Monday, February 21, 2005

Sleep Well, Duke

He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Classy Choons

The public apparently demanded a tracklist for Scott Bradley's latest mess, Class, so here it is:

Cannibal Ox - Bonus
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo - Edge of Sanity
The Roots - Episodes
MC Solaar - Caroline
A Tribe Called Quest - Sucka Nigga
J-Live - Braggin Writes (DJ Spinna Rmx)
De La Soul featuring MF Doom - Rock Co. Kane Flow
Prefuse 73 - The Wrong Side of Reflection
Little Brother - Whatever You Say
Digable Planets - Where I'm From (Aural G. Ride 12")
Brand Nubian - Wake Up (Stimulated Dummies Mix)
Diamond D - I Went for Mine
Jurassic 5 - Jayou
Hieroglyphics - Burnt
Method Man - Bring the Pain (Chemical Vocal)
Quantic - Fresh Rhythm
Jay-Z vs Luke Vibert - Change Clothes
Forss - Lost Through Inversion
Viktor Vaughn - Back End
The Cinematic Orchestra featuring Roots Manuva - All Things to All Men

Sounds digable? It's still online. Go get it.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

He Hate She*

For most people, Spike Lee's joints are hit-or-miss, and for better or worse, at 46 years old and after some twenty-odd films to his record, he very much remains a polemic filmmaker. Those who dislike him, tend to dislike almost everything he does (as well as his public persona), the most common exception being Do the Right Thing - such a canonized film now that even its few detractors keep a low profile. Those who like Lee (like me) acknowledge him as a sometimes problematic auteur who even is his darkest hour manages to conjure up some worthwile sentiments, performances or situations. It was true in 1986, it is true now.

Whether Lee is a fearless filmmaker or just has poor judgment nowadays is certainly up for debate given his erratic oeuvre, but his recent output displays a frustrating, almost Oliver Stone-like unevenness. Just when you thought it was safe to trust the energetic Brooklynite again, after the stunningly return-to-form 25th Hour, he almost goes Girl 6 on our asses with the messy, overwrought, and mostly stereotypical She Hate Me [con+], which starts out as a decent corporate-scandal drama but quickly evolves into a story about a young black stud who gets paid wads of cash to impregnate lesbians (and in the process possibly reminding them that, you know, cock is pretty great, ladies). It's a film filled with unnecessary sidetracks, strange diversions and misdirections.

It's not all bad though. There's an elegant score by Terence Blanchard, it looks great (Mathew Libatique works well with Lee, very comfortable with the NYC surroundings), and John Turturro does a funny Brando. Still, it is a film where Lee comes full circle in his dubious and unflattering view of women (both straight and gay), a tendency that has been plaguing his work on and off for most of his career. But as much as Lee's transparent attitudes in this film often reek of ignorance and/or wishful thinking (ie, if gays = hot lesbians, then it's OK with me!), he's still willing to throw it all in the fire, creating an unlikely yet fascinating, bloated movie - flawed in numerous ways but often entertaining. And he's still ballsy as fuck, case in point being the opening credit sequence - a magnificent three-dollar bill, blowing like a flag in the wind, adorned by the smirking chimp George W. Bush.

You wuz robbed. Again.

*shamelessly ripped off from Scott Tobias' review in The Onion, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Instead of Movies

Been so stressed out the last week or so that I've hardly been able to sit down with a good movie at all, not even for clearing my head of trouble and angst. However, the hardest work is now behind me, and I can get back to filling my head with celluloid nonsense. I will return with some thoughts on this and that in a bit, but first: during my prolonged 24/7 sessions in front of the computer, I've been listening a lot to new and exciting music. Lord knows I have some catching up to do. These tracks are all in heavy rotation:

Matthew Herbert - Wake Up (best thing I've heard in months; best thing I've heard from Herbert since Foreign Bodies)
Mr. De - Whonleeone (on-its-toes übercool electro soul)
Amon Tobin - The Lighthouse (from his soundtrack to the new Splinter Cell game)
Akufen - Theo's Theory (lovely tribute to the man Parrish)
Recloose - Dust (such a great comeback)
Foreign Exchange - Be Alright (to keep me above water)
José Feliciano - Golden Lady (from the Wonder of Stevie compilation, one of my fav Stevie songs)
Jazztronik - Samurai (Osaka-based, epic broken funk)

I know you're feeling it.