Archive for February, 2011

New CD Album Releases, 2-22-2011: Adele, Johnny Cash

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

childhood photo of Johnny CashWay the most promising thing this week is Bootleg, Vol. 2: From Memphis to Hollywood, a two CD set from Johnny Cash. Here’s the nut of the record company product description:

Featuring previously unreleased and incredibly hard-to-find singles, demos and other rarities recorded from 1955 through the late 60s, Bootleg, Volume 2: From Memphis To Hollywood chronicles his exciting rise from local sensation to an artist of national importance, his songs reaching millions through best-selling albums and hit movies. The 57-track collection is a boon for collectors with 16 never issued recordings, plus 11 singles and 11 outtakes released digitally for the first time in the U.S.

Also, Adele has her second album out this week, 21. Her first record was really good and a big hit, but can she overcome the sophomore jinx? At the moment it is the #1 seller at Amazon. Looks good for her here starting out, at least.

Top Songs
2 Is Better Lyrics
Far East Movement
WTF Lyrics
Wiz Khalifa
Cabin Fever Lyrics
Wiz Khalifa
All My Life Lyrics
Wynter Gordon
Casualty Of Love Lyrics
Jessie J
Is This Love Lyrics
Jordin Sparks
In The Air Lyrics
Chipmunk
Just Now Lyrics
Pitty
I-I-I Wanna Go-o-o Lyrics
Britney Spears
4 Real Lyrics
Avril Lavigne

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Here’s the complete list of this week’s major new CD album releases:
Adele
21
XL
Alternative/Indie Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Johnny Cash
Bootleg, Vol. 2: From Memphis to Hollywood
Legacy
Country Gospel, Country-Pop, Traditional Country, Country-Folk

The Cave Singers
No Witch
Jagjaguwar
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Brad Mehldau
Live in Marciac
Nonesuch
Avant-Garde Jazz, Progressive Jazz, Third Stream, Post-Bop, Piano Jazz, Jazz Instrument

Joan Armatrading
Live At the Royal Albert Hall
Hypertension
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Alternative/Indie Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock

Bag Raiders
Bag Raiders
Modular Recordings
Alternative Dance, Left-Field House, Club/Dance, House

Banjo or Freakout
Banjo or Freakout
Rare Book Room
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Julianna Barwick
The Magic Place
Asthmatic Kitty
Experimental Electronic, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Ambient

Bayside
Killing Time
Wind-Up
Emo, Alternative/Indie Rock, Punk-Pop, Alternative Pop/Rock, Punk Revival

Jeff Beck
Rock ‘n’ Roll Party (Honouring Les Paul)
Atlantic
Rock & Roll

Blues Magoos
Electric Comic Book
Mercury
Garage Rock, Psychedelic

Blues Magoos
Psychedelic Lollipop
Repertoire
Garage Rock, Psychedelic

Blues Magoos
Psychedelic Lollipop
Virtual Label
Garage Rock, Psychedelic

The Caribbean
Discontinued Perfume
Hometapes
Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, Dream Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Celtic Thunder
Heritage
Decca
Contemporary Celtic, Celtic New Age, Traditional Celtic, Celtic Pop, Celtic

Chain & the Gang
Music’s Not for Everyone
K.
Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Charlatans
Who We Touch Tour: Brixton Academy
Concert
Live Alternative/Indie Rock, Britpop

Francis Colpron
La Geniale: Sinfonias & Concertos
ATMA Classique
Baroque Chamber and Orchestral Music

The Crystals
Da Doo Ron Ron: The Very Best of the Crystals
Sony BMG
Brill Building Pop, Girl Groups, Early Pop/Rock, Rock & Roll, Early R&B

Cult of Youth
Cult of Youth
Sacred Bones
Indie Folk, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

Danielson
The Best of Gloucester County
Sounds Familyre
Indie Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

DevilDriver
Beast
Roadrunner Records
Speed Metal, Heavy Metal, Death Metal

Earth
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1
Southern Lord Records
Post-Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Experimental, Heavy Metal, Alternative Pop/Rock

Eat Sugar
¡Levantense!
Mush Records
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Live At Nassau Coliseum ’78
Shout! Factory
Art Rock, Prog-Rock, Album Rock

