Saturday, October 31, 2009

This year, Halloween fell on the weekend

90. Geto Boys - "Mind Playing Tricks On Me" (Rap-A-Lot Records, 1991)

Okay, so this is one of the best songs ever and realistically way too low here and number 90, but you know how science likes to be timely, so on Halloween we present the greatest Halloween song ever courtesy of Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Bill. It's about paranoia, seeing things in shadows, and being all-around confused as to what or whom is trying to get you. It has the one of the best beats in the world. I cower in its awesomeness.

HALLOWEEN BONUS #1: this video with Star Wars figurines.

HALLOWEEN BONUS #2: "My Malt's Playing Tricks on Me"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rock the Box

91. 69 - "Jam the Box" (R & S Records, 1994)

Our science is, as you may remember, a huge fan of Carl Craig's various endeavors, and this one is no different, bringing together many things we love in Dance Music - interesting polyrhythms, the love of machine sounds, repetition - in a really wonderful way. Favorite moments:

- the first breakdown at 56 seconds as we are introduced to the bassline and some hand drums. Detroit machines gone Caribbean, here we go.

- 2'30" and thereabouts when he really starts working the open and closed hi-hats and makes me move (at the very least) my hands and my brain in double and triple time.

Ah, who cares about moments when the whole experience is so sublime.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Very special, really and truly

92. Wayne Wonder - "No Letting Go" (Atlantic Records, 2003)

I slept on this song when it was first out, and I'm not quite sure why. I wasn't super into dancehall at the time, but I was enough of an active dilettante to be totally down with the other pop-dancehall that was big at the time, a little Sean Paul, a little Beanie Man, but with this Wayne Wonder, I was aware of it, but never made the time/space.

Anyways, a few years later I heard it on the radio and was totally floored by it. It uses the Diwali's handclaps to accent this incredibly mournful sounding chord progression and melody and now when I listen to it it gets me every time.

(the song starts at 32 seconds)

Monday, October 26, 2009

All work is honorable, yeah, art is just a job

93. the New Bomb Turks - "Born Tolouse-Latrec" (from the !!Destroy-Oh-Boy!! album, Crypt, 1993)

"Born Tolouse-Latrec" has a fun lyric about art as labor, but it's more important charms are (as with most music we talk about her) sonic. It's the opener to the Turks' first LP, and it sets the pace at way-too-fast and the mood at quite aggressive (to say the least). Dunno about yall, but once in a while hearing angry midwesterners take the piss out of "serious" artists over buzzsaw guitars and drums that sound like they're chasing something is something I enjoy very much.

Poppin bottles with top models

At least once every few months, it helps to watch Lisa D'Amato's "Ace of Spades" video, possibly the most retarded ANTM-related thing ever (and amazingly, something that has nothing to do with Tyra). After that apertif (which, if it were an apertif, would be some horrible concoction of midori, Jaeger, and 151 that would ruin not only your appetite, but also your life), we proceed to the meal at hand. Hope you're hungry for stats and me commenting on an episode which, again, I barely remember.

Ranking This Week(Ranking last week). Model Name (rankings in the last 4 episodes), bold for bottom 2), [average ranking overall]

1(1). Nicole - (4, 5, 1, 2) [2.86]
The Cover Girl commercial shoot hasn't ever been particularly strong in predicting the winner, but I think the fact that Nicole is portrayed on this show as socially inept and still managed to place second here should definitely work in her favor. Here's to hoping some stress this week makes her bloody eyeball act up again (and she still wins).

2(2). Britney - (1, 2, 3, 3) [4.57]
Brit represents one of the biggest disparities in recent Top Model history between what the judges see when they look at a girl and what my friends and I see. The judges make the choices obvi, so I'm gonna keep her here, but zzzzzzzzzzzzz. (those stand for "Zounds! She's boring!").

3(6). Jennifer - (2, 3, 5, 1) [3.57]
Good for her, but this isn't Top Scallop Commercial Spokesperson, this is Top Model. So, we'll see.

4(3). Erin - (5, 7, 4, 6) [4.57]
Cover Girl commercial, Shmover Shmirl shmommercial. Aaight, so she actually hasn't been doing that well lately and I think the white eyebrows might be catching up to her, but I still think Erin has hella potential and would be surprised if she didn't bounce back this wekk.

