Would you like to read a review of the Revolting Cocks and Ministry? I thought you might. This was edited by new guy Rob Harvilla, in what turned out to be a pleasant exchange.
As it's June and we're halfway done with the year, I'd like to point out my favorites from the pitifully small amount of new ('06 or late '05) music I've heard. A public service for no one.
Yolanda Perez's Esto Es Amor (I think; can't find it) seems to do something new (but whaddo I know?) by mixing banda horns and tunes with reggaeton beats. The opening horn riff is really exciting, and when I listen to the title tune I'm transported into some spiralling blissful heaven. The coda just keeps singing about love and repeating itself over and over, and it's really happy. But the kind of happy that makes a man cry.
Damone's Out Here All Night is MySpace hair metal with a chick singer and a fine power ballad, "Stabbed In the Heart." Their modulations in all the right places make me laugh. You know, I was marvelling the other day at how Neptunes beats are funny in and of themselves, because they're somehow self-aware. This is not a phenomenon I can currently explain; I dunno if it's just because they sound like they're referencing past kitsch or what, but whenever I hear Britney's "Boys" or Mariah and Snoop Dogg's latest hit (sorry--"Say Somethin'"?), I laugh not at the singers but at the backing tracks. So those Neptunes really know how to tap into our pop-kitsch zeitgeist (ouch!), I surmise, and Damone seem to do the same thing, but with rock. Not that they're any more ironic than, whoever, Little Richard. They mean it and I mean it, but their musical (not even lyrical) funniness lets me know we speak the same language. But some of the later songs are pretty rote. They do make me wanna get a MySpace, though.
The Coup's Pick a Bigger Weapon is standard issue Commie goodness from them, and I really like how "I Just Wanna Lay Around All Day in Bed With You" (words separated for your ease) builds and builds and sounds really evil. Haven't listened to this in, like, a month, so it may be better or worse than I remember.
Falkenbach's Heralding the [something]blade is earth-scorching one-man Viking metal from some cold European country that also has a triumphal oboe riff (ok, maybe a trumpet) on the first song. Reading these synopses, who else is amazed that I've ever made money writing record reviews? I guess I usually do more research. But Falkenbach's loads of fun, and when Mr. Falkenbach isn't growling his singing voice is charming, like Dan Fogelberg or someone. Not that I've ever heard Mr. Fogelberg, but the Dan Fogelberg of my mind sounds like Dan Falkenbach.
The Brazilian rock albums by Nacao Zumbi and Cabruera have some fine grooves, and Julius Eastman's Unjust Malaise comp is fascinating and enjoyable post-minimalism, or probably just minimalism in some cases. I need to listen to all those more.
OK, but that's it. A disgrace! I mean, I've heard some more, but that's all I can wholeheartedly endorse at this point. Pitiful, not the "state of music," but me! Some fine singles on the radio now, though, including the Mariah and Snoop listed above, Ne-Yo's "When You're Mad" and "So Sick," Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie," Nelly Furtado and Timbaland doing "Promiscuous," Sugarland's "Down In MS and Up to No Good," and the All American Rejects' "Move Along." And whatever gospel song I keep hearing on WGCI, "Just Can't Make It Without You." I'll go research at Radio and Records now.