Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sam's Favorite Albums of 2008

I haven't had the chance to listen to a lot of new music of 2008, I catch myself listening to a lot of last years albums. But here are my fav's of this year. I'll keep the reviews short. Stole this idea from Revision (thanks man). The albums are in no paticular order. These are the albums I can't seem to stop listening to.

Duffy - Rockferry
This girl has an amazing and distinct voice, my cousin played it at work one day...and Warwick Ave just captured me. She has a sweet bluesy sound. My 2008 version of Corinne Bailey Rae.
Favorite track: Scared

Adele - 19
Another great singer. Yet again heard of her thru my cousin.
Favorite Track: Melt my Heart to Stone

Estelle - Shine
What can I say? All together good album.
Favorite Track: You Are (Featuring John Legend)

John Legend - Evolver
A different sound from John Legend. Green Light blew me away when I first heard it. He still takes it back to the old JL for the track "This Time".
Favorite Track(s): Quickly (Featuring Brandy), No Other Love (Featuring Estelle)

Inverse - So Far
Dopest street album man. These guys are dope, introduced to me by the homie Romeo.
Favorite Track - One Step

Common Market - Tobacco Road
Seattle's hip hop scene is the real deal. Massline. Sabzi is just a genius man. Scion is a wordsmith.
Favorite Track(s): Gol'Dust, Crucible (Featuring Geologic)

Revision - Forward Progress Mixtape
As soon as I put this album in, I couldn't take it out of my car. A true emcee. Keeps it real, down to earth.
Favorite Track(s): All of them!!! haha, if I have to choose: Represent, Pushin', and Myspace.

Bambu - Exact Change
Truly my favorite album of the year. You can see the progress from "Self Untitled". Amazing beats by many producers; Fatgums, Amplive, Sabzi. Someone once told me "If you wanna make a real music, you gotta know who you are first"...this guy knows who he is...therefore real music. Bam is on top of his game, lyrically, on politics, on swagger, everything. Everyone must cop this.
Favorite Track(s): Spare Change, Swing (Featuring Zion-I), Like Us, Misused.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Crows Zero

(taken from wikipedia) is a film based on the comic book Crows by Hiroshi Takahashi. The film was directed by Takashi Miike, written by Shogo Muto and stars Oguri Shun. The movie is the untold story behind the characters in a feuding high school

My thoughts: Good ol' Japanese school gang action. Cool cast and characters, simple story, nice execution. Can't wait for the sequel. The finale could have been a little shorter, and more creative.


Death Bell (2008)

Death Bell (2008) (Korean w/ English Subs)


  • Lee Beom-soo ... Hwang Chan-wook
  • Yoon Jeong-hee ... Choi So-yeong
  • Nam Gyu-ri ... Kang Yi-na
  • Han Na-yeon ... Yoon Myong-hyo
  • Kim Beom ... Kang Hyeon


The film is set in a high school, where an elite group of twenty students—including rebelious heroine Kang Yi-na, her timid best friend Yoon Myong-hyo, and her would-be boyfriend Kang Hyeon—are taking a special class for their college entrance exam. After Kang Hyeon is nearly strangled and another student throttled in the restroom, the classroom TV screen switches to an image of top-ranking student Hye-yeong trapped inside a fish tank that is slowly filling with water. A disembodied voice announces that her life depends on the exam questions he will set for them, and that a student will die for every question the class gets wrong. Trapped with the students are head teacher Hwang Chan-wook and English teacher Choi So-yeong. Yi-na realises that the students are being killed in order of their rank in the class, and she is ranked fifth.

My thoughts: Supposedly this was claimed to be the new genre of horror...it's pretty much a SAW clone...let me sum it up:

Predictible. Cheap thrills. Wack.

10 Promises To My Dog (Japan) (2008)

10 Promises to My Dog
Director: Katsuhide Motoki
Cast: Lena Tanaka, Ryo Kase, Mayuko Fukuda, Chizuru Ikewaki, Akira Fuse, Reiko Takashima, Etsushi Toyokawa
RunTime: 1 hr 57 mins


Akari is a 14-year-old schoolgirl living in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. One day, a puppy wanders into her yard, looking lost and frightened. She is a Golden Retriever with white paw markings. Akari names her Socks. Akari's mother consents to her keeping the dog but only after she agrees to keep 10 Promises to Socks . Akari enthusiastically assents and the two begin their journey of growing up together. Akari finds herself having to overcome many changes and challenges: the tragedy of her mother's death, father's sudden resignation, coming-of-age, first romantic feelings, career ambitions and her independence. But at every step, Socks is there to provide unquestioning love and support.

My thoughts: This movie brings it back to the basics. Great soundtrack, great cast, sweet story, good dog haha. Heartwarming, and tear jerking, this is a reccomended family movie.

Socks steals the show, whoever trained this dog, kudos. It's hard not to go "awww", in every single shot the dog is in. Another honorable mention is the father. I thought his acting was perfect as a supporting role. You can see an intense love for his daughter Akari, so sincere.

The social issues presented in this film are interesting, I feel everyone can relate to most of it. Such as having to ignore family for a while to pursue a career, relationships, broken homes, death.