5(4). Laura - (6, 4, 2, 5) [5.14]
Look, I'm not saying that being able to read well and quickly isn't useful as far as being a model goes. But on the list of Professions Made Much More Difficult by Dyslexia, where do you think model ranks? Not that I expect Tyra and co. to not make an issue out of one of the contestants' learning disorders, I'm just sayin', she'll prolly be okay.

6(7). Sundai - (7, 6, 7, 4) [6.71]
It'll take Sundai taking this computer from me and editing a post for her to not be on the bottom of this list, and I'm 6'1, so I can def just hold it high in the air while she jumps and flails at it wildly, never to reach it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Beware when I be makin' hits with Premier

94. Nas - "Nas is Like" (Columbia, 1999)
95. Gang Starr - "Suckas Need Bodyguards" (Chrysalis, 1994)
96. Gang Starr - "Ex Girl to Next Girl" (Chrysalis, 1992)
97. Jeru the Damaja - "Ya Playin' Yaself" (Payday/ffrf, 1996)

He might not have had the impact on global pop of Timbaland or be a pop-cult figure like the RZA, but I'd say DJ Premier is easily one of the top 10, if not top 5, musicians from the 90s. His inimitable (many sad producers have tried/still are trying) boom bap has powered so many of my favorite rap tracks that I'm kind of shocked only one of his masterpiece beats has made the countdown so far.

While the legend that Guru couldn't rap is an odd and false one, it's hard to argue that Gang Starr would've been anywhere near as classic with anyone else behind the boards and decks. The horn sample on "Ex Girl to Next Girl" is so indelible that I often forget it doesn't run throughout the whole song and that's 0% an indictment of the rest of the beat or Guru's rhymes and 100% praise. "Suckas Need Bodyguards" is a much harder track the cherry on top of which is Primo making the "I'm not a sucka so I don't need a bodyguard" line from hip house masterpiece "It Takes Two" and actually making a Rob Base line sound threatening.

Jeru the Damaja was, at the age of 11 or so, my first real favorite rapper, and I would imagine the non-stop kung-fu imagery in the "Ya Playin' Yaself" had a lot to do with that. The non-stop self righteousness seems a little less attractive in retrospect, but I think I actively liked that about Jeru back then, though I'm not sure why I ever thought dude telling girls how to wear their jeans was dope. Anyways, a lot of Primo's best beats are found on Jeru's first two albums, and this one indulges the Damaja by making the beat sound like he actually might be kicking someone in the chest.

Finally, "Nas Is Like," easily Nasir's dopest song not found on Illmatic (maybe even including Illmatic. Actually, let's say the dopest beat he ever rapped on period). I don't know how a CD that has both something as untouchable as this and something as shit as "Hate Me Now" on it doesn't implode or something. Primo does chorus scratches as well as anyone, as far as making them as hooky as anything that could've been in their place as an actual chorus. And the beat brings out the best in Nas, as incredible beats tend to do in once great rappers.

Here come a bunch of videos at your face:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

International women with no body hair

98. the Buzzcocks - "Orgasm Addict" (United Artists, 1977)

"Orgasm Addict" is one of the funniest and best rock and roll songs ever brought to usby our friends from Great Britain. The breathing, the rising vocals before the bridge: all perfect. And the bridge, a list of people that the subject has "made out" with that starts out with "school kids, winos, and heads of state" and only gets better from there, is simply one of the finest lyrics ever sung.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


God dammit, I don't even know anymore. The show is helping me out tremendously by just eliminating whoever was in the bottom two in the last episode, but will I have any clue who's gonna win this once Sundai goes? Nope, not a chance.

Ranking This Week(Ranking last week). Model Name (rankings in the last 4 episodes), bold for bottom 2), [average ranking overall]

1(4). Nicole - (2, 4, 5, 1) [3.00]
Why did I ever doubt it?

2(1). Britney - (10, 1, 2, 3) [4.83]
Umm, I mean, she's good and everything, but is it just me, or are all three of these poses more or less the same pose? Still towards the top, but not as sure as I was last week.

3(3). Erin - (3, 5, 7, 4) [4.33]
Her willingness to throw herself upside down with abandon made her even more likeable.

4(5). Laura - (7, 6, 4, 2) [5.17]
I'm trying to not let my excitement about Laura being potentially great not get the best of me and moving her up the chart slowly. This might be too personal of a measure for this highly scientific endeavor but it'll have to do. If Laura is top 3 next week she moves up into our top 3, I promise.

