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February 06, 2001 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-06

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9=- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 6, 2001

Simply Mortified, BS2000;
Grand Royal Records
By Erik Johnson
For the D~aily
Yes, kids, it's another album from
BS2000. Who are BS2000? Well,
silly, they're two wacky guys, one
of whom you've heard of, who
make wacky music on a cheap
Casio keyboard.
Comprised of Adam "Adrock"
Ilorovitz (Yes, that Adrock) and
Amery "AWOL" Smith, BS2000
first burst on the scene in 1997
with an extremely limited, vinyl-
only release. Since then, only a 4-
song cd single, "The Scrappy," has
been issued to tide fans over eager
for what the duo calls "Casio
Hardcore." Until now, that is. Their
new record, Simply Moriified, can
only be described as a hip-hop
Sesame Street soundtrack on acid
with a little punk tossed in to
cleanse the palate. Each track's
influences wander from punk to
blues to new wave to electronic to
rap to Nintendo and back to punk
again, without using very many
distinct sounds at all. In fact, the
only two truly distinct sounds on
the entire album are the trumpet
and organ settings on said Casio
keyboard. All of this is, of course,
laid over some tasty butt-thumping
beats. What else do you expect
from a Beastie Boy?
The album's highlights include
the opening track, "N.Y. Is Good,"
a trancy voyage replete with
Phantom of the Opera-like organ
work that is definitely danceable.
Also good are "Yeah, I like BS"
and "Boogie Bored." The former
has a very cute little girl singing.
Don't worry, though, it's not an
intestine-churning cuteness, like
the Pepsi girl, who needs to be
eliminated. "Dansk Party," the final
cut, provides an excellent end with
its downbeats and muted melan-
choly throughout.
Morified lets all of its weirdness
hang out unabashedly, like that guy
from the first "Survivor" did with
his little Survivor. Lyrics like "Your
contacts are so scary," and "It's
time you let your goatee go," leave
you with the firm sense that you
have no idea what the hell is going
on. One of the tracks, "Flossin' at
Lawson," has people speaking in
an unrecognizable language

IS 2000
(Japanese? Korean? Isperanto?)
over the 'phatty' beats. "Wait a
Minute" tells the story of a guy
apologizing to a girl because he got
hit in the face with a bird on a roller
coaster. The same thing happened
to Fabio, you knew. It was a goose.
But, out of the weirdness comes a
golden nugget. Despite the fact
that 'Casio Demo Button' is not a
genre, BS2000 has already perfect-
ed it. "No Matter What Shape
(Your Stomach Is In)" sounds
exactly like they recorded the fac-
tory demo, which likely took some
Casio tech weeks to compose.
Maybe they did. Probably not,
The album, unfortunately, has a
few lowlights. The vocal tracks,
which make up two-thirds of the
album, are, for the most part,
rehashed Beastie stuff. On some,
the vocalist sounds suspiciously
like MCA (Adam Yauch); these
'guest' appearances do little more
than add to the recycled feeling.
For huge Beastie Boys fans, this is
a good thing, as much of the
singing is reminiscent of the
group's older punk stuff (see Some
Old Bullshit and Aglio I Olio). As
a result, though, the album comes
off sounding almost like Beastie
Boy remixes commingling with
some whacked-out, chained-in-
the-basement step-songs of Beck
and the Flaming Lips. At least
three of the tracks sound exactly
the same, and another couple are
downright boring (the "Side to
Side" sounds like the lost director's
audio from Fatboy Slim's "Praise
You" video.). Simplr Mort4ieel is
definitely a fun record, and worth
buying, but its faults make it
essential only to die-hard Beastie
Boy completists.
Grade: B


Eagle Eye Cherry's contribution "Been Here Once
Before" is candid and reminds eagle Eye that he has been
on a worthless album before. His own.
Travis. The men who. Actually these guys are pretty
sweet. But this song isn't.
Hanson. When it was "Mmm Bop" it was teen bubblegum
trash, now with "Smile" it is just trash.
Rednex. This song, "Cotton Eye Joe" dominated the Hot
9 at 9 in Northern Michigan, why the
hell is it on here?
The Barenaked Ladies."Falling for
the First Time." Yep, a song about
their record sales.
OPM. You may have heard this
song the hook is "If I die before I
wake/at least in heaven I can skate:." I
am actually at a loss talking about this
song. It is really that bad. I mean real-'
r ly that bad. It is the kind of song that
when it comes on in the middle of a
long day of landscaping - well it
doesn't make a man dig any dann
The lone nugget in this steaming pile of music is the song
"Older" by They Might Be Giants. It represents their quirk
and charm as good as any song since "Make a Little
Birdhouse in Your Soul!"
Concluding track "I Just Don't Care" by the Dust Brothers
summates this review perfectly. I just don't care either.:
Grade: F

