John Tierney

Long Winded - Short Attention Span

The Trend Fun Club!

I published this piece a couple of years ago.  Since then The Trend have played a few more times at various events and at every one of them they have taken over the stage like an invading army and you wonder how any band could possibly follow them.

Matt MacHaffie, a truly nice man who has seen a thing or two in rock n roll, calls them Syracuse’s last best punk rock band.   Matt knows from where he speaks.

When I saw The Trend defy all odds and triumphantly reunite that night at the Lost Horizon, I was gobsmacked,  I thought I’d never hear those songs played again, I thought I’d never feel that feeling again.

Tonight, The Trend have been nominated for a Syracuse Area Music Award for their fantastic album “J Marc Memorial Show” where they revisit their thunderous body of work anew, and do so in the memory of their fallen brother.

Funny how things come full circle.  I can still remember naysayers back in the day telling me that none of  the music I loved was worthy, it had no staying power, was not likely to be remembered.  I knew they were wrong then, and I am thrilled to have been proven right.

Funny how along with The Trend, another one of the “bands I idolized growing up” Screen Test is also nominated in a different category on the same night.

Funny that tomorrow night I will see yet another band I would walk through snow to see back in the day, the  punk, power pop  force that is  1.4.5.

Funny how things come full circle.

The tyrannies of time prevent me from being able to attend the Sammy Awards tonight to cheer on my heroes but I’ll be checking my social media feed to see how it goes.

Congratulations to The Trend on this long overdue recognition. 

It was probably 1982.

I used to wear a Trend tee shirt pretty much all the time.  It was my punk rock badge of honor, my uniform.   It was white and had the Trend logo on it. TrendLogo I bought it at (I think) Desertshore records here in Syracuse.

As with most things that long ago the mind fills in what it wants to to fill the cracks in our memories.   I wore that tee shirt to school, well to gym anyway, I went to a Catholic high school and had to wear the necktie and all that.   I’m sure I cut quite the dashing figure in my white Trend tee shirt, probably tucked into my gym shorts, my pale legs looking like two coneys with sneakers on them as I dragged my skinny ass around the gym, or anywhere else I wore this trophy of mine.

I wore that shirt everywhere.  The Trend, were one of my favorite bands, their name was spoken in the same breath as all my other favorite  bands, like The Jam , The Ramones, another local band called My Sin,  and The Clash.  I was so proud of that tee shirt.

It’s 2016 and as I write this essay, I am wearing a Trend tee shirt, admittedly a few sizes larger than my original version.  but I am just as proud of wearing it as I was of the one I wore almost 35 years ago.  This time I got the shirt as a commemoration of a reunion of sorts.  Truthfully it was more than a reunion.  But that’s for another post, and THAT post is coming soon.

From 1980 to 1985, the Trend were one of the best, most fun and beloved  bands in Syracuse.

Back in those days local punk/power pop/new wave bands were playing something like 6 nights a week in this town,  and every one of those bands was fun to see, and damn good too.  Three chords and a catchy melody and the dance floor was full.

TrendJab

My memory is fuzzy but the first time I saw The Trend was at a local club called the Lost Horizon, they were opening up a show and I can’t recall the rest of the bill.  I was the only one on the dance floor at first, but soon a bunch more followed.  I am nothing if not a trend setter.

I loved the brashness, the loudness and the fun.  These guys were my age!   J. Marc Patenaude (Vocals, Guitar), Larry Roux(Guitar), and Paul Doherty(Drums), later on they fleshed out the sound with bass player Ekendra Dasa, THESE guys played it the way my mind thought it should be played.  Loud, fast, catchy and fun.   There wasn’t a lot of seriousness in the songs, but the Trend sure were serious about what they were doing.  They had a fan club!  The Trend FUN CLUB!  They had cards made up to book shows with that said..”Bozo Rock for Hire”  The Trend never pretended to be older than they were.  They were kids and wrote songs that came from that place but above  all songs that rocked.  Songs about “Peer Pressure”, about parents, about zinc tablets!  Me being the same age, which was a little younger than the rest of the scene found in The Trend, songs that I could immediately identify with, and to lift a phrase from Paul Westerberg, they rocked like murder.   By obvious influences alone you could hear British 60’s bands like The Who and The Kinks as well as The Jam, The Sex Pistols, and of course, The Ramones.

I had  the single “Band Aid” b/w “Eclectic Chair”, I actually had two copies, one I hung on my bedroom wall next to other heroes, the other was for the turntable.  I knew every word and sang along at every show I could get to.  I saw them a bunch of other times at a long since closed after hours club downtown called the Insomniac.  I remember seeing them at least once  at the legendary Jabberwocky a student run club on the Syracuse University campus underneath the Kimmel dining hall.

