Posts Tagged ‘ kid cudi ’

Ten Things that Sucked in 2010

Don’t worry gang, I’ve got more lists on the way to commemorate things I did like, but first we’re going to warm up with the garbage pile.

10.      Dubstep-They (meaning the internet) keep calling dubstep the punk of electronic music.  At first I thought that meant it was noisier and rawer, but it actually means that it’s easier to do and is trashier than the regular stuff.  Besides, the bass is so heavy, you need 800$ speakers to even hear it properly.  Fuck that.  Not really seeing the punk connection.  It’s amazing how inescapable this shit has become.  Talking to somebody about dubstep recently, he kept calling it “wuamp-wuamp.”  It’s a dumb title, but it’s still more accurate.  “Dubstep” sounds too sophisticated for such stupid music.  Dumb isn’t necessarily bad, I just want them to admit it and stop taking themselves so damn seriously.

 

I don’t know man; maybe I just don’t understand this stuff.  Sure, they’re warping the sound, but it still sounds pleasant.  There’s not enough dissonance in most electronic music.  It’s cold and sterile.  Dubstep is only taking half-measures.  It does get dirty, but it’s not enough.  There’s still a lack of humanity.  The machines are doing the heavy lifting.  That’s what sucks about techno.  There’s nothing wrong with using robots, but there is something wrong with letting the robots do all of the work.   And all of them are so pretentious about it too.  Hey, look at me!  I invented my own genre!  I’m that different.”  Fuck you dude.  You’ve got all this technology at your disposal, and this is all you can do with it?  Dan Deacon doesn’t have a ridiculous sub-sub-subgenre next to his name on his Wikipedia page.  Y’know why?  Because Dan Deacon’s cool.  He doesn’t give a shit.  Electronic subgenres are fucking ridiculous.  It’s the trendiest shit and they’ve got a new one every month.  Stop trying to be different (because you’re not) and start trying to be good.

 

9.      Heavy Rain-The year’s most “revolutionary” (somebody must’ve said it) videogame isn’t really a game.  I thought Heavy Rain was going to be a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure type of game.  All you do is walk around, talk to people, collect clues and other shit like that.  The beginning is fun as you try to figure out how to play, but eventually, the ridiculous story becomes too absurd, the gameplay gets boring, and I realized that no matter what you do, the ending is always the same.  I had already seen a friend complete the game the proper way, so I was determined to have some fun with it.  Unfortunately, none of your actions have consequence.  The story progresses to the next scene regardless of how you play.  Even killing your characters doesn’t get anything done.  Heavy Rain isn’t a game, it just tricks you into thinking it is.  One more thing, for a game that prided itself on its realistic characters, I was a little appalled by the lone female character-a reporter who spends at least the first half of the game taking showers, being another character’s nurse, and making out with said character.  As soon as she starts doing some actual reporting, she gets date-raped.  Classy.

 

8.      Passion Pit-No band this year went from mildly amusing to fucking unbearable faster than these guys.  Catchy songs and good hooks can only take you so far before the unbearably effeminate voice of Michael Angelakos becomes the only thing I hear.  I was hoping they’d win me over when I saw them live at the Sasquatch music fest, but they only sounded worse than they did on the record and the excessive amount of douche bags kind of killed the atmosphere.  Living in dorms with a bunch of other buffoons, I had to hear “Sleepyhead” four times a day last semester, and I’m glad to be through with it.

7.      Blackest Night/Brightest Day

Geoff Johns is starting to piss me off.  Has he not been reading Batman?  Dan DiDio clearly does not give a shit what DC publishes as long as it sells.  Johns has been given a massive corner of the DCU to play with with these two crossover titles, and what has he done with it? One good Martian Manhunter story.  Blackest Night didn’t really matter.  After an incredible first two issues, the zombie comic became textbook dull as the story progressed.  In the end, nothing really mattered, and a bunch of C-List characters got resurrected, because, hey, there certainly aren’t a lot of good living characters to write about.  All of these resurrected people then went on their own sucky adventures in the immediate follow-up Brightest Day.  Brightest Day is an example of comic-fandom at its worst.  Hawk and Dove and company were never compelling characters to begin with, and the comic makes no attempts to improve most of its 30-man cast.  Move on already.  Let a dead dog lie.  Is Aquaman so beloved a property that he has to be revived every five years for another shitty adventure that still won’t work?  Get over it, people.  Most of the stories weren’t very interesting.  Some of them were just plain stupid.  Only the Marian Manhunter tale has any bite to it.  The comic isn’t over yet, but I gave up after issue 13 anyway.  Can Geoff Johns be trusted anymore?  Or is he just a bond company stooge dead-set on maintaining the status quo?

