Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blog Post #300

I’m not one to toot my own horn or celebrate myself incessantly like most people on the internet do, but today marks the publication of my 300th blog post. “Out Demons Out” has been running on a weekly basis since 2007, and it’s come a long way from what it once was. When I first started the blog the majority of my entries consisted of song lyrics, random food & nightclub reviews, old short stories and bizarre memoirs of a disturbed adolescence that wouldn’t go away.

Since then three serials have been published with more on the way. What makes my blog different from many is that I’ve almost avoided any topics that are too popular or obvious, like photos of Marilyn Monroe or Jayne Mansfield. It kills me to see people blogging pics of those overexposed whores and then thinking they’re actually doing something creative. To add insult to injury these bloggers think they’re celebrities and actually have a following. It’s only a blog, asshole, come down to Earth.

And speaking of following, I think it’s funny that I only have 35 followers (and by the way, thanks all 35 of you, you guys are great) and yet an average blog gets about 200 hits. Somebody’s reading this shit whether they want to put their name to it or not. The walls might have ears but the web has eyes, invisible ones at that.

As of December 2012, the three most popular blog posts on “Out Demons Out” have been:
1. The Parker Posey birthday tribute, which makes her a bigger movie star than many people think.
2. The GTO’s tribute from Rolling Stone Magazine. I liked that one, too.
3. The New York Dolls – Creem Magazine glam tie-in from 1974. That one had a lot of style.

Ironically the next biggest blog post was the “Bibles And Blueprints” serial chapter from “Crash Walker” which was about Crash visiting his estranged father, a former aerospace industry designer who has clearly gone insane. Apparently there are people who assume the title somehow refers to certain religious sects that need diagrams of weapons for some form of malicious mischief. Sorry! It’s just about April Van Winter singing “Talk Talk”.

The purpose of a blog should be one of two functions: either to serve as a sort of online diary or progress report on someone’s accomplishments, whether it’s in art, writing or music, etc.; or to serve as a journal of favorite movies, photographs, books, etc. As far as my blog’s concerned, my reviews are simply a fan’s notes and shouldn’t be seen as anything particularly factual or educational. It’s just me talking about what I like. Pretty revolutionary, huh?

One of the great things about writing a blog is that you can express yourself freely without bearing a rainfall of shit as you would on a message board, where very opinion is fair game for attack. After several years of being ripped open on message boards I finally took the hint and avoided them for the rest of my life. There isn’t enough self-hate in the world to get me back on a message board on any website.

As long as we’re on the topic of reviews, I just wanted to say that the best album of 2012 was “12 Bit Blues” by Kid Koala, a brilliant postmodern amalgamation of old blues styles – Chicago blues, Delta blues, Ragtime blues – and turntable cutting and spinning. It’s a brilliant accomplishment and worthy of everyone’s attention.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The File On Trixie Andersson

After the final, legendary show Garbage Truck played at The Glitter House the disappearance of Griff, leader of the band has been fraught with weird rumors. Many have said that he simply vanished from the punk rock scene after that last show along with his girl friend, the equally legendary Trixie Andersson. We sat down and talked to her about life after Garbage Truck.

Ms. Andersson looked happier than usual and was dressed in her favorite outfit of leather jacket, GBH t-shirt, leather mini skirt and black patent Doc Martens boots. She also had a button on her jacket that said, "Hell No I'm Not Rosario Dawson".

I: “Thanks for sitting down with us, Trixie. How’s life, or more importantly, what’s that bright, shiny stone doing sitting on your finger?”

TRIXIE: “Well! Andy, I thought you’d never ask. My hot boy Griff and I married about a week after the show and we’re both now living in semi-agoraphobic seclusion. Of course, this hasn’t prevented idiot scenesters, assholes like the guys in his band and that tired, old queen Dead End Kyle from spreading slanderous bullshit to sully MY GRIFF’S reputation”.

I: “Wow! Whatever happened to those guys in his band? Did they stay together after he supposedly disappeared?”

