“Steel” Yourself for Vin Diesel Rapping, Breakdancing in the ’80s

“Steel” Yourself for Vin Diesel Rapping, Breakdancing in the ’80s (photo)

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Almost like the midterm elections, America has the opportunity approximately every two years to consider Vin Diesel. He is an elusive movie star, much like Chris Tucker, who has made it easy for audiences to quantify their thoughts about him around the release of the latest entry into the franchise that made them famous and then let it dissipate until the next time around, when the pleasures of the way he says “We got a job” or pronounces “Brazzzzzil” strike the eardrums anew and allow for the air of mystery that’s integral to his appeal as an action star to settle in once more.

So when little bursts of Diesel’s past bubble up to the surface, back from the Manhattan days when he went by Mark Vincent, it’s always a bit fascinating. There was his stint as a nightclub bouncer that led to the name change (and that he subsequently tried to turn into a movie called “Doormen”), the short film “Multi-Facial,” that detailed his struggles as an actor to get parts based on his unidentifiable ethnicity and ultimately landed him his big break in “Saving Private Ryan,” and then today via MSN Movies’ chief film critic Glenn Kenny’s Some Came Running blog, the discovery that Diesel’s gruff monotone was once in service of lines such as “Party people, it’s time to get stupid” as an aspiring rapper.

Hearing Diesel boast “I’m the man of steel” during the three-minute track isn’t exactly a surprise, but as Kenny notes, the idea of him being in the same recording studio as the late experimental composer/musician Arthur Russell in 1986 is. For more on Russell, there’s a wonderful documentary called “Wild Combination,” and since it’s not embeddable, to hear the actual Diesel-Russell collaboration, you’ll also have to proceed to the SoundCloud site of guitarist Gary Lucas here.

What we can offer here is that that breakdancing video Diesel did, probably around the same time (scan to 1:56):

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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