Archive for November, 2008
My Pal the Crook's Previous Entries
My Pal the Crook's Previous Entries
It’s that time of year again… time for “Best Of” lists! I love making lists–I know it’s OCD, but I really enjoy doing it and it helps me sort out ideas and get the creative juices flowing. So I relish the opportunity that the end of the year presents to me.
Last year I only did a top ten… but for this year’s list, I’ve decided to post five albums for the next eight days (40 total) until culmination with what I feel is the best album of 2008.
In making this list, I’ve come to realize a few things… I can’t find a new hip hop album I truly love, I can’t stand that indie rock has turned into adult contemporary, I’ve really started to appreciate what it takes to make good commercial pop (Phil Collins what!), and that there are way too many bands with “crystal” in their name. Anyway, on to the list….
This is all-out party music. Electro rap, booty-bass, call it what you want, this album is just fun. As an added bonus, it can get downright trippy at times, thanks to the killer production. I’m always on the look out for a good, no-frills party album like this.
Earth has a come a long way since the days when I first discovered them. This band has undergone a very natural and profound transformation in almost two decades. Gone are the days of 5 minute songs of the same repeating riff or pointless drones that seem to go nowhere. What was once a very inaccessible band strictly for noise/drone heads and Nirvana completists has now transformed into one of the preeminent instrumental bands of our time. While sounding like a totally a different band, Dylan Carlson has still left what made Earth, Earth, at its core. The Bees Made Honey In the Lion’s Skull is like the soundtrack to a steer slowly decomposing in the plains of the southwest during a sunset. The album is filled with intricate arrangements, instrumentations, and perfect pacing for a mood piece. This album actually reminds me of one of my favorite movie scores of all time, Neil Young’s score to Dead Man. This is the beautiful sound of impending doom, and your resolve to accept its coming.
This is the first of three thrash albums on this list. 2008 has seen the blooming of a very exciting thrash metal revival (more on that later). What I look for in a thrash metal album isn’t innovation, but rather dumb hard pounding fun. All I want is some killer riffs and something to chant and mosh to, and I’m set. Hard & heavy Motorhead-influenced thrash metal…this is the sound of a good time on a Saturday night, fresh out of the grave.
The backlash is setting in, but this is still a very solid debut album, sounding like an IDM attempt at synthpop with all the best elements of Atari Teenage Riot and SNES game rolled into one handy album. I have to be honest, some of the tracks are kind of interchangeable hipster bedroom dance experiments, but when Crystal Castles hit the right mix, they hit it hard. “Crimewave” is easily one of the best songs of the year.
I haven’t heard as good of a power-pop throwback as this since The Exploding Hearts (R.I.P.). Most revival bands leave some trace in their sound to current times, but not here. Had I not known upon hearing, I would have thought this was some obscuroid 70′s band in the vein of 20/20, on a Hyped 2 Death compilation.
Stay tuned for parts 35-31 tomorrow as we continue the count down to #1!
Patrick Cooper's Previous Entries
Thanksgiving Eve, one of the most popular nights of the year for excessive drinking, has just passed and it got me to thinking about an alcoholic I had once read about, Michael Malloy, the victim of one of the most unusual murders in NYC history (I originally heard about him through the Primus song “You Can’t Kill Michael Malloy”). Malloy was an Irish immigrant who came over to NYC sometime in the early 1900s and quickly became an infamous drunk, but a cheerful one; besides his liver, he never hurt a soul. His watering-hole of choice was a speakeasy (Prohibition would not be repealed until December of 1933) at E. 177th St. in the Bronx, owned by a man named Anthony Marino. In 1932, Marino and three of Malloy’s speakeasy friends (Dan Kreisberg, Joseph Murphy, Frank Pasqua) were generous enough to insure him for nearly $2,000. Getting him to sign the policies was simple, they just waited until he was drunk and told him it was a petition that would help elect Marino for local office. The policies featured a double indemnity clause, so if Malloy just happened to have an accidental death, then double the value would be paid. Now, the “Murder Trust” (as the four men called themselves) just had to figure out how to bump off the 50 year old drunk.
