out today 6/ divison...

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 19, 2008 02:29pm | Post a Comment

It is now officially the week of Coldplay. I knew the album would be huge but it has seriously done better than anybody's expectations, and the week is not even over yet. It will for sure be the Sex & the City of the summer. Everyone is expecting it to do well, but this is just craziness. I think it might end up being the biggest debut at Amoeba ever. However, the most exciting release of the week for me would have to be the new Joy Division Documentary. Control really left me wanting more Joy Division in my life, and now I can finally have it.

There has not really been a good Joy Division documentary yet-- a least not one that I have seen-- so it is nice to finally have one on DVD. I just got the DVD yesterday but I have not had a chance to watch it yet, so I can't exactly talk all that much about it, but it is "Fantastic" according to Russ Fischer from This is the quote on the back of the DVD. I really hate quotes on the packaging of DVDs. At least CDS usually have little quotes on stickers on the outside of the plastic. I know they are great marketing tools but it really ruins the artwork. I should be happy at least they put the quote on the back of the DVD. I would think that they could get a quote from somebody more well known than but I guess not. I had not really heard of, so this quote did not influence me to buy the dvd but it did make me check out their website. I might now be a fan of I had been looking for some other movie blogs to check out and I think I might have found one. C.H.U.D. stands for Cinematic Happenings Under Development. It seems to be a website/blog for comic book and sci-fi/horror nerds, but I will have to do some more investigation. I do believe them though. I bet the DVD is fantastic. It includes the documentary with all the surviving members of Joy Division and also 75 minutes of additional interviews.

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out today...6/ division control out on DVD!!!

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 5, 2008 06:00pm | Post a Comment
Control is finally out on DVD this week! However there is no Blu-ray. This just might have been the movie to push me over the edge and buy a Blu-ray player. I still am not completely sure what a film looks like on Blu-ray since I have yet to see one, but I imagine that this film would look amazing in high definition. It seems like it was out in theater like forever ago, but I guess it was only last November. The film was scheduled to come out a month or 2 ago but was pushed back until this week. I am really excited-- as excited as I can be about one of the most depressing films that I have ever seen. If you are in the mood for another depressing movie you should also check out The Bridge. I had been wanting to watch this movie ever since it hit the theater last year, but I just could not bring myself to watch it until recently. I normally love intense and disturbing documentaries, but this one was especially hard for me to watch. The movie is about people who have committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Maybe it was hard to watch because I love that bridge so much. I guess this is sort of selfish, but I have spent many days walking across it and I just didn't want to associate it with death. I will for sure not feel the same next time I cross the bridge.

At least you know what you are getting with the Joy Division movie. You know how it ends. And if you are a fan of the music then you know how the music can affect you. Joy Division is a very unique band for its fans. Many of us didn't even start listening to the band until after Ian Curtis killed himself. I was still too young to be listening to anything but Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse Club records when Ian Curtis took his own life, so I never had that period of enjoying the band while he was still alive. At least with bands like Nirvana there was a significant period when Kurt Cobain was still alive for his fans to still enjoy him. So Joy Division is always associated with death in my mind. I always can hear his depression and confusion in all of his songs, but for some reason I can completely disassociate New Order from that feeling, maybe because they ended up sounding so different.

If you did not have a time to watch this movie in the theater. Now is the time. Just get it over with it. I guarantee that you will like this film if you like Joy Division even a little bit. The film is shot so beautifully that you could even appreciate it without liking the movie. I was a bit worried about the movie since I knew it was based on the book by the wife of Ian Curtis. Deborah Curtis consulted on the film so I really worried that the film would not be completely accurate in regards to the relationship between Ian and his wife. While I am sure that it is not really completely accurate, the film does not exactly portray Deborah Curtis as a saint. I tend to always side with the female character in movies, but this was not the case in Control. The movie really made you side with Ian and feel bad for him. I really just wanted to jump into the movie at certain points and tell him that it was going to be OK. We all have had our own relationship problems. Of course, it becomes a bit more serious when you throw marriage, kids, fame, drugs, and epilepsy into the mix. While the movie ends like you would expect with his suicide, I was surprised at how they portrayed his final moments with his wife. It almost seems like it was her fault and as if it could have been avoided...but even if she had acted differently in these final situations, it also seems like he would have eventually killed himself regardless.

