Issue 28.  This edition is for the week of October 2--8, 2000.
I had to bail on this weeks' planned review of The Exorcist re-release; no time to get across town. Mike has some thoughts about the film in "Mike's Rant"! Check it out. Now for my micro-review of Dark Angel.
Dark Angel series premiere. (10-3-00). Take equal parts X-Men and Batman, some atmosphere from Terminator, stir in dashes of paranoia from Nowhere Man and The X-Files and top it of with a stunningly beautiful young leading lady and you have the ingredients necessary for James Cameron's entry into prime-time television: Dark Angel. The lovely and talented Jessica Alba (pictured) plays the title role of a genetically-altered athletic super-teen looking for her past. Memories of a lab and other escaped youths are all she has. Slow to start, but great finish. The chemistry is good, my confidence is high. Also stars Michael Weatherly and John Savage.
Dark Angel
Terence Nuzum responds to his critics.
It all basically started with the Top 10 album shootout in issue 23. It was a great shootout with many people writing--including many who have never written to this newsletter before. Subsequent issues inluded an extension of 11--20 albums to accomodate those who felt guilty for leaving something out. Somewhere along the way, most notably issue 26 and issue 27, things got taken a bit too personally by my stalwart contributors. Terence Nuzum is a young (21) local filmmaker, who I consider a friend and colleague. He is also hot-headed when he feels threatened or insulted and has managed to offend my star columnists with his aggressive rebuttals (particularly Commentary #27). The following is his response to everyone's reactions:  
   People,people,people. I do believe it's time to clear things up. First of all, if the impression you have of me is that I'm some young punk who only likes obscure bands just to be different, your deadly wrong. I, more than anyone, hate music or any art form that tries to be weird just for the sake of it. That, my friends, is the biggest cheat of all.
    I can't help what I think--I do strongly believe that any form of art that aims itself at the mainstream public's eye has to be manufactured, tame, and altogether simplistic. For one to be complex and original, you have to be daring and make sounds that no one has heard before. That being said, mom, dad,the yuppie neighbors next door, or even the alternative friend who thinks he's open to new music, will not warm up to such sounds; until the rest of the music world has caught up, that is.
   When I say that Wings, the Bee-Gees, and CCR (who I don't think I ever said was empty, lyrically) are empty, I mean that they pander to the public. Their lyrics describe emotions, feelings etc., that are commonplace to the non-outsider. Would you ever hear Wings sing about alienation, rejection, or depression (all things your average individual refuses to acknowledge)? I think not. But, in their defense, the Bee-Gees,etc. would never sing about these issues, because let's face it, they are rich, famous, accepted, and sure as hell got attention from women (at least in their day, anyway). Now, that's not their fault. They are only singing about their experiences. But, good and true pure art, I feel, comes from personal inner pain. It pushes us.
    I would also like to educate you on my musical knowledge (just for the skeptical). I don't just know of obscure bands. The first music I ever started listening to was classical and movie scores at about age 10. Before age 10, I had no interest in music whatsoever. No joke. At age 13, I got into ragtime and jazz. By age 16, I was heavily into the blues. And I mean the original stuff. Robert Johnson, Son House, Skip James, and many more. The blues, by far, is still my favorite genre. At about 16, I was thankfully introduced to The Doors. Then came Buddy Holly and all the 50's stuff at about age 17. Only at the age of 18 (and I stress this for those who think I would  only pick a 90's band simply based on my age) did I get into modern music at all.
