The Soak of the Year

When you look annoyed all the time people think you're busy.

Tag Archives: music

Shania Twain is unimpressed

Heard Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much” on the radio a couple of days ago and it got me thinking. In Twain’s 1998 hit single, the Canadian pop-country singer lists several different types of men (or specific ones) who leave her less than thrilled. While Twain is certainly entitled to her own opinions, our beef is that she is unimpressed by a group of pretty extraordinary men.

In order here’s the list of men with whom Twain is not impressed:

  • rocket scientist (“Okay, so you’re a rocket scientist…”)
  • Brad Pitt (“Okay, so you’re Brad Pitt…”)
  • car owners (“Okay, so you’ve got a car…”)
  • Elvis Presley (“Okay, so what do you think you’re Elvis or something…”)
  • Tarzan (“You’re Tarzan”)
  • Captain Kirk (“Captain Kirk maybe”)
  • John Wayne (“John Wayne”)
What is wrong with this woman?! Let’s go back to this list and take a second look.
  • rocket scientist – aerospace engineering is extremely complex and requires a high level of intelligence.
  • Brad Pitt – two Academy and four Golden Globe nominations, A-list actor, been in some great movies.
  • car owners – fair point there as owning a car is unimpressive.
  • Elvis Presley – king of rock ‘n’ roll, cultural icon, best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music, nominated for 14 Grammys, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36.
  • Tarzan – one of the best-known characters in the world, a hero who protects the virgin jungle from exploitation.
  • Captain Kirk – only student to defeat the Kobayashi Maru test, Starfleet’s youngest captain.
  • John Wayne – American icon, epitome of masculinity, awarded Congressional Gold Medal, Oscar winner.

That’s a pretty impressive list of people if you ask me. So what does impress Shania Twain? She sings “Don’t get me wrong, yeah I think you’re alright, But that won’t keep me warm in the middle of the night.” It appears that the ability to purchase a blanket or central heating would be enough which is more in the “car owners” category if you ask moi.

Actually let’s look at the men with whom Twain has been impressed. In 1993, Twain married music producer “Mutt” Lange (left). Lange has produced albums for AC/DC (Highway to Hell, Back in Black), Nickelback, Def Leppard (Hysteria), Foreigner and Bryan Adams (Waking Up the Neighbors). Twain and Lange separated after Lange had an affair with Twain’s best friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud (oof). In 2011, Twain married Swiss business executive Frederic Thiebaud who is the ex-husband of Marie-Anne Thiebaud (whoa).

So it appears that Twain likes music producers who make music of questionable quality (just see the rest of the Mutt Lange catalog to see what I mean) and rich dudes who were the cheated on party whilst Twain was the other piece of bread in the cheater sandwich.

On a related note, what does Brad Pitt think of this song? Does Shania Twain even know him? I imagine he was out driving listening to the radio and then this song came on. He’s thinking it’s a pretty catching tune and then in the second verse he gets called out and is stunned. Who does this woman think she is?

How did Dances with Wolves happen?

The Soak of the Year has looked at Hootie and the Blowfish’s one album of genius, Cracked Rearview, and we decided to start up a regular series looking at acts of genius and wondering how they happened. This is our second series – stay tuned for the latest Cheap Beer of the Week recycle soon.

Dances with Wolves, Kevin Costner’s 1990 epic western, is part of the recent American film canon. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Directing, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Sound Mixing and Original Music Score. Plus it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture (Drama) and Best Director. It also received Oscar noms for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction and Costume Design. Finally it was named to the American Film Institute’s best 100 movies of the past 100 years in 1998.

All due respect to Costner as he unearthed the story, directed and starred in the movie, chipped in $3 million of his own cash and almost broke his back in an on-set horse accident. Basically the project took huge balls to see through and a boatload of talent to execute.

