A Fair(y) Use Tale, Smashing Pumpkins, NBA lottery

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Today I have five things to mention:

A Fair(y) Use Tale 1. Eric Faden, an assistant professor of English and film studies at Bucknell University, created a 10-minute video called “A Fair(y) Use Tale” using 400 cuts from 27 different Disney films to mock copyright law (and Disney). It’s certainly worth checking out. As you may know, Disney has lobbied extensively to continue making exclusive money from old artistic copyrights by extending their terms indefinitely. Watch Faden’s video at YouTube.

2. The new Billy Corgan song, I mean Smashing Pumpkins, I mean Zwan, I mean, uh . . . well, the song’s called “Tarantula” and it’s being played on the radio now. (Speaking of copyrights, you can download a non-radio rip of “Tarantula” in mp3 format.) I wonder if the new Smashing Pumpkins album Zeitgeist will be as good as the Silversun Pickups grunge-revival album Carnavas (2006), which I’m quite fond of. Last night in Paris, Billy Corgan and company played their first show since December 2000 (not counting Zwan and Corgan’s solo performances). And speaking of “Tarantula,” check out Pendulum’s drum-and-bass track with the same title, from their excellent Hold Your Colour (2005) album. (Random trivia: The Silversun Pickups are named after a neighborhood liquor store.)

Ghost Dog soundtrack 3. I picked up the Afro Samurai soundtrack last weekend and have listened to it quite a few times now. This purchase was an impulse buy, based purely on the strength of RZA’s work on the Ghost Dog and Kill Bill soundtracks. (I love RZA’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai score and highly recommend that you pick up the pricey Japanese import version, as it is vastly superior to the domestic release.) Regarding the Afro Samurai soundtrack, I am actually a bit disappointed because it’s not a fluid RZA score; instead, it’s a mix of conventional rap, R&B, and instrumentals. I do not like the Stone Mecca songs and I wish the soundtrack had a lot more “Afro Samurai Theme”-type instrumental/sample tracks. Oh well, at least it’s a diversion from my predominantly indie rock/electronic music consumption. And I always have Ghost Dog (which is a great movie as well).

4. The two best college basketball players are coming to the Northwest. The Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle SuperSonics beat the odds to win the top two draft picks in the NBA lottery last night. Which means they will be acquiring college phenoms Greg Oden and Kevin Durant in the draft. Curiously, the three teams with the worst records in the NBA (Grizzlies, Celtics, Bucks) all failed to win one of the top three draft spots. See NBADraft.net’s 2007 mock draft. Boston Celtics diehard Bill Simmons is understandably depressed. Then again, in 2003, all the hype was centered on LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. But it was Dwayne Wade (drafted 5th that year) who ended up leading the Miami Heat to the 2006 NBA Championship as Finals MVP.

5. Apparently the NHL still exists! I just read that the 2007 Stanley Cup finals features the Ottawa Senators and the Anaheim Ducks. Umm, what? Now that’s a marquee matchup!

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