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December 11, 2009
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Hello internets.

We at the Ashcan want to thank you for stumbling across our humble abode. Over time, thanks to your collective graciousness we’ve slowly outgrown our home here at WordPress.

We will be continuing our quest against boredom at: www.theashcan.com

For those who have grown accustomed to the WordPress address, please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds accordingly. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to bigger and better things in our new digs.

The Ashcan Crew

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Can you get STDs from watching MTV’s Jersey Shore?

December 11, 2009

Come for the abs, stay for the hilarious irony of it all

If there is one thing reality television does really really well, it is to feed on the insecurities of its “stars.” And the shows are actually better for it. Afterall, no one wants to watch what happens when seven level-headed people get picked to spend time together and have their lives taped, to find out what happens, when people stop being polite, and start getting real. It’s called work, and we see it everyday.

No, we want to see seven, eight, nine, or as many people that can fit, who each have their own societal abnormalities and idiosyncrasies, totally different from one person to the next, get put together in a house so they can verbally and sometimes physically rip each others heads off. Why else would MTV’s The Real World be on it’s 400th season(disclaimer: it’s actually the 23rd, which is still pretty outstanding)? And why else would Big Brother, the most boring sounding show on paper, turn out to be so damn popular?

So MTV took a big chance when they drew up the plans for its most recent adaptation of reality, Jersey Shore. You know how every episode of every reality show has to have that one completely out to lunch, over the top, annoying as hell character? They serve the role of black sheep, and have to have certain attributes, such as: narcissistic, selfish, ignorant, sub-intelligent, loud and attention seeking all at the same time. That is what Jersey Shore is.

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Merry & Messed Up: “Black Christmas”

December 8, 2009

Olivia Hussey receives a disturbing holiday greeting in "Black Christmas"

Hi, welcome to my Christmas series! It’s for people who don’t like Christmas. For twelve dreary days, I will be sharing ten of my favourite off-kilter Christmas movies, with two musical interludes. Sound like fun? Well, screw you.

The first day of Christmas: “Black Christmas”

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Show & Tell: Kid Cudi – Pursuit of Happiness (Video)

December 8, 2009

Update: this video has apparently been pulled. Will re-link when it’s officially out, but in the meantime a Google search should help you find what you’re looking for.

(via Nation at itsthecalm.com)

This party looks mad fun, and I love that sped-up-slow-motion effect, but I always envisioned the video for this song being a blunted beyond reality Cudder driving down a desolate, moonlit highway. Maybe that’s a little too literal for executive producer Josh Hartnett though. Yeah, THAT Josh Hartnett. I had no idea of his musical tastes, and so now, like Adrien Brody, he will be added to my list of Hollywood actor crushes.

Show & Tell: Alicia Keys – Un-thinkable feat. Drake

December 7, 2009

You play the piano. We get it.

Back in high school when Alicia Keys first came out with “Fallin'” I thought I’d never get sick of her piano-laced urban pop, but album after album she slowly dug herself into a monotonous rut by ditching rawness in pursuit of lacklustre power melodies. Her continued reliance on the “hip-hop Beethoven” shtick makes you think there’s only so much you can do with a piano and a boom bap bassline.

I continued scoffing when I heard Keys’ huge current single “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” from The Element of Freedom. It’s too breathy and insubstantial and, dare I say it, predictable. But when I heard “Unthinkable” my faith in Keys’ prowess was slightly renewed.

The languid production and subdued piano (because, let’s face it, we’re all a little sick of hearing it overpower her) gives the track a more sensual vibe—something that Keys’ should naturally be good at, given her husky voice. Drake’s there too, but not as a rapper. Instead he lends soft, masculine backup adding weight to the track and tempering the hard drums that crop up midway through to the end. His name adds cache, no doubt, but Drake lets Keys shine.

It ends up sounding much more contemporary than a lot of Keys’ previous work. We know she’s a talented singer-songwriter and WE KNOW she plays the piano, but there’s no need to beat us over the head with an overly ambitious (and cliched) piano melody. Keys has a lot to offer musically—much more so than most of her pop counterparts—and “Un-thinkable” shows that she’s capable of growth and sophistication. I’d love to hear it covered by an unexpected indie band. Link after the jump.

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Eating the Dinosaur, if by dinosaur you mean journalism

December 6, 2009

Chuck Klosterman has carved a unique niche in journalism with his naval-gazing-Gonzo style of media criticism; punctuating his idiosyncratic observational wit with self-deprecating personal anecdotes. Moreover, the former SPIN senior writer is a contrarian pop-culture consumer who enjoys Weezer (even the new stuff), NBA basketball, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights, time travel and Animal Collective. Is it any wonder I’m a fan?

Still, reading Klosterman’s latest book Eating The Dinosaur, it dawned on me that if the Minnesota native is the natural progression of Hunter S. Thompson for the Pabst-set, than what we’re really seeing here is the point of no return.

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Alright, enough with the self promotion already

December 4, 2009

I mean seriously, I haven’t even started yet and already you’re complaining. Just give it a minute.

Unbeknownst to us, there is something called the Canadian Blog Awards, and when we found out about them this week we thought “damn, we need to get nominated next year for these.”

Well, perhaps we should have read the categories a bit closer, because also unbeknownst to us is that we were nominated, five times: best overall blog, best blog post, best group blog, best popular culture blog, best new blog, and best blog that almost rhymes with assman (which should be a shoe in for us, although bass flan, the blog about making flan with fresh water bass, is going to be tough competition).

Anyways, now that the nominations are done it’s down to a popular vote, which is where we need you, our dear readers, to click the category links above and put a number one beside The Ashcan.

In return we will evenly divide the giant cash prize with everyone (disclaimer: there is no cash prize).