Procrastinators Alert! California bans Foie Gras in T-Minus sooon!

That’s right…June 31st is coming fast…

You:  Fast to what?

Me: The end of Foie Gras dummy!

If you are not yet out the door with the car keys and an Open Table rez, you are probably torn between the desire of tasting something good and the desire to do good.  But don’t worry, I have to sort out the scuffle between my taste buds and my Mirror Neurons (read: animal empathy) every time I am at the kitchen table.  So allow me discus…

The human battle of the senses between gastronomic euphoria and spiritual purity does not rage on stronger in any other place than right here in The Golden State.  California is the melting pot of the modern world, where foodies and activist coexist in one big, “happy” place.  On July 1st however, when the Foie Gras ban takes place, the balance may shift in dramatic fashion, as one group’s rights will be imposed over another.

The irony here is that by banning Foie Gras, that the activist groups are the ones who are taking rights away from the people.  History has shown that when it comes to food, nothing last forever.  Google: Prohibition, Chicago Foie Gras Ban repeal.  And the people who actually have done something to improve the quality of food and general welfare of animals are the people who embrace good food.  Google: Slow Food movement, Alice Waters.  Yes I must admit being Vegan can be great for the environment and all, but if you think PETA is turning people into vegetarians by stalking and harassing omnivores, think again

I am glad the Foie Gras ban is now coming.  To be honest, I probably didn’t have my first bite of Foie until 2004, when the ban countdown was started.  I don’t think the ban will last forever.  But I am not a gambling man, I invite you to take part in the Foie gras tastyness and decide for yourself if see what all the fuss is about.

Remember June 31st is the last day to get yours in CA, who knows when we might see Foie Gras on a Californian menu again. Below is a short list of restaurants that serves the decadent dish on any given night.

L’Ardoise’s Foie Gras Terraine and buttered toast

L’ArdoiseBistro Central ParcChapeau!

San Francisco, CA

I call this the axis of super nice and awesome French bistros.  They all meet the following requirements; charming neighborhood locations, great chefs and owners, unpretentiously good, classic French restaurants at reasonable prices.  These are all must try’s for any San Franciscan resident, and what’s best all these are for some reason perfectly unattractive to tourists.  They all serve Foie Gras in some fashion; seared, terraine, on a salad, etc.  All good and won’t break the bank.  A perfect place to start your venture into the Foie Gras excitement.

Incanto’s Foie Gras Ice Cream

Incanto
San Francisco, CA
Chefs Mark Pastore and Chris Cosentino are probably some of the more outspoken chefs for the repeal of the ban, which makes this place good one to try.  Incanto could be described as New Italian, fusing classic Italian flavors with fresh, yet simple dishes.  The buzz around this place Is about the Foie Gras Ice cream!

Animal’s Foie Gras Biscuit and Gravy

Animal
Los Angeles, CA

I have been wanting to try this place for a while now.  Popularized by their no animal part goes to waste ideology, Animal has really set a great example on how to appreciate food the right way.   With the Foie ban looming, Animal has been host to 12 course foie extravaganzas, and an equal number of Pro-Geese PETA protests.  No better place to get in on the action in my opinion.

Morimoto’s Duck Duck Goose

Morimoto
Napa, CA

Japanese Fusion brainchild of Iron Chef Morimoto, blends Western Classical cooking techniques with hip intellectual Japanese tastes.  I have had the honor of trying the original Morimoto in Philadelphia (where the city has a Foie Gras week, celebrating the decadent ingredient).  To attest to how good this stuff really is, the best dish at an acclaimed sushi restaurant was the seared Foie Gras, how ‘bout them apples?!

La Folie’s Seared Foie Gras on Toast topped with Caviar and Balsamic reduction

La Folie, Jardiniere, Fleur de Lys
San Francisco, CA

Frenchity French French.  These are the big names in town if you want “real” French cuisine.  I say that because each of these restaurants come with the stereotypical idea that when you go French, you are going big, big names, big flavors, big price tag.  If you have a taste for fatted liver, and have the wallet to back it up, then you can literally put your money where your mouth is. These chefs are known to have multiple dishes of Foie Gras on the menu.  If you are trying to stalk up on Michelin Stars or whittling down that James Beard Award winners to eat list, these restaurants are probably on your menu.

Ghostmann’s Most Anticipated Films of 2012! (what’s left of it anyway)

2012 started off a little lame in the movie department but after The Avengers officially kicked off the 2012 Summer Movie Season with a BANG (and “Smash!”) things are looking up for the rest of the year. Here are some films that I am really looking forward to watching.

MAY 2012

Moonrise Kingdom
Opens: May 25th 2012
Cast: Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton
Director: Wes Anderson

I’ve been a Wes Anderson fan since I rented his first movie Bottle Rocket back in 1996. His masterpiece Rushmore only made me a bigger fan (a film he has yet to top in my opinion). The plot, which is set in the 1960’s about a pair of young lovers (one a boy scout) who flee their New England island town, prompting a local search party led by the Sheriff and the girl’s parents to find them, sounds a bit tame but with Anderson writing the script and the actors he has assembled I’m sure this one will be worth checking out.

JUNE 2012

Prometheus
Opens: June 8th 2012
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce
Director: Ridley Scott

I love how Ridley Scott is trying to tell everyone this is not an Alien prequel, when in the trailer it is clear that this story is about the ship that Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo go to investigate and end up finding Space-Jockey’s and Face-Huggers (both of which can be seen in the Prometheus trailer). But I guess Scott just wants this film to stand on its own without the Alien baggage (I am of course speaking of the shit that was Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection). This one looks pretty fucking awesome and could be the reboot of the whole franchise.

JULY 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man
Opens: July 3rd 2012
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary
Director: Marc Webb

I never liked the Sam Raimi Spider-Man’s – okay, Part 2 was pretty good – so I’m looking forward to a new take on our Friendly Neighborhood Wall-Crawller. I loved Andrew Garfield in The Social Network and I think he brings a much-needed youthfulness and accidental “coolness” and to the character (Toby always seems TOO nerdy). I think this one is gonna be a hit. Too bad Marvel doesn’t own the film rights to Spider-Man, how cool would it be to see Spidey join The Avengers for part 2?

