Every Song from beck’s “Guero” ranked

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been sitting in my pile of drafts for a while, life has just been so crazy I hadn’t had a chance to publish it yet. I will be back to posting regularly very soon, however.

It’s not Sea Change, it’s not Odelay, it’s not Modern Guilt…  Nope.  Guero is my favorite Beck album.  Not a common choice, I suppose, but the blend of alternative, hip-hop, rock, electronica, all melded with a smooth Latin style just makes this one release so unique, I can’t help but love it.  To be honest, I like just about every song on here and will happily listen to it all the way through.  It’s also a well-structured album.  It may not really feel that way, but the order in which the songs are placed is actually quite important.  The general rule being to hit them hard, mellow things out, have a big bombastic last quarter, then the final track is typically a “cool-down”.  The final outro being softer…  Not in Guero.

Rental Car

Kicking things off, Rental Car has a lot going for it… until the bridge.  Not to say it’s a bad song, with its solid rock riff, a great vocal melody for the chorus, and the funny little 60’s acid rock organ breakdowns, but that “la la la” vocal bridge could be removed entirely and it would only improve the song.  It’s just so odd and out-of-place, securing it safely on the “what were they thinking?” scale.  If it weren’t for that very brief part of this song, it would rank much higher.

Hell Yes

Hell Yes is a return to form for Beck, for better or worse.  I really like the beat, the overarching rhythm, and the very simple hip-hop chorus.  Featuring an almost Beastie Boys sound (though not nearly as energetic or aggressive), it does well to give Beck fans something of the 90’s with a modern twist, but it is certainly lesser than many of his songs since Mellow Gold, as he evolved more as an artist, this seemed to be an attempt at a connection to his roots but came off as more of a throwback track to his own work, rendering it oddly anacrhonistic.

Emergency Exit

Minimalist describes Emergency Exit well.  It has a similar groove to some of the other bluesy tracks on Guero, but it also features a calmer tone.  The Western guitar track and melody of the song gives it an almost country sound at times but it still maintains distinctly-Beck.

Go It Alone

Go It Alone sounds very mid-2000’s.  Obviously inspired by the alt styling of the time, it is a fairly simple track, not doing much to set it apart from the rest of the songs on the album aside from a catchy beat, but that isn’t really a bad thing.  It keeps the twang of the guitar present across the Guero and has a slick production.

Scarecrow

Scarecrow is the first truly great song on this list.  Keeping a steady beat through the song with a catchy acoustic riff, some great effects highlighting portions of the song, but it never really picks up.  Like much of Guero, it keeps a pretty consistent energy from start to finish.  This may seem like a bad thing at first, but I think this makes Scarecrow consistent with the style of the album.

Farewell Ride

Now for a song that sounds like it belongs in a commercial for blue jeans, Farewell Ride is a Western track that, alongside Que Onda Guero and Earthquake Weather (which appear later in the list), really solidify the slick dirty, old-school, barrio sound consistent through the album.

Black Tambourine

Possibly named for the underground indie rock band from the late-80’s to early-90’s, Black Tambourine is a smooth mix of jazz and alt-rock with a fairly simple drum-centric composition.  It keeps with the tone of the majority of the album, too, using an acoustic guitar for rhythm with a dirty tone to the whole production, but it is the beat and mood that makes the song unique.

Que Onda Guero

It really isn’t a beck album without a nonsense rap, and Que’ Onda Guero sort of meets that criteria.  It’s accentuated by a slick Latin groove and a funky, strange little horn noise that is oddly infectious.  There’s a grungy style to the whole song, and I mean that as a compliment.  The use of Spanish throughout the song and the all-around flavor of the beat still keeping with the style of Guero.

Broken Drum

As the requisite slow groove, Broken Drum, soften things down just a bit leading into the last third of the album.  A moody Western sound is sustained by a slide guitar and somewhat-two-step beat along with a soft piano breakdown after the chorus.  Like much of the album, this song keeps things simple throughout, never building too much, but rather maintaining its simple composition.

