Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
After going over the final exam, and seeing as revising our stories and poems is all that's left to do, my Writing Fiction and poetry teacher made us watch '30 Rock.' That was amazing. And now this? In a week that has and will continue to be filled with The Siege of Tobruk and other useless writing, it appears as though I can still count on the best show on TV to make me happy.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Wale - A Mixtape About Nothing
Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
Radiohead - In Rainbows
The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
The Game - L.A.X.
The Gaslight Anthem - '59 Sound
T.I. - Paper Trail
TV On the Radio - Dear Science
Islands - Arm's Way
Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping
She & Him - Volume 1
Sun Kil Moon - April
Destroyer - Trouble in Dreams
Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
Girl Talk - Feed the Animals
Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy
GZA - Pro Tools
Kanye West - 808's & Heartbreak
Land of Talk - Some Are Lakes
Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
Back Milk - Tronic
Back Mountain - In the Future
N.E.R.D. - Seeing Sounds
My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
Kid CuDi - A Kid Named CuDi
Update: I forgot Drive By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark. (whoops)
And here are a few albums yet to come out that I don't want to knock out of contention:
Common - Universal Mind Control
EPMD - We Mean Business
Justice - A Cross the Universe
Friday, November 21, 2008
- For the most part it sounds good, not necessarily saying that it is good. The production is pretty solid and I like the sound Kanye is going for. For the most part. There are some missteps so far. On the Glow in the Dark Tour and at Lollapalooza Kanye loved belnding songs together by way of extended outros and interludes. This was alright, but somewhat frustrating live, mostly because i just wanted to hear the next song. These outros show up in a couple of occasions on 808's. Now, he has done this before, Late Registration in particular, but there is a difference here. On Late Registration, the songs were layered with strings, drums, horns and anything Kanye and Jon Brion wanted to throw in there. They were well orchestrated and lush. The outro at the end of "Say You Will" is just 808's some "Exit Music"esque vocals and those pong noises. These aren't very interesting to hear on their own for a minute if they never change.
-The singing. I am not going to talk shit about the singing because it's not the point of the album. Kanye has said he just loved using the Autotune, and he didn't want to stop so he made a whole album. The only times I ahve a problem is when I hear his voice and wish someone else was signing. This realy hit me today while listening to the new "Robocop" with the strings supposedly added by Herbie Hancock(?!). Kanye's voice does not sound right with the strings. Even with the Autotune he sounds like he's in a different key or something than the strings. I could only imagine how much better it would sound if a talented singer was singing that. Kind of had the same feeling with "Street Lights" but I like that song.
-Finally, a thought I should probably save for my review if I want it to be good, but I don't want to forget my point.
In his review of Chinese Democracy for the A.V. Club, Chuck Klosterman, a writer I still like at his most grating, and whom I a aspire to be at his best, talked about how the album was maybe the last of it's format(CD) to have this feeling of anticipation. That the new age of leaks and the fact people have been waiting fifteen years to hear this album give it a feeling of anticipation that is not common in the music industry anymore. I feel as though 808's represents the antithesis of that opinion. Before the whole album leaked, nine out of eleven tacks had leaked individually. Now Kanye claims to have been responsible for a few of those, but I am not totally sure I buy that. The point of Kanye leaking the songs appears to me to be a way of getting initial reaction from listeners and making changes from there. Hence why I have four different version of Love Lockdown on my hard drive and the song was only introduced to my ears two or three months ago. It seems as though Kanye doesn't care about the sense of anticipation due to his outrageous pursuit of perfection. He wants people, all people, to think what he is doing to be the best. I think that hurts the final product. It all feels too calculated. That was the problem with Late Registration, and at this point in time it seems as though that will be the problem for me with 808's & Heartbreak. I think the opposite is what made College Dropout a classic, and still so fun to listen to. There was clearly a genius behind it, and that man had some tracks he wanted to say a whole lot and be important("Jesus Walks.") But there was also a sense of fun in tracks like "Workout Plan" and less of an ego on tracks like "Two Words" where he does not spit the best verse, and maybe even the worst. It appears as though that will never happen again on a Kanye CD. In his current state of mind he cannot allow anyone, at anytime, appear to be at all better than him. Which is good for driving himself, but he can't always be the best. This is something I have just come to realize. Up until very recently I admired his bull-headedness because it defined him. Now I think it is a little ill-conceived, and it is also probably what has led to him being so depressed now. He puts way too much pressure on himself. If he went back to having fun while making great music I think the product will improve and he won't talk about how "lonely it is at the top" and suicide or whatever.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
