Kendra Steiner Editions

April 14, 2017

New and Recent KSE releases, available for order

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:40 pm

kse-11-new

NEW AND RECENT KSE RELEASES, AVAILABLE FOR ORDER

UPDATED  15 April  2017

NOTE: ALL CDR’s  ARE NOW PRICED @ $8.00, postpaid in the US.

OUTSIDE THE USA , one album is $18.00 postpaid, first two albums are $20.00 postpaid, then $8 each postpaid after that—sorry, but it now costs almost $14 US to send one CDR overseas….you save A LOT by buying more than one—in fact, the price on an order of two or more HAS GONE DOWN!

1 album= $18, 2 albums= $20, 3 albums= $28, etc. Thanks for your understanding of this. The Post Office now charges $14.50 to mail ONE cdr without a jewel box to Europe or Asia!

Payment is via paypal, using the e-mail address   django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com   . It might be helpful for you to also shoot me an e-mail telling me you’ve sent funds and what items you want…or if you prefer, tell me what books/cdr’s you want, and I’ll send you a paypal invoice.

KSE #372, ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, “Manitas” solo classical guitar

KSE #369, A. F. JONES, “FOUR DOT THREE TO ONE”

KSE #362, FOSSILS & BILL SHUTE, “Florida Nocturne Revisited”….new interpretations of Shute’s Florida Nocturne Poems

KSE #370, “KSE 11th ANNIVERSARY ALBUM” featuring newly recorded, exclusive tracks from members of the KSE family and friends: JEN HILL, VANESSA ROSSETTO, ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, LISA CAMERON, BRIAN RURYK, FOSSILS, MORE EAZE, JOHN BELL, MASSIMO MAGEE, MATTHEW REVERT, STEVE FLATO

KSE #355 (CDR), MORE EAZE, “wOrk”

KSE #357 (CDR) SMOKEY EMERY / VENISON WHIRLED, “turning into”

KSE #363 (CDR) ALFRED 23 HARTH’s BERLIN ENSEMBLES

KSE #359 (CDR), TOM CREAN & MATT ROBIDOUX, “Blank Space”–cover art by Jennifer Baron

KSE #353 (CDR), FOSSILS, “Camelot Towers”

KSE #336 (CDR), ALFRED 23 HARTH, “Kepler 452b Edition”

KSE #351 (CDR), MASSIMO MAGEE, “Music In 3 Spaces”

KSE #350 (CDR) ANTHONY GUERRA / BILL SHUTE, “Subtraction” KSE  reissue of album originally released in 2011 on Black Petal Records, Australia 

KSE #335 (CDR album), REVEREND RAYMOND BRANCH, “Rainbow Gospel Hour…On The Air!”—a wonderful hour-long AM-radio broadcast, mastered from cassette, capturing the warmth and joy of Rev. Branch in both music (lots of it) and spoken message

KSE #334 (CDR album), BRIAN RURYK, “Actual Size…degress again” (sic)

KSE #333 (CDR album), ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, “Tunnels” solo 12-string acoustic mantra guitar

KSE #331, “KSE 10th ANNIVERSARY ALBUM” featuring newly recorded, exclusive tracks from members of the KSE family: ALFRED 23 HARTH,  SARAH HENNIES, RAMBUTAN, VANESSA ROSSETTO, ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, DEREK ROGERS, BRENT FARISS, MATT KREFTING, GRAHAM LAMBKIN, and MASSIMO MAGEE

KSE #328, LISA CAMERON & NATHAN BOWLES, “Liquid Sunshine” percussion duo

KSE #326, MORE EAZE (aka Marcus M. Rubio), “Abandoning Finitude”….cover art by Bob Bruno

KSE #318, ALFRED 23 HARTH & JOHN BELL, “Camellia”

 KSE #310 (CDR) MORE EAZE (Marcus M. Rubio), “Accidental Prizes”

KSE #293, MORE EAZE (Marcus M. Rubio), “Stylistic Deautomatization” (reissued)

——————————————————————————————————————————-

NEWEST POETRY CHAPBOOKS:

($6 US ppd/$7 elsewhere ppd)

KSE #366 (poetry chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Approaching The Apparent: Meditations on the Kena Upanishad”

KSE #368 (poetry chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Find A Place To Die”

KSE #367 (poetry chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Left-Handed Cherubs”

KSE #354 (poetry chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Revelation In Slow Motion”

KSE #364 (poetry chapbook), LUIS CUAUHTEMOC BERRIOZABAL, “Make The Light Mine”

KSE #352 (poetry chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Bridge on the Bayou”

Thanks for your support of KSE (now in our 12th year of operation, with over 360 releases in that time!) and all other independent, non-aligned arts organizations.

April 27, 2017

new album from ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, “MANITAS” (KSE #372)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:03 pm

ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, “MANITAS” (KSE #372, cdr album)

uninterrupted solo classical guitar performance, 44:25

ernesto manitas

It’s always an honor to bring out a new album from West Coast guitarist and composer ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE. I grew up listening to the mind-bending guitar experimentation of Sonny Sharrock, Derek Bailey, Fred Frith, Hans Reichel, savoring and studying their albums. KSE hopes to keep that tradition alive for today’s listeners by featuring new creations from Ernesto on the West Coast and Tom Crean on the East Coast.

We brought Ernesto in from San Francisco in 2012 for the KSE 6th Anniversary Concert in Austin, and while his performances (he did both solo and trio sets) were stunning, what was perhaps most impressive to me at that show was his amazing virtuoso abilities as a performer. He would do a piece that would last for fifteen or more minutes, that was incredibly EXACT in every way and at a fever pitch. The stamina and self-discipline involved made my jaw drop. Many of his more athletic pieces have had that effect on listeners–I know that having seen Cecil Taylor do three nights of solo piano in 1977, and having seen Sarah Hennies do long uninterrupted intricate percussion performances of her demanding and long compositions in the 2008-2011 Austin period, that Ernesto is for me in that same category.

And speaking of Cecil Taylor, he was an inspiration for this new MANITAS album. Let’s let Mr. Diaz-Infante explain about the album:

“Manitas” means ‘little hands’ in Spanish—on one hand a personal reaction to the political climate of Trump, and in another sense this idea of our hands working away at what we love. It’s a 44 minute structured improvisation of solo classical guitar. It was inspired by listening to Cecil Taylor’s ‘Air Above Mountains’. It’s a spectral way of playing I have been developing, of avoiding melodies or harmonies, and using extended techniques, strumming, free-form fingering and picking, that verges on noise. I’m interested in automatism, letting the unconscious mind take control.–Ernesto Diaz-Infante

Every album by ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE tackles a new compositional and performance challenge, and MANITAS is the latest in the artist’s fascinating journey.  On past albums he has brought out the inherent possibilities of the Bajo Sexto and the 12 String Guitar, on MANITAS, he uses the rich tonal palette of the nylon-stringed classical guitar–a beautiful, resonant, full-bodied sound.   Get your copy now!

