Like: All of Manny’s appearances in Progressive Boink’s The Dugout. Jon Bois and Brandon Stroud and Bill Hanstock and all of them are geniuses and wonderful people, and Manny was manna.
Dislike: He got charged with domestic battery. That charge got dropped, but still.
Love: "When Doves Cry" is my favorite Prince song, because a) I am awfully boring and b) because of the guitar. Prince is one of the best guitar players ever, and he uses riffs so, so well. That first 30 seconds or so does exactly what an intro that takes 30 seconds should do.
Like: "Little Red Corvette." My dad had "Corvette" and "1999" on a mixed cassette that he would play around the house when I was a kid, and I will always really like it because of that and because it’s a great song. I don’t have a lot of memories of music with anyone in my family (my brother, mostly, but we shared a room and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below), and I probably have the fewest with my dad (for some reason, "The Sultans of Swing" is one of them?), but “Corvette” stays up there in the ol’ noggin because of this.
Dislike: There is a Prince song that has an incredibly boring video that I saw all the time on VH1 in the mid-2000s, and there are so many middling Prince songs from the mid-2000s that I don’t even wanna go figure out which one it was. This is a copout, but, uh, I really, really like Prince, so.
Tonight, I realized that there are cheap foodstuffs that I don’t like enough to not even want them for free. Looking at you, frozen burritos.
"Fucking Or What," Plies (prod. by Rico Love) (Purple Heart, Atlantic, 2013)
Best song I heard on the radio this weekend, and I both heard “Type of Way” and “Turn On the Lights” on the radio this weekend and heard this while in the middle of a mid-afternoon traffic jam in Florida in July. This shit jams, and Algernod is nice and careful with the consent: “If you ain’t, then you ain’t, that’s cool / If you is, then let’s make it happen.”
Also, the radio edit basically leaves just “or what” in there, but I figured out it was “Is you fuckin’ or what?” by the second hook. Get 2 Chainz and Problem on a remix, stretch the verses to 16s, rename it “What We Doin’” and this is a huge hit. I promise.
And I will give you one movie I love with them in it, one movie I like with them in it, and one movie that I dislike with them in it. (Kallen did this on Facebook and I got Freddie Prinze Jr. which was v. difficult.)
Try it or reblog.
Do this with actors or musicians (I’ll give you love/like/dislike for a song/album) or athletes (I’ll give you one reason I love, like, and dislike) for me, if you want. Or don’t, if you don’t want. Your time, your world!
DEMI LOVATO - MADE IN THE USA
It’s AMERICA DAY MOTHERFUCKERS…
Patrick St. Michel: I had a few extra tabs opened when I read the title to Demi Lovato’s newest single. “Oh boy,” I thought as Wikipedia loaded, “gonna need to read this one deeply.” I expected patriotic pandering, so I planned to counter her Disney-sanctioned fireworks with Supreme Court cases and, like, the synopsis of Nickel And Dimed. Turns out “Made In The USA” is just super-lazy pop, a “Party” without any of the hop and a chorus that seems rushed. The only eye-rolling politics comes from the central line “I know that we’ll never break” because… well, you can figure that out. Unless you count the “bite the bullet” bit, which, geez, probably should have edited that out. Just so boring.
Alfred Soto: “Made in a High Fructose Corn Syrup Bottling Company.”
Iain Mew: Listening to this, all I can think of is “No Air”. When not listening to it and trying to recall it, all I can think of for now is “Yeah-eh-eh eh-eh-eh-eh, it’s a… made in the USA”. This is not a memorable song. Demi doesn’t even get to use her voice on full blast until near the end, which is a worst-of-both-worlds situation.
Scott Mildenhall: The best thing about this is the unfortunate, unwitting juxtaposition of wanting “the world” to know about your love while trumpeting its inherent strength, it being American. It’s disappointing that she hasn’t gone to town with the US angle though; the metaphor initiated with a Chevy reference not extended any further than a “west coast” here and an “east coast” there. Given that, why even bring America into it at all, never mind as the title line? 99% of the lyrics are about as specific to America as Denise Welch. Its predecessor had at the very least quite a lot going on production-wise, but “Made in the USA” lacks even that; completely nondescript.
