Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cavalarri Back

Hai friends. Just sitting here watching the Hills finale. I've almost finished the move and unpack and have internets now, so updates should resume in earnest tomorrow. In the meantime, don't forget to vote in our very, very important GG Episode Title Poll. You have one week to send your very, very important ballot to We love you. Holler.

EDIT: Yo, I wrote the wrong email on this one the first time around cuz I'm an idiot. If you sent anything to, resend that shit to PLEEEASE.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Can I pay to see this film tomorrow? I'll pay big.

"Know you don't like me cuz/your bitch most likely does"

148. T.I. - "What You Know" (Atlantic, 2006)
149. T.I. - "Rubber Band Man" (Atlantic, 2003)

I'm not the only one moving this week (yeesh), YMD fav Clifford Harris aka T.I.P. aka T.I. made the trip up to Arkansas on Tuesday to begin serving his 366 day prison sentence. We'll miss having the charismatic Mr. Tip around for a whole year, so let's pay tribute today to his two ultra-classic singles, the David Banner-produced "Rubber Band Man" and the Toomp banger "What You Know".

"Rubber Band Man" was my introduction to Tip and, while I think his rapping has actually gotten better since then, this song as a whole is easily one of his best. That's not to say that Tip wasn't already a very good rapper here. For example, "Gangstas who been servin' since you been doin' the running man/went down, did 10, back round and rich again" is a very neat summing up of a particular trap narrative, and it sounds awesome (the consonance on the Ns, smoooooth). The beat is ridiculous though. Even if children singing backup for Trap Star #1 makes you uncomfortable, and maybe it should, I'd think you might still have to smile to this.

"What You Know" is a slightly different kind of monster. I used to describe the beat as the sound of an NES melting, and I still think I had a point there, but that doesn't begin to describe how grandiose and awesome it is. How bout a Nintendo hooked up to a giant sound system in a Caddy while playing the final stages from Zelda, Contra, Ninja Gaiden, and Castlevania all synced up to each other? Anyways, it's the best, and T.I. kills it. I know we weren't using "swag" every two sentences in 2006, but Tip has like ultra-ultra-swag on this one.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Ayyo, my internet is down til next weekend. We will update as often as possible. Lurv u.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Every neighborhood is a project

150. Mystik Journeymen - "The Odyssey" (from the Mercury Rising EP, Outhouse, 1999)

For a while I've recalled the part of my formative years during I went in and and out of listening almost exclusively to underground hip-hop, from like 12 to 16, with a kind joking embarrassment. I've pretty much lost interest in that scene completely and while I still put on some of the records I listened to then once in a while, a lot of them sound overly pious, silly or, even worse, boring to me. But you know, we move on, and these days the non stop indie-ing of my 18th year seems much more embarrassing anyways. Not that I'm actually embarrassed by any of this mind you. If you've read this blog at all you prolly realize by now that (as gauche as it is to make things like this explicit) music for me is a personal experience (which includes being a part of a communal experience, natch) more than anything, and there's no such thing as bad music to be embarrassed about liking anyways.

That's a pretty roundabout way of bringing us to this excellent song, but here we are. Mystik Journeymen were the founders of California's Living Legends crew, and "the Odyssee" is a rather serious song (I was a rather serious 13 year old, I guess) that I remember thinking was one of the best things in the world when I bought the Mercury Rising EP at Gramophone Records. I use the word epic semi-seriously most of the time, but this song, by virtue of its title and narrative alone, deserves that the fairly literal use of that word, and the super-dramatic makes the looser definition work too. The lyrics are basically about the feasibility of keeping one's sanity in the modern world, not an uncommon topic certainly, but one very well executed here. The way the raps kind of trail off and/or come in with unexpected bursts fits the subject matter and the beat perfectly. My favorite moment is at 2:54, when the list of channels kind of splits up and the number "four" sneaks in there so it can be rhymed with "propaganda is the tool that they use to win their wars!" That sample that comes in with 20 seconds left is great too. Lesson for Maciej: just because this subject matter and style was like candy to me when I was a corny seventh grader doesn't mean it doesn't still taste delicious.

