Saturday, December 6, 2008

RIP, Forrest J. Ackerman

I've been itching to write something, anything, just to say, "I'm still here."

Whatever I was about to write has to take the back burner today. Friends, Forrest J. Ackerman has died at the age of 92. The Obit is here. There isn't much I can say that isn't being written across the world right now by people as sad and heartbroken as I am right now. I just found out about it a few minutes ago. What I will write about right now is a remembrance.

I met Forry a couple of times at conventions, the first time in 1997 at the first Monster Bash in Ligonier, PA. I was actually a little scared to meet him. Whenever I'm faced with someone in my adult life who meant something to me as a child, I freeze up a little. The inner child comes forward and takes over. I become that shy little boy again. That's what happened when I met Forry the first time. When I finally mustered the strength, I found I needn't have been frightened. It was almost like meeting the REAL Santa Claus.

I approached him when there was a moment to get him alone and I introduced myself. He responded in kind and, while shaking my hand, he noticed me noticing his ring. He smiled and beckoned for me to join him on the other side of the table. He sat me down and presented the ring. He asked me if I knew what it was from. I shook my head, no. He explained it was the ring that Boris Karloff wore in "The Mummy". He pointed out a part of the ring that still contained a bit of makeup from Karloff. He then went on to show the ring Bela Lugosi wore in "Dracula". That was priceless. We talked for a long time and he tested my knowledge of fantasy and horror films, gently correcting me when I faltered.

I then expressed interest in his CD ROM set of the Ackermansion. I told him I was tempted to buy one. He leaned back, his eyes widened and he bellowed, "NO! You must always give in to temptation!!!!!" We both cracked up and I bought that set. He autographed it and we had our picture taken together.

I saw him a couple of times after that, the last being in 2006 at another Monster Bash. It was my Birthday and I was keen to meet Zacherle, The Cool Ghoul. Lo, and behold, they were in the same room together. Forry looked so thin and frail, his skin pasty and oxygen being fed to him via a portable oxygen machine. There were so many people around, but I'll never forget this: I looked over and he looked up, smiled a big open mouth smile and raised his hand high in the air. I saluted him back. We didn't speak, but it was nice that there was that recognition.

I still have that CD Rom set and Picture (I keep them together), but they're all in storage. If I ever dig that photo out, I'll post it with pride.

I'll miss ya Forry. I've missed you for too many years already; your puns, your way of making those old, moldy silents seem new and vibrant. Really, who is going to keep the giants of fantasy's memories alive now?

Rest in pieces, old friend. Horrorwood, Karloffornia will never be the same. And neither will the rest of the planet.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Beloved Invaders!

Beloved Invaders is on my Top Ten Best Rock and Roll Movies Ever Made list. The movie is essentially a feature length travelogue following The Ventures through their first tour of Japan in 1966 (the core members eventually moved there for good). In between scenes of The Ventures walking around Japan and learning the culture are white hot excerpts of their performances on the tour. It was only released in Japan and the only soundtrack currently existing is a Japanese dubbed track, but that does nothing to squash the impact this movie has on a viewer.

The opening of the film is one of the best ever. It starts in the countryside, where a bell is rung by a monk to start the day. We cross cut to a bustling city, people starting their day and teenagers playing "Group Sounds". A boy walks up to a jukebox and makes a selection: Out of Limits, by The Ventures. We're then treated to a montage of a record pressing plant manufacturing discs by the hundreds. The discs are put in sleeves and shipped off to record stores where rock crazed teens buy them up. All this happens before the opening credits and it's marvellous. Then... the credits start and the world is treated to one of the best opening credit sequences ever in a motion picture. I'm not exaggerating or throwing out hyperbole. It's really what life is all about; youthful exuberance captured in Cinemascope!

Here it is in all it's glory.





If this doesn't get you going, then there's no hope for you.

The meaning of life, man. The meaning of life.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Papermoon!


Did you have a good Halloween? I did. It was a quiet one. I didn't even dress up. I wasn't even tempted. Strange days...

Well, if you were looking at the photo above, you'll get the hint that Tommy Heavenly6 has released a new MV. It's called Papermoon (single out Dec. 10th) and it's yet another great one from Ms. Kawase (yes, I know that's her maiden name). The song (the theme to the new Anime, Soul Eater) is prime Heavenly6 material and the video plants viewers into new territory. Whereas, Tommy February6 once did a video as Alice (In Wonderland; the video was for the song Bloomin'), this is the first second time Heavenly6 has donned a famous costume (the first time being Snow White in the Heavy Starry Chain Vid. Thanks to k' for correcting me!). She's decked out as Dorothy from MGM's The Wizard Of Oz and, as you can see from the photo above, she's absolutely smokin'. Yes, I suppose it's true. I only hang around Kaela and Kumi to pass the time until my true Jpop/rock love comes back around. Forgive me, girls. Tommy's my true love!

Here's the video. It's Youtube and it's likely to get banned. I'll keep changing the links as much as I have to to make sure it's available for your viewing pleasure.



Yep, had to replace it. This one has English captions now. Just click on the triangle on the lower right had corner and choose CC. We'll see how long this one lasts...

The Scarecrow in this video, I'm told, is named Jimi Blumer from a Visual Kei band called Laverite. That explains all the fey and precious looks he's shooting the camera with in his shots. What's Visual Kei? I don't want to go too long into it, but it's kind of a really Flamboyant Goth style. Read about it here.

If Google is your friend, then Wikipedia must be your guide.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Shockedelic Radio Show Episode 3:04 "The Price Is Funk"

The Shockedelic Radio Show
October 13th, 2008 - Episode 3:04
"The Price Is Funk"



Click this here link to download this new episode of The Shockedelic Radio Show to your Computer. It's an mp3 file (80 minutes long, about 38 or so megs) that you can transfer to your MP3 Media Player, burn to a CD or just listen on your computer. If you prefer to just have it stream to your computer via WinAmp or Windows Media Player (or whatever streaming player you use), click On this particular link.

Legal stuff:

It's a very litigious society, so please understand that this MP3 Podcast is presented as a radio show promoting new and lesser well known artists. All of the music here is copyrighted and the copyright proprietors retain ownership of the material presented here. No rights are given to the downloader or listener or are implied as such. In short, listen to the show and enjoy it, but don't go dissecting the program. If you hear something you like, track it down and purchase it. Supporting the artist is crucial. Make sure you do your duty.

Wanna subscribe to this on iTunes? Do this:

Open iTunes
Go Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast
Type the following into the Pop Up Box (exactly like this. No Spaces.):
http://www.geocities.com/Schmilsson1969/Shockedelic/shockadelic.xml

There you go! You'll be in tune with the rest of the Universe now!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Domo-Kun attacks America!

You may have gathered from these posts that I am a fan of certain aspects of Japanese Pop Culture. I'm not enthralled by all aspects of it, but I'm rabid about the one's I do covet. It always amuses me when I see something decidedly Japanese invading Western culture, but sometimes it can be extremely surreal.

Today was a perfect example. I never, never enter Target stores. I'm not against them, it's just they're a bit expensive and just a little more than oppressive. Red is not a color that makes me want to buy. Red is a color that alternately makes me want to punch or hump things.

Halloween is an exception, since I like to visit Target for their $1 section and unique Halloween items (example: the limited selection of monster themed half cans of Jones soda).

So, not knowing what I'm about to be in for, I stroll casually into my local Target store and, just inside the front door, I am faced with a 3 foot plush Domo-Kun hanging from the ceiling. Surrounding the plushie are a series of Domo-Kun Halloween themed ads. For the tiniest of a split second, I forgot where I was. "Did I mistakenly walk into an Asian store?", I asked myself. Nope, it's a Target.


A similar Domo-Kun to what I encountered today (taken from I-mockery.com).


I was so jazzed and disoriented, I quickly made my way to the rear of the store to see what amounted to an absolute shrine to the Japanese NHK TV mascot. Domo-Kun everywhere.

What's more puzzling is the way Domo-Kun is being marketed. The ad copy states he's from Japan and he's new, but that's about it. So, I bought a small Domo-Kun bag with 5 Domo-Kun candy necklaces and a small Domo-Kun Frankenstein's Monster plushie. I suppose I'll be back for more. Crap, I know I will.

