myTunes: ATHF, Abandoned Hospital Ship, Abattoir Blues

2 Apr

“A.T.H.F.”, Dangerdoom, The Mouse and the Mask

You’ll notice I don’t have much hip hop in my library, at all, and most that I do have features MF Doom. In case you don’t know, allow me to blow your mind. The MF stands for Metal Face, because MF Doom is a rapper who wears an awesome mask. You can guess where the Doom part came from. Dangerdoom is a team-up with DJ Danger Mouse, best known for the Gray Album controversy and being one half of Gnarls “Does That Make Me Crazy” Barkley. The album is sponsored by Adult Swim, so ATHF stands for Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The “stars” of the show open and close the track while the lyrics are all about the characters, so it’s pretty much the definition of a throwaway track. The music bed is nice though, with some wah wah guitars and slinky bass. Two stars.

“The Abandoned Hospital Ship”, Flaming Lips, Clouds Taste Metallic

You will be seeing A LOT of FLips in the coming months. This is actually my favorite one of their albums, even above the later masterpieces. It’s in a weird place, the last time they had a lead guitarist (who from all accounts just disappeared one day, even the band doesn’t know where he went). This is the first song on the album, and it sets the mood. It opens with just an upright piano and Wayne’s voice as he sings about scientists striving for something (a theme which would be more fully realized later) with everything else just serving as background sound effects. Then the guitar starts to copy the piano part leading into a full band freak out with trademark big booming drums and skittery lead guitar, literally bells and whistles, it may be the most perfect distillation of the Flaming Lips sound in that era. 5 stars.

“Abattoir Blues”, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Abattoir Blues

Let’s get this out of the way now so I don’t harp on it every time he pops up: If I get to heaven and God does not sound like Nick Cave, I will be very surprised. That deep, dark baritone just commands respect and attention. This track is built around a simple set of piano chords and a slowly evolving drum part. Nick trades off with some sweet female back up vocalists in a very interesting mixture of vocal timbres. The lyrics speak of desperation, which at points Cave barely chokes out. It’s a bleak and barren track, effective on its own terms but almost too low-key to make a lasting impression. 3 stars.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: