Music Nerdery.

I listen to a lot of Music.

Posts Tagged ‘Review

Music Nerdery + Potholes In My Blog = Review: Lupe Fiasco – Lasers.

with 4 comments

While were still working on archiving, I had to stop and post this up for you guys. This one I’m kinda proud of. It just came out right. First time in a long time where it kinda wrote itself.

As always… Glory to Potholes for thinking what I have to say is valid. You can head over there and leave a comment for me and validate my eWritings, you know I’d appreciate it. :)

Um, Yeah.

Lupe Fiasco – Lasers
Atlantic: 2011

Despite what you might have heard, Lasers doesn’t suck in its entirety. It really doesn’t.

But it’s not really that great either.

There are multiple issues that have been consistently plaguing this project from the get-go and unfortunately they are reflected within the music and the album itself.  When the oft-delayed Lasers found its way to the internet about a week before its official release, the initial feedback I was reading wasn’t positive. Perplexing, since the only reason the album was released was due to overwhelming demand from his fan base (via the Internets) after his label delayed the project for a year. Even more confusing is that the album moved 200,000 copies in its first week, regardless of the negative rabble-rousing.

After having a chance to dig into the back history of Lasers and some time to sit with the project and dig into each individual song, I really started to understand the complaints. And most of them are valid. You can start with the obvious influence that his label had in changing this project from an album that Lupe was comfortable with to something that is marketable to the average hip-hop newbie. They seem hell-bent on having Lupe play up the “Hipster Hop™” angle, apparent from the guest appearances on the album (why is MDMA on every other song? No offense) down to the important songs the label purposely left off (when you left off “I’m Beaming”, you lost at music). It looks like the label got their way.

Then there’s Lupe himself and his lyrical content. I’ll be frank: if you are a longtime fan of Lupe, then you’ve already been spoiled, and there might be little on here as far as that classic delivery or content that we’re used to.  This isn’t the same verbose and lyrically complex Lupe Fiasco of 2005 mixtape fame. It’s not even Food And Liquor Lupe. And as a result… people are a bit disappointed; myself included.  In the past, Lupe has spent an entire song describing how “they” want him to “Dumb It Down” then proceeds to deliver verses and records that aren’t up to par with previous works, which seem worded to make it a bit easier for the masses to understand. Throw that against beats that normally would not qualify as “hip-hop” music and what you have is a bunch of mad fanboys out there.

Despite these failures, the album still has some moments of glory. “The Show Goes On” is a flawless example of this indie | hipster meets hip-hop meld that’s becoming more prevalent, and is the preferred (forced?) single from the reformatted, label-cleared album. I’m actually quite fond of this song and the Modest Mouse original it came from, “Float On”. “All Black Everything” is the only track where Lupe seems to be in old form; with those historically vivid, politically fundamental punch lines that we all know and love (“Everybody’s rappin like crack never happened”). From there, most of the songs were a bit too entrenched in hipster-sounding music, or the lyrical content was such that I just… couldn’t care. (“State Run Radio”…WTF. I just don’t know. And I really tried.)

In a perfect world, Lupe would have had more control over Lasers. Important singles and their videos would have been pressed and marketed correctly, and it actually would have sounded like hip-hop music. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. Or album. For the outsider who has never listened to Lupe before, or for those who are new to hip-hop… this might be a great starter album for you. But for those who already know the history of Lupe Fiasco and his high lyrical standards, or those who are keen on hip-hop, you might just want to pass. For now, I’ll be over here, patiently waiting for Lupe’s return to complex, thought-provoking rhymes. I’m sure it won’t take long.

______

So. How’d that sound? I think  I got my point across, save some thoughts. Hipster Hop. Trademarked. Patent Pending. (lolz.)

Leave a comment SOMEWHERE, pray for this archival to wrap itself up, and Enjoy Kids.

 

Music Nerdery + Potholes In My Blog = Review: Lupe Fiasco – Lasers.

with 5 comments

While were still working on archiving, I had to stop and post this up for you guys. This one I’m kinda proud of. It just came out right. First time in a long time where it kinda wrote itself.

As always… Glory to Potholes for thinking what I have to say is valid. You can head over there and leave a comment for me and validate my eWritings, you know I’d appreciate it. :)

Um, Yeah.

Lupe Fiasco – Lasers
Atlantic: 2011

Despite what you might have heard, Lasers doesn’t suck in its entirety. It really doesn’t.

But it’s not really that great either.

There are multiple issues that have been consistently plaguing this project from the get-go and unfortunately they are reflected within the music and the album itself. When the oft-delayed Lasers found its way to the internet about a week before its official release, the initial feedback I was reading wasn’t positive. Perplexing, since the only reason the album was released was due to overwhelming demand from his fan base (via the Internets) after his label delayed the project for a year. Even more confusing is that the album moved 200,000 copies in its first week, regardless of the negative rabble-rousing.

