Saturday, January 31, 2015

Video Of The Week: A-Trak

I decided to dive into a genre I don't usually listen to this week - dance music - to feature Montréal DJ extraordinaire A-Trak, now in his 30s but who started making the international club circuit and winning DJ-ing competitions when he was merely 15, becoming an honorary member of the Invisibl Skatch Picklz, a DJ supergroup in the mid-to-late 1990s.

He has produced tracks for Kanye West (also serving as his tour DJ for the better part of 4 years), Lupe Fiasco, Kimbra, Juicy J, and Dizzee Rascal.

I found this Ramon Ayala-directed video distracting - not from all the semi-nude models, but because their nipples are blurred out - like that's really going to be the deciding factor for a 14-year-old masturbating to it or not. Had it showed people getting shot by AK-47s, though, that would have been okay - provided they hadn't been shot in the nipple.

Also, as a cat person, I think tigers are cool. (That was the 14-year-old in me, sorry).

Monday, January 26, 2015

Strippers On Deflate Gate

Well, everyone else had their opinions about the New England Patriots' trouncing of the Indianapolis Colts with deflated balls (which, in this case, had nothing to do with steroid use), so, yes, Busted Coverage found something to talk about on their daily outing to Rick's Cabaret in New York City so they could charge their champagne room bill to the company as a business expense.

Go on the page to see quotes and stuff, and more pictures than the two below... if you need to.

Please, no sexist remarks about how your city has better/sexier/nakeder/curvier strippers than New York in the comments section - they will be deleted; this one (Kimmie, I think, judging by the article) has decent football knowledge and was smart enough to let the idiots pretend to be journalists while she was earning her living. She wins.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Video Of The (Past) Week: Body Count

Kudos to Ice-T and his metal band Body Count for at least trying to update Suicidal Tendencies' classic 1980s punk-thrash song Institutionalized for the 21st century on their 2014 album Manslaughter.

Sure, we're a long way past the terrific self-titled first album in 1992, with had such tracks as The Winner Loses, C-Note, KKK Bitch and the controversial Cop Killer (on the first pressing, replaced with Freedom Of Speech in subsequent releases after the first week), but the band is still trying to hold its own despite no longer having the backing power of Sire/Warner Brothers behind them, and they're mostly successful at it.

They talk about social issues, they make some noise, they're energetic, they play shows and festivals, they get out there and spread their message.

This video, directed by Frankie Nasso and featuring Ice-T's real-life wife (model Coco Austin), is a tad too 1980s-ish for my taste - representing the lyrics a little too literally - but it fits with Ice-T's current message-with-humor theme.

I'll give it a B for effort.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

That Canadian Feeling

I rarely identify as Canadian on the international scene, except when nothing else gets understood.

I do, however, fully identify with this year's Miss Canada contestant in the Miss Universe pageant, who went all-out Canadian stereotype (minus, say, beer, maple syrup and poutine) for her amazing uniform, preferring fun (with winks to the sometimes off-the-wall absurdity of High Fashion) to sexiness or whatever else might make a judge look at her beauty instead of her character:

The internets were both aflame and all-praise for her boldness, and I stand firmly in the line of ''backers'' on this one.

The score (20-14) reflects the year she was crowned Miss Canada, but some idiots went misogynistic in their disapproval (''is that the number of guys she's just had'') while others doubted her hockey knowledge (''those are football scores / there are no touchdowns in hockey dummy''), but I have decided to not promote angry adults living in their parents' basements because they're still grounded from 20 years ago; they can keep doing what they've been doing most of their lives and fuck themselves.

Kudos to you, Chanel Beckenlehner, for having the galls to have balls and character, not just stunning looks and a degree in Political Sciences from the University of Toronto. I don't know if you've won or will win Miss Universe, but you've won my respect.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Funny Folks Of The Week: Bad Lip Reading

Man, I wanted to laugh at some harmless and hilarious stuff tonight, and the fine folks at Bad Lip Reading had just what I needed with their compilation of re-dubbing NFL players, coaches and referees:

They had a similar one last year, too:

And, of course, their classic Herman Cain (two-time Republican Presidential wanna-be) video:

You're welcome, internet.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Video of The Week: Solids

A day that includes seeing a great friend and talking about current events and life and stuff, accompanied by limitless sushi and where even the Hoth-like cold can't get the smile off of my bearded face can only end with good indie rock from my home town, and Solids - the solid two-piece who actually accomplished my long-time goal and signed with Fat Possum records - fit the bill.

