Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I just saw Superman Returns and it's great. It's over the top and gets pretty cheesy at times, but it has the right to - how could it not be cheesy? All the technology they've got in movies now means that Superman can actually do stuff that he should be able to do, and they can put him in situations where you still don't know how he's gonna win. It's not, "Oh no, this lake is on fire, what're we gonna do?"
I saw it at the Senator Theater, which is this really old fashioned place here in Baltimore with one giant screen and almost a thousand seats. It's about a mile from where I grew up so I always like going there for that, but it's also good because people usually get really amped up about whatever movie's playing there.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I work on the weekends washing dishes at a restaurant in Hampden called the Goldwen West. Food is good, you should check it out if you get a chance. I like working there cause it's so different from my other job, teaching Special Ed at Kennedy Krieger. That's a real job with professional people who take themselves seriously, and they should. At this place though, dudes with creative facial hair cook enchiladas and listen to Tom Waits, give me food whenever I want and just seem to not give a. It's night and day from my other job where people think I might be a little eccentric to come to the Golden West and be one of the most normal people there.

One thing I've learned about washing dishes is that it's really boring, so if you don't have good music time moves backwards. One time another dishwasher who dresses like a russian sailor put on two Led Zepplin live bootlegs in a row and I wanted to die. I mean, who want's to listen to an 8 minute guitar solo by some dude on drugs? Not me. It's time to create the perfect mixtape so I can start monopolizing that crappy skippy-ass old Sony we listen to in the dishroom.

1 - Lil Wayne - "Oh No" - "me I come out of that water like I was just bathing/ and watch my step on the wet pavement" ... "street sweeper in the back of the hatch/ make me pop the latch/ leave you bloody with the cops to match" ... "I'm sicker with it/ pick a city, buy a condo/ find a fine ho, let some time go" This is exactly the shit you want when you're washing dishes. It's got enough bass to have a whole seperate song pounding out of our shitty but big speakers but enough treble to cut through the din with the right shit to rap along with keep you from getting bored. This is the perfect song to wash dishes to.

2 - Juvenile - "Holla Back" - I liked this before I even heard it, when I read in the liner notes that it had an Otis Redding sample. The lyrics are dirty as shit, and there are a few hooks. That's all well and good, but what makes this song special is the relentless maniacal urgency of what sounds like 3 songs mixed up and thrown together.

3 - Notorious B.I.G. - "Hypnotize" - You gotta have shit on this CD that everyone will recognize. You got waiters walking by constantly, your manager milling around, maybe even your boss will be there to step on your feet. And the more people like your CD, the less likely someone is to come over with a scratched up doom metal album. This is another one of those intensely focused songs that will cut right through your thoughts and distract you, which is definately what you needw hen you've got a whole mess of pankace batter on your silverware. "Your crew run run run/ your crew run run."

4 - the Wu Tang Clan - "Protect Your Neck" - I think the Wu rules our kitchen, man, everyone listens to this stuff. Not just the group, I've actually heard a few more solo albums than I would've like to since I started there. This album is probably the best dishwashing album cause its so twichy and autistic - it's like you drank too much coffee and you're all tense but you're happy about something and you can't sit still and so when you're listening to ODB singing "c'mon baby baby c'mon", you don't mind attacking a few huge pots of burnt chili sauce that you'd been saving for later.

5 - Little Big Town - "Boondocks" - I don't like crowding any mix with too much of any one type of music, so you have to mix it up with some country if you've had 4 rap songs in a row. This song talks about the country, saying "it's where I learned about living/ it's where I learned about love/ and having a little was just enough." It sounds cheesy, and it is, but that's the thing - it totally embraces the corniness of what it's saying. "you get a line/ I'll get a whole/ we'll go fishing in the crawfish hole/ down in the boondocks/ poker on a saturday night/ church on sunday morning." That's actually about half of the song right there, so just imagine it being sung by 4 people back and forth while they've got steel guitars and pounding drums. Once again, it's crucial to get those shitty monolithic speakers something to pound out so loud it rattles the plastic, but still have a tinny enough sound going to be able to hear over all that. Steel guitar is perfect.

