Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dead Meadow: Re-affirming Why I Love Music....

I saw Dead Meadow live last night at Mohawk place in Buffalo, NY. Did an interview with lead singer Jason Simon and drummer Stephen McCarty and took a bunch of photos of the blazing 90 minute set they performed.
I'm looking forward to posting a transcript of the interview I did, along with photos from the show and my thoughts on their performance, but I have to catch transport out of town for about a week and I doubt that I'll be able to post everything until the weekend after next.
So, in the meantime, I encourage everyone to check out some DM music and see them live if you get the chance while they are still on tour. You will NOT be disappointed- I promise you!
And, Jason, on a personal note- hope you had no trouble making that Toronto show! (and are able to get some good rest the next day!) Hope to see you down the road again soon :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Video Clip Of The Day #3: The Warlocks "Red Camera"

Lastly, here is just an amazing song/ video for their single "Red Camera".

Video Clip Of The Day #2: The Warlocks "Shake The Dope Out"

Another song off the "Phoenix" album- this track is killer live. I dare you not to dance to this one...

Video Clip Of the Day #1: The Warlocks "Baby Blue" & "Song For Nico"

A great psychedelic classic from The Warlocks off their "Phoenix" album.

And the second part here is a brilliant ode to The Velvet Underground's Nico. This song should have been an instant classic- but like most great music nowdays was ignored by the critics and public. Look for it on The Warlocks self- titled album and in a slightly different and just- as- cool version on their "Rise & Fall" album.

Clash Of The Titans Rules! (The Original)

These remakes are getting out of hand! Can I honestly be expected to believe that Hollywood cannot find good original scripts to develop into movies nowdays? Why does every other film being made seem to be a sequal or remake??
The latest victim of this senseless plagerism is the classic 1981 Ray Harryhausen film "Clash Of The Titans". It was the best movie ever done based on Greek mythology (though Jason & The Argonauts is right up there as well) and featured a long list of acclaimed actors among its cast.
You can argue that the 1981 original had better effects than the remake. CGI, to me, is comical and obvious. It all looks like animation to me and nothing close to believable. Miniatures and stop- motion looks much more life- like in my opinion, and as a result, I think special effects look much better 20 or 30 years ago than they do with today's technology. And most movies of the action variety today base everything on the special effects, including the COTT remake.
The original had action at times, and fights, but never let it get inb the way of the story. There was a lot of quiet diaogue and quiet moments, like the nightly visitations when the crow takes Andromeda to the swamps to be with Calibus. Or the long scene when Perseus first meets the Burgess Meredith character in the coliseum and is presented with his first gifts from the gods.
During the whole film the music was mostly string based instruments and flutes- very authentic to the times. With the remake I hear blaring rock music in the trailer! What the motherfuck?? There was no rock music in ancient Greece! That alone made me cringe with disgust. What a shameful way to promote a crappy film. You just lost a major segemt of your audience in the trailer geniuses!
So Let me tell you a story, kiddies. I was at a screening of The Shining last week and after the molvie I am waiting in the lobby for the wife. A group of three kids, students it seemed, are gawking at the movie poster for the new Clash Of The Titans remake. One of them, a young girl all of 16 I believe, says "I REALLY want to see this! It looks so great!" Usually I can let ignorant comments like this go in public. But, this day, after having just seen a classic film like The Shining, I had to make a stand. A stand for Harry Hamlin, for Ursula Andress, for Burgess Meredith, For Ray Harryhausen, for Maggie Smith- and definitely for Hollywood icon Laurence Olivier and his classic portrayal of Zeus.
I said to this clueless teenager "See the classic 1981 original instead. The best take on Greek mythology ever put to film starring film icons Burgess Meredith, Ursula Andress, Maggie Smith, and Laurence Olivier." Her blank- faced response to me was "There was an original?"
At that point I realized that this generation is clueless about art history. If a piece of music or film wasn't on MTV or making 100 billion dollars at the box office- they have no idea it even existed. That is a damn sad realization to live with. Somewhere along the line these kids are just not being educated about the classics and seem devoid of good taste in any manner whatsoever.

