We Moved!

21Feb10

Check us out at our fancy new site:

http://www.sexy-gypsy.com

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Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to let you guys know, our friend and one time contributor, Tyson, is doing big things these days. In addition making everyone’s day a bit more hilarious, he’s refreshed his blog, Lazy Sportswriting. His latest article, When The Man Comes Around: Johnny Cash and Professional Athletes is a great take on how different the lives of athletes could be, had they just listened to Johnny Cash.

You can follow him on Twitter, email him at tysonqsports@gmail.com or become his fan on Facebook. Check out his work, you won’t be disappointed.

1,

Your Fearless Leader


The Rise & Fall of St. Valentine Front

Mixtapes have become an innate part of our culture. And by our culture, I don’t just mean 20something bloggers and music nerds. I mean all of us. Everyone under the age of 50 has crafted, gifted or received at least one mixtape in their lives. Think about it. Maybe you had an old school tape deck hooked up to some turntables. Maybe you waited by the radio for the perfect song so you could hit record on your boombox. Maybe you patiently ripped dozens of CDs to burn your own mix. Whatever it is, we all have our own mixtape experience. They are just as much a part of growing up as scraped knees, your first kiss or graduation. They are moments in time, snapshots of lives, memories in music.

This is why we decided to start a mixtape series of our own. We wanted to add a little bit of sexy gypsy flavor to the world of mixtapes.

And what better theme for our inaugural mixtape than love? Judging from most of the mixtapes I’ve collected over the years, there is a common thread throughout them all. They’re generally old, dust-covered CDs or cassettes with Sharpie-scrawled titles like, Amy Vol. 1, Sad and Angry Mix, June 07 and of course, The Fuck You, You Dirty Whore Mixtape. And every one of these has its own nostalgic feel to it, bringing back thoughts of love lost, good days, bad days and even dirty whores.

With The Rise & Fall of St. Valentine, I wanted to create something eclectic, something that everyone would feel deeply, yet retained a piece of my own personality. As a result, this mix has a little bit of everything. The Delfonics and Nirvana, The Notorious B.I.G and Okkervil River—they’re all here. And each bring something special to the mix.

The Rise & Fall of St. Valentine illustrates two sides of love—the painfully beautiful and the beautifully painful. The Rise encompasses the feeling of meeting someone, falling in love and the sheer awesomeness of moments spent together. The Fall explores the heartbreaking, angry, lonely haze that follows a love failed.

The full track listing is below along with links to stream both The Rise and The Fall. Or if you prefer, you can download the mix directly here, all tagged up with album art.

Big ups to all the people who helped contribute to this project. Especially the always awesome, @supertoast (aka my sister, Sky), for the album art and help with final cut decisions.

Enjoy.

The Rise and Fall of St. Valentine Back


THE RISE

  1. Love Ain’t – Cunninlynguists
  2. Glory Box – Portishead
  3. Make Her Mine – Mayer Hawthorne
  4. Love Is – Common
  5. Wildflower – Hank Crawford
  6. Hey There Lonely Girl – The Delfonics
  7. Skinny Love – Bon Iver
  8. My Manic And I – Laura Marling
  9. I Love You – Tab
  10. You’re All I Need – Mary J. Blige and Method Man
  11. You and Me Song – The Wannadies
  12. If There’s Love – Citizen Cope
  13. A Girl In Port – Okkervil River
  14. Me and My Bitch – The Notorious B.I.G.
  15. You Got Me – The Roots

THE FALL

  1. Fearless – Saul Williams
  2. Fuck You Lucy – Atmosphere
  3. Sometimes It Hurts – Stabbing Westward
  4. Pissing In A River – Patti Smith
  5. Crown of Love – Arcade Fire
  6. Where Did You Sleep Last Night? – Nirvana
  7. Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away) – Nina Simone
  8. Don’t Let Them See You Cry – Manchester Orchestra
  9. Ghost of A Good Thing – Dashboard Confessional
  10. No One’s Gonna Love You – Band of Horses
  11. Tiny Vessels – Death Cab For Cutie
  12. I Could Have Lied – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  13. I Just Don’t Think I’ll Get Over You – Colin Hay
  14. Almost Lover – A Fine Frenzy
  15. White Blank Page – Mumford & Sons

