Here’s new visuals from Himself The Majestic of The Shadowrunners Click (and of the larger group Nature Boy Gang) for his song “Overdose.” The video is definitely Hype Williams inspired with Himself rapping in front of bright, pastel backgrounds. The strobe lights that flash the word “Swag” at us–as well as images of 40s, gold chains and cheese graters–are really Hype Williams, too.
I’d also like to point out that the “W” in the font they used is really nice and makes “Swag” look extra dope. Even though it’s a simple video, it’s a lot of fun and it fits the song’s 8-bit trap feel really well. If you’re sleeping on Himself, he’s not only got really strong, technical flows, but really clever lyrics, too. He kills it every time whether he’s rapping on a swag song like “Overdose” or more insightful stuff.
After a tremendous year of defying Ticketmaster, receiving Grammy nominations, and in general just becoming the most lauded comedian currently working, Louie is back. The third season kicked off last night with the episode “Something Is Wrong“. Cohesively the episode is stronger than ever, and where the story lines would have been divided into separate vignettes in previous seasons, here they’re interwoven to make one solid narrative. It’s great. What a great show.
The episode starts with Louie doing standup and talking about how, as a result of aging, he needs reading glasses to masturbate because his dick looks blurry. Something about this bit, more than any other C.K. bit, felt like he was just talking, like he was sort of just fishing for the joke. But then, that is the trademark of Louis’ style. He eventually starts talking about buying a nice new young second dick, which essentially sets up the rest of the episode.
That being that Louie buys a motorcycle, which is the closest one could get to a second dick, currently. Following the standup, we get an awesome bit of Louie parking his car and being straight up befuddled by the assortment of parking signs and restrictions. This is one of the most beautiful post-Seinfeld sitcom moments in recent memory. It’s spot on, if you’ve ever tried parking in a city. Fairly confident, he leaves the car to meet some not-girlfriend, played by Gaby Hoffmann, for lunch. It turns out since the departure of Pamela at the end of season two, Louie has started seeing at least one woman, namely Hoffmann’s character.
In the classic Louie-being-more-captivating-than-other-sitcoms fashion, we begin with the end of C.K. and Hoffmann’s relationship, as she arrives at the diner and assumes they’re breaking up, to which Louie just doesn’t say otherwise. With his passive nature, mixed with his preoccupation with his poorly parked car, Hoffmann’s keen knack for over-analysis results in their breakup whether or not Louie was in. After she leaves, Louie goes to get his car which is now surrounded by construction equipment and workmen. It’s weird and funny and great. Louie asks them to move but instead of doing that one of the workers crushes Louie’s car. It’s weird and funny and great.
This leads Louie to get a motorcycle, and then of course crash. Then. THEN. He calls his ex-wife from the hospital to let her know that he can’t pick up his daughters and we finally, as viewers, get to see her. And it appears that she’s black, which is simultaneously completely illogical and perfectly fitting for the show. Once Louie is back home, Hoffmann comes to retrieve her laptop and then stays to make Louie some food, now that he has been slightly injured and rendered completely weak and needy. When she begins to depart, Louie asks her to “stay,” a word which he packs full of neediness and yearning, asking her to both stay there and stay with him.
She’s not having it. She calls him out for just being momentary and needy, then uses some quality over-analysis to predict the future, and justify them breaking up. Who knows if she’ll be back. Doing Re-Ups for comedies is always a bit weird, because it’s like, “Hey, do you dissect and discuss the jokes?” or “Hey, do you recap the small cyclical plot?” With Louie, however, the stories are much more developed than other sitcoms, so those questions need not be asked. Also, as an aside: I hear Jerry Seinfeld is going to guest on this season. God meets God. Woop!
Am I excited for Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer this August? Of course I am. Mainly to see one of my favorite Baltimore PD detectives, Lester Freamon, wig out behind a pulpit. Until then, there’s this bizarrely entertaining horror indie to tide us over: You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Kills You. Written and directed by Spike’s “protege” Michael A. Pinckney, You’re Nobody (produced by Spike) has been (patiently) sitting on the shelf since about 2008 and is finally getting a home release July 10 from Lionsgate.
