Friday, June 23, 2006

Random notes

1. I'd like "Promiscuous" a lot more if Furtado's verse vocal didn't make me think about how much I'd rather be listening to LL's "Doin' It." Despite their obvious craft, there's something about both her singles that leaves me a little cold.

2. The ad where the Fruits Of The Loom pretend they're Coldplay is kind of the most wonderful thing I've seen on TV all year.

3. I don't miss writing freelance.

4. I do miss the relationship I had with pop singles when I'd listen to the radio a lot - I liked the sense of common experience I don't get from the net and videos are a really tainted way of experiencing songs. I like not having my ears strapped to a discman every time I step outside even more, though.

5. I still have a Top Ten Singles Of 2006 (So Far):

Black Eyed Peas "Pump It"
E-40 "Tell Me When To Go"
Busta Rhymes "Touch It"
Pussycat Dolls "Buttons"
Kelly Clarkson "Walk Away"
Gnarls Barkley "Crazy"
LL Cool J feat. Jennifer Lopez "Control Myself"
Ne-Yo "When You're Mad"
Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean "Hips Don't Lie"
Eagles Of Death Metal "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)"

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Top 5 imdb user reviews for Get Rich And Die Trying:

5. I hope that the right people get a hold of the comments I'm about to make. Motion pictures still have the ability to be used as an art form that can be a medium of effective communication. As a culture have we forgotten how to use gifts and talent? As a nation (USA) have we decided that freedom means that "gangsters' can pimp the arts with money and influence? Let's face it, music, TV and motion pictures are the hallmark of artistry in our world. And, at the same time the abuse of these mediums has caused talent and gifts to be eroded from the next generation. There is pot of gold in our youth and young adults that executives and media directors have a MORAL and CULTURAL obligation to ensure art is not bastardized for profit. Mr. Jackson (50 Cents) is just one of the many symptoms of what we are becoming as a people, a cancer. As an American of African heritage I feel a burden for my peers of caucasion ethnicity, please don't "help" black people by lavishing wealth and opportunity on the loudest, most threatening and menacing people in our communities. Say "no" to the next 50 Cent, no to his music, his "acting," and his abuse of 1st Amendment rights. Lets send a message as leaders in media that everything isn't acceptable. Lets educate people to what is good, positive, life affirming and yes creative as well. Lets fund and support education in the arts and create new industries starting in the places with the least opportunity and hope. Art can be made in the hood, but its born from the Heart.

With great power comes great responsibility. -Stan Lee


4. The movie was full of action. There were no dull moments. Throughout the whole movie I was wondering whats going to happen next and who is doing this and who is doing that. I must say that this is a very good movie in my opinion. Before I saw the movie I didn't even really like 50 cent due to his attitude, but his acting was good the movie was very well put together. I cant lie I might just go see that again. At least I know once it go to video I will pick it up. For the ladies yall gon enjoy 3 parts cause all ima say is naked lol i give it a 10 because I wasn't expecting it to be halfway decent and it was actually good I just cant hate. Most people may give it a 5 and up but there's nothing awful about it unless u as a person don't like anything dramatic, action packed, and real


3. "Hi my name is - Who? - My name is - What? - My name's Cheeky Cheeky Slim Shady!" Cheeky Cheeky Slim Shady there with the song that kick-started the whole rap music scene! Little did Cheeky Slim know that his jolly, upbeat, life affirming music would pave the way for a more sinister type of rapping… Slim Shady and his cheery tunes were soon pushed aside in favour of ruder artists like Marshall Mathers or the despicable Eminem. These didn't want to rap about saying hello and explaining what their name is anymore, they wanted to rap about guns and drugs, and pimps and hoes. And drugged up pimps with gun-toting hoes, who drug their clients and then force them at gunpoint to ho themselves to pimps. For drugs.

