Saturday 19 Apr
 
 
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OKG Newsletter


Topic: okc

What’s good, KD?

The first in a series, wherein I evaluate the Durantula’s music evaluations.

With the outlook for a full (or even halved) NBA season growing bleaker and bleaker, I’ve realized how weirdly unhealthy my obsession with Kevin Durant is.

I constantly refresh his Twitter and Facebook pages on the regular, hoping to catch a few loose links to videos of semi-pro games he’s dominating, or news about the movie he’s shooting, or awesome photos of him repping Oklahoma. Heck, I even bought a pair of his shoes, just for playing pickup ball.

In all this, I’ve noticed how much this guy cares about music (exclusively hip-hop and R&B, from what I’ve seen), as he’s constantly talking and arguing about what he’s listening to. Just a few days ago, Durantula defended West Coast mixtaper Dom Kennedy via Twitter, after arguing with @waldorfsfinest (apparently a friend?) between Pusha T and Young Jeezy the night before. He’s also been pushing Big K.R.I.T., an upcoming Southern trunk rapper/producer, extensively the last couple of weeks.

So I thought it might be fun to tune into No. 35’s Skullcandy headphones and analyze what he’s saying about it. Here’s your first installment of “What’s good, KD?”

Let’s consider his recent brief assessment of Clipse member and Kanye collaborator Pusha T. From Durantula’s Facebook, around about 2 a.m. yesterday:

“Now playin on my Skullcandy's: ‘open your eyes’ - Pusha T. MEEEAAANN track!!!”



Clipse’s 2006 street-rap manifesto “Hell Hath No Fury” set a high bar for mean hip-hop, and Pusha’s work since then’s been similarly aggressive. He loves to set your expectations much lower with especially playful beats and samples (the “Bohemian Rhapsody” sample on “Open Your Eyes” is textbook), then skewer them by comparing himself to, say, the genocidal Hutu tribe, as he does on “Fury”’s “Wamp Wamp (What It Do).” It’s one of the reasons he’s been so great with Kanye, who’s been similarly aggressive and graphic lately.

I’d be inclined to agree with KDTrey5 here then, except Pusha doesn’t really hit you that hard lyrically, and certainly not in the same place. On “Open Your Eyes,” he’s more earnest about his drug-dealing past, and proud of his success (“bigger homes, with bigger guns and better cameras”) than he is aggrandizing. It’s less intimidating, especially when you compare the track with his recent “Fear of God” mixtape (from standout song “My God”: “I gotta voodoo doll / Every time I pin the verse / Not only do they say they feel it but they say it hurts”).

This seems to me more like post-game wind-down music than a really gritty, mean, pre-game warmup track. So KD, while I do love that you’re into Pusha T, dig into some of his other work for stuff that’s truly “MEEEAAANN,” and you’ll instill the “fear of God” within the heart of every three-man in the league this season.
by Matt Carney 10.06.2011 2 years ago
at 02:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Rally to protest 10 years in Afghanistan

Set for Oct. 7 downtown.


News

Carmen Forman
A public rally held by The Peace House and the Oklahoma Center for Conscience will protest the 10-year anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. 
 
Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shopping and signing off

There's one last opportunity to shop before I'm out of here.

What's red and green and bedazzled all over? Mistletoe Market, that's what. (I'll be here all day with amazing jokes. You should hear the one about a grasshopper walking into a bar.) Mistletoe Market is the shopping event for the suburban set. It's not one that I ever buy much at, but I've gone nearly every year with a friend. Mostly for the people watching.

This year, The Junior League's annual market — which raised $160,000 for its community programs last time — is next Friday through Sunday. But, there's a new venue, the Cox Convention Center. Get all your Old World crosses and sparkly burnout tees from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 14-15, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 16.

And if you want to get the choice picks, the "Sip, Shop and Mingle" private preview party is held from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13. The preview party is $40 in advance, or $50 at the door.

Mistletoe Market kicks off the market season in the metro — all are a great spot to find holiday gifts. The Girlie Show will be held Nov. 4-5, and the Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar follows on Dec. 10.

And with that, I'm out of here. For once, it's not to shop. I am approaching my last day at Oklahoma Gazette before I move to Denver. Yeah, the place in Colorado. I've never actually been to the city, but that's half the fun, right? Just nod and say yes.

I'll leave you all with an interpretive dance to what you're most likely feeling:

by Jenny Coon Peterson 10.07.2011 2 years ago
at 10:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 
portishead

VOTD: Trip-hop to the rescue

Watch Portishead play its first American TV show in over a decade.

Just when I was getting worried for a while that the super-aggro, mass-culture-canned version of dubstep (see: Skrillex, Excision) was starting to completely fill out the mainstream’s understanding of electronic music, legendary English innovators Portishead calmed me down. The trip-hop act showed up on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” to play a brand new song and a classic, for the first time on American TV in 13 years. 

