Archive

June 2008

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Last night I was thinking about my favorite music videos of all time after looking at Michael Gondry’s list of his favorite 25.  Since I am a huge fan of hip hop, it’s no surprise that many of them are from hip hop artists.  So, here they are (links go to YouTube since some of them can’t be embedded):

The Roots- The Next Movement

Not only is this such a good song, but it’s a very creative video.  The video shows the band performing in various positions and brings humor and simplicity to the video.  Just the look of Amir “?uestlove” Thompson when he has his bandmates sitting on his shoulders makes the video well worth it.

2pac- Changes

This has to be the best posthumous Tupac video.  It is a great tribute to a brilliant rapper, poet, and actor.  With scenes from his other music videos, his movie roles, and interviews he gave early in life, it is a powerful piece of work.  The icing on the cake is when the camera zooms out on all these images and TV screens to show a mosaic of Tupac.  Great video.

Michael Jackson- Thriller

Did you really think I wouldn’t include this one?  Basically a mini-movie, this defined the epic music video.  Great story, great song, great choreography.  What else can be said?

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Mary Jane’s Last Dance

I remember seeing this video while I was in 7th grade.  It is a very creepy video.  The house on the cliff in the moonlight is very Tim Burton-ish.  The ending scene of the video when the body floats to the surface… Sends chills up my spine every time.

Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up

This video wouldn’t be that great if it weren’t for the ending.  I don’t want to spoil it so I won’t say much about this one.  Just watch it.  All the way through.  Very good video.

Pearl Jam- Do the Evolution

This Tod McFarlane animated video is very powerful.  It goes along well the song and show that even though we may become more and more advanced we’re still really just the same.

Common – Come Close

This is a really great video by Chicago rapper Common.  The song is about love and features Common driving over to his girlfriend’s house and rapping to her from her lawn.  He has large cue cards showing what he is saying because his girlfriend in the video is deaf.  It’s a really good song and video.

Pearl Jam- Jeremy

This video is simply amazing.  This video was banned from the music channels because of its violence.  The video shows a kid being picked on and made fun of so much that he loses it and at the end of the video he shoots himself at school in the middle of class.  The imagery, the colors, the stop motion of the direction makes it a very powerful video.

Talib Kweli- Get By

This video came out after 9/11 and is a great look at New York City.  When I look at it my mind thinks Spike Lee.  One thing that stand out about Spike Lee is how authentic his films look.  That’s how this video looks.  Authentic.  Talib raps in various places in New York and the camera delivers great panoramic shots of the city.  It truly is a beautiful video.

Bone Thugs N Harmony – Crossroads

This video came out when I was in 7th grade and it has been stuck with me ever since.  It is a very powerful and moving video and helped propel this Cleveland, OH rap group to superstardom and a Grammy award.  If you ask anyone who listens to rap what their favorite rap songs of all time are, this is sure to be on their list.

There you have it.  There are many videos that I really like that aren’t on the list and it was hard to come up with my top 10, but as I think about it, these have to be them.  At least for now.

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I recently downloaded and installed Songbird .6. Songbird is the open source music player that is based on Mozilla code. With each release Songbird gets better and better. With this release comes support for larger media libraries, smoother scrolling, improved memory management, faster search, and a bunch of new add-ons. I have a feeling that Songbird will eventually replace Winamp for me. Since AOL took over Winamp it seems to on a steady downhill spiral. The plugins for Winamp are pretty crappy and if you use a skin that isn’t one of the defaults, most of the time the plugins (if they require their own pane) look out of place. This is not so for Songbird. The add-ons are just like the add-ons in Firefox and seamlessly integrate into the program. I have a feeling that there will be a huge community to support Songbird, just as their is with Firefox, that will create great add-ons and themes, or feathers. It’s not going to replace Winamp just yet on my system. While the memory management is better, it still takes up quite a bit of process power. The search often freezes the application as well. The guys behind Songbird are on the right track though. I can’t wait until I’m able to use it full time without any problems.

be kind rewind

Last night I watched the movie Be Kind Rewind starring Jack Black and Mos Def.  I’m not really a fan of Jack Black but I think Mos Def is a really fine actor with a lot of talent.  When I first saw previews of this Michael Gondry directed film I knew I had to see it.  Not only was it being directed by an amazing director and starring a really fine actor, but it also featured the actors remaking scenes from one of my all-time favorite movies, Ghostbusters.

In short, the movie is about a man whose brain becomes magnetized unintentionally destroys every tape in his friend’s video store. In order to satisfy the store’s most loyal renter, an aging woman with signs of dementia, the two men set out to remake the lost films.  It really is much more than that though.  The movie is about friendships, community, and making the most out of what is around you.  It really was a fantastic story that is fun and much more light-hearted than Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine.  Stellar performances from Mos Def, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow and Jack Black (yes, Jack Black was actually good) made this movie great.  If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you watch it.  You won’t be disappointed.

Download Day 2008

Firefox 3 will be released later today.  There are quite a few improvements in Firefox since version 2 was released.  Memory leaks have been fixed, there’s a new download manager, the introduction of the “awesome bar,” a revamped bookmark organizer, and a look and feel that matches your system.  You can check out the other changes in the release notes.  One of the best things about Firefox 3 is the speed.  The speed has been increased dramatically.  Especially on sites heavy in javascript, such as Gmail.  Do yourself a favor and download it today! (FF3 will be released later today but if you can’t wait, follow these links: Win OS X Linux)