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Showing posts from September, 2005

The Night Stalker (2005 redux): Eh, shrug...

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The original Night Stalker TV series holds a very dear spot in my heart. It covered the adventures of Carl Kolchak (played by Darren McGavin ), a hard-nosed scrapper of a newspaper reporter who zeroed in on stories that skirted the bizarre and supernatural, much to the chagrin of his eternally flustered editor, Tony Vincenzo (played by the eternally-blustering Simon Oakland ). Week after week, Kolchak chased scoops involving vampires, zombies, werewolves, and all manner of other unexplained phenomena, only to be consistently thwarted in his attempts to deliver the truth by the skeptical (and occasionally conspiratory) authorities. The Night Stalker was one of the first TV shows to hurl supernatural boogeymen into modern urban life, and it was a freaky mix. That collision of the monstrous with the mundane made the show scary as hell, a lesson not lost on Chris Carter, the creator of another beloved TV fantasy-- The X-Files . The key to the original Night Stalker's success w

OK, it's a TRIPLE feature...

...the opening , opening band at the C!BR/Bloodhag show, the Dead Vampires, looks to be a hoot as well. Check out their website , and get to the Funhouse extra, extra early. There. I feel better now.

Sci-Fi Death Rock Double Feature at the Funhouse Tomorrow...

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Somewhere, there's an alternate universe where Philip K. Dick is a struggling teenage kid who gets a job at Chuck E Cheese's. One day, he's surrounded by a swarm of pizza-sauce-encrusted moppets and bored out of his skull. Looking to take the sting of mewling rugrats out of his ears, he sneaks out of counter duty to scam a quick hit of weed in the restaurant's walk-in refrigerator. While he's in the fridge toking away, the apocalypse hits. It's the Big Kahuna, a Hammer-of-Thor thermonuclear salvo that levels almost all of the country, and vaporizes all of the restaurant's human occupants. Except for Phil. The dazed pizza-counter jockey staggers out of the walk-in refrigerator to survey the devastation. All of the kids and their parents are piles of powdery ash, and the restaurant (fridge unit excepted) is charred wreckage. But off in the corner, under the last vestiges of the building's structure, is the Chuck E. Cheese robot band. Some of the autom

God Bless The Brian Jonestown Massacre

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I've always been open-minded enough to give stuff a second chance. And showing that consideration for the Brian Jonestown Massacre has made me a very happy boy. I picked up their 1998 CD, Strung Out in Heaven , for a tidy $2.25 (including shipping--God bless you, eBay) a little over a year ago on a whim. My initial take: decent--but far from essential--revivalist stuff; a little bit of pre-1970 Stones, a touch of Sgt. Pepper -era Beatles, some retro-psychedelia a la Echo and the Bunnymen, some shoegazer swirliness, and some pretty uneven singing. But three or four perfect classic rock songs lay buried on Strung Out . Simply put, they wouldn't leave my head. Something told me to explore further, so when Tepid Peppermint Wonderland , a two-disc Brian Jonestown career retrospective, hit record shelves last year (on sale for eleven bucks, no less--God bless you, Easy Street Records) I took the plunge. Now I get it, and I'm hooked, baby. Straight up and down. What Anton Ne

Sixty Years of Pop Music in 90 Minutes

I love the primal power of a guitar chord as much as the next knuckle-dragger, but there's something uniquely inspiring and entertaining in the simple, timeless intertwining of singing voices in harmony. If it's done right, acapella singing can hopscotch genres and entertain with more versatility than even the most adroit rock musician can muster. And Bodacious Ladyhood do the (mostly) acapella vocal tango splendidly. All Girl Band , the trio's current cabaret show, runs at Thumper's in Seattle, Fridays and Saturdays until October 1; I was fortunate enough to catch it last week, and I'm glad I did. If you don't have a lot of patience for vocal-group shenanigans, fear not: The Ladyhood are one step ahead of you. Their set wryly touches on many of the format's cliches with knowing and loopy humor, even as they deliver the song selection with panache and passion. Andrews Sisters covers come a dime-a-dozen with vocal groups, but this ensemble playfully poked

Beautiful, Beleaguered New Orleans

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As I write this, Hurricane Katrina has wreaked unholy havok on New Orleans. The devastation is nigh-total: God knows how much of the Big Easy is submerged in flood waters, and hundreds--perhaps thousands--of people are feared drowned. Like so many people, the whole horrible tragedy is incomprehensible and overwhelming to me. If you haven't done so already, give some money to the Red Cross , or any one of the many charities attempting to help those in need. These charities--and the people suffering in the Big Easy--need it desperately. I'd be moved enough by this tragedy in and of itself (as I and so many others were during the horrendous tsunami earlier this year). But New Orleans seeped into my soul on a completely personal level. I'm utterly in love with the town. And for me, watching the newscasts on Hurricane Katrina's devastation has been tantamount to keeping vigil at my old lover's bedside as the reaper's scythe whistles agonizingly close to her head.