J Dilla Alien Family Homework Editorial

Lupe Fiasco & Sway On 1Xtra



Whilst in town to promote his much delayed and still yet to be released album Lasers, Lupe Fiasco brought through his mate and North London resident Sway. In hindsight, Lupe probably feels he should've come with a pre-written, as he gets a bit shown up here.
These two first collaborated a couple of years back on We Love You.

DJ Ames & Sway - The Best Of Sway Pt.1 (Mixtape)

Sway links one of the most prolific mixtape DJs in the country for a best of compilation that, funnily enough, has much of his best, earlier work on it. Part 2 is set for a mid-March release, though it's doubtful it'll top this. And if you've already heard and like or dislike This Is My Promo Vol. 1 and 2, this release is irrelevant.

Skuff - Deep Covers Project (Mixtape)

Skuff, of outfit Delegates Of Culture, reworks 13 of his favourite beats, making them his own. Expect everyone from Nas to Ladies Love Cool James to get jacked by the Cambridge spitter.

Task Force - Final Countdown

Well, this is all a bit unexpected. Farma G just freed up Final Countdown, which, despite clocking in at nearly two years old, sees the Brothers McBain sounding as fresh as ever. This is the last piece of music the siblings recorded together. However, if all goes to plan, you can expect the next and final Task Force album to arrive some time this year. MFTC 5 is on its way...

Ramson Badbonez - J Dilla Tribute Mix Pt. 2

Badbonez does his thing over a selection of the obsessively revered and exceptionally talented J Dilla's beats. The anniversary of Yancey's passing lands on the 10th of February, so consider this a timely homage to Detroit's late dignitary and one of the most respected men to make hip hop.

Mr. Probz - Hate You (prod. Beat Butcha)

It's Valentine's Day and nothing says "I love you" quite like "I hate you". Mr. Probz should probs let this one go and move on, after letting loose over this Beat Butcha backdrop, that is.
And if that's not enough of the Halal-only beatsmith's work, get your ears round this new ditty in all.

Cyrus Malachi - Bulldozers feat. Ruste Juxx & Killa Sha (prod. Endemic)

The first official leak from Cyrus Malachi's hotly anticipated debut LP, Ancient Future, Bulldozers features Sean Price's pal Ruste and the late Killa Sha.

Sources indicate that this is one of Sha's last verses before he succumbed to complications linked to diabetes.



Cyrus Malachi - Bulldozers feat. Ruste Juxx & Killa Sha (prod. Endemic)
14.2.11bulldozers, cyrus malachi, endemic, killa sha, music downloads, no cure records, releases, ruste juxx, uk all day, uk hip hop, uk hip hop blog

Don't Stay In...

UKHH.com is being relaunched to make it better than this piece of shit yet excellent blog. Click on the flyer to see the details for the site's relaunch party.

Sonnyjim - Nimbus (prod. Kelakovski) (Video)

Eat Good head honcho Sonnyjim has been steadily releasing new product over the past few weeks and continues in full stride with Nimbus, which will be on his EP with in-house producer Kelakovski.
Expect Purple Patch Part 4 in the next few days, plus the Psychonaut LP and complementary EP soon, as well as his project with Sleaze. Oh yeah, and the Eat Good meets Associated Minds EP, Highball.

Giggs - Take Your Hats Off (Mixtape)

You have to hand it to G-Unit DJ Whoo Kid for supporting artists from over here recently. He's co-signed Skepta's excellent Mike Loweryand shown Klash love. It wasn't long ago that anyone who was anyone in the US turned their noses up at British rap.
It's a shame that disabled-tongued Giggs gets a look in. I have it on good authority that either he or his management doesn't allow less popular acts to support his live shows. You weren't always linking up with high-profile DJs, Giggs. Anyhow...

K-Nite 13 - The Drawing Board LP

K-Nite 13 comes through with his debut solo album, The Drawing Board LP. This project is as much a showcase of the man's beatmaking prowess as it is a display of his vocal abilities, as he lays down soundscapes for the likes of Big Cakes, Loudmouth Melvin, TB, Skillit, Mentalist and Skriblah.

"Brokedown Merry-Go-Round" Show of the Week: Bob's Burgers, "Dawn of the Peck"

Every Friday in "'Brokedown Merry-Go-Round' Show of the Week," I discuss the week's best first-run animated series episode I saw. This week, due to the holiday weekend, this is being posted on Wednesday. "Brokedown Merry-Go-Round," a two-hour block of original score tracks from animated shows or movies, airs weekdays at 2pm Pacific on AFOS.

