Monday, October 18, 2010

Words, Words, Words

I can still remember the first time I ever heard a Bo Burnham song. It was May of 2007, and I had just finished my freshman year at SUNY Cortland. A couple close friends of mine were down visiting us from Boston for my sister's sweet 16 party. It was after that party (and a few dozen Captain and cokes) that my friend Dane took control of the keyboard, and navigated us to a YouTube video of a then 16 year old kid he went to school with. The song was called "3.14 Apple Pi" and after one listen I was sold.
Who is this kid? What is he like? And where could I find more of his work?

Quick answer to the above questions- his name was Bo Burnham, a tall, lanky and incredibly smart artist/song writer/rapper from Hamilton, Mass, and all of his homemade videos could be found on his YouTube channel. Immediately, I insisted we watch every other video he had posted, and began sending links of him to all of my friends. Not only did I think this guy was absolutely hilarious, but I could tell he was going to be famous one day, and it's always nice to be ahead of the curve with people like that. We watched his videos all summer long, and I continued to follow him, and spread the word about his videos. Sure enough, within a year he was preforming nationally, and I even got the chance to meet up with him before a July, 2008 show in New York City where he opened up for another favorite comic of mine, Joel McHale.

Fast forward two and a half years to present day, October 18th, 2010, the eve of his second album release, "Words, Words, Words". He has since then singed a multiple album record deal with Comedy Central, released an album that reached #1 on the comedy charts (March, 09's Bo Burnham), preformed all over the college circuit and at venues across the country, befriended Judd Apatow and even had a role in Funny People, had two Comedy Central presents specials, and along with preforming/recording is in the process of writing an "R" rated High-School Musical-esq comedy with Seth Rogan. With all his credentials, the thing about Bo that continues to impress me the most, is his innate intelligence and absolute mastery of the English language. If you get a chance to catch his latest comedy central special, watch for 15 minutes and I guarantee you will marvel at his once-in-a-generation word skills.

Now I could blog all night, or posts hours and hours of footage of him on this to try to emphasize my points on why you should check him out, or laugh at his jokes, but I'm not here to do that. The real reason I'm writing this is because one of the songs from his latest special just really hit me, and I feel like it needs to be heard, and appreciated. The song is called "Art is Dead", and it is one the most honest depictions of celebrity lifestyle I have ever heard. Rarely do you hear an artist speak so truthfully, or be this self-aware. It just goes to show that although all the incest, gay and asian jokes may be hilarious, there is a lot more to Bo then meets the eye, and he is not going away anytime soon.



"Art is dead, so people think you're funny,
How do you get those people's money?
Art is dead, we're rolling in dough,
While Carlin rolls in his grave, in his grave, in his grave"

-Fresh

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

All Eyes On Him

As the above picture states, "We Are All Witnesses". Witnesses to to the largest collection of unverified, speculated media HOOP-la of all time. On July 1, 2010, LeBron "King" James became an unrestricted free agent, dosing the already James-happy media with tons of kerosene, leading to a weeks worth of front page rumors. First, it was that super-free agents LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh had sat down together for a "summit", agreeing in principal that they wanted to play together, most likely for the Miami Heat. But that rumor was quickly shot to bed when betting odds came out with James landing in Chicago at -500 odds. Since then it has flip-flopped from a 2nd meeting with the Knicks, to re-signing in Cleveland with an option to leave early, parlayed with the possibility of a Chris Bosh sign and trade to the Cavs.

However as the fourth of July came and went, so have some the other free agents that were previously available for James to team up with. The first one to bite was Joe Johnson, who signed a 6 year, 119 million dollar extension with the Atlanta Hawks. I like this move for Johnson, and frankly who wouldn't. Anytime you can get over paid by 40 million dollars, plus keep the same nucleus of young talent together from a playoff team, you've got to sign, right? Second was forward Amar'e Stoudemire, who signed a five year max contract with the New York Knicks on Monday, giving New York fans something to cheer about for the first time since the Isiah firing. Despite questions about Stoudemire's defense, injury prone knee, and lack of rebounding numbers, he brings something to the Garden that is far more important. Star power. Not since Patrick Ewing in the mid-90's have the Knicks had an All-NBA player of this caliber to market, and shine for them. Additionally, this signing shows a commitment for improvement, and will undoubtedly be one of the determining factors of whether or not LeBron comes to New York.
Which leads us to today's "breaking" news that Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, have agreed to team up together for the Miami Heat. And really who didn't see this one coming? Anyone who follows them on Twitter saw there bromantic posts & picture of them out to dinner to "discuss" free agency all weekend. With those two players making there decisions already, that leaves all the spot lights on one man. LeBron James.
When you put everything into perspective, this really is the perfect way for it all to end. Sure, Wade is a bonafide Super Star, finals MVP, and annoying T-Mobil spokesmen; but this is the summer of LeBron, and people have been talking about it for 3 years now. As much as anyone wants to claim they thought Wade was close to signing with Chicago, I never bought into it, or foresaw any scenario where he would leave the team he helped win a title with.
When it comes down to it, LeBron James is the most in-demand, exciting, and marketable player in the league. Maybe he's not the best. It's hard to argue against Kobe Bryant and his consecutive finals MVP's, but no one means more to the NBA than James. And not one person who plays in any sport, means more to a state than James does to Ohio. Born, raised, and worshiped by everyone since his high school days, Ohio is the only castle the King has ever known. Which is undoubtedly the reason why this decision has been so agonizing for him, because its so close to home. So for the first time, I, a writer, will not make a prediction, or assumption on where he will play next year. Because when it comes down to it, there isn't a writer in the world that knows what a man is feeling when he's being torn between what he knows and his lust for the great unknown. So for now, as always, it's all eyes on him. It's showtime LeBron, and the balls in your court. I just hope that court ends up being Madison Square Garden...


-fresh

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What The Hell Is Up With MJ's Hitler Stache?

Dude we get it. You're pissed Kobe is closing in on your 6 Championships, and that LBJ is the most talked about basketball player on the planet, but growing out a Hitler stache for your Hanes commercial? Low blow Mike.

