Fast Food Nation (2022) by Eric Schlosser

Categories: 2002, Books, and Non-Fiction.

Much of what Schlosser covers in this boo I was already familiar with, thanks to things like Food, Inc. But I’ve never read a book about the industrialization of food before and, as books are wont to do, Schlosser covers this in much more detail than any documentary you’re going to watch. For the most part, this is an engaging and even darkly amusing read, full of tragic but humourous depictions the kind of hypocrisy we’ve come to expect from American champions of “the free market” who take advantage of government subsidies and regulations, but who think nobody else should Read More

The Dirty Rotten CD by DRI (2002)

Categories: 1983, 2002, and Movies.

This is a compilation of [i]The Dirty Rotten LP[/i], which I believe is a compilation including [i]The Dirty Rotten EP[/i] and some other stuff. You can really hear the influence of UK hardcore (something I just learned existed) on this band but they’ve clearly added something, most noticeably in the vocals (which are no longer as screamy) and the drums (which are significantly more metal to my ears). And I can really hear why these guys were so influential on other American bands, given that they appeared a little too metal for Hardcore Punk and way too punk to be 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

Biggie and Tupac (2002, Nick Broomfield)

Categories: 2002 and Movies.

I don’t mind Broomfield’s annoying narration voice (which is noticeably different from his interview voice…why?) and his informal style when his material’s good. But here, it’s a mixed bag. He conducts numerous interviews with people involved or interested in both murders and those interviews, you would think, would certainly provide enough reason for a less vested party – say, the State of California or the State of Nevada – to re-open the investigations, but beyond that, I’m not sure there’s anything revelatory here. The thing is, it’s all circumstantial: it’s just a bunch of people telling you stuff, and maybe Read More

Amore del tropico (2002) by The Black Heart Procession

Categories: 2002 and Music.

An Indie Rock band that flirts with chamber pop, roots rock and numerous other genres. I don’t quite know what to make of them. On the one hand, they certainly have a relatively lush sound, especially given the era. I can detect their influence on a lot of later indie rock bands that adopted strings in their songs. They also sound like the missing link between ’90s indie rock and Man Man. On the other hand, though they skirt lots of genres – everything from roots music to soul – the overall sound of the album makes everything kind of Read More

Symphony in F; Suite No. 2; etc. (2002) by Gustav Holst, performed by Munich Symphony Orchestra conducted by Douglas Bostock

Categories: 1899, 1900, 1911, 1922, 1934, 2002, and Music.

This is a collection of both short and long orchestral works by Holst. It’s a scattershot collection, like so many others. The ‘Cotswolds’ symphony intrigued me because I heard an excerpt from it on another collection (the elegy, to be precise). It’s a nice late Romantic symphony. Like so much other British work, it fails utterly to be revolutionary, but at least it’s pleasant. I think the elegy is the highlight of the work, which is slightly disappointing. “Walt Whitman” is one of those overtures without a main piece. It’s jaunty but, not knowing about Whitman the man or his Read More

Black Books (2000)

Categories: 2000, 2002, 2004, and TV.

This is one of those mildly amusing sit coms that everyone goes nuts for because it’s British. Okay, maybe that’s a little mean. But I feel like this premise (irascible shop owner and his friends) has been done before. To be honest, it took me a really long time to warm up to this show. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood. I do feel like it got funnier as it went on, even if the pattern of the jokes really didn’t change much. Sit Coms are generally boring. This is better than many, but hardly one of the great Read More

A Guide for the Perplexed (2002, 2014) by Werner Herzog with Paul Cronin

Categories: 2002, 2014, and Books.

Herzog is probably my favourite filmmaker. It’s not that I think he’s “greater” or “better” than others, but that I know I’m going to see something different, whether it’s his newest film, or some old short of his I managed to find. His films are always provocative, usually funny and often profound. He has made at least 4 of the greatest films I have ever seen, as well as a bunch I find virtually incomprehensible. This book isn’t exactly an interview with him. Instead, using the approach Herzog himself uses for his “documentaries,” both Cronin and Herzog re-edited the interview Read More

The War of Art (2002) by Steven Pressfield

Categories: 2002, Books, and Non-Fiction.

I don’t for a minute believe anything Pressfield says about the universe or inspiration. Like so many “self help” books, Pressfield’s advice is founded on a completely unsupportable metaphysic – I find myself utterly disagreeing and rejecting his metaphysics while finding his practical advise utterly useful and inspirational. (I have this experience so many times with these books – can’t stand the foundation but understand and appreciate the practical advice.)I guess Pressfield’s ideas about the universe and existence are a necessary noble lie for many people – no doubt Pressfield himself – in order to convince himself and his readers Read More

Alice (2002) by Tom Waits

Categories: 2002 and Music.

So expectations were going to be high for something like this; a “lost” album from a theatrical production ten years earlier. No doubt many people came to this expecting the “lost masterpiece” that we almost always associate with the work major artists don’t record / release. Well it’s not that, but the idea that it’s bad, as some recent RYM reviewer’s allege, is equally preposterous. It’s certainly a major change in tone from the incredible Bone Machine, which was released only a few months after the show premiered. But that shows off Waits’ versatility, if anything, and that’s something he Read More

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002, Chris Columbus)

Categories: 2002 and Movies.

It’s amazing what a year will do in terms of technology in the 21st century: this film looks a lot better, and a lot less dated than the first. That being said, there is a whole lot of Return of the Living Dead Part II-type “we’ve done this before!” only without the self-aware winking (which is a bad thing, I guess – though really the winking wouldn’t make the movie more palatable). Everything about the story is bigger and more dangerous – and there is a lot less setup this time around – but it is pretty repetitive from the Read More

The Willies (2002) by Bill Frisell

Categories: 2002 and Music.

