Wednesday, January 19, 2022

80s Rock Metal Week Day #1: Ozzy Osbourne - Fool Like You

If you're a regular reader of this page, you'll know that a couple years ago I began sifting through a lot of the 80s rock that I'd either ignored or abandoned after adolescence. I called the project "Recontextualizing the 80s" and meant it very much in earnest. I was a kid in the 80s but became a young adult in the 90s, and as many of us know, part of that process is breaking from the things you liked as a child. Right, because at 16, 17, 18 or even into your 20s, you're such an adult. More like, fake it 'til you make it. 

One thing I've learned as I entered and defeated my thirties is there's really no such thing as 'adults' as they are advertised to children. The only difference between a kid and an adult is if you accept responsibility for your own actions and everything that follows through from that. Of course, I might just be saying that because I'm a nearly 46-year-old dude who still buys transformers and geeks out over Marvel Comics, but you know, I think I'm right. As a bartender, I saw a lot of adults who acted way more like children and thus was born my theory.

But I'm trailing off on a tide of tangents.

Anyway, the 90s served as the crystallization and final stand of the indie rock scenes that began in the 80s, and with their coalescing into the larger arena of pop culture, a complete refusal to acknowledge any music containing artifice. This was great at the time, but if you're even the littlest bit self-aware, you eventually realize that not every band or musician has to have a straight-lipped, white-knuckle chokehold on "TOTAL INTEGRITY OR DIE". Sometimes it's good just to have fun, and yeah, all the cocaine and mascara of the 80s metal scene pretty much tells you at a glance that's all a lot of those bands cared about. Sometimes that sucks, and sometimes it's okay and carries with it a certain kind of integrity in itself. So for the next seven entries of this blog, I'm going to post tracks that I've either rediscovered a fondness for, finally admitted a fondness for, or have discovered a fondness for.

Get ready, and please, don't throw any Pavement keychains at me. That shit hurts and I never really got into them in the first place. 

We start with a song and an album by the 80s Prince of Darkness himself that I used to never like, even back when I liked Ozzy. With the exception of "A Shot in the Dark" - which I believe I've posted in these pages on several previous occasions - I never took a liking to The Ultimate Sin. A couple years ago, however, I decided to give it another shot and guess what? I totally dig every damn track on this record. 


Now, as if to fly in the face of everything in the previous section, I spent part of last weekend doing a mini Danny Boyle marathon. First up, my first (finally) viewing of The Beach.

I'm a big fan of Alex Garland's novel, and although Boyle's adaptation changed quite a bit from the book, I still dug it, especially the always delightful Robert Carlyle as Daffy.

Next, the original Trainspotting, which I've lost track of my number of viewings for and still adore. 

Last and perhaps most bafflingly, I had my first-ever viewing of T2 Trainspotting, the sequel.

I really should have seen this one a long time ago, but never got around to it, always kind of bummed I missed its microscopic theatrical run. I suppose some of the blame lay with the fact that, since I've forced myself to stay away from reading Welsh's last few novels - despite the fact that I still count him in my top three authors of all time - I also moved away from all the other areas of his work. I'm pretty sure at the beginning of every year I tell myself and my readers that this is the year I return to reading Welsh, and finally acquire and burn through all those novels I've missed since I read Skag Boys, but the truth is, while I'm still working on writing a genre series, the idea of drifting back into Welsh's prose may alter my own voice in a way that makes these next two books even more impossible than they already sometimes feel. 


T2 bears pretty much no resemblance to Welsh's Porno - which wasn't so much a sequel to Trainspotting as it was a sequel to both that and my favorite of his novel, Glue. But Boyle had no time to introduce that other book's key players - Juice Terry, NSIGN Ewart, wee Gally, or Billy Birrell, and as such, opted to make this more of a sequel to his previous film. Which was the smart move, even if it forced this film to hinge around the confrontation between Renton and Begbie, which does not disappoint, even if the rest of the flick - as enjoyable as it is, especially visually - feels a might rudderless at times. 

Regardless of any of that, I still really enjoyed this one and will definitely revisit again, especially after I finally do get back on the Welsh Horse (pun intended but not to be read in any capacity other than reading the man's literature).


