December 20, 2009

Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World - Ep. 11: Dragons, Dinosaurs And Giant Snakes

This one cuts off a little abruptly, most likely caused by that dinosaur hunter's weird-ass wig.

December 07, 2009

Screwed By Grunge!

This playlist is the necessary product of two conversations I recently had with a couple of devoted music fans who are at least ten years younger than myself. For them, Nirvana (and Kurt Cobain in particular) represents the absolute best music of the 90s and possibly all time. History is written by the winners. I get it. But, man, oh, man, did I ever hate that whole grunge thing! My main gripe was that, in addition to much of the Seattle sound being comparatively dull, despondent and poorly produced, there was a steady stream of cool music coming out of England at the very same time. The British bands were employing a lot of the same tricks (the wall of sound, for example), but there was a cleverness and an arrogant sense of optimism in the way they blasted it into your ears. Maybe that's why it's not given much thought today: the stuff coming out of England wasn't angry or cranky enough. Regardless, it depressed me that the people I was speaking with had never heard of The Stone Roses. That self-titled first album is to me what Abbey Road was to many people of the previous generation. So, my point is this: there is plenty of room in the music library for everyone, but pitted against one another on a level playing field of marketing dollars, the British kids on this playlist knock Seattle's dick in the dirt. Related: The Golden Age Of 4AD

November 09, 2009

Three Visual Metaphors Of My Reaction To The Mediocre/Compromised Healthcare Reform Bill

** BRONZE MEDAL ** ** SILVER MEDAL ** ** GOLD MEDAL ** I mean, better than nothing, I guess, but Christ almighty! Come on guys. Weak. P.S. Right back in your face, FUTURECHIMP!

October 26, 2009

Required Viewing: "My Bodyguard" (1980)

Serves well as a double-feature with Over The Edge (this was Matt Dillon's follow-up) or Harold and Maude (see, Maude didn't die, she just relocated to a Chicago hotel). My Bodyguard is by far my favorite bully film and my second favorite film set in Chicago. It does a lot of things well. First, the confrontations between the bullies, the bodyguards, and the victims are played very realistically. Second, the soundtrack is minimal. The absence of musical cues during the tense moments makes those scenes subtly nightmarish. Third, I've never seen Chicago look so gross! The entire city seems to be overflowing with garbage and peeling paint. It's dingy, dangerous and abused, like a public toilet, the exact opposite of the safe wonderland which served as the backdrop for the John Hughes films. And fourth, it's refreshing that the adults are played just as sympathetically and intelligently as the kids. I can't think of another film within this genre which does not treat some or all of the parents and teachers as crackpots, clueless buffoons, or overbearing bastards. Two final thoughts: 1) I like that Clifford (Chris Makepeace) resembles Regan, the possessed girl in The Exorcist, and 2) as far as I know, the band name "Ricky Linderman's Brother" is still available for the taking. As usual, check it out before the authorities pull it. The entire film is embedded. No need to hunt down the individual parts.

October 23, 2009

Absurd Juxtaposition #0020: Alternate Soundtrack

Play the video and the streaming mp3 simultaneously. Let them battle it out.

October 18, 2009

Required Viewing: "No Retreat, No Surrender" (aka "Karate Tiger," 1986)

Easily--EASILY!--the most satisfyingly stupid film I have ever seen. There are the "bad" movies which are simply boring, then there are the "bad" movies which have a few brilliantly stupid moments peppered in with a lot of tedious plot, and then there is No Retreat, No Surrender. It is THE "bad" film against which I measure all other so-called "bad" films. It's never boring, the stupidity is relentless, all the characters are moronic, it only gets more ridiculous with repeated viewings, AND it's got Van Damme & Soul Man. It will never be topped. This particular cut is some weird international version, which I prefer. The US version (here's part 1) has slightly more integrity and a better soundtrack, but because there are so many fantastically stupid moments which appear only here, I now consider this the definitive version.

Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World - Ep. 2: Monsters Of The Deep

October 17, 2009

Three Interesting Moments With Diane Franklin

** BRONZE MEDAL ** As the French exchange student in Better Off Dead... ** SILVER MEDAL ** As the teenage ball-buster... ** GOLD MEDAL ** As the demon whore... Related: Is Better Off Dead An Under-The-Radar Sequel To Fast Times At Ridgement High?

