26 Dec 2009

Sob Story



Was watching Bridge To Treabithia today. A family/kids film seeemingly perfect for boxing day and sore belly that comes with it.

Its a pretty basic tale of a boy and girl who are outsiders at their school but find a release for their imaginations and fears in woods near their home by inventing a new world of creatures and adventure called Terabithia.

So, anyway, its all going along nicely when the boys music teacher asks if he wants to visit a local museum. As he fancys her he doesn't invite the girl. On his return he finds that she has died after falling into the stream which borders Terabithia. Cue me starting to cry!!! No idea why but got very emotional. I did not see that one coming and it really got me in my lady-genes. Not that good a film really but what does that matter when it does such a job on the viewer.

Ho ho ho.

25 Dec 2009

Oh No She Didn't



Woke up this morning to hear a yound lady rugby tackled ex-Nazi Youth member, Pope Benny the Dick. Tremendous.

Merry xmas y'all.

21 Dec 2009

Love And Death



This may be my favourite Woody Allen film. Love And Death is a homage and send up of the epic Russian literature of the like of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy. You don't know anything literature? Neither do I and most people who have seen this but its make no difference. This is laugh out loud from beginning to end.

Allen is the odd one out in a world of glorious Russian stereotypes and Napoleon's invasion of the Motherland. We see him first as a small boy struggling with the contradictions of religon and patriarchy before he blossoms into a young man...struggling with the contradictions of religon and patriarchy but mostly war and his love for his cousin, Diane Keaton.

The on-screen interaction between Keaton and Allen leaps forward from Sleeper they slip between farce, epic monologues and lyrical waltz's with ease. The film again looks great while the score is dominated by bouncy Russian classics.

Love And Death was the last hurrah (for a while) of the carefree gags of Allen's youthful output. While Anne Hall still has them they are tightly bound up in that film's leap forward into a more mature and introspective vision. So find and watch Love And Deathso get a taste of what real comedy can be.

The trailer below is not the best quality so sorry about that. However, it still gives a good taste of the film. An even better sample is the clip which is much better quality and shows off the perfect balance of Love And Death between Allen's roots in absurdism, the developing on screen relationship with Diane Keaton and the ingenius philosophical comical lyricism which came to dominate his future productions.



19 Dec 2009

Sleeper



Sleeper continues where Play It Again Sam left off. Woody Allen and Diane Keaton again star together and its one liners, sight gags and even more of a double act.

Allen plays an unfortunate jazz musician (and health food owner) who goes in for a routine operation in 1973 and after complications gets frozen and then dug up 200 years laters in an America which is now a futuristic police state.

Untraceable, the revolutionary underground ask Allen to help them in the bid to topple The Leader. Soon he is on the run and seeks the help of vacuous socialite Diane Keaton. And on it goes in that form as their love grows despite of their comedic efforts to break loose of the state and the underground.

This is a brilliant film. Its very very funny. The inter-play between Allen and Keaton is effortless. The vision of the future is suitabley nihilistic. The score is superb collection of ragtime jazz. So many great moments I cannot list them but do give the jazz score some justice I have included an hysterical scene below where the hungry fugitive Allen breaks into a farm of the future to steal giant fruit and veg. Be careful of banana skins.



16 Dec 2009

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)



Next is a film which really should be the definition of a sex comedy, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask).

Woody Allen's adaptation of a best selling sex manual is a series of short stories or vignettes, if you would prefer, featuring Woody Allen in various roles, John Carradine, Anthony Quayle and Lynn Redgrave and Gene Wilder.

The stories all cover various sexual quirks, perversions, temptations and discharges:

1. Do Aphrodisiacs Work?
In which a court jester gives a love potion to a Queen but is foiled by her chastity belt. There are references to Shakespeare's Hamlet throughout.
2. What is Sodomy?
In which a doctor falls in love with the partner of an Armenian patient. His sheep.
3. Why Do Some Women Have Trouble Reaching an Orgasm?
About a woman who can only reach orgasm in public. Allen's homage to Italian film-making in general and Casanova 70, Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini in particular.
4. Are Transvestites Homosexuals?
In which a middle-aged married man experiments with women's clothes.
5. What Are Sex Perverts?
Which features a parody of the game show What's My Line? called What's My Perversion? After the panel fail to guess that the contestant's perversion is "Likes to expose himself on a subway", a second segment of the show is presented, in which a rabbi gets to act out his bondage and humiliation fantasy.
6. Are the Findings of Doctors and Clinics Who Do Sexual Research and Experiments Accurate?
In which a researcher and journalist visit a sexual scientist. After they see a series of bizarre sexual experiments underway at the lab and realize the scientist is insane. The segment culminates with a scene in which the countryside is terrorized by a giant runaway breast created by the researcher.
7. What Happens During Ejaculation?
Which is set in a man's brain (and other parts of the body)m a la the beano's numbskulls, as he gets involved in a sexual clinch. We see the NASA-like control center in the man's brain (headed by Tony Randall and Burt Reynolds) and see the soldier-like sperm as they are dispatched paratrooper-style into the great unknown.

This film was very successful at the time but I think it is the weakest of his 1970s output. It's not just that so many of the jokes are from a seventies time-capsual of outdated sexual preconceptions, but some of the stories peeter out a little.

But it's still a gag-fest and all of Allen's characters are perfectly played. The best story? Well the Gene Wilder sheep-love tale one is played so straight its hard to tell if you want to laugh or cry. However, the inner workings of mans body during courtship, seduction and intercourse, steals it. Especially when the black sperm turns up!



Allen the Jester seduces the queen.....

14 Dec 2009

Play It Again Sam



After Bananas Woody Allen's next comedy classic was Play It Again Sam which he wrote but did not direct. This was his first film with Diane Keaton who would go on to co-star in six other Allen movies.

While the the physical and verbal gags still come pretty fast in Play It Again Sam I think its main difference is that the relationship between Allen and his love interest (Keaton in this instance) was more central to the plot rather than a series of sketches that dominated Allen's earlier output.

Allen plays another neurotic loser whose wife has left him and broken his fragile spirit in the process. Allen's best friends, Keaton and the brilliant Tony Roberts, try to help him out his lonely depression by getting him back into world of dating. Cue lots of clowning around on dates and lashings of self-depreciating humour from Allen while he also invokes the spirit of Humphrey Bogart to help him 'be a man.'

