Hootie and the Blowfish – a forgotten (?) gem of the 90s

The nineties fucking rocked music-wise. Let’s see, there were badass grunge bands like Alice in Chains, Nirvana or Pearl Jam. Some other alternative/indie rock acts soon followed as well, including Faith No More, Foo Fighters, The Smashing Pumpkins, No Doubt or Beck. Many well-established bands which started out in the 80s managed to hit new heights – like Metallica with their Black Album, or RHCP with Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Hell, some groups from the 70s enjoyed new-found success as well – like Aerosmith and their Get a Grip record in 1993 (who doesn’t sing along to Crazy or Cryin’?). Rap became a next big thing (N.W.A., Wu-Tang Clan, Cypress Hill, Biggie, 2Pac, Eminem), and so did female-fronted pop-rock acts, often associated with the third wave of feminism – singer-songwriters like Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos, Sheryl Crow or Liz Phair were enjoying immense popularity. Pretty much all of those bands entered mainstream, and at this point are considered classics in their respective genres. Like it or not, 1990 was already 27 years ago, so to me it’s almost my whole lifespan. Interestingly (or maybe it shouldn’t be that surprising) enough, there were some groups that aren’t well-known outside their home countries. Hootie and the Blowfish is one of them. Continue reading →

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Great Man Paul Newman and Cool Hand Luke

PaulNI’d like to take a moment and reminisce about a legendary actor, late Paul Newman. Known in particular for The Hustler, Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, The Sting or The Color of Money, my beloved performance of his has got to be that in Cool Hand Luke. The piercing gaze, hearty smile and the unquestionable talent are features that made Paul Newman an awesome movie star in my eyes. Yet the more you get exposed to facts about this man’s life, the more you become fascinated, the more you admire him. Continue reading →

Dave wrapped up his dog and pony show and we’re left with unicorns

billThe moment I dreaded over the last dozen of months came on May 20th – David Letterman retired, and after a bittersweet final show, he left behind emptiness and sadness. It may sound exaggerated but I do feel down because I’m sure we won’t see much of him from here on. Despite saying otherwise, Dave is a recluse and doesn’t let many people into his private world. Continue reading →

Electric ladies of music: Janelle Monáe, Danielle Brisebois

riotgrrrlWomen in the music scene can rock and surely they do, and I can’t stress this fact enough. It bothers me that lots of guys are still like, ‘she’s a girl so she can’t play heavy metal’, ‘she should stick to pop’, ‘it doesn’t fit her’. As if music genres were gender-bound, limited to specific race or sexual orientation. Just look at rap culture and the way white artists continue to be perceived. Beastie Boys were a sensation back in the day and more recently so was Eminem, but they had to fight lots of negative preconceived notions to achieve success and gain appreciation. People still go, ‘wow she’s a female, yet she raps as good as man’, or ‘I don’t listen to George Michael, coz he’s gay’. Music is all matter of taste, but the issues mentioned should never play a role in deciding whether you like an artist or not. Times surely change for the better, but the music fascism remains, I have no doubt about that. Riot grrrl movement of the early 1990s, with bands like Bikini Kill, Le Tigre or Sleater-Kinney, addressed the problems of the male-centered society and the place of women in music, yet the mainstream culture still did not get this memo. Continue reading →

Why so little love for good ol’ grumpy Dave Letterman?

Daaaave

Lately I was preoccupied with other stuff and I ended up missing on David Letterman’s announcement regarding his retirement in 2015. When I finally learned about it like a week ago, it came as quite a shock for me. A television icon of 31 years decided that it’s enough and thought it is time to wrap things up. The sudden move caught everyone by surprise.

As a matter of fact, the news hit me so hard, that last several days have been a crazy Youtube marathon involving me watching all my favorite Dave videos.

I’ve been checking out the Late Show bits for 6 or 7 years. Thankfully there’s plenty of shows available on the Internet. What I found out over the years, apart from me absolutely adoring David Letterman, is that he actually is not particularly liked by Americans anymore. People’s comments mainly consist of lines such as ‘he’s an old fool’, ‘ignorant’, ‘stupid’, ‘Ferguson is better’, ‘Jimmy Fallon/Kimmel is better’ or my favorite – ‘rude’. Continue reading →