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Monday, July 01, 2019

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (July 2019)

No summer doldrums this month — not when there’s a Sundance breakout drama, a new Pagan horror movie from the guy who gave you Hereditary and Quentin Tarantino’s valentine to old-school Sixties Tinseltown on the horizon.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: July 01, 2019 at 03:56 AM | 1020 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   901. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5866265)
flip
   902. JJ1986 Posted: July 30, 2019 at 09:51 AM (#5866268)
I was born in a hospital in Bergen, but we never lived there.
   903. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 30, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5866274)
I don't want to get serious about people from Bergen county. I was just poking fun at the accent which is both distinctive and distinctively loud. I don't think they're bad people, or, any worse than people are generally.
   904. Baldrick Posted: July 30, 2019 at 10:50 AM (#5866289)
Old Town Road arguably tell us some things about the specific way in which an incredibly rich and diverse ecosystem of music generates far more strange unity at the top of the pyramid than in previous eras. It certainly tells us nothing about whether our culture is in some sort of steep decline.

FWIW, I have not seen a particularly compelling defense of its larger artistic merit, nor do I particularly like it myself. Which makes it no different than many many previous chart-toppers.
   905. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 30, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5866290)
I am completely oblivious about this Old Town Road song. Seriously. I have no idea what y'all are talking about much to my bliss. I wonder if this is how my mother felt about the MC Hammer years...
   906. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:00 AM (#5866291)
My wife and I binged The Boys over the weekend. It was fine

Yeah. I'm four episodes in and that's about how I'd describe it. (I've never read the comic) It's a little edgelord-y and it's hard to be that guy, but the OMG SUPERHEROES MIGHT BE TERRIBLE PEOPLE was done 35 years ago and better by Alan Moore. Granted, "not as good as Alan Moore" isn't really much of an indictment, but a majority of people being super-shitty is never a compelling story to me.
   907. jmurph Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5866292)
I had my first, and hopefully last, taste of Old Town Road this past weekend at a kids birthday party. Seemingly half of the kids in attendance knew all the words, though I'm happy to report mine had not heard it before.

It is a transcendently terrible song, but some of the viral songs of my youth were things like Achy Breaky Heart and Macarena and Woomp There it Is and honestly I'm not sure this is any worse (or better).

   908. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5866294)
It is a transcendently terrible song,

Is it as bad as that "Happy" song? Because I'd set my car on fire rather than listen to that when it comes on the radio.
   909. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:06 AM (#5866298)
Overplay makes good songs bad. Bobby McFerrin has talent coming out of pores you have no idea existed, etc., but the popularity of Don't Worry be Happy was probably bad for his development. Although hopefully it made him a shit-ton of money.
   910. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5866299)
It certainly tells us nothing about whether our culture is in some sort of steep decline.
Do you disagree with the general proposition that the content of the media/artistic products that become the most popular choices in a particular culture tells you something about that culture?
   911. Davo Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5866300)
I like “Old Town Road”, but I know and care very little about music and am perfectly fine with brainless little pop songs, regardless of quality.
   912. jmurph Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5866301)
Is it as bad as that "Happy" song? Because I'd set my car on fire rather than listen to that when it comes on the radio.

I'd go with Lassus's take in 909 with that one. I imagine if I just heard Happy once I'd have been fine with it- Pharrell had been a widely respected talent for years (mainly as a producer) before becoming the ubiquitous mainstream celebrity he is now.
   913. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5866305)
I'd go with Lassus's take in 909 with that one. I imagine if I just heard Happy once I'd have been fine with it

I hated the song from first hearing. Highly repetitive songs are very annoying to me.
   914. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5866307)
Is it as bad as that "Happy" song?
Significantly worse.
   915. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5866309)
I hated the song from first hearing.

In something that I find particularly interesting, I went from this initial feeling about "Our House" by Madness to buying every last Madness recording and import and 7" that I could possibly find.
   916. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:33 AM (#5866314)
In something that I find particularly interesting, I went from this initial feeling about "Our House" by Madness to buying every last Madness recording and import and 7" that I could possibly find.

Interesting. I've always liked that song. Don't think I could name another song by Madness, though.
   917. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5866315)
I like “Old Town Road”, but I know and care very little about music and am perfectly fine with brainless little pop songs, regardless of quality.


The most interesting thing about it to me is that it's a Nine Inch Nails sample.
   918. Baldrick Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:35 AM (#5866316)
Do you disagree with the general proposition that the content of the media/artistic products that become the most popular choices in a particular culture tells you something about that culture?

It certainly tells us what aesthetic approaches are more highly valued, and therefore tells us quite a bit about how that culture relates to the world. It's also true that the broad strokes of culture can tell us important things about the moral character of a society, though this is a far dicier proposition. I don't think it's coincidental that Weimar Germany was dominated by Bauhaus and death-obsessed magical realism, or that Nazi Germany executed a counterstroke against such 'degenerate' art. But it's also obviously massively more complicated than simply drawing a causal connection between these things.

Looking for themes that powerfully recur in popular culture is certainly valuable. I think it's important to ask whether it means anything that our moment is defined by the iteration and reiteration of superhero themes, for example.

