Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Ok, so perhaps my last babysitting gig did not go according to plan (I can't even remeber the last time I had to give someone an emergengy tracheotomy w/ a piece of broken mirror and a tin kazoo). Still, several months and two mistrials later and somehow, Aunt John and Unkle Lancifer over @ Kindertrauma have once again found themselves en-route to the ELK's convention w/o a babysitter. Seeing as how my days are free (FBI survalience) and I am in desperate need of money (Nigerian Pyramid Scheme), I will take this opportunity to regale the youngin's with tales of that dashing folkhero, Vincent Price, and the sage-like wisdom his conservative morality plays entone. Either way it should be a memorable night. Better leave your emergency contact numbers...just in case.
Roland S. Howard has passed away from Liver cancer. He was 50 years young. Howard is perhaps best known as the guitarist for Austrailian Punk band 'The Boys Next Door', and its later incarnation "The Birthday Party', both fronted by the carismatic, if not not sanctimoniously self-involved Nick Cave. If you have not indulged, I suggest you do so. The Boys next Door, and especially the Birthday Party have cut some of the most blisteringly intense music of the Post-Punk error (Note: for a sampling, see BFTRB Welcome to 1987 mix). Howards guitar work is both innovative and, at once, completely discordant. A winning combination if ever there was one.
R.I.P. Roland Howard.
Monday, December 28, 2009
The Green Pastures (1936)
"The Green Pastures began life as a group of "revisionist" Biblical stories titled Ol' Man Adam and His Chillun, written in exaggerated Negro dialect by white humorist Roark Bradford. These Old Testament stories were purportedly told from the point of view of an elderly black Sunday School teacher, who translated the Biblical prose into words that his congregation ("untutored black Christians" was Bradford's description) could readily understand. Thus, "De Lawd" behaves very much like a Southern black Baptist preacher; Heaven is a wondrous bayou-like land of big cigars and eternal fish fries; "Cap'n" Noah is a languid ferryboat skipper who argues with De Lawd over the advisability of bringing along a couple of kegs of liquor on the Ark; and the court of the Pharoah is redefined as a "Mystic Knights of the Sea" type lodge hall, with Moses introduced as a "conjure man". It is, of course, a white man's perspective on black life, but both the original "Ol' Man Adam", and the subsequent Pulitzer Prize-winning stage version written by Marc Connelly and retitled Green Pastures, have a lot more clarity, profundity and spiritual reverence than most "serious" Biblical adaptations. In this 1936 film version of the Connelly play, Rex Ingram is nothing less than brilliant as De Lawd, speaking the most ludicrous of lines with dignity and quiet authority. Others in the all-black cast include Eddie "Rochester" Anderson as Noah, Frank Wilson as Moses, George Reed as Rev. Deshee, and Oscar Polk as Gabriel, who has the film's single most stirring line: "Gangway! Gangway for de Lawd God Jehovah!" Unlike many other so-called racist films of decades past, The Green Pastures nearly always charms and captivates its modern-day audiences; even the most adamant of "P.C" advocates will probably thoroughly enjoy the experience. Playwright Marc Connelly is credited as director of Green Pastures, as he was for the original stage version, but co-director William Keighley and director of photography Hal Mohr deserve most of the credit for the film's strong cinematic sense."
~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
Thursday, December 24, 2009
It doesn't take a person with a necklace made of human ears to hear the sounds of the season rising like heat off the fronds of a primordial jungle. This evening, when you are gathered around a cozy ash-can fire, cooking M.R.E's in an empty steel ammo case and sharpening your traditional pungy sticks with an M1 mounted Bayonette, please consider, momentarily, those people less fortunate than you; those without even an ounce of Napalm to their person. Tis the season...
Merry Christmas/Non-denominational seasonal celebration (of which I make no faith-based implication in the interests of spiritual equality) to all you God-less heathens out there!
Christmas In Vietnam - Charles Bowen (& The Gentlemen From Tigerland)
Christmas In Vietnam (Instrumental) - Charles Bowen (& The Gentlemen From Tigerland)
Monday, December 21, 2009
Short of sniper fire and trench warfare, I think the most practical application for fingerless gloves would have to digging through 45rpms in a garage in 20 degree weather. I mean, at the very least it will buy you some choice diggin’ time before the blood fully runs out of your extremities. They said I was mad for wearing a wool-lined duck-hunter’s jacket. Well, who’s mad now (Mwwahhaahaahaa)?
Anywhoo…This next record is the kind of happy surprise that makes such selfish endeavors seem totally worth it. There is precious little info about G. L Crockett (besides this bitchin’ photo – dig the hair, man!) sufficed to say that he cut a couple of hen’s Teeth, most notably Chief records (Leather Jacket Cowboy, anyone?) in 57’ and a couple of 65’ late comers on the 4 Brothers records.
What we have here is a specimen of the latter, and lucky for us that both sides shell out some serious primitive-ass shekels you can take straight to the bank. The guitar work here is very sparse, treble-laden and loose, bringing to mind everything that is right about late 50’s R&B comported to a slightly later soul market. Both sides deserve the attention, so be attentive, will ya?
It's a Man Down There – G.L. Crockett
Every Hour, Every Day – G.L. Crockett
Friday, December 18, 2009
"Leak? Hell no. These babies are made by the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers..."
Director / Screenwriter Dan O'Bannon recently passed away from an unknown ailment. He was 63. O'Bannon's credits include the screenplay for Aliens and Total Recall among others. In addition to his screenwriting credit, O'Bannon also directed genere favorites 'Dead and Buried', H.P. Lovecraft's 'The Resurected' and last, but not least, he wrote and directed what is in my humble opinion one of the most entertaining and enjoyable modern horror films of the 1980's, 'Return of the Living Dead'
I must say, it is rather difficult to respectfully memorialize one who's calling card happens to be a black-humored Zombie comedy, but just the same, on the off chance he's not dismembered, and subsequently cremated, it might be wise to keep him away from the Trioxin. Just a thought.