So someone (John Galligan) asked me to write about the end of TRL, and I will oblige. TRL is a show that now means absolutely nothing to me. Everytime I watch it there seems llike less and less music, plus Damien is a total douche bag. But once upon a time TRL was basically what determined what I thought was cool. I was a fourth grader who had spent his entire life listeneing to oldies/classic rock radio and my parents did not want me to watch MTV. Then they finally let me come home after school without anyone else at home, and I discovered TRL. I thought Carson Daly was the shit at the time. I wanted to host a show that showed all of the coolest songs andhad all of the hottest artists on. Without TRL I probably would have never heard "The Bum Bum Song" or Korn, and the "Freak on a Leash" video basically changed my life. However, even as I hit middle school Igot sick of the fact that they didn't show the whole video and I also realized Carson was a douche.
I realized this around the time Carson started calling Kid Rock "Bob" like they wre fucking best friends and they weren't on tv. But they were on tv, and I doubt they are best friends. Soon I realized TRL sucked and I stopped watching it. Now, I basicaly look back at the couple of years I watched TRL and loved it. New NSync, Britney Spears and all those other 90's pop groups videos basically led what I listened to. But now I realize that what I listened to was deterined by a large group of teenage girls, and that is too bad, because I stil love some of those songs. So in closing I will remember TRL as a show that was great for a couple years of my life, and I'll love it for that, but in all actuality scuked
Monday, November 17, 2008
I drove to Michigan City and hopped a train to Chicago on Friday for a couple of reasons but the one that made it happen was The Hold Steady. The other was a fantastic addition in my brother who had never listened to either THS or Drive0By-Truckers the other band there. IT was great to spend time with him and also great that he enjoyed a show that he had no connection to.
Now to the show. I am familiar with DBT, but not a huge fan. I like Brighter than Creations Dark enough, but I am not super familiar with their catalog. They did however put on a great show, playing with more energy than I think I was expecting. They skipped over a lot of Patterson Hoods slower, more alt-country songs from the new album in turn for more up-tempo numbers probably because they want to keep the audience energized knowing what THS can do onstage. I was happy about this because I was pretty drunk and basically just wanted to bang out. Which I did. My drunkenness did force me to take a potty break during DBT's set however which caused me to miss most of my favorite song of theirs, "Carl Perkins Cadillac."
This was the third time I've seen THS live, and I think this was the best one I've seen. Less assholes pushing forward and trying to mosh instead of just jumping around, and more people just severely into the music. I mean, here is the set list I ganked from the message boards:
Multitude of Casualties
Stuck Between Stations
You Can make Him Like You
Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night
You Gotta Dance
Sequestered in Memphis
Lord, I'm Discouraged
Don't Let Me Explode
Your Little Hoodrat Friend (w/ DBT)
Chillout Tent (w/ DBT)
Burning For You (w/ DBT)
Ride On (w/ DBT)
Let There Be Rock (w/ DBT)
Killer Parties (w/ DBT)
It was fucking intense. Last time there was a lot from Almost Killed Me, which was okay, but I enjoyed this shows slant towards new songs and Seperation Sunday, their best album in my opinion. The guys of course looked like they were having ablast, with Craig FInn even telling a story about how DBT caused him to start THS and how they just wanted to drink beers and make music. Well they do a lot more than that. Finn's tales of boys and girls in America and all of their messed up little teenage lives can strike chords with any person who has had any issues, even if none of them are as bad as the Hallelujah's or Gideon's. They are outrageously compelling stories that you won't find in any other band. They clearly resonate with fans as well because of how many people scream along with Finn (ahem, myself) at the shows. Everyone around me by the end of the show was a huge fan and was just having ablast, and I wish I could go back.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I mean, well, wow. I usually don't see videos and feel the need to post it here, but this just blew my mind. First of all, how does a person over the age of 15 not know presidents can only serve two terms? I mean, I know all people don't receive the education I have been privileged to have but...c'mon. I don't feel bad for this guy exactly, but for how badly the educational system apparently failed him. I would have never thought a person like this could even exist, someone this ignorant about the voting process actually voting, but apparently they do. I can only hope there are not many more people like this out there. If there are...please don't try and vote, just sit at home.
