Monday, June 30, 2008
Teaser for The Search for Weng Weng (Flash Video 01:00) - a documentary by Andrew Leavold. More at The Search for Weng Weng. "...Leavold's latest feature is a guerrilla documentary shot in Manila - The Search For Weng Weng (2007) is the ultimate history of Filipino B-films, and chronicles Leavold's obsessive quest to find the truth behind the midget James Bond of the Philippines."
Sunday, June 29, 2008
One of my all-time favorite albums is “Car Radio Jerome” by the Rev. Fred Lane and the Hittite Hotshots, so finding a link on Mutant Sounds to a 1975 concert emceed by the Rev. himself (with Ron ‘Pate’s Debonairs) is a very good thing, and contains his anti-lounge versions of "My Kind of Town" and "Volare" (which makes reference to cream of celery soup, which I'm not sure I remember from the Dean Martin version of the song).
The album also has some other odd and interesting tracks, including “The Shemp Howard Story” and “Concerto for Active Frogs”, with croaks a-plenty. Info galore about the concert can be found here.
And as a bonus, in the comments on the blog there’s a reference to the album’s similarity to the music of one Hot Thumbs O’Riley (an alter ego of one of the members of Wigwam—the Finnish band Wigwam NOT to be confused with the Norwegian glam rock band Wig Wam, OK??), which of course I HAD to own, and located here, on Direct Waves.
Here's some classic country drinkin' music from Uncle Gil's Rockin' Archives, worth the price of admission for the cover alone. Oh and the song "Squaws Along the Yukon" has the memorable line "There's a salmon colored girl who sets my heart a-whirl"....
Saturday, June 28, 2008
"1966 – “Dracula – Prince of Darkness” – Colony Theatre – White Plains, New York
Talk about traumatic? God damn you Sebastian for resurrecting the demons that surround this experience! You will rot in hell and I’ll send you a bill for the therapy that is bound to ensue after recounting the tale of my first cinema experience.
Must have been the spring or summer of 1966. As I remember it, my father was taking a breather from his regular Saturday routine of slamming Ballantyne Ales, watching the Wide World of Sports and devouring jars of pickled hot peppers. Probably was weary of the demolition derby repeats. It’s my guess that selling life insurance five days a week to a bunch of suburban drones would have that effect on any self-respecting dad.
In any case, he decided that this Saturday afternoon he would break the mold. Branch out and take little Johnny to the movies. I can picture him know perusing the local newspaper and seeing the listings. Born Free, The Singing Nun, A Man for All Seasons or
Dracula: Prince of Darkness!!!
“This is a no-brainer”, I would imagine him thinking to himself. Leave the puff flicks to Mom and my little sister.
Shit, I’m game! Just turned 9 and dad is gonna take his only son to the movies. Quality time with the old man! I’m in all my glory. I’d been bugging his ass to take me to the movies for over a year to no avail.
We jump into the 1961 Chevy Impala and head off to the Colony Theatre in downtown White Plains. I’m jacked up. Dad and a “mongster” flick (always had a problem with the monster pronunciation). Dracula at that! Visions of Bela Lugosi dancing in my head messing with some unsuspecting twerp in a castle in Transylvania and coming back from the grave.
We enter the Colony. Jaysus! This place is huge. The velvet red curtains. The ornate ceiling design. The ushers in frickin tuxes. The smell of fresh popcorn and real butter.
I distinctly remember the feeling of sitting my skinny ass into that plush velvet seat and watching the curtains unfold as the movie was about to start. Better than any subsequent chemically induced rush. Magic.
Music rolls, lights dim and credits roll. “Christopher Lee as Dracula”. Wait a second. Where the fuck is Bela Lugosi? What is this shit?
Right out of the gate I know I’m in a deep night terror shitbox.
Ninety minutes later I’m a fucking mess. Spikes driven into the hearts of Dracula’s ever-increasing harem. Technicolor blood spurting from gaping wounds to the heart! Live burials. Limbs severed. No Bela!
