1) I understand making fun of bad samples in rap and hip-hop is very 1998, but there are two songs hitting the airwaves that sample such bizarre material it deserves our attention. One is the song "Sugar (on my tongue)" by Trick Daddy, sampling the Talking Heads song of the same name (link to a song clip). The other is "Nasty Girl" by Nitty which samples "Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies (video clip here, no audio clip as the album isn't out yet).
My first thought is that the Powers That Be in Music have just gone ahead and started sampling in alphabetical order, and we have finally reached Sg-Sz in the record collection. My second thought is that this Nitty fellow must be quite the character, to have heard the Archies single on the oldies station and thought "this would make a great song about a girl who likes having anal sex!" I think he probably thinks that about any melody he hears.
My last thought is that we have progressed since the early 80s, as it is clear that "Trick Daddy" is just singing about cunnilingus. This is as opposed to David Byrne, who was almost certainly singing about a mix of cunnilingus and cocaine. The fact that doing cocaine nowadays is about as cool as Don Johnson in a day-glo suit or investment bankers and models in a bathroom stalls is a sign our culture is one step closer to an end-stage of perfection.
god bless america!
2) Roger Ebert showed up in the interview portion of the New York Times Magazine last week. I really hate the Great!/Crap! Thumbs Up!/Thumbs Down! aesthetic that passes for movie criticism these days, and though Roger Ebert isn't the cause of the problem, he certainly can take some of the responsibility for it's popularity. That said, I've always enjoyed reading his non-review movie writing (especially the Movie Answer Man), so I was excited to read this. Now this is the one forum where he can do his best to not appear to be from the Midwest. His answer to the question "Last Meal":
Something from the Steak 'n' Shake, a chain of restaurants in the Midwest. I'd get a super steak burger with onion and pickle, ketchup and mustard, an order of chili mac, a side of fries and a Coke. My first restaurant meal was held at the Steak 'n' Shake when I was 3, and I've been going back ever since.
Wow. I like the amount of detail he gives. You can almost imagine him pointing at the writer saying "make sure to get ketchup and mustard in the column." I remember back when I was at UofI during one of Ebert's Movie Festivals and I heard a rumor from a friend of a friend: Some of the directors and producers who were in town decided to head out to a strip club and tried to get Ebert to go; Ebert instead took the crew of volunteers out to Steak and Shake at 2am.
addendum: While trying to find Ebert's comments, I found that Ebert is a vocal advocate of Steak and Shake. As if there was ever any doubt. From his review of "Harold and Kumar Goes to White Castle", I movie I had also loved:
Because this column is read in Turkey, Botswana, Japan and California, I should explain that "sliders" are what fans of the White Castle chain call their hamburgers, which are small and cheap and slide right down. We buy 'em by the bag.
Is a slider worth the trouble leaving home and journeying through two states? If you're stoned and have the munchies, as Harold and Kumar are, and if you're in the grip of a White Castle obsession, the answer is clearly yes. The only hamburger worth that much trouble when you're clean and sober is at Steak 'n Shake. Californians believe the burgers at In 'n Out are better, but that is because they do not appreciate the secret of Steak 'n Shake, expressed in its profound credo, "In Sight, It Must Be Right." (Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland.)
Find a Steak and Shake nearest you.