Monday, July 28, 2008

Songs #22: Way Down In The Hole
What Community? #50

Inspired by MOMI's "Making The Wire" week, I thought I'd go ahead and post mp3s of the five different versions of "Way Down in the Hole" used for each of the five different seasons' opening credits. Unfortunately, I didn't find mp3s of all five. However: I did find my two favorites, from the first two seasons, by The Blind Boys of Alabama and Tom Waits. And, in lieu of mp3s, I found youtube clips of each season's credits, sans narration by Andrew Dignan (which you can check out every day this week at MOMI's website). I've said elsewhere that I thought the series picked up steam as it went along through its first four seasons, only to kinda-sorta falter under its own ambitions in its final, fifth season, so I don't need to dive into that again. But it's worth noting, I think, how each version constitutes my relationship to each season, beginning with Steve Earle's cover, for that fifth season, that plays the harshest (and whitest), although kinda groovy, which added to my distaste for that season's misfires (and occasional bits of brilliance). By contrast, Tom Waits' elegiac original fits the mood of the docks really well: all those years of toil for nothing. The Neville Brothers' jazzy third season opener makes a nice compliment to the Blind Boys, which makes me think of the dueling East and West sides of B'more starting to come together, or at the least how they interact, starting with Stringer's negotiations in that season. DoMaJe had the honor to grace the show's greatest chapter, the fourth, and their plaintive march through varying genres, with time for odd samples and a nasty guitar solo and a grimey in-the-round vamp, speaks to the corner boys' close-knit texture, riffing on one another, trading insults and love equally. But, lemme get out of the way already. I'll leave the comments from here on out to Mssrs Dignan, Seitz and Lee. --RWK

Season One
The Blind Boys of Alabama (zshare link)

Season Two
Tom Waits (zshare link)

Season Three
The Neville Brothers

Season Four

Season Five
Steve Earle

Encounter #102: W is such a tease.

TWO MINUTES LATER UPDATE: Teaser trailer has been taken down. Such a tease. I was right.

Cuz it's bound to be everywhere, talked about my everyone, and cuz Josh Brolin is tight. Also, Jeffrey Wright and Richard Dreyfuss. I still hope the film itself is parody and not earnest, despite this marketing ploy. At that rate I may laugh.'ll just be a pain, and boring. --RWK

What Community? #49: Baseball breeds brains, crazy.

First we have Shane Victorinio inventing a new turn of phrase that makes my brain fart a big "Whu?" Or: "Wait, wait, wait. Wait a second. You don't ask the questions? Or you won't tolerate the questions? Huh?" If this catches on with the likes of Stuart Scott and Neil Everett I'll definitely get Ed Abbey and kill my TV (but not my precious internet).

Next we have Orel Hershisher's Joker impression. Since The Sports Hernia Blog had me LOL'ing (it's one of those dreary days), I'll just copy what they've got to go along with these pictures that I've stolen:
I hate you
ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball was already off the charts tonight with their new 'bathroom stall' camera feature, but the stunning presence of a completely insane Orel Hershiser, proud new owner of the greatest Joker portrayal to date, simply stole the show.

Did John Miller forget to wear pants? Did Steve Phillips suddenly go back to his part-in-the-middle look when the camera panned away? Did Elaine give him the Uncle Leo treatment and paint angry eyebrows on his face? Whatever it is, this normally mild-mannered individual wants to kick the living shit out of everyone.

Why so happy, Jon?
At this point Hershiser has the entire nation mentally crippled in a highly uncomfortable and paranoid state, yet John Miller thinks the guy is an absolute ray of light, like he's making god damn balloon animals and handing out cotton fuckin' candy.

What happened to this dude? If an alien tears out of his stomach and hops on Miller's head to act as an unflattering toupee, we won't exactly be surprised.

I can say no more. --RWK [both via The Sporting Blog's Morning Constitutional]

Encounter #101: Momma's Boy

Take a hike, Aha. Too bad this song is so short. I coulda dug on this video for a while longer. --RWK

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What Community? #48: Lots of high pick and roll plays, lots of dunks, lots of boards.

Chris Mullin paid Andris Biedrins. Same contract length as Monta means the W-men have a core. A very young core. Young and developing, happy to play together, all kinds of superlatives can be thrown at these two. I'm still not convinced Monta will be a true point, nor if that will totally work for Nellball, but I do like how he feeds Fast Andy. And Fast Andy can grab a lot of boards if he's out there on the floor more than 27.4mpg. If he's allowed to start all 82 (providing he stays healthy, of course), and he's allowed to play more than 30 minutes per, then Fast Andy should totally be among the league leaders in rebounding, proving a lot of critics wrong that the W-men have no inside presence. Maybe. I mean, there's B-Rite, too, to gobble some minutes along with Mr Energy, Ronny Turiaf. I'm still waiting to see how this group coheres, or not, so I'll keep saying that this is the oddest group assembled in the NBA right now. They'll undoubtedly be an offensive force, and a team to watch, but I don't know if they'll make the field of eight. It just doesn't seem possible. It does seem possible, though, that they can continue to develop their pair of long, rangy types while losing more games than they'd like this season. I'm guessing B-Rite will develop with more of a defensive mindset than Randolph so they can probably play off Fast Andy in cool, different styles depending on the game and the situation. For instance: I bet Randolph sees more minutes against a team like the Hornets and B-Rite sees more minutes against a team like the Lakers (to pick from the top). Either way they've got an intriguing premise for a real nail-biter season, and a few seasons to come.

A late aside: I'm thinking of writing a weekly basketball column next season. Or, simply, a series with numbers. I don't know what form it will take, but my inclination is to deviate from this strong Warriors bias and look across the league like those prototypical liberated fans at joints like Free Darko and Ball Don't Lie and Hardwood Paroxysm. Any ideas for titles for this series? Right now I've got these terrible ideas:
--Fires Pale, Ballers Fly
--The Week in the NBA
--Ry's bball eyes
--B-Rite's pinky
--I don't know shit
--24 is after 23
--Numbers don't mean shit, or, Fuck numbers
--Dunks and blocks and dimes
--Steve Nash is old
--No more guns