Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sons of Anarchy S02E11: 'Service'

His is much better-looking than the plastic one I used on Halloween... oh well...

Okay, so I skipped nine episodes when I had intended to blog the whole season, but what can I say? I just... didn't have much to say, I suppose. I will say that these last couple episodes have finally gotten me emotionally involved in this season the way I was most of the first one and during the first episode of this second one. It was gut-wrenching to watch Tig following the truck, knowing what was going to happen but hoping it wouldn't.

The spectre of the the Nation coming to town had all kinds of nasty implications, and they have indeed done some nasty, evil things, but I just haven't been as involved in this season. I care about what happens to Jax, but even Tara is hard to generate a lot of sympathy for.

As the weight of keeping her rape to herself has continued to push Gemma further and further down a dark hole - she was right a couple of episodes back... she should have brought this up earlier, just like she told Chibs at the end of last night's show. I'm not gonna say she's directly responsible for much of the bloodshed that followed the season premiere, but you saw how quickly the Jax/Clay rift healed when she finally got it out.

Speaking of getting it out, I can't believe Clay gave Tig those shrooms. He should have known better. I knew the second he ate 'em that he was gonna end up spilling the secret to Opie - who took it in remarkable stride, by the way. I thought he showed quite a bit restraint with Tig and the ATF, and a good shaming was just what Agent Stahl needed. She just blew into this little tow, fucked the deputy sheriff, tried to tear the town's tightest-knit, most dangerous family apart, and got an innocent woman killed.

Regardless, it's great to see the fam more or less back together - except for crazy-drunk-ass Piney, who it appears is still with the program - and to see them finally taking Jax's advice and doing some PLANNING... and it didn't take too much planning to figure out what the Nation was up to and how to hurt them. I'd like to see Zoebelle's daughter get some comeuppance; she helped put this whole thing in motion in the first place.

Love me some Titus Welliver. He was great in Deadwood, and even though it's tough to get though that thick-ass brogue sometimes, I like him here as well. The preview next week of every gang in northern L.A. pointing gats at one another looks great. Two episodes left!

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Don't Know Who This Joe Smith Fellow Is, But He Sure Makes a Mean Tie

L-R, all by Joe Smith Homme

I don't usually - or ever - run a plug for an eBay seller, but having just received a beautiful crop of winter ties in the mail for the grand total of $9.99 including shipping, I have to give some props to Digibadge for this pick-any-five lot of about 200 ties. Mine range from wafer-thin but really nice (far left) to a fat, thick single- and seven-folder (two on the far right). I can't really find any information on this Joe Smith design label... I have a real nice seven-fold tie by Joe Black... no Joe Smith, though.

But fuckit, who cares? My mark of quality for a good tie is a tie loop in the back made from the same material as the tie. Generally speaking, if you got that, you got yourself a good piece of neckwear.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jones Cheap Ass Prepaid Legal & Daycare Academy


Hell yeah. Thanks to my boy 'Kapo for putting me up on the "Jones" series, which I advise you to look up once you get done laughing your ass off at this video. I recommend, in particular, "Jones Good Ass BBQ & Foot Massage," and "Jones Big Ass Truck Rental & Storage."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

128 Oz. of Haterade: The Rundown

The cover? Awesome. The album? Well... did I mention the cover's awesome?

Swollen Members, Armed to the Teeth - Look, it's not that this is a bad album. It's not. The cover is fucking sweet, and the production is decent. I don't know. It's just not my thing. I've listened to a fair amount of Moka Only (a fourth of the group), and I get the same sort of feeling about him. He's okay, and there are like three of four songs that I can really get with. But overall, it just feels a little empty to me.

Georgia Anne Muldrow, Early - Just what the name says, this is a collection of early unreleased Muldrow recordings. I like her music, but she kind of goes a little too out there for me sometimes. This is just straight-ahead Rhodes-and-piano neo-soul, light, bouncy and really, really good. There's a slight detour back into more-modern sounds toward the end ("In Love Again"), and it's excellent as well. Muldrow is up there with Badu and Joss Stone in my short list of awesome modern soul singers.

• 
The Formula Project, Evolve - Maybe Nelly's to blame, but I'm just not a big fan of sing-rapping. Can't explain it. I'm a big fan of E. 1999 Eternal, but for the most part, it's not my cup of tea. A fair amount of Evolve could be considered R&B, but even with that caveat, it's still just kinda pedestrian. On the positive side, "She's Gone" kinda sounds like a DJ Cam b-side. Hopefully getting KRS-One to drop a verse on "Shine Again" pays off.

Gift of Gab, Escape 2 Mars - Blackalicious may go down as one of my favorite hip-hop groups. I just like everything they do, whether it's their albums or side projects (Mighty Underdogs, the GofG solo albums), and Escape 2 Mars is no exception. His last solo record had the same sort of space theme, and it works once again. "Richman, Poorman" smooths out the beat from Black Milk's "Bounce," "El Gifto Magnifico" rides a Latin beat and "Some of the People" works a bouncy piano, all with Gift of Gab's constant-motion lyrics.

128 Oz. of... Taintstick?

"I got a load, who feels like catchin' it?" - Taintstick

I'd like to take a moment to talk about Taintstick, and no, it's not some new category of porno. It's actually a hilarious satirical rock band that was once even more hilariously known by the slightly-extended moniker Tony Hawk's Taintstick, which I imagine was forcibly shortened by Hawk's legal staff.

Hawk, however, must have lightened up, or gotten the joke, because he appears in the video from this album, "Apple Juice."

