(16) ALBUMS OF ENORMOUS INFLUENCE

In the spirit of all these “ten albums that influenced your musical tastes” things I’ve been seeing people post during isolation, I got to thinking about my own and couldn’t reasonably break it down to just ten. Then, seeing the wild disparity between some of the entries I chose to take some more time to look at the context that lead to each one being influential.

So! Below I’ve charted sixteen albums worth of influence, each with a link to the album on Spotify, starting from the very first cassette tape in the early 90s right up into the digital age, in chronological order of their influence on me. I don’t think there’s any notable gaps, but there’s some interesting leaps.

Continue reading “(16) ALBUMS OF ENORMOUS INFLUENCE”

ROCKETMAN (2019)

I’ve really never been one much for biopics, finding that the restrictions of condensing a person’s lifetime down to a relatable 90-120min slice with a clear through-line and character arc tends to oversimplify what it is to be a person, even a great and notable one.

So I come out the other side of Elton John’s story feeling that Taron Egerton’s performance deserved more attention than it got and that the method of interweaving music and theatricality into a musician’s life story was creatively handled and well produced, but that what makes someone who they are is harder to quantify than with a handful of scenes, quick sketches of a time and a place punctuated by abstracted narrative music videos. These were/are real people who all lead rich and complex lives, and so much is lost in the simplification to a product. Life is still going on for them. Elton is even due in town on his farewell tour fairly soon.

The best “biopic” is still WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY – a parody of the genre that plainly states the story beats of this type of film so bluntly that it necessitates a more creative angle from anyone hoping to do it seriously, much like how CABIN IN THE WOODS so thoroughly satirised the horror genre that filmmakers had to think twice about their own approach.

I digress.

If you’re a fan of his music and are intrigued a little more by the life behind it then there is certainly plenty to love about ROCKETMAN. Egerton was hand-picked for the role and truly does great things with it, going so far as to learn to sing in brilliant mimickry of one of the all time rock’n’roll greats. It’s very straightforward, but that’s not a bad thing.

Absolutely watch this over the trainwreck that was BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY.

THOM YORKE // Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver // 21.10.2019

Another one for the bucket list, with a backing band of visual composer Tarik Barri and the inaugural “sixth” Radiohead member (and reputable producer in his own right) Nigel Godrich.

Absolutely synapse-searing visuals and great live versions from across Thom’s solo act, including Atoms For Peace, often chopped together so as to cram a tonne of material into a single set. Only thing missing from the set below is “Ladies&Gentlemen/2feetofftheground”, which isn’t available on Spotify.

From looking at other tour date setlists, the second encore is usually either something unreleased, a B-side, or a Radiohead track. We lucked out and got ‘Suspirium’.

SET PLAYLIST: