Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gordon Smith.

And yet, his acting is still better in Belly. Given that he was in Hawaii to shoot this scene, is it safe to assume he also ended up on the MBDTF cutting room floor, and we'll hear that tune in the coming weeks?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Trying my best to find my way

As someone who hasn't truly liked an album by Kanye in about five years, I must say this new one is quite a force. When I was listening to it yesterday, I got to "All of the Lights" and I realized that this album reminds me a lot of Marvin Gaye's Hear, My Dear. I think the reason I couldn't get into Graduation or 808s was I didn't feel a sense of urgency from Kanye; he didn't give off the feeling that his moment was fleeting. Instead, it was always meant to be, and he was basking in it. But with MBDTF, from the lyrics to the production, it feels clear to me that his mother's death impacted a whole lot more than any breakup or MTV incident. One of the things that appealed to me about Kanye the summer he released his first single was that he had so many directions his thoughts could take him, and as he got more famous/isolated, his perspective didn't really match my own. So to hear him, however briefly, mention his bags getting searched on "Gorgeous" or talk about how he relates to what is happening in the world, I remember why I was such an ardent fan in the first place. He's not just angrily venting about his ex, he's trying to work through his own problems, which is much more relatable. To get back to to the Hear, My Dear comparison, the song above is easily my favorite from that album, and comes halfway through a 70-minute kiss-off to Anna Gordy. The trauma of losing a significant other or loved one can force you to reassess your values and trajectory in life, and it's pretty obvious Gaye is concerned with all that as his marriage is crumbling. I haven't watched or listened to any of the interviews Kanye has given, since Matt Lauer is hard to deal with, but does anyone know if he's been asked about his mother's passing and how that influenced his goals with his album? I'd be curious to know if he brought it up on his own, too. Anyway, the way this new album plays reminds me of my own thoughts when I lost my grandmother and my roommate lost a close friend. In sum, it's good to hear Kanye thinking broadly again. Also, Bink!

As good as this thing is, I still don't think Kid CuDi needs to be on here at all. And does Alicia Keys only moan and yell now? Plus, the posse cut combination of "Monster" and "So Appalled" feel rather random in terms of flow, but I like both.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It should be clear by now that I am a pretty big basketball fan. I don't have a TV, nor do I follow the league at all times, but I care a great deal about the players and certain teams/styles of play/uniforms. Basically, I am a sucker for the details. If I learned anything over this past summer, it's that when you feel like mainstream outlets for sports news are failing you in terms of depth or breadth of coverage, go looking for what you want. If I might recommend one source to a few of you, it would be Voice on the Floor. It's a series of podcasts from a bunch of different basketball writers, of various length and tone. I would encourage you all to listen to the first episode, looking at how the Gilbert Arenas episode effected the Wizards. I'm of the opinion that great, long-form reporting on sports and science are lacking in terms of the quantity of resources, so anything like this I can get my hands on, I will cherish. Enjoy.

Also, has anyone listened to the 11-minute Kanye song yet? I haven't heard it, is it worth checking out?

At first glance, I see the merit in this article, but it is also so incredibly frustrating. I need to think more clearly about why it bothers me. Though a quote like this:

FK: When you were reading all these lyrics, did you ever imagine what they would sound like spoken?

SA: It's funny: I mostly imagined them in my internal "textual" voice — the voice I tend to use for all reading. Which is probably a ghost version of my own.

FK: So all the same tempo I'm guessing.

SA: Yeah, basically the same. And then I'd read some of my favorite passages aloud to my wife, and she would laugh at me because it sounded ridiculous.

makes it easy to see why I'm irritated. My emphasis, by the way.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An announcement.

I suppose it's been a while, for which I apologize. I was busy moving across the country and trying to get my act together for graduate school. I suppose the break was good to acquire new music and just marinate over my opinions, but I feel guilty neglecting the site. I'll resume opinions soon, and I may try podcasting provided i make the time to do so. I also started a tumblr about a week ago. I imagine that the podcasts will go both there and here. Some of you may know that I did a radio show in college, and I kind of miss that structured playtime. So why not relive that experience thanks to modern technology? I'll try and get my act together, for all our benefits. Since I don't have much of a social life, I took all of five minutes to come up with a name and "artwork" for this radio show, as you can see. I'm trying to convince my roommate to join me on the show, so look out for that. But it will happen, and there will be music.