Has everyone else seen this and I’m just super oblivious, or did I stumble onto the mother lode? I knew David Lynch was strange, but I never thought I’d see him get all Frank Booth with a fan’s oddly-large panties. Whoever mixed it up to the Twin Peaks theme also deserves a round of applause. There’s just so much goodness in this video. Seriously, is there anyone cooler than David Lynch?
Recently, though he hasn’t made any movies, he’s been great fodder for funny little videos. Anyone who’s seen a movie at the IFC Center recently would (hopefully) remember his pitch video for his coffee brand, David Lynch Signature Cup, that plays before the trailers. He also releases weird short videos like this one onto his youtube page from time to time. He gets extra points for filming them in the fucking red room. Man, I love David Lynch. I think it’s time to rewatch Wild At Heart…
How can anyone not love Sweet Sugar Slam? Necksnappa supreme. Now think about Violent J hittin’ that. Crawlin all on top of Sweet Sugar Slam each and every night. But seriously though, is this not the greatest promo for a toy drive ever?This puts Toys For Tots to shame!
It starts off incredible and then just gets progressively more amazing as it goes along. While no, it isn’t “Miracles,” it is still pretty fucking amazing in its own right. And best of all it’s a worthy addition to maintaining Juggalos as the hot shit meme of 2010. Still don’t believe me? Just watch it. Maybe this choice screen cap will entice you…
With the tags fags…with the tags…. That’s how you gotta donate shit. Think about the kids! Don’t give them no used shit!!! Nobody want’s your dirty used shit brah. These kids have it bad enough already.
Somehow it took all the way until 2009’s The Hangover for Todd Phillips to become a star director. To be honest, I didn’t really realize that he wasn’t part of the larger cultural vernacular until people started calling it his breakout film. Many of us would of course remember him back to his work on Road Trip, or at least Old School. He has long been producing relatively high quality comedies that have pushed the level of raunchiness in the mainstream. Less well known however is that Todd Phillips peaked much earlier than any of those films. In 1994 Phillips made a film better, smarter, stupider, funnier, darker, sadder, and, most importantly, infinitely more depraved than anything he has done since. It also happened to be a documentary.
Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies was originally intended to be Todd Phillips’ NYU film school thesis film, though he ended up dropping out to finish it. Being an NYU art student myself, I’m insanely jealous of how damn good this movie is. It’s also crazy as hell. Hated is a portrait, and later a chronicle of the last days of punk rock bogeyman GG Allin. If you’re not familiar with Mr. Allin, he was basically “not giving a fuck” personified. He was a punk musician who had little musical talent, always performed in the nude, threw feces on his audience, ended each show covered in blood (his own), and eventually died after leading an audience in a foot chase with police through the East Village in 1993, ya heard? Basically, he was the punk.
The earlier parts of the film consist of a lot of interviews with Allin and his bandmates. The drummer is always naked, and Allin himself is on insane amounts of drugs the whole time, so the interviews are as disturbing as they are entertaining. This guys life was crazy. He was named Jesus Christ Allin at birth. Seriously. His dad thought it fit to raise him as “Jesus Christ”, telling him that he would be the new messiah. Now that’s emotional baggage! Allin basically describes his father as a slightly crazier Jim Jones. All this wacky stuff does a lot of the explanation for the absolute insanity we see from Allin’s actions in the second half of the flick. But the dude also just had some kind of special crazy. He’s like an X-Man whose super power is utter depravity and hedonism.
We get to see a couple of his shows, as well as a lecture that Phillips convinced him to do at NYU. Think that went well? I’ll give you a hint: it ends with NYU security forcibly subduing a filthy naked GG while students run from the room. The only version I’ve ever seen is the 2007 re-release, which contains footage of his very last show and the aforementioned chase that ensued on Avenue A. It’s pretty wild to see, especially knowing Allin died the next day. It’s hard to tell whether Phillips got bananas lucky in choosing Allin as his subject or if he’s just really really talented. I guess it’s probably a bit of both. You couldn’t have written this thing better though.
There’s a lot more crazy stuff that happens in this movie, but I’d rather not spoil it. Now I realize I’ve been painting this thing as good just based on it’s shock value, but really it’s more than that. Well, sort of. It’s hard to explain, but the profundity comes from this guys complete, almost religious devotion to shocking people, and Phillips’ commitment to capturing it. Allin’s fervent pursuit eventually led to his death. I can pretty much guarantee you’ve never seen another person like him (except for perhaps Bob Flanagan, who also has a documentary about him called SICK which is fucking great, but that’s for another post). Hide your kids, hide your wife, watch this movie on Google video.
