Monday, August 27, 2012

Surreality: Fear and Loathing in Los Angeles

Surreality; when apparent reality suddenly becomes surreal without the aid of drugs. (Usually found in larger cities like New York or Los Angeles but often experienced in New Orleans)

It was somewhere off Sunset Blvd across from the Hustler Store when the sobriety started to kick in . . .  

Last night I was at the Whiskey A Go-Go to see a band called "Johna" (I've never heard of them either, but their cute lead singer Nadine has a beautiful voice and is German so that's a plus too.) (It's a duo, the lead singer (with acoustic guitar) & a keyboardist, a semi-unusual mix, but it works. Well they're both German. *.*)

I'd never heard of this band before however somehow (and this has happened to me 3 times in LA already) tracked me down and invited me to the show, and since I'm a curious adventuresome fella and don't mind new experiences I said I'll I did!/johnamusic ;-look em up if you're inclined.

I was out running errands and I let my invitee know I may not make it to the show :(

But I did...

That wasn't the weird part...that was the refressing part...the weird part happend shortly after I arrived.

So I parked at an overpriced lot next to the Whiskey. Though it is nicer only walking a few feet to get my car at the end of the night.

And I went for a walk cause the club wasn't opening. I had overheard the owner was coming late. (The show actually started about 30 minutes after scheduled, and not because of that 'make em wait' philosophy, but because the owner showed up to open the doors late. (Or so I heard.)

I waited in the line for about 30 minutes. And ended up waiting in the line specifically for people with tickets...I did not, so I had to get in a second line. And a magical scalper offered me a ticket to the show for 5$...having never head of the band I was about to see, I took that route, the woman next to me gave the scalper 10$. I flirted for a little while until I realized she was a bitch.
Earlier in the night, waiting in line, I started to get creeped out about this show because in the a place called "WHISKEY A GO-GO" it has 'Whiskey' in the &*(*&(*@&(*@& title!!!! Were what appeared to be a very large group of 12-15 year old kids waiting in line for a field trip, with 1 adult shapperone. This was creeping me out. Why weren't their bar feild trips when I was in school?

Well it turns out the reason they were probably their was because of the opening band. The opening band looked like a group of 12 year olds attempting to be rockers. (The guitarists could play well enough) The first song they did were, ehem, "I've got 99 problems but a 'chick' ain't one" (Not that chick can't be construed as derogatory among women it's that bitch apparently is offensive, but 'bitches ain't shit but hoes and tricks'. (Nevermind) A least they didn't try a toned down version of Rape Me by changing the word 'rape' with the word 'hug' or something equally hilarious.  Regardless the moment the kids started singing I walked quickly and calmly to the bar. (Corona)

The real kicker that had me rolling on the floor was when the kids band covered "Hero of the Day" a Metallica song kidzbob style. It took all my strength not to laugh at the top of my lungs. I thought his voice was breaking into puberty in the middle of the song. "The hero of THE day YEahhhle" (you can imagine)

  <- Imagine this kid singing, the song below ~

They get an A+ for effort though.

Then they sang 'an original, instrumental' which sounded like noise, pure unkempt 12 year old angst noise. (The guitarist wasn't bad though) I had to go out for a smoke or heroin or something to get my mind off of this.

Other highlights. A bouncer telling a 15 year old looking British kid, not to pass out fliers at the club, the same bouncer kissing and hugging his mom (apparently) who had stopped by to say hello and a girl that looked at least 9 carrying part of a drum kit out to a car.

My drinking partner was a poster of Janis Joplin smiling on the wall next to the table.

I would have normally invited more friends (even though I did tell people about the show and posted about it on my FB, and am telling people about it now) but because I am very tolerant and I couldn't at points stand in the same room without laughing I'm sure any company I'd invited wouldn't have had the patience to stay for the band I was waiting on.)

The second band was a hispanic rap group I think, also kids, which covered "I Wanna be a Billionaire" and "Video Killed the Radio Star" I asked the bar tender if he had some rope and a tall stool and how sturdy the rafters were but said they were all out of rafters.