To see more pictures concerning this Halloween Ad blitz, go to I-Mockery.com and Target's Halloween Website for more official Domo-Kun shenanigans. Better yet, go down to Target and see it for yourself. It's surreal and, as I'm loathe to admit, pretty wonderful to see.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tommy, you complete me

I write a lot about Kimura Kaela on this blog and I have a blog (which I haven't updated in a long time) for Love Psychedelico. I love them both dearly and I'm grateful to all of them for providing me with music I'm not sure I'd be able to do without. With all of these new artists and albums of late, I tend to neglect one of my absolute favorite Japanese artists; Tomoko Kawase aka Tommy February6 aka Tommy Heavenly6. The reason I tend not to write about her so much is that her output has been virtually nil as of late (with the exception of a cover of "All Through the Night" for the Japan only Cyndi Lauper Tribute Album, "We Love Cyndi"). She's put out 3 singles with her first, and most famous band, "The Brilliant Green" this year and that's wonderful, but I'm a dyed in the wool fan of her alter egos.

You see, "The Brilliant Green" is a legendary band in many parts of the world and Tommy is an integral part of it's success, but her eccentricities seem to be a bit dampened by being part of a three piece band. That's not to say her bandmates stifle her creativity. Look no further than the video of "The Brilliant Green" where the entire band is dressed as students of Hogwarts with Tommy making a quite fetching Hermione. It's just that, as Tommy February6 and Tommy Heavenly6, she becomes a performance artist. She's not playing a half drunken schoolgirl who sings 80's synth pop or a Grungy Hot Topic casualty with an affection for Blythe Dolls... She simply IS a half drunken school girl who sings 80's synth pop AND a Grungy Hot Topic casualty with an affection for Blythe Dolls. Tommy, whether February6 or Heavenly6, is absolutely unique and brilliant.

My love for her work is (like my love for any of my favorite International Artists) somewhat crippled by the fact that I simply can't find readily available merchandise that won't kill my pocketbook. I bought Tommy February's "Tommy Airline" Special Edition CD+DVD set and Tommy Heavenly's self titled Special Edition CD+DVD sets early on in my fandom, so they were fairly easy to find for an agreeable price; not so for Tommy February's first album. Oh, I could have bought the first album in it's regular CD only edition, but I REALLY wanted that Special Edition CD+DVD set. Why? Well, you have to understand that while Japan has what is possibly the most expansive music releases in the world (they release EVERYTHING), their releases are mostly relegated to limited runs and the Special Edition runs become scarce quickly. I was able to score those other two sets because they were still in print when I bought them. The "Tommy Airline" was an especially lucky break since I obtained it from a US seller for under $20 shipped. Tommy February's Special Edition first album is an object I've sincerely NEVER seen available for sell anywhere in the USA... not even on eBay (and that's rare, folks!)

So, I turned my sights to Japan. Yahoo! Auctions Japan, to be precise. Yahoo! Auctions Japan is the only Yahoo! Auctions site still in operation and it thrives on Japanese people selling to each other exclusively. A look at any auction on that site will invariably carry a disclaimer stating: "Will Not Ship Internationally". Damn. And there were a few really nicely priced copies of Tommy's Special Edition First. What to do, what to do.

Thank goodness for a service that I only occasionally hit up. From Japan is basically a brokering site; a middleman that will bid on Yahoo! Auctions Japan items for you, will have the item shipped to them on your behalf if you win and have that item sent to you. It's expensive: You pay for the item, shipping to their offices, shipping to your home and a commission fee. Thankfully, I took advantage of their free commission promotion and that cut a few dollars off my order. It took 2 weeks from bid to arrival, but it was on my doorstep today. Approximately $32.00 shipped.


Gorgeous, ain't it? That's the front cover. Looks like a Wonka Bar. Inside, chocolate goodness and a ticket to the "Lollipop Candy Land". OK, maybe not, but a splendid time is guaranteed for all who wish to indulge. (Look! You can see me in the reflection!!!!).





The inside. The top one is the CD, the bottom one, the DVD. Perfect shape, both. The Really cool thing is, the inner hub on both are marked as "Sample Loaned". I got a Promo Copy! Verrrry Cool. The booklet is bound into the package (That's the brown part). It contains lyrics and four pages of photos that apparently depict Tommy's High School days. I've taken the liberty of scanning all 4 photos and making a big collage. Click to enlarge. Enjoy!



Isn't that awesome? The CD sounds better than any copy I've ever owned and the DVD is worth the whole thing. The DVD has only 2 videos, "KISS One More Time" and "Bloomin'!", but each video comes in 3 flavors: Regular, Furitsuke (only dance footage is shown so you can learn the dances at home!) and Karaoke (so you can sing like Tommy!). There're are also promo TV commercials for each song and a making of segment for each song. "Bloomin'" is great, but "KISS one More Time" is easily my favorite Tommy February song and video, so I was sent directly to nirvana this morning, as I'm sure you'll find easy to believe.

So there it is. I've completed my Tommy Album/DVD collection (for now). I feel complete, myself. Is that strange???

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Along Came A Spider and a free shipping spoon!

I got the vinyl edition of Alice Cooper's new album, "Along Came A Spider" today. I got it from Amazon.com. It was $24.95 and super saver free shipping is $25.00. I had to buy an 8 inch spoon for 95 cents to get the shipping. Yeah. An Alice Cooper Vinyl album and a spoon. Shades of the 70's.


Sans spoon.


So, I'd been listening to the album for a couple of weeks already on CD and MP3 and I think it's a very good concept album. Concept albums are an acquired taste, like movie musicals, so your milage may vary. Still, the aural history of a Serial killer told in song appeals to me. Can't wait for a tour.

Oh yeah, if you get this album as an album.... be careful... Things can happen to you...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

RIP: Jerry Reed


Jerry Reed died today of Emphysema. He was 71. It's a shame (and not at all ironic) that the guy who recorded "Another Puff" on his Ko-Ko Joe album would succumb to a smoking related disease.




This man was another one of my heroes. He was a killer guitarist and songwriter. Most people know him solely from his work as Burt Reynold's sidekick in the "Smokey And The Bandit" pictures, or, to a newer generation, as the coach in Adam Sandler's"The Waterboy".


To me, however, I will always think of him as a fantastic writer and performer of country funk storysongs. Although he had a fine baratone, as showcased in songs like Today Is Mine and A Thing Called Love (A personal favorite of mine), the meat of his hits were performed like near rap narrations. She Got The Goldmine (I Got the Shaft), Tupelo Mississippi Flash, When You're Hot, You're Hot, Ko-Ko Joe and his signature classic Amos Moses were all spoken storysongs that skyrocketed him to the top of the Country Western charts throughout the 70's and early 80's. All of those songs were produced by Chet Atkins solely or with Jerry on hand co-producing and were on the RCA label. They even released a few instrumental albums together; Jerry's guitar in one speaker, Chet Atkins' guitar in the other.


The songs were funky, too. Even if the songs were labeled country, the guitar riffs in the songs were nothing short of diabolical funk. I'm still amazed no R&B producer hasn't sampled the riff from Amos Moses. It's THAT funky.


so, you'll be missed Jerry. I'm going to put on some Jerry Reed albums in his honor tonight.


Here's Amos Moses from 1983


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kimura Kaela Krush!


Yeah. You all know my one sided love affair with J-pop songstress Kimura Kaela, dear readers. She has, over the last couple of years, scratched her way up to the top of my favorite artists. It's been a good year for being a fan of her's. Last April brought her latest album, "+1", a concert tour followed this summer along with a new single ("Mustache"), a photo book ("Kimura Kaela Collection") and a new DVD of (almost all of) her music video PVs.

Last night, I finally saw her Fuji Television special of her "+1" concert Tour that you'll find in it's entirety below in Youtube playlist format (super special thanks to Youtube user mist1125 for uploading it!). If you love Kaela like I do, you'll love this. If you're not familiar, give it a shot. She's pretty damn electric.



I also finally got the PV DVD in the mail today. It comes in similar packaging to her last 2 DVDs (see the cover below) and it includes 16 videos. For some reason, "Dive Into Shallow" from her Jasper DVD single isn't here, but the rest are in LPCM audio ('cause it's the best!) and high video bitrate. It looks great! It also includes a lenticular sticker of Kaela posing in two ways, depending on which angle you view. Nice package.


