Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Top 20 Songs Of 2014

This was actually a pretty weird year for songs.  I could've subtitled this "The St. Vincent Show", because, lo and behold, she has SIX entries on this list.  SIX.  Her album only has 11 songs.  That's fucknuts.  Animals As Leaders has four.  There have been nine acts that have notched three before now, but both of these are record breakers.  (For the record, they were: 2013: Janelle Monae, 2012: Death Penis, although if you count me as an artist, I'd get four that year since I'm part of The GV Crew too, 2011: Company Of Thieves (God, I miss that band...), 2010: Gorillaz, 2009: Spiral Trance and Method Man & Redman, 2008: Meshuggah, Busta Rhymes and, unbelievable but true, Ashlee Simpson.)  Shit, Skrillex is on here three times, and that ain't shit.

Anyway, it's been a weird year.  (Another bizarre stat is that neither the album I picked for number one OR number two are represented on this countdown.  Let the rampant speculation begin...)  I figured I'd switch it up, since I don't normally offer commentary on the song lists, and throw a few thoughts and facts your way.  Y'know.  For fun.

(One more side note: Cheese is mentioned unmetaphorically in two songs in the top 5, and possibly metaphorically in the number seven song.  I d'no; I heard ziti mentioned; I'd hafta go back and listen closer.)

20. St. Vincent "Bring Me Your Loves"
19. Animals As Leaders "Lippincott"
18. Skrillex feat. Diplo, G-Dragon & CL "Dirty Vibe"

17. Mastodon "Halloween"

This song's craziness didn't hit me until last Saturday night.  (Hell, most of "Once More 'Round The Sun" still hasn't.)  I was only half paying attention, then I lingered in my car after getting home from work and heard this blistering metal shit that sounded effortless.  I'd heard this song a couple of times before, but it had never registered how crazy it was.  This shit don't give a fuck.  Peep it.

16. St. Vincent "Prince Johnny"
15. Animals As Leaders "Another Year"
14. Body Count "Talk Shit, Get Shot"
13. St. Vincent "Digital Witnesses"
12. St. Vincent "Birth In Reverse"
11. Prong "Retreat"
10. Animals As Leaders "Tooth And Claw"
9. St. Vincent "Huey Newton"
8. Animals As Leaders "Physical Education"

7. 2 Mello "Figaro Kids"

This is a mashup of music from Final Fantasy III (originally VI in Japan) and a Ghostface Killah song called "Apollo Kids".  This shit goes together perfectly.  In fact, 2Mello's entire album "Final Fantasy: The 3-6 Chambers" (get it) does this shit all day.  This one was my favorite example.

6. Umphrey's McGee "Educated Guess"

The middle section of this song needs to be heard to be believed.  It has a power E chord chugging through the entirety, but...the vocals just go...off into the ether...into keys they're not supposed to...and somehow it all works.  Beautifully.  I'm telling you, THIS SHIT ISN'T SUPPOSED TO WORK!  IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO WORK!  BUT IT DOES!!!  It short circuits my brain to think about it!

5. Skrillex feat. KillaGraham & Sam Dew "Stranger"

4. Countless Thousands "Gang Fight"

The closing theme song to the Unpopular Opinion podcast with Cracked.com writer Adam Tod Brown (not a typo).  This song gets me so fuckin' pumped, it shouldn't be legal.  (A funny trick: this song and the song he uses for his opening are both in the same key.  (As is the "This Week In Me" segment music; being that he's not a musician, this is suspicious...)  So if you're too lazy to get up and you're listening on Soundcloud, one podcast ends and the next starts playing right away, without missing a beat.  In the same key!)

3. Skrillex feat. Fatman Scoop, Kill The Noise & Michael Angelakos "Recess"
2. St. Vincent "Regret"

1. Imogen Heap "The Listening Chair"

Because this song is so next level, I felt I had no choice but to put it at number one.  I mean really, almost anything else on this countdown is catchier, but that's not what this is about: This is about Imogen Heap writing songs and albums that sound like they belong in the future 100 years from now.  Seriously, listen to "Sparks".  That shit sounds like nothing else I've heard.  Besides Imogen Heap.  She even says she likes to tell the future in this song, so fuck it.  Imogen Heap wins the year in songs.  No arguments here.


