29 February 2008

Something 4 The Weekend # 58

Buddy Miles passed away this Wednesday, most likely of congestive heart failure, at his home in Austin, Texas. He was 60 years old, and probably best known as the drummer for Jimi Hendrix in the Band Of Gypsys.
I really don't have much to say about Buddy Miles...That Band Of Gypsys album is a stone cold killer, wherein Jimi deftly incorporates what he's learned from R'nB and Rock into something distinctly funkier and Jazzier...More abstract, if that's possible...Plenty of the credit must be given to Buddy, who urged Hendrix to join him and bassist Billy Cox after the dissolution of The Experience...I believe what Miles and Cox offered Hendrix was a rock-solid bed of Funk grooves over which Jimi had plenty of space to really stretch out as a player, and explore texture and a more slowly evolving melodicism in his soloing...This isn't merely 12 bars of Jimi blasting off before moving into the third verse of a 3 minute pop song, you know? Well, actually, it sorta IS, but I've got my reasons for streaming this particular song...
Buddy Miles other notable accomplishments were the formation of Electric Flag with guitarist Mike Bloomfield prior to Band Of Gypsys...After Band Of Gypsys, Miles had his own eponymous group, did some work on Cheech Y Chong albums, played and recorded some fiery stuff with Carlos Santana, and sang "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" as one of the California Raisins in the famous commercial...Ayup.
Anyways, if I was going to share a song from the Band Of Gypsys album, "Machine Gun" would have been the logical choice...Plenty of fans consider it the pinnacle of Hendrix's playing, and that's saying quite alot when you think about it...Instead, I thought I'd share one of the two Buddy Miles compositions found on that great album. It seems more appropriate, and in the end, it's good to remember that not only was Buddy a fantastic drummer, but a fine singer, and a very good songwriter, which is a rare combination of talents for a drummer, and a final reminder of just how formidable this man truly was.
Rest In Peace, Buddy Miles.
Hotcha! Hank

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Netflix Notes: 29 February 2008

It should have, could have, been a home run.

As the X-Files was well into it's death spiral in 2001, series mastermind Chris Carter decided to spin off The Lone Gunmen, which was the name of three conspiracy nuts who helped Mulder and Scully in about three dozen episodes, or more to the point, the name of the conspiracy-minded 'zine they published.

Byers, Langly and Frohike (The Lone Gunmen) were extremely popular characters on the X-Files, providing some color (literally and figuratively) to a very dark show (literally and figuratively), and if nothing else, a bit of outright humor. But they were popular, if for no other reason, than because they were perfect for the times. Langly, in particular, was a hardcore techie with computer skills (hacking included) that didn't really pay the bills, but sure seemed cutting edge and exciting at the time.

The 1990's weren't that long ago, and it's oftentimes easy to forget that the internet as we know it today didn't really start coming into it's own until the end of that decade. Back in 1993 or 1995, when the X-Files was reaching it's creative peak, most people weren't on the internet yet, and those of us who were online were probably surfing within the confines of AOL, Prodigy and Compuserve. The web was world wide, yes, but there just wasn't much to be found out there yet, and what was available was trickling onto our CRT at rates of 14.4 or 28.8 kbps through dial-up modems. But there was Langly, hacking into DoD servers and whatnot, to help our heroes Mulder and Scully, and it was new, and a bit mysterious to most of us, and that made it exciting.

So yeah, it was a no-brainer for Chris Carter and the suits at FOX to spin-off The Lone Gunmen as X-Files was falling apart, because they were beloved characters from a beloved show, and the time was right.

But The Lone Gunmen as it's own show was/is pretty much a bonafide disaster for several reasons.