Missing

A soulful rhythm and bluesy mood encompass Missing, Easily the best part of the song to me is the chorus’s refrain; the way the lyrics wrap into the next phrase of music has an almost “Tool” style of composition thanks to musical complexity. If you listen through this song carefully, you might realize it’s far more brilliant than it may seem on the surface.

E-Pro

Surprisingly, the first time I ever heard E-Pro was playing Rock Band 2. However, even among that game’s list of legendary songs, it was one of my favorites. I had been out of the “Beck loop” for a while at that point and hadn’t really heard much of his music since the 90’s, with only a few notes here and there on various TV appearances. E-Pro was the point where it had hit me that there was a lot more to the strange nonsense rapper from the 90’s than I remembered so superficially, and it prompted me to explore Beck’s discography with more sincerity. So, the natural result of that journey was for Beck to become one of my favorite artists of the last 20 years. The song itself has a very simple composition, but the fuzzy guitar and pounding old-school hip-hop beat made it unlike most of what I was hearing at the time.

Girl

Girl opens with a chiptune loop of the main melody. I don’t really have anything insightful to add to that, I just thought it was notable as it is probably one of the few songs to have an opening that contrasts so much with the rest of the album (Def Leppard’s Rock of Ages notwithstanding). I love the treble-heavy slide guitar and the background harmonization of the chorus gives Girl a character that is actually pretty distinct for Beck up to that point, blending the old-school grooves he was mostly known for in the 90’s with the more recent melodic motif of 2002’s Sea Change.

Earthquake Weather

Earthquake Weather is one of the best songs of the 2000s. Yeah! I said it! Still throwing in that Latin vibe, this is a song that takes a handful of musical ideas and tosses them into a finely-crafted pop song, and that’s what this is, a pop song. This should have been a single. The “dark”-sounding verseleads seamlessly into a great upbeat chorus, and I do mean great. Beck and crew’s vocals have never sounded better (at least not until 2018’s Up All Night). It reflects the musical growth presented in Sea Change but with much more energy and style.

That was my list! It’s subjective, sure, but if you have a favorite song from Guero, or any other Beck album, please share in the comments!

The New Captain Marvel Trailer is a Thing that Happened

Over the last four to five years, Marvel has made Captain Marvel the headlining character in their comic book universe, there’s just one problem, she’s quite possibly the least interesting character in their entire present lineup.  Say what you will about Ms. Marvel (who had a good start early on before making a turn for the boring) and Squirrel Girl (I’ll leave that one alone), at least they have distinct personalities and character traits.  Captain Marvel is effectively “random hero person v.4.8.0.3”, lacking any discernable characteristics to make her particularly captivating.  Enter the Captain Marvel movie.

Billed as being the next headliner of this new phase of the MCU, Captain Marvel looks to be, at least by the trailer, an incredibly dull, by-the-numbers action romp.  Badass female heroes aren’t exactly a new addition to film as they can be traced all the way back to the strong-willed Scarlet O’Hara in Fleming and Cukor’s film adaptation of Gone With the Wind, up to modern heroines such as Ripley from Aliens and Sarah Connor of the Terminator series.  So having a strong female lead isn’t exactly as novel as you might think, but why Captain Marvel?

I would go so far as to describe Carol Danvers’ character in the current comics run as a villain, with many of her actions being distinctly non-heroic.  This trailer at least makes her out to be a hero, and the MCU has taken quite a few liberties with existing marvel characters, which would be a welcome change, but is there enough here to make people care about Captain Marvel?

Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Thor, The Hulk; these are characters that just about everyone knows.  These are faces that even people who have never picked up a comic in their lives recognize.  If you ask a non-comic person to describe Carol Danvers, could they?  My best guess is no.  The thing that put butts in seats in the MCU was the accessibilty in giving both comic fans and non-comic readers something relatable and enjoyable.  Captain Marvel gives us Brie Larson.

