Archive for the Pop culture Category

Mamma Mia: Required Viewing for Some of Us

Posted in Pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2008 by Chris

Even if Meryl Streep hadn’t been selected to play the mother, Donna, in the movie version of the ABBA-tribute musical “Mamma Mia” . . . I would have gone. Ms. Streep, however, took what would have been a tuneful evening and made it eminently watchable. It’s all about the songs, to be sure, but with a stellar cast — Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters, and Christine Baranski (among others) — the characters are pretty fun to watch and one can almost discern a story line worth following. Continue reading

“Can’t Buy Me Love” Beatles Book Review

Posted in Artist, Pop culture with tags , , , , on May 13, 2008 by Andy

I try to read every Beatles release that comes off the presses… Almost through with Jonathan Gould’s “Can’t Buy Me Love”. It’s a history of the group (and the people in it) – no surprises there, of course.

But writer Gould turns it into a sociological study, pushing the Beatles, their birth, their success, their flame-out, against cultural and historical events in the UK and the US, trying to figure out exactly why (besides being a kickass band) they were just so damned successful. Continue reading

American Idol Alert — Watch Jordin Sparks’ Drummer! (updated)

Posted in Miscellaneous Static, Pop culture with tags , , , , on April 9, 2008 by Andy

Just a bit of personal name-dropping (clears the room like a fart, I’ve found) — friend and phenomenal drummer (and a decent singer) Mike Bedard will be on American Idol tonight (Weds, April 9). He’s touring with previous winner Jordin Sparks, and will percuss (is that a word?) behind her when she fills time between vote-offs. Continue reading

The Heart of Pop, Part 1: The Troubador

Posted in Pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2008 by Chris

It’s a romantic image — the troubador. Haven’t we all been captivated by the lonely, achingly beautiful voice of a young artist? It happens again and again for me. Having my ear always cocked for this soulful serenade remains my best compass for discovering beauty and truth in the overproduced, fad-driven, and group-think traditions that propel pop music from one decade to the next. The rare artist’s unadulterated voice remains the strength that underlies pop music. The arrangements, the outfits, the concert shenanigans, and such are all decoration — important sometimes — but decoration, nonetheless.

Buddy HollyJT

Continue reading

RetroGirls — Do I smell a new trend?

Posted in Artist, Pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2008 by Andy

So for the past few weeks, I’ve been enjoying a slight guilty pleasure — The Pipettes. If you don’t know them, you should. They’re completely a “manufactured” band (which can be awful, cf. Spice Girls, or surprisingly good, cf. The Monkees), cast from the same mold as the Ronettes or the Shangri-Las. In other words, there’s a producer, who plugs people (in this case, cute girls) into slots, with an overall sound guiding the vision.

Pipettes Continue reading

American Idol . . . Again!

Posted in Pop culture with tags , , , , , , , on March 13, 2008 by Chris

It’s down to the top 12 and I’m pulled in, once again. In fact, American Idol is on right now. Doesn’t hurt that they’re paying tribute to the formidable Lennon-McCartney songbook. Those boys proved to be every bit the team that Rodgers and Hart were a generation (or two) earlier. And I’m a huge fan of both duos.

Anyway, this is a posting as much about the Beatles as about twelve budding talents who alternately did the boys from Liverpool proud or . . . not so much. Continue reading