Wednesday, April 28, 2010

And my soul has been Geocities-ized

Comic Sans: the Chevy Vega of fonts
A Fistful of Soundtracks: The Blog gets put through the Geocities-izer.

If Twitter existed back in 1996, then I would have been able to live-tweet Empire Records first-run instead of over a decade later on DVD, and this is what the live-tweet would have looked like. The eloquent word that could best describe the way it would have looked is 'shitty.'
Renee Zellweger is traumatized by the ugly site design.

Yeah, when I think A Fistful of Soundtracks, the first thing that comes to mind is the 7-Up dot.
Nothing says late '90s like the Dancing Abortion in a Diaper.

[Via the Geocities-izer (via Krishna M. Sadasivam)]

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dumbfoundead needs a dollar

Dumbfoundead
I've posted before about how Aloe Blacc's "I Need a Dollar" is one of my favorite TV themes, as well as a favorite current song, so I wish I had heard this track sooner. In January, before "I Need a Dollar" blew up, thanks to its inclusion in the opening titles of the recently renewed How to Make It in America, one of the best battle rappers, L.A.'s Dumbfoundead, laid down his own lyrics over Aloe's track.



A much-talked-about list from the new blog Make It in the Motherland recently named Dumbfoundead the 10th greatest Asian American rapper of all time. Nah, based on his battle skills alone (like the way he anger-managed Tantrum in that freestyle battle video, which is such a terrific moment of pwnage I'm going to link to it again), I'd have to place Dumbfoundead higher on that list.

APRIL 28 UPDATE: Actually, I'm not sure when exactly Dumbfoundead dropped the "I Need a Dollar" remix. Blogs didn't pick up on it until a couple of weeks ago, while Dumbfoundead's site says it was first posted some time in January, but that date might be a typo. How would he have been able to record the remix before Stones Throw posted the original track (which is actually from an album that hasn't been released yet) back when the show premiered in February? Did he kill somebody to get his mitts on it? Maybe he has a time machine.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

ImaginAsianland

ImaginAsian opening reception by Kate Agathon
This month's ImaginAsian exhibit in Lafayette, Indiana marks the first time a piece of work of mine has been featured in a museum exhibit. My ImaginAsian submission, the script for this summer's The Palace: Like Stuff It, White People, turns up in these photos of the exhibit by organizer Kate Agathon.

My Palace webcomic script chills with Far East Movement
My script is the black binder that's inside the display case with a copy of Far East Movement's Animal CD that was signed by the band. Also appearing in Kate's snapshots are ImaginAsian submissions by author Lac Su, jozjozjoz of "Racist Camera! No, I did not blink... I'm just Asian!" fame, Secret Asian Man creator Tak Toyoshima and Secret Identities editor-in-chief Jeff Yang.

As part of a fundraiser for the Asian American Network of Indiana, ImaginAsian is auctioning off on eBay a second script I donated. It's the Palace: Death to Skinny Jeans script packaged together with the finished Skinny strips themselves, which I posted here back in December. The exhibit continues into Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and runs until May 9 at the Tippecanoe Arts Federation at 638 North Street in Lafayette.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reefer Madness live-tweet recap

Spidey by A.L. Baroza
On 420, I live-tweeted the original 1936 version of Reefer Madness. The movie's so boring I wanted to jump out the window like that overacting pot dealer lady at the end.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is it really necessary to post the movie's former title under the final one? That's like if Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid opened with 'Formerly The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy.'
In a few minutes, I'm live-tweeting Reefer Madness. I haven't heard Nelson/Murphy/Corbett's RiffTrax of it. I bet it's hilarious.
12:01 PM Apr 20th via web

#ReeferMadnessLiveTweet starts now. This propaganda piece is apparently a classic in the drug-scare genre.
12:05 PM Apr 20th via web

The movie paved the way for such drug-scare gems as the Dragnet "Blue Boy" episode and the Quincy punk episode.
12:06 PM Apr 20th via web

The Quincy punk episode? Yeah, punk isn't a drug, but...
12:06 PM Apr 20th via web

... Jack Klugman, at his most self-indulgent and toupeed, preaches against punk as if it's a drug.
12:07 PM Apr 20th via web

MTV now reruns movies like the Star Wars prequels and The Matrix. But back when the channel was about videos...
12:07 PM Apr 20th via web

