Showing posts from October, 2016

The Monster's on the Loose!!! Non-Chaney, Pt. 2: Werewolves Along the Wall

Just a few short years ago, a visit from an old chum from back home found myself and my wife (then merely my longtime girlfriend) visiting the Pasadena Antique Mall at a mostly hoity-toity retail area in Southern California. Pasadena was not a very familiar area to us; in fact, it was my first time there, and so I tackled the fresh spot in my usual way: checking out any antique, record, comic book, or book stores I might happen to cross on my wanderings that afternoon.

Entering what seemed like just any old antique store's book section to me, I discovered an overly well-kept if not crowded place. Its trappings appealed to me greatly, and all that needed to happen was a memorable purchase to seal my love for the location in my heart forever. About two minutes into the visit, it happened. After seeing a nice collection of antique Big Little Books on a shelf that nearly had my wallet saying, "Everything I have, please!", I took a sidelong glance at a table featuring various …

Mr. Mixtape-ptlk, Track #12: "The Vampire, Pt. 1" by T. Valentine (2012)

A good decade and a half ago, my pal Leif presented a gift to me – for either my birthday or Christmas, I can't remember which – which should serve as a lesson for all who find themselves stymied when it comes to figuring out what to get me for a present that will make me giddy with delight. Go weird. Go friggin' weird...

Leif gave me a CD by an act of whom I had never before heard. A fellow named T. Valentine, who appeared on the cover of the CD case with a telephone (old school, with a cord and everything) clenched in his hand while he crouched over the phone on his knees in what appeared to be great anguish. The title of the disc told the story of the photo (as far as I could ascertain at that moment of gift-giving, though I was correct): Hello, Lucille... Are You a Lesbian?

The title song was this T. Valentine person's strangely inspired response to Josie Cotton's 1981 hit Johnny, Are You Queer? It was a mangled mess of words, spoken in an utterly confounding voice (…

Mr. Mixtape-ptlk, Track #11: "Cemetery Girls" by Barnes & Barnes (1980)

OK, time to get creepy. I mean, really, really creepy. Unless you are the type who is actually into the sort of thing they are talking about in this song, and then I guess it wouldn't be creepy in the least bit to you. But for the vast majority of people, myself included, it's a pretty creepy subject, even when it is just part of a joke.

Though I am prone to say "good and creepy," because while the act of necrophilia described in the song Cemetery Girls is certainly not "good" by any measure, the song is by the infamous duo of Barnes & Barnes. So, for me, it's going to fall into the "good" category. Oh, but still yet into the "creepy" one as well.

I was originally planning to have another Barnes & Barnes track from later in their career as a selection on this mix, a medley of Wax Your Carrot/The Boogie Man and Dan, but then realized that I had used it on an earlier compilation. But I still wanted to get some B&B on the mix,…

Guillermo Del Toro: At Home with Monsters at LACMA 2016, Pt. 2

[Note: To read Part 1 of this post, please click here.]

As I mentioned last time, the primary focus of the Guillermo del Toro exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (aka LACMA) that we attended yesterday (Oct. 26, 2016) was naturally on the films and artwork of Mr. Del Toro himself. With the massive collection of props, costumes, storyboards, sketches, and fully realized figures representing his monsters and characters on display, how could it not be so?

But the secondary – though equally as important – focus was on his influences, a great many of which (if not the vast majority) also happen to be my influences as well, but Del Toro filters them through his quite remarkable talent and attention to detail that a high percentage of the time produces hauntingly memorable cinematic art for the world. Me, I just take those same influences and go, "Wow, that monster was pretty cool."

As before, much of the artwork and collection is to be found (normally, when they aren…

Guillermo Del Toro: At Home with Monsters at LACMA 2016, Pt. 1

It was a long enough wait, and October 29th finally rolled around today. My brother Mark, his wife Marci, and my teenage nephew (and burgeoning rock star) Aerin were in town from the north part of the state to join Jen and I at the Guillermo del Toro exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (aka LACMA). We had planned this excursion a few months earlier in July and I, like many horror and fantasy fans in the area, was just beyond waiting any longer to go see it.

Titled At Home with Monsters, the exhibition, curated by Mr. del Toro himself, was meant to do multiple things. First was to celebrate the art and films of the man himself; second, to pay tribute to the influences – from art to literature to cinematic or otherwise – that have influenced del Toro since his childhood days and straight through his remarkable career in film; and third, to give us a glimpse into what his inner sanctum is like, in this case, his home base (though it is not his actual home) in Los Angeles th…