Friday, November 20, 2009

Music Video of the Day -- Dirty Projectors, "Stillness is the Move"

This is not a real post, I'm aware, but I've been commenting more than blogging these days, and I feel the need to break E's uninterrupted reign, so here's Dirty Projectors' "Stillness Is the Move."

There was a movie that came out a couple of years ago called Bulworth, in which Warren Beatty played some kind of white liberal politician whose mask was slipping, and then he met Halle Barry, and he was all like "You're a gangbanger. Let me tell you about the Black Panthers." And she's all like I know about the Black Panthers. Go fart into a Slanket while I play this song by Ol Dirty Bastard and the third person from the Fugees (ed's note: three people were in The Fugees? Knowledge) . And he's all like, "What? There is a thing called hip hop which allows me to say "fuck" in public and also wear ski caps." Let me put down my Arnold Palmer, and rap my thoughts and feelings. And then he says something about how we should all fuck each other and this will erase racial distinctions, and basically solve acid rain and the problem with the o-zone layer (ed's note: 90's environment references, people). If I were to describe this movie in one word it would be "gangsta." If I were to describe this movie in two words it would be "Snoop Dogg."

Anyway, what does this have to do with Dirty Projectors? Very little. Except while it's interesting that Warren Beatty thought embarrassing rapping would lead us to the racial promised land, in fact, there was some truth to his gangsta, homey-dogg philoso-jazzing. White people music, Black people music. So different in 1998, so not different in 2009, maybe? Dirty Projectors are about as white a band as you can find, and they've recorded what is to my ears an absolute R&B club banger, which Beyonce's sister has re-recorded, and which is, in fact, now an absolute R&B club banger. Jay-Z and Beyonce go to Grizzly Bear concerts; The Magic Numbers covered Beyonce. And meanwhile people in the Bronx and people in Williamsburg wear the same skinny jeans and throwback multi-colored Nikes. And blipsters is a word.

You know, I remember a time when I was DJing in college and there was some discussion about whether or not I should be playing Gang Starr during our somber indie broadcast.

The question would be absurd today.

The question is the truth.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

haven't we been through enough, new york?

our tax revenues have plummeted, our governor is supposedly inept (although someone please give me a cogent explanation of why this is so), and now we may have to look at this fuckface again? why???

Monday, November 16, 2009

pity for fleury???

wow, theoren fleury was like the closest thing i had to an imaginary archnemesis as a kid. this tiny little player (well, for hockey anyway. he's about my height) was pesky, annoying and hated by any mildly knowledgeable canuck fan. fleury's new-ish memoir, playing with fire, is the number one nonfiction book in canada. take that, andre agassi! on a side note, agassi's interview with terry gross was pretty surprising. he apparently totally hated tennis! how is that even possible?!

according to his memoir, fleury was sexually abused over a two-year period by his junior hockey coach, then spent the rest of his life succumbing to virtually every temptation: cocaine, alcohol, prostitutes. at one point, he even attempted suicide. i don't really understand how these athletes can abuse their bodies to such a degree yet still manage to outperform any average human being.

in case you thought this was all confessional self-actualization fluff, fleury doesn't disappoint, describing forgotten one-time phenom alexandre daigle as follows: "What a beauty, that guy. He had all the tools, but no box to go with it. Dumb as a post."

haha, god, only if sarah palin could make her memoir half as interesting.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

checking in with stevie Y

how did i miss this? yzerman was inducted into the hockey hall of fame! along with pretty boy luc robitaille and snoozefest defenseman brian leetch. oh yeah, brett hull, blahblahblah. lamoriello looks a little stunned to find himself on that poster, btw.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

song of the month--two ways

how lou barlow managed to make this song sound so, erm, sebadoh-y i will never know, but it's kind of awesome.

guess the borough

Monday, November 9, 2009

everything is coming up blankfein

did you see this? i know, the headline is just so predictable that you couldn't bring yourself to read it, could you? can you really stomach yet another article about how goldman sachs is, in its own words (wink, nudge), doing "god's work?" how many ways can these assholes win?

last year, banks awarded its bonuses in stock instead of cash. everyone approved, except the recipients, of course. bitching and moaning ensued. [insert some sarcastic comment about how they're going to have to settle for X equally extravagant item instead of Y prevailing extravagant item.] stock prices circa late-2008 were in the toilet. government hands over gobs of $$$. stock prices appreciate, and what happens in late-2009? windfall! underwritten by whom? you, me, other taxpayers. how about a quote to drive the point home:

"And so the bonuses Wall Street received last year, billed as paltry at the time, are turning out to be among the most lucrative payouts ever."
what happened to the legal industry at the same time? oh right. this.

groan, moan, eyeroll, envy, exclamations of disgust, throwing hands in the air in defeat, etc.

anyway, c4ts, i think you should send ben sisario a piece of your mind.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

what the fuck is david brooks yapping about - part ??

in this part whatever of what appears to be an infinite-part series, i again examine the latest and greatest david brooks column in the new york times and ask the question we've all been wondering: what the fuck is david brooks yapping about?

i was planning on reading this article when this lead-in caught my eye: Cellphones and texting technology give suitors instantaneous contact, without the stability of guidance from the community.

not to be redundant, but what?

david brooks begins the article thusly: Since April 2007, New York magazine has posted online sex diaries.

