My Top Ten…I Mean, 13 Favorite Horror Movies

You're sooooo good lookin

I first have to post a disclaimer: After numerous debates with fellow Bums Logic blogger Jr. Worthy and Ms. FJB, I want to make it very clear that what I define as a “horror” movie is not always in line with what others do. For instance, is Jaws a horror movie? Is Silence of the Lambs? Some say they are “thrillers” and that true horror movies need to contain an element of the supernatural like The Exorcist does. I will argue that mother fuckin Michael Myers has some supernatural powers, okay?

#13 – Hellraiser
Bondage-clad evildoers, skinless-men, some sort of evil box that unleashes demons, and one of the most iconic bad guys in modern horror movie history: Hellraiser. Not the most popular film on the list, but one that made me never want to have my skin ripped off via hooks and chains. Not that I needed a movie to make me realize that.

#12 – The Exorcist
Most critics and fans think this is amongst–if not the–best horror movie ever made. While it’s extremely hard for me to argue against that point, this is, after all, a list of my favorite horror movies. I do love The Exorcist (not loving it is like not loving pizza). Who doesn’t want to watch a child’s head spin 360 degrees while puking on a priest as she tries to seduce him? I won’t even insert a joke here.

#11 – The Blair Witch Project
Let’s get one thing straight: if you are camping out in the woods in the middle of nowhere and you suddenly hear little children playing outside your tent…in the dark of the night…run! That is, unless you want to find yourself staring at images of bloody hand prints on a wall while some witch clobbers your friends and steals your camera.

#10 – Alien
The first time I watched Alien was the first time I almost puked during a movie. When that freakin little fucker came tearing out of John Hurt’s stomach and started galloping around the room like Mick Jagger on acid I had to turn the movie off. Nightmares for months…still have them today! Which also led to me having to constantly ask my mom if there was ever a chance that a baby alien could pop out of my stomach, because every time I got a stomach ache I convinced myself that was the case.

#9 – Hostel
After I watched this movie I had two thoughts: 1. I am never going to eastern Europe and 2. Please tell me these kind of places don’t actually exist.

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Jason Isbell Hits Home

Sometimes records come along and they just creep in and grow on you. But even the ones that grow on you can still be familiar upon first meeting, like that person you meet who you just connect with on some level like you knew them before, or whatever it is that some folks refer to as a good vibe. Or like a creaky floor that’s just always sounded that way and for some reason it’s a subconscious comfort of sorts.

Jason IsbellAnd then in walks Jason Isbell’s latest album Here We Rest. It’s instantly likeable and the kind of record that sounds as good on Sunday morning as it did on Saturday night. It’s dense with real life, not unlike a film. There’s a perfect mix of heartbreak and promise; of love and pain, of dreams and regrets.

The sound of Isbell and his fine band, the 400 Unit, is also perfectly mixed. There’s a clarity and separation that allows each guitar and organ part to seep out without calling too much attention to itself. The different sounds used (acoustic and electric guitars, fiddles, slide guitar, pianos and organs) are tasteful and always right on, and there’s “layers” without having 17 overdubs of extra guitars needlessly doubling parts.

Isbell’s coffee-stained vocal delivery is warm and sweet; a southern drawl meets blue-eyed soul that he honed when first winning us over as a member of the Drive-By Truckers. On some of DBT’s finest albums, Isbell’s songs (especially “Outfit,” “Decoration Day,” “Danko/Manuel,” “Goddamn Lonely Love”) were among the highlights, if not the centerpieces. No surprise that his first two solo albums were solid (but overlooked) gems. And this latest one is proving to be his finest, rewarding repeated listens with subtle nuances. Certain lyric lines just hit you, sometimes for their meaning and other times for Isbell’s phrasing; or both, when he turns a phrase like “No one gives a damn about the things I give a damn about.”

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When Did Selling Out Jump the Shark?

It used to “matter” that certain musicians/artists wouldn’t sell out. It was a line in the sand where you knew some whack-ass pop star would sell his song/image to the highest bidder, but Neil Young would always say no to Budweiser and Bruce Springsteen said no to Chevy (and we all got the Bob Seger “Like a Rock” commercials).

So... this happened.