Holger Falk
Francis Poulenc: Mélodies sur des Poèmes de Guillaume Apollinaire
MDG
Modern Vocal Music

Flying Burrito Brothers
Authorized Bootleg/Fillmore East, New York, N.Y. – Late Show, November 7 1970
Hip-O Select
Country-Rock

G. Love
Fixin’ to Die
Brushfire
Alternative/Indie Rock, Americana, Neo-Traditionalist Country, Alt-Country, Contemporary Country

Helene Grimaud
Resonances
Deutsche Grammophon
Classical to Modern Piano Music

Hermitage String Trio
Mozart: Divertimento in E flat major, KV 563; Preludes and Fugues
Chandos
Classical Chamber Music

Alina Ibragimova
Beethoven: Violin Sonatas, Vol. 2
Wigmore Hall
Music for Violin and Orchestra

King Creosote
Thrawn
Domino
Indie Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Darlene Love
Sound of Love: The Very Best of Darlene Love
Legacy
Brill Building Pop, Girl Groups, Early Pop/Rock, Rock & Roll, Early R&B

The Low Anthem
Smart Flesh
Nonesuch
Indie Folk, Neo-Traditional Folk, Americana, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alt-Country, Alternative Pop/Rock

The Luyas
Too Beautiful to Work
Dead Oceans Records
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Malachai
Return to the Ugly Side
Domino
Alternative/Indie Rock, Heavy Metal, Alternative Pop/Rock

Mississippi Fred Mcdowell
Downhome Blues 1959
JSP Records
Regional Blues, Country Blues, Blues Revival

Original Soundtrack
No Strings Attached
Lakeshore Records
Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Club/Dance, Urban, Soundtracks

Puro Instinct
Headbangers in Ecstacy
Mexican Summer
Indie Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock, Dream Pop, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

The Ronettes
Be My Baby: The Very Best of the Ronettes
Sony Music Distribution
Brill Building Pop, Girl Groups, Early Pop/Rock, Rock & Roll, Early R&B

Roxette
Charm School
EMI

Gil Scott-Heron/Jamie xx
We’re New Here
XL Recordings
Poetry, Spoken Word, Dubstep, Left-Field Hip-Hop, Jazz-House, Experimental Ambient, Experimental Dub, Dark Ambient, Garage, Electro, Trip-Hop, House

Matthew Shipp
Art of the Improviser
Thirsty Ear Recordings
Avant-Garde Jazz, Piano Jazz, Jazz Instrument, Modern Composition

Six Organs of Admittance
Asleep on the Floodplain
Drag City
Indie Rock, Experimental, Alternative/Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Slug Guts
Howlin’ Gang
Sacred Bones
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Various Artists
Wall of Sound: The Very Best of Phil Spector 1961-1966
Phil Spector Records
Brill Building Pop, Girl Groups, Early Pop/Rock, Rock & Roll, Early R&B, Baroque Pop

Colin Stetson
New History Warfare, Vol. 2: Judges
Constellation
Free Improvisation, Saxophone Jazz, Jazz Instrument, Avant-Garde Jazz

Toro y Moi
Underneath the Pine
Carpark Records
Indie Electronic, Indie Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

John Waite
Rough & Tumble
Frontiers

Johnny Winter
Live Bootleg Series, Vol. 7
Friday Music
Slide Guitar Blues, Modern Electric Texas Blues, Modern Electric Blues, Album Rock, Boogie Rock, Arena Rock, Guitar Virtuoso, Hard Rock, Blues-Rock

New CD Album Releases, 2-15-2011: Drive By Truckers, PJ Harvey, Justin Bieber Re-mixes!

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

New album by the Drive By Truckers this week, Go-Go Boots. Haven’t heard it, but you might want to give a listen to new music from the creators of “Daddy Needs a Drink.”

Other than that, there’s a new PJ Harvey album. If you want to scare your children, make them look at any picture of PJ Harvey. But if you want to seriously punish them, make them listen to one of her screeching, tuneless albums. If you come across any of the many critic types who have ever praised any of her records, you can probably take it that they’re trend chasing idiots what wouldn’t know a real song if it bit them on their ass.

