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Originally published at The Fast Money Round. You can comment here or there.

This is the next in a series of posts giving my top five of everything: top five authors, movies, books, fonts, colors… anything and everything I can think of. Most of these lists, unless otherwise specified, aren’t in any particular order. Here’s the next list: my top five mash-ups. For the uninitiated, a mash-up is a song created from the elements of two or more songs. I enjoy them for the musical intuition and skill it takes to create one. (I’ve tried, to disastrous results.)

Cory’s Top Five Mash-Ups

1. Low Groove (Flo Rida vs. Earth, Wind and Fire) by Party Ben. My theory: putting lousy rap songs to vastly superior 70s-era funk or disco will always equal something awesome. This makes Flo Rida’s annoying, unbearable “Low” not just tolerable, but rather awesome.

2. Single Ladies (In Mayberry) (Beyoncé vs. The Andy Griffith Show) by Party Ben. Now, this is a mash-up. Here’s the formula: take two songs which could very well be considered polar opposites, and jam them together like uncomfortable cousins at a staged wedding. Bonus points: mash up the video. Give this one a listen, and you’ll be simultaneously tickled pink and bewildered. (And if you haven’t already figured this one out: Party Ben’s one of the best and most popular mash-up artists on the intertubes. Get to know his work; it is the best.)

3. Sweet Home Country Grammar (Nelly vs. Lynyrd Skynyrd) by DJ Mei-Lwun. Here’s another great example of taking two songs which are basically polar opposites and mashing them up together. The reason I like songs like this is that, on a very deep and metaphorical level, it can show that people’s differences only separate them so much, and that if used properly, differences can bring people together. (That’s a little too deep for something as silly as mash-ups. I apologize.)

4. Yeah In The Sun (Weezer vs. Usher, Ludacris and Lil Jon) by DJ Mike. The entire Jay-Zeezer album (which is Jay Z’s Black Album remixed with Weezer’s Blue Album) is a wonderful experiment that stands up to the test of time, mainly because the Black Album is amazing, and the Blue Album is one of Weezer’s finest. Mix them together skillfully, as DJ Mike did, and you have yourself a fine album. The mash-up I’m focusing on, however, is a bonus track on the Jay-Zeezer album, and it’s Island in the Sun by Weezer, mashed up with Usher’s Yeah song. It’s a jammin’ tune. (Peace up, A-Town down.)

5. Jam on Sesame Street (The Sesame Street Theme vs. Newcleus). To end this top-five, I’m throwing a new favorite that I haven’t gotten sick of yet. Take the hot 80s flow of rap group Newcleus and mix it with a sped-up version of the theme to the children’s show Sesame Street (which I still consider sacred ground; no one fucks with Sesame Street without respect and reverence. Those puppets taught me how to read, damnit) and you’ve got a real cool jam that is difficult to not dance to.

coryanotado: (Default)

Originally published at The Fast Money Round. You can comment here or there.

This is the next in a series of posts giving my top five of everything: top five authors, movies, books, fonts, colors… anything and everything I can think of. Most of these lists, unless otherwise specified, aren’t in any particular order. Here’s the next list: my top five TV shows.

Cory’s Top Five TV Shows

1. Arrested Development. I know I say that these aren’t in particular order, but I’ll be damned if Arrested Development isn’t the most clever, funniest and smartest show that ever aired on network TV. Every character plays their part to the fullest in every episode, and the complex foreshadowing that only become funny after watching a few times. The funny keeps up enough that watching the same episodes over and over don’t get old, they get better, like a fine wine. Buying the DVDs would not be a huge mistake.

2. Scrubs. Ignoring the current season that’s airing on ABC (mainly because it’s fresh, new and should be treated as a spin-off anyway), Scrubs is one of the few single-camera sitcoms that I could, again, watch over and over again. The story lines are interesting, and the fact that the entire show was taped pretty much in one giant hospital-cum-production lot is the icing on the cake. Coupled with the fact that every episode has at least one song to go and buy from iTunes, Scrubs runs the gamut for entertainment.

3. The Price is Right. Christ, again with the game shows. Yes, yes, it’s a game show, but it is an influential game show. It’s single-handedly shaped the landscape of daytime television. It’s given us catchphrases, a wicked awesome fight scene, numerous Family Guy skits and something to look forward to when you’re home sick from school. Its format hasn’t changed in over twenty years and even though people give Drew Carey a hard time, he’s still a great host for a show that remains an American institution.