The fight that ensued upon arriving home was epic. Mom was hysterical and supremely pissed off. Her only son was refusing to go to the bathroom without a string of garlic around his neck and insisting that every door in the home be opened in five-minute intervals to check for Chris Lee’s presence. I don’t believe I slept for a week.
It was only a matter of time before Dad flew the coop. Gone. In my naïve mind it was the Hammer Films blood fest that was the root cause. In reality it was most likely the blond at the local pharmacy but I didn’t figure that shit out until much later in life.
In any event, I will now commence to digest massive quantities of alcohol and drugs to forget this shit. The therapy bill is forthcoming, Sebastian. Thanks for the memories"
Note: Click label: "My First Visit to the Movies", to read more first-movie-stories.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Check out the Living Legend, thanks to Soundweave. Read the tragic story of James "Baby Huey" Ramey here.
Allen is an old friend that I've known since I was in high school. One of my older brothers had an apartment next to Allen's in an old building in downtown Lexington. Allen introduced me to Frank Zappa. Allen is my supplier when it comes to old records, books, comics, figurines, toys, etc. He's a yard sale junkie... though, he likes to call himself a "rummage rodent." He finds out what you are into and then looks for it every weekend at yard and estate sales. He shops for many folks around town. He also runs a couple of stuffed-to-the-gills booths at a local flea market. Allen is extremely well-read... especially when it comes to world history.
He's an odd bird.. but an extremely nice guy.
The totally crazed ending to Dead Or Alive (1999, directed by Takashi Miike, Flash Video 07:56).
Here is your weekly SwaG!, the radio program of Bat Guano.
It began as the usual SwaG! for the first hour. And the Green Slime was without incident... and then Mr. Guano decided to comment on this story, “Recording Industry Decries AM-FM Broadcasting as ‘A Form of Piracy.’”
It would seem that the RIAA would like radio disk jockeys to stop playing music for free. You know -- promoting songs, giving artists exposure. It is a stunning reversal from their traditional practice of payola.
The Dr. (of the following program “Rock and/or Roll”) had to clean the mic off.
If you wish to hear Bat Guano rant, or just want to hear his unique mix of punk rock and ragtime hits, go here. You will also be tempted to steal (listen to, for free) the radio program, but don't do that.
Sebastian, I think we've finally found the new PCL HQ.
Inside Hollywood's "Wolf's Lair"
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Anti-war poster, published 1967
"Tomi Ungerer’s work, along with that of a handful of others, might rightly be considered to not only embody the design style of the 60’s and 70’s, but to have played a central part in that style’s ascendence. Throughout those decades Mr. Ungerer’s work was everywhere, encompassing everything from politics and commercial concerns to erotic publications and children’s books. He was prolific, and in no realm more so than in that of the poster. .."
Jaime, The Nonist found the 1971 book "The Poster Art of Tomi Ungerer". He has scanned and uploaded a "small sampling" for our viewing pleasure. Nice.
The Hi-Five "Did You Have To Rub It In?"
Found at Funky Junk Trunk, where many interesting videos seem to dwell.
Lips Page sings the praises of his pawn broker, in the 1949 recording of "I've Got an Uncle in Harlem" It's available for download here, along with songs by Cab Calloway, Slim & Slam (not Bam), Buck & Bubbles, and Pearl Bailey with Jackie "Moms" Mabley--all part of the "Stars of the Apollo" compilation.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
movies seen at incredible theaters like the Ziegfeld and the Coolidge
Corner and the Brattle ... many Saturday nights in the late 1970s and
early 80s at the drive-in in Massachusetts ... but my first movie
memory is one of sheer exhaustion, heat, and disappointment.
I'm not sure what movie it was - a revival showing of "Mary Poppins"
or perhaps "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" but it was the early 1970s and
it was very warm and sunny. One of my teenage aunts volunteered to
take us for the afternoon and my mother dropped my brother and I off
at the local "Route 3 Cinema." What my mother didn't realize was that
on a hot Saturday afternoon, every parent in town was doing the same
thing. We waited in line for tickets only to have the ticket window
close without even getting nearer. What to do?
