Diss Rants

This is the news/ranting forum for Diss (a.k.a. Tom Kercheval), an independent musician. Check here for new music, updates on new music and just random rantings on a variety of subjects. Feel free to leave a comment or four. For Diss' main web site, go to www.dissmusic.com.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime...

I can't believe almost three months have passed since my last entry here. Now really, that is quite pathetic. I apologize. As Web designer extraordinairre Rob Oliver said, "a shame to see this site wither on the vine."

Well, no more. I shall be more proactive here, that's a promise. To be honest, life outside the computer screen has been exceptionally busy lately, but I know, that sounds like so much excuse-speak. But it ain't. Lots, lots going on.

For my real job, I'm about to go on a week-long trip for an annual conference event. I hate being gone for that long on business, but it's a necessary evil. Anyway, one good thing about it is that being away often removes other distractions that get in the way of writing new tunes, and on that front, I'm working through a bunch of new riffs and song pieces now. Release date? Good lord, I don't know at this point...but it will be coming...

In fact, I even have a working title for the new project: "Three Long, Three Short." For those who don't know, that's the "SOS" signal. I'm not feeling too positive about things these days. My little corner of the world is fine, but...well, I'll save this diatribe for another time.

Summer is here, and the time is right for seeing movies, concerts, etc. I've been doing a lot of both. I'm a huge movie buff, so there's not much out there that I haven't seen. In fact, I may try my hand at reviews on this space in the very near future.

The new Star Wars was the best of this new trilogy by far, but still leaves me wanting more. I think now that Hayden Christenson just wasn't right for the role of the young dark lord. He still has a certain whiny quality about him that I find annoying. But, all nitpicking aside, it was enjoyable film, and the effects were unreal.

Actually, a great movie I saw that seems to have tanked is "Kingdom of Heaven" with Orlando Bloom. I really loved this film. It was slightly flawed in places, but I loved the message, and it showed the troubles with religious fanaticism on both sides (it was set during the Crusades). I don't know why it didn't seem to catch on, but I'll definitely be buying the DVD. Looking forward to seeing the new Batman tomorrow....

As for concerts, I've seen two great ones recently and hope to see another great one tonight. The two shows of which I speak were Tori Amos at the Warner Theatre and Bruce Springsteen at the Patriot Center. Tori is just an amazing talent. If you've ever seen her interviewed, she often comes off as a bit flaky, with talk of fairies and other topics that some might dub "new age nonsense." I don't mind. I like the mystical stuff, and I think she's a completely unique artist. Her set was brilliant - it was her alone, with a host of keyboards, and she sometimes played two simultaneously, which was, to quote Mr. Vader, "Impressive, most impressive."

As for Springsteen, well, he performed solo as well, which is the way I prefer him. I love his acoustic albums (Nebraska, Ghost of Tom Joad, and now Devils and Dust). They have some of the most beautiful, story-driven songs I've ever heard. Bruce is a vanishing breed of songwriter I think, sort of like an old blues man from a different time. I love his voice especially. Sting once referred to it as a "big foghorn", and I think that's pretty apt. Just a big, powerful, emotional booming voice. He played twisted versions of some old classics, like "Reason to Believe" from Nebraska, where he stomped his foot in time for the song's duration while singing through a mic that distorted his voice into something that was very devilish sounding. The crowd was good, too, in that they were quiet and respectful throughout, which made it so much more enjoyable. Although, there were some dopes there who were expecting to hear all the old hits. I think they were pretty pleased by the night's end, though.

As for tonight, I'm seeing the mighty Judas Priest. :-) Yes, the "metal gods" have returned. As I said in the previous blog, to me, they are truly mindless fun. And opening for them is another metal band I loved back in the 80's - Queensryche! I loved their albums through Operation: Mindcrime, and then sort of fell away after that when they became a pop entity. But I hear they're playing only early stuff, so that suits me just fine.

Anyhoo...I see the Big Country message board is up again, so I will probably pop in and say hello there again. Now that's a band I miss desperately...especially Mr. Stuart Adamson....gone but never forgotten...

Okay, well that's it for now...I'll post again soon, and hopefully will have some sort of more concrete update as to the music. I'm also working on a screenplay that I've been trying to finish for years, and I may make that my first priority this summer, but we'll see....

latah, peeps...

Diss

3 Comments:

Anonymous Jim S. said...

Diss,

Good to see you back. I just saw the new Star Wars last night. Much better than the Episode 1 and 2 but the dialogue was still quite iffy (I laugh every time I hear any character say younglings or Naboo). I thought that this was HC's best performance while Ian McDiarmid was awesome as Palpatine/Sidious. I was annoyed by some inconsistencies in plot but overall it was very rewarding for a longtime Star Wars fan.

The reason that Kingdom of Heaven didn't catch on was that Orlando Bloom's fan base are young teen girls and they can't get into "R" rated films. I typically don't go to historical movies if I sense too much historical revisionism -- it just gets me angry. I see movies to be entertained -- not to get angry. My understanding of KofH was that it applied today's politically correct sensibilities onto the Crusades. Not my cup of tea.

See you in September!
JAS

June 15, 2005  
Blogger Diss said...

Hey, Jim

Good to hear from you. :-)

I have to respectfully disagree on KOH. Now, I'm no expert on the Crusades, so I can't quite comment on the changes (I'm sure there were some) to the actual events or to the charcters portrayed, but I didn't find the movie to be politcally correct at all. It basically showed the futility (and at times downright evil) of religious fanaticism,and it showed it on both sides, on the Muslim side AND the Christian side.

I found it to be a really moving film. There was a scene where Orlando Bloom's character was trying to get a bunch of villagers to fight, and he spoke to them about fighting for each other, fighting for their loved ones, etc., not for some ridiculous supposed "holy relics" or "sacred ground" notion that many of the church leaders were rallying around. It was a great scene.

I have a lot to say about organized religious systems in general (and my problems with them), a subject I'm really passionate about. But it's bound to ruffle some feathers, so I'm waiting to get my thoughts organized, too.

As to Sith, I've seen it thrice. I agree that McDiamid was perfect as the Emperor. He and Ewan McGregor have really been the only true constants in those films as far as performances, in my opinion.

June 16, 2005  
Anonymous Jim S. said...

Diss,

Alright -- when KOH comes out on DVD I'll give it a shot. You are definitely spot on regards to McDiarmid and McGregor in I-III.

As far as your thoughts on religions I look forward to reading them -- and responding. Respectful dialogue is a great way to learn from looking at things from other people's perspective. It's not that different from listening to great lyrics in a song -- it can open your eyes to other vistas or confirm your views and enable you to hold on to them tighter.

I hope all the fathers out there have a great father's day -- now that I can see that one from both perspectives I have a much different and enriched view of the whole deal.

It's the biggest job you'll ever take on.

Cheers,
JAS

June 18, 2005  

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