-fresh

Friday, May 14, 2010

Music Videos That Don't Suck. Vol. 1


Since no one has seen a music video on MTV since the pre-Hills/Parental Control Esq. shows started taking over in the early 2000's, its easy to forget that there are still kick ass music videos being released all the time. That's where this segment comes into play. I'm here to every-so-often remind you, the reader, that bomb music videos still exist. The first video I'm putting up is "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" by Jack Johnson. Now I know the song/video itself is fairly old, but when your watching the video just keep reminding yourself that the video and song is actually being played backwards from the way they shot it. Not an easy feat, and very interesting to the eye.



This style of video was also used for Coldplay's "The Scientist". Not that I'm giving any love to Coldplay, just stating the facts.

-fresh (@danye33)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Unzip Ur Lips


This semester in my "New Comm Media" class, we discussed many of the new DIY ways that we could become prosumers in participatory culture. One of these new phenomenons that got mentioned was a lip dub. Now for those of you who don't know, a lipdub is a type of video that combines lip syncing and audio dubbing to make a music video. The film must be shot in one take with no camera cuts, and they're slowly becoming a staple of creativity, especially in the classroom or office setting. The first one we watched in class was by a production company called Connected Ventures, lip-dubbing Flagpole Sitta. It looked like a lot of fun, and was just the type of project that Dr. K (our professor), had in mind for our primarily senior driven class.

Soon enough we put the wheels in motion and tried to pick a song that had a meaning we could stand behind. However, trying to get 30 college students to agree on something is much easier said then done, and after much deliberation, we decided that an original song would hold much more meaning to us all. Luckily for us, two members of the aforementioned "37 Project" (Fontanelli & Widell) were in our class as well, and set off to write a rock rebellion melody tentatively titled "Be The Change", that laid the groundwork for our lipdub. Once the music for the song was composed, they hit the studio with several other Cortland student musicians, forming a college super group known as "The Righteous Revolution" and the song was completed. We even brought recording equipment into the classroom, and during the chorus all members of the class screamed the likes of "And we scream", "Side by side", "Take a stand" and "Be the change", which was then edited into the final version of the song.

The choreography, and blocking aspects of the lipdub were thoughtfully planned out by Rachel Gorman and Chelsea Henderson, and after lots of preparation, practice and planning, we were ready to film. We shot our lipdub on Sunday April 25th, and were lucky enough to have 30-40 students outside of our class show up to make our video complete. After a class vote, the title of the song was changed to "The War We Wage", and after about six or eight run throughs we finally got it perfect. The look of joy and excitement in Dr. K's face after completion says it all, and I'm very proud of everyone who took part in this project.

(Fast forward to the 1:15 mark to see myself and Pat's best *NSYNC impression)


As I stated earlier, lipdubs have already become somewhat of a dime a dozen occurrence, but the fact that our song is an original one with some meaning behind definitely says something about the work that went into our project, and what Unzip Your Lips is all about. With that being said, here are two of my favorite lipdubs that other schools (with MUCH bigger budgets) have put together-





-fresh (@danye33)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ithaca is GORGES

About a week and a half ago on Easter weekend, while I was kicking it in beautiful central New York just catching up on some r&r, a few friends and I decided to take a trip over to the gorges in Ithaca. I had never been there before, and it's only a 20 minute car ride from Cortland so I figured why not? The weather was just starting to get really nice (it has since flip-flopped between Eva Mendes and Kyle Singler), and despite the sub 60 degree water we were eager to cliff jump in. Needless to say I only jumped off of an embarrassing 15 footer, but the below video of my friend Bryson being his crazy self should give you a better idea of how sick this place really is.



-fresh

Monday, April 12, 2010

Is This The Most Outrageous Profile Picture Of All Time?


Ok so today I got a friend request from someone I didn't know. Now I know what your thinking, big f'ing deal, hit the ignore button and it's on to the next. Except this time we had two friends in common so before deciding on whether or not to accept, I poked around a bit (no pun intended) and stumbled upon this gem of a profile picture (#4 of 39). For those of you that need an explanation as to what is being done in the above picture, let me brake it down for you.

This girl is wiping/possibly pleasuring herself with her right hand while sitting on the toilet, pants and panties mid-thigh.

With her right ear/shoulder she is balancing a cell phone, and either A) talking to someone or B) checking her voice mail. Don't you think this could have waited a minute or two until she took care of business?

And lastly, with the assistance of an unnamed blond, she is smoking a bowl.

So there you have it. Fuck multitasking, this chick is triple-tasking. But lets not forget to mention the elephant in the room, the two things I find most bizarre about this picture. One, where the hell is her left arm? Possibly reaching for TP but that's doubtful considering her right hand appears to be taking care of that. Is this potentially the hottest amputee stoner of all time? And finally- who took this picture? Although I wouldn't put anything past this girl, I highly doubt they put a camera on auto-timer. Meaning there must have been someone else who witnessed this ridiculous scene first hand.

But in the end I'll leave it up to you the reader to decide- Is this the most outrageous profile picture of all time?

-fresh

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Portugal. The Man


First off, apologizes for not keeping up with the posts. Not to make excuses (here come the excuses) but with the semester winding down I've been swamped with work/searching for jobs/partying every night of the week and it hasn't left me much time for blogging. However, I will continue to A) vow to give this blog 100% and B) show you great new music, of which you may or may not be familiar with. This next band that I would like to give some shine to is "Portugal. The Man", an indie rock band from Oregon via Alaska.

I recently got my hands on their 4th disc, "The Satanic Satanist" and have not been able to quite them ever since. The band started in late 2004, and have since released 6 studio albums, along with getting a breakthrough gig preforming at Bonnaroo in 2009. The songs posted below are from the above album (oxymoron? eh, well worth a try) and if you like what you hear, well there is plenty more where that came from. The "Satanic Satanist" was simultaneously released acoustically, which they titled "The Majestic Majesty." Also, earlier this month on March 2nd they released "American Ghetto", another full length album.





"Because we are all, we are all just lovers
Born of earth and light like all these others"

-fresh

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lets Give Credit Where Credit Is Due Shall We?



