Monthly Archives: September 2013

Commentary: “Metallica: Through the Never”

I have just returned from the movies and I am now forced to piece together my mind which has recently been blown apart by the spectacular showmanship of my favorite band, Metallica.

Having just taken in their new concert/movie hybrid “Through the Never” I was transported back in time to my teens when my love for Metallica really evolved into an inferno. Through my late teens I ate, slept, and breathed Metallica.  My horizons expanded into adulthood and, while I never forgot them, I didn’t listen to them as much as I used to.  I will also admit that the 2003 release of “St. Anger” really left a sour taste in my mouth and I was disillusioned with the band for a while.

At the movies, I felt like I was sixteen again seeing my heroes play all of my favorite songs and, in IMAX 3D, the experience was almost as visceral as actually being in the concert with them.  I felt their music coursing through me.  The heavy guitars, the harsh lyrics, Lars going crazy on the drums, everything that made me fall in love with Metallica in the first place was rekindled whilst watching “Through the Never.”

I do not say much about Metallica on here, nor am I going to sit here and profess my love for them.  I know that I love them, you know (or should know) that I love them, let’s leave it at that.  A band like Metallica is beyond reproach and does not need some overfed, smug, man-child type pontificating about how much he loves them at 1 in the morning while swilling coffee and wearing his wife’s sweatpants.  Of course they are a great band.  But saying you love Metallica is like saying you love chocolate.  I.E. everyone loves chocolate and people who don’t are just weird.

It is also important for me to say how much I love Robert Trujillo.  Cliff Burton was before my time and I was always accustomed to Jason Newsted as Metallica’s bass player.  When he left, I was very surprised.  However, seeing Robert Trujillo in “Through the Never” gave me a newfound respect for him.  Don’t get it twisted-I have always liked him and loved his work as part of Metallica, but he was always just that-PART of Metallica.  Indeed, I am now of the opinion that he is not just part of the band, the band is part of him.

The cinema portion of the movie was really like having Metallica album art come to life.  It has a very open-ended story and I won’t say any more to avoid spoilers.  Just go see it.  It is an absolute must for any Metallica fan, music fan, movie fan, or anyone who likes things that don’t suck.


Request Granted: The Carpenters

In a previous post, IF YOU CAN BE BOTHERED TO REMEMBER, you’ll recall that I opened up this little corner of cyberspace to the requests from the reading several.  After several requests (including one for the Adele song “Skyfall” which I can only assume/hope was a joke) I have granted the request of my most loyal and diligent commenter, Elizabeth.  Enjoy.

While the music of The Carpenters is admittedly not my cup of tea, it is still a form of expression that I respect and still music that I find to be very solid and interesting, albeit not quite my style.  My favorite song of theirs is actually a cover of The Eagles’ “Desperado”.

Nevertheless, The Carpenters are quite important to the canon of music as a whole.  The Carpenters are arguably the pioneers of the soft rock/easy listening genre.  This led in to the new wave genre of acts like Annie Lennox and The Eurythmics, which influenced synthpop acts like Paula Abdul and Ace of Base, which influenced acts like Britney Spears, which influenced acts like Lady Gaga.  If you subscribe to my theory (and I invite anyone to challenge me) it is evident just how important The Carpenters were by creating the aforementioned genres and sub genres.

While the keyboarding is certainly characteristic of a Carpenters’ song, Karen’s voice is really what brings it home.  I once discussed how sweet and melodious Shawn Colvin’s voice was .  While Karen’s voice is certainly melodious and sweet, it is such in a different way.  Karen’s voice is deeper, almost maternal.  It is something akin to the healing chants of a female shaman.

Sadly, Karen Carpenter’s life was truncated by heart failure which puts her in the same category as other music legends like John Lennon, Buddy Holly, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Kurt Cobain whose lives were all cut short by haunting circumstances, thus leaving scholars and fans of music wondering what might have been.  Indeed, I am sure if Karen Carpenter had survived, her career would have flourished across decades like, for instance, that of Cher. Tragically, we are left with only speculation.


Miley Cyrus is Garbage

Miley Cyrus can’t dance and is untalented. Think I’m not qualified to judge?

Well, Cher is.


Amy Lee-Time for a Change

When I first heard Evanescence, I really enjoyed their music. I discovered them right around the time that Linkin Park released their first album. I was enthralled by both of these bands. Linkin Park with their two vocalists and Evanescence with Amy Lee’s haunting vocals. However, it seems that the shine is off the proverbial apple for both bands. Sadly, the novelty of those bands wore off for me about four years ago.

But what of Amy Lee? She is far too talented not to be doing something. Quite frankly, Evanescence is a garden variety metal band without her. Given the fact that the novelty of someone with her voice doing metal, it’s time for Amy Lee to take the musical world by the tail. She could figuratively wipe the floor with Adele, Christina Aguilera and, (God Help Us) Katy Perry. Unlike Katy Perry, Amy Lee has real talent.

With the garbage that Katy Perry has been churning out lately, Amy Lee certainly couldn’t do any worse.


Requests

Is there a musical act that drives you crazy (besides Fine Young Cannibals, of course) in a positive or negative way?

Do you enjoy my rapier wit and caustic sarcasm?

Are you in need of seeing me verbally flay, eviscerate, maim, shred, and slaughter a music artist that you can’t stand?

Well then you’re in luck. I’m taking requests. If you would like something posted on here, send it to me either via email or via comment, or via text message, carrier pigeon, tape a post-it note to the back of a wandering transient and hope I find it, or whatever your preferred method of communication is and you just might see it posted on here. Good luck.