Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Twilight

About the Book

The first book in the series introduces us to Bella Swan as she is moving to Forks, Washington from Arizona. She's moving in with her father who is Sheriff and close friends with local tribe, the Quileute in La Push. When Bella starts in her new school she meets Edward Cullen, who she thinks can't stand her, but there is a much more complicated reason he reacts the way that he does. Their fate is intertwined and he introduces her to his unusual family. Things get complicated when Bella is threatened and the Cullen family come to her aide.  One of my favorite characters in the series is Alice, sister to Edward; which they both have extraordinary abilities. Their abilities make them powerful allies and as you get further into the series you'll uncover that they'll also be desired by other clans. Twilight isn't my favorite book in the series, but it is the first, and the gateway into Stephenie Meyers (author) realm of vampires, shapeshifting wolves, and battling clans.

About the Movie describes this movie as "A teenage girl risks everything when she falls in love with a vampire" (IMDb, 2014) however there is more involved than just that. First, the movie was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, along with her crew, gave it the edge of visual mystery. Also, the movie included some reputable actors, not as the main characters, but more of a supportive roles. Kristen Stewart is Bella Swan, she stepped into this role from being a princess of the indie scene, and received much criticism over the years of her performances. Her counterpart, Edward Cullen was portrayed by English model/actor Robert Pattinson. What I love about this movie is the simplicity. I also love how they captured true loves first tender moments. I know not everyone is a fan, and there is a lot of skepticism out there. But, if you've read the books, then you have the appreciation and love for the movies as well. Or at least that's my opinion.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for Silence of the Lambs

About the Book

The Silence of the Lambs was written by Thomas Harris and published in 1981. It was the #1 National Bestseller and in 1988 received the Bram Stoker Award. This introduces us to Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee and her first assignment involves the search for a serial murderer nicknamed "Buffalo Bill." In an attempt to find the murderer Clarice "must visit a man confined to a high-security facility for the criminally insane and interview him. That man, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is a former psychiatrist with unusual tastes and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself from the core of [the book] an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction." (Bantam Dell Publishing Group, 2007)

About the Movie

I've seen this movie probably a dozen times, and each time there are certain scenes that I still find myself holding my breath. Even when I was looking through the list of book to movie adaptations, when I glanced over The Silence of the Lambs, I still held my breath. It's an intense movie that will take you into the deep-dark pits of the psychological realms of crazy town. Jody Foster portrays Clarice, the FBI trainee that gets tangled in Hannibal Lecters (Anthony Hopkins) webbed psychosis. There are so many memorable scenes in this movie. Two of my favorites is the very last scene when the evil psychiatrist is getting off the plane and being stalked... and the scene that makes me draw my breath every time is the intense scene when Clarice arrives at a home and then the lights go out; that entire scene is crazy (crazy intense and good!) If you haven't seen it - watch it.


Monday, April 21, 2014

R is for Return of the King

About the Book

The third in The Lord of the Rings trilogy by iconic author J.R.R. Tolkien. Within the book, it begins in the "kingdom of Gondor, which is soon to be attacked by the Dark Lord Sauron. The human Ranger Aragorn sets out to find the lost army of the undead oathbreakers. The hosts of Mordor break through the gates of Minas Tirith, but are in turn crushed by the arriving cavalry of Rohan. The Wizard Gandalf and Aragorn decide to draw out the hosts of ordor with an assault on the Black Gate, providing a distraction so that the two hobbits (Frodo and Sam) may have a chance of reaching Mount Doom and destroy the One Ring. Unseen by the Eye of Sauron. Sam, who now bears the One Ring in Frodo's place, rescues his master from torture and death by Orcs. Gollum gloats over getting his "precious" back, but ends up losing his balance and falls to his death, taking the Ring with him. The Ring is finally destroyed, freeing Middle-earth from Sauron's power." (Wiki, 2014)

About the Movie

I remember going to to the midnight showing of the final movie in Peter Jackson's ground breaking The Lord of the Rings trilogy; before watching this movie the first had been my favorite. After watching this action packed movie, it was by far my favorite. There is so much that happens in the movie, I can't possibly give you a blow-by-blow. So I'll just tell you about my favorite parts. I love when Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) goes to the Undead Oathbreakers and then at the end they sweep through the battle. I also love (I believe it's this movie) the flying eagles assistance in the big battle. As well, when Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) finally get to Mount Doom to the lava river and how it all unfolds. If you haven't seen this movie - where have you been? If you have seen the movie, which in the series was your favorite?


