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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (August 2018)

After watching the pilot episode of “Deadwood,” I got up, lowered the blinds, dimmed the lights and burned through the rest of the DVD in a fugue of wonder and excitement. I didn’t leave the series until the next day, staggering limply into the harsh sunlight like Ray Milland in “The Lost Weekend.”

It was 2004, and I had been the chief television critic at The New York Times for about a year. HBO had sent me advance screeners of its new western. And I was discovering binge watching.

There are dramas that are arguably better or more widely appreciated than “Deadwood”: “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” or “Breaking Bad.”  But of all the shows I have reviewed over the past 12 years, “Deadwood” is the one I would most like to see again for the first time.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:06 AM | 1210 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   801. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5728188)
How old is David Byrne? He seems to be keeping himself kind of relevant by working with younger artists.


I was thinking about him too the entire time I made my post on Bowie being a rare hip old man.
   802. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 16, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5728189)
Flip, I say!
   803. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 16, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5728191)
I was also a huge fan of Billy Corgan's PRODUCTION OVERKILL KILL KILL KILL shooting lightning rainbows out of his sweat glands and every orifice.
Favorite Pumpkins album? Adore. There, I said it.
   804. Lassus Posted: August 16, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5728202)
It's ok.

I have a soft spot for the epic Mellon Collie because I love double albums, but Siamese Dream is quite the behemoth to get around.
   805. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: August 16, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5728210)
Mellon Collie was their most successful album , as well as 10-to-15-year-old me's favorite album in the world. It remains my favorite Pumpkins album, but Siamese Dream would win that poll easily.
   806. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: August 16, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5728211)
How old is David Byrne? He seems to be keeping himself kind of relevant by working with younger artists.


I was thinking about him too the entire time I made my post on Bowie being a rare hip old man.


My wife and I saw him just a few nights ago. His current show is wonderful.
   807. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: August 16, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5728220)
A friend of mine from college who plays keys for Sheryl Crow just posted a Todd Rundgren set list of covers for a show she saw. Dylan, others, blah blah blah. Most importantly he opened with HELLO THERE by Cheap Trick. Rundgren seems to be a lifer.


You nailed that!

...and what's all this with Mellon Collie? Great album...
   808. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: August 16, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5728230)
You nailed that!

...and what's all this with Mellon Collie? Great album...


Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie are amazing. Everything after has been garbage... and, i mean, garbage as in trash, not Garbage the band. :-)
   809. Hysterical & Useless Posted: August 16, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5728236)
How old is David Byrne?


Younger than me, so just a kid.

Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie are amazing. Everything after has been garbage.


Disagree. Machina--the Machines of God is terrific. Siamese Dream probably still the best though.
   810. Mike A Posted: August 16, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5728245)
Love Buffett's earlier work, and even on his later albums there's some gems...just takes a little more searching (see also: The Simpsons). And for the record, Dylan is a big fan of Buffett's songwriting. Like other older artists, Jimmy still remains relevant by teaming up with newer artists such as Zac Brown and Kenny Chesney.

I'm going to throw out an off-the-wall name - Weird Al Yankovic. Had a #1 album in 2014 almost 40 years into his career, and his songs/parodies continually bring in new, younger fans by being culturally relevant. Heck, he just put out the first polka song to ever hit Billboard's digital sales chart. That's gotta mean something...?
   811. spanx for the memories Posted: August 16, 2018 at 04:39 PM (#5728252)
After watching the pilot episode of “Deadwood,” I got up, lowered the blinds, dimmed the lights and burned through the rest of the DVD in a fugue of wonder and excitement. I didn’t leave the series until the next day, staggering limply into the harsh sunlight like Ray Milland in “The Lost Weekend.”

It was 2004, and I had been the chief television critic at The New York Times for about a year. HBO had sent me advance screeners of its new western. And I was discovering binge watching.

There are dramas that are arguably better or more widely appreciated than “Deadwood”: “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” or “Breaking Bad.”  But of all the shows I have reviewed over the past 12 years, “Deadwood” is the one I would most like to see again for the first time.


For me ... it's very much a see-saw in between ... what I like, I love (dios mio, Ian McShane), but what I don't (The Preacher, Calamity Jane), I really hate.


I felt the same way about "The Sopranos". For every episode I liked , there would be some episode where Tony would go into a fever dream or some other thing that made no sense to what was going on with the current story line.
   812. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: August 16, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5728259)
I am probably the only poster here to have attended a Jimmy Buffet concert in a kayak (and almost certainly the only one to do so despite a complete lack of interest in his music).

Edit: In case it's unclear, I was in the kayak. Mr. Buffet and his concert were in an amphitheater.
   813. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 16, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5728273)
his songs/parodies continually bring in new, younger fans by being culturally relevant.
Are kids really still listening to Weird Al? Are we sure it's not the hipsters who try to look like him ironically who are also listening to him ironically? (While swearing that they really, sincerely like Weird Al and have the same glasses as him because they're totally not hipsters, in fact they hate hipsters.)
   814. Hysterical & Useless Posted: August 16, 2018 at 05:40 PM (#5728288)
Okay, change of topic here, but within the last few days there was discussion of the use of allusions in movies. This morning I saw a commercial that alluded to Firefly. We see car, pan to a (somewhat) weathered-looking woman on a horse, wearing a brown coat and a cowboy hat with a broad, flat brim. Any fan immediately thinks "Patience! from the pilot episode."