TrendLPIn addition to the single, a classic in some circles, mine included , they  followed up with  a full length LP called “Batman Live at Budokan” .  The Trend were one of the most exciting bands in Syracuse history but fate had to intervene.  The story of The Trend would come to a tragic end when J Marc was killed in a car crash at the age of 21 in 1985.  I can’t say I knew Marc well, but I knew him a little.  Our last conversation was a good natured debate on whether The Clash was punk rock enough.  He was a good guy and his passing was such a shock to me.  People my age, around me, weren’t supposed to die.

It seemed like that year was the end of so many things.  The scene pretty much faded away due in large part to a hike in New York State’s drinking age to 21 from 18.    Clubs that hadn’t already closed, did close, even the Jabberwocky closed in 1985, it’s now a computer lab.  To steal from the great Ray Davies, “What  a bummer”  There were a couple of active scenes that popped up later, including a good “hardcore” scene but none of that really resonated with me.  This was MY scene and it was gone.

That would seem to have been it for the Trend but the legend never went away.  People involved with the scene never forgot them.  I sure didn’t The Band Aid single became a collectors item. I’ve heard stories where the single fetched as much as $600.00 from collectors.  Word seemed to get around though, and like the Flashcubes before them, the legend grew even after the band was no more.   An Italian label re-released the single and the LP and hell even a French punk band, The No Talents covered The Trend!   Like I said, word got around.

(see Band Aid at 20:30 below)

In the summer of 2014 Carl Caferelli and Dana Bonn, hosts of THIS IS ROCK ‘n’ ROLL RADIO, an absolutely spectacular and indispensable weekly tribute to all things three and sometimes four chords(FOUR CHORDS?  No Prog rock please!), at the suggestion of Paul Armstrong of  the Flashcubes and 1.4.5, one of the great characters of the Syracuse scene, decided to get some of the bands back together for a one night only revue of the Salt City’s punk and new wave bands of the era.  Some of these band’s hadn’t played together in decades.  The line up included such legends as the aforementioned Flashcubes and 1.4.5, Porcelain Forehead,  The Miamis, Distortion, The Most, The Dead Ducks, Screen Test.  When I heard this was going to happen I was in right away.  This was the reunion I was looking for.  I never in a million years would have guessed that a late addition to the bill would be…The Trend.

How could this be?  The Trend?    I remember being nervous reading it.  The Trend without Marc simply would not be The Trend, there is no way they could pull this off could they?  Until I read further..standing in for Marc would be his 16 year old niece, Chloe.  In fact I read that  without Chloe the band wouldn’t perform at all.  Perfect.  I could hear a collective “YES” from the scattered Bright Lights faithful.  No pressure kid , but this set would be one of the most anticipated sets of music in recent memory.   Along with Josh Coy on guitar, the Trend were ready to take their rightful place in this lineup.  But could they pull it off?  Paul Doherty said he hadn’t even been behind a drum kit in decades.  Again…no pressure.

The Bright Lights event truly was a wonderful night.  The bands that played all played great tight sets. No egos.  No problems but as the time came for The Trend, the pit in front of the stage at the Lost Horizon was full.  Dana Bonn said the words.  “For the first time..since 1985…The Trend”  and it was on; and with Marc’s guitar on the stage with them, the Trend knocked it out of the park in one of the best,  most celebratory shows I have  ever seen., at times Chloe even sounded like Marc.   For a band that had just recently come (back) together..well you just wouldn’t have known it.  Sharp set, classic set list and the classic Blitzkrieg Bop thrown in for good measure.

When it was over I turned to the guys I was with, who happened to be the guys I used to go see this music with back in the day and  said…holy crap..we just saw Trend, and they blew the doors off the place like never before. I was just slack jawed over it.  It was more than a reunion, it was a reaffirmation and I dare say that among the so many special things of that night, that The Trend could be there in a credible way and that they could rock the house like they had been doing it for every day between 1985 and  that night, well that was the most special thing of all.

As usual, Carl Caferelli says it better than anyone.  “a single fingered salute to the cruelties of fate and the passing of time”.

There isn’t anything much more punk rock than that.

TheTrendBL

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Images courtesy of The Trend, used with permission

Sammy Award Nominated album “The J Marc Memorial Show”can be found  ITunes and Amazon as well as all your streamers.  Go  get it now.

