Sunday, September 27, 2009

LO-FI CONSPIRACY (1997-2000)

waaay back in 1997, in Greenville, NC there was a building on the corner of 5th street. This building was Backdoor Sk8park.  A bunch of the dudes from art school had bands, and Backdoor provided us w/ a place to play with touring bands from around the world while local dudes skated, other area bands would play and get drunk and it was pretty much anything goes.  Nitewolf was starting up a band at the time w/ some dudes and they asked me to sing.  Our first show was actually @ the Corner w/ the Spazms, and Bilirubin.  Our second show was at Backdoor w/ the Mommyheds.  Over the course of our run, we played w/ some killer bands, that mostly don't exist anymore, some of which were: the Spazms, Creeping Phlox, the Mommyheds, Bilirubin, Kill the Hippies, NEMO, Blatt Box, the Soccer Moms, F13, King Monkey, Twin Turbo, Justin Little, Exercises in Breathing, Mollycuddle, Read Palms, the Kickass, the Ladderback, Reason of Insanity, DS13, Municipal Waste (super early on), Hank Earl Carr, Bread & Water, Otophobia, Diskonto, the First Step, JRS, Wheelbite, Pretty Little Flower, Berzerk, Crash Smash Explode, Legend of the Overfiend, Party of Helicopters, the Convocation Of..., If It Doesn't Kill You, Question Rig, Prelude to Damnation, Crimescene 13, Wesley Willis, and a ton more i can't seem to think of right now.  Ill post more as they come to me.
Anyway, the other night, I found this little video that either me or our buddy Biggs put together for like an old geocities site in like 1999.  Its got some RARE footage of the Robot Condor, and 3 songs from our only released album.  "Intro", "LOFI", and "Genitalia".  there is a TON more footage that i have on VHS buried somewhere that makes this look even more like shit than it already does... but  I'm pretty sure there are people who will appreciate this.  LO-FI Conspiracy created some stepping stones for us to be where we are today, and when I watch this over ten year old footage, it kind of blows me away how time flies.  LO-FI was: Herbie Abernethy- vocals, Tyler Wolf- bass, Brendan O'Donnell- drums, and DJ Griffin- guitar.  Enjoy, and post thoughts and old pics below if you have any! thanx.
***update: thought of a couple more bands! secret life of machines, and sullenspire. probably more to come.  i should also mention that the whole scene, Peasants, The Percolator, the Attic, the Corner, the "blue room" and all the house parties made the whole vibe for those days something to remember.  thanx for all the feedback!***

Lo-Fi Conspiracy (1997-2000) from valient himself on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

bad/awesome flixxx review: John Carpenter's: They Live (1988)

alahoyus once again there bad and awesome movie lovers.  This here is a classic by none other than John "big trouble" Carpenter himself.  THEY LIVE starring "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.  I cant really think of a flick by him that i don't cherish in some weird way or another... be it Big Trouble in Little China, Prince of Darkness, The Thing, ... wait a minute! what am i talking about! i forgot about Vampires!  that movie SUCKED!  you know what though?  That one is not JC's fault.  Now, if he had Kurt Russell in there instead of fucking James Woods, then maybe Vampires wouldn't have been so heinous.  but I digress: 

