February 8, 2013

The Weeklies #245

The Weekly Mental State. Exhaustion.

The Weekly Weather. If terrified newscasters are any indication...MONSTER BLIZZARD!

The Weekly Insult. It's a toss-up between ass-waffle and jerk-store.

The Weekly Read. I love James Bond. Always have. But I've also always had something of a love/hate relationship with the Ian Flemming novels that inspired the movies. They're good, don't get me wrong. They're often much different than the movies so if feels like you're getting a bonus story out of the deal. Sometimes they're very, very slow. Such is the case with Moonraker. If you recall the movie, it was - how to put it - a steaming pile of crap. It was made during those cheesy Roger Moore years and filmed to compete with the rise of popular science fiction movies. The basic story, though, was decent. Moonraker (the book) is much more grounded in reality. And if Flemming hadn't spent the first third of the book discussing bridge (as in the card game), it would have been a hell of a lot better. It's a somewhat slow 200+ pages, largely dragged down by detailed accounts of card playing but it does pick up after Flemming's fascination wanes.

The Weekly TV. Archer.

The Weekly Music. I'm 40 years old and a music lover but I've never given Bruce Springsteen a fair shake. Until now. Last weekend, lying in bed early on Saturday morning I uncharacteristically downloaded his most recent, Wrecking Ball. I listened then proceeded to buy Darkness On The Edge Of Town and Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.. And after all this listening I have to admit that I feel like an idiot for having waited 40 years to make this discovery.

The Weekly Question. In your mind who's the most underrated, under-appreciated musician or band? And the most overrated

Posted by Chris at February 8, 2013 7:06 AM

Wow, I'm surprised, based on your taste in music, that Bruce wasn't a musician you listened to. Glad you enjoyed it, but, again, based on your tastes, I kinda expected you would. Bruce is awesome and I highly recommend going to see him live...it is one heck of a show...no fireworks or dance numbers, just really, really good jam session among friends who have played together for decades.

Oh, I have tons of overrated musical acts, Justin Bieber, any boy band of today, etc. Underrated? Sometimes I kinda think Bruce is, even though he has a huge following. I'm sure I could come up with others, I'm just so blown away that you hadn't ever considered Bruce before! ;-)

BTW, Darkness was not my favorite album, I barely gave it notice - but I attended a concert where he played the whole album start to finish and I fell completely in love with the music. It's weird how that happened. Listen to the Rising too...he wrote that music just after 9/11 in response. Its quite good.

Posted by: cyndy at February 8, 2013 8:58 AM

See, I am the opposite. I much prefer reading the Bond books (especially the Flemming ones, subsequent authors were hit or miss) to watching the movies.

Posted by: Kaz at February 8, 2013 9:01 AM

I think Born to Run is my favorite Bruce Springsteen album, although I do really like Greetings from Asbury Park too. The Nebraska album is totally different from everything else, and Cyndy is right, the Rising is quite good too. Ok, fine, I like most of his stuff :)

By the way, thanks for the Mr. Penumbra's recommendation. I'm almost done and it has been a really fun read.

Posted by: Hillary at February 8, 2013 9:13 AM

Funny you bring up music from the past that seemed like you should be really into. My prime music years have been spent on Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, etc. Recently I had song lyrics randomly pop into my head (there behind a glass, stands a real blade of grass)- went to You Tube to listen and spent most of the day reviewing the catalog of Emerson Lake and Palmer! Oh My! Fabulous musicans that I could just not appreciate during their time of popularity - branded them as too much of a "guy band." Anyway, give them listen.

Posted by: Pretzellu at February 8, 2013 9:20 AM

'Born to Run' is still my favorite Springsteen song, but my favorite album is still 'The River' (1980).

Posted by: j at February 8, 2013 9:29 AM

Yes to 'The River' it is an awe inspiring bit of storytelling. Listen to 'Born in the U.S.A.' and have a good lefty laugh at the thought of Bruce telling Reagan to stop using it in his campaign. It really is about the mess the country was in, not the rah rah hope that was pedalled in the 80's. Political rant done. Enjoy!

Posted by: rebecca at February 8, 2013 11:23 AM

My favorite Springsteen album happens to be whichever one I'm listening to at the time. So many years of great music and lyrics. Some days I think it's the lyrics that make me love Bruce's songs so much, then I find myself rocking out and realize how much I love the music too. But it's the combination that makes him so great. A rockin' story teller. And what cyndy said about his concerts. She summed it up perfectly.

Posted by: pinetree22 at February 8, 2013 11:28 AM

I don't know about the most underrated, that's a tough one. But overrated? Easy: U2. Specifically Bono. He just... insists upon himself. Ugh. While I do enjoy a few songs, overall I just find them/him insufferable. Maybe I should be able to separate the man from the music? I don't know. But I don't think the music is all that great on its own.

Glad you're enjoying Bruce. I've seen him live a few times and all of the shows were great. I'm not a die-hard fan who knows every word to every song, but he and the E Street Band are such talented musicians and the songs are just so good that it doesn't even matter.

I like "ass-waffle." I may have to steal that one.

Posted by: erin at February 8, 2013 10:55 PM

I enjoy stumbling into a revelation about an artist I should have loved all along. Rather than getting one album to listen to, you now get plenty instead. One of my most startling "discoveries" was Joni Mitchell. That was in 2000, and I had over 20 other "new" albums to enjoy.

Posted by: James Proffitt at February 9, 2013 2:16 AM