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Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (October 2019)

Universal released a behind-the-scenes video on the making of Sam Mendes’ upcoming WWI drama 1917, which provides the first look at the way it was uniquely lensed to appear as one continuous take to create a real-time experience.

...

Filming largely on location in England, Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins created long takes with camera movement, choreographed to appear as one continuous take for an immersive, real-time experience. Respected director of photography Deakins — who won an Oscar for Blade Runner 2049 and was nominated an additional 13 times — previously worked with Mendes on Skyfall, Revolutionary Road and Jarhead.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: October 01, 2019 at 03:56 AM | 589 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   401. manchestermets Posted: October 17, 2019 at 05:03 AM (#5891211)
Flip
   402. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: October 17, 2019 at 08:13 AM (#5891221)
One that kept appearing on the list was this movie called Rififi. It's in black and white. Everybody talks about how great it was. They do this really cool trick in there where there's a long stretch of just straight-up silence while they try to break into wherever.


That's interesting - I wonder if the heist in the middle section of Heat is in any way inspired by or a nod to this? Admittedly 'be quiet' is probably rather good advice in many heist situations, but it is something of a feature of that stretch of the movie.
   403. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 17, 2019 at 10:26 AM (#5891247)
They've been secretive (or I haven't been paying attention)....is "Watchmen" supposed to follow the plot of the book, or is it a "re-imagining"?
   404. Lassus Posted: October 17, 2019 at 10:43 AM (#5891257)
Sequel. In-universe (remember, Nixon was president in 1985), 35 years later.
   405. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: October 17, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5891295)
That's interesting - I wonder if the heist in the middle section of Heat is in any way inspired by or a nod to this? Admittedly 'be quiet' is probably rather good advice in many heist situations, but it is something of a feature of that stretch of the movie.


Even with the caveat that Heat is based on real people and real stories (here's some background), Rififi is absolutely an influence, because it's really that seminal and the heist sequence, the thirty-#######-minutes-with-only-diagetic-sound heist sequence, is just that gripping and thrilling and essential and utterly brilliant. From The Playlist's The 35 Best Heist Movies:


“Rififi” (1955)
Yes, we know. This is the grandaddy of all heist films, the one that tops everyone’s list and is name dropped constantly. But if you haven’t seen the film (and by God, you should remedy that situation quickly) don’t get suckered into thinking this is just some cinematic touchstone that everyone talks about but no one really watches. If anything, Jules Dassin’s “Rififi” remains the template and the standard, with a centerpiece heist sequence that is still yet to be topped. The plot is standard stuff: four guys target a jewelry store, plan the perfect job and things don’t quite go as planned. But Dassin’s masterstroke is the 30-minute, nearly completely silent heist (no dialogue, no soundtrack) that brilliantly throws viewers right into the heart-pounding, tension filled robbery. A masterpiece in every sense of the word, “Rififi” remains the torchbearer for the genre with very good reason.


Or maybe it's just a "really cool trick".
   406. Swoboda is freedom Posted: October 17, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5891382)
I always thought Thief, with James Caan was a great heist movie. It is Michael Mann's directorial feature debut in 1981 and was based on stories from a real thief.
   407. Ishmael Posted: October 17, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5891384)
My response to Kevin Smith’s claim that Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ is a “superhero movie” is right here.

Davo!

What do you make of Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ? Or of Kazantzakis' The Last Temptation of Christ?

Artistically, theologically, whatever else.
   408. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 17, 2019 at 09:25 PM (#5891465)
think i've said this here before but:
my most unpopular movie opinion is probably that heat is overrated.
   409. Lassus Posted: October 17, 2019 at 11:38 PM (#5891489)
Really? I thought that was an almost accepted opinion of GOOD, but overrated.
   410. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 17, 2019 at 11:47 PM (#5891492)
Maybe. I dunno, people yell at me about it.
   411. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2019 at 08:23 AM (#5891529)
Certain music and movie tastes may indicate psychopathic traits.

Contrary to previous research, the study found no links between so-called "problem" music genres, such as heavy metal, punk, alternative rock, hip-hop, and rap, and dysfunctional personality traits. One explanation could be that this music has become more mainstream, and so it is less genuinely "rebellious" as it once was. Surprising the researchers, it was conservative music (like country and gospel genres) and faith-based movies that were the most clearly linked to neurotic, hostile, and unusually eccentric tendencies.
   412. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 18, 2019 at 09:19 AM (#5891535)
My most unpopular opinions:

Music: Pearl Jam is overrated -or- The Who's My Generation is actually a really bad song. Terrible in fact.
Movies: 2001, actually not a very good movie. Impressive in some ways, I guess, but that doesn't make it good.
Food: Chocolate and Mint are gross together, much worse than either is separately.
   413. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 18, 2019 at 09:42 AM (#5891537)
My Generation is more corny than bad, imo.
I like 2001 but it is super slow.
Pearl Jam is overrated. So is Nirvana.









* not really, they seem appropriately rated, I've just never dug them (which is a different thing).
   414. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: October 18, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5891542)
I'm much more open to thinking a movie is overrated if it has a line of Funko Pops associated with it.
   415. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5891547)
Most unpopular opinions:

Music: Anything I've ever posted here. And that Beck and the Beastie Boys are highly overrated.
Movies: Superhero/comic book movies, and movies that exist just to display CGI, are not interesting in the slightest.
Food: Eggs are inedible, and a tyrannical force vis-a-vis breakfast/brunch menus. They must be stopped.
   416. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2019 at 10:07 AM (#5891549)
Pearl Jam is overrated. So is Nirvana.

