A Fine Line Between Stupid And Clever

Now With Electrolytes!

Archive for the ‘It’s Friday’ Category

Dog Town and Z-Boys

Posted by bmac on April 4, 2008

Dogtown And Z-Boys is one of my favorite documentaries. Please don’t confuse this with the absolutely horrible Hollywood movie it inspired starring Heath Ledger, “The Lords Of Dogtown.” As a documentary it’s fascinating, but it just doesn’t translate to a dramatic interpretation.

It’s old, I think it was released in 2001. Made by one of the Z-boys, Stacey Peralta, it’s the story of a group of teenage surfers/skateboarders/criminals from Venice Ca. in the 70’s, that pretty much started what today is known as “extreme.” Yes I hate “extreme” too, no worries, it’s not that kind of film. Jam packed with some awesome classic rock and incredible footage, even if you don’t have the slightest interest in skateboarding (like me) there’s still a great story here.

What’s known as “vert” skating today was started by this rag-tag group of juvenile delinquents when they broke into backyards to skate empty swimming pools during the California droughts.

While many of the kids who idolized these guys, like Tony Hawk (Peralta was his mentor) went on to make millions, these pioneers of modern day skateboarding mostly ended up in normal jobs, or in jail, or are just… missing.

I especially relate to this movie because I grew up in a similar neighborhood in the 70’s, and these guys were kind of the template for how we, as poor white dudes in a mostly black and Hispanic neighborhood, looked and dressed, to have our own identity. Skateboarding was never really big here in Vegas, but being only 250 miles away, we definitely felt their influence, not so much in skating, but in look and attitude.

It’s actually kind of funny, because the whole “Dogtown look” has been adopted by young skateboarders these days, the long hair, Vans, and jeans.

It’s on Netflix, and I think it won some Sundance awards, definitely worth a rental.

Advertisements

Posted in It's Friday, Pop Culture | Leave a Comment »

Hef No Longer A Pimp

Posted by bmac on March 14, 2008

I’m bored with the news today, and I read an interesting little post at one of my favorite blogs, Rants and Raves, about Hugh Hefner. I like Hef, everybody does, but have you seen his reality show on E!, or I should say his girlfriends (3) reality show on E! called “The Girls Next Door”?

2344435.jpg

If you haven’t, the short and curly of it is, Hef has three “girlfriends” that live at the Playboy mansion, (in their own rooms) and I guess they alternate nights or something, in a kind of harem type of dealie, and the show follows their hilarious antics as basically paid prostitutes. Unless twenty-something hot blonde chicks are really into an 82 year old man and his fogey friends who get together on “movie night” to watch Casablanca for the 10,000th time.

The show is entertaining, obviously, because the chicks are smokin’ hot, but there’s a couple things I don’t get.

1. Why does Hef have to support these girls? Their only redeeming quality seems to be their hotness, they really are dumb as a box of rocks, and Hef could have hot and cold running hotness any day of the week. He can’t possibly be keeping them around for conversation. They also seem to be in a state of arrested development, these girls are in their late-twenties, and their rooms all look like Hello-Kitty exploded, all pink and fuzzy and child like. It’s kind of creepy really.

2. This show kind of makes Hef look like a desperate old man that has to support his young girlfriends in order to keep them around. I understand this show probably makes a pretty decent amount of cash for Hef, but damn, to me at least, he’s lost all pimp cred by footing the bill for these gold digging nitwits. I mean, couldn’t he pay for an apartment for them off campus? Just have them sit there like good little ho’s until the Viagra kicks in?

Cause that’s what he’s doing now, except the entire Playboy mansion staff has to wait on these Barbie Dolls hand and foot. That must really piss them off. I just can’t understand why Hef would be cool with looking like a lame sugar daddy.

3. These girls families make appearances on the show occasionally, including their fathers, and I just have to wonder about advertising on national TV that your daughter is Hef’s live in fuck buddy. I guess some dudes have no shame if it means getting near Hef.

I really wonder what the arrangement Hef has with these girls is? He’s gonna die soon. Do they get kicked to the curb? That’ll be a blow to 3 girls who are used to calling up the Chef at all hours to have him whip up a Pop-Tart. Do they get a nice severance package when Hef goes to the grotto in the sky? If so, why? How would his daughter (who runs the empire) feel about sharing the Hefner fortune with 3 idiots whose only purpose was to look pretty, and bone her dad when he was so inclined?

These are tough questions, but I’m incredibly bored.

Posted in Crazy Old People, It's Friday, T.V. | 5 Comments »

Friday Rockumentary

Posted by bmac on February 29, 2008

Regular readers of this blog know I love Roc Docs. I like to feature them here occasionally for a little fun, so this time I give you: “Tribute-A Rockumentary.”

lefticon1.jpg

Produced by Steven Soderbergh, this is a doc about tribute bands. I’ve seen it several times on the Sundance Channel, but to my knowledge, it’s totally unavailable. The official website has removed the trailer for “legal reasons” so I’m guessing there’s some kind of licensing problem with the music. The website hasn’t been updated in forever, so it’s kind of a mystery why this movie is in limbo, but if you get Sundance, keep an eye out for it, it runs occasionally. The website has some clips, but they’re not great, just kind of random with no explanation.

The film follows four tribute bands, a Kiss, a Queen, a Judas Priest, and a Monkees. Generally, the tribute band is the last refuge of aging never-were’s who just can’t quit. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it can be kind of sad, as we see in this movie as some of these guys (most in their late 30′ and 40’s) hold on to the false hope that they might get to be a replacement for the real thing in the real band they’re aping, ala Ripper Owens who was called to join Judas Priest. The movie “Rock Star” was based on his story.

