Monday, March 28, 2005

Body warm, heart anemic...

- Roger Wilco!: The singer of Wilco (who the fuck cares, right?) speaking real worlds about file-sharing and intellectual property. It’s about a month and a half old but still interesting. Good quote: ”We are just troubadours…The audience is our collaborator. We should be encouraging their collaboration, not treating them like thieves." Fucking right!

- Frank Miller and Wolverine: A post on soulstrut about "Sin City" got the bol (me) reminiscing about his comic book collecting days. The movie looks pretty treal. But, I can't front-- THIS is what I'm really anticipating. Peep the cast: [i]Beanie Siegel, Victor N.O.R.E. Santiago, Damon Dash, Michael Bentt, Omillio Sparks, Oschino, Chris of Young Gunz, Neef of Young Gunz, Freeway, Duan Grant, Sundy Carter, “Dirt McGirt” Russell Jones, Cam'ron [/i]. No joke, Cam'ron is one of my favorite actors. His performance in "Paid In Full" is fucking priceless: "Throw it back, ma!" and the stonecold, unsympathetic "Niggas get shot in the 'hood everyday." Dude is brilliant on so many levels. I'm just waiting for Juelz's movie career to pop off.

- Wierd Slang Shifts: So, like three months ago, I started saying "That's what's up" in wierdly large amounts. Prior, it was a phrase I used occasionally, but certainly not to the extent that I now use it. I wonder what inspired that. Some momentous event I'm sure. Similarly, I've caught myself using the phrase "...popping off" a ridiculous amount, too. What's up with that? Is this shit just arbitrary? I'm a complicated man.

- The Culture Industry don't care about "quality": Look, I've been reading these articles about M.I.A. for months that basically proclaim she's some sort of god-send pop artist: a miraculous amalgamation of dancable, political, and challenging "world music" who blends, mashes, and thrashes through any "genre" she wants. Fine. I haven't heard the album yet, but I'll take your word for it, honky journalists. But, a lot of these critics seems to think that M.I.A.'s music is good enough on its own to blow-up on some large scale and change the pop music landscape-- which is a fucking bold claim. Especially if you look at the simple truth of the matter: pop stars aren't found by the pop music buying public; they're manufactured by record-labels and marketed to its audience. They're singing, dancing, consumable products-- but with huge advertising and marketing budgets. This isn't a value-judgment on the quality of manufactured pop music. Or, in other words, I'm not trying to say that just because pop music is "manufactured" that don't mean it's necessarily "no good." All I'm saying is that pop music is pop music because of the gross amounts of money putting into exposure and over-exposure of these artists: it's really all about the marketing. And, if there's one thing that years of record collecting has taught me, it's that a lot of good music will inevitably fall by the way-side and become dollar bin fodder, no matter how "good" or "bad" it is. Or, in other words, unfortunately, in today's world, a work's quality doesn't predict its success... After all, if it did, the Black Eyed Peas wouldn't sell any records.

- Regional Hip-Hop is the Present/Future: My fellow shrimper and stylus mag contributor killed it recently with this cute article about the "Death" of hip-hop. It's good. Read it.

- Still Tippin': The fucking "Tipping Point" is still atop some Non-Fiction Best Sellers lists but the book still sucks as far as I'm concerned. This review sums it up nicely: The notion that great effects can spring from tiny causes is no great revelation. There were only two goals worth achieving in this book, and for which I, and undoubtedly most readers, purchased and consumed the book in vain for enlightenment: either (i) tell us how to CATALYZE a tipping point in the actual world (the active option); or, failing that, (ii) tell us how to predict when a tipping point WILL HAPPEN, or at least recognize a tipping point AS IT HAPPENS, not just retrospectively (the passive options). Gladwell's book accomplishes neither of these goals. To be able to look back at the trajectory of some huge phenomenon and say, "Hey, there must have been a tipping point somewhere between the phenomenon's modest, indiscernible beginnings and its current, enormous state," is to state the obvious. Worse, Gladwell's thesis may be nothing more than a sophistical tautology: OF COURSE every large trend begins as something small, the province of the few early adopters, off everyone else's radar screen and indeed not even qualifying AS a trend. Then, at some point (dubbed, unhelpfully if glibly as the tipping point), the trend manifests itself to the larger public as it picks up steam



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