The Dark Knight Rises
Opens: July 20th 2012
Cast: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine
Director: Christopher Nolan

I have faith that Christopher Nolan can take the second-rate Batman villain of Bane, the cheesiness of Hathaway’s Catwoman costume, and Christian Bale’s bat-growl and make this closing chapter of his Batman Trilogy a homerun. I’ll be honest though, I’m not sure it can beat The Dark Knight but it’s sure gonna be fun watching this film try to. I’ll be there opening night at the local IMAX theater for this one, along with a bazillion other fanboys.

AUGUST 2012

Red Hook Summer
Opens: August 2012
Cast: Spike Lee, Turron Kofi Alleyne, Samantha Ivers, Limary Agosto, Heather Simms
Director: Spike Lee

What’s this? A sequel to Do the Right Thing? Well okay maybe not, but it does have the return of Mookie, played by Spike Lee himself. This is also Lee’s first non-documentary film since Miracle At St. Anna. The story follows a young kid named Flik who finds himself dumped at a Brooklyn housing project for the Summer with a firebrand preacher of a grandfather whom he’s never met. His only distraction from the boredom is a girl from church. But hey, this is a Spike Lee Joint, so you know things are going to get heated in the projects soon enough and Flik will soon be anything but bored.

Total Recall
Opens: August 3rd 2012
Cast: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Biel, Bill Nighy
Director: Len Wiseman

Too bad Philip K. Dick didn’t live long enough to see all his books be turned into awesome movies – Blade Runner, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and the first Total Recall,  speaking of which is one of Arnold’s best films and a blast to watch. Hopefully this remake will capture the fun that original had, even though the story takes place all on Earth and not on Mars. Oh, and hopefully there is a three-breastessed prostitute in this new film as well.

SEPTEMBER 2012

Argo
Opens: September 14th 2012
Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Clea DuVall, John Goodman, Alan Arkin
Director: Ben Affleck

This is the true story of the plan by the CIA to rescue six U.S. diplomats held hostage at their embassy in Iran in 1979 by convincing officials they were members of a camera crew scouting the area for a Hollywood movie. Sometimes truth is stranger then fiction right? I’ve been diggin’ what Ben Affleck has been doing behind the camera lately – The Town was great and Gone Baby Gone is one of the best directorial debuts in a long time. On the other hand, I’m not much of a fan of Affleck’s acting abilities – but I do like the “Serpico” look he is rocking in this movie.

Dredd
Opens: September 21st 2012
Cast: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Jason Cope, Domhnall Gleeson
Director: Pete Travis

The first Judge Dredd movie back in 1995 sucked much ass. I’ve never been much a Dredd comic reader – but I’ve read enough to know that Stallone’s version was a train-wreck (Stallone bearly wore the helmet in the whole movie and dudes, that helmet IS Judge Dredd!). I have high hopes for this new movie though – Karl Urban, aka Eomer from Lord of the Rings and Bones from Star Trek, is a cool dude. Here’s hoping he keeps that motherfucking helmet on the whole movie.

Urban as Dredd yelling about the fact that there is no Trailer on YouTube!

Savages
Opens: September 28th 2012
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Blake Lively, Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro
Director: Oliver Stone

Too bad Oliver Stone went the way of Francis Ford Coppola – once great film directors that for some reason lost all their mojo and started making shit. What was Stone’s last great film? I’m gonna have to go with JFK – a film he made over 20 years ago. Since then he’s given us Any Given Sunday (sucked), Alexander (sucked), World Trade Center (sucked), and Wall Street Part 2 (sucked). Fuck man, stop smoking the ganja Stone and start making good movies again. He’s on the right path with The Savages, a story about kidnapping, ransoms, and pot growing (hey wait! no pot for Mr. Stone!). Plus he’s got a great cast – I’ll watch anything Benicio is in.

OCTOBER 2012

The Master
Opens: October 2012
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Rami Malek
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Some people may say Paul Thomas Anderson is too pretentious and full of himself. I say he is one of the finest filmmakers that there’s ever been. The dude made Boogie Nights, one of the top 1o movies of the 1990’s, when he was like 13 years old or some shit. Then he follows that up with Magnolia and manages to get me to cry over a brilliant Tom Cruise performance. TOM FUCKING CRUISE! (Kinda ironic that The Master is about L. Ron Hubard and the church of Scientology and how it might be all bullshit) P.T Anderson works with film the way a artist works with paint. He mixes and matches till the picture comes in to a life all its own. There is no way in hell I’m missing out on seeing The Master when it comes to theaters.

click HERE to watch a 5 minute clip of some dudes talking about the movie and controversy that will no doubt follow in its wake

Not Fade Away

Chase and Gandolfini together again
Opens: October 19th 2012
Cast: James Gandolfini, Brad Garrett, Jack Huston, Christopher McDonald, Molly Price
Director: David Chase

I’ve been watching hella episodes of The Sopranos lately and I gotta say, James Gandolfini will ALWAYS be Tony Soprano. Period. No matter what he does that roll will stay with him for the rest of his life. And really, he should be proud of that. His performance in that series is one of the greatest acting jobs in the history of motherfucking acting. This movie reunites Gandolfini, The Sopranos creator David Chase, and New Jersey on a story not about the Mob but rock and roll in the 60’s. I’m in.

From the set of Not Fade Away

NOVEMBER 2012

To the Wonder
Opens: winter 2012
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel Weisz, Javier Bardem
Director: Terrence Malick
There was a time when Terrence Malick only made one  movie every ten years. But dude has been on a roll lately and is spitting out another film right after last years spiritually haunting Tree Of Life. Malick probably has the greatest “eye” out of any directors. His films are visual masterpieces, if light on story. I’ve heard he likes to just let the camera roll and hope he catches some wonderful moment that will be preserved forever on film. His film Days of Heaven does indeed capture a beauty that is rarely seen in cinema and something that tons of directors afterwards tried to emulate. Too bad Affleck’s in this one.
Check out this scene from Malick’s film Badlands, in which ol’ Terrence, a dude that never does ANY interviews or appearances EVER, gave himself a walk-on roll.
DECEMBER 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Opens: December 14th 2012
Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans
Director: Peter Jackson

Along with Dark Knight Rises, this is the movie I am looking forward to the most this year. Peter Jackson silenced all the naysayers that said that the J.R.R Tolkein book The Lord of the Rings was unfilmable. It took ten years of his life to film all three movies back to back. The result was one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time. So I’m stoked that Jackson is back to give us the prequel. For awhile he was out and director Guillermo Del Toro was attached to the film. Now I love Del Toro’s films but his style is different then Jackson’s and The Hobbit would have seemed like it was part of another series – and not part of Jackson’s world. But Peter took the film back like Golem taking back that ring and it looks like it’s gonna rock!

