Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Mengele's an asshole. Remember that."


Surf Nazis Must Die isn't a very good movie. Despite the honor of boasting one of the greatest titles in cinematic history, the film itself just fails to deliver much of anything. Unless you foam at the mouth over plodding go-nowhere storytelling and/or an absence of a single nugget of dialogue that could be interesting to anyone then I would recommend you steer clear of watching it. I was 20 years old the first time I saw it, and the precarious situation in which my virgin viewing took place maintains a significantly more detailed foothold in the annals of my memory than anything that actually happens in the movie (i.e. nothing. Nothing happens in this movie. Nothing). We were all sitting in the darkness of my new-at-that-time friend Ron's living room: me, Ron, Ron's terrifyingly social retard of a hulking straight-edge roommate, my friend Graham and Ron's ex-girlfriend, whom I shall refer to as Shitty Liz because her name was Liz and because she was shitty. Ron and Shitty Liz had freshly slid off of the tail-end of their several year relationship, which culminated in them moving to Richmond together from Maine, almost immediately breaking up, and continuing to live together in the same shitty apartment where I was now watching this terrible movie with them; high out of my mind, bored out of my skull and nearly choking to death on the tension that hovered in the room like a sixth person, uninvited and passive-aggressively rude. Throw into this nauseating cocktail of awkwardness the added spice of my relatively well-known-at-the-time friend Graham, who had shown up independent of myself under the pretense that he was in store for a chill date with his new acquaintance (Shitty) Liz, completely unaware that she still lived with her ex-boyfriend and that both he and I and scary straight-edge Steve would all be there, too. My high was helping to take off the hard edge of discomfort, or at least helping me to remain joyfully oblivious to it, and I settled into a pile of pillows on the floor, ready to experience what I had previously been promised was the pinnacle of D-movie riches. But this movie sucked. It still sucks, and it will probably always suck. Regardless, I was the only one to finish it. Shitty Liz and Graham took off early, probably to go get some coffee and talk about literature or whatever other stupid shit people our age used to do instead of just immediately smashing our crotches together and getting it over with. Scary straight-edge Steve retired to the kitchen to disassemble and clean his handguns (I swear to fucking god), acerbically muttering under his breath "fucking edge-breaker" every time recently edge-broken (and totally hammered) Ron would stumble towards the kitchen for another 40 oz. Ron was just drinking by himself in his room by this point. I stuck it out for two reasons. A) I was really, really high and this terrible movie seemed like a better option than any of my others, and B) the fucking SOUNDTRACK.
Jon McCallum had me mesmerized. Try to imagine an early John Carpenter score bumping fur with that latest Fuck Buttons album that every music reviewer in the world is currently masturbating to. Only better, because this shit sounds like it was composed and recorded in the locker room of a public swimming pool by a rogue 1980's computer nerd who just ate a handful of Quaaludes and was attempting to therapeutically overcome the loss of his calculator watch at the hands of some real-life Surf Nazis. Sequences of surfing dudes and dudettes shot in extreeeeeeeeemely slow-motion melted into my brain by way of my eyes solely because of the music's ability to smooth-talk my disinterested persona into letting them pass. For years I've wandered around haunted by the memory of these sounds, unable to find the means of replication. I swore that I would never sit through this disastrous picture again, and uncovering a hard copy of the soundtrack is like trying to fuck without body parts. I remained hopeless that I'd ever hear any of it again until about a month ago when I stumbled upon some equally affected individual's blog, where he had for immediate download the score in its entirety, recorded directly from his goddamned VHS copy (sound effects and all).
I've been listening to it almost every single day since then, and have decided to put it up here for anyone who may be interested. It's probably not for everyone, but if you're anything like me then this will not only fill, but will forever define, a very specific slot within your vast library of musical appreciation. I recommend it for headphones during a walk through the city in early fall, assuming you have no particular place to be. Get caught up in it completely and come to realize the full potential of low-budget film scores and why typing the words "Claudio Simonetti mediafire" into Google may do more for your knowledge and appreciation of music than any number of blogs, magazines or bullshit record store recommendations will ever be capable of. If you're not breaking into goosebumps by the time "Blood in the Water" kicks its way into your head then I hate to break it to you, but you've got tampons in your ears.

Jon McCallum - Surf Nazis Must Die

Saturday, September 26, 2009

GOT DEM TV SCREENS FALLIN DOWWN

niggas came over they had '40s n blunts, so here are some Rita Pavone videos:



- never mind how she looks like a Newsie. don't let the threat of your mind's pedophilia steal the thunder from your heart's glorious erection.



- Pinochio stops bullshitting and drops some serious Lumberjack Housewife shit. That hammer is fascist!



- UUUURRRYYYYBODY dropped acid back then n' there. That bitch just spelled out her own initials... with people.



- Jerri Blank is all like "e-scu-za-may"



- fuuuuuuck i'm in love. did she say "prosciutto?"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

THIS WEEK IN NETFLIX



"Pola X"

Try to imagine Catherine Breillat giving some dude a blowjob without making him feel intellectually guilty about it. Now picture Gaspar Noé toasting up a tasty little croissant and serving it to David Lynch on a cold steel plate. Lynch takes a bite, chews pensively for a moment and then swallows with visible displeasure. He snaps his fingers and the croissant fills with blood. He finishes it, because now it tastes better (I guess). If you have any idea what I'm talking about then you can probably infer whether or not you would enjoy this movie. I really hope you'll check it out and then let me know whether or not I liked it, too. Because I still have no fucking idea. Bonus points for the techno-industrial noise orchestra that practices in an abandoned factory and is also vaguely connected to a nondescript terrorist group. Wait, WUT??


"[Rec]"

A few months ago my girlfriend decided to dye her hair blonde. If you know my girlfriend then you know that she is already a tall curvaceous beauty with huge tits, a full shapely bottom, drool-inducing thighs and stunning facial features. Also, fuck you; don't talk to my girlfriend. She also tends to tan very easily and spends the majority of her summer evenings lounging around the apartment drinking beer in her underwear, giving me boners and then ruining them by farting. With the addition of this new blonde hair I cannot shake the impression that she now looks totally Latino. Latina? Either way I now like to pretend that she's either from some unknown coastal paradise in Brazil where semi-educated sexpots sunbathe nude on beaches and are always just bored enough to run a blow-train on a stand-up gringo like myself, or that she's a classy hard-working young professional from Mexico City who loves to work with children and secretly possesses a sex dungeon somewhere within her fantastic and criminally overpriced penthouse apartment. It's weird. My girlfriend is already a babe and my penis & I both agree that we're into her, but the dye-induced Latina fantasy has somehow upped the arousal ante significantly. I can't even watch normal American porn anymore; it's all got to be Latinas or NADA. I feel the same way about this movie. It's a fully functional and refreshingly entertaining 1st-person zombie carnival of jump-scares with more than its fair share of nicely earned tension-soaked setpieces. If it had come out a few years before the regrettable zombie explosion that we still seem to be mired in and before "Cloverfield" took the idea of the 1st-person thriller and immediately overhyped it into ineffectiveness, then I would even call this low-budget thrillride from Spain a landmark of modern horror. They say that timing is everything, and in this case I suppose that's halfway true. But what really seems to matter most is location, location, location; because Hollywood remade this movie less than a year after its completion as the rote and forgettable "Quarantine." Existing within the parameters of a surprisingly faithful remake, that film took the novel ideas of "[Rec]" and threw them into an American cocktail of bad actors, useless tweaking and "money isn't an issue" Hollywood budget-padding, resulting in the same tired pile of shit anyone would expect from a film industry seemingly bereft of a single original idea. Maybe something was figuratively lost in translation, or maybe we just can't get anything right. No matter the case, the facts remain clear: "[Rec]" is the low-budget Spanish underdog that still towers triumphantly over it's big-budget U.S. imitator, and even the hottest American girls would be way hotter if they weren't American.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

MOTOR CITY BITCHES



Sure, it's where Motown started (say that shit in a "Mouth from 'the Goonies' voice") but that shit sold out and moved to L.A. So fuck them and fuck L.A. in general. Detroit is the real shit. The real hard-ass bad times city. The American Dream rudely interrupted, waking up in a cold sweat with a gun in your hand and a corpse in your bed style. If you ever played the original Sim City on your older brother's even older computer then you probably remember the Detroit scenario. The first thing you noticed is that according to the crudely rendered overhead map, the city of Detroit proper was shaped exactly like a big red handgun. The "scenario" itself was that the city was overwrought with crime and the only way to assuage the situation was to basically utilize your entire city budget to constantly build new police departments in strategically beneficial locations. Fuck Xbox360's super-magical graphics engine, this shit was my earliest memory of a videogame effectively portraying an actual location/situation with undeniable realism. Detroit is H.A.R.D. As a natural side effect of so much poverty and violence, Detroit also consistently offers up some of the toughest and tightest rap you can find. I've decided to throw together a personal favorites download post, so feel free to check out these albums at your leisure. This is by no means an exhaustive omnibus of the city's hip-hop output. You should already know whether or not you like Slum Village, J Dilla or Eminem. This is just a short list of albums I have been personally knocking a lot over the past couple of years, and hopefully it'll introduce a couple of you to some lesser-known shit you'll probably enjoy.

