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Thursday October 28th


Mixtape Round-Up 16-29

Two weeks off but this week had a lot of good stuff. Also if you haven't already gone and checked it out, get Mike Posner's One Foot Out The Door.So one of the best DJs to do his thing, DJ Jazzy Jeff has been apart of some great projects before and this is no exception. Jeff teams up with clothing company UNDRCRWN to put together a project of some of his favorite material. The 49 songs sound like a club set and stray from the normal string of popular hits. Jeff says they dug back to get both remixes and obscure tracks from the very beginning of Mike's career back in his Jackson 5 days. Some really cool stuff here, and corresponding with This is It, makes this week a good reason to recelebrate the man. But do looking cool with this Jazzy Jeff tape, not buying commemerative coins.What's Good?: "2,4,6,8" [Pete Rock Remix], "Rock With You" Feat. Fela KutiTracklist and Download link for He's the King, I'm the DJHip-hop power group Idle Warship just released a new tape which is actually its first full-length. Party Robot is Talib Kweli, Graph Nobel and Res' coming out celebrationand it is just that. This is true music, not just a label attempt to put two artists together to make it look real nice. For fans of underground rap that weren't already excited, Blaqstarr, Skyzoo and Saul Williams are also featured on the release. Production wise it is pretty much like anything else Talbi Kweli has done in the past and benefits from some live instrumentation. Lots of good stuff on here. Doesn't blow you away but you'll be replaying it.What's Good?: "Black Snake Moan," "Steady"Tracklist and Download link for Party RobotHere that? Something besides 50's new album leaked this week. Lil' Wayne's newest mixtape was supposed to drop on Halloween, but got the treatment a couple days early (Apparently this isn't even the final version yet). Remember when Lil' Wayne used to rap, like back on Dedication or the third Drought? Yeah, that's what this is like. Of course this goes down after the weapons rap he just took too. Guess it takes real life to get you focused again sometimes. This is just Weezy F going in on all those radio beats you hear all the time, but makes them all pretty much better. I really am not a big Wayne fan, but I've been playing this.What's Good?: "Throw it in the Bag (Remix)," "I'm Good"Tracklist and Download link for No Ceilings

Brew Ha-Ha: Pumpkin Beers

Welcome to the Brew Ha-Ha, Dive's new weekly beer blog. Every thirstyThursday we'll be coming at you with new posts related to good craft-brewed beers right here in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area. Some weeks it will be reviews of interesting beers brewed by established local breweries, to keep you up to date on what The Carolina Brewery, Tyler's Tap Room, Top of the Hill and others have on tap. Other weeks we will profile students who home-brew, seeing what interesting and flavorful concoctions UNC's finest can come up with on their own. Other posts will explore seasonal topics of beer-related interest. We hope you enjoy. Prost!In honor of the Halloween holiday we decided to take a look at several Pumpkin beers that we picked up at a local bottle shop. Pumpkin ales' popularity levels have grown exponentially in the past several years with almost every brewery offering its own variety. While each has its own characteristics, they would all pair well with Thanksgiving dinner: turkey with cranberry sauce and butter-nut squash soup come to mind as tasty compliments. Just make sure you drink them all before the Christmas ham roles around.Click above to continue reading

5 Questions: Mike Posner

Mike Posner is a Duke senior from outside of Detroit. His latest mixtape One Foot Out The Door dropped Tuesday night and has been making some heavy rounds on the interwebs. The up-and-coming pop artist uses both his hip-hop background and grandiose electro beats to win over fans across the country. After signing a label deal this summer follwing his debut mixtape release in March, Posner has been hard at work crafting new material and playing shows, all while remaining a full-time student. Dive staff writer Benn Wineka caught up with Posner on the eve of his mixtape release and departure to Syracuse University to do a show. Dive: You signed a record label this summer after your first mixtape was released in March, a very quick ascension of the musical ranks. How’d all that come about? Mike Posner: Within a month after A Matter of Time labels were hitting me up and by finals week every major label was getting at me. It was really hectic. I remember I was in the library writing an essay. It was a 20 page paper and I was about a half way done with it when an offer came through my email for a record. I was like, ‘Man, do I really have to finish this essay now?” It was an interesting moment. I’m glad to be in an opportunity to be able to pick which label I wanted to be with and J Records was the one. It was a really good fit for what I was trying to do, be a pop star. Influence pop culture without being corny. Click above to continue reading

