I can't tell if the new Basement Jaxx album Kish Kash
is amazingly great or just has a lot of surprises. I tried to listen to Remedy the other night to help me with this decision, and I wasn't really feeling it. Perhaps I just wasn't in the mood, and perhaps all of the Jaxx albums require a specific mood. When the time is right though, the Jaxx make me jump and shout all over the apartment like nothing else. And it's not the ability to make Max dance all over the living room. The vocals in "I Want You" sound like they're exposing a whole new geometry of aural pleasure. Every time I hear a Jaxx song for the first time, I feel like they are sole holders of the key to a new, secret music. Or is it just really complex?
I have a newfound respect for Lou Barlow after listening to "Natural One" for the first time since it was on the radio in 1995 or whatever. I've never really dug much of his music, though it's probably because I don't give it the proper time, more than anything else. Sebadoh III
starts off promising, but starts to fall apart after "Violet Execution". It seems that Sebadoh's reputation with the critics falls a little bit each year, and they're one of the "classic" 90's bands it seems it will be easiest to forget about. "Natural One" was a great radio hit though, especially when you think about the last time you heard anything like this recently. Actually, you probably have, you just didn't realize it was the same because it didn't have any indie-cred. This song is great because it's all sleeky sinister and lo-fi at the same time. We open with a synth wobble straight out of "Energy Flash" which wiggles out of the way just as the first verse comes in. Now it's voice, bass, guitar and drums (surprise, it's a grunge song!). Chorus adds keyboard and percussion, and the guitar break afterword brings you back to that mysterious territory that the synth came from. We have a pop song with all the trimmings, but the voice has all of Lou Barlow's typically indie self-effacement and unsurity. And the beat is loose - the drums play a slightly different tempo than the percussion. After the second chorus we get the break. That synth wobble comes back to replace the drums and it feels like that big comedown toward the end of "Acperience." When the drums kick in again you realize how great the beat always was. Play the beat back from the start - subtle EQ shifts on the snare like it's shifting time and space.
The lyrics are suggestive like the rock n' roll of old. Come with me and I'll show you all the bad things we can do when the parents are gone. We'll get loose after the chorus. When that delayed guitar line plays, they won't be able to see us. Let's slip away during the break. The world is falling down, it may as well crash with me.
It's been a long time since the last entry, and I apologize. Really too much has happened for me to talk about. I moved from Boston to Philadelphia, and am struggling to find a job. I knew it all along, but now I really know how great the last job I had was, and I feel horrible for leaving it. My rent, however, is $775 less, so that has to be a good enough reason. Among the lessons I learned when moving are: never rent a U-Haul truck, especially when you are counting on it. A "reservation" with U-Haul means, if anything, that you had a chat with at least one person who possibly works there, and you would be interested in using their equipment in the near future. It does NOT mean that you asked for a 14' moving truck to pick up in Boston on the afternoon of Thursday, August 28 with the intention of returning it to a nearby U-Haul location in Philadelphia on Saturday, August 30, even if that is what you were absolutely sure it meant. I've also been trying to think of the best way to deal with my incredibly niggardly landlady, who insists on keeping $1375 of my money.
OK. Now we can get back to the music.