Don’t wait till something dies to show your appreciation for it. Why does it always take a finale to get people to watch, to finally give a series a chance? Why does it take a tragedy to make our perception go from inward to the ever changing world? Does something have to end to become important?
If you haven’t guessed by now, yes, I’m somewhat talking about Robin Williams. I’ve never liked his movies or his mile a minute, punchline after punchline after spastic punchline style that gave birth to the comedic stylings of Andy Dick and Carrottop. Now, I need to be specific, I never liked him in the over the tops, that everybody all of a sudden was a fan of. Well, except Aladdin. I still remember watching that movie every single fucking day with my little sister, because she made me. That movie is a classic though. Plus, I’m pretty sure I know most of the songs better than you do. Really, it was that movies that showed his real acting, the Good Will Huntings and Dead Poets Society, that I liked him. If memory serves me though, nobody ever flipped the channel and said, “Oh, shit, it’s a Robin Williams’ movie. Leave it.” Unless it was Jumanji, or even worse yet Mrs. Doubtfire or Hook. Now, all of a sudden, everybody loves that man. Memes are posted about his deep, existential quotes. Don’t kid yourselves. People didn’t watch that show he had on CBS last year, that’s why it got canceled. Why are the masses suddenly finding a new acceptance for the man? Oh, he named his daughter after Zelda from the Legend of Zelda, that’s nice. What else? You got some Chris Farely videos you want me to see? If you do, I got some John Belushi you need to watch.
Let’s get real for a second, though. This is by no means a new thing or limited to films. The most recent of memories remind of how everybody all of a sudden was a DJ Medhi and, even sadder still, J-Dilla fan. It takes death to make spread their names over the stratus. I want to say DJ AM, but he was pretty famous and not as entirely groundbreaking or as inspiring as Dilla was. I remember watching Robyn and Medhi at Coachella in a pretty empty tent. I remember playing one of my last gigs and having people randomly come up and ask if I had a Dilla record. At first, I thought that was dope. I was glad that I traded my faded 180 gram Redman “There Iz A Dark Side” for a Dilla Pressing. When I played it, them bitches were like “This is J-Dilla, oh. I thought it was cooler.” Death can get you fame, but it won’t get you understood or appreciated.
Riding the coattails of tragedy only gets you so far before your sincerity is called out. Look at Puff Daddy. That man tried rode Biggie’s death like the Jamaican’s rode the bobsled in Cool Runnings. Even New York is starting to lose its luster again after 9/11 softened their difficult image. Whole episodes of the Simpson’s were dedicated to their rudeness. Now, we’re starting to get tired of their shit again. Oh, and don’t forget Michael Jackson. You remember the jokes? I’m sure you made one or two of them. Shit, I still make them and you damn right I have a Thriller vinyl though. Heath Ledger Brokeback Joker puns, anyone?
We need to step away from this bandwagon appreciation. We need to start to show the living some respect, because they are trying and creating. At best, the dead will leave behind some secret of magnum opus and leave on a triumph. Don’t cry for a deceased person who lived a long and full life, ripe with opportunity and success. Look at the poet on the street corner trying to share a book of sonnets to the passers by, that try to avoid eye contact. Support the painters who still have a chance at making a beautiful masterpiece. Go to a show, before a musician joins the list of people you wish you had seen in concert. Even if it’s something a trivial as posting a new song on your social media walls, do something to fight this trite death worship. Embrace the living, because one day they won’t be around to appreciate that somebody actually loved the art they created. Respect the dead, they say? What for, if you can’t even acknowledge the living.
This Week In Music:
I also won’t be around for long. As much as I love struggling against the high tide of commercialism, our musical culture has shipwrecked, my instinct knows that the winter is coming. If anything I’ve always supported the underground and every time there’s an expansive boom there will be a blastback. It’s evident with musical history throughout the years. The rejection of Disco, into the assimilation of Metal into pop music, of Hip-Hop and Rap becoming gentrified. No matter how hard we try to stay honest and pure, there’s always a parody that drags us in the wrong direction. Plus, I might go to prison, so enjoy the free music while I’m able to get them to you.
Thomas Jack – Booka Shade
This song is a heavy parable. First, let’s clear the air, this song is not a Booka Shade song, but named Booka Shade. If you’re a fan, you’ll probably realize the influence quite immediately. Secondly, yes, that’s an Eminem sample. Who doesn’t like to be surprised? In a cookie cutter industry, this song reminds me of the difficulty of forcing that mix out of your head and into reality. For it to work on danceable, funky, deep level is commendable. Plus, people keep asking me for this song, so here you go.
Herve’ – BMX Ride In June
I’m a Herve’ (I don’t know how to make the E with the accent on it) fan. When he puts out anything, it merits a listen. The song says BMX Ride in June, so I suspect he was riding around in on a bike in June which inspired this song’s creation. Honestly, this signals the melancholy that the end of summer brings. It’s finally nice enough to go out again, with the gentle touches of the breeze lifting the last petals of a final bloom. There’s an Ethereal Spacey openness of older House and Trance tracks, before the 2004 elitism. It makes me want to go out into the woods one last time, before the wildfires and freezes keep me away.
Pronounced Sunburn, I believe. I don’t know anymore. I’ve been over all these vowel removals since MGMT. Still, I take nothing away from this artist’s talent. Everybody knows, I love me a good 90’s remix and this takes that stylish Deep House with fire. Perfect for that final pool party transition back into the fireplace basement digs of Fall. Grooves on the mood and the vocal. Honestly, one of my favorite jams this week.
Yes, I’ll keep that 90’s love going, and nothing says Tommy Hilfiger and upside down visors like Ace of Base. Maybe in the modern styling, it’s House, but it reminds me of the post Chill Ibiza wave, that had every sample crossed over with a modular or three. That whistle is great for the back octave listener. It’ll make me keep SNBRN on my radar.
Jade – Don’t Walk Away (Faces Bootleg)
Since I’m on this decade trip, Eton Messy serves me one last serving to get my craving under control. Succinct looping, playful edits, and balanced extensions. Eton Messy puts out great tunes. Make sure you support them if you;re into this level of synth and flow.
Minnie Riperton – Loving You (Sam Tiba Remix)
I wanted to save this joint for next week, but it won’t be appropriate. The flow is already there and Juke tracks like this need to go together. “Loving You” is a classic and this is a catchy remix, a little throwback with contemporary flavors. It’s a bit long in the middle, but it keeps the intro and extension phases memorable. Sam Tiba is another artist to look out for.
Michael Buble – Feeling Good (SMLE Cover)
Fuck it, I’m just going to smash this week with groovy tracks. Light a blunt. Sit your other half down next to you and tell them you love them, because once this song comes on, you know what’s going down. Those levels kill me. That Zapp And Roger solo in the middle keeps the mood fresh. This setup is perfect for the people who love R&B or just love to make love.
Next Week: Jail Stories
Raul Chacon is a self-aware douchebag, who only listens to bands you’ve probably never heard of. His years of writing for literary reviews and magazines, lead him to a couple of scholarships for his work, which he quickly squandered by moving to Austin and going to shows six days a week, instead of class. Eventually, he became as a touring security and witnessed hundreds of shows and dozens of festivals firsthand. He would tell you how many shows he’s been too; but there’s too many holes in his brain at this point.
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