Katherine St Asaph: Jonas Jeberg, the lone credited producer, is Danish. That’s like that scene in Joan Bauer’s Rules of the Road where the Honest Abe Pancake House fills their authentic maple syrup tins with Mrs. Butterworth’s. “Chevy Runs Deep,” the slogan, was retired this year because GM is refocusing their branding from their U.S. bailout to global markets like Russia and India. That’s just hilarious. (And given Lovato’s album timing, wanna bet this was written for a July 4, 2012 release, when the product placement would work?) I’m being cynical as hell because this is also cynical as hell, a “Party in the USA” retread with more oversung vocals, more country harmonies with ever-so-iffy implications (note her stance on Unbroken’s urban tracks and to which genre she’s patriotically retreated), and the most shameless invocation of musical jingoism since Kristy Lee Cook put the AMERICA! into Idol by picking “God Bless the USA" and praising the flag when her votes flagged. But then again, profiting off jingoism is the American way.
Jonathan Bradley: Demi Lovato doesn’t do subtext, which is why she can be so great. She approaches her metaphors as if they were critically, pressingly literal. If she ever did that, she’d have a heart attack. She will be rising from the ground like a skyscraper. You never really can fix a heart. These aren’t hyperbole; from Lovato’s mouth, they’re very imminent crises. “Made in the USA” is almost, almost, so-close-to not completely ridiculous as a result, because when Lovato says her love is made in the USA then, by gum, she means that it was designed by the most innovative, creative, best-educated minds money can buy and constructed with care in a factory in Cleveland or Detroit by the most committed and hardworking laborers in the whole goddamn world. It rolled off a conveyor belt and was sent to a department store to bring the luxury of Demi Lovato’s love to consumers in all 50 states. It’s a product to be proud of and no one would dare think something built on such strong foundations of liberty and free enterprise could falter. But… then you look at the state of American manufacturing and, well, god, Demi: you’d be better off with an import.
Mallory O’Donnell: …but assembled from parts available just about any-damn-where. Demi’s actually reigned in some of the excess yelling of her last effort but only enough to allow us to see that she clearly has no particular musical personality whatsoever and is compensating by making sure every line is delivered with some sassy vocal tic. Anonymous, plodding, faintly irritating and about as patriotic as an “American Made” sticker hastily slapped onto a Chinese action figure. All told about a thousand times better than “Heart Attack.”
Anthony Easton: Remember the early aughts, when we wrote endlessly about the radical potential of pleasure in teenpop — the last work reclaimed by middle aged critics who didn’t want to be labeled as rockists? Some of the writing was amazing, and some of the writing was silly, and the project of taking these artists seriously had lots of productive side arms (noting the producer, the emergence of new feminism) but it also featured the discovery of obscure edges in categories that were not supposed to be obscure at all. This led to things like O-Town’s Ashley Angel being used as a semi-ironic figure on Clone High, and me writing a long, rave review of 98 Degrees. Listening to Demi’s smart, capable, but really not that interesting pop — and being told that it’s better than it is — reminds me of those difficult times.
Brad Shoup: Starts with product placement, ends reading a clothing tag in rapture and can’t make up ground in between. But hey, now you can update your YouTube exposé of “Halo”-alikes. The backwards acoustic strum is a nice touch; it’s obviously not groundbreaking, but it implies the track took more than 15 minutes to lay down.
Will Adams: Given how nonsensical the patriotic slant is, it’s almost understandable that “Made In the U.S.A.” begins with a Chevy plug. Divorced from its timely release, I can’t wrap my head around the importance of being American here, and it’s not helped by Demi’s caterwauling.
Jonathan Bogart: It’s unfortunate that she’s matured into a single-purpose voice; even a purportedly celebratory song like this one still has her drawing on her standard wailing-heartbreak vocal technique, so that there’s a massive disconnect between the summery sheen of acoustic guitar and her florid belting. The garbled meaning (to be generous) of the lyric doesn’t help; does love not matter or last if it happens to take hold in any other polity?
Virtually everything about how Demi Lovato sings annoys me (sorry), but the first two lines here, and the attempt to curve them into rhyme? My face involuntarily did something that probably looked like an eyeroll trying to have an eyeroll.
