26 July 2007

2007 Laminated List # 1

Three weeks ago I posted the #2 on my Laminated List, Tina Fey, and if I waited three weeks to post my #1 lady, it's probably because most of you already know who she is, so the whole thing is anti-climatic.
But it really took three weeks because my internet connection has been intermittent at best, and I've been preparing for this Sunday's fantasy football draft and napping.
Anyways, Winona Ryder has been #1 on my Laminated List since 1989's Heathers. There wasn't anything particularly earthshattering about her turn as Veronica in that film, but in real life, the then-18-year-old Winona was talking about hip, smart things in interviews, etc. She loved the same bands I did (The Replacements, for example), and she was reading alot, apparently, or at least able to namedrop some pretty heavy titles and authors, including things like the Tao Te Ching (I am a Taoist, if asked to name my religion), and William S Burroughs. And for awhile she wore a "Free Peltier" button on her lapel, no matter what outfit she was sporting...In short, she was a young woman who seemed intellectually and aesthetically in tune with me. I considered the idea that it could all be nothing more than artifice, that Noni was just trying to look cool to guys and girls like me, but I didn't, and don't care.

I did care that she shoplifted, although I admit that I got nailed for shoplifting Sweet's "Love Is Like Oxygen" 7-inch from Kohl's Department Store when I was 12 years old, so I can't judge her, and if I could, I would certainly forgive her.

But, c'mon, the biggest reason she's been #1 on my Laminated List for 18 years is because I thought she was Hotcha! then, and still think she's Hotcha! now.

Winona Ryder is 100% HOT POOP, ya dig? She's my muse, and what I mean is that the only way I could ever have the opportunity to meet Winona, let alone the ideas of hot sexxx action and/or romantic love, is to accomplish something...anything...in my creative life...Become a celebrated author...Become a rockstar...Make a breakout indie film...

Or can you imagine if Kieth The Perpetual Teen somehow got syndicated, or became an internet sensation?

Actually, I can't even imagine that...

Anyways, I'm 41 years old, and I'm still doing the same things I did at 15...18...23...29...34...

I'm still making music, still writing all different sorts of things, still comic stripping, still trying to hear all the latest/hippest/most interesting music, still trying to see as many good/great films as I can (Fraternity Vacation notwithstanding), blatherblatherblather...

Winona keeps me young, and she keeps me striving. I can't think of anything more important than that in a mate/friend/lover, real or imaginary.
I'll stop now.

Hotcha! Hank

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23 July 2007

Netflix Notes: 23 July 2007

Fraternity Vacation (1985)

So, I've been revisiting as many Comedies from the 1980's as I can withstand during the past couple of months, and this particularly lame movie may signal the end to that nostalgic, and mostly disappointing, endeavor.

This Comedy is soooo unfunny that I can't even figure out how to critique it. Consider this - Tim Robbins plays a "cool" frat brother named "Mother" Tucker. I did the math, and this uproariously funny and inventive name is the basis for 5.6% of this film. I guess if the name makes you chuckle, Fraternity Vacation might be worth a rental.

Cameron Dye plays "Joe", the other, slightly less cool, frat brother. Consider this - Mr. Dye is perhaps best known as "Fred", the other, slightly less cool, punk in Valley Girl. Anyways, "Joe" is about as funny as his name.

Together, Mother and Joe decide their #1 goal for the spring break week in Palm Springs is getting Wendell laid. Just from his name, you know Wendall is virginal dweeb, right? Ayup, Wendell is 100% self-admitted Nerd. With a capital N. He's clumsy, he's socially awkward, blah blah blah.

Most of the comedy is SUPPOSED to be derived from the conceit that Tucker and Joe think Wendell is getting more hot sex than they are, and the fact that we know Wendell really isn't getting laid. *Wink wink yawn*

Tucker and Joe aren't getting laid either, even though they've wagered $1000 with two absolute tools from a rival fraternity. The winner of the bet is the one who first bangs "Ashley", a particularly beautiful blonde who sits around the pool, never getting hit on, never talking to anybody...Other times, she stands out on the balcony of her own poolside suite, looking longingly at something off camera, in the distance. The sunset, perhaps, or a riveting grove of palm trees. The film never shows or tells us. This is one of the stronger dramatic elements of the film.

But Fraternity Vacation isn't about drama. It's about the laughs, of which I had two.

One was when Mother and Joe were in the Palm Springs jail, and Mother was pretending to play the blues on an imaginary harmonica. That was a golden moment.

The other time is when "Madman Mac" (played by Charles Rocket, for those of you old enough to remember), the local crazy radio disc jockey, led an impromptu protest in front of aforementioned jail. They were chanting "Free The Palm Springs Three", and the crowd of 37 had signs and t-shirts saying the same. I thought that was funny for some reason.

I almost laughed when Tucker called "Chas", one of the rival frat tools, a "turkey", but man, words like that hurt, ya dig?

Anyways, the real joke is that I wrote this much about a movie that really and truly never deserved to exist, so let me give you the big twist ending...In the last 5 minutes Wendell hooks up with Ashley. If you actually rent Fraternity Vacation, you will have this ending figured by the 15 minute mark. 1 out of 5


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10 July 2007

77 Boadrum

Last Saturday, 7/7/07, The Boredoms organized a show at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in Brooklyn...

