Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V: yet more waterlogged and windblown links edition

As always, thanks to the contributors of the reviews and citations below, and to you readers...there are likely to be an addition or so to this list over the course of the day, and if I've overlooked your or anyone else's post, please let me know in comments. Between the delights of a freakish (and happily not Too murderous, at least once it hit the US) hurricane and the far more genuinely delightful hallowday that is 31 October, we have a fair share of horror-film-package hosts (including Brian Arnold's, Ivan Shreve's, James Reasoner's, Rick's, and Scott Cupp's, albeit the Mysties weren't so restrictive), and some dueling Masons, no relation.

May all your tricks be treats...

Flesh and Bone
Bill Crider: Flesh and Bone [trailer]

Brian Arnold: Saturday Night Dead; Magoo Meets Frankenstein; Innocent Blood

Dan Stumpf: Confessions of an English Opium Eater

Ed Gorman: Dark Night of the Scarecrow; Get a Life; horror film v. suspense film; Born to Be Bad

Elizabeth Foxwell: Whispering City; The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

Evan Lewis: More Horror Films I Don't (or Don't Want to) Remember

George Kelley: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season Four

How Did This Get Made?: Sleepaway Camp

Iba Dawson: Stars in Shorts

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: You Bet Your Life; The Headless Horseman (1922); the inadequacies of Fox among other home video labels; Svengoolie

James Reasoner: Nightmare: "Gorgon's Trophy Room" 

Jeff Flugel: Raw Meat

Jerry House: Nosferatu (1922); The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

John Charles: The Blood Beast Terror (aka The Vampire Beast Craves Blood)

John F. Norris: 7 Cool Flicks for Hallowe'en; Bouchercon 2012

Joss Whedon: Endorsement for President

Juri Nummelin: Straight to Hell and other films at the Annual Meeting of the Finnish Western Society

Kate Laity: Devil's Night

Laura: Miracle Landing; Rage in Heaven

Marty McKee: "The City on the Edge of Forever" (Star Trek); Marvel Comics: The Untold Story  by Sean Howe

Mike Callahan: Rod Serling and Charles Beaumont

Molly Brown: "Your Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse";  "The Evil Table"

Patti Abbott: Brother's Keeper

Prashant Trikannad: 'Allo 'Allo
Cemetery Without Crosses

Randy Johnson: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959); Cemetery Without Crosses (aka Cimitero senza croci)

Richard Pangburn: Most Beautiful (A/V) Witches

Rick: Dr. Paul Bearer (Shock Theater); Beyond Our Control (and Klara Kackel's Kreepy Kauldron); The Bob Gordon Show (among others); Television Horror Movie Hosts by Elena M. Watkins

Rod Lott: Sisters of Death; The Raven (2012)

Ron Scheer: Gun Duel in Durango
The Wild World of Batwoman

Scott Cupp: The Wild World of Batwoman (and MST3K);  Rubber

Sergio Angelini: The Perry Mason film series (1934-37)

Stacia Jones: The Perry Mason film series;  Fandor; The Body Snatcher;  Hallowe'en paraphernalia of various sorts

Stephen Gallagher: Creating the Audio Drama

Todd Mason: Jazz A/V: Thelonious Monk Quartet, Modern Jazz Quartet, Dave Brubeck Quartet, the Max Roach Freedom Now Suite band; Shorty Rogers and His Giants, and more in episodes of Jazz Casual, European television specials and a segment from Jazz Scene USA, and the album  Perceptions, composed by J. J. Johnson and featuring Dizzy Gillespie10 Obscure Horror and Suspense Series on US Television (please see below!)
The Hurricane

Yvette Banek:  The Hurricane (1937) 

10 Obscure Horror and Suspense Series on US Television (though frequently imported):

Strange Paradise A Canadian voodoo soap, clearly meant to gather up some of the Dark Shadows audience both up there and down here (where it was syndicated as a new series, not picked up by a network), and particularly spottily available in the States. Originally ran weekdaily from 1969 to 1970, and the early episodes take place on an unnamed Caribbean island, the latter episodes in Canada, after the loss of the protagonist's plantation and return to the family estate. Repeats of the series were being syndicated to US stations in the 1990s, and reran on Canadian cable in the '90s as well. 

The Evil Touch An Australian series syndicated in the US, and using a lot of British and Yank talent as it was meant for export. Rather goofy, in the episodes I remember, but interesting enough to watch it fairly regularly for its one season, 1973-74, when it was scheduled into a 7:30pm slot in the Hartford, CT. market, just before the network primetime programming began. Anthony Quayle was an appropriately sepuchral onscreen host for the anthology.