And that's it.  Stay tuned sometime early next week for "The Top Albums Of 2014".  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the music!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

COUNTDOWN ABORTED: A Look Back At 2013's Top Albums Countdown, And Why I Didn't Write It

Last year, I went to write my annual "Albums Of The Year" list, and something...happened.  Reading back the diatribe I posted in its place, I caught a faint whiff, a reminiscence of the anxiety I felt at the time.  I went back there for a second, and holy shit was it unpleasant.  I feel justified for having did what I did.  I was more burnt out on not just music but writing itself than I'd ever been in my life.  Why should I write a long, 10 page essay about music?  (In fact, I thought about quitting writing altogether.)

I've since come to realize: I don't hate writing.  I just hate my college major.  I wish I'd realized that before it was too late to switch, but c'est la vie.  That's one of the main reasons there's been a major drop-off in the amount of content on this blog.  (The other being too busy writing bullshit for J.A.M.S.  Yes, I major in something called J.A.M.S., and my institution of higher learning has managed to suck all the fun out of that somehow.)  (Also, I'm supposed to be writing a 12 page paper on how music can't make as much of a cultural impact as it used to because of the fragmentation brought about by digitalization, but I'm taking a break, so eat it.)

Anyway, I did get about four pages into writing the countdown last year, counting the introduction.  That's not nothing.  (1,711 words according to Works.)  It's just that...in the introduction to it, I'm my usual enthusiastic self, but by the third page, you can tell I despise having to pretend to give a shit.  That's a product of both the aforementioned burn out and the fact that, yes, even with the albums I liked, I just didn't (and still don't in most cases) give enough of a shit about them to write something.

So with that in mind, be on the lookout for my "Top Albums Of 2014" list, coming next week!!!  (The Top 20 Songs list will be up soon too.)  I can't really be more specific than that, since I am still writing this 12 page paper.  (Current progress:  Um, zero pages, technically, but I've done research and have a page and a half outlined.  See how it goes in the next 39 hours...)

Until I do manage to find time to wing out my year end lists on an unsuspecting (and possibly apathetic) internet populous, here's what I managed of last year's countdown:

[BLOGGER'S NOTE: I changed the original order by flipping "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" to number 1 over Janelle Monae, because I've listened to MMLP2 at least five times this year and "The Electric Lady" just once.  MMLP2 suffered from coming out in early November, so it wasn't until the end of January when I realized "Hmmm...that should've probably been #1.  So hey, now that I can change it, I did.  (I didn't bother changing anything else, because I didn't feel like it.  It stings a little seeing Rob Zombie at #11 since I couldn't tell you anything that's on that album beyond the single, but whatever.  I could look at a lot of my past countdowns and nitpick the order.  Hell even 2012 is a prime example.]

[Also, in spite of what I say below, E-40's "The Block Brochure" Volumes 4, 5 and 6 will not be appearing on the 2014 countdown, because, well, this.  Ironically enough, he just put out two more albums last week, but the copyright date on the back of the CD said 2015, so...tough titties Earl!  We'll peep "All Four Corners" next year.]


THE TOP 52 ALBUMS OF 2013

Hello, and welcome to the 2013 Year End Album Countdown!  I'm your host Nick Nutter, and we're going to take a look at what came out this year and put it in order (according to yours truly).  So let's get it started!

First some ground rules: This is, as always F.E.P.O. (For Entertainment Purposes Only).  If u mad, sound off in the comments.  If you're new here, that would make you one of only two non-bot, non-people-I-know to ever comment on this blog, and that would make my day!  I would love to make this a discussion.

Second, I have to have had a copy of the album in my possession at some point.  Sure I could go watch a Full Album YouTube video of the new KoRn album, but a) I don't feel like it, and b) I haven't bothered to get that shit yet, and probably won't for another three years until I get bored and torrent it to see what the fuck happened there.  So even though it came out this year, I didn't count it because I couldn't even be bothered to steal it.  There were also albums that I just didn't get to, like Pearl Jam, and albums I didn't know about (at least not until an hour after I initially typed this paragraph) like Jazz-Iz Christ.

