Saturday, December 17, 2005

Howard Stern: 12-16-05

Howard Stern Radio Show - 12-16-05

Friday, December 16, 2005

Book One, Part Two: Mustache... No Mustache!

When we last left Burt Reynolds, he had followed up the Best Picture nominated film Deliverance with a hilarious neo-noir called Shamus… where would he go next?

At first glance there are two remarkably striking things about the White Lightning poster. The first thing is that Burt Reynolds has no mustache. This is like taking away Dolly Parton’s boobs or Willie Nelson’s beard… it should not happen. When I look at Burt without a mustache I feel like I am looking into a mirror, but seeing someone else looking back at me. I can’t keep talking about this because it is scaring me. The second thing about this poster is look at how fucking ripped Burt is. He is holding a fucking lightening bolt, and I think it could be real. In fact, the poster boasts that Burt Reynolds has been reborn with this new-look Burt Reynolds a rebirth in one of its two taglines: If you haven’t seen White Lightening, you haven’t seen Burt Reynolds. The second tagline is much stronger and given its positioning it feels like it is supposed to be a quote directly from Burt’s mouth – from what I have seen of Burt in interviews it feels like something he would say. This is reflective of how much was thought of Burt Reynolds at the time – he was such a man that if he thought a movie was good, all good red-blooded men better go see it! Before I move on, there are a couple of pieces of White Lightening trivia that I need to discuss. First, this was supposed to be Spielberg’s first studio release following Duel… instead he boosted Goldie Hawn’s career with The Sugarland Express. Oh Burt, so close. Second, the memorable quotes page for White Lightening has two quotes that are basically part of common slang - could these great lines have come from White Lightening? They are “I was born ready”, and “I was scared shitless”… both absolute classics, but so is “Only two things in the world I'm scared of… women and police”. Oh Burt, you devil!

The same year that White Lightning was released, Burt Reynolds also released a Western – The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing. Thankfully, unlike White Lightening, Burt’s mustache is back and doing some serious acting in his role as Jay. Interestingly enough, this was another movie that Spielberg was supposed to direct… I wonder if Burt Reynolds beat him up because he was a little nerd – if so, it was a bad decision. I really love this poster. The colour scheme is amazing and by using the “high-noon” sun in the background it gets people excited to see Burt shoot some bad-mother-fuckers dead. By looking up at Burt you take the role of the corpse of some poor sap who he has just had to put out of his (or her) misery… and he looks very tall. The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, although having a very confusing title (click here to see what Google Images thinks of Cat Dancing – the one to the left is my favorite) has an amazing tagline. That tagline is so clear in its sell, but still makes me wonder exactly where the movie is going to go – that is movie marketing! I also love how you get a little picture of the hot-babe that’s in the movie – classic.

Now this is a movie that you follow up Deliverance with! The Longest Yard is an absolute work of art, and probably Burt Reynolds’ best role. I never saw the Adam Sandler remake because I think a big part of Longest Yard is that it surprises you at every turn. I also read Bill Simmons’ brilliant review, which made me never want to see this movie (as an aside the original Longest Yard is Bill Simmons’ 3rd greatest sports movie ever): “Imagine that Al Pacino's career was going 10 times worse than it was right now, mainly because he had gotten too much plastic surgery and looked like he was wearing an Al Pacino Halloween mask. Then imagine they remade "The Godfather" with Adam Sandler as Michael, Rob Schneider as Sonny, David Spade as Fredo, Chris Rock as Tom Hagan, Courtney Cox as Connie, Eminem as Carlo Rizzo and Pacino as Don Vito Corleone – marketed as a "funnier, hipper version!" of the original classic – with Pacino's appearance making it seem like he endorsed the idea (when they were actually taking advantage of a washed-up actor who needed a job). Well, now you know how I felt after watching Sandler's remake of "The Longest Yard." (sorry, can’t give you a link because of ESPN insider). Of course I will discuss the downfall of Burt’s career later, but I thought that his greatest triumph was a timely moment to bring up his inevitable future. Anyways, onto the poster, I think this poster is kind of weak. I don’t know if there was another one, but I feel like they figured dudes were going to see the movie anyways (football, football, football, 47 minutes of football for the final game) so they figured they would just flaunt Burt Reynold’s mustache and hairy chest to turn it into a date movie. Then instead of a great tagline, they have a crappy joke followed by an un-authored quote. Any movie could role out a quote if they don’t name a source, a real movie (that won the Golden Globe for best Musical/Comedy) could have used a real quote. On IMDB they do have a really good tagline: First Down… And Ten Years to Go, but I can’t find any posters that actually use it. To sum up, it’s great movie so I had to include it, but a horrible poster.