Essentially, 77 Boadrum was 77 drummers from assorted indie rock bands being conducted by the Boredoms' Eye Yamatsuka, who also added assorted noises/samples to the mix...

This video is an appropriately 7+ minute sampling of the event, which looks like it might have been nothing less than transcendent. The Boredoms have been known to do that. Get transcendent.

Hotcha! Hank

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Death, PBStyle

Hotcha! Hank

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Tuesday Filler

Back in October I posted about Kevin Spacey's recent plastic surgery, and what a disaster it ended up being. Here we are, nine months later, and I'm happy to report that there have been improvements to Spacey's "condition". He's still not pretty, but he is prettier.
Hotcha! Hank

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Sweet Racer

I haven't been able to find a video for Matthew Sweet's "Winona", so in the meantime, here's Mr. Sweet's version of "Speed Racer" mixed into the original opening sequence of the show.

Hotcha! Hank

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I Got Dem No Winona Blues

Tonight's very short parade of Winona Ryder-related music videos continues with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's "Talk About The Blues"...Next, I gotta see if there are any videos for Matthew Sweet's "Winona"...

Man, let's see any of today's "It Girls" inspire so much in so many.

Hotcha! Hank

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Wynona's Big Brown Beaver

Les Claypool, bassist/singer for Primus, has always denied that this song is about Winona Ryder, and besides, the spelling is different, which brings us to this >>> nobody's apparently asked if it's about Wynonna Judd.

Anyways, at the risk of sounding crass, I've got to say that I'm a bit of a traditionalist, and if Winona Ryder does indeed have a big brown beaver, well, I simply wouldn't mind. The same goes for Ms. Judd.

Hotcha! Hank

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John Tesh's Kind Of Stuff

"Bruce Springsteen is the boss, Elvis is the King, and I'm the fool."

So says Mojo Nixon, and I give the man points for at least being honest. In his prime, Mojo Nixon was a fool, albeit not a very good or convincing one. But that's beside the point.

The point is, Mojo Nixon surfed the bloated corpse of Elvis Presley all the way to his 15 minutes of minor fame, and this two minute segment from Entertainment Tonight was probably the pinnacle of those 15...

Anyways, I didn't come here to rip on Mojo, I came today to stream videos of Winona.

Hotcha! Hank

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Man, We Loved the Weekly World News in the '80's, Didn't We?

For those of you too young to remember, there was a time (an extremely brief amount of time) when Mojo Nixon was a minor star, or at least enough of a star to land Winona Ryder for the lead role in a video for a song about Debbie Gibson being pregnant with a two-headed lovechild.

What's interesting here is that this two-headed lovechild, while admittedly being the offspring of Mr. Nixon, is nonetheless a "bigfoot" baby (all covered in fur now), which begs the question - Is Mojo Nixon admitting that he is, in fact, the legendary Bigfoot, or at the very least, a son of Bigfoot?

If you ask me, there's only one person in that video who might very well have Sasquatch DNA, and that would be Skid Roper. In a better world, Skid Roper would have been a major star.

Hotcha! Hank

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07 July 2007

Winona Rough Ryders 2007!

Well alright...

I got my first fantasy football league invite of the summer the other day...The AcidPlanet Fantasy League (APFL), which includes members of the forum community at AcidPlanet.

I lost my invite last year, so I missed a year in the APFL, but now I'm back in my favorite league again, and glad to be in a league hosted by Yahoo! , who do the best job as far as FREE leagues are concerned. Last year I was in a league at ESPN, and I hated it - difficult to navigate player data, ugly interfaces, slow "Real Time" updating, and so on...I was also in a league at NFL.com, and the action there wasn't much better...

So, anyways, the Winona Rough Ryders are BACK in the APFL, and bitches don't know how unlucky they are...I won the league championship back in 2004, and I think we're about due for another crown...

"The 'P' stands for HOT POOP!", indeed...

Hotcha! Hank

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Super Sideways Rainbow Maneuver

Another geometric fantasy posing as a music video for Black Moth Super Rainbow.

This time, the song "Drippy Eye", which is streaming in another post below, gets a lo-fi kinda video treatment, and correct me if I'm wrong, professor, but it looks like somebody manipulated some Windows Media Player visualizations, and viola!

Hotcha! Hank

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Black Sideways Moth Maneauver

This is an acid-washed mathematician's wet dream of an animated video by David McFarlane for Black Moth Super Rainbow's "Count Backwards To Black", a song off their Start A People album.

Boy, that's just swell.

Hotcha! Hank

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Tape Jazz Massacre Introduced Me To My Mind

Ornette Yukahiro, one half of venerated Samplecore practitioners, Tape Jazz Massacre, sent me a short, mostly incoherent, email last night, which included the attached jpg for what I presume is the cover art for an upcoming TJM CD likely entitled Massacre Of Tape, or maybe just Of Tape...Like I said, Ornette's email was a mess, though he did mention some "new hoot pop coming soon", so I'm confident that was the gist of the message - new Tape Jazz shit coming soon, and it's certainly been awhile, hasn't it?

So, anyways, here's the original Black Sabbath cover, just for comparison's sake...