Here is a wonderful review I found on IMDB that sums up my thoughts exactly about this travesty that calls itself "Clash Of The Titans::

Badness and worthlessness of this movie leaves me speechless.
Usually, there are certain aspects of a movie you like or dislike. One could agree or disagree certain take that director chose to do, certain changes, something that was below par, something that could have been better, that one could talk about. However, in this case, the task of reviewing this movie is difficult as from the very first scene to the last scene this movie is one unbearable, soul-less, boring, ugly and horrible disaster.
The original is a classic! It has heart, romance, soul, humor, sweetness, feel of an epic, beauty, nobility, overall feeling of an adventure, a quest, and yes it also had certain spooky quality, and deviousness.
This remake has NONE of those qualities. As if lacking anything interesting or worth liking was not enough, this movie tortures you with horrible darkness and senselessness. A fisherman comes up with empty catch, so declares war on Gods. Really? Why even be a fisherman then? Just sit at home and demand food and other necessities be delivered to you, and if that doesn't happen, just declare war on Gods.
From Andromedae to Zeus, the characters are either evil or robotic. Its a world of mindless creatures. There is no way to get emotionally involved, even though you go to the theater with every intention to like it, and enjoy and give it every break possible.
The girl playing Andromedae doesn't even appear to be a leading lady and appears to be sick and weak. The Princess is a meaningless entity in this movie. She was his love in the original. Even the monster, the Kraken is boring. Medusa left a permanent scar in the original, but here it just might be a giant mindless snake. However, the soldiers trying to kill her are even more determined to be killed by her gaze. One of them could have simply avoided that fate, but the writers probably ran out of script for him, so he had no choice but to gaze straight in Medusa's eyes.
Just a bad movie. Avoid it at all cost. I am disgusted the time and money I wasted on this one. There is absolutely nothing, not one thing in this movie that is worth cherishing."

The Shining- Back On The Big Screen

Here in Buffalo, NY they have this wonderful film series that features classic movies brought back to the big screen with an introduction and hour- long discussion afterwards. I missed the first few movies, but had the opportunity to see the 1980 Stanley Kubrick classic "The Shining" last Tuesday.
If you never had the chance to see it in the theaters, you missed out on something special. Like alot of the big action blockbusters (though this most certainly falls outside of that category), this movie was meant to be seen on the big screen. The atmosphere, the tension, and the scary images are all amplified. Seeing it this way gave me a whole new appreciation for this film.
One of the most improved things, for me, was the setting. On the large screen you feel the isolation more, the cold.... the claustrophobia. The Overlook Hotel encased in a snowy tomb. You really exerience the sensation, like the characters, that there is no way out.
The after movie discussion was fascinating to me. Two local film experts, the organizers of the film series, held a question and answer session for about an hour. Some of the more interesting points brought up:
- The snow used in the film was actually salt. Truck loads of it were constantly being shipped on set to give the illusion of snow.
- The film was almost entirely shot on a soundstage in England. The Overlook was built there in one of the largest stage sets ever constructed.
- The few daylight exteriors of the Overlook was actually the Timberline Lodge in Oregon.
- A crucial scene was cut at the end of the moview that gave a better indication of the fate of Jack Torrance. After the scene where Jack's frozen corpse is shown in the snow another shot was deleted that showed the same spot- but his body has mysteriously disappeared. It was supposed to preceed the closing shot where Jack appears in the black & white photo hanging in the Overlook with the date 1921. The scene was supposed to indicate that when Jack died he became part of the hotel- like Grady before him, and the others perhaps that repeated the same cycle of violence before them. Kubrick wanted the ending to be more ambiguous and felt the scene would reveal too much if left in.
- The opening scenes where Jack and his family are driving through the mountains to the hotel was actually leftover scenes from the movie Bladerunner inserted in The Shining in the last minute.

And last but not the least- BOYCOTT CLASH OF THE TITANS!! Rent or buy the classic 1981 original instead!