Music Log 2021


Back in style and free form this time…

1. Funky Stuff, Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media-9.5 *YouTube*
2. Spiritual, Mental, Physical, Death-8.5 *YouTube*
3. Spin, Spin-10.0 *YouTube*
4. Short Trip To Space, Tropea-9.5 *YouTube*
5. Wildflower, Herb Ellis & Remo Palmier-9.0 *YouTube*
6. Carnaval, Spyro Gyra-10.0 *YouTube*
7. Everyday Life, Coldplay-7.5 *Public Library*
8. Abandoned Luncheonette, Hall & Oats-9.0 *Barnes & Noble*
9. Reputation, Taylor Swift-9.0 *Public Library*
10. The Slow Rush, Tame Impala-9.5 *Public Library*

11. It Is What It Is9.0, Thundercat *Public Library*
12. Adolescents, Adolescents-8.0 *YouTube*
13. We Will Always Love You, The Avalanches-9.5 *Public Library*
14. Vibes & Days, Vacation-9.0 *YouTube*
15. Heartbeat City, The Cars-9.5 *Public Library*
16. Christopher Cross, Christopher Cross-9.0 *Public Library*
17. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill-8.5 *Public Library*
18. Lover, Taylor Swift-9.0 *Public Library*
19. Time Further Out, Dave Brubeck-9.5 *Barnes & Noble*
20. Germfree Adolescents, X-Ray Spex-9.5 *YouTube*

21. Eldorado, Electric Light Orchestra-9.5 *Barnes & Noble*
22. Tidal, Fiona Apple-9.0 *Public Library*
23. Take Care, Drake-8.0 *Public Library*
24. Ella and Louis, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong-9.5 *Public Library*
25. Empyrean Isles, Herbie Hancock-10.0 *Public Library*
26. Folklore, Taylor Swift-9.5 *Public Library*
27. Play Deep, The Outfield-9.0 *Half-Price Books*
28. Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, Marty Robbins-10.0 *Public Library*
29. Power Metal (Demo), Metallica-9.0 *YouTube*
30. Call the Doctor, Sleater-Kinney-10.0 *Half-Price Books*

31. The Party’s Over, Talk Talk-10.0 *YouTube*
32. From a Room: Vol 2, Chris Stapleton-8.0 *Public Library*
33. Way Out West, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives-7.5 *Public Library*
34. Fearless, Taylor Swift8.0 *Public Library*
35. Townes Van Zandt, Townes Van Zandt-9.5 *Public Library*
36. Cheap Trick, Cheap Trick-9.5 *Half-Price Books*
37. Highly Evolved, The Vines-8.5 *Half-Price Books*
38. Silverado Soundtrack Suite, Bruce Broughton-9.0 *YouTube*
39. I Against I, Bad Brains-10.0 *Public Library
40. Mingus Ah Um, Charles Mingus-8.5 *Public Library*

41. Montrose, Montrose-8.5 *Public Library*
42. Here Comes Everybody, The Wake-10.0 *YouTube*

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Movie Log 2021


Here we go again…

January:


1. The Furies (1950, Mann)-90, Hulu
20.
2. The Sisters Brothers (2018, Audiard)-86, Hulu
3. Batman: The Killing Joke (2016, Liu)-60, Netflix Instant Viewing
4. Mank (2020, Fincher)-83, Netflix Instant Viewing
5. Five Element Ninjas (1982, Chang)-93, Netflix Instant Viewing
6. Extraction (2020, Hargrave)-73, Netflix Instant Viewing
7. Cairo Station (1958, Chahine)-91, Netflix Instant Viewing
8. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020, Kaufman)-85, Netflix Instant Viewing
9. The Master (2012, Anderson)-100, Netflix Instant Viewing
10. The Flying Guillotine (1975, Ho)-85, Netflix Instant Viewing
11. Flying Guillotine 2 (1978, Hua, Cheng)-83, Netflix Instant Viewing
12. Sabotage (1936, Hitchcock)-87, Tubi
13. The Three Ages (1923, Keaton, Cline)-80, Tubi
14. House of Games (1987, Mamet)-100, Tubi
15. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011, Fincher)-100, Netflix Instant Viewing
16. I Am Not Your Negro (2016, Peck)-100, Netflix Instant Viewing
17. Passenger 57 (1992, Hooks)-80, Netflix Instant Viewing
18. Lockout (2011, Mather, St. Leger)-67, Netflix Instant Viewing
19. Midnight Special (2016, Nichols)-93, Netflix Instant Viewing
20. American Assassin (2017, Cuesta)-51, Netflix Instant Viewing
21. Kill The Messenger (2014, Cuesta)-87, Netflix Instant Viewing
22. A Bridge Too Far (1977, Attenborough)-88, Netflix Instant Viewing
23. Rawhead Rex (1986, Pavlou)-68, Shudder

