Saturday, March 28, 2009

 

Stealing From A Thief



You know all that neato, gnarly stuff they tell you about physical exercise? How it is good for you completely, mind body and soul? How you're always glad you did it, even if you went into it dreading it? How it gets easier all the time ... how it just becomes more and more fun and more rewarding over time?

All that stuff is true.

Why do I always forget that? I go long periods without exercise and I get fat ... and then I get disgusted and realize I have to change, and I start exercising again and I find myself thinking "Why did I ever quit doing this?"

It's been rainy and crappy here lately, so I've been riding my exercise bike instead of walking outside. And, man, I'm really enjoying it. I look forward to the weather changing so I can get outside and do stuff, too. I put together a new playlist of heavy, positive, catchy metal songs for my MP3 player, and that makes it all even more fun. And I've come to realize that one of my favorite of those songs, Stealing From A Thief by the legendary NY thrasher's Anthrax, has an awesome message:

So I hereby adopt Stealing From A Thief as my new personal theme song.

That's right, it's my personal theme song. Cheesy, yeah ... but I firmly believe that everyone needs their own personal theme song. If you don't have a personal theme song, then I feel sorry for you.

Check out the awesome, positive lyrics to my personal theme song:

Stealing From A Thief ... by Anthrax

Don't want a life like my parents had.
Don't want a life like my rich friends have.
Don't want to live by association.
Don't want to live the great maybe.

I want a life not a name online,
I want to live in real time.
I want a life just so I can be.
I'll never ask what was in it for me.

Stealing from a thief,
My humanity.
I know my name, I know my pain,
I know my frequency.

As a kid I played "make believe."
As a man I played "Make. Believe."
As a kid I'd do anything.
As a man I've done everything.

I live my life centered and humane.
I live my life like a man insane.
I live my life just so I can be.
I'll never ask what was in it for me.

Stealing from a thief,
My humanity.
I know my name, I know my pain,
I know my frequency.

I get up, I get up, I get up and go!
I grab a hold and reach way down
To find something that I really believe.
I don't need to console myself.
If I don't like what I see, f--- it.

I'll never ask what was in it for me.



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Thursday, March 26, 2009

 

Things Could Be Worse



I've been blogging about personal stuff lately, and it's theraputic to get that stuff out. It helps.

But I realize that things could be much worse for me. I could be as dillusional as Fred Durst:
The Limp Bizkit frontman, no doubt all too aware that his band's rap-rock sound is dead and gone, is once again propping himself up on the one thing he figures people will remember, his alleged fling/relationship/whatever with Britney Spears back in 2003...

"It just became a fiasco of madness," Durst, 38, tells MTV News about the alleged fling and subsequent story breakup. "(But) I always stay true to my heart and true to everything I did and my intentions, and I am in no way a liar..."

"I look back on it as very interesting (in terms of) how things have been sort of unraveling for her since," he says. "(But) it is what it is. I can sleep at night knowing I made decisions that I wanted to make. (Still) I'm a supporter. I was then, I guess I am now. ... "I just guess at the time it was taboo for a guy like me to be associated with a gal like her," he adds.

What a peckerhead.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

 

Job For A Sponge



Job For A Cowboy is an extreme metal band.

Spongebob Squarepants is a yellow invertebrate.

Two great tastes that taste great together:



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Thursday, March 19, 2009

 

Tool + Rorschach = Awesomeness



I really was gonna try to stop writing Watchmen stuff for a while. and I really was gonna stop forcing rock song lyrics that I enjoy down everyone's throats...

but then it occured to me that the lyrics to one of my all time favorite hard rock songs damn near sums up Rorschach's world view ... and my own:

├ćnema by Tool:


Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will.
I sure could use a vacation from this

Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of

Freaks here in this hopeless f---ing hole we call LA.
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any f---ing time. Any f---ing day.
Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

Fret for your figure and
Fret for your latte and
Fret for your hairpiece and
Fret for your lawsuit and
Fret for your prozac and
Fret for your pilot and
Fret for your contract and
Fret for your car.

Some say a comet will fall from the sky.
Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves.
Followed by faultlines that cannot sit still.
Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits.

Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will.
I sure could use a vacation from this

Silly shit, stupid shit...