I mean, This seriously bummed me out, and I have been in a great fucking mood the past two days for obvious reasons. I got a not-so-good test score back but then I got home and watched a much happier video of Barack's acceptance speech and I was giddy for the next, I don't know, 12 hours which put us to right now. It may not help I am writing a paper I don't want to, but this is just pissing me off. Congratulations guy, you may be the worst.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I hear you have a new album coming out. That's great bud, I haven't from you in a little while. Hopefully the time off has done you well. I know alot of people take time off to look back and reflect, and I really hope you did that. Because honestly, I don't think anyone wants you to make another album like the last two. But that's besides the point, I have faith. Deep down we both know that you are a spectacular rapper.
I also hear your producing most with some new friends including DJ Premier. Awesome. I also hear your hooking up with some other old friends, Dr. Dre, maybe even Royce Da 5'9" which would be great. People all across the country are going to be listening to this album and putting Royce, an old friend, and also a fellow Detroiter on the album would easily help boost him, as well as the city you are from up. From there, there is only one thing that I can ask of you.
Please put at least one, maybe more Black Milk beats on the disc. We don't need him rapping yet, because he is not up to your high abilities, but there is not a better young producer out right now. If you still care about your city and it's music scene, put Black Milk on the disc. It isn't a stretch to say that the beats will be fire. He will realize the opportunity handed to him and run with it. So while finishing up your next classic, Em, please think of Detroit and it's young talent.
Kevin Mason Doby
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Also, in honor of Halloween, watched the movie "Suspiria" directed by Dario Argento over the weekend. It was the kind of "horror" movie I enjoy, scary via suspense instead of torture-porn. It still felt trapped in the "horror" genre though, which granted is pretty tough to transcend. That movie and Rotten Tomatoes' list of the best reviewed horror movievs only made me realize why "The Shining" is my favorite horror movie of all time.
To me, "The Shining" does transcend the genre at least in some bits. The cinematography and mis-en-scene is pretty similar in most horror flicks. More shaky cameras, close-ups and such to try and show the fear. The most effective shots in "The Shining" are the exact opposites. The medium to long tracking shots are absolutely beatiful. The Steadicam and gorgeous set design is something that is not present in any other horror movie I have ever seen. "The Shining" uses lots of bright colors in these shots (also not in most horror films, lots of grey) and follow the characters around. These shots expand the feeling of isolation that you know the characters are feeling.Add onto that the fact that the movie is suspensful, scary, and throws a little gross-out in there as well, but never too much.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Saw Broken Social Scene last week at Calvin College. Third time I've seen them and maybe the most fun I've had yet. Actually snagged some good spots up near the fron even though we got there after what seemed to be hundreds upon hundreds of kids. I don't know if they were not all into BSS or whatever, but when people stood up and "rushed" the stage, a lot of people did not move, and stayed pretty complacent. They were more energetic than they seemed at Lollapalooza this Summer, but played less than when I saw them in Ann Arbor. They stuck to mostly old standybys with the exception of a couple Brandon Canning songs. Also played "Anthems of a Seventeen Year Old Girl" which is the sencond time I'd seen it. Less good this time with the Land of Talk singer singing it for maybe the first time in concert. All in all, good time. Couple things coming up that I hope to write about: Universal Mind Control (when is that coming out?), 808's and Heartbreak (CuDi's on two songs!), Drive-by-Truckers and Hold Steady concert in Chicago (first concert that isn't Lolla out of Michigan), and I am going to see Bob Dylan finally on November 8 here in the Zoo. Hopefuly he isn't so old that his lyrics become completely unrecognizable, but we'll see.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I actually sort of submitted the wrong document, and I think the new one may have been a little bit better but whatever. There are also supposed to be links to youtube videos, but some kinks are stil being worked out. The people over there appear to be dumbtarded.