But one day, it just didn’t matter any more. Getting your song on a Lexus or iPod commercial was just good business, and really not that different from being in heavy rotation on the radio back when that was the only way people heard new music.

So….. what happened and when? Was it when that guy yelled “Judas!” at Bob Dylan back in 1966? Was it when Bob did the Victoria’s Secret Commercial? Was it U2’s ZooTV Tour in 1992? Was it 9/11?

Do you still care if/when someone sells out? Is it even possible to sell out anymore? When did selling out jump the shark?

Mike Eddy: This is a great topic – we all could go on and on about it. I say that because being a “sell out” means something to our generation. Not selling out validates the artist to us and somehow makes them seem more true to us. But if we polled a bunch of early 20-somethings, would they even know what a sellout is? Do they care? Probably not, due to the overwhelming amount of current music and artists selling/promoting different products. Infomercials, logo’d clothing, etc… promotion and endorsement is everywhere. It’s what they’ve grown up with and it’s very different from when we were that age. We are all like-minded in looking at bands that we enjoy and hoping that their 4th or 5th album is that much better than the first. The entire industry is now based on individual songs and no real expectation that the “artist” will still be around in 2 years: “take it while you can and as much as you can” seems to be more of the flavor in the minds of musicians today.

Not saying that I’d like “my favorite band” to be on the new Ford commercial, but at the end of the day it plays no part in how good their music is. We have the notion in our heads that selling out is lessening the quality when it is only our perception of what WE want them to be. Continue reading →

An Interview With Filmmaker Josh Bolton

Sometime around 1992 or ’93 I met and befriended a guy from Baltimore named Josh. Josh had a band. I had a band. Our bands sometimes played together. Our bands were friendly with each other.  Our bands sounded absolutely nothing alike.  Josh and I had a short-lived band together called Firewheel. Firewheel was the biggest band around that never played a gig or wrote an actual song. Firewheel is the best band you never heard. A few years later, around 2004, Josh got in touch with me and asked me to contribute some scoring for an East Coast surfing documentary he was filming called Drawing Lines. Since then, there have been other collaborations with music and film. I find Josh to be interesting, funny, and friendly, which means if you’ve gotten this far into this paragraph, you might think so too.

josh-boltonYou have a background in both art and music–and you’re pretty damn good at both–so what got you interested in film?
The philosophical answer is that film is the combination of art and music. But the reality of it was that is was 1992 and my band, Juice, needed a video. Technology wasn’t at a point where everyone had a video camera and Final Cut, actually computers didn’t even have CD burners. So I drove eight hours to a friends college on winter break and put together a VHS compilation video using a 2 channel switcher.

Ok, so not to ask the most obvious question, but who would you say are your biggest influences in filmmaking?
Good question. My answer is probably as obvious as the question. Steve Spielberg, Geo. Lucas, Rob Reiner. Anything I saw on the big screen or the boob tube while I was growing up has been indelibly etched on my memory card.

If you had a choice to work with one male actor and one female actor–dead or alive–who would it be?
I don’t often work with actors, most of my work is done with reality stars and regular people, but if I had to choose…

Male Actor: Zach Galifinikas… because his name starts with a “Gal” and ends with a “kiss.” But seriously, Zach’s not that gifted, but he works harder than anybody else. That resonates with me a lot. It’s not how talented you are, but how hard you are willing to work.

Female Actor: Rashida Jones – she’s hot, she’s funny, she’s Quincy’s daughter. Done deal.

If you were an actor, what filmmaker would you most want to work with?
If I were an actor, I would want to work with Todd Phillips. His movies, The Hangover, Old School, look like a blast to work on and he’s got wicked street cred from his first film The Hated (his GG Allin documentary ). He actually dropped out of NYU Film School to promote it.

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A Yelp Review

yelp

I give this post 1.5 stars. No where is there any mention of side boob.

Living in a society that allows individuals the right to express themselves is something our country’s founders felt was inalienable. One thing that the internet has provided the masses is a chance to express their opinions, thoughts and beliefs.  On it’s face the concept of providing a platform for everyone to share their voice is a positive thing.  In the virtual world of the internet both the like minded and ideologically divided can come together and engage in debates freely and without fear of reprisal from those with opposing viewpoints.

