boston hip-hop, and THIS TIRADE about how Jay-Z can either sink or save boom bap, there’s plenty to digest.
Last month, WFNX invited its listeners to pick the Top 101 Alternative Albums of the Decade. The methodology: throw 400 albums into a random-generating web app, then let listeners pick their favorites in head-to-head battles. It's kind of like a democracy-powered centrifuge: the crowd's favorites rise to the top of the list, like Radiohead, the White Stripes, and MGMT.
The New York Public Library brought
DAVID FRICKE: Looking through the book, particularly that year of 1966, some of the gigs that you ended up playing -- you look at these posters, there's one from September of 66 where you're playing the Chrysler Art Museum in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Which has a nice, tony sound to it.
Take a good long look at Weezy up there, from his farewell gig last night at New Orleans Arena: might be a while before you see him again. DWAYNE CARTER is, as you may recall, due to begin serving a year-long jail sentence, dating back to his 2007 arrest for weapons possession, after the cops pulled over his tour bus.
Image via Constellation Records
The year in high-profile tragedies that was 2009 was not about to go down without taking one more from us. Singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt passed away on Christmas Day after an overdose of pills. Kristin Hersh, a good friend of Chesnutt's, first reported the news on Twitter, calling it a suicide attempt
To hear Steven Tyler's doctor tell it, the Aerosmith frontman's addiction to painkillers has less to do with hard living than with, well . . . old age. Tyler's feet and knees are killing him from years of performance wear-and-tear: the chronic pain is evidently so had that he'll need surgery before getting back in the saddle again.
It dawned on me this morning in the shower - as I was scrubbing off last night - that I've been listening to Wu-Tang for almost 20 years. That might not seem like a big deal to Sting and Aerosmith fans, but in hip-hop that's virtually unmatched longevity.
Raekwon's Paradise performance was hardly one of the most memorable Wu spectacles I've witnessed.
Unless you were hanging out in Allston in the early aughts, chances are you've never heard of OFFICER MAY. Phoenix readers may recall that we fucking loved those guys back in 2003, and have continued to adore pretty much everything that frontman CHRIS WARREN has put out, including his post-OM bands DIRTY HOLIDAY and BEAT AWFULS, a ridculously unsung solo album and not-often-enough releases by his latest band, VIVA VIVA
Jack Younger’s venerable Allston hideaway has given Boston many treats over its 10-year existence (artists from Eli Reed to the Black Clouds to Tulsa to the Tampoffs have tracked there), but A Very Basement 247 Christmas might be his greatest gift yet: a front-to-back album of all-original Christmas music that doesn’t suck reindeer balls.
Back in 1998 -- back before the world had heard a peep from DEVENDRA BANHART, and ANAL CUNT was still the most vicious grindcore band on the planet -- A.C.'s Seth Putnam perpetrated one of the great metal jokes of all time. Rather than follow up with more music to disembowel puppies by, he wrote PICNIC OF LOVE, a note-perfect satire of love songs, soft balladry, folk music -- hell, a satire of the possibility of happiness itself.
Someone's in love with Lady Gaga.
We awoke this morning to new YouTube-age from Ms. Palmer entitled "Gaga, Palmer, Madonna" in which she sings a defense of Lady Gaga that will likely be as good or equal to any of the year-end-list appreciation posts that'll be going around next week. Of course, it's also an excuse to insert herself into the same sentence with a couple of artists who are way out of her league.
It’s amazing how much hate mail I receive accusing me of ignoring local artists. Most hilarious is this ass on Facebook who recently bitched that I “write about the same people over and over.” He might have a solid point, if in the past year alone I didn’t pay significant attention to: Esoteric, Black Madeen, Bad Rabbits, Singapore Kane, Slaine, Boycott Blues, DJ Slim, JDO, M-Dot, Masspike Miles, D-Tension, The Berklee J Dilla Ensemble, Jaysaun, Will C, Amadeus, Rite Hook, WMS the Sultan, GWOP Gang, Wasted Talent, The Dunnas, Dawaun Parker, RADIx, Mr.