The Apollo is now open. It has spent a long year in remodeling, but now students in Oberlin can go to the movies without needing a car. Although small, the theatre, in my opinion, has succeeded in its selection of films. Last week it was Looper and Hotel Transylvania, this week it is The Master and Arbitrage. As I found solace knowing that Taken 2 was not showing, I entered the Apollo for the first time last week. Looper and Hotel Transylvania were screening, allowing me the choice between a time- travel, action movie starring Joseph Gordon- Levitt and Bruce Willis, or a child- friendly animation headed by Adam Sandler as Dracula. I decided upon Looper, primarily because of its intriguing premise and the general positive reception surrounding the film. In its enveloping storyline, efficiently developed plot, and general excitability, Looper was all the success it was proclaimed to be.
Looper primarily focuses on the dichotomy between present and future, with time travel serving as a bridge. Joe, played by Gordon- Levitt, is a present-day Looper, responsible for killing those sent back to his time to be “erased” by futuristic criminal organizations. The profession has its perks, with good pay and a lavish lifestyle, yet ultimately proves problematic for Joe upon his realization that his latest target is actually his older self. As Bruce Willis enters the fold, playing “Old Joe,” the film evolves from time- travel action movie, to an actual pure, emotionally driven film. In this sense, the movies sole means of success no longer clings on appealing action sequences or the fluidity in its occasionally convoluted plot; it hinges on its characters and the length they are willing to carry Looper.
Throughout the films progression, Gordon-Levitt and Willis are able to convey a profound humaneness upon Looper, juxtaposed to the bleakness of the distant utopia that now resembles the world. While neither character truly personifies moral integrity, each character has his own redeemable cause, allowing the viewer to sympathize with “the Joe’s” motives. In particular, “Young Joe” dominates the film upon encountering Sara, played by Emily Blunt, and her son Cid. The scenes when these three are together provide hope to the film, effectively depicting “Young Joe’s” growth from Looper to person. As Looper reaches climax, “Young Joe’s” newfound selflessness manifests, and it is in his sacrifice that vague promise concludes the film.
p-pop b-bop banana nana bo-bop POP!!! This week is names….roll call!!!
1. Stacey Grove – Marc Bolan & Tyrannosaurus Rex
::: So self-indulgent! This song evokes the classic ‘nice guys finish last’ archetype in a draining, mundane manner. That Stacey Grove must be quite the catch for Bolan to refer to her by her actual name instead of some weirdo 70’s sweet talk. Then again, I think most of us would prefer to partake in some hot love rather than have him get our name straight.
::: The name Angie has never sounded so tragic. It evokes memories of crying in my car after saying goodbye to my great love. Just kidding, it only reminds me of the fact that I’ve never had a great love to say goodbye to. Great song–what a jam.
::: Grimes is the queen of pop and the intergalactic princess. You already love her and you probably already love this song so go ahead and give it another play. Vanessa is pretty cool too. GRIMEZ4EVR.
Homeboy Sandman is a rapper from New York City who is signed to the holy grail of all hip hop labels– Stones Throw, home to Madlib, Dilla, Doom, and a veritable treasure chest of other hip hop luminaries. Sandman’s latest release, First of a Living Breed, is his most refined release to date, and should hopefully give this earnest hip hop revivalist the recognition he deserves.
The keyword with Homeboy Sandman, and what sets him apart from other rappers, is grassroots. Through interviews, live shows, and ciphers, he has displayed an earnestness and clarity of purpose that is a breath of fresh air in a hip hop culture where the hype outweighs the substance a million to one. This grassroots ethic is embodied in his latest video, where Homeboy Sandman walks down a New York City Street in a single take, getting dap from fans and admirers, throwing down in an impromptu cipher, and signing records– all while rapping the lyrics to his ode to things staying the same. “People ask me if my life changed. Here’s what I might say: Not really.” These days, hip hop is high on excess, escapism and fantasy. Homebody Sandman brings it back to the source, by rapping straight from the heart about his experiences with a distinct lack of excess and frills. This music isn’t underground or mainstream– it’s just hip hop, plain and simple. This, for me, is what makes Homeboy Sandman an important hip hop artist.
Here’s an excerpt from an article Homeboy Sandman wrote for Huffington Post:
“I’ve had the honor of becoming friends with Crazy Legs of Rocksteady Crew, the legendary breakdancing crew that was featured so prominently in early hip hop movies like Style Wars and Wild Style. A conversation that I had with him about hip hop’s birth (which he was there for in person in the 70s in the South Bronx) helped me formulate my theory about why hip hop has become the most popular musical genre among youth in the entire world, to where Rio de Janiero is denser with graffiti than Queens, and kids in the Czech Republic wear baseball caps and call each other n******. It’s because somehow all those broke South Bronx kids captured the essence of cool. The spirit of it. Couldn’t be cool because of money, everyone was broke. Couldn’t be cool because of where you lived, everyone was in the slums. Couldn’t feel good about yourself because of your school because schools were a nightmare, or even because of your family as families in the South Bronx in the 1970 were plagued with every societal ill that society has to offer. But if you were an athlete, you could be a bboy. If you had some charisma, you could be an emcee. If you were artistic, you could be a graffiti writer. This was the inception of hip hop. Being cool without anything. Without being any certain type of person. Being cool only because of your talent.”
