#REVIEW: HOMECOMING, by Beyoncé

Do y’all ever wonder if Beyoncé’s marketing people, like, hate her guts? Her last six albums or whatever have been released with no fanfare and no warning and everybody notices and spends lots of money and they end up topping the charts anyway. Is this always the plan, do you think, or does she have terrible conversations with the marketing team where the team produces a carefully thought-out multi-level marketing and release plan and Bey just goes “Oh, that? I got bored so it came out this morning. It’s #1 on iTunes. But you guys are great, really.”

I probably say this every time I talk about her: I consider myself a pretty big fan of Beyoncé as a person and a musician and a businesswoman and just as a general cultural icon and I’ve nonetheless never been hugely into her music. Here’s the thing, though: I really liked Everything is Love, the album she released last summer (again, out of nowhere) with Jay-Z, and Homecoming, her latest nearly-two-hours-long CD of her 2018 headlining Coachella show is fucking amazing. There are something like forty tracks included; she tends to bounce from song to song pretty rapidly and rarely if ever performs an entire song from start to finish. I thought at first this was going to be annoying but it works– it might help that I honestly don’t know the majority of the songs all that well, so the fact that she’s basically just singing the best parts is all good.

Also all good: the what appears to be an entire fucking marching band complete with a drumline and step team that backs her up for most of the show. There is a documentary included along with the music that I haven’t gotten around to watching yet (and I may not, to be completely honest) but the sonic effect of these guys is really cool and unique. The recording quality for the show is top-notch, as should probably be expected.

So: adjustment to my Current Theory of Beyoncé: her last two releases have been fantastic and I can’t wait for her next one. I’d tell you to go check it out, but statistically you probably already have.

Today I purchased pants

I need, like, six hours to recover, minimum, from that ordeal.

With that in mind:

In which being old is bad until it isn’t anymore

LatyrxIf you’ve been reading for a while you probably have an idea that my music tastes are pretty catholic; I listen to all sorts of shit, but my heart has always been with hiphop.  I enjoy flooring my students with this; I suspect fat old white dudes aren’t exactly the demographic they associate with rap music, although I do lose some cred as soon as they figure out that I don’t listen to a single artist any of them have heard of, although I’m fond of pointing them toward good shit whenever I can.

Those two gentlemen there are Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truthspeaker, and they are two of the greatest rappers alive at the moment.  They both do solo work but together they’re a duo called Latyrx.  (Easier to pronounce than you think; mix the first syllable of “Lateef” with the last syllable of “Lyrics.”)  Their appropriately-titled second album, The Second Album, came out not too long ago.  It’s fucking brilliant.  Go buy it.

They did a show in Chicago last night.  I didn’t go.  I didn’t even try.  Guys, it killed me to pass up a chance to see this show; I’ve not been a huge fan of some of the live hiphop shows I’ve seen/heard in the past (Tupac’s live album is an embarrassment to music itself, and I love Tupac) but LB has actually already released a live album and it’s magnificent.  There’s no way these two don’t put together an awesome show.  But… leave my lovely wife and the kid here, drive to Chicago in twenty below bullshit weather, stand in line outside for the show in– again– twenty below bullshit, see the show, then stay the night in Chicago somewhere and come home?  Ehh…

(And speaking of twenty below bullshit, these guys are both from the Bay area.  They took the stage in full winter coats and hats.  I find that hilarious.)

I did a bit of mourning, honestly.  Then I started seeing Tweets this morning from the two of them from just before midnight (my time) that were saying things like “about to go on stage!” and I did a little bit more, because I went to bed a bit after midnight last night (we had a couple of friends over for game night) and it nearly killed me.  No way I can survive a  show that doesn’t even really get started until that late; not anymore.  I’m too damn old.  Which is sad and moderately embarrassing.  Oh well.  Maybe they’ll release the show.

Guess what.  Livestream of the entire show.  Bam.  

And I can watch the entire damn thing from my comfy office chair or my TV tomorrow, since due to the aforementioned twenty below bullshit I’m off work again.  I love the Internet.  I get to see the show and I got to actually get some sleep and spend last night with my family.

Maybe being ancient isn’t so old after all.  🙂