Hotline to the Underground 3/2/20 by Joe Viglione


Happy birthday to singers Lou Reed (March 2nd) and Buzzy Linhart (March 3rd.) We lost Reed on October 27, 2013 and Mr. Linhart on February 13, 2020, just a couple of weeks ago. Interesting to note that if you listen to Reed’s classic Rock n Roll Animal album during the song “Heroin,” the whistle someone blows during the soft part of the song is Mr. Linhart himself. Buzzy went on to hire members of the Rock n Roll Animal bands for an album that he was recording. Reed’s biggest pop hit on the charts was “Walk on the Wild Side” while Linhart co-authored Bette Midler’s signature tune, “Friends,” his best-known song. They were both as their songs stated – “wild” and “friends” to their flock. Midler wrote on her Twitter account:

Bette Midler
Feb 18: The great Buzzy Linhart, who wrote so many wonderful songs, among them, (You Got to Have) Friends, which I’ve sung for nearly 50 years, had died. What an amazing performer he was, and what extraordinary gifts his songs were. Thank you. Rest In Peace, old friend.

Downstairs at the Cantab it’s Club Bohemia – Thursday March 5 Clean Plate Club featuring Marjorie, Wiley and Zach 8 pm, on Friday March 6, Love Stranger, Stone and Star, Hands and Knees, doors at 9 pm. Saturday, March 7 World Wise, Background Ors, Jack Straw. …At Sally O’Brien’s 335 Somerville Ave in Somerville on Thursday it’s Dave Rizzutti with the BYO Bluegrass.

The Invisible Man – 2020
a film review from Joe Viglione

The best “new” villain since Hannibal Lecter is actually – well you know what it is – a remake of the 1992 travesty Memoirs of an Invisible Man starring Chevy Chase in his “state of molecular flux,” or a remake of the 1933 Claude Rains The Invisible Man. In 1940 there was Vincent Price in the Invisible Man Returns …and on and on it goes…the Invisible Woman…you get the picture. Well this 2020 drama/horror flick is nothing like the original and far removed from Chevy Chase. To me this is Audrey Hepburn’s Wait Until Dark with the lights on.

Where Hepburn was a blind woman chasing an “invisible man” around her apartment in New York City, vicious Alan Arkin in search of drugs, Elisabeth Moss in the 2020 Invisible Man is a woman with sight who also cannot see the man who is terrorizing her.

Far removed from H.G. Wells 1897 book that it is based upon, though the technology described in that book from 123 years ago is still the thread that connects, one headline (I have not read any other reviews yet) calls it an Invisible Man for the #metoo movement. Interesting that it appears on the same week as Harvey Weinstein’s conviction, and maybe that was planned?
In a truly terrifying opening – which some might feel is labored – Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) is trying to flee breathtakingly handsome British model Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who is Adrian Griffin, the brilliant scientist who creates the light-bending technology to turn himself or others invisible. Stop right there…you know that’s a cue for many possible sequels, just as the Claude Rains 1933 film spawned. Or so Universal/Comcast hopes.

Note to Cecilia Kass, when you live in a home that is on the water with stunning visuals from your bedroom and living room, and something drop dead gorgeous is in your bed every night, stop with the whining and be a loving wife. Sheesh, the guy is a multi-millionaire genius and Kass sets into motion a series of events endangering all the people in her life. Selfish is what I call it!

Aldis Hodge plays James Lanier – a childhood friend of the alleged “victim” according to Wikipedia. That’s odd, it feels like he’s the love interest of Cecilia’s sister, Emily Kass (played by Harriet Dyer.) Hodge couldn’t attempt to be Will Smith more if he tried. The mannerisms, the voice, it’s like a tribute band mimicking Mick Jagger and feels like a Will Smith stand-in emulating a well-known actor. Hodge was previously in Hidden Figures, the NASA film about African American female mathematicians while Jackson-Cohen, the Invisible Man, performed in The Raven (Edgar Allan Poe) from 2012 and a Dracula television series 2013-2014 as Jonathan Harker. That’s some horror film street cred for these not yet ultra famous actors, and the fact that the film uses those “bubbling under” is to its credit (sure, Emmy awards and Mad Men do account for something, but these are not Tom Cruise, Anthony Hopkins, Eddie Murphy household names at this point in time.) It’s that these players are relatively unknown that also makes for a tense drama with some very scary moments a la the aforementioned Wait Until Dark.

Universal/Comcast is now digging more methodically in to the classic 1930’s horror films vaults. The 2017 Mummy with Tom Cruise lost close to a hundred million or so according to Wikipedia, and the retelling of these popular films from ninety years ago are from a different dimension when compared to Claude Rains, Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff’s reign of terror.

This film also mirrors Craig Berko’s murderous role in 1999’s The Thirteenth Floor where actress Gretchen Mol was caught “in the Matrix.” The Matrix emerging in March of 1999, the very similar Thirteenth Floor in April (Denmark) and May (USA) of 1999. Based on a 1973 German TV film, World on a Wire, again according to Wikipedia. Be it Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark, Gretchen Mol in 13th floor or Elisabeth Moss in this new feature, it is the age-old damsels in distress theme dipped in science fiction.

That being said, all of the above were quite entertaining. The twist here is the psychological drama that keeps one guessing. Yes, there were a couple of holes in the plot, but overall it’s a quite satisfying film experience. What Invisible Man does deliver is one of the most powerful dark dramas in a long, long while.

While the Buzzcocks were on tour in 1979 and 1980, Joan McNulty, the publisher of their official fan magazine Harmony in My Head (and then-girlfriend of singer Pete Shelley), taped all their shows on cassette the way Judy Garland’s husband Mickey recorded her final shows. Decades after these recordings were made, their value is obvious. After lengthy legal haggling between 1982 and the date of release, 1988, Neil Cooper of Reach Out International records was able to issue this very worthwhile series of 19 songs culled from various live performances on the tour. Who better to compile the music than the woman who gave attention to the group before anyone else in the U.S.A.? The cassette tapes were brought up to Blue Jay Studios in Carlisle, MA, the place where the Joe Perry Project, Aimee Mann, Phil Collins, and others worked, and the material was transferred from the master cassettes into organized form. There are tons of Buzzcocks favorites here, energetic versions of “What Do I Get,” “Fast Cars,” “Airwaves Dream,” “Fiction Romance,” “Something’s Gone Wrong Again,” all preserved for the ages, presented with love and care by someone who knew their music as well as the band itself. Boston; Chicago; Minnesota;, New Jersey; Providence, RI; New York; and Birmingham, U.K. are all represented with songs from their respective concerts. As the Doors release all the live tapes from their archives, and artists from Frank Zappa to the Velvet Underground and Jimi Hendrix have their concert tapes being issued to acclaim and sales, Joan McNulty’s efforts can be viewed as pioneering. Decades after it was conceived and released, Lest We Forget is as pure a document as you’ll find on the tour of a vital power pop band. The recording quality is not state of the art, but that adds to the charm.


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