Do I need to remind you that unconditional endorsee Andrew Earles is half of the force behind the Prisonship's 2008 Alb of the Year, and the engine behind m'b'loved Failed Pilot? I shouldn't have to.
Also, let me say this: for all of the babbling I do about enjoying the writing-about-rock, you'll know I'm really bought in to that venture when I abandon my too-easy-to-be-'good,' faux-Meltzer voice for a more expository (but no less writerly) one not unlike Earles'. This essay is about the (foreboding and horrible) irony of the legendary Aussie filth-mongers' team-up with WalMart. It'll be anthologized before you know it, but you should read it now. This is how you write about the social ramifications of rock records without coming off like Simon Frith or Greil Marcus of one of those munches. Why do I want to compare this essay to an Alan J. Pakula film? When I do so, I don't necessarily have this blurb in mind:
To a distant society in another part of the world, it might have looked like Americans were buying one album from one retailer for fear of electrocution by government-mandated shock-collars. Take out the shock-collar part, and you're getting warm.What if Celebrity Nudity Database.com picked the Oscar winners? | A.V. Club
Celebrity nude database, huh? It's about damned time.
Prindle Record Reviews - Bruce Springsteen, Working on a Dream
Of course, the other reason I must veer away from the Coley/Meltzer vibe is that Prindle is Undisputed Reigning King of this style, and all the rest of us are just sort of historical re-enactors.
At this point in his career, Bruce just doesn't have the inspiration to write a great straightforward rock album like Born In The USA (or, for that matter, a dark acoustic masterpiece like Nebraska). As evidenced by The Rising and The Seeger Sessions -- the only two of his past five records worth buying -- he needs an overriding concept to wrap his brain around. This allows him to get into a certain mindset and craft an entire sonic and emotional experience for the listener, just as he did with The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle so many years ago. Otherwise, the result is exactly what we have here - a bunch of perfectly listenable pop-rock songs that nevertheless bring nothing new to our lives. Bruce fanatics will be happy because it's new Bruce, but casual listeners will be left wanting. Wanting and craving. With mad lustful desire.
(*sticks dick in Clarence Clemons' saxophone*)
Actually, the real problem might be that this is Bruce's fourth studio album in FIVE YEARS! I doubt that even a strong today's artist as formidable as Lenny Kravitz or Jamiroquai could pull that off with flying colons. Probably Soul Collective or Live could though; those guys are killer, and will have hit after hit for generations to come.
Of course I quite disagree with the positive appraisal of the Seeger Sessions, as I do with all positive appraisals of Pete Seeger. But Prindle's conclusion, that the alb is "just another batch of okay/not great pop-rock songs with a few stylistic surprises thrown in," rings true after my initial .95 listens.
Just a very, very good new site of reviews that tends towards my beloved 1970s rock. Get involved, huh?
Cluedo revamp: Jack Mustard, in the spa, with a baseball bat | Life and style | The Guardian
Movie Novelizations #2: Clue The Movie
A new version of Clue, which apparently the kids call "Cluedo" across the drink? Who knew? And also, I HAVE to own this novelization, which I believe might threaten even Hank Searls' Jaws 2 in my pantheon of righteous novelizations. For more on Jaws 2, see this review from a 29 year-old man named Jessica:
Jaws 2 ?It is a reading experience you?ll never forget. A novel of paralyzing terror that will grab you from the opening chapter?Jaws2.? Jaws2 is one of the most spine-tingling books I?ve ever read. It?s descriptive, scary, and the characters are realistic. The book by Hank Searls is descriptive; I always had a movie playing in my head when I read it. One part of the book that was descriptive was, ?A flattened, blood-red sun rose dead ahead?Twenty feet below the surface she swam dead on course for Montauk Peak?Before her, an invisible cone of fear swept the sea clean, from bottom to the surface.? I could really picture it in my head. A movie was playing in my head the whole time. It got so descriptive at times that I got scared at what I was picturing like I was watching a scary movie. Jaws 2 was scary because it explains what it is like to be attacked by a shark. My biggest fear is that exact thing. My mom said, ?When you read it it?s like you?re there inside the story, like you?re in the characters place.? That?s what I think too. Every once in a while I had to put the book down and take three big breaths for one minute. The realistic characters added some of the effect. The characters are realistic because of the way they?re described by the author; it is so real. I can picture a person perfectly from the author?s descriptions. An example of a realistic description is, ?The little attorney was burdened with all equipment money could buy. His mask was prescription- ground so that he needed no glasses. He wore a pressure equalizing vest. On the lawyers left wrist was a compass, and in his right was an underwater watch to give him below time. From his neck dangled a Nikonos underwater camera. Strapped to his left calf was a Buck diving knife, on his right was an aluminum scallop iron for their prey.? Jaws 2 is one of the most spine-tingling books I?ve ever read. You should get this book and read it right away! If you do, you?ll experience a frightening journey on the sea.
What novelizations make you twich, Rich?