Friday, August 8, 2008

The Shockedelic Radio Show Episode 3:03 "Spidey Sense"

The Shockedelic Radio Show
June 15th, 2008 - Episode 3:03
"Spidey Sense"



Click this here link to download this new episode of The Shockedelic Radio Show to your Computer. It's an mp3 file (80 minutes long, about 38 or so megs) that you can transfer to your MP3 Media Player, burn to a CD or just listen on your computer. If you prefer to just have it stream to your computer via WinAmp or Windows Media Player (or whatever streaming player you use), click On this particular link.

Legal stuff:

It's a very litigious society, so please understand that this MP3 Podcast is presented as a radio show promoting new and lesser well known artists. All of the music here is copyrighted and the copyright proprietors retain ownership of the material presented here. No rights are given to the downloader or listener or are implied as such. In short, listen to the show and enjoy it, but don't go dissecting the program. If you hear something you like, track it down and purchase it. Supporting the artist is crucial. Make sure you do your duty.

Wanna subscribe to this on iTunes? Do this:

Open iTunes
Go Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast
Type the following into the Pop Up Box (exactly like this. No Spaces.):
http://www.geocities.com/Schmilsson1969/Shockedelic/shockadelic.xml

There you go! You'll be in tune with the rest of the Universe now!

Hope you enjoy it.

ERRATA UPDATE: Nary a show goes by that I don't make a gaffe or two. My mind was elsewhere (read: turned off completely) while I was doin' the announcing thing-a-ring, so I mistakenly stated the drummer for The Major Labels was Ducky Carlton when his name is Ducky Carlisle. Sorry, Ducky! I also neglected to say the name of Liam Finn's album that the song "Second Chance" originates from; which is I'll Be Lightening. Sorry, Liam. I'll post more errors as they reveal themselves to me. Enjoy the show e'rebuddy!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Review: The "My Sassy Girl" Remake



OK. This is a tough one. This morning (11:30am; 8-2-08), I finally, finally viewed the United States remake of the South Korean classic, My Sassy Girl.

First things first: I DIDN'T hate it. There, I wrote it. There is much to be said for going in with the mind wide open. I'm not going to say the film was very good or that it would, in any way, compare to the original. It has many, many faults. We'll list them, but first, a brief synopsis.

Charlie Bellow (Jessie Bradford) is a Country bumpkin who moves to the city to attend College. One day, in the subway, he rescues a girl, Jordan Roark (why did they name her? Played by Elisha Cuthbert) from being hit by a train. She calls him "Honey" and collapses. He takes it upon himself to take care of her, which lands him in jail. Their relationship grows in spite of her erratic and abusive behavior.

(Note: this review is going to go deep into spoiler territory. I'm also going to assume you, the reader, has seen the original film.)

The main problem with the film is the length. This film is attempting to compress a 2 hour and 5 minute film into a 90 minutes. This would have me believe that the remake was going to remove a lot of scenes found in the original. Wrong. This movie includes virtually EVERY key scene from the original, including the Military hostage scene (which was the first scene I expected to be excised from the remake). This makes the film move at a rapid fire pace. This remake moves so fast that actual exposition is sometimes glossed over or removed completely. It reminds me of those old Super 8 film digests, where all the key scenes are there with nothing to link them. This is especially problematic in the opening scenes where it's not exactly explained sufficiently how the cops showed up at Charlie's apartment.

Jessie Bradford is a very bland leading man as Charlie Bellow. He seems to be playing the role like Freddie Prinze channeling Jon Cryer. He's too handsome to play the "I-can't-get-a-nice-girl" role and he's too upwardly urban to be playing a guy from the rurals.

Charlie has an Unnecessary sidekick in Leo (Austin Bass). Gyun Woo, in the original, had friends, but he never spent time pointlessly discussing what we already know.

The film also has a bad case of "Explain-it-all-ity". The original had the good sense to at least pretend the audience wasn't a group of idiots. Here, in this remake, everything is spelled out with narration so that even the biggest idiot can see the final plot revelation coming from Mars.


Thankfully, the film has Elisha Cuthbert. The character is unwisely rewritten; she's not mean enough when it counts and we never see her as a danger. She never even says, "Wanna Die?" once in the film. The beauty of Jun Ji-Hyun's masterful performance was that she was a constant danger to herself and everyone around her, yet we still fell in love with her in spite of it all. That said, Elisha Cuthbert carries the movie on her shoulders. Her performance is so good that she even sells the most mediocre lines (and there are a ton of them) beautifully. She is completely faultless here. No one could fill Jun Ji-Hyun's shoes and Cuthbert seems to know this.

Joanna Gleason, in a double role as Charlie's Mother and Aunt, is fine here and Chris Sarandon is almost unrecognisable as Jordan's Father.

I also have to give special notice to the Cinematography. The movie looks lovely.

So, there is a lovely surprise here. It's not a wonderful movie. It's not even all that great by any stretch, but somehow, it doesn't embarrass the memory of the original.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thicke, Bitch.

I love Thicke. Robin Thicke, that is. I still remember the morning I woke up, turned on the TV and saw his video for "When I Get You Alone" on MTV (yeah, back when they not only played videos, but when they played more than two types of music genres). I forgot, for the longest time, who the artist was. I searched everywhere to no avail. A friend finally found out "who that artist with one name" was. It turns out, his album Cherry Blue Skies never got a release until a year later when some additional tracks were added and retitled A Beautiful World. Luckily, the Internet once again came to the rescue and revealed it's bounty upon me. I grooved to Cherry Blue Skies long before many people knew who Thicke was (well, outside of being famous for his parents Gloria Loring and Alan Thicke).

His breakthrough album, The Evolution of Robin Thicke, to my ears, suffered from too much modern Soul sounds. You know, finger popping percussion over either light Flamenco guitar or a driving string section. I missed the straight ahead funk of his debut album (in either configuration).

Well, a new single is out, entitled Magic. It's a return to the earlier, old school sound that made me love Thicke in the first place. The video is a good watch, too. It has a fun parody of the old THX theater snipe and a cool send up of key images from 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as some hat tipping to Fred Astaire. The video is below. Groovy.

OMG! NOOOOOOOO! They're KISSING!!!!!!

One more My Sassy Girl remake trailer. Too much physical contact in my opinion.

....and they're KISSING????!?!!!?? This movie is going to emotionally kill me, I'm positive.




...and to wash the tast of that out of your mouth, here is the Music Video, I Believe, from the Original My Sassy Girl.

Note: It's not subtitled, but in the spoken word portion in the middle of this clip, Gyun-Woo is giving the Girl's new boyfriend "Ten Rules" of her likes and dislikes so he can get along with her better. I've added the subtitled "Ten Rules" after the Music Video.

God, the original film is so, so great. I love this movie. The remake is gonna kill me, I just know it.



Saturday, July 26, 2008

Speed Racer crushes the Batmobile!



Sorry, everyone. I've been gone away for a while. The reason for my absence is kinda funny. I've been hiding out, frightened for my life. Why? I was stupid to publicly say The Dark Knight was just okay. That's not to say I hated it, but I might as well have, considering the near violent reactions from all who've heard me speak of it. Honest to God, it seems that if I say it was anything less than amazing, then I'm a fucking leper and have no taste. I've been told I'm biased because of my less than stellar reaction.

The bottom line is this. Yes, I know it's an event film. Yes, I know I'm supposed to rhapsodise over Heath Ledger's posthumous performance. I wish I could just shit flowers all over this movie, but I can't. I went in with an open mind. Truly, I did. I wanted to be nothing less than entertained... and I was, but I didn't witness the second coming of cinema that night. It was just another Batman movie, but this time Batman was just a footnote to the story; a supporting character that just happens to be the film's namesake.

As much as I disliked the Tim Burton Batman (But I did enjoy the first sequel, Batman Returns), I'm seriously beginning to believe he got it right. Well, more right than anyone else did. ...and no one is going to sway my belief that Caesar Romero is the penultimate Joker. Hail Caesar.