Slowly Allen and Keaton's characters fall for one another and the plot thickens....

Again I really enjoy this film whenever I see it. His self-diagnosis of having 'homosexual panic' is brilliant as well as his futile attempts to sweep an array of women of their feet.

I've included the trailer below and a scene from one of his dates when poor Allen gets all confused about what she wants. A very 1970s scene and not really a scene that would make it intact nowadays but I thnk Allen's face during the girls monologue his hysterical.



13 Dec 2009

Bananas



Woody Allen's third full feature as a director was Bananas. Very much in same mould as Take The Money And Run its one liners and visual gags come at you like a tornado.

Bananas tells the story of Fielding Mellish, a loser working as a product tester who is searching for his calling and some lady action. Desparate to impress a sexy young political activist Mellish heads to Central America to dip his toe into the country's revolutionary turmoil. Eventually he ends up in the leadership of the guerilla forces and becomes President following their successful insurrection.

No worries, this is more Groucho Marx than Karl Marx, as the politics are ridiculous and its all about Woody Allen trying to use his situation to win back the girl. Its funnier than Take The Money And Run with a successful joke ratio of about 88%. Highlights are Mellish helping his parents with some surgery, an uncredited Slyvester Stallone beating up Mellish on the subway and the final court room scene where Woody Allen represents and questions himself. Personally I love the sketch where Allen is asked to secure food supplies for the rebels and ends up in ordering sandwiches in a local deli.

At 85 mins its a lean, mean comedy machine.



This scene is from the beginning of the film and his Allen's loser character trying to buy porno mags in a busy magazine store.

11 Dec 2009

Take The Money And Run



Was chatting to Shatbass and Jaconelli in the workplace the other day and was really sad to hear that Shatbass had not seen any of Woody Allen's early output. So sad and a yes I am patronising.

But I thought it would be nice to have a Woody Allen theme for the next few posts and cover his output up to Manhattan.

Take The Money And Run was Allen's directorial debut and is a fabulously fake documentary about a notorious criminal who is totally hapless and destined for failure. The film is a blueprint for his 70s output with its extremely heavy doses of one liners, slapstick and sight gags. In this they come at a 100 mph and while not all them hit the mark its extremely close to Allen's stand up routines.

Highlights include Allen's character playing in a marching band armed with a cello and chair, his courtship of his wife and prison exploits. Below is the trailer.



Youtube had a small selection of clips but this is one of the ones I was hoping for. An example of Allen's twisted humour as Virgil desparately tries to rob a bank but none of the tellers can decide what his note says.

8 Dec 2009

Miss Dolly & The Silver Lion



Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers that is. Was flicking in a digital style thru my country christmas orientated tunes and was reminded that this track was meant to close my comp last year. I even went to the trouble of fading it at the end and cutting about a minute of children singing "I believe in Santa Claus" along with with Dolly and Kenny. But like I said before I just do not think its either alternative, ironic or bare-able enough to use.

So like a piece of peeling skin I other it as a cut price pressie this Xmas period.

dolly parton & kenny rogers - I Believe in Santa Claus (edit)

6 Dec 2009

Help The Hag This Christmas



Jeezo and I thought I was a little grumpy this time of year. Thanks Merle for making me feel like Timmy Mallet compared to youself.

Merle Haggard - If We Make It Through December

5 Dec 2009

Who Is That Ugly Old Woman Shrieking?



Oh, its Rod fookin Stewart. I hate Rod fookin Stewart.

Its not just that he looked like an old woman when he was 21 and its not that he looks like an old croan today. Its that...plus the fact he is a cockney git who pretends to more Scottish that horizontal sleet, plus every west of scotland family seems obsessed with his old woman arse shaking...plus my upstairs neighbour is watching his pishy ITV special and playing it full volume.

I am currently sitting on the sofa listening to my xmas mix to chill out, watching a muted Enemy At The Gates and occasionally shouting "Rod Stewart Sucks!!!" at the top of my voice.

I think I need to get some Squarepusher out.

Country Christmas



I would like to thank y'all for the positive feedback for the 2009 Xmas mix. There has been a couple of "best yet" reviews as well as few "Bob Dylan!!!" comments.

Well I thought that for the rest of December I would put up a few tracks which would not normally reach the annual comp. These will probably be country christmas tracks cause although I know I could get away with one or maybe two of them, they can be to much of an acquired sound and one whose novelty quickly wears off.

I have started with a beautifully sung track from Gram Parsons collaborator, Emmy Lou Harris. If the Cohen brothers made an xmas version of Oh Brother Where Art Thou this would be the title track.

Emmylou Harris - Christmas Time's a-Coming

30 Nov 2009

A New Hope



I stopped watching Family Guy about a season and a bit ago. Its sad addiction to jokes about rape, battering women and basic repetition of all the jokes from the previous six seasons meant that although I will still watch the older episodes, I aint interested in the new stuff.

But there is maybe a wee hope. A New Hope. Below is the trailer for Family Guy's follow up to Blue Harvest and it looks like just as much fun. Hope so.

20 Nov 2009

No Platform



Having some interesting fun at the moment. Noticed that someone in the building had started scribbling 'BNP' and 'Pakis Out' on the walls of our stairwell. Following my involvement in a successful anti-fascist action last weekend (which I will post about soon) I started using a chunky black marker to cover the offending statements.

After a small delay the 'BNP' declarations came back and I continued my sabotage. What I find funny is that the moron writing the grafitti is starting to get a lil' agitated. A few days ago he scrawled 'wa-nk' with an arrow to my black marker stains(I like how he felt the need to specifiy who the wa-nk was...haha). He wote that agin the following day and today he wrote to day 'benefit wa-nk'. I suppose anyone who would be angry at fascist grafitti would have to be on benefits???

Anyhoo, while he has been growing steadily frustrated I am patiently covering up anything he writes. I even bought a black spray can today for swift sweeps. Where is this heading? I dunno but I do not want my home where people visit and a variety of different folk stay to have this poison in the background.

BTW how do i know he is guy? Well its an informed judgement. I would reckon he is young guy, a rangers fan, scared of a society that does not share his fear of difference, ugly and a little ignorant.

Heaven 17 - (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove

19 Nov 2009

It's Here!!!