After having a chance to dig into the back history of Lasers and some time to sit with the project and dig into each individual song, I really started to understand the complaints. And most of them are valid. You can start with the obvious influence that his label had in changing this project from an album that Lupe was comfortable with to something that is marketable to the average hip-hop newbie. They seem hell-bent on having Lupe play up the “Hipster Hop™” angle, apparent from the guest appearances on the album (why is MDMA on every other song? No offense) down to the important songs the label purposely left off (when you left off “I’m Beaming”, you lost at music). It looks like the label got their way.

Then there’s Lupe himself and his lyrical content. I’ll be frank: if you are a longtime fan of Lupe, then you’ve already been spoiled, and there might be little on here as far as that classic delivery or content that we’re used to. This isn’t the same verbose and lyrically complex Lupe Fiasco of 2005 mixtape fame. It’s not even Food And Liquor Lupe. And as a result… people are a bit disappointed; myself included. In the past, Lupe has spent an entire song describing how “they” want him to “Dumb It Down” then proceeds to deliver verses and records that aren’t up to par with previous works, which seem worded to make it a bit easier for the masses to understand. Throw that against beats that normally would not qualify as “hip-hop” music and what you have is a bunch of mad fanboys out there.

Despite these failures, the album still has some moments of glory. “The Show Goes On” is a flawless example of this indie | hipster meets hip-hop meld that’s becoming more prevalent, and is the preferred (forced?) single from the reformatted, label-cleared album. I’m actually quite fond of this song and the Modest Mouse original it came from, “Float On”. “All Black Everything” is the only track where Lupe seems to be in old form; with those historically vivid, politically fundamental punch lines that we all know and love (“Everybody’s rappin like crack never happened”). From there, most of the songs were a bit too entrenched in hipster-sounding music, or the lyrical content was such that I just… couldn’t care. (“State Run Radio”…WTF. I just don’t know. And I really tried.)

In a perfect world, Lupe would have had more control over Lasers. Important singles and their videos would have been pressed and marketed correctly, and it actually would have sounded like hip-hop music. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. Or album. For the outsider who has never listened to Lupe before, or for those who are new to hip-hop… this might be a great starter album for you. But for those who already know the history of Lupe Fiasco and his high lyrical standards, or those who are keen on hip-hop, you might just want to pass. For now, I’ll be over here, patiently waiting for Lupe’s return to complex, thought-provoking rhymes. I’m sure it won’t take long.

______

So. How’d that sound? I think I got my point across, save some thoughts. Hipster Hop. Trademarked. Patent Pending. (lolz.)

Leave a comment SOMEWHERE, pray for this archival to wrap itself up, and Enjoy Kids.

Written by E

March 27, 2011 at 10:19 am

Remember when I was telling you I had a moment in time with Chaka Khan? Well, here’s how that happened.

with 2 comments

Forgive this review; I had writers block for a week after and it came out sounding like a 4th grader wrote it. I think it’s because the Roots BLEW my MIND. But I’m sure you get the gist of it. Support your girl and head over to Potholes In My Blog and leave a comment on how crappy it is, please.

Grammy Jammin.

When it comes to giving some of the greatest live hip-hop concerts around, there are few in the music industry who can do it better than the Legendary Roots Crew. In the process of recording 13 albums over their nearly 20-year-career, they have cemented their reputation as one of the best Hip Hop acts of their generation and one of the best live shows you’ll ever see. So when you give the Roots the resource of being in Los Angeles during Grammy Weekend when almost every major musician you can think of is in town, you know they are going to go as hard as they can.

The Roots at a Grammy Jam is like a normal Roots show on HGH. You never know what or who to expect. With Past guest appearances and performances from Prince and Anita Baker, Fiona Apple’s first appearance after a four-year-hiatus, random and impromptu Black Star sets, and a legendary drum-off battle between Travis Barker and Questlove, this show has elevated this show to a must-attend event among industry insiders, musicians, and music aficionados everywhere.

After several years of great jams at the Key Club on Sunset, they finally outgrew their original space and expanded moved the party up to the Music Box in Hollywood. Great ideal in a wonderful venue, since it gave party goers and musicians much more room to mingle in and party in all around. It was an all around great time for everyone involved, and random celebrity sightings were some of the best to date. Not only did you find yourself rubbing elbows with the likes of David Banner, Fonzworth Bentley, Jaheim, Les Nubians, Spree Wilson, Craig Robinson, and the legendary Booker T, the performance lineup was even better. With appearances by Taj Mahal, Chuck Brown, Betty Wright, a wonderful rendition of “You Got Me” with Black Thought and Estelle on the hook, Too $hort, Lalah Hathaway, Ne-Yo, Ryan Leslie and Melanie Fiona, Marsha Ambrosius, Ana Tijoux, Anthony Hamilton Raheem Devaughn, and Doug E. Fresh, there was no way that you showed up and were not entertained.

