Sunday, February 22, 2009

2009 Oscars

I'm sure you know the drill. Tonight is the Academy's 51st Motion Picture Awards Ceremony and I will be liveblogging it. Check back during the show and/or follow me on twitter.

8:29 - Sippity sip sip.
8:30 - SHOW STARTS. A brilliant crystal set design. It's got old world glam and I love that stuff
8:31 - Hugh Jackman takes the stage.
8:32 - He takes a dig at New Zealand. Ouch, can't you guys get along?
8:33 - Now he's performing a music number...I'm gonna throw my remote somewhere with my eyes closed so that I don't change the channel.
8:34 - He busted an ill move with the "Craigslist?" dancers
8:35 - Performing Frost/Nixon with Anne Hathaway
8:36 - Now he's a performing a hot ass mess with some people in silver suits
8:40 - Hugh's gonna be a decent host. he's quite the showman
8:43 - Tilda Swinton looks alien and sexy.
8:44 - Whoopi's dress says 'So you want me to wear a dress huh? I'll show you a dress alright, i'm gonna wear some bullshit, and ima wear it to the Oscars."
8:47 - The Best Supporting Actress goes to Penelope Cruz. She looks kinda platinum quincenera but she actually looks great
8:52 - Tina Fey and Steve Martin take the stage in a comedy bit. "to write is to live forever, the man who wrote that is dead." Then they take a dig at Scientology.
8:57 - Dustin Lance Black wins the Best Screenplay award for 'Milk' gives a pretty equal rights speech.
8:59 - Best Adapted Screenplay goes to Simon Beufoy for Slumdog Millionaire. I didn't love this movie but I didn't see the other ones so maybe it deserved it. Good for him/them/everyone/whatever
9:02 - Jack Black and Jen Aniston present the nominees for Best Animated Feature. Jack Black's muggung is amusing/tolerable but the montage makes zero sense. Camera cuts away to Angelina who giggles knowingly.
9:06 - Wall-E wins it.
9:08 - The Best Animated Short award goes to a polite asian man who says Sank You like a dozen times and then ends w Domo Arigato and scurries of stage. I laugh because I am culturally deficient in many ways.
9:15 - Daniel Graig's sexy ass saunters onstage with Sarah Jessica Parker whose dress I hate. They present nominees for Best Art Direction.
9:17 - Goes to Benjamin Button..yawning
9:31 - Okay Natalie Portman takes the stage and Ben Stiller comes out doin a disheveled insane Joaquin Phoenix impression complete w beard and sunglasses. Natalie kills him and says "you look like you work at a Hassidic meth lab"
9:35 - Slumdog takes it for best cinematography
9:39 - Jessica Biel comes out lookin like she rolled out of bed,wrapped the silksheets around her toga style and pulled her hair back. She presents some technical award and proceeds to bore the sht outta me with a category that would be interesting had it been presented on the Discovery Channel
9:41 - A commercial airs for what looks like a hilarious tragedy starring Jamie Foxx as an insane musician
9:42 - Seth Rogen and James Franco reprise their Pineapple Express roles and remind me how I should be watching this award show. High as shit! This interlude is pretty funny, Franco kinda confuses Robert Downey Jr. for Barack Obama
9:47 - Oscar goes to some folks with thoroughly unpronounceable names, Seth and Franco Present the award and giggle at the names like school children. I love it.
9:52 - Hugh comes back go do another fancy dandy musical number. Then he's joined by Beyonce in a red sequin Shug Avery getup. They perform some musical numbers while my blood pressure rises.
9:56 - The HighSchool Musical kids join them and I will never forgive the Academy.
10:04 - Cuba is trying to bu funny... embarassing himself though.
10:06 - Ledger gets the Oscar for the Joker. Amazing performance. He totally deserved it, His performance was amazing
10:09 - His family accepts the award for him and gives a polite and moving speech honoring his memory. It's nice.
10:13 - Documentary montage pops on screen, this dude with the most unruly set of teeth i've seen in some time says something. I lol.
10:14 - Bill Mahr plugs Religulous and the award goes to Man on a Wire, this little frenchman is adorable, and then he balances the Oscar on his face! *clapping*
10:25 - Will Smith comes onstage to present for Outstanding Visual Effects...tries to be funny...fading
10:26 - All the action movies get shtted on and it goes to Benjamin Button...yay
10:30 - Nominees for soundmixing are...Oscar goes to Slumdog...
10:35 - Nominees for editing are...Oscar goes to Slumdog...headache again, tired..will smith acknowledges he is inexplicably still on stage tryna make this borin sht sound interesting
10:40 - I QUIT THIS BITCH. Gonna lay down I can't make it through. Sorry people but if you are watching this then you have my sympathy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

