DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.
Kate Upton and…Science
syvo: First, there was Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Then, more recently, we got Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity. Now this. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this will be the coolest video you will watch all week. After fearlessly traveling to Antarctica for a shoot last year and now (basically) venturing into outer space, Kate Upton is quickly positioning herself as the Indiana Jones of swimsuit modeling. You gotta admire her dedication.
BK: The first thing that comes to mind when I watch this video is definitely… science. But seriously, after the relatively lazy arctic adventure effort from last year, this blows it away by being equal parts insane and awesome. Beyond that, it also seems like Kate Upton loved it (at least if the video is to be believed. Maybe she is just a great actress) and I say, good for her. She may not be on the cover this year, but she is definitely getting the attention again.
Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer
syvo: Wow. I was already feeling pretty good about this movie’s prospects based on the teaser image a few months ago, but this is what we’ve really been waiting for. The trailer wisely sells the team and characters’ obscurity (irrelevance?) as a source of endearment and humor, and gives viewers just enough to care without spoiling the plot. Additionally, this movie looks incredible, with gritty electric visuals and CGI characters that feel spookily organic.
We’ll see what happens story-wise. I imagine it will involve Infinity Stone hijinks, but I still don’t have a good reason to believe audiences are on board for all that noise. A kick-ass cast, concept, and look is one thing. But it’s plot and characterization that made the Iron Man franchise truly great.
BK: I have been cautiously optimistic about this movie since seeing the cast photo earlier this winter, but now I am throwing caution (and creative figures of speech) to the wind. This movie looks great. I was already a Chris Pratt fan from his work on Parks and Recreation, Zero Dark Thirty, and Her (to name a few), but this role could make him into a bonafide superstar. The Han Solo vibe he gives off is a great tone for the movie as a whole, and I am just hoping it doesn’t leave me wanting more. Either way, I will be there opening weekend to see the results.
Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past
syvo: Frankly, these photos speak for themselves. If you’re not insanely delighted, if your day isn’t already made, if you’re not on your knees giving thanks to the Geek Gods, then that is your problem. For a whole truckload of pics from the upcoming X-Men flick, Bleeding Cool has like fifty of ’em.
BK: Peter Dinklage is killing it right now and I’m hoping he keeps the hot hand going and helps carry X-Men: Days of Future Past. They are getting into some murky territory with time-travel, multiple versions of key characters, and a VERY crowded cast list, but I am still hopeful that they will pull it together and make something of similar quality to The Avengers.
Coasts – “A Rush of Blood”
BK: How about some music?! I’m a big fan of Brit-pop, and this selection fits nicely into that category. The latest song by Coasts is simple, catchy, and another excellent track to kick off your weekend. Even though the title borrows from Coldplay’s earlier works, it sounds much more like Two Door Cinema Club than Chris Martin. They have only released an EP to date, but I expect big things from these boys from Bristol in 2014.
The Casket Girls – “Ashes and Embers”
syvo: The Casket Girls’ perfectly bittersweet True Love Kills the Fairy Tale came out last week and I began listening a few days ago. It has not left my earbuds since. Very much in the vein of The Chromatics’ 2012 effort Kill For Love and the cult soundtrack to Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive (2011), this album is moody and poetic and entrancingly melodic. I’m deeply in love. Plus, the ostensible origin of their name is awesomely Southern Gothic.
I’m not one for labels, but if you’re even slightly intrigued by the idea of “experimental haunted country indie post-rock shoegaze” from Savannah, Georgia, then this album is for you. You can listen to the whole album (and then buy it) directly from indie label Graveface Records over at the Girls’ Bandcamp page.
DOPE Digest Throwback: Capone-N-Noreaga – “Bloody Money”
BK: We here at Syvology have been reminiscing about this album for a few weeks, and it is about damn time we put them on the big stage. CNN’s The War Report is one of the seminal albums of east coast rap from the 90’s, but its significance is often diminished when compared to classics like Illmatic, Ready to Die, and Lifestyles Ov Da Poor and Dangerous. Make no mistake, The War Report is an amazing album that deserves more credit than it gets. Capone is a talented and gutty performer, and was tragically taken too soon. Noreaga is one of my favorite voices in rap, not even necessarily for the content of his lyrics (though I think he is great there too), but simply for the tenor of his voice. Everything he says sounds perfect, and this track exemplifies the best of what C-N-N have to offer.
syvo: The War Report is one of my favorite rap albums of all time; we’re talking Top 5. The record’s lyrical content is intelligent, provocative, and immeasurably cool all at once. The production is just viscously tight, tying the duo’s flows together with violence and cynicism. It’s an incredible, timeless piece of art. Sure, a lot happened in rap last year. But no one will ever do it like this again.