Yes on the former. I'd have to say no on the latter.
   417. jmurph Posted: October 18, 2019 at 10:21 AM (#5891559)
Pearl Jam is overrated. So is Nirvana.

I'm not a big Pearl Jam guy but they seem roughly properly rated to me. The early couple of records hold up, they have insane longevity for an american rock band, they've been influential, etc.

My instinct is to be a contrarian on Nirvana and say they're overrated, but every once in a while I hear something and remember they were actually pretty great. I think it's fair to say their musical legacy benefits from just having the 3 studio albums. No decline phase. (Obviously this involves setting aside the tragic explanation for that fact.)
   418. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 10:29 AM (#5891562)
Pearl Jam is doomed to always being Paul to Nirvana's John, a large part of which is being perceived as lighter-weight, which I don't think is really fair.
   419. Nasty Nate Posted: October 18, 2019 at 10:32 AM (#5891563)
I like Pearl Jam, but thinking they are overrated is not (or at least was not) an unpopular opinion.

Drain You is the best Nirvana song.
   420. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: October 18, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5891565)
My Generation is a fine song (that oddly enough I didn't hear for the first time till nearly 20 years after it came out, when it happened to be playing in the Tempe plasma center where I was squeezing out my platelets or whatever), but for whatever reason The Who in general have never done much for me. They're one of those bands I respect far more than I like.

The punk equivalent in that respect would be ... I dunno ... I suppose Husker Du or Bad Religion.
   421. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5891571)
Oh - my intended footnote in 413 was specifically about Nirvana. Oops. I've never been in the mood to listen to them but I'm generally impressed when I listen to specific aspects of one of their songs + Cobain was appropriately iconic.

gef/420: agree on all 3 bands

417: Longevity - sure but that lust means they're around. how much post prime of their work is any good?

The thing about the Beastie Boys is that they aren't very good rappers. And that's fine - thy're very good at communicating mood/energy. (I don't ever choose to listen to them either but like it when, say, Sabotage comes on a radio or whatever.)
I was a pretty big Beck fan once upon a time though. He's gotten kind of boring and I'm not sure how he's rated in 2019, to be frank, but an alternate universe where he continues to pump out albums like Midnite Vultures is one I want.

I don't like Funko stuff. Ugly/not cute.
   422. jmurph Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5891573)
I'm the (total cliche) guy who only likes sad guitar Beck, not his weird stuff. Sea Change is ####### great.
   423. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5891575)
Unpopular opinions related to previous unpopular opinions:

The best Nirvana album is In Utero.
The best Pearl Jam album is Vitalogy.
The best Beck album is One Foot in the Grave. The Who have never produced a good album, though they do have a handful of good songs.
   424. jmurph Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5891576)
417: Longevity - sure but that lust means they're around. how much post prime of their work is any good?

Probably not much of it! I think their actual fans think they had a pretty long prime, though. I didn't really pay much attention past the 2nd record.
   425. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5891578)

Pearl Jam is doomed to always being Paul to Nirvana's John, a large part of which is being perceived as lighter-weight, which I don't think is really fair.


"Vs" is up there in my all-time favorite albums.

Speaking of grunge bands, Alice in Chains "MTV Unplugged" record is a masterpiece. Their songs sound amazing on acoustic instruments.

   426. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5891580)
Not a huge Pearl Jam fan, but I loved Ten as a teen. I find it unlistenable now. I think the next two albums remain pretty good, while the rest of their catalog contains one very pretty song for every 10 or 15 I would describe as filler.
   427. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:26 AM (#5891582)
Unpopular opinions --

Waiting for Herb, recorded without Shane MacGowan, is the Pogues' best album by far.

The Snake, recorded with the Popes rather than the Pogues, is the best album Shane MacGowan had anything to do with.

Television's 2nd album, Adventure, kicks the stuffing out of their first album, Marquee Moon.
   428. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:30 AM (#5891585)
I'm the (total cliche) guy who only likes sad guitar Beck, not his weird stuff. Sea Change is ####### great.
Likewise, and I completely agree re: Sea Change. That's what gets me - he can write really great songs when he tries to be sincere, but 95 percent of the time he's too caught up in his whole hipster "ironic pastiche" thing to bother.
   429. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:32 AM (#5891586)
thy're very good at communicating mood/energy.
They're very good at shrill screaming. Nails on a chalkboard to me.
   430. flournoy Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5891588)
Food: Chocolate and Mint are gross together, much worse than either is separately.


I can do chocolate/mint stuff, but would almost never choose it in the presence of other options.

I'm curious what it would mean to eat mint separately. Just eat leaves?
   431. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5891589)
Chocolate and Mint are gross together, much worse than either is separately.


You.

Are.

A.

Monster.
   432. Nasty Nate Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:39 AM (#5891592)
417: Longevity - sure but that lust means they're around. how much post prime of their work is any good?


Probably not much of it! I think their actual fans think they had a pretty long prime, though. I didn't really pay much attention past the 2nd record.
The first 5 albums are considered "prime" by the fans. Post-prime gets progressively worse and now it's been 6 years since their last albums.
   433. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:44 AM (#5891595)
Post-prime gets progressively worse and now it's been 6 years since their last albums.
There's some good stuff on Lightning Bolt. "Sirens" is up there with their best work - an unexpected late-career highlight. Granted, I embrace the more melodic, introspective side of the band. I'm not one of those fans who thinks they have to be hard rock/punk all the time or they're lame.
   434. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5891597)
I'm curious what it would mean to eat mint separately. Just eat leaves?