It seemed simple enough; Malloy was known all over as a severe alcoholic, so any way he died could be framed to look like an accident. Marino began lining up free drink after drink in front of Malloy, day after day. Malloy would then stagger out of the bar and the boys would check the papers the next day, hoping to read about how Malloy had walked into traffic or choked on his own vomit. After a few weeks of this, they realized they had to take matters into their own hands. Marino began dosing Malloy’s drinks with antifreeze, horse liniment, rat poison, and turpentine. But Malloy would just comment on how odd it tasted, pass out, and come back the next day for more. For their next attempt, the Trust got Malloy soused, brought him to Claremont Park in the middle of winter (reports say it was 14 below), disrobed his top half, poured water all over him, and left him to freeze to death. Malloy stumbled into Marino’s the next day complaining of a cold.
The Trust then hired a professional, hitman Anthony “Tough Tony” Bastone. Bastone was going for the accident angle and hired taxi-driver Harry Green to take Malloy out to a deserted intersection. Green accelerated to 45 mph as Marino and Bastone held Malloy up. It was a direct hit and the boys sped off, leaving Malloy a bloody mess in the street. After a brief stay in the hospital, the ever-optimistic Malloy limped back into Marino’s, eager to hang out with his pals.
February 22, 1933 – Enough was enough. The Trust began serving Malloy drinks of pure wood alcohol. Malloy quickly fell unconscious and they carried him up to Murphy’s apartment. Pasqua inserted a rubber hose down the throat of Malloy. The other end was hooked up to a wall gas jet. During the trial of the Murder Trust, Kreisberg stated that he “could hear the sizzling sound” of escaping vapors. Malloy was finally dead.
It didn’t take long for the insurance companies to figure out they were being duped. Green the taxi-driver went to jail. Pasqua, Marino, and Kreisberg were executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison on June 7, 1934. Murphy also went to the chair on July 5, 1934. And I need a drink.
Chenyip's Previous Entries
As a Canadian, it’s real easy to criticize our American neighbors and all their mighty flaws. And lets get it out right now, alot of Canadians do indeed criticize you Americans.
But our criticisms and groans are postured more like sibling rivalry – ever complaining that big brother USA always get’s preferential treatment and the lion-share of the spotlight. But can you really blame them? They got NFL, Lydia Hearst and California. We have Curling, Alan Thicke and Nunavut. Big brother is the prom king and the star quarterback. Meanwhile, we’re the kid that’s home-schooled and plays with dolls.
But every once and a while, the course of nature sorts all its wrinkles out and flips everything on their ass-end. Including big brother.
Now, I’m the last person that would cast the “America is fucked” stone, but a string of Black Friday events have sparked concern.
When Walmart sales are the catalyst for trampling, death, and miscarriages, I can truly say with earnestness that you my southern friends are fucked.
Seriously, this is on some “decline of the Roman Empire” shit.
My Pal the Crook's Previous Entries
The Black Heart Procession – Guess I’ll Forget You
Black Tambourine – Throw Aggi Off the Bridge
Black Moon – Who Got the Props?
Black Lips – FAD
Black Dice – Kokomo
My Pal the Crook's Previous Entries
It’s that time of year again, a day which many of you love, yet a majority of you dread, yes, we are talking about Black Friday. And once again we’re going the extra mile to offer you all incentive to stay home and shop on this cursed day.
Forget fighting crowds for parking at the mall, waiting in lines, and getting up early to get the deep deals, leave that to your aunt Mary and the rest of those hags. What we think you should do is sit back, relax, hang out at home, fix yourself a drink and do your shopping online.
Once the clock hits Midnight and it’s Friday, November 28th we will be offering 30-60% off all Fall stock site-wide ALL WEEKEND LONG. Hoodies, t-shirts, bomber jackets, New Era’s, accessories and even online exclusives.
In addition, we have restocked some previously out of stock items, so have a look around as that certain t-shirt or hat long sold-out may be back in stock.
To sweeten the deal in these tough economic times we’re also offering you the following discount code: BLACKFRIDAY. When you use it you’ll get 10% off your order, regardless of what you purchase, marked down items & the Exotica Collection!!
