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Saturday, February 01, 2020

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (February 2020)

With half a decade in the rearview mirror since Pono’s arrival, however, there may be another, more valuable take on its creator to consider.

Neil Young’s insistence that hardcore music fans would be willing to pay extra for a high-definition digital music experience looks less outmoded in 2020 than it did in 2015, now that Amazon has put an HD-quality up-sell at the center of its multi-tiered music streaming offering. Particularly so because Amazon Music, according to Midia Research, now looks set to overtake Apple Music in global subscriber volume terms this year.

...

Allow me, then, to lead you toward an alternate retrospective tale; one which vanquishes any suggestion of Neil Young as a myopic fuddy-duddy, scrabbling to deal with the realities of the Spotify age — and instead views him as someone provably ahead of the curve of music-technological trends (albeit not always with the most rip-roaring tech at his disposal).

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 01, 2020 at 03:07 PM | 167 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   1. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: February 01, 2020 at 02:53 PM (#5921007)
Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill dead at 64. I've long maintained that the first 4 songs of their debut LP, Entertainment!, constitute the greatest such opening salvo ever. His guitar had huge amount to do with that.
   2. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 01, 2020 at 03:38 PM (#5921012)
I interviewed Andy Gill in 1983, at a long forgotten Seattle club with the unfortunate name of Skoochies, and it was one of the best interviews I ever did. It was in the dressing room after the gig, which is unusual - most bands preferred to talk before going on stage, but he seemed happy to chat. He was having a few post-gig beers - not enough to prevent him from being completely lucid, but probably enough to loosen his tongue just a bit (and his comment "American beer is horribly useless" was hilarious). He was thoughtful and funny - "We'd love to have a hit single, for a number of reasons. Our songs gain in poignancy when they're rubbing shoulders with Journey." So thanks for the music, and thanks for being so great to talk to. R.I.P.
   3. yo la tengo Posted: February 01, 2020 at 04:04 PM (#5921017)
Another music note - headed to the local record shop this morning to buy the new Drive-By Truckers disc. Super happy that I did so. Urgent music for an anxious time. These guys are a national treasure
   4. Baldrick Posted: February 01, 2020 at 08:10 PM (#5921045)
Re: Little Women, from embers of the last thread:

I almost entirely loved the choices she made. In a few places, the cuts between 'present' and 'past' were just a little too quick and let me disoriented, but overall it was incredibly effective. There are a lot of connecting themes between the first and second books, but they grew far more intense watching them play out side by side. The two iterations of Beth's sickness being the most extreme version, but there were plenty of others.

I re-read the book before watching the movie and had a massively different experience from when I first read it at 16ish. Back then I loved Jo, hated Amy (she burned Jo's book!!!), found Beth tedious, and Meg only slightly less so. This time around I really liked Amy, found Beth to be the actual heart of the story, really enjoyed Meg's struggles, and found myself kind of bored with Jo. So I was definitely primed to see the movie, which did FAR more with the less generally less-favored March sisters.

The only decision I didn't love was the treatment of Amy and Laurie's romance--and Jo's reconsideration of Laurie. The former developed just a little too fast and felt less believable than in the books. For the latter, I totally get why they made that choice, but I don't think it was a necessary beat to strike. Jo can realize her loneliness without going back on the (very wise) decision to not marry Laurie. So given the combination of those two things I didn't love, I especially didn't love that Jo finds out about the marriage in person. That felt like unnecessary drama, and took away one of my absolute parts of the book: the blending of genuine joy to see Amy and Laurie together with her own increasingly isolation.

I really have no sense of what makes for good acting, so can't offer much there. Bad acting can take me out of a story, but I have no real judgment about what is competent vs. good. Everyone seemed great.
   5. Welcome to Gator Hammock (CoB). Posted: February 02, 2020 at 02:04 AM (#5921063)
Found on YouTube today ...

