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Thursday, Feb 14, 2008
by PopMatters Staff

Decomposure
Hour 5 [MP3]
     


Hour 9 [MP3]
     


Decomposure - Hour 10


Full album [Streaming]


Son Lux
A Sunday Smile (Son Lux’s ‘Want’ Remix) [MP3]
     


Amplive
Videotape (Remix Ft. Del The Funky Homosapien) [MP3]
     


Avantasia
Shelter from the Rain [MP3]
     


Avantasia - Lost in Space


White Hinterland
Dreaming of the Plum Trees [MP3] (from Phylactery Factory releasing 4 March)
     


The Whitsundays
Loralee [MP3]
     



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Thursday, Feb 14, 2008


 



The crawl out of Los Angeles includes a pass through Agoura Hills, a city dubbed “The Gateway to the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area”. The city, first settled by the Chumash Indians, and later by Spanish Franciscan missionaries in the 1500s, once served as a staging area for Paramount flicks in the 1920s—providing it, temporarily, with the name “Picture City”. No kidding. It says so right there on Wikipedia. It also says that the city adopted the name of one of its prominent residents, a local Basque-French immigrant-turned rancher, Pierre Agoure, Most likely (one infers) after the one-two of depression and war put a kabosh on Paramount’s use of the hills as cinematic backdrop.


Lore abounds on 101, but since it’s pitch black beyond the windshield and since we’ve finally managed to shake the bump-bumper-grill-grind, it really isn’t the time to be lingering over “what wases”. No, now that we can actually stretch out and move at some sort of decent speed, it is definitely time to open it up and gooooooooooooo! So: goodbye, Agoura Hills. Hospitable home to a slew of 80s-rehash acts such as Peter Frampton, REO Speedwagon, Boys II Men, and Alan Parsons, Fixing that past in our rearview, we push on—through Ventura County and on up to the next gateway.


That would be Buellton, the so-called “Gateway to the Santa Ynez Valley”.


 



 


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Thursday, Feb 14, 2008

As my Valentine’s Day gift to you, here’s a paean to the single life, and a useful reminder of the many ways society tries to convince us that being single is shameful. (Valentine’s Day, of course, is just one of these.)


So single people typically are happy, and getting married does not make people lastingly happier, even for those who get married and stay married. How can this be? Single people do not have the official, legal coupled status that is so celebrated in our society—and many are not part of any couple, formal or informal, same-sex or different-sex. Plus, they are targets of stereotyping and discrimination. Why aren’t they miserable and lonely?
The ways we have come to talk about people who are single is misleading. We often say, for example, that they are “alone” and that they “don’t have anyone”. In fact, though, single people (perhaps especially single women) are likely to have whole networks of important people in their lives. They often have friendships that have outlasted many marriages. They have not invested all of their emotional and interpersonal capital into just one person.


Society, after all, has much more at stake in our being married than we do, since it is fundamentally a system of social control and property management.


 


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Thursday, Feb 14, 2008
by PopMatters Staff

Jason Collett
Out of Time [MP3]
     


Charlyn, Angel of Kensington [MP3]
     


More on This Album


Jason Collett - Out Of Time (MTV Live Canada)


Ric Menck
Hey War Pigs [MP3] (new 7” single on Parasol)
     


Mobius Band
Baby, We’ll Be Fine (National cover) [MP3]
     


The Teenage Prayers
I’ll Never Let You Go [MP3]
     


SSM
Déjà Vu [MP3]
     


The Long Blondes
Once and Never Again [MP3]
     



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Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008


Don’t you just hate the false sentiment, the “love them or else” aura that surrounds this so called holiday of love. Ever since marketers discovered that people respond well to social and cultural peer pressure (“everyone is giving diamonds, so why not you, you jerk!”), the most minor of calendar calls has been magnified to maximize shame, and guilt-related spree spending. Valentine’s Day is no different. Where once little kids gave scraps of paper with semi-clever compliments (“Bee My Special Friend” with mandatory bumble), or chalky little candies, the pre-post-proto-modern mindset reels at anything less than designer chocolates, mutant sized bouquets of flora, and a sting of ‘oh so’ precious stones.


There is a way to get back at all this lovey dovey horse hockey and preserve the spirit of merriment and festivity, however. Instead of worshipping yet another questionable saint, why not simply strike the sacrosanct and go gratuitous. Those completely in touch with the practical and the profane know that the perfect antidote to lace and frills is lechery and thrills. And nowhere are such baser instincts better represented than in the world of exploitation. Among the naked bodies and whip whelped backsides, in between the depravity and the debauchery, there’s a chance to have your cake and smear it all over your sex partner too.


“Vile-entines”, as we purists refer to it, can be a ‘whenever’ experience. Any day can be a grindhouse day. Yet what better way to acknowledge your left field obsessions than with flesh feasts from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s? Isn’t that better than a Build a Bear? While not all drive-in fodder finds its way onto the big picture, if one categorizes the many objects de amore available, the possibilities become far more manageable. Like the song once said, if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. And with that, here are ten carnal classifications that would make any defiant romantic weep with wanton joy:



Love of SATAN


While the traditional holiday adores the cherub and the cutesy, the antithesis celebrates the demonic and the blasphemous. Since most relationships end up as a living Hell anyway, why not cut out the middle man (or woman) and simply give the Devil your direct attention. Whether it’s a trip to the Asylum of Satan, a quick game of statues with Satan’s Children, a how to guide in worshipping the Beast from Satanis: The Black Mass, or a romp with Sinthia: The Devil’s Doll, there are at least 666 ways to leave your lover…for Lucifer. Besides, fire and brimstone are far more practical gifts.