Heh. Mint with things other than Chocolate I guess.
   435. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5891599)
Not a Pearl Jam fan at all, but I am very fond of Vedder's cover of Last Kiss (as I am of the '60s hit version by J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers; just learned that the original was released by Wayne Cochran & am listening to it now -- pretty decent, really). They at least show good taste when it comes to covers, as I surmised when they did Sonic Reducer at Lollapalooza back in the early '90s.

As for their originals, I've paid next to no attention. Spin the Black Circle sounded good on the radio a couple of decades back.
   436. Nasty Nate Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5891600)
Post-prime gets progressively worse and now it's been 6 years since their last albums.

There's some good stuff on Lightning Bolt. "Sirens" is up there with their best work - an unexpected late-career highlight. Granted, I embrace the more melodic, introspective side of the band. I'm not one of those fans who thinks they have to be hard rock/punk all the time or they're lame.
On each of the sub-par albums, there are at least 1 or 2 songs that I like. I like the introspective ones too, although I strongly dislike Sirens.
   437. Kurt Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:01 PM (#5891604)
I think it's fair to say their musical legacy benefits from just having the 3 studio albums.


I know this isn't really your point, but my hot take is that the live unplugged album is 50%-ish responsible for their [Nirvana's] legacy.
   438. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:17 PM (#5891615)
but my hot take is that the live unplugged album is 50%-ish responsible for their [Nirvana's] legacy.


Huh. It's never even entered into my consciousness, so I have very serious doubts about this. Their legacy, IMHO, lies in the fact that Smells Like Teen Spirit & Nevermind* pretty much kicked off the alternative wave of the early to mid-'90s, or at least that's how just about everyone perceived it.



*Which unfortunately led to any number of misspellings of "never mind" by the proudly ignorant.
   439. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:18 PM (#5891616)
My incredibly unpopular opinion amongst my people in the nerd set is that The Expanse is a terrible, terrible adaptation of the written series. I appear to be quite literally the only one who thinks so.
   440. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:19 PM (#5891619)
but my hot take is that the live unplugged album is 50%-ish responsible for their [Nirvana's] legacy.

Yeah, I dunno. I could be convinced, maybe, but that doesn't ring all that true to me.
   441. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5891622)
Huh. It's never even entered into my consciousness, so I have very serious doubts about this. Their legacy, IMHO, lies in the fact that Smells Like Teen Spirit & Nevermind* pretty much kicked off the alternative wave of the early to mid-'90s, or at least that's how just about everyone perceived it.
Kurt is right, there's been some serious mythologizing of the Unplugged session. For example, this or this. And really, wouldn't Kurt be the one to know?
   442. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5891629)
Food: Chocolate and Mint are gross together, much worse than either is separately.


Blasphemy!
   443. jmurph Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5891633)
my hot take is that the live unplugged album is 50%-ish responsible for their [Nirvana's] legacy.

I'd quibble with the number but yeah, that was absolutely a huge cultural moment.
   444. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:32 PM (#5891634)
Unpopular opinions related to previous unpopular opinions:

The best Nirvana album is In Utero.
The best Pearl Jam album is Vitalogy.
The best Beck album is One Foot in the Grave. The Who have never produced a good album, though they do have a handful of good songs.


the best Nirvana album is In Utero, and the best Pearl Jam album is Vitalogy. Not sure how those are unpopular opinions, I thought they were the consensus! :-)

Never really got in to Beck. I like the Who live, but, yeah, listening to their albums never does much for me.
   445. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5891638)
That's what gets me - he can write really great songs when he tries to be sincere, but 95 percent of the time he's too caught up in his whole hipster "ironic pastiche" thing to bother.

Whereas I'd argue that his version of ironic pastiche was just a little bit different than anybody else and in an interesting way - whereas his (outwardly*) sad songs are more generic.
He learned to split the difference - in a bad way - by losing the loose energy he once benefited from to make records like Modern Guilt, which is both mostly good and mostly forgettable. Art's tough, man.
(I like One Foot In The Grave, was my driving music back when it came out, but MV is one of my ... uh ... 100? favorite albums of all time.)
--
I almost never like live albums, including that unplugged Nirvana one. I didn't realize how much it resonated with people until years later.



* Many of the saddest songs (regardless of artist) sound really upbeat, of course. I'm a sucker for 'em, too.
   446. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5891639)
MV is one of my ... uh ... 100? favorite albums of all time.
Ugh. "Debra" is the nadir of the worst of Beck's tendencies, to me. (Have we discussed this before?)
   447. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 18, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5891645)
Not that I recall? (Debra)

I mean, I certainly get that - there he takes the jokes/homage and turns 'em up to 11. I enjoy it but I'd never recommend it to anybody outside of specific contexts. Other tracks there, though - there's more going on than just the jokes, I think, and the genres he's messing with (thinking here of funk and various types of R&B) are ones he clearly loves and takes seriously.
   448. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 18, 2019 at 01:44 PM (#5891665)
I don't know if these are my most unpopular opinions, but...

Phil Collins is my favorite drummer.