TRIXIE: “Ugh! Lady Godiva’s Operation, the sub-Sub-SUB-standard flop band run by dumb Bradley, Bert and ugly Bobby went on a tour of small-town colleges under the name of Garbage Truck. Can you believe that shit? Obviously a last-ditch attempt to cash in on Griff’s reputation, loyal fans demanded their money back when they realized Griff wasn’t performing - and those jerks only played two Garbage Truck songs, anyway. When Fritz-Franz Klein complained about the band’s lame decision to tour under a bogus name they coldly kicked him out of the tour van, dumping him and his drum set in the middle of the Mojave Desert. What a bunch of assholes!”

I: “Let’s talk about something far more interesting, like your career”.

TRIXIE: “It’s high time, Mister! Thanks for asking!!!! I’m now a pretty damn successful clothes designer in Hollywood, employing my hot new husband Griff as my assistant. Together we design cutting edge fashions we sell on Melrose, we’ve been on German and Italian TV and, and, AND, we’ve put on high-profile fashion shows on the fetish circuit, much to the ignorance of stupid fuzz guitar lovers”.

I: “I heard Dead End Kyle of Paint It Black Records badmouthed Griff saying that he’s living out on the street like a homeless bum”.

TRIXIE: “Yeah, did you ever hear anything so stupid in your life? If my Griff is homeless that what am I doing living in a nice apartment with a working, constantly ringing phone? The scary thing is that there’s people retarded enough to believe that moron”.

I: “Well, life hasn’t been the same since his wife divorced him after catching him having sex in a Jacuzzi with one of his garage band discoveries”.

TRIXIE: “And it wasn’t one of those untalented Japanese girls he’s always hawking, just some garage rock boy with pimples. HAW!”

I: "Can you give me a brief rundown on where you guys live and what it's like?"

TRIXIE: "We live in a one bedroom apartment in the Miracle Mile District, so very black career girl-type area. The so-called living room has my sewing machines, power tools, art supplies, so on and so forth stuff. The bedroom's more like Griff's laboratory with guitars, a synthesizer, amplifiers and his cool-ass trumpet. And of course, our comfy sofa bed, TV, videos, toys and crap. I have my own vanity alcove for make-up and glam fashions. Not bad for an allegedly homeless guy, huh?"

I: “Some people said you guys wouldn’t last. What do you say to that?”

TRIXIE: “What do I say to that? Those wrinkled old hookers Kitten Claws broke up last year,okay? Java The Hut closed down after the owners had a drug-dealing hissy fit but Griff and I are still together, maaaan. Add it up, folks!”

I: “Well, the bigger the hype the harder the fall. Didn’t Dale Cryer become a big star for five minutes?”

TRIXIE: “Andy, it was the most boring five minutes of all time! After he burned everybody in Hollywood and then weeped like a baby for having Hepatitis-C the whole town dropped him like a smelly, rotten potato!”

I: “He wasn’t much of a singer anyway”.

TRIXIE:“No, he’s just a thief and a born liar. He told everybody in town Griff was homophobic. Talk about sour grapes! Go steal somebody else’s small change, Cryer. There’s a 12-pack of beer with your name on it, if they make beer called LOSER-BRAU”.

I: "What's with the Rosario Dawson button on your jacket?"

TRIXIE: "I was at a club minding my own business, i.e. drinking a beer and listening to some raging hardcore when these two white heshers with tattoos and piercings, a Henry Rollins crush couple, came up to me and sheepishly told me I looked like Rosario Dawson. Before I could say anything they ran off like a pair of scared rabbits. What the fuck?"

I: “Thanks, Trixie, it’s been great talking to you. You’re still the coolest punk rock girl I know”.

