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3/2/2005

EAR PLUGS
Degenerate JH sent us a response to last episodeís review of Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes:
Not that I am bucking for the Music Dictator position at Degenerate Press, but I felt that the review of Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes left the impression that they are a noodly, psychedelic rock band, which is not the case. They are from New Orleans, have a super-tight horn section, and do some pretty gritty blues, funk, and soul. Kind of like a grungier version of King Johnson (who the Dictator also does not get). Since the Dic left for the other room after exactly 2.5 songs, leaving when the 3rd song went past 4 minutes never to return, I think his impression was a bit limited. Apparently the more he thought about how much he hates jambands, his original feeling that it was "good stuff, done well" that he could have "enjoyed ... as background music at a party," became in his mind "somewhere between painfully dull and deeply annoying." Yeah, they took solos and worked the groove, but hey, that's funk. You want to tell James Brown how long his songs can be? Along with a couple of admittedly too-long jams that featured electric fiddle, they did some punchy funk, some silly covers ("Funkytown," "Sweet Child O Mine"), as well as a couple of spot on classics (Bill Withers' "Lovely Day," "Shape I'm In"). Anyway, Johnny Sketch is a damn fine band, and they mentioned that they will be back at Jake's in May, so look for 'em .... if you LIKE that kind of thing...

In other news, we posted our review of Home of the Wildcats, Y.O.U., Hot Young Priest at the Star Bar from last week:
http://www.degeneratepress.com/vault/hot_young_priest_feb_2005/index.html

BLASPHEMY
Last episode generated this response:
Here, here to Degenerate RVI for a fitting tribute to the immortal Hunter S. Thompson. His passing -- classic HST. His passing as largely unmentioned by mainstream media -- classic righteous right. Frankly, I would expect nothing less out of either. So, here's adding my own tip o' the glass to a cultural icon. Thanks Hunter for both the ticket AND the ride!
Peace
Degenerate TD

FILM FLAM
Saw a preview screening of Inside Deep Throat, a documentary that looks at the making of the infamous porn film and the controversy following it's release. It's an interesting tale and incredibly timely. I wish this had come out last fall as the nation further divided itself into those who want their own values, beliefs and culture enforced by law on those of us who have differing opinions and donít need to push them on anyone else. During Inside Deep Throat, there are a couple of moments that really stand out as perfect statements or examples of the differing mentality. For example, a little old lady says,"I liked it. I wanted to see a dirty picture and that's what I saw. I don't want somebody telling me that I can't see a dirty picture." Using historical footage, they do a fine job showing what the nation was struggling with in 1972, something that oddly reflects 2002 a bit too closely. You'd think in a generation or two later we'd have made up our minds about what sex means to us as a society but a glance at the headlines just about any day of the week proves otherwise. The film also features lots of interviews with the director, crew and cast of Deep Throat, as well as interviews with various government officials who tried their best to stop the film.
I think the documentary gives Deep Throat a bit too much credit. Deep Throat is made to appear responsible for the explosion of porn in the seventies, the feminist backlash against the sexual revolution, and the conservative backlash against anything with nudity involved. I think the film was as much symptom as cause, but it's a very important work of art in historic terms when discussing our country's struggle with sexuality. Because of Deep Throat's success, the country was forced to make some tough decisions - can we let adults think for themselves, for example? Is sex evil? The answers seem obvious to people on both sides and the discussion the film provokes is both hilarious and infuriating.
The documentary is well put together for the most part. It's fast paced and has a great soundtrack. It's only weakness is an over-reliance on little visually exciting clips of stock footage of non-pornographic film stuck in between interviews and other scenes - lots of flashy stuff that's supposed to hold your attention but somehow only distracted me and made me feel like they were trying to pad the film out to a respectable length. Chop out about 10 minutes of that and you have a near perfect documentary.
For those of you who are against porn (get help), be warned - there are a few scenes of pornography in the documentary. It would be difficult, and silly, to do a documentary about a pornographic film without showing some of the film in question. But it's not enough to feel like the documentary itself is pornographic, despite itís NC-17 rating, or even enough to spoil your viewing of Deep Throat itself. Just enough to give you a feel for what the film was like, which is actually relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things. It's not the art, it's the effect on the viewer that really matters.
Inside Deep Throat is showing at Tara next week or so.


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