Most people have a movie they only show to certain people, a movie so strange or weird that you would rather everyone not know you like it. In some cases, that movie is a test. The thought process is: if I show you this movie, and you still like me, then we can be friends. If you like me and the movie, then we can get married.
Towards the beginning of La Grande Bouffe one of the characters states, “Gentlemen, we are not here to have a vulgar orgy.” It is a droll bit of dialogue eventually revealed to be alarmingly ironic.
By Tim Murr
Probably every town has some awesome band the rest of the world will never see. These days, thanks to the Internet it’s easier for some Oklahoma punk band to reach listeners in Japan, but back in 1980, forget it. Victims, perhaps, of the glut of metal bands from all over Europe and the UK, Acid fell through the cracks. There wasn’t a huge metal scene in their native Belgium when they formed, and little in the way of avenues out of the country. So they formed their own record label, Giant, and between 1980 and 1985, when they broke up, released three solid albums.
By Tyler Hodg
I can vividly remember the first time I saw Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. As a child sitting on my Grandmother’s couch, I could not take my peepers off of the television as the scene where Pee-wee realizes his bicycle has been stolen played out. Morbid curiosity got to me during a shot of a mechanical clown taunting the character’s distress, pushing my coulrophobia to the limits, and my interest to an instant high. I watched the movie in wonder until it concluded, and to this day, it’s one my favorite films of all time. I also still hate that damn clown.
If you didn’t know who the Continental Drifters were, and happened upon Drifted: In The Beginning & Beyond, you might be struck by the indelible, vivid lyrics of their songs, or perhaps the band’s excellent playing. Maybe their fine harmonies might get you. Or it could be the various singers in the band, each with their own honed, matchless style. Perhaps you would be drawn to the hooky Americana or the eclectic, delightful cover songs on disc two of this collection.
When Roger Corman approached Jack Hill to make a film about stock car racing, Hill was hesitant; he hated both stock car racing and movies about stock car racing. The fact that Pit Stop is such a marvelous example of 1960s independent art cinema is a huge testament to Jack Hill’s tenacity and talent.
In 1979, The Bay City Rollers shook things up. Eager to shrug off the mantle of being a teeny bopper band, they refused to do the cover versions that their record label Arista demanded and parted ways with their lead singer, Les McKeown, along with their exploitative manager (whom I will not name because he was a dreadful person), yearning to show the world that they rocked. On their last album for Arista, Voxx, they did just that. Mostly.
By Tyler Hodg
Before he was known as an outspoken, gunslinging political pundit, Ted Nugent was a platinum-selling artist, with his first hit album being 1976’s Free-For-All. Nearly 40 years after its release, the album has been brought to back into the light in a polished remastered version. Free for All is arguably Ted Nugent’s finest musical achievement, and it’s only fitting that a celebration is called for on the eve of its 40th anniversary.
Chicago-based Numero Group wants to fill your summer with eclectic songs you’ve never heard: songs to watch submarine races by, songs to fill your tear ducts, songs to catch that first kiss on the dance floor, songs that make you need to get up and shake that thing. Their latest carefully curated reissue is a 28-track collection by San Antonio’s the Royal Jesters. Active in the 1960s and ‘70s, the Royal Jesters never had that big breakthrough hit, but their marriage of doo wop harmonies and mariachi horn sensibilities, as well as some fine, sometimes wildly experimental organ playing makes this compilation, Royal Jesters: English Oldies, well worth a listen.
By Tim Murr
I find it hard to believe that there once existed a band that featured guest appearances from James Williamson (The Stooges) and a young Randy Rhoads (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne) that I’ve never heard of and you probably haven’t, either. But it’s true! The band is called Smokey.