The Ramones were an entertaining and amusing one trick pony, and historically significant, but are vastly overrated.

   449. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 18, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5891672)
ramones - sounds about right.
   450. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2019 at 02:18 PM (#5891678)
I don't mind Beck's ironic-pastiche thing at all, and I think lots of his work is pretty great. But the problem with joke songs like "Debra" is that they get less funny every time you hear them. It's not just the lyrics, it's the syrupy funk which is itself a kind of joke, and also loses its power upon repeated playing.
   451. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 18, 2019 at 02:32 PM (#5891686)
don't disagree with most of that (the syrupy funk has retained most of its fun for me, though it's musically less interesting than most of the rest of the album)
   452. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 18, 2019 at 02:46 PM (#5891689)
Phil Collins is my favorite drummer.

What's wrong with that? Phil Collins is a fantastic drummer.
   453. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 03:05 PM (#5891691)
Well, not anymore. But he was quite good.
   454. Baldrick Posted: October 18, 2019 at 03:19 PM (#5891697)
The Ramones were an entertaining and amusing one trick pony, and historically significant, but are vastly overrated.

Strike out the entertaining and amusing part, and this is my most unpopular opinion.

I don't know if In Utero is widely regarded as the best Nirvana album, but that's certainly not an unpopular opinion. It's probably not my favorite, but I think it's probably their best.
Likewise, and I completely agree re: Sea Change. That's what gets me - he can write really great songs when he tries to be sincere, but 95 percent of the time he's too caught up in his whole hipster "ironic pastiche" thing to bother.

Make Beck the focal point of your anti-irony cultural politics and I will happily join your team.

My unpopular movie opinion is that movies are bad.
   455. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5891700)
Make Beck the focal point of your anti-irony cultural politics and I will happily join your team.
He's on the Mount Rushmore of our current irony problem, along with Rivers Cuomo and Quentin Tarantino.
   456. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 18, 2019 at 04:01 PM (#5891715)
Here's the thing, though. If you want to be good at the ironic thing, it can't all be irony. You've got to really know and appreciate the thing.
   457. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2019 at 04:33 PM (#5891722)
Well, not anymore. But he was quite good.


I went through a bit of a Genesis kick in the last year, listening to both the old proggy stuff and the 80s poppy stuff, both of which have their charms and flaws. I find the band interesting in part because their transition from one incarnation to the other was actually surprisingly gradual, even despite the abrupt loss of Peter Gabriel, and even when they were at the top of the pop game they were releasing progressive instrumental suites and so. Anyway, on Spotify one day I noticed a semi-recent Genesis live album and listened just for kicks, even though old-man revival tours are really not my thing. I was a bit surprised to learn that the old-man version of Genesis honors both incarnations of the group, possibly because the band members don't really recognize the distinction that most casual fans seem to make.
   458. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5891723)
Here's the thing, though. If you want to be good at the ironic thing, it can't all be irony. You've got to really know and appreciate the thing.
Or you could just, you know, do the thing that you know and appreciate, and not try to pat yourself on the back for your cleverness in being ironic.
   459. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2019 at 04:40 PM (#5891726)
As always, I find the special bitterness and rancor for artists that are cute/ironic/reference-y far more unbecoming than the irony itself.
   460. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 18, 2019 at 04:55 PM (#5891730)
Also I think that makes assumptions about intent and reception. Like, I enjoy that album on face value - not as a wink - and I don’t think it would be better if he used plainer metaphors or stuck to one style per song.
   461. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5891731)
As always, I find the special bitterness and rancor for musicians that are cute/ironic/reference-y far more unbecoming than the irony itself.
Eh, I've got Baldrick on my team now, I don't need you.
   462. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 05:02 PM (#5891735)
Also I think that makes assumptions about intent and reception.
OK, reception of course has everything to do with the consumer, but as far as intent - can the intent of doing an ironic version of something inherently be anything other than (for lack of a better word) a smirk? By injecting something with irony, aren't you pretty much definitionally doing that, even if it is also an ironic homage?
   463. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 18, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5891736)
I went through a bit of a Genesis kick in the last year, listening to both the old proggy stuff and the 80s poppy stuff, both of which have their charms and flaws. I find the band interesting in part because their transition from one incarnation to the other was actually surprisingly gradual, even despite the abrupt loss of Peter Gabriel, and even when they were at the top of the pop game they were releasing progressive instrumental suites and so. Anyway, on Spotify one day I noticed a semi-recent Genesis live album and listened just for kicks, even though old-man revival tours are really not my thing. I was a bit surprised to learn that the old-man version of Genesis honors both incarnations of the group, possibly because the band members don't really recognize the distinction that most casual fans seem to make.


Absolutely. Genesis has always been one of my favorite bands, and even though I prefer the Gabriel/Hackett incarnations, there was always enough interesting material on the later trio albums to hold my interest. And even some of their later singles are quite good - "Keep It Dark" from Abacab for example, with a strong Rutherford guitar riff interacting with Banks' keyboard chords, and Collins throwing in some lovely percussion fills. It's a pop song, but a disorienting one, which is meant as a compliment.