Anyways after a walk up to the Hustler Store for a quiche or pastry or something (Yes they have a cafe) there cafe person was out so I walked slowly back to the club. The bouncer told me 'he wished he could go for a walk' made me laugh.

Finally the band I was there to see played and as a strange contrast to everything else they A.) Played well, she has a beautiful voice for that style and were a rather stripped down duo singer songwriter style music with a keyboard. Very relaxing as apposed to the caterwauling (of a cat) make a shrill howling or wailing noise;) I had heard from the previous bands.

I sat through their entire set but didn't stay to introduce myself. There wasn't a large turnout, which is sad because they were clearly the only thing worth listening to in the club that I heard last night. (Though I didn't stay for the group after them, but that one seemed adolescent too and probably just as inexperienced as the others.)

Johna was worth some semblance of my time...the others were not even worth a note.

In LA you try things and sometimes they pan out into other things.

- First chapter, LA is nuts - 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Thing about Life and Friends

           Life is too short to care too much about menial mistakes or what unenlightened morons think of you. Too often in my experience there are two types of advice, genuine advice from friends who support you and advice given out of malice in order to change you into a person other's think will make you acceptable to whatever their view of 'society' is. It's total b.s. either way, stay healthy, keep a good appetite for life, and go for the throat and surround yourself with wonderful people that do the same…I also realize this looks like a  platitude salad. Watched "All that Jazz" again last night, if I can make a film 1% as good as that movie in my future I'll be happy. But it is a film about how your life choices affect you and those around you and possibly the most brilliant meditation on death ever filmed. (But that's just this ole boy's opinion) Be yourself, anyone who says otherwise; family, friends, god . . . it's not worth feeling bad just to be excepted by people who don't respect you in the first place. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Movies That Have Made Me Cry.

        It takes a man to admit when something as trivial as a film as got to him emotionally and it takes a fantastic filmmaker to be able to make that happen and here are the 8 films I remember affecting me emotionally sometimes a full on sob other times just moist eyes but these are films I consider resonating emotional masterpieces. 

1The Deer Hunter

The Deer Hunter is the only war film that encapsulates post, pre, and during the vietnam war and how it changes people, it's known for being long and slow but that aspect just helps you to know, and truly know the family and friends of the people affected by the war as you would your own in the exact situation...the feeling of 'coming home' after the war has never been so earth shatteringly emotional than in any other film. The less said about "The Deer Hunter" the better, I did a review of this film in an earlier blog when I bought the blu-ray...if you haven't seen the movie, or haven't seen it recently, get yourself a nice meal take a few hours and let the brilliant performances, slow pacing, and masterful cinematography wash over you completely. This film is an epic. This film is an emotional feast if you let it take you right. 

2 The Grave of the Fireflies - Roger here spells this film out much better than I could.

3 Shindler's List - nuff said.

4 The Wrestler

This film on a personal level reminds me of someone very specific in my life. (Though much different than this character.) So I'm not going to elaborate more on this.

5 All that Jazz (Maybe spoilers)

If you know me you already know this is one of my all time favorite films. And if you haven't seen it you can't judge it. This film is about a man facing his own death and dealing with it in a dreamlike hallucinogenic dream state. It's about a man reflecting on the mistakes he's made and laughing about them and dancing with them. I think this film is a masterpiece.

6 The Men Behind the Sun (*Warning clip contains scary things*)

This is not the best made film on the list by far, it may in fact be the crudest. But it's brutal and about something real that happened in Japan during WWII at a place called 731 (look it up if you want to) A lab where Chinese and Russians were used as human guinea pigs to test various diseases and even performed vivisections (that's a dissection while a person is still alive) in order to study these diseases affects on a living human body. The subject matter brings me to tears that humans can be so dehumanized.

7 The Dead Poets Society

The ending of this movie is so real, human, poetic, and palpable to me. Robin plays this so human like a truly vibrant and loving teacher. I love poetry and art, that's why I work in the entertainment business, and this film encapsulates that youthful spirit I had toward it in high school. 'How do you make the girls swoon?' With poetry.

