Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Big Payback: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Go Blind

Let me start this off Dwight Scrhute style:

Fact: I have a twin Brother.
Fact: He is a "slight" hemophiliac.
Fact: I am merciless.

OK, now that we have that out of the way I can take you for a trip in the way back machine to tell a little story I like to call "The Big Payback".

Scene: LeFevre Lane circa Middle school.

Growing up w/ a twin can by most accounts be described as a pleasant experience. Sure you're Mom might make you wear matching clothes far too often for far too long, but you'll always have someone around to keep you entertained.

(future moms heed my warning DO NOT push this practice past kindergarten your twins will loath you for it)

Having him around was an absolute must as before the neighborhood expanded it was only me and him versus my four sisters...or as I like to call them, the Four Horsemen. He was integral to my survival. Of course I'd never let him know this. You see if he ever knew this he might not have put up with the countless hours of abuse I put him through. Let me clarify I was never really malicious intentionaly. It just so happened whenever we would get into any dumb little kid accidents he'd come out of them with countless broken bones or bruises...where as yours truly would be scratch free. For you people out there who need visual aides I was Bruce Willis in "Unbreakable" to his "Mr. Glass".

"Because of the kids. They called me Mr. Glass"

Mostly all accidents. I swear. Like I said no malicious intent. (Blatant lie? you be the judge) However when we did throw down he would yelp "Don't hit me I'm a hemophiliac, I BRUISE EASILY!!!" Which is just about the last thing you should say if you don’t want to get punched.

I hope that gives you a good idea of the dynamic. I was the alpha dog (I use alpha dog fairly loosely: I was Kevin Arnold to His Paul Phieffer) of the LeFevre Lane household and made sure he knew it. There was no disputing this fact through our formative years.

Where oh where was my Winnie Cooper?

Back to the scene: While reading "The Miracle Worker" in school our nutzo teacher decided an "eye opening" (pun intended) experience would be to go about our normal daily business at home, blindfolded. God bless Mrs. Brown and her out of the box thinking. I went home and wondered what I should do. Hmm, I loved baseball so I decided I'd take some batting practice with my trusty Batting practice pitcher, Mr. Glass. We headed to the back yard with baseballs and a bat in hand and proceeded to get all Helen Keller on that shit. I instructed him to groove them in and I would blindly hack away. On the very first pitch I smoked a foul ball opposite field. I've always heard that your other senses become enhanced and I believed it at this point because right after that swing I swear to you I could hear my brothers lips curl up into a sinister smile. The next pitch whizzes past my head! I yell back "Hey dickweed, throw em' normal". No response. Without warning the next pitch comes flying in blasting me in the ribs.

Sammy Sosa deserved it! Not me.

It finally hits me...HE's OUT FOR BLOOD! . It's the Big Payback and here I am blind and powerless to stop him. I drop the bat and run for cover. Now any person with half a brain would have removed their blindfold for their panicked escape. Not me. To this day I'm not sure if t was because I was a complete spaz or if I was just so committed to honoring the legacy of Helen Keller, but I left the blind fold on. I managed to jump over the two rain gutters on the lawn flawlessly (in between which my brother drilled me in the back with another baseball) and rounded the corner to the front steps. I was home free. The path to the house has been hardwired to my brain and I knew I was mere feet away from safety and that's when I felt a shove from behind. Totally unexpected (damn you heightened senses how did u not hear that coming) .

Heightned Senses, why have you forsaken me?

I flew head first into the metal railing of our front steps. All I saw was stars before I woke up seconds later with my head throbbing. I took off the blindfold and saw my brother inside smiling like it was Christmas day. He asked why I didn't take the blindfold off and I couldn't give a good answer. I thought about it all the way to the hospital.

No concussion. Just a little headache and a Big Payback. James Brown would have been proud. My brother walked around the house with his head held high for quite some time. I had to respect his slyness. I mean this was the same kid who would fall for the "let me time you to see if you can break the speed record for taking out the garbage" so often that it frankly became a concern.

Props to you, Mr Glass.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Omega Deltron

Today is kind of a big day as it is the premiere night for "28 Weeks Later." Obviously I have my concerns because the director from 28 Days Later, Danny Boyle has NOTHING to do with this "sort-of" sequel. After IMDB'ing it I also see that:

1) the writer from 28 days later did not return
2) they had a team of 4 writers. Never a good sign

FUCK IT. I love zombie movies.

There i said it. Ever since I was a kid this movie genre fascinated me. Zombie movies coupled w/ the 80's obligatory World War III scare-athons had the reverse effect on me!

So much for trying to scare us cold war kids with your end of the world nuclear parables you studio suits!

I'd imagine myself running around the streets of NY as Del the Omega Man. Of course if the un-dead ever decided to rise and feast on the living I'd be a zombie slim jim. Slow and easily distracted makes Del a dead man walking.

To celebrate the release I'll list my 10 favorite zombie movies:

10: Dawn of the Dead (2004)

It's a remake, which i don't normally care for...but seeing the zombie birth reminded of me of my scariest childhood memory (besides catholic school): The birth of the alien lizard baby in "V".

At 8 years old, after seeing this baby I decided my future wife would be on a solo mission in the delivery room

9:House (1986)

The Greatest American Hero + Zombies = Box office gold! right? No...not so much. Even still, a fun movie. Plus you've got Norm from Cheers and Bull from Night Court ! Talk about a triple threat. Little known fact: Cliff Clavin was in House II. Stands to reason that you'd see Coach in House III and Carla Tortelli in House IV (yep...FOUR House movies. Amazing really.)

