Thursday, December 31, 2015

Love Song 2015

Thanks again for another lovely year. Lots more jams, lots more doodles, lots more fun in '16.


P.S. - the samples are built from songs released in 2015 or songs I was digging this year. Name 'em all and you'll have my respect. And I'll dig up something nice as an atta-kid.

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Kank, Not Konk: Best of the Kid 2015

Stuff the Kid Likes
Bob Dylan “Little Sadie”
Sofia Loren “Zoo Be Zoo Be
Oscar the Grouch “I Love Trash
Tegan & Sara “Everything is Awesome
mashing up “I Love Trash” with “Everything is Awesome” (it’s more or less “Everything is dingy and dusty and musty / Oh, everything is awesome!”)
Ocean 11 “Housewives Choice
“The Acorn Song” (“I’m a nut (cluck cluck) / I‘m a nut (cluck cluck)”
If you ask him what he’ll DJ at his “DJ gig,” he’ll say, “Twinkle, Twinkle; Old McDonald; and the Acorn song”
Saying the word, “Kank” and other variations of made-up words
The first 15 minutes of E.T.
Shinkansen trainwatching videos on YouTube
Anpanman episodes
Little Blue Truck Leads the Way, Alice Shertie (story), Jill McElmurry (art)
A Sick Day for Amos McGee, Philip C. Stead (story), Erin E. Stead (art)
日本の昔話 (Gakken Education Publishing)
Otogi Ressha Shuppatsu Shinko!, Naokata Mase (間瀬なおかた)
Once Upon a Potty, Alona Frankel
The “Kim and Carrots” segments of Babybug
Little Bear series Elsa Holmelund Minarik (story) Maurice Sendak (art)
How Little Lori Visited Times Square, Amos Vogel (story) Maurice Sendak (art)
Almost any Curious George
Horton Hatches the Egg, Dr. Seuss
Everyone Poops, Gomi Taro

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The Book of You: Best Static Visual Stuff of 2015

Batman: The Killing Joke Alan Moore (story), Brian Bolland (art)

Stuff I Read
Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys: A Memoir Viv Albertine
No comparison to Kim Gordon’s book, but more of what I was expecting in terms of mixing a look into the subject’s personal life, as well as the nerd details about the music. Probably helps that Albertine’s stint with the Slits was relatively short, so talking about music music music is a little more neat, perhaps? In any case, I knew little about the Slits or Albertine, so this was eye-opening in many ways. What a fucking life. So very happy that she has found her way back to music. The back half of the book that details her struggles with pregnancy, marriage, and working her way back to good health and art-making is absolutely essential.

A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel Marlon James
Solid writing. I'm already steeling myself for the inevitable disappointment of knowing this book will get optioned -- it screams 'make me into a film!' Which is exactly why it shouldn't. Beautiful handling of multiple characters. Really looking forward to reading more of James. 

The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters Frances Stonor Saunders
I’m still making my way through this, but it’s a great follow-up (for me) to Legacy of Ashes. I suppose the tl;dr version is Damn, the CIA is fuckin’ up all up and down history.

Nimona and Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 Noelle Stevenson
I really shouldn’t talk about these two series in the same breath, because they are so distinct in message, style, story, etc. But I have to thank having nieces for encouraging me to think about books that speak more directly to being female. Which is pretty silly, I recognize. Hell, these are the sorts of stories my nephews would also benefit from. Anyway. Nimona spirals out into a much bigger story, which can be a bit overwhelming. However, it really nails a lot of the confusion of growing up in the modern world. Lumberjanes is plain silly fun, smart and enjoyable in a very different way. Really dig the art, too.

Batman: Year One Frank Miller (story), David Mazzucchelli (art)
I think I like this more than Dark Knight Returns.

Ms. Marvel, Volume 1: No Normal Willow Wilson
Love, love, love this series.

Diary of a Madman: The Geto Boys, Life, Death, and the Roots of Southern Rap Brad Jordan and Benjamin Meadows Ingram
Almost done with this, but it’s a great take on the South/Houston scene.

The Squared Circle: Life, Death and Professional Wrestling David Shoemaker
My old homie Ben ‘gifted’ this to me for my bday. Another ‘almost-done’ joint, but it’s the sort of reading you can pick up and put down repeatedly.