It wasn't very well written, first of all, which is kinda unbelievable considering that Carter, along with his right hand man Vince Gilligan, and two other X-Files alums, penned all 13 episodes of the series. I say "kinda" because as I alluded to already, the X-Files itself was running on fumes by that point, and Carter and his team were fatigued, I would say. In hindsight, they needed to take a creative break, or at least hand over the reigns to fresher writers. The 3 main characters were already well- established, all those new writers would have needed to do was come up with decent plots. Instead, Carter and company kept the pens, and what they offered us were storylines that were simultaneously ridiculous and boring, which perhaps reached it's nadir in episode 8, "Maximum Byers", in which two of the main characters break into a maximum security prison, so that one of them can get himself onto death row to try and help a death row inmate who is probably innocent. It's hard for me to explain why I wholeheartedly allowed myself to swallow just about every far-fetched storyline X-Files threw my way, and yet find the prospects of Byers and Jimmy successfully pulling off what I just described to be patently absurd. The show often went beyond the realm of believability, but it fell short of the fantastic, if that makes sense. Anyways...

James "Jimmy" Bond.

Ayup. Somebody apparently thought this was a clever name.

Jimmy is the second problem I have with The Lone Gunmen, and I would have to say, the single biggest reason why the show doesn't work. We meet him in the second episode, and without getting into too many details, by the end of that episode he has become the group's financial benefactor and "muscle". Not only that, but he also represents an idealism meant to counterbalance the cynical pragmatism of The Lone Gunmen, Langly and Frohike in particular. Not only that, but by the end of the series' 13 episode run, he's referred to several times as "the smartest of the bunch", nevermind that Jimmy is a complete rube when we first meet him, and the three lone gunmen are supposedly geek geniuses and investigative journalists extraordinaire.

The question I have is how and why Jimmy ostensibly became the heart of the show, and the focal point of many of the storylines? Like I said, here we have a show named and based on three well-developed and beloved characters, but The Lone Gunmen too often become mere props on their own show, taking a back seat to an inconsistent character named James "Jimmy" Bond.

And this is made worse by the fact that Stephen Sneddon, the actor playing Jimmy, is quite simply a very bad actor on this show. No subtlety or nuance whatsoever, in a role that requires exactly that. Idealism is more than wide eyes and poorly delivered platitudes, you know? On Sneddon's IMDb page, somebody asks why the actor hasn't had much significant work since The Lone Gunmen, and of course the easy answer is that he simply isn't that good.

Sneddon's questionable acting skills are compounded by another basic fact that the principal actors on this show - Byers, Langly and Frohike, as played by Bruce Harwood, Dean Haglund and Tom Braidwood - are not exactly great actors either. Good enough for a scene or two in three dozen X-Files, but certainly not good enough to carry their own show. Forced into the limelight for 45 minutes per week, these actors (and the weak writing) turn these fun and interesting characters into caricatures.
In the end, there have certainly been much, much worse television shows, some of them broadcasting right now, but for me, The Lone Gunman represents wasted opportunity more than anything else. I was extremely disappointed in the quality of this show for too many reasons, and sometimes disappointment is worse than outright suckage.
2 out of 5 stars
Hotcha! Hank

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28 February 2008

Vampire Maneuver

So, what I learned over at YouTube is that there aren't very many decent Vampire Weekend videos...In fact, this is the best of the bunch, which mostly include shaky gig footage of "Mansard Roof" from various shows...

The other thing I learned is that the band sounds a bit thin and uncertain in the live environment, which I guess I chalk up to being youngish and new. Still an excellent album, though.

Hotcha! Hank

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24 February 2008

My 2008 Oscar Ballot

I'm a Netflix kinda guy, and only go to the cineplex about ten times a year, which is my way of saying I still haven't seen the vast majority of the films and performances nominated for this years Academy Awards. However, this ignorance never kept anyone, especially me, from picking the winners. I watch alot of trailers online. Isn't that enough these days?


