the first 7 months of 2007

Sunday, July 29, 2007
1. Sloan - Never Hear The End Of It
2. Prodigy - Return Of The Mac
3. T-Pain - Epiphany
4. Ted Leo - Living With The Living
5. Eleni Mandell - Miracle Of Five
6. Jarvis Cocker - Jarvis
7. Parts & Labor - Mapmaker
8. Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond
9. Styles P. - The Ghost Sessions
10. Trans Am - Sex Change
11. Fall Out Boy - Infinity On High
12. T.I. - T.I. Vs. T.I.P.
13. The Nels Cline Singers - Draw Breath
14. Rich Boy - Rich Boy
15. Kelly Clarkson - My December
16. Meat Puppets - Rise To Your Knees
17. Fabolous - From Nothin' To Somethin'
18. Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
19. They Might Be Giants - The Else
20. Kelly Rowland - Ms. Kelly

1. Swizz Beatz - “It’s Me Bitches”
2. R. Kelly f/ T.I. and T-Pain - “I’m A Flirt (Remix)”
3. UGK f/ Outkast - “International Player’s Anthem”
4. Linkin Park - “Bleed It Out”
5. Kelly Rowland f/ Eve - “Like This”
6. Fantasia - “When I See U”
7. DJ Khaled f/ Akon, T.I., Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Birdman and Lil Wayne – "We Taking Over"
8. Maroon 5 - “Makes Me Wonder”
9. R. Kelly f/ Usher - “Same Girl”
10. Bobby Valentino - "Anonymous"
11. Beyonce - “Get Me Bodied”
12. T.I. f/ Wyclen Jean - “You Know What It Is”
13. Fabolous f/ Swizz Beatz - “Return of The Hustle”
14. Bow Wow f/ T Pain - “Outta My System”
15. My Chemical Romance - “Teenagers”
16. Keyshia Cole f/ Missy Elliott and Lil Kim - “Let It Go”
17. Mika - “Grace Kelly”
18. DJ Unk - “2 Step”
19. Fall Out Boy - “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs”
20. Fergie f/ Ludacris - “Glamorous”
21. Swizz Beatz - “Money In The Bank”
22. Red Hot Chili Peppers - “Hump De Bump”
23. The Game f/ Kanye West - “Wouldn’t Get Far”
24. Nicole Sherzinger f/ T.I. - “Whatever You Like”
25. Amerie - “Gotta Work”
26. Justin Timberlake - “Until The End Of Time”
27. The Fixxers - “Can U Werk Wit Dat”
28. Common f/ Dwele - “The People”
29. Daughtry f/ Slash - “What I Want”
30. Natasha Bedingfield - “I Wanna Have Your Babies”
31. Rich Boy f/ Polow Da Don and Keri Hilson - “Good Things”
32. Gym Class Heroes - “Clothes Off”
33. Fall Out Boy - “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race”
34. Three 6 Mafia f/ Chamillionaire - “Doe Boy Fresh”
35. Chamillionaire f/ Slick Rick - "Hip Hop Police"
36. Mims - “This Is Why I’m Hot”
37. Saigon f/ Swizz Beatz - “C’mon Baby”
38. The Killers - “Read My Mind”
39. Fabolous f/ Young Jeezy - “Diamonds”
40. Katharine McPhee - "Love Story"
41. Puddle of Mudd - “Famous”
42. Relient K - “Must Have Done Something Good”
43. Muse - “Starlight”
44. Paul Wall f/ Jermaine Dupri - “I’m Throwed”
45. Papa Roach - “Forever”
46. Dashboard Confessional - “Stolen”
47. Young Jeezy f/ Keyshia Cole - “Dreamin’”
48. Nelly Furtado - “All Good Things”
49. Eve - “Tambourine”
50. Young Jeezy f/ R. Kelly - “Go Getta”