February:

24. The Grandmaster (2013, Wong)-88, Netflix Instant Viewing American Cut
25. Return to the 36th Chamber(1980, Kar-leung)-75, Netflix Instant Viewing
26. Psych: The Movie (2017, Franks)-80, Peacock
27. The Flesh and the Fiends (1960, Gilling)-77, Shudder
28. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020, Sorkin)-89, Netflix Instant Viewing
29. Rango (2011, Verbinski)-85, Netflix Instant Viewing
30. The Muppets (2011, Bobin)-93, Netflix Instant Viewing
31. Psych 2: Lassie Come Home (2020, Franks)-86, Peacock
32. Shock Waves (1977, Wiederhorn)-73, Tubi
33. Twice Dead (1988, Dragin)-35, Tubi
34. Oh, Susanna! (1936, Kane)-65, Tubi
35. Antonio das Mortes (1969, Rocha)-94, YouTube
36. Spotlight (2015, McCarthy)-96, Netflix Instant Viewing
37. Machete Kills (2013, Rodriguez)-45, Netflix Instant Viewing
38. Secret In Their Eyes (2015, Ray)-54, Netflix Instant Viewing
39. Southern Comfort (1981, Hill)-93, Tubi
40. Devil in a Blue Dress (1995, Franklin)-88, Tubi

March:

41. One-Eyed Jacks (1961, Brando)-95, Criterion Blu-ray
42. Broken Arrow (1950, Daves)-80, Tubi
43. Willow (1988, Howard)-83, Disney+
44. Psychomania (1973, Sharp)-80, Shudder
45. Runaway Train (1985, Konchalovskiy)-91, Tubi
46. Warlock (1989, Miner)-75, Tubi
47.  The Last Seduction (1994, Dahl)-95, Tubi
48. Werewolf (1996, Zarindast)-0/MST3K score: 95, Tubi
49. Cocaine Cowboys (2006, Corben)-94, Tubi
50. The Baby (1973, Post)-65, Shudder
51. Wild Bill (1995, Hill)-73, Tubi
52. Destroyer (2018, Kusama)-90, Hulu
53. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018, Jenkins)-92, Hulu
54. The Invincible Armour (1977, Ng)-85, Tubi
55. Weird Science (1985, Hughes)-90, Arrow Videos Blu-ray
56. Hard Target (1993, Woo)-80, Tubi
57. Lucky Number Slevin (2006,  McGuigan)-75, Tubi
58. The Apartment (1960, Wilder)-97, Tubi
59. White Zombie (1932, Halperin)-83, Shudder
60. Asylum (1972, Baker)-75,  Shudder

April:

61. And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973, Baker)-70, Shudder
62. The Beast Must Die (1974,  Annett)-76, Shudder
63. Crank: High Voltage (2009, Neveldine, Taylor)-87, Tubi
64. Smooth Talk (1985, Chopra)-91, Criterion Blu-ray
65. Sword of the Beast (1965, Gosha)-93, Criterion Public Library DVD
66. Samurai Rebellion (1967, Kobayashi)-93, Criterion Public Library DVD
67. The Cocoanuts (1929, Florey and Santley)-85, Barnes & Noble DVD
68. Accepted (2006, Pink)-75, Netflix Instant Viewing
69. Hour of the Gun (1967, Sturges)-87, Tubi
70. Airport (1970, Seaton)-71, Tubi
71. Airport 1975 (1974, Smight)-68, Tubi
72. Airport ’77 (1977, Jameson)-71, Tubi
73. The Concorde…Airport ’79 (1979, Rich)-29, Tubi
74. A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982, Allen)-85, Tubi
75. Godzilla vs Kong (2021, Wingard)-93,  Theater!
76. Mother’s Day (1980,  Kaufman)-55, Shudder
77. Class of 1984 (1982, Lester)-90, Shudder
78. Suddenly (1954, Allen)-84, Tubi

May:

79. Next of Kin (1982, Williams)-81, Shudder 
80. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994, Coen Brothers)-91, Tubi
81. Varan the Unbelievable (1962, Baerwitz)-60, DVD
82. The Big Red One (1980, Fuller)-95, Public Library DVD
83. Audition (1999, Miike), Shudder 
84. The Wind (1986, Mastorakis)-80, Arrow Video Blu-ray
85. Stormy Monday (1988, Figgis)-90, Arrow Video Blu-ray 
86. Sabata (1970, Kramer)-86, Tubi