This is the most traditional-sounding Frisell album I have heard. It’s still recognizable as a Bill Frisell album, but these are pretty conventional – if not necessarily common – takes on both oft-covered and rarely-covered Americana. (There’s also the odd new Frisell composition, that he manages to fit in convincingly as something older.) It’s all well and good, I guess. I mean, it’s better than competent; the musicianship is great. The vibe is nice and relaxed. But it’s just not moving me. 6/10 Read More

& Yet & Yet (2002) by Do Make Say Think

Categories: 2002 and Music.

This is probably their most Tortoise-y album, at least in some respects. So, on that side of things, it is disappointing given how they appeared to be overcoming that influence on the previous album – at least somewhat – and how on the next album they would overcome it (in my mind). But on the other hand, this feels more consistent than their past attempts at combining Tortoise with “math rock” (ugh) in that they have fully embraced the Canadian Tortoise mantle, at least very briefly. So I must say that I like it more than some of what came Read More

Sarhara (2002, John Paul Davidson)

Categories: 2002 and TV.

This is an entertaining and fairly informative travel documentary. I do agree that sometimes he gets in the way of his own role when he is trying to be funny, and I feel like this is a little more apparent than in Pole to Pole. It’s still good to watch and it makes me pretty desperate to travel to Africa ASAP. I find Palin’s latest career to be pretty much the greatest job ever and I wish I could somehow steal it from him. 3 months traveling around a single desert. Amazing. 7/10 Read More

Grand Sonata for Piano and Violin; 20 Variations… (2002, CBC Records) by Carl Czerny, performed by Anton Kuerti and Erika Raum

Categories: 1806, 1807, 1842, 2002, and Music.

I am certainly not at the point where I can truly judge a performance of a work by the standards of professional musicians like these, and it is especially hard when I am unfamiliar with the work. But I like this. I feel like this CD (and another by Kuerti of straight-up piano sonatas and variations, which isn’t yet on RYM) speaks to me: it says I should pay more attention to composers who aren’t always considered canonical. Carl Czerny was hardly revolutionary (at least to my ear) but his music is certainly interesting and pleasant at the same time, Read More

Greg the Bunny (2002)

Categories: 2002 and TV.

This is pretty much the TV version of Meet the Feebles. And because it was made for American network television, it was inherently restricted from the beginning. That being said, the show is pretty off-the-wall for a sitcom, manages some really funny moments and manages to at least somewhat critique the whole nature of TV (in a limited way). It’s pretty evident that even within the only season they were struggling for plots that fit the characters (Junction Jack’s mall buddy obsession makes no sense whatsoever) so it’s probably good for all of us that this got canceled before it Read More

Steal this Album! by System of a Down (2002, American)

Categories: 2002 and Music.

The internet is a funny thing. You’d think that people want to hear the music their favourite bands want to release, as opposed to things their favourite bands haven’t finished. But alas, that’s not how most people think. Most people just want, want, want. And I can’t help but think that some of the people panning Steal this Album! were some of the people who downloaded the leaked unfinished tracks that provoked the album’s release. Why couldn’t they just wait until the next album? Most bands release a rarities comp at some point in their career, and the vast majority of Read More

The Shield (2002, Shawn Ryan)

Categories: 2002 and TV.

Note: I have only ever watched the first four seasons all the way through, as far as I can remember. In 2003 or thereabouts, I found The Shield, as well as Six Feet Under, The Wire, Deadwood and some other of what we might call “the new TV.” I was as enraptured by The Shield as any of these programs and I saw in them all a chance for TV to actually eclipse many movies not just in terms of production values but in terms of cultural value. Serial dramas can tell continuing stories that can become even more central Read More

Talk to Her (2002, Pedro Almodovar)

Categories: 2002 and Movies.

This is an interesting and dare I say touching film that manages to go somewhere I wouldn’t have expected even though in retrospect it’s somewhat obvious. The acting is good all around and the story turns out to be pretty compelling despite my initial reservations. There is a good mix of a little bit of a light humour with the more… well, serious – for lack of a better word – subject matter. 8/10 Read More

And All that Could Have Been by Nine Inch Nails (Nothing 2002)

Categories: 2002 and Music.

I don’t really know why anyone would want to see an industrial band live (or a DJ for that matter, or anyone who is using pre-programmed music) but to his credit Reznor at least tries to make some of these songs sound a a little different. But that is the key word “little.” There a few songs that are slightly different from their studio versions and the rest are merely slightly rawer versions of approximately the same length. This is not why people go to concerts (or so I think). I think there is real potential here to make something Read More

The Genius of the Electric Guitar (Lecagy Box Set 2002)

Categories: 2002 and Music.

Christian may not be the first electric guitarist, or the first jazz electric guitarist, but he was the first important one on both counts. Though ostensibly a swing player, his influence on bop guitarists is beyond profound. I mean I absolutely love Wes Montgomery, but wow does Wes ever owe a lot to this guy. The only drawback about this set is the sheer number of alternate takes. It is complete as far as I know, and that’s great, but the thing can get exhausting listening to it all at once. Christian reguarly preduces totally different solos and fills, but Read More

The Best Movies of the Decade

Categories: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and Movies.

Now that we’re through the aughts, here are my picks for best movies of the decade. The ones that make the initial list are movies that I rated a 10/10. The runners up are 9/10s, and the honourable mentions are 8/10s. Many of these movies I have seen only once, and remember that in 2000 I was 18-19 and not really the “man” I am today. Disagree heartily. Oh yeah, it’s alphabetical so don’t get your knickers in a knot.   The Short-List: Best of Youth Capturing the Friedmans Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Grindhouse Grizzly Man Hunger In Read More