Black Milk - Tronic
Better known as a producer for other rappers than a solo artist, I sort of slept on this guy's earlier output despite always enjoying the beats he made for other artists. This one grabbed me by the first song, though. Following tracks can get a tad bit funky and Knight Rider-ish, but if you grew up playing 1st and 2nd generation console systems you'll be into it. Also: best breakup song ever (fuck bitches).

Royce da 5'9" - Bar Exam 2 & The Revival
Consistently dropping the best guest verses on countless songs, I feel like this dude is perpetually on the verge of blowin' up. I've never been blown away by his earlier solo albums, but "Bar Exam 2" is an exceptionally good mixtape featuring some refreshing takes on a lot of beats you've heard before and Royce spitting 100% fire from start to finish. "The Revival" is an EP from this year that gives a significant taste of where he is headed (good places).

Guilty Simpson - Ode to the Ghetto
I'd been salivating over a full-length Guilt album ever since I first heard him drop verses on "Champion Sound." I have to admit that I was a little bit underwhelmed by this album the first few times I listened to it, but it's gradually grown on me like an unnoticed tick. In a good way. The beats are mostly bleak and bring to mind the dystopian future landscape of "Blade Runner" if it was directed by the Hughes brothers, and Guilt's delivery is unwaveringly stoic and matter-of-fact. This might be a turn-off to people who prefer an MC with more flair, but I've seen the guy live and it all makes perfect sense. He seriously resembles a big brown bear that you got really stoned and who is hanging out with you just eating honey and giggling a lot until you say the wrong thing and he just tears off your entire face, the look on his own face never changing a bit.

Elzhi - The Preface
The living embodiment of the phrase "criminally underrated," this album is UNSTOPPABLE. Elzhi sounds so much like early-in-his-career Nas it's uncanny and even a little bit unsettling, but his occasional tangents into surreal wordplay bring to mind a younger Ghostface if he was less motivated by money and more concerned with simply getting some weird shit off of his chest. Think early-90s New York grittiness infused with some Southern California playfulness and you're almost there.

Jaylib - Champion Sound
This is sort of cheating because it's only 50% Detroit-based and it's already well-worn in a lot of rap fan's rotations, but whatever. I probably listen to this album in its entirety at least once every 2 weeks, if not more.

Other shit:
Phat Kat - Carte Blanche
Unfortunately I've only got this album on vinyl and I couldn't find a digital copy anywhere, but check out the video below to decide whether or not you'd like to hear more. Nightmarish urban mythology at its finest. I don't know what that sentence means.



Slaughterhouse - Slaughterhouse
Multi-city supergroup featuring Royce da 5'9". Their album hasn't dropped yet, but I imagine that in a week or so it'll be blasting my speakers to shreds. Don't sleep!!


Peace to the D.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

MEDIA BUKKAKE




Now that summer school's over (all A's, no big deal) I've been spending the majority of my days being assaulted from all sides by a variety of visual, audio and mental stimulation of my choosing. In the interest of forcing my own unreasonably impassioned and surprisingly uneducated opinions onto others while saving enough of my own free time to pursue the much more pressing issue of reading a book by the river all day long, I've decided to spit out some fly-by-night reviews in short, controlled bursts. Aliens - style.

CINEMA (Netflix & otherwise):

"The Hurt Locker"
Kathryn Bigelow has long been a queen of uneven yet solidly entertaining genre films. "Near Dark" is cowboy-vampire-noir that takes itself seriously in a refreshing way and features the greatest barroom massacre ever. "Point Break" is the first buddy-cop film to stare its own inherent retardation directly in the face and willfully force it into the realm of almost respectable Zen surreality, and the foot chase scene is exemplary. "Strange Days" combines well-worn sci-fi tropes with the mysterious allure of the snuff film and almost makes mini-discs seem cool. As much as I love all three of those movies, they really can't measure their dicks with the same ruler as her newest gut-punch of tension-stiffened celluloid. It's not so much a storytelling process as an experiment in fully realized immersion. Neither a glorification of the adrenaline rush of battle nor a simple reactionary anti-war piece, it's a magnified look at one particular tier of combat existence and how it affects different people in varying ways. The second time I saw it, I went with a friend who recently finished his military service. He said that he liked it and spent the rest of the day in silence. So I assume Bigelow pulled it off.

"Waltz with Bashir"
It might have been a mistake to watch this one totally stoned. But probably not as big of a mistake as it would have been to hang out anywhere near Lebanon in 1982. The visual ascetic is certainly a bold choice, and for the most part it works (esp. stoned). My only complaint about this movie is the fact that it seems a bit repetitive in its gradual build-up to the revelation of the "whole story." My g/f argues that the repetition is an important aspect of the narrator's journey of remembrance. I dunno, I guess she has a point but I was just staring at her tits. But seriously, this is a good film and probably even an important one. The final scene is a little bit unfair (ESP. STONED) but it'd be a lie to say I'm not a huge fan of movies that kick you directly in the nuts and then walk away slowly, while you just lie there curled up in a painful little ball and watch them disappear.

"Yeelen"
The above link is not a trailer, but rather the first 10 minutes of this under-the-radar oddity from Africa. I included this scene both because a) I can't find the trailer anywhere (if there even is one) and b) because your reaction to the first 10 minutes will dictate your overall enjoyment of this film as a whole. The pacing is deliberate to a challenging degree and audiences weened by traditional Western structuring and convention may find it difficult to grasp onto this movie, but I would urge anyone with an open and eager cinematic palette to give it a shot. Once you have accepted the fact that this story requires not only your patience but also your complete acquiescence to the magical realism presented, you may discover a not-too-unfamiliar tale of familial loyalty in direct conflict with retributive justice. It's a pretty standard Good Vs. Evil setup really, just seen through the unique lens of one particular tribe's belief system. The visuals are stark but stunning, and I'll eat a shoeful of shit if you don't at least think it looks really cool when sorcerers make stuff catch on fire.

"Sorcerer"
I bought the soundtrack for this before I even knew what the movie was. The cover of the LP was amazing and yeah, I can get down with some Tangerine Dream (see above: "Near Dark"). I didn't even realize it was directed by the phenomenal William Friedkin. This one never received the recognition of his masterpieces, but don't let that deter you. It's a fine example of white-knuckle suspense mixed with a healthy dollop of existential dread. Some critics poo-poo the lack of in-depth character development, but I sort of think that adds to the overall feel of disorientation and eventual jungle madness and that those critics need to try using their goddamned imaginations every once in a while. I won't divulge too much about the plot, because I myself knew jack-shit about it when I put in the DVD. Just rest assured that the bridge crossing sequence and the scene where the tree is in the middle of the road are two remarkably well-done set-pieces. Plus, Roy Scheider!! It sucks that he's dead, but it's pretty awesome that they had to build an entire second casket just to bury his gigantic balls.

"Blue Sunshine"
Holy shit! Jeff Lieberman is officially one of those criminally underrated American badass filmmakers, among the same caliber as Larry Cohen and Bob Clark. What could have been served up as a yawn-inducing dose of made for T.V. anti-drug paranoia instead comes across as a mind-bending horror film that is probably best enjoyed while under the influence of multiple substances. Zalman King (of softcore erotica infamy) gives the most unnecessarily weird performance that I've probably ever seen, rivaling even Torgo from "Manos, Hands of Fate." This is some seriously good shit. Those highbrow schmucks at Criterion could certainly learn a thing or two from Synapse, and you can quote me on that.

