Monday, March 28, 2005

Brian Singer's Superman video blog

I find this way more exciting than any other production video blog I've seen. Maybe it's because it's... you know... SUPERMAN.

Until the End of the World director's cut

Wim Wenders' Until the End of the World is the kind of movie I'm just drawn to. I can remember showing it to friends and them saying it was too boring or too confusing. I never completely disagreed with this, it is a little stuffy and disjointed in places, but that never made it any less compelling for me. I guess it's just one those flawed films that still manages be rewarding on some emotional/visceral level. I haven't seen it years but I watched it many times on video before then. If you haven't seen it you should. At the very least you should watch the trailer at the end of this post and decide if you would like to.

Anyway I just found out that it was supposed to be an almost 5 hour trilogy instead of the single 2 1/2 hour film I'm familiar with (the home video cut). How could I have never heard anything about this before? I guess this is what happens when you fall in love with a movie and then forget about it before the age of google. After spending 14 years and and gobs of money (for him anyway) filming it, Wenders was forced to chop it up for release and the original cut has only been seen at a few film festivals until now. Apparently it's been released on dvd in Italy as a 3 disc set with a combined running time of 280 minutes and some really interesting sounding extras. There are "legal considerations" (???) that have kept it from receiving a wide release.

I only know any of this because a divx rip of the new set was just posted to a torrent site I frequent. Yeah yeah... downloading movies is bad. I want to buy this set... so when is it coming out in my country? The movie isn't even available on disc at all in America. Hopefully that's because whoever holds the reins is waiting to do it right.

Seriously, if this set isn't released in this country soon I'm gonna take a hostage. hell.

Until the End of the World - theatrical trailer (ugly asf file but it's all I could find)

-Wim Wenders official site-

-UTEOTW Fansite-

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Terri Schiavo's Blog


This is still my favorite fake blog, though.

Baptist Generals

The peel session version of "Feds on the Highway" kills the version on No silver/No Gold. It's so visual. I don't know what it's about but when I listen to it I get these images in my head of two fugitives on a hopeless trip across the country. That's probably way off but that's okay with me.

Baptist Generals - Feds on the Highway (peel session) [Mp3, 4.1MB, 192kbps]

-Baptist Generals-

-Sub-Pop Records-

Bedhead - The Rest of the Day/I'm Not Here 7"

When I got this record in the Spring or Summer of 1994 I was staying with a friend in Dallas... I was 16 or so. At home in Fort Worth I had been listening to the local college station and reading zines because I had just discovered both. I got a guitar because that seemed like the thing to do. I'd had it for about a year but I hadn't really bothered to learn how to play yet. When my friend went off to work and I was alone during the day I would ride the bus downtown to go to the record stores. I didn't have a lot of city bus experience. Every one of my record hunting trips ended with me getting lost. I would get there alright... it was getting back that was the problem. The bus system mystified me. I would usually make it back to the house long after dark... exhausted... and run to listen what I had just bought.

Most of the record stores I went to seemed way to cool for me. Walking inside felt like sneaking into a porno shop... like any moment I was going to be singled out and asked to leave. It never happened of course, everyone was always nice. I was a just self-concious teenager. I never felt that way when I went to the Direct Hit Records storefront, though. I'd walk inside and instead of dyed and pierced trendy people everywhere, there behind the counter would just be the owner, Sean, tending to his baby. The entire store smelled of his cologne and to this day I can't smell Polo without flashing back. Polo makes me think of vinyl. It was a tiny shop but every time I went I'd spend hours going through every single bin just to make sure I hadn't missed anything. To be honest it probably took a couple of visits to the actually buy this record. I kept passing it up. I had read nothing but glowing praise of Bedhead in local zines and newspapers. I hadn't heard the first single a year earlier and the descriptions of the band that getting kept getting tossed around ("a deafening whisper", "like classical music played on guitars")sounded a little too different to my noise obsessed ears. Finally one day I picked it up and asked Sean about it. I knew it was put out by his label and I was standing in his store so the last thing I would get from him would be an unbiased opinion... but it didn't matter. I knew I was going to buy it, I just wanted a little push.

My first thought when I played it was something like "wow, I thought it would be low-key... but I didn't think it would be this low-key.". Then I realized I had the turntable on the wrong speed. After I fixed it and played it again I could just sit there. It was so beautiful... intimate. I had never heard anything like it before. I played that record so much I was afraid I was going to wear it out so I taped it and played the tape endlessly. As I got each of their albums, they would stay in my cd player for weeks at a time. There was a line in a review I read about one their albums that said something about how the moment you hear Bedhead your standards are raised just a little. Yeah. They were then and still are probably my favorite band ever.

I love their album Beheaded but I usually skip through the re-recording of "The Rest of the Day". It's just too clean, too tight. I'll always prefer the original 4-track recording on the single. "I'm Not Here" and the WhatFunLifeWas track "To The Ground" are the only two Bedhead songs that really sound like the Velvet Underground to me so I never really agreed with the constant comparisons.

My turntable has been out of commission for a bit so I didn't rips these files. I got them off Soulseek so the sound is a little iffy in spots.