Darkroom An occasionally quite good ABC anthology series they barely aired in 1981-1982, with James Coburn as appropriately jocular onscreen host. Some segments were pulled for "intensity" (you didn't, in those years, want your network television programming to be actually good if you could help it), it still managed decent adaptations and original scripts from Robert Bloch (of his "Catnip"), Levinson and Link, and Alan Brennert. 

The Hidden Room A Canadian anthology series imported and possibly co-produced by the US cable channel Lifetime beginning in 1991, presenting horror and suspense drama featuring women protagonists (though apparently by the end of the series that was less insisted-upon). Mimi Kuzyk was the onscreen introducer of the stories, at least initially, and among the better episodes was one adapting a short story by Lisa Tuttle.

Scene of the Crime Commissioned from Stephen J. Cannell Productions as part of the "wheel" of "Crimetime after Primetime" dramatic series CBS ran shortly before David Letterman relocated to CBS latenight, this 1991-92 anthology series with a regular "ensemble" cast (which might've run longer in Canada, where it was filmed) was notable for being more sexually suggestive and generally "rough" and sleazy than the other late-night series, and perhaps as a result was seen less often and for a shorter run than most (some of the other series that came out of that project, such as Silk Stalkings and Forever Knight, had sustained runs on cable or in first-run syndication in the US after CBS cancelled the set, and even the aggressively stupid Night Heat managed to survive the purge, briefly, but Scene of the Crime has since been unseen Stateside...the extraordinarily generic title probably hasn't helped anyone remember this one).

She-Wolf of London, later Love and Curses, Lee Goldberg's 1990-91 series (as show-runner), is apparently rather fondly remembered by those few (including Jerry House) who were able to catch it initially (Goldberg describes its syndication pattern as clearing on two stations, one each in Los Angeles and NYC, though it apparently gained some viewers from repeats on the "Sci-Fi" Channel). Cited also as notable for being one of the first syndicated series aimed at US broadcast clearance featuring brief nudity, which might've limited the appeal to stations and was probably cut out for the Skiffy Chan run.

Brimstone (1998-99) was one of the horror/fantasy/crime drama borderline jumpers that followed on the success of The X-Files, and one of the best of that lot (which also included the television revival of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and such more-direct imitations as PSI Factor and Poltergeist: The Legacy). A dead cop, damned for murdering his wife's rapist, is offered a deal by the devil, when a number of other very unsavory bad souls manage to break out of Hell and take on human form on Earth again...gather them all back up again, and you get your life back. Not altogether un-goofy, but entertaining, and rather well-acted. Among later pleasant series with similar plotlines were Reaper (UPN), Dead Like Me (Showtime), arguably the Canadian series (now imported by RetroTV) The Collector, and the next entry on this list. 

G vs. E (later Good vs. Evil), which ran for a season (1999-2000) on the USA cable channel, was a rather more lighthearted variation on the above, only with a reporter killed by one of those who had made a deal with the devil, which led to an offer to the dead reporter to be revived to join the Corps, basically the quasi-police force on Heaven's side of the struggle...their adversaries being "Faustians" (seeking a deal with Satan) and the "Morlocks" (damned souls who still walk the Earth). 

Dark Realm The only series on this list where I'm certain I haven't seen any of the episodes, this syndicated anthology ran in the 2000-01 season and seems to be one of the most widely-reviled of such anthologies, with Eric Roberts getting bad marks even as an apparently uninterested host. Well, if the networks could cough up the likes of Ghost Story/Circle of Fear in the early '70s...and the second, abysmal Twilight Zone revival in the 2000s, as well...
Someone's attempt at a promo still. Looks more like Vexing Itself

Fear Itself NBC's shortlived 2008 sort-of pendant series to HBO's Masters of Horror (and thus also a cousin to Masters of Science Fiction, given an even shorter run by ABC), this rather uneven  but often rather weak anthology series did manage one or two engaging episodes (including "Eater," co-written by Cemetery Dance editor/publisher Richard Chizmar and Jonathon Schaech), but too often was a triumph of cinematography over script...something which also plagued the other series, even when the episodes were drawn on good to brilliant fiction.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jazz A/V: two hours plus of jazz, JAZZ CASUAL and more

