Saturday, October 29, 2016

Trick or Treat - Toss or Keep?

Halloween is approaching faster than Freddy Krueger on a motorbike. Although millions of us dress up and go to a party or even trick or treating, a lot of us prefer to draw the curtains, turn the lights off and watch scary movies. But which movie is your state scared of most? Recommerce site used their data to find out which horror movie the residents of each state have been selling most, which obviously means that they’re just too scared to cling onto it… right?
According to the data from Decluttr, there are six horror films Americans are scared of most…

IT: Arkansas, New Hampshire, South Dakota
The Conjuring: Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico
The Ring: Ohio, Massachusetts, Texas
The Grudge: New Jersey, New York, Oregon
The Exorcist: Alaska, Kentucky, Tennessee
Friday the 13thArizona, Nebraska, Washington
Ghosts, creepy little kids and a serial killer in a hockey mask – they’re enough to make anyone want to sleep with a nightlight.  And we guess that whole creepy clown thing is really getting to folks in Arkansas, New Hampshire and South Dakota too!
Honorable mentions also go out to A Nightmare on Elm Street (2 – Jason beat you Freddy, sorry),The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2), The Evil Dead (2), Sinister (2), Hannibal (2), The Others (2) and, most surprisingly, Secret Window.
The most surprising results of all, though, come from Delaware and Pennsylvania, where Blade andBlade 2 came out on top respectively.  
I’ve also attached the map showing what movie tops the list in each state. 

Olive Films Releases Classic Aviation Film, Rare Counterculture Gem, and New Anime Discoveries

Olive Films Releases Classic Aviation Film, Rare Counterculture Gem, and New Anime Discoveries

Olive Films, a boutique theatrical and home entertainment distribution label dedicated to bringing independent, foreign, and classic films to DVD and Blu-ray, has announced that October 18thwill be the release date of eight new titles, including a canonical aviation film, and a rare counterculture gem from 1970, and the long-awaited launch of Oribu Anime.

“This Autumn is a very exciting time for us,” said Alex Kopecky of Olive Films. “We’re thrilled by the outpouring of positive responses we’ve received for the debut of our new Olive Signature line. Moreover, we’re also releasing four titles that have never had legitimate DVD releases in the US: The FakeThe King of PigsStrategic Air Command, and Little Fauss and Big Halsy as well as four other films new to Blu-ray.”

THE KING OF PIGS (2011) and THE FAKE (2013)
With the DVD and Blu-ray debut of The King of Pigs and The Fake, Olive Films proudly launches Oribu Anime, an exciting new voice in modern animation. Showcasing some of the world’s most provocative animators, Oribu Anime aims to push towards the outer reaches of modern, sophisticated anime. Oribu’s first two titles come from rising Korean director Yeon Sang-ho, whose recent live-action film Train to Busan (2016) has been called the best zombie movie in years. With the director’s international reputation growing every day, audiences are primed to enjoy his earlier animated films.

Both The King of Pigs and The Fake are unflinching, dark, cynical films that comment on Korean society as a whole. The King of Pigs opens moments after a once-successful businessman has brutally murdered his wife. From there, the film flashes back to his school days and the abusive events that shaped his own life. In The Fake, religious figures Elder Choi and Pastor Sung plan to swindle their faithful village out of the money they’re about to receive from a project that involves the whole village being flooded to build a new dam. When a local outcast realizes that their plan will not only steal from the villagers but also put them in danger, he is left with no option but to unleash all hell on the con artists.
Strategic Air Command is also scheduled to debut on DVD and Blu-ray. Directed by the great Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart, June Allyson, and Frank Lovejoy, its absence on disc has left a gaping hole in the collections of aviation film fans, and Olive Films happily fills that void on October 18th. The film’s greatest claim to fame is its stunning aerial photography, which was filmed in Vistavision and is presented here in 1.66:1.

