November 7th, 2002

smokin'

I forgot how much I liked the Replacements

So, I finally finished the damned script for the third issue of the damned Thing series, in time to head into Manhattan for Bob Fingermman's signing at JHU. I threw some tapes into the car (for the young un's - tapes are a recording format people used before CD's) because I didn't want to listen to NPR and all the Republican crowing, WFMU can be dicey in the afternoon, and everything else on the radio makes me want to drive headlong into an oil tanker. So I grabbed The Replacements Hootenannny and Let it Be albums (an album was a -- oh, forget it),X-Ray Spex' Germ- Free Adolescents and the first two Fear albums. Hadn't listened to these in ages and they still sounded really good, and as always, it amazed me how much more fun, brash, angry, snotty, loud, heartfelt, honest, bizarre and just plain stupid old decent punk was compared to what the kids are generally listening to nowadays. Even the new "underground" stuff I hear is mostly by-the-numbers, straightforward stuff with little snap. Bleagh. Yes, I said "bleagh". I know there are good bands out there, but I don't have the time to hunt around for them, I have enough work to do in a day and too many hobbies as it is. The funny thing is, when I was a kid my mom hated all my music because it was too loud, now that I'm getting to be an old fart I hate all the hard rock/rap-rock/pop-punk stuff today's kids listen to because it's too damned soft. Anyway...the Replacements first four or five albums. I consider them must-haves, but of course your mileage may vary.

The signing itself was a fun affair, at least after I drove around for a half an hour looking for a parking spot. When I finally found one on 32nd street, a guy tried to steal it from me, and after I parked he blocked my driver's side door with his car and wouldn't let me get out. We had this crazy three-minute argument, because he was Korean and I'm a Brooklyn Jew and we could barely understand one another. He kept yelling at me that he knew I had the spot, but he wanted to "stay there". I kept telling him I had my hazards on and was already backing up when he tried to butt in. He agrees with me but still wants the spot. Huh? Eventually he left me alone after I suggested we get a cop.

Anyway, back to the signing -- Bob sold a bunch of books, people showed up, including many people who eke out a living in the business (some of whom I owe work to, egads). A group of us went to a good but overpriced pub down the block for dinner and I drove home listening to my tapes again. During the signing itself, Bob presented me with a DVD (nicely packaged in a shellcase he designed himself), containing the Eltingville pilot, my appearances on the Anti- Gravity Room comic book-oriented tv show, and a particularly uncomfortable cable access interview I did several years ago, back in my "bleached hair and backwards baseball-cap wearing days". Yikes! Was it a present --or blackmail?!?!

This is silly talk of no consequence. Guess I should plug something. Tonight's plug is the Loew's Thater in Jersey City, a vintage movie palace that is currently under renovation. To help raise restoration funds, they screen restored 35 mm prints of films, with evening shows and matinees for kids. If you're in the area, you might want to check this out, as seeing films on the big screen is a real treat, and seeing a film in a huge old theater is even better. I fondly remember seeing movies at Radio City Music Hall as a kid (Fantasia, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and crazy Bruce Dern snuffin' John Wayne in The Cowboys)and Sarah and I are hoping to make one of the upcoming shows, which includes a double bill of Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes flicks, Laurel and Hardy in Babes in Toyland/March of the Wooden Soldiers (it's mah peewee!), and Martin and Lewis in Artists and Models (which features a pretty funny comic book- related plot and a young, adorable and pre-nutjob Shirley MacLaine). This link should send you over to the right place - - http://loewsjersey.org/

Remind me to link to the Exhumed Films site, which is a great outfit that screens horror and exploitation flicks (along with trailers), also in Jersey. My friends and I haven't been able to go lately, as it's a helluva drive for us, but they're good people and the shows are a lot of fun. They used to be held at a rickety family-owned theater but when that shut down the shows were switched to a second-run strip mall theater. The ambience isn't the same, but the clean, comfy seats more than make up for it. Anyway, I guess this is a plug, but I don't have the site handy. Do a search. They recently showed a night of Italian shockers (i.e., whacked-out, incoherent gore fests) and they also scheduled a marathon for halloween that I really wanted to go to. I think they had or have plans for a Bob Clarke X-Mas double-bill of Black Christmas and A Christmas Story, which sounds brilliant to me. Anyway, check Google and/or remind me to get that link. Exhumed Films. Or ExhumedFilms. Dot something. Man, am I not helpful.

One last thing -- I've noticed that some folks have actually commented on my first two posts. I think that's really cool, and I will try to respond to comments and questions when I can, but I'm warning you -- whacked out, incoherent posts will be ignored.