ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Chicken -N- Beer
Def Jam South
Ludacris just might be responsible for this year’s most
stupidly enjoyable cover art — a panoramic fold-out filled
with piles of golden fried chicken, bottles of beer and hoes
passed out in all their breast-and-thighs glory.
Thankfully, the music on the Atlanta rapper’s third full-length
release is just as fun as its package suggests, filled with
dirty beats and dirty rhymes.
But for every “Screwed Up” (which features the
lovely chorus “fuck you”) and every “P-Poppin’” (which
features the equally lovely chorus “pussy-poppin’”),
there are even better tracks like the foreboding “Blow
It Out” which takes a shot at right-wing pundit Bill
O’Reilly, whose criticisms of Pepsi for using the rapper
as a spokesperson successfully had Ludacris dropped from the
soft drink company’s campaign. The track features the
lyrical gem: “His money keeps flowin’ like Niagara
Falls/We all know Jesus saves and Ludacris withdraws.”
And then there’s the hilarious, low-key chill-out “Hoes
in My Room” featuring Snoop Dogg which is everything
you’d expect from a song with that kind of billing. The
four skit tracks are pretty unnecessary, but with chicken,
beer and hoes, what more could a guy want?
Rainbow Quartz Records
The Lovethugs are a fixture in the Oslo, Norway music scene
but are tragically unknown in North America. They deserve better.
Their sound is full and dark. Their songs are a creative blend
of an era of music reflected through the aesthetics of today.
On vocals, Jim Faulty sounds like a strange hybrid of Paul
McCartney’s innocence and Jim Morrison’s syncopated,
delirious delivery. The texture of the music comes through
as a hazy blend of Kinks, The Doors and the tightest of Sonic
Playground Instructors is a well-crafted album of very cool,
dense rock. Effortlessly spanning nearly 40 years of music,
Lovethugs sound like a band that merely needs a time and place
to show the masses just how to draw upon history in order to
map out the future of psychedelic rock.
John Sakamoto’s Anti-Hit
John Sakamoto, a music critic for Eye Weekly provides a whole
new arsenal of band names for those who enjoy discussing the
abomination that is popular music, with reference to unknown
bands. Named after his column, the Anti-Hit List compilation
features 10 songs by 10 bands. Not surprisingly, none of them
The Russian Futurists and Ike Riley are the two standouts amongst
bands that play sounds already done many times, but in a less
polished manner, thus retaining their underground cred. On “Precious
Metals,” The Russian Futurists mix a hip-hop beat with
bouncy vocals and cheesy funky accompaniment, while Riley mixes
the sound of folk rock with some good old dirty lyrics on “Hip
Hop Thighs #17.”
On Bubba Sparxxx’s Deliverance, sunburnt gap-toothed
rednecks ride in the back of pickups clutching sawed-off shotguns
and bouncing to dirty-South beats.
Although the whole redneck-meets-ghetto shtick is Bubba’s,
it’s really Timbaland and his boys from Organized Noize
that make the fusion work. On “Comin’ Round,” mourning
fiddles meld perfectly with heavy bass drums and handclaps. “Nowhere” begins
with a beautifully haunting female singer accompanied by strings
and the sound of slaves toiling with pickaxes.
Bubba has good rhythm and decent lyrics but has a really dull
and repetitive flow.