For the second time, Burt Reynolds makes a horrible mistake after making an Academy Award worthy film – he shaved his mustache. I don’t even believe it is him… and I certainly don’t believe that some imposter with a clean upper lip will be able to pick up a hot girl like Catherine Deneuve. I do love that tagline “She’s the call girl. He’s the cop. They both take their jobs seriously.”, and he was smart enough to work with the same director as Longest Yard. In fact, I am pretty confident that if Burt had not shaved his mustache this would have been nominated for an Academy Award too. I actually really like this poster. It has an old-school noir feel to it. I know that there are going to be conspiracies, I know Burt is going to be right in the middle of it. I love how Burt is loading his gun as Catherine Deneuve plays with his manly chest hair. I love the dirty Strip Joint MC in the bottom right. I love that the movie was rated X in the UK.

Burt was on a role… another great movie, and he was the star in every poster. I questioned his rash decision to shave his mustache a lot over this time period, but he was still one of Hollywood’s leading men. I have one final series of posters that show Burt in the 70s which I will post sometime soon. Remember, although these can be seen as the good days, Burt was still hustling at this point – it was his complacency in the 80s that leads to his downfall… the best is yet to come.

Howard Stern: 12-15-05

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas from Montreal

This may be my last day of work before Christmas I say may, because I can't get a straight answer. I'm working on a television show, and for anyone else out there who has shared the experience you know it to be chaotic, stressful, ridiculous hours, and generally unsatisfying. So here is the scenario, the schedule says tomorrow is a full cast & crew day-off. Not true - there is an ultra low-pro splinter unit going down. So to save some money on the day, a lot of people still have the day off...So does my uber-important position dictate that I must come in? Or does my massive paycheck effect the budget of the day detrimentally? Have I completely lost my mind with these delusions of grandeur? Bottom line I don't want to come in, I'm done with this show, it's Christmas time, and I want to go home.
Rant out of the way, let's move on.This is a repost of sorts, many moons ago I put up some Arcade Fire stuff, the Christmas EP, and an amazing live show (unfortunately I can't remember whose site I initially found it on, but thanks). I received 2 requests last night to repost because the links have gone dormant, likely hibernating for the winter, so let's wake them up. Arcade Fire has taken the world by storm, and with good reason, their sound is so original. It's a relentless, surging furnace of a sound pushing underneath the constantly building melodies above. Epic, dramatic, powerful and beautiful. One of my favorite elements of this band is that they hail from my beloved Montreal. If you could capture the magic of this city in sound "Funeral" is it, the romance, the art the WINTER. Listening right now it still gives me the chills, "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)", a surreal love story, two lovers digging tunnels through the snow to be with each other, so obsessed they block out the entire world, forgetting everything but their single heart.
The Arcade Fire - Funeral
(for some reason the last track is screwy and cuts out, here is the replacement for "In the Back Seat")
"Power Out" is another gem, inspired by the black-out and as one who was there I can tell you it was a crazy time. So impressive to see mother nature just cripple our sense of security. The week or so when the power was out, I remember everyone coming together, candles and wine, and of course body heat to keep warm (I was in first year university at the time, and it was the high-light of my year to be sure). Man I miss Montreal sometimes, especially in the winter.
The Christmas EP is a weird little anomaly of a bootleg, it was made by the band in 2002 as a gift to their friends, never intended to see the light of day. This version, adds a few tunes from "Us Kids Know" to round it out. For anyone trapped in offices, working in malls or stores, who is forced to absorb 8-10 hours of Christmas music a day, this is a welcome change. I promise you won't want to rip your head off listening to this "Silent Night". So this isn't the actual cover, it's actually from a single release, but I thought it looked very nice and Christmas-like. Whoever does the art for these guys is a genius, i love the style.
The Arcade Fire - Christmas Album