The film follows two doofy homicide detectives - one hip hop obsessed white boy (Michael Mosley) and one stuck up old black fart (James McDaniel) – as they investigate the serial murders of big name rappers around NYC. Fictional rappers, of course. There’s a rapper named Cipha, played in a blindingly brief appearance by Michael K. Williams, whose killed first, then some other guys whose names I forget. The detectives think a rapper named Manchild is the killer’s next target. Manchild LOLZ. He sits atop his ivory tower like Charles Foster Kane – lonely and pondering whether the platinum albums and leather couches are worth it.
There are super small cameos from Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, and Ed Lover, all playing themselves. That’s not entirely true, I guess. They change Doug’s name to “Rob Ski” for some reason and even though Ed Lover says “What’s up, this is Ed Lover!” at one point, it reads “Jazz Lover” in the subtitles. The subtitles were written by a jaded intern I suspect. Watching with them on adds a bonus level of hilarity. I always watch movies with subtitles on because I’m fucking deaf, in case you were wondering.
Initially I watched this expecting a laughable attempt at a slasher, but it’s really entertaining for all the right reasons. It’s like watching an extended episode of Law and Order with rap to soften the absurdity of it all. It moves quickly and all of the actors are…”acceptable” would be the right word. The dialogue is a hybrid of dopey and inspired as the detectives discuss such things as “beef” and “the 8th generation of hip hop.” Michael Mosley holds it down as the young cop who gets all wide-eyed around rappers. He’s got a sideways charm I like in my fictional detectives. There’s even a Suge Knight character to chomp cigars and act disappointed in everyone!
You’re Nobody needs to be viewed for what it is: a low-budget slasher hip hop serial killer comedy (whether that was Pinckney’s intention or not). Accept that and have a good time with it. It’s out on DVD July 10 and is most definitely worth a watch. Learn to love Manchild like I have. He rhymes the words “man” and “struggling” like only a true poet can.
I might be one of the only rap bloggers who is checking for any Anticon stuff. It seems like even though they were at one time the epitome of wide-open rap music, the majority of their carryover into this very digital age has been on websites that aren’t necessarily regarded for their hip hop content.
It’s gonna be interesting to see where this song turns up as it most definitely splits the difference between those two worlds. On his first solo album since Live From Rome it sounds like Sole might be aiming for something that works a little harder to compromise with the audience. If the whole album is like this, it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Because, people talk like they want gritty political social-critique in their raps, but when it comes up it’s usually a different story.
Here’s the debut video for Dominic Lord, formerly of the ASAP Mob, who’s shot off on his own and is apparently generating quite the bidding war between record labels. The world works in accelerated ways now. You can see why the suits want to get their hands on him though (pause) with his intense, jagged flow and pained lyrics.
This track “Pierce” is made all the better by a Tree Of Life (f’real) sampling beat by Hudson Mohawke, not to mention the beautiful and strange video by rising photographer Aram Bedrossian. Don’t be surprised to see much more from Dominic Lord very soon.
Last Sunday Mishka’s own Nattymari took over my CHVяCH XV BяXK3N 7ANGvAG3 radio show for the second time with a two part barrage of tunes straight from the heart. Part one was in his standard style of sonic trickery with slowed tracks and weird noise jumps. Tracks on this mix were all over the map and included songs by Cocorosie, Kate Nash, Z-Man, Beastie Boys, Lil B, E-Mill, and Kitty Pryde, plus tons more.
Part two was a time machine transport back to the golden days of classic house music by his alter ego RON HARDLY (obvious nod to DJ legend Ron Hardy). Tracks on the mix include Cajmere’s “Dream States,” Orgue Electronique’s “Moscow 1984,” and Ralphi Rosario’s “You Used to Hold Me.” Both mixes are available for stream and download on Soundcloud. Witch Made Klikk in effekt.