Neil Young is a kind, yet deep sasquatch with a heart of gooey gold that some Canadian hunter trapped, shaved & taught the gentle Bigfoot how to play gnarly riffs with bar chords. Then he set the beast loose & told him, "Go tell nature's story." God bless Uncle Neil, the hairless sasquatch
Goonie Goo Goo
   6. Welcome to Gator Hammock (CoB). Posted: February 02, 2020 at 06:25 AM (#5921064)
I can't *beat* that ...
   7. jingoist Posted: February 02, 2020 at 10:50 AM (#5921084)
Who could.
Now we can rejoice in the small things: Punxsatauny (sic) (you spell it if you know better) Phil didn’t see his shadow. We will have an early Spring.
It is forecasted to be 65+ degrees tomorrow and Tuesday here in Northern VA so.....way to go Phil
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: February 02, 2020 at 11:43 AM (#5921092)
It's been great seeing you, Needlehead. Take care.
   9. Phil Coorey. Posted: February 03, 2020 at 05:28 PM (#5921391)
Another music note - headed to the local record shop this morning to buy the new Drive-By Truckers disc. Super happy that I did so. Urgent music for an anxious time. These guys are a national treasure


It is so good, love it! Thanks to lounge in 2004 for getting me into these guys..

Hope all are well!

pC
   10. Welcome to Gator Hammock (CoB). Posted: February 03, 2020 at 09:38 PM (#5921427)
   11. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: February 04, 2020 at 03:34 AM (#5921446)
We try to watch the movie every year on the appropriate date - I think we've missed twice in the last decade or something like that. For some reason I had assumed that Andie McDowell was a young and relatively unknown actor when the movie was made, but Wikipedia corrected me. It's always a well-spent 100 minutes.

Caught the wrap-up of Bojack Horseman over the weekend. I don't think the last episode itself is how I expected things to go, although it's consistent with the ethos of the show. The penultimate episode is again the showcase for animation and for dramatic and emotional depths, with the finale more of a wrap-up and path forward - even for characters who no longer have a next season to anticipate. Definitely one of my favourite shows of the 2010s, maybe top of the heap.
   12. McCoy Posted: February 04, 2020 at 06:14 AM (#5921448)
1917 was pretty darn good. The plot is basically saving Private Ryan but the cinematography and set design were absolutely mind boggling well executed. Even the sound was very good. Set design and cinematography made the movie. I don't it they are or not but the people in charge of those areas should be winning every single award this season.

About 30 minutes in I had to pee. I figured there was going to be some introspective middle of the night slow scene and I could go then. Sure enough there was but it turns out I couldn't hold it until then. So I left quickly during the dying scene.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: February 04, 2020 at 08:27 AM (#5921455)
Now that's the kind of review that I show up to this thread for.
   14. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: February 04, 2020 at 08:42 AM (#5921456)
I loved Mark Strong turning up as one of the many commanding officers (all of whom were exceptionally cast). In just a couple of minutes of screen time, he establishes himself as a commander whose boys would follow him into hell.
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: February 04, 2020 at 09:07 AM (#5921461)
I think Mark Strong was George Costanza's second choice as a porn star name
   16. McCoy Posted: February 04, 2020 at 09:40 AM (#5921468)
I liked Andrew Scott's disillusioned officer as well. But yes, Strong was very good in the small role he had. Played really well into the whole sense that upper level officers were buffoons and out of touch while the mid to lower level officers and sergeants were the ones really maintaining the armies.

Of course we then have the ending where basically everyone is just following orders and everyone knows they're going to their certain death.
   17. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: February 04, 2020 at 10:21 AM (#5921481)
I liked Andrew Scott's disillusioned officer as well.

I loved the bit about throwing the flare gun back if they had the opportunity. But...yeah...all of the officers...Firth's patrician tut-tutting, Scott's over-it ennui, Strong's pragmatic authority, and Cumberbatch's unconcealable prickishness...were right in each actor's wheelhouse.
   18. McCoy Posted: February 04, 2020 at 10:27 AM (#5921483)
I liked Scott's Tuesday line as well.
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: February 04, 2020 at 10:34 AM (#5921486)
Another music note - headed to the local record shop this morning to buy the new Drive-By Truckers disc. Super happy that I did so. Urgent music for an anxious time. These guys are a national treasure

It is so good, love it! Thanks to lounge in 2004 for getting me into these guys..

Hope all are well!

pC
I'm seeing them play in a few weeks. I've seen them a couple of times, although I think the last time was in 2008.
   20. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 04, 2020 at 10:43 AM (#5921488)
The review of 1917 in the TLS talked about how the continuous shot means that the viewer never gets any sort of break. The reviewer says that one effect of this is that the movie seems a lot longer than it is, and it's the first time ever that such a statement is a compliment. I thought that was interesting (and true).
   21. McCoy Posted: February 04, 2020 at 10:50 AM (#5921492)
I forgot that it was supposed to be a continuous shot. I viewed it as the camera was an actor in the movie.