"The Beast"
UHHHHHHHHHH WATCH THIS MOVIE.

*sorry about all the links to trailers. I just really enjoy them.


LITERATURE:

"Skinema" by Chris Nieratko
If you've ever read any of Nieratko's "porn reviews" then you already know exactly what to expect, because unfortunately this collection offers little variation from his established pattern of never even mentioning the film being reviewed and instead going off on booze-and-pill influenced tangents of his seemingly endless misadventures. Don't get me wrong, he is a very funny guy. And his stories can almost always maintain your interest, even if it's just in the same way that a highway traffic accident also does. But his rambling tends to get a bit stale if you try to read more than 8 or 9 entries in a row. I would recommend looking up some of his interviews from the pages of classic skateboarding magazine Big Brother to really experience his comedic pranks at their finest. At its best, this collection can offer up surprising moments of clarity and almost mystical wisdom from a man who has seemingly seen and done it all. At its worst, you may just put it down feeling guilty for having wasted your time on the words of someone who really is nothing more than a total asshole.

"The World's Most Dangerous Places"
by Robert Young Pelton
Pelton has apparently been everywhere sketchy. And he seems to always have access to the pulsating nucleus of sketchiness in all of these places. And he's a pretty great writer. I've been reading this one on-and-off for about the past 2 years, usually either while at work or sitting on the toilet. Sometimes while sitting on the toilet at work. It's a good primer for the how's and why's of some of recent history's most notorious (and some of its most secretive) conflicts, as explained from someone who is privy to an exhaustive wealth of insider information and experience. And luckily for the uneducated boob such as myself, Pelton presents this info in a non-assuming fashion that even the most geopolitically ignorant layman can grasp. You'll probably never go to Algeria, but wouldn't it be nice to fully understand why not?

"2666" by Roberto Bolaño
I'm only 275 pages into this 900 page beast, but I already am salivating over every other piece of writing done by the late Chilean modern master. I don't know any other way to do this thing justice than to say that this is the kind of book that makes you want to write books.


MUSIC:



Cult Ritual
This band fucking slays. Probably the first band that has ever legitimately reminded me of Born Against, with a little bit of golden-era Black Flag thrown in for testosterone's sake. I missed my chance to see them a few weeks ago, which is probably for the best. Bands always seem to disappoint me these days.

Burial - Untrue
I don't even know what this kind of music is called. Space-dub? Drum-ghost? Club-a-rub-a-dub? I also have no idea why I like it. But if you're into getting high and sitting at the bottom of a pool with goggles on (just chillin' down there) or wearing a hoodie and walking around in the rain and just feeling indiscriminately sad whenever a train goes by, then you'll probably be into it, too.

Indian Jewelry
I've been pretty into everything by this band recently. Tribal drum patterns, broken stringed instruments, spaghetti western attitude, drugs, drugs, drugs. Cool video.





Hmmmm. So much for short, controlled bursts.

Monday, July 27, 2009

TOTAL SUBMISSION


Sorry it's been so long since I've made any updates. I'd like to lie and tell you that it's because I've been super busy going to great parties, producing unstoppable club-bangers, typing up revelatory manuscripts and railing endless trim. I'd like to lie and tell you that because it would make me seem really productive & motivated and also because I like to lie. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has been happening in my wonderful world. In an effort to rectify the situation and also to attempt to leave some meager facsimile of metaphorical carved initials of creativity on the slowly rotting tree trunk of culture, I've decided to finally throw together and produce a brand new zine. It's been over 7 years since I did one proper, and if anything my mind has only become more insular and clouded since then, so don't expect great things. But I'd like to believe I am at least capable of keeping the handful of you that read this blog semi-entertained while you sit on a toilet. So "DRACULA" zine is coming. I'm giving myself the next two weeks to write, edit, and piece the entire thing together. Because I'm lazy and because I require the constant encouragement of others to ever take any of my ideas seriously, I'd also like to take this opportunity to welcome any and all submissions for this zine. I don't care what you write about or how you write it, I'll probably include it. I know all of you are smart and funny and know how to write, so don't try coming up with any excuses. Send me a funny story about the weirdest blowjob of your life. Send me a list of your top 10 favorite bestiality scenes from movies. Draw a picture of Pac-man smoking weed in a hang-glider. I don't give a shit; just HELP ME TAKE MYSELF SERIOUSLY.

*photo by Richard Kern, king boner-giver to all perverted hetero males of the world.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

THIS WEEK IN NETFLIX

"Tokyo!"

Tokyo isn't really a place I need to visit. But then, I also probably don't ever need to eat mushrooms on the day after Christmas or eat acid at 2 in the morning. That's never stopped me, though! One thing that may, however, prevent me from visiting the East's great capital of WTF is the 2/3 of this movie that are beyond pointless and more than a little bit frustrating. Michel Gondry is undeniably a talented director, but it'd be far too forgiving and P.C. of me to not admit that he's also pretty fucking gay. His contribution here sums up perfectly my likes and dislikes of his work: visually stunning (if not a bit slow getting there), genuinely original, overbearingly artistic and way too goddamned quirky. It's nicely done, it just suffers from his usual obsessive creativity and a half-shaped story that doesn't have the running time to flesh itself out with dazzling camera tricks or chronology-bending twists. Equally underwhelming is Joon-ho Bong's piece. I had pretty high hopes after "Gwoemul," but this is seriously some trite bullshit right here. Needlessly vague and almost painfully cute, it's a pretty by-the-numbers love story for losers gussied up as a hollow meditation on the highly impersonal and dehumanizing nature of Tokyo's cartoonishly exaggerated metropolitan existence. YAWN. The single saving grace of the triptych is Leos Carax's exuberantly manipulative exercise in cinematic assault on the senses. Not only has he crafted one of the best original characters I've ever seen, but this character's introduction and the opening scene of the short is 100% guerrilla film-making at its finest. The piece's unbridled creative energy, embodied most fully by the character's unnerving and borderline hilarious imaginary language, as well as its flat-out refusal to offer any explanations or apologies, not to mention its deceptively simple title of 'Merde' (French for 'shit') result in the sensation that Carax is both shoving his middle finger directly into your face and patting you on the back for even hanging out with him. It's audience-be-damned cinema, and if there are film-makers out there who either look down on it, fear it, cannot understand it or just plain hate it, then you should seriously stop watching their movies.


"Choke"

There's really not a whole lot of reason to watch this movie. I have no idea why I watched it. I suppose I was pretty blown away by Sam Rockwell's performance in the haiku-like "Moon," which left my dualistic awe/fear of space predictably turgid. But in this lesser effort he just seems to be doing an impersonation of a Xeroxed copy of someone who is already boring. Somehow both Rockwell's acting and whatever it is the director is doing completely miss the humor of Chuck Pahlaniuk's book. Now I'm no huge fan of Palahniuk, and I think it's pretty despicable how dude gets away with writing the same book over and over and is still hailed as some subversive cult icon. But during my solid 5 years as a "roadie" for my friends' band--I don't know shit about musical equipment; my main duties included drinking, making fun of people and preventing band members from cheating on their usually overrated girlfriends--we read a lot of his stuff. Something about reading the same familiar tale and discussing our theories with one another helped to maintain our collective sanity amidst the many Lynchian misadventures to be had in the equally pathetic and terrifying asscracks of the Midwest. But somehow, this movie doesn't find it funny that the main character loses part of an anal bead somewhere inside of his rectum. And the disappointingly tame scenes of sex addicts randomly hooking up did little to remind me of the gloriously sleazy blowjobs my goth ex-girlfriend used to give me in the craziest of places and instead made me think of the night she passed out wasted while I had three fingers inside of her. Needless to say, that night left me feeling a whole lot like this movie: completely unfulfilled and strangely angry. Thanks for nothing.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

R U MOSHING? (I'M NOT)