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Never Piss Off a Satanic Cult (Night of the Demon, 1957)


I actually wish this had been my first Jacques Tourneur film and not Out of the Past. Don’t get me wrong, his 1947 film is a great hard boiled film noir classic, setting standards for the genre. It’s just that Jacques Tourneur was really a horror director. An auteur so to speak, working with the same producer, Val Lewton, for a number of films. I have seen all of the ones he did with Lewton, and it seems the man knows how to make a good picture. I would love to see some of his other non horror films, too.

Despite his budget restraints and the fact that he made movies in the 1940s when the industry was just entering middle age, the guy pulled off some worthy and even creepy films that have since been regarded as worthy additions to not only the horror genre but also cinema. Curse of the Demon (also known as Night of the Demon) is for the most part an excellent example of how Tourneur suggested horrible things without really showing them. Yes the demon does make an appearance, but this wasn’t actually part of his plan and the creature isn’t really featured hardly at all. This only makes it fiercer, strange, and gives it an awesome and eerie menacing quality. I love how its looks exactly like a soldier of the Devil would appear like, and it has a grand entrance that is both freaky and cool despite the obviously dated special effects.

The protagonist, played by Dana Andrews, simply fills the role of the skeptical man of knowledge who finally realizes too late that guess what: the supernatural, the ancient evil that lurks beneath the world of science and understanding will get you. Naturally there’s a devil worshipper who controls the foul creature with a method that seems both sensible and silly all at the same time, and he is played by the wonderfully diabolical Niall MacGinnis.

For the most part one can take this film both seriously while also regarding it as a rather outlandish yet entertaining movie. The demon is pretty badass, and the use of shadows and music only add to the film’s already creepy and somewhat surreal quality. Even though she is the supporting character I also rather liked Peggy Cummins in this as well, even if she is given the thankless role of the love interest.

For being able to expertly walk the line between camp and realism, Tourneur is to be admired, and has inspired and been copied by other horror directors, as he is the shining standard of “Less is more.” That doesn’t always work in every horror movie, but the creators of some rather modern and recent bombastic, typically wretched horror films could learn something from the man.

Everything Will Kill You


I innocently Googled air freshners today and found out they are actually bad for you. I’m eating french fries which doctors say will shorten your lifespan and also, well, kill you. Everything will kill you. Animals will kill you. People will kill you. Death will kill you. There’s a fine amount of knowledge about all the ways people can die horribly.

Sure there is a fine line between sensible facts and outright fear mongering, yet the latter sure makes for good clickbait. In fact the media seems to prefer scaring the crap out of people. Then there are those who use fear to harm others, particularly with vaccines which could help people. Not just covid ones, too.

Hmm “Everything Will Kill You” actually sounds like a pretentious 1990s alt rock album. I think having a healthy balance of fear and rational belief could work. Or just go with fear and loathing, it did work out for a certain famous writer…

Tubi Time!


When I finally bought a Roku streaming device in 2018 one of the services on there was Tubi, which used to be a nice little very free secret which is still thankfully free. It reminds me of old video stores or the public library with the mix of old and newer movies, random junk, nice cult gems and everything in between. I’ve been using it even more since last year due to it’s halfway decent collection of horror and western movies, plus kung fu movies.

Sure there are ads, and Tubi doesn’t have any original programing that I know of, yet it’s still rather handy. Right now as I type this I’m watching Airport ’77, which is definitely not on Netflix or Hulu. Sure it’s cheesy as hell but it’s nice to view a slice of 1970s blockbuster cinema. Plus you get used to the ads, anyways. I really am trying to burn through my list on Tubi, yet they keep adding stuff I want to see. So it’s really just like the other streaming services I’m currently using. Quarantine time is cinema time.

Deception and Card Tricks: House of Games (1987)


David Mamet is one of those directors/screenwriters who knows how to craft an interesting story. Even if he gets a little twisty in his presentations, things usually work out. House of Games is a world of crooks, conmen, victims and thrill seekers. The audience is as much the mark as is anyone in the movie, which is why House of Games works so well. Even months after seeing Mamet’s cult classic I’m still thinking about how it unwinds, and the journey it so carefully takes the viewer on.