A. The Rest of the Day [MP3, 4.9MB, 128kbps]

B. I'm Not Here [MP3, 2.7MB, 128kbps]


-Direct Hit Records-

-Touch & Go Records-

Bedhead - The Rest of the Day/I'm Not Here 7"

Saturday, March 26, 2005

A bunch of people posting rare Kurtzman...

This is an old thread on the Cartoon Retro forum of people posting rare Harvey Kurtzman cartoons. This stuff is really great. Strange that the main Cartoon Retro site is for members only but the message board seems to be open to the public. Why do I question these things? Nevermind... I take it back. [via]

Monday, March 21, 2005

More Crain stuff (live mp3's)

Former Crain drummer Will Chatham used to have mp3's of the original vinyl pressing of their debut album Speed on his site. I was thinking about posting links to some of them because I thought it would be interesting to hear how they sound next to the new remaster. I guess it's understandable that they aren't there anymore but what has taken their place is pretty cool.

Crain - Live on WMBR, Cambridge, Mass. - April, 1992


Crain - Speed reissue

Temporary Residence has just re-issued Crain's long out of print 1992 debut album Speed. The recording has been remastered by John Golden and this is the first time it's ever been available on CD.

Crain were one of a few bands to come out of that whole Louisville math-rock thing in the 80's and 90's that really mattered to me. I remember a couple of years ago being so frustrated because I couldn't any information about them anywhere online. Their early singles and debut album were released in limited quantities on tiny labels. They signed to major label Restless and released Heater in 1994 (this was the era when almost every band in the country got signed for 5 minutes) but they were dropped soon after and the album was deleted. They had pretty much vanished. Temporary Residence deserves many thanks for this. Now if someone would just get around to doing the same for Heater.

Recorded by Steve Albini's in his old basement studio, Speed is both more melodic and more raw than Heater (also recorded by Albini). The remaster is stunning.

Car Crash Decisions [MP3, 2.9MB, 128kbps]
Skinminer Pastel [MP3, 2.5MB, 128kbps]
Breathing Machine (Bonus Track) [MP3, 2.7MB, 128kbps]

-Crain Speed-

-Temporary Residence-

Everyday Heroes...

A pic I took at the Wizard World Expo in Arlington last year or the year before (???). As my friend and I were leaving the show the nerd in the white shirt dropped his box of comics. Nearby nerds, sensing distress, rushed to his aid. It was a windy day. You can see the feet of a helpful she-nerd as she runs to catch some comics before they make it to the parking lot and inevitable destruction. When she came back and glared at me I felt like a goober for just standing there taking pics the whole time but I felt it would have been wrong to interfere. Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Bridges & Blinking Lights

Great music towns don't have much else going on. I say this having never been to any other great music towns except Denton. Denton is boring as hell. It makes sense. There is no other way to explain how so many great bands seem to spring to to life there fully formed, like they've been together for decades. What else is there to do but drink and play music? I don't know much of Bridges & Blinking Lights. The first I heard of them was the track "Halfway Home" on Pyramid Scheme's excellent Long Con Vol. 1 compilation. That song begins with muffled drums and toy guitars and explodes a few moments in. The melody almost seems like something that should by sung by hillbillies with jugs, not college boys with guitars. Dissonant by it's very nature, not in keeping with some aesthetic. It sounds live, spontaneous... even though it's not. What's that line in Airheads about only needing write to one classic song in your lifetime to live forever? "Your Brain and Your Heart" reminds me of something from years ago but I can't really place it. It reminds me of the first time I heard certain bands. Not that it sounds anything like them (although the opening bassline instantly takes me back to high school for some reason... I dunno... The Breeders maybe?) but it reminds me of the excitement of hearing them. That Christmasy feeling when you first hear a band that connects with you on some emotional/bio-chemical/whatever level. I really need to get their cds and see them play.

Halfway Home [MP3, 6.3MB, 128 kbps]
Your Brain and Your Heart [MP3, 5.2MB, 192 kbps]
Strings [MP3, 7.9MB, 192 kbps]
On the Wall (live) [MP3, 2.9MB, 128 kbps]

-Bridges & Blinking Lights-

Friday, March 18, 2005


War Of The Worlds (teaser trailer #2
A hokey, old fashioned alien invasion story played completely straight with tons of gee-whiz special effects. Ready-made Summer blockbuster trash. Independence Day was fun in the theater but it seems almost too stupid now. Obviously I still wanna see this.

Rock School
The teacher seems like a big stinky douche. This should be interesting.

Sin City

This is reminding me more and more of a darker Dick Tracy... and that's not a bad thing at all. At the very least it LOOKS just like the comic. Frank Miller deserves credit for getting this thing made and for still retaining what is presumed to be a great deal of control over the finished product. Still, once you get past how cool it looks there are some flat out awkward moments in the trailers... and some of the casting is dubious, to put it mildly (Josh Hartnett? Hello?). One good sign - even though Miller shares the director credit with Robert Rodriguez, it's pretty obvious that Rodriquez handled the heavy lifting. One bad sign - throwing Tarantino's name in the trailer as "guest director" when his involvement is probably very small.

