In an interview that appeared on Thanksgiving in The Washington Post, Peter Bauer of the fine indie-rock band the Walkmen announced that the group was taking a “pretty extreme hiatus” after its final scheduled concert tonight in Philadelphia. In the parlance of interpersonal band relations, “hiatus” is commonly understood to mean “breakup” — an interpretation Bauer seemed to be actively encouraging by affixing the “pretty extreme” modifier. (Like, if you were to take a “pretty extreme hiatus” from any part of your life, it would probably mean you were dead, right?)
Yesterday, at 2:53 p.m. EST, Billboardpublished a very important headline.
"Outkast to Reunite for Coachella 2014?"
For the first few reads, you don't see the question mark. All you see is "Outkast" and "reunite" and you fall down. But then you get back up, see "at Coachella" next to "2014" and then you simply faint.
Eventually, you gain some emotional stability and read the piece. You see things like "is indeed in talks" and "multiple sources have confirmed" and "some conversations" and the amount of excitement is almost unbearable. So you start texting and emailing and calling friends, making absurd, completely necessary plans, while discussing the incredible sacrifices necessary to pay for (and stay at) Coachella for two weekends.
When you get to be Steven Spielberg at the end of the Academy Awards with the Best Picture envelope in your hand, you don’t waste the public’s time with a long-winded preamble. You stare into the teleprompter and dutifully read off the mass-appeal entertainment product that garnered the most votes. So, here we go:
I can see now that we've made a grave mistake. This bracket, this choice we made in the dead of summer to celebrate the fun and foolishness of popular songs, was all wrong. There were other opportunities, dismissed without a second thought. Great brackets. Brackets you'd never forget. The Coolest Cats Ever. The Best Sitcom Stars of the '90s. The Coolest Cats Ever Who Were Sitcom Stars in the '90s. The possibilities for cats and sitcoms were endless. But we went Big Tent. We wanted people to join us in the yelling and the crying and the pain. And now we're here. Left with these songs. Four days have passed and voters have turned out in droves. But have we done right by a generation? Are these songs really the Songs of the Millennium?
[YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN RECAPS AND WOULD LIKE TO PROCEED DIRECTLY TO THE FINAL FOUR VOTE, WHICH IS UNDERSTANDABLE, SO PLEASE DO SO NOW.]
The final installment of Edgar Wright's Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, The World's End, hits theaters this Friday. To get you in the right mind-set, DJ Mike Relm has put together this four-minute mash-up of scenes and audio from Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End. Who knew the old blood-squish SFX would fit in so well with electronic music?
Over the past nine months, the two members of OutKast, Big Boi and André 3000, have produced statements in the form of lyrics, tweets, and interview responses that at times signal a potential reunion, and at other times drive home the point that the end isn't just near; it's here.
First, the bad:
There was Big Boi's July tweet, in response to why André was on Frank Ocean's "Pink Matter" and not him:
Dre didn't want an OutKast Record Coming out on anybody else LP RT @joeyde_: whhhaaaaaa @bigboi why werent you on it to begin with?!
The question was asked, because both Big Boi and André spent time in the studio separately, while Ocean's channel ORANGE was being made, but as we now know, only one made the final cut. And, according to that tweet, we have a hunch why.
A few months ago, when the buildup began for Big Boi's second solo album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, I made a pact with myself that if it looked like the project was going to be underwhelming, I just wouldn't give it any coverage. I'd pretend like it never happened. The idea of the Outkast-related hot streak coming to a crashing halt (again, Idlewildnever happened. We all made that up, collectively) was too much to accept, and if bad things were looming, my plan was to simply sit this one out.
But then I realized something else. If it was good, it was going to be awfully hard to write about the project without bias. Beyond the facts that I'm from Atlanta and that my first concert was Outkast opening for Lauryn Hill and that Outkast is easily the most important musical act of my life — beyond all that — there's nothing I want more in music than a successful Big Boi/Andre/Outkast project.
So, if I were to say, after a week of listening to the album nonstop, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is easily a top-five rap release of 2012, should you take that with a grain of salt (or, if you will, a sprinkle of grits)? Absolutely.
"I used to be a way better writer and a rapper when I used to want a black Carmengia.
Now a n---- speedin' in a Porsche, feeling like I'm going off of course."
— André 3000
Three notes here:
The one obvious criticism: I really don't like how André 3000 is TOTES ripping off Kendrick Lamar's style here.
Chill, bro. That's a joke. Stay out of my inbox about it.
By the time you get to the end of this song, chances are you'll forget that T.I. is even alive because André 3000 is GODDAMN TOUGH here, son. If you're a rapper and you're on a song with him and he starts doing that hyper-nasally sing-song thing that only he and God can do, then just fuck your life. You're taking that L, that's all there is to it.
The singer, occasional rapper, and eldest member of hip-hop angst collective Odd Future (OFWGKTA), Frank Ocean, released a song this past Friday, titled "Pyramids," from his highly anticipated debut album Channel Orange.
A few things about this song:
It's very clever. So clever, in fact, that all of the following are referenced, alluded to, or explicitly stated in the lyrics: Cleopatra, Mark Antony, the Pyramids, Samson, Isis, the skin complexion and controversial ancestral history of Egyptians, mummification, the Battle of Actium, Adam and Eve, Ra, The Luxor Las Vegas, pimps, prostitutes, and motel rooms with only VHS players.
There will be an unusual spike in births in about nine months. Am I saying this song might cause pregnancy? No. I'm saying this song definitely causes pregnancy.
This song is very good. Regardless of the genre, it's one of the better sung songs I've heard in quite some time.
All of these aspects of "Pyramids" are important as far as its staying power, but none of them are what stood out the most. What did?