ERNESTO MANITAS PIC

Payment is via paypal, using the e-mail address   django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com   . It might be helpful for you to also shoot me an e-mail telling me you’ve sent funds and what items you want…or if you prefer, tell me what books/cdr’s you want, and I’ll send you a paypal invoice.

All CDR’s are $8.00, postpaid in the USA.

OUTSIDE THE USA , one album is $18.00 postpaid, first two albums are $20.00 postpaid, then $8 each postpaid after that—sorry, but it now costs almost $14 US to send one CDR overseas….you save A LOT by buying more than one—in fact, the price on an order of two or more HAS GONE DOWN! Suggestion: if you are ordering from overseas, why not get Ernesto’s previous KSE album TUNNELS (KSE #333) as your second album (for just $2 extra from the cost of 1 album because of the odd international postage rates!). Only $20 postpaid outside the US for BOTH Ernesto Diaz-Infante albums. Or any two available KSE albums.

1 album= $18, 2 albums= $20, 3 albums= $28, etc. Thanks for your understanding of this. The Post Office now charges $14.50 to mail ONE cdr without a jewel box to Europe or Asia!

ALSO AVAILABLE FOR THE SAME PRICES:

KSE #369, A. F. JONES, “FOUR DOT THREE TO ONE”

KSE #362, FOSSILS & BILL SHUTE, “Florida Nocturne Revisited”….new interpretations of Shute’s Florida Nocturne Poems

KSE #370, “KSE 11th ANNIVERSARY ALBUM” featuring newly recorded, exclusive tracks from members of the KSE family and friends: JEN HILL, VANESSA ROSSETTO, ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, LISA CAMERON, BRIAN RURYK, FOSSILS, MORE EAZE, JOHN BELL, MASSIMO MAGEE, MATTHEW REVERT, STEVE FLATO

KSE #355 (CDR), MORE EAZE, “wOrk”

KSE #357 (CDR) SMOKEY EMERY / VENISON WHIRLED, “turning into”

KSE #363 (CDR) ALFRED 23 HARTH’s BERLIN ENSEMBLES

KSE #359 (CDR), TOM CREAN & MATT ROBIDOUX, “Blank Space”–cover art by Jennifer Baron

KSE #353 (CDR), FOSSILS, “Camelot Towers”

KSE #336 (CDR), ALFRED 23 HARTH, “Kepler 452b Edition”

KSE #351 (CDR), MASSIMO MAGEE, “Music In 3 Spaces”

KSE #350 (CDR) ANTHONY GUERRA / BILL SHUTE, “Subtraction” KSE  reissue of album originally released in 2011 on Black Petal Records, Australia 

KSE #335 (CDR album), REVEREND RAYMOND BRANCH, “Rainbow Gospel Hour…On The Air!”—a wonderful hour-long AM-radio broadcast, mastered from cassette, capturing the warmth and joy of Rev. Branch in both music (lots of it) and spoken message

KSE #334 (CDR album), BRIAN RURYK, “Actual Size…degress again” (sic)

KSE #333 (CDR album), ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, “Tunnels” solo 12-string acoustic mantra guitar

As always, many thanks for your support.

Please note that KSE WILL BE CLOSED MAY 15-MAY 30, 2017–no orders shipped during that period…and no internet access, as I’ll be deep in rural Mississippi, one block from the Mississippi River.

April 15, 2017

Mission In Morocco (UK-Spain, 1959), starring Lex Barker

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 10:37 am

mission 1

LEX BARKER in “MISSION TO MOROCCO” (UK-Spain, 1959)

also starring Julie Reding and Fernando Rey

directed by Carlos Arévalo and Anthony Squire

released on VHS in the USA by Republic Pictures Home Video in the 1990’s

mission 3

I have always valued a terse, succinct approach to the arts and entertainment. Yes, there is certainly a place for an epic scope and a large canvas, but one must admire efficiency and concision, particularly in popular entertainment. The 60-minute B-crime-or-mystery feature film is one of the greatest expressions of this aesthetic, in my humble opinion. Recently I’ve been watching the wonderful early 60’s UK-made Edgar Wallace mystery feature films, running about 59 minutes and done on 22,000 pound budgets. There is not a wasted detail or line or shot–every piece is calculated to work as part of the whole, and there is no filler. They don’t waste my time, nor do they waste the time and resources of the makers.

I just recently acquired a DVD-R of the 1959 British-Spanish co-production MISSION TO MOROCCO, starring Lex Barker—-which I reviewed on the IMDB in 2004 from a VHS release—-and watching it, while it’s no classic, I appreciated its modest aims and more-than-adequate achievement of those aims. The Brits were masters of lean B-crime/mystery films, and even a production such as this possessed the echo of that film-making skill. MISSION TO MOROCCO is not well-known or well-loved. I’m the only person to have reviewed it on the IMDB, and the other references I’ve seen to it in English describe it as a “dog” and “slow-moving.” I’d challenge the “dog” designation, but it IS a film that takes its time. Honestly, I think that the producers felt that the Spanish and Moroccan locations could do a lot to “sell” the film, and having an American action-adventure star such as Lex Barker walk through the film could somehow ‘close the sale’ for the viewer….and also help in European markets where Barker was a big name.

mission 2

As this was released on VHS by Republic Pictures Home Video, I always assumed it was a very-late Republic theatrical release–after all, in 1958 and 59, Republic was issuing mostly foreign pick-ups, reissues of their older product (often re-titled), and independent productions, some of which fell somewhat short of Republic’s usually reliable professional production standards. However, in researching the film online, I can see no evidence of a US theatrical release, so Republic’s owning the rights to this film in the US must have come from including it in an NTA television package at one time. According to Wikipedia, by the late 1980’s ” NTA had bought the name and trademarks of the old Republic studio and renamed itself Republic Pictures, and the home video arm was renamed to Republic Pictures Home Video.” And serial fans will be forever in debt to that company for their fine 2-VHS sets of much of the Republic serial library in beautiful, well-restored editions. Republic Pictures’ choice of features to reissue on VHS was not that logical or predictable. They put out the poor WHEN GANGLAND STRIKES (which was discussed here a few months ago), and they put out MISSION TO MOROCCO. It’s nice to know the company felt that Lex Barker had enough US fans to justify such a release!

mission 4

Let me share my 2004 IMDB review of the film:

