Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Broadcast on Oldies 93.3 WFBO in Flagler Beach
Listen via Live365 at TheBlizzard.US
The first hour is our Halloween special, with the most haunted hits ever waxed up by the all-time greats from the Sunshine State: ghoulish garage, scary soul, and bone-rattling rockabilly. Then, in the second hour, "It's Alive!" featuring fiery concert recordings from Florida's famous and forgotten.
ROYAL GUARDSMEN: Little Red Riding Hood
FRED NEIL: Candy Man
BOBBY GOLDSBORO: See the Funny Little Clown
CLASSICS IV: Spooky
COUNT STEPHEN (STEVE ALAIMO): Spooky
JACKIE MORNINGSTAR: Rockin' in the Graveyard
HATE BOMBS: Ghoul Girl
ROYAL GUARDSMEN: Snoopy vs. the Red Baron/The Return of the Red Baron/Shot Down
SECURITY BLANKETS (BIRDWATCHERS): Hey Schroeder
ELLA WASHINGTON: Nightmare
JIM STAFFORD: Swamp Witch
TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS:
Don't Come Around Here No More
RAY CHARLES: What'd I Say
SAM & DAVE: Soothe Me
STEVE ALAIMO: Nobody Cries for Me
OUTSIDERS: Summertime Blues
TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS: Shake, Rattle & Roll
OUTLAWS: Freeborn Man
ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND: Dreams
I Ain't the One/Call Me the Breeze/Sweet Home Alabama
FRED NEIL: Everybody's Talkin'
Series Hosted by Mal Thursday
Written & Produced by JM Dobies
Co-produced by Jeff Lemlich
Monday, October 29, 2007
It got me thinking about the old days. At the same time I was promoting live shows at the Bay State, I was also running an independent label, Chunk Records.
Tracklist: Once Upon A Time (In Your Mind)/Hexon Blood Beat/Good Times/What’s New, Pussycat?/No
All five songs on the record were worthwhile: "Good Times," was a strong cover of a hilarious Texas garage 45 by Nobody's Children; "Hexon Blood Beat," another number we borrowed from Kent and Eric's old punk band, was a vicious, hard-driving instrumental; "No," which started out as a Cramps-like creeper, had evolved into a gothic epic of malevolent fury; my favorite cut, "Once Upon a Time (In Your Mind)," which I co-wrote with Bobby, was a menacing blend of baroque folk-rock and all-out stomp; and our version of "What's New, Pussycat?" always used to slay 'em when we played it live.
Know was reissued as a two-for-one album with the 1989 live recording Finished In This Town in June 2010 by Chunk Archives, and is downloadable on iTunes, where you can get the 5 songs from the EP for $4.95, or all 20 songs for $9.99, likewise on Amazon, CD Baby, and all the rest; Also available as a limited edition CD exclusively at The Malarians Online Superstore.
The resulting live album, produced by me and Sean Slade, was a cassette-only release, because by the time it came to make the CDs, the band was no more. Kent and I overdubbed most of the lead vocals at Fort Apache, owing to the poor performances that had been captured live. I remember I had to talk him out of committing suicide prior to the dubbing session. "Just cut your vocals, man," I told him, "Then you're free to do what you have to do."
Since the live engineer had neglected to mic the audience, we covered up the depressing lack of crowd noise with random soundbites from biker movies, heavy on the Dennis Hopper.
Finished In This Town was reissued 20 years later by Chunk Archives as a two-for-one album with the 1988 Know EP in June 2010, and is downloadable on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, et al; Also available as a deluxe limited edition CD exclusively at The Malarians Online Superstore.
