Monday, November 29, 2004

First thing I see as I walk out of the apartment today is a street person with a blanket wrapped around himself burqua-style singing "Ballad of a Thin Man." Was he singing at me? Am I Mr. Jones? Am I supposed to curse myself for being a cog in the machine? Am I supposed to wanta trade places with him? Well, I don't.

Monday, November 22, 2004

For the past several years, my only birthday wish has been to enjoy a period of overindulgence without guilt or judgement, and this go-round was no different. Manhattans, loud music, pornographic gore and as many bong hits as necessary ... while this doesn't differ at all from what I want on a regular basis (I've had plenty of fine Tuesday nights with all the same ingredients), it's the suspension of good sense that's most important, letting myself go without worrying about the precious time I'm wasting in the bargain.

Lori and I had a fine time for my birthday, but this year's bacchanale did start feeling a bit perfunctory as the day wore on. By mid-afternoon I was bleary, satiated, too loaded to "do" anything but also beyond the transcendence that drugs and alcohol can provide in certain perfect moments. Still, I gorged myself on steak, shrimp and crab and watched a stack of movies WITHOUT TAKING NOTES, which was a pleasure in itself.

I got lucky at the video store, scoring a copy of NEW YEAR'S EVIL, a film I've been seeking for some time ... if anyone remembers Pinky Tuscadero, that same actress plays a "new wave" DJ who becomes the target of a psycho, yeah, yeah, ho-hum I know, but the phony Quincy-punk trappings are quite sublime. ISLAND OF BLOOD (aka WHODUNIT?) was also just quizzical enough to work, but the big one was NIGHT WARNING, which features the brilliant Susan Tyrell in a mind-boggling performance as Jimmy McNichol's murderous, sex-starved aunt. Check that one out as soon as possible, I swear to God ...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Friday, November 19, 2004

PSF Interview: Terry Knight

Terry Knight was murdered earlier this month by his daughter's boyfriend. Why wouldn't this make national news? I sure didn't hear anything about it up here in the Great White North.

Knight has a checkered reputation, but without him Grand Funk Railroad would never have made it out of Flint, Michigan and Bloodrock wouldn't have had a Top-40 hit about a gruesome airplane accident. Good taste was not his strong point (the interview above briefly discusses the "apple pie" album cover too) but he's always been an intriguing character, so dig it.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

As my 37th year approaches without significant fanfare, I find that I'm looking forward to advanced age more than any point since my 21st birthday. When I was young, like grade school young, I used to believe that 40 was probably the best age anyone could be. My idea of a "cool guy" back then was Bing Crosby (actually, that's still my idea of a "cool guy"), and even goofball adults like Jerry Lewis and Abbott & Costello seemed to be having a lot of fun in their mature years. I wanted the Monkees lifestyle (constant hijinx, rocknroll and a house full of toys and costumes), but the concept of being a young adult was hazy to me, and I couldn't quite conceive of someone being neither a school-bound child nor a family-saddled adult. So I figured that one way or another, by time a guy got to be 40, hell, he'd have it made. No way would his mom still boss him around, he'd definitely have some kind of cool job like acting or astronauting, and the broads, well broads love old guys, just check out how Dorothy Lamour couldn't keep her hands off those two prune-faces in the "Road" movies. By the time I hit 40, I'd be wearing awesome pinstripe suits every day, guest-star on chat programs and variety shows and have about $7,000 in the bank (which was as much money as I could conceive of at the time).

I guess it could still happen ... the broads started digging me a lot earlier than I imagined and even if I had a great suit I wouldn't wear it unless it was tailored out of denim. But I could still use seven grand in the bank (with my current credit limit I could spend that much pretty easily, so that ain't bad) and the whole "cool job" thing still taunts me on the horizon. I'm no optimist, but the idea that maybe I was right back in fifth grade is a notion that keeps me floating fairly evenly lately. It's unlikely that I'll regain my status as a youth revolution leader any time soon (although my seminal psychedelic manifesto THE WORLD IS DOOMED YEAH YEAH YEAH, a bestseller back in 1991, still commands some nice coin on Ebay) but what the hell ...
Check out the fine Midwestern hardcore here ... THE PROCESS OF ELIMINATION

Monday, November 15, 2004

Portable Turntables

Am I the only guy here who wants this for his birthday?

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Have not written here for a while, indeed have not written anything at all in the past few weeks. Lori and I completed our move into a fine new apartment and my time has been consumed by unpacking, organizing and settling in. Lots of space, plenty of windows, it's a definite improvement over our last joint.

I've been welcomed into the Film Threat fold as a staff writer, and I got my first box of review items from them last week. Over twenty DVDs plus a galley copy of the upcoming Roger Ebert book The Great Movies II ... unfortunately, the box contains a high percentage of homemade pre-fab "cult" movies with cookie-cutter names like Catholic Ghoulgirls, Bloodsucking Redneck Vampires and Night of the Chihuahuas. Much as I champion the creation of backyard art, there's nothing worse than a shot-on-home-video gore comedy. Perhaps future generations will find them quaint, but most of these things are so self-aware and tongue-in-cheek (without any genuine humor) that they cancel out the kind of charm that cheap horror films can deliver. It's the accidental humor that is so sublime, and it can't be spoofed.

Oh, and before I forget, congratulations to President Bush on his landslide victory! Slightly over half of the American people have spoken, and it is now time to drag the country into a brighter tomorrow. Welcome to the end of an empire.
Sorority Girls' Revenge