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 at Cinepunx. 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 at Cinepunx. Published 1/10/17
Upon dropping the needle on Ship to Shore’s release of the Largrange Point soundtrack, one wonders just how the music to an 8-bit game for the Nintendo Famicom can sound so amazingly full. Honestly, the music on Lagrange Point rivals the likes of such 16-bit scores like Outrun, and it’s all due to a chip inside the cartridge — Konami’s VRC7 sound generator integrated circuit.
Read the full review at Starburst Magazine. Published 1/7/17
Somehow, the vast majority of this roundup all came in immediately after we posted last month’s installment. Happily, there are some gorgeous visuals from rock acts such as Chris Crabtree, Chris Meck & the Guilty Birds, and Berwanger, the Uncouth’s street punk, and a funky newscast from the Band That Saved the World.
Watch all the videos at the Pitch. Published 10/4/16
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 at Cinepunx. 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 at Cinepunx. 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
“There’s a very short list of things I miss about the movies of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. For the most part, it was a pretty transitory period for the sort of movies I like. Even given the fact that I was a kid at the time, the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia can only do so much to influence my opinions on the actual quality of things like Best of the Best or Judgment Night.
Still, there was a wonderful trend at the time to include end credits songs which weren’t just a pop single they were trying to flog to the audience as it threw away its empty popcorn containers. I’m talking about the terrible end credits rap songs. There was everything from “Monster Squad Rap” from 1987’s Monster Squad to Partners In Kryme’s “Turtle Power!” in 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to even the likes of “Maniac Cop Rap” from 1990’s Maniac Cop 2.
However, I feel like the pinnacle — or nadir, depending on how you look at it — of this trend came rather early, with “City of Crime,” from 1987’s Dragnet. The film — starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks — was a filmic reworking of the popular 1960s television show, which was itself a reworking of the popular 1950s radio program. It’s very tongue-in-cheek, yet managed to be a fairly faithful homage to the show, which had been running in reruns for years by the time the film came out.”
Read the From the Stereo to Your Screen column on Dan Aykroyd & Tom Hanks and Dragnet at Cinepunx, published 6/13/16
Celebrity Art Party is a semi-occurring feature, wherein the artists we enjoy interpret their favorite song. This installment features Amy Abshier-Reyes, whom we’d never met before being introduced at a Spoon show a few months back, but quickly discovered her to be a fantastic and interesting person. Abshier-Reyes’ work is a collection of haunting portraits, and her piece for Celebrity Art Party is no different.
Song title: “Ceremony”
Artist: Joy Division/New Order
Version of song (live, album, remix, etc.): I really love the New Order 12″ version, originally released in 1981 on Factory Records.