Now it seems that every new rappist feels that he has to outdo the last in a bid to be ever more offensive, cramming profanities into every song like a pimp with a gun cramming drugs into a ho. The latest young man to try his hand at profanity cramming is one 50 cent, a man who raps harder than an Elf at Christmas. 50 cent is so called because he was kidnapped as a small child, but was so unloved by his family that the abductors were only able to ask for a ransom of half a dollar. Now Fifty has taken his tragic upbringing and transformed it into a hit movie, Get Killed Or Die Trying'! In Get Killed Or Try Dyin' Fifty plays a young man who has to find a way to escape a life on the streets in America! Life on the street isn't easy, believe me, I know. I have to walk past homeless people every day. Well, I tend to jog past. Even though I cross to the other side of the road so that I don't have to smell them, I can still see that they have it pretty tough. When I say that I can 'see' that they have it tough, it's not strictly true, because I try not to look directly at the homeless. It's depressing, isn't it? Nevertheless, I can perceive out of the corner of my eye that they have it tough. I suppose that technically all they have to do is sit there, so it's not tough in any obvious way, but I'm confident that it's tough in theory.

Movies have taught me that there are only three possible career choices for a young black man on the streets of America, drug dealer, ho pimper, or word… rapper. Each choice presents its share of problems. Drug dealing is hard. Getting up every morning, reading the scruffy handwriting on all those prescriptions, weighing out exactly the right amount of pills, putting them into those tiny little bottles that have the caps that are really difficult to get off, advising people about what kind of tissues are best. The life of a drug dealer isn't one that I would wish on anyone. Similarly pimping is no walk in the park either. Unless your hoes work in and around a park. Finally we have the life of a millionaire rap 'musician'. Do you think it's easy to be a rapper? Just because it's easy to swear, and easy to do things in time to music, you think it's easy to SWEAR IN TIME TO MUSIC? Is that what you think?! Well you're right, that's why it's easier to be a rapper than a pimp or a drug dealer.

The real trick to being a rap star is to make sure that a lot of bad things happen to you. Get Killed Or Get Rich Trying' follow Fifty as he embarks on his quest to have lots of things happen to him that make him really angry. Once Fifty has been involved in enough anger-causing incidents, he will be able to write raps about them and escape his life on the street, but can he do so before someone 'pops a cap up his ass'? Or shoots him? You'll have to watch the incredible Get Rich Quick Or Your Money Back to find out!


2. Look man ... I'm from Romania .. yeah .. I know you don't care .. but listen to this...

My English may be bad ... but ...

It's VERY hard to make a movie of someone's life and try not to modify the truth too much. In my opinion that 8 mile movie is NO better than this movie.

50 had a hard time ... and you're saying this movie is bad?? That's his life.Don't you get it? Tell me .. what great things did you do in YOUR life??

What are you doing with your life that's SO great ?? huhh?? Send me an email and tell me.My address is

Word up all


1. Is this not the kind of art written by the bourgeoisie between the entrée and pudding? Imagine a film that shows 50 cent as a hero, a sensitive man. Imagine violent criminals breaking into diatribes declaring their manly love and respect for each other. Imagine what it must be like to not be able to read or write, and have friends like this man.

Fortunately, I don't have to. Instead I can gladly submit to this effective marketing tool. I'm glad to have brought him a burger through watching this film.

Do you want to see what an average film is like? Watch this, and appreciate how good an average film actually is.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Anybody know why Buckcherry has been hovering near the bottom of the Billboard album chart's top 50, where the album debuted, for nine weeks? Never drops down, never rises, it just stays there...x number of people buy the new Buckcherry album every week. The reunion album by Buckcherry. It's creepy! Is their non-delightful new single "Crazy Bitch" in a TV ad? At least I can write off the enduring top 10 pop success of "Dani California" as some kind of embarassing digital download quirk.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Attention, fellow Scrawl fans! Somewhere to go next time you're stuck in the middle of Ohio.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Last.Fm "Last Week" Top Ten Round-Up

1. Ghostface
If my enthusiasm for Fishscale is rather muted, it's because I finally checked out Ironman and Supreme Clientele, making Fishscale my fourth favorite Ghostface album. And who knows, maybe Bulletproof Wallets is better too. I can't join the Tony Starks cult, in part because his hooks tend to reach me before he does, but they reach me pretty quickly.

2. Bowling For Soup
Are Good Charlotte still my favorite pop-punk band of the decade, or have BFS taken the crown? Their next releases will decide for sure. The drama...

3. Jay-Z
I'm all about '90s NYC debut rap albums right now. Illmatic, Ironman, Reasonable Doubt, It's Dark And Hell Is Hot...missed them at the time - none released on Matador.

