Sunday, August 8, 2010

My .02

Once in a great while the critics and the moviegoing public can agree that a movie is great. Inception is such a film. I saw it a couple of weeks ago, and it still sits well with me. Usually after seeing a movie and enjoying it, I'll think about it and find some flaws in the story, but Inception holds up. Like a mutant hybrid of The Matrix and The Game, the onion layer storytelling and twists and turns make this a fun movie on both a superficial popcorn flick level and deeper levels. Since the movie did everything that it set out to do, and I can't think of anything that could make it better, I give it a solid 10.

Buckcherry/ All Night Long
Just like a greasy pizza is not gourmet food, Buckcherry is not artistic Rock 'N' Roll. Having said that, a good greasy pizza gives you everything that you want and is satisfying. Buckcherry is the Rock equivalent of said pizza. They don't tinker too much with the formula on their fifth album, being only a notch away from any of its predecessors. Like Kiss, Buckcherry borrow from only the best (the We Will Rock You beat to It's A Party, the blatant ripoff of The Black Crowes' My Morning Song, Liberty).
The Best Buy version has the exclusive second disc, a 6 track acousitc EP called Reckless Sons. Buckcherry could easily follow Kid Rock down a redneck Rock road if they wanted to, but they at least try to keep it centered. Enjoy it while it lasts, kids, because someday we'll wish that these guys still put out albums this good.

The Black Crowes/ Croweology
These are acoustic renderings of old hits, album tracks, and 2 non-album tracks. The newer arrangements work, for the most part. The only one that made me cringe was an acoustic Remedy, as that song is the antithesis of acoustic in my opinion. I have never liked Soul Singing, and my opinion doesn't change here. It was a hit for the band and everyone seems to like it when they do it live, so I must be wrong. This is Sunday morning porch music Black Crowes, and is terrific. This will be the band's final release for a while, because they are going on another 'indefinite hiatus' after their tour wraps up in December.
The Black Crowes are truly the last great Rock band left standing. They don't sell their songs to commercials, put them in the soundtracks for crappy big budget movies (well, there was I Am Sam....), or pimp them out the way that most other bands do. Nope, The Crowes do it Rock 'N' Roll style: Release albums and tour....a lot. My respect for this band has only grown with the passage of time, and I can't really think of a single cringe-worthy moment in their entire career. Sure, some albums have been better than others, and they are hit or miss live, but the band comes from a place of truth.
So it's been 20 years since their debut album? It hardly seems  so, but it's true. I was unimpressed when their debut album came out. I liked Jealous Again well enough, but the other singles left me unconvinced. When I heard Remedy prior to the release of their second album, though, I was in. I've bought every single release the day that they came out ever since, so I've been there for 18 of the 20 years. It's interesting to think about a band for that span of time, and then think about yourself, and how this bands has sort of been there (2002-2005 hiatus notwithstanding) right alongside you for the ride. I remember picking up Three Snakes and One Charm at Circuit City in my old Volkswagon Rabbit with no A/C, and it being hot as Hell out. I had jury duty the day that By Your Side was released, and we were pummeled with snow that week. A foot the Saturday before, and like 5-6 inches every day that week, with windchills dipping to 30 below. I could tell stories about each and every album and concert, but no one would really be interested in that, would they? I've seen them live many times and am going to catch them again on August 20. I will say goodbye to them for now, and hopefully we can at least get another New Earth Mud album out of this hiatus.

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