This brings up one exception, however: E-40 just dropped three albums last week, and given that I already knew I had finals to prepare for, more wrestling blogs to write, two bands to practice for, a lack of discretionary income and the fact that I knew this was coming out a week after the release date, I've decided to include that one in next year's countdown, given that out of the last three years E-40 has landed or narrowly missed my top 10 (he landed at #11 in 2011 with "Revenue Retrievin': Overtime Shift / Graveyard Shift").  As it is, this is only one entry missing, since he releases two or three albums at a time all the time now (12 since April 2010!); I just put the ones that come out on the same day together to save time and space.  (And they're usually sequels to one another.)  Point is, "The Block Brochure: Welcome To The Soil Vol. 4, 5 & 6" was close enough to the deadline of writing this blog that I'm going to give it a pass for next year.

Okay, with that out of the way, if anybody has any questions, sound off in the comments and I'll be happy to answer them for you!  Let's light this candle!


52. Meshuggah "Pitch Black" (EP)
This was a free EP from Scion's series of metal releases that have their logo on the cover.  There's two songs on here, one of which is a live version of "Dancers To A Discordant System" and the other is some solo thing Frederik Thordendaal was tinkering with in 2003 called "Pitch Black" that he finished for this EP and voila.  An okay Meshuggah B-Side paired with an uninspired live thing (I'm not a huge fan of live albums unless they do something different with the material).  Meh.

51. Skrillex "Leaving" (EP)
It might surprise a lot of people to know I like Skrillex, but yeah, I like Skrillex.  This EP is even more lazy than "Pitch Black", as track 2 is just a sample palate and track 3 is pretty lame, but the song "The Reason" kicks ASS.  Pairing the ultimate uselessness of the format of an EP in this instance with the awesomeness of the one song averages out to a slightly better package than the Meshuggah one.

50. Junip
I heard a few songs from these guys, and thought they were pretty good, if a little too mellow, so I bought one of them (which turned out to be mislabeled; thanx Amazon) and wow did I forget real quick why I liked these guys in the first place. 

49. The Civil Wars
This wins the award for most disappointing album of the year.  I heard "The One Who Got Away" on a promo comp. and the song made such an impression on me that I ran out and bought the next day (making that my second trip to the record store in 18 hours).  Then I listened to the album, and by track 4 I was falling asleep.  The song I already technically had a copy of was the only one I liked.  The rest just didn't have any energy, going for a sleepy, folksy, country vibe that just didn't mesh with either my tastes or expectations.  Sorry y'all.

48. Conniption "Kamikaze"
Kick ass live band, just can't seem to get it together on LP yet.  Don't know what it is.

47. Injustice - Gods Among Us OST
This soundtrack sucked pretty damn hard, but there is one song on here that made my Top 20 Songs Of The Year list (the top 10, in fact), and that is Minus The Bear's "Walk On Air".  That shit is the shit.

46. Jay-Z "Magna Carta Holy Grail"
What a piece of shit this was.  FUCK this was lame.  The only two things Jay-Z has done that were worse than this were "The Dynasty: Roc La Familia" and "Unfinished Business" with R. Kelly.  The rhymes and beats are just so fucking lazy that I can't even be bothered to finish this senta

45. Sevendust "Black Out The Sun"
I think Sevendust...just needs to stop.  The album isn't bad...but why does it exist?  It's the same thing as everything else they've ever done, just...not notable in any respect.  On the other hand, side projects like Call Me No One and Hello Demons...Meet Skeletons are producing listenable joints.  They should break up into three or four groups for awhile and maybe reunite in ten years or something.  I dunno.

44. Sepultura "The Mediator Between The Head And The Hands Must Be The Heart"
This is the worst album the Sep has put out with Derrick Green, and one of their worst albums period.  It's a goddam MESS.  And Ross Robinson is at least 60 percent to blame.  He ruined this album with his terrible production.  Of course, it would've helped if there were some songs on here besides "The Age Of The Atheist".  The only thing this band has put out in any incarnation that's worse than this is "Morbid Visions", and I'm not even sure about that, because at least that has nostalgia attached to it.

