Old column, new format. No more news, instead we choose one song and one album that caught our attention this week.
Modest Mouse/764-Hero – ‘Whenever You See Fit‘
Driving in the pacific northwest is a mix of roads hugging hills that take you a handful of kilometres in the same amount of hours, and plains where you find yourself at the next set of bends too quickly but with more space behind you than you thought. I found this out in the American winter of 2013, after a breakup and on my way from Sequim to Vancouver where I’d drink, fight, fuck, and finish the week with death tattooed on my ribs. At the time, ‘Whenever You See Fit’ was a 96kbps file in my iTunes library that had a play count of two. Hearing this song again during my current early Modest Mouse kick (at 320kbps), with its anger and desperation breaking the song’s restraint (gradually, occasionally, and over too quickly), I’m brought back to that nine hours I found myself alternating between forest and plain, between freedom and pain.
UGK – Dirty Money
I’ve spent the last few weeks slowly working through Julia Beverly’s incredibly comprehensive and readable biography of Pimp C, so it’s been the perfect opportunity to revisit UGK and discover the duo’s records I never cracked into. Dirty Money is one such treasure; an album best described as a compilation of tracks recorded in the post-Ridin Dirty years between label, legal and personal troubles. It’s stocked with genuine bangers like “Choppin Blades” and “Like A Pimp,” and rich with insights into the group’s history, via the confusingly censored “Ain’t That A Bitch” with Devin the Dude, and “Don’t Say Shit,” which should have been the first track on the album with its brilliantly succinct and confrontational opening line; “Everybody wanna know why the album was late / I was waiting for whitey to get my fuckin paper straight.” It’s as a companion piece to the stories about Pimp and Bun in Beverly’s book that I’ve found the album most fascinating and enjoyable. So I guess what I’m doing in this column is telling you to read a damn book. And if you’re a book-hating loser, at least listen to the album, because despite what the reviews online will have you believe, Dirty Money should never be described as UGK’s ‘worst’ album, because they’re all great!
Photo (and book recommendation) via The Hotbox Social