Category Archives: pop cults

Spiderman, Spiderman, all too human, Spiderman

We watched Spiderman 2 on tee-vee last night.  I loved S-2.  Not so much the original and I’m not hearing much good about S-3.   When I was a kid and all the goodie-goods were reading Superman and Batman, my buddy Kimble and I squirreled away with our Marvel pals: Fantastic Four and Spiderman.

Spidey was my guy.  The writers totally got the pre-adolescent mood swings, the walking-on-air-kicking-ass-with-my-new-keds  followed by the plane being shot down by a snub from the cute girl down the row in home room.   Every kid believes he can soar, and every kid has doubts and every kid (and person) has these tapes that tell them that maybe they aren’t really all that hot.  It could have been a jerk baseball coach.  It might have been a teacher who didn’t take the time or a preacher who just didn’t get much of anything.  You want to fly, but there are so many people who’d love to see you down on the ground or down in the pit.

Ya wanna be a hero, and maybe for a few minutes you are…to your kids, to the person you picked up on the side of the road when their car was over-heated, but in less than a minute your kids see you as human and the guy behind you is honking because you aren’t paying attention to the split second that the light turned green and the boss that loves you retires and a new order beckons.

You can still be a hero, but you can more easily fall short.  You believe and you doubt.  All of that is to say why I love Spiderman…a human super-hero.

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Filed under derring-do, journey, pop cults

They’ve been going in and out of style, but they’re guaranteed to raise a smile…(Beatles 4-ever)

Yesterday, on my weekly Saturday afternoon jaunt to Grimey’s, I was greeted by the familiar sounds from the ALBUM pictured below (you really do need the album on this one because of the a-freaking-mazing cover). Of course, considering it was Grimey’s, they were playing a Japanese import version. but all in all, the effect was terrifically transcendental.

(More below the art…)

sgtpepper.jpg

Ok, I’m going to be boring. I was there. Really. Before the album was officially released, WKDA (rock and roll 1240 on yer AM dial) got a promo version that they played in its entirety at midnight on whatever day they received it. I was 15 years old and owned a cheap tape recorder. I stayed up and taped every song. Soon afterwards, my family went on one of our many trips to the Smokies (we camped in Elkmont every time), and that tape player became an important part of the trip.

My parents quickly tired of Sgt Pepper, while also quickly figuring out that drugs were involved (‘I get high with a little help from my friends’ is not exactly the ‘enigma’ code). I didn’t care if they wanted to toss the tape off the side of Mt. Laconte (where I had a close encounter with a brown bear, but that’s another story..), I literally listened to the tape until it fell apart (not kidding).

If you hear Sgt. Pepper today, you still hear some wonderful tunes, clever songs, and instrumentation that holds up for the most part rather nicely. What you don’t hear is the world changing note by note by note. Nothing the Beatles did beforehand, and nothing in the realm of pop music prepared any of us for Sgt. Pepper. Not just the multi-tracking, the orchestral swells, the animal noises, the not-so-veiled references to LSD, but the whole concept..the package, the derring-do. It was a giant in-your-face to every band in the world who thought they could capture the magic.

Sgt Pepper did beget a lot of flatulence from other so-called art bands following, and the Beatles actually recorded a better album  (Revolver), but if you were alive in 1967 and you heard ‘A Day in the Life’ pastiche for the first time (through the 1,000th time), you knew the tectonic plates had shifted. The limits changed overnight.

Thanks again to John, Paul, George and Ringo. Happy 40th, Sgt. Pepper. You DID teach the band to play…

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Filed under journey, music, pop cults, self-referential nonsense

Serenity now..or do you give credit when you steal from other blogs..

I borrowed this quiz directly from Thomas Mc who was on his Ihajj at the time. My favorite sci-fi movie of all times (after Star Wars 1 and II) is ‘Serenity‘. This quiz will tell you which Serenity character you are most like…sadly, I’m not the Captain.

Your results:
You are Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)

Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
65%
Wash (Ship Pilot)
60%
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
45%
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
45%
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
45%
River (Stowaway)
40%
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
35%
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
30%
A Reaver (Cannibal)
20%
Inara Serra (Companion)
20%
Alliance
20%
Dependable and trustworthy.
You love your significant other and
you are a tough cookie when in a conflict.


