Sunday, October 30, 2005

a better version of "extraordinary machine"

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unless you're a complete and utter imbecile (in which case, you shouldn't be reading this blog), the fact that there are two versions of fiona apple's newest (and in my opinion, best) album, extraordinary machine, should really come as no big surprise to you.

there's the jon brion version (with all of the baroque instruments, chock full of weirdness, like any good alt-pop album should have), the one that spawned a movement of music geeks with nothing better to do with their lives than send apples to sony's offices. [disclaimer: i'm a music geek with nothing better to do with my life than sit and blog about it. don't get mad, we're all on the same team.]

there's the mike elizondo version (with all the features of a regular, run in the mill major label shit. oh, and the beat that sounds like the ones he does with [or for?] dr. dre), the one that was actually released by the major labels. it's really no big surprise, considering the crossover-production thing people have been doing (hello, jon brion was the only reason why late registration was better than college dropout). it only seems right that dr. dre's ghost-producer work with fiona.

so, here's the proclaimation: if you took the better versions of the songs from both albums, you would have fiona's greatest work to date. i read the lyrics booklet. the hype is real. so, instead of a track-by-track review of how i always review albums, this is a track-by-track synopsis of the better-produced songs. the title track and "waltz" were omitted, because jon brion produced them both, and "parting gift" was omitted, because it's not on the brion version.

two. "get him back", jon brion version:

to be honest with you, i don't particularly care for this song very much, but i have to say the extra additives that brion added makes the song a better listen for someone who usually skips it.

three: "o' sailor", jon brion version:

the song on the released album sounds like it was done at just a little bit faster of a tempo. the production on jon brion's version sounds murkier, and being a lo-fi fan, that attracted me to this version a little more. and, of course, jon brion had to add a string section, which gives the song a little more of a dramatic feel.

four: "better version of me", mike elizondo version:

i don't think i was really a big fan of the quasi-tribal style drumming of the original version. there's something about the released version that flows better to me.

five: "tymps (the sick in the head song)" aka "used to love him", mike elizondo version:

i listen to the chimes in the jon brion version, and i didn't really like it. however, the original did have a really carnival-esque feel (at least to me). when i listened to the album version, the hip-hop beat at the beginning (again, sounding like something that would go on a 50 cent or eminem album), it made my head turn, and i really thought it was an original idea.

seven: "window", mike elizondo version:

i like the organ more than the chimes. that is all.

eight: "oh well", jon brion version:

to be honest, both versions sound nearly-identical, but by the shakiness in fiona's voice on brion's version, you can tell she really meant it the first time.

nine: "please please please", jon brion version:

elizondo's version sounds like it's trying to be a top-40 radio hit. it comes down to fiona's voice again on this one. a lot of the songs on this album sound more believeable when she sang it the first time.

ten. "red red red", mike elizondo version:

brion's version sounds too much like something fiona's recorded before. whereas elizondo added more subdued instrumentation, giving it the "slightly unhinged serial killer" vibe, especially when the "kill, kill, kill, kill" refrain comes in.

eleven. "not about love", both versions mashed together:

i love the strings in the brion version, but i love the drums in elizondo's version. the guitars don't work on the released version, and it's not fierce enough on the unreleased version. if both of these guys would have produced this song together, they could have knocked this one out of the park.

what the record label did to me made me see myself something awful. there you have it, folks. get your cd burners ready.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

what could possibly make the game more hilarious?

The Game: "I got arrested for signing autographs!"

Obviously, the whole story's hilarious. He went to a mall, caused a riot and got arrested. Somewhere 50 Cent is jealous.

By the way, we here at the Armchair Novelist would like to find a picture of the Game with that supposed butterfly tattoo, so come on peeps. Point one of us in the right direction. Please?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

the boy jeezy a riderrrrr...