My aunt decided the best thing, after endless phone-booth calls to my
mother who hadn't returned home (or did, and was enjoying the empty
apartment) was to walk home with us. A mile. With a 5 year old and a
three year old. Not only were we exhausted and thirsty, I knew that on
Monday everyone would be talking about the movie, and redheaded
(step)child that I was, I'd be left out - again.
Maybe that's why movies played and continue to play such an important
part of my life - I think I made a secret vow to never again miss a
movie. I once feigned illness to stay home and watch "The Bad Seed"
on TV and when I lived in Cambridge, MA, went to the Brattle Theater
at least three times a week. Between my Netflix and movies I've
tivo'd, I couldn't watch all of the movies I want unless I was out of
work (which I am, quite a few times a year.)"
I remember a huge, crowded theater, and an especially huge screen. How huge is hard to say, given that I was five... er, seven. There was a huge number of kids in the audience (go figure), all fairly rowdy, and I remember my parents forbidding us (my brother and I) from joining in the rowdiness. I didn't see why, being a kid, I shouldn't join in the kid-like behavior, but it was not for me to question. My mom and dad had assured us this would be a magical and memorable time, and such build-up, it turned out, was unnecessary--the movie remains the most incredible, and incredibly engrossing, movie experience of my life, in spite of the fact that the movie ceased to have such an effect starting, oh, thirty years ago.
Poppins practically transported its kiddie audience into the screen with the cast, cartoon characters, stop-motion effects, and the magnificent numbers–it was spooky. I remember banging on the screen, yelling "Let me out! Let me out!" (Another memory burp, I’m guessing.) And I remember post-movie "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" pronouncing contests at school. I had it down to a science. I think I could even say it backwards. I was pretty full of myself.
Theater smells, I don't remember. I don't even remember the food portion of the visit, though we must have had popcorn and pop–we were flag-fearing Americans, after all. Problem is, my food and olfactory memories have always been limited, and I don't know why. But I fondly remember the non-stop, delightful action in the movie, and I remember fighting back tears when Mary Poppins left the family. A number of kids in the audience flat-out lost it, but I worked hard to avoid their example, probably hoping my parents would be impressed by my maturity.
I rewatched the film, shortly after, with my best friend Teddy and his family, who had recently moved to Toledo, Ohio from England. I don't remember if this was still the first run, or if it was a second run the next year. (Thanks, memory.) I do remember feeling pretty damn smart having seen it already--I was a Mary Poppins vet. Teddy’s parents were not impressed by Disney's version of England, even given that it was a kid’s film. Teddy, on the other hand, was as uncritically absorbed in the film's magic as me.
Julie Andrews, of course, seemed like an old woman to my naive eyes. She was a grown-up, after all, and I had no ability, at seven, to judge age outside of a few months of my own. Several years back, I saw Poppins on TV, and elderly nanny Julie struck me as a very attractive young lady. The film’s magic had long since left the building, but such films aren’t made for old folks.
Naturally, I couldn’t help wondering what age my seven-year-old self would have assigned to Old Lee.
Now that I semi-remember it, Pinocchio (a re-release, of course) may have been my first movie experience, but the images are so fuzzy, I can't be sure. No, I take that back--I vividly remember being frightened silly by the thing. And I remember asking my dad to explain the difference between animated movies and real life--as in, what were they. Which was a normal kid-type question, and not cause to take me to a shrink. But they did, anyway.
Just kidding. I think.... "
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
"Woman driving south at 38 mph on La Cienaga Boulevard near the Beverly Center, Los Angeles, at 1:49 p.m. on a weekday in March 1997"
Secondly, am I the only one who sees more than a passing resemblance to Nancy Sinatra?
the Percy Trout hour
from all over the Globe!
Download another show from the Archives
(this one from 2-25-08):
Get it here.
"I don't remember it. I was too little. One might even think why the hell was he even in the movies at that age? Couldn't they get a babysitter? Or were they just well intended, but missing the mark?
Hell, regarding mistakes, I can remember trying to drag my daughter into a haunted house at Hallowe'en one year thinking it would be fun, but I heard about the foyer of the place (as far as we got) for the next four years from her every subsequent Hallowe'en). Eesh.
