Thursday, August 14, 2008

Favorite Movie from Every Year of my Life

Here is my list of favorite movies from each year I have been alive, followed by the movie I still want to see most from each year

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
~ Nothing?

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

Favorite Album for Every Year of my Life

People were doing this a while ago, but I just started this, and would like to try to maintain a semi-regular update history. Plus, I have nothing to do at work these next two days, so this will keep me busy. For the record: less thought is being put into this than probably should be. Since I am at work, I don't have my iTunes so I can't sort my music by year or anything. I am just going off the dome and assisted by Robert Christgau's Pazz & Jop Archives, as well as Pitchforks Best Of Lists and Wikipedia.

(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

The Proliferation of Soulja Boy

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

Site Problems

So I am struggling to figure out a way to get my original post in the font I want, so that I won't have to keep messing around with it. I am failing miserably.

Pineapple Express Tonight

So I plan on going to see "Pineapple Express" tonight, the stoner "action-comedy" with Seth Rogan and James Franco. Being an Apatow stan and a huge fan of "Freaks & Geeks" I am howdoyasay, excited. Franco was probably my favorite character of "Freaks." He was clearly the kind of kid who really just didn't know where he belonged, but he enjoyed smoking pot and I guess that's how he just ended up with Seth Rogan and Jason Segel's characters. However, as witnessed in the episodes when he tries to become a punk, and when he plays D & D with Sam and friends, there was clearly more to him than just being a "freak." I think I related the most to that aspect of his character. Not that I necessarily saw any bit of myself in him, but I did feel as though I related at least a little to what he was going through friend-wise. Whenever someone enters college there is always a phase of finding out who your friends are, and I maybe took a little longer than most people do really getting through this phase. I started watching the show right around the time I really realized who my friends were, so in a way I think "Freaks" helped me get through a phase, and that helped me relate to Franco.

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

The Transendence of Kanye West

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, Linkin Park’s “Hybrid Theory” sold 24 million copies. I was in the Seventh grade at this time, prime time to either: a) enjoy Linkin Park ~or~ b) lay moribund in their ever-presence. However, I do not remember any Linkin Park ubiquity. So, I nominate a non rock artist for today's rock star.

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.