Bob's Burgers' Thanksgiving episodes have been my favorite Thanksgiving episodes of any current sitcom--what other show comes up with images of a giant headless turkey reenacting My Neighbor Totoro or live poultry attacking people to the tune of Donna Summer?--and each one of those episodes, including this year's "Dawn of the Peck," has been penned by Lizzie and Wendy Molyneux, writers of such standout Bob's Burgers episodes as "Art Crawl," "Boyz 4 Now" and "World Wharf II." Last year's "Turkey in a Can" took the form of a whodunit, with the mystery of "Who's been repeatedly dumping the family's turkeys into the toilet?" cleverly serving as the framework for an oddly affecting story about Bob's anxiety over Tina growing up too fast.

That Belcher turkey mystery is one of many examples of both how much Bob's Burgers resembles The Cosby Show in its improvised moments and its characters' love of playing pretend and why it's actually a better sitcom than The Cosby Show. Bob's Burgers and the underratedBernie Mac Show will stand the test of time for me better than The Cosby Show--and this was way before recent headlines forever ruined our enjoyment of The Cosby Show--because The Cosby Show's requirement that "Dad's always right" caused that show to lose some steam after a couple of seasons (and "Dad's always right" makes so much sense now, due to Cosby's history of power trips and his need for control), much like how Gene Roddenberry's edict that there should be no conflict between the crew members really hamstrung the storytelling for the first couple of seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Neither Bob's Burgers nor Bernie are afraid to let Dad be imperfect--or get crazy drunk.

"Turkey in a Can" offered us Bob in an altered state via allergy medicine, a follow-up to absinthe's effects on Bob in "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal," and hopped-up-on-some-shit Bob--or drunk Bob--always results in an above-average Bob's Burgers episode. Perhaps taking note of that, the Molyneux sisters get him in a less-than-sober state again for the third consecutive Thanksgiving episode in a row. This time, whiskey causes Bob--who's chosen to skip the 1st Annual Fischoeder Turk-tacular Turkey Town Festival and Turkey Trot and stay at home to prepare dinner--to both have angsty conversations with a turkey baster (I bet that part of the Molyneuxs' script just says, "[Let Jon ad-lib here.]") and get his Disco Stu on to Donna Summer's "Dim All the Lights." The presence of "Dim All the Lights" automatically makes "Dawn of the Peck" the "Brokedown Merry-Go-Round" Show of the Week. I'm glad "Dawn of the Peck" went with that track and not the overplayed "Hot Stuff."


But it's not just "Dim All the Lights" that makes this another enjoyable Bob's Burgers Thanksgiving episode. Both the annual tradition of Bob ending up drunk or high on his favorite holiday and Linda, Teddy and the kids' situation in "Dawn of the Peck" really drive home how irreverent and fun Bob's Burgers' annual take on this often way-too-sentimentally-marketed holiday can be. While Bob's getting crunk and rediscovering Donna Summer, the festival at the Wonder Wharf goes awry when the 500 turkeys, chicken, ducks and geese Mr. Fischoeder (Kevin Kline) and his brother Felix (Zach Galifianakis) brought in for the running of the turkeys go on a rampage and chase after Linda, Teddy and the other participants. So "Dawn of the Peck" takes the form of a horror movie that's basically The Birds, but with turkeys that can't fly and no gore at all. Bob's finger injury in "The Kids Run the Restaurant" was way more graphic.

Despite containing as much blood as a Hallmark Channel production of From Dusk Till Dawn, this Thanksgiving episode that's more like a Halloween episode is a brilliant idea and perhaps the first of its kind. Add lots of H. Jon Benjamin trying to sing falsetto (speaking of which, Bob's bizarre "love is in control" kitchen song during the end credits is less Donna Summer and more "Girlfriend Is Better" by Talking Heads), as well as a nice moment where Regular Sized Rudy (Brian Huskey, a highlight of the cast of the recently cancelled Selfie), the frailest of the Wagstaff school kids, gets the chance to be heroic for once, during a Wonder Wharf spinning ride sequence that has to be one of the most complicated action sequences Bento Box ever animated for this show, and you have another winner from the Molyneuxs, who really ought to be writing the follow-up to Jurassic World if this comedy thing doesn't work out.


Memorable quotes:
* "I just wanted to see the turkeys. I worked on a turkey ranch one summer, when I was 14. I learned a lot about life. And a lot about turkey feces."

* "We're gonna die like we were born. Spinning around in an egg!"

* Mickey (Bill Hader): "Oh, shoot. I threw the key into the ocean... I didn't want the birds to get it. We can't let this technology fall into their hands."