World War Z
Opens: December 21st 2012
Cast: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Lucy Aharish, Julia Levy-Boeken
Director: Marc Forster

I’m fucking sick of zombies. But that wasn’t the case back in the 80’s when I was a youngster and into gore and special effects (ask my sister about the one time I constructed a fake thumb, stuck a knife through it, dosed it in fake blood, and surprised her with it). Back in the 80’s zombies were few and far between. The only ones were Romero’s films and some even more low-budget Italian ones, oh, and the comedy Return of the Living Dead. So to get your fix of zombies you had to dig deep in the local video store horror section and uncover them and watch them over and over and over. But nowadays the undead can be found at your local Burger King and Wal-Mart’s. Shit, there are zombies on Saturday morning cartoons. Fucking Nickelodeon and Sesame Street. Regardless, I’ll still be checking this Brad Pitt zombie film, as it could very well spell the end of the genre.

Django Unchained
Opens: December 25th 2012
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell
Director: Quentin Tarantino

I respect Tarantino for sticking to his guns and making films HE wants to see. He is a fanboy at heart. But I wish he would make slightly better films. Well, maybe “better” isn’t the right word – more serious films I think. It just seems like he making these “comic booky” “exploitation” films ie: Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds. And this one looks to be a mixture of the two. But hey, the dude can direct the fuck of actors and I think he is one of the best ones around in terms of taking a washed up actor and finding the gold nugget in them. He LOVES actors, and actors are what drive 90% of movies. And he also can write dialog like nobody’s business.

Lincoln
Opens: December 2012
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones
Director: Steven Spielberg

Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln. Nuff Said.

AvX Contest: Week 6 Scoring Update

Another relatively quiet week in the AvX world. Bendis’s The New Avengers 26 adds more to the Iron Fist-Phoenix connection, and presents an interesting dark horse MVP candidate in the person of Leonardo da Vinci. Gage’s X-Men Legacy 266 seems like it should have presented us with a scoring opportunity… but looks can be deceiving. The fight between She-Hulk and Rogue (an “anticipated bout” on your score card) never really gets going. After the initial engagement, the Avengers bring in their “secret weapon,” spoiling any hope at extended green-tinted one-on-one bashing in the next issue. For clarification: this doesn’t go down as a “draw”; the bout is off for now and no points will be scored. That could all change in coming weeks, though, so stay tuned.

Winners and losers? Let’s hope so. The “draw” option is boring.

On the topic of draws, however, is a great piece of conversation between Cyclops and Wolverine in this week’s third and final tie-in, Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men 10. “There’s gonna be real winners and losers this time.” That’s a great thing to see in print, especially from the guy running the show on this event. Nobody gets excited about a tie. Except European soccer fans. Although I suppose seeing the future of Hope resting on a series of penalty kicks might be fun. Who would each side elect to tend goal?

No points scored this week, so there aren’t any changes to the leader board posted for Week 5. We are imposing a deadline for the Facebook-like bonus points: after next Wednesday, May 16, the points for liking The Institute or Comics & Collectibles will be added to each entrant’s total. After that, you’ll have missed your chance at two free points.

SNIKT Counter: 4

Ghostmann’s History of Comic Book Movies: Part 1

With The Avengers movie breaking all sorts of records and being cheered as the greatest comic book movie ever made (a sentiment with which I just might agree) I thought I would take some time and go through the history of films based on comics books – both the highs and lows.
Although comic book films have been around for over 70 years I really think they are just now entering their Golden Age. With the advancement of computer effects, the stories of flying men are getting easier to tell and more believable. The Avengers is primed to become the biggest grossing film of all time. This is going to lead to two things: One –  more comic book movies than ever before are going to be made in Hollywood. And Two – a lot of those movies are going to suck balls. But such is the case with any thing that does well – the copy-cats that want to cash in on the phenomenon are never as good, and ultimately doom the whole deal. This happened in the early 90’s after Tim Burton’s Batman blew everyone away – a shit load of shit followed and brought the comic book movie genre to its knees. But I’m getting ahead of myself  – let’s start at the beginning…..
The 1940’s
Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)
Directed byWilliam Witney, John English
StarringTom Tyler
This was the very first superhero movie, based on the character appearing in Whiz Comics (heh, whiz). At this point in time Superheroes had only been around for less then 10 years, starting with the debut of Superman back in 1932. The character of Captain Marvel is of course a copy-cat of Superman but the twist was, Captain Marvel was just a 12-year-old kid that could speak the magic word “SHAZAM!” and would turn into a fully grown man with super powers. Fucking brilliant twist, as pretty much every 12-year-old boy would kill for that power.
The flying effects for this 1941 serial weren’t too bad either. Get yourself some fishing line and a paper mache dummy and there you go, instant Captain Marvel. These shorts played in the theaters before the main feature and would start the ball rolling for Superheroes and the silver screen.
Batman (1943)
Directed by – Lambert Hillyer
Starring – Lewis Wilson, Douglas Croft
Another superhero serial that holds the distinction of being the first time the Batman character appears in film. It also holds the distinction of having the most butt-ugly Batman costume to ever be worn by a human being. Holy floppy ears Batman! I will say that some of the stunts they pulled off in this serial were pretty cool – like jumping from car to car and smashing through windows – no computer effects here, just dude in stupid looking costume doing all that shit for reals.
This serial also featured the first Bat-Cave (never seen before in the comics at the time) and also changed Alfred from a short, fat dude (like he was in the comics) to a tall, skinny dude with a thin mustache (and has been that way ever since).
Captain America (1944)
Directed by – Elmer Clifton, John English
Starring – Dick Purcell
The last of the Republic Serials and calling this a Captain America movie is stretching it. I mean, the dudes name isn’t Lt. Steve Rogers, it’s Grant Gardner a fucking lawyer. He doesn’t use a shield but guns. There is no super-solider serum. And no Bucky. What the hell kinda Captain America is this? Wait I know, a shitty one.
Superman (1948)
Directed by – Spencer Gordon Bennet, Thomas Carr
Starring – Kirk Alyn, Noel Neill
Before the TV series would propel Superman into super stardom, this 12 part serial played in the theaters and was the first time the character of Supes was played for real – not animated (although, the flying bits in this serial were done with animation and look pretty bad. Dudes should’ve taken a page from the Captain Marvel series and used the paper matche dummy).
Next in part 2: The 1950’s brings more bullshit. The 1960’s serves up the camp. The 1970’s things start to go right.

