Sunday, June 29, 2014

FREE MUSIC FROM THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS (BOYYYYYYYY)


In 2013 They Might Be Giants toured the nation playing their first album in its entirety.  That would be cool enough, except that now they are giving you a free digital live album from that tour!  Go to theymightbegiants.com and grab it while you can.  There's no telling how long it will be available, but they do say that if this give away goes well that there could be more things like this in the future!  ALL HAIL THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS!

Click the widget for free music amazingness!


YOKO LA TENGO!



Not bad for an eighty year old, huh?  Here's the first footage to pop up of Yoko Ono on stage at Glastonbury with Yo La Tengo.  The full set is supposed to be released sometime Monday, so we'll add that to the post then.  Yoko is one impressive woman.

 STOP THE PRESSES
YOKO LA TENGO FANS! 

Here is the entire show:

 

Friday, June 27, 2014

MAJOR PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON LOVE


This morning (and all month, actually) we had another Paul Thomas Anderson love fest on the show, in part because of the Grind-Fu Cinema screening of Boogie Nights THIS SATURDAY, but also because he's one of those directors you could talk and talk about for ages.  The endless digressions reminded me of a terrific PT Anderson blog that I hadn't read in a while.


While not an official site for Anderson's projects, it often receives information directly from Anderson and his collaborators.  For example, it was the very first place that Anderson released images from The Master to.  Right now it has a bunch of news about his upcoming film Inherent Vice, which is exciting.  168 days until that comes out, by the way.

Anyway, check it out and get excited about P.T. Anderson, and get excited for Grind-Fu Cinema tomorrow night!

GRIND-FU CINEMA PRESENTS
Russ Meyer's
Beyond The Valley of the Dolls
and 
Paul Thomas Anderson's
BOOGIE NIGHTS

Saturday, June 28th at 7:00pm
Wiecking 220 Auditorium
Minnesota State University, Mankato

You should see both films, because you can.  Honestly, Beyond The Valley of the Dolls doesn't screen that often, and it was only recently that we were able to get the rights to it.  It isn't even available on DVD right now, so it's not like you can just pop out and see it.  If you absolutely have to pick and choose, here are the showtimes for each movie:

7:00 - BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS
9:00 - BOOGIE NIGHTS

But you should really see both.  They're too good to pass up.

I'm the new boy in town!  Where can I go?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

SPOILER ALERT FOR THE GREY: DIRK DIGGLER MEETS THE TRANSFORMERS


This post risks spoilers for the last third of Boogie Nights, so if you haven't seen it and are planning to join us THIS SATURDAY at Grind-Fu Cinema, you may want to skip reading this until Sunday!

If you have seen Boogie Nights, though, you know exactly what this is dealing with.  The main storyline in Boogie Nights deals with the rise and fall of Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) as he deals with fame, drugs, and delusion.  After a heated argument on the set of a film he storms off.  We soon see him embarking on his next career:  failed singer.

The scenes with Dirk and his friend Reed Rothschild (John C. Reilly) are both hilarious and tragic, because it shows how badly ego and drugs have damaged Dirk, and just how delusional he has become about his talents.  Witness the key moment where Dirk lays down a track in the studio:



Painful.  Funny, but painful.  I've laughed at that performance for years, never knowing that the horrible song he's singing is AN ACTUAL SONG that was released years earlier.  You know how every movie in the eighties had some song about "going gets tough" and "you've got to fight" and "you've got what it takes" and any number of other inspirational cliches that were probably sung by Frank Stallone?  This was one of those songs.  From The Transformer Movie, released in 1986.

Stan Bush wrote The Touch for the original Transformers film, and the song is featured prominently in it.  I was too old to really be into The Transformers at the time, or I surely would have recalled it.  But there it is, all Transform-y, in the movie:



Even better, he made a stand alone video for it:



Is Paul Thomas Anderson a Transformers fan?  I have no idea.  He clearly knows a stellar song to get pumped up to, and you can see it in Boogie Nights, this Saturday!

Shyboy

GRIND-FU CINEMA PRESENTS
Russ Meyer's
Beyond The Valley of the Dolls
and 
Paul Thomas Anderson's
BOOGIE NIGHTS

Saturday, June 28th at 7:00pm
Wiecking 220 Auditorium
Minnesota State University, Mankato

You should see both films, because you can.  Honestly, Beyond The Valley of the Dolls doesn't screen that often, and it was only recently that we were able to get the rights to it.  It isn't even available on DVD right now, so it's not like you can just pop out and see it.  If you absolutely have to pick and choose, here are the showtimes for each movie:

7:00 - BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS
9:00 - BOOGIE NIGHTS

But you should really see both.  They're too good to pass up.

