Saturday, April 30, 2011

Movie Review: Scream 4

Damn I miss the Fall/Academy Award season. Till then, I'm stuck choosing between Scream 4 and CGI kid flicks. I really hope this is the FINAL chapter of the (less than) epic Scream saga because I don't think I can take anymore of this.

Not that Scream 4 is a horrible movie. It's not. In fact, it's actually kind of entertaining and succeeds in pumping new life into a long since stale franchise (anyone remember Scream 3?! Yeah, I don't either). The problem is, there's only so much you can do with these type of films and by now the Scream series has done just about everything possible. To borrow from Denzel in Training Day, "Shit's checkers it ain't chess!" (well he actually said....nvm) Catch my drift?

So back to the film itself. It's the fifteen year anniversary of the original Scream killings and Sidney (Neve Campbell) is back in her home town for a book signing when, low and behold, a NEW set of brutal murders takes place as another ghostface killer (Wu-Tang, Wu-Tang!) sets to terrorize the town anew. I have to applaud Wes Craven for his excellent casting. All the new Woodsborrow High kids deliver stellar performances. Not as great as Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan and Jamie Kennedy from the original, but Rory Culkin, Hayden Panettiere, Marielle Jaffe and Emma Roberts all do their best to bring this fourth installment of the franchise back to life, while the regular cast (Campbell, Cox, Arquette) continue phoning it in for those fat paychecks of theirs.

Scream kids, across generations.

That witty, self aware/"Meta" dialogue gets old fast and there are several glaring plot holes that had me scratching my head during the third act, but seriously, who cares. It's Scream 4 folks, not The King's Speech. So while this movie is far from perfect, Scream 4 is easily the best installment since the original. In fact, from a plot/continuity standpoint, this film serves as a near direct sequel to the first Scream, so if anything we should all be thankful that we can just erase Scream 2 and 3 from our memories and act like they never happened. Also, Marielle Jaffe is smoking hot in this movie and, there's a Kristen Bell cameo as well! Ms. Bell is worth the price of admission alone. At least for me she was.

I should mention that the original Scream was one of my favorite movies growing up. I watched that film countless times thanks to the wonders of illegal cable/payperview channels during the mid 90's. If it seems like I'm being extra harsh with the Scream sequels, it's just because I love Stu and the boys from the original oh so much.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


new lords of Youtube
So it appears the new reigning champions of the Youtube universe are a dynamic duo from Boston called, Karmin. Amy and Nick met while attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music and released their first CD as Karmin in May, 2010. They've shot to fame this past month after their cover of Chris Brown's song, "Look At Me Now" went viral. It's got more than 6.5 million views on Youtube as I type this...and it's only been up for 2 weeks.

mfw Amy nails that ridiculous Busta Rhymes verse:

Keep in mind that I live in a bubble outside the normal world of pop music. I had never heard the original Chris Brown version of this tune until now and must say, I like Karmin's version MUCH better. Nick's arrangements make uber simplified pop dribble like this sound fresh, and Amy's voice, beauty and insane flow are entertaining as hell. Apparently Ellen Degeneres has fallen in love with them and had Karmin perform on her show last week. Their Youtube channel is filled with other awesome pop/hip hop covers like this and original works of theirs. I hope they can parlay this sudden break into something meaningful and long lasting.

I dedicate this next video to myself. I've been feeling a little under the weather this week (allergies) and think I might need a doctor...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Queens of the Stone Age @ The Wiltern. 4/12/11.

Queens of redemption
Queens of the Stone Age. Round 4. Lets go. My first QOTSA show was back in 2003 and remains one of my top concerts ever. Sadly, my last two Queens shows in 07' & 08' were totally disappointing. This show would be different though. On this night, Josh Homme and his merry men were set to play QOSTA's self titled/debut album in it's entirety, something I absolutely HAD to see.

Battling through traffic, we made it to the Wiltern just as the opening act, The Dough Rollers, took the stage. Their set was an unexpected treat. A bunch of spiffy young lads all decked out Buddy Holly style, playing some swingin' blues/country/old time rock n roll.

blurry rockers still rock
So the Queens came out and and immediately went into that sweet opening riff from "Regular John." All was right with the world once again. I liked Lullabies to Paralyze, their first "post Nick Oliveri" release fine and can listen through most of Era Vulgaris without skipping tracks, but there's something about these classic QOTSA songs that just grabs you from the beginning and basically never lets go. The haunting simplicity of Homme's self described "Robot Rock" is what I miss the most about this band. Back when Josh sang with a begrudging desperation in his voice and didn't overtly croon over every track. The band seemed somewhat aware of this also. They plowed through these songs like they had something to prove. Whatever the hell they did, it worked. My faith in Queens of the Stone Age has been restored. Highlights of the set basically amount to my favorite tracks off the album: "Regular John," "Avon," "If Only," "How to Handle a Rope," and my favorite QOTSA track, "Mexicola."

