Friday, March 31, 2006

What you know about a big DVD pile, son?

The following is a rundown of all the NetFlix/library/Video 21 DVDs I've watched in the last two to three weeks. Just thought I'd post something a bit lighter after the whole Jill Carroll thing. Enjoy:

  • Fahrenheit 9/11 -- When this movie first came out, I got caught in the hype just like every other sociopolitically aware person did. "This is the movie that's going to knock this asshole out of the White House," I told myself. "Finally we will see the another day when art will transcend society and culture as more than just propaganda," which of course Michael Moore's movie somewhat is, "and will actually change the world!" Of course, that didn't happen. "Foot, have you met Mouth? Mouth, this is Foot."

    Watching F9/11 more than a year after the '04 election, one thing becomes clearer. The movie isn't necessarily about a political point of view or getting a corrupt leader out of office, it's about one woman's, Lila Lipscomb's, story of grief. It's her story about her son. I defy anyone to watch this movie and not see a little bit of their mother in Mrs. Lipscomb. I defy them not to cry at the scene where she is so stricken with trauma and grief that she is literally hunched over behind the fence, on the outer lawn of the White House. "I'm glad I could be here," she says through snot and tears-- burning a hole through the President's house with a firey stare. "Because now I have a place to direct all my hurt... all my anger." It's emotionally gut-wrenching to watch. Unfortunately, this kind of genuine emotion gets buried behind hype and sensationalism. Michael Moore didn't use Lila Lipscomb to tug at the heart strings of his viewers. He didn't have to. The foreign press footage of dead bodies and burning effegies, the kind of thing all major American press won't show you, is enough to sober anyone to the kind of horror that is war. Moore shows you this and gives you docudramatic pathos, too. He does it in most of his work, just like his stylistic forefather Errol Morris or his mentor Kevin Rafferty (a member of the Bush family!)

    F9/11 is, at its base, a story of how a country going to war ravages its citizens and its nobility.

  • Lenny -- Not a bad movie! I'm more impressed by the visuals (by Bob Fosse the choreographer?!) than I am the writing, which I expected to be better. Dustin Hoffman plays Lenny Bruce well, though.

  • Cinderella Man -- This movie is corny and sappy as hell, but I love it. I mean I really love it. Ron Howard, with this, Willow (total '80s classic) and A Beautiful Mind (which I actually own already) is starting to put himself up there with Spielberg as one of the greatest living American directors. He's a filmmaker who can really play those humanistic, inspirational movies to their core.

  • Clockers -- To be honest, I didn't expect much from this movie. I expected this to be some of Spike's weaker work. "Another gangster movie," I thought to myself. Boy, was I wrong. I couldn't even get all the way through the damn movie, this thing is so intense. "Clockers" deals with dealing coke, and its something I imagine Jeezy watched a couple thousand times or so.

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 1 -- This show really is great. It's not some amazing bout of comic genius. In fact, I found myself getting kind of frustrated that Larry David was put into so many embarassing, compromising situations. It's almost like he has the worst luck on the entire planet. The humor that is there, though, is so subtle to the point of every little gag being microscopically funny. That doesn't mean the jokes aren't funny, but its just smaller and takes more time to see. Eventually, all the jokes cluster up into one final reveal, in a way. The one episode on this DVD set, however, that has belly laugh after belly laugh is its final one: "The Group." If you can see this episode somehow, you need to see it. If you watch the whole thing, it's funny beyond words.

  • A Huey P. Newton Story -- Short of maybe a couple of Amiri Baraka poems, this is the most fucking brilliant peice of African-American art I have ever consumed! Roger Guenveur Smith is not only a brilliant actor, capturing Huey Newton's personality to the T (not dissimilar to the quality that Phillip Seymour Hoffman had in capturing Truman Capote), but he wrote this motherfucker, too! Amazing. Amazing. West Wing-quality shit, here, folks. And, of course, this is a Spike Lee joint. I'm telling you, the man singlehandedly keeps the black film community from utter cinematic nihilism, folks!
  • Thursday, March 30, 2006

    Jill Carroll released; the dangers facing journalists in Iraq

    What a relief.

    It was a chore trying to get consistent updates on this story from any major news outlet, much thinking about her and keeping her in my silent prayers for so long. If she were killed, no reporter in Iraq would be safe. If she had died, there would be no semblance of safety for, really, much of anybody. Not that there is now...

