Wednesday, October 31, 2007

happy halloween

I'm starting my one video a day post a little early with (what I feel) is the creepiest hip-hop video of all time, Scarface's "Never Seen a Man Cry." Enjoy.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

dv-one: what next?

[Sorry it's taken me a while to spit this out. Shit's been busy]

Last year, Chasing Coolness posted the details of a situation regarding local DJ, DV-One, who was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer while protecting his teenage daughter. On Friday,
a jury found DV guilty and, with a previous record, he faces up to five years behind bars.

This is a pretty huge blow for Seattle Hip-Hop, namely because DV is a long standing figure in the community, often organizing and hosting events that helps kids in Seattle's more impoverished neighborhoods get off the streets and active in art and socializing. Sadly, with urban (read: Black and varied ethnicities) neighborhoods getting razed in favor of condos and townhomes, kids need someone like DV-One now more than ever, as families are finding themselves without homes or hope.

Hopefully there will be an appeal, but unlike other hip-hop figures (see: Diddy, Fiddy, T.I, or Snoop), DV-One does not have millions of dollars to throw at litigators, only community support.
[Related Links]
Raindrop Hustla
Seattle Weekly

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, October 29, 2007

you vidiots

I'm flexing ye olde' freelance political writing this week, but I had this idea to post a video everyday for the month of November. Take that, laziness! Anyway, I'll start posting on Thursday. Tomorrow, I'm gonna see Brand New and The-Rice (aka Thrice).

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

the case for: rappin'

I was out on a date a few nights ago and the girl and I were talking about awful movies we held in high regard. This was sort of brought on by the fact that I own many of Freddie Prinze Jr.'s movies. I asked her if she had ever seen "Rappin'," which she had not, and I was sort of surprised. This movie needs to be seen by everybody. To paraphrase Mike Myers in "Wayne's World 2" (another shitty movie), it needs to be sent out in the mail along with samples of laundry detergent.

"Rappin'" is a categorically bad flick starring everybody's favorite S-curled Hollywood spawn, Mario Van Peebles. The plot is pretty simple: dude gets out of prison and tries to save his neighborhood from getting developed by winning a rap contest. This same plot was also used in "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo," which was released a year earlier.

What makes "Rappin'" so awful/awesome is that Mario New Jack actually raps himself, which puts him up there with other celebrities who have no business ever getting in front of a microphone (a list which includes Shaq, Karl Rove and various contestants of that stupid cable rapping contest show). In fact, Chris Rock once said that the reason why he got Kool Moe Dee to do Gusto's raps in "CB4" was because Mario Van Peebles was so shitty and that he had the foresight to see that he [Rock] was not a rapper.

So if you're feeling down, go out and rent "Rappin'" and you'll feel about a billion times better. Trust me.

Related Links:
Rappin' on Amazon
Rappin on IMDB

Labels: , , ,

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lance Hahn, R.I.P.

According to, Lance Hahn, of Cringer and J. Church, passed away over the weekend. If you remotely liked pop-punk in the 90's, you've probably crossed paths with one of Hahn's bands in some form or another. J. Church also had the distinguishable characteristic of being one of the few bands to record for almost every label out there (Vagrant, Jade Tree, No Idea, Fat, Broken Rekids among many others). Additionally, Hahn himself was one of the few Asian-Americans not relegated to a vocal-less bass player position or a horn section. And, if memory serves me correctly, Hahn might've been one of the earliest Asians to front a punk band (at least that I discovered, so I'm probably wrong on that).

Either way, this is a pretty big loss, considering that J. Church was still very active, despite Hahn's health problems (which you can find documented throughout several back issues of "Giant Robot").

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, October 19, 2007

Saves the Day, "Under the Boards"

Saves the Day
"Under the Boards"

For whatever reason, Chris Conley and the rest of Saves the Day have shaken the bad vibes of being on mega-conglomerate, Dreamworks and been steadily releasing a series of awesome recordings recently. Last year, they hit us off with the dark, "Sound the Alarm," and its acoustic-tour companion, "Bug Sessions Vol.1." For the die hard emos, STD is giving us "Under the Boards," which isn't too far off from 2007's "Alarm."

A little poppier, "Under the Boards," like all of Saves the Day's albums, relies heavily on Conley's descriptive lyrical imagery. While the album blasts off with surefire favorites like "Under the Boards" and "Get Fucked Up," the record peaks at the Beatles-esque tune, "Lonely Nights." While Chris Conley is far from Lennon, he surely gives one hell of a try, which is pretty admirable in itself.

The problem with "Under the Boards" is that that the songs tend to sound the same after a few spins. Maybe it's the consistent tempo of the album, but there isn't much to break up the monotony. Even in the strangely arranged "Getaway," the bridge is so weird that it deflates the power of the song.