The film is cast perfectly. Sam Riley is absolutely amazing as Ian Curtis. He seriously amazed me by how fantastic he was in this film. The whole film just looks like one continuous amazing black and white photograph. They managed to find four guys that looked very similar to the actual guys in Joy Division, if not a bit more attractive and movie-like. The film somehow captures the feeling of a Joy Division song. It seriously gave me shivers as I was watching it. I ended up forgetting that this was a cast of actors and not the actual people.

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what came first?...the cover or the cover version...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 11, 2007 05:32pm | Post a Comment
I don't know what it is that gets me about cover songs. But I really do like them. It is always fun to hear one of your favorite bands cover some horrible song that was not really good before they covered it. Or to hear  some band do a sort of tribute to some awesome song you loved in your youth. As I listen to more and  more music I also find out that some of the songs that I loved forever and thought were originals were actually covers of much older songs. I didn't grown in the girl group 60's or the Motown 70's. So many of the songs that I originally heard in the 80's and 90's that I thought were originals, were actually just covers. When I bought the  Siouxsie & The Banshees "Through the Looking Glass" cassette and listened to it for the first time, I had no idea it was all covers. It only took me a couple years to figure it out. I had not heard Television and Iggy Pop yet. I also heard most of the covers on the This Mortal Coil albums for the first time as "This Mortal Coil" songs.  It is weird to grow up hearing one version of a song only to learn later that there is some older original version that actually inspired the version I grew up loving. How would I know that the Soft Cell song "Tainted Love" was actually performed 10 years before I was born by the great Gloria Jones. The song was then covered by Ruth Swan in 1975. After the Soft Cell version that I grew up with in the early 80's, the song has of course been covered countless more times. The song has been performed by Blue Oyster Cult, Coil, Marilyn Manson, and the Pussycat Dolls. Rihanna even sampled the Soft Cell version a couple of years ago for her song "S.O.S."

There have been many entire tribute albums over the years. Some have been great. Most have been pretty bad. The best covers tend to turn up as b-sides and bonus tracks on actual artists albums. Sometimes they work there ways into the live shows and then end up as extra tracks on reissues or singles. They tend to also turn up on soundtracks. The great Cat Power will release her second entire album of covers early next year. The first one was fantastic. There is a great website to search for all your favorite cover songs. You can look at it here. Some of my favorite covers over the years have been covers of new wave and 80's songs by artists in other genres. I absolutely love Johnny Cash's covers of "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode and "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails. I don't know why but I really love Rammstein's cover of "Stripped" by Depeche Mode. And even though this song was a bit overplayed, I still have a special place in my heart for Frente's cover of "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order. Placebo have a whole bonus disc of cover songs. They do great covers of "Running up that Hill" by Kate Bush and "Bigmouth Strikes Again" by The Smiths. Xiu Xiu does an amazing cover of "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman. I also love Low's incredible version of "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" by The Smiths. These are just some of my favorites. I could go on forever. The band Japancakes do an entire album cover of "Loveless" by My Bloody Valentine. The original is one of my favorite albums and they really do a great job covering the entire album. But I also love those cover versions that you really only need to hear once. Sometimes I just need to laugh and some covers often do the trick. William Shatner did a brilliant cover of "Common People" by Pulp. Me First & the Gimme Gimmes do a great cover of "Jolene" on the their last country album. There have been many brilliant covers of Jolene over the years. My favorite being Strawberry Switchblade. But it is really about the b-side of "I Will Always Love You" on the recently released single. Whitney Houston already ruined the song for the "Bodyguard" soundtrack. The song was originally by the great Dolly Parton for the movie "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." That Whitney Houston song was so overplayed that she almost made me never want to listen to the Dolly version again. Me First sort of make up for it with their version. It is at least meant to be funny.