I saw Steve Hackett and his band last week, and they performed Selling England by the Pound in its entirety. Next to Revolver, that's probably my all-time favorite album, and I never saw Genesis with Gabriel (I did see Genesis with Hackett in 1977). It was wonderful. I realize that only one actual Genesis member was on the stage, but that's OK - the band Hackett had was really good, and played the music with respect, but didn't try to be a slavish copy of the record. There was an instrumental section put into "I Know What I Like" that differed from the studio version, but it worked fine. And I knew it was the only time I'd get to see songs I love such as "Firth of Fifth" and "The Cinema Show" performed in this way. I really don't have a problem with older artists doing things like this, and the opening set of the show was devoted to Hackett's solo material, including several tracks from the (quite good) album he released this year. So it wasn't just trading on nostalgia. But for the 50 minutes or so that the band were playing Selling England..., I really was transported into a special place. There's probably only a few albums that could do that to me...
   464. RoyalFlush Posted: October 18, 2019 at 05:11 PM (#5891737)
Not a Pearl Jam fan at all, but I am very fond of Vedder's cover of Last Kiss (as I am of the '60s hit version by J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers; just learned that the original was released by Wayne Cochran & am listening to it now -- pretty decent, really). They at least show good taste when it comes to covers, as I surmised when they did Sonic Reducer at Lollapalooza back in the early '90s.


I fell down that internet rabbit hole several months ago. Everyone should do themselves a favor and do a Google Image search for Wayne Cochran. Best. Hair. Ever.

BTW, I think a big part of Pearl Jam's continued relevance/success is their touring. They play often, and they play varying sets. It does a lot to keep longer-time fans interested. And also creates a market/audience for their live shows.
   465. Baldrick Posted: October 18, 2019 at 05:16 PM (#5891738)
He's on the Mount Rushmore of our current irony problem, along with Rivers Cuomo and Quentin Tarantino.

Eh, I've got Baldrick on my team now, I don't need you.

With our powers combined, there's no telling what we can accomplish.
   466. manchestermets Posted: October 18, 2019 at 05:30 PM (#5891740)
I'm curious what it would mean to eat mint separately. Just eat leaves?


Surely you have non-chocolate covered mint candies in America? Polo Mints? Extra Strong Mints? Mint flavoured hard candy?
   467. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 05:33 PM (#5891741)
With our powers combined, there's no telling what we can accomplish.
Shall we start with a newsletter?
   468. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: October 18, 2019 at 05:35 PM (#5891742)
Wayne Cochran. Best. Hair. Ever.


White Division, sure. But otherwise ...
   469. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 05:42 PM (#5891745)
   470. Baldrick Posted: October 18, 2019 at 06:11 PM (#5891751)
Surely you have non-chocolate covered mint candies in America? Polo Mints? Extra Strong Mints? Mint flavoured hard candy?

Mint tea is lovely. Mint is great in a cool refreshing beverage. Mint is also an important component in plenty of savory dishes, where it is delicious.

I eat a lot of mint, but I'm actually struggling to remember the last time I had mint with chocolate.
   471. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: October 18, 2019 at 06:14 PM (#5891753)
After Eights straight from the freezer are pretty damn great.

In fact, I might have to pick up a box at the store before the game tonight.
   472. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2019 at 06:22 PM (#5891756)
Eh, I've got Baldrick on my team now, I don't need you.

Until Baldrick starts piping his Twee playlists into the campaign office.
   473. Omineca Greg Posted: October 18, 2019 at 06:26 PM (#5891758)
Let's see...controversial opinions on music.

I like both Peter Gabriel solo and Phil Collins led Genesis better than Gabriel/Genesis.

Miles in the 80s was better than Miles in the 70s.

Leonard Cohen was a poseur who only learned to write beautifully to get into girls' pants. He's like John Mayer for graduate students. Or alternatively, an Elvis Costello who has a better grasp on how the world works.

Now that I've listened to this, I don't like the original very much.

No Moe Tucker and Sterling Morrison, no Velvet Underground.

East Broadway Rundown isn't very good.

Eric Clapton has spent the better part of his career imitating Don Williams...and failing.

Art Farmer is the best trumpet player nobody listens to.

John Martyn is the best 70s English songwriter/guitarist/singer nobody listens to, now that people listen to Nick Drake.

The Ed's Redeeming Qualities record More Bad Times would have gone to #1 if we lived in a better world.

I have absolutely no interest in any lyrics Roger Waters has ever written.

I get more out of listening to Here, My Dear than What's Going On.

If Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers had managed to kill Sting (and it wasn't for a lack of trying), the Police would have been a much better band.

"Moonchild" is one of the best songs on In The Court of the Crimson King

I get more out of Tom Waits pre-Rain Dogs than post-Rain Dogs.

That there are millions of people who only know Sandy Denny from "Battle of Evermore" is one of the great tragedies of the 20th century.

I like both Brian Eno solo and Bryan Ferry led Roxy Music better than Eno/Ferry/Roxy.
   474. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 18, 2019 at 06:29 PM (#5891760)
That there are millions of people who only know Sandy Denny from "Battle of Evermore" is one of the great tragedies of the 20th century.