    Ms. Carroll was not only a valuable hostage for these kidnappers because she was American, but also because she was white and because she was a woman. The U.S. government even released some Iraqi female prisioners at the kidnappers' demands, though they claim it was unrelated. On top of this, she happily conformed to conservative Islam customs. She covered herself, most importantly her head, at all times. One would suppose she was respectful and quiet and tried her best to fit into a Muslim society that doesn't have the most enlightened view towards women. Composited from what I've read about other reporters in Baghdad, she certainly didn't hound. She would keep a low profile in a series of low-rise, seedy hotels and apartments. She kept constantly moving for fear of fired, or misfired, RPGs or machine guns.

    She makes note, in her last work before she was kidnapped, that its the expensive, high-rise hotels (the Sheratons, the Raddisons) that are being hit by rockets-- sometimes even intentionally. Either the terrorists wish to topple these towering symbols of capitalism (capitalistic greed, they might say) or they simply want to kill whoever is in there. Maybe they intentionally wanted to kill reporters they knew were probably staying there. If they did, then why didn't they just slit Ms. Carroll's throat on camera when they had the chance?

    How do these insurgents, these terrorists, these torturers, these extreme extremists feel about reporters? How do they usually treat them? To date, an Italian journalist has been killed along with several Iraqi reporters. Are these just casualties of war, or did they intentionally (unintentionally?) piss their captors off? Is the enemy in Iraq just using them as barganing chips?

    Only Ms. Carroll can really tell us. One can only hope she can give us insight into the actions, possibly the psychology of terrorist kidnappers who are claiming more victims every day: their habits, patterns of movement and so on. She can make sure this never happens, or is much less likely to happen, again.

    From what she seems to say, she was not treated badly (for a kidnapping victim). They fed her, kept her in a furnished room, near a window (which is neglectful, seeing as the glass could've broken due to an explosion and cut her, but whatever)-- no violence or even threats of violence toward her person. I hope she goes back to work as soon as possible with the Christian Science Monitor, who tracked her status and begged for her release fruitlessly for a long time. Now it's paid off.

    The CSM Editors released this impassioned commentary thankful to have her back. With this blog entry, I speak with them in a deep, thankful solidarity. Personally, I hope that if I am ever in a situation like this one, covering a war zone as a reporter (I certainly haven't yet earned the title "journalist"), that I'm not kidnapped. If I am (God forbid), I hope I am as sought after as a renegade freelancer like Carroll was.

    In a place of geurillas, chaos, IEDs, suicide bombers and not knowing whether someone of dark skin is a bad guy or good guy, it's nice to know that people still give a shit about journalists-- that they aren't casualties of a ill-concieved, questionable war. Even though they sacrifice their own significance, and sometimes their lives, to give the public an objective story, their lives are valuable because they are soldiers in our own right: soldiers of information.

    I hope to one day include myself in these esteemed ranks. God bless you, Jill Carroll.

    Strange coincidence alert: Jill Carroll has a twin sister (Katie), same as another journalist who covered the Gulf War II, Washington Post senior writer Jackie Spinner, who has one as well (Jenny Spinner). Both Spinners contributed to a moving, heart-wrenching (but very well-written) book "Tell Them I Didn't Cry" about her nine months in Iraq. NPR's "Fresh Air" dedicated an entire program to it. Listen to it here. Even weirder, both Jackie Spinner and Jill Carroll became friends in Baghdad covering the war. They will no doubt be reunited soon. Thank God.

    Wednesday, March 29, 2006

    Triscuits to tide you over

    Flip it old school:

  • Holy crap. "3121" is Prince's first #1 album??? Seems almost inaccurate until you look it up. "3121" is his first #1 debut.

  • For readers of the Best Page in the Universe, Maddox has a book out now. If this asshole can get a book deal, I think we all can. I know I sure can.

  • Two of the best, yet least known, bands in avant-garde America have released records in the past couple of months: Anathallo's "Floating World" and Ahleuchatistas' "What You Will." Both of these bands, both of which are very young, are extremely brilliant for their experience level. You need to support these young bands and buy their records. Seriously. You can listen online at each of their websites.

  • Tom Waits recliams his voice!

  • Ghostface Killah's "Fishscale" is getting insane reviews. Deservedly so.