This British/Spanish co-production stars Lex Barker as an oil company executive working out of Spain who learns that one of his colleagues on a secret mission in Morocco is killed. The films starts off well with a number of children playing on the beach finding the body, and Barker and his fiancée Juli Reding (perhaps best known from TORMENTED). There is some nice location photography (in crisp B&W), and the minimal sets should not bother any low-budget film fan. The overall feel of the film is not unlike the “international co-production” crime-spy TV shows of the 1950s or the typical 1950s b&w Euro crime/mystery film with an American star such as George Raft or Lloyd Bridges or Cameron Mitchell. Barker is required to look handsome, act concerned, and win a few fights, all of which he does well, while Juli Reding (with her wide-set eyes, she’s a very distinctive looking lady, vaguely reminiscent of Jayne Mansfield) does not get to show the dramatic range here that she did in TORMENTED–she’s mostly playing the traditional “girlfriend of hero” role. The great Fernando Rey is also featured in a large supporting role. While this is no all-time classic, it certainly does not deserve the two-star rating it currently has here on the IMDb. The script does not contain any overly clever plot twists, but it’s a competent piece of work that should hold its own alongside any of the TV episodes or Euro genres mentioned above. Barker is always worth watching to his fans, and he is well-presented here, and Ms. Reding’s filmography is so small that any fan of TORMENTED will want to see her here. This was issued in the US in the early 90s on a Republic Pictures Video VHS tape that is widely available used and as a cutout for a few bucks. I paid $2 for mine, and it was a pleasant way to spend 85 minutes after a long week. And next to the crap at the local multiplex or reality-TV shows, Mission in Morocco looks pretty darn good!

mission 5

It’s interesting that the copyright to the film is held by the Spanish co-production partner, HISPAMER FILMS, a name well-known to  and well-loved by the peplum and Eurowestern fan—-that would lead me to believe that Spain was the dominant partner in the production, and indeed, it plays more like a Spanish film than a British crime film. It’s a film that does not shout, but instead takes its time and uses the Spanish and Moroccan exteriors and cultural details well.

Lex Barker’s last American feature film was made in 1957, the 1958 FEMALE FIENDS was made in Britain, and by the end of 1958, he was working exclusively in European films, which he would continue to do, with just minor exceptions, until his passing in 1973. He’d already made a few films in Italy-Spain before making MISSION IN MOROCCO, and by 1968 he’s starred in some 40 (!!!) films in Europe.

As a footnote, in 1954, soon after leaving the role of Tarzan after the film TARZAN AND THE SHE-DEVIL (which I reviewed at BTC a while back), he made two films back-to-back in Italy, one of which (BLACK DEVILS OF KALI) was awkwardly dubbed and padded with clunky narration, and then released by REPUBLIC PICTURES in 1955 as MYSTERY OF THE BLACK JUNGLE (the “Jungle” reference no doubt cashing in on his fame as Tarzan)….and released in black and white (it had been shot in color). I’d love to see the Italian originals of the two films he made in Italy in 1954, but I’ve never seen English-subtitled versions available. The American release, MYSTERY OF THE BLACK JUNGLE, is available, but alas I cannot recommend it.

MISSION TO MOROCCO would have been perfect entertainment at 3 a.m. on a small-market UHF station back in the 1970’s. One night they could show an Eddie Constantine film, the next night they could show MISSION TO MOROCCO. As Joe Bob Briggs says, “check it out”….if you’re so inclined!

……………….

MPW-26230

A Lex Barker film that actually WAS released theatrically by Republic Pictures

April 10, 2017

La magnifica sfida (aka Falcon of the Desert), starring Kirk Morris (Italy-Spain 1965)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 8:02 am

La magnifica sfida (aka Falcon of the Desert, aka El halcón del desierto)

Italy-Spain 1965, starring Kirk Morris, Aldo Sambrell, Dina Loy, Franco Fantasia, Red Ross

produced by Osvaldo Civirani, directed by Miguel Lluch

falcon 1

PROLOGUE (written on screen after credits): One of the most powerful states of the Arab Peninsula in the Eleventh Century was the Sultanate of Semares. The city stood in the heart of the desert in the midst of a vast expanse of burning sands that had to be crossed by journeying for days and days without encountering the refreshing coolness of an oasis or the relief of a welling spring.

FALCON OF THE DESERT came along very late in the cycle of sword and sandal films, being released in Italy in September 1965…and even later in Spain (1966) and France (1967!!!). Being set in the Arabian Peninsula and NOT in Greece or Rome perhaps gave the film some novelty value, and since no one appears shirtless and muscle-flexing in this, it should probably be classified as “Arabian adventure” and not peplum or sword and sandal.

When I first heard of the title 10-15 years ago, I wondered if it might be an alternate name for one of Kirk Morris’ other films, such as TERROR OF THE STEPPES or ATLAS AGAINST THE CZAR or DEVIL OF THE DESERT AGAINST THE SON OF HERCULES or HERCULES OF THE DESERT…..but no, the poster made clear this had a different cast and credits, and now that I own the film (which has NOT been reviewed on the IMDB), I can attest that this is a completely different film. All of Kirk Morris’s adventure films of 1965 (again, VERY late in the sword and sandal cycle) have exotic settings, such as THE CONQUEROR OF ATLANTIS and MACISTE, AVENGER OF THE MAYANS (the latter being cobbled together with footage from two other films), and this one completes the sequence.

falcon 2

The film I was initially reminded of when watching FALCON OF THE DESERT was the 1944 Columbia serial THE DESERT HAWK, starring Gilbert Roland, but these adventures set in a homogenized “Arabic” desert setting go back to the days of Valentino, and even something like LAWRENCE OF ARABIA could have inspired the producers to tap into that vein when looking for an “exotic” project in which to star Kirk Morris to compete for the remaining liras or francs or pesetas available in the dwindling sword-and-sandal market.

My copy of this, which was duplicated from an obscure Dutch VHS release, is somewhat letter-boxed, though not fully, but even in that altered form, the vast expanses of sand and sun look impressive, and when mixed with the clanking of swords and the pounding of hoofbeats, create a delicious fantasy world. The booming musical score (which seems borrowed–some passages I know from earlier films, one of which I know used a re-purposed score, so this would be its THIRD use, at least….these low-budget Italian peplum films from late in the cycle sometimes use music from earlier films) also helps to create a dynamic sense of adventure.

falcon 3

Director Miguel Lluch (not a name one would soon forget!) seems to have worked exclusively in Spain on projects I don’t think ever got dubbed and exported to North America. I follow Spanish films of the 1960’s, and I had not heard of any of them.

As for producer-writer Osvaldo Civirani (also credited as director of photography on this film, and the desert landscapes and battle scenes are impressively photographed), he is a familiar man to fans because of his peplum (Hercules Against The Sons of the Sun, Kindar the Invulnerable), western (Rick And John, Conquerors of the West; Return of Django), and spy (The Beckett Affair, Operation Poker) work. I would make a point of watching anything with his name somewhere on it.

