Tuesday, October 04, 2005

T, IV (MN: 29)

Tubeway Army- Replicas

I’ve turned into one of those cranky old guys who’s able to listen to a band for a few minutes and cite who’s being ripped off and how. I think I’ve been one for a while, truth be told, but I’ve noticed it in myself a bit more in recent months than ever before. I think it has a lot to do with listening to the radio for the better part of a year, the songs that are hits and the bands that are big.

So there’s all this new wave stuff clogging the airwaves- I’ve mentioned the phenom before. I don’t really mind it- new wave/post-punk stuff is fucking amazing when done well. A lot of what’s on the radio, though, is pandering, looking more for the sound that’s going to move than paying homage to the old stuff. The phenom of homage vs. pale imitation is what endeared me to Radio 4 when they first started putting records out- they were an act that was doing what they loved before the whole thing became fashionable.

Me committing this next thought to type nullifies the sentiment almost instantly, but I’m going to say it anyway: I would fall hook, line and sinker for any band that was able to pull off a credible theft of Tubeway Army AND admit it. How sick would that be?

Gary Numan is best known for writing ‘Cars’, one of my favorite songs ever (I tried to get it as a ringtone when my new phone came in the mail last week, but it wasn’t an available option. I went for ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ instead). Tubeway Army was his band before he decided to go solo. Numan wrote most of the songs himself, using the newest synth tones as he went. There’s this freshness about the record that’s still palpable and amazing as the guy pretty much invents the genre, signifiers and sounds, graphics, at the age of 22. It all sounds familiar now in 2005, but, again, when ‘Replicas’ was released in 1979 he was making it all up as he went along and defining the way kids think 25 years in the future. It’s time the man gets some props.

Turing Machine- A New Machine For Living

Any machine that can fool a human being into thinking that it, the machine, is also human passes the Turing Test and can be considered artificially intelligent.

After a thorough review, I have to conclude that Turing Machine’s album of three-piece instrumental rock- with riffage occasionally heavy enough to warrant dropping the ‘n’ out of that last bit- just isn’t up to snuff. There’s no way in hell anyone is going to listen to this album and be fooled into thinking that it’s math rock.

Tribe Called Quest- Low End Theory

Check THIS out: a hip-hop album that doesn’t go on for way, way too long! A concise-ish record that I heard tons of hype about. Vocally, Q-Tip and co. have this really smooth, flowing style that lends itself to the musical backdrop, which is far jazzier and laid back than anything else in my tiny hip-hop collection.

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