In March of 1994, unable to overcome his addictions, Kent ultimately did take his own life. I miss him.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
When I told Austinite John C. about the temporary brisket moratorium, he wrote back, "After you drop your pounds and get back to your fighting weight, here is a good guide: http://www.nansi.org/austin_bbq/"
It is a great guide in fact. Man, this guy -- his name is James -- really did his homework, and then some. Well, not homework exactly, as he travelled all around Central Texas to get the skinny on the best BBQ joints in the area. I got hungry just looking at the pictures.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Last night, I searched "Mal Thursday" on the MySpace site because I was too lazy to type in my URL, and discovered I was listed under "Heroes" by a fellow named Mark Sheehan from the Sierra Grille, who is attempting to "reanimate" the nightclub I used to run back in the mid-'90s (more on that later). Feeling honored, I sent a "friend request," and he wrote back, "WOW!!! It isn't everyday that the only hero in your myspace heroes list sends in a friend request!!! You are now our #1 !!!! Man I never knew ya personally but I admired what you did from the sidelines watching many of the gigs you booked and am trying my best to 'Re-Animate The Bay State' and the spirit of the legendary Mal Thursday!! "
Anyway, here 'tis:
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Here's another cool blog, "Lost in Negative Space" by Dutch movie maniac Peet Gelderblom. He's put together a collection of particularly outrageous exploitation movie posters, like this one for Bigfoot ("breeds with anything...") and if you know me, you know I loves me some exploitation movie posters.
Let them entertain us, the makers of strong images
Let us toss them copper pennies
But let us not forget
They make the images
We give them flesh
— Neil Gaiman
Monday, October 22, 2007
Emo's, Austin Saturday October 13
This was going to be a review of the Ugly Beats' headlining gig at Lambert's on Friday night, but I couldn't make it to that show, so instead I'll review their performance from the week before, when they opened for Holly Golightly at Emo's. Having just returned from a brief East Coast tour, the 'Beats hit the stage a little late but wasted no time in rocking the hometown crowd with the title track from their Take a Stand With the Ugly Beats album on Get Hip. I realize the prevailing dance craze these days is the "stand & nod," but I couldn't resist doing the frug and the jerk.
Despite an indifferent sound mix and little or no monitors, the band did not disappoint, packing their hour-long set with groovy group originals and well-chosen covers like the Easybeats' "I'll Make You Happy," the (Amsterdam) Outsiders' "Filthy Rich," and Barry & the Remains' "Let Me Through."
Vocals were shared among the group, with Joe Emery handling most of the leads, Jason pitching in on the harmonies, with Jake and JStephen each getting a solo turn. After the band finished the ace ballad "Million Dollar Man," Jason quipped, "Buy the record so you can hear how the harmonies are supposed to sound."
The Ugly Beats were joined on stage by Frank Pugliese of San Antonio's Sons of Hercules, whom Joe referred to as "the best garage band in Texas," for a rousing rendition of the Kinks' "I'm Not Like Everybody Else." Pugliese, who stands about 6' 7", towered over Emery, and left the mic stand two heads taller when he left the stage, making for a funny sight gag. Joe readjusted the stand and carried on, kicking out some more hip-shaking garage jams from Take a Stand and Bring on the Beats!
All in all, an excellent set from a great band. Look out for the Ugly Beats' upcoming appearance on "The Mal Thursday Show" on the GaragePunk.com Podcast, featuring a group interview, rare live cuts, and their favorite nuggets.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Not that it wasn't fun at times, and better than waiting tables or cleaning toilets. And the first night, the catering was outstanding, with roast pork loin, southwestern corn niblets, and mashed taters smothered in pork gravy. I helped myself to three servings in preparation for a long night's standing around pretending to be a reporter. The second night's meal was decidedly mediocre, being food-service spaghetti with commodity meat sauce. "The more extras there are, the worse the food," commented one FNL veteran as he looked at the slop on his plate.
I met some very nice Austinites, many of whom have made a second career out of extra work on local productions. One guy was crowing that since Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof had been re-released separately from Grindhouse, he's now getting two residual checks.
One problem with the location was that the football field was adjacent to a waste treatment facility, and when the wind shifted, the stank was overpowering. "That's why the grass is always greener over the septic tank," said the lady next to me. "Same reason the Chinese grow carrots a foot and a half long and this big around," said the crusty grandpa to her left.