Lindsay Crouse is a psychiatrist named Margaret, who’s life changes forever when she meets Mike, played by the always excellent Joe Mantegna. How they meet draws you in immediately: you can sense it is all a con, yet Mamet refuses to play his hand and you are forced to guess along with Margaret. Crouse has the hard job of playing both mark and someone capable of looking at a situation and knowing she’s being played. Mantegna is ridiculously charming and offers her a way to engage her dark side.

I like how Mamet feels his audience is smart enough to understand what he is going for, and refuses to dumb anything down. He offers up this exciting and quite dangerous world that draws you in and makes you wonder how events will conclude. The film veers from drama to film noir and offers even suspense without missing a beat. Enjoying a movie that knows what it wants and offers satisfying multiple elements was probably refreshing in the 1980s and it is very much so even now.

Oh and this movie even revises and reexamines basic film noir tropes and cliches. I found the conclusion to be oddly surprising, although perhaps others do not. I wonder if had events transpired differently, could Mike and Margaret have taken a different path? Funny how just a little nudge towards a different line of destiny has such a marvelous impact. I’m reminded of that line from of all things the modern comedy Role Models: “You can’t bullshit a bullshitter.”

Premium Gatekeeping Never Ends


So my dad got into the CBS Clarice show but he’s never seen Silence of the Lambs. It’s on Hulu but you need a premium subscription to even watch it. And people wonder why I’m still buying movies. I guess I should have purchased the Criterion copy of the movie during their last flash sale.

However I’m wondering why I need to upgrade for a service I’m already paying for. Disney+ is guilty of that too with their special new releases that they expect people already subscribed to their service to pay extra for. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that streaming services are greedy like that, yet it is still disappointing. I know there are other options but those also cost money and the segmentation of streaming is really aggravating. At this point I don’t blame people resorting to piracy again, however it shouldn’t have to come to this point.

Especially with a movie like Silence of the Lambs that is only 6 years younger than I am. I work with people younger than that movie. I guess it has always been this way with anything older than 1980 or 1970, however now you encounter it with even 1990s and modern flicks. I remember Netflix lacking a lot of older movies on streaming due to studios wanting people to still buy them on physical media. Well congratulations, that worked all too well.

Hey at least I found a cheap Blu-ray version of Silence of the Lambs at Best Buy, which amuses me since they gutted their movie section. Remind why I should bother supporting copyright law when giant corporations abuse the hell out of it and older movies that should be public domain and available for free on YouTube are not…

Love The Show. The Fanbase….Not So Much


Someone on Twitter one day made a good point about how Doctor Who fans keep saying that the current show runner is killing the show. Rick and Morty has fans who idolize Rick even though he’s the last person anyone should admire. Watchmen has fans that think Rorschach is a role model (bloody yikes even if it is a movie although there is a show), and Breaking Bad has the same thing with people thinking Walter White is not a villain (super yikes). Also Community suffered from people who loved Jeff too much even though he sucked as a human being for most of the show. This is a trend that makes me wonder if people actually pay attention to what they watch, or if people love to complain.

I’m well aware I’m complaining about their complaining, and every fanbase does have their share of crazy or misguided people. Anytime a show changes things or dares to attempt something different, people freak out. I think humans like that their shows don’t change, even though sometimes that change works out or is good for the show. I remember a lot of fans being mad that The X-Files had new main characters, even though the previous lead actors didn’t want to do the show as much or at all anymore. So to keep things going new people who were perfectly fine were introduced. At least I didn’t mind the change although I’ll admit I had to warm up to both of them.

Anyways I would prefer my favorite shows be allowed to last long enough to achieve their goals. I’m reminded of Timeless and Firefly, two great TV shows that were sniffed out before they were allowed to last long enough to make a proper impact. If your favorite show makes some changes it is probably trying to survive in a hostile and increasingly shrinking TV market carved up by streaming and people having shorter attention spans. Take what you can get. Or just find another show, there’s a million of them out there.

Short Lived Shows Forever


I cheated and expanded my criteria to shows that lasted 4 seasons or less. I have viewed so many short lived shows because many of them were unfairly canceled. Others choose to end due to their creators feeling that the main story did not require a ton of episodes. Sometimes I wonder if certain shows deserved to be longer, yet there are times when maybe them ending when they did was for the best.

