Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Karen Blacks three part anthology film 'Trilogy of Terror' is only memorable because of the third and final episode - with THAT possessed tribal fetish! It’s a once seen never forgotten scene. As a ten year old I’d arrived back home late at night from somewhere cosy with the parents and we ended up catching the complete last chapter on the telly. It was nightmares and lights on for a week after that.
'Trilogy' doesn't get repeated that often, and when I finally tracked it down on DVD (thanks to an unofficial copy via Ebay), it was just as ferocious as I remembered and probably more effective for being a TV movie with the sleepy beige ambience of almost every TV show made during the seventies - until that raggy raging doll gets reanimated and starts snapping and stabbing.
The Cramps - The Way I Walk live at Napa Mental Hospital
The Cramps continue the theme of early 80s rocking wraiths. This clip dates from the Bryan Gregory period - the skeletal 'skunk striped' guitarist who collected soil from various cemetery's. This is the Lords of Psychobilly doing their voodoo on video live at the Napa State Mental Hospital. I've seen the whole of this gig and it's thirty minutes of non stop neck tightening tension.
Returning us to the scene of the crime and the first clip it's;
David Bowie - Beauty and the Beast
Well, I had been planning to use the trailer for Tales From The Crypt which has just been released as a double DVD with Vault Of Terror. TFTC is an Amicus Productions compendium of the macabre, featuring Joan Collins and the psycho in a Santa suit, the Monkeys Paw rework and motorcycle skeletons but some ol' youtube spoilsport’s pulled it.
So in a last minute bit of stealthy switchcraft it’s Childen of the Stones.
I wasn't much of a childrens ITV watcher growing up in the 70s, but two shows from the dark side seriously spooked me for years, and are still whispered about by anyone who stumbled across them. Escape Into Night - two children in a desolate ‘dream’ house surrounded by moving stones.
And Childen of the Stones - father and son archaeology in the worst of west country villages. As well as being a genuinely great piece of tea time drama, back then I thought the intro music was the most was terrifying scream theme ever composed and would see how long I could last with lights out (even the HTV ident music has an uncomfortable lumpy bubble bounce about it). I recently hired COTS and thought the theme tune couldn't really have been that creepy could it? Turn down the lights, turn up the sound and try it for 'sighs'.
The Damned - Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
The Damned seemed to be eternally doomed to be tarred with the Goth brush or as jokers in the Punk pack, both of which are a total disservice to the legacy of The damned. This clip may not disprove either of these theories but is still worth firing up. Dr Jekyll is ‘Punk’ in paisley shirts and pre dates the 80’s psychedelic revival by at least three years. The studio version even has a trumpet an’ everything on it. Taken from the 1980 Black Album, a double disc set with a seventeen minute masterpiece where Punk goes Prog called ‘Curtain Call’
Another top tune from the Black Album and a BBC session stormer( this is possibly even better than the album version).
The Damned - Wait For The Blackout (BBC Session)
Monday, October 29, 2007
I only saw Nosferatu for the first time a few months ago and was completely blown away by it. Klaus Kinksi gives a bone chilling performance as the shadowy hands folded Count. You can almost feel the temperature drop when he slithers into shot. It’s packed with character, colour and texture but Herzog leaves enough room for the icy tension and dark dynamics to breathe. As close as you'll get to Bram Stokers genuinely creepy Dracula novel (although criminally - the terrifying Bloofer Lady has been left out of the film )
Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
The sound track to almost every night out in the early 80's as Positive Punk slowly evolved into Goth. Bauhaus built a frankenstein song using spare parts from Bowie, Cult Films, and dark dub reggae on this anthem for the undead.
And another tune big on the scene at the same time.
Red Lipstique - Drac's Back
Friday, October 26, 2007
You really can't beat DIY dance routines (they're even better with the sound off)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
It's some butter. With a fly on it.
What in the name of Storm Thorgerson is going on with this unhygienic howler? It's really not the best way for Barbra to put the goods on the barrow. (grease, germs and something eating it's own sick)
Neil Young's Are You Passionate? has a touch of the lazy loafer about it, as well as being shoulder cringingly corny (not even the local camera club could click off this cracker barrel of cheese)
But ol’ 'helium honk' is a repeat offender for Friday afternoon knock off's - Living With War and Re-ac-tor, are from the bottom of the lazy bones barrels and would have Pete Saville chewing his own desk with rage.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Having just turned 40, Radio 1 seems to be going through a grey ponytail and leather trousers period. It comes across as desperately needy for approval, self validation and determined to avoid showing any signs of middle aged maturity
But the station that was the once ‘Nation's Favourite' is fighting a losing battle. The target audience it’s trying to tap into have disparate distractions and other interests - internet radio, Youtube, Facebook, iPods, iTunes, mobile phones and MSN.
Add to this that singles sales are in free fall, the charts are a free for all and Top of The Pops is dead. The wheels are coming off the wagon and the stations days must be numbered.
By investing almost exclusively in a heavily formatted magpie eye view of music where only the new and shiny is atractive Radio One is constantly playing catch-up and doing itself and it’s listeners a massive disservice.
Heavily formatted shows playing short shelf life sugar rush Pop, Rock and Urban isn't a long term solution to the problem. Trying to be the Pied Piper of Pop teasing rat's back to the sinking flag ship isn't working.
One thing that seems forhead smackingly obvious to me is - limit your appeal and you limit your audience.