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I posted a couple months ago about my first piece of writing in Scratch Magazine, and now I'm back in the new issue, once again in Boiling Point, talking to Phunk Dawg and Hurricane Chris about "A Bay Bay." I guess it'll be on newsstands in the next week if it isn't already, or at least I haven't found it yet. Shout outs to Noz, hopefully I can do some more stuff soon, maybe even about a song by a rapper over the age of 20.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
The Making The Right Moves Entertainment Conference is this weekend at the Baltimore Convention Center, and it's shaping up to be a pretty interesting event, I can't remember anything like this ever being done before here, at least on this scale. As I mentioned last month, I've been invited to appear as a panelist on two panels, which I believe will be on Saturday at 12 noon and at 3PM. So I'm gonna go check it out, meet some people, try to contribute to the discussion, and hang around and maybe see some of the speakers and showcases, and probably write something about the experience for the City Paper's Noise page. I put pretty much all the info I have about it below, and there's more at I hope the turnout's good and the whole event lives up to its potential, it'd be cool to have a conference like this every year.

July 27-29, 2007
Panelist include
, DJ Heat(Justo Award Winning DJ, WPGC 95.5 FM,Kelly Connelly( Music Monthly,Frank Johnson ( Alantic Records), Wil Roc( UnRuly),Rogue Versatile( Bmore Vibe Magazine),Mike MacIntosh( ARS,Architentects Ent) Antonio Motts ( U Turn Marketing and Promotions),Al Shipley ( Government Names Blog, Baltimore City Paper) Adeniya Omisore, Cheryl Slay ( Business Law attorney with a particular focus on Intellectual Property and entertainment industry matters) and many many more

( NEW JACK CITY, LAW and ORDER, Multi- Platnium Recording Artist)

Deshawn Taylor ( Author, CEO Real, BET's Ultimate Hustler Contestant
Liris Crosse (Best Man,The Source, XXL, Music Videos,),
Gary Gentles ( CEO/ Founder
Venom ( Hot 103.9FM SC)
The WILD CHILD DNA ( Rountable Ent, Rooftop Ent XM66 RAW Radio, Mixtape King
DJ LIL MIC( XM,WEAA 88.9,KJAM 105K Tulsa OK, WQIZ 93.1 The Beat Amarillo,TX,Raheem Devaugh Tour DJ)
David Ivory ( Grammy Award Winning Producer, Songerwriter),
Pork Chop ( 92 Q, Big Phat Morning Show, Billboard Charted Artist)
TOVE COOPER ( Author Of LADY B. MOORE and Founder/CEO of GOOOD Books
CEO, Actress, Studio Owner, Promoter and Host her own Series of Street DVD's

Paul Gardner

Since Attorney Gardner began the Gardner Law Group to specialize in entertainment and business law matters. Attorney Gardner has been the legal advisor to some of the following sample high profile clients like Actor/Comedian Tommy Davidson; the Prince of Fashion Travis Winkey; and many

Mike Williams

Publisher of Exclusive Magazine. Exclusive Magazine is an urban music publication with distribution in 10+ US markets as well as overseas in Germany with over 20,000+ readers. They have produced shows for television and college radio in the Hampton Roads region of VA. The TV show was called The Fixxx which aired on WVBT Fox 43 for 6 months and the Radio show was on Old Dominion University and was called the Block with the 1st Lady of College Radio which aired for 2 years on WODU AM 1630


WE NOT DONE YET ............ More will be added this week


Sponsored by ORIGINAL INC. Clothing
9-2 AM

4314 Curtis Avenue Baltimore, MD 21226

Phone: 410-354-5566 Fax: 410-354-5567

Performances start @ 10
Baltimore's Best Sound System


- MINISTER DaUrbanledjen
- Greenspan
- Bree Ft. Adonna
- S.I.- Buck Head Records
-Sudden Distraction - Buck Head Records
- The New Familia - Buck Head Records
- Kasper aka Young NOVA
- Broadway the Governa
-The Head Bangers
- Cyndiva
-Tydale Clayton
- O.D.R.
- Fat Dog