I didn't feel the movie was long and I'm usually very sensitive about that. Very few lulls in the movie and very little set up and exposition.
   22. Lassus Posted: February 04, 2020 at 12:51 PM (#5921523)
Did anyone other than me like Altered Carbon? It wasn't any kind of masterpiece, but I found it a lot more diverting than Dark Matter.

(Season 2 with Anthony Mackie coming out.)
   23. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: February 10, 2020 at 07:30 AM (#5923120)
Logan Lucky last night, which was pretty much exactly what I expected - a lower-key, pleasant, slightly Coen-esque heist movie. My wife was unable to get over Daniel Craig's accent, and given that we saw Knives Out recently too, this looks like being a running item. We also tried an anime show I had read about and suggested for her, about great names of the Japanese 'Warring States' period of history being reincarnated in the bodies of dogs. Obu Nobunaga comes back as a Shiba Inu named 'Cinnamon'. I'm not sure how else to describe it beyond that.
   24. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: February 10, 2020 at 09:51 AM (#5923134)
Apropos of nothing whatsoever, yesterday afternoon while listening to some national sports talk show (the two NPR stations I get were playing music I didn't care about) I heard the announcer twice pronounce the name "Joel" as "Joe-Ell." Is that a thing in some part of the country, or a pronunciation that certain individuals insist on (like the Theo I used to work with who pronounced it "Tay-oh")? I've only ever heard it pronounced as rhyming with bowl.
   25. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 10, 2020 at 09:56 AM (#5923135)
Apropos of nothing whatsoever, yesterday afternoon while listening to some national sports talk show (the two NPR stations I get were playing music I didn't care about) I heard the announcer twice pronounce the name "Joel" as "Joe-Ell."


Maybe he is related to Superman?
   26. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: February 10, 2020 at 09:59 AM (#5923137)
They meant Joel (pronounced Joe-Ell) Embiid, the center for the Philadelphia 76ers, who is from Cameroon.
(For what it's worth, Embiid (pronounced em-beed) is a pretty funny guy and has some pop culture import of his own.)
   27. jmurph Posted: February 10, 2020 at 10:04 AM (#5923138)
Is that a thing in some part of the country

Can think of a few Jo-ells from various spanish speaking countries, too, so I assume that's the standard pronunciation in spanish.
   28. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: February 10, 2020 at 10:07 AM (#5923139)
They meant Joel (pronounced Joe-Ell) Embiid, the center for the Philadelphia 76ers, who is from Cameroon.


Thanks. The first reference was indeed to Embiid, though if memory serves the second wasn't.
   29. JJ1986 Posted: February 10, 2020 at 10:10 AM (#5923140)
There was an older center Joel Anthony with the same pronunciation. And there's a Tay-oh in the NBA draft this year.
   30. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: February 10, 2020 at 10:16 AM (#5923145)
A couple of decades back the Arkansas Legislature included a "Billi" who pronounced it "Bill-I." WTF?
   31. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 10, 2020 at 11:25 AM (#5923163)
I just found out yesterday that the painter Titian is pronounced short-i "Tishin" and not long-i "Tyshin."
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 10, 2020 at 11:29 AM (#5923165)
Tay-oh
TAAAAAY-OH!

Sorry, reflex.
   33. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: February 10, 2020 at 11:32 AM (#5923167)
I just found out yesterday that the painter Titian is pronounced short-i "Tishin" and not long-i "Tyshin."


Common knowledge to those of us familiar with S*M*A*S*H*'s landmark "I Want to Kill Somebody" (though I've known the pronunciation for ages; not sure how).

Statistician studies Titian
The hand up his ass is the politician's
Red-headed women
And a Disraeli disposition
What lack of vision
I want to kill somebody

   34. Baldrick Posted: February 10, 2020 at 12:44 PM (#5923179)
Wait until I tell you that Oliver St John, prominent Parliamentarian during the English Civil War, pronounced his name 'Oliver Sinjun.' And good luck figuring out how to pronounce the name of the town of Reims.
   35. Howie Menckel Posted: February 10, 2020 at 01:17 PM (#5923202)
Mike Shishefski coaches basketball at Duke, and no one has a hard time with that one.
   36. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: February 10, 2020 at 01:22 PM (#5923204)
While glad for the folks tied to Parasite as that was a great movie still wondering why Once Upon a Time didn't win. So good.

