Monday, December 29, 2008
However besides the cinematography, this movie was shitty. I wanted to leave halfway through. The only thing that really kept me in my seat was Eva Mendez and the rest of her babe gang.
The dialogue was pointless and obscure, the story was boring, and the characters were uninteresting. Please, Sin City 2, come to make us forget about this disaster!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
... and of course I want to do the same. But in retrospect, I can't really name that many albums from 2008 I REALLY liked. I loved Girl Talk's Feed The Animals and Wale's Mixtape About Nothing (both of which I really, really recommend), but other than a few other rap albums nothing stood out.
I decided to do something a little different. I did a lot of musical exploration this year, on YouTube, message boards, and various other outlets. There were DEFINITELY several individual tracks that I fell in love with, so I thought I'd put out a list of singles.
These are the songs I played right when I woke up, or after intramural basketball games, or that I downloaded after Blue Angel shows. These are the songs that jumped out at me and made me look deeper into the artists that produced them... each song has a YouTube link where you can listen to it.
... and of course I can't remember who I wanted to tag! shit
THIS IS NOT LIMITED TO TRACKS RELEASED IN 2008... in fact, most of them are older.
I divided them into "ROCK" and "RAP" lists
ROCK TOP 15
1. Birdland by Weather Report (http://www.youtube.com/wat
This is such a weird song, but I honestly can't get enough. I heard it in Artscore when Eric Heukeshoven played it. It's by a jazz fusion group that features Jaco Pastorius, a late legend on bass guitar. I started my mornings with this song for at least two weeks...
2. Laser Gun Carrying by N.E.R.D (http://www.youtube.com/wat
So funky... Pharrell comes correct on this experimental track. It's a UK exclusive track off of Seeing Sounds, which I really don't get. This is my favorite song off of the album, and I was deeply saddened when they didn't play it at GITD Tour. There's just something about this one that catches my ear.
3. Sukie in the Graveyard by Belle & Sebastian (http://www.youtube.com/wat
I have no idea who this band is or what else they do, but this song rocks. Mike Eddy played it for me and I was hooked. Despite its morbid themes, I'm hard pressed to find a more cheery and upbeat song.
4. Just Got to Be by the Black Keys (http://www.youtube.com/wat
A two-piece band, The Black Keys make up for their low numbers with fat distortion and heavy beats. I auditioned this song for Blue Angel and didn't get in... but I really enjoyed it and included it on this list.
5. Africa by Toto (http://www.youtube.com/wat
So self-explanatory. I heard it a long time ago but just recently figured out the name/artist.
6. Four Winds by Bright Eyes (http://www.youtube.com/wat
A nice little country-rock jam that caught my ear in a big way. The organ/violin combo is beautiful. Please try to get past how distracting the music video is...
7. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Pt. 1) (http://www.youtube.com/wat
I heard it at Gaslight... Bryan Atchison permanently etched it into my brain.
8. Another Kind of Green by the John Mayer Trio (http://www.youtube.com/wat
I played this song with my band from late freshman year. It was always our best song, and we tried it out for Gaslight but got cut along with like 40 other acts. I still love drumming to it and all other John Mayer Trio songs! A great melody too.
9. A Whiter Shade of Pale (acoustic) (http://www.youtube.com/wat
I know, a YouTube cover? It's quite simply the most beautiful acoustic arrangement I've ever heard, besides Eric Clapton's unplugged stuff. If you are a fan at all of the original, this will hit you in the heart and make you a little teary.
10. House of the Rising Sun by the Animals (http://www.youtube.com/wat
One of the most covered songs ever... and for good reason. The haunting guitar/organ combo is one that has lived 40 years and will continue to be spooky for decades to come.
For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica (http://www.youtube.com/wat
do you feel like we do by Peter Frampton (http://www.youtube.com/wat
list of demands by saul williams (http://www.youtube.com/wat
By The Morning Sun by STS9 (http://www.youtube.com/wat
crimson and clover by Tommy Jaymes (http://www.youtube.com/wat
RAP TOP 10:
1. Uncommon Valor by Jedi Mind Tricks (http://www.youtube.com/wat
A track about the Vietnam War. The second verse is from a guest artist named Rugged Man who raps about his father's experience overseas... the definition of conscious rap. This song is sick and should be listened to by any rap fan.
2. '88 by The Cool Kids (http://www.youtube.com/wat
This shit takes me back to 8th grade when I was obsessed with Run-DMC and everything involving 80's rap. Listening to this song makes me want to go out and cop an Adidas jumpsuit with Gazelle frames and a Kangol. Sick.
