Thursday, July 5, 2012

Top 13 (of the Week)

Sure,you know what's cool. But do you know what's really fuckin' FAR OUT? That's where Advanced Demonology comes in. Every week, (K)en and (S)wilson trudge through the murky waters of the pop culture hellscape, dredging up sparkly morsels of wonder. These are the result of our latest foray into the world of the weird, our wildest, wiggest-out picks of the week. Call it our 13 Point Program.

13. Cucumber - The French Job
Cucumber is a French dude who may or may not be a member of  the pop-psych instro-jammers Stereoscope Jerk Explosion. He might not even be French. He might not even like vegetables. All I really know is that he's got a new record, “The French Job”, and it's crazy groovy, full o' fat organ riffs, trippy sitar freakouts, and 70's cop show funk. Far out! (K)

12. The Beguiled (1971)
The crowning achievement of the Eastwood/Don Siegel team up. Maybe because being trapped in an all girls school in the south is one of my fantasies, but I think this is one of the best movies of the 70's. Our friend Lalo Schifrin does the soundtrack and Clint sings one of the tracks.  This is a good candidate for a Movies About Girls episode if they haven't done it already (S).

11.Danuta Lato
Spectacularly top-heavy Polish 4-foot-11-inch“glamour model”/actress turned 80's synthpop singer. She's well-known in Europe for a long-running series of prank TV shows. All the pranks involving her also involved her boobs. Hard to find her stuff stateside,  but if the gleefully cheeseball/softcore “Touch My Heart” video is indicitive of her talents, she's my new fave singer of all time, ever. (K)

10. I'd Rather Be The Devil: Skip James and the Blues by Stephen Calt
Skip James is a mean mother fucker! You think gangsta rappers are bad asses this murdering, pimping, bootlegging, piano playing, guitar picking,  blues legend puts them all to shame.  You might not like Skip all too much after reading this book, you could argue that he's a product of the horribly racist Jim Crowe south, but that wouldn't explain all the rest of the people who didn't commit such atrocious acts like oping up a juke joint dance floor, indiscriminately  with a double barreled shotgun.  All this murder and mayhem aside this is an amazing book about the blues and music in general. The fascinating thing is that James was not all that successful a blues man the first go round. His voice was often too thin to be heard above the rumble of the Saturday night partiers and his style a bit idiosyncratic. Not until some white collage students unearthed his recordings in the 60's and played them up against all the other recordings made at the time, was it realized he was a true musical genius. (S)

9. Ball of Fire (1941)
Barbara Stanwyck stars in this fantastic comedy as the awesomely named Sugarpuss O'Shea, a showgirl on the lam who hides out with a geeky professor and his seven weird colleagues. They're writing an encyclopedia and they're stuck on the “slang” entry, since they haven't left the house in nine years and don't know how “regular” folks talk. She teaches them some way-out words and a lot more. Amazing dialogue, kooky characters, lotsa laffs, and plenty va-voom. It's the bees knees, daddy-o! (K)

8. The Plastic People Of The Universe
Legendary in there native Czech Republic, this band, influence by the Mothers and The Velvet Underground was  born out of the Prague Spring and the musical Inspiration to the underground resistance to the Soviet control of Czechoslovakia . They faced all kinds of hassles from the eternally buzz killing Red Army and were basically forced under ground until the Velvet Revolution in 1989.  Kinda reminds me of what's going on in Belarus now. (S)

7. G.L.O.W. documentary
What if I told you that, back in the  mid 80's, every saturday afternoon, there was a TV show where hot girls in ridiculous outfits whaled on each other? It happened. It was called The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, and it was glorious. And now, coming soon to a theater near you (maybe hopefully),  there's a documentary about the whole crazy phenomenon. Mostly I'm glad the 80's are far behind me, but G.L.O.W., that I miss. Holy smokes, what a show. (K)

6. Savoy Brown Is just not any good..except the song Hellbound Train.
I tried guys. I tried all week to get into Savoy Brown. I mean I really tried. Logged in the hours. But that's my job, right?  They got alot of things going for them. They dress pretty cool, have great heavy metal looking record covers. Play flying V guitars, and wear orange tinted sunglasses. The intros to the song all start out cool, but then they quickly devolve into the most boring chicago blues derived nothing you've ever heard.  It was almost incredible how boring they could make a rock song, l was starting to wonder if it was aspecial talent that I should be appreciating.  So you can skip Savoy Brown. Well,  except for "Hellbound Train", and you can just listen to it once here and move on with your life.

5. The Tyrant of Clipperton Island
Clipperton Island is off the coast of Mexico. It's about six miles long and uninhabited. At least it is now.  Once, back in the 1910's, a couple dozen folks lived there, in relative peace. They even had a governor. And then, one day, the lighthouse keeper went nuts, and took it over. And then things got weird. A crazy, creepy story!

4. San Diego 2012, 4th of July Fireworks Malfunction
 I love the fourth of July. It's a pagan summer solstice festival. That's what it really is anyway, right?  I love fireworks. I live across the street from one of the richest men in the world, in the worst section of one of the best areas of the City. Lucky for me the billionaire across the street parks a barge full of explosives 300 feet in front of my house. It's incredible, you can smell the gunpowder. Just one of the perks of living in close proximity to people way outside your economic strata ( I used to live in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Philadelphia, I didn't belong there either, and that had it's perks, I just can't get into it now). Anyway…. in San Diego all the fireworks went off at once, kinda like a Steppenwolf song, and the display only lasted 15 seconds. Now while that was probably a bummer for most, it did make for some beautiful photos.  I also think setting all the fireworks off at once is one of the most American things to do. Maybe the start of a new San diego tradition.(S)

3. Satan runs amuck in the Philippines
Last episode of the Advanced Demonology Podcast, we reported on a wave of Satanism in South African grade schools. Well, now the devil is digging his claws into kids in the Philippines now, too. During Sunday mass, no less! (K)

2. White Manna - White Manna (2012)
Bombastic space rock from Humboldt county California, an extremely credible place to make bombastic space rock, fronted by an Ex-New Jersey gang leader, who was once part of an 80's hip hop duo opposite Swilson ( yes that's 100% true). If AC/DC drank copious amounts of cough syrup and lived in the redwood forrest. If Hawkwind played a Vietnam Veterans Against The War rally. If John Muir had access to a wall of Orange amplifiers and a Telecaster.  If I could only take this thing back in time with me to 1991 and eat the "blue telephones" all over again!!!! Get it now on vinyl from Holy Mountain records, then dub it down to 8-Track.  (S)

1. The Lavender Panthers
Led by openly gay minister Reverend Ray Broshears, The Lavender Panthers were a vigilante group who prowled the streets of San Francisco in the early 70's. Trained in martial arts and armed with chains and brass knuckles, they sought out gay bashers and...well, bashed 'em. What bad-asses! (K)

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