Jul 15, 2013
16 notes




Today in Screencaps That Double As Mime…

Scott Mildenhall: Watching Dizzee Rascal at Glastonbury and the disparity between the crowd’s reactions to his old stuff and his latest single, it became clearer than ever just how long it’s been since his imperial phase. Specifically, it’s been three years since Tinie Tempah took the baton as Britain’s biggest rapper, his apparently instant rise coinciding with Dizzee’s step back from the spotlight. Thing is, it’s been almost as long since Tinie took a break too; he featured on three massive hits in the last two years, but none of his own. Seemingly, he wants everyone to believe the two years he was away were spent conquering the world: no more Scunthorpe, no more Southampton, just an arbitrary list of international cities. But then he’s deigned to feature another rapper on “Trampoline,” and an American one at that. What was best about Tinie first time round was his silliness and his shibboleths; there was something charming about the ropiness of pointedly parochial lines like “she likes to talk a lot, that’s why I call her Trisha,” and the introduction of 2 Chainz seems likely at first to be an affront to that. But then, the song is called “Trampoline.” That could never happen. From “tangerine” to “Agyness Deyn” and everything in between, order is maintained. Meet the new Tinie: same as the old Tinie.

Crystal Xia: I smile every time I hear Tinie Tempah’s stupid “yeah!” ad-lib. He is just so goofy and fun, even if he’s not the most technically adept rapper. Fitting that he teams up with 2 Chainz for this silly track about bouncing butts.

Katherine St Asaph: If you gave Diplo “Pass Out,” you’d get pretty much this a week later, guest and all. The beat is so stiff — maybe they mean one of those mini-trampolines?

Alfred Soto: Idiotic bubble crunk, and it does bounce bounce bounce, despite Chainz.

Brad Shoup: Are the NSJ kids ghostwriting? Those cadences are super familiar. So are the Fischerspoonery electro bits. A lazy theme can get put over by kinetics: that’s just foundational.

Josh Langhoff: Well I’ll be, tambourine and trampoline do rhyme! If music videos exist, surely they should offer us images we couldn’t see otherwise, and people getting high and jumping on trampolines in slow motion while listening to an absent 2 Chainz isn’t that big a deal. You know what’d be cool? A spherical room, revolving on three axes like a gyroscope, walls made entirely of trampolines, into which Tinie sets loose a bunch of tambourines. And tangerines, I don’t care. Now you’ve got yourself a music video.

Patrick St. Michel: I was ready to stop “Trampoline” completely when Tinie Tempah honest-to-goodness said “Anne Frankly,” which is a whole lot of stupid. Yet I let the song play just to hear what 2 Chainz had to say, and I was rewarded with “ring ring/mobile phone,” simplicity I reveled in after Tempah’s dumb verses. Shame 2 Chainz is barely in this.

Iain Mew: I am British. I enjoy the 2 Chainz verse and its succession of “might be” brags, but when Tinie Tempah says “I go Claridge’s to do high tea”, I know what he means in a different way. I’ve never been there, but the first time I heard it the image of frivolous and anachronistic luxury, and its incongruousness next to the club beats and “thank god it’s Friday” arrived fully formed without having to think about it (although I wonder if this would be the same for someone from Scunthorpe.) More generally, I find his cheeky wit and personality easy to relate to and am willing to forgive him the bits that don’t work, like “Anne Frankly,” in a way that’s definitely boosted by his Britishness. That would reverse if the quality wasn’t up to feeling proud about, though — which is not the case for “Trampoline,” with a chorus that packs almost the punch that “Pass Out” did. Plus, while Diplo’s popping and rattling dance production might be suitable for British pop sensibilities, it doesn’t feel completely confined by them. That’s what I’ll cling onto to hope my love for this is different from Hilltop Hoods.

[Read, comment and vote on The Singles Jukebox ]

The first of a couple of extra long blurbs from me this week. I love Scott’s, and the comedic contrast in views (and length) between us and almost everyone else.