Not sure it helps the commercial, I have no idea what car they were selling. But anything that reminds me of Firefly is okay.
   815. yo la tengo Posted: August 16, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5728301)
Just listened to an episode of Celebration Rock podcast where they were gushing over the Smashing Pumpkins. Have to admit, I just don't get it. I am 54, seemingly in the window where I should have appreciated them. I love the song 1979. I remember one of my post college roomies having some of their early singles. I just don't remember ever thinking they were interesting or important. I snickered when Pavement made fun of them, but now feel like I am missing something. If I dial my Spotify, where should I start?
   816. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 06:03 PM (#5728307)
90's kid that was never really into the mainstream rock of the era, here. Siamese Dream is the only Smashing Pumpkins album I've listened to in the last decade, probably. I think it's pretty good. It's got a My Bloody Valentine layers of guitar noise attack thing going on, with snarling vocals and energetic pacing.
   817. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: August 16, 2018 at 06:07 PM (#5728311)
Yeah. "1979" is unique in their catalogue, but Siamese Dream as a whole is probably your best bet. "Cherub Rock" is about as close as they come to replicating that song, IMO (and it's not all that close)
   818. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 06:07 PM (#5728312)
I think Weird Al is perpetually most popular with children, particularly the 10-13 year old kids that are old enough to get the references and get the joke, but not old enough to be embarrassed by the dorkiness of it all. I saw footage of a Weird Al concert once, and the fans were 100% families with little kids.
   819. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: August 16, 2018 at 06:08 PM (#5728313)
Pumpkins have done a fair amount of solid stuff, but I still shudder over the early video(s) where Corgan had hair & looked like Jethrine (Max Baer Jr. in drag, playing his character's twin sister) from The Beverly Hillbillies. He's not exactly the Apollo Belvedere as a bald guy, but shaving his head constituted a marked improvement.
   820. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: August 16, 2018 at 06:24 PM (#5728318)
Eh, modern-day Billy Corgan is much more cringe-inducing than his '90's self.
   821. Baldrick Posted: August 16, 2018 at 06:34 PM (#5728324)
I listened to Mellon Collie and Siamese Dream straight through just a couple days ago. I certainly don't listen to them as much as I did 20 years ago, but I think those two records absolutely stand up. Gish is alright, but kind of tedious. The post Mellon Collie ones have all the signs of a band that realize they've made their best work and are really trying to show they've got something else. I'm not saying their bad, necessarily, but at this point I can't imagine listening the whole way through to either. Actually, my third favorite Pumpkins album is probably Pisces Iscariot which is enormously uneven but pretty interesting. And Whir is for serious one of the prettiest songs of the decade.

Songs I'd recommend just to get a flavor of what they've got to offer:
Siamese Dream: Cherub Rock, Disarm, Mayonaise, Today, Soma
Mellon Collie: 1979, Zero, Muzzle, Thirty-Three, X.Y.U., Where Boys Fear To Tread, Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans
Others: Whir, Frail and Bedazzled, I Am One, Perfect, Stand Inside Your Love

Not necessarily my favorites, or their best per se. Just a collection of the different kinds of stuff they did.
   822. Lassus Posted: August 16, 2018 at 06:37 PM (#5728327)
I just don't get it. I am 54
90s kid... pretty good
I honestly think this is too early and then too late. Er, or vice-versa. Either way, not the right timeframe. In general (always exceptioins) age 42-50 right now works for the Pumpkins peak, but not you guys.

EDIT: Baldrick nailed it, even if I like Gish more than he does. Including the B-side album.
   823. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 06:46 PM (#5728331)
I was 14 when Mellon Collie came out, 12 or 13 when the "Today" music video was on heavy MTV rotation, so I was absolutely the perfect age to fall in love with the band. I was too young to have been aware of Gish and too young and too unaware of rock history to properly put them into any context at the time - Aerosmith's big comeback was around the same time and they were absolutely just as popular as the supposedly revolutionary grunge bands were, at least among my friend group, which seems slightly discordant in retrospect.
   824. Lassus Posted: August 16, 2018 at 06:51 PM (#5728333)
I said there were exceptions!

I guess I find album #3 one album too late to fall in love with a band. I am of course basing this on the authority for everything, me.
   825. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 06:56 PM (#5728336)
Well that doesn't make any sense!
   826. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 16, 2018 at 06:56 PM (#5728338)
Siamese Dream is the only Smashing Pumpkins album I've listened to in the last decade, probably. I think it's pretty good. It's got a My Bloody Valentine layers of guitar noise attack thing going on, with snarling vocals and energetic pacing.


That's quite intentional. Billy Corgan brought in Alan Moulder to mix Siamese Dream, specifically because Moulder had engineered mbv's Loveless.
   827. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 06:58 PM (#5728340)
Did you see that guys? A professional music critic just validated my learned judgment. I WIN.
   828. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 16, 2018 at 07:01 PM (#5728342)
my favorite latter day Pumpkins song is "Let Me Give the World to You", from Machina II. It's gorgeous.
   829. Lassus Posted: August 16, 2018 at 07:07 PM (#5728355)
The new single, released June 18, 2018.

It's ok, I guess. If it had been released 20 years ago or so. Or maybe 10-15?

I may be biased.

Oh, this is a non-video video. The video for the song is awful.

Are we post-video now?
   830. Lassus Posted: August 16, 2018 at 07:11 PM (#5728366)
my favorite latter day Pumpkins song is "Let Me Give the World to You", from Machina II. It's gorgeous.

