Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Masshysteri at bunker hill 3/29/09

Masshysteri is a swedish punk band comprised of members from other bands including The Vicious and The (International) Noise Conspiracy.  Very energetic house show in Denton on a Sunday.  Punk almost always sounds better in a foreign language (save for French).  It was charming how their myspace listed the location as 'Bunkerville' instead of Bunker Hill.  It's probably hard for Swedes to understand Texans.  Although i'm sure they heard the girl in the back yelling, "Sweden" and then some other Scandinavian countries. Way to communicate, lady. sheesh.  

They started around 11:45pm and played about a dozen of their melodic pop-punk tunes.  The drummer was tough and the two ladies in the band were mesmerizing one of my friends.  The dual male/female vocals were low in the mix (which is normal, shitty sound at house shows) but were raised up a little bit into the set. They played a short set leaving the ample crowd wanting more.  That's always the best.

In my ridiculous quest to catch that Herzog doc at Dan's, local openers Wiccans and Big Blow went unseen by these eyes.  I heard both were awesome.  At least the first ten minutes of that Herzog doc and those 2 local acts will be able to be seen again.

Monday, March 30, 2009

La Soufriere (1977) at dan's silver leaf

Werner Herzog says near the end credits that this "report on an inevitable catastrophe that did not take place" was embarrassing for him.  I don't think he has anything to be embarrassed about here.  (It's not like he's in a role as a cough syrup sippin' dad to a schizo.)

This film looked great projected onto a large screen.  Herzog's trademark fatuous narration is accompanied by elegant orchestral arrangements.  The rural and empty city landscapes are stunning, as are the pictures from the previous volcanic eruption in 1902 on a nearby island.  The additional story of the "baddest guy" in that town surviving (only because he was locked up in an underground solitary confinement jail) was amusing. 

The 2 men that stay behind on the island to face the current seismically super active volcano are very fascinating themselves:  they aren't afraid, they sleep outside in fields next to cats, they sing in french, etc.  

This movie did not provide sufficient closure on one complication.  Did Werner and his 2 man crew go back for his camerman's spectacles (that they left near the top of the crater) the next day?  

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Perfect Kiss"-New Order (1985)

The Perfect Kiss is the perfect music video. Just the best dance band straight-up playing their hearts out live in a practice space.  

Director Jonathan Demme is no stranger to good music.  The Talking Heads feature Stop Making Sense(1984) is highly regarded and remains a classic.  In scenes from his most recognized movie, the Silence of the Lambs, Buffalo Bill listens to songs by the Fall, Colin Newman (of Wire),  and most notably does the 'peepy' dance to "Goodbye Horses".  There's even a Gang of Four song in his 2004 remake of the Manchurian Candidate.  

Demme also filmed Neil Young: Heart of Gold(2006) which is a great sounding show performed in Nashville.  His previous inclusion of the Neil Young (similarly titled song) at the end of Philadelphia(1993) pulls at my heart-strings every damn time.  

The Changeling (1980)

Nothing starts off a movie better than tragedy.  After his wife and daughter get annihilated by a car collision(while he watches from a phone booth), Jon Russell relocates to Seattle, Washington to teach music at his alma mater.  He is offered a large historical house to stay in by a friend(that conveniently belongs to a local preservation society).  

Spirits just won't leave Mr. Russell alone and not unlike the Amityville Horror, this is based on an alleged true story.  With the help of a medium, in an amazingly creepy seance, he is able to unlock the riddle of the haunting.  Seventy years earlier, a politically powerful man had drowned his crippled son to swap him with a healthier young heir (taken from an orphanage).

This film features some great wide-angle shots of the bewitching abode.  George C. Scott(Patton, Firestarter) is marvelous as an unexpected supernatural sleuth.  The soundtrack is eerily enjoyable and the resolution is fulfilling.  

This is a great Peter Medak film (up there with Romeo is Bleeding[1993]) and one of the finest haunted house movies ever.  Definitely better than his atrocious Masters of Horror "Washingtonians"(2007) and Species II(1998). 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ninjasonik, The Death Set + more at The Lounge

It would have been a good presumption that the highlight of this show was Ninjasonik. And yes, they were.  This was a line-up of 5 bands (one a solo act) on a tour called Newmore Switchy Blades. 