8:Grindhouse: Planet Terror (2007)

This is a speculative 8 as i have yet to see it. I can't imagine it not kicking ass. Tarantino and Rodriguez have earned the right to blindly get an eight on this list. I suppose I'll have to wait til Netflix to know for sure

7:Night of the Living Dead (1968)

The O.G. of Zombie films. Nuff Said.

6:Ed and His Dead Mother (1993)

I'm pretty sure I'm the only person to have seen this movie. It's "Pet Cemetary" meets "Throw Momma From the Train". I know, how have you NOT seen it? Truth be told I initially watched this movie to see the hotness that was Steve Buscemi's love interest in this movie. Come for the Hot chick, stay for the Crazy Zombie Mom. Smart studio. Steve Buscemi, even smarter.

5: The Omega Man (1971)

Before Bowling for Columbine showed the world what a friggin' nut bag Charlton Heston was this was his low point. Did i say low point? I meant his friggin' peak of kickass-ness. This man's agent must have been on crack. He went from Moses (The Ten Commandments) , to Monkeys (Planet of the Apes), to Mutants (Omega Man!) Let us also not forget the awesome "Soylant Green"! Thanks for all the hard work Chuck. You earned that gun.

4: Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Its the "Sybil" of movies. I mean that as a compliment. It has its bits of zombie action, tons of heart, and at its core it's funny as fuck. Very few things have made me envious of Brits. This, the "Up Series" and the BBC's "The Office" are it. They are the bee's knees and I hold them completely responsible every time i pronounce "literally" with a cockney accent. This is one of the few movies to earn the right to be ripped onto my new ipod. (Anchorman, 40 Year Old Virgin, Boondock Saints, and Better off Dead are the others). The mirrored dialogue from the opening and the ending is quite genius as well. I think.

3: 28 Days Later (2003)

This is the movie that changed the game. F/X wise it was simplistic in its approach to the point of genius. These "rage" zombies look pretty human, sans their rage eyes. That almost makes it scarier. The Supermarket scene is of course the very such scenario young Del would conjure up as a kid. Of course I think I envisioned myself in a "Spencer's Gifts". (Oh young Del, why did you piss away your paper route money). Added bonus is hearing Grandaddy's "AM 180.

2: Weekend at Bernie's (1989)

Talk about scary. Bernix Lomax back from the dead and playing Monopoly. Wait he's not a zombie??? i don't get it.
Unrelated side note: next time you watch this look for the 80's version of Amanda Peet. Which brings us to her other starring role...

1: Night of the Comet (1984) guessed it Mutha Fuckin' "Night of the Mutha Fuckin' Comet". The world's population is killed off by space dust from the tail of Halley's Comet. Hmmm, sounded plausible at the time. Correction, plausible AND AWESOME. Running amok on the streets is every kids dream. Sure I'd have to suffer from the occasional "mutants wanting to harvest my blood" attack but isn't wild unbridled rebellion and autonomy worth it?

You see it always comes back to this movie!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Imagine All the People Crying as One

John Lennon seen counting his royalty checks in Heaven


Imagine my excitement as I read the following headline on Pitchfork: "
Postal Service, Flaming Lips, Spektor Cover Lennon."

Awesome right?

As i read on and found out that it was a 21 song cover album of Lennon's hits,
w/ all the proceeds headed straight to Amnesty International's campaign to save Darfur, i was even more excited. 21 awesome Lennon songs...all for a good cause. It feels like the Free Love 60's baby! We can make a difference! The spirit of John Lennon lives on!

Then I saw the track listings:

Two cracks at "Imagine" and our choices are Avril Friggin Lavigne or Jack Johnson??? Come On! Who decided this? You know what I can live with this. I'll just avoid those tracks. No version of "Imagine" could ever compare to the original anyway . Lets check out some other tracks.

Disc 1:

01 U2 - "Instant Karma"
02 R.E.M. - "#9 Dream"
03 Christina Aguilera - "Mother"
04 Aerosmith - "Give Peace a Chance"
05 Lenny Kravitz - "Cold Turkey"
06 Los Lonely Boys - "Whatever Gets You Through the Night"
07 Corinne Bailey Rae - "I'm Losing You"
08 Jakob Dylan [ft. Dhani Harrison] - "Gimme Some Truth"
09 Jackson Browne - "Oh My Love"
10 Big & Rich - "Nobody Told Me"

Disc 2:

01 Green Day - "Working Class Hero"
02 Black Eyed Peas - "Power to the People"
03 Jack Johnson - "Imagine"
04 Snow Patrol - "Isolation"
05 Matisyahu - "Watching the Wheels"
06 Ben Harper - "Beautiful Boy"
07 Postal Service - "Grow Old With Me"
08 Jaguares - "Gimme Some Truth"
09 Avril Lavigne - "Imagine"
10 The Flaming Lips - "(Just Like) Starting Over"
11 Regina Spektor - "Real Love"

Oh sweet...the Black Eyed Peas managed to squeeze their suckiness into this. At least they're doing my least favorite song. Should be funny to see how they incorporate Fergie's talents into this track. The same can be said for Aerosmith and "Give Peace a Chance".

(totally unrelated sidenote: I had a friend in college who often went out to bars and clubs at night in a "Give Pizza a Chance" t-shirt. I'm pretty sure he's still a virgin.)

REM doing #9 Dream should be interesting. I had no idea they were still around. I haven't heard a song from them since "Nightswimming". Good for them.

Do you want to know what is monumentally not good? Big and fucking Rick and Matisyahu doing "Nobody Told Me" and "Watching The Wheels" respectively. These two songs are my favorite Lennon solo tracks...and conversely these are two of my least favorite artists. Are the good people of Amnesty International fucking with me?

Related side note: Matisyahu is huge in LA. I don't get it. I'd ask someone to explain his draw...but I don't want to know. Matisyahu and Snow are the same to me!

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