* Linda: "Are you okay, my babies?" Tina: "Yep, I'm probably always going to move in little circles like this though."

* "Oh, hello, uh, turkey baster. How-how-how are you? Good, good. Uh, yeah, good. I'm-I'm doing really good. Yeah... That's funny, I was just, uh... I was... I was... just talking about you. Uh, well, uh, it was good to see you. I should get back to... Yeah, it was... [Laughs.] It was nice to see you. You look great. [Tries to close the drawer.] What? I-I-I-I-I see you, okay? You-you've made your point. [Tries to close the drawer again.] Fine. [Takes the turkey baster out of the drawer and places it on the counter.] Is this what you want? A-Are you happy now? Yeah, yeah? That good? Do you want it to come out? You want to do this right now? You want to do this right now? That's a cl... that's classic! That's classic you, turkey baster! Classic you! Not fitting in the drawer. Deliberately not! [Laughs.] That's great! Oh, come on, don't look at me like that, turkey baster! Don't look at me like that! I... I didn't want this! You think I wanted this? But I didn't! I didn't. This isn't what I wanted. I-I never wanted to be apart from you. It was all an act. It was... it was a lie. [Sniffles.] Oh God. That's so much snot. You know what? I'm gonna do it. You're right, turkey baster. I'm Bob. I make dinner. It's not too late. The grocery store's open for another hour. We can still do this. Let's go! Let's go! Get up! Get... I can't get... Oh my God! I... Uhhhh! Let's get up, drunk! I am dizzy. I'm really dizzy. Oh my God. I gotta sit down. Give us... give us a minute."

Shows I Miss (Already): Selfie (with guest blogger Adam from Slant Eye for the Round Eye)


There are several things I'm going to miss about the short-lived Selfie, a hashtag-era reimagining of Pygmalion that has been rescued from post-cancellation limbo by Hulu and will finish out on Hulu the rest of its 13-episode run, starting today. They include the genuine chemistry between Karen Gillan as narcissistic pharmaceutical sales chick Eliza Dooley and John Cho as her marketing guru co-worker Henry Higgs and the rare and groundbreaking sight of an Asian American male as a romantic lead on a single-camera comedy that's not a YouTube show. Cho's Harold & Kumar franchise has been putting Asian American guys in romantic lead roles for three consecutive movies and an upcoming Adult Swim animated version now. It took 10 goddamn years for prime-time network TV to catch up to Harold & Kumar.

I'll also miss any scene where Gillan dances (especially to Wiz Khalifa) and that wig Gillan has to wear as Eliza (after Gillan had all her hair shaved off to play a bald alien warrior in Guardians of the Galaxy) somehow stays on; that little kid whose sobs sound like Eddie Murphy laughing; and the solid character writing and visual panache shepherded by Suburgatory and Selfie creator/showrunner Emily Kapnek, the Frank Tashlin of single-camera comedies. Like Tashlin, Kapnek started out in animation, which explains the strong visual sense she brought to both Suburgatory's first two seasons (before a huge budget slash really affected that show) and Selfie.

Kapnek's Nickelodeon background--I often forget that Nick nurtured Hey Arnold! and Dora the Explorer, kids' shows with lead characters of color--also explains the incredible diversity of the worlds of Suburgatory and Selfie, both casting-wise and music-wise. The huge amount of interracial couples on Suburgatory and Selfie nicely reflects the world outside the TV screen, and I'll always adore Kapnek for soundtracking a Suburgatory scene at a house party with Full Force's "Ain't My Type of Hype" from House Party.


But there's one thing none of the few TV critics who have been in Selfie's corner have noticed about the show, and I think I might miss this element most of all: the pause-button-worthy attention to detail in the show's cutaways to screen shots of social media. Those screen shots were dead-on about the dumb or vacuous things that are often said in comments sections and on social media feeds.






Henry Higgs' off-screen mom is every single Asian immigrant parent who stupidly parrots Republican bullshit, and I love how Selfie captured that in its Facebook screen shots. So of course, like any other non-stereotypical and genuinely funny show that nails a little aspect or two of Asian American life like that and doesn't feel like it was written by aliens from outer space who studied only clips of Long Duk Dong from Sixteen Candles or Fisher Stevens in brownface from Short Circuit on their spaceship viewscreen and think this is how all us Asian guys behave, Selfie gets cancelled.

What will you miss about Selfie, Adam? Take it away.--JJA

***


It Was Just a Good Show
By Adam Chau


Above everything else, I just liked "Selfie." It was warm, cute, funny--I knew what to expect (from a general POV) and each week it was something I started looking forward to. It was one of those shows where I could feel myself getting more invested because at it's core, I related to it. I laughed with it. I talked to the TV when I watched it. Say what you might about how they got some things wrong--I think they got a lot more right.

