Saturday, December 25, 2010

Martin Denny "Quiet Village" video plus more

The musical genius of Martin Denny sounds fantastic most any season, so here's a rare filmed glimpse of the man who helped create and define the exotica genre and in doing so aided in the launch of a thousand tiki bars. Prolific in recorded output, Denny was also a constant live performer gigging with his band in Hawaiian hotel lounges. Filmed on local sandy beaches, I hope these clips of his wild sounds warm up frigid December temperatures.

Quiet Village

Dites Moi



Saturday, December 18, 2010

Smashing Pumpkins - 1992 - Chicago

The Smashing Pumpkins Gish (1991) is my favorite of their releases and these clips from a July 24, 1992 show at the Cabaret Metro in Chicago highlight some great footage from that era.



Hello Kitty Kat





Offer Up


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Burden of Dreams (1982)

The films of Werner Herzog have always impressed me and several are among my top favorites, most notably 1972s Aquirre: The Wrath of God. In the documentary Burden of Dreams director Les Blank followed the painstaking and chaotic production of Fitzcarraldo, which would eventually earn Herzog the Best Director award at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival.

Director Herzog had once earlier tackled filming in primeval wilderness with Aguirre, but Fitzcarraldo presented him with a new galaxy of challenges. Numerous delays were caused by several changes in the actor portraying Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, aka Fitzcarraldo. A Herculean effort was also involved with the moving of an actual steamship first across thick rain forest jungles, then over a mountain and finally through waterways and white water rapids. No CGI was used, making many scenes breath taking in their intensity and realism.

the trailer

the feature

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Funkadelic "Cosmic Slop" video

Funkadelic's Cosmic Slop was released in 1973 on the Westbound label. Not a particularly big seller for the band upon its initial release, the record has aged well and stands out as a classic album from a prolific period in the bands history.

Cosmic Slop was the first Funkadelic record to feature Pedro Bell's unique style of artwork. He would continue to design record covers and liner notes for all subsequent releases until the early 80s.

The video below is a promotional clip for the album's title track, shot in New York City.

"Nappy Dugout" (George Clinton, Cordell Mosson, Garry Shider)

"You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure" (Clinton, Sidney Barnes)

"March to the Witch's Castle" (Clinton)

"Let's Make It Last" (Clinton, Eddie Hazel)

"Cosmic Slop" (Clinton, Bernie Worrell)

"This Broken Heart" (W. Franklin)

"Trash A-Go-Go" (Clinton)

"Can't Stand the Strain" (Clinton, Hazel)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Cure - 1980 - Boston

The Cure made one of their first U.S. appearances on 20 April 1980 at the Underground in Boston (specifically located in the massively student populated neighborhood of Allston) with Mission of Burma opening the show. Had to re-visit this early footage.

The Underground was a tiny subterranean club without any proper stage that didn't exist for very long before Boston University bought the building for dorm rooms, closed it down and turned the basement space into laundry facilities for their eager scholars. I've heard from folks who were making the scene back then that it was a happening little spot that featured shows from bands like The Jam and was scheduled to be one of Joy Division's stops on what would have been their first U.S. tour.

The footage was captured by some M.I.T. folks with access to then cutting edge video cameras and equipment who had initially planned on filming only the Mission of Burma portion of the evening festivities.

Grinding Halt

In Your House

Subwaysong - Accuracy

Killing an Arab


A Forest (Album Version)

Seventeen Seconds
Play for Today
Three Imaginary Boys
Fire in Cairo
Grinding Halt
In Your House
Subway Song
10:15 Saturday Night
At Night
Boys Don't Cry
Jumping Someone Else's Train
Another Journey by Train
A Forest

Encore 1:
Plastic Passion
Killing an Arab

Encore 2:
Seventeen Seconds

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Harvey Milk - 2008 - Olympia, Washington

Harvey Milk
1 August 2008
at Old School Pizzeria
Olympia, Washington

"Barn Burner"

"Death Goes to the Winner"


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Torche - 2010 - Cambridge, Massachusetts

Here's Torche at the Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, Massachusetts on 23 October 2010. Also on the bill that night were Kylesa and High on Fire. I was present at this show and thought all bands brought top shelf musical entertainment for the appreciative Saturday night crowd.

From Miami, Florida; Torche issues forth a powerful and heavy style to their sound and contained former members of Floor and Cavity.

UFO + Arrowhead

Shine On My Old Ways + In Return

Piraña + Sandstorm

Hideaway, Rockit + Out Again

Thanks to 80taul for posting on YouTube.

"Bring Me Home"
from the 2007 ep In Return

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Baroness - 2010 - Metropolis, The Netherlands

The hugely rocking Baroness are based in Savannah, Georgia (same as Kylesa) and combine influences such as classic rock, HEAVY metal and basement hardcore. The intricate and frame worthy artwork for their releases is handled by John Baizley (also providing guitar + vocals). His art has also been featured on output from Kylesa, Torche and Pig Destroyer - among others.

Along with John Baizley the line up includes: Summer Welch - bass, Allen Blickle - drums and Peter Adams - guitar, vocals.

The Baroness footage below comes an appearance at Metropolis - Rotterdam during 2010. Thanks to Rachel (rrijsdijk ) for posting on YouTube.