AvX Contest: Week 5 Scoring Update

This is how I say “I’m disappointed in you” with my fist.

No formal bouts to adjudicate this week (at least, none that we set up on the ballot; had Magik vs. Doctor Strange been an option, the X-Men would have had their first tally in the win column). There’s still some fun action to report, and, so long as you’re enjoying the ride, the third issue of Aaron and Romita Jr.’s Avengers vs. X-Men doesn’t disappoint.

Speaking of disappointing…

Last week Cap missed an opportunity at being disappointed in Hawkeye and Spider-Woman’s mid-crisis makeout session. This week, he lets Wolverine know how disappointed he is in the hairy bastich’s insistence on extreme measures with a fist to the face and a mid-flight quinjet ejection. And… it counts. I’ll admit, the judges had to deliberate a bit longer here, since the actual words “disappointed in” weren’t spoken, but, ultimately, Gene won the argument. “If this doesn’t say Cap is disappointed in a fellow Avenger, nothing does.” So… score it, fans. Five points for all entrants who predicted this eventuality.

The only other AvX book this week was Avengers Academy 29. It’s a decent comic, but doesn’t really add anything to the overall storyline. Longtime X-fans, or anyone who read up on the whole Phoenix Saga in anticipation, will love the final splash page, however.

Here are the leaders through week 5. Note that the bonus points for liking The Institute or Comics & Collectibles on Facebook haven’t been factored in yet. Which means, of course, that some of you still have a chance of adding a quick two points to your total. Get on that.

  • Maricus C. 19 pts
  • Carly W. 17 pts
  • Josh M. 16 pts
  • Brian H. 16 pts
  • Josh D. 16 pts
  • Ricky V. 16 pts
  • Ron L. 14 pts
  • Janson W. 14 pts
  • Gus P. 14 pts
  • Josh C. 14 pts
  • Brian S. 14 pts
  • Tony K. 14 pts
  • Chris B. 14 pts

SNIKT Counter: 3

Free Comic Book Day 2012: Top 5 Freebies

Who says nothing’s free these days? Comic book aficionados regard Wednesday as the most important day of the week, but since 2002, Free Comic Book Day has turned the first Saturday of May into a celebration of one of our country’s truly original art forms.

Many major comic book publishers, in conjunction with your local neighborhood comic book shop, and through the coordination of Diamond Distribution, offer an exclusive FCBD edition comic absolutely free to customers on this one special day each year. In past years, the FCBD book may have simply been a previously released comic re-marked for giveaway. As the program started becoming more successful, some publishers began releasing books created specifically for the day, even using FCBD as a launching point for major summer events or titles.

Obviously the best thing about Free Comic Book Day is that existing fans are able to get their hands on exclusive books while new readers, or just curious sorts, can be given an introduction to a variety of publishers and genres… all for free. My “Read More Comics” mantra is given a genuine holiday. And while the availability of the various books depends on the individual store (and how early you get there… don’t dawdle), everyone should take advantage of the industry’s generosity and get in on the action. So this Saturday, getcher ass down to your local comics shop. Spread the love, tell some friends, and share the books.

I’ll read anything and everything I can get my hands on. If I had to choose, however, just five titles to set my sights on, these would be the target books:

5. Barnaby and Mr O’Malley (Fantagraphics)

In addition to being the premier publisher of new, exciting comics art, Fantagraphics has done a masterful job, over the years, of collecting and preserving the work of classic cartoonists. Works as popular as Peanuts or as obscure (but no less fantastic) as Buz Sawyer have been painstakingly remastered and published. The latest project looks to be a little known strip by Crockett Johnson, creator of the beloved children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon. Barnaby is described on the Fantagraphics website as a “rollicking strip [that] follows the tyke Barnaby and his mischievous fairy godfather Mr. O’Malley.” The FCBD edition is a preview of a collection to be released later this year. Continue reading Free Comic Book Day 2012: Top 5 Freebies

Ghostmann’s Horror Movie Guide: The 1950’s

The Blob (1958)

Directed By – Irvin Yeaworth

Starring – Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Olin Howland

****** 6 out of 10 ghosty orbs!

Plot: Next time you see a falling star be careful, it could contain a gelatinous alien that eats everything in its path as it grows! Poor old farmer Ted didn’t know, and when he spots a meteorite falling into a nearby field he heads over to check it out. The old farmer is attacked by the alien and it tries to eat off his hand. Two teenagers, Steve Andrews and his girlfriend Jane Martin, run across the farmer and take him to Dr. T. Hallen. After the doctor treats the blister, he thinks it would be a good idea to send two kids to go back to the scene of the attack and investigate this “blob” (uh hey dumb ass, what about calling the police!). Well when Steve and Jane return to the doctors office after checking things out at the field, they find the Blob chowing down on the good doctor. Steve and Jane try to warn the police and the townsfolk but everyone thinks they are crazy. Meanwhile the fucking Blob engulfs half the city and it’s population.

