Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Music for Strange Behavior

In 1981 THE FUTURIST! saw a perfectly bizarre fascinating original horror film entitled STRANGE BEHAVIOR. It was directed by Michael Laughlin and written by Laughlin and Bill Condon (who later directed and wrote GODS AND MONSTERS and won a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award for that very work). Filmed entirely in New Zealand during the popular Australian film renaissance, STRANGE BEHAVIOR aka DEAD KIDS (title changed for American distribution due to the uncomfortable reaction the distributor felt might occur because of the words DEAD and KIDS ... Americans can be strangely sensitive) was the odd story of a group of teenagers being used for experimentation at their college by two mad scientists. The plot sounds derivative of a lot of 50s horror pictures and rightly so ... it is ... but, it has this fresh feeling of eccentricity and self awareness that defines itself from it's antecedents. It wants to evoke those earlier sci-fi horror films and that is evident through its sense of time. Does it take place in the 50s/early 60s? ... it does not, but the cars and the decor of the homes and the clothing send that retro signal. The cinematography has that cheese cloth soft illumination that brings to mind something of the past. The film has a dark sense of humor that its characters joyfully wrap their performances around with boldly staged setups of macabre wordplay and over the top hysterics; Oscar winning actress Louise Fletcher is the most rightfully accused perpetrator of scenery mastication.

THE FUTURIST! saw this film for the first time in a small single screen theater right next door to Utter Despair in Paramus, N.J. at Cinema 35, a strip mall film palace. There were, perhaps, 6 other people in attendance. The film pleased THE FUTURIST! and scared him at the same time; well, they do go hand in hand quite a bit, don't they? He never forgot this little gem with its eerie story of mind control or the soundtrack by Tangerine Dream. Especially memorable is the music that plays as we watch, first person point of view, as our main hero drives to school through a serene seemingly Mom and Apple Pie environment; this same music appears again, at the end, as we see the cast pictured with their names displayed under featured scenes.

When a friend of a friend visited from Texas 4 years ago, THE FUTURIST! showed them both this film one evening. They were over joyed by its bizarre plot and the way it was presented. Of course, criticisms were made and THE FUTURIST! will admit the film loses its way a bit toward the end, but it is an amazing joy before those bumps are felt on the ride. Most of all, they were thrilled with this sequence that is the feature of THE FUTURIST!'s Saturday Music post.

Below is a 7 minute sequence from the film that features two of the main characters arriving at a costume party. It is a musical sequence full of retro 60s costumes of pop culture characters in the middle of a horror picture. You can see Batman, Wilma Flintstone, The Flying Nun, Lily Munster and a weird girl sitting alone wearing a clear plastic mask (brrrr). It's just a teen party of beer drinking and frivolity, but the camera pulls back through their gyrating joy and we are suddenly in a musical. THE FUTURIST! loves this sequence. Of course, it turns into sadistic bloody murder, but it's fun to have fun before the knife starts its own rhythmic beat! (Get a load of the Tor Johnson mask on the killer!)

Listen and watch:

performed by Lou Christie
from the film STRANGE BEHAVIOR (1981)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Young Sherlock Holmes

Please join THE FUTURIST! as he takes his seat at The Utter Despair Community Center for a small snippet from the one man show by young Akash Anand, who brilliantly enacts Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES. Young Akash will stir you to the depths of your soul with each of his words and gestures. He will make you feel each moment of the Sherlock Holmes tale and make you believe you are stumbling across the foggy moor trying to outrun the spectral vicious hound. (Please excuse the terrible loud intro and closing music that accompanies this clip) Inquiries have been made to see if Young Akash will dramatically read THE FUTURIST!'s Last Will and Testament. Let us hope so.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Today on MORALITY THEATER, THE FUTURIST! presents a lesson in the dangers of imbibing. The perils of alcohol consumption are depicted in this modern morality tale of several well-dressed teenagers and their many mistakes involving the Devil's Beverage. Yes ... alcohol is a wicked temptation that will only lead you to terrible decisions and a miserable life. THE FUTURIST! wants you to watch this and contemplate what the Narrator says ... and THE FUTURIST! will join you in the Theater, as soon as he finds the olives and sits back with a nice martini. Remember ... ALCOHOL IS DYNAMITE! (especially if it involves a really nice sharp clean vodka!)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Music that Would Not Be Heard If Not for a Friend