I'm the new boy in town!  Where can I go?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

BOOGIE NIGHTS: ORIGINS


Boogie Nights was a massive hit for Paul Thomas Anderson, and it was the project that put him on the map.  Burt Reynolds was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Julianne Moore was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, and P.T. Anderson was nominated for Best Original Screenplay.  It was a big film for EVERYBODY involved.  What a lot of people may not have realized is that it actually had its origins in a 1988 short film.

When he was in high school Paul Thomas Anderson wrote and directed a half hour film entitled The Dirk Diggler Story.  The film was based on the life of John Holmes, and legendary adult film actor.  Like Diggler, Holmes was endowed, arrogant, and a raging drug addict.  In the end his vices spelled his demise, but in his hayday he was literally the biggest star in the business.

The Dirk Diggler Story was shot as a documentary, unlike Boogie Nights, which is a straightforward film.  He cast the film with friends and associates, including Bob Ridgely, who plays The Colonel in Boogie Nights, and legendary voice over artist Ernie Anderson as the narrator.  Ernie Anderson also just happens to be Paul Thomas Anderson's Dad, who also played the legendary TV horror host Ghoulardi.

But I digress.

Shot directly to video, The Dirk Diggler story tells essentially the same story as Boogie Nights, but in a much more compact 32 minutes.  Several scenes in it eventually showed up in Boogie Nights, which was released nine years later.  Anderson shot it himself, and edited it between two VCRs.  It's a pretty serious and ambitious project for a kid, but it shows the promise that he would eventually deliver on in Hollywood.

Here's The Dirk Diggler Story in all it's lo-fi glory.  Also, have I mentioned yet in this post that we're showing Boogie Nights THIS SATURDAY NIGHT on campus?  FOR FREE, EVEN!  Be there!

Shyboy





GRIND-FU CINEMA PRESENTS
Russ Meyer's
Beyond The Valley of the Dolls
and 
Paul Thomas Anderson's
BOOGIE NIGHTS

Saturday, June 28th at 7:00pm
Wiecking 220 Auditorium
Minnesota State University, Mankato

You should see both films, because you can.  Honestly, Beyond The Valley of the Dolls doesn't screen that often, and it was only recently that we were able to get the rights to it.  It isn't even available on DVD right now, so it's not like you can just pop out and see it.  If you absolutely have to pick and choose, here are the showtimes for each movie:

7:00 - BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS
9:00 - BOOGIE NIGHTS

But you should really see both.  They're too good to pass up.

I'm the new boy in town!  Where can I go?

Monday, June 23, 2014

YOKO AND YO LA TENGO (aka Shelley's Ten Minutes of Yoko Fame!)


Hey!  Look what Shelley got on the interwebs!

How cool is it that Yo La Tengo is going to be backing up Yoko at Glastonbury?  I would love to see that show, so Glasto peeps PLEASE film the set!  Then they should record an album and then they need to tour and play in Minnesota.  That's all we ask.

Also, I got a response from Yoko once, too, so I'm not doing to bad...


Sunday, June 22, 2014

WHAT'S ALL THIS ABOUT BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, THEN?



The Grind-Fu Cinema double bill this month is one that we're exceptionally proud of.  We have literally been dreaming of this line up since the day we first started thinking up Grind-Fu Cinemas.  Now, a lot of people are familiar with Boogie Nights.  It was Paul Thomas Anderson's first big film, and it's packed with moments that stand out even when compared to his other films.  The other morning we spent a good twenty minutes with Maverick Slim just geeking out and quoting scenes from the film.  It's quality stuff.

One thing that I have heard from some folks is that they aren't sure about Beyond The Valley of the Dolls.  They don't know Russ Meyer's work, and they just aren't familiar with the film, and because of that they don't know if they'll attend Grind-Fu THIS SATURDAY NIGHT.  While I understand this apprehension, I... wait, I don't understand it.

We all have favorite movies, right?  There was a time when we had never seen them, right?  Maybe this is one of those films!  There is a very good possibility that seeing Beyond The Valley of the Dolls IN A THEATER FOR FREE could be one of those great memorable moments in your film going lives.  This could be one of those movies that you will talk about over and over with wonder and amazement, because you realize that there are no other films like it.  There just aren't.  You could question that, but if you haven't seen it yet you'll have to wait until Sunday night before you do.

REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND
BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS!

1) THE CARRIE NATIONS


With the exception of Spinal Tap, The Carrie Nations could be the greatest fake band in film history.  Let's look at the members:


Dolly Read as as Kelly Mac Namara



Cynthia Myers as Casey Anderson


Marcia McBroom as Petronella Danforth

In a move that surprised no one, Russ Meyer selected two Playboy Playmates and a fashion model to make up his band.  Together they bring an energy to their performances that is unexpected from three first time actresses.  While Marcia McBroom went on to shoot other films, Beyond The Valley of the Dolls is the only film that both Dolly Read or Cynthia Myers acted in.

2) THE MUSIC
From virtually the first frame on  we're hearing terrific music, not only from The Carrie Nations but also from The Strawberry Alarm Clock, who perform their hit Incense and Peppermints.


Much of the music was written or co-written by Stu Phillips, a long time composer,songwriter, and producer.  In addition to producing The Marcel's Blue Moon and Shelley Fabres' Johnny Angel, he was also the mastermind behind The Hollyridge Strings releases.  Phillips' most notorious work, by far, was the soundtrack for Beyond The Valley of the Dolls.  He wrote the score for it, as well as co-wrote the Carrie Nations songs.




As far as pop songs go, they're great.  They don't feel like songs from a fake band at all.  Part of this is due to the incredible vocals of  Lynn Carey, who really tears into the material. Strangely, Carey's vocals are replaced on the original soundtrack album.  From what I understand, she (rightly) felt she wasn't being properly compensated or credited for her work, so the powers that be had her replaced.  It's remarkable that they could find somebody to even come close to her performance for the album, because her vocals are so powerful and distinct.  Fortunately they were made available with the CD reissue of the soundtrack.

2) THE SCREENPLAY

Nobody writes dialogue like Russ Meyer.  It's big and over the top and is the verbal equivalent of the leading ladies in his films.   Take this example from Faster Pussycat! KILL! KILL!:


He writes like a vulgar Shakespeare!



Meyer co-wrote the screenplay with Roger Ebert.  Yes, THE Roger Ebert.  Ebert was already a film critic, but was also a longtime admirer of Russ Meyer's body of work.  The two of them holed up in offices at 20th Century Fox and pounded this thing out.  What needs to be remembered is that Russ Meyer was a guy that never really got past his World War II experiences, culturally speaking, and Roger Ebert was a film critic from middle America.  Neither of them had any experience with hippie culture, so what you're seeing is what they think constitutes Hippie culture.  It plays like a fever cartoon.  An amazing and unforgettable fever cartoon.

3) SEX AND VIOLENCE

We're all grown ups here.  We've seen a thing or two in movies.  It should be no surprise to anyone that a Hollywood movie contains sex and violence.  This is America, after all, and you can see these things on any given night on the evening news.  What you'll see in Beyond The Valley of the Dolls is nothing that we couldn't see in an Rated R film today.  At the time, however, the sex and violence in Beyond The Valley of the Dolls was considered over the top, and as such it was given this rating:



Yes, Beyond The Valley of the Dolls is Rated X.  Or was Rated X.  What we need to remember is that at the time this film came out (1970) an X rating wasn't what it is today.  In fact, Midnight Cowboy was rated X and it won Best Picture in 1969.

Today's X equivalent is the NC 17 rating.  Basically, it means that the film has content unsuitable for younger audiences, and attendance is restricted to mature adults.  IT DOES NOT MEAN PORNOGRAPHY.  Eventually the porn industry co-opted the X to market their movies, and eventually it lost all meaning for conventional films.

What does this rating mean?  It means that this Grind-Fu is for ADULTS ONLY.  No kids allowed,  and for crying out loud, don't bring them!  Don't be that person.

4) YOU ARE A THRIFTY PERSON THAT APPRECIATES COOL MOVIES

It bears repeating that Grind-Fu Cinema is FREE.  It's always FREE.  You can see Beyond The Valley of the Dolls AND Boogie Nights FOR FREE.  How can we afford to do this?  We can't.  But we do, because you guys rule.  Also, Grind-Fu Cinema is a great time, and the audiences we get are some of the best we've ever seen films with.  To see these two together is gonna be a real treat.  Don't miss out!

