Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thee Soundtrack to Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

Alfred Kinsey with Kenneth Anger at the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu- 1955
Click For Mix
Round about Halloween seems as appropriate time as any to post the soundtracks I've assembled for five of the films from Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle; Scorpio Rising, Kustom Kar Kommandos, Puce Moment, Invocation of My Demon Brother, and both versions of Rabbit's Moon.  I had the pleasure of seeing Anger screen these films in person on two occasions, once at the University of Texas on Halloween, his favorite holiday!  Fantoma's DVD set of Anger's films is highly recommended.  Watch at your own risk, and Happy Halloween.

                                                 Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969)

                                                               Rabbit's Moon (1979 Version)

My signed copy of Hollywood Babylon II
1. Fool's Rush In- Ricky Nelson
2. Wind Up Doll- Little Peggy March
3. My Boyfriend's Back- The Angels
4. Blue Velvet- Bobby Vinton
5. Devil in Disguise- Elvis Presley
6. Hit the Road Jack- Ray Charles
7. Heat Wave- Martha and the Vandellas
8. He's A Rebel- The Crystals
9. Party Lights- Claudine Clark
10. Torture- Kris Jensen
11. Point of No Return- Gene McDaniels
12. I Will Follow Him- Little Peggy March
13. Wipe Out- Surfaris
14. Dream Lover- Paris Sisters
15. Leaving My Old Life Behind- Jonathan Halper
16. I Am A Hermit- Jonathan Halper
17. Invocation of My Demon Brother- Mick Jagger
18. There's A Moon Out Tonight- The Capris
19. Oh What A Night- The Dells
20. Bye Bye Baby- Mary Wells
21. I Only Have Eyes For You- The Flamingos
22. Tears on My Pillow- The El Dorados
23. It Came in the Night- A Raincoat

Friday, October 21, 2011

In Search of Steve Ditko

Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, with radically different and unique styles, were the twin pillars that forever defined in my mind and the minds of several generations of comic book readers how super hero comics should look. Here's an entertaining BBC 4 documentary on the reclusive Ditko.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bad Moon Rising-A Halloween Mix


This is the first of two Halloween mixes coming down the pike this month.  This one focuses more on the 1970's and 1980's, though not exclusively.  The next one will be more 1950's and 60's.  Get your demons out, tis the season.

1. Bad Moon Rising- Creedence Clearwater Revival-American bands in the 1980's from the Minutemen to R.E.M to Sonic Youth (who went so far as to name a record after this song) rediscovered and celebrated the records of CCR. The first time I saw R.E.M. live on the Fables of the Reconstruction tour, they played Creedence nonstop before the show and covered at least two of their songs during the set.  CCR peppered their records with a swampy hoodoo sound and the occasional foreboding lyrical theme, like this one, works well in the Halloween context. The weird thing about this one is that musically its so upbeat, doesn't match the lyrics at all.

2. Wolves, Lower- R.E.M.- Less immediately obvious for this type of mix is R.E.M., but their early albums, particularly Chronic Town, had a slightly menacing and creepy Southern Gothic feel.  I love all the weird sounds and ambient touches Mitch Easter threw into the mix on this EP.

3. Mrs. Alves- John Carpenter- As far as sequels go Halloween II, scripted but not directed by Carpenter, is a solid genre film, not groundbreaking like the original, but enjoyable for what it is.  But the soundtrack, this time played on synthesizer rather than piano, is as good, if not better than the original.

4. Jack On Fire- Gun Club- Speaking of Hoodoo. "New Orleans, at the Mardi Gras, I was dancing in a costume made of straw, some Creole boy was lying dead, I used his blood to paint the costume red."

5. I'm Insane- Sonic Youth- Clip below is live in the Mojave desert from the Gila Monster Jamboree in January 1985.  Also on the bill were Redd Kross, the Meat Puppets and Psi Com fronted by a pre-Jane's Addiction Perry Farrell.

6. Left of Reckoning- R.E.M.- Spooky little bit at the end of the second side of Reckoning.  Video of "Time after Time" below.

7. Bar-B-Q Pope- Butthole Surfers- The live take below is interesting, not so much because Gibby is naked and too distracted or fucked up to actually play, but because its so damn early (82 I think), primitive and Gibby looks like John Boy from the Waltons or Ferris Bueller's friend.  A friend of mines Dad coached him in high school basketball and when asked simply said "he was not to be trusted".   I didn't realize Paul Leary sang some of these songs till recently, lovely guitar playing.

8. I Think of Demons- Roky Erickson-  No shit you do!  Years ago my friend Chris juxtaposed the Elevators "I Had To Tell You" with Roky's "Two Headed Dog" on a cassette mix to illustrate the deterioration ("fear I'll lose my spirit" for real) of the man, what neither of us realized at the time was that the Elevator's lyrics were primarily the work of Tommy Hall ( and actually in the case of "I Had To Tell You" the lyrics were written by Tommy's wife Clementine) while Roky was always a horror fan with demons and monsters on his mind.