We do have a little something-something for you homosexual pedophiles out there: Justin Bieber has a remix album! I have trouble imagining who else it is would buy this kids’ records. I guess I’m missing something, but I really have trouble imagining even a 12 year old girl actually spending money on Justin Bieber. But then maybe a lot of that is young girls making Daddy spend the money. Then again, I shouldn’t be so mean to poor Justin. He’s dreamy.

This Week’s Faves
Love Faces Lyrics
Trey Songz
Ready To Start Lyrics
Arcade Fire
When I Come Back Lyrics
50 Cent
All My Life Lyrics
Wynter Gordon
Grenade Lyrics
Lil’ Wayne
Forget You Lyrics
Cee Lo Green
Come Back You Bad Person Lyrics
Kahi
Rescue Me Lyrics
You Me At Six
Who Says Lyrics
Selena Gomez
Rock With You Lyrics
Bobby V

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Here’s the complete list of this week’s major new CD album releases:
Grizzly Bear
Blue Valentine
Lakeshore Records
Alternative/Indie Rock, Post-Rock, Indie Rock, Soundtracks

Bright Eyes
The People’s Key
Saddle Creek Records
Indie Electronic, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Drive-By Truckers
Go-Go Boots
PIAS
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Country-Rock, Southern Rock, Hard Rock, Country-Rock

PJ Harvey
Let England Shake
Vagrant
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

AgesandAges
Alright You Restless
Knitting Factory Records
Alternative/Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Alt-Country

Arbouretum
The Gathering
Thrill Jockey
Sludge Metal, Stoner Metal, Alternative/Indie Rock, Space Rock, Heavy Metal

Asobi Seksu
Fluorescence
Polyvinyl
Indie Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Shoegaze

The Babies
The Babies
Shrimper
Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Lo-Fi, Indie Pop, Noise Pop

Beans
End It All
Anticon
Left-Field Hip-Hop, Underground Rap, Alternative Rap

Justin Bieber
Never Say Never: The Remixes
Island
Pop, Teen Pop, Dance-Pop

Brown Recluse
Evening Tapestry
Slumberland
Indie Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Hayes Carll
KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories)
Lost Highway
Americana, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Roots Rock

Chixdiggit!
Safeways Here We Come
Fat Wreck Chords
Alternative/Indie Rock, Punk-Pop, Indie Rock

Dennis Coffey
Absolutely the Best of Dennis Coffey
Varese Sarabande
R&B Instrumental, Funk, Detroit Rock

Cowboy Junkies
Nomad Series: Demons, Vol. 2
Razor & Tie
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alt-Country, Alternative Pop/Rock

Iestyn Davies
Handel: Nine German Arias
Wigmore Hall Live
Baroque Vocal Music

Jackie DeShannon
Come and Get Me: The Complete Liberty and Imperial Singles, Vol. 2
Ace
Brill Building Pop, AM Pop, Early Pop/Rock, Sunshine Pop, Folk-Rock, Folk-Pop

The Dears
Degeneration Street
Dangerbird Records
Post-Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Dom
Sun Bronzed Greek Gods
Astralwerks
Indie Rock, Instrumental Rock, Indie Electronic, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Fats Domino
Rare Dominos 1 & 2
Beat Goes On
Rock & Roll

Dream Diary
You Are the Beat
Kanine Records
Indie Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

East River Pipe
We Live in Rented Rooms
Merge
Indie Pop, Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Alternative/Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Alternative Pop/Rock

Elephant Man
Dance & Sweep… Adventures of the Energy God
VP
Dancehall

A Hawk and a Hacksaw
Cervantine
L.M. Dupli-Cation
Indie Folk, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Tim Hecker
Ravedeath, 1972
Kranky
Experimental Ambient

Pietari Inkinen
Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5
Naxos
Modern Orchestral Music

Rick Rizzo/Tara Key
Double Star
Thrill Jockey
Alternative/Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Shawn Lee & the Ping Pong Orchestra
World of Funk
Ubiquity Recordings
Experimental Rock, Clubjazz, Funky Breaks, Electronica, Exotica, Jazz-Funk

Lifeguards
Waving at the Astronauts
Ernest Jenning
Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Teena Marie
Icon
Universal Motown
Contemporary R&B, Quiet Storm, Disco