And Zellweger winning all the awards the whole award season is something historians will have to try and decipher for years with no luck.
   37. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 10, 2020 at 01:31 PM (#5923209)
I saw her speech. She is...odd. As is Joaquin Phoenix.
   38. PreservedFish Posted: February 10, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5923211)
As seems entirely typical, the best acting trophies went to one actor doing a celebrity impression, and one doing a lunatic. Do you think that real actors find this tiresome? Or are these sorts of roles actually really demanding? It obviously impresses regular people.
   39. PreservedFish Posted: February 10, 2020 at 01:38 PM (#5923213)
The clips last night were the most I've seen of Marriage Story, and I couldn't have less interest in it. It looked like 2 hours of people yelling at each other inside boring rooms.
   40. PreservedFish Posted: February 10, 2020 at 01:41 PM (#5923217)
Apologies for two grumpy comments in a row. Here's some good news: I just ate poke for lunch.
   41. reech Posted: February 10, 2020 at 01:45 PM (#5923222)
Adam Sandler had the best Award speech of the weekend
   42. jmurph Posted: February 10, 2020 at 01:55 PM (#5923229)
The clips last night were the most I've seen of Marriage Story, and I couldn't have less interest in it. It looked like 2 hours of people yelling at each other inside boring rooms.

It's really, really good, and given your other movie posts, I suspect you'd like it.

Not that much yelling, either, considering it's a story about divorce.
   43. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: February 10, 2020 at 02:18 PM (#5923248)
No movie critic nor expert but by chance I saw every Best Picture nominated except F v F. Once Upon was the best followed by Little Women/Parasite so I give Parasite the edge for being a bit more original than LW. I know it was nominated for original screenplay, but I swear I read a sci fi or other short story with same premise. Not that the S Korean guy plagiarized. Just that the concept was not new to me.

Joker was kind of dumb. Marriage Story is just human angst. I don't find that very interesting.
   44. Lassus Posted: February 10, 2020 at 04:08 PM (#5923272)
As seems entirely typical, the best acting trophies went to one actor doing a celebrity impression, and one doing a lunatic. Do you think that real actors find this tiresome? Or are these sorts of roles actually really demanding? It obviously impresses regular people.

If I were DiCaprio I'd be pissed. Both of those performances were pretty one-note, and Pitt - who I like - basically played Brad Pitt. I thought DiCaprio showed much better range than Pitt in that movie.

Wait, actually, PF, I'm a bit confused by your comment. Who was Pitt doing an impression of? I guess I think if it's an impression of a celebrity in general (which he's kind of not, as a stunt man), I'd consider those people, unless you mean a SPECIFIC celebrity.
   45. jmurph Posted: February 10, 2020 at 04:24 PM (#5923274)
I think he's talking about Zellweger, Lassus.
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: February 10, 2020 at 04:29 PM (#5923276)
brand new Jason Isbell song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPek7jto9l0
   47. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: February 10, 2020 at 04:34 PM (#5923279)
Perhaps Lassus regards Julie Garland as a lunatic?
   48. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 10, 2020 at 04:52 PM (#5923283)
brand new Jason Isbell song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPek7jto9l0
I like it on first listen.
   49. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 10, 2020 at 04:53 PM (#5923284)
If I were DiCaprio I'd be pissed. Both of those performances were pretty one-note,
Eh, DiCaprio won one for a supremely one-note performance.
   50. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: February 10, 2020 at 05:06 PM (#5923286)
Did not enjoy Marriage Story. Great acting performances throughout, but never really connected with the couple or understood what had prompted their decisions, and the "fast-forward" towards the end completely removed the stakes (actually assumed I'd fallen asleep and missed something).
   51. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: February 10, 2020 at 05:15 PM (#5923287)
Once Upon a Time would have been my choice. That said, when the movie made the voiceover turn to the final end game I was surprised -- in part because I knew I must've already sat through at least two hours, but it was so entertaining I'd barely noticed; but OTOH also because I'd expected a lot more heavy lifting before getting to the end. It was a lot of fun but ultimately felt a bit light. Definitely the most enjoyable cinematic hang of the year IMO, but I can see the case for arguing it's not up with Tarantino's best.
   52. Tin Angel Posted: February 10, 2020 at 05:18 PM (#5923288)
I noticed the voiceover thing too. It was easily my favorite of the year, but Parasite was fantastic too.
   53. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:18 PM (#5923302)
"Once Upon a Time In Hollywood" is going to age well.
   54. Lassus Posted: February 11, 2020 at 09:39 AM (#5923404)
Whoops. Thanks, jmurph.