Clementine Hall
9. TV Set- The Cramps- What's a Halloween mix without the Cramps (rhetorical)? They'll cut your head off and put it in their TV Set.

10. Chainsaw- The Ramones- The first two Ramones album had a lot of horror b-movie action what with this, "you should never have opened that door", "glad to see you go" and "i don't want to go down the basement".  Below Los Ramones live in Houston.

11. Murder on the Moors- Thee Headcoats- Very Joe Meek/Lord Sutch especially with the howling wind at the beginning and end.  Good stuff.

12. Nightshift- Siouxsie & The Banshees- booga booga!  The Doors have much to answer for, I guess. I wonder if Robert Smith is wearing his high top basketball sneakers in this clip, I can't quite tell.

13. Halloween- The Misfits- Like the Cramps these guys and Halloween are a natch. "Once again the Misfits but first Jerry wants to say hi to his Ma."  They'd morphed into more of a thrash band by 1983, the time of the clip below, to the detriment of a lot of their songs.

14. Death to Our Friends- Sonic Youth- Sometimes with this band it's better when nobody bothers to sing.

15. Sonny's Burning- the Birthday Party- "hands up who wants to die" heh, great way to start a song - "flame on!"

16. Fire in My Bones-13th Floor Elevators- "there's something living deep inside my bones" - the other?

17. Something (Live)- The Butthole Surfers- live version trumps the original on EP for sheer ferociousness. The Buttholes moved to Athens GA in the mid 80's in order to "walk in Michael Stipe's footsteps". I bet they scared him too.

18. Old Man Kensey- R.E.M.- So yes I have an agenda to re-contextualize R.E.M. as spooky.

19. Sinister Purpose- Creedence Clearwater Revival- Another great track and evocative title from Green River.

20. Hallowe'en- Sonic Youth- Kim Gordon is creepy to me, she's got some kind of reptilian mating thing going on here with some cat pulling some weird moves on her- "slither up to me, falling on the ground, twisting around".  Some chicks dig creepy, whatcha gonna do.

21. You Should Never Have Opened That Door-The Ramones- Reminds me of a Dennis Wheatley book or at least a movie based on one, specifically The Devil Rides Out, recommended for your Halloween viewing. Another fun one is The Dunwich Horror based on the H.P. Lovecraft story and starring Sandra Dee and Dean Stockwell.

The Devil Rides Out
The Dunwich Horror

22. Laurie's Theme- John Carpenter- More creepiness from the second Halloween film.

23. Don't Fear the Reaper- Blue Oyster Cult- Carpenter used this song very subtly in the first Halloween movie.  If memory serves it's on the radio as Jamie Lee Curtis is driving around near the beginning of the film, its almost too subtle, but you have to admire his restraint as these days that kind of  music cue would be repeated ad nauseam and at high volume.

Check back next week for our next thrilling installment!!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

1965-66 READY STEADY GO!- The Rolling Stones

Here's a Rolling Stones READY STEADY GO! special, not certain if this is all 1966, the later portion may very well be 1965 based on the songs played.  To start things off whimsically we have the best of the bunch which is the Stones, Cathy McGowan and Andrew Oldham miming to "I Got You Babe", the three parts in order provided by original uploader follow.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Blow Your Head!


This mix consists of songs that all feature the four letter word HEAD in the title.  Why?  Because we like you!

1. HEAD- Radio Spot #1- The Monkees- If you've never seen the Monkees film HEAD you don't know what you're missing, definitely one of the best things Jack Nicholson has ever been involved in (he wrote the screenplay with Bob Rafelson), along with The Trip of course.  Last year criterion released a  remastered widescreen version on their BBS box set America Lost and Found.

2. Be My Head- The Flaming Lips- I really like this period of the lips, its psychedelia that doesn't try to ape a vintage sound and so ends up groundbreaking and original in its own right. They lost me around the Soft Bulletin album, which to these ears sounded way too slick.  I'm not opposed to slick production but I don't think it sits well with Wayne Coyne's voice. And the fact that the their lyrics seemed to get goofier didn't help.  I mean they were always silly, but it used to be funny and fun, now it seems more cloying and trite, a bad combination.  Likable guy though, Wayne Coyne, I like his whole elder statesman with suit and graying hair bit.  It would be a hoot to get their bass player Michael Ivans together sometime with his two look a likes, Robbie Krieger and Steven Wright.

3. Blow Your Head- The JB's- whew hot shit!  I first heard this when Public Enemy sampled it on their debut back in 1987.

4. Motorhead- Hawkwind- Lemmy hears the sound of his future calling during a four or five day speed bender.  "I should be tired, but all I am is wired, I ain't felt this good in an hour" hahaha.  Yes sir, Lemmy's probably somewhere feeling good right now, I find that comforting.

5. Teenage Head- The Flamin' Groovies- "I'm a monster, got a rev'd up teenage head!" continuing the amped up theme here.  This one makes being a little jumped up teenage asshole sound much better than it is, I think, or maybe I just missed out on the fun.  I was always such a nice boy.

6. Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight- Earl Vince and the Valiants- Maybe the flip side of that line from Drugstore Cowboy about how there's nothing more life affirming than getting the shit kicked out of you is that there's nothing more exhilarating than kicking the shit out of someone.

7. The Kid with the Replaceable Head- Richard Hell & The Voidoids- Look out! Beatnik punk rock.  One of my favorites in their slim discography.

8. A Year With No Head- The Blue Orchids- Martin Bramah left the Fall and made some amazing music of his own with the Blue Orchids, still "head music" but maybe with a little less energy.  What if he had stayed in the Fall is one of those great what ifs (Marvel should do the comic) along the lines of what if Gene Clark hadn't left the Byrds after "Eight Miles High".

9. Head- Prince- 80's Prince is basically unassailable, especially early 80's Prince.  Prince's take on sex has always been amusing, innocent in a weird way, not like Kiss's version of how a 10 year old boy would view it, but still weird like his kinks derive from violating a version of morality that is already passe within the larger culture and so it almost seems quaint, for instance the girl in this song whose a "virgin on her way to be wed", does that still happen?  He also seems to think marriage is sexy, see "let's pretend we're married" in which he propagates the mistaken idea that sex is gonna get better after your hitched or that pretending that you are is somehow a turn on.  Should be let's pretend we're not married.

10. Head- The Jesus & Mary Chain- One of the writers from Creem, I think it was Bill Holdship, pointed out that these guys had a heavy oral fixation.  So in the first 21 months of their lives the Reid brothers must have been either over or under fed by their mothers, I'm betting on the latter.  Funny thing is it doesn't seem like that's at all what they're singing about in the one song bearing the title, wacky fellas.

11. Second Head- The Teardrop Explodes- No clip for Second Head, so here's the promo video for Reward, bless his cotton socks.  And be careful with the volume on this one, whoever uploaded this clip uploaded it LOUD.

12. Head Coats On-Thee Headcoats- I'm feeling the Billy Childish intro about avoiding the dreaded day job. I dig how he's stayed true to his vision, gets up people's noses and doesn't worry two shits about being considered "cool"by the British tastemakers/snobs.  There's a really entertaining interview with him at the link below- his take on the Beatles is original and hilarious especially when he describes Paul as "deep, dark and scary, like a Dickensian novel, sick songs like Eleanor Rigby, against childhood and life, Paul's a weirdo".  http://www.vice.com/soft-focus/billy-childish

13. Ooh My Head- Ritchie Valens- Ritchie was only 17 when he died, fucking amazing, what could have been?  The guy was bursting with talent, as a singer, writer, and guitarist.

14. Suzy is a Head Banger- The Ramones- Below live in Houston in February 1978, I was six years old and fixated on Star Wars (probably watching a rerun of the Planet of the Apes or one of the sequels on TV), meanwhile in another part of town THIS was happening.

15. Heads Will Roll- Echo and the Bunnymen- Don't know what they're on about, but I like it.

16. Hedi's Head- Kleenex-  It is nice the clips that you can find on youtube, oh the wonders of our modern world, I feel a tweet coming on.

17. The Man Whose Head Expanded- The Fall- Good use of bad keyboard sounds. "Turn the bloody blimey space invader off". 

18. Head On- Iggy & the Stooges- Average stooges....... is still quite good

19. Beachy Head- Throbbing Gristle- Fun lovers Throbbing Gristle pay tribute to a scenic site where people often go to kill themselves.  

20. I Will Die With My Head in Flames-FELT- That's not gonna be good for your hair Lawrence.

21. Head (Radio Spot #2)- The Monkees- "When you see the end in sight, the beginning may arrive".

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October in the Railroad Earth

October was his favorite month and the month in which he died

To really understand Kerouac's prose you need to hear him read it, so that you can hear the rhythm of his phrasing and his accent and intonations.  Once you get his voice in your head you can hear it as you read and it brings a completely new life to his books. One of his best pieces and best readings is October in the Railroad Earth with piano accompaniment by Steve Allen. The first clip is an excerpt of October in the Railroad Earth with images from the documentary What Happened to Kerouac?, second is Jack in 1959 on the Steve Allen Show where he reads from Visions of Cody, after which is the full audio of his reading of October in the Railroad Earth, featuring perhaps the best bit near the end of the piece about getting kicked out of the bar and not acting on a girls come one - "But I stood there, like a jerk......I should have played with her!"  I've also included two readings from Dr. Sax of which somewhere there exists a whole tape.  

Around 1998 I took a road trip with my friend Chris from Austin to Boston, to visit some of his friends from college. We made a side excursion to Lowell and I got to see the majority of the Kerouac related sites there including the Merrimack River, the Moody Street bridge, the house he was born in, and his grave.  I remember driving around in a light rain, sharing a half pint of whiskey as we found various places listed in the book I had, it might have even been October. We took pictures along the way but sadly the film was lost before it could be developed.