Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Patty Melt" by: MHD

I say we leave the Gulf Coast destroyed and film a bunch of post-apocalypse movies down there. Or better yet post-apocalypse documentaries. I want to see people in dune-buggies attacking tanker-trucks filled with drinking water. But for real, not pretend. Oh wait, that's going to happen in 50 years anyway.

Right now there are 436 people per square kilometer of arable land in Algeria. In 55 years there will be 872 people per square kilometer. That's assuming that the amount of arable land stays the same in Algeria. But of course there will be less, becasue the Sahara Desert is growing and Algerians pollute the hell out of their water supplies. So it will probably be more like 1000-1500 people per square kilometer of arable land.

Then the wars for water start. Enter dune-buggies stage left.

Maybe we can poison Hugo Chavez and blame the Russians like we did all those other guys.

I want to know who killed Andreas Baader, Gudrin Ensslin, and Ulrike Meinhoff in their prison cells. I never bought that whole hid a gun in his record player for 2 years and then killed himself story.

I want to take Black Fatima out on a date. I want to buy her a new mink stoll and help her drug a few teenage Chechen girls into suicide bombers. I want to prove she doesn't exist. She really doesn't, the Russians made her up.

I want Russia to leave Chechnya alone. I want to visit Libya. I want to walk across the Sahara Desert and play Jarre's "Lawrence of Arabia" theme on my MP3 player when Cairo first comes into sight.

I want to work at a think tank.

Originally posted on December 1, 2006 on Myspace.

"Excerpt from an unfinished play" by: MHD

A large, dilapidated trolley car sits on tracks at stage right. The long side of the train car faces the audience. Half of the trolley car's wall is removed to give the audience a view into it.

Inside the trolley car we see that the inside has been modified. Harsh neon-lights glare down on three large wire cages which have taken the place of the trolley benches. It should be obvious to the audience that more cages extend the length of the trolley behind the section they can not see. The support poles have been removed except for one at the end of the trolley car, which does not hinder access.

The wire cages are fitted with tiny gravity fueled hamster feeder bottles. The bottles are filled with pellet food. The cage floors are covered in soiled newspapers.

In Cage 1 we see an old man sleeping in the fetal position, naked except for dirty boxer shorts. Cage 2 is empty save for a blue blanket. In Cage 3 an old man's back is to the audience, he appears to be masturbating.

CHAMP enters the warehouse through the side door, carrying a human shaped sleeping bag over his shoulder. His nose wrinkles at the smell of the place.

Originally posted on December 1, 2006 on Myspace.

Turn Blue

Iggy Pop was a genius. I know he's been somewhat of a joke the last bunch of years, but really, back in the day, the man was on fire.

With Tower Records closing down I've been picking up the occasional album on discount. I recently picked up a remastered copy of Iggy's seminal solo record "Lust For Life".

I haven't listened to this entire album in about 11 years. But relistening to it today, man was I impressed. Here's a guy who has done some hard living and you can hear it in every song on this album. Sure most of the album is rocking fun, but behind the songs you can hear Iggy's cynicism, sarcasam, and anger.

If most people think the album is just the title track and "The Passenger", you are missing out. Listen to the whole thing. Particularly the highlight track (in my humble opinion) "Turn Blue".

"Turn Blue" is a masterpiece of a song. Iggy is completely insane in this song. The song is funny, scary, dangerous, sick, thrilling, dissonant genius. It's the kind of song that clears out a bar in 15 seconds flat so you can sit there alone and listen to Iggy vocally mutilating himself while you seeth over a deep shot of Bushmills contemplating all the bat-shit craziness in this fucked up world.

I love this song. It's right up there with The Stooges' "We Will Fall". It's the song I want to play on loop the day I finally lose it and drive my car off a bridge.

Originally posted on December 1, 2006 on Myspace.

Little did I know when I wrote this that the Iggy Pop and Iggy & The Stooges renaissance was right around the corner. I saw some amazing performances by them in the last 6 years.

"Deja Vu" (2006)

Had to get out of the house tonight to stave off encroaching madness so off I went to my Fortress of Solitude; the local cineplex.

Took in Tony Scott's latest entry "Deja Vu". Everyone already knows what a Tony Scott fanboy I am and that I will see just about whatever the guy puts his directing tag on. I like every project the guy has done, even the few lame ones. Because even his lame-ducks are more visually and sonically interesting than most of the drek out there.

I had a feeling "Deja Vu" was going to be pretty mediocre as Scott films go. And I was right. It's a very pretty looking action-thriller with a time-travel twist that falls right into the I'd watch it if it was on tv some afternoon but won't go out of my way to own it category.

Scott reigns in his crazed visual style in this flick. Saving all of his nutso jump-cuts and experimental film-processes for the actual time-viewing machine rather than the entire universe the story takes place in. For the most part, in this one the real world looks and feels like the real world. Which is what is necessary for this story and I think Scott realized that the "Domino/Man on Fire" style wouldn't work here. That said the time-viewing technology looks fucking awesome (cyber-punk meets time-travel).

The fun of all time travel movies is the set-ups and pay-offs. And this movie has a million tiny details that pay-off by the end of the movie. I really thought they did a good job with the "Hey how'd that get there? - Oh right that's how!" kind-of stuff. Of course the science is mumbo-jumbo so you just have to suspend your disbelief and go for the ride. If you nit-pick too much the movie will start to unravel.

Denzel gives a good performance,grounding this far-fetched story by reminding us of the gravity of the situation the characters are in. The other performances are tight.

The best part of the movie for me was the dual temporal planes car-chase. It was probably the sole reason Tony Scott wanted to do this project. It was fucking cool to think about as well as watch.

I'd recommend this one as a good Friday night rental, but save your theater bucks for the bigger fish out there.

Originally posted on December 1, 2006 on Myspace.

Quotes of the Day

"Sorry haters. God is not finished with me yet" - Representative Alcee Hastings at the end of a press conference after learning he did not get the Chairman position of the Congressional Intelligence Committee.

- C'mon dude. Are you a Congressman or a Christian Rapper?

"How'd you like the Pigeons of Shit Metal?" - Axl Rose apologizing to the crowd for the Eagles of Death Metal's lame opening set. Rose promptly fired EODM from their opening band slot on the current GNR tour.

- This is amazing. One shitty band making fun of another. Zing!

Originally posted on November 29, 2006 on Myspace.

"The Fountain" (2006)

I took a study break to catch the latest flick from Darren Aronofsky - "The Fountain".

This is one of those movies that you'll either really like or will hate with every fiber of your being. I liked it a whole lot.

The movie is pretty 'artsy' for mainstream theaters. Deals with the inevitable nature of human mortality. And does so in an extremely beautiful yet entirely ambiguous way. The central plot of this movie is so simple one almost wonders how it could carry a feature length film. It's in the way Aronosky tells this simple tale that really makes this movie one of the better works of cinematic art I've seen in a long while. Aronofsky tells the tale with an amazing and daring narrative structure that seems confusing at first but then becomes clear as the story progresses.

The best thing about "The Fountain" is that the moral of the story is open to about ten different interpretations. Which can be maddening for those who are looknig for a A+B=C plot. But if your willing to go with the flow "The Fountain" offers all kinds of audience participation.

This movie left me thinking about it for hours afterwards. Playing out the possible meaning of what Aronofsky so boldy put on the screen. The movie can play out as extremely depressing or ultimately uplifting depending on your personal world-view. How you see the movie could also just as easily rely on how your day was going before watching it. Which is ambiguous but in a really good way (trust me).

I felt the movie ended on a positive note, while Greta felt it was a downer. Sitting here now, I'm leaning towards the downer interpretation of the ending, but I know the next time I see it my inner romantic will probably win out again.

I tried not to spoil anything in this short review. But if you go see "The Fountain" definitely email me with your thoughts on it. This flick is a fun one to talk about.

Originally posted on November 29, 2006 on Myspace.

Washington DC’s 5th Gift To The World-Music (Bad Brains)

A tad less refined than Sousa or Ellington, my portion of DC’s 5th Gift to the World is just as influential to its respective audience. I’m here to write about Bad Brains.

Talking about the musical legacy of the Velvet Underground, David Bowie once said that during their original run not many people had heard VU but everyone who did went on to form their own rock-n-roll bands, himself included. The same could be said for DC’s own Bad Brains, the most influential East Coast Hardcore band.