Egyptian Hip Hop are a Manchester based four piece, that are neither Egyptian, nor hip hop artists, but the unforgettable name was enough to grab your attention, right?! We’ve actually written about them here on the Bloglin before. Curators of an indie-pop sound that draws from new wave and lo-fi, Egyptian Hip Hop are kicking up a lot of heat in the UK right now with their new EP Some Reptiles Grew Wings.
Debut single “Rad Pitt” is the clear standout on the EP, with cleaner production than the other 3 tracks, it sees the vocals of frontman Alex Hewitt, strewn over dreamy chorus laden guitars. “Bide the time, sit around and wasting days I could have had,” croons Hewitt. While the lyrics probably won’t blow you out of the water, they don’t really need to, these guys are all only seventeen, so have lives to live. That’s the part that I left out, Egyptian Hip Hop are youngsters who share an accumulative age of 68 years. Back to the record though, “Middle Name Period” is a solid instrumental track of guitar stabs and simple ascending synthlines, the dynamic between that and “Rad Pitt” makes “Middle Name Period” sound either live, or under produced. Yet it is final track “Native” that provides the greatest contrast on the EP, a fantastic track of elongated ethnic samples driving a slower lo-fi sound, that really winds down the record, as well as demonstrate the versatility of the band.
Egyptian Hip Hop have recently been working with Sam Eastgate of Late of the Pier, who’s been producing their sound in style reminiscent of early DFA releases from LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture before them. Undoubtedly, with a great number of years ahead, Some Reptiles Grew EP is an impressive debut and Egyptian Hip Hop are band to watch as they mature with age and releases.
A very sad day for me, Sunday was. Irvin Kershner, director of The Empire Strikes Back, passed away at age 87. It’s hard for me to qualify how important that movie is to me. A New Hope, of course, was the first Star Wars film I ever saw. A New Hope is great. It’s absolutely amazing in fact. The Empire Strikes Back is so much better. After he finished directing A New Hope, George Lucas went on a hunt for a new director for the sequel.
I guess Lucas realized, and I’m going to try to be nice here, that if he touched another Star Wars project it would instantly turn to shit. He ended up choosing Kershner because he wasn’t a huge hotshot director, but rather an older man with a deep understanding of craft. Which is exactly what the story Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan had cooked up needed.
A sure, steady, confident, and compassionate hand to lead the audience through some extremely dark times. The original trilogy were all released by the time I saw them, so I had the luxury of being able to watch them all back to back. Now though, I sort of wish I had had to wait. A true understanding of The Empire Strikes Back requires an acknowledgment of the time that came both before and after it.
Anticipation for the film must have been absurd, and the tone of A New Hope, while flirting with darkness at times, is pretty much entirely upbeat. Empire, on the other hand, is almost unforgivingly bleak, and ends in the best cliffhanger of all time. Having to wait three years to find out what happened to Han Solo, and the rebels must have been insane.
But I digress. There’s so much stellar direction from Kershner here, but what stands out to me is the final confrontation between Vader and Luke. That thing is just immaculate. First, the lightsaber battle is staged perfectly. I still get goosebumps when they power up their sabers in silhouette. The whole fight is carried out with a quiet, foreboding patience. Plus, he makes the bowels of Cloud City look terrifying, like some futuristic funhouse.
Then, when the “I am your father” moment comes, Kershner really gets in on Hamill’s face and lets him do the heavy lifting as an actor. Kersher also got easily the best acting performances of the trilogy from everyone. I could go on and on about this scene, let alone the whole film. We lost a great talent in Kershner, though I’m happy he made it to the ripe old age of 87. I’m going to try not to make it a habit to end posts like this but, may the force be with you Irvin Kershner.
Tim & Eric brought their 2010 Awesome Tour to New York this past Saturday. Part of the show was having the audience pick between which classic T&EASGJ! sketch they wanted to watch while they changed sets. “Celery Man” was pitted against “Spagett!” and one other sketch (which one it was, I forget). “Spagett!” won the vote but did it deserve to? 4d3d3d3 Engaged…
The Game is simple… if only one could exist which would it be? What’s more important… personal relevance, cultural significance, or simply being the better album all other things aside? Choice is yours…
Come one, come all. My name is Caffeine Powered. I am a slave to the various fixtures of modern civilization. Certain chemicals, namely trimethylxanthine. I have my infofeeds jacked into my skull. If not physically yet, they are essentially there. I like paper-based products that feature images and words. A lot. In fact, they may be my favorite medium. Spandex, speculations on the gravity of possessing great powers, marveling at the universe, narrative structures out the ass. They’re all here, in comic books.