    Next up: A musical essay on Rilo Kiley's "Portions for Foxes." It's not supposed to make any sense...
  • Sunday, March 26, 2006

    The notepad diaries

    This is what happens when you read too much Joan Didion:

    A bike on a bus in a small town, in the South-- in northern Florida. Walking through the terminal-- everyone glances at one another as if they all know each other so well. It's because they do. Remaining anonymous is impossible. Scratch that-- difficult. Not impossible.

    That's what I'm doing.

    Walking a connect from a terminal to another-- the smell of grime in the air and in my eyes-- a retard is parted for like he's the town leper-- the walkway turns into the Red Sea of rejects and troglodytes. For God's sake he's a retard, not a leper. To my gated destination passes by a cripple, the deep-indented face of a black man who closely resembles Deebo, and four cosmopolitan white people: one man, three women-- the women have their toes lacquered. The man: his hair geled. Sunglasses, purses, meaningless conversation and body wash/mist/spray all assault my senses. I'm not sickened, like usual-- I just write it down.

    Right now its 50 degrees in Florida. This time last week it youwas 80. I will never understand God's plan for his bastard child Florida. During this time, I am reading a book and I am not. I am reading three, four concurrently and then I am reading only one intently. Three in the moring, still reading-- three fourteen, still-- three forty? You bet. Still reading. Its a wonder I get up in the morning.

    Still, sometimes I wake up early-- to the smell of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and NPR-- 68 more killed in Baghdad or something. Maybe just eight. I hope it's just eight. God, I hope it's just eight. My sleepy heart goes out to our men and women in uniform. I am always so deeply ashamed that I'm not well-informed enough by noon. I'm never good enough for myself. Pop pop bam-- pop pop bam-- pop pop bam-- violent sneezing. I'm punching the walls I'm so frustrated, so mad, so trapped.

    Here's why: President Bush gets all the breaks-- or maybe he gets none of them-- it all depends on whose blog or 24-hour newscast you're watching. Meanwhile, the Legislature's in session and nobody pays attention except for the small cabal. Our lawmakers-- wearing the black, slinkiest of clothes. A perfect crease and dimple of a tie-- clipped-on buttons as an empty show of support-- and no one is the wiser. Nowadays whether you're black or white you're ignorant-- all you know is you're against the war. Latest polls say over half of Americans think the war was a mistake, or that we need to leae, over 60 percent agree with Dave Chappelle: "Man, Bush is fucking up!"

    It's strange. Bush bashing went from being esoteric, to dangerous and unspeakable, to hip, to trendy, to passe-- now its mainstream.

    Now its at middle, heartland America-- in soccermoms and Starbuckses. Myspace and Livejournal aren't so smug now, are they?

    When will they ever learn?

    I learn long ago (read: two seconds ago) that this war is a white and Arab man's (his enemy of the day's) war, and the other three-quarters of the nation is just along for the ride. To know that is to stand out and feel invisible at the same time. Its like bicycling into a crosswalk in an aggressive, psychotic, numb car culture where cold sheet metal is flesh. Like being a whiteboy in a crowd full of black people-- and the lights go down.

    Like being a dirty filthy reporter. Like being a journalist.

    Like being on a bus in a small town, in the South-- in northern Florida. Walking through the terminal, full of white, but mostly black, people-- everyone glances at one anothr as if they all know each other so well. Its because they do. Remaining anonymous is impossible. Scratch that-- difficult. Not impossible.

    That's what I'm doing.

    When did I ever learn?

    Let me know what you think...

    Note to indie-rock critics: The U.K. Interpol is not Editors, that band was Joy Division

    ...But Editors (not THE Editors, as I learned the hard way) aren't bad.

    Listen to the entire CD, "The Back Room" (which All Music Guide seems to love) here at (shudder) AOL Music. They kind of remind me of a Joy Division/Chameleons/Echo and the Bunnymen/U2-type Britpop/post-punk band with fresher, tighter songwriting. They fit into the whole "well-produced, poppy post-punk" movement of the past five years or so, I'd say.

    Keep in mind that most bands from this talent pool are only promised one good album: their debut. Remember Interpol? Oh man, remember "Turn on the Bright Lights" back in the '02? Yeah, I know you do, because you probably still play it a couple times every other month. Then remember what happened with the inevitable, tragic sophomore slump record whose name shall not be mentioned? Yeah, that's what I thought. So enjoy Editors' music while it's fresh, ok?

