Posted in films & DVD

Crimson Peak

I would like to watch the atmospheric Gothic Horror story Crimson Peak. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, it set around the turn of the 20th Century. It begins when Young Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) the daughter of Carter Cushing, a wealthy businessman, is visited by her mother’s black, disfigured ghost who warns Edith: “Beware of Crimson Peak.” A few years later Edith becomes a successful Author of Ghost Stories. She then meets the Aristocratic Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddlestone) and his alluring sister Lady Lucille, who are seeking investors, including Edith’s father, for his clay mining invention. However Mr Cushing rejects Sir Thomas’ proposal. Shortly after this, Edith once again is visited by her mother’s spirit bearing the same warning.

Soon after this Edith and Sir Thomas become romantically attached despite the disapproval of Mr. Cushing and Edith’s childhood friend, Dr. Alan McMichael, so Mr. Cushing hires a private detective to investigate Sir Thomas and his sister. Mr. Cushing then bribes the Sharpes into leaving Buffalo, NY. And Sir Thomas cruelly ends his relationship with Edith. However Soon after this, Mr. Cushing is found murdered, though his death is ruled accidental. Edith and Sir Thomas then marry and return to England, arriving at Allerdale Hall, the Sharpes’ remote and rather dilapidated gothic mansion in the English Hills, where Despite Edith’s best efforts, Lucille acts cold and distant toward her.

Then Whilst at Allerdale Hall Edith starts seeing gruesome ghosts, including her own mother, who again warns: “Beware of Crimson Peak”. Upon exploring the mansion Edith discovers that Sir Thomas had previously married three wealthy women, all of whom died in mysterious circumstances. Edith also discovers some disturbing and rather gruesome things about Sir Thomas and his sister Lucille themselves, and begins to suspect that her own life May be in grave danger too. So she contacts Doctor Alan McMichael for help and her suspicions are confirmed when he arrives at Allerdale Hall…

Posted in music

Keith Strickland (B52’s) – Rock Lobster

Keith Strickland, American guitarist and songwriter with American New Wave band,The B-52’s, Was born 26 October 195 The B-52s were formed in Athens, Georgia in 1976. The original line-up consisted of Fred Schneider(vocals, percussion, keyboards), Kate Pierson (organ, bass, vocals), Cindy Wilson(vocals, bongos, tambourine, guitar), Ricky Wilson (guitars), and Keith Strickland (drums, guitars, synthesizers, various instruments) and cowbell player, poet and vocalist Fred Schneider played an impromptu musical jam session after sharing a tropical Flaming Volcano drink at a local Athens Chinese restaurant. Other ideas they had to name their band were the “Tina-Trons” and “Felini’s Children”. When they first jammed, Strickland played guitar and Wilson played congas. They later played their first concert (with Wilson playing guitar) in 1977 at a Valentine’s Day party for their friends.

The band’s name comes from a particular beehive hairdo resembling the nose cone of the aircraft of the same name. Keith Strickland suggested the name after a dream he had had one night, of a band performing in a hotel lounge. In the dream he heard someone whisper in his ear that the name of the band was “the B-52s.” The band’s quirky take on the new wave sound of their era was a combination of dance and surf music combined Ricky Wilson’s guitar and thrift-store chic. Their first single, “Rock Lobster”, recorded in 1978, was an underground success, which led to the B-52’s performing at CBGB and Max’s Kansas City in New York City. A rerecorded version of Rock Lobster was released as a single. In the UK and Germany it was backed with Running Around (Instrumental), which appeared on their second album Wild Planet. The buzz created by the record in the UK meant their first show in London at the Electric Ballroom, London, was packed with stars including Sandie Shaw, Green Gartside from Scritti Politti and Joe Jackson. The single went from cult hit to bona fide smash, in many countries.

In 1979 The B-52’s released their debut album containing a re-recorded versions of “Rock Lobster” and “52 Girls”, six originals recorded solely for the album, and a remake of the Petula Clark single “Downtown”. The sound was kept as close as possible to their actual live sound and became a major success for the band, alongside its three singles “Planet Claire”, “Rock Lobster”, and “Dance This Mess Around”. In the United States, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The follow-up album Wild Planet, containing the song Private Idaho was also successful. In 1980, The B-52’s performed on Saturday Night Live and  also performed at the Heatwave festival (billed as the “New Wave Woodstock”) in Toronto, Canada as well as appearing in the Paul Simon film One Trick Pony. Their third release was a remix of tracks from their first two studio albums. Party Mix! took six tracks from the first two LPs and presented them in extended forms. John Lennon cited “Rock Lobster” as an inspiration for his comeback. In 1981 the band collaborated with musician David Byrne to produce a third full-length studio album. Due to alleged conflicts with Byrne over the album’s musical direction recording sessions for the album were aborted, prompting the band to release Mesopotamia (1982) as an extended play (EP), in 1991, Party Mix! and Mesopotamia, the latter of which had been remixed, were combined and released together on a single compact disc. In 1983 the band released their fourth album Whammy!; containing the songs “Legal Tender”  “Whammy Kiss” and “Song for a Future Generation”. After initial pressings of Whammy! were released, copyright issues with Yoko Ono led to the song “Don’t Worry” being removed and replaced on future pressings by “Moon 83”, a remixed version of the track “There’s a Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon)” from their debut album.

in 1985 the B52’s recorded Bouncing off the Satellites, their fifth studio record, and performed in Brazil, at Rock in Rio; their largest crowd ever. During the recording, guitarist Wilson had been suffering from AIDS/HIV-related health complications. None of the other band members were aware of his illness. In an interview, fellow band member Kate Pierson stated that Wilson had kept his illness secret from his fellow band members because he “did not want anyone to worry about him or fuss about him.” Tragically In 1985 Wilson died from AIDS at the age of 32. Leaving the rest of the band too depressed to carry on. However in 1987 they released a public service announcement in the style of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover on behalf of AMFAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) and Strickland switched full-time to guitar. The band subsequently added various musicians for their live shows. This included Sara Lee or Tracy Wormworth on (bass),Zachary Alford or Sterling Campbell on (drums, percussion) and Pat Irwin or Paul Gordon (keyboards & guitars).Rooted in new wave and 1960s rock and roll, the group later covered many genres including post-punk and pop rock. The “guy vs. gals” vocals of Schneider, Pierson, and Wilson, sometimes used in call and response style (“Strobe Light,” “Private Idaho”, and “Good Stuff”), are a trademark. Presenting themselves as a positive, fun, enthusiastic, slightly oddball and goofy party band, the B-52’s tell tall tales, glorify wild youth and celebrate sexy romance.

Posted in music

Bootsy Collins (Parliament Funkadelic)

American singer-songwriter andfun k bass player (Parliament-Funkadelic) William Earl “Bootsy” Collins was born October 26, 1951 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He became famous with James Brown in the early 1970s, and later with Parliament-Funkadelic, Collins’s driving bass guitar and humorous vocals established him as one of the leading names in funk.Collins is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.  In 1968 Collins formed a funk band called The Pacemakers With his elder brother Phelps “Catfish” Collins, Frankie “Kash” Waddy and Philippé Wynne and they were hired as James Brown’s backing band and became known as The J.B.’s. (They are often referred to as the “original” J.B.’s to distinguish them from later line-ups that went by the same name.)  appearing on “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine”, “Bewildered”, “Super Bad”, “Soul Power”, “Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing”, and two instrumental singles, the much-sampled “The Grunt” and “These Are the J.B.’s”.

After parting ways with James Brown, Bootsy returned to Cincinnati and formed House Guests with his brother Phelps Collins, Rufus Allen, Clayton “Chicken” Gunnels, Frankie Waddy, Ronnie Greenaway and Robert McCullough and released the song “What So Never the Dance”. Collins moved to Detroit, after Philippé Wynne suggested joining The Spinners. However, following the advice of singer and future Parliament member Mallia Franklin both Collins brothers joined George Clinton and Frankie Waddy in Funkadelic. Bootsy played bass on most of Funkadelic and all of Parliament’s albums (with the exception of Osmium) through the early 1980s, garnering several songwriting credits as well. In 1976 Bootsy, Catfish, Waddy, Joel Johnson, Gary “Mudbone” Cooper, Robert Johnson and The Horny Horns formed Bootsy’s Rubber Band, a separate touring unit of Clinton’s P-Funk collective. The group recorded five albums together, the first three of which are often considered to be among the quintessential P-Funk recordings. The group’s 1978 album Bootsy? Player of the Year reached the top of the R&B album chart and contained the single “Bootzilla”.Like Clinton, Bootsy took on several alter egos, from Casper the Funky Ghost to Bootzilla, “the world’s only rhinestone rockstar monster of a doll”, all as parts of the evolving character of an alien rock star who grew gradually more bizarre as time went on . He also adopted his trademark “space bass” around this time.

In 1980 Bootsy released his first “solo” album “Ultra-Wave”, and Sweat Band, on George Clinton’s Uncle Jam label with a group billed as Bootsy’s Sweat Band. He also was credited for producing the debut of P-Funk spinoffs Zapp and Roger.In 1984, Bootsy collaborated with Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads to produce “Five Minutes”, a dance record sampled and edited from Ronald Reagan’s infamous “Five Minutes” speech. The record was credited to “Bonzo goes to Washington” (also referenced in the 1985 Ramones song “Bonzo goes to Bitburg”, derived from Reagan’s starring role as Professor Peter Boyd in the 1951 comedy film Bedtime for Bonzo).After a nearly five-year hiatus, Bootsy had a comeback in 1988 (with some help from producer Bill Laswell). What’s Bootsy Doin’?flaunted a new sound that foreshadowed the 90’s, such as the dancefloor smash “Party On Plastic”. Laswell introduced Bootsy to Herbie Hancock, resulting in Perfect Machine. The techno-funk they recorded featured turnables for scratch appeal, and the smoothly-stylized vocals of Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner of chart-topping Ohio Players.In 1990, Bootsy collaborated with Deee-Lite on their massive hit “Groove Is in the Heart” where he contributed additional vocals. Although he also appeared in the music video playing the bass, the bassline in the song is actually a sample of a Herbie Hancocksong called “Bring Down the Birds”.