Click here to take the Serenity Personality Quiz

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Filed under derring-do, journey, pop cults

Should be a green day for Jordin on Idol, or, don’t wanna vote for an American idiot…

Tonight on AI..

Jordin aced himShe baked himShe cooked himShe diced himShe electrocuted himShe fried himshe gored himShehammered himshe iced himShe jaked himshe kicked his assshe lambasted himshe mashed himshe neutered him(short trip)She OnO’d himShe pasted himShe quick, he sickshe racked himShe stove-piped himshe toasted himSheun-did himshe vitiated himShe wrecked himshe X’d him outShe yoked his assshe zinged him

RoLL joRdin…

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Filed under music, pop cults, TeeVee

In the clearing stands the boxer, a singer by her trade, or, Doolittle channels Tina

I enjoy watching American Idol for the same reason I USED to enjoy boxing. One on one..you’re out there alone, fighting/singing for your life.   Yeah, they have handlers – stylists, cut-men, coaches, corner-men, etc, but when the game is on, they stand alone to face their opponent.

Of course boxing has almost completely collapsed under the weight of corruption and greed by promoters, along with the balkanization of the weight classes and the myriad ‘belt’s in each division.   There was a whimper the other night when Oscar De La Hoya fought Floyd Mayweather..it looked like an old-time boxing match, it featured relatively well-known boxers and it was enjoyable to watch*, but in the end, big-time boxing is as moribund as Mike Tyson’s brain.

So, what do we have left – wrestling..fun, but fixed.  Ultimate Fighting – maybe for the Gen-X crowd, but too brutal for me.  I have to make do with American Idol.  Not because I really like the music (at least most of it), but because I love raw competition.

Last night, Melinda took on Whitney Houston and Tina Turner.  Not many people can do both of those with so much aplomb and strength and restraint.  Melinda knocked it out.   She may not win the entire show, but she remains the only Idol contender that would cause me to actually spend money on her CD.

Jordin was good, and at times great, but she doesn’t hold up next to Ms. Doolittle.  Jordin may win anyway, because she looks better and is a slightly better stage performer, but in the end, winning a round here or there doesn’t mean you win the fight.

Mr. Blake, he’s dead.

*I watched the replay on HBO..didn’t spring for the 60 bucks.  My favorite moment was in between the rounds when Mayweather’s brother (his corner-man) leaned in with a bit of technical advice: “Just, whup his ass, Floyd”.

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Filed under music, pop cults, TeeVee

Patty Griffin OWNS the Ryman

patty-g.gifFlaming red…I know how much most people hate it when somebody has a new religious experience at a concert that you didn’t attend or some intense experience that apparently transformed how life is seen and they JUST HAVE to write about it, but let me just say, if you have a chance to see Patty Griffin perform anywhere, but especially at the Ryman, for the love of all that is good, go see her.

I did..last night, with Lynn and friends along. Patty came out in the black dress and the flaming red high heels to match her hair. She swung, sung, torched, and strummed into the heart of every last soul in attendance. Until Patty, I’ve never been to a pop/rock concert where the audience is in complete silence during the performance. Both times I’ve seen Patty at the Ryman the audience is as reverent as the 37205 crowd at the Schermerhorn. Her music deserves no less.

Her band was outstanding. Last night featured a surprise guest – Ian McLagan, long-time accompianist to Rod Stewart and the Stones. I’m sure set lists can be found elsewhere, but my favorite parts were the pure strong vocals on Nobody’s Crying, her wonderful re-working of ‘You Send Me’ into ‘Oh Heavenly Day’, and anytime when the spirit moved Patty to just rock on the guitar..hair flying, feet stomping transcendence.

Oh yeah, buy her latest CD (Children Running Through). I promise you will not regret the money spent.

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Filed under music, pop cults

A brief note on ‘Ugly Betty’, or, the ever beholding eye

I enjoy the show.  I have to say though, that for a show that purportedly shows us that there’s more to life than superficial beauty, the show is absolutely freaking loaded with beautiful women.

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Filed under pop cults, TeeVee