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Queen of the Damned

About the Book

The Queen of the Damned (1988) is the third novel in The Vampire Chronicles series, written by Anne Rice. It follows Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lastat. The novel explores the rich history and mythology within the origins of the vampires in Rice's realms. There are supposedly suppose to be two more installments in Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles series entitled Prince Lestat and Blood Paradise.

About the Movie

Aaliyah is one of my favorite artists, gone too soon. I loved her music and I loved her in this movie. She portrayed an ancient vampire, Queen Akasha. She has been awaken by the legendary Lestat de Lioncourt, a rock-star vampire, using his fame as a cover for his plans. Lestat's music wakes the ancient queen. When Queen Akasha awakens, she wants Lestat to be her king.


Intergalactic Gigolos Gear Up For the Re-release of


Scheduled For Release on
Record Store Day April 19th, 2014

It's now been eight years since our favorite space cadets, THE BOY WITH THE RAYGUN SHOOTS THE MOON! found themselves locked inside a small bedroom closet in Austin, Texas recording what would later become their debut single, 123 LET'S RIDE! Still retaining their sick and twisted sense of humor, these intergalactic gigolos are gearing up, yet again, with phasers set to stun-the-galaxy by re-releasing this highly anticipated single, dedicated to their lifelong friend Ryan "Bandaid" Ramsey and is scheduled for release on Record Store Day April 19th, 2014.

All songs have been digitally remastered in 5.1 surround sound via RAYGUN SOUNDS. In addition, the single will also include an edit of local punk rock group (and High School pals) Rational Jackass' track, "Orange Alien" as well as previously unreleased B-side "Marvin".

The single is dedicated to their lifelong devoted friend Ryan “Bandaid” Ramsey. All songs have been digitally re-mastered in 5.1 surround sound via RAYGUN SOUNDS. In addition, it will also include an edit of local punk rock group Rational Jackass’ track, “Orange Alien” as B-Side.  A-Side: 123 LET’S RIDE! B-SIDE: ORANGE ALIEN (TBWTRSTM Edit] *originally written and recorded by RATIONAL JACKASS.

TBWTRSTM roots date back to their early childhood, while they were still in elementary school, Stevie and Terrell started their first band, SUPERSTITIOUS. They penned only one song called, "V.I.G." (Very Important Girl). Rumor has it, Stevie's older sister Cathie, has possession of the original lyrics sheet.

After graduating high school in 2000, Stevie (bass) and Terrell (vocals) started the Skate/Punk band ANYONE BUT THEM. Though it was short lived as a difference of opinions between them, and their band mates; what was punk and what was not, sought to end the band. During this time, the boys wrote the punk rock anthem, "Crushing You", a politically charged, three-chord punk rock song that took aim at the punk rock scene at the time.

A year later Terrell started a new punk band called RATIONAL JACKASS, with fellow high school friend, Gregg Sankey, and Kenney Howitt. While Stevie, under the alias Paul Ickes, founded the underground music collective ARM THE PIT, which still exists today. However, Stevie's older brother, John, now runs.

A few years later Stevie calls Terrell to see if he would be willing to lay-down some vocal tracs for a new sci-fi project called THE BOY WITH THE RAYGUN SHOOTS THE MOON! The first song they recorded as a duo was "123 LET'S RIDE", written and recorded in under an hour.

Although TBWTRSTM is rooted in Science Fiction, neither Terrell nor Stevie have much interest in SciFi movies. "Sure we like Star Wars, but who doesn't?" Stevie Nowinsky. He continues to suggest that Terrell would be more interested in the latest stoner films. "Frank Capra, will and forever be, the greatest film director ever... with Steven Spieldberg and John Hughes coming in second and third." Stevie Nowinsky.


In 2008, TBWTRSTM release their debut album, BEYOND THUNDERDOME. The following year Terrell records his first solo album, GLITCHES, HISSES & BITCHES under the moniker PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRZ. Stevie produced and recorded it in 2 nights inside his "MAGIC BUS" and later released it under ARM THE PIT'S subsidiary label, TONE-ARM RECORDS.