Aldo Sambrell (unforgettable in his brutal role in NAVAJO JOE, the man who does the vicious scalping before the title credits) has a large role in this film, as Kames, a complex man who is working for the corrupt ruler of Semares, named Atatur, and who befriends Kadir (Kirk Morris), when Kadir saves Kames from a certain death as Kadir happens to be travelling through the area near Semares. This is another film with the plot of someone who is returning to his homeland after many years/decades away and finds that the place has degenerated and come under the rule of a brutal tyrant. This brutal tyrant, Atatur, is interesting in that he talks about his control strategies to his underlings, almost as if he is proud of his Machiavellian machinations and wants everyone to know how creative and imaginative he is in his nefarious scheming. While he does have the usual trappings of the cliched evil ruler, his soliloquies on the management techniques of brutal enslavement seem like a distant relative to something out of David Mamet.

falcon 4

KIRK MORRIS (though not from this film)

Kirk Morris has always been an interesting screen presence, and when one looks at his body of work, it’s clear that his projects are often off-the-beaten-track in terms of concept and setting. He certainly projects authority, in that post-Steve Reeves way one expects in the peplum genre, but he also has a boyish face and radiates charm. Morris (real name: Adriano Bellini) had a film career lasting 11 years. In that period, he appeared in 15 films that could be fit into the general peplum / sword & sandal / historic adventure category, and then he worked in other popular Italian film genres such as westerns, war films, and sci-fi. In my discussion with other fans of the peplum/sword and sandal genre, Morris is always a favorite, and with a number of his films picked up by AIP-TV for North American television in the 1960’s (in dubbed, pan-and-scan versions), his is a name well-known and well-loved among those who saw his work on Saturday or Sunday afternoon slots devoted to “Hercules”-style films or at 3 a.m. on UHF or indie TV stations.

falcon 5

KIRK MORRIS (in later years)

I’ve sometimes wondered if the popularity of these films internationally (and they played all over the world) had to do with their archetypal quality–they were fictional “legends” that existed outside of time, and like paraphrases of Old Testament stories which left inconvenient specifics behind in their quest for allegorical truth, these films were both simple entertainment and archetypal projections of political intrigue and social unrest and elemental human emotions….and they were timeless, beyond any particular era or any particular place because they were existing in no actual location. Yes, there are a handful of these films which deal with a specific Roman ruler or historical situation, and we can discuss one of those elsewhere (I probably have discussed one or more elsewhere on this blog), but something like this, despite the miles of desert sand, the generic “Arab” costumes, and the dropping of the name Allah into the conversations, takes place in an Arabian Nights fantasy world, a storybook setting. Because the characters and situations here exist in no actual place, they can became mirrors of ANY place or time. Also, the dubbing, with its stilted and somewhat formal tone, helps to capture the feel of a “great Bible stories” book or film short….or an old-fashioned “literary” reading aloud of Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra. At least, that’s how a film like FALCON OF THE DESERT strikes me.

The many battle scenes, all featuring swordplay on horseback in the desert, are impressive, the court intrigue and the philosophizing of dictator Atatur are fascinating and surely were an important element to the writer of the film, and each actor creates a vivid impression, despite the dubbing (and remember, an Italian film such as this was shot without sound, MOS, so ALL versions were dubbed, even the native Italian version), of his/her character, playing the role in a manner where each functions kind of like a chess piece.

FALCON OF THE DESERT is not the easiest film to find, but for fans of this genre, it’s a novel and interesting and entertaining experience, and a precious example from the final year of the sword and sandal genre, when chances were being taken and boundaries were being expanded. By 1966, the next year, the genre would be over in terms of active film production (though the films were distributed overseas for a few years after that, and of course have had decades of life on television and video….and from what I understand, are STILL being shown in the middle of the night on European cable TV networks as filler). I’ve acquired some other obscure 1965 peplum titles in recent months and hope to discuss some of those over the Summer. Stay tuned…

April 8, 2017

DEVIL RIDER aka Master’s Revenge (Florida, 1970)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:42 pm

devil_rider_xlg

DEVIL RIDER (aka Master’s Revenge)

written, produced, and directed by Brad F. Grinter

photographed by Barry Mahon, made in Florida, starring Sharon Mahon

released 1970-71 (poster above shows a 1971 release date through Goldstone)

watch the trailer at   https://youtu.be/dperbVOZlK8

Great to discover that you can watch for free a virtually unknown, Florida-lensed biker film written, produced, and directed by Brad Grinter (of FLESH FEAST and BLOOD FREAK fame), photographed by the legendary Barry Mahon, starring Mahon’s daughter Sharon, featuring great psych-garage music from “The Heros (sic) of Cranberry Farm,” and shot on location in 1970 South Florida.

devil rider frame

Florida had one of the most interesting regional exploitation-film industries of any state, with any number of curious and unique film-makers at work. Grinter and Mahon are two of the best-loved among fans (of course, William Grefe was the king of Florida independent film-makers, in my humble opinion).

Devil Rider (20)

This is a grungy Deep South biker film that is colorful, full of regional detail, unpleasant, and everything you’d want a low-budget regional Southern biker film to be. Open your windows on a hot night, get a six-pack of cheap poor-quality beer, and smoke some poor-quality ragweed, and you can imagine YOU are at a Florida drive-in, feeling rebellious because you are watching an “outlaw” film like this. It sure was not made by a major film studio, not even AIP or Crown International, and that is exactly what its appeal was then and is now.

devil rider

If you liked Mahon’s rock and roll film “Musical Mutiny” (and who didn’t?) or Grinter’s “Blood Freak” starring former unauthorized-Tarzan Steve Hawkes or “Flesh Feast”  starring Veronica Lake (and I can’t imagine any fan of oddball low-budget regional exploitation films not loving those), then your life is incomplete without seeing DEVIL RIDER. Want a window into a world that’s both long gone and yet painfully still with us but never mentioned? Watch this downer of a film….as Mickey Spillane used to say about a certain beer in a famous commercial, “it’s got everything you want in a beer….and less!” I was totally entertained by this film. It delivers the goods. Check it out if you are so inclined. Here’s the link:

https://youtu.be/23iF_T09DFU

ENJOY!   Thank you Barry Mahon and Brad Grinter. If only someone would discover Grinter’s 1974 film NEVER THE TWAIN, which combines Mark Twain and the 1974 Miss Nude World competition. I have a feeling that won’t be shown at the Mark Twain House in Hartford (a great place, by the way, to visit if you are a Twain fan) anytime soon….

April 7, 2017

THE FUNKY SIDE OF GOLDBAND/ANLA RECORDS (Tramp, CD/LP)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:11 am

THE FUNKY SIDE OF GOLDBAND/ANLA RECORDS (Tramp Records, Germany)

24 tracks, recorded for Goldband and Anla Records of Lake Charles, Louisiana

circa mid-60’s through mid-70’s

GOLDBAND

(great album cover, w/ original Polaroid of the Goldband company car!)

1.

The Showboats – Sidewinder

2.

Count Rockin’ Sidney – Life Without Love

3.

Claude Shermack – Your Gravy Train

4.

Count Rockin’ Sidney – Dedie Dedie Da

5.