Belated Tuesday Kapitalizm

Things you should cop this week? Well, on the music front the winner seems to be the Field's new record, Yesterday and Today. I was absolutely in love with this guy's first album and while this one might not be as spectacularly gorgeous, it makes up for it by expanding the Field's rhythmic pallette quite a bit. It's still far from super-adventurous in that regard, but there's definitely a bit more bounce in his step and he even slows down on a few tracks.

DVD-wise, you should really see My Bloody Valentine 3D and, since it doesn't look like Netflix is shipping 3d glasses, you might have to bite the bullet and cop the DVD, which comes with four pairs of them. The dialogue is eh, the twists aren't very original but, as a whole, MBV3D is a pretty sweet entry into the shlock-horror sweepstakes. Lotsa sharp things going "through" the screen, an incredibly long nude scene, what more could you ask for?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Presenting, the Yes More Drama Gossip Girl Episode Titles Poll

Dear friends,

In our esteemed tradition of Gossip Girl fandom and extremely pointless lists, the Yes More Drama blog would like to present (and ask for your help in) our first annual Yes More Drama Gossip Girl Episode Titles Poll, a poll to determine not the best GG episode, but rather the best titled one (so, you see, whether or not you've watched an episode of GG doesn't matter all that much, though if we're friends, odds are ya have). If you have a few seconds to spare during the next few weeks I would ask you to do the following:

- Look over the list at this wiki page (which also lists what the titles reference)
- Arrange a list of the your top 10 favorite episode titles, using whatever criteria you think is suitable (err, except the quality of the episodes themselves, this is about the titles, dammit). Your 1st place title will be assigned 10 points, your 2nd place 9 points, your 3rd place 8 points, etc.
- Send it in to with the phrase "GG Poll" somewhere in the subject line.
- Tell yr friends.

Voting will be open until 11:59pm on Friday, June 5th. We hope to make this a wonderfully trivial experience for everyone.


EDIT: Wrote the wrong email on this the first time around. FIXED

Play this music on every route

We've made it past the halfway mark on this countdown which, as with all milestones, is much further than I expected to get. Holler holler holler.

151. Dirt McGirt - "Pop Shit (ft. Pharrell)" (from the The Neptunes Present... Clones comp, Star Trak Entertainment, 2003)

This is easily one of my favorite ODB tracks and it comes from the back end of a Neptunes comp. The beat isn't even particularly special by Neptunes standards, y'kno, but the verses and chorus are so crazy that he could prolly be rapping over late-era N*SYNC JT beatboxing and it would still be fly as hell.

Dirty just goes off here. His flow, delivery, and lyrics all sound as far out as ten years before, maybe even moreso. The lines "Follow dirty, I'm the way out/catch bitches like trout, gettin' drunk off stout" are straight up some of my favorite rhymes anyone has ever spit. The combination of messianic insanity, oddly specific simile, and booze there gets me every time. Dude was absurd on record in the best way possible.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It ain't no trick

152. Hiroko Saki - "W.E.Y.D." (from the Beauty Gives Me a Boner album, self-released, 2007)
153. Hiroko Saki - "Hiroko Saki" (from the Beauty Gives Me a Boner album, self-released, 2007)

Went up to Fordham yesterday to see some of my boys graduate, both at a a masters and undergrad level, so I figured I'd finally write about Hiroko. Besides (arguably) the ones I was in, no band reminds me more of college than Hiroko Saki, that foul-mouthed crew of costumed crusaders that terrorized Fordham's Rose Hill campus for a few years in the middle of this decade.