The changes in popular music over the 1950s and 1960s were clearly massive signifiers of broader changes, and I can absolutely see the value in tracing the move from early rock to the British Invasion to the summer of love to the 'receding of the tide' (to borrow from Hunter S. Thompson) in the late 60s and early 70s. Similarly, the explosion of hip hop and rap from the late 80s into the mid 90s was also hugely important.

I'm not at all convinced that the are significant clues in every period, though. Often, popular music is just relatively mindless stuff with good tempo and a nice hook.

Understanding how the mode of cultural production influences 'popularity' is also important here. OTR is 'the most popular song ever' by one important metric, but it's also very clearly not actually the most popular song ever. It has sold far fewer copies than many other songs, has been listened to far less, will have far less of an enduring cultural presence. It has been at #1 forever because A) Billboard changed the way they calculated the charts and B) fragmentation of the music landscape appears to have made it much easier for big songs to stay on top.

The first time a song ever stayed at #1 for 10 weeks was in 1977. It happened one time in the 1980s. It now happens basically once a year. Sometimes more than once. That's not because there is less music out there now, but because there is SO MUCH more.
   919. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:40 AM (#5866317)
I think it's reductive to say The Boys is just about bad superheroes. It's a pretty timely critique of America's love affair with authoritarianism and there's a pretty wide spectrum of morality among the superhero characters. They aren't all just bad. Just because "bad superheroes" has been done before doesn't mean it's not fertile ground for exploration. I prefer The Tick's imaginative send up of the genre's inherent absurdity, but The Boys was watchable and was a promising first season of a show. The gross out scenes never failed to get a giggle out of my inner 12 year old, too. I am not made of stone!
   920. Davo Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5866321)
Kelly McGillis Pretty Sure She Knows Why She Wasn’t Asked Back for the New Top Gun Sequel
“I’m old and I’m fat and I look age-appropriate for what my age is, and that is not what that whole scene is about”
   921. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:48 AM (#5866322)
The Ringer's 40 best songs and 40 best albums from 1999.

#1 Single

1
“...Baby One More Time”
Britney Spears

A perfect pop song should transcend all time and reason, but there are commonalities among them if you care to look. A memorable rhythmic hook—say, three piano notes smashed so loudly they become a threat. A short, singalong snippet of chorus—first-person and vowel focused if possible (for maximum shrieking), and ideally involving an adlib of some kind (for group singing). You’ll want a music video that upends teen fashion and upsets parent groups; you’ll need a music industry on the brink of disaster, or at the very least a media machine willing to bank their success—and their flagship TV program—on yours. It helps to find someone who can handle the choreography.

By any numeric standard, “...Baby One More Time” is an obvious best song of 1999 pick—the single sold millions of copies, it dominated Total Request Live, it reached No. 1 on the charts in multiple countries. It is the convenient “music narrative” pick: post-grunge, pre-Napster, the glossiest achievement of a hyper-controlling industry on the brink. Happily, it is a pure pop masterpiece, and according to this list, Max Martin’s single greatest producing achievement. But “...Baby One More Time” is also a time capsule—of an ascendant Britney Spears; of unexamined fame; of bubblegum pop; of life before the internet; of millennials, god help us, coming of age. It launched a star and eventually ended an era of stardom. It was a musical triumph and a tipping point all in one. So was 1999, it turns out. —Dobbins


#1 album

1
‘The Battle Of Los Angeles’
Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against the Machine’s The Battle of Los Angeles is a chiaroscuro of false alarms and furious injustice, maybe the noisiest, most punishing album to go (double) platinum in America. Rage was always a conundrum—promoted and supported by major label Sony, but warring with the structural integrity of wealth and power in every warped lick it unloaded on its audience. This album, their last of original compositions, is a complex concept—unfailingly righteous and downright steaming with anger. But it’s also, like the best Rage, strangely catchy. The band was led by guitarist godhead Tom Morello, a futurist technician in a ball cap, and MC Zack de la Rocha, a man who found ways to make slam poetry earnestness and campus activist intensity seem tuneful. Together they wrote songs to create awareness about the imprisoned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, the teachings of Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong, the dark heart of American colonialism, and especially about the Zapatistas and the Mexican struggle in that country and at home.

This album is the band’s masterwork—but not because it has aged gracefully, necessarily. It sliced through the era’s politbureau rabble and Clintonian smoothness simply by screaming at the top of its lungs. But its prescience and full-throated commitment to its ideas never comes at the expense of a song you want to listen to. This has always been a difficult proposition in American pop music, from the soft-footed hippie folk that protested the war to Public Enemy’s haunted, frantic panic in the streets. At what cost a song? The compromise has felled many artists in recent history. Rage needn’t worry; the band knew a lot. They seemed to have a song for every oncoming tragedy. The Iraq War? “War Within a Breath.” The financial meltdown of 2008? “Sleep Now in the Fire.” The subprime housing crisis? “New Millennium Homes.” The immigration nightmare of 2019? “Maria.” The amusing-ourselves-to-death chokehold of the 21st century? “Testify.”

