Art from ‘Hip Hop Family Tree’ by Ed Piskor.
Gobbledygeek episode 381, “Four-Color Flashback: Hip Hop Family Tree,” is a available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Paul and Arlo are in the place to be, rapping about Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree. For the latest Four-Color Flashback installment, our nerdy white heroes take on nerdy white cartoonist Piskor’s quartet (so far) of graphic novels discussing the history of hip hop culture. The boys discuss Piskor’s art, equally indebted to underground comix and superhero books of the ‘70s and ‘80s; how the physical editions beautifully replicate the aesthetics of the time period; how Piskor captures the rhythm and fluidity of DJs and breakdancers; and what in the hell he’s got against Russell “Rush” Simmons.
Next: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is Family-friendly entertainment.
(Show notes for “Four-Color Flashback: Hip Hop Family Tree.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 243, “Straight Outta Wattles,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Comin’ straight from the underground, this week Paul and AJ discuss the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Yes, the two whitest podcasters you know deliver their take on the film’s authenticity, its sad relevance, where it falls on the biopic spectrum, and the bizarre fact that Ice Cube offspring O’Shea Jackson Jr. is playing Ice Cube. Here’s hoping it’s less awkward than that time they jammed to “Accidental Racist.”
Next: that charming Brit, Wesley “Wezzo” Mead, is back for another round of charming Brit-ness.
(Show notes for “Straight Outta Wattles.”)
Album reviews are divided into six sections: MAXIMUM GOBBLING for the masterpieces; GOBBLE IT for the merely great; WORTH GOBBLING for other good releases; GOBBLE? for those albums which aren’t really good or bad, just sort of okay; DO NOT GOBBLE for the shitty; and RUN, DON’T GOBBLE! for the awful.
QUARANTINE THE PAST: THE BEST OF PAVEMENT
As with most compilations, you could quibble as to why Quarantine the Past exists; Pavement only had five albums, and all the early EP’s were compiled on Westing (By Musket & Sextant). But let’s not quibble, shall we? After more than a decade, Pavement, the seminal 90’s indie band, came together for a reunion tour this year, and Quarantine the Past serves as both a celebration for long-time fans and a primer for new listeners. It’s all here, from Pavement at their most accessible (the sing-along almost-hit “Cut Your Hair”) to the band at their most obscure (“Unseen Power of the Picket Fence,” a track singing the praises of R.E.M.); from ephemera (EP cuts like the noisy “Debris Side”) to essentials (like the majestic “Grounded”). And yet for all the weirdness, all the guitar fuzz and noise, Pavement never lose their keen sense of melody. Leader Stephen Malkmus’ lyrics are largely inscrutable; what are you to make of a line like, “And all the sterile striking, it defends an empty dock you cast away”? What you’re to make of it, I presume, is what you make of it. The words may sound nonsensical out of context, but in the way that Malkmus’ voice intertwines with the music and plays off of it, they convey all you need to know. Like any great band, Pavement means different things to different people, and it’s up to you to fill in the blanks. My Pavement will likely always be the Pavement of the 1992 masterpiece Slanted and Enchanted, represented here by several great cuts including my two favorites, the oddly wistful “Here” and the glorious “Summer Babe (Winter Version).” But it all works, and despite the growths and strong personalities of each of their albums, it all sits side-by-side perfectly; I hesitate to call it a document because documents are boring, locked rigorously into certain perceptions of time. That’s not Pavement. Pavement remain free of such shackles, their music alive and full of color after all these years.