Like every other band and author I stopped listening to or reading long ago, they did a lot more than I thought after I drifted away.

Huh. I really like Tarantula a lot more, which I've never heard before.
   831. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 07:11 PM (#5728367)
I listened to Billy Corgan's recent stripped-down "man with acoustic guitar pours his heart out" album for about 6 minutes before relegating it to my personal digital dustbin.
   832. Lassus Posted: August 16, 2018 at 07:12 PM (#5728368)
I also disagree with whoever said Corgan looks better without hair. God, no.
   833. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 16, 2018 at 07:13 PM (#5728370)
Ripken Face, #813:
his songs/parodies continually bring in new, younger fans by being culturally relevant.

Are kids really still listening to Weird Al? Are we sure it's not the hipsters who try to look like him ironically who are also listening to him ironically? (While swearing that they really, sincerely like Weird Al and have the same glasses as him because they're totally not hipsters, in fact they hate hipsters.)

They most certainly are. (Kids listening.) But so are adults. Yankovic's career is enlarging, and his fanbase is wide and eclectic. And because he concentrates on parody-- both specific and stylistic-- his relevant songbook is always getting bigger, unlike virtually all performers whose careers started 30 to 40 years ago.

Weird Al is no less of a musical institution in his own way than Johnny Cash or David Bowie or Bonnie Raitt or Neil Young. His career arc is, to commit a word crime, absolutely unique.
   834. Lassus Posted: August 16, 2018 at 07:14 PM (#5728371)
I'm glad someone else said what needed to be said about Weird Al, I would have failed.

He's seems the antithesis of hipster.
   835. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 07:24 PM (#5728380)
ElRoy has gotta quit ragging on hipsters. Hipsters are great.
   836. Morty Causa Posted: August 16, 2018 at 07:29 PM (#5728384)
833

True, What's great about Al is he doesn't trash the illusion he creates. He stays in form. And he's consistently good. Over this many years and that many songs, that is really remarkable. You're not supposed to take him seriously, but obviously he takes what he so painstakingly does very seriously.
   837. cardsfanboy Posted: August 16, 2018 at 07:43 PM (#5728392)
True, What's great about Al is he doesn't trash the illusion he creates. He stays in form. And he's consistently good. Over this many years and that many songs, that is really remarkable. You're not supposed to take him seriously, but obviously he takes what he so painstakingly does very seriously.


He's gotten to the point that he doesn't do a parody without permission from the original artist, that is how much respect he has for the people he is parodying. So it's clearly a labor of love and respect. I don't think originally he got permission, but as he's gotten older and more famous, I think he sees that it's only fair or something like that. And almost all of his stuff is just good natured fun.
   838. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: August 16, 2018 at 07:46 PM (#5728394)
I guess I find album #3 one album too late to fall in love with a band.


Master of Puppets was the first Metallica album I ever heard. I was 13. They are still my favorite band. Not sure what that says about me... :-)
   839. cardsfanboy Posted: August 16, 2018 at 07:53 PM (#5728404)
nevermind
   840. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 16, 2018 at 08:40 PM (#5728450)
#837:
He's gotten to the point that he doesn't do a parody without permission from the original artist, that is how much respect he has for the people he is parodying. So it's clearly a labor of love and respect. I don't think originally he got permission, but as he's gotten older and more famous, I think he sees that it's only fair or something like that.


He got to that point long ago. I doubt he got contractual approval for his earliest earliest songs like "I Love Rocky Road" or "Another One Rides the Bus" when he was recording them in college, though he may have done so retroactively. But by 1983 he was already getting advance permission from Michael Jackson, and not getting permission from Prince.

When Yankovic parodied Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," he was refused permission by her management. Instead, he put the completed video online for free, while asking for charitable donations. It was only at this point that Lady Gaga became aware of the parody's existence, as her management hadn't told her anything about the request. She quickly gave full permission, and "Perform This Way" was restored to Yankovic's upcoming album. A reverse situation happened when Yankovic got permission directly from singer James Blunt for a parody, an agreement that was reversed by Blunt's record company.

Legally, Yankovic doesn't actually need permission to record and sell any parody, but it's problematic in terms of royalties and videos. In any event, he's said he doesn't want to release any song over the creator's objection.
   841. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 16, 2018 at 08:49 PM (#5728459)
I started listening to Smashing Pumpkins last year. Siamese Dream is one of my favorite albums of all time now. That thing is just stacked.

I had not made the MBV connection but that makes sense.

Btw, many thanks to the posters who gave me some info on MBV way back in the last thread. By the time I came back to it, the conversation had moved way past that particular discussion. But MBV came back around!
   842. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 08:57 PM (#5728472)
I certainly didn't expect that Weird Al would be one of the few modern artists that Morty would have an opinion of.
   843. Greg K Posted: August 16, 2018 at 09:02 PM (#5728479)
I saw In Bruges in Paris. That French audience absolutely loved all the "Belgium is a #### hole" jokes.
   844. Lassus Posted: August 16, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5728484)
The video of Weird Al doing his Hamilton Polka parody with a completely in awe Lin-Manuel Miranda (and Jimmy Fallon, who I just ignore) is one of the infrequent reminders that there is indeed good and happiness in the world.
   845. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5728487)
Btw, many thanks to the posters who gave me some info on MBV way back in the last thread. By the time I came back to it, the conversation had moved way past that particular discussion. But MBV came back around!