In 1990, man of letters Roger Ebert wrote:

Dances With Wolves has the kind of vision and ambition that is rare in movies today. It is not a formula movie, but a thoughtful, carefully observed story. It is a Western at a time when the Western is said to be dead. It asks for our imagination and sympathy. It takes its time, three hours, to unfold. It is a personal triumph for Kevin Costner, the intelligent young actor of Field of Dreams, who directed the film and shows a command of story and of visual structure that is startling; this movie moves so confidently and looks so good it seems incredible that it’s a directorial debut.

Yet for all the film’s genius (the Library of Congress has preserved the film because it is “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”), its existence gnaws at us. How can an feat of such impressive creativity and storytelling be such a one-time thing?

When considering the rest of the Costner’s filmography, Dances with Wolves just doesn’t fit at all. While Costner’s work in The Untouchables and A Perfect World was commendable, it is nowhere near the breadth and depth and complexity of his work in Dances with Wolves. Plus his work as a producer and/or director has not even come close to the quality of his first-ever effort. See below, dear reader, and leave your theories on how something like this happens in the comments.

1985 – Silverado
1986 – Shadows Run Black
1987 – The Untouchables
1987 – No Way Out
1988 – Bull Durham
1989 – Field of Dreams
1990 – Revenge
1990 – Dances with Wolves
1991 – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
1991 – JFK
1992 – The Bodyguard
1993 – A Perfect World
1994 – Wyatt Earp
1994 – The War
1995 – Waterworld
1996 – Tin Cup
1997 – The Postman
1999 – Message in a Bottle
1999 – For Love of the Game
1999 – Play It to the Bone
2000 – Thirteen Days
2001 – 3000 Miles to Graceland
2001 – Road to Graceland
2002 – Dragonfly
2003 – Open Range
2005 – The Upside of Anger
2005 – Rumor Has It…
2006 – The Guardian
2007 – Mr. Brooks
2008 – Swing Vote
2009 – The New Daughter
2010 – The Company Men

Epileptic Awesome

I love musical visualizations.  You know, those computer-generated animations where you can actually see the music?
Without going all Pink Floyd on you, it’s rare to find choreographed videos that sync up perfectly with the music behind them.  Automatic visualizers are a dime a dozen (iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc.), but great, spot-on videos are still hard to come by.
Don’t get me wrong, automatic visualizers are still pretty cool with the right settings, but the animations below make them seem cheap in comparison.

So, put on some headphones, turn it up and enjoy!

MUTEMATH – Reset

Autechre – Gantz Graf

Venetian Snares – Szamár Madár

The Firmament: Constellation (Ion The Prize)
This final one is awesomely nerdy.  Not really abstract, but it’s too funny to pass up.  I saw some Animusic stuff at a hotel while staying in Vegas, and it blew me away.
Animusic – Starship Groove

Still here?  Do you want to see people do this sort of thing instead of inanimate objects and oscilloscopes?  Check these guys and gals out.

La Preuve Par 4

The Band – “The Band”

This is probably one of the Top 5 albums of the 1960’s.

People fall all over themselves to expound upon the relevance of Revolver, and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, and Pet Sounds, and The Velvet Underground w. Nico, and Are You Experienced?.

BUT!

You should think of all that critical nonsense this way.  There are tons of albums from the 90’s that are better than Nevermind by Nirvana. Yet, that album will always be the most discussed and highly rated album from that period based entirely on what it historically represents; that is, the changing of the popular guard from 80’s metal to 90’s grunge.

But!  Hey!  Readers!  We appreciate the impact of Nevermind (after all, we lived through it [get it, it’s a HOLE reference] but we also know there were way better records in the 90’s.  WE KNOW!  We lived them. We really do know!

SO!

If you get a chance, check out The Band’s self-titled first album, The Band. And put your vinyl copy of Sgt. Pepper’s where it belongs. In a commemorative glass case next your copy of Dark Side of the Moon and Thriller and Nevermind, and OK Computer.

Whatever your favorite album from the 90’s was, chances are you can find an album comparable to that from the 60’s. You just need to start looking with fresh eyes!