Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Culture I can't get behind (aka stoops kids)

On Sunday night we watched the movie Drive.  When this came out, I felt like my FB exploded with peeps going bats**t for this flick.  After having seen it, I totally don't get it!  It was so boring!  Nothing happens!  It's all style and hipster-posturing, with no substance.  From the 80s hot-pink font of the title credits to the director's fixation with Ryan Gosling's character's gold scorpion embossed white quilted jacket (the director was OBSESSED!), I thought it was just hipster-bait.  I didn't get what there was to love about the movie.  The film's story is completely implausible and makes no sense, it glorifies in violence for the sake of gratuitous violence and the casting!!!  Egregious!!!  We're supposed to believe that Carey Mulligan (below), is a waitress, named Irene, who got knocked up at seventeen, by a dude who is in prison, and has a son named Benicio.  !!!!!!!!  

And somehow, through her moochie-face (which is what me and my sis call a certain squinty, pursed lip, Renee  Zellweger-esque face), she is the white light in Ryan Gosling's life?!?  C'maaaan.  Does that woman up there look like the kind of woman who gets knocked up at 17?!?  Jeez.  Cast like, Kristen Stewart or something.  Someone believable.  Then there was the soundtrack.  The director used Lynch's go-to man, Angelo Badalementi, which was obvious in the first few seconds of music in the film.  Here's the thing though, when you combine Lynch and Badalementi, Lynch has a way of using Badalementi's excesses and reigning them in so that you have something very eerie and surreal - something suffused with a feeling of foreboding.  This director though, just made the 80s-referencing principal refrain into a weird, cheap, music video with slowed-down shots for no reason.  Overall, I just found it boring.  As Bwong said, "Drive = John Hughes edits David Lynch footage" or as Dr. Rei said, "what's to like about this?  People turning around slowly?!?"  

We also watched 1 hour of Hugo before quitting because it was so borez0rz.  Total, total boringness.  As the Dotytron said at the point in which we stopped, "this is way too long for something not awesome to happen."  LOL!  It's so true!!! NOTHING AWESOME HAPPENS!  It's a kid's movie!!!  

So we've had bad luck on the movie front lately.  I have some good ones on deck but the Dotytron is being resistant, I'm not sure why.

In other culture news, Toronto's free weekly, Now Magazine recently published an article about this band of just-barely-not-teenagers named BBNG (BadBadNotGood) who are receiving fame and attention because they did jazz versions of Odd Future tunes and attracted the attention (and daps) of Tyler the Creator.  Here's the article: BadBadNotGood.  It was brought to my attention by the Dotytron, who was up in arms, because the stoops kids in the article dissed the school they're going to, Humber College's Jazz Music program (the Dotytron's alma mater) and the faculty, and did the usual stoops kid thing of complaining that the program is full of dorks and is stodgy and lame, etc.  So all the faculty, who are like, pretty big deals in the jazz scene generally and locally, have been posting replies, which the Dotytron got wind of.  The replies have been stuff to the effect that these kids might just want to play with the same people they're dissing one day, so that it's not the wisest move.  The author of the article is an idiot, and so are the kids, obviously, because they assume that all jazzers are boring and out of touch, SIMPLY because these kids know who Tyler the Creator and like, Pitchfork are.  THAT'S THE LAMEST SHIZ I'VE EVER HEARD!  Guess what stoops kids?  NO ONE CARES ABOUT PITCHFORK!  TYLER THE CREATOR IS NOT AN ARBITER OF TASTE, HE'S JUST ANOTHER STOOPS KID LIKE YOU.  And this is coming from someone (me) who loves nothing more than to talk about how the jazz scene is full of nerdlingers...but at the same time, there are people out there doing boss things, and even those people (like Robert Glasper, referenced in the article) are being dissed by those stoops kids.  

My problem with this is multi-fold.  

1) Those kids doing a live instrument version of Odd Future is totally musically the boringest.  It's akin to when people put out "baby" CDs with like, Metallica songs on it or like, Radiohead, but turned into lullabies. I find that stuff impossibly juvenile and boring and lame and one-note.
3) Why is the media slavishly lapping up what the Odd Future kids are doing, acritically?  Isn't the job of the music journalist to be a place of sober second thought, to reflect on the work of artists, not to jump on like Tyler et al. are the saviors of rap and the new apostles?!??!!  It's embarrassing to the max.
4) Stoops kids are super-annoying
5) BTW, according to the Dotytron, those kids aren't even good musicians.  They're just aight.  

The culture of mediocrity triumphs again.  

This letter to the editor in response to the article was the best:

Jazz lesson for BBNG
NOW is at its bully-pulpit best with its cover on BADBADNOTGOOD (NOW, March 22-28). Writer Anupa Mistry – if she can explain exactly what a “deranged bebop fugue” is, I’ll eat one of my jazz students’ boat shoes  – is palpably excited at the prospect of her imminent takedown of the twin straw men of jazz traditionalism and educational institutionalism.
The article is facilitated by her trio of “jazz futurists” who uncritically grant Mistry the pretext required to rail against jazz music’s assumed “fusty codes,” cloistered elitism, fetishization of rote virtuosity over individual creativity and, my personal favourite, ossification (proven, apparently, by jazz’s presupposed reluctance to include Odd Future’s Ass Milk as part of its mouldy canon).
If I’ve understood Mistry’s “through the looking glass” history correctly, then John Coltrane and Charlie Parker (two of the most significant musicians of the 20th century who both died young and underappreciated) are part of music’s fat cat hegemony while Pitchfork Music and James Blake remain marginalized?
Andrew Scott

For our family holiday Monday yesterday, we had fat baby with Mennonite garlic breakfast sausage for breakfast:

Then we did fun stuff like play outside and go to PacMall to get a cute Ipad cover and eat froyo at Yutopia and then we came home and had a dinner of single-crust tourtiere with pan-fried brussels sprouts and roasted carrots:

Then we watched episode 2 of Game of Thrones which is all kinds of bucksauce.  George R.R. Martin is a bit of a sick bastardo. It doesn't sound like much, but it was a near-perfect day.

Tonight we had tarte flambée (Alsatian pizza, topped with creme fraiche, caramelized onions, lardons, and for one of them, a baked duck egg) and a salad:

So good!


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