Film Review: Bill & Ted Face The Music (2020, Dean Parisot)

Posted on by Paul in Movies | Leave a comment

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There’s a moment in Bill & Ted Face The Music where Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan are attempting to reconcile with their former Wyld Stallyns bandmate Death (played perfectly by the great William Sadler) and are reminded by their daughters to “be sweet.”

It’s a nice moment, but I also imagine that phrase could have doubled as the mission statement for the entire film – be sweet. Bill & Ted Face The Music is a film that’s full of sweetness and heart and soul. It’s a love letter to the fans of the film series that incorporates everything that was great about the first two films while building on that legacy by adding new themes and elements into the mix.

Nearly three decades later, Bill & Ted Face The Music sees Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, and the original writing team of Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon revisiting these beloved characters. Now a couple of middle-aged dads who still haven’t quite achieved what they were supposed to, Bill and Ted are given one final chance to write the song that will unite all of humanity. As we follow the duo on a journey through time to save reality as we know it, the film touches on themes of family, of trying to live up to practically impossible expectations, and on the legacy which we ultimately leave behind. And throughout it all, it’s fun, funny, and yes, quite sweet.

One element of the film that adds a lot of that sweetness is the addition of Bill and Ted’s now grown up daughters, Billie and Thea, who go on their own excellent journey through time, space, and the afterlife to assemble a killer band who can help them to create that one great song. Brigette Lundy-Paine and Samara Weaving each give memorable performances that recall much of Reeves and Winter from the first two films while also bringing their own touches to the characters.

Growing up, the Bill & Ted movies meant a lot to me as they surely did for many others and Face The Music is a solid addition to that legacy. The duo’s core values (“Be excellent to each other”) still hold up today and the idea that music can save the world and be the basis for a future utopia is certainly one that I can get behind, even (or maybe especially) at a time when live music is something we will not be seeing again anytime too soon.

A film where a key plot point is a song that can bring all of humanity together and save us all may have had me missing live music a bit, but it also gave me some hope for that time, whenever it may be, that we can get together again with others to see live music, or watch a film, or whatever else it is that brings us joy. Until that time though, we can at least still heed the words of Wyld Stallyns: Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes! Just make sure you practice social distancing while doing the latter. And wear a mask.

Retro Music Video Review of the Day: Placebo – Running Up That Hill

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

This is one of my favourite music videos because god damn, Placebo fans put in some effort here. Why don’t more bands crowdsource their videos more?

There’s some major dramatic fan contributions here, let’s grade them because i’m bored.

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I think this guy thought he was submitting this to a 98 Degrees video – F

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Is this person cosplaying as Brian Molko? – A+

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Does it get more early ’00s than this haircut? All he’s missing is a nose ring – B

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This girl filmed it against a moving backdrop somehow – A+ for effort

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Points for creativity, but kinda dangerous to suspend recording equipment above a tub of water, no? I have to take points away for that – C

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This girl is too pretty and living in a way too scenic place to be participating in this video – D

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I think this guy’s late for his Tiga concert – C

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How humid is the place where this girl lives? 150%?

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Dude looks like he’s doing facetime, but actually singing Placebo in public – A

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“Then you really might know what it’s like”

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Why is this kid here?? What parent subjects their kid to this? F

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I mean this was Tik Tok before Tik Tok right?

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This was a good angsty move – I like it.

All in all, solid effort – fans!

This song was also in The OC season 4 episode 1, when Ryan decided to take up bare knuckle fighting in some illegal underground restaurant in Newport (????) after Marisa died in the previous season. No jokes.

Album Review: Jason Molina – Eight Gates (2020, Secretly Canadian)

Posted on by Paul in Albums | Leave a comment

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“The perfect take is just as long as the person singing is still alive. That’s really it.”

Those words, spoken by Jason Molina at the beginning of “She Says” were certainly meant to be a joke aimed at those with perfectionist tendencies, but they take on another, darker meaning when you remember that the person speaking them (and singing these songs) has not been alive for several years now.

Eight Gates is the last collection of solo studio recordings Jason Molina made before his tragic death in 2013 and while the above quote might suggest that this album is simply a collection of unfinished sketches, the reality is that they’re much more than just that. While the arrangements on many of the tracks are relatively sparse and straightforward, with most of them coming in under the three minute mark, there’s still a fair bit to unpack behind the seeming simplicity.

Though brief, the songs unfold at a languid pace and draw the listener in with evocative lyrics such as “I feel the dread as you re-read my palms” and “Whose wilderness has my heartbreak wandered through?” And at the centre of it all is Molina’s beautiful, haunting voice.

Jason Molina may have left us too soon, but his music lives on, and with Eight Gates, we thankfully have nine more of his songs to appreciate.

Eight Gates is out on August 7 via Secretly Canadian.

Song Of The Day: Cherry Pickles – Out Of This World

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day | Leave a comment

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I’ve been digging a lot of the stuff coming out on PNKSLM Recordings over the last few years and “Out Of This World”, the new single from Birmingham’s Cherry Pickles, is no exception. The duo, made up of Priscila B and Mimi B, released their debut album (the evocatively titled Cherry Pickles Will Harden Your Nipples) just last year and are back again with their upcoming sophomore release, The Juice That’s Worth The Squeeze.

While the band’s music is fairly stripped down, they manage to pack a rather effective punch with their minimalist yet catchy sound. Check out the video for “Out Of This World” below.

The Juice that’s Worth The Squeeze is out October 23 on PNKSLM Recordings.

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