He was far more annoying than frightening, but Heath Ledger's performance was great. No question.

However:

  • 1) He wasn't (and shouldn't have been) the best reason to see the film

  • 2) There are many competent actors who could have pulled off that role. The entire role consisted of makeup, lighting and chewing of scenery. Hell, Carrot Top could've done it as well.
  • 3) I'm convinced, had he not died, there wouldn't have been near as much raving about this simply above average movie

  • 4) His ultimate best performance was Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain and it's unfortunate that he won't be widely remembered for that role.


Other complaints:

The film was too long. 40 minutes could've easily been excised. The film couldn't decide if it wanted to be a realistic crime melodrama or a dark graphic novel come to life. The script was a bit too mean spirited for it's own good. Christian Bale was woeful as Batman. That damn Bran Muffin in his throat killed every scene he was in. As Bruce Wayne, he was fine. I'll give him that.

Also fine in their roles were Gary Oldman and Michael Caine; their presence giving some balance and prestiege to the piece. Morgan Freeman was great, too, as always, but I'm puzzled by his presence here. His role amounts to nothing more than a pale copy of James Bond's "Q".

My biggest complaint is the disservice being done to the actor Aaron Eckhart who played Harvey Dent / Two Face. There was no mention in the advance press or previews of this particular villain's appearance in the film and, in my opinion, Harvey Dent / Two Face was a far more compelling character than the Joker.

The Joker's character arc was "I'm bad and crazy - I'm bad and crazy - I'm bad and crazy". In fact, his antics were getting a bit annoying towards the end. Harvey Dent / Two Face's character arc was much more complicated. Seeing how a true good guy could be perverted by vengeance and then redeemed was the real glue of the story in The Dark Knight for me.

So, no, I guess I wasn't The Dark Knight's target audience and I'm sure there a lot more people who don't like it as much as they say they do for fear of being an outcast. I don't care. Never did. That's why I have so few friends. Suffice it to say, I predict a ton of revisionism once it's released to Home Theatre systems.

At least it was far better than the royal turd that was Batman Begins.




The Summer Movie season in general has been pretty damn wonderful, however. I really liked Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and it's poor cousin, Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D was light family entertainment that used it's 3D effects to wonderful advantage. I haven't yet seen Iron Man, but It's high on my list. The biggest and best surprise for me this summer was Speed Racer, an incredibly beautiful and surprisingly thoughtful film that I fully regret not seeing on the biggest screen possible. I'm sure it killed in IMAX. I have a feeling that Speed Racer will do wonderful business on Blu-Ray and I'm also sure it'll sell tons of Blu-Ray units as well. It will leave your eyes popping and your ears bleeding (something they also said about Suspiria back in the day). Speed Racer may well be my favorite popcorn movie of 2008.











(Heath Ledger is the new Matt Damon)









Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Major Labels' Major Debut Album


You may have noticed on the left hand side of this blog, there is a widget dedicated to a group called "The Major Labels" and their new album, Aquavia. I urge everyone reading this to stop and click on the widget. This is a brand new album by Expert Popsmiths Bleu, Mike Viola and Ducky Carlisle and it is exquisite. I've personally had it on a loop for 2 weeks straight. It's a very addictive confection. You can listen to some samples of the album, but I recommend you dive in head first and immerse yourself into the album, start to finish. Although I loathe the term normally, the album is Beatlesque. The album is also T-Rexy, Bowie-y, Lennon and Mccartney solo-y and, to my uncannily trained ears, Hudson Brothers-y.


The opening and closing songs ("The Major Labels Got It Made" and "TML4EVA") bookend the inner content with the first proper song within those bumpers being, "Don't Hear A Single"; a paean to the great pop records of the past. If you're past 35, you'll be able to fully appreciate the sentiment here. There is some incredible Lennon/McCartney-ism going on with 2 seemingly different songs welded together to form a whole.


The next song is simply the best 3 and a half minutes spent in 2008. "Velveteen Queen" can be called a number of things: Baroque, Glam, Psychedelic... they may all fit, but labels aside, it's simply pop brilliance. The guitars, vocals, lyrics all come together with the nudge of a higher power's hand.


"The Bitter Pill" shares a kinship with "Don't Hear A Single" in it's record store delving theme.


"Richard Randolph" is a curious song. It's about a harmless middle aged man child who wants nothing more than to play with the local children. The parents, however, won't stand for it. The vaudeville type melody belies a darker lyric about automatically deeming anyone with a love for children and remaining a child himself (the Peter Pan Syndrome) a pervert. A worthwhile, challenging song.


"Hummingbird" is Bleu's beautiful second cousin to McCartney's "Blackbird". Simple and lovely.


This is where side two on a vinyl record would be (and one is forthcoming, I've been assured!) and it is an Abbey Road type suite of sweeping themes and melodies. It kicks of with the assaulting driving rock of "Jimmy Kenney" and lands on the doorstep of "The Sweet", a fascinating pop piece with movements and themes that would've made Brian Wilson proud.


Then there's "An Ode To Something To Cry About"... This is an oddball one joke one off. Possibly the weakest cut on the album, but it's a funny joke piece that reminds me of Nilsson's "Ivy Covered Walls" off of his Sandman Album.


"Deja Vu (All Over Again)" is a short and sweet Merseybeat like tune that comes complete with Ringo Drums and 12 string Rick melody lines. It's just an appetizer for the album's namesake.


"Aquavia" is a devastating and haunting song that wouldn't be out of place on an early 70's Elton John album. The melody and chorus will stay with you for days.


After the "TML4EVA" closer, the cheeky bums had the nerve to round out the album with 6 minutes of noise.


Seriously, this is one wonderful album and one of the best albums I've heard all year. Download it for free, or better yet, throw 6 or 7 dollars their way. They more than deserve it.


The Major Labels home base are on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/themajorlabels

My Sassy Direct to Video Release


From the people who brought you... WHAT???

Yeah, that's right. I kinda knew it was going to happen when I couldn't find any solid release information for so long. The Elisha Cuthbert / Jessie Bradford remake of My Sassy Girl is going straight to video from 20th Century Fox (!) on August 28th in the USA. It's going to run 95 minutes (as opposed to the 121 theatrical minutes / 137 director's cut minutes of the Korean original) and it sports a PG-13 rating. It was given a Theatrical release in the Philippines this past June, but I guess that's it. I suppose after The Lake House tanked, there wasn't much interest in remakes of Korean movies. Shockingly, however, I feel kinda bad that I won't get to see this on a big screen. Not that I would have thoroughly enjoyed it, you see. I'd already made up my mind to about 25% dedicated to hating it (that's 75% still unsure). Still, it would've been nice for a Theatrical release to stir up some interest in the original.

Well, even so, you KNOW I'm gonna buy it on DVD, even if I watch it just once. Why? The original is in the top 3 of my all time favorite movies (as if you didn't know) and that means it's one of the few movies that I can watch anytime, anywhere without reservation. I also have 6 unique editions of the original My Sassy Girl already, so I sorta have to own it, even if I never watch it.

This whole "From the people who brought you My Big Fat Greek Wedding" thing. That bothers me. Once again, it's a case of filmmakers from the West taking a wonderful Foreign movie, remaking it and not acknowledging that it's a remake of a film that's almost certainly far superior.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Where The Hell Is Matt?

From Boing-Boing comes a link to one of the most pleasant, life affirming video clips I've seen in a long time. Yeah, this is one of those so-called "Viral" clips, but it stands, for me, as one of the most disarmingly fascinating videos I've seen anywhere in any media. It'll make you smile wide and may even make you tear up a bit. Seriously, this is the type of thing that should be playing before movies in theatres instead of TV commercials. Bring back the Short Subject. OK, soapbox, off. Here, for your absolute enjoyment is the Dance video from the "Where The Hell Is Matt?" website. This high quality version is actually from Vimeo, BTW.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Review: "L. Save The World"


I am not the world's biggest Anime fan, nor am I the biggest Manga fan. It's not that I hate either medium, I just never really got "it" until a few years ago. Even then, I really only got into it because of the Live Action films they spawned (the exception to that rule would be the Beck Anime). I suppose you could say my appreciation for all things Anime and Manga were due to me being "Backwards Compatible". Battle Royale, Shimotsuma Monogatari (Kamikaze Girls), Cutie Honey and even Cromartie High School were all seen by me as a live action movie before I experienced the Anime or Manga (and in the case of Battle Royale, a translation of the original source novel).The same thing happened to me with Death Note. A good friend of mine clued me in on the Death Note Anime which, of course, began as a Manga, but I ended up seeing the first two films (Death Note and Death Note: The Last Name) prior to either. Of course, my friend was correct and I ended up wholly embracing the Death Note stories.