    "The Back Room" got its official U.S. release last Tuesday on the FADER Label.

    Southeast dates for my southern peeps:

  • 4/6 - Athens, 40 Watt Club

  • 4/7 - Orlando, The Social

  • 4/8 - Miami, Studio A

  • 4/9 - St. Petersburg, State Theater

  • Not nearby? Broke? Too lazy? The guys from Editors are performing on Conan this coming Thursday night. Check it, bitches.

    Saturday, March 25, 2006


    The most bizarre, yet joyous, story in on MTV News right now. DJ Whoo Kid, an on-stage prop of sorts for mega-selling rappers like 50 Cent, Kanye and Eminem, has a story about him on MTV News.

    Check it out. So fucking weird.

    Wednesday, March 22, 2006

    Fuck rock festivals

    From, regarding SXSW:

    "See, here's the one thing about rock and roll festivals: most of these bands are abjectly terrible. Irrelevant. No reedeeming musical value. Adding insult to injury, you have to see all of these jokers prancing around during daylight hours - you'll be sitting there trying to enjoy some pancakes and whatnot, and in comes a swarm of bad haircuts, ill-fitting blazers, and general airs of douchebaggery. Its enough to make you swear off six-stringers entirely. Fortunately, we still have the Secret Machines."

    Fuckin' A.

    Relatedly (that's not a word), the Secret Machines' new album Ten Silver Drops is online/on iTunes right now, in stores April 25. Get that shit.

    Monday, March 20, 2006

    Sneeze, cough and ya don't stop

    Interesting weekend I've had.

    My Thursday night - Saturday night was filled with a random, inexplicable sickness. Coughing, dripping, congestion, all those gory details-- on Sunday I felt okay short of a nagging cough and, you guessed it, CABIN FEVER.

    So in the interest of getting the fuck out of my house (and in the interest of not turning this into a fucking personal emo blog), I went show hopping. It was the first time I did it in a long time. I was split between Part Chimp (who I would later poo-pooh for a more awesome Gregor Samsa on the same bill, a band that totally blindsided me with their awesomeness-- hadn't had that happen in a while).

    No more than 20 feet away was a metal show featuring the likes of Baroness and Torche. Total destruction, fire, crust, hardcore-ass shit, dude. I mean, both of them totally fucking destroyed. Baroness is from Savannah, Torche (ex-Dove, Floor) from Miami. Torche, especially, is (to borrow from Mr. Ron Burgundy) "kind of a big deal." They've toured with fucking Mogwai. Both of the bands I saw play are part of a growing Southern metal movement that's been effect since Cream Bizzle and Mastodon, ya heard? Let's also not forget the dearly departed Damad, now Kylesa.

    Good to be back. Look for more tomorrow.

    Thursday, March 16, 2006

    'The Onion' makes me cry

    Onion Radio News

    It's short, its genius, its amazing.

    They have arrived...

    I just got the new FADERs in last night, nigz. This the new hotness-- not even on newsstands yet. Hit me up if you need it in your life.

    You know you do.

    In other last night news:

    Saw this Eugene Jarecki joint. Its coming to Miracle 5 on Friday.

    In this movie you'll see: Dan Rather going all Syippie on that ass! Future President John McCain getting a rather eeriely-timed phone call! GORE VIDAL SPEAKING ON CAMERA!! Rummy's thick, luxurious '70s hair! Angry NYPD cops! And best of all: VIDEO OF EISENHOWER'S FORESHADOWING FAREWELL ADDRESS, SON!


    Seriously, get your bomb-the-system on. See this movie with a quickness.

    On a lighter note: American Idol's Katharine McPhee is fine as hell. If she wins, I ain't mad at her.

    Wednesday, March 15, 2006

    A Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame wishlist

    2006's inductions happened on Monday night. MTV News wrote the best rundown I've seen so far.

    More importantly, however, who do you think has been snubbed by the Rock Hall that should be in there? Sure, its a geriatric and sad institution, but its credible as all hell. According to the Hall of Fame's website, "Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artist’s contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll."

