Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

My gift to all of you is the hilarious Carol of the Bells segment from the California Raisins Holiday Special.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Since there's no place to go...

Let it snow.

The variety of weather we get here is one of the only reasons remaining for me to actually enjoy living in Philadelphia.

This weekend we were hit with upwards of 17 inches of snow. I love that. And this pretty much assure us of a white Christmas because there is no way all of this will melt before Friday.

Although, it may be more of a murky, grey Christmas if the snow becomes that mushy, slushy crap that heavy traffic and rock salt usually turn it into.

Eh, oh well. For now, I'm enjoying staying inside and watching movies.

Song of the Week: "Metamorphosis (Parts 1-5)" by Philip Glass

As I've mentioned before, I usually listen to music that has little or no lyrics when I write. It's something that I've learned works for me through a lot of trial and error. Whether it's jazz or classical, bluegrass or a soundtrack-- instrumental music is just what I prefer when I sit down to do some work.

Lately, almost all of my writing time has been accompanied by the trademark musical stylings of Philip Glass.

I first came to know of Philip Glass through his score to Godfrey Reggio's now-famous "Quatsi" trilogy. I especially enjoy the score to Koyaanisqatsi, but he has tons of other work that is equally impressive. Last week I came across his album "Solo Piano", which is comprised of five variations of his piece Metamorphosis, as well as two shorter pieces.

The song I've included here is Metamorphosis #2, which happens to be my favorite. It's a haunting piece that I've been able to listen to on repeat for the past few days.

Give it a listen. Even if Philip Glass is not necessarily your bag, it's hard to argue that this isn't a beautiful piece of music.

P.S.-- I've included his piece Pruit Igoe as well. Originally written for Koyaanisqatsi, you may also recognize it from the extended trailer for last year's Watchmen.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wanted: "Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Cover Box"

As a child of the VHS generation, I love-- LOVE-- retro VHS cover art. I can remember walking around the video store as a kid studying the cover boxes, especially those that were for films that I would never be allowed to see at that age. Two that stick out in my mind were Ruggierio Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust and George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead-- both of which I didn't get to see until I was in my twenties. Gee, perhaps that's why I have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with 1970's-80's horror?

Portable Grindhouse showcases a solid selection of cover boxes-- both well-known titles and some of the more off the wall titles. And I love the subtitle (The Lost Art of the VHS Cover Box), because that's what it was-- an art form. Looking at much of the shamefully bad cover art for DVD releases these days really makes you miss the days of Drew Struzan covers, replete with rippling muscles and oversized breasts on cartoonish versions of the movies stars of the day (Romancing the Stone, anyone?)

Needless to say, this book is a great Christmas gift for the film geek in your life. And if you don't have a film geek in your life, feel free to consider me the film geek in your life, because I would love to unwrap this book on Festivus.

Anyhow, watch the awkwardly silent video below for a better idea of what to expect.

And you can read more about the book and order it at the Fantagraphic books website.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Song of the Week: "What?" by Rob Zombie

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to catch the penultimate stop in Rob Zombie's tour for his upcoming album, Hellbilly Deluxe 2. I went to the show by myself and, well... you may think that's kind of odd. Perhaps-- but I couldn't give a damn because it was one hell of a show.

Zombie's live performances are a throwback to the theatrical rock shows of the 1970's. And he certainly isn't not shy about wearing his influences on his sleeve-- specifically Alice Cooper. The two of them share a similar gruff singing style and I'm actually surprised Zombie's never covered any of Cooper's hits.

But I digress...

This song (What?) is the first single off of his oft postponed new album which is set to finally be released on February 2. There is no official video, so I've posted a live version that is very similar to what I saw the other night at the Electric Factory.

Enjoy the song.

And if you ever get the chance to see Rob Zombie live, by all means go.
You'll have a great time. And if you've got nobody to go with, hell-- drop me a line. Lord knows I've been there.

P.S.-- If you like the song, you can also hear the regular album version here, or download it on iTunes.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New York City...

So, I went to New York yesterday to catch up with a friend. I got into town rather early, so I decided to walk around and perhaps do some shopping.

Then I found this guy.

Now, the two of us are best friends.

And yes, his catchy jingle was in my head all day.

P.S.-- This was the first time I was able to really try out my Kodak Zi-8. I have to say, it's pretty incredible considering the price and size. Certainly recommended for bloggers/vloggers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Evil Dead is back

In the age of the crappy horror remake, it's nice to get some news about a true classic being sent back to theaters-- in its original form. Grindhouse releasing seems to have secured the rights to mount a nationwide re-release of Sam Raimi's seminal 1981 horror flick Evil Dead.

Perhaps Raimi is testing the waters for another Evil Dead sequel? It's possible, considering the success of his recent throwback hit Drag Me To Hell. While I'm not totally convinced that this would be a true barometer of how another evil dead film would play, I'm certainly not complaining.

Also-- I seem to be in the minority among Evil Dead fans in that I prefer the first film to the pseudo-sequel, Evil Dead 2.

So far there is no screening planned for the Philadelphia area, but I'm confident that will change very soon. If not I may just have to embark on another road trip to catch this on the big screen.

The scheduled screenings are available here.

What do you think-- any of you screwheads out there going to check it out?