The movie ran through me
The glamour subdue me
The tabloid untie me
I'm empty please fill me

This isn’t a fun album to think about, and many of the band’s contemporaneous fans didn’t think about it at all. They just thrashed along to its brute-strength riffs and de la Rocha’s berserker wail. I did, sometimes. Rage could sit comfortably on a bill with Limp Bizkit and Korn, and sometimes did just that. But they shared virtually nothing. The package said “rock” or “metal” or “rap.” But what it contained was something far more serious, and far more dangerous. It’s still explosive. —Fennessey
   922. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:53 AM (#5866325)
I was just completely oblivious to new music in 1999. I had just moved from Mississippi to Florida and still had my head filled with Blues and was really caught up in literature and was reading several books a week. That is just a completely blank year for me when it comes to pop music. I think Pavement was the only album I bought that year because I'm not a complete numpty...

I did note at the time that the people who played Rage Against the Machine the most were probably people Rage Against the Machine hated.
   923. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5866329)
1 “...Baby One More Time”

Obligatory.
   924. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5866340)
I think it's reductive to say The Boys is just about bad superheroes. It's a pretty timely critique of America's love affair with authoritarianism and there's a pretty wide spectrum of morality among the superhero characters. They aren't all just bad.

I grok this, and I'm really only disagreeing at the edges, the details. It's not JUST about bad superheroes, no. But without a scope of mostly bad to horrifically bad superheroes, there's no story, so.

It's also possible that somewhere after episode four, there's a wider spectrum of superhero morality, but I haven't seen it so far.
   925. Davo Posted: July 30, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5866341)
1999 is the year I went to my first concert.

XZibIt, Papa Roach and Eminem opened for Limp Bizkit here in Minneapolis. It was magical, magical stuff.
   926. jmurph Posted: July 30, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5866347)
1999 was a really solid year for music and that's actually a surprisingly diverse list from The Ringer. Summerteeth holds up, Built to Spill's Keep it Like a Secret is still great, The Dismemberment Plan's Emergency & I is a personal favorite, and Fiona Apple's When the Pawn... is legitimately great, her best record as far as I'm concerned (I think she's also oddly underappreciated- I guess she had a weird public image for a while). Also Jimmy Eat World's one really good record Clarity, Bonnie Prince Billy, etc. Lots of good stuff.

On the pop front, I agree that's RATM's best record, and the Dr. Dre album was huge.
   927. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 30, 2019 at 12:16 PM (#5866349)
It's also possible that somewhere after episode four, there's a wider spectrum of superhero morality, but I haven't seen it so far.

It's a pretty wide spectrum from Starlite to Homelander, I think.
   928. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 30, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5866353)
XZibIt, Papa Roach and Eminem opened for Limp Bizkit here in Minneapolis. It was magical, magical stuff.

My first concert was Soul II Soul in Oakland. I had a good time but I'm not sure if that's an embarrassing first concert or not! I was a big Soul II Soul fan in high school but I haven't listened to them in many moons. I should Spotify that shit.
   929. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5866356)
Sure. But if you put Starlite on 1 and Homelander at 10, every other superhero is at least a 6 or higher (or simply unknown). That's sorta what I mean. It's a spectrum of bad, with one outlier (and one conflicted, but still going along with everything, which is bad IMO, but I can see an argument), which is hard for me personally to define as "wide". YMMV, no doubt.
   930. jmurph Posted: July 30, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5866357)
John Denver for me! That was with my mom, though. If we're looking for first with just friends, that would be some dodgy tiny punk/hardcore show whose participants I can't recall.
   931. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: July 30, 2019 at 12:31 PM (#5866362)
First show was Willie Nelson. From age 14 to 16 I worked at a concession stand at a local stadium, so I heard-but-didn't-see a lot of '80s arena pop acts -- Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Jimmy Buffet, Genesis (twice!), Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Tina Turner, Sting, Pink Floyd, Whitney Houston, Level 42, probably some others I'm forgetting. (EDIT: James Taylor. Can't forget James ####### Taylor.) For a long time after that I associated popular music with pouring vast quantities of Diet Coke, so the first show I saw on my own was Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.
   932. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 30, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5866365)
Sure. But if you put Starlite on 1 and Homelander at 10, every other superhero is at least a 6 or higher (or simply unknown). That's sorta what I mean. It's a spectrum of bad, with one outlier (and one conflicted, but still going along with everything, which is bad IMO, but I can see an argument), which is hard for me personally to define as "wide". YMMV, no doubt.

Well, I disagree with this but putting that disagreement aside, I think it's a weird criticism of a genre exercise to say it's a genre exercise. Why is the default for superhero entertainments that they be the good guys? I can see the genre sliding into an era when the superheroes are mostly bad or at least flawed the way Westerns explored anti-heroes in the 70's.

   933. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 30, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5866366)
First show was Willie Nelson.

You're probably the winner here!
   934. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: July 30, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5866368)
My cool aunt who lived in Austin deserves all of the credit. She'll come around shortly to pick up her trophy.
   935. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: July 30, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5866372)
Metallica, Damaged Justice tour, The Cult opened.
   936. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 30, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5866380)
#866:
[Childish Gambino's "This is America" is] more compelling...for the video (which I thought was good but not otherworldly) [than for the song itself].

But the short form version is undoubtedly the video of the year.




#889:
I would argue that the latter two, while not at all good songs, are actually less dumb than Old Town Road. And Purple People Eater was from 1958, which was before pretty much anyone had figured out that you could say anything other than inanities in a pop song. But none of the three above are the longest-running chart-topper in history. Old Town Road is.

