Tom Breihan
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Jangly Australian duo the Go-Betweens were one of the best, most cultishly beloved indie rock bands of the ’80s, but it sure hasn’t been easy to find their records since then. Domino intends to change all that. The label has just announced the impending release of G Stands For Go-Betweens Volume One, a box-set collection that could mark a major reappraisal of a band that’s always deserved one. The set collects the band’s first four albums, released between 1978 and 1984, on both vinyl and CD. And it also includes a 112-page book of liner notes, many of them written by the band’s own Robert Forster. And if you’re one of the first 600 people to order the set, Forster will randomly grab one book from his late bandmate Grant McLennan’s personal library, sign it, and send it to you. You can find details on the set here. It’s out 1/20 of next year.

Birdman isn’t the center of attention on the Rich Gang mixtape, but let’s take a moment for Birdman anyway. For someone who, at least according to conventional wisdom, cannot rap, Brian “Baby” Williams sure has verses on a lot of classic songs. “Big Ballin’,” “#1 Stunna,” “Bling Bling,” “Shine,” “Get Your Roll On,” “What Happened To That Boy,” “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy,” “We Takin’ Over” — the Birdman verses might not be the moments you remember best from these songs, but they’re there. On top of that, you can make the argument that Birdman is the greatest A&R in rap history. Lil Wayne and Drake and Nicki Minaj are all transformative rap stars, people who have remade the genre in their own images, and they all owe Birdman their career in one way or another. That’s not even mentioning the late-’90s moment where Birdman and his brother Slim took a mob of New Orleans rappers even grimier and more impenetrably Southern than the No Limit roster and made them even more popular than the No Limit roster, all while rapping over beats that sounded like what would’ve happened if the alien garbage snake from Star Wars tried to make Detroit techno. Birdman barely raps at all on Rich Gang: Tha Tour Part 1, and he mostly limits his on-mic participation to ad-libs and inspirational money-talk montages. (The tape-opening minute-long tirade — “That Rich Gang lifestyle: marble floors, gold terlets, and chandeliers” — is Peak Birdman.) But his real significance on the tape is this: He’s taken two relatively fringey Atlanta cult-rap weirdos, and he’s presenting them not as if they’re rising voices but as if they’re massive stars already. And because he’s Birdman, you believe it.

UHF obviously got robbed, but now there’s a chance that “Weird Al” Yankovic could star in an Oscar-winning movie. As Billboard reports, Yankovic plays Jesus — or, rather, he plays an actor who plays Jesus — in a new short film called The Moving Picture Co. 1914. Frequent Simpsons director Mark Kirkland made the film, which won two awards at the Big Bear Festival last week. By screening at that festival, Kirkland also qualifies for Oscar voting. And since who even knows how the short-film Oscar works, the chance of a “Weird Al” win might be enough to keep us from falling asleep during that stretch of the Oscar ceremony next spring.


Breathe easy. Ben Allen isn’t remotely a hip-hop producer. He did, like, the Gnarls Barkley album, which is probably what they’re talking about. He used to mix and engineer rap records, like back in the ’90s. But his recent resume is way more indie rock: Washed Out’s Within and Without, Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest, a couple Bombay Bicycle Club albums. It’s not like they ran out and got DJ Mustard.

 +4Posted on Sep 24th | re: Mixtape Of The Week: Archibald Slim He's Drunk! (14 comments)

It appears that only I have a magical computer where Soundcloud has a “download all” button. Watch me go mad with power now. Also, nobody will ever love you, arsetothat.

 +22Posted on Sep 23rd | re: Kendrick Lamar - "i" (89 comments)

That has to be Thundercat on the bass, right?

 +4Posted on Sep 19th | re: Laura Jane Grace Slams Ex-Against Me!/New Slipknot Drummer (16 comments)

The drummer’s Daddy, it might be worth mentioning, is Max Weinberg. Also, Jay was really fun to watch onstage, and he totally acted like he was the frontman of the band. SO MUCH stick-twirling.

 +1Posted on Sep 18th | re: DJ Quik - "That Getter" (3 comments)

Great answer. I was thinking possibly Scarface too, but he’s been pretty inactive for the past few years.

 +10Posted on Sep 11th | re: Premature Evaluation: U2 Songs Of Innocence (144 comments)

These are the things that happen when you’re trying to speed-write. Fixed, thank you.

 +78Posted on Aug 29th | re: Riff Raff To Sam Smith: "Your Face Is Super Huge" (50 comments)

You have to adjust for distance. Sam Smith is sitting one mile away from the camera.

 +1Posted on Aug 22nd | re: Dummy Turns 20 (43 comments)

They were great! Early on, anyway! But the idea of grouping them into a hot-new-scene with Portishead was a fundamental misunderstanding of everything all 3 of them were doing, as was the idea that they represented the music of the future.

Yes. This is not up for debate. Nobody has ever cried to Aesop.