I’ll start with a list of some of my favorites:

1. Veronica Mars (4 seasons, CW)

2. Cowboy Bebop (1 season, Adult Swim)

3. Timeless (2 seasons, NBC)

4. Terriers (1 season, FX)

5. Life on Mars (2 seasons, BBC)

6. Trigun (1 season, Adult Swim)

7. Blue Mountain State (3 seasons, SPIKE)

8. Lucy: Daughter of the Devil (1 season, Adult Swim)

9. Mike Tyson’s Mysteries (4 seasons, Adult Swim)

10. The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr. (1 season, FOX)

11. Daredevil (3 seasons, Netflix)

12. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace (1 season, Adult Swim)

Well That Sucked…Super Bowl Edition


New segment which may be balanced out by a good news one that could materialize one day when things improve. Someday. One day. Maybe in 2027?

Anyways I’m a die hard Kansas City Chiefs fan. They could change the name and I wouldn’t care. My folks got me a nice new black Chiefs hoodie for Xmas and I settled down into the couch, beer in hand, to watch them play Tampa Bay. My gut told me this wouldn’t end well. Guess what? It was right. A 31-9 ass kicking where Gronk caught two TDs, the Chiefs offense never materialized and Mahomes was running for his life.

In the past, I wouldn’t have taken it very well. The year the Chiefs lost to the Colts in the playoffs I was so mad I almost walked out on my job. I was pissed all day. Then came the Steelers beating KC on field goals in the playoffs and I had what most call an epiphany. This shit doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Also I became dead inside to the Chiefs’ playoff failures.

Yep when they lost to a Titans team actively trying to blow it so they could fire their head coach, I just laughed. Derrick Henry really should thank KC for him being a starter btw. I even thought it was going to happen, yet I picked the Chiefs to win anyways cause I wasn’t sports betting. Thank God I never sports bet although I would have made money betting against KC a lot of the time.

I actually wish I had bet my coworker that the Bucs would win. I could have made some money off of him this weekend. Look sure KC won the Super Bowl last year, yet I know better now. That was an aberration that most likely won’t happen again. It’s nice they made it back to back, yet expecting a third trip in a row goes against history and a legacy of flopping when it counts. I know better.

People thinking the Chiefs will be a dynasty are the same folks who thought that about the Seahawks, the Packers, the Steelers, the Eagles, and so on. The Pats were a dynasty but they got cheap and cute so Brady and Gronk packed up their shit and left. I don’t blame them. That’s how a dynasty ends.

I fully expect Tom Brady to be winning Super Bowls until he’s 50. I wonder if he can win one with an expansion team. You never know. This has been “Well That Sucked.” Have a nice day.

Excess, Cults, and Humanity: The Master (2012)


I finally viewed The Master because it was leaving Netflix and people kept telling me to watch it. There’s something in all that, I’m sure, but that’s a subject I’ve already covered. Paul Thomas Anderson did in a way make a lose movie about Scientology, however it could be about most cults. Some feel that all religions are cuts-more on that later. Yet if one only focuses on that aspect they miss out on the film’s bigger picture, and that is one I almost missed, too. The film works like poetry and thus leaves you to think for yourself, which is ironic considering the subject matter.

What I got out of Anderson’s modern classic (one more year and it a decade old-my how time flies) is that Freddie, our protagonist, never bought into The Cause. This is the new age religion at the heart of the movie, and yet what is the real focus is the tumultuous relationship between Freddie and The Cause’s leader, Lancaster Dodd. Ah, what a name for a cult leader, and he has a magnetic personality that attracts Freddie instantly from the moment they first speak. This conversation is based in Freddie having stowed away on Dodd’s boat, and then having given him a strong bottle of alcohol he made himself.

Dodd’s wife, Peggy, grows to mistrust Freddie although that partly grows from how infatuated her husband is with him. The jail scene is a key moment where Dodd admits that he is the only person who likes Freddie, and that seems to have a ring of truth to it. Dodd naturally tries to mold the cause to his new friend, however Freddie’s own volatile and unpredictable behavior makes that rather difficult.

Another fun note is how Anderson brings together a magnificent cast for his sweeping epic. When Laura Dern and Rami Malek are secondary players in your movie you have a great cast. Also I liked that Dodd’s son is played by Jesse Plemons, who has carved out a character actor niche for himself in Hollywood. Yet it is the dynamic of Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams that is the heart and soul of the movie.

The film doesn’t always work at times and the finale may seem jarring and abrupt to many viewers. I was left mostly satisfied, mediating upon what had occurred, and asking myself if I knew anyone quite like Freddie. I don’t think so, although few come close in my mind. I dwell upon how Dodd tells Freddie that everyone has a master, and while that part is a tad heavy handed the moment works. We’ve all got to serve somebody.

“Minty flavor.”

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