Music Video of the Day: I Love It Loud by Kiss (1982, directed by Philip Davey)

Kiss destroys a house, just through the power of their music.  That seems like a Kiss thing to do.  This video is back from when the moral majority still thought that KISS stood for Knights In Satan’s Service.

Significantly, this was not only the last video to feature Ace Frehley as a member of Kiss but it was also the last video that Kiss filmed before they officially took off their makeup.  The “unmasked era” lasted for 12 years, from 1983 to 1995.  Unfortunately, it turned out that Kiss, without the makeup, wasn’t really that interesting of a band.  With the makeup, they were beings from another world.  Without the makeup, they might as well have just been a slightly more talented version of Poison.  Kiss eventually did the right thing, put the makeup back on, and got back to destroying houses.

The father in this video is played by Howard Marks, who was Kiss’s business manager at the time.


Artwork of the Day: Hardrock (by Mel Crair)

by Mel Crair

He’s definitely hard something!  And look at those intense eyes, my God.  I don’t know if I’d want to be the woman standing behind him because he looks like a rough character.

Hardrock was first published in 1963.  From the 30s until he died in 1988, Bonham wrote over 40 novels.  The majority of them were westerns, like this one.  The cover was done by Mel Crair, who this site has featured in the past and will probably feature again in the future.

Music Video of the Day: Be Good To Yourself by Journey (1986, directed by ????)

I wanted to begin this day on a positive note and luckily, Journey’s going to help me do just that with Be Good To Yourself.  This song was written at a time when singer Steve Perry was going through an array of personal problems and he was also dealing with the failing health of his mother.  Though Perry may not have written the song, he did say that he needed a life-affirming anthem to sing.  Keyboardist Jonathan Cain came through with Be Good To Yourself.

The video was a performance clip.  That was always the best format for Journey during the Steve Perry years, as anyone who has seen the video for Separate Ways can attest.


A View Of A Life Gathering “Dust”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Occasionally I’ll get a comic submitted for review that’s a couple years old but still in need of more publicity than it’s received to date, and such is the case with John Carvajal’s self-published mini Dust, a precisely-crafted and insightful little number that, for whatever reason, appears to have flown beneath almost everybody’s radar. Yeah, I know, the small-press landscape is a crowded one, but trust me when I say : Carvajal’s work pretty much always stands out from the crowd, and this is no exception.

There are some sci-fi tropes and trappings on offer here — robots, for example, seem to be a ubiquitous feature in folks’ homes — but at its core this is a story about coping with loss and grieving, about how we channel our energy into strange and bizarre outlets as a form of release, only to have said outlets become obsessions — the…

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Nomadland wins in Vancouver!

Love you, Canada!

The Vancouver Film Critics Circle announced their winners for the best of 2020 yesterday.  And here they are:

Best Picture
Promising Young Woman

Best Director
Thomas Vinterberg – Another Round
David Fincher – Mank
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland

Best Screenplay
Jack Fincher – Mank
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Actor
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Gary Oldman – Mank
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal

Best Actress
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Actor
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Yuh-jung Youn – Minari

Best Documentary
Athlete A
Totally Under Control

Best Foreign Language Film
Another Round
Dear Comrades

The Southern Eastern Film Critics Association Honors Nomadland!

The never-ending awards season continued yesterday with the Southern Eastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) naming their picks for the best of 2020!  It was another round of victories for Nomadland, Chadwick Boseman, Frances McDormand, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Youn Yuh-jung.

