Tony Bennett, For the News Tribune
"Faith" is a concept that is, more often than not, a celebrated one. Religious people of all stripes tend to say things like "my faith keeps me centered." In the perennial holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life," a first-class angel says of Clarence Odbody — the second-class angel tasked with convincing the shattered George Bailey that life is worth living — that he has "the faith of a child," and that's meant as a compliment.
It's the holiday season, so it's time to talk about the inexorable encroachment of death. Whoa, hey — you have your holiday traditions, and this writer has theirs. Although it's not so much a holiday tradition as a daily practice.
Dustin Tessier's been doing the work. If you read a little about his Timbre Ghost project, it's clear that it's the avenue for exorcising a lot of emotions. He's looking to make music that blooms out of the ashes of whatever life challenges came before, and he's got a determination and a drive that comes through clearly in his interviews and promotional materials and social-media posts.
Of all the cash-grabbiest things an established rock act can do, little is more cash-grabby than the release of a super-deluxe box-set reissue of one of their beloved albums. Aside from presenting an opportunity for another round at the till for a work that has long been tapped for as much profit as it's capable of providing, it's also a surefire way to garner tons of press and attention while providing rabid fans scraps from the table that weren't worthy of release the first time around.
It's tough to write about Billy Corgan without just full-on attacking him. He's done so many dumb things in his career that he's earned a deserved reputation as a huge pain in the neck who willfully refuses to make the kind of music that his fans desire him to make, who goes and does interviews with Alex Jones where he complains about "globalists" and talks about his experiences with shapeshifters, and he makes fun of other bands for reuniting before greedily taking the plunge himself. He's just a boor, a bore, and a tiresome person in general.
It has been a long six years since comedy-rockers Tenacious D last made an album. "Rize of the Fenix" from 2012 was a solid entry in their discography, and, with it, the duo (comprised of megastar actor Jack Black and his cohort Kyle Gass) were able to return to some kind of glory after their 2006 movie "The Pick of Destiny" flopped grandly at the box office and stopped the two in their tracks for a while.
One of the worst things in music is when people try to pretend that they're from another era. Por ejemplo, the band Greta Van Fleet is right now attempting to fool people into thinking that they are a bunch of fringed hippies from 1968 and that they sound just like first-album Led Zeppelin by some miracle, not because of lots of determined effort to sound like first-album Led Zeppelin. Who needs it? Who needs the Muddy River Boys or whoever to dress like Civil War re-enactors just to play their city-boy bluegrass? It's a contrivance and an annoyance.
It's official: the new "Halloween" film is a mega-hit. Its $77 million opening last weekend was the biggest ever for a horror film in the days before the Halloween holiday, enough to all but guarantee that fright fans will see more of the killer Michael Myers in the years to come. The "Halloween" franchise now has 40 years of scares under its belt, and it's likely that it will endure decades into the future.