One of the most appealing things about the whole Death Note experience is it's wonderful cast of characters. From the Kira's Light and Misa to the Sinigami's Rem and Ryuk, the characterizations in Death Note are a big reason behind it's success in Japan and abroad. Of course, the most popular character in the Death Note universe is, arguably, the master detective known as L. Although L sacrifices himself at the end of the second Death Note film, the character's popularity is so great that he warranted his own spin off film.

Directed by Hideo Nakata, L. Save The World, is a fine solid action film that touches on both Death Note mythology (although the actual Death Note is merely a cursory part of the story) and (most surprisingly) Hideo's own screen adaptation of RING. L. Save The World starts around the same time Death Note: The Last Name is wrapping up. All of the characters from the first two films are given brief face time to tie the film into the last one and elicit a smile or two from Death Note fans. You see, in the previous film, L had written his own name in the Death Note in order to flush out the mysterious Kira. The mission was accomplished, but it left L with only 23 days to live. This film deals with L's final days and the one last mystery he has to solve before his self imposed death.

The last mystery involves an Ebola virus spliced and mutated to an influenza virus that Eco terrorists are planning to use to thin out the human race and set the Earth's ecology back on track. As the film opens, the virus has already ravaged a small village in Thailand. There in Thailand, another super detective, F, discovers both the diabolical plan and a little boy who seems impervious to the virus. The boy winds up in the custody of L, as does the daughter of a scientist who sacrifices himself to stop the spread of said virus. From there it's L and the children on a race against time to find an antidote to the virus and to stop the Eco terrorists from going through with their plan.

As Director Hideo demonstrated brilliantly in RING, he is a master of the "Race Against Time" plot line. L's race against time to solve the one final mystery directly parallels Asakawa and Ryuji's race to save their son from certain death in 7 days. The big difference here, and one that works in favor of L. Save The world, is L knows his time is limited and nothing can be done about it. The protagonists in RING are living on a hope that they'll all get a reprieve if they solve the mystery. L knows there's no hope left in his surviving past what was written in the Death Note. He's solving the mystery and saving the world just because that's what he does. Another, albeit tenuous, RING connection is this film is to the other Death Note movies what Spiral and Loop are to the RING novel. It's an extension of the storyline, but it doesn't actually continue the storyline. I personally like that approach very much. Having yet another Shinigami show up with a black book wouldn't have cut it for me. I also surprised myself by liking the direct line made between Terrorists and Serial Killers. Usually observations like that in Cinema can come off as extremely preachy. Here, however, the approach was very much of a, "Here it is, absorb it or reject it" type of commentary. The film is full of nice, non condescending touches like that.

Ken'ichi Matsuyama (L) is the undisputed selling point of this movie. His portrayl of L is the film's complete raison d'être and, thankfully, he doesn't disappoint here. All of the mannerisms and quirks that endeared audiences to the Live Action edition of L are all in place. His scenes with the children are nothing short of precious and worth the price of admission alone. His realisation that he's not a very good babysitter since, genius notwithstanding, he's not much more than a child himself is priceless. There are also some expansions of the L character, including a scene where, emotionally exhausted after finishing up all of his open cases on record, we actually see him asleep. He also does the action scenes very well, introducing a physicality to the character while never breaking the L character.

Some may roll their eyes at the overblown action finale (including an intentional (?) homage to Airplane!), but I dug it. It's one of those films where, either you go for the entire ride, or you walk away. The film never gets too, too serious and the sense of fun is always there. On the downside, the intellectual cat and mouse games that dominated the first two Death Note movies are all but gone here. It's a different kind of movie, though. I'd surely love to see more L films; earlier cases and mysteries he may have solved prior to the Death Note case.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

When The Terror Died

I first published this essay on my MySpace blog on the 5th of February, 2005. I feel the need to reprint it here, since I think it bears reprinting; especially in the post SAW & Hostel era. I'll probably come off as an old fogey, but you know whay? I am an old fogey... at least in this context. Read on, true believers:


When the Terror Died

Current mood: Surly

I was born in 1969. That was a pretty good year, I gather. The Beatles were still together, Man landed on the moon and Night of the Living Dead was still playing theatres and delivering the goods as the first important modern horror film (arguably, of course).

I am now a Horror fan and I have been for about 28 years. I wasn't born a horror fan; I had two considerably older brothers that took care of that. I was so terrified of just about EVERYTHING, thanks to them, when I was a toddler that I can't believe I made it this long without therapy. In my earliest years, I couldn't even hear the theme to Chiller Theatre without running, screaming into the next room. Thanks for that, bros. Of course, all of that eventually changed. Around 1977 / 1978, in the midst of the big Star Wars mega hoopla, I discovered my oldest brother's Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. I wouldn't have even picked it up if not for the picture of Darth Vader on the cover. I leafed through slowly, cautiously as each page revealed something even more fantastic and grotesque than the last page. That magazine... and a few Godzilla movies later, and I was a bona fide Horror / Monster movie fanatic.

About this time, a movie was released that was made not far from where I live. Dawn of the Dead was everywhere in Pittsburgh. The city was proud of the movie and rightly so. I was a little uneasy about the poster: a half rotted head of a zombie rising up over the landscape like a horrific sun, with eyes burning straight through me. I was also a little shocked by the TV ads. I remember it well. I was watching Blackula on WPGH's 11:00 Saturday night movie. The movie was a bit hokey, but fun. When the first commercial break came, the first commercial was an ad for "Dawn...". There wasn't much to it; just an animated version of the poster graphic with Adolf Caesar's creepy voice intoning that, "Dawn of the Dead is here!" and a shot of zombies rushing towards the camera through an elevator. Wow. That was strong stuff for a 9 year old. I was also intrigued by the fact that the film was not rated. Being that the MPAA's rating system was established in 1968, I had no idea hat a film could be unrated. EVERY film I ever saw in a theatre had a rating. The mind boggled.

Even though I didn't see "Dawn..." until the mid 1980's, I knew by reputation that it was an extremely graphic film. I even saw in an issue of Fantastic Films magazine (god, I miss that rag), a frame by frame collection of stills detailing the bursting of someone's head via shotgun. It blew my mind as much as the victim's. Then there was Halloween. Not a gory film, but seminal. Everyone talked about that one. Alien followed in 1979, then Friday the 13th in 1980... by then there was this unholy glut of slasher films, Italian zombie films, sci-fi gore movies, you name it. If blood could be put anywhere in a movie, it would be. A new magazine came along to cover it, too. It was from the makers of Starlog magazine. Starlog was a magazine for Sci-fi geeks. Fangoria was for Horror aficionados. What's really the distinction? Sci-fi geeks had their own little world created for them. Thanks to the Star Wars merchandising strategies, it became essential to consume anything that had it's name on it: Action Figures, lunch boxes, models, playsets, etc. Horror fans didn't really have anything like that (at least not since the mid 1960's). The main reason was as such. Studios making Sci-fi movies were big budget, for the most part and Sci-fi movies in of themselves were a family friendly genre. Modern Horror films, on the other hand, were for (demented) adults, presumably, and there was no room for merchandising. Sure "Dawn..." had a posterbook and a role playing game, but there were no dolls, or Monroeville Mall playsets.

Let me pause here and refine the subject of this blog. The reason for this rant stems from a video I watched the other night. It was a 1986 VHS of Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors. It wasn't a video I had seen in the past. It always sat on the Video Store shelf, but my 17 year old self really had no use for a documentary about a convention. I was a devoted reader of Fangoria, and I was until 1992, but I wasn't into conventions and the whole thing just left me totally uninterested. Watching this tape now, however, is pretty essential. What was a mish mash of convention goings on mixed with promo reels and shameless huckstering on the part of Media home entertainment now appears to be a time capsule of a turning point in American entertainment.