THIS IS ROCK ‘n’ ROLL RADIO can be heard Sundays at 9PM on Westcott Community Radio http://www.westcottradio.org

2019 Oscar Predictions

Where my beloved Indie Spirt awards are, to my mind, a pure celebration of film making, albeit from a left of center position, the Academy Awards are much more complicated.

There is nobody who knows, who believes that the “best picture” will always win BEST PICTURE.  I can tell you scores of movies that just got lucky, or more likely had huge marketing campaigns directed at academy members.  

*cough* Titanic *cough*

I do love the tradition, the clothes, the second guessing and everything.  I don’t get invited to any after parties, (I don’t get invited to ANY parties Oscar or otherwise as I think of it) but I also love the intrigue, the backstabbing, the drama and the way it’s so much bigger under the microscope than it should be.

It is, after all, a celebration of cinema, but if you think the best movies and performers win simply on the merits of the work, well bless your pure little heart.

Best Picture

  1. “Roma”
  2. “The Favourite”
  3. “BlacKkKlansman”
  4. “Vice”
  5. “Black Panther”
  6. “Green Book”
  7. “A Star Is Born”
  8. “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Will Win/Should Win: “Roma”

Best Picture is the only category that asks voters to rank the nominees in order (I have done that) and there’s a fairly complicated statistical model in picking the winner, that kind of makes Best Picture a bit of a crapshoot sometimes.  It leads to some unpredictability. 

That said it will be Roma’s night. It is the best movie of the year and it has a campaign budget that I think was three times the cost of making the actual film.  Netflix wants this one bad.  There’s a fair amount of backlash and strategic voting going against it.  Many voters would rather die than see a film that is by and large seen on TV screens win Hollywood’s biggest prize.  There is also the business backlash where established studios are reluctant to let Netflix into the club.  I’ve also read that some people simply think Roma is a boring movie.  (They are wrong.).

But the academy loves art house cinema, and the hot film is indeed Roma so look for the first foreign language film to be awarded Best Picture  makes history.

Of the eight listed, I cant say ANY of them aren’t worth watching, akthough there are flaws and some controversies.

For example, I hear a lot of voters LOVED “Green Book” although it has serious narrative flaws and story problems.  The fact that Dr. Don Shirley’s family quite vocally calls the movie a “collection of lies”  doesn’t help.  But in these times where America’s racist society is at it’s most ugly, a movie that at least makes the monitions of redemption, no matter how over simplified, will pull at the heart strings of academy voters.

“A Star is Born” had oodles of Oscar buzz this summer but I think that’s a dead film walking here.  The movie is quite nice but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before and quite honestly, when Lady Gaga is not on the screen the movie grinds to a maddening halt.  

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is fine, but it’s like a VH-1 behind the music only with Rami Malek carrying it.    I can’t say I hated it, and that’s sadly the best I can say.  Malek was fantastic though but he couldn’t save the film.

Don’t be surprised if: Amy Adams were to get Best Actress, that Vice could sneak in here.  Also if Spike Lee gets Best Director “BlacKkKlansman” will steal this one.

__________

Best Director

Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”

Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”

Adam McKay, “Vice”

Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”

Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”

Will Win/Should Win: Alfonso Cuarón

Picture and Director are rarely split up and this will be well deserved.

Don’t be surprised if: If you are looking for the upset, look to Spike Lee, the Academy likes to surprise with an award for a deserving person who is overdue.  I would consider Spike winning here to be a triumph and he should have gotten it for “Do The Right Thing”

__________

Best Actress

Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”

Glenn Close, “The Wife”

Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”

Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”

Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Will Win/Should Win: Glenn Close

She rips it UP in “The Wife”, nominated seven times and not winning, it is her turn and she will deserve it for such a great, gutty performance.

Gaga doesn’t have a chance.  

It would be really great if Melissa McCarthy could win, she was amazing in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” which was one of my favorite films of the year.

Don’t be surprised if: Olivia Coleman steals it.    A LOT of voters loved “The Favourite” and fresh off a BAFTA triumph it wouldn’t be TOO big a surprise to me if  the British actress jumps in.  I do think this is Glenn’s to lose and may be the surest bet of the night but I find the Coleman upset intriguing.

OH and if by some divine providence Yalitza Aparicio has her name called I’ll be in tears of so much joy that I wont be able to stand it.

__________

Best Actor

Christian Bale, “Vice”

Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”

Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”

Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

Will Win: Rami Malek

Should Win: Christian Bale

Two actors, playing two real life people.  Both handle the job without being caricatures, which is hard to do and Malek does a great job with his Freddie Mercury but Bale BECOMES Dick Cheney and it would be so easy,, when playing a man of such fundamental evil to do it over the top, but he doesn’t, he does it with such subtlety and nuance.   His portrayal makes Cheney even more rotten than a simple impression could ever do.  He brings life to a character who is devoid of a single redeeming quality without being cartoonish.

