Sunday, November 30, 2008

Music: "The Strangest Organ is the Human Heart"

New Das Racist song up:

Also, come see us play at The Delancey with Rumspringa on Dec. 5th. It's a Friday! We'll even practice if you promise you'll come. I promise.

In closing, the following is the best song ever. Have you ever gotten into a random Acura Legend on Delancey to sit down next to an attractive Latina girl for 2 minutes to take part in a shady transaction? You're kind of afraid but kind of excited. You're nervous but capitivated by the intoxicating mix of sheer beauty and raw "I know people that can break your legs - like, mad people." You begin to wonder - is this what love is? Then all of a sudden the following song plays on Hot 97 and you think to yourself... maybe, but I better get the f out of this car. A week later you hear the song on the radio and think of your ride-or-die chick with a heart of gold. In fact, every time you hear that song you think of her. You think "one day I'll save you and we'll listen to that song on No Way Out where Diddy rhymes about dating a Spanish girl... one day mami."


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Youtube: How Can She Slap (A Millie Remix)

A lot of you have seen HOW CAN SHE SLAP, the YouTube where an Indian dude gets slapped in the grill and then slaps a girl back in the grill mad hard. After slapping her he immediately starts yelling HOW CAN SHE SLAP!?! HOW CAN SHE SLAP?!?! No one’s peeped this remix yet though. We (Indians) invented the remix:


Muchachas quiero que mis padres arreglaran mi unión con: Claudia Bassols de España

Gracias a Shamoon por traer a Claudia Bassols a mi atención. Claudia es actriz española que usted puede mirar actualmente en On the Road Again: Spain en PBS. El programa ofrece Claudia, Gwyneth Paltrow, y a algunos individuos que viaja en España y consumición del buen alimento. Me gusta Glaudia Bassols. Te gusta?


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fashion: "Hey, Cool Clothes Bro!"

I'm getting my West Indian on and trying to keep a few hustles going, you know to hedge myself with all this market turmoil. One of my new endeavors is a styling business - I have like 3 clients already and I started a week ago. No big deal. I hired a bunch of awesome Japanese dudes and Bard alums that just search the internet for cool shit that I can recommend to my clients. I pay them in trees since I'm trying to grow the business organically. I should have 100 clients by the end of the year. And if that fails I got the whole Taliban Chic-inspired line I'm finna do. And I'm starting to design shawls. Shawls and dashikis are gonna be the jumpoff. Shawls.... I'm gonna start rocking fitteds, a shawl on top of some shit, jeans, and high tops.

I was iffy on these Kris Van Aassch hightops but I kind of dig, hardbody:

You might remember I posted the Kris Van Assche A/Q 08s on one of the first posts I did here. Dude's on top of his game. Where can I even attempt to buy these?

Peep these leather holdalls from A Brand Apart. Shit looks good. It's available in black and brown but I don't really feel black leather bags. I was going to include a link on where to cop it but shit is like 1500+ so who really cares?
Windbreakers by Raf Simons:

New Jonas Coat by Krane - waxed cotton, double breasted officer's coat, sheep fur lined collar, removable liner is made from "recycled Italian military blanket." Krane's always dope:

New looks from Public School. Here's a few joints from their Autumn/Winter 2008 line. A lot of black on some future-punk looking shit. Here's their Goodland Jacket:

and the 3 zip jacket:

and the Studded Leather Vest Sweater:

And Sandinista just dropped their new Fall/Winter 2008 jawns which I dig more than Public School.

Peep these Giuliano Fijiwara accessories. Starting with these sneakers with suede on the front and onto some shades and bags.