... this public-domain piece of shit was the only movie MTV could afford to broadcast.
12:08 PM Apr 20th via web

The opening credits begin. "Marihuana is that drug--a violent narcotic..." Just like cokane and hairrowhen.
12:09 PM Apr 20th via web

"Marihuana" finally leads to "acts of shocking violence"? Someone is feeding you bad intel, opening credits guy.
12:10 PM Apr 20th via web

A violent stoner is like a black Gossip Girl viewer. They don't exist.
12:10 PM Apr 20th via web

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Guru (1961-2010)

Guru (1966-2010)"Lemonade was a popular drink and it still is/I get more props and stunts than Bruce Willis."
--Guru, "Dwyck"


The Gang Starr MC with the love-it-or-hate-it monotone delivery and a preference for "an alternative to James Brown samples" has died way too young from cancer. Guru's star-studded Jazzmatazz albums were among my favorite CDs during my university years--I remember trying to finish writing a term paper or two to the sounds of Volume II: The New Reality. Jazzmatazz introduced my ears to cats like Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers, who performed alongside the Brooklyn rapper, an admirer of their jazz albums since his childhood in Boston.

Together with DJ Premier, Guru (birth name: Keith Elam) recorded such hip-hop classics as "Manifest," "Just to Get a Rep," "Take It Personal," "Mass Appeal" and my favorite Gang Starr track, "Dwyck," an endlessly quotable collabo with Nice & Smooth ("I left my Philly at home/Do you have another?/I wanna get blunted, my brother").

Gang Starr's sole original contribution to movie soundtracks was the Mo' Better Blues end title theme "Jazz Thing."

Bass for your face: Five dope bass lines

(Based on a series of tweets from 4/20/09.)

The goddess of love has a side gig as bassist for the Smashing Pumpkins.
"Why don't you make like a bass player and be inaudible?"
--Metalocalypse

5. Jamiroquai, "Space Cowboy (Stoned Again Mix)"
Bassist during the "Stoned Again Mix": Stuart Zender. The ultimate 420 anthem.



4. Jack Elliott and Allyn Ferguson's Barney Miller theme
Bassist during the recording: Jim Hughart. Rarely does a Jew on TV get a theme this funky.



3. Freddie Hubbard, "Red Clay"
Bassist: Ron Carter. A Tribe Called Quest fans know this bass line from "Sucka N****," which sampled Jack Wilkins' cover of "Red Clay."



2. Slave, "Just a Touch of Love"
Bassist: Mark Adams. His bass line was sampled by De La Soul ("Keepin' the Faith") and Das EFX ("Shine").



1. The Smiths, "This Charming Man"
Bassist: Andy Rourke. His bass work is the coolest part of the tune.



Bonus dope bass line: Tina Weymouth's performance during "Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)" at a 1980 Talking Heads concert in Rome

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Empire Records live-tweet recap

Rex likes to cover his dick in blue cheese? Didn't he watch that old Saturday morning PSA 'Don't Drown Your Junk?'
You know how the Star Trek feature film DVDs come with text commentary by Trek trivia king and Next Generation graphic designer Michael Okuda? Think of these tweets from my Twitter page on April 14 (a few days before Independent Record Store Day on April 17) as the text commentary that should have been part of the Empire Records DVD.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The A.V. Club's Nathan Rabin wrote that Thank God It's Friday could be the polyester era's Empire Records. So does that mean Empire Records is the flannel era's Thank God It's Friday?
Frigging Rex Manning Day. In a few minutes, I'm live-tweeting the #EmpireRecords: Remix! Special Fan Edition DVD, which came out in 2003.
12:05 PM Apr 14th via web

I'm a few minutes late. I'm on SuperStation TBS time.
12:06 PM Apr 14th via web

The Warner logo means the #EmpireRecords: Remix! Special Fan Edition live-tweet starts now. Why live-tweet a DVD that dropped 7 years ago?
12:09 PM Apr 14th via web

#EmpireRecords has things in it I like (particularly some of the songs and the fake Rex Manning music) and things I can't stand.
12:10 PM Apr 14th via web

The things I can't stand during #EmpireRecords (or as I like to call the film, Car Wash for alt-rockers) make it worthy of a live-tweet.
12:10 PM Apr 14th via web