p.s. - Apparently if people leave comments/like my blog, I could get hired?(In that case the Kalamazoo Gazette people are smart as a fox, not dumbtarded) Do with this information what you will.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
- Please start listening to KiD CuDi. I know his mixtape, A Kid Named CuDi came out a while ago and he has been praised on sites with much greater readership them this one (pick a site, any site). However, I really need to put out there how much I have been loving the tape, in particular the first half. At first CuDi doesn't come off as the most technically gifted rapper, no double time, no tricks, no outrageously long breaths like Lupe. However, I don't think that is a bad thing. He keeps things fairly simple with his flow, but he really is a gifted wordsmith, and he also has a very interesting take on what rap should sound like. While "The Funeral" by Band of Horses, isn't really new, it is still interesting to hear him go in over the sample, and sort of sing. Same with "50 Ways to Make a Record" which samples Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover." The tape kind of trails off after single "Day & Night" but it is still very solid. I actually wish this and Wale's Mixtape About Nothing cut the "worse" songs and became one tape, but hey that's just me being picky.
- So "Love Lockdown." What are you? I still have yet to form a good opinion at first. On first viewing I was very happy and intrigued. After getting the live version I only got more excited. Then the studio version leaked and I definitely felt like the air had been let out. He just seems very complacent. All of the energy he had during the chorus at the VMA's goes out the window in the studio. For such a personal song, his singing is so weak. That may have to do with Kanye not being a singer, but I think it more has to do with him not going in hard enough on the hook, which seems odd with how fucking hard he's been trying lately.
- It kind of sucks being a football fan in the state of Michigan right now
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Britney's looked worse.
9:02 - OK, Britneys actually hot(?)
9:03 - Well that seemed forced/rushed
9:04 - Rhianna: Rufio's Cousin, or Rufio? Discuss
9:07 - internet not working, this may not really be a live blog. May just turn in it all in at the end.
9:08 - I think Rihanna's okay. not sure how i feel about her new goth shtivk. I don't like 'Disturbia' I don't ike the video, and i didnt like that.
9:11- Really Russel Brand? Is this really the time/place/person to go off on Barack and retarded W. Go Barack?
9:13 - I feel like I'm listening to Art Brut, but with no music.
9:15 - Not sure I'm ready for Russel Brand's America
9:17 - T.I.'s weed carrier is so going to shoot Jamie Foxx. Btw, what was he on?
9:19 - So Britney isn'y crazy anymore?
9:24 - Well seeing as the song that inspired the title of this log was just in a Rhapsody commerical. Figured i'd post about it. David Bowie's "Sound and Vision" was just in a Rhapsody commercial.
9:27 - Fucking Demi Moore?
9:30 - Hi Taylor Swift
9:31 - Is this realy The Jonas Bro's new single. It's like their attempt at "I Will Follow you in the Dark."
9:32 - Greg: "Are all of the Jonas' Bro's this homo?"
9:34 - Ouch Katy Perry. Maybe you should stick to singing bad pop songs that are sorta taboo, but really not that much.
9:36 - I can't imagine I would get much work done in the clothes i wore in the shower. Thanks for the tip though, Jerry.
9:36 - Now I know why Katy Perry's Madonna cover sucked. I don't think she can sing.
9:40 - Michael Phelps is wearing headphone. He probably just doesn't want people to see his huge ears
9:42 - Lil Wayne is outrageous. Odd choice of song for this setting. Never caught the Roof thing before.
