Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Free Form Comments

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scott91777 said...

I just saw Indy for the third time... to paraphrase Beetlejuice "It keeps getting better every time I see it!"

It's flawed, but, I'm telling you, the first 15 minutes is the most fun you'll have at the movies all summer.

(yes, third time... I'm bored and I also live in a rural area where you can still take in a matinee for under 5 bucks)


about Weezer, I actually liked Make Believe... although I was pleased to see the reviewer also thought the melody to "We Are All On Drugs" was clipped from the "Diarhea" song, I thought I was the only one who noticed?... maybe that's part of why I like the song.

I guess the key to my liking Weezer is the fact that I don't take them too seriously. I've come to terms witht the fact that they'll never make another Blue Album and I'm willing to settle for just catchy guitar-based pop (and It is catchy). I was disapointed with the new album though. Click the link to my myspace blog in the sidebar to read the review I wrote for it.

neilshyminsky said...

scott: I found it catchy in the way that many completely vacuous pop songs can be catchy and I hate them all the more for getting stuck in my head. Uh, not to be overstate my dislike of the album or anything. ;)

Geoff: I only just noticed that you've got yourself an assistant professorship - congratulations on the tenure track job!

Geoff Klock said...

Neil – thanks. I forgot to highlight it when it happened.

To everyone – this is finals week and for that reason I have not been participating in this week’s two big discussions. Sorry. But seriously – Jason and Scott are generating some serious talk around here.

scott91777 said...


I can see you're point. I guess I cut Weezer a lot of slack because, while I'm a long-time fan, they're not one of my 'favorite' bands.

Additonally, I'm often initially somehwat disapointed by albums by my 'favorite' bands only to have them grow on me over time. This was the case with All That You Can't Leave Behind and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (U2 is my favorite band). I'm not saying I thought they were horrible or anything... just that I was initally expecting more maybe and the flaws were more apparent. I think, like with the new Indy film, once you see something without the burden of expectation you can enjoy it a lot more.

Your last comment also reminded me of something. A couple of years back I read a review of Train's latest album that started with the headline: Train-The World's Most Boring Band.

This is when I decided that the worst thing a rock band can do is be boring. This is why I hate Nickelback and Daughtry. It's not that it's the worst music ever mad on any technical or aesthetic level, I just find it incredibly boring. Maybe, as you point out, Weezer have become just as boring and I'm not noticing it (I'm curious, do you like any of the latter day Weezer? The Green Album or Maladroit?)

Also, how far do we really let our favorite artists go when it comes to trying something different?
Think about it, whenever established bands try something new they are usually applauded (U2 on Zooropa and Achtung Baby and REM on UP) but when they continue this path for too long they are often criticized (U2 on Pop, REM on Reveal and Around The Sun) only to be applauded when they do album's that are a 'return to form' (All That You Can't Leave Behind, Accelerate). So, basically, what we want is bands that can shake things up with every album and explore new territory while at the same time giving us what we've come to expect from them... is that too much to ask?

I was also thinking, Beck is one of the few artist I can think of who almost always does something completely different with each album (and even he did his 'return to form' album with Guero which is the closest he's come to making another record like Odelay)

Just thinking out loud here?

neilshyminsky said...

scott: I really liked The Green Album when it was released, but the subsequent releases have caused me to reassess its worth - it's looking increasingly like the first step in the direction that has led us to these latter-day Weezer albums. (Especially since they licensed 'Island in the Sun' for use by Beaches, the island resort company.)

"So, basically, what we want is bands that can shake things up with every album and explore new territory while at the same time giving us what we've come to expect from them... is that too much to ask?"

Which, while sounding ridiculous, is pretty much right. If you take a look at the career path of anyone that has staying power, it seems customary to follow a hit album with something a little riskier, follow that riskier thread until it proves unsuccessful, and then return to the hit format ("a return to form!") before embarking on some new direction and starting the whole process over again. To varying degrees, U2, Madonna, Mariah Carey, even David Bowie over the last couple decades have followed this sort of pattern.

scott91777 said...

Actually, I think it's safe to say with just about any form of entertainment/art that's the path that the most successful artists take: Film makers, authors, superhero comics etc.

