Blog Roddus

Blog Roddus
My Favorite Place

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Uncut Magazine Take 28 September 1999

Uncut Take 28 September 1999

I was in the city several weeks back and had enough time to pop into Penny Lane Records to have a browse. I found a pile of Uncut Magazines amongst which I found about a dozen which I didn't have and this issue is the earliest one they had. After reading through the issue I have loaded into iTunes and the iPod albums buy the following artists who were either profiled, interviewed, reviewed or mentioned in some way within this issue: The Beatles, The Clash, The Ramones, The Beach Boys, Blue Oyster Cult, Jimi Hendrix, Madder Rose, Kim Fowley, Nick Drake, KUKL, Al Green, Roxy Music, Air and  Bob Marley. 
The following Movies were mentioned in this issue and I either have them on DVD or they looked interesting enough for me to check them out: Eyes Wide Shut, Go, Felica's Journey, Yellow Submarine, Another day In Paradise, All about My Mother, South Park, The 13th Warrior, Chance of Coincidence, Seven, Escape From New York, Henry Fool,  Place Vendome, A Kind of Hush, The Dream Life Of Angels, Heavens Burning, Crash and Boogie Nights.

 So Lets Start off with this issues free CD, another selection of interesting music to keep us entertained, plenty of good stuff on this one with a couple of highlights including the excellent "Jolene", a song we all know well I am sure, and one that I have come to appreciate much more lately due to the excellent guitar melodies. Dolly's singing is great but the songs lyrical content is the songs weakness. Anyway, this set kicks off with a very good Dylanesque track from Douglas September, keeping up the Uncut habit of giving us good Americana. Kelly Joe Phelps continues the Americana with this nice folksy track. Things get a lot more grungy with the dirty blues of John Spencer although this song has a string section.Some early Brit-pop from Pulp is ok but I'm not gonna rush out and buy any of their music on the strength of this song. The Richard Thompson track enhances the quality of this collection but the live
Blondie track cancels it out as the next song. The set rolls along nicely with some older tracks and a more recent rocker until we get to a magnificent live version of Joy division's Wilderness. Our next highlight, following a nice folksy Gospel number by Dan Pen is the aforementioned "Jolene" Followed shortly by one of the Ramones better songs of 60s inspired punk pop.The Charlie Parker track is a wonderful piece of early be-bop Jazz adding to the
eclectic nature of this collection. A couple of nondescript but listenable songs  take us to the fairly horrible "Blue Moon" sung by two actors who can't sing all that well. The final 9 minute epic psychedelic poem by Kim Fowley trying to be a weird Jim Morrison is not all that impressive although it starts off well enough before degenerating into some uncool strangeness.

Bob Marley - African Herbsman (Jamaica 1973)
I chose this particular one from my collection as this issue reviewed another compilation of very early rare Wailers tracks from the mid 60s, which I do not have and seeing as this set is also a compilation, I loaded it into Itunes for consideration. A mix of both live and studio tracks from Bobs earlier days and as much as I like Bobs music and there are plenty of great songs on this set, I like the "Legend"comp much more and have some of the other essential tracks on Bobs proper albums. I think there may be a track or two not available elsewhere but this set is would appeal more to serious fans than casual consumers like myself. I won't keep my copy of this set but can rate it 3/5.
Blue Oyster Cult - Agents Of Fortune (USA 1976)
This album was rated 3 stars for the reissue in this issue of Uncut. B.O.C's most popular and well known album due to the inclusion of their big hit "Don't Fear the Reaper". This particular album of light weight metal or more MOR if you like isn't one of the best albums I have heard from this outfit and although there are some good guitar moments on this set, I find it quite under whelming, especially in the area of production. I hear some merit in the well crafted songs and can appreciate why many have enjoyed it but I won't miss it after I delete it off my hard drive.2/5

The Residents - Animal Lover (USA 2005)
There was a live concert review of the Residents in this issue and so I dug out this album from the deep dark recesses of my hard drive, I have tried for years to get into the Residents, they have had plenty of exposure in the press over the years and my curiosity is always aroused when I read about them. This will be the last album I will ever listen to from them. Musically, there is a lot happening on this album and plenty of different styles mashed into this strange concoction, but the silly voices used to "sing?" these songs is bloody annoying and really distracts from the music not to mention the contents of the lyrics is pretty off putting. You would think these guys would have grown up a bit by now after being together for 30 years.Rating 1/5
Kim Fowley - Bad news From The Underground (USA 2005)
With a long winded track from Kim on the free CD, I decided to drag this CD out which was one of the 25 CDs I purchased very cheaply from the Bomp Records online store late last year. The album starts of well with the excellent "Face On The Factory Floor", which I knew from the "Straight Outta Burbank" compilation. The rest of this set degenerates into Kim's pseudo Jim Morrison poetry to some uninteresting background music. Sounds like he was still stuck in the 60s on some never ending acid trip. Avoid this rubbish. 1/5.