Best Picture:

Michael Clayton
No Country For Old Men
There Will Be Blood


Best Actor:

George Clooney: Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis: There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp: Sweeney Todd
Tommy Lee Jones: In The Valley Of Elah
Viggo Mortensen: Eastern Promises


Best Actress:

Cate Blanchett: Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie: Away From Her
Marion Cotillard: La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney: The Savages
Ellen Page: Juno


Best Supporting Actor:

Casey Affleck: The Assassination Of Jesse James
Javier Bardem: No Country For Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman: Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook: Into The Wild
Tom Wilkinson: Michael Clayton


Best Supporting Actress:

Cate Blanchett: I'm Not There
Ruby Dee: American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan: Atonement
Amy Ryan: Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton: Michael Clayton


Best Director:

Paul Thomas Anderson: There Will Be Blood
Ethan & Joel Coen: No Country For Old Men
Tony Gilroy: Michael Clayton
Jason Reitman: Juno
Julian Schnabel: The Diving Bell & The Butterfly


Best Original Screenplay:

Brad Bird: Ratatouille
Diablo Cody: Juno
Tony Gilroy: Michael Clayton
Tamara Jenkins: The Savages
Nancy Oliver: Lars & The Real Girl


Best Adapted Screenplay:

Paul Thomas Anderson: There Will Be Blood
Ethan & Joel Coen: No Country For Old Men
Christopher Hampton: Atonement
Ronald Harwood: The Diving Bell & The Butterfly
Sarah Polley: Away From Her


Best Animated Feature:

Surf's Up


Best Foreign Language Film:

Beaufort [Israel]
The Counterfeiters [Austria]
Katyn [Poland]
Mongol [Kazakhstan]
12 [Russia]


Best Documentary Feature:

No End In Sight
Operation Homecoming: Writing The Wartime Experience
Taxi To The Dark Side


Best Cinematographery:

The Assassination Of Jesse James
The Diving Bell & The Butterfly
No Country For Old Men
There Will Be Blood


Hotcha! Hank

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23 February 2008

Something 4 The Weekend # 57

Life moves quite fast on the internet. What's hip and cool and new on a Tuesday is liable to be played out and half-forgotten by the following weekend.

This week's featured artist on S4TW is a band called Vampire Weekend, and they've been generating buzz on the internet for several months now. With the U.S. release of their debut album a month or so ago, it would seem as if the band is already a bit passe, with many blogosphere hipsters already moving on to greener, fresher pastures. I fear at this late date of February 23rd, I may already be woefully behind the times.
Vampire Weekend have earned their buzzworthy praises, I won't argue with that, as they've made a very cohesive and consistent album that really doesn't have a weak or bad song in the bunch. I will say that there's nothing too new about their sound, which marries Afropop sensibilities with a distinctive New Wave flavor reminiscent of Talking Heads or The Feelies, which shouldn't be too surprising since the Talking Heads had their own affinity for Afropop. In the case of this particular song, the Ska element is undeniable as well.
Ultimately, it's just a very fun, satisfying collection of songs that ought to play quite well at yr next house party, as long as there aren't too many dudes hanging around wanting to hear that new Widespread Panic album.
Hotcha! Hank

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13 February 2008

Finally, A Mitch Maneuver

This is the late, great Mitch Hedberg, doing a tasty 5 minutes on The Late Show with David Letterman. I believe my first exposure to Hedberg was thanks to Letterman.

The thing I liked most about Mitch, is the fact that he suffered from an almost debilitating stage fright, and yet he battled through it the best he could...The drugs certainly figured into it, but it takes a very certain bravery to tell jokes in front of a live audience, nevermind national network television. A bravery beyond cocaine.

Look at his shaky hand. Imagine the fear behind those shades.

We miss you, Mitch.

Hotcha! Hank

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Waitin' Around To Maneuver Sideways

This is the late, great Townes Van Zandt, performing the first song he ever wrote, "Waitin' Around To Die"...For many TVZ fans, this is their favorite song of his...Me too, depending on my mood...Sometimes "To Live Is To Fly" is my favorite of his...Here's Guy Clark and his version of the song, cuz as good a performer as TVZ was, other artists have tended to have better commercial success with his songs.

Hotcha! Hank

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Waiting For The Sideways Maneuver

Back in the mid-'80's, I sang and played things in an Art Punk band called Mumniti.

In the early days we did a few cover tunes, as most young bands are wont to do...One of those tunes was "Waitin' For The Man" by The Velvet Underground. We played the song slower and heavier than the original, but damn if I didn't sing it off legit, doing the best Lou Reed imitation that I could muster. In hindsight, I regret taking the way-too-easy way out...I regret only slightly less, playing a harmonica through a distortion pedal and a Marshall amp on this song, but only slightly less...

Hotcha! Hank

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Hollywood Death Mask

Miley Cyrus is 15 years old, and already she appears to be wearing a Hollywood Death Mask™.
The eyes...Those fucking eyes!
She is either possessed by The Walt Disney Company, or she is a succubus herself. A porcelain robot succubus with the shiniest and curliest of wigs.
Either way...Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!
And I'm not necessarily saying that Miley Cyrus has had any "work" done, but her lips do look rather amphibian in that Tinseltown way...
But I'm really not here to trash the young woman...The entertainment industry is a demanding beast, and the science behind red carpet lighting, flash photography, and make-up artistry is a complex and unforgiving bitch matrix, you know?
But still, those eyes...Look away! LOOK AWAY!!
Hotcha! Hank

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One Moment In The Annals Of Evil

12 February 2008

All Aboard The Beardwagon!!!!!



The current issue of Time Magazine contains a story [link] about the renewed popularity of the beard in America.

Whether it is the scruff worn by assorted characters on LOST (which is a function of being on a deserted island moreso than a choice), the short-lived "strike beards" adorning the faces of David Letterman and Conan O'Brien, or the manly beards worn by various members of the New England Patriots (a function of superstition and cold fucking weather), this story's premise is that manly facial hair has made a comeback in our country.

Of course, being the iconoclast that I am, an iconoclast who has worn either a goattee or full-on beard since the age of 15 (1981 for those of you keeping tabs), I call "bullshit" on this entire trend, if only because most of these folks who have adopted facial hair are only doing so because they got a whiff of that same trend in the air, and want to be a meaningless part of it all.

Letterman and O'Brien both shaved theirs off within a week of returning to the airwaves, thus proving that neither truly had solidarity with the WGA, nor the cajones to keep the beard for merely aesthetic reasons, despite the fact that both talkshow hosts looked rather handsome in their bearded splendor.

If you pick up any indie music magazine, such as Alternative Press, you will see that the full-on beard has become as ubiquitous as those annoying fucking haircuts where the bangs hang prominently over half the face among the Emo/Metalcore set.

Listen, I don't know if I have a relevant point to this particular rant of mine, except to be self-serving (ouch, I think I broke my arm patting myself on the back)...Like I said, I've been wearing facial hair for 25+ years now, and it bothers me to see it become fashionable, rather than just "cool" all the time. So let me say this here - beards, or any sort of facial hair, is cool, all the time, until the end of time.

I had a chemistry teacher in high school, and we used to make fun of his fashion sense, to which he replied, "Fashion trends cycle through every 10-15 years, so I figure at least once per decade I'm back in style."

This is how I feel about facial hair. The '60's counterculture adopted the beard, only to trim it back to the moustache through much of the 1970's. The 1980's were all about the clean-shaven look (except for a brief stubbly moment thanks to MIAMI VICE), until Grunge made the goattee the hirsute choice of douchebags everywhere, many of them the member of a fraternity. And now, here we are, apparently celebrating the beard.

Personally, I think anyone (that includes you, ladies) capable of growing facial hair has a DUTY of doing so. Clean-shaven faces are for pre-pubescent boys and supermodels.

Those of you who know me, know my feelings about all of this already. My love of facial hair is probably best expressed through Doug Fudge, P.I., one of the characters from my comic strip who happens to make and sell all manner of outrageous beards and moustaches for the discerning person who wants to be incognito...

This current "trend", if it really is one, will be dead by summer...No, it will be dead by April. People are fucking cattle, for the most part, and as soon as this hype wears down, most will return to being cleanshaven bores afraid to cut against the grain, so to speak. To them, I say "good riddance" because they're just not cool enough to rock out with their beard out to begin with.

Oh, and my own theory as to why the beard has become popular as of late? I believe we're trying to identify with the "enemy", which right now is fundamentalist Muslims. Yeah, chew on THAT for awhile!

