Filipino campfest Alyas Batman En Robin was made in 1993 on a zero budget, though it was considered a major release in the Philippines and starred three of that countries most popular comedians. Goofy, cheesy and fun, this flick is filled with crappy costumes, bad action sequences, inept choreography and a soundtrack that is cringe-worthy. But, it’s epic crappiness is what makes it such a blast. Here’s the grand finale featuring a blatant ripoff of Danny and The Juniors’ ‘At The Hop’.
Directed by Tony Y. Reyes and starring Rene Resquiestas, Dawn Zulueta, Vina Morales, Kempee De Leon, Joey De Leon
Watch the jawdroppingly silly trailer for Alias Batman And Robin after the jump…
Speculating on how an 85-year-old Lenny Bruce would be celebrating his birthday today is as fun as it is pointless.
But it’s pretty easy to guess that edgy comedy’s patron saint would not have been able to stretch out casually on TV for 25 minutes in conversation with a legendary publisher and lifestyle creator like the Hef.
That’s what happened in 1959 on the first episode of Playboy’s Penthouse, Hugh Hefner’s first foray into TV, which broadcast from WBKB in his Chicago hometown. This was the first mass-market exposure of the erstwhile club-bound Bruce, and its high-end hepness set the tone for the show’s two-season run, which featured a ton of figures in the jazz culture scene.
Of course, the dynamic between the eloquent snapping-and-riffing Long Islander Bruce and the perennially modest Midwestern Hefner is classic as the comedian covers topics like “sick” comedy, nose-blowing, Steve Allen, network censorship, tattoos & Jews, decency wackos, Lou Costello, integration, stereotypes, medicine and more.
As requested by our own Tara M., here’s a quick Pere Ubu post. You really can’t go wrong with anything they released in their first incarnation (‘75-‘79 or so) but these first 2 7” A sides are total rock classics by any sane person’s standards (of rock). I personally spent many teen hours thrashing about in suburban bedrooms with my pals to these deathlessly perfect monster jams. True American masterpieces.
Henry Miller, Asleep And Awake is a charming visit with the Buddha of Brooklyn.
Tom Schiller’s 1975 documentary follows Miller from the microcosmos of his very own shit-hole to a mock-up 1890s New York of his childhood—or “that old shit-hole, New York’” (in fact the set for Hello Dolly, with Barbra Streisand & Walter Matthau, 1969). Schiller describes his documentary this way: ‘A guided tour of the pictures and artifacts of his bathroom’ ... though it feels to be very much more than that.
Sun Ra’s Rocket Number Nine is an exuberant, joyfully child-like expression of excitement at the notion of space travel. It is one amongst many catchy anthems the man created during his time on Earth. This version from a 1968 self-released 7” single and compiled on the wonderful 1996 double CD Sun Ra: The Singles is probably my favorite. Slowed down to a New Orleans swagger, I could listen to that glorious Monk-esque riff all day long.
Hear a few more versions of Rocket Number Nine by Sun Ra after the jump…
Tomorrow night in Echo Parque with the incomparable John “Drumbo” French (pictured above in 1968) ! :
ECHO PARK FILM CENTER is proud to host MESS (Media Ecology Soul Salon) with JOHN “DRUMBO” FRENCH on SAT, Oct 9 at 1200 N Alvarado St. (at Sunset Blvd.) Los Angeles, CA. 90026, 213-484-8846, $5 admission
7pm - CROW’S MILK - Rare MAGIC BAND documentary film (2003, 50 minutes)
8pm - Interview of JOHN FRENCH by Gerry Fialka.
10pmish - Book signing and more film of MAGIC BAND live in concert (London 2003, 80m)
The public is invited to this engaging Gerry Fialka interview of JOHN FRENCH, who will address the metaphysics of his callings and the nitty-gritty of his craft. He revolutionized drumming with Captain Beefheart and recently authored the book entitled Beefheart: Through The Eyes Of Magic.
FILM INFO: Nearly twenty classic Beefheart compositions are rejuvenated on stage by five of the finest musicians who ever performed in The Magic Band. The playlist ranges from storming versions of such crowd-pleasers as ‘Moonlight On Vermont’ and ‘Big Eyed Beans From Venus’ to the intricate guitar work of ‘Evening Bell and the melodic ‘Alice In Blunderland’.
Especially interesting are the instrumental versions of songs such as ‘I Wanna Find A Woman That’ll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have To Go’, ‘My Human Gets Me Blues’ and ‘Steal Softly Thru Snow’. Without Don’s voice, for Don is no longer performing, these compositions can be clearly heard as the mind and finger bending riddles they are.
The vocal parts in this Magic Band are taken by John French who comments “Don had a great lung capacity - he had a 50 inch chest. I have to breathe a lot harder and low frequencies take a lot more energy to push. I did a lot of training and exercise to get the most I could out of this puny 42 inch chest.”
This film of the London Shepherds Bush Empire concert in April 2003 (80 minutes) was directed by Elaine Shepherd who was also director of the BBC documentary ‘The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart’.
A second DVD ‘Crows Milk’ (originally titled ‘Like Bluegrass, Only Weirder’) is included in the package. This is a 50 minute documentary which follows The Magic Band rehearsals in California in February 2003, recording of the CD ‘Back To The Front’, the feelings of the band members about the project, rehearsals in London for the two 2003 UK concerts, plus concert and backstage footage from Camber Sands and Shepherds Bush. John Peel provides the narration.