3. My Life by The Game (http://www.youtube.com/wat
Sometimes you have to sit back and play something just fucking gangster. Who better than The Game to fulfill that need? The hook is just so soulful... and don't tell me auto-tune ruins it, it enhances it. One of the best sad gangster's anthem since Gangsta's Paradise and Thug's Mansion.
4. Black President by Nas (http://www.youtube.com/wat
Off his N*gger Mixtape, Nas kills it. The beat is a great marching snare rhythm combined with a piano lick and a Tupac sample (sound familiar? It's from "Changes"). Obama's voice was also perfectly cut from his speech. Sometimes Nas comes off as too radical, but this song really got spins this year.
5. Welcome to Heartbreak by Kanye West (http://www.youtube.com/wat
A masterful track off a heartfelt album. So catchy, yet the lyrics make you feel a little for the guy. If you want to read my full review of the album, go here.
6. The Opening Title Sequence by Wale (http://www.youtube.com/wat
Off my favorite mixtape ever, Wale samples the transition bass lines from Seinfeld and brings heat lyrically. Notice how he's using Jerry's "What's the deal with...?" line from his standup routine. A must for any Seinfeld fan.
7. None Shall Pass by Aesop Rock (http://www.youtube.com/wat
Simply put, one of the best beats I've ever heard.
8. Set Adrift on Memory Bliss by P.M. Dawn (http://www.youtube.com/wat
An old-school classic sure to spark some memories. So smooth and relaxing.
9. Dr. Carter by Lil' Wayne (http://www.youtube.com/wat
Off of the excessively-hyped Carter III, Wayne drops some nice medical metaphors in this song about reviving a sick rapper.
10. Puppets by Atmosphere (http://www.youtube.com/wat
I think I've heard this song every time I've been in Corey Sheehan's truck. Ant comes with a nice deep piano beat and Slug does his usual thing.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
So I'm watching the UW-Madison Badgers square off against Texas on ESPN right now... and looking at these stupid new uniforms for Texas is paining me. Just like many other Nike-sponsored teams, the swoosh has outfitted the Longhorns in a tight, high-cut sleeveless jersey with shorts that are excessively baggy. See more examples below:
Who gave these the go-ahead? When did tight jerseys become cool? When did it become fashionable to be unable to dribble the ball between your legs?
What happened to this style of jersey? Nothing fancy... just a nice, comfortable shirt?
This is one fad that I hope crashes and burns like the new Spalding ball from a few years ago.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The Heisman Trophy will be awarded tonight, supposedly to the best player in college football. It's a shame that nowadays, it's basically given to the best quarterback on the best team.
Eight out of the past nine years the award has gone to a quarterback. The trend started with 29-year-old Chris Weinke of Florida State and will continue this year, as all three candidates are signalcallers. The only one to break the streak was electrifying USC RB Reggie Bush who was clearly the biggest gamebreaker in the NCAA at the time.
What about the other 21 positions on the field (excluding K/Ps)? Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree has had a spectacular season, including his last-second TD catch-and-run versus Texas. Rey Maualuga has been a standout linebacker for USC. Can we diversify the positions a little bit? Quarterback may be the most glamorous position, but it is certainly no more important than a rock at offensive tackle or a shut-down corner.
Another tragedy this year is the exclusion of Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell. The kid passed for 41 touchdowns, 4,000+ yards, and won 11 games in the Big 12. Up to six candidates can be invited, and yet this year will only yield three?
Listen to more about Graham Harrell from Jim Rome:
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Is it a coincidence that shortly after this film was released, McDonalds discontinued the "Super-size" option? It's no secret that they are now highly sensitive to criticism of their nutrition. They came out with Salad Shakers, Premium Salads, Premium Sandwiches, and plenty of other items to counter the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder. It's the advertising, though, that kills me.
I constantly see McDonalds commercials trying to link them with cool things for teenagers, like hip-hop or breakdancing. One commercial from a few years back showed a black guy bringing QP burgers to a party for appetizers with a rap beat in the background. Plenty of others show McDonalds eaters dancing, rapping, hanging out, etc... THESE PEOPLE DON'T EAT MCDONALDS! It's pathetic how McD's knows their days are numbered.
It's almost like at their meetings, they ask:
"What do kids like these days?"
"Umm... LeBron James... Grand Theft Auto... Lil' Wayne?"
"YEAH, RAP... let's have kids eating McDonalds and rapping! That'll sell."
We're not fooled... we still know McDonalds is shitty, even if you add some veggies on top and have T.I. rhyme about it.