Photographic Memory, Part 1

Posted by Job O Brother, September 7, 2009 01:17pm | Post a Comment
job o brother
"Please conjure sheets of paper to come floating out of the laundry basket below"
The author, circa 1996

I have recently come into possession of my adolescent photo collection. There was, for a period of about five years, a time when I owned a fetching Ricoh camera which had been given to me by a rad woman whom I lived with on a mountaintop commune on the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She used to regale me with stories from her years as a hot-shot publicist, and explained to me which lines from David Bowie’s “Drive-in Saturday” had been written about her by the Thin White Duke.

Were these claims true? Who knows. But it did distract me from the profound and crippling nervous breakdown I was experiencing at the time, fuelled in part by excessive use of ecstasy as a means of spiritual enlightenment and by living with my then step-father who made such helpful suggestions as, “Maybe you have alien implants in your brain.”

“Oh, yes. Well thank you for that.”

I thought it might be fun to dip into the box and see what musical and/or cinematic associations they bring. Kind of reconsider my colorful past in terms of stuff you could purchase at Amoeba Music. For I am a salesman, ladies and gentlemen.

Noir Nites At The New Bev

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, September 6, 2009 08:55pm | Post a Comment

This month the New Beverly has put together a couple of impeccable noir nights for September. First up is a Sam Fuller pairing, The Crimson Kimono & Underworld U.S.A. Kimono features great Little Tokyo location shots as well as the trailblazing James Shigeta. His Detective Kojaku character is a true rarity-- an Asian American hero / romantic lead character played by an Asian American!! The following week the New Bev is showing an atomic scare double, featuring the infamous KIss Me Deadly as well as the little known gem City of Fear. KIss Me Deadly is absolute must see; it stars the totally underrated Ralph Meeker in a Mike Hammer role that puts all other attempts to shame. Amazing bachelor pad gagetry & awesome location shots keep the bizarre plot moving at a great pace. City of Fear is yet another Vince Edwards masterpiece featuring more LA location shots, Cobalt, shoe stores and a whole lot of sweat...   

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A Starr is Reborn: Ringo Starr, Thespian

Posted by Charles Reece, September 6, 2009 08:30pm | Post a Comment
Not content with merely playing himself in Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help! (1965), Ringo Starr began to develop his acting chops over the next decade and a half, culminating in his masterpiece, Caveman. As a drummer, he was used to being in the background supporting others, and his acting style was such that he always made everyone else seem a little better. He was a chameleon, the rock and roll Peter Sellers. So here's a look back at some of his finest moments during those cinematic years.

Candy (1968)

As the Mexican gardener Emmanuel, Ringo goes toe-to-toe with Richard Burton in Terry Southern and Buck Henry's free love revision of Voltaire's Candide (based on Mason Hoffenberg's novel)

Magic Christian (1969)

Ringo's second Southern collaboration, an adaptation of the latter's novel of the same name. In this scene, Ringo can be seen with Sellers and a young John Cleese.

200 Motels (1971)

>Examine text adventure - Ask will Generation Text revive the popularity of text-based adventures?

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 6, 2009 02:37pm | Post a Comment

Like silent films, old time radio, male grooming and slide shows, the text-based game is a largely dead art form. Like the other examples, it's uniquely enjoyable and was snuffed out by its flashier, less imaginative offspring in the pursuit of realism and technology. (Don't get me wrong, I think GUIs are la mamá de Tarzán and I even crossed the security line at Xerox PARC on a nerd's tour of historic Silicon Valley to drink from the fountain where the Xerox Alto was born back in 1973.) But the quiet pleasures of text games are enjoyable in their own right and with a whole generation almost incapable of communicating through any means except texting, the text game seems ripe for a comeback.

Eamon screen shot  Zork

Instead of using graphics, text-based games use prose to tell the story. Players type specific commands to such as "go north" to play. A lot of the fun (and frustration) comes from having to type them precisely. For example, if you type "omg go north lol!!!," the computer will reply, "You used the word north in a way I don't understand." It may be frustrating at first to not punctuate every command with "lol," but once you get the hang of it, you'll find text games can be highly addictive. Besides, frustration puts hair on your chest.

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Beatles or Stones?... or Goth-Pop Beatles Covers!?

Posted by Aaron Detroit, September 5, 2009 12:50am | Post a Comment

Beatles Or Stones?” I’m one of those people who is definitely more Rolling Stones than Beatles. That’s not to say there aren’t Fab Four songs or albums I enjoy or even adore (White Album!), but The Stones suit my tastes and aesthetic preferences in music and art much more. The Stones have a classically debaucherous mythos attached to them and their vibe was always darker, nastier and convincingly Satanic compared to their Liverpool rivals.  True: The Beatles certainly had their more nefarious moments (“Helter Skelter,” “Happiness is a Warm Gun,” The Butcher Cover and Aleister Crowley's appeance on the Sgt, Peppers' album sleeve), but I’m definitely more “Paint It Black” than “Good Day Sunshine.”

However, some people still believe The Beatles held the keys to the infernal gates of Hell. Certainly several of my teenage Goth-Pop icons saw a dark thread in the Beatles' work (or maybe it was just their genius for unforgettable melodies – those do help bands cross-over!) Siouxsie Sioux’s devotion to the Fab Four turned out two great covers; first, an incendiary and punked-out “Helter Skelter” on the Banshees’ 1978 debut Scream:

...and the band scored one of their biggest International hits with their lush 1983 reading of “Dear Prudence.”

Banshees’ contemporary Daniel Ash (Bauhaus/Tones on Tail/Love & Rockets) displayed his shine for John, Paul, George and Ringo via a (now somewhat-dated) cover of “Day Tripper” on his 1991 solo album, Coming Down.

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