Fun Fact: The actual Blob, a mixture of red dye and silicone, is still kept in the original five-gallon pail in which it was shipped to the production company in 1958 from Union Carbide. It was put on display over the years as a part of the annual Blobfest, held over a three-day period each summer in Phoenixville, PA, which provided a number of the shooting locales for the film. In addition to displaying the Blob and miniatures used in the shooting, the event features a reenactment of the famous scene in which panicked theatergoers rush to exit the town’s still-functioning Colonial Theater, as well as several showings of the film.

Classic Quote: “Doctor, nothing will stop it!” – Kate, the nurse [after throwing acid on the Blob]

Filming Locations: Colonial Theater, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA / Downingtown, Pennsylvania, USA (Diner)

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Directed By – Jack Arnold

Starring – Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning

***** 5 out 10 ghosty orbs!

Plot: After doing research for this Horror Guide Series, I’ve come to the conclusion – scientific expedition teams searching for fossils or artifacts is probably one of the most hazardous jobs ever! I mean it never fails – there they are just hanging out in a tomb, or in the case of this movie, a Black Lagoon, digging up some old relics when SUDDENLY a crazy-ass monster attacks them and kidnaps the one hot girl that’s in the team! The hot girl is usually the girlfriend or fiancee of the team leader and it’s up him and the rest of the team to rescue the hot researcher and kill the monster. Sounds like a great job.

Fun Fact: Ricou Browning, a professional diver and swimmer, was required to hold his breath for up to 4 minutes at a time for his underwater role as the “Gill Man.” The director’s logic was that the air would have to travel through the monster’s gills and thus not reveal air bubbles from his mouth or nose. Thus, the costume was designed without an air tank. In the subsequent films, this detail was ignored and air can be seen emanating from the top of the creature’s head.

Classic Quote: “We didn’t come here to fight monsters, we’re not equipped for it.”  – David Reed

Filming Locations:  Paradise Cove – 28128 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, California, USA (arrival at coast scene) / Park Lake, Backlot, Universal Studios – 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California, USA (Amazonian lagoon)

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Directed By – Terence Fisher

Starring – Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee

****** 6 out of 10 ghosty orbs!

Plot: Okay dudes, if you ever run across a Doctor, teacher, boss, construction worker, Starbucks barista, with the last name of FRANKENSTEIN! just keep walking man. Because at some point that person is gonna want to resurrect the dead and dig up bodies – and you know where that leads to? Yeah, not good. Once you start down that road you’ll no doubt find yourself speaking lines like this, “I must find the perfect brain!” It’s a one way trip to loonyville. You’ll start bringing dead puppies back to life – or maybe some goldfish and squirrels. Nothing will be safe from your maniacal ways.

Fun Fact: The original concept for this film was a black-and-white feature with Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein monster. Universal threatened a lawsuit if Hammer copied any elements from the classic Universal version. Hammer had Jimmy Sangster completely redo the script and had Jack Asher shoot it in Eastmancolour.

Classic Quote:  “I’ve harmed nobody, just robbed a few graves!” – Baron Frankenstein

Filming Locations: Black Park, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK / Oakley Court, Windsor Road, Oakley Green, Windsor, Berkshire, England, UK

The Horror of Dracula (1958)

Directed by – Terence Fisher

Starring – Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough

********* 9 out of 10 ghosty orbs!

Plot: Jonathan Harker travels to Castle Dracula to help the Count catalog his vast library – you know, books on how to suck blood and shit like that. But what Count Dracula doesn’t know is that Harker is secretly on a mission to kill him. But dumb ass Harker takes his sweet time getting out the wooden stakes and by then it’s too late because Dracula has already sucked the dudes blood – goodbye Librarian, hello life of the un-dead. And if getting turned into a vampire wasn’t bad enough, Dracula sees a picture of Harker’s fiancee, Lucy Holmwood, and decides he needs to tap that ass. Dracula heads into town in his best cape and starts to visit Lucy at night in her bedroom. Soon Lucy is all used up and Dracula sets his sights on one of Lucy’s friends, Mina. What a pimp! But Dracula’s cock is soon blocked by one Dr. Van Helsing.

Fun Fact: The cape worn by Christopher Lee was discovered in 2007 in a London costume shop during its annual inventory-taking. It had been missing for 30 years, and is believed to be worth around $50,000 (US$). Lee was contacted to verify its authenticity.

Classic Quote:  “Sleep well, Mr. Harker.” – Count Dracula

Filming Locations: Bray Studios, Down Place, Oakley Green, Berkshire, England, UK / Oakley Court, Windsor Road, Oakley Green, Windsor, Berkshire, England, UK

The Fly (1958)

Directed By – Kurt Neumann

Starring – David HedisonPatricia OwensVincent Price

****** 6 out of 10 ghosty orbs!

Plot: You ever wish you could just teleport places instead of having to drive there? Or take the train or jet plane? I mean how cool would it be to step into a transporter box and one second you are in California and the nest you are chillin’ in Japan? Fucking awesome! Whats not awesome is that you would have to bring a can of RAID with you every time you step in the transporter and spray the hell out of it – otherwise when you get to Japan you might be barfing up on your sushi roll to slurp it up through a straw.

Fun Fact: Michael Rennie was offered the title role but declined it because his head would be covered thru most of the picture.

Classic Quote: “Help me! Help meeee!” – Andre Delambre

Filming Locations: Stage 9, 20th Century Fox Studios – 10201 Pico Blvd., Century City, Los Angeles, California, USA

House of Wax (1953)

Directed – André de Toth

Starring – Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Charles Bronson

****** 6 out of 10 ghosty orbs

Plot: Professor Henry Jarrod has the talent to make extremely life-like wax sculptures (now there’s a lost art form). His favorite subjects are historical figures such as Marie Antoinette or Joan of Arc, but his business partner Matthew Burke, wants him to start making some more horrific wax sculptures – like a chamber of horrors and shit. When Jarrod refuses to do such sculptures, Burke sets his wax museum on FIRE and collects the insurance. What a fucking dick! Well, everyone believes that Henry Jarrod died in the fire but he unexpectedly reappears some 18 months later when he opens a new exhibit – and guess what motherfuckers, this one DOES have a chamber of horrors. Guess who Henry is inviting for opening day? That’s right – Burke the Jerk.

