by Blake Hammond
Posted In: Reviews
, Local Music
at 03:33 PM | Permalink
When I interviewed Cincinnati's Those Guys earlier this year, I saw an endless amount of drive and potential coming from a group of kids who loved making Hip Hop music. What I didn’t see was an identity. Their song “You Ain’t Know” had shown that they had the talent to become something more and the video that accompanied the track garnered the group a lot of internet attention. But the question still remained — could they find the same success without mimicking themselves or blowing up another vehicle in their next video shoot?For Good Reason answers this question with a resounding "Yes!" In only eight tracks, coming in under a half-hour, Those Guys transformed themselves from just a local group of rappers to a legitimate Hip Hop duo on the brink of something greater.The track “Madness is the Method” not only exhibits Jova’s ever growing ability as a producer, transitioning from a very minimalistic style beat (reminiscent of a Chuck Inglish production) to a Hip Hop club-banger by the end of the song, but also shows a new side of J-Al. He doesn’t come in until the last minute of the song, but in that short period of time he exhibits a hunger and fire (almost angry, but in a good way) that he has never shown before. It’s almost as if he sees every verse as being his last chance to “make it” and if he keeps that up, that time will come sooner than he thinks. But don’t think for a second that because Jova has been working extensively on his producer game that he has let his lyrical practice fall by the wayside. On “The Crisis,” he spills his guts for two straight minutes in what is one of the most open and honest songs I’ve heard, not just from the Cincinnati Hip Hop scene, but from any Rap group in general. It’s a painful, truthful, tear-jerking lyrical confession over a beautiful piano that leaves the listener feeling inspired and connected. The entire album is solid, but the true gem is the first track, “Dear Kanye.” This song is a culmination of all the hard work the group has put in over the last year. The production has a smooth, almost Electronic Hip Hop feel to it and ends with more samples than a trip to IKEA.The verses provided by both Jova and J-Al are smart yet still captivate the listener. More importantly, neither rapper outshines the other on this track. In every great tag-team there always seemed to be one person that carried the group (i.e. Shawn Michaels to Marty Jannetty, Bret Hart to Jim Neidhart), but Jova and J-Al have seemed to find that Road Warrior mentality, one working off another. (All nerdy wrestling references aside, they really mesh perfectly on this cut.) The hook is where they’ve taken their work to another level. It's obvious this song is an ode to Kanye West (duh), but they found that perfect medium of being influenced by him while not jacking his style or flow. It’s as if making a song about someone who has influenced and inspired them as artists has helped them find their own identity in the process. As I stated before, “You Ain’t Know” was a great creative jumping off point for the career of Those Guys. While other artists would have become complacent and tried to recreate that moment over and over, For Good Reason is an artistic step forward into the long career that lies ahead for the group.For Good Reason by Those Guys
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Japan is the
breeding ground for freaky trends that never (thankfully) make it across the
ocean. In fall of 2012 we were introduced to “bagel heads,”
a temporary look achieved by injecting saline into the forehead until a dome is
formed, then creating a creating a small crater in the center. The end result
looked like a bagel or donut implant in your forehead. Totes desirable. Then there's ganguro, a Japanese fashion trend where harajuku meet Snooki, resulting in orangey-tan
girls that look freshly plucked from an anime cartoon (tanime?) and now…eyeball licking? Gawker reports
conjunctivitis is running rampant in Japanese middle schools with the sudden
popularity of kids licking each others' MFing eyeballs. Japan, I will take your cat cafés
and affinity for all things tiny (see below) but keep your tongues away from my
Portlandia has been renewed for two more seasons!
The Simpsons is definitely ingrained in American popular
culture. Once an edgy, almost salacious TV show, Homer & fam are pretty
mild in comparison to television’s modern-day exports — animated or otherwise.
