From Good To Bad

Everyone is a critic. Whether you want to be or not, at some point during whatever it is you experience, you have to decide whether you like it or not. Some people will go off their first reaction, others will dig deeper for meaning, and others still will analyze something until all meaning is lost. I tend to think I’ve seen enough movies, listened to enough songs, and experienced enough life that I can use my brain to produce original thought about something. I’m going to explore a few scenarios when TV, movies, or music start going south after being great. This happens fairly often when the initial story lines or newish appeal have been played out and the idea gets continued because it’s popular and makes a lot of money.

Django Unchained
The movie that inspired the post because I watched it recently. Fantastic movie for 2 hours and then Christoph Waltz parted and the ending was abysmal. What I loved about the movie was the budding relationship between Waltz and Foxx, the attention to detail in their interactions, and the antagonist DiCaprio had me constantly wondering what he was thinking of doing next. Then the actual climax of the movie occurs when DiCaprio insists to shake Waltz hand, carnage ensues, and unrealistic nonsense follows. I lost interest when Foxx had 25 guns pointed at him and walked away. The ending just got stupid. No hero bullshit could keep me from caring at that point.

I think Dexter WAS a 1st class television show. The Ice Truck Killer, Lundy and the Bay Harbor Butcher, Miguel and the Skinner (the Skinner was actually kind of lame), and then the zenith with the Trinity Killer and Rita. 4 seasons of pure gold. Every episode had you on the edge of your seat wondering how Dexter was going to get out of the jam he got himself in. After season 4, there hasn’t been a quality season. Lumen and Jordan Chase, Travis Marshall, and finally Hannah McKay was all crap. Dexter just got played out and I think the villains make the show and the latter seasons just missed the mark. I’ll still watch the show but I know that it’s not what it used to be.

Family Guy
After 11 seasons and 205 episodes, this show has gotten whack. I absolutely loved the first few seasons. Their ideas were fresh, they took the jokes to a different level, and the 22 minutes of entertainment was delightful. Somewhere along the way Seth McFarlene became bigger than the show itself and the writers took over. This new thought doesn’t have the same pizzazz as Seth and the show isn’t as good. Same thing happened with the Simpsons over time. People start to lose interest. 6-7 seasons is a solid run but once the ideas start cramping, it’s time to quit.

I would go as far as saying I hate every new Weezer song. The Blue album was top notch. Every song was worth listening to. Songs like My Name is Jones, Holiday, Surf Wax America and In The Garage were classics and they weren’t even the hits. Pinkerton was pretty average but The Green Album hit again with songs like Hash Pipe and Island in the Sun. After that it’s been complete crap with Beverly Hills, Pork and Beans, and Troublemaker. Strange how everything after their first album hasn’t been as good. Rivers must have lost his mind somewhere along the way.

Boy, October, and War had a few decent songs (I Will Follow, Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Year’s Day) but the pinnacle of U2 is the Joshua Tree. I’ve included the full album below so you can listen to one of the greatest complete albums of the 80’s. U2 never actually went out of fashion and made good music since The Joshua Tree (Even Better Than The Real Thing, Mysterious Ways, Vertigo, Beautiful Day, One) but nothing in my estimation can match the Joshua Tree as a whole. One of my favorite albums ever. I think Bono is such a humanitarian that he doesn’t have as much time for the music and lost some passion along the way.

By |2013-04-18T12:18:09-04:00April 18th, 2013|Movies, Music, Tv|0 Comments

Gusto’s Top 25 Bands – 20-16

At Marks’ request. I also saw Gusto over the weekend and he said you couldn’t hold it against Jim Croce that he died early is the reason he should be so high. I find these next 5 to be his most questionable for what it’s worth because I would put Pink Floyd ahead of them all.