Notably, Strategic Air Command reflects James Stewart’s love of aviation as well as his military background. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941, and after flying 20 combat missions, he became one of few Americans to rise from private to colonel in just four years. When he retired in 1968, he held the rank of Brigadier General. Filmed with cooperation from the Air Force, Strategic Air Command also has the distinction of being the only feature film to ever focus on the B-36 Peacemaker.
Olive Films has also announced the first legitimate DVD and Blu-ray release of Little Fauss and Big Halsy, a film directed by Sidney J. Furie starring Robert Redford, Michael J. Pollard, and supermodel Lauren Hutton. Following the motorcycle racing circuit, the film provides an interesting take on the counterculture bike films of its time. It boasts a soundtrack of songs by Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Bob Dylan and a screenplay by Charles Eastman that was one of the first film scripts to be published as a hardcover book.

People may also remember the film for the on-set tensions between Robert Redford and Michael J. Pollard, who were rumored to strongly dislike each other. Also, although Redford chose the project in part to undercut his clean, likeable image, he supposedly grew to dislike the film because of the sleazy, caddish character he plays. It’s unfortunate that Little Fauss and Big Halsy has been so neglected on home media, but Olive Films is proud to change that with their October 18th DVD and Blu-ray release.
Other Olive Films August Title ART + FACTS (link)
Blu-ray debut of Villa Rides (1968), directed by Buzz Kulik; starring Yul Brynner, Robert Mitchum, Charles Bronson, Herbert Lom, Robert Viharo, Fernando Rey, Alexander Knox, and Grazia Buccella.
Blu-ray debut of Gas-s-s-s (1970), directed by Roger Corman; starring Cindy Williams, Bud Cort, Ben Vereen, Elain Giftos, and Bob Corff.
Blu-ray debut of The Return of Dracula (1958), directed by Paul Landres; starring Francis Lederer, Norma Eberhardt, Ray Stricklyn, Virginia Vincent, John Wengraf, Gage Clarke, Jimmy Baird, and Greta Granstedt.
Blu-ray debut of Special Effects (1984); directed by Larry Cohen; starring Zoe Tamerlis, Eric Bogosian, Brad Rijn, and Kevin O'Connor.

Bonus Features: New Audio Commentary with director Larry Cohen and filmmaker Steve Mitchell.

About Olive Films
Olive Films is a Chicago-based boutique theatrical and home entertainment distribution label dedicated to bringing independent, foreign, documentary, and classic films to life. Its catalog boasts over 500 titles ranging from Hollywood classics to contemporary titles. More information about Olive Films may be found at

Friday, October 28, 2016

Marvin Gardens '1968' (High Moon Records) - Rare Electric-Folk/Garage-Psych From Late-60s San Francisco

Formats: Deluxe vinyl LP / Deluxe Digpak CD / Digital
Release Date: November 11th 2016

Stream the album here

This revelatory anthology of electric-folk/garage-psych alchemists Marvin Gardens easily warrants oft-overused terms like “lost gem”, and “buried treasure”. Comprised of never-before-heard Warner Bros. audition demos, an extremely rare, self-released, seven-inch EP (only 100 were pressed), and an inspired live performance from the legendary Matrix club in San Francisco,1968 captures virtually all recorded evidence of a dynamic and mesmerizing band that existed for only a couple years at the tail end of the ’60s.

By the end of 1967, the major San Francisco rock bands – Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service – had all been signed to major labels and a “second wave” of bands were bubbling up in the clubs and ballrooms around the Bay Area. Marvin Gardens was one of those scrappy newcomers; in fact all but one of the members grew up in the city. The influence of those local bands and the legacy of the eclectic music scene are audible here – strands of molten Quicksilver, the Dead’s cosmic blues, Big Brother’s grand gestures and the city’s open-hearted folkie past. But Marvin Gardens went even deeper than that: there was a youthful, gritty garage-rock stance, a gently ironic wink, and a humble sincerity to their sound that their forebears had moved away from. Also on hand are glorious shadings of The Velvet Underground (early and later era), The Charlatans, and The Lovin’ Spoonful – all in all, a very natural amalgam of ’60s earth-wind-and-fire sonic sensibilities.