GRIND-FU CINEMA PRESENTS
Russ Meyer's
Beyond The Valley of the Dolls
and 
Paul Thomas Anderson's
BOOGIE NIGHTS

Saturday, June 28th at 7:00pm
Wiecking 220 Auditorium
Minnesota State University, Mankato

You should see both films, because you can.  Honestly, Beyond The Valley of the Dolls doesn't screen that often, and it was only recently that we were able to get the rights to it.  It isn't even available on DVD right now, so it's not like you can just pop out and see it.  If you absolutely have to pick and choose, here are the showtimes for each movie:

7:00 - BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS
9:00 - BOOGIE NIGHTS

But you should really see both.  They're too good to pass up.

Shyboy

I'm the new boy in town!  Where can I go?


Friday, June 20, 2014

Heads up Mankato - home of the so-called "Jandek Cult"


#0814 Ghost Passing

Corwood Industries has recently listed a new release from Jandek on it's discography. It is a six disc boxset called Ghost Passing, and that is about all I can tell you about it. I love not knowing what to expect from each new release. Will it be another all piano exploration? I guess that the fact that it is a studio release and not a live show does clue us in to some extent - it means that this could be absolutely anything! Until it arrives, it is great fun to speculate. Your guess is as good as mine!


It is now easier then ever to order music from Corwood Industries. They now accept credit cards or PayPal on the website. You can still write to Corwood and order your music that way, but it is soooooooo easy now to simply set up an account and order it immediately. Shipping is free, and if you order 20 or more titles, you will get a 50% discount! So why not just dive right in and join the Jandek Completest Club?


Thursday, June 19, 2014

IT'S NICK DRAKE'S BIRTHDAY, SO HERE'S YOUR EXCUSE TO LISTEN TO EVERYTHING HE HAS EVER RECORDED


Not that one ever needs an excuse to listen to everything Nick Drake ever recorded, but here's one for you:  It's Nick Drake's birthday!  Remember poor Nick today and celebrate the amazing musical legacy he left us.  We play him pretty regularly on the show, but it you haven't heard him before you owe it to yourself to do so now.  What he created is in a class by itself, and it speaks to people in many different ways.  It's almost impossible to not be moved by it and it's even more difficult to not drop everything you're doing and just LISTEN.




After you're done getting sucked in by this amazing music (just do yourself a favor and get EVERYTHING he ever made) you should watch this terrific documentary that came out about fifteen years ago.  It's a great portrait of Nick, who never got the appreciation he deserved when we were lucky enough to have him.



Here's to you, Nick.

Shyboy

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

LOST TIM BURTON FILM SURFACES ON YOUTUBE!


So you're the world's biggest Tim Burton fan, huh?  You've seen all his movies and bought all his toys, huh?  WELL HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?!!  I didn't think so.

In 1983 Tim Burton was a promising new hire at Disney, but Disney didn't know what to do with him.  They gave him some money for a couple of small projects to keep him busy and on staff while they could.  One of them was the spectacular short film Vincent, which is the story of Vincent Malloy, a boy that wishes he was Vincent Price.  It's pretty awesome.  You should watch it now.




The other project was a half hour version of Hansel & Gretel.  It aired at midnight on Halloween, 1983, on the Disney Channel and then was never seen again.  After that it achieved near urban legend levels of notoriety.  People questioned whether or not it ever actually aired.  Indeed, Scooter Polanski has had this at the top of his wish list for at least a decade, but every lead was a dead end.

Recently Tim Burton had a career retrospective at the MOMA, and part of that featured a rare screening of this mythical film.  Apparently Burton stood up several times during it and yelled that it should never be seen.  Sorry, Tim, but YouTube begs to differ.

Check it out while you can!  Tim Burton is embarrassed by this project, so it may not last long.

Shyboy


Sunday, June 15, 2014

CASEY KASEM RIP


Growing up in the seventies and eighties, I was pretty obsessed with radio.  It's no lie when I say that doing the morning show is a dream come true for me, because that's all I would ever talk about.  Part of my obsession was listening to the weekly countdown of hits on American Top 40 with Casey Kasem.  For me, Casey was the man.  He was America's DJ.  Even though I hadn't listened to him regularly since the early 80s, he was always THE VOICE that would pop into my head when I would think about radio and DJ'ing.   Also, he was the voice of Shaggy on Scooby Doo!  It seems like there was a never a time in my formative years where he wasn't a presence.

Even though his death wasn't a surprise, it's still rough news to swallow.  It's even sadder that his final days were filled with family drama and controversy.  People deserve better than that.

Anyway, I'm gonna be the millionth person in the world to mark his passing with the legendary outtake from American Top 40 where he loses his cool over a Long Distance Dedication.  It's pretty funny, and it became the foundation for a legendary Negativland song. NSFW!

