Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Guilty Pleasure: Dark Shadows

It's Halloween again and I have a fun recommendation for you. It seems that I'm finding more and more dumb, guilty pleasures these days. Either my sense of guilt has become more acute while I become ever dumber or I have more to feel guilty about. Probably the former. Anyway, I've really come to enjoy one of Johnny Depp's overlooked treasures Dark Shadows. Tim Burton directed it but it doesn't scream "Tim Burton" at all. -Which is kind of effective, I think.

I've probably watched it a dozen times and I don't know why. Perhaps it's because, sometimes, I feel like "I've been locked in a box for 200 years." -Probably look like that too sometimes! Eva Green as Angelique the witch is really funny and sexy.
Michelle Pfieffer is also great as the classy but put-upon matriarch of the Collins remnants in circa 1970 Maine. There is something about her character as she does the books at night for a dead business. Or when she insists on looking great to greet a hated caller to the manor even as Collinwood is falling apart in neglect and decay. Insisting on remaining classy can be futile and thankless, I guess. Chloe Grace Moretz  is perfect as her 15 year old daughter. They must have had a lot of fun on the set because those two seem so like real mother and daughter in the film. She seems kind of rebellious and immature in a way (I have a 15 year old daughter) but I guess that's understandable as she lives in a dark, empty mansion in 1972 Maine where she releaves the boredom by listening to music like T-Rex and Alice Cooper in her bedroom. Kids really were just less mature and more restless than today, right? I certainly was.
Johnny Depp is excellent, of course, but he really doesn't give a tour-de-force performance like Captain Jack Sparrow or is as over-the-top as Willy Wonka. It's more restrained but still funny and good.
Australian actress Bella Heathcote is quite appealing as mysterious Victoria Winters. She's kind of a cross between Susan Dey dressed like Marlo Thomas' That Girl and Pamela Sue Martin's Nancy Drew. Nice. The opening credits with 'Victoria Winters' on the Amtrak train rolling through Maine gives me shivers. Normally I'm not one for hippie oldies but "Nights in White Satin" just seems so right in that sequence. Thanks Danny Elfman.

Halloween in Raleigh's Oakwood Neighborhood - reshown

Editors note: These were taken one year ago on Halloween. -I've been out of my house and on my own for a year and there have been lots of changes at my office. It's amazing how much can change in a year. Spooooky.


Wild and crazy antics at this Halloween party house. I can't even count all of the things going on at this place...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Trailer Trad Time Travel: Going Out for Surf N Turf in the 1930s

Photo Credit: Library of Congress, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Trailer Trad North Carolina: The Fayetteville Airborne and Special Operations Museum

Money and might can only accomplish so much. Sometimes, creativity and boldness count. But I guess that's the lesson of Fayetteville's North Carolina's Airborne and Special Forces Museum, isn't it? The boldness of the design, the daring scope of its collections. Daring. -Make no mistake, real men were behind this museum to real men. No puffery. No posturing. Damn, what a cool museum.
If you have a son who could benefit from seeing heroes and heroic deeds, this place is a must for your fall road trip calendar. -Fayettesville's a very nice surprise too. Home to a great downtown with some pretty good restaurants. -Pay off the Little Lady with the promise of a great meal after accompanying you through the museum. -However, you may be surprised at how interested the Right Lady (yours!) may be in learning about this rare kind of bravery.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Trailer Trad Tunes: Pure Bathing Culture + A Few Non-elevator Music Additions

Editor's note: Although I like Pure Bathing Culture, I don't like them that THAT much. As a matter of fact, upon listening to them a few times, I'm started to be reminded of cringe-worthy music from the 1980s like Jefferson Starship. So, I've kept one and added a few other peppier new tunes.

If you think that this band seems to almost aim for a kind of easy-listening sound, Pitchfork agrees with you. I don't really care. I heard them on 'KNC the other day and thought the vocals were nice.

There ought to be a law against how good this song is and how it WILL permiate every recess of your skull. You might not believe the 13,000,000 hits on this video if you are one of the very few who haven't heard it. -However, it's just THAT popular. I've loved the song for a while but I just discovered the official video. Royal blue is my FAY-VO-RYTE color.

Two Dollar Cinema Club  "What You Know"
I just found a nice twist on a Chairlift song. I found it while I was looking for their song 'Met Before' to use in my upcoming blog post on Scandinavian Olympic women skiers entitled 'Nordic Gold.' -Look for it.

Chairlift  "I Belong in Your Arms" (Japanese Version)

Wild Nothing   "Take Me In"

Wavves "Idiot"

Interpol  "Pace is the Trick"

The Kooks  "Naive"

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Low Rent but Top Drawer: 1930s 'Tourist Court' Architecture

This is where I hang my hat. These are technically apartments but they are more like little connected cottages in a grove of huge oak trees right in the middle of a very nice section of Raleigh.  

I suspect that this sign in the community laundry mat has been around quite a while. Perhaps since the 50s or earlier. Also in the laundry room are these cool Herman Miller office chairs. They may have been there since the 1950s. The management company certainly didn't put them there out of a desire to instill a Mad Men look to the laundry room.