Off White, from the recent Blame Confusion LP, is as dirty as we've been used to from the duo, and the Martin Pariseau-directed video featuring love and lobsters adds to the off-kilter voice the band has become accustomed to displaying since their 2009 debut:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Love And Monster Trucks

And banging each other's cousins.

Oh, and public drunkenness and terrible reporting.

Poor lady. The reporter should have let her go the minute he realized she was in no condition to be interviewed, and instead delved deeper into personal questions when he saw that her being drunk led to her being open and honest. And now the whole world will know her story.

I'm tagging this with ''stupidity'', but on the journalist's part, not the woman he's laughing at and putting down.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Video Of The Week: Dead Prez

Once in a while I take my raps laid back
Simple enough beats as a background track
So I can concentrate on the words they say
Works even better when rappers enunciate

I respect lyricists who try to include messages
And not just rehash their old hit's passages
I like when guys who used to talk about the streets
Turn their shit around and try to promote peace

Now I don't always agree with Dead Prez
But I like a man who can back what he says
M-1 and fit in that mold
And they've taken some hits for not joining the fold

Three different albums on three different labels
More elements to juggle than a periodic table
And yet they managed to deliver a song of decent importance
About peace, love, understanding and a side of tolerance

There are times where this video appears preachy and perhaps even cheesy, but the important thing is that the addendum after the song shows they've understood, throughout their self-education, where organized religion's rightful place is: as the prime suspect in why the world isn't in better shape.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Why I Was A Goalie

Before completely turning to music, writing and the odd bit of translating to make ends meet, I played hockey until the Major Juniors level for Laval (Halifax also owned my rights). I was a goalie. I looked like this:

I wanted to be a goalie first and foremost because my boyhood idol, Patrick Roy, was one, but also because it fit my personality the best: as the last line of defense, the goalie is the one responsible for fixing any previous mistakes. The best ones do so with little fanfare, but the egotistical bastards can also have their day - and look foolish at times as well, when things don't go according to plan.

Being a person of extremes, I'm both: calm, quiet, and reserved, but who likes others to know he'll get the job done and will, at times, bask in the temporary glory it brings, knowing full well it will only last until the next ugly goal against. As such, my tenure in many places ended with a severe correction (a 9-1 loss at Brébeuf at the Collegiate level, a 12-0 loss at Notre-Dame to finish my high school career, a 5-0 loss at the Midget AAA level after having posted four straight shutouts). Only my time in the ''Q'' in Juniors didn't end badly - no goals against, and two fights in my final half-game for Laval.

Where I shined, however, was in tournament play. I loved playing in front of packed arenas full of strangers. I have never played in one and gotten less than a silver medal (second-place finish), and never been less than at least MVP of one game, usually named the best goalie of the tournament. For some reason, when the pressure was on, it was like the puck was twice its normal size and fit perfectly in my glove, which became a magnet for it.

There was one tournament, Sainte-Marie, where there was a rule that a player couldn't be named Player Of The Game more than once - so everybody had their chance to shine, and no one could end up being the perennial second-best. I got it in my first game, which meant no matter how I played, I couldn't get it any other time. I didn't care, I was having a blast with the rest of the NDG Wings.

Nevertheless, in the Finals, which we lost 1-0 with the shots being around the 40-10 mark favoring the other team, my buddy Giovanni Rippolo (who had the best slap shot in our age range) was named the best player. While he did get some applause, as soon as he got his prize (a medal), the 1000-seat crowd started chanting ''goalie! goalie! goalie!'' and I had to acknowledge them with a wave, slightly embarrassed yet extremely proud.

Just like Slovakia's Denis Godla from the World Juniors last night:

Those are the moments you live for.

I'm a huge fan of Slovakia in general, and in hockey in particular. They're usually the team I root for in international play, more so since the Rise Of Jaroslav Halak in 2010, but it was already the case even back in the 1980s and 1990s, thanks to the Québec Nordiques' Stastny brothers and an education system that taught us about the rest of the world in addition to our own history.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

What's With Florida?

No, I mean, like, seriously. Why do the weird small-print news that used to be a thing in remote locations and cabin-in-the-woods places now happen in Florida more than any other places combined?

Is it the water? The sharks? The failing sports teams? The douchebag sex clubs in Miami? The drugs?

Well, drugs might be an issue, yeah. For couples who lock themselves in a closet for days at a time with crack pipes and end up shitting in metal pans. For men who look like rockers from the 1970s wanting to smoke crack in a hospital. For those who merely smoke pot in the maternity ward. For men impersonating cops at the International House Of Pancakes who end up flashing/mooning employees when they don't get free food. For people who bite their neighbours' ears off for not giving them a cigarette.

