Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Eighties

Sean on the Circle of Fits blog recently spoke of his disgust of what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has turned into as well as this year’s nominees. Check out the blog post here, I totally agree with the sentiments presented.

As a result I got thinking of some bands from the eighties. This infamous decade is where I spent my entire teen years and as a result there was a period of time when I knew ever lyric to ever track of every glam and hair band that ruled the airwaves. A slight exaggeration, but it was the scene I lived for a few years. So what about some of these bands? Who from this time and that genre belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

I am assuming Bon Jovi will get the nod at some point. No matter what your thoughts are on them there is no denying their accomplishments. They are continuing to find success long after the arrival of massively popular Slippery When Wet.

What about Motley Crue? The bad boys of rock continue to be a huge concert draw. Should they be a no brainer….or would they be as relevant if it were not for the “tabloid-ish” lifestyle that has followed some of the band members around?

How about Def Leppard? This band often get criticized for one reason or another. But they did put our two Diamond selling albums….a feat accomplished by only a select group of artists. They also continue to record and are a steady concert draw.

These are just the three obvious bands that found their early and highest levels of success in the eighties. Do any or all of these belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Are there any others from the decade that everyone either loves or hates that deserves induction? What do you think?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Some Great TV and Great Music

Wow, it's been too long since an update....here it goes. Something a little different maybe, but with a music twist.

My T.V. viewing habits have certainly changed a lot over the last 5 years. In fact I rarely sit down at a specified time to watch a favorite show anymore. I rarely sit and just cruise through the channels aimlessly and I don’t enjoy reality programs. But thanks to DVD I have discovered some fantastic series that I can watch through at my own pace on my own time. Although, many people will often say there is nothing good on T.V. anymore, there are some fantastic shows I have watched in their entirety over the last few years. Here are a couple of my favorites.

Six Feet Under

I have to make a bold statement and say this is the best television program I have ever watched. I didn’t see a single episode of this until the show had completed its run on HBO. Someone lent me a copy of season one on DVD and I instantly fell in love with it. I thought the premise at first would turn me from wanting to check this out; I couldn’t see me wanting to tune into a show set in a funeral home. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The show had everything I like about a good program – unforgettable characters, great drama, dark humor, no clich├ęs, powerful storylines and fantastic acting. There are not many movies or shows that I have watched that really stay with me for a long time. But after watching the series finale of this one I felt haunted for days/weeks afterwards with parts of the series going through my head over and over again. Fantastic stuff, I suspect it will be a while before this one is ever topped for me.

The show has also has a “killer” soundtrack (haha – another pun). There is a mixture of somber and haunting songs as you would expect in a show about a funeral home. There are also a few upbeat songs capturing some of the shows dark humor and quirkiness. For the most part the musical artists featured throughout this show are not main stream artists.

Californication

I was a fan of the X-Files and always thought David Duchovny may fall into the type casting trap and never be able to shake his Fox Mulder character from the long running Fox science fiction drama. About 10 minutes into this Showtime original and Duchovny was no longer Mulder to me and had easily transformed into Hank Moody.

This show follows the life of Moody as he makes the move from his beloved New York to California to be near his ex and daughter. Hank was once a very successful and bestselling author, but is now uninspired and struggling with the fact that one of his best known works was made into a tacky movie. Hank drinks, tells it like it is, and sleeps with a lot of women. Yet despite his many flaws, you are always rooting for him and he is totally hilarious. I think there may a little bit of Hank in all of us, he is straight forward and matter of fact, doesn't give in to societal pressures and norms and underneath it all has an unconditional love towards his family and friends. There is a great supporting cast of characters and actors and the show has had many laugh out loud moments for me through the first two seasons and I can’t wait for the third.

This show also features some great music. I recently purchased the soundtracks for the first two seasons. It contains a variety of songs from some lesser known artists to a few more mainstream such as Sheryl Crowe, Elton John and The Rolling Stones. I guess most of the music on here would fall into the category of alternative rock. Of the two shows I have featured here the music in this one edges out for me a little. There are few great covers on here too, my favorite being Neil Nathan’s version of ELO’s Do Ya. Nathan’s version is a totally stripped down acoustic version of the fast and large sounds of the original.

I’ll try to get back sooner than later this time. In the meantime, if you haven’t heard Neil Nathan’s Do Ya, here it is….have a great week!!