Thursday, November 29, 2007

Snoop Is The Man

What a fantastic video. More music video editors need to learn to show stuff twice, it has a deeper impact that way. You hear me music video editors?!? Hey! Music video editors! Stop digging through my dumpster! What the old tuna fish sandwiches I left out for you weren't enough! Stop it!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Solamente Un Barracho


Teen Machine "Teen Machine Rap (Teen Machine)"

The Gucci Crew "Sally That Girl"

Homer Simpspon "Mr. Plow Rap"

Uninformed white people have this idea of what rap sounds like. It's usually a very restricted flow that goes something like "I'm so and so and I'm here to say, I'm the rockingest dude in the USA" or some such. You've heard it before. It can maybe be best illustrated by Homer Simpson in his idea for a rap themed Mr. Plow commercial (I'll plow your cow if you have one). I think that this misinformed idea of hip hop comes from rap's early days.

Back when rap was a new art form, MCs were quickly learning how to format it. Looking at it today, early rap almost seems like a novelty. But these artists were growing with leaps and bounds every day. If your only point of reference is going t be "Rapper's Delight", uncreative fools are only going to come up with lame imitations of that song. I recently fell into the luck of acquiring a wonderful licensing comp chock full of hip hop's early days in New York City, as well as many of the breaks that those DJs used in the early days. Although listening to four solid hours of this stuff might get a little old, you can see the progression from what started as simple disco rhymes into what we know as hip hop today.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

The Fillet Of Kingston


Jackie Mittoo "Champion Of The Arena"

Jackie Mittoo "Jumping Jack"

Jackie Mittoo "Atom Sounds"

Jesus, this guy got around. Jackie Mittoo was a session keyboardist of sorts who played with the likes of the Skatalites, Alton Ellis and Sugar Minott. Champion In The Arena is a collection of solo material he recorded during the 1970s. Keyboardists usually don't get the respect they deserve, unless yr Stevie Wonder or something. Hey by the way speaking of Stevie Wonder; did you know that dude was blind?!? Man that is some crazy shit.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

An Imaginary Interview Between Me and Paul Thomas Anderson


by Matt Wolpert

Here's a transcript of the recent interview between me and Paul Thomas Anderson that happened in my mind.

ME: Let's get down to brass tacks.

PTA: Ok ....

ME: When you were writing "Magnolia", how many times did you consider calling it "Vadge-nolia"? Was it: A) 1 time, B) --

PTA: What?? Never.

ME: Hold on, Pal. Let me finish the question. When you were writing "Magnolia", how many --

PTA: Did you just call me "Pal"?

ME: No. I said "Hold on, Paul. Let me finish the question."

PTA: Whatever.

ME: When you were writing "Magnolia", how many times did you consider calling it "Vadge-nolia"? Was it: A) 1 time, B) 2 to 5 times, or C) 6 or more?

PTA: I never once considered calling it "Vadge-nolia".

ME: So .... which letter is that?

PTA: It's none of them! I considered calling it "Vadge-nolia" exactly ZERO times and that wasn't one of your choices.

ME: My mistake. Let me re-phrase: When you were writing "Magnolia", how many times did you consider calling it "Vadge-nolia"? Was it: A) 1 time, B) 2 to 5 times, C) 6 or more, or D) zero?

PTA: What the fuck, man?!?! I told you already: ZERO!!!

ME: Ok, so just to clarify, which letter are you choosing?

PTA: "D" -- ZERO!!!

ME: Pal Thomas Anderson. Thanks for your time.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Is That A Piece Of String Over There?

Back by popular demand, it's the continuation of Season One of superdeluxe.com's Whiskers & Mr. Fancy! I have to say that this batch of shows blows the original two away in every aspect. Deeper storylines, better animations, and best of all, junkie feral cats. Check out the whole series and others like it here.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

And This Is The Moment I Go To Hell


Chris Burke “Eating Is Fun, Eating Is Serious”

by Mark Cappelletty

There was a time, not too long ago, where your humble author thought that the musical subgenre known impolitely as “’tard rock” was funny. I snickered as the Kids Of Widney High stumbled through their cover of “Respect.” I got laughs calling a clumsy friend “Corky.” I traded Chris Burke mp3s. Then I learned there was a God and that He is a Vengeful God when, after seeing a triple bill of the Kids Of Widney High, Puppets From Hell and the Ebola Music Orchestra at Hollywood’s Knitting Factory, I suddenly experienced terrible pain in my ankle. It turned out to be tendonitis, requiring an ankle brace and orthotic insoles in my shoes. All because I couldn’t turn away from looking at a retarded kid drop his pants on stage.

So it’s with a heavy heart that I bring to you this song. Chris Burke, best known as the plucky teen with Downs Syndrome from TV’s Life Goes On now devotes most of his time to his musical endeavors and you can’t help but root for the guy even if he can’t really sing. Check him out at his website at www.chrisburke.org.