I took a Spanish test this morning that I'm pretty sure I straight-up nailed like a carpenter snorting Adderall. I celebrated by spending the rest of my day running bullshit errands and I'm about to roll out of the crib to go cover someone's shift at work. This hectic dash has inspired me to use my only free 10 minutes to type up a greatest hits lits of shows that I have missed so far this year due to either my enrollment in summer school, my ever-evolving work schedule and/or my general habit of laziness.
In no particular order:
-Wolves in the Throneroom, some other metal bands that probably suck:
had been looking forward to this one for months in advance. my neighbor is friends with one of the band members so I even managed to get a spot on the guestlist. When the big moment arrived I chose to pass it up and instead spent my evening drinking beers on my neighbor's porch and eventually going on a bike ride through the hood. Apparently the band was incredible and played for over an hour. Oh well. Honestly, good conversation and a little bit of fresh air is harder to come by and a lot more appreciated these days than crusty dudes with somber attitudes and OPINIONS.
-Bone Awl, Volahn, some other black metal bands with shitty recordings:
had also been pretty stoked about this one for a while, but ended up skipping it due to food poisoning. probably for the better. apparently one member of Bone Awl got so drunk he wandered off and didn't even play the show with the rest of the band. I prefer my black metal bands don't drink so that they can maintain their general air of pure superiority and hatred. I imagine both that drunken musician and myself spent the majority of our evenings vomiting similar colors.
-Dengue Fever, maybe a salsa band? i'm not sure:
didn't go to this show because it was pretty far away and my standard designated driver (my girlfriend) was out of town at some funeral. probably missed out on a pretty good time and a significant amount of sweaty, dancing babes. can't remember 100% but probably just watched porn instead.
-Gucci Mane, Slim Thug:
these were two different shows. not gonna lie, I was just too scared.
-tonight: Cult Ritual, Total Abuse, some crappy punk crap that sounds like crap:
will probably end up skipping this show because my friend is having people go out for drinks in honor of her birthday (which I didn't even know was approaching) and my upstairs neighbor spent the entire afternoon blasting shitty d-beat hardcore, giving me a headache and putting a bad taste in my brain before the inevitable idiots at the venue could even do it. both bands are pretty generic ugly hardcore, but I will be passing up the opportunity to purchase this shirt.
-Sonic Youth:
admittedly I've never been a huge Sonic Youth fan. I really like the song "Mote" because of Jump Off a Building, but I could definitely live without the gratuitous 7 minutes of feedback at the end. I'm sure it would have been fantastic to see this band play live in some ways, but in other ways I'm not too bummed to have missed out on Thurston Moore & company passing off a variety of afore-mentioned feedback as "songs" to a sold-out crowd that essentially showed up wearing their bullshit bibs. plus I didn't have 34 bucks. maybe I'll get another chance to see these guys when the ticket price is significantly less than half of the age of the youngest member of the band.
-Dinosaur Jr.:
pretty much the same as above, except replace 'feedback' with 'hair.'
-Jaynie's Babies:
this is a wedding band composed of a bunch of my friends. they played one night only (other than the actual wedding) and I fucking missed it because I was studying for a Spanish test. everyone I work with and most people I know went, and had a total blast. I got a 93 on that test, but who gives a shit? In the arena of hanging out, I got a fucking D- .

Thursday, July 2, 2009

WHAT IT DO


Here's a little list of things that are currently tight:

1) Major Lazer - "Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do"
My boy CT put me up on this just yesterday and it has already changed my week significantly. I found a zipped file of the album on this world-wide-web shit and left it downloading on the computer while I went to the gym. It must have finished by the time I got home because my girlfriend was mysteriously pregnant with a lazer tattooed on her left tit and someone had blown pot smoke into my backpack and gotten all of my homework high. Before I could even say "what the hell" Major Lazer himself announced from my couch that "evryting gon' be ai-re" and continued eating all of my cereal. I would have been mad, but before I had the chance to react he shined my shoes with his dreadlocks and disappeared as soon as the cops showed up. Fucking space-Jamaicans.

2) "Sao Paulo" by Boogie
I ordered this book on Amazon yesterday for 5 measly bucks. I've been a pretty big fan of Hamburger Eyes since I first realized it was a photography zine as well as the condition I always suffer after a long night of drinking tons and tons of beer, and Boogie has always been my personal favorite photographer they regularly feature. The cover of this collection--the completely bare ass of what I'm pretty sure is a transvestite prostitute--promises plenty of the gritty realism that defines his work. My apologies to any homophobic heterosexual males who accidentally got a boner when they saw that image up there, but maybe you need to face the fact that your dick is better prepared to exist in the harsh realities of our world than you are. Speaking of photography, I encourage everyone to check out my boy John Martin's brand new photo blog over at Burdens of the Most Bestest. Dude has consistently taken some of the best photos I've ever seen over the decade that I've known him, and it often bums me out to see him do less than I know he's capable of with his considerable talents. So peep dat, ya'll.

3) Weed.
Yep, it's still on top.

And just to even things out a little bit, here's a brief summary of things that are not so tight this week: Carytown Burgers N' Fries NOT delivering to Jackson Ward (lazy stoners), downloading Gucci Mane albums that are tainted by the insufferable blight of lame-ass "DJ's" announcing their own names 5 times per song, know-it-alls in my Spanish class who actually don't know shit, and girls who don't shave their legs. Please note: those last two often overlap.

Anyway, that's what it do.

Monday, June 29, 2009

THIS WEEK IN NETFLIX


"Zardoz"

OH. WOW. Like I told my boy JoJo this morning, I may as well have just shoved a magic wand into my eardrum and cast a spell on my brain instead of actually watching this movie. This shit strives for and 200% attains a higher level. This isn't so much a film as something that has been floating around inside those parts of your head that have appeared dark and mysterious in CaT Scans since the day you were born, finally harnessed in celluloid and allowed to blossom into its full cosmic potential. There's no way you've ever seen a single movie comparable to this one, unless you actually saw "Zardoz" yourself and we're talking about the same movie but neither one of us can figure it out because you were 7 when you saw it and I was stoned when I watched it 2 nights ago. Eventually the conversation turns into an argument and we both leave exhausted and angry. Then we go to our respective homes and go to sleep. While lost in slumber, forgotten synapses inside of our minds start firing and before the morning light comes crashing through the windows to wake us, the oldest and holiest fibers of our psyches have recreated this movie in its entirety. Inside of both of our brains. Now there are two Zardozes. Holy shit.

"Synecdoche, New York"

HRMPH. I don't think I'm old enough to like this movie. Or maybe I haven't suffered enough artistic crises. Or maybe I was supposed to have a huge cock surgically implanted into my check and equipped with a powerful motor so that it could always be moving around in my mouth having virtually the same effct as that "i'm-sucking-a-dick" gesture that people do when the person who is speaking to them is laying down some serious bullshit. That's a good phrase for this movie, right there. Serious bullshit. Charlie Kaufman, crown prince of screenplays, has finally blown his massively built-up writer/DIRECTOR wad and it's just ended up a sticky mess on his stomach. He couldn't have created a better representation of awesomely pretentious neuroses-mired art school twattle if he had been paid to create a mockumentary of sophisticated and ridiculous film-snob asses. Hopefully that would at least have been blessed with a better director. I suppose it could get pretty good at the halfway point, but I straight turned the shit off after about 45 minutes of watching Philip Seymour Hoffman stress his way through his role as the obnoxious aging psychological doppleganger of my hypochondriac ex-roommate. PSH is my nig but you have seen him do all of this before and in much better films. A bevy of critics nutted all over this film though so it must have something going for it. Maybe the dialogue is well-written. I wouldn't know because I make it a point to fully avoid conversation with the kind of self-obsessed first-world-minded faux artistic intellectuals that float around in their own bubbles and sum up their worries with the line that is often repeated in this film and that should be etched across Kaufman's directorial tombstone: "I don't know what I'm doing."