Bad Brains was formed in 1979 by Dr. Know, a former jazz guitarist, who wanted to combine the chaos of live UK Punk shows and the protest song mentality of Reggae lyrics. To do so he recruited three other young, DC-born, african-american musicians – Darryl Aaron Jenifer (bassist), Earl Hudson(drums), and of course the legendary H.R. (vocals).

Taking their musical inspiration from the previously mentioned styles, Bad Brains crafted a hyper-kinetic speed-punk style that no one had ever heard before. Here was a band doing something enitrely new. Bad Brains live shows quickly took Washington by storm and the rest of the East Coast shortly there after. Combining their musical stylings with the Napoleon Hill’s Positive Mental Attitude pseudo-philosophy the Bad Brains were not only spreading a new style of music, but a new way of life. A positive self-reliance that offered some hope in an otherwise nihilistic scene.

In the early 80′s the reputation of Bad Brains spread across the United States. In every community their music reached dozens of Hardcore imitators appeared. The high point of Bad Brains’ hardcore phase was the release of their epic debut album, the ROIR Cassette. Released after 4 years of touring, their self-titled cassette was like a musical hand-grenade, the shrapnel of which lodged into thousands of American punks, creating wounds that would fester until American Hardcore was spreading through Ronald Reagan’s America like gang-green.

Originally published on November 28, 2006.

Part of a series we did on Metroblog DC. I can't find an active link to the rest of the series.

"Casino Royale" (2006)

Speaking of escapism...

Caught the Bond franchise relaunch this weekend. I have to say, it is quite good although somewhat unbalanced between big action and more personal intensity.

Daniel Craig is James Bond from the Ian Fleming books. He is a hard cunt who kicks ass and takes names. And it is awesome to see that James Bond in action on the big screen. This movie is really "James Bond Begins" - it's his first mission and there is definitely a learning curve for the secret agent (both professionally and emotionally). For me that is what made this movie super-great. To see Bond fuck-up, learn, adapt, but at the end of the day blast his way to victory.

I won't get in to plot here other than to say when they slow the story down in the middle section (the card game) the movie really shines. Don't get me wrong, there is a ton of kick-ass action on hand here, but it was nice to have a more classic feeling mid-section to this caper. The Casino segment feels really old-school and is just what this reimagining of the franchise needed.

If they can continue to combine that mature story-telling confidence with Daniel Craig's awesome owning of the Bond character the Broccoli legacy will have several great Bond movies on their hands over the next few years.

Originally posted on November 22, 2006 on Myspace.

Praire Harsh Companion - yet another rant

You know what? Fuck "Prairie Home Companion".

There is a scene in "Harsh Times" (it's a throw-away that doesn't ruin anything to tell it) where Bale's character is drinking beer with two of his friends and he talks about wanting to mow down villagers with the door-gun of a chopper. He wants to kill them, their children, their animals, pets. It's fucked up. And yet is it over-the-top ham-fisted screen-writing as Ayer is being accused of by movie critics? No it isn't. It is honest. I've been in conversations with guys that are that fucked up, and worse.

But these reviewers who have been eulogizing Robert Altman all day and night lambast Ayer for exposing such ugliness. Just because it is an ugly truth doesn't make it less true. Where is the dedication to art these days? Honest, brutal art. I can understand not recommending it to those with weaker stomachs, but to tear the movie down is just wrong.

Meanwhile these same reviewers talk about how genius Altman was in MASH when he "proved a Korean War field hospital could make us laugh" (NBC World News).

I don't know what is more disgusting. Bale openly discussing the murder of villagers, or NBC News reminding us how funny the Korean War was.

Maybe it comes down to different strokes for different folks. Maybe some people don't want to know how fucked our culture is and would rather pull the warm, fuzzy blanket of "Prairie Home Companion" over their eyes.

Of course all of these Altman loving 'sophisticates' probably think they are great patrons of the arts for loving "Godsford Park" and 'getting' "The Player" but in reality these movies are merely distraction and don't really expose anything or inspire any thought at all.

Escapism has its place. I mean hell, look whose talking here - Mike "Diehard" Darpino. But art has its place too, and it pisses me off when it gets over-looked and even more so when there is open hostility towards it - such as in the case of "Harsh Times".

Hollywood really gave itself a big pat on the back last year for recognizing "Crash" at the Oscars but it is sad to me that less than a year later they are abandoning movies like "Harsh Times", a movie that examines the dichotomies of society even further than "Crash" did.

Sure escapism has its place, but escapism is a dime a dozen at the cinema. Art is few and far between these days and should be celebrated rather than attacked. But then I guess America is in attack mode in every arena these days.

Originally posted on November 22, 2006 on Myspace.

"Harsh Times" (2006)

"Harsh Times" has gone totally under the radar (already leaving theaters) and that is a damn shame. It is a truly great movie and should be seen as such. Instead most of the reviewers that have seen it don't seem to get it. This movie is a statement of on-screen violence that should be recognized instead of shunned.

Every review I read decries the movie as being "too bleak", "too grim a world view to entertain", and "way too violent". But I say that's the point of the whole damn thing.

"Harsh Times" is art. This movie is fucked up. It made me flinch. It made me mad, frightened, and sad. But most of all it made me think.

The movie is brutal and for most of its running time seemingly pointless, but by the end of it the whole thing comes together in this great statement about the limits of friendship, men in our society being seduced by violence, and madness.

This might be Christian Bale's best performance yet. His character is totally psycho in this movie - on so many different fucked up levels I don't know how a sane actor could keep them straight without losing it himself. The script is street-poetry genius (much like "Training Day" was). David Ayer who is writing, financing, and directing here really put his heart and soul into this flick. So too does Freddy Rodriguez who is Bale's co-star. The guy always gets stuck playing 'the immigrant dish-washer' but here he gets a starring role with equal screen-time and goes round for round with Bale's genius. Rodriguez should get a Best Supporting nod for this.

But he won't. Just like Bale will get overlooked for Best Actor, and Ayer for best screenplay. This movie is too hard a pill to swallow.

It made me think of how "Taxi Driver" would get reviewed if released in today's climate. Nobody really wants hard truths like this in movies anymore - at least not in the mainstream. I think "Harsh Times" is going to be one of those video classics that get passed around a few friends at a time. And every guy who sees it will love the hell out of it, and will 'get it', and will pass it on to their friends who they know will 'get it' too.

This movie isn't for everyone, but it is for those pissed-off, bored, and angry "Stat" type guys. You know who you are. I'm telling you guys - go see "Harsh Times".


I equate 'Harsh Times" to "Way of the Gun" And here's why. McQuarrie writes "The Usual Suspects" which everyone pops a boner for. Then when he follows it up by writing & directing "Way of the Gun" it gets totally ignored by critics and movie-goers. Until it starts getting recommended by the few of us who saw it. And now it's a classic. "Harsh Times" the same thing happened. Ayer writes "Training Day" to huge success. He writes & directs "Harsh Times" and gets totally fucked by critics and box office.

I think the common denominator with both of these writers is that their second movies represent their true, unfiltered visions of the world and of what makes a kick-ass movie. Maybe the 'safety's off' approach that they made their second films with is a turn-off to the Robert Altman loving world but it is exactly what I am looking for.

Originally posted on November 22, 2006 on Myspace.

My Vote Counted

As many of you know (or may not know) I am an independent voter (as anyone with a mind of their own should be). I vote based on the man or woman, their deeds and words, not some blind allegiance to a party doctrine.

I often lament the fact that it feels like my vote rarely counts, particularly in the Presidential election system. However in local politics I can see the potential for more direct results coming from my vote. And yet, I haven't really seemed to make a difference with my vote even in this smaller arena.

However, in Tuesday's election I was dead set on getting George Allen out of office and I voted to that end. Allen being the much-loved former Governor and Senator in Virginia seemed like a shoe-in for victory.

And yet he lost. By the narrow margin of 9000 votes. A mere 9000 out of the millions of people who voted in Virginia on Tuesday.

I like to think that my vote was one of those 9000 that actually counted. I have to admit, I am filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I am proud that I took part in the Democratic process and I am proud that my vote made a difference (finally!).

Of course, the Virginia race will be looked back upon as the one that tilted the Senate into Democratic control. While I did not vote the way I did specifically towards that goal - it does make my vote feel even more significant in that it may have changed the course of our nation (for better or worse we shall see).