Now originally I wanted to title this post "Sample Saturday", a feature that our friend, producer Kevin Casey, has been writing for quit some time. Basically, every Saturday Kev picks a song that people like, and completely changes the way you think about it, by showing the original song from which the beat/chorus/rhythm was stolen or "borrowed" from. A great example of this was when he posted David McCallum's "The Edge" and Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode". Complete rip-off.

Anyways, last week while road tripping from Tempe to Lake Havasu, I stumbled across a Chili Peppers gem from the early 90's that I had never heard before. The song is called "Pretty Little Ditty" and it's from their "Mother's Milk" album. It is instrumental gold, and despite having no lyrics to it was still very pleasing to the ear. However midway through the song I couldn't help but hear a certain guitar rift that reminded me of a certain shitty song, by a certain shitty band. The song I'm referring to is "Butterfly" by Crazytown (Don't remember them? Think of a homo-erotic Papa Roach on LSD. Don't remember Papa Roach? I wish I could be that lucky). The entire bassline/guitar part for the song is a 100% rip-off of RHCP, yet somehow I managed to live nearly 10 years of my life without anyone bringing this to my attention? How is it that one of the worst bands of all time could make millions of dollars (Yes, in the early 2000's when people still paid for music you could make 7 figures off of a piece of crap like "Butterfly") off of a rift that Frusciante wrote and preformed 11 years earlier? And don't try to tell me that the lyrics were what made "Butterfly" the hit that it was:

"My lifestyle's wild I was living like a wild child
Trapped on a short leash paroled the police files
So yo. what' s happening now?
I see the sun breaking down into dark clouds
and a vision of you standing out in a crowd.
"

The only reason that song got any love at all was for the dreamy beat, and it is a shame that more people don't credit the rift to the Peppers. For all of you reading this who were already familiar with Crazytown's sampling (cough cough robbery) of "Pretty Little Ditty" then I apologize for the rant but it had to be done. Listen for yourself, the beat that was "borrowed" comes in at the :38 second mark in the below video.


As embarrassed as I am to feature a video by Crazytown on this site, just remember I'm merely trying to prove a point.


Lastly, lets all keep our fingers crossed that Frusciante gets his act together and rejoins the band. I could use some new Chili in my life.

-fresh

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Biggie Biggie Smalls is the Illest



Ok, so Dan already beat me to a Notorious B.I.G. tribute, but I have to throw something up for an artist who has had a profound impact on my life....

I have so many memories of Notorious that I don't even know where to start so I'm just gonna jot down some bullets-

-I think the first time I heard Big was when I was 9 years old. I knew that he had died, but I really had no idea who he was. My mom took my brother and I to Sam Goody on the release date of Life After Death because my brother was adamant about getting it, I didn't see what the big deal was. He got that, I'm pretty sure I got a Sugar Ray single or something. When we got home I snuck a listen on my brother's Disc man, and after hearing Hypnotize, I was hooked-I must have listened to it about 30 times in a row.

-When I was in the 8th grade, I first heard "Gimme the Loot" and even though I could only understand about half of the lyrics I loved it. I memorized every single word in about 2 days. However, I still didn't really know the magnitude of his abilities.

-At about 15-16, I stole "Ready to Die" from my friends girlfriend, my life literally changed. I was obsessed with this album, it was pretty much all I could talk about at school.

-Throughout High School I did everything I could to get my hands on as much Biggie as I possibly could. I must have destroyed my families computer downloading every single Biggie track known to man on Napster and Kazaa, but I had to have it.

- As I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate what Biggie did with his short time on this Earth. It's crazy to me that a man could have such a profound impact on so many lives, mine included. His lyrics are so versatile, he could go from rapping about killing people, to inspiring people, to loving his girl in a matter of 3 tracks.

-His growth from "Ready to Die" to "Life After Death" was unparalleled. He understood that now that he had made it, he couldn't rap about being on the corner and hustling drugs anymore. I think this is one of the biggest reasons he remains so relevant and his music lives on.

- All in all, the Rap game would be very different if he would have released a few more albums. In short, there is no way Lil' Wayne would be considered the best rapper ever.

Rest in Peace Big, your impact on hip-hop is still felt today. You were the best to ever do it, and your music will continue to remain timeless.









Monday, March 8, 2010

"If ya don't know, now you know ______"



As you may or may not know, tomorrow, March 9th, marks the 13 year anniversary of the passing/murder of the rap phenom Biggie Smalls. Biggie's work has been a key outlet and go to for me for well over a decade now. I still remember listening to "Ready To Die" straight through on my CD Walkman, on the reg during my middle school days. I was too young to remember hearing of his death when it happened, but once I started dipping my toes in the rap game, Biggie's music, and his story became essential for my development and eventual love for hip-hop and its culture. For more information on the potential motives/back stories that led to the mid 90's East Coast/West Coast rap feuds and ensuing murders of Tupac Shakur and Chris Wallace please read this great Rolling Stone article by Randall Sullivan from May of 2001. I remember being 13 years old and purchasing this issue of Rolling Stone, and reading the 30+ page story in its entirety during a family road trip to Williamsberg, WV. Although I didn't understand many of the drug references, or context for that matter, I was still fascinated by the information presented in front of me, and Sullivan does a superb job of trying to put the pieces of the unsolved puzzle together. Sullivan writes that "So much of the truth has been buried in the process of telling this story that no amount of excavation could unearth it all at this point." and the sad thing is, he is absolutely right...



Just like Biggie preaches in the above video "Juicy", "If ya don't know, now ya know ____", I have some up and coming rappers here that you may not already know about. And if you don't know, now ya know. First off is this dude Wax, originally from Baltimore but has since moved to Cali. He occasionally rhymes with his brother Herbal T, who is equally as talented and quick with his metaphors. My buddy J-Fonts introduced him to me, and Wax actually let Fonts go on stage and spit a freestyle with him during a show in Albany last fall. Once again, I'm still not that familiar with his work, but peep his YouTube videos and you'll definitely be impressed. Below is his song "2010 to Infinity."



