A Toast To The Boogie

April 15th, 2009

Man, this blog’s been kind of a ghost town lately, huh? Sorry about that, but you know us not-for-profit armchair-blogger types got lots of shit goin’ on out in the non-computer world. Me? I’ve been industriously striving towards a bad-ass nuptial culmination (read: my wedding), going down this weekend with my one and only favorite girl. I’m convinced it’s gonna be a fantastic, beautiful affair with delicious food, hip music (courtesy of DJ Leslie), and lots of tequila.

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As such, I haven’t been able to incessantly see, listen, and evaluate the light-speed world of today’s music scene nearly as much as I’ve wanted to. I don’t want to even think about all the amazing shows I’ve missed this month. There is one album, however, that has received quite a bit of my attention the past few weeks, and, given my impending matrimony and the nature of toasts at such events, I am struck at it’s applicability: one Champagne Champagne. I know, I’ve probably overextended myself on this band and relentlessly plugged their shows, but it’s only cuz I’m feelin’ its toast-worthy tonic. We can’t all puddle-jump each week from one band to the next. The trio—DJ Gajamagic, MCs Pearl Dragon and Thomas Gray—finally decided to forgo the rigors of a physical album release and made their first record available back in mid-March (via myspace download link).

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I’m here to tell you: it’s more than worth the ten clams their asking you to fork over. The self-titled album plays like a graphic novel written by John Hughes. And like a superhero’s illustrious cape, it’s wide-spread, dashing, confident and passionate, emblazoned with a bleeding heart nostalgia that captures exactly what you’d expect it to. Executed against the vivid backdrop of Mark Gajadhar’s colorful, inventive, and electro-funk beats (not to mention a few choice samples, one of which fans of Mr. Rogers will enjoy), Pearl Dragon paints his heart on sleeve, coming across as neither hard nor soft but as a dynamic persona looking to right his wrongs. In fact, check this autobiographical line from the 60-second Roots-y “Sultan”: “I represent my ‘hood / but I’m not a thug / I’m the lack thereof / minus the father figure / plus hard times / times Dark Knight / divided by what’s wrong / trying to equal what’s right / but what’s right?”

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It’s one of many skillful lines that illuminates the Skyway native’s patient flow, along with ample wordplay, extended rhymes, adolescent angst, emotive crooning, and rapid-fire cadence. And don’t forget the unabashed, Coke-heavy infatuation with “Molly Ringwald”. Following the superb party-starter “Soda & Pop Rocks”, the novel moves to the erotic on the guitar-driven “HollyWood Shampoo”, on to angry mourning on “Radio Raheem”, injects some dreamy West Coast flava on “Cali Bud (featuring Jewel B.)”, and then to dramatic heartbreak during the “Cover Girls” climax. To top it all off, “What’s Your Fantasy” is the exultant ending, with its wiry Rubber Band synths and funky saxophone. My only real complaint is that the album, and some of the songs, feels truncated. Simply stretching out a few of their jams from two to four minutes would go a long way. Either way, raise ya glass.

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Soda & Pop Rocks

Cali Bud (featuring Jewel B.)

Cover Girls

What’s Your Fantasy?

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Be sure to catch CC at Nectar tomorrow the 16th, but not before stopping by Moe Bar for our delightful little happy hour.

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*To the faithful: I won’t be around for a few weeks, so don’t freak out and think I ended up in a ditch somewhere. Quite the contrary—I’ll be in Hawaii.

Posted by LB | Filed in Album Reviews, MP3s


One Response to “A Toast To The Boogie”

  1. April 15th, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Total Tunage said:

    Great write up. I’m headed to download the album as soon as i hit submit!



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