I actually feel like My Bloody Valentine is still exceptionally relevant. Maybe it's just because the indie rock universe is so huge now that you can find echoes of any classic artist if you're looking for them, but there's a whole world of young bands that are definitely operating in the shadow of MBV. These guys opened the last concert I went to.
   846. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 16, 2018 at 09:24 PM (#5728508)
Weird Al is no less of a musical institution in his own way than Johnny Cash or David Bowie or Bonnie Raitt or Neil Young. His career arc is, to commit a word crime, absolutely unique.

He's seems the antithesis of hipster.
Oh, I'm not contesting any of that. The guy has carved out a niche and done it successfully for decades. Kudos to him. And if kids are still actually listening to him, I'm surprised, but that's great. I respect him, I just hate what people have done with his look and persona from the '80s. He was just legitimately a dork, not some Brooklyn douche trying to look like a dork so he can think he's cooler than you are.

ElRoy has gotta quit ragging on hipsters. Hipsters are great.
I don't, I shan't, and they're not.
   847. dlf Posted: August 16, 2018 at 09:37 PM (#5728524)
I spent my freshman year in upstate New York and I can tell you Aretha Franklin wasn't mentioned a single time.


My freshman year in upstate NY featured one and all's favorite poster at BTF singing a duet of Natural Woman with his roomate during a talent show. Let's just say that we didn't garner anyone's Respect.

...

He doesn't get any love from the radio anymore, but Mark Knopfler is still putting out great music.

...

Upthread a few folks talked about Buffett and suggested his latter stuff is a step down. Probably as a whole, but two of his songs with Knopfler, "Woop De Doo" and "Oldest Surfer on the Beach" are personal favorites.

I have been a big Buffett fan for almost 40 years. Back in an earlier life, I used to hang out at a bar that was just up the street from his parents place in Fairhope AL and he would occasionally show up and play a few songs. This was the early to mid 80s, so after Come Monday and Margaritaville had been big but before opening the cafes, branding the beer, hotels, flip flops and retirement communities.

He has tapped into something that much more talented singers can't.

   848. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 09:42 PM (#5728529)
I respect him, I just hate what people have done with his look and persona from the '80s. He was just legitimately a dork, not some Brooklyn douche trying to look like a dork so he can think he's cooler than you are.


I can't really tell who you're complaining about here.
   849. Lassus Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:05 PM (#5728563)
Himself?
   850. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:21 PM (#5728580)
I can't really tell who you're complaining about here.
Admittedly the trend was worse a few years ago - the guy in Arcade Fire who looked like a ginger Napoleon Dynamite, for example, looks less ridiculous now. But check out photos of a band like, say, Wavves.
   851. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:21 PM (#5728582)
Himself?
No, I'm legitimately a dork. I post on a baseball dork website a lot.
   852. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:22 PM (#5728583)
They most certainly are. (Kids listening.) But so are adults. Yankovic's career is enlarging, and his fanbase is wide and eclectic. And because he concentrates on parody-- both specific and stylistic-- his relevant songbook is always getting bigger, unlike virtually all performers whose careers started 30 to 40 years ago.


Indeed (kids) -

At a family BBQ/cousin's child birthday a few weekends ago, I was surprised to hear what I was sure was Weird Al, though I did not recognize the basis to the parody. Checking the Bday boy 11 yo and his friend who were playing it, I was informed that my ear was correct - and for a brief moment, I felt bad that I got him a puzzle.

Then, he said "You know weird Al? I love his oldies! Amish Paradise, Eat it!..."

I then lit the still-wrapped puzzle on fire in front of him and told him that instead, I was going to give him the gift of knowledge; knowledge that he was a mistake, knowledge that his parents were only still married because of him, and knowledge that he had ruined all of their hopes and dreams. Then, I asked him "So, do you have Nature Trail to Hell on that gadget?"

   853. Omineca Greg Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:50 PM (#5728609)
Did Aretha ever do anything different the soul sort of stuff? She was great at that but was sort of a one-trick vocal pony. Nothing wrong with that, but she is by no means even remotely similar to Dylan (or Willie), even discounting that they are great songwriters. Dylan's career, vocally and musically, represents multiple evolutionary shifts and phases.

I don't agree with this.

"Soul sort of stuff" covers a lot of ground, and if you listened to her discography from beginning to end, you would hear an evolution and a wide range of styles. Now it's true that a lot of her later stuff wasn't must-hear music, but that wasn't from stasis; it's just that it wasn't very good.

She was often involved with the production of her records, and she played piano on a lot of them, so "one trick vocal pony" isn't fair to her.

I think it's an odd criticism. Like, what else would she have to have done to rise above "soul sort of stuff"?

And there would be a lot of people out there, if they heard, "She is by no means even remotely similar to Dylan" would nod in agreement, but not in the way you're thinking.

In fact, I found the whole Aretha sub-thread strange. All of a sudden people were talking about Jimmy Buffett and Smashing Pumpkins. I guess time will tell how they're going to be remembered.
   854. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 11:29 PM (#5728626)
My favorite hipster look I ever spotted was a cute waitress at a great bar in Los Angeles that otherwise dressed and styled herself exactly like Janet Reno. It was remarkable. The haircut, glasses, blazer.

But honestly, who cares if people think granny glasses or ugly scarves are fun to wear? There's this idea that hipsters cannot actually enjoy anything because they're so busy being ironic, and so ironic that they become confused about authenticity, but in my experience they're just creative youths and it's the complainers that have the issues. I don't get why some chick wants to look like Janet Reno, but it's no skin off my nose. Just let people be, man!