6 - Mobb Deep - "Shook Ones Pt. II" - This song here slows it down a bit, but so far this mix has been on some 60 mph in 3rd gear shit, so it's necessary to take it easy for a minute. Drink a ice cold glass of water. Sit down for a minute, bullshit with a waiter while he waits for his burgers to come through. I actually used to think this was a Wu-Tang beat, and it kind of sounds like it. All that mid 90s New York shit was so ominous and greasy, you still bop your head when it's slow, cause there's still a lot going on to wrap your head around.

7 - Scarface feat. Nas - "In Between Us" - On The Fix, this comes right after the bubbly happiness of "My Block," and I guess it's meant to be the other side of the coin from "I love these ghetto boys and girls." This song here is totally brutal and paranoid "money never changed me/ money changed the people around me ... fuck every soul that ever soul/ that ever felt like I owed/ them a goddam dime/ or a goddam line/ or a goddam chance ... and that goes for everbody/ thinking it's them/ fuck you you and you/ her him and him." This is far and away my favorite rap song with a blues sample, it makes that Nas song sound like a joke. Right when it's over it comes back to a little piano line to remind you of the song before. I read somewhere that Scarface has bipolar disorder, and this stuff totally comes across that way. Fuck it, if you want you could probably put these 2 songs together on the mix, it'd sound great.

8 - Ice Cube - "The Nigga Ya Love to Hate" - I don't know much about Ice Cube, his career peaked way before I was interested in hip hop. I picked up this album last week, this is the first song on it, and I like it. I think it's got the same production as old P.E., and it sounds like, totally overblown, like the sound is holding itself together, and it would evaporate if it stopped moving. That makes for some clean dishes.

9 - Big & Rich - "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" - I remember at my old job driving a van back and forth between the Bronx and Manhattan full of drunk college kids, one night around midnight some girl puked all over the inside of my van while we were sitting in traffic on the Cross Bronx. We're on our way to the city, and the van is full of her friends, but the girl is all drunk and embarrased, crying unconsolably, the whole van smelling like whiskey and puke. I'm trying to tell the girl it's no big deal but she won't hear it - we were well on our way to an awkward ride. I didn't want that so I start busting out all the party tunes, and when I put this on everybody on the van was like, singing and dancing in their seats and having fun. That might be my favorite memory of that job. This is an infectious ass song though even if you don't have any good memories of it, it's even more groove laden than that Little Big Town song and a million times more tongue in cheek.

10 - The Streets - "Fit but You Know it" - The new album is good, but there's no track that matches this one for its rambling wackiness. "Hotel Expressionism" tries but that song's just irritating. This one fits perfectly after "Save a Horse," with it's repetative little staccato British invasion beat and storyline about a drunk dude in Ibiza trying to cheat on his girlfriend.

11 - Jay-Z - "Lucifer" - This is my favorite song on the Black Album. It's got some reggae sample that shows up occasionally on K-Jah West in San Andreas. I dunno how to explain it, but Jay kind of curls his verses around this Kanye West beat, like he's almost singing.

12 - the Clipse - "Grindin'" - This isn't old enough to really be a classic but not new enough to be on the radio or anything. The drums and finger snaps and little echoey noises sound epic on a crappy old stereo. Come and go, bring your silverware to the front, go take a piss, you'll still hear this out of the corner of your ear even if the people out front listening to unobtrusive folk music don't quite notice it.

13 - Sam Cooke - "Lost and Looking" - This is almost the total opposite of "Grinding." Totally melodic and thick - this man was a virtuoso just with his voice. All he's working with here is a simple bassline, and he just murders it. This song will make your head snap back if you don't know it, you'll stop whatever you're doing for 2 minutes and 14 seconds and zone out, which might be just what you need while you're waiting for some frenzied waiters to bus their tables.