43. Spock's Beard "Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep"
Spock's Beard is now on their third singer, and unlike their last change, I don't like this new guy.  They also have a new drummer since the dude that left was also their drummer, but whatever.  The songs here just aren't as good as the Nick D'Virgilio-era jams, and really don't quite measure up to much of the rest of their catalogue.  It feels like a "Hey!  We're still alive!  We promise!" album more than anything else.  Let's just hope it's a placeholder until the two new dudes can acclimate to the gig and start writing kick-ass shit again.

42. Intronaut "Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones)"
This is probably the second most disappointing album of the year.  2010's "Valley Of Smoke" was so awesome, I proclaimed these guys the next Tool.  Then they come out with this unfocused piece of shit.  It has moments, but none of them last for a whole song.  The closest this comes to a good song is "Milk Leg", which narrowly missed my Top 20 Songs Of 2013 list.

41. Anup Sastry "Ghost"
Impressive that the only real instrument on this album is drums (it's usually the other way around), but the whole album sounds the fucking same.  There were four songs that stood out, but everything just kinda blahed together.  (And yes, Anup Sastry is the guy's name, not the name of a group.)

40. The Winery Dogs
Run of the mill rock with technical proficiency on the edges.  If that's your bag, go nuts.

39. Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge "Twelve Reasons To Die"
It's a concept album with a tired ass concept about mob shit.  The twist about coming back from the grave for revenge is somehow played as well; not sure how they managed to make that boring.  At least the songs are...ehh, okay.

38. Misery Signals "Absent Light"
37. Mega Ran "TRAP"
36. Chris Duarte Group "My Soul Alone"
35. Spiral Trance "All In Due Time - Acoustic" (EP)
34. She & Him "Volume 3"
33. A Pale Horse Named Death "Lay My Soul To Waste"

32. Alice In Chains "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here"
The worst Alice In Chains album of all time, but hey, I still liked half of it.  Than ain't a bad average.

31. Alter Bridge "Fortress"
30. Jolly "The Audio Guide To Happiness Part Two"
29. And So I Watch You From Afar "All Hail Bright Futures"
28. Mindless Self Indulgence "How I Learned To Stop Giving A Shit And Love Mindless Self Indulgence"

27. Kanye West "Yeezus"
Self indulgent bullshit taken to the extreme.

26. Megadeth "Super Collider"
Yeah, it's pretty bad, but "Risk" is still worse.

25. Stone Sour "House Of Gold & Bones Part 2"
24. Fates Warning "Darkness In A Different Light"
23. Flotsam And Jetsam "Ugly Noise"
22. Red Fang "Whales And Leeches"
21. Deb Oh & The Cavaliers "Hieroglyphs" (EP)
20. Daft Punk "Random Access Memories"
19. Scale The Summit "The Migration"
18. Eisley "Currents"
17. Bad Religion "True North"
16. Soulfly "Savages"
15. Philip H Anselmo & The Illegals "Walk Through Exits Only"
14. Tomahawk "Oddfellows"
13. Suicidal Tendencies "13"
12. Neko Case "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You"
11. Rob Zombie "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor"
10. Got Your Back Foundation Vol. 1
9. Oh Land "Wish Bone"
8. Halestorm "ReAnimation 2.0: The Covers EP"
7. Soilwork "The Living Infinite"
6. Lady Gaga "Artpop"
5. Clutch "Earth Rocker"
4. The Lonely Island "The Wack Album"
3. Coheed & Cambria "The Afterman: Descension"
2. Janelle Monae "The Electric Lady"
1. Eminem "The Marshal Mathers LP 2"


Thursday, December 4, 2014

MIX-TASTIC: "The Last Shall Be First" & "The First Shall Be Last"

Recently, I started jotting down ideas for a new mix, and wound up with more than enough songs.  Instead of cutting down the list, I broke it in two and here we are.  Each mix is almost exactly eighty minutes and has sixteen songs.  They're a little on the downtempo side, but that serves to make the impactful moments more so.  Check 'em out:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Okay, Who Else Gives A Shit? Really? Okay, More Music Reviews.


Bette Midler "It's The Girls"

Still has a good voice, but sings the standards in an unremarkable way.  Next!



