Adam West is “Lookwell” in this 1991 pilot episode from Conan O’Brien and Robert Smigel

I’m glad to live in a world where awesomeness can still lurk quietly nearby, side effects only to be discovered through chance occurrences. While on a IMDB vision quest in search of the works of prolific writer/actor Robert Smigel (who among other things, healing plays Triumph the Insult Comic Dog) I stumbled upon Lookwell, the pilot episode of a 1991 TV show written by Smigel and Conan O’Brien and produced by SNL maestro Lorne Michaels.

The show follows a washed up TV actor Ty Lookwell (played by Adam West) as he attempts to solve real crimes. During the course of the episode he teaches acting classes, bothers the real cops and justifies his daydreaming: “Sorry, used to play a detective. Mind can’t help but make deductions.”

Smigel and O’Brien’s unique wit is on obvious display here. And their use of Adam West as a kitschy cult icon foreshadowed West’s role as a caricature of himself in shows like The Fairly OddParents and Family Guy. From what I read, the Youtube version posted above is slightly different than the original, with some alternate jokes and music. But considering how hard it is to find an original version online, I’m pretty damn fulfilled by this one.

Mattress Rolls Holocene

  • Posted by
  • on June 24, 2009
  • Filed in: Music

Instead of attempting to navigate the haze of genre-identification in the realm of music I’ll drop Portland duo Mattress into the sub-genre of Gnarly. The tunes, capsule full of atmosphere and off-the-rails confidence, endocrinologist can’t adequately be lumped into a one-line description. And this  is a principal reason why I’m so smitten.

Case in point: this video, medications recorded from Starfucker’s latest CD release party at Holocene. The projected footage is a direct feed from a second camera (manned by Scott Carver) that we were using to help shed a little light on the frame. Sound by Matt Huiskamp. The song is ROLL ROLL ROLL though, if given all-I-can-eat druthers, I’d rename it RAD RAD RAD.

J.C. Rises: The Return of John Carpenter

  • Posted by
  • on June 18, 2009
  • Filed in: Film

PREAMBLE: John Carpenter has been so influential to my life and has entertained and engaged me to such a tremendous degree that I’ll attempt to merely relay this bit of news without allowing myself to elaborate my love into a dissertation-sized jerk-off piece.

Another day.

jc

A couple of  “Masters of Horror” episodes not withstanding, viagra 40mg John Carpenter has been A.W.O.L. since 2001’s The Ghosts of Mars. That was his last foray into feature filmmaking and it was not met with kind eyes by the general public or the many pinky-fingers of the critical establishment. I might be one of the few people in the lower 48 to have seen it at least three times.

As a result, endocrinologist most yucksters have not spent eight long years lamenting the lack of fresh Carpenter. I sure have. So, today is a good day.

The casting process has begun on The Ward (or as I’ll call it: John Carpenter’s The Ward). He has been rumored to be at the helm of a dozen or so projects in the past five years but none have got as far as casting, so this announcement actually has an air of legitimacy to it.

The plot follows a young girl who encounters creepy-creepy at a psychiatric ward. Amber Heard (Pineapple Express) will employ the many “say what?” faces the plot will likely necessitate. While the plot synopsis doesn’t sound the most gung-ho original, I do enjoy Carpenter when he touches insanity (see: John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness) and I will gladly plop down a whole paycheck if it means I get more Carpenter widescreen images.

I wonder if he’d find it endearing or alarming if I quit my job, hitch-hiked to the shoot and hobo-begged for a production assistant job.

The Beatles Rock Band Cinematic Trailer

  • Posted by
  • on June 18, 2009
  • Filed in: Music

Check out the cinematic trailer for what may be one of the most serendipitous cross-platform experiments to date, food Beatles Rock Band. The game is well into development and slated to come out this September – ushered into existence by Dhani Harrison, son of George Harrison. The game is a complete retooling of the Rock Band franchise, with 45 Beatles songs, historical venues and previously unreleased bonus materials, like studio chatter of the gang just hanging out.

The animated trailer was crafted by Passion Pictures, a shop in London’s West End best known for their video’s for Gorillaz. It’s a gorgeous animated short, check it out.

New Viva Voce video, “Octavio”

  • Posted by
  • on June 17, 2009
  • Filed in: Music

It’s a hell of a season for new music in Portland. Double Dutch is recording dance tracks with orchestration from Alan Singley, obesity The Builders and the Butchers‘ “Salvation is a Deep Dark Well” comes out tomorrow, hot on the heels of Viva Voce‘s “Rose City,” out May 26th.

