July 2010


I’m not necessarily a fan of the rapper Lil Wayne, but I don’t hate him. Plus, I love 500 Days of Summer, and I big love a good mashup. So, here it is:

http://www.500daysofweezy.com/

You’re welcome.

(Although, really, send your thanks elsewhere: http://twitter.com/mysickuncle).

This album (? is that what is is?) is all kinds of right. To begin with, it samples the soundtrack to 500 Days of Summer which, to those who don’t know, is arguably the greatest non-original soundtrack since Garden State. It’s everything that mix tapes (an oft forgotten ritual that I am increasingly appreciative that my dad taught me at a young age) ought to be. It mixes artists and sound techniques that you probably wouldn’t think on your own to pair together. Also, like the movie, it rings true. Rather than aiming to hit big, over-reaching emotions or plot points (“He hangs out with his friends too much and is distant!”, “She’s looking for love in all the wrong places!”), it hits on pretty specific sentiments, but hits them sincerely. Tell me you haven’t felt like this, for instance.:

Either you’ve been there, and you remember, or you haven’t, but you know that you will, some day. And can’t wait, right? Whoever mixed this knows better than to take away from any of that.

My other major point on this album is that it brings me back to rap and hip hop in the same way that the Grey Album did. For those of you unfamiliar, the Grey Album was DJ Danger Mouse’s mashup of the Beatles’ White Album and Jay Z’s faux-finale The Black Album.

Similarly to how 500 DoW was posted, Danger Mouse set up the so-called Grey Album for free download on his website, as his own personal “f you” to the Beatles lawyers who threatened to take it down over copyright infringement.  He got out of it what he wanted, anyway; he later went on to form the Super Duo Gnarles Barkley. This time around, I can’t possibly imagine that the disclaimer “Apologies to Morrissey and Simon&Garfunkle for fucking with your songs” is going to keep their own high paid lawyers at bay. Unlike the work of GirlTalk, of whom I would also count myself a fan, whoever made 500DoW doesn’t summarize the themes or styles of any of the songs into a minute or so. In some ways, this leads itself to an easy critique; the songs he “samples” are good in and of themselves, and all this DJ does is throw some rapping over them. In the other sense, I can’t shake the feeling that whoever created this playlist saw 500 Days of Summer at least once and knew better than to break up each song beat by beat. They were already so well matched to emotions shared impeccably by actors Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levit, why force the listener to lose that, right? And listen to the 500DoW version of Quelqu’un M’a Dit and tell me you don’t feel something different than the First Lady of France (listed below, for your convenience) makes you feel. Not better, not worse. But you have a new sensation in your feelings vocabulary, I suspect.

So, Grey Album it ain’t, but for everyone exhausted with rap or hip hop, as I have been lately (I blame you, Taio Cruz), let’s collectively give it up for 500 Days of Weezy. An album like this brings out everything I love about the internet. Only in this era could you have sounds like this come from some basement, or studio (we don’t know where, and that’s part of the appeal, no?) and enter our collective ear and be gone, undoubtedly, before we even know it. This crosses mediums James Franco style. Long live the mashup. I would love, love love to hear what you all think in the comments. Or if you have favorite mashups of your own, hit me with those, too. I’m in the mood!

Despite all the odds, I’m still interested in soccer. Weird, huh? I went to my first professional soccer game last weekend, and it was great. I have a stadium literally down the road from my house that in the year and a half I’ve lived here, I never even considered visiting. I’m glad I did; it was awesome. I’m going back this Saturday and sitting in the hooligan section. Seeing as soccer seasons last 9 months, I can foresee myself dropping some serious cash and spending a lot of time at local soccer games. To help me decide if this is mostly good or mostly  bad, I’ve written up some pros and cons:

PROs:

  1. Stadiums have hooligan sections.
  2. Soccer players are, on the whole, beautiful men.
  3. Like at most sporting events, binge drinking is encouraged, rather than frowned upon.
  4. American soccer fans are still a relatively small group, so my chances of meeting / befriending / mooching off of a player are increased.
  5. The stadium is janky, which means it’s not crowded, and you can get beer and food easily and on the cheap.