20. Radiohead

Radiohead are an English alternative rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (vocals, guitars, piano), Jonny Greenwood (guitars, keyboards, other instruments), Ed O’Brien (guitars, backing vocals), Colin Greenwood (bass, synthesizers) and Phil Selway (drums, percussion). I’m not a huge Radiohead fan but I do find some of there songs to be pretty good. Fake Plastic Trees, Karma Police, Paranoid Android, Creep, High and Dry and their new one Lotus Flower are all wonderful songs. I also really like House of Cards and Optimistic. I’m sure people who really like Radiohead could point out some of their better, more obscure songs. They have released 6 albums and have sold 25 million copies. OK Computer is probably their “best” album critically. Pink Floyd has sold over 200 million copies to give you an idea of why on Earth Radiohead should get a spot above Pink.

19. Garth Brooks

This isn’t going to be my easiest artist to give insight on. It’s actually going to be the 2nd hardest with the next one being the most difficult. Brooks is one of the most famous country stars with mainstream success. I’ve now listened to exactly 3 of his songs as the playlist continues to play. Gusto gives ratings so I will generally start by listening to an artists most popular songs. The Dance is considered his best song. The music just isn’t for me to be perfectly honest. He’s sold 128 million albums so obviously people don’t exactly agree with me. I can’t even give any songs by him that I like. Sorry for the weak entry Mr. Brooks but it’s the best I can do not finding your music to suit my individuality.

18. Sam Cooke

Samuel Cook (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964), known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an African-American gospel, R&B, soul, and pop singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He is considered to be one of the pioneers and founders of soul music. Dying at 33 is probably why many people have never heard of him. Gusto likes musicians that have great singing voices and I can’t disagree that Sam Cooke is a great singer. Problem is I don’t find any reason why I should really like the music. He’s a singer, not a musician which is why I wouldn’t rank him this high. I am more inclined to like a song if it’s musically satisfying opposed to a singer singing great lyrics. Shallow perhaps but that is my personal opinion. Cooke had 29 top-40 hits in the U.S. between 1957 and 1964. Major hits like “You Send Me”, “A Change Is Gonna Come”, “Chain Gang”, “Wonderful World”, and “Bring It on Home to Me” are some of his most popular songs.

17. Alice in Chains

With a recent post about how I’m not a huge Alice in Chains fan you can assume I’m going to have a tough time justifying them ahead of Pink Floyd. Alice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley. As I type I have the 5 starred “Don’t Follow” on right now. Alice in Chains can produce some music that I can like. I like the flow of this song and it reminds me of Patience by Guns and Roses which I think is a really good song. The band was one of the most successful music acts of the 1990s, selling over 25 million albums worldwide, and over 12 million in the US alone. The band achieved two number-one Billboard 200 albums (Jar of Flies and Alice in Chains), 14 top ten songs on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and eight Grammy Award nominations. I would say that’s a pretty successful track record. Yet again only 25 million album sales to be at #17 I have to question having them this high. I know that record sales shouldn’t correlate to great music because Britney would beat most of these on here. Some of Alice in Chains more popular songs are Rooster, Down in a Hole, Man in the Box, Them Bones, and Nutshell. They would not make my top 25.

16. U2

I always thought U2 was a joke and had no good music in my younger days. As I’ve gotten older I no longer believe that. After listening to the Joshua Tree straight through, I know I wasn’t right. U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards and vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion). U2 deserves a spot as a top 25 band. They have sold 125 million albums worldwide and are constantly won one of the highest grossing tours around. Gusto likes to say the lead in to Where the Streets have No name is the best #1 track of any album and it is really hard to disagree. Just listen to the build up and tell me the song isn’t phenomenal. With songs like One, With or Without you, Beautiful Day, Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, Pride, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Mysterious Ways, it’s hard to argue their success. Rolling Stone has Joshua Tree listed at 26 of the best 500 albums of all time. I just had the aforementioned “Where the Streets Have No Name” track blasting to get the inspiration to write this. It’s best to listen to it loud because if you don’t, what’s the point? I’m now going to listen to Achtung Baby and see if I can get a better U2 experience because I’ve really only listened to The Joshua Tree and their more popular songs. I think U2 is appropriately placed at 16 because of their hits and the unbelievable tour revenue which should confirm there are other people who love U2.

By |2011-05-22T19:20:30-04:00May 22nd, 2011|Music, Top 25 Best Bands|1 Comment

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