6.      Kick-Ass-The Movie, not the comic.  Hey, what if the Spider-Man movie was just about a crazy kid in a wetsuit getting the snot beat out of him?

Okay, sounds cool.

Yeah, and what if the Spider-Man movie had more swearing, and shitty action, and it was kind of gory?  What if Peter Parker wasn’t relatably pathetic, but obnoxiously pathetic?  What if the fight scenes all looked like shit?  What if, even though we took away all of the superpowers, the script still had leaps in logic that made Spider-Man 3 seem plausible?  What if, at the end, the hero defined by his incompetence straps on a jetpack with attached machine guns and saves the day?

Wait, what?

Fuck this movie.  People have been sucking its dick for how bold and innovative it was, even though it was just a terrible looking, juvenile rehash of comic book tropes with added swearing.  Kick-Ass’s big selling point is the real world setting, but they forego nearly everything that makes the real world matter.  At least discuss hospital bills or something, sheesh.

5.      Kid Cudi-Kid Cudi is bad for hip hop.  He doesn’t make my blood boil the way Drake does, but his own personal brand of arrogance is still obnoxious.  He’s that stoner kid in your high school English class who loooooooooooooooooves drawing attention to how weird and interesting he is.  His music does often forsake traditional rap structure, but I’m not about to congratulate him for just that.  Get some lyrics, Cudi.  Stop rhyming words with themselves, stop writing so many songs about weed, and stop assuming that just because you’re sad, you’re also deep.

5.      Shadowland-Brightest Day might’ve been a great exercise in treading water, but at least that’s to be expected from a DC event comic (Even one only starring C-listers.)  After two groundbreaking Daredevil runs by Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker, it looked like this one was going to be the craziest yet, but Andy Diggle gave up halfway through and decided to make a comic that reads exactly as you expect, only more boring.  Daredevil, now the leader of the ninja cult The Hand, has declared martial law in Hell’s Kitchen and builds the title fortress in the middle of town.  Has he finally lost it?  Has he gone too far?  Nah, don’t worry.  It was just a demon controlling him.  The comic flakes out in the character development, and nothing of importance happens.  Unable to come up with anything better than a reset, Andy Diggle proved that he was indeed a bond company stooge.  In the miniseries’ final issue, Iron Fist and Luke Cage deliver some meta-commentary on the comic.  Motioning towards Bullseye’s corpse, Luke says “Well, at least he’s still dead.” To which Iron Fist replies “Small consolation.”  Indeed.  What could’ve been a decent story got bloated into oblivion until it was just another big pile of nothing.

3.      The Lost Finale-What can I say about this that hasn’t already been said?  Even I got in on the action earlier this year, and anybody who cares about Lost already has their own opinion about the ending.  Regardless, the fact remains that they ended exactly how they said they wouldn’t, and wasted half of a season doing it.  Thanks for the memories, guys.

2.      Drake-There is only one logical explanation for Wheelchair Jimmy’s rap career. He and Lil Wayne are secret lovers, and Weezy ghost writes all of Drake’s good raps.  I’m not a homophobe man, I just call it like I see it.  But seriously, he doesn’t even have an original flow.  Listen to a Drake song.  Can’t you hear those rhymes coming out of Lil Wayne’s mouth?  Drake depresses me.  He’s a former child actor from a Canadian teen soap, he appears in Sprite commercials, he’s had it made for the majority of his young life, and nobody even bats an eye.  Given his circumstances, Drake should be a rapper with class, but god forbid anybody have some integrity.  He’s talking about the same stupid material shit all these young rappers like to rhyme about.  He’s just Lil Wayne-lite from Canada, and he’s got no taste in beats.  Fuck Drake.