"W.E.Y.D." like many Hiroko Songs, starts out lyrically in motion ("riding on my horse"), though by the time the lyrics get there it's almost over, and you're already hella sweaty from jumping around to the rhythm bursts of the section right before the verse. The title means "We'll Eat Your Dicks," which I have memories of yelling while being covered in strawberry and/or chocolate syrup.

"Hiroko Saki" starts walking down the street, but it's no less epic. It sounds like it was made to be yelled along to by a mess of drunk people (made for college). The second half of it is a protest against oppression in the form of not being able to party freely on spring weekend. It's ridiculous and perfect.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I'll give you jewelry, money too

154. Sam Cooke - "Bring It On Home To Me" (RCA Victor, 1962)

Sam Cooke's voice is magical. The lyrics to this song are good and interesting, but without that voice to imbue them with that combination of sadness, desperation, and hope that there's a chance she might actually come back this is just another good soul song, not one of the greatest. The fact that the smooth cannon of a voice that is Lou Rawls sings backup on this doesn't help.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Never in doubt

It's nice to be right once in a while. Which is why I was quite happy at the outcome of last night's ANTM finale. Well, that and because she completely deserved it. Not that I would've been super upset if Allison won but, throughout the season, Teyona was #1 and best, so let's hope she's more successful than past winners of this show.

This happiness was tempered this morning, however, when I read the news that Paulina Porizkova has been fired from ANTM. Unless this is strictly a case of needing to cut salaries, I don't know what the CW is thinking. Paulina has been miles and miles better than Twiggy ever and, at the risk of heresy, every bit as good as Janet. Besides often being witty and mean as shit at the same time, Paulina was one of the first people in the history of Top Model to consistently give critiques that made sense. Maybe that was her downfall.

I never dreamed that I'd lose somebody like you

155. Chris Isaak - "Wicked Game"(London Records, 1990)
156. Business Man - "Dubby Games" (Balearic Biscuits, 2005)

Straight up, "Wicked Game" is a masterpiece. Even without the iconic video, Chris Isaak's biggest hit combines its retro Roy Orbison elements with beautiful modern production to make something that sounds familiar and otherworldly at the same time; dreamlike in a very real sense. Seriously, the way both the slide guitar and Isaak's voice melt into the song are completely brilliant. The real transcendence comes at 3:35, as Isaak's last falsetto "I" is stretched into infinity, a final, slowly decaying piece of melancholy.

In 2005, electro king Trentemøller, under his Business Man guise, used the obvious dubby qualities of "Wicked Game" and released the edit "Dubby Games" on Balearic Biscuits. This mix adds a dub bassline, some echo on the vocals, some skankin' horns on the chorus, and a bit of four on the floor kick for functionality. It's actually not that radical of a transformation, but it's 100% on target for some late nite action.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ANTM Finale Tonight

(click image to enlarge)

You excited? I'm excited.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Capitalizm

I looked over today's release schedule so I could, you know, tell yall what to spend money on, and the only thing that stood out to me was Desire Lines by Meanderthals, a balearic supergroup of sorts composed of the Idjut Boys and Rune Lindbaek, who have both been cranking out super smooth edits and beach-bound tunes for a while now. This is the perfect season for music like this; an awesome record as we surf slowly towards summer. Listen to the opening track "Kunst or Ars" above and click here (or, better yet, holler at your local dealer of sun-kissed, breezy disco) to buy it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

So messed up, I want you here

157. the Stooges - "I Wanna Be Your Dog" (from the self-titled album, Elektra, 1969)

The way to hell is paved with the guitar riff from this song. It's not gigantic flamboyant death metal riffage (not that flamboyant death metal riffage isn't sweet). It's this dirty-ass, repetitive, banal, dirty-ass bullshit Ron Asheton made up. I mean, not that I believe in hell, but yeah.

Fuck it, let's do it live

@YesMoreMaciej live tweeting tonight's L&O Criminal Intent holler.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tyra Shoots PWRRNKNGS!