So it’s no surprise that Universal Studios announced
a Simpson’s theme park to open this summer at its Orlando, Fla., resort with
a full replica of the fictional town of Springfield. There’s a Krusty Burger,
Kwik-E-Mart, Duff Brewery (yes, an actual brewery with beer created exclusively
for the park) and, of course, Springfield would not be complete without Moe’s
Tavern. Go here
to check out photos and video from the newly-opened park.
This week, everyone’s RTing Feminist Taylor SwiftApparently Hodor
(real name: Kristian Nairn), gentle giant and Bran Stark’s personal Segway on Game of Thrones, is actually a real 21st century person and DJ. Check him out!
If Hodor’s a DJ, Winterfell's
a dance floor
Veneers, dwarf darts and chest beating — that’s what you can really look
forward to going into The Wolf of Wall
Street, Martin Scorsese’s new film based on the story of ‘90s stock market
criminal type, Jordan Belfort. OK, that and Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill(‘s
freaking veneers) and Matthew McConaughey.
Can Leo’s dance move at 1:34 be the new Harlem Shake?
The song playing in the background is off Kanye West’s new album, Yeezus, which came out Tuesday. Kanye,
who apparently is a father now (apparently, because since Kim hasn’t produced
so much as a bowel movement in the past decade without an accompanying press
release, no one can really be too sure about this baby thing), promoted the new album with an American Psycho-inspired commercial — I
am not calling this a short film — starring Scott Disick, Kourtney Kardashian’s
baby daddy, and Jonathan Cheban, Kim K’s main butt buddy/occasional frienemy.
Before American Psycho fans
call blasphemy, author Bret Easton Ellis has come out saying he actually wrote
the spoof himself.
Mad Men’s penultimate season — arguably its darkest yet — wraps up this
Sunday. Now that the merged agencies have agreed on a name and logo, they’re
ready to go public! Check out this awesome press release (via Mad Men’s
Facebook page) SC&P letter:
by Jac Kern
Posted In: TV/Celebrity
at 02:04 PM | Permalink
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
historically be an unlucky number, but we’re all sure to be blessed with pop
culture gold this year. Sure, Heidi and Spencer are back on TV and Kim
Kardashian is cooking up a baby with Kanye West — don’t run for the hills quite
yet. The fact that the New Year was rung in by a washed up Jamie Kennedy
and a stoned Macy Gray on this low-budge Los Angeles NYE show
has to be a good sign of what hot messes are to come. Here’s a peek at what’s to come in 2013. Many spoilers
lie ahead; proceed at your own risk.
This Sunday, the
Golden Globes (aka the one show where TV and movie stars mingle while drunk) will be hosted by women for the first time ever! OK, the show has only had an
official host since 2010, but it’s been Ricky Gervais every year since. This time around,
dynamic duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler run the show. The pair have a long
history, back to their improv days at Second City in the ‘90s. Over the past
decade+ they’ve proven their comedic chemistry on Saturday Night Live and in Baby
Mama, but they’re also awesome in their respective rights, as seen on 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation. Check out some of my unlikely-but-hopeful Golden
Globes picks here.
calendar may deem 2013 the Year of the Snake, but according to my diva calendar,
this is definitely the Year of Beyonce. The musical maven, who just celebrated
baby Blue Ivy’s first birthday with hubby and baby daddy Jay-Z, is set to sing
the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration Jan. 21. Next, she’ll fly
down to New Orleans to headline the Super Bowl halftime show
on Feb. 3. Bey is rumored to perform with a reunited Destiny’s Child (FINALLY)
and the Hov. Just two weeks later, HBO will premiere Queen B’s full-length documentary
on Feb. 16. The Bey-directed doc touts a personal, never-before-seen look at
“Beyonce the person” (there’s no way she’s 100% human, but whatever) as opposed
to Sasha Fierce the performer. A few things I’m really hoping to see: Jay-Z
changing Blue’s Egyptian cotton diaper; Beyonce eating actual solid food; a
baby bump shot to put those pesky rumors to rest; at least 13 different
The Walking Dead returns to AMC for the second half of
Season Three on Feb. 10. We’ll pick up with the new Woodbury/prison storylines
introduced in early December’s mid-season finale. Fan fave Daryl has been
captured by the Governor, who places him in the demented fighting arena against
his brother Merle (who was pretty much presumed dead by the group after leaving
a trail of blood and sawed-off hand behind in Season One). Loyalties will
certainly be tested when the Dixon bros meet for the first time and, according
to this sneak peak, the Woodbury clan wants them to battle to the death. Back
at the prison, Rick questions his leadership role and Tyreese (a character
plucked from the comics) will step up as the group’s token black guy. On the other side of the camera, showrunner Glen Mazzara, who took over for
Frank Darabont after a rather sluggish second season, will be stepping down.