AHHHHH! my eyes! my ears! my everything!!!

so i guess the point of the article is how texting is ruining romance because this technology enables us to hunt for an endless array of sexual/romantic partners without the stabilizing force of elk clubs or whatever. i dunno, man, most people i know still meet their mates through school, friends, work, kickball leagues, etc. y'know, communities. his theory that cellphones and texting dissolve obstacles is complete bunk. you're not texting into the ether--you gotta meet the textees (hehe, textees) somewhere! yeah ok, i kind of get it. texting = fragmentation. but what isn't fragmented nowadays? why single out texting? is it any more or less a force than cable tv or google books or twatter or whatever other new medium? why not just blame alexander graham bell for starting us down this path of ruin? or fucking gutenberg for destroying the oral tradition? and why, for chrissake, conjure up the image of david brooks perusing online sex diaries?

[ed note: my badz. link to said article now provided.]

Not Music Video of the Day: Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, "Empire State of Mind"

This is the new-ish Jay-Z video. It is trash. And you know, that's fine. Sling that trash, Rake in that cash. Respect. See what I did there? I made a stupid rhyme, but that rhyme is better -- lyrically, syntactically, rhythmically, what have you -- than any one couplet in this song. In fact, I don't even know why I said "couplet." This is essentially a mad-libbed series of non-sequitirs sprung from random New York-based touchstones, and strung against a mis-matched beat. This song is vile, vile trash.

First of all, Jay-Z, you live in Alpine, New Jersey. That's just the cold, hard facts. Stop fronting. You live in a villa designed by I.M. Pei with your purebred Himalayans, with hundred dollar bills in your pillowsacks, and with Beyonce Knowles. (She makes good music videos, fyi.) That is a good life you lead, especially considering you were handed nothing and you used to sling crack in the Marcy Projects. You harnessed this God-given gift for beat and flow (see here) and made art, and then you took this art and married it to a preternatural business acumen, and created an empire. You are in like the top 100 humans, Jay-Z. So what the fuck? You took a city that counts you among its favorite sons and made an undignified whore of it.

Here are the "New York" references you make in this song: DeNiro (ed's note: What is going on with that guy?), Frank Sinatra, Brooklyn, Tribeca, Harlem, Dominican people, the Knicks, the still New Jersey Nets (cross-promotion!), yellow cabs, gypsy cabs, dollar cabs, Afrika Bambaataa, and the World Trade Center. Literally, these are the references somebody from Dubuque would make of New York, based on his experience watching an afternoon of I Love the 70's and thumbing through a coffee table book from grandma's house.  Please, Jay-Z, stop. There is only so much vicarious embarrassment I can take.

Now, as far as that Alicia Keys hook:

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can’t do,
Now you're in New York!!!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York

I mean no disrespect when I say this. Alicia Keys, you made a really sweet, quietly sexy, authentically New York video where you captured the nuances of unrequited love, begun in a coffee shop on 39th and Lennox, that then blossoms in the wake of a broken-up, uptown houseparty. You are a good singer! And you got Mos in your video, before he went crazy. But now -- and again, no disrespect -- you really need to kill yourself.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Report from the People's Gaypublic of Drugifornia

"But I've got something serious to say...Dude, what the fuck is going on with Robert DeNiro?"

These were words spoken by a couple of hirsute cineastes on a sidewalk outside of a restaurant in San Francisco on Friday, overheard by me as I stepped out to dial Sugarpockets. But you can substitute "cold4thestreets" in for "Robert DeNiro," readers, because I know and you know that's the query that's been lodged in your hearts these last several weeks. What the fuck is up with c4ts?

Well, first off, while I had hoped -- and promised -- to report to you juicy tidbits from the frontlines of my not-new job, a strange thing has happened. My former (tor)mentor has lost interest in crushing my already reluctant capitalist spirit. I am not sure if I made it past some sort of hazing period, or if I broke down his expectations so expertly that when he actually had a chance to review some substantive work I'd produced, he was moved by its seeming coherence and spell-checked presentation--and came to be genuinely surprised my abilities. That is, the George W. Bush effect may have taken effect here: I am in my boss Sean's good graces because I have wildly exceeded the earth's-crust-level expectations he had set for me...Of course, things didn't turn out too good for W in the end, so I'm hoping for some sort of narrative divergence in our tales, but for now, I'm in a numb -- if not happy -- place at work.

I go in. I close my door. I try to focus, fail, stare at the screen, pound on the keyboard, space out, eventually produce something, give it to my assistant to file; she invariably finds several errors in it, which I have to then correct. And off we go. That's an honest day's work for our generation of ne'er-do-wells, so mortified by adulthood we find spiritual meaning in things like this. I'm happy to have a job. I really am. But I'd be so much happier just having the paycheck.  Or maybe I just need to keep my door open and hope for some hijinks worth reporting in these pages.

The other day I wore a blue polo shirt to work on casual day, and my neighbor -- who tucks his shirt into his jeans and his jeans into his white sneakers -- said, "What, did you just step off a college campus or something?" I think this was meant as a put-down. I don't know. Maybe, I should just keep my door closed after all.