But that’s no excuse for this song, in which Burke — along with musical collaborators Joe and John DeMasi — futilely tries to teach us about the benefits of solid eating habits. Over a Michael McDonald-sounding Rhodes electric piano riff, Burke and Co. croon on about why you should balance out your diet of “chewy-chewing gum” and “lick-stick-a-lickericious” (after which, as Burke says, “I have a tummy ache and have no teeth”) with “veggies and meat.” But it’s the chorus that kills you, as the DeMasi siblings inform you that “Eating is fun/Eating is serious/You eat too much/Gonna get delirious/Eat too little/You’re gonna disappeareous/Eating is so, so serious,” with Burke raspily spitting out the kicker: “Eating is so much fun!” Uh, “disappeareaous”? For no real reason, the song suddenly dovetails into a children-sung rendition of “Short’ning Bread” and an amateur-hour Chuck Mangione trumpet solo. And a chanting of different rhyming food types. If you’ve been looking for a song with the couplet “Milky Ways/Hollandaise,” this may be the ditty for you.

Burke has nothing to be ashamed of, but the DeMasi brothers get sent to the back of the Raffi bus for this. Come back, Slim Goodbody. All is forgiven.

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Monday, November 12, 2007


Part of the reason POP ZEUS! has been so barren lately is because I've been favoring music of the vinyl variety as of late, and I really don't have any good way to digitize it and share it with y'all. I finally found something so good that I forced myself to discover a way to do it. And you're going to be happy about it.

Now normally records under the "sports" category don't really carry my interest. A lot of spoken word and radio shows, usually. But then I found THIS:


Akeem "The Dream" Olajuwon "The Unbeatable Dream"


That's right, one half of the Twin Towers Akeem "The Dream" Olajuwon cut a record in 1987 for his shoe sponsor Etonic. Well okay, he didn't really perform the song, it was actually written and performed by someone called Hurt 'Em Bad and Olajuwon provides the occasional lyrical accentuation. In the chorus, that's him sounding like a retarded muppet saying "Unbeatable!".


Portions of proceeds went to benefit the Lupus Foundation, and when I say portions I mean it in the smallest possible denomination, because I think only me and Ralph Sampson own this record. The rest of the money probably went to Etonics, whose brand name is mentioned throughout the song ("Dripping with sweat and soaking wet / ETONICS on his feet" - ew!) so frequently that this practically becomes a commerical. A horrible, awful commercial. It's stuff like this that eventually gave way to Deion Sanders' music video, and that should almost be considered a war crime.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Lynx Job


The Lit Life "Wish Bone"

The Lit Life "Tarantulaser"

The Lit Life "Freehand"

The Lit Life "Drunk Crow"

I don't remember how I described the Lit Life the first time around here on POP ZEUS! Probably something like "Robot Dracula Pop" or some such. Well The Lit Life is back for another round of torturous ponderings, this time a little more slick. They've stripped things down and actually introduced real instruments in lieu of the pulsating machine drones that shaped their first offering. Take the death meditation "Wish Bone" or the Pixies wannabe "Tarantulaser", these songs are a giant leap. No proper album is in the works, but these four new tracks suggest a turn of the corner for the Lit Life. My prediction for their next slew of tracks: Forty piece orchestra.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Maintain Your Election


General Election Engines "Before"

General Election Engines "She Believes"

General Election Engines "Out Of Place"

General Election Engines are on the eve of releasing their first full length, No More Blue Star. Being the only blog on earth who has ever had the pleasure of discussing their music, POP ZEUS! is proud to offer up a sample of what promises to be a very solid debut. G.E.E. hails from the south side of Chicago. Mired in a sea of heavy metal and skinhead punk bands, singer/songwriter Pat Winters braves the icy waters with Mountain Goats-esque tales of love and loss.

Easily the catchiest of the bunch, "Before" happens to unfortunately also be the most poorly recorded. Recorded on a boombox tape recorder with the Romeros' Mike Vanderbilt on lead guitar, the song is just infectious enough to be a hit once its properly recorded. Other songs like "Out Of Place" and "She Believes" carry on the "rocking now" lo-fi tradition of G.E.E. heroes such as Guided By Voices.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Be More Specific


Band Of Horses "The General Specific"

Band Of Horses seemed to me a band that might not have had staying power the first time I heard them. Sure, "The Funeral" may have been the single of last year, but at the same time they almost seemed like a poor man's My Morning Jacket, and we all know how they turned out.

Their latest release, Cease To Begin, went ahead and shut my big fat moutch. The album is chock full of fantastic pop, moreso even than their last record. "The General Specific" is so happy and catchy that even the first time you hear it you feel like you know it by heart. Band Of Horses know how to do that, because they have a time machine. They played the song to you in your sleep every night for the last five years, so when you hear it now it feels that familiar. Talk about brilliant marketing.

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