As a “companion piece” to Bingo Little’s Pick Of The Flicks thread, in much the same way as The God Delusion is a companion piece to The Bible, I’d like to propose a thread dedicated to your worst cinematic experiences of the year. I don’t so much mean “I hated it, can’t see why everyone else liked it” heated debates, but more those films that you would unreservedly tell everyone not to waste their time and money on, in the certain knowledge that anyone would be wasting their time and money. Our very own Golden Raspberries, if you like. So which movies represented -to use a way-too-common IMDB reviewers’ clichè- “two hours of your life that you’ll never get back”?
Here’s a little something that probably won’t interest anyone: you know that bit at the start of Tom Petty’s Even The Losers where a female voice says “It’s just the normal noises in here”? Well, if you look on the interweb, the voice is generally considered to be that of Mike Campbell’s wife, Marcie. Warren Zanes’ biography of Petty confirms this, saying it was taken from a home recording when Campbell thought their washing machine was broken. But this week Australian rocker and Jessie’s girl Rick Springfield was a guest on Jonesy’s Jukebox and he claims matter-of-factly that the voice is his wife’s, as she was a 16-year-old answering phones at Sound City at the time. (9.15 into the broadcast). So there you go.
I did warn you it wouldn’t interest you.
I just watched a film called Thank You For Your Service. I won’t write a review cos I’m a lazy feck, but it was ok. Not bad, not great. The based-on-true story of some soldiers who went a bit doolally after coming back from Iraq. Anyways, my favourite thing about it was Springsteen’s take on a standard army marching song that’s used in the end credits. Best thing he’s done for a long time.
I came across Greta Van Fleet as they played on Jonesy’s Jukebox (video below, performance starts at 6.10). I’ve never been much interested in acts I’ve never heard of on Steve Jones’ show before. (Except I did once really like a performance by a chap called Cobi who played a great solo acoustic song but then I investigated further and his official studio recordings didn’t interest me at all.) Greta Van Fleet grabbed my attention by performing on the show with the full band, which doesn’t happen usually. Then I was really surprised and intrigued by the singer’s voice. Robert Plant meets Geddy Lee. And the music was a surprise too. Retro rock in a Led Zep stylee. There’s certainly an “ooh, that’s an interesting area for a new band to revisit” element to appreciating them, rather like Green Day, The Darkness, The Feeling, and Leon Bridges all had in their time. So, whaddawe think? I’d say “interesting”.
I’m at the gym, limbs splayed akimbo, eyes full of sweat and tears, and I accidently clicked on Moose The Mooche’s avatar. Well call me surprise! cos I never realised there’s such a thing as a cover photo! Checking other avatars I see very few people have put one on their profile. And why would they? No one ever sees them. Because, that’s why! Moose, Disappointment Bob and Ruff Diamond are the only AWers I could find who have taken advantage of this hidden gallery (having posted photos of, respectively, Ena Sharples, Disappointment Bob and books or records or something). I’ve rectified my omission with a sexy pic (hope that’s allowed) and hereby invite everyone else to join in. Post your cover pics for the delight of no one ever!
I’m not going to write a review because I haven’t listened enough yet and haven’t time to today. I have a beach to get to. But initial listen to the new Crosby album sounds very promising indeed. Very, very Steely Dan sounding first track. Gorgeous second track.
There have been three interesting guests on Jonesy’s Jukebox recently that might interest the AW. Numan, Winwood and May. I personally found Numan’s spot the most interesting.
So what do we think of Jagger’s new songs then, eh? Me, I like them. Both. They sound fresh and brash. Not at all bad for a septuagenarian.
Surprising to see a list that ranks my favourites so highly. Beast Of Burden, Miss You, Emotional Rescue, Waiting On A Friend. “The all-ballad second half of Tattoo You is the Stones’ greatest on-record stretch of warmth and beauty.” I agree with that 100%.
I thought the good Doc Volume’s thread titled Novella was going to be about novellas. Imagine my disappointment! (No offense, Doc. I mean that in a kind, caring and compassionate way.) Anyway, it got me thinking about novellas. I love ’em, me. How easy life seems when you’re facing a few hours’ profound entertainment with less than 100 pages that you can finish faster than it takes to endure a Mashavishnu Orchestra album. If only The Goldfinch had been a novella! My favourites? Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach is a goodun. As is his The Cement Garden. Fred Uhlman’s Reunion is lovely. Julian Barnes’ The Sense Of An Ending. And, of course, Breakfast At Tiffany’s. I fancy delving into another. Preferably fairly contemporary. Any recommendations, kind people?
Can I play Growin’ Up with you?
