Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Pepper Stands Alone

It actually isn't often when I am completely unmanned by the onslaught of nostalgia brought on by a song from my past, considering the amount of music I listen to in a single day. I'm often exploring new music, searching out new things, rather than reliving too much of my past. And make no mistake, I love and cherish my musical past. But unless it pops up at random on my iTunes library, I don't often revisit much of what I used to listen to, since I already pretty much know it all by heart. Not to mention always having my finger to the wind in search of the latest musical direction... not like there's much of that going on these days, fer sher.

But this morning, while Joe was burning a copy of the movie Times Square for Mary at work, those distinctive opening keyboard notes to the opening track to "Same Old Scene" by Roxy Music seized me where I sat in the opposite room, here in front of my computer, and I was thrown bodily back into the 1980's again, when I found that soundtrack LP to Times Square at a flea market in Roanoke, VA for a dollar, and the sunshine I can still feel on my face from that summer I played it with a deep religious fevor, several years before I had even seen the movie itself. For a moment, I felt that song lift me and sweep me up off the earth, and for a flickering moment, nothing existed in the here and now. Oh, Brian Ferry. Oh, Robert Stigwood. Oh, two great tastes that taste like metal in my mouth together.

Speaking of Mary, I drew this at work on her brand new Apple graphic tablet:

I kinda have no idea of the symbolism involved with the pepper -- only that the pepper was included as the only piece of clip art found in the graphic pad tool file filled with nothing else but circles, squares, and other basic line shapes. All I know is that I found it hilarious to be there, not to mention spendidly Dadaist in nature. So I placed it in shirtless man's hand, and drew a covetous evil chicken with nefarious designs on the pepper popping up out of the background. Oh, and a happy sun.
Although I think Sheri's first version "Stick Figure With Pepper" is far superior to my creation for its sheer minimalistic poetry of perfection.

Peoples! Send me your pepper pictures! The more the merrier. Show me what can be done with the right amount of skill and talent and artistic dexterity and placement of form. And peppers. It would make me happy.
In other news, I signed up for Netflix this week. Where have I been all this time? Oh, sweet, sweet Battlestar Galacticas. Oh, long, looooong, obscenely expensive Berlin Alexanderplatz. Yr episodes R belong 2 mee!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Tue 29: 9-5
Wed 30: 3-cl
Thur 31: 3-cl
Fri 1: 9-5

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pin Point Eyes

The information I have at my disposal at work says that the new album Lust Lust Lust by The Raveonettes is due out February 5th, while Amazon seems to be claiming February 19th. Knowing our track record for accuracy on the job, my money's on Amazon's date. Either way, it's already out in Europe and it's taking its sweet time getting here. Not to mention getting to Virginia.... the band, that is, who always bypasses the Norva every year and doesn't get much closer than The Black Cat in DC, which is about as far as their current routing calendar seems to go for now. Gettin' my Sune Rose Wagner lustlustlust on ain't hap'nin in 2008 by the early forecast already, just like last year and the year before, and etc. Why do I insist on residing in such a desolate cultural wasteland? Really kinda sucksucksucks.

So anyway, seems their offering a vinyl copy of the new album for order through my store, so I placed a pre-order in along with my reserved CD copy, and I guess I'll see which we actually get in stock, whichever flippin' day it comes out. In the meantime, enjoy the ghostly video to their new single "Dead Sound". I gotta go get a haircut.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Revenge Of Mr. Hands

A couple of weeks ago when I posted that link to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart's website containing pretty much all of the segments and appearances from former correspondent (and decade-long hardcore Melpcrush Vance DeGeneres), it didn't quite strike me at the time that it didn't have pretty much all of the segments and appearances on the show from 1999 through 2001... it had ALL OF THEM. Including ones that I had been hearing about for ages but only had to take other people's word for it that they existed. I have about ninety-something percent of all his TDS segments on DVD-R, from soliciting fans from as far away as Alaska for tapes to mine for Vancey bits, but a lot of his earliest appearances apparently escaped these people, and as a consequence, escaped me as well. Most long-time readers would probably have some inkling of how exciting this is for me to finally be about to view these long-lost segments for the very first. Exciting and happy! And, er... and other more personal, more... regional sensations that remind me for the first time since meeting Vance in Vegas last May how much he still makes my pants tickle.