When I started writing the webcomic The Palace, which is set at an indie theater, I told myself I must avoid the cliches of #EmpireRecords.
12:11 PM Apr 14th via web

The movie is an example of fun premise/sloppy execution (all that shit happens to the staffers in one day?).
12:11 PM Apr 14th via web

The movie flings dramatic crises at you with all the precision of a chimp flinging his poop at zoo-goers.
12:11 PM Apr 14th via web

This is the kind of movie where dunking a teen's head in the sink will make her diet pill addiction magically disappear.
12:13 PM Apr 14th via web

Friday, April 9, 2010

I'm live-tweeting Empire Records next Wednesday at noon

That bag of Peanut M&Ms in Renee Zellweger's hand is the only meal she eats each day.
I've always wanted to either live-tweet or RiffTrax director Allan Moyle's 1995 film about record store clerks who attempt to save their store from the clutches of a strict, Blockbuster Music-like chain. Empire Records constantly airs on cable and has become a cult favorite, but in 1995, the movie was overshadowed by its hit soundtrack album (I remember borrowing the Empire Records cassette tape from a university friend because I dug "A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins and "Liar" by Donald Glover's favorite band), and it was barely released by Warner Bros., which must have been dissatisfied with the final cut. At times, the movie appears to have been edited together with glue and Popsicle sticks, so it's not hard to see why the studio quietly dumped it into theaters.

But what I don't understand is the cult status of this movie, which stars Anthony LaPaglia, Liv Tyler and a pre-Jerry Maguire Renee Zellweger. Empire Records is neither an offbeat but genuinely good flick that was buried and poorly received during its initial release like The Big Lebowski (or Office Space) nor a so-ineptly-made-it's-entertaining curio like Dolemite. It's just bland studio product that at its worst, takes the most overwrought parts of John Hughes' writing in The Breakfast Club and amps them up to 11.

So either join me on Twitter next Wednesday, April 14, in the afternoon as I snark on the extended "Remix! Special Fan Edition" of Empire Records (the DVD doesn't have a commentary track, so this live-tweet would be like the commentrak the DVD should have had), or check out the live-tweet recap I'll post on this blog afterward.

Coming Soon to a Theater in an Alternate Reality Near You

'We didn't land on Plymouth Rock! Plymouth Rock landed on us! Do y'all want to pick Door Number 1--the ballot--or Door Number 2--the bullet?
This was originally going to be a regular feature on my blog. Two April Fools Days ago, I posted some fake movie posters I made in Photoshop and was going to create some more, but I forgot that I suck at Photoshop, so Coming Soon to a Theater in an Alternate Reality Near You never became a regular thing.

Lately online, I've spotted some amusing posters for movies that don't exist, including a You Offend Me You Offend My Family poster of a whitewashed version of Better Luck Tomorrow, so I'm bringing back Coming Soon to a Theater in an Alternate Reality Near You to compile the cleverest or funniest examples of fake poster art.

The Matrix by Sean Hartter
I'd enjoy this John Boorman-directed Bruce Lee version of The Matrix way more than the actual Matrix. Poster by Sean Hartter.

Mister Miracle by Sean Hartter
Mister Miracle by Hartter.

Black Panther by Sean Hartter
Black Panther by Hartter.

Reyes and Straume by Sean Hartter
Coming soon to a TV in an alternate reality near you: the Lost spinoff Reyes and Straume (also by Hartter).

Aziz Ansari and Danny Pudi in RAAAAAAAANDY by Vulture
From the Vulture blog's "Date Night–Inspired NBC Team-Ups We'd Like to See on the Big Screen" slideshow.

Six and the City, an entry from a TWoP Pixel Challenge
From a 2004 Television Without Pity Pixel Challenge.

Fark.com's Indiana Jones and the Missing Dentures of Orthodontia
From Fark.com's "movies that never existed but should have" forum.

Cracked.com's gritty reboot of Mr. Magoo
From Cracked.com's "If Hollywood Decided to Give Everything a Gritty Reboot" contest.

Cracked.com's gritty reboot of Cheers
Another Cracked gritty reboot: Edward Norton's Cheers.

Worth1000.com's Cheers/Clerks mash-up
Another fake Cheers movie poster, this time from Worth1000.com.

