Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Miscellaneous Videos

Here are some random videos featuring me through the years.

The Drunken Hero: a short film my friends and I made when we were in high school.  You can read about it here (and a related film, The Chlorinator, here).

Me singing my song "The Monster Song" with my band Psychedelicatessen in 1990.  For obvious reasons, this was pretty much the last time I performed music on stage.

Embedding disabled, but click here to see me and Bobbie (and some other very funny people) in an episode of the web series Game Knights, playing a bunch of RPG nerds.

Bobbie and me made this ad for MEAT Clown Brand Meat Based Meat Products.
An early attempt at stand up comedy in high school, 1984.

Monday, August 19, 2013

What Maisie Knew (Scott McGehee and David Siegel, 2013)

The best film I've seen this year so far?  What Maisie Knew, an incredibly effecting movie (apparently based on a Henry James story that I've never heard of) about a young girl chronically neglected by her incredibly selfish parents. 

Young Onata Aprile plays the title character, and it's really an amazing performance.  All due respect to Hailee Stanfield of True Grit and Quevenzhane Wallis of Beasts of the Southern Wild, who both gave very good performances, but this performance is on a different level.  Stanfield was basically doing a very adult performance, and while Wallis was required to be much less mannered, and much more like a real kid, she was still stuck delivering these long soliloquies.  Aprile seriously acts just like a real life kid.  She responds very in-the-moment-ly to events that she doesn't entirely understand.  Like most kids, she simply fails to recognize the responses that people are expecting from her.  I don't mean to make this out to be a major part of the movie, but when you see Joanna Vanderham trying to have a conversation with the kid who is examining some new toys, you recognize it as a very real, human interaction.

Maisie has normalized so much that we in the audience recognize as an awful situation, because it's all she knows.  Her parents are always screaming in the other room, which seems normal to her.  But when they finally divorce, Maisie's world gets worse.  The two parents are simultaneously uninterested in having much of a relationship with her, and very interested in using custody to stab each other in the gut.  By the middle of the film, you look at Aprile's face, and she just conveys this sense of exhaustion.  It's incredibly sad.

The two parents are well played by Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan.  The mother comes off a little worse, her combination of wanting as little responsibility for her child as possible and wanting to be the center of the child's attention seeming exceptionally callous, but the father is even more neglectful, barely interested in the kid when they're in the same room.  I'm not sure if I could have made it through the film if not for the reviewers I heard discussing it revealing that at no point does any physical harm come to the child, so I'll pass that datum along to you.  There is even a happy ending--one which sort of stretches credibility in the characters, but considering the emotional carnage you are forced to endure up to that point, I'd call it more of a "merciful ending."  This movie stuck in my head for days after I saw it, and I really want more people to see it and experience that unpleasant feeling themselves.

Sleestak Lightnin!!!

SLEESTAK LIGHTININ'!!! Episode 2: Trains, Rain and Brains

Download it here!

Another set of madcap musical monstrosities!  This one starts off raging, but soon mellows out.  If you don't mind the spoilers, here's what's inside:

Ennio Morricone - Navajo Joe
Archie Shepp - Attica Blues
Betty Davis - Git In There!
Lynn Collins - You Can't Love Me If You Don't Respect Me
Horace Silver - Acid, Pot or Pills

Motorhead - Locomotive
Lord Buckley - The Train
Gaye Bykers on Acid - Zen Express
Flaming Lips - Trains, Rain and Brains
Phish - Train Song
Rosie Flores - Boxcars

Kelly Hogan - Daddy's Little Girl
Big Fish Ensemble - Pabst Blue Ribbon Light
Robyn Hitchcock - The Lizard
Thomas Dolby - I Scare Myself
The Jazz Butcher - The Human Jungle

Ennio Morricone - Navajo Joe (End Credits Theme)

Also, the background music under my announcements was all from The KLF's second LP, The Chill Out.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Psychedelicatessen Radio

Psychedelicatessen Radio is a podcast I host with my wife, Bobbie Oliver.  We usually talk with two guests, usually our friends from the comedy world.  You can find it on iTunes, or download it from this blog.  All the episodes are archived below, but if you want a good starting point, my favorite eps are the ones with Chris Schumacher & Lucy Craig, Sally Mullins & Vargus Mason, Chris Schumacher & Sally Mullins, and the two-part interview with Tom Simmons.  I also recommend Misogyny.0, a "very special episode" with just me and Bobbie talking about various issues with sexism in the comedy community.  And the very first episode, where we just riffed non-stop with John Fontaine and Kevin Barry, was pretty cool, too.

There have been three "seasons" so far.  Season One (2010):

John Fontaine and Kevin Barry
Rudy Boehmer and Deon Williams
Jake Scherzer, Javier Palenzuela and Ed Shannon
Sally Mullins and Vargus Mason
Rawle Dee and Aiko Tanaka
LuAnn Landau and Kevin Barry
Cathy Zukimoto and Diane Kawasaki
Robby Ravenwood and Tommy Natoli
Lucy Craig and Chris Schumacher
Richard Chang and Sherms

Season Two (2011)...well, we never quite got going with this season:

Sally Mullins and Chris Schumacher

Season Three (2012):

John Fontaine and MEAT Clown
John Kevari and Michael McClenahan
Misogyny.0: A Very Special Episode
Rawle Dee and Deon Williams
Rosie Tran and Mary Basmadjian
Jonathan Rowell and Joseph Larkin
Rudy Boehmer and Mark Leonard
Anne-Marie Symons and Scott Mouro
Tom Simmons (Part 1)
Tom Simmons (Part 2)
Art Harris and Jen Johnson
LIVE from the Eagle Rock Comedy Festival
Women in Comedy Panel LIVE from the Eagle Rock Comedy Festival

I swear we're going to do another season this year!  Honest!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Housekeeping Note

I'm doing a little redesign on this blog over the next couple weeks.  You know, get rid of all the outdated links to blogs that no longer exist down the side bar there, but also make it a bit more functional as a personal website.  So there are going to be a few posts that are really just there to be permanent "pages" on "my website."  Like the flyer gallery below.  And whatever ends up above this post.  Just FYI.

Tao Comedy Studio Flyer Gallery

Here's a gallery of flyers I've made for shows at Tao Comedy Studio.  I'll add more as we go.