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Showing posts from July, 2005

Words of wisdom posted on Usenet

While reading a thread on the Usenet newsgroup alt.music.inxs about the show Rock Star: INXS, I came across this well-stated post by a user named zaryzary2003. It was in response to someone who claimed that no great albums have been made since 1972:

"I think that most people say that the "great" era of music occurred at some point between the ages of 17 and 25. So if you were born around 1950, then the greatest music was late 60s. If you were born in 1940, then it was late 50s -early 60s early rock and roll stuff. People born in 195-60 will probably say it was either Disco/ Led Zeppelin/ other 70s rock depending on what they were doing. People who were born in 1985 will probably look back and say that today's music is the pinnacle. and people born today will someday back fondly at the greatest hits of the year 2025. It's all subjective, which is probably why people can't agree on it, and also why they argue so vehemently about it. No no no! they say. The mu…

The other Fantastic Four movie

Have you seen The Fantastic Four? It's enjoyable enough, and probably as good as a live-action movie about the Marvel Comics superhero quartet can be. It's doing respectable business. It is officially a blockbuster, so it will likely turn a profit on its $100 million budget. It doesn't look like the superhero movie genre has played out yet, as some people think it has.

What you may not be aware of is that another FF movie was made in 1994. There's good reason not to be aware of this, because it was never released in theatres or on home video. In fact, it was never meant to be. So, naturally it has become a much-bootlegged film.

Here's the story behind it. The owners of the film rights to the Fantastic Four nearly lost those rights due to time limits. If the movie was not made by a certain date, the rights to the movie would have expired and would have been made available to another buyer. Chris Columbus (the director of the first two Harry Potter movies) was waiting …

Rock Star: INXS -- week 3

Wow! Two birds with one stone! Heather and Daphna are both gone. At the beginning of this week, it was stressed on the show that contestants are only one bad performance away from elimination. As if to illustrate that point, not one but two contestants who did OK the first two weeks were sent home the third week. Jessica saved herself with a solid performance of INXS' "Elegantly Wasted". She's bought herself some more time. Heather's performance of the band's ballad "By My Side" was underwhelming. Daphna's performance of "What You Need" was OK, but unimpressive. It seemed like Heather was the one who would get the boot, but it was quite shocking when she and Daphna both did. If nothing else, Heather and Daphna can say that they performed with INXS' rhythm section; bassist Garry Beers and drummer Jon Farriss sat in with the house band for Wednesday night's performances. The other contestants are now on notice: they can't aff…

Whatever: The '90's Pop & Culture Box

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This Tuesday, July 26th, Rhino Records is going to release the 7-CD box set Whatever: The '90s Pop & Culture Box . This follows two other Rhino decade collections: Have A Nice Decade: The '70s Pop Culture Box , and Like, Omigod! The '80s Pop Culture Box . Those first two collections were very well done, although the '80's box wasn't quite as well done as the excellent '70's box. Critics have been panning Whatever, and when I look at the track listings it's not hard to see why. There are plenty of cool tracks scattered about the 7 discs, but they don't represent their decade's pop or culture too well. No one can deny the importance of grunge to the music of the '90's. But there are no tracks by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, or Bush to be found on the whole set. That's probably because the bands wouldn't allow the use of their songs. As a result, the grunge era is represented by such lesser-known Seattle…

Rock Star: INXS -- week 2

Since week 3 of Rock Star: INXS is about to begin, I'll belatedly comment on week 2. Neal is gone! Nothing personal, but -- good! Ever since the second night when he came out on stage doing an extreme Mick Jagger impersonation, I knew he wasn't going to last long. What killed his chances was his rendition of Bryan Adams' "Summer Of '69"; he sounded like your average open mic night performer. His band Bona Roba is reportedly making some waves in New York; maybe his TV exposure will help his band get further.

Tara made the bottom three again! I know people have issues with her song selections -- she sounded country singing the Eagles' "Take It Easy" and perhaps over-compensated when she did Black Sabbath next -- but she's good! Her performance of INXS' "Mystify" on Wednesday hopefully saved her for a while.