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so, i'm sure you all have heard the news about [overrated] atlanta rapper young jeezy's baby's mom coming after his cash flow. i'm not here to talk about her, although she does get merit for acting like the money she's trying to get out of jeezy is going to go to her kid, when she knows she'll be getting the new jimmy choo joints at nordstrom [shoe dogs, holla at your boy]. the shocking news is jeezy's rebuttal, with his lawyer claiming he's on a $35 per diem.

yes. a $35 per diem.

he's undoubtedly one of the most successful rappers of 2005, so either this is one very awesome lie, or it's a sad state of affairs in the major-label industry. can a fucking human being even subsist off of $35 a day?

word to the hottest jailbird ever [lil kim, dummies], most of these rappers really can't eat without per diem. cold-ass shit, dogg.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

bethanne's rant #1: people who hate online blogging!

Hey y'all! I'm here and I'm going to tell you a little rant about an article I read via MTV News and it's not about Paul Wall's marriage.

A Catholic high school has updated their code of conduct that will barr students at their school from having an online blog/journal until the students take it down. As a blogger and a Livejournal/MySpace junkie (at least for four years on LJ), it disgusts me to see school officials tell students what they can and cannot do when they are not at school property. Yes, I can understand it when the students are on school grounds, but my god. This is a true case of paranoia going tenfold and these are the kinds of people that need to realize that blogging/online journal-ling (if that's a word) isn't all that bad. Yes, there is the threat of online stalking and solicitation (much evidenced with the Taylor Behl case that happened a few weeks ago), but school officials do not have the right to tell their students what they can and cannot do when not on school time. It's ridiculous.

Even though I grew up without that much influence over the internet (I am pushing 26 in a few weeks), I understand the power that the internet has given us. In fact, some of my dear friends, I have met online. But it saddens me to see people who are biased and so fucking paranoid over what the internet is. They think that the internet is nothing more than a bunch of perverts and sex-crazed lunatics, but it's not the case. There are people who ARE messed up in the head and they shouldn't even have a computer in the first place. And as I type this, a PSA played about online predators. A completely BIASED one at that.

Obviously, online predators are this year's anti-drug commericals. So not cool.

So all I have to say is this: Schools, as much of a safe-haven they claim to be, don't stoop to the low and try to limit student's freedom of expression. They want to have Livejournals and Myspaces and blogs and such. As a huge supporter of First Amendement rights, it's ridiculous to see school officials stepping in when parents need to take the responsibility and teach their teenagers about the dangers of online safety.

And that's all I wrote. I promise the next rant will be better.

hot-button topic of october, 2005..

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the subject of this month's burning question is mike jones: the abnormally successful houston rapper who gives out his phone number on record, shouts his name every chance he gets when he's not repeating lines from the SAME verse, at least twice. my burning topic for this month is:

does mike jones have alzheimer's?

it would make a ton of sense if this were true. let's get his medical records.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

metalface wednesdays!

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this week, it's possibly my favorite doom joint. you know how doom flips the scooby doo. yes, ladies and gents; it's "hey!"


I only play the games that I win at
And stay the same with more rhymes than there's ways to skin cats
As a matter of fact, let me rephrase
With more rhymes and more ways to fill they felines these days
Watch the path of the black one
Supervillian he wrecks clubs for dell
In a drunken stupor chillin
Ready and willin to inadvertantly foil that plan
of any rhymer, whiner or spoiled brat
Who got more snottier flows than snotty nose?
And holds mics like he knows karate body blows
Nobody knows the trouble I see from the MPB
fly dirty tailin the eye bubble eye thirty
For the record this is some shit I just thought of y'all
Science fiction thats not admissable in no court of law
I live to rock mics 3-D
The only reason I seek to stop to snuff the TV
I heard beats, they sound like karaoke
With monkey rhymers on a leash like don't have this fairy choke me
Hit 'em with a penny so we can get these peanuts
And I thought we was nuts, I used to get free cuts
They locks Lex Luthor up in green haven
Since when a nigga never really been to clean shaven
Misbehavin rap stars need mistament
Call me Mista Bent
I'm at where your sister went
Intelligent, used to write and be well spoke
Now all a nigga wanna do is fight and sell [hey!], tell joke
This could lead to catastrophe
Bout to stop the violence right after these last three shots
from the blackbat got me at headlock
Holdin on to sanity while stranded at dreadlock
She told me get off I said
Bitch, let me set this shit off so I could get rich right quick
Then it hit me like the point of intoxication
Nigga come out and rock this nation like oxifacen
A lot of niggaz out is rusty like oxidation
In the world's most strangest most dangerous occupation
But you could do it, you the Super like in your building
Villian like trife kingdom wear and all my children
Plottin and it sure to pay ends
With some more mature womens and more of they friends
And when bad men roll tight, it's actual true
Like a pack of big bamboo with natural glue
Who grip necks of becks next to triple X
He just came before D followed the ripple effects
And it'll lead you right to him
Oh snap it seems you walked into a trap do wrap
Zoinks, this place is full of pretender willies
One false move and get broke off like end of phillies
True believers ain't nothin new to a
Crook with special powers like how to tell the future uh uh
Rhyme of the month two page long
Bustin off two gages with my cake gone wrong
Son it's on remind me of a Raekwon tape song
With a fleet of super bad status Rae Dawn Chong
Let me know if y'alls with me y'all
Nasty yo and geographic down to the titty bar