"Cadillac Records"

This movie is sort of a taint. I mean "taint" as defined as the weird strip of sensitive skin between my nuts and my asshole. If this movie was actually my asshole, then it would be a whole lot darker and yes, I'll go ahead and say it: a tad bit more deep. On the other hand, it would reek of shit. Especially if it were my current asshole which is still recovering from a 3-day bout with food poisoning. Now if this movie were my nuts, then it would be a whole lot more polished (no shame in my game) and would certainly be filled with a lot more content. Especially if it were my current nuts which are still recovering from a 3-day bout with my girlfriend who was disgusted by my food poisoning. Yet as a whole, an encounter with it--much like an encounter with my nuts--would be a very pleasant and memorable experience. But this movie is not my asshole and it is not my balls. It's a taint. Not even my taint, and I barely know what I'm supposed to do with that one. So this movie is a stranger's taint. It's not the most offensive thing in the world (like an asshole) but it also lacks the full-swinging bravado and meaningful existence of a nice pair of balls. It's so middle of the road I might as well have just watched my hand for the whole 2 hours. Beyonce' is pretty good and is as hot as always, but Adrian Brody creeps me out and he looks like someone told Art Speigelman to re-do "Maus" but to draw all of the Jews as penises instead of mice.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

TOTAL (SELF) HATE














When you spend the most formative years of your life listening to angry music, a lot of things can become clouded. For starters, your definitions of "anger" may become seriously skewed. When I was in the 3rd grade I bought myself a cassette copy of Metallica's self-titled black album. Yes, longhairs in sleeveless t-shirts, I know that was the beginning of the end for the band. But I was in 3rd fucking grade. I thought it was awesome. Countless hours were spent in the bedroom of my double-wide trailer, jumping off of the furniture and air-guitaring my adorable little fingers off. As I grew older I realized that the world is a shitty place and got into some significantly more despondent tuneage, such as Nine Inch Nails and Ministry and a whole lot of other crap that I think sucks now.
Then high school happened and my sense of loathing towards both myself and the world around me transmogrified into a stubborn, unrelenting disdain for my peers. Self-righteous angry music was my new thing, and bands like Minor Threat both inspired and supported my budding sense of superiority. There were a few blows to my rock-solid audio repertoire, of course, whenever some pretty young thing stepped onto the scene and scrambled my adolescent brains into thinking it would be okay to buy a goddamned Promise Ring album every once in a while, but that is beside the point.
The past decade of my life has been one of constant self-discovery and I have not only begun to feel a great deal of shame for the ultimately pointless negativity of my past, but have accordingly opened my ears to musical phenomena I would have immediately and unreasonably shunned during my period of ignorance. Of course, I still listen to a large variety of what can still best be described as angry music. I tend to be a bit more discerning these days, however, when it comes to that shit. Within a staggering number of heavy music subgenres, there unfortunately seems to exist a greater measure of garbage than genuinely good stuff. I suppose it all depends on where you draw your distinctions, and despite being 100% bummed out by it, I am understanding of the fact that some (stupid) people really like Pantera and--shudder--the godforsaken Blood Brothers. And a whole lot of other audio putrescence that I don't feel like getting into.
The zenith of angry music, for me at least, is without a single shadow of a doubt the final album by Detroit-based Thoughts of Ionesco. A chronically drug-saturated gaggle of unsavory individuals, this band seemed to transform their guitar strings into sutures and use them to sew a huge, pulsating set of balls onto the beast that was 90's metallic hardcore. Each of their albums is a good musical example of what any real person goes through at the worst moments of their lives. But while their earlier efforts remain admittedly steeped within the dismissive confines of the genre, it was the band's swansong "For Detroit, from Addiction" that forcibly shoved its desperation into my brain, by way of bleeding eardrums. An inscrutable dark mass of an album, it careens carelessly throughout the gutters of human emotion, seemingly being clung to throughout the journey by all forms of hatred, alienation and seething penitence like so many parasites in a cesspool. And yet it somehow manages to lift its head up for the occasional breath of fresh air. If the Necronomicon was a dictionary, under the entry for "catharsis" would be a digital download of this album. Rooted in the violent aggression of impossibly loud, noisy rock, there are moments of murky clarity throughout its running time that seem to belie the overwhelming notion of disgust. These come in the form of somehow hopeful howls from the "falling off of a ladder" vocalist, a single haunting acoustic track that sounds like it was recorded in a haunted Spanish cemetery, a surprisingly well-integrated flirtation with dub song mechanics, and the most out-of-place usage of a saxophone since the Gay Danzig scene in "The Lost Boys."
Chemical problems/imbalances eventually led to the flaming demise of this self-loathing juggernaut, and that is the only way it could have ever made sense. Their music was entirely dependent upon their hatred for both the audience and themselves, so self-destruction was not only inevitable but seemed to be in perpetual motion from their very inception. This final album exists as a monument that honors not only the band's own legacy (they were infamous for the often unforgivable outbreaks of violence and general bad vibes of their live shows), but the entire concept of angry music in general.
There are two types of people in this flawed-but-persistent world who will never give this album a chance: snobbish Pitchfork-reading assholes who fail to see the value in music so shamelessly celebratory of its own apish nature, and straight-up apes in Slipknot t-shirts who feel the incessant urge to "pound" anything that displays even a subtle tinge of genuine emotion. No matter. The first group will continue to strive for the highest levels of mundanity, too obtuse to understand the dualistic concept that without darkness there can be no appreciation of light. And the second group will barrel along too bull-headed to ever realize that they are, in fact, the biggest pussies of all.
As for the rest of us, I guess the best thing we can do is take any piece of art for what it is, attempt to tap into the feelings and experiences of our own lives that may help us better understand where that art is coming from, and ultimately make our own judgements: Thoughts of Ionesco - For Detroit, from Addiction.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

LAST WEEK IN NETFLIX


"Vanishing Point"

I know it's been a while since I've done one of these reviews, and this one is a little bit paltry as I've only had time in the past few weeks to watch one movie. Thank god it was a good one and thank fucking god I was high. There are a whole lot of things about this movie that I just plain did not understand. Is the blind black DJ telepathic? Is the naked girl on the motorcycle the same girl that was almost raped by that fat cop? Why does our hero's car disappear at the very beginning of the movie only to later be shown--at the exact same moment--not disappearing and eventually exploding when it collides with two huge tractors? I guess after typing all of that out, it seems that I really only have one big question about this movie: what the fuck just happened?
If you're a fan of American cinema from the 70's (and if you're not, you really should be) then you'll be surprisingly willing to let a lot of shit sliiiiiiide while you watch this one. Regardless of the steady advances made by nerds in the fields of computer generated imagery, high-speed film editing, robot dicks and a whole lot of other what-have-you, nothing will ever quite match the visual exhilaration of watching an actual Dodge Challenger tear through the ragged terrain of the American southwest before launching over a hill and nearly colliding with a collection of seriously steel-bulked police cruisers. Something about the fact that a lot of people almost had to die in order to make it adds an undeniable level of credibility to any film. See also: any argument over the validity of early to mid-career Jackie Chan performances. Danger=balls=compelling cinema.
That being said, I have very little idea what this movie was about other than cars driving dangerously, helicopters showing up at random and doing very little of anything, gratuitous (in the strictest sense of the word) breasts, speed worship and a vaguely anti-authoritarian sense of adventure. Luckily I am a seriously cool dude, and all of that is more than enough to keep me entertained while my weed wears off and I remember that homework is a thing that actually exists and I should probably go do it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

WHAT'S POPPIN'


If there is anything in the universe that smells better than fresh garlic cooking in oil, then it must be the pussy of an angel or some other legendary shit that I will never get the chance to experience. But fuck angels, anyway. I can plant garlic in my own backyard.

I am cooking up some pasta and listening to Bastard and not wearing a shirt and realizing that this summer, so far, has been some bullshit. I've only been to the river once, and the experience was almost ruined by the nagging presence of a filthy dreadlocked white girl who a) came out of nowhere with a bloody kneecap and a filthy bottom, b) did NOT get me high, c) would not get out of my girlfriend's face and d) kept talking about "going out west" to get away from "society" like it wasn't 1849 yet. I haven't gone to a single house show because I don't seem to like bands anymore and I never hear about them anyway. Plus my mustache and my general air of semi-confused disinterest make me look like a NARC. I haven't consumed one single shitty beer on a rooftop, seen one single stranger's titty, or taken one single epic bike ride to nowhere. There have been a few cookouts and they have been of the standard tightness, but for the most part this is already shaping up to be one of the lowest-rated Richmond summers over my entire 9 years living here. Perhaps the strangest aspect of this one in particular--and most likely the catalyst for it's dismal performance--is the fact that I am in school. What the hell?

Summer school is nuts because it's awesome. I've been taking Spanish 102 for only 3 weeks now and I've already learned/memorized more than I did over 4 years of the shit in high school. Granted all of this knowledge and comprehension will immediately start to dissipate after just one week of not going to class everyday, it still feels cool to go the 'books en espanol' section of Barnes & Noble and kind of understand the first few paragraphs of everything you pick up. After a lot of thought (maybe like 5 mins worth) I've decided that the best way to truly test my newly-acquired skills would be to throw myself directly into the lion's den. Excuse me, la guarida del león.

