Archive for November, 2011

The Dreamy World of ROBERT ALTMAN’S ’3 WOMEN’ (1977)

Published by cctadmin on November 29th, 2011

In Desert Springs, California, SHELLEY DUVALL’SThoroughly Modern” Millie Lammoreaux, seems to have leapt from the pages of Cosmo, Apartment Life and Woman’s Day, with her Vidal Sassoonesque hairdo, pad by the pool in the Purple Sage singles complex, and her own “famous” dinner party fare: tuna melts, pigs-in-the-blanket with Cheez-Whiz, and store-bought shrimp cocktails (one per guest) -and a social life centered on virtual ghost emporium Dodge City, complete with empty swimming pool, abandoned miniature golf course, motorcycle track, and pickup bar.  She’s brilliant – a waif-ish odd-ball I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the moment I first watched 3 Women.

Then, at the old folks rehab center where Millie works, and arriving straight-from-Houston is Pinky Rose (SiSSY SPACEK, fresh from ‘Carrie’ and a quarter-century before ‘In the Bedroom’), with only one pair of underpants and a sewing machine to her name; DUVALL’S orientation session turns into a bad case of hero worship for SPACEK (“You’re the most perfect person I ever met”).  Pinky is so taken by Millie in all her wonderfulness. After the inevitable move-in to Millie’s apartment, its nonstop imitation-at-first-sight, until a near-fatal fall into the pool – leaving you wonder – was it a suicide attempt? – and a resulting coma moves things on to an apparent personality transplant-takeover à la BERGMAN’S ‘Persona’. And the entrance of the third woman – JANiCE RULE’S reclusive, extremely pregnant Willie, painting murals of amphibian people in her heat-packing husband’s dry swimming pools – elevates the already-unsettling atmosphere, ALTMAN”S most dreamlike film to date.  3 Women is a movie filled with doubles and reflections; the 3 women of the title double and reflect each other.

And no wonder: “The film literally came to me in a dream,” once explained the director. A simultaneously pathetic and fingernails-on-the-blackboard turn for DUVALL (who apparently wrote her own monologues) in “a comic performance as funny and moving as anything you’re likely to see this year” (ViNCENT CANBY, Times) that won her Best Actress awards from Cannes and the L.A. Film Critics, and an equally chilling performance from SPACEK, whose performance as Pinky won her the Best Supporting Actress award from the New York Film Critics Circle.  3 Women was thought to be so unusual that most never imagined ALTMAN would be able to match it again.

To me there are many things that work about 3 Women – from the cinematography, the use of the reptile painting inside the pool, and the dynamic performance given by DUVALL and SPACEK.  I’ve always found DUVALL an exceptional actress, with her unusual looks and personality – and in 3 Women she stands out for her subtle nuances and chatter-box dialogue.  I will say that being a slow paced film, hardly packed with action or movement – can be difficult for anyone unfamiliar with ALTMAN’S cinematic style, which is often dialogue and character-driven.    Yet, 3 Women is worth the watch if anything, for all of the ingredients used – and for an escape into a dreamlike world.


THE ART OF KiTSCH

Published by cctadmin on November 28th, 2011


THE GO-GO’S: BEATNiK BEACH (1982)

Published by cctadmin on November 28th, 2011

THE GO-GO’S played a pivotal role in the history of rock and roll. They were the first all-female band to make it to the top of all the major charts with songs they wrote themselves. If you want to have a serious discussion about Women in Rock, you have to include THE GO-GO’S.

Originally formed in 1978 THE GO-GO’S initially consisted of BELiNDA CARLiSLE (vocals), JANE WiEDLiN (guitar, vocals), MARGOT OLAVARRiA (bass), and ELiSSA BELLO (drums).  They were formed as a punk band and had roots in the L.A. punk community;  and CARLiSLE had briefly been a member of punk-rock band THE GERMS.

The band started out playing at seminal punk rock venues and CHARLOTTE CAFFEY (lead guitar, keyboards) was added later in 1978, and in the summer of 1979, GiNA SCHOCK replaced BELLO on drums. With these line-up changes, the group began moving towards their now more-familiar power pop sound.

