Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Outlaw Food in L.A.

[EDIT: I removed the embedded player because it was fuckin' it up for everyone. Click on the link below to watch.]

Drew Carrey explores the underground economy of the bacon-wrapped hotdog. (Linked in case the embedded player doesn't work, which I suspect it won't.) I'm not sure where I fall on this. From reading the L.A. Weekly piece on this a few weeks ago, it sounds like the city has some good reasons to regulate the carts, but then you get to this part:

You see, the typical bacon-wrapped hot-dog enthusiast, as Palacios points out, isn't likely to notice that there are two tiers in L.A.'s hot-dog-vendor community. On top are licensed vendors who sell dogs and snacks from motorized Cushman carts that are often modified (sometimes outside of code), depending on what the vendor is hawking. Their vehicles are registered, their fees paid. Every day, their carts return to commissaries, where the vehicles must be cleared, scrubbed and stored...Below the legal vendors are the more ubiquitous operators of homemade carts, which usually consist of propane tanks strapped to modified baby strollers, Target shopping carts or, in most cases, tool carts. They operate completely outside of codes and regulations, their particular rules and organizational methods a mystery to outsiders...Palacios says she sees a double standard.

"[An inspector] came to check me, and the piratas were there, in front of us, and I said, 'Hey, why don't they move them? What happened?'" Palacios recalls. "She said, 'Oh, they get aggressive,' and I said, 'Oh, you want me to get aggressive?' [The inspector] says, 'You know what? I have your ID. If you get aggressive, I put you in jail, and I can't do that to them, because I don't know who they are.'"

And the woman they talk to actually spent 45 days in jail for selling heart attack dogs! Well, it's typical gummint bullshit, but not nearly as bad as the current War on Taco Trucks. Oh, you didn't know?

Led by District 1 County Supervisor Gloria Molina, the L.A. Board of Supervisors has passed new restrictions that will effectively eliminate taco trucks from our streets. Under Supervisor Molina’s new rules, taco trucks will have to change location every hour, or face a misdemeanor charge carrying a $1000 fine and/or jail. Yes, jail.

You can click on the above link to sign a petition. The ban seems to have stemmed from businesses complaining about taco trucks parking outside of their restaurants, which must be a very aggrivating thing. I know it's hard as hell to keep a business afloat, but stomping on the people a rung below you on the ladder isn't the way. Bandini observes, "Noone thinks it’s right for a taco truck to park directly in front of a restaurant. But as usual LA city officials lack any creative solutions to the problem. Maybe implementing a law where a taco truck cannot park within a certain radius of a brick and mortar restaurant would please everyone."

Monday, April 28, 2008

Deleted Scene From Ring of Fire

In 1955, Johnny Cash was an itinerant folksinger, playing hootenannies and hoedowns, when he was discovered by J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, as dramatized in this clip. This scene was excised from the film Ring of Fire after a lawsuit was threatened by the SubGenius Foundation, and the screenwriters inserted the fictional character "Sam Phillips."

OK, just kidding, this is from Hootenanny Hoot. I also uploaded this awesome bit of gospel from Joe and Eddie from the same film.

Perez Prado

This one is from the film Cha Cha Boom! I love this scene. I like the idea of a voodoo ceremony out in the woods having a full horn section! Something else of note for mambo fans: this AMAZING battle of the bands between Perez Prado and Spike Jones!!!

The Rhythm Masters

First off: I posted the video of Chris Rock and Steven Wright doing each other's jokes on the Headliner Magazine blog. Check it out.

I also put a bunch of videos on YouTube this weekend, from movies that I TiVo'd off of TCM this month. This one is from Get Yourself a College Girl, which I've written about before. I think the opening scene was ripped off for Rock n Roll High School. Never heard of this band, The Rhythm Masters, but what a performance!

Some video from this movie was already up, from The Animals (twice), The Standells, and Stan Getz with Astrud Gilberto, but no Rhythm Masters. I also put the Jimmy Smith organ jam up there, since nobody had posted that either. Oh yeah, and check out the great title song!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thai Movie Posters

I just had to post about this awesome Flash Gordon poster I picked up off of ebay. So fuckin' hot! I love that it depicts every single thing that happens in the movie! When I was a kid, I used to try to draw posters like this for movies that I liked.