But then again, I was wrong about "In Reverie," as it's one of my favorite STD records, so I imagine that with time, "Under the Boards" will grow on me as well because, let's face it, Saves the Day has never put out an album that I hated.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

holy crap

awesome. just awesome.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

little caesars forever

Earlier today, I was watching "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on NBC's site when short commercials for Papa John's kept popping up in between segments. While I understand that these sites rely on advertising to offer their programming for free on the internet, I have to ask, "Do the commercials have to be so annoying." These Papa John ads were pretty unbearable and they ran out of product to sell so quickly (since it is the only ad you see over the course of 47 minutes), that the last commercial is for a Papa John's gift card. Seriously. I almost never turn down free stuff, but if someone gets me a Papa John's gift card, I'll be sort of bummed out.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

top 10 break up records (at the moment)

Almost 10 years ago, I started compiling my ever-shifting rotation of break-up records. About five years ago, I had a solid list and until recently, I haven't really had any reason to dust off the collection. Since 1997, the list has changed some and angrier rap records have been excluded. But nonetheless, there are some serious records here that will hopefully help heal that broken heart. At the very least you can pick and choose some songs to make that vindictive mixtape for your former flame.

Top 10 Break Up Records (In No Particular Order):

1. Red House Painters, "Songs For a Blue Guitar"
Mark Kozelek is a lyrical genius. While RHP's earliest records are raw as fuck, it's the morose, confused feeling of 1996's "Songs For a Blue Guitar" that best reflect what it's like to start over in your late 20's.

2. Morrissey, "Viva Hate"
Moz speaks about adolescent heartbreak in such a way that his fanship goes across the board. I was digging this dude in the seventh grade and I'm still a fan.

3. Atmosphere, "Lucy Ford"
Emo-rap's prince dujour, Sean Daley aka Slug is not unlike the New Found Glory of hip-hop: Dude says what he needs to say and breaks the fuck out. That's why he's hip-hop's Warped Tour ambassador.

4. Group Home, "Livin' Proof"
Unlike Atmosphere, Brooklyn's Group Home doesn't rap about girls that broke their hearts. They rap about selling dope, beating up peoples' mothers and getting out of the ghetto, all of which is set to DJ Premier's impeccable beats. Sometimes, you need to get that anger out and Lil Dap and Malachai are some of the most thugged out dudes out there.

5. Jimmy Eat World, "Clarity"
This entered the list when I got super drunk one New Years Eve and, on the way to another party, pulled over to the side of the road, sat up on the hood of my car and started talking about the meaning of "A Sunday."

6. Brand New, "Entire Discography"
Most kids would probably only cite Brand New's "Your Favorite Weapon" (as well as the assorted B-Sides from that period) as their only songs that address heartbreak, but you can find some pretty seething lyrics in "Deja's" centerpiece, "The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot" and "Not the Sun" and "Luca" from "The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Of Me."

7. Oscar Brown, Jr., "Movin' On"
Glossed over and often forgotten about, Oscar Brown, Jr. was telling dudes to man up during a time when Luther was getting his start and making men bitch made.

8. Roberta Flack, "Blue Lights In the Basement"
Ms. Flack has some memorable tunes, but album-wise, "Blue Lights" has the best overall aesthetic to sob to.

9. Taking Back Sunday, "Tell All Your Friends"
One of the newest entries, everything you need to know about this sweet album, you can find in an earlier post.

10. The Format, "Dog Problems"/Blink 182, "Dude Ranch"
I don't know what happened to Nate Ruess and Sam Means, the principal members of The Format, but damn, "Dog Problems" contains the worst of the worst feeling a guy can go through, yet every song is pretty peppy so all you can do is dance. It best encapsulates the actual process of getting over someone.

Blink's "Dude Ranch," however, with it's thematic element of growing up (no pun), is about holding on to your ideals and your loved ones, no matter who they fucked or whether or not they'll get you burritos.

There are some other albums here that usually see play on the rotation, namely Smoking Popes' "Destination: Failure" and Get Up Kids' "Something To Write Home About," but I didn't want to make it a Top 12, so be sure to keep those two very excellent records in mind. (and Mineral's "Endserenading" too)

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, October 12, 2007

fugging shizzz

[win free thrice tickets, get closer to licking the sweat from dustin kensrue's head]

This is seriously the slowest week ever. There haven't been any big releases, TV shows or movies to really wax intellectual about. VH-1 aired the latest installment of their "Hip-Hop Honors" series in which they paid tribute to "New Jack Swing" (which isn't really hip-hop as much as it is a rap/R&B clusterfuck that resulted in my older sister getting tickets to see Boyz II Men, Another Bad Creation and Bell Biv DeVoe, while all I got were a bunch of shitty back issues of "Uncanny X-Men"). There was also the Lupe Fiasco Fiasco (dubbed "Fiascogate" by those wiseguys at Nah Right), where the motherfucker forgot the words to "Electric Relaxation." How is that possible? How can you be a backpack toting rapper and not know the words to a Tribe Called Quest song? A single, no less? A fucking song that the was theme to the "Wayans Brothers" goddamn sitcom? Bullshit, I says.