So Far Gone

I might as well touch down to let y'all know what's been rocking my world lately. So Far Gone is the latest mixtape from Drake, the Canadian rapper of Degrassi fame. Well, I'm something of a long time listener first time caller. I've enjoyed his style for a while but I never really spoke about him, because no one else (that I know) really seemed to know or care who he was but with the positive buzz surrounding his latest effort I'm comfortable enough to lean over to you and tell you with confidence that if you don't know, you need to ask somebody. As is customary with mixtapes 'Drizzy' rides over a lot of other artists beats but he's done a great job of making each track his own and not just sounding like noise over a great instrumental. He, for instance, remixes Lykke Li's 'Little Bit' and adds his own dimension to the already haunting sort-of love song. He also beasts through Santogold's 'Unstoppable' again, making you wonder how he wasn't already on the track in the first place. This mixtape is great winter music, which is something I've been on the hunt for lately. Live, but not too exuberant. Just haunting hymns and heavy shit that you can drive through dusky snow covered landscapes to. 808's type shit. 'Successful' featuring Lil Wayne and Trey Songz is the track that I would say exemplifies that.
'Drizzy' isn't a gangster and he mostly raps about his actual current life as a pseudo celebrity and yet he is lyrically compelling. I'm willing to venture that the only time he's seen shots fired was that very special episode of Degrassi when he became a cripple but hey, it's only entertainment. I would say that this mixtape has been getting attention not simply because it shows that he can rap, but that he can make an album of listenable songs. I know it's great to be able to 'spit hot fiyah' but it's pretty annoying when your favorite mixtape rapper has no concept of bridges and arrangement and just barrels down each track as if the beats were irrelevant. Do you even like music or do you just like to rap? Enough of my ranting just cop this shit.

Drake - So Far Gone

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Next Selection

Ryan Leslie - Ryan Leslie

With all the recent talk about the young prince of R&B getting slap happy and stupidly ruining his career over teenage drama there's still a lot of sympathy for the young boy. I can admit I get a sinking feeling whenever I see the young, Black and talented take a downward spiral, regardless of whose at fault. But, to the left I say, to the left. There's other talented cats out there who can't quite dance but who are better musicians and just as light skinned (I'm not saying it matters but whatever helps), they just may be lacking a bit in the charm department. Enter R. Les. The Nerd. A Weirdo. He's incredibly talented and incredibly slept on. I've discussed how his social skills or lack thereof may be holding him back but most likely forces greater than that (Diddy) are the reason this boy has had limited success because quite frankly the entertainment business is supposed to be a refuge for social deviants and he certainly isn't the first of them …or the most repulsive.

This brings me to Ryan Leslie's self titled album, the follow up to the 2005 release, Just Right which apparently never reached stateside. The album has all the innovative funk balanced at just the right hit-making tempo's that we've come to expect from R. Les. He makes music that suits his nasal vocals and even when he raps you don't quite cringe as much as you thought you would. Clever and self deprecating lines like "If my record don't sell, we'll still go diamond" only endear me to Mr. Leslie further. His album has an electric mellow sound that calls upon his skills as a producer. The tracks don't ever exceed the almost spastic energy of 'Diamond Girl' nor do they sink lower than the sparing synth intensity of Addiction but this isn't a criticism, he simply has an even center he remains in for most of the album. He utilizes the electric guitars on 'Quicksand' and any number of sound FX kits on the track and croons about some pretty girl that he's pining after yet again, but it's really one of my favorite joints on the album in spite of his rhyming emotional with emotional over and over again. You can actually listen to the whole album through and not really be conscious of anything he's said. It's not that his lyrics are awful, they just aren't really important. Leslie seems to layer the vocals over the track as if they were any other instrument, using whatever words sound right. As if to make a point about the irrelevance of the lyrics in his song making process he includes a track titled ' Gibberish' where he basically talks out of his ass about 'lust' 'love' and 'moonlight' and 'ghosts?' There really aren't any words and yes I sat there like an ass for 1:12 trying to figure out if he actually was saying something relevant, but he wasn't. The point is the track was aight in spite of that and I'll give him his props for that, and for tricking me. Honestly, I could attempt to describe how there's comfort in the complexity and the simplicity of the music of R. Les but you really should just cop the album.

