When seeking a hit of artistic adrenaline, this album is one of my first stops. Although I tend towards a diet of art that is typically spare, natural, and clean, every now and then I want to gorge myself on just the opposite. Here, Side A is particularly speedy, boasting some of the Beasties' greatest tunes ("Root Down", "B-Boys Makin' with the Freak Freak", "Sabrosa"), it starts in fifth gear and through a flurry of dance-rap, funk, and punk, it keeps it up for the next 23 minutes.
Like Tarantino, the Beasties are one of our great practitioners of post-modern missile command, more often than not eschewing an introspective style for something that instead uses blended forms to grab our attention. Some artists almost want to bore you, force you into stimuli time out, to ensure their point is made. I think the Beasties, like Tarantino, start from the opposite place. As long as they hold your interest, they feel they're doing their job. And if some way, somehow you learn something on top of that, well then all the better.
Intimations of the Known: On Kenji Mizoguchi's PORTRAIT OF MADAME YUKI - *(The following was originally published in the special February 22, 2008 movie-issue of **The New-York Ghost** edited by B. Kite. Other contributors b...
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