The aroma of chemically-treated human waste reminded me of my days as head coach of the Hampshire College baseball team. Since we didn't have a baseball diamond on campus, Hampshire being a hippie school where the only other sports were soccer and ultimate Frisbee, we were forced to play at the UMass JV field. The field was just a few short yards away from the town of Amherst's waste treatment plant, which processed tons of fratboy shit as we played next door. The smell was our secret weapon, our "home field advantage." Our players would dab Atomic Balm under their nostrils to mask the stench while our opponents would try not to lose their lunch on the infield.
When I wasn't engaged in good conversation with my fellow extras, my memory drifted back to my past misadventures in movie work, and way back to my days playing high school football. I remember working on the set of Basic, and playing an MP who was frog-marching Giovanni Ribisi to an interrogation. The AD, some cockney prick whose name I cannot recall (Trevor? Clement? Nigel?) told me I lacked "military bearing." The scene ended up on the cutting room floor. Then there was the time I was needed on the set, but instead was outside ordering Valentine's Day flowers for a crush named Kat, who turned out to be a femme dyke (note: two out of three women named Kat are lesbians). When I ran back to the set, the principals were all pissed at me for delaying the shot. Even the usually friendly Travolta was staring daggers at me. Needless to say, it was my last day on the picture.
When I did In Dreams, I got hired as a production assistant, but I was angling for something with a little more responsibility. I didn't want to be like the Colin Quinn character on The Larry Sanders Show, who gets a job on the show as a favor to Artie, but is looked down upon by the crew as "that 35-year-old PA." Anyway, I convinced Stephen Woolley, the producer (and later the director of the awful Brian Jones hatchet-job biopic Stoned) that I was a filmmaker, and that I would be glad to help him videotape some auditions. When I was given a Sony video camera to shoot a young girl's reading with Annette Bening for director Neil Jordan, I pushed a red button I thought was the "record" button, but which was more like the "wrong" button. The camera stopped functioning, and even the DP couldn't fix it. (Note: don't push the red button).
After that, I was relegated to working the periphery of the location, telling everybody to be quiet. A request ignored by the Teamsters, I might add.
I was reminded of my high school football days for obvious reasons, given the subject matter of Friday Night Lights, and the fact that we were shooting scenes of a fictional football game, but also because as the night wore on and the temperatures dropped into the 50s, my left knee started in a-painin' me somethin' awful. The same knee that Craig Steenson hit with his helmet during football practice back in '77.
Anyway, I start working full-time again next week, so this was probably my last chance to appear on the show. It was pretty cool, I met some nice folks, and now I can look for myself in the background of episode 11. But by the middle of last night, I was dog tired, and ready to go home.
However, I'm going to add a few titles to my Netflix queue thanks to this experience: season one of FNL, Death Proof (Tarantino's worst movie, but chock full of Austin locations), and Ricky Gervais's great series about "background artists," Extras.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Shortly before making the announcement, Colbert appeared on "The Daily Show" (the show which spawned Colbert's spin-off) and played cagy, claiming he was only ready to consider a White House bid. He entered the studio set pulled by a bicycle pedaled by Uncle Sam and quickly pulled out a bale of hay and a bottle of beer to show that he was "an Average Joe."
Colbert said his final decision would be announced on a "more prestigious show," which turned out to be his own.
Colbert said he planned to run in South Carolina, "and South Carolina alone." The state, one of the key early primaries, is also Colbert's native state. Earlier this week, South Carolina public television station ETV invited Colbert to announce his candidacy on its air.
In a guest column for Maureen Dowd in Sunday's New York Times, Colbert wrote: "I am not ready to announce yet -- even though it's clear that the voters are desperate for a white, male, middle-aged, Jesus-trumpeting alternative."
- Jake Coyle, AP Entertainment Writer
Monday, October 15, 2007
CSB Broadcasting School: I have been hired as an instructor teaching aspiring broadcasters the ins and outs of audio editing using Adobe Audition and Pro Tools, and how to be an on-air personality. Starts next month. Compensation: $25 an hour, part-time.