Bullhead's Psalm & The Sweetest Curse

Jake Leg


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Color Me Blood Red (1965) plus The Gore Gore Girls (1972)

It's almost Halloween, a perfect time for a double feature from H.G. Lewis and his cavalcade of tasteless, blood soaked cinematic madness from the fringes.

First up is 1965's Color Me Blood Red, a story of an unhinged artist who finds creative inspiration in spilled hemoglobin. Followed by 1972's The Gore Gore Girls, a "murder mystery" centered around a bucket of blood strip club and the freak show regulars, on stage and off. Both push the limits of on screen bloodshed with very limited budgets and sensibilities far removed from politically correct notions.

H.G. Lewis was a true pioneer of do it yourself, guerrilla film making. Whether in genres of soft core sex comedy or horror, his exploitation movies often turned a modest profit. The Gore Gore Girls was Lewis's last film for many years and easily one of his sleaziest features, also utilizing set design that would be at home in any number of porno films of the era. It was also one of the few films he submitted to MPAA, were it received the X rating.

the trailer

the feature


the trailer

the feature

Friday, October 22, 2010

Possessed - 1987 - Baltimore

Formed in 1983, Possessed were an early and heavily proficient thrash/death/black/crossover/etc. metal combo from the San Francisco Bay area. Initial membership shakeups eventually lead to this line-up: Mike Torrao - guitar, Larry LaLonde - guitar, Jeff Becerra - vocals + bass and Mike Sus - drums; which put out three releases - Seven Churches (1985), Beyond the Gates (1986) and The Eyes of Horror (EP) (1987). Their sound moved from Satanic themed hyper-fast death brutality towards a more thrash infused style.

After Possessed broke up, guitarist Larry LaLonde joined San Francisco metal band Blind Illusion in 1988. Soon after in 1989 he and Blind Illusion's bass player, Les Claypool, started up long running funk metal act Primus.

Here's some footage of Possessed playing Baltimore in 1987.


Holy Hell

Swing of the Axe

Burning in Hell

The Exorcist

Fallen Angel

Satan's Curse
from the Seven Churches lp

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Black Sabbath (1963) - American and Italian versions

Mario (Black Sunday, Planet of the Vampires, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs , Danger: Diabolik, etc.) Bava's 1963 horror show Black Sabbath seems almost quaint in comparison with the gut wrenching (literally) ongoing output as modern scare films ramped up the realism, blood and gore from the late 60s onward.

Even a few years after it's release, the film proved powerful enough to provide a fledgling blues/rock band from the UK with a suitably "heavy" name, changing from Earth to Black Sabbath - the rest of that story is music history.

Genre stalwart Boris Karloff introduces the festivities and also appears in "The Wurdalak" segment. Heavy on suspense and atmosphere throughout, my favorite of the three tales of terror that make up the movie is the one titled "The Drop of Water, which is the first up in the American version. "The Telephone" is the middle segment in the US release and is also the one most altered from the Italian original.

American version

Italian version

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Peeping Tom (1960)

Michael (The Red Shoes, Stairway to Heaven, The Tales of Hoffmann) Powell's 1960 film Peeping Tom caused quite a bit of controversy upon it's initial release. The very dark subject matter proved shocking to many movie goers, putting this in the same league as Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 fright flick Psycho. Also troubling to some was the combination of violence with a then rather unrestrained kink and sexuality on display, with some of the first views of female nudity in a big budgeted, Western studio produced film. An example is shown in the photo below. Heavily censored and initially unappreciated in the United Kingdom, the film also failed to find much of an audience in the United States or elsewhere until many years later. A chief supporter was Martin Scorsese, who would eventually assist in the films re-release in the late 1990s. In Roger Ebert's Chicago Sun-Times review of the 1999 reissue, Mr. Scorsese is quoted as having stated that this movie, and Federico Fellini's 8 1/2, "contain all that can be said about directing."

Much like Dario Argento's eyeball numbing Suspiria (1977) Peeping Tom also pursues an almost over saturated spectrum of vivid colors, brought richly to the screen. Actor Carl (Karlheinz) Böhm does a superb job of portraying a fragile and very dangerous character who produces a wide array of emotional responses in both those he interacts with in the film, as well as those watching the story unfold.

the trailer

the feature

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Voivod - 1986 - The Ritz, NYC

photo © 1986 Ronald Mc Gregor

Presented below is some nth generation video of French Canadian favorite Voivod's first U.S. show at NYC's The Ritz back in 1986 opening for Cro-Mags and Venom. I have been digging on the Voivod concept, artwork (executed by drummer Away) and sound since first hearing them back in 1986/87. Their live shows were/are always a superb showcase for bringing their "cosmic drama" to the masses.

This footage displays the band taking things from a somewhat more conventional extreme heavy metal milieu (Venom, Motorhead, etc.) into a bit more progressive, thrash centric and more hardcore punk influenced realm. As always, Piggy's guitar transcends the norm with a powerfully unique resonance. He may be gone, but the music he helped create continues.

1 of 5
1. Thrashing Rage
2. Warriors of Ice

2 of 5
3. Korgüll The Exterminator
4. Fuck Off & Die

3 of 5
5. Live for Violence
6. Order of the Blackguards

4 of 5
7. Nuclear War

5 of 5
8. Voivod