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Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Trajectory of Party Rock Anthem

January 25, 2011: Electronic/dance/fratbro duo LMFAO release their single Party Rock Anthem.

Sometime March 2011: I first stumble across the song because its music video has been recently posted on Youtube. After watching the video, I try to convince my housemate that it has artistic integrity because of its quality costuming, choreography, and cinematography.

June 2011Party Rock Anthem is every 3rd song played on Top 40 radio stations. It’s also probably picked up by stations that normally play country, classical, the best of the ’80s, and NPR. It’s that pervasive.

August 2011: That damn song is still everywhere. I’m no longer touting the music video’s artistic integrity.

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Check This Out: The Exquisite Corpse Project Trailer

I just ran across this trailer over at The Daily What and felt the need to share it because this is such a brilliant idea for a film project. For those not familiar with the concept behind the project, The Exquisite Corpse is a game where the first player writes the opening few sentences or paragraph (or I suppose more, if you’re really ambitious) of a story on a piece of paper, then folds the paper down so that only the last line is visible before passing it to the next player. The idea, then, is that one story is being created by a group of people, but that each contributor is only aware of a relatively small portion of the existing story before adding their own segment. The exercise was apparently popular with the Surrealists in the 1920s, which makes a lot of sense since you’re bound to get some pretty weird (and usually pretty funny) shit. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if this exercise has also become popular with film students, I haven’t heard of anyone actually making a movie based on an exquisite corpse story, so I’m excited to see how the Olde English Comedy troupe’s attempt plays out.

 

Nightmare of the ’90s: 5 Traumatizing Childhood Pop Culture Products

As someone who grew up in the ’90s, I’m here to tell you that there were plenty of great pop culture products that entertained me and even helped shape some of my academic interests (Wishbone, the PC game Where in Time is Carmen San Diego?, and the first few Harry Potter books all come to mind). But for every great bit of media from my ’90s childhood, there is also a terrifying toy, TV show, or computer game that kept me awake at night and has caused me to wonder, in retrospect, what their creators were thinking. Granted, I had a lot of really irrational fears as a small child–escalators, bath drains, and H.G. Wells’ fictional Morlocks are just a small, random sampling–so maybe the following pop culture products were only terrifying to the abnormally fearful kid that I was. However, I’m willing to bet that at least a few other ’90s kids have had to face their own demons with some of these 5 items.

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Album Review: Metric’s Synthetica

English: Emily Haines and bassist Josh Winstea...

English: Emily Haines and bassist Josh Winstead of Metric (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went through a phase where I really wanted to be Emily Haines, the BAMF frontwoman for Canadian rock band Metric. I wish I could say that this phase occurred when their first album came out 10 years ago, at a time when I was young enough that it might have been considered cute for me to aspire to be an existing celebrity, but this was last year. There’s something about her vocals that I really admire—she manages to alternate fluidly between self-assuredness and a type of vulnerability that makes her seem really relatable (the track “Help, I’m Alive” off the 2009 album Fantasies is a great example of this). Although I’ve managed to come to terms with the fact that I will probably never magically transform into Emily Haines, I was still excited when I found out that Metric had a new album—titled Synthetica—coming out this summer.

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My Rejected Scripts #1: The Metamorphosis as a RomCom

English: Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka

English: Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” Alright, Franz Kafka (and Kafka’s English translators), that’s a pretty solid opening. And in general, The Metamorphosis is a great novella that has inspired conversations about topics such as Marxism and the modern family. But you know what it’s missing? A love interest and a good old-fashioned comedy of manners. This is my (would-be rejected) pitch for a romantic comedy film version of Kafka’s classic.

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Rerun Recommendation of the Day: Spaced

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As a Pacific Northwesterner, I know that summer is supposed to be the time when I crawl blinking out of my cave and absorb as much sunlight as possible before that mysterious orange orb vanishes for about 9 months. However, I get to commune with nature at my summer job (whether I want to or not) and I’m also kind of like those pale kids in The Others who allegedly have a sun allergy or something, so I’ve been spending a lot of my non-work hours catching up on TV indoors, where humans were meant to be.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of new television this summer that I’m really excited about. HBO’s Girls still has a few episodes yet, and I’ll probably begrudgingly start watching So You Think You Can Dance soon, but other than that I’m mostly planning on rediscovering some older shows.

I’m starting with Spaced, a British sitcom that first aired in 1999, because with a 14-episode run, you can watch it in about a week (or a day if you’re a TV-marathon type) and because it’s generally fantastic. The basic premise is that a young man and woman pretend to be a couple in order to rent an apartment, but the series very quickly veers off and focuses more on the friendships between a group of very weird characters.  You can watch the show totally legally on Hulu (because I wouldn’t know anything about illegally watching TV online, ever…).

So, here are some reasons you should check it out:

  • Young Simon Pegg is in it with hilariously bleached ’90s hair.
  • Brit actors/comedians Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes cowrote and star in the show and have wonderful chemistry and timing.
  • There are so many references to famous movies, and sometimes iconic scenes are recreated shot for shot. It’s really fun trying to figure out all the pop culture shout-outs, and the references could probably also make for a good drinking game.
  • The secondary characters are all really endearing. My favorite is Marsha, the perpetually deadpan landlady.
  • The humor and the premises for the episodes are sometimes incredibly strange, but in the best possible way. For example, in my favorite episode (Chaos), the main characters’ dog is kidnapped by an evil vivisectionist, and the group of friends plans an elaborate heist to steal the dog back.

That’s it on the recommendations for now, but as the oppressive sun continues to beat down on Washington state, I’m sure I’ll be back with more soon.

Maroon 5’s Payphone Music Video: A Novelization

If you haven’t seen the video, watch it here.

Adaptation by Madeline Jacobson (blogger) and Carl Jacobson (local curmudgeon)

I found myself standing in front of the burning wreckage of a European sports car and wondered to myself how I had gotten there. How had I, Dirk Steelhorse, man about town, come to be near such a disreputable scene? I pulled out my iPhone and stared at it mournfully as it played its swan song and powered down. Just as well, I thought as I tossed the probably still functional phone into the fire, The cops had probably wire-tapped it anyways. I didn’t know why they would have wire-tapped it, but it seemed like the type of thing that cops would have done to someone standing in front of a parking lot fire of dubious origins.

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