Archive for December, 2008

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On Holiday, As The Brits Would Say

December 30, 2008

Just a heads up to everyone, as I haven’t posted in a few days. I’m currently overseas at the moment, in merry old England! It’s my first time here, and I’m looking forward to taking in the sites, maybe even putting you guys on to some new music from here, while I’m at it! The first two days were a bit of a pain though, as British Airways lost my luggage, and it’s taken this long for them to get it to me! Bloody wankers!

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The Best Albums of 2008 (According To Me, Anyway!)

December 24, 2008

Time for the obligatory “Best of” list! Here’s mine (in no particular order)!
 

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J’Davey – The Beauty In Distortion/Land of the Last: Jack Davey and Brooke D’Leau are on some “Prince and the Revolution” shit here, and I ain’t mad at ‘em! 
 

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Portishead – Third: The simultaneous feelings of excitement and apprehension brought me to my knees when I heard Portishead was finally putting out a new album. While it doesn’t quite compare to the brilliance of Dummy, it’s still a remarkable effort for a band putting out their first album in eleven years. Beth Gibbons’ vocals are still as hauntingly beautiful as ever, complimenting elements of psychedelic rock, trip-hop and techno.
 

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Supreme Beings Of Leisure – 11i: I’ll keep saying this until someone listens. . . .Get Geri Soriano-Lightwood to sing a Bond theme already! The third album from the L.A. duo is thankfully more reminiscent of their debut, back when they were still a quartet. Still, it’s nice to hear them try new things, taking their chill, electronica/lounge sound to a new level.

 

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Fat Jon – Repaint Tomorrow: One of the best things I brought back from Japan (aside from a bottle of sake!), Repaint Tomorrow is just a fantastic musical journey; a mixture of instrumental hip-hop, jazz and funk, that stirs the emotions with every track.
 

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A Big Yes And A Small No – Jesus That Looks Terrible On You: Delightfully silly from start to finish. There’s this innocence and bygone-era charm to the music and vocals, tinged with mean-spirited wit and sarcasm. The “poetry lounge in the 50s” vibe is surprisingly effective.
 

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Black Milk – Tronic: Arguably, the best hip-hop album of the year (at least the best hip-hop album I’ve heard, anyway). Black’s ability to change his style of production from old-school soul samples to moody synth-pop inspired beats is nothing short of brilliant. Lyrically, he’s made huge steps, improving vastly from anything he had done on Popular Demand.
 

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Zo! and Tigallo – Love The 80s: As Zo! And Tigallo, producer Lorenzo Ferguson and rapper/singer Phonte tackle some of our favorite 80s hits, and put their own unique twist on them. 
 

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Invincible – Shapeshifters: I’m reminded of two things when I listen to this album; I never did pick up the Jean Grae/9th Wonder album, Jeanius, and the fact there just aren’t enough females in rap. There certainly aren’t enough capable of the level of lyricism showcased by Detroit emcee, Invincible. Her skills are razor-sharp, and her subject matter is mature and thought-provoking, speaking on politics, the ills of society, and what ultimately needs to change for people to move forward.
 

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Maroon 5 – Call and Response; The Remix Album: The band collaborates with producers and artists from hip-hop, indie rock and techno, to create some pretty impressive remixes of songs from their two albums. What I found most interesting was the way the new music actually made me appreciate the original songs, and Maroon 5 as a band in general. Their music has always lent itself to the kind of versatility that’s being presented on Call and Response.
 

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Janelle Monae – Metropolis; The Chase Suite: There’s really no way to categorize the music here, other than to say it’s damn good! 

 

Honorable Mentions: Raheem Devaughn – Love Behind The Melody, Kidz In The Hall – The In Crowd, Q-Tip: The Renaissance, Kardinal Offishall – Not 4 Sale

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Some Folks Just Need To Quit Their Bitchin’!

December 23, 2008

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Not that Christina Milian was ever some super-talented uber-diva, but she’s clearly frustrated that she’s never reached the heights of popularity comparable to, say, Beyonce or Rihanna. She pretty much blames Def Jam for dropping her from the label to focus their efforts on Rihanna in the current issue of Rap-Up magazine. But here’s my question: What about before Rihanna was a factor? Looking at Milian’s career, she’s always been something of an “on the fringe” pop star. She’s always had that one single per album that a lot of people connected with, but it was never that much so as to drum up interest for the rest of the album. She’s had as many chances to blow as any other pop singer. She’s had more than enough time to grow and learn what works for her as an artist and what doesn’t. She also needs to realize that a record label is still a business. And business decisions have to be made. They can only put so much money into an artist without getting a serious return on their investment. Her last album, So Amazing, only sold 163,000 copies for cryin’ out loud! Between that and the fact that it was a 60% decline from the sales of the preceding album, It’s About Time, it’s no wonder Def Jam dropped her. Maybe she needs to focus on the overseas markets or something, ’cause she’s clearly not connecting with enough people here in the states.

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Beyonce Is “Obsessed” With Acting!