This is simply put one of the best coming of age films ever made.

8 Midnight Cowboy

If this film doesn't get to you on some emotional may not have emotions. Midnight Cowboy is the only X or Unrated as such film to win Best Picture and it is a cinema classic and for my money a masterpiece. It's about a young man who comes to New York City to become a male prostitute (Voight) and he befriends a lowlife named Rizzo (Hoffman) who acts like his pimp, though mostly they just chat about life, sneak into parties, live a little, love a little, and learn to grow up. In the beginning they have their fights, their troubles, and then become great films. This is a must see for every cinefile.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

24 Tips for the Entertainment Industry . . .

1.) If you put your phone up and say you're talking to someone 'super important' but don't have the courtesy to step outside and keep your business to yourself, (unless it's real quick). It's probably bullshit. 

2.) If you always seem to pick restaurants to eat at 'to be seen' or 'this is a cool place' as appose to 'they have good food' and 'I like it here' . . . you're trying too hard. 

3.) If you're too dumb to get a contract, you might as well bend over and lube up. 

3b.) If you're too dumb to get a lawyer if someone sends you a contract, you might as well bend over and lube up. 

4.) If you continually talk down about people around you in this business . . . you're probably worse off than they are and too dumb to even notice. 

5.) If you constantly say 'I could do that better' you probably haven't and wouldn't know where to start if you did try.  

6.) If you ever say 'I don't need a backup plan' or 'we'll worry about that later' you're production is 100% fucked.  

7.) If you treat PA's like furniture, they'll never work hard for you.  

7b.) If you treat Crew like furniture, they'll never work hard for you. 

8.) If you ask for too many favors and freebies you'll usually get cut off at the worst possible time. 

9.) If you're not a 'people-person' you'd better be damn good at what you do. 

10.) If you don't hustle…find another line of work.

11.) If you drop names faster than panties on prom night you don't really know those people.

12.) If you ever say 'screw that guy, I'll never work with him again even if I'm homeless' odds are you may need him down the line. 

13.) Sometimes you have to burn a bridge to get to the next one. (You can always rebuild on something later.) 

14.) There is no reason to be a jerk, we all got bills to pay. 

15.) Relax. Work hard. Relax. Work hard again. 

16.) A friend of mine used to say 'this business is a marathon not a sprint', I don't believe that . . . It's a series of sprints, then breaks, then more sprints. 

17.) Don't assume someone doesn't know something, someone, or whatever just because they're young. 

18.) Roles change hands faster than cards at a go-fish game. 

19.) Parties are a part of this business, it's not a side thing we do, it's a part of the entity that is this business, so make sure you're a happy drunk and get home safely. 

20.) Exercise, get laid, get a back massage, drink some beers, do a puzzle, have a hobby, if you spend your entire day thinking about this business you'll go nuts. 

21.) Don't be a prude. Too much weird shit happens in this town, you'd be blind. 

22.) If you're afraid to make tough decisions in short amounts of time under extreme pressure…find another line of work.

23.) If you're working less than another person and less experienced you're not allowed to ask them to 'calm down' or 'chill' especially if you aren't sure what they're busy with.

24.) The industry will cut you, it will not play fair, nepotism is always a factor, but if you continue to let it cut you without putting up a fight it will not stop and you'll get into a rut and become complacent. Low level employee's can be hired as complacent, high level employee's in charge will never be.

25.) Laugh 

About Me:

Favorite color: Dark Forrest Green - like my eyes 

Favorite film: Oldboy

Favorite band: Joy Division

Favorite album: Unknown Pleasures : Joy Division 

Favorite song: Disorder - Unknown Pleasures : Joy Division - Track 1

Favorite T.V. series: Penn and Teller Bullshit / The X-Files / The Twilight Zone depending on my mood those are tops but for laughs old school Simpsons 

Favorite Comic (series): Judge Dredd (Yeah and I own that issue #3 first appearance of Judge Death)

