Paul’s Boutique: A Singular Work of Genius

In listening to Paul’s Boutique, I’m reminded once again of the explosive nature of the album: for all intents and purposes, Paul’s Boutique must be considered sui generis in the fullest sense of the term.

Sampling isn’t new when the album came out, but what makes the album sui generis is how sampling was used. Instead of using the same old James Brown beats, the Dust Brothers and the Beastie Boys decided to use samples in a much more comprehensive and coherent way: they made the samples the foundation of the music. This inherently meant that they could not rely on any single particular sample, but must use multiple samples that form a coherent whole.

If this sounds like old tricks, well that’s because Paul’s Boutique is a tremendously influential record. I mean, can you imagine Odelay without Paul’s Boutique? Can you imagine DJ Shadow without Paul’s Boutique? And to use a contemporary example: can you imagine Girl Talk without Paul’s Boutique? And despite the fact that this record influenced most subsequent hip hop production, it still really doesn’t sound like anything out there today.

And that is the genius of the album: while its influence was felt deeply and widely, it retains its singular genius. There are very few other musical acts that can share that claim, not even a band as great as The Beatles.

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Democratic Capitulation? Say It Ain’t So!

So is anyone the least bit shocked that the Democrats, after a year of “tough” rhetoric on FISA and wiretapping, give in and bent over with their gaping assholes and took it with stride?


Of course, what I’m referring to is the fact that today, the Senate passed the FISA bill, complete with retroactive legal immunity for the telecomms.

This fucking disgusts me, but am I surprised? Hell no! Not after years of seeing the Democrats fold over and over again to their opponents after spewing public rhetoric that make them sound like they have a pair of balls. From triangulation to this, the Democrats have demonstrated, time after time, that they lack fucking testicular fortitude to stand up for one goddamn fucking time. Just once, that’s all I’m asking here.

And what pisses me off even more is the Democratic leadership’s public insistence that this final bill represents a hard-won political bargain because it made FISA the only vehicle for surveillance. Well that’s missing the forest for the trees isn’t it: what fucking good is that going to do if the courts do not have meaningful oversight powers into how private companies are helping the Administration?

And don’t even get me started on Obama’s change of position. Let’s not even go there, or at least, not in this post.