Friday, May 29, 2009

Gonna miss ya, T.I.P.

It's a special day as Luis C. Medina, head of The Big Dead Sidebar blog has graced us with a piece on T.I.
Along with having mad knowledge on the sports world, Luis also has a passion for hip-hop and graces us with a post on the state of the game with T.I. going in for his 366 day prison bid.
Sit back, relax and revel in the writings of one gifted journalist.

It's not like he's getting the O.J. treatment, he'll only be gone a year. But for 12 months, the game will be without its hottest flow spitter.

T.I. is riding a sick hot streak on the heels of his album "Paper Trail" which had more hits Ray Lewis and more bangers than a Crips-Bloods reunion. He's had guest spots here, there and everywhere. And unlike some rappers (*cough*Wayne*cough*) T.I. didn't slouch.

In the days and months since his sentencing, T.I. has leap-frogged damn near every rapper out there and is legitimately gunning for the No. 1 spot without even touching an autotune.

So who's going to take over while he's gone?

Well, thankfully we will soon be graced with Jay-Z's highly anticipated "Blueprint 3" sooner rather than later. Drake is heating up everyone's speakers, his album should be hotter than Hedo Turkoglu's shooting touch. And if someone can talk Weezy and Yeezey to step away from putting a lil' T-Pain in their voice, maybe they can emerge from the rap side of things.

Until then, we'll be patiently waiting for T.I. to get out and drop a bomb on us.

Besides, we'll still be waiting for Detox anyway.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

VIRAL VIDEO video video video

The viral marketing campaign has kicked off for Apatow's "Funny People".
This first set finds Jason Schwartzman's character starring in a sitcom teaching some ragamuffin youths in an english high school class.
Not a ton of laughs but the people behind this campaign have done a superb job of making this seem so real.
The NBC website is awesome, I wonder if I can really order the first season?

Dimaggio's done it again

When Jay Bennett passed away this weekend I did a whole bunch of Bennett-assisted Wilco listening.
Mostly "Summerteeth", "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" and the engineer sessions of "YHF".
My listening adventures then took me to re-visiting the "Mermaid Avenue" records the band did with Billy Bragg.
These two albums are incredibly solid. A veteran musician and a band in its prime, ripping Woody Guthrie tunes.
The trade off of vocals from Tweedy to Bragg keeps things fresh from song to song.
These two records sadly seem to get dismissed when discussing Wilco but are a welcome respite from the stagnation the band seems to be stuck in lately.
Not saying the last couple Wilco records have not been enjoyable, it just sounds like the band is starting to settle into a groove. The days of experimentation seem to be behind them.
But those days have basically been gone since Bennett and Tweedy never could squash their beef and he left the band.
Bennett was a gifted musician and will be missed.

"Airline to Heaven"

sun eggs

I have not wrote about "Party Down" in this space, I did here however.
I just wanted to get the word out there again about this wonderful show..
The things I wrote in the linked article all still ring true as the show finished up its first season last Friday.
Even with the departure of Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge stepped in and absolutely slaughtered the two episodes she was in. The finale showed why the woman shows up in so many comedies (even crappy ones not directed by Christopher Guest).
Also, Ryan Hansen has been consistently hilarious throughout the season. I first noticed him when he was on the bummer of a third season for "Veronica Mars". He basically plays the same character here, but with a lot more freedom. The room to improvise and the chemistry between him and Martin Starr have made him the breakout actor for the series in my opinion.
I am very excited the show got greenlit for a second season, I just hope they can lock up a majority of the cast to come back.
Even if Caplan (please stay!) is not in the mix or if Lynch is not around, the writing and directing are definitely strong enough to carry the show no matter what actors are placed in the cast.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

death of autotune?

I certainly hope so.
This video has Kanye claiming Hov had him go back in the studio to remove all the autotune from "Blueprint 3".
Thank God Hov made this decision. I have complete faith in Kanye's beatmaking abilities, but Jay does not need to be hampered by this overused fad.
Here is to hoping BP3 is a serious classic.

so this is what the volume knob's for

I really do not know what riled me up so much about the AV Club's review of the new Passion Pit album, "Manners".
I guess totally disagreeing with everything written within could be the main reason.
Paul Caine, the critic threw out terms like "mediocrity" and "pop punk", both of which have nothing to do with the debut from the Boston group.
I cannot have beef with someone feeling something is mediocre, but tagging a genre to a band that has nothing to do with its sound is a bit far fetched.
I just cannot say I hear any New Found Glory in the songs Caine transfixes the "pop punk" tag to, one of which being the gloriously epic, "Moth's Wings".

While this is quite the jam, the real crux of the album are the dance tracks.
"Little Secrets" being one of the strongest.

