Sunday, June 30, 2024

Status Quo Sunday Wants To Meet Jessica Harper

 *dusts this off* All right, let's get back to it... but first!



People were psyched to get them at FWA, and now since FWA is over, my stock is for sale on Bandcamp! Scronce did a really good job on the design, and the printers are the same people who did my Swoletariat shirts, so they're built to last!

Speaking of FWA...

TFF and FWA were A-OK!

Made the rounds to Dallas and Atlanta this year, and while the specifics fade away, there's still PLENTY of highlights!

For Texas Furry Fiesta, I got to meet up with Luis Huerta, aka GamutFeathers, who has whimsical watercolor style, and if you follow the Pomodoro streams, did the "Fangs Of Fury" design practice that became a staple of me making up songs on the fly.

He came to my show, AND gave me a signed Lorcana card! I still need to play my first game, but I'll be sure to slot this in! 












Furry Weekend Atlanta could be best summed up with this picture:









From left to right, Enbiety, me and Scronce, and FWA was the first time we were all in the same room together. UB and Scronce are not only incredible supportive of my music, but also me as a person. I love them both very much, and could not ask for better friends. Even on our worst days, we always encourage each other to keep going.

It was also UB's first furry convention! We met back when I was regularly playing anime cons, and was floored by the sheer difference in enthusiasm, especially when it came to my shows.

Scronce is also wearing the shirt he designed! It started off as kind of a joke in our discord, but then he drew a flxing Thrash and we took it off from there. YES HE GOT PAID FOR IT. HE DOES GOOD ART, BRENT.

Before I go into the next section, I want to give a shout out to the AV teams for TFF and FWA, because they were on point the whole time. I still feel weird asking for stuff, because it's just little old me, but both cons did their best to match my freak as the kids like to say.

Discord Movie Nights: A Jessica Harper Double Feature

In an attempt to cross more movies off my "To Do" list, I've made a list of movies I haven't watched yet to go through. In an attempt to put more stuff on this site, I'll be talking about them a little bit, because let's face it, I do ignore this place A LOT. 

Phantom Of The Paradise

Phantom of the Paradise is a rock opera from 1974 directed by Brian De Palma. A songwriter, Winslow Leach, has his version of Faust stolen from him by a greedy record exec, Swan, played by Paul Williams.

I first found out about this movie through, of all things, a short made by Matthew Gafford set in his totally original universe, A Fox In Space.

The blue bird, who's totally not Falco Lombardi from the Star Fox series, is dressed as Winslow Leach, once he adopts a disguise and starts interfering with the opening of The Paradise, Swan's latest venue. Didn't know anything about it, it just looked fucking cool. 

Phantom fucking GOES after a couple brief songs that introduces a fictional nostalgia band, and Winslow's song. After that, he gets ripped off, goes to jail, gets his teeth ripped out, escapes, gets deformed and starts killing people. 70's movies have a reputation for feeling slow, but Phantom avoids the pitfall by filling long shots with a unique sense of dread, like "OooohhhhhHHHHH"

Jessica Harper plays Phoenix, a singer auditioning for Swan's new production, and GOD DAMN WHY DIDN'T ANYBODY TELL ME ABOUT HER BEFORE? She's pretty and has this voice that draws you in, Very reminiscent of Karen Carpenter. 

Overall, it's a very simple premise that's been done before: the music industry is like a deal with the devil, the humble creative vs. the greedy producer, blah blah, we've seen it before. BUT, it's presented in such an exciting and gonzo matter, with performances that for how over the top the material is, are very reserved, Phantom of the Paradise draws you in to see what's around the corner.

Right after the movie finished, I looked up how old Paul Williams was when he made this because he looked super old, and he was 34. I'm 36. People aged differently back then.

Shock Treatment

If I had a nickel for every movie I've seen where Jessica Harper plays a woman who performs well as a one off thing and then gets wrapped up in super stardom where she ends up constantly performing under the influence of drugs, I'd have two nickels. Which isn't a lot, but weird it's happened twice. 

Shock Treatment is the 1981 sequel/follow-up to the seminal Rocky Horror Picture Show, dircrected Jim Sharman, and co-written by him and Richard O' Brien, the latter being responsible for the ICONIC music from RHPS. It follow Brad and Janet, now married, in the audience at a television studio. They aooear on the game show "Marriage Maze", and Brad is committed to an institution in the name of Mental Health.

The setting makes it feel very uncomfortable to watch, because it ALL takes place INSIDE the aforementioned television studio. There's no outdoor establishing shots, or off-site locations, and even "outdoor" scenes, where Janet's dad mows the lawn is done on this over-lit, AstroTurf garage. During the song "Lullaby" where everyone goes to sleep, there's a shot of the television audience asleep in their seats. It feels more like the movie takes place in a prison than in a studio.

It's not as memorable as Rocky Horror, but it ends up being more relevant, since it revolves around the themes of Americana propaganda, and ignoring your exploitation and real human problems in the search of fame. 

That being said, there still are some good songs, I'm partial to the opening number, "Thank God I'm A Man", and "Breaking Out". AND, like Phantom, I became aware of this movie in a very stupid way. 

Marc With A C made a cover album for it:

I'm like Slumdog Millionaire when it comes to movies. I ALSO HAVEN'T SEEN SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. 

JAM OF THE WEEK: "Hot To Go" by Chappell Roan

It's the end of Pride Month, I'm Bisexual, you do the math.