For the uninitiated, Brie Larson is one of the worst A-list female stars in recent memory, at least since Katherine Heigl’s career finally and thankfully tanked.  She is a block of wood, and commentaries across the Internet are already pointing out how her facial expression rarely changes in the trailer.  If she’s planning on being the “Stoic hero” to Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury playing somewhat of a second fiddle, I doubt that will work.  Let me rephrase that…  I seriously believe that can’t work.  Sam Jackson is such a larger-than-life personality, one of the most recognizable and entertaining actors in modern cinema, Brie Larson isn’t.

On the director front, we have two indie directors who worked together on a number of projects, most of which are a handful of episodes of inconsequential TV series and the excellent film Half Nelson.  So, you have an actress who barely acts, and a team of directors who have never made a movie like this before.  Things aren’t exactly looking up for Captain Marvel as a film.

Fallout ’76 Drama Continues as Undetermined Number of Users are Doxed On Bethesda’s Support Site

Purchasers of the Fallout ’76: Power Armor Edition were outraged last week when they received an inferior product to what they were promised, a cheap nylon bag instead of the advertised canvas one.  However, things just got worse for the AAA developer as the already botched launch of the underwhelming online RPG.

Power Armor Edition buyers were offered a chance to redeem their promised canvas bags from their support site, they only had to provide payment and shipping information as well as a photograph to prove they are who they say they are.  There’s just one problem, a reported ‘glitch’ in the support ticketing service on Bethesda’s site made an indeterminate amount provided personally identifying information publicly available including names, addresses, phone numbers, photos, and even payment information.

This disaster comes on the heels of Bethesda’s poor handling of an already bad launch for their headlining RPG after a series of, let’s say “unpleasant”, customer service gaffs.  Now, the massive Bethesda is faced with an entirely new controversy, one that could even result in lawsuits from customers who could have been doxed due to the company’s apparent carelessness.

Posts on Reddit indicate that there is a number of cases where this error exposed users’ own information as well as others.  Gamers are currently awaiting an announcement from Bethesda in response to the controversy.

Epic Games Steps Into Digital Store Ring Directly Targeting Steam in Official Memo

It was officially announced this week in a memo released by Epic Games on unrealengine.com that they are now planning on jumping into the digital games market with a full-fledged store supporting “all engines” and promising better sales agreements with games creators and distributors.  In their released memo, they also take a few shots at Steam’s bulky 30% revenue split on games sold in their store, promising they will reduce this by more than half to 12% of all revenue going to the store and Epic with the devloper and publisher reaping the bulk of the sales and earning a much higher profit margin for themselves per game sold.

This leads me to a few questions and concerns, however.  I use Steam… I would argue maybe a little too much, and I appreciate the honesty and prosperity Valve has brought not only to indie gaming but all games companies via their store that highlights not only the big AAA titles but also the smaller games that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.  Steam is also famous for their store-wide sales in which games can go for as much as 90% off at times for certain titles.  Steam can afford to do this.  Can Epic?

Despite a few missteps over the last ten years like industry icon and Epic Games founder Cliff Bleszinski shunning the PC platform in the mid 2000’s in favor of Microsoft’s titanic X-Box and the more recently leaving the company to found Boss Key Games, the now-defunct pseudo-indie developer of the failed arena shooter Lawbreakers, Epic has seen astonishing returns due to the availability and accessibility of their Unreal Engine, one of the most popular game development platforms, and with the mega-hit Fortnite.  Now, they are planning to tak on Steam directly, but not in the way you might think.

Judging by the announcement, it seems as though Epic plans focus their marketing on developers a little more than consumers.  I could be wrong about this, but the focus seems as though they intend on making their platform a more desirable place to launch games over Steam, due to the higher profit margin.  I love the Free Market so I will say, “go for it”, but it’s important not to overlook the finicky nature of purchasers.  It is likely a large portion of the market is either not going to want to simply switch or have two separate platforms on their PC’s to play games when they can simply buy on Steam.  The truth is, and it may sound a little selfish to put it this way, but the average buyer doesn’t think at all about the profit share between retailer and producer.  It almost never crosses their mind.  Announcing this is a great way to get indies on board with exclusives, but could that only result on those developers’ releases getting less market exposure?

