Talking Trek Wars returns to its HAR series with the launch of the Next Generation films beginning with Generations. Berg and the General are joined once again by Mr. Cool as they continue their deep dive. Listen and Enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.
Recorded on August 5th, 2018 the regular crew of the General and Berg sit down the wrap up the original crew on their journey through the prime universe films with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. As per usual we use our good/bad/ugly format but this time go in reverse order and find stuff to argue about over our favorite Star Trek movie. As always, Listen and Enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.
Episode Redux. Do to a strange occurance where libsyn removed half the show we've redone all the links to the new edition of this episode.
The General returns to join Berg as they continue on their Half Assed Review of the "Prime Universe" with the fifth installment, The Final Frontier. Originally recorded on June 17, 2018. Listen and Enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.
And the adventure continues as the journey through the Prime Universe brings us to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. This week the General is away but he emailed his list so returning guest Peter Cooley and Berg can continue their half assed review. As always, listen and enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.
Note: We recorded in a new setting that through the accoustics into a echo throughout.
After a slight schedule delay the guys are back to share a new installment in their "Prime Universe" half assed review of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. As always, listen and enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.
We return for another edition in our HAR series, this episode has us covering the original series episode "Space Seed" and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Join Berg and the General as we break them down. Listen and Enjoy, and as always Thanks for Stopping By.
Greetings listeners! In this all new episode the crew sits down with first time guest Peter Cooley to begin their Prime Universe review series of the Star Trek films. We begin with The Motion Picture to discuss the good, bad, and ugly of the film. As always, listen and enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.
Lance and Berg saw a movie. That movie was Jupiter Ascending! Hear our review of it and our recommendations. We try not to spoil it initially so you can hear the bare bones review and leave before we really get into the movie. As this is the first HAR in a while we tend to tangent off the movie. Listen and Enjoy.
Another week and another new HAR! This week I decided to review a “new” release from another of my favorite bands, The Gaslight Anthem and their “B-Sides.” Without any more fluff and rambling lets get into it.
Collecting their b-sides from the Side One Dummy years this release comprises several acoustic tracks, covers, radio spots, live and digital exclusives. For completist (for which I am one) this will round out their early years from unknowns to knowns. Some of the tracks are different versions of their more notable songs.
Let me first state that I truly enjoy all of these songs except maybe one. I think what really comes through is the bands talent at writing songs and Brian Fallon’s ability to alter and tweek these songs in multiple ways giving new layers and depths to songs that are already pretty deep. Some of the acoustic tracks are just Brian and his guitar, others are truly different acoustic tracks with added instruments, changed tempos, altered lyrics and a different vocal delivery. Examples of this can be heard in track 7, “Great Expectations,” and track 10, “Boxer,” to name two.
As for the covers on this album the one that I like the most is “Tumbling Dice.” Now, it may just be due to my love of the Rolling Stones but I could listen to this song over and over again. I’ve heard many covers by The Gaslight Anthem up to this point. Their iTunes Session album consisted mostly of covers and there are numerous others to be found on YouTube, this band seems to have an uncanny ability to take songs and present them faithfully or recreate them as their own. I’ve always enjoyed covers and I think it is a great way to also get to know the band and those that influenced them.
The Bad and Ugly:
I’m joining the two categories here because I do not have too many negative criticisms to warrant seperating the two. For the bad I would choose the “State of Love and Trust Live” tack. It is not that I dislike the song and I understand the band loves Pearl Jam, for me, it is a personal preference that there isn’t much to distinguish it from their studio recording of it. The real benefit of having this album, as stated above, is the difference from the studio recordings that set it apart.
As for the “ugly,” I would lean towards the selection and their availability already. Most of these tracks can be found elsewhere and I would have enjoyed more. Last year I purchased the “singles collection” boxset of 45s. All of which are the same as the B-Sides LP. The packaging was better and had a nice asthetic that cost more but gave more, I feel. Is it more convienent to have them on one LP and not having to go through the process of switching out 7” after every song, yes, but the tedium is overshadowed by the presentation of each single and the collectors item that accompanied.
Addressing the song selection, though I enjoyed what was given I would of loved to have a double album comprising all that which is hard to come by. For example, the “Antonia Jane” and “Queens of Lower Chelsea” tracks came from the KEXP interview Brian did just prior to the release of “American Slang” LP, on that performance were other songs too that I would have enjoyed as well as the version placed here. Furthermore, versions of “She Loves You” BBC and the record store release of “Misery” EP would have rounded it out nicely.