Home stretch. After a hilarious week in which everyone did well, Celia was finally sent home by virtue of her being the ungodly age of 25. Peace. Go!

Ranking This Week (Ranking Last Week). Model Name (rankings in the last 4 episodes), bold for bottom 2, italics for winner of the reward challenge), [average ranking overall]

1 (1). Teyona - (3, 1, 2, 1, 2) [2.5]
She's been lower than third once this season, which is pretty ridiculous. Even tho she fucked up the samba dancing and she seemed to be the most criticized of the models during the shoot, she avoided her first bottom two. Tyra more or less made her pose topless this week and she didn't at all struggle to look amazing while covering up. She gon win.

2 (2). Allison - (7, 5, 1, 2, 1) [3.9]
I wrote a whole thing about Allison can't walk to save her life so while she's been alternating wins with Teyona for four weeks now might be closer to third then first. BUT then it came to my attention that the two girls that make it past the cover girl commercial next week aren't gonna walk down the runway, they're gonna crawl. So I dunno. BUT there's another CoverGirl commercial to start next week's episode off and Allison's last attempt at that was tragic. BUT, neither Teyona nor Aminat did very well at that either. So yeah. We'll see. Mad props for making Tyra's instruction to look like a "birdie owl/pterodactyl" work this week.

3 (3). Aminat - (6, 7, 6, 3, 3) [5.6]
Her photographs are improving, her body is really ridiculous, and her walk is great. But those improving photos are still nowhere near as good as the top two's. They have to consider body of work at some point, and the girl's body of work, well, it ain't as amazing as her actual body. And now there's the crawling thing, which may be to Aminat's advantage cuz she moves better than Teyona and Allison, but may somewhat neutralize her walk. This finale is gonna be fucking mess. God bless.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nothing to fear, it's only desire

158. Craig Wedren and Theodore Shapiro - "Higher and Higher" (from the film Wet Hot American Summer, 2001)

This song is not really funny at all, which is important because why the hell would you need to add any funny to the training/dance montage parody in WHAS and how would you go about making the songs from those montages any more ridiculous? Instead, the song is as uplifting and glorious as the scene requires; heart-pounding disco madness as single-minded as the title suggests. This song used to kill at dance parties in college, and a lot of that is obvi down to the love for the movie, but it wouldn't have done so well if it wasn't also so joyous and awesome.

(song starts at 1:09 of the clip, but you prolly wanna watch Showalter and Meloni beforehand anyways, right?)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What must I go through to show you shit is real?

159. DMX - "Get at Me Dog (Ft. Sheek)" (Def Jam Recordings, 1998)

I vividly remember biking to the Brickyard Mall after school (early dismissal, I think) to buy DMX's first album. It was the last month of 6th grade, I had been playing this CD single non stop for weeks, and it was sweaty as hell out.

DMX seemed at the time like the most intense rapper in the world and, while his public persona has devolved to an insane caricature, you can still hear on this track how his craziness made him appealing in the first place. This works as a party record - because of the beat, because of the chorus, because of his voice - but the lyrics are really damn bleak. Besides the usual gun, crime, and poverty talk, X was always good for some very personal depression. I mean, "I've got a lot of dreams but I ain't really chasin' mine" for example, yeesh. That somehow made this track even more exciting, tho.

Monday, May 4, 2009

reppin' for California Wives

(photo from Cali Wives Facebook group by Maria used without permission, cuz, you know, it belongs to Facebook anyways :) )

So the dudes above are Chicago drunkards California Wives. I know three of them (degree of knowledge varies from well enough to say wassup to well enough to hump on a dance floor as a way of saying hi) and was a big fan of Javier and the Bear, the last hard rockin' dynamo they were in. I say this only to let you know that I hold them to an even higher standard than the average asshole rock quartet.