I always welcome market alternatives, it forces competition and at this time, Steam has a massive share of the digital games market, with numbers reporting anywhere between 50% to 70% of all downloads purchased for PC while taking a whopping 30-35% of revenue per item sold.  Compare that to Epic, who announces a 12% share with the remaining 88% going straight to the developers.  This can definitely split the market.  If an indie comes up and wants to get their game out and make money, they have Steam for larger market exposure, but Epic will grant them more money per unit sold.  The truth is, regardless of who comes out on top, it may take a while to get the actual numbers as to who the real winner is.

Other digital platforms such as EA’s Origin and GOG have under-performed and failed to outlast Steam’s titanic reign over the market, despite notably offering titles that aren’t available on Valve’s Goliath platform.  Sometimes, exclusivity isn’t enticing, it just becomes inconvenient.  If gamers were to migrate more to Epic, they will have to make an entirely new user account, purchase games on that platform, and they will likely have to acclimate to other changes and differences between the two services.  This isn’t optimal in the eyes of many consumers, even the more tech-savy PC gamers.

Time will tell on this one, but with so many other options coming and going (including Discord just launching their store that is already not doing well), it’s safe to say whoever comes out on top will probably leave a big market crater in their wake, and if the winner is Steam, then it could result ultimately in Steam itself taking a bigger share of the market than it already boasts.

Every Song on The Beatles’ “Revolver” Ranked

I mentioned in my Magnanimous Melodies article on “Eleanor Rigby” that “Revolver” is my favorite Beatles album, and one of my favorite albums of all time.  In fact, there isn’t a song on this album that I would consider “skipable”.  Considering the fact that the longest song on the LP hovers just around the 3-minute mark, it isn’t much of a time investment to listen through the album in its entirety if you’ve never heard it.  Now, the listing here is entirely my opinion, but these are some of my favorite Beatles songs ever, especially when we start getting into the top half of the list.

14. Doctor Robert

Doctor Robert is a ‘very subtle’ reference to drugs, or more specifically, a dealer.  The Beatles’ library is full of songs that are obvious drug metaphors, but Dr. Robert is one of the most forward examples.  There really isn’t much hiding outside of the line “My friend works for the National Health”, which could imply a ‘real doctor’, but other lines such as “Well, well, well you’re feeling fine” and “Take a drink from his special cup” nail the intended message home.  It’s a catchy song overall, but it’s kept back just a little due to the somewhat awkward refrain of the title inserted after pauses and lulls.  It feels a little forced, especially after the calmer interlude that occurs twice in the track.

13. Love You To

Cementing the influence of Indian art and style that was so unbiquitious in the 1960s, Love You To features a prominent and very energetic George Harrison on Sitar.  The lyrics do not really matter here.  If it weren’t for the distinctly East Indian groove, this one may be completely forgettable.  That said, all together it is a solid track and certainly one of the better “acid rock” tunes from the band.

12. I Want To Tell You

As the very, very good lead riff fades in I Want To Tell You almost immediately grips you.  It is one of the few songs after 1965’s Rubber Soul that contains that classic, pillow-soft pop sound that made the band so famous in the first place.  The distinctly-English piano riff during the verses bounces the song between a classically British pop tune and a very modern rock track.

11. I’m Only Sleeping

I’m Only Sleeping is a unique song indeed.  Blending the classic rock sound of the time with some new ideas with a very odd but interesting guitar solo using modern effects fading the dual guitars by jacking up the attack on the amplifier and adding McCartney’s simple-but-effective bass line to tie the chaos together.  It’s certainly experimental, but like a few of the Beatles’ other ‘risky’ and unconventional tracks, this one is still quite accessible.

10. Yellow Submarine

Here it is!  Arguably the single most overrated song in all of BeatlesdomYello Submarine.  This song was such a hit that the Fab Four not only made multiple music videos for it, but it has become a key piece of iconography for the band.  While it isn’t a terrible song, having sort of a plucky sea chantey style and some humorous moments, it is hardly among their ‘all time best’.  The reason I place it as high as I do in this list is simply for its novelty, on which it relies, but also because it does give what could have been a throwaway track an identity of its own, even if it does sound out of place with the rest of the songs on Revolver.

