why is it that just when things calm down after a protracted period of ridiculousness, you get sick? or does it only happen to a select few of us who always have a project or seventeen on the go that we want to work on, just to frustrate the fecal matter out of us? whatever the reason or case may be, it happened to me again just after the three-shows-in-one-day extravaganza, and that’s why things have been quiet around here lately. i didn’t have anything very interesting to say — or any news to report — while i was coughing all over the world.
being sick did at least give me an excuse to go through all three seasons of deadwood from the beginning again, so that was fun. if you haven’t seen that show and you have any interest in westerns, profanity, the use of the english language, nudity, or what is known as the “blowjob monologue”, you’re missing out. i first watched it on a whim some years back to kill time while waiting for the season four premiere of six feet under to come around.
watching the first season finale of deadwood, i had no idea who the characters were or what the hell was being said half the time (the dialogue is not at all your typical dumbed-down “no character’s vocabulary shall exceed 34 words” shit). but something about it grabbed me. i went back and watched the season from the beginning, and after a few episodes my brain adjusted to the density of the language, suddenly i found that deadwood had supplanted six feet under as perhaps my favourite thing to ever grace the idiot box. i’m not sure i’ll ever find another television show that comes close for me, or another character as wonderfully complex as ian mcshane’s take on al swearengen. the music (incidental and otherwise) is pretty great too.
the point is, HBO are fuckheads for canceling the show after only three seasons. if i had a subscription, i would have canceled it with extreme prejudice. but i don’t. so i didn’t. does HBO even have any good shows left anymore? deadwood’s gone. the sopranos and six feet under are long gone. oz is ancient history. good thing we’ve got the dvds. the wire is supposed to be good, but i’ve never seen it. i like gabriel byrne, but i don’t have the patience to catch up with all eight thousand episodes of in treatment.
when did this turn into a blog about television without borders?
on that note (sort of), don’t ever watch star 80 if you can’t handle horribly depressing movies. myself, i have a hatred for happy ending sugar-coated hollywood bullshit that knows no bounds. for example, i loved hitchcock’s rear window up until the last five minutes or so, and then it suddenly jumped the shark for me. so i’m all for a butter knife in the thigh of convention. but man…that’s one movie that isn’t going to leave you with any good feelings when it’s over, unless you’re a very sick person, and a misogynist to boot.
to quote the immortal mickey rourke, someone needs to give eric roberts a meaty role in a good movie and let him “show his shit” again, because the guy can act. he’s scary in star 80. as slimy and depraved as his character is, and as horrific and disgusting as what he ultimately does is, he comes across as painfully human and you almost feel sorry for him, which makes it even more scary. dude has more talent in one of his toenails than his sister julia has in her entire body.
he was on a roll for a while there in the early-to-mid eighties (runaway train, the pope of greenwich village, star 80), and then after runaway train it seemed like his career immediately descended into bad hollywood and direct-to-video hell. and then came cameos in music videos by akon, the killers and mariah carey. yikes. someone give the guy a part in a movie that isn’t dreck already. i mean, take a look at his imdb page. out of the nearly 200 movies and tv shows he’s been in, the ratio of “good” to “crap” leans very heavily in the direction of “crap”. so much so that the scale is probably warped to the point of looking like a snake attempting to ingest itself.
there’s been the occasional exception, like his guest bit on an episode of oz, it’s my party. and la cucaracha is supposed to be a good little indie film. there have been quirky small parts in spun and the dark knight, but a real comeback along the lines of mickey’s has yet to happen. though you have to admit, something like best of the best is pretty hilariously horrible, in the best/worst “unintentionally cheesy” way. you’ve even got james earl jones doing his best to add gravitas in a movie that is gravitas-repellent.
and speaking of that guy, it’s easy to forget that once upon a time he was a serious actor as well. another horribly depressing movie is the great white hope, based loosely on the jack johnson story. it’s maybe a little overdone in the melodrama department, but still surreal to realize that jimmy boy can be a powerful, resonant actor when he wants to be. maybe we’ll see it again someday when he decides to stop doing voiceover work almost exclusively while popping up in occasional bit parts in depressingly bad movies.
enough film talk. let’s talk about music.
as usual, i’m working on several different things at once right now. the aim is to at least get an album out there sometime this summer, probably in july or august. maybe there really is something to that “seasonal release” idea after all. i would probably have a new album finished or nearly there by now, but some unanticipated bull’s semen got in the way for a while. part of me is glad, because i think it might have helped to have a bit of a break for a change, instead of just plowing on into the next thing the moment i finished the last album. sometimes it’s good to take stock and think a bit about where you wan’t to go next. not that it’s going to matter much in the end, since whatever i plan on doing generally finds itself warped into something unrecognizable from my original intent by the time it’s finished…
regardless, more new music is on the way. i’d tell you what to expect from it, but i don’t even know which projected album is going to get to the finish line first, so i couldn’t say. it could be something jazzy. it could be something synthy. it could be my idea of a rock abum. it could be a return to the folky/bluesy sort of thing that permeated CHICKEN ANGEL WOMAN. or it could be all of those things fused together. only thyme will tell.
finally, here’s something to watch and listen to. pardon my spanish, but this is how you play a fucking medley of hits. nobody seems to know how to do it anymore without everything coming off sounding horribly truncated and…well…lame. let sly take you to school, little children.