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Messages - Bill Binkelman

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121
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Battle: Los Angeles
« on: March 11, 2011, 06:50:03 PM »
Night Shift used to be a big one for me too. My friends and my brother and I used to quote all kinds of lines from that movie, even some of the unfunny ones like, "Chuck, I'm wearing white."

The obvious quotable lines are "Hey kid, you like music?" and Billy Blaze's various notes to self, like "put the mayonnaise in the can with the tuna."

Shelley Long in her underpants. Just think about that for a second.

"I'm an idea man, Chuck."

"Is this a great country or what?"

"How come we don't have TV, Chuck?"

"Love brokers! You and me, Chuck!"

"Call Star Kist."

Yeah, you could say Night Shift is one of my faves, too..and yes, I own that one too. Michael Keaton's second funniest film...after Beetlejuice, of course. "I've come for your daughter, Chuck."

I may have watch Night Shift tonight now...damn you, MG!

122
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Battle: Los Angeles
« on: March 11, 2011, 04:07:09 PM »
Yeah, that's a great term to use  to describe those kind of movies... "comfort food." I gotta remember that one.

123
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Battle: Los Angeles
« on: March 11, 2011, 03:39:07 PM »
Well, Mike, I don't know if I can say I'd "rather" see one over the other, as much as it's influenced by my mood at the time I am wanting to see a movie. FTR, I love Dr. Strangelove, Annie Hall, and Fargo...also Saving Private Ryan. I couldn't really get into Pan's Labyrinth but understood the praise for it...it just didn't reach me emotionally. I don't know that I find it particularly interesting when "intelligent" folks don't like a certain kind of film, or even a particular singular film itself. Fargo seems to divide a lot of people. For me, I may be the only person who LOVED...I mean LOVED Se7en. (Sorry, Darren). I think it is a brilliant metaphor for the various reactions we as people have to the decaying conditions in urban America and I also think the visual horror of the story was also relatively restrained. But most people I know, if not all, are in agreement with Darren, i.e. they HATED it...I mean REALLY HATED IT. I also loved Ken Russell's universally panned Altered States.

I guess Kathryn's taste in movies has always surprised me. She can watch the Die Hard movies over and over and yet her taste in esoteric foreign films, especially some of the more depressing films to come from northern Europe (e.g. Sweden and Norway) certainly eclipses my love of those genres (and I am not a "sub-title hater").  Although, I had to chuckle when I recommended Dancer in the Dark to her and even SHE admitted it was a damn depressing film...I described Breaking the Waves to her and she passed on it...maybe she just isn't a Von Trier fan! ;)

Mike or Darren (or anyone), did you see Welcome to the Dollhouse, Your Friends and Neighbors, or Happiness? If so, what did you think of them? I admired each one, but damn, I could never watch any of the three a second time.

124
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Battle: Los Angeles
« on: March 11, 2011, 01:44:28 PM »
I believe that movies, maybe more than any other medium, are affected by what people bring to the table in the way of both expectations and "needs." Many folks on opinion boards, newsgroups, etc. harp on the notion that movies are only for "entertainment" and as long as one is entertained, that is enough...Of course, entertainment itself is subjective, too, but I think their theory is that a movie can suck (art-wise) and yet entertain. Sadly, some of these folks also think that any artistic film sucks simply because it is artistic. I'll admit that I enjoy popcorn flicks as much as art flicks, e.g. I own copies of both The Fountain (LOVE the soundtrack and bought it the same day I saw the film) and crap like Underworld and the updated version of The Italian Job. Sometimes I just like to park my brain and watch bad guys get the crap kicked out of them and shit get blown up real good. Other times, I want to be pushed and have my intellect really pummelled by a WTF movie like The Fountain. Not everyone has this duality when it comes to their taste in films, which is not meant to infer I'm better than those folks, just stating a difference.

I also agree that some people simply cannot enjoy a film because of subject matter. Kathryn, who really loves movies, HATES almost all science fiction...but she loved LOTR and Narnia. Go figure.