Last but not least is "Arcade Fire: Live at Lowlands 2005" about an hour of live music from the band. Arcade Fire has gained notoriety over the last 2 years as being the best live band of the day. This is a good example of that claim, the sound quality is actually really good, enjoy.
The Arcade Fire - Live At Lowlands 2005

Howard Stern: 12-14-05

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ween Wednesday

Before we get to Ween I have to shove in a little shameless promotion for the Kittens. I was at their show last night, totally great, the band was really tight and they had the crowd in the palm of their hand. AND, now they have killer costumes compliments of the "strange guy upstairs". I have to let everyone in or near Toronto know that this show is happening tomorrow and it should be great as usual. Thursday is a little more respectable in terms of going out for us working folks, so I hope y'all give it a chance.
There, promotion out of the way, let's look at another genius rock band - Ween. When I mentioned to Nate (vocals - RWTK), that his band bares a striking resemblance to Ween he had never even heard of them. Frankly not enough people have. SO to get the word out on what will (and to some is already) be looked upon as a legendary, groundbreaking band, I'm going to post Ween albums every Wednesday until those who love them will have 'em all, and those who hate them will learn to love them... hopefully.

Ween - God, Ween, Satan, The Oneness
pt. 1
pt. 2

Ween - The Pod
pt. 1
pt. 2

NBA Players Do the Darndest Things

Another week, another selection of amazing NBA photos (and I promise this is the end of these Orlando Magic pictures... I just love them so much)!

Screw you guys... I'm taking my ball, and I'm going home.

Even his own teammates want to beat Keith Van Horn up.

When I think about me dunking, I touch myself.

I fucking love Deion ever since I saw him hosting Mrs. America.

Science is fun!

When he isn't a point guard for the Magic, Jameer Nelson discovers new galaxies far, far away.

Sorry to rehash material, but the best thing to write under this picture is Steve Francis' quote about Cuttino Mobley:

"I can't put it into words. Playing with a guy, living with a guy, just knowing that every day when I wake up that's something I can count on, that I'm going to be in practice or in a game with Cuttino. Him not being here is going to be tough for me. I don't know what I'm going to wake up for."

Coach, I need help with my SAT's.

Sumo, I need you to post this CD!!!

Unfortunately right after this picture was taken Steven Seagal used his akido for evil and killed this panda.

And check out this Adidas ad (click here or on the picture above) - it kicks ass!

Howard Stern: 12-13-05

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

From the Shadows

This is another classic album that I feel everyone should have, I've burned it, then owned it, then lost it, and on and on. "Endtroducing" really opened a door for me, showing me the possibilities of turntablism and the evolution of Hip-hop. In a time when Biggie and Tupac were the respective kings of Hip-hop, Shadow was making these crazy dark and atmospheric beats, so far from the main stream. His obsession with drums and rhythm, pushed his sound far past the standard break-beat, a lot of what we now think of as underground rap owes a lot to this guy. There is a special edition 2 cd re-release, that I recommend everyone check out.

