Month: August 2011

1998, Music

Mechanical Animals by Marilyn Manson (1998 Nothing)

So I don’t really know what was going on here but suddenly things are a lot cleaner and there definitely sounds like there is an attempt to make something a little more accessible. And there are ballads… hmm. So anyway, this sounds post-grunge radio is forcing itself in here. 5/10

1999, Music

Last Tour on Earth by Marilyn Manson (1999 Nothing)

Before I heard this album, I didn’t want to see Manson live. But you could have given me a free ticket or something. After I heard this album, I really didn’t want to see him live. You’d have to pay me. 4/10

2000, Music

Holy Wood by Marilyn Manson (2000 Nothing)

This is definitely rawer than Mechanical Animals and so it’s easier to take. But there are more ballads, a disturbing trend. And his lyrics are getting worse and worse (or maybe the music is becoming less interesting and I am paying too much attention to the lyrics). But I still prefer it to Mechanical Animals …

2007, Music

Eat Me, Drink Me by Marilyn Manson (2007 Interscope)

So I guess this is sort of a solo album since apparently there is no band any more. The guitarist is actually pretty good. It’s too bad he writes music that sounds like HIM gone new new wave. This is one of the more crass attempts I have seen to change up a sound to …

2003, Music

The Golden Age of the Grotesque (Nothing 2003) by Marilyn Manson

When an artist resorts to cheerleaders its hard to know what to think. Occasionally it can work and be funny. Most of the time it is ridiculous. The same might be said for nonsense lyrics. If you are going to scat, you should be able to sing. Singing was never Manson’s strength but he used …

2011, Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke: Matt Lashoff for Alex Berry and Stefano Giliati

Leafs acquire Matt Lashoff for Alex Berry and Stefano Giliati Here we have an insignificant trade that still tells us wonders about the thinking going on in the Leafs’ “brain trust.” Lashoff was a first round pick… in 2005. Since then he has been a depth defenceman for the Bruins and Lightning, never playing more …

2011, Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke: Clarke MacAthur

As I said last year, signing MacArthur was a great risk. The contract was low, because MacArthur had just won an arbitration award which was then declined. He had everything to prove as he had come in to the NHL after a pretty great WJC but then amounted to not all the much with the …

2011, Music

Mooniture by Anna Atkinson (2011)

Atkinson is like a less-quirky, far more accessible, Canadian Joanna Newsom, at least the early Joanna Newsom. Her voice is a lot more traditional, but there is a similar sense of humour and ear for melody on sometimes¬†nontraditional¬†folk instruments. Her songs are decent and the instrumentation makes them far more interesting. The only problem really …

1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, TV

The Larry Sanders Show

Having recently (re)watched The Larry Sanders Show: I think The Larry Sanders Show is one of the great American television programs and one of the great comedy programs of all time. Though it was certainly not the first TV show to parody TV, nor was it the first show to be about talk shows, it …

1994, Music

Portrait of an American Family by Marilyn Manson (Interscope 1994)

Manson is often compared to Cooper but listening to this album I think that’s not particularly fair. Manson is significantly scarier than Cooper (even if he isn’t scary) but, more importantly, the band is more musically interesting than Cooper’s. Cooper was just doing arena rock with a spooky stage show. Here, at least, the music …

1995, Music

Smells Like Children by Marilyn Manson (Nothing 1995)

First of all, this is not an “EP” though it is regarded by many (fortunately not Rateyourmusic) as such. EPs were specific things back in the days of vinyl and they had less time than a LP. I wish this was an EP. It might actually be good if it was an actual EP. But …

1996, Music

Antichrist Superstar by Marilyn Manson (Interscope 1996)

This is surprisingly decent. I can’t say I like his lyrics all that much (they are pretty dumb for such a smart guy) but I find the music to be good enough and far more interesting than I ever would have expected. 7/10 Later on my additional comment would be that it’s too long.