__________

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, “Vice

Marina de Tavira, “Roma”

Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Emma Stone, “The Favourite”

Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Will Win: Regina King

Should Win: Amy Adams.

This will be the spot where “If Beale Street Could Talk” gets it’s well deserved recognition and Regina King turned in such a powerhouse performance but if I had a vote it would have gone to Amy Adams who is not only  overdue for an oscar but also damn near steals the show in her Shakespearian portrayal of the America’s  Lady Macbeth, the terminally immoral and soulless Lynne Cheney.  Her creepiness in the performance is second only to the creepiness of the subject and like Bale, did it without resorting to cliché.

__________

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”

Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”

Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”

Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

Will Win/Should Win: Mahershala Ali

I think this is a sure bet.  He was fantastic in “Green Book” and the voters loved this movie, flaws and all.  If you want to think upset, you might look to Richard E. Grant who stole “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” from Melissa McCarthy but I sure wouldn’t bet the car payment on it.

__________

Best Adapted Screenplay

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Joel Coen , Ethan Coen)

“BlacKkKlansman” (Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee)

“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)

“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Barry Jenkins)

“A Star Is Born” (Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters)

Will Win/Should Win: “BlacKkKlansman”

This will be the one for Spike and well deserved and a bit of a “body of work” reward for Spike.  You might look for an upset in “Beale Street” though.

__________

Best Original Screenplay

“The Favourite” (Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara)

“First Reformed” (Paul Schrader)

“Green Book” (Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly)

“Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón)

“Vice” (Adam McKay)

Will Win/Should Win: “The Favourite”

When I watched “The Favourite” I thought to myself ,”god this had to have been a hell of a lot of fun to write”  The script is a riot worthy of a modern day, English, Moliere.  I think this is another sure bet 

__________

Best Cinematography

“Cold War” (Lukasz Zal)

“The Favourite” (Robbie Ryan)

“Never Look Away” (Caleb Deschanel)

“Roma” (Alfonso Cuaron)

“A Star Is Born” (Matty Libatique)

Will Win/Should Win: Roma

A sure bet.  Nothing else is even close.  If Roma doesn’t win I will be screaming at the TV.  Historic because this will be the first time a director of a film also wins an Oscar for shooting his own movie.  They almost took this away from us when they foolhardily decided that some awards like Cinematography and Editing would be awarded during commercials.  Thankfully they were convinced otherwise.

__________

Best Costume Design

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Mary Zophres)

“Black Panther”(Ruth E. Carter)

“The Favourite” (Sandy Powell)

“Mary Poppins Returns” (Sandy Powell)

“Mary Queen of Scots” (Alexandra Byrne)

Will Win/Should Win: “The Favourite

__________

Best Film Editing

“BlacKkKlansman” (Barry Alexander Brown)

“Bohemian Rhapsody” (John Ottman)

“The Favourite”(Yorgos Mavropsaridis)

“Green Book”(Patrick J. Don Vito)

“Vice” (Hank Corwin)

Will Win: Vice, more than most, the editing in Vice is the whole ballgame.

__________

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

“Border”

“Mary Queen of Scots”

“Vice”

Will Win: Vice for the transformation in Christian Bale alone.

__________

Best Original Score

“Black Panther” (Ludwig Goransson)

“BlacKkKlansman” (Terence Blanchard)

“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Nicholas Britell)

“Isle of Dogs” (Alexandre Desplat)

“Mary Poppins Returns” (Marc Shaiman)

Will Win:  “If Beale Street Could Talk

__________

Best Original Song

“All The Stars” from “Black Panther” by Kendrick Lamar, SZA

“I’ll Fight” from “RBG” by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice

“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by Willie Watson, Tim Blake Nelson

Will Win:  Shallow.  This will be the one award that keeps A Star is Born from being shut out.

Best Foreign Language Film

“Capernaum” (Lebanon)

“Cold War” (Poland)

“Never Look Away” (Germany)

“Roma” (Mexico)

“Shoplifters” (Japan)

Will Win:Roma, best movie of the year no matter how you slice it.

Best Documentary Feature

“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

“Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” RaMell Ross

“Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu

“Of Fathers and Sons,” Talal Derki

“RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen

Will Win: RBG, if for no other reason than as a prayer that she keep healthy until we get the apricot asshole out of office.  Not to mention, it’s a great documentary.

Ill be tweeting from @jjtierney during the event, and I am wearing sweatpants and teeshirt tonight.

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