DJ Shadow - Endtroducing

This is a killer mixtape, combining old school hip-hop, crazy gangsta jeep beats and of course a little funk and soul, great party and driving mix. When I first heard it I thought, "there is no way this is Shadow, it's whack gangsta shit." But oh no, was I ever wrong, definately enjoy this.
Strictly a funky, groovy mix here, pure Shadow with another brilliant DJ, Cut Chemist. I saw Cut Chemist in Montreal with Peanut Butter Wolf, I was lurking around the sound board with a toque pulled right down, and sporting a chin beard. Some kid came up to me called me DJ Shadow, and told me he loved my shit, I had to agree with him - I love this man's shit.

Little Buddy... Book One, Part One: The Envy of Gods

Because I am getting more aggressive in my subjects for these poster articles I am going to change the format. Instead of writing one monstrous article I am going to break them up into 2-4 poster mini-posts which will span over the course of a week (or in some cases weeks). Really it means that I will just write more commentary on useless things that really don’t need to be talked about.

Sometimes when you were born has a profound effect on how you remember celebrities. Growing up without Cable TV, in Canada, I didn’t get to see the NBA until Magic Johnson was fat and Michael Jordan was clearly the best player in the league. Even now, having watched a lot of NBA games on ESPN Classic and seeing Magic dominate I can’t shake the image of his fat rolls bouncing around as he moves around the court. Similarly, I have a lot of trouble thinking of Elizabeth Taylor as a sexy woman – despite the fact that I have seen movies with her from the 50s where she was damn sexy. It isn’t the fact that they aged, it was that they aged ungracefully in the public eye. I have no problems acknowledging Catherine Deneuve’s stunning beauty or Larry Bird’s immaculate jump shot, but Liz Taylor and Magic Johnson are tainted… and looking back, so is Burt Reynolds. This was always confusing to me, because Burt has played several characters I love in several movies I love. He also has a great mustache and has the nickname Buddy… how could I belittle this man? I decided to go on a journey of self-discovery and write a movie poster series on Buddy. I don’t know how long this project is going to take me – given that the holidays are approaching, there are so many good Burt Reynolds posters, and I have been working like a dog, it may take a long time, but in the end, I hope that I learn something about Burt… and myself. Burt Reynolds’ life in posters, book one, part one – Glorious Beginnings.

Wow, George Hamilton is tall.

I will start by saying that I have no idea about Burt Reynolds life. I almost was too bored to make it through his whole Wikipedia entry – and it only consists of about 6 paragraphs. However, I do like to tell stories, and I think Burt’s story can be told through these posters. Burt’s started acting in the film Angel Baby, a film directed by uber-hack Paul Wendkos (see this IMDB profile – he made 105 movies and I think Bad Seed is his best… wow!). I don’t know much about this movie, but I do know that Burt played second fiddle to George Hamilton (who had the amazing nickname – the Tanned One). Reading the IMDB synopsis (“A woman who believes she has been chosen by God to heal people is taken in by a greedy promoter and his shrewish wife to make the rounds of the rural South - she to save souls and heal the sick, he to make as much money as he possibly can.”) doesn’t help me understand what Burt Reynolds character Hoke Adams had to do with anything. Screw it, if you want to see this movie it is because it is Burt Reynolds’ first movie and it was declared adult entertainment in Ontario (which makes that plot summary even more bizarre). Everyone starts somewhere and for Burt, this was that somewhere.

Raquel Welch is hot. I love any title treatment that uses a gun font.

Ten years later… Burt Reynolds has been seen on TV screens and Movie Theatres across the nation – he is a young star. However, many of these movies were like Fuzz, not great, and absolutely forgettable. Looking through his IMDB page, I can’t absolute bad-talk the director as I normally do because he directed one Miami Vice episode (Calderon’s Return) which in my eyes is one of the top ten TV episodes ever made. I really think the big problem with Fuzz had to be how it feels so put together. I can see two studio heads brainstorming… MASH did well, what about MASH with Cops… great, great… Burt Reynolds and Raquel Welch… blah, blah, blah… Fuzz is born (as an aside, the same concept probably made Police Academy, a great movie). Anyways, onto the poster… aside from Raquel Welch’s boobs, Burt Reynolds’ hot body is the number one sell that this movie can come up with. Don’t get me wrong, there is some zaniness (the dog with the dynamite, the two guys dressed as nuns, Yul Brenner looking sneaky), but that seems insignificant when faced with Raquel’s massive “assets”, and Burt Reynolds’s seductive body language (I guess that is supposed to be a badge on his naked chest… I don’t know about that!). Some funny trivia about Fuzz, Raquel Welsh was so mad at Burt Reynolds (he probably is/was/will always be a slimeball) she did not want to do any scenes with him – the compromise was that she did not have to look him in the eye in any scene in the movie. Classic.

