Archive for March, 2010

Transmission

Posted in Music, Podcasts with tags , , , , , on March 30, 2010 by roarvis

Part of the reason I became interested in radio/podcasting is because of experiences I had listening to college radio stations as a kid growing up in rural Ohio. I would spend weekends with my dad, and his house was close enough to Cleveland to occasionally pick up radio broadcasts from WRUW, WUJC, and WCSB. I would stay up late into the night listening to a mixture of local programs (Lost in Thought in Tobacco and Psykick Dancehall were two of my favorites) and syndicated shows like Hearts of Space. The mixture of punk, electronic, experimental, and just plain strange sounds pouring from the speakers was completely new to me, and the polar opposite of what I heard on mainstream stations. I would tape snippets of these shows, attempt to decipher the mumblings of the DJ and write down the tracklistings, then carry these crumpled paper lists with me to the record store in search of new music.

Now that the Internets have invaded, it should theoretically be a lot easier to find new music. But I still miss the feeling of stumbling upon a particularly good radio show. Since we began our podcast, I’ve been looking around online for other shows that are in the spirit of the college radio programs of my youth.

So far, I’ve found one: Otic Radio, a podcast from the musical collective known as Cast Exotic Archives. Their playlists, arranged by style or mood, are a fantastic mixture of weird electronic post punk, droning space synth, and gnarly garage rock. There is no DJ to ID tracks, but each track played is clearly listed on a text file and can be downloaded directly. I’ve listened to one and a half podcasts from these guys, and I’m hooked. Hopefully more interesting alien sounds await in the far corners of the interwebs…

Space is Deep

Posted in Film with tags , on March 29, 2010 by roarvis

I like the idea of “space” movies. The science fiction tag has grown so broad over the years that films as disparate as Terminator and 2001 are considered to be in the same genre. Recently I’ve been on a quest to watch as many bona fide space movies as I can find, and it’s annoying having to sift through all the often unrelated sci-fi detritus.

Nothing beats the alienation of deep space for atmosphere and tension. Also, a lot of the visual elements associated with space movies are downright psychedelic. I am especially interested in films from the early 1980s, because I love the way the effects looked back then. For the most part, films from the past two decades are either focused too heavily on action or CGI to interest me. A couple notable exceptions were Sunshine and Moon. I also don’t mind action if it’s done in a fun pulpy style like Flash Gordon. And I love Alien ripoffs, as long as they are ripoffs of the first film only!

What I’m looking for are films with the following qualities:

1. Film must take place primarily in outer space or on an alien planet.
2. There must be lots of special effects, preferably of the old school pre-CGI variety.
3. The film should emphasize atmosphere over action whenever possible.

I’m going to rattle off a list of films I’ve seen that have most or all of these qualities. I’m pretty much focusing on the mid 70s to mid 80s. I’d love to know if there are any similar movies out there that I haven’t seen yet.

In random order:

1. Outland
2. The Black Hole
3. Flash Gordon (heavy on action, but too awesome not to list)
4. 2010
5. Battle Beyond the Stars
6. Alien
7. Starcrash
8. Sunshine
9. Moon
10. Galaxy of Terror
11. Forbidden World/Mutant
12. Enemy Mine (qualifies despite awkward hermaphrodite birth subplot)
13. The Last Starfighter (lots of Earth scenes, but we’ll give it a pass for awesome 80s effects)
14. Tron (same as above, and not in space, but too awesome not to list)
15. Silent Running
16. 2001
17. Saturn 3
18. Dark Star
19. Logan’s Run (probably closer to Dystopia than outer space, but bonus points for space cars and Jenny Agutter in a tunic)
20. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (and to a lesser extent the next two)
21. The Empire Strikes Back (and to a lesser extent Star Wars and Return of the Jedi)

I’ll update this list as I find more films.

And remember: Beards cannot grow in space!

Futurism Vs. Passeism

Posted in Music, Podcasts with tags , , , , , , on March 25, 2010 by roarvis

New podcast, all trance inducing electronic synth wizardry: Blanked As Ordered Episode 2.

The Kids Are Insane

Posted in Music, Podcasts with tags , , , , on March 17, 2010 by roarvis

So we did our first podcast. I had to create a new blog. I’m not sure why. That’s the way it goes. Check it out!

Blanked As Ordered 01: The Spectre of Albini

Last Train to Satansville

Posted in Comedy, Film on March 9, 2010 by roarvis

Here’s another one I just thought of since I was talking to my friend Logan (who plays “Eugene”). This was all improvised, obviously. All the actors did a terrific job. I especially love the dialogue between Ken and Ellen. The date says “2010” but it was probably closer to 1998.

Happy Pig

Posted in Music with tags , on March 8, 2010 by roarvis

I never got that into Sparklehorse. I guess one more slow, depressing songwriter was not what I was looking for, as I already had plenty of records by Leonard Cohen, Idaho, Smog, etc. However, I always loved this song, which is a live-in-the-studio mashup of the songs “Happy” and “Pig” from Good Morning Spider. I would say that it’s somewhere on my gigantic list of favorite songs. It sums up the feeling of self destructive desperation that many of us have felt before. The “happy man” refrain is pummeled home by the raging guitars and drums, as if Mark Linkous was trying to block out the nagging voice of doubt in his mind.

“I woke up in a horses’ stomach one foggy morning
his eyes were crazy, as he smashed into the cemetary gates
all I want is to be a happy man”

RIP Mark Linkous.