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Still up: Summer Movie Preview
"Splice" by Mike Smith
Forgotten Horrors: Island of Terror by ED Tucker
|THE AUDIO PHILES|
More May Albums! by Terence Nuzum
Summer 2010 Book Preview by Lisa Scherer
|THE ASIAN APERTURE|
John Woo’s "Hard Boiled" (1992) by Jason Fetters
I’m Back!!!! .... Super Bowl In The Meadowlands? .... Officially Blind .... Favre Watch .... Can’t Keep Big Ben In The Pants .... Storm Season .... Cleveland, Say Goodbye! .... by Chris Munger
R.i.p. Little Man .... Movie Notes .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf by Mike Smith
More May Albums!
The Smashing Pumpkins: Teargarden By Kaleidyscope, Vol.1: Songs for a Sailor-
Before every music publication under the sun rewrote history claiming that Radiohead was the first band to release a free album on the internet, most SP fans knew that it was Billy Corgan who was the pioneer when in 2000 he released to several websites the last album of the original Pumpkins line-up, Machina II: The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music. Those websites were then instructed to leak it on the web to us lucky fans (I actually and typically Pumpkinhead fanatically got my CD rip in the mail from the website who ripped it directly on to disc from the acetate.). Now 10 years and several false starts later, Billy is doing it again with a new lineup. This time he is releasing all tracks from his planned 44 song epic Teargarden By Kaleidyscope one song a month on his website for free (although hes already fouled up the "planned" schedule) until all 44 are released. After each 4 songs they are then available as a box set EP which will continue until 11 EPs are released and then finally the whole 44 song box set or album. It's a great idea for us fans because we then always have a new Pumpkins song every month for three years! But what about the music, right? Well, Billy has been unpopular with the mainstream for about as long as I can remember now. The days of Mellon Collie are just not gonna happen again. Which is cool because the direction he has been headed in is more underground and obscure than the last SP album proper Zietgeist. If you believe the rumors (and the recent Rolling Stone interview) Billy has joined some strange health food cult that he got inolved with when he befriended recently deceased 60's garage rocker and Seeds front man Sky Saxon. Saxon in the 70's was part of the Source Family cult who also made their own self-distributed music. Sound familiar? That being said the music on this first EP is heavily influenced by 60's and early 70's pyschedelia. "Song for A Son" sounds more than just a minor tribute to "Stairway to Heaven" but it does boast some awesome Corgan guitar solos. "Astral Planes" is more in the "Zero" mode as it is a singalong that is one part cyber-metal, one part pyschedelic tribal chant. "Widow Wake My Mind" is Corgan emotional mode as it starts as a modest little organ and fuzz pop tune before building to a heart wrenching closer. "A Stitch In Time" goes back to the sitar love affair of the 1960's and a Indian vibe with a pulsing organ motif. As these were released one at a time online I wasn't entirely thrilled with them but as I put them away for awhile and then got the super cool wooden box set (complete with hippy hand-drawn CD slipcase and a mini-stone obelisk!) and heard them in a different track order. I completely fell back in love with the Pumpkins all over again. Don't get me wrong this isn't the best thing Corgan has ever done but it is definitely the most right thing he has done in awhile. And he seems to have his old ambition back. It's obvious Corgan is trying to achieve what he did back in the day with old band mates Iha, Darcy, and Chamberlain by starting all over again with new players and just simply doing it all over again. Including the fuck ups, mistakes, and missteps. Are these first four the missteps? Maybe. Corgan has already said he is bored of the old material and the next stuff is going to have lots of guitars. Either way it's a damn good release that takes some listens before you will be drawn in completely. At that point you will play it non-stop. And just think there is at least 3 more years of music to go! So all of the internet Uber fans need to stop bitching because I'm about as uber of a SP fan as can be and I know that now is an exciting time to be a Pumpkinhead.
Stone Temple Pilots: Self Titled- When Wieland and the boys ditched us Tampa fans last year by not showing up for their concert he left a bad taste in my mouth. So I tried to get into this comeback album as much as I could unbiased. In the end I never let rock stars' personalities affect my love of their work and I hate people that do. But this really could have been a great album. If you wanted a return to rock a la No. 4, you aren't getting it. Sorry, but this is more of a logical continuation of Wonderful (the band's last album). It's still full of Beatlesque production on top of '70s power pop. Which in itself is something I would like but the Wieland claim to fame has returned. What is the "Wieland claim to fame"? Back in 1992 when the band's first album Core was released, Wieland's big claim to fame and criticism was that he could mimic vocal styles like nobody's business. From Cobain to Vedder he could ape them all and sometimes better...well at least more commercially. By the next four albums, though, the band got into their own sound and groove. But on this one Wieland is back to ripping off Kurt Cobain, David Bowie (who up to this point Wieland had only ripped him off on his solo work), a little bit of John Lennon at times, and a new one Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes! That being said the second half of the album is a nice little 70's inspired rocker. And it has grown on me the more I listen to it but it is not for the casual listener. Only STP fans or supporters of 90s rock need apply.
The Rolling Stones: Exile On Mainstreet Rarities Edition- This is absolutely the mofo that I will be blasting out of my car window this hot summer. Stones rarities is just that--a rarity! The fact that 8 of these are new songs and not just alternate versions is too badass for words. And not just any badass rarities but rarities from The Stones most grungy and raunchy rock record ever, 1972's Exile on Mainstreet! The highlights are bongo dirge "Pass the Wine (Sophia Loren)", the good-time ballad, "Plundered My Soul", and honky tonk rave up "Dancing In The Light". But the gold nugget is without a doubt the "Paint It Black" meets Sticky Fingers ballad, "So Divine (Alladin Story)". It has possibly become one of my top ten favorite Stones tracks of all time. There are a few not-so-desirables like the Alt. version of "Soul Survivor" with Keith on vox instead of Mick (Yeah, it's as bad as it sounds) and the out-of-its-era spy theme "Title No.5". The other alternate take song is "Loving Cup" which actually improves the original by adding in some scorching Mick Taylor guitar. So all in all it's like we have a new Stones album from the 70's. Definitely worth every penny. P.S.: If you already own the original album, Target sells just the ten rarities by themselves on a single CD which is the version I reviewed here.
Other May albums I recommend checking out:
Widespread Panic--Dirty Side Down
Band Of Horses--Infinite Arms
"The Audio Philes" is ©2010 by Terence Nuzum. All graphics (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.