Category Archives: Entertainment

Entertainment:
Things of an entertaining nature, generally. Distractions.

Cold Fire

At the end of this Christmas holiday, I had some time to be outside and feel the crisp air on my cheeks. The cold weather tonight is knocking loose a few odd memories, particularly this nugget from the year 1984 which, dare I say, is the golden age of heavy metal and hard rock.

Dokken wasn’t exactly a band I followed religiously. They were on the radio for a span of time during my formative teenage years. But, taken out of context, their lyrics are fuel for all of the Satan-rock street preachers who had screamed for our rapt attention in that era. There were so many bands out who played up the Satanic connection just to increase their magnitude and pump sales. Unfortunately, most of the kids in my world (and some adults, sadly) bought into it and thought they were the real deal; the same kind of chumps who would carve “666” into their schoolbooks and think they were summoning the Dark Lord himself.

Really, “Into the Fire” was the inner struggle of a man that keeps running back to a bad lover who burns him on every touch. Image notwithstanding, that’s basically all it is; a bad relationship that he won’t let die. But the over-the-top music production, the expensive video, and everything about the entire product screams excess, waste, and sex for the sake of itself.

That sound still sticks with me decade after decade.

And don’t get me started about “Dream Warriors” — that’s wedged so deep into my psyche, it’s soothing to the touch.

Space Black

You should probably know this: I secretly adore this band Black Mountain. Their Vancouver-meets-high-desert-rock sound hits me in the yes-yes place every time.

Space to Bakersfield” is the closing track on their latest album, “IV” (2016), and is arguably the best god-damned soul jam I’ve heard in a long, long time.

This live session recording in the KEXP studio in Seattle is remarkably close to their studio album. That’s quality, y’all. God, just listen to that open space, that sizzling air, the baleful riffs, that wayback Hammond B3, that Mellotron, that fluted vocal warble, that passion.

The stars are singing for you to join them. Are you listening?

Amen

Adverb for agreement and consent. Amen.
Statement of “so be it”. Amen.
Punctuation to a long prayer. Amen.
That is the past. These are our hopes. This is our intent. Amen.
Please let us move on, dream on, go forward into the dark night. Amen.
Pushing to the sunrise of our souls, of our world. Amen.
Leaving all our shadows behind. Amen.
It’s time to turn the page and love again. Amen.
Lifting up our prayers like a billion lights in the sky. Amen.
The past is gone for good. It’s time to say: Amen.
Amen. Amen.

Twist and Burn

Dancing in my darkened kitchen to DKMD’s “On the Other Side” at at 12:30am while heavily drunk on whiskey is the best my day has been. I’m busting moves I didn’t think I had.

Honestly, I think I feel shitty through the rest of the day because I burn my brain’s dopamine at night when I’m drunk. There’s not enough for the rest of the following day. That or my life is just that shitty.

Either/Or.

Anyway, DKMD is one of the projects Marie Davidson has been involved with, and tonight is my first night following that thread. She’s a great musician on her own, and I’m now seeing where she came from. Shit’s great.

Celluloid Smudges

You know you’re a film buff living in a film town when you can watch an indie film and your experience with the storytelling is diminished because you’re distracted by all the fingerprints of independent films.

You’re watching the drama, but in your mind, you’re backtracking and imagining all the location decisions, the directorial compromises, the just-get-it-dones, the editorial chops for time, and all the bylaws you have to comply with just to get accepted into the indie film festival circuit. The story is good, but you can see where it was altered just to fit some extra-fictional benchmark, like keeping within budget, time, or location. Y’know?

I find the same thing with many independent movies I see — especially those produced in the 90’s at the height of indie films. I’ve seen it in “Julian Po”, in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”, in “Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael”, and tonight in “The Tao of Steve”. Having gone through a miniature semester in movie production back in college, that’s just enough to bring my attention to the pre-production, principal photography, and post-production phases of an indie film. I’m more aware and cognizant of what choices are involved in telling a story cinematically, especially when money and time are major concerns and short-cut choices have to be made. The film gets more terse, more quaint, more…twee. The big-ticket box office blockbusters don’t have that problem, and that’s unfortunate.

I just want to get back to the naiveté of watching movies as stories, but somehow, I don’t think that’s possible. Perhaps it’s true: what is seen cannot be unseen.