Yeah, I hate biopics of well-known people.


Eh, DiCaprio won one for a supremely one-note performance.

Fair. Had basically forgotten.
   55. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 11, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5923464)
Logan Lucky last night, which was pretty much exactly what I expected - a lower-key, pleasant, slightly Coen-esque heist movie.


That movie was a pleasant surprise for me: funny, with a great cast. It's on Amazon Prime for anyone interested.

   56. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 11, 2020 at 03:29 PM (#5923640)
The Academy started giving out Best Acting Oscars for the "wrong" performance as early as the second ceremony (Mary Pickford for lifetime achievement), and kicked off the most-common sense with the 8th ceremony (make-up award for Bette Davis after having "cheated" her the year before).
   57. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: February 11, 2020 at 03:38 PM (#5923644)
It's probably a cliche by now, but I liked the observation that the Academy Awards don't reward the best acting, but the most acting. (And therefore they love biographical movies.) Similar logic for production design, costumes, editing . . .
   58. AndrewJ Posted: February 12, 2020 at 06:57 PM (#5924008)
I've been knocked out by Matthew Goodman's book THE CITY GAME, about the 1949-50 CCNY point-shaving scandal. A must read.
   59. Moeball Posted: February 13, 2020 at 02:34 PM (#5924241)
Noticed that when Elton John gave his acceptance speech Sunday night for Best Song, he said he thought he'd never win an Oscar, apparently forgetting he already has one at home from 25 years ago for The Lion King.

Which begs the question - what is the longest drought between Oscar wins? I have no idea. This may very well be the record.

Also - I think John Williams was nominated for an Oscar although he didn't win. If so, this would be his 7th decade receiving nominations, as his first was all the way back in 1968.
   60. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: February 13, 2020 at 02:52 PM (#5924246)
I've been knocked out by Matthew Goodman's book THE CITY GAME, about the 1949-50 CCNY point-shaving scandal. A must read.


Didn't realize that's what it's about. Will definitely pick it up at the library.
   61. The Mighty Quintana Posted: February 13, 2020 at 02:54 PM (#5924247)
I think Sir Elton's is the longest award drought. Billy Wilder went 15 years between Best Director awards for The Lost Weekend and The Apartment, which was the record according to Wiki.
   62. PreservedFish Posted: February 13, 2020 at 02:56 PM (#5924248)
Why did Eminem randomly give a concert in the middle of the show?
   63. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 13, 2020 at 03:00 PM (#5924252)
Re: Moeball--
Sylvester Stallone went 39 years between consecutive Oscar nominations ("Rocky," "Creed"). Alan Arkin went 38 years ("The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," "Little Miss Sunshine").

For consecutive wins, Katherine Hepburn went 34 years ("Morning Glory," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"). Meryl Streep went 29 years between "Sophie's Choice" and "The Iron Lady," but received a record 226 nominations in between.
   64. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 13, 2020 at 04:46 PM (#5924285)
Noticed that when Elton John gave his acceptance speech Sunday night for Best Song, he said he thought he'd never win an Oscar, apparently forgetting he already has one at home from 25 years ago for The Lion King.
That's funny - I would say it's not surprising he doesn't remember, but that was after he got sober.
   65. AndrewJ Posted: February 13, 2020 at 07:52 PM (#5924328)
Elton reminds me of the time Joseph Kennedy Sr. saw a building in NYC he admired and spoke to his assistants about purchasing it. They investigated and returned to him a few days later saying, "You can't buy it, sir -- you already own it."
   66. Laser Man Posted: February 13, 2020 at 08:25 PM (#5924335)
Noticed that when Elton John gave his acceptance speech Sunday night for Best Song, he said he thought he'd never win an Oscar, apparently forgetting he already has one at home from 25 years ago for The Lion King.
It was the first time that Elton John and Bernie Taupin, his songwriting partner for 53 years, had won together. For the Lion King song, Elton shared the award with Tim Rice.
   67. Moeball Posted: February 13, 2020 at 09:04 PM (#5924341)
Thanks for the clarification. Hard to believe Elton wrote a song without Bernie. Almost seems like he was unfaithful.
   68. Omineca Greg Posted: February 13, 2020 at 09:28 PM (#5924346)
Oh, Bernie's written some lyrics without Elton. Some of them were even massive hits!
   69. Omineca Greg Posted: February 14, 2020 at 01:45 PM (#5924434)
Oh, don't pretend that back in the day you guys weren't knee deep in the hoopla.

