Mixtape 476: Jim Jones and Girl Talk ft. Lloyd – Believe in Magic

I want Girl Talk to produce every song ever.

Seriously, the man can take any song, mix it with any other song (or three), and make it sound awesome. In this case, he takes a sample of Honey Cone’s “Want Ads”, wrings it out, and let’s Jim Jones do his shit, plus a little Lloyd for a chorus on the single (which makes it a little more of a song than an experiment).

The lovechild of Pitchfork.com’s “Selector” series, Jim Jones and Girl Talk team up, along with Lloyd on the chorus, to craft one hell of a little ditty.

Jim Jones and Girl Talk ft. Lloyd – Believe in Magic

(Yes, I realize I’ve been a little hip-hop biased so far this summer. That should be remedied soon enough.)

Anyway, song three of the summer mixtape for 2011, the:

Mixtape 476 – 2011

…is Jim Jones and Girl Talk’s Believe in Magic (featuring Lloyd)

1. The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

2. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

3. Jim Jones and Girl Talk – Believe in Magic (ft. Lloyd)

And here is the original pitchfork.tv video, which is also pretty goddamn awesome.

Mixtape 476: Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

Alright, so I’ve got a new idea, a new format, I guess. Instead of saying “this song is awesome” or “this is the song of the summer” forty two times this summer, I’m just going to make a mixtape (so to speak, this is the internet after all), and then “release” it as a zip file when it’s done. So this way, you can grab the songs you want, or grab the whole thing once it’s all done and assembled into a nice little package.

ANYWAY, back to business…

Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

Nicki Minaj. I know what you’re thinking: “but Craig, why would you like Nicki Minaj? You’re a male, you’re usually snarky towards the mainstream, you don’t like popular music (usually), you’ve never liked a female rapper before, why would you start now?” and so forth.

To that I say, how the fuck do you know so much about me? I’ve written, like, 3 posts, I don’t have that much personal info, and, ostensibly, we don’t know each other.

Beyond that, however, you’re right. I usually don’t like the most popular songs, I’m usually snarky and bitter towards the mainstream (is it because I’m jealous that they have gallons, literally gallons of success, while I blog for free on the internet? …maybe), and I usually don’t enjoy female rappers.

BUT, holy shit, this time it’s different. I’ve changed, I swear. That first time I heard Nicki Minaj’s verse on Kanye West’s Monster, I pricked up my ears. This chick had talent. Sorry, she had talent. She rapped with a sort of ferocity that is missing in music today. She has an anger in her rapping, but marries it with an ability to turn a phrase with the best of them, and a pop sensibility that I can get behind.

Speaking of pop sensibility, that floaty background, accented with the attack of the kick drum, the processed guitars, the synths, it all gives the song a light summer sound without feeling frivolous. It all contrasts so well with the drive and, again, ferocity Minaj brings to every verse, easing into a pop chorus. It’s never too much of a good thing, and leaves you wanting more.

Even when the chorus is little more than replicating the sound of bass coming from a car stereo (the “super” bass, I suppose), it retains something that pulls you in. Even when the track falters at the bridge, the chorus steps forth again, reminding you why you were enjoying the song so much in the first place.

Then, the song just sort of…ends. And you restart it, because holy shit, those verses, man.

So, song two of the summer mixtape for 2011, the:

Mixtape 476 – 2011

…is Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass.

1. The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

2. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

Get your camera, baby

The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

The Dean’s List – Burn it All

It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to proclaim a “song of the summer” early on, then to revise this prediction at least three to four times before I go back to school the next year. Last year ended with Cee-Lo Green’s Fuck You, which ended up being a pretty damn good pick, but started with something that even I’ve forgotten about by now, so who knows.

Regardless, I’ll throw my preliminary hat in the ring with The Dean’s List, and their song Dear Professor, off the genuinely enjoyable mixtape “The Drive In”

The song samples If I Die Young by The Band Perry, which is a perfectly…tolerable song in its own right…but tweaks it in such a way to create a bed on which they can actually craft a pop song.

ANYWAY, The Dean’s List manages to find something new in the chorus, turning a sombre song about dying young (obviously) into a joyful refrain for college life, parties, and generally enjoying the frivolity of youth. What better song for the summer?

The production is flawless, the flow is supreme, and the sound is fresh. Song of the summer (for now): The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

The Dean’s list is made up of Sonny Shotz, DJ Mendoza and Mik Beats, whose differing approaches to music create a fresh approach to the rap game, with a solid pop sensibility and a surplus of talent.

Also included is Burn it All, another standout from the Mixtape. I honestly would not be surprised to see these guys tear up the charts in time. Or, failing that, at least get the cred and recognition Wale and KiD CuDi are getting right about now.

www.itsthedeanslist.com

Until next time, houseguests, it’s been a pleasure.