5(2). Rae - (9, 3, 1, 6) [4.67]
I really should do this closer to the episodes so that I can remember the criticisms they give these ladies. But she couldn't have done that well ranked sixth, right? So back to five she goes.

6(6). Jennifer - (5, 2, 3, 5) [4.00]
With the elimination of Kara, Jennifer suddenly has the wonkiest eye in the competition again.

7(7). Sundai - (4, 7, 6, 7) [7.17]
Hanging. On. Arms. Not. Long enough.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Drench yourself in words unspoken

99. Natasha Bedingfield - "Unwritten" (Sony BMG, 2005)

One of several songs on this countdown that I hated upon first hearing it and grew to love like a dear friend, "Unwritten" is very good as a pop song and sublime as the theme song to one of YMD's favorite television shows, the Hills. It works for the Hills because it is about living your life for yourself and other such things that young folks are supposed to do, but it really works for the Hills because the Hills is one of the most conspicuously (and well) written and composed reality shows ever on television and this song is called "Unwritten"! This is not to say this song is "about" the irony of scripted reality, obviously, it's a super-earnest, wonderful pop song, but there's so much wonderful irony (the fun kind) in the line bout how the "ending [is] unplanned" that jives with why I love this show.

Also, this is wonderful inspirational (in intent, and sometimes in effect) pop, complete with wonderful Inspirational Gospel Singing, which is probably the best part of the song.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I am no longer concerned

100. Sunshine Anderson - "Heard It All Before (Atlantic, 2001)

I think every time I hear this song the guitar scratches stand out as more of an unnecessary, completely superfluous nod to classic soul/funk that this song wouldn't miss at all (as a textural or rhythmic element) if they were just straight cut out. Having said that, the songwriting and singing make this a pretty much unfuckwitable classic for me. The decided lack of bombast in the singing works, as the performance coveys both the strength and hurt one expects from a good breakup song. Those chords, authoratively held for like 3.5 measures (especially when they're emphasized in the chorus) are great too. A wonderful way for science to start off our top 100.

Diamonds and di, diamonds and

I realized we hadn't ever posted this so why not. Obviously Jackie is one of the sillier looking rappers in recent memory, so enjoy that while also enjoying how fire this song is.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Very Belated PWRRNKNGS/QSTNS (that's QueSTioNS)/NSWRS

Y'know, they heard I had a good thing going with these power rankings, and decided to fuck up my stats by giving out first place for best photo. So despite the fact that Jennifer doesn't deserve it, I'm gonna give Rae a 1st, Britney a 2nd, and Jennifer a 3rd based on how much they liked their pictures. Man did Lil' Mama make Tyra and the Jays and co. sound almost relatively insightful on this, huh?

Ranking This Week(Ranking last week). Model Name (rankings in the last 4 episodes), bold for bottom 2), [average ranking overall]

1(4). Britney - (2, 10, 1, 2) [5.20]
Have I ever been less certain about putting someone at number one here?

2(5). Rae - (8, 9, 3, 1) [4.40]
Do you think they're bring up the rape again? If they do will you assume she's a lock to win that one or get sent home? (I'd assume win, she's quite good)

3(1). Erin - (1, 3, 5, 7) [4.40]
Who was the last ANTM girl to be so lovably hateful?

4(2). Nicole - (4, 2, 4, 5) [3.40]
If an eyeball bleeds in the forest, can anyone hear you scream? Do I know how nonsensical that is? (yes)

5(6). Laura - (3, 7, 6, 4) [5.80]
How quickly will she climb to the top 3 if she can do well again this week? (very)

6(3). Jennifer - (6, 5, 2, 3) [3.80]
How can you kill something in a negative way? (by taking a series of bad photos, obvi)

7(8). Sundai - (7, 4, 7, 6) [6.20]
How can you get praised to high heaven and still get your picture behind Nicole who got Tyra shat on a bunch? (by being 2 feet tall)

8(7). Kara - (5, 1, 8, 8) [6.40]
How did thinking about Kara just now give me a stomach ache? (I don't mean anything by that, seriously, I just thought about what to write for here and bam, pain)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We're more than horses

101. the Unicorns - "I Was Born (A Unicorn)" (from the Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? album, Alien8 Recordings, 2003)

In the year 2003 the Unicorns came and perfected the Quirky Indie-Rock Song and then they were gone and it wasn't really a worthwhile genre anymore.