Extra: I've just scored a gig as an extra on NBC's Friday Night Lights series, which shoots here in Austin. I'll be standing around trying to look like a member of the local press corps. I'll definitely be in the background of episode 11, and perhaps in the remaining 11 episodes this season, barring cancellation. However, the ax has yet to fall on any of this season's shows, due to the impending writer's strike, which explains why K-Ville is still on. Anyway, Friday Night Lights airs Fridays at 9, which sort of makes sense, given the title, but aren't they missing out on their target audience, who will be at a high school football game, not at home watching TV? In any case, I won't be watching, because I'll be on the set, pretending to be a journalist. Like I used to do back when I was managing editor at The Worcester Phoenix. Compensation: day rate, negligible. But, hey, I'm back on TV and in my old time slot.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Five minutes before I was going to leave, my son Liam jumped to the floor and broke his foot -- a spiral fracture of the first metatarsal in his right foot to be precise. So instead of hobnobbing with celebs and cineastes, I spent six hours in the emergency room at the Dell Children's Hospital, as my son went mental from the pain and his inherent distrust of doctors, nurses, and the medical trade in general.
The first three hours were spent among the downtrodden in the waiting room, then after we had attained deliverance to the actual ER, we spent ten minutes getting treatment and two hours and fifty minutes waiting around. While we were able to spend that time removed from the Tex-Mex germ lab that was the waiting area, we were doubtless subjected to many viruses and pathogens, such as whatever psycho death germs were emanating from the next bed, where a screaming toddler was having a very nasty boil lanced.
As we were kept waiting, I watched ten innings of the National League Championship Series game two between Colorado and Arizona while waiting for the tech to come and put a cast on Liam, who had mercifully fallen asleep in the interim. If he had been awake, he would kicked the guy in the face while shrieking in terror, so thank heaven for small favors.
Finally, we were able to get out of there, and luckily the hospital accepted our Florida insurance, or else the credit card would've taken another hit.
Sleep has been a rare commodity in the time since then, with the boy waking up screaming in pain every twenty minutes. It doesn't help that he spits out the Children's Motrin when we try to administer it. Maybe he's paranoid because he heard the FDA report on over-the-counter medications.
I was too groggy to make it to Oliver Stone's presentation the next morning, and only went to a couple of films later in the day.
I will return with a recap of the parts of the festival I actually attended, but right now, I've got to look after the little man.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Plus there's a ton of cool movies making their debuts (or at least in these parts). The one I'm most interested in seeing is:
I'll post more about the festival as it happens.
Monday, October 8, 2007
During the process of moving to Austin, I had to go through my record collection, and rediscovered some gems I had forgotten that I owned, or just hadn't heard in a while. Plus, I had gotten some promos from Barbara at Get Hip and Eric 4-A at Vagrant Records, so I decided to bring back The Mal Thursday Show, which originally aired on WMUA in Amherst, Mass. from '87 to '91 and had a brief revival on WFCF in St. Augustine in 2002. So here 'tis, people. Hope you dig it.
UGLY BEATS: Let Me Through (Get Hip)
LYRES: Grounded/We Sell Soul (Norton/Taang!)
Friday, October 5, 2007
I'll get the ball rolling by listing several that have pained me to no end, and continue to do so:
- The Sonic Drive-In A-Holes: Whether it's the infuriating bespectacled bald guy whose head resembles a short, ugly penis, or the jag-off who talks with his mouth full (see above), this series of improvised spots touting various unhealthy fast food treats is poison for the eyes and torment for the ears.
- The Verizon Dweeb: Now reduced to being a silent clown, one can at least be grateful that he no longer spouts the Tourette's-like mantra, "Can you hear me now?" No, we can't, but you still suck.
- The Free Credit Report Dickweed: You know the guy: "I'm thinking of a number..." Yeah, so am I, it's on his tombstone, and it ends in '07. If you have derogatory credit, or even if you don't, you've got to want to slap the shit out of this guy. I know I do.