I've posted the links to just those never-seen segments from Vance's first year on TDS, more for the benefit of fellow fans Anita and Joe, but for my own link page to reference if need be in order to keep my bookmarks from getting more cluttered that they already are. Enjoy the deadpan, bone-dry comedic weirdness of it all.

01/14/99: You've Got Some Spleening To Do. Vance's very first TDS story on a Canadian who is researching the benefits of pig spleens to predict the weather, cure impotency, and reverse male-pattern baldness.

02/17/99: In Like Flynt. Larry Flynt opens a Hustler-themed coffee shop, juice bar, and martial-aid store all under one roof.
02/10/99: Speed 3: End Of The Line. A typically slanted neighborhood in San Francisco is having an issue with runaway buses smashing into people's homes.
06/08/99: A series of segments from a single episode where Vance reports outside the studio in New York's record-breaking heat wave, first lambasting those "nervous nellies" that are overly concerned about the dangers of 108 degree temperatures, then an increasingly-sweaty Vance begins advising people to leave their pets and their grandparents locked in cars with the windows rolled up, and finally dementia settles in before Vance loses consciousness. Or dies. Or going nite-nite. Either way, good times.

06/23/99: Bethesda Triangle. Vances takes a jaunt to Washington DC to investigate the mysterious disappearance of commuters on the Beltway that apparently seem to just drive off into the Great Unknown. Or just take another route back home. You be the judge!

07/15/99: There Goes Santa Claus. Poor Santa. He just ain't bringin' it no more. Commercially, that is.

08/02/99: The Blair Witch Project Project. Vance travels to Burkittsville, Maryland to do his own investigation on the Blair Witch mystery. I've been dying to see this one forever! Love the noise Vance makes when he goes running scared through the woods after being abandoned by his film crew.

9/14/99: Canada! Vance discovers that the US and Canada have a lot in common. Except of course, for GIANT CHOCOLATE BARS!

10/27/99: Hell, No We Won't Go. Vance gets to the bottom of who's responsible for the sudden, terrifying rise in exploding SUV gas tanks er, sorry... I meant toilets.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Log Cabin Manifestos

I'm sitting here downloading "Matty Groves" by Fairport Convention off of iTunes, and just thinking to myself what my life would have been like if the internet had existed back when I was in college. Would there have been my usual, almost daily dorm crawl literally banging on people's doors to be let in so I could look at their music collection? Would I have overdrawn my bank account countless times driving the 35 miles into the nearest city every weekend to prowl the Record Exchange (R.I.P.) for whatever album had the coolest cover? Would I have even met Joe if I wasn't sitting on his roommate's floor plowing through his cassette collection when he walked in the door?

It was pretty much inevitable that this technology would come about when it did. CD prices were already astronomical long before the internet download. From 1989 to 1991 I worked at The Music Man, David Campbell's indie store in a shopping mall who fought a one-man battle against rocketing CD prices by pricing every single CD in his store at $13.99. Eventually the loss we took prevented us from keeping up with that expensive overhead, and we left the mall for a shopping center, which then promptly closed several months later. Now my store is selling Musicpass cards for $12.99 each, which is about the same price (and in some cases maybe a little higher) than most albums you can already download off of iTunes. Places like Best Buy have now built customer loyalty with their CDs prices similarly, even though they take a bit of a loss selling them at that level. Of course, that customer loyalty brings them back to the store for the big-ticket items like TVs and stereos and computers, which is where they make their money back from the CDs. At my store, our CDs are our big-ticket items.

The history of recorded music is still only about a hundred years old, and has been officially a lucrative enterprise virtually ever since Caruso sold those first million copies in 1907. We've come from the wax cylinder to this in such an amazingly short amount of time that it still astounds me to think about it. Sure, it's putting me out of business. But cell phones buried my aunt's pager company. And I'm certain something will come along to kill that industry off as well. Maybe something like what Andrea Martin had implanted in her tooth in Hedwig And The Angry Inch. Maybe carrier pigeons will make a fashionable comeback. Carrier pigeons with pagers. I'm all for the tin-can-on-a-string resurgence myself. I'm sure I'd still get better reception than I did on my Verizon cellular.

