29 June 2009
Must have been a helluva bender.
LOP Track Grade- 8.2
One of the many many conversations I had with my (sadly, now we're older) college friends on the balcony of our buddies pad overlooking all of Los Angeles (sadly, the bad parts) of course brought the attention of the Michael Jackson passing.
We slowly turned away from talking about Jackson (because of course, it slowly starts to get into the weird stratosphere) and moved into artists and album that we felt reflected our lives, and the levels of excitement they caused.
Surprisingly most of us agreed on Jay-Z's The Black Album as something we actually remember physically purchasing. To hear about one of the supposed "greatest rappers of all time" (certainly the most successful) retiring at the top of his game.
Myself, Nov. 14, 2003 was one of the first days I skipped a class. I was 16, had a truck and was willing to be the first person to blast the opening "Dec. 4th" as loud as the stock F-150 would allow. Best Buy opened first, and my mission was complete. A defining moment in my music fandom.
Well...we all know what happened after that breif retirement, and now Jay-Z brings us the long-awaited Blueprint 3 for LiveNation(?).
Jigga, the day you beat LeBron in streetball is the day I forgive you making me skip class.
LOP Track Grade- 6.5
21 June 2009
Controlled rage. Gotta give it to these dudes, they are pitch f'n perfect in every aspect of their performance, and their performance at Bonaroo was supposed to be the stuff of legends.
Can't wait to spend a Sunday with the French!
I bring this up because I am working on some reviews and lists for this site being we are officially halfway through this year and the seasons they bring. One of them is going through the best tracks of the year, and no doubt Phoenix's 1901, Animal Collectives My Girls and The Black Eyed Peas Boom Boom Pow will top that list when it's done.
If you notice....these tracks almost borrow from each other in a good way. Popular music is picking up on the things band on the indie side (like a Phoenix and AC) have been doing for the last four years-- making dance music without it really being labeled in the techno/house. V-necks and jeans, not pacifiers and glowsticks.
And where I think this trend has picked up is YouTube. People (like our favorite Haiwaiin noted above) can take music and interpret to their own styles, likes and dislikes. You don't have to just throw on a uptemo time signature anymore. You can pick apart the pieces, throw it against a canvas and add your own paint to the mix, creating something highly unique and standalone as art. Here are my three favorite remixes of my three favorite songs (so far, but it will be hard to top-- here's hoping the Dr. comes out to play):
18 June 2009
17 June 2009
"I can't stop thinking about Joey Buss. Granted, there's a chance I would have been just as tongue-tied on national TV at age 19. But who thought it was a good idea to have him speak extemporaneously in front of a worldwide audience? How did he become the "alternate governor of the Lakers," and what does that mean? Are people in Southern California frightened that two of their governors are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joey Buss? Did they throw him out there to answer the question, "What would have happened if Fredo had gotten control of the Corleone family?" Did they bring him out to make the Maloofs feel better about themselves as overmatched legacy kids? Has he ever been discreetly stared at by a bunch of country club workers and had one of them say, "Fifty bucks says the Buss kid picks his nose." Do I have to retire the Unintentional Comedy Scale now?
Where was Jerry Buss? Where was Jeanie Buss? How did this happen? How can I get more Joey Buss in my life? And why didn't I know about him before Sunday night? More importantly, when are they putting the Buss boys in charge of the Lakers????? I vote for right now. Like, today. This moment. Please. I am begging you. This would be like a cross between the Hank Steinbrenner Era and "Tommy Boy." I never thought there would be a silver lining with a Lakers title, but dammit, there was."
-- Bill Simmons A) always provides the opinion I have, better and B) reminds me why I love the intricicies of life, laughter and the shitshow that is the Los Angeles Lakers. Good luck with the "Demand of More" from everyone, including Sasha.
And once again may I remind you this guy (not Sasha) tagged along and will get a ring, and will likely have to fly in from some podunk European country where he is playing to collect it. He will hold it up to the crowd and get no response whatsoever except for the drunk middle-aged "WOOO!" women in attendance.
15 June 2009
It's Frightening (judging a book by its cover would seem so) is a perfect blend of the sparse punk and multi-instrumentation/genres they displayed on their debut and an added touch of rhythm from Spoon's leader Britt Daniel. Frightening goes from Spoon-style acoustic grooves to menacing crack-hop beats (like "Percussion Gun" above) to Radiohead-esque influences on piano and percussion ("The Company I Keep," "The Salesmen").
Frightening is one of the best "out-there"/indie/non-mainsteam releases so far of this mid-way point of 2009. While it won't make most Top 10s (probably including this one), it is certainly not a sophomore slump, as WR have found a producer (Daniel) that is at the point right now, better at their type of music than themselves.
All they need now is for a major media outlet to give them some exposure, so hopefully someone else will pick this up. (They have: Letterman, posted below)
But you already new that.