One great big festering neon distraction,
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied.

Learn to swim.

Mom's gonna fix it all soon.
Mom's comin' round to put it back the way it ought to be.

Learn to swim.

F--- L Ron Hubbard and
F--- all his clones.
F--- all those gun-toting
Hip gangster wannabes.


Learn to swim.

F--- retro anything.
F--- your tattoos.
F--- all you junkies and
F--- your short memory.


Learn to swim.

F--- smiley glad-hands
With hidden agendas.
F--- these dysfunctional,
Insecure actresses.


Learn to swim.

I'm praying for rain.
I'm praying for tidal waves.

I wanna see it all come down.
Suck it down.
Flush it down.



Great track from a great metal album. (Yeah, I know that Tool and a number of their artsy fartsy fans argue that Tool isn't metal, man, so don't label 'em. Tool is metal. Shut up.)

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

 

THIS Is Why I Like Phish



This is a live show, you can stream samples of the songs with the widget just below. And if you like what you hear you can click the download this show link and get a high-quality copy of the whole show for ten bucks. Or, if you're a cheapskate like me, you can get a lesser-quality copy right here for free (and legally).

Phish played for the first time in years in Hampton last week. If you were quick on the mouse you could have downloaded high-quality copies of those shows for free. I got 'em, and they're good, but the show below is awesome.

Phish
10/7/00 Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA


Click below to preview tracks from this show

DOWNLOAD THIS SHOW



If you don't know Phish, I guess I'd describe them as a cross between The Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa, but funky. But every Phish fan describes them differently. Just stream some of this music and see what you think...

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Times Of Trouble



More lyrics that I particularly enjoy:



Times Of Trouble by Temple Of The Dog

When the spoon is hot
And the needles sharp
And you drift away.
I can hear you say
That the world in black
Is upon your back.
And your body shakes,
So you ditch away
And you close the shades.

Don't try to do it.
Don't try to kill your time.
If you do it
Then you cant change your mind.
You've got to hold on to your time
Till your break through these times of trouble.

When you try to talk
And the words get hard
And they put you down,
Don't you stay.
Don't you ditch away.

I saw you swinging,
Swinging your mothers sword.
I know youre playing,
Sometimes the rules get hard.
But if somebody left you out on a ledge,
If somebody pushed you over the edge,
If somebody loved you and left you for dead,
You got to hold on to your time
Till you break through these times of trouble.



This is from one of the best rock albums of the past 25 years. Don't just by the track, buy the whole damn thing.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

 

Let It Fall



Still boosting good pop/rock/whatever lyrics. This song has pretty much become my favorite tune of late, mostly for the words:

Let It Fall by Sean Watkins and Glen Phillips


Hey look, I'm not weighed down.
As I walk through
The glowing wheat fields churning on the ground.
As all the ravens fly away
They leave nothing
But the sun and endless blue day.

I always knew I felt this way
But couldn't find the time to say
To myself that I've got to let it go.
Through all the joy and all the pain,
With the drought and the rain,
The honest truth is all I want to know.

Let it fall.
Let go.

My kingdom's walls have fallen down.
But I know that
I don't wear an undeserved crown.
And though it seemed to fit me well,
Underneath it
I did certainly fall down.

Last summer we left things unsaid
That should be now a long time dead.
Now it seems that time has put it well.
'Though words can chase away a friend
To a lie they'll bring an end
And throw it down the darkest, deepest well.

Let it fall.
Let go.

Go sample this song and spend a buck on it if you like what you hear. If you don't fall in love with this tune I'll personally refund your dollar.

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WHEEEEEEE!



FAITH NO MORE is REUNITED!

Jim Martin didn't come back, but my hopes are still high. So far just talk of some concerts. Man, I really hope they record again. They turned out some of my favorite rock in the late 80's and early 90's and I'd like to hear what they'd do today.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

 

Odds N' Sods



I gotta make this one quick because I took my nighttime pill combo a little bit ago and it's gonna kick in soon, and soon I'll either stop typing or I'll be typing gibberish. I hate, hate, HATE waking up the next day, seeing something I've posted, thinking "WTF is WRONG with ME??" and frantically deleting and/or editing the post.