There was a sporadic presence of jazz on television as I grew to love the the 1970s one might catch a performance on The Tonight Show (or, more infrequently, on Saturday Night Live) and there was (starting in 1983, though somehow I remember it being earlier), somewhat intermittently it seemed, Oscar Brown, Jr.'s series From Jumpstreet, or the very occasional appearance of jazz musicians on PBS's other music series such as Soundstage or Austin City Limits. The small but persistent efflorescence of jazz programming from the 1960s was gone, and no one seemed too interested in repackaging it or even simply repeating it...the innovations of the latter 1980s, such as Sunday Night/Night Music, hadn't arrived yet. When Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was one of the more reliable sources of jazz music on television, you knew things had reached a pretty pass. So, here, after the complete presentation of a notable third stream work I'd missed over the years, are two episodes of Jazz Casual, jazz critic and Rolling Stone co-founder Ralph Gleason's NET (proto-PBS) series, bookended by some European presentations of comparable heroes of mine.

Dizzy Gillespie, soloist: J. J. Johnson, composer; Gunther Schuller, conductor: Perceptions

The Thelonious Monk Quartet in Denmark:

Jazz Casual with Ralph Gleason:
The Modern Jazz Quartet:

To make up for the disappearance of this, here's the MJQ on the UK series Jazz 625:

And also the full episode with the Bill Evans Trio:

The Dave Brubeck Quartet:

(followed by a much-later Paul Desmond performance and a 1962 performance by the Shorty Rogers band, apparently for the Steve Allen series Jazz Scene USA; elsewhere credited: Lou Levy on piano, Gary Peacock, bass, Larry Bunker, drums, Gary Lefebvre on woodwinds and Rogers as flugelhornist).

Max Roach Group: Freedom Now Suite (for German television, 1964)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

10 further actors...

Eva Mendes
Paula Patton

Suleka Mathew
Judy Greer
Joan Chen
Julie Benz

Claudia Black
Lindsay Price
Glenne Headly
Madchen Amick

Saturday Music Club: more newer schools of jazz and jazz-offshoot

Chamber jazz:
Chico Hamilton Quintet: "Blue Sands"

The Jazz Abstractions Band: "Variants on a Theme by Thelonious Monk (Criss Cross)"

Jan Garbarek Quartet: "Molde Canticle"

New acoustic/"New Age":
Paul Winter Consort: "Icarus"

Dave Grisman Quartet (with the Tonight Show Band): "Dawg Jazz"

Steve Tibbetts, Marc Anderson, Ani Choying Dolma:

Jazz into "world music":
Gabor Szabo: "Bacchanal"

Return to Forever: "Light as a Feather"

Randy Weston et al.: "African Rhythms"

Jazz dance:
Chico Hamilton: "Conquistadores"

Elvin Jones/Richard Davis Band: "Raunchy Rita"

Charles Mingus Band: "Ysabel's Table Dance"

The Modern Jazz Quartet: "The Jasmine Tree"

 Brubeck Quartet: "Three's a Crowd":

And just because:
Toshiko Akiyoshi and John Lewis: "Willow Weep for Me"

Dave Grisman Quintet: "Dawg's Rag"

Friday, October 26, 2012

FFB: The Book of Fritz Leiber (and The Second...); The Best of Fritz Leiber; The Worlds of Fritz Leiber

second edition; George Barr cover
Jonquil & Fritz Leiber, with cat, 1937
Fritz Leiber was having a pretty good time of it, professionally at least, in the 1970s. (Personally, he lost his wife, Jonquil, in 1969, after more than three decades of marriage, and had to fight his way out of the alcoholic tailspin her death put him into.) He was almost universally respected and admired by his peers, as well as by discriminating readers of fantastic fiction, and was collecting more awards from that community than anyone else had (Harlan Ellison, whose career more completely coincided with the award-giving years, would eventually surpass Leiber thus). His cycle of stories about characters analogous to himself and his old friend Harry Fischer, who had originally helped him devise Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, were being issued in uniform editions by Ace Books by the turn of the decade, and the stories, which spanned the publishing career of the man who had invented the term "sword and sorcery" fiction, were popular enough to inspire a "mainstream" comic book devoted to them, Sword of Sorcery (Samuel Delany had slipped the two characters into the continuity he was writing for Wonder Woman at the time, encouraging DC Comics to take a flier on letting Dennis O'Neil adapt the stories and write original scripts about the characters); over at Marvel, Gerard Conway was given the go-ahead to start a fiction magazine, rather than a comics title, The Haunt of Horror, and among the new fiction that magazine offered was a two-part serialized reprint of Leiber's first great novel, Conjure Wife (which had been and has been only rarely out of print since first book publication). In yet another medium, several of Leiber's best short stories were adapted, unfortunately not very well ("The Girl with the Hungry Eyes" comes closest to a decent translation), for the television anthology series Night Gallery. While it couldn't've made up much for the loss of his wife, 1969 also saw the second fantasy magazine special issue devoted to Leiber, the July F&SF (even as there had been a Leiber issue of Fantastic in 1959 and would be a Leiber issue of Whispers in 1979); not long after, his novella You're All Alone finally saw book publication in unadulterated form, also from Ace. Leiber continued, if a bit sporadically, to contribute a review column, "Fantasy Books," to Fantastic, which was consistently interesting and enlightening, one of the few such that was on par with the excellent work in F&SF in that decade by James Blish, Joanna Russ, Algis Budrys, Avram Davidson, Gahan Wilson and others. And these four retrospectives of his work were published, by three different publishers, none truly definitive but all indicative of the breadth and depth of his talent.

