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Archive for the ‘The Shining’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS-The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto (February 15, 2001).

This was night 2 of 4 of the Horseshoe Tavern‘s 53rd Birthday bash.  Clark (the band) opened the show.

The Rheos play seven songs from their soon to be released Night of the Shooting Stars (those songs are bold), including the two songs they didn’t play the previous night.

Jeff Cohen, owner of The Horseshoe gives a great intro to the band.

“King Of The Past” is an exciting opening.  Tim seems to get lost on the lyrics but musically it sounds great.  It’s followed by “Christopher” which also has a nice slow intro and some great jamming during the solo.

“The Fire” is a new song that I feel they didn’t play much after this tour–it features alternating leads from Martin and Dave and a harmonica!  “The Reward” is the other new song they didn’t play the night before.

There’s some talk of Napster.  Dave says, “I don’t know if it is shut down but there’s a lot of neat stuff on the Rheostatics section that we don’t even have tapes of.  He says to check out “our performance of “Claire” with Rik Emmet (I would love to hear that).  People may have already heard “P.I.N.” on Napster.

“Christopher” was dedicated to Jeff of Kansas City.  Dave thanks the people who come from out of town to make a vacation of their four night run.

“We Went West” is followed by two songs from Harmelodia.  “I Am Drumstein” is kind of crazy, with Don singing parts of it.  At the end Dave tells him, you would have been asked to leave Drumstein’s orchestra for that last cymbal hit.  It’s followed by a sweet “Home Again.”

The crowd finally gets to hear “Record Body Count” which has a slow opening. Tim and Martin have a hard time with the words in the beginning prompting Martin to ask “Who wrote this?”

Then they call Ron Sexmith up on stage for his song “So Young.”  During the set up, Dave says that years ago when Ron released his first album Grand Opera Lane Don Kerr was on drums.  Ron sounds a bit like Jim James.

Then comes the old song “Bread, Meat, Peas & Rice” which is simple and fun.  Martin does a kind of trumpet solo with his mouth.  Dave says “That’s for the premieres over in China.”  Someone shouts “They’re in Korea.”  Dave: “Did they move?  I didn’t get the memo.”  It’s followed by “Remain Calm” which almost seems like a response to the previous one.

Martin introduces “The Sky Dreamed” as a sweet song called “Bug’s Song.”  Is it possibly Don singing on it?  Then Martin plays a lovely “Song Of Flight” which segues into a terrific “California Dreamline.”

There’s two more poppy new songs, “Song Of The Garden” and “Mumbletypeg.”  They miss the spoken middle part, and it sounds like DB is still tinkering with the lyrics, but it sounds great nonetheless.

Heading into the encore break, they play an amazing “Horses” (Martin even busts out the robotic voice to recite part of it) and a stellar “A Mid Winter Night’s Dream.”  (I wonder if I’ll ever get to see that live).

After the encore break, someone requests “PROD” but Dave says we’ve got four nights to play that one.  So instead, he sings “My First Rock Concert” and then a terrific take on “Aliens” with a little jam section in the middle.  Dave starts singing “Artenings Made of Gold,” but Martin doesn’t remember it.  But there’s some very cool drums in this part.

The tape ends with a delicate version of “Bad Time To Be Poor” which gets cut after a minute or so.

This was another fantastic show.

[READ: February 13, 2019] “Plastic Parts to Help with Life”

This was actually a series of short micro-fictions or flash fictions or whatever we’re calling them these days.  Although these are not really that short (1/4 to 1/2 a page as opposed to just one paragraph).  They’re all mildly amusing slices of modern life–each with an absurdist twist.  This comes from the author’s “third book in a trilogy of miniature fiction.”

“In the Privacy of Their Own Condo”
He agrees to watch a Woody Allen film because she wants to watch Blue Jasmine.  He finds Woody Allen movies too emotional and loud.  Sure enough, there’s a car scene where they yell at each other for a full minute while driving. He flings off the covers and flees the room, naked.  She’s not going to give up on the movie, although she does turn the volume down.  Can anything salvage this debacle?

“Protest”
This one opens, “Bryce said to me during dinner, ‘You look like Jack Nicholson when you smile.'”  Of course, this leads to a discussion of The Shining.  Why do I look like I have a drooling leer?  The talk was interrupted by protesters in the driveway.  They are out there most nights anyway with bullhorns and signs.  And they had many things to protest. (more…)

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harper juneSOUNDTRACK: VOIVOD-Kronik (1998).

kronikVoivod in the E-Force era released two proper albums.  But they also released their first live album and this hybrid collection. So at this point, there were almost more albums with this in retrospect least popular lineup of the band.

Kronik, with the least inspiring album cover of all (the fact that Away doesn’t seem to have anything to do with it even calls into question the “realness” of the release) has eleven songs on it  The first three tracks are remixes.  It’s fascinating to hear these really really heavy songs remixed in a techno way.  I know by this time there was a lot of really heavy techno bands, so this isn’t totally unusual, and Voivod has been experimenting with industrial beats on the last two albums as well.  It’s just fun to imagine these as dance remixes and to speculate who these remixes were made for.  “Forlorn” sounds a bit like Helmet here.  E-Force’s voice is so manipulated as to be almost unrecognizable.  The solo section is also manipulated in a weird way, making this song sound, if not very different from at least somewhat different. There also appears to be some throat singing thrown on to the end of the mix.  “Nanoman” gets the royal treatment—skittery beats, sounds dropping out and a major techno drum beat placed on top of it.  “Mercury” is given a very fast electronic drumbeat but not much else.  But in this version it sounds very classic industrial.

The next three songs are outtakes from the E-Force era.  “Vortex” has a pummeling guitar riff and some massively screamed vocals.  “Drift” opens slowly with some spacey guitars and distant rumbles of drums.  After 90 second the screaming noise kicks into high gear.  “Erosion” has a some steady heavy sections in between the bludgeoning.  They basically all sound like the could have come from Phobos.

The next song “Ion” appeared on the soundtrack to Heavy Metal 2000 the movie and was unreleased until this album.  It has some very cool moments in it and is a little less brutal than a lot of their music from this era.  I rather like it.

The final four songs are live.  “Project X” and “Cosmic Conspiracy” are tracks from the E-Force era, and they sound very close to the studio versions.  I actually prefer E-Force’s voice here, as it is more natural sounding.  “Nuclear War” comes from the very first album. E-Force’s screams are not too dissimilar to Snake’s, although I miss Snake’s pronunciations.  But the music sounds better than on the album.  And then there’s “Astonomy Domine.”  This is the first live recording of the band (and the only song form the pre-E-Force era that’s on a live record.  So it’s exciting to hear them playing this more complex song.  The recording quality is not great, sadly.  But the problem (once again) is E-Force’s voice.  The first verse sounds fine, but as the song moves along he starts screaming a lot more.  And this song just doesn’t lend itself to screaming.  It’s shame.

So this collection is for die-hards and for people who love the heavier period of Voivod (which is not a majority I would guess).

[READ: September 30, 2013] Room 237

This article looks at The Shining, the film by Stanley Kubrick.  It briefly mentions the book by Stephen King, but only briefly.  And actually this article doesn’t so much look at the film as it looks at a film about The Shining called Room 237.  And, actually, Room 237 is more about the people who have obsessed over The Shining for years and who have come up with very detailed theories about the movie.

Some of the theories that these fans have (and which appear in the movie) include: (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: INVISIBLE GUY BLOG (2012).

Jonas from Invisible Guy contacted me about a project he’s working on.  I’m not quite the right fit for it, but I had to check out his site to see what he was all about.  As his About page explains; “This blog is generally a platform for unknown bands to get promoted and interviewed.”  That’s pretty awesome in itself.  But as I browsed the site, I saw that in his post Invisible Guy recommends: 80s Post-Punk – 1982 (Part II) he includes not only The Birthday Party but also The Virgin Prunes.  Much respect there (especially for someone who wasn’t alive when those records came out!).

But the bulk of his site is full of really obscure bands (lots of bands that I’ve never heard of).  He interviews band members (sometimes in Swedish!) and has quite an impressive list of publications that he’s worked for.

So head on over to Invsible Guy for a wonderful collection of punk and hardcore music as well as some iconic (and really obscure) new wave and post-punk tunes.  He’s also got some great stuff on death metal too.  Not bad for a site that’s only a few months old.  Invisible Guy has a lot of samples and videos as well as a bunch of streaming music from unreleased or just-released albums (like this demo from the Swedish band Regimen called Välkommen hem).

