Wackness is about white teens in the first half of the 90s who say stuff like, "You only see the wackness; I see the dopeness." They're in their 30s now, so the nostalgia is ripe. It was the period when the classical tradition in rap was giving way to the method acting mumbling of gangster wannabes selling the “real” to undergraduates. In a nod to Vincent Price famously referring to the method actors as "the mumblers," either Big Daddy Kane or Chuck D once lamented the fact that so many of the contemporary MCs gargled into the microphone. Anyhow, the film's soundtrack reminded me of why I started to hate commercial rap (not that I needed the reminding). Each line Big E wheezes brings him one step closer to a cardiac arrest and me to the door. But, in trying to see the dopeness -- this movie wasn't Hancock, after all -- I soldiered on. I will draw the line at Sundance films set in a Lilith Fair concert.
So, the story: Luke (Josh Peck) is a pot dealer who’s just graduated from high school in the first year of Giuliani’s Manhattan. This is one of those introspective comedies (à la Little Miss Sunshine) that dominate Landmark’s arthouse chain, so Luke’s one and only friend is his psychiatrist, Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley, supposedly a Brooklyn Jew, but looking like Cheech Marin circa Up In Smoke with an accent that slips into British, Indian caricature and Classic Hollywood Nazi). Luke trades the doc dope for counseling. Luke’s problems are that no one is his friend outside of wanting drugs from him and he can’t get laid. One such “friend” is the hip hop Asian character who functions as the foil for Luke’s romantic interest in Squires’ step-daughter, Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby). Another is nuevo hippie chick Union (Mary-Kate Olsen, the same twin – I checked – who plays the same character on Weeds).
There have been so many new albums out in the last couple months, and we have some really exciting things to look forward to as well -- new albums from Ratatat and Beck next week, and a new box set from Yaz next week as well, which I will most likely be talking about. Yaz is also playing in Los Angeles next week and you know that I will of course be there. I have never seen them before and I am sure that this will be my only chance. There is also this new album next week from Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine and Patti Smith! I am very curious. Not exactly two people that I would expect to work together, but I love them both! Should be interesting. July 22nd is the date that the Dead Can Dance reissues finally come out. It breaks my heart a little bit that those albums have not been in print for a little while. I imagine some young kid coming into the store, trying to explore the world of Dead Can Dance and only finding the greatest hits sort of collection. Luckily, we have the used CDs in the meantime. I can't imagine my life without these Dead Can Dance albums and am happy to know they will soon be joining us again in record store land. There is a new Faint album on August 5th as well as the solo debut from Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes, but this week there is really nothing out in the land of music. At least nothing for me. There are new albums from G-Unit, J*Davey, Alkaline Trio, Deltron 3030, and Earlimart, but they are not exactly the albums that get me excited. It has been a while since there has been a week like this, but I guess it is bound to happen every once in a while, so I am forced to move my attention to DVDs-- and there is one excellent TV show out on DVD this week that I absolutely love. If you have not seen Mad Men yet, now is the time!
These chaps have the right idea!
Some "Cut & Run" types think it's ok to celebrate such other July 4th holidays such as:
Filipino - American Friendship Day
Day of Agwe - Haiti
Birthday of Queen Sonja - Norway
Commemoration of Jewish Genocide - Latvia
Family Day - Lesotho
Fisherman's Day - Marshall Islands
Independence Day - Rwanda
King's Day - Tonga