In fact, I love them so much that I (keyboard) pen a weekly column. In this column, I give you the run down on the comic books that I plan on buying. But!, but there’s a tweak of the column’s nipple this week. I’m not giving you an entire rundown. I gotta keep this shit fresh for myself. If I don’t, laziness sets in. The mind numbs. The voices, they no longer speak to me. This week, I’m pruning the entire list to the three comic books I absolutely have to buy. You will note, readers the following: my taste is poor. This is not indicative of the most important comic books of the week, nor the best ones.
It is up to you to hit the comments box if you’re so inclined, with the three comic books you’d recommend. Do it. I dare you.
Baltimore: The Plague Ships #5
The tale of Lord Baltimore wraps up this week, and I’ll be sad to see it go. Mike Mignola, Chris Golden, and Ben Stenbeck have teamed up to give us fools a tight, light romp through a universe where World War I was interrupted by vampires and zombies. Yeah, I suppose that makes regular war’s horror seem mild at most, right? This fifth issue is the final, and I’m going to miss my monthly romp through the darkness with ole Peg Leg Baltimore and his busty female companion.
As I’ve blathered about previously in this column, there’s something to the simplicity of the storyline. There’s more than enough familiar tropes to crack open if you’re willing. Baltimore is a man plagued by a deep guilt at hurting a loved one, and sets about an errant quest to do the impossible – make it right. You can get into all the complexities of one’s desire to cleanse themselves of past sins. But if you’re like me? If you’re like me, you just want to see a guy stab vampires and wield a sweet ass bayonet. It works on a simple level. Kick up your feet after a long ass day and decompress to this comic.
If you like decompressing to rot and blood and pain and plague.
Vertigo Resurrected: Winter’s Edge #1
So what if DC killed off the Wildstorm universe and folded stalwart Vertigo characters like Swamp Thing and Death back into their primary universe? They are not entirely without their dope maneuvers. On the top of the list of good ideas? DC’s decision to launch Vertigo Resurrected. It’s a line of one-shots that is driven at giving new readers the ability to indulge in classic, rare, or unpublished tales but a collection of heavy, heavy talent. They kicked things of in Vertigo Resurrected #1
Winter’s Edge brings tales from Gaiman, Ennis, and Brian K. Vaughn. If that isn’t enough to sell you, the artwork is being provided by Dave Gibbons, Sean Phillips, and Paul fucking Pope. It seems impossible for me to pass on. I only got three titles this week? This has got to be one of them. A collection of works by a bevy of my favorite talents in the industry? Sold. Sold, sold, sold.
Over the past decade, there has been consistent hype for the resurgence of ghetto house and its multiple evolutions. The genre, in particular, has lent its influence to the ever-growing Juke/Footwork scene which has seemingly bred itself in the urban environments of Chicago. Owing much of its style from the late-90’s ghetto scene made known by Jammin Gerald, Houz Mon, Parris Mitchell, DJ Deeon, DJ Funk, and DJ Slugo, Juke has perfected its vibe from the flavors of genres from every spectrum – featuring an extremely pitched-up take on house, techno, Miami bass, and hip-hop all rolling at you at 160 bpm.
Specifically, the Juke sound is described as a mutation of house music, where it has become increasingly popular within Chicago’s urban culture – mainly in the ghettos of the city’s south and west. The atmosphere of the production is much more stripped down than any other variant of house music, though – presenting a faster, more lo-fi vision of the spectrum where its affiliations to disco and gay culture have been stripped and replaced with the influence of the 2 Live Crew’s sexually explicit Miami hip-hop, once referred to as booty or ghetto house. Below you can scope a video briefly highlighting the development of Chicago’s ghetto house scene…
Juking was introduced to Chicago as a style of competitive dancing, the sound associated with the moves quickly saw itself develop into a Detroit-based variant known as ghettotech, which is almost identical but has its own style of dance called ‘jit’. The predominant difference between the scenes of ‘juke’ and ‘jit’ (besides their respective hometowns) is their associated styles of dance – where juke focuses on the footwork aspect and jit highlights body-shaking movements.
