nate patrin.

April 29, 2008, 10:39 am
Filed under: Music, video games

The Roots’ Rising Down: Great!

Portishead’s Third: Super-Great!

Me: Out of my damn mind!

April 15, 2008, 12:22 pm
Filed under: Criticism, Music | Tags: , , , ,

So this morning at 8 I wake up with a toothache and a sore throat to the sound of jackhammers across the street. I suppose this’d be kind of a crappy day if I wasn’t still pretty happy about how my Seattle excursion went; the EMP Pop Conference wasn’t entirely as entertaining by itself as it was in previous years (for future reference: as far as sheer entertainment value usually goes, journalists/writers > straight-up academics), but I hung out with a ton of cool people and had some great meals (at restaurants and prepared by friends) and bought a ton of CDs, which I may briefly review here later. I also extended my record hangoverless streak to something like 50 (non-consecutive) nights of drunkenness, which means either I’m not getting hammered enough or I have some sort of miracle booze resilience. Plus I only got really rained on once. Highlights of the conference proper, in brief: O-Dub on retro-soul, Scholtes on the formative years of Mpls funk, Leonard Pierce on Muslimgauze, Greil Marcus on the Dylan tribute concert where the Roots murder the hell out of “Masters of War” (similar performance here), Jody Rosen on vaudeville protofeminist-slash-diva Eva Tanguay, Eric Weisbard on the impact of “Bennie and the Jets” on ’70s soul (and vice-versa), the “Bob Marley + the word ‘struggle'” panel I thought’d be redundant and turned out to be great, Jesse Fuchs invoking mathematical paradox in music, and Ann Powers examining the ever-shifting role of the stripper as pop muse. Stuff I’m mad I missed: Elijah Wald on the YouTubification of Mexico’s drug-trade-ballad narcocorrido tradition, Douglas Wolk on “The Ballad of the Green Berets”, Steve Waksman on Blue Öyster Cult’s “This Ain’t the Summer of Love” and Will Hermes on the cult of the breakbeat in mid ’70s NYC.

Meanwhile, here’s some stuff I wrote: my underground rap-centered edition of Pfork feature Through the Cracks, as well as reviews of two Philadelphia International comps and Clinic’s Do It!

I… UH…
April 4, 2008, 5:59 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , ,



So, you think your favorite website posting a whole bunch of fake video game screenshots or putting together unlikely band reunion rumors or insinuating that Diddy had Tupac killed made for boffo April Fool’s hijinx? Amateurs. The singularly-dubbed Vern, a champion of what he dubs Outlaw Cinema or, alternately, Badass Cinema (which ranges from El Topo to Action Jackson but typically can be linked in spirit to the first Die Hard movie), is a man who went from prison to a life in cinephilia and writes better than I ever could about movies. He is one of those guys who seems to write better without an editor, and his tendency to go on compelling and funny tangents and be flexible with grammar and punctuation and technical film-school terminology (he likes to describe directors as “filmatists”) gives him this casual relatability that cleverly hides a severe enthusiasm. He’s still on GeoCities, and he seems to be one of those old-schoolish personalities you used to see on the web back around 2000 before everyone got caught up in Web 2.0 and embedded MP3/YouTube/digg whatnot, like the kind of person who’d probably be doing this as some sloppy-looking but endlessly-readable Xeroxed fanzine if it was 1991.

And then he “sold out”.

This has some of the funniest shit I’ve ever seen in a parody/April Fool’s site: the banner ad for ’80s nostalgia t-shirts (“IACOCCA”; “CRACK EPIDEMIC”), the baffling list of corporate sponsors (The Carlyle Group and Quizno’s), the elaborately-constructed, ad-plagued commenting system (“if page does not reload within 5-10 minutes please commit advertised products to memory and then CLICK HERE”), the fake Google analytics ads, the list of categories (“I’m So Disappointed In This Young Actress For Making a Sex Tape, I Thought She Was Better Than That, Here’s the Link (210)”), the angry nerd commenters, the Dragon Dynasty edition of Warrior Clan (aka The Joy Luck Club) and, above all else, the shallow blogger prose with all the personality wrung out of it by the daily grind of content churn and the hype cycle. It is glorious.

April 1, 2008, 11:20 am
Filed under: video games

I am now part of a City Pages-affiliated video game weblog known as Joystick Division, which looks to be shaping up pretty damn well. Here’s me griping about the things that make baseball games unfun and how to fix them.

April 1, 2008, 11:07 am
Filed under: Miscellaneous | Tags: ,

My April Fool’s joke: I’m posting to my blog! Oh man you totally got deked outta your shoes there.

Writerly matters first: some guy on Pitchfork (me) thinks you should get the new Lyrics Born album. And if you’ve got some eMusic downloads left over after that, you might as well get the reissue of Sonic Sum’s Films, Guilty Simpson’s Ode to the Ghetto and Blu & Exile’s Below the Heavens.

I typically visit Joe Posnanski’s blog when I want to be enlightened in matters of baseball geekery, but sometimes he’ll lead me to get some entirely different notions running through my head — like today, when he put up a huge list of “Who’s Better” arguments that, since this is the internet, will probably result in a deluge of “you are a crazy person and also wrong”-type argumentation, though I figure it’ll at least be pretty civilized compared to some of the other places I’ve seen this kinda stuff go down. So I thought up a few of my own — and by “a few” I mean way too many — because making people argue is fun.

Bullitt vs. Ronin (and, as a corollary, that scene in Ronin vs. this one)
Godard vs. Truffaut
Halo vs. Half-Life
tuna melt vs. pesto turkey sub (anyone who’s had both of these at Pizza Luce in the Twin Cities will know what I’m talking about)
Nas vs. Jay-Z
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo vs. Subaru Impreza
Sabbath vs. Zeppelin
Jackie Chan vs. Jet Li
Jonathan Lethem vs. Michael Chabon
“The Jean Genie” vs. “Block Buster”
Ferrari 330P 3/4 vs. Ford GT40
Philadelphia vs. New Jersey
Parliament vs. Funkadelic
Metroid vs. Castlevania
Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk
King Tubby vs. Lee Scratch Perry
Nike vs. Adidas
Paul Klee vs. Wassily Kandinsky
Minneapolis vs. St. Paul
Catch-22 vs. Slaughterhouse-Five
Salsoul vs. Italo-disco
The Venture Bros. vs. The Tick
Michaelangelo Matos the writer vs. Michaelangelo Matos the b-boy