This seller has a bunch of other great Thai posters for sale, and I just had to save some of them for posterity. I'm actually regretting that I didn't grab this poster for my favorite 90's Godzilla flick, just because that English plot description at the bottom is so amazing. I'd feel stupid paying seperate shipping from Thailand for it, though, and besides, I don't really know where I'd hang it.

It actually took me a minute to realize how innaccurate this Evil Dead 2 poster is. At no time in the movie is Ash actually beheaded, but the idea of him running around with no head and a chainsaw seems very much in the spirit of the film.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spittin' Wicked Randomness, Vol. XXV

I went to see Tomorrow Is Another Day at the noir festival at The Egyptian last week. These old films noir are like 60's garage rock records. Every time you think you've seen all the good ones, you find out about another. They're not all great, but most of them are pretty enjoyable, and you just know that there's always another great one buried at the bottom of the barrel somewhere. Tommorrow was maybe a bit too good to be one of my favorites (that is, not sleazy enough), but man, it's a great, dark story. The other feature, Highway 301 was a bit cheesy, but more energetic. It starts off with the governors of Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina talking to the camera about how important this film is because it shows that crime doesn't pay, and man...the NC Governor looked like such a sleazy used car salesman, a fat guy in a loud suit that didn't fit him well, with a lapel flower. Had some pretty intense violence.

I had intended to post the classic, hard-to-find "head" comedy album A Child's Garden of Grass in honor of 4/20, but as I was preparing to post it, I realized it's actually in print from Rhino Handmade (limited edition of 5,000), and I don't like the idea of posting whole albums that are in print. But hey, you have my reccomendation. Go buy A Child's Garden of Grass.

Songs I Didn't Know Were Covers:

A few weeks ago, the great Rev. Frost posted the Rock-A-Teens' original recording of "Woo-Hoo!" (the song from Kill Bill). He even went to the trouble of transcribing the lyrics! It's not as energetic as the 1,2,3,4's version, but I like the drum breaks. Not to be outdone, the Locust Street blog posted Bo Diddley's version of "Pills." I knew that this was the one song on the first New York Dolls album that wasn't credited to the band, but it fit in so well with their sound that I always assumed someone had written it for them. I just couldn't picture it not being a New York Dolls song. Bo Diddley's version is the same lyrics, same basic chord changes, but a completely different song, and sounds kinda like Buddy Holly. And his version is even catchier than the Dolls!

Monday, April 21, 2008

One More Reason To Vote For Obama

You'll get to hear more stuff like this from stupid Republicans:

Although the media has finally exposed Barack Obama's ties to the unhinged pastor his support from rappers who propagate equally pernicious nonsense has gone almost entirely unnoticed.

Rappers are gaga over Obama. The superstar Jay-Z, who raps about “b------,” “hoes” and “n-----,“ even urged voters to support Obama in a robo-call for the March 4 Ohio primary and caucus. The equally foul-mouthed rapper Will.I.am, whose hit songs include “I love my B----,” has hyped Obama in two widely-viewed videos posted on YouTube.

The rappers have good reason to praise Obama. He has at times been an apologist for their “music.” His complicity with rappers dates back to at least 2006.

Late that year he met with the rap giant Ludacris in his Chicago office. Ludacris, who Pepsi dropped as a spokesman in 2004 after Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly exposed his putrid lyrics, said afterwards that Obama felt like family to him. In March 2007 Ludacris, whose hit songs include “Move B----,” headlined an Obama fundraiser in Atlanta.

Obama even recorded a voice over for a new album out this June from rapper Q-tip. Will it contain lyrics like these sonnets from another Q-tip song? “Close the door, ‘ight let a n---- rock. Cause we ‘bout to eat real s---, not s--- slop.”

Who are these members of Obama’s amen corner? Many are the industry’s leading lights, who have become rich and famous thanks to the willingness of liberals like Obama to ignore or excuse their glorification of sexism, drugs and violence. Without this kind of collaboration they would just be unemployed thugs instead of millionaires.

