The Week in Reviews (7-14 Jan, 2016)

David Bowie: 1947-2016
We’re finding it difficult to offer a fresh perspective in the current orgy of coverage, so it’s probably best to simply reiterate the Bowie love—we’re big fans, and he will be dearly missed. Some obligatory personal favourites: ‘Heroes,’ ‘China Girl,’ and ‘Ashes to Ashes.’

Et tu, RZA?
One would hope that the respectability politics of “All Lives Matter” is primarily the domain of the “I’m not racist, but…” crowd, but its rhetoric is coming from some unexpected places: specifically, the RZA:

When you think about some of the brothers who are being brutalized by the police, you also got to have them take a look, and us take a look , in the mirror, at the image we portray. If I’m a cop and every time I see a young black youth, whether I watch them on TV, movies, or just see them hanging out, and they’re not looking properly dressed, properly refined, you know, carrying himself, conducting himself proper hours of the day—things that a man does, you’re going to have a certain fear and stereotype of them. I tell my sons, I say, if you’re going somewhere, you don’t have to wear a hoodie–we live in New York, so a hoodie and all that is all good. But sometimes, you know, button up your shirt. Clean up. Look like a young man. You’re not a little kid, you know what I mean? I think that’s another big issue we gotta pay attention to. Is the image that we portray that could invoke a fear into a white officer, or any officer.

While I can understand RZA’s impulse to minimise a perceived risk factor for his kids, telling young black men to “pull up your pants” seems condescending and horrifically out of touch, and this initial impression hasn’t been helped by RZA’s responses on Twitter to the people calling him out.

Devonté Hynes and Nelly Furtado made a killer single
The duo combined for the cassette-only (but inevitably leaked) track ‘Hadron Collider’, a ballad that wouldn’t feel amiss on 2013’s wonderful Cupid Deluxe. Furtado’s vocals are stunning and I reckon she suits Hynes’ production as comfortably as she did Timbaland’s back in the day—I will, of course, be anxiously waiting on more collabs to confirm this. It should get a digital release but here’s a live version for the needy.

A lol for your Friday
In more trivial news (that is slightly more than a week old, but too good to miss) techno DJ Abdulla Rashim was fined for painting trains while on tour in Melbourne. The Channel 7 report is a ripper.


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