November 5, 2009

legalize la
What Did We Do Before Chucks? has moved! We are now called: Idealize LA. Click here to go there and read the new posts (as well as the old stuff).

I was watching a very disappointing Kung Fu movie this past weekend when I realized how strikingly similar the format is to that of a porn. Obviously like any good movie, all scenes should be necessary and important to the plot action; but in both of these genres the dialogue in between “action” sequences serves merely as filler. Practically though, we just can’t watch 90 minutes of non-stop ass-kicking or… ahem… ass-pounding. Crappy horror movies work in the same way, the string section can’t be playing at a fever pitch the whole time, we need breaks.

I’m no movie expert, but this seems analogous to the structure of pop music. Radio-ready hits usually lead with the hook to keep you interested, and then follow with underdeveloped verse melodies that become banal and again, serve as filler. In looking at the Billboard Top 100, a lot of the songs do this, the best example of which are T.I. and JT’s collab “Dead and Gone” and the painfully repititious “Boom Boom Pow”. In addition to the excessive use of hummable hooks, they all use the same verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus (x2) structure.

So in conclusion: Kung Fu, porn, cheap horror, and American pop music are all being written by the same person.

Examples below…

The Old Standard

January 24, 2009

I had forgotten how nice it can be to wake up to a country led by a literate and articulate person.

This is a couple of months old, but I’m still digging it:
Sia – Buttons (CSS Remix)

Viva la Really?

January 8, 2009


I’ve been trying to figure out something lately, maybe you can help me. Is Coldplay good or is Coldplay bad?

When something becomes ultra-popular I usually try to check it out. Part of me really just wants to know what everybody likes, and part of me needs reassurance that my taste buds are still thinking for themselves. A few months ago I finally got the latest Lupe album (O.K.), today I listened through Tha Carter III (good), and last week I finally caved and downloaded Viva and Prospekt’s March (???). Continue Reading…

Music Is My…

December 16, 2008


So the Hype Machine apparently is setting precedent in regard to the best albums of 2008. I was looking to just rank my favorites and submit, but no, it’s not that simple. In order to rank you actually need to have posted your own list already. Being held accountable for taste means I may actually think more than five minutes on who has been the best of the year. It’s also forced me to go and get a listen to many of the albums I haven’t yet made memories for.
The internet has become a radio station of short playlists. Everyone writes about the same music the same day its leaked. What’s happened to music from two years ago–why is it more disposable than ever?

CSS – Music Is My Hot Hot Sex


Holy Doutzen!

December 4, 2008


I’ve been lacking inspiration lately. Perhaps it’s the cold, or maybe it’s my reluctance to keep posting songs from Acid Tongue. I’m trying to slow down on my music consumption and make sure that what I’ve got is worth keeping. I need time to savor the good stuff and dispose of the disposable. How much do you hate it when people notice the one Rihanna track in your library sandwiched by Rilo and Regina? Anyways, that’s not really what moved me to write, it was actually my discovery of Doutzen, pictured above. So, woohoo!

Follow the photo’s link to my friend’s post that educated me on the sweet Poladroid program. Don’t be surprised if all following posts contain Polaroids.

Brazilian Girls – St Petersburg

Spoiling Dexter Season Two

October 20, 2008

I never liked the genres given to describe Dexter. The show is too much about the harmony of good and evil–as opposed to the accepted dichotomy–to be considered the same genre as CSI Miami. The most interesting moments are the ones in which Dexter’s internal conflict manifests in the world around him. In the second season there are more moments like this, where he considers how he might be wrong, and how if he can’t stop, he will eventually hurt the people around him. This is his single greatest motivation to change, because he cares more about them than he cares about himself.

The cost of protecting his family and friends is never more apparent than when Deb and Lt. La Guerta talk in the last episode of season two. Deb empathizes with La Guerta because she knows that in accepting Doakes to be a serial killer, La Guerta would lose any capability to trust herself. The two characters would have been in opposite places if Dexter had gone through with turning himself in; and La Guerta and Doakes are the greatest casualties of Dexter’s decisions. While the show always points out the good and bad in his character, his god-like decisions never come without consequence.

Similarly, at the end of the first season, Dexter chooses Deb over his brother Brian. Brian’s only sin was to break Dexter’s code, and although Brian forced him to make a decision, at least he gave him a choice. The cost of protecting Dexter’s identity is his brother’s blood. When Dexter seemed ready to turn himself over to the police, it was because he saw that Doakes was good. He was never willing or ready to take responsibility for an innocent life, but he changes his mind when he truly grasps the impact on his family. Although he is exempted from making this decision when Lila effectively kills Doakes, it is assumed that Dexter was going to frame Doakes as the Bay-Harbor Butcher.

The most important theme that becomes clear now is Dexter’s want to protect his solitude. For the second time he has found someone who completely understands him, and he chooses to kill them. He chose his foster sister over his evil brother of the exact same homicidal tendencies, and he chose the girlfriend that he must hide from over the girlfriend who like him, feels nothing.

At best, this is a commentary on life, and we are like Dexter when we pretend to feel something just so that we can get along with people at work, at home or in relationships. We all hide secrets and when those secrets come out we choose to hide them rather than to integrate them. Dexter’s tragic flaw is that his secret is so dark that no one can know it. Imagine having a secret so grave that you push away the people that learn it, that you choose the ones that can’t know you over the ones that are just like you.

Something dark and reflective:

Aimee Mann – Save Me