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Showing posts from July, 2006

Arthur Lee: He Sees Everything Like This

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This entry was originally one long-assed blather on about why Arthur Lee , his band Love, and Love's third album Forever Changes are so blasted essential. But the resulting thesis was pretty damned drawn-out, so out most of it went. It's easy for me to lapse into such diarrhea of the keyboard when it comes to this band. Love have inspired scores of other musicians, and in addition to giving Jimi Hendrix his first recorded gig (and being instrumental in getting the Doors their first major label deal), Arthur Lee, his songs, and his haunted rock and roll life engender the kind of mythology from whence cult legends are born. Here are the Cliffs' Note basics. Love was a California psychedelic band whose heyday lasted from 1965 until about 1968. They started out as a rough-hewn garage rock band (think Rolling Stones, with a bit of Byrds-type jangle) on their first record, 1966's Love , then they quickly evolved into a stunningly innovative musical outfit. Da Capo

Yo, Ho, Ho and a Bottle of Bruckheimer

I'll cop right up front to being a big fan of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It's the kind of fleet-footed, swashbuckling good time that Hollywood seldom gets right in these devalued times, and Johnny Depp's gravity-defying hoot of a performance as the off-kilter Captain Jack Sparrow is one for the ages. Much of the rest of the world apparently agreed with me, making Curse of the Black Pearl a massive surprise hit a few summers back, so the stakes are pretty high for the follow-up, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead's Man's Chest . The good news for the bean-counters is that this new entry is a bona-fide financial windfall . The better news (from this cramped perspective, at least) is that it hits the popcorn-movie pleasure nodes almost as adroitly as the first one. The sense of breezy, devil-may-care surprise that suffuses the first one is less prominent here, with a much more convoluted plot and Depp's Captain Jack coming off as less crazy-like-a-fo