Archive for the 'history' Category

Gimme Danger

I didn’t mean to make this a month of music docs, it’s just working out that way. Jarmusch’s Stooges doc is pretty good. Apparently its an absolute rule at this point that you can not make a music doc without animation in the modern age, but I’m getting used to it, and it’s well done here. I heard one review on the radio imply they sort of skipped the bad dope part, but I wouldn’t say that. They didn’t linger or glamorize it, which I’d say is wise and responsible in light of the currently epidemic. It’s not like you can really translate the narcotic experience anyway, but you can see evidence of it, as Ig’s “pretty face goes to hell”. I heard in an interview the other day he’s been clean, short of caffeine and some wine, since ’83. I’d like to see more of the Hero’s/Berlin era, when Bowie essentially saved his life by getting him out of the US and to East Germany, but that’s for the Iggy doc, surely yet to come.

Rush – Time Stand Still

I went and saw this new Rush doc last week. I was pleasantly surprised: I thought there would be a lot of footage of newer stuff that only the diehard fan friends I went with would appreciate, but it was pretty great overall. I’d consider myself a “pre-GUP fan”, appreciate a few tunes here and there after that. The doc had a bit too much apology from Neil about wanting to stop touring, and don’t know if I’ll ever do a Rushcon, but… Bungled and left my phone at the first friends house before the movie so we couldn’t be in touch with the second, but he came on in to the theater eventually and it all worked out.

Monsterama 2016

So while at Dragoncon last month I sort of came to a realization: in addition to being more a scifi than fantasy guy, I’m also a very classic and older b horror movie guy. I also heard about Monsterama, a small con in ATL in it’s 3rd year, and right at the Perimeter Marriot, very close to where I grew up.


This year’s special guest was Caroline Munro. I had her sign a 7 Golden Voyages of Sinbad poster I got at Dcon for the occasion and had a pic with her. She was very swell and relatable, but unfortunately, when I asked about a biography admitted my wild imaginings of behind the scenes debauchery with co-stars like Christopher Lee, Tom Baker, Hasslehoff, or monster master Ray Harryhousen did not exist – at least not including her. Though she did meet David Bowie when he was little known and she yet to hit Bond girl status.

C SM and Caroline Munro

In addition to her panel, I attended one from a GA Tech lit teacher researching “real” vampires, i.e. those who drink blood for a feeling of power and fulfillment from willing doners; one on pulp writer Manly Wade Welman; and another on a subgenre some folks are trying to get going called Dreadpunk. My nieces came by briefly, since kids got in free, and we took pics with some of the monster statues. Also got some things from the merch room.

SpaceCat in light

Then waiting in line for the Spook Show before the screening of Star Crash (Spook show being a shlocky thing involving Jim Stacy and others, that at various times has gone on at the Plaza Theater and Drive In on Moreland), I took a pic of a kid in a space suit with a cat head. Her mom came over later to see the shot and I found out she was actually an 8 year old Special FX wiz, also speaking at a panel I had missed. Marvel the modern age! As mom was part of some Shining Twins cosplay, I got a pic of them too.

Shining Twins

In all, Monsterama was less organized than Dcon, thankfully smaller, and I’m not sure I missed anything by only attending one day instead of the three, but I’m not sorry I went and will look for it next year if I’m in town.

Black Waterside

OK getting back into “post” mode…

Heard an NPR story last year, early in my last China stay. Learned my favorite Zeppelin song isn’t a Zeppelin song…oh wait, Page changed the title slightly so its not complete theft. Whatever, I hated on Z for most of my life and have reached a peace with the early stuff, so wont belabor that point. Just praise Bert Jansch. Olivia Chaney covered one of his in her 2016 BE set, great stuff.

One morning fair
As I took the air
Down by Black Waterside
And in gazing all around me
The Irish lad I spied

All for the fore part of that night
We lay in sport and play
Then that young man arose and gathered his clothes
Saying, “Fare thee well today”


That’s not the promise that you gave to me
When you lay upon my breast
For you made me believe with your lying tongue
That the sun rose in the west

Go home, go home, to your father’s garden
Go home and cry your fill
And think on your misfortune
That you’ve wrought with your wanton will

One evening rare, I took the air
Down by Black Waterside
And in gazing all around me
The Irish lad I spied.