It's like the title. People have talked about the title of the show as being a part of it's downfall but how was that any worse than "The League" or "7th Heaven" or "Ally McBeal"? I'll argue that maybe it was a better title than people credited because it was too close to their faces. It's like the underground rapper that gets signed by a major label, or who's song you start hearing more of on the radio and start seeing on television. Are they any less artistic just because more people started to like them? It's easy to write "Selfie" off as a pop-culture-in-the-now-epm style title but when you think about why we do it, the overall arc of picture taking in general, and then what we do with them in the connected world from a larger social networking perspective with more connections and more spheres of influence--it stood on it's own.

I think that's the thing that gets me the most about the cancelling of "Selfie" is that it just wasn't appreciated and it could have been a great hit--for someone. Maybe not for ABC. But for someone. Because we loved Eliza. We loved Henry. They weren't perfect. They had their quirks. But so do we. And that's why we watch. Because we can relate. Because we've all jumped in the lake, or wanted to, at least once in our lives, or did the occasional "Hmm...I wonder what they're up to now..." searches and from that POV "Selfie" really did offer storylines that multiple different groups could relate to. I'll miss that piece of the show where I'm not just watching something that interests me or keeps my attention, but that also references some of my everyday life (versus something like "Storage Wars" which I occasionally like to watch but that has nothing to do with my daily life).

But "Selfie" did.


And absolutely, I will lament not being able to watch a show with John Cho as the lead because he's just a good actor who I like to watch on the screen, big or small. Almost every year he's in a new movie while at the same time also working in television. It's not just me. Other people like him too, and he was a recognizable face that anchored the show for millions of people that tuned in.

Yeah.

I'll miss that.

Minnesotan blogger Adam Chau runs Slant Eye for the Round Eye and contributes posts to YOMYOMF (pronounced "yawm-yawm-eff").



Why I don't miss opening themes on broadcast network TV

Eh, I don't miss them.

Sure, the themes from The Addams Family, the Beverly Hillbillies/Petticoat Junction/Green Acres shared universe--or as I like to call it, the Hooterverse--and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air are lovable classics. In fact, you can hear the Fresh Prince theme in its entirety, complete with Will Smith's forgotten bars about flying first class (which were in the opening titles for only the first few episodes and then were removed), either during "Beat Box" and "The Whitest Block Ever" on AFOS or right below. But I like how stripped-down broadcast network TV is these days compared to how TV was when I was a kid.

As Andy Greenwald once wrote over at Grantland, the very '80s L.A. Law opening credits are a slow 90 seconds of random clips of people leaving meetings, carrying briefcases and shrugging. Broadcast network TV used to be so slow-paced that shows like Misfits of Science in the '80s and The Wayans Bros. in the '90s got to open with two themes in the same sequence.


The gradual elimination of opening themes from broadcast TV--to accommodate more ad space, as well as to keep fidgety viewers from channel-switching and to somewhat emulate modern-day cinematic blockbusters that have done away with opening credits altogether--took some adjustment for a couple of years, but I'm used to it by now. It won't be long before I spot yet another link to an article from the olds about how TV was better in my day because we had opening themes that were 22 minutes long and so on. No, it wasn't, Grumpy Old Man from Weekend Update. A huge chunk of pre-Sopranos/Wire, pre-niche-programming TV hasn't aged well. (As much as I love the timeless Taxi, there are still some things about it that haven't stood the test of time, like the cheesy product placement for Jeff Conaway's pop album debut during Taxi's "Fantasy Borough" two-parter. Remember that album? Because I don't.)

That's partly what Adult Swim's immensely popular "Too Many Cooks" short is making fun of: all those poor-quality clips of absurdly-lengthy-by-today's-standards opening title sequences from ancient shows that we often watch on YouTube with cringes or "Oh God, for real? This was a thing?"-ish looks on our faces. For example, I don't think my ears will be able to withstand hearing the mega-sappy and mega-anachronistic Joanie Loves Chachi theme on YouTube again. So there's one benefit to phasing out opening themes: never again will someone compose for a network show's opening titles something as abominable and interminable as the Joanie Loves Chachi theme. Never again will someone recycle the theme from Patch Adams (place Sideshow Bob shudder here).

On broadcast TV, almost all the good theme tunes that used to be allowed to breathe at the start of the show are being saved for the end credits. But you have to be a cord-cutter or a subscriber to either Hulu Plus or Netflix in order to hear those end title themes because on Hulu or Netflix, they're not squeezed out by a trailer for next week's episode or a network promo for another show, a network practice I find to be way more annoying than the elimination of opening themes.

