muppets...season 2

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 24, 2007 09:23am | Post a Comment
I don't know if I have really explained how much I love the great late Mr. Jim Henson. I know I just talked about him and his great films Labyrinth and Dark Crystal. But there was also this amazing little show called "The Muppet Show." I don't really know where I would be without this show. I did watch a lot of Sesame Street. But it was the night time show "The Muppet Show" that really made me who I am today. It was one of those great shows that appealed to kids as well as their parents. So it wasn't like my parents had to make me watch the show. And they also never minded watching it along with me and my brother. It was hilarious and brilliant. Nothing really like it. And although some of the jokes may not be as relevant today, they are still hilarious. Season 1 of the Muppet show came out in August about 2 years ago. But this month, we get Season 2 of this great show.

The Muppet show was on the air from 1976 to 1981. It lasted 5 seasons. But it didn't get canceled or fade into obscurity. Jim Henson simply needed more time to devote to his feature films like Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. And his amazing trilogy of Muppet movies. The Muppet Movie (1979), The Great Muppet Caper (1981), and The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984). These were followed by more similar Muppet movies. But these early movies were the best. These movies only made me more obsessed with the muppets.

Each episode of the Muppet Show featured a guest star. And there was never the same guest on all 5 seasons. Season 1 featured Phyllis Diller, Paul Williams, Rita Moreno, Sandy Duncan, Ben Vereen, Jim Nabors, Florence Henderson, Joel Grey, Twiggy, and in one of my favorite episodes, Vincent Price. The list of season 2 guests is just as great. And the first episode features the amazing Don Knotts! Also featured in season 2 is Milton Berle, Judy Collins, Steve Martin, George Burns, Dom Deluise, Bernadette Peters, Elton John, Lou Rawls, Peter Sellers, Petula Clark, Bob Hope, John Cleese, and Cloris Leachman.

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what is coming out on August 21st?...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 21, 2007 03:00pm | Post a Comment

Out today is the new album from your favorite San Francisco band "Imperial Teen." They may not all live in San Francisco anymore, but they will always be a San Francisco Band. They became a band in San Francisco in the mid 90s and released their first album "Seasick" in 1996. This was also the year I moved to San Francisco. So this band is sort of special for me. I think this band is super special for anybody who discovered them in the 90s.  I was listening to a lot of super depressing and dreary bands in the 90s. I still love all those bands but I think I really needed some Imperial Teen in my life. I was always a bit afraid of pop music. I thought it would make me too happy. Around this time I started listening to bands like Heavenly, Henry's Dress, the Aisler's Set, and the Softies. But Imperial Teen combined great fun pop music with that sort of San Francisco indie rock that is hard to explain. I don't know if it just sounds like that cause I heard all these bands play live in San Francisco so much. Or if it really is a certain type of sound. I just can't separate the bands from the city.

Seasick was a great album and everybody who heard it loved it. But it was really in 1999 that Imperial Teen started getting more popular. They released the amazing second album, "What is Not To Love."  They also had their hit song "Yoo Hoo" on the Jawbreaker soundtrack. It was sort of hard to to get away from that song that year. But I really loved that record. Just like Imperial Teen will always be tied to my memories of San Francisco, "What is Not To Love" will always be tied up with the year 1999. It is part of my own little soundtrack to that year and the end of the 90s. In 2002 I had moved to Hollywood. A couple members of the band also ended up down there and they released the album "On." They left their major label for the indie Merge. Both those first albums are now out of print. So it is up to Merge to do some little reissues for some essential ablums that nobody should really be without.

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Labyrinth Anniversary Edition

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 19, 2007 07:08pm | Post a Comment
It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since the original release of "Labyrinth." This movie was one of my favorites at the time. It came out a couple of years after Time Bandits, The Neverending Story, and Dark Crystal. The same year as Legend. A year after Goonies, Back to the Future, and Teen Wolf. The year before Willow and The Princess Bride.  Like many of us, I was a big fan of the fantasy film as a child and teenager. To be honest, I guess I still am.  Many of these films, like Labyrinth, had a story within a story. It allowed the story to be believable as a dream or "fantasy" world. But also never really that scary since we knew it was just a story. It wasn't until I was a bit older when my love of fantasy films turned into my love of horror films.  I was also obsessed with Jim Henson and the Muppets. Jim Henson directed both The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Labyrinth also starred David Bowie. This movie really had everything going for it. It was sort of impossible for it not to be as successful as it was. The movie made its way deep into our hearts and still remains there to this day. This week we get the release of the Anniversary editions of both Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. Muppets Season 2 also comes out. It is a big week for Jim Henson fans.