Some speculate the move may be due to a lackluster second half of this season,
but Mazzara, AMC and comic creator/exec producer Robert Kirkman all claim the
departure is on good terms.
We’ll see for ourselves next month; meanwhile, check out this preview:
At first glance, Game
of Thrones did not seem like my small screen cop o’ tea. I generally don’t read
or watch anything too fantastical/mythical (but bring on the zombies and True Blood), plus the number of
characters and settings almost make fictional family trees and note-taking a
must. Regardless of TV preferences, though, GoT
is an addictive epic. And on March 31, fans will return to Westeros for a third,
slightly super-sized season.
See, in the past, episodes were generally just more than 50 minutes long. This
season promises several eps as long as 57 minutes, ultimately adding up to almost a whole extra episode. Way too nerdy and nitpicky?
Well, that’s Thrones for you. But another
fun addition to this season is that fans can now drink along with the show as New York’s Brewery Ommegang
releases a series of Game of Thrones beer. The first, Iron Throne Blonde Ale, is set
to debut in time for the season premiere.
And speaking of TV
show beer tie-ins, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will also get its own brew
with Aleman and Two Brothers Brewing Co.’s Dayman Coffee IPA, also slated to come out this
March. Let’s just hope the gang hasn’t touched the stuff.
And since you
can’t even read the word “Dayman” without singing:
Moving along to
May, you better scratch those Star Wars Day
and Cinco de Mayo plans. Cult hit Arrested
Development is coming back with a new season, to be released on Netflix in
its entirety on May 4. Of course, everyone is happy to have a little more Tobias Fünke in their
lives, but this is a huge, possibly telling move for television in general.
Plenty of failed shows gain a following after their demise on TV, but rarely do these
shows actually get picked up again, and certainly not 7 years after
cancellation. My only fear is super-fans’ high expectations will be hard to meet in just a single season. 'Til the release,
catch up on the series and look out for these Easter eggs.
After being pushed
from its original Christmas 2012 premiere date,
Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby will
hit theaters May 10. The director is known for his visually exciting films,
such at Romeo + Juliet (which starred
Gatsby himself, Leonardo DiCaprio) and Moulin
Rouge, and likes to blend contemporary music and themes in with those of
the films’ eras. For example, in the following trailer, Kanye West's “No Church in the Wild” juxtaposes the 1922 setting.
If that's not enough for ya, stay tuned for more 2013 pop culture previews for summer and fall.
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Even the most
plugged-in, pop culture-obsessed Facebook addicts miss out on Internet crazes
every once in a while; thus, Koren performer Psy’s viral music video for “Gangnam
Style” somehow escaped me. I’d seen
the term mentioned on blogs and even watched a (ridiculously high quality) wedding
video based on
confusing sensation before I was able to find a reference the original video. (Isn’t
it funny how that happens?) I found myself Googling “What the hell is Gangnam
Style?!” not knowing if it was a dance craze or song or fashion trend. The song
actually mocks the lifestyle of rich residents of the Seoul suburb, though most
attention surrounds Psy, a middle aged man singing angrily whilst doing a PG
version of “the pony.” I guess some
of the humor is lost on me because I’m secretly bitter I didn’t discover it
incarnation? Mitt Romney Style!