The Contento indices are the source of content lists in this post:

The Best of Fritz Leiber Fritz Leiber (Nelson Doubleday, 1974, hc)
Ballantine first paperback edition
B/Del Rey reprint 
  • · The Wizard of Nehwon— · Poul Anderson · in
  • · Gonna Roll the Bones · nv Dangerous Visions, ed. Harlan Ellison, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967
  • · Sanity · ss Astounding Apr ’44
  • · Wanted—An Enemy · ss Astounding Feb ’45
  • · The Man Who Never Grew Young · ss Night’s Black Agents, Arkham, 1947
  • · The Ship Sails at Midnight · nv Fantastic Adventures Sep ’50
  • · The Enchanted Forest · ss Astounding Oct ’50
  • · Coming Attraction · ss Galaxy Nov ’50
  • · Poor Superman [“Appointment in Tomorrow”] · nv Galaxy Jul ’51
  • · A Pail of Air · ss Galaxy Dec ’51
  • · The Foxholes of Mars · ss Thrilling Wonder Stories Jun ’52
  • · The Big Holiday · ss F&SF Jan ’53
  • · The Night He Cried · ss Star Science Fiction Stories #1, ed. Frederik Pohl, Ballantine, 1953
  • · The Big Trek · ss F&SF Oct ’57
  • · Space-Time for Springers [Gummitch] · ss Star Science Fiction Stories #4, ed. Frederik Pohl, Ballantine, 1958
  • · Try and Change the Past [Change War] · ss Astounding Mar ’58
  • · A Deskful of Girls [Change War] · nv F&SF Apr ’58
  • · Rump-Titty-Titty-Tum-Tah-Tee [Simon Grue] · ss F&SF May ’58
  • · Little Old Miss Macbeth · ss F&SF Dec ’58
  • · Mariana · ss Fantastic Feb ’60
  • · The Man Who Made Friends with Electricity · ss F&SF Mar ’62
  • · The Good New Days · ss Galaxy Oct ’65
  • · America the Beautiful · ss The Year 2000, ed. Harry Harrison, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970
  • · Afterword · ms
The selection here is almost frustrating because it comes so close to being a good core sampling of Leiber's best work, but already has jumped the tracks by following strict chronological order of publication, except for the Hugo-winning fantasy that leads off the book, and then going on to a relatively minor if pacifism-flavored story by Leiber (a World War 2 conscientious objector), followed by another, as the earliest examples of his work...ignoring the brilliant, extremely influential "Smoke Ghost" and all the other early stories, including some of the first s&s stories, nearly as good as "Smoke Ghost" and vastly better than "Sanity" or "Wanted: An Enemy". (Presumably because these stories are relatively straightforward science fiction, as only a small portion of Leiber's best work ever was.) The book is strongest in its selections from Leiber's 1950s short stories, managing to gather many of his best sf and fantasy stories from that decade, and then proceeds to fall down again with the 1960s and '70s selections, such as there are.