Love of DRUGS


Everyone needs to feed their head now and again - and no, we aren’t talking about BOOKS, Grace Slick. If unforgettable films like Ghetto Freaks, Alice in Acidland, The Hooked Generation, and Psyched by the 4D Witch have taught us anything, it’s that the best way to turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream is through the ingestion of massive amounts of dope. Opiates, be they injected, snorted, or smoked, just make sense this time of year. After all, how else will you get through the endless saccharine emotions and suggestions that you’re less than a lothario without coughing up cash.



Love of PAIN


If you believe in duality, there is a cause for every effect, some nausea for every naked exploitation actress. Logically then, for all the pleasure around, there has got to be some pain. No one knew this better than the late, great, degenerate Michael Findlay. Via his massively mean spirited Flesh Trilogy (The Kiss of Her Flesh, The Curse of Her Flesh, The Touch of Her Flesh), he created the serial killer slasher film and a perfect advertisement for the seductiveness of sadism. Granted, people do get hurt under this sort of sensuality, especially around the throat, cranium, and breadbasket. But just like a romantic tattoo, a scar is forever.



Love of the SUN


Nudists know best - especially when it comes to stripping off the skin covering and letting the Milky Way’s largest power source bathe their bodies in Vitamin D giving (and malignant melanoma causing) sunlight. Worshipping said source of all bio-chemical existence is the main point behind such epidermis exposing efforts as Nude on the Moon, Gentlemen Prefer Nature Girls, Goldilocks and the Three Bares, and The Naked Venus. Of course, the reality of such a lifestyle choice involves stigmas, occlusions, hirsute happenstance, and lots and lots of moles. They say the human form unsheathed is a beautiful thing. We’ll take their word for it.



Love of BURLESQUE


Matronly-like seductresses doing a bawdy bump and grind. Baggy pants comedians cracking wise. Singers rejoicing in the fine art of melody trashing. All this, and much, much less can be yours if you just let efforts like A Virgin in Hollywood, Too Hot to Handle, Varietease, and Teaserama be your exotic dancing guide. The one time cultured repast, considered quite swanky for sub and urban swells, now resembles grandma getting dolled up in a rather inappropriate manner. Still, if glamour and seduction is an art, then these pancaked pack mules are the very definition of Victoria’s Secret - and perhaps they should stay that way.



Love of HILLBILLIES


Since they’re raised in the backest of backwoods, guided by parents who may be related both legally and genealogically, rednecks are a wonderful repository of unrequited (and un-hygienic) passion. Whether it’s the full figured farmer’s bride in such rural rube classics as Sweet Georgia or Jennie: Wife/Child, or sexually wound up offspring like The Pigkeeper’s Daughter or Tobacco Roody, the results are always the same: more indirect animal husbandry; more kin on kin canoodling; more moonshine inspired spooning. And the occasional trip to the outhouse, just to make sure everything - and everyone - stays good and regular.



Love of the OVERLY AMPLE BOSOM


Chesty Morgan is definitely the cover girl for Vile-entines Day. Lacking much of Betty Pages’ allure, and none of Pat Barrington’s siliconed savvy, this Polish immigrant by way of some industrial sized lingerie is a dead eyed body double sold for her excessive skin only. Attractive in a perogies-producing, earnest Eastern European manner, Ms. FF turned standard sexploitation like Deadly Weapons and Double Agent 73 into crazed cult classics. And if she can do that to the most overdone and derivative of ‘60s/‘70s sleaze, imagine how she can perk up your love life - either that, or your gag reflex.



Love of ROBOTS


While the main premise of the film centers on your typical mad medico trying to resurrect the dead with some special white powder (hey - it worked for Liza Minelli and Andy Warhol), there is a musical interlude in the middle of Swamp of the Ravens that suggests automatons and arousal go hand in hand. As a sweaty longue lizard squawks about his ardor for an amiable android, we see him grope and ogle a mannequin. At least it all seems very innocent. The creepy pervert in Doris Wishman’s Indecent Desires fondles a child’s doll to get his jollies. Now that’s just sick!



Love of PROSTITUTION


Ladies of the night…women of ill-repute…street slags…brothel babes…you nickname them, Vile-entines just eats them up. In films like The Hookers, The Agony of Love, and The Love Merchant, girls giving it up for cash and the pimps pushing them are semi-respectable reflections of a society gone soft and squishy. The easy access to paid passion is always given its main moral comeuppance, but along the way we experience the dueling dichotomy of supply and demand wrapped up in being a whore. And then there are those honeys who think they’re beyond the whole “name your price” predicament. Too bad they can’t see the forest for the Johns.



Love of VIOLENCE


Roses are red…and so are clots of bloody gore! In keeping with the ‘heartfelt’ sentiments of the season, rivers of clarets have come to symbolize what this sleazoid celebration is all about. Whether it’s the old school splatter of Blood Feast (complete with gratuitous conversational innuendo), the subtle slaughter of Doctor Gore, or the live child birth footage from such reddened roadshow classics as Street Corner and Damaged Goods, sluice signifies the best of what this holiday has to offer. And there’s no better way to get close to your potential lover than via a quick trip with a meat cleaver through his or her alimentary canal.


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