Anyway, just some recent stuff from the inbox and/or Google Reader...



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Saturday, March 07, 2009

 

Brother (Or Whatever)



I guess this song is written about a brother. It's called "Brother," after all. But I've found that the lyrics apply just as well to step-sons.

Just bear with me, I'm in a rock-lyrics period right now.

Why do I always have to look to the words of others to say the important stuff? One of my defects, I guess.


Brother by Toad The Wet Sprocket

I find my brother in there,
Deep in my heart.
I find my brother in there,
Hold in my arms,
I love you.

And if I seem too quiet now
It's that there are no words
To tell you how
I love you.

I often feel,
Like the prodigal son:
I take all I need
Giving back none.

All beauty shows,
But in such different ways.
You're like the light behind the fog
So bright you burn my eyes away.

So much has changed.
And so much has happened these years.
But still I find
You waiting here.
We have a bond
That nothing can change.
And still I find
A peace of mind
Whenever I hear your name.

But if I seem too quiet now,
It's that there are no words
To tell you how
I love you.



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Haywire



I keep rediscovering this Dog's Eye View album and remembering how much I love these lyrics.

Haywire by Peter Stuart (Dog's Eye View)


"We used to live so bright,
We used to shine,"
she said.
"Now you just work all day,
And I just stay in bed.

Dreaming of singing another song,
Dreaming of flying,
Knowing that it can't and won't be long
Before I just walk away."


Well, I came from the cradle and I'm going to the grave,
And everybody else is.
I've made the same old sins and I've made the same mistakes
That everybody else has.
And I'm going haywire.

"Well, you can count me out of your prized posessions
And watch me smile.
You can cut me down with your best intentions
And listen to me laughing,"
she said.

Well, I came from the cradle and I'm going to the grave,
And everybody else is.
I've made the same old sins and I've made the same mistakes
That everybody else has.
And I'm going haywire.

What do I have to lose?
What do I have left to lose?

"Drop my clothes in the closest ocean,
Let me sail.
You don't have to tell me where I'm going,
Just please don't make me stay.

Well, you can try to stop me now
If you want it so bad.
And you can try to reach for me,
But I don't think you can.

Somehow I've found my feet and walked away from you."


And I'm going haywire.

I'm going haywire.



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Friday, March 06, 2009

 

What I Know Now



I love rediscovering an old favorite album.

One of my favorite things about Dog's Eye View's Happy Nowhere is that the lyrics "speak to me, dude." Some of the songs are sentimental, some of them are funny ... and at least one is amazingly bitter:

What I Know Now by Dog's Eye View

There are no angels.
Only patronizing saints
Who would gladly keep you out of trouble
But never let you forget that you came.

There are no devils.
There are no truly kind deeds
It's just pay now and pay more later
And hope you get what you need.

And when I find myself in times of trouble
I usually give up.
Nothing to win,
Nothing to lose,
I'll just wish you luck.

There are no rules here,
Just piles of mistakes
That we say we've learned from
Then we go ahead and make.

And faith is a lazy way of trying
To get what we want
Without ever doing anything at all
To help bring it along.

And when I find myself in times of trouble
I usually give up.
Nothing to win,
And nothing to lose,
I'll just wish you luck.

And did I want the freedom to be myself
Or the freedom to f--k around?
Did I just want the freedom to fail without bringing you down?

I thought I loved you,
But now I know I was just confused.
And going through the motions
Until we were both completely bruised.

I hope I'm happy,
Because we both know I'm not fine.
I just keep kicking up my heels
Without thinking of you standing behind me.

And when I find myself in times of trouble
I always just give up.

And I don't know what to tell you.
Well I know what I'd like to tell you...
I'd like to call you up and tell you
What I know now.



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At The Waterline



I don't write about the really important stuff at this blog. Not in my own words. I rely on rock and roll for the big stuff. I always have.



Waterline by Peter Stuart
of Dog's Eye View

I'm walking with my father's ghost,
And he's talking to me.
He says "I'm sorry."
But it's so hard to be free.

He says "I knew you when you were so young
Now you will never know me...
Except from pictures that you might find from
When you were three or four or five..."