Fun Fact: Warner Bros.’ first 3-D movie, filmed by director André De Toth – who was blind in one eye and hence could not see the effect.

Classic Quote: “It’s sort of a shock to see your head detached that way. ” – Sue Allen

Filming Locations: Stage 12, Warner Brothers Burbank Studios – 4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank, California, USA

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Director – William Castle

Starring – Vincent Price, Carolyn Craig, Elisha Cook

***** 5 out 10 ghosty orbs!

Plot: This was like the 1950’s version of the T.V show “Big Brother” – Let’s put five people in a  haunted house with ghosts that kill the shit out of you, and see which one survives!  The winner gets $10,ooo bucks! Sweet. Your hosts for this ghoulish spectacle are Frederick and Annabelle Loren – who really have no intention of paying any of these idiots, but hey, they don’t know that. One of the contestants, Mr. Pritchard, is a ghost expert know-it-all and tells everyone that there are seven ghosts. Not 6. Fucking 7. How does he know this? Just count the ghosty orbs fool…. ghosty orb 1, ghosty orb 2, ghosty orb Tims!  As the guests continue to be frightened and threatened, two have their own very specific reason for being there and not everyone will live through the night. No shit.

Fun Fact: The Ennis Brown House in Los Angeles, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1924, and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was used for the exterior shots of the haunted house during the film’s opening sequence.

Classic Quote: “It’s almost time to lock up the house and then your party will really begin. I wonder how it will end… ” – Frederick Loren

Filming Locations: Ennis-Brown House – 2655 Glendower Avenue, Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California, USA

Them! (1954)

Directed By – Gordon Douglas

Starring – James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness

******* 7 out of 10 ghosty orbs!

Plot: After several people in the New Mexico desert wind up missing or dead, including an F.B.I. agent and most of his family, police Sgt. Ben Peterson teams up with F.B.I. agent Bob Graham to find out what’s causing the strange occurrences. And do you know who they find out that did it? Mexican Drug Cartels? Serial Killers? Satanic Cults? Nope, giant motherfucking ANTS!  Turns out the ants over at the Atomic Testing site in Los Alamos got exposed to all the radiation from the bomb tests and got all huge. Thanks a lot Einstein, Oppenheimer, and Heisenberg. Well they manage to destroy the nest of ants and save the day, but then they see two ants with wings fly off to go fuck and make more baby giant ants, hell bent on destroying the world!

Fun Fact: The sound that the giant ants from “THEM!” make as they approach their prey is a recorded chorus of bird-voiced treefrogs (Hyla avivoca) of the southeastern United States. Occasionally a grey treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) can be heard on the soundtrack as well, as these species can often be heard together at the same wetland.

Classic Quote: “We may be witnesses to a Biblical prophecy come true – ‘And there shall be destruction and darkness come upon creation, and the beasts shall reign over the earth.'” – Dr. Harold Medford

Filming Locations: Blaney Ranch – 160th & Q Streets, Palmdale, California, USA (giant ants desert nest)

The Thing from Another World (1951)

Directed By – Howard Hawks

Starring – Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey, Douglas SpencerJames Arness

******** 8 out 10 ghosty orbs!

Plot: Members of an American scientific research outpost in Antarctica find themselves battling a parasitic alien organism capable of perfectly imitating its victims. They soon discover that this task will be harder than they thought, as they don’t know which members of the team have already been assimilated and their paranoia threatens to tear them apart. Then then some dudes chest opens up into a mouth and chomps off the doctors arms then they blast the alien with flamethrowers and the aliens head detaches itself and scrambles across the floor….. uhhh.   oh wait, shit wrong movie.

Fun Fact: The scene in which The Thing is doused with kerosene and set ablaze is believed to be the first full body burn accomplished by a stunt man. Veteran stunt man Tom Steele replaced James Arness in the fire scene. Steele wore an asbestos suit with a special fiberglass helmet with an oxygen supply underneath. He used a 100% oxygen supply which was highly combustible. It was pure luck he didn’t burn his lungs whilst breathing in the mixture.

Classic Quote: “Watch the skies, everywhere! Keep looking. Keep watching the skies!” – Ned “Scotty” Scott

Filming Locations: Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

AvX Contest: Week 4 Scoring Update

General Ross eats Russkie punks like you for breakfast.

Four weeks in on Idle Time’s Avengers vs. X-Men contest, and we already have our fourth one-on-one duel to officiate. This week, thanks to the first issue of the AvX Vs: mini-series, the judging is conveniently taken out of our hands, with “winner” clearly stated at the conclusion of each of the comic’s two battles.

The main card focuses on one of the off-camera contests from AvX 2. Tony Stark, man in the Iron Suit, versus Magneto, Master of Magnetism. No contest? You’d be right, if you picked the second-smartest guy in the Marvel U to take the day’s honors. Decision: Iron Man.

The Thing takes on a familiar foe in the back-up battle. Despite Namor’s homefield advantage, the ever-loving blue-eyed Ben Grimm emerges from the San Francisco bay after having been declared the winner, “for now…” Decision: The Thing.

Continue reading AvX Contest: Week 4 Scoring Update

This Used To Be My Playground, Part 11: Whoomp! There Goes My Summer

#89. “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” – Lenny Kravitz
#90. “No Rain” – Blind Melon

First day of summer! The noonday sun tried desperately to penetrate my bedroom blinds as I slept off Grad Night, but it was all for naught. My room remained dark as a tomb. If it wasn’t for the fact I had a hip-pocket full of Wherehouse gift certificates and graduation cash, I would have slept another two or three hours. But I crawled out of bed and drove to the Wherehouse, where I bought Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek & The Dominoes, the Who’s double album Quadrophenia, and two albums of more recent vintage: Blind Melon’s self-titled debut, and Lenny Kravitz’s Are You Gonna Go My Way.

What a burn. Loved, loved, loved the Kravitz title song, so I bought the album…and there were no other good songs in evidence. Not a one. I would repeatedly fall into this trap until the dawn of the mp3 age. Kravitz would go on to never make a good song ever again. I deduced later that he never made any good songs before “AYGGMY,” either. I guess that proves that even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in his life.