One of the things you'll hear about "We Built This City" is that Starship took the song in a different direction than was intended by the auteurs. Not that Taupin and Page are being too pouty about it; they need money like everybody else. But they always sort of absolved themselves from the negative feedback by saying that they intended the song as a dark, dystopian epic, not an anthem for over the hill rockers. That dissonance allowed them to cash their cheques without having to fully admit to their wrongdoing in creating it.

Anyway, through the wonder of Youtube...the demo, the original demo, the way the song was conceived, true to the artists' vision.

We Built This City (Demo)
   70. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 14, 2020 at 02:09 PM (#5924442)
Bernie Taupin in 2013:

The original song was… a very dark song about how club life in L.A. was being killed off and live acts had no place to go. A producer named Peter Wolf—not the J. Geils Peter Wolf, but a big-time pop guy and Austrian record producer—got ahold of the demo and totally changed it.… If you heard the original demo, you wouldn't even recognize the song.
Nice try.
   71. Hot Wheeling American Posted: February 14, 2020 at 02:12 PM (#5924443)
I've been knocked out by Matthew Goodman's book THE CITY GAME, about the 1949-50 CCNY point-shaving scandal. A must read.

My father in law got that for me for Christmas and I devoured it in a few days. Great (though sad) read.
   72. Omineca Greg Posted: February 14, 2020 at 02:38 PM (#5924458)
Nice try.

Yeah, I think it's just quite the lousy song. Not much can be done about it, although Starship made it even worse than it had to be.

There's only been one version I've heard that I've enjoyed at all, by Biffy Clyro of all people. It's still not great, but it does seem to capture some sort of poignancy. It's not a fantastic song even in the cover I enjoy, but there's no irony here, and they're trying to bring out the best in the material in a sincere way. As a salvage job it's admirable, as a song, it's still bad.

Biffy Clyro

They keep to it to around 150 seconds, which is thoughtful, but also shows they're aware that there's a limitation in the original source.
   73. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 14, 2020 at 02:49 PM (#5924461)
During the past two weeks, Regal Lily, tricot, SCANDAL, Akai Ko-en, Hitsujibungaku, and Homecomings have all released new music, which has to be some kind of record for the number of my favorite bands putting out new music in such a short period.

Homecomings' contribution is this single, "Brightness", with Sachie Hiraga, which marks the third time the two have collaborated. Hiraga and Ayaka Tatamino do a nice job on the vocals, each taking the lead at some points and dueting at other ones. Their harmonies over the ride-out are my favorite part of the song. I have absolutely no clue what's going in the video. From what I can gather, the song was written by Tatamino about the passing of a friend, and the band's web site makes a reference in regard to the band members "...since summer 2019, the four have been saddened and lost..."Brightness" was a song that Homecomings needed to move on."

Automatic translations of another language always have their pitfalls, but it sounds like the band have been through some tough times recently. I hope this song helps to heal whatever needed healing...
   74. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 15, 2020 at 12:34 PM (#5924595)
Another "long sabbatical" multiple Oscar winner: Helen Hayes, with two acting wins 39 years apart ("The Sin of Madelon Claudet" and "Airport").
   75. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 15, 2020 at 12:47 PM (#5924597)
Oh, don't pretend that back in the day you guys weren't knee deep in the hoopla.

One of the things you'll hear about "We Built This City" is that Starship took the song in a different direction than was intended by the auteurs. Not that Taupin and Page are being too pouty about it; they need money like everybody else. But they always sort of absolved themselves from the negative feedback by saying that they intended the song as a dark, dystopian epic, not an anthem for over the hill rockers. That dissonance allowed them to cash their cheques without having to fully admit to their wrongdoing in creating it.


So, what is it that makes people hate this song so much more than the 20,000 other banal pop songs out there? It's not good, but it's not "change the station bad" to me.

