Sunday, November 18, 2012

Top Ten MST3K Episodes

It was hard, but I managed to narrow it down to ten episodes of pure, gut busting hilarity.You may notice only 3 Joel era episodes on here. This is because I was waned on Mike era episodes growing up. So the subjective factor does border on nostalgia. Joel era episodes are good, don't get me wrong.

Here are ten episodes that, if you are new to the series, are essential viewing.

10. Overdrawn At the Memory Bank

Raul Julia stars in one of the highlight of season eight.

9. Time Chasers
"He died as he lived- mud stained and splain."

This one I don't see on many people's lists and it should be. It involves time travel which has been a subject of interest to me. Albeit, executed in a lackluster fashion with an unappealing heroic lead.

8. Pod People

Who can forget Frumpy after this movie? Who wishes they could forget Frumpy after this movie? It's times like these when you wish you could just go to Lacuna Corp and Eternal Sunshine that monstrosity out of your head. But unfortunately, you can't. Instead, you are stuck with what I consider the best entry of the early years. A shameless spin- off of E.T. that fails miserably.

7. Hobgoblins

The immortal cheesefest that is Hobgoblins. A cheap rip off of Gremlins that, like another entry on the list, that insists it wears its's eighties shades. The writing was really peaking during the 7th, 8th and 9th seasons. All it took was a movie like Hobgoblins to just go full throttle riffing on.

"It's the eighties. Do a lot of coke and vote for Ronald Reagan."

6. Space Mutiny

Blast Hardcheese. Dirk Hardpeck. And 100 other names of David Ryder.
Space Mutiny remains a classic because of just how poorly conceived the plot was, the atrocious continuity and the awful acting of Reb Brown. Someone who stars as the supposed hero of the film and goes after a woman who looks to be in her late fifties.

Kalgon, blow me away!

5. Soultaker

Joe Estevez, Robert Z'Dar & a pack of clueless teenagers make the perfect recipe for hilarity.

Father Dude.

4. Manos: The Hands of Fate

Thank you, Harold P. Warren for releasing the indescribable movie that is Manos: Hands of Fate. This episode has it all: top notch riffing, great host segments, and countless memorable lines. Who could forget such memorable characters as Torgo?

3. The Final Sacrifice

What more can I say about this one? You really have to wonder why they green light movies like this. The gang at the Satellite of Love provide dead on riffing throughout. The skits in between are well done. I never get tired of watching this one. Rowsdower!

2. Mitchell

Joel Hodgson's last episode also turns out to be his best. I've always been partial to Mike, but Mitchell is proof enough that Joel's run was just as good. Joe Don Baker's negative reaction to the show mocking his detective role makes it all the more funnier. If that wasn't enogh, another Joe Don movie is lambasted in a later entry in the series, Final Justice.

1. Werewolf (Season 9)
Whenever I come across someone who has never seen the show, this is the episode I show them. An absolutely fascinating movie about werewolves, European accents and a man who changes his hairstyle every 10 minutes of the movie.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's Just A Ride

Ever heard of Beelzebozo the Clown? Wondered why doing a commercial takes you off the artistic roll call? Or why Rush Limbaugh munches scat? Just take a listen to Relentless, Rant In E Minor, Arizona Bay or any of the shows he put on CD.

Bill targeted issues that were taboo and considered 'too sensitive' at the time. Issues ranging from abortion to recreational drugs. Peppering his rants with profanity in the process. He was a comedian whose social commentary was so sharp, incisive and on par with the greats: Carlin, Bruce and had to have been a firestarter for up and comers likes Louis CK. A legend taken from us way too soon.

Monday, November 12, 2012


When I was in eight grade, my history teacher came up with the idea of holding a mock election. It would hold the two party system rule and the two candidates would be people we never heard of before. Now, it being a Christian school, 90% of the students fostered conservative beliefs that were more than likely handed down generationally from their parents. As the election was finally closed and the results came in, the history teacher, told us the results. As predicted, the Repuplican candidate won in a landslide. But what tickled my fancy was hearing the background of this Republican candidate. Turns out he was a custodian that the teacher had met. That day it became obvious to me that people would vote whoever their party elected, do no research into the matter, and eventually grow up to become one of those people who took pride in posting "I Voted" bumper stickers on their car. Now I mention this story as a prologue to a much larger issue. Because it reveals an important framework at hand.