   I'm sure (and I'm not bragging) that I have a more diverse musical palate than anyone here.(Not bragging, but a bit presumptuous.---N)  And surely have heard things no one here has heard, be it from the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, or 90's. Again, I'm not bragging, and mean no animosity toward anyone here. (No animosity taken, but again, a bit presumptuous.---N) My letter (See "Commentary", issue # 27) was not to be taken all that seriously; I thought it was in fun. My way of joking is sometimes sarcastic, so don't take it wrong. But, I did want to clear things up. I don't want to be misinterpreted. I have a vast musical knowledge and I think that it should have some bearing on why I made such remarks.("Vast musical knowledge"? I can predict the Letters page already.---N)
    You can like Top-40 all you want, but when you look back, it's the artists that weren't mainstream that eventually influenced Top-40. '30's blues had a large impact on the rock bands of the late 60's and it itself was not mainstream. The oh-so-hated-by-everyone-here, Velvet Underground has influenced countless bands in the 70's ,80's, and 90's. (Mike was the only one ribbing you about that.  Matt's on record as a fellow fan. And I certainly agree about their influence.---N) 70's avant-garde/ambient artist Brian Eno certaintly influenced more than one new wave act in the 80's. Jimmy Page and many other guitar heroes of the 70's freely admit they would be nowhere without the music of Coltrane and Charlie Parker. Folk and country legends Ledbelly, Woody Guthrie,and Jimmy Reed influenced a lot of 70's bands to bring out their so-called country-rock roots. The seminal alt-rock band The Pixies basically laid down the entire musical map for the 90's in pop and rock. And they did it in '87. Again, they were all artists who cut against the grain, and pushing the envelope. And such Top-40 acts cannot exist without such other artists. So please take in consideration that I might know what I'm talking about next time. And please don't remark about me not having heard certain bands because you're probably wrong, and you don't know me anyway.
    Well, hopefully, this will at least give you all some idea of where I'm coming from and might vanquish the idea that I'm some kind of contradictory asshole. If this doesn't clear anything up concerning my personage (but not my opinions), then I will not be writing with you all anymore. (And let us be in total control? No way...---N) This is the reason I usually do not write columns in the first place. It's called misinterpretation. (Naw, it just needs a little fine-tuning. Look at everybody your pissing off! That's gotta count for something.---N)
   Well it's been hellishly fun. May Cthulhu come and eat your children and feast on your souls. (And no, I'm not a Satanist, it was only a joke.)
Terence
   P.S.  I also would like to add that this Matt guy has obviously never heard the bands I have mentioned, considering that he assumes that they sing only about murder, homosexuality (!!!!) and drugs. They all sing about true personal feelings. Love included. It's just that some view it harshly because it is describe in a pure, painful manner. But hey, that's life. Or maybe he just doesn't grasp the music or their lyrics. So, actually, he has become what he assumes I am. How's that for irony?  This special "Terence's Tirade" is 2000 by Terence Nuzum.
    It is certainly a fact that Jimmy Page, et.al., owe a great debt to very early black bluesman. Jimmy Hendrix (were he alive) and Eric Clapton would also agree. It is also beyond dispute that the cutting-edge groups are the least appreciated during their time. And they were/are the ones taking the risks.
   However, it is unfair and unwise to harshly judge other's tastes based on what has affected you. Everyone has lived different lives.  (Yes, Terence---Mike is reading this too.)
   There is great value in obscure/underground art. That society doesn't support it is why it's underground and it will always be there. And that kind of music certainly speaks to the emotionally volatile, the outsiders, the misfits. I've been in and out of that strata myself, many times.  Admittedly, much less frequently now.
    Others in society are drawn to those commercial albums that accompanied them on dates. Or scored movies. Or was background noise in a dance club. That's what supports the industry.  I'm not surprised at all that this is such a divisive issue. At 21,  I was the world's BIGGEST asshole about this very thing.  My feelings have changed over the last 20 years, of course, but that's why I so value your opinion--and not just because of your age. But because of what and why you feel as you do.
    I'm not sure you realize this or care, but John Popper, the amazing blues harmonica player of Blues Traveler, was inspired to play the blues because of Dan Ackroyd's performance on Saturday Night Live as Elwood.
  The Beatles were inspired by Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and various other pop-rock musicians of the day.  With some irony, John and George developed underground-sounding music, while Paul and Ringo went very commercial.  
   While I can't recall any commercial groups that went underground, there are reams of underground groups that went very commercial once they smelled a buck. Their "painful emotions" seemed to clear up in a hurry!---Nolan.
Terence's website is Viddywell Productions
All contents this page are 2000 by Nolan B. Canova

 

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