NOTE: We apologize but there are absolutely positively no returns or exchanges on discounted sale items!
Important! (Please Read): Our offices will be closed Friday, Nov. 28th through Sunday, Nov. 30th. ALL Orders will start processing Monday, Dec. 1st. and we will not be able to respond to emails until then as well. We ask you to please be extra patient in waiting for your order to arrive. Due to the expected heavy volume of orders there may be 5-7 day delay (not including holidays and weekends) in processing and shipping (international may take longer). As always domestic tracking numbers will be emailed to the address used at the time of purchase. International tracking numbers will be posted in your account once your item is shipped! To get to your Mishka account profile, please click the “Store” tab in our overhead menu and then select “My Account” from the drop down “Select Option” menu to the right.
Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays!!
Tragic Johnson's Previous Entries
I thought the spooky-meets-awesome quality of the current exhibit at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City was appropriate territory for my first ever Bloglin post. The show is actually called “Clowns! The Re-interpretation of the Classic American Clown Painting.” The artwork above is “Clown Porn 3” by Rugman.
This “American Depressed (sign your life away)” piece by D*Face, from the UK, comes at the perfect time, considering the current financial crisis. You can’t tell from my amazing photo, but it’s quite big – maybe 3-4 feet wide. Costliness? A cool $10k.
Aside from being the clown I’d most like to have at my next birthday party (given the choices), this oil painting by Natalia Fabia also had the best name: “Noelle The Hooker Clown.”
Paul Frank contributed a 3D leather clown, which is based on his own logo if I’m not mistaken.
Donovan Crosby’s “I Knew Him Well,” based on the famous scene from Hamlet, was one of my faves.
Check It out if you’re around!
Corey Helford Gallery
8522 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Them's Previous Entries
…for Ass Mannequins. Like a ray of sunshine, gleaming through on a cloudy afternoon, Ass Mannequins are there to brighten your day. First off, they appeal to a broad audience; big assed individuals, the casual booty enthusiast and the velour connoisseur can all marvel at the simplicity, purposefulness and economy of the Ass Mannequin. Secondly, they are the People’s Mannequin, breaking the glass of the window display and destroying the old bourgeoisie image of the skinny shrugging lady with the weird 80’s haircut that has dominated clothing displays for decades. Ass Mannequins reject faces and torsos all together. Ass Mannequins won’t face forward, turning their backs in solidarity with the struggle of the global proletariat. They are the revolutionary mannequin.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, they let us know that people who get most of their calories from super burritos can still be portrayed as desirable. This thought inspired me to create a mannequin in my own image.
Unfortunately, no one seems to be interested in Baby Head Tiny Legs Potato Man-equin.
Chenyip's Previous Entries
In the wake of the recent Mumbai events and my increasingly insatiable appetite for FPS (First Person Shooters) games, I’m getting a real boner for the new Call of Duty 5 aka Call of Duty World at War aka CODWAW.
I know. This game is at least two weeks old and it’s big release on November 11th (Canada’s Remembrance Day) was all the fuss up here. But I just recently stumbled on a not-so-secret bonus trailer that I think is the tipping point.
Mike Jones: Wario ain’t got shit on this. Well maybe a dab.
Hateball's Previous Entries
Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve dreamed of living in a huge space that was designed to make me feel like I was the size of Godzilla. How awesome would it be to roll off the roof of a giant paper mill each morning, only to stumble through the streets and open the side of a skyscraper to look for something cold to drink? Maybe the TV is like some huge billboard, gently beaming it’s dumb into your awesome from a rolling green hillside, and the bathroom is tastefully hidden, as there’s no cool motif that I can think up for it at the moment.
Anyway, I saw a tutorial on Tilt-Shift photography the other month and it reminded me of my billions-dollar dream. Basically, you use a special lens and some clever techniques to make things that are actually real look like things that have been painstakingly made, choreographed, and animated by some dude in a basement.
And then I stumbled onto Keith Loutit‘s work on Vimeo and was relieved, because I can unequivocally state that he is better at Tilt-Shift photography than I’ll ever be, so I might as well leave him to it and go buy more kaiju or something.