Never Say Never…

A few weeks ago, I was talking to someone about my musical tastes, which mainly consist of “alternative” bands from the 80’s and early 90’s. I said, with great sadness, that hardly nobody I listened to tours anymore. I also expressed my sadness that The Jesus And Mary Chain, the band that introduced me to music that wasn’t top 40 crap, had broken up and would never tour again (they were also my first concert).

Now, I’ve just peered out from under my musical rock and see that not only have they reunited, they are playing the Coachella festival (and Scarlett Johansson has sung with them). This gives new hope to my old nostalgic ass. Hopefully if they tour they’ll swing by Florida’s way. Maybe I can catch them again, and maybe I can wear one of my old JAMC t-shirts….

Maybe not. That WAS over 100 pounds ago. Never mind the shirt.

Yay!  Grumpy Scottish brothers return!!

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Published in: on April 30, 2007 at 7:15 pm  Comments (4)  

Our YouTube Weekend

My wife and I are still sick. We spent the weekend huddled together in front of the computer in a Vicks vapo-rub haze, breathing through our mouths. What did we do all that time? We watched YouTube, the greatest time-killer of all.

We laughed: if you’ve ever played “Metal Gear Solid” on the original PlayStation, you’ll probably appreciate “Metal Gear Awesome”. And we spent half of our weekend watching funny animal clips.

We cried: she discovered a series of two videos of some asshole beating a dog to death! It was muzzled and at the end of a short leash and this guy was just killing it. The second video just showed the dog as it died, quivering in a pool of it’s own blood. This outraged us, and Annie took steps to get this monster taken off YouTube completely. It’s just a shame we couldn’t have gotten our hands on him…

And

We scratched our heads in utter bewilderment: we found videos by
this guy. Be warned: it’s very weird, and if you take it upon yourself to watch more of his videos, it only gets stranger. As one YouTube commenter put it: “If this guy doesn’t scream ‘Buffalo Bill’ from Silence Of The Lambs, I don’t know what does”.

Published in: on April 30, 2007 at 4:26 pm  Comments (3)  

“I’m postig frob home, today,” he said aloud as he typed, his nose steadily dripping on the keyboard.

Sucks. Here I am, no one breathing down my neck, with all the time in the world to post, and the blogger in me has gone dry. I have no idea what to do, besides watch TV and groan every now and then. The wife’s at work, the animals are all napping, and here I sit, bored and being boring.

Ah, well. Time for a Nyquilada. Ta.

P.S. Ever blow your nose and play “inkblot test” with the tissue?

…What, too gross?

Published in: on April 26, 2007 at 6:55 pm  Comments (3)  

Pulped Out (And Hopped Up On Goofenthol, And Rambling About James Bond)

So, I watched “The Good Shepherd” this weekend with my wife and in-laws.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZ….

I’m just exaggerating. It was a pretty good movie, despite it’s slow pace (although, I think I was the only one who liked it). I guess it was a realistic spy movie in that respect. The spies in this movie were pencil-pushers behind their desks, not James Bond in a jumpsuit repelling down the side of a volcano lair.

Bringing me to this: I’m burnt out on the pulps. I couldn’t get through “The Sea Magician” (Doc Savage), although I will come back to it to finish it. I have this problem with staying with one thing for too long, even if it’s my beloved Shadow books. I feel like I start to stagnate a little and if I make myself read something I don’t feel like reading, I start to not like it. And so, I’m taking short a hiatus from pulps.

(more…)

Published in: on April 24, 2007 at 4:25 pm  Comments (8)  

The Return of The Mucinex Bastard

Monday. Busy. And getting sick again.

Mucinex bastard!

I hate that sumbitch!

And, for no reason other than it makes me smile, I’ve got a whale of a tale to tell you lads…

Published in: on April 23, 2007 at 7:36 pm  Comments (2)  

CANADIANS: Now’s The Time To Bomb The Baldwins!

Dummy

Alec Baldwin… Tsk tsk tsk…

I liked you for far longer than I should have. You were cool back in “Hunt For Red October”, a stone-cold killer in that movie with Demi Moore (the name escapes me). You made “The Shadow”, and although I think you would’ve made a better Harry Vincent, I was OK with your Lamont Cranston. You were one of the funniest hosts on Saturday Night Live (I always made it a point to watch when you were on). Even when you made the news for your tirades on Letterman, your assault on paparazzi, your tantrums on stage, your publicized fights with your ex-wife Kim Basinger: I still liked you in spite of myself.

Now look what you’ve gone and done. That’s your kid, man. I just can’t excuse that. Pretty sad. I was willing to like you when you were just a nut-job; but I can’t excuse an abusive asshole nut-job.

Douche.

Okay, Canadians. Drop your bombs on the Baldwin compound.

(I hate it when a celebrity I admire falls from grace. What’s next? Harrison Ford beating baby seals to get an erection?)

