Wednesday, January 31, 2007

puppini sisters suck balls

The Puppini Sisters
"Panic" (from "Betcha Bottom Dollar")

Fresh off the heels of the successful Nouvelle Vague, Verve is taking a stab at the ironic, hipster cover tunes market with London's Puppini Sisters, a trio doing cabaret versions of pop standards. On their album, they cover The Smith's "Panic" and slaughter it. Bad. I can't stress how awful the song is. I don't know if it's because they try to take all the dark elements out of the song or if it's because I'm generally a bastard, but their cover is really, really, really terrible. Fuck the Puppini Sisters.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

no more pretty girls

News of the day: Pretty Girls Make Graves is done.

(Let's pause for a moment of silence)

Pretty Girls Make Graves was a bombastic band whose punk-meets-pop combination was a breath of relief in the smug, pretentious atmosphere of the Seattle rock scene. Even though their last two records, "The New Romance" and "Elan Vital" were less aggressive than the self-titled EP or "Good Health," they were still slightly more interesting than Blood Brothers' "Crimes" or Harvey Danger's reunion album. With that said, Seattle is still stuck with a bunch of second-tier Death Cab for Cuties and Aidens, but we'll always have the memory of Pretty Girls when we search for fond memories.

"All Medicated Geniuses" From "The New Romance"
"Speakers Push the Air" from "Good Health"

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Redux: My Chemical Romance

In the spirit of being lazy and trying to track down some of my old musings from long dormant websites, I found an ancient interview with My Chemical Romance. This Q&A was done in their van in the fall of 2002 while they were touring with Piebald and Minus the Bear. They were the opening act and were booed off the stage. Oh, how they've brought themselves up from the BS.

Chemical Imbalance
By Ryan Pangilinan

Dante: You hate people.

Randal: But I love gatherings, isn’t that ironic?

People are stupid. Plain and simple, people are fucking morons. Which why there is an audience for bands and singers like Simple Plan and Avril Lavigne – two artists who thrive on sulatio (that’s my new word for “sucking” and “felatio”).

But dear music fans do not fret or worry. The music industry cannot be overrun by New Found Glory knock-offs forever, especially with New York’s My Chemical Romance hanging around.

MCR – made up of brothers Gerard (singer) and Mikey (bass) Way, guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero, and drummer Matt Pelissier – is part of the new school of punk rock kids who are showing that substance and style does not begin and end at your local Hot Topic.

Their album, “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love” (Eyeball), is a sonic shower of heartbreaking tales (“Demolition Lovers”) and straight up horror (“The Vampires Will Never Hurt You”).

When the world is full of sappy teen sex romps and fake xhardcorex (Evanescence), the strange mix of Alkaline Trio’s imagery and Gravediggaz bouts of suicide and love is a welcomed one.

During their first international tour (Canada counts) with Piebald, four of the five Romancers stopped to kick a little knowledge for the Halftimers.

How did you guys get together?

Gerard: Well basically what happened is I had a song called “Skylines and Turnstiles,” and I was really unhappy with my life. I basically wanted to change the direction of it and connect with people. I called Matt, the drummer, and we got together, played the song and he was feeling it. He called up Ray because he was the best guitar player we knew, then the band came together real quick after that.

Right before we made the record, Frankie was in a band we all really liked called Pensie Prep and they helped start us. But unfortunately that band dissolved, so we asked to join because we knew he was awesome.

Frank: They basically started so they could talk to me.

And get girls, right? So where do you get the motivation to right your lyrics because they’re pretty off-beat as compared to everything else that’s out there.

Gerard: The main thing I wanna do, personally with lyrics I write is that these guys are cool to let me write whatever the fuck I want and back it and they all feel it. If they didn’t I would change the lyrics.

Basically, they’re off-beat because I personally think we have to connect with people on an abstract level, instead of coming out and saying “Aww, my girlfriend dumped me,” and “I met you at a mall in New Jersey.” I’m not about that – we’re all not about that, so I wanted to be way more artistic, way more poetic, really connect with people. It works far better because people get more out of the songs. And I’m a big fan of indie movies like (director) Terry Gilliam and stuff like that.

So you guys got to work with Geoff Rickly from Thursday on the album, how was that?