Hotcha! Hank

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Something 4 7/07/007

Little is known about Black Moth Super Rainbow. They are from the greater Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Members of the band include (but are not limited to) Father Hummingbird, Iffernaut, and Power Pill Fist. They record their albums live in the studio. This is all the information I was able to glean from eMusic, where I downloaded their third and latest album on a lark.

The album is entitled Dandelion Gum, which is somehow a fair representation of the dirty candy music they're spootin' here. Like one of those big, swirly lollipops, covered in lint and cat hair. Grass clippings in yr cotton candy. A bumblebee floating in yr strawberry milkshake.

I'm pretty sure "Sun Lips" is the first single off the album, cuz that mp3 is all over teh intertubes. It's a very hot song right now, so I thought I'd spin another tune from Dandelion Gum called "Drippy Eye", which indeed has a trippy, dippy quality to it, like Stereolab chewing on caramelized psilocybin.
Mmmm, Laetitia Sadier covered in butterscotch sauce...

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06 July 2007

2007 Laminated List # 2

If you've been reading HOT POOP since last November, then you might already remember that Tina Fey is on my Laminated List...

And here we are. Number two...

Tina Fey is smart, and a smartass, and she often wears cute, geeky glasses, on and off the best sitcom currently on television (sorry to those at The Office), and ever since she had a baby daughter in 2005, her boobs have gotten downright heavy, and damn if she doesn't flash that milky rack all over 30 Rock, with a crooked smile on her lips, and an off-key song in her heart.

Possibly a Rogers & Hammerstein tune. Or maybe Abba.

I imagine Tina Fey was a SPEAK when she was in high school. In my high school, The Speaks were that group of kids who were in band, the musicals, student council, and the debate team and all the other disciplines known as FORENSICS.

I was in Forensics. I was in the Demonstrative Prose category, and I won't bore you with the details of THAT, but I will tell you that for me, Forensics opened up the doors to the world of The Speaks, and I quickly learned that those geeky girls in that group were wiiiild partiers, *wink wink* and so then my friends and I started calling 'em Speak Freaks...

So I figure Tina Fey was a Speak Freak, circa 1987. Depeche Mode mix tapes and pints of blackberry brandy. Ponytails and braces. I knew a few Tina Feys in high school.

But the real Tina Fey, today, is a bonafide MILF, and she just keep getting better and better.

Hotcha! Hank

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Hey (Hey), You (You)...

Power Pop/New Wave relics, The Rubinoos, are suing Avril Lavigne and another songwriter over Lavigne's hit, "Girlfriend", which they alleged is ripped off quite blatently from their own '70's non-hit, "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend".

While I agree that the Rubinoos have a pretty strong case, I still figure Jagger and Richards have enough money NOT go after the whole lot of 'em for infringing upon their classic, "Get Off My Cloud".

In the end, I still maintain that most lawyers simply don't understand how CULTURE works.

Hotcha! Hank

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05 July 2007

I Think I'll Eat A Mounds

Unregardless, I don't think you have to be a stoner to realize just how flawless this 5+ minutes of The Simpsons truly is. Everything in this tight little lumpen of animated goodness is spot-on perfect...

So, is it lame to link to Simpsons shiz at this point in time? Is the show played out, and what do you make of the Simpson's Movie hitting theaters at the end of this month? I know I'm gonna be there on opening night at the IMAX, but do enough people still care about this show to make the movie a blockbuster? My gut is telling me "yes", but then, I just ate four DingDongs.

Hotcha! Hank

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The Chat Host Who Loved Me

Three funny minutes of Alan Partridge, re-enacting the opening sequence from The Spy Who Loved Me...Steve Coogan rules.

Hotcha! Hank

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HOT POOP Poster 4 9:01PM

information is

information is not

information is not knowledge


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2007 Laminated List # 3

Kelly Clarkson has got a chunky butt and small tits, and bless her, babycakes...
Kelly Clarkson has got thick thighs and look at that Tummy...Yeah, that's a Tummy with a capital T, and bless her, babycakes, cuz she's as real as three or four of my ex-girlfriends, and you know exactly what I'm talking about.
And Kelly Clarkson likes to go barefootin' everywhere, just like those same chunky butt girlfriends, so I guess that's some sort of thing...Enough of a thing for Rufus Thomas to write a song about it and a dozen other artists to sing it...
Anyways, she's cute, and you know it...
And controversy doesn't trail her around like a strip of toilet paper from a gas station bathroom as it does with a few of her peers...The worst we get is her at the beach with her girlfriends, plowing into a hot dog or three with cheese.

Wait, the worst we get is rumors of hot, chubby lesbionic action at all the usual blogs. Butch bitch be banging a strap-on with Shakira or something...And you know the Kelly Clarkson nipple slip extravaganza lays somewhere down the road, and when it comes, I'll gobble up the jpgs just like some of you.

Last, and not least, babycakes - whooo, she can sing, and since Heart is past their prime, Kelly Clarkson has a place on the charts in my heart, and # 3 on my Laminated List.

Hotcha! Hank

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Random Stripping Event: 5July2007

Individual KIETH THE PERPETUAL TEEN strips are barely funny when taken within the context of an entire story arc, and they're almost never funny when considered on their own.

Such is the case with this particular strip, which is taken from a self-contained KTPT story tentatively entitled Sheriff Omar & The Pile Of Dead Disc Jockeys...

Pretty colors.