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Mingus Eyes: Best Moving Visual Stuff of 2015

Stuff I watched (under a half hour)
Honey Cocaine “Honeydick
What Si Mane Price said.

Charli XCX “Famous
Probably the most literal thing from either Tim or Eric (up there with Decker? Or On Cinema?)

Dr. Yen Lo (Ka) - “Day O
Prog-rap? Noir rap?

Stuff I watched (under an hour)
Master of None
Really, it’s the Parents and Race episodes that stand out. Overall, the show hits a lot of great casting points. Slate already covered this, but it does a standout job of showing people of different races, sexual orientations, genders -- IDENTITIES -- interacting with each other like human beings. It’s all a bit perfect, so it works as a sitcom, but it’ll do. Happy that Ansari got this show made. The Parents episode is my favorite. The structure of showing both Dev and Kevin’s father’s respective trips and how they are both similar and stand-alone is remarkable. And done in record time in a half-hour sitcom!

With Bob & David
Perfect because I really didn’t ever expect more Bob and Dave? Also great, b/c it’s such a short run and fulfills just enough. Lots of room for great support players.

Inside Amy Schumer
“Friday Night Lights,” “Last Fuckable Day,” the entire “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” ep, Amy’s increasingly orange legs on the “Cliffely Lately” show

Last Week Tonight

Better Call Saul
I had no interest in watching this show, let alone in its existence. I liked Breaking Bad, but simply never felt engrossed in the show. The storytelling was always compelling and entertaining, but the back-and-forth between gravitas and absurdity never clicked. Also, I fundamentally don’t think it brought any more nuance or interpretation of the drug trade which does in fact impact the country. Which probably explains why I actually like Saul, possibly more than BB. Gilligan is an excellent storyteller and Jimmy McGill’s story is a classic tragedy. It is an excellent use of a classic storytelling motif set in a modern, distinctly American context. Plus, Odenkirk, Odenkirk, Odenkirk. When Mike, a character that I thoroughly enjoyed, has one of the weakest storylines, you know you have something very compelling.

Daredevil & Jessica Jones
Daredevil has major ethics problems. The whole post-9/11 tension feels dated. It has shit views on race. But good action. Though that Oldboy knock-off still puzzles me. Who was that aimed at? Kids too young to have seen Oldboy, but need a version sans hammer?

Jessica Jones has shit action. But the themes are more relevant. And there’s interracial boning. But what is up with casting David Tennant to just do the rapist version of the Doctor?

The Americans
I think this is a sign that I’m settling into middle age. This is a pretty ridiculous show, but I’m happy to throw down for Felicity. And that’s probably the root of my problem.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
In spite of its shit title, the music is on point and (generally) well-written, the premise of a JAP chasing after a Filipino-American dude is (sadly) revolutionary (for our times), and the cast is filled with a variety of normal looks, body types, etc. but big on comedy chops.

The Last Man on Earth
“Oh, farts…”
“Hi, Phil’s penis.”

Kroll Show, Broad City, Key and Peele
They're all good.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Why isn’t this show called the Unbreakable Kimmy GIF?

Show Me a Hero
This may be the only thing the Crash guy has done that I can tolerate. Maybe that’s the strength of David Simon’s scripts? The pairing (and the mini-series format) is welcome, b/c it condenses a number of Simon’s ideas. Great, condensed and entertaining storytelling of a subject that would normally turn off mainstream viewers (ok, not sure how well this series performed).

Stuff I watched (over an hour)Inside Out
I have some problems with the film’s model of the function of emotion and memory (Nerd Writer goes into much more detail about this), but I can appreciate its overall message of embracing all types of emotions.

The Punk Singer
My entry point to Bikini Kill and Kathleen Hanna is admittedly Beastie Boys and Grand Royal. Oddly, this film sort of completes that circle by fleshing out Kathleen and Adam’s relationship. And, yes, I recognize that is hardly the point of this film.

Broadcast News
I really like the film’s grasp of the mechanics of telejournalism. It’s a shame this is really a bread-and-butter romance drama. Still worth it for some stellar performances from Holly Hunter and Albert Brooks.

What We Do in the Shadows
Everything I wished Only Lovers Left Alive was. The Real World vibe of bickering roommates is pretty inspired.

The homie Tridential going, “Cha-ppeeee!!” Oh boy. Can’t recall the last time I saw HAM this porky.