As you are all fully aware, I spend most of my time planning Moose’s funeral (invite only, I’m afraid). I had planned on playing the rather clichéd Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life as the flames engulf the raft, but it’s been ruled out in no uncertain terms by the deceased-to-be himself. Mr Bigpicture has suggested Fat Bottomed Girls as a possible replacement. I thought perhaps Body Talk might make a fitting obituary. Or Afternoon Delight was another that crossed my mind. But I’m sure that we collectively (by which I mean you individually) can “come up” with better.
A friend recently introduced me to the Mahogany Sessions youtube channel. It’s a real treasure trove of stripped back performances by great artists. Well worth checking out.
Teatro Forma, Bari, Italy
It’s a funny old world, where a young lad of Jacob Collier’s talent has fewer than 10,000 followers on Twitter and is playing small 100-seater venues like this, while One Direction are filling stadiums. Collier has the looks to be in a boy band, but he has way, way more talent. He might even be a genius. Quincy Jones has said of him: “I have never in my life seen a talent like this.” KD Lang describes him as “the most talented kid on Earth today.” David Crosby limits himself to the more prosaic “fucking amazing”.
We’ve all seen live sampling used to good effect before. Collier takes it one step further as he flits effortlessly from keyboards to drums to guitar to electric bass to piano to stand up bass to percussion, sampling as he goes round. And he plays each of them to a very high standard. Singing all the while. I’d found his singing on his Youtube videos a little too mannered. Kind of like a public school choirboy. But live it sounds much more sincere and involved, from gorgeous falsetto to bluesy baritone.
To compliment his » Continue Reading.
Afterword favourites Jedward have released a new single.
Whenever I tell civilians that I like Neil Young’s Little Wing I have to add that it’s not the famous Jimi Hendrix song. There are a couple of other songs (below) that fall into the same ‘no, not the famous one’ category. Can you come up with any more examples? Another song called Stairway To Heaven perhaps? An obscure song called Bohemian Rhapsody?
Year: 2016 Director: Ti West
In A Valley Of Violence has got 8 reviews on IMDB to date, four good and four bad. The bad ones criticise the story and the screenplay, comparing the story to the Keanu Reeves shoot-em-up revenge film John Wick (albeit as a Western). Which is fair enough. But the screenplay redeems it for me. It really turns the idea of classic tough guys on its head, showing them as people who really don’t want to get hurt, much less killed. The tough guys are Ethan Hawke and John Travolta, neither of whom fits the usual clearly delineated goodie/baddie stereotype. I was interested to see the baddest baddie is played by James Ransone, who I last saw having a fully explicit wank in the Larry Clark film Ken Park! Nice to see he’s gone on to have a proper career after such a courageously unselfconscious start. Also stars Doctor Who’s old assistant, Karen Gillan. Oh and the dog is brilliant.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
John Wick, Unforgiven.
Came across this today and thought some of you might be interested.
To promote his upcoming album Van is interviewed in The Independent by Ian Rankin. “Some people need to keep evolving, others wanna just repeat the same thing. I’m more prone to evolve” says Van. The video shows him playing some of his new songs, which sound great, but essentially no different to anything he’s produced over the last few decades. He also plays his 1964 hit Baby Please Don’t Go and talks about how much better things were in the past and his preference for analogue recording techniques.
This is more like it!
Year: 2014 Director: The Spierig Brothers
Based on Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “All You Zombies”. Our hero is a time travelling “Temporal Agent” who flits around preventing crimes. On his last mission he’s out to get “The Fizzle Bomber”. The criminal whose bomb disfigures him so badly at the beginning of the film that, post surgery, he looks like Ethan Hawke. 1992, 1978, 1945, 1963, 1985 are all visited in a complex time travel loop where no one is who they first appear to be. And of course Noah Taylor is the enigmatic supervisor of the whole shebang, time travel supervision being his forte (see also Vanilla Sky and Edge Of Tomorrow). If you can buy into the whole silly time travel thang (easy) and accept Sarah Snook could pass for a man (difficult) this is top notch sci-fi. And it’s free! On the youtube. Can’t go wrong.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
Vanilla Sky, Edge Of Tomorrow, Looper – but better. Blade Runner – but not as good (what is?).
Little late in the day but today, 20 April, is “Peter Tosh Day” in Jamaica.
Year: 2016 Director: Tim Miller
I really liked this movie. Everything a great Friday night’s entertainment should be. Thrilling, witty, original, sexy, camp and smart. All post-modern and meta and stuff. With loads of groovy references (Sinead, Wham, David Beckham, Basil Fawlty, Limp Bizkit and even, post credits, Ferris Bueller). The story is very standard kill-the-baddie-and-win-back-the-girl, but the dialogue is ultra-snappy. So much so that I’m already looking forward to seeing it again and finding bits I missed.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
Kickass, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Ted.