I've never much cared for politics. Having gone to schools (Middle school through college) surrounded by predominantly Right Wing conservatives and being raised by a "screw politicans" father and a conservative mother, ignoring the problem just seemed to be the easiest way out of stress. Block it out because it only causes hatred and vitriol amongst people anyway. When the issue of politics did come up, the valuable lesson I gained from middle school became essential in my political thinking: research is key. Know who you are voting for. Upon seeing so many of my friends hit brick walls in the search for jobs and seeing our economic debt reach sickening highs, the political pool did start becoming something I started to dip my toe in.

I realized I'm not the only who has (or had?) an apathetic view on politics. There's a hard demographic in young voters, being between the ages of 18 and 35,  that shows us becoming increasingly unsympathetic, bored, and evoking a shuddering yawn at anything politics. Such is the case in the post-Watergate-post Iran Contra- post-Whitewater- post- Lewinsky era. An era in which politician's statements of principle and vision are understood as self serving ad copy and judged not for their truth but for their marketability. With the media at a fever pitch with the creation of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, no generation has been marketed and spun and pitched to as relentlessly as today's young demographic. When a senator or Congressman says their goal is to (for example) "inspire young Americans to devote themselves to causes greater their their own self-interst" , it's hard not to think of it as just one more piece of carefully scripted bullshit that presidential candidates hand us as they go about their own self serving interest in becoming the most powerful, talked about man in the free world. This being their real cause.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cloud Atlas

Beyond Bound, I was never a big fan of the Wachowskis' visual aesthetic. Tom Tykwer's works didn't really interest me at all either. The re- invigorating feeling of these directors' styles should really be attributed to David Mitchell. Now I have not read the book.  But the film seems to have a giant arrow pointing viewers to its pages. The narration and multiple interconnecting story lines all are culled from a mind of feverish ambition. One can tell the creators must have had a hard time trying to condense the 500 pages worth of material into a film. I'm pretty sure at one point, they were poised to flail it off a balcony. Even at its 164 min. running time, it feels like just the type of film that should not work. Yet it is constructed with enough care and respect to the original material and turns out to be the best work of the Wachowskis & Tykwer.

I don't want to take a stroll down cliche alley, but this movie really isn't like anything I have seen before. Where scenes of exuberant rebellion flow into scenes of sheer terror like water rushing into a car. The editing and pacing allows for many of these 'drops' of narrative that circle back on each other. Defining how the choices made clear paths for our future. But after all, what is an ocean but a multitude of drops?