R.I.P. Dan O'Bannon
Friday, December 11, 2009
Be it Ever So Humble…
70,000 hits!? Seriously, who’d a thunk that I, of all people, would have the attention span to keep at it this long? I mean, I drift between projects like an Alzheimer’s patient so it is some kind of small wonder that I am able to focus enough to even hang this measly pap out to dry, not that I manage to do it in any semblance of a timely manner mind you (Case in point, this post) nor any semblance of decorum. Anyway, I had started piece-mealing what I thought was to be a completely random mix for the occasion only to realize upon closer scrutiny that these songs inadvertently shared the same vague antecedent, namely, each song just so happens to be late-sixties psychedelia buried at the ass end of a long-play. Yup, I’m talkin’ filler-diller, but with one small exception – these song kick ass!
No fancy arrangements; no lofty musical aspirations; just short, sweet and dirty like a Tai schoolgirl. Now, let’s open this fancy-ass can of soup-dejour w/ one of music’s more primal inspirations – misogyny! Yup, ‘Don’t Lie to Me Baby’ by Toby Ben got it in spades, as well as some of the worst harmonica since Bob Dylan strapped a tin Honer feed-bag to the hole in his face (Sorry Sister). Seriously, dig the harp at the end; it sounds like J.B. Lenore hackin’ the solo apart on ‘Mama Talk to Your Daughter’, except that it ain’t very good. Amazing!
Next up is ‘Blow My Mind’, a song so upbeat and confidant in it’s swagger that you’ll wanna smash your 8oz off on the edge of the bar and go hog-wild w/ the bottleneck. Who’d a thunk those little black eggs w/ the little white specks known the world over as the Critters could unleash such havoc? Hands off the twelve-string fellers. Stick to the Wurlitzer.
Your mind being sufficiently blown by now, we continue on w/ Syndicate of Sound’s extremely strange cover of ‘the Witch’ by the world-famous Sonics. Doesn’t quite live up to the original, but it sure is an odd choice, even for the B-side of a major label release.
Back in the Dylan camp we got we got Billy Blue and his weird-ass organ-fueled psych nonsense ‘Arcade Love Machine’, replete w/ nasally vocals and off-time delivery. Truth be told, I have no idea what the hell this guy is singin’ about, but that has never stopped me from enjoyin’ someone’s thread.
Continuing along the emerging downward spiral of pop depression we find the Paul Revere patterned ‘American Revolution’ and their moody, mid-tempo, ‘Show Me How to Cry’. Can’t say I’m a strange to such lessons, but I think I’ll keep my stoicism in check, just the same.
Funny story w/ this disc: I picked it up at a town wide garage sale (The self same one that produced a twenty-five cent copy of Dracula’s Deuce) from some crazy Cuban lady and her pack of vicious Chihuahua-dogs. When all was said and done I managed to walk out w/ a bunch of crazy regional Cuban psych, but that is a post of a different color.
I LUV this next track! Frenzy (Unrelated to Screamin’ Jay) off the Fugs second album sounds like a jug-band rhythm section headlinin’ a punk matinee @ the local VFW (Veterans of a Fucked-up World), only, last time I went to one of those some kid got his hip dislocated. Hopefully you, dear reader, fair better.
Winding this thing down is the Sir Douglas Quintet who, once famously photographed in silhouette to diminish the racial implications of their high-ass Mexican cheekbones, have taken up the smoke-wagon and bandolier against the Southwest themed Son of Bill Baety, proving once again how versatile the riff from ‘She’s About a Mover’ ultimately is. And finally we round this thing out with Them (or, Van Morrison, if his legal team is watching) and his incredibly moody, if not shamelessly copied (Animals, Anyone?) ‘I’m Gonna Dress in Black’. That’s right kids. You’ll get over that faze eventually, and then it’s Madras and Mustangs all the way!
That about does it for this installment of Filler Theatre. Hope you dig, and thanks to everyone for the patronage. Until next time...
Blues for the RedBoy presents: Filler Theatre Vol # 1
Behold, the ellusive Sasquatch in it's native habitat: The Brighton Bar.
AKA: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
"the greatest film of the thirteenth century."
"Sam Peckinpah knew he couldn't call a movie Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia and get away with it. That's why he did it. When he undertook this nakedly personal project, in self-exile in Mexico, the director was a deeply bitter man out of favor with critics, the media, and the Hollywood establishment, which had just released his Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid in a mutilated version. "Bring Me the Head..." sounded like the parody title of an ultraviolent Sam Peckinpah movie, and he flung it in our faces just as his onscreen surrogate tosses the titular object at the camera.
Thing is, the movie is a masterpiece--raw, shocking, beautiful, and brave--in which Peckinpah confronts his enemies and his own demons. Warren Oates plays a gringo piano-player stuck in Mexico who hears that some powerful men are willing to pay a bounty on a guy he knows. They don't know the guy is already dead, killed in a car accident. It'll be easy to exhume the trophy and collect the money--except that it will cost our seedy hero everything he has and ever wanted.
John Huston's Treasure of the Sierra Madre had always been a key legend for Peckinpah; this film is a subterranean re-imagining of it, with Oates as both the son of Fred C. Dobbs and the carnival-mirror reflection of Peckinpah himself. And Isela Vega's performance as the sainted whore Elita--bruised and worldly one minute, radiant and clear-skinned as a child the next--is an act of grace."
--Richard T. Jameson