Saturday, April 27, 2013


ANTEBELLUM BLOG: SUSAN LIVES: All Los Angelinos who have spent time in the Melrose/ La Brea area are familiar with this lady. Some call her "THE LAVA...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Finally saw Fritz Lang's "M"!

Finally saw Fritz Lang's early pre-Hollywood German masterpiece, "M", starring ultra-creepy Peter Lorre as the villain in a twisted performance that would define movie creeps for decades to follow. The boilerplate of weirdo eccentrics and sociopaths. Wow. Checked it out from the NYC library in midtown and was thoroughly impressed. Despite feeling so contemporary in ways, it was released in 1931. Gorgeously filmed in B&W, it is based on the true story of the serail killer Peter Kurten, otherwise known as the "Vampire of Dusseldorf". It is so ahead of its time on many levels, not least of which is the whole "CSI" angle of the criminal investigation and the mob hysteria. Great, early epic and a sign of things to come for Fritz Lang who made his "sound" debut with this scorcher. You know a child killer investigation has gotten out of hand when the city's criminals band to together to stop the murderous fiend before he "ruins their reputations". "Metropolis"" might be better known but "M" gave me the chills. You will never listen to Grieg's, "In the Hall of the Mountain King" the same way again. NOW I know why it has become such an ideal Halloween tune. Scary stuff.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"The Catch"! Montana to Clark!

The most famous play in San Francisco 49ers history happened 30 years ago today. Joe Montana to Dwight Clark to beat the dreaded Dallas Cowboys to advance to our first ever Super Bowl. Which we also won. Enjoy it Niner fans. We're back in the playoffs now too.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

R.I.P. Mars Bar ~ (East Village)

The wrecking ball had been hovering over its ragged rooftop for months, with permanent closure slated for some time at the end of this summer. We had gone in for drinks a couple of times lately to pay our respects as a part of the long, slow goodbye. It would be a summer of last hurrahs for a bona fide, dyed in rot gut NYC dive bar. One of the last "Manhattan Mall" resistors dug its heels in at the S.W. corner of Second Ave and 1st st, grimy on the inside and covered with graffiti on the outside, as neighbors like CBGBs surrendered to development over time. August would be the time for old regulars and curiosity seekers alike to pull up a wobbling stool, order a drink, load up the juke-box, and soak in the pre-gentrification atmosphere before the whole corner was razed. A new condominium was inevitable. Not to mention a Jamba Juice. Or a Bank of America.

But yesterday, the Department of Health stepped in early and pulled the plug on that glorious hardcore juke-box and the Mars Bar in general. Citing numerous violations in the "bar/restaurant" (what kind of sick asshole would consider that even a partial restaurant?) including "850 fruit flies". My, aren't we specific DOH? Are you sure there wasn't "851"? In bed with the developers in some way, I'd imagine, the DOH deprived an East Village institution of its last go round in a Bowery district that has now been completely stripped of its soul. And a juke-box that made room for for Hank Williams Sr and the Dead Boys has gone dark, for good. So, watch your back "Lucy's", "Sophies", "Max Fish", and "Holiday Bar". America runs on Dunkin'.
NYT coverage here.

R.I.P. Mars Bar.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Now, hear this Robert Zimmerman!

The "Super brain", as David Bowie dubbed him on his 1971 opus, "Hunky Dory", has turned 70 years old this week. He has survived the 60's, hype, motorcycle crashes, stress, Jesus, and watching one of his sons wallow in the mediocrity of straight ahead soft rock in The Wallflowers. I also found out something interesting this week about Mr. Dylan. He actually collaborated on lyrics of all things on his "Desire" album. Yes, I was surprised to learn this myself. The man with "a voice like sand and glue" as Bowie put it, worked on several songs on his mid-70's album with the late Jacques Levy. I had a lovely chat with Mr. Levy's widow at my wife's art gallery last night and I could hardly believe it when she told me that Bob & Jacques co-wrote the lyrics to "Hurricane" about the falsely imprisoned boxer, Ruben "Hurricane" Carter. You have probably seen the film about the subject starring Denzel Washington, who delivered an astonishing performance as the "Hurricane". But it is an amazing song, narrative in structure, which was apparently what Mr. Levy brought to the table as a veteran of the theatre. He had worked with the young Sam Shepard at LaMama and even directed the Broadway production of the nudist classic, "Oh, Calcutta!". So, give "Desire" a fresh spin, and happy birthday Robert Zimmerman. Please continue to surprise and delight us.

"Song For Robert Zimmerman"

~ David Bowie ~

Oh, hear this Robert Zimmerman 
I wrote a song for you 
About a strange young man 
called Dylan 
With a voice like sand and glue 
His words of truthful vengeance 
They could pin us to the floor 
Brought a few more people on 
And put the fear in a whole lot more 

Ah, Here she comes 
Here she comes 
Here she comes again 
The same old painted lady 
From the brow of a superbrain 
She'll scratch this world to pieces 
As she comes on like a friend 
But a couple of songs 
From your old scrapbook 
Could send her home again 

You gave your heart to every bedsit room 
At least a picture on my wall 
And you sat behind a million pair of eyes 
And told them how they saw 
Then we lost your train of thought 
The paintings are all your own 
While troubles are rising 
We'd rather be scared 
Together than alone 

Ah, Here she comes...etc. 

Now hear this Robert Zimmerman 
Though I don't suppose we'll meet 
Ask your good friend Dylan 
If he'd gaze a while 
down the old street 
Tell him we've lost his poems 
So they're writing on the walls 
Give us back our unity 
Give us back our family 
You're every nation's refugee 
Don't leave us with their sanity 

Ah, Here she comes....etc. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Radiohead &"The King of Limbs" reign as the record industry dies

My account of Radiohead's latest game of mystery and second release in their post-major label career, "The King of Limbs" can be read here in The Brooklyn Rail. Now that the dust has settled a little on the abrupt release of their 8th full length LP we can re-examine the whole frenzied internet freak out with a bit of remove.