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Showing posts from August, 2014

Phantom of the Paradise

You can hear about a movie dozens of times before you ever get around to seeing it. This is especially true of films that are tiny cult movies, and hard to track down. My high school weekends were spent watching, sometimes over and over again, that granddaddy of all cult movies, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” But there's a film that pre-dates Rocky by a year that deserves to have just as much attention as it has, a film that I had often read about in tiny snippets online, but never had the chance to see. That film is 1974's “Phantom of the Paradise.”
"Phantom of the Paradise" is one of those unique films that Hollywood studios used to be wiling to spend money on. It was, in many ways, destined to become a cult classic. Now is a perfect time for the film to be discovered by new fans. I first saw “Phantom” earlier this year, when my curiosity required the rental of the film from iTunes--something I do only when I can't resist seeing a particularly hard to f…

A Letter to my Sixteen Year Old Self

School is back in session, one of my cousins is entering the 10th grade and changing schools all at the same time. The Sophomore was so nervous, so scared, so anxious, that on their first day of school they were visibly shaking. My heart sank when I was told of this, and I thought back to myself at that age, and my general experiences about high school—which weren't great, as I've talked about before. With that in mind, this week's column is going to be something different. This week I'd like to offer a letter to my sixteen year old self.
Dear Andy,
This is future Andy, the future is not all too different from where you are now. Everything is not covered in chrome, and we still have not invented a flying car. No clue if they are working on that, it's almost 2015 and hover boards are not a thing yet either. You're getting ready to start your second year of high school, let's talk about that, and being sixteen for a moment. Sixteen is such an interesting y…

The Art of the Mixtape

It's something I began to notice last year, I was at Staples in order buy supplies for my annual Christmas mix CD extravaganza, but something was wrong. Staples didn't have my go to brand of blank discs that I had used for years, the music CD-R discs made by Sony. After picking up the cases and paper insert blanks, I then swung by Walgreens, who always had the Sony discs in stock. They too were out of them, and that's when I realized that perhaps Sony had ceased to manufacture the blank discs for music.
I was saddened to see my favorite brand of blank discs seemingly unavailable. Instead, I found a set of music blanks made by Memorex. The Memorex discs worked fine, but it still made me think about something that is a sad fact of our increasingly digital world. The shrinking art of the mixtape. Call it what you want, a mixtape made on an actual cassette tape, or a mix disc made on a CD, but as we all fall in love with sharing Spotify playlists with one another, there&#…

The Fine Art of Spite Showering

My friend Emily was going to be out of town for a week. The week before her trip, she sent me a message over Facebook asking if I would keep an eye out on the house for her. Feed her cat, Muffin, and make sure that things were generally decent looking and that no marauders had invaded. Emily lives not too far from a walking path I use regularly as part of my whole “hey, let's stop eating pizza and be active” initiative. So it would be easy to just swing on by after my walks.
As the week began things were fine at Emily's pad. I would go on my walks, listen to my podcasts, then pop in and check on things. I'd sit for a while, pet Muffin, feed him, then leave without my presence being known. The entire cycle would repeat for the next few days. As my weekend approached, and I had a full bill of shows to do at the theater I haunt, I asked Emily if she would mind if I brought my weekend bag and took a shower at her place between my walk and heading straight to the theater.