As a whole, this film is worth the money, and you should all see it.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Please Vote for Me

Please Vote for Me
Directed by Weijun Chen

(taken from pleasevoteforme.org)

Is democracy a universal value that suits human nature? Do elections inevitably lead
to manipulation? Please Vote for Me is a portrait of a society and a town in through
a school, its children and its families.

Wuhan is a city about the size of London located in central China. It is here that director Weijun Chen has conducted an experiment in democracy. A Grade 3 class
at Evergreen Primary School has their first encounter with democracy by holding an election to select a Class Monitor.
Eight-year-olds compete against each
other for the coveted position, abetted and egged on by teachers and doting parents.

Elections in China take place only within
the Communist Party, but recently millions
of Chinese voted in their version of Pop
. The purpose of Weijun Chen's experiment is to determine how
democracy would be received if it
came to China.

The film is one of ten selected as part of the Why Democracy? project, which saw interpretations of democracy by 10 film makers from around the world broadcast on 42 television networks in October, 2007, to audiences of more than 300 million people in nearly every country in the world.

The poster alone made me really wanna see it. And the hype around it made me quite eager. It won several awards last year several film festivals. My Thoughts? It lives up to the hype. Very very entertaining. Just under an hour, it was fun to see how the kids would handle this type of pressure...I couldn't have handled that ish when I was that age, forget about it. Some good twists in it actually, and I ended up rooting for one of them (the underdog of course) All in all, good watch, everyone should see it.


New Bambu Video - Crooks and Rooks

Bambu "Crooks & Rooks" Music Video (Broadcast Version) from Xylophone Films on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sweet Rain aka Accuracy of Death (Japan) (2008)

Sweet Rain aka Accuracy of Death
by Masaya Kakei
Takeshi Kaneshiro, Manami Konishi
Based on a Japanese Novel, Chiba is a Grim Reaper, a supernatural being who closely watches someone who is about to die in a sudden and unexpected way. No illnesses, no suicides: a Reaper’s job is to decide if the upcoming appointment with death should be marked in the agenda as “proceed” or “suspend”. “Suspend” means that the person will survive for now, and is only granted when a reaper gets the impression that his subject still has to reach the most important part of his/her life. But how do you put a value on what is important in someone’s life, especially if you are as clueless about human behavior as Chiba is?

Well I got a copy of this film a couple weeks ago, but I didn't pop it in the DVD player till tonight. I had some coffee, and couldn't go to sleep...so why not, right? Anyway, Sweet Rain, what a pleasant surprise! I didn't read any reviews or see any trailers for it, so it was even more surprising. There was a small Christmas theme to it in the middle, and it's weird because a lot of the movies I've seen lately had a holiday theme.

Takeshi Kaneshiro just shines in this film. We've seen him in his blockbuster roles, which he is always good in, but this one happens to be the best I've seen him. His role as Chiba, is so hard not to like (no homo). Now I know what you guys are thinking...Meet Joe Black...or City of Angels....I've never seen those movies, so I have nothing to compare it to. And I'm not a fan of Nic Cage (fool is wack haha). I know the grim reaper thing is nothing new, but this isn't one of those "life is bittersweet, but worth living" films...more of an understanding of consequence. The film is split into three different stories in which Chiba analyzes subjects on whether or not these subjects are ready for death. Pay very close attention to everything in the film to get the full effect, there's a specific theme that tells you what generation each story is set in. (I don't want to give that away lol). I think what drew me in from the get go, was the fact that Chiba (and many of grim reapers in the film) were music lovers. I think he says "Music is humanities best creation"...something like that...I couldn't agree more.

This movie isn't for everyone, I think a lot of westerners will be dissapointed because they want that "happily ever after". This one is more subtle, leave-it-to-the-viewer type ending. This movie could have used a jaw dropping "tear jerking" ending, but I'm soooo glad they didn't. I'm so sick of those movies that try to *force* you to cry, or give you a glamorous ending. Although I admit, from time to time I do enjoy those. All in all, this is a light hearted and at the same time meloncoly drama with good pieces of comedy in it to keep us all smiling and not so...meloncoly lol. Check it out when you get the chance. Then we can discuss it...I mean...if you want :)


Monday, December 22, 2008

Radio Dayz

Wuddup fam? It's Sdot. I just wanted to share with you guys this Korean Film I watched the other day, called Radio Dayz. Below is a quick description(Taken from yesasia.com):

Under the scrutiny of the Japanese imperialistic regime, a team of misfits come together to make Joseon's first live radio drama, but the ending's up in the air with such an unreliable bunch. First, there's oddball producer Lloyd Park (Ryoo Seung Bum) who spends too much time cooing over his leading ladies. Then there's the writer (Kim Roi Ha, Return) who suffers from writing block. Of course, no drama is complete without the stars: the sexy and self-indulgent jazz singer (Kim Sa Rang), who always finds herself in trouble with her habitual ad-libs, and her quirky yet charming on-air rival (Hwang Bo Ra). Last but not least, there's the freedom fighter (Lee Jong Hyuk) posing as the sound engineer. Let the show begin!