Jessica? She's on her way out. She isn't bad, but she seems to make all the songs she sings sound the same. Her sex ap…

Rock Star: INXS -- so far

Well, the first week (three episodes) of the CBS reality show Rock Star: INXS is behind us. (The last two, from Tuesday and Wednesday night, will be repeated this Saturday night. I don't know if they'll do that every week). I have to say that a colorful cast of characters are in this competition to become the new lead singer of INXS. There are white males, females, and one black male vying for the title, and all of them have talent. Some of them are just not right for INXS, as guitarist Tim Farriss has had to tell two of them before sending them home. The first night, a dancer/yoga instructor named Dana got the boot. She was a character. If the show was called Rock Star: No Doubt and they were searching for a new Gwen Stefani, she could have been a contender. On Wednesday night, a singer named Wil was also sent packing. If the show was called Rock Star: Coldplay and they were searching for a new Chris Martin, Wil could have been the man. But he was too low-key for INXS. Since …

Fountains Of Wayne family tree

I recently picked up the new Fountains Of Wayne 2-CD set titled Out-Of-State Plates. It's a B-sides and rarities collection, containing 28 songs that the band recorded between 1994 and 2005. Yes, the band has been around that long, despite the fact that they received a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 2003. In case you don't recognize the name, Fountains Of Wayne were the band who scored a top 20 hit with "Stacy's Mom", from their 2003 album Welcome Interstate Managers (which IMHO is one of the best albums of its year). Their power-pop sound usually combines hooks and humor with a sophisticated sound. Like most odds-and-sods collections, Out-Of-State Plates does have some inconsistency, but far less than you would expect from a set of songs recorded over the course of 11 years. In fact, the second of the two discs is quite solid. The newer songs tend to be the better ones. This is not surprising, because this band has so far been improving with age. All t…

eMpTy V

Right now, VH-1 is playing selected performance clips from Live 8. MTV will be doing the same later in the day. Call it a day of atonement. The reason this is being done is because MTV received media criticism and over 2,000 complaints from viewers about their coverage of the Live 8 events last Saturday. They focused more on interviews and commentary than on the music. I'm glad people let their voices be heard on this.

Now, perhaps people can persuade MTV to actually become a music channel again. I know, I doubt it too. I don't know why they bother calling the channel "Music Television" anymore, because as far as I'm concerned, it hasn't been that for 10 or 15 years now. Almost every time I tune in anymore (which, I must admit, is not very often), I feel like I'm watching a hipper-than-thou version of TLC (The Learning Channel). MTV should change its name to "Punk'd TV", or "Cribs TV"; anything besides "Music Television". …

Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill Acoustic

The acoustic version of Alanis Morissette's album Jagged Little Pill, which is currently only available at Starbucks coffee shops, will be released to record stores on July 26th. Alanis recorded this new acoustic version of her mega-platinum 1995 album to mark its 10th anniversary.

Some record stores have been refusing to stock other CDs by Alanis in protest against the Starbucks deal. I wonder if they will take similar action against Bob Dylan, now that he will be selling an upcoming CD exclusively at Starbucks.

Cure page updates

I've recently added two reviews to the Cure page: one of the 1993 Sideshow EP, and one of the 2-disc special edition of the 2001 Greatest Hits compilation.

Sideshow was released in the States as a companion piece to the full-length live album Show. The UK version of Show (which was a soundtrack to the VHS concert movie of the same name) was a 2-CD set. But it was only released as a single-disc in America, presumably because another full-length live Cure CD (titled Paris) was released at the same time. So, the four tracks that were excluded from the American version of Show were made available to US fans on the Sideshow EP. Not surprisingly, that item is now out of print.

The 2001 Greatest Hits compilation is still in print in its regular single-disc form, but the limited edition two-disc version is no longer available. That edition's second disc contained live-in-the-studio acoustic versions of all 18 songs from the first disc. It's a shame that it's been discontinued, b…