But the plume feather in their cap, was lead singer Carol Duke. She was a wisecracking lesbian from Lubbock, Texas, with a deep knowledge of folk music, the vocal power and conviction ofGrace Slick and Janis Joplin, and a spine-tingling pop-melodic purity that rivaled Mama Cass and Carole King. Duke was a natural, with a large repertoire of material, including songs by Buffy Saint MarieOdettaBob DylanLead BellyHoagy Carmichael and an eclectic and seemingly-endless range of pre-war blues, country and folk numbers. The band jumped right on and into these tunes – often without ever hearing the originals – and intuitively crafted sonically adventurous and emotionally compelling versions that completely stand on their own. You can hear that vital creative spark on both the studio tracks and the marvelously vivid live material herein.

With their catchy folk melodic sensibility, primal rock instincts, and lead singer nonpareil, Marvin Gardens could have continued to grow as artists and make a serious mark locally and nationally. But they never “made it” past the ’60s or even much beyond the Northern California music scene. Apart from a handful of dedicated local enthusiasts and a warm embrace by the Gay Biker Club scene ('Whips And Leathers', MG’s sole original was a celebration of that nascent movement), the band never achieved escape velocity. They gently fizzled out and went their separate ways, like most groups do, without a fuss.

As of 2012, Marvin Gardens was just a hazy memory. The band’s former members and followers believed that all the glorious music they played from 1968-69 had been completely forgotten. And they were right... almost. Thanks to some die-hard fans, archivists and true believers, one of the coolest bands you’ve never heard of is finally getting its debut. High Moon Records has created the ultimate document of a group that should have been a bigger deal and still very much deserves to be heard.

Click on the above link to open and read full article or click here
• Remastered from the original source tapes by multi-Grammy nominee Dan Hersch
• Liner notes include an insightful essay by Ugly Things’ writer Mike Stax, reflections
from band members and associates, and many archival photos
• CD has 19 tracks, in a deluxe custom Digipak with a full-color 32-page booklet
• LP has 14 tracks, pressed on high-quality RTI vinyl with a 24-page, magazine-sized
booklet and a download card for five exclusive bonus tracks
• Digital download includes 19 tracks and a full-color PDF of the booklet
• Original cover and back art by legendary underground cartoonist Larry Welz

CD/LP/Digital pre-order:

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Two New Vinyl LPs Available from Butterscotch Records and Cantaloupe Music

Two New Vinyl LPs Available in October from Butterscotch Records and Cantaloupe Music

Fantasias for Theremin and String Quartet (Butterscotch Records)
Carolina Eyck, composer & thereminist with American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME)

Available on CD, Limited Edition Green Vinyl LP, 96k 24bit WAV, 44.1 16bit WAV
Worldwide Release Date: October 14, 2016

Restless (Cantaloupe Music/Naxos)
Ken Thomson, composer; performed by Ashley Bathgate, cello & Karl Larson, piano