And now for my main dudes, Dirt Nasty and Andre Legacy. Together they make up half of the late rap super group the "Dyslexic Speedreaders", along with Mickey Avalon and Beardo. Simon Rex, aka "Dirt Nasty" came onto the scene in the mid-90's as a MTV VJ, and after starring in the T.V. series "Jack and Jill"/ starring in Scary Movie 3&4 eventually made his way into the L.A. rap scene. His outrageous drug and sex fueled raps have gained him some fame and notoriety, and his songs have been in heavy rotation on my Ipod for the past year now. The below song isn't Dirt's finest work, but it is hillarious and gives you a good insight to his sense of humor/lifestlye. Also, if your looking for a laugh, peep Dirt Nasty's Twitter page.



And lastly, below is Andre Legacy with his track "Bender". Although the lyrics are unrealistic (I hope), and thought provoking (somewhat), I can't get over how much I love the chorus. "Don't question my agenda, I'm on a bend-ah."


-fresh (@danye33)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

D.A.N.Y.E. System Review for "Shutter Island"



Welcome to the D.A.N.Y.E. System 2.0 review for Martin Scorsese's film
"Shutter Island". For those of you who don't remember what the acronyms stand for, it's Dialogue, "Awe" or "Awful" factor, Nudity, "Yes" Factor and Entertainment Level. Ever since I saw my first preview for this movie last summer, I set my expectations high. After reading the book, my expectations were sent to an almost unreachable level, and it wasn't until about a half hour before seeing the movie that I realized that there was a distinct possibility that I would be let down. Needless to say I was somewhat let down, but nevertheless read the review and see the movie for yourself before passing judgement.


Dialogue- Right off the bat it was apparent that the dialogue in this movie would be very frantic and fast paced. The first scene in the movie shows U.S. Marshall's Teddy and Chuck on a boat to Shutter Island, talking about the mission and getting to know each other with incredibly quick banter that would continue for the duration of the movie. It almost seemed sped up to the point of unprofessionalism, and I wasn't really sure what the benefit of this style of conversation brought to the film. The writing was well done, but let us not kid ourselves, Lehane's novel served the story up on a silver platter of perfection. With that being said, I wasn't too crazy about the adaptation from book to screen, most notably during the stories most important scene at the lighthouse, when Teddy is forced to accept some harsh realizations about who is really is. I felt that scene really lacked the passion, fear and closure that the book brought to life so wonderfully.

"Awe" or "Awful" Factor- In this case, "Awe". Now the movie as a whole didn't really awe me too much, however it did feature some of the best dream/hallucination sequences that I have ever seen. To the casual movie viewer, it may have been hard to understand at all times what was unfolding before your eyes because it was very confusing and somewhat all over the place. However, I thought it was fantastic and really helped move the story along, all leading up to the (Spoiler Alert!) inevitable insanity of DiCaprio's character.

Nudity- This movie had about as much nudity as an Amish after-prom, and if that attempt at a joke was too dumb for you to comprehend I'll spell it out for you in laments terms: there was none. In the book there is a flashback sex scene between Teddy and his wife Deloris, but I guess that didn't make the cut to the big screen. Sure, you wouldn't really expect a physiatric thriller, set in a 1950's insane asylum to have much nudity, but would it have really killed them to throw in a boob or two?

"Yes" Factor- Despite my ridiculously high expectations for this movie, it still left me walking away with that yes factor that makes movies work for me. I think the main reason why it worked so well was because of how much I found myself rooting for/hoping against all odds for Leo's character. Right from the get-go when I noticed his pink and green flowered tie, it was pretty evident that he wasn't all there in the head, but that still doesn't stop you from wanting to believe that there is some kind of conspiracy going on against him, and that he really is not crazy.
Mark Ruffalo's character "Chuck" aka the other Marshall aka Dr. Sheenan, didn't bring much to the table, and I felt his role disappointed me. In the book Chuck does a great job of reassuring Teddy, following orders, and helping to crack the case; where as in the movie I found him to be a complete bore, and terrible actor. Ruffalo, along with the lighthouse scene, will go down as the two things I disliked the most about "Shutter Island."
Despite being hard to watch at certain times (Spoiler Alert! i.e. the last dream sequence where we see Leo drag his three dead children out of a lake/murder his manic depressive wife) "Shutter Island" definitely has many re-watchable characteristics. I'm looking forward to seeing it a few more times to really get a good sense of what is real and what is all a set up. After all, nothing in Shutter Island is what it appears to be.

Entertainment Level- I give "Shutter Island" a 9 out of 10 when it comes to how entertaining it was. Now I wouldn't give it that same grade in terms of overall performance, but it was most certainly entertaining. Any movie that leaves you confused, is visually stimulating, and keeps you on your toes throughout the duration means that is succeeded in entertaining you. Yes, the more you think about it, and I'm sure the more you re-watch it, the more you will start to realize how obvious it is that the whole operation is staged, but it is a great mystery and certainly a grade A mind fuck. Everything snowballs extremely quickly towards the end, and you have to stay on your toes to pick up on the chaos that is unraveling all around him.

My recommendation: READ THE BOOK!!

-fresh

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"I got a thing for Milano, Biscotti Italiano's and I never turn down some Oreo's if you got them"



Just like Nick Ross, I'm going to keep this post short and sweet (pause). The weekend is once again upon us, and it is my civil duty to drop some tunes for you to help make your weekend pop-off. The above song is called "Cookie Jar" by The Gym Class Heroes, and although the song is a couple of years old it still makes the ladies go crazy. This song really reminds me of a trip that my friend Ryan and I took to Oneonta during the fall of 2008. We were visiting some friends, and that night they had a party at their apartment, the AEPi house. Everything started out normal, sorority girls running around, some pulsating flashing lights, cheap keg beer and jungle juice. Standard college party. That is, until "Cookie Jar" started bumping out from the speakers. The second that "I like girls, they like me" started playing it was like an audio social lubricant. Girls bending over and dropping it like it's hot, all the while full on grabbing dudes "junk" like they were digging for gold. My dude Travolta (pictured to the right) immediately started going in like a Drake and Lil Wayne song, it was something straight out of a movie. Ryan and I just stood there in awe of what was going on around us, and after 3 and a half minutes we were changed men. I've still never witnessed anything like that in my life, and anytime I hear this song I'm immediately brought back to that night in Oneonta when all those girls threw their inhibitions to the wind, and grabbed for that cookie jar on the dance floor...