The next three are from Cracked's "Worst Possible Casting Decisions" contest.

Wayne Brady as Malcolm X

Lil Jon in Ray

Robert Downey Jr. in Driving Miss Daisy

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The dopest TV theme since "Way Down in the Hole" from The Wire gets an official music video

Lake Bell, Bryan Greenberg, Victor Rasuk, Kid Cudi and Eddie Kaye Thomas might need to get their hustle on if HBO doesn't renew How to Make It in America.
There's no word yet on whether or not How to Make It in America, which aired its season finale on Sunday, will be renewed by HBO, but one thing's for sure: Aloe Blacc's "I Need a Dollar"--the story of my life right now--was a great choice for the show's opening credits.

In fact, the Truth & Soul-produced "I Need a Dollar" was a last-minute pick after HBO rejected the HTMIIA producers' original choice for the theme song. In an interview with Complex magazine's blog in which Aloe discussed "I Need a Dollar" and the buzz surrounding his jam, the Stones Throw recording artist said the HTMIIA music supervisors turned to his label for existing songs they could use to replace the rejected theme, and Stones Throw responded with about 20 tracks, including "I Need a Dollar."

Wow, Aloe Blacc is killin' it as the new star of Doctor Who.
Aloe wrote "I Need a Dollar" before the recession, yet it captures well how many of us who don't have a job or have had to take a low-paying one are feeling right now: both skeptical and hopeful.

At about the same time as Washington D.C. rapper Marky added his own lyrics to "I Need a Dollar" and retitled it "Rasta Monsta" (after the Rasta Monster energy drink Luis Guzman's HTMIIA character is trying to sell), Aloe dropped an "I Need a Dollar" music video (directed by Kahlil Joseph).



"I Need a Dollar" can be heard during "The F Zone" on A Fistful of Soundtracks (Mondays at 4-6am, 9-11am and 3-5pm and Fridays at 5-7am, 9-11am and 3-5pm).

I wonder what would have happened if the HTMIIA producers didn't go with the pitch-perfect Aloe track and decided to have someone write a really info-dumpy theme like Sherwood Schwartz's sitcom themes or Alan Thicke's Diff'rent Strokes theme:

Hey, Ben is bored
He's been folding jeans
Then along comes Cam
He's got nothin' but the schemes

Okay, ick. I can't believe I just wrote that. See? That's why I stream theme tunes instead of write them.

[Via Complex]

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Alternate Posterama 2: Electric Boogaloo

Inglourious Basterds by David Choe
Inglourious Basterds by David Choe.

Inglourious Basterds by Estevan Oriol
Basterds by photographer Estevan Oriol (the Choe and Oriol posters were part of a Basterds-inspired art show that raised money for Haiti earthquake relief at L.A.'s Upper Playground Art Gallery).

Arrested Development vs. Star Wars
Arrested Development/Star Wars mash-up. [Via The Live Feed]

Mythbusters vs. 007
Mythbusters/007 mash-up. [Via The Live Feed]

Antichrist vs. Fantastic Mr. Fox
Antichrist/Fantastic Mr. Fox mash-up by SamsMyth.

'Oh no! Not the tape! Not the tape! Aaaaahhhhh! Oh, my eyes! My eyes! Aaaahhhhh! Aaaaagghhh!'
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans by Alan Hynes. [Via Super Punch]

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I contributed a script of a Palace arc to the ImaginAsian exhibit

ImaginAsian logo
Purdue University grad school instructor and Colonial Viper pilot Kate Agathon recently invited me to contribute artwork to an Asian American art exhibit she organized, and the collection is worth checking out if you're in the Hoosier State. Her ImaginAsian exhibit began its run at the Tippecanoe Arts Federation in Lafayette, Indiana yesterday and will last there until May 9:
In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2010, ImaginAsian is a collection of cultural artifacts intended to raise awareness and understanding of the contemporary Asian Pacific American community as articulated through a variety of art including photography, visual and literary.