Down at the waterline,
I'm at the waterline tonight.
I'm at the waterline,
At the waterline tonight.

Now I'm talking with my sister
Who says she knows you well.
She says she hears you in her hallway at night,
And sometimes she can smell you.

But not me.
I have to make it up
From the smallest clues I can find.
Me, I have to dig you up
From the corners of my mind.

We're at the waterline,
At the waterline tonight.
We're at the waterline.
We're at the waterline tonight.

Well, I built this boat with you, my friend,
And you're not here to get in.
I'm wondering, should I let it go?
Should I see if I can swim?

I'm standing in this boat I've built,
And the water is at my knees.
I thought that I might find you here,
But it looks like it's just me.

It's just me.

Here at the waterline,
At the waterline tonight.
At the waterline,
The waterline tonight.

I'm walking with my father's ghost.
He's talking to me,
He says "I'm sorry."



"If you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven." - Matt. 6:15

It's a great song. Buy it for a buck at this link.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

 

Throw It All Away



Pure positive energy from Toad The Wet Sprocket. I LOVE these lyrics:

take your cautionary tales
take your incremental gain
and all the sychophantic games
and throw 'em all away

burn your tv in your yard
and gather 'round it with your friends
and warm your hands upon the fire
and start again

take the story you've been sold
the lies that justify the pain
the guilt the weighs upon your soul
and throw 'em all away


tear up the calendar you bought
and throw the pieces to the sky
confetti falling down like rain
like a parade to usher in your life

take the dreams that should've died
the ones that kept you wide awake
when you should've been all right
and throw 'em all away


with the time I waste on the life I never had
I could've turned myself into a better man


'cause there ain't nothing you can buy
there is nothing you can save
to fill the hole inside your heart
so throw it all away

it won't fill the hole inside your heart

help me to empty out this house
of all I've gathered all these days
and thought I couldn't do without
and throw it all away



Or, put another way, as Tyler Durden says, The things you own end up owning you.

Click here and spend a buck on an absolutely perfect little pop song.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

 

1983



How many other members of my generation spend the occasional evening sitting at the PC, looking for long forgotten music videos?

Remember the days before MTV ... or at least before MTV was widely available? (Heck, maybe MTV was just our alt-realty version of VNM anyway.)

Remember Friday Night Videos and Night Tracks? Man. Remember when the whole music video concept was novel, exciting and irresistible?

I have been surprised to realize that a great many of the songs and videos I remember so fondly all date back to the same year: 1983.

David Bowie was always hit or miss with me. For every song he released that I loved there would be another I disliked. I remember the first time I saw the video for Bowie's '83 hit called Modern Love and totally flipping out over it. What a great pop song. I couldn't get it out of my head. Of course, a big part of the reason the song was so good was that awesome little guitar hook at the beginning, played by the then unknown Stevie Ray Vaughn.



In 1983 I was convinced that the heaviest song anyone would ever record was Rock Of Ages by Def Leppard. This was before I got "retro" and discovered Black Sabbath. In '83, Def Leppard was like an atom bomb. Even the image of skinny-ass Joe Elliott waving a seven-foot cardboard sword wasn't enough to ruin this video:



'83 also saw the unthinkable happen: Kiss released Lick It Up and did a video with no makeup. That was a real shock. One reason it was shocking was that without their makeup Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley looked like a couple of old farts. And that was twenty-six years ago, dude. Simmons and Stanley were easy to pick out in the Lick It Up clip, and so was drummer Eric Carr. But I remember being confused the first time I saw the video, wondering who the ugly chick in the band was. Turned out that "ugly chick" was Vinnie Vincent, the guitarist who'd replaced Ace Frehley. Vinnie was one of seventy-four or seventy-six guitarists that Kiss went through in the '80's and '90's.