Marvel is basically stealing my wallet this week:

I've had no interest in the current Death of Doctor Strange storyline until this Black Knight tie-in one-shot. That's because it's Si Spurrier picking up directly from last year's Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade mini-series.

I'd imagine the cover to this one intimates a big reveal. Hell, I hadn't even stopped drooling over the art in this book or the total 70s-Marvel-inspired storyline long enough to wonder who was under the Masked Raider's mask. They have me curious now, though, but just to be clear - and because I almost never say this - I'm here first and foremost for the art. All revelations are just icing on the cake.

So Bruce Banner is essentially exploring the multiverse with the Hulk as a rocket ship? Yeah, it sounds daft, but again, it comes out with a distinctly 70s flavor in Donny Cates and Ryan "Invincible" Ottley's hands, and after picking up the first two issues on a whim, I'm digging Hulk quite a bit.

Let's interrupt the Marvel fanfare with the final issue of Maw, which so far, has been one of the best original concept Horror Minis I've read in years, ranking right up there with Autumnal, Black Stars Above, and The Plot. Great company to keep, and creators Jude Ellison S. Doyle and A.L. Kaplan have totally earned it.

Mr. Brown clued me in to the fact that the Moon Knight trailer dropped a few days ago, and after watching it, I'm pretty excited. The final shot of the costume looks a bit goofy, in the way Daredevil's did when they first introduced it at the end of the first season of the Netflix show from a few years back, but based on how much this one appears to lean into the mental illness aspects of Marc Spector, I'm more than happy to give it a chance. 

Speaking of the show's apparent handling of Dissociative Identity Disorder, how many SJWs do you think are going to take to the Twittersphere to cry afoul? Let's hope that doesn't affect anything the show has planned.

I can't wait to sit down and re-read Lemire and Sorrentino's Cold War Psychic Animal WTF series in a tight burst. There's a lot I feel slipping through the cracks month-to-month here, and I'd imagine the big picture these cats are painting will be that much more effective when consumed uninterrupted.

This is where, if you've been paying attention for the last 9 months or so, I say, "I'm just picking up the number one," and then go on to read this new She-Hulk series monthly. Well, maybe that will be the case. I'm not sure I've ever read a comic with She-Hulk in it before. I mean, it seems like, with the number of comics I've read in my life, I would have had to have read something featuring Jen Walters, but if I did, I don't remember it. Still, I've always been aware of the character, and never particularly interested. Or, maybe the advance hype behind writer Rainbow Rowell and Rogê Antônio's new series will surprise me.

Everything about this cover for the new Silver Surfer: Rebirth commands me to buy this book. 

I probably will not buy both covers for The Silver Coin #8 - I'll probably go with the Michael Walsh cover below because, hey, body parts in a bloody mop bucket, am I right? Still, the above alt cover by What's The Furthest Place From Here rock god Tyler Boss is pretty f'ing cool, too. 

Number 125. Another landmark in the best reboot EVER. 

And finally, here's one I really don't want to buy, but might:

It surprises me to no end that in falling back in love with the X-Men, years of oversaturation have left Logan off my radar and in the "Mutants I least want to see in a comic" list. So why even consider this? Fan inertia I suppose, and the hopes that Benjamin Percy might do something that restores my love of the ol' Canucklehead. 


PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love
David Bowie - Station to Station
David Bowie - Let's Dance
Ike and Tina Turner - River Deep - Mountain High
Ministry - Moral Hygiene
Beach House - Once Twice Melody
Alio Die and Lorenzo Montaná - The Threshold of Beauty
Jim Jarmusch and Jozef Van Wissem - The Mystery of Heaven
Eddie Money - Take Me Home Tonight (single)
The Ronettes - Presenting the Ronettes
Pat Benatar - In the Heat of the Night
Donny McCaslin - Beyond Now
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Now I Got Worry
Alio Die and Remco Helbers - The Garland of Dissolution
Author & Punisher - Drone Carrying Dread
Kowloon Walled City - Grievances


When there is balance, there is harmony.

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