Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Try to imagine Catherine Breillat giving some dude a blowjob without making him feel intellectually guilty about it. Now picture Gaspar Noé toasting up a tasty little croissant and serving it to David Lynch on a cold steel plate. Lynch takes a bite, chews pensively for a moment and then swallows with visible displeasure. He snaps his fingers and the croissant fills with blood. He finishes it, because now it tastes better (I guess). If you have any idea what I'm talking about then you can probably infer whether or not you would enjoy this movie. I really hope you'll check it out and then let me know whether or not I liked it, too. Because I still have no fucking idea. Bonus points for the techno-industrial noise orchestra that practices in an abandoned factory and is also vaguely connected to a nondescript terrorist group. Wait, WUT??
A few months ago my girlfriend decided to dye her hair blonde. If you know my girlfriend then you know that she is already a tall curvaceous beauty with huge tits, a full shapely bottom, drool-inducing thighs and stunning facial features. Also, fuck you; don't talk to my girlfriend. She also tends to tan very easily and spends the majority of her summer evenings lounging around the apartment drinking beer in her underwear, giving me boners and then ruining them by farting. With the addition of this new blonde hair I cannot shake the impression that she now looks totally Latino. Latina? Either way I now like to pretend that she's either from some unknown coastal paradise in Brazil where semi-educated sexpots sunbathe nude on beaches and are always just bored enough to run a blow-train on a stand-up gringo like myself, or that she's a classy hard-working young professional from Mexico City who loves to work with children and secretly possesses a sex dungeon somewhere within her fantastic and criminally overpriced penthouse apartment. It's weird. My girlfriend is already a babe and my penis & I both agree that we're into her, but the dye-induced Latina fantasy has somehow upped the arousal ante significantly. I can't even watch normal American porn anymore; it's all got to be Latinas or NADA. I feel the same way about this movie. It's a fully functional and refreshingly entertaining 1st-person zombie carnival of jump-scares with more than its fair share of nicely earned tension-soaked setpieces. If it had come out a few years before the regrettable zombie explosion that we still seem to be mired in and before "Cloverfield" took the idea of the 1st-person thriller and immediately overhyped it into ineffectiveness, then I would even call this low-budget thrillride from Spain a landmark of modern horror. They say that timing is everything, and in this case I suppose that's halfway true. But what really seems to matter most is location, location, location; because Hollywood remade this movie less than a year after its completion as the rote and forgettable "Quarantine." Existing within the parameters of a surprisingly faithful remake, that film took the novel ideas of "[Rec]" and threw them into an American cocktail of bad actors, useless tweaking and "money isn't an issue" Hollywood budget-padding, resulting in the same tired pile of shit anyone would expect from a film industry seemingly bereft of a single original idea. Maybe something was figuratively lost in translation, or maybe we just can't get anything right. No matter the case, the facts remain clear: "[Rec]" is the low-budget Spanish underdog that still towers triumphantly over it's big-budget U.S. imitator, and even the hottest American girls would be way hotter if they weren't American.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Sure, it's where Motown started (say that shit in a "Mouth from 'the Goonies' voice") but that shit sold out and moved to L.A. So fuck them and fuck L.A. in general. Detroit is the real shit. The real hard-ass bad times city. The American Dream rudely interrupted, waking up in a cold sweat with a gun in your hand and a corpse in your bed style. If you ever played the original Sim City on your older brother's even older computer then you probably remember the Detroit scenario. The first thing you noticed is that according to the crudely rendered overhead map, the city of Detroit proper was shaped exactly like a big red handgun. The "scenario" itself was that the city was overwrought with crime and the only way to assuage the situation was to basically utilize your entire city budget to constantly build new police departments in strategically beneficial locations. Fuck Xbox360's super-magical graphics engine, this shit was my earliest memory of a videogame effectively portraying an actual location/situation with undeniable realism. Detroit is H.A.R.D. As a natural side effect of so much poverty and violence, Detroit also consistently offers up some of the toughest and tightest rap you can find. I've decided to throw together a personal favorites download post, so feel free to check out these albums at your leisure. This is by no means an exhaustive omnibus of the city's hip-hop output. You should already know whether or not you like Slum Village, J Dilla or Eminem. This is just a short list of albums I have been personally knocking a lot over the past couple of years, and hopefully it'll introduce a couple of you to some lesser-known shit you'll probably enjoy.
Black Milk - Tronic
Better known as a producer for other rappers than a solo artist, I sort of slept on this guy's earlier output despite always enjoying the beats he made for other artists. This one grabbed me by the first song, though. Following tracks can get a tad bit funky and Knight Rider-ish, but if you grew up playing 1st and 2nd generation console systems you'll be into it. Also: best breakup song ever (fuck bitches).
Royce da 5'9" - Bar Exam 2 & The Revival
Consistently dropping the best guest verses on countless songs, I feel like this dude is perpetually on the verge of blowin' up. I've never been blown away by his earlier solo albums, but "Bar Exam 2" is an exceptionally good mixtape featuring some refreshing takes on a lot of beats you've heard before and Royce spitting 100% fire from start to finish. "The Revival" is an EP from this year that gives a significant taste of where he is headed (good places).
Guilty Simpson - Ode to the Ghetto
I'd been salivating over a full-length Guilt album ever since I first heard him drop verses on "Champion Sound." I have to admit that I was a little bit underwhelmed by this album the first few times I listened to it, but it's gradually grown on me like an unnoticed tick. In a good way. The beats are mostly bleak and bring to mind the dystopian future landscape of "Blade Runner" if it was directed by the Hughes brothers, and Guilt's delivery is unwaveringly stoic and matter-of-fact. This might be a turn-off to people who prefer an MC with more flair, but I've seen the guy live and it all makes perfect sense. He seriously resembles a big brown bear that you got really stoned and who is hanging out with you just eating honey and giggling a lot until you say the wrong thing and he just tears off your entire face, the look on his own face never changing a bit.
Elzhi - The Preface
The living embodiment of the phrase "criminally underrated," this album is UNSTOPPABLE. Elzhi sounds so much like early-in-his-career Nas it's uncanny and even a little bit unsettling, but his occasional tangents into surreal wordplay bring to mind a younger Ghostface if he was less motivated by money and more concerned with simply getting some weird shit off of his chest. Think early-90s New York grittiness infused with some Southern California playfulness and you're almost there.
Jaylib - Champion Sound
This is sort of cheating because it's only 50% Detroit-based and it's already well-worn in a lot of rap fan's rotations, but whatever. I probably listen to this album in its entirety at least once every 2 weeks, if not more.
Phat Kat - Carte Blanche
Unfortunately I've only got this album on vinyl and I couldn't find a digital copy anywhere, but check out the video below to decide whether or not you'd like to hear more. Nightmarish urban mythology at its finest. I don't know what that sentence means.
Slaughterhouse - Slaughterhouse
Multi-city supergroup featuring Royce da 5'9". Their album hasn't dropped yet, but I imagine that in a week or so it'll be blasting my speakers to shreds. Don't sleep!!
Peace to the D.