Saturday, September 18, 2010

Digging Through The Crates : Is This it?

Ok, so for the last 10 years of my life I've been digging through the crates of various genres of music. Punk, Alternative, Indie, Soundtracks, Rock, Metal, etc... no stone or dingy record store bin was unturned. So here's my thing; I've kinda tapped out the music past. "How is that possible?", you ask? Well, after working in a few record stores I've absorbed more music than any normal human being should be allowed to. Which is both good and bad. I had a chance to listen to everything my fingers could touch and did. The downside, what's left? For Christ's sake, I dug up and listened to an old Kerbdog single just because it had a Husker Du cover as a B-side.

Not that I claim to know everything, or have heard everything, but I've pretty much listened to anything related to, or similar to everything I already like. So now I'm stuck in, what I like to call the "Amazon Recommends Cycle". ... "If you like Soundgarden, you'll like Chris Cornell, If you like Chris Cornell, you'll like Temple of the Dog, If you like Temple Of The Dog, you'll like Pearl Jam, which leads to Eddie Vedder, Green River, Mother Love Bone, Mad Season, Screaming Trees, Alice In Chains, Jerry Cantrel,... eventually leading back to Soundgarden. So computer recommendations are useless at this point. Pick a genre and listen to it long enough and it'll happen to you as well.

The question is, is this it? Are there no more treasures to be unearthed from years gone by? Have I truly maxed out my listening experience? I haven't come across many older albums I've found interesting, and there are few newer ones worth mentioning. The newer stuff just sounds like the older stuff, so why deal with imitators when there are originators. The problem with that philosophy is that you do run out of originators. Sooooo.....

When I listen to new bands, I look for certain things. 1: Do they sound like a watered down version of a band I already know... ex. Godsmack sounds like a watered down Alice In Chains.... skip it. 2: If they do sound like a certain band, do they improve upon that sound? Ex. Mindless Self Indulgence improves on both the sounds of Marilyn Manson & Information Society creating some weird trippy hybrid of the two by my ears. So MSI gets a 4Y seal of approval because they push boundries. 3: Is it gimmicky? Lady Ga Ga. The songs are catchy, but we're dealing with nothing more than a Madonna/Cher update that adds nothing to the mix. More flash, less substance, accepted by all. Skip it.

So far it's been pretty bleak. There are a few exceptions but for the most part, the art of music has churned out band after band of psuedo-indie, mega star, disposable looptastic, pro-tool, mini-masterminds and/or Gruntry (my own genre for Country music that sounds like Grunge... i.e. Nickleback). And don't get me started on the Cookie Monster Metal. Try singing your lyrics rather than grunting them through a microphone that sounds like it's buried in human waste.

With all that being said, my view turns towards the future, waiting for something to create a ripple in the vast creatively still pond of music we now swim in.

I'll keep ya posted.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dark and Story Night : DVD Review

For folks who don't know, I'm a big fan of old horror movies and golden age comedies. So I'm always keeping tabs on the few film makers who like to do the occasional homage to the genre. I first got into Larry Blamire with 'The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra", a hokey romp through a bad B-movie for a new generation. The follow up "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra Returns Again" has the same spirited handling for depicting bad b-movie acting and inane dialogue that will have you scratching your head saying... "what the hell am I watching". Dark and Stormy Night, in my opinion is the perfect parody of the "old spook house" film. The acting is spot on for the majority of the cast and really resurrects some familiar character types from years gone by. The script is fast, fluid and has all the silliness you'd expect from a Blamire production but has an authentic quality that feels as if it were actually written in the 40's. Someone certainly did their homework and hats off to 'em for it. Hell, even the filters used to create the old film textures is near flawless. For folks not into the genre, this will be useless, but for folks who laughed when Abbott & Costello met the Mummy, you're right at home here.