Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992) by Aphex Twin

Categories: 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, and Music.

I am familiar with electronic music up until a point – that point is somewhere in the very early 80s. I have no idea what happened between then and the music we have today (save for the odd track that gets played too much or turned into stadium music). Read More

From Fear to Eternity: The Best of 1990-2010 (2011) by Iron Maiden

Categories: 1990, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2010, and 2011.

I accidentally picked this up thinking it was a compilation of their ’80s music. Ah well. I learned a couple of things from this record: First, Iron Maiden has a formula and they stuck to it (at least on the songs considered their “best”). Second, I should never get a live Iron Maiden album. It’s pretty clear from listening to this record that Maiden is just milking their sound for all its worth. Sure, some of these songs are pretty catchy and everything is very professional and competent, but so many of these songs follow the exact same formula. And Read More

Best Worst Movie (2009, Michael Stephenson)

Categories: 1990, 2009, and Movies.

This film is ostensibly about Troll 2, which some consider the worst movie ever made at(at one point it had a 0% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes  and was once the worst movie on IMDB). At this point I should mention I have never seen Troll 2. Surprised, aren’t you? I should. But I don’t know if it will ever beat Island of Death. Nothing will ever beat Island of Death.* But it’s really about what happened to the cast, and the cult that formed and the film, and the tour the film’s main actors took the film on in Read More

Songs of Praise (1990) by African Head Charge

Categories: 1990 and Music.

As I’ve noted before, I’ve been maintaining a list of music to listen to for many, many years. And some of what made it onto that list made it on when I had different interests, or didn’t know any better. Well… There was a time I wanted to get into dub. I don’t know why I wanted to get into dub. Part of me probably wanted to get into it because it was something most other people I knew didn’t know of, so I could be hipper than them, or what have you. Also, there was that Big Sugar album Read More

Rust in Peace (1990) by Megadeth

Categories: 1990 and Music.

I have listened to a fair amount of Metallica and so I guess that instantly puts me in a “hey, this doesn’t sound like Metallica?” mindset which isn’t helpful. I feel like there is more of an influence on precision in this band, then the heaviness plus precision of some other bands. It’s a little too clean for me, I think. But that’s not to say there’s something wrong with it/I feel like, had I gotten into this early in my metal-listening career, I might have been a little more into it. It’s clearly a well done record, despite my Read More

Ritual de lo habitual (1990) by Jane’s Addiction

Categories: 1990 and Music.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I finally got around to listening to this record, but it wasn’t this. That is sometimes a good thing, sometimes a bad thing. But expectations always mess with our appreciation. Hopefully I can get through mine. First of all, I finally understand why Navarro is a guitar hero to a certain generation. I had never understood why before, but had rarely heard him play. Aside from Slash (who is, by the way, much better), I can’t think of another guitar player to embrace classic rock guitar like Navarro does here. That’s pretty Read More

AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (1990) by Ice Cube

Categories: 1990 and Music.

What the hell do I do with this? Well, here goes… So this is the second “classic” hip hop record I’ve ever given my requisite 3 listens. However, unlike the one Public Enemy record I’ve now heard, I can’t just accept it for what it is. Because, unlike that record, and like so much of hip hop (far as I know), this is something that is utterly full of contradictions. And I’m not sure what I think of those. I know that’s deliberate – it is, I suppose, one of the things that makes Hip Hop so appealing to so Read More

Fear of a Black Planet (1990) by Public Enemy

Categories: 1990 and Music.

This is the first Hip Hop album I have ever given my requisite 3 listens to. I am 33 years old. There have been a number of R&B (or “urban”) albums containing raps and Hip Hop that I have listened to, and I listened to an EP recently that might have sort of qualified, but this is absolutely the first Hip Hop album I have ever heard properly. The reason for that is that I am an extraordinarily white Canadian, who was raised in a middle class neighbourhood (now an upper class neighbourhood, basically) and I was always so utterly Read More

House of Cards (1990), To Play the King (1993), The Final Cut (1995)

Categories: 1990 and TV.

This review contains some mild spoilers. I watched this earlier than I planned in part in getting impatient for the American season 3 to start, and in part because I heard rumours of no more BBC programming on Netflix. Watching both series is very illustrative. The original British mini series (the first season) is considerably more realistic than the American show, though this realism goes off the rails a little bit in the subsequent series. But it is clear to me that the American show has learned lessons from the British one, and from the intervening “Golden Age” of American Read More

Spring 1990: So Glad You Made it (2012) by Grateful Dead

Categories: 2012 and Music.

