Saturday, June 7, 2008

Boats: Slave Ship Edition

Randy Newman: Sail Away [purchase]

Public Enemy: Can't Truss It [purchase]

Just call me Captain Buzzkill, I'm basically docking the boat where "Redemption Song" left off. I've actually had these two in my back pocket for the whole week, wondering if someone else would tackle either song. Can't say that I blame anyone for passing on the slavery discussion. We know it's shameful and really, what is there to say that doesn't come off as painfully over-earnest? A ha! That's why we have Randy Newman, a satire machine here at the top of his game. Obviously, his seemingly nonchalant treatment of such a horrible subject rubbed some folks the wrong way, but c'mon, what was he supposed to do? Write a song telling us how bad slavery was? Gee, and all this time I thought it was like Club Med for West Africans. Besides, that's why Public Enemy was invented. While Newman addresses the horrific nature of slavery through ironic distance, Chuck D and Flav get in our faces, kickin' wicked rhymes like a fortune teller. If you're interested, you should check out PE's video for "Can't Truss It." While they abandon the slave ship metaphor for filming purposes, it's still pretty intense. Bass in your face, check it yo.


Divinyl said...

I'd so intended to get around to this song, but never quite did...I've even planned out my post. Think I may just have to post about it at my own blog, as a nod to the things I let out here! Lol. Great song...Newman that is...I know shite all about Public Enemy!

Anonymous said...

Well done LD! That's a hard song to tackle. I know because I tried before. You almost feel guilty blogging about it (or over-earnest to compensate), which is silly. It's a good song that deserves attention. So thank you!

boyhowdy said...

I thought about the Newman early, too...but ultimately decided it was a cheap way to provide a backlink to my own post on the coversongs of Randy Newman from a month or so ago, which included a great version of this song by Tim O'Brien.

Oh, wait, did I link that out loud?

Paul said...

Synergy is a good thing. I encourage back links here at SMM!

After all, it is a web/net we are on, isn't it.

Please visit the home sites of all SMM contributors. You'll find some great stuff.

Anonymous said...

The real surprise of "slave ship edition" is that you didn't post Josh Rouse's "Slaveship."