The Blind Melon album fared much better. Known mostly for the massive hit single “No Rain” (and its iconic “Bee Girl” video), the rest of the album was solid and unpretentious, and has held up surprisingly well. The same could not be said of its follow-up, 1995’s Soup. Lead singer Shannon Hoon was a notorious drug ingestion machine, and it’s too bad the atrocious Soup was his last statement to the world before he went tits-up. (Note to aspiring musicians who are considering acquiring a My First Drug Habit kit: Drug use doesn’t always result in an Exile On Main Street or Appetite For Destruction. More often than not, it results in Soup.)

By the by, there’s nothing more boring than watching someone else negotiate to buy a car. While Stephanie was taking seventeen hours to trade in her old Datsun Z for a new Honda Civic del Sol at some point that June, I wandered over to the Underground to spend the last of my graduation cash on some alt-music roots: Primus’ live debut Suck On This, and Nirvana’s 1989 Sub Pop debut Bleach. Steph’s new vehicle reflected her new employment status as a medical records clerk for Chico Community Hospital. A real, adult-type job. The beginning of the tiniest crack in our relationship foundation. But she celebrated by buying me the Kinks’ Greatest Hits and the book The Films of Sean Connery, so it was all good. For now.

#91. “Two Princes” – The Spin Doctors

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Most Overplayed Song of 1993! Featured on movie soundtracks, movie trailers, a video that by federal law was played twice per hour for ten to twelve months, and as background music on dozens and dozens of MTV shows, including The Real World. I spent a lot of afternoons that summer glued to the groundbreaking “reality” series’ second season, the one in Los Angeles with the drunken Irish “music critic,” (he was shown fleetingly at a club show holding a notepad, so that makes him a music critic, right?), the obnoxious, glowering “stand-up comedian” who got kicked out of the house for general assholery, and didn’t seem to have a funny bone in his body (not a split-second of his stand-up act was ever shown to my recollection), and the stomach-churningly awful “country singer” (his act was shown — at least a half-dozen times — and it always consisted of one song: “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.”) Some argue that The Real World reached its peak with the next season in San Francisco (a.k.a. “Puck and the AIDS Guy”), but I was already growing bored with the format by then. 

Anyway, It reached a point where “Two Princes” seemed to saturate the very air itself that summer. You would be out for a quiet walk, and then suddenly…a whiff of patchouli, and Chris Barron’s lazy, beard-y voice would be carried faintly through the breeze: “One, two princes kneel before you, that’s-a what I said now…” And you would curl up on the sidewalk and wait for help to arrive. This album had been kicking around since ’91, and showed no signs of going away.

(But never fear, a follow-up was in the works. And if there was one follow-up that was worse than Soup, it was the Spin Doctors’ Turn It Upside Down. It’s a poorly-kept recording industry secret that most artists try to front load their albums with the stronger tracks. The Doctors’ idea of a superstrong lead-off track? A gem called “Big Fat Funky Booty,” followed by the single (!) “Cleopatra’s Cat,” an exercise in scat-singing so repugnant it would make Cab Calloway claw his own eyes out.)

#92. “(I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles” – The Proclaimers

Originally released by Scottish folk-rock duo the Proclaimers in 1988, and a fair-sized European hit at that time. As we all know, it’s not the 17th century anymore, and Europe has little to no importance to anything. (Keep playing soccer, guys. It’s riveting.) Therefore, the song remained unknown to American ears until its re-release and inclusion on the soundtrack of 1993’s Benny And Joon, a good-natured movie so slight that it dissolved in your mind upon viewing, like cotton candy, leaving only the sweet, sticky residue of Johnny Depp’s Buster Keaton imitations, and the Proclaimers singing over the closing credits in their thick Scottish burrs about “havering” and other nonsensical Euro notions that aren’t really words. The film was in theaters for about a day and a half, but the accompanying re-edited music video – now featuring clips from the film interspersed with the rather spastic Proclaimers (“Dah-DAH duh, dah-DAH duh”) – stayed in rotation for the rest of the summer.

I wanted to get hold of the song in an idle kind of way, not to the point of buying it or anything (still jobless, remember?). I resorted to an old trick from my younger days. I propped a cassette recorder against the television speaker and recorded the audio right off of MTV. In my formative years, I did this with the audio of George Carlin VHS tapes the clueless liquor store clerk would rent to me. (Remember when liquor stores rented movies?) Yes, I was the only twelve-year-old on the middle-school playground who had hours of George Carlin material memorized flawlessly. Explains a lot.

#93. “Slam” – Onyx

#94. “Push Th’ Little Daisies” – Ween

#95. “Thunderkiss ’65” – White Zombie

Three songs put on the map by being featured on MTV’s cartoon Beavis & Butthead, which debuted in the spring of ’93. Crude, shocking, and controversial at the time, B&B has been outpaced in terms of envelope-pushing content by later shows like South Park and Family Guy, but there was a time when B&B was truly Appointment Television. Later in college, I knew a couple who would stop having sex when they heard the distinctive opening riff of the B&B theme song in the next room, and come running in, frantically buttoning and tucking. The plot lines for each fifteen-minute episode were hit and miss, but the times when the two dim-witted title characters would sit and critique full-length music videos in their distinctive and often-imitated (by me and everyone I knew) voices were what kept me tuning in. Not everything was comedy gold, but there were frequent moments – you were guaranteed at least one in each episode –when a subtle turn of phrase or vocal nuance would bring down the house. (Butthead’s response to the Sting/Rod Stewart/Bryan Adams collaboration “All For Love” – a quick, nauseated “Oh dear Lord” – was a long-time favorite of mine, and like most of their antics, loses something in the translation into the written word. So just watch for it at about 3:11 in this clip.)