During late 1979, the band recorded a 5-song demo at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, and in 1980 supported the British ska revival group MADNESS in both Los Angeles and England. THE GO-GO’S subsequently spent half of 1980 touring England, developing a sizable following and releasing the demo version of ‘We Got the Beat‘, which became a minor UK hit.

They signed to I.R.S. Records in April 1981. Their debut album, BEAUTY AND THE BEAT , was a surprise hit; it topped the U.S. charts for six weeks in 1982 and eventually received a triple platinum certification. The album was also a success outside the U.S. charting at #2  here in Canada, where it received a platinum certification, and #27 in Australia. In 2003, the album was ranked number 413 on ROLLiNG STONE magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. ‘Our Lips Are Sealed‘ and a new version of ‘We Got the Beat‘ were extremely popular singles in North America in early 1982. In this period THE GO-GO’S became America’s sweethearts, at least for a short period, and started building a fan base. In 1982 the group was nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best New Artist.

The follow-up album VACATiON received mixed reviews and sold far less than BEAUTY AND THE BEAT .  ‘Vacation’ was this albums major hit, but other singles released from the album were “Get Up and Go” and “He’s So Strange”, neither of which made it into the Top 40.  Personally one of my favorite songs from VACATiON is ‘Beatnik Beach‘ – a beach bingo-esque song with a surfer chick twist.  Of course THE GO-GO’S continued to tour and make music through much of the 1980′s, however, due to differences, as well as drug addiction issues for some band members - THE GO-GO’S disbanded in 1985.

Check out ‘Beatnik Beach’ below -


OLD HOLLYWOOD: CHARLES RAY (1891-1943)

Published by cctadmin on November 27th, 2011

CHARLES RAY was a silent film star who often portrayed young rural men making good in the city. As his youthful looks faded, however, so did his fame and fortune in Hollywood.

In real life as in his movie roles, RAY started at the bottom. From acting at the old Mason Opera  House in Los Angeles, he went into the movies at $30 a week. He later became one of the highest- paid actors of his time, making $11,000 a week at one point.

Later in life, RAY was considered to be demanding and egotistic. When Hollywood deserted him, he set out to finance his own film, “The Courtship of Miles Standish,” which failed and drove him into bankruptcy. He later tried writing, publishing a novel and a book of 29 short stories.


MUSiC LOG/JOURNAL: The LiGHT of DAY

Published by cctadmin on November 25th, 2011

Last year offered me a lot of opportunities to accomplish some life-long ambitions of mine – mostly of which involved being able to extend myself to a community beyond my living room, musically speaking.  What with ‘THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT‘ and DANNiEL OiCKLE’S ‘THE CORRUPTiON of FLESH’, and a few live shows under my belt – a personal/professional goal going forward has been to continue pushing myself creatively, but within the context of collaborating a lot more – as I find its’ one thing to play/sing/write alone – and another richer experience to feed off/inspire each other to far exceed yourself.

Speaking of which – last Wednesday I brought my buddy/fellow musician friend iSAAC VALENTiNE over to jam on our individual material.  iSAAC, already familiar with releasing his own music independently – has his sights set on recording tracks for his next release, and much to my enjoyment he has generously allowed me in on, at least one track – an original tune he wrote and composed called ‘Workhorse‘.

Building slowly ‘Workhorse‘ is a lovely tune, iSAAC taking lead vocals, surrouded in acoustic and slide guitar, as well as a harmony from yours true.  Wednesday in particular was a lot of fun, as it was time for me to add a third part harmony – resulting in a trio of vocals remicent of another TRiO: DOLLY PARTON, LiNDA RONSTADT & EMMYLOU HARRiS, respectively.  Now I’m no Dolly but what we did accomplish – is something just as fine with that VALENTiNE/CC twist.  Needless to say we’re both excited about the results – so do stay tuned for ‘Workhorse‘ as it continues to evolve.