Stumbled across some new hats on Mishka's website:
And new fitteds by Atmos:

Aww shieet, I leave you with cheeseburgers. I kind of have a thing for cheesburgers. It started as a joke. If I was 10 minutes late somewhere a friend would joke about how I'm probably off somewhere eating cheeseburgers. Formerly not so much of a fan, I started to embrace the cheeseburger. I wrote a rap song about it. I had epiphanies related to the classic cheeseburger vs. bacon cheeseburger debate I thought about getting a tattoo of a cheeseburger with eight arms on my lower back - a blasphemous cheeseburger tramp stamp. I posted burgers that looked like AirMax's on my blog:Courtesy of Kanye's blog, check out this dreamy dress made by Joy Kampia. Mmmmmm:

UPDATE: Burberry Prorsum military-style jacket from Autumn/Winter 08 line:


Kewl Stuff on the Interwebs

Do you know Matt Lesko? He's really kewl. He can tell you how to get free money the government gives away EVERY YEAR!!! Let's look at some photos of Matthew Lesko together!

Matt Lesko sits on couches like normal people! Like you and I!

Matt Lesko in Washington DC - That's where he finds out how to get YOU government money!
I love you Matt Lesko. You're so full of energy!Don't. Ever. Change. Matt.
I really like Matt Lesko but not as much as I like John Basedow. He looks so normal from the neck up. But then there's those abs. Boom! Don't fuck with John Basedow, he's a fitness guru. Remember when everyone thought he died in a Tsunami? That prank was so mean!

Even though he's a cultural icon, recognized across the globe for his monstrous abdomens, John stays pretty modest. In an article with the esteemed Iowa State Daily he was all like "... it's so hard to believe - that I'm a popular icon." No it's not John! NO. IT'S. NOT.

Here's a Fitness Made Simple advertisement featuring John Fucking Basedow.

Remember the movie Soul Man? Does the name C. Thomas Howell make you wet? The film Soul Man is about a man who undergoes racial transformation by taking tanning pills in very large dose to qualify for an African-American scholarship at Harvard Law School. I guess the main character learns valuable lessons and even "genuinely falls in love with" black student. Maybe that's why James Earl Jones signed on to join the cast. In addition to the trailer I leave you with 2 taglines used in advertising:
  • He didn't give up. He got down.
  • Mark needs a scholarship to get into Harvard. There's one more available for a black student. The problem is Mark's not black... YET.

A coworker just asked me if I knew what Salvia is. Ha! Idiot! I was all like, psh, yeah - that was all the rage when I was 11 you old fart! It reminded me of this which is pretty old now, but I still enjoy the shit out of it:


Monday, November 24, 2008

Girls I Want My Parents To Arrange My Marriage With: Freida Pinto + Priyanka Chopra

A 2-for-1 this week! My obsession with Slumdog Millionaire persists as this week's first girl I want my parents to arrange my marriage with is Freida Pinto who played Latika in the film. Pinto is one more reason I want to move to Bombay:

Another reason I would want to move to Bombay? Priyanka Chopra. Priyanka is a former Miss World and current Bollywood starlet. I would love for my parents to arrange my marriage with Priyanka.


"Some Old Crotchety Indian Couple" - Flight of the Conchords

Flight of the Conchords Season 2 starts in January.

One of my favorite scenes on anything thathas scenes is from Episode 10 of the first season. The group gains 2 new fans and the guys go to Dave's (Arj Barker aka Arjun Singh) place to get some cool clothes. If you haven't already seen it, forward to 4:00 and watch it through to about 5:45. Actually fuck it, watch the whole thing:

Dave - No. That's just some old crotchety Indian couple I sub-let to. The weird thing is they look like me.

Maybe I think this is fucking hilarious because I live with my parents but come on.... AMAZING. And if that's not funny, how about the shirt with a mouse having sex with another mouse in a rat trap? Huh!?!

Also, in Hari Kondabolu's Manoj there's a great scene where Arj Barker's headshot is backstage and the club owner says "nobody tops Manoj, especially this guy" as he taps the photo. I posted it before but it's real good.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Note to Self:

Stop drinking too much and accusing bartenders all across Manhattan of being racist. Also, don't grab strangers of the caucasian persuasion by their shoulders and yell "WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ME AND THIS GUY?" to the bartenders you accuse of being racist.