and many many many more suprises




Conference, Panel Discussions and Fashion Show

SITE: Baltimore Convention Center

1 W Pratt St

Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone:(410) 649-7000

Rooms 302 and 303

Staff 8:45 am

Check In 9.00 am


10 am Room 303 Fashion and Imaging

11 am Room 303 Get Your Business Started the Right Way

12 pm Room 302 Are you Using the Internet to Fully Market Yourself

1 pm Room 303 Touring on a Budget

1 pm Room 302 What are the Alternative Outlets For your Music

2 pm Room 303 Women in Media

Intermission 3-4

3 pm Room 302 Street Team and Gorilla Promotions

3 pm Room 303 Manager or Agent Whats Best and How Do I Get Legal Representation

4 pm Room 302 How to get distribution for My Product

4 pm Room 303 Demo Listening Session I


6 pm Key Note Speaker Ice-T “How to Hustle the Industry”

7 pm – 8 pm VIP Reception
Sponsored by EGO Productions

8 pm – 10 pm Fashion Show Presented By:

Avon Dorsey and Fashion 101

VIP Reception for ICE- T 5 PM to 6 PM

Fashion Show Powered by
AVON DORSEY &Style 101

@ The Convention Center
Advance Tix 15.00... Get at me for Tix...they are going fast...
VIP 50.00

For Tickets contact
AVON 410-926-5184
HOWARD 484-347-7898
REGGIE 410-900-6380

@ 5 Seasons

830 Guilford Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21202

The Mount Vernon Plaza

next to Dunkin Doughnuts

- Sluggerz Entertainment
-MINISTER DaUrbanledjen
- Karon
- Beat Box
- Bree Ft. Adonna
-Sudden Distraction - Buck Head Records
- The New Familia - Buck Head Records
- S. I Buck Head Records
-The Head Bangers
- Cyndiva
-Tydale Clayton
- O.D.R.
- Fat Dog
- Heavy Gold/ HG Stay Gettin Entertainmnet/ Arabz

Staff 8:45 am

Check In 9.00 am


10 am Room 302 Music Publishing for Songwriters

11 am Room 303 Another Way to Make the Big Time

12 am Room 303 Target Songwriting

1 pm Room 302 Demo Listening Session II

2 pm Room 303 Kids in the Industry

2:30 pm Room 302 Independent Film and DVD’s

3 pm Room 302 The Power of Video Exposure

4 pm Screening “ How Hip Hop Saved My Life “

Sunday, July 22, 2007
Fabolous f/ Lloyd - "Real Playa Like" (mp3)

Fabolous was never really that dude, and a while back it looked like his window of opportunity to be anything even close to it was closing, just like it was for so many clever but ultimately boring NY punchline rappers. So it was kind of surprising that getting traded to Def Jam has actually effectively put a new lease on his career. From Nothin' To Somethin' may feature wall-to-wall hitmakers, but so do a lot of albums that flop anyway because the artist on the marquee has lost career momentum. I'm honestly kind of surprised that "Make Me Better" has done as well as it has. I really shitted on the song in the Stylus Jukebox recently, I really think everyone involved phoned it in, and it's probably benefitting from the fact that radio loves Ne-Yo right now but his current solo single is the completely worthless "Do You." I was kind of amazed that Tom, who can always find something to praise in Timbaland's laziest table scraps, could muster up even a half-hearted defense of the song. "So Into You" and "Can't Let You Go" are examples of Fab doing pandering girl songs right, keeping his lyrics as sharp and funny as they are on his street joints; "Make Me Better" is not.