4. Tarkio
My tags say Tariko, but accoring to google they're called Tarkio! The system is flawed.

5. Madonna
She has enough great songs to make a decent box set, but the only full-length I truly enjoy is You Can Dance! Most album filler is intolerable and the hits comps are flawed. I'm making a 2CD-R comp for my own pleasure soon, feel free to recommend some album tracks that deserve attention.

6. The Go-Betweens
I didn't actually check out Oceans Apart until a month or two before McLennan's death. The only band I can think of who were actually better when they re-united than beforehand.

7. Amadou & Mariam

Some awful, ignorant articles about this duo came out recently, and I don't feel like throwing more bwana asshattery out there (the words "Manu" and "Chao" appear on all the "world music" I own). Hear Dimanche A Bamako, though.

8. Mogwai
It's been a good year for indie bands I never gave a shit about before. Debating revisiting Young Team, but nothing on the albums that followed led me to believe I'd enjoy Mr. Beast as much as I do. I wonder if they were in danger of having to lower their gaurantee or something.

9. Phoenix
I can't believe I'm actually enjoying a continental European rock band!

10. Sia
I'd say more, but I'm late for an Ikea run...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

If I'm going to have a comments box, I might as well employ it: Do you have a FAVORITE single or album from this year yet? I'm not talking some by-default choice, I'm talking a non-reissue 2006 release that you treasure. I've got plenty of likes (I'll be doing a first half of 2006 round-up eventually), but little in the way of loves. Is anything seriously floating people's boats right now?

Monday, June 12, 2006

You know what else is back? The song stylings of Eamon! The new single, "(How Could You) Bring Him Home," is disappointingly curse-free, but he does reference Maroon 5 in the first verse. I anxiously await the video.

In case you've forgotten his comically cancerous cojones, someone's put up the UNEDITED version of "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)"...

And dig this, a remix of the smugger-than-smug "I Love Them Ho's/Girl Act Right" featuring...GHOSTFACE!

He's back! He's baaaack!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The comments box is back, due to what passes for popular demand around here (still working out the kinks, though). I prefer e-mail correspondence, where nobody can embarrass you by publicly pointing out your dumbass statements or by making their own, but the people have spoken, and I will appease them...for now.

Friday, June 09, 2006

"Last Week" Round-up

1. The Clean
Why the hell did they put such awful rarities at the end of Disc 2 of Anthology? Totally fucks up the listenability. Completists bite hard.

2. Band Of Horses
A Flaming Lips I can respect! More later.

3. Bowling For Soup
Not just Fountains Of Wayne Meets Blink-182, but the Sell-Out NOFX as well.

4. Eric B. & Rakim
I love the hits, but I'm never totally sure why he's "the best rapper ever," aside from "purity" (do these people hate pizza toppings?).

5. Big Daddy Kane

He looks like he's freezing!

6. Tariko
Still haven't listened to the Decemberists yet. I'm lazy.

7. Jon Auer
The ex-Posie's In The Year Of Our Demise is chock full of overwraught and lyrically ridiculous yet melodically outstanding romantic alternapop. In the days of virginal Greg Dulli worship, it would be my favorite album of the year. Five stars! WHAT WOULD BE ON THE RADIO IF PEOPLE HAD A CLUE!

8. The M's
I still haven't thought of anything more than the phrase "avant-glam" in regards to these chaps. Maybe I need to read a press bio.

9. Death From Above 1979
The lyrics are still lame, but that remix album eliminates the monochromatic quality of the original release - ironically more listenable despite the multiple appearances of the same original track. Some of these technified versions sound like an enjoyable "future of rock" - if they didn't espouse such boring dickery, they'd be right up there with Linkin Park in my esteem.