Count Rockin’ Sidney & The Dukes – Feel Delicious

6.

The Showboats – Too Much

7.

Claude Shermack – Keep On Keeping On

8.

Lee Bernard – Turn Around And Go

9.

Count Rockin’ Sidney & The Dukes – Do Your Stuff

10.

Count Rockin’ Sidney – The Grandpa

11.

Count Rockin’ Sidney & The Dukes – Put It On

12.

Chester Randle’s Soul Senders – Soul Brothers Testify Pt.1

13.

Chester Randle’s Soul Senders – Soul Brothers Testify Pt.2

14.

Clifton White & His Royal Knights – The Warm Up Pt.1

15.

Charles Greene – Double EE Agent

16.

Lee Bernard – Getting Out Of Town

17.

Count Rockin’ Sidney – Back Door Man

18.

Freddie Love – Crazy Girl Pt.1

19.

Freddie Love – Crazy Girl Pt.2

20.

Chester Randle’s Soul Senders – Why Did I Let You Go

21.

Soul Shouting Tommy – I’m The Man

22.

Chester Randle’s Soul Senders – Take A Little Nip

23.

Dynamic Adam & His Excitements – Forgive Me

24.

Count Rockin’ Sidney – Bury the Hatchet

GOLDBAND 2

My favorite kind of archival reissue is the type that presents a body of work that is unfamiliar to me but from a source which I love—-and the folks at Tramp Records have certainly done an amazing job of that with this compilation of raw soul, R&B, and funk records from the Lake Charles, Louisiana area on the legendary Goldband label and its ANLA subsidiary. Let’s just say it outright: Goldband was always a raw and garage-y label. Reissues tend to point out that while Jay Miller’s recordings in Crowley, Louisiana, were technical marvels with a Sam Phillips-like attention to texture and depth and resonance, Miller’s producer colleague Eddie Shuler over at Goldband always “went for the feel of the song” or “valued spontaneity over slickness” or something like that. I’ve heard HUNDREDS UPON HUNDREDS of Goldband Records in the last 40 years, and I can testify that what Shuler did and did so well was to basically record a band’s live sound quickly and cheaply in the studio. The records were often, or usually, ragged, but that made them REAL. I’ve always bought anything I could find on Goldband, including Shuler’s many oddball reissue LP’s and the various archival reissues, and there have been many. It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that Shuler released over 1000 singles—-only Huey P. Meaux would be his equal in that league, and I’d bet Shuler has him beat. Goldband recorded country, cajun, blues, rock and roll, swamp pop, rockabilly, R&B, you name it. I thought of Goldband this last week when bluesman Lonnie Brooks passed away. Originally Lee Baker Jr., from the heart of Louisiana, Brooks first recorded as GUITAR JUNIOR on Goldband, issuing such all-time classics as “Family Rules” and “Made In The Shade” and “The Crawl,” which gained a second life when it was covered by the Fabulous Thunderbirds. There is a Charly CD compilation of Guitar Junior’s Goldband sides, and you should find a cheap copy online ASAP—-it’s called THE CRAWL: CHARLY BLUES MASTERWORKS VOL. 1, and used copies start at $6.99 at the Amazon Marketplace!

Speaking of great Goldband artists (though they predate the material on this album by a decade or more), Mary Anne and I had the privilege of seeing the reformed COOKIE AND THE CUPCAKES at the Continental Club back in the 90’s (just a year or two before Cookie’s death, I think), and I had the privilege of speaking with Cookie in between sets and got him to autograph a Goldband compilation of their material. I asked him about the Goldband sides, and he kind of smiled, and while I don’t remember exactly what he said, it was essentially, “yes, that was us,” with a sly grin attached, which to me perfectly captured what Shuler did in the studio. He documented them. Cookie did say that he was appreciative of Eddie Shuler and that Shuler “got” what it was the group had. When I think back, it was such a pleasure to see this band and to see Cookie, who was somewhat disabled but used a cane to stand and once he got into the music he was revived in a way that you never thought about his disability. He signed the album “Cookie” (I’d scan it if I could find it….it’s in the garage somewhere) and actually thanked me for coming out and for remembering them and their music.

GOLDBAND 3

This eye-opening, and mind-bending compilation collects 23 tracks which range from bluesy rockin’ instrumentals which could have been done by Northwest bands such as the Sonics or the Wailers, had they lived in Lake Charles, through late 60’s Joe Tex-styled dance numbers with a raw “preaching” vocal through late 60’s/early 70’s garage-y early-funk numbers like the kind of thing that would be reissued on a Soul Patrol album, choppy funk blasters with James Brown-styled vocal asides and jagged, punchy horn blasts, with squealing solos and an abundance of “Good God”-style vocal interjections. This kind of raw, small-label funk single is manna from heaven for the lover of REAL garage-y funk, and to have all of it from Southwest Louisiana, with that certain something found only on those regional records, tasting of gumbo and somehow channeling the humidity of the swamp….well, it’s a revelation. Of course, it’s all derivative (what makes these records special is that they WANT to sound like Joe Tex or James Brown, but since they have their own unique roots and they are not mere copyists, they miss the mark by quite a bit, and thus they create their own unique style….kind of like a funk variation on The Anxiety Of Influence) and sometimes the band doesn’t make the chord changes all at the same time, but it’s as close as anyone will ever get to being a fly on the wall in some backwater 1969 African-American club located on the shore of a lake with someone selling boudin and iced-down bottles of Jax beer. We have Eddie Shuler to thank for getting this stuff down while it was hot….and one doubts these records were sold much if at all outside a 100-mile radius of Lake Charles….and we have Tramp Records to thank for doing a deep archival dig and bringing all this precious material together. Want to liven up your live and bring some RAW SOUL into it? Put this album on and you can feel the sweat and you cannot avoid the beat….it takes you over.

This is available on CD (which I own) and on a 2-LP set, and I bet that vinyl sounds great. Tramp is a superb label, and if I had more money, I’d own everything they’ve put out. They may be best known for their “Movements” compilations of super-rare and usually amazing soul/funk rarities, and they’ve also done a number of deep archival presentations of one-artist bodies of work, usually of someone who never got an album release back in the day.

Most of the artists here are little-known, only Rockin’ Sidney having national fame from “My Toot Toot” many years later, but that’s NOTHING like this earlier funk material. What matters is that these were the artists playing the clubs in the area in the late 60’s, and since Shuler knew not to mess with success—-if a band was hot in the clubs, just have them recreate that in from of his microphones and don’t mess with it—-this album is a priceless document of a vibrant era in a culturally rich area. I can’t recommend this album highly enough. If there is enough material for a second volume of this, I’ll buy it tomorrow.