Also, Wavves? Great band.
   855. Howie Menckel Posted: August 16, 2018 at 11:42 PM (#5728629)
Washington Post A-1 centerpiece headline

WHAT YOU WANT - BABY SHE HAD IT

(love it)

and I put Dylan at No. 1 and Willie is right up there

but Aretha - DAMN

Carole King was on MSNBC tonight, and she talked about co-writing "Natural Woman" for Aretha - and she is grounded and gracious enough to know there her demo would of course pale to the finished product, which went beyond her highest hopes.

King said Aretha well knew that she was "an instrument" - so write that song for her, and stand back!

maybe you had to be there, but if Aretha doesn't fully resonate for you, please give her another chance to reach into the bottom of your (blue-eyed) soul and take it for a brief spin. life's too short to miss out on that.

yes, "The Commitments" hinted that my Irish heritage - and my family background - got me a step closer. and I have only half-joked that some of you guys seem to share Mayflower descendants.

but Aretha awesomeness is in everyone, if you just let it in.
   856. Omineca Greg Posted: August 17, 2018 at 01:17 AM (#5728659)
I remember seeing an interview with Dusty Springfield.

Aretha had turned down "Son Of A Preacher Man" because she thought the subject matter too controversial, so Dusty had the chance to record it. Of course Dusty had a lot of success with that record.

So much success that Aretha decided she'd give it a go.

Dusty was mortified; having Aretha record something you've already recorded is not a good feeling. Ask Otis. Upon hearing Aretha's version of "Respect", he said, "Damn. That girl stole my song." And he was right, nobody thinks of that as an Otis Redding song anymore. If you want artistry, listen to the two recordings of "Respect" side by side. Otis' version is great, but it's about one thing: "If I'm working to support you, you better be ####### my brains out", which is....a completely worthy idea for a song...

Give it to me! Give it to me! Give it to me! When I get home!

And Aretha turns that into a feminist anthem.

Anyway, I digress. Dusty is nervous because Aretha is singing her song. She gets the record...she puts it on the turntable...

Billy Ray was a...[and right there Aretha jumps in pitch and hammers the first syllable] PREACH-er's son

And Dusty is all, "Why didn't I think of that? I could have done that, but I never thought of it. Why? Why?"

So here you go, Aretha's Son Of A Preacher Man
   857. Howie Menckel Posted: August 17, 2018 at 01:28 AM (#5728660)
this one is free, but this is why you have to buy The Athletic

raw. and real. and damn.

"We found​​ out my husband was going to die on June 8, the same day the Warriors beat the Cavs to close out their second straight NBA title. He passed away on Wednesday, before the start of another NBA season. I always think of time in terms of sports seasons.

That is how my mind works.

Earlier that same week was the MLB Draft. I had spent the previous six months covering the lead-up to the draft and had blocked off most of that week to cover this year’s proceedings. My husband was admitted to the hospital by then, and I missed most of it. “I’m so sorry you had to miss the draft,” he said.

That is how his mind worked.

Our love was about so much more than sports, but sports always played a central role. We met in October 1997. Both of us were working for The Daily Northwestern, me as a design editor and Chris as a news editor. We had both recently gone through break-ups and mutual friends from the paper set us up. No rebound has ever been sweeter."

(and then it gets better - but it will get mistier. seems like too many writers want to stage the drama of a story - until that doesn't matter anymore and then..... poetry)

good night, and hug your loved ones

we're all "day to day"
   858. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 17, 2018 at 08:30 AM (#5728684)
Chris Lockard was a year behind me at Northwestern and a fellow journalism major. I didn’t know him, but we had mutual friends and (I assume) classes together. I see that he also ended up as an IP lawyer. He died at 41, my age. This one hits way too close. Thoughts and prayers to his family. That’s just brutal.
   859. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 17, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5728774)
Aretha sang blues, soul, gospel, rock and pop and I guess it's up to personal taste how varied you think those genres are. I mean, they are all pretty closely related. I'm not really sure what she would have needed to do to be more "varied". Opera? Jazz standards? Country? The Ringer had a couple of nice write-ups about her yesterday. One of the articles has a really good quote about her from her biogrpaher:

“She can be hiding out in her house in Detroit for years. She can go decades without taking a plane or flying off to Europe. She can cancel half her gigs and infuriate every producer and promoter in the country. She can sing all kinds of jive-ass songs that are beneath her. She can go into her diva act and turn off the world. But on any given night, when that lady sits down at the piano and gets her body and soul all over some righteous song, she’ll scare the #### out of you. And you’ll know—you’ll swear—that she’s still the best fuckin’ singer this fucked-up country has ever produced.”
   860. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 17, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5728805)
Re: #856:
I disagree with Dusty Springfield about the relative merit of "Son of a Preacher Man" as performed by Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield.
   861. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 17, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5728817)
The quote in 859 was in her biography but it was said by fellow music icon Billy Preston.
   862. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: August 17, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5728832)
fellow music icon Billy Preston.


One of the all-time great Afros -- worthy of Angela Davis. Made the sainted Oscar Gamble look like a GI Joe.
   863. Howie Menckel Posted: August 17, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5728839)
anyone a fan of the movie "The Sandlot?"

I bought a couple of Topps Archive packs - they take the designs of three random Topps years and give you cards of current players and Hall of Famers. I don't care for the former, but this is like my third Satchel Paige over the years and I love that.

anyway, their promotion is "25th anniversary of The Sandlot movie." I got a "Limited Edition" Wendy Peffercorn card.

never saw this movie, but does that float anyone's boat? I think the card style is circa early 1960s.
   864. Morty Causa Posted: August 17, 2018 at 02:44 PM (#5728887)
Re: #856:
I disagree with Dusty Springfield about the relative merit of "Son of a Preacher Man" as performed by Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield.


