Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Angry Samoans – 1982 – New Wave Theatre plus more...

Angry Samaons

1982 – New Wave Theatre

Lights Out

Steak Knife

Right Side of My Mind (live - unknown date or venue)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Alice Cooper Group - 1972 - ABC In Concert

This excellently ham handed and rocking footage of the Alice Cooper Group was filmed during a 1972 performance at Hofsta University and then broadcast in November as part of the first episode of the ABC In Concert program.

My taste in the music of Alice Cooper is chiefly found in the years 1969 -1973, when the magical music was created by the Alice Cooper Group. I own more than a few of the solo Alice Cooper releases (along with Pretties for You and Easy Action), but almost always find myself listening to the Love It to Death through Muscle of Love records more often than not. This footage revels in sonic and theatrical Grand Guignol exploits; heavy with the sounds of this era. We're treated to live tidbits of: Eighteen, Gutter Cat Vs The Jets, Streetfight, Killer and School's Out.




Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In Praise of William Friedkin's Sorcerer (1977)

The under appreciated 1977 film Sorcerer is a long time favorite from the intriguing director William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist, Cruising, Bug).

An English language remake of the 1953 French film The Wages of Fear, Sorcerer delivers a gritty and harrowing glimpse of men motivated to push themselves (and their machines) beyond the breaking point. For the most part, I've never much cared for film remakes, but this movie (along with John Carpenter's The Thing) bucks any negative notions about the necessity of such repeated cinematic endeavours and for me, stands out as a classic.

William Friedkin was given a wide creative berth and sizable financing from Universal studios. As the costs for location shooting propelled the films budget skyward, Paramount became involved as a partner. Tensions on set caused some degree of feuding between Friedkin and producer David Salven, who was eventually fired by Friedkin. Clashes with the exacting director resulted in cinematographer Dick Bush quitting halfway through the films principal photography.

The film first introduces the origins of the main characters and illuminates why they find themselves in a remote South/Central American country, hopefully far enough away from the rest of the world as to prevent discovery. We then follow these men through the extreme rigors of survival in this foreign arena, mainly working dangerous manual labor for an oil company. A chance to earn some real money (and more) is produced when an accident at the oil well causes an explosion that cannot be handled. A long neglected cache of volatile nitroglycerin is needed to blow up the rig, but the nitro is miles away with little more than jungle trails between the destinations. After a helicopter transfer is ruled out, the company seeks drivers to transport the explosives on the suicidal end run for both the petro company and the desperate men. An unrelenting hell ride follows, as less than ideal trucks are used and mother nature (plus some very human obstacles) block them at every conceivable angle. In particular, the infamous bridge scene (spotlighted on the film's one sheet) packs a tremendous cinematic punch and is a true spectacle to view and hear, especially in a theater.

The often propulsive or discordant Tangerine Dream score adds to the increasingly high tension on screen. A standout soundtrack that perfectly fits and proved influential as well.

This was Freidkin's next film after 1973s The Exorcist and just prior to 1978s The Brinks Job and 1980s Cruising. It was released a month after Star Wars but garnered little at the box office and was dimissed by some critics, although I remember Siskel and Ebert showcasing the film on an early 80s episode of Sneak Previews devoted to "sleepers" - great movies that you might have missed. Sorcerer has a spot in my all time favorite films.

Director William Friedkin discusses the making of his
1977 film Sorcerer.

(In reference to Sorcerer) "...my favorite of all the films
that I have made. It's one of my only films
I can watch because it came out
almost exactly as I intended."
-William Friedkin in William Friedkin: Films of Aberration,
Obsession and Reality
by Thomas D. Clagett.

the trailers

Betrayal - Tangerine Dream
from the Sorcerer Soundtrack

Monday, July 12, 2010

Harvey Pekar - R.I.P.

Harvey Pekar passed away today.

Begining in 1976, Pekar combined his eloquent, brusque life stories with a series of comics drawn by a revolving crew of artists in American Splendor. Like a lot of America, I first became aware of his work through frequent appearances on Late Night with David Letterman during the 80s and a few are displayed below.

A true individual, Harvey Pekar leaves behind an enormous amount of work that deserves carefully consideration as a voice of a modern American underdog/working man.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Negative Approach - 2010 - Boston

Since I didn't purchase a ticket in advance, I wasn't able to get into the sold out June 19, 2010 Negative Approach/DOA show at Church - Boston MA. Friends who saw the show could not stop raving about it and I bet it was sick. Thanks to kpcollinsdotcom posting these clips on Youtube I can get a glimpse of the vintage Detroit hardcore outfit's recent performance.

Lost Cause


Sick Of Talk

Can't Tell No One

Said And Done


Ready To Fight

Whatever I Do

Why Be Something That You're Not

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nirvana - 1989 - Rhino Records

23 June 1989
Rhino Records
Westwood, California

11. BLEW

The audio is really poor for the first few songs
but improves after Love Buzz.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pink Floyd - Interstellar Overdrive - 1966/67

Pink Floyd
performing Interstellar Overdrive
at the UFO Nightclub, London 1966/67
from Peter Whitehead's film
Tonite Let's All Make Love in London



this BBC clip
containing some footage from 1966-68