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Fun with Netflix August 25, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Film.

I’ve been spending more time browsing my recommendations list on Netflix. For those unfamiliar with Netflix (HAHAHA!), the recommendation page is a list of movie recommendations based on your past ratings. Well, I have rated a lot of movies (a little over 650 to be exact), but Netflix’s recommendations still can’t be trusted. Led Zeppelin Live? R. Kelly? Whaa? Below are a quick list of some strange finds that have found its way into my recommendations list.

Not cool, Netflix. Not cool. (more…)


What’s Playing Now August 21, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Music, What's Playing Now.
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Smile Down Upon Us – Smile Down Upon Us (2008 )
English duo Phelan Sheppard and Japanese singer Moomlooo met each other on Myspace. While sending messages back and forth, it eventually escalated to sound and music clips. Before they knew it, they were creating an album together. I loved Phelan Sheppard’s 2006 “Harp’s Old Master” and actually discovered Moomlooo through their Myspace as well. Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity to hear her debut album, but this is the next best thing. Multi-instrumentalists Phelan Sheppard bring a warm sound to Moomlooo’s vocals — a summery mood brimming with the sounds of nature. Moomlooo sings in both English and Japanese, but on some songs I could’ve sworn she was singing in gibberish, particularly in “No, Dimitri,” but lyrics aren’t that important anyway. This is a vibrant album brimming with so much prettiness, it’s almost too much at first. How can an album be so damn pretty? Definitely one of the better albums of the year.


New layout! August 20, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Uncategorized.

So I changed the layout to a much brighter color. Now instead of black, we have this horrific gorgeous blue! (To be honest, this was the only template that didn’t completely butcher my post layouts.) But I desperately wanted a different look, so this will do for now.

The bunny girl holding a chainsaw is from this horrible Japanese zombie film called Stacy. As I was scrolling my pictures folder, it was honestly the only image that fit. I guess because it balances out that whole psycho/cute mystique.

Hey! Let’s talk… August 19, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Uncategorized.
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This is actually the cover of some
album for some band I never
heard of.

Lately I’ve been getting really bored with this blog (and according to my blog stats, you guys are as well). You see, I am the worst kind of writer. I am a writer who hates to write. The whole reason I started this blog was to get myself writing regularly, even if it’s sloppy and bad. And since I don’t keep a journal or anything, I decided to blog about the thing I enjoy the most — pop culture. But the thing about writing about pop culture is that the topic is overly broad, which basically means I can write about anything. But having too many options on your plate can easily lead to nothing at all. When this happens, I relapse into a bad habit that plagues most bloggers, which is summarizing articles appearing in The New York Times. This is lazy, but sometimes it has to be done to keep the blog regularly updated.

Earlier today I was thinking of posting a review on “Tropic Thunder” since I just saw it this weekend, but then I realized how completely useless that would be. How many people have seen that movie already? How many reviews are floating across the net this very moment? So from here on this blog will be going through some major revamps. From now on the items I blog about will be geared toward highlighting important figures in the areas of film, music and television who are not well-known. Hopefully this will result in more in-depth pieces, and less typical blogger posts. Of course, this now means less blog posts a week, but it’s about quality, not quantity, right?

In fact, I’m thinking about a whole design revamp, too. Stay tuned for that. Cha!

Five strangest things caught on Google street view August 14, 2008

Posted by ashiah in In the news.
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Ever since Google introduced Street View, people quickly found out the service could easily be used for other things — such as trolling the streets for weird finds. After this image of a kid falling off his bike and this image of a buy pointing a gun in Chicago started circulating the web earlier this year, trolling Google street view for weird finds has become a recognizable hobby. There’s even a whole site dedicated to it.

Yesterday, Geekologie posted a pic of a guy past out drunk in the middle of someone’s lawn (probably not his). In a salute to strange people and things caught on Street View, here’s a list (because hey, I’m lazy) of the five strangest things caught with Google Street View. Remember, kids, the next time you buy crack, Google might be watching… (more…)

Arist spotlight: KUDU August 11, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Music.
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After reading this article about singer Sylvia Gordon, I discovered her band Kudu, a spacey, hard-to-categorize triple threat from Brooklyn. Their 2006 album “Death of the Party” was ignored (unfortunately, their label folded), but their new song “Thrill of the Night” that’s currently on their Myspace is an awesome electro rock anthem that has to be heard again and again. Also, expect a remix album later this year.

You are what you listen to: Does musical taste predict personality? August 6, 2008

Posted by ashiah in In the news, Music.
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My actual playlist. As you can
see, I’m too cool for iTunes.

I hate it when people ask me what kind of music I listen to. No matter what genre comes out of your mouth, people will use that word as a major identifier of your personality. A clean-cut guy in a suit becomes someone else when he reveals he listens to heavy metal, and a urban street kid is almost unrecognizable if he says he listens to country. Add to the mix that most people listen to more than one genre of music and you have a lose-lose situation, which is why most people just smile and say, “Oh, I listen to a little bit of everything.” Crisis averted.