Another one of Stevie's best friends, Ryan Ramsey, in 2010, takes Terrell's place as TBWTRSTM's lead vocalist and they record BEYOND THUNDERDOME's follow-up album. ALION ENCOUNTERS, which also includes the track "NEW HORIZONS", which features vocals by Stevie's former ex-turned-great friend Sara Gray.

Two years later, Stevie flies solo on TBWTRSTM's third album, NERDY BY NATURE. A potentially great labum but without having a vocalist on hand, the album soon lost its luster. The following year TBWTRSTM goes on indefinite hiatus... until now...

"THE BOY WITH THE RAYGUN SHOOTS THE MOON started out merely [as] a side project. We made simple laptop music, none of which was any good but we have a lot of fun making it." TBWTRSTM

Q & A:

"We describe our music as "Zooka Pop!" Named after teh Buck Roger's ray gun, which was identical to the 1930's model except for its bright, multicolored lithographed finish. Like the Rocket Pistol, this gun was armed by cocking the handle." Stevie Nowinsky

If you could reference current genres of music - to give people a reference - what two genres would best describe Zooka Pop? K.E.N.

"Good question, electronic and funk. The single is full of different influential material." Stevie Nowinsky

I noticed that you have dedicated this re-release to your friend Ryan. Who is he to you? K.E.N.

"He's been a supporter from the start. Ever since Terrell and I started making music, wheter it was for TBWTRSTM or any other band, we've ever been in together, Ryan's been part of it. Although, not always as a performing member. For instance, when Terrell and I were in that skate/punk band, ANYONE BUT THEM, Ryan would drive an hour out of his way, just to pick us up some new guitar strings or a bass drum head. He would even bring fast food over during band practices just to make sure we were eating. He's the ultimate band aide." Stevie Nowinsky


Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Pride and Prejudice

About the Book

Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813, is the story about the Bennet family. Mainly, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues between her sisters, dating, and societal standards. In early 19th-century England, and one of five sisters, the crisis within the family is finding husbands for all of the girls. When Elizabeth meets Mr. Darcy, first impressions were sketchy. But, after they keep seeing each other within society, their feelings might change. To date, Pride and Prejudice has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.

About the Movie

Jennifer Ehle portrays Elizabeth Bennet, the second eldest in a line of five daughters. Her family may be in the early 19th-century London, but the characters are so easy to relate to because the family dynamics are true today as they were so many years ago. Colin Firth portrays the misunderstood Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy arrives in society along with his friend Mr. Bingley (who falls for Elizabeth's older sister, Jane). When Elizabeth is presented to Darcy for a dance, he snubs her, and Elizabeth holds a grudge until Darcy reveals his true feelings for her against "his better judgment." I love this movie because (it's long, it was a series) and I love the relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, as well as Mr. Bingley and Jane. Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for Oliver Twist

About the Book

Oliver Twist is the second novel written by the infamous author, Charles Dickens. Published in 1838, the story is about an orphan who endures a miserable experience and circumstances. When he travels to London he meet Artful Dodger, leader of a gang of young pickpockets. Oliver is naive and doesn't realize their criminal activities, he is then led to the lair of their matriarch, Fagin. The novel is notable for Dickens's unromantic portrayal of criminals, it also exposes the cruel treatment of the many orphans in London during the Dickensian era. Dickens also brings to light to many evils including child labor, early recruitment into gang activity, and the presence of street children. It is likely that Dickens's own early youth as a child laborer helped with the novels development, serious themes, and dark humor (Wiki, 2014).

About the Movie

Barney Clark stars as Oliver Twist, in this 2005 adaption of the classic Dickens Tale, where an orphan meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master, Fagin (Ben Kingsley). On this rendition achieved 6.9 stars out of 10. Directed by Roman Polanski, as suggested by his wife, while he searching for a movie that their children would find interesting. His children have parts in the movie as well. Another interesting factoid; to keep the children actors in character, Ben Kingsley (Fagin) stays in character and kept his mannerisms and his physical appearance as his character even off-set (IMDb, 2014).