1.      The Social Network-

Mark Zuckerberg is an asshole.  20 minutes later-Mark Zuckerberg is an asshole.  2 hours later-Mark Zuckerberg is an asshole.  I don’t care if he’s a real person, he’s still not interesting, and I want to punch him in the face.  Almost every single character in this movie is a rich douchebag, everybody wins in the end, and it doesn’t have anything insightful to say.  It left a bad taste in my mouth.  It’s like a 2 ½ hour episode of King of the Hill where every character is Peggy.  The Social Network is a movie we didn’t need.  It’s not a story worth telling.  Can’t we wait just a little bit longer, and see where this real-life drama develops?  I guess that’s the thing, though.  That’s all there is.  Everybody’s a rich asshole and that’s all they want to be.

 

This movie is boring.  Nothing ever really happens.   This shouldn’t be a problem for the guy who directed Zodiac, but it is.  There’s a few times when they pretend that something’s happening, like that idiotic rowing race,* but Fincher lets Aaron Sorkin’s script do the heavy lifting.  Every character talks in that stylized tone where they’ve always got something clever to say. It keeps things interesting for a bit, but it’s not enough to save the movie.  The characters are all kept at a distance.  It’s impossible to get inside anybody’s head.  We’re only given a chance to identify with one character, and he’s not even in it that often.  If the movie had been from Eduardo’s point-of-view, maybe we would’ve gotten a quality flick, but it seems doubtful.

 

Besides, what kind of loser makes a movie about Facebook instead of adapting Black Hole? Now Fincher’s next movie is going to be an American-ized adaptation of a best-seller that’s already been made into a movie.  I don’t want to say that that’s a Ron Howard move, but that’s a Ron Howard move.

 

I might be missing something, but I don’t care anymore.  I really hate this movie.

 

*A gold star for anybody who can tell why that scene matters.

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Sasquatch Music Festival 2010- A brief glimpse.

Hey internet.   I know this is a little late, but I’ve been working on it for a while.  It’s not a full report on the Sasquatch music festival.  That’s coming along very slowly.  I’m 15 pages into it and I might be done with it by the end of the year, or it might just keep getting longer.  Who knows.  This is a very brief sampling of what went down to whet your appetite for more of my nonsensical ramblings.  I’ve been working a lot lately, but hopefully I’ll have a review of something else by the end of this week.  And if you’re in Butte tonight, you should come see my band, Mordecai play with Slackeye Slim at the Venus tonight.  You have nothing better to do.

Anyway, the show.

Broken Social Scene- This was a surprising show.  First, I was surprised how many people were in the band-three guitarists, two bassists, and a drummer.  Second, I was surprised by how old they all looked.  I don’t think any of these dudes could be younger than 40.  They’ve got a bizarre visual aesthetic.  It looks like half of them like to dress up, but none of them want to match.  There was Scott Stapp, Lyle Lovett, jock drummer, hardware store employee, librarian, electrician and furniture maker.  The band started big and they kept getting bigger.  A lady came out to play piano, and then another one came out to sing, and then a fucking five-piece brass band came out onstage and they didn’t look like crackheads, but one of them did look like Rivers Cuomo.  In addition to looking hilarious, BSS were also really good.  This was my third surprise.  These guys rock hard live.  The guitars punch so much harder.  The noise is more enveloping.  They may act a little goofy in their rock-star ambitions, but they play like they mean it.  They did Texaco Bitches at double speed!  Their set seemed mostly composed of material from Forgiveness Rock Record and the Self Titled.  I’m cool with that because those are the only two I’ve listened to extensively.  Much respect gained for these guys.

Z-Trip- I wanted to see Z-Trip, who’s write-up billed him as “the godfather of the mashup.”  His set started strong with some Public Enemy/Justice, but by the end of the show, he was remixing the same tired shit that I saw at the Bassnectar concert.  I wasn’t crazy about Bassnectar, but I think he was actually better.  Z-Trip may be the godfather of the mash-up, but in this modern world of Girl Talk and Grey Albums, he’s been left behind.

Passion Pit- Passion Pit did not sound any better live.  That’s what I was hoping for.  I was hoping there’d be something special about a Passion Pit performance, but it was very by-the-numbers.  Nothing was harder.  Nothing was grittier.  Nothing was louder.  Was it wrong to expect Passion Pit to be harder live?  I don’t know, man.  I mean, I’d think they’d at least have some heavier bass.  The singer’s got the lamest voice I’ve heard in a long time, but I could put up with it for a while because the band could spin genuine pop hooks, which I always admire.  They’re a dance-y band, but they’re such stiff performers, ugh, no soul.  I’ve given up on Passion Pit.

Oddly enough, Passion Pit was the only band I saw people really going nuts for.  Let me explain.  The way the Gorge is set up, there’s a barrier between the inner and outer pit.  Presumably in order to prevent people from getting crushed, only so many people are allowed into the inner pit.  Between sets, the security will block off the entrance while other people leave.  When space has cleared out, security will let you enter in waves.  Prior to the Passion Pit show was the only time I’ve seen people trying to break down the barrier to get in.  It was almost scary.

Kid Cudi- Cudi’s been on my fence for awhile, so this was going to be a make-or-break performance.  I was putting his head on the chopping block.  Maybe if he knew what I had vested in this performance, he would’ve put more effort into it, but that seems a little unlikely.  After all, Kid Cudi doesn’t really care about anything.  He just wants to get high.  This is the message of his music.  Kid Cudi is one of the worst drug advocates I’ve seen perform.  He preaches complacency and apathy.  “Guess what kids, doing mushrooms won’t solve your problems, but it will make you stop caring about them.”  Musically, his show was also lacking.  Cudi’s a live-band rapper.  In the post-Kanye world, the pressure’s on for rappers to create more enthralling live performances.  I saw Lupe Fiasco with a live band.  That was a great show.  I also saw Lil Wayne with a live band.  That show was pretty awful.  Weezy is a turntable man.  The live band doesn’t lend itself to every rapper.  For example, I can’t really see Young Jeezy performing in front of a horn section.  Kid Cudi, however, is all about the music.  His rapping is bad, but he’s got great song arrangements, so I was more than a little disappointed when I saw that he only brought a DJ.  This was one of those macbook DJs too.  Very little scratching.  Fuck, at least give Cudi a hype man to interact with.  One thing I did like about the Kid Cudi show-I found out why he performs “Make Her Say.”  This “Poker face” sampling blowjob song got more people singing along than anything else.  “Day n Night,” Cudi’s own hit, had only about half the roar coming back from the crowd.  So I guess there’s the childlike glee one derives from hearing a bunch of dumb girls sing your song about face-fucking.  Yeah, but overall, Cudi is bad for hip hop.

The xx-The xx had a lot of technical troubles throughout the show too.  It took them a few songs to get the mics right.  It probably had to do with how quiet the singing is.  The bassist also stopped a couple times to talk to the sound guy.  Four songs in, they seemed to have all of the bugs worked out-a little annoying, but nothing that’ll derail a good show.  The XX was one of, if not the, loudest band I saw there.  This is a band that gets menacing when they get loud.  Even stuff like Basic Space or Islands gets mean live.  By the time they got to “infinity” I was a little worried that the lead singer was going to get slapped around by the bassist after the show.  By now, the mics were getting feedback again, but I think it actually added to the menace.  Could it have been intentional?  Was it all just an act?  It seems like something these kids would pull off.  Stage theatrics the minimalist post punk way.  The xx had the best stage presence there.  These three pale English kids all look like they’ve been pulled out of their halfway home and dressed up to impress the people from Social Services.  They all act incredibly bored.  The synth-drummer probably lifted his head less than 10 times throughout the entire show.  The slightest movement is exciting with these guys, so when they do do something, it can be pretty thrilling.  I was outright shocked when the synth guy hit the cymbal that had been sitting there the entire show.  What a surprising twist.  I was left to read their faces.  The bassist and guitarist kept leering at each other, both looking like two bitter ex-lovers.   It was great.

Cymbals Eat Guitars-I listened to their album a few times.  It was okay.  On the record, they sound like a band whose only influence is Pavement.  Live, they sound like a band whose only influence is Dashboard Confessional.  Ugh.  I got the hell out of there and gave up on them forever after two or three songs.

Jets Overhead-Better off dead.

