Monday, September 29, 2008

VH-1 Knows Hip Hop Like I Know Tanning Beds

So tonight, beginning at 10 and proceeding at that time throughout Friday, VH-1 will be airing the "100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of All-Time". Once upon a time in my life, I would arrange late evenings around VH-1 televised lists. Best albums, best dance songs, best love songs, best 80s songs, best songs period, most metal moments...I drank gleefully of the splashed Kool Aid. The subjects were interesting, the choices by turns exhiliratingly on or enragingly off, and the talking heads were more hit or miss.

Somewhere along the way, I just could no longer be bothered. I still love lists; just not VH-1's patented delivery of them. So tonight I will not be tuning in to watch C-list celebs rap badly along to choices 100-81.

Will I bitch about the list, which leaked to the Internet today? Oh yeah.

First, let's give the V some credit for the smart choices they made. Not just songs that deserve to be on the list, but tunes so worthy I'm actually gobsmacked that they made it.

94. "Make 'Em Say Ugggh", Master P and the entirety of his label at that time. This is a great song, passage of time be damned. Ridiculous horn blare beat on repeat, and Mia X showing up and showing up all the boys.

72. "Supersonic", J.J. Fad. Name a better all-girl rap group. Salt-n-Pepa, you say? Well,'re right. Um. Okay. Name a better all-girl rap group that only had one hit album. Yeah!

68. "What You Know", T.I. One of modern mainstream hip hop's greatest accomplishments, mostly due to the syrupy synth swing provided by DJ Toomp's beat. Infinitely hummable, because no one really has a clue as to what T.I's saying. "Beeda yadda nadda, when I chirp, shorty chirp back!"

50. "The Block is Hot", Li'l Wayne. I'm not amazed that white media darling Mr. Carter made the list. It almost made the milk come out of my nose ala Milhouse to see the choice be old school Wayne, back when he was spitting average verbals over Mannie Fresh beats. See what I did with the italics there? Wayne over Mannie beats alien Wayne freestyling the alphabet any day. Here's a link to the vid; tell me I'm wrong.

23. "B.O.B", Outkast. The first time I heard this song, I thought it was extraterrestrial hip hop. As seeing the 'Kast are proud ATLiens, I wasn't really wrong. The beat defines the collective responsible for its creation (Organized Noize) and both Dre and Big Boi deliver triple time.

Then there's the choices that they were obliged to put on, because said songs are fucking aces, but they fucked up and put them way too low.

90. "T.R.O.Y"
61. "Childrens Story"
49. "My Philosophy"

But then we have...the inscrutable, puzzling, dazzling selections that can indicate only the great minds of VH-1.

93. "Lapdance", N.E.R.D. You know, Pharrell's group. Trash.

87. "We Tryin' To Stay Alive", Wyclef. Mr. Fugee makes me gag as a rule. Dude wants to be the black Dylan quite badly. This song "interpolated" the disco classic "Stayin' Alive". Sounds like it sucked shit, huh? Oh yeah.

62. "Rebirth of Slick", Digable Planets. Piss off! I hated this pseudo-smooth poetry back when it debuted and hate it now.

26. "U Can't Touch This", MC Hammer. Fucking kidding me? This is like me putting a goddamn Modest Mouse on a top Indie Rock songs ever. Pure treason.

20. "Gold Digger", Kanye and 18. "In Da Club", 50 Cent. Put together because both are overplayed, overrated, overwrought, and just plain over.

4. "Walk This Way", Run DMC and Aerosmith. "Bring the Noise" by Anthrax and Public Enemy want a word with you, VH-1. Wow, so historic, the clashing of the two disparate genres! Yeah, but how'd they do? Pretty ass cheeks, if you ask me.

And what of number one? Very smart choice. Also very safe. Like cheese on bread.

My main beef is how narrow the list truly is. Where is Kool G Rap? Where's Redman? What about "Rockin' It", one of the greatest party starters of all time? You put one Nas track from Illmatic on there when I can name five off the top of my head better: "Halftime", "Represent", "NY State of Mind", "Memory Lane" and my personal choice for greatest hip hop song ever, "It Ain't Hard To Tell" (no greater example of coherent, creative lyricism over a tasteful and tasty beat in the genre). No "Bridge is Over". No Gang Starr. No solo Wu other than the media darling members. No "Come Clean". No "Top Billin'" (what more can I say?). Perhaps most egregious--no "Shook Ones Pt. 2". Consider list invalid.

Also, this is VH-1, so no Company Flow, no Nonphixion, Living Legends, Artifacts, Arsonists, et. al of the underground. Plenty of Eve, though. Super.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. It's About Damn Time

Two weeks worth, baby...let's do it.

The Cleveland Browns should rename themselves the "Charlie Browns". You know how desperate it's getting? Brady Quinn might start soon. Oh shit.

I love when I come across unusual subjects that mention Peanuts. Like? Well, wine allocation. Yeah. I had to totally look that one up.

A top five Peanuts strip of all time gets some due.

A fantastic look at the heroine of the comics.

Douchebags. How the hell this doesn't make Olbermann's worst person list is beyond me. To paraphrase Tim Gunn--mind your game, Keith.

You know why Democrats always lose? 'Cause they wear zig zags.

One day I'll get here.

Nicholas Sparks helped inspire those damn "men should act like men" beer commercials, and for that his soul will burn eternally. Or at least it should.

Wonder if I'll find this in Borders.