-fresh

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Weekend Is Here; It's Time To Get Ill



Alright so the weekend is finally upon us. Tiger just told the world that he is a Buddhist, the Knicks have cleared up enough cap space to buy the world this summer, and the above soundboard has completely taken over my life . So with that being said I'm going to keep this post short and sweet. I've been bumping a lot of Beastie Boys lately, namely the "License To Ill" disc. The album is straight fiya.

The city boys could really bring it back in the day (pause), and their rhymes are fresher then a degree stick. Lately, my favorite tracks from Ill have been "Rhymin & Stealin", "The New Style", "Hold It Now Hit It" and "No Sleep Til Brooklyn."









Anyways, I'm hungover and about to crawl back into bed to watch "Law Abiding Citizen" and "Hurt Locker" back to back (expect a D.A.N.Y.E. system review shortly) so I apologize for the short post. Enjoy the beats and have an ILL weekend.

"Yo ho ho and a pint of Brass Monkey,
And when my girlie shakes her hips - she sure gets funky"


-fresh

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What Really Happened To Uncle Jesse In High School?



So yesterday afternoon, while doing what most college students my age do (eat taco bell and watch "Full House" with my roommates), I couldn't help but notice a crucial flaw in the story line that was unfolding right before my eyes. In the episode "One Last Kiss" (season 4, episode 9) Uncle Jesse attends his 10 year high school reunion. During this episode he is reunited with his old girlfriend Carrie, and sparks immediately fly. They even show a flashback to the day before graduation of Jesse riding his motorcycle into the gymnasium to meet Carrie. She is shocked that he would just ride his bike into the school like that and tells him so, to which Jesse responds "I'm graduating tomorrow, what can they do, expel me?" After some more small talk, she eventually drops the bomb on him that she will be leaving for Europe to pursue a modeling career, thus ending their relationship.

Fast forward to later on in the episode when they slow dance to "their song" at the reunion, followed by Jesse running out on her because he is already engaged to Becky and feels bad. Carrie ends up knocking on his door later on (God only knows how she found out where he lives, considering it is the Tanner household), and before she leaves, they kiss. This just goes to further make Jesse realize his love for Becky, blah blah blah and everything ends up happily ever after.

Or did it? After viewing that episode, I was reminded of another Full House episode where things went a little differently...

In the episode "Educating Jesse" (season 5) DJ and Kimmy set off to work on a "Stay In School" campaign, with the help and support of everyone in the house. Everyone except Uncle Jesse, that is. We later find out that Uncle Jesse was a high school dropout, thus making him feel like a fraud for supporting a stay in school project. He finally gets the courage to go back and finish up high school, but the English teacher that embarrassed him in the first place by making him recite Walt Whitman's "O Captain, my Captain", is still there, and Jesse drops out again. However, after helping Michelle learn to tie her shoe, Jesse has an epiphany and decides to give high school one last chance.

By the end of the episode Jesse has overcome his fear of "O Captain", and somehow in a mere 22 minute show, is granted Valedictorian of the graduating class. However, on the way to graduation the train they're on breaks down and he misses the ceremony. A mock-graduation is held on the subway, and once again there is a happy ending.

What I would really like to know is how is it acceptable for a popular television show to contradict itself so blatantly from one season to the next? Sure there are bigger problems in the world; war, recession, poverty, swine flu, trying to figure out LOST etc. but still this seems ludicrous to me.

There really isn't much more to say about this matter, so I'll leave you with this clip of Uncle Jesse finding out he's having a baby!


and this Levi's "O Pioneer" commercial (words by Walt Whitman), which was my favorite commercial of 2009. Granted it had absolutely nothing to do with jeans whatsoever but the words from it make me proud to be an American


"Have mercy"- Uncle Jesse

-fresh

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

An Interview With New York Producer Kevin Casey




My man Kevin Casey took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for The 2 Man Weave. Kevin recently dropped his first mixtape, "Live From New York" which features groundbreaking New York Hip Hop, to much acclaim. I have had the privilege of knowing Kevin for years now, and am very excited to see what he is going to do next. There is no doubt that his hard work and musical talent will earn him great success. Check out his website www.kevincaseymusic.com for great music, as well as a free download of his mixtape "Live From New York", and get familiar...before it's too late.

By dropping a New York only mixtape, it's obvious New York based hip-hop has had a large influence on you and your career. What other musicians, types of music, etc... have influenced you?

Growing up I was constantly surrounded by music - mostly stuff from the 50sand 60s. I remember my dad having a big collectors set for each decade of all the hit records, each one holding at least 30 tapes. Long car rides between New York and Toronto meant long listening sessions, and I quickly learned all those songs inside out. Playing the alto saxophone in middle school and high school got me more familiar with other genres, mostly jazz. And then as of more recently I've been locked into funk and soul stuff from the 60s and 70s. Oh yea, and hip hop.

Your blog, www.kevincaseymusic.com , displays a wide array of music. What is your goal with the blog, and what made you decide to start a blog?

I didn't want to just start a hip hop blog that reported on the hip-hop world's "news of the day." To be completely honest, I wasn't even comfortable with the word BLOG until very recently. I understand it's value now, and I also just enjoy sharing music that I listen to. If I come across that one song of the day that has me addicted to it, why not share that. My man Buckwild once said to me that my site is more about "culture" than hip hop music ... so I'll go with that too. It's also a good way to support projects of mine and the people around me.

Music, and rap/hip-hop in particular, is in a terrible state. What are you doing to elevate the state of music and blow a breath of fresh air to the music business?