For me, the only genre/type of film I hate enough to rarely ever watch despite how EVERYONE, even critics seem to love, are these recent silly comedies by folks like the Farrellys and crap like Superbad, etc. I tried watching Superbad and lasted 10 minutes. I was shocked at how, IMO, offensive it is and I hardly EVER get offended at anything in a movie. I would rather rewatch a cult film like the original Vanishing Point than something like Anchorman or just about any comedy along those lines. And I love comedies...when they are funny (haha...subjective taste joke  ::) ).

For every person who considers 2001 to be a nonsensical acid-fueled pretentious bunch of crap, there is a person who thinks The Rock is the nadir of cinema (I happen to like both of them, although obviously for different reasons). I can understand why seem people think 2001 is pretentious and I also can understand how a Michael Bay fillm is usually considered to be as brain-dead as Governor Walker of Wisconsin. For me, I don't watch The Rock for anything but to see Sean Connery kick ass and Ed Harris do his usual madman schtick. Sometimes I want a greasy cheeseburger and sometimes I want haute cuisine.

Bringing it back to Battle: Los Angeles, I am seeing it (hopefully this weekend) because (a) I like Aaron Eckhart (hell, he even made The Core watchable) and (b) to me, it looks enough like Blackhawk Down, which I loved, to make it worthwhile investing 2 hours and 6 bucks (matinee prices) and (c) hey. it's gotta be better than the current version of "V" and if I'm stupid enough to watch that every week - and I am - I may as well give this a shot.

PS Thanks to everyone who ha scontributed on this topic as I am REALLY enjoying this discussion...

125
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Battle: Los Angeles
« on: March 10, 2011, 01:11:11 PM »
Interesting that you liked Monsters, Mike. I had no problem with it being very little concerned with the alien "invasion," or that the storyline was more of an allegory (e.g. are WE the real monsters?). But the movie was soooooo deliberately placed (some sequences seemed to drga on forever), the acting was pretty amateurish by the twomain actors, and the actions of the lead characters were so asinine - almost over the top for emphasis. Seriously (plot spoiler ahead...if you are thinking of seeing this movie, stop reading now), the man and woman are 12 hours away from boarding the FINAL ferry away from a "war zone," they have spent $10K to get tickets, and then the guy sleeps with a prostitute and they lose their tickets and their money? Any sensible person would have slept about 10 feet from the dock or even stayed up all night so as to not miss the damn ferry. At that point, I just lost all interest in or sympathy for the two leads. In fact, I would've liked the monsters to get 'em!  ;D

I know on IMDB and Netflix a lot of folks liked the less-action-oriented emphasis of the film and thought it was an "intelligent" version of Cloverfield, but I thought it was so ill-conceived plot-wise, and the performances so bad that I just couldn't stay interested or concerned.

Just my two cents. Taste is so subjective. As I wrote, I thought Tron Legacy was pretty good. So, does your answer mean you and Lena will probably pass on Battle: LA then?

126
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Battle: Los Angeles
« on: March 10, 2011, 11:50:28 AM »
Reviews for this are all over the map...some are totally panning it and others are calling it "Blackhawk Down-like" in its intensity. I never did see Skyline, because the reviews were so bad (and Darren Rogers helped to talk me out of it - thanks, Darren). BUT I thought the trailers for that movie (Skyline) were awesome, and I feel the same way about Battle: Los Angeles, which gives me pause. More and more often a movie's trailer gives a false indication of what the actual movie will be like (See trailers for Legion and Monsters, to name two films I saw recently on DVD and the movies were NOTHINg like what the trailers inferred).

So, is anyone here excited about this film? Is this just this year's Skyline or will it be an intense ground-level up-close "you are there" combat movie, just about aliens, not humans?

