It List: Tuesday
Snoop Dogg/The Hustle Boyz (House Of Blues): There was a time when seeing one of my older cousins with an oversized "Doggystyle" t-shirt down to his Dickies-covered knees (while most likely brandishing a butterfly knife) was the ultimate snapshot of lower middle class suburban rebellion, and one that I approached with the classic emotional tween cocktail of apprehension and admiration. This was long before Snoop Dogg appeared on "One Life To Live," but he's one of the few musical icons I can think of that I'm actually pleased to see in a cameo appearance on some lame show or on someone's lame track, since he somehow never seems like he's losing anything by being there. That's almost impossible to pull off. Haven't really heard much from The Hustle Boyz before today, but I was impressed by the extremely minimal beats on the first couple of sample tracks.
Wye Oak/Pomegranates/Shuttle (Lola's): Merge's Wye Oak is a group that I didn't think much of until I saw them live. Watching the group overcome the challenge of recreating the sound of their record with only two people, helped convey some of the song ideas much more successfully than some of the recordings do, for better or worse. The Pomegranates claim Brian Eno and Fela Kuti as influences, but I would hate for you to go to the show thinking that's remotely detectable, evident or true on any level.
Flight Of The Conchords (Nokia): Maybe it's because I try my best to hate everything that's marketed to "people like me," but there is something thoroughly UNfunny about Flight of the Conchords, an HBO show based on the semi autobiographical story of two New Zealand native comedic songwriters who have moved to New York City to make it big as musicians. The single biggest turn off with these guys is their mistaken belief that their attempts at singing "goofy" soul songs are funny or cute, or worse yet, funny BECAUSE they're cute. Look-- in 1993 it was slightly amusing to see someone like Beck spitting raps about "bozo nightmares" or whatever, but that was 16 years ago, and the prospect of 2 smart ass white guys singing "ironic" hip hop or soul lost it's novelty more than a decade ago (and was done much better by these guys anyway), and a lot of it still seems to contain just the slightest hint of benign socioeconomic stereotyping, like "It's so funny that these two are goofy enough to stoop to the level of singing such silly, disposable music because they are obviously way too sophisticated for that!" Add to the mix some cutesy ballads about hip, pretty girls doing stupid shit, as well as the occasional jingle about some aspect of mundate hipster consumerism masquerading as a high brow take on a low brow event, and you have all the makings of lifestyle comedy for people who think a sense of humor can be downloaded on a .rar file. They've never made me laugh once, and trust me, it isn't hard to do.-SR