Mogwai
Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
Sub Pop
Experimental Rock, Space Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

The Music
Singles & EPs: 2001-2005
Virgin Catalogue
Indie Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Occult Detective Club
Crimes
Alive Records
Punk/New Wave, Punk Revival, American Punk, Alternative/Indie Rock

Off!
First Four EPs
Vice Records
Alternative/Indie Rock, Punk Revival, Hardcore Punk

Emil Rovner
Mieczyslaw Weinberg: Cello Works
Divox
Modern Chamber Music

Christoph Spering
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Elias
MDG
Romantic Choral Music

Tabea Zimmermann
Brahms, Clarke, Vieuxtemps; Sonatas for Viola & Piano
Myrios Classics
Romantic and Modern Chamber Music

Ben Ottewell
Shapes & Shadows
ATO
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Folk

Refrigerator
Dangerous
Shrimper
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Alternative/Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Alternative Pop/Rock

Rev Theory
Justice
Geffen
Post-Grunge, Hard Rock

Smokey Robinson
Solo Albums, Vol. 4: Love Breeze/Where There’s Smoke… Hip-O Select
Smooth Soul, Quiet Storm, Pop-Soul, Soul

Runner Runner
Runner Runner
Capitol
Emo-Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock

La Sera
La Sera
Hardly Art
Indie Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Noise Pop

A Skylit Drive
Identity on Fire
Fearless Records
Screamo, Alternative/Indie Rock, Post-Hardcore

Sonic Youth
Simon Werner a Disparu
Syr
Experimental Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Film Music, Soundtracks, Alternative Pop/Rock

Eddie Spaghetti
Sundowner
Bloodshot
Alternative Country-Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Country-Rock

The Streets
Computers and Blues
Warner Bros UK
British Rap, Garage Rap/Grime, Garage, Club/Dance

Telekinesis
12 Desperate Straight Lines
Morr Music
Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

The Twilight Singers
Dynamite Steps
Sub Pop
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Various Artists
Disney Jazz, Vol. 1: Everybody Wants To Be a Cat
Walt Disney
Contemporary Jazz, Straight-Ahead Jazz, Post-Bop, Vocal Jazz, Jazz-Pop

Alex Winston
Sister Wife
Heavy Roc
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Dance, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Pop

Young Galaxy
Shapeshifting
Paper Bag Records
Indie Pop, Dream Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Yuck
Yuck
Fat Possum
Indie Rock, Noise Pop, Shoegaze, Indie Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Zoey Van Goey
Propeller Versus Wings
Chemikal Underground
Indie Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

The Marx Brothers spend A Night In Casablanca with a Nazi whore

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Full notes on A Night in Casablanca and these images

Nazi whore images

Chasing the fox images

Am I crazy, or did the Marx brothers end their 1946 film A Night in Casablanca with a joke about gang raping a Nazi?  I know this sounds incredibly unlikely for a 1946 comedy, but I’ve watched particularly the last minute of this film a dozen times and I don’t know how else you can really take it. 

The basic premise of the film is that some Nazis have $5 million in stolen loot (including a Rembrandt) stashed in a hotel in Casablanca.  They murder the manager of the hotel in the first minute of the film, the third one.  Nobody will take the job, so they import a fool from out of town, ie Groucho.

Lisette Verea as a Nazi whore in A Night in Casablanca

One of the Nazis is a hot little fox named Beatrice (Lisette Verea).  Probably a third of the film consists of this woman using her femme fatale skills to try to lure Groucho out to be murdered by Nazis.  Now, even Chico explaining the general idea that she’s trying to get him killed will not dissuade Groucho from chasing the fox, of course.  But surely this behavior makes the description “Nazi whore” more than reasonable.  She’s been a knowing accessory to at least three murders, and she even came up with this plan for Groucho on her own.  I mean, how else would you describe THIS WOMAN?

Nazi whore or what?

Then there’s the LAST MINUTE of this this film. Is there some other reasonable way to interpret this?

Full explanation and image galleries:

Notes on A Night in Casablanca and these images

Nazi whore images

Chasing the fox images

The Marx Brothers prepare to chase the fox

I MUST be taking this wrong.  Please explain to me in comments where I’m getting it wrong.

