Category Archives: Music


This is a documentary, produced in part by Snoopadelic films, about Snoop Dogg’s visit to Jamaica to become a rastaman… supposedly.

Snoop claims a few times that he felt he was a born rasta, so he needed to go to Jamaica, cut a reggae record, meet Bunny Wailer, convert to rastafari, and of course smoke plenty of weed. He did all this, although he just didn’t seem all that sincere about converting to rastafari, or was at least too stoned to take anything seriously. As it turns out Bunny Wailer was not too pleased after the film was released.

From Wikipedia: Bunny Wailer made a statement where he indicted Snoop of “outright fraudulent use” of the Rastafari faith.

I thought the portrayal of rastafari faith in the film seemed a bit too stereotypical, they basically seem to like saying “Jah Rastafari!” a lot, then smoke plenty of ganja.

There was a bit of Snoop Dogg history interspersed throughout the film, including his days as a drug dealer, as well as his short time as an actual pimp. He seems like a very mellow fella now, but that will mostly be down to the large amount of blunt he consumes. His daughter sang one of the songs on the album he recorded in the film.

Not essential watching.

Date watched: December 3rd
Score: 5/10
Film count 2017: 140

A Disparate Assemblage of Melodies

John Lennon – Imagine
There is no real need to introduce or comment on this album. Oh no, there isn’t!

Pearl Jam – Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam are not a fave band at all, but I like them nonetheless. I have not fully listened to this yet, but what I have heard seems like typical PJ stuff.

Trainspotting soundtrack
An excellent soundtrack from a fabs film.

Buck Futtons – Street Horrrsing
Looking through my music collection I came across Slow Focus, the third album by this band, and thought that it is such a great album that I must get their first album. So that I did. It does not disappoint.

Buck Futtons – Tarot Sport
Looking through my music collection I came across Slow Focus, the third album by this band, and thought that it is such a great album that I must get their second album. So that I did. It does not disappoint.

Pennywise – Land of the Free?
I have several other Pennywise releases, so when I found this I thought I may as well get it, even though I would not say they are an essential band to listen to. Their music though is decent enough, if you like this kind of thing.

Album count 2017: 116

Depeche Mode: the Dark Progression

I felt like watching something random again, so this unauthorised documentary about Depeche Mode seemed like a good choice.

I am not a fan of Depeche Mode at all, and I am not into synth-pop, but this was still a fascinating look into the history of one of the biggest and most successful electronic music bands in the world (according to the documentary), and how they make their music.

There were interviews with various people involved with the band, and also with the likes of Thomas Dolby, Gary Numan, and Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, all three of whom were very interesting.

As this was unauthorised there were no interviews with the band members, except from archives. This did not feel like an unauthorised documentary though, there was no dirt or tales of debauchery, rather it was a respectful look into the history and music-making of the band. The lead vocalist did have a serious drug problem in the 90’s, but this was only very briefly touched upon. The band were pretty hardcore at one time when it came to rock ‘n’ roll excess, and I was reading that even Primal Scream could not keep up with them. As for me, I am quite happily addicted to music, films, and writing about them.

I am still not a fan of Depeche Mode, but I found this to be an interesting watch. As for my preferred synth bands, I quite like Chemical Brothers and Buck Futtons.

Date watched: November 21st
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 130

Seven Discs of Mixed Delight and Thrift

Radiohead – Amnesiac
This was cheapo in the cheapo section at Book Off (there are two sections basically, the over-priced section which I never buy stuff from, and the “under 500 yen” section). Being a Radiohead album in the cheapo section meant I had to purchase it there and then. I am not a huge Radiohead fan, but this album is decent.

Braids – Native Speaker
I found this at a DVD rental place, which recently dropped their DVD rental price from 100 yen down to 75 yen (not including new releases), which is 55 yen cheaper than the price of a can of Coke from a vending machine. They also have a used CD section which has some good stuff at reasonable prices from time to time. I saw this album and thought I would give it a go. I am listening to it as I type and it is not too shabby.

Transvision Vamp – Velveteen
I had this CD back in the day (around 1989) and when I saw it in Book Off, in the cheapo section, I thought I would have another listen. Turns out though that this was crap, I guess I forgot. It just has not aged well, that is for sure.

We Are Scientists – Brain Thrust Mastery
Looking through my vast music collection I came across my other We Are Scientists albums and thought that it was time for another as I rather like them. I have not listened to this yet, but I suspect it will be worthy.

