Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wanna Buy A Record?

Voice actor Mel Blanc tells us about that fascinating recording industry...

Also, Paul Frees as Peter Lorre singing "Hey Jude"!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Phase IV (1974)

Trippy visuals aside, there's a lot in this trailer that didn't make it to the final film.

Phase IV is a movie that someone told me about years ago, when he was on an ant interest-binge. The plot he gave me was nothing like what I actually saw, so I assumed that either it had been a long time since he'd seen it, or he thought I never would.

Years later, I used to listen to the insane "Cultural Pollution" mixes on ISRN.ORG (now defunct), and one involved a lot of the music from Phase IV. I didn't know it at the time, but I did enjoy it. It wasn't until I was on my own interest-binge—Saul Bass—that I discovered this very, very strange movie.

I'm also very sad that Mr. Bass, a gifted visual artist, did not get to do the poster for his own film. Something about that seems very, very wrong.

The jury's still out if it's a good film with really bad parts, or a bad flick with really good parts. Let's take a look at it.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

A-Kon 24: the debriefing

As openers go, that's a pretty good one. The real question is, how did we get here?


Well, funny you should ask. Remember two years ago when it took four hours to get the badges and we had trouble with the ninjaHELL! switch-over? How about the year before that when we didn't even get badges?

Well, none of those kinds of shenanigans this year! It was a lot like last year, but in a different hotel. This could have been a real disaster, considering. There were hiccups, and I actually dreaded this move.

You see, a week before the con, I was buying some used records at a dirt-mall and it turned out the guy running the place was the same guy who printed the programs. Neat! I had a program a week early. I figured I should go check out the hotel and see how things were going to go.

I wasn't alone on this. Various members of the A-Kon staff were also there, checking it out. I got some disturbing news about a certain food rule that the hotel was going to try to enforce and noticed that the parking prices for the hotel lot were pretty dismal. Luckily, both issues were resolved before the con got underway, and so I'll say mad props to the convention for taking care of the fans in that regard. There was free parking across the way at the DWC and the food situation was ironed out during the week. Both could have meant very unpleasant results for the folk there.

The cast of "REPO!" was very good about breaking down and clearing the room before our show. The room used a rear-projection screen, and that went off without a hitch. We had a great crew help with the setup, so that took almost no time at all, so we were actually able to start a little early, which was good because we had one crazy-butt line waiting for us. Danno had new software for the playlist, so we didn't have that annoying problem that's been plaguing us the last few.

Oh! Something I nearly forgot: we weren't next door to the rave this year. Since playing the big room at the Downtown Sheraton, we'd been sharing a folding wall with the rave next door. Not having to compete with a constant THUMP THUMP THUMP really effects what we can show. You can actually HEAR what's going on in a clip now.

And this year, as an added bonus, we had KAZOOS. I'm dying a little inside that we hadn't had kazoos earlier, but 20 very nice people from our audience became our special kazoo orchestra and played some incidental music during the "Hard Gay" pose off and "Camay" walk. We had them warm up with Also Sprach Zarathustra. What I really loved was the orchestra's imitation of Razor Ramon's "FOOOOOOOOO". It really was the greatest thing in the world.

Everyone loved The Reward and a very special movie trailer (which should be seen on the big screen). But I have to say, the real winner from tonight's show was Dog Snack. Yes, fart jokes will always be funny.

The Ninjas took over and ran through their destruction of Monsters and Mazes. I will never be able to hear Dreamweaver the same way again. Thanks, guys.

All in all, a great show, a great crowd, and a great Kon. It took us a while to get here, but it looks like it was worth it.