The week previous was NYC witchhouse sluggers SKELETONKIDS with a hand crafted badasss mixtape of properly chopped and thoed trax called KROKODILSALTZ.
These two speaker busters chewed up everything from Fever Ray and Death Grips to Tundra Dubs dark hearts ∆AIMON, Fake Blood, Drake, Lana Del Rey, Interpol, Dirty Sanchez, Iggy Azalea, and even a remix by the mysterious Texan swag warlock The Ceremonial Dagger. Full mix available for download from the SKELETONKIDS Bandcamp.
And finally, Daniel Dodecahedron of GUCCI GOTH http://guccigoth.tumblr.com/ and BlackBlackGold in Berlin brought the tonal destruction for the week previous with a sick sick sick wall of witchstep and other mixed madness and mashes featuring trax stacked deep into the void by artists like Bestial Mouths, Nero, Mantis, Otto Von Schirach, Bauhaus, Crass, High Rankin, Cabaret Voltaire, Dead Can Dance, Blessure Grave remixed by Deathface, Virgin Prunes, Foetus, Salem, Bruxa, Waka Flocka Flame, Chelsea Wolfe, A$AP Rocky, Tuxedomoon, X-Ray Spex, Public Image Ltd. and way too much more to list.
It’s another sweltering Friday here in New York City. It’s expected to be a high of 95 degrees with a nice touch of humidity. The heat is alright, but it’s that muggy NYC humidity that gets to me. I walk outside and my shirt is stuck to my flesh. Being Puerto Rican, I think I’m allowed to walk around shirtless though, so I may just do that. Chances are if you are reading this, you’re keeping nice and cool. I imagine you’re sitting in front of your computer with the air conditioner on full blast, and you only have one thing on your mind. Fighting. That’s normal. I think.
UFC 148 is right around the corner ladies and gentlemen, and the smack talk is in full effect. The greatest rematch in the history of mankind will be taking place; this is of course none other than Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Championship. The usually soft spoken, often humorous Anderson Silva is on the offensive with his recent comments regarding Chael Sonnen’s teeth and bones.
“First of all, Chael is a criminal. He’s been convicted of crimes. He doesn’t deserve to be inside of the octagon. When the time comes and the time is right, I’m going to break his face and break every one of the teeth in his mouth. What I’m going to do inside the octagon is something that’s going to change the image of the sport,” he said. “I’m going to beat his ass like he’s never been beaten before. I’m going to make sure that every one of his teeth is broken, his arms are broken, his legs are broken. He’s not going to be able to walk out of the octagon by himself. I can guarantee that.”
If someone said that about me, I’d feel a little bit worried before I go to sleep at night. Those are pretty intense words, thankfully the most people say about me is that I’m a jerk. Chael Sonnen, in true Sonnen fashion, wasted little to no time responding to the pre fight banter on ESPN.com, and hey, here it is typed out for you if you’re at work and you can’t watch videos.
“Well it was nice to see the real Anderson Silva come through. You know, the guy’s a dirt bag, like I’ve told you for years. He made a lot of statements like, he’s gonna break my teeth, he’s gonna break my jaw and break my skull. You know, I’ve fought 49 men, all professionally. It’s not as if I’ve never been to the orthodontist before, or my jaw reset or my scalp stapled shut in the ER. There’s a couple things he didn’t say he was gonna do though, starting with beating me, starting with breaking my spirit and leaving with the victory, cuz he’s not. Go ahead.
Take the the teeth, take the jaw, take the staples in the head, whatever other crap he’s gonna do. We’re in a fistfight in a steel cage on a Saturday night, anyway. I kind of expect it. I think he was one off from saying, ‘I’m gonna give you a knuckle sandwich.’ I’m kinda sitting there thinking, ‘Well, duh. We’re in the middle of a cage fight, dummy!’” Spoken like a true gangster coming straight out of West Oregon.In another spectrum of the fight world, Alistair Overeem decided to break his silence on his failed drug test and his expected return in December to the fight world.