4. Law and Order. In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. Law and Order has been the de facto standard for procedural crime shows since its inception in 1990. (Christ, it’s been almost 20 years.) Even though the people change, the times change, and the courts change, the intrigue that the show (and its spin-offs, which are almost as good, if not better, than the original) provides in its hour-long slot leave little to be desired.

5. Chappelle’s Show. Now almost long forgotten, Dave Chappelle’s foray into sketch comedy was another game changer that deserves frequent second looks. As Richard Pryor did in the 70s, Dave Chappelle used racial stereotypes and taboos in order to not just be funny, but for America to take a long hard look on how race is treated in the modern age. Sadly, the show was canceled after the third season due to someone crossing the line, and if Dave Chappelle thought the line was crossed, then the line must have been very crossed. Still, the shows are a humorous and poignant look at race issues in America.

coryanotado: (Default)

Originally published at The Fast Money Round. You can comment here or there.

This is the next in a series of posts giving my top five of everything: top five authors, movies, books, fonts, colors… anything and everything I can think of. Most of these lists, unless otherwise specified, aren’t in any particular order. Here’s the next list: my top five podcasts. All links head to iTunes, so if you don’t have iTunes, then don’t click the links.

Cory’s Top Five Podcasts

1. The Rachel Maddow Show. MSNBC’s most logical and smartest host (just barely eking out Keith Olbermann), Rachel Maddow’s full show appears on a one-day delay on iTunes. Full show. 40-some odd minutes. For free. That shit is insane. Thank you, MSNBC.

2. The Preston and Steve Show. Preston and Steve are two of the funniest morning DJs in the world. Howard Stern is lame, fuck Danny Bonaduce and any other morning show on radio, despite what you think, is inferior to the Preston and Steve show. If you disagree with me, subscribe to Preston and Steve for a week. Listen to the show and, if after 5 days, you don’t love this show, then I will give you a cheesesteak for your valiant efforts.

3. Old Jews Telling Jokes. I am extremely not Jewish, but I still find Old Jews Telling Jokes very funny. There’s no surprise about what this podcast is about: it’s a bunch of old Jewish people, backed with years of telling their corny jokes, in front of a plain white background, telling the corny jokes they’ve told for years and years. And yet, something about an old geezer telling an extremely dirty joke? Never gets old.

4. The Onion News Network. This shouldn’t even need to be said. Consistently rated five stars on iTunes, the Onion News Network is truly America’s finest news source. Taking satire further than satire has ever been taken before, it’s refreshing to see someone stick it to not just cable news, but morning shows, government access and sports news, all in one podcast. It’s a must-watch.

5. This American Life. The greatest magazine show in the history of media. It’s like 20/20, but better, more touching, more… pertinent. Ira Glass has his timing down pat, the stories selected always fit the theme of the show, and the themes of every episode are engaging and intriguing. This is another one of those “if you’ve never listened before, listen a couple times” and I guarantee, you will love it.

coryanotado: (Default)

Originally published at The Fast Money Round. You can comment here or there.

This is the first in a series of posts giving my top five of everything: top five authors, movies, books, fonts, colors… anything and everything I can think of. Most of these lists, unless otherwise specified, aren’t in any particular order. Here’s list one: my top five movies.

Cory’s Top Five Movies

1. Slumdog Millionaire. The combination of dynamic storytelling, amazing visuals and a surprisingly accurate portrayal of a game show make for the best movie of 2008, by far.

2. Quiz Show. Yeah, yeah, I know. Two movies with game shows in them. Rest assured, dear reader: White Men Can’t Jump will not appear just because Rosie Perez’s fine ass appeared on Jeopardy!. Robert Redford’s directorial debut chronicling the rise and fall of the 1950s quiz show is less about the game show and more about the drama between everyone involved.

3. Up. I’ll admit it: the movie made me cry. Then it made me laugh. Then it intrigued me. Then it warmed my heart. Just like a good Disney movie should. Pixar has a hard time doing any wrong.

4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Although not a great translation of Douglas Adams’ book, the H2G2 movie was entertaining enough for me to watch over and over again and enjoy it. Not many movies do that, which is why The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy gets on the list.

5. Helvetica. I know that I really should not be making Top Five lists since I put shit like Helvetica on the list, but give me a chance to explain. Gary Hustwit’s documentary Helvetica is not just a movie about a font; it’s the on-screen experience of a group of influential people discussing the aesthetics that most forget but no one should take for granted.

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