Well, turns out they're still pretty damn good. I was admittedly worried when I heard the dudes once responsible for "Fight You For Your Woman" were in what sounded indie band but any doubts have been allayed and I've been listening to the 4 jams they have up on their myspace quite a bit. "EL84" has really hooky guitar playing and it's definitely one for the spring, flowers blooming, shorts getting brought out, etc..

My favorite, though, is definitely "Fill Things Out", which sounds like it belongs in a montage from a late 80s teen comedy, but in a completely different way than, say, the cunting Bravery sounds like it belongs in a late 80s teen comedy. Awesome songwriting, with enough suburban pathos in the bassline alone to to sustain about ten car rides to house party of the year.

Again, give these boys a visit on the internets and see em live ASAP.


RT: @YesMoreMaciej Me about Miss Cortney Tidwell and her new album at Music For Perfect People


"It's just the way I smile," you say

160. The Cure - "Plainsong" (from the Disintegration album, Elektra, 1989)

Look, sometimes it's raining and gray and you need to just put on Disintegration and let it roll. By a happy accident which I didn't notice until I was researching this post, this month marks the 20th anniversary of the Cure's first so-called return to form and prolly their masterpiece. This is the insanely lush opener, and while it won't necessarily make the day less gray, it'll make the shades of gray more interesting.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Up to 11: May Flowers

So there is an Imeem epidemic in which lotsa songs are getting cut down to 30 seconds in an embedded playlist. So click here to listen to the whole playlist proper. Anyways, a roughly contested playlist this month, with eight or nine very good tracks getting cut. Here's what we have for you this month:

- Ciara's Fantasy Ride is awesome. And "High Price" is in a few senses "Oh Part 2," those senses being Ludacris, the grinding machine beat, and the Atlanta reppin'. This is a Dream/Tricky production and is quiet odd, even for Ciara. A lot of it is in sung in this weird chirpy voice and the pre-chorus has what to me sound like hints of M.I.A. It's dope.

- The Future of the Left (ex-Mclusky reppin') has a new album coming out, and it fires right out of the gate with the massive "Arming Eritrea". Guitars on a rampage.

- Green Velvet drops yet another Chicago house gem with "The Case. of the Lost Jacksters". His Prince fixation is in full effect, to great effect.

- I've written about Kelly Clarkson's "I Do Not Hook Up" here, but it has to be repped for on YMD as well. King sized chorus on this one.

- Rick Ross' Deeper Than Rap is another solid LP. Rawse has somehow developed into an even more cartoonish character since his last album, but the beats are solid all the way through and, while no one's accusing him of being the GOAT, he's not a bad rapper either. The highlight though is the all-star "Maybach Music 2", with Kanye, T-Pain, and Weezy. Ye rips it, and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League comes through with an appropriately huge beat. BAWSE!

- Redman & Method Man's forthcoming Blackout 2 has me kinda psyched, not least of all because of this recently leaked collabo with Ghost and Rae. New York/New Jersey stand up.

- You know we get excited when news of The Field making a new record comes out. Apparently Yesterday & Today is gonna be out at the end of the month, and this is the first single, "The More That I Do". Hooky, maximalist, pretty much what we expected, this really is huge, shameless, and wonderful.

- On a slightly more restrained note, I've been bouncing happily along to this new Mountain People release for the last few weeks. Could really see this going well outdoors this summer.

- New potty-mouthed Nina Sky hotness is "On Some Bullshit". Could really see this going well indoor with neon lights this summer.

- Swedish vocalist El Perro Del Mar put out a mini-LP produced by Rasmus Hägg of balearic wizards Studio and I got all excited. Then I heard it and I chilled out in the best way possible. Deep, groovy, and as emotional as you'd expect from EPdM. "L is For Love" is our choice cut here.

- Finally, something we hope to hear at this summer's P-fork Festival, the Flaming Lips doing a wonderful cover of Madonna's "Borderline" on Warner Bros' preposterously named Covered: A Revolution in Sound compilation. It brings the joy. Check the video here. Check the video.

Fill up your ears.