hat a great cast!!! Ryoo is still my favorite actor in Korea, he's so diverse. Manner Zero is still one of my favorite films. Anyway, I think the reason I enjoyed this film (besides it's humor), was the way they told the story of "The Flame Of Love" (the first radio drama series for the station). It was exciting to see how the characters would react to script changes, improvs, and there coworkers. There's hardly any slow spots in the film, unlike 80 percent of the recent Korean films I've seen. I recommend it to everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A night of Sights and Sounds...S&S 4 @ Beatrock

I decided to leave early on Saturday morning December 13, and head to Irvine to visit my sister and her family, who live on campus at UCI. We stopped for some food in Beaumont at this place called Gus. I had a short stack, and some biscuits and gravy (you know all carb diet) haha. The drive to Irvine was quite easy, no traffic really on a Sat. morning. The only thing was my back was killing me all week, I pulled it earlier that week. I arrived at my sis' house around 1pm and kinda just hung out. Played with Dax (coolest dog, here's a puppy pic):

and chilled with my niece Elise (a vid from later that night):

Before the Sights and Sounds show, my bro-in law and I watched some Dark Knight while my sisters made the bombest oatmeal/raisin/chocolate chip cookies...straight bomb. I want more haha

I left Irvine around 5 and headed to Beatrock. I don't drive in LA often, so I'm still not used to the traffic. The 405 is nuts man. It turned what was supposed to be a 20 minute drive in a an hour drive. Haha...all good still made it to the show on time.

When I got the the Beatrock store, the local resident band The Committe was setting up sound.
...and Simbulan was supervising everything.

It was first time at the BeatRock. Great looking store, awesome location as well. There was a good amount of people at first, but as time passed, more and more people showed up. The art was amazing as usual. Pieces by BeatRock, Stuter, Sky's Falling, Pancho, Alfie, Roots, and many more. Performances started around 9pm, starting with Fighting Cocks. It was my second time seeing them live, really good performance. Their band sounds hella clean.

The Committee went on next, and in my opinion gave their best performance. Make sure to cop that Forward Progress Mixtape from Revision.

Bambu went on next, and just killed it. It seems so effortless when he puts on a show. Make sure to get that Exact Change album...illest album of 2008 imo.

The Counterparts (just T-Know and Fatgums) went on right after Bam, and did a ill set as well. They also had K9 the Human Beatbox do his thing during their set. I have a clip of that, I'll post it soon.

J-One, Zanna, and I went on last and did our thing. It was our first time doing it like this, with only 2 members of FE. Good crowd response. Good times.

I met a lot of new people. Saw a lot of familiar faces. All in all, a fun night in Long Beach. Be sure to check out all the artist on the bill, the flier is on a past post. Till next time fam, stay irie.


To all of FlowEthics and Supporters

We've been a group for a year now and I just gotta say it's been a blessing. Much love to the people and artists who support us. I know we've been putting off the album a lot, but it's been a trial and error learning experience, and mainly because we want to give you the best that we can. Thanks for being patient. And to all of FlowEthics: DJ Atehcna, E-Dub, T, RC, Zanna, and Ryu....LET'S GET IT!!!


(Above pic: photo of our first show at Andropalooza, Zanna wasn't able to make it out. Fun fact, that was also the day we first got Zanna to record haha)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Home Alone

Wuddup people?!? You guys in the holiday spirit yet? I don't really get that much, but every time I see this movie, I get a little hint of how I felt when I was a kid. I caught half of it at my cousin's house. I still know most of the lines in the movie..."Look what you did, you little jerk" hahah. Anyway, if you're a late 80's baby, you'll feel me. Check it out if you're feeling a little down.

Another honerable mention: Elf. If Will Ferrel don't make you smile then Zooey Deschanel will...she has a great voice.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sights & Sounds 4 @ BeatRock in Long Beach

Check the music of the live performers!
www. myspace. com/bambumusic

The Committee
www. myspace. com/thecommitteemusic

The Counterparts Crew
http://www. myspace. com/counterpartscrew

www. myspace. com/flowethics1

http://www. myspace. com/432202908

Fighting Cocks
http://www. myspace. com/fightingcocksmusic

Bambu "Like Us" from Xylophone Films on Vimeo.


Sup web! Sdot here. A friend online posted this Award Winning Short called "Validation". Great heartfelt short.

Taken from youtube.com:
"Validation" is a fable about the magic of free parking. Starring TJ Thyne & Vicki Davis. Writer/Director/Composer - Kurt Kuenne. Winner - Best Narrative Short, Cleveland Int'l Film Festival, Winner - Jury Award, Gen Art Chicago Film Festival, Winner - Audience Award, Hawaii Int'l Film Festival, Winner - Best Short Comedy, Breckenridge Festival of Film, Winner - Crystal Heart Award, Best Short Film & Audience Award, Heartland Film Festival, Winner - Christopher & Dana Reeve Audience Award, Williamstown Film Festival, Winner - Best Comedy, Dam Short Film Festival, Winner - Best Short Film, Sedona Int'l Film Festival.