For My Friends – Blind Melon

As most alternative rock music fans from the 1990s will remember, Blind Melon went on a hiatus after the death of their charismatic singer Shannon Hoon in 1995. Since then they have released an album of back catalogue songs in Nico and a best of.

But what’s this? This little tidbit had escape my radar. An album of new songs was released in April, 2008. Joining hands with singer Travis Warren, the remainin 4 members of Blind Melon came out with For My Friends, which starts of with Warren sounding a lot like Hoon in the title track. The first single is about drinking with your friends and missing the good ole times. It is spoiled unnecessarily with a silly laughing fit on the part of Warren, that seems put on.

Musically the band sounds tight and I especially like the drums in With The Right Set Of Eyes. Wishing Well has got to be the best song on the album. It sounds lyrically like an anti-suicide song and has some great guitar playing on it. Sometimes comes off sounding like a Brit pop song; I think it’s the organ part that does it for me. It also has a lyrical tribute to Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain (you think this song is about you, don’t you). Tumbling Down sounds a lot like the old Blind Melon.

Down On The Pharmacy is an anti-drug song warning against abusing chemical substances that can catch up with you later. Make A Difference sounds Lennon-ish with political overtones. Harmful Belly is about the pain of love and the heartbreak when it dies. Folksy & jingle jangly acoustic guitars start of Last Laugh until the chorus break and more classic rock tinges take over. Hynotized is more 1970s retro rock and this shouldn’t come off a a surprise since the band has been influenced mostly by that period’s music.

Father Time does not sound much like the old Blind Melon but it’s an ok tune. So High is a mellow tune even with electric guitars. Album closer Chettum Street is a slowed down track about nostalgia.

There’s no No Rain on this album and I would have to place it as their 4th best record till date – but that’s ok. It’s still got plenty of tunes to please a rocker like me and appeal to my ballad side as well.

V : The Final Battle

The second mini-series in the V franchise was shown on television in 1984 was played out over three episodes, set several months after the events of the original miniseries. The resistance has just been thwarted at the attempt to stop a human food processing unit. Robin Maxwell’s pregnancy is known by all members and the impending birth is a case of alarm for all.

At a visitor conference to announce a cure for cancer, the resistance infiltrates the venue & attack. The commander John is unmasked in front of live television by Julie, who is later captured by Diana’s troops and taken through a horrible conversion process. Meanwhile two new people join up (although a bit by force) the resistance – anti-hero Ham Tyler (Michael Ironside) and his associate Chris Faber. They two of them help the resistance to escape from their hideout when the visitors attack.

Diana has some problems – Julie is a tough nut to crack and there’s new threat to her in the form of newly arrived Squadron Commander Pamela (Sarah Douglas). Julie is rescued at the visitor headquarters in LA but Ruby is killed by Daniel Bernstein, a human who works with the visitors. The resistance also disrupts the alien plan to steal all the water in California, where Mark is killed. Later in exchange for his son, Mike gives himself up to the visitors. Martin (Frank Ashmore) helps Mike escape from the mothership after he is outted as the 5th columnist who is helping the humans.

Robin goes into labour and gives birth to fraternal twins – a human girl with a forked tongue and an alien boy who dies in a few days. The girl, Elizabeth, grows at an astonishing rate and is soon the equivalent of a 8-9 year old girl. Meanwhile, the reason for her brother’s death is found to be a bacteria deadly to the aliens – a toxic substance to the visitors known as Red Dust. It is tested on Brian, the one responsible for impregnating Robin, by herself.  With this weapon, the plans begin to attack the aliens. A vaccine is also developed to safeguard the 5th columnist aliens who help the humans.

Afraid of what will happen to Elizabeth, Father brings her to Diana, who is intrigued by the ‘star child’. The attack begins and the aliens on earth are either killed by the dust or leave in their ships. The huge ships leave orbit much to the joy of the humans. Diana manages to escape on a shuttle as the humans begin the celebrations.