All the current live-action shows based on DC Comics properties like Arrow, The Flash and the Game of Thrones-esque Gotham--examples of shows that are attempting to emulate modern-day cinematic blockbusters, and that includes reducing the opening theme to just a few notes over the show's brooding or flashy logo, no pun intended--carry distinctive end title themes that would have also been good as table-setters in a different era of broadcast TV. I like the triumphant little piece Arrow and The Flash composer Blake Neely wrote for the Flash end credits, while Gotham's march at the end by Graeme Revell and David E. Russo--first used outside of the end credits to great effect when Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock put aside their differences to take down Carmine Falcone in "Penguin's Umbrella," the strongest hour so far of this rather mixed bag of a show--brings to mind both the Dragnet march and Ennio Morricone's work on The Untouchables, with a little bit of Bear McCreary's opening theme from DC Entertainment's one-season wonder Human Target (yeah, there was a second season, but I like to pretend it never happened) in there.

TV theme purists, there's a place where you can enjoy as many lengthy opening themes as you want. It's called premium cable. That's where the art of setting the mood with a distinctive melody has been lovingly preserved. The showrunners of ad-free shows like Game of Thrones and True Detective are free to do whatever they want, and that includes taking as much time as they please in setting the mood, whether it's Ramin Djawadi--with the help of a lavish 3-D map--grandly re-acclimating viewers each week to the power struggle in Westeros or The Handsome Family's 2003 Southern Gothic song "Far from Any Road" (which is amusingly parodied in Key & Peele's current opening titles) establishing the haunted landscapes of Hart and Cohle's home state of Louisiana.


There's another place where lengthy opening themes haven't died out. It's called Japan. Every animated show over there opens with a J-pop song that the anime crowd simply calls an "OP" and ends with a completely different tune for the end credits that's known as an "ED." The same goes for any animated show in America except The Venture Bros. and Regular Show. Bob's Burgers currently kicks off with one of the best mood-setting themes in animation, a ukulele piece accented with xylophone and Casio keyboard FX, in much the same fashion as a burger getting accented with often outré ingredients or toppings by Bob, although I wish it were allowed to run longer at the start of the show. On the Song Exploder podcast, Bob's Burgers creator Loren Bouchard went into detail about how he composed the show's opening theme, which he also revealed is actually a much longer composition than what we currently hear on the show. He said, "I wanted a little bit of hope and optimism in the music. This had to be a story of hardship as it pertains to running a restaurant, but it's supposed to be an optimistic show and a nice slice of life with a lot of happiness in it. The ukulele was perfect, so I knew that I wanted to start with that."

Advertisers (along with network researchers who took note of viewers who changed the channel right when an opening theme began) aren't all to blame for the elimination of opening themes or the shortening of themes like Bouchard's optimistic table-setter. Blame Wings too. Now I always liked Wings--don't get it twisted (and if you don't laugh during the William Hickey or Phil Leeds episodes of Wings that are on Hulu and Netflix, you probably thought Dads was funny)--but in the early '90s, that show introduced the idea of skipping the opening theme, and it led to everyone else in sitcomland following suit. It screwed you blue!

"Brokedown Merry-Go-Round" Show of the Week: Black Dynamite, "Sweet Bill's Badass Singalong Song or Bill Cosby Ain't Himself"

Every Friday in "'Brokedown Merry-Go-Round' Show of the Week," I discuss the week's best first-run animated series episode I saw. "Brokedown Merry-Go-Round," a two-hour block of original score tracks from animated shows or movies, airs weekdays at 2pm Pacific on AFOS.

As a kid, I loved Bill Cosby: Himself so much that other grade school classmates and I would frequently repeat to each other on the bus or on the playground several lines from that concert film, which was a fixture of so many cable channels in the '80s and '90s (including the Disney Channel, whose censors deleted Cosby's entire routine about booze and cocaine addicts from the film). The "I thought my name was Jesus Christ!" bit was particularly popular on the playground. I still do like that film. As Hannibal Buress said in a 2013 GQ piece where he and a bunch of other comedians discussed their love for Cosby's material in Himself, "It's stuff that holds up." But ever since Cosby's infamous 2004 "Pound Cake" speech, my admiration for Cosby--outside of his unquestionable skills as both "a stand-up who sat down" and a storyteller--dissipated.