Favorite Tracks

Diamond Girl, Addiction, Quicksand



It's a Thief In The Night To Come and Grab You

What the fuck?

...Yeah, it's been a few days and that's all I got left. I'm not picking sides and I'm not calling him a monster or saying she provoked him but I will say whatever it was, was it really worth it? The night before the Grammy's of all nights? Not that it's appropriate at any time but just the sheer ease with which some folks can see fit to throw their lives away is nothing if not disturbing. These dumb assed kids are our future, America! It would be awesome if they knew that violence isn't an appropriate response to whatever relationship conflicts they may be having.

Some links and gossip and information on the saga...cause I damn sure ain't a source.

Pop Culture Fix

Necole Bitchie

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Grammy Awards 2009

Here we go again. It's the 51st annual Grammy Awards and i'm going to liveblog it. Mostly because that's the only way I can sit and watch the whole thing. I'm going to be drinking tonight. Which was my mistake last time I tried to liveblog. I was stone sober. Big Mistake. But let's go...As we proceed!

8:01 - U2 doin their U2 sht. I wanna like then more than I do but only some of their songs are jams to me. Maybe I lack culture.
8:03 - However this 'let me in the sound' breakdown is kinda dope. This song might be winning me over.
8:04 - Whitney looks ...she looks pretty good considering. Still sounds crazy.
8:06 - Awwe, it seems like Whitney's lost her voice. I heard that show she did a few months back where she sounded a mess but I was hoping it wasn't permanent.
8:07 - J. Hud accepts the award for best R&B. I think i'm gonna tear up with her on this one. I love her.
8:08 - Duane Johnson..remember when he was the Rock? Also..remember when he was too sexy for words? Now he's treading in Shemar Moore territory.
8:10 - Justin Timberlake is on already, filling in for Chris Brown's assault and battery punk ass. Yeesh, the day before the Grammy's Chris? You couldn't wait? Let me stop. That type of sht is never appropriate. I knew somethin was wrong with him...remember??
8:21 - Mmm Simon Baker. introducing Coldplay performing Lost! which is a pretty hot banger from Coldplay of all people.
8:23 - Aaannd they proceed to destroy any love for this song I had while on stage. Jay puts on this dumb drunk flow that only sounded hot under the congo drums and guitar production of the album recording.
8:25 - Their performing the Ipod commercial song. It sounds good but the performance looks mad goofy.
8:28 - I kinda like Carrie Underwood's white trash steez even if its made up. Her getup is kinda Mad Max though, and not in a good way.
8:32 - Sheryl Crow and Leanne Rhimes. I like Leeanne's dress but thas the only positive thing I'll say right about now. I only ever think about Country music when watching the Grammy's and then I remind myself to listen to it more and forget again. Maybe next year.
8:42 - Wow Al Green again. He ain't even know he was going on stage tonight
8:42 - Coldplay wins for Viva La Vida. They gon let purple coat talk. He acknowledges the Sgt. Pepper look. Thank the Lord for the self aware
8:45 - Kid Rock takes the stage...I don't know how he's still around. That 'Sweet Home Alabama' riff moves units though. It sells records, pizza, KFC. You can't beat it.
8:54 - the Cyrus is on with Taylor Swift. This is cute cause I don't think I could deal with Miley on her own.
8:58 - The two least known people in the running win it. I knew it! I'm happy for them though. I hope they get off the stage in a timely manner.
9:00 - Jennifer Hudson takes the stage, acapella at that. She looks very nice in this sequined black dress. Her wig is wiggy though, but we're not gonna talk about that because her vocals are killing it.
9:09 - This lady just compare the Jonas Brothers to Cain and Abel. Aaaaallriight.
9:10 - Why do they get to perform with Stevie Wonder? This is my jam though I must admit. I guess this is my punishment for being an Nsync fan back in the day..
9:12 - This must be mashup night. They are performing superstitious..they all sound constipated. I can't tell if Stevie is constipated as well or making fun of them. Probably both..
9:15 - Wow time warp, Blink 182 comes back on stage to announce they're getting back together. They get points for mocking the fuckery that was just onstage.