And here’s a video for the Swedish stoner metal band Skraeckoedlan.  The song is “Apple Trees” and no you can’t understsnad the words because they are in Swedish.  I love that.

It’s a great site.

[READ: June 15, 2012] “A Psychotronic Childhood”

The more I read Colson Whitehead, the more I like him, not just as a writer, but as a “person” (the person he presents to us anyhow.  Although I met him briefly at a convention and he was super friendly and very nice).  This essay shows that he and I occupied some of the same headspace when we were kids (we were born in the same year)—watching sci-fi and horror movies on Channel 7 & 11 after school and on the weekends.  Of course, I didn’t really get into horror movies until much later them him (his first time was when his parents took him to  a horror film in the theater at the age of 5).  FIVE!

These early horror movies really shaped his outlook.  He lists about 70 movies in this article, of which I have seen at least half (although more from MST3K than actually sitting through them unaccompanied) and his summaries about them (four or five parenthetical words) are apt and often hilarious:

  • Food of the Gods (giant chickens rain pecking doom on a small island)
  • Alien (an outbreak of tummy trouble among space miners)
  • Demon Seed (rom-com about a horny computer that wants to impregnate Julie Christie)
  • The Devil’s Run (A negligible and mind-numbing film, notable only for the utter ineptitude of its attempt to cash in on the brief occult-movie fad that followed Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist.

The Devil’s Run is the first movie he saw, back in 1975, in the theater.  He says that there was something good in it, that it really captured the element of terror when your loved one turns on you.  And he tapped into this for his novel Zone One.

Then he reflects back on 1981, when his family bought a VCR and he and his brother would head to Crazy Eddie (remember Crazy Eddie?) to rent 5 movies for the weekend (I didn’t even know they rented movies!).  The movies were inevitably 4 horror movies and one mainstream film.  And the family would gather by the TV and watch together.  How wholesome!  Except when you read what they were watching (I can’t IMAGINE my family watching these together when I was a kid–even now, Sarah hates horror films).   This is getting into the era of Friday the 13ths and Halloweens as well as classics like Terror Train, Prom Night, Slumber Party Massacre, Silent Night, Evil Night, Mother’s Day and My Bloody Valentine (“not even the holidays, hallmark or otherwise were safe”). (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: THE PRODIGY-Experience (1993).

Before Prodigy sang “Smack My Bitch Up” and Keith Flint had devil horns and pierced everything, Prodigy were a dancey techno act. This was their first album, and allmusic calls it “One of the few noncompilation rave albums of any worth.”  High praise indeed.

I love that this disc still has the price sticker on it and that I can see that I bought it some time around May 1993 from Ralph’s Record City in Scranton (RIP).

I popped this on because I was listening to Moby and it reminded me of this early 90s dance disc.  Sarah said that it made her want to work faster (some of the beats are crazy fast).  As with most dance records, this one works for dancing and for background music.  But it does have some standout tracks.

“Hyperspeed” which has more than a few words as lyrics is super catchy, as is “Fire” which samples “I am the god of hell fire!”  What I’m learning here is that you pretty much need some kind of words for a song to be more interesting than 4/4 beats at breakneck speed.

The best track on the disc is “Out of Space” which opens up with some twinkly keyboards before the drums kick in.  But rather than just a straight heavy beat, the song slows down (with a great “boing”) into a sort of reggae vibe.

The album is full of sped up vocals (who even knows what the originals sound like).  As well as crazy fast dance songs.  It even features a “live” track.  I’m not a huge fan of dancey techno music, although I know it has its place and some of it is quite good.  This disc is definitely better than most, although I much prefer when they get into their darker stuff starting with their next disc.

[READ: June 7, 2010] Echo #21 & #22

One of the difficult things about writing sequential comics (as if I know from experience) is that each issue needs a certain arc which propels the main story but which is also satisfying in itself.  And so the story arcs in these two issues are very exciting in themselves but serve as something of a detour from the main story.

And that’s all well and good.  But it’s so frustrating when you’re only getting single issues!  The story is so good, and you get to the end of the book and ack, six weeks before the next panel! (more…)

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