Deliverance made people spit up wine and get alarm systems all across the world.

Deliverance is far from the fluff that made Burt Reynolds recognizable. Although defined by one scene, even a moment, Deliverance is actually a very well made movie about the urban liberal desire to conquest nature, and country-folk. For anyone who has not seen the movie, it is the story of 4 friends who decide to take a weekend canoeing down the Cahulawassee River before urban development turns the whole basin into a lake. Along the way nature, and most disturbingly the towns-people turn the vacation into a nightmare the likes of which are rarely shown in movies even to this day (male gang-rapes outside of prison simply are not shown, let alone dwelled upon). Even outside of his normal type of film, Burt Reynolds kind of plays his “type” – he is the toughest, both mentally and physically, and the adventurer of the group. What is interesting is that given how the film is played out, his character (and the majority of the characters he has played in past films) is exposed as the most naïve (even when surrounded by nerds) for believing that nature can be dominated. Anyways, enough real movie talk – check out this poster, I think it is a masterpiece. The tagline “This is the weekend they didn’t play golf” perfectly captures the essential point of the movie… while sending chills up the spine of all the wine-drinking-liberals that are going to eat popcorn as they watch the movie, and sending them running back to the golf course. The juxtaposition of the “before-they-leave” photo with the absolute insanity of the in-the-action photo is quite striking. In fact, I love how they all are in various stages of insanity in the photo – Burt Reynolds is resigned to death, Jon Voight is panicked, fuck, I don’t know who played the other two actors, but one is dead and the other is confused… good shit.

What happens when a white guy stars in a Blacksploitation film?

Okay, you’re Burt Reynolds, you’ve just starred in a movie that was nominated for Best Picture… you’re an international superstar… you are sleeping with the best Hollywood has to offer… you follow it up with a small part in a Woody Allen movie which shows what a stud you are… what do you do next? Shamus, a film directed by Buzz Kulik. I know that Buzz was probably pretty hot shit at this time because Brian’s Song is one of the great TV movies, but you should never EVER trust someone named Buzz. I guess he thought that the flame thrower in the script was pretty cool, and maybe, he liked the idea of being a tough-guy detective, but movies like this do not make careers (Die Hard is the exception). This whole movie and poster is a frightening look at the future of Burt Reynolds, but at the moment it was nothing but cool. I love how he is carrying his shirt and around while he is pointing his gun. In case you thought he was simply woken up they include the insert of him sleeping with a woman underneath him. And in case you thought he wasn’t tough, they include the shot of him in action just to let you know he isn’t whipped. Combine that with a kick ass tagline and an orange background and you have 70s gold.

I have a lot more 70s goodness for you, as well as some hilarious posters from Burt’s “dark days”… unfortunately Burt’s story has just begun. He is definitely a star, and the studios are banking on his marketability by putting him front and centre in every poster. He has made one amazing film, but he has made a lot of crap… what does the future hold for this young go-getter? More coming soon…

Howard Stern: 12-12-05

Monday, December 12, 2005

Who Are Those Kinky Bees?

