monday mixtape chthonic

March 25th, 2013 by | Tags: , ,

monday mixtape chthonic from brothers on 8tracks Radio.

Eight songs here, which should play in random order. I don’t know where the title came from. I found it on a list of c-adjectives and liked how it looked. Anyway. The list:
-The Weeknd – Life of the Party – Trilogy
-Pulp – Party Hard – This Is Hardcore
-blur – Death of a Party – blur
-STS – We Threw A Party – GOLD RUSH
-Regina Spektor – The Party – What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
-Prince Paul – War Party feat. Horror City – A Prince Among Thieves
-OutKast – movin cool (the afterparty) – big boi and andre present…
-Method Man – Party Crasher – Tical 2000: Judgement Day

One thing that gets lost when people try to legitimize rap by going on a crusade about how it’s poetry is that rap is so much more than rhyming. It’s the way you enunciate the words to the beat (flow), it’s the way those words sound (voice), it’s the way those words are put together (skills), and something indefinable, like charisma or coolness. It’s ad-libs and asides and hooks and everything. “Rap is poetry” doesn’t work because it files off everything that makes rap different from poetry.

Method Man’s “Party Crasher” is one of my favorite joints on Tical 2000. It paints an incredibly vivid picture of one night at the club, from the pushy douchebag doorman to the dudes looking for someone to jack to enjoying the night. There are so many moments in here that can’t be talked about like they were poetry but totally make the song. Mef talking about choking while smoking, “million dollar broke niggas” being an incredible turn of phrase, that “you know what this is” aside just before dude gets done dirty in the bathroom, and — my favorite part — “Niggas! yeah, gon’ turn the party out!”

“War Party” is something else. It’s like the ultimate Goon Theme Song. This is what the nameless dudes in movies and music videos who mean mug at the camera listen to to get hype. Some of my favorite rap songs are joints where a bunch of dudes just get in and get out, and this song is a good example. I’m also a sucker for a song with an outro composed entirely of threats, pimp.

I’m not sure who wrote this, but I really dig this retrospective of Earthtone III and their place in the music industry. They’re incredible, first, and they’re Big Boi, Dre, and Mr. DJ, second. OutKast. I feel like a lot of people don’t realize that Dre and Big produce, too, because it so rarely ever seems to come up. With good reason, I think — Organized Noize deserves more acclaim than they get, which is a lot — but it’s still sorta weird. This piece does a great job of placing them in context.

Maddie Collier wrote a pretty interesting essay about rap and cunnilingus. Not safe for work, obviously, but more for language than pictures. I don’t think I’d have had as much trouble as she did finding rappers who are all about putting some south in their mouth, but maybe that’s selection bias. I notice it more when rappers say they don’t than when they say they will. One seems normal, I guess, and the other is weird. There’s a G Rap line she quotes that struck me as weird even when I was heavy into KGR. Like — son, you’re down for killing how many people? But you’re the chicken of the sea? Yuck. Either way — fascinating essay. There are all these nooks & crannies of rap that go underexplored or are approached in asinine and blatantly untrue ways, so I really get into seeing stuff like this. It means I’m one step closer to reading someone’s groundbreaking piece on white girls and rap.

I wrote about Mike Allred & Peter Milligan’s run on X-Force and how good it is. Wrote about Air Force 1s, too.

-I wrote about this Miley Cyrus twerk video and linked the Grantland piece on my tumblr, too:

This is real fascinating to me, even once you take her getting it out of the equation. I’m from Georgia, right? Ying Yang Twins’s “Whistle While You Twurk” hit when I was in 10th grade. The last two songs I really remember popping off super hard and killing the radio before I left for Spain was Luda’s “What’s Your Fantasy” and Ying Yang’s “Whistle While You Twurk.” Luda was the new hotness, but Ying Yang were on some whole other thing. They shouted out a strip club in my hometown, and flipping Whistle While You Work for a song about strip clubs was an amazing choice. This song, and twerking by extension, reminds me of a very specific time and place in a very visceral way. It’s a time machine.

And now, in 2013, we’ve got ex-Disney stars twerking on camera. Life is crazy. It sorta puts me in mind of when Dave Chappelle told everybody what skeet means and then everyone ran that into the ground.