I have been in the process of replacing all my VHS with new DVDs. But I always have to wait until the deluxe versions of the movies come out. I want all the special stuff that they add on to the DVDs. And while there is always something missing, these versions often convince me to buy them. The Anniversary Edition of Labyrinth is 2 discs. I guess they meant to put this out last year as the 20th anniversary. But 21 years is close enough. Last year was also the 70th anniversary of Jim Henson's birth.  The movie starred Jennifer Connelly as a young girl bored with babysitting. She imagines herself into the world of goblins and creatures and the evil leader "David Bowie." The film is brilliant. And with the work of Jim Henson the film was ahead of its time. The creature effects still hold up and end up looking better than any modern film such as The Lord of the Rings. And with David Bowie we get an amazing original soundtrack. The soundtrack included 5 original David Bowie songs. The songs were sort of cheesy at the time, so I don;t really think they have gotten any worse.  And they are an integral part of the movie. I still know all the words to "Magic Dance" and "Underground." I always try to imagine this movie with Michael Jackson in the Bowie role. I don't know if it could have been better, but it for sure would have been amazing.

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patti smith @ the fillmore

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 16, 2007 04:20pm | Post a Comment
I went to go see Patti Smith at the Fillmore last night. If you have ever seen her before then you know how amazing she is to see perform live. She did an instore at Amoeba in Hollywood. You can watch the great interview with her and Logan by going here. I know I throw around the word amazing a lot. But nobody deserves it more than her. She really has some power that I can not even explain. This power sort of takes over everyone in the crowd and it is something that will stay with you the rest of your life.

I never got the chance to see Patti in the 70's or 80's. It was not until about 6 or so years ago that I saw her for the first time. It was right after the release of "Gung Ho" and was also at the Fillmore in S.F. A sort of perfect place to see her. These days, I am often one of the oldest in the crowd. So it is always weird to be at a show like this where I am one of the youngest. It does not really matter who you are though. She will put out her power over the whole crowd. I swear, she should just run for president or something. But I think she has already found her calling. She has created some amazing music over the years. Her debut, "Horses," came out the year after I was born. It remains my favorite of hers and I am sure the favorite of many.  They actually just gave it a nice little reissue deluxe treatment a couple of years ago. Three years later came "Easter," which includes her awesome version of "Because the Night."

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coming out today 8/14...µ-Ziq...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 13, 2007 11:30pm | Post a Comment
µ-Ziq has a new album out today. It is called "Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique." This is about the seventh album Mike Paradinas has released as µ-Ziq. Mike has been a busy little man over the last 15 years or so. He has been around through the shifts and changes in the world that is electronica music. I have been listening to him for a while now and am always intrigued and excited to hear what new thing he has worked on. Most of his µ-Ziq albums tend to be on the more minimal side of electronica. He often fits into what has become known as IDM. But maybe on the harder and more interesting side of IDM. But for sure this is some intelligent dance music.

His songs are often multi layered compositions that create brilliant little albums. His first two albums were put out on Rephlex, the label of Richard D. James (Aphex Twin). Later albums came out on Astralwerks and now his own label Planet Mu. He has also recorded under the names Tusken Raiders, Kid Spatula, Rude Ass Tinker, Jake Slazenger, Gary Moscheles, and Diesel M. And he released an album with Richard D. James as Mike & Rich. I first heard of µ-Ziq when he did the remix project "The Auteurs Vs µ-Ziq." Being a big fan of the britpop, I tended to try to listen and buy anything related to it. I was also starting to get into techno music at this point, so this album was the perfect bridge for me to get into it.

One of my favorite albums remains his 1999 masterpiece "Royal Astronomy." The album sort of has a fun circus feel to it. A weird electronic sort of circus. He doesn't seem to take himself as serious as some other electronica artists. Or maybe he just likes to have more fun with his albums. His songs always have a playful feel about them. He also likes to play with the genre. His albums are sort of a mix of drum and bass and IDM. But the songs are also real developed songs. He likes to experiment but he also likes to create music that is pleasing to the ear. This new album does not stray too much from the last couple µ-Ziq albums. Some of the songs could have easily appeared on some of his older albums. The album is a bit daker than Royal Astronomy. The playfulness of that album is a bit muted. But it is still there. The album is more similar to his earlier albums. I am liking the album and I am looking forward to listening to it more. Perceptions always change as you listen to his albums more and more. But it is also making me want to pull out some of his older albums.

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