10
Jan
14

Elsewhere: Two posts at Bearded Gentlemen Music

This isn’t the only place where I write about music; I’m also featured at Bearded Gentlemen Music. I’ve had two posts go up there in the past week, too.

The first is a look at what happens when a critic’s favourite band grows up and moves on from their classic records. Or, in other words, if the new Pixies EPs were made under a different name, would they still get trashed by Pitchfork? I also review their new EP, EP2, and note that it’s actually a strong four-song collection:

If EP1 was the sound of a band trying new material and seeing what works, EP2 is Pixies more or less going back to what they know best. It reminds me a lot of their last full length, Trompe le Monde and of Black’s first couple solo records. It’s rocks like something from outer space, both with Santiago’s weird guitar effects and Francis’ off-kilter lyrics. And it’s nice to see that when they want to, Santiago and Francis can still grind out guitar riffs, not to mention Lovering’s pounding drumming.

Click here to read my review of EP2!

Secondly, I wrote a longish post about Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack to the 1972 film Super Fly. Sure, you’ve heard the title track and know it’s a landmark of 70s funk. But take another listen: it’s not just a funky listen, it’s a fascinating counter to the movie’s glamorization of the drug trade and a reaction to albums by Isaac Hayes and Sly Stone. To wit:

The opening notes of “Wild Child Running Wild” set the scene: scorching guitars and pounding drums echo Isaac Hayes’ soundtrack to Shaft, but immediately, Mayfield refuses to glamorize anything, singing about an unwanted child, a broken home and the mayor who doesn’t breath “our polluted air.” On “Pusherman”, he assumes the role of dealer-as-a-businessman (“For a generous fee / Make your world what you want it to be”), showing how it’s not far removed from other sales gigs.

Click here to read my post about Curtis Mayfield!

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