10. DMX
Turns out Fred Durst circa Chocolate Starfish was totally jacking his flow!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Being American big budget films involving superheroes and Halle Berry, they aren't without their flaws, but those X-Men movies get me in the gut. Dynamic young people with amazing abilities deciding which aging British fop to line up behind, whether to defend America or punish its citizens for their ignorant, unsympathetic fear. The mixture of adolescent "gifted" frustration and apocalyptic bombast is immensely satisfying; with our government using gays & mexicans as objects of fear now that the "terrorist" threat is no longer effective, watching a technicolor battle over faith in humanity strikes me as very cathartic. The new film is breezier - Brett Ratner, duh - but the template remains effective and the visuals may be the grandest yet. I could write a longer post with observations like "Shadowcat had better chemistry with Iceman than Rogue did," but I'll save that shit for conversations with friends who share the same mixture of appreciation and mild embarassment. One thing: I have nothing but the highest respect for Hugh Jackman (I actually think he should have gotten a Best Supporting Actor nomination for one of the earlier flicks), which leads me to believe that no actor could pull off saying "way to go, Furball" to a television set.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Saw Boris (Japanese Motorhead with psych-drone tendencies and a diminuitive female guitarist) last night. I enjoyed them as well as opening act Thrones (screwed-and-chopped Trans from Melvins bassist), but I can't take non-pop metal in a live context anymore. I stand all day at work, so if you're not going to inspire me to move, I need to be able to sit down. Overall, the show made me want to buy some Blue Oyster Cult.

It's possible that I won't see another live show until Electric Six comes back to town in July. Feelin' old...

Friday, June 02, 2006

"Last Week" Last.Fm Round-Up

1. The Clean
Judging by the success of Clap Your Hands and Tapes'n'Tapes, VU-style pop-drone is coming back in favor. I approve in a "better than emo" sense, even if I have a hard time remembering indiviudal songs.

2. Sia
Oh, Sia, my Dido.

3. The Mountain Goats
Am I the only person who thinks Tallahassee stands out as a sub-par release? I love what I've heard before and since, but that one (the first I ever heard), still only grabs me for about five tracks. I don't even like "No Children" or "Small Arms Traffic Blues!" Baffling...

4. Tariko
I've always liked Colin Meloy's voice, and my fondness for this midwest-alt juvenalia tells me I really need to revisit the Decemberists. Or maybe I just prefer him in this generic context?

5. Stereolab
Are there really people who would notice if they put a track from five years ago on a new album with a different name? Bob Pollard would have an easier job getting away with it, but I think these folks could pull it off.

6. 2pac's technology is obviously lax, because I played more than 6 tagged 2Pac tracks this week. Recently made a CD-R based on Ethan's recommendations on an ILX thread and some singles. If you have any favorites not in this tracklisting, send me an e-mail so I can hunt them down.

  1. So Many Tears
  2. Against All Odds
  3. California Love
  4. I Wonder If Heaven’s Got A Ghetto
  5. Dear Mama
  6. Temptations
  7. Brenda’s Got A Baby
  8. Shorty Wanna Be A Thug
  9. Only God Can Judge Me
  10. God Bless The Dead
  11. How Do You Want It?
  12. I Get Around
  13. Hail Mary
  14. If My Homie Calls
  15. Ambitionz Az A Ridah
  16. When We Ride On Our Enemies
  17. Keep Your Head Up
I never cared too much about him back in the MTV heyday, but these tracks do a good job of showing him in a lively, thoughtful context. I once wrote him off as too apollonian to identify with, but at his best, the details and spirit keep the "earnest thug" archetype from ossifying. His tendency to repeat his overriding themes in the last verse or two of a song reminds me of a politican.

7. Broken Social Scene
Recently pulled the self-titled album out, and I think I'm becoming more sympathetic to the faceless bandwing camp side of indie. The whole gang getting together to make an inclusive kaboom. Bet I'd revere this stuff if I was in high school.

8. Eef Barzelay
Ignored Clem Snide after the staid Your Favorite Music, but the songs on Barzelay's solo disc are strong and witty enough to make me want to find out how they come off with a full band. Not as kind as John Prine, but almost as smart.

9. The M's
Avant-glam act on Polyvinyl with a harsh, unique sound, not so sure if they have the songs yet.

10. Sonic Youth
The tracks off Rather Ripped I've heard don't stray far from the groovy template of the last two albums. Might be their biggest album yet.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Five reasons to see the new version of The Omen next week:

1. Movie theatre air conditioning RULES!

2. Pizza The Hutt has a cameo.

3. Mia Farrow, Pete Postelwaithe and David Thewlis's stunt dummies get one good scene each.

4. Spontaneous psychosis in dogs and monkeys.

5. I assume thanks to cosmetic science, Liev Schrieber has a permanently furrowed mannequin face that is only capable of three expressions: "I am Rodan's Thinker," "is" and "UGH, FISH!" The latter is deployed only when someone dies, and briefly.

Otherwise, you should just see the original (or something else).