My Thoughts On the Mosque

Either way, whether you are for or against the building of the Mosque at Ground Zero, this is without a doubt a touchy topic and it is understandable for both parties to feel hurt and/or offended. Though, with that being said, this is America after all, the supposed land of freedom and therefore through a legal perspective the mosque’s location should not be in question. Ok, so they can build it, that’s not the issue, it’s the moral factor. Well, I admit this sounded funny to me the very first time I heard it, but I never thought it was some sort of horrible act that was worthy of such (smoke screen) media coverage and debate. So, now that I am over a hundred words into my little spiel, I bet you are saying to yourself “get to the fucking point, which side are you on?!” Ha, well let me say up front I don’t know what it is like to walk in the shoes of the 9/11 Victims’ families, but at the same time, what is wrong is wrong. To me, as with most, discrimination is wrong. This, though as I said earlier is an emotionally charged issue, is clearly discrimination, even if understandable discrimination. Discrimination is discrimination. Let’s look at it this way, if it had been a Christian nation or rather Christian terrorists that had committed the atrocious crime in the name of God would we be debating the right or morality of Christians to be able to build a church a couple of blocks away from Ground Zero. No, of course not, because Christianity is the dominant religion here, so we are not offended by it. Well, to me there is no difference and that is a massive indication that this is a clear sign of Islamaphobia. It’s not like they are buildng Jihad Cafe. This a community center for those of the Muslim faith, not a center for terrorists. Also, this is the equvialent of freedom of speech and so it’s the same deal: freedom of speech protects the speech you precisely disdain. I sincerely send my heart out to all who feel sad or threatened by this issue, on either side. But, like Rage Against the Machine screams, “When ignorance reigns life is lost.” Keep your eyes and ears open.

Lowell

KLYAMin’ at college now, I overheard a dude repeat a text message out-loud in the cafeteria:

Are you still a virgin? Still? What kind of question is that. Lowell.

Lowell, you ask? Yeah, dude seriously said Lowell instead of L-O-L or law-l, which is hardly acceptable, but better. I’m in for a long semester if I keep noticing things like this.

Chris On…

Gangsta Rap and Hip Hop in General:
There are many aspects of (QUALITY) Rap and Hip-Hop that I love, but two things have always stood out to me more than anything: 1) The harshness in the lyrics, sometimes sound, and most definitely the delivery. This is what I adored in old school Gangsta Rap groups like N.W.A. and Wu-Tang Clan, amongst several others. In general, I really have an affinity for confrontational art and these artists certainly got the job done and scared all the White Folks. 2) The dark, caustic and occasionally absurdist humor that one can find in said harsh lyrics. One of the first rap songs I ever heard that hit me hard was Eminem’s “My Name Is,” I saw its video on MTV when it was “Brand Spankin’ New” at the wholesome age of 8. I then went out and purchased the entire record. I fell in love with the Slim Shady “character.” I was frightened and simultaneously amused. And the rest is history… Nowadays, I don’t like as many rap artists, especially those that call themselves “Gangsta Rap.” Now, it could just be my taste and I’m sure there are plenty of awesome underground rappers, but certainly the state of mainstream hip hop has taken a turn for the worse in the past 10-15 years or so. Modern rappers that I dig include Immortal Technique, Dead Prez, and Necro. All of those artists have been around for a while however, but they are still holding the intimidating/militant character of rap music/culture that I cherish. I’m sure there are others out there as I already said, but they simply haven’t caught my attention; rap/hip-hop is a style of music I enjoy, but makes up a small percentage of my eartime. Anyway, in mainstream hip pop the production is far too clean, commerical and the songs are just poppy dance numbers. Really wimpy, pussy shit. Even people like L’il Wayne do very little to nothing for me. ME! I’m a privileged, little, white suburbanite that knows nothing of “street life” and has no gangsta credibillity whatsover (don’t want any for that matter) and yet these supposedly tough guys on the radio do not initmidate me with their craft. There’s nothing threatening about it. I’m sure in real life they are “tough,” but with their music they have no balls. In short, for me Hip-Hop shares the same story as Rock and Roll, but in way less time and far less pleasing too my taste, albeit some very classic material. It’s like both started out as small, underground, regionally based, black music that was threatening and rebellious to white people. The style became popular and hit the mainstream, then matured (sonically, lyrically, aesthetically,etc), then slowly became more and more mainstream until there was a massive chasm between commercial and underground Hip Hop, with the former sucking massive Corporate Cock. The only thing is the Rock story lasted way longer (Early 50s- Mid 70s- started to go downhill in the mainstream) than Hip Hop (Early 80s- Early-Mid 90s). I know I know Hip Hop technically started wayyyy before then, but it didn’t really take off until the early 80s. So, in other words to the silly Mainstreamers out there in Rap and/or Rock and Roll, in the fine words of N.W.A. “EAT SHIT AND DIE!”

