To Tokyo And Beyond

The much anticipated trip to Tokyo is now over, but my mission to spend ten thousand yen on music was a bust. Tokyo was great though, although it was very hot and humid. A wicked thunderstorm on the last day was fun to drive in.

I had the funds, but unfortunately time, which is of the essence in Tokyo, was not managed well. I was hoping to get several records at used record shops, and I did visit three of them, but I had little time available to spend in each…life even for a tourist is hectic in Tokyo.

But, I did manage to get one record, and a few CDs.

Nirvana – Supercollosal Big Muff

In Shibuya I went to “Disk Union” which was on my list of places to visit. It turned out to be a bit disappointing though, not much of a selection and a little expensive. After that I wandered around a bit and stumbled on a most excellent place called “Recofan“. It was jam-packed with music, some in long and narrow aisles.

I didn’t have much time as I had to meet the family to go off and get dinner some where, but I was able to find this bootleg live album for only 300 yen, quite the bargain. It was recorded at the University of Washington in 1990, and is a very decent recording. It was released by a Japanese label called “Small Clone”, who seemed to only release live Nirvana albums.

A good start to my music shopping.

The B-52’s – The B-52’s

Also at Recofan I found this in excellent condition, and for a pretty decent price.

I remember listening to this on vinyl a long time ago, and I remember getting it out from a library our family used to go to, so it is good to actually own it now. And it is in my opinion their best album, and the cover artwork in simple but very striking…I must display it somewhere.

Excellent stuff.

Cypress Hill – Skull & Bones

Later on the same day, after dinner at a BBQ restaurant near the hotel in Meguro, I went off by myself, intent on spending quality time in Shinjuku’s music shops (Shinjuku Station by the way is the world’s busiest train station). I planned on going to Book Off there, and hopefully a vinyl place. I did find a Disk Union, but it was already closed (at 8 pm which seems a bit early to me, even if it was a Sunday). So, I went to Book Off, but as it would turn out they were soon closing too, at 9 pm. So, I quickly rummaged through the 200 yen section and found this album.

This is Cypress Hill’s fifth album and it is pretty good. It is different to “Black Sunday” in that it mixes in some rock elements. Also included are two bonus discs with eight extra songs in total, all good tracks.

For 200 yen this was the bargain of the weekend.

Bob Mould – Bob Mould

As Book Off was closing I quickly went to the “B” section where I had noticed this earlier, grabbed it, then went straight to the counter.

Good stuff from Bob, a solid album.

The Cramps – Psychedelic Jungle/Gravest Hits

The next day we drove to a city called Mito, in Ibaragi Prefecture, which is a two-hour drive north from Tokyo. My mission whenever we visit a new place is to seek out the local Book Off, which we were able to do in Mito.

This CD was the first one I found, and I was most pleased as The Cramps are an old favourite. This is good stuff of course.

Therapy? – Troublegum

Next in Mito I found this in the 280 yen section.

I generally find Therapy? to be good but not great, and this album is no different. It is not a disappointment though.

Therapy? have been around since 1989, and have quite a few albums to their name. Their next album is due out next month.

Public Enemy – He Got Game

The last CD I got in Mito, and the last overall is this soundtrack to the film starring Denzel Washington, a film I have never seen.

I had to get it because it is Public Enemy, a band I have several releases from, and a band that always makes good music.

I put this in the car stereo to listen to on the long trip back home. Unfortunately though that is where the disc still remains as the stereo is refusing to spit it out. I have tried forcing it out, but it just won’t move…dang! So, I listened to it three times over in the car before turning the sound completely down as listening to any album too many times over can cause negative effects.

And this is another good P.E. album, and certainly one of the best original soundtracks for any film.

So, while my plan to spend ten grand did not work out, I am still quite pleased with what I got, not a dud in all of them. I will just have to figure out how to get Public Enemy out of the car.

Music count 2018: 80

Forward the Page of Fame

It is high time an author was added to the MBMS Page of Fame. My two choices were Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, but I decided on Isaac because his Foundation series of books is pure genius, although Arthur’s Rama series is a very close second. Isaac’s sideburns certainly helped.

And it looks as though there may be a series made based on the Foundation books, made by Apple.

Arthur will certainly be added at a later date.

Faster Than Humbug

The music purchasing is still a bit anemic, so I have only two to speak of.

Bulletbelt – Faster Than Death

I was internetting a few nights ago, and I came across this release on Bandcamp.

Bulletbelt are a Wellington (New Zealand) black metal band who have been metalling since 2009. Usually I don’t go for black metal, but this was just so darn catchy that I had to buy it immediately…it was only NZ$2 anyway.

As I said it is catchy, and is really more thrash metal than black. It is also very well produced, it sounds good cranked up a bit. They have three albums as well, but after sampling those I decided that this single will be about all I buy from them for the moment, they all didn’t grab me much.

Arctic Monkeys – Humbug

The Arctic Monkeys are a band I have only gotten into in recent times, beginning with their first album which is top stuff. I also have a few other albums and an EP, so when I saw this album buying it was a forgone conclusion.

And it is a decent album, but at this point I would say it is not nearly as good as the first album. No regrets though. I am looking forward to listening to their latest album which from what I have read is good stuff, and quite different.