9:16 - Coldplay gets the award. called themselves a limestone rockband...wock wocka...
9:23 - Craig Ferguson is funny tonight. But I will never forgive him for seguing to Katy Perry. I'm not a fan.
9:26 - She's finally off the stage and now its Kaye and Estelle and Ye's fro mullet. This performance looks cheap and tacky and underproduced. Shiny suits on a red circle. The recession is really getting to people. "Look at this pea coat tell me he's broke" BROKE!
9:29 - Then they gotta turn around and present the next award for best New Artist. Yayy Adele won. I dig her but I was rooting for Jasmine. She's got one of those working class Brit accents like some of my fam (we international, yo!)
9:36 - Morgan Freeman takes the stage. Now theres a man that knows how to put his shoe on a woman and get away with it. That wasnt tasteful at all but I won't delete it.
9:39 - Kenny Chesney...taking a big sip out my cup right now.
9:40 - Diddy does not give a shit. White tee, shiny shirt, sad gold chain. He looks like he's dressed to get the laundry.
9:41 - Robert Plant and them is winnin again, just to piss everyone off i'm sure.
9:48 - Gueen Latifah looks sexy tonight. Blinking at this segue from the Rat Pack to the Rap Pack
9:50 - Wowww at M.I.A. being gigantic in a polkadot bathing suit. This black and white filter is killing me though. FAIL!!
9:54 - Kate Beckinsale saying something...introduces Sir Paul McCartney who won't go away for some reason.
10:04 - Jack Black ...we've reached MTV VMA award status. Jazz musician Hank Jones gets a Lifetime Achievement Award
10:05 - John Mayer gets the award. Talks short and fast, but he has anxiety issues so he gets a pass. The Grammy's nominated Kid Rock for some reason.
10:07 - LL Cool J and Jay Mohr come out together cause they both got J's in their names. Jay proceeds to amuse himself and no one else.
10:07 - Sugarland and Adele take the stage. Performing a song about being the 'other woman' I love those kinds of songs. I like anything that explores the complications of love.
10:11 - Adele takes the stage. Repping for white Team Chunk in a positive way. Finally a representative that isn't a horrid mess. w00t! Also the two sounded beautiful. I gotta look into Sugarland.
10:19 - Gwyneth Bland Paltrow introduces Radiohead who apparently are still on some other shit. I enjoy when they are on some other shit. Listening.
10:22 - Radiohead is rockin the shit tonight. I love it.
10:28 - Samuel L. Jackson takes the stage in his Do the Right thing steez and starts yelling at the audience immediately.
10:29 - T.I. and Justin Timberlake take the stage. Meh.
10:33 - Wolf Blitzers hippie brother takes the stage and mentions that Obama won two Grammy's. GoBama.
10:37 - Now he reveals hes just kissing Obama's nuts to get a Secretary of the Arts position instated in the White House. Politricks.
10:38 - Sweet sweet Smokey Robinson takes the stage to give the Four Tops the Lifetime Achievement award.
10:39 - Fake Four Tops come out consisting of the remaining member, Smokey, Jamie Foxx, and Ne-Yo. This is my song and they not ruinin it.
10:47 - Josh Groban comes on..thank God he's not singing tv show theme songs again. Introduces Neil Diamand
10:48 - Neil Diamond looks better than he did the last time I seent him. My mother is somewhere throwin her panties at the tv.
10:55- My bad I tuned out for a bit there. They did the Memoriam dead faces reel. Then BB King and John Mayer performed a tribute to Bo Diddley
11:02 - Gary Sinese ...still looks like a robot clone. He's about to introduce Weezy and Robin Thicke and friends
11:03 - They doin 'Tie My Hands'.
11:07 - They follow it up by bringing out some New Orleans greats. Well performed and well orchestrated. A thousand brownie points to Weezy
11:09 - T. pain and Will.I.Am present the nominees for best rap album. Embarrass themselves.
11:10 - Lil Wayne done won his ass a Grammy award.
11:10 - There's a good boy. Keep it simple. His family looks nice.
11:18 - Blah blah blah Zoe that's how you pronounce her name.
11:18 - Robert Plant and 'em are performing. Let's hear if this is actually what it is and nobody knew. This song would go well with a nervous breakdown and some LSD.
11:23 - Green Day shows up promising tobring sweet release in the form of the final Grammy and the end of the show.
11:24 - HA! Grammy of the year goes to Robert Plant and friends. Well hell. Goodnight everybody.
11:27 - Stevie gets on again to close the show down.

Later kiddies, i'm gonna go get housed!