Some people are innately gracious and diplomatic (granted, not many at BTF). To sample Fred Astaire's comments about other dancers, you get the impression he thought everyone was just as good or better than he was and all the women he danced with were equal in ability and quality.
   865. PreservedFish Posted: August 18, 2018 at 09:22 AM (#5729181)
Highly recommended: This American Life, "The Feather Heist." A one hour story regarding the American salmon fly-tying prodigy who broke into the British Museum and stole dozens of priceless birds originally caught and stuffed by Alfred Russel Wallace, in order to finance the purchase of a golden flute.
   866. Brian White Posted: August 18, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5729330)
Disagree. Machina--the Machines of God is terrific. Siamese Dream probably still the best though.


I thought Machina was a fine album - a bit uneven, but with some great moments. Machina II, though, THERE was an incredible album.

Also, count me as one of the eight or so people on the planet in post #803's club who liked Adore more than Siamese Dream.
   867. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 18, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5729362)
Also, count me as one of the eight or so people on the planet in post #803's club who liked Adore more than Siamese Dream.
Cheers. Yeah, the "rock band experimenting with dance music influences" production was a late '90s cliche, but the songwriting on that album is much more multifaceted and nuanced than anything else in the Pumpkins catalog, IMO.
   868. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 18, 2018 at 06:06 PM (#5729402)
The Washington Post offers this unranked list of their 23 best movies since 2000:

Children of Men
25th Hour
The Hurt Locker
Michael Clayton
Pan's Labyrinth
There Will Be Blood
Boyhood
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Old Joy
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Hunger
You Can Count on Me
No Country for Old Men
I'm Not There
Minority Report
Dunkirk
Mudbound
Spotlight
Son of Saul
Stories We Tell
The Fog of War
The Royal Tenenbaums
Spirited Away

It's a very important list. Maybe the new stupid Oscar category is on to something after all.
   869. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 18, 2018 at 06:36 PM (#5729411)
I know I saw Pan's Labyrinth, but literally can't recall any part of it except what Pan (I guess) looked like. I guess No Country for Old Men was probably the best film on the list, but I couldn't take it seriously because I thought the villain was the big guy from Everybody Loves Raymond.
   870. BDC Posted: August 18, 2018 at 06:58 PM (#5729426)
I saw 11 of those 23, no great percentage. The ones I truly enjoyed were Tenenbaums and Eternal Sunshine, and Eternal Sunshine is the only one I watched again. Some of the others I admire (as Gonfalon notes, it’s that kind of list). But I don’t sit down regularly and re-watch The Fog of War. Maybe I am an unserious person :-D
   871. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 18, 2018 at 07:23 PM (#5729433)
Wow, I'm Not There made the list. I loved that movie in my early 20s. Probably watched it 4-5 times and listened to the soundtrack a 100.

Haven't seen it in a long time though. I thought it had largely been forgotten.

Of thes ones I've seen (10), I really liked every one. I've rewatched 5. I'm never watching Pan's Labyrinth again. A couple of them, Eternal and Spirited, are all time favorites.
   872. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 18, 2018 at 07:31 PM (#5729440)

The Washington Post offers this unranked list of their 23 best movies since 2000:


Larf ... puke.
   873. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 18, 2018 at 10:28 PM (#5729530)
A couple of them, Eternal and Spirited, are all time favorites.


I've only seen three movies on that list, but those are two of them, and I love both of them.
   874. Brian C Posted: August 18, 2018 at 10:44 PM (#5729533)
I've seen either 19 or 20 - I can't remember if I watched Spirited Away or a different Miyazaki (perhaps Howl's Moving Castle?). Was a long time ago now.

Of those 19 or 20, I'd say 7 would be contenders for my own list:

25th Hour
Michael Clayton
Pan's Labyrinth
There Will Be Blood
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
No Country for Old Men
The Royal Tenenbaums

Most of the others are pretty good. A few are "fine" but nothing special. Boyhood is the worst from that list I've seen, but I feel like Linklater is basically the king of making movies that seem like they ought to be a lot more interesting than they actually are.
   875. Brian C Posted: August 18, 2018 at 11:05 PM (#5729543)
Cheers. Yeah, the "rock band experimenting with dance music influences" production was a late '90s cliche, but the songwriting on that album is much more multifaceted and nuanced than anything else in the Pumpkins catalog, IMO.

There were really only a few songs that had overt dance music influences, though, and even some of those didn't sound like anything anyone else was doing ("Daphne Descends" or "Pug" for instance).