2012 is fast approaching. Cancer is rampant and seemingly unstoppable. The economy is crumbling. Pimp C is dead. Corporations have already staked claim on the untapped oil reserves beneath the melting polar icecaps that are going to drown us all. The Pope was a member of the Hitler Youth. Varg is out of jail. Harlan Cole Hutchison is getting a goddamned credit card. And I'm going to use that credit card to purchase two tickets to Chile. One for myself and one for my skeptical non-believer dumbface of a girlfriend. We are going to South America. We are going to shit our pants at the majesty of it all. We will sandboard in the desert with other douchebags. We will battle gigantic insects in the great forests. We will eat bull's balls with manly gauchos. We will dance the night away in the corrugated city of Valpraiso. We will stare at the not-so-distant fjords in the southern tip and hum Immortal songs together. And if the world should come crashing to an end, so be it. We will ride that shit out 100% baller style: sitting atop llamas and sipping matte' and nodding our heads respectfully as the Andes cry out to us "Look at me, motherfuckers! I am the long-forgotten spine of a dragon!"

F.T.W.

And that's what's poppin'.

Friday, June 5, 2009

THIS WEEK IN NETFLIX


"Notorious"

I could write a handful of paragraphs about the continually overheard argument that revolves around the validity of a drug-peddling misogynist's art, the useless opinions of any major publication's film critics when discussing the merits and shortcomings of a hip-hop biopic, or the fact that Tupac Shakur was always a douchebag regardless of the fact that my older brother uncharacteristically worshiped him. Instead I'll just sum up this review by saying that the movie was very, very enjoyable and did an excellent job of romanticizing the life of a man whose motives were probably never as genuine as they are made to seem, which certainly doesn't devalue any of his output (he was tight as fuck) or take away from the fact that an entire community was inspired by him. So basically this is "Braveheart" for black people. P.S. Lil' Kim's boobs.


"The Night Porter"

Another "lost gem" given the royal treatment by Criterion so a world full of real people will never, ever watch it. If you've ever dated a girl with crappy dad issues and a collection of Marquis de Sade books that she has never read and will never read, then you already know how wack and boring weird sex can be. Let the self-important sadsacks of the world waste their time channeling unfulfilled desires and deeply-buried emotional trauma into their bedroom politics, thus ruining the fun of a good fuck. The rest of us will deal with our shit like actual adults so we can get back out there, clear-minded and pragmatic and ready to get our dicks wet. If skeletons give you a boner or you really enjoy yawning, you might like this movie. I fell asleep three times and decided to watch the next one instead.


"The Ninth Configuration"

YUSSSSS. William Peter Blatty is the shit. "The Exorcist III" is an underrated sleeper and apparently this movie bombed when it was released because it "thoroughly perplexed" audiences. Simpletons. To discuss this shit in any great detail would be a great disservice to anyone interested in checking it out, but rest assured that your laughter and your anxiety attacks will flow in equal measure while you watch. Basically it's the best movie that William S. Burroughs never made. Nuts.

Monday, June 1, 2009

RE-UP YO BRAIN, MANE.

Kotchy & Shunda K - "Le Passion, Yo"


I'll be the first to admit that the majority of the hip hop I listen to is some seriously ignorant shit. That's just what I like. I can certainly recognize genuine talent in most aspects of life (real recognize real), but I'm more a fan of braggadocious storytelling, wild party anthems and terrifyingly misogynistic coke-rap than I probably ever will be of straight-up preachy shit with a positive spin and a nauseatingly omnipresent conscience. I'm always interested in hearing about what kind of girls the Beatnuts are fucking and all of the different ways Vinnie Paz wants to kill everyone. I like music about guns and drugs and sex and money, and Mos Def just sounds like Sting to me.
But I spent my entire day yesterday popping adderall so I could study for my Spanish exam at work, and that felt pretty awesome so I kept taking them throughout the night. This of course resulted in my complete inability to ever fucking fall asleep, when combined with the mockingbird right outside of my bedroom window made me want to swallow bullets. So I just picked a random album on iTunes and gradually dozed off into a dream world inhabited by gigantic sets of chattering teeth, no less than four big-assed & inhibition-free chicas and one asshole bird that kept reciting his rutina diaria to me through the glorious aural majesty of tweeting in espanol. The album I chose was "Below the Heavens" by Blu & Exile and as I slid into my short lived slumber my final thought was "this was probably the best hip hop album of 2007." That realization in no way means that it was my favorite hip hop album of 2007, just that it was the best. I barely even listen to the damn thing.
But while on the concept of groundbreaking shit, I'd like to share with you some of the most self-important and saccharine-coated music I've heard in a long time that somehow I am still really into. I never got into Yo!Majesty that hard, and I think Shunda K just sounds like some segment about lesbian slam-poetry on yet another inevitably disappointing episode of HBO's "Real Sex," but these beats by Kotchy are killing me, doggs. The first song alone makes me want to snort up the entire Milky Way and fuck a statue. Underwater. At first I thought it sounded like "D'angelo eats mushrooms and goes to Baltimore." Now it's sounding more to me like "Justin Timberlake as gang-banged by Parliament." Either way, I am FEELING IT. It's about 100% different than what I normally listen to, but give it a chance and if that first song doesn't at least make your girlfriend horny then you are dating a Mormon. Don't do that.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

THIS WEEK IN NETFLIX


"Let The Right One In"

Damn, son! I know that picture is bad-ass but don't be fooled. This isn't some "Lost Boys" style vampire fun-fest. This is a significantly more serious piece of filmaking and doesn't really deserve to be lumped in with much of the other crap that falls under the phrase Vampire Movies. About three or so years ago I knew these two dudes. One was named Chad and he was a total seductive vampire-looking asshole: really tall, dark features, solemn face, monotonous bad attitude, well-dressed and all that jazz. The other guy was named Justin and he was a total 2,000 year old back to basics monstrous vampire-looking fruitbasket: also very tall, but repulsively thin with long scarecrow hair, wicked witch length fingernails, scary yellow teeth and translucent skin. Once I realized that I had never once seen them in the same place at the same time I figured out that they were in fact the same dude. Chad was the night-time form. He would go out to shitty dance-punk shows and seduce women with his vampiric style and good lucks. If they were unlucky enough to stick around too long the next day, however, they found themselves face-to-face with Justin. He was the day-time form, and he didn't give a shit if you found out how old and ugly he was. Your ass had already been seduced! Might as well sit around with him and listen to hippie music all day. I'm not really sure what happened to those/that dudes/dude, and I really don't care because I never liked them/him all that much anyway. But the point is, this movie isn't like that at all. It's classy. It's atmospheric. It's layered. It's tons of other words that real film critics use. But all you really need to know is that it is tight. And with the decline of that much black metal worth listening to it's seriously putting Scandinavia back on the cultural map.


"Blindness"

Wow. This is a really great adaptation of the book that took me about four attempts to finally get into. I started reading it while I was spending a month in Italy, attempting to travel on a gnat's shoestring budget. I know you're like "gnats don't wear shoes" but in Italy they do. Expensive ones. They also have shitty fashion mullets, very little respect for women and drive like blind retards in tiny little cars and scooters that you are still afraid of. After a pretty boring morning in the town of Ferrara (no offense to bike dudes) I was able to settle my mind down enough form the constant waves of culture shock to really get caught up in this story. If you've read the book you'll probably be pretty pleased with this film version, one of the few that I can honestly say really "gets" the overall theme and aesthetic vision of the original material and recreates it as well as possible. It was around five years ago when I read it, but certain scenes in this movie evoked near-perfect memories of entire written passages. This is the textbook definition of faithful. Luckily everything translates surprisingly well--with the possible exception of Danny Glover as a semi-mystical one-eyed puppy dog narrator--and works fine as a movie. You might be disappointed by not seeing a graphic depiction of a dude jizzing into a woman's mouth at the exact same moment that a knife cuts open his throat, or you might not because you aren't as fucked up and weird as I am. Your loss.

Monday, May 18, 2009

THIS WEEK IN NETFLIX

This week's theme was Dudes I Like (no homo).