Unfortunately, From Nothin' is real heavy on girl songs, and with one exception, they generally suck. As usual, Polow Da Don, with some ridiculously lush strings, saves the day and comes through with the one dope girl song, "Real Playa Like." I mean, I dissed Real Talk back when it dropped, but it's much more satisfying for autopilot Fab than this album is. Even the straight up rap songs are kinda hit and miss. Senor Pants has been swearing to me up and down lately that "Diamonds" is awesome, but I'm just not hearing it. "Gangsta Don't Play" has some hot lines ("I'm from the era of the shootouts from drug spots/ Happy to be here so I smile in my mug shots/ The David Dinkins years, I even dug Koch/ Before the George Bush drugs watch, bloodclaat!"), "Return Of The Hustle" is yoga flame, but "Brooklyn" is, like most Jay-Z collaborations lately, kind of limp and anticlimactic. I wish Fab and Jay could go at it with the kind of back and forth chemistry that, say, Fab and Cassidy have.

I just hope that this album does well enough that it puts Loso back on the guest verse circuit where he belongs. Lord knows I'd rather hear him on every remix for a while instead of Jim Jones. Fab seems to be putting just a little more character and emphasis in his voice than he used to, like he listened to all the complaints about his blank Ma$e cadence and got self-conscious about it. Fab still has a way of letting subtle rhyme schemes pile off his tongue; he even makes the end-every-line-with-the-same-word shit that I usually can't stand work on "I'm The Man." One of the best parts about From Nothin' To Somethin' is the photos in the CD booklet, which seem more suited to the T.I. Vs. T.I.P. artwork. But instead of a hat-wearing Tip looking at a hatless T.I. in the mirror, the two Loso's in each photo seem to represent the nothin' Fab, if he'd never became a famous rapper, and the somethin' Fab who is a famous rapper. In one picture, poor Fab shines rich Fab's shoes. In another, rich Fab stands at a mixing board, giving instructions to studio technician Fab, wearing glasses and holding a bunch of cables. It's completely hysterical. I wish Fab still put lyric sheets in his liner notes, though. Come to think of it, T.I. Vs. T.I.P. was probably the first major label (non-backpacker) rap album since Real Talk to feature a lyric sheet.

In My Stereo

Friday, July 20, 2007
Fabolous - From Nothin' To Somethin'
Lil Boosie and Juvenile - Life After Katrina, Vol. 1
Kelly Rowland - Ms. Kelly
Eddie Izzard - Dress To Kill
DNA - Something 4 The Strippers 2
K-Swift The Club Queen - Jumpoff Vol. 11: Not Guilty
Team Arson presents Young, Fresh & New Vol. 1
Maryae - Forefront
Wade Waters - Dark Water
UnReal - Da F$$k Else U Want 4 Free

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The City Paper's annual Big Music Issue is out today, so go pick that up. My big piece in it this year is Ladies First, an examination of the huge amount of female talent in Baltimore hip hop right now. I interviewed B-Fly, Jade Fox, ShellBe R.A.W., Nik Stylz, Kelly Connelly, Tufflon Dona, Amotion and Symantyx for the story, and tried to at least mention every local female MC I knew of that I didn't get a chance to talk to. The other story I contributed to was Baltimore's Jukebox, where we sat down with various local musicians and played them other local music and discussed it. I talked to Midas and a couple members of the band Thrushes, and also producer Say Wut, although it looks like his part wasn't used (I feel really bad about that since his interview was cut from my article in last year's issue too, but at least I got to feature him on Noise recently), and other writers spoke to Scottie B. and Ogun, among others. I haven't gotten a chance to look through the whole issue yet but I'm looking forward to reading everything else, especially the piece on one of my favorite record stores, Dimensions In Music.

(photo by Sam Holden)

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Sunday, July 15, 2007
T.I. - "We Do This" (mp3)

The first time I popped T.I. Vs. T.I.P. in the CD player, the biggest surprise, more than any of the songs I hadn't heard yet, was that "Big Shit Poppin'" actually sounded good. Don't get me wrong, it's still a total non-starter as a single, but it's a pretty decent song, one that apparently only sounds good with CD-quality sound and a good stereo. On TV speakers, or on the FM dial, or a 128kbps mp3, all you hear is the pounding drum and the cheesy guitar line, and all of the other intricacies of Mannie's beat get swallowed up. So it was a minor revelation to finally hear all those things, as well as hear the explicit version again after months of being subjected to the awkward "Things" edit.