God, this is just...I mean...GAH! How did grampa learn to work the new-fangled interweb thing? I hope we get much, much more of this stuff in the coming months.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hollywood Boulevard

So you all know about Dante's Inferno at the New Beverly, right? They've got Joe Dante selecting some of his favorite movies to show, with special guests showing up and the whole shebang. I went out there Saturday to see a double feature of Hollywood Boulevard and Truck Turner. The night before, they had shown the same bill with a bunch of guests, so (from my experience with previous New Beverly programs)I wasn't expecting any guest appearences. So I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a little note taped to the box office window reading "Hollywood Boulevard will be introduced by Quentin Tarantino TONIGHT."

I get in, my eyes adjust to the light a bit, and I notice Quentin several rows in front of me, talking animatedly and acting very Quentinesque. Then I see a couple guys walk in and go over to talk to him. When they pass in front of the screen, I make out their silhouettes--Joe Dante and John Landis! I eavesdrop on their conversation a minute. QT: "Well, since you're here, you should introduce it." JD: "Nah, I want to hear your version." Then John Landis telling them he was actually a stuntman in a car crash scene in Truck Turner. Anyway, here's a rough transcription of Quentin's intro to Hollywood Boulevard:

OK, this movie is special to a certain kind of person, like me. See, when I was growing up, I'd go see all these AIP movies, but I wasn't old enough to make movies yet, which was what I really wanted to do, and I'd always fantasize about accosting Roger Corman and BEGGING him to let me make a movie, and maybe he'd at least let me edit trailers until I could make a movie. And so this movie was particularly inspriational to people like me, because THEY ACTUALLY DID IT! So what you have to know is that Joe Dante and Alan Arkush had the job of editing trailers for AIP, and they were basically locked in a room all day with all these movies, cutting them and editing them together and talking about movies, to where they were almost like a comedy team, and they'd take a car crash or a helicopter explosion from one movie and put it in the trailer for another movie, so they got to know these movies back and forth, like the back of their hand. So they came up with this idea, and they went to Roger Corman and said "We bet you we can make the cheapest movie in AIP history." See they KNEW Roger Corman,and they knew that that was a proposal that he'd at least have to consider, right? So they made this movie, and they filmed it in such a way that they could stick in the stock footage from all these other AIP movies, car chases and stuff, and it's a movie about making the kind of b-movies they were making, so they could be making a Phillipino prison movie and have Candy Rialson shooting a gun, then cut to footage of a whole platoon of Phillipino soldiers dying, right? And then they're making a scifi movie so they can cut to footage from Deathrace 2000. There's a lot of movies in there. So they make this movie, incredibly cheap, and they have a preview of it with a test audience in...where was it? Let's say Panorama City, some hick town like that. And all through the movie, nobody is laughing. Except Roger Corman, who's sitting in the back, just chuckling, "huh huh huh." Then the movie ends, and Corman immediately gets up and goes to the bathroom, so they're just sweatin' it out, "what's he gonna say?" So Roger comes back from the bathroom, and he says "Gentlemen, there's a saying in shobiz. It's called 'too hip for the room.'"

There was more to it, but I can't remember. Then Joe Dante got up and talked about it. He said he ripped the plot off of an old Bela Lugosi movie, but "the plot is the worst thing about it."

Hollywood Boulevard was fun as a cultural artifact, although it didn't exactly add up to much of a movie. There were some great trailers, too, especially a totally insane trailer for Dirty Duck. I remember seeing that video in the video store I used to rent from in high school, but I never rented it because I figured Fritz the Cat pretty much had that ground covered, but it looked absolutely batshit insane. Probably best left to the imagination, though.

And Truck Turner was cool, but I'd seen it twice, so I left before it was over. Oh, the director, Jonathan Kaplan (Heart Like a Wheel) was there to introduce it.

Roger Corman's gonna be there tonight for The Secret Invasion and Tomb of Ligeia. For my part, I'll be at The Egyptian tonight enjoying the Film Noir Festival. Tell me this doesn't tempt you:

Ultra-Rare! TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY, 1951, Warner Bros., 90 min. Handsome Steve Cochran with the perpetual 5 o’clock shadow-racked up a slew of noir credits before his premature death in 1965, including WHITE HEAT, PRIVATE HELL 36 and THE DAMNED DON’T CRY. Here, he’s an ex-con who’s never been with a woman. Ruth Roman (STRANGERS ON A TRAIN) is a dime-a-dance dame with no use for sappy men. A hotel room, a dirty cop, a gunshot -- the perfect jumpstartfor a fugitives-on-the-run love story. This virtually unknown noir is director Felix Feist’s masterwork, packed with revelatory set-pieces. Feist also helmed the legendary THE DEVIL THUMBS A RIDE, and this hard-luck saga more than matches DEVIL’s twisted pyrotechnics. Cochran was never more vulnerable, Roman never sexier. Imagine GUN CRAZY scripted by Steinbeck -- it’s that good. NOT ON DVD

Anyway, next Tuesday is the most interesting part of the Dante program, The Movie Orgy. Dig this description:

This the first, one nite only public showing in many years of my first project. In 1968 when "camp" was king, Jon Davison and I put together a counterculture compendium of 16mm bits and pieces (tv show openings, commercials, parts of features, old serials etc.), physically spliced them in ironic juxtapositions and ran the result at the Philadelphia College of Art interspersed with parts of a Bela Lugosi serial. The reaction was phenomenal. This led to The Movie Orgy, a 7-hour marathon of old movie clips and stuff with a crowd-pleasing anti-war, anti-military, anti-establishment slant that played the Fillmore East and on college campuses all over the country for years -- always the one print. We called it a 2001-splice odyssey. We kept adding and subtracting material over time so this, alas, is not the original version-- it’s the later cutdown, running a mere 4 hours and 19 minutes! But it’s still a pop time capsule that will bring many a nostalgic chuckle from baby boomers and dazed expressions of WTF?! from anyone else."

And I'll be teaching that night, so I'll miss it. Fucker! Oh yeah, check out the coverage on the SLIFR blog. Great interview with Dante!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Barack The Magnificent

Calypso legend The Mighty Sparrow.

I Had A Bad Dream

Night before last, I dreamed I killed someone. I can't remember why. It seems like it was a mercy killing or something. But I killed this woman who was lying in bed by covering her mouth and nose until she suffocated. I'm really freaked out about this. I can't believe that I could have been capable of doing this even in a dream.

Friday, April 11, 2008

One More Reason Why L.A. Is A Great Place To Live

Pot Gelato! OK, the report doesn't sound too promising, but maybe someone can come along and work the bugs out.

This has nothing to do with pot or gelato or L.A., but I have to post it:

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

TiVo Alerts

What the hell made me think that now was a good time to start a new blog project? I guess I fell into the common mistake of thinking that everyone who was saying they were excited about contributing would actually contribute. Some of y'all know what I'm talkin' about.

I haven't even been keeping this blog up properly. So, in an effort to retain my readership (which I believe may number in the high single digits), a public service: here are some things you should set your TiVo for in April on TCM.

On Tuesday, 4/15, they're showing a bunch of rock n roll movies: Don't Knock the Rock, Don't Knock the Twist, Bop Girl...most of these are basically musical reviews connected by a few scenes of thin plot. The one I reccomend everyone catching is Get Yourself a College Girl. Also, Cha-Cha-Cha Boom! starring Perez Prado sounds pretty cool.

4/9: Ring of Fear (1954): "Mystery writer Mickey Spillane tries to help Clyde Beatty deal with a plot to sabotage his circus." This sounds pretty cool, as it has both Spillane and Beatty playing themselves.

4/18: Suburbia (1984): Penelope Spheeris' punk rock drama as part of juvenile delinquent night.

4/20: Michael (1924): "In this silent film, a famed artist fights his passion for a male model, until the young man falls for a woman." Sounds pretty hot! And it's directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. And followed by the Josef von Baky 1943 version of Munchausen, and then Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep (1977).

4/21: The Maltese Bippy (1969), starring Dan Rowan and Dick Martin! "A porn star thinks he's become a werewolf!" Also starring Julie Newmar! Is there any possible way that could not be awesome?

4/26: Scorsese on Scorsese (2004): Self-explanatory.


I picked this CD up from the library. How was this not a huge hit? It's the catchiest song I've ever heard! Previously, I only knew Del for his rather mush-mouthed track on the Judgement Night soundtrack, but this album is packed with great stuff! (Actually, I heard this song once or twice in the 90's, probably on college radio, but I didn't know who it was.)