TRIXIE: “Thanks right back, Andy doll. I made this rad studded belt for you, and Griff made this blue patent leather bracelet. Hope you enjoy them. Loyalty has its privileges and you’re the best friend we ever had! Our pals are the best and fuck the rest”.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nitro (French Canada, 2007)

You can't beat a nutty action film, and it doesn't get nuttier than French Canada's Nitro. Directed with verve by Alain Desrochers, Nitro is a super-charged action film from French Canada spoken in Froglish (French-English, mostly French. Like most action films if your park your brains at the door you can still have a good time watching this nutty high octane opera.

Julien (Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge)is a former street racer (with the racing sobriquet “Mad Max”) gone straight with a wife and stepson, now working as a construction worker. When his wife Alice goes into a coma needing a heart transplant he decides to re-enter the street race game to scare up the big swag needed to get her a heart transplant.

He enters an exciting late night race hustling all the young dudes who don’t remember his champion race past. When someone eventually remembers and outs him as the legendary Mad Max they deny him his cash winnings and a baseball bat battle ensues. He gets the dough, of course. But it’s not enough.

A hospital friend tells him that Alice is so far down the list for heart transplants with hearts being so scarce, anyway that she’ll never make it long enough to live. Of course, French Canadiens don’t know about artificial hearts because then there wouldn’t be a movie. So, Julien comes up with a great idea: steal a beating heart from a living person.

Julien returns to the strip club where his ex-girlfriend Morgane (Lucie Laurier) works. Morgane was also a street racer like him, but they broke up because he caught her making it with the sleazy club owner, Avocat (Martin Matte. Julien strikes a deal with Avocat in front of his gang for a heart. Avocat tells him that a heart can’t be supplied without a proper blood type. Julien feigns stupidity so he can hear the entire gang recite their blood type. When one unlucky bastard cops to being A Positive (Alice’s type, apparently) Julien kidnaps him at gunpoint, giving us a pretty exciting chase scene, highlighted by a fistfight inside a car while Julien keeps his pedal to the metal at 90 miles an hour.

Julien drags the thug to the gangsters’ doctor, a disbarred veterinarian, who extracts the poor bastard’s heart out and hands it to Jules in a red biohazard case. He dashes away with the cops in hot pursuit, and for good reason: the thug he killed was an undercover cop that infiltrated Avocat’s gang.

Julien hides out in Morgane’s flat, much to her scorn. Who can blame her? He dumped her for the dull Alice, who is mostly seen in the hospital making boring New Age speeches about the molecules and tout la planetes. Morgane helps him slip into Alice’s hospital courtesy of her T. Rex, a three-wheel motorcycle car that has to be seen to be believed. The Campagna T. Rex is worth the price of the movie.

To make a long story short, one girl dies and the other doesn’t – yup, spoiler – and even though the movie is silly it’s still a fun action film. Ironically the two best characters are the scumbag gangster Avocat with his shaved head and Abe Lincoln beard (yuck) and the awesome Morgane, another great bad girl added to cinema history. Lucie Laurier is definitely a star and hopefully will be seen from again.


When I first heard about "Broken Flowers", the Jim Jarmusch film starring Bill Murray, I feared yet another dreary, tired old guy movie like "Lost In Translation". Thank hebbin I was wrong!

“Broken Flowers” puts a new spin on the tired old joke, “I don’t have any kids that I’m aware of”. Bill Murray plays Don Johnston, a successful software developer who gets a mysterious message from an anonymous ex-girlfriend that she bore him a son. Murray subsequently goes on a cross-country odyssey (in a 1996 Ford Taurus) searching all his exes in pursuit of finding out which one had his son.

What follows is a spin on the old “What A Way To Go” formula, where we meet his exes and how different they are apart from each other: Jessica Lange is a pet psychiatrist, Sharon Stone is a NASCAR racer’s widow, Frances Conroy as an ex-flower child turned Stepford wife and Tilda Swinton looking more like Patti Smith circa “Horses” (1975) than Patti Smith ever did. The resemblance is remarkable!