This event was sparsely attended (SXSW, anyone?) so it was one of those shows were it seemed like band members outnumbered the general audience.  If i had to generalize all these bands' sets i would tell you that they would all be fucked without their Ipods(backing tracks).  

The openers, Team Robospierre and Cerebral Ballzy, both played short, forgettable sets.  "Oh dudes, we're so wasted".  Never heard that one before, bros.  

The climax of the show, Ninjasonik, had the middle time slot.  DJ Teenwolf wasn't wearing that funny mask he's sporting in all their videos, but his beard covered most of his face so it was kinda like he was wearing it.  Telli and Rev. McFly/Jah Jah were extremely charismatic while they interacted with the (small) crowd.  Performing their comical, bawdy set, including "Somebody Gonna Get Pregnant","Tight Pants (rap remix), "Art School Girls",  this crew were a blast to take in live.  It wasn't too fluky that their friends Japanther performed (+ cowrote?) the song "Negative Thinking" earlier this week in Ft. Worth.  Both witty versions were pleasing and hopefully true.  They even sampled some Bad Brains and made a fast, riotous remix.  They seemed genuine and unpretentious. 

The show should've ended there.  It didn't.

Totally Michael played afterwards and he totally sucked.  That's probably the 1500th time someone's made that joke but 'tis true.  I saw his shirts said "Get Hype".  Hopefully this dude will just 'get high' and quit playing this contrived high energy karoake bullshit.  Why did he even plug in a guitar?  Oh yeah, it looks cool.  He also probably played the LONGEST set out of the whole night with ridiculously long between-song banter.  

The Death Set do have very talented drummer.  He too was playing to a backing track (filling in lots of other non-live sounds).  The set actually got better a few songs in when the PA and lights went out.  The band was forced to play almost the rest of their set sans Ipod and vocals.  They wasted no time in going into the sing-alongs  "Bombshell"(Operation Ivy) and "Territorial Pissing"(Nirvana).  The soundman fixed the lights and the PA for a few more uninspiring songs.  The Death Set is indubitably not a fitting name and truly misleading.  I had never before heard thier music but i sat threw Totally Shitty Michael to check them out.  oh well....

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Funny Comic

This has been cracking me up for days.  I wish i had more original artwork from Geoffrey Spurgin.  This comic is probably better than most of the shit people put on their walls and call 'art'.  Hopefully he'll give me more funny stuff like this to put up.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wassup Rockers(2005) + Mi Vida Loca[My Crazy Life](1994)

Latino Double Feature

wassup rockers Pictures, Images and Photos

Wassup, Larry Clark?  I probably loved this movie so much because KIDS was my favorite jam back in middle school.  Wassup Rockers is like a West Coast reprise of KIDS set in LA with Latinos(all using their real names) and a more lighthearted tone(no AIDS and/or date-rape).   While a little absurd at times(Clint Eastwood-like figure committing a 187; Janice Dickinson accidentally electrocuted), this day-in-the-life narrative of young, teen skaters is charming.

Mi Vida Loca was loaned to me after i told my brother's (Mexican)girlfriend how much i loved American Me(1992, Edward James Olmos).  "Fuck it, homes...".  

I'm glad she did.  This story of two chicas going to blows over pinche drug dealin' Ernesto is a true Latina chick flick.  Mousie gets loco after her homegirl gets preggers with her man.  What a pendejo.  He gets what's coming to him in an unrelated shooting while dealing drugs during the showdown between his two ladies.  More drug deals, humongous bangs, prison releases, and lowriders keep the story speeding along after this initial tragedy. 

 Salma Hayek and Danny Trejo even have small parts in the film, adding some nice Latin flava'.  Alison Anders had previously directed a movie that featured J. Mascis (Gas, Food Lodging[1992]) and would go on to direct some "Sex in the City" espisodes.  