I mourn for the olden days, sure. Although it's more nostalgia than modern practicality. A young lady told me the other day that she would never have been able to do that album cover quiz I posted last week because she didn't grow up with album cover art. Granted, most of the albums on that quiz were a smidge antiquated, especially for today's youth. Would a young modern-day diehard audiophile still know the answers? Probably not. Heck, even I didn't. But in this post-industrial revolution future of massive leisure time and ridiculous amounts of attention lavished on entertainment, there is far too much of it out there to know everything about. People can cherry-pick their favorite music without ever having known a single other band that came before it, or even another modern contemporary. Kids into punk these days have never heard the Dead Kennedys, let alone the Sex Pistols. And they don't need to. There's just too much out there. And the internet is a constant open artery from where it all flows.

But there used to be such a... I don't know... a social activity to searching for music that I would have missed out on, if I had the internet back in college, or even high school. Joe and I would drive into the city and run our fingers over cassettes and LPs, hardly knowing the names -- albums from bands we would have never had even heard of unless we hadn't have bought the album based entirely on the album cover art, like this one, this one, and this one. And then we'd go have a cheap meal at Long John Silvers and sit and go over all the liner notes and inner sleeve work. And we'd go to Joe's mother's house up in the mountains and use her record player and sit out there in the eerie quiet of the wilderness and play these albums, listening together, experiencing those first revelations face-to-face. There's just no replacing the memories of those tremendous interactive musical experiences.

Do people still experience that tactile human socialization when it comes to downloading off the internet? Sure, I hang out at music message boards, and they were a Godsend to me during those times when we were all discovering and mailing trades back and forth to one another. I would have never had even heard of Les Rallizes Denudes, or seen Jandek live, or even sought out The Monks CD for that matter. I suppose music exploration can still be a social activity in a sense. A virtual sense, perhaps. But still... would I have ever met my dear Lloyd in England or trade old blues tunes with Heinz in Germany if it wasn't for the internet? Both of whom I met through music? Would we have all met as early as my college era if the internet had been invented as far back as then?

ITunes isn't the answer to everything. Right now I'm cursing that I can't find a single Klaus Nomi track, or anything from the Jimmy Castor Bunch that isn't a sodding greatest hits package. But hey, the technology is still young. As long as we don't lose our ability to connect with one another. As long as the internet doesn't mold us to the rude, anti-social, instant gratification demanding, er... uh... oh, nevermind.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hibbidy-Bibbidy-Boot Don't Eat The Fruit

First 20 tracks on my iTunes this evening still bloated and full from weekly Sunday brunch this morning...

1. "Sister Rosetta (Capture The Spirit)" - The Noisettes
2. "You're So Vain" - Carly Simon
3. "Donny X" - Faithless
4. "Sexyback" - Justin Timberlake
5. "Sunburn" - Sluggo
6. "Scandal At The Jungle Hiltons" - William S. Burroughs
7. "Time" - Gibb Droll Band
8. "High" - Jimmie's Chicken Shack
9. "Moving Cities" - Faze Action
10. "Candy Girl" - New Edition
11. "Stay All Night, Stay A Little Longer" - Bob Wills
12. "Black Sweat" - Prince
13. "Sanctified" - Nine Inch Nails
14. "Keep On Jumpin'" - Marsha Wash & Jocelyn Brown
15. "Brass Ass" - Velella Velella
16. "Double Dutch Bus" - Frankie Smith
17. "Keep On Truckin'" - Backyard Heavies
18. "Das Dat" - McClean
19. "Sailing" - Christopher Cross
20. "Not Now John" - Pink Floyd

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Sun 20: 2-cl
Tue 22:9-5
Wed 23: 9-5
Thur 24: 3-cl
Sat 26: 3-cl

Friday, January 18, 2008

Planet Rock

Album Cover Quiz

I got 22 out of 54 correct. Nertz.

Quite a few I knew the band but not the title of the album. And personally, I didn't take myself off for spelling. I accidentally typed "Foxtrot" as "Fixtrot". YEAAAAH yeah, thuh-thuh-thuh-thuh-thuht. Sosume.

That's the problem with liking so much different music. One can only know so little about so much, as opposed to liking only a small niche and therefore knowing a lot about a little. Now if they had some Funkadelic albums up in there, then we'd be really playin' for sausages.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What It All Comes Down To

I'm losing my marbles trying to remember a movie that I saw when I was a little girl. Or rather, a very small part of a movie that my father was watching on TV when I walked in and asked what was going on. It seemed to have been made in either the 1950's or early 60's, and had a grand musical production quality to the whole affair. It was an image of heaven, with white clouds and people in togas and the whole shebang. Children were being called by lottery to board a ship that would take them back to Earth to be reborn to new families (or so my father explained). One teenage boy was called but he didn't want to go, as he had fallen in love with a girl in heaven and was clinging to her, begging to stay, and she was crying as they were pulled apart and he was made to get onto the ship with the other children. Then the ship sails, and the children all stand at the helm and sing, which my father told me was a hymn of happiness at being sent back to Earth once again to live and forget their past existence, but sounded like an incredibly sad, solemn thing to me.