It dissipated even further after reading this (scroll down to the comments section for stories of Cosby being a power-mad asshole backstage or off-camera) and this and then hearing about one Cosby rape allegation after another (with Cosby now receiving support from Rush Limbaugh--why is Bill Hicks dead while this prick Hicks used to take down so beautifully in his act is still alive?). So I enjoyed Buress' recent rant about Cosby, a routine from his current stand-up tour that went viral last month and has attracted so much media attention even Buress himself has become tired of hearing about it. In the routine, Buress, a lapsed Cosby fan, scathingly slammed both the star of Leonard Part 6 and "the fuckin' smuggest old black man public persona," a side of Cosby that has frustrated Buress and so many other people of color from the hip-hop generation. "He gets on TV, 'Pull your pants up, black people, I was on TV in the '80s! I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom!' Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby," ranted Buress.


"Sweet Bill's Badass Singalong Song," the Black Dynamite episode that pokes fun at Cosby's "Pound Cake"-era persona by imagining his '70s self as a shrill killjoy who schemes to replace blaxploitation movies with much more family-friendly entertainment, was written about a year before the Buress rant helped to turn the public against the once-beloved entertainer and now inevitableLaw & Order: SVU episode subject. That's why "Sweet Bill's Badass Singalong Song" barely acknowledges the current rape scandals, although at the very last minute, episode co-writer Carl Jones was able to squeeze a couple of rape scandal references into the final cut (unlike the low-budget South Park, the much-more-expensive-to-animate Black Dynamite doesn't have the luxury of a fast turnaround). But the episode amusingly sheds light on how irritating and hypocritical Cosby's Bill O'Reilly-ish "Pull your pants up" persona has been, and it gives Cosby a lovely comeuppance--in the form of both a scolding and another kind of punishment (which I'll get into in a few seconds) from a frequently bleeped-out Moms Mabley, who's perfectly imitated by stand-up comic Luenell (you might remember her as the prostitute Borat marries at the end of Borat).

This episode is also quite a showcase for guest voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson (outside the recording booth, he frequently stole ABC's short-lived caper comedy The Knights of Prosperity from Donal Logue, but his greatest moment as a performer remains his guest shot as both an elderly Martin Luther King and a lisping bouncer who criticizes Huey's shoes on The Boondocks). He does impressive quintuple duty as Cosby, a bunch of nameless side characters and Melvin Van Peebles, who turns to Black Dynamite, his old friend from "the days of fucking," for help when Cosby's anti-blaxploitation scheme sabotages the filming of Van Peebles' new Jim Kelly/Pam Grier/Antonio Fargas/Rudy Ray Moore movie Blackity Black Black Black and then threatens to inflict on the public both the concept of reverse strip clubs (a marquee for a new reverse strip club reads, "Throw some clothes on deez hoes!") and a poorly cast primitive version of The Cosby Show called The Huxtables (Jim Kelly as Cockroach!). If you have to see one work of television this year that ends with Richardson hilariously voicing Cosby making gargling noises while being forced to orally pleasure Moms Mabley, make sure it's "Sweet Bill's Badass Singalong Song."


Memorable quotes:
* "As you know, there have been many great black films: Black Caesar, Blacula, Black on This Sucka!, You Blacked My Mama, Who You Callin' Black?, Get Black Jack, All That Black and the very popular Some of My Best Friends Are Black."

* Rudy Ray Moore, voiced by episode co-writer Byron Minns, a.k.a. Bullhorn: "I made Godzilla suck my dick while King Kong held the balls! I whupped a skyscraper's ass and made all the London Bridges fall!"

* Moms Mabley to Black Dynamite: "Why the long face, honey? You look like you lost your dick."

* Series composer Fatin "10" Horton briefly brings back the 2009 Black Dynamite film's old gag of song lyrics that describe everything that happens, during the Bill Withers parody "It's All Fucked Up Now": "It's all fucked up now they gone/'Cause the Cos took them away..."

The Wolf of Pop Street: Paul Scheer's new pop culture-themed podcast network introduces a pair of movie talk shows that are worth your time


Midroll Media's Wolfpop is a new sister network to the Earwolf podcast network, and its aim is to bring both plenty of production polish and big names (from the worlds of comedy, publishing and entertainment reporting) to a type of podcast format that's been around since podcasting's not-so-polished-sounding beginnings: pop culture talk. On November 4, Wolfpop--which is being curated by Paul Scheer, star of The League and co-host of his own movie talk podcast, Earwolf's How Did This Get Made?--launched 563,000 different pop culture podcasts. Even though I'm unemployed, I don't have time to listen to all 563,000 of them, but there are two Wolfpop shows that immediately caught my attention because of both the talent involved and the intriguing film-related subjects of their shows.