BTW, if you enjoy the small labels of Southwest Louisiana (though material a bit earlier than this), be sure to get some or all of UK Ace’s ON THE BAYOU series, which is now up to 16 volumes. I’ve reviewed the last few volumes at UGLY THINGS magazine, and each volume is a revelation of super-obscure small-label singles, demos, private recordings, out-takes from Jay Miller sessions which earlier appeared in different version of Flyright-label LP’s, etc. As the Hokum Boys once sang, “you can’t get enought of this stuff.”

GOLDBAND 4

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GOLDBAND 5

(This is not my picture, but on a trip through Louisiana with my children circa 1993, I managed to find the Goldband office (and some kind of repair shop, as I remember), but it was closed, alas)

lake charles

(approaching Lake Charles, Louisiana, from the Texas side, heading East)

lake charles bridge

(heading out of Lake Charles, back to Texas–taken from Steamboat Bill’s!)

April 6, 2017

ATCO SOUL DIAMONDS (Buried Treasures, France, CDR)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:33 pm

atco 1

ATCO SOUL DIAMONDS

Buried Treasure Records (France), CDR album, 24 tracks (see back cover scan below)

atco 2

BURIED TREASURE has released four more albums in this “Soul Diamonds” series since I last discussed it: COLUMBIA SOUL DIAMONDS, ATLANTIC SOUL DIAMONDS, RCA-VICTOR SOUL DIAMONDS, and now this one devoted to Atlantic’s step-sister ATCO label.

Of the four recent volumes, I’d have to give this one the highest marks in that it does not really step into the 1970’s the way that the other volumes did….thus it’s a solid volume from top to bottom. Most of the material is, I’d assume, licensed in….or at minimum, recorded in various places….we have Nashville, Memphis, Muscle Shoals, Detroit….and the single by Oscar Toney Jr. (who’d recorded extensively for Papa Don Schroeder for a number of great singles on Bell) was even recorded in England.

Compilations like this are the soul equivalent of the Beatfreak compilation I reviewed here recently. They are a random collection of b-sides and singles that did not find a national audience, essentially a collection of odds’n’sods, but when put together on a 24-track compilation, these leftovers form a sumptuous feast which is the ultimate testimony to the depth and breadth of soul music in the 1960’s (and into the 70’s). Writers on soul music (and there are a number of them–the genre has attracted many fanatics and trainspotters who have done great documentation) often use the term “Journeyman” to refer to those artists who recorded for many years for many labels and did great recorded work and were solid draws at smaller clubs for decades, but never had a national hit. They moved from label to label. There are certainly a number of those here—-Eldridge Holmes, Darrell Banks—-as well as people who’d had hits in the past and kept doing quality work and keeping up with the times admirably—-Dee Dee Sharp, Ben E. King, Jimmy Ricks (of The Ravens), the duo of Peggy Scott and Jo Jo Benson. There are also artists who moved up to Atco from a smaller subsidiary label—-J. P. Robinson, for instance, who’d moved up from the Miami-based Alston.

You can listen to and appreciate this album on any number of levels….the regional differences in the productions and the material, the influences displayed by the vocalists and the backing musicians (doo-wop, blues, gospel, etc.)…and since the album is programmed chronologically by release number, it’s kind of an Atco label sampler from an alternate universe, like those recent (and amazing) compilations of Stax/Volt B-sides that Ace-UK has been doing recently.

Because pretty much all the performances will be unfamiliar to the non-collector, there’s a freshness here AND the collection gets better and better with each play. EVERY artist here is superb and worthy of a major retrospective. The much-underrated Dee Dee Sharp is still around today, and Percy Wiggins (brother of Spencer Wiggins) had a significant revival career and later found a large audience through his work with the Bo-Keys. Of course, some went back to the Gospel world when the secular career failed to keep paying the bills.

In any event, this album is a deep dip of the ladle into the pot of one of the great periods of African-American culture and of popular music history. It should be celebrated, but more than that, it should be enjoyed….and this album can be enjoyed by all. I should point out that this is a CDR label (like my KSE label), and that this clearly is a homemade CDR and a home-printed cover, and while there are informed liner notes on the songs and the artists, they are somewhat hard to read as they read horizontally across a multi-fold booklet and you can get seasick trying to keep on the same line from one side to the other. Still, that’s a minor quibble, and actually as this is clearly put together by some record collector, that home-made quality can be worn as a badge of pride….at least that’s what I tell myself with my CDR label.

Crystal Ball Records is selling this French import (and some of the other entries in the series) in the US. Check out their website….you can also buy it from them on Ebay, and if you’re only buying the one item, postage will be cheaper at Ebay than at their website.  ENJOY!  This is an album that will still sound as wonderful, if not more wonderful, 25 years from now. Soul music is truth music, unvarnished, straight from the heart—-full of life wisdom and impassioned performances.

atco 4

April 5, 2017

BEATFREAK VOL. 2: Rare and Obscure British Beat 1964-1969

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:41 pm

BEATFREAK VOL. 2: Rare and Obscure British Beat 1964-69

20 track CD, Particles Records UK

BEATFREAK 2
01. Lloyd Alexander Real Estate – Gonna Live Again (1967)
02. The Moquettes – Right String Baby, But The Wrong Yo-Yo (1964)
03. The All – I Don’t Go Back (1967)
04. Phase 4 – Listen To The Blues (1966)
05. The Pentad – Don’t Throw It All Away (1965)
06. Bad Boys – That’s What We’ll All Do (1966)
07. Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas – Forgive Me (1966)
08. Force Five – I Want You Babe (1965)
09. Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas – Chinese Girl (1967)
10. Alex Harvey – Curtains For My Baby (1967)
11. Dick Jordan – Progress (1966)
12. The Pentad – Silver Dagger (1965)
13. The Trekkas – Please Go (1966)
14. Profile – Got To Find A Way (1966)
15. Marjorine – Loving Shrine (1969)
16. Red Squares – Along Comes Mary (1967)
17. The Cherokees – I Will Never Turn My Back On You (1965)
18. The Frame – I Can’t Go On (1967)
19. Split Image – Don’t Go Away (1966)
20. New Breed – Unto Us (1965)