"Special"

You may know Michael Rappaport as the guy whose leg twitches a little bit after a smart shark eats him in "Deep Blue Sea." Or you may just recognize him as that white guy who's in all of those black movies. I saw "Deep Blue Sea" in the theater three times and I've always sort of considered myself a white man in a black man's world, so I know him as both. Know him and love him. This movie's trailer sold itself to me as a slightly dark comedy that could really only be done justice by a word I cringe to use: quirky. However, the movie itself, when I finally watched it, had other plans. I'm sad to say that despite the incredible potential behind having Rappaport star in a somewhat familiar tale about a regular guy who is mistakenly led to believe that he has superpowers, all you're really getting in the end is a mediocre indie drama with unnecessarily washed-out visuals, a pretentious "ambient" soundtrack and very little laughs. There were a few bright spots, mostly thanks to the Ginger Giant himself. Plus there is something remarkably intriguing about a hot girl with a terrible stutter. But all in all this movie falls pretty flat. It's certainly not the worst thing Rappaport has ever been in, especially considering his short-lived T.V. show. But nothing about it really makes it worth watching if you already own the DVD of "Deep Blue Sea" which you watch pretty often because-holy shit-that movie has not only Michael Rappaport in it, but also L.L. Cool J and Thomas motherfucking Jane. Talk about "dudes I like!"




"JCVD"

As far as I'm concerned there are two types of people in this world: those who grew up watching Jean-Claude Van Damme movies and those who can fuck right off. "Bloodsport." "Cyborg." "Universal Soldier." "Hard Target." Fuck, even "Timecop." They're all great action movies and they are all fortunate enough to feature the Muscles from Brussels, by far the brightest star in the admittedly murky galaxy of 80's and 90's B-grade action icons. Bruce Willis is cool but he never really topped "Die Hard." Arnold Schwarzeneggar is a meaningless household name and apparently the governor of a state somewhere. Steven Seagal sucks fucking ass and he always has. Dolph Lundgren is pretty cool but mainly because of this. Van Damme towers above the rest for a multitude of factors, including but certainly not limited to his adorable French accent, the indisputable majesty of his roundhouse kick and the fact that he always, even in his darkest times (and boy have there been plenty!) seemed to exude a level of heart and sincerity that was noticeably absent in his peers. Don't try to act like you don't know what I'm talking about, you assholes. Regardless of whether you are a superfan like myself bordering on homosexual idol worship or just some idiot who has never seen an action movie, this film will probably change the way you feel about the man whom you may or may not have even heard of. It's an unbelievably well done pseudo-documentary/mock-action/character study that you really should see with your own eyes to appreciate. The opening scene almost tops the single-shot fight scene in "Oldboy" and there is a surreal moment later on where Van Damme floats right out of the film and delivers a seriously phenomenal monologue directly to the camera. If this scene-the pinnacle of the film and without a doubt the greatest piece of acting Timecop has ever mustered-doesn't bring a tear to your eye, then you just don't get it. Better stick to Jane Austen novels, themed parties and the lifestyle of total douchery you're familiar with.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

GET BIG: THE SOUNDTRACK

As you can clearly see in this picture, I like to get wasted. Not as much as I used to and certainly not as much as some people I know. But getting trashed is just some shit that has to happen. It's just a hobby. Maybe you collect vinyl toys or go to dog shows or wear one of those stupid no-bill-having bicycle hats. I don't know what you're into and I don't care and I will never give you shit about it. At least not to your face. Not unless I am wasted. So don't judge me. The point is: I have this shitty tendency to get a little bit older with each passing year and I am no longer able to bounce right back after a long night of whatever the fuck is happening in this picture as easily as I could in the past. So now I have a gym membership so I can keep my body in tip-top shape so I can keep destroying it. There are lots of gyms out there and they probably all have the same shit going on (unreasonably hot moms, scary young thugs, creepy gay dudes) but I personally go to the YMCA because I'm broke and I only have to pay 10 bucks every month. It's an O.K. place to spend an hour or two sweating and trying to covertly ogle tits and asses through the system of full-wall mirrors. But the soundtrack sucks. I don't like Kylie Minogue and I don't like the sound of huge apes in sweatpants grunting so I always bring an iPod. I like to get into a real particular mood when I'm at the gym because I love to daydream. I'll change it up every once in a while but I always find that the following three albums keep me pumped on PUMPING UP.

Burzum - "Filosofem"
Yeah yeah, I know. Varg is a murderer. And a racist. And a weirdo. But whatever, that's just what has to go into making an album like this. This is just some straight-up desolate classic shit. Dude is 100% composed of misguided hate and it is an undeniable fact that that makes for some pretty stellar black metal. Usually when I'm listening to this I zone out and picture lots of long, slow shots of ice-covered wastelands and embittered winter forests. I know that's pretty predictable but about halfway through the first song my mental backgrounds start to fill up with handfuls of busty Satanic bitches wearing robes (for about 10 seconds!) doing some seriously non-Christian shit to each other. I'm talking deer-antler dildos and shit. Snow-encrusted chalices full of blood and pussy juice and I guess probably some melted snow, inevitably. You're probably wondering how I keep from getting a boner but you also probably don't work out much and don't realize it's kind of hard to get one while your body is focused on other stuff. Anyway, if you watch "Schindler's List" or "Life is Beautiful" a lot and you really can't let yourself jam out to music made by a pseudo-Nazi, an acceptable replacement album would be "Two Hunters" by Wolves in the Throneroom. It's also really cold and harsh, if not a lot better recorded, but is probably about the majesty of nature instead of the weakness of races. A lot of scowl-faced dudes in trenchcoats will try to tell you that it is not "real black metal" but all of those dudes grew up in the suburbs and hang out with girls who smell bad, so fuck them. They never go to the gym, anyway.

Various Artists - "After Dark"
This is a compilation album put out by the label "Italians Do It Better" and it's really great. I really like that label, and not just because I'm 1/4th Italian and I know it's totally true. This is just some really good zone-out-and-daydream music. I downloaded it a while ago because I remember the days when Chromatics and Glass Candy (two bands featured on this album) used to be more punk-sounding. I kind of lost track of all that shit when I started listening exclusively to rap and grind for a while, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out that both bands are now all about futuristic disco from the part of space where all of the aliens are skinny babes that wear perfect eye makeup and fuck solid silver vibrators all night long. Oddly enough, that is not what I daydream about when I listen to this. I usually just think about the one night I spent dancing at some supercool club in Barcelona. We all got so wasted I ended up dancing so hard that I chipped one of my friend's teeth. Later a guy in the bathroom asked us if we had any cocaine by simply pointing to a tattoo of coke-lines on his forearm. It was weird and awesome and probably the most music-video shit I've ever been involved with. I also sometimes just think about listening to this shit at home with my girlfriend while we make dinner. If we have some weed we smoke it and if we have some wine we chug it and we end up dancing together while the pasta boils. That's probably the best time to listen to this, actually. While you make dinner with your girl. If she is cool and not into stupid shit like Belle & Sebastian or the goddamned Decemberists then she'll probably put on a dress and some sexy heels and eventually start dancing pretty nasty and finally just let you bone the living shit out of her over the kitchen counter while she still has the shoes on. Holy shit. I'm not in the gym right now, so I accidentally just gave myself a boner. In the library.

Various Artists - "Fear & Loathing in Hunts Vegas"
Another comp? Sort of. This is just a bunch of Paper Route rappers doing different songs that are all tied together by remixed beats from Diplo. And it's fucking awesome. Once again this was recommended to me by my boy JoJo and once again he has hooked me up with solid gold. I'm starting to feel weird sitting here in the library with a hard-on so I'll just let you make your own judgements on this one. Just Google it and you will find it available for a free download. It's good for the gym because it's totally hypnotic and exists in a perfect world that somehow combines stoned-out shoegazing musical cues with some hard-ass Southern rap ignorance. It's perfect. I listen to this shit and picture myself popping an endless rainbow of pillz driving superfast on the Audubon while a supermodel gives me an extremely slow BeeJay. It's also very inspirational to look around at all of the women in the gym and think about how fucking fit you're going to look soon and how healthy your mind and body and spirit will be and how irresistible you'll be to not only those but all women and how maybe if you are extremely lucky one day in your life you will finally and completely be able to live your entire life by the greatest line not just of this album but of any album ever: "And if my dick don't work, tell the bitch 'suck my sooooouuuuuullllll.'"