The wind is blowing, the air is cold and all of those black cats that live in town started walking around Wilder Bowl at night and you see their eyes glowing at night and it makes you walk the other way or maybe call ride-line. Pop group picked some songs that represent that freaky feeling that something scary is going to happen.
1. Pere Ubu – Thriller!
An unpredictable left turn on Dub Housing, this B-side track haunts and moans for way longer than any other song on the record. Inconsistent yet repetitive, scratchy and loud, “Thriller!” is the perfect song for squealing like a little piggy all the way home.
2 . Suicide – Ghost Rider
Slow droning synth backdrop and lo-fi, quavery vocals that creep up on you like a hooded figure. Intense. Good luck getting that beat out of your head when it’s over.
3. Timber Timbre – Demon Host
Eerie and haunting enough to echo that unshakable chill in the air. I mean, look, I’m not the kind of person to go around sitting in cemeteries night, but like, if I were, I would totally play this. Full moon preferable, but not required.
4. Tom Waits – Clap Hands
My mom used to play Tom Waits when we cleaned the house. I was always scared of his deep husky voice that would reverberate in the living room. When I was in middle school I made a horror film and used Tom Waits as my soundtrack. As spooky images of a dripping sink, footsteps on an old staircase, and a desolate backyard flashed across the screen, Tom Waits husked away in the background. He is what nightmares sound like.
5. Marilyn Manson – Dope Show
Creepy and uncomfortable, Mason always does it right. He’s fresh and sounds really blood almost all then time. What else would you ever want for Halloween? 90’s creep at its best. Listen to the whole album for extra spooky realness.
6. “Piggies” – The Beatles
My dad being an avid Beatles fan, growing up, I always felt like there was constantly a Beatles album being played in the background of my house. I took to the White Album, but this track never ceased to frighten my young mind. To this day, anything with maniacal laughing continues to give me the creeps.
On Thursday, October 11 at 10 pm, Underground System Afrobeat will bring their Brooklyn-ized stamp on the classic afrobeat style to the ‘Sco. An 11-piece ensemble led by trilingual frontwoman Domenica Fossati (vocals, flute, percussion), the band packs a ton of energy into their performances and is sure to turn the Sco into an all-around get-down. The show is free and open to the public.
I went to Cleveland for the second time, Friday. There was rap and more rap and more rap at the House of Blues. It was a new experience; I had never been to a rap show before. But I really like Danny Brown. A$AP Rocky, with Schoolboy Q, headlined the show, which was fine, excitable even, but Danny Brown was my motivation. He opened, went on at 8:00 and was backstage with a 40 before 9:00. The set was short, but Danny Brown played what you needed to hear, maybe not as his fan, but as someone who wanted good music.
Danny Brown is unique to his genre of music; he once claimed 50 Cent refused to sign him to G-Unit Records because he wears skinny jeans. I believe him. He doesn’t look like a rapper, but he is, no question about it. Every song he performed at the House of Blues exuded arrogance, every line ego, and everyone loved it. Although the crowd was initially sparse, Danny filled the void with energy, playing favorites such as “Monopoly” and “I Will” as the crowd grew and closed in around him. When the audience was ready, Danny finished with “Blunt After Blunt.” Everyone knew it would be his closer, but yet it was still unexpected. He snarled and wailed his way through the song, pausing only to allow the crowd the option to fill the chorus. We did; everyone screamed until they couldn’t, gathering air while he rapped another verse, waiting to unleash another Blunt After Blunt.
As Danny Brown finished, and as Schoolboy Q began to set up, there was a short intermission, with the majority of the crowd filed outside for a quick cigarette. Although everyone eagerly awaited the show’s continuation, Danny Brown’s performance had clearly captivated the audience. You could feel it. I met this guy from Florida who articulated it best, claiming “I came for A$AP. I didn’t know who Danny Brown was, but, yo, that motherfucker was sick.” And as people smoked cigarettes, Danny Brown really was the only thing worth talking about.
cleveland, Concerts, Danny Brown, Hip-Hop, Live Music
Another week, another batch of new music sent to the WOBC station. We heard the good, the bad, and the excruciating! Here’s our favorites of the bunch.
Animal Collective // Centipede HZ:
This new album has a more cohesive feel than Animal Collective’s previous productions. It tends more towards a consistent (at times almost dance) beat, toning down the trippy, constant shifts in melody that used to be essential to much of Animal Collective’s music.
Tame Impala // Lonerism:
Spectacular second album from the genius mind of Kevin Parker, the man behind Australian psych-rock outfit Tame Impala. More spaced out, psychedelic and layered than their debut Innerspeaker, Lonerism gets comfortable with more poppier songs and structures, while still showcasing gorgeous and unique sounds and textures that you can seldom here anywhere else in popular indie music today.
The Mountain Goats // Transcendental Youth:
A full horn section compliments John Darnielle’s storytelling in the newest album from The Mountain Goats. The songs are polished but still have JD’s signature nasally, emotional, frantic crooning that we all love. It’s their best in a while.