    My wishlist of performers (in order of preference):

    Fugazi (eligible in 2015)
    King Crimson
    Run DMC (eligible in 2009)
    Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
    Public Enemy (eligible in 2012 -- if the world hasn't ended by then)
    Judas Priest (at Ozzy's suggestion)
    The Stooges

    Anyone else you'd like to add? Leave it in the comments.

    'We can make it better'

    Wilco was last night.

    One of the best rock 'n' roll shows I've ever seen in my life. You might have missed out.

    If you did, too bad.

    After the show, a friend of mine briefly spoke of the third anniversary of the Iraq war and its accompanying nationwide protest on Saturday afternoon. He said, and I quote, "it won't change anything." I countered with a recent consensus of my personal, composite poll (i.e.: no one I've talked to in the past 4 months is for the war) and a recent CNN/Gallup Poll that says 55% of the country thinks the Iraq war was... wait for it... 'A MISTAKE.' I got no response. I know better than to really pry at someone who deletes e-mails from his inbox without even so much as a skim.

    Fifteen minutes earlier, he was chanting "we can make it better" at the Wilco show right next to me. Disingenuous? He also, 20 minutes earlier, heard Jeff Tweedy lament, after not hearing enough people responding to his call, that "when not enough people try to make it better, the people trying to make it better have to make it ten times better to..." blah blah blah, you get the idea. Apparently, my friend has an awfully short memory. I blame the beer, sleepiness and the aural trauma inflicted on us by the amplifiers-- yet my friend would have said, and will say, this under even the most ideal of circumstances. If an amazing, amazing rock show can't give him (or anyone else for that matter) a little hope that he can change the world, then what, I ask you, the fuck can?

    Maybe some amazing American television?

    Maybe this:

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

    Don't stop. We can make it better.

    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    Tool = awesome, fans of Tool = tools

    Why the fuck does Blistering seem to have a fucking exclusive, or at least the scoop, on the new Tool album? I've essentially seen no one else carry this story for four days. For shame, major music news outlets. For shame.

    Say what you want about Tool, though, this record is going to rule.

    Ladies and gentlemen, hos and haberdashers...

    You are at an intersection of your life today. Do you:

    (a) -- Go about your normal day, drive your car, get around town, eat your food, work/study, sleep, masturbate, kiss, fuck, flip channels, do what you're supposed to do, etc.

    (b) -- Randomly tell a person you don't know that you love them, making their fucking day.

    (c) -- Sit in your house and read a book.

    (d) -- See Wilco at The Moon tonight at 8 p.m. and have them change everything you know about music, life and rock 'n' fuckin' roll.

    (e) -- Drink copiously.


    (f) -- (b), (d) and (e)

    Choose your own adventure.

    The Wilco show review will be up tomorrow...

    Monday, March 13, 2006

    Oh and by the way...

    Fuck the Village Voice.


    Gotta represent for T-Town -- the new remix for "I'm In Love (With A Stripper) (Remix)" is up on T-Pain's MySpace. Gotta check that shit out.

    If you don't buy this DVD you're a damn fool

    Sunday, March 12, 2006

    If you don't see this movie you're a damn fool

    Dave Chappelle's Block Party might be the best concert movie you'll see this year. Except for maybe this and of course this.

    In its own way, "Block Party" (not Bloc Party!) reinvents the concert film for generations of films to come. Even from the very first shot, you know its going to be unorthodox. The fact alone that Michel Gondry's signature visual style even permiates through to the parts of "Block Party" that are a simple, one-camera "man on the street" flick is enough to sell certain white people on this movie. The fact that conscious hip-hop's eliterati perform in this movie is enough to sell certain black people on it. The fact that its the first major Chappelle project since his aborted third season of "Chappelle's Show" is enough to bring everyone else out. Be one of the "certain" people. Go see this fucking movie. I spent $6 bucks and it was totally worth it.

    I'm serious-- go now. What are you waiting for?

    Saturday, March 11, 2006


    In defiance of Pitchfork

    Fuck P4K, you say? I don't blame you at all.

    Here is an excellent, intelligent BBS discussion (is this 1996?) of Pitchfork's possible malevolence. In this argument, a Tiny Mix Tapes writer (by the screen name Filmore) disses P4K's supposedly corrupt business dealings. A P4K writer (scottpl -- I'm assuming that's Managing Editor Scott Plagenhoef) comes to his publication's defense and all hell (an intense debate between nerdy rock critics and underemployed rock critic wannabes) breaks loose. Enjoy. Yours truly is Yay!