Music Review: Mike Posner

Mike PosnerOne Foot Out The Door(LRG)Mike Posner has outgrown Durham, doing shows every weekend across the country. His debut mixtape dropped a mere eight months ago yet now seems outdated in comparison to his new material.The 21-year-old Duke senior has one metaphorical foot out the door, but Posner is now completely entrenched in pop music.The Michigan native outdoes his previous release and continues to blend pop sensibilities with electro and hip-hop methods on One Foot Out the Door to create sonic melodies worthy of both club spins and self-loathing.Click above to continue reading

Local Song of the Week: "Fireplace"

Students at UNC are in for a treat tonight. Smoldering with emotional intensity and alive with rich, evocative orchestrally minded arrangements, Chapel Hill's Lost In The Trees is one of the best band's in the Triangle. Tonight at 8 p.m. students will be able to see them live at Gerard for free. Others pay $5. To get you guys hyped up for the performance, this week's featured local song is "Fireplace." In it singer Ari Picker tears apart the idea of love as his band marches along to ferocious bass line and slashes of aching strings. Get excited.Download "Fireplace" here.

One-Hit Wednesday: "Just a Friend"

Biz Markie - "Just a Friend"Biz Markie has one important lesson: Don’t believe anyone who says they just have a friend. Biz Markie learned the hard way, when that “friend” turned out to be quite friendly with his girl. But it is obvious why she took a pass. Let me break this down for you:1. Biz wanted to ask her some questions to see if she was “a hundred proof.” Nothing gets me going quite like comparing me to alcohol. I guess this girl named, “blah-blah- blah,” just didn’t feel the same.2. He “came to her college on a surprise visit.” Being a stalker is  never good, especially when the girl is trying to let you down easy  (albeit, failing at it). Come on, look for cues man.3. As he raps, “I arrived in front of the dormitory/ Yo, could you tell me where is door three?” you have to wonder if “blah blah blah” wasn’t feeling him because he can’t even find his way around a building.More importantly, his lyricism isn’t exactly poetic and he definitely isn’t dropping sick lines. Instead, he throws down, “She had 9/10 pants and a very big bra.” Clearly, “a small waist and a big behind” was already taken and he couldn’t come with anything better to describe this chick’s curves.If that isn’t bad enough, Biz hits us with this stellar rhyme: “Oh, snap! guess what I saw?/A fella tongue-kissin my girl in the mouth/I was so in shock my heart went down south.” His heart was so broken by the end of this epic tale that any semblance of rhythm completely disintegrated, not to mention his story-telling skills blow.Of course, most of us only remember the chorus, so we can easily forgive these fatal errors, but can we really let him get away with his annoying whining voice on the chorus? I think not.He definitely blew his chances with blah blah blah and me.

The Movie Trail for Oct. 27

In honor of Halloween, first up is “The Wolfman,” a remake of 1941’s “The Wolf Man.” I’m normally wary of horror remakes, but this has three perpetually watchable actors: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, and Hugo Weaving.  The trailer shows off some pretty impressive visuals- lots of action, good makeup, and some realistic-looking special effects.  That being said, the generic, pulsing rock music in the background of the trailer doesn’t bode all that well (far too reminiscent of the “Max Payne” trailer), but I’m willing to overlook it for the time being. Click above for more trailers.

Interesting CD Releaes for 10/27

Lots of goodies waiting for you at the record store this week, so let's get right to it.First up, Charlotte's excellently over-the-top emo-core Between The Buried And Me are back with The Great Misdirect. To be honest with you, BTBAM are about the only band I truly like in this genre. Melding Tommy Rogers fiery growl to instrumentation that draws from such places as punk and prog for an invigorating technicolor soup of guitar licks so hot, they probably actually can be heard by the dead. Judging by the few tracks the band has up on its MySpace, the new one will continue these tricks and make for a pretty entertaining listen.Hard-edged instrumental rock doesn't come any better than Pelican, and the band is back with a new effort that's making a lot of buzz. I've been listening to it for the last couple days, and, let me tell you, the buzz is well deserved. Steely and sturdy while still lashing out with instrumental chops, What We All Come To Need is fifty minutes of pummeling rock force that any metal head or indie kid would be remiss to pass up. And with gorgeous ending tune that actually has lyrics (and beautiful ones at that), WWACTN should be able to satisfy all you word people out there too. Oh and the whole thing is streaming on Pelican's MySpace.Last but not least, lovably inebriated garage rocker Chuck Prophet returns with his own personal take on America's current crisis. With Let Freedom Ring!, Chuck lays down a litany of just preachy enough blues rock in a Mexico City studio, taking pock shots at his country from across the border that has caused it so much controversy in recent years. It's a cool concept and from the tracks I've heard, Chuck and his band have the instrumental chops to make this South of the Border Exiles On Mainstreet thing work.Also interesting that I missed this week: the soundtrack for Micheal Jackson's final concert film (slash shameless money grab by his estate) "This Is It" as well as new Devandra Banhart and Tegan and Sara. Jeeze, that's quite a lot of interesting goodies. Hope you all got some dough from the folks over Fall Break.

