Vintage Bin: Deadsy, Commencement

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DEADSY, Commencement (Elementree/Dreamworks, 2002)
Nowadays, if you’re still craving a few smears of that late-1990s grunge/goth/rap/metal hybridism, your only real resource is Criss Angel. Korn has gone desperately acoustic for their most recent album, and the legion of glowering mooks who laid turds in the wake of their success have largely slunk back into the fallow shadows. That is, unless you still have a cutout bin copy of Deadsy’s Commencement floating around. And if you have Commencement, then you’ve got “The Key to Gramercy Park.”

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One Day At A Time

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Bonnie Franklin, proponent of feminism, feminine bowl cuts, and gag chairs. Mackenzie Phillips, troubled teen, nose jazz enthusiast, and perfect fantasy foil for Richie, Matt Dillon’s brooding fuckup in Over the Edge. (New Grenada!) Here she’s seen hiding from her problems behind a wooden chest later bequeathed to Lindsay Lohan. Pat Harrington, creator of Wear Your Vest to Work Day and blow dryer of hammers. Valerie Bertinelli, the Rachel Bilson of 1976 and Continue reading “One Day At A Time”

Stone Temple Pilots, Sex Type Thing

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Is this pirated footage from Hostel: Part III? Seriously, what the hell is wrong with this video? It’s 15 years old, yes. But it also looks like it was shot and edited by an actual 15-year-old. “Okay Weiland,” Kyle the Kid Director says excitedly. “We’re going to have you strut around like a tough guy while we all laugh at you in our flannels. Then this other dude shows us his scary Medusa dreads, and then later you’ll go Continue reading “Stone Temple Pilots, Sex Type Thing”

Miami Vice

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Where were you when those boobs walked by? The influence of Miami Vice on the 1980s and music video culture, but for our purposes its hold on the braintrust here at the Detour bivouac, cannot be overstated. It inspired research into jai alai frontons. It introduced South Beach and Miami’s washed-out deco architecture. It made masterful use of the “and…” title designation for the respected character actor who anchors a show. (In this case Edward James Olmos Continue reading “Miami Vice”

Magnum P.I.

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Mike. Fucking. Post. Can you even pick a fave from his TV themes? Likely impossible, but since hearing “Magnum” makes you wish you were riding on the landing gear of TC’s chopper, even all these years later, it definitely makes the top five. It’s part “Hawaii Five-0,” part “Live and Let Die,” and part disco-era strings, the latter easing back the song’s midsection but still making it sizzle like teriyaki sauce on steel. It’s Post on all cylinders. Continue reading “Magnum P.I.”

Styx, “Mr. Roboto”

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The lights fade up, and the keyboards come in. Oh cool, Naomi Watts is in this video. Ah crap, it’s actually Tommy Shaw. In the Kilroy Was Here backstory – in Dennis DeYoung’s grand vision (or illusion) – Shaw plays Jonathan Chance, a young rebel of a dystopian future where music is suppressed by the Falwellian Dr. Righteous and DeYoung – of course – is the rock star, Kilroy, that the doctor and his goons have Continue reading “Styx, “Mr. Roboto””

Johnny Sokko And His Giant Robot

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UHF was the Internet of our youth. When hulking console televisions lurked in living rooms like a CDC 7600 for every American family, all we had to do was crank that top dial over to UHF and spin the bottom one until it landed on F-U-N. That’s no cliche. UHF really was amazing, especially in comparison to the choking desert sands of contemporary daytime television. Next time you’re home sick, you’ll long for Speed Racer’s goofy old Charlie Chan Continue reading “Johnny Sokko And His Giant Robot”

The Six Million Dollar Man

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TV show intros are usually all about the good times. “The Six Million Dollar Man” says fuck that. Tension is hardwired into this sequence. Letters appear on screen like circuits being soldered methodically into a board. Radio squelch and technical chatter murmurs in the background. Hulks of analog equipment, a time-code silently pacing the action, and jargon pull-quotes like “We have separation.” It’s only 15 seconds in, and you’re already shaking with Continue reading “The Six Million Dollar Man”