I think all I can do in my position is just work hard and make sure the stuff I put out is to the best of my ability, and nothing less. I do have to say that I believe hip-hop is on an upward trend... how far along on the spectrum I don't know, but I think it's moving in a good direction. I would just like to see all the people that ask for "real hip hop" be ready to buy the projects that come out in that lane. If they are not doing that, and just talking about it, then they are part of the problem. We're all at least a little guilty of this.

What has it been like working closely with notable producers such as Scram Jones and Buckwild? How have they influenced your music, as well as your career?

First off, I have to say that my man Dub Sonata was the first one to really see potential in what I did with music, and bring me around the people that I'm around now. He is also one of the dopest producers I know. Being around Scram and Buck has only been positive... watching these dudes make beats is just like being in class - you try to learn as much as you can. Well, I guess that makes it not really like any class I've been in, but I think you get my point. Biggest thing is that I am friends with all the people I make music around, and that can be a hard find in the industry.

When did you first realize that you wanted pursue a career in music?


Probably around the time I really fell in love with DJ-ing while going to college. I got paid for the first time for having fun with music, and it felt good. I started making beats on my computer, and that was that. There is such a high level that this can be taken to ... I look at someone like Quincy Jones and get depressed, but then excited. Depressed that I am where I am, and he is where he is ... but excited that if I apply myself, there is so much room to grow as a producer. That's what I love about creative arts, you have the opportunity to take your craft to the highest level. I don't think I should ever reach a point where I am 100% satisfied. I got alot to learn but I'm all in.

Any new projects your working on?

I like to just put stuff out and not talk about it in advance, but I will say that the next time you hear a Live From New York style mixtape from me it will not be what you expect. 2manweave, it's been real.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Three Things To Look Forward Too (Feb 12th Edition)


#1. Knicks Well Represented At All-Star Weekend! Yes, for the first time in nearly ten years a member of the New York Knicks will play in the All-Star game. Double-double machine David Lee was added to the Eastern Conference roster earlier this week, after it was announced that Allen Iverson (who was undeserving of a spot in the first place, but was voted to start by the fans) would not partake in the game due to an injury. Lee's recognition as a star is long overdue, and he has been one of the lone bright spots on the Knicks for the past five years.
Additionally, Danillo Gallinari (the Rooster) will be participating in the Rookie-Sophomore game Friday night, and the 3 Point Shootout on Saturday. Both are big accomplishments for the second year sharp shooter from Italy, who is quickly emerging as a fan favorite at the Garden. He leads the NBA in 3 point field goals made, and at +300 odds, is a great sleeper choice to win the shootout tomorrow.
Lastly, I'm looking forward to the return of 2-time champ Krypto-Nate to the Dunk Contest Saturday night. The 5'9 human trampoline is making his fourth appearance in the dunk contest and is the runaway favorite to take home the title again. You never know what Nate has up his sleeve as far as dunks are concerned (or actions for that matter) but I hope he brings his "A" game tomorrow cause the kid can flat out fly.

#2. "Shutter Island". Okay so I know this movie doesn't come out for another week (Feb 19th) but I can't keep quiet about it anymore. Ever since reading the book in early December I've become obsessed with this story and have been anxiously awaiting the movie. The film is directed by Martin Scorsese, and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as U.S. deputy Teddy Edwards, who is sent to the Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of one of its patients, Rachel Solando. However nothing on the island is what it seems to be, and this story has more twists and turns then Lombard Street. The book was written by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) who is one of the best authors of our generation, and I recommend everyone read the book before seeing it in theaters. However, if you don't have time to read it, I 100% encourage you to go see the movie. It will leave your mind scrambled and jaw on the floor. Peep the trailer below, movie is going to be dynamite.


#3. Spring Break! Yes, this is even further away then "Shutter Island" (March 13-21), but I can taste the beach already. Plans are in the works for Panama City, Fla, a place I went two years ago and I can honestly say it was one of the most fun times of my life. Also, lets call a spade a spade, and agree that there is nothing greater then a spring break trip. Countless no-strings-attached hookups with people your never going to see again, all the while partying your face off for seven consecutive days and nights. Seriously is there anything better then waking up and hitting the beach, 30 rack in hand, with an endless sea of beautiful bikini clad women? The night life is even better, going to the clubs and drinking on the beach until the sun comes up. And for all the one and done girls you meet, there is always the chance that you will find a cool group of people to become friends, and stay in touch with (shout out to ECU and UF '08).
Lastly, I'll leave you with some lyrics from Mike Pinto's "One More Time", which will always remind me of both Panama City (and the people who went with me) and spring break in general. For those of you that stalk me, yes, these are the same lyrics that have inhabited my "favorite quotes" section on my Facebook page for the past two years.

"Let’s have conversations bout the past thinking when was the last
Time we spent you know we cared less if our days went fast
Let’s reminisce about the ones we’ve kissed
And mention all the friends we both have missed
Flashback to the road trips in the summertime
Listening to sublime taking our time while the bass line
Shakes the rear view there’s no need to speed
Cause my friend with weed is a friend indeed
Partying down the beach in a hotel room
There was no need to sleep cause the sun would soon
Go on and meet us and greet us as we sat there waiting
Listening to the sounds of our young hearts breakin’
With the crashin’ waves we knew we’d go our separate ways
Times they change like stories never told the same
To all my friends old and new there’s nothing to it
Live this day like it’s your last let’s do it"




"Well you can crank up the music and be well supplied
But a party ain’t a party till your friends arrive"


-fresh

Oh yea and happy 25th birthday to my man G-Flem, much love

Thursday, February 11, 2010

An Ode To Killa

Cam'ron has always been one of my favorite rappers for two reasons, 1. he convinced every heterosexual male that it was cool to wear pink, and 2. he is possibly the funniest dude on the planet. Here's a brief collection of his finest work:





Tuesday, February 9, 2010

R.I.P. Big Pun




Sunday February 7 marked the ten year anniversary of Big Punisher's death. Big Pun is one of my favorite rappers of all time, so I thought this would be a fitting tribute to a man who was taken from us way too early.