- Dane Cook for MLB: Aren't this overpaid, obnoxious joke thief's 15 minutes up yet? Having to endure his loathsome douche-baggery during the last three months of the regular season was bad enough, but now TBS continues to run his promos for their post-season coverage during the post-season, when we're already watching. Enough already. And that goes double for his movie career. (See also "Who's Worse: Chipper or Dane Cook?," Brave Hater 9.17.07)
So there you have it, just a few of the commercials that have assaulted my critical faculties. Dishonorable mention for the creepy rotoscope animation in the Charles Schwab ads, made so much worse by the smug yuppies portrayed in them, and for the George Clooney-voiced Budweiser spots where he tries in vain to convince us that Budwesier is the best beer we've ever tasted. Come on, George, you're better than that. And it's not like you drink the stuff.
So cast your vote and vent your spleen for the TV ad campaign you find most annoying in the comments section.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
My pitch went something like this:
And it sure as hell wasn't "True Oldies."
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
The second hour, "Anywhere But Here" features tunes about other places, as rendered by Florida's famous and forgotten, including Ray Charles, Lynyrd Skynyrd (a little ditty about Alabama), and Tom Petty's 1973 single with his old band Mudcrutch.
Airdates: Wednesday October 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Sunday October 14 from Noon to 2 p.m. Eastern Time.
Listen via Live365 at TheBlizzard.US.
BEACH BUMS (BOB SEGER & THE LAST HEARD): Florida Time
BING CROSBY with THE ANDREWS SISTERS: Appalachiacola, Fla.
FLOYD MILES: Goin' Back to Daytona
WAYNE COCHRAN: Harlem Shuffle
CHARLIE McCOY: The Boy from England
HOUR GLASS: Down in Texas
INTERNATIONAL SUBMARINE BAND: Miller's Cave
MIGHTY SAM: Georgia Pines
RAY CHARLES: Georgia
LYNYRD SKYNYRD: Sweet Home Alabama
Series hosted by Mal Thursday
Written and Produced by JM Dobies
Co-Produced by Jeff Lemlich
Monday, October 1, 2007
Although their season wasn't as disappointing as say, the Mets, the Braves' third place finish and mediocre 83-79 record were a bitter pill for the organization to swallow. However, it tastes pretty good to us.
While we at Brave Hater had hoped for a losing record, it was even more satisfying when Atlanta went on a tear in the season's second-to-last week, providing hope for a miraculous finish, only to have their hopes dashed when Chipper made a boo-boo. Jones's throwing error in Wednesday's game against Philadelphia led to a crushing defeat that made a post-season berth highly unlikely, and John Smoltz surrendering four runs to the first four Phillies hitters on Thursday sealed the Braves' fate. Smoltz's first inning troubles paled in comparison to his erstwhile teammate Tom Glavine's in the Mets' 8-1 loss to the Marlins on Sunday, when Tommy gave up seven runs in a third of an inning to make the Metropolitans' horriffic collapse complete.
However, Smoltzie's bald-headed buffoonery was enough to eliminate the Braves from playoff contention, and make the final three-game series in Houston a meaningless exercise in playing out the string. Despite winning the opener behind an uncharacteristically effective Jojo Reyes, the Braves then dropped the final two games of the series, including a 3-0 shutout in Sunday's finale, to go out as losers.
As the home crowd at Minute Maid Park cheered for Craig Biggio, playing his last game, all of us at Brave Hater cheered a different milestone, as Chipper Jones took the collar, going 0-for-3 to drop his average to .337, and virtually guarantee Colorado's Matt Holliday the batting title (Holliday cinched it with his triple off of Trevor Hoffman in tonight's Wild Card tiebreaker, by the way).
The Braves in third place, Chipper losing the batting title: brilliant!
That is why 2007 was our favorite year.
CHIPPER ROOKIE CARD INCREASES IN VALUE
Although Chipper Jones did not win the batting title, his gaudy numbers this season have helped to advance the fallacious argument that he is worthy of the Hall of Fame. More than one sportswriter has gone on record saying that he will vote for Larry Wayne Jr. on the first ballot.
One pernicious side effect of all of this malarkey has been an increase in value of Chipper's rookie card in the Beckett Guide. Luckily, we have several here in the office as part of part of our anti-Chipper voodoo shrine.
We will use all of our resources to bribe as many members of the BBWA to vote no on Jones's Hall candidacy, even it means parting with this rare card: