Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Bangles (redux)

It was recently brought to my attention that the N=D post about The Bangles has been one of the most viewed posts.  It reminded me that based on my rediscovery, I decided to dig a little deeper and obtained a copy of their first self-titled EP (which i didn't know existed at the time) on IRS records.

It's a short EP and features bassist Annette Zalinkas.  The thing about the Bangles is that they were so steeped in the 60's and that really came across in their songwriting and in their choice of covers.  Was it a result of sounding similar to their influences or do they really just own other groups songs?  It's hard to tell but not having heard many of the original versions it's often difficult for me to identify which songs they wrote and which they didn't.

The Real World & Mary Street are the highlights.  I know they always had issues with Susanna Hoffs being considered the lead vocalist but they're really at their best with her up on the microphone.  Her voice cuts through with originality whereas the other 3 had more plain jane voices.  They should've just dealt with it because Susanna's voice gave them an identity.  Their rambunctious take on "How is the Air Up There" is pretty great as well.   Very raw and indie pop with good sense of melodies.  Much like their major label follow up album "All Over the Place".  At times you can see how they would benefit from the helping hand of a producer or outside writers but they were a really fantastic jangly pop band.  And  you can't really review the Bangles without mentioning their superb use of vocal harmonies. So there you have it,  vocal harmonies.   Lyrically I have to ignore what's being said because the corniness makes me queasy and the production on the album is a little off (ie the mix seems all wrong) but they achieve what many indie bands that came after them tried so hard to attain.  And once again I leave a big......too bad about all that major label fuckery that followed.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Heavy Metal 2000

Like a lot of people in my age range I saw Heavy Metal as a child (in my case at 6 years old) when it came on HBO.  It probably is one of the things that drew me towards post-apocalyptic sci-fi & comic books.  So I knew about Heavy Metal 2000 when it came out & I wanted to see it, but heard nothing but lackluster reviews.  Even seeing that it was available for free streaming for a couple of years on the internet, I still didn’t bother to check it out.  I don’t really know why I finally decided to click play on it.  Anyway, the bottom line is, this sucks compared to the original for sure & maybe it just sucks all together.  The animation quality is sub-par compared to the original (or at least compared to my memories of the original) & the music that is all over the film (just like in the original) doesn’t really fit in.  Also while I remember the original having a lot of nudity & sexuality in it, somehow this one feels less natural & more exploitive (a funny idea when dealing with a cartoon I know).  I think part of what makes this one really lacking is that the original is seven short stories & this one is a story that could’ve been awesome framed as one of seven stories, but doesn’t work as an hour & a half on it’s own.  I don’t know, maybe I’m being too hard on it.  I suppose I’m going to have to re-watch the original at some point & I hope I am not terribly disappointed.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Total Recall 2070

This television series came out back in 1999 & to be honest I hadn’t heard much about it other than it was somehow linked to Blade Runner.  Recently I’ve been kinda getting into Philip K. Dick & I stumbled across this playing for free on Hulu.

So it’s named after Total Recall, which doesn’t even really make a lot of sense as the movie came out back in 1990 & I’m sure doesn’t have the cult status of Blade Runner which this is closer related to in pretty much every way.  It’s a story about a beat cop in a world where corporations have more power than the government, people routinely get memories implanted or erased, & the current slave class of androids is rising to true sentience & intelligence.  I’m not going to say this is a great show in the same way I would something like Breaking Bad, but it is better than most sci-fi shows (I’ll give a nod to the recent Battlestar Galactica franchise & my always beloved Doctor Who) in that it doesn’t devolve into just an action show even given that it is in essence a cop show like Law & Order.  Also even though it clearly ends able to be continued it does resolve a lot of the plots it brings up a lot better than most television series.  So it’s not for everybody, maybe it’s only for hardcore geeks, but you could definitely fall to sleep watching worse programs & I liked it despite it’s occasional over-acting & semi-predictable plots.

Powered by Blogger.

  © Blogger template 'Darken' by 2008

Back to TOP