My all-time favorite singer, of any genre or gender.
   475. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 06:59 PM (#5891762)
[He's like John Mayer for graduate students.
Ouch.
   476. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2019 at 07:20 PM (#5891765)
I was chatting Zeppelin with a buddy of mine, and he didn't realize that "Battle of Evermore" even had another singer other than Plant.
   477. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: October 18, 2019 at 07:36 PM (#5891770)
"Moonchild" is one of the best songs on In The Court of the Crimson King


Can't say that it ever made much of an impression, but ... it turns out (a short journey down a YouTube wormhole later) there's probably a song called "Moonchild" for everyone's taste:

King Crimson

Cibo Matto

Iron Maiden

Debbie Gibson

M83

Fields of the Nephilim

Rory Gallagher

The Stranger's Hand

Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band

Chris Cornell
   478. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 18, 2019 at 07:38 PM (#5891771)
OK, reception of course has everything to do with the consumer, but as far as intent - can the intent of doing an ironic version of something inherently be anything other than (for lack of a better word) a smirk? By injecting something with irony, aren't you pretty much definitionally doing that, even if it is also an ironic homage?


I think you're being gentle with me, and, if so, thank you for that.

1) I don't think that everything that people perceive a piss take is necessarily intended as such.
2) Most works have multiple components and you can joke/smirk/whatever with some parts and not others - with myriad possible interactions resulting.
That was unsatisfying. Let me try this, a more broadly outlined screed:

I'm not sure what we (the collective we, I have dictionaries) even mean when we say irony. I know what it meant to me when I was a teen (born in '73) and I was into that and I know what it meant to me when I was a twentysomething and the newest New Sincerity was going around and that was much more what I was about and I know what I like now. Self awareness, being a thing but also distancing from that thing? Sure, those can be fine. Insincerity more generally? There's a place for it but watch yourself, counselor. Evasion? Generally not a fan. Or - maybe it's like comedy and the idea that you punch up, not down. So, having fun with versus making fun of. The former is fine and good, the latter - choose your targets well.

I think (and this is likely reflective of little more than my own preferences) Beck's MV is having fun with. It's a fun, kind of apocalyptic album, capturing a terrible, terrible party. Whereas, say, later day Rivers Cuomo is making fun of (whether music or music listeners, I'm not sure) and I don't dig it.

---

I like the Cohen/Mayer line, Greg.
   479. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: October 18, 2019 at 07:57 PM (#5891781)
I like both Peter Gabriel solo and Phil Collins led Genesis better than Gabriel/Genesis.


I once made this same argument with an acquaintance who was a huge Gabriel fan. He refused to even consider the possibility. He was so narrow-minded on the topic, I think it was the last time we ever spoke.
   480. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2019 at 08:18 PM (#5891786)
I think that Midnight Vultures often veers too close to parody. I got a kick out of it when it was released, but now it feels like a joke that's been told too many times.

I do still like Sea Change. I don't care much for mopey-guitar-guy music, but the production on that album is really big and lush, with psychedelic and Gainsbourgian touches that I really appreciate.

Odelay? Tough to look past how overplayed it is, but I think it's probably pretty great. I have a special place in my heart for these 90s groups that tried to combine hip-hop and funk and punk all into one weird brew. Reminds me of the Check Your Head era Beastie Boys. There are some smirks, but mostly it's enthusiasm.
   481. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 18, 2019 at 09:08 PM (#5891798)
I like both Peter Gabriel solo and Phil Collins led Genesis better than Gabriel/Genesis.

I once made this same argument with an acquaintance who was a huge Gabriel fan. He refused to even consider the possibility. He was so narrow-minded on the topic, I think it was the last time we ever spoke.


I like all three options, but Gabriel/Genesis would be my preference. However, if one isn't that much of a prog rock fan, I can easily see how someone could prefer the other two, because they're not as heavy on the prog theme as the Gabriel/Genesis combination was. So while I don't personally agree with the premise, it makes absolutely perfect sense that someone could feel that way.
   482. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2019 at 09:54 PM (#5891808)
I get more out of Tom Waits pre-Rain Dogs than post-Rain Dogs.

It is not an oversell to say that randomly picking up $2.99 cassettes of Small Change and Blue Valentine out of the Record Town bargain bin in 1985 was a life-changing event.

I guess everything later sold better, but I do wonder if it all isn't more admired than liked.

   483. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2019 at 10:01 PM (#5891809)
As always, I find the special bitterness and rancor for artists that are cute/ironic/reference-y far more unbecoming than the irony itself.

Did you or did you not just steal my shtick from the umpire thread?
   484. flournoy Posted: October 18, 2019 at 10:02 PM (#5891810)
Surely you have non-chocolate covered mint candies in America? Polo Mints? Extra Strong Mints? Mint flavoured hard candy?


Yeah. I guess I just interpreted the word "separately" to mean "by itself." I guess you could chow down on some mint leaves, though. Why not?

For what it's worth, the mushy mints that you'll find at some restaurants are terrible. I suppose they taste okay, but the texture is just wrong.
   485. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2019 at 10:11 PM (#5891811)
I almost never like live albums

There are too many, but I actually love a lot of them. Speaking of Tom Waits, Nighthawks at the Diner is amazing.

I also have a soft spot in my heart for live albums I came across in my youth that I loved that serious fans hated: Kinks: One from the Road and Bob Dylan: Live at Budokan.