Rap monster outer city y'all
To all my brothers who is doin' unsettling bids
You could have got away with it if it was not for them meddling kids

Monday, October 17, 2005

guess who?

i probably lost my entire fanbase, but at least i'm back.
expect lots of updates this week.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

celebrity knife fights: week two (long-awaited!)

Hello all! This is Bethanne, co-writer for Clever Titles Are So Last Summer and Douglas has been kind enough to have me on as a contributor of some sort. And I feel like a jackass for not posting in this until now.

As you might have asked "What is she doing here?", it's all about the celebrity knife fights. And as a guest commentator, I've decided to contribute three knife fights of my own (and thus give Douglas some much needed inspiration when he comes back in a few weeks) for shits and giggles. Two of them are supposed "beefs" between shitty bands and no-talent popsters. The title fight tonight settles the age old question every indie music snob and hipster has on their mind. Let's get to it, shall we?

Round 1: Benji Madden (Good Charlotte) vs. Kelly Clarkson

It came to light via that Benji - being the one who isn't dating Hilary Duff at the moment - said some pretty nasty things about Kelly on his "band"'s website, well. That's not very nice. Though he may claim to be punk and could have the upper hand, you just don't mess with Texas. Kelly might be sweet and innocent, but her fingernails are sharp and they can claw out anyone who tries to talk shit about her.
Prediction: Kelly by a fingernail. Benji all shredded up like a cat's scratching post.

Round 2: Fall Out Boy vs. The Killers

Oh what do we have here: two bands on the same label that are in a good old fashioned temper tantrum fight because they feel their record label is focusing more on one band than the other. Obviously, the Killers have already had their beef with the Bravery and that's fine, but given that Fall Out Boy instigated this fight and that their songs are nothing more than three-minute suckfests for emo girls to cry to now that Chris Carrabba is pushing his thirties (or should be pushing up daisies). Plus, as we saw with the first knife fight, people who have nothing better to do than bitch about others over the internet are teh suck.
Prediction: The Killers. Obviously. Fall Out Boy would be stabbed like baked potatoes before they were ready to be cooked.

Main Event: Ben Gibbard vs. Colin Meloy

I know what all of you are thinking. CAN SHE BE THAT SERIOUS? Yes. Yes I am.

Let's consider this: Ben Gibbard is a good songwriter, but with the fact that he wrote the worst song of the year (so far - "Someday You'll Be Loved") gives him a very big strike. But he's also in the Postal Service. That's a potential for letterbombs and special deliveries. But Colin Meloy is a natural born pirate. Not only can he tell a wicked story about surviving in whales, but with the extensive vocabulary (hey, english majors rule! *points to colin, then points to self*) and the wicked ability to slash and dash his way through a pirate ship proves that he can fit right in on the set of the next Pirates of the Carribbean sequel. Bonus props for the other songs dealing with theater-geek issues and long-lost loves that - SURPRISE! - don't have to rely on cliches and corny words. (again, english majors rule!)
Prediction: Colin can wield a sword - both of metal and of lyric - and it goes right through Ben's heart. Sorry kids.

I tried my best. Here's to hoping Douglas comes back soon.