Who’s down for a
rousing game of “Steak House or Gay Bar?”
Kanye West stripped us all of our daily
affirmation source by deleting all of his previous tweets last week. He has since returned to Twitter, but just to mourn the one-year since Steve
Jobs’ death. Riveting stuff.
is the new black. Lately, high-profile performers across the globe have
proverbially sniffed the milk carton, shrugged and took a sip anyway, all
ending up tossing their cookies on stage. Now, if you’re like music editor Mike
watching people experience a retaliating
digestive system is disturbing and you'd rather not see that shit. Otherwise, here’s Lady Gaga
and Justin Beiber barfing at their
recent respective gigs. Thank goodness for HuffPo, who compiled a gallery of “Stars Who’ve Puked During Concerts.”
When Heidi Klum
and Seal broke up,
I was crushed (mostly because it meant no I’d really never be invited to one of their epic
Halloween parties or themed vow renewals).
When Amy Poehler and Will Arnett split,
I was angry and confused. (Can’t they just laugh it off?!) Well, now I know there’s
no such thing as love because after more than 30 years together, Danny DeVito
and Rhea Perlman have separated. Maybe people grow apart after decades
together. Perhaps DeVito’s role as Frank on Always Sunny began rubbing off on
him. I don’t care — Matilda’s parents were supposed to stay together forever.
Thankfully, Amber Tamblyn
and David Cross got hitched this week, giving us all a final shred of hope for
humanity. Check out Questlove’s Instagram (the coolest way to peep wedding pics, ever) for photos of the Esty-fied Tommy Hilfiger
ad starring Joan of Arcadia and Tobias Fünke.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 20, 2012
It appears that ’70s rockers KISS have finally run out of
shit to sell with their logo on it, so the band is expanding its brand
to include merchandise based on its appearances as animated characters
on Family Guy.
by Mike Breen
Huey Lewis vs. Ghostbusters and happy 35th birthday Kanye West
On this date in 1984, the comedy motion picture Ghostbusters opened. It would go on to be ranked on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest film comedies ever at No. 28 (though they did rank Tootsie No. 2, so … grain of salt). Besides doing boffo numbers at the box office ($238.6 million, which is like double that in today's dollars), the movie also gave us that unforgettable (for better or worse) theme song by Ray Parker Jr. (the rest of the soundtrack included such icons as Thompson Twins and Air Supply). Like the film, the single was a hit upon its release and caught the attention of Huey Lewis — and every other person on the planet who had heard his 1983 hit with The News, "I Want a New Drug." The song features the same rhythm, similar vocal inflections and melody and, most glaringly, a practically identical bass line, so Lewis' answer to Parker Jr.'s "Who you gonna call?" was "My lawyer!" To make matters worse, Lewis (as well as Lindsey Buckingham) had reportedly been approached to write the theme song to Ghostbusters, but was too busy with Back to the Future soundtracking. It took a while, but in 1995, an "amicable" settlement was reached.One of the stipulations of the settlement was that neither party could discuss it (or the case) with anyone (especially the public). But in 2001, Lewis talked about the controversy and lawsuit in his Behind the Music special on VH1. Lewis said, "The offensive part was not so much that Ray Parker Jr. had ripped this song off, it was kind of symbolic of an industry that … wanted our wave, and they wanted to buy it. (It's) not for sale. ... In the end, I suppose they were right. I suppose it was for sale, because, basically, they bought it."So Parker sued Lewis in 2001 for talking about the case. He claimed that the agreement they had reached was "directly related to (Ray's) comfort, happiness and welfare" and that Huey's statement caused him emotional distress. I can't find info on whatever happened in that case, but it seems logical to assume another settlement was reached. And this time, so far, everyone's kept their mouth shut.What do you think? I think they both could have been sued by British Synth Pop project M, whose biggest hit, "Pop Muzik," also sounds similar … and came out in 1979! Maybe this legal kerfuffle can stretch into a fourth decade. Check all three out below and you be the judge.Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a June 8 birthday include daughter of Frank and artist in her own right, Nancy Sinatra (1940); one of the founding members of Parliament/Funkadelic, Fuzzy Haskins (1941); one of the vocalists for rockers Three Dog Night, Chuck Negron (1942); Ohio native and ’70s hitmaker Boz Scaggs (1944); the singer who made the blissfully craptastic video for "Total Eclipse of the Heart" possible, Bonnie Tyler (1951); Bluegrass (and beyond) guitar great Tony Rice (1951); influential guitarist (with Black Flag) and label operator (with SST Records) Greg Ginn (1954); Rod Stewart fill-in and Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall (1960); keyboardist for New Romantic superstars Duran Duran, Nick Rhodes (1962); guitarist and founder of The Derek Truck Band (duh), member of The Allman Brothers Band and co-founder of the Tedeschi Trucks Band (with wife Susan Tedeschi), Derek Trucks (1979); fiddler known for her solo work and her time with the group Nickel Creek, Sara Watkins (1981); and Hip Hop musical genius (yes, just because he knows it, too, doesn't mean he isn't one) Kanye West (1977). As a happy 35th birthday present, we offer something we know West will appreciate — free publicity (and calling him a genius — that counts as part of the gift, too!). In return, I expect a pair of Air Yeezy II sneakers for MY birthday. Here's "Mercy," West's latest video (another thing he is especially good at making) for his track with 2 Chainz, Big Sean and Pusha-T. (It says "explicit," but just for a couple of salty words here and there; mildly NSFW. I guess. I mean, I don't know where you work.)
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Kanye West and Jay-Z will reportedly be making a sequel to their collaborative Watch the Throne
album, according to producer Mike Dean. But that’s just a small part of
the twosome’s plans to expand their kingdoms.
by Mike Breen
Hip Hop star Young Jeezy performs tonight in Corryville, bringing his tour behind the recent Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition album to Bogart's for an 8 p.m. show. The Def Jam Records recording artist released his major label debut, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, in 2005, spawning the hit single "Soul Survivor," featuring singer Akon. The South Carolina-born, Atlanta-based MC (once a member of the group Boyz n da Hood) put out two more albums — The Inspiration and The Recession (in ’06 and ’08, respectively) — which featured guests from R. Kelly and Keyshia Cole to Nas and Kanye West (their collabo "Put On" was nominated for a Grammy), and he's appeared as a guest himself on singles by Usher ("Love in This Club") and Rihanna ("Hard"). The Thug Motivation masterclass skipped ahead to 103 (perhaps Thug Motivation 102 is audit-only?) and was released late last year after several announced release dates came and went. The album landed at No. 3 on the album charts its first week out (in the midst of holiday shopping fever, making it more impressive). TM 103 once again features a pretty heady guest list, with cameos by Yo Gotti, Lil Wayne, Freddie Gibbs, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Jill Scott, Snoop and Ne-Yo, who appears on the most recently released single "Leave You Alone." Check the video below (NSFW for language, excessive head tattoos and gratuitous product placement for Crown Royal and Ciroc vodka). Tickets for tonight's show are $25 (plus fees). Read more about Jeezy here.