Favorite Comic (graphic novel): Arkham Asylum 

Guilty pleasure: One should never feel guilty with pleasure, but I'd guess Blink 182 

(Warning video contains words)

Favorite quote: 'There isn't a day goes buy where I don't regret a thing I did or said now you ask me about a lifetime? Oh dear God almost everything' - William S. Burroughs author of Naked Lunch

Favorite poem: 'A dream deferred' - Langston Hughes - Runner Up: 'Stolen Child' William Butler Yeats

(*Langston Hughes*)
(*W.B. Yeats*)

Favorite icon: David 'Fucking' Bowie

Fears: losing a friend over stupid bullshit 

Regrets: None - despite the quote, I feel him, and feel like I should regret some of my decisions but by the end of the day I'm living the dream and it's all because of the scar tissue in my past has made me strong enough to endure this tough bullshit 'entertainment' industry and love the new tattoos it has imbrued into my psyche. 

Favorite memory: First time a stranger said 'I love you' and I knew they meant it. 

Worst memory: Suicide attempt of one of my friends 

Favorite novel: A Clockwork Orange

Favorite short story: Strawberry Spring - Stephen King's Nightshift collection

Favorite author: I don't read enough to have a very good barometer but Stephen King 

(The master of horror indeed)

Favorite sport: To watch - none, to play . . . . tennis and basketball

Favorite game: Video, board, or physical? 

*Video: Kickle Cubicle - an old nintendo game from where else, Japan

*Board: Um - Trivial Pursuit or Clue 

*Physical: Naked victoria secret model twister (Charlize Theron will suit if no supermodels are available) 

Favorite actor: Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman (Used to be Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey (in the good stuff) and practically everything I've seen Daniel Day Lewis in)

Favorite sexual position: Um, don't think it has a name. I think I came up with it. I call it 'The Switchblade Knife' cause from it you can change positions easily . . . um I mean, sex what's that ? *.* 

Emotions: All of them in one handy shot-glass

Personality: Neurotic 

Style: Comfortable 

Subculture: Plain clothed goth. I love Joy Division, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, goth chicks (Aka; Rooney Mara - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) but black clothing and makeup aren't for me in the least even if I'm acting makeup annoys the piss out of me and if I kiss a girl with too much makeup it's annoying . . . like kissing a chalkboard. Prettiest girls I've met don't need to wear much. 
Compulsion: Tons I'm OCD about many things though none of them related to cleaning

Chore like to do: Dusting ^.^ It cures my asthma which is practically gone anyways
Chore I hate doing: I don't hate any of them usually I just pop in a movie or CD and psych myself into it, I'm getting better at cleaning much, much more often than I did . . . just lazy about it really  

Favorite smell: Women 

Least favorite smell: Ugly women (wait that doesn't make any sense) I don't have much a sense of smell truly - anything rotten be it breath or old food

Favorite dish: Shepard's Pie
Favorite meal style: Most Japanese
Favorite country you've been too: If it wasn't so poor and I wasn't in such a risk of getting mugged I'd like Jamaica 
Beer: Lager and a good stout, I don't like IPA's much, but I like a good stout when I'm in the mood for something thicker (Found one that tastes like chocolate once) Specifically though 'Kirin'
Alcohol: Absinthe
Mixed Drink: Absinthe and Mountain Dew (Don't knock it till you try it and then you'll probably hate it. Absinthe isn't even an acquired taste it's just so unique you either love it or hate it)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Top 10: "Batman The Animated Series" episodes (Contains some episodes)

If You're So Smart Why Aren't You Rich? 

Perchance To Dream (Just the music . . . . these are hard to find on Youtube.) 

The Fear Of Victory

(*Spoiler - um in the promo to the show.)

Almost got Em

Dreams of Darkness

Heart of Ice (Emmy winning)

The Last Laugh (Captain Clown)

Cape and Cowl Conspiracy
Over the Edge


Runners Up:

Trial , Judgement Day , The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne , Jokers Favor , I've Got Batman in My Basement , Legends of the Dark Knight , Prophecy of Doom

Worst: Critters  and Jonah Hex