Stargate Universe Final Thoughts

So last night (Tuesday) the final episode of Stargate Universe aired on Syfy.  To give a quick synopsis that hopefully doesn’t spoil it for anyone not caught up with but planning to watch the series. “The ship is in perrel (again) it looks hopeless, Eli comes up with a crazy times 1000 idea to save the ship and crew and no-one is gunna like it”

What I really liked about the episode (and I think I can say this without it counting as a spoiler) it was pretty open ended. Like Sg1 has done in the past when it faced cancellation and wasn’t sure if it would be back. They found a place they could almost put the story aside. It isn’t an ending to the journey or for the crew. Just a satisfying ending for the series that will keep people speculating long enough for fans to save the show.

It was as good of an ending as it could be without being a total copout. In my previous post I said I would be happy with any ending that didn’t seem lazy. And even though it is an ending you could have speculated on in a few of the previous episodes it throws a couple interesting last minute character development twists that I didn’t see coming at all.

If your like me and can’t get enough Stargate the usual social media campaigns are underway to save the show. visit http://www.facebook.com/SaveSGU to see how you can get involved.

And also visit http://www.gateworld.net/news/2011/05/announcing-the-stargate-rewatch-at-gateworld/ to learn about the #SGRewatch twitter even starting August 1st.

Stargate shutting down in Vancouver

So Brad Wright said at the Stargate convention in Vancouver the other day that MGM is not only not making a Stargate Universe movie, but they are shelving the planned Sg-1 and Atlantis movies as well.

I’m not so concerned about the Sg-1 movie. After 10 years 214 episodes and 2 DvD movies I was more than content with where the story ended and frankly after Richard Dean Anderson left the show in season 8 it wasn’t as good anyway. Atlantis however, I am upset about. Although I was happy with where the story ended at the end of the 5th season, I loved the characters and was looking forward to seeing them in one last adventure.

Universe is kind of the wild card. I really enjoy the show (granted it’s not my favorite of the franchise) but I feel that depending on where the series ends at the end of the second season any movie they made would have to either be the first of many, or an easy cop-out ending. I would have been glad to see the show get a couple more seasons so that the writers would have a chance to come up with a good ending to the story and don’t want to see them take the lazy way out.

So after nearly 17 years of Stargate, I feel that its about time they put the franchise to rest for a few years. Maybe in a few years some fresh writers will revitalize the franchise with a new series but I don’t think that should happen for some.

If you’re not a fan of Stargate don’t let the cancelation fool you. Its still a great show and one of my favorite sci-fi franchises.

The Wow Factor

A little update here to get the word out about Storage Wars, one of the more enjoyable new shows on TV right now.

Storage Wars is a show about four auction hunters who buy foreclosed storage lockers. The premise sounds pretty dumb, but the fun really comes out of watching the characters bidding against each other, and seeing the treasures that come out of these old lockers. Each of the four, Barry the Collector, Darrell the Gambler, Dave the Mogul and Jarrod the Young Gun (along with his wife Brandi) have such distinct, over the top personalities that one can’t help but be sucked into their stories each episode.

Also, rooting against Dave is so much fun. The guy makes such a great villain.

Storage Wars is in its first season, with 17 episodes so far.

Tonight is a 5 hour marathon starting at 5 EST, with a bonus new episode at 9:30. Storage Wars usually airs new episodes at 10:30 on Wednesdays.

As an aside, exactly how popular is Storage Wars? It could be building up steam already, but it’s worth a watch if you haven’t checked it out yet.

Scream 4 Review

Scream 4

Just a quick impression of Scream 4 (Scre4m), not really a full review, but at least a relevant post.

Overall, I thought it was pretty good, an enjoyable, if only superficially so, way to spend a couple hours.

Scream 4 reunites the cast of the originals, with Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell reprising their roles, but it’s the newcomers that are forced to mostly carry the film. On the whole they do a serviceable job, hitting the horror beats, playing the victims and generally making us care about these doomed characters. While I felt the film nerd characters were enjoyable to watch, they felt too clichéd, and struck me as more of a way to explain the new rules to the audience than real people. The new additions did their jobs well, but it’s still the veterans stealing the show.

The whodunit aspect of the plot was well done, and I was genuinely surprised when the villain was revealed. I felt the first act dragged a bit, but the last half, and especially the last few scenes, more than redeemed it.

The main issue I have with the film is how much it simply coasts. While it continually makes reference to the ‘rules’ of horror films, and how Ghostface is updating them for the new generation of horror fans, it also falls into these tropes, ultimately failing to provide any real surprises or twists. There’s only so much a self-referential humour can do to save the films. The first Scream had it, this one doesn’t quite break even.

As someone who was relatively lukewarm towards the Scream series (and hasn’t seen the third one), and despite my complaints, I enjoyed the movie. It’s funny, it’s a worthy addition to the series, and it has some really good scenes once the movie gets going. If you like the Scream series, this is a strong showing, and you’ll certainly find a lot to like. If you aren’t a fan of the series, or horror films, I’d say wait for the DVD if you’re interested in checking it out. You won’t be disappointed.