#96. “Creep” – Radiohead

Remember when Radiohead wrote songs? Sometimes really good ones. So if you ever get tired of Thom Yorke draaaaaaaaaaging out his vowwwwwwwwwwwels over minimalist keyboard plunking, which has characterized every Radiohead song since 2001, do yourself a favor and re-introduce yourself to 90’s Radiohead. The “Creep” single was originally issued in the fall of ’92, several months in advance of the Pablo Honey album, but it did not connect with a large listening audience. Capitol Records, savvy bastards that they are, put it out again in 1993, and ears were more attentive – alas, it was immediately lumped in with all the other post-grunge flash-in-the-pans like Bush, Everclear, and Dig. An unfair categorization, perhaps…but sales soared, and they proved their staying power with subsequent releases. (I was going to make a snide joke about the guy from Dig putting too much foam on my latte, but a quick Wiki shows that he’s currently a successful record producer and a highly-paid composer for commercials and the Discovery Channel, while I sit here and write a blog in my underwear for six semi-regular readers. And I may be overestimating my readership.)

#97. “Whoomp! (There It Is)” – Tag Team

Like whatever “it” it was talking about (I’m assuming “booty” or some such generic raunchiness), this song was certainly “there” during the summer of ’93, taking up valuable airwaves with its pointlessness. I never paid much attention, though. Maybe there’s some deeper meaning I’m missing in the verses. [Goes to check lyrics.com.] Nope.

#98. “Runaway Train” – Soul Asylum

Call this the male version of 4 Non-Blondes’ “What’s Up?” Why is the singer so traumatized? Dunno. It doesn’t seem to matter, as songwriter Dave Pirner (hair tousled by a professional hair-tousler) frantically clutches your sleeve and pours out his tale of woe and tries to overcome you with his powerful earnestness rays, and never, ever gives you a clue as to what the fuck he’s talking about. And someone needs to buy the guy a rhyming dictionary, so he can get more options out of “train” beyond “pain” and “rain.”

The video for the song was something of a cause celebre at the time, done as a public service message, showing pictures and names of over thirty missing or runaway children.

#99. “Soul To Squeeze” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Remember back in Part 2 when I said I owned exactly one cassette single? This was it. Pretty much every CD in my expanding collection was transferred to cassette so it could be played in the Mattmobile. The Peppers’ late-’91 magnum opus Blood Sugar Sex Magick clocked in at an awkward seventy-five minutes. Too long to fit on one side of a 90-minute cassette, but not long enough to fill both sides. I padded the last fifteen minutes of my cassette’s Side Two with three non-album Chili Peppers tracks: “Sikamikanico” (from the Wayne’s World soundtrack, which I already owned), “Show Me Your Soul” (from the Pretty Woman soundtrack, borrowed), and this song from the Coneheads soundtrack. My anal-retentiveness forced me to pay three bucks for the cassingle so my Blood Sugar Sex Magick tape wouldn’t have five minutes of blank space at the end.

I almost sprung for the full soundtrack, because it was pretty good (R.E.M., Digable Planets, Paul Simon), but not quite good enough to justify a purchase. Still unemployed. But I was being proactive! I mailed in a resume in response to an ad for a new video rental store that was set to open in north Yuba City that August.

And hey, remember the Coneheads movie? Didn’t quite hit it out of the park cinematically, but it had its moments, and the cast featured a who’s-who of early-90’s comedy: almost a dozen past, present & future SNL cast members, people from Seinfeld, bit parts from Ellen DeGeneres and Drew Carey when they were still struggling stand-ups, three of the girls from Dazed and Confused (released the same year, and soon to become one of my favorite movies), and…uh, Sinbad. And Tom Arnold. Well, they can’t all be winners.

#100. “Cannonball” – The Breeders

“It’s on!” Stephanie yelled from her room one August afternoon, and I came running to see this new video, my introduction to the whimsical world of video director Spike Jonze, and to a lesser extent, former Pixies bassist Kim Deal and her new combo, the Breeders. Stephanie had caught the video the night before, and was struck by its overall visual coolness (and it’s a good song to boot). We kept kind of a half-assed vigil until it repeated itself the next day, which was exactly the type of shit we still had time for. Those days were rapidly ending.

I soon learned Ms. Deal was something of a cult figure amongst indie-rock fans. Allen Maxwell had a homemade sticker of her peeping slyly out of the rear window of his pickup. I was a little too young to get into the Pixies when they were at full force (’86-’90), and despite listening to them hundreds of times over the past fifteen years, I still don’t quite get why they were/are such a big deal (no pun intended.) That and my extreme distaste for the fucking Smiths are the gulf that divided me from my new college/coffee shop friends I was about to make.

But that was still a little ways ahead. I started college not long after seeing the Breeders video (both seem to have about equal weight in my memory). Yuba College was like any junior college – “high school with ashtrays” in the wordsof John Hughes. But unlike high school, you only had to be there for a few hours a day. And sometimes, if you played your cards right, not even every day! Holyshit! I loved college! I don’t know if I had a plan or program, but my first semester sure seems like beautiful randomness: Western Civilization, General Psychology, Intro to Mass Comm., Public Speaking, and Intro to Film. Higher education seemed like a complete cakewalk. Three Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes, a Tues-Thurs evening class, and a Thursday-only evening class.

Last day of summer! Just before I kicked off my collegiate career, I got called for a job interview. First Run Video, a six-outlet chain based out of Redding, California, was opening a Yuba City store…

Folks, I am proud to have been a professional educator for twelve years as of 2012…but I was born to be a video store clerk. Too bad it’s a dying breed…

Record Store Day 2012: Top 5 Exclusives

Tomorrow marks the first of my two favorite spring Saturdays. Since 2007, the third Saturday in April has celebrated independent record stores around the world with exclusive vinyl pressings, re-issues, and live performances. April 21, 2012, is Record Store Day. Dust off the turntables, and wake up early, because with runs as low as 1000 copies on some sexy seven-inches, there won’t be much left on the racks come April 22.

The next big brick-and-mortar blowout happens the first Saturday in May. Don’t worry: expect a post on Free Comic Book Day 2012 in the very near future.

Here are the five exclusives atop my wishlist:

5. M83 – “Mirror” (Mute) 7″ etched disc

M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming dropped in at eighth on Idle Time’s favorite records of 2011, and the standout single “Midnight City” was on the shortlist for Top 100 songs of the Idle Time Decade. The also great “Mirror,” a hidden track on Dreaming, gets the limited edition etched vinyl treatment tomorrow. Limited to 2000.

Continue reading Record Store Day 2012: Top 5 Exclusives