Fucking. Diplo.

Jul 11, 2013
6 notes

The Quarterly Report - Movies


Honestly, I don’t even know why I’m doing this, since having kids has forced my movie-watching game to fall off so hard. Like for instance, I didn’t see a bunch of movies that I’m fairly certain I’ll like (Frances Ha, Mud, Trance) and one that I know I’ll love (Before Midnight) because the theater that’s been showing them is the one that’s a 10-minute drive from my house, not the one that’s directly across the street, and because I have zero energy after doing all the stuff I have to do every night. (On the other hand, there’s no way I would’ve seen my #1 without the whole having-kids thing, so maybe it evens out.) If I saw a movie and it didn’t show up in this top 10, it’s because that movie was pretty much garbage-ass garbage: The Purge, Pain & Gain, Man of Steel, Olympus Has Fallen, Warm Bodies. But I did see some good ones.

1. The Croods (Dir. Kirk De Micco & Chris Sanders). Did you guys see this one coming? I didn’t! Bad title, severely irritating TV commercials, character design that looks ugly as fuck out of context. Only saw it because my daughter was sick on a Sunday and it was playing in the dollar theater. But you guys, this movie! It’s so great! I’ll admit that some of my affection for it is entirely based on circumstances: When you see a movie with your daughter and the climactic scene involves a father and a daughter inventing the hug, you get something extra out of it. But even before the well-executed emotional-manipulation stuff comes in, this is a pretty great road movie about people who, very justifiably, fear the unknown and who are forced to face it down anyway. Also, the action scenes, involving cavemen climbing rock walls with impossible speed and grace, are better than anything I’ve seen in a live-action studio movie this year. The opening scene alone, which is seriously about trying to steal an egg from a giant bird, is more legitimately thrilling than anything other than the elevated-highway and runway chases from Furious 6. Also, apparently you can still get an understated performance from Nicolas Cage if you sit him in a recording booth and don’t point a camera at his face.

2. Iron Man 3 (Dir. Shane Black). There are people who seriously thought the incoherent second movie was better than this one? I’ve seen that a few places. Drives me nuts. Because we are going to spend all foreseeable summers in the future watching explosion-happy superhero movies, and we might as well have clever motherfuckers like Joss Whedon keeping these things light and fun, leaving intact some of the giddy joy of the comics that actually inspired these movies, rather than leaving them to dumbfucks like Zack Snyder who seem to think that grainy darkness automatically implies quality somehow. Shane Black is the all-time king of injecting snappy patter into movies where people die by fire, so it was a stroke of genius to add him to the Marvel industrial complex. And sure, some of the action scenes feel stapled-on and incoherent, though some of them, like the crashing-plane escape, were also legitimately intense. But things like the big plot twist here are the real reason why these movies can still be a good time when the right people are involved. And James Badge Dale’s gum-chewing in this movie deserves a special-recognition Oscar.

3. Furious 6 (Dir. Justin Lin). Fast Five was the best summer blockbuster of two summers ago, a state-of-the-art demonstration that big-money no-bullshit action movies could still kick ass the way they once did. When I went to ActionFest last year, stuntmen and action-movie producers were using it as an example of why they were still vital in the movie industry, of how the big studios could still do shit right from time to time. I love that movie. Almost anything would be a step down, and this one gets points for only being a slight step down. It’s great to see the Rock and the Toretto crew interacting as full-time uneasy allies, to see the funhouse-mirror bad-guy crew showing how the Toretto crew would look if they were evil, to see Gina Carano and Michelle Rodriguez fighting each other. The big leap between elevated highways was maybe the greatest, most ridiculous movie stunt I’ve seen since Tom Cruise ran down the Burj Khalifa, and I don’t even care how much computers helped with it; it felt real enough. Despite a few shaky camera angles, the closing brawl in the plane cargo hold was easily the best movie fight of the year, and the Rock/Diesel Doomsday Device had me jumping out of my chair almost as fast as the big, secret reveal during the end-credits sequence did. And shout out to Justin Lin for always making fun action movies that don’t make constant winky reference to their own fun action-movieness; the Expendables movies could take a lesson. (I recorded an entire podcast about this one with my Charlottesville dude James Ford, but we haven’t posted it yet.)