Sponsored by the Asian American Network of Indiana, the exhibit is comprised of sixty-six pieces of work donated by sixty contributors from 13 states including writer Lac Su, artist and author Kip Fulbeck, civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama, director Michael Kang, Senator Daniel Inouye,
G.I. Joe creator Larry Hama, and other stakeholders in the Asian American community.
Instead of new artwork, my donation to ImaginAsian was a script of a future arc of my webcomic The Palace that I haven't drawn and posted on this blog yet (though the dialogue is finished), so ImaginAsian gets a taste of this arc before everyone else. (I wish I didn't have to draw this arc. I'd rather have somebody draw it for me, but as I've said before, I don't know any cartoonists around my hood, and I've got no money to pay a penciller/inker, so I've had to do everything myself.)

The Palace: Theatre of Crud by Jimmy J. Aquino
I hope I can finish drawing this Palace arc in time for the week before The Last Airbender's July release date because it revolves around the making of a Last Airbender-esque cinematic turd. (More info about this forthcoming arc can be found here.) The title of the arc is The Palace: Like Stuff It, White People.

Memorable quotes from commentary tracks #7

'Well, hello James Lipton! I'm King Llort! There's a troll in Central Park. I'm King Llort!'
Alec Baldwin: This comes from years of playing hooky from school and watching Match Game with Gene Rayburn. Home on Long Island, sick, pretending to be sick. The way I developed my acting skills was faking out my mother that I was sick, which, by the way, wasn't hard.

Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock co-producer Marci Klein: You mean, like, um, Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off?

Baldwin: Ferris Bueller is... He is a putz compared to me in the fake sick department.

--the Saturday Night Live: The Best of Alec Baldwin commentrak

Friday, April 2, 2010

Alternate movie posterama

Dark City by Kevin Wada
Another alternate movie poster that's nicer-looking than the original: Kevin Wada's retro Dark City poster, which emphasizes the Strangers, the film's creepy adversaries. [Via Super Punch]

Whitewashed Better Luck Tomorrow by You Offend Me You Offend My Family
The You Offend Me You Offend My Family blog sticks it to Hollywood's tendency to whitewash movies based on source material in which Asians played a central role by whitewashing Better Luck Tomorrow, which starred You Offend Me bloggers Roger Fan and Sung Kang and was directed by their fellow You Offend Me team member Justin Lin. [Via You Offend Me]

Dr. T & the Women II by a Fark.com contributor
A Fark.com "unneeded sequel" entry that imagines a second Dr. T & the Women movie. [Via Super Punch]

Seven Samurai by Grinning-Oni
Seven Samurai by Grinning-Oni.

'Kara Thrace will lead the human race to its end.'
Brandon Schaefer's poster for an advance theatrical screening of the made-for-DVD Battlestar Galactica: Razor in 2007.

Predator by Made by Mat
Predator by Made by Mat. (Wow, that Predators trailer actually doesn't suck. I love how Danny Trejo, Cletus Van Damme and a yakuza are among the human predators. But what's Eric Forman doing in the cast? One of these things is not like the other.) [Via Super Punch]

The Birds by Laz Marquez
The Birds by Laz Marquez. [Via /Film]

Thursday, April 1, 2010

David Mills (1961-2010)

David Mills (1961-2010) by Rhonda Birndorf/AP
I enjoyed Mills' work on Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire (his contributions to The Wire were the episodes "Soft Eyes" and "React Quotes"), and I regularly read his blog Undercover Black Man (I was jazzed when he added me to his huge blogroll), so his passing, which I learned from a G4 news ticker last night, is unfortunately not a joke and is a shock to me. As one can see from his UBM posts, Mills had incredible taste in music, so it was no surprise that he was a P-Funk expert who co-wrote a book about the Funk Mob and named one of his Homicide episodes after "Bop Gun (Endangered Species)."

The former Washington Post reporter researched a different kind of mob when he created the 2003 drug trade drama Kingpin. Mills' final TV series Treme (pronounced trih-MAY) reunited him with several Wire staffers, including his college friend David Simon, who co-created the new series and also collaborated with Mills on an Emmy-winning HBO adaptation of his own book The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood. Treme--not the first scripted TV series to use post-Katrina New Orleans as a backdrop but most likely to be the best--drops on HBO in 11 days.

A New York Times photo of David Mills on location with David Simon for the New Orleans filming of Treme.
Your funk was the best, UBM.

Film Score Monthly's latest soundtrack release

Also coming from FSM: the Blair Witch Project score album.
Well done, FSM.