Just a little rant. The album is a pretty solid one and perfect for these sunny summer days.

things not to do

Put on a terribly depressing album while sitting in an apartment all by yourself.
Well, unless it is something as marvelous as "In the Wee Small Hours".
I have been trying to dig a bit deeper into Sinatra's catalogue than before and this one seems like the perfect soundtrack to a humid summer night.
It is more sparse than his other works, but the limitlessness of just a piano and the occasional strings make the melancholy within that much sadder.
Even though the subject matter is inherently heartbreak, Sinatra's vocals are so smooth and pristine, it is almost enough to skate over his somber lyrics.
But, not accepting the downtrodden tunes for what they are is a mistake. Supposedly this record was made when he was totally bummed from his relationship with Ava Gardner dissolving.
When most of us suffer through a breakup we put on some sad bastard music and sift through the pain.
Thank God Ol' Blue Eyes experienced the same heartache, so the rest of us would have something to listen to at our low times.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

leave the kids at home

I just watched "Coraline" again and urge everyone to do the same.
It is such a wonderfully dark and touching childrens tale. I hesitate to call it that because the film is an intense one at times and would be a bit different than showing a kid "Toy Story" or something.
This is not a surprise knowing who was involved with the project. Director Henry Selick helmed "Nightmare Before Christmas" and the original book was penned by Neil Gaiman.
Selick's animation style perfectly encapsulates Gaiman's haunting tale, eventually wrapping everything up with bright, warm visuals.
This film may not get the same burn as Pixar projects, but it should be placed in the same category of high quality animated film.
A supremely enjoyable viewing experience.

Monday, May 25, 2009

slapstick for grownups


The Falcon is a Chicago punk supergroup of sorts. The band is made up of formers members of punk/ska heavyweights Slapstick and the bands that came after it broke up.
Brendan Kelly on the vocals and Dan Adriano on bass should have anyone salivating who loved Asian Man Records when in junior high.
The Falcon's debut, "Unicornography", is basically Slapstick redux, but without the horns. So, the scratched, grating vocals are still intact as well as the brash lyrics and in your face, breakneck punk rawk.

The Falcon- "La-Z-Boy 500"

and for purely nostalgic reasons...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

you should take a wiff of me

"Murder Was the Case" is definitely towards the top of '09 hip hop releases.
Even as Gucci continues his trek towards the mainstream

songs like

make him a force to be reckoned with.
It also helps he's got Zaytoven and Speedy providing him with some of the most interesting beats in hip-hop right now.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Well, not really.
However, this is something to get excited about.
I loved "Stella" when it was on, plus "The State" being nuts and "Wet Hot American Summer" being one of my favorite movies has me checking for dudes all the time.
I only hope Wain is not involved because he's busy doing some stellar directing or something.

i hope you don't enjoy dialogue

What's the difference between Connor and Wayne? If you're Bale, not much at all it turns out.

I haven't sat in the front at a movie since I was probably 10 years old. Last night we showed up just a few minutes early for the "Terminator Salvation" midnight showing and had to rock some front row seats.
After getting over my initial seizure of having to be that close I was treated to an above average summer blockbuster.
McG's first foray into the Terminator universe is one full of brawn and little to no brains.
There is no character development or emotional attachment to any of the stars to speak of. This doesn't take away from the overall brute force of the film.
It is wall to wall action from the get go and that is all I was looking for early this morning.
The beginning action sequence borrows heavily from "Children of Men" and its use of single take scene work. This makes for an intense thread of action in McG's desolate, futuristic universe.
The story does not matter here, it is McG's great use of modern CGI and in your face robot violence that makes the film succeed.
If you have already seen "Star Trek" and are looking to escape the heat at the multiplex this weekend, "Salvation" is your best bet.

roll 'n' rock

Fam-Lay isn't dead!
The Star Trak spitter has been absent for a minute but returns with a vintage Neptunes beat.
Fam always had a wonderfully off-kilter flow and it is a great thing if he's back. Maybe we can finally get a full album from him or at least a mixtape.
The bongos are beating like it's 2001 on this jam. Here's to hoping Skateboard P gets back to his old ways on the boards.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

i just wanna be


It's been a serious month or so for me. Just stuff going down and school ending and then beginning. I'm back though with a renewed sense of passion for working this space.
So now I'm going to touch on an artist who is really exciting me (and a number of others on the internets).
Drake is a Canadian rapper who, yes, was once on that Degrassi show.
Well, the young spitter is all grown up these days and has put out one of the best collection of hip hop songs of '09, "So Far Gone".
Right away the thing that struck me is the fact that Drake can actually sing. Along with being able to tear into a track, the man can sing the hook as well. Unlike Wayne who thinks he can carry a hook, Drake can actually do it, without the autotuner Weezy.
Wayne has been one of Drake's biggest campaigners. The two have been showing up on tracks together for a while now. This creative coupling is only for the best for Wayne as he seems to step his game up every time him and Drake are sharing a beat.
It really reminds me of when Beanie Sigel was murdering everything at the beginning of this decade and Hova, in turn, started to tear into tracks when the two shared a beat (peep The Wire's Sydnor and Bodie in the vid).
So Drake has those two positives going, but the one thing that has since been rolling around my brain after listening to the record numerous times, is Drake's verses on "Successful".
The beat is a slowburner as Trey Songz croons the hook about wanting money, cars, clothes, hoes... ya know the usual rap stuff. Drake takes the normal hip-hop wanting material things jam and flips it on its ear.
He flows about certainly wanting these things, but his downtrodden flow and admitting to leasing a Phantom are not commonplace for a song of this nature. It is so refreshing to hear a rapper be able to rap about these material items without chest beating, but dropping his guard instead.
Drake is definitely the one emcee in the newest crop of dudes getting buzz right now that has me jacked about the future of hip-hop.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Opening track to new White Rabbits album.
Sadly, it's really all downhill after this gem. I was really looking forward to this record.

dead bodies

it's been a pretty good year so far



hot one