Available on Vinyl and Digitally
Worldwide Release Date: October 28, 2016

About Fantasias for Theremin and String Quartet

World-renowned theremin virtuosa Carolina Eyck andAmerican Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) will release Fantasias for Theremin and String Quartet on October 14, 2016 via Butterscotch Records. Eyck composed these six Fantasias specifically for the 12” vinyl LP format, a practice reminiscent of early-60s Nonesuch releases. All performances were recorded in full takes with no editing. ACME tracked Eyck’s quartet scores first, and then Eyck overdubbed her deft, fluid, single-take improvisations—thus the fitting title Fantasias. The result is an organic virtuosity that leads the listener through a wide range of sonic environments across the six pieces. Eyck’s striking theremin performances on Fantasiasshowcase her dead-aim intonation, her command of microtonality, her fluid melodicism, and—perhaps most importantly—her utter lack of self-consciousness as an improvisor. This latter quality is no accident, as Eyck has practiced improvisation for years, and has even studied techniques typically aimed at athletes for entering flow-states and shutting down critical inner dialogue.
Notable is that Fantasias was conceived as a 12” vinyl LP from the beginning, this largely due to the insistence of producer and label head Allen Farmelo who co-conceivedFantasias with Eyck. Farmelo maintains that, “The LP is a musical form unto itself, not unlike a symphony or a sonata, complete with explicit structures and implicit expectations. The LP format outlived its physical constraints through the digital era, a testament to its tenacity as an abstracted art form.” Structurally, there are three pieces per side, each of carefully plotted run-length, which form intentional musical arcs—both per side and across the entire LP—not unlike movements in a larger work. Farmelo’s essay that accompanies the LP explores these concepts and others in greater detail.
Carolina Eyck and ACME will give the world premiere live performance of Fantasias at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in NYC on November 4, 2016The ACME players on Fantasias are Ben Russell, violin; Caroline Shaw, violin (album); Yuki Numata Resnick, violin (live concert); Caleb Burhans, viola; and Clarice Jensen, cello and ACME artistic director.

About Restless

Composer and Bang on a Can All-Stars member Ken Thomson releases his next album Restless distributed byCantaloupe Music/Naxos on October 28, 2016Restless includes Thomson’sRestless (2013-2014) and Me Vs. (2012) performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars cellist Ashley Bathgate and Brooklyn-based dynamic virtuoso pianist Karl Larson. This album marks Bathgate and Larson’s recording debut as a duo. The composer and performers decided to release Restless primarily on vinyl, with each piece neatly taking one side, in a nod to the vinyl albums of Thomson’s childhood, as well as a way of suggesting to listeners that they digest each piece individually, in its entirety. The album will also be available digitally.
Restless follows Ken Thomson’s 2013 album Thaw (Cantaloupe Music) performed by the JACK Quartet, which was named the No. 1 Classical CD of 2013 by Rhapsody and was featured on NPR's list of “10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing.” iTunes wrote, “While Thomson can be a prankster, these suites show a serious side worth hearing,” while Time Out New York described the album as, “Brainy, gritty and visceral, the music leaps off the disc.”
Thomson, Bathgate, and Larson have worked together on many Bang on a Can projects throughout the years, collaborating on new music through the All-Stars (of which Bathgate and Thomson are members), the Summer Music Festival at Mass MoCA, worldwide tours, and more. Thomson says, “Working with Ashley and Karl over the process of putting together Restless was really phenomenal. The two of them, who had played together but never this deeply, began to develop this intense and empathetic rapport. It's especially notable because Restless is not really a cello solo with piano but a real duo. During the recording session, the perfectionism of both of them really became clear, but each honored the other generously. Since doing this piece, they have started to play Brahms together and other repertoire to pair with this piece in concert – some might say it’s totally ‘backwards’ to start from the new piece and then go into standard repertoire together, but that is what is happening naturally for them. It's a great ongoing relationship to watch develop.”
Restless (2013-4) for cello and piano and Me Vs. (2012) for solo piano are two of Thomson’s most substantial chamber works. Both pieces consist of multiple movements, last approximately 20 minutes, and are major additions to the solo piano and cello/piano duo traditions. While their forms and instrumentation are a clear nod to traditional idioms, Thomson’s signature blend of jazz, punk, and modern art music is still boiling at the surface. These works highlight the composer’s masterful manipulation of tension and energy. The music churns, building in a wave of dissonance and density while never leaving traditional harmony behind.
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Friday, October 21, 2016

Carl Sagan was a Punk...