Things We Lost in the Fire; Low;
Kranky Records

By ChristianHoard
DAy .As Wrter

cor on Fox has release a sound-
track, a "Various Artists package rep-
resenting music from the show" if you
Beginning with the They Might Be
Giants "Boss ofMe" it creates a slight optomism about the
rest of the record potential. At this point in the listening it
has a chance.
Scanning the tracklist one would think it could be decent.
Or not.
Stroke 9. Hey didn't these guys do that song "Absolutely
(Story of a Girl)?" Uh, no thatwas Nine Days. What are you
talking about those bands are the same. Oh yeah.
Sweet. The Baha Men are on this,too. Why God?

Mission Accomplished (EP).
Tricky; Epitaph
By Neal Pais
laih, Art ritr
The trickster from Brixton continues
to contribute to the unique trip-hop
genre that he pioneered, now with a
four track EP. The new mini-collection
of stylized rap, drum 'n bass, and elec-
tronica comes off Tricky's new label,
As expected the album contains
much of the artist's trademark lyrically
abrasive sound: the CD has as its last
track "Divine Comedy," a channing lit-
tle ditty previously existent only as a
bootleg. The recording is a virulent
attack on the large, bureaucratic record
labels that Tricky has associated with
in the past. I ls bkterness is more than
justified; however, in recent years, the
artist has been the target of racial
remarks perpetrated by executives

unsatisfied with black artists within the
Despite the presence of genuine
feeling on the album, Mission
Acconmplished is nowhere near as fresh
or as rich as his prior work. In the early
'90s, he rapped as a member of the
highly influential group Massive
Attack and then spun off into indepen-
dence with the release of MILavinqua-e
in 1995; the merging of hip-hop with
murky ambience on the album was
quickly coined 'trip-hop' by critics and
this daring new sound became defini-
live of Tricky as a solo artist.
Subsequent experiments with disso-
nant soundscapes and darker rap were
also seen at fine form on Tricky's last
Island record. Angels With Diriv Fiaces.
Until this trip-hopper releases a full-
length album, fans will be forced to
wait for a return to former brilliance,
the title track on the IP is interesting
enough (see if you can spot a promi-
nent line from a Peter Gabriel tune) vet

I'm not usually into music that asks its
listener to adopt a special frame Pf mind
- perhaps it has something to do with
the democratic principles I'd like to think
I hold dear - but for Low I'm tempted
to make an exception. if only because
their albums are so damned beautiful in
.spots. The frame of mind in question is a
sort of tranquility or placid dreaminess,
whereby you can tolerate the fact that
that Low never rev up their guitars, never
pound their drums, rarely pump up the
volume .
Among the highlights from Things We
Lost in the Fire, the new record from
these Minnesotans: The slow, harmony-
laden "Medicine Magazines:" the slow,
fragile "Laser Beam." the slow, pretty
"Kind of Girl" and the slow,- string-
inflected "Embrace."
These four songs, and the other eight
as well, prove amply that listening to a
Low record -any Low record -is a lot
like being sucked into quicksand (with-
out the asphyxiation. of course). At first
you wonder why everything's so'sparse.
why things move along slower than
Rudy's chubby friend on "The Cosby
Show." Then the wispy melodies and
subdued vocals start to work their magic,
perhaps you become lost in the rnoment.
And then you wonder what's the point.
It's good stuff, sure, for anyone who can
tell a dirge from a requiem or who other-
wise cares. Pavement weren't for every-
one, either, but at least you didn't feel
like you belonged to the sad-eyed hood-
cd-sweatshirt-wearing faction of Club
Indie whenever you listened to them:-
Tea:e out the beauty, complex mood
and deep meaning inherent in these
sones if you like, but don't work too
hard. After all, it's the zone-out record of
the year.
Grade: I-

the song lapses into repetitiveness very
The thrashing guitars and electronic
heats compliment Tricky's stream-of-
consciqusness flowinu but the limited
track list and the plainness of style
make the album a little harder to love
and listen to multiple times. Ilave faith.
however: this artist will most certainly
be returning soon with a tricky treat for
his listeners.
Grade: B-

I 1 ' -_

If you love brainstorming because it feels like an athletic event, we'll introduce you to some Olympians.


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