Gerard: It was amazing. Picture hanging out with your best friend for two weeks straight that you never get to see. Your best friend that you never get to see, and you just sit there and he gives you awesome ideas on how to make a record. That’s really what it was, just the best ideas possible.

Ray: Tucker helped out, too.

Gerard: Yeah, Tucker was there, too. He helped out a lot. He was really good for moral support.

Do you feel any pressure for matching “I Brought You My Bullets…”?

Gerard: The thing about the next thing we do is that we know it’s gonna blow away what we’ve done in the past. Not that we don’t respect what we’ve done, but we’ve grown as a band. From just being on tour, we know that we’re just that much better and we know that our songwriting is that much better.

Frank: It’s a lot of pressure and stuff, but we basically say “fuck it.” We decided not to care about it. We wanna fucking write stuff that we like and challenge ourselves. We know what we wanna come out with and we know the direction that we wanna go in and if people don’t get it or think it lives up to what we’ve done in the past, then fuck them.

Matt: Not to mention that when me, [Gerard], and Ray first got together, the first thing we said is “We’re gonna make music, we don’t give a crap if people like it or not.”

Gerard: The fact that people like us amazes us, which is why we appreciate it even more. When we first started the band it was all about not giving a fuck what people thought. And from the first show, people accepted us and we were kinda like “What’s that all about?” We love it.

So much so that you have that weird video for “Vampires Will Never Hurt You.”

Gerard: We wanted to make something more abstract, instead of all of us in a white room rocking the fuck out.

Ray: So it’s us in a black and white room rocking the fuck out.

Matt: Everyone’s first video is a basement with 30 kids.

Gerard: Did Mikey tell you his idea for a video? It can’t be on the record, people steal that shit. Like that Weezer/Saves the Day shit (for “Keep Fishin’” and “Freakish” respectively). Turn it off and we’ll tell you.

(At this point, the recorder was turned off, but their idea for a second video was bad-ass, and not at all sulatio.)

So that sounded pretty Andrew WK-ish. You guys have a lot of energy for a young band, would you say that you could match the energy of the WK and dance just as crazy?

Gerard: Wow.

Ray: I don’t know if that’s possible.

Frank: I don’t know if we have enough coke in the trailer.

Matt: That guy’s sick.

Gerard: That guy’s amazing. I heard the record, I was like “What the fuck is this?” Then I saw him live and I was believer after that. I was like “Holy shit, this guy is the real thing!” The stuff he does, I don’t even know how he does it. Must be all those protein shakes.

Frank: He takes like one chug and moves across the room. He doesn’t give a fuck.

What’s your ideal super tour now?

Gerard: Alkaline Trio, Thursday, Glassjaw, the Damned and Iron Maiden.

Matt: The Descendents.

Gerard: Our super tour would be an Iron Maiden world tour. That would be the best in the world.

Ray: But someone else got it.

Gerard: Sum-41 is touring with Iron Maiden.

Frank: How sick is that? If you’re reading this (Sum-41) kill yourselves.

Gerard: They have no right to be on-stage with them.

They’re too pussy, right?

Frank: They’re just too fucking –

All in unison: FAKE!

Ray: They’re not even metal. Well, they’re not even a real band, let’s face it.

I heard that their label wants them to act like that, just when there’s a camera around.

Gerard: I’m sure. It’s a joke, I think that kids today are smarter than that and they get it.

Frank: They’re being played.

What are you guys listening to right now, for this super long tour?

Frank: Good job man, that’s a good question. No one ever asks us that.

Gerard: I wanna say thank you to everyone who burned me a copy of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, as well as “8 Mile.”

Frank: I wanna thank them too because I got the extra copies.

Gerard: We put it up on site, three hours later, we had a copy. It was amazing. We listen to a lot of old metal like Iron Maiden, At the Gates, Helloween and Glassjaw.

Frank: Bouncing Souls, Black Flag, Sleep Station.

Ray: I’ve been listening to Jimmy Eat World, American Nightmare –

Frank and Gerard: -- Bane!

Matt: We’ve been listening to Face to Face a lot, too.

Gerard: And Tom Waits, I’ve been listening to a lot of Tom Waits.

Matt: And Coldplay.

Gerard: And Flaming Lips.

So what are your plans for the next six months to a year?

Ray: We’re gonna take six months off, play video games….