Also, reevaluate your stance on the bacon in bacon cheeseburgers. As someone recently pointed out, it seems like a good idea - always - but it doesn't really bring much to the table. What does bring a lot to the table? Caramelized onions. Caramelized onions bring a lot to the table.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Music: Empire of the Sun - Walking on a Dream + VAN DAM

This video, shot in Shanghai, is sweet. I like the colors and the 2nd guy's facial expressions. Empire of the Sun are a duo from Australia, which means typically I'd hate them for talking all like "Have you beeeeeen to the Pahdy?", but I don't seem to mind in this instance. I mean look at them:

Seriously though, Australian's have the worst freak accent out of English-speaking countries by far. What is that shit? I don't even mind freak New Zealand accents as much. And - little fun fact - did you know they don't even say "throw another shrimp on the barby?". They call them prawns. "Throw another prawn on the barby"... That doesn't even sound cool. Freak Australians bastardizing English with their freak accents.

Also, I finally saw Slumdog Millionaire. I may put up my thoughts later but it's more or less everything I expected - great. Another film I've been meaning to see at the Angelika is JCVD, or Jean-Claude Van Dam. Terence and Chris and company recently had a cat follow them home. They took the cat and brought him home. They named their stolen rabies cat Jean-Claude Van Dam. She may be pregnant - Jean-Claude that is.

"'JCVD' is not an action movie but a shrewd satire about stardom and the cult of celebrity. It tells the story of an action star who is still famous, and yet something of a has-been. A man who still has fans, but who has serious career problems. A man who is recognized everywhere, but as much for his failures as his successes. A man who could probably spend the rest of his life making good money in pictures, but in low-budget, demeaning productions that are beneath him." - SF Gate

Thus my top 5 Jean-Claude movies, in order, are: Bloodsport, Bloodsport, Bloodsport, Bloodsport, JCVD (expected - if not, Bloodsport!).


Monday, November 17, 2008

More on Slumdog Millionaire and The Namesake and Monsoon Wedding and Maximum City and A.R. Rehman and M.I.A. and 1991 and Diaspora and Stuff

Since posting on Slumdog Millionaire a week ago, and not seeing it as planned, my anticipation has grown 9-fold. Noah from YouWildin had the chance to peep it and he's had great things to say. Roger Epert has been speculating about an Oscar nod for Best Film. I can't wait!