The video had a post-apocalyptic Mad Max kind of vibe and took place in a bleak future where a bomb or something had wiped out everything except hot chicks and elderly rock stars. Here the band parties into the night, unaware that Keith Richards is waiting in the darkness, ready to strike when they least expect it and take away their women and MRE's:



'83 was also a big year for Boy George, and his band Culture Club had a huge hit with Karma Chameleon. Of course, I was a 15 year old boy in '83 and I was into heavy metal and The A Team. Boy George represented everything I was steadfast against. He looked like Brooke Shields on steroids, and his proudly androgynous image was naturally an affront to any teenage boy's self image. We were doing all we could do to follow the natural path, dude, and become MEN. MEN who would some day have a chance at engaging in actual conversations with WOMEN. And maybe we'd have these conversations in a car, cars we would be driving as we were accompanied on actual DATES by a WOMEN. And, if all went well, the end result of the mysterious DATE process was that somehow the MAN was going to manage to touch the BREAST of the WOMAN. The goal was to touch the BREAST in a way that was mutually agreeable to the MAN and the WOMAN ...but any awkward, fumbling contact that involved the hand of the MAN and the BREAST of the WOMAN was technically acceptable. Once that was done, the MAN could make up any fool thing he wanted to say about the rest of the night, nobody was going to believe him anyway. So with this level of planning and this degree of uncertainty already having profound effects on our desperate young lives, the last thing we needed was happy Mr. Androgyny and his little band dancing their way through the havoc of our daily existence:



Honestly, accusing another guy of being a Culture Club fan in '83 was a pretty serious charge. Those Culture Club albums were sold with gay-germs right on the disc itself. If you took it out and played it, you'd have Boy George's very own gay-germs all over you before you got the record on the turntable! By the time side A was finished, you'd not only be a Culture Club fan, you'd also be Lamar from Revenge of the Nerds:



Of course, it's been 26 years and I'm ashamed to say that the 15 year old version of myself would be horrified to see how I now respond when Karma Chameleon comes on the radio. Like every other putz my age, I bop along a bit, sing along with the words I remember, and remark about how cool it is when they play the old songs I remember from my school days. Boy George just doesn't freak me out anymore. I don't even know if he's actually gay or not. I realized that my grasp on "gay culture" was tenuous at best when the gays addopted Tammy Faye Bakker as an icon d'jour.

Then there was Styx and Mr. Roboto, a conceptual piece that didn't make sense on it's own, in the abbreviated four-minute version they showed on TV.

No, the video to Mr. Roboto told only part of the story. But if you bought the album, you'd get to hear the whole story, right?

Well, at least you'd get the lyrics sheet, and you'd get to find out that Denis DeYoung wasn't actually singing "My Heart Is Human / My Blood Is Boiling / My Brain Like A Yam!" ... No, the last part of that famous line was actually "My Brain IBM!, which didn't make much sense either. But if you put the whole story together you'd realize that it involved some shocking, nefarious elements, such as:


And a whole bunch of other shit that wasn't enough to make you listen to this whole lame album all the way through more than a time or two.

So like the rest of us you probably recorded the two or three good tracks to a cassette and put Mr. Roboto back under house arrest at the bottom of the LP pile.

Here's a total change of gears; for whatever reason while I was looking for those videos I remembered another song from '93 rather than '83. I always loved Out There by Dinosaur, Jr. What a kick-ass song. It was disappointing to find out that the original music video apparently doesn't reside on YouTube. But I did find a live performance from last summer, and apparently the band can still sounds pretty good. I bet they're worth checking out live. This is really good, sloppy, grungy rock in the Neil Young And Crazy Horse tradition. Turn this one up loud enough to piss off the neighbors:

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

 

Harry's Circumcision



A little irony, courtesy of Lou Reed:
Looking in the mirror Harry didn't like what he saw.
The cheeks of his mother, the eyes of his father.
As each day crashed around him the future stood revealed.
He was turning into his parents,
The final disappointment.

Stepping out of the shower Harry stared at himself.
His hairline receding, the slight overbite.
He picked up the razor to begin his shaving.
and thought, oh, I wish I was different,

I wish I was stronger, I wish I was thinner.
I wish I didn't have this nose.
These ears that stick out remind me of my father,
and I don't want to be reminded at all.
The final disappointment.

Harry looked into the mirror thinking of Vincent Van Gogh,
and with a quick swipe lopped off his nose.
And happy with that he made a slice where his chin was.
He'd always wanted a dimple.

Then peering down straight between his legs,
Harry thought of the range of possibilities.
A new face, a new life, no memories of the past,
and slit his throat from ear to ear.