Few rappers could control the microphone like Pun, his wordplay and dynamic while rapping is unparalleled and has paved the way for many quick-tongued rappers, such as Eminem. Pun emerged from the Bronx, NY rap scene in 1993 when he opened up the Beatnuts classic "Off the Books" and laid lyrical slaughter on the song, and easily stole the show. Pun was soon signed to a solo deal with Loud Records and his mark would soon be left on the rap world.

Pun was raised in the South Bronx's Puerto Rican community, and to put it bluntly, was raised rough. Struggling with his mother's drug problem, a non existent biological father, and an abusive stepfather, Pun would become quite destructive and angry, however, all of this led to him dropping some of the realest verses hip hop has ever scene. Pun alluded to his fatherless childhood on the song "Punish Me", when he wrote,

I wanna raise my little man but you keep resistin
I'm insistin you chill for real before you come up missin
Listen, I don't wanna fight I'd rather do what's right
A boy needs a father that's the most important part of his life

There's no doubt Pun had it rough growing up, but it was these memories that fueled his fire and motivated him to becoming one of the rawest MCs to ever touch the mic.

In 1998 Pun dropped his classic "Capital Punishment" that featured hit after hit. The album reached platinum status and Pun became the first latin rapper to reach platinum status, undoubtedly opening the door for other Latin rappers to achieve success in the rap world.

Unfortunately, just like few rappers could flow like Pun, none had an appetite like the man. Pun's weight fluctuated constantly to levels of obesity, and on February 7, 2000 Big Punisher died of a massive heart attack at the young age of 28, leaving a gap in hip hop music that still hasn't been fulfilled. Pun released 2 albums posthumously, "Yeeeeeahhhhhhh Baby" and a best of album entitled "Endangered Species". Endangered Species was the first Pun album I heard and it truly blew me away. I had never heard a MC control the mic like him and was thoroughly impressed by his wide array of hits. Throughout the years I have gone through several Ipods and computers, but this album always finds its way back onto my hard drive. Rest in Peace Pun, you are truly missed by the hip-hop community.

Here's a few of my favorite tracks by this legend, enjoy:





(Same video, different song)









This list could go on and on, he had that many hits. REMEMBER PUN!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Without Further Ado... "The 3 Man Weave" Radio Show today LIVE from 6-8pm



After much anticipation I'm finally taking The 2 Man Weave to the air-waves. Well, the idea that is. Listen up today from 6-8pm on 90.5fm "The Dragon", or if your not in a ten mile radius of Cortland, NY you can stream it live at www.cortland.edu/wsuc. Very easy, just click "Listen Live" and you'll be going in like a Tiger Woods putt. I'll be joined by John Fontaneli and Pat Montgomery. Text, call, or comment (at the bottom of this post) any song requests you want played, or shout outs to whomever. A.K.A. if your trying to impress a chick, hit me up with a message or what not, let the show play, and watch said girl get wet when she hears your name on the radio. Easy as pie. Which btw, what does that even mean? Is pie an easy food to make? Or are they talking about that 3.14 bullshit? It can't be easier to make then grilled cheese or a peanut butter sandwich right? Anyways for more rants like these, tune in!

-fresh

Friday, February 5, 2010

Awiez Productions


This is gonna be short and sweet. A very close friend of mine made a song called Gold Rolls Royce. He put it on soundclick.com. Said song jumped 1.5 million spots in less than a week. Please listen, and get familiar. Awiez Productions.

http://www.soundclick.com/awiezproductions

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The 2010 Lettuce/Ketchup Fiasco



I witnessed something today at lunch that was so unbelievably bizarre there was no way I could let the story go untold. Myself, JJ, Mike and Ryan went to Neubig (the all you can eat dining hall at Cortland) for a hungover lunch at around 12:30. I could barely manage to get down a hamburger, and everything I ate seemed to infuriate my stomach even more. After a half hour or so, we were about to leave when we saw the most outrageous display of cafeteria etiquette we had ever seen.

Standing a mere five feet away from us was a girl holding a single plate with a gigantic tower of shredded lettuce. The above photo really does it justice, like no kidding you would be able to keep a rabbit stuffed for a solid month with the amount she had on her plate, but oh no it didn't stop there. She then proceeded to walk over to the ketchup dispenser and beat the handle down with the rage of an unpaid pimp. Beating it down over and over again as the lettuce became hidden behind a tsunami of ketchup, but still that wasn't enough. She then proceeded to fill up three additional mini ketchup cups and walked over to her table that was adjacent to ours. You know the old saying about how you "can't look away from a train wreck", well that is exactly how we all felt at that time. We all had a vested interest in how much crazier this meal could potentially get for her, so we decided to stick it out and not leave until she finished.
It was brutal from the get-go. I dry heaved roughly six times during that first plate of lettuce/ketchup and at one point thought I was going to vomit exorcist style right there at the table. Not only was she eating the ketchup doused lettuce, but she would scoop out ketchup from her extra stash with a fork first before digging into her course. Watching that display of eating made my stomach twitch.

Ok, so first plate done. She ate it with all smiles, got up, and disappeared into the hot foods section of the dining hall. We thought we were good to go, but that's when she returned with yet another plate (and by plate I mean mountain) of shredded lettuce. Next stop, the ketchup dispenser. The first one she tried was predictably out of ketchup (and rightfully so after the beating it took from her last time), and the look of sheer anger in her eyes was unmistakable. It was as if she had just realized somebody had totaled her car in a hit-and-run and she didn't have insurance. Luckily for her, and us for our enjoyment pleasures, there was another full dispenser two feet to her right. Sure enough, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE, Hurricane Katrina pt.2 of ketchup flooding over her Mt. Vesuvius of lettuce.

It was at this time that we realized two freshman girls that we knew were sitting at another table nearby, but with a much better view of the situation (Yes, I jump at any chance to use the phrase "The Situation", deal with it). We immediately texted them begging to take a picture/video of what was unfolding before our eyes, but they rejected our requests. Stupid freshmen. Anyways we kept watching, laughing and at times almost crying over our disgust. Plate 2 was more of the same, and once she finished up with that, went to get a coffee. She came back empty handed and we assumed she was done devouring Roger Rabbits dinner, so we decided to call it quits and head home. Upon arriving in our driveway, Cummings received a text from the freshmen saying that she had in fact gotten A THIRD PLATE!!

