The Mob - “I Will Follow” (The Mob, 2005)
Decent track from a Doug Pinnick (King’s X) one-off “supergroup” side-project with Reb Beach (Winger, Dokken, Whitesnake), Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger), Timothy Drury (keyboard-for-hire most known for stints with Whitesnake and the Eagles), and Kip Winger (duh!). The focus here was more about fun, 80s-influenced hair metal (and way too much guitar wankery from Beach) than anything serious, and unfortunately much of the album suffers because of it. This song is one of the exceptions, but it’s still pretty forgettable despite having one of my all-time favorite singers on it.
R.E.M. - "Pilgrimage" (Murmur, 1983)
Jangly alterna-pop from one of my favorite 80s “alternative” bands. Yeah, yeah, I know, but I try to forget about everything after 1991’s Out of Time, not being a big fan of the band’s direction from Automatic for the People onward.
Alice in Chains - "Angry Chair" (Dirt, 1992)
I can’t say I ever understood this song much (and likely neither did Layne Staley, who was high as a kite during the recording of it if the mostly-reliable Wikipedia is to be believed), but I don’t think that was ever the point. I’ve never been a fan of Staley’s vocals on the spooky-sounding verse sections, but I absolutely adore the “chorus” section with Jerry Cantrell’s harmony vocals and the “I don’t mind/Lost my mind/Can’t find it anywhere” lyrics.
Collective Soul - "Reach" (Hints Allegations & Things Left Unsaid, 1994)
Jangly alterna-pop from one of my favorite 90s “alternative” bands.
Transatlantic - "Spinning" (The Whirlwind, 2009)
We end today’s Five the same way we started—with a supergroup of sorts, although I’m sure most people would be hard pressed to name a single member other than Mike Portnoy or be able to identify the bands from which the members hail. The difference here is that Transatlantic was never intended as a one-off project, and these guys were always pretty serious about bringing prog to the people. As a matter of fact, they very nearly lost me when they cranked the prog knob up to 11 for 2009’s The Whirlwind, a one-track progfest with 12 parts. “Spinning” is special-edition bonus track with a country swing despite the classic prog keys opening and is unlike most of the album proper. Still, it’s a good song that features Roine Stolt on vocals (and the prog kicks in at about the 5-minute mark just in case you’re interested).
Matt Walsh reviews the new “‘least biblical’ biblical film ever made”1 that is causing such a ruckus in the Christian community.
If you’re looking for a movie more obviously inspired by Biblical precepts, go see anything else [other than Noah]. Go see The Lego Movie. I’m sure even that will bear a closer resemblance to Scripture than emo Noah and his gang of Boulder Creatures.
Four Stars for marketing
No Stars for quality, substance, coherence, meaning, or theological accuracy.
What I couldn’t deal with was that somebody wanted to be paid for not doing their job. If it applied to Ace and Peter, it applies to Gene, too.
Paul Stanley on his resentment of Gene Simmons during the making of Animalize while Gene was busy pursuing an acting career and managing Liza Minnelli, "Kiss Forever: 40 Years of Feuds and Fury" by Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, April 10, 2014
Coldplay - "Daylight" (A Rush of Blood to the Head, 2002)
Coldplay seem to catch a lot of grief, but I quite liked them up through X & Y, and I think they are better musicians than they get credit for being. For some reason I never got on board with Viva la Vida. To be totally honest, I never really heard much of it other than the song they “stole” from Satriani, so I may well have loved it, but by that point they were so huge, I would have probably lost interest anyway. I think I played AROBTTH fairly extensively when it was released—my iTunes play counts got so jacked up I had to start over at some point—and “Daylight” is a good song with a bit of a groove to it.
I Mother Earth - "Earth, Sky & C." (Scenery and Fish, 1996)
A friend of mine turned me onto IME’s debut album Dig, and it was different enough with its jam band feel and Latin-influenced rhythms that I promptly borrowed every album he had and liked them all enough that I started buying them for myself. Easier said than done. Even though the band put out only five albums, a couple of them must be out of print, because all I could track down at the time were used import copies for about $45 each. I decided I didn’t like IME that much. This isn’t a particularly bad track, but it’s not great either. I remember liking this album way more than my actual listening of it reveals. Memory is a funny thing.
Anthrax - "Discharge" (Persistence of Time, 1990) Persistence was the last album to feature Joey Belladonna on vocals during his first run with the band, and it was probably the hardest album for me to get into at the time. Their previous albums had been funny, and despite being very heavy, had catchy melodies and choruses—at least as catchy as 80s thrash got. But this album was dark and serious and heavy in a completely different way, and it took me awhile to really appreciate it despite its having some excellent material that showcases Anthrax at their most progressive.
Kansas - "Don’t Take Your Love Away" (Drastic Measures, 1983)
Looks like I’m the one with a case of Friday Five Whiplash today! Since I was hitting my musical stride in the 80s, the John Elefante-fronted Kansas is the version I was introduced to, somehow either not having been exposed to “Dust in the Wind” or not realizing it was a Kansas tune until my youth pastor made me a couple of mixtapes with Kerry Livgren’s and Elefante’s more overtly Christian lyrics and themes. I think the two albums with Elefante at the mic get poo-pooed more than they deserve, despite this one not standing the test of time very well with its definite early-80s vibe. There is a huge stylistic difference between Livgren’s three songs and the remainder of the album written by Elefante and his brother Dino. This is one of the better tunes on the album and one of my favorites.
Goo Goo Dolls - "Slide" (Dizzy up the Girl, 1998)
“Slide” helped sell a gazillion copies of this album and catapult the Goo Goo Dolls into superstardom. And while this track, along with “Iris” and “Black Balloon,” received the most attention, there is some other very strong material here—“Dizzy,” “Broadway,” “Bullet Proof,” and “All Eyes on Me” being the ones I’m most drawn to.