From the monthly archives:

July 2009

spalko-tramp-stamp
“Vhy yes, Dr. Jones. My tramp stamp IZ a profile of Lenin. You have problem vith this?”

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I read about this recent Indiana Jones Marathon in Santa Monica (Appropriate since Harrison Ford has his own private hangar at the Santa Monica airport,) and was pleasantly surprised when, unbeknownst to me, my friend Sean not only attended but took the time to send me a photo he snuck of one of the sacred movie prop relics on display. He also wrote to describe the event and although Harry didn’t how up and start whipping the front row screaming “Get a life, would you people? It’s just a movie!”, I thought I’d share this pentultimate popular culture experience here on PITF.

“Dave – The picture below I took for you for you because you couldn’t be there to join in. I spent 7 hours in a seat watching Indy 1 through 3 last night at the Aero Theater here in Santa Monica. Just out of camera range below this was the broken stone tablet prop and matching shield from Indy 3 that tells Indy how to get to Alexandretta.

staff-of-ra-propIn this picture is the actual Staff of Ra headpiece prop used in the shot in the “Well of Souls” when Indy puts the staff into the correct slot and the beam of light hits the resting place of the ark. The gem in the middle of this piece is actually amber in color but was colored red in the editing because a red gem didn’t show well in the original shot. (if you watch the original film cut, the jewel is red at first, then as it seats, is amber for a spit second as the light hits it and then is red again) The larger version that Marion wears as a medallion in Nepal and then is later examined by the wise man in the “bad dates” scene is about a third larger than this one and is now on display at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

This is the piece they also shot a green laser through to define the SFX beam on the floor model of Tanis . Then they enhanced the laser to an amber color as the glowing sun beam that blinds the audience when Indy locates the spot where the ark is buried. It is owned by Richard Edlund , the VFX supervisor for Indy 1. Edlund was one of the guests at the showing.

Rumor has it that this same headpiece once resided on Lucas’ mantelpiece along with the Mercedes Benz truck ornament that Indy snapped off the truck in the famous “out-the-windshield” scene at the Skywalker Ranch until he gave it to Edlund as a birthday present years later when he retired from the day to day business at ILM .

Fortune & glory, kid. Fortune & glory. – Sean”

Coincidently I recently forced several uninitiated folk to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time a few weeks ago (young ‘uns. Go figure). Unless I was being completely messed with – they were blown away and could not believe they’d wasted their lives so far watching summer movie tripe like Transformers. It felt good. My ridiculously large DVD collection and I will always be here for the youth of Ontario.

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What do you get when you cross Nasty Nas, the Beastie Boys and a supermarket? Why, the Boys’ first new track in 4 years, of course!

Adam Yauch underwent surgery to battle throat cancer yesterday and I for one want to wish him the very best of luck as he, Horowitz and Diamond have brought me bucketloads of musical joy over the years. There is a great retrospective of Adam’s more memorable contributions to pop culture at Mic to Mic.

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This isn’t my list of all-time “golden age” favorites. That collection would include at least a few timeless gems that you probably have on your own iPods. What I’m doing here today is some serious brain-wracking and crate digging. I was massively into hip hop during this period and my references run deep. Here are 10 rap tunes from the art form’s greatest era which will hopefully bring a smile to your face – and possibly have you doing the running man down memory lane.

10. Fu-Schnickens – “La Schmoove


I far prefer their song Ring the Alarm, but had to choose this video for two reasons – First, Phife Dawg is in it. Second, the light skin guy who raps at the end’s dancing used to crack me up whenever I’d watch this back in the day. Chip-Fu, on the other hand was an amazing MC and I’d definitely like to know what happened to him. Hopefully he still has nuttin’ to prove.

9. ATCQ and LONS – “Scenario Remix


This B-side never had a video but someone’s taken the time to put it on YT and I’m obviously not the only person who thought this song was as good or better than anything on The Low-End Theory (which everyone knows is a classic record). I remember the first rapper on the track, Hood, was supposed to be A Tribe Called Quest’s hot new protege but was shot to death shortly after this was recorded. Too bad because the kid was good.

8. Leaders of the New School – “What’s Next?”


I remember this grossly underrated song had an actual video (I had it recorded on a well-worn Yo! MTV Raps VHS) but could only find this live performance from Arsenio. It’s fun to watch, but the intricate funkiness of the backing track is lost. Have a listen to it here to get a better idea – amazing production. I only had said video tape when I started my second year at Guelph University in 1994 as the CD wasn’t released before my usual summer in Boston was over. I was obsessed with this song, and bombarded my dorm mates with it for the entire month of September that year. You’re welcome.

7. Souls of Mischief – “Make Your Mind Up


I used to consider the album this song is from, 93 Till Infinity, to be the Sergeant Pepper or Pet Sounds of hip hop. Although in retrospect that vanguard obviously has to go to Paul’s Boutique. Regardless, every song on this record was amazing and I still listen to it frequently. It was hard to select a favorite track, but I finally settled on this one. A rare example of a hip hop record which is comprehensively solid from beginning to end – rap fans know what I’m talking about. If you like this tune watch the video for That’s When Ya Lost and the title track.

