(above : angry mob reacts to the news that at least two or 3 people didn’t even mention the Total Control 7″)
Around this time every year, your overpaid overworked editor attempts to coax a list of favorite recordings, books, television programs, life events, etc. out of the label’s artist roster and our rock biz colleagues. In the past, the exercise has been an arduous process, fraught with nagging, teeth-gnashing and no shortage of reluctant participants. In more recent times, however, the serial oversharing epidemic that’s run rampant throughout all online activity has infected our bands and staff alike. The rhetorical question, “who fucking asked you?” cannot be applied in this instance, because they were all asked. For some historical perspective, here’s last year’s pile. Questions or comments about our lousy tastes and/or blatant omissions are welcome (but not necessarily appreciated). And away we go!
Here is a short teaser for a long-form film I’m making for Cat Power. The
film stars Jade and Hazel Altheide, two female teenage BMX riders who live
just outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. As you will see they both totally
rip. This production has a pretty funny story actually. On a Thursday
morning in September I got a call from Gaby Basora, who designs a really
cool fashion line from New York called Tucker. I had never met Gaby or
her team before. They proceeded to tell me about these two girls they had
heard about in New Mexico who ride BMX bikes and how they were great and
really stylish and would I be interested in going to make a movie about
them. There was a catch though. We needed to start shooting the next day!
None of us had ever met Jade and Hazel or their family, and really had no
idea what the landscape in New Mexico would be like, but heck, I’m always
down for an adventure. I agreed to do it and the next morning we were on a
plane with cameras and gear to go shoot this movie. I had no idea what it
was gonna be.
When we arrived, we met the Altheide family, quickly got our gear together
and hit the trails. All I can say is wow! The girls were absolutely
beautiful and the surrounding landscape (as you can see) was beyond
magnificent. Coincidentally, as we were making this, Cat Power had
Just dropped her new record SUN. I was listening to it on the rental car
Radio as we cruised through the mountains of New Mexico and it just really
fit the vibe of what we were making. If you’ve ever been to NM, you know
How much sun they have…TONS! The song featured in this video is called
“Nothin’ But Time” and I think it just fits perfectly. The way Chan screams
“I wanna live!” just fits the freedom of jumping bikes and bombing down
hills so perfectly. It was a match made in heaven. The upcoming long-form
film will include the entire eleven minute version of “Nothin’ But Time”.
We’re making it now. So excited to get this out. Stay tuned.
…on the big screen, anyway. Chain Gang’s centuries in the making “Mondo Manhattan” receives a screening Saturday, March 3 at 1pm as part of NYC’s Demented Film Festival . You really don’t want to know what kind of VIP gift bag opportunities there are at this event.
This monumental occasion comes very quickly on the heels of Chain Gang’s Ricky Luanda releasing a limited edition 7″ to accompany the deluxe paperback of Boo-Hooray’s “Ed Wood’s Sleaze Paperbacks”. WIth all due respect to Lana Del Rey, Jeremy Lin and Rick Santorum with this flurry of activity, 2012 is quickly shaping up to be The Year Of Chain Gang.
Au revoir, to “Soul Train” creator Don Corneilus, who made his exit from this cruel world earlier this morning. While “Soul Train”‘s status as the the longest, continuously running first-run syndicated program in television history will no doubt be cited in Don’s obits, it was his star turn as independent label magnate Mo Fuzz in Bill Fishman’s 1988 comedy, “Tapeheads”, that provided a fledgling Matador Records with a genuine role model.
Though I’ve already used this space to sing the praises of Zack Carlson & Bryan Connolly’s “Destroy All Movies : The Complete Guide To Punks On Film”, our extended Xmas break provided me with additional opportunities to get stuck into this impressive reference manual. There’s amazing factoids and brutal critiques on almost every page (the turgid Arye Gross college radio star vehicle, “A Matter Of Degrees” is dismissed as “the emotional trials of a guy who looks like he’s been in school longer than Archie”) and best of all, many introductions to cinematic sludge only the insane or truly obsessed would already know about.
Case in point, 1998′s kiddie film. “The Purple People Eater”, described by Connolly as “the strangest E.T. rip-off of them all” (and this is coming from a man undoubtedly familiar with “Mac & Me”). “Is this the only film based on a novelty song?” Well, that depends whether not you consider C.W. McCall’s “Convoy” a novelty song. But either way, it might be the worst film ever based on a novelty song. In addition to the cast mentioned in the above trailer, “The Purple People Eater” also features a pre-”Dougie Howser” / “Starship Troopers” Neil Patrick Harris, a pre-parental flipout Thora Birch, and inexplicably, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who might have the weirdest filmography of any professional athlete not named Todd Zeile.
Seriously. Who the fuck remembers “E.T.”? A couple of years ago, I talked the owners of a local tavern into letting me screen Mark Lester’s mindblowing “Class Of 1984″ as part of a makeshift birthday party/film festival. “Who doesn’t want to see Michael J. Fox get stabbed?” I asked, though as it turned out, attention spans amongst my friends were running low, the volume on the bar’s TV was lower, or perhaps Michael J. Fox wasn’t stabbed nearly enough times. Either way, this film remains an all-time favorite of mine, and if it couldn’t be part of a holiday tradition for me, perhaps it will become one for you.
