11.27.08

There is a review of the Basement Apartments demo in the latest issue of Maximum RocknRoll. December 2008 #307.

There is also a long interview with Jay Fox about United Mutation who are re-issuing some of their old recordings in the near future. United Mutation was a good band from Northern Virginia. They had a couple of seminal 7”s in the early 80s. United Mutation sound was growly vocals over metal-esque punk riffs. They opened for the Dead Kennedys, Scream, Marginal Man, The Butthole Surfers, and the Meatmen during the burgeoning DC punk rock scene.  The music transcends the metel-esque punk trend of the past few years. People interested in grind and old farty punks like myself might find these recordings of interest. Highly recommended for punks young and old.

Also in issue #307 is the second part of an interview with Canada’s legendary Diodes. I went out and found a copy of issue #306 so I could read the first part it was so good. The Diodes are commonly thought of as having put out the first Canadian punk album. Their sound borders on power pop, but they are awesome and I don’t see much about them. This is an excellent set of interviews. The Diodes have a really comprehensive collection called Tired of Waking Up Tired that includes their first album and much of their later output. It’s an awesome buy.

I have been reading a lot of mags lately, I guess.

Later on…Billups

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11.23.08

The Resonars- That Evil Drone One of Tucson’s best kept secrets is the Resonars. Veterans of the retro 60s sound, The Resonars last year put out one of my favorite albums entitled Nonetheless Blue. Their latest release, That Evil Drone, goes to show that this is the time to get into the Resonars if you are into early 60s psyche. Much like its predecessor, Drone sound is psychedellia in the vein of the Beatles exiting the mop top phase or the early Byrds albums. Loads of good vocal melodies laid over jangly guitars and well placed fuzz. The Resonars have it down but do not ride on the contrived. Good song writing prevails.

And try not to be turned off because I mentioned The Byrds. I have just been into them lately. I have decided that the only reason I didn’t like them before was that they are overplayed and my contrarian mind would not allow it. But if you can turn off the switch in your brain that triggers the hippy love vibe that is so repellant, The Byrds are actually alright. And if you really hate the Byrds, still give the Resonars a chance. Liking the Byrds is my problem. Later on…Billups

 

Movies that I watch, but would not necessarily recommend: 

Psycho II

Why do I like PsychoII? It is sort of a crappy movie, but it was made during a time when sequelfever was first hitting Hollywood. We take sequels for granted, but we forgetthat sequels didn’t rule the screen until the 80s. The much-anticipated sequelto an obscure film called Star Wars reallyopened the floodgates in 1980. Psycho IIwas made during a time when sequels were just becoming ensconced in theHollywood arsenal, but franchises were not yet abundant. And that is what Ilike about Psycho II.  It is written without any assumption.You can tell movies nowadays are written with the idea in tow: “what if we haveto make another one?” Have you ever been watching a sequel and realize thatfifteen minutes have gone by and you have not seen any of the fucking charactersyet? They have come to assume that everyone is sitting anxiously waiting for an“iconic” face to appear. Psycho II picksup right where it left off. However it DOES start with a recap of the showerscene from Psycho. Why? Because you might not have seen it? Who knows? Videowas not as rampant as it once was. It was the early 80’s, so in case you wereunable to bone up on Psycho beforeseeing Psycho II, here is the shower scene. The story begins with Norman Batesgetting out of the insane asylum twenty-two years since his arrest (and twentytwo years since Psycho was made) and an unlikely and implausible story begins. Itis unclear why his property was never forfeited to the state, but Bates, in anorgasm of bad planning, is returned to his residence at the Bates Motel. VeraMiles returns as Lila Loomis, the sister of Marion Crane (the character killedin the famous shower scene in Psycho). She protests Bates’ release from themental institution and sets about driving him crazy again in hopes of gettinghim locked up again. Not a very good exercise in logic, but it makes for agood, low-budget horror story. Perkins is one of my favorite forgotten actors.His reacting to his own psychotic disposition is always golden. The line: “I’mbecoming confused again, aren’t I” is delivered with understated brilliance.The film also stars Robert Loggia and Meg Tilley, just so you don’t forget itis an 80s movie.  They are facesyou want to see in this type of low budget fare. Psycho II is a good movie to watch during one of your overnightshifts at the gas station and when you haven’t eaten all day so you eat KitKats and drink Mountain Dew all night.

11.10.08

 

Thanks to everyone who came out the first annual Tucson Comic Con and made it such a success. I was glad to get some comics in people’s hands. There are limited outlets for independent publishers. I was psyched at the turn out and appreciative of those of you that took interest in what I was up to. Any type of con can be intimidating when all I have is a stack of colored flyers and some Xeroxed zines. YOUR interest is a shot in the arm to me. Thanks. All the scuttlebutt I heard was positive.

Last night I went to see Tab Hunter speak about his career. He was signing his new book at a screening of Paul Bartel’s Lust in the Dust. Paul Bartel is a favorite writer/director of mine. He has directed such classic as Eating Raul and a little known movie that is a favorite on my list called Get Crazy. Bartel had a slapstick approach to crass humor. There is a sort of magical, late night quality to Bartel’s movies in that he is able to make mature humor out of lowbrow situations. His handling of taboo subjects is unique. Many of his films are standards of 80s cult classics. Lust in the Dust is an excellent example of his filmmaking. Lust is a western that combines Bartel’s dark humor with the strange chemistry that Tab Hunter and Divine had in the John Water’s movie Polyester.

Tab Hunter was charming to see in person. His book, “Tab Hunter, Confidential” has just been released. His spoken word last night was an excellent event. If he comes to your town, it is worth seeing.

I also saw the Cohen Brother’s latest film Burn After Reading this week. It seemed this movie came and went. I saw it at Crossroads, the $3 theater in Tucson, which is one of my favorite hangouts in Tucson. The interest in NO Country for Old Men must have made this one a difficult one to promote, but Burn was packed with manic Cohen goodness and deserves another look. Burn features George Clooney and Brad Pitt, who both often make my ass clench. But to their credit, both can shine when in the right hands. For a couple of mega-hunks, you gotta give them some credit for occasionally doing something good. Burn shined with all the quirky humor that used to send me running to the theater every time the Cohen Brothers made a movie.  I still can’t bring myself to see the Cohen remake of The Ladykiillers (the original being one of the greatest movies ever made in my opinion), but Burn After Reading is a new Cohen classic.

We are doing some restocks this month at retailers and working on Cramhole #3. Also trying to wrap up a little lit style zine we’ve been working on called You Know What Us Parsons Are Like.

That’s the Goings on.

Billups.


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