Bootsy’s Rubber Band appeared with Deee-Lite during a world tour and also recorded the EP “Jungle Bass”, their first recording in 11 years. In 1992, Bootsy joined with guitarist Stevie Salas and drummer Buddy Miles to form the funk-metal fusion group Hardware and released the album, Third Eye Open, before disbanding.Bootsy collaborated with bluegrass legends Del McCoury, Doc Watson and Mac Wiseman to form the GrooveGrass Boyz, playing a fusion of bluegrass and funk.In 1994, Bootsy contributed extensively to the Soup Dragons’ last album, Hydroponic.Bootsy’s New Rubber Band then released “Blasters of the Universe”.In 1995, Bootsy played in the remake of Jimi Hendrix’s “If 6 Was 9,” for Axiom Funk, a Funkadelic-like one-off supergroup produced by Bill Laswell and featuring (Funkadelic members) George Clinton, Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins, (the guitar of the late) Eddie Hazel, Gary Shider and Bill Laswell. The group released only one album, and one song which appeared in the soundtrack of the movie Stealing Beauty. Bootsy’s New Rubber Band released “Keepin’ dah Funk Alive 4-1995″, recorded over two nights in Tokyo.In 1996, Bootsy collaborated on George Clinton’s album “The Awesome Power Of A Fully Operational Mothership”.

In 2000 Bootsy Collins appeared at “Heineken’s Amsterjam 2005″ alongside Madonna, Iggy Pop, Little Richard, and The Roots’ Questlove, in an American TV commercial. Bootsy also collaborated with Bill Laswell and sang on two Fatboy Slim records, as well as reading a poem at the end of FatBoy Slims’s release in the LateNightTales DJ mix series. Bootsy also sang on the TobyMac album Welcome to Diverse City and appears on Nicole C. Mullens’ latest album, Everyday People. He has also worked with the Lo-Fidelity Allstars on the album Don’t be Afraid of Love, with Praxis, and with Buckethead on several occasions, Bootsy was featured in the 2002 film Standing in the Shadows of Motown. In 2004 he appeared on Snoop Dogg’s Rhythm & Gangsta album and on the cover of “The Joker” on the Fatboy Slim album Palookaville. He also performed a cover of the “Power of Soul” on the 2004 tribute album Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix’. In 2005, Collins co-wrote a song celebrating this hometown team, the Cincinnati Bengals called “Fear Da Tiger” which features several Bengals players and The music video features cameos by many other Bengals players.

Collins also appeared with Little Richard, Bernie Worrell as the band playing with Hank Williams, Jr. during for the 2006 season. He also sings “Marshal Law”, the theme song of the Cincinnati Marshals indoor football team. In 2006, a DVD/CD was released of Bootsy Collins and the New Rubber Band’s concert at the 1998 North Sea Jazz Festival. In 1998 Bootsy released the holiday album “Christmas Is 4 Ever” which features funky re-workings of Christmas standards as well as original compositions. In 2006, Collins recorded music for the animated television series Loonatics Unleashed and also voiced the character Bootes Belinda. between 2008 and 2010 Bootsy opened a restaurant/club with restaurateur Jeff Ruby called “Bootsy’s.” Which featured live musical acts, a museum dedicated to Bootsy’s musical career and Spanish, Central and South American cuisine. In 2007 Bootsy Collins, along with Phelps Collins, Clyde Stubblefield, John “Jabo” Starks, and Bernie Worrell, also  participated in the recording of the soundtrack for the movie Superbad and performed at the first tribute concert remembering James Brown.

In 2008 The album Living On Another Frequency, was released featuring guitarist Buckethead and drummer Brain.Collins promoted Rock the Vote for its 2008 campaign together with Buckethead.Bootsy also produced Junkyard Waltz by Freekbass. His influence in popular culture is seen in a number of television series. In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode “Sooooooul Train”, Geoffrey sneaks into the Soul Train tapings posing as Bootsy Collins, while in The Mighty Boosh episode “The Legend of Old Gregg” an alien creature named ‘The Funk’ lands on Bootsy’s house, giving him his ability to play the bass guitar “like some kinda delirious funky priest”. His song I’d Rather Be With You, from the album Stretchin’ Out In Bootsy’s Rubber Band was featured in the movie Baby Boy i. Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, cited Collins as one of his primary influences, & appeared in unmistakably Bootsy-esque clothing in the video for RHCP’s “Dani California”, and Bootsy’s “What’s a Telephone Bill?” was sampled for 2Pac’s “Str8 Ballin’” track off the THUG LIFE album. In 2009 Collins collaborated with Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek on the track “Internet Connection” and in October 2010 Bootsy was awarded a Bass Player Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award.In March 2011 Bootsy and his wife visited Franklin L. Williams M.S #7’s Little Kids Rock program. In 2011, Bootsy appeared on Later… with Jools Holland, performing a memorable snippet of funk with Jools and also played at the 10th Annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TEnnassee.