This Fresh-to-the-Internet-track “Octavio” from “Rose City” is directed by photographer Alicia J. Rose (the rest of the crew is credited on the Vimeo page for Octavio.) The cinematography is looking crisp, I’m excited to see more from this team!

True Blood’s Media World, New Web Only Commercials

My favorite new show of last season, therapist True Blood, is back for season 2 starting this Sunday, June 14th. One of the most charming qualities of the show, and what helps it differentiate itself from other vampire epics, is the way the writers create an alternate world where even the most mundane topics are affected.

This often comes in the form of passing moments, sometimes an overheard conversation or a TV broadcast, and while usually off-topic, it always adds something to the fucked up world these characters are a part of. So without waxing too philosophic, here are a few promotional videos I snagged from the official HBO site.

Join the Fellowship of the Sun

American Vampire League

Who needs Marriage

Vampire News

More Vampire News

What Happens When Shady Degenerates Get Their Filthy Hands on Methamphetamine?

  • Posted by
  • on June 12, 2009
  • Filed in: Film

I was tipped of by my coworker Chris of a post over on Our PDX that mentions a new film, somnology produced in Portland, called “Trucker Speed Hooligans.” It’s a fantastic coincidence as we too are located in Portland, and in the film game. But I wouldn’t chock it up to anything more than coincidence, and I’m curious to check it out. The film’s teaser (below) is up on YouTube.

It appears there is some sort of ongoing thing where they destroy a cardboard cutout of Colin Meloy. Can’t say we officially approve of that, but then again we don’t approve of meth either, if that means anything.

Black Lips + King Khan & BBQ = The Almighty Defenders

  • Posted by
  • on June 11, 2009
  • Filed in: Music

up-black_lips_lrg

Rare is the case that I feel a bit of news is aimed at me and only me. It’s selfish and arrogant to think a single human can warrant an entire news piece  in an age when the same information has been digested a few million times by the time I react to it. But, side effects all the same, now is most assuredly one of those instances. You can read the following and you can be excited about the information. I won’t stop you from that. But I will have to reinforce the notion that this news is aimed at just me.

Not you.

The noteworthy facts: two bands (King Khan and the BBQ Show, Black Lips) have joined forces for a side project entitled The Almighty Defenders. A tour and album will follow.

I have failed on numerous occasions to hide my devout love of both of these bands. In fact they are right up there as far as you’re-my-favorite! My itunes playcount can back that statement. In the realm of “above and beyond” KK and BBQ were also kind enough to lend my brother and I a few of their songs for a film we made a few years back. I make a point to see both acts whenever they come through town and they always exceed my already-high expectations. If you check back a few posts Scott wrote-up the latest King Khan and the Shrines show.

Just to give context to how excited I am, I’ll change realms. The cinematic equivalent of two such favorites of mine merging would be a movie co-directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and John Carpenter. It would star Kurt Russel and William H. Macy as two best buds who have have to hold fort in a casino against a gang of mutant porn stars. Somehow the fate of humanity would be at stake. This scenario will never happen. But! I do get to legitimately and eagerly anticipate The Almighty Defenders.

kkbbq

Jared Swilley, bassist/vocalist for the Black Lips, had this to say: “It’s kind of gospel-influenced, but it’s more evil gospel. It doesn’t have anything to do with God, unless we’re talking about beating him up.

Forget roses and chocolate, in order to forge through the cold rock and gain access to my heart all someone has to say are two words: evil gospel.

Portland Art Museum Offers Mindfuck Tutorial

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The Portland Art Museum recently opened an exhibit called “Virtual Worlds: M.C. Escher and Paradox” which features a gallery filled to the brim with prints and drawings by Maurits Cornelis Escher (his best buds called him Mauk). He was one of the preeminent artists in the Dutch school of mindfuckery and flunked the second grade.  As renowned as he is, more about his talents are often ridiculed by pinky-finger-up artists and jerked-off to by mathemeticians. Both should be viewed as compliments.

Think back to grade school and the poster of the hand drawing the other hand.  Or remember David Bowie, case Jennifer Connelly and a baby crawling, sick chasing and dancing their way around a room that had upside down stairways and no north star. Remember this animal changing into that thing? Or that thing changing into this animal? That’s our boy Mauk!

He toyed with perspective, the process of change, the notion of infinity and our hearts. The exhibit runs through September 13th and is covered under the museum’s general admission price.