Moved things over to Tumblr. Not sure if this move is permanent, just felt the urge to switch things up a bit. Still at The Ashcan (despite appearances).
I’m a little late with this one, but if you haven’t already, go check out Craig F. Walker’s photo essay on Ian Fisher for the Denver Post.
Walker tracks Fisher from his high school graduation, to his enlistment in the army, his training, his year-long tour in Iraq, his life overseas, and his return home. Amazing stuff.
Music Video Monday is getting scrapped this week due to a lack of releases. I could just write about Beyonce’s “Ego” but there’s not much going on there besides bad hair and costumes and a euphemism for Jay-Z’s penis (stroke ya ego if you love hip-hop!). Instead, click the link below to play with a really cool interactive video for the Cold War Kids’ “Ive Seen Enough.” You can turn the band members on and off, switch up their instruments and generally have them do your bidding. Extra points for the little touches: if you leave it running after the song is done they sit around and hate you.
(I’m trying to come up with a joke involving an interactive video and Jay-Z’s penis to end the post with. I’ll let you know how that works out for me.)
[Cold War Kids — “I’ve Seen Enough”]
I just wasted a good chunk of my life on YTV Retro, an online channel celebrating the the 20th anniversary of the Canadian YTV network. There you’ll find episodes from a whole bunch of your childhood favourites, with more being uploaded as we speak; not to mention vintage commercials and anti-drug messages, VJ segments, and movies like Home Alone and the Ninja Turtles trilogy. Many of the shows have watermarks from their original U.S. networks, but whatever. So far I’ve been enjoying the X-Men animated series’ version of the Phoenix Saga, the birth of the Green Ranger on Power Rangers, and playing along with Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? I’m also having a throw-back chatroom experience as I reminisce with fellow viewers as we watch. Nothing like bonding over a shared crush on Alex Mack or spreading rumours that Atlas from Catwalk now works as a stripper in Brampton.
[Watch along on YTV Retro]
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a prequel of sorts, a flashbacked spin-off, that shows us the beginnings of the X-Men’s Logan/Wolverine as reprised by Hugh Jackman, who has played the character in three previous X-Men films. Here, Jackman takes the front-and-centre spotlight and continues his subtle variation on the massively popular and influential Marvel Comics character, taking us into Wolverine’s storied past and answering questions raised about his shadowy past.
Long story short (and it is the film that does this quickly, not me): Logan is actually named Jimmy, who as a young Canadian circa late 1800’s manifests his mutant power while killing his father’s murderer only to discover, by way of really bad dialogue, that the murderer was his real father all along. Logan’s brother is apparently a mutant as well, a snarling, snot-nosed bastard of one, and they run off to protect each other from a world that won’t understand them. They enlist in the army together, get stationed together and fight by each other’s side; not just in one army but in many over the years, fighting in many wars, as the brothers seem as immortal as they are inseparable.
This song should not have worked but it does, and it does so massively. T-Dot producer Boi 1-da works seamless diplomacy on this beat, weaving together the loud, boisterous energy of Kardi, who carries his crew and his country on his shoulders, with the quiet, under-the-breath swagger of the Clipse, who always ride backseat to their producers. What should really only have been incongrous mixtape filler becomes a standout track on an already pretty solid album.
It comes together on the hook with Kardi urging anyone listening, “fire me up!” over fitful sonics and crowd shouts — classic Offishall party-mongering. Then the beat drops like a slide whistle and the wailing synths are replaced by a few gutter-low notes, Kardi holding his breath and saying “pull it dowwwn” and the Clipse responding quietly, confidentially, “yea that’s it.” With Boi 1-da’s help they accomodate each other’s style as they pass back and forth.
On the verses, Kardi brags about legal money making, his net worth and fudging his taxes; the Clipse rap their typical ish about making money from drugs and spending it on cars and women. It makes no sense when you first consider it and juxtapose the players and sensibilities involved, but throw the headphones on and let the track work its magic and it knocks HARD with a cohesive purpose and singular effect.