DOWNLOAD: The Rise & Fall of St. Valentine


by The Great White Gypsy

How in holy, blazing, snowball devouring hell has Jeff Bridges never won an Oscar???
Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. But the question still stands. How does one of the most well-known actors of the last 50 years create iconic character after iconic character and go completely unrewarded? He was The Dude! He was Lightfoot! He was Tucker, the man with the dream! He was Wild Bill! He was Starman! For Christ’s sake, he was Tron! Ok, he wasn’t actually Tron, but Tron didn’t do shit in that movie, it was all fucking Jeff Bridges!!!! And now, he is Bad Blake.
Crazy Heart is the story of Bad Blake, an aging country music star who is obviously past his glory days. He drives his Chevy Silverado all over the Southwest playing in bowling alleys and dive bars just to make a living. He’s an alcoholic chain-smoker with a whiskey bottle full of resentment towards his agent, his protege-turned-rockstar, and himself. Along his travels, he meets a reporter (Maggie Gyllenhaal) doing a story on him, and the two become involved. And true to every country song you’ve ever heard he attempts to quit drinking, keep his woman from leaving, and make sure his truck is running smooth. You should all be ashamed of yourselves…generalizing like that.
For what it was, Crazy Heart was almost technically perfect in its simplicity. Virgin Director Scott Cooper (who also adapted the screenplay) is solid. Cinematographer Barry Markowitz (All the Pretty Horses, Sling Blade) knows how to master a camera without being overbearing. And you can’t go wrong with a score written by T-Bone Burnett (O Brother Where Art Thou?, Walk the Line). The Oscar-nominated song “The Weary Kind” is essentially the culmination of the film. If it hadn’t been sung by Colin Farrell, it might have been better. But when you watch it, you’ll understand why it’s necessary, and it’s really good.
At the risk of sounding like a groupie, Jeff Bridges is the best part of this film. He completely immerses himself in the role. Bad Blake obviously has his vices and flaws, but he is an old school country gentleman: polite, amicable, and charming. Even though you can tell he resents the hell out of playing sets in the asshole of New Mexico, on the outside he’s always a stand up guy. This helps to contrast his downfalls, showing two extreme sides of him. We first see him getting out of his truck after a long drive. He stretches, pours out half a gallon jug of piss (if you’ve ever been on a road trip, you understand this), lights a cigarette, and walks into the bar. From that point on, he’s never more than an arm’s length away from a bottle of whiskey. Perhaps this is why I felt a sense of dread even when he was lying in bed with Maggie Gyllenhaal, or taking her son out to the park.
As amazing as Bridges is, and as much as I love this film, the low point for me is the writing. I know it’s based on the novel by Thomas Cobb (which I haven’t read), but Bad Blake is such an even character throughout that, even though you see his personal developmental rollercoaster, he isn’t contrasted enough by his environment. The things he does, the mistakes he makes, never feel like they deserve the consequences they bring. Maybe this is supposed to make you sympathize more with him – like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler – but for me it failed. The whole time, I was thinking, “I don’t understand his relationship with this character.” or, “Why is everyone angry? He didn’t really do anything wrong!” Side stories and subplots that could have been woven into the main flow seem to peter out and become irrelevant too quickly, and conflicts that were presented as crucial are underdeveloped and unexplained.
I understand why Crazy Heart wasn’t nominated for Best Picture or Best Screenplay (although with Precious and Avatar in there, it definitely could have been). However, Bad Blake is this year what Randy “The Ram” was last year, and if Bridges is snubbed again, this dude will not abide!
Final Grade: B+