9. Good Day Sunshine

Another major hit from “Revolver”, Good Day Sunshine’s bright, almost inspirational show tune sound goes a long way to keep this a fresh and interesting string of ideas, as well as adding a truly great Ragtime piano piece and a funny little marching band segment.  The only downside is the somewhat awkward outro that feels like an afterthought compared to the upbeat, major key of the song.

8. Tomorrow Never Knows

The smooth off-beat sound, trippy effects and synthesization, and the slow vocal melodies make Tomorrow Never Knows a particularly unique song that is undeniably infectious.  I would say this is just one of a few examples of the 60’s acid rock sound bleeding into the Beatles’ famously poppy rock styling, and features one of Ringo Starr’s best drum grooves.  It, along with the previously mentioned Love You Too, also highlights the influence that Eastern culture and mysticism was having on the band at the time.

7. Taxman

Paul lays out one of his most famous bass riffs in Taxman, a sarcastic shot fired at the government’s persistent, aggressive taxation in the UK at the time.  Meant to be both a mockery and commentary on the oppressive system, Taxman has been used around the world as an opening anthem of opposition to government.  It is also one of their best grooves with some clever songwriting and a slick little solo to polish the fade out at the end.

6. For No One

A McCartney-penned “Lennon-less” ballad that acts as a sort of mellow break between the classic upbeat tone of And Your Bird Can Sing and the off-kilter Dr. Robert, For No One is one of the few Beatles ballads that excluded Lennon from the track.  It has a soft peacefulness to it despite the melancholy lyrics and deeply sad trumpet solo.  It is one of the best of the band’s softer tunes.

5. Here, There and Everywhere

Yet another one of the softer songs on Revolver, Here, There and Everywhere is more like the contemporary soft rock ballads of its time.  It features soft harmonies and a lighter almost Motown sound.  It’s not particularly remarkable aside from the notable lyrical melody and soothing melody, that said, I kind of love this song.

4. And Your Bird Can Sing

And Your Bird Can Sing is probably the closest thing the Beatles did after 1965 that still sounded a lot like their older music before the latter half of the band’s discography.  It is certainly less sophisticated than most of the songs on the album and is a definitive example of “Beatles pop-rock”.  It has a catchy beat, simple vocal harmonies and a sharply-60’s sound.  It does have a lot more polish, though, as if the more mature band members were trying to bring a little of the vibe they were so well known for out for another go among a tracklist full of odd solos, sitar, and nonsense lyrics.

3. She Said She Said

Of all the songs on Revolver, I would say She Said She Said sounds the most modern.  It comes close to a pop-rock tune that could have been released in the last few decades only lightly adding in some of that traditional Beatles sound.  The chorus is a masterfully-catchy, short-but-sweet section, executed flawlessly by Lennon, doing well to show off his vocal abilities.  

2. Got To Get You Into My Life

…Speaking of vocal ability, McCartney explodes with a powerful F note that ranks as one of the biggest vocal ranging notes by the band that is not in falsetto.  Add to that the big-band sound filling the track with anthemic trumpets and a shouting, almost hard-rock refrain and you have one of the Beatles most “rocking” tunes.

1. Eleanor Rigby

I had already covered Eleanor Rigby in more detail in an article where I declare it one of the greatest songs ever recorded.  The sorrowful ballad highlighted by a string quartet and one of the greates vocal melodies in music history create a masterwork and easily one of the best songs by one of the best bands of all time.

My Holiday Movie Watchlist:

Die Hard (1988)

In this series I will briefly cover some of my favorite movies to watch in December.  These will not always be your typical “Christmas movies”, mostly because a vast majority of those are terrible.  Instead, I will give an honest list of my favorite movies to watch during the Holiday Season.  Most of these I watch annually, some I skip every now and then, and others I often watch year-round.

