Saturday, September 30, 2006

Better Off Dead

85m

Is Better Off Dead The best movie ever made? Prolly not, but after seeing it just now, I'd be willing to argue it's greatness. I'll do so in list form:

1. John Cusack. I don't really have to expound on this one. Not liking John Cusack is like not liking chocolate. If you don't like Cusack or chocolate, then you have problems and we have beef!

2. The quotes. This movie is quotable from begining to end. There is so many classic lines in this flick, that many of them became common phrases in the suburban town that I grew up in. Truly quotable comedies are a vehicle that has been long replaced with shock comedies. "Shock" is a crutch, "clever" takes time and creativity. It's all about the writing.

3. Sweaters! Every person in the flick is sweater-clad. If you are the kind of person that appreciates a good 80's sweater, or if you work for a movie studio in the wardrobe department, you will be reeling at the handsome simplicity of the 100% sweater styles.

4. Van Halen's "everybody wants some." The hallucination of the claymation burger scoring his burger-chick, mixed with a Van Halen music video. It was good to see that the metal was represented in such a mainstream movie. Back in the day when metal was such a "fringe" interest, this was a bit of validation.

5. No cheap gay jokes. In almost every 80's comedy there were really offensive and lame homosexual jokes. That was always an unimaginative comic staple that promotes hate, intolerance, and bad stereotypes. The writers almost entirely stayed away from this weak and formulaic cliché.

6. Ricky's mom. That voice! I can still hear it. If Fran Drescher's voice is a 10 in the 1-10 annoyance scale, then Rickys mom's voice would also be a 10 (because you can't go past 10 in a 1-10 scale. But if you could, she would be a 30. You know what I mean.)

7. The 2 Asian Race car drivers. Remember, they pull up next to Cusack every time he's at a red light and want to race. The driver doesn't talk, the passenger talk's like Howard Cosell (which, incidentally, is a Rich Little's impersonation, overdubbed). Great random strangeness to these characters. I'm so surprised that newer kitchy nostalgic comedies (read: Family Guy) (or did they, and I subconsciously remember it) havn't used an updated version of thses guys as a shout out to the 80's.

8. The music that isn't Van Halen was seemingly forgettable until you watch it. I knew every song and most of the lyrics. It was also strangely comforting to watch E.G. Daily sing at the school dance. Do they make bad 80's movie song compilations? If not, why not? If so, Christmas is coming up ;-).

9. Curtis "Booger" Armstrong not being able to score drugs and snorting snow instead. I remember my friends and I all tried it after we saw the movie. "This is pure snow! It's everywhere! Have you any idea of what the street value of this mountain is?" Shit was hilarious to a 12 year old!

I could keep going on, but I won't. Do yourself a favor and watch this DVD. Make special note of how well it holds up to today's comedies, and how few 80's movies do that.

-R

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Correction for XTX

According to wikipedia (which IS on the internet, so it HAS to be correct):


"Dr Pepper's flavor is allegedly derived from a mixture of soda fountain flavors popular when the drink was first devised. A partial list of these flavors can be seen at the bottling plant in Dublin, Texas, although the formula itself (with its twenty-three ingredients) is a closely guarded secret. Contrary to a popular urban legend, Dr Pepper does not and never has contained prune juice."

Maybe it only contains prune puree, or the popular synthetic prune substitude "Proonoximal glycimide #78."

Either way it makes me poo.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Few Things

Carrot cake doesn't fucking taste like carrots.

Apple juice tastes NOTHING like apples, nor does it taste like the juice that comes out of them when you bite into them.

Butterfingers don't taste like butter, butterscotch, or peanut butter.

And there is prune juice in Dr. Pepper and it makes you poo.


Also...



Here's a pic of Sterling and Talia from this weekend's fire shoot.
sterling
When I eat fire, I'm all about simple mechanics. No burn = good. Sterling is a fire artist. He was truly inspiring.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

It Goes To 11 And 3/4

1st, music recommendations:

Ima Robot - Monument To The Masses
standout song - "Creeps Me Out"
I always wondered why these guys are not super famous. They are great musicians, they are good song writers, they are clever, and they have enough 80's kitsch to be fun but not too much to make them annoying. I guess they are too eclectic for record labels to properly market. Think Bowie meets T-Rex with 80's keyboards, and LA party lyrics. Can't stop listening to it.

Union Of Knives - Violence And Birdsong
standout song - "Opposite Direction"
Sounds like Failure + Depeche Mode + Radiohead -depression
I think they have 3 singers; 2 male and 1 female whose voices are all distinctly different but work amazing together. Go get this album now, you won't regret it.

Slayer - Christ Illusion
standout song - "Jihad"
Yeah I know, everyone's heard that same song that they have been playing for like 20 years. They have been so true to their formula it's hard to distinguish one song from the next or 1 album from the next. The thing that separates Christ Illusion from their previous releases is that they started experimenting with interesting vocal melodies. Tom Araya's voice is so unique in the speed metal, cookie monster vocal world, in that you can decipher every single sacrilegious word that he says. So loud and aggressive, it's good to know that Slayer will always be there when u need them.