The live album of Bernstein's Beethoven 9 at the fall of the Berlin Wall is one of the most exciting things I've ever heard.
   486. Howie Menckel Posted: October 18, 2019 at 10:14 PM (#5891814)
Bob Dylan: Live at Budokan.

yeah, me too.
if you just do a version of "suspend your disbelief," it's a smooth listen.
   487. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2019 at 10:21 PM (#5891815)
I don't even need to do that. I was never a Dylan fan and I pulled this cassette out of a shoebox in my aunt's basement when I was like 14.
   488. Baldrick Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:53 PM (#5891834)
Hey, another (un)popular music opinion: I detest Tom Waits. I don't think his music is bad, nor do I fail to understand why some people love it. But it's beyond unlistenable to me.
   489. Howie Menckel Posted: October 19, 2019 at 12:45 AM (#5891837)
The live album of Bernstein's Beethoven 9 at the fall of the Berlin Wall is one of the most exciting things I've ever heard.

is it better than Springsteen's live concert outside in East Germany not long before the Wall fell?

if you're under 30 years old, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 1963 MLK "I Have a Dream" speech may well seem as connected to today as the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

but Bruce and Dylan - a key opening act for MLK's speech that day - continue touring.

now and then, the band really does play on.

...........

per Tom Waits, he wrote "Jersey Girl," which became a Bruce hit.

Bruce added a last segment, which his audience loves - but his use of the flat word "brat" is not in tune with the rest of the song:

I see you on the street and you look so tired
I know that job of yours leaves you so uninspired

When I come by to take you out to eat
You're lyin' down all dressed up on the bed, baby fast asleep
Go in the bathroom and put your makeup on
We're gonna take that little brat of yours and drop her off at your mom's
I know a place where the dancing's free
Now baby won't you come with me

`Cause down the shore everything's all right
You and your baby on a Saturday night
Nothing matters in this whole wide world
When you're in love with a Jersey girl
   490. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 19, 2019 at 01:25 AM (#5891839)
The live album of Bernstein's Beethoven 9 at the fall of the Berlin Wall is one of the most exciting things I've ever heard.
Downloading this now.
   491. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 19, 2019 at 01:30 AM (#5891840)
per Tom Waits, he wrote "Jersey Girl," which became a Bruce hit.
And "Downtown Train," which became a Rod Stewart hit. I will admit to loving that version when I was 12 (with no idea of the original), and still having a soft spot for it today. The original...sounds like Tom Waits trying to sing above middle C.
   492. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 19, 2019 at 01:55 AM (#5891843)
Now going back and listening to both versions...man, I wish there was one in the middle, because they're both kind of awful in their own ways.
   493. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: October 19, 2019 at 09:11 AM (#5891854)
I'd trade Pearl Jam's entire and complete existence for Andrew Wood's life.
   494. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: October 19, 2019 at 09:22 AM (#5891855)
Tom Waits? No interest whatsoever, though he is an entertaining actor.

Gold standard for live albums is the Stranglers' Live X Cert, though I'm probably biased because it introduced me to 5 Minutes, Go Buddy Go and especially Straighten Out
   495. Omineca Greg Posted: October 19, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5891876)
Tom Waits has had an interesting career. I started listening to him in the early 80s, right around when Swordfishtrombones came out. Much of his story had already been written, but there was still more to come.

What initially drew me to his music was his unique set of influences. His first album, Closing Time, wasn't too different than a lot of 1973 singer-songwriter albums, a little jazzier, but nothing too out there. Very quickly he became much more beatnik, he had a 50s Americana sort of vibe, that although present, even in the beginning, soon became his defining characteristic. The young me found that quite a compelling juxtaposition; LA music often seems to exist lyrically setting off the glamour with the seediness, indeed sleaziness, of the city. Hair metal, punk, hip-hop, Zevonesque stuff, it's a consistent theme, and the pre-rock take that Waits took...I really enjoyed it. Like Lassus says, Nighthawks at the Diner is a perfect encapsulation of this phase of his music. It's a "fake" live album, it takes place in the studio, but Tom and band invited as many of their friends as they could fit in there, gave them free booze and food, and played a set for them. Over two nights I think. His rapport with the audience is fantastic.

He was never a great singer, but pretty quickly his voice went to complete ####, which limited his range of expression; it was impossible for him to record straight-up pop music. Whether that's he wanted to do or not is an open question, but he really had no choice. Not if he was going to sing on his material anyway. So he explored all these nooks and crannies, a little weird, but not too weird. Distinctive though, and actually quite profound in terms of authenticity; he was just another kid, could have been the Eagles, could have been Jackson Browne, I don't know...Jim Morrison? Love, Toto...whatever, but instead he alighted on this drunken poetry reading persona. There was always a theatrical, performance art component to it. And there would have been no matter when he lived, or where he came from. Nobody starts up like that, you have to work at it. But to some degree, that's true of all artists. The Eagles weren't desperadoes; the members of Faster Pussycat weren't born in some sleazy dive.

So his descent into his Beefheartian second act can't really be all that unexpected. He was always play acting, more than most of us. It's cool, I like it, but even as he got more individual, I enjoyed it less. There's lots of highly individual weirdos in music, it's one way to distinguish yourself from the crowd. But his time-travelling scroungy lounge thing, I really liked that. That still exists in his work, but he's drawing from a huge range of things now, he's more expansive, less focused.

OK, sorry, that ran a little long. I'll save my Lesbian Book Launch Leonard Cohen story for another time.
   496. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 19, 2019 at 01:19 PM (#5891886)
I'll save my Lesbian Book Launch Leonard Cohen story for another time.
Oh, please do tell.
   497. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: October 19, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5891902)
The Ed's Redeeming Qualities record More Bad Times would have gone to #1 if we lived in a better world.


They actually played Little Rock about 20 years ago. I bought a T-shirt (that these days I'd probably have trouble sliding over my arm) & the Big Grapefruit Clean-Up Job live double LP off them outside the venue.