Originally posted on November 9, 2006 on Myspace.

I'm almost embarrassed by my optimism. Looking back on this post now all I can think is...ugh...of course the Dems eventually botched it.

[Horribly Lame Moanings of Artistic Angst]

I wish I had the guts to really live. I wish I wasn't programmed by this comfortable, modern life.

I wish I lived in 1928, I'd be in Texas with Jim Thompson running from gangsters.

Or in 1901, hanging underneath freight trains with Jack London.

Or in 1969, sipping whiskey in bombed out Irish hotel bars with Jack Higgins.

Or in 1936, freezing in a Spanish trench with Orwell waiting for an attack.

Or in 1934, watching bullfights with the Hemingway crowd.

Or in 1968, partying with Hell's Angels ala Hunter S.

All places and times I'd rather be. Sure, I fit in what adventuring I can. And I do a pretty good bit for my part. But I feel like there is less opportunity for adventure in the world today. And of course, I am trapped by the illusion that there is more to lose today then in years gone by.

Sometimes I wish I had the guts to risk it all.

Of course it is easy to make light of my own stories and experiences when comparing them to greatness. But as I sit here trying to write tonight, coming up with cliche after cliche, I wonder. When (if ever) will my greatness come?

Originally posted on November 3, 2006 on Myspace.


Star Wars Viewing Order Geekiness

Got to share the geekiness.

Originally posted on November 2, 2006 on Myspace.

More babbling about "Lost" (SPOILERS)

That was one of the most unexpected and emotionally shocking deaths of a character I've ever seen in a television show. That whole episode was superior television writing. I am stunned --- is gone.

Bravo to the "Lost" writers for knocking one out of the park. Fans online are going nuts all over the place right now. I wonder if "Heroes" being so good is raising the "Lost" writers' quality and vice versa. Both shows are so good and the writing gets better every week!

And not only did we get the surprise death, we also got awesome machete killings, the return of the "creature", the mysterious eye-patch man, and some fucking awesome byzantine mind-games from "the others".

That's hot damn good tv!

Originally posted on November 1, 2006 on Myspace.

I don't believe it! (SPOILERS)

Oh my god! I know I've been raving about "Heroes" like a lunatic for a few weeks, but "Lost" has also quietly been kicking ass all month.

Tonight's episode - oh my god - I can't believe it. "Lost" friggin rocks! That ending was so fucking awesome. Greta was crying. I'm sitting there in stunned, pissed off silence. I am outraged and yet so thoroughly entertained.

I can't believe what just happened on that show. Can't believe it!

Originally posted on November 1, 2006 on Myspace.

Zombie Boxing at 2 A.M.

So there I was on Saturday night sitting in the passenger seat of the car waiting for my friends to get back from Yum’s with some dumplings. It’s about 2:30 and I’m drunk and I’m wearing a blood spattered t-shirt as part of my costume for the party I was at just prior.

And then comes a walking by two drunk guys and they are fighting each other. But then they aren’t. Then they are. I don’t know what their deal was, but they were making it down the street beating on each other until they saw the sweet corvette parked across from my car.

Then they start to beat the shit out of the corvette. One guy trying to kick out the headlights and the other trying to smash in the side window with his shoulder. And for some reason this annoys me very much.

So I lean over and honk my horn and startle them both out of their skins. Then one of them runs across the street and starts kicking my car. So I open my door and step out in all my 6’4″, blood-splattered glory. And this drunk guy takes a swing at me while at the same time his friend starts running down the street in fear.

So there I was on Saturday night, covered in gore, beating the snot out of this car-wrecking moron.

After a few rounds I kind of threw him down the street to give him an escape route which he smartly took advantage of running off at full tilt. In the spirit of the holiday I felt like I should have moaned “Brains…brains…” as the jack-ass beat street into the night, instead I settled for scarfing on the Yum’s dumplings which had freshly arrived.

Originally published on October 30, 2006.

Horror Has A New Head

Just in time for Halloween comes the internet debut of the 90's horror movie classic, Tarpinhead!

Tarpinhead is a short film some friends and I made in the summer of 1999. Our movie features an all DC cast (including Metroblogs' own Jenn Larsen) and made its theatrical debut back in 2001 at the now definct Visions Theater.

I wrote Tarpinhead (in about an hour), co-directed it, and play two parts in it.

Thanks to the wonders of YouTube - our tale of inter-species romance, shrine desecration, and bloody carnage - lives on!

View segment 1 and segment 2 if you dare!!

[Running time is about 16 minutes. Content is work-safe except for some bad language]

Originally published on October 30, 2006.

"The Prestige" (2006)

I went to see "The Prestige" for a second time tonight.

This is one of my new favorite movies. I think I will watch it over and over again for all eternity. I recommend it to all of you. It has a wonderful, twisting plot that seems fun at first but really gets nasty by the end. The whole thing is pulled off with a movie magic ease that really dazzles. Jackman and Bale act the hell out of their parts, constantly one-upping each other scene after scene (much like their characters do).

This movie transports you to its setting - which is an end of the old-world dawning-of-the-new scenario. I would almost call this movie steam-punk in that it uses technology of the day in a really fantastical way.

I don't want to ruin any of the plot here, but they do some really cool stuff I did not expect from the previews. In a way this movie reminded me of "The Godfather" - in that endless cycle of violence way.

The story is just really original and fun (if you ask me) and even though I knew all the secrets of it - I still found it exciting and deviously fun watching it again tonight. When you get right down to it this is a mean movie - which some might find depressing - but to me it is perfect entertainment.

Originally posted on October 26, 2006 on Myspace.

In 2012 this still stands as one of my favorite movies.

A Little Revolution

A model of Revolution:

1. Individuals carry out random acts of sensational violence (terrorism).

2. These acts inspire like-minded groups to form - who in turn carry out more sophisticated attacks.

3. The government reacts by squeezing civil liberties and cracking down on the suspected minority population from whence the dissidents come.

4. More small groups spring up - now there are several unconnected groups carrying out acts of violence.

5. Criminals and individuals (such as anarchists) begin to mimmick the political violence with their own acts.

6. The government reacts even more strongly - but to little effect.

7. At this point an ideological leader steps in to unify and direct the more serious groups into a larger force.

8. The ideological leader creates a legitimate political party (as a peaceful voice of dissent) and several clandestine Combat Groups.

9. The political party appears to represent the grievances of the minority while publicly condemning violence. (However the Party continues to secretly direct the violence through its Combat Groups).

10. Leading up to parlimentary or congressional elections, the Party orders the Combat Groups to carry out a wave of unprecedented violence.

11. An election is held in which the Political Party wins representation in the government. (Through a combination of votes by sympathizers, intimidation of opposition voters, and votes from former Government sympathizers who feel the government can no longer manage the Terrorist threat).

12. The legitimate representatives of the Party "negotiate" with the radical militant group and demonstrate their ability to prevent violence when the government can not.

13. The Party builds a coalition with other political parties who are against the current regime. This coalition runs on the platform of "peaceful change over terrorist violence".

14. The coalition government is voted into parliment or congress in a majority. The original 'revolutionary' party directs its Combat Groups against their coalition allies and the former ruling party.

15. The Combat Groups are ordered to carry out a simultaneous wave of political violence across the nation - to make it appear Civil War has begun.

16. During the manufactured crisis the 'revolutionary' party carries out a coup de' tat in which the current government leader is executed and coalition rivals are imprisoned.

17. The 'revolutionary' party appoints its ideological leader as the new head of state.

18. The Combat Groups are appointed to head the military, secret police, and a para-military, state-terror force.

19. The 'revolutionary' party is effectively in control and the revolution is complete.

20. A purge of rivals within the 'revolutionary' party after success is an optional step.

Originally posted on October 25, 2006 on Myspace.

Musical Chairs

So Andy Taylor (guitarist) quit Duran Duran right in the middle of their tour. I don't know about you guys - but Duran Duran without Andy Taylor just isn't the same band. I'm serious. They might as well have a CBS game show to determine his replacement.

In other radically different music news - I'm going to see Ennio Morricone at Radio City Music Hall in February! One of my all time favorite movie score composers in a rare stateside performance - I am very, very excited!

I can't wait to go to this. Ennio's music has always had an otherworldly quality to it that baffles my imagination in that 'humans can't make this, it must be made by angels' -way. Nobody mixes chorus and orchestra like Morricone!