Gerard: No, we’re gonna tour forever. We don’t know when we’re gonna stop. Probably next October, we’ve been on tour since October, so that’s a straight year. We’re gonna have March off, but we’re still gonna work – write new material, work on the set.

We’ve been playing the set that we’ve been playing when we were still doing halls. That’s how fast it moved. Went from halls to playing with Jimmy Eat World and other bands. We have to work on our set, make it more diverse, play songs people wanna hear instead of a cover like [Morrissey’s] Jack the Ripper. We gotta take that out.

I heard this rumor that you guys are gonna tour with Taking Back Sunday in the spring.

Gerard: I don’t know if it’s a rumor. In the spring, we had kind of an offer – I know Thursday really wants to take us on tour. That would be our dream. Also in the spring, we got an offer to tour with Taking Back Sunday and From Autumn to Ashes and Recover.

Matt: And after that, at the end of April, it’s gonna be The Used and Thrice.

Gerard: We’re psyched about touring with From Autumn to Ashes, Taking Back Sunday, Recover. Those guys came up before us, but around the same time I met Dan from Recover – they’re good guys, hard working.

What would you say to the readers of our zine as a parting shot?

Gerard: I would say to the readers of this zine, keep reading the zine, supporting the zine because without stuff like that people can’t keep finding out about new bands and happenings in music and new movements.

Ray: Work your fucking ass off and you get what you deserve.

Frank: Anything can happen if you work your ass off and you want it bad enough. Don’t let anybody tell you you’re not good enough. Fuck everybody. Kill everybody.

Gerard: Don’t ever have less respect for your band, or a band your opening for because we’re in this together. When you get up there, it’s your fucking time. Check out Little Joe Gould, Sleep Station, all the Eyeball bands. And don’t get into this for the wrong reasons, because if you do, you won’t last anyway.

Frank: And if you do, we’ll fucking find you.

Ray: And we need to go on tour with Iron Maiden.

Frank: Sum-41, watch the fuck out.

At this point, Frank began giving his address away, but due to legal concerns, that part will be omitted. You can get updates on MCR’s touring schedule and other cool stuff on their website,, and the video for “Vampires Will Never Hurt You,” can be seen on the Eyeball Records site.

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not funny haha...or is it?

I don't know what's worse/funnier: the headline, or Jordan C trying to beat up a hobbit.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"Asians can easily assimilate..."

My, oh my.

So Idolator, probably the only interesting music site on the Interweb, has been doing the expected lampooning of the new MTV show, "I'm From Rolling Stone," as well as the contestants. [1]

I don't have cable, so the only pieces I've seen of this show have been on the media Godsend, otherwise known as Youtube. As many people have already pointed out, it's pretty laughable. Working for a magazine is not glamorous and the closest I got to being William Miller was driving Fall Out Boy to a Taco Bell in Portland.

One of the show's misguided contestants, Krishtine de Leon, blasted Idolator for their take on the ridiculous show. Here's my favorite part of her dis track:

"1.) I'm ASIAN. Chinese. Indescript. Asian women are supposed to act subservient. I do not. Asians can easily assimilate. I blatantly choose the opposite. In fact, I reject the label 'Asian.' Even Asian-American, a hyphenated term birthed during the Ethnic Studies Strike of '68-69 at my alma mater, San Francisco State University, is a term I wear with apprehension, except when used as an example of solidarity between those that fought to be recognized for their heritage in higher education. I am PINAY. A Filipina woman. I am not an 'Asian with a Latino Accent', I am a member of a colonized indigenous people that is fighting to take back their own identity. Any variation between your description and mine will, as shared by my comrade JR the Minister of Information for the P.O.C.C., "draw a distinct line between myself and the enemy." If you consider me anything other than PINAY, you are drawing the boundaries of your own lack of cultural criticism. Or you're just a white-supremacist."

Not that I know this girl or anything, but I'm well aware of the sort. You see, back in high school -- you know, nearly a decade ago -- I was one of the few Filipino kids who were present, but I was probably the only one (actually, one of two) who didn't go around bragging about my ethnicity as if it were my Trump Card or, for lack of a better analogy, my Get-Out-of-Jail card.

I found that many of my fellow Filipino and Asian-American students would spout off about stuff but they didn't really know anything about anything. They'd spend all day hanging around each other, talking about "AZN PRIDE" but many of these kids didn't know how to speak their native language and they didn't really care about their histories either. They were ethnic on a social level, but not really on an intellectual level.

I suppose I'm sort of a snob since I might've been the ONLY 15 year old who was concerned with such self-exploration, but what can I say? I was a fucking nerd.

Krishtine seems like she knows a little bit more than your average, but I have a feeling that it's all show and completely disingeniune.

The thing that irks me the most about this girl is that she's in a position, albeit a sad one, to alter what most of America thinks of Filipino people and what does she do? She bitches and moans about rewrites, finds that her best friend is are faux gold teeth, announces that she's bringing the hood somewhere and kicks really lame raps. If anything, she's setting us back about 80 years. In fact, I would say that Black Eyed Peas' Apl De Ap does more to further the Filipino people in one hour than this chick will do for the entire season of her crappy show.

Put me on blast for kicking the real truth, yo.

[Related Links]
Black Eyed Peas - "Bebot" Music Video
Idolator's Coverage of "I'm From...."
Guerilla Busfare

[1] I covered this show when it began production earlier in the year, but mostly to make fun of one contestant in particular: Here and here.

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state of the...yawn...

Last night, our beloved president gave another State of the Union Address. I was pretty pissed that they preempted "Jeopardy" for it, but whatever. It reminds me that no matter what, the president will do what he pleases until his tenure is up, provided he isn't impeached beforehand.

See, though his approval ratings are down, he's still going to keep sending soliders to Iraq and while I am thoroughly angry about it, my feelings -- nor my political ramblings on this site -- aren't going to change that. He's going to do what he wants. He's kind of like Cartman in that sense.

Are the Dems going to do anything about it? They have control of the entire government at this point, so it's possible. Probably not, lest they blow their chance for a '92-style coup in the 2008 elections.

In regards to the people who govern us, my cynicism is at an all-time high and I have real problems to worry about anyway, so you guys can keep your false sense of hope and security. I'm going to try out for "Jeopardy."


Monday, January 22, 2007


Fall Out Boy
"Infinity On High"
(Island Def Jam)

The big news on the interweb this weekend was that somebody leaked the new Fall Out Boy album on several p2p sites. Apparently, the band and their label is considering moving up the release date since at this point many of the kids who would've purchased the record have already heard it in its entirety. Personally, I think that the "leak" was an intended move to whet the appitites of all of Fall Out Boy's teenage fans because, let's face it, even if they downloaded it, they would still go to Best Buy to get this piece of shit.

I actually liked Fall Out Boy's "Take This to Your Grave" when it came out back in 2003 and I even spent three days following the band around their first Northwest tour for Halftime Magazine. It's also no secret that I consider this band to be a blatant sell out; not because they signed to a major, but rather because their videos, image and product placement is just so goddamn obvious it's almost ironically funny. Almost.

For their highly anticipated fourth album, "Infinity On High," the opening track, "Thriller," pretty much sets the stage for the rest of the record: the clean channel guitar picking is a rip off of Keepsake's "Violent Love," Jay-Z mumbles about something or another and the lyrics are about Livejournal and Absolutepunk and being Internet superstars. Fucking yawn.

None of the other songs sound remotely interesting until you get to "Golden" (this may be called "How Cruel" or at least that's how it's listed on, a piano ballad complete with harmonies and a shining tribute to Elton John.

Right around this part of the album, I just started skipping around trying to find a listenable track, but alas, there were none.

As far as pop-punk bands go, Fall Out Boy was probably one of the best; their sardonic lyrics and hard-hitting sound goes well with the melodic properties of Patrick Stump's voice, however, it's obvious that signing to Jay-Z's Def Jam has made them slightly bloated, if not, the exact opposite of what they used to sound like. "Infinity On High" is overproduced, dull and just another excuse for kids to randomly quote inane lyrics in their Livejournals and MySpace headers.

I enjoy when a band -- especially of the pop-punk persuasion -- is able to break out of their shell and make a sonically challenging album (i.e. Get Up Kids "On a Wire," Spitalfield's "Remember Right Now," Jimmy Eat World's "Clarity," Saves the Day's "Stay What You Are), but when the attempt is not only outright disingenuine, but poor as well, sometimes you just have to shake your head and cut your losses. This album is probably one of the biggest letdowns since Michael Jackson's "History" and Wu-Tang Clan's "The W."

