April 20, 2011

MY COUNTRY, TISOFTHEE

My review of the new, very fabulous Tune-Yards album was in/on The Daily today. Perhaps you read it over someone's shoulder during your commute? The iPad is very popular for such things I imagine. I saw someone using one out doors, an old person, once. The old people in my neighborhood do not use them outdoors. They mostly just walk to the store and back very slowly with only a carton of eggs in a plastic sack. The other people walking in my neighborhood are clergy and Eastern Bloc men of a certain age who favor track suits and uniformly, small, puffy dogs. I assume they are the Russian mob dudes that run the neighborhood, though perhaps they are just men with easy schedules who work at home like I do. The younger of the men leave a scent trail unlike anything I have known. Like an airplane chemtrail of cologne. Like someone is mixing Axe bodyspray and Cool Water in a 50 gallon drum and lighting it aflame nearby. My dear pal Kate says she finds this strangely alluring, the smell, mixed with the constant cigarette smoke and International Male dressing style of the men of the Ukranian Village. There is something really commanding and confident about it, I will give her that. It is like they are wearing 50 car air freshners around their necks; 48 labeled "MAN" and 2 labeled "Pine Tree".

Also, just as I was turning in my review of the Tune Yards record, I was perhaps realizing it's an opus about power, maybe more so than violence, but it's about violence and power and cops. It might be an entire record about powerlessness and being dehumanized by violence. I would really like to have an hour or so to chat with Merrill Garbus and trot out my theories. Not to pit girl genius against girl genius (such is the norm! we are only allowed one at a time if media memory serves correct) but given how MIA true believers twisted that last record up into a heartful polemic, I would have thought it was this record. Does that make sense? That record, for me, was a lot of baked/half-baked ideas, caustic and neon-NOW, and given the reaction to Maya's work, you'd think this was the kind of records she was making. But Merrill's work has some parallels, her cut and paste method, her intensity, but it's a different animal. Different kind of pop, different kind of theatre. And I love her singing voice, too. My favorite thing this year, most defs.

Posted by jessica hopper at April 20, 2011 10:16 PM | TrackBack