by The Great White Gypsy


You can get anything online these days. It started out as pictures. Then music became available. Then movies. Now you can get food, entertainment, conversation, and sex without even leaving your house. The Irony is not lost on me, then, as I am reviewing a film about online file sharing. Which I downloaded.
God Bless America.
The Lionshare, Joshua Bernhard‘s first effort in filmmaking, is about a 20-something guy in New York who meets a girl online. They get together for drinks, and during a conversation about a file sharing site called The Lionshare, she admits she’s never seen Ghostbusters (travesty!) After a failed attempt to rent it, and a subsequent sexual encounter, he promises to check out a band on the site. For the next hour, we watch him hanging out with his indie-musician friends and downloading songs to add to a mix for his one night stand.
That may seem like a boring premise, but the movie is very well done. As far as mumblecore films go, this one has a much more patient cinematography. Even though it comes in at a quick 65 minute runtime, the story is broken up between shots of the sunset over Brooklyn and random montages of people walking around with headphones on. Bernhard very subtlety yet very clearly and unpretentiously shows us a contradiction in society. With our websites and our ipods, we are a disconnected society. Yet what we all have in common is this earphone-induced isolation.
In contrast to the work of the Duplass brothers and Andrew Bujalski, the cast in this film is a bit younger. With everyone in their early 20’s, the dialogue seems a little more natural and carefree. Maybe I don’t have friends like that now, but I did Sophomore year of college. The jokes cracked and issues discussed lend themselves to an image of youthful hope, rather than the meandering and jaded dissatisfaction of the soon-to-be-thirty-somethings that dominate the genre.
The music in the film is also interesting. Though it doesn’t stand very well on its own (I checked out a lot of it online), it fits the tone of the movie pretty well. The Lawnchairs, The Lillapucians, and The Assembly Line might not be bands you’ve ever heard of, but in a story based on uber-indie music, that’s kinda the point, right?
My only problem with The Lionshare is the ending. Not that it’s bad. It’s just vague in a way that could either make you hate it or love it. In the midst of pining for this girl via music downloads, the main character uploads his friend’s demo (his friend is actually a small time musician playing himself), which causes some problems between them. I won’t give away any of the “twists” or the ending, but one of the final lines is, “We knew how this would end.” I can’t tell if this is a statement about their relationships and personalities, or if it’s a statement about file sharing and internet piracy. In my opinion, that’s too fine of a line for an indie movie to end on.
If it’s the latter, Joshua Bernhard can send me a copy of the DVD, and I’ll send him a check. BEAR FACT.
Final Grade: B-


If you’re anything like us, one of the first things you did when you woke up Tuesday morning was check out the announcement of the 2010 Academy Award nominations. And if you’re really like us, you were a bit disappointed with the list.

We’ve known for a while that the Academy planned to nominate ten films for best picture this year instead of the usual five. Unfortunately, this was a really, really weak year for mainstream film. Out of the ten, we consider six to be immediate throw-aways (Avatar, An Education, Precious, The Blind Side, A Serious Man, Up), leaving only four solid contenders (Up in the Air, Inglourious Basterds, The Hurt Locker, District 9).

Acting has also seen better years. The nominees this year include low points like Morgan Freeman (Best Actor) and Matt Damon (Best Supporting) in Invictus (both played themselves with African accents), Sandra Bullock (Best Actress) in The Blind Side (the chick from Miss Congeniality and The Net? Really???), and Stanley Tucci (Best Supporting) in The Lovely Bones (great actor, not his best role or film).

High notes include Jeff Bridges and Woody Harrelson finally getting some much overdue love (Best Actor, Crazy Heart and Best Supporting, The Messenger respectively), Carey Mulligan (Best Actress) for her breakthrough role in An Education, and Christoph Waltz (Best Supporting, Inglourious Basterds) and Mo’Nique (Best Supporting, Precious) as our only two real locks this year.

In one of the biggest travesties since LOTR: Return of the King, Avatar has been nominated for NINE f-ing awards (Best Picture, Director, Original Score, Original Screenplay, Art Direction, Cinematography, Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects). As entertaining and visually awe-inspiring as it was, there was nothing at all original about the score or the screenplay, and putting it up against Tarantino and Reitman is just insulting.

We still have a few major films to watch, as well as a lot of foreign, documentary, and short nominees. Expect to see our official preview, along with our personal Oscar ballots, in a few weeks. Until then, to see the full list of nominees click here.



These last few weeks have seen UK-based electropop mainstay Hot Chip getting insane amounts of buzz. In addition to the thousands of blog posts scattered about the web, I’ve gotten texts, phone calls, emails, tweets and every other form of correspondence imaginable urging me to go listen to their new album, One Life Stand.

Yet despite the hype, I wasn’t expecting much. First off, I’m not the hugest fan of electronic music. With such an inorganic art form, it can be difficult to communicate a sense of authenticity. Very few bands have done it successfully–Nine Inch Nails, TV On The Radio and Yeasayer are the only ones that come to mind. Yet after sitting with this record for a good week, I can definitively say, Hot Chip’s One Life Stand now belongs in that group.

This is the first Hot Chip album written primarily by vocalists Joe Goddard and Alexis Taylor. And it is their songwriting that helps One Life Stand outshine three previous albums. Thoughtful, introspective lyrics and an ever-changing sonic landscape drive the album forward. This in itself is rare for electronic-based albums that tend to run together, beating you in the head with their repetition. Tracks like We Have Love, or I Feel Better with it’s synth-strings, thumping beat and auto-tuned hook, are born for the club. Other tracks, like the wistful Alley Cats or Brothers, have a more personal feel–laidback and reflective.

One Life Stand is set to drop in the UK on February 8 and here in the US on the 9th. But you can download it right now from their store or stream it from their MySpace page. I highly recommend you check it out.