Classic Album Review: Superfuzz Bigmuff


Artist: Mudhoney
Full Title: Superfuzz Bigmuff plus Early Singles
Year: 1988 (recorded), 1990 (released)
Label: Sub Pop
Tracks:
1) Touch Me I’m Sick– 10
2) Sweet Young Thing (Ain’t Sweet No More)– 9
3) Hate the Police (The Dicks)- 8
4) Burn It Clean- 8
5) You Got It (Keep It Outta My Face)– 9
6) Halloween (Sonic Youth)- 8
7) No One Has- 8/9
8) If I Think- 8
9) In “N” Out of Grace– 9
10) Need- 8
11) Chain That Door- 7/8
12) Mudride- 7/8

NOTE: “The album contains the entire Superfuzz Bigmuff EP, the A-sides and B-sides of 2 singles, and 2 covers from split singles with Sonic Youth and The Dicks.”- Wikipedia.

Comments:
For those of you youngsters out there that are strugglin’ with the ladies, here’s a new pick up line for y’all to try out. Tell em’ “Touch Me I’m Sick!” So, after you get clocked in the face, grab a case of beer and get rowdy with this sucker. Here we have the legendary Mudhoney at their muddiest. Loud, fuzzy, muzzy guitars, pouding drums and the distinctive, apathetic drone of singer, Mark Arm. These songs have that filthy feel to them, but at the same time the riffs are memorable/catchy and Arm’s vocals are pretty damn clear, especially for this kind of music. As we all know this became the template for the Seattle Scene and what would become known to the rest of the world as “Grunge” (yes, I hate the term too, but it’s useful as a point of reference). This record and this band are without a doubt influential, but a tad bit overrated. Don’t get me wrong, most of the songs on here are good, it’s a very good record, but there are only a few great, stand out tracks, and yes they are exquisite. “Touch Me I’m Sick,” is fucking great for headbanging and I can imagine moshing; as a whole Mudhoney is great for an intoxicated state, particularly “Touch.” It’s a classic for a reason, well many reasons. Of course sonically it showscases the garagey Seattle sound better than any other tune in their catalog, but for me, the lyrics and presentation of those lyrics are also extremely vital. It’s a song I can relate to, a different kinda love ballad, if you will. You see it’s the honest male emotion that’s key here- “I’m a creep and I’m a jerk”- Arm’s nastiness and brutal delivery turns girls off, while spineless blokes like John Mayer sing about your daughter and tell the females exactly what they want to hear, so they can love him, at least they used to. But enough of that ranting and raving, “Touch” is complemented by its B-Side, “Sweet Young Thing,” which is the second track on this compilation, making it one of the greatest singles of all time. “In ‘N’ Out of Grace” is certainly one of my favorite tracks and exemplifies the group’s excellent guitar playing; one of the best riffs I have ever heard. All in all, this is a really good record, but not exceptional. I feel like Mudhoney is more of a “sound” band, like they have a great sound to almost all of these songs, but for me to love this thang, I need more fabulous tracks. It’s definitely worth a few listens and if you like “grunge” music, then well, you suck if you haven’t heard this and shouldn’t call yourself a fan of said style, but I’ll give you a break and let you listen to this and impress your average mainstream listening friends.

Grade: B+