 "Science and religion are not mutually exclusive
In fact for better understanding we take the facts of science and apply them"

#hailsagan means more to me than some dumb hashtag, I have embraced it as a way of life. Along with NULLIUS IN VERBA (roughly translated to "on the word of no one" or "take nobody's word for it") these have become the ethos or mantra by which I live. It means never taking anyone's word for it unless they can back it up, don't give in, don't give up.

As a punk and a human being I am constantly met with contention and confrontation, of the mind or the person. The world we live in today is a weird and messy place and one will go completely insane if you dont find a way to survive and live in it. One person that I have looked to for encouragement and advice ever since I saw him on the Charles Kuralt show when I was a small child, is Carl Sagan.

If you're not familiar, Carl Sagan was an astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist and communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences. Sagan assembled the first physical messages that were sent into space: the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, universal messages that could potentially be understood by any extraterrestrial intelligence that might find them.(wikipedia)

To me, he is the closest thing to a spiritual being that ever existed on our planet, a person who truly wanted to understand life and make it better and surprisingly a fucking PUNK. Sagan butted heads with everyone from politicians, religious leaders, communists, democrats, republicans, Christians, Jews, his wives, his children, his family, other scientists, NASA, believers, non-believers and more.  His "punk" ways can be summed up in this quote  from his interview with Charlie Rose.

“Science is more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking; a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility.

If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then, we are up for grabs for the next charlatan (political or religious) who comes rambling along.”

Here is a video excerpt:

If you dont think those are the words of a true punk, maybe you need to reanalyze what kind of punk you really are. Well..being a punk can have a ton of meanings, so I don't wanna get ahead of myself but you get the idea. He stood up for what he believed no matter who he had to fight, he had original ideas and made sure as many people heard about them as possible, he wasn't afraid to take a stand no matter how unpopular it might have been.

In my opinion, being a punk means finding absolute meaning in everything around you and leaving out or kicking out everything else that is against what you believe or that has no place in your life. Its very zen if you feel like thinking about it(most people don't). We as punks have a duty to QUESTION EVERYTHING, we must use our voices and our passions to show the world how truly fucked up it is and hold a mirror to everyone that doesn't have their head on straight. Yes, we are also inclusive and provide a shelter for those that have no place or haven't found their place yet but we also have a civic duty to help our fellow man. Carl Sagan had the same beliefs.

"Widespread intellectual and moral docility may be convenient for leaders in the short term, but it is suicidal for nations in the long term. One of the criteria for national leadership should therefore be a talent for understanding, encouraging, and making constructive use of vigorous criticism."
 - Carl Sagan

Sagan was always thought of as a free thinker or a skeptic; one of his most famous quotes, in Cosmos, was, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" (called the "Sagan Standard").  This is something that I have always lived by in my own life and encouraged those around me to live by, as well. Show me respect and you will get respect (something I learned a lot from my Bosnian friends too), show me proof and I will believe in what it is you are trying to tell me, "knuck up or buck up" Crime Mob(not the punkest, I know, but WHAT IS PUNK, really?:) )

The punk subculture, which centres on punk rock music, includes a diverse array of ideologies, fashions and forms of expression, including visual art, dance, literature and film. The subculture is largely characterized by anti-establishment views and the promotion of individual freedom.(wikipedia)

Putting definitions on things is lame and never encapsulates the whole of a situation. Punk doesn't have to revolve around music. I wish it would... but it can't. You don't have to be a spiky jacket to be a punk, you don't have to love Rancid to be a punk, some of the punkest people I know get up every morning and work hard and go to their shitty job to make money to put out records, or drive a shitty van to play their songs, or build bicycles or pour beer. It doesn't matter what you look like, listen to, smell like, as long as you FEEL the same, have the same ideas, convictions, concern and awareness for change. You need an attitude, you need morals, you need thoughts, you need anger, you need suspicion, you need all of these things to FEEL like a human being AND a punk.