Originally posted on October 26, 2006 on Myspace.

"Little Miss" by: MHD

Crying in the rain on a cement stoop, a little lost girl can't see the wolves through all the tears. A living 'Little 15' far from all that's familiar. Men walk by, shoulders hunched against the rain, shooting glances. A band of her skin catches hungry eyes in the night. Some looks are hidden, others obvious and rude.

What thoughts in the minds of men, alone and desperate? Will any try to help her? Or will she fall victim to unanimous imagination?

Originally posted on October 24, 2006 on Myspace.

"Two Taps" by: MHD

Two taps and bodies fall, flicked over by a bored, invisible god. A crowded Chinatown street at mid-day. Bullets shouldn't fly here but they do. Tires squeal like schoolkids as a gun-filled sedan disappears behind a bus. Heads turn as shots echo, delayed reactions out of self-absorbed lives. Two men are dead and there are no witnesses.

Death hides in plain sight, as usual, ignored.

Originally posted on October 18, 2006 on Myspace.

"Dharma for Darfur - A Rant" by: MHD

Restraint, constraint, straight-jacketed hollow-point pops into your brain through a fore-head dot India ink style while kiddies finger paint snot smears where mommy can't see and an old man strains to pea-brained scheme up a flag-pole, standing at attention with one hand on his heart and the other chokes life from a gold ingot being stolen Auric style - "No Mr. Bond I expect you to -

Dye your hair again it'll make you look younger generation weened on Dr. Phil meth-lab pseudo-science cooked up in a kitchen out of anti-depressants and ritalin riddling his brain pan fried and delicious can't find a fucking job in this townies messing with cadets school shooting bullshit train our kids to kill Ender's Game gone haywire to hotwire the General Lee for a joyride through movie remake mania as long as it's a high-def fifty-two inch ramrod up the ass like you're at Lexington and Concorde killing Redcoats for representative democracy and Republican Federalism and low-cost dvd's with special extra 2-disc bonus features that'll blow your mind and your dick...

...on this commentary track just keeps talking on and on about the fucking 3rd Best Boy and the Grip and that time they helped the Darfur refugees for twelve whole fucking hours so they could get the perfect shot at sunrise and how great it made them feel to hold that starved child's hand when the sounds of the blanks going off in Leo's AK scared her into thinking the fucking warlords were coming back to finish the job that killed her fucking mother and sister, grandfather and cousin.

But hey, that was one long day on location and this lame-ass fucking story on a 3rd Commentary audio option on the fucking Little Shop Of Horrors' 35th anniversary deluxxe dvd is more important to most of us than kiddie raping Congressmen and legal torture and the double-standard of female sex predators getting a slap on the wrist when they diddle a student driver run him off the fucking road I'm in a hurry here and now trying to breath life back into the comatosed consciousness that has a Ted Nugent stranglehold on this Desperate Housewives agenda item for our next meeting -

We need a show to make fat girls feel like they belong in this confusing culture of mixed message plane crash out your anger at the government shoot up a school little house on the prairie magic-time.

Gotta get the Laura Ingalls Wilder flowing, gotta get the Mork and Mindy going, gotta bring back Barney Miller, gotta make everyone feel warm inside, like they aren't the only ones who hate their lives, who work hard all day just to get shit from the kids and suicide bombs and stingrays jumping out of the water to over-throw the topsy-turvy world of man ruling stingray - they're taking it back like we should be - cover your heart and open your eyes.

Originally posted on October 20, 2006 on Myspace.


Best new show of the season. Bar none. Y'all better be watching. (Marc, I am talking specifically to you!)

Watch the episodes you missed for free on Tonight's ending kicked unholy ass - but only if you've watched the episodes in order.

Originally posted on October 16, 2006 on Myspace.

I will always consider Season One a classic. The show totally imploded after that though. Similar thing happened to "Friday Night Lights". Good thing both first seasons tell stand alone stories with a beginning, middle, and end.

"Edmond" (2006)

So this came straight to video and I bought it for cheap.

"Edmond" is for serious Mamet fanatics and fans of the "Falling Down/Taxi Driver"-type films only. Anyone else will hate this movie and probably be disgusted by it. "Edmond" is a vile-bile-hate-filled rant done Mamet style and then goes into some bizarre territory in the last 20 minutes.

Macy is great, Mamet's writing is out-of-control in this one. It almost detracts from the film when Mamet really let's the words fly. But in a good way if you're into that kind of thing. The movie is about racism, violence, pent-up rage, the "white man's burden", sexual frustration, and madness - all from the perspective of a naive middle-aged zombie gone Travis Bickle without the street-smarts - told with the eloquent language only Mamet can express.

I thought this movie (while seriously flawed) was great. It made me extremely depressed and pissed-off but I loved it. The first half is very relatable to most married, adult men - then Edmond goes bat-shit crazy and you're sitting there hoping against hope "gee I hope I never end up there!" - then the third act goes somewhere even worse (but which could also be interpreted as better).

Very odd ending to this movie but in all an enjoyable experience for fans of the genres I described above.

Originally posted on October 12, 2006 on Myspace.

"The Departed" (2006) - Review Pt. II

I think I was a little too hard on Scorcese's latest. While I stand by my earlier comments - I do want to point out that I think most people will really like this flick. Especially if they haven't seen the original HK movie. The plot twists are surprising if you don't already know them.

Also - the acting is way better than most action/crime flicks out there today. DiCaprio is friggin great in this movie. It might be his best performance. Nicholson is a maniac in this and eats up the movie. His mere presence on screen raises the quality of the flick - he looks like a washed-up psycho - he talks like a friggin' poet - awesome. Alec Baldwin even gets in on the act with an awesome flip out scene. And Damon does a pretty creepy, reptilian performance as the mole.

The violence is pretty good too.

Originally posted on October 12, 2006 on Myspace.

"The Departed" (2006)

Power went out tonight - so yipee an excuse to go to the movies!

I went and saw Scorcese's latest "The Departed". A lot of folks having been calling this movie his best since the 70's - better than "Goodfellas" - yadda yadda.

Well I disagree with those people. The movie is pretty good. The script is awesome and the performances seriously rock. However this movie is nowhere near the level of "Aviator", "Gangs of NY", "Goodfellas" , "Cape Fear", or "Casino" and anyone who thinks it is - well they are on crack. Also the folks who equate this movie to "Taxi Driver" and "Mean Streets" - well they make me sick.

"The Departed" has some big problems. The last 20 minutes are very weak - handled way better in the Hong Kong version. Also the editing is pretty gawd awful in enough parts to be really annoying - especially in a complex plot like this one. Also the music editing - blows. They interrupt songs just as they are beginning to kick ass! (including The Dropkick Murphy's) This technique is used about 10 times and really only lent itself to the drama once - just once - all the other times it was just jerking the audience around.

The end of this movie just let down the rest of it really. Which is ashame. I think with a better editor and a re-written ending the movie has the stuff to be one of Scorcese's best - but as it stands it is an average movie with some great performances. Oh yeah and four dialouge scenes that rule the earth. (Nicholson is god).

Take it from me, this one is a rental.

Originally posted on October 9, 2006 on Myspace.

I've come to enjoy this movie more and more over the years. However I still don't think this is the flick that should have nabbed Marty the Oscar.

"Cool Drain" by: MHD

The cool is slow blue steam settling slow motion across empty asphalt split by yellow cabs in the night. Spreading warmth from the hands of a cop touching frail iced up veins in the pale arms of her tragedy. A white line broken in places, reflecting street-lamps, looks like tracers shooting up the street. Her angle is crooked and blurred with the haze of daze on this cool effect. Wrapped up in needles broken under foot as an ambulance parts steam clouds like a ship born from glacier. Like salvation on wheels but not for her. Blue lips part with cool inspiration as her last breath mingles with steam and floats above the scrambled scene on the curb below.

She settled on this cool drain into nothing. She dies by choice.

Giving birth to nothing but a sad soul ejected by mouth and floating in spirals over the wrong side of town.

Even here the lights are beautiful.

Originally posted on October 5, 2006 on Myspace.

This poem was eventually published in Volition Magazine.

“Hey! Sweden!” – “They’re Norwegian, Mac.”

Remember that movie John Carpenter’s The Thing? I used those quotes from it for my headline because it’s my favorite exchange in that movie and writing a review of the Norwegian band Serena-Maneesh has given me an excuse to.

