Sunday, September 30, 2007

Schoolyard Heroes = Most Unthreatening White Kids Evar

So if you read or or any other semi-reputable webzine, then you've heard of the recent local shitstorm involving Seattle's own Schoolyard Heroes and some "concerned" parents who are attempting to boycott the band's First Amendment rights by citing some B.S. linking the band's lyrics to Satanic imagery. I wonder if Alkaline Trio ever gets hate mail from parents?

Anyway, this is really all a bunch of crap. Having known the SH kids for a few years, I can attest that as people they are far from Satanists or evil. In fact, how many Satanists do you know that proudly listen to Queen? Not many. Most fake goths are still rocking the Manson tees and shit. The only thing I can fault Schoolyard Heroes, or specifically mouthpiece and bassist Jonah Bergman, is being a bad Jew. I mean, Jonah, you have tattoos and you eat pork, seriously, what would your Rabbi say about that? Personal diet aside, Schoolyard Heroes will probably avoid getting banned because a) their records are really fucking good and b) the idiots who are "taking a stand" are just getting them more press.

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asians in civic office piece and other thangz

OMG, I did it again. I've been a shitty blogger dude not updating for a week. Well, I've been sick, then my friends came to town this weekend. So there.

Anyway, NW Asian Weekly published my piece about API's in politics. Read it, get educated.


Monday, September 24, 2007

the best sitcom finally has its season premiere!

Tonight, "How I Met Your Mother" is finally heading back to your television screens. Fucks yes. After three whole months sans the best sitcom on TV right now (that's right, fuck you "Scrubs"), we get to see how season three picks up after the end of Ted and Robin's union in last year's finale. Also, do we get to find out who the fuck the mother is yet?

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Friday, September 21, 2007

political apathy based on e-mails

In the state of Washington, when you register to vote, you have to claim a party. I think that's bullshit because I feel that in order for this country to be a true democracy, I should be able to vote for whoever the fuck I feel like, be it Democrat, Republican or ferret. With the pressure on, I begrudgingly checked off "Democrat." Now, I'm paying for it because those idiots gave my e-mail address away to the party and since elections are drawing near, I have a several e-mails in my inbox from Jams Carville announcing some such bullshit about the Bush administration. Hey, I already know they suck, I don't need that shit taking over my inbox, too. If you want me to keep voting democrat stay the fuck out of my e-mails and let me decide who sucks or not.

Rant over.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

make up to break up: the aftermath of 'ye vs. fiddy

It's done, put a fork in the steak because the beef is over. If you haven't heard it anywhere else (which is damn near impossible and also it's sad what passes off for "news" in the U.S.) but Kanye slapped the taste out of 50 Cent's mush mouth, nearing a million units in sales for "Graduation's" debut week. Not to say that "Curtis" didn't fare well, because Chef Boyarfiddy was able to move 700,000 units which is no walk in the park either.

The whole beef/marketing ploy was pretty stupid anyway. I've never supported either one of these dirtbags, but deep inside, I was rooting for Fiddy. Why?

Well here's the thing: while Kanye is good at what he does (being an artsy fartsy rapper, stealing Dilla's production steez, dressing well), he appeals to a pretty safe audience. He makes ears perk by collaborating with artists as diverse as Common, Mos Def, Daft Punk, Peter, Bjorn & John, John Mayer, etc. But at the same time, it also seems like he tries too hard to appeal to everyone. The thing that I liked about his old mixtapes and records (other than raping the fuck out of the Molemen's beatmaking style) was that while they were still considered niche (for backpacking hip-hop fans), they were still gully enough for thugged out dudes, too. These days, it seems as though Kanye is shilling for that Pitchfork money; mostly because people who religiously read Pitchfork will make the effort to go to an actual store and buy a fucking CD.

I've never really cared much for Fiddy but after destroying Cam'ron's career with "Funeral Music," I just really rooted for him to make a diss track of equal caliber for 'Ye. I guess that shit never happened, and he spent so much time talking about how he didn't give a shit about West, it kind of makes you wonder if he secretly had a crush on him, not unlike when you're six years old and you make fun of a girl that you like.

Anyway, as many sites like Nah Right and Ill Doctrine have pointed out, the real winner here is the Universal Media Group, who still ate at your pockets for about $20,400,000 [1]. So bravo, you idiots. Here's to two more years of labels pricing CDs at ridiculously high price points and releasing more shitty rappers!

[1] This was figure was reached by adding the combined sales of "Curtis" and "Graduation" and multiplying them by $12, which is the median sale price at major retailers. UMG probably stands to make way more from this.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

yo ryan, where you at?

OMG, I've been the worst blogger evar. I've been working on this piece for Asian Weekly for about a month and getting super stressed about it, so I put updating this shit on hold because I wanted to give the feature my full attention. In the article, I interview members of Congress and their staff and apparently, staffers have to get permission in order to answer questions. On top of that, these people are busy, so what was originally supposed to take two weeks to write, folded into a month.

But now that's done, my second draft is sitting in the editor's inbox, waiting to be scrutinized.

Some of you may have noticed that I'm blocking comments from appearing on the Coolness. The reason being that while I've always limited comments to members, some of you decided that because I dissed your favorite band, it would be funny to write personal and racist attacks about me. There's a lot of shit that I'll put up with and racism ain't one of them. I don't mind sparking a friendly debate (like the back-and-forth between me and Anton from, because at the very least it was constructive criticism), but I really don't appreciate hateful shit. So because a couple of you kids decided it would be a good idea to pull some fucking ching chong shit on me, I killed the comments. I don't stand for that kind of talk and neither should most of America since it's 2007. Idiots.

Also, the new issue of Redefine is out in stores and in newsstands right now. Go buy one! And if you can't find it at your local retailer, tell them to carry it and order one from the site. Aside from some kick ass interviews with Tegan and Sara and Boys Night Out, the features about the Helio Sequence and Facing New York are also good reads; it's the best bathroom/backpack/busride/waiting room companion since Entertainment Weekly and Maxim.

I'll be back today or tomorrow with my usual bullshit. Peace and chicken grease.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

fear of a black...well, y'know...

It's been kind of a slow news week and I've mostly been working on a feature that I keep getting extensions for, but because congress is busy running the U.S., my calls have yet to be answered. Shit, people I have a deadline to meet! Anyway, the last few days several sites have been posting little blurbs about Diddy's banned commercial for his new Unforgivable for Ladies fragrance. Nah Right took the liberty of posting the actual ad.

So what do you think? With the type of shit that put on network television (Desperate Housewives, What About Brian, CSI, Law & Order), I'm surprised that this commercial is even an issue. Why MTV, a network publicly known to sell sex before music, got on some sort of puritanical high horse is beyond me. The only thing I can get mad at Diddy for is his stiff performance (yeah, I went there). Clearly, the real television sin is alluding that Diddy got to park his organic Bentley inside Jessica Gomez's ethnically ambiguous vaginal garage. Seriously people, it's 2007, why is interracial canoodling such a big fucking deal?

Are lame ass dudes still living off of the Mandingo stereotypes? Ugh. If anything, the commercial should be used as a motivational tool for bad actors trying to make it in the business (as long as you're a relatively good looking dude, you don't have to act to smash hot girls). Anyway, MTV and Viacom need to get the gasface for perpetuating such bullshit because they're scared of some dude's dong. Whatever, it's early, I'm grumpy.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

spitalfield r.i.p.

Chicago's Spitalfield is calling it quits after their upcoming tour this fall. This is a major blow for Victory Records, whose remaining listenable bands have been paired down to Bayside, Darkest Hour, the Smoking Popes and The Forecast. Equally sad is that Spitalfield, once said to be the best and most promising of the neo-Chicago rock resurgence (which also includes The Academy Is, Plain White T's, and some band called Fall Out Boy), never got what they deserved: a fair shot at the spotlight.

So we'll have to weather an even shittier year of releases as another good band falls victim to the reality outside of the music world. Well at least they didn't use the whole "indefinite hiatus" to proclaim their status as an inactive band.


Recommended Listening:
1. Cloak and Dagger Club EP (Sinister)
2. Stop Doing Bad Things (Victory)
3. Remember Right Now (Victory)

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Friday, September 07, 2007

From the Screen to Your Crappy Blog

New Found Glory
"From the Screen To Your Stereo 2"
(Drive Thru)

I've always had this soft spot for New Found Glory. I don't know if it's because they're catchy as hell or if it's because they're a group of unapologetic suburbanites, not unlike some of the dudes that I'm friends with. Regardless, NFG is one of those bands that does ridiculously outlandish covers, so much so, that on occasion, the covers eclipse the original. A few years ago, these Floridians busted out an EP of movie covers called "From the Screen To Your Stereo," and doing their renditions of Aerosmith, Celine Dion and Peter Cetera jams.

Just like Hollywood, NFG finds themselves revisiting this concept with the appropriately titled "From the Screen To Your Stereo 2," covering the likes of Sixpence None the Richer ("Kiss Me"), Madonna ("Crazy For You") and Tears For Fears ("Head Over Heels"). Like other bloated Hollywood sequels, the New Found kids play host to a bunch of cameos from other emo superstars like Max Bemis of Say Anything and Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday. Actually, there is one suprise guest in the form of Lisa Loeb who chimes in for a revisit of her hit, "Stay."

This record isn't as offensive as it reads. Of course it's overproduced and some of the cover choices are questionable at best (the theme from "Amelie"). Otherwise, it's everything you'd expect a New Found Glory record to be: fun, catchy and enjoyable.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

quiet time over

Oh Blogspot, how I've done you wrong....

What up Coolness/Crack peeps. Sorry it's been a minute since I last wrote some of my cute little musings. There have been some non-cute things going on in my life. I'm not really in the mood to divulge specifics. Let's just list the following facts:

a) I am now single
b) I haven't been single in four years
c) I'm down to start dating again (girls only, with much apologies to my gay peeps, but seriously, I'm much too sloppy to be down).

So if you're over 21 and you don't mind hanging out with some awkward, tattooed Asian writing dude in his mid-20's, hit a brother up. It would also help if you lived in Seattle.

Yes, that's right. I've stooped so low (or high) to use Chasing Coolness/Stay Off the Crack for non journalism-related activities. But fugg it. That's how it is.

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