While on the subject of recording, another CC project currently on the go, centres around a collaborative effort between myself and photographer/musician/songwriter DARREN HOLMES. Similarly to working with VALENTiNE, DARREN and I have been slowly but surely building tracks for a yet-to-be titled follow-up album to ‘THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT‘.  This time ’round, my primary goal is to be a part of crafting something even more evolved as to me there would be no point in releasing more unless I’m able to grow and evolve.  Being able to do so in the company of like-minded artists is what feels best, so I’m thankful for Mr. DARREN HOLMES, indeed.

What I like most about collaborating with him thus far, is the loose nature of these sessions; which usually start with a cup of coffee and good conversation before we begin tackling tracks.  So far DARREN and I have begun working on several of his original songs, ‘All I Need‘ and ‘So Hard‘, in addition to a song I wrote called ‘Maggie Brown Eyes (Maggie’s Theme’).  Additionally, I’m about to start working on a collaboration effort between myself and local folk singer KETURAH JOHNSON – someone I’ve admired musically for some time (and who is also in the midst of recording a studio album) – and I’m only thrilled she is just as eager.  Something else that uber excites me are ‘Sailor Song‘ and ‘Nothing Matters‘ – two songs originally recoreded by Ottawa’s very own THE PEPTiDES – and written by none other than CLAUDE MARQUiS.  Finally, DARREN and I have been teasing out a beautiful banjo version of BOB DYLAN’SI Threw It All Away‘, giving me the opportunity to interpret a song I’ve loved for years.  We see each other in these recording sessions on a when-we-can-afford-to basis.

All in all these endeavors provide those of us involved opportunities to play – so even if these tracks never see the light of day (and I hope they do), the experiences in recording alone have been rewarding.  Until then – or until there is more to report – stay tuned and keep well folks!  Check out the images below from Wednesdays session with iSAAC.

CC xox


THE PROVOCATiVE BEAUTY of ANJELiCA HUSTON

Published by cctadmin on November 25th, 2011

ANJELiCA HUSTON’S rare beauty lies deeper than her jet black hair or her regal nose; she is a far more complex beauty than most of the young lovelies who now grace our screens. In the ’70s, HUSTON was the ultimate it-girl, dashing from party to party with her famous lover, JACK NiCHOLSON and posing on the cover of VOGUE in HALSTON; today, she is one of the most respected actresses in Hollywood (PRiZZi’S HONOR,THE GRiFTERS, WiTCHES, BUFFALO 66, etc), a subtle, wise, and yes, breathtaking actress. Here are of the most beautiful pictures of ANJELiCA HUSTON, style icon.


SHEENA EASTON: THE SCOTTiSH POP TART

Published by cctadmin on November 23rd, 2011

In 1981 SHEENA EASTON became famous after being the focus of an episode in a British T.V. program called THE BiG TiME, which recorded her attempts to gain a record contract, similar to the format of AMERiCAN iDOL today.  It also captured her eventual signing with EMI Records, as well as the release of her first single ‘Modern Girl’ – a poppy, very middle-of-the-road 1980’s hit.  EASTON then began capturing the attention of the public – garnering nods for Best Newcomer and Best Female Singer (1981).

Eventually EASTON, a plucky and petite chick donning a short dark hair-do and a lot of spandex – rose to fame with other hits like ‘Morning Train’ in the United States, as well as ‘Strut’, ‘Sugar Walls’, ‘U Got the Look’ (w/ PRiNCE) and ‘For Your Eyes Only’ from the JAMES BOND film of the same name.  I always really liked SHEENA EASTON growing up – as I can recall my father having several of her records in his ever-diverse collection.  She definitely had the look of a star – vampy and sexed up; and her music, at least the hits I know of, are all very hook-driven and wrapped up nicely in the EASTON package.

My criticism (and I often criticize that which I can also enjoy on some level) with EASTON, was that unlike her 1980’s counterparts, i.e, DEBBiE HARRY, PAT BENETAR, ANNiE LENNOX, CHRiSSiE HYNDE – was that her voice was far too thin to show a lot or range, hence why when it boiled down to it I think I appreciated her for the potential of the entire package, but in reality she just could not sustain my interest comparatively to the aforementioned women, who were able to offer a lot more than EASTON in terms of being a well-rounded women in rock.   I even discovered that after her singing career stalled in the mid 80’s EASTON took a stab at acting (MiAMi ViCE) and now tours her hits in casinos – but has otherwise dropped out of the music industry.