THE FUTURIST! is known to be one that does not seek out new music ... and by new music it is meant to imply music that would be NEW to his ears. THE FUTURIST! will seek out new films or films that he has heard about from the past, but music is usually brought to his attention by other means. Friends will bring most music to THE FUTURIST!'s attention or he may hear something in a film soundtrack or television program or commercial or in a friend's home. In the case of the music for today's Saturday Music post, THE FUTURIST! was introduced to the sound below by a very good friend who lives in New York City. THE FUTURIST!'s friend has a grand ear for music and actual sounds that make music ... meaning everyday sounds that could be turned into music. Yesterday, THE FUTURIST! received a call from his friend who was about to leave for Stockholm, Sweden. He is having an installation of his sound art on exhibit at a gallery in the land of Ingmar Bergman. He, also, called due to girlfriend troubles which he related while drinking in the airport terminal bar aptly called DRINK. THE FUTURIST cares not to impart those troubles in this post, but rather have you lend an ear to a song that his friend played for him at one time. He told THE FUTURIST! that it might please him because of his melancholy nature. It did, indeed.


performed by Ms. John Soda

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Aquarius Birthday Salute

Yes, Harvey Sid Fisher is back with a special song
for all you birthday babies under the water bearer sign.

And after this tune, THE FUTURIST! needs to run his head under some tap water.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blue Duct Tape and a Lot of Free Time

THE FUTURIST! wishes he didn't have to work and have responsibilities.
He wished he could just think up crazy optical illusions and
wear a smoking jacket and bedroom slippers all day.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Stop Motion Animated Acceptance

The travesty that is The Golden Globes is over. What a bore. What an amazing display of ego. What plastic surgery! Every woman seemed to have the same Mickey Rourke cheek implants and bloated lips. Not one speech was electrifying or interesting. Well, maybe the plea for film history and preservation by Martin Scorsese. There was, too, the anger and befuddlement on many faces as James Cameron won major awards ... that was interesting; Jason Reitman looked like he was going to chew his scraggly beard. And there was all thank thanking of God and phony humility.

Below you will see an example of how to accept your award in a very interesting and creative manner. This is a video presentation at The National Board of Review Awards. Wes Anderson, the director of FANTASTIC MR. FOX, won a special achievement award and this film was shown in lieu of his being present. It's very clever.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday Music to Drink with a Mexican Beverage

This past Tuesday featured the release of Vampire Weekend's new musical offering entitled CONTRA. THE FUTURIST! loves the sound of this group. He finds their mixture of African musical flavoring mixed with an Indie pop seasoning to be quite mood elating. The voice of the lead singer, with his "ohs" and "ahs" and non-verbal larynx emissions, acts as an instrument of sorts combined with the rapid guitar plucking, drums and, in this case, violins. It's like a classy Upper West Side Manhattan Tropical Fruit Punch of tonal titillation. This particular song on their new album (CD) has charmed THE FUTURIST! the most. And now THE FUTURIST! knows that a Horchata is a South of the Border drink. After the song you may continue to watch even more songs performed by the group, including a few playful interviews. This is a presentation of a show done for


performed by Vampire Weekend

Friday, January 15, 2010

Comment on Film Comment

January - February 1982
Volume 18 Number 1

Another archival Film
Comment Magazine cover from
THE FUTURIST!'s private collection.

The magazine had more panache years ago. The title logo was better designed and announced itself better than it does today. It, also, seems that the photographs for the covers were better imagined and creatively selected. The logo changed color each issue in a simpatico marriage with the hues of the cover image.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


A recent discovery at holiday time was the HOW TO, BATMAN series on YouTube. THE FUTURIST! posted two of these videos during Christmas week wherein Batman showed you how to wrap a present and make a gingerbread house. The strange humor continues in this segment where Batman shows you how to order a Subway sandwich. THE FUTURIST! found this video to be so hilarious. The comedy comes from so many points ... the obese appearance of Batman in his disheveled suit, his Christian Bale voice and just the crazy premise of having this "immense" comic book characterization show you how to do menial tasks. This segment, however, is a favorite so far. Listen to Batman order his sandwich, his side comments and how the Subway clerk acts as if this is just a normal customer ... watch the customer behind him look amazed and decide to snap a photo on her phone, watch Batman fill his huge soda cup. It is filled with mundane dry humor delights. Thank you, How To, Batman. Thank you.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Samstag Musik für deutsche Karaoke

Last week, on New Year's Eve, THE FUTURIST! was invited to German Cinema Night at THE THIRD MAN Cinema Tavern in Utter Despair. It was a packed house as the proprietor of the movie themed drinking establishment welcomed his year end guests who were seeking a place other than their homes to welcome in 2010. THE FUTURIST! would have happily stayed home, but he was cajoled by Fleming Clamdish to accompany him and some friends. There was a $20 cover charge and the host at the door stamped a white 'M' on your back, in case you went outside for a moment or two and then went back inside. THE FUTURIST! felt a bit melancholy, because haiku was leaving the area to live in Brooklyn, NY and this was his last night in Utter Despair. Later on, haiku arrived and joined the festivities. BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ was being played silently on several wide screen TV screens as the guests milled about eating funnel cake and having a drink. THE FUTURIST! took the opportunity to have a few Fritz Lang Lagers to celebrate and ease his underlying sadness. He, also, noticed that Miss Angela Deppler (2nd Grade Teacher and 1st Class Vixen and his alluring next door neighbor) was there with her current chiseled facial featured boyfriend.