Yes, friends, this tape is the key. It tells us the exact moment the Modern Horror movie died. It died at this convention and the disease was a movie. the movie? A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Now, before you get your panties in a bunch. I have the utmost respect for ANOES (which it will be heretofore referred to). It was a long time favorite of mine and I saw it about a dozen times in it's initial run. Looking back, now, I believe it might have ruined horror forever. The first film in the series was a horror movie, but subsequent films, in the attempt to garner a larger and larger audience, began to leave the horror genre and embrace the genre of fantasy. Freddy Kruger himself went from a relentless bogeyman to an uneasy cross between the Crypt Keeper and Shecky Greene.

The Death Knell:

Right up front, you should know that until the mid 1980's, horror aficionado and Sci-fi geeks stayed with their own. A line was drawn in the sand and one rarely crossed it. Sci-fi geeks didn't like horror aficionado because horror movies were gross and simplistic and catered to the basest of human depravity. Horror aficionado didn't like Sci-fi geeks because they were weirdos that liked to play with dolls and dress up and role play. There was a rift in the cinematic fabric of space. One man brought the two together.

The big attraction at the convention was Robert Englund. Now, Robert Englund wasn't your average Horror movie star. Had Gunnar Hansen or Nick Castle shown up as the main attraction, not a 1/3 of the attendees would have shown. You see, Robert Englund was a horror AND Sci-fi/fantasy star. He played Willie on the NBC television show V. Since the convention was advertised in all of the Starlog publications, the attendees at the convention were split pretty evenly down the middle between Horror aficionado and Sci-fi geeks. The unholy melding begat a new kind of fan: The Horror Movie Geek®.

This beast is frightening in that it loves horror movies, but has the mentality of a Sci-fi geeks consumerism. Lemme tell ya, money doth talk and corporation listen. It wasn't long before ANOES posters, T-shirts and other geeky swag were bursting out from licensing companies. There was much of this swag to be had at the convention. Seems, for the first time, horror film memorabilia was standing shoulder to shoulder with Phasers and Taun Taun busts.

This was also making the bigger studios take notice. About the only thing the Majors had was Paramount's F13 series, and they weren't marketing that very much at all. Now these smaller studios were getting bigger and gaining more muscle. Let us not forget New Line Cinema was originally an acquisition house that played mainly underground and grindhouse fare for College and drive in audiences. Now, with ANOES and it's decedents, it was killing all it's competition on opening weekends. So, of course, the big studios were cranking out carbon copies of the junk the lower budget studios were already watering down for the masses who all of the sudden were embracing the horror genre.

Gone were the visceral thrills and chills of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Evil Dead. Now we were getting diluted horror that relied more on hallucinogenic imagery and crass one liners spouted be charismatic villains. For the first time in movie history, viewers were vocally cheering for the killer. They were no longer placing themselves in the position of the victim. They were now all for the bad guy... and all thanks to Wes Craven and his bogeyman Fred.
Horror Cinema really hasn't been the same since. Sequels to established genre classics like Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn were going for the laugh rather than the scare. Even original scare flix like H. P. Lovecraft's Re-Animator were funnier than actually unsettling. Drive ins and single screen movie houses were closing and being torn down and turned into parking lots, or worse, mega stores.

Things got worse in the 1990's as smaller studios and acquisition houses were either turning to other venues like Art films, being swallowed up by the major studios, completely unchecked by the anti trust laws of the US Government, or just simply closing down all together. Sure, little straight to video studios were popping up everywhere, but cheap looking video couldn't then, or now, hold a candle to a theatrical film.

Today, New Line Cinema is a major player, owned by Warner Brothers. Even the smaller releasing houses (Dimension, Screen Gems, Rogue) are actually offshoots of the major studios. The films suffer because of it. Everything is made by committee and there is no real room for new, mind leveling ideas. We now go to other countries for that, the true horror aficionados do, at least. Things are bad and they won't get any better. They say the Golden Age is where we are now, but I say in order for an age to become golden, one has to look back on it and filter out the no so good parts. Seems we had a major golden age and the non believers pissed on it. Thieves in the temple, I tell you.

I wish I could come up with a suitable coda to this rant, but I can't. This story really has no end, so I am unable to conclude. I guess I'll just end this one by asking something of you, the reader: Tonight, go into the farthest reaches of your video collection (or video store, if you have an older, not franchised, one available) and find a horror movie, pre 1986. Watch it, all warm and fuzzy with it's bad video transfer and sound drop outs. Don't watch a remastered DVD or VHS. It has to be a tape from the era. Drink it in. Remember how you felt when it was new and you were watching it for the first time. Return to that time. And Smile.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's Me Birthday

Yes, yes, yes. It is Lord Shockedelic's 39th. Thank you for all of your kind cards and letters... both of you. Yeah. So. 39. It's kind of a placeholder birthday, y'know? Everyone who has brought up the subject has told me something I hadn't thought of: "One more year until 40!!!" Thanks. Yeah. Not obvious. At all.

So, my 39th has been slow so far. I've forgone the whole cake and cards thing. I'm not one to want too much attention drawn to me. I like a little, but lavishing is overdoing it.

I went shopping for things today; soap, paper towels, stuff that one needs to make it though the day. That's when I saw it. Big Lots must've known it was my birthday, 'cause they got a bunch of Sony and MGM DVDs and priced 'em all at $3.

I bought the following:

  • Art School Confidential (hadn't seen it yet, but wanted to)
  • The Amityville Horror (1979; the remake was there, but no one offered me money to take it)
  • Amityville 2: The Possession (a sick, sick movie... Awesome!!!)
  • The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (once again, a movie I wanted to see, but haven't yet. Steve Irwin RIP)
  • Burnt Offerings (anyone for a double feature with The Changeling???)
  • The Brood (to replace my Laserdisc that John Beluvich stole back in the 90's. No. I NEVER forget.)
  • Foxy Brown (A classic that's worth much more. But why not Coffy?)
  • The Ghoul (the 1933 Boris Karloff classic!!!!!)
  • The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane (Haven't seen it since I was a kid. I've been wanting to revisit it.)
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles (Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. 'Nuff said)
  • The Fall of the House Of Usher (AIP! Vincent Price!)
  • Jack the Giant Killer (the original version, not the musical re-edit. Damn.)
  • Roadie (Meatloaf! Alice Cooper! Kaki Hunter! Blondie! Roy Orbison! Art Carney! Hank Williams, Jr.!)
  • Scanners (because, believe it or not, I didn't have a copy yet)
  • Swamp Thing (Maybe I'll get lucky and it'll be the withdrawn disc with Adrienne Barbeau nudity! Update: Nope! Same old Brief nudity PG version. Doesn't matter. It's DC and Wes Craven's arguable finest hours.)
So, yeah. Lot's of AIP/Filmways, a couple of Cronenbergs, some comedies; A nice haul, don'cha think?

Some I passed over. Killer Klowns From Outer Space ('cause I already own it), John Carpenter's The Fog (might go back for that one), Amityville: The Demon (because I have it on DVD in it's original 3D field Sequential version), Bert I. Gordon's The Magic Sword (might go back for that one, too)... can't remember the others I almost went for. A nice bag of goodies for my 39th.

I'll probably spend the rest of my impending middle age chilling out and watching movies, though maybe not the ones I just bought. I just got two Korean movies that are barking at me to watch, and soon: A Tale of Legendary Libido (a period comedy about a man with an unstoppable erection... shades of Sex & Zen!) and GP506 aka The Guard Post (a military zombie movie).

Lastly, who else has formed a crush on Stephanie Courtney aka Progressive Insurance's spokes lady, FLO? She went from mildly annoying, to strangely attractive to I have to stop everything and watch whenever one of the commercials are on. It's not enough to make me go Progressive, but throw in a date with her and I might change my mind! What am I saying? Stop me!!!!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Shockedelic Radio Show Episode 3:02

The Shockedelic Radio Show
June 15th, 2008 - Episode 3:02
"For Dick, Harvey and Bo"



Click this here link to download this new episode of The Shockedelic Radio Show to your Computer. It's an mp3 file (80 minutes long, about 38 or so megs) that you can transfer to your MP3 Media Player, burn to a CD or just listen on your computer. If you prefer to just have it stream to your computer via WinAmp or Windows Media Player (or whatever streaming player you use), click On this particular link.