So Sebastian asks, "We're you scared?" To which all I can say is, "Fuck yeah! Brother, that's all I can remember!" (Well- not quite)
So, uh let's talk about my terror (don't worry, there's a happy ending):
The first film that I want to talk about giving me a, for lack of a better expression, shivering shit fit is Francis of Assisi
directed by the venerable Michael Curtiz, responsible for Mildred Pierce, Casablanca, Captain Blood, and We're No Angels. His mise en scene was the best bar none in the history of cinema, but that didn't reeeally mean anything to the little Lex10.
It was the scene shown below where a soldier shoves a torch into the face of the woman. A torch in the face!!! A t-o-r-c-h, torch! Worse yet, they pull the torch away and show the woman's burned face!!!!Yaaaa!!!!!! I spent the rest of the movie, worrying that they'd torch another woman, except briefly in one part when I got to contemplate how if you're really good, really, really in touch with god, - you'll bleed out your hands and feet! Fuck! I thought, "Ya can't win!" No wonder I lied in my first confession....
Actually, the next SSF*, I think, happened before Francis of Assisi- it was a re-release of Snow White. The imagery in the clip below should help, and the fact that this clip is in Danish doesn't lessen the small-child-fear triggers. This affected me so badly, that I had to be taken out to the lobby, where I failed to be comforted for quite a while.
My mother was so upset by the incident, she wrote a letter to Walt Disney accusing him of getting his jollies this way.......
*Shiverin' Shit Fit
The next flash of movie that I cannot pinpoint as my first, also comes under the "Should they have taken me?" heading, but if you asked me then I would have said "YEAH!"
Yipe. Yipety yipe yipe. There were more tremors than on just my pallid little brow, I can tell you. Like in my man-basement. I couldn't believe that there were theatres you could go to watch women take off their clothes!! That was like, my favorite thing, unclothed women, as our well thumbed Montgomery Ward catalog would have stood testament to. Plus, kinda the polar opposite of Francis.
"Enough" I can hear Sebastian saying. What, to me emotionally is my first real movie? I went to a matinee at the Menlo Park Mall. I walked in and the walls were bathed in blue light. Not just blue Yves Kline Blue - it fucking radiated anticiaption. The air was cool, and scented with popcorn, and I was a little man on his own at the pictures:
A Hard Day's Night-
I couldn't believe I was seeing this movie, with its black and white, reel upon reel of meaningless running and posing (whatn the fuck was going on?) English slang, itchy wool coats and song after song after song. I still get a weird chill when I see it, and I'm not even a Beatles nerd.
All I knew was, when I walked out of that theatre, I wanted to be one."
Note: Click label: "My First Visit to the Movies", to read more first-movie-stories.
The problem with blogs that have been around a while is that download links expire. What if you had been feverishly searching for this classic version of "Stand By Your Man" by Wendy O. Williams and Lemmy only to arrive to the January 2006 entry on this blog and get "file not found" on all three links??? Bedlam would no doubt ensue.
Well, through the magic of redundancy, you now have a second chance! Here's a link to the song at The Devil's Music, or just have a listen below.
P.S. I don't think Wendy stood by her man very long, after all.
P.P.S. She's wearing projectile pasties that cover the badness, so I expect my record cover to remain black bar-less, Mr. Dante Fontana.
Originally uploaded by PopKulture
Your kiddies will squeal with delight when you give them the "Bing Crosby Coloring Book".
"I call dibs on coloring his pipe!"
"I get to do his golf clubs!"
"I get to color the picture of him beating the kids with a bag of oranges!"
Monday, June 23, 2008
"Attached photos of a small village cinema in Pitsea, Essex. that I used to frequent as a child. They had a wonderful Childrens Matinee Club ( you even got a badge!) back in the 50's and 60's. In the B&W photo you see it in its heyday and today its sad new role as a Bingo Hall - the fate of so many old cinema's in the U.K.. ( The one in Northwich is also a Bingo emporium despite being a beautiful old listed building )."