Nice to see the folks at Particles (aka Psychic Circle, aka Past and Present, etc.) returning to the mid-60s UK beat boom with this new BEATFREAK series. There are now FIVE volumes, and all are recommended equally . As with most efforts on this label, a good amount of this material has been reissued elsewhere and one gets the sense of padding to reach the 20-track format….however, the real test of an album like this is….is it a good listen at maximum volume, does it give off a worthwhile 60’s UK beat vibe, is it well-programmed for maximum effect, are their detailed liner notes giving the history of the bands, and will most of the tracks be relatively new and fresh to most listeners. By those standards, I’d have to call this album (and the whole series—-I could just as easily have written about ANY of them) a huge success. And before you complain about Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas being on here, the two tracks on here are from later singles which featured Mick Green of the Pirates on lead guitar, and they are quite good–“Forgive Me” sounds as good as something by The Untamed or The Creation….really! I’ve never bought a Kramer compilation, so I’d never heard these singles, but they rock in a way one does not associate with Kramer’s more famous work. I’ve always wanted to hear everything I can from the UK expatriate band The Red Squares, who worked out of Denmark, so even a cover of “Along Came Mary” is well worth it. I missed the 2-cd reissue of their 60’s output which was released in the 1990’s (and I’m guessing many of you reading this did too), so I did not have this and it contrasts nicely with the other tracks on the album. Doing covers of other bands’ hits was an acceptable and enjoyable practice in the 1960’s…..hey, if you love your local band and you love a hit song you’ve heard on the radio, wouldn’t the best of all possible worlds be hearing your local band doing the song and putting their own stamp on it? I’ve never had a problem with this (Even today, I hear live music in bars most weekends and still enjoy hearing covers, when someone brings his or her own angle to the material and tries to excite a crowd). For instance, I consider the Standells’ cover of Eleanor Rigby much superior to the original, and THE SORROWS IN ITALY is one of my all-time favorite albums. The Alex Harvey tune is from a rare withdrawn 1967 single, the other side of which was on one of the later PICCADILLY SUNSHINE comps, as I remember. That’s probably been reissued elsewhere too, but as I am unlikely to find that 45 at my local flea market, I’m happy with getting it here. And how could anyone turn down a solid club-soul cover of The Pretty Things’ “Progress”? How often is THAT covered? The album ends with an extra track, not listed in the credits, that sounds like a sound library track which I could imagine being played during a film like “Gonks Go Beat” or “Dateline Diamonds,” so you can REALLY get into the 1965 UK beat frame of mind!

It’s a wonder that a solid 20-track compilation of released material (as opposed to private recordings, demos, acetates, etc.) that is solid UK 60’s beat can be assembled today. After all the PICCADILLY SUNSHINE comps, which began to wear out their welcome after a while, Particles Records’ return to raw beat-rooted singles is a relief. Tracks like the opener, “Gonna Live Again” by Lloyd Alexander Real Estate (!!!) could easily have been on the old DEMENTION OF SOUND compilation LP, and the unpretentious Beat-R&B with organ and harmonica of The Moquettes is most welcome and reminds us of what was so great about that period, when even the fourth-string bands had real roots and attitude to burn. I was unaware that the backing band from Lee Curtis and the All-Stars (who were mostly German, Lee was big in Germany and worked and recorded there extensively) continued on post-Lee as THE ALL–and their single “I Don’t Go Back” sounds like something the pre-Creation “Mark Four” could have recorded. Then Phase 4 come out swinging with “Listen To The Blues,” sounding like the Animals rhythm section with the early Small Faces sitting in. Over the years, as an Otis Clay fan, I’d heard that there was a UK R&B/soul band who did a cover of Clay’s amazing single “I’ve Got To Find A Way,” and that’s here too….a fine Brit-beat cover by PROFILE. And the album just goes on and on with one solid R&B-flavored UK Beat track after another.

As someone who’s been buying these kind of compilations since the late 70s/early 80’s with LP’s like THE BEAT MERCHANTS and the BROKEN DREAMS series, I can testify that although the material becomes more and more obscure, and these kind of albums are now featuring B-sides by bands you’d never have seen featured 20 years ago, the compilers—-like the best DJ’s spinning obscure 45’s—-can take second-and-third-string material and put it next to each other in a way that makes it more satisfying than any one song might necessarily be on its own. It’s like we’ve landed on some strange planet where the locals have modeled their behavior on some obscure South London late 1964 Beat club, and they don’t get all the details right, but they’ve got the spirit down.

I’ve played all five volumes many times now, and they hold up REALLY well. Britain was the world leader in Beat music in the 63-67 period, and the BEATFREAK series takes you REALLY deep into that world, through the non-hit 45’s and seemingly throwaway B-sides that have become precious jewels as the decades pass and the initial spark of prime British Beat becomes just a memory of a glowing ember.

When you play these compilations LOUD, you are ALMOST there, and that’s as close as you are going to get in today’s world, my friend. Pour yourself a Guinness, fire up an unfiltered cigarette, and jump into a world that, frankly, you and I probably couldn’t even find if it were 1965 again! And all for the price of a CD (and you can find these for about $10 if you look around).

April 4, 2017

Bela Lugosi in VOODOO MAN (1944)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 4:05 pm

VOODOO MAN (Monogram Pictures, 1944)

A Banner Production (Sam Katzman/Jack Dietz), directed by William Beaudine

starring Bela Lugosi, George Zucco, Wanda McKay, John Carradine, Louise Currie, and Michael Ames

VOODOO MAN was the eighth of nine films Bela Lugosi made for producer Sam Katzman for release through Monogram Pictures in the 1941-44 period–I always assumed that it was the final one, but it was released a few months before RETURN OF THE APE MAN, which shares some of the same stars and the same screenwriter (these two films are his only credits, leading me to wonder if “Robert Charles” was a pseudonym).

Katzman always understood the power of a unique personality whose very name suggested a certain atmosphere—-Bela Lugosi in horror, The East Side Kids in comedy, Johnny Weissmuller in Jungle Jim films, Elvis Presley in rock and roll films (he also made them with Bill Haley and Chubby Checker before that). You did not need expensive productions and settings when you could put Johnny Weissmuller on a cheap jungle set or Bela Lugosi in a dungeon on the Monogram lot and simply let him do his thing.

The Katzman-Lugosi film THE CORPSE VANISHES (1942) was the film that got me interested, as a child seeing it in a TV horror package, in both low budget genre films AND in Bela Lugosi AND in Monogram Pictures. It was SO different from anything I’d seen before–the super low-budget ramshackle feel and the intense over-acting of Bela Lugosi created a kind of strange and non-logical cinematic netherworld that was both eerie and seductive.

VOODOO MAN borrows many plot elements from THE CORPSE VANISHES, but it was made two years later and it is surely the weirdest of the Lugosi-Katzman films, which is really saying something.

It’s hard to believe how much is crammed into the film’s modest 62 minute running time, but at the same time, the plot is very simple. Lugosi, though his henchmen led by John Carradine (and this must rate as one of Carradine’s Top 5 most eccentric performances), is kidnapping young women in the country side and using them in some kind of occult/voodoo mumbo-jumbo “energy transfer” where the young women’s spirit is sapped and somehow put into Lugosi’s burned-out wife.

I remember seeing some Italian Westerns—-BORN TO KILL with Gordon Mitchell and TURN, I’LL KILL YOU with Richard Wyler come to mind—-which pretty much threw out any attempt at reflecting any kind of human reality and simply started in high gear and gave the lowbrow (people like me) audience what it wanted, in spades. One killing and gunfight after another….atmospheric situations, but a plot that just barreled on like a runaway freight train, hitting all the expected tropes, and as a genre-film fan would say, “delivering the goods.”

