Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Friday, May 27, 2005

This Is One Of Those Weird Posts Where I Don't Have Any One Thing To Say, So I Ramble On About Whatever Happens To Be On My Mind Of Late 

I'm participating in the second go-round of the Blogger Mixed Bag Disc Exchange, and I actually managed to finalize my disc in a short amount of time. I'm not quite ready to send it out, as I need to sit down and take the time to burn 25 copies of it. And, glutton for punishment that I am, I decided to throw a copy of my first disc in for the people who missed out on the first go-round of the exchange. So that's closer to 35 discs I need to burn.

After the, ahem, "mixed" reaction my first disc got, I was slightly concerned that my second disc, created in a spirit of "Think MY taste in music is weird, do they? I'll show them! I'LL SHOW THEM ALL!!!" was actually slightly too mellow and mainstream. Now that others have heard it, no, it's just that this is my idea of mellow and low-key. What I basically did was load up about three hours worth of music into my MP3 player of choice (WinAmp in this case) and remove all the tracks that were either "not weird enough" or "hmm...maybe a little too weird." One of the songs that fell into the latter category was the song "A Christian Cowboy." I was reluctant to give people the impression that I was making fun of Eisenhower-era attitudes toward evangelicism, when what I was making fun of was 50s children's records sung off-key. So I selected a different badly sung children's recording for the disc. Ironically enough, it's a non-religious song by a Christian singer. When you date a minister, and you're a heathen, and outspoken at that, it's surprising the amount of sensitivity you rapidly develop to that kind of consideration.

But, not to worry. There is a song about a cowboy on the disc. In consulting with Mike (who also entered the composistion of the second disc with a "Think MY taste in music is weird, do they? I'll show them! I'LL SHOW THEM ALL!!!" attitude) we discovered that we both included songs by the same performer again and we both had songs on the same theme appear. In addition to that, I've got another techno remix of a familiar song, a song by a comic creator, a song heavily referenced by a comic creator during one of his seminal runs on a title, a cover of a song I put on my last disc, a song only on the disc for the benefit of Fred Hembeck, some non-musical short spoken bits that expand and comment on the songs and the disc as a whole and, uhm, more really, really, really gay songs. Two to be precise. Roughly on the same subject. Edit: I should also mention that there's at least one incredibly heterosexual song on the disc as well.

And no, while I think a couple of swears snuck into the last disc, this one is probably best not listened to in front of little old ladies. Unless the little old lady in question is anything like my dad's mom. I swear, mouth on that lady would make a sailor blush...

And I've got eight more discs I need to review. Probably in a mad dash of activity this weekend. I already made the decision not to review Mike's or Tom's discs, and in the next go-round probably not Ian's either. It just feels a bit, well odd, to try and dissect their taste in music.

Speaking of my dad, something I noticed when listening to these discs, specifically as it relates to the country songs on them, and the growing appreciation of country I've had over the last five years, is "My God! I'm turning into my father!"

On the off chance any of you know my father, the reaction to that is probably "Turning into?" It's not a bad thing. It's more of a sudden realization that all those people who tell me that I've got my father's looks, mannerisms, sense of humor and uncanny charm and personality were right all along. Just mixed in with my mom's temper and cynicism.

The utter thought I've had in reaction to the discs is that there are certain similarities between rap music and country music. Lots of people don't like either, but without really listening to either. And, given the heavy emphasis on formal considerations in both styles of music, that's understandable. There's so much cookie-cutter, by the numbers rap and country out there, it's not surprising that people haven't been exposed to the really good stuff.

I've had the urge to do one of those comprehensive looks at upcoming films via their trailers lately, but to be frank, very little that I haven't already covered looks comment-worthy. There are a bunch of fantasy films coming out soon, as well as some goofy comedies (and at least one film I'm eagerly awaiting that I seriously doubt anyone thinks I'd be looking forward to. I'll let you all guess which one that is). But the only film that I immediately have something to say about is, ironically, The DaVinci Code. Now, I tried to read the book. I honestly did. I'm down with the paranoid occult history/thriller story. I think the Priory of Sion was one of the greatest literary hoaxes ever perpetrated. But that book was terrible. Just a dull as dish water, by the notes "thriller" with card-board characters. And the trailer...hoo boy...cameras panning through a twisty, dark cavern with that "In a world..." guy narrating. It screams out "You've seen this film a dozen times already, and it wasn't good any of those times either!"

In non-mixed-bag news, I picked up the new Justin Tranter album (sort of an electro-clash thing) and the newest release by the Mountain Goats. Who I could have sworn broke up years ago. In fact, about a half-dozen albums had been released between their last album I bought and the newest one. Of course, none of the albums I saw had my favorite song of theirs, "Grendel's Mother," on it. Of which I only ever had a second generation tape copy, which I lost two moves ago.

I was also feeling in a trashy novel move, so I picked up Douglas Preston's The Codex. The thing about Preston's novels, especially his collaborations with Lincoln Childs, that I like is that they know that they're not great literature. They're just escapist adventure or mystery novels, meant for rapid reading and visceral enjoyment. That they have some wit and actual talent behind them is just a bonus. I'm always terribly surprised that the only works that have been adapted to film are Jennie and the horrible adaptation of the very enjoyable The Relic that not only killed off all the characters who were necessary for the sequel, but wrote out entirely the two most important characters, including FBI Special Agent Pendergrast, a character who deserves his own film series. I mean, if anyone's looking for reasons why Hollywood just doesn't "get it" look no further than that film. Pendergrast is nearly the only character in the novel with an actual personality, and they wrote him out.

Recently added to the blogroll: the dead-brilliant Dial B for Blog and Bookshelf Comics, a well-designed and informative graphic novel focused site.


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