John McTiernan’s 1988 action classic is not only one of the greatest spectacle films ever made, but it’s also a personal favorite movie for me to watch around the holidays.  In the 80’s, action movies during Christmas were common, not only because this is a prime time of the year to release major films, but also because Christmas provides a firm backdrop to act as contrast to the violence and grit that is to come.  Die Hard’s Christmas setting, however, is merely glossed over, with a few moments spattered throughout to remind you of the Holiday (“Now I have a machine gun.  Ho-ho-ho”).

Die Hard is a perfect blend of action, comedy, and suspense, with truly great performances from its leads in Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman.  While the plot is simple and somewhat predictable by today’s standards, that is largely because Die Hard was so influential that even today many of the ideas are borrowed.  For its time, in an era inundated with action schlock, Die Hard was that genre’s Casablanca.  It was smart, mature, and it had a sense of danger that we rarely got from the invincible heroes of the day like Schwarzenegger or Stallone.  John McClane bled.  He was hurt, he was often visibly afraid, and keep in mind that then Willis wasn’t really known as an action star.  He was still mostly known as a TV star in the hit show Moonlighting, he wasn’t recognized by most as any sort of hardcore fighter.

Die Hard is a lasting movie.  While the hairdos and sentiments may often feel a bit dated, the action, suspense and great performances therein still hold up.  It remains one of my favorite movies to this day and is a consistently-enjoyable entry in my annual list of Holiday movies.

Marvel’s Runaways Returns

Marvel’s Runaways: Season 2 Premiere Airs December, 21st.

After a solid first season, Marvel’s Runaways announced a few months back that the series would return with its second season debut on December, 21st.  The newest trailer, which launched today, leaves me with a lot of questions but indicates the series will continue to diverge from the popular comic on which it is based.

The story of a group of youths who go on the run after discovering their parents are members of a deadly cult called The Pride, in the meantime uncovering their own powers, left season one off at a cliffhanger.  After the teenagers attempt to thwart their parents’ efforts to appease an ancient evil residing beneath the city, they find themselves living on the streets and fighting for surival.

Judging from the newest trailer, we are likely to see more action and character development, but will that come at a price?  Some clips give us a hint that the story may veer greatly from the wtists that occur in the original comic, and wile that is to be expected somewhat, how will these changes affect the story as a whole?

Marvel’s Runaways: Season 2 – Official Hulu Trailer

We can only hope the new season is as entertaining as the first.  I just hope we get a chance to see a little more action…


Sasuke Returns This New Year’s Eve

This month, it was officially announced that this 2018 Sasuke Ninja Warrior competition will be held in its traditional location at Midoriyama, Yokohama, Japan on New Year’s Eve.  While some information has been announced as far as what the competitors will face (including the return of the devastating Tie-Fighter), who will return to run the world’s most challenging obstacle course is still largely unconfirmed.  We know that many of the classic Ninja Warrior All-Stars have already officially retired while the “Shin Sedai” (the New All-Stars) are getting up there in age themselves.  Could 2018 bring a new Sasuke hero into the mix?  Time will tell, but I’ll be watching.

I’ve been glued to the Sasuke tournaments since they began airing in syndication on G4, and I grew to love the spirit of competition and comradery that so many of the athletes exhibited.  Today, the series is an international phenomenon with a hit show on NBC in the US and many other tournaments from around the world.  This does not include the regular competitions held at local gyms (many owned by American competitors) by the National Ninja League, where many recognizable faces from the popular televised events make very regular appearances.

After a few years in Japan of mishaps, tragic first stages, and all-around disappointment, I am hoping that next month will give us fans the next great season for the beloved series.

Magnanimous Melodies – “One” by Metallica

My relationship with metal is a strange one.  I spent most of my youth listening to New Wave and some hair metal like the occasional Van Halen or Def Leppard tune, but actual heavy metal mostly eluded me.  I think it was reticence mixed with a sort of snobbery.  I always thought, “These weird guys with their growling and distorted guitars…”  Keep in mind, even in the ’90s, I was an alt-rock guy, not a metal fan.  It wasn’t until I began listening to bands like Tool, Rammstein, and, of course, Metallica, that I got a sense for what metal could be, for what it is; Musically-complex, challenging, and often poignant.

