Amoeblog

TALES FROM THE CRYPT

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 26, 2007 08:53pm | Post a Comment
Tales From the Crypt. Do you remember that show? I sure do. This was before HBO became the best place to watch television shows. But they still had some good programming. Long before we were all addicted to Six Feet Under and The Sopranos. Tales From the Crypt ran on HBO from 1989-1996. The show would have probably not survived and for sure not been as good if it were just on regular network television. Shows like the Twilight Zone were able to still be amazing on network TV without showing any nudity or graphic violence. But these were different times. We were all accustomed to seeing a lot of blood and violence with our horror at this point. And HBO could get away with that. The great thing about this show was its guest stars. Each episode had a new batch of guest stars. So it sort of was like "The Twilight Zone" or "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" of the early 90's. I tried to watch the show whenever I got a chance. But I have started collecting the DVD's since they started coming out in 2005. Season 6 was just released this week. And the final season comes out October 23rd.

I am not sure where my fascination with horror came from. It probably started before 1989. But this show definitely helped to cement it into my consciousness. I remember the excitement I would feel whenever I could catch an episode. The opening sequence really set up the show every evening. The Cryptkeeper was sort of the Rod Serling of the show. Maybe Rod Serling mixed with Sophia from the Golden Girls. He used a lot of those horrible jokes and puns we have all heard a million times. He was basically a sickly little skeleton voiced by  Josh Kassir. Josh has done a ton of voiceover work. But this was his shining moment. He also did the voice for the cartoon "Tales from the Cryptkeeper" which was on from 1993-1997.

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the return of winona ryder...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 25, 2007 05:34pm | Post a Comment
So I was just talking about how excited I was that "The State" would be coming out soon on DVD a couple of blogs ago. If you forgot, you can look at it here. I finally got to tag my own blog! So I mentioned that the entire cast of The State was in David Wain's new movie "The Ten." My friend just happened to let me know about the special screening last night at the Lumiere.  I, of course, ran over there after work to meet some of my great special friends to go see it. The movie comes out August 3rd, so I was especially excited to see it early. I had already watched the trailer a bunch of times. And I am obviously a huge fan of the creator of the movie and not only the cast of "The State", but almost everyone else in the film.

 
I will just start by saying that the movie is unbelievably awesome. I really don't want to give too much away. So just watch the preview at the bottom of this entry and check out the website. It is better than any comedy you have probably seen in a while. Please go see this movie instead of the horrible movie that is "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry." Just like the world of sitcoms, they really don't make comedies like this anymore. The movie is basically broken into ten parts, with each part about a particular commandment from the bible. The cast pops up in multiple connected stories all put together by Paul Rudd, who narrarates in between each section. It is sort of like 10 skits from "The State" or "Kids in the Hall." But even better. In addition to Paul Rudd and the entire cast of "The State", the cast includes Jessica Alba, Gretchen Mol, Adam Brody, Liev Schreiber, Justin Theroux, Oliver Platt, and Winona Ryder.

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what is coming out today 7/24...U.N.K.L.E...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 23, 2007 10:47pm | Post a Comment
I had almost forgotten about Unkle. It seems so long ago that "Psyence Fiction" came out. I guess 1998 was almost 10 years ago. If you remember correctly, this album was huge. These were the years when Electronica was breaking through to the mainstream. This was one of the albums that really put the genre on the map and made people start noticing electronica acts as artists. One of the reasons they got so popular is because they combined all these different genres into one album. With the help of DJ Shadow they incorporated sounds of hip hop with dance. Trip Hop had already been created and this had been done before. But Unkle also brought in major popular rock vocalists such as Thom Yorke from Radiohead and RIchard Ashcroft from The Verve. Like many new fans, this is what first made me check out the album. I was obsessed with Radiohead and The Verve. So I was obviously going to check out anything that they were attached to. I did not pay much attention to their second album out in 2003. But I am again finding myself listening to Unkle.

The new album is "War Stories." There is also a larger special version that comes in vacuum sealed plastic. I think they made it with one of those vacuum sealers that they advertise on infomercials. This time, we have vocals by Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Autolux, Gavin Clark, 3D of Massive Attack, the Duke Spirit, and Ian Astbury of The Cult. Ian Astbury is actually on two tracks. "Burn My Shadow" and "When Things Explode." So far they seem to be my two favorite tracks. Maybe this is because I have been a big Cult fan for a very long time. I sort of keep it a bit of a secret. But I really do love myself some Southern Death Cult, Death Cult, and Cult. His vocals, especially here, sound a lot like Jim Morrison. He has one of those voices that is very recognizable. I could not really imagine these songs working until I actually heard them. It ends up working beautifully. His voice fits in nicely with the orchestrated electronics on the album.