A comparison to The Thing is fitting in regards to Serena-Maneesh in another way too though. In The Thing the alien was an ever-expanding, all-encompassing creature that wrapped up and absorbed any organisim it could get its tentacles on. You could say that the experience of seeing Serena-Maneesh live is exactly like that.

Their music envelopes you, crushes you, devours your soul. The main difference between being eaten by The Thing and seeing a Serena-Maneesh show is that while the first experience is awful, the second is nothing but pure bliss.

I have these old My Bloody Valentine bootlegs that might just be my favorite music posession of all time. There are about six of them and when I listen to them I think to myself, “this is how a live show is supposed to be!” On these bootlegs MBV destroy all preconception of what a live show should be. They destroy the audience with a wall of beautiful and powerful sound, they hammer so hard and long on their instruments that they go in and out of tune within the course of a song, and each song is EPIC. In short they shred like no one ever has before.

For years I’ve worshipped my MBV bootlegs and they left me with an impression of what the ‘classic’ heydey of live shoegazer was like that I never thought I would experience for myself.

That is until last night at the State Theater when I caught Serena-Maneesh (from Norway not Sweden).

Their show last night was one of the best sets of music I have ever experienced. Somehow these frail looking guys from Norway have recreated the MBV live feeling better than any other shoegazer band I have seen (and I’ve seen a bunch). But Serena-Maneesh went one better on me by playing an amazing set, that captured the spirit of my sacred MBV bootlegs, and still managed to be entirely original and true to their own identity as a band. An identity that I can see only getting bigger and better as word about their live performances spreads.

Sadly there were only about 40 (yes 40!) people there to enjoy the mind-blowing show last night. But if each one of us tells 10 people about Serena-Maneesh then maybe the next time the band flies all the way over from f-ing Norway there might be a few more of us in the crowd.

Last night was the best shoegazer show to come through DC that I have attended, probably ever. Serena-Maneesh sounded great in the State Theater’s giant, high-ceilinged room and they played for the few of us who cared enough to show up like they were playing Madison Square Garden. It was fucking awesome and I feel privileged to have been there. I can only hope they come back through the area so more folks can get a taste.

Originally published on October 5, 2006.

Adjust Your Schedule Accordingly

A few changes to up coming concert line-ups some of you may want to take note of.

1. Channels will not be playing the Black Cat on Friday night with Medications and Victory at Sea due to illness. The show is still on with Mass Movement of the Moth as the replacement.

2. Alcian Blue will not be playing with Secret Shine on Monday at the Warehouse Next Door due to their breaking up. The show will go on however with A Place To Bury Strangers filling in for AB.

Originally published on October 5, 2006.

You Just Disappear

I received word last night that DC’s local shoegazer heroes Alcian Blue, who I have touted, rooted for, DJ-ed with, and written about on DC Metroblogs since the beginning has called it quits as a group.

Apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back came when their set was cancelled due to curfew during the anti-climactic end of the second Wall of Sound Festival.

It’s a damn shame to see this band break-up – they’ve been working at it for a lot of years – and were definitely one of DC’s finest.

Originally published on October 5, 2006.

Jake is now the mastermind behind the excellent duo Screen Vinyl Image.

4 Serious Days of F*cked Up Music

Fans of experimental electronics, tone soundscapes, and noise will be in hog heaven this long weekend as DC hosts the Sonic Circuits 2006 festival at the Warehouse Next Door.

The festival runs from Thursday to Sunday night featuring a wide range of over 30 old masters and up-n-comers in the world of out-there sound. Highlights include Matterlink, Yellow Swans, Mouthus, Mikroknytes, Phill Nyblock, Harvey Bainbridge (of Hawkwind), Yellow Swans, and Wolf Eyes

Originally published on October 5, 2006.

Selina’s Melodie Fountain

Serena-Maneesh, the brilliant up-start shoegazer band from Norway, are playing The State Theater in Falls Church tonight! If you are a fan of swirling, psychedelic, guitar freak-outs this is the band for you.

Think the relentless repetition of Spacemen 3 infused with a hot-shot of The Stooges’ energy wrapped around the sonic experiments and dreamy vocals of Medicine and Serena-Maneesh is pretty much what you get!

Advance press from other cities on this tour is that Serena-Maneesh are the real, deal, super-heavy, wall-of-sound that music geeks from Peoria to Poughkeepsie have all been waiting for since a certain ‘Loveless’ band wrecked eardrums across the US back in ’93.

Don’t miss this -

Serena-Maneesh w/
The Evangelicals and Woven Hand
@ The State Theater
$12 – Doors at 7

Originally published on October 4, 2006.

The King of Hate

The first thing I noticed when I walked into The Rock And Roll Hotel for the first time on sunday is that the space reminded me a lot of the old 9:30 Club – which is a plus. I had heard that the idea behind the place was to be like the 9:30 Club. When I heard that I had assumed the owners were talking about the new 9:30 – much to my surprise they meant the original. The main difference between the original sacred music den and this new club is that the auxilliary drinking space is upstairs instead of down and decorated a little nicer.

The Rock And Roll Hotel stage room is a cool space and I hope they can keep it filled with good bands. Good bands like the one I went to see play on sunday – Snog from the land down under.

Snog‘s touring set-up is spare – two keyboards, a guitar, and lead-singer/ mastermind David Thrussell. Based on Thrussell’s persona through lyrics I have always assumed the guy lives in a hand-made bunker somewhere underneath the Australian outback writing vitrolic diatribes against the “mainstream” world that exists outside his eutopic hippy-in-a-bombshelter compund.

Seeing Thrussell perform live for the first time I realized that my impression wasn’t that far off the mark. Thrussell looks like anything but the stereotype of an EBM musician. No Matrix outfits, no sunglasses, no patent-leather – Thrussell took the stage looking like a middle-aged roadie for White Snake – only instead of wearing a ‘Jersey Devil’ t-shirt he was wearing one that declared ‘I love Robots’.

Thrussell started off by leading his trio through half of their latest album, Snog vs the Faecal Juggernaut of Mass Culture. The new songs featured a range of bizarre vocal stunts by Thrussel backed by ultra-heavy electronic beats that were so in-your-face it was comical. But with Snog that’s the point – at least now-a-days. Thrussell is the Jello Biafra of Industrial – he’s got a message but he’s going to have a lot of fun delivering it.

The new songs seemed to be hit or miss for the crowd, it wasn’t until Thrussell stopped the music to address the crowd directly in a rant about the virtue of ‘true friendship’ that people started to loosen up. Thrussell went on to say that true friends help you when the chips are down – which led into the song ‘Al Qaeda is Your Best Friend’ – which was the most direct attack on Bush and Cheney of an evening filled with many.

Thrussell cut such a bizarre figure that it is hard to describe him to full effect. Between songs he often went off on mumbled rants to introduce songs. However Snog’s music has such biting satire in the lyrics already that the drugged exposition by Thrussell eventually got a little long in the tooth for my taste.

Thankfully Thrussell kept the intro to Snog’s older material short and sweet by saying ‘And now for a walking tour through the museum of EBM’ – which then immediately went into the opening blasts of ‘Corporate Slave’ followed by a good 30 minutes of uninterrupted classic Snog which got the joint jumping.

As much as I dig the newer Snog material it really was the chance to hear these older songs played that got me out to this concert and Snog did not disappoint. Highlights for me were ‘Corporate Slave’, ‘Cliche’, ‘Human Germ’ and the encore performance of ‘The Prole Song’.

‘The Prole Song’ was actually the best song of the show, so good in fact that I wish they had played more off of Buy Me I’ll Change Your Life. Instead Snog ended the show with an awful and totally out-of-place duet with some guy I’ve never heard of doing some lame-ass hippy-dippy song. Which resulted in the odd sight of a crowd of drunk industrial-types linking arms and singing along and of course holding up lighters.

In the end not the way I would choose to end your typical industrial concert, but then there isn’t very much about Snog that one could describe as typical, and that’s probably why I like them so much.

Originally published on October 3, 2006.

Harsh Times

Quite the racism brouhaha going on behind the newsprint curtain over at the Washington Times.

Originally published on October 1, 2006.