Hotcha! Hank

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09 February 2008

White Lines Sideways Maneuver

Since SONY owns the bulk of Johnny Cash's back catalog, it's no surprise that there doesn't seem to be any videos of The Man In Black performing "Cocaine Blues" on YouTube...Of course, I didn't get very far in my search when stuff like this turned up...

Jr. Johnny Cash doing a chunk of the self-same song, and dontcha know, drug-fueled psychopathy begins at home...And hey, it sounds like dad took a toot himself, off-camera.

Hotcha! Hank

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08 February 2008

Something 4 The Weekend # 56

Several weeks ago, while trying to choose a song for SOMETHING 4 THE WEEKEND, I asked myself why S4TW had to be a song. "Why can't I share a bit of comedy, or perhaps some spoken word lumpen, or even a famous speech?" I asked myself. Yes, I mulled over this question for awhile that evening, then ended up uploading a couple of Lou Rawls tunes.

So, here we are, a month or so later, and finally I pulled the trigger on some yucks.

Mitch Hedberg: Strategic Grill Locations: "Pancakes" [mp3]

But the thing is, tonight I first uploaded a Townes Van Zandt tune, "Cocaine Blues", because I had been listening to alot of TVZ this past week at work...But as luck or fate would have it, my eyes happened upon the Mitch Hedberg folder on my harddrive, and I thought about the fact that Hedberg died of a drug overdose in 2005. Specifically, cocaine and heroin, a combo better known as "speedballs".

Speedballing is a wicked, often lethal combination. First the cocaine hits you, raising the pulse, but that drug quickly wears off, leaving the effects of the heroin trailing in it's wake, which lowers yr heart rate, which is typically when yr respiratory system fails, and yr body is found the next morning in a trashed room of a Motel 6.

Townes Van Zandt didn't die of a drug overdose, though he did battle alcoholism most of his adult life. Instead, he died of a blood clot in one of his lungs following hip surgery. He was 53.

Townes Van Zandt: Live At The Old Quarter: "Cocaine Blues" [mp3]

You probably see where this is going. Hedberg. Speedballs. Cocaine. Heroin.

The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground & Nico: "Heroin" [mp3]

VU's guitarist, Sterling Morrison, died of Lymphoma in 1995.

Despite a deep and dark history of drug abuse, Lou Reed is still with us, as is John Cale and Mo Tucker.

So, anyways, I don't really intend that this S4TW be some sort of downer. Mitch Hedberg was a damn funny guy, Townes Van Zandt was a damn fine songwriter and a damn compelling performer, and The Velvet Underground were a damn excellent band.

Three damn fine lumpen for the price of one.

Hotcha Damn! Hank

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07 February 2008

Completely Non-Sideways Dope Smoking Maneuver

Here's Gail and Dale from The Lawrence Welk Show, singing that stoner nugget from Brewer & Shipley, "One Toke Over The Line". And hey, it would appear Myron Floren maybe had one too many tokes himself before introducing the duo...

I saw this featured over at Boing Boing, so credit where credit is due. Thanks, BB!

Hotcha! Hank

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The 50p Music Video Sideways Maneuver

I'm going to assume that TVAM was/is a British chat show, but there's no doubt in my mind that this particular segment dates from 1985 or thereabout, because ya got Thomas Dolby sitting there next to Downtown Julie Brown, before she made her way stateside to MTV...Bust mostly because the song "Change" was released in 1985.

Anyways, this video features Ron and Russell Mael, the two-headed genius behind the band SPARKS, and their appearance on TVAM...Wherein they share their music video for the song "Change"...Made for 50 pence, according to Ron, because they blew their 500k £ advance to record the song itself. Enjoy!

Hotcha! Hank

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05 February 2008

Uniforms and Rituals

Humility was apparently a big concern in my family, because growing up there were two sayings I used to hear more than any other.

"Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back."


"You think your shit doesn't stink, but your farts give you away."