14 - Ghostface Killah - "Child's Play" - Last song on the mix, this is a great one to ride out to. Ghost loves soul music and it fits after a Sam Cooke song, he keeps switching up his flow on a few different beats that get strung together, kind of like that Juvenile song but not as frenzied. For about the last minute Ghost doesn't even rap, he just kind of rambles on and on over top of this buttery guitar riff.

I hope somebody who reads this strings this shit together and listens to it - if someone actually does that who washes dishes it'd be a dream come true. Usually my mixes have to have some kind of narrative flow, but this one is just supposed to sound good. I would've linked these songs but I could only put up the iTunes files cause I don't have MP3s, and it just seems like a waste of time.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I went to Taxlo at Sonar last night, and I thought my brain was gonna explode. The DJs couldn't stay on a beat, and I was glad! The shit they were playing was so bad, it sounded better all messed up.

I saw X-Men 3 again with my sister yesterday. Really is a good movie. Plus I saw the preview for Ghost Rider! Oh, man! He was always the coolest superhero so I don't think this could be anything short of awesome.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Tonight at the Talking Head don't miss Pontiak!

Who wants to play poker? It's not easy getting a game going cause not enough people want to play.

People never apologize for stepping on my feet, so I think I'm gonna start screaming and then holding the foot they stepped on in my hands and jumping up and down on the other foot until they say sorry.

I watched Godzilla: Final Wars last night. I was always a huge fan of Godzilla movies as a kid, and I watched lots of old ones from the 60s and 70s after my parents taped them off the TV. I don't remember all of them, but my favorites were Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, Destroy All Monsters, and Monster Zero. These were all dudes walking around in Godzilla suits wrecking toy cities and fighting but I really liked them. Recently I saw part of a recent Gamera movie on TV that had a whole bunch of CGI in it, and it made me wonder what Godzilla movies were like now. I had seen Godzilla 98, which was the American made one where they threw out 40 years worth of Godzilla tradition so they could rip off Jurassic Park, and I saw Godzilla 2000, which was the one where the Japanese took it back. I really wanted to see just a regular run of the mill one though, where there's a whole bunch of monsters and a convoluted plot. All the ones with years on them weren't the same, including Godzilla 1985, they all kind of forgot about the episodic Godzilla movies and instead acted like they were just a sequel to the original one. So I typed Godzilla into the Blockbuster website and picked out Godzilla Final Wars.

There's a whole bunch of weird shit going on now, and there's a whole bunch of stuff that rips off the Matrix. X-Men too, cause there's a race of dudes called mutants who have special powers which seem to be limited to being able to do flips and stuff during fights. There were a bunch of monsters I recognized and some of them are way different now. Angilus is this big turtle thing that would always get his ass kicked because he was Godzilla's best friend, but he's actually a lot tougher now that they use CGI, he does this thing where he curls himself into a ball and rolls around wrecking stuff. Gigan was in it and at one point he had chainsaws for arms. Godzilla even breathes fire into space one time. Some of the noises they make are different and they only did the badass Godzilla score during the beginning.

It was pretty good as Godzilla movies go, except they focused too much on the plot with humans running around doing stuff and that always gets boring. It's just fun to see this stuff still going on and how they make the stories more and more insane and draw on a bunch of newer conventions to keep the movies fresh.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I watched Miami win the championship last night at the Red House, which is some bar in Canton where they have an open mike night on tuesdays. I didn't know about the open mike so I was kinda bummed, it was tough to focus on the game with people screaming all shrill in my ear, but some of it was pretty okay. My roomate got up and samg a song about Jason Vorhees from the Friday the 13th movies, and that was pretty funny. This guy is in a band called Entertainment System and they just put on a show here in Baltimore that was all video game music and video game art on sale. There were a few other bands there and they were called Powerglove, pieNess, and I forget the rest. They had some TVs hooked up to video games systems so instead of watching the bands I was playing the Ninja Turtles Arcade game. They also had a little show where some big gnarly dude with a massive chin-beard and a Warriors patch on his jacket beat Super Mario 2 in something like 12 minutes. He was all dissapointed though, apparently he's done it in 8 before. Anyway it was a fun show, real different.