The Book of Fritz Leiber Fritz Leiber (DAW UQ1091, Jan ’74, 95¢, 173pp, pb)
first edition, Jack Gaughan cover

  • 7 · Foreword · fw
  • 11 · The Spider · ss Rogue Jan ’63
  • 24 · Monsters and Monster Lovers · ar Fantastic Mar ’65
  • 37 · A Hitch in Space · ss Worlds of Tomorrow Aug ’63
  • 48 · Hottest and Coldest Molecules · ar Science Digest Mar ’52
  • 52 · Kindergarten · vi F&SF Apr ’63
  • 55 · Those Wild Alien Words: I · ar *
  • 64 · Crazy Annaoj · ss Galaxy Feb ’68
  • 70 · Debunking the I Machine · ar, 1949
  • 72 · When the Last Gods Die · ss F&SF Dec ’51
  • 79 · King Lear · ar, 1934
  • 85 · Yesterday House · nv Galaxy Aug ’52
  • 115 · After Such Knowledge · ar, 1974 Fantastic (about James Blish's triad+ of novels collectively known thus, at least to students of Blish)
  • 118 · Knight to Move [“Knight’s Move”; Change War] · ss Broadside Dec ’65
  • 128 · Weird World of the Knight [“Topsy-Turvy World of the Knight”] · ar California Chess Review Jan ’60
  • 131 · To Arkham and the Stars · ss The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces, Sauk City: Arkham House, 1966
  • 143 · The Whisperer Re-Examined · ar Haunted Dec ’64
  • 148 · Beauty and the Beasts [Fafhrd & Gray Mouser] · vi *
  • 151 · Masters of Mace and Magic · br
  • 157 · Cat’s Cradle · ss   
The Second Book of Fritz Leiber Fritz Leiber (DAW, Sep ’75, pb)
  • · Foreword · fw
  • · The Lion and the Lamb · nv Astounding Sep ’50
  • · The Mighty Tides [“What Makes the Mighty Tides”] · ar Science Digest Apr ’61
  • · Trapped in the Sea of Stars [Fafhrd & Gray Mouser] · ss *
  • · Fafhrd and Me · ar, 1963
  • · Belsen Express · ss *
  • · Ingmar Bergman: Fantasy Novelist · br Fantastic Mar ’74
  • · Scream Wolf · ss Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine Feb ’61
  • · Those Wild Alien Words: II · ar *
  • · The Mechanical Bride · pl Science Fiction Thinking Machines, ed. Groff Conklin, Vanguard, 1954
  • · Through Hyperspace with Brown Jenkin · ar The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces, Sauk City: Arkham House, 1966; revised from Shangri-L’Affaires, September 1963.
  • · A Defense of Werewolves [“Fantasy on the March”] · ar Arkham Sampler Spr ’48

These books, in comparison, don't try to present only the best of Leiber's work, but instead wanted to give a measure of the diversity of the man's writing, and as such, they succeed, even if some of the content might not be the best available examples of, for example, his pop-science journalism as an editor of Science Digest in the 1940s or his crime fiction (the books also strive to gather only previously uncollected work); the choice of the Bergman and the Blish trilogy-of-sorts essays from the Fantastic column, along with some of his earlier important literary criticism and belles lettres, was almost inarguably a very good idea. "Belsen Express," the only fiction in either volume to see first publication here, won the Howard/World Fantasy Award for best short story for its year. The play, inspired in part by Marshall McLuhan, is notable as one of the few full-fledged scripts this child of Shakespearean troupers and former professional actor allowed himself to publish (though three of the Leiber's best, most telling and most autobiographical stories of the 1960s are in modified plays-for-voices format).

