Sittin’ here flossin', peepin’ your steelo
A dilemma: (Warning: I hate Kanye West. I hate his fat ego, his fat paychecks and his overzealous security team. I hate his fat, smug face. I hate his superficial intelligence, his lame self-righteousness and his signature prep-school/retired Macy’s salesman wardrobes. I wish the doctors would have kept his jaw wired shut. When I pray at night, I ask God to put Kanye in a cage with hungry, racist tigers.)
But Dahlak’s Kanye tribute album is actually quite good. It’s weird, when one of my favorite emcees comes out with a Kanye tribute album, I have to listen objectively with hope that he drowns Kanye with his brilliance. Dahlak’s a great emcee. He takes Kanye’s beats (yes, they’re good beats) and he adds a flair that only a truly enigmatic rapper can. His personality actually outweighs the stench of a pretentious a-hole who’s made it acceptable for fans of hip-hop to dress like Fonzworth Bentley at a gay club.
Even though sped-up soul samples are played out and slow, monotone rhymes with the last word’s intonation in a slightly higher octave bore, Dahlak steers clear of emulation and focuses on expansion. His version of “Commencement” is ferocious, and the emcee’s verbal ability and lyrical creativity is outstanding. Appearances by Plush Lush and State Cap. don’t hurt either. In the end, Dahlak kills Kanye. Well, figuratively, at least. And that’s enough for me to sleep at night.
Dahlak’s Live from the Boondocks Presents: Dahlak in Commencement—A Kanye West Tribute can be downloaded for free on November 11. Check www.thisisdahlak.com for details. (Josh Fernandez)
Conflicted: So many questions …
For starters, remember Far? Sure. But do you remember ever doin’ it to Far? Probably not: Post-emo 916 rock circa ’95 equals not the most potent aphrodisiac.
So it’s out of left field that, after nearly a decade hiatus, the “new Far single” tries to get you in the mood to hump. Don’t believe me? Google “hot little pony” and MySpace Far’s cover of Ginuwine’s 1996 grinder, “Pony.” Yup, it’s creepy to hear singer Jonah Matranga croon “Juices flowing down your thigh” over guitarist-producer Shaun Lopez’s buttery Bizkit’d riffage.
But it’s also fun, though I’ll likely keep my pants on (readers/co-workers collective sigh of relief). That said, Andy Hawk, music director over at The K-wad, 106.5 FM, says that people are sweating Far’s “Pony”: It’s the No. 1 requested song these past couple weeks. “First, it was Far fans calling in. But now people are asking for ‘that pony song—that’s cool,’ and it’s taking off,” Hawk explains. Far played the Troubadour and Glass House in SoCal last month and will play festivals in Europe in late November. And Hawk, who’s in touch with the fellas, is optimistic about a Far show in Sacramento in ’09.
Question No. 2: Is electro rock the new cock rock? Possibly. The Faint and Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head play Sac State on Friday (7:30 p.m.; $15 for students, $20 for students of life), and the gig’s a perfect opportunity to settle said hypothesis once and for all. Here’s how: Subtract the number of keffiyeh scarves, spandex bodysuits, V-neck tees, Justice leather jackets, alternative breasts, gadgety wristwatches, jersey shirts, Cobra Kai headbands, and Cosby sweaters from the number of hair-sprayed coifs, spandex pants, dudes with mascara, waxed chests, plaid slacks, Bret Michaels headbands and neon boas. If you end up with a positive number, electro really is the new cock rock. If it’s a negative number, go home and rock some Krokus.
Question No. 3: Do things really never change? No. Change happens (see Tuesday’s election results). Which includes bad change, like promoter-publisher Jerry Perry’s Alive & Kicking rag going dark for good this past month after over a decade of local-band covers and thousand-word treatises on the virtues of hamburgers and hot licks.
But don’t worry: There still will be Perry shows. Like this Thursday, with former A&K cover darlings LGS and—whoa—Matranga and Far bassist John Gutenberger’s Two Sheds. Funny how shit comes full circle, eh? (Nick Miller)
I moted: I just finished voting (by press time, we’ll know who will be the next man to lie, cheat on the first lady, then disappoint us) and realized that today Q-Tip’s The Renaissance is out. The former A Tribe Called Quest frontman managed to do everything I wanted to hear in hip-hop but didn’t in the last 10 years. Run out right now and buy it. Oh yeah, when I was driving to work, why did I have to wait behind a horse and buggy driven by a John Sutter-looking yokel? Ugh, Sacramento, for shame. (J.F.)