MI VIDA LOCA Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Japanther, Drug Mountain at 1919 Hemphill 3/17/09

Drug Mountain is a hard act to follow.  I didn't know they had two saxophones in the mix.  Can i get some more sax in my monitor, please?  They played a brutally short set led by Britt's abbrasive groove basslines.  This rhythm section is intense.  Rizz hits those skins hard, whether it's dance-punk or blast-beats.  Brian's screaming was his usual, uh, screaming and Bobby was great even though he was on vocal duties much less.  Likewise, it was tight to see Bobby switch with Rizz on drums for the last song (both briefly pounded the kit together).  Very impressive.   

Japanther played their familiar blend of lo-fi, pop-punk, with cassette tape samples/backing tracks.  There were a couple Ramones and Misfits covers.  One could tell that Japanther really loves playing 1919 Hemphill.  They were praising the community space all through their set. Even though Japanther seemed quiet in comparison to Drug Mountain, they were very enjoyable and entertaining to watch.  

The evening was topped off with a fun trip to the nearby 7-11.  I was able to give change to a bum (wearing a Rush tour shirt from '76)  so he could purchase a can of Steel Reserve.  Then we got free Big Gulps for helping facilitate the line were this dude got jacked outta his spot.  Ahhh, the little things in life....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Twilight Zone-"Long Distance Call" (1961)

The tale of a dead grandmother communicating to her grandson via a toy telephone is absurdly amazing.  Telling him to commit suicide to be with her is even more amazing.  Adding to the creepiness is the fact that you never actually hear the dead granny's voice on the other end of line.  Indeed, very sweet and sentimental if you think about it.  

The videotape (then transfered to film) production makes it a little less enjoyable than most to watch but this is still a wonderful storyline.  Here's the first part of three (see for yourself the weird shots and cheaper production. Good thing they didn't shoot many TZ episodes like this) :

Watchmen (2009)

alan moore Pictures, Images and Photos

It's true what you might have heard;  it is magnificent, fun to watch, appealing to the eye,  a great length... and I'm only talking about Dr. Manhattan's(Billy Crudup) blue, radioactive dick.  

There's not many new releases i give a shit about. Notwithstanding, i have been anticipating this one.  I can't believe it took me a fucking week to see this shit in the theater!  I've enjoyed Watchmen every time i've read it. This immensely creative piece of fiction definitely deserves its status as one of (if not) THE best graphic novels/comic books ever.  I wasn't eager for a film adaptation.  Alan Moore has said himself that he thinks his stories are best enjoyed read in a comfortable chair with a cup of hot coffee.  I agree.  However, this adaptation is admirable.

The cast was almost all unfamiliar faces.  I couldn't quite detach myself from Silk Spectre playing the hosky from the Heartbreak Kid and Harold and Kumar go to White Castle(freakshow's wife).  

As expected,  some things were abridged and changed.  The main plots and overall story were intact, though.  My friends who hadn't read the book said they felt that the characters were weeeeeeeak.  Character development might have suffered.    Probably not in Rorschach or the Comedian's case.  The tale of the Black Freighter subplot was completely omitted. The ending was altered as well but not much.   It packed the same sentiments as the comic.  Bla-owww!!

If you wanna see a good movie go see the Watchmen.  If you feel like reading a really good graphic novel(i hate calling TPB's and comics that) then read the Watchmen.  You don't have to be in to comics to enjoy this one. I think. I'm not sure because i love comics(especially Alan Moore's).   

watchmen Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The French Connection (1971)

This Friedkin film was pretty fun to watch on this cloudy, dreary day. Gene Hackman was fantasatic as 'Popeye' the lead detective. The collateral damage in this movie (including killing his superior) added an exquisite touch. The (obligitory) car chase scene praise is definitely worthy. Good thing he missed that mother and child. Although there is plenty of violence to keep people into that sort of stuff entertained. Right from the get-go, with the french cop getting blasted in the FACE, this movie is charged and nasty.