Watch (or rather, experience) “Chase the Tear,” which the band is currently promoting as a 12” release, and “Mysterons,” a haunting song that will probably outlive us all:



by Matt Carney 10.07.2011 2 years ago
at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Rod loves (at least tangentially related to movies) CDs

You may wanna ‘Drive’ these into your ears.

As a serious pop-culture playa, I do more than consume movies. I’ve also been known to eat up music as well. It’s simply by coincidence that the latest batch of discs to hit my desk are related to film in one way or another, directly or indirectly. Like what, you ask? Like ...

Drive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) 

The year’s best movie gives us the year’s best soundtrack, anchored by a damn fine score from Cliff Martinez, whose work I’ve admired since his sparse guitar on “sex, lies, and videotape” in 1989. Here, Martinez proves himself a master of mood, with 14 down-tempo cuts that exist in the shadows but pulse with tension and excitement. His beats are very much a character in the film, but they work well on their own, especially as a soundtrack to your own zooming about town. Where else will such menacing titles (“Skull Crushing,” “They Broke His Pelvis,” “Kick Your Teeth”) belie their come-down content?

I also cannot discount the disc’s first five tracks, mostly synth-driven, ’80s-influenced numbers by under-the-radar acts Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx, Desire, College and Chromatics. The show may be stolen, by Italian composer Riz Ortolani’s “Oh My Love,” a 1971 ballad showcasing the beautiful, seductive voice of Katyna Ranieri, which ironically provides the sonic background to cinema’s grisliest elevator encounter.

Batman: Arkham City - The Album

Soundtracks to video games are no longer a novelty, and “Batman: Arkham City — The Album” is among the most heavily promoted I’ve ever seen. No matter how the game turns out — quite awesome, if its predecessor is any indication — the disc offers 11 tracks of songs (some original) that’s surprisingly cohesive for a “various artists” effort. I’ve no idea if these actually appear in the game, but all would fit (Daughtry excepted), being various shades of dark and grimy. Immediate standouts for me were †††’s “The Years” and Panic! At the Disco’s “Mercenary,” which is the closest thing to joy the compilation dares reach.

A better-than-usual Black Rebel Motorcycle Club recalls Stone Roses on “Shadow on the Run,” while The Raveonettes dish out their brand of gloom-pop with “Oh, Stranger.” While I’m no fan of the over-the-top style of Coheed and Cambria (here with “Deranged”), I admit to digging the over-the-top of vocals of System of the Down’s Serj Tankian, who’s solo here with “Total Paranoia.” Also among the rogue’s gallery of groups: The Duke Spirit, The Damned Things and The Boxer Rebellion. Perhaps its spirit of all things Gotham will tie you over until “The Dark Knight Rises” lands in theaters.

Doug Benson - Potty Mouth

The title holds double meaning, because not only is comedian Doug Benson’s act decidedly R-rated, but the man loves his marijuana. I know this because he won’t stop talking about it in this live act, not to mention in his podcast, “Doug Loves Movies,” which currently is something to live for (and justifies me including his disc here). Culled from two consecutive shows, “Potty Mouth” finds Benson doing his usual stand-up, which isn’t usual in the stand-up world. Rather than follow the standard set-up/punch-line formula, he just seems to talk from the top of his head (he’s well-noted for his lack of being able to remember anything without writing it down).

Thus, we get seemingly random observations on Twitter (including him calling out audience members tweeting about the show during the show, marijuana, dirty words, more marijuana, the Black Eyed Peas, and even more marijuana. A highlight has him telling him the world’s cleanest joke and the world’s dirtiest joke simultaneously, alternating between the two line by line. It makes sense when you hear it, and I hope you do. Bonus: The non-digital, physical-CD version includes a DVD of his now-canceled Comedy Central series, “The Benson Interruption.”

Robert Davi - Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance

Yes, folks, that Robert Davi: the character actor with the poor complexion who’s memorable in such ’80s blockbusters as “The Goonies,” “Die Hard” and “License to Kill.” Often the bad guy on the screen, the guy’s got good pipes on stage, as demonstrated throughout this 12-song covers album of Frank Sinatra hits. You’d assume this album to be some half-assed vanity project, but nope! It’s produced by the legendary, 14-time Grammy winner Phil Ramone, who’s worked his studio magic with the likes of Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Burt Bacharach, Madonna and Elton John, not to mention the Chairman of the Board himself.

Plus, Davi doesn’t go for all of Sinatra standards. No “Theme from New York, New York,” no “My Way,” no “Fly Me to the Moon,” “It Was a Very Good Year,” “Strangers in the Night,” “It Had to Be You” and all that. He sings “Witchcraft” and “I’ve Got the World on a String,” and that’s about it for the greatest hits. Admirably, he opts for the lesser-known tunes (“Mam’selle,” anyone?), which forces listeners to hone in on his voice, rather than let their brains recite lyrics they’ve committed to memory. Quite simply, Davi does good; Frank would approve.