Anybody? Please? I'll make you cookies.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cat Stevens, NOOOOO!!

I know last year I mentioned a few things from The Film Crew that I've seen, which is a new off-shoot project from the people who brought the voices of Mystery Science Theatre 3000, and I might have linked to former host Mike Nelson's Riff Trax which does pretty much the same thing, but seemingly, in a different way.

Now MST3K creator Joel Hodgson brings his new Post-Mstie project to the big HDTV screen with Cinematic Titanic -- same concept, some same old familiar voices (including original writers/cast members Trace Beaulieu, J. Elvis Weinstein, Frank Conniff, and Mary Jo Pehl), but no adorably shoddy "'bots", although they do seem to be sitting at half profile along the edges of the screen in a strange, distracting, and disconcerting way. Although I suppose in hindisght no more distracting than robot silhouettes made out of a bubblegum machine and catcher's mitt.

Viddy the trailer for The Oozing Skull, which already sounds freakin' awesome on its own merits, so get a sample of what they do, and just why they do it so well.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

3 Boys 1 Hat

We have this CD at my store. Which begs me to ask, where the hell was I when these guys were burning up the dancefloors in the late 80's? At first I was like.... er, okay? Two Without Hats. Did the members of Men Without Hats have a meeting one day where one of the guys made the announcement that he finally wanted to establish his own individual identity in a manner that would, oh I dunno, set him apart from the rest of the Mens? But I suppose they're really just a one-hit freestyle act from around 1989, which was the beginning of my club-going era and I have no recollection of this song being played at.... okay, I was hanging out at an "alternative" club back then, where I was too busy doing Teh Gothdance to Peter Murphy's "Cuts You Up" than out to seriously bust a move like these fellas -- but I was also working at DJ's at the time, so huh. Sometimes things do escape my radar (which pretty much sums up popular music for me these days anyway). They do seem to get people in large NY stadiums very excited and chanting in foreign languages, although they're too far away to determine whether or not they're still wearing hats. Or not. Or just that one guy. I'd be more interested to see if they still hung on to those jackets after all these years.
Where was I going with all this? Oh yeah. Read this. All I can say is, pig zombies??

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Alternative Lifestyle

Saw The Orphanage last night. Big spooky gothic house. Creepy, ghostly children singing "come plaaaay with usssss...". Hysterical, irrational mother figure screaming "GIVE ME BACK MY CHILD!", but in Spanish. ¿Sano familiar? Meh. I suppose every director needs to get this kind of clichéd storyline out of their system at some point in their career. Too bad I had to be there when it happened.

Seems that there is somebody else online who uses my same moniker. Sadly from what I can tell from her photos she leads a much more fun and exciting life than I do these days. Ahh, youth.


It had just occurred to me for the first time last night that I am the last person at my job that is still, I guess technically, working.

I knew things have slacked off considerably since my boss left a few months ago. But I've been carrying on like I always have: Rushing around the store for customers. Coming in early to get projects done before opening hours. Taking on Herculean tasks of reorganizing the entire music section by myself to make product easier to find. And I'm looking around and seeing fewer and few people not only not doing their work, slipping off the sales floor to watch movies in the back room, not even attempting to keep the store clean -- but I'm seeing management either doing the very same thing, or even enabling the associates to slack off along with them. And here I've been dressing down goldbricking staff nearly constantly because, well, in the past, that was my job -- to make sure people were doing their job. We had a higher boss we all had to answer to. And I release that she's gone, but it was inevitable that we'd be getting a new one about this time, or any day now. Isn't it? Isn't it?

It just dawned on me last night, for he first time, that maybe everybody knows something that I don't. Which is typical of how things go around there -- I'm commonly the last to know anything, despite my position. Has everybody ceased working because they have no one to answer to? Or are they aware of something I'm not?