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Redux: Alkaline Trio's "Crimson"

Alkaline Trio

A little while ago, I received an iPod and started combing through my stacks and stacks of random tapes, CDs and records. Naturally, I started at the beginning of the alphabet to start uploading crap onto my device, which led me to Alkaline Trio.

I've long been a fan of this Chicago-based group, but their last album, "Crimson," I found to be a little over-produced and chockful of their usual "Black is Goth, Goth is Evil, Evil is Satan" bullshit, not unlike AFI without all the tributes/mockery of Freddie Mercury.

Earlier this week, I was able to obtain the bonus disc that accompanied "Crimson's" re-release last year and I must say that I'm suddenly a fan of this record.

Despite the predictable lyrics, melodies and artwork, Alkaline Trio still makes a valliant effort to piece together a good pop-punk record; it's actually much better than Matt Skiba's tribute to Joy Division, Heavens (though, I may revist that record soon, too).

In reality, there's only two missteps on this album, "Burn" and "Prevent This Tragedy," which can be skipped over thanks to my trusty iTunes playlist options.

[related links]
Alkaline Trio at Purevolume
Official Site

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backed with updated!!!!

three new jams to get your groooooove on to

and as an added bonus:


(videos graciously pilfered and provided by youtube)

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

dixie chicks better watch da f**k out

Dustin Kensrue
"Please Come Home"
(Equal Vision)

Underoath's drummer/singer, Aaron Gillespie, has been all around the U.S. recently playing under his solo moniker, The Almost, which embraces the pop-punk aspect of Underoath's sound. Perhaps it was intentional to not stray away from what he knows best; at the same time, Gillespie shouldn't expect much of a backlash since The Almost could be described best as "Underoath without screaming."

Unlike Gillespie, Thrice frontman, Dustin Kensrue, has taken a different direction with his solo debut, "Please Come Home." The album boasts eight songs of the country persuasion and probably has more in common with a band like Lucero rather than Johnny Cash; not that that's a bad thing, mind you.

The record's lead single, "Pistol," is a heart-on-my-sleeve ditty which I can imagine being a karaoke favorite in Divetown, New Mexico. The title track is grounded a little bit more in a contemporary country music meaning that it could easily be used as music for a car commercial, so long as no one's really paying attention to the lyrics.

At its best, "Please Come Home" plays like an introduction to non-glitzy country music. It's a bit more melodic than a Loretta Lynn record, but it doesn't quite capture the idiocy of someone like Toby Keith. It's a fairly easy listen, though I imagine people who are really down with this kind of music would simply turn their noses up at it.


save the dj drama 4 ya mama

So as Idolator and XXL have already reported, the Feds busted T.I.'s go-to-guy, DJ Drama and his partner, DJ Don Cannon for selling mixtapes, i.e. "bootlegs" or "illegal CDs." While I'm not the biggest DJ Drama fan (it's Kay Slay or nuffin'), as a mixtape enthusiast and practitioner, I'm a little irked.

See, back when dudes like DJ Clue, Funkmaster Flex and Kid Capri were releasing mixtapes on major labels, the record companies were absolutely ecstatic. These DJs were basically putting out promotional material for labels that didn't cost them shit. Meanwhile, DJs got exclusive songs and everybody was happy. During the heyday of major label mixtapes (1996-2002), the RIAA didn't say shit, perhaps because these mixtapes were under the radar or because they were selling. Who knows?

With the Internet rapidly becoming the source for music fans and sales of physical content declining, the RIAA is running around like a headless chicken looking for someone to catch heat, where better to begin than with hip-hop's biggest criminals, the DJs.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Friday, January 12, 2007

sarah shannon > velocity girl

Sarah Shannon
"City Morning Song"
(Minty Fresh)

Sarah Shannon used to fron Velocity Girl, a rock band with a female lead singer I had a crush on (see also: Save Ferris, Letters to Cleo, That Dog and Dance Hall Crashers). She's had a solo career for a minute now and Minty Fresh has just released her sophomore album, "City Morning Song," a poppish, jazzy record featuring trumpets, keys, Casey Foubert of Pedro the Lion, Yukki Matthews from Seldom and Sonny Votolato of the Votolatos.