this gem starts out w/ Rowdy Roddy walking into LA from somewhere like Barstow... outta nowhere, a drifter, possibly a veteran a la John Rambo complete w/ sleeping bag & rucksack in tow.  you get the sense that he feels outta place and he keeps checking out everyone unquestioningly following leaders and talking heads on tv.  Then he gets a job doing construction, and the foreman tells him to beat it, he can't sleep there.  So the one dude from The Thing is there, and he's like, well, ill take you to a lil bum shanty town over in west hollywood.  And again, even the bums have power so that they can watch tv out in this junkyard.  There's this church across the street and every time a tv is on, some dude is pullin a "Pump up the Volume" on the masses.  Once when it goes down, Roddy sees this preacher fucking channeling the message, and then the dude in charge grabs the street preacher and hauls his ass the church.  Roddy gets suspicious and does some PI work.  Then, the whole shebang is discovered by the feds, and they bulldoze the fucking shantytown and rip the church apart, which is where the broadcasts were made.  fast forward, Roddy finds some glasses and figures out the church knew about this scheme where a bunch of alien assholes w/ skeleton faces are posin as real people, and as a matter of fact, real RICH people.  Then he gets busted, then he fucking kills a bunch of cops.  Then he kidnaps a chick, and then she fucking throws him out a window.  Then he goes back to find more of the shades, and to alert his buddy from the Thing.  That dudes like, get the fuck outta here, i dont want any of yer shit, but then he brings rowdy his paycheck.  Then Rowdy's like, dude put these shades on, and the dudes like, fuck you, and Rowdy's like, i said put the goddamned shades on, and then they fight each other for over 5 minutes, no shit, and then finally he shows the dude whats behind door number 2.  When they look thru the shades they can see that everything is a facade, and that our whole world is just buy buy buy and basically we are all programmed to consume and reproduce.  So then, they get cornered after they go to a meeting of "those in the know".  Theres an awesome scene where the chick he kidnapped is about to say how sorry she was, and how stupid she was and its like a love moment then BAM, the fucking side of the building blows up.  Anyway, they use a teleporter watch to go underground to where the aliens have a landing strip to space, and a banquet set up for the alien loving earth stockholders.  Then they try to blow up the satellite that is beaming them back to space. Roddy's like: "fuck it", and offs himself for the good of mankind.  Only slightly better than his other movie: Hell Comes To Frogtown.
7 out of 10 on a -10 to 10 scale.... that's pretty good, eh?


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

bad/awesome flixxx review: Film Noir Edition: Chinatown & the Big Sleep

hello hello.  ALERT!  Most of the flicks i review in this vloggg consist of guilty pleasures i come across and torture myself trying to get through, or something totally awesome i forgot about. But this little review today consists of my new found love for old detective novels and flicks. First off, I watched Chinatown.  This is Roman Polanski's take on 40s film noir:
I highly recommend this flick, so I'm not gonna blaze thru this one like usual and spoil anything.  But basically you have Jack Nicholson playing a private dick, faye dunaway as the obligatory suspect divorcee/daughter/mistress type chick.  Polanski makes his appearance as muscle for one of the main bad dudes & has possibly the best "OH SHIT!" moment in the movie, when Jacko gets his fucking nose sliced open and spends over half the flick with a bandage on his schnozz.  There's some heavy historical shit going down in this flick as well, thats pretty much on the nose as far as California political battles over "Ol' Mulholland" (as he's referred to in the Frank Black song off his 2nd solo album, Teenager of the Year) bringing much needed water to the los angeles area by means of a giant aquaduct.  Everyone's seen T2 right?  The thing they drive the big trucks thru?  Yeah, that.  John Huston is a creepy old man, and Jerry Goldsmith does the score... You know him from the Planet of the Apes score.  Yes you do.

the 2nd flick that i saw was the main inspiration for the Big Lebowski (one of my favorite flicks).  Its called The Big Sleep (the 1946 version).  Starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

This is based on the 1939 book by Raymond Chandler that kicked off his series of novels about detective Phillip Marlowe.  Again, i actually recommend seeing this.  At night when its raining would be the perfect setting.  Bogie gets all the babes.  You immediately see ties to Lebowski from the first scene w/ a big old dude in a wheel chair who has some classic dialogue and his youngest daughter played by Martha Vickers.  She looks at Bogie, and you could swear she's gonna say, "i'll suck yer cock for a thousand dollars."  I guess the only reason everyone made so much about Lauren Bacall was that Bogie married her after they did "To Have and Have Not" the previous year.  Otherwise, even Raymond Chandler said that Vickers portrayal of Carmen stole the scenes out from under Bacall.  According to wiki, the producers caught wind of that and cut more than half of this lil knockout's scenes.  Watch the first five minutes with her cooing how Bogie is "cute", and tell me you don't swoon at the knees.  Christ, they just don't make em like that anymore.  And don't get me wrong, I like the coy bad girl that Bacall tries to play too.  I like it when girls try to play tuff.  And she's a great singer.  She makes Faye Dunaway look like a piece of shit.  anyway, all in all, you have a pretty convoluted plot here, but even the Big Lebowski took me a few tries before i "got" it.  And if you can keep up, Bogie does a pretty good job of revealing the scam once he finally figures it out himself.  I just got a copy of "To Have and Have Not" that ill be perusing very soon.  Keep yer eyes peeled flatfoot.
*** PS while i'm at it, i must recommend Thomas Pynchon's new stoner p.i. novel: "Inherent Vice".  It is laugh out loud funny, and reads like a sequel to Lebowski.  loves it.***

