Matt from Oklahoma City here. You don’t know me, but I’m pretty familiar with your body of work. And not by choice! Your songs are impossible to avoid in the public sphere lately, which I suppose is to be expected when you (I’m speaking directly to you, Macklemore, and not “you” in the more general, second-person sense) score two number-one Billboard singles, lend your image and a
Now up until a few hours ago I wouldn’t have thought that you needed a lesson in how mainstream popular culture works since you and that Batman onesie of yours —which now retails for $65— have lately occupied the center of it, but these tweets suggest you really haven’t learned much about it at all:
— Macklemore (@macklemore) May 13, 2013
— Macklemore (@macklemore) May 13, 2013
Yeah, I get that you’re just sounding off on a medium as ephemeral as Twitter and that such throwaway thoughts probably shouldn’t get probed this hard, but since you threw it out there, I’m going to throw it back at you. Here goes:
(Editor’s Note: This is part of a special nonrecurring feature called TV Thursday. Later today Marisa and I will have up a post about Game of Thrones. How topical! Go Pop Culture!)
Hey all, Carney here again. I’ve been with The Walking Dead ever since Rick put a slug in the festering skull of the girl who just wanted to show him her teddy bear. It’s become a Sunday evening tradition in my household and it looks like it’ll stay that way for a long time thanks to the show’s enormous, highly marketable audience, in spite of all the brain-dead lurches in the scripting, dialogue, and character development departments (I’m looking at you, Season Two: Herschel’s Boring Farmhouse). The way I see it, even when the storytelling flatlines there’s still intrinsic value in watching a pair of hillbillies dispatch staggering monsters with a crossbow and a mechanical knife-wielding stump.* I got time fo’ dat!
So in honor of the AMC apocalypse drama’s third season finale, Patrick suggested I weigh a handful of Oklahoma Cityans’ odds of survival when the world starts doing the Zombie Shuffle. Here’s to hoping that nobody takes this too seriously. Also, please be warned that a few mild spoilers follow.
The Oklahoma City Thunder**
Nick Collison’s already tackled this pressing issue in his GQ blogging, but he’s a little bit more optimistic about his and his teammates’ odds against the undead than I am. Zombie dodging is a nimble, wiry person’s game and something just tells me that Nick’s on-court instincts are going to kick in, prompting him to set a pick for Russ or Kevin Martin to slip a listless, shuffling double-team. The problem with setting a screen on a zombie isn’t unlike setting a pick on Metta World Peace in that you run the risk of something insane and violent happening to your face.
Unfortunately Nick would be one of the soonest to go, right along with the other bigs***. When you’re that tall, hiding from walkers becomes an ordeal. Had the Thunder been playing on the road in Atlanta and wound up with the Grimes crew when the outbreak hit, I imagine that pack of zombies in the premiere of season two would’ve done most of them in. Also, sorry Kevin Durant, but your comically long arms and legs that create mismatches on the hardwood are just more real estate for a biter to latch on to when the end of the world comes.
The Grantland dudes all agreed that Russ has pretty good odds of survival though. I think his adamantium frame and apparent resistance to infectious disease ought to serve him well. Heck, it’s probably worth asking here: Can a guy who hasn’t in his life sat out from a game of basketball due to injury or sickness even contract the zombie virus? Maybe in this Thunder-centric TWD reality they’ll rebuild the Center for Disease Control and figure out how to synthesize Russ’s blood into a cure for all mankind, making him the new savior of the human race.
Estimated survival time after outbreak: Russell Westbrook: Until humanity is restored. Rest of team: Three weeks.
Sure, there’s a whole Bricktown’s worth of economic stimulation and pages and pages of recognition from major media outlets covering the Thunder’s run of cultural dominance in Oklahoma City. But I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us when I ask why the New York Times and Los Angeles Times aren’t willing to tackle the big questions, like What effect has the Thunder’s success made on Oklahoma City’s public rap game recognition?
Prior to 2010 or so, hip-hop stars (and hip-hop B- and C-listers) name-checked OKC with about the same frequency that they name-checked professional bowlers*, but Kevin Durant’s three-year grip on the NBA scoring title’s drastically increased that output. Rappers who rely on the Internet for self-promotion are notorious trendjackers and rappers rapping about the NBA (and NBA players rapping — remember Shaq Diesel? And Shaq Fu: Da Return?) aren’t exactly at the forefront of their field. But it’s pretty new to us in flyover country to hear something about the hometown over a beat and not an acoustic guitar, so I’ve put together this playlist-icle of rap songs I found in a few hours spent wading through YouTube, RapGenius, and the endless bog of rap blogs that name-check anything Thunder-centric. And yes, I was just as amazed and delighted to hear Hasheem Thabeet’s name in a rap song as anybody.
Hi, I’m Matt! Before I get started here I just want to say that this is my first thing for The Lost Ogle and that Patrick’s a righteous dude. He’s been kind enough to lend me space on his site to goof off about local music at the expense of a well-received, extremely popular band, despite the fact that I make very little mention of hot girls. Kudos to you, Patrick.
That all said **sound of knuckles popping** this year’s Grammy Awards get dished out tomorrow and Mumford & Sons are the New York Yankees in a league that —like the MLB— favors big spenders. They’re up for a league-leading six awards (that ties them with Fun. and Frank Ocean for the year’s most nominations), including Best Americana Album for Babel, their second album and a massively popular one by the standards of acoustic, roots-styled tunes in 2012. Babel is a musically powerful if predictable record with lyrics that hold up to scrutiny about the same way soggy wheat-based breakfast cereals hold up against a garbage disposal. (Back in October I spent a LOOKatOKC column on this topic, but for a 100x smarter deconstruction of the band, check out Tom Breihan’s recent post at Stereogum.) There are admirable qualities in Mumford for sure: the pummel and volume of their live performances and their lack of fear to approach big, meaningful themes in their songwriting stand out in particular. But at the end of the day they’re still handsome, polite boys with instruments made of wood and gimmicky poems. (Who happen to have just announced a show in Guthrie, as your rustically dressed friends may have recently pointed out on your Facebook Timelines.)
This all would all be of little consequence to this obscure, local, social blog if it weren’t for the fact that one of the
evil empire’s band’s opponents on its way to total Grammy domination was an exceptionally gifted 24-year-old songwriter from Bearden, Oklahoma. That young man is John Fullbright, whose debut album From the Ground Up was humbly distributed last year to great critical praise from a handful of sharp listeners, NPR’s Ann Powers in particular, who described the record as ”smart and beautifully crafted and surly.” If the Mumfords are the Murderer’s Row Yankees, then Fullbright is probably the Tulsa Drillers (I say the Drillers instead of the Redhawks because they’re a class level smaller and, let’s face it, ONEOK Field is ten times cooler than that ballpark in Bricktown). Fullbright did his thing with way fewer resources, a fraction of the name recognition, and he even did it as a rookie, as From the Ground Up is his first proper studio album.
So here are a five reasons why —even though Mumford & Sons are a vintage boot-in to win everything they’re nominated for tomorrow— John Fullbright deserves this particular scrap of recognition:
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