Pulp – Different Class
James, Hana, and I went to a large second-hand shop a couple of weekends back called “Hard Off”, which you may have guessed is part of the Book Off group. It is a large shop full of over-priced junk mostly, but there is a decent bargain CD shelf with stuff priced at 100 yen. This was there along with the Coolio CD I will mention next. Yet to spin this one yet.

Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise
This is Coolio’s biggest selling album, but apart from the title track and one or two of the other 16 songs this is pretty crappy. But, it was only 100 yen.

Potishead – Dummy
Cheapo section purchase again. Pretty good too.

Album count 2017: 110

The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years

This is a 1988 documentary about metal, and mostly about glam metal or hair metal.

While I do like a bit of metal, I cannot stand those old hair metal bands, most of them are fake and play terrible music, some still continuing to do so today somehow. However, this documentary was well made and told, and some of the interviews (some were faked or staged according to Wikipedia) were quite funny. The bassist of W.A.S.P. was interviewed lying on a pool floaty thing, clothed in his metal garb and swigging from a Smirnoff bottle. He was quite blotto, and to make it even more cringe-worthy his mother was sitting poolside. Read this article about the interview, funny stuff.

There were interviews with bands like Odin and Seduce which at the time were convinced they were going to be the next Guns ‘n’ Roses or Ratt, but didn’t get anywhere. There were interviews with Aerosmith (they mostly talked about their drug and alcohol addiction), Alice Cooper, Paul Stanley of Kiss (lying on a large bed with scantily clad ladies around him), Dave Mustaine, and good ol’ Lemmy from Motorhead who was the most sensible one of all. The best though was Ozzy Osbourne (interviewed while cooking bacon in a kitchen, all staged it turns out), who was just plain funny, and while comprehensible (unlike these days) was probably on something at the time.

So, despite being about hair metal it was quite fun to watch, kind of an enjoyable train wreck as you knew most the the bands in this were soon to disappear. Here is an article about the main protagonists in the film.

Date watched: November 4th
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2017: 124

The Stone Roses: Made of Stone

I found this on Netflix and had to watch it as I have fond memories of their first album back in the day, quite a big thing at the time.

This documentary follows the band as they get back together after a long time of ignoring each other and prepare first for a free gig in their hometown of Manchester, then a huge gig at Heaton park with 72,000 fans. In between all this it looks back on their early days as they tell the world they are the greatest band ever, give some very awkward interviews, start fighting with their record label, then each other, finally resulting in the inevitable split and not talking to each other. Why can’t people just get along?!

It is all very well done, and is a fascinating look into the world of music-making. What struck me the most though is that all of the band members are just regular guys, the kind of British chaps you would meet at the pub. They spoke in strong Manchester accents (I couldn’t understand the drummer at all hardly) and swore and larked about like anyone else. Four David Bowies or Mick Jaggers they are not. Which makes their music all the more impressive really: four ordinary-looking blokes making some of the best music the 90’s had to offer (from their first album).

It seems though that the band have basically split again, they played a gig in Glasgow in June this year where Ian Brown said “Don’t be sad that it’s over, be happy that it happened”, so it looks as though there will be another documentary in 20 years or so.

This is really only a watch for Stone Roses fans.

Date watched: November 2nd
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 123

A Hard Days Night

I saw this many years ago, but had pretty much forgotten a lot of it, and with my recent Beatlemania I thought I would watch it again.

This is a pretty weird one actually, at least by 2010’s standards. In the 1960’s, when The Goons were the kings of British comedy, the humour in this was probably normal. For today’s youth though this is probably a real head-scratcher. Can you imagine any of today’s boy bands making a film like this (I can’t think of one single boy band to name… is Kayne in a boy band)?

Which makes this a unique and very fun film to watch. The Fab Four while not the best actors are still just plain fun to watch, and as we know they were already funny anyway. With the weird script, sometimes bizarre dialogue, and general chaos it was a hoot. And of course there are several songs throughout. Seeing John, Paul, George, and Ringo at such a young age (Ringo was 23 at the time) was also interesting to see.

Ringo Starr accidentally came with the film title, and the title song was quickly written eight days before filming finished.

The name “The Beatles” is never spoken throughout the entire film, it is only seen written. Phil Collins played a schoolboy watching the Beatles play on TV (he was 13 at the time).

This film is listed in a few top 100 films of all time, and Roger Ebert gave it a four out of four stars. It influenced the Monkees TV series, as well as British spy films for some reason.

Good ol’ Beatles.

Date watched: October 21st
Score: 9/10
Film count 2017: 119

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