A year in making my latest Xmas comp has been finished, burned and packaged. Distribution will begin tomorrow and continue as and when I receive/find addresses for my more distant subscribers.

Called Kristmas ****'s Outsider Xmas Mix '09 its a break from previous comps where it was am explosive combo of anything I could scavenge and re-mould from the internet. I think a lot of you wont enjoy it as much as others but its what I wanted to do and isn't that the true meaning of christmas??

I do plan to put up a zip file of the comp as soon as i can find the time to get of my arse and do it. While you await your copy and the digital upload here is a track that never made it...and with good reason.

Kitt The Amazing Card Of Tomorrow - A Knight Rider Christmas

18 Nov 2009

Snap!!!



This is the song that would have been that penultimate epic mood maker track from Planes, Trains & Automobiles if it had been set today. Honestly, listen to it. As soon as I heard it I thought about Steve Martin sitting on that train thining about his highs and lows with John Candy, before suddenly putting together the fact that Candy's wife was dead and then returned to get him and take him home for his first real Thanksgiving in years.

I think I need to watch P, T & A this weekend.

Washed Out - New Theory

28 Oct 2009

X-Tunes (X is for Jesus)



Hohoho. It is that time of year when I watching my wallet slowly empty in face of Mrs Pontiac's large family and their many festive gift requirements. It's also nearly time for fourth xmas compilation, uniquely called, Xmas 2009.

So pre-order now for your free copy. I will probably make it available for download but will also be making CD's. All the usual suspects will be catered for but if you do not consider yourself one of them let us know and I can pass your details to the Pontiac Warehouse.

What's in this years? Well there will be no xmas soul in 2009. Instead I am looking to have a different more crunchy sound, one that suggests walking in freshly fallen snow rather than swallowing sweet creamy soul pie. There will be less comedy tracks but still lots of twisted xmas cracker humour. And of course my favourite tribe will be giving us their take on the Christian Christ Mass.

So I am off to tweek, add and remove from the present line up. Hohoho.

27 Oct 2009

Breaking Bad On Five US



Just saw an advert on Five US that they are beginning to show Breaking Bad from next Tuesday and looks like they are showing the whole of season one as it had been rumoured that they would only show a condensed catchup before going onto season two.

As I think I have mentioned before I would put this series up there on the same level as The Sopranos or Deadwood. Brilliant writing and acting. Dark comedy and real heartbreaking drama. On the edge of your seat moments combined with jaw dropping snaps of violence. Best ongoing series on tv at the moment.

Watch it.

18 Oct 2009

The King Of The Queens



Big than of King Of Queens I am. And one of my favourite characters apart from the always brilliant Jerry Stiller, is Patton Oswalt who plays lovable geekish oath, Spence.

Oswalt is also a stand up comic and I got hold of his most recent release, My Weakness Is Strong. It's not gonna blow you away a la Bill Hicks but I tink its pretty funny and spent most of my lunch hour the other day walking about Glasgow laughing insanely like so many of the city's finest mentals. I have included a skit I really pished myself at.

Patton Oswalt - Orgy

12 Oct 2009

Zombieland



Crimson spray. Flesh eating drool. Cracking skulls. Big belly laughs. Zombieland has this and much more. The 'more' being of the great cinema cameos. Not gonna say much more. It has action, jokes, self-mocking digs, a love story, Woody Harrelson and on occasion some zombies.

8/10.

Here is a song from the soundtrack:

Paul Anka - Puppy Love

7 Oct 2009

Scoop Dreams



Since ESPN replaced the Setanta (Hurling, Gaelic Football and Blue Square Premiership!!)on Virgin cable tv I've been waiting for one sport in particular. Basketball.

Of America's main sports this is the one that I enjoy the most. Not sure why but I think that but unlike American Football and Baseball, basketball has a real pacey and obvious gymnastic dynamic about it. Yes, there are stops and starts but they let you take a breath rather than wander away for 5 hours only to return to same scene.

There also seems to a greater impact from the crowd. Most basketball fans seem to be about to pour onto the court at any moment given there close proximity.

Channel 4 used to show it about ten years but for whatever reason they did not stick with it. What was especially sad about that was that they had a Saturday morning highlights package which was preceded by an excellent show about basketball culture. The music, the fashion, the celebrity. It was mainly soundtrack'd by Ninja Tune and Mo'wax and was an excellent way to hear new sounds.

So anyway catch it if you can and for anyone who does not notice the pic about is of Kareem Abdul Barack Obama. Sweet.

3 Oct 2009

Lord Of The Rings: Unseen Footage



Just sat and watched the last of the Lord of the Rings movies, The Return Of The King. Did you know that after Frodo wakes up in bed, with an old man standing over him while his lil' people pals jump and tickle all over him, that the films goes on for about another 30 mins!!!! Yes, it does.

When I saw it at the cinema I walked out at the bedroom scene as the war was won, the ring destroyed and all seemed all well and homo-erotic. I thought this is silly but its the end atleast.

But sitting here the film goes on and on and on and on and on and on in duracel stylee. And its all totally pointless. You know if the orks had won that they would wouldn't have showboated in the way.

Anyway it s Saturday night and I've just put Rocky III on.

29 Sep 2009

I Evolve



At the turn of the year I put up a couple of posts up about science, knowledge etc and how I was really into it and was gonna ride the brainiac wave to grey matter expansion.

Did not happen then but since August I have been getting back into the ring, buying New Scientist, ordering Richard Dawkins literature from play.com and watching Carl Sagan on youtube. I also need to ask Shatbass for a lend of Sagen's book, Cosmos, which he reviewed a few months ago.

Anyway here is a transdimensionally beautiful look at how all life on Earth evolving from space dust. This is super-chilled. Check out youtube for more.

12 Sep 2009

Htrae Tenalp



Everybody knows that nature rocks. Everybody knows that over the last few years the BBC has produced some stunning documentaries about the natural world and millions of species that inhabit it. Planet Earth and Blue Planet are just two examples of programmes that were as fascinating as they were accessible.

So having read some of the hype for their new headline nature series, Lost Land Of The Volcano, I started to prepare the edge of my seat. The premise was simple. A bunch of scientists go into an unchartered jungle within a dormant volcano in New Guinea. Within the jungle they were to find kangaroos in trees, frogs with fangs, giant rats and tiny parrots.

