Friday, January 25, 2013

The HedRush: Episode #44 - L.A. Hip-Hop Appreciation Pt. 2, featuring DJ Mark Luv

It's been a long time... we shouldn't have left you... without part 2 of our history of Los Angeles hip-hop podcast.

But hey, this episode is packed with close to two hours and 15 minutes of music and insight that only the HedRush can provide. Legendary DJ/Zulu Nation King/personality Mark Luv and Spider Jerusalem, along wtih JB d'Mulatto behind the boards, engage in their sprawling exploration of the Los Angeles hip-hop scene in the '80s and '90s. Among other thing, they discuss the origins of one of L.A.'s hip-hop's pioneering crews, the history of Freestyle dancing, the dynamics of organizing and recording a posse cut, and the backgrounds of a couple hip-hop groups that never fullfilled their potential in their primes.

E-mail any questions or comments to Become a fan of the show today. And tell a friend!

Tracklisting and previous episodes: The HedRush

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

Anticipated Films of 2013

The Film Stage has put together a great list of their 100 most-anticipated films of 2013. (Check it out here: link)

I culled from their list the titles that I'm most excited to see. I've added commentary on some of the titles, which basically reads as "I like director - I watch movie."

I anticipate watching the following:

Can A Song Save Your Life (John Carney)

Synopsis: A dejected music business executive forms a bond with a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan.

I enjoyed Once, and there are a few actors attached to this film that I enjoy (Mark Ruffalo, Catherine Keener, Hailee Steinfeld). I'm really hoping that it doesn't turn into "whatever happened to the good old days of the music industry" fest. Remember how bad Love Monkey was? Yeah, none of that please.

The Butler (Lee Daniels)

Synopsis: The story of a White House butler who served eight American Presidents over the course of three decades. I'm down to support Black directors. This one feels a little less weird than his prior film, which works for me.

Untitled Nicole Holofcener Film

Synopsis: A divorced woman who decides to pursue the man she’s interested in learns he’s her new friend’s ex-husband.

I really enjoyed Please Give, so I'm down with Nicole Holofcener. Also, Catherine Keener. (I love her)

Life Itself (Steve James)

Synopsis: The story and struggles of film critic, Roger Ebert, based on his memoir, “Life Itself.”

I'm less enamored with Ebert, but he still commands respect and has lived an interesting life. Steve James' involvement directing is a plus.

Breathe In (Drake Doremus)

Synopsis: When a foreign exchange student arrives in a small upstate New York town, she challenges the dynamics of her host family’s relationships and alters their lives forever.

Don't know much about this director, but the story sounds sexy. I'm in.

August: Osage County (John Wells)

Synopsis: The Weston family overcomes certain differences when their alcoholic patriarch goes missing.

The stage play won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2008. Solid Cast. I'm in.

Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve)

Synopsis: A Boston man kidnaps the person he suspects is behind the disappearance of his young daughter and her best friend.

I loved Incendies, so Denis Villeneuve has my attention.

Top of the Lake (Jane Campion)

Synopsis: A detective investigates the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant daughter of a local drug lord.

My snob pick. 353-minute crime saga? Sure.

Oldboy (Spike Lee)

Synopsis: An everyday man has only five days and limited resources to discover why he was imprisoned in a nondescript room for 15 years without any explanation.

"A film is a film is a film." (shush, foreign movie lovers and complainers) Spike has taken a lot of heat (unfairly I believe) over Django Unchained. He needs this to work.

I’m So Excited (Pedro Almodovar)

Synopsis: When a group of passengers aboard a plane fear for their lives they reveal elaborate confessions.

Labor Day (Jason Reitman)

Synopsis: Depressed single mom Adele and her son Henry offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited

Anchorman: The Legend Continues (Adam McKay)

Synopsis: The continuing on-set adventures of San Diego’s top rated newsman.


The Lobster (Giorgos Lanthimos)

Synopsis: An unconventional love story set in a dystopian near future where single people, according to the rules of the Town, are arrested and transferred to the Hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into the woods. A desperate Man escapes from the Hotel to the Woods where the Loners live and there he falls in love, although it’s against their rules.

Read the synopsis (huh?), then realized it's the director of Dogtooth; I'm in.