I mean, Pharrell Williams "Happy" is 10,000 times worse. I've almost broken my radio in the rush to turn it off.
   76. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 16, 2020 at 12:05 PM (#5924730)
One of the things you'll hear about "We Built This City" is that Starship took the song in a different direction than was intended by the auteurs. Not that Taupin and Page are being too pouty about it; they need money like everybody else. But they always sort of absolved themselves from the negative feedback by saying that they intended the song as a dark, dystopian epic, not an anthem for over the hill rockers. That dissonance allowed them to cash their cheques without having to fully admit to their wrongdoing in creating it.

So, what is it that makes people hate this song so much more than the 20,000 other banal pop songs out there? It's not good, but it's not "change the station bad" to me.


We built this city is bad. What makes it truly the worst was how popular it was, so it got a lot of airplay for some reason, so I was forced to hear it a lot.

By the way, the demo is not good.
   77. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: February 16, 2020 at 06:21 PM (#5924768)
I don’t think We Built This City is -the- worst, but it is really bad (def worst than Happy) and that demo is no improvement.
   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 16, 2020 at 06:25 PM (#5924770)
I don’t think We Built This City is -the- worst, but it is really bad (def worst than Happy) and that demo is no improvement.

Songs that rely on one line of lyrics for >25% of the words are just their own class of awful.
   79. Howie Menckel Posted: February 16, 2020 at 07:02 PM (#5924772)
Dolly Parton's "Jolene" has that name uttered 31 times in 2 1/2 minutes.

I don't hate it, but it's a little weird. could be be a record for a - well, record - that short.
   80. JJ1986 Posted: February 16, 2020 at 07:23 PM (#5924775)
No opinion on the Parton original, but Jack White's cover is excellent.
   81. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 16, 2020 at 07:34 PM (#5924776)
Dolly Parton's "Jolene" has that name uttered 31 times in 2 1/2 minutes.

I don't hate it, but it's a little weird. could be be a record for a - well, record - that short.


"Nobody But Me" by The Human Beinz. From wiki - "Dave Marsh, in his Book of Rock Lists named the version by the Human Beinz "The most negative song to hit the Top 40," noting that the word "no" is sung over 100 times in a mere 2:16. Marsh also counts the word "nobody" 46 times more."
   82. Lassus Posted: February 16, 2020 at 08:16 PM (#5924786)
I hope i die before I get as old as the people complaining about "Happy".
   83. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: February 16, 2020 at 08:17 PM (#5924787)
This reminds me of a version of Parton’s Jolene played at the wrong speed (a 45 played at 33) went kinda viral. Gotta admit, it sounds good slowed down too.
   84. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: February 16, 2020 at 08:21 PM (#5924788)
Never heard "Happy." Wish to god that were true of We Built This City as well.
   85. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 16, 2020 at 08:22 PM (#5924789)
I hope i die before I get as old as the people complaining about "Happy".

I think you're older than I am (not by much) and what, you don't think that's an awful song?
   86. Lassus Posted: February 16, 2020 at 08:37 PM (#5924791)
Anything that's overplayed is awful by default. I turn off the radio whenever the Rolling Stones come on. By itself, as a song? No.
   87. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 16, 2020 at 08:50 PM (#5924792)
The apex of Western culture (c. 800 B.C. - present) makes artistic use of repetition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPzQ7IhtIhk

~100 birds. Don't listen if you hate ornithology.
   88. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: February 17, 2020 at 03:58 AM (#5924828)
I've been working through the first two seasons of 'The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel' over the last couple of weeks. Enjoyable without seeming to aspire to anything very challenging, although I imagine the logistics and effort to recreate the fantasy Manhattan of the 1950s takes quite a bit of work. There's a nice element in that Tony Shaloub's character is a somewhat prickly 'Poppa' for the titular Jewish family who works as a maths professor, which describes my late grandfather rather well (though he was Sarah Lawrence rather than Columbia). Were he 6 inches taller, there would even be a fair resemblance.

I also got round to watching Night of the Comet. What a perfectly 80s B-Movie that turned out to be. Almost the platonic ideal of the form.
   89. Greg Pope Posted: February 17, 2020 at 09:06 AM (#5924837)
We built this city is bad. What makes it truly the worst was how popular it was, so it got a lot of airplay for some reason, so I was forced to hear it a lot.

So... what makes it so bad? I know nothing about music theory or even how to play an instrument, so a general response is fine. Is it the lyrics? The music? The voices? I agree with snapper that it doesn't seem any better or worse than a bunch of other songs and yet, it's consistently named on "worst song ever" lists.

