You're Gonna Need a Bigger Blog: Shark Show recap and bonus material

(preface: KEVIN GEEKS OUT is a monthly video-variety show which showcased off-beat film and TV clips around a given topic.  The shows featured guest speakers, experts, performances, as well as themed-snacks, trivia and prizes.  This K.G.O. was devoted to the subject of SHARK CINEMA, it was hosted by Kevin Maher and Matthew Glasson, as "Kevin & Matt Geek Out About Sharks")

July's GEEK OUT was a massive success, we crammed dozens of clips into a 2-hour show for a packed house.  It was a great crowd and a fun night.  Thanks to everybody who took part in the evening.  For those of you who couldn't make it, here's what you missed....

MORE AFTER THE JUMP -- a lot more...

I'll Become the Sea: a Romance novel

My wife has written a wonderful novel. It's called I'LL BECOME THE SEA (you can buy it here.)

It's a Romance Novel.  Strike that -- it's being marketed as a Romance Novel.  And while it does have some traditional elements found in a Romance story, please understand, there's a lot going on in this book, including family violence, urban school decay, Jungian psychology and heavy metal.

I love it for the same reason I love David Goodis and Jim Thompson books: they used pulp crime-novels to write deeply personal stories with existential ideas.

I'm sure there are plenty of people who would like I'll Become the Sea, but they wouldn't necessarily read a Romance novel.  Too bad, it's a well-written, deeply personal story that uses the form in a smart way.

It's like my friend Geoff says, it doesn't matter if Alan Moore is a genius, some people just hate comics books. (He said it a lot better, like he's trying to convince someone to read Swamp Thing.)  Or it's like how my friend Brian laments the fact that he has friends who love good ensemble comedy performance but refuse to see Return of the Living Dead because they'd never watch a horror movie.  (Did I just compare my wife to Dan O'Bannon.  You bet I did!)

Me?  I love comic books, especially ones that play with the genre and introduce subversive ideas.  I love the way bands like Metallica and System of a Down use heavy metal to deal with themes about war, alcoholism and class struggle.  I love watching the movie "Q: THE WINGED SERPENT" and seeing Michael Moriarity deliver an Oscar-worthy method performance, in a cheap movie about a dragon terrorizing Manhattan.  I love the way Joss Whedon used Buffy the Vampire Slayer to get at the horror of high school and adolescence.  Or that Charlie Chaplin made movies like Modern Times and said there wasn't any commentary, it was just slapstick comedy.  And look at this 1959 interview where Rod Serling outright lies to Mike Wallace, claiming that his new show "the Twilight Zone" is not designed for social criticism, it's "strictly for entertainment."  Wallace agrees and says that Serling has given up on writing "anything important for television."

If you like this sort of stuff, then you should check out my wife's book.  Or read her blog.   Or follow her on Facebook.

* RECENTLY ADDED:  You can read the glowing review from Romantic Times.

Lastly, I love that the book has a kick-ass soundtrack.

I love this writer.

Book of the year: another truly geeky thing about me

I never talk about this, but I keep track of everything I read and at the end of each calendar year, I would nominate THE BOOK OF THE YEAR. An imaginary award given to whatever book had the most impract on me.

Here's the thing -- any book ever written could be nominated.  (But I had to read it that year.)

From there it's like any award, there's politics and in-fighting (did I mention I am the only one on the committee, but I will debate myself from time to time.) 

If I were to give an actual award, it would be a sticker made to look like the big foam hand with the extended finger to convey "this is #1"!   The same way books get an "Oprah's book club" sticker, I'd have a BOOK OF THE YEAR sticker with that hand. 

Now let's get to the actual list.  These are the best books I read between the years of 1996 - 2009. (Read the whole thing, or skip ahead to the end for a surprise.)   Lastly, please keep in mind this is not necessarily a list of recommended reading, it's just that the timing was right -- these books spoke to me, because they connected with my then-current situation and where my head was at.   I don't know that "The Best of Temp Slave" would mean as much to me today as it did 11 years ago. 

1996:  THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West 
The best required reading from my junior year of college.  I was totally swept up in this unflinching story of Hollywood in the 1930's.  West is a lean, mean writer and he gets at the loneliness of desperate people.  There's one scene that describes a sad sack sitting naked on the toilet, crying his eyes out waiting for the bathtub to fill-up.  It's a brutal story that doesn't pull any punches and I couldn't put it down.  The John Schlessinger movie is visionary, but I prefer the book's intimacy.  (Does that make sense?  Sorry, I rarely write about literature.)  


Friend, Good!

"'I am alone and miserable: man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. This being you must create.'"  ~ The Monster, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein


Sex, Love and "Bachelor Party"

As a pre-teen boy with premium movie channels I had access to all the mature-audience entertainment that 1980’s cable had to offer.  I watched everything from Hardbodies to Once Upon a Time In America (the long version). At school my friends would swap stories of seeing late-night nudity, graphic murders and gross-yet-mesmerizing sex scenes. But there was one movie where even the most permissive parents drew the line: Bachelor Party, a raunchy comedy about a bunch of guys having one last blowout before Rick (Tom Hanks) marries Debbie (Tawny Kitaen).

I managed to see this film when I was 12, and it was no wonder Moms and Dads didn’t want their kids seeing it. Bachelor Party features all kinds of debauchery: a girl-on-girl sex show with whips and vibrators, party balloons made from condoms, a donkey snorts cocaine, one party guest mistakenly screws a transvestite, a Hindu pimp threatens to have a man’s testicles cut-off, and a stuffy mother-in-law-to-be mistakes a man’s 13-inch penis for a foot-long hot-dog.  (Not to mention half-a-dozen signature gags shamelessly lifted from National Lampoon’s Animal House, and a gratuitous musical performance by Adrian Zmed!) But the most perplexing


LUCID: a movie I can't wait to see...

Since moving to Brooklyn in 1997 I've met alternative comedians, downtown performance artists, alcoholic poets, content generators, flaky folk-rockers, the list goes on and one.  One of the most slippery of all walks of life is anyone who calls himself an "independent filmmaker."  I could tell you some awful stories, but that's for another post. Today I'm going to share something that's truly exciting and it was made by a writer-director who can deliver.  (Don't take my word for it, just watch this trailer and see for yourself.) 

Jeremy Carr's LUCID is like a David Lynch Batman movie, if Batman weren't in it.

Just think of the money you've spent on seeing bad movies over the years.  Now here's your chance to put ten bucks towards a great movie that needs some help.   The producers are raising funds to finish shooting LUCID, you can join the online fundraiser on Kickstarter.  Every pledge helps -- seriously.

Learn more about the project here and see what you'll get by pledging: you can get an on-screen credit, a copy of Jeremy's short film ICE CREAM ANTS (featuring me as The Drunkard -- pictured above, this is one of my favorite roles), and a few people will get this cool T-shirt:

If you're crazy about movies, help this one get made.  You won't regret it.