The band came back and did another set of hits from their last 3 albums. Jams likes "Little Sister," "Make It Wit Chu," and "Go With The Flow," served as a nice bookend to the stellar set that just preceded. The Queens are back. Long live the stone age.

*The remastered edition of their self titled debut album comes out in the US on May 17, 2011.
listen to the full remastered album HERE and swoon.*

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chill Mode w/ Best Coast.

I went to an epic metal show last night (re: sold out/max capacity/night with sweaty beardos) and devoured some late night chili dogs from Pink's after. Pretty wicked Easter I must say. In recovery mode this morning. Today's forecast, Best Coast all morning.

Best Coast - When I'm With You from Pete Ohs on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

"Judas" in Judas Priest

It was announced earlier this week that guitarist K.K. Downing was leaving Judas Priest after 40+ years with the band. Yeah, a lifetime of metal. I still find it insane that any human can actually retire from a long and illustrious career of headbanging. Although I applaud Downing's achievements and contributions to the genre I love oh so much, I gotta say....WHAT A DOUCHE. He's quitting the band right before Judas Priest was set to embark on their final world tour, aptly titled Epitaph.

K.K. has finally issued a statement regarding his abrupt departure from Priest. He cites:
" ongoing breakdown in working relationship between myself, elements of the band, and the band's management for some time..."
Downing/Tipton Twin Guitar Attack is no more =/
as the reason for his departure. Boo-fucking-Hoo man. Dude is a millionaire. He's been with Priest since 1968! I really don't think it would have killed him to stick around for ONE LAST TOUR. Their legions of fans around the world (many of whom from impoverished, developing nations) don't give two shits about his discomfort within the band. They just want to see the Downing/Tipton twin guitar attack one last time and this stuffy old bastard has just robbed them of that.

I'm not the biggest Priest fan alive, but I must say they kicked serious ass at Ozzfest 2004. Maybe this is just a ploy to hype another Priest reunion? That seemed to work when Rob Halford rejoined the band after being MIA for most of the 90's. Now it will be a big deal when Downing returns to the fold in, oh lets say 2016? haha. Doubtful, these dudes will be bound to wheelchairs at that point. Who knows though. If this is for real and well, forever, shame on you K.K. Downing for being such a douche. And Tipton shreds all over him anyways!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Female Obsession: Vanessa Hudgens

Oh Vanessa Hudgens...what a tangled web we weave. It's a love/hate relationship between us. In that I hate the fact that I love her so much. Keep in mind that I've never actually seen or heard any of her films/music projects outside of short youtube clips but hey, she still warms this vile heart of mine.

It all started one Christmas in the late 2000's. My young cousin was running around with a crap load of new High School Musical 2 swag she had received from Santa. The dark haired girl in the cast caught my eye. I made nothing of it though. One year later, the High School Musical 3 media blitz had engulfed most of the Western World and I was now well aware of who Vanessa Hudgens was. And so it began.

Creepy? Chris Hansen-ish? Yeah I know. But then I found out that Hudge (as I affectionately refer to her) is actually only a few years younger than I am. Her insane mix, of Spanish, Irish, Chinese, Native American and Filipino ancestry has created an adorably ageless blend of perfection. Sure, she kind of resembles a chipmunk/elfish creature, but I argue that's a testament to her overpowering cuteness. There's something else about Hudge that drives me crazy though. She's petite, yet has a striking confidence about her. Hints of her intellect sprinkle through all those lame talk show interviews she does, her smile and enthused giggle seem genuine. She honestly seems like a rad girl.

And also, from the tragic (GLORIOUS!) hacking of her phone/email we've learned that Hudge is kind of a sexual super freak. Not that this should surprise anyone. There's a sure fire seductiveness about her camouflaged behind that Disney exterior that brought her fame & fortune. Take a look for yourselves...

So Vanessa, Hudge, darling. If you're reading this, except this humble tribute/blog post as my offering to you. I promise to watch Sucker Punch soon and if you'd have me, I'll be your date at next years Coachella (since you like that stuff so much) and buy you all the ice cream your heart desires.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

new video from Cerebral Bore...

duck, duck, GIRL...
Some of you might recall my post from October about Scottish death metal band, Cerebral Bore (Turok weapons FTW!). Using the internet as their compass, these Scottish boys navigated through a sea of potential vocalists and found a sweet young Dutch girl named Simone to join their band and now, the rest is Youtube history.