At any rate, though, it's far and away my favorite of their albums (I love Mellon Collie too), and I always thought that the backlash against Adore made Corgan lose his nerve. He's never been as musically adventurous since and has subsequently spent the rest of this time with SP trying to convince fans that they were still the same band that made Siamese Dream. It's been sad to watch ... and I actually mean that non-sarcastically, because they were one of my favorites for awhile back then.
   876. spanx for the memories Posted: August 18, 2018 at 11:42 PM (#5729555)
For all the credit that Aretha Franklin has been getting the last few days, she is also going to have to shoulder some of the blame regarding the caterwauling style of singing she helped popularize. As later female singers (Mariah, Celine , Christina , Whitney) tried to emulate her by jamming as notes into a song as possible so that they treat the song as a vocal exercise instead of something to actually sing. You could almost call it the Yngwie Maimstein school of singing.
   877. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:14 AM (#5729560)
Spirited Away is a favorite of mine. I think several other of those movies are strong candidates for such a list, particularly the 1-2 punch of No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. I'm not really into the political movies.
   878. Lassus Posted: August 19, 2018 at 06:18 AM (#5729569)
For all the credit that Aretha Franklin has been getting the last few days, she is also going to have to shoulder some of the blame regarding the caterwauling style of singing she helped popularize. As later female singers (Mariah, Celine , Christina , Whitney) tried to emulate her by jamming as notes into a song as possible so that they treat the song as a vocal exercise instead of something to actually sing. You could almost call it the Yngwie Maimstein school of singing.

WELLLLLLLLLLL yes and no. Melismatic singing and cadenzas have been part of the western musical tradition for a rather long time. I don't know enough about the popular music adoption of this standard vocal technique to say they it was consciously copied from that, but I'm going to call it more nature than nurture for performers, and it doesn't seem entirely right to blame Aretha more than anyone else.
   879. Lassus Posted: August 19, 2018 at 06:22 AM (#5729570)
Jesus on a bicycle, Minority Report on that list renders the rest of it almost entirely invalid. Minority Report?
   880. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5729597)
Last night I finally watched Star Wars Episode 8, The Last Jedi. After spending 18 months assiduously avoiding spoilers, I don't even know if the film was well-regarded here or elsewhere. What did people think? I didn't love it.
   881. Lassus Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:25 AM (#5729610)
I may have stoped a click or two short of LOVED it, but I thought it was very good, definitely well above average, and I rank it easily in the upper third of all Star Wars films. I admit I enjoyed bathing in the hate and tears of Twue Fans who tantrumed all over the tubes that it was awful. I'm legitimately sorry Johnson was replaced by Abrams, because it was legitimately superior to The Force Awakens. I mean, OF COURSE it had plenty of dumb crap involved and some writing annoyances here and there, but it was still a worthy addition.
   882. McCoy Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:25 AM (#5729611)
Bad bad plot in need of a much tighter shooting script, shot decisions, and editing. I think it missed the mark on the fun and was trying too hard to match the tone and darkness of story of Empire.
   883. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5729618)
I think I preferred The Force Awakens. I KNOW I preferred Rogue One, which I thought was a blast.

The "writing annoyances" bothered me more than they usually do with these movies. I mean ... "Is Laura Dern actually an Empire mole?!?! Is she going to kill everyone? Oh no, she actually has an excellent plan, but she allows a mutiny to occur instead of just briefly explaining that." And the whole shaggy dog adventure of Finn and his new girlfriend, I dunno, seemed weirdly unnecessary. How about the Ancient Jedi MacGuffin Texts, never seen or mentioned before in the series? I can't tell if the plotting was actually of a lower standard than the Star Wars movies I like, or if I was just in a mood or something.

I do like both Rey and Kylo Ren.
   884. Lassus Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:50 AM (#5729620)
I KNOW I preferred Rogue One, which I thought was a blast.

Well, that might be the best one, period.


And the whole shaggy dog adventure of Finn and his new girlfriend, I dunno, seemed weirdly unnecessary.

I can see that. Personally, sidebars don't really bother me much in these types of films.
   885. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:13 AM (#5729625)
I guess I don't mind that Finn ultimately not only failed in his side mission but actually made everything worse. #### happens. But to me it seemed like they realized he was irrelevant and struggled to come up with a side plot for him, and then got carried away with it.
   886. Brian White Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5729642)
At any rate, though, it's far and away my favorite of their albums (I love Mellon Collie too), and I always thought that the backlash against Adore made Corgan lose his nerve. He's never been as musically adventurous since and has subsequently spent the rest of this time with SP trying to convince fans that they were still the same band that made Siamese Dream. It's been sad to watch ... and I actually mean that non-sarcastically, because they were one of my favorites for awhile back then.


This is an interesting idea, and when you view the Pumpkins' post-Adore albums through this sort of lens it does make a lot of sense. It does make me wonder what becomes of the Pumpkins in some alternate universe where Adore was widely loved. It probably winds up better than what happens in this universe.
   887. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5729645)
I listened to Siamese Dream last night and I liked it even more than I remembered. I am going to give Adore a (digital) spin now. I remember liking the single "Ava Adore" a lot but I never owned the album.
   888. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5729669)
I guess I don't mind that Finn ultimately not only failed in his side mission but actually made everything worse


Sure, why care, everyone is a complete and total idiot now. Captain Phasmid turned into a big chrome coward and lowered the shields, then comes back in the next movie like nothing happened. Everyone in these movies is as stupid as a Stark.
   889. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5729674)
Adore. I dunno. This album seems kind of sappy.
   890. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5729682)
I wouldn't call it sappy - I don't think it goes that far - but I think we're picking up on the same thing and reacting differently to it. I'm not a big fan of the pissed off/whiny Billy Corgan...combine lyrics like "despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage" with his usual vocal delivery and it's just way too over the top for me. But when he opens up and lets other aspects come forward, it lands a lot better, at least for me. Songs like "Tonight, Tonight." The Adore album has a lot more of those songs than the other type.
   891. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5729688)
Yeah, I like the rat in the cage.
   892. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5729731)
Re: TLJ

I thought the force focused stuff was the strength of the movie. Really liked Hamill's performance, really liked the Rey-Kylo intrigue, what they did with Snoke and the fight at the end.