That said, it’s not really my thing. But rest assured, my mom is gonna love it. —Rod Lott

by Rod Lott 10.07.2011 2 years ago
at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Vlog

Tag this one #guiltypleasure.


Horror

Rod Lott
My latest guilty pleasure is the super-short “Vlog.” At first, I was uncertain whether the 71-minute horror film was supposed to be funny on purpose, but I was certain that it’s supposed to gory, coming from several “Saw” producers. Even if you hate that franchise, give this stripped-down effort a shot. It may surprise you.
 
Friday, October 7, 2011

Poe ’nuff!

Quoth the raven, ‘Here’s the trailer.’

With today marking the 162nd anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death, the trailer debuted for next March’s “The Raven,” a mystery-thriller that stars John Cusack as Poe.

My take: Perhaps the third time will the charm for director James McTeigue (“V for Vendetta,” “Ninja Assassin”). Being a longtime reader of Poe, this one looks packed with elements straight from his stories, including “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Premature Burial,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and, duh, the poem from which the flick takes its title.



Plus, I’m also a fan of Alice Eve’s curves.

But March 9, 2012, is a long way away. Until then, Relativity Media offers these 20 “unusual facts about Poe, the ‘Enigmatic Master of Darkness’”:

• Poe wrote a fabricated news story of a balloon trip across the ocean to garner attention and publicity in New York City.

• Poe was a champion for higher wages for writers and international copyright law, as his writings were continuously published without him getting credit or compensation.

• Prior to becoming Poe’s wife at the age of 13, his female cousin Virginia acted as a courier, delivering letters to Poe’s lady loves.
 
• From 1949 to 2009, a mysterious figure has left a half-empty bottle of cognac and 3 roses on Poe’s grave every day on his birthday.

• Poe formulated rules for the short story, including that it should relate a complete action and take place within one day in one place.

• Poe was deeply interested by cryptography, the creation and translation of secret codes, and was very proud of his ability to translate them. He would challenge readers of various publications where he worked to send him codes to decipher and, by all accounts, he seemed able to unlock the secrets to any he received.

• Poe’s lifelong dream of owning and operating his own publication never came to fruition.

• Poe met with Charles Dickens while Dickens was in the U.S. on a lecture tour, and solicited his help with getting published in England — nothing ever came of it.

• Poe’s grandfather was an important figure in the American Revolution, contributing a large sum of his own money to outfit local branches of the Continental Army.

• Poe’s grandmother, personally sewed over 500 soldiers’ uniforms for Lafayette’s troops as they passed through Baltimore.

• Poe joined the Army in 1827, lying to recruiters about his age and name. He also published his first collection of poetry during this time. He achieved the rank of Sergeant Major.

• Poe experienced periods of extreme destitution, often having to burn his furniture to keep warm during the winter.

• Poe successfully sought expulsion from West Point. That being said, he was one of the top students in his class.

• Wrote poetic tributes to all the pivotal women in his life.

• Poe had two biological siblings, but all were raised in separate foster homes.

• Poe’s childhood hero was Lord Byron.

• The Poe House and Museum in Baltimore is in jeopardy of being closed in mid-2012 due to Baltimore City budget cuts. The city eliminated the Museum’s funding in 2010.

• Edgar Allan Poe was buried in Westminster Burying Ground and had no headstone for years after his death. In 1860, Poe’s relatives commissioned a small headstone that erroneously listed Poe’s birth date as January 20 instead of January 19 and was destroyed in a train accident before it made it to the gravesite.

• In 1875 Poe’s remains were dug up and moved to a memorial site to be near his family and a gravestone was placed in the wrong spot and was moved around several times.

• This lead people to wonder not only where Poe’s original burial spot was but also if the man who was moved to the spot by the memorial is even Edgar Allan Poe. —Rod Lott
by Rod Lott 10.07.2011 2 years ago
at 02:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Page One: Inside The New York Times

All the news that’s fit to shoot about all the news that’s fit to print.


Documentary

Rod Lott
Startling admission: As a career-long journalist in one form or another, it is difficult for me to be truly objective about the documentary “Page One: Inside The New York Times.”
 
Monday, October 10, 2011

St. Vincent — Strange Mercy

Born Tulsan, Annie Clark’s third record is alluring and fearless.


Indie

Matt Carney
Right away, “Chloe in the Afternoon,” the first track on St. Vincent’s new album, distinguishes itself as superior to both the band’s previous LPs, 2007’s “Marry Me” and 2009’s “Actor.”
 
Monday, October 10, 2011

The Last Circus

Send in the clowns.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Álex de la Iglesia, Spain's clown prince of cinema, making a movie about warring clowns? It's such a natural, I'm surprised he hadn't done it before now.
 
Monday, October 10, 2011
 
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