The band just released a new video. The song isn't as technical/complex as the one featured in my previous post, but damn if it doesn't have a sick groove and almost makes me want to start rapping.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Movie Review: Your Highness

damn you Portman, damn you...
I like stupid/raunchy/stoner comedies as much as the next guy. I didn't like Your Highness however. Why? Why didn't I like this movie? Glad you asked. The problem has to do with this trailer I saw last year:

Pretty funny stuff right? Yeah, too bad those were all the funny lines from the entire movie. Seriously, that same trailer than initially sparked my interest in Your Highness ultimately RUINED the film for me. Once you've seen that Red Band trailer, you've basically already seen the movie. As much as I like viewing Natalie Portman's bare cheeks on the big screen, I seriously wish I had passed on this flick. Had I not been privy to to all the best gags beforehand, I might have given Your Highness a B- (what, I grade films now?!) instead of a D+. The special effects were pretty cool though in case that counts....oh wait, it's supposed to be a comedy. Nevermind.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Planned Parenthood V. Walgreens

retroactive abortions anyone?
No matter how you personally feel about the abortion issue, there is no denying that facts are facts. Republicans in Congress have been trying to eliminate (dare I say...abort, haha) Planned Parenthood since, oh forever. Recently, they attempted to use the federal budget crisis as a vehicle to implement their social agenda and defund Planned Parenthood, adding an all important Culture War victory under their belt, and royally screwing over all the women without health insurance who depend on the organization.

See, according to the jackass/Senator Jon Kyl (R) of Arizona, pictured above, Planned Parenthood is one big ABORTION MACHINE, devoting 90% of it's resources to killing unborns. Sound unbelievable? Well, thats because it is. My good pal Stephen Colbert makes nice work of Senator Kyl's statement...but then goes to town with the outrageous nonsense spewed on the Fox & Friends morning show, where a bunch of Right Wing shills dressed as news anchors defend Kyl's twisted brand of thinking. Even Colbert can't contain himself, that's how ridiculous they sound.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Vile Nostalgia: Wheatus

You know you're getting old when you nostalgia for crap you barely even liked (or flat out hated) before only because it reminds of the past. Ladies and Gents, respected bloggers and all you trolls out there, it's with great sorrow that I present this latest installment of Vile Nostalgia...

Who? Just some dirtbag...
Wheatus? Who or whats a Wheatus? They're the rock band behind  2000's hit single, "Teenage Dirtbag." I absolutely hated this song back when it came out. These guys seemed like an even goofier rip off of Weezer's nerd rock shtick and it drove me fucking crazy. I mean, really, the dude from Wheatus ( Brandon B. Brown) made Rivers Cuomo look like Tupac. SO ANYWAYS, I did not enjoy this song back in the day nor did I ever bother to watch the movie it was tied with via soundtrack, the capitalize on American Pie's success by putting Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari in the same movie...Loser. In fact the only thing I remotely liked about this song was the fact the dude sings about Iron Maiden in the chorus. I was a Padawan metal head around then and got a kick out of hearing Iron Maiden's name mentioned on the radio.

Well, the jokes on me. It's eleven years later, I'm old and totally love this song now. The soft-loud dynamics between the Dave Matthews whiteboy jam meets Korn aggro crunch...the fact that theres some random DJ scratching in the background...all totally 90's!

I don't know whats better, the song or the video? Look at those haircuts, the bright, vibrant wardrobes signifying the cultural diversity/prosperity of the Clinton years. Mena Suvari was still cute...a major case of Vile Nostalgia if I say so. Damn you Wheatus. Damn you!

proof that no one can deny the power of Wheatus, a bunch of Marines in Iraq from HBO's Generation Kill miniseries rocking out to....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Grind Time: Real Deal VS Dirtbag Dan

this is an update for last week's Grind Time post, where we saw Real Deal and Dirtbag Dan on opposite sides of the 2x2 team battle. Last week at the Paid Dues Fest in SoCal, the two went head to head against each other. IMO (and many in the youtube comments section) Real Deal won the battle but alas, Dan had the West Coast/Cali advantage and riled up the crowd to victory.

Real Deal's Dimebag line @ the 3:27 mark should have ended the whole match!
Dude was robbed. Next time man...

