I have been a TV addict for most of my life. It is not really something that I am embarrassed or ashamed about -- it is just the way things are. I try to balance out my life with other activities, and I make sure that I still devote some good time to outdoor activities like hiking and exploring. I also make sure I actually read a real book every couple months or so. But TV is really something that I love very much and I proudly admit it! I can't really imagine my life without it! These days I actually spend most of my TV hours watching movies on TV or TV on DVD but I did spend many hours in the 80's and early 90's watching a lot of actual television. I didn't have cable growing up so I spent most of my time watching the regular network shows and I was also fascinated by infomercials and weird talk shows. These were often the only things on late at night. I could easily watch an hour of a weird religious televangelist show. I had no problem watching an hour-long show about a food dehydrator or steam cleaner. I also loved watching public access shows that you could only get locally, and then there were always some amazing moments on local news stations -- those moments that you could not believe just happened. I always worried these moments would be forgotten forever. How could I ever catch these amazing bits of late night talk shows and public access shows again? Luckily the amazingly brilliant Pinky Carnage has put these moments on some great DVD collections. He has answered my prayers! TV Carnage has been putting out DVDs for a couple of years now. This is one of those times where I feel like something was put out on DVD just for me! I really could not have wished for anything better. I have collected them all and really could not wait to get a hold of this newest collection. Volume 6 has just been released and it is devoted to work out videos. It is called "Let's Work It Out!!!
I highly recommend any of these DVDs to any TV addict, and you don't necessarily have to have seen any of these clips before. It doesn't really matter. Anyone with a healthy love of the weird and fantastic moments of pop culture will love these DVDs! Pinky must be around my age, as he obviously was a child or teenager of the 80s -- the clips from all these DVDs tend to come from the mid to late 80s or early 90s. It was an amazing moment in time for television. This was before the DVD, way before the internet and YouTube. This was back when VHS was king and ruled the universe. Almost everyone had VCRs in their home and many of us were making our own version of TV Carnage on our homemade VHS compilations. I actually used to make audio cassette compilations of my favorite scenes from movies and TV shows. but I would also make VHS compilations of my favorite music videos and TV shows. I have watched almost all of these TV carnage compilations at least once but I am ready to now go back and explore them in more depth. There are some amazing moments in TV history captured on these DVDs! Pinky clearly has certain things he is obsessed with, like Gary Coleman. He also loves those super sincere moments of public access television -- just normal, everyday people that are really into what they are discussing or trying to sell on TV. They may have not been particularly funny at the time, but with time they have aged into amazing little gems of TV. He also likes those celebrities that sort of made themselves famous by reinventing themselves on late night TV or infomercials. I really didn't know who people like Zsa Zsa Gabor and Shirley Jones were at the time -- it wasn't until years later that I realized that they actually had careers before these infomercials.
Pinky has really outdone himself with this latest compilation -- it is nothing short of amazing! It's hard to believe these are actually real clips of workout videos and TV specials! You just can't make this stuff up. You can't script stuff this funny. The workout and gym outfits are phenomenal! The aerobics scenes are too much! I am a huge fan of the movie Perfect starring Jamie Lee Curtis and John Travolta. That movie is about the workout craze in Los Angeles in the 80s. And there are, of course, some clips of that movie in this DVD! "Let's Work It Out" is just beyond! It is basically a compilation of scenes from celebrity workout videos, but there is also so much more. My favorite clip is the Saved By the Bell workout video. Elizabeth Berkley and the gang look amazing. There are also bits with Sandy Duncan, Lou Ferrigno, Scott Baio, Paula Abdul, Richard Simmons, Estelle Getty, Dolph Lundgren, O.J., Dixie Carter, Alyssa Milano, Marky Mark, Angela Lansbury, Mary Hart, Eric Nies, Joan Rivers, and Mr. T! I don't want to give away too much. It it best to just be surprised by what awaits you. The clips are mashed up together and never last that long, but he really does do a great job editing them together. It sort of flows into a cohesive piece of video art. Sometimes you might want to see more of certain clips but he always comes back to them later. I really am in love with TV Carnage. And I think Pinky has put out his best work with this new DVD. It is brilliant. I can't wait to see what comes next!
buy the new DVD "Let's Work It Out" from Amoeba.com
Another great DVD out this month is Max Headroom: The Complete Series. I was obsessed with thisshow in the 80's. It only lasted for barely 2 seasons but the second season was put up against Miami Vice and Dallas, two of the most popular shows of all time. I don't think anything could have competed with them! All amazing 14 episodes are included in the box set. The show was sort of a bit like Robocop -- Edison Carter was an investigative reporter who got into an accident that put him into a coma. His personality was downloaded into the computer personality Max Headroom. The show was originally British. Max Headroom was meant to be a personality to introduce music videos. They actually made it into a show with Max interviewing music celebrities and giving commentary to music videos. That stuff is unfortunately not in this DVD box, but it is still worth it. The show takes place in the future when television has basically taken over society and starred Matt Frewer and Jeffrey Tambor. Tambor would of course go on to be equally brilliant in The Larry Sanders Show and Arrested Development.
buy the Max Headroom DVD from Amoeba.com
There has also been some great music just out in the last couple of weeks. The perfect summer album is finally here! The Los Angeles lo-fi indie group Best Coast is led by Bethany Cosentino. The album is just sort of adorable and precious and I can't get enough of it. It is the perfect beachy summer love album! Sort of a mix of the Dum Dum Girls and Camera Obscura. The record is worth it alone for the fantastic artwork, easily one of my favorite album covers of the year. And it looks great all blown up to LP size on the vinyl version!
buy the new album Crazy for You by Best Coast
You also might have heard of a little band called Arcade Fire. The Suburbs is their third album on Merge Records. It is hard to compete with the brilliance of Neon Bible and Funeral, but this album is able to stand on its own, and these Canadians know how to bring it for their live shows! I really can't wait to hear this album performed live. The Suburbs is also a great summer album -- but it is sort of the exact opposite of Best Coast. The songs have a darkness and intenseness to them, and this is why we love Arcade Fire. I am so glad that the big summer records are finally coming out! The new Interpol is right around the corner!
buy the new album The Suburbs by Arcade Fire for a special online only price!
also out 7/27...
13 Most Beautiful: Songs for Andy Warhol by Dean & Britta
5 EP by Die Antwoord
Get Low Soundtrack
That's How We Burn by Jaill
Mines by Menomena
also out 8/3...
Transit Transit by Autolux
JJ No 2 (reissue) by JJ
The Kids Are Alright Soundtrack
Rated R (reissue) by Queens of the Stone Age
On the Ones & Threes by Versus
King of the Beach by Wavves