Hotcha! Hank

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04 July 2007

We Now Return To The Philogyny

The Beefcake Equality was short-lived, babycakes, and now we return to the cheesecake.
So, much, cake!

Hotcha! Hank

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As we were walking out of the theater after almost two and a half hours that is the new Transformers movie, one of my friends asked me what I thought.


I stood there slightly dazed, and half-whispered "I'm overwhelmed."

And I was. After 2 hours and 23 minutes of nearly non-stop action that was constructed out of a million small, quick edits, I was exhausted. Transformers knocked the wind outta me, and left me needing a moist towelette and a 2 hour nap. Indeed, considering the action sequences and the CGI in general, Transformers may very well have set a new sort of standard, and Michael Bay should be applauded. Words cannot describe the look of this film, and of course the Autobots and Decepticons in particular. Add to that langoring scenes of lush, warm landscapes of rusty orange sunsets, mixed with plenty of extreme close-ups of beautiful, professional teeth (hi, Megan Fox), it's hard to argue with the cinematography either.

As for the story, well, you either accept the mythology as layed out by Optimus Prime in one of the movies few narrative parts, or you don't, and even if you don't, you really ought to be seeing this on the big screen anyways, on account of all the visual mindfuckery I just mentioned.

And you gotta understand, I'm telling you this as a bit of a film snob, since I generally do not like these kinds of big, dumb popcorn action pictures...Most sci-fi films leave me cold, and the action hero genre are typically laughable to me, especially from a dialogue, character development perspective. You see - I believe that there is absolutely no reason why the "big, dumb popcorn action pictures" actually have to be dumb.

Which brings me to my misgivings about the Transformers movie.

Shia LaBeouf plays Sam Witwicky, a weird teenager that is equal parts geek and douchebag. What I mean is, this kid isn't very likeable, especially in the first half of the film, and if you see the movie, you'll know exactly what I mean. One minute he's tongue-tied, the next he's verbally burning somebody, or sweet-talking his way outta trouble with his parents, and all along the way LaBeouf plays him with this caffeinated awkwardness that just didn't work for me, but then, I'm not the 16 year old bundle of teen angst that this character is made for.

Megan Fox plays Michaela Banes, the object of Sam Witwicky's affections. She's beautiful, of course, with a dark family history and the ability to fix automobile engines. When Michaela and Sam are together, there isn't a whole ton of chemistry, and plenty of that is due to the completely cheesy dialogue...Or maybe I've just forgotten how stupid high school romance can be...

Of course, Sam and Michaela aren't the only ones delivering maudlin sentiments and hackneyed one-liners. They're sprinkled liberally everywhere throughout the film, and once again, just because Transformers is big, doesn't mean it had to be dumb. It's plenty dumb. Dumb all over, even when it's coming out of the mouth of John Turturro, who acts the hell outta alot of dumb words.
Which is why, after staggering out the Star Cinema Theaters yesterday afternoon, and thinking about the film on and off ever since, I can only give Transformers a score of 4 out of 5.
Oh, to be honest, this film deserves a resounding 5 out of 5 based on the action and special effects alone, but I gotta remain true to myself, and withhold that fifth star because of all those cheese factors I've mentioned, and a few more I know I've forgotten. Oh, and I'm pretty sure General Motors funded a decent chunk of this movie, so points off for that as well...
For the general population, I say this is MUST SEE entertainment that exceeds the hype, and out-performs the other big dumb action flick I saw this summer, Spiderman 3.
Just remember the moist towelettes and prepare room on yr schedule afterwords for a healthy nap. This film is long, and loud, and mostly lightning quick, and fatigue sets in about halfway through. My friend sitting next to me fell asleep a half hour from the end, and I wasn't really surprised.
93 out of 100
Hotcha! Hank

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Beefcake Equality!

As the title of this LP suggests, this post is for the ladies. Notice that these spicey songs are sung by Saul T. Peter...
Salt Peter!!!!!

Hotcha! Hank

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Oriental Ensemble? THIRD Volume?

6:45pm on Wednesday, July 4th, 2007, and I'm doing some maintenance work on HOT POOP while The Simpsons plays on the TV in the background...

Hope yr having or had a fantastic 4th of July...In honor of our country's forefathers, and all Americans living and dead, here's some bonafide Hot Poop Filler goodness in the form of a Mohammed El-Bakkar album cover from 1958, a time when ya could put a naked black chick on that big ol' 33 front, not to mention an Arab dude who kinda looks white...Could ya do that today? Not if ya want major distribution through the tried-and-true real world chains...



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Speaking of OH YEAH!!!!

This is a merciful 48 seconds of the Kool-Aid game for the Atari 2600. I think my mom sent in a bunch of proof-of-purchases to their "Wacky Warehouse", and they sent us the game. This short 48 second clip pretty much sums up it up, though the music is missing here. That's probably for the best. Again, if we factor in irony and kitsch, this game's a contender. For what, I don't know.

Hotcha! Hank

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Speaking Of The Atari 2600

This is the Journey Escape game for the Atari 2600, and if you thought that Megamania! clip was a wasted three minutes, then this clip is nothing less than five minutes of regret...Of course, factoring in irony and the kitsch factor like an obedient Gen-Xer, I might say that this is the greatest video game ever. Dude!