Monday, April 11, 2011


Problems with Ye Olde internet connection =/
My provider is Charter Communications. They tend suck horrible, horrible anus some (most of the) times.
Earlier this year I briefly pondered what it might be like with a different provider, say AT&T or Verizon...then Netflix released this:

For those of you without magnifying glasses, Charter is the top green line and ranks 1st. Somehow, my shitty sub par provider dominates the list. USA USA!

See y'all tomorrow. When I have a solid connection for more than 10 mins...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

2nd chances w/: Rotten Sound

Swedish grind byway of Finland
I love Rotten Sound. The fact that I missed them on their last American tour has already put a damper on my entire 2011. Their latest record Cursed, is a beast. The only problem is, it's a quite a different beast than the previous Rotten Sound albums we (and by we I mean I) know and love.

In the April 2011 issue of Decibel, the band reveals that their sound has slowly evolved since the release of their 2006 EP, Consume to Contaminate, their first recording with drummer Sami Latva after former PhD in blastology Kai Hahto left the band. Kai was renowned for his insanely fast double bass and blast beat implementation as well as mind boggling drum fills. His playing helped make Rotten Sound's rabid grindcore acceptable for technical metal dorks to appreciate. Since Kai's departure, the band has begun amping up their punk rock and sludgy roots, using current drummer Sami to exercise an unprecedented amount of groove. None more so than on their latest record, Cursed.

So yeah, much like my experience with the last Misery Index album, I listened to Cursed waiting for Rotten Sound to kick my ass in all sorts of new and creative ways but instead got a nifty rockin' album from my old Finnish friends. This is arguably, the band's most controlled and accessible record to date. Less blast beats and break neck tempos, more groove, punky d-beats, unholy sludge riffs and the occasional howlin' guitar solo! Good stuff all around. My only real complaint about Cursed, is it's lackluster production job. This album sounds a little too low-fi/DIY compared to the tone of their previous albums. Production aside, my initial reaction to Rotten Sound's latest release has changed from, "," to "oh...COOL!"

Any curious Rotten Sound newbies might want to start with this album, and work your way back to their older, crazier stuff.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Answer Is...(2)

Larry Clark's 1995 film, Kids.

Looks like !thenitefalls is the winner of Tuesday's lil' trivia game.

you guessed right my friend, and earned my movie nerd respect. Dude already had my music nerd respect (as I'm sure he has most of yours, he's got like 9000 followers!) so now, you got both.

For those of you who haven't seen Kids, be afraid. Be very afraid. It's one of those movies that just might scar you for life. Unless you're a completely jaded re(/b/)tard, watching Kids for the first time might be akin to getting punched in the stomach. I can't go over much of the plot without spoiling the movie, but lets just say it's about a bunch of teenage kids roaming the streets of NYC and their experiences with drugs, violence, and lots of sex. The ultra grimy landscape of early/mid 90's New York, reeling from the crack epidemic of the 80's and the reality of HIV/AIDS (not the Giuliani corporate Disney Land that existed just before 9/11) provides a haunting backdrop throughout the film.

Clark and Justin Pierce: R.I.P. "Casper"
Larry Clark's direction in Kids has been called everything from genius to obscene. It really all depends on your perception, and the strength of your stomach. Visually, the film is stunning. Clark made his bones as a photographer long before he started making movies and his prowess with the camera pays off big time here. Shot in a pseudo-documentary style, Clark's choice of shots, camera angles and locations across the city helps give Kids its jarring sense of realism.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Kids is the it's cast, or lack of. Clark used real New York teens and unknown first time actors for the film. He found Justin Pierce skating in the park one day and cast Rosario Dawson after seeing her on her building's porch. Yes, Rosario Dawson and Chloe Sevigny both make their first appearances in Kids.

So here's a clip from Kids featuring the song from Tuesday's trivia challenge, Daniel Johnston's ultra fitting, "Casper The Friendly Ghost."

Sadly, Justin Pierce, the actor who plays "Casper" in Kids committed suicide in 2000 at the age of 25. Harold Hunter, a pro skater and featured actor in the film also died in 2006 from a cocaine induced heart attack. He was 31.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Take a Guess 2

The Angry Lurker won the very first Take a Guess challenge....who will be next?

Can any of you bloggers tell me what movie features this song?

Feel free to answer below in the comments section. Please refrain from using google/wikipedia/browsing the youtube comments to find the answer...cheating gets you nowhere! I'll post the answer tomorrow (or the next time I update) and the winner gets my total movie nerd respect and a shout out/link for being awesome.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Grind Time: Real Deal & Fresco VS Soul Khan & Dirtbag Dan

I haven't spent as much time lurking the interwebz or watching the recent videos from my favorite youtube rap battle league, Grind Time, in a while. They update new content so often, I swear it feels like a full time job just trying to keep up. Here is battle from last year that features three of my favorite emcees, and Dirtbag Dan who just kind of chimes in with dumbshit whenever he feels like.