After Monsoon Wedding I thought The Namesake could fill the void I had for a non-Bollywood film that I could appreciate. Something both Western and Indian - something that hits all my identity points. I anxiously waited for it to drop and when it did, it really didn't hit the spot. I mentioned before that one of the main reasons I started fucking with fiction was the need to tell stories of the lower-middle class Indians in Queens in the 1980s and 1990s as I couldn't relate with Lahiri's characters. Sure, parts of me definitely identified with The Namesake's Gogol, but it was the boring parts of me. Though one would assume Jhumpa Lahiri's American Indians would strike a chord with me, those were not the Indians I grew up with - my Indians were similar to Nair's Indians of New Delhi than Lahiri's of Boston. Really, the Indians I grew up with were neither as when our parents left India in the 70s and 80s and brought that fossilized India into the homes we grew up in, India became more Western than Queens as we knew it.
Monsoon Wedding was great because it was an early depiction of post-1991 India. Monsoon's Delhi was modern as it depicted India after it's economy had been liberalized allowing the middle class to expand rapidly and India to come to the world's attention as not just the orientalist national embodiment of spirituality, but something new. This was a globalized India. And while there's no doubt India has changed, it's been a selective change. The poor are still poor. Though Nair didn't overlook this with characters like PK Dubey (who I mention below) that represent the unchanged India, she couldn't take it far enough. It's understandable - the story there was New India, and it hadn't been told thus far. And she made Salaam Bombay! 20 years ago. 20 years before Slumdog Millionaire came out. A sort of in-between of the elite diasporic Indians of Lahiri and Nair's Indian Indians surpisingly came in the form of a Bollywood movie called Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. While I appreciated DDLJ for its plot and songs and such when I was 10, I appreciated it for entirely different reasons when I was 20. Released in 1995, DDLJ completed 600 weeks of continuous play in Mumbai theatres making it the longest running film in the history of Bollywood. I won't get into the plot but what's key is while Monsoon was an art film on new India with one diasporic character in the form of a superficial Australian cousin or something, DDLJ was the first Indian film to humanize the diasporic South Asian. Previously, South Asians from London or New York were reduced to caricatures of chain-smoking, cocaine-snorting, gamblaholics with no respect of Indian women and thus India. In DDLJ, the main character shows that Indian as an identity isn't restricted to those in India thus Raj is more in touch with his culture than Kuljeet who was born and raised in Punjab. Tons of other films with diasporic main characters followed suit. Though not directly addressing the New India of post-1991, DDLJ wouldn't be possible without it. For a Bollywood movie it was on some groundbreaking shit really.
Poorer India has come to attention recently in the form of this year's Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger and Suketu Mehta's Maximum City. Published in 2004, Maximum City is a narrative nonfiction book - part memoir, part travel writing, part sociology - about Bombay. Mehta' grew up in Bombay, settled with his family in Jackon Heights in the late 1970's, and then returned to Mumbai. What set this book apart from all the other critic-lauded writing publishing companies churn out by trendy South Asian writers is the attention it pays to the slums - to real life in a developing nation. Comparisons to the London of Dickens, the Paris of Zola, and the New York of Woody Allen are appropriate. With some further digging I found out it was Maximum City that iced the cake of Simon Beaufroy's scipt and inspired Boyle to create the film. He even carried it with him the entire time he was there. Another reason I'm psyched to see the film is its soundtrack. Previously I mentioned my appreciation for Gang Gang Dance and their appreciation for Bollywood music and how their appreciation caused me to re-appreciate Bollywood music and re-approach some kind of music project sampling it. Both DeGraw and Bougatsos cite AR Rahman as a huge inspiration for Saint Dymphna. I was giddy when I heard Boyle got Rahman to drop the project he was working on to join Slumdog. I was giddier when I found out Rahman collaborated with MIA on a song for the film. Here's what he had to say:

"We met before but never worked before. M.I.A., she’s a real powerhouse. Somebody played me her CD and I thought, Who’s this girl? She came here and knew all my work, had followed my work for ages. I said "Cut the crap," this "my idol" crap. You have to teach me. We started working in India, then we e-mailed the track back and forth. She did the vocals in England. I did the rest in India."

Boyle called her a "gift" to the soundtrack. He used her Paper Planes, and the collabo with Rahman entitled O Saya. It's used early on in the film. I can't tell if I'm more excited about the film or the song. To close, I'll leave you with a few Rahman songs I grew up listening to:

Also from Dil Se:

Also from Bombay, and maybe in Tamil (can't hear it):


Short Film: Mulit

I haven't always been a sell out. I spent two summers working at a film editing and graphic animation company. My cousin was the CFO and he made up a job for me, his favorite unemployed cousin. He convinced the company's owner that they needed to track all inventory so if there was ever a move they would know which equipment and furniture goes in which room, etc. So I spent my summer sticking barcodes to equipment and taking photos for a database on some old lap top they probably tossed away. When I wasn't doing that, I was dropping "spots" (industry talk) off at advertising firms and picking up XBox games for each editing room from the Virgin Mega Store.

There was this dude with a mohawk I would hang with. One day him and a few others were crowded around his computer watching what seemed to be a Bollywood movie to me. I later found out it was a tongue-in-cheek spoof of 70s Bollywood and a short viral marketing film for Absolut though it's not obvious. Rather than shoving their product in every shot, they present the shape of the Absolut bottle in architecture, stains on walls, decorations, shadows, space, candles, and belt buckles. It's cut real fast so in most instances you don't notice them though there are over 20 instances where the shape is used.

