Tag Archives: rock

Films 136-144

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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I really liked this collage of a film. We’re all a bit unstuck in time. And all sort of in a diving bell?

Return to Homs. The “Syrians should stay home and fight” folks should pick up a half-loaded rifle and joins these guys. I don’t understand.

Forrest Gump. My first viewing. I love the last 30 minutes of this film. Him meeting his boy and marrying Jenny is worth the silly stuff.

Spotlight. Not sure why it’s fascinating to watch hard working people doing important and difficult work. But it is. And I’m glad they did.

Winter on Fire. “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.

“Inside Out. Creates such a giant, crazy, intricate world. Yet it totally works, sucked me in, grabbed me, and squeezed my heart a little.

Hot Rod. Not a fan of the man-child genre. This one surprised me. Seems smarter than most. Loved the Footloose dance homage. Plus Samburg.

The Martian. A great tense, exciting, funny adventure story. And all the engineering, and people working together. And Matt Damon was great.

History of The Eagles. Three hours long. It didn’t seem like it. Fun to relive our history through those songs. What a fine sight to see.

Bachman Turner Overdrive – Not Fragile

Bachman-Turner Overdrive / Not Fragile LP 1

I like to think that I was a rock guy back in high school, but I listened to a lot of pop. And it was the 80s, so the new wave was happening. And some funk. And we listened to a lot of Lionel Richie when our high-school-boy hearts were broken. Also, I wasn’t much of an album guy as a kid. I had a few. But, with a couple of exceptions, the albums I had didn’t exactly rock. And BTO was just a bit before my time.

Given all that, I tried for a couple weeks to get into this album which I picked up at a garage sale a while back. I couldn’t seem to do it. Then I discovered the problem.  You’re going to think I’m making this up or quoting a 1970s t-shirt or paraphrasing Dr. Johnny Fever, but it’s true. It wasn’t loud enough. When I put this album on and cranked it, it was a beautiful thing. The first cut comes on like Spinal Tap. It’s that earnest driving unrepentant rock that Spinal Tap parodied so well. Not only is nearly every track on this album is a great rock song (there are a couple that are just ok), but each one is unique and rocks in its own way. “Rock is My Life” is a talky messagey ballad about living the rock and roll life.  “Roll on Down the Highway” is a rambling moving-on-down-the-road song with a hook that sounds like it was borrowed from the Archies. “Freewheelin'” is a bluesy freestyle rock jam. “Giving it All Away” is fun.  And even the hit “Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” is not the best song on the record, but is still good.

The reason I pulled BTO out to listen to and write about is that I needed a break from the jazz and blues. The Bachman brothers and their friend Turner and Thornton certainly provide that. Here’s a couple for you to sample. And don’t forget–turn it up!

ViceVersa

viceversa

The other unexpected and happily received Christmas gift I got this year was the 2014 ep by my favorite L.A. based band ViseVersa. I should say that one of the reasons that I love this band is that I had the drummer in class for several years. Hers was the class that had to put up with me for at least four years as I followed them from junior high to high school. She was also one of my yearbook babies.  So I like her a lot. Oh, and she tutored my boy In drums for a short time, and now she’s a rock star, so, you know, no big deal.

Anyway, this album. Four tracks. Four great funky rock songs. I’m hearing straight ahead driving rock like the Hives and such, but it’s also funky. Zeke’s dirty guitar reminds me of Hendrix or Lenny Kravits.  I’m not educated enough to analyze all the influences.  “Great funky rock songs” aught to be enough.

Three of the four songs are about what three-fourths of all rock songs are about, trying to get some loving. The third is a stick-it-to-the-man political number where the drummer delivers some sweet speed rap.  All four songs rock hard while providing an opportunity for the musicians to noodle a bit as well. I like that. A great example of this is the last song on the ep, Next One.  That’s also their first video.

You can hear all four songs here or right here.

As far as I can tell, the band stays busy in the Los Angeles area, so if you’re out there and you want to see them, it shouldn’t be to difficult.  I’m looking forward to catching them in K.C. sometime.

ViseVersa’s official website