Aesop Rock: As The World Crumbles

In roughly a decade as one of the biggest names on the New York underground hip-hop label Definitive Jux, Aesop Rock developed a distinctive style, as well as a solid support base to back it up. But after operations at Definitive Jux were put on an “indefinite hiatus” in 2010, he hung his hat at Minneapolis’ Rhymesayers label. Putting together his forthcoming album Skelethon on a new label five years after its predecessor would have been a daunting enough task, but Aesop Rock also decided to forgo the assistance of his go-to producer, Blockhead, making this his first fully self-produced effort. In light of all of these changes, “Zero Dark Thirty” finds him wisely deciding to tread familiar territory: dense, buzzing beats peppered with snippets of live instruments, coupled with his usual verbose wordplay. Continue reading

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Brand New The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me

Brand New’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me blew up teen angst to literally biblical proportions, resonating like no emo band before or since to outcasts in Sunday school and high school.

At the turn of the century, emo had finally gone pop, but hadn’t felt like music for popular kids. On Clear Channel playlists, “The Middle” and “Screaming Infidelities” were boyish, bashful contrast to the goateed bullies of nu-grunge and rap-metal and the New Rock Revival’s trouser-stuffing sexuality. But while Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional were extensions of the church basement and DIY house scenes that fostered Christie Front Drive, the Get Up Kids, and the Promise Ring, they would soon be overtaken by the likes of Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and plenty of bands who were basically jocks in ringer T’s: they were loud, rude, and thought about little other than sex. The Long Island band’s 2001 debut Your Favorite Weapon helped establish the sound and the gender politics for a time when emo would draw in more fans of both sexes than ever before, but often cleared the room of people who expected punk rock to be a welcoming or progressive environment. To this day, “Emo Night” most likely means drunken 20-somethings yelling along with “Jude Law and a Semester Abroad.”

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Judi Dench’s 10 Best Films

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel made more than $135 million worldwide while offering a handful of finely seasoned veteran actors a chance to prove that Hollywood doesn’t always have to be youth-obsessed. This gives us the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to returning Exotic star Judi Dench, whose long list of well-received roles includes everything from Merchant Ivory period pieces to a long stint as M in the James Bond franchise. You won’t find any of her 007 movies on this list, because they missed the cut after we added up and averaged out their scores, but that’s just another testament to the strength of Dame Dench’s filmography. Continue reading

Guide: The idiot proof guide to downloading ebooks off IRC. With Pictures and everything!

I’m putting this together because I posted a while ago about using IRC to acquire ebooks on Reddit, and there was a metric shit ton of interest from others in learning how to do it. Much of this info is available on the net, but it can be difficult to track down if you don’t know exactly what to look for.

Disclaimer: I am in no way responsible for how you choose to use this knowledge. This method can and should only be used to download legally available ebooks, as an alternative source in case other services go down for whatever reason. You use this guide at your own discretion. Continue reading

Cold War in films

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) British agent Alec Leamas refuses to come in from the cold war during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one. (112 mins.)
The Manchurian Candidate (1962) A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy. (126 mins.)
A Gathering of Eagles (1963) During the Cold War, Air Force Colonel Jim Caldwell shapes up his Strategic Air Command B-52 wing to pass a nuclear war readiness test. (115 mins.)
The Bedford Incident (1965) An American destroyer captain is determined to confront a Soviet submarine caught violating territorial waters. Perhaps too determined. (102 mins.)
Seven Days in May (1964) United States military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack. (118 mins.)
Fail-Safe (1964) American planes are sent to deliver a nuclear attack on Moscow, but it’s a mistake due to an electrical malfunction. Can all-out war be averted? (112 mins.)
The War Game (1965) The War Game is a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city… (48 mins.) Continue reading

BEST HORROR MOVIES BY YEAR SINCE 1920

Look, we know that it’s the time of year when everyone and their sister has a list of the best horror movies of all time. This time out, we at Rotten Tomatoes decided to take a slightly different tack. Using our weighted formula, we compiled a list of the best-reviewed fright fests from each year since 1920 — the year The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which created the template for horror cinema, was released. This wasn’t an easy assignment — there were several years, like 1932 and 1960, that boasted a slate of classic films (and a few others, like 1937 and 1938, in which we had trouble finding any solid contenders). What was the best horror flick the year you were born? Check out our list — if you dare. Continue reading