New CD Album Releases, 2-8-2011: Yanni, Miles Davis

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Sometimes on sleepless nights, I lay awake wondering what has happened to international superstar Yanni. What has he been doing since his last album of original material over seven years ago, way back in 2003. This week our prayers are answered with the release of Truth of Touch. At this rate, he’s publishing two songs per year. You can’t hurry genius.

Miles comes up with more interesting records 20 years dead than nearly anyone livine. Miles Davis Bitches Brew Live comes from two concerts. The first three cuts were from the 1969 Newport Jazz Festival, some nine months before the release of the studio album. The other six recordings are from the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, four months after the album came out.
Miles Davis

Chart stoppers
This Guy’s In Love With You Pare Lyrics
Parokya Ni Edgar
Lucifer Lyrics
Shinee
Reflections Lyrics
Bliss N Eso
Taylor Gang Lyrics
Wiz Khalifa
Telephone Lyrics
Lady GaGa
Club Banger Nation Lyrics
Nicole Scherzinger
Monster Lyrics
Britney Spears
Bad Kids Lyrics
Lady GaGa
Till The World Ends Lyrics
Britney Spears
Common Denominator Lyrics
Justin Bieber

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Here’s the complete list of this week’s major new CD album releases:
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Tao Of The Dead [Limited Edition]
Richter Scale
Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

Nicole Atkins
Mondo Amore
Razor & Tie Music
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Alternative/Indie Rock

Cut Copy
Zonoscope
Modular Records
Indie Electronic, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Dance, Club/Dance

Miles Davis
Bitches Brew Live
Sony Legacy
Jazz-Rock, Fusion, Trumpet Jazz, Jazz Instrument

Akron/Family
S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT
Dead Oceans Records
Experimental Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Hoyt Axton
Snowblind Friend/Free Sailin’
Raven
Country-Pop, Country-Folk, Traditional Country

Jack Bruce & the Cuicoland Express
Live at the Milkyway
EMI Music Distribution

Tony Christie
Now’s the Time
Acid Jazz Adult Contemporary, Vocal Pop, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Soft Rock

Francis Colpron
La Geniale: Sinfonias & Concertos
ATMA Classique
Baroque Orchestral Music

Jeremy Denk
Jeremy Denk Plays Bach
Azica RecordsBaroque Piano Music

Simone Dinnerstein
Bach: A Strange Beauty
Sony Classical
Baroque Orchestral Music

Kurt Elling
The Gate
Decca
Vocal Jazz, Contemporary Jazz Vocals, Post-Bop

Esben and the Witch
Violet Cries
Matador Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Holger Falk
Francis Poulenc: Mélodies sur des Poèmes de Guillaume Apollinaire
MDG
Modern Vocal Music

Thea Gilmore
Murphy’s Heart
Fullfill
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Alternative/Indie Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Hawk Nelson
Crazy Love
Tooth & Nail
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative CCM, Punk-Pop, Contemporary Christian, CCM

Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors
Chasing Someday
Dualtone Music
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, American Trad Rock, Alternative Country-Rock, Southern Rock

Howlin’ Wolf
Live and Cookin’ at Alice’s Revisited
Raven
Electric Blues, Electric Chicago Blues, Chicago Blues

Joan as Police Woman
The Deep Field
PIAS
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Amy MacDonald
Love Love: UK & European Tour 2010
Concert Live Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Jessica Lea Mayfield
Tell Me
Nonesuch
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock

Shannon McNally
Western Ballad
Sacred Sumac Records
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Country-Rock

Mr. Big
What If…
Ais
Pop-Metal, Heavy Metal

Michael Murphey
Michael Murphey/Lone Wolf/Peaks Valleys Honky-Tonks & Alleys
Raven

Tammuz Piano Quartet
George Enescu: Piano Quartets Nos. 1 & 2
CPO
Modern Chamber Music

Over the Rhine
The Long Surrender
Great Speckled Dog
Alternative/Indie Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Silk Flowers
Ltd.Form
PPM Records
Experimental Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Frank Sinatra
Best of Vegas
Concord
Vocal Jazz, Traditional Pop, Standards, Swing, Vocal Pop, Show Tunes

