The tics, twists, and Pavlovian bells of “Rock Band 4”

rockband41

So it’s come to this. In a week literally bookended for me by two concerts in two states (one of which you’ll hear tell eventually and the other of which was perfectly awesome, but too short and sweet to fit this format), a mere four days removed from a month that is essentially a rolling, 31-day horror film festival, with my childhood favorite baseball team having just been brutally, decisively removed from World Series contention (Thank you so much for this year, Mets!) and my childhood favorite football team dealing with critically uneven play from its franchise QB fresh off the disabled list even as its league best RB goes down to a heartrending, season-ending injury, have I somehow run out of things to talk about? Nah. It’s just that I’ve found this new thing, this one time. Continue reading “The tics, twists, and Pavlovian bells of “Rock Band 4””

“Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways”: an uneven soundtrack to a killer roadtrip

Sonic

Fearless independent filmmaker Werner Herzog is a passionate believer in what he has called the “voodoo of location”*, the notion that specific location filming not only naturally informs the look of a movie but also can appreciably influence how it feels, that history is so inextricably tied to a given place that it almost can’t help, on some level, but be absorbed into the production. Though he’s never spoken the exact words, lead Foo Fighter Dave Grohl is obviously at least a sympathetic mind. His 2013 documentary Sound City was a full blown love letter, equal parts celebratory and wistful, to the titular Los Angeles studio, which served over the course of multiple decades as home base for the recording of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Tom Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes, and Nirvana’s Nevermind, among others. Grohl is the kind of music aficionado who turns amateur historian via happy accident, a product of deep-seated enthusiasm and wide-ranging experience, with no traditional academic reinforcement required. Continue reading ““Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways”: an uneven soundtrack to a killer roadtrip”