Tag Archives: music

A Music Review

5 Sep

Music review from Trying to be Different magazine:

Corporate Casual Racism by Tumbleweed Jebediah ft. jim.

In the 1890’s, ragtime hit its apex of popularity, moving from shadowy Red Light districts into mainstream success, echoing from wax cylinders and player pianos everywhere. On the eve of the Great War, however, the syncopated rhythms ceased to pulse on, and the genre devolved into obscurity, then nonexistence, with only a select few nursing homes offering live shows. Luckily, this trend was re-reouted in the late 1990’s in the haberdashery-by-day/pansexual-bazaar-by-nights of rural Utah, where curious youth found ragtime’s allure once again.

Revivalist ragtime’s messiah, nonagenarian Tumbleweed Jebediah, has emerged from the studio with his new cassette, Corporate Casual Racism. The album is chock full of Jebediah’s signature ragged timing, spotty musicianship, and inattention to detail, a rawness that has come to define his recent creations. The dancy, festive sound makes it clear: Tumbleweed Jebediah’s passion is running just as strong as his pacemaker.

The real eye-catcher on this record (besides the Sunday school unfriendly cover art) is the guest appearance by jim., punk’s genderless deity of mayhem. Though the collaboration may seem bizarre, the music proves this is a match made in heaven, as jim.’s animal, piercing vocals ride atop Jebediah’s arthritis-hankered ivory tickling. jim.’s creative spirit spices up the traditional ragtime flavors, offering chaotic synths and crunchy, sharp textures.

It is said this album represents ragtime’s role in the modern cultural conscience, and the theme is hammered home on tracks like “Ragtime’s Gone – Thanks, Obama”, which features a third-grader on the recorder, and “I Took a Dump on a Piano”, which includes a ten minute recording of Tumbleweed Jebediah’s bathroom break during the session.

Corporate Casual Racism will be on store shelves September 16th, and off them within the week.

Turn Up the Pretension

30 Mar

“An iPod is not music. To truly hear the music as it was intended, you have to hear it on a CD, not an iPod. Listening to the Beatles on an iPod is like taking a shower in a raincoat.”
– Johnny’s Records – Darien, CT

(Scene: A record store in Williamsburg. A cashier is passionately discussing music with a customer. Both are clad in the droopy beanies, tight jeans, and scraggly beards of self-indulgent underemployment.)

CASHIER: I’m serious, man, I can’t let you walk out of here with that CD if you plan on burning it to your iPod. It’s just plain wrong, you know? It’s like buying a live animal only to mount it up on the wall.
CUSTOMER: Oh, relax. Its just a CD. Why do you care so much? I’ll just pay and leave.
CASHIER: Nah, man. If I let you leave here and shove all that beautiful music into a little electronic box I won’t sleep tonight. It’s unconscionable.
CUSTOMER (mildly exasperated): Dude! Don’t you want my money?
CASHIER (amusedly exasperated): No! People don’t open record stores in Brooklyn to turn a profit; they do it so they can preach to their customers and call it a job!

(Another customer walks in the store, dressed similarly. He pauses shortly to listen to the conversation.)

CUSTOMER 2: CDs, huh? What about vinyl?
CASHIER (to new customer): Yeah, vinyl’s in the back. (to first customer) So can you promise me you won’t burn the CD?
CUSTOMER 2: Oh my god, you guys actually still listen to CDs? Get with the times, guys. Vinyl’s the audio format of the future. Analog all the way!
CASHIER: Nah, that vinyl trend is so phony. The digital encryption on modern CDs is just as good as anything an LP can provide. Your speakers probably can’t even play with enough clarity to show the difference.
CUSTOMER 1 (heading for the door): Yeah, you guys have fun. I’ll just take this and-
CUSTOMER 2 (upset): No way! You guys must actually not care about music. And my speakers cost more than my house! I live in this, like, really cool art space that I rent from this immigrant family on top of their bodega, so it’s not actually not that pricey. But my speakers are really good.
CASHIER: Whatever, vinyl’s just not my thing. It’s in the back if you want to look, though.

(Another customer walks in, twiddling his handlebar mustache.)

CUSTOMER 3: What’s up? Do you guys only do vinyl here, or do you have anything higher quality?
CUSTOMER 2 (irate): Higher quality than vinyl? What the hell is wrong with you people? I move to Williamsburg so everybody would be as a pretentious as I am. Although I’m not gonna lie, I’ve missed being this condescending.
CUSTOMER 3: No, no, no, vinyl’s so 50 and, by extension, 3 years ago. Wax cylinders are the medium for today’s audiophile.
CASHIER: Wax cylinders? Are you serious?
CUSTOMER 3: As serious as one can be about his music. Wax cylinders are the most artful way to play a record. The way you can only play it, like, eight times until the wax wears out – it’s exactly the way Edison intended. You can even light it as a candle when you’re done with it!
CUSTOMER 1 (halfway out the door without his CD): Screw this, I have Spotify.

Underground Music Review

1 Jan

A-Train Tropik Beatz – 1/1/13 

As ordinary folks dragged their feet to work through a holiday hangover, their New Year’s Day commute was ignited by a musical ambush, courtesy of A-Train Tropik Beatz. Riders of the A train subway have experienced the presence of this all-male percussion trio on-and-off for the last two decades, yet each concert has its own feel and flair. This performance was highly unusual in that it lacked the presence of the band’s groupies, who cruise the subway seeking the roaming band’s good vibes. For this reviewer, there’s nothing quite like the look on the face of a subway bongo virgin being aurally enlightened for the first time.

The band kicked off the show with the feel-good original, “Kingston of Queens”. The easy tempo and off-beat rhythms piqued ears across the car and foreshadowed the mood of the performance. The boys continued with the romantic fan-favorite, “Dreadlock and Key”. The energy and aura surrounding frontman and bongoist Tommy Bahama were downright groovy, and it seemed to everyone on the train as if he were crooning to them directly. Next, the tempo quickened for the Christmas classic, “Coal Runnings”. There was so much spirit, soloist Wiggles St. Nick looked as jolly as his bearded namesake. The mood stayed festive with a fast rendition of “Where the Ganja Grows Like Sugarcane”, a cheerful tune that carried with it the collective hope of a New Year. Unfortunately, the performance was somewhat soured by a disinterested solo by congaist Ricky “The Pipe” Pipers. He stepped out towards the end of the song, but it just seemed like his head wasn’t in the game; perhaps he left it at a New Year’s Eve party the night before. The band lived up to their sterling reputation yesterday with a positively electric holiday show. The group was on the A train, but The Pipe gets at most a C+.

Today’s Random Thought

18 Mar

(On  the way home from buying bongos)

ME: I think I’m gonna become a beatnik.

BROTHER: Why not just be a hipster?

ME: Too mainstream.

Today’s Random Thought

15 Jan

Instead of lullabies, the Tebows probably sang “Don’t Stop Believing” to their son.

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