The Phantom Menace was released the day I finished my sophomore year of college. Thanks to some amazing friends who sat in line for weeks, I was able to snag a ticket to the midnight screening in the biggest theater in Kansas City. I moved all of my stuff out of the dorms, drove it home, took it into my parents’ house, and then drove to sit in line for seven hours, in order to secure a seat.
It’s weird to think about the fact that despite having watched all of the movies with my friends (including a Labor Day marathon a year or two prior, wherein we watched all the Special Editions when they were released on VHS), in addition to having friends from college get my ticket, I watched the movie essentially by myself. A sold-out theater, yes, but I sat by myself.
Read the From the Stereo to Your Screen column on John Williams and The Phantom Menace
. Published 11/18/16
Despite the fact that I’d rabidly followed the Bryan Lee O’Malley graphic novel series on which it was based, I didn’t get to see Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World film when it was in theaters. Firstly, I think it ran for maybe two weeks in my town, and it was dead-smack in the middle of back-to-school season.
Given that at the time, I was raising two kids, finances and time were at a premium, and they never became available simultaneously. So, I waited four months for it to come out on video, and then promptly watched it every day for a week. This coincided with me downloading the soundtrack and listening to it every day at work for a week, as well.
Read the From the Stereo to Your Screen column on The Clash at Demonhead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
. Published 12/6/16
Despite its many iterations — musical, movie musical, live televised musical — John Waters’ original version of Hairspray, released in 1988, remains the best. Now, I’m a fan of musicals, and I’ll admit the Tony-winning Broadway version is pretty damned solid, with opening number, “Good Morning Baltimore,” being the best of the bunch. I’ll even cut some slack to “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” despite it being almost insipidly cloying.
That said, Waters’ film is just so perfectly bizarre and fun and joyous, with a perfect selection of Cameo Parkway R&B sides soundtracking everything. The plot, if you’ve never seen any of the various iterations, revolves around Baltimore teenager Tracy Turnblad getting on The Corny Collins Show, dancing, then becoming more racially aware, dancing, fighting for integration, and more dancing.
Read the From the Stereo to Your Screen column on Rachel Sweet and Hairspray
. Published 1/10/17
Back in March, Noisey ran a piece entitled “Fuck ‘Trainspotting’! ‘Batman Forever’ Was the Soundtrack That Truly Epitomized the Nineties”, wherein J.R. Moores put forth the opinion that the Trainspotting soundtrack is highly overrated, while Batman Forever’s is highly underrated. He’s coming from a British point of view, but he does make the very astute observation that Batman Forever “wrestled the Dark Knight from the sweaty clutches of graphic novel-reading grownups and rightfully handed him back to the kids.”
Read the From the Stereo to Your Screen column on U2 and Batman Forever
. Published 89/1/16
It's the heart of the heat of the summer, so hardly anybody's out shooting music videos right now. However, everybody's playing shows, so we have a wide array of live music on which to affix your gaze, be it the bluegrass of Julian Davis & the Hay-Burners, Horned Wolf's metal, or some classic punk from the Micronotz. We have you covered in this month's Cine Local.
Watch all of the videos at the Pitch
. Published 8/1/16
If you’ve not read Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree, you can be faulted for thinking that the Fat Boys were just another novelty group, the likes of which littered the ’80s. However, for thems what know, the Fat Boys actually started out as the Disco 3, winning a talent competition sponsored by Swatch in the early ’80s, and gaining popularity through a series of MTV commercials.
Read the From the Stereo to Your Screen column on The Fat Boys & A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
. Published 7/6/16
"The music videos released in the last few weeks are as exciting visually as they are musically. Starting with hip-hop turntablism from Midnight Marauders, then moving into a string of amazing rock 'n' roll from the likes of Psychic Heat and the Philistines, then back to hip-hop with Verbal Contact and Lincoln Marshall, there's something to appeal to all tastes as of late. Check out the amazing eye candy in store for you with this month's Cine Local."
Watch all of the videos at the Pitch
. Published 6/1/16