Kitchens of Distinction - Capsule: The Best of KOD
Rapeman - 2 Nuns and a Pack Mule
Silverfish - Cockeye
Nine Inch Nails - March of the Pigs (single)
Clutch - Elephant Riders
The Jesus Lizard - Down
Front 242 - OFF
Bastro - Diablo Guapo
Reagan Youth - A Collection of Pop Classics
Tackhead - Power Inc. Vol.3
Wyclef Jean - We Trying to Stay Alive (single)
The Jesus & Mary Chain - Automatic
Add N to X - Loud Like Nature
V/A- Amphetamine Reptile Peel Sessions
Slint - Tweez
Bad Religion - No Control
B-52's - Cosmic Thing
The Briefs - Steal Yer Heart
V/A - The Indie Scene 1984
Janitor Joe - Big Metal Birds
Mudhoney - Superfuzz Big Muff
Mudhoney - self-titled
Helmet - Size Matters
Braniac - Hissing Prigs in Static Couture
Ned's Atomic Dustbin - God Fodder
Faith No More - discography!
Band of Susans - Love Agenda
Medicine - Shot Forth Self Living
Mira - There I Go Daydreamer
Blur - Leisure
Bleach - Killing Time
Hi-Fi Killers - Loaded
Scherzo - Suffering
808 State - Utd. State 90
Tackhead - Friendly As A Hand Grenade
Skinny Puppy - Rabies
Revolver - Baby's Angry

Geez - I really need to clean off my desk!

Idea: Maybe I'll make a couple of mixes with one song of off each of these albums before I put them away tomorrow.

Originally posted on September 30, 2006 on Myspace.

Just for giggles here are the albums on my desk right now on February 25, 2012.

Ceremony - Rocket Fire
Harmonia - Deluxe
Red Sparowes - The Fear Is Excruciating...
Jesu - Lifeline
Frontline Assembly - Millenium (single)
Working For A Nuclear Free City - Businessmen & Ghosts
Greta - This is Greta
Adam Franklin - Bolts of Melody
Swervedriver - Mezcal Head
Russian Circles - Station
Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth & Collected Works
Arctic Monkeys - Humbug
Pelican - City of Echoes
Burial - Untrue
The Black Angels - Passover


If the acidic social commentary of David Thrussell’s Snog isn’t your cup of tea but you still feel like having a rocking Sunday night, you could shoot over to the State Theater in Falls Church to catch the return of the enigmatic Buckethead.

No politics in his music, no lyrics at all – in fact Buckethead’s only platform position is to create a mind-blowingly awesome night of guitar goodness. This guy is the Bruce Lee of guitarists and should be seen at least once in every music fan’s lifetime. I saw him in 2004 and it is killing me that there are two great shows on Sunday night.

Decisions, decisions.

Originally published on September 29, 2006.

I decided to see Snog because of the rarity.

Ground Zero

NBC’s The Biggest Loser isn’t the only show in the new Fall line-up to diss DC. CBS’ new show Jericho, about surviving nuclear holocaust, has giving DC the rub as well. (Although considering the circumstances maybe that’s a good thing).

In a dramatic scene from last night’s episode a character marks, with red pins in a map, all the U.S. cities to be nuked in the attack. Somehow Washington DC doesn’t get a pin! That doesn’t make any sense at all. We get Atlanta and Denver nuked but not DC – what? The character’s hand even sweeps passed DC on the map – but no pin.

Granted a few pins get placed off-screen, and DC might be one of them, but if you were directing this scene – the big reveal that the US just got massively nuked – wouldn’t DC be one of the first cities to really ram it home to the audience that the U.S. is wiped out?

Originally published on September 28, 2006.

The People of Straight Land

Wake up…eat…work out…commute…work…happy hour…commute…eat…watch tv…pay some bills…sleep…repeat 5 times…weekend…yardwork…Home Depot…watch the latest Movie…social obligation…sleeping pill Sunday night…reset…wake up…eat…work out…commute…work…happy hour…commute…eat…watch tv…pay some bills…sleep…repeat for 40-50 years…die…”He/She lead a full and productive life”…burden children with funeral bills…and death tax…and inherited debts…and unresolved emotional issues…wake up in Hell…eat shit…commute for eternity…

Break the cycle and go catch David Thrussell’s anti-mediocrity, anti-corporate diatribe disguised as a band, Snog, this Sunday at the Rock And Roll Hotel . It’s going to be a real treat.

Originally published on September 29, 2006.

“Calls And Responses You Can’t See”

Of all the DC based indie heroes that have come and gone – J. Robbins is my personal favorite. Today I picked up the latest offering from the mastermind behind Jawbox and Burning Airlines – Waiting For The Next End Of The World the debut full-length from his new band Channels.

Channels is a trio composed of Robbins on guitar and vocals, Janet Morgan (J.’s wife) on bass and harmony, and former Kerosene 454 drummer Darren Zentek.

Waiting… is a terrific return for Robbins to the DC music scene.

This album bares Robbins’ trademark guitar-style (albeit with a few deeper riffs than usual peppered through-out) and his vocal delivery is still as impassioned as his lyrics are poetically vague. Zentek’s drumming on this album flat-out destroys, the guy has still got it, that’s really the only way to put it. While those elements make Waiting… a truly rocking album the real highlight of the album for me is Janet Morgan’s harmonizing with both Robbins’ voice and his guitar.

Robbins’ has worked some pretty great call-and-response into his songs in the past but I would say that the harmonizing on Waiting… is some of his best. Maybe it has something to do with Robbins’ wife being his partner on this one – all those unspoken signals between a husband and wife expressed beautifully in sound – or maybe I’m just being a romantic sap. But hey, that’s what Robbins’ music does to me.

Pick up Waiting For The Next End Of The World by Channels at your local record shop.

And don’t forget to catch Channels live at the Black Cat on October 6th with Medications and Victory At Sea.

Originally published on September 27, 2006.

This was a short-lived project because J. and Janet's son was diagnosed with a rare illness shortly after this post. J. has since resurfaced with an excellent project called Office Of Future Plans.

Deafening Silence

Last year I left the Wall of Sound Festival with my ears a-ringing from all the shoegazer glory. This year I found myself making the hour drive back from Fredricksburg at 3am with less of a lingering ringing and more of a seething rage.

What a cluster-fuck.

What was potentially the best day of American indie-shoegaze all year fizzled out thanks to a mismanaged time schedule resulting in the two headlining bands being asked not to play. I’m serious – Alcian Blue and Ceremony weren’t allowed to play!

The festival ran over its time-limit and at 1:15 the club pulled the plug – right after Alcian Blue and The Antiques did an incredible dual-band cover of Slowdive’s “Primal” to transition from one band’s set to the other. Their band team-up was definitely the energy high-light of the event and got everyone in the crowd extremely pumped for the Alcian Blue set to end all sets. But it wasn’t meant to be. After that song Jake had to make the announcement that the gig was done.

I know a lot of folk travelled to see this fest and to miss two of the headliners is a huge disappointment.

Looking for an explanation for the time overage I recieved some reports that another DC band (who I’m sorely tempted to name but won’t) pulled a lot of rock star shenanigans which derailed the day by a good hour or so. Of course that’s hearsay but it isn’t going to make me any any less pissed at them.

As anti-climactic and generally sucky it was to have the fest end that way there were a few bright shining moments earlier in the day. A Place to Bury Strangers destroyed as they always do when they blow through the area, Chicago’s Star played a great set of off-kilter muted wash that resulted in a spontaneous dance party, and Soundpool from New York just owned – they are a top-notch outfit to keep an eye on.

Originally published on September 25, 2006.

Fly the Flag

To answer Metroblog reader Rosemary’s question about what the U.S. Capitol flag office does on a daily basis I did a little google work.

The heroes of last week’s security breach work in the bowels of the Capitol building processing requests by citizens for the flags that are flown daily over the Capitol building. You too can own a genuine U.S. Capitol American flag. All you have to do is contact your local Senator or Congressman and for a fee (around $28) they will have the flag office fly a flag for you on your date of choice. Your flag will then be certified and shipped to you.

You can read all about it here on Idaho Senator Larry Craig’s website.

Originally published on September 25, 2006.

The link in this story has since gone inactive.

Confluence of Events

On this day, 1 year ago, I noted here that there was an unholy amount of good things to do in the DC area over this very weekend.

Here I am one year later about to write the same thing. What is it about this weekend that makes everyone schedule their awesome events during it? Could it be the last hurrah of summer?

This weekend we’ve got 3 album release parties and two festivals lined-up.