Azealia Banks "Broke With Expensive Taste" 1/2 *

Okay, I said last time that I missed albums poorly made and shittily executed, and here we are a mere blog entry later and YAY!  We found the suck!  If early 90's B-Movie Hip-Hop was a genre, it would be this album!  It's really lame, but not in the same way as everyone else, so I'll give her half a point for trying something different!  (But DAMN is this record crap!)



Tenth Avenue North "Cathedrals"

The same as every Christian rock band from the last...ten years?  So hard to hear uniqueness in this genre.  I don't have a problem with wanting to say something you believe in with your music.  I just don't like lame soft rock.  Later.



The New Basement Tapes "Lost On The River" [NEGATIVE 1 STAR]

Just like any other indie folk thing you care to mention, but somehow more so.  Just really irritating in its refusal to be substantial, or even to be here at any point.



Machine Head "Bloodstone & Diamonds" ***

Now we're talkin'.  If you're familiar with Machine Head, you know what you're getting into.  The album has problems: Some songs are a little too much like "Meh"chine Head, if you know what I'm sayin', "Night Of The Long Knives" works in context with the album but by itself is ham fisted at best, and the last four tracks could disappear and I'd never notice, since I'd hit stop after "In Comes The Flood" (which feels like it should have closed anyway).  But there are some cool surprises like "Sail Into The Black" (one of the more dynamic songs they've ever done) and "Beneath The Silt" (their first eight string venture and a welcome surprise in the middle of the album).  A few other songs are decent, and like I said, shave the last four tracks off and you have an album ready to fight.  But only if you're really in the mood for it and are sick of "The Blackening", "Unto The Locust", "Through The Ashes Of Empires" and "Burn My Eyes".



Teyana Taylor "VII" **

Some modern soul?  I can dig it.  Unfortunately, it gets unbearably repetitive by track four (which is a shame, because "Just Different" and "Request" really caught my ear).



Angie Miller "Weathered"

Shamelessly panhandling at the intersection of Kelly Clarkson and fun. .



Knife Party "Abandon Ship"

The title is the best idea they had.  RUN AWAY BEFORE YOU PRESS PLAY!!!  (Though maybe I should give them points for being self-aware enough to make a song called "EDM Trend Machine"?  I...NOPE.  Song's garbage.)



Migos "Rich N**ga Timeline"

I had fun listening to the samples, I gotta admit.  Migos is Mike Jones levels of bad at rapping.  This album scores a zero, but we'll just say those two asterisks in the name serve as a reminder to listen to this shit at least once.  Seriously, go to iTunes, look this shit up and click play on at least the first four tracks.  Tell me that didn't at least make you chuckle.



Royksopp "The Inevitable End" *

I've enjoyed Royksopp from time to time, though I confess I checked out around "Junior" in '09.  ("Eple" is a fucking BANGER.)  If this is any indication of what they've been up to, I can't say I'm sad to see them go (this will be their "last album"), but hey, "Save Me" is pretty good.  (The rest is an extremely cut-rate Daft Punk.)



The Lox "The Trinity 2nd Sermon" * and 1/2

I was just lamenting 2014's almost complete lack of good rap earlier today.  The Lox try, but it's just not the same, in spite of sounding like they dug five songs out of Double R's vault and put them out as an EP of new material.  But somehow, this would make the top five for rap releases this year.  THAT'S how dry it's been in '14.



Nick Lachey "Soundtrack Of My Life"

Much like Bette Midler, Lachey goes the standards rout, but covering more modern songs like Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes", The Goo Goo Doll's "Iris" (for those who wanted to like the Goo Goo Dolls' version, but felt it was just way too hardcore), Dido's "Here With Me", Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" (see "Iris", yet put in 1998 Aerosmith), the most pansiest version of "What A Wonderful World" you'll ever hear, and fucking "Streets Of Philadelphia", I shit you not.  What vengeful God was wronged in what ways for this to be foisted upon an unsuspecting populous?!?!?!?  Oh woe is mankind!!!



Bobby Schmurda "Schmurda She Wrote"

Take Migos and add it to...pop radio?  Definitely more commercially palatable than Migos on track 1, but with about as many N-Words per second or more.  But hey, autotune singing in the hook!  That's HOOD!



Kyuhyun "The 1st Mini Album [Kanji I can't translate] At Gwanghwamun"

Stereotypical K-Pop ballads.  South Korean teenage girls get it in, yo!  (Think Backstreet Boys but halfway across the globe.)



