Monthly Archives: December 2015

New Order: Music Complete Box Review

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This is not a review of a box set. This is not a music review. This is not even an audiophile review judging the audio quality of a product.

This is a review of a box.

Yes. Just a box. Nothing else. Because I feel this box is a box worth talking about.

Now, for an object like a box to merit a full-length review, it must obviously be exceptional in some way. Either it’s exceptionally good, or exceptionally bad.

I am not known for being a positive person, so I can assume you know where this is going. Continue reading

Scrunged: Stone Temple Pilot’s Tiny Music…Song’s From The Vatican Gift Shop

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Scrunge (second-rate rip-off grunge) is a largely forgotten genre, and every few weeks I’m going to examine a scrunge act or two and see if they deserve a second chance. Today’s band: Stone Temple Pilots.

As I’m writing this, it’s been less than a week since Scott Weiland was found dead in his tour bus at the too fucking young age of 48. As such, I’m awash in a sea of tributes, eulogies, think pieces and listicles celebrating his legacy. Sadly, I wonder how many of them were on file and ready to go, minus a few key dates and recent events, considering the singer’s long-standing issues with drug and alcohol abuse.

When these articles look back on Weiland’s time with STP, they all seem to touch on the same points. The band’s first two albums were wild successes that outsold many of their contemporaries. At their peak, the band’s success was stymied due to Weiland’s legal issues related to his various addiction. When the band was finally able to continue with a (questionably) sober Weiland in the early 2000s, the spark was gone and they broke up. Weiland went onto record a couple of albums with Velvet Revolver, briefly rejoined STP for a self-titled reunion album, and then left the group again, this time on seemingly even more hostile terms.

Then the band recruited the guy from Linkin Park for an EP and tour and everyone was like “what the fuck.”

That’s a pretty accurate summation of the group, at least from a popular perspective. But it’s criminal in that it leaves out the band’s third LP, Tiny Music…Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop. Coming off the massive success of the band’s first two albums, which sold eight million and six million copies, respectively, Tiny Music was widely seen as a disappointment when it came out, as it sold “only” two million copies. Thanks largely to the previously mentioned drug issues, the band barely toured for the record, and the singles for the album were released erratically, making it difficult for the album to gather momentum.

And that’s a goddamn shame. Continue reading

Targets: When Reality Eclipses Fantasy

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When people talk about movies that predict the future, they often turn to sci-fi. Back To the Future II was recently focused in many articles, with it being the year in which the film took place. And many a clickbait has been published showing how a few of the predictions made in Back To The Future II hit the mark, while countless more were off by a mile. Other movies I see mentioned when talking about celluloid-based crystal balls include Escape From New York, Demolition Man, The Terminator and Mad Max. But no sci-fi film has come as close to predicting the dystopic future we find ourselves trapped in now as Targets, a little-known low-budget drama/thriller from 1968.

It foresees the sad future we live in so much that when I recently watched it for the first time it literally gave me chills. Continue reading

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