VOODOO MAN does that. It just starts with an outrageous kidnapping at a gas station run by George Zucco operated for what seems to be the sole purpose of kidnapping people (and Zucco has a hidden “secret phone” which looks like something the caped villain in a Republic serial would have to call his minions on), then others are kidnapped, and eventually Lugosi appears at about the ten minute mark (we’ve got to create suspense and have the audience clamoring for his appearance….Sam Katzman understood audience expectations!), and we are then in the midst of surreal pseudo-occult rituals with George Zucco chanting mumbo-jumbo and Carradine banging on bongos as if he’s at a beatnik nightclub. There is no attempt to make this seem at all like any kind of “reality,” and that quality is taken even further by the film’s self-reflexive qualities, where the male protagonist is a screen writer working for Sam Katzman’s production company, Banner Pictures (!!!!!), looking for plots for SK’s films, and he happens to stumble into one in “real life”. Then at the end of the film, after he’s lived through this, he tells his producer the story and suggests Bela Lugosi star in it!

Lugosi is at his eerie best here, although he’s not given the kind of big soliloquies he got in some of the others. His death scene allows him to emote somewhat, but mostly he is just stepping into his “eerie” persona and playing it to the hilt….and it works just fine.

The low-rent cheapo production design always helps films like this. There are no haunting art-deco sets as Lugosi and Karloff had in THE BLACK CAT….no, this looks like the kind of seedy basement a REAL criminal would conduct his evil activities in, which thus makes it work even better. Sam Katzman understood that….just watch his threadbare 1930’s serials such as SHADOW OF CHINATOWN or BLAKE OF SCOTLAND YARD. The incredibly low-budget settings–which look like abandoned warehouses or residences people have moved out of but left discarded items in–become quite atmospheric.

bela 1

VOODOO MAN was always the hardest to find of the Lugosi Monograms. Most of the other ones have been staples of dollar stores and public domain copy services for decades, but VOODOO MAN was not, as there were not good quality copies in circulation. I also don’t remember it running in the local TV horror film packages I saw as a child and adolescent, and I saw ALL the other Lugosi Monogram horror films in those series. Maybe VOODOO MAN just was not shown in Denver for some reason. Who knows….The copy I eventually found 15 or 20 years ago, long after I had all the others on VHS, was a dupe which looked like it had been taped off TV decades earlier. Fortunately, now there is a quality transfer available from Olive Films (who have also been doing some great things with the Republic Pictures library). Yes, it looks like a grainy Monogram film shot on cheap sets on cheap stock, but it’s a crystal clear transfer of a grainy Monogram film shot on cheap sets on cheap stock. There’s a real comic-book feel to the whole thing, but at the same time I’d imagine it would have been shocking to a juvenile audience, shocking without being threatening….that’s the trick, and once again, Sam Katzman knew what he was doing.

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I remember reading an old newspaper or trade magazine interview with Sam Katzman—-who certainly knew the value of ballyhoo and who cultivated a crotchety persona as much as his later movie-producing partner Colonel Tom Parker did—-from 1944, where he talked about how the public had no taste, and the lower the intelligence of his productions, the better they did, and how the public’s lack of taste bought him a swimming pool and an expensive home, and in that interview, he mentioned VOODOO MAN as proof of his contention. That was classic Katzman, playing the industry and the public like a master conman.

This film DOES deliver the goods. It’s feverish pulpy entertainment of the highest order. The cast plays it just right, it moves quickly, it’s dripping with atmosphere, and there’s an odd screw-loose quality about it that simultaneously makes it entertaining and makes it slightly off-putting and disquieting. Sam Katzman understood that. In a way, he was doing a similar thing in a Jungle Jim film or in Elvis’s HARUM SCARUM…or in RIOT ON SUNSET STRIP. If you like Lugosi and have enjoyed any of his Monogram films, you MUST get this wonderful Olive Films release of VOODOO MAN….and be thankful that such a thing exists for your purchase!

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the excellent new release of VOODOO MAN from Olive Films, on DVD or Blu-Ray

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the Astor Pictures reissue of VOODOO MAN, so we know it was in circulation for some time after its initial release, as Astor got lots of bookings in second-and-third run houses all over

April 3, 2017

Dane Rousay tour info

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:36 pm

KSE will be issuing a new album from San Antonio-based percussionist/composer DANE ROUSAY in July,  so we wanted to share Dane’s tour info with you all….he’ll be playing through Texas/Oklahoma and the Midwest in June, so catch a performance near you. Just look up the venue locally for more info. However, two of the shows feature MULTIPLE KSE ARTISTS, so even if we have nothing to do with the event, we’d  like to think of it as an honorary KSE event!

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DANE COVER

DANE ROUSAY, “anatomize” (KSE #373), coming in July 2017

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Dane is touring in support of his new solo cassette, BLIP….you can buy a copy at any of his shows or check his website   danerousay.com    for ordering information

dane blip

4/13/17 – Dane Rousay (solo) @ Imagine Books & Records (San Antonio, TX)

4/14/17 – Dane Rousay (solo) @ Shipping & Receiving (Fort Worth, TX)

4/15/17 – Dane Rousay (solo) @ Resonator (Norman, OK)

4/16/17 – Dane Rousay (solo) @ Backspace (Fayetteville, AR)

4/17/17 – Dane Rousay (solo) @ The Outland (Springfield, MO)

4/18/17 – Dane Rousay (solo) @ Foam (St. Louis, MO)

4/20/17 – Dane Rousay (solo) @ Slate Arts & Performance (Chicago, IL)….this show also features KSE artist JEN HILL….don’t miss it!

dane jen

4/21/17 – Dane Rousay (solo) @ The Spot (Lafayette, IN)

4/23/17 – Dane Rousay (solo) @ ph Community House (Tulsa, OK)

4/28/17 – Rousay/Taylor Duo @ Ventura (San Antonio, TX)   This is a local show here in San Antonio and also features longtime friend of KSE, Austin’s LISA CAMERON, doing her first-ever San Antonio VENISON WHIRLED performance! Don’t miss this one….we’ll be there with copies of the recent KSE releases, available cheap!

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4/29/17 – Jejune Stars @ Imagine Books & Records (San Antonio, TX)

4/30/17 – Dane Rousay (solo) “Resonance: Loops Experimental Music Fest” @ Resonator (Norman, OK)

5/1/17 – Dane Rousay (solo) @ Avant Garden (Houston, TX)

Dane also has an excellent show featuring experimental music and contemporary underground bands on micro-labels…THE WHATEVER SHOW….it’s on 10 pm Central Time Saturday night on the great Trinity University radio station. Here’s the link: https://krtu.trinity.edu/ . Just go to the upper left-hand corner to LISTEN LIVE to the station….and if you live here in San Antonio, it’s at 91.7 on your FM dial. You can pretty much leave your dial set to KRTU anytime, but to learn more about the Whatever Show, check out the Facebook group at  https://www.facebook.com/theewhatevershow/

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