1. Tonight @ the Black Cat - the Soft Complex & Cedars album release concert – $10

2. Saturday night @ DC9 - the Two If By Sea album release concert – $10

Both of the above concerts featuring my adorable sister-in-law on Cello.

Then we’ve got -

3. Saturday night @ the Market 5 Gallery – the Curly & Rocket “Electricshow” release party that our boy Wayan pointed out – $20

Plus -

4. All day Saturday in B’More – The Virgin Festival featuring all kinds of festival circuit standards like the Chili Peppers, The Who, and Gnarls Barkley – $97.50! (outrageous!)

And then my pick for the winner of the weekend -

5. All day Saturday in Fredricksburg – The second annual Wall of Sound Festival featuring the best in underground American shoegazer – 23 bands for $10!

Read my brief review of the first Wall Of Sound Festival here!

Originally published on September 22. 2006.

“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.”


Just found out that there is going to be a showing of Wes Craven’s 1984 horror masterpiece “A Nightmare on Elm Street” tonight at 8 at the Hoffman Center in Old Town and also at Ballston Commons.

The screening is part two of a 2-night promotional event for the remastered Freddy DVD. The film will be accompanied by another short-film entitled “Freddy’s Best Kills” – a montage of the best nightmares from the series.

Oh yeah – I’m all over this!

“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. / Three, four, better lock your door. / Five, six, grab your crucifix. / Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. / Nine, ten, never sleep again.”

Originally published on September 21, 2006.

Mass Casualty

I went to see Tony Jaa in The Protector tonight.

Holy living hell.

The man is immortal. I mean Ong Bak was a decent movie with pretty mind-blowing low-budget action. But in The Protector - the man takes it to another level. He is the Bruce Lee of the modern age - there is no question about it now.

As a film the movie itself is 80% good - even the elephants work somehow - you actually care about the elephants. Of course there is a little Asian movie weirdness - got to have a gang on roller blades or something to muck-it-up. But other than that slight awkwardness of that one skating gang (which has amazing action so I'm not complaining too much) and some bad editing in the beginning - the movie is martial arts gold.

Tony Jaa is the man - he is a human wrecking machine. Meaning he wrecks humans - that is all he does through the entire film - oh yeah that and yell "Where's my elephant?!"

What really puts Jaa on the map for me as possibly one of the best movie martial artists ever is the obligatory mass casualty scene. Jaa is no dodge 'em Jackie Chan type - he is a "kill every last muther in the room" type of mass fighter.

One man versus many - a ridiculously super-human number of foes.

The two that come to mind for comparison are Kill Bill 1 and The Chinese Connection.

The sword fight in Kill Bill 1 gets a lot of accolades as the best mass casualty fight in modern movies. I think that's a load of crap and I'll tell you why. Because of The Protector. Tony Jaa in this movie's mass fight scene makes Uma and her stunt double look like a pair of hobbled cows doing jumping-jacks in a field of cow-pies.

The mass fight in The Protector rivals the scene in The Chinese Connection when Bruce Lee takes on the dojo. I shit you not. The dojo scene in The Chinese Connection is arguably Bruce Lee's best mass casualty fight. To me it set the standard for one man against many and that standard has never been matched (See what I mean by watching the dojo fight here). Other movies have great mass fights - don't get me wrong (Streetfighter, several Jackie Chan movies, some Jet Li) but none come close to creating a new precedent for martial arts films. The Protector does.

Tony Jaa destroys about 40 guys. I mean really destroys them. It is exhilarating and gut-wrenching and it goes on for ever. I loved it. I cheered. The whole frigging crowd cheered and hollered and ohh-ed and ahh-ed. It was in-fucking-credible. Best mass fight (well ass-kicking really) in modern movies - bar-none.

Aside from the mass-casualty fight - Jaa is on fire through the rest of the movie as well. I can't believe how fast that guy is or how hard he hits.

Seriously - any of you martial arts flicks fans out there - get your ass to the theater to see this thing. The moves are too incredible to miss on the big screen.

Originally posted on September 21, 2006 on Myspace.


I went to the mall tonight, Pentagon City Mall. I rarely go to the mall but after a heavy dose of 80′s nostalgia upon re-watching the immortal film Heathers and recently finishing the Tricia Sullivan novel Maul – in which a gang of Sailor Moon types run rampant in one with Uzis – I guess I got the subconscious hankering to subject myself to the shopping mall hustle-n-bustle that I loathe so much.

So tonight I went – in search of two things. A couple of everything dog’s at Frank-n-Stein and a few overpriced DVD’s at SunCoast Video. Much to my dismay both establishments are gone.

These store changes are probably old news to all you Mallrats reading out there, but I haven’t been to P.C. in over a year. SunCoast is now some kind of puzzle store – as in “we sell puzzles only” – which leaves me puzzled. Can a puzzle store really exist in Pentagon City? Isn’t there already a bitchin’ game store on the third level? Seems more like Landmark Mall fare to me.

Meanwhile Frank-n-Stein is now a mom-n-pop Texas BBQ place run by Koreans. Which I decided to try. Hoping for some kind of Austin Brisket/Pul-Kogi hybrid – I instead got a platter of mediocre fatty roast beef, dry rice, and drowned corn. Food received only after an ordering ordeal reminiscent of that russian roulette scene from Deer Hunter - with the gruff Korean granny shouting non-sensical orders at me, whilst the woman in line behind me is screaming for some “gawd-damned hot sauce”, and the grill chef is waving around a rib and laughing like he just poisoned Dr. Jones.

Now that SunCoast and Frank-n-Stein are gone I really don’t have any reason to return to Pentagon City Mall. And I can’t really say I’m going to miss it. This parting between me and the mall has been a long time coming.

I never forgave Pentagon City for kicking out The Wall music store – whose famous “replace any damaged album adorned with a Wall sticker” policy I never got to cash in on. I still have that scratched copy of Ministry’s Twitch and everytime I look at it, the now-defunct Wall sticker mocks me.

Then there was that time I almost died on a bench on the second floor of Pentagon City, when my mono fever dehydrated me so bad that I collapsed and laid there unconscious for who knows how long (I guess that one isn’t really the mall’s fault).

But the worst offense Pentagon City is guilty of – was closing the smelly old Loews Movie Theater. That old theater rocked the secret advanced screenings circuit. I got to see all the good ones there before their release. But alas no more. It was a gravy train with biscuits wheels and I guess it couldn’t last forever.

PS – to any Frank-n-Stein fans – you can still get your Frank’s fix down in L’Enfant Plaza if you don’t mind eating with the morlocks.

Originally published on September 20, 2006.

Ummm...some of you may want to see this film

"American Hardcore"

This is a documentary made by my buddy Fred Dann's old college room-mate. These guys were knee-deep in the shit back in the day. They've traveled all over interviewing the legends of the original American Hardcore punk scene and now they are taking their movie around the country one city at a time.

Look on the web-site for a showing near you.

Originally posted on September 19, 2006 on Myspace.

Coup de tat

I am oddly obsessed with the current coup going on in Thailand. People seem to be reacting with humor mostly - which I find annoying. There are frigging tanks on the streets of Bangkok, all kinds of foiled terrorist bomb plots in the last few weeks, and an elected Prime Minister being ousted by the army.

Democracy failing is nothing to joke about.

Originally posted on September 19, 2006 on Myspace.

Coup de Blog

Hop over to Metroblogs Bangkok for a taste of blogging from inside a military coup. Best wishes to all our authors over there – hope the coup is of the bloodless variety.

The army has taken over most communication and broadcasting channels but Metroblogging marches on.

Originally published on September 19, 2006.

The link to the Metroblog Bankok's real-time coverage of the coup has unfortunately gone inactive after all these years.

Top 25 Fictional DC Resident: #17 Josh Lyman

Name: Josh Lyman
Occupation: White House Chief of Staff

Josh Lyman is the quintessential DC-transplant, politico success story. After Harvard and Yale law school, Josh moved to Washington D.C. where he served several years in various positions with both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

In 1998 Josh left Capitol Hill to work on John Hoynes’ presidential campaign. However after hearing Jed Bartlet, Hoynes’ competitor, speak at an engagement Josh was so inspired that he immediately resigned from Hoynes’ campaign to work for Bartlett. After Bartlett’s presidential victory Josh was hired as Deputy White House Chief of Staff.

