Hustle & Flow.
"Everybody's all talk and no rhyme." –MC Steinberg
[TBSOWFMU - 1/10/06.]
These Best Show recaps tend to focus on the banter and the comedy, but one certainly does not want to neglect el Goodo's stellar work as a Disc Jockey (DJ if you're into the whole brevity thing). Most shows have me going to AMG and elsewhere to research several albums/bands that require exploration.
This week's opening set: a track from recent NME cover boys Led Zepp-el-lin (Next Big Thing! Their Myspace page has another track called "Communication Breakdown" if you want to sample some more stuff), Red C's "Pressure's On" (decent ear candy pop), a big-time Two for Tuesday from Japan's (or is it Virginia's?) Boris, which has me fired up for Pink, and a nifty little number called "All Humans Are Garbage" from the DC Snipers' Missile Sunset, which Tom has already anointed the best album of 2006. The race is ova only 10 days into the new year.
Tom's second set later in the show featured The Move's "Blackberry Way" (Left Banke-y feel on this one). I definitely need to check into their Cherry Blossom Clinic. Hard not to love a set that also featured The Bee Gee's "Every Christian Lion-Hearted Man Will Show You" and another track from this highly-intriguing compilation.
- Track-by-track takedown (starts at 31:14; everyone's favorite Discipline Daddy calls in at 46:04 and also pans it) of Soupjam Stevens's Illinois -- the alleged Album of the Year for 2005. And it was just nominated for a New Pantheon Award by Nic Harcourt, the ultimate "tastemaker" in music! Surely that might make Tom reconsider its merits.
Summary of Soofjan grievances: [starts off with a side-dig of those Polyphonic Spree fruitcakes (the "morons who dress in robes")], pretentious cover (Soupjam Stevens invites you to...), really pretentious song titles (perhaps co-written by the people at McSweeney's), FLUTE: strike 1 and 2, bagpipes?, what is this -- a play?, a bad Kinks album from the mid-70s, disgusted that "John Wayne Gacy, Jr." may be written from the POV of Gacy's parents (it's not), bad Randy Newman, excessive in length -- not required to fill up a CD's 80-minute capacity, old-timey theater music, "Casimir Pulaski Day" is fast-forwarded (this would get my vote for the album's best track), bad Elvis Costello, bad Van Dyke Parks merged with 8th-rate Elliot Smith, already done by Robert Pollard on Bee Thousand.
Tom gave his approval to "Chicago" and expressed initial interest in a second track before aborting it. He missed the re-rocking! Here it is:
Sufjan Stevens - “The Man of METROPOLIS Steals Our Hearts"
Maybe Sniffian can turn Tom around with his EP of Volcano Suns covers due out in June on Rough Trade. I've heard his take on "JAK" and that song works surprisingly well with the sleigh bells and glockenspiel-based arrangement.
Recidivism also received two track titles from Sufianne's New York album, tentatively titled Come On Feel the Transit Strike (due out on Asthmatic Kitty in 2012; a special double-vinyl Necronomicon edition will come bound in human flesh):
01 - "After a very late night of ball-gaggery in a custodial closet at a FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OFFICE BUILDING, Spike returns home to his dungeon to throw darts at a Jennifer Lopez poster and make gluten-free PANCAKES; he falls asleep to the sounds of Chuck Berry's "Maybeline" as a muted soap opera flickers in the background. The next morning, he stumbles into a voting booth and accidentally pulls the lever for a straight Republican ticket."
02 - “HARK! Staten Islanders rampage through the city flinging fully-loaded Burger King bags out of their windows, striking Petey’s father as he digs up orange, yellow, and white SOOT.”
- Tom discusses (starts at 58:07) a Fast Company article on the rise and fall of half-billionaire David Pottruck. Pottruck seemed destined for the FWD of the Week® award, but this honor was ultimately given to chatroomer "Beegeen" (sp?) for suggesting that Tom is out of touch with the culture due to Illinois hatred.
- P-Shirt, Tom, Petey, and Chris from Toronto discuss (starts at 1:13) the proposed documentary of Tom visiting Petey's house. I vote for My Dinner With Petey (with commemorative lunchbox tie-in) and would definitely avoid Snuggle Time With Petey, which would undoubtedly face a massive political backlash.
- MC Steinberg (starts at 1:26) checks in to re-issue his challenge from last week's show and declare his rap battle readiness. While Steinberg's on the line, Spike calls again (note the Steinberg cackles in the background) to suggest a Best Show theme song called "A Good Beating With A Rubber Hose". Tom's response: "I hate you so much." Choice Steinberg quip: "Is he really?", in response to Tom's accusation that Spike is a sex offender.
- Tom goes OFF (starts at 1:41). Tom knows what he's doing, kids. It's a three-hour radio show, not a Virtual Reality Sensotron! TENTPOLE show! Quit your whingeing.
- Nina from NJ cheers Tom up with a Super Mario joke (1:46).
- A nervous Dan calls (starts at 1:51) on the eve of a surgical procedure to remove his vanishing twin. Prior to this segment, if someone asked me what a "vanishing twin" was, I probably would have said it was some obscure French psychological thriller. Turns out that it's South Korean. Great Tom quip: "Are you sure it's not a face?" I'm not sure if it's a vanishing boy or a:
The Dukes of Stratosphear - "Vanishing Girl"
- Tom gets a request (starts at 2:30) for the Shatman-Henry Rollins collaboration "I Just Can't Get Behind That" and accidentally spins about 30 seconds of a different song entirely. What a tease. So now you find yourself in ’82:
Asia – "Heat of the Moment"
- Tom makes the switch (starts at 2:33) from a PC to a "Macintosh Mac" (purchased, I assume, at the Newbridge Commons Radio Hut), although it remains sealed. If he ever fires it up, he'll undoubtedly require the services of The Jock Squad. Computer expert Ted Leo calls and praises the Mac Life (as well as sort-of defends Sufyan) and accepts the challenge to battle rap MC Steinberg on next week's show. Suggestions for future Steinberg battles: maybe continue to plow through indie rockers? After he disposes of Mr. Leo, I’d like to see a Steinberg vs. Travis Morrison bout. (Maybe an easy tune-up with Lou Barlow first? Gibbard?). Also, I'm not sure about Steinberg's beatboxin' skillz but if he's up for it, he should try to take down Dokaka. Winner gets Bjork.
- Rap Battle 2006, #001: MC Steinberg vs. MC John Junk (starts at 2:44). The Battle Rap series got off to a great start in this very close contest -- I give a slight edge to Steinberg, perhaps due to what Junk thought was TS pandering with his references to Soofyan and Snoop Kitty Kat. I dug the ripped-from-the-Best-Show timeliness of said rhymes.
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: A show so brilliant it'll make your faces melt.