The sort of target audience Radio 1 is so keen to keep, are just as interested in old music as new music. They’ve grown up being groomed on their parents record collections. During a recent episode of 'University Challenge', a team of 18-20 year olds were played tunes by the Pistols, Jam, Clash and Damned and managed to name them all correctly.
So how many of the demographic they're desperate for are actually next door at radio 2? And getting new dogs to perform old tricks (as on the recent Established 1967 CD) gives the impression of someone knowingly past their prime announcing 'I was a bit of a looker when I was younger you know'
Radio 1 may like to think of itself as carrying on in the spirit and the tradition of John Peel (who couldn't have been less formatted and recognised the value of all music not just new music), but in reality it’s actually more of a 'Saxondale'
Recommend reading is Simon Garfield's The Nations Favourite
Written in the eye of the hurricane and during the media meltdown when Radio 1 was undergoing a self inflicted shake up and shoo’ing away it’s audience.
And also check out Radio Rewind for a look back at Radio One at the height of it’s pop picking powers
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Part 2 has two youtube clips, 2 MP3 treats
and 1 hidden nugget (can you find it?)
I also recommend digging out Dad’s Army 'All is Safely Gathered In' - in which Godfrey requests leave to help an old sweetheart with the harvest, and Mainwaring offers the services of the platoon which ends up in a drunken Thanksgiving.
The Small Faces - The Autumn Stone.
As drifty dreamy as bonfire smoke
The Autumn Stone - MP3
Neil Young - Harvest Moon,
‘helium honk’s harvest tune – great one for guitar beginners to learn .
Harvest Moon - MP3
And by request
Ronnie Lane - The Poacher
Ronnie Lane - The Poacher (unreleased)
Monday, October 8, 2007
There’s something wrong with my Television. Every time I turn it on there’s screamers on the screen.
Idiots, nitwits and know nothings invading my space. The sort of people I’d emigrate to avoid are being beamed into my house in digital definition and surround sound. Seven nights a week on all channels.
At a time when viewing figures have slumped, which empty headed executive thought Punch and Judy programming would get bum's back on seats?
Yes, that’s it - exactly what we fancy watching to wind down. Shouty grief girls and sweary ASBO blokes stomping about, 'effing and jeffing' as the soon as the clock strikes nine. Full grown adults having full blown teenage scream ups and being told how to cook, clean and dress themselves. Parents unable to control their children are being sent to the naughty step. It's either that or fame craving desperadoes and ex celeb’s in meltdown.
I don't know who looks more tragic in these TV disaster movie? The celeb’s desperate to walk the plank or programmers rubbing raw the bottom of the barrels.
The Big brother/I'm A Celeb/One Flew Over The Cuckoos nest format is an experiment that can only work once. It’s not repeat viewing. Second time around it’s all festival freaks gurning for the camera and playing to the gallery . Dumbo's and bimbo's that make Jade Goody look like Germaine Geer - watching walk out's, storm offs and showdowns over shopping lists is about as entertaining as watching germs under a microscope
Who needs tantrum TV. Not Me.
No, I won’t press the red button for more information thanks. I’ve seen all I need to know. I’ll press the off button and go and do something less boring instead.
It wasn't that long ago people were moaning about repeats clogging up the schedules like cholesterol. I’d welcome them back, or the test card, pages from Ceefax. Anything!
It wasn't always this awful. The truth is out there - it’s called YouTube
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
So farewell then Ronnie Hazelhurst.
'Write the theme tune, write another theme tune' that was your catchphrase.
He may not have had the melancholy melodies of John Barry or the funky punch of Keith Mansfield and Alan Hawkshaw, but Ronnie H was a master of the light entertainment lilt and wrote the soundtrack to seventies Saturday night TV.
Politely modern, neat clean lines and economical arrangements, sort of G Plan furniture for TV themes.
My recommended Ronnie riffs are;
The Two Ronnies - big, brassy and sets the scene for something special.
Are You Being Served - Pink Floyd must’ve plundered this for Money.
Reginald Perrin - the essence of the Hazlehurst/BBC theme team.
You probably knew the Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em theme is the letters of the title played in Morse code on a piccolo.
(S) dot dot dot (O) dash dash dash………
But did you know there’s a search for the lost Ronnie Chord ?
Why not dig out, dust off and spin up your TV theme tune albums and raise a glass to Ronnie Hazlehurst?
Or treat yourself with these downloads;
The AYBS theme
AYBS Sir? A musical skit with John ‘inside leg’ Inman
And this sounds like an absolute hidden winner;
Exelby - it's described as Burt Bacharach meets Bob Dylan meets Ronnie Hazelhurst.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Hello Bloggers and Bloggettes, you’ve tuned into Channel Mondo the flip side of Planet Mondo
Let me clarify
is all about fizz, puffery and pop culture bytes that get the thumbs up.
Channel Mondo is about grumbles, mumbles and modern life rubbish that get the thumbs down.
Any ol' stodge, stinkers or nonsense that turn me into a bit of a crosspatch, put my needles in the red, or manages to work me in to a right ol' steaming tizz’ gets on the blog.
And at the moment there seems to be more stodgy stuff than ever to be blogging on about. Some of the ideas I've got lined up include:
Has The World Gone Inane? - too much bandwith and not enough to fill it.
Bad Book Club - this could be anything from books to magazines that are rotten reads.
The Three Wise Men Of Rock - a 3 part posting.
But it's not all bad news - I'll also be including:
Reason's To Be Cheerful - people, places or any ol' thing that's put a spring in my step
Mellow Mondo - soothing tunes and youtube treats