So let that be a lesson to all of you, it's not over until the fat lady sings... or at least until rabbit ketchup loving girl leaves the dining hall!

Lastly, here is a great video I found of a child doing a ketchup keg stand at an A&W. No joke, we had bets going on whether or not she was going to attempt this.


-fresh

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Trip Down Memory Lane With YouTube


According to John Burgess, “Participatory culture is a term that is often used to talk about the apparent link between more accessible digital technologies, user created content, and some kind of shift in the power relations between media industries and their consumers.” For the past five years or so, there has been a drastic increase in user created content on the internet. This new trend puts the ball in the consumers “court” and essentially allows you to be as creative as you want, and has brought thousands of people fame and notoriety for the content that they have created. There is an endless amount of viral platforms to which you can upload your user created videos, pictures, or words, but in 2010, no site does it quite as well as YouTube.

I can still remember my first time on YouTube like it was yesterday. It was winter of my senior year, and I remember hearing everyone talk about this new video that a bunch of the skater kids in my high school had put together. At the time, I had never even heard of YouTube, but I followed instructions upon arriving to the site and found their video with no problem.

The video that they had created was a four minute lip synch of the song “Stay Fly” by Three Six Mafia. In total there were seven kids in the video, each taking turns rapping and dancing around the inside and outside of one of the kid’s houses. I was very impressed with their editing skills. At the time my only real experience with editing was sitting on a duel VCR TV and hitting record and stop while trying to put together a basketball highlight tape for colleges to look at. Very amateur when compared to the non-stop cuts and transitions that this video possessed. The video they made looked like the most fun thing to be a part of that I had ever seen. Since it was really early on in the YouTube days it got tons of hits and if I’m not mistaken even received some recognition. As of today the video has close to 155,000 views, and as I re-watch it again, I’m immediately brought back to the youthful feeling of wonder and appreciation that I felt when I would watch it in high school.

Seeing a video on YouTube for the first time is great feeling. It’s as if once you watch a video on the site for the first time you immediately feel connected with the rest of the world, or at least the other million people or so that have watched said video. Just the fact that a video is on the internet means that someone, somewhere, deemed it viewable, important, and thought the world should see it. YouTube has become the household name in terms of video sharing on the internet. My eight year old sister watches clips of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” with my dad all the time, and it is the most used platform in the classroom these days when a video needs to be shown to the class. People of all ages are on it, making the user content range from pre-teens to senior citizens. The variety of videos is almost too much to handle sometimes, and on numerous occasions I’ve wondered where my day has gone just clicking from video to video.

I grew up in Westchester, New York, after living in Manhattan until I was five. Looking back now, I am very grateful for all the opportunities that I was given. Raised by very open-minded parents, creativity was something they always encouraged. As a child I would always write stories, songs, and draw comics. As I grew older, and eventually received a digital camera (December 2004), taking pictures and videos became my new hobby. I would bring that camera everywhere and was essentially the paparazzi for my group of friends. Webshots.com was the first website that I uploaded pictures to, and my experience with that site didn’t go over too well. Sometimes I would take and post pictures that perhaps the world wasn’t quite ready for, and after the school got a hold of my account, a few of my friends and I were reprimanded for some underage drinking pictures I had posted. But as my maturity increased, so did my love for the video camera, and after learning of YouTube, it became one of my passions. I started a YouTube account back in 2006 (danye33), and as of today have viewed over 29,000 videos (that I have been logged on to watch, thus excluding another easy 10,000 that I’m sure I wasn’t signed in for), and have uploaded 27 videos of my own that have been viewed over 20,000 times by people all over the world.

The shift in Internet use from passive to active is something that I have certainly lived through and been a part of. My first real memory of Internet participation would have to be when I used to create and edit my “profile” on AOL. As time has gone on, and the Internet continues to evolve just as all creations do, more and more sites have added features that beg for user participation. You would be hard pressed to find any website that doesn’t have some kind of poll on it for readers or at the very least comment boxes at the end of an article or video so that you can voice your personal opinions. I jumped into the YouTube craze head first, as opposed to the majority of my friends who passively chose to watch rather than create. Yes, there absolutely was a part of me that felt compelled to create content for the site, if not for creative reasons then merely for the fact that I loved what was going on, and wanted to be a part of it.

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a billions times; trends are changing, and yes, today's youth has it much different from the world that even I grew up in. Television has become a luxury, it’s not something we need, or relay on like in the old days. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that over 90% of shows on television can be found in some shape or form on the Internet. With thousands of sites like Hulu, TV Shack, fancast and tvduck, not to mention all the networks sites that broadcast their own shows, you can basically watch any show, anytime, and with less, or at times no commercials. YouTube plays into this factor as well. Anytime something memorable happens on TV, i.e. Kanye West steals the microphone from Taylor Swift, you can bet your bottom dollar that the clip will end up on YouTube within the hour. This goes for almost anything, live performances, great sports plays, as well as countless unscripted mess-ups that normally we would never know about, but since there is a place like YouTube now we get to see it all hundreds and hundreds of times. Another thing that YouTube does is the occasional live broadcast of events such as electoral debates, concerts and state of the union addresses. YouTube continues to further fuse the two mediums of television and Internet together, and in the near future, I could see these two become one.

YouTube has provided me with more laughs, information and entertainment then I ever dreamed possible. It is a place of refuge from the everyday struggle, a place where you can sit back and enjoy what others out there just like you have created. In a small amount of time, I’ve watched the site grow into the worldwide phenomenon that it has become today, and luckily for me, I have been along for almost the entire ride. There is no telling what is next for the Internet, there never is. However, I’m thankful for what we have now, and the opportunity that YouTube has given me and millions of others like me to be heard, and now, to be seen.

I mean come on, without YouTube we may never have gotten to witness spaztic singing boy, peanut butter man, or the "Oh you mad cuz I'm stylin on you" rap battle fight gone wrong!





-fresh