2009, Music

Genius: the Ultimate Collection by Ray Charles (Concord 2009)

Ray Charles was a very important musician in the history of soul music but you don’t really get that here. Instead you get many of his hits, some of which are in an altogether different genre (which is fine). But it’s really hard to tell he’s a great innovator from this selection. He sounds rather …

1965, Music

Mr. Tambourine Man by the Byrds (Columbia, 1965)

Mr. Tambourine man isn’t really the first folk rock album ever – as the Beatles had been dabbling in somewhat similar sounds on their past two albums and Dylan had done the same on his last – and it’s not the greatest ever – that could go to other Byrds albums or some Fairport Convention …

1985, Music

Telephone Free Landslide Victory by Camper Van Beethoven (IRS 1985)

Imagine Kaleidoscope, if they were ’80s college kids (and so liked the Velvets), had far more interest in ska, far less interest in learning to play foreign instruments, and with a sense of humour, and you maybe sort of get the idea of these guys. The instrumentals tackle a variety of styles but many of …

1994, Music

American Recordings by Johnny Cash (American 1994)

Though I absolutely appreciate the production for this album, I must say that I find his song selection got better as the series went on (even though they moved away from the concept of Cash by himself). At the time I guess this seemed novel, but now that we have six of these albums I …

2007, Music

Invitation Songs by the Cave Singers (Matador 2007)

So it took me a while to get into this. The lead singer sounds a little bit like he is trying to be a country-ish young Lou Reed (you know, the guy you hear on those early Velvets demos). And the affectation (can I really believe he sound like this when he speaks?) is fucking …

1998, Music

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] (Maverick 1998)

It is befitting of a Tarantino knock off (albeit a very good one) that its soundtrack is also a Tarantino knock off. The problem is that it’s a transparent Tarantino knock off and, more importantly, that it lacks the main quality of most Tarantino soundtracks: the obscurity. Yes, there is some relatively obscure stuff here, …

2006, Music

Marie Antoinette [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] (Verve 2006)

I must say, first off, that I did not like this movie. It is one thing to use non-period music for your soundtrack when you are making a film (if the film has some meta quality to it, it makes sense), but when this film is a docudrama, it is hard to justify the decision. …

2006, Music

Fox Confessor Brings the Flood by Neko Case (Mint 2006)

The songs take some time to grow on you, but this is because they’re not exactly conventional in structure. And the hooks are subtle. I like subtle. Her voice is fantastic and the backing musicians are uniformly good. I haven’t yet come to the point where I would regard this as any kind of masterpiece, …

1970, Music

Vintage Violence by John Cale (1970 Columbia)

I like Cale. I think he is often a great lyricist (except on Slow Dazzle, where he is lazy) and I think he was certainly the most musically interesting member of the Velvets. But he is not a great songwriter. He lacks a bit of an ear for melody. The only record of his that …

1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1948, 1952, 2004, Music

The Music Master by Benny Carter (Proper 2004)

First, a disclaimer: my library only has the last three discs so I am not reviewing the first disc. Though this music (at least the music on the second and third discs) is not really my thing, I find myself becoming a big admirer of Mr. Carter. He appears to have mastered three separate instruments …

1982, Music

Live at Bourbon St. by Lenny Breau (True Noth 1995, recorded 1982)

This is about as good as it gets for jazz guitar. Though it is fairly traditional (as opposed to anything free) given the era, that doesn’t matter as Breau’s technique is just absolutely amazing. He conquers both fairly traditional ballads and some relatively recent and more forward thinking (’60s) material. He manages to make it …

1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1988, 2003, Music

The 50th Anniversary Collection by James Brown (Polydor 2003)

James Brown’s importance can not be understated. He is on The List of the most important musical figures of the twentieth century (along with Louis Armstrong, the Beatles, Miles Davis, Dylan, Duke Ellington, Schoenberg,¬†Stockhausen, Frank Zappa and maybe a few others). This compilation of his hit singles gives a very good idea of his progression …

2011, Music

WIMF: the Wolfe Island Music Festival 2011

My friend recently noted that the acronym is confusing, making one think of the IMF, so I decided to spell it out. Just putting that out there. This was the 13th edition of the festival but my first. I must say I was unfamiliar with most of the bands, though I knew many of them …

2011, Personal

Statistical patterns grouped upon past behavior cannot predict individual choices OR: Why we have PINs

I spent all my money on beer and food the first two days of the Wolfe Island Music Festival. That’s okay, I had a good time. But I should have brought more with me. I know that now. Next time.