Are ya with me? Do you remember?

If you look at the right side of the in game blue scoreboard, you'll see different two-letter initials for each different level. SS is Steve Smith, the drummer. Next is JC for keyboardist Jonathan Cain. Bassist Ross Valory is RV, guitarist Neal Schon is NS, and last, but not least, almost iconic singer Steve Perry. SP!!!!!

And the object of each level of this game is to get each member of Journey from the concert hall to their tour bus/airplane, as represented in this game by the scarab/beatle which was found on several Journey album covers, including of course, the Escape lp...

Along the way, you must elude groupies (red heart shaped), drug dealers (guys in blue hats), the paparazzi (flashing circles), and get around barricades (green fences), but never fear, cuz those small, blue alien-looking guys are roadies, and if ya hook up with them, yr invincible to all obstacles for a few seconds...Dude! Escape!

Hotcha! Hank

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8-Bit Megamania! Sideways Maneuver

Here's three solid minutes of some dude playing Megamania! on the Atari 2600. You might feel like they're three solid minutes of yr life that you'll never get back, but trust me, this game is more fun to play than it is to watch...Especially watching a dude who isn't very good at it...

Hotcha! Hank

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Grand Theft Sideways Maneuver

Here's a nifty little video that explores some of the mysteries of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, like Bigfoot and aliens. Good fun. Enjoy!

Hotcha! Hank

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My 7 Favorite Video Games


07: Burnout: Revenge [PS2, EA Games]

I figure there should be at least one racing game on this list, and even though the wicked cool Crash Events keep this title from being a 100% pure racing game, Burnout: Revenge is definitely my favorite racing game of all time. The illusion of speed this game creates is positively stunning at times, and when ya add in destruction to the races, it can get utterly insane. I'm not a huge fan of racing games, but if I mention another one, I'd say Midnight Club II just for the incredibly fun Paris level. But no, I'm sticking with Burnout: Revenge all the way...

06: Far Cry: Instincts [XBOX, Ubisoft]

Far Cry: Instincts is the best representation of what the XBOX did best and most - the First Person Shooter. Oh my...Yr Jack Carver, a dishonorably discharged soldier who ends up on some forgotten, secret island somewhere in the Pacific, where he encounters a militia belonging to a mad scientist who is working for the CIA, trying to develop a serum that will essentially create "super soldiers". The thing is, this serum literally unlocks man's animal instincts, and as the game progresses, not only do you encounter nocturnal mutant animals in the jungle, but eventually a huge, barely human beast who takes forever to kill. But that's not all, because along the way, you yrself, Jack Carver, acquire and develop yr own Feral Skills, such as being able to see odors at night, jump huge distances, and attack with the ferocity of a lion, ripping out throats in one deadly strike. There's also the level where you hanglide through deep, deep tropical canyons that is a thing of absolute beauty.

And there's still things like knives and machine guns and grenades if yr content with that basic FPS stuff, but there's also a substantial stealth element to this game, crawling through the jungle underbrush and setting tree snares, throwing rocks to send guards sniffing around said snares, or crawling on yr back under the floors of bamboo shacks, killing enemies from below, and then later, sniping clean an entire compound from a tower. I like stealth games.

I also like cool vehicles, and Far Cry: Instincts' got all manner of land sea, and air craft to tool around on, many of them equipped with weapons big and small...Even the hanglider's sporting semi-auto, yo!

Anyways, in the end, the graphics, gameplay and story all come together brilliantly, and I can't even tell you about the multiplayer online component, cuz I haven't tried it, but I imagine it's just as pretty and twice as sweet.

05: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas [PS2, Rockstar]

First, I love the GTA franchise because of the radio stations, and the music, programming and mersh therein. In a sandbox as incredibly huge as San Andreas, one might do nothing but tool around in a vehicle of one's choosing just listening to the radio and checking out the sights. For hours. No gunplay. No missions. No pimping. Say what you want about GTA: SA, including that whole Hot Coffee thing, but this game is really only as vile and crass and violent as one makes it. I've killed hours just doing tricks and jumps and whatnot with the bicycle alone. There's in-game video games. There's offtrack betting. Dance contests and lowrider competitions. You can amass a wicked wardrobe, and get all manner of tattoos and kicks...And if ya stick with the game long enough, and explore every corner of San Andreas, you just might encounter Bigfoot himself, or get messed up with the CIA, UFOs, and aliens. I haven't yet, but I know those things are there.

Anyways, I don't know about other GTA players, but whenever I start a new title in the franchise, like San Andreas, I don't start missions and/or indescriminately killing people, from the git-go. No, I grab a car and start exploring the city...Cuz the thing is, the moment you finish yr first mission, you've been pulled in fully and for real...Then you've got enemies, and the game is on...The beauty and innovation of GTA, to me, is the fact that you can hold off on getting the game on, for real, for as long as you want, really...

04: Megamania! [Atari 2600, Activision]

8-Bit slide and shoot goodness from 1982. The first game I ever beat cuz I reached 999,999, at which point the game ended due to a programming error. A colorful, fun and simplified variant of Space Invaders and Galaga, really. And like most 2600 games, the music got annoying and even outright maddening in a huge hurry, so naturally we hit mute and cranked the stereo...LAZER 103...QFM...I recall my friends and I trying to "turn the game over" with the fewest lives lost. I remember not being the champion. Nostalgia, more than anything, makes this #4 on the list. 'nuff said.