OTOH, many reviews for Tron Legacy, which I just saw 2 nights ago, were negative and I liked it a lot (saw the 2-d version). So, what the frack do reviewers know?  ::)

127
Just finished my first full listen of A Quiet Light. Fantastic contemplative warm floating spacemusic! Some gentle rhythms are present on some tracks, not so much beats as melodic pulses (reminded me a bit of John Lyell's Dimensions CD and also his previous album with Brent Reiland, Synthetic Universe, but Meg's music is warmer, flows more, and the rhythms are less "in your face"). A Quiet Light also shares some qualities with Geodesium's (aka Mark Pedersen who, BTW, also has a new CD out as well) quieter more subdued work. Finally, of course, there is also a similarity to Serrie's earlier classic works such as And The Stars Go with You...but despite all the comparisons I make, this is definitely A Meg Bowles CD, not an imitation of anyone else. Every now and then I heard textures and instrumentation similar to Blue Cosmos or From the Dark Earth (less the latter). This is not dark ambient at all, IMO, but is not feathery light either. It's not uber-dramatic, like Telomere's (Chris MacDonald) Serge synthesizer, or Demby's spacemusic...the music is laid back and relaxing, yet richly evocative and not in the least bit syrupy (as some have characterized such Serrie discs as Lumia Nights and Midsummer Century). The titles aptly convey the music that awaits you: "Nocturnal Flight," "Glacial Dawn," "Beyond the Far Shore," and the title track, to name 4 of the 6 songs. Track length runs from 8:22 to the closing title track at 14:38, so it's ideal "spacing out" music with distinct gaps between cuts but seamless transitions. Recording quality is excellent. I listened on headphones and the mix and engineering is spot on...different textures, rhythms, and musical both coalesce and stay distinct, which is as it should be IMO.

Cool cover, too!


Welcome back, Meg! It's obvious that not only have you not lost a step, but you've have actually reached a higher level of spacemusic mastery!

128
Looks like you lost the beard, Bill.

I actually think the guy looks like you, Mike!  ;D

129
Everything and Nothing / Re: Jim Brenholts birthday today
« on: March 04, 2011, 03:19:51 PM »
Still hard for me to believe he is gone...here's to you, Jim. Hope the music wherever you are is as good at is here...if not better!

130
I've only listened to the first two tracks, but here is my reaction:


Welcome back, Meg! You were missed!

131
The man behind the curtain of this pseudonym and others (e.g. synthuser) is one Daniel Byerly and, having known him since the late 1990s, one thing I can tell you about him is he is a man of integrity above all else. He is 100 percent no-bullshit. If your message finds him, he will respond. The man is the real deal. I have had contact with literally hundreds upon hundreds of people since I started reviewing in 1997, and Daniel is someone who stands out as a genuine person with no pretensions and who I know has no hidden agenda. He may be a bit reclusive, but if you reach him, I doubt you will be let down. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

132
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Top 10 Ambient/Space Music albums
« on: February 07, 2011, 01:34:23 PM »
I assume you have heard Constance Demby - Novus Magnificat?
Part 1 is one of my favorite pieces of music ever made.
Not exactly ambient, it's very melodic. I'd call it a new age/classical/spacemusic hybrid.

Yeah, Novus gets left off a lot of lists....not sure why. And while it is melodic, the same could be said for a fair amount of Stearns' stuff, too. Everytime Demby gets to the crescendo near the end (which the subtitle of the CD describes as..."Through the Stargate"), I get chills up and down my spine...there's this huge cosmic WHOOOOOOSH!

Man, if you haven't heard it, give it a listen!

133
Everything and Nothing / Re: Cassette tapes..
« on: February 07, 2011, 01:30:52 PM »
I have a number of genre-related cassettes, including a few HOS shows from back in the late 80s. Also, relatively rare stuff like The Way Home (Braheny), Lagoon (Nik Tyndall), Western Spaces (Burmer, Roach, Braheny), and a few more. I have a boombox if I feel like playing them. Ever since my falling out with S Hill (in 2000/2001), I haven't been able to muster up the nerve to listen to any of the old HOS tapes, though...just the sound of his voice and I feel creeped out. (Don't ask...). Anyway, I used to love scouring Cheapo (both Uptown and Snelling Ave.) for cassettes before I got my first CD player. My car only has a CD player, so it's the boombox or nothing. I have an old Technics dual well deck for my system, but the heads would need to be professionally cleaned and recalibrated, I'm betting.