*Van Leersen, Michael, the Encyclopedia of Pop Genres; Volume VII (Austin, Univ. of Texas Press, 2023) 224

Thursday, October 8, 2009

If your love is strong, gonna give my all to you

102. Ghost Town DJs - "My Boo" (So So Def, 1996)

Inspired by Mariah's amazing new "H.A.T.E.U." remix featuring Gucci, Big Boi, and OJ, here's a song I hadn't heard in years until today. This is definitely a So So Def summer jam, but we'll have to make due with it in October.The "at night I think of you..." chorus is one of the great longing R&B hooks of the 90s, and the skittering high hats and twinkly keyboard solo make this song a junior high classic. It's a fine, scientific conclusion to the second third of this list.

(full song here, but had to post the video for full beach party and JD as volleyball ref vibes)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cruisin Southside streets with no heat and no sticker.

103. Common Sense - "Resurrection (album version)" (from the Resurrection album, Relativity, 1994)

As an artist, Common has had pretty much the steepest decline of anyone in my estimation. I'm not sure I heard a lot of Common until he released One Day It'll All Make Sense, but after that I went back and bought the Resurrection tape and listened to it as much as maybe any other album in the 90s and early 00s. And as great as "I Used to Love H.E.R." is, it's probably only my sixth or seven favorite song off of it. "Resurrection" is one of the best opening tracks ever, Common coming rapid fire right off the bat and draping the track with alliteration and consonance. "Conscious rap" was a terrible red herring of a term to begin with, Biggie and Scarface and many others were as thoughtful and self-examining as any Native Tongues, but Common on Resurrection is as good of an example of how good it was in practice before it went wrong with MCs like...Common.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I want to screw you

104. Tall Dwarfs - "All My Hollowness to You" (from the "Three Songs" single, 1981)

Roast Chicken Breast with Pan Sauce and Zucchini

Summer's over, but fuck it, I saw some zucchini at my shitty local supermarket and it looked delicious. So I bought some and made it as a side for some chicken.


- 1 chicken breast, bone in, skin on
- a bit of olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons of butter (trust it)
- half of a decent sized zucchini (though I probably could've eaten a whole one)
- the zest of like half a lemon
- 3 cloves of garlic
- a cup of red wine (-ish, I guess)

Preheat your oven to like 440. Get a chicken breast ready and sprinkle it with salt (kosher or sea, obvi) and black pepper. When you're oven's almost ready, pour some olive oil into an oven-safe skillet and heat it over medium-high. When it's hot, put the breast in skin side down and sear it until the skin starts crisping up. Then transfer it to the oven and cook for 12-16 more minutes, depending on the size of the breast.

While yr chicken's roasting, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in another pan over medium-low heat. Slice up half a large zucchini, thin but not flimsy. Also mince three clothes of garlic. When the butter is melted throw in the garlic, zucchini, and lemon zest and saute until the garlic and zucchini both soften, no more than a few minutes. Turn it down if the garlic starts burning.

When the chicken is done take it out of the pan and put the pan on a burner at medium. Deglaze the pan with some wine and reduce it until it's more of a sauce than a wine. Meanwhile, take the zucchini out of its pan, put it in a bowl, and cover it with some of the garlic. Then, when the wine is reduced, finish it with the leftover butter and garlic from the other pan. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and EAT THAT SHIT. Ahem.

I don't wear tight jeans like the white boys

(via OnSmash)

So apparently there's a video for Gucci's "Wasted", and thank the good lord above that it's for the vastly superior version with Plies. I heard this song on Hot 97 the other day and almost cried when OJ da Juiceman came on instead of Plies. Gucci's final verse on here is wonderful too, especially the "Magic City Monday, ball playin' wasted/middle finger up and drinkin' Thunderbird wasted/12 pack wasted/I need more cases/and Gucci not a racist/all my diamonds caucasian" ending. One of my jams of the year so far. Really hope Gucci's album drop this year.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Machine love

105. Delia Gonzales & Gavin Russom - "Relevee (Carl Craig Remix)" (DFA, 2006)

I've been trying to figure out what to say about this track since we were on like 150, and I haven't been able to, really. It's just perfect in all of its variations and repetitions and transitions. When the strings appear via rumble at 5'37 I laugh every time. This shit is easily one of the best handful of tracks on DFA and one of the best arguments for the loveliness of analog equipment ever.