The evening culminated in the eventual clock striking 12:01 am as the New Year arrived. After this annual orgasmic moment of humans appearing ecstatic for another day to arrive, THE THIRD MAN tavern owner started the Karaoke portion of the night. There was, in honor of the German Cinema Night theme, some Marlene Dietrich songs, The Andrew Sisters singing "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" and that Nazi boy singing in the beer garden from Bob Fosse's CABARET. The most eccentric moment arrived when a tune from HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL arrived on the screen complete with German lyrics to sing along with ... and THE FUTURIST! (lifted by Fritz Lang Lager) watched as Miss Angela Deppler and her date took to the stage and performed the catchy sappy number. Oh, it was appalling, yet ... THE FUTURIST! felt elated. Miss Angela Deppler and her date (later to be identified as a JC Penney Catalogue dress shirt model) performed the Disney corporate soul sucking song expertly with perfect pronunciation of the German lyrics. IT felt like a musical moment from a bad film ... which it was in actuality, but, also, in reality coming to life before the patrons' eyes. The joy was evident in their eyes and body movements as they swirled about shrugging their cares away. Many people applauded and laughed as the number went on and haiku whispered to THE FUTURIST! that Zac Efron sure could sing, but he was a soulless glamour boy in ME AND ORSON WELLES. Fleming Clamdish corrected haiku and said that Efron's singing voice was dubbed in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL. Their argument was interrupted by the zither like snoring of The Amazing Frollo as he slept through the entire magic moment.

The night ended and THE FUTURIST! and his friends walked out into the cold January air with the sight and sound of momentary happiness still in their heads. THE FUTURIST! thought that Life was much like that bad Disney film ... mostly excruciating, but occasionally there could be 3 to 4 minutes of a volcanic eruption of unbridled senseless bliss to interrupt the usual lava spill of ennui.

P.S. Fleming Clamdish made a comment that if THE FUTURIST! was cast in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, he would play the father (seen at 2:48) who appears at the side of the stage to show his awe and surprise that his athlete son can actually find his true self through song and dance. Though, if he were THE FUTURIST!'s son, he would not be a basketball star, but the star of the Advanced English Class and school newspaper film critic. THE FUTURIST! would, also, be very jealous his offspring was so damn happy.

Listen and practice your German:

from the film HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL (2006)
performed by Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens

Friday, January 8, 2010

Top 5 Talking Heads Songs by haiku

THE FUTURIST! loves inviting others to provide lists to his blog. People love lists. They are always compiling things they like or need to buy or desired goals in some kind of order. At this past year's end everyone was making lists of things they loved for the year or the decade. Very often people will list things they even hated. Everyone has a list of some kind ... grocery shoppers, people doing household chores, corporate types listing those to be fired and so forth. THE FUTURIST! even made a list of his favorite films of the decade in an earlier post.

Today THE FUTURIST! asked haiku to compile a list of his favorite Talking Heads musical achievements. haiku loves the Talking Heads and he loves lists. Perfect. Let's go:

(in descending order)

5. "I Feel It In My Heart" bonus track off the remastered Talking Heads: 77
I believe this is a B-side to an early single off their first album, not sure. I can understand why it wouldn't make the cut on the album, but I've grown so attached to this song after discovering it on the remastered release that it's become one of my favorites. I feel like it encapsulates the innocence of early Talking Heads, as pure a Talking Heads song as you can get.

4. "Crosseyed and Painless" off Remain In Light
Sweaty, nervous white funk. There is so much going on in this song that it becomes overwhelming at times. The rhythm goes straight to your hips, which can be an embarrassing thing in public (especially if you don't have any).

3. "Pulled Up" off Talking Heads: 77
Simply a great, great pop song. The contrast between the cymbal-crashing and the groovy, noodly breaks is really effective, as is Byrne's nonsense barking.

2. "Once In a Lifetime" off Remain In Light
This song plays out in great mind images like a one act play with a black backdrop. It's like Beckett set to funky bass and watery synths. "Lights go up. Enter man on stage wearing gray flannel suit and black frame glasses. He hits himself on the head repeatedly, knocking it back every time. He dances awkwardly and elatedly. Lights dim. Curtains fall."

