Tag Archives: Eminem

“The Middle”

One of the all-time best Super Bowl commercials, and certainly the best-ever ad for a car company, was aired 10 years ago during Super Bowl XLV. The ad, known both as “Born of Fire” and “Imported from Detroit,” shows Eminem rolling through the streets of Detroit. The images were not all chamber-of-commerce shiny and bright. The edge nature of the crumbling environment, a situation that led to people visiting to see the post-industrial archelogy in front of their eyes (not exactly Pompei-like ruins, but certainly not necessarily a place you’d like to take a Sunday walk). The soundtrack is an instrumental version of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” He is driving what was then a new Chrysler 200.

You see the Robert Graham “Monument to Joe Louis,” a sculpture that is better known around these parts as “The Fist,” which is located at the foot of Woodward at Jefferson, and you know that Detroit is not a city that is like any other.

Eminem drives the 200 to the Fox Theatre, a classic movie house opened in 1928 and completely rehabilitated by the company that owns Little Caesar’s Pizza (yes, that is from Detroit, as is Domino’s), where the marque outside reads “Keep Detroit Beautiful.” The narrator to that point had talked about how Detroit isn’t New York, Chicago, Vegas, “And we’re certainly no one’s Emerald City.”

He walks down an aisle of the theater, which has long been a music venue rather than a movie house, and on the stage there’s the Selected of God choir, wearing their Sunday robes and singing, as the instrumental “Lose Yourself” builds.

Eminem turns to the camera, accusatorially points his finger, and says, “This is the Motor City and this is what we do.”

“God damn right,” Detroiters everywhere nodded.

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Listen to Frontier Justice 2/19/17

The Thousand Points Of Light Memorial Waterfall lies dry at the center of the Super 7 Mega Mall food court tetrahedron, and everybody’s got an opinion as to why. Hair triggers, we have them. In this new reality of hot takes and burning questions, it’s fun to clamber onto a roof and shout “BELL BOTTOMS” over and over into the night sky. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion strut their way outta “Frontier Justice” in its college radio days and into this new consciousness, the latest FJ delivery system being Spotify. And speaking of that new consciousness, on this set JSBX drops into the void between Danny Brown‘s stuttering, claustrophobic “Ain’t It Funny” on one side and Lady Gaga‘s “Diamond Heart” on the other. Young, wild Americans, both.

Spotify: Frontier Justice 2/19/17 (35 songs, 2 hr 3 min)

At the top of the set, Norway’s Sigrid makes her debut with “Don’t Kill My Vibe” and M.I.A. returns with the typically martial “P.O.W.A.” Minor Threat and Agent Orange remind us that the establishment was riling up the youth in the early moments of the Me Decade, Patti Smith remains royalty, and “Said It Already” is new, incisive and grooving from young Londoner Ama Lou. Elsewhere, Tommy Genesis oozes volatility and effortless after-hours club cool on “Art,” and Dai Burger wants to be your class president. Did you know Michelle Branch is back? Hopeless Romantic is her first full-length in 13 years; it was written and co-produced with Patrick Carney of the Black Keys, and sounds like it. Angel Olsen released one of 2016’s best records in My Woman — The engrossing, cinematic “Sister” is a highlight — and digging deep into the Spotify Sound Vaults reveals classic material in a new light: Elvis Presley brings both vulnerability and bluesy swing to an alternate take of “Heartbreak Hotel,” and The Supremes are full of funky soul on “Bad Weather,” the 1973 nugget produced and written by Stevie Wonder.

There’s some Ratt along the way, because after all, what goes around comes around (and they’ll tell you why), L.A. Witch is back with cool new stuff for Suicide Squeeze, RTJ remind us to stay hungry and pissed, and Eminem is no less than unhinged on “No Favors,” one of the many standouts on Big Sean‘s terrific new record I Decided.

Making playlists isn’t protest. It’s not political action. But it can be a soundtrack for both dancing and dissent, and do its best to uphold the art of discourse, which in these polarizing times is increasingly under attack. And if you want to completely check out, there’s always room on Goat‘s delightfully weird magic carpet. Here, “Try My Robe.”


You can also try an Apple Music playlist. Let me know if this works. -ed.

Continue reading Listen to Frontier Justice 2/19/17

Eminem Goes 5 for 5 at No. 1

Eminem - RecoveryDang, I was kidding a while ago about Eminem and Susan Boyle, but dude’s looking unstoppable. I just read Spin‘s cover story on him, and now I’m going to have to listen to the album, I guess. Interesting character.

Speaking of interesting characters, does it surprise anybody (besides Glenn Peoples) that despite the non-stop internet chatter, a controversial New York Times Sunday magazine profile, and a very cool appearance on Letterman, M.I.A. has still failed to move more than 40,000 units over two weeks? Billboard 200:

1. Eminem – “Recovery” – 187,000 (down 4%; cume: 1,700,000)

2. Rick Ross – “Teflon Don” – 176,000 (debut)

3. Sheryl Crow – “100 Miles From Memphis” – 55,000 (debut)

4. Drake – “Thank Me Later” – 47,000 (down 6%)

5. “Kidz Bop 18” – 43,000 (debut)

6. Justin Bieber – “My World 2.0” – 39,000 (down 5%)

7. The Jonas Brothers – “Jonas L.A.” soundtrack – 32,000 (debut)

8. “Now 34” – 27,000 (down 1%)

9. Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now” – 25,000 (down 8%)

10. Lady Gaga – “The Fame” – 24,000 (down 9%)

Continue reading Eminem Goes 5 for 5 at No. 1

Eminem’s Recovery Has (Relatively) Huge Week

Eminem - RecoveryWith the biggest sales week for a single album since 2008, when AC/DC‘s Black Ice (review) debuted with 784,000, Eminem is back on top. While he now admits, “That last Relapse CD was ehh,” even that album debuted with 608,000, no small feat. Of course, ten years ago *N Sync sold more than that in a single day. But still, Yahoo’s Paul Grein points out that Em’s the only artists in the Soundscan era to “top the 700K plateau in weekly sales with four albums.” So congrats.