I need to get on Ebay and find one of those programs, pronto.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The True American Bailout

Simply put, this man will save the United States. He may or may not know the names of all fifty of them, but that's hardly the point. One nation under Ovie. Prosperity, peace and vodka shots.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pics From ATP NY

A full review of ATP NY will be the final chapter of No Setlist. Till then, enjoy visuals here and over here. Also check out Patrick hitting the virtual big time at the We Got Power photo gallery.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Peanuts is Timeless, Pt. Hold It Now

The regular weekly "Peanuts is Timeless" feature will be absent from this blog for the week as I'm still recovering from my NY travels. It will return next week, with more political articles comparing Repubs and Dems to Chuck and Luce, you can rest assured. Look for pics of the past weekend to start popping up on this site tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NY Beckons...Again

Tomorrow the J & P Show heads out for NYC, where we will meet up with trusty pal Naomi From Seattle. Thursday will be one long walk in and around the city, with much record and book shopping. Friday, we take off for the Catskills, and ATP. In addition to being a wonderful weekend of music, it will be the last entry in my SY and related tour journals. After that, I begin the arduous but loving process of self-publication.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Peanuts Is Timeless: Like an Honorable Psychopath

I remember the first time I heard the O.J. verdict. Didn't piss me off as much as losing luggage, but it was close.

Washington Capitals, 2009 Stanley Cup champions. Yes.

Another town gets to feel like a blockhead.

Politics. That sound you heard was a fistful of hair being torn from my head.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Project Run Far Away

Last night, eliminated designers on Project Runway were brought back for one episode to team up in pairs with the remaining contestants. The challenge: create an avant garde look inspired by one of the designers astrological signs. There were some absolutely horrid looks, so much so that the judges must have wished they could eliminate more than two people.

Somehow, Kenly Collins managed to squeak by. If Leanne Marshall is the "Silent Fashion Assassin", Kenly is the "Loud Betty Page Wannabe". She's stuck in the fifties and has skated by in the competition thanks to her above-average tailoring skills. She's also obnoxious, frequently interrupting judges and braying her hyena-eque laughter in the work room with no regard for her fellow designers.

Last night, this woman created a look so bad that it made my teeth hurt. Seriously. I had a panic attack at work earlier today, my first there in over a month, and I'm convinced it stemmed from lingering anguish over having witnessed this.

Alice in Wonderland on crack. Glenda the Good Witch of the North gone wicked south. How Kenly escaped elimination is still amazing to me. Blayne's clown Libra look was hideous, sure, but Kenly over Terri? They should have tossed off all three.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

World Still Here

Yeah, sorry if that Large Hadron Collider not ending Earth let anybody down. This is probably the best explanation I've seen as to why the LHC is extremely unlikely to destroy the planet, and I recommend it to anyone who still has fears about the experiments.

For the rest of the doomsayers, it's back to pretending you know anything about Mayan culture. Have fun.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sonic Youth Sign To Matador, Interweb Responds

After nearly two decades with DGC, Sonic Youth return to indie land via a new one-album deal with stalwart label Matador, which is co-owned by fairweather SY ally/antagonist Gerard Cosloy. It was Cosloy's small Homestead label that released Bad Moon Rising in 1985, and it was Cosloy in an interview taped for the Half Japanese DVD The Band Who Would Be King who put the Youth in league with Bon Jovi. Time heals, apparently. It's not like he wrote a song about Kim Gordon's underwear, after all. Speaking of the fabulous Kim...

Sheer genius.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Peanuts is Timeless, Pt. Are You Ready For Some Ball of Foot

The Great Pumpkin reissue DVD is in stores now. Anyone who loves the show should have it in their collection.

A firsthand account of the meticulous genius of Bill Melendez.

I really don't get live blogging sporting events. Except maybe the Super Bowl.

Doug Wilson likens the Republican plight to the football gag.

Snoopy, greatest writer in world history.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bill Melendez Passes Away

Animator Jose "Bill" Melendez died Tuesday at the age of 91. It's reported that "natural causes" did him in, which if you make it to 91 is pretty much the only thing left to get you. Melendez worked his magic for nearly 70 years, starting out as part of the Disney family back before it became a lackluster conglomo, contributing to classics like "Dumbo" and "Fantasia". In the sixties, Melendez teamed up with producer Lee Mendelson and comic strip artist Charles Schulz to bring the Peanuts characters to life. In addition to animation for the dozens of specials the trio would eventually produce, Melendez provided the voice of Snoopy.

The man was nothing less than a genius of his craft. Snoopy fighting a lounge chair in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is just one of my favorite Peanuts animated moments. Or how about the boxing sequence in Snoopy Come Home? Schroeders solo in A Boy Named Charlie Brown? The flight of the Flying Ace? Melendez' hands helped take something that was already a legend in one medium and make it a legend in another.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rock n Roll Boys Club

Spotted at Idolator, the top 10 bands of all-time as decided upon by royal knobhead Noel Gallagher.

In the dressing room the traditional debate has started about "The Top 10". This means the top 10 bands of all time. No solo artists allowed. No female artists allowed. No collectives allowed (Public Enemy etc.) This is the 1,000th time we've been here with this. It never gets any less interesting for me. For the record, THE DEFINITIVE top 10 is this..

1. The Beatles

2. The Rolling Stones

3. The Who

4. The Sex Pistols

5. The Kinks

6. The La's

7. Pink Floyd

8. The Bee Gees

9. The Specials

10. Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac

"No female artists?" What the hell is with that stipulation? I'm not surprised, really; no, actually I am. That he didn't specify it as, "no bloody cunts". Otherwise, this is precisely the list I'd expect from a deluded fuckhead who made a life off of John Lennon's spare parts. The only list the Sex Pistols belong in the top 5 of is "Most Overrated Band of All Time". The English hold on to them like a fading footballer holds on to his past glories.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Snoopy is Timeless, Pt. 2343

I finally picked up a copy of The Complete Peanuts 1967-68 and the baseball strips within are probably the best Schulz ever did.

An advance look at the Great Pumpkin DVD is thankfully thorough.

Dude just like threw two references in one sentence. Props.