Thin Lizzy
Jailbreak
Mercury
Album Rock, British Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll

Teddy Thompson
Bella
Verve Forecast Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Alternative/Indie Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Original Soundtrack
Gnomeo and Juliet
Buena Vista
Album Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Soft Rock, Adult Contemporary, Rock & Roll, Film Music, Soundtracks

Various Artists
The Music Inside: A Collaboration Dedicated to Waylon Jennings, Vol. 1
Americana, Outlaw Country, Progressive Country

The Wailin’ Jennys
Bright Morning Stars
True North Records
Neo-Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, Country-Folk, Sea Shanties

Yanni
Truth of Touch
Yanni Wake Entertainment
Contemporary Instrumental, Progressive Electronic, Adult Alternative, Keyboard/Synthesizer/New Age, Adult Contemporary, Neo-Classical

Catch-22 (1970) – Half baked new left agitprop

Monday, February 7th, 2011

I just got around to watching a pair of famous anti-war movies this week, Stanley Kubrick’s big name-making 1957 World War I movie Paths of Glory and the 1970 movie Catch-22 based on a Joseph Heller novel about World War II bombers. I don’t necessarily have much original to say here about the brilliant Kubrick film, other than mostly as a contrast to the Heller movie.

Catch-22 is a ridiculous bunch of crap on multiple levels. Let’s start with some movie making level criticism, and then proceed to note the absolute philosophical and political asininity of this foolishness. Note that I am writing of the movie, not having read the novel. So you can take these critiques there as they apply or do not.

Anyway, this was a very poorly written movie (thoroughly unimpressive screenplay by Buck Henry) on pretty nearly every level. Start with characters and motivation. There was none. More correctly, there were basically two characters. One was Evil Officer out for money and/or good publicity and the other was Poor Scared Soldier who had to do the fighting and just wanted to go home. Those utterly cardboard caricatures were just filled out times 10 or so of each. Bob Newhart, Art Garfunkel and the great Orson Welles were just completely wasted opportunities with nothing to work from.

Paths of Glory has a de facto evil General Mirro (George Macready) who thinks himself the essence of manly patriotism for ordering Col Dax (Kirk Douglas) and his men on a suicide mission to take a minor “Anthill.” He had a somewhat involved mix of thinking about winning a war and about his own ambitions and glory. His ideas of military honor involved directly ordering troops to shoot on their own French positions when some of them didn’t leave their trenches because they were pinned down under German fire. After they refused to fire on their own troops, he has a few picked out for show trials for cowardice followed by execution.

All of that involves a lot of wickedness. Along with the final big general who let those execution/murders go forward as a tonic for morale and discipline, Paths of Glory was scathing. It was absolutely banned in France for 20 years. It earned that ban by shining a light down into very dark character and motivation. There was some believable if wicked humanity and motivation to the George Macready character, and different complimentary wickedness to Adophe Menjou. In short, there was a lot of conflict based on conflicts between individually established recognizably human characters.

Whereas Catch-22 presented very little but blanket characterizations in which we have little dramatic investment to particularly care about anyone who gets killed. The main climactic plot point involved calling in an all out air strike on their own men in camp, purposely killing hundreds of Americans to fill out some stupid business deal with the Germans. This was apparently just generally agreed to by local command, with no hint of any negative consequences nor indeed of any controversy. This was just blithely done with no hint of conflict as soldiers cheerfully bombed their brothers on command, and no one expressed any mixed feelings or regrets or anything other than the filmmaker trying to club us over the head with a lame political point. It’s just not got human character or believability though, and so fails at making the political point.

Plus, the Catch-22 film pretty much meanders and repeats itself a lot. Then it doesn’t have enough sense to come to some kind of conclusion after the climactic bombing of their own camp, but just dinks around for another half hour or something.

Yossarian is the Poor Scared Soldier who is given a tiny smidgen of individual mandate, based on his trauma of seeing his flying partner Snowden killed during their first mission. They show this couple of minutes of the dying soldier again and again and again. They didn’t spend a minute establishing anything personal or unique in any way about this soldier to give us any kind of investment in him, and indeed it’s a big point to Yossarian that he didn’t know the guy. By around the fourth or fifth time around, I’m ready to shoot both of these cardboard cutouts and put them out of my misery. OK ALREADY, I GET THE FRIGGIN’ POINT.

