Monday, December 31, 2007

Seattle Public Library > Comcast

One of the perks of working for the man is that I occasionally have the luxury of working from home. If I have internet, that is. So today Comcast was supposed to turn on my modem (II) so I didn't have to spend New Year's Eve kickin' it at my office. The bastards were supposed to show up between 8 am and noon. Well they came, but they didn't even bother to press the buzzer.

Because the customer service rep I talked to last week didn't bother changing over my contact information, like I requested, the installer had my disconnected number. Though rather than attempt to hit the buzzer like he should have (my security is independent of phone service), he just assumed that because he had the wrong number that there was no one there, even though my friend was sitting there watching "Sesame Street" waiting for someone.

Due to "other things" I have to run around Seattle all day today, to and from the courthouse and I don't really have the time to fuck with Comcast. So instead, I'm finishing up the last bit of my work before the first holiday of the new year at the public library, whose kindheartedness is allowing me to "check out" their wi-fi.

So the lesson kids: Public Libraries > Comcast.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Come Back, the Jealous Sound!!!!

Where are the Jealous Sound?

It's been damn near five years since they've released anything, though it's not out of the ordinary, I suppose. There was a two-year gap between their self-titled, Mark Trombino-produced EP and their stellar debut full-length, "Kill Them Kindness." They've been signed to The Militia Group for some time now and I have to wonder what they're up to.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Nothin' Goin' On

I hope you've all had a productive holiday or what have you.

I haven't been writing that much because a) writing is what I do for a living and sometimes I feel like watching "Ocean's 13" and "The Hills" and b) there hasn't been anything interesting in the large scope of the pop culture spectrum.

I guess there was that whole dust up with Jamie-Lynn Spears being a pregnant, unwed teenager and all, but is anyone really surprised? Not that I know the chick personally, but I've been around enough teens (and having been one myself in the last decade) to know that high schoolers bump uglies often enough for stuff like this to go down. Just because you're on TV doesn't make you exempt from making certain choices in life. Go ask one of the Coreys or Jaleel White.

What's most disappointing -- from my career perspective -- is that the Spears story got more news coverage than the Iowa hubub with the presidential hopefuls. How sad is our country that we'd pay more attention to a C-List celebrity than to the people who could potentially run this nation?

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Seattle Venues in Danger!!! (Cue Panic! [Not at the Disco])

As previously reported by several websites and media outlets, the Crocodile Cafe -- a great venue and home to my favorite mac and cheese [1] -- shuttered its doors this past week, leaving quite a few people jobless and me without a place to get decent greasy food. More than that, however, this also calls into question, "What other venues can bands, particularly local bands, go to play?"

This is a pretty big blow considering that just last week, the Showbox and its sister venue Showbox SoDo (aka The Fenix aka the Premier) were sold to AEG Live. To many, the changing ownership means nothing, but the Showbox had started allowing lesser known local acts play to lower ticket prices, when the average show at the venue was probably around $20 or so. The sale to AEG ensures more national acts, but I wouldn't expect to see the occasional lounge show or Green Room show that was only $5.

What most people aren't looking at are the other venues (and potential venues) that are left here in Seattle. The city is fairly notorious for closing a bunch of awesome clubs, only to have a few more reopen a year, or even months, down the road. Right now there's still El Corazon (aka Graceland), as well as the creepy Studio Seven. West Seattle also has the American Legion Hall. I'm surprised that most of the Crocodile's scheduled shows have moved over the Rendezvous, which is about a block or two away, and it's a pretty similar looking place.

Regardless, it sucks that the Crocodile is R.I.P. but I'm sure another venue is just around the corner.

[1] This is now bested by the Tin Hat's mac and cheese.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dudes, M.I.A. sucks

As much as I should feel the need to support my fellow Asians and/or Brown people, M.I.A.'s rant (reposted with snarky comments by those brilliant minds at Idolator) is incoherent and makes me dislike her even more. If I could take away anybody's First Amendment rights, it would be hers. Waitaminute, she's not a U.S. Citizen.

Oh snap! Well in that case:

I, Ryan P. of, am hereby publicly protesting the recording career and audio releases of the "rapper" known as M.I.A. (nee Mathangi Maya Arulpragasam) on the grounds that her music is terrible, her vocal styling is a cheap rip-off of Missy Elliott and that her blog entries are nothing but an all-caps mess of incoherent statements and ragtag British slang.

The fact that Ms. M.I.A. is not a United States citizen gives us, the American public, more than an ample opportunity to take away her rights to release her albums here in the States. I realize that this could set an unwanted precedence which could take away the rights of legitimate non-American artists such as Tegan and Sara, The Police, U2, The Stills or Choclair, but I hope that such a law could be exclusive to Ms. M.I.A.

I am urging you, the American public, to ban the unintelligeble tapestry of "words" by this woman known as M.I.A. We will be a stronger America without her.

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an obligatory post to let you know that i'm still alive

someday, i will write more than this singular sentence.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2007 Rewind Selecta: Music Won't Exist In 2008

Last week I assembled a somewhat decent list for my best of picks and Vivian from Redefine asked me to assemble a similar list. I used some of the discs that I choose from my original list, but it also got me thinking, "How many records have come out this year that I initially liked, do I still listen to?" The answer: not many.