I was a teenager when it came out and I think the song is fine. Also agree with snapper on the horribleness of Happy.
   90. Greg Pope Posted: February 17, 2020 at 09:08 AM (#5924838)
Songs that rely on one line of lyrics for >25% of the words are just their own class of awful.

I absolutely HATE George Harrison's "I've Got My Mind Set on You". It just repeats the chorus over and over and over again. I learned recently that it's actually a remake, but that doesn't help. I have found that I seriously dislike huge repetition in songs for some reason.
   91. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 17, 2020 at 09:23 AM (#5924839)
We built this city is bad. What makes it truly the worst was how popular it was, so it got a lot of airplay for some reason, so I was forced to hear it a lot.

So... what makes it so bad? I know nothing about music theory or even how to play an instrument, so a general response is fine


Part of it is the lyrics, (Marconi plays the mamba? Why Marconi. The mamba is a snake. Maybe they meant mambo.) Part is the insipid instrumentalization. The overall gestalt of a corporate rock band complaining about the commercialization of music is a bit rich. The voices are fine. Mickey Thomas has a great voice (Fooled around and fell in love is a favorite song of mine.)

I never found it to be the worst song ever. Ebony and Ivory, Afternoon Delight, Friday are worse. I think Happy is ok, nothing much to complain about. But I wouldn't want to hear it a bunch of times.
   92. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 17, 2020 at 09:31 AM (#5924840)
I absolutely HATE George Harrison's "I've Got My Mind Set on You". It just repeats the chorus over and over and over again.

Weird Al was way ahead of you.
   93. Greg Pope Posted: February 17, 2020 at 09:39 AM (#5924841)
Weird Al was way ahead of you.

I don't think I ever heard that one, it's great. The comments are hilarious. One notes that the parody has more than double the actual number of words than the original. Another points out that while the title is "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long", which is actually 6 words, the lyrics are clearly "This Song Is Just Six Words Long" which is 7 words.
   94. Greg Pope Posted: February 17, 2020 at 09:40 AM (#5924842)
I never found it to be the worst song ever.

Thanks for the explanation.
   95. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: February 17, 2020 at 11:23 AM (#5924859)
Not making anything political but anyone see how Weinstein is using a walker to get to and from his trial and how his tie is not completely tied so he looks like a weak old man? That is some super impressive staging.
   96. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: February 17, 2020 at 03:44 PM (#5924911)
RIP to possibly the finest author my native Arkansas ever produced, Charles Portis.
   97. jmurph Posted: February 18, 2020 at 10:52 AM (#5925074)
"I've got my mind set on you" and "We built this city" came out when I was somewhere in the 6-8 year old range, I think (without checking on dates), and it's funny how those kinds of songs hit for kids more than adults. Same is presumably true for "Happy."

On another note, what's the Star Wars fan consensus on The Force Awakens? We watched with my my kids this weekend and they loved it, and I found it to be perfectly enjoyable. I'm not a Star Wars guy, generally, have only seen the original three and maybe the first two prequels. I thought most of the acting was pretty mediocre in this one, but the story (which as far as I can tell is just a reboot of the original movie) was entertaining enough.
   98. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 18, 2020 at 11:24 AM (#5925084)
what's the Star Wars fan consensus on The Force Awakens?
You pretty much nailed it:
just a reboot of the original movie
From there, reactions bifurcated basically along the traditional "populist entertainment" vs. "risk-taking art" factions. The former saw it as a worthy reclaiming of the franchise after the disastrous prequels, and the latter was pissed that it wasn't edgier and riskier, yada yada yada. Oh, and a bunch of ######## got butthurt that women and minorities were allowed to be onscreen and do stuff.
   99. jmurph Posted: February 18, 2020 at 11:34 AM (#5925089)
Oh, and a bunch of ######## got butthurt that women and minorities were allowed to be onscreen and do stuff.

I definitely remember that part. I liked her character, his less so but I imagine it's going somewhere more interesting. Or maybe not, it seems like people don't like the next one in the series as much?
   100. Manny Coon Posted: February 18, 2020 at 01:08 PM (#5925111)
"Oh, and a bunch of ######## got butthurt that women and minorities were allowed to be onscreen and do stuff."

That was more a Last Jedi complaint. Rose is worse than 1000 Jar Jars in the minds of lot terrible men and obviously Disney ruined Star Wars forever (because the prequels were so great).
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