There’s much to recommend about “Class Of 1984″ ; the ferocious, self-righteous over-acting of Perry King as concerned educator Andrew Norris ; Timothy Van Patten (son of dog-food magnate Dick, “Salami” from the equally brilliant “The White Shadow” and in more recent years, a key, behind-the-scenes contributor to “The Wire” and “Boardwalk Empire”) as faux-punk gangleader Stegman ; Roddy McDowell as an increasingly cynical science teacher who ultimately turns a gun on his teenage tormentors ; a musical cameo from Teenage Head, essentially giving away the film’s Toronto location. But why listen to me? If I celebrated Xmas and/or hadn’t already purchased a copy, I’d be asking Satan Santa for the newly published “Destroy All Movies!” (Fantagraphics Books), in which the amazing tome’s co-author, Zack Carlson, hails “Class Of 1984″ as “just a perfect exploitation movie.”
“Originally slapped with an X rating, it’s relentlessly seedy, overflowing with assault, suicide, racism, grimy sex, drug use and crime crime crime, all of which is perpetrated by minors! Exaggerated or not, the gang practically wrote the textbook for countless delinquent groups that would terrorize big-screen high schools through the 80′s and beyond. There’s a consistent, pervasive air of innocent helplessness and leather-clad heartlessness that makes this movie the flat-out best in its genre.”
You know the old saying, “those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it?” No? Well, it’s a pretty good saying. The above Pussy Galore bio pic by Michele O’Mara, however brings to mind the truism “history is best retold by persons who don’t give a shit about accuracy or likenesses” (OK, I made that up myself). With all due respect to meme-tastic crazes like keyboard kitties and Alexyss Tylor, I see no reason why this video shouldn’t top a million or more views by the end of the week. (thanks to Linda Wolfe for the heads-up about this astonishing video)
2 of the first documentaries ever made about music* are set to grace Austin’s silver screen later this month when Alamo Drafthouse teams up with End Of An Ear and Matador to bring you Watch Me Jumpstart and Slow Century — two films about esteemed Matador alums Guided By Voices and Pavement — as part of the Alamo’s Music Monday Series.
$2 gets you admission along with some killer food and drink specials.
And be sure to catch the bands when they come to the Casual Victi…. er…. Live Music Capital.
Guided By Voices
Thursday September 30 @ East Side Drive
w/ Times New Viking
Tuesday September 28 @ Stubb’s Waller Creek
w/ Woven Bones
Even though we’d been convinced that all that slaving away at the myriad marketing gimmicks, “promo opportunities” and general suffering we put bands through would leave us with some very exhausted talent, it turns out that these guys just can’t stop doing thangs… read on to see what some of our beloved have been up to.
Though she’s on tour with the New Pornographers, as we speak, Kathryn Calder just put the finishing touches on her new solo record. On August 11 the world’ll be treated to ‘Are You My Mother?’ which features an all-star band featuring Neko, Kurt and Todd from The New Pornographers and a handful of other Canadian musical luminaries. Check File Under: Music for more info.
Mogwaiwill be releasing the pretty stunning looking live LP entitled, ‘Special Moves’to coincide with the release of their first live film ‘Burning’, which was filmed in Brooklyn during the band’s tour in support of ‘The Hawk Is Howling’ in April of 2009. Check Mogwai’s site for info on ordering the record and where you can catch screenings of ‘Burning’.
Matmos‘ Drew Daniel and Martin Schmitt have teamed up with So Percussion on a collaboration entitled ‘Treasure State‘ — expect to have your mind twisted on July 8. Cantaloupe Records sez: “The record had a complex gestation period: at the invitation of Brett Allen, the members of Matmos and So Percussion went to the SnowGhost Studios in Whitefish, Montana– the Treasure State which gives the album its title– and collaboratively generated the bulk of the songs. San Francisco plunderphonicist Wobbly then chopped and edited the results on several tracks, and finally, with frequent interventions from Matmos’ M. C. Schmidt, “fifth” So Percussion member and producer Lawson White overdubbed extra elements, processed, and mixed the results.” There’s a handful of live dates, to boot!
Thur. March 25th, 3 Kings premiere party at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery FREE
Fri. March 26th, Brookdale Lodge, Brookdale, CA
Sat. March 27th, Great American Concert Hall, San Francisco, CA
Wed. March 21, Wow Hall, Eugene, OR
Thur. April 1st, Doug Fir, Portland, OR
Fri. April 2nd, Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, BC
Sat. April 3rd, Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
Mon. April 5th, Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City, UT
Wed. April 7th, Larimer Lounge, Denver, CO
Thur. April 8th, Riot Room, Lawrence, KS
Fri. April 9th, Slowdown, Omaha, NE
Sat. April 10th, Nuttys North, Sioux Falls, SD
Mon. April 12th, Triple Rock, Minneapolis, MN
Tue. April 13th, Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
Wed. April 14th, Annex, Madison, WI
Thur. April 15th, Magic Stick, Detroit, MI
Fri. April 16th, Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH
Sat. April 17th, The Union, Athens, OH
Mon. April 19th, The Basement, Columbus, OH
Tues. April 20th, Walnut Street Schoolhouse, Ridgeway, PA
Wed. April 21st, Mohawk, Buffalo, NY
Thur. April 22nd, Lees Palace, Toronto, ON
Fri. April 23rd, Club Lampi, Montreal, QUE
Sat. April 24th Cafe Nine New Haven, CT
Sun. April 25th, Bowery Ballroom, NYC, NY