Here’s the rest of the top ten on this week’s Billboard 200:

1. Eminem – “Recovery” – 741,000 (debut)

2. Drake – “Thank Me Later” – 157,000 (down 65%)

3. Miley Cyrus – “Can’t Be Tamed” – 102,000 (debut)

4. Ozzy Osbourne – “Scream” – 81,000 (debut)

5. “Now 34” – 55,000 (down 38%)

6. The Roots – “How I Got Over” – 51,000 (debut)

7. Jack Johnson – “To The Sea” – 44,000 (down 36%)

8. Justin Bieber – “My World 2.0” – 43,000 (down 9%)

9. Sarah McLachlan – “Laws of Illusion” – 38,000 (down 59%)

10. “Twilight: Eclipse” soundtrack – 38,000 (down 30%)

Continue reading Eminem’s Recovery Has (Relatively) Huge Week

Five Years Ago: 8 Mile-Inspired “Battles” Get Nuts

Five years ago today, the comments page for Johnny’s review of 8 Mile got so out of control that we had to break it off into a separate page because it was crashing our server: Your Comments on 8 Mile Is Worth the Hype.

And then the insanity continued on our message boards: Eminem’s 8 Mile Battles…and yours.

Looking back today, it cracks me up that we attempted to moderate these lunatics at all. Now, I wish we would have just let the crazies go on forever. What a snapshot of 2002 internet culture. Online rap battles. Wow.

Think I Give A Damn About…

Barbra Streisand reacts as she presents the award best original songEminem won the best-song Oscar for “Lose Yourself,” the dramatic anthem from his film 8 Mile. It was the only nominated song not to be performed during the ceremony, but Em’s decision to skip the show saved the Oscar people, since they were shitting their pants over “Lose Yourself”‘s liberal use of profanity. Indeed, the track was a different animal than its fellow nominees. Rounding out the category was the more-boring-than-Paul Simon-himself ballad “Father and Daughter,” (Wild Thornberrys); U2’s “Hands That Built America” (Gangs of New York); “Burn It Blue” (Frida); and “I Move On” (Chicago).

Barbra Streisand was charged with presenting the award. With the room on an emotional high (horse) from Adrien Brody’s ass-kicking of Caine, Cage, and Nicholson in the Best Actor category, Streisand spoke graciously of the awe-inspiring breadth of art, and how proud everyone should be for the opportunity to make it. She spoke of music, and its true power to speak as one artist’s voice while inspiring or angering, helping or saddening millions of others.

She then bugged out her eyes and made an exasperated face when Eminem won for “Lose Yourself.” Wow, nice sincerity, Babs. Why don’t you go home and put James Brolin’s old balls back on your chin?


Don’t Know Why – The 2003 Grammys

The Glorious Noise compound was alive with laughter after the 45th Annual Grammy Awards concluded last Sunday night. Sure, this year’s show featured numerous artists who made the big decision to actually sing, which is a real milestone, since it happens so rarely anymore. And performances from Eminem, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, James Taylor, and Yo Yo Ma were entertaining for different reasons. But in the end, it was just another howler of an award show, and it deserves to be eviscerated. Yes, of course it’s an easy target. But so is MTV’s John Norris. And you don’t see Glorious Noise making fun of that corpse-like fancypants, do you?

What follows then is a quick rundown of this year’s show. Fred Durst is in aggreeance with Glorious Noise that it sucked, and Peace is cool, or something.

Continue reading Don’t Know Why – The 2003 Grammys

Johnny’s Musical Memories, 2002

The Chinese lunar calendar declares 2003 will be the year of the goat. While this definitely portends danger for many musicians who are currently heroes or heroines in hearts of millions (Kelly Rowland should be very worried), let’s take a moment to look back on what the same calendar called the year of the black horse, 2002. Some musical highlights are described below. In the meantime, let’s all look forward to “American Idol 2”, “Joe Millionaire”, “Star Search: Live!”, “The Bachelorette”, and “Celebrity Mole: Hawaii”, which curiously features no actual celebrities. (Aside to Stephen Baldwin – It’s true. You’re not really a celebrity. Get a real job and leave us alone.)

Continue reading Johnny’s Musical Memories, 2002

8 Mile Is Worth the Hype

8 Mile, Eminem’s cinematic debut, is the hip-hop variation of Purple Rain, a foul-mouthed Karate Kid, a Roadhouse for those too young or hip to remember the ethos guiding that film’s epochal man-against-the-world theme. The film presents its characters’ dilemmas and goals, following them as they try like hell to fight the power and prove themselves as worthy human beings – warts, trailers, and all.

Ever since “Slim Shady,” Marshall Mathers III has never handled anything with kid gloves. And the gloves haven’t come off here; Mathers dominates almost every scene of 8 Mile. Now, keep in mind that this film is not Eminem: The E! True Hollywood Story. To be sure, the film is tailor-made for its star. After all, it’s not like he picked Out of Africa 2 as his first celluloid vehicle. But 8 Mile ‘s principal parts are far enough from Eminem’s own well-published road to fame that you don’t feel like his character, Jimmy “Rabbit” Smith, is just another of the rapper’s personas, delivered visually instead of aurally.

[Warning: Article contains spoilers; stop reading now if you don’t want certain plot details revealed… – Ed.]

Continue reading 8 Mile Is Worth the Hype