    I should go on the record (on the blog, anyway) at this point and clearly state while I greatly dislike a huge majority of Pitchfork writers' writing (one of whom, I recently found out, is a 19 year old, so that's awesome) and am leery about their monolithic influence; I respect them a great deal on a personal and professional level.

    Don't think I forgot about that jewbag's open letter. I'm getting to him...

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    As a side note...

    I have never been so interested in non-Pumas or non-cheap-slip-ons footwear before. Boat shoe niggaz, stand up! Holla! Where my croakies at?

    March '06 listening assignments

    Thursday, March 09, 2006

    Tidbits-- just tidbits

    Ok, so I'm on spring break and I don't really want to blog that much. Big deal. Here are some random bites to tide you over:

  • One of the best mashups I've heard in a while, this guy mashes up The Doors and Blondie together, among other artists. He even got said track, "Rapture Riders," as a bonus track on Blondie's latest "Greatest Hits" record.

  • For some inexplicable reason, I have had Rilo Kiley's "Portions for Foxes" stuck in my head. Now don't get it twisted; I am neither a chick nor a gay dude, but over the past couple of months I've completely warmed up to most of Rilo Kiley's discography (especially "Takeoffs and Landings") and luscious FADER cover girl Jenny Lewis' newest non-secular, less-alt-more-country record.

    Quick note: Jenny Lewis is even cuter in concert. The FADER photo above (shout out to Tierney Gearon for the great picture) doesn't quite do her looks justice.
  • Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Oscar winners: THREE 6 MAFIA!

    You know, I was going to ramble on about this, but Tom Breihan did it better than I could. Here you go.

    Writing about writing about music

    Ok. Major shit went down this weekend that I didn't even get wind of until Sunday (I feel so ashamed). I compiled my shit yesterday and now I'm ready to post.

    First off, that little prick Nick Sylvester (aka Riff Raff) from the Village Voice got what was coming to him for years and years of pretentious, unreadable music criticism. All the better, I say. I hope the Village Voice keeps him in blog purgatory for the next couple of years. Pitchfork fired his ass-- his name isn't on their masthead anymore.

    But I'm getting ahead of myself. Apparently, Sylvester was assigned some bullshit story about hipsters dating and flirting (there's a book that professional male seducers, or "pickup artists," used called "The Game" by Neil Strauss used as the story's crux) in NYC and he put together "composite of specific anecdotes " together. His sources got called and he totally got pwned. I guess he wanted the story to be really good and edgy. Anyway, the Voice will probably keep him on (like I said, in blog purgatory) and people like myself with have a smug sense of satisfaction equipped with the newly-renewed belief that the people we most dislike have disproportionally bad karma. Why? Because they are terrible, terrible people.

    Hopefully, this message to Mr. Sylvester gets out to blog-land:

    Mr. Sylvester... Fuck you and fuck your writing and fuck your unfunny satire and fuck your non-sensical froofery. You are a fraud and do not deserve to be where you are now. Your debacle ("Sylvestergate," according to Gawker) proves it. When I am in your position of power and influence one day very soon, I will accomplish twice of what you have. This Nation blog post is probably the most prominent your name will ever get, my friend. Paula was definitely right: "If this kid could've gotten laid on his own, none of this would've happened in the first place."

    In sadder news, Chuck Klosterman no longer has consistent work, Sia Michel's fine ass is at the mag no more and I don't know what's up with Alex Pappademas, but he's a cool dude. I hope he stays in gainful employment. Most of Spin's current staff got fucking axed, though. Crazy shit. Is there no rock critic job security?

    Sadder news? Andy Pemberton, the frat boy rock critic of Blender magazine, is taking over Spin.

    Sunday, March 05, 2006

    Oscar, we hardly know ye

    Hinson's breaking his back betting on "Brokeback" like he does. Like everyone else is. Me too.


    Hinson's what will, should win: "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote"

    My what will, should win: "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote"

    I don't entire agree with Mr. Hinson on "Crash," however. "Someone should press charges if this preachy polemic steals the big win," he says. I think "Crash" is an excellent movie from a seasoned screenwriter and novice director (Paul Haggis). Dissing L.A.'s "Crash" in 2006, though, is like dissing N.Y.C.'s "Do the Right Thing" 15+ years ago. If any movie has the chance to upset "Brokeback," its "Crash."
    (20/20 HINDSIGHT EDIT) Well, at least I wasn't totally wrong.

