Saturday, July 27, 2002
Talkin' Seattle Grunge Rock Blues:
I watched The Filth & The Fury and it was fairly horrible. I really liked The Sex Pistols, when I was 16 and I’ve always admired their “We don’t give a toss” attitude. But since I saw them on their reunion tour in 1996, where they left the stage after fifteen minutes, because they got pelted with bottles, I’ve lost pretty much all respect for them and especially Johnny Rotten. He’s a self-indulgent and pompous guy, who keeps going on about stuff that happened 25 years ago. Supposedly, this movie shows the real Sex Pistols, which hasn’t been shown in previous documentaries about the band. Honestly, the only difference I could find was that they kept slagging Malcolm McLaren of without giving him a chance to retort. Other than that it was the same stories that we’ve heard a million times before. So that was a downer. The only thing that fascinated me was the relationship between Nancy and the band. Apparently, she was the Courtney Love of the time.
Then I watched the grunge documentary, which unfortunately wasn’t Hype!, but a VH-1 special. It was okay, but nothing special. I still get really depressed, when I see some of the Nirvana live footage, because you just get the feeling that Kurt hadn’t peaked artistically yet and had he not blown his head off he’d still be making incredible records today.
I’m listening to Superunknown right now and it’s just an amazing record. It’s definitely in my all-time top ten and it is remarkable how it doesn’t sound dated at all. Too bad people aren’t making records like that any more.
- John Fogde 2:00 AM [+]
Friday, July 26, 2002
Spice Up Your Life:
I was reading an entry on Roger Avary’s blog about his recent lunch with Geri Halliwell and he mentions that had he directed the Spice Girls movie it would have been very different from what it actually turned out to be. Well, in a weird turn of events Spice World, as the movie is called, was actually on telly tonight and I caught the last half hour of it. I think very few will be surprised to learn that it is pretty horrible and not at all funny. I was surprised that Avary had met with the Spice Girls let alone considered making their movie, but I guess he saw an opportunity to make a new version of Help! or something. What surprised me the most were the number of famous people who appear or have actual parts in the movie. How hard is it to see that a movie about five I-don’t-know-whats with no story made only to showcase their music is a terrible idea? Why would you want any part of that? The only remotely funny scene is where the five girls are summoned by a judge played by Stephen Fry and they’re sentenced to have their next record debut at number 175 on the charts and then disappear only to leave the girls doing talk shows in Taiwan for the rest of their lives. And the scene ends with Fry shouting “Now send in Gary Barlow”. So when the highlight of the movie is a reference to a former member of Take That I think you’ll agree that that just isn’t good enough.
I’m going to watch The Filth & The Fury now, which is a documentary about The Sex Pistols and later there’s a documentary about grunge, which may or may not be the movie Hype!. So musically things have taken a turn for the better.
- John Fogde 10:41 PM [+]
The Thing That Should Not Be:
Recently, I’ve read two interesting articles and I thought I’d link to them and comment on them here. After all that seems to be what weblogs are for. The first one is a review from The Village Voice of the new Sonic Youth album, which I found on Jennifer’s weblog.
The gist of the review is that a lot of bands tend to overstay their welcome and the most sensible thing to do is break up instead of continuing to make pointless and lame albums that no one wants to hear. In the reviewer’s opinion Sonic Youth now fits this description and since their latest album, Murray Street, is dull she would now prefer it if they would just break up already. Now, I don’t have an opinion on this matter. I don’t own any Sonic Youth records, I’ve only listened to their music on a couple of occasions, and the time I went to see them (Roskilde 1992) there were so many people in the tent I got lifted up of ground and the pressure of the masses pushed me out of the tent before I’d heard ten minutes of music. So I could care less if they broke up tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean I don’t see her point. It’s not so often bands that I like I hope will break up, because I keep hoping they’ll make that one great record that’ll bring them back to their past glory (like The Wedding Album briefly did). It’s more bands, who I can see are just churning out records, so they can continue to justify touring with their Greatest Hits package I wish would just give it up. This goes especially for these new incarnations of 60s and 70s bands, where there are is only one original member of the group left and they don't own the rights to the band name, so now they're called Slade II or The Beach Boys Family.
However, I guess Metallica is a good example of a band I wish would just pack it in. All the crap surrounding their self-titled album pointed in the direction of them starting to suck and since then it’s been a long and depressing journey up Shit Creek (and I’ll never forgive them for that symphony record. Never!). And now it seems really hard to imagine them coming back after five years with new material that anyone would even care remotely about. So if James would just stay in rehab that would probably be the best solution for everyone.