9:43 - Ahh, heres "A milli"
9:44 - Stop the top hats T-Pain
9:45 - Nick, "How are those little pants stayng on.
9:45 - So the pants won't stay on.
9;46 - Busta Bus liked it.
9:47 - This is lame.
9:49 - That Pussycat Dolls song is unfortunate. And how bout Jimmy Iovine. From sound engineer for "Born to Run", to assisting the Pussycat Dolls in their quest to stay popular.
9:58 - This bad, Entourage is on. I'm done. Sorry folks. Maybe ill come back after Enourage.
10:30 - I am back. Rihanna again?
10:30 - BTWs Entourage was okay
10:36 - Oh shit, this is 'Genie in a Bottle' this is kinda horseshit.
10:39 - She had a baby. wow she looks good.
10:42 - Best New Artisit, fuck Gossip Girl.
10:43 - These dudes are fucking unbelievable. Fuck these dbags.
10:50 - This show with Paris hilton is bout to suck.
11:01 - I was really hoping for "Bawitiba" please do it for the children Kid.
11:02 - Wayne is wearing the same pants he wore on F'N MTV a few weeks back.
11:04 - Weezy and Kid Rock, and Wayne didn't get to plaly guitar.
11:10 - What up Kobe?
11:11 - Really people, enough with all your Pussycat Dolls.
11:12 - Well, Britney clearly sucked off someone on the committee. Committee? Who picks these damn things?
11:12 - Here we go, Kanye. Make the music with your mouth.
11:13 - Is he singing? I always secretly lliked his singng. I though it made him seem more down-to-earth. Not sure how I feel about it for a song though.
11:14 - Ok, I am realy liking this. Not what I was expecting. This sounds dark, i feel like I should be in a robot, metal cave sometime in the future right now.
11:16 - New future, change the world, what the fuck is he talking about?
Alright, well those were pretty dismal. Sad foray into the world of live blogging. Bye.
Update: I'm listening to "Love Lockdown" on youtube, and it is fucking sweet. Kanye is bananas, the thing I pick up the most more now, is how sweet the drums are during the chorus. I really want to hear those on my headphones, really fucking oud, or live. Prefferably all three sometime soon.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
1988~ Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no Haka); Dir.- Isao Takahata
~The Adventure of Baron von Muchaussen; Dir.- Terry Gilliam
1989(Tie)~ Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo cinema Paradiso); Dir.- Giuseppe Tornatore/Heathers; Dir.- Michael Lehmann
~ Born on the Fourth of July; Dir.- Oliver Stone
1990~ Goodfellas; Dir.- Martin Scorcese
~ Miller's Crossing; Dir.- Joel & Ethan Coen
1991~ Boyz N the Hood; Dir.- John Singleton
~ Barton Fink; Dir.- Joel & Ethan Coen
1992~ Resevoir Dogs; Dir.- Quentin Tarantino
~ Glengarry Glen Ross; Dir.- James Foley
1993~ True Romance; Dir.- Tony Scott (1993:Film as 1990:Music)
~ Schindler's List; Dir.- Steven Spielberg
1994~ Pulp Fiction; Dir.- Quentin Tarantino
~ Ed Wood; Dir.- Tim Burton
1995~ Clueless; Dir.- Amy Heckerling
~ Welcome to the Dollhouse; Dir.- Todd Solondz
1996~ Fargo; Dir.- Joel & Ethan Coen
~ Hard Eight; Dir.- P.T. Anderson
1997~ Good Will Hunting; Dir.- Gus van Sant
~ Grosse Pointe Blank; Dir.- George Armitage
1998~ Rushmore; Dir.- Wes Anderson
~ Buffalo '66; Dir.- Vincent Gallo
1999~ American Beauty; Dir.- Sam Mendes
~ The Virgin Suicides; Dir. Sofia Coppola
2000~ American Psycho; Dir.- Mary Harron
2001~ The Royal Tenenbaums; Dir.- Wes Anderson
~ Y tu mama tambien; Dir.- Alfonso Cuaron
2002~ Infernal Affairs (Wu Jian Dao); Dir.- Andrew Lau & Alan Mak
~ Adaptation; Dir.- Spike Jonze
2003~ Oldboy (Hangul); Dir.- Park Cahn-wook
~ Mystic River; Dir.- Clint Eastwood
2004~ Mean Girls; Dir.- Mark Waters
~ The Aviator; Dir.- Martin Scorcese
2005~ Good Night, and Good Luck; Dir.- George Clooney
~ Brokeback Mountain; Dir.- Ang Lee
2006~ Children of Men; Dir.- Alfonso Cuaron
~ The Descent; Dir.- Neil Marshall
2007~ Knocked Up; Dir.- Judd Apatow
~ The Counterfeiters; Dir.- Stefan Ruzowitzky
2008~ The Dark Knight; Dir.- Chris Nolan
~ Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay; Dir.- Jon Hurwitz & Hay Schlossberg
(Update) This actually turned into a pretty good list for myself, Pitchfork and Wikipedia's list of albums released in each year helped out tremendously.
