Archive for Television

Deals & Steals: Something Old, Something Older, Something Jurassic

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2012 by Lightning Slim

  Weird selection from Second Spin  (and my local places) this time around, but oh so fun. We’ve got games, remixes, compilations and collaborations. The S-S prices are in $US, and the Second Spin folks took another $10 off the top, which basically covered shipping. Onward!

Original Soundtrack: Mass Effect $8.99. The Mass Effect universe has been as much fun for me to hang around in as Hogwarts or even Middle Earth. I gave a damn about these games (we can talk about sticking the landing later) and it was due in no small part to the music. Very well executed stuff by Jack Wall and Sam Hulick, and a brilliant end credits song by Faunts that truly makes you believe you have saved the galaxy. In the eighties!

Fear Factory: Soul of a New Machine (Expanded Edition) $8.99. This fills a long-overlooked gap in my collection, and does it in style by including some great retrospective liner notes and the Fear is the Mindkiller EP as well.

Negativland: These Guys Are From England And Who Gives A Shit $5.77. This “Official Bootleg” brings a bit of closure to one of the world’s longest-beaten dead horses, acting as a final word on Negativland’s feud/collaboration/fascination/lawsuit with the world’s biggest band and America’s best known radio DJ.

Jello Biafra with Nomeansno: The Sky is Falling, and I Want My Mommy $7.99. Don’t know why I held out so long before getting this. It’s a bit like I knew I liked peanut butter and I knew I liked chocolate, but I didn’t trust this candy hybrid. Fixed now!

  Rush: Chronicles $21.99. Big deal, you say. Anyone with half a brain knows Chronicles is the non plus ultra of best-of compilations, representing perfect track choices and sequencing.  Ah, but what if you had to replace your worn-out copy? What if you had a chance to do it with a version containing an extra DVD full of the band’s videos? What then, smart guy?

Super big deal: Last weekend I was in Toronto and saw this, still wrapped,  in a used record shop:


Yup, that’s the full series of The Shield encased in a coffee-table picture book. I was going to pay the $99 sticker price when the clerk told me it was 20% off. Madness. I love you, place I don’t remember the name of. It’s across the side street from The Rex, if that helps.

It gets better; I found this at my local Value Village for twelve dollars:


It was a good week for scrounging!

Heavy Metal Superstar!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 18, 2012 by Lightning Slim

Andy Ramstedt dropped the following piece of science in my inbox the other day. Presented without comment. Also without umlauts, because who has time for that shit.

Seriously, good fun though. Click on through after the ep for more installments:

Deals and Steals: Ladies Up Front, Gearheads Live

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2011 by Lightning Slim

  Live industrial sounds and female-fronted bands for the first shipment this year, along with some great TV. All Prices $US. Only $5 shipping but I was dinged with a $17 customs bill thanks to a random inspection. Boo!

Dimension Zero – Silent Night Fever $3.19. Awesome Marduk/In Flames supergroup thrashback.

In This Moment – A Star-Crossed Wasteland $5.59. A perfect mix of their earlier aggression and new lush production.

Wicked Wisdom – S/T $2.54. Jada Pinkett Smith has a metal band. They warned me, but I needed to know. Meh, it’s not terrible.

KMFDM – WWIII Live 2003 $3.20. Basically because I wanted to hear Lucia Cifarelli sing “Juke Joint Jezebelle”. I could have lived my life without it.

The Corner $11.99. This is the TV miniseries that The Wire was based on, and The Wire is the best thing to happen to television since they decided to put a screen on one side. Can’t wait to dig into it.

Rome: The Complete Series $60.99. I needed something to fill that Deadwood void. Came in a nifty book-binding type of case, like a history text full of gore and manipulation.

And the funnest deal of the bunch:

  Ministry – In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up $3.58. Indispensable live document of their glory days!

TV Review – Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: Season One

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 2011 by Lightning Slim

  Stop me if you’re heard this one: a group of teenagers fight to protect their highschool from supernatural forces in a town that seems to be the epicentre of evil. Their best chance (and greatest weakness) lie within their leader, a reluctant Chosen One.

No? How about a bunch of misanthropic  and moronic metal musicians battling a secret cabal of shadowy hooded figures. The so-called heroes are embroiled in a conspiracy beyond their understanding that usually ends in gory death for anyone who crosses their path?

That’s right. Todd and the Book of Pure Evil is basically what you’d get if Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Metalocalypse had a low-budget baby. There’s also a bit of Kids in the Hall and Wayne’s World thrown into the mix of this Canadian production, but Todd and Curtis skew towards a more realistic depiction of the realities of teenage metaldom, i.e. they are horny, stoned, repugnant oafs. They don’t discuss how to “Party On”, they projectile vomit and crash cars like they’re auditioning for the next FUBAR movie. Imagine an episode of Degrassi shot for the Japanese grindhouse market, complete with Jason Mewes in a bit part just to complete the synchronicity. 

This show has a lot going for it, in particular the talent of its cast, who are often called upon to remain straight-faced amid a flurry of monstrous demon penises and gobbets of disemboweled schoolmates. It also has a neat, self-contained mythology requiring no playbook. Todd‘s house is built in the geek clique style, but from the bricks of ordinary narrative. Todd and his friends are looking for the Book. The Book is evil. That’s all you need to know, and along the way you can appreciate a cribbed snippet of Raimi, Romero or Scott Pilgrim without the sense that there will be some sort of quiz later. It’s cheeky, hilarious and compelling; I watched a holiday marathon of all 13 episodes and never got bored.

Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys reading this space, or any of the grab-bag of influences mentioned above.

Album Review – Dethklok “The Dethalbum II” 2009

Posted in Album Reviews, FourFiveSix with tags , , , , , , on December 8, 2009 by Lightning Slim

  Maybe there’s another language containing a word which encapsulates the notion of a parody/satire that becomes mired in the conventions of its own target. The first Dethalbum worked because it was both good metal music performed ably in an amusing scattershot of genres,  and also screamingly funny in ways parodic, nihilistic, violent and absurd. Now, on the eve of a third season of (longer) television episodes that I fear will spread the joke a bit thin, the minds behind Metalocalypse drop the musical sequel.

Of 12 tracks, only about four sound like Dethklok to me. Brendon Small’s Nathan Explosion voice is strained and hoarse, coughing up unfortunately serious-sounding lyrics written as an afterthought to thumbnail sketches. Some of these ideas were knockout punches when used as punctuation for the second-season episodes, but lack a bit of zazz as full-length songs here. Full marks for “Laser Cannon Deth Sentence”, which will be my buddy Bone’s ringtone for the next year or so, but it’s miles above the rest. The difference between “Murmaider” and “Murmaider II” can be compared to, well…remember “The Unforgiven”?

I always thought the best thing about Dethklok was that they performed in ways which satirized the eccentricities of metal culture while still making no apologies for those aspects which make it invigorating and fun, a post-millennial Spinal Tap for those already down the rabbit-hole.  I reserve judgement on the third season of the television show, but The Dethalbum II is a lukewarm cash-grab. If the trend continues, my future grandchildren will thank me for holding off on that Gears of the Klok tattoo. 4 out of 10

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