Monday, December 20, 2004

Lori's 30th birthday was Saturday, and by chance we got Logan's Run from Netflix and threw it on after an afternoon of seafood and art museums. I vaguely remember the short-lived TV series from back in the day, never actually saw the Michael York version, and Lori didn't know just how appropriate a film it was for this final milestone birthday before old age begins. It was delightful, and we learned a valuable lesson about utopian societies. When it comes to the human race, every advance is a step backward. And vice-versa. Of course, we all go through our own personal Carousel. On my 30th birthday I got loaded alone and watched Nail Gun Massacre in a bedroom with a sheet for a door in a drafty house I was sharing with two other unemployed guys. I am thankful to have been renewed.

Soemthing Weird Video won't give me stills for a Doris Wishman feature review I wrote for the next issue of Resonance. "You should have your writer do that when the review the picture." What?

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Merle Haggard Official Site

He's in Tacoma at the Emerald Queen Casino January 29th. I'm thinking this might be worth $50 to see him up close just once.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Yogi Yorgesson

He yust goes nuts at Christmas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

El Santo y La Tigresa

Legendary wrestler El Santo takes time away from fighting witches, vampires and zombies to protect flamboyant Mexican celebrity/politician Irma Serrano (or as she is known in her homeland, "La Tigresa") in this weak star vehicle. She's the owner of a vast estate and someone is trying to kill her, so Santo pays a visit to solve the mystery. Between dodging attempts on their lives, they enjoy a cockfight, shoot at rabbits, poison a cat and fall in love. A deep, dark family secret is eventually divulged that outs the culprit, and Serrano finds the time for a few rousing musical numbers. Santo doesn't get too active in La Tigresa (he was well into his fifties at the time), walking through his fight scenes and climbing into the ring only once for a brief, obligatory wrestling match. Most of the film he spends wearing slacks and squiring Serrano to various social events, his face hidden at all times by his trademark mask. Comedy relief is provided by Santo's sidekick Carlos Suarez, a cowardly boozehound who is nearly lynched by cowboys in one knee-slapping scene. This particular entry into the Santo canon is remarkable mostly for Serrano's character, who comes off as a tasteless, arrogant rich woman but still functions as the film's nominal heroine. Garbed in garish gowns and makeup, she flaunts her wealth with competitive public gambling and after an attempted poisoning demands that her maids taste-test her meals before serving them. Serrano was well known in Latin America at this time thanks to her film career and a gossip-worthy private life (later she would involve herself in Mexican politics as well), and her star power is all that is required and delivered here. Monolingual English-speakers who seek out this lesser Santo episode should beware the 2004 DVD release from Vanguard Cinema. The subtitles appear only sporadically, and when they do, the grammar and spelling are wretched enough to deserve their own interpretation.
Mark Deming has started his own blog. I demand that you look at it, at least once in a while.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Congratulations to Pat Bills and Terri Mac for the triumphant birth of their latest baby, Roz, born the morning of December 9th, 2004. While the rest of the world mourned the loss of Dimebag Darryl, a new life bloomed to take his place. God's work is mysterious, but undeniable.
Grassy Knoll Inner Sanctum

I love the things I find by chance online.

Monday, December 06, 2004

A good weekend, fraught with ambivilence and apprehension though it was, and my activities can be summed up in three words: Japanese, rocknroll and cockfighting.

See, I've been developing an article on cockfighting films (yes, they exist, enough so that I can concoct a flimsy argument that there's a "genre") so I stocked up at Scarecrow, pulling down every title I could that included cockfighters among the main characters. Boy, that was a good feeling, walking up to the girl behind the counter with EL GALLO DE ORO (THE GOLDEN COCKEREL), ROOSTER: SPURS OF DEATH, REALM OF FORTUNE and COCKFIGHTER. Lori, of course, was loath to actually watch roosters fight to the death, but I've gotten used to it, and I have to admit it's a damn beautiful sight to watch all those feathers fly in slow motion, and the fetishy close-ups of handlers tying on the spurs make me wonder why the S/M community doesn't appropriate the gear into their edgeplay (perhaps I'm naive and they already do). The stories are all essentially the same, some underprivileged schlub trying to score riches (like the fella who wants to win enough money to buy his dead mom a fancy coffin) or be identified as the top of his craft ("Cockfighter of the Year!") and their obsession always pays off but they lose something along the way. Familiar enough, pretty much every boxing movie you ever saw, but of course it's COCKFIGHTING so it's more like a boxing movie that focuses exclusively on the trainers and gangsters instead of the actual athletes themselves. In the American films someone is always popping up to make impassioned speeches defending the "glory" of cockfighting (one movie has the balls to suggest that our entire legal system is based on lessons the founding fathers learned in cockfighting pits), but the foreign ones (Mexico and the Phillipines) have no need to apologize. So yeah, for the past few days it's been cockfighting, cockfighting, cockfighting ...

... except for the first live rock show I played in five years, a mere three-song set at some cornball "Nuggets Tribute Night" at a local place called the Lo-Fi. My pal Jeremy did all the legwork, recruiting a Japanese garage rock band called the Jailbirds to help back us up. I didn't meet these guys until a few hours before the show, and it wasn't hard to pick them out of the crowd as they walked down the street ... six young Asian guys dressed in tight flared trousers, Beatle Boots and velvet jackets wearing sunglasses on one of our typical grey Seattle afternoons. They were all very personable and laid-back about having a total stranger just walk in and join the band.

We "practiced" by playing the songs once through during soundcheck, then I proceded to drink bourbon and pace. Honestly, I wasn't terribly nervous, not once I got there. The place was pretty cool (looked more like an art gallery than a rock club, no smoking inside but they did have a full bar), it was clear the audience wasn't going to be expecting much and everyone was pleasant and accomodating. We opened up the show with me and Jeremy doing a slow, quiet version of "You're Gonna Miss Me" accompanied only by a harmonica player, then our Japanese friends joined us for a rousing run of "Midnight to Six Man" that was unfortunately truncated by some flubbed cues after the solo. We finally got our legs on the old Pop Tarts standard "Sorry," which was sloppy and energetic in all the right ways. I'm usually reticent when playing guitar in front of people, but I was feeling just right enough to rip out some furious licks and trade head-bobbing rockisms with my Japanese bandmates, who took it all in stride and were as pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out as I was. Meanwhile, Jeremy belted it out and shook his tight white denim trousers, poncing about in proud Rod Stewart fashion (I don't know about all the scarves this kid wears, though, we might need to have a talk about it).

The Jailbirds stayed on stage for three of their own numbers, which were fucking explosive once they cut loose all the caucasian deadwood. Nothing you haven't seen before, but as good as you've ever gotten it ... fast trashy garage punk with Japanese accents, white shirts and skinny ties, but no arrogant "fuck you" attitude, it was an all-inclusive "everybody shout at the top of your lungs and dance" approach that made them irresistible. Hands down, the hottest version of "For Your Love" that I've ever heard, easily besting the Yardbirds (it's their weakest track anyhow). After that we stuck around to watch a weak 60s revival band struggle to follow the Jailbirds, then got the hell out before a perfect night had a chance to go horribly wrong.

Sunday I savored a mild hangover, watched cockfights and daydreamed.