Jon McLaughlin "The Christmas EP"

Damn, this is the worst Mahavishnu Orchestra album of all time.


Okay, that was another train wreck.  But wasn't it fun?!?!?  Let's do it again sometime!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Who Gives A Shit? Nobody. But Nonetheless...Music Reviews.


Foo Fighters "Sonic Highways" ** and 1/2

Sounds like any other classic rock band putting out an album now.  Which is crazy, since they're from the 90's, but we're all getting older, aren't we?  But for real, they have the aesthetic of a classic rock band down, reminiscent of something between AC/DC and the Night Flight Orchestra (a band that sounds like the 70's on purpose).  It's easily the best Foo Fighters I've heard in awhile, but that's not saying much since I checked out after "The Color And The Shape".  The most I can say is that the album doesn't suck, and the songs at least feel a little substantive.  It's not my trip, but it sounds like perfectly serviceable rock music, and not rock muzak.  The thing it's missing the most, however is a memorable song, being the only Foo Fighters track I can name since 2002 is "The Pretender".  Kind of a problem.



Pink Floyd "The Endless River"

This some pretty new-agey bullshit right here.  Shame their first album in 20 years (and their last official one before they ride off into the sunset) is worse than Roger Water's swansong with the band "The Final Cut".



U2 "Songs Of Innocence"

Officially the least cool band in the world, "Songs Of Innocence" certainly doesn't help their case.  While still technically better than Pink Floyd's new/old dreck, it's still the most easy listening thing U2 has ever done, so it falls into a similar category.  (Also, it feels like Floyd were coming from a more artistically honest place.  U2 just try to be cool and fail miserably (see: "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)")



Big K.R.I.T. "Cadillactica" **

Sounds like Outkast doing exclusively trap beats over slow jam samples.  And that's not the worst thing in the world, even if it gets old by track five.



Nick Jonas

How is this any different than any other pop music in 2014?  "Chains" is an urban demo hit, "Jealous" is Lady Gaga without any talent or balls, "Teacher" wishes it was Chromeo guest starring Justin Timberlake but...This shit fails to be any of these things.  It's almost like somebody recorded an album designed to sound like NOW! 53, but the results wound up being the "Wheat-O's" bagged version to their Cheerios.  Being that listeners have damn near infinite listening options and access to whatever pop hits that already exist, THERE IS NO LOGICAL REASON FOR AN OFF-BRAND.  This album is such a logical fallacy in its redundancy, it SHOULD NOT EXIST.  But it does, and you will have to live with that as a fact.  MWA HA HA HA HA!!!!  (Side note: Does Nick Jonas think an explicit lyrics sticker makes him a bad ass?  In 2014?  Pfff.)



Damien Rice "My Favourite Faded Fantasy"

Remember when I said shitty falsetto indie music was the most dominant music now?  Nailed it!!!  The only thing I didn't predict is that anybody was capable of writing six to nine minute songs in that style.  How does the artist keep THEMSELVES awake long enough to perform this?  The world may never know.



Calvin Harris "Motion"

And here we have the Pepsi to falsetto indie's Coke: Shitty, gutless, soulless technopop with wall of sound synths to overwhelm you into not paying attention to the garbageness of the song.  What really gets my goat though is the blurb on iTunes about this album: "Just as Michael Jackson was the King of Pop, Calvin Harris is the Emperor of EDM."  DaFUQ?  How can someone even matter enough to be Emperor, especially in a climate where everyone is using computers to write, record and produce music using THE EXACT SAME FUCKING SOUND SAMPLES?

How is Calvin Harris distinguishable from any other EDM artist other than his name?  I say this not just as an old man who wants you off his lawn, but as an electronic musician myself.  You have to write songs with the same formula everyone else uses or you'll alienate your fanbase, you have to use the same equipment and same sonic palette or you'll alienate your fanbase, and the presentation has to be the same as well otherwise the fans won't know what to do with it.