How does TV figure in to this?

Oh, and what about the musical artists who are just kind of at their best when they DON'T grow. Like AC/DC really can't stray too far from being AC/DC without it becoming ridiculous (could you imagine what their ventures into world music would be like?) Or how about the Ramones... how much do you really WANT the Ramones to grow musically or do you want them to bash out the hard, fast, loud, catchy, three-chord ditties (is that how you spell 'ditties')

By the way, I'm drafting you, Marc, and Scene as being the other music guys on here. I was just saying to Geoff how, instead of writing a post, I should just throw out a topic to you guys and say "GO!"

neilshyminsky said...

scott: This is precisely why I dislike AC/DC and much of the Ramones' material. They were at their best when they first defined the sound that they're known for. The rest just bores me to tears.

Jason said...

Is Weezer's blue album really all that great? Wasn't that just catchy but uninspired stuff as well? "The Sweater Song" was the first big hit, and it just was a slightly catchier re-write of the Pixies' "I Bleed."

I've never quite understood why Weezer was ever on a pedestal. I invite someone to explain it to me.

Scott, I think Neil's paradigm can apply to TV as well. "Alias" followed up its best season (Number 2) with an attempt to do something a little darker (Season 3), which was roundly disliked by fans, so Season 4 returned to the quasi-camp that had characterized the show's very earliest episodes.

(On the other hand, maybe "Alias" is atypical?)

Anyway, yeah. Weezer sucks. :)

scott91777 said...

It seems to me that what happens with most TV shows is that, generally, they do what they do best for a few seasons... then, that gets old and they try introducing something new (Cousin Oliver) but, by this point, the series is either so far gone that it is quickly cancelled or it attempts to revert to it's old formula but, by this point, it's too late and it is quickly cancelled or everyone has lost interest.

One of the few series I can think of that had a fairly long run that got better towards the end was Deep Space Nine. the last 2 1/2 years with the Dominion war was brilliant and surpassed anything that Star Trek had done before... and anything they have done since has yet to match it. I will admit that, the finale of the series did leave something to be desired.

On Weezer,

I think that was kind of my point with why I had always liked Weezer was the fact that I never put them on a pedestal and just loved their catchy guitar-rock.

Jason said...

Deep Space Nine! How awesome that you brought that show up of all possible shows. I've just started re-watching that show from the beginning. I agree, it got so good as it went along. Best. Trek. Ever. (Although I fully expect J.J. "Alias" Abrams to surpass it.)

So, why do some people regard Weezer so highly? I've just never understood that. I had a couple friends in high school who just seemed so intoxicated by the blue album, and I just didn't get it.

scott91777 said...

I think the Blue Album is a great album... I'd probably put it in my to 20... "Buddy Holly" is just pure bliss and "Only In Dreams" is one of the best closing songs ever (I think every concert should end with it... not just Weezer concerts either :P )and you, of all people, should respect an album that namechecks Kitty Pryde :)

I think a lot of it has to do more with Pinkerton which achieved this sort of legendary underappreciated status, especially amont the Emo crowd. I think maybe a lot of what happenned with that album is that they were thought of as much more 'serious' than they really are.

scott9177 said...

On my JLI posts,

Just wanted to let you guys know that the grand finale of the JLI posts is going to be delayed a week or two while I work out some health issues.

Let's just pretend that it's an All Star book... not All Star Superman... but maybe All Star Batman and Robin... no wait... I want people more than two people to like it... uhm... It'll be good I promise :)

Jason said...

"I've got Kitty Pryde, and Nightcrawler too, waiting there for me."

You're right, I forgot about that. I do love that line! Weezer rules! :)

I hope your health problems are not serious, Scott. All the best to you.

Marc Caputo said...

Scott: I'll have a good thought for you - stay well, man.

And thanks for the kind words. It's funny, I've been meaning to work up the nerve to throw Geoff some music stuff. Even funnier is that I was just musing to myself that Beck is the one of the only artists since the late 80s (when we started to lose Prince as an interesting artist) who actually gets me excited to see what's next. The others are Pet Shop Boys, Pavement and Sleater-Kinney, although the last few years has seen the latter two fall by the wayside.

But again, most importantly, take care of yourself.