Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ozzfest 2005 - The Clash of...Cultures?

So, it’s been official for about a week or so now. Iron Maiden is playing Ozzfest. The press says co-headlining. Fist of all, co-headlining is a bunch of crap. Either you play last, or you don’t play last. Kind of like what Eddie Murphy said about men being bi-sexual – there is no such thing – either you…but I digress.

When I first heard this news I was pretty psyched. Ozzfest could be a great time, but the more I think about it, the more I think this is not such a great idea. Some of the problems with Maiden playing Ozzfest are obvious. First, it looks like some of the other acts are pretty crappy (the usual American nu-metal/industrial/trash crap that has been churned out for the last couple of years) and the other decent acts (Arch Enemy and In Flames) are on the second stage and will probably go on 5 hours before Maiden. Second, Black Sabbath headlining is a joke. I mean how much longer can these guys go out and look ridiculous. Sharon Osbourne pushes those old gleeps on stage to make fools of themselves and she cashes in. I really hope Steve Harris and Rod Smallwood know when to pull the pin on Maiden. Based on what I have seen recently, they are still going strong, as Dance of Death was a brilliant album and the concert from that tour was one of the best Maiden shows I have ever attended, and I have seen them every tour since The Beast on the Road in 1982.

The more subtle problem with Maiden playing Ozzfest is the clash of cultures. This does not apply to the casual Iron Maiden fan, the one who will list Maiden among his favorite metal bands, but really doesn’t get it. The clash will be between the younger nu-metal/industrial fans and the hard-core Maiden fans. The hard-core Maiden fans are a different breed. To be quite honest, we can be best described as snobs.

We expect a high standard in terms of music and performance. We are intelligent, so we don’t care for songs with lyrics about sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. We want epics. We want history, books and movies. Furthermore, we look down upon those that do not live up to that standard. The hardcore Maiden fan will laugh at the Black Sabbath show with its ridiculous audio track in the background. We will notice the chords behind Iommi’s solos even though he is the only guitarist on stage. We scoff at moshers and silly tattoos and piercings. We ridicule everything Ozzfest represents in terms of MTV and the media. We are intolerant of metal bands that do not conform to the standards of quality and integrity that Maiden have set.

I don’t think these differences will result in fisticuffs. In addition to all those things I listed above, we believe that any miscreant that would participate in a fight probably has a knife, so we would most likely back down from a fight, but be able to insult the snot faced youth with out him understanding it anyway.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

People Will Come, Ray

I have been thinking about my top 10 non-comedy movies of all time. I don't know if Field of Dreams will be on the list, but this speech by James Earl Jones would easily be in top ten scenes or moments. Here it is for your reading pleasure.

Ray, people will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn into the driveway, not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. "Of course we won't mind if you have a look around," you'll say. "It's only twenty dollars per person." They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it; for it is money they have and peace they lack.

And they'll like walk out to the bleachers, sit in shirt-sleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game, and it'll be as if they had dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces.

People will come, Ray.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers; it has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Ohhhh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Gambling is Illegal at Bushwood Sir, and I Never Slice

So I decided to do a Top 10 movies list, but while compiling the list, I could not compare comedies to drama/action movies, so I will do two lists. The first list will be the Top 10 Comedies of all time. As I was doing the list I noticed that there were no old movies on the list. That is probably because old comedies are not really funny anymore. They are saccharin sweet, and they all star Bing Crosby, who beat the tar out of his wife anyway – so, what is so funny about that?

Anyway Number 10…

10. American Pie – I never saw the sequels, but this movie was great. Actually some of story lines were pretty annoying, but Jason Biggs was great. Eugene Levy was hilarious as Jim’s dad too.

9. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure – It is hard to believe that a movie made while I was in college can be dated, but this is a little stale 17 years after its making. However, it was great at the time and is still funny. Besides, the two Iron Maiden references cement it as an all time favorite in my book.

8. Mallrats – Some really funny stuff here. Jeremy London may be the biggest weenie of all time, but Jason Lee as Brodie was one of the funnies characters of all time in any movie. The stink-palm, the dirt-mall, etc. are timeless. Plus Jay and Silent Bob are great too. If not for London’s total lack of charisma, this movie may have ranked much higher.

7. Easy Money – Rodney. ‘Nuff said.

6. Major League – At first I was uncertain as to the ranking for this movie. I think the sequels kind of diluted the original. The Tom Berringer – Renee Russo story line was a bit weak, but Charlie Sheen and Wesley Snipes more than make up for it, especially Sheen. Good stuff.

5. Dogma – A true all-star cast make this movie great. As much as I hate Benifer and Damon, they were both great here. Add Chris Rock, Jason Lee, George Carlin, Jay and Silent Bob and you have one of the funniest movies of all time.

4. The Blues Brothers – It may be cliché to pick this, but if you watch it again it is really great. John Belushi’s best performance of his career and the limited skills of Dan Akroyd are used perfectly as Belushi’s straight man. So many great lines here. John Candy’s small role was brilliant (3 Orange Whips). I can’t say enough about this movie – really funny stuff.

3. The Breakfast Club – All 80’s and stuff, I know, but really a very funny movie. Judd Nelson puts on the performance of his career, and Emilio is really funny too. Paul Gleason was also fantastic as Vernon. “I expected more from a varsity letterman”.

2. The ‘Burbs – That’s right The ‘Burbs. I mean if this is not the funniest movie of all time I don’t know what is (actually Number 1 on the list is the funniest). Tom Hanks puts on the best performance of his career. That’s right Gump’s a chump compared to Ray Peterson. Rick Ducommun is a stooge, no doubt, but he is funny here. Plus Corey Feldman is in this movie.

1. Caddyshack – An easy choice. Maybe overrated according to some, but not me. Rodney, Ted Knight, Bill Murray and Chevy Chase are all great here. Why Ted Knight was not in more movies, I’ll never know. He was brilliant and hilarious. Dangerfield steals the show no doubt about it, but he and Knight together make for some of the funniest scenes in history.