134
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Recent music purchases
« on: January 30, 2011, 11:14:23 PM »
And if they toss you too much dough-re-mi, feel free to send some my way!

"Don't touch that dwarf, hand me the pliers". Heh, that's actually the name of an album, isn't it? I know I've heard it somewhere, and I love it! So bizarre and off-the-wall.

A hilarious comedy album by the group The Firesign Theatre....but the title is "crush" not "touch"


135
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Recent music purchases
« on: January 30, 2011, 07:46:11 PM »
Damn....some of y'all have a lot of money to spend. When you run out of music to buy, how's 'bout throwing a working stiff some dough-re-mi?  ;)

136
Everything and Nothing / Re: Forum upgrade notes
« on: January 18, 2011, 09:41:53 PM »
I really like the new look, Mike. Much more "warm" and less mechanistic. Just my two cents. Sorry for all the spam trouble you had. That sucks. I hope the change makes your situation a lot better.

Bill

137
That is one KILLER cover, Anthony! Wow!!! Well done indeed!

138
Here's the line-up I went with for tonight and tomorrow (well, obviously, not all of it will be consumed by then)  ::)


139
For the holidays:

Scotch: Balvenie Double-Oak or Cragganmore or Dahlwinnie
Bourbon: Makers Mark or Jim Beam Black usually but may go high end and try Baker's or Booker's this year
Wine: Either Dry Creek Vineyards or Hogue Fume Blanc (dry sauvignon blanc)
After dinner: Either B and B (Benedictine and Brandy) or a good cognac, e.g. Courvoisier, Remy Martin or maybe Hennessey

Mike knows that I always drink my scotch (single malt, not blended, that is) straight. If I do drink a blended, it's always Dewars and I drink it on the rocks. Bourbon I drink one way or the other but the higher priced bourbons I usually drink straight up as well.

Happy (hic) Holidays!

140
Everything and Nothing / Re: Can we have a serious talk about vinyl?
« on: December 21, 2010, 07:54:02 PM »
I've stated before that, IMO, if one owns higher end audiophile playback equipment (i.e. good turntable, cartridge, etc.) than a decently recorded vinyl album will sound "warmer" and more natural but mostly within certain genres, particularly classical or orchestral soundtracks (my "test" record would be the soundtrack to The Man from Snowy River which sounds amazing on LP on a great system). Electronic music...I dunno, as I sold my Thorens during the early ages of EM (late 80s). For me, one of the reasons I may get back into vinyl again, even with my current mediocre turntable is because I am lucky enough to live in a city with used record shops. I can pick up all kinds of great stuff from the 60s, 70s, and 80s...albums that I still "like" but not enough to spend $10-$20 bucks on a remastered CD...If I can get a "VG" or NR MINT" (Cheapo's ratings, last time I looked) LP for less than 5 bucks and hear the 3-5 songs on it I want to hear, great. I have bought some 60s and 70s albums in remastered CD versions and, sure, they sound tremendous and all, but I realize "Shit, this music was groovy back then but now its kinda lame except for a song or two." So, for me, it's a cheap alternative to reacquire music from my youth that I am still fond of but I also know after 2-3 playings, that might be about it for a few years!  ;D

Also, I love going to the semi-annual record collectors convention here and seeing what's available, too. OTOH, I can't believe the utter gonzo stuff that STILL merits a CD release from back then. I mean, who in their right mind ever even heard of 50 Ft Hose's Cauldron but me??? But you can buy it at Amazon, as well as Vanilla Fudge's totally non-commercial and utter sales failure of a pseudo-progressive experimental album The Beat Goes On (yeah, I had that one too). Both of these would be worth $5 but $15-$20 - I don't think so.

Sorry for the long-winded story

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