My Photo
Location: Long Beach, California, United States

Music Geek - Rock & Roll Jeopardy Champ Certified!

Poop Culture

Visit my other blog, Lost in the '80s - do it now, dammit!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The C.H.I.P.S. Tape

One hour of the very best freeze frame endings from the classic 70's TV show C.H.I.P.S.! That's right, this disc cuts right to the chase, stringing together some of the most bizarre, out of context moments in TV history. This is a must have for any fan of weirdo videos and one of the most relaxing meditations ever put on tape.

The perfect holiday gift for the Johnny in your life!

The bonuses sound great, too.

Labels: ,

Herc Smash!

Art Adams does Steranko as The Incredible Hulk becomes The Incredible Herc starring Hercules of course, beginning with issue #112.

Grrrrrrrrrrrowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwllll. If only Adams was doing the interiors as well.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Black, White & Red

Today saw the release of two fairly anticipated new albums from veteran Modern Rock acts - anticipated because both albums see some experimental production work from two of the more powerful hip-hop moguls. So what's the verdict? Are the The Hives + Pharrell Williams and Duran Duran + Timbaland formulas genius or cringe-inducing train wrecks?

Well, it took four tries, but The Hives have finally released a fully coherent album, despite working with several producers, including the aforementioned Pharrell. The Black And White Album breaks from the usual Hives tradition of surrounding two or three killer singles with tons of filler - it boasts several strong, hooky tracks, all ready-made to be featured in an Adidas commercial near you. But I'll kill the are the Pharrell tracks, you wonder?

The first of the two, "Well All Right!" boasts a typically Hives title and sounds like...well, The Hives meets N.E.R.D. Whether it's good or not depends on how much you like N.E.R.D., I suppose. It speeds along nicely with a slight shuffle beat for the first minute and a half or so until the song derails into a slow, "ironic" Barry White-ish bridge right out of the N.E.R.D. songbook. Yes, that's just as brutal as it reads. Pass.

The second is more successful, as Pharrell pushes the band into completely new territory. Lead singer Howlin' Pete is forced into a falsetto, the guitars are muted down from their usual amp-stacked thunder to a Prince-ly lick and the chorus is right out of the Pharrell/Gwen Stefani songbook. That's far from as brutal as it reads, however. "T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S." is a fun trifle, a big single waiting to happen, and isn't that how all the best Hives songs can be described?

The non-Pharrell tracks please as well, particularly "You Got It All...Wrong" and "Bigger Hole To Fill", which roar along nicely as classic Hives tracks. The only real missteps are the novelty "Giddy Up!" (has there EVER been a good song with that title?) and the inexplicable "Puppet On a String", a ragtime (!) piano-driven waste of three minutes. But 12 for 14 is pretty good, especially for The Hives.

Meanwhile, enduring New Wavers Duran Duran strive for '00s relevance by teaming with Timbaland, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland protege Nate "Danja" Hills for Red Carpet Massacre. Again, I'll spare you the pain of waiting - the Timbaland tracks are phenomenal, far from embarrassing. "Nite Runner", slated to be the lead single until fan uproar caused the band to reconsider, is just what the band needed - a throwback to the "All She Wants Is" days of Big Thing with a more contemporary beat. The fact that it caused all the 30-to-40 something soccer mom Durannies to blanch can only mean good things.

Unfortunately, the band is going with "Falling Down" as the lead-off single, a song so blandly latter-Duran-by-numbers it should be titled "Ordinary World '07". The Danja-produced songs slip in and out without offending too much (or making much of a splash), until Timbaland returns on "Zoom In", placing Nick Rhodes squiggly-synth front and center and wringing a vocal from Simon Le Bon that sounds right out of 1983. Red Carpet Massacre is a half-successful noble endeavor that leaves one wondering what may have been had Timb helmed the entire project.

The Hives - The Black And White Album - 3.5 stars (out of 5)
Duran Duran - Red Carpet Massacre - 3 stars (no Timbaland) - 4.5 stars (Timbaland tracks)

Labels: , ,

Fine Folks

"...and by hubris, I mean overweening pride!" - Johnny's Greatest Hits

25 Year Loop
Fucking Woof
David Live
The Night Before
Jobriath Was First
She's in Parties
She's in Parties Pt. 2
Tales From the Dragon Club
Tales From the Dragon Club Pt. 2
Okay, California...You Win
How to Sell Used CDs

Previously on "Johnny Is a Man"...

Powered by Blogger

Listed on Blogwise Blogarama - The Blog Directory

designed by lonelyger