I saw Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers this weekend, featuring James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Gucci Mane. It was terrible, but terrible in a way that I thought was interesting. Not interesting enough to be happy about paying train fare and movie ticket prices for it, but interesting like “I’m glad I saw that so that now I don’t have to watch it ever again.” A few notes:

-Is this what spring break was like? I missed out on that experience, but if it’s just a bunch of goofy looking white dudes pouring beer on topless white chicks and their token black girlfriend in a pantomime of peeing… I’m good, bro. Surely there is a better way to get into some debauchery.

-Selena Gomez looks like somebody’s little sister. It’s really distracting. She’s the babyface di tutti babyface.

-James Franco: utterly ridiculous, but I forgot he was Franco for a while, so maybe it was good? He was equal parts excruciating and perfect.

Spring Breakers is tedious, but tedious in an almost exciting way. It feels like it’s three hours long, and I was definitely checking my watch at the end. But I liked some of what I saw. I would see something awesome — the girls in prison, posed around the room like dolls — and then I would have to wait thirty minutes of troll-looking twins and excruciating voiceovers before the next cool thing.

-The shot composition was great. There were a gang of shots that I thought were really, really fascinating. You could probably pull a lot of visual inspiration from this flick.

-The editing was awful. It felt like the movie was an overlong music video set during one hellish Spring Break moment of bouncing boobs, bikini-covered butts, dudes with guns, and alcohol. There’s no sense of place, not at all. There’s no geography. It’s all one place at one time.

-The party’s over once the black dudes arrive, and I’m pretty sure every single black lady in the movie is either naked, silent, a stripper, or all of the above. Gucci Mane is blank. There’s some interesting subtext going on, but the text is like… I made a joke about this movie being Set It Off for white people to friends ages ago. It kind of is? It is coded very, very white in terms of POV, even down to the worst thing that could happen being black dudes treating you exactly like white dudes treated you about thirty seconds before that scene.

-The most concise review I can think of: Spring Breakers is like Vice Magazine putting on a production of Belly entirely in the form of tumblr posts.

Open thread. What’re you reading/watching/hearing/enjoying?

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10 comments to “monday mixtape chthonic”

  1. I also watched Spring Breakers, and had the opposite reaction. I thought it was the best work by an American filmmaker in a long long time. And I thought that it’s racial components were deliberately provactive. That scene you’re talking about where simply because the faces in the party are now all black instead of white–reducing Selena Gomez’s to tears is this fascinating breakdown of a generation of white girls who grew up singing and embracing this pantomine vision of blackness–being confronted suddenly with reality–and not being able to handle it whatsoever. They were going crazy not like 10 minutes earlier in the film around white boys, with black music blaring over the speakers–they get in a car with a white representation of black hiphop–but being around normal black people just hanging out and having a good time–I mean there’s a scene earlier in the film where the white girls are throwing dice in college dorms with their white frat friends.

    That Korine so incisively sets that up is brilliant to me. And then the conclusion of the film, the white girls shooting the black rapper in the hot tub–under the direction of the white man(Alien within the movie and Korine without it)–it’s such a fucking loaded thing. But it’s also the comeback on a generation of misogny in hiphop that women internalized within a rape culture(the film constantly plays with the tension and pervasiveness of rape–the scene with Rachel Korine where she is on the floor taunting the men watching her to rape her is the most explicit version of this). It’s a soup of a movie that is explicitally about the headfuck place being a woman in America right now is about. And even within that, it’s about specifically the headfuck of being a white woman–and then I think concurrently because of that, there’s a discussion there about the role of white women within our culture as a tool for racism. You can put a white female face over black male music–and the result is lots and lots of money. So in a way, the end is also talking about the replacement of black male faces within the culture by white female faces. A replacement done without any affording of agency by the women involved(still directed behind the scenes by a man).

    As for the editing deluding the time and place–I agree. I liked that though. It’s the same thing Terrence Mallick does in his films–but in the service of actually digging through meaning. If I play the same thing over this place vs. if I play it over this place–meaning changes by time and place, until time and place become irrellevent–or suprarellevent, depending on the scene.

    It’s also in terms of Korine with Trash Humpers, a show that he’s finally got something to say as an artist. Which is great. I used to hate the guy a loooot.

  2. I’m playing *deep breath* “Tales of Game’s Studios Presents Chef Boyardee’s Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa.”