The Worlds of Fritz Leiber Fritz Leiber (Ace, Nov ’76, pb)
note handsome but generic sf cover
  • · Introduction · in
  • · Hatchery of Dreams · ss Fantastic Nov ’61
  • · The Goggles of Dr. Dragonet [Dr. Dragonet] · ss Fantastic Jul ’61
  • · Far Reach to Cygnus [Dr. Dragonet] · ss Amazing Feb ’65
  • · Night Passage · nv Gnostica Jul ’75
  • · Nice Girl with Five Husbands · ss Galaxy Apr ’51
  • · When the Change-Winds Blow [Change War] · ss F&SF Aug ’64
  • · 237 Talking Statues, Etc. · ss F&SF Sep ’63
  • · The Improper Authorities · ss Fantastic Nov ’59
  • · Our Saucer Vacation · ar Fantastic Universe Dec ’59
  • · Pipe Dream [Simon Grue] · ss If Feb ’59
  • · What’s He Doing in There? · ss Galaxy Dec ’57
  • · Friends and Enemies · ss Infinity Science Fiction Apr ’57
  • · The Last Letter · ss Galaxy Jun ’58
  • · Endfray of the Ofay · ss If Mar ’69
  • · Cyclops · ss Worlds of Tomorrow Sep ’65
  • · Mysterious Doings in the Metropolitan Museum · ss Universe 5, ed. Terry Carr, Random House, 1974
  • · The Bait [Fafhrd & Gray Mouser] · vi Whispers Dec ’73
  • · The Lotus Eaters · ss F&SF Oct ’72
  • · Waif · nv The Far Side of Time, ed. Roger Elwood, Dodd Mead, 1974
  • · Myths My Great-Granddaughter Taught Me · ss F&SF Jan ’63
  • · Catch That Zeppelin! · nv F&SF Mar ’75
  • · Last · ss F&SF Mar ’57
Now this collection, while managing to mix brilliant fiction with some that were merely decent examples of what Leiber could do, still manages to represent his 1960s and '70s work much better than the Best of volume does.  "237 Talking Statues, Etc." is one of those near-play stories I refer to above (about Leiber's fraught relation with his parents, particularly his father, Fritz Leiber, Sr--who also extremely strongly resembled Leiber), the other two, insanely missing from all these collections, "The Secret Songs" (about Leiber and Jonquil and their at times distant but always mutually-affectionate relation...and their contrasting drug abuse) and "The Winter Flies" (which editor Edward Ferman retitled "The Inner Circles" as he published it in F&SF), about Leiber and his anxieties as a husband and father as well as artist. Leiber, also a ranked chess Grandmaster, is not represented in any of these three books by his chess stories aside from the slight "Knight to Move," rather than, one might suggest, the then-recent "Midnight by the Morphy Watch," fitting snugly into Worlds...but what is present includes such impressive work as "The Nice Girl with Five Husbands" (Leiber was always one of the most pro-feminist men of his time in fantastic fiction, and rarely unwilling to shock a bluenose) and "When the Change Winds Blow"...cheek by jowl with a very minor Fafhrd story in "The Bait"...

Leiber continued to scale heights, as with his last novel, Our Lady of Darkness, in 1977 (after a shorter form of that was serialized in F&SF in late '76/earliest '77 as The Pale Brown Thing), and to publish notable work, including his too-short, elegant autobiography, in the collection The Ghost Light, in the '80s, and would continue publishing up till his passing in 1992. One shakes one's head at the quirks, to say the least, on the part of the publisher's editors who, with Leiber himself, selected the stories and other work in each case, but were unable to give both a reasonably good portrait of the sophistication and innovation of his work in several fields, and present the best of his work even in a more narrow compass...but, then, the more recent The Leiber Chronicles and Selected Stories also fall short of definitive. A vast and visionary talent, hard to corral or synopsize adequately, sometimes willing to do just enough to stroke the fans, but usually swinging for the fences, and more often than not clearing the bases.

And, given the relative skittishness of the publishers of the other retrospectives about Leiber's horror fiction, it finally took Whispers Press to publish a companion focusing on this fiction, in 1978:

Heroes & Horrors Fritz Leiber (Whispers Press, 1978, hc); Edited by Stuart David Schiff.
the pb edition has the better bad cover

  • · Preface · Stuart David Schiff · pr
  • · Fritz Leiber: An Appreciation · John W. Jakes · in
  • · Sea Magic [Fafhrd & Gray Mouser] · ss The Dragon Dec ’77
  • · The Mer She [Fafhrd & Gray Mouser] · nv *
  • · A Bit of the Dark World · nv Fantastic Feb ’62
  • · Belsen Express · ss The Second Book of Fritz Leiber, DAW, 1975
  • · Midnight in the Mirror World · ss Fantastic Oct ’64
  • · Richmond, Late September, 1849 · ss Fantastic Feb ’69
  • · Midnight by the Morphy Watch · ss Worlds of If Jul/Aug ’74
  • · The Terror from the Depths · na The Disciples of Cthulhu, ed. Edward P. Berglund, DAW, 1976
  • · Dark Wings · nv Superhorror, ed. Ramsey Campbell, W.H. Allen, 1976

For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog.

first issue of the comic book
first of 2 issues of the non-comic (title later used on a comics magazine)
1959 Fantastic
1969 F&SF
1979 Whispers


Thursday, October 25, 2012

October's Underappreciated Music: the links and more

Patti Abbott: Suzi Quatro and Chris Norman 

Brian Arnold: Burger Chef Monster Records

Sean Coleman: Rod Delcourt and Wendell Wilson: Long Time Coming;   Joni Mitchell

Bill Crider: Billy Edd Wheeler;  tweating/FB

Jeff Gemmill: Neil Young: Americana

Lee Hartsfeld: Hallowe'en Music: Johnny Arcesi, Bop Hope, Mort Shuman, et al.

