Sunday, October 30, 2005


I am gonna let the pictures speak for themselves! Houseparties R Us, and anything goes on Halloween Saturday on Capitol Hill! Special thanks to Curly and the Rocket, and SoulStice! Their live sets made the night. Please proceed!

Saturday, October 29, 2005


John Coltrane
-My Favorite Things
Lou Donaldson-One Cylinder
Willie Bobo&Bo-Gents-The Thrill Is Gone
Willie Bobo&Bo-Gents-Soul Foo Young
Sergio Mendes&Brasil'66-Witchita Lineman
Bob James-Storm King
Bob James-Nautilus
Bob James-Westchester Lady
Grover Washington Jr-Knucklehead

Grover Washington Jr-Hydra
Wally Richardson-Monday,Monday
Joe Farrell-Upon This Rock
Odell Brown & the Organ-izers-Mas Que Nada
Jimmy Ponder-Do It Baby
Mongo Santamaria-Cloud Nine
Yesterday's New Quintet-Funshine
Yesterday's New Quintet-Heaven Must Be Like This
Horace Silver-Tokyo Blues

Ronnie Laws-Tidal Wave
Charles Rouse-Hopscotch
Phil Woods & his European Rhythm Machine-The Meeting
Donald Byrd-Street Lady
Bobbi Humphrey-Jasper County Man
Eddie Henderson-Kumquat Kids
Gene Harris-Higga Boom

Rueben Wilson-Orange Peel
Jimmy McGriff-The Worm
Blue Mitchell-Good Humor Man
Gerald Wilson-Viva Tirado

"No matter how far a person can go, the horizon is still way beyond you."
-Zora Neale Hurston

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The most entertaining Horror Films
you may have never seen

Sit back, flip on the TV and the DVD player, get the chips an salsa and make sure the beer is cold....we are about to go over this year's picks for Halloween viewing! If you can't find these at your local video store, you need to create a scene until they straighten out their act, or step to the next store for some satisfaction. These are the films that will give you the right frame of mind for celebrating this special time of year!
Q-THE WINGED SERPENT- Michael Moriarty. Candy Clark. Richard Roundtree. David Carradine. From that list of names you know this movie is going to at least be interesting. Now check the director credit....that's right, Larry Cohen! The man who brought you "God Told Me To" and "It's Alive!" plunges headlong into Aztec mythology and urban crime and paranoia with a vengance. With particularly intriguing performances from Moriarty and Carradine as the two adversarys trying to wrestle with the notion of how to control what they can scarcely believe exists, this film has a starnge energy as a result of all the personas involved. Cohen's use of actual NYC locations lends it a weird 'real' look as well to offset the bizarre story of the Aztec God Quetzalcoatl being summoned forth in the Big Apple, wreaking havoc on the sinful place! A monster movie full of ideas, claymation effects, great acting and directing and gore, this is one even your snooty 'art film' friends can appreciate(just tell them it was an 'indie' film shot 'guerilla style'). A stone classic.
THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING AND BECAME MIXED-UP ZOMBIES - Ahh.....the Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies....what can I say that hasn't already been said? Monsters, crystal balls and fortune tellers, Rock and Roll musical numbers, leggy dancers, murder and mayhem all set at a carnival in LA in the mid 1960s(when things wuz cool)! And that is just the first 15 minutes of the movie!
My high school buddies and I first were turned onto this crazed flick by Lester Bangs' article about the film that was anthologized in the now classic "Psycotic Reactions and Carbeurator Dung". Bangs' take on the film, which he described in hilarious(and pretty accurate) detail was the kind of film we would have made as teenagers who were stuck in the 80s but desperate to taste the schlocky fun and excitement of a 60s horror musical! We were not on drugs, but we craved the dementia and weirdness that a movie like this can induce on even the soberest judge. It was celluloid LSD, seen only by a few in it's initial release, but brought to it's rightful prominence by Bangs and cult film fans in the 90s who took to it's deadly earnest lunacy. Remind me to tell you the story sometime about how I came to meet it's creator and star, one Ray Dennis Steckler(aka Cash Flagg) while living in Las Vegas in the late 90s. It's a trip.
SUSPIRIA - A favorite of mine from the Italian Master of Suspense and Murder, Dario Argento. It was hard for me to choose between this and 'Opera', but even though scads have been written about 'Suspiria', it invites a certain personal relationship with it's viewers that still makes it unique among horror films. Unapologetically stylized and sometimes verging on nonsensical, this film is visceral and dreamlike all at once. It creates in the viewer an uneasiness that never gains it's balance. The plot involves an American ballet student(I love ballet and the setting adds to the creepiness of the film)who arrives in a German Academy where from the moment she arrives in a driving rainstorm, nothing seems the way it ought to be. Of course the place is run by witches, but I am not really giving anything away since it's all in how the story is told that matters, and it unfolds beautifully with great splashes of color, brilliantly brutal murders and all manner of horrific happenings witnessed by the young American(the charming Jessica Harper). Argento pushes the envelope of terror and gore, making you cringe while wondering why it all seems so seductive and alluring. His special gift to the film world, but be prepared to be bedazzled and a bit bedeviled. Not for all tastes, but a truly unique experience.
MAD LOVE - Peter Lorre is creepy. Creepy creepy creepy. I could have picked 'M', I could have picked 'The Beast with Five Fingers'.....but this film is just EXTRA creepy and over-the-top. Here he plays a completely nuts surgeon in love with an actress....oh,and he really enjoys watching executions. This film has been copied so often you can't even count the ways, but this is one of the OG crazy-in-love horror flicks and they come no crazier than Lorre's Dr. Gogol. Ignored by many of modern horror fans who aren't happy unless they are seeing gallons of blood, this film is a study in suspense and mental unravelling. PLEASE do yourself a favor an peep this movie!
DEATHDREAM - George Romero was less of an influence and more of an inspiration for lots of small budget by-any-means-necessary horror films in the 70s, what with the success of the iconic 'Night of the Living Dead' as a 70s drive-in staple and future midnight movie. This is perhaps the best of the films that took Romero's social-conciousness-and-gore success and parlayed it into a great vampire/zombie/Viet Nam Vet Comes Home movie! Based on an updating and riffing on the classic tale "The Monkey's Paw", "Deathdream" takes America's weariness of Viet Nam and plays it into a morality tale ripe with all sorts of mixed messages but with a truly compelling story. Director Alan Ormsby injects imagery of war and turns the soldier who has come back from the dead into a zombie vampire whose need for blood is likened to that of a junkie and their hunger for junk. It's all pretty strong stuff, but this is a really great, smart horror movie.

MAD MONSTER PARTY - To lighten things up a bit, toss this crazed bit of puppet animation into your DVD player and marvel at how something like this just could not be made today! All the usual suspects are here, Dracula, the Mummy, the Wolfman and many assorted weirdies and creatures. This is from the minds of the great humorist and cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman and horror historian Forry Ackerman, so you know its goofy, excited fun. Great dance numbers and novelty tunes('Do the Mummy' is a standout, as is the Ethel Ennis-sung title track) make this a real 60s time capsule too. Just a lot of animagic fun for those of you who always wondered why the 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' people never made a Halloween special: They did, and it's called Mad Monster Party!
DAWN OF THE DEAD - The bomb. The greatest. The best damn horror film of the 70s. Can DotD really even be called a horror film? It trancends the genre it popularized (Zombie films) and has left such an impression it has been re-made in a big budget version and copied and reference by many other productions. George A. Romero's vision is informed by the death of 60s idealism and the onset of 80s excess, with the naivte of the 70s as it's barely discernable glimmer of hope. Certainly one of the bleakest films ever in it's dismal, devastating assessment and indictment of consumer culture, it is also a triumph of self-reliance and perserverance for it's creators. Doomed to an X rating by the MPAA, Romero released it unrated to spectacular results for an indie in the late 70s. Dario Argento, a co-producer, also arranged to re-cut the film and release it his way in Europe. By all means, get the 4-DVD set that collects the Theatrical release, Romero's extended Director cut and Argento's faster-paced, less expositional Euro cut of Dawn. Each has points to recommend them, but I am partial to the director cut with Romero and Tom Savini's excellent commentary. Like John Waters, George Romero's DVD commentaries lift even pedestrian films to unprecedented heights by nature of his wit and attention to detail. As Savini notes over and over on the commentary, "It was like George was making every day Halloween! I loved every minute of it!"


"It's hard to kill a nun!"
-George A. Romero

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Since one of the best things about DJing is getting to see people get out the house and have a good time dancing, I thought I would throw up some pictures from this weekend and selected other events that yours truly has been spinning at.
Sorry most of these are from the DJ-booth perspective, but I need to start rollin' deep with a photographer/valet before I can get better 'in-the-crowd' shots! Plus I need a better camera!

This first group is from last Saturday's installment of THE JUMP OFF, and people were indeed gettin down and dirty at Gate 54's basement lounge in Cafe Saint-Ex. It was wall-to-wall dancing until 2:30AM. If ya missed it, don't sleep on the next one, Saturday NOV 19TH!

These pics are from last weekend, we de-camped from DC down to Fatback's hometown of Charleston, South Carolina for the nuptials of Mr & Mrs Fatback. These are from the groom's dinner, which was hosted by Fatback's sister, and was a Low Country Oyster Broil and dance!

Crooked Beat Records' own DJ Neville C was running things on the decks, spinning a host of great jazz, soul and reggae.
Saturday found Fatback looking suave and smelling good for his wedding and reception. He instructed Neville, Secret Chimp and I to just keep the girls dancing and make he and Mrs Fatback (who was resplendent in a chic white gown) proud. We had a ball!

These are pics from the last Jazz Corner of the World I did, whic was fun, because DC Digga arrived to lend support and check my selections....oh, and also to sip a cocktail.

And The Jazz Corner would be missing a lot of flavor if it weren't for the steadfast service and philosophical musings of the one and only Benjy, the bartender to end 'em all. He has truly been a saving grace from the day we started the Jazz Corner to this day. So thanks, B! You are a part of the Jes Grew family!
These are a couple of pics from a backyard BBQ that I have DJ'ed for the last 2 summers running for some good friends of mine who also live just down the street. Check the Cha Cha Slide! Followed by the Electric Slide! or was that the other way around?

This pic is from a wedding reception/cocktail party in Georgetown that I helped DJ Fatback with, back in September. I was strictly relief pitching, but I had a great time keeping the Bossa Nova bossin' and the revelers revelin'. The hosts were super cool folks too, and we hope to another house party for them soon since the boys in blue closed this one down by midnight!

Whew! Well that's a lot of visual stimulation for one night, so I will be back later in the week with my Halloween Horror Treats, so stop back, y'hear?

"Soul is a way of life. But it is always the hard way."
-Ray Charles