How do you even judge which "artist" deserves the crown in a world like that?  WHY DO YOU THINK MOST OF THESE ALBUMS GET ZERO STARS?  They're all expertly built, yet make NO IMPACT.  NONE.  One of the things I miss the most is hearing albums that sucked the wet fucking diseased TAINT because they were poorly done, poorly recorded or shittily written.  THOSE albums were at least amusing; they provoked some kind of reaction.  Now the style is "Make everything as boring and homogenous as possible because we know it works.  Gotta get that crossover appeal!"

Holy shit.  Wasn't expecting to go off like that.  Make no mistake, Calvin Harris didn't provoke that reaction; I've had that feeling for awhile.  I merely drew an arbitrary line of demarcation that THIS is where I'm gonna unload both barrels of my linguistic rage on this unsuspecting motherfucker.  I'm back baby!


So anyway, I'll keep doing reviews as long as I have time (maybe the next few days) and I'll release a new batch once a week.  Maybe I'll find something that doesn't sound like a wet digital fart!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dude, You've Gotta, Like...FEEL The Piano...WHOOAAAA....

Notes taken from a class about how Body Image is portrayed in film, in this case the movie "The Piano":

[The idea the teacher in this class put forth is that seeing an image would evoke the same sensory response as actually feeing the thing you see.  Which got me thinking...]

Okay.  So, the teacher sees the piano and "feels" the wood.  It evokes that in him, but it does nothing for me.  I can experience the sensation if I stare at the piano and consciously call up the memory of brushing my hand on smooth wood, but it doesn't evoke the feeling in me.

I'm starting to understand what the instructor is getting at, but still have little idea what this has to do with body image.  Also, it took two whole class periods to get to this infinitesimal level of understanding.  (Hell, at least it got me writing again.)   (Though if you go further with this kinda thing, it does make for different ways to watch movies.  Especially bullshit arthouse claptrap like this.)

If I consciously focus on it, sure.  I can "feel" the rough wood of the piano crate, but that's not why I watch movies.  I'm not looking for sensory provocation; I'm looking for the provocation of thought and/or empathy.  I wanna have ideas I never had before, or learn something or see a story that I could relate to, or didn't know I could relate to until now, or just see some awesome shit happen because I like awesome shit.

The inherent flaw in this practice of "feeling" a movie instead of just watching it is it demands too much sensorial empathy from the audience.  Most people just want to watch something.  And I don't feel out of place in saying that most people would have to work consciously at achieving the level of synesthesia required for such an experience.  This would be the antithesis of the escapism most viewers watch movies for.  As an artist, I can understand such an aspiration, but I've had my own experiences in going too far into the abstract, and learned the hard way that you have to meet the audience half way before you can bring them any further.

Besides, this movie's gettin' a little too rapey.  (Watch out!  Harvey Keitel is RIGHT BEHIND YOU!)

Friday, October 31, 2014

20,000 PAGEVIEWS (WOO HOO!!!)

Thank you for hitting me up 20,000 times, internet!  To celebrate, here's some fucked up shit that I found when I searched for "20,000", "20K" and "Twenty thousand":

Pictures:









Videos:





Further Reading:

The Wikipedia entry on 20,000:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20000_%28number%29



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

RANDOM BULLSHIT!: Pop Culture Observations

A few rapid fires for ya:

Whoever came up with the billboards on the South side of Milwaukee saying "OMG! Support Your Local Business" needs to go shoot their self(ie).

Fox Sports one promotes new interview...deal called "1-On-1"; promo graphic has three people in it.

I'll admit, The Rock's return, his subsequent promo w/ Triple H and Cena's marked heelishness have me intrigued, but what else happened on that episode of Monday Night Raw?  A Bella won a match with her hand tied behind her back and a tiny man in a bull costume wrestled a tiny man in an alligator costume.  Add that together with commercials and we're talkin' about an hour.  Raw is three hours long.  What happened during the other two?  Nothing anyone remembers.

Anyone else see the commercial for Mulaney and think "Mul-Cancelled"?  Watch the trailer and see what I mean:





Now I've got to solve the internal debate on whether I'll live blog the episodes of Matlock CBS 58 is airing opposite the NFL on Sunday afternoons...

