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-“Do We Really Need Blueprint 3?: A Prayer for Kanye West” by DocZeus from Not a Blogger
-“Jockin’ is JV: The Lethargy of Post-Retirement Jay-Z” by Jeff Weiss from Passion of the Weiss

I’m actually pretty into “Jockin’ Jay Z”–the squonking Death Comet Crew-esque guitars, a Kanye track with drums that actually do something, and the first time Jay’s sounded even kind of urgent since ‘The Black Album’–but it’s fun to read eloquently angry dissections of the song from Jeff Weiss and Doc Zeus. Calling the album ‘Blueprint 3′ however, is undeniably dumb because ‘Blueprint 2′ isn’t a masterpiece or anything already. All Kanye production that isn’t just going to be a rip of what was done on the first ‘Blueprint’ however, is really exciting. Since Jay’s all about concepts that are half-interesting but half-cover his ass, ‘Blueprint 3′ should just get the production line-up from ‘Blueprint’ and have them reunite 8 years later.

-“I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time” by Joseph from Geek Down

“A cool aspect of “Lovin’ U Long Time” is that there’s no four-on-the-floor kick drum going on and I think that’s an important, distinguishing characteristic when adopting the disco/house sound. DJ Toomp approaches such a contemporary, next-level sound here whereas something like Hercules and Love Affair (who I actually like a lot) can sound so much more throwback because of the four-on-the-floor kick, even with the minimal-electronic flourishes the tracks are populated with. The patterns are varied and overall, the drum sequence takes a lot more from hip-hop than anything else. The piano line that introduces “Lovin’ U Long Time” is understated and immediately overshadowed by the ascending string stabs. Once the verse hits, the line sits wonderfully under Mariah’s single vocal line. It serves as excellent contrast for that ecstatically-layered chorus. I don’t know what it is, but if a song has really pleasing, melodic vocal-counterpoint going on, I’ll go nuts for it.”

-“Manuel Göttsching Revisits Minimalist Classic E2-E4″ by D. Strauss from the Village Voice

“Even before the Detroit sounds of the mid-1980s made their way to Prussia, there were German musicians pioneering the sounds of proto-techno, most notably Kraftwerk and their producer, Conny Plank, whose album Zero Set, recorded with Cluster’s Dieter Möbius and Guru Guru drummer Mani Neumeier, was similarly ahead of its time. But E2-E4 finds itself echoed—if not out-and-out duplicated—in myriad microgenres, from techno to house to electro to IDM to ambient to Italo-disco”

Letter To a Young Blogger

Real quick. Not directed towards anybody in particular, but in my two-week absence–I was moving, sorry guys–I got quite a few very nice e-mails asking where I was and hoping I wasn’t gone or anything. I also got a few e-mails from people wanting “advice” on blogging which is weird because I’m just some prick with a blog, but it got me thinking about this blogging crap. So, here’s some advice…1) Don’t ask bloggers to “trade links” and really, don’t ask to be added to a blog roll, it’s sort of a bad look. Comment and interact with a blog or the community and if your shit doesn’t suck, you’ll be on their blog roll soon enough. 2) Don’t send e-mails on your latest fucking article or blog for some site, it’s annoying. Especially don’t do it when someone hasn’t asked to be e-mailed your bullshit. 3) Don’t post the same horse-shit as everyone else. NahRight’s got that shit on lock. Even though NahRight often swipes from other sites, the site’s got the audience and you’ll never get it. Posting the same shit and posting like 15 times a day will probably get you some hits but nothing more. Hits are overrated. 4) Don’t be an island. This is the worst thing I’ve noticed amongst hip-hop blogs and it’s probably what will make it a useless thing in like a year or two. Contribute to other places, talk to people. More than anything, don’t treat your content or your name as anything too important. Not trying to shit on NahRight, but that’s the biggest and most relevant rap site? All us assholes should probably get together and start an actually interesting site…

-“Artists Health Insurance” by Colleen Doran from A Distant Soil Blog

As someone who until recently totally had to work some horse-shit job because I needed health insurance, I’m not really sympathetic to the plight of the benefits-less “freelance” artist–get a day job fuckas–but this informative article by the creator of the great 80s comic ‘A Distant Soil’ is worth looking into for anybody who’s benefits-less.

