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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Was Mogwai Based Before Lil B Was Based?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 12:26 PM

No, not that kind.
  • No, not that kind.

Scotland's dignified linear noise factory Mogwai has released the tracklisting for its forthcoming seventh studio album, which you may have mistaken for a David Shrigley print hanging in the punk rock section at the coolest record store you've never been to: Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will.

Mogwai song titles have long been a paragon of post-rock silliness, as though a band whose songs have no words has to prove its sense of humor and/or seriousness through these little (or sometimes surprisingly long) paratexts. Consider "Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep," or "The Sun Smells Too Loud," or "I Love You, I'm Going To Blow Up Your School." And who could forget the classic B-side "Stupid Prick Gets Chased by the Police and Loses His Slut Girlfriend"?

Anyway, the tracklisting. You're gonna have to trust me that I'm reporting it as it was reported to me by Mogwai's authorized representatives, not reproducing the titles of ten sequential random Wikipedia articles. (I've tried it. It so works.) It is:

White Noise
Mexican Grand Prix
Rano Pano
Death Rays
San Pedro
Letters to the Metro
George Square Thatcher Death Party
How To Be A Werewolf
Too Raging To Cheers
You're Lionel Richie

We've already heard two of these songs, "Rano Pano" and, as of recently, "San Pedro." But let us focus on the closer: "You're Lionel Richie." If you know your 'gwai, don't you think that sounds awfully similar to the name of another classic, namely the opener to 2008's The Hawk Is Howling? That's right: "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead"?

Now think for a minute: what's with this irresponsible bandying about of celebrity identities?

And then think: where have I heard that recently?



That's right, Berkeley rapper, amateur photographer, and all-around total fucking enigma  Lil B. You might recall some of his songs: "I'm Paris Hilton," "I'm Miley Cyrus," "Bitch I'm Bill Clinton," "I'm God," "I'm The Devil." The tireless exegetes over at Rap Genius have put together an inquiry into B's identity crisis, from the above down to "Bitches on my dick because I look like J. K. Rowling."

Is Lil B strongly influenced by Mogwai's oeuvre? Let's go back to the catalog for some precedent.

1997: "I Am Not Batman"

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Daniel Levin Becker


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