1. "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" off Stop Making Sense
The Stop Making Sense live version specifically. Maybe my favorite song of all time. The lyrics are unabashedly sentimental, but not overly so. The repetitive, subdued funkiness of the bass/synth line, the colorful lead guitar flourishes, and that wonderful vocal melody and delivery. I mean, it's the most beautiful thing Talking Heads put out in a large body of work that is characteristically intellectual, funky, and unsentimental -- and you can still dance to it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


How Many Times Can you say:

"Get Out!"

"Don't Touch Me!"

"I Don't Wanna Know!"

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Capricorn Birthday Salute

Horoscope Song Stylings provided by Harvey Sid Fisher.
Appearing soon at The Bar of Avon in Utter Despair, N.J.
Tickets are available ... lots of tickets.
You can have as many as you want.
Take them.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Newspaper Movie Ad Theater

(click on image for the BIG picture!)

The Time Tunnel Garage has produced a fantastic find. A large corrugated box of movie newspaper ads from long ago have appeared through some kind of worm hole or fluke in the Garage Time Particle Mass mechanism. THE FUTURIST! found it sitting atop the snow blower. Above is a New York daily newspaper advertisement for a film entitled RICH KIDS (1979) and it premiered at The Baronet (A Walter Reade Theater) in Manhattan at 59th and 3rd. The theater and its sister movie house (next door) The Coronet are no longer in existence. THE FUTURIST! recalls this film as being quite good. It had a fantastic cast of character actors (including John Lithgow and Paul Dooley) and two great young leads. It was produced by Robert Altman. It concerned the friendship of two Manhattan youngsters who find a lot in common when each of their well-to-do parents find their marriages dissolving. It has that flavor of "shot in New York" authenticity that the public is not treated to anymore. Why isn't this movie on DVD? Will THE FUTURIST! understand the eccentricities of his Time Tunnel Garage? What is for lunch tomorrow? So many questions.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Woody Allen Welcomes in 1966

THE FUTURIST!'s favorite line:

"I went home after the show and jumped
naked into a vat of cold Roosevelt dimes."

Thanks to the great Harry Kello of YouTube
who amazingly finds these past Woody appearances
on The Tonight Show

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Saturday Music that Recalls a New Year of the Past

The New Year can bring nostalgia to mind. New beginnings, old endings, etc etc etc. In the case of THE FUTURIST!'s over stuffed attic of memories in his brain, the New Year brought to mind a party from about 20 years ago. THE FUTURIST! attended a friend's year end festivity and wore a suit and tie. You may ask why a suit and tie? IT was a party and THE FUTURIST! respects his host. Needless to say, it was observed that THE FUTURIST! was a bit neurotic about attending this party given by his friend Mary Wendenheimer. She wanted THE FUTURIST! to attend very very much and he did not want to disappoint her ... and he always felt a special kinship with her. But, did she feel the same? He recalled the first time he had an Alabama Slammer at The Balcony Restaurant ... introduced to him by Mary Wendenheimer. He had two and he thought they tasted like delightful fruit punch. The punch was not in name only. THE FUTURIST! was very giddy that day. THE FUTURIST! liked Mary Wendenheimer and he decided to attend her New Year celebration.

While there, he was introduced to many new people and he felt a bit out of place. There were some he knew in a casual sense, but he was quite chagrined to meet Mary Wendenheimer's very good friend Kirby Delacourt. The attached adjective of "very good" and the noun "friend" translated into the word BEAU. Yes, Mary Wendenheimer was quite smitten with Kirby. THE FUTURIST! felt as deflated as a child's punctured Birthday balloon. Mixed emotions swirled and eddied in his sea of thoughts. Left alone with Kirby, THE FUTURIST! found him to be intelligent, amusing and a good story teller. Kirby was a good chap ... someone THE FUTURIST! could actually talk to and feel not bored with and not impose the thoughts of inserting his head into a gas oven. However, THE FUTURIST! still felt morose and not as happy as he had before he had knocked on the door of Mary Wendenheimer. He found solace in the holiday punch, which was being laced, he later discovered, with Wolfschmidt Vodka by Mary's brother. Several cups into the night found THE FUTURIST! getting overly effusive and sentimental and taking to the dance floor when the song sung by Jane Wiedlin (formerly of The Go-Gos) featured below was played. Many attendees danced, as well. But the most fantastic thing occurred when Mary's heart throb Kirby Delacourt moved his way into the midst of the animated amusement and danced with THE FUTURIST!. No ... it was not a dance of intimacy, but a dance of pure joy and feelings ejected from the plane of reality. It turned into a moment of utter surreal sensation as the party goers separated and allowed Kirby Delacourt and THE FUTURIST! to move about separated from each other and allowing the music to over take their better selves ... or was it really their better selves allowing to be expressed? Ah! ... the answer is lost in the smoky haze of the past.

Listen and IMAGINE:

performed by Jane Wiedlin