Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Abba Movie

So during the 70's nearly every person in the world not only listened to Abba but wore a large amount of their merchandise. I know this because I have seen the "documentary" known as The Abba Movie.

The Abba Movie might be one of the strangest rock movies ever. It is in many ways just a series of concert clips, a collection of insider Meeting People is Easy bits about the tedium of touring, and then in a strange turn of events a subplot about a radio host/music journalist trying to get in contact with the band in the most inept and unprofessional fashion imaginable. He has no press pass, he charges into venues and expects V.I.P. treatment because he has a recording device, he doesn't even go into the thing with the most basic knowledge of his subject.

The worst part about this subplot (as if the plot wasn't enough) was that it had the most illogical conclusion imaginable. The journalist misses his opportunity to meet the band and finds himself fantasizing about a glossy in depth interview over a picnic. Of course the interview is simply the ladies in the group flirting with the journalist while lip sinking "Name of the Game".

To make the whole experience of watching the film more strange I DVRed it off of NYCTV which means somewhere in our city's history we acquired the rights to a fake documentary made in Australia about a Swedish pop group.

Anyway, Abba is awesome and I suppose that the movie bares that out with about 9 very awesome performances of some of their best songs. As for the movie's cinematic value? It lands somewhere between Tougher than Leather and Spice-World which I suppose is pretty appropriate.

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To Buy Or Not To Buy: Aesop Rock's None Shall Pass

Earlier this year El-P put out a sharp and distinctly excellent LP. Do you remember the name of it? I don't off the top of my head. (The album is I'll Sleep When You're Dead.) Not to toot my own horn but I am usually the first guy to remember an album or song title. This has become my problem with undie rap post Madvillainy. Nothing rubs me quite the right way enough to stick in my craw. I'm not carrying these albums to the end of the month none the less the end of the year.

Have I been debased? Is the fact that I'd rather listen to Kanye's big tent rap or Ghostface's coke rhymes a reflection on my personal short comings, or is the independent rap scene too concerned with inscrutability to sustain my interest? Could that really be the case for a guy who consistently goes back to albums by Sun 0))) and Suicide?

This all brings me to Aesop Rock and his new album None Shall Pass. My intention has been to buy this album for weeks and now the day has arrived and all I'm thinking about is the Young Marble Giants and Hawkwind reissues I'd like to buy. Thing is I have no doubts about Aesop's quality, the mid to high ratings other critics are handing out make a convincing enough case. (As if his back catalogue didn't already.)

So I'm going to get the album in some sort of a legitimate way. I suppose if the package looks cool or if the price is right I'll buy the album. If not I'll grab it on Emusic. I just hope I won't regret the purchase next week.

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