Maltin on Movies pairs up Leonard Maltin with comedian Baron Vaughn and gives the duo a different film-related topic to discuss each week (for example, episode 2 was about the unexpected rise of the McConaissance). Meanwhile, former Totally Biased host W. Kamau Bell and his fellow Totally Biased staff writer (and old Bay Area roommate) Kevin Avery make a case for why Denzel Washington is the illest on the succinctly titled Denzel Washington Is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period.


Vaughn, Bell and Avery are terrific choices for Wolfpop show hosts. Besides the conversational skills they've honed as hosts of previous podcasts (Vaughn hosted the All Things Comedy network's Deep Shit, while Bell did a podcast with Living Colour's Vernon Reid and had another movie talk podcast with Avery, Siskel & Negro, before they reteamed for the new Wolfpop show), it's also always wonderful to hear comedians of color hosting weekly podcasts. Sure, there's also Aisha Tyler (Girl on Guy), Margaret Cho (Monsters of Talk) and Kumail Nanjiani (The Indoor Kids, The X-Files Files), but, um, that's about it. The L.A. comedy podcast community is so lily-white it pours mayo into its tacos. It's so white it thinks Dilla was that lady who used to always tell jokes about her husband Fang on Carson. It's so white it has sex to Mumford & Sons. It's so white...

As an animation historian and an expert on older periods of film, Maltin is phenomenal. When I was a kid, I loved leafing through Of Mice and Magic, Maltin's thick tome about the history of American animation, so much that I would repeatedly renew it at the public library. But as a reviewer of live-action American films, the former Entertainment Tonight film critic isn't exactly one of my favorites. He gave only two (or two and a half) stars to Taxi Driver, The Long Goodbye, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid and Miller's Crossing, all movies I love. As long as Maltin doesn't talk about either Taxi Driver, The Long Goodbye, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid or Miller's Crossing on this new podcast, Maltin on Movies is worth a listen each week.

Despite some of his tastes in live-action films, Maltin is--like he's always been during his appearances on other podcasts--likable and level-headed in many of the same ways that the late Roger Ebert was. He may not agree with you about an unconventional indie flick you might adore, but at least he's not going to be a dick about it. He's never going to say something racist about your Korean friend like Rex Reed would do, and he's never going to boo you off the stage like Armond White rudely does to actors and directors he incomprehensibly dislikes.


Maltin's friendliness and approachability ("The friendliest film critic I know," says DVD Savant author Glenn Erickson) must have been why Joe Dante let bygones be bygones after he was disappointed with Maltin's negative review of his first Gremlins movie, and he got Maltin to appear during Gremlins 2: The New Batch in a cameo as himself--delivering that same negative review of Gremlins. It's also why the L.A. comedy community likes to hang out with Maltin. Sarah Silverman memorably got him to pretend to be her date in the audience during her parody of award show acceptance speeches on Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars autism telethon ("Richard Roeper cannot hold a candle to you as a film critic or as an oral lover"), and Doug Benson frequently has Maltin on as a guest on Doug Loves Movies, which uses the Leonard Maltin Movie Guide app on Benson's phone to run the show's Leonard Maltin Game.

But does that same congeniality make for lively and entertaining discussions about film like the frequently contentious pairing of Siskel and Ebert did? Not very often. So this is where Baron Vaughn--who's actually as knowledgeable about modern-day cinema as Maltin but isn't quite as familiar with older periods of film like him--comes in. Vaughn's light banter with Maltin and his ability to keep their conversations engaging are why he's an ideal partner for Maltin. They're not contentious like the Sneak Previews and At the Movies hosts used to be, but fortunately, Vaughn and Maltin's congruent opinions about the three films they select for discussion each week (the first film is one they highly recommend, the second film is one they agree is an artistic failure and the third is a lesser-known title that they both wish had received more shine) haven't resulted in boring talk.

For the first time in his long career as a reviewer (and host of various film talk shows where, unlike in podcasts, the conversations have to be much shorter and snappier and completely edited down), Maltin is as interesting a conversationalist as either Siskel or Ebert, thanks to Vaughn. He's brought out some great stories from Maltin, like his recollection of the first time he taped a press-junket interview with the late Robin Williams, a famously energetic and laugh-inducing interviewee, for Entertainment Tonight.

Denzel Washington Is the Greatest is a less serious movie talk show than Maltin on Movies, but it's equally worthwhile. I was a fan of W. Kamau Bell's late, lamented Totally Biased and its progressive brand of humor about race (Totally Biased was as close as we got to a weekly TV version of one of my all-time favorite humor books, ego trip's Big Book of Racism!), so it's comforting to have a piece of that show back, even if it's just in the form of a podcast about Denzel movies starring two of its writers.