Damn these guys are good, and to give credit where credit is due, Frank Steel turned me onto this band. Yes Steel is more than an expert on Chuck Norris, 80's movies, and Basketball. Yes, I admit that I usually don't give his hot picks enough respect from time to time (possibly due to his undying affection for Lionel Richie and Journey), but let me tell you "Band of Bees" is top of the pops. The Brit band bares an uncanny resemblance to the classic Rock n Roll/R&B acts from the English sixties. Remnants of The Rolling Stones (good old stuff, when they were groovy), Small Faces, The Animals, and two of my favorites, The Kinks and The Who. This is a solid album, it will make you dance, and it sounds so old! Quite literally the production is so good on this album, it feels like it's right off an old vinyl. Check it out, I love this sound, and although it sounds old it is a fresh and funky breath of fresh air. Good Classic tunes, from a brand new band. And be sure to check out this hilarious video: Dance, Dance Nation Bees style.

definitely an inspiration for the Bees, the Kinks cranked out the hits, pushed boundaries, and still to this day don't get the respect they deserve. Forever in the shadow of the Beatles, and Stones, the Kinks are one of those bands that have quietly affected all musical acts to follow. Listen to this album, then through on some Strokes for example, to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Here is a gold nugget I nabbed a few months ago from Regnyouth, no idea where he got it but it's great. The Who is one of my all time favorite bands. Rock and Roll monsters, they changed the face of live shows forever, and made some of the most aggressive and exhilarating music I've ever heard. I'd go so far to say that The Who is truly the original punk band, twisting their social commentary, teenage angst and anger into tight little 2 minute rock numbers. And then they evolve with epic concept albums and...I digress this is not a who post, but I hope you love this slice of history as much as I do.

OC: The Disconnect

So you'd think I'd have less important things to do than post my OC commentary, now I'm only 4 days old. I'm sorry I missed last week's episode, seeing Julie Cooper driving a U-haul is worth a thousand words.
Let me begin by asking the question do these two characters resemble eachother? Because according to the OC they are the same person...

The Disconnect had one major theme, saving hurt puppies.
- Marisa is compelled to save the injured Johnny
- Sandy is compelled to save Ryan, and now has transferred to Matt
- Kirsten is compelled to save Julie
All this good will is really making me see the world differently. Maybe that guy who smokes crack in my alley and pisses on my car should be brought into my house. I can feed him, cloth him and put him through college, hmmm...

Marisa begins this episode with her standard "boy-blindness". I was nearing the end of my rope. She is quite possibly the most dangerous girlfriend a guy could have. Stunningly beautiful, tall, rich (at times), generous (to others not BF), smart (unless another man is involved then instantly blind). It is amazing how high her expectations are for Ryan (boyfriends in general) and how patient he is with her flaunting infidelities. No wonder Johnny hit the Vicadin this episode and why he didn't want her to know he liked he, most men she has touched hit the prescription drugs hard.The Strip Club
Now Frank Steel was instantly offended that network television thought they could get away with a non-nude stripclub scene. It ruined the entire episode for him. I managed to suspend my disbelief not having near as much experience in that world. But what I did find interesting was that somehow, Ryan being in a strip club was equatable somehow to his girlfriend being in bed with another guy, in that guy's house...With no pants (yes I am convinced these are pants not a purse). Is going to a strip club like cheating? Also you have to love how the writer's tie up the Matt story line, while at the same time exonerate the stripper (She's a minority, putting herself through law school, and is sensitive - Oh and she has great business connections). Come on guys, you're paid too well for a cheat like that.
Thus begins the fall of Matt, but don't feel too bad, he is styled far too closely to Christian Bale in "American Psycho" not to be pure evil.

Now unfortunately I again have to cut things short, But a few more notes to ponder:
- The scene with Ryan and Marisa on the telephone made up for the crappy "Stripper with a heart of Gold" conclusion, the first time in a while we feel some chemistry between those two.
- I like this new guy and Julie, could this be a male Julie Cooper? Or is he legit?
- Seth is turning into Woody Allen
- Ryan is turning into a young capitalist - and apparently likes drinking milk in stripclubs...

Howard Stern: 12-09-05