For Real Though
I know it ain’t Christmas but life anthems 100% going on.
Reverence and Reference
There’s a Chuck Palahnuik book I read in college that I largely forget other than the main thesis: riches are wasted within three generations. This is because the farther removed one is from the effort that it takes to gain wealth, the sense of entitlement eventually causes ignorance and ultimately loss.
I believe these cycles hold true in everything, art and entertainment included. It’s why the entertainment industry right now is so fascinating.
I do not know how David Letterman disrupted TV the way Jimmy Kimmel tries to retell above and Vulture tries to explain here. I wasn’t there for it, but more importantly, I wasn’t there for the years before Letterman. This is, above all, the necessity of cultural understanding: a comprehension of pretext.
For those of us who grew up where Letterman was an established staple, we care perhaps a bit more about Jon Stewart’s departure from The Daily Show, as he has been a primary disruptive force in late night comedy for the past 10 years.
So, while I do believe Letterman is getting all the recognition he deserves, I don’t necessarily understand why. It’s not my fault; it’s a natural progression of time.
I suppose all this relates to why I am so happy to see Marina Abramovic call out Jay-Z. Jay and Kanye have been parading around high culture because they bought their way in; the immediacy and the legitimacy of their populist art cannot be denied, but its ability to transcend the way Abramovic (or, even their oft-name-dropped Warhol) does is limited at best.
There’s a certain line at critical thought that Jay-Z once pointed out he ignored;
If skills sold, truth be told, I’d probably be
Lyrically Talib Kweli
Truthfully I wanna rhyme like Common Sense
But I did 5 mill’ – I ain’t been rhyming like Common since
– Jay-Z, “Moment of Clarity”
This embrace of capitalism in the face of a more legitimate social cause as an artist is specifically why Talib Kwali is, and always will be, far more respectable than Mr Carter. It’s not to say Jay doesn’t have his moment or place in history, it’s just when Jay-Z stepped up to find his clarity, he found the reflection of a coin distracting. Building empires? Sure, but that’s why he’s nearly embarrassing himself with new material.
Originality can never fall prey to the cult of money or you’ll quickly find yourself the generation being usurped by a lack of reverence because you’re out of touch with how to reference. The reason Jimmy Kimmel can’t explain why David Letterman is great is because he’s trying to use the language Dave invented to tell a story about Dave; it’s the fact Kimmel is standing in front of a camera at all that is the only testament needed.
Kendrick Lamar is right: lots of y’all ‘artists’ have some fucked up priorities and everyone wants to get paid and end up made. And you know what? In the end, that just makes you another cog in their system. So truth to Dave, he legit set a domino effect in motion and though the new kids may not appreciate it, he transcends.
“I Just Want To Fuck Up The Whole World.”
What A Sound
I know these two are all the rage or whatever, but that voice. (There remain certain things worthy of attention.)
Can I get delivered from the sin?
Get a little slice of Heaven, I can enter in again
Or maybe just imagine that I’m living in a mansion
Or a palace and my pizza gets delivered in a Benz
Make a savior out of savage like they made it out of magic
So it take a nigga havoc and it make it into friends
You don’t even need a salad, it don’t make a nigga fatter
Actually take a nigga backwards and make a nigga thin
That’s a deep dish, Chicago style get the peace stick
Home run hitter, I be drilling on the weak pitch
Pay into the plate then I put it in your face
I’m a man, never biting on the hands that I eat with
No Giordano or DiGiorno
Homemade Bull City bring it to him like a toro
Throwing dough up in the air-bottom to the top and shredder
Full of cheese smarter than a purple ninja turtle
I’ve been coming back to Tetsuo & Youth for months now, and while Kendrick and Earl also are in steady rotation still, this record is really unrecognized genius.
Flattered that you think I warrant ugliness. Gutters drain west, mud made a mess of us. It’s time to leave this place.
I’d saw through your wrist to find a better trap that fits. I’d saw through your traps to find a better you. A part of you that lasts. I saw through your trap and into my own wrists.