After a decade or two, chart history was never a coherent continuum. But the music-buying culture and Billboard Hot 100 methodology of today is so unlike past decades that making straightforward cross-historical comparisons to chart records and sales is like juxtaposing the bullpen usage numbers of John McGraw's Giants with those of the current team's. Guess which music act has the record for the most singles to hit the Top 100 in the history of Billboard? I'll wait while you fetch a rusty straight razor. The answer is The Cast of "Glee."



#916:
In something that I find particularly interesting, I went from this initial feeling about "Our House" by Madness to buying every last Madness recording and import and 7" that I could possibly find.
Interesting. I've always liked that song. Don't think I could name another song by Madness, though.

My all-time ineptly inexplicable mishearing of lyrics was initially thinking that the title of Madness' "One Step Beyond" was actually "Monster Vision." Although my doltish error of deafness doesn't actually change the song any.



Unless I'm forgetting something, my #1 top favorite 1999 album is Super Furry Animals' "Guerilla." Wilco's "Summerteeth" is another one, along with East River Pipe's "The Gasoline Age" and Beulah's "When Your Heartstrings Break."
   937. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2019 at 01:10 PM (#5866383)
I think it's a weird criticism of a genre exercise to say it's a genre exercise. Why is the default for superhero entertainments that they be the good guys?

Fair. I think this swings too far in the other direction as a genre exercise, but perhaps that's more opinion than criticism.
   938. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2019 at 01:12 PM (#5866386)
My all-time ineptly inexplicable mishearing of lyrics was initially thinking that the title of Madness' "One Step Beyond" was actually "Monster Vision."

This is a perfect story, and I would like it expanded out into an HBO series.
   939. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 30, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5866387)
East River Pipe's "The Gasoline Age"

I also enjoy this album though I didn't discover it until years later.
   940. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2019 at 01:17 PM (#5866391)
my #1 top favorite 1999 album is

XTC's Apple Venus Volume 1 was simply astounding to hear, and I have never, ever tired of it.
   941. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 30, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5866404)
First show was Willie Nelson.

You're probably the winner here!
I maybe can top that? My first show might have been the very first Farm Aid in 1985, which of course featured Willie Nelson and a whole lot more. Or, I also saw Foreigner that year, but I forget which came first (I was 8 at the time).
   942. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 30, 2019 at 01:28 PM (#5866406)
Summerteeth holds up,
Still my favorite Wilco album to this day.
   943. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 30, 2019 at 01:30 PM (#5866409)
I was going to say Buffalo Tom's "Smitten" for Best Album of 1999, but it turns out it was released 9/29/98. It's a virtually perfect power-pop album.
   944. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2019 at 01:45 PM (#5866429)
Well, I disagree with this

I don't want to be extra-special annoying, but I admit I'm curious what you're disagreeing with, if you're interested in saying. No worries otherwise.
   945. Davo Posted: July 30, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5866454)
Joss Whedon Sets Full Cast for HBO's 'The Nevers'

The sci-fi drama is about a group of Victorian women who, per HBO's logline, "find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world."

This is something of a passion project for Whedon, a man who's toiled his whole career hoping for the opportunity to tell a story about a group of heroes with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world.
   946. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 30, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5866458)
I think the only "evil" superheroes seem to be the ones in the 7. There are, evidently, 100's of these heroes that seem to just have the normal flaws that human have except with powers. And even in the 7 the evil seems to radiate down from Homelander--who is an out and out sociopath who also happens to be powerful enough to terrify the other supes--and the corporate handlers who manipulate them. Even a creep like The Deep (what a dumb superhero name!) are more complicated than we're originally led to believe. (I wonder if the showrunners regret that piece of overt sexual extortion so early in the show. It seems they took it directly from the comics but they seem to want to set up a redemption arc for The Deep, or at least to make him a character of fun, but it's hard to come back from coercing a blow job from the ingenue right off the bat.)
   947. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 30, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5866464)
This is something of a passion project for Whedon, a man who's toiled his whole career hoping for the opportunity to tell a story about a group of heroes with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world.

But this one has corsets! The amazing super powers of these women is the ability to breathe and move while wearing them.
   948. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2019 at 02:18 PM (#5866475)
Thanks, Shooty - in a conference call, will answer later.
   949. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 30, 2019 at 02:20 PM (#5866480)
It might help that I had already seen the movies, so I had some idea what I was in for and was hunting for more content and answers for questions that felt like they stood out. (Even the title sequence for the show includes important information that I don't think was flagged up in the movies, e.g. what "AT Field" stands for!) I also feel like some of the more light-hearted content, such as the schoolmates storyline early on and Shinji's very poor track record with personal boundaries, plays better as the main narrative stretches a bit.

The animation is good too - I was braced for many more static shots and less impressionistic, experimental choices, but if anything the variety in the original has been refreshing. (E.g. the 'Shinji finds a schoolmate camping out in a field playing at soliders' episode has some very nice art to create atmosphere.)

Do you have any recommendations for me after I finish? The other Gainax shows, like FLCL seem like an obvious place to start, but it sounds like you've got some experience with this stuff.


I'm sure you know this, so it isn't a spoiler, but the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series, which I love, takes an abrupt turn in tone and the way the story is told later in the series. That's part of its legend.