The ending was particularly unimpressive and unbelievable in any sense. Basically, rather than accept a promotion and the shipment home that he has so wanted and indeed with a parade in his honor going on, Yossarian goes on an apparent suicide run escape with a rubber raft to try to make it 4000 miles across the ocean to Sweden or some such idiocy. The writers would appear to be intending some kind of cheesy nihilistic philosophical statement. It’s just completely not what any human being would or should do. How about you shut up long enough to get home, then rat the scumbag superiors out to Congress and the press, say, for one more likely obvious alternative?

Whatever, cause the characterizations are so minimal and lame, and the plotline so far from any form of believable that it just doesn’t matter and I don’t see why anyone would give a rat’s ass what happened to Yossarian. Catch-22 is just lame in terms of character development, recognizable human motivation and general storytelling.

Basically, this poorly thought out nonsense is considered a big deal in some quarters because of the Profound Messages it contains. It’s a scathing black comedy, according to the DVD case at least. MASH this ain’t, however. Catch-22 would really only be funny to Daily Kos types who think any story with a punchline about George Bush being evil is hilarious. A certain type of left wing ideologue will look at this movie and find great Profound Meaning and high humor in some lame nonsense like this because it confirms and validates their pre-existing beliefs. To put it in a more positive frame, if you think that Michael Moore is a good filmmaker, you may think that Catch 22 is one of the greatest movies ever.

Really, more than anything Catch-22 is just super lame new left agitprop. Some folk convince themselves that this BS is deep and profound because it’s representing some stupid ideology. I suppose partly that I’m writing here to note the particularly unattractive slanderously anti-American nonsense and cheap self-satisfaction of this specific stupid ideology.

For one thing, there’s nothing profound nor even really particularly clever about the belabored “catch-22” conceit. Supposedly, this was that you couldn’t ask to get out of fighting because you’re crazy. See, wanting to get out of getting killed is proof that you’re sane. Wow man, that’s Profound. Well, that would have made one or two cute lines in “Alice’s Restaurant.”

But in fact this central conceit had nothing to do with the action of the film. They simply weren’t going to be sent home for any excuse short of being dead. Sane or insane, able or lame, you’re not going home. There’s no catch of any number there. Profundity recognition request denied

Most of all, the central Point with which we are bludgeoned is that capitalists are heartless murdering bastards who will cheerfully directly murder scores of their comrades in arms in a business deal to get the Germans to take some cotton off their hands in which the American “syndicate” has way over invested.

Yossarian complains bitterly to the corporal Milo who runs the syndicate about his partner Nately being purposely gunned down by American planes during this bombing raid. Milo responds that this was indeed unfortunate – but that he died a rich man as a shareholder in the syndicate. But he’s dead and his parents are already rich. “Ah, then they’ll understand.”

Yup, that’s right. Anybody who’s made any money will understand that innocent people have to be murdered randomly in treasonous attacks against your own countrymen for a buck to be made. Yessirree, that’s what America and capitalism are all about. That’s how you make money.

Jebus Crikey, what a bunch of smug, self-satisfied IGNORANT bastards. The filmmakers exhibit little understanding of anything in the real world past their inch deep anti-American Marxist college boy nonsense, but they think they’re really smart and Deep –and of course morally superior.

In short, Catch-22 is a badly made movie on almost every level. For film entertainment or philosophical diversion, it’s pretty weak. It might be of interest, however, as a sociological document – an artistic artifact of the emerging 1970 new American left, a lot of whom would basically consider this film iconic. Try watching it and imagining what kind of person would think this film was hot stuff.

Also, Catch-22 might serve the additional beneficial function of reminding you by contrast what an awesome film artist Stanley Kubrick was.

New CD Album Releases, 2-1-2011: White Stripes Nation Mourns, Bob Marley, David Lowery

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

White StripesSad news this week: The White Stripes have officially disbanded. White Stripes Nation is in mourning. But perhaps it is creative destruction, as Jack White prepares that seven nation army for a coup against the toddering Obama regime. Insiders suspect that Jack White will soon be swept into office with powers that will make martial law look like anarchy! I strongly recommend reviewing the 2007 masterpiece Icky Thump.

