Friday, August 22, 2008

Pop Culture Roundup

I've moved on to the second Sandman, subtitled The Doll's House. Here, Morpheus goes on a quest to retrieve escaped dreams, and there's also a subplot involving the one time he was in love. I'm remembering more as I read from the first time I went through a lot of these. These are the kind of "smart" comics that I like.

As I've mentioned, I watched Jesus Camp this past week. You can read my thoughts about that here.

I ordered WWE SummerSlam this past Sunday, and to be honest, it was a disappointment. SummerSlam used to be one of the "Big Four" pay-per-views that the WWE would hold, before they started adding more and more PPVs to keep up with WCW and before they had five hours of television to fill every week and a felt need as of late to give some PPV matches a "tune in tomorrow on RAW to see what happens!" feel to them. PPV matches are supposed to solve something most of the time. They're supposed to feel epic. A lot of these were 12:00 or shorter, save for a near half-hour long main event between Undertaker and Edge. The other part of it is that I was so run-down from church and baby that I actually shut it off before the end. Yeah, I shut off a WWE pay-per-view before it ended. I'm a little ashamed, but I didn't feel like I was missing anything either (when reading what I missed the next morning I did, but I hadn't been given a whole lot of incentive to guzzle coffee to reach the end).

I continue to push myself to experience new music. This week's selections...

~My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges - This is my first real brush with My Morning Jacket, after I'd read such praise for them. And I'm left wondering...what's to praise? This was brutal. Seriously. The way Jim James spends so much time singing in a Prince-ish high range was enough for me to shut this album off halfway through the fifth track. I've since read that this album is not typical MMJ (even that they're more known for a more jamband sound), so if anyone out there is a fan, please direct me to something of theirs that might redeem them for me.

~My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade - I was pleasantly surprised by this group, another that I can't recall ever hearing before. The music here is so manic; gives a sense of a deranged carnival. There's a hint of Modest Mouse to it, and since I like Modest Mouse, I appreciated it.

~OAR, All Sides - It's your standard fare from OAR: light, fun jam rock, though with every album the music "matures." This is an especially solid outing from them.

And as mentioned, LeRoi Moore, the extremely talented saxophonist for Dave Matthews Band, died this past week. Here's the band playing "#41" and letting him cut loose.