-“Some of Raymond Briggs’ Children’s Books Are Actually Comics” by J. Caleb Mozzoco from Every Day Is Like Wednesday

Do you remember that word-less book you looked at in like, first-grade called ‘The Snowman’? Well, even then I thought it was kinda queer, but the artist Raymond Briggs just had a book of his called ‘Gentlemen Jim’ released in graphic novel form and it’s sort of bringing about a revisionist look at many of his kids books as “sequential art” or “graphic novels” or just comic books and not kids books. J. Caleb Mozzoco takes a look at a whole bunch of Briggs’ art with smart commentary and some excellent scans.

-“Body proves Bigfoot no myth, hunters say” from

It’s safe to assume that this will end up being fake or a fraud or whatever, but there’s this Fox Mulder side of me or something that ends up getting more suspicious of a media that doesn’t even take this serious for a second than it does of the goofy rednecks that “discovered” it. Think of how every time there’s an alien sighting or any kind of conspiracy theory the news breaks its veil of objectivity and smugly laughs-off stuff like this. Even though it’s all probably fake, it feels more real because the media goes out of its way so much to debunk something to obviously absurd. Just saying…

-“Dream Tickets” by Jane Giles & A Bunch of Film Critics from ‘Sight & Sound’ August 2008

This is from last month’s ‘Sight & Sound’ which is this month’s in this country. There’s a great film-nerd wetdream article about one’s “dream double-bills”. As expected, due to the overall density of almost every film critic out there, a lot of them are depressingly unoriginal (‘Aguirre the Wrath of God’ & ‘My Best Fiend’, ‘Ali: Fear Eats Soul’ & ‘All That Heaven Allows’) but a few ideas are really inspired: Armond White’s ‘Intolerance’ & ‘Nashville’, Michael Atkinson’s ‘Mr. Freedom’ & ‘Team America’, and Alexander Howarth’s ‘Ordet’ with Larry Cohen’s ‘Gold Told Me To’. Anyway, it got my friends and I coming up with our own and here were some of mine. For those film-nerd readers out there, post your own in the comments section…

-Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ‘Holy Mountain’ & Wes Anderson’s ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’
-Tom Green’s ‘Freddie Got Fingered’ & Dana Carvey vehicle ‘Master of Disguise’
-’Heavy Metal’ & Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Dreams’
-Michael Mann’s ‘Miami Vice’ & Terrence Malick’s ‘A New World’
-’Fingers’ & ‘The Bad Lieutenant’
-John Cassavetes’ ‘Husbands’ & Cam’ron Giles’ ‘Killa Season’
-Albert Brooks’ ‘Modern Romance’ & Vincent Gallo’s ‘Buffalo 66′
-’Love Liza’ & ‘Morvern Callar’ & ‘The Hawk Is Dying’

-Criterion Collection: Bottle Rocket Comes Out 11/25/08

Finally! Lots of deleted scenes, the original short film, a making-of documentary, sounds pretty cool. My Undergraduate Thesis was called “Irony, Sympathy, and Empathy in Wes Anderson’s ‘Bottle Rocket’ and it’s basically, a 90 page rant about why it’s such a great movie and sort of set-up in contrast with the hip, cool, irony-filled crime films of early/mid-90s, especially ‘Pulp Fiction’, which is sort of the best way to sell and understand ‘Bottle Rocket’.

Comic Book For the Week: Joe Kubert’s ‘Tor’ #4

This is the only monthly I’m reading that’s usually sold-out or almost sold-out when I get to the comics store on Wednesday evenings but no one’s really talking about, which is actually sort of perfect because it’s sort of this incredible comic that’s hard to describe. Look at this way. Joe Kubert’s a legend and he’s old as shit and he’ll probably die soon and he’s still doing these brilliant comics with the same art style and the same writing and the same character and it’s incredible. It’s dialogue-less–because Tor’s a caveman who can’t speak–but it isn’t wordless because Kubert punctuates the frames with a sparse, hard-ass, narration style that isn’t describing anything you can’t get from the images but adds a sort of weird, emotional level to this caveman/survival tale that fancy-pants critical over-analyzing can’t describe.

Album For the Week: Jesu & Envy ‘Split’

Never heard of them before this split but usually when you get a split EP for a band you like, you end up disliking the other band or the songs just feel like boner-kills because you wish you had two or three more songs by the band you like but here, the unknown to me Envy come out on top, especially on ‘A Winter Quest For Fantasy’ which is sort of this weird sexy Chris Isaak song and also this crushingly heavy emotional song. Jesu choose not to get heavy at all on here which is okay but disappointing.

Written by Brandon

August 18th, 2008 at 2:23 am

Posted in links

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