My review of the new Streets album is in the City Paper. Did you know that in England they say "bloke" instead of "guy?"

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Last night I got pissed of and called some guy a douch bag on a comment on my brother's blog. If you're reading this B-Side, I'm sorry about that.

Sometimes I get bored with this blog shit, wondering if anyone reads this and not really feeling like reading any blogs by people I don't know. I go a long time without posting shit just cause I don't really have anything I really feel like writing about, and then I post some inane shit just for the sake of putting something up, but other times I really like writing. I got a lot of love for music and I like the idea of being able to put people on to shit they might not know about and putting in my two cents in on debates that interest me. My brother does this stuff for a living but for me it's more like a hobby I get paid for very occasionally.

The thing is, there's a whole lot of hating out there and I don't really get why, cause if I'm discussing music with people at my job or something and they like something I don't like I'm not going to say they're stupid or they're racist or that they're wrong or anything like that. So why do people do that on the web? It's nuts. This B-Sides dude keeps posting things on my bro's blog, dismissing his opinion calling him a white boy, and putting all kinds of words in his mouth and oversimplifying the shit he says all the time. And I just looked at it and didn't post shit cause, you know, I think it's dumb when people talk shit on a computer keyboard. Finally I got pissed last night after the guy wrote a comment about how he really likes hip hop and he hates people who just write about it so they can be "cool." So I called him a douche bag. Thing is though, up until a minute ago I thought this was a black guy who was talking shit all over the place and saying basically white dudes aren't entitled to an opionion. Turns out he's a white guy, and now I'm not mad I'm just totally bewildered. I mean, why would you discredit a guy's opinion by calling him a white boy when you're a white boy too? This whole world of online music writing is on some total Twilight Zone shit. I mean, obviously I'm just as bad as anybody when it comes to this cause I'm acting like an internet thug too, but all this is just light years away from the actual music, let alone any serious discussion of racism.

Last night I saw Peelander Z at the Ottobar. I had kinda dissed them earlier and I still think it's kinda dumb, but they do put on a pretty fun show. Listening to a CD by them would be some soul-wrenching shit though. My roomate's band Entertainment System opened up for them and they were pretty tight. They play music from old video games like Mega Man 2, and I honestly didn't know what to expect but they had their shit together. Played with a lot of conviction. They're doing a big show next week called 8-Bit Genocide next week so you should check it out if that's your thing. There was another good band there that was good called j Roddy Walston and the Business. The lead singer played the Piano a bit, all headbanging and pounding on it like Jerry Lee Lewis. The only band that I didn't like at the Ottobar on Friday was Baby Asprin. When they said something like "This song is about the thin pink line between mortality" me and my friends went upstairs and talked about some 3-D IMAX movie about bugs. Apparently it's pretty good.

Tonight I saw a couple bands play at the Golden West Cafe in Hampden, where I wash dishes on the weekends. Monarch is pretty good, totally relaxing. It got described to me as noise music so I was ready to not like it at all, but for was noise it was really toned-down and accesible. After that it was my buddies in Pontiak, and they crushed it.

I bought Gnarls Barkley. I think it's pretty good, but I think they should've covered Ballroom Blitz. And maybe the Monster Mash too.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

These dudes M.O.L. are gonna be on Deep Flow TV this sunday at 10PM, so if you pick up Comcast channel 75 you should check it out. They're a group and I know a few of them have been in Style Warz and won. The album Money on da Low is good and solid. There are no huge bangers on it but it's real consistent. I haven't heard much stuff from Darkroom but I like their beats! Some of them roll a bit like rock songs or something. They got a couple songs on here from the Hamsterdam mixtape and one that's supposed to be on the Wire next season.

I actually don't know too much local stuff, but it's interesting that these guys and Mully aren't trying to ape the shit on the radio, what they do is a lot more gritty and is more focused on being true to life than on carving out characters and shit.