The tribute band thing is kind of weird to me, but I can understand the allure. You can be a nobody and have an instant following of rabid fans. No worries about writing songs or building an audience. In a way, it’s like cheating. You get the benefits of somebody else’s work. Some of these guys get so far into the fantasy they actually begin to believe they are the guy they’re portraying, which is what happened to one of the guys in the film. He was “Gene Simmons” and ended up having a nervous breakdown as a result of starting to think he really was Gene Simmons.

That’s him in the picture above, before the breakdown. His replacement doesn’t fare much better, a guy who’s obviously got issues, and sees playing Gene as a way to feel like he’s important, after being abused as a child, and having some kind of addiction problem.

There’s also some obsessed fans featured that are just too…..strange to even explain.

Much of this film is almost painful to watch, it’s a strange little sub-culture of obsessive fanbois, washed up almost were’s, nerdy wannabes, and guys struggling with their dreams of stardom in their own right, fading away.

Great stuff, try to see it if you can, but it probably won’t be easy.

Posted in It's Friday, Music | 10 Comments »

Before The Music Dies

Posted by bmac on February 22, 2008

I caught this documentary the other day on IFC, “Before The Music Dies.” A doc about the current state of the music industry. As a musician and hard core music fan myself, it hit all the points I’ve been complaining about for many, many years, and specifically, the corporate takeover of all the major record labels, and radio stations.

I’m old enough to remember free form FM radio, that allowed the DJ’s to play just about anything they wanted to. Requests were taken and played. It was really pretty great. That would never happen today. The playlists on radio are now computer programmed, the DJ’s only role is to provide some local flavor so you know what town your in, because the music is exactly the same music, in exactly the same order, by exactly the same ten “artists” as in every single other city or town in the entire U.S. Thanks Clear Channel.

Same with record labels. All the majors are owned by 2 or 3 mega corporations. This is why you can’t go to a record store anymore. Downloading music didn’t kill Tower Records, the insatiable greed of Seagrams Corp did. (they own most of the major labels)

Why are we paying 16-20 dollars for a Cd in 2008? When they were first introduced in the early 80’s, they were $25, and at that time, it probably cost 5 or 6 bucks to make one. It costs a label pennies to produce one today, artwork, jewelcase, distribution and all. Artists get about 7-10% of physical sales. Recording costs today are nothing, I know, I’ve made three albums myself. The only realistically high cost is promotion, and the label recoups that money from the artists. $16-20 for a cd today is outright gouging, and everybody knows it, hence, goodbye Tower Records, hello downloading. The irony is, if someone downloads a song they like, they’ll be happy to go buy the cd, they just don’t want to pay $20 for it.

No more developing artists, it cuts into profit. If your first song is not a hit, your career is over. With todays major label attitude, we never would have gotten “Dark Side Of The Moon,” because Pink Floyd had a shitload of albums that tanked before it. Same with Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” or “Frampton Comes Alive” or anything by Springsteen, or Aerosmith, or Aretha Franklin or Marvin Gaye, Black Sabbath or Kiss. Well, we could have done without Kiss. But all these artists had albums that flopped before they found their voice and became huge sellers. How many Marvin Gayes are out there that we’ll never get to hear because they got dropped?

The music industry as we knew it is over, major labels are the Walmart of music now. Just the hits. In fact, practically the only place you can find cd’s now is Walmart. Radio is worthless.

In a way, it’s good, because the internet has made it possible to find new and interesting music again, but I feel like we’ve lost something. It’s insular now. I miss going into record stores and trying to figure out what I might like, hearing something cool being played in there, seeing stuff I never would have looked for and getting it before my friends. You had to put a little effort into it, as opposed to just typing in “Metal” or “Acid House.”

Anyway, here’s the trailer, but the trailer kind of sucks, the movie is way better than it looks in this. It’s probably available on Netflix.

Oh, and this movie features a guy that I had kind of forgotten about but used to love, Doyle Bramhall, so I immediately went and downloaded his stuff. He’s great, check him out if you like soulful, bluesy stuff with a hint of country and some kick ass guitar playing.

Posted in It's Friday, Music | 9 Comments »

Merry Christmas!….We’re All Gonna Die!

Posted by bmac on November 30, 2007

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels wrote a letter to Santa, to save him from global warming.

Talk about thin ice! It sounds like you had one doozy of a summer up in the North Pole, and quite frankly I’m worried. I read the stories about how the Arctic sea ice shrank to a record low this year and that scientists are pointing the finger at global warming. Some say if we don’t do something to cut greenhouse gas emissions soon, the North Pole might be ice free in summer as early as 2030. Reindeer fly, but can they swim, too?I for one would rather not find out. That’s why we’re launching “Operation Save Santa.”

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring….BECAUSE THEY WERE ALL WIPED OUT BY GREEDY CAPITALISTS WHO HATE YOU, AND YOUR MOMMY, YOUR DADDY, MRS.CLAUSE, AND RUDOLPH, AND EVERY LIVING THING ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH!!!!

Merry Christmas kids!

Posted in Crazy Old People, It's Friday | Leave a Comment »

Tasty Toads Tantalizing Treat To Tweaking Teens

Posted by bmac on November 16, 2007

Cops Crack Down on Hallucinogenic Toad Licking Trend

I had no idea pet stores sold toads. People will do anything to get high.

This ain’t so bad, I knew a guy in high school that dipped a cigarette in brake fluid and smoked it. Seriously.

By the way, is this illegal?

Party on Wayne!

Posted in It's Friday | Leave a Comment »