This month we are going to start selling the Musicpass in our store, and I guess depending on how well they sell it will be the "first wave" of these things coming through our doors -- but at the same time, it could be the final nail in our industry's coffin if it doesn't succeed. Probably will also be determined by how much they plan to sell them, because if they get priced as high as our CDs already are then it's all useless, I'm convinced. People are downloading their music because they don't want to pay $20 for a CD, not because they'd have more fun downloading albums for $20 apiece. And the industry shoots itself in the proverbial foot continuously with their latest trend in delaying CD releases, especially on a scale these days the likes of which I haven't seen in all my years in the music retail business. There's this song called "Low" by a hip-hop artist named Flo Rida that simply every kid wants, but the album which was due out in October has been pushed back indefinitely and will no doubt be released long after the hit single has come and gone off the radio rotation radar. There was also this song called "Lip Gloss" by a new young artist named Lil' Mama that was highly sought after this past summer, and the video was all over the music channels and people were coming in nearly every day begging for it, and that CD was never released. However, you can download both Lil' Mama's and Flo Rida's singles off of iTunes right now. And for a cent less than a dollar. No wonder all our customers are middle-aged and older, looking for their Andrea Bocelli or their Michael Buble. And you can still them on iTunes if they wanted them as well, if they were about as techno-savvy as the Flo Rida Generation these days.

In fact, that's where I tell people to go if there's no possible way for me to procure the CD on hand. And in essence, that's why I still work as hard as I do. Do I care about the company anymore? In a sense no. They screwed us over so many times that I'm not in the mindframe of doing them any favors, since that's about all I'd be doing for them considering the chicken-scratch they laughingly pay me.

But I do care about the store. And I care about people finding the music (or the movie) that they want. Because first and foremost, that's what I do. And what I have always done. It's why I used to make mix tapes back in high school and toss them into open car windows or tuck them into pants pockets in department stores. It's why I was a DJ in college, or worked diligently in night club and concert promotions back in the 90's. I care about people's access to music. And I care about people finding the music that they want. I do this because I love my job. And I don't care if that one CD I was scrambling around for like a maniac, calling local stores to check and see if they have it in stock, or special ordering it to ensure they get what they're looking for seems like a waste of time and energy for a company who won't even send a service repairman when our heater conks out in the middle of winter, or pay a long-time, valued associate sick leave when he was laid up with his spine surgery a few months ago, or even send someone to clean the dysentery out of our filthy, septic tank-leaking carpets. Maybe it is all useless in the end. But I simply don't want to become useless myself. I know this sounds hella corny, but if I'm not striving to help get the music to the people, then I'm not being what I am. God, somebody shoot me for saying that, but it's true.

Anyway, I have the weekend off for a change, so I'm going to spend some time thinking about my future. And it's about time I did, too, don't you think?

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Mon 14: 3-cl
Tue 15: 9-5
Wed 16: 9-4
Thur 17: 3-cl
Fri 18: 4-cl

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Songs Of Innocence And Experience

First 20 tracks on my iTunes this morning sitting here worrying about my blood pressure...

1. "It Was A Good Day" - Ice Cube
2. "Porch" - Pearl Jam
3. "Destination Unknown" - Missing Persons
4. "Tired Of Waiting For You" - Green Day
5. "My Violent Heart" - Nine Inch Nails
6. "Speed Racer" - Devo
7. "Cinnamon Girl" - The Dream Syndicate
8. "Cop Comes Home" - Gang Of Four
9. "Used To Be" - Charlene & Stevie Wonder
10. "Home Boy" - Mr. Wiggles
11. "Frankenstein" - The Edgar Winter Group
12. "Don't Take A Chance" - GOMM
13. "Le Responsable" - Jacques Dutronc
14. "Interlude 2 (This Is Insane)" - William S. Burroughs
15. "Plan B" - Mute Math
16. "Windmill" - Wu-Tang Clan
17. "Do It Do It" - Schooly D.
18. "A Strange Day" - The Cure
19. "Ladies And Gentlemen" - Saliva
20. "Don't Stop Me Now" - Queen

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Links... And Why Not?

Speaking of album covers, I appears I need to step it up a little. I'd be docked serious points for creativity compared to some people.

And all I gotta say about this is that I'll never look at a photo of Jon Bon Jovi and Ritchie Sambora the same way again.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Lemmings on Lover's Rock

Heyyyy... remember these?