1988~ Pixies- Surfer Rosa
1989~ Galaxie 500- On Fire
1990~ A Tribe Called Quest- People's instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (Hardly my favorite Tribe album, but I had a fuck of a time trying to pick out an album from this year. 1990 did not do much for me.)
1991~ A Tribe Called Quest- The Low End Theory (This is my favorite Tribe album, thanks again 1990.)
1992~ Pavement- Slanted &Enchanted/ R.E.M.- Automatic for the People
1993~ Wu-Tang Clan- Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
1994~ If only 1990 had like a sixth of the albums 1994 had. I'm going to pick a rap and a non-rap CD here:~ Jeru the Damaja- The Sun Rises in the East/Weezer- Weezer
1995~ Radiohead- The Bends
1996~ Jay-Z- Reasonable Doubt
1997~ Elliott Smith- Either/Or
1998~ Neutral Milk Hotel- In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
1999~ Wilco- Summerteeth
2000~ Ryan Adams- Heartbreaker
2001~ Death Cab for Cutie- The Photo Album
2002~ Broken Social Scene- You Forgot It in People
2003~ The Shins- Chutes Too Narrow/My Morning Jacket- It Still Moves
2004~ Kanye West- The College Dropout
2005~ The National- Alligator
2006~ The Hold Steady- Boys & Girls in America
2007~ Lil' Wayne- Drought III
2008~ The Hold Steady- Stay Positive
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I'll try not to title every other post like this...I swear
So there is this song. It is bad. It has that simple Soulja Boy hook that all of his songs do, but that is to be expected from a Soulja Boy song. However, the thing is that this is a song featuring Soulja Boy. That fact scares me. Obviously, this was going to happen, Soulja Boy hopping on other people's songs, but I was expecting it to stay with people like V.I.C. I still don't think I've heard Soulja Boy do anything on that song. But whatever, that is besides the point. I do not want Soulja Boy on people's songs who carry some sort of relevence to my everyday life.
Let me preface the crux of my ramble by saying I do not want to tell Soulja Boy to suck my dick. I got enjoyment out of "Crank Dat." Obviously he is the lowest of LCD rap, but there is always going to be that guy, and at least he looked like he was having fun. Plus I had fun watching other people (and myself) make asses of themselves doing his dance. However, my slight non-hatred of Soulja Boy wavered quickly. He is not good at making music. He is not smart, clever, or even really that catchy. This is why I do not want him appearing on people's songs who I would hear if it were not for Soulja Boy. Bow Wow's song with the man, "Marco Polo" is exactly what you would expect. It is a a sub-par rap song that tries to be catchy with that fucking hook, but it is actually just really annoying. Now, I don't usually hear a Bow Wow song and think, "Well this could be good" but putting Soulja boy on this single might start a terrible trend. A trend of people reaching out to Soulja boy to provide hooks, or production for their song. I would hope that this never reaches rappers whose music I don't usually ignore as much as possible, but Kanye has already praised him, so who the fuck knows. All I am trying to say is that this needs to stop. No more putting Soulja Boy on your tracks, rappers. Think of the kids.