Legal stuff:

It's a very litigious society, so please understand that this MP3 Podcast is presented as a radio show promoting new and lesser well known artists. All of the music here is copyrighted and the copyright proprietors retain ownership of the material presented here. No rights are given to the downloader or listener or are implied as such. In short, listen to the show and enjoy it, but don't go dissecting the program. If you hear something you like, track it down and purchase it. Supporting the artist is crucial. Make sure you do your duty.

Wanna subscribe to this on iTunes? Do this:

Open iTunes
Go Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast
Type the following into the Pop Up Box (exactly like this. No Spaces.):
http://www.geocities.com/Schmilsson1969/Shockedelic/shockadelic.xml

There you go! You'll be in tune with the rest of the Universe now!

Hope you enjoy it.

Update Eratta (6-20-08)!!!: This latest show was produced under some diress. I was getting a cold (which broke badly just hours after the completeion of the show) and my mouth was running on auto pilot. So, there were some errors and faux pas.

Firstly, the opening song was "Harder and Harder" by the Zutons and not "Higher and Higher". Coincidentally (or not!), the Zutons did cover Jackie Wilson's "Higher and Higher" on the vinyl only edition of the "It's the Little Things We Do" single. Maybe, as pennance, I'll spin that one next show. I also said "Hotter and Hotter" was the Title Track from the album "You Can Do Anything"; and absurd claim that makes no sense. I meant to say, "The lead off track on the album "You Can Do Anything".

I also stated that you could get the Love Psychedelico compilation, "This Is Love Psychedelico" from the Hacktone website. For more info on that album, you should actually go to: http://www.thisislovepsychedelico.com/ and you can actually buy the album on iTunes or from Amazon.com or bestbuy.com.

I keep mispronouncing Anna Tsuchiya's name. Can't help it. I know it's pronounced (in English) as Soo-Chee-Yah, but when I'm talking quickly and not paying attention, I always seem to pronounce her name as Too-She-Yah. I cringe whenever I do it, but I never know I do it until I listen to the show later on. I'll try to untie my toungue better next time.

Lastly (and this is not an error, but a notice), the aftershow bonus track is The Zutons' cover of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" from The Jo Whiley Show on the BBC Radio 1, May 23, 2008.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Your Sweet Bippy.


Dick Martin has died.


Although I was born in 1969 while "Laugh In" was in full swing, I grew up with Rowan and Martin's wonderful, anarchic sense of humor about the world through half hour syndication editions of the show. Dan Rowan, who passed on in 1987, was the debonair straight man to the lecherous Dick Martin. Dan would set it up and Dickie would bat it out of the park. Dick Martin was a true master of the "Wink Wink" style of Hippie humor that was all so ubiquitous in the late 1960's. Even if something wasn't dirty, he could make allusions that would turn it on it's head and make it so ("You bet your sweet Bippy!", "Look that up in your Funk & Wagnals!").

You could say that Dick Martin's sly sense of double entendre shaped my young sardonic psyche. He was the ultimate swinger and ended up marrying a Playboy Playmate; the lovely Dolly Reed. That's called living the American Dream, my friends.

86 years ain't a bad run, but you never want to hear that your heroes have died. Rest in peace, Dickie. This Fickle Finger of Fate is for you.




Here's a classic bit of Rowan and Martin shenanigans.



Dickie with Tiny Tim. Check out the pure comedic perfection of both performers.


Speaking of Bippies, isn't it time for TCM to air "The Maltese Bippy"; the theatrical spin off of the "Laugh-In" TV series?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Shockadelic Radio Show: Episode 3:01

The Shockedelic Radio Show

April 27th, 2008 - Episode 3:01

"Brand Spankin' New"



Click this here link to download this new episode of The Shockedelic Radio Show to your Computer. It's an mp3 file (80 minutes long, about 35 or so megs) that you can transfer to your MP3 Media Player, burn to a CD or just listen on your computer. If you prefer to just have it stream to your computer via WinAmp or Windows Media Player (or whatever streaming player you use), click On this particular link.

Legal stuff:

It's a very litigious society, so please understand that this MP3 Podcast is presented as a radio show promoting new and lesser well known artists. All of the music here is copyrighted and the copyright proprietors retain ownership of the material presented here. No rights are given to the downloader or listener or are implied as such. In short, listen to the show and enjoy it, but don't go dissecting the program. If you hear something you like, track it down and purchase it. Supporting the artist is crucial. Make sure you do your duty.

Hope you enjoy it.


Wanna subscribe to this on iTunes? Do this:

Open iTunes
Go Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast
Type the following into the Pop Up Box (exactly like this. No Spaces.):
http://www.geocities.com/Schmilsson1969/Shockedelic/shockadelic.xml

There you go! You'll be in tune with the rest of the Universe now!

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom!!!! CJ7!!??!

Every great golden once in a while, some Hong Kong films wash up on these shores and play non speciality cinema. This week, we have two... sorta.





"The Forbidden Kingdom" really isn't a Hong Kong film, strictly, tat is. It's an American / Hong Kong co-production that features the first ever teaming on Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Now, I'm absolutely certain this film will ruffle a few critical feathers, because this films isn't some "Kill Bill" masturbatory Tarantino flick. This is a true, dyed in the wool HK Martial Arts celebration. There is so much respect and reverence (and no irreverence) done here that it's impossible to not be rapturous while viewing. What we have here is a Hollywood film that finally gets the Hong Kong aesthetic right... and it only took 20+ years!

The film concerns a young man, Jason Tripitikas (smartly played by Michael Angarano) who is obsessed with Martial Arts movies. The opening title sequence shows that his character's (and the filmmaker's) heart is worn on his sleeve. Indeed, if the opening credits doesn't elicit a gleeful response, then you're in the wrong theatre. Exits are located in the rear.

Jason often goes to a run down shop in Chinatown to buy his videos. Sure he could go to a regular store, but he seems to go for the atmosphere as much as anything. The owner of the store, Old Hop (played marvellously in old age makeup by Jackie Chan), humors the young boy and lightly rebuffs him on his martial arts obsession. Jason notices something golden in a back room of the shop. It turns out to be a mythical staff that, according to Old Hop, is waiting for it's owner to pick it up.

On his way back home, Jason is accosted by a local street gang and they force him to help rob Old Hop's place after hours. A scuffle ensues, Old Hop is shot in the shoulder and the staff sends Jason back to another time and place.

Not so long story short, Jason finds himself in ancient China where he meets a drunken master, Lu Yan (Also Jackie Chan), Sparrow (Crystal Liu) and a Silent Monk (Jet Li). Turns out the Staff belongs to the Monkey King (also played by Li), who was encased in stone 500 years before by the evil Jade Emperor (Deshun Wang). What follows is an extremely satisfying mixture of Broad humor and some excellent Kung Fu.

Anyone saying the film is derivative is missing the point entirely. There is no such thing as a "new twist" on the genre. This is a film that loves the films that came before fiercely and is trying to gently bring these films back or, at least, let audiences remember how much fun they were.

There has also been some hemming and hawing about the White lead. This is bogus and the invention of liberal ridiculousness. This is a Hollywood movie, guys and girls! Did anyone bitch that John Saxon fought along side Bruce Lee in "Enter The Dragon"? Anyone remember Kurt Russel in "Big Trouble In Little China"? It's not a sin to have a white person in a Kung Fu Film. That barrier was broken in the 1970's fer gawd's sake. Michael Angarano has nothing to be ashamed of here. He more than holds his own comically, dramatically and physically in this film.

Of course, the major attraction is the fight between Jackie and Jet and it's incredible. I'm sure it's no surprise that it's a draw (though Jet has the edge, I believe), but it may be a shock that it occurs so early in the film. Anyone who has anything to say about these two being past their prime is an old fuddy duddy. Don't just write their eulogies yet, people. They're great in this movie.

So, I officially give this film the SHOCKADELIC SEAL OF APPROVAL. Please go and see it. Bring the kids, too. You won't be sorry.