So simple and charming. I still really love Shirley Maclaine. Jack Black’s swishyness is a bit broad, but he’s understated overall. And that’s a good thing.

White Lightning
I should rewatch this now. Something about Bert’s smarm and Donald Trump’s asshole schtick. Hardly cut from the same cloth. But Trump makes me that much more nostalgic for Bert Reynolds’s era of asshole. Oh, and the cars are pretty neat, too.

The One I Love
aka, Take my wife, please (h/t wifey).

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Heard is the Word: Best Music Stuff of 2015

Stuff I Heard
Meek Mill “B Boy” (Feat. Big Sean & A$AP Ferg)
First great song of the year. Shame the video is another cliched play on Spring Breakers.

Meek Mill “Monster
Maybe it’s Meek’s year? Edit: I wrote that back in March. I’m aware of happened this year. I’m still wondering, “Where’s the beef?”

Young Thug “Spaghetti Factory
Seems Metro Boomin discovered the pitch shift. Leany.

Young Thug “Pacifier” & “I Need Chickens
There’s plenty mo’ Thugga in ‘15. Go check Noz’s list.

Along with slipping in The Slits’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” this was my favorite left-turn to work into a wedding set.

Rae Sremmurd “This Could Be Us
Sure, Blackalicious gets full h/t for having the definitive flip of this Black Grass loop. But you’re shitting me if you think Rae Sremmurd shouldn’t get major propers for riding this beat. “Learn from Project Pat-ah…”

Rich Gang summer 2015 leak
I refer back to Noz’s list again. I’m still going through this material. Something for everybody. “Woke Up” for the reminder of why Rich Gang matters. “Constantly Hating” for your daddy issues. “Draw Down” for meditating. “In This Game” for the club. “Mine” for lyric lickin’.

Vince Staples Summertime ‘06
There’s fat on this record, particularly disc 2, but it’s still a remarkable rappity rap album.

Jamie xx “I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times) (Feat. Young Thug and Popcaan)” & “Loud Places”
Brother knows how to make singles.

Future 56 Nights
I have a short attention span. I don’t think albums need to be longer than a half hour. This tape barely passes that mark and that’s including interludes. Future fills the rest with murky, industrial bangers. So many quotables. “Valet the car on the curb like I'm swerving on alcohol.” “All that old shit, y'all niggas still doing it / I'm over that.” “You fuck around, get murked today / Fuck around, get work today.“ You can’t read lines like, “I got that mojo, that mojo, I'm mojo / You bozo, you bozo, you nigga that no no” -- just have to hear it. “Ballin' like the March Madness / All these cops shooting niggas, tragic.“ Left and right turns galore.

Almost makes me wish I was in my teens or twenties again. Condenses the angst of that age perfectly. Oh, and Earl also got the half-hour memo. Real bummed I missed him on tour this go-around.

Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment “Sunday Candy,” “Familiar” & “Slip Slide”; Chance “Angels”
I don’t really fuck with with everything Chano touches, but this is as close to Top 40 aspirations I can get behind (moreso than his actual Top 40 aspirations).

Comedy Bang Bang #336: NOT Farts and Procreation 4 (Harris Wittels, Chelsea Peretti, Adam Scott) (2/22/15)
Shit, Harris. One.

Picked this one up on a whim without knowing anything about her. What a fun record.

Björk Vulnicura

YG “Twist My Fingaz

Nef The Pharoah “Big Tymin’” or the whole EP
I miss the Bay.

Click-bait, but entertaining.

Starlito Introversion
And, because.

Nicholas Fraser Why the fuck you lyin’?
The year starts and ends here. Maybe RL has the last laugh.

Stuff I didn’t need to hear
Compton LP
I'm fine not hearing anymore Dre. Then he had to go ahead and release new music

In an alternate reality…
Jive would make a Charlie Hustle: The Complete E-40 Discography box set. Twould be a lovely stocking stuffer.
Another generation would not have to be assaulted with the idea that “The Boy Is Mine” is a good song
Macola would be an actual documentary and Straight Outta Compton would be a direct-to-video footnote.

CDs I got for $1 (or less) because everyone loves vinyl and tapes again (and please keep loving them)
Cat Power What would the community think?
Damned Machine Gun Etiquette
DJ Quik Rhythm-a-lism
E-40 Charlie Hustle
Freestyle Fellowship Innercity Griots
Langley Schools Music Project
Red House Painters Ocean Beach

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