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Archive for January, 2006:

Southern Fried Sunday: TRU – True

I’ve been late with the past few Southern Fried Sundays, but next time I’ll have a note from my mom. Anyway, this album was a very important one for the south, especially No Limit records. It contained the single of the decade, “Bout it Bout it”. This was at a time when Master P was leaving the bay area, so the new (at the time) producers Beats by the pound, along with rappers Mr Serv On and Mia X really stand out. Veterans King George, Big ED and C-Murder also show up. C-Murder especially has dope verses on the album’s first track ‘187 dance’ and the song ‘living like a killa’. Master P and C-Bo collaborate on “How We Break Bread”. This LP is hard to find nowadays, but if you do, pick it up, and take a trip back to ten years ago when the tank was on top of the world and they made quality music.

RIP Chris Penn, 1962-2006

This picture of Chris Penn in all his hairy-chested glory is more flattering than the one on his IMDB page that has already been used on one of the first sites to report his death. I first saw it reported on MTV News in a brief rundown of minor stories earlier tonight, and it wasn’t until an hour or so later than Google News turned up something. No word yet on cause of death, but dude was only 43.

Top 10 Reasons Chris Penn was awesome:

1. He handled being the 3rd most famous Penn brother with grace and humility. Or maybe he was a bitter, egotistical ass, I don’t really know.

2. He was in Rush Hour, but I tend to think of him more for his appearance as a bartender in the video from the movie’s soundtrack for Jay-Z’s “Can I Get A…”.

3. His other notable music video role was in Sublime’s “Date Rape” video, as the titular date rapist.

4. Cribbed from his IMDB page: “Is in three different movies with close-range shootout scenes at the end (Reservoir Dogs (1992), True Romance (1993), and Corky Romano (2001)).”

5. He filmed a scene in True Romance right after Michael Madsen’s rottweiler ripped his throat out.

6. Also cribbed from IMDB: “Originally had role in American Pie 2 (2001) as Stiffler’s dad but the scenes were cut since they were not deemed to fit in with the original movie.” Stifler’s dad! Can you imagine that? Mabye if they hadn’t cut him, he’d have gotten a spot in the straight-to-DVD American Pie Presents Band Camp with that kid who played Stifler’s brother.

OK, six reasons is enough. One love, CP.

The Dresden Dolls in Paradise

The Dresden Dolls are Amanda Palmer (keyboards and Vocals) and Brian Viglione (Drums). Straight off the there amazing first album and an opening spot on the first NIN tour in four years, The Dresden Dolls Released there first DVD in November. From the blistering opening song Good Day to the Black Sabbath cover of War Pigs to the single Girl Anachronism the Dolls put on an explosive and manic performance the very few “traditional” bands can accomplish. Amanda seems like the crazy girl we all know. While Brian has a charisma that very few front men let alone drummers have. The DVD contains the performance from their home town of Boston and the incredible videos for Coin Operated Boy and Girl Anachronism.

At ten dollars or less this DVD is an amazing deal.

Southren Fried SUnday: Three six mafia – When the smoke clears

I hate to be the only one posting here, but I digress. Anyway, lets pretend it’s SUnday and not Thursday and I’m not 4 days late and get on with the program. Anyway, this isn’t the greatest southren rap album ever. Hell, it isn’t even the group’s best album (That would be Chapter 2: World domination). However, it’s thier most important album, not only for the group, but for Memphis and the south. At the time of it’s release, it was the first album Three six as a group had put out in 3 years, since 97’s chapter 2. It was the last album before HCP came apart almost and lost Koopsta (One has to wonder why he wasn’t shown on the cover or any of the artwork, even though he was featured on several songs on the album) and Gangsta Boo (along with several others). Even though this album helped blow up Three Six mafia nationwide, the group still has yet to get thier just due. It contained the singles “Sippin on some syrup”, “Who run it”, and “Tongue Ring”, which are probably the most well-known singles released from this group. Also on this album are the songs “weak ass bitch” and “Jealous ass bitches” which take shots at all the haters jealous of thier success. Ex No limit soldiers Fiend and Mr. Serv On appear on “Touched with it”, and Insane clown possee and Twiztid appear on “Just another crazy click”. Other guests include Bigg Gipp of the goodie mob, and then-HCP members T-Rock, La Chat, and MC Mack.

The Producers (2005)

Mel Brooks’ 1968 directorial debut The Producers won him an Oscar for his original screenplay, and earned Gene Wilder his first Oscar nomination, but for years remained relatively little known compared to Brooks’ later genre parodies like Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and Spaceballs. But it was always a favorite in my family, and over the past few years I was pleased to see The Producers take on a second life as a hugely successful stage musical starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, which meant that finally “Springtime For Hitler” really was a Broadway smash. And since the waiting lists and ticket prices for the Broadway run meant I’d probably never get a chance to see it live, I was glad they decided to make a movie version of the musical so I could see for myself what they did with it.

Although I still highly reccomend the 1968 version to any fan of the musical, it’s very clear from the jump that 2005’s The Producers is a very different beast, and much more was changed in the translation to Broadway than the addition of a few more songs. But since Mel Brooks was still intimately involved in the writing of the stage book and the new screenplay, the new scenes and new jokes retain the inimitable Brooks voice of the original. And at 134 minutes, compared to the original’s 88 minutes, a whole slew of new scenes and subplots are present. The role of Ulla, which was relatively small and received 7th billing in the original, is beefed up to 3rd billing for Uma Thurman’s perfect performance in the new version (Uma…Ulla…Uma…Ulla…I wonder if Letterman is excited to make note of this role). And one of my favorite characters in the original, Lorenzo St. DuBois (aka L.S.D.) is gone entirely to make more room for Will Ferrell’s Franz Liebkind.

At over 2 hours, The Producers definitely felt a bit overlong for a comedy, especially compared to the original’s brisk pacing. Movie audiences might’ve benefitted from the same intermission that Broadway audiences got. But it seems as if director Susan Stroman, who also directed the play, was hesitant to cut any of the handful of songs and scenes that could’ve been lost. And I sometimes found myself wishing the movie didn’t feel so much like a stage production minus the audience. That said, the movie had constant laughs and great performances. I’m a huge fan of Gene Wilder in the original and count it among his top 3 performances ever, and Matthew Broderick was definitely paying homage with his take on the role, although sometimes he lapsed into mere impersonation. And though Nathan Lane diverged more from Zero Mostel’s perfect performance in the original, he makes the role his own, particularly in the song and dance sequences.

On first viewing, I had to get over a little of the shock of just how much the filmmakers changed from the original, but now that I know that, I look forward to enjoying the 2005 version for what it is in future viewings. And every time I started to feel as if the original spirit of the original had been tossed out the window, they preserved some small detail that I loved, like the fact that Mel Brooks once again dubbed his voice for the storm trooper who says “Don’t be shtupid, be a shmarty, come and join the Nazy party!”

SOuthren fried SUnday: Outkast- Speakerbox/The love below

Outkast is one of ATL’s most creative groups, and this new album is no exception. This double CD consists of two solo albums from both of the group’s members, Big Boi and Andre 3000. BIg BOi’s CD is what you would expect from a traditional Outkast album (if such a thing exists), which means banging southren beats and deep lyrics from Daddy phat sax. GUest appearences from various members of the dungeon family, Jay Z, and Ludacris help round this out. Burst, Rewind, and Ghetto Muzik stay on repeat whenever I put this disk on. Andre’s half goes far away from the norm as an all singing LP, so it may not be for everyone, but I definently like it. Kelis, and Nora Jones show up to do guest appearences here. You live in my lap is the perfect make out song, while Valentines day has a catchy little beat. BIg boi shows up on ROses as well. THier next LP, Idlewild will be dropping soon, ending any lingering rumors of the dynamic duo breaking up.

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