Sunday, September 20, 2009

bad/awesome flixxx review: Seizure

Get a load of this turd from 1974.  And to whom do we owe the great displeasure that is festering before our eyes?  Well, it could be Jason, since he decided to rent it from Netflixx, but really and truly the blame shall fall squarely on the gourd of Oliver Stone.  Yep, this was his first screenplay and directorial debut.  For some reason, people really dug this at the drive-in's back in the day.  Actually, it was probably a lot better that way... But man, this thing really sucks.  Its about a dude who is a writer, and every summer his wife gets a bunch of creepy friends together for this weekend.  There's this Count and his wife, a rock dude, an old rich guy and his hot wife, some dorky teen dude, and their young son.  Ok, so the writer dude is writing a kids horror story?  and he keeps having dreams about something that makes him really jumpy and sweaty.  Everyone in this movie seems like theyre perpetually on painkillers.  The old rich dude has some classic lines, but other than that there's little build.  Then all of a sudden, the little dude from Fantasy Island (yes, him again) comes crashing in the window and just starts beating the hell out of everyone in the room.  The old chick spreads some goop on her face after talking to her dead husband in a mirror and then turns super old and jumps out the window.  The writer, trying to get out of the room he's locked in, shoots the dork kid in the head.  Then a huge disfigured black russian executioner kills the babysitter.  Then the rock dude gets fucked to death by the hindu queen of evil.  So whoevers left gets told by the 3 visitors that they are fucked, and that they have to try and survive the night, but that only one will be left when the morning comes.  The lil midget says, "Stop gwaveling! you cannot pway to god, because he hates you!  you might as well pway to me, because I hate you too."  Hilarious.  then they make the survivors race around the lake.  They kill the rich guy, the hot babe tries to split, then they make the writer and her have a fuckin knife fight.  She gets her throat cut.  Then the wife of the writer is pissed at the writer cause she says its all his fault.  The count dude (who somehow watches his wife commit suicide, but then has all the info on who these creeps are) goes outside and gets his head chopped off.  The evil queen tries to fuck the writer, he says no, but then his wife teases him, and then she fucks him one last time, then kills herself.  But then her ghost tells the queen that she has to kill the writer, not her son.  So the fucking dude wakes up like its all a dream, then for some reason, he's asleep again, the kid tries to wake him up but he's dead from a heart attack!  PURE HORSESHIT!  AND there wasn't even a fucking seizure in the whole movie!!! what the fuck was that about?  I guess no one wouldve watched it if it was called Midget Monster Snorefest. Minus 2 Thumbs.

My first velvet painting

i just did this for a buddy's velvet painting collection.  lemme tell ya, painting on velvet is a bitch.  And yes, i did listen to a ton of Mercyful Fate and King Diamond when i was painting.

progress of yet another painting: final product

i love Mexican food.

progress of yet another painting

Monday, September 14, 2009

bad/awesome flixxx review: ZARDOZ, & Damnation Alley

first off RIP Jim Carroll & Patrick Swayze & Henry Gibson.  Helluva week.
now, i really have a couple stinkers for ya tonight.  One is TOTALLY AWESOME, and one is fucking garbage.  the first flick that i watched was a film entitled ZARDOZ.  Holy shit. check the trailer:
So, Sean Connery stars in a 1974 future vision by John Boorman.  He's the dude who did Deliverance.  In this flick a giant stone head god named Zardoz comes flying outta the sky to the countryside and screams that "the gun is good and the penis is bad" "go forth and kill"  to a bunch of "Brutals".  These "brutals" are the chosen killers tho, called "exterminators".  then it pukes up a bunch of guns.  Connery stows away in the thing and then blasts this dude who's inside.  The guy's like: "you idiot." Then it crashes and "Zed" (his name in the flick) goes into the nearest town which happens to be the secret town of the Eternals.  Turns out all the rich people got together when one doctor figured out how to make it possible to live forever.  But they left the "brutals" or poor people out in the world to grow them crops.  "zardoz" traded guns for grain.  anyway, these "Eternals" live forever so there's no need to fuck anymore, so theyre all bored as hell, and some of them become "apathetics" or even worse, "renegades".  The chicks who find Zed are fighting cause some want to kill him, some want to learn from him, and some want to fuck him.  So he's got the whole hen house in an uproar.  Weird scenes though, like him licking another dudes hand mess with your mind even more than the constant barrage of psychedelic wardrobe and neat 70s camera tricks.  Anyway, i don't wanna ruin it, but there are so many things about this flick that makes me wonder why i haven't seen it until now. You've got connery w/ an amazing ponytail and basically a diaper running around shooting dudes in the head and raping women, an ultimate paradise setup that tries desperately to get some sort of message across about technology and i don't know, cutting an all knowing diamond up into pieces and implanting them into yr forehead to become a part of the all knowing consciousness or "tabernacle".  There's something to do with "man behind the curtain" and the joy of bringing death to those with infinite life.  You've got it all here folks, boobs, murder, gods, scifi, guns, infinity, a weird jester dude w/ a sharpie painted beard, unbelievably cool future envisioned technology, and about 2 hours worth of crazy camera angles.  See this at all cost.