From Absolut Pictures: "It was filmed on location in India over the course of eight days in October 2002 and directed by Czech Ivan Zacharias. It is a love story with all the ingredients: a beautiful heroine, a dashing hero, a love that crosses the boundaries of class, a jealous antagonist, a powerful primeminister and extravagant song and dance numbers." You may recognize the Vijay character from Meera Nair's Monsoon Wedding. Vijay Raaz played Parabatlal Kanhaiyalal Dubey, aka PK, in that film.

More than a tale of love and class, it's about the origin of that sweet ass haircut called The Mullet. You may be surprised.


Art: Josh Ente

I've yet to peep this but I've heard great things. Josh Ente graduated from Wesleyan this past year. You can see his senior thesis, A Testimony of Hope for the Misguided Benevolence of Eddie Van Halen, at the following. Josh is so funnies too!!!!!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Music: Best Song Ever!!: Busy Signal - Private Call

A month or two before J-La left New York we decided Electro was about to die. We looked at our options, weighed them out, and decided the next jumpoff wouldn't be something new but rather a reappreciation of dancehall reggae. A month or two later J-La sent me the following YouTube. Though it's old now, this is still the BEsT! SoNG! EvER! Take a look at the lyrics if you don't believe me:

Who's calling me from an unknown number?/
We nuh answer no unknown number/
Nah pick it up if it's a private call/
Gangsta nuh answer no private call/

He goes on to lament on why someone would call him if they don't want him to see. The feds nah let him be and tap he phone like the KGB meanwhile the gyal a stalk he. My personal favorite is when he states he nah go answer even if a he mommy. You see, the numba haffi show pon di I.D. cause he nah store some of he frend name.

Busy Signal is on top of his game. Dig up his song Pounds of Dro with Jamtech Foundation or Tic Toc with MIA and Rye Rye. There's also a great MIA and Buraka Som Sistema collaboration floating around. If you dig Busy, you should also peep Mavado. Here's Busy and Mavado in the studio:


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Music: PWRFL Power

Ashok sent me some songs by PWRFL Power 2 or 3 weeks ago and I finally got around to listening to it. PWRFL Power is Kaz Nomura, a Japanese ex-pat from Seattle who now kicks it in BK. He sings quirky, honest, songs over simple, but melodic acoustic guitar lines. His English isn't so good but he's classically trained in guitar. I immediately felt a similarity between his stuff and Neutral Milk Hotel. It's not just that they're both acoustic doodz, but the earnest delivery both display in their music, albeit in very different ways, felt alike to me. Pitchfork, who know like everyyyyything and gave NMH a 10 for one of my favorite albums ever, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, gave PWRFL Power's last record a 4.9. They sprinkled their review with pejorative descriptions like "broken English cheerleader lyrics" and "presumably put-on ESL awkwardness, childlike nonsense, and whimsy". They claim that "songs about dead birds, retarded dogs, and tomatoes simply feel contrived". I wonder what the exact day Pitchfork stopped being relevant and started being out-of-touch fathers was. Not to say "I get it" but, Pitchfork definitely doesn't get it anymore.

The lyrics are simple, sure, but effective. Take "Let Me Teach You How to Hold Chopsticks" for example: "My dad used to beat me up / Because I was holding them wrong / And I don't want to beat you up because / You're so pretty." Or Tomato Song: "If I smoke too much pot/ You'll go call me a stoner / If I hit too many lines / You'll go call me a cokehead / If I like you too much / You'll call me mental / I will throw a tomato / At you / I will throw a tomato / At you / Tomato Juice / All over your face / Juice / Dripping on the ground / Why you are mean to me?"

Maybe I'm off here but I think that's fucking great. Do you?

When asked by Seattle Times what was next for him, Kaz responded "I'm starting a new project, just guitar and instruments ... I already have a name for it — "Half Yogurt." ... I just thought it was an interesting image — like, what's the other half?"

PWRFL Power's Myspace:


Google Analytics