[insert clever segue here]

The above advertisement was found in Issue 87 of BPM magazine, a magazine dedicated to "music, tech, nightlife and style" according to their subtitle. According to me, the magazine's main interest is style, because this is a mag about electronica music, club culture, and the hipster kids who indulge in in those things, and like most other "scenes", it always seemed to me that fashion/style and one's "rep" or "cred" within any given scene trumps all else. We wear the appropriate fashions, we use the oft-inclusive vocabularies, we dance/react to the chosen music in the approved manner (headbanging, breakdancing, etc), and we glorify our own scene while typically ridiculing all other scenes.

If we don't abide by the uniforms and rituals of our chosen scene, we risk being ostracized by the group (or never gain admittance in the first place). At best, our reputation within the group suffers.

Apparently, within the club culture, making a stink when one makes stinky can damage one's reputation...

I kid, I kid. For all I know this advert also ran in The Source and Kerrang.

(They still publish Kerrang, don't they?)

Anyways, I didn't start this post to rank on club kids and their lifestyle, but rather to simply point out that this is apparently where we now are as a species. Natural bodily functions are now so grotesque to many of us that even the faintest whiff of them (literally) is unacceptable.

This saddens me. It also makes me laugh.

Hotcha! Hank

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02 February 2008

The Creem Dreem Sideways Maneuver

Speaking of CREEM magazine, and my own burgeoning sexuality at the age of nine or so, here's a fantastic picture of Linda Ronstadt, perhaps the single biggest female pop star throughout the '70's, and certainly one of the sexiest...

I wrote about Ms. Ronstadt in a previous HOT POOP post, so I won't really say anything here - you can click on the link and read it for yrself if yr so inclined...More navel-gazing by yours truly, but I've always believed in that sort of music criticism/blogging, a "New Journalism" of sorts, so whatcha gonna do?

No, right now I'm just thinking about the rock'n'roll hotties of my youth, and reminiscing about my days in the Cub Scouts.

Hotcha! Hank

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01 February 2008

Speaking Of Boy Howdy!

Speaking of tits, now's as good a time as any to talk about Grace Slick's left one.

CREEM Magazine used to have a one-page feature every issue called the Star Profile, which was essentially a parody of Dewars print ads, and featured a picture of a different rock star drinking Boy Howdy! brand beer in each issue, accompanied by a short and silly profile of that particular star.

In their January 1975 Star Profile, Creem featured Grace Slick, lead singer of Jefferson Airplane/Starship, standing in a bathroom stall with a can of Boy Howdy at her lips, and her left tit hanging out.

Now, I don't necessarily want to get too sentimental, too maudlin about this, and lord knows you don't really want or need more of my navel-gazing, but I don't believe I'm exaggerating when I say that Grace Slick's left tit changed my life.

I was 9 years old when this particular issue of CREEM hits the newstands, and I dunno if this is hard to believe, but I was reading CREEM at this age, having discovered the magazine in my search for all things KISS, dig?

Nine years old, but Grace Slick's left tit wasn't the first tit I had ever seen in my young life...No, my friends and I had found my dad's Playboy stash, so this was nothing new to me.


Grace Slick's stiff left nipple is the nexus of sex, drugs (Boy Howdy! beer) and rock'n'roll in my own personal consciousness. It is the singular point at which all the hedonistic possibilities of the rock'n'roll lifestyle found definition in young mind. At that moment when I first layed eyes upon Grace Slick's left tit, I absolutely became obsessed with rock music, once and for all time, and it has been the single most important "thing" in my life ever since.

I started collecting records like a mofo (and like my mom), and I tried to become a rockstar myself for a couple of decades, and I drank heavily for a long time, and have experimented with drugs, have enjoyed the groupie dynamic...And I wrote record reviews and essays for my college newsaper, and I've been a DJ at various points in my life, and I do a monthly podcast, and I post a new mp3 every weekend here at HOT POOP, and all of it, the last 30+ years, can be partially (at least) traced directly back to this picture and that moment in 1975.

Oddly enough, I'm more of an "ass man".