The trailer doesn't give much clue as to what the film is actually about. It's supposed to be a sequel of sorts to Welcome To The DollHouse. Eight different actresses play the lead character throughout the story. Whatever. I'm interested. Like all of Todd Solondz' films, Palindromes has been getting mixed reviews since it debuted on the festival circuit last year. People by and large have hated everything he's since Dollhouse but they always seem to talk about his films afterwards. If I didn't know any better I'd think that this quiet nerdy guy with his awkward character based films is the most consistently controversial filmmaker around today... but that can't be right. Can it?

Herbie Fully Loaded
Two questions:
1) How can Michael Keaton look at himself in the mirror anymore (or Matt Dillon for that matter)?
2) Why is Lindsey Lohan in a jumpsuit the whole time?

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (trailer #3)
I'm sure the geeks are going to find things to bitch about because this is based on one of the only books they've probably ever read (and it was probably only read recently in anticipation for the film) but nobody ever listens to those guys anyway. This looks great.

Masculine Feminine
Godard on the big screen. How could you not go? Here's hoping someone gets around to doing the same for Contempt and Band of Outsiders.

A Scanner Darkly
Recently, the most embarrassing thing about the constant embarrassment known as the Oscars is the still young animation category. It's quickly become the prize given to whatever CG movie made the most money in a given year while wonderful and/or technically superior films like Tokyo Godfathers, The Triplets Of Belleville and Waking Life don't even get nominated. Yeah the original Shrek was a lot better than I thought it would be (better than that trash Monster Inc., not even close to Toy Story 2) but I'd rather watch any of the previously mentioned films any day of the week. A Scanner Darkly is Richard Linklater's new film that uses the same computer rotoscoping technique he debuted with Waking Life. Not only has the method been obviously fine tuned since last time (it looks incredible) but it arguably makes more sense in the context of this story than it did for the earlier film. A Scanner Darkly is based on the Philip k. Dick novel about a drugged up narcotics officer who doesn't realize he is chasing himself because his brain/consciousness is split in two. There have been many adaptations of Dick stories over the years (it seems like there is a new one almost annually) and most of them aren't very good. Even the good ones (Blade Runner, Total Recall) bear little resemblence to their source material. If this is half as good and true to the book as the trailer makes it seem it will be totally worth it.

Red Eye
This looks like the kind of film that will seem a lot less interesting when I find out more about it. Wes Craven is one of those talented directors (like George Romero) who long ago got lost somewhere in genre oblivion. For a while he traded one genre (slasher movies) for another (winking, post modern slasher movies) but it's really all the same thing. A Nightmare On Elm Street and The Serpent and The Rainbow are still probably his best films. This trailer entices me if only because, at this first brief glance anyway, it's like nothing he's done in over a decade.

What Is It?
Apparently someone gave Crispin Glover a movie camera. Who knows? Maybe it'll be brilliant. I'm not asking for coherence. I'm just asking for something completely Crispin. Would it shock anybody if this just turned out to be his home movies? Probably not.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith
This is all anybody ever wanted to see. After suffering through two god awful prequels and years of George Lucas second guessing himself and those who made him rich (exactly how many different versions of the original trilogy do we need?) he might have finally done it right. Part of the problem is that this is what the entire new trilogy has always been leading up to but Lucas never really had it planned out as fully as he always said he did. He had vague ideas and sketches but when it came time to do it he just started skimming. It's like we got the cliff notes without ever seeing the source material. He had a sense of something much larger (originally 9 films altogether, remember) and if he would have had the energy, or the willingness to let other writers and directors take the reins, it could have happened... and it could have been glorious. As it turned out, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy has pretty much rendered Star Wars moot. Now this trailer comes out. Not that Lucas even really cares what I or anybody else thinks but if he's actually done it, if the film is as perfect as this trailer, then all is forgiven (or something else fittingly geeky).
There are arguably only two great films in the entire series. I don't seriously think this will be the last Star Wars film and I hope this is a sign of good things to come. I also hope that he will let other directors (preferably ones who have have a bit more practice over the course of their careers) handle any future projects. Also, I hope that live-action Jedi TV series starring Mark Hamill becomes a reality because I'd probably rather watch that than any of the films at this point.
Not that it really has to do with anything but hi-def or not, some of the shots in the trailer look a little too video. I didn't notice that in the last movie.

Mirror Mask
Written by Neil Gaiman and directed by illustrator Dave McKean. It looks like one of their old graphic novel collaborations (Violent Cases, Mr. Punch, The Day I Swapped My Dad For 2 Goldfish, etc.) come to life... which is probably something that people will be saying a lot about this movie in the next year or so. Wouldn't it be something if the purest expression of a comic creator's vision ever put to film wasn't even really based on a comic book? This gives me a good feeling about the adaptation of Death: The High Cost Of Living that Gaiman has been trying to do for years, based on his own comic... but nevermind the Sandman movie. If Mirrormask turns out as good as it looks it kind makes doing a Sandman movie pointless. Of course, doing a Sandman movie always seemed kind of pointless anyway. So yeah, everybody wins.