The other big surprise is that most of the ill-advised collabs with aging or washed up rappers turned out pretty well. Busta's verse kills, Wyclef has jams (who knew?), Jay is just aight (which for '07 Jay is a compliment), and the song with Nelly is even pretty tolerable after he and T.I. previously made the horrible "Get Loose," which Tip bizarrely regretted not releasing as a single. Of course, there was never any hope that the song with Eminem, "Touchdown," wouldn't be terrible, and yet it's inexplicably slated to be the next single.

I'm not gonna argue with anybody about the fact that the concept is silly as hell (especially the CD booklet photos that depict Tip wearing a hat looking at a hatless T.I. in the mirror), or that it's nowhere near as good as King, which was itself kind of ruled last year by default, good and all but definitely a beneficiary of not much else around to compete with. But I've barely copped any Southern rap albums this year anyway, and while I'm sure the UGK will kick the shit out of this in a few weeks, right now this is at least kicking the shit out of the Rich Boy. The 3 beats by Danja, especially "Hurt," confirm what I suspected after "We Takin' Over," that he's better without Timbo, and The Runners inch further away from one-trick-pony status with "We Do This." So I'll bump this for the time being and hope that the Tip/Toomp project comes along sooner than later.


Friday, July 13, 2007

What I've been up to on the City Paper website's music blog/column thing, Noise @, in the past month or so: on the Baltimore club side, I profiled Say-Wut in the Club Beat column. On the hip hop side, I reviewed M.O.L./Comp/Kartel/Greenspan @ 5 Seasons and Mic Life Wednesday @ The Brass Monkey Saloon and Tufflon Dona/Tyreika Renee/1st Family/Comp/Ty Gudda/Sport Mills @ The Polish Home Club. And on the rock music side, I reviewed New Age Hillbilly/The New Flesh/New Thrill Parade/Wildildlife @ The Sidebar and The Deep End/Evolve @ ESPN Zone and Gary B. And The Notions/Payola Reserve/Deleted Scenes/Bellflur @ The Mobtown Theatre.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007
The Nels Cline Singers - "Squirrel Of God" (mp3)

It's hard for me to listen to the Nels Cline Singers without comparing them to the outfit that they, for all intents and purposes, supplanted as Cline's main outlet as a composer and bandleader, the Nels Cline Trio. Cline started releasing records with his Trio in 1991, when he was still primarily known, to the extent that he was known at all, as a jazz guitarist, and probably had something to prove as far as showing his range and interest in music other than jazz. But by the time he formed the Singers a decade later, he'd appeared on a dozen major label alt-rock albums, as well as countless jazz/improv passion projects, and probably felt comfortable going anywhere in between with his new touring outfit. So while the Singers cover a lot of ground stylistically, they never quite hit the spazzy power trio sweet spot that NCT releases like Ground (which I own in triple 7" format!) used to hit for me.

The Singers' recent third album, Draw Breath, stays in a pensive, minimalist gear a little more often than their previous albums, and never gets close to the old Trio's attack, but it's not exactly sedate easy listening. "The Angel of Angels" and "Recognize I" have some really pretty acoustic (I think 12-string) guitar from Nels, further ratcheting up my interest in the all-acoustic solo project he's talked about doing on and off for years. But outside of those songs, whenever Scott Amendola isn't playing drums or percussion, he's playing 'live' electronics/effects, often with jarring synthetic textures that are pretty uncommon to hear in the context of a Nels Cline project. The 14-minute "Mixed Message" features one of the album's only snaky, stuttering start-stop melodies that Nels is so well known for, and after a long, quiet mid-section with some especially squelchy electronics, ramps up into a pretty bitching rock section.

