It’s pretty hard to take a band seriously when their hit song repeats “I’m at the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” throughout the entire track. But, if you dig a bit deeper, Brooklyn based rap group Das Racist is actually more than just dudes goofing off. An entertaining and sometimes provocative social commentary, their first mixtape, Shut Up, Dude, simultaneously destroys and celebrates hip hop.
Group members Himanshu Suri and Victor Vazquez released the mix-tape as a free download in March of 2010. The pair parody themselves, deconstructing aspects of rap and hip hop without being too pretentious about it. Standout tracks like “You Oughta Know” and “Fake Patois” stand on their own as good songs, despite the wisecracks.
Even so, seemingly ridiculous songs are abundant throughout. Other hits feature hard-pressing issues such as White Castle (“Rainbow in the Dark”), people eating bacon all across the nation (“Chicken and Meat”) and drinking beer (“Ek Shaneesh”). Elaborate pop culture references and jokes aside, the subject matter isn’t exactly trivial. Shut Up, Dude holds some artistic merit when you look past the Hannah Montana and Google Chat references. “Nutmeg”, for example, sounds like it could be a Lil Wayne or Jay-Z song at points. And for a little street cred, Death & Taxes magazine describe the recursive “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” as “an existential meditation on consumer identity in corporate America.”
It’s possible that Das Racist is fooling every one. Maybe the tracks on Shut Up Dude are sharp social satire or maybe it is just plain college humor. At this point, it seems irrelevant when it sounds this good. Shut Up Dude has got catchy and memorable rhymes and danceable beats, and that’s enough for me.
PJ Harvey has told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that half of her new album was made with an autoharp. “I’ve written about half of my new record on one of these,” Harvey said before she performed a new song called “Let England Shake.” “I’ve got three autoharps and I’ve had them tuned in slightly different chords, uh, fixtures here, so that they’re slightly out of the normal line of what an autoharp would sound like. There’s a lot more minor keys, a lot of darker keys.”
Didn’t get one of the 1000 copies of the brand new Blur 7″ released this past Saturday for Record Store Day? Well, the band feel so bad about it that they’re now giving away the track digitally over at their website.
In case you’ve always thought indie rock was a little too straight, Queerty has compiled a list of ten influential gay indie rockers, profiling their work and how their sexuality has played a part in their music. Click here and see who they outed.
Jose Gonzalez’s old band Junip have reunited and will be playing some North American dates. There aren’t any Canadian shows, but the band will be releasing both an EP and an album on Mute later this year.
And because it’s a slow news day, I thought I’d point out that Jay-Z and Beyonce are fans of The xx. Cool or who cares? Diplo outed the couple peeping the band’s performance at Coachella this past weekend.
Sonic Youth have selected their 12 favourite films from the esteemed Criterion Collection vault. No surprise, their taste in cinema is as arty as their music. How many of them have you seen? I’ve seen only two.
It’s official: The xx are now a trio. The hot UK band announced that guitarist/keyboardist Baria Qureshi has left the band over “personal differences.” The remaining members will hopefully keep it together to make it to Canada for their three shows: Vancouver on November 26th, Toronto on December 2nd and Montreal on December 3rd.
John Lydon says the advertising campaign he starred in for Country Life butter is what will fund the Public Image Limited reunion tour. He tells the Camden New Journal, “I’m promoting a British product which I’m very proud of. Anything I can do to help British industry is fine by me and in return you’ve got PiL.”
Beyonce’s little sister Solange has covered Dirty Projectors’ “Stillness Is The Move.” It may seem weird, but her version really exposes the Brooklynites’ as a true R&B act by emphasizing their deep guitar grooves and soaring falsettos. Apparently, so influential has Solange been on Jay-Z’s taste in music (he’s all about indie rock now, didn’t you know?), that he’s gone and hired the Projectors and Grizzly Bear to help record his next album.
A trailer for the highly anticipated Serge Gainsbourg biopic, Serge Gainsbourg: Vie Héroïque, is now available to watch. And as you can guess, it only takes seconds for an adolescent Serge to see his first breast. That sounds pretty accurate.
Finally! A band has chosen to name their album after my favourite NES game Contra. Vampire Weekend is that band. Says frontman Ezra Koenig, “Look, I was born in 1984, so I’m not going to name an album Contra and not think about that video game.” All that’s left to say is Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start.
Just weeks after releasing a new Atlas Sound album, Bradford Cox proves he’s still prolific by giving away a new single. You can grab “Doctor” and its B-side “The Screens” for free over at his blog.
Jay-Z has signed the Ting Tings to his Roc Nation label. Yeah, we’re surprised too! We assume it’s all part of Jay’s plan to make indie rock popular. Oh wait, it already is…
Ladytron are turning ten and you know what that means? Greatest hits. Actually, it’s a “best of” since they didn’t exactly light up the Billboard charts. Multi-instrumentalist Rueben Wu says “Since we’ve done four albums, I think it would be time to put something like that together.”
And Julian Casablancas says he never really wanted to make a solo album, but felt he needed to because of those other Strokes. He tells the Orange County Register, “ I feel like I was kind of forced a little, to be quite honest. The band wanted to go do their own thing, and that’s cool — I respect that they need to go do that. But I didn’t want to sit around.”
Morrissey ended his show in Liverpool the other night when a water bottle clocked him in the head. The way it bounces off his noggin is actually pretty funny.
Not funny at all was the death of Jerry Fuchs, renowned drummer for !!!, The Juan Maclean and Maserati. Fuchs died early Sunday morning after falling down an elevator shaft at a party in Brooklyn. He will be missed.
Nick Cave is developing his dirty new book, The Death of Bunny Munro, into a TV series. Director John Hillcoat, who adapted Cave’s screenplay in The Proposition, is said to be involved with the project.
If you bought your copy of Blueprint 3 to hear MGMT’s expected collaboration, you may have noticed that they aren’t actually on it. Jay-Z told Gotham Magazine it was because “MGMT turned me down.” Whoa, who turns down Jay-Z?
Finally, if you were planning on seeing Girls in Montreal tonight, I’m afraid they’ve had to cancel their gig. One of the members lost their passport, so they’re waiting on a new one. Tomorrow’s show in Toronto is still scheduled to happen.