But as much as I’m able to see the reviewer’s point I still think the review is a bit on the harsh side. And revealing that she’s only been a fan since 1995, when the band has been around since the early 80s, was a major tactical mistake, which a number of angry letters to the editor made sure to point out.
The second article came to me through the Douglas Coupland blog. It’s from the SF Gate website and is a general article about the weblog phenomenon. Most of it is the same as you’ve already seen in a hundred articles with interviews with the people you’d expect, but the opening paragraph is what caught my attention and kept me reading. Apparently, Paul Grabowicz, a professor at the UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, and Wired Magazine co-founder John Battelle are going to teach a class on blogging this fall, which is what brought this article on. The article isn’t at all specific about what will be taught in this class, but Grabowicz is quoted as saying that:
“… he hopes the class will merely give fledgling journalists another tool to report news in the most accurate, compassionate and conscientious way possible.
"Our hope is that the two communities, bloggers and mainstream reporters, can feed off each other," says Grabowicz. "Bloggers can learn the mechanics of newsgathering. Journalists can take in more discussion, criticism and analysis of news."
"Our intention isn't to co-opt anyone," he continues. "What we'd like instead is to change the one-way-street nature of journalism a little bit. Before, it was, 'We dictate, you listen.' Now we're listening as the public dictates."”
I need to find out a lot more about this. Obviously, by bloggers he isn’t referring to the droves of teenagers, who use their weblogs to ramble on about hot guys and how much math sucks. He must be referring to the ones, who use weblogs less as a journal and more as a soapbox and by doing that he has indicated that there are different kinds of blogs. It would be interesting to see, which blogs it is he feels the journalistic community could learn something from, because there certainly are blogs of different qualities. I mean just because it is now possible for every boob in the world with an internet connection to publish their thoughts on everything from porridge to politics doesn’t mean, and let’s be perfectly honest here, that those opinions are well-informed, interesting, or in any other way suited for publication. Hell, most of the stuff I write here is uninformed rubbish, which I should probably keep to myself, but where’s the fun in that? So I’ll look into this a bit more and get back to you.
- John Fogde 1:05 AM [+]
Thursday, July 25, 2002
It’s Been One Week Since You Looked At Me:
I wish I could say that the reason I haven’t updated my blog in a week is because I’ve been busy curing cancer, saving the rain forest, or even something like reading or working. But honestly I’ve done none of those things. I’ve hung out with friends, watched all four days of The Open, and rented Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2002 and played it non stop for two days straight. The only things sensible and/or productive I done this week is work Friday and Wednesday and going to IKEA to buy a lamp and some shelves, which I haven’t gotten around to unpack yet. So there’s your explanation right there.
And for the record: That Tiger Woods game is incredible! And it’s a real time stealer, too. I played it for hours and now that I’ve returned it I desperately want to continue playing it. I have to figure out if I’ll be able to afford to buy it this week or wait and ask for it for my birthday in September. The graphics are very cool and there are so many features and courts I haven’t played yet that I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface so far. I got totally hooked and it is definitely one of the best games for PS2 I’ve played yet.
Watching The Open was a cool experience. The Danish players played really well, but Thomas Bjørn had problems early on on the last day and Søren Hansen never got the birdie he needed for first place towards the end. But even with that they both finished in 8th place, which is really impressive and it was well-deserved that Ernie The Big Easy Els won. It was also great to see Thomas Levet in such a good mood during the four-hole play-off and the sudden-death round, which he lost. And to top every thing off I learned that Tiger isn’t Tiger’s real name. Apparently, you can name you kids Ytossie and Rain, so as names go Tiger actually sounds like a pretty sane choice. But as it turns out the guy is actually called Eldrick Woods and thankfully Tiger is just a nickname.
Work was weird today. I was asked to shred a lot of documents, so I got hold of a shredding machine, but before I could set it up the technical supervisor suggested that I set everything up in a room with a TV. Or as he put it, “If you have to do shitty work, and this is shitty work, you might as well make the best of it”. Truer words have not been spoken, so I set the machine up, turned on MTV, brewed some coffee, and shredded what turned into eleven bags of shreds (which is, I’m told, approximately half of what an Arthur Andersen employee shreds during an average workday). MTV still sucks, but I got to see the new System of a Down video for Aerials, which I think is their best song, and there were a couple of other good tunes as well. And looking at a Diana King video while working sure beats not looking at one any day of the week (even if the music is terrible), so I can’t complain.
- John Fogde 12:31 AM [+]