If you're looking for another anime from that era that's really, really, good, I'd go with Revolutionary Girl Utena, which is not quite as mind-blowing, but has some indelible visual images, and a story that gets much more complex the deeper into the show you get.
   950. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: July 30, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5866507)
I'm sure you know this, so it isn't a spoiler, but the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series, which I love, takes an abrupt turn in tone and the way the story is told later in the series. That's part of its legend.


I did get the feeling from movies 2 and 3 that the wacky penguin hijinks and awkward teenage not-flirting flirting is probably going somewhere different. (The wiki makes it clear what LCL is, and 'AT field' isn't exactly 'raise deflector shields'-type tech.) Looking forward to it . . .

If you're looking for another anime from that era that's really, really, good, I'd go with Revolutionary Girl Utena, which is not quite as mind-blowing, but has some indelible visual images, and a story that gets much more complex the deeper into the show you get.


Cheers - definitely one I'd heard of before, and one for the list.

I'm most of the way through The Boys now. In some way it feels like Preacher done better: same edgelord humor and deconstructed themes, but at least The Boys doesn't really drag as much, and has arguably some more timely targets at which to aim.

I read both comic series about 5-10 years ago; Preacher at least has the mythic American themes to go after, and its grotesques are a bit more novel. The Grail and whatnot are rather more compelling than superhero archetypes which are basically taking the big two publishers and raising them from PG-13 to R. But The Boys as a TV show has more energy and drive, and probably has a stronger hit-rate when it comes to casting.

I can't help but see Greg Kinnear in Mystery Men every time Homelander's on screen though. "Get . . . then get Deathman!" "Deathman is dead."
   951. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 30, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5866517)
I can't help but see Greg Kinnear in Mystery Men every time Homelander's on screen though. "Get . . . then get Deathman!" "Deathman is dead."

I couldn't help but see Kevin Smith when Hayley Joel Osment popped up...Speaking of casting, I can't figure out why Simon Pegg is in this. He seems completely wasted. Trying to channel Fred MacMurray's super-dad phase seems a weird choice for him.
   952. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: July 30, 2019 at 02:49 PM (#5866524)
Speaking of casting, I can't figure out why Simon Pegg is in this. He seems completely wasted. Trying to channel Fred MacMurray's super-dad phase seems a weird choice for him.


I'm about to look pretty stupid if this was the point you were making, but Pegg was the original template for Hughie's character in the comics. Too old now, but getting him to run a few scenes as Hughie's dad is probably thought of as a nod or an easter egg or whatever.
   953. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 30, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5866528)
I'm about to look pretty stupid if this was the point you were making, but Pegg was the original template for Hughie's character in the comics. Too old now, but getting him to run a few scenes as Hughie's dad is probably thought of as a nod or an easter egg or whatever.

Ah. I don't know anything about the comics so that makes sense.
   954. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 30, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5866543)
My first rock show was when my parents took me to see The Dave Clark Five in Blackpool in 1964.
   955. Davo Posted: July 30, 2019 at 03:23 PM (#5866549)
   956. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2019 at 03:30 PM (#5866550)
but getting him to run a few scenes as Hughie's dad is probably thought of as a nod or an easter egg or whatever.

Yay! I'm so smart, this was totally my guess.
   957. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: July 30, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5866551)
I don't even know if this qualifies, but my first show would have been The Art of Noise (reunion gig for The Seduction of Claude Debussy) at Shepherd's Bush Empire, I guess? Paul Morley spent a lot of time hitting his hand with a hammer. There was an electronic saxophone. I'm still not sure it really happened.
   958. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5866568)
I'm pretty sure my first concert was the Duran Duran show where Billy Idol coke-broke his arm climbing over a drum set in Syracuse in the early 80s.
   959. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: July 30, 2019 at 04:32 PM (#5866571)
69 Love Songs by the Magnetic Fields was the album of 1999 for me. It has a bit of filler and several misfires, but it also has a handful of absolute classics ("The Book of Love" has had a prominent place at 4 weddings I've attended) and a lot beyond the peaks that's very enjoyable. There's a lot that's funny on it, a lot that's clever, and a lot that's as close to feeling as Stephen Merritt got after his misery album, Get Lost. 69 Love Songs is a sui generis effort -- individual songs are very much like a lot of other things (which is much of the point of a lot of Merritt's songwriting), but the overall effect is like nothing else.
   960. BrianBrianson Posted: July 30, 2019 at 04:42 PM (#5866576)
'Red Sonja' will be like 'Deadpool' and 'The Dark Knight,' says director Jill Soloway


I - wat? I mean, I really like both of those movies, but apart from being superhero movies, they're nothing alike.

The Dark Knight tries to transplant Batman to our world, and Deadpool tries to transplant us to Deadpool's world.
   961. yo la tengo Posted: July 30, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5866582)
The 1999 I remember is pretty different than the one that The Ringer is celebrating. Magnetic Fields, Pavement, Dismemberment Plan that is what ruled my world. Present on their list, I know, but buried compared to their impact on me.