December 22, 2008

In all honesty, I don’t really have an issue with Beyonce acting, but this just looks funny as hell! Lord knows we’re already used to Ali Larter playing someone who’s nuttier than gay porn, on Heroes. Toss Sasha Fierce into the mix, and you’ve got the feel-good comedy of the year! 

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Should We Accept Soulja Boy’s Apology?

December 22, 2008

Soulja Boy has always been like two sides of a coin for me. On one side, he represents the independent, do-it-yourself aspect of hip-hop, taking the initiative to put himself out there without any major label backing or initial  support mainstream music media. On the other side, his skills as a rapper are amatuerish and his subject matter is profoundly juvenile. Beyond that, his behavior and comments in the press have also raised eyebrows and sparked controversy. Even in jest, thanking slavemasters for bringing blacks from Africa so they could get bling is just flat-out disrespectful and speaks to Soulja Boy’s stupifying and frightening ignorance.

But has someone finally pulled him aside and smacked the necessary sense into his head for him to realize his “21st Century coonery” will do more harm than good? Is he finally starting to realize the error of his ways? Can we believe the apology in the video below? How many of us should even give a rat’s ass?

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Lola – The Boss B*tch

December 19, 2008

Must every damn video chick aspire to become a music star?!? I just don’t know where some of these ladies’ minds are at! Case in point, Angel Lola Luv (or just “Lola” now, I don’t know!). She’s been in a number of rap and r&b videos, and is known primarily for having a particularly plentiful bottom (some even question its authenticity). Now she’s promoting herself as a rapper, and I just don’t know how I feel about it (translation = AHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!). 


(video courtesy of www.nowwuttv.com)

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Future Ex-Wives For 2008

December 18, 2008

A lot of lovely ladies caught my eye this year (not to imply that lovely ladies didn’t catch my eye in previous years, or anything), and in the spirit of objectification,  I’ve composed a list! And I’m not gonna rank these ladies from ten to one or anything like that, ’cause what always happens is, the internet explodes with people complaining about who’s in the number one spot. I wanna avoid that. Furthermore, I’d like to think my list is a little more eclectic. I like women who look good in fancy undies as much as the next guy, but I like variety when it comes to the women who tickle my love spots. But damn, enough talking already!

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Olga Kurylenko – I figured I’d get an easy one out of the way, ’cause I know plenty of guys would want to be all up in her like Masengil if they had half a chance. I just love her smile. There’s a lot of warmth and charm there. But she can be a vampy vixen as well, and shoot a gaze at you colder than winter in Moscow. She was easily the best thing about the movie Hitman(yeah, it’s ’cause she got nekkid, sue me!), and was a surprisingly well-develeped character in the latest Bond film, Quantum of Solace.

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Janelle Monae –
What’s not to love about this woman? Great singer, great performer, just a total avant-guard character if ever you saw one. I’m still cautiously optimistic about her future in the mainstream, being signed to Bad Boy. They don’t really have the best of track records when it comes to sustaining an artist’s career. But I’ll support her one way or another, ’cause I love a woman who can go against the grain like she does.

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Christina Hendricks –
I’m baffled as to why I don’t make more of an effort to watch Mad Men! I swear, this woman was frozen in a lab somwhere for the last fifty years or something, ’cause we’ve been led to believe that they didn’t make women like this anymore! Man, I’d swerve off a mountain road trying to drive around those curves!

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Miss Jack Davey –
To all my beautiful black ladies, if you can rock a mohawk, ROCK A MOHAWK!!!! I swear, between her whole look and her music, I’m hooked like a crack addict! Shit, I need a video for this one:

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Rutina Wesley –
I suppose I’m basing most of this on her role from True Blood, but dammit if Tara isn’t a pistol! Strong-willed, protective, and refuses to take crap from anyone. But even with all that, she has some vulnerability. She can’t always put up a front. And with her body, she needs to be in an action movie, or something. I like a little bit of muscle on a lady  every now and then! I don’t want her to be able to bench press me or nothing, but if ever I get out of line, she’ll smack me around if necessary.

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Yukimi Nagano –
You all know how I feel about this woman! She’s just too sassy for her own good!

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Rihanna –
It’s the hair. Seriously. With all the other black female pop/r&b singers out there with long flowing weaves, the best thing Rihanna could do was rock that anime pixie cut of hers. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s enough to say to the masses, “I ain’t like the rest of these heffers, so y’all better pay attention to me!” She also realized being a crossover dancehall artist wasn’t gonna work for her. Where that’s concerned, you have to go hard or go home. So adopting the “J.Lo Philosophy” definitely worked to her advantage. She’s whatever pop music needs her to be, whether it be straightforward pop, r&b, dance/electronica, etc.

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Tina Turner –
Performed with Beyonce, won a Diva-beef with Aretha Franklin, and is still touring her butt off . . . .all at 69 years of age!! MAAAAAAN!!! The fam actually saw her in concert last month, and apparently she was doin’ some daredevil shit any other woman her age would have no business doing. But Tina Turner ain’t any other woman. These young heffers in the game ain’t got nothin’ on her. (Not that I don’t love my young heffers! Y’all know who you are!)