"Denzealots" Bell and Kevin Avery intend to analyze a different Denzel movie each week--I can't wait until they reach either Crimson Tide or Malcolm X, which are neck and neck as my favorite Denzel movie--and rate it in terms of "Denzelishness," like how often "Denzel does that thing with his lip." Because Washington has starred in so many movies since his big-screen debut in Carbon Copy, a 1981 comedy where George Segal co-starred as his newly discovered biological father, the size of his filmography is making me wonder if the run of Bell and Avery's new podcast will be as long as the decade-long run that's been estimated for Mission Log, the Roddenberry Entertainment podcast that's been reviewing every single episode of each screen incarnation of Star Trek in chronological order.


Whatever the case, I'm excited about where this Denzel podcast is going to go, especially because Bell says he wants to have guests on the show. I can't think of a more ideal guest than either Slate's Aisha Harris, who wrote a good piece about Washington's recent Liam Neeson-style career turns as a "geriaction" hero; stand-up comic Reggie Reg, who does the best Denzel impression anywhere; or Bronson Pinchot, who once said he hated working with Washington during the filming of Courage Under Fire--and due to Avery's current stint as a writer for the incredible Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, that has me crossing my fingers for Oliver himself to show up one day on Washington Is the Greatest. (That's mainly because Washington played a British military vet in 1988's For Queen & Country, and I want to hear Oliver evaluate Washington's accent in that film.)

Bell and Avery's entertaining podcast has also made me look back on the huge amount of terrific soundtracks or original scores in Washington's filmography, from Terence Blanchard's rousing Malcolm X score to Elmer Bernstein's work on Devil in a Blue Dress. Speaking of which, Bernstein's "Theme from Devil in a Blue Dress" and the Branford Marsalis Quartet's "Mo' Better Blues" can currently be enjoyed during "The Whitest Block Ever" on AFOS, while Hans Zimmer's "Roll Tide" from Crimson Tide and selections from Blanchard's Malcolm X score can be heard during "AFOS Prime." "Chaiyya Chaiyya," A.R. Rahman's classic tune from the 1998 Hindi film Dil Se, which is also part of "AFOS Prime" rotation, wasn't written for Inside Man, but that Spike Lee/Denzel collabo is the first place where most American moviegoers like myself vibed out to it (although in a slightly modified form with added trumpet riffs by Blanchard and newly recorded guest verses by Panjabi MC).




Best of all, Bell and Avery's discussions of why black people often leave movie screenings so early (Bell points out that it's most likely because they have to pick up their kids from school) or why Bell considers historical dramas like A Soldier's Story (Avery refers to the 1984 movie as "the thing that red-alerted a lot of black women to Denzel Washington") and Glory to be "black people homework" are imbued with the same insight and hilarious observations about life as a person of color that made Totally Biased such a keeper during its short life span. Here's hoping Wolfpop doesn't front on Washington Is the Greatest and abruptly put an end to it like FXX did to Totally Biased.

"Brokedown Merry-Go-Round" Show of the Week: Black Dynamite, "How Honey Bee Got Her Groove Back or Night of the Living Dickheads," and The Simpsons, "Simpsorama" (tie)

Every Friday in "'Brokedown Merry-Go-Round' Show of the Week," I discuss the week's best first-run animated series episode I saw. "Brokedown Merry-Go-Round," a two-hour block of original score tracks from animated shows or movies, airs weekdays at 2pm Pacific on AFOS.

Ian Edwards, a staff writer for Black Dynamite this season, is a solid stand-up whose most hilarious moment took place not during one of his sets or his TV writing credits but on a podcast. In episode 69 of WTF with Marc Maron, Edwards was one of several guest comedians Maron interviewed on stage at Portland's Bridgetown Comedy Festival. I've brought up this 2010 WTF episode before because it's my favorite of the live WTF episodes, but to keep it succinct, Maron's conversations on WTF with black guys who aren't Wyatt Cenac (who worked alongside Maron on one of his old Air America radio programs), Chris Rock or W. Kamau Bell tend to be on the awkward side, and Maron's exchanges with Edwards at the festival were no exception. He referred to Edwards' older stand-up routines about his Jamaican background as a phase where Edwards "leaned on the Jamaican thing," which led to Edwards retorting, "You don't lean on it. You're from there. How the fuck you lean on some shit you're from, man? I don't really understand that one, Marc, but hey... You're really leaning on this white thing. I hope one day it goes away, Marc."

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