This album is fairly refreshing; for one thing, there's no sultry, smoker vocals on this (i.e. Feist), shitty would-be raps (i.e. Gwen Stefani), or posuering (i.e. Eve). Instead, there's a some pretty catchy pop tunes that I would listen to in order to get out of a bad mood. Peep this record or you'll be sorry.


backed with!!!1!

updated with the 9-pound, 9-sick shit. word.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

federal way should be burned by the sun

According to the Seattle P.I., Washington's paramount to education, Federal Way School District, is refusing to show Al Gore's recent documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth" because of an e-mail by a conservative parent who would rather put God before science. My favorite quote by said parent is this one:

"'Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher,' said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old."

I'm pretty sure that Al Gore, post-2000 election, spent a bit of time as a visiting professor at UCLA, therefore, that makes him a schoolteacher.

I'm rather surprised that in this day and age, people are still using the Creation Theory to keep science out of public schools. Personally, I think it would be better if kids learned about all theories, but I guess with MTV and Myspace, kids these days are far less willing to put some thought into schoolwork, so long as they can break out to each other's homes and fuck.

Still, it's really sad when people would rather urge their kids to be ignorant because of their interpetation of the word of God is construed to having a beef with science. Even sadder is when public educators go along with such B.S.

I encourage you (my beloved five readers) to e-mail Federal Way board member David Larson and president Ed Barney and let them know that this is some sorry shit.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

33 1/3 submission iders

So as you may have read on other 'blogs, "33 1/3" is taking submissions for their next series of books. I have a few ideas, which goes as follows:

de la soul - de la soul is dead
ice cube - lethal injection
descendents - i don't wanna grow up/milo goes to college
too short - get in where you fit in
q-bert - wave twisters
brand new - deja entendu (i'm a little iffy on this one just because how recent it's been released)
kid dynamite - shorter, faster, louder
get up kids - something about airplanes
mobb deep - the infamous
jimmy eat world - clarity
milt jackson and john coltrane - bags and trane
quincy jones - you got it bad, girl
raekwon - only built 4 cuban linx
built to spill - perfect from now on
promise ring - nothing feels good
company flow - funcrusher plus
mos def - black on both sides
gang starr - hard to earn
mineral - endserenading
murder city devils - in name and blood
outkast - southernplayalisticaddilladicmuzik
jay-z - reasonable doubt
pedro the lion - winners never quit

There are some albums that I most definitely wanted to do, like Lifetime's "Jersey's Best Dancers," Nas' "Illmatic," and Death Cab for Cutie's "We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes," but those particular bands have had a surge of press recently; not to say that no one's been covering Jay-Z, but most of his press has been slightly negative. I want to avoid a record that is obvious (like choosing Ice Cube's "Amerikkka's Most Wanted" over "Lethal Injection"), which is why the albums I've selected have a sense of familiarity -- basically I went with fanship over critically cannonized records. I'm certain someone would talk shit to me for picking Outkast's debut over "Speakerboxxx/Love Below" or "Aquemini." Bleh.

Whaddya think?

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good album, crappy cover!

Back in the ol' '05 and '06, we had "Review Time with Chasing Coolness Funtime Theatre," for the '07, I'm giving you "Good Album, Crappy Cover," in which we take a look at an awesome album with a shitty cover art and liner notes.

For the first in the series, I chose an album that I sought out to get during a snowstorm, Foxy Brown's "Ill Na Na." In early 1996, there was a snowstorm that hit Seattle, which led to my high school's cancelation for a few days. That Tuesday, Brown's debut album had finally come out and I was determined to get it. I weathered three late busses, wet socks and a drenched pair of Pumas before I finally got to the Wherehouse where I got my copy. And that's the story; captivating, isn't it?

+ Foxy in a shiny top.
+ Foxy's boobies hanging out.
+ Foxy's butt in the air.
- Foxy's cross-eyed look on the front cover.
- Foxy walking with a horse? Who the fuck rolls around with horse in Brooklyn?
- Foxy standing in front of a fur wall which looks as though it was pilfered from a drag queen's closet.
+/- The sepia-toned picture in which Foxy looks like she's saying, "YEAH!"

