Web Toolbar by Wibiya Bears and Bullets: 2008-07-20

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day Five: The Cool Kids

"Mikey Rocks" Reed and Evan "Chuck Inglish" Ingersoll make up the duo The Cool Kids. The Chicago natives will be playing this year's Lollapalooza as one of the few true hip-hop acts the festival has to offer. Before 2007, the two mostly issued their music through their Myspace and Blog with their own label C.A.K.E. Recordings, then jumped to the independent label Chocolate Industries to release their debut album When Fish Ride Bicycles (later this year.)

Mikey and Evan have already released two EP's however; Totally Flossed Out and The Bake Sale with the singles "88" and "Black Mags," along with their free mixtape That's Stupid. Dubbing the duo with articulate adjectives describing their sound and influences may be a bit too extravagant for the nature of the sound. So, the simple phrase of 'Badass' should be able to convince you guys.

Here's the video for 'Black Mags.'

Movie Review: Step Brothers

Directed by: Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly

The trifecta behind Talladega Nights return this week with Step Brothers; a 95 minute comedy about 39 year-old Brennan Huff (Ferrell) and his mother Nancy (Mary Steenburgen) moving in with Nancy's new husband Robert Doback (Richard Jenkins) and his 40 year-old son Dale (Reilly). In a ritual befitting the post 40 Year-Old Virgin Era, the comedy stylings have been skewed towards poignantly rifted and obscene dialogue, coupled with characters acting well below their age. To look at Step Brothers in the light of movies like Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy, and the aforementioned Talladega Nights, the viewer must believe in the stilted intelligence expectations complex - that being, whomever is watching these kinds of movies cannot expect sheer articulate brilliance in story telling, but rather the emphasis of importance of dialogue and simplistic character. The viewer knows these guys are not prototypical, but is willing to make an exception.

Throughout the film, starting with Reilly and Ferrell as enemies, then best friends, then enemies, and finally friends again, Mckay presents the likenesses of Brennan and Dale in the views of a 14 year-old with egregious lack of mental growth (Dale doesn't really know how to make out with a woman, and Brennan continually refers to his therapist as his girlfriend) and responsibility. The major conflict in the film is not the rift between the two new brothers, but rather Nancy and Robert's desires for the two to finally grow up. The follow up is arguably the best sequence in Step Brothers with Dale and Brennan jumping from interview to interview (including one with Seth Rogen) and failing each time because they just don't get it. It all comes together with a lose-fitting, but still fitting end that we all should have seen coming, but even then still don't care about because it's just damn funny.

It's not the perfect comedy, but it's a solid step up from Ferrell's last movie Semi-Pro, and you'll get the laugh you're looking for. One other note; yes, Judd Apatow was a producer for this movie, which if you've been counting is about 85 since 2006.

Score: 7.9 out of 10

Grizzly Bear Perfrom "Two Weeks" on Letterman

On Thursday, July 24th, Grizzly Bear debuted their new track "Two Weeks" off their supposed ultra-hyped 'pop' album in the works on the Late Show with David Letterman. And thanks to the kids at Stereogum, you can get the MP3 of the performance too. Bonus!

Grizzly Bear - "Two Weeks (Live on Letterman)" - MP3

Friday, July 25, 2008

You Should Be Listening; Santogold vs. Diplo Mixtape

Via Diplo at Mad Decent and Santogold, listeners can buy the duo's 35 five (!?) song-sample set, including appearences by M.I.A., Gorilla Zoe, a remixed set from Panda Bear. But thanks to Chris Catalini at Gorilla vs. Bear, you can just download the whole damn thing.

... Okay wow, I downloaded the whole thing for free this morning but now it's completely wiped out. Sorry kids.

The Death of the Comedians of Comedy

Okay, it's not their actual "death" death, but the four comedians - Patton Oswalt, Zack Galifianakis, Brian Posehn, and Maria Bamford - have decided to end their "Comedians of Comedy Tour." The four, who've been touring the country for multiple years, will perform their final show blatantly titled Death to the Comedians of Comedy July 26th, in San Diego. The tour originated to give the four more "more exposure" according their Myspace, and has done its job well enough for them to stop.

The four members have garnered popularity over the years since the tour's origination, and all have multiple reported projects in the works. Posehn is releasing a comic book soon apparently about zombies. Bamford is doing voice-work on the new Fox Animated series Sit Down, Shut Up. Galifianakis is starring in the movie Visioneers, along with other reported projects. And Oswalt is keeping busy filming episodes of Lewis Black's Root of All Evil show on Comedy Central. The four will also continue to perform stand-up as solo acts.

It's still a sad passing, even if it's mutual.

This article was adapted from the original Paste Magazine article, "Comedians of Comedy Ready to Die in San Diego" by Valentina Tapia.

Day Six: Santogold

To the relatively unaware, Santogold appears to be the American rendition of M.I.A. (even to myself, at first impression), but unlike the English via-Sri Lanka Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, Santi White had only hit the music scene with her eponymous debut earlier this year - contrary to M.I.A hitting the world in 2002. The Philadelphia born White garnered favorable fan-fare with her album release, receiving praise from Spin Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Pitchfork (the patterns of praise are really seeming obvious now), and her upward spiral of popularity continued with M.I.A.'s. Even more fittingly, the two actually toured together as well.

The two strike the similar cord's with their close-knit likeness using heavy backgrounds of rave, synth, and electronica and uniquely authentic vocal qualities. But to be fair to White, M.I.A. is heavily influenced by political meaning, contrary to Santogold's sheer alternative idealism's, using more likenesses to the styles of New Wave, Reggae, and Art Rock.

