A gobby gun-for-hire, saucy space adventures, and Mr Cooper(s) - just some of what's been flavouring my August 2017...
Click "READ MORE" below to see this month's looks, sounds, vibes & flavours...
Californication: Seasons 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7 - the summer telly binge-a-thon is complete. The first five seasons are all brilliant and feel well connected, but the last two go somewhat off-the-rails. There's still plenty of fun to be had, but those last two rounds sometimes feel as if we're going in circles, and the key revelation of the final season feels a bit last minute and occasionally throws off the vibe, but - again - there's still plenty to enjoy, the new cast members included. It was great fun to revisit the whole series by diving in with both feet.
Deep Space 69: Season 1, 2, & 3 - an animated web series from Mondo Media (Happy Tree Friends) following the horn dog captain of a space transport vessel and his put-upon koala co-pilot. Think Star Trek / Star Wars with more dick jokes and busty babes than you can shake a stick at over the course of thirty-one mini episodes. Nnnnnice!
Vigilante - William Lustig's 1983 action crime thriller starring Robert Forster and Fred Williamson. Showing a slicker side, but without losing the down 'n' dirty grit and grime that helped make Lustig's 1980 slasher "Maniac" such a breakout success. Crumbling apartment blocks, graffiti-covered streets and derelict buildings, and even the notorious Rikers Island prison all provide the backdrop to this story. Styled like an urban western, it's a tough-as-nails tale of vengeance and bloody retribution similar to Death Wish, but with vigilantism instead appearing to be the answer at a time when crime rates were soaring in New York City (Manhattan had nearly gone bankrupt in the 1970s and so massive cuts - including to police numbers - were enacted in a desperate move to balance the books).
Twin Peaks: Season 3 - David Lynch's wonderfully weird return to Cooper & Co is drawing to a close (but fingers crossed for a fourth season!) and, at long last in episode sixteen, us fans have finally got what we've been champing at the bit for: the return of Dale Cooper! He's still got some tidying up to do, but I literally threw my fists in the air triumphantly when our man from the FBI returned, driven focus and caring heart included. It's fair to say that this new batch of episodes is more David Lynch than Twin Peaks at times, but they have always been one and the same for the most part. However, what was out-there in the 1990s now looks somewhat quaint, so it was only natural that they had to step up their game. I'm eager to re-watch the whole third season in a binge session to help tie together some mysteries. Just the two-episode finale to go as Dale Cooper returns to the town with those wonderful trees.
The 1980s - being that "Murder at the Grindhouse" is set during the decade that was, I've been listening to a lot of 80s pop music to get into the right vibe. A few of the tracks recurring on the playlist this month have been: Aztec Camera "Somewhere In My Heart", Blancmange "Living On The Ceiling", Midge Ure "If I Was", Pretenders "Don't Get Me Wrong", The Beach Boys "Kokomo", The Cars "Drive", The Jesus And Mary Chain "April Skies", and Then Jericho "Big Area".
M83 "Saturdays = Youth"
Misfits "Ghouls' Night Out: Live 1983", "Wasp Queens: Live 1982"
Machinations "My Heart's On Fire" - as featured in Brian Trenchard-Smith's Ozploitation classic "Dead-End Drive-In". At first I wasn't quite sure about it, but it swiftly grew on me. It's the 1980s through-and-through.
Alice Cooper "Paranormal" - the king of horror rock's first album in six years, featuring two new tracks recorded with the original line up.
Alice Cooper "Billion Dollar Babies", "Goes To Hell", "Lace & Whiskey", "Da Da", "Constrictor", "Raise Your Fist And Yell", "Hey Stoopid", "Brutal Planet", "Dragontown", "The Last Temptation", "Trash", "Welcome To My Nightmare"
Guns n Roses "Appetite For Destruction"
Rebekah Del Rio "No Stars" - as featured in the new season of Twin Peaks. One hell of a voice and some dreamy music that fits a very particular mood like a glove.
Chromatics "Cherry", "Dear Tommy", "In Films", "Into The Black", "Shadow (Michels Runway Edit)"
Electric Youth "Innocence"
Lissie "Wild West (Roadhouse Mix)"
VIBES & FLAVOURS:
"We Should Eat Ice Cream Too" - as promised in last month's run down of 'flavours', I've posted this short story for anyone to view. Fancy giving it a read? Click here - enjoy.
"Murder at the Grindhouse" - time for the first round of changes after two months of 'ageing it in the drawer'. So it's out with the coloured pens to make each page a blitz of scribbled notes, crossed out words, and a separate notebook for numerous re-written passages. There's something about doing it long-hand that allows it all to seep into your brain more thoroughly. After two months away, I was able to read it with a pretty fresh pair of eyes and re-experience the whole story from a comfortable distance. It's from this vantage point that you spot all the things you don't need, all the things you're missing, and all the things you can shift around for better storytelling effect. Numerous portions were streamlined, while some were re-written entirely, and then other new portions were inserted to provide clarification to a few points. I've since got a handful of other tweaks I now want to apply to the next draft, but I won't get onto that for a little while yet - there's other things to be getting on with first (more of which next month).
Posehn/Duggan "Deadpool (Volume 1): Dead Presidents"
Posehn/duggan "Deadpool (Volume 2): Soul Hunter"