Friday, January 22, 2010

Jay-Z, MIA, other people with letters for names.

I want to get M.I.A. out of the way. Her new slapdash track is apparently a protest song against an article the New York Times ran about tourism coming to Sri Lanka, and the track is dull and nonsensical, which isn't much of a protest, unless going in front of Focus on the Family and throwing confetti in the air for three hours is a good kind of protest. Protest should say something and offer alternative information. As far as I can tell, MIA's description of the problems in Sri Lanka are as one-sided as the NYT's was, and so this protest has consisted of a mediocre spacey track and twittered picture of war atrocities found around the web, though even those images have been questioned-- hard to tell if the government forces or the Tamils wrought them. Of course, what has been happening there is horrifying and I guess some part of her intentions are good, but she's not doing much to enlarge public understanding of the situation-- especially by picking on what is essentially a puff piece in the Travel section. So the track offers nothing new to her catalogue & you won't learn anything but you can stay hip and check it out here. I sat through about a minute or so of it. Sorry.

On the other hand, Jay-Z's new track-- ok, it's not fabulous. I think the last good song he did was "Roc Boys" though I only rarely listen to him, that referring to listening to on purpose because "Empire State of Mind" is kind of still not going away for some reason. But his new track "On to the Next One" is catchy, better than "Run this Town" because we don't have to listen to Rihanna singing out of her nose. But like "Run This Town", it has amazing visuals-- this time, black and white occult, gothic & horror-inspired imagery, gorgeously shot-- each moment you could freeze & blow up & put on your wall. Jay-Z has recently been accused of participation in cults and this is said to be a tongue-in-cheek response. The man is good at tongue-in-cheek so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Ok, lied about the other people with letter names-- oh, actually, I guess they sell ODB shirts at Urban Outfitters now in what is either a Warholian color scheme or an homage to fucking Apple computers-- so kind of the big three of consumerist Go Fuck Yourself; I'm so stoked to see 13 year olds wandering around the city in them. Run DMC is SO last summer.

I'd rather go back to Bloomingdale's and see the Flipper shirt they had there.

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