Friday, June 20, 2008

Pop Culture Roundup - Farewell Edition

I haven't read any further in my book and I haven't seen any movies this week. In a way, it's fitting that this is the last one. Seems that having a 2-month-old doesn't allow me to crack off a book a week any more. I also used to be about music the way I've been more recently about books anyway. When the shift happened, I don't know. But I'm glad I'm going back. Music has played a longer and stronger role in my life anyway. But I'll write more about that as we get into the new thing.

As I mentioned the other day, this past week I had a strong urge to listen to "Round Here" by Counting Crows, so I popped in August and Everything After, and ended up listening to the entire album as I began to remember how good it is. Coffeeson was in my arms for pretty much the entire thing. He fell asleep as I sang "Round Here." I'll have to remember that. The next day I put in Recovering the Satellites, thinking this might be a full-fledged appreciation for Counting Crows happening, but it's not nearly as good. I like "A Long December" and a few others, but they decided to feature more electric guitar on this one and it's kind of a letdown after listening to AaEA. It's the same reason why I stopped buying Jars of Clay's later albums.

I've also been listening to "Weird Al" Yankovic's Straight Outta Lynwood this week. It's his typical mix of parodies, originals, and the token polka. The polka, as always, is good. His parodies, for the most part, are solid as well. This time around, we get "White & Nerdy" (Chamillionaire's "Ridin' Dirty), "Canadian Idiot" (Green Day's "American Idiot"), "Do I Creep You Out" (Taylor Hicks' "Do I Make You Proud"). His originals are always hit and miss, though. "I'll Sue Ya" is a rap-rock satire of frivolous lawsuits ("I sued Dell Computers 'cause I took a bath with my laptop and now it doesn't work") and "Don't Download This Song" is a "We Are the World"-type song parodying how upset artists get about their music being downloaded ("How else can I afford another solid gold Humvee?"). The rest are mediocre to outright bad.

I've also been listening to Roger Waters' In the Flesh, a live concert CD from 2001. He plays a lot of the classic Floyd stuff, mostly from Animals, Wish You Were Here, The Wall, and Dark Side of the Moon. As I listened, I thought to myself, "Would I rather see Roger Waters in concert solo, or Pink Floyd featuring today's members (not that they've really done anything since 1994)?" And I have to say that I'd take Waters. This is a good concert.

Around the web, I tried to think of something profound to say, this being the end of a 3 1/2-year run of the Pop Culture Roundup. But all I could find was
a video of a dog singing to the Chemical Brothers. Enjoy. And thanks for the memories.