Anyway, the point seems more fitting when the reader simply likes M.I.A. So, if you like "Maya" you'll like Santi too. And especially for myself, I look forward to watching her next week.

Santogold's songs are easily recognizable - using her singles 'L.E.S. Artistes' and 'Creator' in Budweiser ads, EA Sports video games, and the most well-known, her work for Converse. Check out the video here, co working with N.E.R.D and Julian Casablancas in the song 'My Drive Thru.'

Personally though, 'L.E.S. Artistes' may do her more justice.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stanley Kubrick Documentary

Documentary-maker Jon Ronson is invited to the Kubrick estate to investigate the remnants of thousands of boxes full of photographs, letters, and other varied objects of the late director. A must for Kubrick fanboys (can they really be called fanboys?) who are consistantly in love with the cynic perfectionist, who's already immortalized as one of the greatest (and my personal favorite) directors of all-time.

Thanks so Bobby Solomon at Kitsune Noir for putting this up.

Day Seven: Girl Talk

It's down to one week until my departure for Chicago, and it's getting more and more tense (remember, I haven't been there) everyday.

But to digress, the artist for Day Seven on my Lollapalooza Ten Day Countdown is (or was) by day a biomedical engineer, and by night DJ Girl Talk, playing shows on his laptop in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Greg Gillis, the real guy, has released four albums since 2002 (all on Illegal Art), of hundreds of compounded samples of songs choreographed into three or four minute songs, drifting multiple genres - mostly hip-hop and classic rock - into singular pieces. His latest release, Feed the Animals was distributed by Gillis Radiohead In Rainbows style; as in, fans could choose their own price.

I've seen his live shows, and it's basically on hour from his lap-top of a non-stop, all-out party. It's good enough to have him high on my list of Lollapalooza artists I'm meaning to see.

Luckily, i've found his entire 2007 New Years shows (In Chicago, fittingly) online.

Check out Greg at work too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day Eight: Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear, to be blunt, are an ephemeral joy. The band, comprised of members Daniel Rossen, Ed Droste, Chris Taylor, and Christopher Bear, construct their songs in a bizarre melodic formula, emphasizing the four members' vocal usage as the forefront atmosphere to the music. The ranges in background sounds, however, while insisting on acoustics and vocal presence, vary between layered effects to recorders to blips and beats. The results are a spacey neo-folk, akin an experimental philharmonic.

Last year, the Brooklyn group released their Yellow House LP and Friend EP within three months of each, garnering critical praises from surfaces like Spin Magazine, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times - the latter two later added the albums on lists of the year's best. Their single 'Knife' (Yellow House) was performed on various live shows (Conan, Craig Ferguson), but my personal fave is still 'While You Wait for Others,' which the band recorded live on Morning Becomes Eclectic. You can check it out here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Day Nine: Black Lips

According to them, they're a flower punk band from Atlanta.

But according to music sources, "flower punk" is an unmanned genre. So to simply tell you that the Black Lips are a flower punk band wouldn't do their sound as much credibility. The four members; Cole Alexander, Jared Swilley, Ian Saint Pe', and Joe Bradley have rumored for live shows full of tenacity. Meaning - vomiting, urinating, nudity, band members kissing, fireworks, and a chicken - according to Wikipedia. Really, the band is a crude fusion of garage and noise without the ironic simpleness. Actually, I made the description seem bad, when in truth their unlikely constructs makes them more appealing than most of the other acts at this year's Lollapalooza.

The band debuted in 2003 with their first, self-titled release. But it wasn't until 2006 that the band began to recieve national recognition for their 2007 release of their Los Valientes Del Mundo Nuevo LP. Seven months later the band released the Good Bad Not Evil LP with the singles "Veni Vidi Vici," "Cold Hands," and "Katrina."

Check out their promo video for "Cold Hands" off of Good Bad Not Evil.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lollapalooza: A Ten Day Countdown

2008 marks Perry Farrell's twelfth Lollapalooza since the festival's creation in 1991. The event ran annually until it's cancellation in 1997 because of reported lack of interest from mainstream artists. Farrell revitalized the (then) tour in 2003 with the reuniting of Jane's Addiction. The following year, however again, the tour was cancelled. This time it was the result of poor ticket sales and presumably high ticket prices. After the 2004 collapse, Farrell and Co. revived the event again with Capitol Sports & Entertainment to reconvene the festival solely in Grant Park, Chicago as a multi-day event. Since 2005 the city of Chicago has agreed on a deal to host the festival in Grant Park until 2011.

This will be my first trip to Lollapalooza after my first attempt ultimately failed a year ago (lots of reasons). And to highlight the pre-event countdown, Bears and Bullets will feature one artist highlight for each day until my departure of the well-known, lesser known, and should-be-seen, acts this year.

Day Ten; Yeasayer.

Late last year, Yeasayer released their debut album All Hour Symbols amidst an underbrush of indie-type hype (see also: Tapes n' Tapes). The album was well received, as most freshman creations usually do, with acclaim from Spin Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Pitchforkmedia, who gave the debut a score of 7.8. The song 2080 also made the web site's list of Top 100 Songs of 2007, at #49.

The Brooklyn based band, composed of members Anand Wilder, Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton, and Luke Fasano fuse a correlating sound of psyche-pop mixed with an off-centre kilter Middle-Eastern melody. At any means of what the sounds are composed of, the results are earthy and pleasantly possible. I've found their best stuff can be seen and heard at La Blogoteque, with two videos both shot by Vincent Moon.

Here's one of the videos from La Blogoteque.

#87.2 - YEASAYER - 2080
by lablogotheque