Here are the winners:

Top 10 Films
1. Nomadland
2. Minari
3. The Trial of the Chicago 7
4. Promising Young Woman
5. Sound of Metal
6. One Night in Miami…
7. Da 5 Bloods
8. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
9. Soul
10. Mank

Best Actor
Winner: Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Runner-Up: Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal

Best Actress
Winner: Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Runner-Up: Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Runner-Up: Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Youn Yuh-jung – Minari
Runner-Up: Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Ensemble
Winner: The Trial of the Chicago 7
Runner-Up: One Night in Miami…

Best Director
Winner: Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Runner-Up: Regina King – One Night in Miami…

Best Original Screenplay
Winner: Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Runner-Up: Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Runner-Up: Kemp Powers – One Night in Miami…

Best Documentary
Winner: Time
Runner-Up: Dick Johnson Is Dead

Best Foreign-Language Film
Winner: Another Round
Runner-Up: Bacurau

Best Animated Film
Winner: Soul
Runner-Up: Wolfwalkers

Best Cinematography
Winner: Joshua James Richards – Nomadland
Runner-Up: Erik Messerschmidt – Mank

The Gene Wyatt Award
Winner: Minari
Runner-Up: One Night in Miami…

Artwork of the Day: The Spice of Life (Artist Unknown)

Artist Unknown

First published in 1964, this is another Midwood book about suburban swingers.  Looking at these covers, it seems like pools were the most decadent thing about the mid-60s.  Having a pool in your backyard was like having a big bowl for all of your party guests to drop their car keys into.

The artist behind this slice of suburban decadence is unknown.

Music Video of the Day: Alive by Pearl Jam (1991, directed by Josh Taft)

This is a song that has often been misunderstood throughout the years.  I can say that because I’m one of those people who has often misunderstood it.

Of course, we all know that Stone Gossard wrote the music for the song when he was still a member of Mother Love Bone.  (Gossard called the instrumental track A Dollar Short.)  Even before he was formally invited to become the leader singer of the band that would become Pearl Jam, Vedder heard Gossard’s music and came up with the lyrics for Alive.  The song deals with a boy who discovers that the man he thought was his father was actually his stepfather.  That part is autobiographical.  The song also tells the story of how the boy has an incestuous relationship with his mother.  That part is definitely fictional.

The lyrics are pretty dark and Vedder has said that the “I’m still alive” chorus was originally meant to be an acknowledgement of a curse.  With everything terrible that has happened, the song’s main character was still alive and still having to deal with all of his pain.  However, people like me heard that “I’m still alive” and adapted the song as an anthem.  We interpreted the song as saying that, despite everything, the singer is still alive.  We saw it as a positive thing.

(Of course, we didn’t consider that Alive is the first part of a three-song mini-opera about a man who goes mad and embarks on a killing spree.)

According to Vedder, seeing the positive reaction to the song’s chorus caused him to realize that the song’s “curse” had been broken.  That’s a very Eddie Vedder way of saying that it’s okay to see the song as being an anthem.

As for the music video, the shots of the ocean remind us that Vedder reportedly came up with the lyrics while surfing.  The rest of the video was filmed at an actual Pearl Jam concert in Seattle.  Playing drums for the video was sessions drummer Matt Chamberlain.  Reportedly, the man who would become Pearl Jam’s official drummer (on the recommendation of Chamberlain), Dave Abbruzzese, was in the audience while this video was being filmed.  The video was directed by Josh Taft, a childhood friend of Stone Gossard’s who also directed videos for EMF, Stabbing Westward, and Stone Temple Pilots.


Two From Ryan Alves : “Bubblegum Maelstrom” #1

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

I’ve long been of the opinion that single-creator anthologies are something that’s in far too short a supply these days, but I’m pleased as can be to see Ryan Alves has thrown his hat into the ring with Bubblegum Maelstrom #1 from Awe Comics, a solid collection of six short strips, most boasting full painted color, that pleasingly concludes on a “Continued Next Issue” note. Which means, of course, that this is a good enough comic that you’ll be hankering for more.

Still, it’s bad form in the extreme to begin at the end, so let’s back up a bit here : it starts as life itself does, with fucking, and continues apace through a particularly grotesque birth, followed by an equally grotesque bio-dystopia, then on into a Bat-spoof, and from there makes its way through mutant plant growth, just plain mutants doing battle across a canyon, and fire-farting birds…

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