Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Luka Sabbat Doesn't Actually Explain Teen Talk

I'll classify this as "comedy" even though I'm fairly certain model and fashionista Luka Sabbat was dead-serious in this piece:

Now's a good time to wrap your face around in your palm. Death to us all.

Added bonus, an actual comedy bit on the subject by Late Night with Seth Meyers:

Video Of A Generation: Pearl Jam

To celebrate the band's upcoming induction in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Pearl Jam's official videographer, Kevin Shuss, compiled 25 years' worth of video material set to the tune of their first single, Alive:

There are tons of special guests in there, from Neil Young to members of The Ramones to every drummer in the band's history to Chris Cornell to Ben Harper to the band appearing with or opening for the likes of The Rolling Stones and The Who... it's a neat little compilation/celebration.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Video Of The Week: 2Pac & James Brown

The only song I've listened to more often than Outkast's Spottieottiedopaliscious this past week (including the hour-long loop of the horn section, which I've listened to at least twice a day, yay unemployment!) is this gem from the Django Unchained soundtrack:

That's a remix that goes by the name of Unchained, which combines the James Brown classic The Payback and 2Pac's Untouchable; the official video is just scenes from the Quentin Tarantino movie (expertly) spliced together to fit the narrative. Officially, Tarantino is listed as the director.

Should you not know who Tarantino is, he's a groundbreaking film director and the best screenwriter of the 1990s. The three films he wrote but didn't direct are True Romance (1993, Tony Scott), Natural Born Killers (1994, Oliver Stone) and From Dusk Till Dawn (1995, Robert Rodriguez).

Perhaps I could rank the films he directed in order of preference:

11. Four Rooms (1994, segment: The Man From Hollywood)
10. Death Proof (2007)
9. The Hateful Eight (2015)
8. Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
7. Django Unchained (2012)
6. Inglorious Basterds (2009)
5. Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)
4. Jackie Brown (1997)
3. Sin City (2005, segment with Bruce Willis)
2. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
1. Pulp Fiction (1994)

I used to have a lot less love for Jackie Brown, but since it's the last of his more, uh, classic period, it has definitely grown on me. I was always high on Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster Michael Keaton, and Chris Tucker's performances, but even Robert De Niro's and Bridget Fonda's have grown on me since.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why Writers Write

Oftentimes when I'm temping as a proof-writer or copy-writer, I'll be asked why I choose such an unstable job instead of a career where I can be guaranteed hours and a wage, such as the times I've spent as a market research analyst / marketing consultant (2006-2011, and 2016, give or take), and I guess the best answer is the last line in this piece by The late Show with Stephen Colbert:

I basically live to write words that resonate, even when they're obvious like here. And I am far from alone.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Video Of The Week: Ice Cube

It's a laid-back Sunday morning, drinking an orange-flavoured Rockstar Recovery drink along with my breakfast - a slit bagel with cretons (pork spread) and mustard on each side - on a relatively warm winter day.

Things are looking up, as I'm chilling and writing on a comfortable leather couch. Life's good.

Which brings me back to Ice Cube's 1994 chilling classic You Know How We Do It, from the seminal album Lethal Injection (my favourite of his until 2008's Raw Footage came out). All in all, the record is more "gangsta rap" than "political commentary", but this song, despite some trademark Cube boasting, is so laid-back in its essence that when I'm not listening to it, I actually remember it as slower than it actually is, more like Evelyne "Champagne" King's The Show Is Over, which it samples.

The video, directed by Marcus Raboy (director of Friday After Next as well as Naughty By Nature's O.P.P., Mary J. Blige's Real Love, Reminisce, and Deep Inside, Rancid's Time Bomb, Luscious Jackson's Naked Eye, Santana's Maria Maria and Put Your Lights On, Wyclef Jean and Mary J. Blige's 911, Sean Kingston's Beautiful Girls, Shakira's Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) and Avril Lavigne's What The Hell, among others), shows Ice Cube riding shotgun on the old Las Vegas strip and gambling, because having him smoke weed on a beach might not have been as entertaining and camera-friendly:

Friday, March 10, 2017

Video Of The Week: Toto


E.T. and Das Boot.

The year I turned 4.

Toto. Goddamn motherfucking Toto.

To this day, Toto are still one of the biggest bands to draw in France; they're basically to France what The Offspring is to Québec or what U2 is to the U.S., without the negative press.

You can barely get a sporting event or family gathering or sugar shack outing without hearing 1978's Hold The Line, but these guys have also brought you Rosanna and Africa...

I mean, sure, it's cheesy, but it also gets stuck in your head line nothing else. Africa and Rosanna are the brain cancer of prog rock...

This video was directed by Steve Barron, who was at the helm of many popular films and TV miniseries (1984's Electric Dreams, 1990's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1993's Coneheads, 1998's Merlin) and many groundbreaking music videos, and a few cheesy ones as well: Michael Jackson's Billie Jean, A-Ha's Take On Me, Dire Straits' Money For Nothing and Calling Elvis, Bryan Adams' Cuts Like A Knife, Run To You and Summer Of '69, Eddie Grant's Electric Avenue, the Natalie Cole and Nat "King" Cole duet Unforgettable, Dolly Parton's Potential New Boyfriend, The Human League's two hits (Keep Feeling) Fascination and Don't You Want Me, The Jam's Strangetown, Sheena Easton's For Your Eyes Only and Telephone, Def Leppard's awful Let's Get Rocked, Madonna's Burning Up and a slew of others by the likes of Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark, Paul McCartney and Tears For Fears.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Video Of The Week: Hadley Kennary

Hadley Kennary straddles the line between heartfelt ballads, folk and "new country", that quasi-orchestral-pop music sung with an accent that wins awards that we wouldn't want Toby Keith to get anyway.

Personally, I'd do away with a lot of the instrumentation on her Momentum EP, particularly the bass, which does nothing for me and is just too conventional and too present. The last song on it, 24 Hours, is more along the lines of what I'd like to hear her do more in the future. I'd be up for a solo/acoustic tour with her.

That being said, today I wanted to show her video for Painkiller, a black-and-white clip directed by Joe Barnard:

It's standard, 80s-tinged fare (complete with one-shot-stop up-motion strumming to add punch to a chord switch as if it were light ska), with the darkness-infused lyrics more prevalent in pop since the grunge era. But it ain't half bad.