6. Organized Konfusion – “Who Stole my Last Piece of Chicken?”


From the Richard Pryor samples to the “days of wayback” lyrical reminisces to the ridiculously funky drum beat – this song is definitely a 90’s sleeper worthy of rediscovery. Most rappers with 2 or more albums have a “this is what I did when I was a kid” song in their repertoire, but this is by far the best of them. The video is as humorous as the song, and I’ve never forgotten the animated chicken dancing on the record label or the fat kid sucking on the chicken bone. It still makes me hungry, too.

God how I miss you, 1990’s hip hop. You were very, very good to us and I’m confident that the reason I think rap today is putrid gutter-slime covered in rat shit is not because I’m old, but because it’s putrid gutter-slime covered in rat shit. This was my own personal list of forgotten 90’s rap songs and I’d love to hear about some of yours in the comments below. Stay tuned for part 2 coming next week, homies.

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Jeff-Kepner
Jeff Kepner, the World’s first double hand transplant recipient, wondered why his new left index finger smelled like two-day-old halibut.

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What I’m glad to be rid of for a few months are the rude, aggressive drunks that plague this city every summer.

On December 14th, 2004, I wrote a heartfelt post about Boston’s homeless. “Heartfelt” is a bit of a stretch, actually. “Evil” would be a far more appropriate word. It seems a tad insensitive in hindsight, but that’s easy to say when you’re as far removed from life in the Hub as I now find myself. When you live downtown your suburban, ‘We are the World’ sensibilities are quickly worn away by endless begging, an omnipotent urine stench and constant verbal abuse from disappointed drunkards. I had a hard time scolding myself when reading this back today and will have to stand by my opinions at the time. Besides, it’s still pretty frickin’ funny.

homeless-guys-dog
“I sure am gonna miss you, Marmaduke, but it’s not every day you find half a bottle of A1 and a rusty hibachi in the same dumpster.”

Was that too much? Perhaps. There’s no denying the fact that Boston has a serious problem for such a small, tourist-friendly city. I’d rather all these folks were fed, warm and employed somewhere, obviously. Until that day I’ll have to continue to never give them money… and eventually die of a head wound from an airborne shopping cart.

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From soft, delicate songs that smell of peace and conjure haze to excellent rock numbers that straddle the line between convention and invention, this is a dynamic first record with wide appeal. – Hour.ca

A friend of mine shared this video and song via Facebook with me today, and it immediately caught my attention. Let me rephrase that – the keyboards immediately caught my attention. Since the demise of the Manchester scene in the early 90’s you don’t hear them nearly enough in my opinion. David Martel is about as far away from the Inspiral Carpets or Charlatans as you can get, but someone in that band is definitely tickling some serious ivory/plastic. He’s also strapped with a female backup singer and an instrument collection that might even impress The Doves.

david-martel
“Sure I’ll sign the CD for you – as long as you promise never to break into my apartment again.”

So who is David Martel? Well, my friend went to high school with him and didn’t have a clue that he was quickly becoming a reasonably successful Canadian musician until earlier today. Might have something to do with the collection of Whitesnake cassettes in her truck. The music press up here have definitely heard of him though, and they likey.


David Martel’s “End of Self”

You don’t often hear banjo and accordion placed within a Brit rock-style setting, but they are used effectively. Strings, trumpet, glockenspiel, flute and harmonium further contribute to the widescreen orch pop sound of many of the tracks. This is certainly a promising beginning. – Exclaim.ca

I’ve seen him compared to Coldplay and Snow Patrol several times during my research today, but don’t let that dissuede you. Have a listen to “End of Self” and tell me what you think. It really stood out for me, and unfortunately that’s a rare thing these days. Then again, I might just need a hearing aid.

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obama-booty-peek
“Now listen, Richard, when we get back on board Air Force One it’s absolutely imperative that you… that you… IF… YOU… ain’t got no booty then you gotta go home… But if you got a booty shawty show me yo thong… Keep rockin’ that ass, trick pass the Patron… oh Jesus, what was I just talking about?”

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Veekend Video: Snatch Wars

by Dave on July 12, 2009

in Movies,Veekend Video

Forwarding viral videos isn’t really my thing, so when I make an exception you can be sure I’m either incredibly technically impressed or have just recovered from an incapacitating 20 minute gut-wrenching belly laugh. This afternoon I was the victim of a little of both – stop what you’re doing and watch this.

Guy Ritchie’s Snatch (not to be confused with Madonna) is on my top 10 list of favorite movies, ever. Frequently when it comes up in conversation I am asked “Yeah, but have you seen Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels?” To which I usually reply with one of the following:

  1. “No, Ebert. I’ve been living under a rock for the last 10 years and actually don’t have a huge, all-encompassing obsession with British gangster movies. Please enlighten me.”
  2. “Yes, I stumbled across it last week while perusing your awesome and eclectic movie collection. It was right between Gladiator and Top Gun.”
  3. “Go fuck yourself immediately.”