Harry woke up with a cough, the stitches made his wince.
A doctor smiled at him from somewhere across the room.
"Son, we saved your life, but you'll never look the same."
And when he heard that, Harry had to laugh.
Although it hurt Harry had to laugh.
The final disappointment.


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Saturday, February 07, 2009

 

One, But Not The Same



A well crafted pop song is a simple thing: all it needs is an unforgetable melody and some simple, universal lyrics. Easy, right?

Over the years I've had "flirtations" with other songs, but I always come back to "One" by U2. I think that it is the best pop song of all time.

Now, Bono has his detractors, and I admit the guy can be a real turd when he starts running his mouth. But screw Bono, man. I ain't talking about Bono. I'm talking about the song.

If it was good enough for Johnny Cash, it's good enough for me. And who knew a well-crafted song better than Cash?

Over the years I've been sure, several times, that I knew what this song was about. I've though it was about the last stage of the grieving process. I've thought it was about failed marriage(s). I've thought it was about reaching a fork in the road with an old friend.

And I was right and wrong each time. This is one of those perfect little songs where the lryics are 100% applicable to a number of life's milestones.

Today, I'm certain that the song is about the agonizing loss of religious faith:

"You say
Love is a temple,
Love a higher law,
Love is a temple,
Love the higher law.
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl.
And I can't keep holding on
To what you've got
When all you've got is hurt."


I've been on the other end, I've looked down my nose at people who've stopped going to church. It's a lot easier on that end, let me tell you. I wouldn't wish the loss of religious faith on anyone. It's a lot like cancer, based on my experiences with both.


No idea what the band hoped to communicate with this strange video... the black and white, the drag, etc.

But I know exactly what they wanted to get across with the song. I've known so many times, for so many different reasons, and I have a feeling that there will be more reasons to come.

Yeah, "One" by U2 is the best pop song ever.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

 

Inauguration Day In The Land Of Sunshine



I can't think of a better way to mark the inauguration of the Savior Elect, President Tila Tequila, than with one of my favorite songs from Faith No More:




You have a winning way, so keep it,
Your future! Your future! Your future!

You are an angel heading for the land of sunshine!
And fortune is smiling upon you!

Prepare for a series of a comfortable miracles,
From fasting to feasting!
And life to you is a dashing, bold adventure!
So sing, and rejoice! Sing, and rejoice!

Pat yourself on the back and give yourself a handshake,
'Cause everything is not yet lost!

Does life seem worthwhile to you?

HERE'S HOW TO ORDER!

HERE'S HOW TO ORDER!



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Friday, January 16, 2009

 

Disparate Diatribes





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Friday, January 02, 2009

 

Goodbye, Old Friend



After countless hours of loyal service, my Creative Zen 4 gig MP3 player has done bit the dust.

I think it was a corrupt MP3 of Willie Nelson's Crazy that did it. The MP3 player got locked in a constant loop of that song and then after a few minutes it just locked up and now won't do anything.

For what it's worth, up until this happened, I never had a hiccup out of the thing. It was a darn good investment and I'll miss it.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

 

2008: The Year At SouthCon



A look back at the year as it closes ... each of the thumbnail pictures below is clickable. Click one and it'll take you to the relevant post.

This is 2008 as I followed it at the blog. The political, the cultural, the personal and the trivial. Mostly the trivial.













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Saturday, December 27, 2008

 

Little Girl, Big Sound



As I've written before, I really enjoy bass guitar. Which is why I really enjoy this:

Her name is Tal Wilkenfeld. I think that's a good name to remember.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

 

Various And Sundry



Just some things that caught my eye:


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Thursday, November 27, 2008

 

Music And Lyrics On The Big Screen



Sometimes it's annoying when popular rock and pop songs are used as the soundtrack for a movie. It's often just one more symptom of a movie maker's absolute lack of creativity, originality and focus.

But, sometimes, a pop song is worked into a movie with real creativity and with real dramatic impact. When a pop song is used well in a movie, both the song and the movie benefit from the mix. Sometimes, in fact, a pop song is used so well in a movie that I can't help but associate the song and the movie forever after. It's a tribute to the skills of the director and/or writer when, working completely independent of the song writer, he or she is able to turn a pop song into an important element of a good movie. Put simply, when it's done right, it's awesome.