Now on the opposite end of the spectrum.  A turd that was once believed to have the possibility to outsell Star Wars: Damnation Alley.

1977 flick about survivors of World War III.  ok, so this film has Jan Michael Vincent (Airwolf), George Pepard (The A-Team), & Jackie Earl Haley (Bad News Bears).  And you would think w/ the star power that it would be pretty rad, but basically... nothing happens the whole time.  This clip is about as hectic as it gets.  Jan Michael V & Pepard are the 2 military dudes in the bunker when the shit goes down after the ruskies fire the big one.  Earth is decimated.  So they survive in the bunker.  Then some asshole passes out after beating off to a playboy? (seriously that's a stretch.  i thought people read that for the articles.  Its classy right?)  but he drops a smoke, and blows the whole thing skyhigh.  Luckily like 5 dudes escape, and decide to drive to Buffalo, NY in these Crazy armored tank vehicles.  One gets f'd up in a heinous storm right away.  Then they drive.  Then they fight giant scorpions.  then they drive.  then they find a chick.  then they drive.  then they fight killer cockroaches.  then they drive.  then they find a kid.  then they drive.  then they fight rednecks.  then they drive.  then they get to buffalo.  then everyone is happy.  the end.  WASTE of valuable time wasting.  ok... more soon lovers.

Monday, September 7, 2009

if you are into killer jams

hallo.  Do you sit all day @ a cubicle and are bored as shit with your own itunes?  Or are you already an avid listener/DJ on yourself?  Either way, i am concocting a pretty sweet playlist over @ that is based on my old radio show from college entitled, "Rocknowledgy".  you can check it out here:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

bad/awesome flixxx review: Deathsport

welcome to another installment of ... well, i guess i never call it the same thing twice... but whatever.  This is me telling you about a terrible/awesome movie i just watched.  Ok, so i have a ton on the backburner and some that i haven't been actually able to sit thru, b/c i either pass out, or just shut it off b/c its so heinous.  But i finally made it thru one tonight.  Its a Roger Corman flick entitled, "Deathsport".  Stars David Carradine as a "Guide" who from what i could gather, shows the "statesmen" how to get from one city- Helix- to the next- Triton.  These "guides" ride on horseback, and have clear swords that they battle these bad dudes with on motorcycles called "deathmachines".  The main Scanner from Scanners is like the "Darth Vader" bad dude, and his boss gets brain madness and forces chicks to dance around naked in a dark room w/ crystal poles that swing from the ceiling to some funky space techno music, until he flips a switch and then they start freaking out and the poles start shaking around and... well, i guess scaring the naked chicks, b/c they all start cowering on the floor.  There's a hot redhead who gets naked like 3 times, and seeing that was pretty much all that kept me from turning this off.  I mean, don't get me wrong, i dig bad movies, but this is pretty rough.  It takes them forever to get to the Deathsport part, and then Carradine and the redhead and this dr guy just split into the desert for like a 45 minute chase.  Then theres a break where they have to rescue this little girl from some "mutants".  Who are just a bunch of dudes in a cave w/ nets around their shoulders, some sunglasses on, and doo-rags on their heads.  I won't spoil the ending for you but it doesn't matter anyway, because the best part was the few times you saw the red boosh half an hour ago.  They did have these rad flashlight guns that made people disappear though.  We could really use some technology like that here in 2009.  Check the trailer, but don't go out of your way to find this one, unless you really dig torture.  tons of explosions, swords, horses, motorcycles, decent nudity, but only 2 stars... out of like 7.