Just shows that you can’t judge a band by its… cover?
This video also provides a great insight into the creative process that goes behind making singles. If this version doesn’t sound familiar to you, it is because the song would later undergo multiple revisions to eventually become the “Space Oddity” that most people know and love today.
For reference, here is the better known 1972 “Space Oddity.”
The second single from Eminem’s recent album, MMLP2, “Rap God” hit YouTube around a month ago at this point. Living up to its name, the song proves that Eminem is a “Rap God.” Old school fans of Eminem approaching this, hoping for another “Lose Yourself,” may well be disappointed; however, anyone wanting to see a new Eminem at the top of his game needs to look no further.
“Rap God” brings a mix of everything that made Eminem a sensation in the first place, with a new sense of maturity and energy. Tied to all of this is a very real knowledge of the need for Eminem to solidify his legacy, as well as pointing out the failures of rap today. Whereas Eminem was “a product of Rakim/Lakim Shabazz, 2Pac, N-W-A., Cube, hey, Doc, Ren/Yella, Eazy, thank you, they got Slim,” modern rappers appear as being as “pointless as Rapunzel/With fucking cornrows/You’re write normal, fuck being normal.” Then, in classic Eminem fashion, he goes on to mention how he brought a ray gun from the future.
Eminem was never a rapper to shy away from controversy, or unique rhymes and themes. “Rap God” shows him at the top of his game in terms of this. Whether he’s playing with the puns of slap boxing not being that hard in the bridge, or talking about his blueprint for success from his younger years, Eminem is all action in this song. It shows, too. At over six minutes in length, “Rap God” is an opus from Eminem, it is a legacy builder.
Aside from the content of the verses, the real standout from the track is Eminem’s impressive mastering of different speeds, timing, and flow. Effortlessly he seems to transition from one time signature to another, resembling more the mastery of rappers like Gift of Gab, than any mainstream rappers you see today. And there you have the crux of Eminem’s piece.
He seemingly laments the state of the music and art he loves, and so, through “Rap God,” he’s hoping to set the bar high and challenge other rappers to even come close to challenging his stature.
Someone once read that the key to writing good Sci-Fi was creating a future where the major difference from our current world isn’t the technology, but the culture that surrounds it. Well, if that is the key to an amazing work of Science-Fiction, director Spike Jonze nails it on the head with “Her.” Dismissing the doom and gloom of recent science-fiction, Jonze instead focuses on how relationships could flower and grow between humans and AI. The result is that “Her” makes Sci-Fi heartfelt, and all the more haunting. (Some slight spoilers ahead)
Once set up, Theodore and his AI, Samantha – voiced flawlessly by Scarlett Johansson – develop a strong relationship that eventually blossoms into a complete romance. While this concept had the chance to be highly flawed and flat out ridiculous, Jonze masterfully built an entire universe and culture that allowed such a concept to flower. So, while Theodore becomes intimately connected to Samantha, other characters drop hints of the friendships they are simultaneously developing with their own respective operating systems or gossip about how rare this type of relationship actually is.
“Her”‘s greatest strength most certainly lies in the casting choices. Joaquin Phoenix manages to convey genuine remorse, doubt, and joy. At every step of the story, you can understand exactly how Theodore must feel and, more masterfully, you can empathize with how someone in his situation would eventually seek a relationship through Samantha, who does seem to truly love him – thanks to Johansson’s amazing work.
Whereas many films may fall into general sappiness or reach for some deus ex machina solution to the underpinning question of how a human and a disembodied machine may ever truly achieve a true relationship, “Her” suffers no such pitfall. The ending is masterful, and drives home the general thrust of the film – What are relationships truly? How tenable are they ever really?
All in all, “Her” is the first must see movie of 2014 (or, technically, the last ‘must see’ of 2013).
For more incredibly images of Chicago frozen over, head on over to this Huffington Post article.
Photo Credit: Akasped
With all the diplomacy going on with the possible drumming up of war, or the drumming up of diplomacy, over Syria this video only seemed appropriate for a Friday Refrain. I can’t think of anyone who does a better job of mocking the U.N. and US foreign policy than this video for Sixteen Military Wives by The Decemberists. Plus, well, it’s just enjoyable.
As one of the top commenters on YouTube said, the video really is like a Wes Anderson film. Awesome.
To anyone born in the ’90s, do you remember growing up playing Nintendo? Or maybe you watched Cartoon Network’s Toonami, which was heavily dominated by anime classics like Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z. Maybe you weren’t quite that nerdy. Maybe, instead, you were the cool kid in elementary school and had the largest collection of tamagotchis in your class.
I guess I really did take my time coming home. So it goes, I’m ready for sushi… Although I’m sure I will find it very hard to leave the beaches of Dubrovnik. Goodbye, King’s Landing, goodbye.
Anyway, yeah, Eastern Europe! I imagine that by this point I’m really excited to see Bonobo live in concert tomorrow – I would hope I’m still excited to see him, at least.