Jerry House: Brrrr...

Randy Johnson: Def Leppard

Jackie Kashian: Lindy West and Aham Oluo

George Kelley: Best of Bond...James Bond

Evan Lewis: "Sing Along with Zorro"

Todd Mason:  David Amram; new schools and offshoots of jazz (since ca. 1960); birthweek Billboard charts; For One Night Only (BBC Radio 4)--please see below.

Charlie Ricci: The Iguanas: Nuevo Boogaloo

The Iguanas
Richard Robinson: Walton: the Collector's Edition

Ron Scheer: The Carter Family; Hank Williams (the first) and Anita Carter 

The new season (or, as they put in the UK, series) of For One Night Only, the fine BBC Radio 4 documentary series about pivotal concerts, has begun (and ended, with only three episodes this time out), and the BBC has seen fit, as they have not in previous years, to secure rights to keep the episodes posted online for a considerable time (a year rather than, for example, last season's a week), giving us all a good opportunity to catch the episodes...the three this season are all about the Eric Clapton Unplugged concert/album, the Weavers reunion in 1955 in Carnegie Hall, and the Rolling Stones concert in NYC which was documented by the Get Yer Ya-Yas Out album, and while I like the Weavers' episode the most (the three surviving original Weavers still have a fair amount to say, and with good humor), they're all worth a listen. I'll be keeping up with this series, you can be sure, assuming there's another series...I won't be sorry to have sent you along in their direction, either.   
Sun Ra Arkestra & the Blues Project (!) 
David Amram, Percy Heath, Dizzy Gillespie: Thelonious Monk Memorial 1986

discount primrose

The big doors in the back used to be for bringing things in. The last things they brought in were the refabricators, or so the stories go. You feed things in when you’re done with them and they make new things for you. I can’t imagine what life was like before the refabricators, and the little robots that fix them up when they break down in one way or another. I can’t imagine what it was like to leave the WalMart, or why you’d want to leave the comfortable store to go out into hot air and sere land beyond the front glass. I’ve been out, once, with a crew to help fix the power access from the Plant (I didn’t do much, but it was unpleasant enough).

Apparently all the folks who had a home of their own, in their own little building, who could afford it had their own little refabricators, before the big plagues came through. They and the droughts meant there was ever less folks to want to come to the WalMart. My ancestors, and all the others who live here now, are descended from the folks who were locked in every night…didn’t really have any other place to go.

Some others came to join us, after the plagues but before the droughts got really bad…The crusty punks, carrying forbidden things like beer and adult magazines, so unlike the texts that the Greeters use to teach some of us how to read and write. We still occasionally have the refabricators make us some beer, but it doesn’t taste good to me. The everclear they had and fed in is better, and it only takes a little to have its magical effect.

Once, after I’d drunk some everclear, and fell asleep under the Big Smile, I dreamt that the Big Smile told me that I was the Truly Among the Discounted, The Very Special. It was a very special day, and when I told the Greeter I saw, she patted me on the head and gave me a candy, and said that I should always remember. I always have.

They began to teach me to read, shortly thereafter. The ancient books and magazines kept in the Managers Office, even the forbidden PLAYBOYs, were at my disposal. It certainly was more fun than climbing to the tops of the shelves to dust them off every other day, which was my task before (we carefully capture all the dust for the refabricator).

We wait for the rains to come, so we can put the plants out front, like in the old days. Maybe more new people will come.

(copyright 2011 by Todd Mason. originally appeared on this blog, and reprinted in Discount Noir, edited by Patricia Abbott and Steve Weddle, Untreed Reads)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V: more new links

Butterfly on a Wheel
Hey, did I mention there's going to be a debate between the US presidential candidates of  four smaller parties tonight, starting just before 9p ET? I did? Good. Thought I did. Be there to see what the Greens, the Libertarians, the Constitution and the new (and relatively ad hoc) Justice Partisans might have to say that the large-party candidates didn't, last night or previously. 

As always, thanks to all contributors and to all you readers; a lot of lists for the season, this week. More links to reviews and citations of overlooked items are likely to be added later throughout the dayl..but here's what I've seen so far (please feel free to let me know what I've overlooked in comments):

Bill Crider: The Endless Summer  [trailer]
Made in Jersey (actually Jersey, the island, it turns out...) 