No, not the pictures-with-vinyl antics again. And not vinyl in general, although some of you might not remember those either. I meant specifically, vinyl copies of Fad Gadget albums. And I only say vinyl because for the longest time I was under the impression that vinyl copies were the last and only remaining artifacts from Frank Tovey's band (well, really, just Frank Tovey was the band -- an early Trent Reznor type, if you will) until I discovered just yesterday that apparently he did have a few compact disk re-releases of his old material, although they all appear to be undoubtedly out of print these days. Looks to be the only thing still available this day and age is the 2-CD The Best Of Fad Gadget which covers 30 tracks from his 1979-1984 Fad Gadgetry career, and the 4-CD Fad Gadget By Frank Tovey which appears to contain a few demo tracks, rarities, selections of Tovey's work with his later band The Pyros, and some concert footage and hour-long documentary directed by Alex Proyas (The Crow). I might even consider investing in the latter, since I've never heard his Pyros work, and I'd love to take a gander at his live performances, which were notoriously, ah... theatrical, as he was famed for wearing nothing but tar and feathers on stage, or covered head to toe in shaving cream as he removed his pubic hair delicately with a razor while singing. Oh, those wacky industrialists!

So anyway, Frank Tovey (Fad Gadget) was one of the earliest signers to the inchoate Mute label and has often been named-dropped as a huge influence on later 80's industrio-synth pop like Depeche Mode (who used to open for him in the early days), Erasure, and early Human League., to name a few. His signature is a sort of fractured synth death march, like the almost Birthday Partyesque "Back To Nature", or my personal favorite "One Man's Meat", the track that first introduced me to Da Gadget back around 1987 during my freshman year of college. I think I actually found this album in, of all places, a cut-out vinyl dump bin at the old Record Bar in Greenbrier Mall circa 1988. Tovey later experimented with other genres like blues/cajun and folk and collaborated with many other musicians on other projects, but sadly, Tovey had always suffered heart conditions all his life and he died of a heart attack in 2002.

Anyway, since I don't have any Fad Gadget CDs (yet) and I have yet to burn the record to disk, I have none of Frank Tovey's work on my computer to post as a download sample. But here is a video for the rather charmingly danceable "Collapsing New People" from German(?) TV that to me sounds like anything that could have charted back during its time, if Depeche Mode's name had been stamped across the single several dozen times. And remember, more information about Fad Gadget can be found on the internet! :-D

Sunday, January 06, 2008

My Little Reminder

"Fall of Icarus" by Breughel
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood: They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky, had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Sun 6: 10-6
Tue 8: 9-5
Wed 9: 9-4
Thur 10: 3-cl
Fri 11: 9-5

Sad Transmission

28 Weeks Later
Aqua Teen Movie
The Astronaut Farmer
Crazy Love
The Host
Hot Fuzz
Knocked Up
Reno 911: Miami
Rescue Dawn
The Simpsons Movie
Spiderman 3
Talk To Me
Year Of The Dog

This is it? These are all of the movies released in 2007 that I've seen this past year? That is, I think that's all I've seen -- I could have sworn there have been more. And what out of all this have I actually liked? Well, actually there is a few. Talk To Me, Spiderman 3, 28 Weeks Later, and Disturbia were all a bit lackluster to me, and I tried to watch some of The Bourne Ultimatum last night but as much as I rather enjoyed the first of the series I was considerably more put off by the over-dramatic, hyper-kinetic style that passes for "action" and "tension" in film this day and age. That's why I am over-dramatically, hyper-kinetically excited about finding this yesterday at a little out-of-the-way video store...

Charles Burnett's 1977 debut film Killer Of Sheep, the story of an African-American man named Stan living in Watts and working in a slaughterhouse during the day, plagued by financial troubles, but blessed with a creative mind and a dreamer's soul, and finds outlets for each in the happiest details of his otherwise bleak existence. Activities like playing with his daughter, or remarking how the comforting warmth of a teacup against his cheek reminds him of his wife's forehead when they make love. This movie, like much of Burnett's work, has been out of print for ages until just a few months ago, and it was looking pretty bleak for myself trying to track it down locally. Not even my own store has it listed in its system. Locals, lissenup! Movie Stop, the little shop in Greenbrier in that shopping center across the street from the mall, next door tot he Game Stop. They carry Killer Of Sheep. And a bevy of other fine titles. Heck, they even have a Criterion section! What thuh diddly-hey, yo? I'll see's ya there!