Troika Preview Video

Troika Music Festival 2009 from mallia on Vimeo.In just a little over a week the 2009 iteration of Durham's Troika Music Festival will take over the city's downtown with a bevy of great live (and mostly local) music. To get ready for this year's onslaught, which starts next Thursday, check out this preview video that the organizers have put together for you. It gives a great impression of both the great bands that are participating and the mission of the festival itself.

Fun in-store

Tom Hardy - Commonwealth, Washington, D.C. - Oct. 22, Washington, DC So, I was in DC for the break of fall and decided to hit up an in-store event at the uber-dope shop Commonwealth to check out Durham emcee Tom Hardy and 9th Wonder on the 1s and 2s. Hardy is one of 9th's latest projects and the two were promoting Hardy's recent mixtape, The Hardy Boy Mystery Mixtape: Curse of the Green-Faceded. Seeing as how it was a celebration, other artists from 9th's Jamla and The Academy camps including Tyler Woods, Rapsody and Actual Proof were on hand. Both Hardy and Rapsody took some time on the mic, otherwise it was just a good old fashion listening session with 60 people who all appreciate dope music.Click above for video from the performance

Screen Time for Oct. 23

For roughly the next month or so Screen Time and the Dive movie critics are going to be busy busy busy. The Chelsea, not even counting this week, has a solid month of notable and exciting releases scheduled, and then more in the works heading into December. The multiplex also has some highly anticipated movies on the way, what with the second "Boondock Saints" due next Friday. So Screen Time is gonna have to start getting choosy. With my general inability to be brief, I can’t cover four or five movies of that caliber every week, so I’ll be hitting the major highlights instead, and abandoning any pretense to comprehensive coverage. For this week that means ignoring a non-Pixar (and therefore probably worthless) computer-animated kid flick (“Astro Boy”), more transgressive torture-porn (“Saw VI”) and a regular old torturously unfunny John C. Reilly comedy (“Cirque du Freak”). Only two films coming our way this weekend have real potential, and they both happen to be at the Chelsea, so let’s take a look."Amelia":Hillary Swank stars as the idiosyncratic aviatrix and feminist icon Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, who tragically disappeared while attempting a solo shot around the world in 1937. This period biopic features not so much a luminous acting cast (though Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor certainly cannot be dismissed) as it does a luminous historical cast. Earhart, her husband George Putnam, her lover Gene Vidal, and his son, a very young Gore Vidal (yes, that’s THE Gore Vidal) are all featured characters, living in a tumultuous decade that I strenuously insist is the most interesting and important in 20th century America. While it’s certainly got its subject matter cut out for it, speaking both broadly in terms of its fascinating setting and specifically in its immediate biographical subject, under Mira Nair’s direction it looks like Swank goes overboard in her rendering of Earhart’s peculiar personality. It’s good to channel the spirit of any historical figure in a movie specifically about that person, but even if Earhart acted with such obnoxiously strong mannerisms, Swank might find a better way to fill the role than by simply affecting that obnoxiousness.Click above to read more.

One-Hit Wednesday: "Mambo No. 5"

Lou Bega - "Mambo No. 5"Did we miss parts 1-4? Maybe they were about Sarah, Emily, Louise, Jessie and Courtney. I guess those names don’t sound as unique in  repetition, which comprises the majority of the song. I’m sure all of the 30 guys on this campus could come up with a catchy tune about all the ladies in their lives, but Lou Bega did it and became famous. You guys missed out.On the upside, you won’t be remembered for taking  the easy way out by laying some new vocals over an old Perez Prado song. Monica, Erica, Rita, Tina, Sandra, Mary, Jessica, and maybe me, (all he needs is a little bit of you to make him your man). How does he even keep all these ladies straight?I feel pretty bad for poor Tina. He just wants to see her for a little bit, but oh Mary, he wants her all night long. Talk about a slap to the ego, not only is she one of too many hotties in line for Lou Bega, but he just wants to see you for a little bit before moving on to the rest of the bunch. Ouch.It’s fun, up-beat and a good song to get your swing on, and hell, we were all partying like it was 1999 (because it was when this No. hit the radio). Entertainment Weekly commented that the “80s-style synthesizers will rule weddings for months to come.” They also gave the song a B-. By nature any song that rules the wedding circuit should stay in the cheesy department,Thank god this one faded into oblivion.

