Tag: rock

ACF PoMoCon #27: Carl Eric Scott

 

This week, we’ve got Tocqueville, America, and rock music on the podcast–my friend Carl Eric Scott returns to the podcast to remember our great friend Peter Lawler and how blogging helped him both formulate and get across his thoughts to the great American audience, bridging the gap between his academic vocation and the press. We also talk about what we learned from him that’s led us to our own activity in music and film criticism respectively. We conclude with some talk about Carl’s Rock Songbook, a one-of-a-kind conservative investigation of rock music, the age, the ideas, even reflections on it in cinema, from a perspective educated by Plato, Allan Bloom, and Martha Bayless!

‘Yesterday’: A Cute Beatles Fairy Tale You Shouldn’t Think Too Much About

 

Yesterday is really two movies, one better than the other.

The better movie in Yesterday, the latest by director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), with a script by Richard Curtis (Love Actually), is a light, cute, modern fairy tale that assumes one’s love of the Beatles* (yes, this movie could not get more British). It presents a simple yet striking what-if: Jack** Malik (Himesh Patel), a struggling, mediocre musician, suddenly enters a world that resembles our own in (almost) every way but one: Only he remembers The Beatles.*** Through a series of convenient but credibly implausible circumstances, he then rides this newfound knowledge to astronomical success, doling out hit after hit seemingly from divine inspiration to all around him, while only he (?) knows the truth.

Yesterday hits all the classic beats of the rise-to-fame morality tale. Success soon forces Jack to abandon his friends and family in England. Most important of all these to him is Ellie Appleton (Lily James), a teacher, his part-time manager while he was still playing at bars and empty tents at music festivals, and–much to his dismay–not quite his love interest. Meanwhile, he struggles to maintain his integrity against the wages of commercialism in the music industry, embodied with enthusiastic cynicism by Kate McKinnon, playing a cutthroat record executive. 

Best Rock Song Ever

 

Fred Cole (@fredcole) thinks the best rock song is “White Room” by Cream for some reason. Jon Gabriel (@jon) said he’d only ever heard The KLF song titled “White Room.” I listened to both and now I want to go BASE jumping without a parachute.

I say “Unforgiven” by Metallica is much better, although it’s not even necessarily my favorite Metallica song (“Whiskey in the Jar” is high on my list). You see, Fred and I obviously have a difference in opinion when it comes to music. He seems like easy listening soft rock, while I prefer to listen to good music.

U2, “The Playboy Mansion”

 

The year was 1997. At the end of the 20th century, how did everything end up depressive but frenetic? The ’90s started with the greatest political shift since WW2–after the Berlin Wall fell, so did the USSR. What a Christmas gift! A new world was supposed to open up. A great world. No more fear, no more war.

U2, same as every artist, rushed to Berlin. They came back to report with Achtung Baby and Zooropa. The title says it all, Europe is now a zoo. We’re no longer real people; we’re the caged beasts of our past selves. We’re the pets of the people we fear we’ve become. But of course–that left America. Ten years after The Joshua Tree, which was Bono playing high priest in the temple of Americana, U2 went back to America, the great rock-Christian hope of the world. They reported with Pop, their most maligned album, but perhaps morally the most realistic. It’s criticism that is finally self-criticism; rock stars without any of the sanctimony or self-preening left. Our moral crisis belongs to all of us; that’s our last form of equality.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss reports that intelligence officials and the FBI have not found any criminal activity thus far by Mike Flynn after reviewing transcripts of his call to Russia and testimony to the FBI.  They also react to Thursday’s high-octane press conference as Trump and the media clashed again.  And they rub their hands with glee as Ted Nugent says he’s considering a run for Michigan’s U.S. Senate seat.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to the IRS reportedly ignoring whether taxpayers failed to purchase health insurance in 2016.  They also discuss the latest revelations surrounding Mike Flynn and the leaking to the media by career national security personnel.  And they discuss the early speculation that Kid Rock may be recruited to run for U.S. Senate in Michigan.

Member Post

 

I was originally going to post this yesterday, as a means to temporarily escape the immanent approach of a new Clinton administration. That didn’t happen, so here’s the mix as a general escape, and as an opportunity to hear songs that you’ll recognize in terms of musical styles, but (unless you’re acquainted with Japanese popular […]

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Member Post

 

Dumb & dumber introduced me to Nick Cave. Make of that what you will, but don’t watch the movie. I must have heard it on The X files, too, this song. It was a strange time. The album was called Let love in–that November, America decided to go crazy & the GOP took back Congress for […]

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The age of the middle class is not the age of the blues. The middle-class character of a community precludes the kinds of experiences whence the blues emerges, as well as the craft required for singing it. If music is supposed to correspond to or to raise to imagination & judgment the deep longings of the […]

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In these latter days, I ask myself on occasion what is the last religion of mankind. We live in a world, increasingly, when, as the philosopher says, one can do whatever one wants in the bed–except smoke. I mean, tobacco. Who is the prophet & what is the prophecy? This is not easy to answer, because […]

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Some of my fellow Ricochetti know I am of the opinion that we do not have enough comedy. What follows is an utterly accurate account of an utterly accurate bio-pic verified by many scrupulous scholars & consulted upon by many key witnesses, all people who were sober at the time. While Hollywood has moved away from bio-pics […]

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This is the best song on Synchronicity. It is not superior as music goes, although there is something pleasing about the chord structure–one does not hear it everyday in popular or rock music. Should any of my fellow Ricochetti know enough music theory to explain about the change of keys from Bm to D & […]

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The Beatles vs. The Who

 

BeatlesStipulating that there’s no accounting for taste, what sane person would say The Who are/were a better band than The Beatles? This guy:

I believe rock and roll is a sometimes ephemerally subtle, sometimes gruesome and grotesque she/he-animal capable of transcendence. I believe that rock and roll should reach for the Golden Ring, hot, sexy, lissome and coy, even if it falls in the attempt. I believe that the ability to hear rock and roll is a gift that deserves not just moments of grace, but moments where the fusion of volume, energy, and meaning appear to have the power to split the atom. That’s why I prefer the Who to the Beatles.

Member Post

 

Editor Gabriel elevates Ramones to the exalted position of rescuing music. ‘By 1976, rock music had run its course’ he claims. ELP and Yes were ‘pretentious’ and there was nothing worthy at all in The Bee Gees or The Bay City Rollers. ‘Rock had become overproduced, overwrought and no fun at all,’ he says. Ugghhh! This narrow […]

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Why The Ramones Mattered

 

RamonesSocialismLate last night and into today, music lovers mourned the passing of Tommy Ramone — the last original member of the seminal New York band. Why the outpouring of affection for a group that never topped the charts? Although they weren’t the most popular, The Ramones were arguably the most influential band since the Beatles.

By 1976, rock music had run its course. The raw, raucous, rebellious teenage anthems of the ‘50s and ’60s had given way to plastic imitations. The Bee Gees and KC and the Sunshine Band played in the discos. The Bay City Rollers and “Afternoon Delight” topped the charts. The more serious listeners were wearing out pretentious LPs like Brain Salad Surgery and Tales from Topographic Oceans (the latter a double album with just four songs, carrying understated titles such as “The Revealing Science of God [Dance of the Dawn]”).

Rock had become overproduced, overwrought and no fun at all.