The Astros Need New Music, Wu-Tang Clan Doesn't

Baseball music, comeback albums, and local talent buyer says goodbye.

Raekwon's Comments: Raekwon is one of the most talented members of Wu-Tang, so his opinion carries some serious weight when it comes to recording an album. He and Ghostface Killah have expressed reluctance to record a new record piloted by RZA, as well as stating their personal dissatisfaction with his recent production work, especially on Wu-Tang's most recent album, 8 Diagrams.

While Ghost seems to have softened his stance, the Chef remains unmoved. In a recent interview with Grantland, he put his foot down and said flat out that he wouldn't do an album with RZA completely shaping the direction of the product.

RZA is unbending on his role as the leader of Wu-Tang and the architect of the Wu's sound. It seems unlikely he would bend to Rae's will on this, which means it's unlikely we'd hear much of the Chef on a new record. Ghost's contributions to A Better Tomorrow have also been described as very minimal. Without Ghostface or Raekwon completely on board, what's the point? It wouldn't be a real Wu-Tang album without the two of them.

Teresa Kolo (left) and Mike Sims hope to be moved up to Seattle by May 1.
Jennifer Jennings
Teresa Kolo (left) and Mike Sims hope to be moved up to Seattle by May 1.

GZA's Comments: While GZA apparently has no issues with contributing, it's obvious his heart is not in it. His contributions to the recent Wu-Tang singles were weak and unmotivated. His focus has been on his own Dark Matter project for years now, and he even copped to not being able to write, given the rowdy environment of the recording sessions for A Better Tomorrow. Wu-Tang should not do an album if their hearts aren't 100 percent in it, which was the issue with early-'00s releases like Iron Flag. Given GZA's importance to the project, why go through with the record if he can't fully commit?

The Singles: So far Wu-Tang has released a few different songs that were supposed to be on the new album; "Family Reunion" and "Keep Watch" are your fairly standard latter-day RZA productions. That's fine, but they're the same level of songs the Wu used to toss off for mixtapes and compilations. If they set the tone for the full record, we're looking at a product that would be completely below the Clan's usual standards.

Often, no new music at all is better than lackluster new music. If this is going to be done, it needs to be done right, and these singles are hardly encouraging. Even worse, Raekwon also chimed in on this subject in that Grantland interview and slammed "Family Reunion" as a choice for a single. Once again, it speaks to the group's lack of passion for this music.

They Have Nothing to Prove: This is perhaps the biggest reason not to do an album: Wu-Tang has everything to lose and nothing to gain. While their collaborative recording output has been spotty, it's been well-received on the whole. The individual members have almost all staked huge claims for themselves. The group still regularly draws massive crowds, even when they can't get all nine members onstage together. No doubt their headlining set at Free Press Summer Festival a few weeks away will be one of the best of the entire two-day outing.

So what's the point? They've got nothing to prove. GZA has said as much, and he's right. It might be nice to hear some badass new Wu material, but given the various factors involved, that seems highly unlikely. More likely is the idea that they'll put out something fractured and mediocre, and denigrate themselves by releasing a weak product that will quickly be forgotten in the context of their overall legacy. When you look at it that way, is there any reason to risk sullying themselves, or bothering to do this at all?

Night Life

Moving On
Change is afoot at Rudyard's as longtime talent buyer Mike Sims prepares a move to Seattle.

William Michael Smith

Rudyard's British Pub is one of those local watering holes that just never seem to change. But change is in store for the venerable "living room of Montrose," with longtime talent booker and manager Mike Sims leaving his post after April 15.

Sims says his significant other, folk singer and cancer researcher Teresa Kolo, has taken a new position in Seattle, prompting the couple's move. He told Rocks Off that booking duties for the bar, which he has performed since Scott Walcott's departure ten years ago, will be assumed by Stacy Hartoon, but he will back her up "until she hits her stride. Hartoon has been on staff at Rudz for a while, as well as at Walcott's current bar, Poison Girl Lounge.

Kolo and Sims plan to be moved in by May 1. This past Sunday, the couple hosted a going-away soiree featuring Rudz mainstays Dead Roses, Poor Dumb Bastards, Born Liars, Bowel and Venomous Maximus and an acoustic set by Kolo, who has been working on some new recordings with the club's longtime sound honcho, Joe Omelchuk.

Ask Willie D

The Sweetest Escape
A reader broke her engagement after cheating on her fiancé with a what?

Dear Willie D:

I recently broke off the engagement to my fiancé of five years because I've lost myself along the way and need to focus on figuring out who I am for a while. What my fiancé doesn't know is that I also cheated on him with a former coworker whom I've had intense feelings with for quite some time.

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