Friday, September 19, 2014

THE TOURNAMENT TO END ALL TOURNAMENTS: Brackets XXV-XXVIII, Third Round (Matches 589-596)

This is, unfortunately, a bit of a one-off.  I wrote these brackets sometime in July, and was waiting to write more and gain momentum before posting.  But finding time to post blog entries of any kind is going to be damn-near impossible for the foreseeable future.  I'll still throw something up from time to time (like this), but don't expect me to finish this tournament any time before Summerslam 2015.  I do hope you enjoy these eight matches that will never happen.  They're pretty interesting:

BRACKET XXV, Third Round (Matches 589 & 590):



Edge VS George Hackenschmidt

Oh how I love a contrast of styles.  Edge made his bread in TLC matches and as the opportunistic character he was, used two Money In The Bank cases and a relationship with SmackDown GM Vickie Guerrero to win the bulk of his 11 world titles.  He was fast, impactful (with moves like the Edgecution, Impaler DDT and of course the Spear) and he used psychology over substance at times.  George Hackenschmidt was just so strong no one could out wrestle him.  I'd wager the Hack would have been able to rend the Gordian knot that was the Rated R Superstar


Mideon (aka Phinneas I Godwin) VS Lawrence Taylor

Okay.  Pig Farmer / Human Sacrifice Victim /Thrall of the Ministry / Nudist / Fanny Pack Enthusiast Mideon, or one of the best defensive players the NFL ever saw and the guy that wasn't that bad in his one pro wrestling match he ever had (which happened to main event a Wrestlemania)?  The choice is clear, though I can scarcely believe it: LAWRENCE TAYLOR IS ADVANCING TO THE FOURTH ROUND.


BRACKET XXVI, Third Round (Matches 591 & 592):



"The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiassi VS Sting

THIS would've been a dream match.  You wouldn't have had to change much of anything from the original Hogan angle; DiBiassi tries to corrupt Sting with wealth, Sting ain't havin' it, they fight, it's awesome and "The Million Dollar Man" lives up to his name by being the perfect foil to an amazing babyface while drawing huge gate receipts in the process.  Of course, Dibiassi has to lose in that scenario, but when you look at Sting's run as THE MAN in both WCW and TNA, Dibiassi would lose to Sting in any scenario, in spite of being one of the best heels of all time.


Alex Shelley VS Dean Malenko

SPOTFEST ALERT!!!  Shelly and Malenko would've put on a helluva show had the two ever met, but alas they were from different generations.  Malenko would've killed 'em, though.  Just too damn good on the mat.


BRACKET XXVII, Third Round (Matches 593 & 594):



Kurt Angle VS Owen Hart

Holy.  Freakin'.  Crap.  This is a match that would've been too good in a way.  If this square-off had happened, there are few one on ones left that could've measured up to it.  Two of the top five technicians of our age going at it for what one would assume would be at least a half-hour...shit, could you imagine two out of three falls for some kind of title?  I could, and it makes me giddy.  But hey, we've gotta pick a winner, and I've gotta go with Angle.  He is one of the best wrestlers to ever do it, period.  Owen was great, should have been world champion and should be in the Hall of Fame, but Kurt Angle could beat...maybe anyone in this tournament.  It's true.  It's DAMN true!


Stan "The Man" Stasiak VS The Boogeyman

The guy who dethroned Pedro Morales for the WWWF Championship or the guy who was amusing and ate worms?  Um, Stan "The Man" please.


BRACKET XXVIII, Third Round (Matches 595 & 596):



"Cowboy" James Storm VS Damien Sandow

This would be a tight little matchup, and given that both are active competitors, it may one day occur, either in NXT after Sandow gets demoted from the main roster and WWE buys out TNA, or if Sandow finally gets sick of WWE's shit and chooses to pursue a line of work elsewhere.  Storm is far more seasoned, has better moves and a world championship to his credit.  Cowboy advances.


Goldberg VS "The Belfast Bruiser" Fit Finlay

Even with legalized Shillelaghs, Finlay would've been no match for Goldberg, the mack truck of professional wrestling.


RECAP:

George Hackenschmidt defeats Edge
Lawrence Taylor defeats Mideon
Sting defeats Ted DiBiassi
Dean Malenko defeats Alex Shelley
Kurt Angle defeats Owen Hart
Stan Stasiak defeats The Boogeyman
"Cowboy" James Storm defeats Damien Sandow
Goldberg defeats Finlay