Music, in general, has become a pretty disposable commodity, to the point where I'm selling off CDs that I've probably enjoyed at one point or another. Much of what I've been listening to lately is stuff that I haven't heard in a while, or ignored when it was released. Right now it's the fourth quarter, which means this is the time when labels are releasing the surefire hits to hedge their numbers. How many CDs have I purchased in the fourth quarter: 1. And it was a release from the fall. I didn't even bother to go out to get "American Gangster." Honestly, the only record that I would pay for is Ghostface's "Big Doe Rehab," everything else will probably end up in a $.99 bin. I have this sinking feeling that next years best list will be a littel shorter than this year's.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Fucka Blake Lewis

I've been on the Blake Lewis hate train for quite some time, earlier today Idolator posted the video for the intelligently titled, "Break Anotha." Now I can throw in my two cents.

Dude, this shit sucks.

I'm not sure what's worse: the lava lamp effect, the fact that the video looks like it could've been made by EMF or Jesus Jones, or that the song itself sucks balls. Either way, it's the video and song plays out like a lesser version of that Eamon song that came out a while ago, except watching Eamon go buckwild at a pizza parlor is a lot funnier than the end fight at a Johnny Rockets.

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wu vs. wu vs. wu

So by now, you've all seen the videos in which Raekwon talks shit about RZA and where RZA refutes Raekwon's claims about the usual Wu-Creative Process (i.e. RZA dictating everything) and Wu-Embezzlement (i.e. RZA using Wu money to fund another Serato). There's also the video of Ghostface going off about how the RZA is basically full of shit. So with that said, Wu-Tang is supposedly going to do a show at the Showbox at the end of the month. The line-up isn't too bad Dyme Def is solid and Cancer Rising is Cancer Rising, and then there's Furious Styles, a hardcore group inspired by the likes of Madball and Rage Against the Machine, and seeing how the RZA is into guitars now (at least according to Rae the Chef), then I suppose that also makes sense. But with all this inner-Wu turmoil, I'm betting that the show gets cancelled, as most hip-hop shows are apt to; and if it does happen, it'll probably be without Rae or Ghostface -- which is a shame considering that they've dropped the best of the Wu solo albums ("Beneath the Surface" sucked). It's looks to be a sad day in Wu-World, but a sadder day for the Wu-Fans.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

2007 Rewind Selecta: The Hits

I don't care if it's still early December, I'm going to write one of these arbitrary lists now and get it over with, that way, when other blogs are just straight blasting motherfuckers with the same Matador/Def Jux/Barsuk releases, I'll seem that much more of a trailblazer. Believe that.

Best Records of 07 (in no particular order):

Dawhud, "Basement Sessions" (Self-Released)
This fucking jam has been the most heavily rotated hip-hop record of the year...and I've only had it since the summer time. Even if I didn't know Dawhud, I'd still go out and buy this CD. Seriously. That's how good it is. The last time I heard a hip-hop album this cohesive and well put together? Maybe "Supreme Clientele." Maybe.

Broadway Calls, "Broadway Calls" (State of Mind)
These dudes get a lot of comparisons to Jawbreaker, but I'd say they're more like a non-shittier version of Green Day; maybe "Kerrplunk"-era.

Tegan & Sara, "The Con" (Sire/Vapor)
I think I wrote more about this band than I really needed to, but whatever. The record is better than that Paramore shite.

DJ Babu, "The Beat Tape Vol.1" (Nature Sounds)
Though each song is roughly a minute and a half long, Babu's instrumental album was pretty thorough and an easy listen from start to end. I know he didn't win the Big Tune Beat Battle, but I'd seriously like to see Sabzi come correct with a full-on wordless album and see how it fairs compared to this legend's run at it.

Alicia Keys, "As I Am" (J)
I just reviewed this shit last week.

Say Anything, "In Defense of the Genre" (J)
I'm hesistantly putting this up on the list. I've heard it a few times and while I'll venture out and say that the first disc is stronger than the second, I think that as a songwriter, Max Bemis is getting better and better. He's lyrically more interesting than half the bands that get featured on message board sites and I'm curious to see what comes out of his mouth on the next record.

Boys Night Out, "Boys Night Out" (Ferret)
Just a fun pop record to listen to.

Scott Storch featuring Nox, "Built Like That" (Self-Released)
Probably the worst diss record of all time, it's still halfway entertaining to hear Scotty Storch rap. It's the same carwreck reaction that people had that made William Hung one of the best selling "American Idol" contestants.

Amy Winehouse, "Back To Black" (Universal)
I know, I know. She's coked up as fuck and "Rehab" is probably the most played out song since "In da Club," but dude, have you heard the record in its entirity? That shit is amazing.

Crime In Stereo, "Crime In Stereo Is Dead" (Bridge Nine)
I also reviewed this last week, but I actually made the effort to buy it from a store. That's how much I liked it.

Deejay Om, "Reheated Naan and Curry" (G4)
This is a few months old but it's still fire.

Little Brother, "Getback" (ABB)
I was a little reluctant to hear Phonte and Pooh without 9th Wonder, but you know what? This new record actually bangs harder than "The Minstrel Show." No disrespect to 9th, but damn. Maybe they should've cut homedude from the roster years ago.

Manchester Orchestra, "I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child" (Red Ink)
A breathtaking album that openly criticizes organized religion from a band that is neither from Manchester, nor an orchestra.

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