Published in: on April 19, 2007 at 6:27 pm  Comments (5)  

“Mr. Wentworth’s Make-Up Is By Lon Chaney; Wardrobe By Mr. Lamont’s Of New York”

Sitting here, enoying my 4:30 PM breakfast of an everything bagel, veggie spread, and coffee (mmm… coffee), I think I’ve come to a point as a fan of pulp magazines that I can admit this:

I don’t see what the big deal is about The Spider.

There, I said it.

I mean, I’ll read a Spider story. Were I to find one at the bookstore, of course I’d buy it; it IS a hero pulp after all. And he does look cool in the stories, kind of a hunchbacked, Phantom of the Opera thing.

The Spider, as he's SUPPOSED to look...

But still…

I dunno. I’ve only read one so far, maybe it was a bad one. It was called, originally, “Prince Of The Red Looters”, a far more original sounding title than “Master Of Death”, which was what the paperback reprint named it. (“Master Of Death”, by the way, is the title of only about 475,000 pulp story titles.) I don’t remember a whole lot about it. It rambled a bit, and I thought it was unusual that the “Spider garb” wasn’t worn a whole lot by Richard Wentworth in the story. I remember a sword fight between The Spider and a criminal who called himself “The Fly” (did he call himself that just because it completes the whole spider vs. fly thing?). I remember New York under gas attack, while gas-masked thugs dropped down on ropes from a zeppelin to loot a bank. Hell, for that scene alone I should have loved this story.

But for some reason, it just didn’t “click” for me. It seems like so many pulp aficianados worship the ground that The Spider walks on. Maybe it’s because the ultra-violent nature of the character appeals to a more modern audience, weaned on the more violent action movies and such. Surely, the torture / menace evident in the stories have descendants in modern “horror” movies like the “Saw” series and “Hostel”, and Wentworth had some identity issues, presaging Batman’s by a few years. Maybe the plots don’t do it for me. I love the Chinese-box construction of Walter Gibson’s Shadow stories (with their layers of identity and secret plots within plots), the rollicking pre-Indiana Jones adventure yarns in Lester Dent’s Doc Savage stories. I’ve heard that Norvell Page’s stories in The Spider were not long on plot or mystery, but full of crazy, frenetic action. I don’t dislike The Spider, but he’s not on the top of my list. He’s cool and all, but it’s not my bag, baby.

Then again, that zeppelin scene was pretty bad-ass…

Published in: on April 18, 2007 at 6:54 pm  Comments (2)  

Newsflash: Mondays Suck

Mondays suck. Too busy to post.

Here. Watch this video and get creeped out.

Man, I thought it was bad when Buffalo Bill sang that song in “Silence Of The Lambs”.

(Shudder)

Published in: on April 16, 2007 at 5:21 pm  Comments (4)  

I Can’t Hum Along To This!

Is it just me, or has there not been a good, rip-roaring, hummable, almost pop-hit quality movie score in a long time?

When I was a kid, my aunt bought me the soundtrack for “The Empire Strikes Back”, and it became my first favorite album. I knew it like the back of my hand, and still know large portions of it. The rollicking adventure, the fascistic bombast of the Imperial March, the soft-focus love theme… It’s a work of musical storytelling genius.

I didn’t catch “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” for a long time, but “Temple Of Doom” introduced me to the Indiana Jones theme. To me this is the perfect adventure theme. Strong, determined, with a hint of over-cocky swagger, it’s Indy personified. John Williams is a genius, if only for these two works alone.

But my soundtrack fandom doesn’t stop there. Danny Elfman carved a niche with his quirky tunes. From the funhouse-gone-mad “Beetlejuice” score to the midnight-black danger of “Batman” to the sorrowful revenge-fantasy that perfectly describes “Darkman”, he quickly rose in the ranks of score composers and earned several places in my “soundtracks” collection.

The last new, wonderful movie score that came out (that I can think of, at least) was James Horner’s score for “The Rocketeer”. Of particular note is the beautiful first track (“Main Title / Takeoff”)You know that he hit a goldmine when movie studios still use that track in trailers and previews. It’s really good stuff.

I haven’t heard anything from movies in a loooong time that makes me hum it for days, making me want to go out and buy the soundtrack. There’s some good scores out there, granted (the Lord Of The Rings movies had good stuff), but nothing really sticks. The days of really good film scores seem at an end for me, and these days, soundtracks are chock full of “flavor of the minute” pop and rock bands.

PS: Can someone tell me why the producers of 1994’s “The Shadow” saw fit to put a Taylor Dane pop-song on the soundtrack, and Kenny G. music in the Cobalt Club scene? Ugh.

Published in: on April 12, 2007 at 7:02 pm  Comments (8)  

A Little Help, Please?

I need a favor from anybody who visits my blog. It’s simple: I need to know if you guys can see the links in my posts. For example, in my latest post below (“As If Doc Savage Wasn’t Aryan Enough…”), the words “Sun Koh” and “the Nazi version of Doc Savage” are links. Can you tell just by looking? I like the format of this template, but the links should be in a drastically different color than the regular text, or at least underlined or highlighted automatically. What say you, people? Should the Dummy make the move to yet another blog template or what?

Gimme some feedback please, I’m dyin’ out here!

Published in: on April 11, 2007 at 8:40 pm  Comments (5)