    I’m still trying to parse it. For such a silly game, it’s frequently pretty deliberately provocative, and I’m too early into it to make enough judgements to, say, write a post about it.

    I’m also playing “Crimson Shroud,” which is great. It’s another Guild01 game – Yasumi Matsuno doing his thing, the way Suda51 did “Liberation Maiden.” I’m looking forward to writing about this one, but it’s very much right in my wheelhouse, A modern(ish) video game RPG viewed through the lens of the original tabletop RPGs. Just great.

    And I finally saw “Cosmopolis,” which I enjoyed a lot, although I felt that Giamatti’s role… he was great in it, naturally, but it was a role where I felt like I shouldn’t have recognized who it was. Pattinson’s casting was sharp self-awareness that I felt was lacking in Giamatti’s case, where the opposite would have worked better.

  3. @Patchworkearth: Cosmopolis is another movie I watched and was glad I saw, but didn’t think was very good at all, actually! Lotta good acting in that one, but also a lot of wooden nonsense.

    I need to play Crimson Shroud. I think you’re the first person I know that’s played it, so I’m pretty curious about what you’ll have to say.

  4. I’ve been playing through XCom Enemy Unknown with the second wave options, the rumors of the upcoming expansion followed by the teaser at PAX East got me interested again. I attempted yet another Classic game, but gave up after the tenth panicked soldier resulting in a doomed squad yet again. Normal seems to be my limit, and I can accept it.

    Watching Twin Peaks for the first time, very offbeat. Dale Cooper is the kindest person I know of in fiction, I think, and I’m including Superman.

    Also going through Archer, somewhere in season 2 now.

    Saw the Cowboy Bebop movie the other night, my first exposure to the series. It was surprisingly dark, though I was informed by the friend who showed it to me that it is intentionally darker than the series proper.

  5. Anti… yep the Bebop Movie was much darker than the series.. but it was still great. The one thing about it though is that the continuity buff in me keeps trying to fit the movie in the series timeline but can’t. It my neurotic, comic geek side coming to the fore…

    David… you win. I tried to remember what movie SB reminded me of and Set It Off is probably the closest. And yes I noticed the usual stereotypes but was told by other friends that it was Korine trying to turn the subject matter on its ear… reminded me of arguments/discussions about Garth Ennis and his “superhero” books. I leave talks about “artistic intent” to “much smarter” people than me… All I know is that this like Project X to me seemed like a lot of flash and shock but empty…

    Right now I digging IDW’s Doctor Who Maxi-Series Prisoners of Time.. not for the stories but the recollections in the back of each issue from people connected to that issue’s incarnation of the Doctor. It’s my history lesson..

    have this question for you though: An impromptu debate broke out at work amongst my fellow Anime Addicts where we were debating which medium handled Bleach’s backstories better.. specifically Ichigo’s. I thought the tv series handled his backstory well even without going into his father’s past. My co-workers thought the manga made it more interesting and they loved the intricate connections he had to the 3 worlds. I frankly said the manga Yu Yu Hakusho’ed me and lost me with the Quincy connection. Your thoughts?

    R.I.P. Merle… never thought I would say that but Walking Dead did a great job making me feel for the character…

  6. The Bebop movie fits snugly right after the episode about Andy – you even see Andy as a samurai during the parade, which was a hint from Watanabe. It makes sense, as well, as the movie is structured like a dream that parallels Spike’s anxieties about Julia and Vicious, and it takes place right before things fall apart for the Bebop crew.

  7. I watched F for Fake again the other night. It’s one of the few films where I’ve really noticed how good the editing is. It’s pretty much the Orson Welles master class. Bad editing usually stands out much more than good editing.

    As for comics, I’ve been reading the Maggie the Mechanic collection of Love and Rockets after trying to start it ages ago. Jaime’s art is p. great, and I love this sequence in particular:

    Hopey is the best.

  8. Aaaaaaah! I nearly forgot! I also just re-watched F for Fake! Man, that’s so great.

  9. I saw spring breakers over the weekend. I didn’t dislike it, but it wasn’t particularly good. Franco was the best part of the flick and I felt like the movie would have been better if it just embraced the fact that it was his story and not the girls.

  10. Thanks for linking to the Maddie Collier piece.