Archive for October, 2015


October 30, 2015

David O’Russell is a director who makes one amazing movie, then one or two that make me wish he never took a screen writing class. “Silver Linings Playbook” was a domestic violence enabling, mental illness patronizing piece of crap that I have yet to forgive him for. “American Hustle” was brilliant, an evocation of the ‘70’s, the fall of Atlantic City and the joys of ABSCAM. Great characters, pacing… you get the picture.

The OST is equally up-there. It capture the odd moment of the stillborn ‘70’s… when culture started to slide backwards into nostalgia, disco wasn’t more than an excuse to dance badly, and rock hadn’t given birth to punk, new wave and everything new. It’s not there wasn’t good music.. things were kind of stagnating. Or, the culture was a blister about to burst. The soundtrack catches that nicely.

Let’s check out this ELO homage to the Beatles: ‘10538 Overture.’

Moving on, don’t leave before trying Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes’ ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way.’ Skip through the add, and watch these guys have a blast singing the song they started, which everyone has covered. Not just plot appropriate, but also evocative of the strange cultural mix of the time. Disco? Rock? Past? Future? WHO KNOWS?!?!

Why isn’t five stars then? Well, while there are a lot of good songs, even some great ones, the kitsch/stagnation factor kind of hurts it. Compare it to a similarly ’70’s-tastic OST- ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy- Mix Tape Vol.’ Even though GOTG is more of a greatest hits compilation, it has a bubblyness that pulls you along.

Buy this album? Absolutely. Interesting, deep cuts, good choices, nice flow. Only warning- this is a gateway drug to more Electric Light Orchestra. Be warned.

This album is a good 3 drinks on the Grand Tour Drinking Game. Take your time, sip and enjoy. And occasionally sputter at the choices.

Artist: Original Soundtrack
Album: American Hustle
Year: 2013
Date Listened in Tour: 2/4/14
Rating: ****
Best Songs: ‘10538 Overture,’’Don’t Leave Me This Way.’

Grand Tour Drinking Game Score: Soundtrack (1) + Foreign Language Cover of ‘White Rabbit’ (2) =3

What’s The Hi-Lo on American Hi-Fi?

October 19, 2015

If you were watching MTV in 2001, you likely caught a very particular video, set in the ’80s. It was an homage to the cult classic film ‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot.’ And it caught your attention. The lyrics featured a self-pitying nice guy making a good point about why the girl of his dream was with the biggest douche ever.

The band.. was American Hi-Fi, one of a raft of a guitar pop bands coming out at the turn of the century. Post grunge, owing a nod to Weezer, not quite  sounding like the New York New Wave of The Strokes. I grabbed their CD at low price of $9.99 at the Best Buy, and barely listened to it .

Dipping back in, I can see why I didn’t follow take up the cause.

This is an ok alubum, with some good songs, but doesn’t really stand out. Each song on the disc sounds a little like a song from another bigger band, as opposed to building to a stand out album from one stand out band.

If you have this disc, listen to it again. See what it does for you. If you don’t, I wouldn’t stress over it. But you could do worse.

I’m including the strings heavy, Beatles/Oasis-ish “Another Perfect Day” because Patton Oswalt plays a down on his luck corn dog.

See? I didn’t make that up.

Artist: American Hi-Fi

Album: Radioactive
Year: 2001
Date Listened in Tour: 7/26/08
Rating: ***
Best Songs: “Flavor Of The Weak,” “A Bigger Mood”