Nostalgia for the Light


I saw this some months ago while back in Bali, obtained from a fellow teacher. It’s a painful but deep juxtaposition of the horrors of Chile in the 70’s under Pinochet and astrophysics, more specifically observations made from the Atacama desert. Empathy for people still dealing with their pain, possible poetic perspective on it all – possibly just a look at the absurdity and meaninglessness of Earth monkey’s torturing one another. Power struggles on a little spec of dust that seems so unique.

Football Fever

I was in Liaocheng, Shandong China for the 2010 World Cup. The games for the group round ran at 10 PM and midnight. We had sort of our own private bar, owned by a friend, to drink in and watch on a huge screen. Half times or between games was a perfect chance to pop out onto the empty street for a smoke, or occasionally bop across the street to the whorehouse. This was my first year there, before they quit letting me into that particular place…racist bastards.

While my setting may not be as ideal for 2014, the USA team is doing much better, so far. I’ve watched games of various match-ups here at the house with my brother-in-law, or craving a crowd, up at the pizza place in Vinnings Village. Is this the year Soccer “breaks” for the US? Don’t hold you’re breath – there are still plenty who’ll cringe when you say American Football. And you’ll still hear plenty of complaints about “boring to watch”, this from a nation that will watch grand scale eco-terrorism in left hand turns like NASCAR. It also must be irksome for those devoted to the MLS to deal with all us fair weather fans. But we’re all in it for now.

But I get nervous any time Bradley gets near the ball. I perceive him as a weak link, though I’m told he’s actually solid when he has his act together. It’s time boys, to gel with the gestalt and release the great inner players you may have not known you were, get the team together out-performing each other at each new moment. Really start winning instead of squeaking by on stats and technicalities. Make them say in the 20th century we couldn’t really COMPETE in the world sport, but all of that changed…

RIP Rik Mayall

So I would have seen the first American MTV recycling, I think it came on just before 120 minutes Sundays. The Young Ones. Then modern age wacky britcom ala Python (though THEY seemed forged from a general late 60’s/70’s aesthetic) The Young Ones had it’s finger on the later 20th century pulse with a burn out hippie, senseless metalhead, mafioso cockney whatever Mike was, and a spoiled brat anarchist. It seemed very cutting edge to my young suburban mind. And while the Rick character was mainly just annoyance, to look back and see him as the writer surrounding himself with such absurdly has renewed hilarity. A wee bit of puppetry, always with the puppetry you delightful chaps across the pond. But that was also going on in US 80’s culture to a modest extent: Madams Place, Alf. But that Young Ones stuff became instantly classic among my friends and I. And with a musical guest often included, savy gents, savy: it turned me on to Motorhead. There are some choice Comic Strip episodes as well. I’d forgotten YO for years and was pleased to see him later on AbFab, as he was in a troupe with those ladies additionally. Were they also in Comic Strip stuff? I need to go back and re-watch.

HR Giger RIP (1940-2014)

How did I miss this? I just realized today though he died about a week ago. And after I’d just re-ignited my interest in him after the Dune doc. Researching that post, it’s funny to realize I thought “oh, he’s still alive” but didn’t think “and could die any day…”. And from complications of a fall – seemingly an inglorious geezer’s demise, and yet the second most common form of accidental death.

I was gonna embed a great Slovakian doc I tubed recently, but it’s become private. I guess the intellectual capital on that one just went up. But in reading up on him, you quickly realize the influence of muse Li Tobler long after her suicide.

I still plan to make the pilgrimages to Chur, Gruyeres and Yverdon-les-Bains at some point. At some point I’m holding a surplus of cash, as Switzerland is never cheap, a Giger bar certainly wouldn’t be, and I’d want to come away with something substantial. So make that a SURPLUS of cash. Would have liked to see the bar in Tokyo too while it existed, though apparently without full permission. He’s certain to be sending dark ripples into the cultural pond for ages to come.

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