03: Thief II: The Metal Age (Gold Edition) [PC, Looking Glass/Eidos]

In the Thief franchise, you play Garrett, a thief/assassin, and the gameplay is "First Person Sneaker" because rather than run around blowing everything up and making a big egotistical racket, success is achieved in this game through stealth. Set in a world that is mostly Middle Ages, there is a steampunk quality to the game achieved through some of the weaponry and devices, and even some of the impressive architecture, that you'll encounter as a contract player for political players and secret, mystical sects based heavily on Freemasonry and Rosucrucianism. Shades of the Templar, the pagan underground and whatnot. Because you spend alot of your time eluding guards and primitive robots, Thief tends to move a bit slower than a usual guns-first FPS, and I like this slower action better, personally. Crawling around a huge castle, snuffing out torches with water arrows and looting the place, well, it only gets better than this twice.

02: SimCity3000 Unlimited [PC, Maxis]

I'm afraid of heights. Not deathly afraid, mind you, but afraid, nonetheless. For example, I enjoy the speed and dips and thrills of rollercoasters, but that initial ascent, and those 10-20 seconds when yr slowly rolling around that curve towards that first, huge drop...Man, that scares the shit outta me every time. Or take the Sears Tower, which is the tallest building I've ever been to the top of...Well, the view was amazing and unforgettable, but I had to inch my up to the glass, and I had to have Sweetpea hang on to me, and I had a hard, hard time looking straight down, preferring to fix my gaze somewhere a bit further uptown, downtown, out towards Cabrini Green and the western Burb horizon through the haze of 3pm in August...

So, I've established a certain fear of heights, and now I'll tell you that I have a fascination, bordering on obsession, with aerial photography, maps, and architectural drafting - images from a bird's eye view, all of 'em, or should I feign ego and say they're all like looking down as a God from on high. Is it ego, or is it compensation for this fear of mine? I don't particularly like to fly, but I'll hang around Google Maps for hours a month...

You see where I'm going this SimCity 3000 rant. It's really the most perfect game for ME, though not quite as universal as #1 on my list, so here we are.

Where we are is a city of our choosing and our naming, and the first great thing is that we get to terraform the landscape we get to build our city upon...And that's what this game comes down to - building and managing an ever growing city and many of the infrastructure, budgetary and civic difficulties that come with the territory. Great fun stuff, and a game that's insanely easy to fall into a weird sort of trance with if ya got the right kind of kind...Ahoy!

01: Super Mario 64 [N64, Nintendo]

I was already a huge fan of the Super Mario Bros. game franchise [aah, dorm life] - the old 2D sidescrolling platformers on the NES, and then this amazing and enormous 3D platformer came along on the N64 in time for Christmas 1996, and everything changed. The SMB franchise itself had evolved and exploded, and really, this is probably the 3D platformer against which all subsequent 3D platformers are judged. Further, I'd say this is still the most perfect video game ever made, as it's art and design are creative and beautifully rendered, the gameplay is challenging, but not too much so, making it playable for ages 5 to 65, when sensible people should probably give up gaming to travel or knit things. Like I already mentioned, the game is enormous, with 22 ample and adventurous levels/maps to get through...Jumping, flying, mild violence against Koopa Troopas and Goombas and whatnot. It all adds up the one single game, in my opinion, that best represents the best that video games have to offer as far as accessible, creative fun for a wide range of people.


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03 July 2007

2007 Laminated List # 4

You may know her as Donna R., or you may know her as Allison Robertson, either way, she plays Gibson SGs and Les Pauls for The Donnas. Actually she plays pretty good hard rock guitar, which I admired previously HERE at Hot Poop.

So, we got the smokey brunette on guitar, and really, do I need to elaborate any more on this? If I'm gonna have a smokey brunette guitarist on my list, I guess I could have picked PJ Harvey, but she's too skinny for me. Chrissie Hynde is a solid choice, cuz she's a firebrand, isn't she, but I think the PETA vegan side of her wouldn't quite jibe with my carnivorous ways, so...
Joni Mitchell ain't brunette, plus, she's a little too MILF for me...Tori Amos is hot and a bit unhinged I think, but she plays piano.
Ahh, soft misogyny...


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Hot Poop Filler - ABSOLUTELY GRATIS!!!!!

One of the perks of working for a multi-national media giant is free CDs from the Music division. Two shiny CDs, absolutely gratis, each and every month, and my boss let's me claim his, so I get four.

Here is the artwork for the four I got yesterday. Hot Poop Filler or maybe, just maybe, useful to you in some supertagging kinda way...Otherwise, they might be Art.

What do I know?

Ian Hunter was previously lead singer of Mott The Hoople. You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic features "Cleveland Rocks", perhaps better known as the theme song of The Drew Carey Show, and also "Ships" a song that Ian Hunter wrote and recorded, but Barry Manilow turned into a pretty big MOR hit the same year, 1979.
The multi-national media giant I work for has extensive collection of musicals and Broadway recordings, so I've been choosing one per month, just to build that collection because I can, absolutely gratis, and I gotta say, musicals play pretty well at work - keeping me alert enough to work in Oracle and Excel, etc. Thus, Flower Drum Song by Rogers and Hammerstein featuring Gene Kelly.
The Mirror Man Sessions by Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band was just sitting there all by its lonesome in the catalog, and while I've got about 75% of Beefheart's catalog, including the actual Mirror Man CD, I didn't happen to have this...Score!
I also try to dive into the multi-national media giant's enormous Classical Music catalog, and take something from there each month. For June, it's The Photographer by Philip Glass. I haven't listened to this yet, but the cover art is pretty cool.


