Altamont Turns 50

The infamous Altamont Speedway free concert happened fifty years ago last Friday.  Not many humorous moments on that harrowing day, but a priceless one occurs above at about 3:47 as a Hell’s Angel sizes up Jagger.

The Song That Started It All

For The Replacements, I mean. This is the demo version of “Raised in the City,” which I hadn’t heard until Other Other Elvis hipped me to that song-ranking site. Far superior to the album version.

The band soon recorded a four-song demo tape in Mars’s basement and handed it to Peter Jesperson in May 1980. Westerberg originally handed in the tape to see if the band could perform at Jay’s Longhorn Bar, a local venue where Jesperson worked as a disc jockey. He eavesdropped as Jesperson put in the tape, only to run away as soon as the first song, “Raised in the City,” played. Jesperson played the song again and again. “If I’ve ever had a magic moment in my life, it was popping that tape in,” said Jesperson. “I didn’t even get through the first song before I thought my head was going to explode.”

Look What I Got

Kindle Deal of the Day last Sunday, $2!

In celebration of The Simpsons thirtieth anniversary, the show’s longest-serving writer and producer offers a humorous look at the writing and making of the legendary Fox series that has become one of the most revered artistic achievements in television history.

Four-time Emmy winner Mike Reiss—who has worked on The Simpsons continuously since episode one in 1989—shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family ever. Reiss explains how the episodes are created, and provides an inside look at the show’s writers, animators, actors and celebrity guests. He answers a range of questions from Simpsons fans and die-hards, and reminisces about the making of perennially favorite episodes.

In his freewheeling, irreverent comic style, Reiss reflects on his lifetime inside The Simpsons—a personal highlights reel of his achievements, observations, and favorite stories. Springfield Confidential exposes why Matt Groening decided to make all of the characters yellow; dishes on what it’s like to be crammed in a room full of funny writers sixty hours a week; and tells what Reiss learned after traveling to seventy-one countries where The Simpsons is watched (ironic note: there’s no electricity in many of these places); and even reveals where Springfield is located! He features unique interviews with Judd Apatow, who also provided the foreword, and Conan O’Brien, as well as with Simpsons legends Al Jean, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, and more.

Like Cary Elwes’ As You Wish, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Seinfeldia, and Chris Smith’s The Daily Show: An Oral History, Springfield Confidential is a funny, informational, and exclusive look at one of the most beloved programs in all of television land.

Replacements At A Turning Point

Here’s a great 32-year-old article from SPIN’s archives, from around the time that I was getting into them. (Yes, I was late to the party and had to work my way back through the Twin/Tone albums.) The band had just parted ways with manager Pete Jesperson, fired lead guitarist Bob Stinson, and released one of their best albums, Pleased To Meet Me. Recorded right here in Memphis!

“When we started,” [Westerberg] says, pausing to sip from a midmorning Schmidt, “we definitely had a fear of success. We had a fear of everything. We were all very paranoid, and I think that goes hand in hand with the excessive drinking thing. We’d get drunk because we were basically scared shitless, and that snowballed into image. Now we’re a little more assured of what we’re doing. We’re not positive which way we’re going, but we think we know what mistakes lie ahead, and we’re trying to sidestep ‘em.”

Full article here.

Good News For Droogie

In a short musical film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Thom Yorke of Radiohead scores and stars in a mind-bending visual piece.

Best played loud.

Album available for digital download ($11! Cheap!) June 27, film available on Netflix … June 27!

ANIMA:

01 Traffic
02 Last I Heard (…He Was Circling the Drain)
03 Twist
04 Dawn Chorus
05 I Am a Very Rude Person
06 Not the News
07 The Axe
08 Impossible Knots
09 Runwayaway

Ill Communication Is 25

This is worth a look.

‘Still Ill: 25 Years of the Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication’ features Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz diving deep into the making of the band’s epic 1994 album – and, arguably, one of their high points as artists and generational touchstones. The 15-minute documentary tracks the Beastie Boys’ rejuvenation in the years after the release of 1989’s Paul’s Boutique – now considered a masterpiece but at the time a commercial flop – first with 1992’s Check Your Head and ultimately with Ill Communication, which produced the epic single and music video “Sabotage” and returned them to playing arenas.

Featuring interviews with Diamond and Horovitz from this March in Austin, Texas — as well as new interviews with keyboardist Mark “Money Mark” Nishita and producer Mario Caldato and rarely-seen 1990s footage of the band – Still Ill focuses heavily on late Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch and his contributions to Ill Communication. Through footage and the words of his friends, the documentary captures Yauch’s journey into activism, which would blossom with the Tibetan Freedom Concerts later in the decade, as well as his famous denunciation of misogyny in hip-hop on the single “Sure Shot”: “I want to say a little something that’s long overdue / The disrespect to women has got to be through / To all the mothers and sisters and the wives and friends / I want to offer my love and respect to the end.”

This Might Be The Best Thing I’ve Ever Seen

Specifically for any bastards who read Conan the Barbarian books and comics, or maybe came of age around the time Heavy Metal was released.

Korgoth of Barbaria is a pilot episode for what was originally planned as an American animated television series created by Aaron Springer, a storyboard artist, writer and director for Dexter’s Laboratory, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Samurai Jack, and SpongeBob SquarePants … Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack, directed the animation for the pilot, and was not the only time he’s worked on a pilot created by Springer, as Tartakovsky also produced and directed Periwinkle Around the World.

It was first aired in the United States on June 3, 2006, at 12:30 AM (EST) on Adult Swim. On June 18, 2006, Adult Swim ran a bumper announcing that Korgoth of Barbaria was officially picked up as a series, because of its critical and commercial success with garnering high ratings. Later events, including a formal petition to revive the show and an Adult Swim bumper announcement mentioning its cancellation, indicate that it was dropped before production began due to high production costs.

Well Are You?

I had this poster when I was a kid, only recently discovering that it was created by Tom Shadyac, the director who now lives in Memphis. We ran into him at [REDACTED] when we were buying tile for our bathroom remodel. Small fucking world.

Remember the poster Are You A Preppie? It was printed in 1979 by University of Virginia undergrad Tom Shadyac, who went on to film school at UCLA and later directed Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Evan Almighty. The poster was wildly popular when it came out. I have to wonder whether it might have inspired Lisa Birnbach’s more in-depth anthropological treatment in The Official Preppy Handbook, which appeared one year later.

You Look Like

Memphis, y’all! More importantly, the P&H!

You Look Like is a roasting competition between four comedians. They go head-to-head in two rounds of insults which must all start with “You look like…” The winning comic takes home the You Look Like crown and the losers must face the Mirror of Shame. Who will win this week’s roast battle?

UPDATED: What the hell, here’s another one. The second round is a keeper.