1999, Music

Midnite Vultures (1999) by Beck

I really like Beck. You might say I love Beck, or at least Beck’s mainstream records from ’90s and early ’00s. (I have slowly become less of a fan, over the years.) And I’d like to think I also really enjoy listening to musicians I enjoy having a great time, though I don’t know if …

1999, Music

When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He’ll Win the Whole Thing ‘fore He Enters the Ring There’s No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might so When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won’t Matter, Cuz You’ll Know That You’re Right (1999) by Fiona Apple

I could have sworn to you that I had heard this record before; I thought I had heard all of hers. But I went to check my old review and there was no review nor any rating. And that begs a question: did I listen to this and forget to review and or even rate …

Uncategorized

There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999) by Foo Fighters

I have written on many occasions that post-grunge is one of the few genres I hate as a whole genre, which is nothing I normally do. (I generally believe there are no “bad genres” but there are a few ’90s genres which make me want to reconsider that.) The Foo Fighters are more “rock” than …

1999, Music

Rainbow (1999) by Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey might be the best female pop singer of all time, if we go by technical ability. (I say ‘female’ not to perpetuate gender divisions but only to distinguish her from the man I consider the greatest popular music vocalist in history, who is not female.) It’s this record that has brought me to …

1994, Music

CrazySexyCool (1994) by TLC

I was 13 when this came out but I was already sort of aware of manufactured pop music. I already sort of got that the Monkees hadn’t evolved like the other bands I listened to, and I was sort of aware that some of the oldies music I listened wasn’t made the same way. I …

1989, Music

Wrong (1989) by NoMeansNo

I had no idea what I was getting into with this band, assuming they were just yet another pop punk band. So I was very pleasantly surprised by this record, which really gets in my wheelhouse at times. But I can’t love the record, because, well, I’ve listened to too many of the bands that …

1989, Music

The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste (1989) by Ministry

“Thieves” gets things off to a pretty incredible start. Though this obviously isn’t the first industrial metal album, of even the first Ministry album to contain industrial metal, it still feels like this is pretty much as good as industrial metal got in the ’80s, with pummeling but mechanical-sounding guitars and all sorts of things …

1989, Music

Boomerang (1989) by The Creatures

Does the idea of a Siouxsie and the Banshees album with the music made up of almost entirely percussion sound appealing to you? Well, that’s probably the easiest way of explaining this Creatures record to someone who isn’t familiar with it (as I wasn’t). It’s got a similar vibe to their parent band except the …

1984, Music

Morbid Tales (1984) by Celtic Frost

This, Celtic Frost’s debut, is one of those “EPs in name only”, only that’s true of the US release, not the European release. In Europe it was in indeed an EP. In the US it was a short LP. Why bother mentioning this? Well, it’s classified everywhere as an EP, and these records usually get …

2019, Movies

Knives Out (2019, Rian Johnson)

For someone like me, there are few things more pleasing than a really well-done genre film. But genre conventions can be pretty tired, so that one thing that is more pleasing than that, is a genre crossover that really works. For me, comedy is often the most reliable genre to mashup. (I am a big …

1979, Music

Real to Real Cacophony (1979) by Simple Minds

How synthpop and the New Romantic movement evolved out of punk via post punk has always been one of the most confusing parts of recent popular music history, at least to me. But it’s records like this, caught somewhere in the middle (of punk and synthpop), that make that whole evolution a little more clear.

2002, Books, Non-Fiction

Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life (2002, Kathleen Dalton)

At long last, I have finished this mammoth, exhaustive one-volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt. Given the depth of this one, I have to wonder about the detail of multi-volume biographies. Anyway, why would I read such a thing? Well, I read this because TR is my dad’s favourite president. I had mixed feelings about him …

1974, Music

Heart Like a Wheel (1974) by Linda Ronstadt

Despite her relative commercial success, I don’t know much about Linda Ronstadt or her music, beyond “You’re No Good” and maybe the odd other hit song that I’ve heard through the ether – oh and backing vocal guest appearances on Neil Young albums and elsewhere. So I really wasn’t sure what to expect.

1974, Music

Country Life (1974) by Roxy Music

I have approached Roxy Music in a strange way – listened to their second album first, got really into it, and then listened to their last album and didn’t enjoy it. And I’ve jumped around ever since. And because of the way I feel about their earliest and later albums, I’ve approached the ones in …

1974, Music

Sheer Heart Attack (1974) by Queen

This is, by all accounts, the record where Queen really becomes Queen, taking their bizarre (insane, really) hybrid style and finally pairing it with enough quality songs that it no longer seems gimmicky. I’m not sure I entirely agree, but I get why people feel this way.

1974, Music

Autobahn (1975) by Kraftwerk

Though I might sound like a weird comparison, this record reminds me a lot of early, post-Barrett Pink Floyd albums, where they hadn’t figured out yet how to combine their three disparate impulses into a coherent whole that made musical sense. This record has the famous title track taking up one whole side of it. …

1969, Music

Scott 4 (1969) by Scott Engel

I think I just have to face it: the Scott Walker I like is the one who completely reinvented himself later in his life, demolishing his earlier image and creating some of the weirdness, most unique singer-songwriter albums I’ve ever heard. Try as I might, I don’t like the original version of him. This is …

2019, Books, Non-Fiction

Republic of Lies (2019, Anna Merlan)

This is a survey of contemporary American conspiracy theories and the extent to which some of them can be found in mouths of the powerful in America. It is well-written, engaging and sometimes quite funny. But if you’ve read anything about American conspiracy theories before, there isn’t much new here.

1994, Music

Geek the Girl (1994) by Lisa Germano

I knew nothing about this record going in and, frankly, nothing about Germano. The name maybe rung a bell, a teeny bit, but that’s all. So I had no idea what I was in for, which is maybe why I keep can’t help but compare her to other people.