As I previously mentioned, on the surface this is a good thing.  However, as inherent as the likes of Jefferson and Franklin believed free expression as a good thing, I have to say I am not so certain.  It is one thing to debate politics across the ether of the internets in hopes of convincing your ideological counterpart to change their mind, but where I draw the line is when it is no longer debating but simply commenting on something for the sake of being able to re-read the words you wrote in some sort of publication.

What could I be talking about?  Simple, yelp.  This website represents everything that I feel is wrong with giving everyone a voice.  If you are not familiar with yelp.com feel free to give it a go and read some user reviews about service-based businesses across the globe.  Looking for a quiet place to grab a cocktail in Lisbon, check yelp.  Are you dying for some great seafood and you live in Des Moines, Iowa?  Go ape shit all over yelp because apparently there are folks in Des Moines that feel that Waterfront Seafood Market Restaurant in West Des Moines is the shit.  Don’t believe me, google that shit because at least one individual there believes that the CLAM chowder and coconut SHRIMP is fantastic.  Why the CAPS?  Maybe it is because I have difficulty believing clams and shrimp being served in a land locked state such as Iowa are all that fresh.
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Stephen Marley’s Roots Rock Revelation

Stephen Marley

Stephen Marley feelin' it.

Bob Marley once said that, while he knew he’d only be remembered for his music, his children were his true gift to the world. Bob Marley, a poet and a prophet.

With the recent release of Stephen Marley’s great new album, Revelation Pt. 1: The Root of Life, it’s time to start taking a closer look at the Marley kids, and the talents of Stephen Marley in particular.

Since Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers debuted in the mid-80s, and had a hit with Conscious Party in 1989, everyone has accepted and taken for granted that “Oh yea, Ziggy’s pretty good. Not quite his daddy but that’s ok cuz Bob was a legend.” And while most fans knew and appreciated Stephen’s presence and contribution to ZM&MM, the masses viewed the Marley kids as Ziggy and all the rest of ’em.

I don’t have the time or resources to research the 11 or so official children fathered by Bob Marley. With apologies to Ziggy, Bob’s beautiful-voiced daughters Sharon and Cedella, and his sons Rohan (who played football at University of Miami, has 5 children with Lauryn Hill, and runs the Marley Coffee business [seriously]), Julian (a few surprisingly decent albums to his name), Ky-Mani (a book and 6 [SIX!] albums to his credit), and even Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, he of the smash hit Welcome to Jamrock and recent collaboration with Nas, Distant Relatives… (did I miss anyone?)… I’d really like to shine the light on Stephen.

As much as most casual fans probably thought Ziggy “looked and sounded just like Bob Marley,” it was always Stephen whose voice really sounded eerily similar to Bob’s. Cherry-picking the Melody Makers CD’s and assembling all the tracks featuring Stephen on lead vocals would probably be a worthwhile endeavor.

It turns out that Stephen isn’t just a pretty voice and good musician. His production skills have blossomed over the last decade, as he was the maestro pushing the buttons behind the various high points of the Marley kids recent output (Damian’s Jamrock and Nas albums, Julian’s Grammy-nominated Awake, and both Stephen’s own solo albums). Add that to his contributions to some of the best tracks from Ziggy’s heyday (91-99, in my opinion), and you can see why I’m writing this article.
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TV on the Radiohead: The King of Limbs

radiohead

Good. Band.

I have DirecTV and there is channel called Palladia that often shows a variety of live musical performances. The following is a running diary of my initial viewing of “From The Basement: Radiohead: The King of Limbs.” Basically, it’s Radiohead performing in a recording studio with no viewable audience.

“Bloom”
Right off the bat it’s awesome. We got Portishead alum Clive Deamer rocking the drum pads and Jonny Greenwood on the snares, couple of horn players, and an oddly syncopated structure. Love the freakin bass line on this. Sounds like something off a Coltrane record. How in the hell do these guys do it? Guess now I can watch and see.

“Daily Mail”
Starts as a classic Radiohead piano ballad, which means I love it, cause the Neil fan in me always has a soft spot for em. I fall for them every time. How I would love to be able to switch up instruments each song, add some extra musicians to jam with, and make it all work practically flawlessly.

“Feral”
Just turned it up even more, low-end is deep on it. I think im watching what might have happened if Floyd never broke up.

“Little By Little”
Have to say I love their usage of the dual drummer/electro-instrumentalist. What if you could make one person play as an entire band? Like those one-man bands you’d see at Great Adventure. I suppose that’s called a DJ.  I also just started thinking about how it’s really gotten to the point where you can’t describe what Radiohead sounds like. Their influences are all over the place and they really don’t sound like any other band, current or past.

“Codex”
This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Ok, I’ll admit it, the band does sometimes tend to look on the somber side at points during this particular segment, but what do you want them to do during an intro like that? Jump up and down? Let’s just chalk it up as a result of the intensity it must feel like to perform in Radiohead. At any point do you think Ed O’Brien thinks to himself:  “holy shit, were fuckin good!”

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The Year Rock Dies

If your age is 28 or older and you are reading this then you are probably not a rock star.

So you are obviously not dead.

I am going to be the umpteenth person to write about this subject: The Long List of Musicians Who Die At The Age of 27. I do so because there was a time when I thought to myself: “If you ever ‘make it’ in music then you will die at the age of 27.”

Janis Joplin

It was because of the Hendrix/Joplin/Morrison triage that I actually thought like this, like it was somehow an honor, or a rite of passage into rock legend status. You should die a young, usually substance abuse related, death.

At the age of 27 of course.

Then came along ol Kurt and his suicide which brought a more modern member to the list. It had been a while since any rock star that famous had died the 27 death. Almost 20 years later Amy Winehouse joins the group. What each have in common is obvious, but it does make you wonder if these artists were thinking something similar themselves? Like, man, I gotta take advantage of everything all of the time. Full indulgence. Because it’s either expected from me, available, part of the lifestyle, or a serious issue I have to deal with in the public eye. I’m not saying this isn’t pressure that 98% of musicians trying to make it wouldn’t want to have. It’s like a baseball fan saying how much they would love an athletes lifestyle, to get paid that much for just playing a game.

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Just for Men

So the other day I was taking a nice long relaxing shower after a morning bike ride.  Given that it was a Saturday I had all of the time in the world to make sure every nook and cranny of my body gets nice and clean.  During the week I tend to sleep too late so my morning showers hit what I refer to as the ‘hot spots.’  While I do my best to give every body part a good scrub, it is the hair, face, underarms, crotch, backside, and feet get most of the attention.

I figured it was a good time to give the entire body a nice good scrub so  I broke out the long handled brush to give the back a thorough once over.  Using the loofah, I worked up a good lather and made sure that all of the little piggies got a comprehensive cleaning.  After everything was nice and tidy and the hot water was still plentiful I decided to give my man parts the nice, soft, tender and ‘relaxing’ attention they deserve.  Besides, I was in the shower.  No messy clean up needed after the boys are nice and clean.

After a few minutes of ‘washing’ I took a look down just to make sure that the entirety of the area was adequately lathered up.  What I saw next…I wasn’t prepared for…

Looking down I saw it.  At first I thought that is was just some sort of fuzz that I had perhaps missed but with not one but two solid and thorough ‘cleanings’ there was no way that any foreign object could still be clung to any part of my body especially there.  In the initial shock I dropped the loofah and I bent over for closer inspection.

As I bent over my eyes were straining to stay open as the water from the shower kept flowing around my contorted body.  After wiping the water away from my eyes I was finally able to get a clear view.  There it was staring right back at me.  Though my manscaping efforts are fairly routine, it seems that in my last mission of forest clearing I had missed something.
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Not So Much a Review – Bad Teacher

So last night I went to see Bad Teacher and overall I have to say I give it a “thumbs up.”  The story, while certainly not the strongest point of the film, certainly doesn’t cause any harm.  Walking out of the theater I thought about what I just watched and while nothing about the plot really stood out as amazing story telling I still liked it and I think any reasonable person that isn’t too high brow would enjoy it as well.

Bad Teacher Movie Poster

Face it, she's hot.

One spot where the movie really shines, Cameron Diaz.  For the life of me I can’t think of why so many people hate on her so much.  If you ask me about Ms. Diaz all I can say is “Yes Please and Thank You!”  Addressing the haters out there, what is there to not like about her?  First of all she is funny as shit.  Can you name another comedic actress working in film that is as consistently funny as her?  Sure maybe, but are they as hot as Cameron Diaz?  Oh, so you don’t think she is that attractive huh?  Well, can you think of another actress that has ever uttered a phrase even remotely as hot and naughty as ‘Honey I am going to suck your dick like I’m mad at it’?  Well?

The entire cast gives good performances and that includes that kid from N’Sync.  Although I hate to admit it, JT is a pretty talented performer.  Those days at Disney in his early years are really paying off.  Another strong performance that can only be discounted due to limited screen time is that of Jason Segal.  That dude is a freakin comedic acting wizard.  I am glad to say that I will enjoy watching his career path over the years to come.  The guy has a shit ton of talent and I would rate his career as a strong buy (not exactly a weak limb I’m stepping out on here.)  If you don’t watch How I Met Your Mother or have never seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall do yourself a favor quit your job and get that shit from Netflix.  While you will still be unemployed after watching all of those disc at least you will have laughed a hell of a lot before you have to start your job search.

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“Getting” Bon Iver

The new Bon Iver record just doesn’t sound like anything else. Nowadays it seems that’s the last frontier: unique originality. There’s only so many notes. You’re not going to think of anything that Miles Davis or Leonard Bernstein didn’t already come up with. Everything else is Beatlesque or ripping off the Stones (who were rip-off artists).

So while it used to be good enough to just sound like something that was already considered great and successful, at some point being completely new and “indescribable” was the new benchmark. It wasn’t enough to combine genres, the best artists could defy them.

It probably started with invention of hip-hop and rap music in the late 70’s and it’s subsequent explosion in the 80’s. Sure, they literally and physically combined genres, but it didn’t sound like anything else ever. Later, Radiohead came along. Their earliest work was guitar-drums driven, but they morphed into something from the future. Something indescribable. You might make the case that more recent critics darlings My Morning Jacket have that “dude you just gotta hear ’em” factor that would put them in this category.

Interestingly, both Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and My Morning Jacket’s Jim James have something else in common: they like to do a lot of their work in falsetto, their high vocals often serving as either an attraction for fans or a deal-breaker for the listeners that just don’t like it.
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Halftime Speech

Coach Eric Taylor

You don't want to disappoint the coach, do you?

We were getting ready for a show down against conference rival the Arnett-Mead Tigers.  Coach was standing over us after every drill.  After every missed tackle he began to ask us to search deep in our soul as to whether or not we wanted victory.

He was looking to motivate us.  He wanted us to challenge ourselves in order to prove that we had it within ourselves to defeat our rivals in battle on gridiron. After every whistle he bated our egos.

***TWEET***
“Are we not clear that in five days a group of men are gonna be comin down here to try and destroy you? Is that not… is that not clear?”
***TWEET***
“These same men are gonna be comin down here and they are gonna use everything they have to hurt you.”
***TWEET***
“They’re gonna attempt to do this in front of your mothers, in front of your fathers, in front of you brothers, in front of your sisters.”

Despite every question of our abilities and desire on the coaches part we could feel our confidence growing.  There was no way in H-E-double hockey sticks were those fucking pussies from Arnett-Mead going to beat us.  Friday night, come H-E-double hockey sticks or high water we were not going to lose to those no good bastard sons of mongrel dogs.

Fast forward – it is half time and the score board is reflecting the domination being dispensed at the hands of our opponents.  Despite all of the hard work we had put in as a team our efforts thus far on the field have been less than spectacular.  Despite coaches warnings earlier in the week we did not head his words as the Tigers had, thus far, come to destroy us and after two quarters of play they were doing their best to defeat us soundly with the score marked at 17-0 for the bad guys.

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Welcome to Bums Logic

We’re proud to announce and welcome you to BUMS LOGIC, a new online-magazine styled blog, mostly about music, featuring original articles by Steve (Jaded Bitterman), Todd (Todd.Levinson.Frank), Victor (Jr. Worthy), Bill (Lennsakata), Bear, Mike-Eddy, and other special guests. This loose collective has been collaborating on music, film, writing, art, and brewing on and off (we try to always be on) for the last 20 years, and now we plan to throw it all in a digital blender for public viewing.