The highlight of the night, however? The amazing moment in time I shared with the legendary Chaka Khan. While making a brisk walk to the exit after doing an amazing version of “Sweet Thang” with the Roots, I accidentally ran into Chaka coming back from the bar. I took the opportunity to stop Ms. Khan, looking her directly in the eye and whispering “Thank you; I love you” directly to her. She then took my hand, pulled me close for a hug and whispered “Thank YOU, you’re such a sweet baby” and continued on her way. Those moments right there? Exactly why getting to the Roots Grammy Jam is a MUST every year.

As always, all thanks and glory go to Gingerlynn and her wonderful “Good Time Girl Productions.” One of the best Can’t wait to see what you guys have planned for next year.

Written by E

March 7, 2011 at 10:00 am

Remember when I was telling you I had a moment in time with Chaka Khan? Well, here's how that happened.

leave a comment »

Forgive this review; I had writers block for a week after and it came out sounding like a 4th grader wrote it. I think it’s because the Roots BLEW my MIND. But I’m sure you get the gist of it. Support your girl and head over to Potholes In My Blog and leave a comment on how crappy it is, please.

Grammy Jammin.

When it comes to giving some of the greatest live hip-hop concerts around, there are few in the music industry who can do it better than the Legendary Roots Crew. In the process of recording 13 albums over their nearly 20-year-career, they have cemented their reputation as one of the best Hip Hop acts of their generation and one of the best live shows you’ll ever see. So when you give the Roots the resource of being in Los Angeles during Grammy Weekend when almost every major musician you can think of is in town, you know they are going to go as hard as they can.

The Roots at a Grammy Jam is like a normal Roots show on HGH. You never know what or who to expect. With Past guest appearances and performances from Prince and Anita Baker, Fiona Apple’s first appearance after a four-year-hiatus, random and impromptu Black Star sets, and a legendary drum-off battle between Travis Barker and Questlove, this show has elevated this show to a must-attend event among industry insiders, musicians, and music aficionados everywhere.

After several years of great jams at the Key Club on Sunset, they finally outgrew their original space and expanded moved the party up to the Music Box in Hollywood. Great ideal in a wonderful venue, since it gave party goers and musicians much more room to mingle in and party in all around. It was an all around great time for everyone involved, and random celebrity sightings were some of the best to date. Not only did you find yourself rubbing elbows with the likes of David Banner, Fonzworth Bentley, Jaheim, Les Nubians, Spree Wilson, Craig Robinson, and the legendary Booker T, the performance lineup was even better. With appearances by Taj Mahal, Chuck Brown, Betty Wright, a wonderful rendition of “You Got Me” with Black Thought and Estelle on the hook, Too $hort, Lalah Hathaway, Ne-Yo, Ryan Leslie and Melanie Fiona, Marsha Ambrosius, Ana Tijoux, Anthony Hamilton Raheem Devaughn, and Doug E. Fresh, there was no way that you showed up and were not entertained.

The highlight of the night, however? The amazing moment in time I shared with the legendary Chaka Khan. While making a brisk walk to the exit after doing an amazing version of “Sweet Thang” with the Roots, I accidentally ran into Chaka coming back from the bar. I took the opportunity to stop Ms. Khan, looking her directly in the eye and whispering “Thank you; I love you” directly to her. She then took my hand, pulled me close for a hug and whispered “Thank YOU, you’re such a sweet baby” and continued on her way. Those moments right there? Exactly why getting to the Roots Grammy Jam is a MUST every year.

As always, all thanks and glory go to Gingerlynn and her wonderful “Good Time Girl Productions.” One of the best Can’t wait to see what you guys have planned for next year.

Written by E

March 7, 2011 at 10:00 am

Blood Red Shoes – LA Debut at Bootleg Theatre: 10.18.10.

with 3 comments

Hells Yeah.

This is one of those brief  “I was there” posts. Just to make sure and constantly remind myself of the epic win that was going to this show at the Bootleg Theatre.

Since finding out that BRS was on their way to America about 2 months ago, I’ve been silently geeking out inside with anticipation regarding whether my new favorite band would sound as awesome LIVE as they do On Record. And surely, they made the wishing, waiting and geeking completely worth it. With an awesome opening set from Sky Larkin and Younger Youth…  BRS came through and “Rocked The Fuck Out; British Style” ©Steven.