Suburban Noize Records sent me their new album, 6 Lbs. of Sound, to review, but with song titles like "Motodick," "Sir Eagle Cock III," "Fuk Ur Face" and - best of all - "Fuk Ur Face (Clean Version)," it's not exactly in line with the company's Web content policy.

But I can't just ignore it, because it's actually pretty enjoyable, even when they're sweetly singing "Just leeet me blooow a loooooad on your face." Also, the band supposedly features Good Charlotte's Benji Madden on bass, since the band's original "bass player" apparently does, uh, "play bass," and currently is the group's triangle and cowbell player, according to their Wikipedia entry.

They're kind of like hard rock band meets The Conchords or, probably more accurately, The Bloodhound Gang. Hear samples at Amazon.com.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Meatwad's Christmas Album

The first song, "Santa Left a Booger in My Stocking," isn't nearly as hilarious as the second, Carl's cover of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" ("...watching the Papa-John's-Dot-Com Booooowl...") [NOTE: I've made the executive decision to remove the embedded player, since you can't stop it from playing every time the page loads, which is really fucking annoying, despite my love for Meatwad.] Click here to listen.

Friday, November 6, 2009

FREE DOWNLOAD: The Beat Doctor's Striptease Mix

'Cause really, who wants to strip to Dem Franchise Boyz?

So, over here at the Beat Doctor's Lab, a.k.a. my computer room, we're lookin' out for the fellas' well-being. This particular set, "The Striptease Mix," isn't what you might think. We're not lookin' to make it rain out this bitch.


We're thinking of your girl. Not in that way. Well, then again, I guess that depends... anyway, I'm getting off track...


Anyone can throw on a Franchise Boyz track and try to convince their girl to do a cornball striptease. But your girl doesn't wanna strip to the same song as the $10-a-lap-dance chick from the local strip bar. In fact, she might not wanna do a striptease for you at all.


But toss this mix in next time you're feeling a little randy, and see if you don't achieve the desired result in the form of some rare soul tracks, some Marvin Gaye, Sister Nancy, Sarah Vaughan and just the right amount of slow, slinky rock. And a little Henry Mancini for good measure. And a Brasilian chick covering "Light My Fire." That's right.


Click here to download free, courtesy of YouSendIt.com. The link is good until Nov. 13. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Who's Surprising Me Lately - Good'n'Bad Edition

So I'm on a mad tear to try and burn a ton of CDs and get some memory cleared on my computer. I need to get a terabyte drive. Or two. Anyway, while I'm going through all this stuff, I figured I'd put together a brief list of who's been surprising me lately, both good and bad.

Fashawn, Boy Meets World
GOOD: This dude is nice, and the whole album is ably produced by Exile, working some nice soul chops.

Wale, Attention Deficit
BAD: Given the wide-ranging creativity on a whole bunch of his mixtapes, this record is surprisingly dull at times. There are a few flashes of excellence, and as always, he brings it lyrically, but it's not quite there. (Editor's note: Having took'n a few more listens, the first third of this album is starting to grow on me. I've been a Bun B fan ever since "Pocket Full of Stones (Port Arthur Remix)," and the guitar on that track is nice and fat. But given the awesome, intricate production on older Wale mixtapes like Broken Jazz 101 and Africahot!, I was expecting a little more. The middle third is a prime example of what I'm talking about... pretty pedestrian beats, in my opinion.)

K'naan, The Messengers mixtape series
GOOD: Working with J. Period and using beats crafted from Fela Kuti, Bob Marley and Bob Dylan, this series is awesome in every possible way. I'm waiting to hear back on an interview request from K'naan - should be pretty cool.

Robert Glasper
GOOD: My boy put me up on this jazz pianist, and he's real nice. Very bouncy sound, and on Double Booked, he works his neo-soul/hip-hop side to excellent effect.

Tech N9ne, K.O.D.
GOOD/BAD: I kind of like his new album, but apparently if you try to have a legitimate discussion about the darker aspects of the album - you know, the parts where he talks about going down on a girl and accidentally committing cannibalism, or questioning whether he really shot a friend by accident, or on purpose? - you get shouted down by a chorus of Juggaloes. I'm not denying that he's a good, nay, great rapper, who explores a lot of genuine emotional turmoil and personal reflection. Krizz Kaliko says it's just Tech provokin' us, "and y'all fall for it." I'm just sayin', Jason Whitlock might be stretching it to call Tech a devil worshiper, but you don't have to get booed out of the building just for asking.

Joss Stone, Colour Me Free!
GOOD: Despite the negligible UK spelling of "color," this is a fucking fantastic record. In the exact same retro mode as Raphael Saadiq's The Way I See It - Saadiq even provides background vocals - Colour captures the Motown sound all the way. Stone started out as an interesting oddity - the white girl who could really belt like the classic soul singers - but with this album, she's really come into her own as a name to be considered among modern soul legends. Say what you will about Beyoncé or Rihanna. They can't deliver the emotional wallop of tracks like "4 and 20" and "I Believe It to My Soul."

Hudson Mohawke, Butter
GOOD: When I last heard from Scottish producer Hudson Mohawke, he was remixing a Taz Buckfaster track for Jay Scarlett's excellent New Worlds compilation, and it sounded like a berserk Gameboy raiding a chicken coop. But Butter is almost a whole new genre: turbo-soul-pop, a crazy pastiche of buzzes, whirs, drums and vocals. It's best in small doses, but it's something to behold.