CONs

  1. I don’t really understand soccer.

Sounds like a no brainer to me! Finn was fortunate enough to attend the NY Redbulls game tonight at which Thierry Henry made his local debut. For those of you who don’t know much about Thierry, here are three pieces of trivia for you: he’s gorgeous, has a French accent, and plays soccer. France hardly played him at all during this recent World Cup, a crime I find more reprehensible than anything they did (or perhaps more importantly, didn’t do) during World War II. But really, don’t feel bad if you don’t know anything about Monsieur Thierry; neither did these idiots, but it didn’t stop them from interviewing him on live TV, now did it?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Thierry Henry on Good Day NY – 7.19.10, posted with vodpod

While we’re on the topic of soccer, allow me to spew a quick grippe. At a party last Friday, I saw a guy wearing baby blue T-shirt with the outline of Argentina, a star where the capital city is, labeled “Buenos Aires,” and a print of a curly haired 1970s-era Diego Maradona. My love of Coach Diego is well documented, so I approached this guy confidently and commented that it was great to meet another Maradona fan. He looked at me wide-eyed and countered with a completely sincere “what is that?” OH MY GOD. You cannot wear such an unbelievably specific shirt and ask that. You just can’t!

In a general housekeeping item, sorry my blog posts have been so irregular. Finn finally convinced me to join Twitter in the hopes that some of the one liners or song recommendations I have will at least be shared, rather than be damned to the blog version of the Island of Misfit Toys. So, even though our children’s children will one day read in history books that the single moment which signified the downfall of our generatio was forcing comedic greats like Conan O’Brien to begin limiting their comments to 160 characters* a pop, I cast all judgment aside and dive headfirst into Twitter Land. Any friendly suggestions of how to navigate these new waters (for instance, I imagine it’s not called Twitter Land) would be greatly appreciated. And oh yea, follow me! I’m @ http://twitter.com/PintjeBlog. Or am I just @PintjeBlog ? See! I have so many questions!

*Note: characters is one of the words I misspell so egregiously that SpellCheck can’t even help me. Based on how I spelled it this time, for instance, the computer generated suggestion was “correctors.” At least it kept it ironic!

There’s nothing funny about downsizing, and there’s really nothing funny about downsizing police officers. Having said that, I found an interesting article today that involves the downsizing of police officers in Oakland, California, and am making it the topic of a way overdue Pintje post. Deal with it.

As the result of letting 80 policemen and women go due to budget constraints, the city’s remaining officers will not respond to the following situations:

  • burglary
  • theft
  • embezzlement
  • grand theft
  • grand theft:dog
  • identity theft
  • false information to peace officer
  • required to register as sex or arson offender
  • dump waste or offensive matter
  • discard appliance with lock
  • loud music
  • possess forged notes
  • pass fictitious check
  • obtain money by false voucher
  • fraudulent use of access cards
  • stolen license plate
  • embezzlement by an employee (over $ 400)
  • extortion
  • attempted extortion
  • false personification of other
  • injure telephone/ power line
  • interfere with power line
  • unauthorized cable tv connection
  • vandalism
  • administer/expose poison to another’s

Wha? I can understand them putting neighborhood squabbles about loud hip hop music at the bottom of their list of priorities – but burglary? This is terrifying! DrudgeReport linked to this article with a headline like “License To Commit Crime in Oakland!” or something equally sensational, so I hope this does not become a complete haven for crime before they get this budget problem solved.

However, if this does become such a haven, I have a solution. My friend and I have a buddy who happens to be in the police academy in California right this very minute. Since Oakland is on the brink of near lawlessness, we propose he heads up to that area with the intention of being the “new sheriff in town.” He can be the sole enforcer of the aforementioned 44 offenses! Obviously, in doing this, he should arrive with a camera crew in tow, to record footage as part of an upcoming reality show.

So, Andy Cohen, I’m sure you read my blog and will  greenlight this idea. I’ve already done most of the leg work for you (you’re welcome). My friend can be the new Dog: The Bounty Hunter, only not as hardcore or racist. I’ve already come up with a catchy slogan you can use for bumper stickers or shirts at your merch store: “Hey California: EXTORT THIS.” And not that I’m proposing we do this as some sort of scripted reality show, but I can just about guarantee that my buddy will drop the following line in the first episode: “”Do you know what they do to punks like you that discard appliances with locks, in prison?” You can take that to the bank.