Saw we were through, red ribbons spill to blue: A sight to sore your eyes.
I got this dress. I’m hiking it around this waste of laughter. Slow dance alone with no one to the sound of four hands clapping. Congratulations to you both, I hope somewhere you’re happy. If there’s a moral to this story then I wish you’d show me.
Hair in the blood, fly in the disappointment. Rubber, I’m glue. I’ll write the book on you. It’s sticking to my face. You need a little less than what you take for granted. This is the sip that’s drinking back from you, blacking out your eyes. You need a little more suppression of you appetites. This is your honeymoon, in separate rooms, it’s neither sweet nor bright.
I made a word to give this state a name, this game a guess. I call it, “Sluttering.” It means as little as your little test. You are your worst revenge. Your very means, they have no ends. This is a story you won’t tell the kids we’ll never have.
If you hear this song a hundred times it still won’t be enough.
Jawbreaker seemingly only gets more pertinent the older I get, and this should probably worry me more than it does.
Sealed To Me
You finally caught that roadrunner and blew him up. I finally got it through my thick cranium. You wake up and get dressed and then you check your pressure. Are those covalent bonds still holding you together? I’m working hard at being my own MVP instead of feeling lucky just to have made the team.
How are you feeling? Are you healing? What’s it mean to be sealed to me?
If you want to finish you could run your minute and make your time. If you are without, well I’m full of it, so come take some of mine.
You gonna cast me away into outer darkness ’cause I couldn’t cover rent to stay at God’s apartment? I’ve got a shovel and even though I’ve hit paydirt. I’m really just happy to have gotten the work. If you could be the wind then I would be a leaf, because I’m finished with these pliers. Sick of pulling my teeth, yeah.
How are you feeling? Are you healing? What’s it mean to be sealed to me>
Storm on the bay. We all drift away. Your kingdom never comes. I ain’t no chosen one.
Heart stops beating. Float through the ceiling. Those gates won’t be sealed to me.
Jesse Lacey is going on 15 years of writing the perfect song at the perfect time in my life. Seriously, “Soco Amaretto” (2001), “Me Vs Maradona Vs Elvis” (2003), and then most of The Devil and God and half of Daisy. Now “Mene” and this.
I don’t know; I saw a face last week that showed me a future I gave up on a decade ago. We all used to be someone. I guess it’s figuring out who we become.
There’s No Return
1. I remember seeing this live. The 90’s were dope.
2. Insomniac is Green Day’s true unheralded masterpiece. After Dookie, they take a single year and release the most impressive fuck-you to mainstream pop; full of resentment, bad relationships and drug use, it’s a fucking masterpiece of being a torched-up 20something. (Kids who had already discovered Jawbreaker probably saw this as a dick move trying to be a punk band they never were.) Still though: Insomniac remains one of the most influential albums on my life, along there with Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada, ‘This Is Our Punk Rock’ and Clarity.
3. That tub was filled with Alka-Seltzer. Also, that Demi Moore top.
4. There’s a sense of honesty in this performance that completely lacks in Green Day now; it’s nothing shameful. It’s just that you can see, at this point, there’s still determination. Billie Joe was still singing something, not just mouthing words to sing-alongs.
Disenfranchisement happens. Sing now while you can.
I am quite stoked for Montage of Heck. I don’t know, though; in a lot of ways, I’m glad Kurt is dead.
There are people who love Nirvana, many of them. And Cobain was a rightful artist. His death is interesting, though, because specifically with 1994 being arguably the peak of the American experiment, it’s like he died and we all slowly declined into 2015, watching movies about times when there was more hope.
Kurt got out while the going was good; the rest of us have to sit around, listening to Nirvana, watching ourselves sell out to the highest bidder just to get by. Kurt seemed to know life peaks for a certain type of person at 27.
(This isn’t to advocate suicide, but rather to simply recognize that those who feel estranged by society and mainstream culture will not cease to do so as time passes, and if my own personal observations hold any merit, most of the world slips further and further away. Life after 27 is not for altruists or the socially conscious unless you happen to be a masochist.)