4. Side Effects (Dir. Steven Soderbergh). I don’t much care about the psychiatry industry’s overprescription problem nearly as much as I care about, say, Gina Carano hurting people, and I was less excited about this one than I was about any Soderbergh movie in recent industry. But where I was worried about a dry depression issue movie, this is just a great twisty thriller, one that gives us characters to care about and then yanks the rug out from under us over and over. The end, where one character finally figures out how to get over on another, is viscerally satisfying in that Michael Clayton way, and even Soderbergh’s clinical eye works really well when he’s dealing with actual, like, clinics. I’d still take Haywire and Magic Mike and a half-dozen other Soderbergh movies over this one, but it’s a real pleasure to see someone pull off a plot this tightly orchestrated.

5. Snitch (Dir. Ric Roman Waugh). What a year for the Rock. This one actually is a dry issue movie, and the obligatory shootouts feel unnecessary and shoehorned-in, but it’s still great because the Rock is all low-key wounded-eyes righteousness and manages to hold the whole thing together as a moral center despite being roughly five times larger than anyone else in the movie. Also, Barry Pepper’s Beau Beau goatee is just marvelous. And despite preachy intentions, the movie is this year’s Contraband: The tough early-in-the-year crime movie that comes out at the beginning of the year, gives a bunch of great parts to great character actors, and leaves you wondering why you didn’t hear more about it when you finally get around to checking it out.

6-10. Behind the Candelabra (Dir. Steven Soderbergh), Monsters University (Dir. Dan Scanlon), The Place Beyond the Pines (Dir. Derek Cianfrance), Bullet to the Head (Dir. Walter Hill), The Package (Dir. Jesse V. Johnson).

I have seen The Croods (partly because Tom tweeted about it), and Fast 6, and Side Effects,and Snitch, and I cosign all of their inclusions here. The Croods is a tremendously impressive movie on a purely technical rubric (best animation I’ve seen in a movie in quite a while), but it’s also well-plotted and warm; Fast Six is big and dumb and so blissfully happy to be just those two things; Side Effects is cold and smart; Snitch is probably the lowest-key thing The Rock will ever do, and works because of him more than anything else.

Jul 9, 2013
58 notes


Watch the trailer for M.I.A.’s unreleased documentary about her life.

…was that Assange?

(Source: trillwavefeminism, via basedandbiased)

Jul 9, 2013
1 note
nickminichino asked: Manny Ramirez

Love: Pretty much everything. This is the absolute best, though.

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.

Jul 9, 2013
2 notes
strictlyalright asked: Prince

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.

Jul 9, 2013
2 notes

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.

Jul 8, 2013
12 notes

"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.

Jul 8, 2013
13 notes

Put an actor or actress in my ASK BOX



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!

(Source: cureforbedbugs)

Jul 4, 2013
3 notes




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?

[Read, comment and vote on The Singles Jukebox ]

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.

Jul 1, 2013
30 notes

"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.

Jul 1, 2013
620 notes

World’s First Mayan Telenovela Premieres [Video]



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 abuela  have absolutely adored for years.

Read More

(Source: thisisfusion)

Jul 1, 2013
2,754 notes


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.

(via thinkspeakstress)

Jun 29, 2013
2 notes

Beast It, or Quvenzhané Forever.

Jun 23, 2013
34 notes



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.


I mean, heal yourself. Also, Kid Capri is horrible at whatever he is trying to do here.

Jun 22, 2013
9 notes


lya Smirin vs Viswanathan Anand, from the New York Intel Active (blitz) in 1994.

What’s initially remarkable about the video is the commentating and that Anand spends nearly 2 minutes of an allotted 6 minutes on his 4th move.

And yet Anand works his magic.

(Source: genericlatino)