DJ Shadow - All Basses Covered (The Infamous South Beach Set, December 2012)
A few weeks before the New Year rang in, turntable/production pioneer DJ Shadow was cut short while behind the decks at Miami’s Mansion nightclub for being, as Shadow put it, “too future.” Now, the veteran jock has made the infringing set available for all to hear. As it turns out, what was “too future” for Mansion is in fact a genre-hopping mix of modern hip-hop, trap, Miami bass, and even a bit of footwork, all pieced together with Shadow’s signature—and ceaselessly impressive—turntable skills.
All drama aside, this set is overwhelming, in all the right ways.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the passage of time, mostly because I just turned thirty and that is supposed to Mean Something.
One thing that struck me recently is that this year marks the fifteenth anniversary of Radiohead’s OK Computer, which is literally half a lifetime ago.
I can’t quite wrap my head around it.
OK Computer was a complete revelation when I first heard it back in 1997. You could draw a line and separate my experiences with music into the years before and the years after I heard it.
In the years before, I mostly listened to what I heard on the radio or on MTV. My dad had great taste in music, and I followed his cues. I listened to Casey Casum’s Top 40 while mowing the lawn. I enjoyed music, but I never really thought about it that much.
As I grew older, I started slowly branching out and defining my own taste. I made a GeoCities fan site for The Fountains of Wayne after their debut album was released. I distinctly remember buying Beck’s Odelay and REM’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi during a trip to Borders. I heard Ben Folds Five late at night on the radio when I should have been asleep, tracked down a copy of Whatever And Ever Amen at the library and dubbed a copy to casette. On the opposite side of the casette I dubbed London Calling by The Clash. I starting watching 120 Minutes and reading record reviews. I listened to Pavement’s first album, but didn’t quite get it.
OK Computer was different, though. After I bought it, I stuck it in my CD player and didn’t take it out for six months. I listened to that album daily. Sometimes several times a day. Sometimes several times in a row. One time I sat in bed listening to it on repeat and fell asleep with my eyes open.
No other album has ever grabbed me so thoroughly and refused to let go. I listened to that album until the CD was too scratched to play and I had to buy another. I was obsessed with Radiohead. I scoured CD bins for their singles and rarities, and no price was too high for a few tossed-off b-sides. I looked forward to nothing more than the premiere of the newest Radiohead music video.
OK Computer marked my transition from music listener to music lover.
Following Radiohead through all of their ups and downs only broadened and deepened my appreciation of music in general. Their experimentation led to my willingness to experiment and listen to genres of music I never thought I would enjoy. A few years after OK Computer came the advent of file sharing, and my musical tastes exploded in the face of so many options. It only got more eclectic from there.
In fact, I feel certain that my fifteen-year-old self would find some of my current favorite bands unlistenable or bizarre.
Of course, I sometimes wish I could go back to a time when an album could hold my attention for months at a time. Nowadays my attention span is much shorter. No album stays in rotation for very long. I’ve heard so much that it is rare when new music surprises me.
I also no longer feel quite the same way about Radiohead. They’ve made some fantastic music since OK Computer, but they’ve also made some terrible music, and it’s clear they had a hard time following up what is generally considered their masterpiece. To be honest, I rarely listen to them now.
Even still, I feel certain that I will always have a deeply personal connection to OK Computer. Maybe someday I’ll find another piece of music that means as much to me.
I won’t be holding my breath, though.
For now I think I’ll focus on trying not to think about how old I will be when the 25th anniversary rolls around.
I feel like my music collection is stuck in a bit of a rut lately. Nothing I’ve got on the ‘Pod is really catching my fancy and requiring constant listening and re-listening. The only real exception is Black and White Town by Doves, which is an absolutely fantastic song, but I am very much an album listener. I love nothing more than the ebb and flow of a finely crafted long-player. Don’t get me wrong – some great music has been released this year, but all of the albums I have on hand are feeling a bit stale. Any good recommendations?
It’s a bit late, but I’ve decided to finally throw together my “best albums of 2008″ list. I spent too long thinking about it, and then spent some time procrastinating after that, and now it’s March of 2009 and I feel a bit silly. To make up for that, I’ve dug up representative videos for each album, some of them offical and some of them fan made (but interesting). All of these albums are still in heavy rotation on my iPod. 2008 was a good year for music.
2008 was also a good year for buying music on Amazon Mp3, which has become my digital music destination of choice simply because of the daily deals they have. For example, the newest Lily Allen album was $3.99 on the day it came out. I’ve also bought several pretty great albums for $1.99 a pop when they were on sale. Everything in the list below is available on the site, and a decent number of the albums are less than $10 to purchase.
My list and a collection of music videos follows after the jump…
A bit of background: although I enjoy Rilo Kiley’s music, I’ve never been a huge fan. They are a nice little indie band that does quirk and usually does it fairly well. I have several of their albums, but I haven’t listened to them much recently.
The first time I heard their most recent album, “Under the Blacklight“, I was turned off pretty quickly and ended up deleting it from my hard drive. From that first impression, it seemed clear that they had decided to jettison everything intimate and quirky about their sound in an effort to make it big in the mainstream, and I found the results lacking.
As for Jenny Lewis, I enjoyed her first album under her own name, thought it was a nice change of pace, but, again, I didn’t think it was anything earth-shattering. It seemed more like Neko Case-lite with a girl group spin. It’s one of those albums that I appreciate but never listened to that much or that often. However, when her second album, “Acid Tongue“, came out, I listened to a few samples and was immediately hooked. I bought it pretty promptly and it’s not only in heavy rotation, it’s easily one of my most favorite albums of the year.
After listening to Acid Tongue a few dozen times, I started wondering if I had written off Under the Blacklight unfairly, so I decided to give it another spin and see if there were any hidden gems I missed the first time around. To make a long story short, there are definitely some pretty amazing songs on the album, but they’re the exception to the rule. Although my first impression was harsh, it wasn’t too far off base.
The above is a re-enactment of a climactic scene in The Royal Tenenbaums.
There are a number of cool “mix tape” creator websites out there now. The notable few I’ve run across are muxtape.com, mixwit.com, and imeem.com. They’ve all got their own individual strengths… Muxtape works with iPhones, for example, but it seems like iMeem has the best selection, and Mixwit has the most customizable look and feel.
In any case, I’ve thrown together a playlist. The Jim O’Rourke and Pernice Brothers songs were the main inspiration for this mix – I built the rest around that general sound and lyrical tone. Enjoy!
EDIT: A downside of iMeem, apparently, is that some of the songs are shortened to 30 seconds when the playlist is embedded. If you click on the “standalone player” option, or go directly to the page on iMeem… you get the full version. How on earth does that make any sense? Suddenly less impressed with this toy.