The Ramones - Hey! Ho! Lets Go! (USA 1999)
This has been a good exercise in clearing out some of the music I have collected on CD and in digital format that just isn't all that essential for me to keep, as I have so much music that I don't need to spend any more time on these releases. This Anthology was reviewed in this issue as well as a covering article. I had heard quite a few Ramones songs over the years via many punk compilations and I do enjoy most of those early songs. I picked up this double CD set quite some time ago but had never bothered to give it too much attention and now after having  it on Itunes for the last few weeks I can safely say that  overall, apart from some of the early tracks, I really don't get into the Ramones all that much. Their 60s pop  inspired punk bubblegum blitzkrieg really wears thin very quickly and it is  amazing they had a career with this music as long as they did. Rating 2/5.
Al Green - Call Me (USA 1973)
Found this on on my hard drive after Uncut reviewed a couple of other reissues from Al green in this issue. I'm not a big soul/R'N'B fan but some of the best artists in this style are immensely powerful singers/musicians and Al Green is no exception. Several songs from this classic were familiar to me from various funk comps I have, but on casual listening on the Ipod over the last few weeks, I was gonna let this one go as I wasn't all that inspired. After some closer inspections, this soulful funky music impresses considerably and gets the thumbs up to stay in my collection. 3.5/5

The Beach Boys  - Pet Sounds (USA 1966)
I dug this one out of the CD rack as there was a review of  the reissue of this album and of course Uncut gave it the predictable 5 stars. I actually have the copy of the one they reviewed as it has the original album in both stereo and mono on the disc.
I originally brought this album, finally, on the strength of all the reviews I had read and the fact that it was almost as highly regarded as Sergeant Pepper and so I had to check it out, as much as I didn't actually like the beach boys Music.
Suffice to say that I don't really like this one too much either. Sure there is much more experimentalism and creativity going on here than from earlier Beach boys music but I still don't like it much and to me it doesn't come anywhere near anything The Beatles produced.
Caroline No is the only really half decent song here and I can live without that to so although I can appreciate what some of the fuss was about, I will have to give this a Roddus Rating of 2/5.

The 13th Warrior - John McTiernan Director (USA 1999)
This Medieval action flick got a surprising 5 star rating for the theatrical release in this issue. A vastly generous rating for this pointless exercise in Viking macho posturing and  mindless violence. I usually enjoy these historical  sword movies but this one just had such a weak plot and wasn't based on any particular historical event, just a bunch of Vikings going to rescue a village being attacked by another tribe of savages for no apparent reason. mildly entertaining but quite pointless.Rating 2/5.
All About My Mother - Pedro Almodovar Director (Spain 1999)
Another movie reviewed for its theatrical release and given four stars in this issue. I am a bit out of touch with foreign language films but this one is a good place to dive back in. This film received an Academy Award for best foreign language film and I guess it deserved it. I did enjoy this all female drama and the colour of the sets and the characters in these types of film are refreshing. A drama/dark comedy that kept me interested throughout but with one glaring piece that was quite central to the story and that is why would a Nun(Penelope Cruz) get herself pregnant to an HIV positive Transsexual heroin addict?  That aside, a very good movie and I can happily rate it the same as uncut with 4/5.