Next Monday we are off to Tokyo for one night, so I will be going to Shibuya where there are a couple of vinyl places I want to visit, along with my usual haunts when I go there. Looking forward to it.

Music count 2018: 73

Tetro

Today’s film review is in pirate speak, for no particular reason. Aye.

’tis a 2009 film starrin’ Vincent Gallo, ‘n directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

’twas filmed in Argentina ‘n be a U.S./Argentina/Spain co-production wit’ a cast o’ mostly Argentinian actors, along wit’ Vincent ‘n Alden Ehrenreich, who I could nah place ’til th’ end credits. Both o’ them, along wit’ th’ rest o’ th’ cast were mighty good.

Th’ cinematography too was excellent, mostly filmed in glorious black ‘n white. Th’ scenes taken in th’ Patagonia mountains were beautiful. ‘n th’ tale itself was reasonably simple, but multi-layered, ‘n told th’ tale o’ a difficult family relationship well. Thar was a good endin’ too, quite unexpected, although unlike many films o’ th’ ilk it went fer th’ safe endin’.

Alden Ehrenreich were bein’ great in his role, this bein’ his first film aft bein’ discovered by Steven Spielberg. While watchin’ this ’twas hard nah t’ reckon ye were watchin’ a young Leonardo Decaprio, he looks kind o’ like ‘im ‘n had a similar actin’ style.

A mighty good, but nah great film I would say. I would recommend watchin’ this wit’ a good white wine, ‘n a nice selection o’ cheese.

Lookin’ at Vincent’s website I see that ye can buy some rather pricey booty.

Translation by Pirate Monkeyness.

Date watched: August 4th
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2018: 52

Today’s Kirk Fact

Kirk is 17th on the AFI’s list of 50 greatest screen legends, just behind Orson Welles, and in front of James Dean, and his female counterpart is Lillian Gish. He is the highest ranking living person on the list. Tom Cruise is not on the list.

Here is Kirk with Johnny Cash, listed on Rolling Stones’ list of great country artists of all time at number three.

Taxidermia

This is a 2006 Hungarian/Austrian/French surrealist comedy-drama horror film.

A few minutes in it became a bit of a shocker, with scenes that were just a tad hard to watch. I won’t go into details, but after watching cosy Hollywood films this reminded me that true film-makers don’t hold back, especially East-European film-makers.

It was split into three parts, following three generations of men. The first involves a dim-witted and quite perverse soldier who is under the control of an army lieutenant. The second part is about his son, who is a professional speed-eater, and the last part is about his son who is a taxidermist. The stories are intertwined, and are mostly either quite disgusting or gory, with added humour or bizarreness.

It is very well filmed and acted, and after the first act, which was the most disgusting of all, I found it to be very entertaining and quite funny. It is certainly not a film you would want to watch with anyone with a closed mind when it comes to film…just watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre instead. But, if you like something very different, and don’t mind watching speed-eaters projectile-vomit into buckets after a contest, then this is a highly recommended watch.

Date watched: August 3rd
Score: 8/10
Film count 2018: 51

American Made

I will pretty much watch anything with the Cruiser, the guy knows how to make himself look good on film, and the stories he tells are good with a large Coke and plenty of potato chips.

This is very loosely based on the true story of Barry Seal, a pilot who got himself involved in smuggling all kinds of stuff for Central and South American drug lords and dictators.

What the film spends most of the time on is convincing us that being a crafty pilot smuggler is damn cool because you can buy anything you want, people will love you, and the law cannot touch you. And to top it off the CIA is helping you do all of this, so it’s all good, no need to feel guilty about any of it. Not only that, but the government right up to Olly North, and even Ronno Reagan himself, were ordering the CIA what to do in their campaign to rid South America of dirty commies. They didn’t come off looking so good.

In the story, as in real life, Barry was assassinated, while the CIA, Olly, and Ronno all got off scot-free, and went on to dream up the Iran-Contra affair (which didn’t work either).

So, what I have read about the real goings-on, and what this film portrayed, showed that Tom made Barry look too good (Barry was a large fellow too). He was not some outlaw hero who stuck it to the man, he was just a greedy criminal with a licence to ill, although he was quite brave to do some of the things he did.

The real Barry was at one point one of the richest men in America with over $60 million big ones, although Tom himself is worth $550 million in today’s money (which back in the eighties was over $200 million). Tommo is 15th on the list of rich celebs, with Stevo Spielberg at number one, worth $3.7 billion.

As a film it was pure entertainment. It was well made with some good action sequences here and there, some funny bits, and of course the Cruiser being his usual charming self. There were a few ficticious scenes added in for extra laughs or gasps, such as Bazza landing a plane on a suburban street, getting out of the plane covered in cocaine, then handing a kid huge amounts of cash to a kid for the damage caused to his house, then another bundle of cash for his bike, which he then speeds away on.

We did not at any point in the film get to see Tom running…disappointing, but the bike scene was close enough.

Another purely entertaining Tom Cruise film, not quite up there with Mission Impossible, but still well worth a watch.

And here is Tom running…

Date watched: August 2nd
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2018: 50