Web Toolbar by Wibiya Bears and Bullets: 2008-07-27

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Until We Meet Again .....

Well, the day's finally here. I'm leaving for my trip in the morning (going by car, actually) and I cannot wait.

See you all in a week!

Day One: Radiohead

It should remain unspoken of whom is indeed the real headliner for the this year's Lollapalooza, because there isn't a shadow of a doubt that the main attraction is Radiohead (the only artist that plays when no other does this year). They're arguably (and I think so too) the best band in the world right now, and it's hard to refute such a claim. You don't need excuses anymore.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day Two: Kanye West

As I begin to pack for Lollapalooza, the reality that I'm actually going to be able to see all these artists that I've been talking about is starting to really set in. And aside for Radiohead, arguably the biggest headliner for this year's festival has to be Kanye West. West is taking a break from his current tour to headline the 2008 event, two years after he headlined the 2006 Lollapalooza. West (along with Wilco) is one of the huge names to be performing in their hometown of Chicago, along with a multitude of less popular Chicago based artists.

As Kanye climbs the popularity and credibility ranking in the music business - denoting Nas' opinion of Hip-hop indeed being dead - he's been starting to eclipse what indeed makes a hip-hop artist an artist. Sure, the usual demographic of influences in Kanye's repertoire are there, but there's also something else that seems different. Never has an artist in his likeness been able to cross boundaries of fan-base with his perfectionist style and context. A simpler way to give you a quick bio of Kanye is to say he's not like other popular hip-hop artists; he doesn't get boring every once in a while. And all the while his public persona seems to make him louder than he actually is, it only seems to be working in his favor. His fashion taste, glow in the dark concerts, and more and more popular blog are also helping him eclipse other artists in his genre.

Of course, citing a small portion of what Kanye West is doesn't too much justice. We all know that something small isn't his style.

For some reason, I think this 'ad' would fit here better.

Half-Blood Prince Trailer

Before seeing the Dark Knight in IMax I was promised to see a teaser for this November's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. And I did. But it was about 15 seconds long, with a black screen behind the Harry Potter logo, and two lines of cryptic dialogue. But now the real trailer has been released to ease the suffering.

W. Trailer

After all the talk, the trailer for Oliver Stone's new film W. has finally made it's way online. The George W. Bush biopic stars Josh Brolin as the 43rd, Elizabeth Banks as first lady Laura, Ioan Gruffudd as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Thandie Newton as Condaleeza Rice, Ellen Burstyn as Momma Barbs, Jeffrey Wright at Colin Powell, and Richard Dreyfuss as Cap'n Dick. The film's been getting more and more buzz after the Entertainment Weekly cover, and the recent arrest of Brolin and Wright in Louisiana a few weeks ago, so it's actually starting erode the dead horse meaning.

You Should Be Listening To; Fleet Foxes

It has come to my attention recently that many in the blog-world, including Mr. Solomon at Kistune Noir, are riding on the recent Fleet Foxes wave of popularity. And for good reason.

Check out their performance of 'English House' at this years Pitchfork Music Festival. Oh, and sorry about the video. There's a problem with the cutoff. You can check the real thing at Pitchfork.tv.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day Three: Mark Ronson

Mark Ronson, the mega DJ/Producer/Artist, is a peculiar headliner for this year's Lollapalooza. The Brit-born but New York raised Ronson is a two-time Grammy award winning producer for his work with Amy Winehouse with her Back to Black album, along with being a notably enticing cover artist, which is as of this second something I've never said before.

Ronson has a terrifically inventive method of turning other artists songs (mostly Brit-pop) into his own style. Take Radiohead's song 'Just' off of the album The Bends, and replace them with Phantom Planet, mixed with horns and a turntable. The result, all the while sounding abhorred by description, the new take on the song is wonderfully crafted.

Ronson's latest album Version is a brilliant take a myriad of modern Brit-pop hits like The Smith's 'Stop Me if You Think You've Heard This One Before' featuring Daniel Merriweather, Coldplay's 'God Put a Smile On Your Face' with The Daptone Horns, and The Zuton's 'Valerie' with vocals by Winehouse, among multiple other glorious covers along with his version of 'Just.'

As for his soon coming performance? I'm crossing my fingers that he'll be joined on stage by a few mystery artists for some new sets.

Here's Ronson's version of 'Stop Me' with Daniel Merriweather.

And as for Ronson's case; damn, he dresses extremely well.

Living Ears Podcasts

Thanks to Scotty at Living Ears for posting these two podcast mixtapes. If you like his work, subscribe at the website posted above.