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the state is coming to DVD...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 20, 2007 09:19am | Post a Comment

The State
is finally making its way to DVD! There have been rumours for years, but it is finally happening. Still no exact date, but it will allegedly happen in the fall. I am just so excited that I had to share it with you all. The show was originally on MTV from 1993-95. This was followed by a special on CBS. The show may have disappeared, but its cast has been busy ever since.

The original cast included:
Kevin Allison, Michael Ian Black, Ben Garant, Todd Holoubek, Michael Patrick Jann, Kerri Kenney, Thomas Lennon, Joe Lo Truglio, Ken Marino, Michael Showalter, and David Wain. Kenney, Black, and Lennon went on to star in Viva Variety. Black, Showalter, and Wain created Stella. Kenney, Lennon, and Garant all went on to create and star in Reno 911! The entire cast had roles in the recent movie Reno 911! Miami. Many original members have also been busy in the film world. David Wain directed the new movie The Ten and it stars some of the cast of The State. It looks amazing...check out the preview here...

The State was on back when MTV was actually still a good channel. The show was simply brilliant. I did not even have cable back then, but I watched it every chance I got, so I have been waiting and waiting for this to finally come out on DVD. This is one of those shows with crazy obsessive fans that have been demanding its release on DVD. They had to redo the score for the show. Back when this aired, MTV had a special deal with the record labels -- as long as the artists that they used in the scores of the TV shows also had music videos in rotation, the music could be used for free. Things have obviously changed. MTV does not really play music videos anymore. They also would have had to charge like 300 dollars for The State DVD box sets if they had not changed the music. No worries. The music is not what got me obsessed with the shows. The cast was amazing and worked really well together. Most of the skits were original and they did not use very many recurring characters. The only thing that I can compare it to is a really good skit on MADTV. I am also a huge fan of Kerri Kenney, Tom Lennon, Ben Garant, and Reno 911! I can't get enough of that show. Maybe Viva Variety! will also be released soon as well!

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the cult of the polyphonic spree...7/17 at the great american music hall...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 18, 2007 10:04pm | Post a Comment
Last night Curt and I went to go see the Polyphonic Spree at the Great American Music Hall. Like I said before, I really do love the GAMH. But I had no idea what I was in for at a Polyphonic Spree show. This was my first time seeing them. And to be honest, I thought they would be maybe a bit over the top but a also maybe a bit annoying. The opening performer, Jessica Hoop, kept telling us that the show was going to be amazing. She bascially said, "You are really in for an amazing experience if you have never seen them before." Whatever. I was not convinced. We did get to sit in the little VIP section up in the balcony  where the lights are controlled. I dropped off some CD'S for the band from Amoeba because they had not received them yet from the label. So their manager gave us some VIP type seats. The manager was very nice but the most amazing thing about him was that he had a baby with him in a baby bjorn. So he was basically controlling the light show with the baby. I didn't get to ask him if it was his, but it sure was a cute little thing. But don't worry, the baby had big headphones on to block out the noise. I figured with 23 people in the band at least two of them were probably a couple and probably had a baby that they brought on tour with them. So basically, Jessica Hoop was correct. The show was amazing.

  The show started with lead singer and band leader Tim Delaughter cutting through a curtain that the entire band was hidden behind. I knew it would be a large band. But it really was amazing to see 23 people crammed on to the stage at the GAMH. I tried to memorize what everyoned did in the band. Here is what I remember. Besides Singer Tim, there were 7 back up singer ladies who were also a chorus and a synchronized hair dancing group. They had some great moves. 2 drummers, 2 keyboardists, 2 guitarists, 1 bassist, 2 violins , 1 cello, 1 harp, 2 trumpets, and 1 trombone player. It is sort of like a mix of a church revival and a bar mitzvah perfomance and a jam band. That does not really sound like it would work. But it does. The whole band seems to be having so much fun playing music that you can not help but to enjoy it as well. They often get unfairly compared to a cult. Any band with so many members that performs in robes is bound to get that comparison. And after seeing the show I was ready to sign up for the cult. Tim is a great ringleader and sort of seems to have some sort of power over the whole band and audience. I can almost understand how people like Jim Jones had that similar cult power. But these guys are just making good fun music. They are not waiting for armageddon or planning some mass suicide. So I really don't think they are a cult but if they are, I'm OK with it.

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