"The first film I ever saw was probably elsewhere but here was my first real interactive cinema experiance with all those kids screaming and shouting for the heroes and villians and the sound of sweets,bubblegum, sherbet dabs, gob stoppers and fizzy pop being slurped, sucked, gurgled and used as a projectile! The clean up afterwards must have taken an army of usherettes all afternoon to clear the debris of wrappers, boxes and bottles.
The wonderful films included all the old favourites- Abbott & Costello, Laurel & Hardy, Wizard of Oz, Roy Rogers, Robin Hood, Pirates, Cowboys and Aliens. Also with a feature film came a weekly serial like Captain Marvel, Batman ( when he was rather chubby and in black and white!) Captain Video and Rocket man. Those Republic serials from the 50's were wonderful and made a big impression at the time as we'd rush home to make our own ray gun from cardboard or a sword from an old bamboo cane etc. a pillow case for a cape and utility belt from Dad's old braces!"
Note: Click label: "My First Visit to the Movies", to read more first-movie-stories.
I have many memories of going to the movies as a young child, but none stronger or stranger than sitting in the then modern Cerberus Theater in Washington, D.C. in the winter of 1973. Like many children of the seventies, I was obsessed with UFOs and space aliens. My exposure to the notion of malevolent beings from other worlds came mostly from television (episodic and old movies). Most of the aliens, of course, were ridiculous—the “vegetable people” from one particularly absurd Lost in Space re-run being exhibit ‘A.’ “Oh, the pain,” as Dr. Smith would say. But more intimidating and trippy space monsters were in my future.
One day my mother, who is Ivy League-educated and very highbrow (more highbrow than I could ever hope to be) decided to take me to a movie that was so bizarre it still induces occasional flashbacks in my pop culture cluttered brain. It was French director Rene Laloux’s animated space opera Fantastic Planet (aka La Planete Savage or The Savage Planet) and for a kid used to the terrible animation of Top Cat, Speed Racer and Josie and the Pussycats it was a visual revelation. In my mind, I can still see the giant blue creatures tormenting the subjugated human-like characters (hey, was this some sort of allegory?).
I recall the film as being especially violent and especially French. Indeed, the language barrier (the subtitles were a definite problem for me) and the lack of an American hero to root for turned the movie into something that had to be endured rather than enjoyed. Although the movie’s running time seemed endless in 1973, I now know it was only 72 minutes long. But I sat there politely and let the unsettling images wash over me. On the ride home to the suburbs in our big clunking Buick, all I could think of were those enormous blue aliens with their bug eyes and their unholy dominion over the little people. It was a comfort to get back to the house and regress back to the simple awfulness of American cartoons.
One of the reasons I think Fantastic Planet had such an impact on me is because it was a unique experience – not unlike a visit from a UFO. No other kid in my acquaintance had a parent who would have thought of exposing their child to such an avant-garde film. And when I attempted to describe it to my classmates, they thought I was making it up. It was as if the whole thing never happened.
A little later in my young childhood, my mother took me to well-reviewed-but-still-R-rated movies like White Dawn, Between the Lines and Alien. Our gossipy, holier-than-thou neighbors were horrified, but if it weren’t for my mother exposing me to these kinds of movies in my youth, I doubt I would have started venturing out on my own to the great D.C. revival theaters like the Circle, the Biograph and the AFI to see classics like The Long Goodbye, Double Indemnity and the earlier, funnier Woody Allen movies. And without all this formative cinematic exposure, I doubt I’d be seeing films like 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days and The Lives of Others and My Winnipeg today. No telling what the neighbor kids my age are watching now, but odds are they consider Juno pretty edgy. "
"First movie for me was "Gone with the Wind" at
the long-demolished Arden Theater on Long Beach Blvd
(across the street from the Fotomat) in my home town
of Lynwood, CA - I was about 7 years old.
It was a Saturday matinee and a friend and I
were dropped off at the theater and basically ran
amuck up and down from the balcony and then
straight down the main aisle.
Don't remember anything about the movie
and haven't bothered to watch it to this day.
