Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

'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.


Kanye West vs. George W. Bush: The saga continues (on the Today Show)

Kanye West famously said "George Bush doesn't care about black people" during a charity television special in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, responding to perceived failures in the government response to the disaster.

Former President George W. Bush returned to the public spotlight recently as he promotes his new biography, "Decision Points." He sat down for interviews with NBC's Matt Lauer, where he said that Kanye West implying that he was a racist was the lowest moment of his presidency. West responded in his own interview with Matt Lauer.

West said that he empathized with Bush after being called a racist himself when he interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and said that Beyonce should have won the Best Female Video award instead. However, West got upset when NBC played the clip during the interview while West was talking about Bush.


Former President George W. Bush speaks for 1st time since leaving office

Former President George W. Bush spoke with NBC's Matt Lauer in an interview that aired on NBC last night. It's Bush's first one-on-one TV interview since leaving office.

The interview included two separate sessions, one recorded in the church where he started Bible study and married his wife Laura Bush. It was recorded last month, before the midterm elections.

You can watch the interview below, including Web extras such as Bush talking about almost losing Vice President Cheney's friendship for not pardoning "Scooter" Libby:

Some of the notable points from the interview:

  • Bush talks about going to the hospital with his mother after she had a miscarriage and seeing the fetus in a jar. Bush said he put that story in to show the trust his mother had for him, but Lauer also pressed him on how this led him to develop a pro-life view.
  • When Bush asked Dick Cheney to be his vice president, Cheney said that he has health issues and also told Bush that his daughter Mary is gay. Bush said that Cheney was testing Bush's tolerance. Bush said that choosing Cheney was a "very good" decision.
  • On September 11, 2001, Bush had given the order to shoot down any plane that didn't respond, and when United 93 went down, Bush was initially worried that it had been shot down due to that order before receiving word that this wasn't the case.
  • Cheney offered to let Bush run with a different vice president when running for re-election, but Bush rejected Cheney's offer and ultimately kept him on.
  • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld offered his resignation twice after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, but Bush didn't think there was someone else ready to step into that position.
  • Bush said that the worst moment of his presidency was when rapper Kanye West said he didn't care about black people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While he cited this as the worst moment, he said that the worst period in his presidency was the summer of 2006, when he thought for the first time that the war in Iraq might be lost.
  • Bush said that he still has a sickening feeling when he thinks about weapons of mass destruction not being found in Iraq.
  • Bush defended the TARP program. He said that he had been told there would likely be a depression if he didn't do something, and that he had to abandon his free market values to save the free market system.
  • He reiterated that he wouldn't criticize President Barack Obama. Bush said that he doesn't think it's good for the presidency for a former president to be opining about his successor. "President Obama's got plenty of critics, and I'm not gonna be one."