The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki) and The Tale Of The Bamboo Cutter (Isao Takahata)

Synopsis: The Wind Rises – A look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II. The Tale Of The Bamboo Cutter - Follows the life of a mysterious girl called Kaguya-hime, who was discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a glowing bamboo plant.

I didn't enjoy Arrietty, but Studio Ghibli has such a strong track record that I'll probably want to check both of these films out.

Stoker (Park Chan-wook)

Synopsis: After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

Really curious to see how these South Korean directors will do in Hollywood.

Star Trek Into Darkness (J.J. Abrams)

Synopsis: After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)

Synopsis: Revolves around a wealthy-turned-broke woman who leaves New York and is living with her sister in San Francisco. She is forced to downsize after losing her funds and meets her Bay Area lover while finding herself and accepting S.F. as her new home. 

Devil’s Knot (Atom Egoyan)

Synopsis: The savage murders of three young children sparks a controversial trial of three teenagers accused of killing the kids as part of a satanic ritual.

Canada. Also, solid cast.

The Zero Theorem (Terry Gilliam)

Synopsis: A computer hacker’s goal to discover the reason for human existence continually finds his work interrupted thanks to the Management; this time, they send a teenager and lusty love interest to distract him.

I saw my first Gilliam film last year (Monty Python...). I should see more.

Night Moves (Kelly Reichardt) 

Synopsis: A drama centered on three environmentalists who plot to blow up a dam.

Although I did enjoy Meek's Cutoff, this pick is mostly here to annoy friend of the blog Matt Fish. 

Monuments Men (George Clooney)

Synopsis: In a race against time, a crew of art historians and museum curators unite to recover renown works of art stolen by Nazis before Hitler destroys them.

Clooney's cool.

The Bling Ring (Sofia Coppola)

Synopsis: Inspired by actual events, a group of fame-obsessed teenagers use the Internet to track celebrities’ whereabouts in order to rob their homes.

Story seems interesting enough.

The Rover (David Michod)

Synopsis: A dirty and dangerous near-future western set in the Australian desert.


Elysium (Neill Blomkamp)

Synopsis: Set in the year 2159, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.

I disliked District 9, but I'm willing to give him another chance. Seems like a sci-fi story I may enjoy.

The Counselor (Ridley Scott)

Synopsis: A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking. Ridley Scott's name made me pause, but then I realized it's written by Cormac McCarthy.

Nymphomaniac (Lars von Trier)

Synopsis: A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.

Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding Refn)

Synopsis: A Bangkok police lieutenant and a gangster settle their differences in a Thai-boxing match.

The World’s End (Edgar Wright)

Synopsis: Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind’s only hope for survival.

Closed Curtain (Jafar Panahi and Kambozia Partovi)

Synopsis: None available.

The fact that he's still making films...I will reward his bravery with my money (I hope).

Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)

Synopsis: We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna. 

Wait, what? I still haven't seen the first two installments yet.

Snowpiercer (Bong Joon-ho)

Synopsis: AD 2031, the passengers in the train are the only survivors on Earth.

REALLY curious to see how these South Korean directors will do in Hollywood. Bong Joon-ho is my favorite.

Twelve Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)

Synopsis: A man living in New York during the mid-1800s is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the deep south.

Black. Shame wasn't a favorite, but I'm still down to support.

The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-wai)

Synopsis: The story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.

I love Tony Leung. Wong Kar-wai's got that international acclaim, and...Ip Man!

The Past (Asghar Farhadi)

Synopsis: An emotional social thriller.

A Separation was really good.

The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)

Synopsis: A New York stockbroker refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, corporate banking world and mob infiltration.

Scorsese + Leo are good together, right?

Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen)

Synopsis: A singer-songwriter navigates New York’s folk music scene during the 1960s.


Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron)

Synopsis: Astronauts attempt to return to earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle, leaving them drifting alone in space.

Wow, it's really been that long since Cuaron made a movie, huh? I'm down.

That was a long list.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Andre 3000

I never want to mislead our audience - I worried that some would think these were Outkast collaborations. These songs are not Outkast collaborations. I discussed this rationale with Big, Frank and T.I. and everyone agreed. That is why I was surprised to read about these remixes.