WTF!!! After fifteen minutes of the show there no sign of any animal. Instead it was awash with dramatic scores, swooshing helicopters and all the scientists pushing and shoving to get on screen. This sadly continued for the whole hour.

There was Professor Abs who used any excuse to take his shirt of and show a ridiculously action-man moulded torso. A cameraman who took his role too literally and filmed himself constantly. An insane sounding Scottish insect expert who came across like a Super Gran desparate for validation. All wanting to be stars. All wanting to be a 21st Century David Attenborough. It was like variety show for phd's.

Of course the real stars are always the animal and plant life. And that's what Attenborough understood. When he was narrating or presenting he always made sure that he informed the viewer without becoming the central figure. That was for the swimming monkey, the lizard with no eyes, the buffalo gobbling alligator and the Lake Congo midgies.

Lost Land Of The Volcano was in reality the reverse of The Planet Earth series. For 45 mins it was the wonder of the natural world. Then we got a interesting fifteen minute insight to how the captured some of the most amazing clips. Lost Land Of The Volcano had a similar ratio but in favour of the fame hungry scientists.

What we really need is a new show. Cloning Attenborough.

7 Sep 2009

Holy Irony



Hahahaha. Oh man, sitting her watching Rambo III. Seen it before but it just gets funnier.

Even before America and Britland invaded Afghanistan in 2001 the third installment of Rambo was an ironic classic. Its insane vision of demonic commies, peace lovin' holy warriors and American rightousness is only topped with the number of women and children getting killed and times Rambo blows up very big things with very small things.

But now thanks to the Allied invasion of Afghanistan there is a delicious layer of irony in each act and word spoken. The Russians are reminded at every turn abotu how the Afghans will not accept foreign invaders and how all previous occupiers have been driven out. One American snarls to a commie "We've had our Vietnam." 15 years later and it's back baby!!

Aw, cynical? Yes, but just love watching Rambo teach the rebels how to fight with American made weapons. Just like the CIA did in the 1980s. I wonder if the Taliban like this film. They must pish themselves.

Anyway, back to film. Go Rambo Go. Do it for the mothers of the fallen, do it for the fathers of the poppie fields, do it for that Afghan boy in the village whose parents were killed a year and that made him speak with an American accent.

And if that was not enough, check out the revised synopsis for Rambo V.

Replacing the mundane original storyline of "Veteran John Rambo battles his way through human traffickers and drug lords to save a young girl kidnapped", is the stripped down genius off "a U.S. Military installation that is doing experiments on elite soldiers as part of some sort of program where they're attempting to tap into that SAVAGERY that we have deeply embedded into us. The plan is create brilliantly instinctual killer soldiers that have no qualms about taking life. They were children trained from the time they were infants to kill. The experiment is a success but then goes wrong, after the soldiers escape. Rambo is brought in with a Black Ops squad to hunt, capture or kill the genetically-altered-blood thirsty-super soldier." Ta aldo

6 Sep 2009

Mayer Hawthorne



Blog world is pretty much bulging with chat about Mayer Hawthorne and his old soul/new soul album, A Strange Arrangement. This singer-songwriter-multi-intrumentalist-chic-nerd is garnering (is that a word??) a lot of hype, much praise, many plaudits and desrved respect.

First up I want to say that some of his tracks have already become classics on Pontiac Towers. If my Cowon could sing then it would probably pour out Maybe So, Maybe No. Hawthorne has managed to do that which seems near impossible for so many artists. To make soul that feels like a timeless 1969 classic even though it's only newborn. Too many new sould attempts sound to clean and polished and thoroughly 21st Century to feel nostalgic and original. While listening to Hawthorne you cannot help but remember Marvin Gaye, The Modulations or Donny Hathaway.

However, I do feel that managing that level of quality over a whole album to be near impossible and some of Hawthorne's output suffers from issues I mentioned above. Just a little neat and tidy for my liking. But hey, I aint no soul legend and so it's just my novice opinion.

I have included below his two best tracks so far. Just Ain't Gonna Work Out is a sweet as soul honey ballad with simple b&w video. Up second is the more upbeat head-nodder Maybe So, Maybe No, which has an epic video which makes you want to just run outside, sing to passers by and jump on some sort of transport be it bus, bmx or unicycle.

Mayer Hawthorne - Just Ain't Gonna Work Out



Mayer Hawthorne - Maybe So, Maybe No

Mayer Hawthorne "Maybe So, Maybe No" from Okayplayer on Vimeo.

Sister...



Mrs Pontiac is currently watching the 25 Most Stylish Transformations on E! Entertainment. One of the talking heads just said the word 'sister.' Now this may be only something that makes me giggle but whenever I hear anyone say this word seriously it jusy makes me think of Luke and Darth Vader's cockfight at the end of Return Of The Jedi.

Vader is trying to get his son to crack and Luke's feeble mind betrays the secret that Lea is his sister and Vader's daughter. Vader through the the legendery tones of James Earl Jones seizes on this and says, 'Siiiiiissterrrrrrr' and since then whenever I hear the word, that scene pops into my head. Check it out below from 2.40 to 2.55. Thanks as usual for youtube providing the clip below.

27 Aug 2009

Kids In The What?



The Hall. The who? Kids In The Hall was a Canadian comedy sketch series that Channel Four showed in early 1990s.

For a guy growing up in a small town in the North of Scotland KITH was a revelation. Only a handful of folk at school watched it and then only a few of them got it and laughed. I thought it was amazing and felt like what it must have been like to see Monty Python back in day. Really random, subversive and infantile.

Anyway I was reading on EZTV that they have a new show in production and given the lack of quality comedy out there (yeah, Entourage I'm looking at you) its something to foward to. So to celebrate this news here is some classic Kids In The Hall:

My favourite sketch. Still cracks me up.

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F**k You Ikea

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JIM!!!!!



This a scene from their movie Brain Candy.

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25 Aug 2009

Try A Lil' Self-Depreciation



Always like to think I am at the head of the queue to laugh at myself and so check out this video . It's some sort of banned or something but watching it I saved my biggest laugh for myself. Watch up to 2 mins 16-22 secs. I am that Simpsons Fan.

24 Aug 2009

Stolen Beats



Back in the day. A not very nice day. I kinda got burgled. Not really a tradtional burglary, more of a....well don't want to talk about it as it happened during a bad time and not in mood to bring those emotions back.

But as part of the burglary I had a load of CDs nicked. I have replaced most of them over time whilst others I have not been in rush to replace. Recently on a shopping trip in Torrent Town I stumbled across an album I had almost forgotten about. A Word of Science: The First and Final Chapter was the debut album by Nightmares On Wax and released on Warp.

I had remembered really enjoying a few of the tracks but on listening to it again the whole album really hold ups. A mixture of Hip Hop beats & lyracism, downtempo breaks and early 1990s house attitude its good to listen to something that has not been produced by a brain surgeon but rather a happy-go-lucky jam doughnut maker.

I would reccommend Nightmares On Wax's next two albums, Smokers Delight and Carboot Soul, but in the last 10 years the output has been limited and at a lesser quality. The last album I heard sounded like a blow-dried version of Zero 7. Urgh!!

I did see them in...trying to remember....1999 or 2000 in G2 in Glasgow and it was an alright gig. They had a lovely red two seat couch which George Evelyn sat and chatted to the audience but it was only ok. BTW I know I say 'they' and that Nightmares...is more of 'he' but with so many collaborators its seems better to pluralise.

Anyway here is the albyum closer from Word Of Science. A real get up'n'jump tune to get you singin along. Its a flac file so hope you can play it. Peace.

Nightmares On Wax - How Ya Doin'

21 Aug 2009

Move Over Cantona. I Love Nymark



Trond Nymark to be exact. Was watching the athletics tonight, waiting for The King Of Queens to start and saw highlights of the walking race. Coming in a proud second and wearing at what first seemed a gorilla costume was Norwegian, Trond Nymark.

However, it was no costume but in fact the man's own untrimmed, lush, wavy, sheltering and sweat laden body, shoulder and back hair. As a hairy man it felt empowering to see a athlete so at ease with his ape heritage. Now if you excuse me I am off to braid my fat-back-hair.

Trond Nymark's Web Page

20 Aug 2009

Justice Not Vengence



Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was found guilty, under Scottish law and through the evidence available at his trial, for the murder of victims of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. Today under Scottish law he was given a compassionate release and allowed to return home to Libya to die. He has three months to live.

I have been following this closely over the last few weeks, as well as having an obvious interst in the Lockerbie. I welcome that in this age of media reaction and pandering to so-called mobs, that a decision, in face of hostility from the American government and opportunist politicains, has been made to show mercy and compassion.

For me a justice system should be about exactly that. Justice. It allows us to show what separates us from the perpetrators of crime. We hear all the time that we must not allow terrorists to change our values because they hate them. And this is a perfect example of where we draw a line in the sand and say "You murder. You hate. We show justice. We show compassion."

There are obviously a lot of different opinions on this. There does appear a cultural divide between Scotland and America (and seeing the media tonight, a North-South divide jealous at Scotland's time on the world stage) but the point is that this should not be about one side having the louder voice, its about humanity and the what this costs.

The hysteria will pass and what will be left are the many questions that remain over the tragedy. Questions that relatives of those hurt or killed deserve. We have to remember that there was equal anger when prisoners were released on Northern Ireland, when the PLO was allowed into the Middle East peace process, when America and Britain re-opened lucrative trade links with Libya. The list could go on and the involvement of the American government in them and their comments today shows the usual Washington hypocrsy.

So I think this is a positive day for Scotland. Sad memories have resurfaced, emotions have boiled up but essentially there has been shown a real alternative to revenge and a role for compassion at a time when blaming and vilifying are the easy route.

19 Aug 2009

Has Entourage Jumped The Shark?: Update



Yes. Official.

14 Aug 2009

Holiday Tales, Part Two: Viva La France



Day Deux was all about France and its cinema.

First up was Audrey Tautou in Coco Before Chanel. I initially quite up for seeing this but the trailer filled me with dread. it looked like a brutal merchant-ivory type melodrama about pony riding gentry. But I liked it. Tautou is superb as Coco Chanel. There are only a few glimpses of devilish Amelie as she portrays the disciplined Chanel's struggle to find her path in life.

After dinner and ice cream it was time for Round Deux and French gangster epic Mesrine - Killer Instinct. Starring Vincent Cassel this was a film I was quite excited about. A gangster flick with the flash of Scorcese but brains of Truffaut. While Cassel was excellent and the story was a full of possibilities, I was a little disappointed. It felt a little rushed. Surprisingly there was limited scope for the character's motives. And trailerd criminal mastermind came across as a bit hapless. I now this is a four film cut in two but it feels like there must be much more left on the cutting room floor. Nevertheless I look forward to the next installment.

Holiday Tales, Part One: Edinburgh



A week off for me and Lady Pontiac. And here's how it went.

Monday saw our first ever trip to see shows at the Edinburgh Festival. Now I do not really like Edinburgh. I blame a broken nose, getting started on too many times, its poshness, the mctartan tourism and the public school accents everywhere.

Well I braved that and we went to see Rich Hall's Campfire Stories, The A-Team Musical and the stand up of Janeane Garofalo.

Rich Hall, aided by Shatbass lookalike Mike Wilmot and Tim Williams, provided exactly what we expected. Weird and whimsical tales from the riverbank in equally gravilly tones.

Next up was the DIY A-team musical. A small cast in small room with no air conditioning sang and danced there way through an episode of the show, which of course meant that all shows were covered given the shows never changing format. It was ok. A little too tongue in cheek at times and a couple of scenes that were just plain padding. But it was fun and the girl playing the blonde-in-distress was very very funny and out-shone the A-Team.

Finally we went to see Janeane Garofalo. Much criticised by some we thought she was good. While huge belly laughs were at a minimum, her chaotic style and various nonsensical detours meant there were plenty of jokes about America, Scotland, the world and herself. She even made jokes at her expense about her recent abortive performance at the Latitude festival where she walked off after 10 mins. Well she did the full hour and clearly could have went on and on, or atleast as long as her medication allowed.

So a good day one of the holiday. One lesson for edinburgh: Air Conditioning that works would be great.

9 Aug 2009

Five Memorable Thoughts On John Hughes



A bit delayed I know but wanted to expand on my previous post which was posted in the heat of the moment and I wanted to say something about the imact of the american film-makers impact on me.

5) The Class War
Pretty In Pink, Some Kind Of Wonderful and The Breakfast Club all give a uniquely Hollywood vision of class in America. You are either a chino and white linen wearing rich kid with big bouncy hair and mansion or some sort street scum dreaming of escaping an almost disney-fusion of text book lower class problems.

4) Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy
Humm-ana-humm-ana-hey!!!! That's the sort of ladies I would like to take to a Huey Lewis & The News concert.

3) Not Scottish
All John Hughes' films are fundamentally American. And that made them so appealing. America was and always will be some sort of promised land which for young boy growing up in Scotland meant they were a real escape to a world of plenty, pretty girls and excitement.

2) Snow Blindness
Can anyone remember a black character that talks in a John Hughes film? They are an almost exclusively white art medium, unless you include the patrons of the jazz bar in Weird Science. Fair enough there is a great joke in Ferris Bueller when he asks a garage attendant if he speaks English. His answer is along the lines of "Of course I do, what country do you think I am in?" Not making a big deal here just an interesting example of how so much American culture in the 1980s, such as MTV, failed to notice that not all people are WASP's.

1)Every Second Of Planes, Trains And Automobiles
Candy and Martin were never better. One the great comedies of all time. Nuff said.

And therefore I leave my brief memories of Hughes with two tracks from the Planes... Enjoy.

Emmylou Harris - Back In Baby's Arms

Sillicon Teens - Red River Rock

6 Aug 2009

They're Not Pillows!!!



John Hughes, the man behind 16 Candles, Pretty In Pink, Some Kind Of Wonderful, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Uncle Buck and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, has died.

More to follow but tomorrow I will try and build up the courage to ask out a head cheerleader in honour of this sad occasion.



5 Aug 2009

God Damn Sucking Suck Tuck



I created Pontiac Dream to help release some of the creative and randomn thoughts I have to consistently crush each day in my mind-numbing office job where I basically do the thinking for a bunch of ignorant morans who wander through life in a bubble of self-satisfaction that they are free floating cogs in a machine which will run forever and make sure they never have to look and see the world.

Today was bad.

However Pontiac does the job when it puts its mind to it. Came across these New York dudes on one of the blog journeys the other night. Javelin sound pretty damn good. Check out their podcats here and I am sure you will fall in love with their own take on the electronic-sample-cum-brianwilsonwonderworld-via-ninjawarpism.

1 Aug 2009

Has Entourage Jumped The Shark?



I would consider myself a pretty loyal viewer of tv shows. Once I decide I like something I stick with it through any hard times through a mixture of potential for recovery and appreciation of previous effort.

I stayed with Sopranos after chaotic season six (that was easy though). Buffy after the equally rqually random season six. Northern Exposure throughout its car wreck season six.....hold on a minute do you see a pattern. Season 6 syndrome anybody?

Just entering its own season 6 is Entourage. This unusually un-HBO HBO hit was magnificient for its first four seasons. Despite the questionable acting ability of many of its participants, its tales of an upcoming Hollywood star and his entourage pulled in great cameos, made Jeremy Piven a legend and dished out big big laughs. It has been like the alter-ego of Sex In The City minus the self-therapy and introspection.

But after three episodes of season six I think I am ready to say Entourage has 'jumped the shark'. For a full breakdown of 'jumping the shark' check out an informative wiki page here and enjoy the original clip at the bottom of the post (fonzie + water-skiing + leather jacket + stock shark footage = shark jumping hilarity). But basically 'jumping the shark' refers to a tv show passing it peak and/or looking slightly ridiculous.

So why do I think E, Vince, Turtle and Drama have got their speedos on. Its not that each episode is samey. Thats part of its charm. E & Vince head off to deal with career issues, Drama & Turtle clown around. Ari shouts, Lloyd follows. And for four and half seasons that worked perfectly. What also helped were nice story themes and arcs going from Queens Boulevard to Aquaman and the desparate chase for Medellin.

But for me in season five thing started going wrong. Season four finished with the guys broke after Medllin flops at Cannes. Season five has each one wandering through each episode towards episode ending which rather than gift wrapped were drowned in cement. For example Turtle did nothing for most of season five leading me to start a short campaign to Save Turtle. The writers heard me and did give him someone to do. Too ittle to late. For a season that was meant to be about an actin career in crisis it felt a too much like a show in crisis.

What really killed me was that after a season five (which had all the hallmarks of confusion that cursed the season sixes mentioned above) it nearly had a brave, exciting and original ending. The Entourage was split between competing careers paths, hopes and directions. With only one minute remaining it looked like season six was going to the anti-entourage...but they blew it in way that smelled of creative cowardice and test screening scores.

Now three episodes into season six and yes, there are giggles and girls. Booze and boobs. But it feels like rehashed season two episodes. Drama is now a little tiring. Turtle is superfluous. Vince could not be anymore dull, E is E and Ari shouts, Lloyd follows.

I will keep watching it. Happy Days kept going for a 100 more episodes after fonzie jumped the shark. Not sure if Entourage can do that but out of loyalty I will see where the boys go. But if I miss an episode not sure how upset I will be?

26 Jul 2009

Damn! They Feel Good



Is there a sweeter sensation than buying new trainers?

When I remember I like to pop down to Glasgow's branch of Size? and check out new entrants and old flames. It was a couple of weeks ago I did just that and found there was a sale on. I have been looking for a pair of stripped down basic white trainers with mid to dark blue design. The simpler the better.

The first two I asked for were not available in my size. So after wandering across the road and back again I noticed the recently released Adidas Originals By Originals Ayasha Jagwire's. I had seen them before but their £90 tag scared me off...but not totally. They were now down to £50 and after the formality of the try-on they were mine.

Without a doubt the best pair of trainers I have bought since an impromptu purchase of a pair and white/red Puma Baskets in Ellesmere Port. The Jagwire fit like Mrs Addidas stuck my feet directly into the mould. They look super-sonic-cool if I do say so and are so so comfy.

More than a purchase. More than a style. More than a bargain. More than a.....

Boston - More Than A Feeling

23 Jul 2009

Probably The Best Boxset In The World



Happened across this the other night and started foaming at the ears. A truly wonderful sounding and looking piece of musical companion. Its the Warp boxset that is being released in September to celebrate 20 years of the Sheffield based label breaking new ground, genre twisting and making bodies twitch.