Everything else fluctuated between bland and stupid. Are we supposed to hate Poe in that movie? I don't think so but I did. I'll also co-sign the general critiques of the Rose/Finn stuff.

It also seems very clear to me that Abrams and Johnson did not collaborate at all and just sorta did what they wanted. That made the whole thing feel disjointed throughout.

I'd say it's a better movie than TFA due to its ambition, but I'm more likely to rewatched TFA because it is so mindless.

Still waiting for Disney to top Rogue One and the end of Rebels. That's not a super high bar to clear.

On the plus side, I thought The Resistance trailer looked pretty good.
   893. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5729749)
Is there any canon non-movie explication of Snoke? It seems like he came out of nowhere, he has excellent Evil Jedi powers, who is he? What's his motivation? Such a lazy character. "He's like the emperor, but different!" I just googled him and the wikipedia article says that when Serkis played him in the first movie he still didn't know anything about the character in the slightest - looks, backstory, anything. Sounds like a great way to get a boffo acting performance, JJ.

Although these two films have been much more enjoyable than the prequels (obvs), the whole thing has an unfortunate "scripted by committee" feeling to it. Luke Skywalker redeems Darth Vader and kills the emperor ... and 30 years later, what's going on? The rebellion is in the exact same state as previous, the empire has received something of a superficial rebranding, and it's still ruled by a creepy mysterious old dude with lightning fingers, who has an evil apprentice that might still have a good heart. I wonder how many good ideas for how the universe might have been developed in the intervening years just got quashed in favor of this conservative copycat approach? I've never read a Star Wars book, but I would guess that they imagined things differently, huh?
   894. Greg K Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5729756)
For a long movie, quite a lot of The Last Jedi seemed rushed. I think the main Luke/Adam Driver/Keira Knightley Jr. plot worked ok. The side bars seemed slapped together haphazardly. And how many quasi-sentient animals does one movie need? It seemed like every planet had their own species.

The most annoying part wasn't so much the pointlessness of the sidebars plot-wise, but that they seemed so ham-handed from a character perspective. I mean, Oscar Isaac learns there's more to leadership than being going down with your guns blazing. But everyone else in his scenes is turned into a mindless slave in service to that message. Finn and his friend on that casino planet is even worse. I suppose you're trying to show Finn's transition from a guy who only cares about his narrow circle of friends, to a guy trying to save humanity.

But
A] I kind of feel like that was his arc in the first movie
B] The move itself is pretty painful

Finn: This casino place is wonderful!
Sidekick: Look closer at the system of exploitation they're sitting atop
Finn: This casino place is awful! Let's trash it.

I don't know, I'm not usually one to trash these new Star Wars movies (I really enjoyed Rogue One, and The Force Awakens was a harmless bit of fun). Maybe I'm holding The Last Jedi to a higher standard because it seemed to have ambitions? But I was actively annoyed by it.
   895. Chicago Joe Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:35 PM (#5729761)
The rat in the cage isn’t really plausible.
   896. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5729774)
I liked the Last Jedi, but as mentioned above, it really had some issues. As 893 points out The Force Awakens basically resets the universe back to where it was before the first Star Wars, and now we need to see a new group of heroes do the same story arc as before, making it feel like this universe just resets it self every thirty years or so. I don't mind the side story at all, but it was poorly inserted into the story and their insistence that there be a 'clock' element to it, was rather jarring and unbelievable, they did not have enough time to do what they did, heck the processing alone to throw them in jail would have eaten most of that time up. Add in that the Star Wars universe has always tried to keep the concept of time somewhat loose and this locking things into a defined time kinda throws a monkey wrench into it's universe. (In theory in Star Wars, the time to travel from Tantooine to Alderaan was several days or longer, which help explain Luke learning more about the force than just one lesson which you see in the movie, and also allows a bit more familiarization between Han and Luke)

And as mentioned, Poe ends up being a pretty poor character by his actions.
   897. Baldrick Posted: August 19, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5729776)
I went from 'cool, new Star Wars, and it's pretty good!' to 'I am unbelievably sick of this franchise' in approximately two weeks immediately after seeing The Force Awakens. I finally got around to watching The Last Jedi a couple weeks ago and I couldn't even get through it. The stuff with Luke and Rey was tedious. The stuff with Kylo and Rey was formulaic. The stuff with fleeing the empire and being tracked and the pilot guy's dumb plot(s) and all of that was just unbearable.

As I said a few pages ago, I basically don't watch movies anymore, so maybe it's just that. But even after waiting all that time, I was kind of shocked at how little I cared about what happened.

Edit: It's possible the second half of the movie paid off some of these things. Like I said, I gave up, so that may be on me.
   898. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5729779)
OH MY GOD I DIDN'T EVEN MENTION LEIA'S CORPSE FLYING BACKWARDS THROUGH SPACE
   899. McCoy Posted: August 19, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5729782)
According to pretty much all source material I can find the faster than light travel to all the various places happens really really quickly. Like hours and not days. I think Tatooine was supposed to be out on the Outer Rim while Coruscant is supposed to be in the center of the universe and in the old books it took like a day at worst to travel it.
   900. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 19, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5729787)
OH MY GOD I DIDN'T EVEN MENTION LEIA'S CORPSE FLYING BACKWARDS THROUGH SPACE
Oh man, yeah, that was terrible. And now they’re going to have to write in the next one that she was in a coma for a week and then died or something lame like that.
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