Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

NPR tribute rap song 'Good Radiation'

Amateur rapper Cadamole (featuring Jenna Sullivan doing the auto-tuned hook) has produced a tribute to something near and dear to our hearts: NPR, of course. Yes, there is a National Public Radio rap, "Good Radiation"; check it out below.

He's not the smoothest rapper, with one line in particular making me cringe: "So if you hate on that... just don't."

Still, he drops NPR references that will surely bring a smile to any avid listener, and the beat sampling the All Things Considered theme is pretty fantastic. Some of my personal favorite lines:

  • "I got an NPR tat and an NPR tote"
  • "This song goes out to all my member stations"
  • "My crew is small but unstoppable like Terry Gross / My tunes are witty and topical like Terry Gross / My rhymes are sharply intelligent like Terry Gross / OK, so I'm in love with Terry Gross"
  • "All Things Considered, life is awesome / I like my words the way that Will Shortz crossed them"
  • "I'd buy a Prius if I could afford it"


New photos reveal Spider-Man musical costumes, including... Swiss Miss?!

New photos are out showing some of the first real glimpses of what's going to be in the new Spider-Man musical, "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark." The production has met with a series of roadblocks, has been repeatedly delayed, and almost didn't happen, but it looks like it's finally going to open in January.

Annie Leibovitz went behind the scenes and shot photos for Vogue. They show Spider-Man in and out of costume, love interest Mary Jane Watson, classic Spidey villains Green Goblin and Carnage, and a brand new villain, the fearsome... Swiss Miss?! Seriously. OK, OK, it's a pretty scary looking costume, but I think I would have spent a little longer in whatever meeting produced that name.

There's also a Green Goblin costume that somehow looks more ridiculous than the one in the first Spider-Man movie.


'Bed Intruders' auto-tune hit song goes a cappella

As a vocal music/a cappella fan, I've enjoyed the recent boom in the genre's popularity thanks to groups using online video sites to get their music out. These groups have also received some high profile advocacy recently through shows like NBC's The Sing-Off and musician Ben Folds, who put out an album last year with college a cappella groups covering his songs.

The Antonine Dodson news story that was made into an auto-tuned song/video so popular that it became the first online video to crack the Billboard Hot 100 has now experienced a new mind bending turnaround. An a cappella group has deconstructed that auto-tuned song and put out their own video singing the song sans a cappella.

Check it out:


New Girl Talk album 'All Day' available, for free

Girl Talk, best known for taking sampling to another level while flipping the bird to copyright concerns, has a new album out called "All Day" which you can download for free. While he offered his last album, "Feed the Animals," as a pay-what-you-want affair, the new one isn't even asking that much. It's being offered for free, under a Creative Commons license.

One of the new songs, "That's Right," featuring a personal favorite sample from the album... Miley Cyrus's "Party in the U.S.A." (Don't judge.)

Girl Talk is the stage name of Gregg Gillis. Gillis combines hip-hop, classic rock, pop and other genres, melting them together into a unique mashup sound. It's ADD music, hopping from the moment you recognize a sample to the next sample before there's any time to get tired of it.


Soundgarden make first TV appearance in 13 years on Conan

Soundgarden made their first television appearance in 13 years Tuesday night on Conan, and having been a fan since the “Black Hole Sun” video invited itself into my life via MTV and melted my pre-adolescent mind, I’m happy to report that they can still kill it.

They played two songs. “Black Rain,” which aired on the show, is their “new” single from the retrospective LP Telephantasm. Though, if the song sounds too vintage Soundgarden to your ears to have been written in 2010, that’s because it is. It's actually an unreleased song from the Badmotorfinger sessions.

They also performed their very first single from 1987, “Hunted Down,” which can be seen exclusively on Conan’s website, though I’ve graciously embedded both videos for you below.

Aside from their appearance on Conan, they’ve only played a handful of mostly low-key performances since reuniting earlier this year. Here’s to hoping for a proper L.A. show or a tour ASAP.