Living Ears Podcast #2


William Shatner - Common People
White Denim - Track 8
White Denim - Track 5
Lykke Li - Dance. Dance. Dance
Takka Takka - Everybody Say
Hot Chip - Ready for the Floor (Smoothed Out on an R&B Tip Version)
Groove Armada - Are Friends Electric (Gary Numan Cover)
Paris Hilton - Turn it Up
Modeselektor - Godspeed
Grizzly Bear - While You Wait for the Others (Live on KCRW)
Titus Andronicus - My Time Outside the Womb
The Hold Steady - Slapped Actress
Kid Sister - Control (JFK Remix)
Yo! Majesty - Hey There Girl
CSS - Left Behind
Sebastien Grainger - American Names
William Shatner - You'll Have Time

Living Ears Podcast #1


The Dodos - Eyelids
Port O'Brien - I Woke Up Today
Virgins - Rich Girls
Beck - Chemtrails
The Faint - The Geeks Were Right
Battles - Leyendecker
Crystal Castles - Alice Practice
Music Go Music - Light of Love
The Ataris - Boys of Summer
The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
Alkaline Trio - Do You Wanna Know?
MGMT - Time to Pretend
MGMT - Electric Feel (Justice Remix)
Kid Cudi - Day 'N Nite (Crookers Remix)
Busy P - To Protect and Entertain (Crookers Remix)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day Four: Gogol Bordello

Amidst the mega-cult (not cult cult) following 2007's favorite new music scene, gypsy rock, was the band Gogol Bordello. Actually starting in 1999 the band (named after Nikolai Gogol, who brought Ukranian culture to Russia) is made up of members from across the world including; lead singer Eugene Hütz from the Ukraine, Russians Sergey Ryabtsev on violin and Yuri Lemeshev on accordion, Oren Kaplan on guitar from Israel, and multiple other members from across the Eastern Hemisphere composing bass, drums, percussion, and back-vocals.

The greatest way to experience Gogol Bordello is live, watching a near dozen band members (young and old) cause of flurry of folk punk and rabid live performances. The sound is terrifically genuine like if the Pogues were from Tel Aviv. And as far as Lollapalooza is concerned, I'm confident Hütz and Company will be the most obscure, off-kilter, and one the most entertaining acts this year. Looking at the line-up for the festival, it's really hard to say anyone else could top them in the "different" column.

Check out their performance of "Wonderlust King" on Letterman from July of last year.

Keep wearing purple kids.

Sorry Andrew Klavan, George W. Bush is not Batman

Apparently, according to many right-wing sources, there is a theory that the character of Batman in the movie The Dark Knight is an homage to the beliefs and "bravery" of George W. Bush. You can stop here, because at this point I wouldn't put it past whomever is reading this that the draw of similarities between the two is absolute bullshit. Initially, I discovered this on Keith Olbermann's website in his daily "Worst People in the World" part of his show on MSNBC.

Andrew Klavan, journalist for The Wall Street Journal, is the most notable believer in this idea as heard in his article "What Bush and Batman Have in Common." You can read his article here.

After reading the piece (through Matthew Yglesias at TheAtlantic.com) I added the following essay on the topic's discussion board.

I find it substantially inaccurate for any one person to relate "The Dark Knight" (or for that matter any comic-based movie) to real life political figures; be it George W. Bush or anyone else. Yes, there are many films that advocate to at least some level of political influence, but most do not. And it's not just The Wall Street Journal, but a myriad of conservative opinions see the same comparisons about Batman.
The largest inaccuracy that Klavan fails to address is the fact that Bruce Wayne was not chosen to become Batman, but rather becoming him as an act of revenge differentiates him from Bush to no end. Batman is well-known as a vigilante, pursuing his own agenda that he feels is for the good of others. The public NEVER INITIALLY COUNTED on Batman to save Gotham, they just got lucky that he came around - unlike Bush - who IS COUNTED on by the American people to perform at the best of his abilities for others. If Klavan wishes to draw the similarities between Wayne and Bush, he cannot solely interpret Batman's methods of vigilantism and ignore the other aspects of his character, such as "never breaking his one rule," and focusing on only crime as his need for being a hero. Contrary to Bush, who's job it is (somewhat) to fix crime, but also economic standards, foreign affairs, among dozens of other topics.
I also agree with the point of comparing the Joker to Bin Laden fallacy [was discussed by members on the board] you guys brought up. The Joker never sought revenge on society (America and Christianity in Bin Laden's case), but rather only pursued his own evil intentions for the sole advocation of chaos and anarchy. The Joker was not "Us against Them," but rather "Me against the World." He had no agenda, unlike Bin Laden, but just the desire to watch the world burn.
As soon as the word 'terrorist' was mentioned in the script you'd have to believe someone in the journalism world would jump on the movie-real life relativity band wagon. At no point do I believe Klavan understood that Batman's character in "The Dark Knight" had always had his set of rules - you know, decades before Bush entered office. He was always the way Bale portrayed him, not just suddenly in the near-end of Bush's 2nd term.

One other thing. Christopher Nolan, the director, is not a conservative, nor has he indicated he ever was.