First concert? The Kinks
   962. Davo Posted: July 30, 2019 at 05:32 PM (#5866590)
Yes, THAT Tom and Jerry. EW has confirmed that the original cat-and-mouse tale (tail?) has added four more names to its cast for an upcoming live-action adaptation, including Ken Jeong, Rob Delaney, Jordan Bolger, and Pallavi Sharda. They join previously announced stars Colin Jost, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Michael Pena
   963. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 30, 2019 at 06:21 PM (#5866605)
The 1999 I remember is pretty different than the one that The Ringer is celebrating. Magnetic Fields, Pavement, Dismemberment Plan that is what ruled my world.
Given your username, I'm shocked.
   964. Baldrick Posted: July 30, 2019 at 08:01 PM (#5866626)
Speaking of 1999, Carissa's Wierd reunion shows in November! This is not a drill!
   965. Cowboy Popup Posted: July 30, 2019 at 08:23 PM (#5866634)
Dude, Man Spider and Sodomy. Awesome, thank you. I'll check that album out, spot on. Much appreciated.

Vortex, I keep forgetting that about Evangelion but I am definitely aware. I'm taking a couple days off this week. I think I'm gonna get really ###### up one night and revisit. I'm clearly not giving this show a fair shake despite knowing better.
   966. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 30, 2019 at 09:49 PM (#5866653)
My Dad took us boys, 9, 11 and 15 to Alpine Valley for the 5150 Van Halen tour. The adults around us gave us plenty of room on the lawn. I remember some dude asking my Dad if it was ok to light up next to us. You never forget a Eddie Van Halen guitar solo. By 1999 I had just finished by 3+ years working for a college radio station. I sort of peaked on indie/alt. and started listening to jazz for awhile. One of our Advisors got me into it as I helped produce his show.
   967. chisoxcollector Posted: July 30, 2019 at 10:22 PM (#5866674)
So I’ve been working on my list of my favorite films of the 2010s. I’ve seen well over 1000 films released this decade, so I guess I can put together a somewhat competent list.

Before I put my list out there, here are a couple of smaller lists.

Films that got torn to shreds that didn’t deserve it
The Lone Ranger
The Bourne Legacy
The Accountant
Ghostbusters (2016)
Tomorrowland
Aladdin (2019)
Destination Wedding
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Films that got great reviews and/or lots of award buzz that I didn’t like
High Flying Bird
Vice
Bohemian Rhapsody
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
The Tree of Life
The Help
Black Swan
The Big Short
The Danish Girl
Joy
Jackie
Sully
The Theory of Everything
Inherent Vice
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Frances Ha
Dallas Buyers Club
Spring Breakers
The Bling Ring

Worst Films I Saw (I usually skip obviously awful films)
mother!
Alpha
Slender Man
Insidious: The Last Key
Cult of Chucky
Rough Night
Jeepers Creepers 3
Eat Pray Love
Alice in Wonderland
Dark Places
Mistress America
Insurgent
Yoga Hosers
The Forest
Alice Through the Looking Glass
I, Frankenstein
A Million Ways to Die in the West
Passion
Getaway
Black Rock
RIPD
A Good Day to Die Hard
Rapture Palooza
The To Do List
   968. manchestermets Posted: July 31, 2019 at 05:40 AM (#5866727)
My first rock show was when my parents took me to see The Dave Clark Five in Blackpool in 1964.


Ooh, I'd like to hear more about that? Where was it, one of the piers or the Winter Gardens?

My own first show was Madness in Finsbury Park in London.
   969. jmurph Posted: July 31, 2019 at 10:01 AM (#5866769)
Speaking of 1999, Carissa's Wierd reunion shows in November! This is not a drill!

Well you got my hopes up here but alas I do not live on the west coast!
   970. jmurph Posted: July 31, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5866773)
The 1999 I remember is pretty different than the one that The Ringer is celebrating. Magnetic Fields, Pavement, Dismemberment Plan that is what ruled my world. Present on their list, I know, but buried compared to their impact on me.

I hear you, but Dismemberment Plan at #11 is surprisingly good for a fairly mainstream site.
   971. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 31, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5866779)
I see that Californication rates highly at The Ringer. To quote the immortal Nick Cave: “I’m forever near a stereo saying, ‘What the #### is this garbage?’ And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers.”
   972. Lassus Posted: July 31, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5866839)
I think the only "evil" superheroes seem to be the ones in the 7. There are, evidently, 100's of these heroes that seem to just have the normal flaws that human have except with powers. And even in the 7 the evil seems to radiate down from Homelander--who is an out and out sociopath who also happens to be powerful enough to terrify the other supes--and the corporate handlers who manipulate them. Even a creep like The Deep (what a dumb superhero name!) are more complicated than we're originally led to believe. (I wonder if the showrunners regret that piece of overt sexual extortion so early in the show. It seems they took it directly from the comics but they seem to want to set up a redemption arc for The Deep, or at least to make him a character of fun, but it's hard to come back from coercing a blow job from the ingenue right off the bat.)

It's hard for me to get behind that view of the "complicated" Deep five episodes in and counting. If they wanted to show the complexity, they could have started a little better, as you say. But it's him and the nude voyeur in the bathroom at #1 and #2, and the Pray-the-Gay-Away Mr. Fantastic sex hypocrite, and then with a rape scene following (I forget which episode, 3 or 4? - Doppelganger isn't in the 7. Popclaw crushes an innocent dude's skull [OK unknowingly while on a drug high] - she isn't in the 7.). It's a lot of bad heroes.