The above quote is a part of a statement Andre made to Spin Magazine (full statement here) to clarify the state of the group currently on hiatus. It may seem silly to some that he would have to make such a statement, but when Frank Ocean announces the release of a track as a collaboration with the group, and media outlets lazily report it as such, I can see why Andre would feel the need to make a statement. As much as people like to say they get it (the group being on hiatus), their actions at times say otherwise.

There's some anger being directed at Andre, and I believe it to be unnecessary and unfair. If we're to believe what was written in his statement (I see no reason not to), he made it clear that when he agreed to appear on the track, he was doing so as an individual artist and that having Big Boi appear on the same track might cause a little confusion, or send the wrong message to fans. It appears he wasn't too far off.

I don't want to put the blame on Big Boi (Frank Ocean and his people are also at fault), but even before they went on hiatus, it appeared that he, more than Andre, would be the one to make reference to the group's status (see The Way You Move or Morris Brown). It's clear there is some longing on his part, but if he wishes for the duo to continue recording together, this can't be the best way to go about it. If anything, I can see a scenario of Andre further retreating from recording hip hop, or at least not wanting to collaborate with artists, due to a lack of trust.

So where does this leave his fans? Back to scoffing at his non-hip hop output, and (not so) secretly pining for his return to rocking mics. I understand that many of us love him, but we really need to just leave him be. Do we really want music from him created without heart? No, heart is one of the qualities we like best about him.

If a return to hip hop is not in the cards, or even if it is (at a much later date), I would recommend listening to the works found here. A lot of great music has been left for us. Be thankful.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Searching For Sugar Man (Malik Bendjelloul, 2012)

This is a great documentary film.

Music nerds may enjoy this, especially those (like myself) who have done detective work, searching for information on their favorite songs, albums, and artists. 

There is also a political (apartheid) angle to this story, and Rodriguez himself is a fascinating person. I knew nothing about him before watching this, and if you're not familiar with his story, then I would recommend watching the movie blindly. (no trailer or internet-ing)

Either way, it's a good watch, so check it out if you can.

Trailer: Link

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mic Teluxe

Mega bucks...

Resident Alien - Ooh The Dew Doo Man (featuring Mic Teluxe)

This song (and video) served to many of us an introduction to Prince Paul's Dew Doo Man Records; the ill fated partnership he formed with Def Jam/RAL.  I thought the song was cool/fun, but other than being fresh, and Double B being really short, I didn't really get much from Resident Alien. For me, the star of this song was Mic Teluxe.

There was a bit of...swag (ugh) to him, and I found him more interesting, both vocally and personality-wise than his labelmates. Unfortunately when Dew Doo Man Records ceased to exist, we didn't get anything else from Mic, but a non-rapping appearance on De La Soul's Saturdays single.

De La Soul - Who's Skatin' Promo

I did a Google search and was able to uncover some nerdy hip hop trivia. If you were an album credit nerd who owned albums that Prince Paul worked on in the early 90s (Derelicts of Dialect, All Hail the Queen, De La Soul is Dead), you may remember the name Mike Teelucksingh (get the connection?). He was one of the engineers that Paul often worked with during that period. On top of that, his work as an MC dates back to the mid-eighties. Peep this gem I uncovered:

Resident Alien's It Takes a Nation of Suckers to Let Us In eventually leaked online, and I'm hoping if there are Mic Teluxe recordings from that period (91-92), that they'll surface.




Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Favorite Posts - 2012

Some of my favorite shares from 2012.

Jungle Brothers - Crazy Wisdom Masters: Link
The Hedrush: Episode 43 - L.A. Hip Hop Appreciation Pt. 1, Featuring DJ Mark Luv: Link
365 Things In 365 Days: Link
Snupe (Extra Prolific) on Red Clay: Link
Artist/Song/Album: Link
FiyaStarter Crew on 'Girls': Link
4 Better or 4 Worse - Slim Kid Tre Deciphered: Link
Extra Prolific - Missing Link: Link
Serpico (Sidney Lumet, 1973): Link
Mac Miller Lord Finesse: Link
The One with the Shout-out from Casual: Link
Native: A Conversation with Dres...: Link
Checkin' My Style (Return To Zero): Link
Eyecue - Pull Yo Pantz Up: Link

To those who contributed content to this blog; Iz, Frank, K, Marko, Matt, Dres, Chris, and Paul, your time was/is greatly appreciated.

Thanks to The Martorialist for the blog traffic boost.

Thank you, reader.