October 14, 2009

Required Viewing: "Over The Edge" (1979)

The OFFICIAL juvenile vandal film of Pizza Teen! Enjoy it before the stinkin' pigs pull it. NOTE: The sound drops out a couple of times during part 3 due to music licensing issues with Van Halen. Related: "OVER THE EDGE: An Oral History of the Greatest Teen Rebellion Movie of All Time" via

Absurd Juxtaposition #0019 a la Mexicana

October 13, 2009

October 11, 2009

Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World - Ep. 1: The Journey Begins

New episodes will be published every sunday at midnight!

October 09, 2009

October 05, 2009


October 01, 2009

September 01, 2009

August 01, 2009

July 01, 2009

June 22, 2009

Holy Shit!

Why Redd Foxx and Paul Lynde are in it makes as much sense as the disco dancing stormtroopers at about 6:30.

June 11, 2009

Obvious but still worth it

Yes, Phil without his wig looks exactly like Riff Raff from Rocky Horror...

June 01, 2009

May 22, 2009

Jennifer Sullivan's 'One-Week Walden, 2006'

"One-Week Walden, 2006, is an account of my experiences trying to replicate a Walden-like experience during a weeklong stay in a pop-up camper parked in my father's backyard. In the process of realizing the implausibility of this action, I tell a story about my feelings and thoughts during the experiment and create free-associated dramatizations drawn from fantasies of what I had hoped would happen." Related: Jennifer Sullivan's 'Ms. Walden Woods'

Audio Potpourri, May 09

April 28, 2009

Three Examples Of R-Rated Films Repurposed For Children

Alien! Hooray! First Blood! Hooray! The Toxic Avenger! Hooray!

April 09, 2009

Death of a Dungeon Master

RIP Dave Arneson, 1947-2009 Dave Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, has died. From Ed Grabianowski's post on Robot Viking: It’s tempting to say that Arneson brought the “fluff” to D&D, while Gygax was the “crunch,” but that’s really too simplistic. It is safe to say that Arneson’s ideas on storytelling, experience levels and rules flexibility shaped virtually every aspect of the RPG as an industry and an art form. Yet he never achieved the widespread fame that Gygax did, perhaps because his personality wasn’t the kind that drew attention. By most accounts, he was easy-going, good-humored and never took himself too seriously. I’ve always thought of him as the George Harrison of D&D.

April 02, 2009

Dance of the Future

What are those fucker's doing back there??? And even though I don't speak a word of German, I can't take them seriously or pay attention to their conversation with all that crazy shit happening behind them!

An Excerpt From Robert E. Howard's "Rogues In The House" (1934)...

"...After Athicus had been marched away to be formally arraigned before a magistrate, this jailer made the rounds of the cell as a matter of routine. As he passed that of Conan, his sense of propriety was shocked and outraged to see the prisoner free of his chains and in the act of gnawing the last shreds of meat from a huge beef bone. The jailer was so upset that he made the mistake of entering the cell alone, without calling guards from the other parts of the prison. It was his first mistake in the line of duty, and his last. Conan brained him with the beef bone, took his poniard and his keys, and made a leisurely departure..." Read the entire short story here.

February 19, 2009

An Excerpt From Richard Wright's Autobiography "Black Boy" (1945)...

"...On one such lazy, hot summer night Granny, my mother and Aunt Addie were sitting on the front porch, arguing some obscure point of religious doctrine. I sat huddled on the steps, my cheeks resting sullenly on my palms, half listening to what the grownups were saying and half lost in a daydream. Suddenly the dispute evoked an idea in me and, forgetting that I had no right to speak without permission, I piped up and had my say. I must have sounded reekingly blasphemous, for Granny said, "Shut up, you!" and leaned forward promptly to chastise me with one of her casual, back-handed slaps on my mouth. But I had by now become so adept at dodging blows and I nimbly ducked my head. She missed me; the force of her blow was so strong that she fell down the steps, headlong, her aged body wedged in a narrow space between the fence and the bottom step. I leaped up. Aunt Addie and my mother screamed and rushed down the steps and tried to pull Granny's body out. But they could not move her. Grandpa was called and he had to tear the fence down to rescue Granny. She was barely conscious. They put her to bed and summoned a doctor..."