The overall feeling of this artwork conjures up both a feeling of laziness and a lack of budget. Typically, any album by a female rapper that prominently features said rapper's body parts, tend to suck (see: Lil' Kim, Ms. Sancha). The boxes strewn about with Foxy's face smells of MS Paint-styled artwork in which the layout editor at Def Jam started screaming, "BOXES! The future of cover art is BOXES!" Also the title, "Ill Na Na," can be misconstrued as "sick/gross poon."

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

kate havnevik sucks

Kate Havnevik

There's a sticker on the promo of this CD that reads: "Includes the cult hits...[Insert shitty song titles here] heard in GREY'S ANATOMY & THE O.C." Those two shows suck, and so does this awful, Portishead-lite bullshit. I bought into Jem, Alias & Tarsier, and Morcheeba, but there's no way in hell I'll buy into this broad.

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it's goin' down

Yesterday, the vastly popular Byron Crawford, posted this brief report about Mos Def's latest album, "Tru3 Magic," being pulled from retail stores. Actually, I didn't even know that the shit was out. Crawford alludes to the Mighty Mos taking swipes at the suits at Geffen, which is part of the giant Interscope/Universal/Island/Def Jam conglomerate.

Releasing his album with little more than a disc, an idiotic title and handful of decent songs, it makes you wonder if Mos Def basically put out a sub par record to finish off his contract with Geffen. Similarly, another one of Interscope's big acts, Brand New, recently released their much heralded third album, "The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me," with little more than a disc, unreadable liner notes and no lyrics. The exclusion of lyrics seems to be the big sting since most kids who are into the emo tend to hang on to every word that these guys sing and the idea of having to transcribe, and possibly misinterpret, lyrics to scribble onto their notebooks is both equally entertaining and sad.

To add insult to injury, of the many possible singles that Brand New could've made a video for, they used a two minute instrumental song called "Untitled," which was aired on MTV2 followed by a post on the Internet penned by lead singer, Jesse Lacey, which included subtle, incindiary comments about the giant label.

With two of Interscope's bigger acts doing everything they can to distance themselves from the label, it makes you wonder, how bad are they screwing up that company? Even after the Rootkit debacle, Sony is still steadily pushing solid, successful releases and Capitol, who's famous for catching onto genre trends a little late, has had some success with The Decemberists and Saosin.

While there is a new year looming, along with planned releases with Jimmy Eat World, Stat Quo and M.I.A. (it's been rumored that Dr. Dre has been attached to produce, but he probably won't), one may assume that despite public dissent, Interscope will probably walk away unscathed.

Related Links
Brand New - Untitled Music Video
Mos Def - Katrina Klap

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Monday, January 08, 2007

holy crap! jin now has, like, ten good songs!

Earlier, XXL posted a new Jin song, "You're Fired," in which the New Yorker puts Rosie O'Donnell on blast over her brief racist tirade on "The View." Even better, Jin rhymes over the "Ether" beat, which makes the song novel for hip-hop and Nas fans.

Jin's always been a wild card; it's undeniable that he's a dope MC, but his first, and much hyped, album had more misses than hits. Last year's "Tha Emcee" raised the bar a bit, but not enough to make Jin the next Keith Murray (or Mountain Brothers ?). Jin's the kind of MC who will probably always have that the proverbial brass ring within reach, but who will continue to need a little bit of push to get there. Maybe this will help. Don't sleep on Jin.

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the genius of anthony green

A few years ago (2003 to be exact), my friend James told me about this band called Saosin. I listened to their CD and dismissed them as another passing screamo band, which I had absolutely no interest in listening to, probably because I was in a band that was making similar music. I probably should've taken more notice, since Saosin's singer was Anthony Green -- whose previous outfit, Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer had long been a staple in my CD player for most of that year.

In the last two years, I've championed Green's latest full-time band, Circa Survive, and their genre-defying debut, "Juturna." I didn't really understand the genius of Green until I heard his solo song, "Stone-Hearted Man," on his Myspace alias, Moshtradamus. While it's the only song with lyrics, it's still heart-breaking and interesting, in that Elliot Smith sort-of-way.