Yellow Submarine - George Dunning Director (UK 1968)
Surprisingly I'd never seen this film until now. Highlighted in this issue due to a limited cinematic re-release with a four page article.
The first thing i think of when I see the opening animations is Monty Python. It looks like Terry Gilliam was deeply influenced by this film. Secondly is what I believe to be a bit of Dr Seuss incorporated into this film. Overall I found the animations to be interesting and pretty trippy, as expected, but The Beatles characters were pretty boring and the story of very little interest. Sort of more like an extended music video. I was kind of glad when it finished. I would have liked this more when I was younger and took mind altering substances to enhance the psychedelic animations. Probably overrated due to it being associated with The Beatles. I have no desire to see this again. Rating 2/5.
The Beatles - Yellow Submarine (UK 1969)
This record was also mentioned, of course, in the article about the movie and was also scheduled for an expanded and remastered re issue. I have the CD version of the original vinyl release with the George Martin orchestral compositions.
This would easily be the worst of all the Beatles albums. That means that it is still far better than most but with only  6 Beatles originals and only two new for this soundtrack, well kinda unessential really. "Hey Bulldog" has been a favourite for many years though, but "All Together Now" is one of the Beatles weakest songs.
George Martin fills the second half of this disc with the orchestrated peices from the film and a quite interesting set it is.
 Plenty of styles embraced, from Carl Stalling cartoon music to nice romantic melodies to a bit of avant-garde. Ok, but again not essential. Overall rating 2.5/5

Seven - David Fincher Director (USA 1995)
The DVD release got four stars in this issue for this entertaining police/serial killer thriller movie. Great acting as you'd expect from this cast and  good filming. The killer was much more interesting than your usual killer with the twist at the end making for a suspenseful conclusion. Enjoyable and entertaining and gets my rating of 3.5/5.

Escape From New York - John Carpenter Director (USA 1981)
Five stars is a bit much for this dark action piece from Horror director John Carpenter. Uncut rated it for the DVD re-issue and I just happened to have a copy in my collection because I most probably picked it up dirt cheap at the warehouse. It isn't a too bad piece of escapism with an all star cast but the story is a bit weak and it seems a bit like an excuse for a bit of a shoot up and plenty of destruction. Nothing wrong with that now and it kept me amused. Food for thought though, early in the movie there is a plane hijacked by some terrorists and flown into a building in Manhattan Island, deja vu.
Rating 3/5.

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut - Trey Parker Director (USA 1999)
I can't believe its been so long since this was released. I think I went to the movies to see this and Uncut also gave this 5 stars for it theatrical release review. I have the DVD of this and although there are a few giggles to be had here and there,I wasn't and still am not offended in any way by this movie, but I don't really enjoy it as much as i had previously. Maybe the film is dated a bit now or maybe I'm dated a bit now, although it's message still is relevant, the humour and other deliberately obscene dialogue don't really impress me all that much now. Rating 2.5/5.

K.U.K.L - The Eye (Iceland 1984)
I searched this out as I had recently read an interview with Bjork and after doing some research on All Music I found that Bjork had been pretty active before The Sugarcubes. Also I review this here in relation to this issue as there was a piece on Bjork in this months Sacred Cows column.
Fans of post punk/goth, especially the Cure may like this. Certainly not much to indicate they were from Iceland. A worthy collection but overall not too much here to get overly excited about.
Dark and brooding and there is a real familiarity about the music, but apart from the aforementioned Cure, I can't quite put a finger on it. Rating 3/5
Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure (UK 1972)

Roxy music have always been highly regarded and although I had been aware of some of their charting songs via radio play, I had never been inspired to own any of their albums. This second album album is regarded as their best, the last one before Brian Eno left the group. This was Uncuts album of the month along with the other first five Roxy albums that were being re-released on CD.Uncut gave it 5 stars. The album kicks off with the excellent"The Strand", my favourite Roxy track and I'm sure well known to most. Over the course of this album it is obvious why Roxy were so successful and it is also understandable why so may hold this arty glam/pop in high regard. This music is well crafted and well played and there is plenty here to keep one interested.
For me, although there are some interesting experiments going on within these songs, and I can appreciate the quality of this record, I still don't really connect with it in a way that I want to come back and listen to it again and again. A quality album but just not my cup of tea. Rating 2.5/5

Madder Rose - Hello June Fool (USA 1999)

This was the last album from this New York group playing a nice blend of indie rock/pop. Nice poppy female vocals and some electronics mixed in also gives it a bit of a Portishead feel. Uncut gave this release 4 stars and although it is a pleasant enough set and the Portisheadisms make it more attractive to my tastes, overall, I'm not greatly inspired by this album and don't feel the urge to give it too much more attention. Rating 2.5/5.

Air - Moon Safari (France 1998)
Uncut reviewed a compilation of earlier music from this outfit and gave it a 5 star rating. This is another highly rated debut and I had read about it over the years and knew I had a copy somewhere on my hard drive. This partially instrumental Electronic pop jazzy French music starts off well with the quite jazzy " La Femme d'Argent" and reminds me of a jazzier Lemon Jelly. The more pop orientated vocal songs can get a bit easy listening in places and I wasn't all that impressed as I had them playing on the Ipod at work today. There are a few interesting snippets mainly in the form of the instrumental tracks but mostly I just didn't connect with this. It is good enough for me to appreciate the reputation this album has but its' not for me. rating 2.5/5.