Compared to the other albums Nels has played on this year, I'd put the Singers somewhere between the Eleni Mandell album and Downpour. But then, I haven't heard the Wilco album, and probably won't, considering that my limited listening experiences with that band in the past haven't been pleasant. But Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche (who I guess was more of a Jim O'Rourke associate before joining that band anyway) does guest on one of my favorite songs on Draw Breath, the awesomely titled "Squirrel Of God," adding some glockenspiel and mallet percussion. The way the 8-minute track closes the album, particularly in its last minute or two, is so unexpected and gorgeous that I feel like describing it would almost be a spoiler, so I won't, because you can just listen to it.

Monday, July 09, 2007
New blurbs on the Stylus Jukebox:

UGK ft. Outkast - International Players Anthem [8/7]
Timbaland ft. The Hives - Throw It On Me [3/2.8]
T.I. ft. Wyclef Jean - You Know What It Is [7/6.75]
Katharine McPhee - Love Story [7/6.17]
Justin Timberlake - Lovestoned/I Think She Knows [6/7.83]
Justin Timberlake ft. The Benjamin Wright Orchestra - Until The End Of Time [8/6.29]
Rick Ross - Career Criminal [4/4.5]
Johnta Austin ft. DJ Unk - Video [3/4.5]
My Chemical Romance - Teenagers [7/8]

Surprisingly a lot of stuff to be positive about lately, even some things I probably could've given a slightly higher score than I did. Note that I am the only panelist who likes "Until The End Of Time" more than "Lovestoned," as well as the individual who gave both the highest score to the former and the lowest score to the latter. Am I totally alone on this one or is it just Stylus's wacked out priorities re: Justin (which also resulted in "What Goes Around," which has pretty much sounded worse and worse every time I've heard it, being the highest rated Jukebox single of the past 6 months)?


Saturday, July 07, 2007
Styles P. - "Frustration" (mp3)

The release of the independent album The Ghost Sessions, less than six months after Styles P. finished his Interscope contract with the long-delayed Time Is Money, is a commentary on the weird, depressing state of his career: where MCs like Prodigy and Joell Ortiz are releasing albums on Koch to gear up for major label albums, Styles is releasing an album on no-name indie Streetcore to gear up for his Koch album, Five Star General. So it's kind of a minor work by design, the least hyped of 3 albums that he may put out in the space of 12 months. And it's still pretty good, because, well, Styles is good, dropping poignant rhymes as well as goofily earnest non-sequiturs like "I'm conscious but I like to blow weed, I'm complex." The first 12 tracks proper are uniformly good, roughly equal to my 14th favorite album of 2006. And then it all comes off the rails with the 3 "rock remixes" tacked on at the end, which I think were produced by the same guy who worked on M.O.P.'s metal album. They're all predictably pretty mediocre, as rap and as metal (oh god those sloppy double-bass pedal blasts), but then, "Come One, Come All" was a pretty annoying song to begin with.

The overall best tracks are the two Large Professor productions (dude hasn't had a lot of notable credits this decade, but he still shits on 95% of all producers out there), and "The Lessons," which features some awesome live horns from the Hypnotic Brass Band. But my favorite is "Frustration," a 2-minute track where he talks over the beat between verses in lieu of a hook. After so many direct, venomous diss tracks thrown back and forth in the D Block/G-Unit beef, he addresses the toll it's taken on his career without really calling out anyone or dissing anyone, just venting about the two years that Interscope kept his album on the shelf, possibly on 50's command: "here's a little story about some shit that need to stop/ somebody somewhere don't want me to drop/ got me frustrated to the point/ waking up every day, hand is on the joint/ contemplating to myself, should I go and use it/ tell 'em I'm the ghost, I just wanna make my music." Now he can at least do that, even if it's no longer on a major label.