Jeremy Enigk - World Waits
Standout song - They are all spectacular
The singer/lyricist/poet that fronted the legendary Sunny Day Real Estate, returns with his 1st solo release in 10 years. This one is less "chamber-music-y" (read: no orchestra), but god damn can this guy write songs. The ease at which he delivers the most tortured sentiments gives me chills. His lyrics are intense poetry which are meticulously thought-out and have no wasted words or cliches. He has even been known to make up his own words for things he can't conveniently describe. His point of view is so heart-wrenchingly original and inspiring. Truly one of my favorite vocalists/lyricists of all time. go to http://www.myspace.com/jeremyenigk to hear some songs. Dig it!


And and and...
I bought my 1st electric guitar yesterday! It's so beautiful! Unfortunately it didn't come with skill or talent (trust me, I searched the case), but now, at least I can play like shit REALLY LOUDLY.

Here's some pics:
artcore2

artcore1

artcore3

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Weird Experience

Yesterday, an applicant came in for the Limo Driver position for D. There was no room for the Office Manager to conduct the interview, so I let him do it in my office. He was a nice, soft-spoken 30 year old skinny white guy in tie. Had lots of limo experience, and was eager to work. Then he informed us that there was something that he was required to tell us: he's an ex felon and he recently had been released. Office manager and I kinda shrugged and said that people make mistakes. Who am I to judge someone that got busted with some drugs or whatever. Then he tells us that he was caught with child pornography, "only a few pictures," he said.

My 1st instinct was anger. Thoughts of little kids getting destroyed and scarred, creating that infinite cycle of abuse. Thoughts of playground prowler rapists. I thought about almost every girl that I knew that got fucked up due to some despicable weak motherfucker.

I don't think it is legal for me to ask him any of the details, and I really wasn't feeling receptive to an explanation anyway. I just wanted him out of my office.

He left. I checked my email and as usual had a bunch of spam. I have been in the porn business for over 7 years and get more spam then any 10 people that you know. I use it to monitor what our competition is doing. Anyway, I checked my mail and saw an email that had "really young girl" references in the subject line. In the porn world, "really young" usually means 40 year old women in pigtails and school girl outfits, but sometimes, unfortunately, it means what it says. Either way I report them all to the ASACP.

If I would have clicked on the link provided in the email, and it took me to a REAL young girl site, then I would have child porn in the cache on my computer. I could, quite possibly, get in catastrophic trouble. Perhaps, the same exact catastrophic trouble that the unfortunate applicant got in. I thought about the fact that the only difference between him and I may just be that I chose not to click that link.

Anyway, just thought I'd share this weird experience and give you all the ASACP link.

-R

Saturday, September 09, 2006

4th Row, Center

"Fuck retro-anything, fuck your tattoos, fuck all you junkies, and fuck your short memories."
He sang that verse 6 times in a row, each time slower and more condescending then the last, until He was just speaking it loudly and enunciating incorrect syllables.

He made a sarcastic theme: being constantly concerned for the LA "VIPs", which sounded even more snide coming from beneath His fake handlebar moustache, cop sunglasses, and cowboy hat.

The band's stage configuration was even spiteful; guitar and bass up front, drums in the middle, and He positioned himself in the back, almost behind the drums.

Because He was doing us a favor by being there, He didn't break a sweat.

They didn't play any of the songs that got them famous. Nothing that has a music video.

After playing for about an hour, the whole band stopped, put their instruments down, sat on a riser in the middle of the stage, and watched the audience yell and scream. They teased the audience, making them beg for more music, for about 10 demeaning minutes.


I looked around and suddenly felt like I was in an abusive relationship. The kind where there are all sorts of heart-felt justifications and excuses for inexcusable actions. I felt cheap and used. They made it really clear that we were there because we needed them, and made it very clear that they didn't like us.

Now that I've harshly critiqued all these details, step back and think about the level of skill and charisma needed to accomplish the task of alienating 50,000 people, while, at the same time, making them your submissive bitches. Call it sort of mass brainwashing or social manipulation on a grand scale.

Much like every other person there, I completely fell for it. All of it. I felt violated, sore, and raw. I still feel that way 24 hours later. However, I am in love with the fact that music can have this kind of power. The power to hurt, the power to control, and most importantly the power to make people examine the darkest most painful parts of themselves and walk away stronger.

I will always pay to participate in this kind of cathartic soul rape. I will always walk away bulletproof. It just may take some time to get there.

-R

Monday, September 04, 2006

The 1st Grrl-less Weekend.

The Grrl is holiday-ing in that all-inclusive, sun-drenched, heavily hyphenated resort-town we call Canadia. I am trying to keep myself busy to make the days go by quicker, which means drinking and TV/guitar/video game marathons.

Fri night
Hit 6 bars in Silverlake, including the Tiki Ti, which is LA's oldest tropical drink cantina. I made friends with the owner, who's father opened the place in 64. He told us the history of tropical drinks, about "Old Hollywood," and seeing the beatles perform.
We also went to a burlesque club, a strip club (for about 30 seconds), saw a shitty band at starland, a french bistro, and a dark hole in the wall without a sign. I assure you, much drunkeness ensued

Sat night
Went to an interesting birthday/charity house party. There were go-go dancers, models, actors, a great fire show, and these amazing acrobats. The acrobats are called "Realis." Here's a You Tube video of them when they performed on America's Got Talent (however, they were naked when they performed at the party):
(scrub past the talking at the beginning to see the action)

America's Got Talent- Realis (Finale)


Sunday was really low key, watched season 3 of Nip/Tuck on DVD. HOLY SHITNESS! That show is fucking intense. I forgot how much I liked it.

Anyway, I hope you all are having a good holiday weekend.
-R

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