As the ever looming specter of crass holiday infused commercialism and the Carnival of Souls-esque faces of your fellow shoppers appear on the horizon, I have been cocooning myself with the usual one-two punch of writing and culture. Hey, it beats the heck out of dodging the soulless playing grabby-grab to the tune of canned Christmas music straight out of Dante's lake of ice.
The latest for Dangerous Minds is up! Being a fan of Barnes & Barnes for years, it was great getting to delve into their long out of print but worth seeking out VHS, “Zabagabee.” “Zabagabee” is not just any garden variety music video compilation but instead is a treasure chest of strange celebrities, ranging from Larry “Wild Man” Fischer to Shirley Jones to Woody Herman, with each one bridging the music clips together. Barnes & Barnes have never really gotten the respect that they deserve, since the masses tend to always overlook artists that are perceived as “novelty.” If you're one of those, then maybe this piece and “Zabagabee” can both change your mind.
Speaking of music, I recently have rediscovered my love for the UK band The March Violets. Originally rising out of the post-punk ether along with contemporaries like Sisters of Mercy, this is a band I listened to a lot in my late teens, thanks in part to scoring a vinyl import copy of their album “Natural History” from a friend. Maybe the graying of days with the onset of Winter has something to do with it, but I had this urge recently to listen to them again and discovered that not only the original core of the band reformed but they have new material out! Even better is that what I have heard from their newest album, “Made Glorious,” is quite good. Also, the two forces of nature behind the March Violets, Rosie Garland and Simon Denbigh are highly impressive people. In addition to their musical talents, Garland is a published writer whom under the name “Rosie Lugosi” is a self-proclaimed “lesbian vampire poet” and Denbigh is skilled in the art of forging swords and armor.
After writing my tribute to the late, great Lou Reed, I finished it in the hopes of being able to stay away from anything death related for a long time. But that was not to be when I saw the news of uber-character actor Tony Musante passing away at the age of 77. Acting in everything from Argento's giallo classic “Bird With the Crystal Plumage” to HBO's “Oz,” Musante has a huge place in my heart for his role as captivating sociopath Joe Ferrone in 1967's “The Incident.” In a film brimming with great performances, Musante is king and once you see him in this film, you will never ever forget him. Musante was a master and will definitely be missed, especially in my household.
Keep an eye out for upcoming links and posts covering the fine directorial work of Eric Edwards, the beautiful mad genius of Michael Findlay, more cinematic goodies from Vinegar Syndrome and much, much more!