Just like “Lost In Translation” we have a few Lolita moments here, in fact Stone’s daughter Lolita walks around naked for Bill’s enjoyment, and a young florist named Sun Green who medicates his bruises. Although everybody in the film is great it’s clearly Murray’s show all the way, exhibiting the best deadpan humor he’s exhibited since “Ed Wood” (“I’m stalking people in a Ford Taurus!” he complains to a friend). The scene where he tries to hammer down Conroy’s awful boiled julienne carrots is classic, too. Well, this is hands down Jim Jarmusch’s best work in years and, The inside joke at the end is awesome and yes, even Sharon Stone actually looks like she’s enjoying herself. It’s after the end of the world!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An Electro-Swing Hanukkah

This week - Saturday night, December 8th -brings the arrival of Chanukah, Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is an 8-day festival represented by a candle lit for every day on the Menorah, the candelabra used for this special occasion. The Menorah is used to commemorate the miracle of a single day’s portion of olive oil lasting eight days, the olive oil being important for lighting the candles in the newly rededicated Second Temple.

One of the most significant aspects of Hanukkah is that it reflects an image of Judah and The Maccabees, Jewish rebels that fought against the tyrannical Antiochus Epiphanes of Greece. In light of the tragedy of The Holocaust it was important to remember that there were times in Jewish history when Jews have risen up and rebelled to reclaim their right to be Jews.

Jimmy's Gang - Parov Stelar

For the next eight nights candles will be lit and added each night on my Menorah (pictured above). Buying Hanukkah candles has always been pretty cool. Nowadays you can get candles in silver, gold, or multicolor with weird little wax appliqués on them. I get a different color and design each year. The wax is usually in a braided shape with the appliqués hanging off them like moon craters. You can find them at Bed Bath & Beyond in addition to any religious store.

Rock It For Me - Caravan Palace

No Jewish holiday is complete without a seasonal delicacy to make the holiday more fun, and that’s where latkes come in. Potato pancakes with either apple sauce or sour cream on the side, even non-Jews enjoy eating this all year round, but they’re the official delicacy for Hanukkah.

Be-Bop 2 Hip-Hop - Jem Stone

Another festival custom is spinning the dreidel, a diminutive spinning top that we played when we were kids. Each side of the dreidel had a different letter, which in Hebrew has a numerological value to it. When the dreidel stopped spinning and fell on the letter with the highest number value the kid with the highest number would win all the chocolate coins or bubble gum coins the other kids would put up in the betting pot. I always preferred the chocolate coins to the bubble gum coins because the bubble gum was always too hard and made your jaws ache!

The Gasworks Gang - Jem Stone

After all is said and done you can’t beat an awesome holiday season, and growing up in snowy Providence, Rhode Island in 1961 was the best. Predominantly Roman Catholic (a lot of Italians lived there) even my family loved going to downtown Providence and looking at the great department store displays with Christmas toys and electric trains and the humongous Christmas trees all tricked out with billions of lights. It was pre-zactly just like Bob Clark’s classic film “A Christmas Story” with all the elaborate fancy toy displays.

Hotel Axos - Parov Stelar

After we checked out the great store displays all over the metro area we drove through the residential areas to see who had the most extravagant display in front of their house. Some people went all out with an elaborately built manger (like in “Diner”) or a Santa’s Village that would make Walt Disney blush. One manger showcased statues painted and lit so ghouly grotesque the Three Wise Men looked more like Dracula, Wolfman and Frankenstein. Scary. I guess the bottom line with this holiday season that it’s all about THE LIGHTS, Christmas or Hanukkah. The snow might be falling but it’s all about THE LIGHTS.

The morning after this Xmas phantasmagoria had us bobsledding down the hilly streets of Taft Avenue, Rhode Island Jewish kids sledding in the snow with the starry spire of Temple Emanuel standing tall at the top of the hill like a sentinel protecting us from any further Antiochus Epiphanes in the future.

And all I want for Hanukkah is lots and lots of Burberry Prorsum clothes for men, or at least the dough to buy it with!

Parov Stelar will be appearing at The Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8 pm.