Star Trek: Renegades

Finally watched Star Trek: Renegades and I loved it!

Pluses: the sheer love of Trek seeps out of the whole film. I loved playing ‘spot-the-actor’ particularly when it was actors who’d been in Trek but not as the same character as they portray in ST:R.

Also, the CGI for the space scenes is absolutely glorious. Kind of gave me shivers imagining if there was a current mainstream Trek TV series on now, what it could look like. Imagine if Netflix or Amazon had the rights to do it…

Minuses: minor and churlish. I found the music intrusive in a couple of scenes and in one scene it drowned out Ed Furlong’s dialogue. And some of the editing seemed a little off but as I’m by no means a pro myself, I can’t be more specific than that. But I must reiterate: these are tiny complaints about what I believe is a great fandom achievement.

When it ended, I had this sense of what I’ve been missing in TV: new Trek. It’s great that we have the films but I want something like Renegades, a modern Trek series which can establish and then build new characters, new scenarios, NEW SPECIES and expand the universe.

I do hope someone out there in the controlling towers of telly land is paying attention.

We Love The Monkees

And I thought I’d be okay, that it’d be a standard-issue ‘origin/clip/weren’t they great’ cheesy doc. In some ways it is. But the last part of the show, where they show the post-Monkees careers and then talk about Davy passing away… man, that killed me.

I think it’s because I don’t remember a time not knowing The Monkees. I was a little kid when I first saw re-runs and I didn’t actually realise it wasn’t real. I thought that they were just a band!

Then, when I was a teen, I was embarrassed for liking them because they were officially uncool. It was only when I’d grown out of teenage conformity that I went mental on Nesmith and tracked down everything of his on original vinyl.

So many of my songs are Monkees / Nesmith rip-offs it’s incredible people haven’t said it before. I mostly get ‘sounds like Depeche Mode’ which is fair enough as I rip them off too. But, c’mon, I nicked the descending chord intro lick from Listen To Band exactly. And the melody line from As We Go Alongwas a… heavy inspiration *cough* to the first White Town song. And I nicked the bassline from Circle Sky pretty much note for note.

If you’re into music, I think everyone has an artist or band who they’ve grown up with, who will always be there and has become something more than art in their lives, they’re more like family.

For me, that’s what The Monkees are. Yeah, I love a lot of other ‘60s bands as well, Beatles, Stones, loads of Merseybeat and Stax and Motown. But because of that wild TV show, I kind of felt like I had four crazy older brothers who were immeasurably cool and handsome and talented.

I wish I’d seen them play live.

Head – Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again?

Yet another clip from Head and also some groundbreaking visuals for 1968. I particularly love the solarised and coloured sequences where they freeze-frame it on beat with the guitar break. I have tried so many times to rip-off the style of this sequence and never managed it yet: the editing is exquisite.

It’s also a wonderful history of how people danced back then. There are obviously professional dancers heavily featured but some of the party crowd look more casual and are just going for it. I love the bit where Davy shimmys across to the cute girl doing classic ‘60s arm moves / fingerclicks.

Finally, it’s another beautiful Monkees song that I can’t find anything to dislike about. The arrangement, the production, the lyrics ~ it’s perfect. Listen to that bassline from Lance Wakely … the way it interweaves with the electric guitar countermelody / lead break and the chunky, overdriven guitar chords is sublime. And the breaks where it shifts into ¾ but never loses pace: amazing. I always play this song to anyone I hear saying the Monkees didn’t write their songs, particularly as it’s a Tork song and he’s so often overlooked. As far as I can research, Tork plays all the guitar on this track. Can you imagine anyone from a current boyband doing something similar?

I need to watch Head again.

Actually, who are we kidding, I need to watch Head every day.