There is also a short amount of recently found 8mm footage from John French’s home movie collection which shows Don sitting on a sofa and sketching and Don viewing a car in a garage while wearing a neck-brace and a ‘coolie’ hat. He had apparently had just had a crash in his other car which was a wreck. This material dates from the early to mid 1970s
Over at The Quietus blog, they’ve got a fun feature where they ask musical luminaries like Nick Cave, John Lydon, Iggy Pop, Mike Patton and Ennio Morricone what their favorite Miles Davis album is. Unsurprisingly, asking these iconoclastic fellas, the majority of the nods go to Miles’ incredibly far out 70s album (from Bitches Brew to Dark Magus basically), the ones that most jazz fans, and even staunch Miles Davis fans used to absolutely hate, but that have been reconsidered critically in recent years as the public caught up to them
For me, I started to get into this “difficult” spot of the Miles Davis catalog about ten-twelve years ago. I already owned Bitches Brew and Get Up with It (which features a incredible sidelong elegy to Duke Ellington, (“He Loved Him Madly”) improvised in the studio after Miles heard Ellington had died and cited by Brian Eno as the beginnings of ambient music) but it was A) getting a really good stereo system in 2002 and B) reading this amazing rant by Julian Cope about this period of Miles’ output that saw me really investigate the “horrible” racket Miles was making then. Wanting new music to listen to on my new toy, I bought Dark Magus, Pangaea and Aghartha in the space of three consecutive days. Once I started, I fell into a musical rabbit hole that I didn’t get out of for about a year or two later. I was not a very popular guy with the neighbors back then, I don’t think.
Not that I am saying anything here that hasn’t been expressed already in quarters like The Wire magazine, but if you ask me, the material that Miles Davis produced between 1970 and 1975 (when ill health and drug dependency forced him to retire for several years) is the absolute apex of his vast recorded output. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kind of Blue, In a Silent Way, Milestones, and many other earlier Miles Davis albums, but the ones I play loudest, most often and that I pay the most attention to, are the coke-out live albums, Dark Magus, Aghartha, Pangaea. These albums are… fucking unique and that’s putting it mildly. There is nothing else to compare them to, even remotely, in the history of modern music (Maybe Can meets Fela Kuti?)
With up to three electric guitarists (Reggie Lucas, Pete Cosey and Dominique Gaumont), Miles on organ and electrified trumpet (run through a wah-wah pedal) and a rhythm section consisting of the insane, propulsive drumming of Al Foster, Mtume on percussion and the most amazing Michael Henderson on bass holding the whole thing together, holy shit, these performances are AGGRESSIVE. Julian Cope wrote about notion of continental plates shifting to get across the power of the Pangaea set (recorded live in Osaka, Japan in 1975 on the evening of the day that Aghartha was recorded) and I’d say that’s about right. Every instrument which isn’t soloing is placed in service of THE GROOVE—even the guitars can be seen as adding a percussive element to the overall wall of noise-funk effect. At the proper volume, it can plow you down like a Mack truck. Interestingly, from the midst of this dank, swirling sonic maelstrom, every time one of the musicians steps forward for a solo, it reminds me of the odd noises and “squiggly” sounds that seem to come out of nowhere in certain Stockhausen or Xenakis compositions, cutting through the soupy din (At one point on Dark Magus, a drum machine is pulled out and used like a machine gun).
This 1973 clip is a pretty scorching example of what Miles and his band was doing live at the time. It MUST be turned up loud for the proper effect:
A very happy birthday wish to the awesome Dan Savage, sex advice columnist and LGBT activist extraordinaire. Dan Savage is, truly, one of the sanest people living in America today and we salute him and his admirable efforts to educate (and comfort) people through his work, today, on his 46th birthday. Happy birthday Dan, thank you for being you!.
Below, Dan Savage is asked about the “weirdest letter” he’s ever received doing his sex advice column. The punch line is hilarious:
In 1967, an older poet friend of mine, Zoltan Farkas, gave me a copy of Bukowski’s Crucifix In A Death Hand and my life was changed forever. Imagine discovering Bukowski at 16, well before he became a hero to millions. Opening the pages of Crucifix opened up a whole new world to me, where writing was accessible and real, not a mystic art but a blunt weapon, a blackjack of words upside my head. He rescued poetry from academia and the bardic tradition and brought it down to earth, from marble halls to the sidewalk, from the bards to the bar. And he made it look so easy…but it isn’t. Taking the energy of language from where you got it, thu the poem to the reader, is tougher than it looks. Bukowski inspired me to write by making me feel it was possible. He taught me that poetry, great poetry, takes not only passion, it takes guts. Rimbaud, Henry Miller and Bukowski: the big 3.
Bukowski was directed by Taylor Hackford in 1973 and broadcast on KCET in Los Angeles. Hackford’s film was responsible for bringing Bukowski to a wider audience. It was said to have been lost forever, but remastered clips from the film appeared in the recent Bukowski documentary Born Into This. So, there must be a good master somewhere. Until an official version of this is re-released, here’s the best that is available.