My friend later became the main popular entertainment
reporter for Channel 7 here in LA, so I guess ya never know...
Shortly thereafter I saw a short string of movies at
the Arden..."The Maltese Bippy" (Rowan and Martin
and Carol Lynley) and "Rascal" starring the great
Billy Mumy which is about the friendship between a boy
and his faithful-yet-unpredictable adorable raccoon.
Oh and can't forget "Caprice" starring the puzzling
Doris Day - nice Technicolor imagery and many stunts!
My sisters probably dragged me to these flicks
and dropped me off and met up with boyfriends outside.
After all, it was the Swingin' (and eventually disastrous) 60s!
More interesting are my drive-in movie experiences
of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Our local venue
was the Rosecrans Drive-In Theater (now an ugly Wal-Mart)
where I was lucky enough to see a double bill of
"War of the Gargantuas" and "Monster Zero" and
later on saw several of the "Planet of the Apes" movies
as well as a few of those killer rat movies ("Willard" etc)
And can't forget "Death Race 2000",
"Rocky" and "Jaws" much, much later on.
The Rosecrans Drive-In also had one of those really big
slides where fun-seekers could whiz gleefully down on
a waxed blanket and then throw up and pass out.
We lost our last Drive-In here in Long Beach 15 years ago
(Los Altos Drive-In) where I saw my last ever drive-in movie.
It was a crummy movie called "Freejack" starring Mick Jagger
and Emilio Estevez. It's only saving grace is that David Johansen
is in it. Like all crummy movies, it was set in the future.
We were never much of a movie-going family,
preferring to simply watch a lot of bad TV. However,
one of my fondest latter day movie experiences
was watching "Food of the Gods" with my dad.
In "Food of the Goods" Ida Lupino and Marjoe Gortner
are hassled by really big rodents and eventually everything
is destroyed in a flood and they all live happily ever after.
Even better is "Food of the Gods 2" (AKA "Gnaw") where
millions of rats attack and hurt and kill a whole college campus
and then everything explodes and catches fire. "
Note: Click label: "My First Visit to the Movies", to read more first-movie-stories.
2 years ago I invited people to sniff the vinyl of their favorite record.
The post (and the tales of the sniffers) turned out to be a very fun and interesting one.
Now I have invited friends and cool cats for a new assignemet.
What I wanted to hear about this time was: "My first visit to the movies"
I asked people to tell a little about their first (memorable) visit to a movie theater or cinema.
What film was it? Popcorn? Was there a trailer? Who were you going with? What did the theater look like? How were the seats? How was the smell? Were you scared? Did you have to leave for the restrooms in the middle of the show?
the Percy Trout hour:
Monday Night (6-23-08)
8pm to 10pm EST-USA
We don't need to tell you what her biggest hit was.
Various members of the Kalamazoo, Mich., music community began obsessing over Gail Martin. Is she a "rock and roll Carol King"? Is she really rocking, or more soft-rocking, yacht-rocking?
So New Real People, a trio of musicians from the bands The Sinatras, Forutne and Maltese, The Seleestacks, Goldstar, and a brief reunion of the hardcore group Violent Apathy embarked on a project to capture the magic. They "covered" Martin's big hit, "Tarzana Nights," a wistful slice of '70s soft rock and quiet thunder. Literal thunder -- but it's soft thunder from storms of glistening passion that have damply receded into the past.
You can hear the magic here.
The Comics Curmudgeon raves, "...New Real People, has recorded the definitive version of Tarzana Nights for the twenty-first century."
Here is Fortune and Maltese, late 1967, Kalamazoo, featuring two who would become New Real People in a short 40 years:
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Fritz Lang, 1928 (Found in the gallery for Visual & Performing Artists) & Adrah Fair (Found in the E. O. Hoppé section of Vernacular Photography)
[Click images for enlargement at source]
'Open air cafe, Bombay, 1929' (Found in the gallery for "The Face of Mother India", 1935)
[Click image for enlargement at source]
E. O. Hoppé - photographer: galleries. (sort of via Vintage Photographs)