Friday, August 8, 2008
I also think that these are reasons why I am all the more excited for the movie. I am excited to see Franco in a comedic role, because that is not what he has been doing. From all of the previews and interviews with cast members like Rogan, it does not appear as though Franco has lost any of his comedic talents which is good. He just wanted to stretch his legs and try something else for a little bit, very similar to his character from "Freaks." The same can not be said for Seth Rogan (upcoming role in the "Green Hornet" notwithstanding.) Now I love basically everything the man has been in so this is no knock on him, but I am just more excited to see how Franco returns to the genre. I have however enjoyed Rogan's recent string of interviews where his message has basically been, "smoke lots of pot and don't worry about it." Or as he said on the Daily Show, "drop out of high school, smoke lots of pot, and write a movie about it." Basically all that I am trying to say is that: I want to get the fuck out of work, probably stay in college, and write a movie. Too bad I am not very funny.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
What is a rock star today? For that matter, what is a pop star? Ask this question twenty-five years ago and nobody would blink. Michael Jackson. David lee Roth, or another, less good, hair band star. But today? That question seems much harder to answer, especially from someone who spends as much time devoting their life to pop culture as I do. The closest we have to a bona fide pop star is Justin Timberlake. By pop star, I mean a person who makes music that the general public can get into and is for the most part non-controversial and successful. Generally, pop stars are also somewhat critically acceptable, which Timberlake achieved with “LoveSounds.” However, who is today’s big rock star? In the past rock stars have been full of braggadocio; have been controversial; loved by the youth, distrusted by the old; plus they have always spoken their mind. Oh and they make “rock n’ roll” music. By these terms who is today’s rock star? They biggest selling rock albums of this decade have been made by: Linkin Park, 3 Doors Down, Limp Bizkit, Creed, Evanesence, and Staind. Are any of these people really today’s rock stars? Maybe the fact that they all suck balls is the reason I don’t think so, but that can’t be it. According to Wikipedia,
I firmly believe that Kanye West is the closest thing that our generation has to a legitimate rock star. All of the necessary qualities are there except for the genre of music he makes. However, even that line is slowly blurring. I have seen Kanye West perform twice this summer, once at Glow in the Dark in Auburn Hills, and the other at Lollapalooza. I had two entirely different experiences at these shows, or at least that is how I remember it. At GitD, we paid $90 for tickets and were about a mile away it seemed. I could barely even see Kanye, so combine that with what I paid, things were in trouble from the get go. I still thoroughly enjoyed the show, the visuals were spectacular and Kanye put on a hell of a performance. But I couldn’t help but feel disconnected. It didn’t feel like the biggest event ever. His set at Lollapalooza did
This time I was in the third row and as soon as his band, in their SWAT Team gear came on stage I could tell something was different. Never had I seen, in person or on screen, an individual pour so much into a single performance. This was Kanye the rockstar performing. A man who knew what stage he was on. If he hadn’t seen Radiohead here two nights prior, he had at least heard about it. Knew that he needed to put his heart and soul into it, which was probably easier because he was in the city which was part of his heart and soul. Kanye knew where he was at. He knew this was, for the most part, a rock festival and he performed like it was. There was no DJ, there was a band. He brought out no guests like his Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy (but he did his verse from “Put On,” and there was no Big Brother. Why should he? The schedule said “Kanye West” not “Kanye West and Special Guest.” Plus, why should their be, rock stars don’t need help putting on an amazing show. Radiohead didn’t bring out anyone. This was about Kanye affirming himself at the top of everyone’s list. Why else would he compare himself to Jimi Hendrix and James Brown? These were two men who were more than just stars in their respective fields, they transcended genre lines. And with his set on Sunday at Lollapalooza, that is what Kanye West did. He truly became a rock star.