    Frankly, and this is coming from a "Brokeback" hater who hasn't seen the gay cowboys, I'd rather see "Crash" come out ahead choosing between the two. (20/20 HINDSIGHT EDIT) And thank God it did. With the movie's its inter-producer controversy, however, it doesn't look like the movie's got its shit together. I would count out "Capote" completely, either. If it won, it wouldn't be the first time a freshman director/screenwriter with an relatively unknown male lead won Best Picture. Remember "American Beauty" in 1999?


    Hinson's who will, should win: Ang Lee, Ang Lee

    My who will, should win: Ang Lee, David Cronenberg

    "But he's not nominated," you say. "He made 'A History of Violence,' but wasn't nominated for Best Director." Well buzz off. Cronenberg hasn't even been nominated for a single Golden Globe OR Oscar in his entire career!!!! That's a damn crime. Even his American avant-garde counterpart David, Mr. Lynch, has gotten a couple of Oscar noms.


    Hinson's what will, should win: N/A

    My what will, should win: "Crash," "Crash"

    No one writes quite like Paul Haggis. He can leave you laughing uncomfortably with relief one minute, emotionally gutted the next. (see: "Million Dollar Baby")


    Hinson's what will win, should win: N/A

    My what will win, should win: "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote"

    "Brokeback" will probably take this one, too. Even though it came from a short story that, I guarantee you, maybe two people have read. "Capote" should win because its just amazing. "Munich," with Tony Kushner on board, could have totally taken this, but there were just too many cooks in the kitchen for that one. I wonder if its only a matter of time until a graphic novel adaptation ("A History of Violence," "Sin City") wins this award...?


    Hinson's who will win, should win: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Seymour Hoffman

    My who will win, should win: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Seymour Hoffman/David Strathairn

    Hoffman and Strathairn were like two sides of the same dramatic, journalistic coin this year. Strathairn was extremely restrained to the point of being dry and boring. Hoffman, however, really cut loose with the Capote mannerisms and voice. Both of them played historical figures I idolize and both actors are overdue for Oscars. I would be ecstatic if either won.


    Hinson's who will win, should win: Reese Witherspoon, Felicity Huffman

    My who will win, should win: Felicity Huffman, Felicity Huffman

    I have faith that the Oscars will again give awards that are overdue, like last year when they finally gave Morgan Freeman and Charlie Kaufman statues. I've been a fan of Mrs. Huffman's acting since Sports Night and think few other actresses deserve an Oscar more than she does. Reese Witherspoon may have the cute factor, but Huffman has the raw talent. I'm nervous, however, that Reese will get over with the fact that she telegenically played a charicature of a famous singer (major Oscar bait), much like Jamie Foxx did last year.

    (20/20 HINDSIGHT EDIT) I should've known the Academy would be that stupid. Fuck Reese Witherspoon.


    Hinson's who will win, should win: George Clooney, William Hurt

    My who will win, should win: George Clooney, Paul Giamatti

    George Clooney deserves this Oscar for all the great work he's done this year, and I'm happy to see him take home an Oscar. But what does Giamatti have to do, huh? Bleed? This guy's going to be like Martin Scorsese of acting pretty soon. Giamatti is amazing in everything he does and needs an Oscar pronto. William Hurt was also quite good, and he was on screen enough (10 minutes) to make an impression on me, but he's done better. (20/20 HINDSIGHT) Roger Ebert was right, "George Clooney really is the new Errol Flynn."


    Hinson's who will, should win: Rachel Weisz, Amy Adams

    My who will, should win: Rachel Weisz, Catherine Keener

    Another example of someone whose been waiting in the wings for a long time now for an Oscar is Catherine Keener. She's always amazing. "Capote" was no exception. The only person who seems possible to win this award is Weisz, however. Whatever. Wake me when Keener wins. I wouldn't mind the adorable Amy Adams, either.

    Keep in mind, Mr. Hinson has batted 1.000 the last two years in all the major Oscar categories, whereas I... well... suck in comparison. We'll see.

