Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December's Night Out at the Cinema

It's a chilly December night, and the gang is gathered for our last night out...until the New Year, maybe? The waiter at the usual restaurant points us toward a seasonal special, and we enjoy a cocktail or two before heading off for the show, exchanging horror tales of Christmas shopping and strained family gatherings.

Tonight, it's a simple show...a neglected 1933 film that critics now say was very innovative for its day, and a heavy influence on later avant-garde filmmakers like David Lynch...THE SIN OF NORA MORAN.

After the show we adjourn to our favorite cafe down the street...but not too late a night, as we have the whirl of holiday parties ahead...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bits & Bobs

A few little things...

  • I recently read Kevin Guilfoyle's THE THOUSAND, which had all sorts of interest because of its plot centering on a secret society of followers of Pythagoras who guard secret knowledge that makes them rich...but it ended up being a depressingly generic thriller about young lovers on the run and while we're told the secret society has all sorts of wild forbidden knowledge we're never told exactly what and what about it is so dangerous to the general public. It ended up being very blah and forgettable. Avoid it.  
  • A better read was Dana Cameron's SITE UNSEEN, a nice little murder mystery set in an archaeological dig in Maine. It's all contemporary and there's a lot of great factual information about archaeology. It's not quite got the macabre gothicism that I would give a full-throttle review to, but at the same time was quite a good read and with a cool plot involving an archaeological find. It's the first of a series and I'll definitely be checking the others out. 

  • Added to the Link List is the amazing Hypnogoria site, which I am very impressed with. Go check it out.
  • While you're at Hypnogoria, listen to the excellent Hypnobobs podcast. Host Jim Moon has a terrific voice that I could listen to for ages, doing some impressive dissections of various aspects of the genre, as well as readings of classic stories and poetry. 
  • Jim Moon's purr shows up on some other podcasts as well, most significantly the hilarious Witless for the Defence, where a jury passes judgement on listeners' guilty pleasure movies.
  • I believe I've mentioned the impressive Edgar Allan Poecast before, but if I haven't...well, they're the latest in the literary-analysis podcasts that's cropping up lately, dissecting the works of Poe. I've also made a crack recently about a Robert E. Howard Bicepcast...well, it turns out a Howard pocast just got off the ground, and so far they're doing a great job. Go check out the Cromcast!
  • As a longtime fan of tabletop role-playing games I'm enjoying the new Improvised Radio Theater with Dice podcast, and the Video Nasties podcast has fun analyzing controversial shlock from the 80s video boom.
  • On a personal note, our first Thanksgiving without Dad was odd but we got through it. Mom insisted I sit at the head of the table, which felt very, very weird for me. I still don't have a car but have hopes that situation will be resolved in a few months...and if not, it will be a while. Sigh.
That's about it for the moment...hope all my readers are doing well.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Dust & Corruption Calendar for December 2014

December can be a month full of annoyances and madness, but here's a few events that may offer distraction.

As always, the Observatory in Brooklyn, NY, has a schedule of fascinating talks and workshops.

And Atlas Obscura always lists interesting things in different cities.

12/6 - St. Nicholas' Day. Some folk give presents this day.

12/7 - Celeste Giuliano's Pin-Up Peep Show. Looks like a great show, "inspired by classic cabarets and supper clubs," and featuring many great burlesque artists, like the Peek-A-Boo Revue, D'Arcy Deluxe, Reggie Bugmuncher, and Anita Manhattan, with music by the Strip Tease Orchestra, all hosted by Miss Candy Mayhem. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA. Tix $20, available here. Doors at 8:30pm.

12/13 - Friday the 13th! Also St. Lucia's Day.

12/13 - Calendar Girls Burlesque. Bump & grind with Tapitha Kix, Cherie Nuit, Mab Just Mab, Glam Gamz, Sunny Sighed and Bal'd Lightning, and hosted by Hot Todd Lincoln. The State Theater, 220 N Washington St, Falls Church, VA. Doors 8pm, show at 9. Tix $12 adv, $15 at the door.

12/13 - Brews & Burlesque. Now taking place every second Friday, this showcase of Richmond-area talent stars Dev L. Ish, Moxie LaBouche, Dante the Inferno, and newbie Lindy Avalon. Strangeways Brewing, 2277A Dabney Rd, Richmond, VA. Tix $8 adv., $10 at the door. Showtime 9pm.

12/14 - The Weirdo Show Wounded Warrior Benefit Show. Burlesque & sideshow with Maria Bella, Prof. Sprocket, Alex Doll, Candy del Rio, Cori Dials, and host Jim Dandy. All proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The Bier Baron, 1523 22nd St NW, Washington, DC. Tix $12 adv, $15 at the door. Doors 8:30pm, showtime at 10. Have dinner and a few beers before the show; the fish'n'chips are killer.

12/19-21 - Trixie & Monkey's 9th Annual Holiday Spectac-u-thon. My pals Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey do their thing with friends Murray Hill, Mr. Gorgeous, Perle Noire, Gin Minsky, and french horn trio Tres Horny. The Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD. Tix $25, $20 to Creative Alliance members. Five shows.

12/20 - Stocking Stuffers! Hot Night Productions presents a holiday-themed burlesque show. Featuring Maria Bella, Spinnabel Lee, Karen Beriss, Cherie Nuit, Dainty Dandridge, and host Hot Todd Lincoln. The Bier Baron, Washington, DC. Tix $10 adv, $12 at the door. Doors 8:30, show at 10.

12/21 - Winter Solstice/Yule. The year's midnight, the shortest day. Honor it in some way. Also my parents' anniversary.

12/24 - Christmas Eve.

12/25 - Christmas Day.

12/26 - Boxing Day

12/31 - New Year's Eve.

And that's pretty much all I have. Go find a concert or museum exhibit where you are, or one of those holiday open houses at a historic site. Take time to relax and read. Do something fun with your family, if you can stand being with them. And hang in there, the new year is just around the corner.

Monday, December 2, 2013

December at the Phantom Recital Hall

We've got concert tickets tonight! Laura has a new dress, and Viola has one of her vintage outfits complemented by some stylish new jewelry. Ramsey is in tweed, while both James and May are adjusting the boutonnieres on their evening jackets. And of course, you check your buttons and run a hand over your hair, but your friends all smile and insist you're just FINE.

This is one of the older venues in town, but still serviceable. Once it saw the glamour of the elite; now, a more bohemian crowd, to be sure, and the ticket prices are cheaper, but it's still a lovely place.

The pianist does some dazzling work, including this striking piece.

It's an amazing performance, and we go home exhausted but happy. But later we are chilled by news of a murder near the hall just before the concert...and a witness describes someone who sounds a little like the pianist...what is his secret?