Seriously, this is supposed to be a 2x2 battle, but it's really just Real Deal & Fresco against Soul Khan. Still wildly entertaining though. One hell of an exhibition match.

You can watch Round 2 of this battle HERE.

Real Deal and Dirtbag Dan squared off against each other at this weekends Paid Dues festival here in Southern California. Word on the street (web forums!) is that Dirtbag Dan won. I seriously don't understand how this could have happened.....I'll post the match as soon as the footage is uploaded.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Crunch Time: At The Gates

*Welcome to the latest edition of Crunch Time, where I swoon over some of my favorite HEAVY riffs.*

Sometimes a band can be too awesome for their own good. At The Gates were one such band. Comin' straight outta Gothenburg (ya'll betta make way), these Swedish bastards changed the metal world forever with the release of their 1995 album, Slaughter of the Soul. Alas, like Padme dying in child birth after popping out Luke & Leia, At The Gates disbanded shortly after the album's release. Mixing the fuzzy dirge of traditional Swedish death metal with equal doses of German thrash and Iron Maiden style harmonies, Slaughter of the Soul became the gold standard to which all future melodic death metal albums would be judged. Spawning a legion of imitators (most of whom sucked) and indirectly creating the modern American metal core scene (most of whom really suck), At The Gate's final album can viewed as a double edged sword by some. I personally choose to look on the bright side when it comes to Slaughter of the Soul. That bright side including awesome ass songs like today's Crunch Time selection, the album's self titled second track, "Slaughter of the Soul."

The first six seconds of this song are legendary. The intro guitar riff sounds like someone waltzing with a bumble bee before the guitars literally scream "CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH!" Then Tomas chimes in...."GOOOOoooo!"

I was lucky enough to have caught At The Gate's reunion tour back in 2008. Those two SoCal shows they put on will be burned into my memory for all times. Here's a clip from that tour's NYC stop, it's damn near heavy metal karaoke the way the crowd drowns out the vocals! Gotta love it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Movie Review: Battle: Los Angeles

Wow. I did not expect this movie to rule so hard. There were so many strikes against this film (no major actors/stars, been there done that alien invasion plot) I don't even remember why I chose to see this flick on a lark....but man am I glad I did!

So here's the brief synopsis:
Aliens invade Earth hell bent on usurping our natural resources. A bunch of Marines in Los Angeles fight them. Shit goes boom.

So yeah, the plot isn't the film's greatest selling point. If your jonesing for some originality in your sci-fi flicks, you might be better off watching District 9 again. While Battle LA isn't reinventing the wheel in terms of science fiction, it delivers on almost every other front. Honestly, I don't even feel comfortable calling this a sci-fi movie. You barely see the aliens and their CGI looks kinda crappy anyways. No, Battle LA is more of a straight up military/war film. The fight scenes are gripping, frantic and thanks to Jonathan Liebesman's direction, jarringly realistic. Sure, the characters are just walking cliches waiting to either shoot or get shot themselves, but damn if it all doesn't work so well! The script's dialogue is pretty lackluster, but the cast does the best with what they're given.

Two Face = Captain America!
Major kudos to Aaron Eckhart. Dude gives a stellar performance as Staff Sergeant Nantz, the heart, soul and all around badass of Battle LA. While watching this film I wanted to fax/email Marvel Comics and demand they halt the release of their upcoming Captain America movie and reshoot the damn thing with Eckhart as the lead. Michelle Rodriguez changes things up a bit, putting a softer spin on her usual "tough chick who kicks ass" role. She plays an Air Force techie who joins up with our beloved Marines during the ensuing carnage of battle. Rodriguez's presence in the film is just another example of usually hokey cliches that Battle LA not only embraces, but executes damn well. Hell, Rodriguez IS a cliche at this point, and the audience loved her for it! I'm not kidding, as soon as she appeared onscreen , cheers, applause and the occasional howl erupted inside the theater.

girl power
Battle LA is more akin to Black Hawk Down than War of The Worlds. More Saving Private Ryan than Independence Day. In fact, imagine Saving Private Ryan's chaotic Normandy invasion and final Ramelle bridge scenes, but an entire movie like that! You gotta replace the Nazis with Aliens though and you get the picture. I highly recommend this flick to any action movie junkie. Anyone who played with G.I. Joes as a kid or still enjoys some Call of Duty today should eat this movie up.