Music Review: Paramore

ParamoreBrand New Eyes(Fueled By Ramen)Being fresh-faced and cutesy doesn’t always have to be cheesy. Sometimes naivety is much appreciated in a genre that can be overly hardcore.Tennessee emo sweethearts, Paramore, are known for successfully maneuvering this balancing act, delivering teenage angst-laden tracks, but without sacrificing morals and class. Brand New Eyes is no exception.Although known for her Christian views, singer Hayley Williams can still fuel the music with powerhouse, yet squeaky clean vocals that match her fiery personality (and flaming hair).With Williams’ vocals being matched with a pristine pop-punk , tracks such as “Ignorance “ and “Turn It Off “  unfold in typical Paramore fashion, sure to please those self-proclaimed emo kids.Williams’ voice still rings with innocence, singing lyrics that speak of the building and destruction of teenage relationships, a topic that seems to create a lot of emotion.Overall, Paramore maintains its inconsistency, and while that may please current fans, it does nothing to draw in a new group of listeners.With the exception of a few diversions, including a few Coldplay-like intros and an attempt at acoustic, Brand New Eyes fulfills all expectations of being a continuation of the sound Paramore is known for.The lack of diversity doesn’t necessarily render a lack of creativity, but proves that Paramore still has some maturing to do. While it may be a good clean record, it proves that Paramore are still a very one-dimensional band.

The Movie Trail for Oct. 20

Probably the biggest release of this week is the trailer for “Edge of Darkness,” the new action/thriller starring Mel Gibson.  The trailer is incredibly cliché- you pretty much know that as soon as Gibson says “You’re my girl” to his daughter, he’s handing down a death sentence. With films like “Apocalypto,” “The Passion of the Christ,” and uh, “What Women Want” I had almost forgotten that Gibson made his name as an action star, so this may mark a return (albeit a fairly tepid-looking one) to the genre for him. Despite the mediocre trailer, I’ll probably still probably tune in to watch Mel avenge his daughter and thoroughly mangle a Boston accent. Click above for more trailers.

Spitting in the Pit

Battling one of the first chilly nights of the year, emcees came out in force to Hip-Hop Nation’s Pit Spit to test each other’s chops. A crowd had already assembled in anticipation by the time the event started at a little past 6 p.m., and many of those hanging around proved to be there as participants, not spectators. With the delivery man from Jimmy Johns kicking off the cypher, several students and members of Hip-Hop Nation followed suit and kept the rhymes going until guests of honor M1 Platoon arrived, albeit late. Although Kaze couldn’t catch a flight back from LA in time for the cypher and the Mighty Arms of Atlas breakdancers also couldn’t make it, Charlie Smarts and Tab-One of Kooley High did make it out with some CDs and flows. Accounted for at the Spit that I knew, besides the big names, were Lexicon, Dekory Rashad, J Swiss, Rhetoric and several others whose names escape me at the second.Click above to view video of the Pit Spit.

Screen Time for Oct. 16

Chapel Hill has more than a couple of interesting movies on the docket for this weekend, so I’m going to do Screen Time a little differently. Insteadof just blabbing on at usual length about three different films, I’m goingto bullet point these mugs and see if that lets me cover more ground inless space. Each film will have four bullet points, one each for plot synopsis, miscellaneous facts, why you should go see it, and a brief over-all prediction of how it will turn out. Law Abiding Citizen (Wide Release): -Synopsis: After the murder of his wife and young daughter, Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler), a former super-spy who just happens to look like a middle-aged Spartan king, is hungry for justice. But a crooked district attorney (Jamie Foxx) cuts a questionable deal with one of the murderers who walks free as a result. This is all OK for a man trained specifically in covert and creative ways of killing people: Shelton simply turns his hunger for justice into a hunger for revenge, going on a killing spree and knocking out everyone connected to the murder of his family and the failed justice system that he can, even after he’s been detained by the “rightful” authorities. -Miscellany: From the chronology of events in the trailer, it appears that Shelton kills the two murderers of his wife and child while he is still at large, and doesn’t go after those “guilty parties” of the legal establishment until after he has been apprehended by the law. In that case, the movie is raising serious ethical questions about the inherited duality of our modern legal system. Who, in this case, are the “rightful authorities”? Can vigilante justice be the same thing as community justice?When a government official is in bed with criminals, does the official automatically become a criminal himself? It’s always nice when action-thrillers bring a little philosophy to hang out with their explosions and shoot-outs. I’m just sayin’. -Why To See It: Bruce McGill has a supporting role as a government prosecutor. Every movie I can think of that’s had McGill in any kind of legal or political role (The Insider, W., etc.) has been well worth the watch.  -Prediction: What looks like a terribly used-up situational premise will blossom into a genuinely edgy and introspectively physical film.   Click above to read about the rest of this week's releases.