And my "meh" reaction isn't a moral one. I AM finding the show entertaining. But I really think they way they are going about it, for me, causes me to judge it as nothing much beyond entertainment. There isn't enough insight so far to prevent me from comparing it to previous, better uses of the "bad hero" genre exercise.
   973. jmurph Posted: July 31, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5866841)
I watched The Standoff at Sparrow Creek last night (currently available on Hulu), and highly recommend it. Very tense, perfectly paced... thriller, maybe? Not sure exactly how to describe it, but it's worth watching.
   974. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 31, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5866853)
Here's a weird coincidence that means nothing. I work at home Wednesdays and my wife is in the habit of watching Dennis the Menace followed by an episode of Hazel (I still love her!). Last week Harvey Korman was the guest star on Dennis the Menace and this week he's the guest star on Hazel. Should I be afraid? Is a Tim Conway zombie standing behind me?
   975. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: July 31, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5866854)
69 Love Songs by the Magnetic Fields was the album of 1999 for me.

Same. I remember driving to visit a long distance girlfriend and getting to town two hours ahead of time. To kill the wait, I stopped at a used record store which turned out to have the box set a few days early. As the MF were already on my shortlist of my favorite bands, I jumped on it and spent the next few hours driving around, surprised that I liked the closer-to-acoustic-sounding shift, and it quickly became one of my favorite albums (which it still is).
Sadly, Merritt's follow-ups never clicked with me, outside a few tracks per album, but man do I love 69LS.
   976. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 31, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5866855)
My Dad took us boys, 9, 11 and 15 to Alpine Valley for the 5150 Van Halen tour. The adults around us gave us plenty of room on the lawn. I remember some dude asking my Dad if it was ok to light up next to us.
I saw Van Hagar in either '98 or '99. The drunk white trash dudes in the row in front of us were flicking smoldering cigarette butts at the people in front of them. Classy.
   977. Nasty Nate Posted: July 31, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5866857)
   961. yo la tengo Posted: July 30, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5866582)
The 1999 I remember is pretty different than the one that The Ringer is celebrating.
I was going to say it's a coincidence that the only time I went to a Yo La Tengo concert was in 1999, but after a little internet search I think it was actually in 2000.
   978. jmurph Posted: July 31, 2019 at 11:30 AM (#5866866)
Sadly, Merritt's follow-ups never clicked with me, outside a few tracks per album, but man do I love 69LS.

The Pieces of April soundtrack is pretty great- One April Day is one of my all time favorite songs.
   979. Baldrick Posted: July 31, 2019 at 12:03 PM (#5866891)
Well you got my hopes up here but alas I do not live on the west coast!

I don't either, but I'm making the trip!

Conveniently, my wife will be in LA and my mom lives in Seattle, so it's not like I have to build a trip entirely around it.
Sadly, Merritt's follow-ups never clicked with me, outside a few tracks per album, but man do I love 69LS.

Same for me. I generally love one song on every album, and find another half-dozen to be perfectly nice. But he's never produced another album that felt essential, despite still generating a lot of good music.
   980. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: July 31, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5866900)
I don't either, but I'm making the trip!

my wife will be in LA


When?

Still working this out.
   981. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: July 31, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5866940)
But pre-69LS, I wore the heck out of Get Lost, Holiday, and The Charm of the Highway Strip. Alas...

That said, in a world where his stuff was in karaoke bars, I could likely nail "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend" from i - great song.

---

Read those two Ringer lists and they don't reflect my 1999 either. Wonder how much of that is culture fracturing versus my being in my mid-20s and doing my own thing...
   982. PreservedFish Posted: July 31, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5866966)
1999 was a really solid year for music and that's actually a surprisingly diverse list from The Ringer.

"Suspiciously diverse" is how I'd put it.
   983. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: July 31, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5866972)
#### it, I'm in.


How Does the De-aging Look?

The de-aged characters didn’t get a big spotlight in the trailer—perhaps because the studio’s still working out a few of the kinks—but one shot of a younger De Niro paints a better picture of how effective this technology might be.

Let’s give this a solid B. It’s a little distracting, but it doesn’t approach the uncanny valley as much as a photorealistic lion, warthog, and meerkat singing “Hakuna Matata.” It might also be one of those things that’s slightly jarring in the context of watching a two-minute trailer, but once you’re immersed in the actual movie, you won’t notice the de-aging effect as much. In any case, it’s a lot better—and certainly more ethical—than something like the Star Wars franchise bringing Peter Cushing back from the grave for a secondary role in Rogue One.


Also ... Joe ####### Pesci!

Oh, no ...
   984. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 31, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5866973)
If you've been loving 69 Love Songs for 20 years, you probably already know about this, but the box set with booklet - Stephen Merritt "interviewed" by Daniel Handler, song by song - is very funny and observant. Great photos, too.
I love Dudley Klute's singing on this record: that last big soaring note in Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side always hits me just right.
   985. jmurph Posted: July 31, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5866974)
"Suspiciously diverse" is how I'd put it.

Not sure what you mean but I'm intrigued.

The singles list was less fun for me, they seemed to almost do just a billboard top 40 for that list. I thought the album list was a nice effort at mixing mainstream stuff with much lesser known stuff like Bonnie Prince Billy, etc.
   986. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: July 31, 2019 at 01:04 PM (#5866981)
FLNRSA - agree on all points, especially on how Klute ####### nails that note. LOVE it.
   987. Davo Posted: July 31, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5866990)
@nytimes
Hal Prince, the Broadway director and producer with more Tonys than anyone, is dead at 91. He was known for “West Side Story” and “Cabaret.”
   988. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: July 31, 2019 at 01:19 PM (#5866993)
And my "meh" reaction isn't a moral one. I AM finding the show entertaining. But I really think they way they are going about it, for me, causes me to judge it as nothing much beyond entertainment. There isn't enough insight so far to prevent me from comparing it to previous, better uses of the "bad hero" genre exercise.