Despite Laura having the Cold/Flu (hope you got that out your system, ma) and not having their own instruments on them for this tour (renting instruments is cheaper than shipping them all around with you; especially for international acts) they put on an energetic, loud live show, covering some of their best songs from their last two albums.  The sniffles didn’t stop Laura from giving her best vocals, and nothing could stop Steven from drumming so loud and powerful, he almost went through 2 different drumsticks, the last semi-broken one seen above. After the show, Laura hid backstage (understandably) to rest herself and not spread her germs, but Steven came out and was more than gracious to anyone and everyone who waited for him. Overall great experience; Cant wait for them to get back.

For now, go ahead and enjoy the good few shots I could get off my Droid, and if you haven’t, go find their music. Now.

Rock Out.

 

He hit that pose at the beginning of every song. It was awesome.

The setlist. Before I took it from the stage. LoL.

 

Laura is hot. No Lesbo.

 

Enjoy. I did!

Just So Were Clear…. Kaki King US Tour Dates for "Junior."

leave a comment »

Kaki King

You cant say you didn't know now.

So now that you’ve seen her on Fallon, and heard the Rock Awesome that is “Junior,” you should really go see Kaki King Live. Especially while she’s having open dance battles during her 2+ hour sets. Heres an EPIC review on  a show… and why you need to go. It’s guaranteed good times.

Dates and Purchase Tickets:

Apr 28:
Theater of Living Arts
Philadelphia, PA
8 PM

Apr 29:
9:30 Club
Washington, DC
8:30 PM

Apr 30:
Cat’s Cradle
Carrboro, NC
9 PM

May 1:
Variety Playhouse
Atlanta, GA
8:30 PM

May 2:
3rd and Lindsley
Nashville, TN
8 PM

May 4:
Beachland Ballroom
Cleveland, OH
8 PM

May 5:
The Ark
Ann Arbor, MI
8 PM

May 6:
Park West
Chicago, IL
8 PM

May 7:
High Noon Saloon
Madison, WI
10 PM

May 8:
Varsity Theatre
Minneapolis, MN
8 PM

May 9:
The Waiting Room
Omaha, NE
8:30 PM

May 11:
The Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO
9 PM

May 12:
Cervante’s Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO
9 PM

May 14:
Neumo’s
Seattle, WA
9 PM

May 15:
Wonder Ballroom
Portland, OR
9 PM

May 16:
WOW Hall
Eugene, OR
8:30 PM

May 19:
Knitting Factory
Reno, NV
8:30 PM

May 20:
Mystic Theatre
Petaluma, CA
8:30 PM

May 21:
The Fillmore
San Francisco, CA
9 PM

May 22:
El Rey Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
9 PM

May 23:
Belly Up
Solana Beach, CA
9 PM

May 25:
The Glass House
Pomona, CA
9 PM

See you there.

Just So Were Clear…. Kaki King US Tour Dates for “Junior.”

leave a comment »

Kaki King

You cant say you didn't know now.

So now that you’ve seen her on Fallon, and heard the Rock Awesome that is “Junior,” you should really go see Kaki King Live. Especially while she’s having open dance battles during her 2+ hour sets. Heres an EPIC review on  a show… and why you need to go. It’s guaranteed good times.

Dates and Purchase Tickets:

Apr 28:
Theater of Living Arts
Philadelphia, PA
8 PM

Apr 29:
9:30 Club
Washington, DC
8:30 PM

Apr 30:
Cat’s Cradle
Carrboro, NC
9 PM

May 1:
Variety Playhouse
Atlanta, GA
8:30 PM

May 2:
3rd and Lindsley
Nashville, TN
8 PM

May 4:
Beachland Ballroom
Cleveland, OH
8 PM

May 5:
The Ark
Ann Arbor, MI
8 PM

May 6:
Park West
Chicago, IL
8 PM

May 7:
High Noon Saloon
Madison, WI
10 PM

May 8:
Varsity Theatre
Minneapolis, MN
8 PM

May 9:
The Waiting Room
Omaha, NE
8:30 PM

May 11:
The Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO
9 PM

May 12:
Cervante’s Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO
9 PM

May 14:
Neumo’s
Seattle, WA
9 PM

May 15:
Wonder Ballroom
Portland, OR
9 PM

May 16:
WOW Hall
Eugene, OR
8:30 PM

May 19:
Knitting Factory
Reno, NV
8:30 PM

May 20:
Mystic Theatre
Petaluma, CA
8:30 PM

May 21:
The Fillmore
San Francisco, CA
9 PM

May 22:
El Rey Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
9 PM

May 23:
Belly Up
Solana Beach, CA
9 PM

May 25:
The Glass House
Pomona, CA
9 PM

See you there.

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