Monday, May 11, 2009

THIS WEEK IN NETFLIX

"Encounters at the End of the World"

Werner Herzog is a retard. Is it okay to say that? I mean, I love the dude. Every movie he did with Klaus Kinski is a masterpiece and "Rescue Dawn" is the only movie that's ever really made me afraid of the jungle. If you ever tried to tell me that "Grizzly Man" is not the single most genius cinematic attempt at intentional comedy then I will probably punch you in the face. You have it coming. But this movie was too much. Yes, Antarctica is a crazy place. Yes, the people who choose to live their lives there probably have some serious off-the-margins shit going on upstairs. But if you are given the chance to talk with a seriously unstable man who has all but completely given up on human interaction to spend the rest of his life hanging out with penguins and all you can come up with to ask him is "Are there any gay penguins?" and "Do penguins ever go crazy?", then you are Werner Herzog and I don't know if I would ever actually want to hang out with you.



"Inside"

Hooooooooolyyyyy Crap. What has been going on in the land that gave us self-important romance, delicate croissants and Pepe' Le Pew? I don't know when all French filmmakers started to hate people but their Horror New Wave is fucking KILLING IT. As a fair warning, if you are the kind of person who has ever written a poem without a single swear word in it or you are somebody's mother, this movie probably isn't for you. A small part of me (my vagina) almost wants to be "outraged" by this unrelenting assault of misanthropic bat-shit. But a much larger part of me (my everything) remembers that I spent my prom night completely sober and miserable, went home alone and fell asleep watching Lucio Fulci's "Zombie." This shit was made for people like me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

WATCH MY SHOES















I dunno what else to say about these shoes other than that I finally understand where Webbie is coming from. I've never been the type to give too much of a shit about fashion. I don't like to walk around looking like ass-boogers all the time or anything, but I've never put a ton of thought into shit like seasonal color schemes or limited edition hyper-neon dick massaging sneakers n' shit. But look at those motherfuckers up there and realize with me that they are about to change EVERYTHING. I found these bad boys for $5 at a thrift store in San Francisco and I haven't taken them off since (except for when I'm at work 'cuz fuck spilling grease all over that ice cream). I seriously feel like I could strap them on underneath an outfit made entirely out of wet trash from the street and some other dude's back hair and I could still get a blowjob at a Mouthless Convention. Plus every time I look down I'm reminded that I want a Pepsi and that "throwback" shit is poppin' off right now so no high fructose corn syrup for me! So far I've gotten more compliments for these shoes than I ever got for getting good grades, and within a week of purchasing them some random dimepiece on campus was walking by on her cellphone and told the person on the other end to "hold on a second" so she could look me straight in the eyes and say "I like your shoes" all sexy like a James Bond bitch. Not to get too Juggernaut's helmet about it, but if anything ever happened to these shoes I seriously don't know what the fuck I would do.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

THIS WEEK IN NETFLIX


"Timecrimes"

There was a lot of internet nerd-hype surrounding this one for months before I had a chance to see it, so you can understand why I ended up a little bit disappointed by its deliberate pacing and lack of action. That's not to say it isn't a great film, because it is. I guess I just expected something with more of a cheesy B-movie feel, and not so much the mind-bending array of cerebral nut-punches that this turned out to be. Try to imagine a remake of "Back to the Future," co-written by Ray Bradbury and Franz Kafka and directed by a post-retirement Alfred Hitchcock more interested in pulling off some random ideas than piecing together an impeccable air-tight thriller. Throw in some goofy humor, a cool Darkman-looking mystery character, some truly white-knuckled suspense sequences and one incomprehensibly perfect set of Spanish ta-tas and you've got a solidly entertaining thinking-man's time travel movie that replaces Marty McFly's Huey Lewis obsession with wisely opaque meditations on consequences, regret, and the ultimate bummer of deciding the importance of one human life compared to another. Oh shit, and did I mention those ta-tas?

"Barbarella"
I never saw "Barbarella" as a kid, so I missed out on the obvious Pavlovian response to a PG-rated film featuring lots of intimated sex scenes, brief nipple shots and otherwise lame innuendos. There's no denying that Jane Fonda is a stone cold solid space-fox in this movie and I would certainly pay any amount of space-cash to space-jizz all over her space-boobs. Unfortunately-and remarkably-that's not enough. I came into this film after a childhood of Princess Leia-inspired boners, an adolescence of Marilyn Chambers-based masturbation sessions and an adulthood poisoned by endless waves of soul-souring hardcore pornography (some of which, I might add, has also featured not only space-babes and space-boobs, but space-blowjobs and occasionally space-anal). So the nostalgia-tinged aura of eroticism that probably makes this movie a campy classic for many people my age and a little bit older was pretty much lost on me, leaving little more than shit dialogue, the wispy ghost of a seriously weak plot and one amazingly gay angel. A lot of the set design was cool, and probably mind-blowing for its time. But after it was over I immediately forgot about almost everything that I had just seen and promptly hopped onto the internet to bust a posthumous nut to some classic Marilyn Chambers footage. R.I.P. Marilyn, one of the greatest adult actresses of all time. And R.I.P. "Barbarella," apparently one of the most beloved cult films of all time that I personally diagnosed as D.O.A.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SMOKE WEED EVERY DAY?


Last night while closing down at work we all got high and gave each other temporary tattoos. Mine was a dumbass bulldog with a crown on its head, Drew's was a skull confusingly wearing a golf hat, Kate's was some probably made-up Asian mix between a dragon and a wildcat, I don't remember what Jill's was, and after several failed attempts it was decided that Jay couldn't have one because his entire body is covered in too much hair. It was a stupid, stoned gesture, but it added to the already enjoyable process of closing down a restaurant you love working at with a handful of genuinely fun people. Smoking the weed was an afterthought to an already good time, and was almost as natural a part of the closing process as scraping the grill. And yesterday's date was 4/21.
The night before, on that admittedly lame holiday celebrated by bleary-eyed herb enthusiasts in doo-rags, tye-dye and everything in between, I took a few GB hits with my next door neighbors and got too high to carry on a reasonable conversation, let alone go out anywhere. I feigned interest in what everyone was saying for about an hour, zoned out hard during an episode of "30 Rock" and then went home to eat ice cream and cake and fall asleep on the couch with my girlfriend. Woo-hoo, 4/20!
The point I'm trying to make is, as I grow older and "more mature" the whole concept of getting high in general is taking on a new persona for me. Long gone are the days of getting high every day, laughing at the TV news, head-banging in slow-motion with my best friend's dog, having 2 hour conversations about "Mask" and "Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors," losing my head inside of Isis's "Oceanic," ordering a pizza at 2am, then totally freaking out when it shows up and finally puking out the window. Weed was an event back then. Something you looked forward to at the close of the day. My roommates and I would pool our $$ throughout the week to make purchases from someone we only referred to as "Supergirl," and then we would watch 2 episodes of "Lost" back to back and cry during them. At work, my co-workers and I would blaze up in the bathroom or the alley out back and then make pizza with our hands while our minds wandered around inside of ThreeSixMafia songs or the "Akira" soundtrack. Getting high was a given, but Being high was still a totally unique and noteworthy sensation.
Fast-forward a few years and my life is significantly more stable than it was back then. I live with my girlfriend, I take school a lot more seriously and I rarely have the time or the money to go out. I still get high, but it's different. There is no ritual surrounding it. No queing-up of a Boris song or long process of completely cleaning out the bong. We don't have handfuls of people over just to get high. It's just a thing that happens every once in a while. Like drinking some beer. And yes, I still get fucking high as balls. But I can handle it better now. It's a conversation enhancer, rather than a conversation retarder.
I'm not sure what this signifies, if anything, about my life in general. I suppose I am still teetering somewhere on that invisible line between early 20's constant partying, and late 20's cleaning-up-your-act. The fear inherent in all of this is that I will eventually become some square who takes everything way too seriously. I know it's pretty unlikely, but I can't help but think about it a little bit when the once-revered process of getting so fucking baked on 4/20 that I watch foreign films without subtitles so i can "figure it out myself" and eat whole celery stalks dipped into jars of peanut butter and coated with Corn Flakes (Cerealery) is a hazy memory that has finally revealed itself as nothing more than a cheesy novelty act that does little more than trivialize the blunt truth about things: I like to get high. Everybody likes to get high. So why not streamline the process into something-dare I say it?-normal, instead of putting a silly hat on it once a year and forcing it to dance around for our entertainment? But at the same time, is that just the feared square inside of me talking? Fuck man, I don't know. I guess I'll just close this dialogue with the best text message I received this holiday: "Celebrating right now! Hitler knew whats up"