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Top 100 Albums

1. The Beatles- Abbey Road

2. The Beach Boys- Pet Sounds

3. Radiohead- OK Computer

4. Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon

5. Faith No More- Angel Dust

6. Genesis- The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

7. My Bloody Valentine- Loveless

8. Tom Waits- Rain Dogs

9. King Crimson- Red

10. Tool- Lateralus

11. Death- Symbolic (1995)
12. The Pixies- Doolittle (1989)
13. Rush- Permanent Waves (1980)
14. Wu Tang Clan- Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)
15. Godspeed You Black Emperor- Lift Your Skinny Fists... (2000)
16. The Zombies- The Odessey and the Oracle (1968)
17. Frank Zappa- Roxy & Elsewhere (1974)
18. Alice In Chains- Dirt (1992)
19. Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here (1975)
20. Metallica- Master of Puppets (1986)
21. Mr. Bungle- California (1999)
22. Opeth- Blackwater Park (2001)
23. The Beatles- Revolver (1966)
24. The Who- Tommy (1969)
25. The Flaming Lips- The Soft Bulletin (1999)
26. Van Der Graaf Generator- Still Life (1976)
27. GZA- Liquid Swords (1995)
28. Jellyfish- Spilt Milk (1993)
29. The Cure- Disintegration (1989)
30. Cocteau Twins- Heaven Or Las Vegas (1990)
31. Frank Zappa- Joe's Garage (1979)
32. The Smiths- The Queen Is Dead (1986)
33. Peter Gabriel- IV: Security (1982)
34. Marillion- Clutching At Straws (1987)
35. Elton John- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
36. Queen- A Night At the Opera (1975)
37. The Kinks- We Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968)
38. The Talking Heads- The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads (1982)
39. King Crimson- Absent Lovers (1998)
40. Iron Maiden- Powerslave (1984)
41. Radiohead- Kid A (2000)
42. Nine Inch Nails- The Downward Spiral (1994)
43. Neutral Milk Hotel- In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998)
44. Scott Walker- The Drift (2006)
45. Led Zeppelin- Physical Graffiti (1975)
46. Agalloch- Ashes Against the Grain (2006)
47. Public Enemy- It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
48. Porcupine Tree- In Absentia (2002)
49. Joy Division- Unknown Pleasures (1979)
50. Toy Matinee- Toy Matinee (1991)
51. Siouxsie and the Banshees- Juju (1981)
52. Slayer- Reign In Blood (1986)
53. David Bowie- The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust (1972)
54. Wilco- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)
55. Peter Hammill- Over (1977)
56. Steve Reich- Music For 18 Musicians (2000)
57. The Doors- The Doors (1967)
58. Rush- Grace Under Pressure (1984)
59. Tom Waits- Bone Machine (1992)
60. Anglagard- Hybris (1992)
61. Bjork- Homogenic (1997)
62. Dream Theater- Awake (1994)
63. Nick Drake- Pink Moon (1972)
64. Pink Floyd- Animals (1977)
65. Tool- Aenima (1996)
66. Marillion- Marbles (2004)
67. Arvo Part- Tabula Rasa (1984)
68. Ulver- Perdition City (2000)
69. Black Sabbath- Master of Reality (1971)
70. The Beatles- Sgt. Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club Band (1967)
71. Pixies- Surfer Rosa (1987)/Come On Pilgrim (1988)
72. Jesu- Jesu (2004)
73. Genesis- Wind & Wuthering (1977)
74. Fantomas- Director's Cut (2001)
75. Death- The Sound of Perseverance (1998)
76. Massive Attack- Mezzanine (1998)
77. White Zombie- Astro Creep 2000 (1995)
78. Yes- Close to the Edge (1972)
79. Swans- The Seer (2012)
80. Bob Dylan- Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
81. Fiona Apple- When the Pawn (1996)
82. Warren Zevon- Sentimental Hygiene (1987)
83. Depeche Mode- Violator (1990)
84. The Flaming Lips- Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
85. Talk Talk- Laughing Stock (1991)
86. Dead Can Dance- Within the Realm of A Dying Sun (1987)
87. Otis Redding- At the Dock of the Bay (1966)
88. Brian Eno- Another Green World (1975)
89. Simon & Garfunkel- Sounds of Silence (1966)
90. Cat Stevens- Tea For Tillerman (1970)
91. Pantera- Vulgar Display of Power (1992)
92. Arcade Fire- Funeral (2004)
93. Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009)
94. Celtic Frost- Monotheist (2006)
95. Kate Bush- Hounds of Love (1985)
96. Robert Fripp- A Blessing of Tears (1995)
97. Vital Remains- Dechristianize (2003)
98. Secret Chiefs 3- Book of Horizons (2004)
99. Testament- The Legacy (1987)
100. Sunn O)))- Monoliths & Dimensions (2009)

John Coltrane- A Love Supreme (1964)
Can- Tago Mago (1970)
Black Sabbath- Paranoid (1971)
Fleetwood Mac- Rumours (1977)
Metallica- Ride the Lightning (1984)
Spacemen 3- Perfect Prescription (1987)
Megadeth- Rust In Peace (1990)
Mr. Bungle- Mr. Bungle (1991)
Peter Gabriel- Secret World Live (1994)
Radiohead- The Bends (1995)
Cryptopsy- None So Vile (1996)
Discipline- Unfolded Like Staircase (1997)
Dream Theater- Scenes From A Memory (1999)
Porcupine Tree- Stupid Dream (1999)
Sigh- Imaginary Sonicscape (2001)
Nile- In Their Darkened Shrines (2002)
Sigur Ros- ( ) (2002)
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum- In Glorious Times (2007)