"Started From the Border," Lil MoCo ft. Chingo Bling (Internet, 2013)
I got this from Julianne, originally, but it remains very funny. I’m only posting it again now because the t-shirt you see MoCo wearing in the thumbnail is for sale, and was worn by Florida Marlins pitcher Alex Sanabia in an episode of the Marlins’ kids show, Billy’s Bunch, that I saw over the weekend, and because I needed to document that fact somewhere.
This is a Spanish translation to a new telenovela, Baktún, in which all the characters speak only Maya.
With Latinos across the country arguing over the new Lifetime telenovela, Devious Maids, it seems we’ve overlooked the premiere of another ground-breaking telenovela last month.
Baktún, the world’s first Maya language telenovela, is a great achievement for indigenous communities, according to filmmaker Bruno Cárcamo.
Finally, Mayans have the right to be entertained by the same kind of poorly-written, overacted, predictable melodramas the rest of us
were forced to watch with abuelahave absolutely adored for years.
Wildfire // JENI // SBTRKT ft. Drake & Little Dragon (by msxjenixe)
this girl should take over grimes cuz what she just did in 5 minutes takes me at least an entire day lol, damn
This is awesome. Pulls a shit-ton of pretty out of both the track and Drake’s verse and does both the gender flip and the “nigga” replacement right and respectfully.
There was a moment in hip-hop, in the 80’s, where posse cuts emphasizing stopping violence or raising awareness were all the rage. Rap was under fire for its bleak and violent message, so these were the sensible responses. The two that have stood the test of time, albeit still somewhat obscure, are Stop The Violence and We’re All In The Same Gang. The video above is something called “H.E.A.L. Yourself,” and is the one 80’s posse cut for hope that has become easy to forget.
Maybe it’s because every verse of the educational song is about drug awareness, black pride, school funding & womens’ rights, EXCEPT for LL Cool J’s part, because that’s just a blow-by-blow account of how a woman masturbates. It’s like he never asked what the song was, read a Penthouse Forum letter then walked out the booth. FOR NO REASON IN THE SONG AT ALL! Are you telling me NO ONE said, “Hey LL, quick thing. This song is about helping people and positivity, and then you just rap sexually about fingering yourself for a minute. Any way we can get another take?”
Point being, we should remember this song, cause that’s just remarkable.
CRACK AND MASTURBATION ARE THE SAME THING
I mean, heal yourself. Also, Kid Capri is horrible at whatever he is trying to do here.
"Versace," Migos feat. Drake (prod. by Zaytoven) (Young Rich Niggas, Internet, 2013)
Versace, Versace, Medusa head on me like I’m ‘luminati
This is a gated community, please get the fuck off the property
Rap must be changin’, ‘cause I’m at the top and then no one on top of me
Niggas be wantin’ a verse for a verse, but, man, that’s not a swap to me
Drownin’ in compliments, pool in the back, how that look like Metropolis?
I think I’m sellin’ a million first week, man, I guess I’m a optimist
Born in Toronto, but sometimes I feel like Atlanta adopted us
"What the fuck is you talkin’ ‘bout?" Saw this shit comin’ like I had binoculars
Boy! Versace, Versace, we stay at the mansion when we in Miami
The pillows Versace, the sheets are Versace, I just won a Grammy
I been so quiet, I got the world like “What the fuck is he plannin’?”
Just make sure that you got a backup plan, ‘cause that shit might come in handy
Started a label, the album is comin’, September, just wait on it
This year, I’m eatin’ your food, and my table got so many plates on it
Hunnid-inch TV at my house, I sit back like “Damn, I look great on it!”
I do not fuck wit’ yo’ new shit, my nigga, don’t ask for my take on it
Speakin’ that lingo, man, this for my nigga that trap out the bando
This for my niggas that call up Fernando to move a piano
Fuck all your feelin’, ‘cause business is business, it’s strictly financial
I’m always the first one to get it, man, that’s how you lead by example
Versace, Versace, Versace, Versace, Versace, Versace
Word in New York is the Dyckman and Heights girls are callin’ me Papi
I’m all on the low, take a famous girl out where there’s no paparazzi
I’m tryna give Halle Berry a baby, and no one can stop me!
24 bars. 292 words.
Lil Mama - Fireball/Heat
Lil Mama making herself a punchline on the VMAs has sadly obscured the fact that she’s a damn good rapper.