The concept isn’t necessarily to have all the latest links to news, performances, or downloads, or blurbs about blurbs. Our hope is that it will be a place to read some (hopefully) thought-provoking stuff about music, film, sports, television, politics, books, art, technology, and culture. Maybe we’ll have a few laughs and maybe you’ll write for us someday too.

We call it a magazine, mostly as a nod to the not-too-distant past when we held stuff in our hands, not just the magazines, but the albums and tapes and CD’s they wrote about. While still essentially a blog (and BUMS LOGIC is an anagram for “music blog”), we’ll try to write our own jokes and do our own stunts.

Please visit us today, check out what we have going so far, and bookmark the site so you can check back in. Also, we’d be eternally grateful if you share our link on facebook, twitter, and wherever else you share cool webstuff. In return, we’ll try our best to be cool webstuff.

b  u  m  s  l  o  g  i  c

Tame Impala – Innerspeaker Review

Trippy!

There are certain albums–for example, the Beastie Boy’s Hot Sauce Committee Part Two–that you can listen to while doing mindless tasks and still enjoy the music. It’s “party” music. Other albums require you to be in a certain head space to absorb them. Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker is one of those albums (I will never forget when my younger self put on The Wall during a beach trip with my brother, who subsequently turned it off while insisting, “this isn’t beach music!”).

I was (illegally) sent a copy of Innerspeaker–the bands debut album–by a close friend who’s musical tastes often coincide with mine. And when they don’t, he still has a pretty good grasp on knowing what I might find interesting and within my stylistic preferences. Tame Impala is a band he thought would fit that mold…and he was 100% correct. His selling points were: great vocal harmonies, cool production, catchy songs, and oh yea, the singer sounds just like Paul McCartney. He was right about everything except the singer doesn’t sound like Macca…he sounds almost identical to John Lennon (and that is not a bad thing in my book).

Upon my initial listen, I will admit that it took me some time to get over that fact: holy shit, this guy really sounds like Lennon! I played some songs for friends under the guise of, “you gotta hear this singers voice!”  Then after a few more spins I started to find myself singing the chorus’ for days on end and studying the production (Dave Fridmann–mostly of Mercury Rev and Flaming Lips fame–mixed the album). Innerspeaker was really starting to grow on me.

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My Top 10 Favorite Metal/Hard Rock Album Covers

Perfectly classic.

#10  AC/DC – BACK IN BLACK
Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap: “I think he is right, there is something about this, that’s that’s so black, it’s like; “How much more black could this be?” and the answer is: “None, none…more black.”

Nuff said.

 

 

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Why Toy Story Matters

In the first Toy Story movie, we meet Woody, the Tom Hanks-voiced cowboy who’s concerned about being replaced by a shiny new space toy. Then we are introduced to said shiny new space toy Buzz Lightyear, and he slowly realizes that he’s not a real space ranger, but just a toy.

Self-esteem issues and jealousy? Coming to grips with the limitations of reality? Is this any way to launch a kids-movie franchise? I guess so, judging by its success.

Toy Story (and its subsequent sequels) did what most movies aspire to do: inspire children, keep the attention of adults, and somehow really entertain both groups simultaneously (and make loads of money at the box office and with product tie-ins). While bringing toys to life (in often creative and hilarious fashion), it also did something else: it examined not just what we play with, but how we play.

By focusing on how we play, we learn about how we think and the limitless possibilities of imagination. Pretty lofty stuff for a cartoon.

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About the Grading Scale

As I previously mentioned in Making the Grade, over the years I have come up with a grading system when it comes to rating a ‘Teen Comedy.’  Essentially the system is a simple method of providing review in such a manner that no words could be lifted and taken out of context in any manner.

I Love You, Beth Cooper Movie Poster

Without the side boob this movie is an F for failure.

For example, When I say the movie ‘Clueless’ is an A+ any reasonable person, familiar with traditional grading scales used throughout the vast majority of US education systems, could easily deduce that I do in fact think it is a quality movie.  On the other hand, saying something like “Hayden Panettiere delivers an unbelievable, less than riveting, poor porformance,” in reference to the less than average film I Love You,  Beth Cooper could lead to someone simply carefully lifting certain words to say  ‘Hayden Panettiere delivers”…JrWorthy, Bums Logic.

