Posts Tagged ‘music’

Life on Mars

Posted: February 6, 2009 in Uncategorized
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I’ve been enjoying Life on Mars.

No, I’m not on vacation.  It’s a TV show on ABC.

I’m not a huge fan of network TV.  The few shows that I watch on a regular basis are on HBO or Showtime, although I’m not a snob about it… I’m not discriminating in my tastes and will watch pretty much anything — CSI, Lost, any kind of cheesy crime stuff on TruTV — but if I miss an episode I don’t feel like I missed anything. 

Life on Mars is an exception.  The premise is that a modern day NYPD cop has an accident and is transported (by methods so far unexplained) back to 1973.

They’ve nailed the look and feel of the era perfectly — trust me, I was there.  The show is shot in a warm harvest-gold tint, which makes me feel all warm inside.  The style is right on retro-solid, Jackson:  haircuts (or lack thereof,) clothes (miles of brown leather trench coats, double-breasted suits, wide ties, earthtones up the wazoo) and the music.  Especially the music.

They’ve avoided the big hits for the most part and have chosen quality tunes from the era’s semi-popular and somewhat obscure. Example: “My Maria” by B. W. Stephenson.  It was a top 10 hit but I hadn’t heard it in years. 

This approach is similar to the soundtrack of “Boogie Nights,” which re-exposed a slew of great music from the other end of the 70s.

I went to the official Life on Mars website, and they even have Life on Mars Radio

Harvey Keitel and Michael Imperioli add an air of impending violence, although it’s often delivered as a punchline. 

Sam, the time-warped detective protagonist, is of course trying to figure out how to get his ass back to 2009, but if he had any brains he’d shack up with the blonde and buy some shares of IBM and Microsoft etc. and hang onto ’em until 2000. Technorati Tags: , , ,

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Good news! My favorite rock and roll outfit is coming to Fort Liquordale!

Without getting into the sordid details, I’m a musician. (I wasn’t successful, but the rejection I received was a great introduction to the rejection I now receive as a writer.) Okay, I haven’t played in front of people for years, but mentally, I’m still a musician. And a writer — guess that makes me one of those disgusting artistic hybrid creatures often end up spending their last years locked in the basement eating cockroaches. Like Aunt Alma.

Yeah, well. Different musical styles have come and gone with the ages, all have left their cigarette burns on my psyche to some extent, but I have a deep and everlasting love for honest hard-rocking tear-your-shirt rock and roll. Bands that can play it both hard and soft; tunes of joy, sadness, regret and fuck all. I grew up listening to The Band, Dylan, Neil Young. People that weren’t afraid to take some chances and pour it all out without worrying about whether they hit their target market.

I’ve been listening to the Drive-By Truckers for about five years or so, and they continue to impress me with their songwriting and creativity, and most of all with not being afraid to just put it out there and wail. They have a new record out, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark which I just picked up this week and have been blasting in my truck to and from work. My knuckles are sore from banging the steering wheel.

A story I wrote, “That Smell,” was inspired after repeated listening to their celebrated 2001 album, A Southern Rock Opera, which somehow takes the whole Lynyrd Skynyrd mythos and elevates it to a Shakespearean tragedy. An unbelievable recording.

On a more horrifying note, check out the cover art by Wes Freed. His hillbilly zombies are scarier than any yankee zombies I’ve ever seen. If I was single, my living room walls would be covered with his art. If I ever get a book deal, he’s doing the cover for sure.