Other than that, it's been pretty dead. I've also been doing some legal work and flirting with the idea of getting a job with the gov'ment, which means that I'll have to go back to buying music, though in all fairness, I've purchased more music this year than I did last year. So take that, music industry reports.

Anyway, hopefully next week there will be some shit worth writing about. Maybe I'll expand on my Top 10 Break Up records of all time, as spawned by my Taking Back Sunday post earlier in the week.

Oh...go out and buy that Manchester Orchestra record, "I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child." That shit is hot fire. It might be the record of the year, next to Tegan and Sara's "The Con."

...And enter the new Redefine contest for free copies of the new Thrice album and tickets for the Brand New/Thrice tour!! Huzzah!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, October 08, 2007

Redux: Taking Back Sunday's "Tell All Your Friends"

I first heard Taking Back Sunday's debut, "Tell All Your Friends," six years ago while cruising to get Mexican food with my best friend, James. I remember asking him if it was Saves the Day and him laughing. Then I went out and bought the CD, listened to it and never really gave it a second thought.

Not to say that songs like "Cute Without the 'E'" or "Head Club" never ended up on mixtapes (because they did), but I don't think I ever had the connection with that album as I have with Jimmy Eat World's "Clarity," Morrissey's "Viva Hate" or even Brand New's "Your Favorite Weapon (as well as all of their subsequent releases)." Now six years later, the angst, the pain and the viciousness of the album makes sense to me.

Recently, I've been reading Leslie Simon and Trevor Kelly's parody, "Everything Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture," and while many of the stereotypes about brooding teenagers -- and people who wish they were still teens -- happen to be true, it also makes you wonder what is going through a kid's head when they find lines like "And with this one last choking breath, I'd apologize for bleeding on your shirt" somewhat cathartic.

It's easy to write off angst and anxiety in regards to romance as being a kid thing, but you know what? It's not. Maybe I just tend to overanalyze things more than your average guy, but I'm finding that "Tell All Your Friends" is the type of record that makes more sense when you're in your 20's, as opposed to your teen years.

Again, not to discount anybody's feelings, but there's something strange about realizing that you never really shake being awkward and you never really learn how to get over a break up. It's tremendously harder to end relationships once you hit a certain age and the following enter your psyche:

"Is she dating someone else?"
"Is she sleeping with someone else?"
"Is he better than you?"
"Does she love him?"

And more times than not, you'll find the answer to these questions as "yes." So where does that leave you? Well, you can either stand outside of her window with a boombox blasting some Peter Gabriel, but you'll probably end up getting pummeled by her new BF, because that's the way reality usually works. Or you can get all your aggression out by plugging in "Tell All Your Friends," which edged its way into my list as one of the top break up records of all time last night.


Greatest Romances of the 20th Century:

Cute Without the E (Cut from the Team):

Timberwolves at New Jersey:

You're So Last Summer:

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, October 04, 2007

another shitty opinion about straight edge that no one will read

So a few nights ago, I went out and saw Modern Life is War. While I was there, I was privy to overhear a conversation between some people who refused to hang out with their former friends because they "sold out," meaning that they had to forgo their straight edge and vegan lifestyles for booze and dairy.

Who gives a fuck?

While I fully respect anyone who subscribes to the edge lifestyle with conviction, I find this sort of dismissive take rather annoying. I don't think people in their twenties should necessarily be judgmental on someone's lifestyle choices or changes per se. I mean, fuck, it doesn't affect you directly unless said person is trying to stick a needle in your arm (which in most cases, they aren't). I wouldn't stop being friends with someone because they decided that animal rights were stupid and went off to go get the Barn Buster from Shari's.

Shit, it's no secret that I live a life of sobriety and I don't eat the meat, but I wouldn't call myself straight edge because I don't necessarily agree with the message and I would be an idiot if I dropped all my friends who drank or smoked a little weed every now and then because, quite frankly, I wouldn't have very many friends.

The idea that people end friendships based on dietary or drinking habits is something that's reserved for children. That's some wack ass middle school drama bullshit. Save that kind of mentality for Degrassi, suckers. If you're 22 and you're severing ties with people because they wanted to eat a Big Mac or drink a Bloody Mary, you have some serious fucking issues to deal with within yourself and you probably shouldn't be preaching your convoluted message to the masses.

Labels: , , , , , ,