MGMT-MGMT released a profusion of beach balls, balloons and other blow-ups into the crowd.  They were a perfect fit for the atmosphere.  People were crowd-surfing like there was no tomorrow.  The MGMT show produced a childlike glee in even the most jaded concert-goers.  There were so many opposing personalities converging at this show, people seemed relatively well behaved.  Guess we all wanted to look good as representatives of all our shitty fringe-subcultures.  This was a very fun show from a fun band.  The new stuff sounds great live.  “Brian Eno” is probably my new favorite MGMT song.

Ween-The love and happiness of MGMT was not to last.  Ween performed next, being the closing act of the fest.  Two or three songs into Ween’s set, every inflatable beach toy had been banished back to the front of the stage.  “Get those fucking beach balls out of here!”  I distinctly heard somebody say.  The Ween crowd was a much more serious group.  Unlike the MGMT fans, the Ween fans were of the mind that their band could die at any minute.  They didn’t have time to deal with fucking beach balls.  Ween is not going to live forever.  Every member looks haggard and sickly.  Broken Social Scene has nothing on these guys.  I’ve seen The Cure and R.E.M. live before.  Those guys were all about a decade older than the members of Ween, but Ween looks a decade older than them.  These people, especially Dean, the singer, have not taken care of themselves.  Peter Buck might look like he smoked a lot of pot in high school, but Dean Ween looks like he sniffed a lot of glue.  And still does.  There was a part in the show where he just stood there, hunched over behind the piano player, leering at him while he smoked a cigarette.  That’s pretty punk rock.  Not being a band prone to eating vegetables, Ween would have to take breaks now and then.  They never stopped playing, but they’d constantly switch back and forth between fast and slow songs.  They didn’t play “It’s Gonna be a Long Night,” which I found disappointing, but I did gain a new appreciation for “Transdermal Celebration.”  They played more of their jokey songs than I expected.  I didn’t think stuff like “Bananas and Coke” or “Your Party” would really lend themselves to a live atmosphere, but they pulled it off.  These guys seem to be able to pull just about anything off.  It’s because they’re a legitimate rock band.  Ween.  Fuckin right.

Fela Kuti, Jay Electronica and Shwayze

A friend was bugging me about Fela Kuti for quite a few months.  I finally took him up on his word and I’m glad I did.  I decided to start with 1975’s Expensive Shit, which is probably the London Calling of the Afrobeat scene, but 1) Ya gotta start somewhere, and 2) you got a problem with London Calling?  Because I sure don’t.  So of course this must all be old news for both of you Afrobeat kids, but I gotta spread the praise among my less enlightened pals.

The album might seem a little intimidating at first, all the songs are over ten minutes long and everything’s sung in Nigerian pidgin.  But don’t fear!  It’s not lyrical music anyway.  Most of the lyrics are call-and-response type stuff.  They don’t make the songs.  The horn section is the real star here.  Fela’s band keeps things funky in a way that’s exciting and uplifting.  What Bob Marley wishes he was.

On the modern side of the spectrum, Jay Electronica has a new song.  “Exhibit C” here came out a month or so ago, but my computer broke so I didn’t get this blog off the ground as soon as I had originally planned.  Still, the delay doesn’t make Jay’s new jam any less relevant.  This guy’s a serious artist.  Look forward to him dropping an album one of these days.

Also, I’ve got this art class where it seems like this other kid and I have become the de-facto class DJs.  Of course, my music is always great.  On occasions, his is tolerable.  He’s usually on a Jack Johnson/Dave Matthews Band kick, but today, we were treated to some modern pop rap.  Not bad.  At least until he busted out the Shwayze.  If you haven’t heard of this asshole, you’ve obviously been doing something right.  Apparently, he had an MTV show a year or two ago when The Hills was really huge.  I think that’s a pretty good indication of where he’s coming from, musically.  I thought it didn’t get much worse than Jack Johnson covering “We’re Going to be Friends,” but this is kind of like if Jack Johnson teamed up with Asher Roth to remake De Stijl, but they rewrote all of the lyrics to be about weed.  Except this is a little worse.  Shwayze makes Hollywood Undead look cool.  The only good to come from this fiasco was that it helped me regain a little faith in Kid Cudi.  For a while, I was worried he was going to be the Dave Matthews Band of hip hop, but I now realize that that spot’s already taken.  Cudi’s got potential.  He’s kind of interesting.  Also, he doesn’t make me want to kill something.