1988’s …And Justice for All is a seminal entry into Metallica’s vast discography, and one of the most essential metal albums of all time.  It has so many musical ideas that it’s hard to really nail it down to a single “sound”, and the most well-known song off of the album, “One“, is a prime example of this complexity.  Starting off with a peaceful-yet-gloomy guitar riff leading into some truly disturbing lyrics.  The song drives into an intense chorus headlined by Matt Hetfield’s aggressive vocalizations followed by a return to a much brighter fingerpicked riff from dual guitars.  It is a compositional masterpiece, and it’s really hard to express to non-metal fans just how effective this is musically unless they are willing to give it a listen.

Now, as for this twisted lyrics…  Well, it’s obvious war is a theme, but there is a much more specific story here.  The song is based on the story “Johnny Got His Gun“, about a WWI soldier who wakes up on a hospital bed after surviving the brunt of an artillery blast.  He is conscious but his face is destroyed leaving him blind and voiceless, he has no arms, no legs, and is stuck in this bed, a prisoner in his own body.  The story, penned by blacklisted author Dalton Trumbo, is about the horrors of war and how devastating they can be to an individual, instead of the often macro sense we get from your typical anti-war message.  So, seeing this as a truly horrifying theme for a song, the band members of Metallica adapted the story into one of the greatest metal anthems of all time.  They even featured scenes from the film adaptation throughout the official music video to highlight its connection to the original story and to better drive home the message.  “One” has highs, lows, and a final few minutes that really give the band a chance to let loose all that pent up aggression they suppressed for much of the song up to that point.

Netflix Announces Live Action “Cowboy Bebop” Remake and Fans on Social Media Are Not Happy

After a Tweet released around midnight, Netflix’s Twitter response to the announcement of a live-action Cowboy Bebop series was met with mockery and fan outcry.  To put it bluntly, Netflix has not exactly been kind to beloved franchises the past few years.  In fact, with the exception of a handful of shows, most of Netflix’s original series can easily be labeled by most as “objectively terrible”, if not simply “overtly controversial”.  The reality is, it doesn’t matter what any studio does with this new series, fans are going to be exceptionally skeptical at best because you “don’t mess with Bebop!”

I’m inclined to agree…

There are a handful of iconic works of film and television that I believe simply shouldn’t be messed with.  You don’t remake Casablanca (at least not with the original name), you do not recast Seinfeld, and you simply do not try to remake Cowboy Bebop.  I would say, if this were a new animated series as directed by Shinichiro Watanabe himself, maybe fans would be a little more receptive.  But who exactly is working on this new project?  I can say some of the names attached are concerning at best.  Andre Nemec was a writer on the absolutely abhorrent Michael Bay reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Jeff Pinker was a producer on some overrated hit TV series (Fringe and Alias).  The only ray of light in this announcement is that some members of Sunrise Studios (the production company behind the original series) will also be involved in the project in a mostly-unknown capacity and Watanabe himself has been hired on as a “consultant”.  For those who aren’t into Hollywood speak, “consultant” is a mainstream term for a person whose name is attached to a project to help squash fears that a remake or event will be outright terrible.

It’s impossible to say as of yet if this Cowboy Bebop remake will be awful or not, but that hasn’t stopped many fans from expressing outrage (myself included).  I would ask, “Why is this even necessary?”  In a long lineup of reboots, remakes, and reimaginings that have been dreadful over the last few years, why risk alienating another group of fans?  It seems like bad marketing to me, but money is involved… a lot of money, and that makes studios do really stupid things.  If it does turn out to be good, I will admit where I’m wrong.  Hell, when I first saw footage and information about Disney’s reboot of DuckTales, I was outraged, but when I actually watched it, I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable, funny, smart series; Definitely dramatically better than I had expected by any measure upon seeing the first previews.

I guess time will tell.  To avoid falling into the trap that a few mainstream, garbage tier media outlets have already suffered, I will not end this article with the show’s famous closing line.  Instead, I will say, I want to hope this will be good, but common sense, recent events, and knowledge of the trends in modern popular culture tell me to feel otherwise.

All of the Pop Culture You Care About… But Not Really