The standard line about this tour seems to be it was the best Dead tour in some time. I have no idea whether or not that’s true, because this is the second live album of theirs I have heard. This album is a sample from the box set, something I would only ever buy if I was a massive Deadhead. You can guess from the fact that this is my second Dead live album that I am not, in fact, a massive Deadhead. I don’t know what the Dead tours were like in the ’80s, but if this is the Read More

The Civil War (1990, Ken Burns)

Categories: 1990 and TV.

I watched when I was 8 or 9 and never since. On watching it this time, I am amazed I still remember some of it; it obviously had a big impression on me. This documentary is an important landmark – kind of like the American version of Shoah – the first long-form American documentary about American history. And it’s also iconic – so much of what is contained in this film has become cliche but that’s not because it is cliche, just that Burns’ style has weaseled its way into American documentary storytelling, especially in the case of TV documentaries. Read More

Dukas: La Peri; L’Apprenti sorcier; Chabrier: Suite pastorale; Espana (1990) by Yan Pascal Tortelier, Ulster Orchestra

Categories: 1990 and Music.

This is a decent collection of two fairly similar composers but it could be better. Dukas’ music is generally interesting and I guess king of on the level below the greatest French composers of that generation. Still quite good, but not up to the Debussy standard. I little less warmly towards Chabrier’s music. For one thing, I’d much rather here the original piano compositions than the orchestrated suite. I also feel like his ode to Spain is a little less obviously Spanish than some other, similar celebrations. It’s still enjoyable music, just not life-altering. 8/10 Read More

The Chess Box (1990) by Bo Diddley

Categories: 1990 and Music.

This gives a better summary of his career with Chess than His Best. As a result it is a better display of his rather astounding diversity (for a first wave rock and roller). The problem is twofold: For one thing his diversity has its downside, as much of the music omitted from His Best is way too similar to the novelty “Say Man”. The other problem is that, like so many other originators of rock and roll, Diddley ignored Bob Dylan. So there is really no lyrical progress from “Bo Diddley” to “Bo Diddley 1969”. Though this is a great Read More

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) (1990) by Anne-Marie MacDonald

Categories: 1990, Books, and Fiction.

This is certainly an inventive and enjoyable play. But perhaps because I read it and didn’t see it live, I can’t say that I am grabbed quite like I thought I might be. Though I’m sure this is sacrilege in drama circles, I enjoyed the movie version of Rosencranz and Gildenstern are Dead significantly more. I guess if I saw it live, I might be slightly more charmed. This isn’t to say I disliked it. I actually quite liked it. I’m just not sure it’s brilliant. It is entertaining and it’s reasonably clever. But I don’t know about brilliant. 8/10 Read More

It (1990 Tommy Lee Wallace)

Categories: 1990 and TV.

This has a lot in common with Stand by Me, only this time it is a horror movie along with a coming of age movie. The TV budget is painfully obvious at times but for the most part it is only the cast that is a dead giveaway that this was made for TV. Up until the climax, it mostly works as some kind of horror meets coming of age story. But the climax is pretty brutal, and they saved the worst effects for last. Still, as horror on TV goes, I can’t think of anything that much better circa Read More

90s Movies

Categories: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and Movies.

Again I need to warn you about my ratings. In many cases the one and only time I watched these films was in high school, when I was far less discerning. In other cases, I really liked a movie then, then watched it 5 to 10 years later and saw that it was mediocre or bad and got embarrassed and my rating is often a reaction to that feeling, meaning I am subsequently harder on a film if I liked it the first time and I now see it for what it is. I have added asterisks to movies I don’t Read More

Twin Peaks and After Dark, My Sweet (1990, James Foley)

Categories: 1990, 1991, Movies, and TV.

In the CD player: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One by Yo La Tengo After the solving of Laura Palmer’s murder about half way through the 2nd season, Twin Peaks became harder to like. Some episodes were pretty good but others (such as the first episode after said solved crime) were SUPER weak. Anyway, since the first season was so stellar I was willing to overlook some of the flaws and the fact that since the driving impetus for the show was gone, it all seemed rather pointless (though, as I said, some of the episodes were really Read More