Here is breakdown of what is included. I warn you, reading this may cause you to smile so widely you may paralyse your face:

Warp20 (Box Set) comes beautifully packaged in a 10 inch square slipcase wrapped in charcoal Buckram embossed paper with tipped-on gloss-laminated cover photograph, designed by YES, photographed by Dan Holdsworth.

Warp20 (1989-2009) The Complete Catalogue: 192 page book -
10” square, 192 page full-colour, perfect-bound book. The complete-ist’s dream – a catalogue of artwork of every Warp release from its inception in 1989 to August 2009. Includes artwork from over 400 sleeves including work by the Designers Republic, Julian House, Build, Universal Everything and Kim Hiorth√ły amongst others. Forward by Warp co-founder Steve Beckett. Black un-coated board cover with debossed and foiled typography.

Warp20 (Chosen): Double CD album -
The definitive best of Warp on 2 x CDs. Ten songs chosen by you (Warp20.net), ten songs chosen by Warp co-founder Steve Beckett. Packaged in deluxe case-bound 10” folder, exclusive to this box set. Your personal messages and memories from Warp20.net featured on pullout poster.

Warp20 (Recreated): Double CD album -
2 x CDs featuring twenty brand new cover versions of Warp songs by Warp artists past and present; including tracks by Autechre, Harmonic 313, Jamie Lidell, Plaid, Clark, Maximo Park, Seefeel, Luke Vibert and more… Packaged in deluxe case-bound 10” folder exclusive to this box set.

Warp20 (Unheard): Triple 10” Vinyl -
Secret treasures newly rediscovered from the Warp vaults. Completely unheard tracks by Boards of Canada, Autechre, Broadcast, Elektroids and others cut to 3 x 10” vinyl. Housed in uncoated card sleeves with debossed typography. Vinyl exclusive to Warp20 (Box Set).

Warp20 (Elemental): CD album -
Specially-commissioned hour long piece by re-edit master Osymyso, made from sections, samples, and fragments of Warp music from the last 20 years. Exclusive to Warp20 (Box Set) and packaged in deluxe case bound 10” folder.

Warp20 (Infinite): Double 10” Vinyl -
2 x 10” vinyl cuts of hand-picked locked-groove loops from Warp tracks. Four sides of loops for mixing fun. Exclusive to Warp20 (Box Set) and housed in uncoated card sleeves with debossed covers.


The price £100. Maybe. Maybe......

While I think here is a track from the new album by Clark, Totem's Flare. As you would expect from Warp it does remind you of what a Spectrum 48K's brain would sound like when it explodes after being asked, "What is love?"

Clark -Growls Garden

22 Jul 2009

Funk Vs Flunk



Most remakes suck. Just look at this list. Its full of remakes that suck all the subtlety, originality and simplicity out of the first film.

Off the top of my head the only one I can think that really improves on the original is 1978's Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.

This summer sees a film that will offend my senses like no other. The remake of The Taking Of Pelham 123. The original 1974 effort is one the great seventies movies.

The story of four armed men taking control of of a New York City subway train. Holding the passengers hostage they wait for their ransom while the cops led by the brilliant performance of Walter Matthau try to work out how to stop them. Its got a sensational cast with Jerry Stiller, Robert Shaw, Hector Elizondo, Dick O'Neill and Tony Roberts supported by a wealth of New York character actors.

Its got action, drama, tension and big big laughs. New York has its classic urban nightmare feel with dirty streets, dirty flares and dirty accents. Under it all is David Shire's score which adds a perfect drop of funk. And its finale? One of the best. Honestly watch this film.

Fast forward to this summer. Dullard fat boy John Travolta is the bad man taking control of the train. Strangely he looks like a Village People reject (as above). Up against him? Our Denzel. Why is Denzel, one the great actors of his generation, in this? The film looks to have no humour, no characters, a different ending and has all the looks of a music video. Thanks Tony Scott you soul-less old man.

Check out the contrasting trailers and then listen to the main theme from the original. (ta, mario)





David Shire - The Taking Of Pelham 123 (main theme)

20 Jul 2009

Best Beastie Wishes



Just saw an announcement from Beastie Boy, Adam Yauch (in the beard above), where he explains how the upcoming album and tour dates will be postponed because he he will be getting treatment for a cancerous tumor in his salivary gland. He seems in good spirits but Pontiac would like to wish him all the best. I've included the clip below and one of those Beastie videos which they are rightly celebrated for.




19 Jul 2009

Beauty & The Bird



Alone in the land of the Pontiac tonight. And with nothing on the tv I watched a film.

Now the great thing about my V+ box is that I can hit the red button at anytime and it will record. With 90 hours of space on the hard drive running out of room is never an issue. However, that strength is also the V+ weakness. I continually choose to record a variety of weird and wonderful sounding films. But with little time to watch them and Mrs Pontiac's aversion to the sound of them (if not the actual viewing experience) they just sit there.

I recorded Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud last August and finally watched it tonight. The most fun and randomn film I have seen in a long time.

It bares all the common traits of themes of Altman's early ouput like MASH, Nashville, The Wedding and the Long Goodbye. Overlapping & conflicting dialogue, improvisation, a dis-jointed narrative, absurdist humour, parody, a disregard for a normal filmviewer relationship and highly individual characters who appear distant from those around and who all have their own quirk.

Brewster McCloud is bascially about a young misfit whose belief in the power of flight draws him into murder and obsession. Around him he has a mysterious guardian angel and a young tour guide he meets and falls for. With murders across the city hapless police chase the killer, a self serving local politician brings in a supercool detective from San Francisco who obsesses with the case. Around them are a host of bizarre and odd characters who ultimately revolve around the actions of Brewster.

From the the first few seconds of the film I was hooked as the film unravelled like a story scrumbled into tiny balls and thrown at the audience. There is a constant parody of Steve McQueen's Bullit throughout the film culminating with a Altman-take on the famous car chase. Sally Kellerman's guardian angel is mysterious and jester like. The horror of Brewster is masked by his growing love the a sensational Shelley Duvall. Sensational in her sweet-subversive and incredibley sexy performance. See the pic above. If you aint in love then I don't want to know what love is.