But society can’t help categorizing itself. We have a sociological urge to try to explain the actions of others through the quickest, easiest mean. Sitting down and getting to know someone takes too much time and effort — we like shortcuts. This article explains how researchers have determined that teenagers who listen to a distinct genre have distinctive personality characteristics.

This guy listens to Kate Bush.

For example, people who listen to pop are “conformists,” while people who listen to jazz are “loners.” Country wasn’t on the list, but if it was I’m sure it’ll say “must love Bush” right next to it. How fair is it to judge those based on their iTunes playlist?

Music itself is too complicated to be placed in categories. Sure they exist, but usually as just overly broad indicators to describe the general direction the music is located. Rock and hip-hop are too broad, and if music itself is too complicated to decipher, what makes people think deciphering the minds of humans is any easier? Unless you’re dealing with a simple-minded person who has very basic, broad musical tastes, judging by music will never work. We’ll just have to accept the fact that humans are multi-dimensional, unique beings that like to listen to “a little bit of everything.”

Burial no longer anonymous August 6, 2008

Posted by ashiah in In the news, Music.
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“Anonymous dubstepper Burial finally revealed his identity today on his Myspace. Unfortunately, it’s no one unusual or famous, just a “low key” South Londoner named Will Bevan. Crazy, huh? And all this time I assumed he was black. The complete Myspace message below:


for a while theres been some talk about who i am , but its not a big deal
i wanted to be unknown because i just want it to be all about the tunes.
over the last year the unknown thing become an issue so im not into it any more.
im a lowkey person and i just want to make some tunes, nothing else. my names will bevan, im from south london, im keeping my head down and just going to finish my next album, theres going to be a 12″ maybe in the next few weeks too with 4 tunes. hope u like it, i’ll try put a tune up later

sorry for any rubbish tunes i made in the past, ill make up for it

a big big thank you to anyone who ever supported me, liked my tunes or sent me messages, it means the world to me

big up everyone, take care, will ( burial )

(I know this has been posted everywhere, but this is HUGE news for Burial fans.)

Don’t judge a film by its time: Can a present film be considered “classic”? August 4, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Film, In the news.
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Everybody loves a clown,
so why can’t you?

Hey, remember when everyone loved Titantic? So what happened?

The Dark Knight is currently the #1 film on IMDb‘s top 250 list, finally nabbing the spot The Godfather sat ever since the site began. Some find the rating unfair — ruined by fanboys overly consumed with having their favorite film “win.” The other side genuinely believes The Dark Knight is one of the best films of all time, but the whole situation is highly debatable.

For one, it’s impossible to approach the issue through a vacuum. There’s too much outside interference and societal context to see anything clearly. The Dark Knight isn’t just another summer film; it’s a phenomenon that nabs box office records and scores high marks with critics. And then, to add a dash of sentimentality to the list, for some people the recent death of Heath Ledger creates a closer, more personal attachment to the film. (more…)

Review: Diplo/Santogold – Top Ranking (2008 ) August 3, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Music, Reviews.
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Back when Santogold was just a rising artist with a popular Myspace page, everyone wanted to pigeonhole her as the new M.I.A. This was wrong for several reasons. One, it minimized Santogold’s true potential. And two, M.I.A. was a newbie herself and so the scene didn’t necessarily need “a new one.” But after the success of “Santogold,” a genre-bending punk/ska/hip-hop journey (nothing like M.I.A., by the way), I’m starting to wonder if the comparisons were fueled by the media or by Santogold and Diplo.

“Top Ranking” is clearly just another attempt at recapturing the brilliance of “Piracy Funds Terrorism,” the last Diplo mixtape made with M.I.A. But what’s so blindingly great about “Top Ranking” is it doesn’t even try to hide their motives. Yes, this is “Piracy Funds Terrorism” part two with a different, similar singer, but what’s so bad about that?

“Top Ranking” combs through a long list of artists from various genres — reggae, hip-hop, electro. Diplo brings his trademark unique spin on the tracks and even perfects a couple of Santogold’s original tracks, like “Creator” and “L.E.S. Artistes.” Unfortunately, the album can’t help getting a bit overindulgent in certain interludes that disrupt the flow of the album. There are two to be exact — an ’80s interlude with Devo, The B52s and a reggae interlude with Warrior Queen, Shinehead. But these don’t hinder the album, which quickly recovers from a so-so track with incredible ease.

But the moments that really shine are when Santogold is in the picture, but surprisingly, her presence isn’t as grounded as M.I.A.’s presence was on “Piracy Funds Terrorism.” But alas, here I am trying to compare the two again. But at least I know this isn’t my fault.

Santogold – I’m a Lady (Diplo mix featuring Amanda Blank)