June 15 marks the 40th anniversary of Joy Division’s first full-length LP, Unknown Pleasures, and today I was a guest on Indie617‘s Morning Glory with Michael Marotta to sit down and talk about it.
The two of us discussed a variety of the record’s aspects, from the iconic cover to the fresh and “futuristic” sound of the music. You can head over to the Indie617 site to read more about the talk and listen to all the segments in the Soundcloud player below.
Earlier this year, the long-awaited film adaptation of the 1998 book Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Underground, finally landed in theaters. The title shortened, Lords of Chaos had a brief run on screens before moving to on demand, and today it comes to home video.
Back in February, when it first came out, I reviewed the film for Vanyaland, and figured now was a good time to revisit. Long interested in the saga of murder, burned down churches and music that made Norway a hotbed of youthful discontent in the early 90s, I was curious as to how it would translate to the screen. Lords of Chaos is able to pull it off, due in no small part to director Jonas Åkerlund, who was a veteran of the Norwegian black metal scene. Even to those who have little to zero interest in the musical genre, the movie is well worth digging into.
Howard Stern Comes Again, the first book by the legendary shock jock in nearly 25 years, lands on shelves today. Music has always played a major part of his radio show, whether it’s by having many of his favorite musicians perform or be interviewed on the show. He’s also got into a number of feuds with a bunch of acts during his time on the air, and over at Ultimate Classic Rock, I broke down 10 of them, settled and not so much with everyone from Madonna to David Lee Roth to Tool.
Following an 11 season run, Happy Days said goodbye to television audiences back in the spring of 1984. The sitcom that introduced The Fonz and the inspired the phrase “jump the shark” into the pop culture lexicon had begun to drop substantially in the ratings as many major characters left as the actors portraying them pursued other opportunities in Hollywood.
I detailed the how the show, set in the mid 50s through mid 60s, had shifted its focus in the years leading up to the series finale for Ultimate Classic Rock, one where Fonzie’s style and tone shifted dramatically as he became the main focus of the episodes. There was also the return of a few beloved stars, a wedding and a breaking of the fourth wall to close it all out.
So be cool and check the piece out.
The Lords of Flatbush. It’s the movie that gave Sylvester Stallone and Henry Winkler their first starring roles on the big screen. The little indie film was set in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, and had the two portraying greaser toughs, akin to the characters they would become best known, Rocky and Fonzie respectively.
Over at Ultimate Classic Rock – which has started dipping into film and pop culture – I detailed how the movie came together, why Richard Gere got tossed from the cast and how the Lords influenced the actors as they moved forward in their soon-to-be very successful careers.
Go read it!
[Note: Typically I link my writings directly to the publication to read. This week over at The Daily Times, I covered the Kate Smith saga, but since there is a paywall, have included the piece in its entirety below for non-subscribers as I think it raises some important points.]
The eradication of Kate Smith and her revered version of “God Bless America” by the New York Yankees and Flyers – the latter who went so far as to cloak a team-dedicated statue of the singer in black before moving the structure – is the very essence of hypocrisy.
No matter which side you are on, it has to be acknowledged there is a serious double standard in place, one that is convenient for multicultural inclusiveness on one hand, yet utterly ignorant on the other. Because, if Kate Smith is going to be banned, then a long, hard look needs to be taken at The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Guns N’ Roses – just to name a few.
Continue reading “Why the Exile of Kate Smith is the Ultimate in Duplicity”
There are few things I enjoy more than the Record Store Day events throughout the year. For the main, big one in April, I try to make it up to Portland, Maine. That’s where Bull Moose records is based, where the head Chris Brown co-founded the vinyl holiday 12 years ago. Over at The Daily Times, I came up with a baker’s dozen of things to pick up out of the 400 plus titles released this year.
Yeah, it’s become a bit corporate in recent years, but I still love RSD. Heading out now for the second round in Portland. Here’s some early items sent out via my Instagram, and here are a few I picked up earlier this morning.