February 15, 2009

February 11, 2009

Three Exquisite Gene Simmons Death Sequences


Arguably The Foulest Thing You Will See This Week

February 01, 2009

January 30, 2009

The Weird, Wonderful Music Of 'The Prisoner' (1967-68)

"The Prisoner, created by Patrick McGoohan and George Markstein, follows a former British Secret agent who is held captive in 'the Village' by mysterious authorities who want to know why he has resigned his position. The series ran for seventeen episodes, from 1967 to 1968, first on the BBC and, later, on Canada's CTV." Three volumes of incidental music from the show were released on CD in the early 90s. I've culled through them and posted the weirdest, the coolest, and the most iconic cues in the playlist above. has been kind enough to post all 17 commercial-free, unedited episodes of The Prisoner HERE. Previously, you had to shell out around eighty bucks for the DVDs. Much of the series is an exercise in anti-television. The final episode ("Fall Out") "generated controversy when it was originally aired because the last third of the episode was designed to be very obscure, have no dialogue, and be open to interpretation. It forced McGoohan, who wrote and directed the episode, to go into hiding for a period of time because he was hounded at his own home by baffled viewers demanding explanations." (wikipedia) If you've never seen it before and you prefer your entertainment served up with a triple-helping of totally-fuckin'-bizarre, you're in for a treat. Start here.

January 27, 2009

The Jazz Butcher: Proof Of Cosmic Indifference

From "The Jazz Butcher was the vehicle of prolific singer/songwriter Pat Fish, an archetypal British eccentric whose sharp observational wit and melodic gifts navigated the group through over a decade of constant line-up shifts, stylistic mutations and even a series of name changes which found the band performing variously -- and apparently randomly -- under such titles as the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy and the Jazz Butcher & His Sikkorskis From Hell..." Pat Fish resides comfortably at the top of my list of fringe/cult musicians who were, for one sad reason or another, robbed of greater notoriety. He's a thousand times more clever, fun and instantly likeable than contemporaries like Elvis Costello, and he bounces effortlessly between comedy, tragedy and just plain strange like the best written episodes of M*A*S*H. It just pisses me off, quite frankly. I once read an interview with Michael Stipe in which he praised Pat Fish as an influence. That was probably the last time some bigshot mentioned him in an interview, unfortunately. Related: The Jazz Butcher "Angels"

January 18, 2009

Three Microsoft Songsmith Abominations

This novelty has already worn out its welcome, but I guarantee that the flood hasn't even begun. Software like this is comparable to diet pills: they are both marketed as effortless solutions to whatever ails you. Do you lack musical talent? Do you suffer from obesity? No need to exercise or practice, just use our shitty product instead. Here's one of many demo videos Microsoft put together for the Songsmith software:

A PIZZA TEEN! Original: "Guh-Guh-Guh Chay-Chay-Chay-Chay-Chay-Chay..."

January 16, 2009

Project 03: Tone & Beat Matching

This was the third lock-myself-away-for-two-months-and-learn-the-software project I created. It was made about a year after Project 01, toward the end of 2000. At that time, I had two live radio shows (a music program and a music-oriented talk show), so I was extra motivated to play around with this stuff. The premise was simple this time: remix the piss out of a ton of found sounds and songs, focusing on tone & beat matching to create a seamless mix which could pass for an actual store-bought DJ mix. Again, I was just using shitty old bootlegs of Sound Forge & Vegas. The result is a bit pretentious, but I think I passed the test. Related: Project 01: Learn The Software

Project 01: Learn The Software

I recommend using headphones to listen to this, not because it's overly loud or offensive, but because much of it is concerned with the depth of the stereo, or rather how "3-D" it is. I rediscovered "Project 01" last week, and I think it's still a blast. It's the very first mix I ever made using software. It was created between the end of 1999 and the beginning of 2000 on my old Gateway Pentium 3 desktop computer (128mb ram, 20GB harddrive) using ancient bootlegs of Sound Forge 4.5 and Vegas. At night, I'd lock myself in my room and teach myself how to use the software by creating a series of problems to solve. I wanted to...

  • Mix found sounds and samples with songs.
  • Take multiple versions of the same song and remix them into something completely new.
  • Take a short song and seamlessly extend it several minutes without it sounding overtly like a loop.
  • Focus on atmosphere.
  • Experiment with beat and tone matching
  • Experiment with unusual segues.
  • Combine the final individual "tracks" into a single, cohesive mix.
In hindsight, I think I did a pretty good job, especially considering I had absolutely no experience. Yeah, there are a couple of issues with the sound levels, but they're tolerable. Related: Project 03: Tone & Beat Matching