The Script - Superheroes (off No Sound Without Silence, 2014, Columbia) [via thesinglesjukebox]
It’s been hard for me to like The Script, at least ever since their “Hall of Fame” (yup, the one with the fake patois) bludgeoned through Bruno Sammartino’s redemptive moment of triumph at Wrestlemania 29. Sammartino was and is one of the powerhouses on which professional wrestling built it’s name, an Italian immigrant whose popularity exploded as third-generation Italian-Americans took to his heroism, reigning over Vincent J. McMahon’s pre-TV WWWF promotion as World Heavyweight Champion for eleven years, a “Living Legend” who squashed the “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers (who Ric Flair took his gimmick from) in forty-eight seconds and shoot-fought in the ring with famed Japanese grappler/diplomat Antonio Inoki. There’s plenty of stories surrounding him, and there’s simply not enough space here to go into them all. Which brings us back to The Script’s music, unsubtly interrupting Sammartino’s theme music that would soundtrack a return to the stage after years of locking horns with the McMahon family and their WWE promotion. It was meant to feel redemptive, a final hoorah. instead, it was crass, this modern song’s false sincerity overpowering not only the horns of Sammartino’s music, but any possibility of a hard-fought emotional outburst. That’s The Script through and through, and that’s “Superhero” through and through: hokey, overpowering real humility, making unsubtle swipes at emotion while also burying any possible notion of emotion. Don’t buy into it, guys; do it for Bruno.
We’re going rap/hip-hop centric for our seventh podcast. So obviously that means a bit of Nicki Minaj (“Flawless” remix, “Bang Bang”), some R&Bass, “Old English” and some recommendations from your hosts Crystal Leww, Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy and David Turner.
Hi, I got to talk to two of my favorite boys about hip hop music.
Crystal calling me one of her favourite boys is keeping me all :)
ANYWAY, here I am with the wonderful David’n’Crystal. We shit on Jessie J (“the Pol Pot of Pop”), bicker about whether or not the ‘Flawless’ remix matters, shout out So Many Shrimp and accidentally-but-intentionally spoil Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Subscribe, y’all!
It’s clear that Folman shares a vague-yet-intense fear of an increasingly digital age with his idol [the late science-fiction novelist Stanislaw Lem]. According to him, this technological influx surely marks the end of days - an increasingly dated point of view for any director to portray. Folman is adding the slightest of tweaks to an adaptation of a Communist-era sci-fi novel he first read as a sixteen year old and calling it a day. That’s not mindblowing, future-forward sci-fi; that’s advocating the qualities of the past.
I wrote about Ari Folman’s half-animated/half-‘satire’ follow-up to Waltz With Bashir for the folk at The Quietus. Click to read someone snipe about totally uneducated and dated tech-paranoia, but stay for the anecdotes about Seijun Suzuki’s Princess Raccoon! Stay home this weekend and rent that instead. It has a RAP SONG ABOUT BEING A GOD.
In 2007, Nas released a series of remixes celebrating the oft-forgotten artists he rapped about on Hip Hop Is Dead's “Where Are They Now.” Thethreeremixes remain fascinating listening experiences, containing acceptance of being outmoded — and just as much bitterness. For each Redhead Kingpin quipping about being mistaken for Eddie King from The Five Heartbeats or Ice-T calmly telling a fan that he’s not Ice Cube, there’s UTFO’s Kangol Kid refusing to let the Roxanne Wars go and Rob Base tearfully remembering his glory days (“‘It Takes Two’ — remember me?”). The happiest of all these rappers is Sir Mix-a-Lot — he acknowledges his past in the spotlight and gleefully collects Hollywood publishing cheques while polishing the fountain in his garden. He’s happy with his lot. That brings us to “Anaconda” — a gleeful mess of a song that belongs in the gleefully messy first half of Minaj’s Roman Reloaded LP, a song about butts and crack and buttcracks and A LOT OF LOUD NOISES. Sir Mix-a-Lot is most likely happy with Nicki running with his zany, R. Crumb-esque depiction of bigger-is-better hip-hop sexuality: remember, “Baby Got Back” is a crazy-sounding song, made evident by the cartoony elements that “Anaconda” samples. But more than anything, the Sir’s probably ecstatic with “Anaconda“‘s general existence, because it means that garden fountain is getting a real big water slide attached (or a golden butt). Like he said on that Nas remix: “Seven figure years keep comin’/who’s ya pimp?!”
Thoughts on Nicki, which I’ve heard that the internet likes?
My Chemical Romance - The Jetset Life is Gonna Kill You (off Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, 2004, Reprise)
Working from home today and making scowly theatre-kid faces to this album is essentially the same method of stress release as putting on Pig Destroyer for three hours, and it’s catchier. I’ve lost my voice twice already to the verses - just the verses! MCR were a good band, a really odd one weaned on Peter Quill’s walkman mixtapes, comic book violence, theatrical displays of emotion and a bevy of crackpot characters for Gerard Way to play (this song’s “check into the Hotel Mela Muerteeeeehhhh" and the hilarious Fake Thom Yorke on ‘Interlude’ come to mind).