Aside from my previous posting of the Sparks' song, "Tits", I was inspired to write this post because Harper Collins just published a rather amazing hardcover coffee table book featuring the best of ye olde CREEM magazine...

An Amazon link

It's 270 big colorful pages loaded with tons of amazing photographs, and all the appropriately hilarious and REAL rock'n'roll journalism (Lester Bangs was an enormous influence on my young mind as well), and at $20, it's truly a MUST for any serious fan of rock music and journalism, especially from the '70's and '80's...Check it out...

Hotcha! Hank

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Something 4 The Weekend # 55

Sparks had two of their songs featured prominently in the 1983 teen Rom-Com Valley Girl, a re-telling of Romeo & Juliet featuring, ayup, a girl from "the Valley", and a punk rock dude from Hollywood, as portrayed by a 19-year-old Nicolas Cage in only his second feature film role (the first being 1982's Fast Times At Ridgemont High)...Ah, the young Nic Cage - before the hair plugs, botox and bacon double cheeseburgers...Ahhh, the undeniably cute Deborah Foreman, as Julie the titular Valley Girl...The ridiculously cute Deborah Foreman, who went on to have a rather meager career in cheap B-movies and TV, although her filmography does include an episode of MacGyver and a movie called Lobster Man From Mars.
As is often the case with soundtracks, only one of those two Sparks songs from the film actually made it onto the official Valley Girl soundtrack, a practice that I believe first became prevalent around that time, as more and more films favored song-heavy soundtracks to bonafide scores...
For example, I would guess that there are at least 35-40 songs used in Fast Times At Ridgemont High (speaking of), but even as a double-vinyl LP, the soundtrack probably only included half of those songs...
Anyways, in regards to Sparks and Valley Girl, the song "Angst In My Pants" made it onto the soundtrack, but their song "Eaten By The Monster Of Love" did not, even thought it was used in at least two, and possibly three, distinct scenes in the actual film.
Rhino remedied this situation in 1995, when they released a second Valley Girl soundtrack collection, featuring another 16 songs used in the film (bringing the total to 31 songs), but this CD had a limited pressing and went out of print almost immediately. Copies nowadays sell in the $25-40 range, which is so totally not worth it. Bag that pricetag. I'm sure.
Supposedly the film was inspired by the song "Valley Girl" by Frank Zappa, featuring his daughter Moon Unit doing her best valley girl impersonation over a noodly rock song, which I think is worth mentioning because as a musical entity, Sparks are musical and philosophical brethren to Zappa. Musically, they were constantly exploring different styles and genres, and have enjoyed a solid 40 year career (so far) by skirting the edge of mainstream popularity with deceptively sophisticated music of every stripe. Philosophically, their lyrics analyzed and satirized pop culture, teen angst, and dealt heavily with sex. In a winking, funny way, of course. Like Zappa, they were/are cultural and musical anthropologists.
I can't say that I absolutely adore Sparks, but I do like them an awful lot, usually in album-sized chunks, and I certainly respect their style, wit, and longevity.

Hotcha! Hank

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My Delusions On Parade

While visiting Yahoo! NEWS earlier today, I was suddenly struck by the second headline in the picture below, and this is what my mind immediately thought...

Of course, here's the reality of the situation...

Hotcha! Hank

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This month's EVERYTHINGATHON! is a solid hour of me, Hank Mohaski, alone in an ice fishing shanty on the frozen surface of Lake Butte Des Morts...It was all a stunt to raise $800 for a pair of NFC Championship tickets, and I was out on that ice for almost 5 whole days before final and utter disaster occurred.

Long story short - I accidentally set the shanty on fire with my lantern, and the thing burned halfway to the "ground" before the ice beneath gave way, and the shanty sank into about 14 feet of water...when it finally settled, one corner of the shanty was still sticking out of the quickly freezing hole...I wish I hadn't lost my camera when I lost my cellphone...

Anyways, this month's podcast features hour sixty-two of my silly failure of a stunt...If I'm not mistaken, the title translates to "The Winter Of Icy Death", even though nothing died but a little piece of my pride, deep deep inside...
Hotcha! Hank

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