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Something 4 July 3rd

Something somewhat soothing 4 the day b4 July 4th, and have ya had enough fours 4 this go round now? For real, yo, the neighbors were blowing off bottle rockets and firecrackers as late as 2 am this past Saturday night, so apparently nobody called the cops and complained, though who knows - there were 250,000 folks jammed into Warner Park earlier that night for Madison's Rhythm & Booms, and that's more people than the city's actual population, so you know they had their hands full...And of course, this year's fireworks display featured a small forest fire right there in Warner Park that smoldered until earlier today, Tuesday, July 3rd, when we finally got some much-needed rain.

So, the cops and fire department had their hands full over there on the NW side of town, and so the drunken Cali transplants two doors down from me put on their own show out on their driveway, on and off to as late as 2am, and I didn't really care, cuz I was reelin' Foul Play for the second time and trying to suss out some pages of Jeff The Second (aka Warlord Jeff) , my screenplay about drug dealing in the suburbs circa 1985 that is mostly a rewrite of Shakespeare's Richard II, based on a few real characters I knew, including myself. Of course, Brick came out last year, and that film basically beat Jeff The Second to the punch, not to mention that I used to know a guy named "Brick" back then, so I've kinda lost my will to see the script through to the end...Once again, the universe has beaten me to the punch...

Anyways, I didn't really mind that my neighbors were blowing things up, and drinking and laughing and whatever cuz it's their country too, and it didn't interfere with my thing, and apparently didn't bother anybody else down my block either, so...Ain't that America?

I don't think overt patriotism has ever been my thing, and while my friends and I used to get our teenaged kicks from firecrackers and bottle rockets and potato cannons and Right Guard flamethrowers and whatnot, nowadays I'm just a middle-aged dude hanging out on a Saturday night and doing my things, which sometimes involves Warlord Jeff and other times involves Reaktor drum machines and sampled bass loops...

Can't knock tha hustle, and hustlin' is sooo American...

Almost Independence Day, and tomorrow is my dad's anniversary with Audrey, my stepmom. I ain't gonna get into a long history of my family after my mom's death in 1987, but let's just say there's a bit of irony involved in the July 4th wedding, especially since my dad kinda dotes on Audrey.

What's even more interesting to me is that my dad's always been a bit of a fireworks fanatic, and when I was growing up he would buy bags of stuff and put on semi-elaborate dispays out by the big rock on the corner of our yard...And when he married Audrey (1994?) there was a big reception at one of my stepbrother's farms (farmers and mechanics in her huge family), complete with a fireworks display that rivalled those of any small town's...

There was also a huge stump that they coated with motor oil and lit on fire, and the only other place I've ever seen an oil and/or tire fire was when I hung out with bikers intermittently between 1988 and 1995...Anyways, I recall one of my stepbrothers telling me that the oily stump fire kept away mosquitos, and I also recall not being able to argue otherwise...

So, my dad's a bit of a fireworks freak, and that's cool with me, though it really ain't my thing anymore, though I will admit that I miss those nights when him and I, and a couple of my friends, and maybe even my sister, would climb up on the roof of our garage, and we were able to see at least half a dozen fireworks from Grafton to the horizon. Cedarburg, Germantown, Menomonee Falls, Thiensville, Saukville, Port Washington.

So, it's almost Independence Day, and I'm rambling here because there's a thunderstorm raging outside, and the rain is falling flat and hard, and the internet connection is down, so I might as well keep typing until the signal is regained...

Van Morrison: "Almost Independence Day": 128k mp3

"Almost Independence Day", and why not spin that very song by an Irish Soul belter who's steppin' out in San Francisco's Chinatown with his lady, and even though Van Morrison lays it on thick and dramatic as he often does, moaning and howling as he's known to do, this song still comes off as a meditation, a rolling sootheness that underlies Morrison's wailing, a testimonial that doesn't really say or mean much, and I'm thinking that' America too - alot of surface, alot of dramatics, but not alot of depth, and I wonder if Morrison meant it to be that way - a reflection of spectacle that means little to the Dubliner,

And correct me if I'm wrong on this, but if I understand the lyrics well enough, the singer and his girl are looking to score heroin (buy some Hong Kong Silver)...

I might say, "ain't that America" too, cuz we do love our drugs here in the states, but maybe Morrison was literally out to buy silver trinkets in Chinatown, and considering that, now I gotta mention blinging out, and hells yeah that's America too, so maybe Van Morrison was a prophet when he sang this song in 1972, but again, I'm just rambling while the internet connection is down, and HEY, I'm connected again...

The thunderstorm has mostly passed now...Quick and severe, but the farmers needed it...I'm gonna post this post while the wires are working, and do a little toasting like it's 4:20, and maybe slap up something about #4 on my laminated list if I'm lucky...