• Indie rockers Brighton MA — neither from Brighton nor Massachusetts — hit MOTR Pub tonight for a free show with great locals The Mighty. The Chicago band was formed by two members of Scotland Yard Gospel Choir upon their departure from that acclaimed Indie Pop ensemble, emerging as a successful and acclaimed unit in its own right not long after. An intense mesh of Folk, Rock and Pop, the band's songs have been used on TV shows (like Gossip Girl and Community) and in a successful Jack Daniels ad campaign last year during the holidays. The band also scored a sweet tour van to take a trip on Route 66 for an extensive promotional web series called "Rock the Route," which was sponsored(-the-hell-out-of) by Red Bull. Earlier this year, the group released a new 7-song EP called Billboard Sun, a warm-up for their second full-length, due later this year. Tonight's show starts around 10 p.m. Oh, and Brighton, Mass., is the neighborhood in which singer Matt Kerstein was born (in case you were wondering). Here's the band's "Good Kind of Crazy" (aka "the song from the Jack Daniels commercial"):• Veteran Country star Marty Stuart plays the Newport Syndicate tonight, part of the club/restaurant's concert series that matches musical performances with a dinner buffet (the successful series has featured artists like John Waite and Little River Band in the past). Read more about Marty here then get to the club by 6 p.m. for your meal. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. (For more food/show details, go here.) And check out a video for "Tear the Woodpile Down" from Stuart's forthcoming Nashville, Volume 1: Tear the Woodpile Down (due April 24). Stuart's career has crossed lines and touched on Rock & Roll and Bluegrass over the years, but Woodpile looks to be straight-up Country. Here's a great press-release quote from Stuart about the new effort: "When I first came to Nashville the most outlaw thing you could possibly do around here was to take Country music and blow it up into Rock & Roll. Mission accomplished! Today, the most outlaw thing you can possibly do in Nashville, Tenn., is play Country music.”• Equal Vision recording artists We Came As Romans (cover models for the April edition of Alternative Press magazine) will rock Covington's Madison Theater tonight with guests Emmure, BlessTheFall, Color Morale and Woe is Me (all on the road together currently as "The Fire and Ice Tour"). Doors open at 6 p.m.; showtime is 7 p.m. Admission to the all ages show is $19. Read more about the Romans here and check out their most recent music video, "Understanding What We've Grown to Be," below.• Syracuse, NY, native (boo! Go Bearcats!) Martin Sexton comes back to Greater Cincinnati tonight, performing at Oakley's 20th Century Theater "An Evening with …"-syle (meaning no opening act and lots of Martin all night long). The folksy Americana singer/songwriter is known for his fingerstyle guitar playing, skilled songwriting and soulful singing, as well as his "guitar-solo vocals," where he mimics guitar leads, Peter Frampton-style (at the 2006 Jammy Awards at Madison Square Garden, he had a sung-solo sing-off with Frampton — maybe Pete will show tonight?). Read more here. Tonight's show is at 8 p.m. and admission is $22. Below is the official video for Sexton's title track off of the recent 5-song EP, Fall Like Rain:
by Jac Kern
Jac's favorite pop culture and Internet findings of the week
Blues Night at the White House
it wasn’t a somber night of the Obamas watching the GOP race progress. Blues
Night brought B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Mick Jagger to Washington for a night of
great performances! The trio, along with many other performers, played classics
like “Let the Good Times Roll,” “I Can’t Turn You Loose” and “Let Me Love You
Baby.” No word on whether “Moves Like Jagger” was on the bill (sorry for making
that get stuck in your head). The highlight of the night? Obama singing a few
lines of “Sweet Home Chicago.” The
concert aired on PBS Feb. 27.
My Strange Addiction
baaaack! This hot mess of a show seems like it would be an SNL spoof on ridiculous reality shows, but it really exists. And
who really knows if these people are truly “addicted” to their behavior, or
just do it for attention — either way, it’s some twisted entertainment. This
season of the TLC "hit" features a man who is in love with (as in sexually attracted to) his 1998
Chevy Monte Carlo; a woman who can’t stop snorting baby powder; a woman with
38KKK-sized breasts addicted to (you guessed it) breast augmentations and
plenty more sorry souls.