Some directors are particularly good at pulling it off. Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino come to mind. Other directors try it rarely, but sometimes to great effect.

This is a list of some of my favorite examples of doing it right.

But first, some rules:



And now ... the movies and the music (eleven songs, ten films), in no particular order.



This is only a partial list of many good examples of movie scenes that utilize pop music organically and artistically. I'm sure you may have a favorite that I didn't include on the list. I'd love to hear about other scenes I may have forgotten ... or may have never seen!

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

 

Effed Up World



Remember when society didn't encourage and celebrate people turning themselves into androgynous, discombobulated freaks?

Language warning for this clip. Content warning, too. And I don't even know how else to warn you about the whack-job bizarreness of this clip. It features that senile old turd Larry King interviewing the "pregnant man" and her wife about their "sex life:"


Credit (blame?) to Newsbusters for the video.

The more I actually pay attention to the world around me, the more I agree with one of my favorite bands when they say:


"Some say a comet will fall from the sky
Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves
Followed by faultlines that cannot sit still
Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits.
Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will.
I sure could use a vacation from this
Stupid shit, silly shit, stupid shit... "


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Saturday, November 15, 2008

 

ANVIL! The Story Of Anvil



This looks like American Movie by way of This Is Spinal Tap. And it's a real documentary about a real band. (I vaguely remember Anvil from the '80's.)

I think this has the potential to be very funny and sad at the same time, just like American Movie. I look forward to seeing it. There isn't a proper trailer for the film, apparently, and the clip above is the best clip I could find at YouTube. Click here to see a shorter, better one (although not an embeddable one) at RollingStone.com. There are also several clips at IMDB.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

 

Awesomely Awful Metal Album Covers



I'm a big fan of heavy metal music, I have been since I was a kid and I just refuse to grow out of it. I gotta have my metal.

One consequence of metal addiction is that you're constantly seeking out new bands to check out. One consequence of that is that you get exposed to a huge number of really awful heavy metal bands.

Another consequence is that you see an awful lot of really, really, really awful album covers.

With the Mp3 and the iPod quickly replacing the music store and the CD (just as the CD replaced the classic vinyl LP), maybe it's time to celebrate some of the absolute worst album covers out there before the whole concept of album covers is forgotten forever.


The best thing about this cover is that it features not one but two rockin' metal mustaches.




There's just too much going on here.

The being on the cover seems to be a Transformer. MCF could probably tell me for sure if it's an authentic one or not.

One of his legs is either a bus or a subway train, and one of his feet is a tank (I'm talking about the being on the album cover, not MCF). And, he has giant moth wings. Because, you know, he'd look goofy without them. And he's apparently ripped out his (horribly swollen) heart and is in the process of replacing it with ... a large gear. And, really, I don't see how he had any other choice.




It's kinda cool that this must be a Latino metal band. My biggest complaint is that the little skeleton-guy is gonna be far to short to play that big-ass guitar.




Another cover with just far too much going on. I don't blame the old guy for drinking, I'd drink too if I'd lost my right leg and all of my shirt's buttons.




Damn you, cruel hand of fate! He finally kisses a girl and it's just as they electrocute him! Doh!




What is that thing?




Beware the giant Easter eggs of doom!




I'm fine with this album cover featuring an ax-wielding sumo wrestler with the head of ... the head of a hamster, I think. And I'm fine with all the skulls, which seem to indicate that the sumo hamster guy is really brutal. And I'm fine with the fact that apparently a 747 is about to crash into the sumo hamster guy. Clearly he was asking for it. But why is sumo hamster guy's body pink? That just makes the whole concept seem silly.




"See! I told you guys that the painting I made in seventh grade would eventually be my own band's album cover!"




This last one is my favorite. I just can't decide what I like most about it. Maybe it's the seven-foot tall Lurch lookalike with the formal shirt and the giant hair. Maybe it's the combination of fists and sunglasses. Nothing says "We kick ass" more than fists and sunglasses. Or maybe my favorite thing is the guy second from the right. The one who's right eye appears to be bulging out of his head. There's just so much to love about this album cover. I want a FatHead of this album cover.

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