For me the show is caught between the nihilistic tone of the comics - in which there really are very few or no sympathetic characters, Hughie included, with maybe a partial exception for Starlight - and wanting to get some of that sweet Deadpool money. Deadpool is more absurdist than nihilistic to me, and I think that's what The Boys is aiming for. Which means that there should be some stakes (Butcher's revenge, Hughie's revenge, Starlight's dignity), as long as there aren't characters who are immune from slapstick, ultra-violence, or humiliation. The Boys is probably also a little late to the party in comparison.

I think it would be possible for the show to be nihilistic and make more of its satirical edge. Playing up Homelander's religious trappings would be one way. There's a bit of jabbing at corporate synergies for movies, promotions, and actual heroic feats. In the comics, Butcher's squad effectively are superheroes - they have some super-strength that comes from the same place as The Seven's, in a way - so it's really just the wankers who dress up in tights against the enforcers who wear black trenchcoats. So it's hard from the books to make a real case that there are good guys on any side, just that there are a lot more different flavours of bad guys: The Seven are more of a unit for a while, there are other teams with different identities, Herogasm is a thing, traditional law enforcement are even less virtuous, etc. All right, I'll shut up about the comics.
   989. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 31, 2019 at 01:55 PM (#5867011)
My first rock show was when my parents took me to see The Dave Clark Five in Blackpool in 1964.

Ooh, I'd like to hear more about that? Where was it, one of the piers or the Winter Gardens?


At the Winter Gardens - they did a summer residency in Blackpool (where we lived) that year. I was only seven at the time, so I don't remember the details, but I know that I loved it, and that I had to sit through several other acts before the DC5 appeared. I loved "Glad All Over" when it came out, so my parents took me as a treat.
   990. Davo Posted: July 31, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5867036)
@joshsmeley3000
between "hurt" and "old town road," i think it's clear that the greatest country crossover artist of the last quarter century is: trent reznor.
   991. Davo Posted: July 31, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5867058)
   992. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: July 31, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5867059)
that's pretty good
   993. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5867062)
Hal Prince, the Broadway director and producer with more Tonys than anyone, is dead at 91. He was known for “West Side Story” and “Cabaret.”


And "Fiddler on the Roof." And "Damn Yankees" and "Sweeney Todd." And "Evita," "Phantom of the Opera," "The Pajama Game," "A Little Night Music," "Company," "Follies," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," and various other shows including a couple of Tony-winners. The Bill James line about cutting Rickey Henderson in half comes to mind.
   994. Hysterical & Useless Posted: July 31, 2019 at 03:18 PM (#5867065)
First concert was Jimi Hendrix, April 1968.

No Dave Clark Five, but my parents were never cool.
   995. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: July 31, 2019 at 03:20 PM (#5867068)
#994 ... ok, *now* I'm jealous.

What venue?
   996. Lassus Posted: July 31, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5867072)
And "Fiddler on the Roof." And "Damn Yankees" and "Sweeney Todd." And "Evita," "Phantom of the Opera," "The Pajama Game," "A Little Night Music," "Company," "Follies," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," and various other shows including a couple of Tony-winners. The Bill James line about cutting Rickey Henderson in half comes to mind.

My performer-heavy Facebook feed is weeping today.

On a related note, he was not connected to SHOWBOAT, which I am seeing at Glimmerglass this weekend.
   997. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 31, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5867073)
I did note at the time that the people who played Rage Against the Machine the most were probably people Rage Against the Machine hated.


My first concert was Rage Against the Machine. It was 96 or 97 and my friend had an extra ticket and asked if I wanted to go. I had never heard of them, but I thought 'why the hell not'.

Concert was at Cobo Hall, downtown Detroit - they were part of a bill of several 'hard' rock bands that had not hit it big, but they were definitely the headliner. The audience seemed to be all white males. The kid next to me (maybe 13 or 14) knew all the words and was super into it. I would not have been surprised if he went to Cranbrook or Detroit Country Day (two very rich private schools).
   998. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: July 31, 2019 at 04:10 PM (#5867093)
First concert was Van Hagar, early fall of 1988. I think that must have been the OU812 tour. then a couple of months later, Metallica on the Damaged Justice Tour. Metallica was better.
   999. Hysterical & Useless Posted: July 31, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5867131)
995. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: July 31, 2019 at 03:20 PM (#5867068)
#994 ... ok, *now* I'm jealous.

What venue?

RPI Fieldhouse, Troy, NY
Not great.
Okay, pretty crappy.
Still, it was Jimi.
   1000. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: July 31, 2019 at 04:58 PM (#5867142)
RPI Fieldhouse, Troy, NY
Not great.
Okay, pretty crappy.
Still, it was Jimi.


Ah, well, it appears no recording exists for that show, I'll take your word for it.

'68 Hendrix was, for the most part, less interesting to me than '69, though there was usually something during a set that would be engaging.
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