Monday, 1 June 2009

Dose 18...ἀπόκρυφος

In ancient Greece, secretly guarded writings were the sole method of transmitting profound sacred knowledge between pedagogues and disciples. These texts came to be known as 'apocryphal', and were widely regarded as keepers of transcendental truth. This system (of honoring lesser known texts, music, 'kai hetera', in lieu of their more popular counterparts) has pervaded most of our history ever since; but as secrecy has waned in importance, rarity has waxed correspondingly. This is why Greco-Roman royalty wore Tyrian purple while the common man wore plain white togas (Spoiler Alert: this historical piece may be bullshit).

In fact, this mindset is exactly what motivates some people (pretentious ones in my opinion) to see themselves as '-heads'. These pompous bastards are so self-indulgent, that in many cases they stoop 'so low' as to condescendingly share their appreciation of these once-privately applauded works with a world that couldn't care less (see:

That said, I have a couple juicy (and positively secret!) nuggets for everyone.

1)I Just Wanted To Say by My Morning Jacket

Google the lyrics to this song...I dare you! You won't find anything but forums abuzz with bloggers and stoners alike discussing the hypocrisy that is US Medical Marijuana law (perhaps I shouldn't have used the pregnant keywords: I just wanted to say MMJ). In all seriousness though, the internet is a huge place and scouring for a song with only the fainest notion of the melody is a monumental task...ok let's backtrack for a second.

Three years ago, as a budding rock climber (not so geeky anymore, huh?), I would make regular visits to my local rock wall at odd hours. This was the price I paid for my bashfulness as a 'shoobie'. Nonetheless, in the absence of my prodigious friends (who I am still somewhat intimidated to go with...oh god, save it for therapy), I would climb and listen to a seemingly ancient mixtape made by a member of the mountaineering club, years before I joined. As I would strain for various indentations and features on the granular surface of the gym's bouldering wall, an optical lens would face a similar struggle in reading the 'pits' of the badly defaced CD-RW (a perfect microcosm), to reproduce some semblance of the tracks burnt onto it so many years before.

On this CD, one particular track stood out. Now I could guess it was a My Morning Jacket song, but because Jim James often sings as though he is the last contestant in a Homeric game of 'Chubby Bunny' (Disclaimer: We do not avocate the gleeful enjoyment of this high-glucose "game of death"...facts!), it was quite hard to disentangle any of his potentially meaninful verses. Unfortunately, as I planned my sessions with the intent of solitude, I had no one else to verify my hypothesis of MMJ or to enlighten me as to the track name. So I was stuck with the one line I had mistakenly deciphered as, "I just wanted to be, just you wittle paht of yo chee", and a dwindling number of resources.

At the time, the iTunes Store had 180 songs by the band (mind you Evil Urges only came out in 2008), but I remained undaunted and searched and searched and searched...180x... until finally, at my wits end, I found the tune. This ordeal was my form of pledging, a trial by fire wherein my travail paid off (though I often wonder why I never just stole the damn thing) and I was inducted into a brotherhood of MMJ fans...nay, devotees!

This all came to light as effete soon after though, as one of my climbing buddies (one whom I had avoided during my self-conscious "training-wheel" phase) had apparently had the entire MMJ album, Does Xmas Fiasco Style (2000), all along. Arrgghh!!!

Either way, here it is...

Does Xmas Fiasco Style (2000)

2)Gonehead by Asamov (now The AB's)

Isaac Asimov is a total dick! I'm not saying that because he wrote some nerdy book about "robo-psychology" and how we can't trust technology. And, I am also not saying it because Will Smith was cast as Detective Del Spooner in the biggest waste of my $10 in 2004 (keep in mind, Shark Tale came out that same year...come on Big Willy!). Anyhoo, my grievance arises over the fact that even after recieving royalties on the $120 million summer blockbuster, the Asimov estate still sought litigation against a similarly monikered hip hop quartet, Asamov, in 2006.

Now this burgeoning ensemble, whose release And Now (2005) blew up in the underground hip hop scene, was destined for big things that year. Their debut album was an acclaimed success, their fanbase was growing well out of their homestate of Florida, and their lead single "Boombox" was featured on iTunes 'Back to School' free music project. Unfortunately, having just come upon fame, they had neither the energy nor the financial fortitude to confront this behemoth of an aggressor. Thus the ultimatum was set and, as anyone in their position would do, they opted to change their name. This disruption caused their record label to halt the production and sales of their first LP. Ever since the, retitled, AB's have worked on putting together a follow up as enjoyable as their original album.

The rarity of And Now (Original Press) surely makes it a must have (leaving aside, for a moment, their verbal finesse and jazzy laid back production). Cling on to this piece of apocrypha, for if you don't, it truly will be lost in the sands of time.

And Now (2005)

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