My favorite thing about this video is the opening line “Well I’m back.” by Reem. I’m going to open up all conversations with this line today. His explanation for his 14:1 testosterone level was medication. What a surprise. Seems as though when you have a certain buzz going, you can get away with failed drug testing as long as it’s because of “medications.”
I’m not one to judge, but if you take PED’s in a sport where it is you and another human being locked in a cage with the intention of displaying martial arts at highest level, you shouldn’t be in the game. It’s that simple. Why compete if you need to rely on drugs? It’s a terrible look for a sport that’s still in the growing stage, especially now that it is just breaking through the mainstream, and it’s sending the wrong message to the youth. Wu Tang is for the children, performance enhancing drugs are not.
On the real, the UFC is dope, but MMA is bigger than just one organization. ONE FC, the largest MMA organization in Asian history, has been tearing through various Asian cities, putting some of the most exciting fights of 2012. They’re next stop is Arenata Coliseum (you know, where Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier faced off in Manila, Philippines.
They’ve even got Shinya Aoki fighting, and the good folks over at MiddleEasy reported ONE FC has picked up Bibiano Fernandes as well. In fact, MiddleEasy packed their bags and took a trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to cover the last ONE FC event that featured THIS.Here is the dopetastic highlight video packed with great fighting, and some recognizable classic 90s hip hop. Enjoy.
Sundance hit Beasts Of The Southern Wild (The Times’ Manohla Dargis called it “among the best films to play there in two decades”) has finally – and fittingly – emerged from the anticipatory vapor of the festival circuit and earlier this week landed in limited release, giving clamoring cinephiles the chance to see a movie that, based on what they had been told, essentially could not be bad. The exultant reviews, coupled with a visually engaging if somewhat slight trailer, built hype for this film up to a fever pitch, perhaps not in breadth but in assuredness of quality. Unfortunately, while Beasts Of The Southern Wild goes to great lengths to avoid being a bad movie, it eschews the most desirable route: being a good one.
The film, much like the poorly realized beasts of the title, is a trifle in profundity’s clothing: an almost astoundingly disengaged experience that doesn’t have much to say nor very good ideas for how to go about it. Half baked and damningly overconfident, Beasts will leave you wanting. First time writer-director Benh Zeitlin, a 29 year old New Yorker who relocated to New Orleans for the film, isn’t untalented, nor is his film horrible. But one of the best of the year, let alone 20 years? Dargis must have been high. Beasts is the story of Hushpuppy, a young girl living in a commendably realized fairytale-like island in Southern Louisiana entitled The Bathtub. A borderline magical place that clearly has roots in the post-Katrina drowned wards of the big easy.
Homes, whether they be corrugated lean-to’s, raised trailers, appropriated vehicles or simply a clearing in the woods, are decidedly ramshackle, each filled with a seemingly endless deluge of stuff, boxes full of dirty knick-knacks, clothes, bottles, crustaceans and more and more. After an extended opening that feels more like a commercial than a film (it appears Zeitlin enjoyed Cary Fukanaga’s turn at the helm of Levi’s advertisements as much as the rest of us), we arrive at the “meat” of Beasts, which really amounts to a series of episodic vignettes centered around a storm that never earns or explicates its purpose in the tale.
Zeitlin owes Quvenzhané Wallis, the 6 year old local found for the lead role, at least 75% of whatever paycheck he gets for his next movie, because without her he would have been, well, fucked. Really the only performance bright spot in a spread of non-actors, the beautiful and almost androgynous Wallis pulls off one of those child performances that conveys intelligence and poise without unbelievable precociousness, no matter how much Zeitlin and co-writer Lucy Alibar try to sabotage her with unfortunate narration that trips the tongue and flags the eyelids. Wallis is best – captivating, powerful, believable, all those other good things – when she’s silent, traipsing around the ramshackle world of The Bathtub, playing with the animals that seem to outnumber the people, or screaming a siren shriek after snapping a crab in twain.
