hungry hearted

serving up a healthy portion of pop culture commentary, random infatuations, and introspective ramblings

time to get all warm and fuzzy

It's time to dream up gift ideas, write those cards, and drink your way through uncomfortable reunions and holiday work parties. Thank God it comes only once a year. But in all fairness the holidays are a good reminder to think of others, the world around us, and strive to make small steps in the right direction.

Charlie Brown Christmas


Here are a couple sites I've come across where you can easily help others without spending a dime or leaving your chair. What a wonderful contradiction of being slothful AND outgoing. I'm actually kind of addicted to the Free Rice vocabulary challenge.

Free Rice - For each word you define correctly, 20 grains of rice are donated to help end world hunger.

The Hunger Site, etc. - Each tab on the site has an equally important cause and allows you to prompt a donation to the cause simply by clicking on the site. You can also buy holiday gifts through this site.

I also find a lot of great gift ideas at Ten Thousand Villages, which also practices fair trade.

Holiday Favorites:

Beck - Little Drum Machine Boy

Charlie Brown Christmas - Linus & Lucy

Joni Mitchell - River

James Brown - Funky Christmas

The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ~Charles Dickens

RZA, hit me with that shit one time

About a month ago I came across Wu's new track, "Heart Gently Weeps." As a huge Beatles fan, I instantly fell in love the crossover. The shit caught me off guard and basically blew my mind. In addition to a new take on an old riff from, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," the track features Erykah Badu, one of my favorite songstresses of all time. The version I had was rough and was tainted by the "this is a exclusive" sponsorship repeated throughout, which is the main reason I haven't posted about this previously and/or offered a download for the track. Thankfully, the wait paid off. It was in fact a demo and the album version, which is much more dynamic and polished has been leaked. Enjoy:

While the Wu-Tang conglomeration is typically overwhelming and I am usually turned off by overexposure, I have a soft spot for Wu-Tang, another reflection of my east coast roots. Back in high school, I'm pretty sure I played 36 Chambers until the cassette tape wore out. I'll always associate that album directly with my adolescence, learning to drive and experiencing that initial taste of self-sufficiency and freedom. I'll admit the picture of me driving around New Paltz's country roads in my old Camry bumping Wu-Tang is laughable, but I've always been smitten by creative lyricism and they bring it. Furthermore, I appreciate the way they use explicit language. They don't use it as a crutch to prove their edge, but rather as an accessory to help illustrate their rhymes. That's important when considering censorship issues and freedom of speech. I think Wu-Tang represent the intersection for street and conscious rappers.

I found this interview with RZA, who seems to be the puppet master of the group when it comes to logistics. I appreciate the insight, not only to the concept of the song, but especially the collaboration with Dhani Harrison (son of George) and the surprising bond between the two artists.

The representation RZA speaks of between the guitar and veins is a compelling metaphor, even though when watching his casual interview it's somewhat hard to take him completely seriously.

There's no doubt both Wu-Tang and The Beatles have had their issues with drugs especially in the context of their rock n' roll lifestyle. I recently found this video of John Lennon performing Cold Turkey, which feels appropriate to share here. The song is about his own struggle with heroin and the pains of detox.

(Check out that Wizard!)

Personally, I think Wu-Tang consistently keeps it tight. They always flow and pass the mic with highly amusing and often intellectual rhymes. Even with their street-life emphasis, they maintain a focus on reaching a higher level of awareness. From what I've heard, read and anticipate, 8 Diagrams is really going to hone in on that. I've read some really harsh reviews, but people need to realize that things change, artists grow and try new things. That's fucking real. Get over it. If you wanna hear old Wu listen to Forever or 36 Chambers. Right?

If you ask me, they're keepin' it straight sexy.


As if it's not enough that I had to legally become a resident of Texas today, this is what I get:

At least I'll remember it easily.

so wrong, it must be right

Snoop's new video for Sensual Seduction. Play that key-tar.

Snoop Dogg - Sensual Seduction Closed Captioned
Uploaded by Elodie-74

The opening scene is so tight. I love the "PLAY" display in the upper left and the shitty tracking to really emphasize the 80's soul/funk-iness. Hilarious.

Bobby D

I just saw Todd Haynes' new Dylan bio-influenced flick, I'm Not There. I'm definitely still wrapping my brain around some parts of the film and references. Immediate reactions are as follows:

  1. Cate Blanchett fucking nailed it.
  2. SO much symbolism. Very clever with clean editing and detailed cinematography.
  3. David Cross as Allen Ginsberg!? YES!!!! Thank you.
  4. Sort of confusing. There are six different actors portraying different aspects of Dylan's life and persona and the plot jumps around. I'll definitely have to see this again to catch all the references/representations.
  5. The two-disc soundtrack is IN CRED IBLE: Stephen Malkmus (Pavement), Cat Power, Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Eddie Vedder, Roger McGuinn (The Byrds), The Hold Steady, AND The Million Dollar Bashers. Who, you ask? Well get this, apparently (I looked this up: The Million Dollar Bashers are a super-group "assembled by Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and has Steve Shelley on drums, Television guitarist Tom Verlaine, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, guitarist Smokey Hormel, keyboardist John Medeski and Dylan bassist Tony Garnier." Like I said, incredible.

I really wanted to upload a song, but my account isn't working. Luckily I also found a stream of Stephen Malkmus and The Million Dollar Bashers covering the shit out of "Ballad of a Thin Man," also on Someone's doing a good job, it's clearly the instant favorite of the soundtrack. Medeski wails.

Sidebar: I've recently been listening to Pavement a lot. Sometimes it feels like your own interest in something strangely triggers a heightened popularity of that something. Obviously it's only a heightened awareness, but it still blows my mind a little. I love you, Stephen Malkmus.