Movie Diary

Thursday, July 05, 2007
1. Transformers
I skipped all the big sequels, but this was the one big summer movie I had to see. Transformers were pretty much my earliest childhood obsession, my brother Zac and I had a ton of the toys and would make up dialogue and elaborate plotlines for our own battle scenes. I haven't owned any Transformers for years, but Zac's kind of kept up with it and has become a big part of the Transformers fan community and has been to Botcon and met some of the voice actors from the cartoon, so he's always kept me abreast of developments with this movie for the last few years, and I was pretty hyped to finally see it. I was happy with the choice of Michael Bay for director; a franchise like Transformers was probably never going to attract a filmmaker as credible as Sam Raimi or Peter Jackson, so I'm glad they got an A-list fauxteur instead of a less experienced hack. Still, this movie didn't quite approach the over-the-top awesomeness of his high water mark, The Rock.

Things I liked: Peter motherfucking Cullen (the audience in my theater applauded twice during the movie, when annoying-ass Frenzy died and when Cullen boomed "I AM OPTIMUS PRIME"), the balance of action and exposition in the first half, John Turturro, the Even Stevens kid, that first time you hear the 'transform' sound effect. Things I didn't like: not enough Decepticon dialogue and interaction (some Megatron/Starscream bickering would've been nice), too much time spent on generic soldier-with-a-baby-at-home/high-school-teacher-with-a-bowtie characterization, really cheesy Hackers-level fake computer lingo, scenes with people like Jon Voight and Anthony Anderson that could've come out of any action movie from the past 10 years, and some of the battle scenes were just a little too overwhelming with the 'realistic' shakey camera work. Also, I'm kind of annoyed that they went with the whole 'Allspark' thing that was originated with the shitty Beast Wars TV series, instead of the old school energon cubes and 'the matrix' (which I guess they wouldn't have gotten away with now after The Matrix movies). Still, it was a pretty great spectacle, and I really hope it clears the path for a sequel with an even bigger budget and improved visual effects.

2. Farm Sluts
When I stumbled across the IMDb entry for a short film featuring Chris Parnell, Catherine Keener's hot sister, and the likeably obnoxious guy from Cellular and Hostel, my interest was piqued and I found it on YouTube. Unfortunately, after a funny first few minutes, the premise doesn't really go anywhere except really well worn 'black comedy' and suicide gags. For 17 minutes. If they put this on SNL it would've been torture to sit through and I would've switched channels pretty quickly. The worst part is, it doesn't even really utilize Parnell's comedic talents that much, he barely talks and just stands around looking embarrassed the whole time.

3. Fever Pitch
And while the underrated Parnell gets nothing but short films and small supporting roles and 30 Rock walkons, the barely competent Jimmy Fallon gets to headline a Farrelly bros. flick. It was kind of charmingly lightweight, though, and thank god he didn't do the fake Boston accent from that one SNL sketch he always used to do.

4. Jawbreaker
I thought Rose McGowan was the hottest thing ever back when this movie came out, but never got around to actually seeing it until it was on cable recently. And even though the late 90s was a really good time for raunchy and slightly campy teen comedies, this one pretty much falls flat. There's a lot of cursing and death-related humor and it still all just kind of breezes by. I didn't laugh once, and it didn't even really feel like it was trying to make me laugh, it just had a vague atmosphere of levity but never did anything with it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

When Linkin Park started renouncing their rap-metal past and released the dour "What I've Done" as the lead single from their new album, I figured it probably wouldn't include any songs I'd like as much as the still-classic "Faint." But the song "Bleed It Out" that they played on SNL a while back, and which is supposed to be the next single, is pretty incredible. I'll make fun of Shinoda Ice's monotonous rappy raps as much as anyone, but in the right context he really does make their songs awesome. "Bleed It Out" is full of the elements that shitty 'dance punk' indie bands use to signify a sense of zany fun in their songs: tambourines, handclaps, loose chatter low in the mix in the beginning of the song. And when those bands do it, it always sounds kind of desperate and forced to me, but with Linkin Park it's actually as exhilarating as it should be, because they usually seem like such joyless bunch of lab rats, creating hundreds of alternate takes of boring power ballads instead of stuff as great as "Bleed It Out."