I feel bad criticizing the other non-actors – second lead Dwight Henry, who plays Hushpuppy’s father Wink, was discovered working at a bakery that the crew was eating breakfast at – but they’re passable at best, and illusion breaking at worst. Henry in particular spends most of the movie yelling, though perhaps that stems from his own frustration with the inconsistent character he was given by the writers. While he starts the film as an absentee, a unhinged drunkard who screams at and hits his tiny daughter, about halfway through the filmmakers decide this is actually a story about a caring father being unfairly taken away from his child, and alter his character for no reason to reflect that. Indeed much of Beasts Of The Southern Wild either crumbles or grates under any scrutiny, and not in an interesting or “mysterious” way.
For instance, we’re supposed to believe that the residents of The Bathtub would sacrifice everything, maybe even their lives, to stay in their home after a vicious storm hits leaving it flooded. Except Zeitlin never gives us enough reason to believe their devotion – other than the fact that “they just do” – instead treating us to numerous scenes of them actively berating and destroying their environs. Hushpuppy burns down her house, Wink fires his gun to the sky in a retaliatory gesture to nature, and everyone takes pleasure in simply wrecking as much as they can. It’s not a lifestyle that at all reads as sustainable, or like this community has actually been existing before we got there. Similarly, we’re meant to believe in their strong sense of community and basic decent humanity, but none of their relationships run deep, and their fears of the outside world (read: our world, basically) are never properly explained.
Numerous plot threads peter out or are revealed to be inconsequential (including a supposedly climactic showdown with the beasts) and the film lack the narrative thrust to allow you to get swept up in the magical visuals. Additionally, while the film blatantly co-opts imagery and piggybacks on preexisting audience relationships with Hurricane Katrina, it frustratingly goes out of its way to avoid taking a stance, any stance, on the subject itself. Call it a case of heightened expectations maybe, but for me Beasts Of The Southern Wild simply isn’t a great movie.
Wet Hair is an Iowa City art rock trio whose vibe reminisces over late 60s protopunk sounding psychedelic jammed-out underground pop. USA based De Stijl Records who are “dedicated to unearthing Primo Basement Arcana” has just dropped the massively cruisey latest Wet Hair album, Spill Into Atmosphere. It basically sounds like it was born straight out of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable party at roughly 4:15am. In fact a Warhol fairy sprouts its wings in a space fruit orchid every time this album gets played. As well as the Velvet Undergroundy feel, it sits somewhere between Joy Division, Sonic Youth and The Doors. Which makes it a really comfortable and sedate kind of weird.
The band is fronted/synthed by Shawn Reed, who also runs Night People Records which has previously released fab outfits like Dirty Beaches, Peaking Lights, Broken Water and Sleep ∞ Over (just to name a few). Another cool fact is Night People does all printing via the silk screen. This proves a devotion to quality, which reflects in everything the label achieves. Fellow ex Raccoo-oo-oon band member Ryan Garbes drums, while new addition Justin Tye replaces Matt Fenner on bass. They really push the pop/rock thing with their retrograde imagery and video work, which strikes me as subtly hipster. I personally would love to see their visual aspects gonzo-ed up a little more to suit the dirty drugged out sentiment this style of music echoes. Mind you, artwork is very true to the era of influence, so one can’t complain of hipster sentiments too much here.
Wet Hair has released habitually since 2008 and it seems as time moves forward the band’s aesthetic refines. Well, by that I mean it’s not quite as loosey goosey as the previous album In Vogue Spirit. If you have been following these guys, you’ll be happy to know that this release is better, tighter etc. However, Spill Into Atmosphere has stuck with Wet Hair’s typical jagged edges in many respects — enough to keep you guessing the motives and wondering what take it was all recorded on. For instance, some parts in the recording could be considered simply a right in the zone rock out session — if it wasn’t completely intentional. Or, did they actually decide hey, that sesh is gonna become this track — and made it so? Because it does just happen to be awesome. It’s hard to tell sometimes. Notes collide and at times rhythm seems slightly out of sync. Still, it absolutely works. The whole album is consistently pleasurable.