Other than that, the most likely thing would be Live Forever: The Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA, September 23, 1980 [Deluxe Edition]. I don’t know that it has any special musical value, but this was Bob Marley’s widely bootlegged last show. Thus it has some historical interest.

chart toppers
Up To You Lyrics
Chris Brown
Best Love Song Lyrics
T PAIN
Hang You Up Lyrics
Yellowcard
I’m the Best Lyrics
Nicki Minaj
Electroman Lyrics
Benny Benassi
No Other Lyrics
Super Junior
Wizard Lyrics
Kid Cudi
Just Can’t Get Enough Lyrics
Black Eyed Peas
Baby I Like It Lyrics
Kevin Cossom
Fool For You Lyrics
Melanie Fiona

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Here’s the complete list of this week’s major new CD album releases:
The Go! Team
Rolling Blackouts
Memphis Industries
Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

David Lowery
The Palace Guards
429 Records
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Bob Marley & the Wailers
Live Forever: The Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA, September 23, 1980 [Deluxe Edition]
Island
Roots Reggae

Arthur’s Landing
Arthur’s Landing
Strut
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Marc Coppey
Schubert: Arpeggione; Sonatina; Trio No. 1, Op. 99
AeonRomantic Chamber Music

Cowboy Mouth
Mardi Gras
Valley Entertainment
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Demdike Stare
Tryptych
Modern Love
Dark Ambient, Experimental, Experimental Electronic, Experimental Techno

Dirtbombs
Party Store
In the Red Records
Garage Punk, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Faust
Something Dirty
Bureau B
Art Rock, Experimental Rock, Experimental, Alternative/Indie Rock, Kraut Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Aretha Franklin
Great American Songbook
Legacy
American Popular Song, Traditional Pop, Soul

Hatchback
Zeus and Apollo
Lo
Downtempo

Hot Club of Cowtown
What Makes Bob Holler
Proper Records
Retro Swing, Western Swing Revival

I Solisti Filarmonici Italiani
Mendelssohn: Piano Sextet; String Octet
CPO
Romantic Chamber Music

the JaneDear girls
the JaneDear girls
Reprise
Contemporary Country

The Joy Formidable
The Big Roar
Canvasback
Indie Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Alexis Kossenko
Vivaldi: Concerti per il flauto traversier
Alpha Productions
Baroque Chamber Music

MEN
Talk About Body
Iamsound
New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Lorin Maazel
Bruckner: 10 Symphonien
BR Klassik
Post-Romantic Orchestral Music

Ricky Martin
Musica + Alma + Sexo
Sony

Matisyahu
Live At Stubb’s, Vol. 2
MRI Associated Labels
Contemporary Reggae, Reggae-Pop, Jewish Music, Dancehall

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Go Down Under
Fat Wreck Chords Punk-Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock, Comedy Rock, Punk Revival, Punk/New Wave

George Michael
Faith [2CD/DVD]
Columbia
Contemporary Pop/Rock, Adult Contemporary, Urban, Dance-Pop, Dance-Rock

North Mississippi Allstars
Keys to the Kingdom
Songs of the South Records Retro-Rock, Americana, Southern Rock, Boogie Rock, American Trad Rock, Roots Rock, Blues-Rock, Rock & Roll

Vox Altera Ensemble
Gavin Bryars: Madrigals, Vol. 1
GB Records
Contemporary Choral Music

Amanda Palmer
Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under
Liberation

The Rippingtons/Russ Freeman
Cote D’Azur
Peak Records
Smooth Jazz, Jazz-Pop, Contemporary Jazz

Robert Scott
Ends Run Together
Flying Nun (New Zealand)
Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Seefeel
Seefeel
Warp
Experimental Rock, Experimental Techno, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Techno

Rod Stewart
The Best Of… The Great American Songbook
RCA
Traditional Pop, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Adult Contemporary, American Popular Song

Various Artists
Pop Ambient 2011
Kompakt
Ambient Techno, Ambient