Until next time, keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

Shyboy


Saturday, June 14, 2014

JIMMY SCOTT RIP


I guess this is the Rule Of Three.  First Ann B. Davis (I gotta do a post about her), then Rik Mayall, and now legendary jazz singer Jimmy Scott.  Scott - who peformed for a good chunk of his career as Little Jimmy Scott - had Kallmann's Syndrome, a condition that stunted his growth for most of his life and kept him from hitting puberty.  As a result, his voice never changed, and he had a high voice for his entire life.  The plus of this is that it made his singing very distinctive, and the results were often haunting.

Jimmy Scott's career had petered out by the end of the sixties, and many people thought he had died.  His career bounced back when he sang at his friend Doc Pomus' funeral in 1991.  Indeed, it was around this time that I first heard of him, when he was featured in a pivotal scene in Twin Peaks.  Everything about this moment was creepy and intense, but it was Jimmy Scott's voice that pushed it over the edge.


Shelley's Uncle Richard told a story once about a horrible blizzard in Minneapolis that virtually shut down the city.  That night Jimmy Scott did an in store appearance at the long lost and legendary record store Let It Be.  The show had to go on, even though only a handful of fans were in attendance.  It's one of those shows I wish I coulda been at.  If only YouTube was a thing then!

Shyboy

Friday, June 13, 2014

THE HANDWRITTEN LYRICS FOR LOVE WILL TEAR US APART

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From the "This is super cool" files comes this amazing image of the original handwritten lyrics for Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart.  This is currently on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of a Joy Division/New Order exhibit.  ROAD TRIP!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

THIS IS GRIND-FU'S HAPPENING AND IT FREAKS US OUT!


Grind-Fu Cinema presents
Russ Meyer's
BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS
and
Paul Thomas Anderson's
BOOGIE NIGHTS

Saturday, June 18th @ 7:00pm
Wiecking 220 Auditorium
on the campus of Minnesota State university, Mankato!

FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE!

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS!  In some ways this is the BIGGEST Grind-Fu Cinema we've ever had!  If you've seen the films then you know what I'm talking about, but if you haven't seen them then you have been wasting your life.  The two films we'll be screening this month are massive technicolor genius.  Where to begin...


It's tempting to try and compare this film to another one to prepare you for it, but honestly there's nothing like Beyond The Valley of the Dolls.  There's just NO OTHER FILMMAKER like Russ Meyer.  Others could try to make a film like he did, but they would just be T&A parades.  Russ Meyer plays like obscene Shakespeare, with all the violence and the addition of incredibly specific casting desires.  If you have never seen a Russ Meyer film, then this is a great place to start.  It's racier and louder and more screen popping than his earlier stuff, but much tamer than his later work.



Also, the screenplay was written by the legendary Roger Ebert.  Not too shabby.  Watch this episode of The Incredibly Strange Film Show and you'll get a great idea of what Russ Meyer was about, PLUS is has lots of great footage of Roger Ebert discussing the films of Meyer and well as his work on BTVOTD.







Boogie Nights  was the second film Paul Thomas Anderson made, and it knocked the world on it's bottom.  If you've never seen it, you might think this film is all about sex and porn.  That's a wildly superficial assessment of the film.  Boogie Nights is more about love and family and finding your way in the world.  It's got a lot of heart and energy.  It's funny and heartbreaking and it features an INSANE cast of actors.  It's impossible to choose a favorite Paul Thomas Anderson film, but Boogie Nights will always at or near the top of the list.



Grind-Fu Cinema is absolutely thrilled to be showing these two films together.  It's a double bill we've been dreaming of since the very beginning, and we're finally able to do it.  DON'T MISS OUT!  It's going to be an epic night of movies, and IT'S COMPLETELY FREE!  Don't miss what could be considered the Haley's Comet of double features!

Also this double bill is most definitely for kids!  Adults only!

I'm the new boy in town!  Where can I go?




Friday, June 06, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen - Here is Your Smash Hit Song Of The Summer for 2014

Voting was hot and heavy Shuffle Functioneers, but the polls are closed and the people have spoken!

Here is your Winner 
Rachel Brooke - A Killer's Dream

         

Voting was close!! It was just two votes separating first and second place! More votes than ever were placed in this year's contest as well. In second place, Peach Kelli Pop with Mind Reader. Tied for third place, Blank Realm with Falling Down The Stairs and Dick Kent with Octopus Woman Please Let Me Go.