on the Internet
probably heard of What The Fuck Should I Make For Dinner, a comically crass blog that randomly generates unique recipes (and if you
“don’t fucking eat meat,” there are plenty of veg options, too). Thankfully,
now you can find out where to get a cocktail after dinner, with Where The Fuck
Should I Go For Drinks. Just enter your
location, and the site gives plenty of good options to wet your whistle.
also discovered an amazing blog this week (That’s So Michelle) and instead of gushing, I’ll just explain one thing: It has a category
devoted to Jell-o shots. And I’m not talking nasty lime gelatin-and-Popov crap,
this shit is gourmet! Michelle uses excellent ingredients and ingenious flavor
combinations to create shots of pink lemonade, caramel apple and strawberry
margarita, all served in hollowed-out fruits. Bask:
I’m disappointed in myself for just now discovering “Chloe.” This web show
stars Drew Droege as Queen Original Hipster, Chloe Sevigny. Each episode is set
up the same: Chloe introduces herself and discusses her appreciation of
something mildly timely (Valentine’s Day, Summer, Resolutions). She then goes
on to discuss how she celebrates the topic, name-dropping all along the way.
From the unusual accent to the discussion of obscure activities to the amazing
wardrobe, it’s hi-lar-i-ous. Again, I realize this has been around the ‘nets
for a while, but I have to share with anyone deprived of Chloe as I was. Enjoy!
Baby Kanye Meme
I’ve grown tired of this “everything’s a meme!!” trend happening, but sometimes
there are decent ones amidst the sea of “What my friends think I do…” And since
everything Kanye is generally entertaining, I present Baby Kanye: The Meme.
"Living In" Page
can do no wrong, so I love everything about it. But I’ve always particularly
liked when blogs and magazines show me how to incorporate style from a movie
into my real life. D*S’ “Living In” page covers all the best scenes you want to copy, from Cleopatra to Clueless. Most recently, the site featured Twin Peaks, Almost Famous and Chocolat.
in grade school when there would be “Star of the Week,” and that kid would
bring in brownies and talk about his pet turtle and make a posterboard about his cool life? Beginners' Christopher Plummer is my Star of the Week. He’s proof that it's
never too late to do something awesome. So if you’re 28 and crying because you
hate your office job and you don't know what to do with your life, suck it up! CP waited 82 damn years to get an Oscar! Check out his charming speech here.
by Mike Breen
'This Land Is Your Land' turns 72 and Aziz Ansari turns Kanye jokes into an artform
On this day in 1940, American music icon Woody Guthrie wrote his most famous song and one that has become embedded into the DNA of American life, "This Land is You Land." The Folk music legend and notorious fighter for the social causes of the poor and working class is said to have written the song after hearing (a few too many times) Irving Berlin's "God Bless America," which he felt was too hyperbolic. Just like Roxanne Shante's "The Real Roxanne" was written as a response to U.T.F.O.'s "Roxanne Roxanne" (OK, maybe not JUST like), "This Land" was Guthrie's "answer song." Guthrie recorded the future standard five years later, but it wasn't until the ’60s Folk revival that the song really took flight, as everyone from Bob Dylan to The Kingston Trio covered the tune. Though "God Bless America" may be the song still sung at baseball games, "This Land is You Land" has endured as one of the greatest pieces of American art, a reflection of what many of us believe our country is all about — "We're all in this together and lucky to be on this wonderful little chunk of dirt, so shut up and quit being so selfish, jerk-ass!" Or something along those lines (maybe I read too much into it). The song is still common at protests and used in political contexts. Bruce Springsteen closed his acoustic concerts in support of Barrack Obama in 2008 with a version ("Yes We Can" chants added), while Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello serenaded the mass of humanity at the Occupy Wall Street protest in NYC with the song (lost verses and all) this past October. Here is one of the great "contemporary" versions — a rendition by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, who give the song a sweet vintage Soul makeover:Click the jump for "Born This Day" featuring Aziz Ansari, the Mark Twain of Kanye West jokes.