The same can't be said, sadly, for the new -- highly anticipated, long awaited -- Steven Chow movie, "CJ7". The last two films Steven Chow had done ("Shaolin Soccer" and "Kung Fu Hustle") had led me to almost believe Chow was cinematically invincible. The films were universally admired and won new fans wherever they played. I say "almost", though, because I'd been a HK film fan for a couple of decades now. I remember watching Steven Chow way back then. Let's face it, crew, on the whole, his films were greatly hit and miss. Of course, this had to do with local humor and the fact that he was releasing 3 or 4 films a year in his prime.

It's been a couple of years since "Kung Fu Hustle" and it seemed like Chow was taking his time to do things right.

Here's the thing. Even though the film opens in limited release today, I saw it a couple of months ago. The reason it's taken me so long to write a review for it is, frankly, "CJ7" really isn't that good of a movie.

The film concerns Dicky, a destitute little boy who attends a private school. He's sent there by his single parent father who works multiple jobs and rummages through landfills for clothes and food for the boy. One night, feeling bad for not being able to afford an expensive toy for Dicky, he finds a green ball in the landfill. Unbeknownst to him, the toy is actually a high tech alien toy dog left behind when a flying saucer takes off suddenly. The dog has a regenerative touch, but it drains his battery (and he only has the one). Dicky misunderstands the toy's talent and expects the dog to work other types of miracles.

I mean, it's OKAY, but it's nothing special at best and a serious error at worst. First, to be fair, let's discuss the good.

At the top of that list is the actual star of the film, Jiao Xu. She plays Dicky, the son to Steven Chow's character, Ti. As a little girl playing a boy, she's fantastic. Her timing is dead on and she carries the comedy as well as the drama. Steven Chow is also good, but he's basically playing a straight man in a movie with very little laughs. I kept seeing him as some modern day Charlie Chaplin, as this film does have the feel of a depression era drama. The other thing that gains high marks from me is CJ7 itself. CJ7 is a CGI created character that looks like a green gelatin dog with a furry white head. The thing is so damned adorable that when it is mishandled for mostly comic effect, I felt myself cringing instead of laughing.

While the film doesn't have many laughs, there are a few, courtesy of Chow's gang of grotesques; most notably a 6 foot tall grade school girl that is played by a man in drag with a little girl's voice dubbed in. Dickie's fantasy day at school is also a hoot with a great homage to both "Shaolin Soccer" and "Kung Fu Hustle" contained within it.

The downside to this movie is the depressing atmosphere the film has. It seems to want to be an "E.T."/"Gremlins" hybrid, but the story never explores those avenues. What the film is essentially about is a rather sad story of a widower father and his precocious son and this wonderful alien being that rolls into their life. The kids in the film are bullies, most of the adults are also bullies and the film just doesn't seem to be that much fun because of it.

Worst of all, the ending seems rushed and that's the saddest part. The film only runs about 80 minutes without credits and there's so much more that could have been done within the film's framework. The film's ending promises a sequel of sorts, but even that seems labored and dull.

So, the film opens today and, while it's pretty much a kid's movie, it's being released in Mandarin with English Subtitles. I'm not getting Sony/Columbia Pictures here. It took them so long to realise that adults want their films to be subtitled, and that's all well and good, but you just can't do that to children. This is one film that should have been dubbed into English.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Funplex!

Not much to post today, but I thought I'd post the video for the B-52's new single, "Funplex", the title track from their new disc. Look for the extra in the video with the bones on his sleeves. That's one of my all time best buddies, Don. I'm very proud of him, 'cause he's always been on of the B-52's biggest fans. Good on ya, Don!


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Kimura Kaela +1


Kimura Kaela's fourth new album, "+1", has been released today and it's a beauty. I like it very much and I think it's better than her last album, "Scratch".

She has made the complete transformation from pop/rock songstress to more dance oriented material. As a result, this album is much more harder driving, darker (as illustrated by the cover... screws?) and less eclectic than her last endeavours. The opening song, "NO IMAGE", is a true departure for Kaela. It's made good on the promise of her last, pre album, single, "Jasper" as a techno/rave type rocker. "Jasper" follows immediately, continuing the techno theme, and then into "Yellow"; a hard, alternative rocker. Another new song then follows, "STARs". This song is also her current single. It has a great hook and a fun singalong chorus.

The rest of the album flows along quite smoothly; much more smoothly than "Scratch". You might think I'm not a fan of that album, but you'd be wrong. It's just that "Scratch" is a little too experimental and quirky. Then again, "+1" doesn't have anything as instantly catchy as "L. Drunk" or "Ground Control". A matter of taste, I guess.

There're a few things that are a little distressing about "+1", however. The placing of "NO IMAGE" and "Jasper" back to back is a little jarring. I think "Jasper" would've served itself better towards the end of the album. "Yellow" feels better following "NO IMAGE" as well.

I can't understand why Kaela's B-Side cover of Farrah's "No Reason Why" would get album status, while "Honey B", a B-side that actually was quite popular was left off. I'm not saying this because "No Reason Why" is in English, while "Honey B" is mostly in Japanese, like some critics are saying. It's just that "Honey B" would've felt better in context of the album.

Speaking of context... The last song, "Humpty Dumpty" is extremely puzzling to me. The song, a sort of ballad, just doesn't jibe at all with the rest of the material on the album. Strange.

So, it sounds like I'm disliking this album, but I'm not. It's her strongest album since "Circle" and the songs that do click (90%), click hard.

So, here's to Kaela! Congrats on another album well done!

(You can get your copy at http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/ for a more than fair price!)

The Who's AMAZING (vinyl) JOUNEY

***Normally, I'd post a picture of the Album, but the thing is too big for my scanner! Marvellous! In short, go to Best Buy and get yer ass a copy of this 'un! Until then. read on...***

I'm possibly the very last person to want to do any promotion for the beast that is Best Buy. They're not the devil that Walmart is, but they're close. Still, I can't help but to throw buckets of praise for their decision to release the "Amazing Journey: The Story Of The Who" compilation on a 2 RECORD SET in addition to the CD version. That's right! RECORDS! Vinyl! Like, for a turntable. I'm listening to it right now and it's astounding. The Albums are pressed on 180g vinyl (with a black "Track Records" label!) and they sound incredible. It's packaged in a lovely gate fold sleeve with a book(let). I didn't see the CD version, but I'm inclined to believe the book is a full size 12" X 12" version of the CD booklet.

I've said it before on numerous occasions, but I feel it bears repeating:

No matter how well packaged a "Special Edition" CD is, it will never beat a well packaged Vinyl Edition. Why? Well, size, for one thing. Yes, it does matter. I do buy new vinyl from time to time when I have the opportunity (which, sadly, isn't often), but I'm always awestruck when I do. The vinyl always has a certain weight the Digital version can't seem to possess. Some call it presence, others call it compression... I just feel it sounds more "in the room" than Digital CD. Clicks and pops? Not if the vinyl is well cared for. Static? A little, but who listens to music in a vacuum? There is always extra noise hanging about.

And the packaging! A CD will give you either a Jewel Case with a couple pieces of paper or a digipack and a plastic disc; usually on a spindle. Vinyl covers, or slipcases are much more aesthetically pleasing. The artwork isn't a chore to see (i.e. no squinting). Indeed, when I flipped the book on the vinyl version to the back page and I was faced with the original four members of The Who from the "Who Are You" Photo sessions looking much bigger than their 12" X 12" size, I was bowled over. Man, you can actually SEE them. See what they look like.

Maybe Best Buy can be encouraged by their "exclusive" vinyl excursion enough to put a small vinyl section in their stores. Nothing major, just exclusive, limited vinyl pressings of their best sellers. I mean, Hot Topic can do it, why can't they take a loss? They're so-called "Loss Leaders", right?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Sassy Girl: The Remake Trailer Is Finally Out!!!!!

So, here it is. I suppose this means it'll be out sometime soon.

The good: It looks like a straight remake, without much embellishment. This means, while the remake is totally unnecessary, at least it's faithful.

The bad: It looks like the film's straightforward violence is going to be toned down a bit to make THE GIRL more lovable to American audiences. The mood of the subway slapping scene is different. She smiles too much. The best friend role to the male lead is totally unneeded. He doesn't need a sidekick.

Here's the trailer. See what you think...