Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Eldorado Space Machine

As you all know by now the great Dr. and I are trying to hunt down engineers and mechanics to help us put the Space Caddy back together.  Now don't get me wrong,  we are having quite the trip here on Earth and are diggin' the groove here in the City of Angels.  It seems our crash landing here over a year and half ago has left our cosmic cruiser in quite a bad way.  Our mission, to bring the hip and funktastic back to our home planet and save our people, is being curtailed by the lack of technology and suitable parts for our "Big Red" machine.  So in an effort to restore the Caddy, I've gone back to the Professor for help on original equipment and a quick break down on our fine ride:

 Dear Mr. World,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to give you some information on my 1985 Eldorado.  1985 was the last year that General Motors made this Classic style of Eldorado.  They only made 2000 convertibles which they shipped to American Coach to convert.  After that they went to a short "stubby" version of the Eldorado for a few years and then discontinued it altogether.  This was the classic style "E" body.  This was a shorter version than previous models with more interior room.  Every option was included from the power antenna to the automatic trunk release.  It had an HT 4100 engine with approximately 150 hp.  Cadillac was into fuel economy rather than speed.  It will get you anywhere you want to go in the city and is great on the highways.  It is truly built for comfort and not speed but if someone wanted it to go faster, they could easily drop in a GM 350 engine and smoke the tires.  The all leather interior and a decent sound system for the era makes for a great late night cruiser. Cadillac only made three colors:  red, white and blue with a white convertible top.  In all, it is a wonderful classic car that turns heads when driving down the road wherever it goes.  Of course you know how unsafe it is to discuss how I acquired this classic ride and the alterations you and I made for time travel.  If you need a list of parts or calibrations we'll have to do that off the grid my good friend.  You and the Doc will get back safe and sound, I have no worries. 

-The Professor

Thank you Professor.  We'll be in touch soon.  As for the Doc and I, we just got wind of our East Coast representation landin' safely in the Big Apple.  He has "the keys to the castle" when it comes to fixing the bad, rad Cad and fuelin' us up with enough cool to take the world to school.  That being said, we're still calling out to the people for help.  We need gear heads, space nerds, machinists, a rag man, and a 'whole lotta love' to see this mission come to fruition.

In the mean time, we'll keep ya'll hip on the scene if ya know what I mean.  Just keep your eyes wide and your ears clean...

-Mr. World
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Friday, July 23, 2010

The Professor and Moby Grape

The Professor
It's hard to keep on speaking out to the peeps without mentioning the man responsible for our mission and the reason Dominguez and I can so easily cut straight to the cool.  Now when we left our planet in the Space Caddy it was 1984 here on Earth.  We had a bit of time out there in the cosmos to study The Teachings of The Professor, it was his personal catalogue of books, music, and film...it made up over 60 years of intensive study. 

 The Professor, a.k.a. T.L. or Big Fish, likes to fly low 'cause he's one of the last remaining soldiers of his generation and has his P.H.D. in celluloid and rock 'n roll.  You see, he was able to read the writing on the wall way before it all went down back home.  He tried to pass onto me all the love he had for the sounds and images that make the world...any world that is...go 'round.  But we were runnin' outta time ya dig.  The evil oppressor was startin' to pull all the strings behind the curtain.  The Professor knew if he didn't pack us up in his Vintage Space Ride and send us off with The Teachings that the whole universe might fall into some kind of drone like existence - a sheep herder's paradise, a Jonas bros. highway to hell without the influences of art history.  So Dominguez and I set the dial for Hollywood, CA knowing it would take over 26 years to get here.  What we thought would be an impossible mission has turned out to be a monumental adventure.  All Dominguez and I have done is join a united front that is already reppin' the fresh and the cool.

So in honor of The Professor I give you Moby Grape.  One of his all time favorites and one of the most obscure rock bands to come out of the Haight/Ashbury district in the late sixties.  They had all the pieces: Jerry Miller, Don Stevenson, Peter Lewis, Bob Mosley, and the immortal Alexander Lee "Skip" Spence, a rock enigma who's story cannot be told in less than 16 chapters.  His guitar playing and song writing are historic but his personal struggles were both tragic and legendary.  It is rumoured the day after his release from a six month stint in Bellevue Mental Hospital, where he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic, he rode his motorcycle dressed in his pajamas strait to Nashville to record the incredibly hard to understand solo album, Oar.  There are also rumors of Skip's LSD trips in NYC leading to Shining-esque fire axe episodes in classy hotels.  But enough about the Skip man for now.


Moby Grape - Wow Album Cove
Moby Grape was not just another acid fueled, love fest band from San Francisco.  They had three electrics blasting away, gritty but with some southern melodies as well.  5 guys writing, singing and contributing.  Their debut album is on a thousand top 100 must own lists.  If you dig on some Doobies, Allmans, and The Black Crowes you can hear some Moby Grape in there somewhere.  Songs like "Omaha", "8:05", and "Hey Grandma" are critical favorites but as I learned from the Professor "Motorcycle Irene" and "I Am Not Willin" is Moby Grape at the peak of their game and the apex of Sixties Rock 'n Roll! 

If you are a collector, and can find it, pick up Wow and Grape Jam (simultaneously released but separately packaged full length vinyls).  If you're just a curios cat then at least download "Murder In My Heart For The Judge" and for God's sake "Motorcycle Irene"...Can ya dig it?

-Mr. World


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Friday, July 16, 2010

Cosmic Trigger - NoHo, California

I am cooling out in the Cyber Garage with Dr. Dominguez priming the paint on the Space Caddy when I get a call from the Venezuelan Hippie, Joel.  Now this cat stacks more vinyl then any dude I know and he knows I'm always on the hunt for the hip, the cool, and the funktastic.  So we get right into rapping about his crazy night at the Viper Room, a classic joint and a highlight on the  Sunset Strip.

Now the Venezuelan is always high energy but this time I can feel him smiling through the phone and pacing around his living room like a shorty that has to go wee wee.  He starts breaking down this band that was second billing that night, Cosmic Trigger.  Joel says, "Mr. World these guys were tight...crazy good...you gotta check 'em out...shoulda been top bill!"

So knowing that the Hippie is always feeling the Vibe and plays it cool, I agree to hit the scene and check out these "Cosmic" rockers.  Dominguez gives me the nod, 'cause he's always down, and we decide to load up the Latin Vampires from Portland, cool laptop lovin' twins who prefer the chill of the dark, for a show out on the Coast at the Trip Club: http://www.tripsantamonica.com/

The Trip is quite a stroll from the bright neon of Hollywood so my crew was feeling nice and groovy by the time we roll up.  Man what a spot and wow what a band!  The venue was perfect and Cosmic Trigger brought it just like Joel said they would.  The four piece band is made up of Taylor Wade on the drums, Andy Lutzka on lead guitar, Joe Costello on bass, and Patrick Little is their front man on the mic.  These cats were like a runaway freight train, once they got rolling they couldn't be stopped.  My crew was feelin' it all the way.  Cosmic is Indie rock fusion with hints of Grunge, Ska, and Reggae.  I haven't seen a live show of that intensity for some time now.  Taylor and Joe keep driving home the pace, and it's fast man, while Andy Lutzka and Patrick riff off each other like they've played a hundred shows.  With a thousand poser rock bands within a stone's throw it's an amazing feat considering how long they've been together and their first studio album hasn't come out yet.  The guys say they "want to revive the Strip...bring real, gritty rock back".  I believe they can do it. 

Look for big things from this band in the future and check them out at the Cat Club on the 29th of this month if you are in the L.A. area.  Dominguez and I will keep the Cosmos hip to their new gigs and their new album. 


-Mr. World


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Friday, July 9, 2010

Funkadelic - Maggot Brain

Cover of Cover of Maggot Brain
In a studio in Hollywood, CA I met up this crazy vato by the name of Milton Carrillo.  I thought my musicology hard drive was full until I met this funk fiend from The Valley.  The tree trunk from down under, Sam, said if you want to put sound to your film this is the man.  So Carrillo and I started rapping about old school R&B, Rock, and all the jams I was groovin' to in the space Cadillac on the way down here.  This cat blew my mind, he started spinnin' Dub Reggae, Electronics, and best of all Old School Funk!

So, thanks to my Mexican brother from another mother I would like to lay down my thoughts on Funkadelic's must own (preferably on vinyl) Maggot Brain.  In the mid-sixties George Clinton was starting to put together the mega group that would later be known as Parliament Funkadelic.  So before P-Funk gravitated towards their famous mix of electronic/R&B sound of the late seventies and early eighties, Funkadelic was bringing the soul and psychedelics out of the sixties movement.

The band was based out of Detroit in 1968 and the their third album, Maggot Brain, was laid down in 1971.  The classic group consisted of Billy Bass Nelson, guitarist Tawl Ross, drummer Tiki Fulwood, and most notably lead guitarist Eddie Hazel.  Hazel's opening nine minute solo on the first track of the album can easily hold water with Hendrix, Townshend, and Clapton.  The album then explodes with classic pop tracks like "Can you get to that" and "Hit It and Quit It".  With the help and backing of the Parliament singers, who went unaccredited for most of Funkadelic's run due to contractual conflicts, Maggot Brain is a masterpiece of fusion: Funk, Pop, Soul, and Psychodelic Rock.

Unfortunately after the recording of Maggot Brain Funkadelic fell apart.  Eddie Hazel, who may go down as one of the most underrated rock guitarist of all time, left the band and rumor has it Tawl Ross went on a bad trip or became a speed freak (that stuff will get ya man).  Leave it to George Clinton though, the musical genius, to completely rebuild and set the world on fire again with a new sound and a new band.  In my opinion owning Maggot Brain is like owning a little piece of music history.  That is why I'm puttin' in the trunk of the space Caddy before Dominguez and I ship out.  Thanks Carrillo...you the man!  R.I.P. Garry Shider.
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Monday, July 5, 2010

Barfly

Sometimes in order to appreciate the present we have to look to the past.  I've decided to reset an American classic from 1987.  When Mickey Rourke first appeared on the screen as Henry Chenaski in the film Barfly the acclaim was instantaneous.  Chenaski, an alcoholic and poetic train wreck, is based on an autobiographical character created and featured in many works by writer Charles BukowskiThe setting is the late seventies Hollywood dive bar scene.  It's a filthy, colorless, and accurate portrayal of the Boulevard at the time...not that much has changed except the sushi joints and condos.  

Award winning Director Barbet Shroeder got dark, incredible performances out of Rourke and his costar Faye Dunaway.  The two of them find perfect compatibility in scotch and carelessness.  So convincing was Rourke as Chenaski it would be hard to believe he wasn't drinking and sleeping in an alley somewhere near the production.  In the midst of the depression and addiction of the characters the comedy comes early and often.  Rourke's fist fights with Frank Stallone's character Eddie in the alley are epic.

To understand Mickey's award winning performance in Aronofsky's The Wrestler, Barfly is a must see and a great find on DVD for the true Rourke fan.  Films like Factotum, Leaving Las Vegas, and Affliction can all thank Barfly, Bukowski, and Rourke for opening the door. 
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