5 Questions: Luego

Durham's Luego is an anomaly in the Triangle. A big, bold retro-tinged pop-rock band that's content to just do what it does. The package here isn't buried in lo-fi. The band's new record Taped-Together Stories isn't some highfalutin' concept album. No, the band's mission is thoroughly unpretentious, an attempt to throw genuine emotion on top of a great hook and take it for a ride. In anticipation of the band's CD release party Saturday at Local 506 Diversions Editor Jordan Lawrence sat down with singer/songwriter/leader Patrick Phelan at Jesse's in Carrboro for a quick chat over coffee:Diversions: You're coming out with the new record. I've listened to it, and I'm wondering what you meant by the title Taped-Together Stories?Patrick Phelan: Well, "stories taped-together" is a lyric from the song "Migraine." And I suppose that the songs on the record arose from a year on the road with a band that I lost. We were losing money, and they weren't what I wanted. So I wrote the song in reaction to those and to a break in a relationship. I lost jobs, a live-in girlfriend, a band, a lot of money to make this record, so a lot of stories came out of it. And I don't think I write story songs. I wanted to write rock songs that sounded good and said something. I always liked albums that referenced a line not a song title. I think that the songs do tell stories, even if not lyrically, just in the emotive content of it. That's why I called it Taped-Together Stores.Click above to check out the rest of the interview.

Movie Review: Toy Story and Toy Story 2 3D

Buzz Lightyear, Sheriff Woody, Mr. Potatohead, and many other adorable and lovable toys graced the screen in 1995’s animated “Toy Story” and its 1999 sequel “Toy Story 2.” Now Pixar and Disney have decided to put them into the limelight once more, remastered in 3D and the result is a visually astonishing experience.For those who are not familiar with the story, when little Andy leaves his room, his toys come to life. Sheriff Woody, Andy’s favorite and leader of the diverse toy community, rules over Andy’s menagerie of toys, ranging from Slinky Dog to Dinosaur Rex. But then Buzz Lightyear, the space ranger toy with innumerable cool features (even a laser beam!) threatens Woody’s popularity. A struggle for Andy and his toys’ hearts commences.Part two revolves around Woody’s escape from a toy vendor who he encountered in a yard sale, and the feats the toys accomplish when they work together.Even though ten years have passed, the story never feels old. The 3D visuals only add to the witty dialogue, funny images and well-timed voice acting by Tom Hanks (Woody) and Tim Allen (Buzz). The 3D literally and figuratively adds depth, emphasizing the toys’ tiny perspective in a human-sized world. Andy’s room looks even larger, and sadistic neighbor Sid’s room of horrors even scarier. This makes the movie more engaging than the original, and it’s hard not to become invested in the toys’ plight.However, the use of 3D is scarce, especially in the 1st movie. The dog chase and Woody and Buzz’s episode with the rocket are scenes that deserve interactive and energetic visuals. Kids — and adults — would undoubtedly be delighted if Buzz actually flew towards them.So while this double release definitely adds a new dimension to already fantastic movies, you can’t escape feeling that it could have accomplished more. But it’s nice to see that the humor and visuals still draw laughs, which proves that Toy Story hasn’t lost its charm.

One-Hit Wednesday: "Macarena"

Editor's Note: In this new weekly feature of the Dive blog, ravenous pop-culture lover Rache Arnett tries to grasp why one-hit-wonders were one-hit-wonders.Los Del Rio - "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" Originally recorded in 1992, I knew we could count on some one to make the remix and completely ruin it, ie. The Bayside Boys, whose remix in 1996 extended its welcome at #1 for more than just 15 minutes of fame. BUT WHY?Let’s face it the only line you remember is “Hey Macarena.” Those two words can’t explain why this dance number rocked the charts to such a horrifying extent. There were some not so cool dance moves you could break out at your sixth grade dance, but so what? I bet you don’t even remember the whole sequence anymore.But most importantly, how could the video with girls in rocking 90’s gear, who have the same vocal talent as Paris Hilton, really rock the charts for so long? I was too young to even know these chicks were singing about cheating on their man for part of it and still I jammed to it, shows how much I knew. Apparently, they were trying to teach us not  to feel remorse for that kind of behavior (that’s just what happens, when you are so hot, oops.)I feel bad for Los Del Rio who had some legitimate talent in Europe before the Bayside Boys mixed up this crowd pleaser. I think we all had a little bit too much punch, if you catch my drift.