Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Saturday, May 28, 2016

I Swear To God I Haven't Been Brainwashed By Ads But I Just Have Musical Feels Part 1

Taylor Swift is doing commercials for Apple music.

Why is nobody talking about this. Taylor Swift is doing commercials for Apple Music. Look folks you know where I stand on streaming, but this isn't that. I watch those spots and I think the way they are designed from top to bottom is to promote her change of heart, that Apple is so good even one of it's greatest opponents can come around to it. Yet nobody has noticed.


That being said I don't actually like that spot. Apart from the meta-commentary of Taylor Swift actually promoting Apple Music, it's a pretty conventional celebrities doing funny stuff that you wouldn't think celeb really did commercial.

 Nope what made my jaw drop was the Pandora commercial.

That everybody evidently hates.

But I love that ad. Dear god how do I love that ad.

And I think I love it for the same reason everybody else hates it. It's not just promoting Pandora. But music itself. That do to the proliferation of the internet the music we choose to listen to has become this deeply intimate and personal thing.

Earnestness isn't cool.

And reading the comments. I'm like come on.

I thought of School of Rock. Which sort of makes the point I'm trying to. As a filmic booster of music I can't top it.

I forgot how much I loved that movie. It's not a "great film" by any stretch but it's an almost perfect version of what it's trying to be, an advocate for good old fashioned rock and roll.

Ain't nuthin' wrong with that.

...Until I think of School of Rock 1.0. Sister Act 2. While the GenXers have thier infighting about Ghostbusters I remember how much my music teachers loved that movie. And while not perfect it had this earnestnest to it. It was doing the same job trying of boost music in a world that might find it frivolous.

Look overall I feel School of Rock is the better movie but it having lifted it's plot from Sister Act kind of does bring up one of the biggest elephants in rock and roll so here we go.

Especially in the 70's and 80's, and even the 90's it's hard to get around that the rock and roll landscape was looking...pretty white. That's not to say there weren't black musicians working in the genre. Or that a lot of funk doesn't overlap with the look and aesthetic of glam rock. But it's undeniable that a lot of the marketing of music was downright racist.

But as hard as I love the sound and ethos of rock and roll. Yeah that's kind of messed up.

So this scene kind of bugs the hell out of me.

Dewey shoots down the music they like and I think that Sister Act was more accepting in that regard. No matter what style you like Whoopi will work with you.

Especially considering the music you like as well as everything else is informed  by your personal background. So if your someone who grew up hearing R&B oldies you're  still in...

That having been said in terms of plot structure and character I like School of Rock better.  Sister Act 2 is firmly entrenched as 90's inner city school movie. And I find a lot of those movies were incredibly condescending. I love Morgan Freeman but I can't stand Lean On Me.  (The only thing schools need is a tough no nonsense borderline abusive principal, not qualified teachers, support staff , building improvements and maintenance, books, supplies, parental involvement, academic monitoring, after school programming and tutoring no just yelling at the problem will work. Sooo that's why I'm watching this stuff who knew.)


Anyway this is the one instance. The one instance where making the story about the rich kids was the better creative decision. It allowed the movie to strip itself of a lot of the cringe inducing stuff in Sister Act and make it actually more interesting.

The plot is as much about the ethos of Rock and Roll as is about the sound. Probably more so since how much can you expect an audience to know about chord progression.

So movie drowns itself in classic rock iconography

Jack Black as the god king at portraying overenthusiastic crazy-eyed rock and roll fanboyism is perfect casting. If anybody can make you believe in the power of rock it is him. And more so than Sister Act 2 the movie is on his side. Probably due to Richard Linklatter.

It takes a damn genius to make crazy stupid fun look like this.

Also as a guy who has actually substitute taught there are moments in this movie I find hilarious.

Speaking of which I also like how the movie has the guts to make Dewey more than a little insane. You can argue that the movie never calls him on it, but it's more interesting than the usual To Sir, With Love knock offs. He actually has a meaningful arc. It's a little Bad News Bears crossed with Three Amigos.

Okay. Okay I mostly just think it's just funny that they made a mildly bad-ass version of the joke song the film uses to prove how insane he is. "The Lair Revealed" was totally worth it for that one song.

Beyond that it lampshades something I think people always forget in this types of movies.

GRRRG No. Rammones, Dead Kennedys, Runaways ACHHH Achhh

...It's not totally unreasonable for the parents or the school to feel their kids should focus on academics ahead of all the fun stuff and Dewey's usage of the kids for a music contest without even their knowledge kind of does make him kind of the bad guy. The movie turns around on him at the end but still frames as an asshole for a lot of it. With the exception of that last scene it does call him out on his bullshit.

Rule of cool will take you far kid.

Which by way is one of the things I think gets lost in conversations of Sister Act 2. There is a line between being supportive and letting kids spend a quarter forgoing Math, Science and English. 

That's not to say you can't do it. But it's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.

And as much as I've bought into the rock and roll mythos it is the genre of family unfriendly aesops. I'm not saying the Footloose preacher was right just that parents wanting to set limits on the types of media their kids consume, including music isn't crazy. And for the most part parents, principal and other teachers are never cast  as wrong. Stupid maybe but otherwise there would be no movie. You know what I take that back. Almost immediately after Dewey is found out cops get involved. The faculty might be incompetent but the parents are on it.

I also love the fact that the movie doesn't scrimp on the backstage jobs. Roadies, costume designers and effects technicians are called out for the masters of the glam and progressive rock eras they were.

Oh and it's it's easy to forget since as of late she's been casting herself as "magical" but Sarah Silverman playing the straight man is kind of meta fascinating.

And man I love that ending. It is not just a spectacle driven light show but also the resolution of almost all of it's character arcs as sad sack Zach (who I relate too a little too much as a guy who likes to do what he does alone in a corner) get's to perform that super mega awesome guitar solo as the class wins battle of the band with his song.

You know there has been a revival on Nick. I haven't seen it and don't want to knock it. After all a large part of the point of the original was that kids should be allowed to rock and I don't want to be that old man complaining that nobody sounds like Aerosmith anymore.

All the same as a spiritual successor nothing is going to beat Beck.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Facebook Comments

Note: These Comments are from all across this blog.