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joy division reissues out 10/30...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 30, 2007 08:05pm | Post a Comment
So it's now only one more day until Halloween and I finally got around to watching the Paul Lynde Halloween Special. The special originally aired over 30 years ago in 1976. But it is now rescued from obscurity and released on a nice little DVD. I knew it was going to be ridiculous and hilarious. But it really is hard to even explain. You must simply watch it. The guest stars include Billie Hayes (Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf), Tim Conway, Betty White, Margaret Hamilton (The Wicked Witch of the West), Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch), Billy Barty (Legend, Willow, Sigmund & the Sea Monsters), Roz Kelly (Pinky Tuscadero of Happy Days), Donny and Marie Osmond, and Kiss! I know what you are thinking....amazing. Yes it is. And with the brilliant Paul Lynde as the host and Bruce Vilanch helping out with the writing this special was bound to be amazing. Kiss perform the amazing song "Beth" on the special.  The show includes ridiculous skits and musical numbers and the network debut of the band Kiss. I sort of wish they still made specials like this today. There really was nothing like Paul Lynde and he paved the way for many who came after him in Hollywood.

Here is a clip from the special...

There are some very exciting things out today. First of all in the land of TV on DVD there are two very exciting releases. Twin Peaks the Complete Series comes out today. The definitive Gold Box Edition is really amazing. Not only does it include the recently released Season 2 but also the out of print Season 1. Also included is the original and European version of the pilot for the first time on DVD domestically! It is finally all together in one box. The 10 disc set includes new interviews and special features all supervised by David Lynch. This show was amazing and nothing has ever come close to its brilliance. I have been waiting for years to watch the whole series over again in anticipation of this release. If you have never seen this show in its entirety, I highly recommend it. For my review of Season 2 you can go back and read it here.  I can't even begin to explain how much this show means to me. Also out today is My So-Called Life on DVD. The complete series gets a better more deluxe treatment than the previous release on DVD. This show started a couple years after Twin Peaks in 1994. But it was just as important and nothing has really come close to this show except for maybe Freaks & Geeks. This new release comes with a book with photos and special things from the show. It also has interviews with cast members including Claire Danes and 7 audio commentaries. These are exciting times.

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Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 29, 2007 11:21am | Post a Comment

I saw Control with Morten. It's the movie about Joy Division and more specifically Ian Curtis. It's funny because the first I heard of it was critics tripping over themselves to point out that they liked it though they'd never heard of the band. The point is always pretty much, "I'm a square. I'd never heard of these guys but I liked the movie, although for a rock band, they sure weren't that much fun." I wonder what those critics were listening to back then. To me, Joy Division is one of those bands that, if you have taste, you should've at least heard during their existence if you were teenage or older. I mean, how separate are the worlds of music and movies that you'd have us believe you've got great taste and an ear to the underground if you still haven't heard of Joy Division? What bigger independent bands were there in the late '70s? And didn't you review 24 Hour Party People not five years ago?

Back to the 24 Hour Party People then. When that came out I saw a lot of dour Raincoats leaving the theater expressing their wish that whole film had been about Ian Curtis and not those awful acid house Blue Tuesdays or whatever was going on after Ian Curtis' death, at which point their lot zoned out 'til the credits. Pity them. And I thought of how awful that would be -- a film about Joy Division. Biopics are so suspect. Made For Cable movies that sit in the wings like vultures to be released in theaters only in the event of the subject's death because what is an awful film will likely reap the awful rewards at the Oscars.

Control is directed by Anton Corbijn, which I didn't know till the end. Whatever you think of the guy, and I love his videos, you've got to admit that his images always have to easy to appreciate visuals. I mean, Bryan Adams got him to direct "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman," after all. He's f---ing Dutch, for Christ's sake.

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