It's said that the 2nd album is the hardest to write, because you've had your whole life to write the first. Has fame gone to our boy Mickey's head? Sure seems so. Will the tales of his hard-knock life and upbringing be forgotten in exchange for some production value? Sure hope not.
12 June 2009
09 June 2009
As the wind died down on yet another atypical day in the tropical Pacific, I found myself heading back to the ocean for one more round. I spent the day searching for the unknown, the unattained-- in the vast un-tourist explored land of the Maui Upcountry. (Of course, I did the most touristy thing possible before this and snorkled with Japanese tourists. Gotta wash your hands clean sometimes, right?)
For me, it is home away from home. California with an ever-expanding coastline. Redwoods, fog, ranches and even the occasional vineyard speckle the "countryside" between 2,000-6,000 feet edging along the giant Haleakala mountain and crater that forms one half of the island. It is home to Cafe 808, arguably (and in my mind) the best damn plate lunch a Hawaiian can offer, deep in the heart of Kula and literally a point of no return on the island 3,500 feet above the sandy beaches and the resorts that inhabit them. I would love to live here. To be in California without the hassle of being in California. The 405 at 5 p.m. could be 5,000 miles away!
But as I desended back down into the reality of my comfy little shack on the dry side of the island, I was beckoned back to the water and the ocean much like any local seems to be at this time of day. Whether it be surfing, fishing, drinking, etc. it seems all Hawaiians find their way to the sea that surrounds them at some point during the day. It is as much social as it is a emotional grapple. A stress-reliever. A dependency, much like some of their forefathers were dependent on it centuries ago.
Speaking of centuries ago, the last lava flow on the lsland of Maui was in the late 18th century, on the south-south=east (the Dirty South if you will) side of the island. Two of the resulting lava flows are situated at Āhihi Bay on the southwest shore of East Maui. Here, lava rock clashes with an almost seregenti plain of dry wood and brush. The two landscapes coincide with one another yet struggle in beauty in the naked eye.
I had some time to kill and had never been past the touristy south side of Wailea (I had been through the treacherous "pot farm" route on the south that comes after Hana), and heard of a good surf spot through a bartender the night previous. My father and I drove out through the lava fields and came upon a rather acne-laden teenager biking his way to the same spot, and he gave us further directions. I strapped on the fins and prayed that lava rock would not be present. Of course, it was.
By the time we got there it was already 6:30 in the evening. But the 4 other locals (2 white, 2 hawaiian) in the lineup warmed up to me and accepted my presence after my first few lines, that consisted of just a semi-tiny left-handed break. It was just the hour I needed to cap off a day where I saw almost all the sides of an islands culture and topography in a single day.
By the way, not the hunky dude surfing....this is me....(the Doug took the photo from his phone in the car...lazy ass)
Tomorrow.....The Hangover review and the Taking Back Sunday review. Promise jah.
07 June 2009
You can get all the analysis of the Finals that you need over at Rather Red's new blogspot, because well-- he just loves the NBA more than me and it takes two hands to dissect game 2, and my beer-in-hand policy for the rest of the weekend will not allow this to happen.
Things to look forward to:
- Taking Back Sunday album review
- Grizzly Bear album review
- Phoenix album review
- The Hangover review (if you haven't seen it, don't wait for any review)
- Animal Collective concert review/ D-Rock and his friend Brenden's Excellent Adventure
- An excerpt from my book about this summer (which will eventually turn into one of those backdrops for the Dodgers winning the World Series
- Some form of breakdown of the Finals after they leave L.A. I smell JJ Reddick shutting down Kobe today. (Article 2)
This movie debuted at Sundance earlier this year, via the IFC (partly which is owned by Robert Redford's Sundance organization), and wow-- this is going to be trashly amazing.
Spring Break? Check. Snow bunnies? Check. Foreign languages? Check. Nazi Zombies? Triple Check. NAZI-FREAKING-GOLD!?!?! Done.
--Via Will Leitch
You decide who wins the battle of theatrics. You know where my vote lies (hint: its the title of the post). Here, everyone wins in 70's disco, marlin-women and aboriginal landscapes.
-- Via Subterranean
Empire of the Sun - Standing on the Shore (low res)
And in helping you not read a Bill Simmons'-esque 10,000 words on everything (I haven't still quite figured out how to "jump" posts, so they just go on-and-on-and-on) I will try and stick to a straight format that will hopefully get across everything your heart and mind desires when looking to purchase/steal an album, go see a movie, possibly see a band when they pass through the LA area again, eat at a certain restaurant, etc. Heck, I'll even review your mom if you want me to. Just email me ideas for things and I'll do them/find them for your reviewing pleasure.
5 points of interest on each thing, a rating out of ten (with decimals!). So anyone that is pro-whole numbers, get the f*** out. Now, lets kindly (maybe even almost too politely in Brooklyn hipster circles) make our way.