For those who run for mayor while their court case for beating a drag queen with a tiki torch while wearing a KKK outfit is still pending resolution. For those who try to avoid their time in court by claiming they have ebola. For those who butt-dial 911 while cooking meth with their mom and have the nerve to think the cops are watching them. For those who get stuck inside vending machines.

For men who claim holograms kidnapped their wives (when she's actually just off drunk at a relative's). For men who try to rob a delivery man not just for his cash but also pizza and chicken wings. For men who attack family members over undercooked noodles. For men who think calling 911 will get them answers regarding their tax returns. For those who commit murder over a card collection. For those who confuse hot dogs with real dogs. For those who, when the ice cream man refuses to take their fake $20 bill, pull a gun on him.

For those who pee on rugs then make a big stink when they're kicked out of the house (especially if it really tied the room together). For those who get caught stealing 36,000 pounds of Crisco. For those who mistake a convenience store rooftop they're trying to steal from with where their family lives. For those who punch 80-year-old men at restaurants. Or the corrections officers who never noticed a convict escaping to buy beer - then his own trying to smuggle it back in prison.

For sex-related thieving such as stealing a Jenna Jameson sex doll, or stealing 850 pairs of underwear from Victoria's Secret, or insisting on showing their sex tape to a jury in court, or masturbating in a McDonald's parking lot, or soliciting an undercover police officer for sex in exchange for $3 and a chicken meal, or busting down a wall to steal $300 worth of sex toys from an adult store, or just the general naked sword-wielders.

For those who call 911 to complain that the cop who is writing them a ticket is too slow (then getting jailed for misusing 911). For those who throw chairs at the mailman when they don't get any mail. For the elderly (yet funny) racists. For those who decide to build their paramilitary neo-nazi war compound right next to Disney World. For people who throw dead bodies in the trash. For people who propose to their girlfriends using baby alligators (and the girlfriend being happier about the gator than the ring). For those who think a welding grinder is the right tool to scrape a tattoo off their face. For the delusional ones who not only think they're blood relatives of former Presidents, but that it means they own land and/or the country and gives them special privileges.

For elected officials who think state education tests make kids gay and/or LGBT-friendly.

I mean, I get those related to crack and meth. But the rest of them, the ignorant and profoundly stupid - there is no excuse for that shit in 2015. I understand that having no state tax means the public education system is pretty much zero/dead/non-existent. But still, this is taking it (way) too far.

Still, it's probably a better place than Canada if Stephen Harper gets re-elected later this year.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Video Of The Week (Year?): Meghan Trainor

The theme for bubblegum pop this year was ''ass'', from Nicki Minaj's Anaconda to Jennifer Lopez' Booty to Jason Derulo's Wiggle to Meghan Trainor's All About The Bass, which is the subject of this week's post.

Now, it's a bit of a stretch to call Trainor ''fat'' by any measure, but the song isn't actually just about big behinds, it's about the fact that not all girls are ''size two'', with a subtext of ''love who you are, however you are'' but has been confused by idiots as ''anti-feminism'' and ''thin-shaming''.

But everybody's so fucking soft these days, looking for the right reason to be offended by the slightest fucking thing, and if a pop song makes you cry or want to kill yourself, then perhaps the world would be a better place if you did. Or maybe a shrink should make their career (and send their children's children to college) by saving you - either/or, I really don't care.

But again, with the extreme victimization, you just can't have nice things anymore without someone complaining. Political correctness was stupid and cute in the 1980s, but having one's feelings hurt seems to be a tad too easy for some people nowadays, particularly considering the social context we're living in on this planet: third-world famine, instituted corruption, child and slave labor rampant in Asia and Africa, institutionalized racism still prevailing in the American justice system (with a subtext of uniformed public servants never being accountable for their crimes), generalized unwarranted austerity measures throughout the Western world, Equality taking a nosedive in North America, oil companies raping and pillaging the land for a few measly bucks while contaminating the water supply and all surrounding animal life... you'd think people would wake the fuck up and concentrate on saving the broader picture.

But no. Boo-hoo, one girl said thin people aren't the norm.

Instead, they focus on a 21-year-old's lyrics and dissect them past the point of any meaning to find buried in three or four layers of humour something they take offense to. Well, that's their prerogative. Mine is to get this song - the catchiest tune of 2014 - out of my head eventually. But in the meantime, I'll laugh along with Meghan Trainor, who is smart, funny, fun, quirky, cuddly, cute, and probably sarcastic beyond belief.