The attraction, of course, was Carrie Bradley & Drivin' on 9. Not sure how many people succumbed, but probably fewer than a couple dozen (not that the site -- the back of the local microbrew/pizza joint -- could've held a helluva lot more, though the likes of Fugazi, Green Day & Rancid had played there early in the decade).
   498. Swoboda is freedom Posted: October 19, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5891907)
I like both Peter Gabriel solo and Phil Collins led Genesis better than Gabriel/Genesis.


Thanks Mr. Bateman. What is your take on Huey Lewis and the news?
   499. Omineca Greg Posted: October 19, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5891950)
All right, here's my Genesis story.

Back in in the Summer of '84, I had a friend whose mother thought that as teenagers were going to drink anyway, it was much safer to provide a place for them to do it so you could keep an eye on them. Did everybody have a friend like that? Well, I did. Needless to say, there was a party at his house every Friday night. Boy, we would drink heavily. In retrospect, her parenting technique didn't really work. I was 15, and it was like setting a kid loose in a candy store. Lots of good friendships and memories that will last my lifetime. Although I'm sure I was blackout drunk for lots of it, so it was a good thing we had opportunity after opportunity to get wrecked; it's not the most efficient way of making memories.

At 100am every Friday night/Saturday morning, the rock station had a three hour all request program come on air. We were always up at that time, and like a lot of high school kids, very passionate about music. We didn't listen to much current music. It was all The Who, The Kinks, Hendrix. I was into the Velvets, XTC, but also more pop music like Hall & Oates. We all shared a love of 60s and 70s rock, but after that, we had divergent tastes. We would be all sloppy drunk, phone up the DJ, get him to play different songs, and then we'd all argue about them.

Good times, right?

Well, it would have been, except for one thing. Every Friday night, the DJ would play a side of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. A full side of that ############. What a buzzkill. We were on good terms with the DJ, he'd always ask, "How's the party goin' boys?", when we called. Even though he was probably only 20 himself.

"How's the party goin' boys?"

"It was going great. But now it's sucking! Why are you playing that Genesis record again? Every night."

"A very good fan of the show always requests it."

"But it sucks! And why do you have to play the whole side. It goes on and on and on."

"The fan says the songs only work as a suite. So I have to play them all."

"Can we like...'counter request' it? Like, 'There's a sucktastic little record I don't want my jockey to play.'?"

"Nope. You can request your own songs. It's a request show. Not a non-request show."

This happened for several Fridays in a row. We tried everything. We offered to send the Genesis fan enough money to buy his own copy of TLLDoB...

"Nope. He already has his own copy. He wants other people to hear it, he's like a missionary."

"He's putting us in a missionary position, alright. We're getting ######!"

"HA! Good one boys! I look forward to hearing from you next week."

Some of us actually even liked Genesis, but that wasn't the point.

So the next week, we wrote lyrics to the old Sam Cooke classic, "Havin' A Party"...and sang it to him over the phone.

So listen, Mr. DJ
keep those records playing
'cause I'm having such a good time
dancing with my baby

Everybody's swinging
Sally's doing that twist now
if you take requests, I....
I got a few for you
Don't play that song called "Carpet Crawlers"
Don't play that one called "The Chamber of 32 Doors"
don't forget not to play Side 4
any other songs by anyone else will do...


"Who you trying to fool, boys? There's no girls at your party!"

This was something we were always really sensitive to. That DJ knew how to hit us where it hurt.

"Yes there are! Lots of girls."

"OK, put one on the line."

"Uhhh...they're in the bathroom."

"HA HA HA! Sure they are, boys. Talk to you next week..."

So by the next week, we weren't fooling around.

"Mr DJ? We would like to hear 'Sister Ray' by The Velvet Underground. Do you have that one?"

"Of course, we have everything. Not that I've ever listened to it. That's Lou Reed, right? I'll put it on after the break."

"Yeah, the songs are kind of a suite on that one. It sounds better if you play "I Heard Her Call My Name" too..."

So, indeed we got to hear Side 2 of WL/WH in all its glory. We imagined that Genesis fan, waiting by his radio for his album to come on, wondering when the cacophony was ever going to end, so it would get back to his weird prog ####. And we laughed and laughed.

So the next Friday, we phoned the DJ...

"Boys, boys. I can't play music like that!" He was laughing, but you could tell he was worried about getting in trouble. "That song was about blowjobs!"

"No, no. That song has blowjobs in it, but it's not about blowjobs, per se."

"No more Velvet Underground. Too many blowjobs."

And this was the brilliant thought one of my friends had.

"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway has worse stuff than blowjobs."

"Does it?"

"Listen to that Slipperman song. It's way worse than 'Sister Ray'"

"Is it? I gotta check it out! I mean fun is fun, but some stuff we can't do"

And that was the last we heard The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
   500. Howie Menckel Posted: October 19, 2019 at 07:09 PM (#5891986)
Now going back and listening to both versions...man, I wish there was one in the middle, because they're both kind of awful in their own ways.

this is per Downtown Train above.

perhaps Bruce's "Downbound Train" might take you to your desired destination?

I rushed through the yard
I burst through the front door, my head pounding hard
Up the stairs I climbed
The room was dark, our bed was empty
Then I heard that long whistle whine
And I dropped to my knees, hung my head and cried
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