(Stone-Hearted Man Live courtesy of YouTube and Refused TV)

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Friday, January 05, 2007

backed with

i forgot to post this yesterday, but backed with has been updated yet again!


fricka freedom writer

Bellingham's favorite daughter, Hilary "The Next Karate Kid" Swank, is going to be stinking up the silver screens in a minute with her latest foray into overdramatic acting, "Freedom Writers," an MTV film about a White teacher bringing a ray of hope into the lives of a group of n'er-do-well urban youths. This film, of course, is being released during the apex of Oscar buzz.

Michelle Pfieffer must be pretty pissed right now.

Personally, I don't think this film could generate any type of Oscar buzz, save a green muppet on a public television show ridiculing it; in fact, I'd be surprised if it even does relatively well at the box office. I don't know how many more of these "White Shadow" flicks we have to sit through before we just start shooting ourselves in our collective feet. The whole genre smells of a rotting dead corpse, not unlike the Black/White buddy-cop movie staple. On top of this generic mess, it's an MTV film for God's sake. How many good MTV movies have there been? One, probably [1]. "The Perfect Score," which wasn't that great to begin with. Their line of stinkers, however, is pretty impressive: "Joe's Apartment," "Varsity Blues," "Coach Carter," "Save the Last Dance," "Crossroads," "Orange County," the list goes on.

As far as these kinds of movies go, Jon Lovitz made the king of all of them back in the late-90's. Everybody else is just clown shoes.

[1] I realize that "Better Luck Tomorrow," one of the best movies of all time, was released by MTV, but technically, MTV only dumped money into its release and promotion. The film was long completed before they sunk their fangs into it.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007


So "The OC" finally got the axe.

Thank Jebus! I've long-hated the show from the time I caught the first episode up until this very moment. I don't know if it's because I was made to feel sorry for a bunch of fresh-faced, shit bagged teens whose sole purpose was to fuck, consume and procreate. Or if it's because I knew that they'd basically ripped off my beloved "90210." In any case, the show about a bunch of rich white kids is done. Now if we can only do something about "One Tree Hill"....

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

shameless self promotion number 156

download 2005's "loose leaf: the pity party mix"

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

mo' money, mo' executions, mo' problemz

Sometime last Friday, Saddam was off'ed in the name of justice, world peace, vested interests and other such things that I can spend two days typing up. Like many Americans, I found out via television at the Cheesecake Factory while I was having dinner with my family. This, of course, spawned a debate between me and my cousin. Though our political views are somewhat similar, we tend to have differences over capital punishment and the death penalty.

Let me spare you the details and say, "Yes, I am a fucking hippie." Not in a conventional sense, but I do think that in this particular case, Saddam's death will make him a martyr to his followers, thus giving various armies another war for at least 20 years.

I don't feel that any death by murder is justifiable. Yeah, the guy committed atrocities, but it's not like government officials on this side of the waters have clean hands, either. Religion and politics always gets people into some pretty deep shit, as is such, I tend to keep my feelings about both topics to myself. So that's that. Dude's dead, time to move on.


ain't a damn thang changed

The other night, the wife and I were watching some tacky New Year's Eve special on Fox when a commercial came on for a new Cedric the Entertainer flick, "Code Name: The Cleaner," which looked to be some cross between "The Long Kiss Goodnight," "If Looks Could Kill," and "Spaceballs." Then I started hitting up MySpace this morning, and there are banner ads for this fucking movie sprawled all over, as if the 'Space got a case of Cleaner-itis.

While I didn't expect for Hollywood to start churning out, I don't know, good movies in the new year, I certainly didn't expect a new Cedric the Entertainer movie, mostly because his take on the Honeymooners was such a fiery piece of crap, that I was under the impression that his flicks would be straight-to-DVD from here on out. At least until another "Kings of Comedy" tour movie. I also couldn't believe that Lucy Liu or Mark Dacascos would agree to star in this movie. Well, maybe Mark Dacascos; I don't think he's reaping any residual checks from "The Crow" television series.

I loved Cedric the Entertainer in "The Steve Harvey Show" and "Barbershop" and anything else in which he's relegated to a sidekick. But giving the man his own movie is a lot like giving Carrot Top his own flick and we all remembered what happened with that motherfucker, don't we? [1]

[1] "Chairman of the Board," Carrot Top's starring film with Courtney Thorne-Smith, Bill Erwin, Larry Miller and Raquel Welch TANKED! And it was a pretty sucky movie.

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