Amoeblog

I HATE DRUM MACHINES, OR GOOD 80s BANDS 1

Posted by Charles Reece, July 13, 2008 02:44am | Post a Comment
Before Hanoi Rocks, guitarist Andy McCoy and bassist Sam Yaffa were playing with the (locally) famous Finnish punk band Pelle Miljoona Oy. This is a 1980 performance of the song "Olen Kaunis":


The next clip is an early promotional video for the great "Motorvatin'" with original drummer Gyp Casino.  This was also the best hair period for singer Mike Monroe. Surely, David Sylvian felt so inferior that he cut his mop off, resigning himself an artsier David-Bowie-circa-Low 'do. Nothing will make one give up glam faster than seeing a much prettier rival with a better head of hair. Just ask Brian Eno.


The band replaced Gyp with the ill-fated Razzle on drums and the following is purportedly the first visual recording of his being with the band. They do "It's Too Late" (where they pretend to play each other's instruments) and The Damned's "Problem Child":


I searched high and low for a live performance of my favorite song, "Tooting Bec Wreck," but couldn't find one. As a second choice from their greatest record, Back to Mystery City, here's "Mental Beat":


I wasn't aware until traveling the byways of YouTube that a video for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" existed, but here 'tis:


After Vince Neil "vehicularly manslaughtered" Razzle, the group broke up and went on to various other projects, the best of which was undoubtedly The Suicide Twins, featuring McCoy and fellow Hanoi guitarist Nasty Suicide. Their best song was "Sweet Pretending," which is the best acoustic glam song that Jesus & Mary Chain never recorded:


Monroe struck up a friendship with Little Steven from the E Street Band, which eventually led to a short-lived punk band, Demolition 23. Little Steven left before much recording was done, but they did write an über-catchy pop punk song, "Hammersmith Palais":


Finally, as McCoy was getting over a prolonged bout with alcohol and drugs (or, at least, learning to function better with them), he had a Finnish #1 single with the appropriately entitled "Strung Out":


Monroe and McCoy would eventually reunite, but about the best that can be said of the new version of the band is that at least it's not Him.

THE LATE, GREAT AXL ROSE

Posted by Charles Reece, July 9, 2008 03:17pm | Post a Comment

The Glass Is Half Wack: The Wackness (2008)

Posted by Charles Reece, July 5, 2008 08:42pm | Post a Comment


Wackness is about white teens in the first half of the 90s who say stuff like, "You only see the wackness; I see the dopeness." They're in their 30s now, so the nostalgia is ripe. It was the period when the classical tradition in rap was giving way to the method acting mumbling of gangster wannabes selling the “real” to undergraduates. In a nod to Vincent Price famously referring to the method actors as "the mumblers," either Big Daddy Kane or Chuck D once lamented the fact that so many of the contemporary MCs gargled into the microphone. Anyhow, the film's soundtrack reminded me of why I started to hate commercial rap (not that I needed the reminding). Each line Big E wheezes brings him one step closer to a cardiac arrest and me to the door.  But, in trying to see the dopeness -- this movie wasn't Hancock, after all -- I soldiered on. I will draw the line at Sundance films set in a Lilith Fair concert.

So, the story: Luke (Josh Peck) is a pot dealer who’s just graduated from high school in the first year of Giuliani’s Manhattan. This is one of those introspective comedies (à la Little Miss Sunshine) that dominate Landmark’s arthouse chain, so Luke’s one and only friend is his psychiatrist, Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley, supposedly a Brooklyn Jew, but looking like Cheech Marin circa Up In Smoke with an accent that slips into British, Indian caricature and Classic Hollywood Nazi). Luke trades the doc dope for counseling. Luke’s problems are that no one is his friend outside of wanting drugs from him and he can’t get laid. One such “friend” is the hip hop Asian character who functions as the foil for Luke’s romantic interest in Squires’ step-daughter, Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby). Another is nuevo hippie chick Union (Mary-Kate Olsen, the same twin – I checked – who plays the same character on Weeds).

Continue reading...

TRAILER PARK BOYS

Posted by Charles Reece, June 28, 2008 10:39pm | Post a Comment
What have Anthony Stewart Head from Buffy, Paris Hilton, Ogre from Skinny Puppy and Sarah fucking Brightman in common? Repo! The Genetic Opera:



Someone must've been a fan of that "very special episode" of Buffy, "Once More With Feeling," because the music here is just as bland. The key to the cult status of Rocky Horror Picture Show wasn't bad music, but a nutty storyline set to good music ("Science Fiction" is a great song, film or no film).  Repo! only gets it half right. I'll go see it, anyway.

This next one is a travesty of a remake, decultifying one of the great cult films, Death Race 2000, presumedly for some ideal mainstream audience:



Why is it that we have to see Asian films for murderers, pedophiles and rapists to be used as the heroes? As a minority, they're certainly a bigger proportion of the American population than they are of, say, the Japanese. So much for pluralism. This trailer is a perfect example of what one of the co-hacks behind Wanted was discussing after its showing this past Thursday night. When answering the question of why adapt a comic book of the same name when the film had 90% of nothing to do with it, the hack said films have a hard time getting made these days if they're not based on something already in existence (that is, with the same name -- original ideas have always had a hard time in Hollywood, licensed property or not). Then, despite the hack's suggestion that there were no content constraints placed on his script, he went on to explain why he didn't keep the fact that the hero was a serial rapist as part of the story -- namely, no one would accept a story about a serial rapist if he's treated as the hero, even if he's the anti-hero. That's a good example of Jeremy Bentham's panopticon (which has been popping up lately in Lost): who needs a production code or HUAC as a threat of censorship when the filmmakers censor themselves? Thus, we get the new Death Race where the hero has been framed and is being forced to kill, rather than just participating for the sport of it. That there might've been a moral point to the original film's scenario about a society where it's a sport to run over people seems to be lost on the hacks behind this current production. Anderson should stick to religious adaptations of games like Frogger. I'll pass.

He's Lost Control Again! The UnControllable Hulk

Posted by Charles Reece, June 21, 2008 12:12pm | Post a Comment

An experimental mishap with gamma radiation transforms Joy Division frontman into uncontrollable Id.

As a young lad in Manchester, Bruce Banner discovered a love for the proto-punk music of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed.  Although possessing a high aptitude for science, Bruce dreamed of being a rock star. However, he had to pay the bills, so he took a top secret government research job in what back in the days of WWII was called the Super Soldier Project. The Project was an intergovernmental operation existing between the Yanks and Brits. What it produced was a gamma-radiated concoction called, appropriately enough, the super-soldier serum. After testing it out unsuccessfully on a bunch of minority servicemen in the US Army, the science team found one skinny white dude named Steve Rogers who was turned into the Nazi-fighting hero, Captain America (soon to get his own feature film -- directed by John Cassavetes' son, Nick -- which, in turn, will lead into an Avengers movie). Poor old Cap was frozen in ice and thought to be dead, leaving it a mystery what was so special about his cellular structure. But Bruce is unaware of the Project's history, naÏvely believing he is using his degree in molecular biology for finding a cure to epilepsy, not developing a human killing machine.

BACK  <<  44  45  46  47  48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  >>  NEXT