Liam Lynch

REVIEW: Them Crooked Vultures – “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” (10″ single)

Welcome back to the WEEK OF SINGLES 2!  We’re looking at rare singles all week.

Monday: Dream Theater – “Lie” (CD single)
Tuesday: Jimi Hendrix – “Valleys of Neptune” (7″ single)



THEM CROOKED VULTURES – “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” (10″ single)

I love unique looking items and this sure qualifies. Enveloped in a transparent red sleeve is a 10″ picture disc; this is something to behold. It looks great and you’ll want to put it in some kind of protective sleeve right away to keep it pristine, which is what I did.

The A-side contains the album version of “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” and a live cut of an unreleased song called “Hwy 1”. This  live track was recorded in January in Sydney, Australia. It’s an awesome tune, punctuated by some seriously dexterous playing from John Paul Jones. Those who have heard his solo album Zooma know exactly what I’m talking about. I really liked this song a lot, it gets into a great groove, locking in with Dave and Josh, and a melody that makes it a real standout. If it had been on the album it would have been one of the choicest cuts.

“Mind Eraser, No Chaser” itself was one of the better album tracks as well, making this side a great listen.  It’s a pretty succinct track that could be easily mistaken for a Queens of the Stone Age song.  No matter that John Paul Jones is 1/3 of the band, Them Crooked Vultures simply resembles QOTSA more than they don’t.

The B-side is an 11-minute interview conducted by film director Liam Lynch (Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny).  It’s actually quite a good interview, with all three members of the band.  Both Dave Grohl and Josh Homme went into the album without having played their “main” instruments in a long time (drums and guitar respectively).  John Paul expresses his disappointment that many metal bands are simply parodies of the genre; but that the Vultures are certainly not.  My favourite quote is Dave Grohl’s:

“I’m never nervous about hitting ‘record’, and I’m never worried that, ‘hmmm, I hope I come up with a riff’.  ‘Cause riffs…I don’t have a problem coming up with riffs.  It’s songs that are important.  I even said that to Josh after the first we time we jammed.  I said, ‘You know, you and I could fill the Grand Canyon with riffs.  But we need to write some songs’.  That’s the hard part.  And that’s where John comes in handy ’cause he’s the genius composer/arranger.”

This was an April 17 2010 Record Store Day exclusive, but even today you can find them all over the place.  Don’t pay more than you need to, because you don’t need to.

5/5 stars

MOVIE REVIEW: Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (with bonus DVD)

TENACIOUS D in THE PICK OF DESTINY (2007 Alliance Atlantis, Best Buy exclusive 2 DVD set)

Starring Jack Black and Kyle Gass, directed by Liam Lynch

I shudder to think what some poor soul who liked Jack Black in The Holiday would think if they gave this one a try. This is for one, and only one, group of people: the rabid, dedicated fans of Jack Black & Kyle Gass as Tenacious D.

PICK OF DESTINYThe titular Pick of Destiny is a guitar pick, made centuries ago, out of the tooth of Satanus (that’s Latin, for Satan) himself. Since then it has been seen in the hands of Angus Young, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, and many more.  This bequeathed upon them their amazing guitar-shredding abilities. The only way that JB and KG can pay the rent would be to win the talent contest, and the only way to do that would be to play the greatest song ever written…with the Pick.

Ben Stiller informs them that the Pick is located, under heavy security, in the Rock N’ Roll History Museum.  Tim Robbins tips them off about the deadly laser grid guarding it. Undaunted, our heroes still quest after the Pick, even when Dave Grohl as Satanus himself comes to reclaim what is his.

There’s a whole lotta drug use (hey, it’s Jack Black), so make sure your kids don’t see this. Hell, the very first sequence before the the movie even begins is a cartoon about lighting up a joint, eating a burrito, and farting. Just so you know what kind of film you’re looking at here.

I’ve been a huge D fan, and I love this movie.  My friends love this movie. This is a party movie. The best time I ever had watching this movie was at a party.

The Demon Code prevents me from declining a Rock-off challenge

The new original Tenacious D soundtrack is remarkable in both quality of the songwriting and lyrics.  The performances are equally impressive.  “Beelzeboss” and “Kickapoo” are two personal favourites. Dave Grohl, Meat Loaf, and Ronnie James Dio all contribute guest vocals in their own signature styles. In a weird way, The Pick Of Destiny is actually a musical.

The movie was also available with a limited edition Best Buy bonus disc, if you can find it. The second disc is over an hour long, and contains 17 extended and deleted scenes. You’ll see a slightly longer version of the Neil Hamburger cameo, and a lot of alternate takes and bloopers. Best of all are the “Hell O’Clock News” segments. These were originally web-shorts that were done to promote the making of the film (in Hell, apparently). Each one features Jack, Kyle, or director Liam Lynch, in funny (ridiculous) skits. Very watchable, and more importantly, re-watchable. I assure you that buying the 2 DVD version is your wisest course of action.

5/5 stars