An Open Apology to Lil J

April 15, 2011

I’m sorry. There, I said it. I—I’m sorry. I can only hope at this point that you accept my apology. You see, on the evening of Monday, April 11, in the year of our Lord, 2011, I absentmindedly neglected to include Lil J in my initial post about the Sophomore Slump and their show on Newtown Radio, which happens to bring the funky ass shit, like every single day (every single Tuesday that is). That’s Sophomore Slump on Newtown Radio at 7PM on Tuesdays—www.newtownradio.com. Bitch. Sorry, not you Lil J. I would never call you a female dog.

You see, I’ve only been able to listen to the show over the last few weeks, when Captain Rod 3 Way and Dylan have been holding it down. So it’s easy to understand why my remarks were fallacious (that means misleading or deceptive…I’ve been studying for the GRE). But I listened to this week’s show and I have to say…you do indeed have  a sexy radio face. I mean voice. You get my vote any day. So keep it real for the Slump, Lil J. You’re a cornerstone. And fuck law school kill em all.

Do your Tuesdays suck? Probably. I’m guessing you get home from work, change out of your slacks then park it on the couch to dive into a Five Dollar Footlong (chicken and bacon ranch) while watching reruns of Spongebob until your eyes burn. It’s cool though, Tuesday is a pointless day as it is. Let’s see. Monday has to exist to take the brunt of our hatred of the workweek, Wednesday offers a glimpse of hope that life is still worth living, Thursday is pretty much Friday and Friday is pretty much heroin. Where does that leave Tuesday? Worthless…until now.

The brains behind the Sophomore Slump have taken their talents/discerning musical tastes to the worldwide webradio, delivering weekly doses of that’s what the fuck is up. Driven by DJs Captain Rod 3 Way, Lil J and Dylan, Sophomore Slump plays all the shit you didn’t even know you wanted to hear. From Yuck and Kurt Vile to Future Sound and Tribe, they’ve got it on lock. It’s like the radio station you wish your college had. Catch NYC concert updates to hear what sweet show you’re probably going to miss and maybe even a live studio guest or two. So turn off that episode of Funniest Home Videos and tune your browser to Bushwick-based Newtown Radio on Tuesday nights at 7pm to get your head blown. Actually, DVR that episode of Funniest Home Videos before you turn it off…you’re going to want that for later. Nootch.

radio-raheemNPR’s All Things Considered recently ran an awesome “Eulogy For The Boombox” piece. Read/listen HERE. Whattup Radio Raheem?! Makes me want to re-up my search on eBay that I abandoned a while back. Party on the rooftop.

Eastbound & Down

April 7, 2009

eastbound_and_down_bbqAs Bill Shakespeare once said, “Heavy lies the head that wears the crown.” As recently as 2006, HBO was in the drivers seat: “The Sopranos” was still going strong, “The Wire” (aka G.S.O.A.T., the Greatest Show of All Time) was killing it and Vinny Chase was still relatively tolerable. Fast forward three years—Tony Soprano got wacked, “The Wire” is history, “Entourage” is only worth watching for the occasional boob and the potential savior, “Flight of the Concords” has taken a significant nose dive in its sophomore season. Furthermore, pitiful attempts at signature series like “John From Cincinnati” and “True Blood” were the equivalent of audio-visual vomit.

Kind of funny that it took a bigoted, vulgar, overweight redneck to make the channel interesting again. “Eastbound & Down” is/was one of the most original shows on television and represented a pretty big risk for HBO. There are no immediately bankable stars (Will Ferrell is an E.P. and makes a couple of cameos), the language is atrocious and the main character is utterly loathesome. Yet each episode of the 6-part miniseries has a dynamic story arch and is packed with instantly quotable dialogue. Kenny Powers is the epitome of an anti-hero, but as the season progresses, the viewer cannot help but feel sorry for the asshole and ultimately empathize and root for him. With his role as Powers, Danny McBride has proven himself a rising comedic talent and one to watch. I honestly hope that HBO doesn’t screw this one up by banking on the show’s increased popularity by dragging it on for a second season. It ended perfectly. But then again, I hope the network proves me wrong. Now that “Eastbound & Down” and NCAA basketball are over, what the hell am I to watch? Better warm up the Netflix…

The Big Picture Blog

December 15, 2008

chaiten4

I recently learned of the Boston Globe‘s Big Picture blog via Very Short List, a blog that highlights a single item each day from the world of media and entertainment that has otherwise flown under the radar.

The Big Picture blog itself displays particularly noteworthy images from the newswire in large format (the inspiration for the blog was Life magazine). Recently, the blog selected a number of images taken during the eruption of Chile’s Chaiten volcano this past May. The photos speak for themselves. They simultaneaously capture both the beauty and shear destructive force of mother nature. Especially breathtaking are the photos of lightning. Unbelievable. Do yourself a favor and peep it HERE.

Another reason I enjoyed Kurt Anderson’s piece for New York‘s 40th Anniversary issue was because he brought up a point that I’ve discussed with friends several times: that a generation can only speculate at what its legacy will be. Anderson discusses seminal calling cards of ’70s and ’80s New York such as Warhol’s Factory and the downtown art scene (Haring, Basquiat, etc.), the rise of post-punk at CBGBs and the birth of hip hop, among others. In hindsight, it seems clear that such revolutionary cultural goings on would define the times, but as Anderson notes, he and his peers had no way of knowing that these would be the things that history would remember. They were just a part of life at the time.

It’s fun to guess at what our generation’s New York will be known for. If I were forced to project what people will remember of post-9/11 NYC in my limited scope, I’d have to point out (in no particular order) the proliferation of the hipster (begrudgingly), the digital exchange of music and the MySpace age, the fall of print media and the rise of bloggers, the watering down of club culture, the financial crisis, gentrification on an even grander scale and the most polarizing election in recent memory. Who knows, some of these things may be forgotten altogether or become woven into the social and culture landscape. Guess we’ll have to wait and see. Feel free to offer your own speculations.