I don't intend to lecture here, but rather show what a great man and a great punk Carl Sagan was on this, the 17th anniversary of his death. He had thoughts that at the time were mostly ignored or cast aside as kookoo. His beliefs and thinking on animal rights, marijuana rights, race relations, climate change, religion, extraterrestrials, time travel, and more are things that we are still fighting for and dont entirely understand as a society today. If Sagan were still around he would no doubt be on the front lines fighting for all of this. It is my belief that he would have hopefully found his way into the government side of things in order to make REAL change and not give in to the almighty dollar and not give up on his fight for what is REAL and right. He had scientific proof in the 1970's that is still applied to arguments today, he had more information than a lot of congress has now forty years later. Sagan truly fought for what was right and didn't give a fuck who his opposition was because he knew in his back pocket he had the truth, he had facts, he had honesty, he had fire, he had never ending spirit, he would get kicked down and get right back up. Carl Sagan was a punk.

"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere." 
- Carl Sagan

this article originally appeared in my column "Let's Start A Fire" in the NO FRIENDS (maga)ZINE Issue 1

Tuesday, October 18, 2016




MeTV Music Listen Now
Image: Power Records /
Halloween novelty songs were once so ubiquitous that they weren't really novelty — they were simply pop music. The high point was arguably 1958, a year steeped in horror. Movie marquees were lit with titles like The FlyThe Blob and It! The Terror Beyond Space. Four years earlier, the Comics Code Authority had been created to curb the bloody violence in comic books, though titles like House of Mystery and House of Secrets were still perhaps more popular than superheros. Alfred Hitchcock was spinning dark tales on black & white television.
Naturally, the world of music would follow suit. This love of B-movie monsters and graveyard rock carried through into the early '60s, as Americans tuned in to The Munsters and The Addams Family in their living rooms. In short, there was no better time to be a trick-or-treater. 
Everyone knows "Monster Mash," the smash by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt Kickers that continues to soundtrack costume parties to this day. We wanted to dig a little deeper into pop's grave for lesser-played Halloween jams. The following tunes range from lounge music and doo-wop to rockabilly and garage. Do you remember these playfully eerie singles?


Believe it or not, the great Burt Bacharach co-wrote this theme from the hit horror flick, alongside Mack David, the brother of Hal. The Five Blobs were merely a studio creation, as Bernie Knee provided the singing.


"The record is long playing, even though you may not be," Hitch intones in his memorable deadpan. What better way to kick off your retro party?


With its slinking surf riff, "She's My Witch" is a haunting rockabilly number that is perfect for any dive bar jukebox.
Image: Ebb / Discogs


Cartoon voice actor McFadden is the man behind animated characters Milton the Monster, Cool McCool and Snarf from ThunderCats. Here, he slips into his best vampire impression for a jazzy lounge cut off his album Songs Our Mummy Taught Us.


More silly Dracula voices! "Have you ever thought your boyfriend might be a teenage ghoul?" Buchanan asks. He later warns, "You better check your neck," which sounds like something the Wu-Tang Clan might say.



Werewolves were all the rage, teenage or not. This Brooklyn doo-wop act recorded just a handful of songs, including this amusing plea to not be eaten.


Technically, it's an instrumental, unless you count all the screaming. The song comes off a party album that served up different Halloween numbers for all the dance crazes of the day. The rather sinisterly titled "Knives and Lover" was built for doing "The Swim," according to the sleeve.


David Sutch was a true English eccentric, having run for parliament under his Official Monster Raving Loony Party banner. He also recorded cool music with British rock legends, including pioneering producer Joe Meek and guitarist Jeff Beck, who played on the B-side of this tune.


Baker Knight, who wrote "Lonesome Town," is the musician behind the moniker Round Robin. He rumbles through this scuzzy rocker with true Stonesian swagger.


This tune should be quite familiar to regulars at Disneyland. It is the song played on the Haunted Mansion ride. 


This funky obscurity came a couple decades later, but has a vintage sound right out of the crypt. Who knew that bongos and dusty soul could make for such a perfect Halloween song?

link to the original post here