Top Ten Thursday: The Hologrammy’s

tupac, hologram, coachella, digital

All it took was the one and only Coachella music festival to bring Tupac back from the dead…at least in Obi-Wan Kenobi hologram form.  A hundred grand plus and the unequaled genius of Dr. Dre was what proved necessary to display Tupac’s hologram performing “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Gangstaz” with Snoop Dogg (for those with a more technical interest in the technology used, see this article).  The shocker is that, from the youtube videos and first-hand reports, the hologram actually looked pretty good.  This may not prompt the esteemed writers of LxL to rush out and buy tickets for the inevitable tour of Tupac reborn (who am I kidding, I’m in), but it did get the ball rolling on which deceased musicians we would like to see show up at a music festival near us.  Our preference would be that these legends show up in hologram form, as opposed to zombified (aka Bob Dylan’s most recent tours), because zombies give us the willies.  Enjoy, and let us know who you would like to see brought to computer-generated life.

10. Notorious B.I.G./Ol’ Dirty Bastard

biggy, notorious, crown, king, close-up

Alright, so maybe the connection between Notorious and ODB are tenuous at best (Jay-Z sampled ODB’s “Brooklyn Zoo” for his track “Brooklyn’s Finest”, which contains a verse by Notorious).  But with the power of post-humus production, we would like to see a Watch The Throne-esque collaboration featuring Big Poppa and Big Baby Jesus in a feast for the ears.  Yes, ODB went by Big Baby Jesus for a period of time during his late-career nosedive. 

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LxListening: Love/Hate

Love/Hate Music

Occasionally, I find myself in a musical sweet spot.  All of the stars have aligned and there are a few albums or songs that just seem to fit together that I listen to over and over.  These groupings are usually a combination of new releases, older albums I am just hearing for the first time, and classic favorites that I have rediscovered.  During these times I can’t wait to get in my car or to my computer because I’ve already got a playlist in my head ready to go.

However, even while enjoying this bliss, I know what is lurking just around the corner. You can only obsessively do anything for a short amount of time before it starts to get annoying, and that is especially true with music choice. After a week or so, the sweet spot starts to get old. Dramatic choruses become comical (“Knights of Cydonia”). Things that were once unique start to become annoying (The xx really need to read this article). Aspects of a song that once drew me in start to push me away (i.e. the howling whine of Alec Ounsworth in “Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth”…and every other Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah song).
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Our Fearless Grammy Recap

Adele sweeps Grammys

Last year, “Music’s biggest night” was an attempt to pull the award show out of the dark ages by, for once, giving the Album of the Year award to the most deserving nominee, Arcade Fire’s sprawling concept album The Suburbs. So the question this year, is would they continue to get things right? Award shows, and the Grammys more specifically, should never be given too much credibility since they are often run by a group of people who have a conflict of interest (in this case, The Recording Academy, consisting of primarily music execs from record companies) and thus the awards can often be used as more promotion than recognition of what was truly the best.  One peek through the nominees and you can see this year’s Grammys by no means captures the best music of 2012. This is partially due to music is more diversified than ever, and thus its fairly difficult to decide on the best in an industry so wide and sprawling, no matter how many categories there are (79 this year, down from 108 last year). But mostly, it’s just because the people voting are out-of-touch and view commercial success as the primary indicator of musical greatness.
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LxListening: The Week That Was 02/05-02/10

david lee roth, looks like a girl
David Lee Roth or Tranny Goldie Hawn? You Decide, America

Ay yi yi.  When looking through the albums being released this week to decide what I was going to review, I was pretty disgusted by most of the options.  Wes already had Dr. Dog and wanted Sharon Van Etten for next week, and so I explored a new (to me) artist in Air, and was pleasantly surprised.  While making the decision to review Air’s new album though, I waded through some other albums/tracks of note.  Below you will find where my musical wanderings took me, much to my dismay, and a nice pallet-cleanser at the end if you actually listen to any of the first four songs.

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Dr. Dog Review

Dr. Dog

Be The Void

Dr. Dog Be The Void album cover art

Often in music, especially music criticism, we are constantly looking for the next big thing or focus on bands that are pushing the envelope and bending genres. What can often be missed though is the sheer enjoyment that can come to simply listening to a great song regardless of whether it innovates or not. Thus is the space that we find Dr. Dog, a band that unabashedly pulls no punches but simply takes their musical style from the three immortal “B” Bands of the 60’s: The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Band. My initial feelings towards the scrappy Philadelphia quintet was hesitancy over their imitation-over-innovation approach, but ultimately the melodies and harmonies took hold, and the band has held a special place in my heart for the last five years. Their seventh album, Be The Void, sticks mostly to the classic Dr. Dog formula but is also their most noisy, rollicking album to date, although a bit inconsistent.
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Madonna’s Halftime Show Review

It’s fair to say that there are plenty of overrated things in the entertainment industry. HBO’s Entourage, Michael Bay, the entire clan of Kardashians (not just Kim), and essentially everything in the vein of “Hollywood life” or “Los Angeles culture” all lead the pack in worthless assets to the industry that should make people cringe, and maybe even throw-up in their mouth a little bit. Close behind all of these resides a special spot for the worthlessness of the Super Bowl halftime show. Don’t get me wrong, I love football, and the Super Bowl itself, and all the fun and hype that come along with it. But over the years, the halftime shows have just become a chore to watch. In fact there are really only two non-nudity involved halftime shows that have really ever stood out to me, and last nights performance was actually one of them.
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The Best Worst Christmas Song of All Time

Paul McCartney
“Wonderful Christmastime”

Paul McCartney Wonderful Christmas Time
Mustachioed McCartney

When it comes to Christmas music, I try to hide away when I’m not in department stores or putting up the Christmas tree. It’s not because I’m a Scrooge; I just find Christmas music a bit too sappy and most songs are naggingly catching, wringing in your head like a bad migraine.
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