To be honest, both styles are mind-blowing – both due to their extreme demand of athleticism and the dancers’ uncanny ability to find the hidden beat within each track. In my opinion, the music of both scenes are nearly the same – both borrowing their inspiration from the roots of the ghetto house movement and the immense catalog of influential record label, Dance Mania Records. Below you can find a brief MTV feature highlighting the juke/footwork culture in Chicago…
Simply speaking, the juke sound is built from a heavy focus on the syncopation of drum sampling, where tracks are sped up and slowed down over weird, disjointed beats. The tracks are normally peppered with repetitive, shortened vocal samples which are manipulated in order to keep the pace of the high-tempo style of the music. Here, the traditional ‘four-to-the-floor’ thud of house music has been removed in favor of stuttering beats so scattered that it’s occasionally hard to work out where the rhythm is actually headed. This state of confusion is further muddied by the injection of immense basslines that appear and disappear, often resurfacing at apparently random moments throughout the tracks. Further topped by the looped bursts of the lo-fi, distorted vocal samples, the ability to follow the beat truly takes some practice for even the most complicated of musical tastes.
While the ghettotech scene has experienced some degree of crossover success, juke and footwork have remained an entirely local phenomenon within Chi-town’s urban landscape – a state of affairs that presumably might change thanks to the interest of British electronic auteur Mike Paradinas, aka μ-Ziq. For those not familiar, Paradinas is the force behind the famed, genre-bending UK label Planet Mu – home to countless artists whom have changed the face and energy behind electronic music, as a whole.
Nearly 6 months ago, Paradinas released a 36-track mix featuring some of the hottest producers within the footwork community (DJ Nate, DJ Rashad, DJ Roc, DJ Tha Pope, and DJ Trouble, to name a few). Some of my favorite tracks on the mix: DJ Tha Pope’s “Jungle Juke” which samples Tight Fit’s classic 1982 jam “Lion Sleeps Tonight”, DJ Roc’s “I Don’t Like the Look of It” which chops up Oompa Loompa vocals, and DJ Nate’s “I am a Martian” which features snippets of Lil Wayne’s “Phone Home”. As described by Paradinas, “Footwork has hyper syncopated rhythms, sub-bass, offbeat tom fills, triplets and pitch manipulated pop samples; it takes a while to reprogram your brain, but it’s worth it. This sound has evolved over the decades from Chicago House, Ghetto House, and is part of Juke.”
Hailing from Allston, a neighborhood in Boston’s western region, Young Adults are a trio that knows how to pay their respects. Forming last October, bassist Demitri Miró and brothers Chris and Kurt Villón first welcomed a 5-song demo and then the debut, Black Hole, released earlier this month by the fine Prague-based imprint Amdiscs. A strident release, Young Adults deliver a churning guitar/bass/drum effort boasting nostalgic depths alongside a well-coiled punk dependence.
From band name to song titles (“Bummer Summer,” “Wasting Time” or “Let Us Out”) it’s easy to recognize this trio’s focused, yet innocently dramatic exuberance as beneficial support to their self-dubbed ‘ambient punk’ perimeter. The usual suspects of sonic influencers are relatively alert and at attention: My Bloody Valentine, Pixies, Sonic Youth, Fugazi, but it’s two volume-heavy contemporary acts that Young Adults land at a pin-tipped point between. It’s LA’s No Age and the spiky, punk infection from Vancouver’s Japandroids that Young Adults seem to be playing the fervent, wide-eyed younger brother to.
Begging a bit like a dog with a lease in its mouth, a primary question for this Mass. trio and their Black Hole, lands at its ambition outside of outright bowed reference. A bit deeper from the aforementioned list, there are sufficiently-sourced nods to lesser known acts like Japan’s Number Girl (“Rip It Up”), Nordic hardcore act JR Ewing (“Life Under Review”) and a cover of Portland punks The Wipers’ 1983 song “Over the Edge” to carry off as well. Soaring and rollicking, by no means is this a bad release: it’s hearty enough to wallop your train ride or trafficked highway trek (air guitar for “Wasting Time” is a must) and emotive enough to warrant leaving with a sweat-stained t-shirt following the band’s stop in your town.
An enjoyable debut as evidence, Young Adults are steering in the right direction, it’s just they’re doing so— fittingly as their name implies— in their borrowed older brother’s car. No Age, who bubbled from the Smell crowd to become global scene-changing heroes and Japandroids, who left fans thrilled over a solid year backing a dynamic live show, aren’t two bands you wouldn’t want to be compared to. At the end of the day, if you’re left with feelings of that certain soaring punk tone that wonderfully infused Nouns or the slimmed-down, pubescent parking lot anthems of Post Nothing that made you want to do nothing but bang your head and chug a beer, that at least deserves a favorable passing grade right?
This is a fan made video for White Ring’s “lxc999″ off their recently released record, Black Earth That Made Me. Just stare at this for a while. I can’t tell if it’s a static image or if there very, very slight movements. It looks like some creepy ass background out of some bizzaro world Golden Axe meets Burzum video game.