After seven years with the Bartlett Administration, Josh resigned to run dark-horse Matt Santos’ presidential campaign. Josh’s masterful campaign strategies secured the presidency for Santos. The new President rewarded Josh’s dedication and drive with the position of White House Chief of Staff.

Josh is considered by many to be a cocky know-it-all, but no one has ever accused him of laying down on the job. In fact Josh’s passion for achieving great things for his country is so consuming that his only real friends are those who work around him, most notably Donna Moss, Toby Ziegler, and C.J. Craig.

Originally published on September 7, 2006.

This was part of a series the Metroblog DC authors did. Sadly, the link to the other characters is no longer active on Metroblog DC.

“Never anything to do in this town.”

Thanks to everyone who braved the elements to make it out to “We Fought The Big One” on Friday. I had a blast blowing the roof off Ernesto-style from behind the decks. From the deluge of compliments on my sets I feel pretty safe in saying everyone else had a rip-roaring good time too.

The hit song of the night was definitely when I pulled a Touch And Go surprise with Big Black’s “Kerosene” – much to my surprise that song freaked out about half the attendees most of whom rushed up to the DJ booth to share the fact that they too will be making the trek up to Chicago next weekend for the amazing Touch And Go Records 25th Anniversary Festival.

So now I’m convinced that the DC music geek elite are headed on a giant exodus to Chi-Town for the reunion madness (Big Black, Scratch Acid, Negative Approach, Killdozer, etc.). I know my buddies and I are, and after Friday now know about a slew of DC musicians and DJs who are…so I thought I’d toss it out there – what other DC music lovers will be attending the T&G fest?

Originally published on September 3, 2006.

Finally…Mushy Peas!

Some time in the night just past walked Michael, that would be me, and me wife, that would be Greta, up King Street to sample rumoured scrumptous vittles at ye olde-style Dublin Chippery, that would be Eamon’s, which happens to be Old Town’s newest restaurant.

Eamon’s Dublin Chippery is the real deal. Opened by the Irish husband and wife team who opened the gourmet Irish restaurant Eve down on Pitt st., Eamon’s is a small take-out fish-n-chips joint with style. The menu is pretty simple: fish and chips (large or small) with a few intriguing extras including the battered and fried “bunless” hamburger, Irish soda in cans, and authentic mushy peas – which I have been dying to have again ever since my trip to London/Dublin 2 years ago.

The mushy peas were excellent, the chips were spot-on, and the battered cod was a pleasure.

Dinner for two costs about $20 at Eamon’s – which is set-up as a take-out but has three very cool looking wooden tables if you choose to eat in – which we did. If you’re going to eat in at Eamon’s don’t be shy about eating with your hands, or sharing your table with the throngs of folk flocking there to try Old Town’s latest buzz.

Eamon’s is on King Street in Old Town across from the Old Town Theater.

Originally published on September 1, 2006.

Come One, Come All

Friday night I’m going to be dusting off my head-phones to do a guest-DJ spot at “We Fought The Big One” at the Marx Cafe. I’ll be joining Rick and Brandon up in the booth spinning all kinds of sonic craziness.

What better way to start the holiday weekend than at Marx Cafe with some good friends, good drinks, and good tunes.

Come check out “We Fought The Big One”, recently voted by Spin Magazine as one of the 101 Hottest up-and-coming DJ nights in America (God help us!).

10 to 3
No Cover
The Marx Cafe
3203 Mount Pleasant St. NW, Washington

See you there!

Originally published on September 1, 2006.

Last Day

"Live each day like it's your last day on earth" - you know that's a nice sentiment but really - c'mon. If I lived each day like it was my last on earth - I'd spend each day on a drunken killing and fucking rampage - or I'd spend each day sobbing my eyes out in the arms of my loved one - or I'd spend each day stockpiling supplies and building my awesome barricade to survive the coming holocaust - or I'd spend each day packing my bags for my long space voyage to my new homeworld, or I'd spend each day doing any other melodramatic thing to make my last day on earth worth more than all the days that came before it. If I lived my life by that motto I'd be a fucking crazy person!

"Live each day like it's your last day on earth" is bunk.

Originally posted on August 15, 2006 on Myspace.


Stuck under a ton of rocks, bones crushed, life leaking out into the cold wilderness, and all he can visualize is the evil green guy from Pinwheel whose name he can't remember.

Him and the Dozers from Fraggle Rock making sugar glass for Lee Majors to fall through into a dozen wedding cakes made by Queer Eye for the Blind Guy.

He can wiggle his toes and twitch his nose, the rest of his motor functions are kaput. He tries to think of music to distract himself from the pain, but can only think of crap songs by Winger and Nelson. Now as his vision blurs he hears laughing like...

Hours later he wakes, a wolf eating his guts out and all he can do is replay the episode of Dukes where Luke loves the Russian acrobat or that movie with Magnum PI and the jewels in WWII or that other one where Travolta and Mandel go to Russia to teach swing dancing or some such...

Originally posted on August 11, 2006 on Myspace.

"He's Had It" by: MHD

Shards of canopy glass peppered Patch's face, dragging red lines across his skin. The wind howled against his goggles, trying to rip them off. Patch gripped the yoke control with both hands, trying to pull his Spitfire out of its death-dive. Below the Channel waters churning, behind two Messerschmidt cranking out round after round of machine-gun fire.

Patch put the Spitfire into a roll and watched the enemy fire draw staccato lines into the Channel below. But the Jerry's adjusted quickly and now Patch could feel their rounds chunking into his tail section. Suddenly the whole plane shook as an enormous plume of smoke erupted from his burning tail-fin.

On shore, a BBC radio man watched the air battle intently.

The canopy continued to disintegrate around Patch as his plane continued to speed towards the water. Another 30 seconds and Patch would have to eject. But just yesterday, the Jerry's had machine-gunned two Brits in their parachutes. The war was heating up.

The only option left to Patch was to try to out pilot the two behind him. If he could keep his plane together all the way down, he might get them to follow him right into the drink.

The howl of the cold air filled Patch's ears and he strained through it listening for the German guns. Both planes were still on him.

The yoke shook in Patch's hands as the tail-fin burned off completely. Now Patch was without steering. On the fast approaching water, Patch watched the shadow of one German peel off his pursuit. Either dodging the tail section or dodging Patch's tactic having witnessed another doomed Brit use it before.

Another section of canopy glass tore into Patch's forehead, sending a stream of blood into his eyes. But Patch smiled wide at the wall of dark blue in front of him, knowing at least he had got one of the bastards.

On shore the BBC man reported in grim tones that another Spitfire was down in the Channel, but before he could finish his sentence a speeding Messerschmidt quickly followed suit.

Originally posted on August 8, 2006 on Myspace.

3 Classics

Watched a trio of classic flicks over the last few days.

"North Dallas Forty" starring Nick Nolte - watched this one to get in the mood for Fantasy Football. This is and "Any Given Sunday" are probably the two best football movies ever. This one is supposed to be funny but really turns out to be insanely depressing. One of Nolte's best.

"Chinatown" starring Jack Nicholson - Jack was a weirdo bad-ass when he was a younger dude. "Chinatown" is supposed to be one of the best written movies of all time. I agree with that about 80 percent through the flick. The dialogue is great and the mystery interesting. However once Jack starts banging his client I feel the movie (plot wise) goes a little awry. But then that is fixed by the classic downer ending.

"The Odd Couple" starring Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau - this is an all-time classic. Talk about good writing in a film! Jack Lemon plays the most annoying character ever in this - and yet you still feel sorry for the poor sap. Meanwhile Matthau plays a great lazy, bum bachelor and when he is on the brink of snapping - you really feel it. This movie is great and the score is too.

Originally posted on August 7, 2006 on Myspace.

"Little Miss Sunshine" (2006)

This movie was so friggin awesome. An excellent film on all levels. I am really very impressed. This movie is so cynical and depressing and yet makes you laugh so hard your sides hurt and leaves you feeling all warm inside. It actually melted my cold grinch-heart. "Little Miss Sunshine" is an oscar-caliber comedy.

Go check it out.

Originally posted on August 6, 2006 on Myspace.

KFC – Kinney Fried Club

The 930 Club lost power last night, right before Sleater-Kinney’s farewell appearance there, when an electrical transformer over-heated forcing the fire marshall to pull the plug!

A make-up show is scheduled at the club for Thursday night barring any more heat related set-backs.

Originally published on August 2, 2006.