Snatch is by far the superior movie, and someone with an appreciation for the vocabulary of lead villain “Bricktop” comparable to my own has created a brilliant mashup using footage from Star Wars. Darth Vader’s dialogue is substituted for that of Bricktop and incredible hilarity ensues. For the love of God, do yourself a favor and enjoy this masterpiece:


“You stop me again while I’m walking and I’ll cut your fucking jacobs off”

The marriage of specific scenes with dialogue is incredible, and you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Vader choke one of his Imperial underlings and then call them a “cunt” for good measure. He also appears to have a penchant for tea which I didn’t know about. What did you think?

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eighties

Pye in the Face turned 5 years old last month and there is a wealth of over 2000 posts from those first 60 months, some of them worthy of a second look, gathering dust. Don’t I sound like the proud papa? I found a plugin that automatically regurgitates old posts at random, but that seemed like cheating. Every Thursday I am going to manually reach back in time, dig in the crates and link you back to one or more posts you may have missed the first time. Or blocked out with the help of a capable therapist.

Our first trip through the Stargate/Pyegate/Nerdgate will revisit one of my most popular posts ever in terms of page views, comments and (to this day) search engine traffic. My best 80’s songs post from October, 2004 saw me thinking long and hard about my 10 very favorite tunes from that ridiculous decade. Upon rereading it, it holds up and I still wouldn’t change a thing.

The coolest incident which resulted from this post was that I was contacted by a member of one of the bands I heralded – namely, Drew Arnott from Strange Advance. He found the article via Google and cleared up some of the facts I’d gotten wrong. Follow the link to read our back and forth.

Step back in time. Get all “Bill & Ted”. Have a look at the list of 80’s tunes which I agonized over for a couple of days and then share your own favorites in the comments.

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Let’s “face” it – since the mass influx of Facebook into our collective worlds, having a blog isn’t such a big deal anymore. Maybe it never was to anyone with a girlfriend. Likewise, having a Flickr account isn’t such a big deal anymore. Making an Evite seems like an enormous extra step. Why would you join an old-fashioned forum when you can just search for a related group? It’s an incredible, incredible (I hate to say the word) phenomenon the likes of which we won’t see again for a long time.

That having been said I know there are a lot of readers, or former readers, I might just win back one day when I increase the frequency of my posting who do not use FB and definitely never will. I was reminded of this last week when I received an email from my buddy Taz in Germany to let me know that 5 years after the last time I saw him in person – he’s still reading regularly, and what am I up to? That got me thinking. Got me optimistic and inspired. Tingly in the pants.

The first step of my long-overdue comeback will be to update my galleries – exported from Facebook using an incredible WordPress plugin which is probably my favorite add-on of all time. I pray that Mr. Harp never stops updating and evolving this wonderful tool and I encourage you to donate some money if you end up using it. I have, and I may again someday. On to the galleries…

  • Mobile Uploads: These are photos I take with my iPhone. Possibly through your bedroom window. Keep an eye on this one.
  • Summer is Upon Us: Miscellaneous photos not falling on big holiday weekends. Lots of unfortunate evidence from Duck’s Roadhouse.
  • Bonnie’s Memorial Weekend: We sent Mom off in style and over 100 people traveled from as far away as Florida to wish her a fitting bon voyage.
  • Straight Outta Storage: Whilst going through my parent’s things I’ve found a treasure trove of funny family photos. I be scanning and yes, there are bathtub photos for the pedophile crowd.
  • April Flowers: Includes my attempt at a St. Patrick’s Day party and shots of the brand new man-cave in use for the first time.
  • Canada Day 2009: Half the fam-damily joined me for fireworks and lots of silly fun and silliness.
  • July 4th 2009: Jason and Jim came up for a weekend of Canadian revelry and brought more duty free vodka with them than I’ve ever seen in one place.
  • Kim and Gooch’s Wedding : People told me I had a good time. Congrats to the happy couple and thanks for the skidoo.

That’s my last 4 months or so in pictures, and I sincerely hope you enjoy them. It’s been a wonderful summer so far, and if you’re a friend of mine I seriously encourage you to drop me a line and come up for a visit. If you have any questions, comments or the number of a good rehab facility – please leave them below.

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Pixie Pye’s Silly Video Debut

by Dave on July 2, 2009

in Animalistic

It’s been delayed far too long. I’ve fawned over her, discussed her and even posted Boston Terrier photos of my wonderful new familial addition – the lovely and talented Pixie Pye. You have yet, however, to see a video of my cute little water weasel. So with no further ado…


Strictly snappin’ necks.

And you thought Shep and Rhuby liked to do the head-tilt thing. Pixie is almost able to pull off a full Linda Blair. What do you think? Is she the cutest thing ever, or the probable result of a mad scientist crossing a Mogwai with a retarded bullfrog? I’ll let you be the judge.

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