    (20/20 HINDSIGHT EDIT) I got all of 'em except for two. Not too bad. We'll see how I fare next year.
  • Holy crap...

    Neil Gaiman has a blog?!

    My Oscar picks coming up. I'm comparing Mark Hinson's and my own.

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    Jack White would not want me to blog about this

    To Jack White: RIGHT THE FUCK ON, MAN!

    In defense of 'American Idol'

    ...So I watched American Idol last night. Not that it makes me cooler than you or anything.

    Last week I saw the top 12 girls, and some of the performances really blew me away. The majority, however, had completely forgettable performances. It was like they said to themselves: "Hey, I like Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston! Why I don't I just oversing a song every chance I get just like they do and have absolutely no personality while I do it! Yeah, that'll win be that American Idol title, for sure!" There are only a few girls that have any real potential to be a professional performer.

    I saw the top 10 guys this week, and almost all of them actually have personalities and their own styles. If girls fall into the vocal performance mire of Beyonce/Mariah/Whitney, then guys usually fall into this Usher/Justin Timberlake/Stevie Wonder/Brian McKnight rut. Some, God forbid, even try to sound like Josh fucking Groban. Luckily, few guys this season seem to be falling into blandness. As un-rock 'n' roll as American Idol is (I remember Simon saying something righteous once like "Rock 'n' roll is anti-establishment, American Idol is the establishment!"), this guy did an amazing version of Fuel's "Hemmorhage (In My Hands)" and this John Legend look alike isn't bad either. Same goes for the George Clooney clone.

    Now I know what you're saying: "Oh my fucking God, Konflict of Interest, what the hell are you doing defending that show?! Why aren't you just previewing the upcoming Mogwai album 'Mr. Beast' or telling us how many drummers John Zorn has on his new Electric Masada album?" Well, I stick up for "American Idol." If you like "Since U Been Gone" (and let's face it, if you don't then there's something wrong with you), then you have no right to complain about the deep well of vocal, and sometimes performance, talent that exists in American Idol auditions.

    I attribute this exclusively to Randy Jackson (who literally works with everyone) and Simon Cowell (who, at his peril, has produced mostly British boybands). They are both amazing: Randy for his raw talent and versatility of bass playing and Simon for his discriminating, well-honed eye for talent. I can only hope the American people don't pull another Fantasia or Carrie Underwood. Yeech.

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    Notice to Gulf Coast rappers: 'Katrina' and 'FEMA' rhyme

    From Switching gears to Hurricane Katrina...

    Lil' Wayne: That's too serious man, don't bring me into that... Shout out to my people trying to bounce back from Hurricane Katrina, though. On the album, did you ever contemplate doing a whole track dedicated to the Hurricane Katrina tragedy?

    Lil' Wayne: No, because I'm from New Orleans, brother. Our main focus is to move ahead and move on. You guys are not from New Orleans and keep throwing it in our face, like, "Well, how do you feel about Hurricane Katrina." I fucking feel fucked up. I have no fucking city or home to go to. My mother has no home, her people have no home, and their people have no home. Every fucking body has no home. So do I want to dedicate something to Hurricane Katrina? Yeah, tell that bitch to suck my dick. That is my dedication.

    ^ (Why people are feelin' Weezy right now.)

    I've been asking this to myself for sometime now, and I've kept my mouth shut about it other black people (especially black, displaced New Orleanians here in the Gulf Coast) and most white people, but I'll just come straight out about it:

    Why hasn't there been an all-star Katrina benefit track? Think of the possibilities: Special edition single CDs! Exclusive iTunes downloads! All the proceeds go to the Red Cross! Crunk-ass beats! Gangsta-dopeboy-trap-yet-socially-conscious rhymes! Cavalcades of dirty south rappers and producers!

  • David Banner making his most vicious, crunk shit ever on the Mississippi version! Mannie Fresh does the New Orleans version!

  • Three 6 doing a killer hook!

  • Master P and Silkk the Shocker making reference to their ongoing trial with one switch-off, Run-DMC-style verse!

  • Mystikal does a verse FROM JAIL!

  • Slim Thug, Mike Jones and Paul Wall on the screwed and chopped remix track!

  • Juvenile can finally say his peace about the levees.


    The possibilities are endless, son! Hopefully, some hip-hop industry types are reading this right now. Hopefully, wheels are currently turning.