Have a great Fourth of July, my fellow Americans...I'm probably gonna run the AC and play BLACK on the PS2, cuz I borrowed if from Thump 5 months ago, and hey, isn't a FPS like BLACK so totally American too?

Grill some brats out back, bake some beans and see what happens...


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Netflix Notes: 03July2007

Armed & Dangerous [1986]

For a film that stars two of SCTV's biggest talents, John Candy and Eugene Levy, this comedy certainly isn't very funny. In fact, it's amazingly unfunny, and I say that as a bonafide SCTV freak (I grew up on the show) and John Candy apologist. Hell, my main nickname in high school was LaRue, and if you get the reference, you're probably just like me. Anyways, I had this plan a few weeks ago to try and watch as many '80's comedies as I could via Netflix, and here we are in Week Three, and I'm already giving up on the plan. This comedic crime caper is unfunny enough and disappointing enough to break my spirit. I should have expected it, since my memory of seeing it in the theater in 1986 is vague and non-descript at best. It already wasn't funny when I was 20 and a couple of my friends were still calling me LaRue. Anyways, there is a scene wherein Candy goes drag ala Divine and Levy dresses up as a Leather Boy and that spark of SCTV ignites momentarily, but it comes too late in the movie, and Levy's pale, dimpled ass extinguishes the scene and that spark. I guess I should note that Candy plays a good cop who gets thrown off the force, and Levy plays a pathetic and ineffectual lawyer , and the two end up working together for a private security firm, and happen upon a conspiracy by the union boss to embezzle the pension (in Reagan's America, unions were deemed "evil") and well, what else do you need to know. I believe this was Meg Ryan's first feature film. She ends up with Levy in the end, but you know that by minute 15, and you don't care. I would have given this film 1 out of 5, but John Candy, as always, merits an extra star. LaRue! 2 out of 5

Foul Play [1978]

Chevy Chase plays it mostly straight in this somewhat comedic crime caper that isn't great, but is certainly a better film than Armed & Dangerous. But really, Goldie Hawn is the star here, and at this particular stage in her career, she could essentially carry a film on her looks alone. The woman was cute beyond belief, and she knew how to play it to her advantage. Here she plays it clumsy, but never dumb, as an unassuming librarian who inadvertently falls into an international plot to assassinate the Pope at a performance of The Mikado in San Francisco. Chevy Chase plays the detective who inadvertently takes on her case, and that mix of smugness and charm that Chase can do so well is present here, if a bit muffled, which actually probably works best for this particular film. Like I said, this is Hawn's show. Elsewhere, Burgess Meredith is solidly funny as an old anthropologist who happens to be Hawn's landlord, and his fight scene with a "nun" in the second half of the film is probably my favorite couple of minutes. Also of note is Dudley Moore playing a playboy who tries seducing Hawn. In the beginning, he tells her that he works for the city, but at the end, he's conducting the orchestra at that Mikado performance, and I don't know if my brain is glitching, or if conductors are technically municipal employees. Anyways, there's a dwarf, an albino, two old grannies playing dirtyword Scrabble, and a youngish, thinnish Brian Dennehy. There's chase scenes, fight scenes, a python, and less "San Francisco as character" than I typically like, but it's not a bad film in the end. Damn, Goldie Hawn was cute in 1978. 3 out of 5

Reno 911!: Miami [2007]

The mockumentary style of the television show, Reno: 911!, doesn't quite translate well to the big screen, despite the fact that the entire cast is present, castmember Ben Garant is directing, as he often does on the show, and much of the dialogue is semi-improvised, and edited from much larger, free-flowing takes, as witnessed in the deleted/extended scenes on this DVD. Part of the problem might be the very fact that the Reno Sheriffs Department takes their bumbling freakshow to Miami in the first place. It's a silly conceit, this fish outta water thing, and it sorta works, but seems meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Dick jokes and slapstick plays about the same in Reno and Miami, and there's an abundance of it, and the times they really do exploit the cultural differences between the high desert plains of Reno and oceanside Miami, those scenes are the best. The dead whale scene is probably the high point, and the alligator scene ain't bad either, but there really aren't a whole lot of these kinda South Beach specific scenes, and that's a shame. Tattoo parlors, cheap motels, and squad car interiors are the same in Miami as Reno, and there's maybe too many of 'em to make this film truly work for me, to be a film that stays true to it's one overriding premise. Anyways, Patton Oswald and Paul Rudd both contribute solid supporting roles, and even Paul Reubens makes an appearance at the end. If you like the TV show, this is worth a watch, and the four or five deleted/extended scenes are are nearly as good as the film itself, and just as long, so I guess we're getting a double dose. In fact, I laughed hardest at a Clementine riff during the deleted bus trip scene. If you don't have cable and haven't seen this show, rent a disc or two from Season Two. 3 out of 5

Hotcha! Hank

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01 July 2007


It's the beginning of another month, and that means a new episode of EVERYTHINGATHON! is available for streaming and downloading at The Butterscotch Threshold. This month features the beloved Mitch Lovitz hosting a morning surf show from Imperial Beach, CA, so naturally, there's plenty of surf music and a bunch of requests from surfer dudes who all kinda sound the same. In any case, it's a solid hour of entertainment, absolutely free...Enjoy!

Hotcha! Hank

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