Monday, January 31, 2005

The U! album reviews redeemed themselves in the end with Paul Schwarz's very detailed review of Metal Blade's reissue of Voivod's War and Pain. I was very glad to see that, seeing as I neglected review it myself last issue. I used to buy a lot of thrash metal albums back in the day (that Banzai Records Speed Metal logo would always catch my eye), and while it was all good fun, very few of those albums were truly startling and inspiring. War and Pain was definitely one of them.

Last weekend I bought Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue, a documentary about Miles Davis's electric period and his performance at the Isle of Wight Festival. It's very good for something that doesn't look like much in terms of packaging. Most of the people interviewed for the documentary discuss how Miles was called a sellout and made a virtual pariah in the jazz world for going electric. "Selling out" is always in the eye of the beholder, though. To those who followed Miles until the late '60s, sure, his embracing of rock & funk must have been heresy. But to the rock musicians of the day, what Miles brought to their music must have seemed really freeing and exciting. And to me, a guy from Burnaby who likes Rush, those Miles electric albums sound really strange and powerful.

Today, having absorbed a lot of his music over the last few years, I listened to his 1985 album You Are Under Arrest for the first time. And when I heard the first few seconds of his saccharine cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," I thought, "Jeez, what a sellout."

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