NOW I’M THE KIND OF GUY THAT KEEPS HIS BIG MOUTH SHUT
Left to right: Bob Christgau, Greil Marcus, Bob Christgau again
Riff Raff 47th Post Spectacular
This isn’t celebration so much as reflection. Put out your sparklers, take off your party hats, and light your hair on fire–Riff Raff is having an existential crisis.
Track 4 on Lightning Bolt‘s forthcoming Hypermagic Mountain LP, in case you haven’t heard, is called “Riffwraith.” Bass and drums writhe two-tone, and as the title suggests, some spook’s stuck in the mix, screaming to get out, blowing on neckhairs in the ghostly meantime.
That’s all fine, but did you know Riff Raff is afraid of ghosts? The Providence duo clearly meant the song as a taunt. Worse, maybe the song was meant as a rhetorical question: Who’s the boss? Who’s the real Dean of American Riff Criticism?
(This is not so much a rhetorical question as it is a question about the rhetoric.)
So let’s size things up. Today Riff Raff asks itself: “Is Riff Raff better than the following things that are also called Riff Raff?” Here’s the riff-counter-riff:
Riff Raff vs. Lightning Bolt’s “Riffwraith”
Uses bass guitar and drums to make loud rock music
Translates to “Riff Ghost”
Has non-stop screaming
Uses members of the funk band 311 to write blog entries
Translates to “Riff Riff”
Only screams when riffing
Riff Raff vs. J Walter Ruben’s 1936 crime flick Riffraff
Lead character is a fisherman named Dutch who gets kicked out of the union and fired from his job.
Dutch proves he’s not “riffraff” when he foils a plot to dynamite a ship
One user comment on the IMDB movie page reads, “Not very good.”
Not counting today, lead character has been fired from his job over ten times.
Proved he’s not riffraff by writing “NOT RIFFRAFF” across his face
One user comment on the last post reads, “Once again, a column that is both condescending and almost completely incoherent. Please stop.”
Riff Raff vs. Ken Loach’s 1990 comedy Riff-Raff
Won the European Film Award for ‘Best Film’ in 1991
Applauded for its accurate depiction of the British poor class
Character names include Kojo, Shem, Wilf, and Man Buying Kango
Won a copyright infringement case for leaking white label LCD Soundsystem remix
Applauded for its accurate depiction of riffs
Every character’s name is Kojo.
Riff Raff vs. Riff/Raff, the Official Italian Tribute Band to AC/DC
Download “Riff Raff” (AC/DC Cover)
Download “Highway To Hell” (AC/DC Cover)
Download “What Do U Do 4 Money Honey” (AC/DC Cover)
Concedes victory to Riff/Raff