As it all climaxes the absurdism reaches a fitting finale with the cast taking their bow to the audience dressed as assorted film and circus characters (see below). This is what 21st Century fairy-tales should look like. Inspirational, unsettling but sweet as candy.



No accompanying music track with this post but I will say that I listened to the soundtrack for John Carpenter's Assualt On Precinct 13 while writing this.

18 Jul 2009

The Jungle's Edge



In bringing the jungle sessions to a close it would be a fatal not to say a little something about the nights out had by me and the rest of the Speirs Wharf Massive.

Stirling University offered few opportunities to regularly stretch our drums and basses. Paul DJ'd on a Wednesday/Thursday night at the student union and if we were lucky the guys at the local independent record store (can't remember the name) would put on a night in town.

So like most of Scotland we would head to Glasgow for some culture. There we could choose between the Art School, Elements @ Trash, Yang (Paul got some Djing time there too), downstairs in Bacchus and the Arches. That is where you really got to hear jungle in its real environment and dance dance DANCE!

There were so many great tracks around that time but one that really resonates with me was DJ Trace's Sonar. The mp3 below, like most mp3's of jungle does do it justice given digital's supression of the bass that vinyl celebrated. As soon as you heard the opening of the track you just waiting for that point 2 minutes into it when the bass would drop in and boil your intestines. I would recommend listening on headphones to try and feel the affect but really unless a large soundsystem is pulsing it through the air, it aint the same.

And for Aldo. You asked for Ed Rush and here he is. The likes Ed Rush, Optical, Andy C came from the dark corners of jungles but made some immense and very dancable tracks. Full loud cracks, metal grinding and machine gun breaks it was the sound that dominated the Glasgow jungle dancefloors. I was listening to some of my old records records from these guys and they sound so fresh. Mrs Pontiac hates them but that's what headphones are for.

Finally, the guys who brought jungle onto the wider public view. Roni Size & Reprazent made the, in my opinion, the only coherent jungle album with New Forms. But this wasn't some intellectualised attempt to go mainstream. The were were justy innovating at such a rate it was scary. As part of that their live show at the Arches in 2007 was the best gig I attended. The place was packed, everyone was up for it and the live performance including giant bass had everyone bouncing up and down and around and around. I am pretty sure I jumped so high I touched the roof. While the song it not a hidden gem Brown Paper Bag really sums up what they did for jungle. Still a great track.

So I leave the jungle memories with those tracks. Remember. Use your body as the bass and arms as the breaks.

DJ Trace - Sonar

Ed Rush - Sabotage

Roni Size & Reprazent - Brown Paper Bag

13 Jul 2009

The Difficult Season



Jungle will back in the next post with some old skool SWM floorfillers for Aldo. However, a nice surprise tonight when checking out Mininova. Entourage is back for season six. The difficult season.

Why a diffcult season? Well season five came off the back of four pretty hysterical, genuinely fresh and narratively coherent seasons. It was a real mish mash of rehashed stories, hysterics, a reliance on t & a, contradictory plotlines and a potentially good ending which sold out to the 'lets hug it out' machismo which it had spent time subverting. Kinda like Sopranos season six after the glorious season five.

Anyway enough of the big ideas. It's back and I'm watching it. First episode set up the season pretty much while returning to some of the themes from season five. No suprises, no big laugh but its earned enough respect for me to watch without too much grumbling. Lloyd, Gary Cole and Jamie-Lynn Sigler are still there so nuff said.

Download illegally if thats your thing or watch on ITV2 @ 10pm from this Thursday.

9 Jul 2009

Speirs Wharf Massive



As I mentioned before my jungle experience would not have been half as exciting if had not been for the my drum n bass cronies. The posse that started in Stirling University campus soon moved through to Glasgow where we had a larger choice of drum n bass nights.

Myself and Lee had set up home in Speirs Wharf and the flat was a regular destination before and after nights out. In the area around the flats there was loads of tags from local gangs like YGX, YQX and YPF (Young Georges Cross, Queens Cross and Possil Fleet). We took it upon ourselves to form our own ultra-ironic gang. The Speirs Wharf Massive. SWM!!

Largely our gang actvity was about giving rival gangs' tags the finger, laughing about how crap we were and maybe, just maybe getting a pen and writing SWM beside YGX on the nearby steps. So not really Jets & Sharks but fun n bass. I have no photoss of SWM but I think the above pic represents our style and swagger. Left to right: Paul, Allan, Myself and Lee.

However, SWM managed to reach national levels when we went to Fabio & Grooverider's live One In The Jungle set at the Glasgow School of Art. Paul wandered up and asked for a shout out to SWM which Fabio or the MC, I cannot remember which, duly did. Live on Radio One. haha, them were the days.

Got a couple of tracks to share. Roni Size's big BIG pal DJ Krust with the ferociously clinical Warhead and Lemon D's immense Manhattan Melody with its elastic bass shaking your body into tribal movements.

DJ Krust - Warhead

Lemon D - Manhattan Melody

4 Jul 2009

Swords 'n' Bass



I want to apologise to Photek because as I write this I am listening to Journey 'Don't Stop Believing' because I feel it will help wake up Mrs Pontiac. So not really the appropriate soundtrack for a post about one of most memorable drum n bass producers but its Saturday morning, so hey!

Photek stood in the crowded jungle because you always recognised his tracks. His signature clinical production was like music made in cleansed laboratory by an army of Ipswich clone scientists piecing each beat, break and tweek with titanium tweezers. Clean and clinical thats my belated point.

That is not a criticism of other producers. Back in the day all the key players were doing some amazing stuff and more often than not they would fill a dancefloor well before any Photek track. But a Photek remained an anticipated event.

Not sure what he doing now. i did read on the bio in his site that he has been in the USofA producing and remixing. Good luck to him. The last Photek product I got was in the form of a present. Jackson gave me his excellent Solaris for my 24th birthday. Solaris was a break from his previous cold, paranoid style....in that a couple of house orientated tracks felt a little, not a lot, more friendly.

So anyway its Saturday morning and the sun is burning down. Kenny Loggins in now on!!! So on to the tracks. I have included two tracks from Photeks 1997 album Modus Operandi and one from Solaris. I think they show his minimalist complexity perfectly. BREAK!!

Smoke Rings (Modus Operandi)
Axiom (Modus Operandi)
Junk (Solaris)