The Wrap Up:
All in all I”m happy with the release. Gripes aside, it is a good rounding out for fans. Will this bring in new fans? That is something I’m not so sure of. Those already familiar with the band are fully aware of their talent and ability to change up songs for different presentations. If anything it further demonstrates the song writing and crafting of the band to make songs that are good in any setting.
Til next time and please remember that I don’t really know anything, I’m just half assing it.
Welcome back H.A.R., I know it has been a while since I reviewed anything on this page. Let me just say that there has been a lot going on with FUNNY and personally for me. But, I return with a review of Against Me’s new album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Without any further bs or recap on my part lets get into it.
The Album: Synopsis and History:
Originally slated as a concept album that follows the life of a trangendered prostitute that has now morphed into a personal confession, of sorts, of frontwoman Laura Jane Grace and her public transformation Against Me! has given fans their most intimate glimpse into an artist in some time. In order for this album to come out the band’s lineup has changed, moved from a major label to their own indy, Total Treble, and has taken four years to debut. (I could go more in depth here but feel that would detract from the album itself)
The Good: (I must preface this with saying that I was alread a huge Against Me! fan so I will admit to a little bias)
There is so much good in this album I don’t rightly know where to start. Running time. At 29 minutes there is no filler and they get right to the point making it crisp, concise and straight to the point. More often than not concept albums get to be grandiose and bloated. Sometimes they turn out great (Titus Andronicus’ “The Monitor,” or even Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.”), other times you get an album that has flashes of brilliance but loses the audience inbetween (The Clash, “Sandanista.”).
Lyrics. LJG pulls no punches and doesn’t let the album get p.c. or mired in commercial appeal. In the opening title track she sings about wanting to be seen like other girls but instead being viewed as just a faggot. Then follows questions of how does God see a trans person, the desire to fit in, denegrated as an enemy or lifted up, loss of friends, a sincere ballad to her daughter, and striking back at the world. I’ll admit that this is a base over simplification of the lyrics of the album but I could spend too much time analyzing each song and I feel that is something you should explore yourself.
Production. I’ve read too many commentors on other sites bemoan the production of this album saying it was under produced. First, Fuck You. Second, what do you want? It was these same commentors that hated “New Wave,” and “White Crosses” because they were over produced. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of either album though with plenty of time I can enjoy them as they are. (side note: if you mix those albums in with an all songs playlist that jumbles them alphabetically they mix in well) With this album Against Me! returns to the diy roots and does it all in-house. I had no trouble hearing the lyrics, feeling the hit of the instruments or following along. Plus, with them doin it themselves I got a sense of nostalgia and felt a throwback to early AM! albums.
Black Me Out. The closing track that any fan has heard already doesn’t disappoint. If, in the last four years, you’ve seen them play live or sought out new songs on YouTube you may have already come across it. Hearing it produced and from a studio doesn’t take anything away fom the song, in fact, I think it solidifies it as one of their staple songs that any fan will continue to sing along to at shows. (It is my favortie on the album)
The Bad and The Ugly:
I honestly don’t have anything to put in these categories about the album itself. Here I’d like to address Entertainment Weekly’s twitter style review of the album (because, lets face it, it’s not shit by Beyonce or Lorde nor holds the commercial appeal of Top 40). They said the album could benefit from some catchy hooks that would be radio friendly. I think they missed the point of the album entirely and will be on the wrong side of history on this one. If the album had those pop-style catchy hooks the album could have suffered from a watering down effect. As it is, the album is gritty while remaining crisp and direct.
It is my hope that this band and album help expose the flaws in the scene that I love and helps correct the stain that goes counter to what punk itself stands for. For too long we’ve allowed racism, sexism, homophobia run rampant through our genre. Like Leftover Crack once stated, we speak of unity but then divide ourselves along those lines. There are so many talented artist in our scene that don’t get a fair shake because of fear and hate. Maybe exposing that flaw and speaking openly about it will help start the discussion that leads to change.
So, Against Me! “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” gets five stars, or two thumbs up….whatever. Listen to the album and make your own decision because in the end...I’m only half assing it.