Oh SHEENA baby – I do still admire thee for your high energy pop standards, as well as your enthusiasm.  To you SHEENA! With Love, CC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXSF6KlrZ3c


THE SWEET NiGHTMARES & TWiSTED iMANGiNiNGS of MiCHAEL STEELE

Published by cctadmin on November 21st, 2011

For years I’ve had a great friend in a man by the name of MiCHAEL AUSTEN STEELEMiCHAEL and I would have met when I was 18 years old and living in Winnipeg, Manitoba – where we both resided at the time  Becoming fast friends he and I have always related on all things life, love, liberty and arts – for he is an exceptionally creative and talented man, as well as published photographer.

2008 saw the release of DAYDE WOOLFE Vol. 1 and 2, and in 2009 STEELE continued to grow and shine as a photographer with TORNADOES & HURRICANES; a series of intimate photographic delights.  SWEET NiGHTMARES Vol. 1 (2009), his most recent effort showcases the evolution of his work, reflecting a darker side as well as a fascination with realizing even the more disturbed sides of our dreams and imaginings.  SWEET NiGHTMARES unfolds like a story; separated in chapters about The Masked Showdown, Ghouls and Goodies, Red and the Wolf and Demon Dancing – suggesting that as dark as STEELE is, there is a devilish sense of humor about it all as well – and certainly an appreciation for the twisted and beautiful.

In 2009 I had the greatest pleasure in catching up with my good friend MiCHAEL on a trip to Winnipeg, and for the first time in years we were also able to reconnect artistically – the results yielded some beautiful images he took of me at a deserted church and farm house outside of Winnipeg, MB.   Again, in 2010 we reunited – similarly working on another series/project MiCHAEL is currently working on titled SKiNTiDE – to be published and released sometime this year.  Stay tuned for more of MiCHAEL STEELE, who now resides in Vancouver, BC.

Check out the selected images below, along with several photographs from SWEET NiGHTMARES.

To view HURRiCANES & NiGHTMARES on Blurb.com please check out this link:

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/652684

To view SWEET NiGHTMARES Vol. 1 please check here:

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1048191


PORTRAiT of a TRAMP – artist unknown

Published by cctadmin on November 20th, 2011


‘ROD the MOD’ STEWART: LOST PARAGUAYOS (1972)

Published by cctadmin on November 20th, 2011

ROD STEWART’S music has been a staple of mine for as long as I can remember; but in particular I have remained most in love with his earliest albums, including GASOLiNE ALLEY (1970), EVERY PiCTURE TELLS A STORY (1971) and NEVER A DULL MOMENT (1972).  These albums as well as the work he did with THE FACES established a template for his unique solo sound; a heartfelt mixture of folk, rock and country blues, inclusive of a British working-class sensibility.  Not only do these albums have that one of a kind raspy/boozy ROD sound, but they are filled with heavy mandolin and acoustic arrangements accompanied by RONNiE WOOD; all combining into music that few can match.  The musicianship found on these albums is the stuff that had me fantasizing not only about ROD SREWART, ever the hottie in his dandyish style of grooming and dress, but furthermore what it would be like to make music that amazing.

‘Lost Paraguayos’, written by STEWART and RONNiE WOOD, is a stand out song among other early beauts like ‘Reason To Believe’, ‘You Wear It Well’ and ‘Mandolin Wind’.  What separates these early recordings from the music he records today is that all of the musicianship and story-teller quality STEWART had all blended together magically, and stylistically he was able to blend folk, rock and country blues together in a very accessible manner.  Much like his ‘Maggie May’,  ‘Lost Paraguayos’ captures a funner side to his roughness, serving complimentary to his the ballads ‘Reason To Believe’ and ‘Mandolin Wind’.   Check out a youtube link for a listen, as well enjoy these selected images.