This movie went great with some french-pressed, dark roasted coffee as well.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Smiths-"Still Ill" (1984)

"Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body? I don't know."  Marvelous.  Moz definitely read The Picture of Dorian Gray a few times, eh?  

Tommyboy at fallout ( disqo disqo 1 year anniv.)

Usual stuff going on at Fallout. Dance music. Pabst Blue Ribbon. 'a lot of new girls' as one of the sleaziest of my friends said.
I really like Tommyboys mixes and this was the 2nd time i've seen him live. Tommyboy lit the place up for me and showed how dissimilar his style is when he played Means to an End (Joy Division) immediately followed by To Hell w/ Poverty (Gang of Four). I'll try to put it out of my memory that i heard Soul II Soul's single Back to Life near the end of the night. This was quite bemusing to me. A shitload of people that i thought were leaving were actually getting onto the dancefloor to boogie down to this detestable 90's hit(technically 1989, whoops). muthafucka, what the fuck?
man i wish there were more DJs or dance nights that played shit like this. Oh well, i guess that's why you should see TB when you get the chance.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Casino (1995)

There could be more use of the words 'muddafucka' and 'jag-off' in this movie, but from the first car explosion to the ultraviolent, bloody beat-down of two brothers at the end, this maelstrom deserves its title as a classic. It had been too long since i had last watched this sweet gangster flick. Feels nice to do something productive on my day off like watch a 3 hour movie on VHS.
The soundtrack blew my mind as well: Rolling Stones(typical), Devo, Nilsson, Roxy Music, Otis Redding. damn.

Definitely Scorsese in Top Form. Good job, Marti.

Casino Pictures, Images and Photos"[sobbing]Dominick,...oh Dominick. He's still breathing....leave 'em alone."

Cut Copy at the granada 3/7/09

cut copy. shit. i should've cut out of the show and copied some New Order cds instead. That would have been more exciting and much less sweaty than seeing this boring dance-pop act. 
        There was just nothing inspiring or exciting about seeing these guys. I heard that they recently opened for Daft Punk's European tour which totally blows my mind.  At one point during the show i looked up and heard layers of sound coming from the PA but the drummer was the only person actually playing anything live. for fucks sake. 
         I'll give them credit for writing a few catchy tunes, however their cd sounds better than their live performance. An hour of that shit was tough to sit through even with a smoke break and 5 beers. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Kool Keith live at the loft 3/6/09

Good thing we showed up around 11 since Kool Kieth didn't go on til after midnight. Sober was dragging his DJ set out for probably longer than even he wanted.  however this gave me some time to chit chat and make a sweet Demolition Man joke to the people i was with that no one got. I thought everyone remembered that sweet '93 sly stallone jam. pepsi. rat burgers. wesley snipes and his sweet dennis rodman do. oh well. back to the show...
     It was nice to see he had kut master kurt DJing. Kurt opened the set with a cheesy 'funky redneck" intro from his solo album "masters of illusion". Then Keith's boy Delt(?) ran on the stage to hype everyone up.  Good thing keith is only rolling with one of these dudes.  
   Keith hit the stage with sunglasses, a sick smoking jacket and a sequined scarf wrapped around his hat. Shit looked tight! After a few old singles from Ultramagnetic MC's he finally proceeded to perform Blue Flowers then Girl Let Me Touch You There off Dr. Octagon. This was the highlight of the set. He played a few more jams with his yes man then went on to perform a few tracks from Dr. DOOOM; Apt. 223 and You Live at Home with Your Moms. He played a few more off of Black Elvis/Lost in Space such as Livin Astro and Clifton mixed in with various other typical keith shit including a medley of many hit choruses. (I would've rather heard the song No Chorus off of Mathew).  It was amazing when he invited the ladies on stage to dance to Sex Styles. That was entertaining. I love to see girls get freaky to song with the lines "they dogs drink my piss" in it.  He brilliantly ended the set with an awesome version of 'I don't believe you' adding verses such as,"you say you pregnant". hilarious.  Keith played for almost an hour and it was a pretty solid show overall. Glad i got the hookup on that ticket, too.
Kool Keith Pictures, Images and Photos