Monday, April 30, 2012

Entry #007


OK, I'd like to thank Kanye
And my nigga Deezle for giving me this diesel
Like a F-350, tank never empty
Damn, everybody in the bank act friendly!
Used to think my shit didn't stank, boy was I wrong
Approving million dollar deals from my iPhone
I'm gonna take it one, two, way back
Like a silk wifebeater and a wavecap
Or the wave pool at Blue Bayou
And I waved fool, as I blew by you

Monday, April 2, 2012

The grungyness of post-grunge

I've always been leery about the Foo Fighters. Let's rewind back to 1994. I only witness Unplugged after the suicide (when MTV played it into the ground). But, when Cobain did die, the band broke up for good. This is a very good thing. Dave Grohl (technically) did the right thing and made a new band of his own. In an alternate reality, he could have led Nirvana Mark Two into a pseudo-grunge era. Let's talk about that label: "grunge".

First of all, grunge is not what you think. Unless you were in Seattle in the late 80s, or are a rock researcher, you don't really understand. And, let's be honest: most musicians don't even know what genre their song represents. Let's even be more honest: genres are an imperfect quagmire of a system.

When I think of "grunge", I do not think about Nirvana. My mind echoes Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and early Silverchair. Nirvana transcended that genre pigeonhole in 1991.

The year of 1994 was a pivotal moment in my life. My favorite year of music. Several albums were hot then: Siamese Dream, Throwing Copper, The Downward Spiral. None of those were true grunge, however. The post-grunge era of music had already begun!

What is post-grunge? For examples, listen to:
  • Bush: Sixteen Stone
  • Foo Fighters: The Colour and the Shape
  • Creed: My Own Prison
  • Nickelback...
  • anything labeled "2000s rock" in your iTunes
Eww... hair...
When the Colour and the Shape  released in 1997, the music world was a terrifying place. All the old giants that couldn't adapt went the way of the dinosaur. That summer, I got a major lesson in music culture... via the Boy Scouts. Bands like K's Choice, Matchbox 20, Collective Soul, and Foo Fighters were major topics of discussion, as we had no radio and only CDs and tape recordings. These were all bands that were marketed and produced as "grungy", but without all the flannel and whatnot. "Diet grunge"... But, removing the "whatnot" would be looked back on as a mistake.

The Foo Fighters were (and are) very popular. In 1997, all of my friends loved their second album. But, as I said before, I was leery. I didn't like it. I bought the album (only because of the "Everlong" video), but the rest of that album is extremely polished quasi-grunge. Take a look at the vapid "My Hero". Not that deep, and perfect for Guitar Center clientele. I admit, I learned to play that song on guitar (it's very easy). Dave Grohl pretty much single-handedly invented this style. And even right now, in 2012, he is still in his element. Dave's music wins Grammys. And I'm not blaming him for ruining music. Ultimately, the masses ruin everything...

The question is: when the hell will this sub-sub-genre ever become unpopular?
The dilemma: no one would ever admit their favorite music is post-grunge.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Total Recall and Ninja Turtles remake?

Nostalgia sells, and is easier than originality. Take a look at ironic neon sunglasses, classic rock radio, Mad Men and Titanic 3D. And it's that time, the time for nineties nostalgia! And, I remember those crazy 90s very well. I had a conversation with someone else who grew up in the same time, and we were remembering our favorite films. All of my fond movie memories start with E.T. re-release in 1985 and onward. I became a movie fiend, and it grew as I grew.

You just had to be there...
In 1990, there was no way I was going to be allowed see Total Recall. I had to wait quite a few years to see it, and see it uncut. Today, the film kindles remembrance of the era of ultraviolence. The early 90s were full of action flicks, thanks to superstars like Stallone, Willis, and Arnold. Movie rental stores were in their heyday, and so was action. That era ended in about 1997, when (for some reason) violence went more underground. My hypothesis is that CGI took over the need for bloodlust. Now, the movie executives want to relive that past (in a more computer-generated, artificial way).

Colin Farrell (who was already in a movie adaptation of a PKD story) stars in a second film adaptation of "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale". I'm not sure why a B actor was chosen, or why this film was selected out of all the action tour-de-forces. Maybe it was the director's lifelong dream to do the story right. Maybe it was the success of Inception that put the "dream vs. reality" hook back on the table. I'm sure someone knows. Anyway, like to see any futuristic film, because I'm a geek boy who likes seeing cool flying cars and laser guns. Question: will kids today have nostalgia for a nostalgic reboot?

I consider Total Recall the most violent big-budget action flick ever. It is still wildly entertaining, twenty years later. That violence is almost matched by the Last Boy Scout (which narrowly loses, even though it has suicide and helicopter blade dicing). Are they going to remake that one, too?

Speaking of the 90s, I was a Ninja Turtle fiend, too. I can remember exactly where I was when I saw the TV trailer for the original TMNT film. I watched that damn cartoon every day, and seeing it in live-action was like discovering a new planet. My head exploded. And, it met all of my (high) expectations as a 10-year-old.

And now... now... Michael Bay wants to bring the shelled warriors to the 2010s... not as mutant turtles from a sewer, but as space aliens. Fans are confused and frustrated, calling his treatment "unnecessary", "childhood ruining" and even "sodomy". I tend to agree.