Brent McKee: Animal Practice;  Made in Jersey

Brian Arnold: Tricks and treats in a/v and trailers for Hallowe'en;  The Midnight Hour

Ed Gorman: Dark Night of the Scarecrow; 
Get a Life; horror film v. suspense film

George Kelley: Copper;  Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection

Evan Lewis: 1930s/40s/50s minor horror and suspense film posters

Iba Dawson: The Uninvited (1944)

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: Amazonian perfidy and divers notes

John Charles: The Magic Serpent (aka Kairyu daikessen)

Jackie Kashian: Sue Costello

James Reasoner: Pirate Radio

Jerry House: Renfrew of the Royal Mounted

Michael Shonk: Dirk Gently

Neer: Butterfly on a Wheel (aka Shattered)

Patti Abbott: The Bob Cummings Show (aka Love That Bob)

Randy Johnson: Viva Django (aka Preparati la Bara!); Red Dust

Richard Pangburn: Time after Time
Gun the Man Down

Rick: House of Dark Shadows

Rod Lott: Beyond the Door Reel Terror by David Konow

Ron Scheer: Gun the Man Down

Scott Cupp: Dolan's CadillacThe Wild World of Batwoman

The Last Page
Sergio Angelini: The Last Page (aka Man Bait)

Stacia Jones: Bell, Book, and Candle and quite a bit more Hallowe'en cheesecake and H'wood costumery

Todd Mason: "third-party" presidential candidates debate Tonight (9pm ET/6pm PT); Link TV merges with KCET (Los Angeles); some podcasts to catch, with seasonal relevance (psychic investigator comedy in Beyond Belief ; and Guillermo del Toro and Joel Hodgson);  13 Horror, 13 Suspense, and 13 Surrealist, SF, or Fantasy Films Resembling Horror and Suspense Films You Probably Should See 

Yvette Banek: Evidence of Blood

tv and podcast notes: Tonight!: 23 October: Presidential Candidates Debate: Dr. Jill Stein (G), Gov. Gary Johnson (L), US Rep. Virgil Goode (C), Mayor Rocky Anderson (J); seasonal podcasts: BEYOND BELIEF and del Toro, Hodgson and more; Link TV and KCET (Los Angeles) merge

The three small-party candidates who could (theoretically) receive enough electoral votes to win the presidency, and the candidate of the next most "ballot-accessible" party, will be debating in a session moderated by Larry King, October 23, from Chicago.  The debate proper is scheduled to start at 8:55p ET (7:55 CT) for the live feeds on Link TV, C-SPAN (which also has an archive of video related to the four candidates at the debate) , Al-Jazeera English, RT (Russia Today), and various streaming services including King's regular employers at

Jill Stein gives a shadow state of the union address:

Gary Johnson responds to the "town hall" debate questions:

Meanwhile, Link TV, which I mention on-blog from time to time, a small-budget leftist channel (most visible on DirecTV and the Dish Network) with an interesting mix of international dramatic films, impressive dramatic series such as Borgen, the Israeli sitcom Arab Labor and The Team: Kenya, documentaries and news programming from around the world, has just merged with KCET, the Los Angeles independent public broadcasting channel that had been one of the founding members and most-productive contributors to PBS, before disaffiliation in 2010. I suspect that the plan to run Link on one of KCET's digital feeds in LA is simply the beginning of a project to offer Link as a national network, something Link has attempted in a small way over the last decade, when it has been broadcast by stations in the Washington, DC, area and Philadelphia, and it has served as the source of overnight programming for KRCB in the San Francisco Bay Area for years. Some of the more mature content, particularly of the dramatic films, will probably require rescheduling, to bring them in line with "safe harbor" requirements the FCC holds (where such material is broadcastable in late nights). The synergy between the two, one hopes, will flourish...though I also hope that KCET doesn't choose to replace MHz Worldview in LA with Link...

Meanwhile, too quickly, I'll also continue to urge you to check out the consistently Noel Cowardesque charm of The Thrilling Adventure Hour's Beyond Belief series, involving Sadie and Frank Doyle (Paget Brewster and Paul F. Tompkins), a bibulous and ever mutually doting Nick and Nora Charles of psychic detectives...the most recent adventure, "The Haunting of Howard Schroeder," is typically clever and engaging. And while you're at the Nerdist site and in a seasonal mood, why not audit the mutual interview with Guillermo del Toro, Joel Hodgson, and Travis Beacham at the NYC ComicCom, this month. I doubt you'll be too disappointed, if the guest list sounds tempting (but I'd definitely check Beyond Belief first).