Man, it must be nice to be a music critic, what with all that free music,
payola and satchels of handjobs arriving daily to curry your favour. But who,
we ask you, polices the reviewers? So it is with this in mind—the
interest of protecting you, the not-so-paying public—that Whitey and
T.B. present Second Opinion Quick Spins.
Sleeper Set Sail
What the fuck? Was Adler on a meth bender when she wrote her review? Second
runner-up at the high-school battle of the bands? This guy would finish dead
The Essential Red Collection
I have to agree with Iain on a few points here. Yes, this does sound like
great construction-site fodder for the powertool-and-Trans-Am set. And yes,
this is definitely a good introduction to Mr. Hagar’s body of work. But
even with “hits” like “I Can’t Drive 55” and
“Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” I don’t know if I could
ever classify this disc as essential. In fact, although I have always been
quite aware of Sammy’s work in the past, I can’t remember ever
really liking anything he’s done. Hell, I don’t know if anyone
would even remember who he was if he hadn’t single-handedly wrecked Van
Halen. And for that I will never forgive him.
Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
Speaking of meth binges, I gotta ask, “What the hell are you smoking,
Chris?” Slightly inferior? Man, this disc kicks ass. Granted,
it’s got some of those dreaded “slick production values”
that you hear so much about. And uh, Chris? It’s called knowing how to
play your fucking instrument. And not being afraid to sing in key.
Personally, I can’t wait for the pendulum to swing the other way again.
We need more bloated rock operas. No, I mean it. Really. If one more
white-belted garage-rock fashionista tells me how sad he is, I’m gonna
beat him with his own $5 out-of-tune guitar. And then I’m gonna… uh,
what was I talking about again? Oh yeah. Disc equals good. Chris equals bad.
There. Sorry, it had to be said.
I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
This really is a wonderful, stripped-down album. I, too, was full of fire and
brimstone ready to rip Boutet a new one, but I was disarmed by Conor
Oberst’s sincerity. Indeed, it’s an emotive masterpiece. I quite
enjoyed both releases, but I will probably be siding with Chris at the old
folks’ home—that is, if my liver holds out.
Because of Winn-Dixie
Reading Paul Matwychuk’s review reminded me of this neighbourhood dog
that would carry freshly-shorn horse testicles into our summer cabin and
leave them in the kitchen. As a teenager I found this appalling, fascinating
and stomach-turning, but that li’l rascal sure did give us something to
talk about during dinnertime lulls. If that movie ever gets made I want the
soundtrack to be done by High on Fire and not the Be Good Tanyas, as they
would be better suited to score the robot-ninja horse-testicle bloodbath
ending I have envisioned. I have to agree with Paul here, though: this album
is a nice and safe collection of safe and nice songs. V