Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Obama ipod: Songs that mention Barack Obama

I have been sort of trying to collect musical references to Obama, preferably those not made by will.i.am. Here is my partial list, please add to it in comments:
  • The newest one, a very cool Afrobeat-style song about Barack Obama by Cody ChesnuTT

  • Nas's DJ Green Lantern-produced mixtape track "Black President" weaves in clips from Obama speeches and "Yes we can" in the chorus.

  • The great reggae song by Cocoa Tea called "Barack Obama" -- "It is not Hillary Clinton/ And it is not John McCain/ It is not Chuck Norris/ And I know it's not John Wayne."

  • "Work to Do" by Kidz in the Hall with Talib Kweli and Bun B is an Obama tribute song.

  • I haven't collected them, but I know Jay-Z has made a couple of Obama references lately in freestyles and guest verses.

  • Juelz Santana mentioned Obama back on the "Black Republican" mixtape track with Lil Wayne -- "Young Barack Obama, I'm all for it"

  • Common's "The People" from last summer -- "My raps ignite the people like Obama"

  • And it's not a song, but still very good, DJ Drama has lately been calling himself "Barack Odrama."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fun with the c-word

And John McCain:

I really do want to know whether the story about McCain calling his wife the c-word is true or not. I think he should have answered that Baptist minister at the town hall meeting.

Best line I read today



"[Video game designer Hideo Kojima] breaks the fourth wall more frequently than the Kool-Aid Man."
From Wired's Chris Baker, reviewing the new Metal Gear Solid 4. Will I finally need to accept inevitable obsolescence and buy a new gaming console? I predict Kojima will helm a large-budget film within two years.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Lollipop" is the summer song, people

The song-of-the-summer sweepstakes is on. I know it is early, but I believe it is time that we all just accept that "Lollipop" is probably it.

Look, it's not my favorite single from the Tha Carter III, either, but a.) it is omnipresent enough to qualify as a song-of-the-summer, b.) Lil Wayne has the top-selling album of the year, and c.) it is a damn sight better than the rest of the contenders. ... I will tell you right now that New Kids on the Block does not have the 2008 song of the summer.

"Bleeding Love" is pretty good but not very summery. As for "Take a Bow," it is okay but it is really no "Umbrella" -- too slow, for one thing -- and besides I am pretty sure you are not allowed to have two songs-of-the-summer in a row... So partly by process of elimination, I am placing my bet on "Lollipop" for this year.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hey, that's a stereotype

I have a new column in today's paper about what is offensive vs. what is funny. The column is in part an excuse to tell the story of my recent heroism in defending the Jewish people, and my shameful silence regarding the Amish.

P.S. ... Also at my day job, my thoughts on Minnesota becoming a red state and the exciting possibility of watching Barack Obama visit Nome.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Olbermann in the New Yorker

Not completely sure what I make of the New Yorker profile of Keith Olbermann, but it is an interesting read overall, and it includes plenty of anecdotes I hadn't heard before from Olbermann's early career and his many intra-network conflicts. Ultimately the takeaway of the story seems to be that, gee, news has more opinion now -- which is true of course, but sort of a pedestrian observation at this point. I am also not quite convinced that the most common shorthand description of the show -- that Olbermann is the left-wing Bill O'Reilly -- is quite accurate, though it is hard for me to put my finger on exactly why.

One difference is that Olbermann's show is characterized by a wry, sarcastic tone that is qualitatively different from the total self-seriousness of O'Reilly and Hannity and so on. Maybe that's also why I find myself least interested in Olbermann's "Special Comments," which tend to veer off into O'Reillyesque high dudgeon.

Anyway the profile is worth a read. And speaking as someone does want to see a greater acceptance of opinion and point-of-view in journalism in general, Olbermann's ascendance is a welcome development in my book...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sort-of-not-really safe for work

Via Sasha Frere-Jones, everything about this video is good -- David Byrne, Dizzee Rascal, naked people, choreography, creative censorship:

The BPA - 'Toe Jam' feat. David Byrne & Dizzee Rascal

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Prime Minister Jeezy

Hot off the presses, a new Young Jeezy mixtape, in advance of his album The Recession. This is some summer shit right here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Best fake (head)line I read today

"New Malcolm Gladwell Book to Painstakingly Explain Why We Have Hands."

From the one line Issue Highlights in The Onion.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hillary postmortem

Anne Applebaum says good riddance:
She's done a lot of damage to Obama, as well as to her party. And it's not at all clear to me that her campaign did any good for women in politics, let alone women in general.
But Bruce Reed says job well done:
In our lifetimes, we'll be hard-pressed to find a candidate made of tougher stuff than Hillary Clinton. Most candidates leave a race diminished by it. Hillary is like tempered steel: the more intense the heat, the tougher she gets.
Who's right? Yes, they are not mutually exclusive but if you read the entire posts, you definitely glean opposing sentiments on the net effect of Hillary's run.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Stay Positive

How great is this new Hold Steady song "Sequestered in Memphis"? New album should be great...

Sequestered in Mephis - The Hold Steady

A Quick Request for Pat Buchanan

Hey, Pat. What's, up?

Dude, can you pause for a moment from hammering away at why Obama lost 55-45 to Clinton in South Dakota? I mean, like long enough to acknowledge that McCain finished THIRD in Montana...

That's right. F*CKING THIRD! (Romney 38%, Paul 25%, McCain 22%)

Just thought you might want to publicly speculate about why McCain "can't close the deal" against Romney, whose campaign has been suspended since forever.

Thanks, Buddy.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Snarkiest but most apt line I read today

"For the last several years, [Robert Mugabe's] regime has beaten and murdered his political opponents in Zimbabwe so blatantly that even the Europeans noticed."
From Anne Applebaum in this Slate piece, which among other things, points out the irony of Mugabe attending the UN's conference on the international food crisis, which he himself is has very much contributed to.