Friday, October 13, 2006

(Free)basin' with Briscoe

In this new, randomly appearing, recurring feature, we invite the great American actor detective Jerry Orbach to review albums and singles we haven't listened to, and compare them to the smoke-up-your-ass-garbage those lying sons of bitches over at pitchfork come up with. What, you heard he's dead, think we're kidding? "If I was kidding, you'd be wearing a fez and no pants."

Subtle "The Mercury Craze," 2006
"Over Subtle's first two LPs, mastermind Doseone has taken the linear story of his protagonist, Hour Hero Yes-- an aspiring white rapper from California-- and ripped the pages apart only to paste the pieces together in non-sequential order. So unless you dig, you'll miss one the most fascinating pieces of the Subtle puzzle."

Briscoe says:
So what, you think you're the only glue sniffer I've ever cuffed? Get in the car, punk, and quit your damn whining. We'll just see how you like the rubber cement they use in central booking. Hey kid, you might need a bigger hoodie, there's some real toughs in the joint.

This record is total crap. I seen some rappers in my day, like Daddy Kane and Grandmama Flash or whatever. They were some tough kids. The Bronx was no joke back then. These guys are just a bunch of Westchester yahoos or something. Next!

The Decemberists, "The Crane Wife"
Meloy's inventive songwriting is the binding force, emphasizing character but remaining ever in thrall to stories, savoring the way they always play out to the same conclusions. Along with the homosexual undertones that have informed Decemberists songs from every album, he jettisons most of the archetypes that inspired Picaresque and cuts his characters loose in their own tales. They still do what they're fated to do-- the thieves thieve and run amok, the lovers love and die tragically, the soldiers soldier on and pine for peaceful homes-- but they seem to do it more out of free will than authorial design.

Briscoe says:
When the Yankees aren't playing, I really like to watch the History Channel after dinner. I really got into the habit of doing that after my second wife ordered cable and then left as soon as I realized how great cable was. The Civil War shows are OK, but I really like how they have four hours a day devoted to how we beat the shit out of the Nazis.

I'll tell you one thing I don't like though, half the kids I see these days are doing something stupid and getting themselves arrested just because they think the whole world is against them. Kid, let me tell you something- life, it ain't gettin' any easier, especially if you keep whining about it. That's what bothers me about this album, all that bitching and moaning. You live in the greatest country on earth, cheer up. And what's with all the damn stories all the time, who are you, Stephen King?

Jibbs, "Chain Hang Low"
One junior high graduation later and teen Jibbs foists this brainy gem on the masses, a sorta-snap song that relies on a kid-sung chorus jacked from ice cream truck anthem "Do Your Ears Hang Low?" Public response is purely Pavlovian; I've seen grown men running after Jibbs promo vans playing "Chain Hang Low" at high volume.

Briscoe says:
I like this one. Good for the kids, you know? Not a lot of swearing either. Good sing along stuff. A lot better than that rap these days that's all about kids with downs on the bus or whatever.