My point is there is no way anyone could spin my grade of ‘D’ for I Love You,  Beth Cooper.  The only reason it doesn’t totally fail is the split second shot of Hayden’s side boob.  Sure she is small and looks like a little kid but she is legal.

The Curious Case of Thomas Earl Petty

He’s made at least one quality album in five different decades. He’s a rock star despite his turned-the-corner-and-got-smacked-with-a-frying-pan looks. He’s had his house burned down by arsonists and toured with Bob Dylan. He’s played Live Aid, Bonnaroo, and the Super Bowl. He’s fought with record companies and been the subject of a 4-hr documentary. When he was 10, he met Elvis. He’s on the shortlist of Greatest Video Hitmakers of the 80s, but he’s also a Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famer who really does seem like he’d be cool to have a beer with.

He’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a guitar strap. He’s Tom Petty.

Seriously, does anyone hate this guy? Sure, some might not love all his music. Some might be a bit turned off by his Dylanesque whine, or maybe they find “Free Fallin’” a bit annoying and overplayed. But does anyone hate Tom Petty? I don’t think so.

Without recounting his entire career, the broad strokes of it are a case study in… in… I’m not sure what. Petty and his career are just so unique for someone who comes off so ordinary. The first sentence of his bio on allmusic.com mentions that he was “shoehorned into the punk/new wave movement” of the late 1970s, but would anyone confuse Petty with the Sex Pistols or Talking Heads? He often shares sentences (and fans) with Bruce Springsteen, but even this Springsteen fanatic must admit that it’s Petty who exudes the regular-guy cool that Bruce has (ironically) tried so hard to personify.

His turn as the Mad Hatter in the infamous video for “Don’t Come Around Here No More” is one of the indelible images of MTV’s heyday, inexplicably tying him to the likes of Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and the more-usual suspects who brought some artistry to the commercial art of video making.

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Making the Grade

Clueless Movie Poster

Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash and Brittany Murphy. Who wouldn't?

Everyone has their personal favorite film genre.  Bums Logic’s own Jaded Bitterman will be the first to tell you about his love of all things horror.  If it involves some young teens finding themselves in a secluded area with nothing to do but drink and fuck whilst unbeknownst to them a homicidal maniac lurks in the shadows waiting to disembowel them, the you can be rest assured JB loves it.

I, on the other hand, prefer a different genre that involves teens and that is a category I refer to simply as the Teen Comedy.  There is something about the genre that just gets my insides all wrapped up and excited.  I guess it is the 14-year-old girl who lives inside of me that can’t get enough of the angst and hi-jinks of life in simpler times when all I had to worry about was how are we going to get alcohol and where can we drink it without getting caught.  At the very least we threw caution to the wind in regard to the impending bludgeoning at the hands of the aforementioned homicidal maniac lurking in the bushes the moment we decided to reach up her shirt and touch a boob.  Thought bubble, “Now that I am up her shirt do I try to unhook her bra or just try to slide my hand under the cup but over the wire?” Ah, good times.

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Dear Kid A

Thanks Kid!

Dear Kid A,

I just wanted to thank you for the good time the other night. It was really thoughtful of you to invite me over to your, shall we say, interesting party. The hors d’oeuvre were delicious and the mood was just right. Even though the guests didn’t mingle too much I still feel like this was one of the best parties of the year–if not the new millennium!

You seem to have a real good feel for what the future might hold for us. The settings you used, the colors for your decorations, the off beat twists and turns to the themes, were of the most fascinating kind. Can’t say I have seen this type of atmosphere before but something tells me you might on to a good thing here.

Some of the guests I spoke to that had attended some of your previous parties seemed a little disturbed–some even downright annoyed–at the new direction your parties seem to be taking. They seemed confused and unhappy that you simply didn’t continue with some of the success’ of your past. I found them to be somewhat provoking yet a little too clingy for me. I, for one, think these new ideas of yours are agreeable and progressive, and will lead to even better things for you and your future attendees.

Trust me Kid, people will be talking about this party for years to come. I have already noticed that some of my other friends are trying to throw very similar affairs, yet they do not seem to be able to match the wit and elegance by which you pulled it off. I hope you do keep up the good work you have started here.

Yours truly,

Mr. Magpie