Boogie Nights - Paul Thomas Anderson Director (USA 1997) 
This dark serious comedy was reissued on DVD and reviewed with 5 stars by Uncut. I vaguely remember going to the movies to see it back when it came out and I thought I might revisit it again after seeing the review. Plenty of swearing, nudity, sex, drugs and violence in this story of a bunch of losers in the porn industry back in the late 70s-early 80s. A mildly entertaining morality tale of sorts but I don't feel this movie gave us nearly as deep an insight into the negatives of the porn industry as it could have. As a drama, it was a bit lame, as a comedy it had a few giggles but I thought this film was a bit light weight in dealing with the subject. A stellar cast all put in great performances and the soundtrack was excellent. Still not a film I will revisit. 2.5/5

Nick Drake - Pink Moon (UK1972)
I have been trying to find the piece in this issue of Uncut that prompted me to dig up this record from my hard drive, but a quick flick through this issue draws a blank but I'll comment any way as I took the trouble to listen to it. This album is another of those legendary records that Uncut and many others regard highly although not necessarily a lot of people have heard it. A laid back folk album with Nick singing with a sweet smooth husky whisper. A direct forbearer of Jack Johnson and his mate Donovan Frankenreiter. A quality effort and I understand the fuss but I really don't Like either Jack or Donovan's music and although Nick is far superior, I personally don't really connect with this after several listens.2.5/5.
Jimi Hendrix - Live at Woodstock 
This double disc CD of  Jimi's full set from the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in 1969 was reviewed in this issue of Uncut and was given 5 stars. I have most of Jimi's more important live  records and this one is up there with Monterey and Winterland and Jimi almost never disappoints. Plenty of the best guitar pyrotechnics ever committed to tape and what more can one say about this music except  play very loud and enjoy the greatest guitarist ever. Rating  5/5 .

Eyes Wide Shut - Stanley Kubrick Director (USA 1999)
I watched Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut and survived. This movie was sort of previewed in this issue as it was due for release in the UK soon after. A slow ponderous sexual psycho drama with plenty of nudity from Kidman(which no doubt got plenty of bums on seats to start with) and impressive sets but this strange movie seemed a bit aimless and the slowness of the unfolding of the story was almost sleep inducing at times. Quite bizarre and sometimes seemed like just an excuse for tits and sex on screen, a big piece of self indulgent from Kubrick but some fine acting from Kidman and Cruise. I certainly won't be wanting to view this again .Rating 2/5.

The Clash - The Singles (UK 1991)
You were possibly wondering when I'd get to The Clash what with them being the cover stars for this issue. With no reissues reviewed and the article touching on a bit of a career overview, I decided to dig out my copy of "The Singles" which covers almost all of their career. I originally brought this compilation because it was dirt cheap and mainly  because of the totally bloody brilliant cover of  Sonny Curtis's "I Fought The Law". The other plus for me is to get probably the best of the early Clash as I don't have any of the early albums because for some reason I never really connected with them. With the aid of this compilation I have come to appreciate what classics those abrasive punk singles were and how fabulous they still sound today.
The rest of this set is much more familiar territory for me as I have the albums from this period and am intimately familiar with them in all their glory. A excellent set for the new or casual Clash fan and just chock full of some of the most enduring music to come out of the first punk wars. Rating 5/5.

Go - Doug Liman (USA 1999)
Uncut reviewed this movie with an impressive 5 stars and although mildly entertaining I did struggle to stay with it, especially at the beginning. Firstly this appears to be largely influenced By "Pulp Fiction" with its three separate stories that are  interconnected by the connections of the various characters in them. With some violence, drugs and sex giving this an R18 cert, along with some of the various young people doing some pretty stupid things, its doesn't kick ass like "Pulp..." and lacks the awesome dialogue of that movie. I  can only give it a rating of 2.5/5.

Felicia's Journey - Atom Egoyan (UK 1999)

This movie was highlighted as an upcoming theatrical release and after I sat through about 1/2 this slow moving thriller, I got bored and also a bit uncomfortable as to where the plot was going, but mostly it just didn't grab my interest and I knew fairly early on I was going to struggle with it. my rating 2/5.

No comments: