The Cassette Chronicles – Cheap Trick’s Lap of Luxury

BY JAY ROBERTS (SPECIAL TO LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE)

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s that I have acquired through Purchase Street Records in New Bedford, MA.

The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from the 1980’s through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums.

These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

Cheap Trick’s Lap of Luxury (1988)

“You’ve got me all wound up and ready to go!”

Despite the preceding lyrical line belonging to the closing song “All Wound Up” on Lap of Luxury, the sentiment the lyric conveys pretty much sums up the whole album.

From the get the blood pumping opener “Let Go” to the final strains of music, this album doesn’t disappoint. Despite the heavy use of outside writers (the band wrote or co-wrote just six of the tracks), the music is in undeniable possession of that classic Cheap Trick rock and pop melodic sensibilities. The cover of the Elvis Presley hit “Don’t Be Cruel” is a winner in my estimation because it makes me like the song and I’m not really much of an Elvis fan.

The elephant in the room is the huge smash hit ballad “The Flame”. While the chart success of the song meant the track got insanely overplayed, it is a decent song. The funny thing is that I distinctly remember reading at least one article that the band really doesn’t care for the song. (I can’t find the article online so I can’t 100 percent confirm this though). But, it would be mildly amusing that the last big hit song the band had became one that its members liked the least.

I’m more partial to the songs that lean more towards the rock and roll side of the band’s music like “Space” and “Never Had A Lot To Lose”, but the decidedly more commercial sounding “Ghost Town” has its merits as well.

The subsequent tour for the album represents the one and only time that I’ve been able to see Cheap Trick live. They were opening for Robert Plant and I ended up going with the son of my boss at the time. The band put on a great show and, in a twisted sort of way, I’m glad that I haven’t been able to see them again so as not to sully the memory of their set. What made the set more memorable was how the band blew Robert Plant off the stage on that night. Plant’s set had the volume up so loud that you could barely hear a damn thing he was saying or singing. Cheap Trick grasped the notion that volume can’t be allowed to drown out the music.

“You’re holding out, but I’m holding on. Can’t wait until your resistance is gone.” The lyric made me wonder just how anyone could be holding back on giving some music fan loyalty to Cheap Trick. The band will always be seen for their success with At Budokan and Dream Police as well as their all-time hit “Surrender”, there’s no doubt about that. But for my money, the entirety of Lap of Luxury should be seen as one of their best collective offerings as well, regardless of how the band themselves may feel about the album.

Note of Interest: Keyboardist Greg Giuffria (House of Lords, Angel, Giuffria) co-wrote the song “All We Need Is A Dream” with Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander.

Julia Cirignano reflects on time with Limelight Magazine

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

Julia Cirignano (center) with Flight of Fire at the Narrows Center in Fall River, MA.

I have been writing for Limelight Magazine for six months and unfortunately my time here has ended. While many of you may have seen my articles for Limelight or have met me in person at shows hosted by JKB Entertainment Group, you may not know that I have actually been an intern.

As a student at Endicott College with a major in English with a creative writing concentration and a music minor, I decided to do my senior internship under the guidance of Katie and Jay, the co-owners of both JKB Entertainment Group and Limelight Magazine. I chose this internship because Limelight was my favorite local music magazine and after meeting Katie and Jay I knew we would gel well together. I couldn’t have been more correct.

Interning for Limelight has been an amazing and truly rewarding experience. While I was given many intern-like responsibilities through my work for JKB, I was also a full time staff writer for Limelight. For JKB, I worked many shows and got to meet some awesome people – both musicians and fans. For Limelight, I was given the opportunity to interview many amazing musicians, business owners, and other people within the music industry and write articles about them. I interviewed local musicians and bands such as Sarah Barrios, Liz Bills (of Analog Heart), blindspot, Erinn Brown, Nikki Coogan (of The Devil’s Twins), Exit 18, Flight of Fire, Girls, Guns and Glory, Shanna Jackman, Ashley Jordan, Jenna Lotti, Martin and Kelly, Dan Masterson, MB Padfield, Sinners Inc., and Matt York, and also several national acts such as Paul Bielatowicz, Black ‘N Blue, Journeyman – A Tribute to Eric Clapton, MASS, Motion Device, Leather Leone, Joan Osborne, and Trevor Rabin.

I also had the opportunity to write featured stories on several businesses and nonprofits, including Cable Car Cinema and Café, Coolidge Corner Theatre’s After Midnight Program, Dark Delicacies, Fright Rags, Hudson Horror Show, Mouradian Guitar Company, Purchase Street Records, Narrows Center for the Arts, The Time Capsule, and TJ’s Music All Star Band Program.

I interviewed director Justin Mayoh about his film Tales of Rocky Point Park and author J. Blake Fichera about his book Scored to Death. I also wrote a few themed stories which focused on a variety of subjects such as vinyl, tattoos, fitness, and more. These stories included quotes from many musicians, fitness trainers, business owners and music fans: Erin Ollis, Amy Marie, Amanda McCarty, Nina McGoff, Sarah Barrios, Emil Belisle, Paul Horton, John MacFee, Hailey Magee, Brian McKenzie, Jennifer Mitchell, Moment of Clarity, Christopher Ruiz, Allison Sigrist, Emile Belisle, Nikki Coogan, April Cushman, Mike LaRoche, Ken Macy, Stan Matthews, Ryan Stark, Arline Urquhart, Mark Vinciguerra and spokesmen from  Burlington Records, Cheapo Records, In Your Year Records, Joe’s Albums, Music Connection, Nuggets Records, Round Again Records, Skele-tone Records, Spun Records and Sunset Records.

I also interviewed JKB Entertainment Group/Limelight Magazine’s co-owner Katie Botelho-Bielatowicz about nail art designs and how to book shows. In addition, I contributed to a tribute story on Bob Coburn of Rockline by interviewing Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull), Rik Emmett (of Triumph) Shaun Hague (of Journeyman – A Tribute to Eric Clapton) and a number of Limelight’s loyal readers.

I am hugely grateful towards both Katie and Jay for taking me on as an intern, teaching me the ropes to write articles and host shows, being patient with me, buying me food, and keeping me entertained. I truly enjoyed the wonderful experiences I had while working for the both of them.

Some of my most memorable moments includes driving to Rhode Island to watch Jay get a David Bowie “Blackstar” tattoo while I interviewed the tattoo artist and musician Nikki Coogan (of The Devil’s Twins). I will also never forget the night I got to help Katie and her husband (and national touring guitarist) Paul Bielatowicz judge JBK Entertainment Group’s Opening Act Contest held at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass.. Along with the amazing people I met at that show, I will never forget the jaw-dropping performance put on by Flight of Fire, which ended up being a band I have stayed in contact with, written an article about, and assisted when they opened for Lita Ford.

For JKB Entertainment, I was able to help host shows for a variety of different artists such as Blackmore’s Night, Opening Act Contest (Elsie [featuring Lisa Couto & Ray Cooke], Flight of Fire, Allison & Kevin Giuliano, Huxster, Gracelyn Rennick, Ilene Springer, We Own Land, and Matt York), The Yardbirds, Lita Ford, and Paul Bielatowicz & Simon Fitzpatrick.

It was great to be part of the Fall River community if only for a short period of time. Before this internship, I had never been to Fall River. Being a Bostonian myself, I learned to love Fall River and the surrounding towns due to the truly passionate and creative people I had the opportunity of meeting and working with. I am thankful to every business owner who invited me into their store and took the time to answer my interview questions. I am thankful for everyone who picked up their phones or sat by their e-mails answering my interview questions.

Thank you to Katie and Jay for all they have done and thank you to all the other helpful people I have met through them. This internship was truly a blast! I am grateful for all the tools I have learned along the way and will continue reading, writing, and being an avid music fan.

 

19th Annual Boston Underground Film Festival Announces Final Wave of Films

Cambridge, MA – Following up on last week’s feverish announcement, the Boston Underground Film Festival (BUFF) is proud to reveal the remainder of its eclectic 19th edition, taking place from March 22nd  through the 26th at the Brattle Theatre and Harvard Film Archive. BUFF’s already dynamic lineup is rounded out with even more intriguing films from around the world, including over 80 short films and music videos that promise to disturb, dazzle, and delight.

BUFF is honored and thrilled to be hosting the East Coast Premiere of hotly-anticipated doc A Life in Waves, an intimate portrait of one of the most influential electronic composers of the last 40 years, Suzanne Ciani. Documentarian duo (and BUFF alum) Brett Whitcomb and Bradford Thomason will be in attendance, along with the diva of the diode herself for a post-screening Q&A at the Harvard Film Archive. Fans of synth would be remiss to miss this! On the other end of the documentary spectrum is our New England Premiere of Dean Fleischer-Camp’s Fraud, an impossible to categorize hybrid-doc and bold experiment in filmmaking that explores the essence of “truth” in a post-truth era. Come and catch one of the most controversial films to take HotDocs by storm last year.

Lovers of all things dark and disturbing are advised to pencil in this quadruplet of narrative nightmares: A grieving mother and a bullying occultist (Steve Oram) face their demons in black magic thriller A Dark Song, from Irish, first-time director Liam Gavin. Valentin Hitz’s gorgeous and unnerving Hidden Reserves gives us a peek at the future-that-could-be (ponder this: death insurance) with his Austrian dystopian sci-fi masterpiece. And speaking of hidden, BUFF presents for the first time ever a Secret Screening; we can’t tell you what it is, but we can tell you that it’s one of the most highly anticipated genre titles coming out this year. Take the leap into the rabbit hole with your pals at BUFF and catch it before all your friends.

Lightening things up substantially is a triple threat of comedic treats: A group of awful idiots fail at throwing a party over and over in Slamdance smash Neighborhood Food Drive, with BUFF alum & director Jerzy Rose and writer Halle Butler in the house. Emerson College alum Michael Reich brings his surreal and sensational She’s Allergic to Cats to the Brattle; you’ll laugh, cry, and ponder duck boobs. Rounding things out is our anniversary screening of oft underappreciated Southland Tales, Richard Kelly’s gonzo anarchic vision of the near future (which may be closer to the near present), which we lift up and celebrate ten years later.

The festive environ would be incomplete without a set of accompanying parties: BUFF delivers in spades this year with our opening night, All Your Heroes Are Dead-themed shindig at Zuzu (hosted by Moon Button and all things vinyl). We’ll have a night of karaoke at Tasty Burger, themed Dystopioke (aren’t you curious), a late-night jaunt out to Boston Bowl for Big Lebowski-themed shenanigans (costumes highly encouraged, dudes), an incredible closing night happening at the Lilypad, hosted by our favorite merchants of awful, The Whore Church, and complete with synth soundscape provided by Dust Witch, Antoni Maiovvi, and Timothy Fife. And, of course, more! Save up your stamina because we work hard and play harder on team BUFF.

Grab Festival Passes, only available through Kickstarter, until March 17th: bit.ly/KickstartBUFF19

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BOSTON UNDERGROUND FINAL WAVE

A DARK SONG – East Coast Premiere

Liam Gavin | Ireland | 2016

A determined young woman and a damaged occultist risk their lives and souls to perform a dangerous ritual that will grant them what they want.

A LIFE IN WAVES – East Coast Premiere

Brett Whitcomb | USA | 2017

This incredible documentary explores the even more incredible life and innovations of composer and electronic music pioneer, Suzanne Ciani. Join us for a Q&A with Suzanne & the filmmakers following the screening!

FRAUD – New England Premiere

Dean Fleischer-Camp | USA | 2016

A struggling family commits fraud in this contentious docu-ficto hybrid.

HIDDEN RESERVES – East Coast Premiere

Valentin Hitz | Austria/Germany/Switzerland | 2016

Where death with dignity comes at a premium, an insurance salesman turned narc must reevaluate his ideology when he falls for the rebel he’s assigned to entrap.

NEIGHBORHOOD FOOD DRIVE – East Coast Premiere

Jerzy Rose | USA | 2017

A group of awful idiots fail at throwing a party over and over.

SECRET SCREENING – Secret Premiere

Secret Director | Secret Country | Secret Year

One of the best genre films coming out this year.

SHE’S ALLERGIC TO CATS – New England Premiere

Michael Reich | USA | 2016

A dog groomer in Hollywood aspires to be more than a dog groomer in Hollywood.

SOUTHLAND TALES – Anniversary Screening

Richard Kelly | USA | 2006

During a three day heat wave just before a huge 4th of July celebration, an action star stricken with amnesia meets up with a porn star who is developing her own reality TV project, and a policeman who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.

BOSTON UNDERGROUND SHORTS LINEUP

Shorts Block DISORDERED STATES:

A TOWN CALLED THEOCRACY

Jehad Al-Kateeb, Syria/USA, 15 min.

Boy and girl meet cute through the magic of municipal overreach.

GUTS
Carrie Drzik, USA, 4 min.

The delightful tale about a plucky young heroine left to her own devices.

MARGINAL CIRCUS EMBASSY

Oliver Kowalczyk, Spain, 10 min.

We can’t always hide our anxiety and loneliness with costumed pool parties.

ISADORE

Brooke Paxton, Australia, 14 min.

A German Expressionist ode to pantomime and our desperate need to please another at our own expense.

YULETIDE

Marinah Janello, USA, 5 min.

Krampus can spy you. But that doesn’t mean you can spy on Krampus.

WALL

Giannis Vlahopolous, Greece, 14 min.

Those who control the money may also be controlling your outrage.

YOU CAN’T ESCAPE

Goirick Das, USA, 3 min.

Ding dong ditching—or the endless cycle of running from our fears and ourselves.

NO WAVE

Stephane Lapointe, Canada, 12 min.

After he hears a man scream within the calming sea of a relaxation radio station, sleep deprivation is the least of Henry’s problems.  

BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION

Tim Woodall, UK, 15 min.

The brief hijacking of a TV signal leads a lonely, grief-wracked video archivist onto an obsessive quest for meaning.

Comedy Shorts Block DON’T LOOK BACK INTO THE SUN:

DEATH METAL

Chris McInroy, USA, 5 min.

A metalhead gets passed down a satanic guitar that riffs to shreds.

CALLING IN DEMONS

Porcelain Dalya, USA, 8 min.

Instead of calling out of work sick, Daphne finds that she has demons in her home.

EULOGILIA

Alex Grossman, USA, 11 min.

After her bizarre addiction to eulogize is discovered, a troubled young woman fights to prove her sanity while attempting to survive group therapy.

EARWORM

Tara Price, USA, 5 min.

A lonely man does battle with a relentless piece of music.

IDIOMS ORIGINS ANOTHER TALE

Jim McDonough, USA, 6 min.

According to the legend, each and every idiom came to be after happening in real life. These stories have never been told. Until now

COMPUTER FIGHTERS

Kevin James & Neil Cicierega & Ryan Murphy, USA, 22 min.

When the local rich kid begins to hog a new groundbreaking video game at the arcade, it’s up to Ryan, Neil, and Kevin to stop him.

PET MONKEY

Eric Maira, USA, 8 min.

A date night turns ugly when a persistent boyfriend offers to buy his girlfriend a monkey.

STAYCATION

Zachary Fleming, USA, 12 min.

Rob just wants some quality alone time. So does the apartment he rented.

4D

Laurence Rosier Stanies, Australia, 7 min.

if the fourth dimension is time, what would a real 4D printer look like? A time machine? A black hole?

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

Mark Kuczewski, UK, 6 min.

One man’s quest to rekindle his love with his zombie bride.

TAMPOON

Jeanne Jo, USA, 7 min.

When Miranda makes bad decisions about her love life, a possessed tampon enters to take care of business.

CHICKEN TUESDAYS

Brandon Daley, USA, 10 min.

Will Gillman sets out to impress his date by bringing her to a chicken photography competition at a local bar. From the director of last year’s Savasana.

Animated Shorts Block GET THE BALANCE RIGHT:

THE PAST INSIDE THE PRESENT
James Siewert, USA, 12 min.

A couple replays the same encounter day after day.

ADAM

Veselin Efremov, Sweden, 6 min.

A criminal wakes to find he has been stripped of his body and placed into a machine.

MOLAR

Luke Liberty, USA, 2 min.

Strange things are afoot in the dark of the forest.

HOLD ME (CA CAW CA CAW)

Renee Zhan, USA, 11 min.

A bird and her boyfriend are seemingly happy until she wants more.

PANIC ATTACK!

Eileen O’Meara, USA, 3 min.

Maybe you did leave the coffee on; maybe your house plants are gaslighting you.

LILLY HITS THE ROAD

The Bum Family, Canada, 5 min.

An adventure of a 10 foot tall orange monster and her friend Fluffle.

ROGER BALLEN’S THEATRE OF APPARITIONS

Emma Calder & Ged Haney, UK, 5 min.
The theatre of the subconscious; sex and death cavort for the audience’s amusement.

THE GOLDEN CHAIN

Adebukola Bodunrin & Ezra Claytan Daniels, USA, 13 min.

On a distant space station, a scientist becomes obsessed with the pocket universe she is monitoring.

THE HISTORY OF MAGIC: ENSUEÑO

Jose Luis Gonzalez, USA, 5 min.

In a small Texas town, a teenage girl’s imagination transforms her bike ride home.

THE ITCHING

Dianne Bellino, USA, 15 min.

A wolf just wants to party with some bunnies, but there is something under her skin.

OPOLIS

John F. Quirk, USA, 3 min.

Lookout! Space alien Attack!

Midnight Shorts Block TRIGGER WARNING:

HELL FOLLOWS

Brian Harrison, Japan/USA, 11 min.

The soul of a sadistic killer posses the body of his identical twin, and is out for vengeance.

STUDDED NIGHTMARE

Jean Claude Leblanc, Canada, 9 min.

Can a man resist the pull of the suicide chair?

FOR A GOOD TIME CALL

Izzy Lee, USA, 12 min.

Maybe you shouldn’t.

MUTT

Bruce James, USA, 14 min.

Faith will do some crazy thing to you, down in the buckle of the bible belt.

MOUSE

Celine Held & Logan George, USA, 11 min.

Two cokeheads come up with an uniquely opportunistic way to stick it to the man. Held and George are a filmmaking duo to keep an eye on.

THE LOWER RACE

Graham Roberts, USA, 10 min.

In the near future, when our toxic earth is ruled by giant ants, one part-human warrior is all that stands against total Insecta domination.

FANGS & CLAWS 2
Francisco Lacerda, Portugal, 17 min.

Get ready for the trashiest sequel of the year!

PRINCESS

Jonty Williment-Knowles, USA, 5 min.

A troubling love story, told through a broken lens.

FUCKING FREAK

Salamo Manetti-Lax, USA, 15 min.

As an Alien walks the sun drenched landscape of Los Angeles, it encounters a slew of angry inhabitants mirroring various facets of LA society. A nice little message picture.

New England Horror Shorts Block HOMEGROWN HORROR:

LETTING

Hannah Neurotica, Vermont, 3 min.

A little girl’s nightmares manifest in her toy collection.

LOOKER

Diana Porter, Massachusetts, 10 min.

A scorned woman has a special plans for her lecherous harassers.  

FRACTAL

Anna Gravél, Maine, 14 min.

A woman’s return to her childhood home releases terrible memories.

STRANGE HARVEST

Stee McMorris, Massachusetts, 6 min.

A pair of strangers awaken to find themselves imprisoned in a bizarre alien goo.

THE DISSOLVING MAN

Ben Swicker, Massachusetts, 20 min.

An aimless young adult finds his life literally disintegrating before his eyes.

THE PRICE OF BONES

Brandon Taylor, Massachusetts, 10 min.

A pair of women go to disturbing lengths to achieve a socially-desired body type.

THE CALL OF CHARLIE

Nick Spooner, Rhode Island, 14 min.

A Lovecraftian creature makes things awkward for guests at a dinner party.

PEPPERCORN HEARTS

Christine Louise Marshall, Maine, 13 min.

A funeral holds more than sadness for the spurned mourners gathered there.

Shorts Playing with BUFF Features:

WALDEN PINK

Peter Bolte, USA, 11 min.

Walden sits on a park bench as an endless stream of religious proselytizers, process servers, and angry bartenders distract him from from finding peace and clarity to his repetitive and draining existence. From BUFF alum Peter Bolte (Dr. Sketchy’s) and starring David Yow of The Jesus Lizard.

HOME EDUCATION

Andrea Niada, United Kingdom, 25 min

A domineering mother and her inquisitive daughter engage in unusual acts of faith in an attempt to cajole an attic-bound pater familias back from the dead.

THE BRIDGE PARTNER

Gabriel Olson, USA, 14 min

A timid housewife is jolted into a fight for her survival or sanity by her new partner at a weekly bridge game when she thinks she hears a whispered threat.

FROM THE DIZZINESS OF FREEDOM: THE PHILOSOPHY VESSEL

Melissa Ferrari, USA, 8 min.

A visualization of the strategies people incorporate to find meaning in their lives inspired by the mythology and functions of mazes and labyrinths across history.

THE QUANTIFIED SELF

Gleb Osatinski, USA, 11 min

Lozinski, Clare and their daughters Daniela1 and Daniela2 prepare for the girls’ first trip to a The Pillar, which gives meaning to their highly ordered lives. But The Pillar takes and gives and when it blesses the family with a new addition, it takes from them in ways they can’t anticipate.

INK

Ashlea Wessel, Canada, 10 min

A traumatized woman seeks penance and personal transformation through tattooing after surviving a devastating pregnancy. One night, drenched in booze and ink, her deepest fears threaten to consume her.

THREE POINT DYNAMICS

Keaton Smith, USA, 15 min.

An alcoholic, theoretical physicist seeks to right the wrongs of his past by applying his unified theory to reality.

BYEFURNOW

Michael Elliott Dennis, USA, 17 min.

A bereaved pet owner, on the suggestion of a stranger in a bar, resorts to a mobile app to help him find closure.

AN ELDRITCH PLACE

Julien Jauniaux, Belgium, 17 min.

Terror grips a man keeping watch over an erratic researcher’s late night experiments.  

RITES OF VENGEANCE

Izzy Lee, USA, 5m

Nuns’ justice comes, their will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

TROLL: A SOUTHERN TALE

Marinah Janello, USA, 12 min.

An eccentric artist navigates self-expression through his experiences living and growing up in the South.

DISCONTINUITY

Lori Felker, USA, 15 min

When Tabitha moves back “home” to the house she shared with her long-distance boyfriend Stephen, their reunion is interrupted by communication problems, neighbors, and a clowder of cats.

BOSTON UNDERGROUND MUSIC VIDEOS

“Turbo Killer”

Carpenter Brut

Seth Ickerman

“Shooter”

Clipping.

Carlos Lopez Estrada

“Being”

Millington

Josh Thomas & Darcy Prendergast

“Father”

Rysy

Martyna Iwańska

“Ten Year Tenure”

Halfsour

Ariana Ratner

“Molly”

Palehound

Lara Jean Gallagher & Brian Kinkley

“No Reason”

Bonobo & Nick Murphy

Oscar Hudson

“Bury the Body”

Ruby Rose Fox

Ruby Rose Fox & Dave Brophy & Roger Metcalf

“Happy”

Mitski

Maegan Houang

“Good Earth”

Fawn

Ariana Anderson

“Nothing”

Tesla Boy

Ryan Patrick

“Roller”

Quilt

Adi Putra

“Ya Ya Ya”

You Won’t

Josh Arnoudse

“Big Dead Heart”

Eldridge Rodriguez

Pat Breen & Cameron Keiber

“Overcame the Sun”

Cloudy Busey

Julian Clark & Adam Hersko & Matt Twohig

“Dropped Bench Press”

Skinny Bones

Eli Susser

“Back Around, Devil”

Dessert

Alex Lill

“Black Man In A White World”

Michael Kiwanuka

Hiro Murai

“Lite Spots”

Kaytranada

Martin C. Pariseau

“Blood in Love”

Ruby Cube

Pierre Teulieres & Milo Gony

“Closer”

Lemaitre

Ewan Jones Morris & Casey Raymond

“I Wanna Prove To You”

Lemon Twigs

Nick Roney

The Cassette Chronicles – Eddie Money’s ‘Can’t Hold Back’

BY JAY ROBERTS (SPECIAL TO LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE)

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s that I have acquired through Purchase Street Records in New Bedford, MA.

The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from the 1980’s through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums.

These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

Eddie Money’s Can’t Hold Back (1986)

While classic rock radio will always keep “Two Tickets To Paradise” in their rotation when called upon to play an Eddie Money track, this album contains two more of his biggest hits in “Take Me Home Tonight (Be My Baby)”, the rocking track that features Ronnie Spector on guest vocals, and “I Wanna Go Back” which is a nice nod to nostalgia. That kind of struck me funny considering I’m listening to the full album for the first time as it has only recently had its own 30th anniversary.

The thing about this album is that despite containing two smash hits that the pop charts wholeheartedly embraced, there is nothing else really approaching the quality of either track throughout the rest of the album. I liked the song that opens up side two, “We Should Be Sleeping”, but that was mostly for the smoking guitar work in the song (particularly the solo on the outro).

While nothing is truly noteworthy for being bad, the album is top heavy with the hits and then just kind of meanders its way to the end. Pop music in the 1980’s had such a diverse roster of artists from various genres so you had to have radio friendly hits to make yourself heard in such a crowded field. However, it is very disappointing to me when an artist doesn’t back up those hits with some good old fashioned album tracks as well.

Notes of interest: Randy Jackson (now best known as a judge on American Idol) played bass on three tracks while Mr. Mister members Richard Page, Pat Mastelotto and Steve George pop up on the song “One Chance”.

19th Annual Boston Underground Film Festival Announces First Wave of Films

Cambridge, MA – The 19th annual Boston Underground Film Festival returns to Harvard Square to kick off New England’s spring festival season, bringing with it a smorgasbord of phantasmagoria, dark comedy, thrillers, killers, and chillers to the Brattle Theatre and Harvard Film Archive from March 22nd through the 26th. The 2017 schedule boasts an eclectic selection of weird, wonderful programming packed with flavors for cineastes of all tastes!

Bookending this year’s festival of sensory-melting bliss are 2016 TIFF Midnight Madness juggernaut Prevenge and ferocious feminist satire Bitch, on the heels of its 2017 Sundance world premiere. Veteran actress, co-writer of 2012’s Sightseers, and first-time director/writer/star Alice Lowe’s bloody British baby bump (off) slasher comedy Prevenge appropriately births BUFF’s five days of cinemania and cinemonstronsity when it splatters the Brattle Theatre screen Wednesday March 22nd, fresh from its SXSW 2017 screening.  And closing out this year’s filmic feast is filmmaking triple-threat director/writer/actor Marianna Palka’s delightfully disturbing dive into dissociative doggone delirium, Bitch.

Bubbling up from down-under, also coming to Boston fresh from SXSW 2017, is not-to-be-missed Aussie crime thriller Hounds of Love, a masterful feat of tension, terror, and restraint from Perth-based, wildly talented first-time feature filmmaker Ben Young. In stark contrast to some of BUFF’s darker fare, prepare to meet your new obsession with first-time filmmaker Bill Watterson’s Slamdance 2017 standout Dave Made a Maze, which will beguile and a-maze with its hilarious odyssey through one man’s intricately crafted, booby trapped, livingroom box fort labyrinth; awe-inspiring stop-motion animation and strong lulz await.

BUFF alum Steven Kostanski & co-directing partner Jeremy Gillespie, both of Astron-6 fame, are coming to Boston, bringing with them their moody, atmospheric, tentacular modern horror masterpiece The Void. Speaking of creatures, BUFF is beyond thrilled to welcome legendary creature creator and make-up effects maestro Gabe Bartalos, who will present his phantasmagorific nightmare Saint Bernard for the first time ever to a North American audience.

BUFF is psyched beyond belief to be hosting the East Coast premiere of 68 Kill from mad genius Trent Haaga, director of BUFF’s 2011 Director’s Choice Award-winner Chop and writer of  2013’s Cheap Thrills & 2008’s Deadgirl. Haaga’s highly anticipated punk rock heist film unites BUFF regulars AnnaLynne McCord & Matthew Gray Gubler in the ultimate highway to hell road film. Additional beloved BUFF alumni will be in attendance with fresh cuts this year, including multi-award-winning, Massachusetts-based horror filmmaker Skip Shea, who unveils his deeply personal first feature, Trinity, to a hometown audience.

As usual, we’ll have: Our kid-friendly annual Saturday Morning Cartoons program with cereal smorgasbord, programmed by renowned curator, author, and Monster Fest Festival Director Kier-La Janisse; a veritable bounty of shorts programming celebrating fantastic music videos, animation, transgressive horror; and more! So. Much. More!

Individual screening ticket prices vary and will be available online and at the Brattle Theatre box office on the day of screening. Festival passes, which include admission to all films and parties, are available at a significantly reduced rate through BUFF’s ongoing Kickstarter through March 17th. Passes, thereafter, will be available for $180 at www.bostonunderground.org/tickets.

Festival Passes & Ticket Package Presales are available through Kickstarter until March 17th: bit.ly/KickstartBUFF19

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BOSTON UNDERGROUND FIRST WAVE:

BITCH – East Coast Premiere

Marianna Palka | USA | 2017

Caged in the suburbs of our discontent, a woman (Marianna Palka) snaps and enters a fugue state, consumed by the psyche of a vicious dog. Her philandering, stay-at-work husband (Jason Ritter) must grudgingly assume the role of family caretaker, forcing him to engage with his four children and sister-in-law (Jaime King) as they attempt to strengthen their familial unit and entice mom back to reality. Marianna Palka writes, directs, and stars in her bitingly funny and profound fourth feature.

DAVE MADE A MAZE – East Coast Premiere

Bill Watterson | USA | 2017

Dave (Nick Thune) is an artist who has yet to complete anything of significance in his short career; out of frustration, he builds an elaborate box fort in his living room. When his girlfriend and friends (including Kirsten Vangsness, Adam Busch, and Meera Rohit Kumbhani) enter against his protests, he must save them all from a series of fantastical pitfalls, booby traps, and creatures of his own creation. Actor Bill Watterson writes and directs his hilarious and idiosyncratic first feature.

HOUNDS OF LOVE – East Coast Premiere

Ben Young | Australia | 2016

In Ben Young’s tense, chilling feature debut, 17-year-old Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple and held prisoner in their home. As she observes the volatile dynamic between her captors, she soon realizes the key to survival lies in driving a wedge between them.

PREVENGE – East Coast Premiere

Alice Lowe | UK | 2016

In her directorial debut, Alice Lowe (Sightseers, Hot Fuzz, Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place) writes, directs and stars in a pitch black comedic tale of vengeance about seven-months-pregnant Widow Ruth and the unborn serial killer that compels her on her homicidal rampage.

SAINT BERNARD – North American Premiere

Gabe Bartalos | USA/France | 2013

Prolific creature designer Gabe Bartalos (Brain Damage, Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, Gremlins 2, and the Leprechaun series) crafts a phantasmagoric vision of a classical music conductor descending into insanity with his sophomore feature. Seemingly vanished from a short-lived run on the festival circuit in 2014, BUFF is proud to give this must-see nightmare, and the visionary filmmaker who created it, a proper North American premiere.

68 KILL – East Coast Premiere

Trent Haaga | USA | 2017

Trent Haaga (writer of Deadgirl, Cheap Thrills) returns to the director’s chair following 2011’s Chop with a punk-rock after hours thriller about femininity, masculinity and the theft of $68,000. When Liza (AnnaLynne McCord) asks her boyfriend Chip (Matthew Gray Gubler) to help her rob her wealthy sugar daddy, he can’t say no. Once they step into the man’s home, Chip & Liza embark on a breakneck roadtrip to hell. Adapted from Bryan Smith’s 2013, no-holds-barred crime novel of the same name.

THE VOID – New England Premiere

Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski | Canada | 2016

ASTRON-6’s Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski return with a Carpenteresque saga of brutal, cosmic dread, packed with creatures straight out of hell. In the middle of a routine patrol, officer Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole) happens upon a blood-soaked figure limping down a deserted stretch of road in the middle of the night. When he rushes the young man to a nearby rural hospital, he finds that patients and personnel are transforming into something… inhuman. As the horror intensifies, Carter must lead the other survivors into the subterranean depths of the hospital in a desperate bid to save their lives and end the nightmare before it’s too late.

TRINITY – Boston Premiere

Skip Shea | USA | 2016

Award-winning Massachusetts-based filmmaker, writer, artist and actor Skip Shea brings to life a deeply personal and disturbing first feature based on the true story about a moment in the life of a clergy abuse survivor. While at a coffee shop, a man accidentally bumps into the priest who abused him when he was a child, triggering a surreal, PTSD-induced dissociative moment that sends him on a twisted journey through his past.

Sleeze Beez: Looking back 30 years later

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO & JAY KENNEY

Whether you called them glam bands or hair bands, this subgenre of heavy metal and hard rock music consists of big hair, tight pants, and nostalgic music. Glam bands played rock songs full of rage, sentiment, and electric chaos. The genre was pioneered by bands such as Mötley Crüe, Cinderella, Poison, Dokken, Ratt, and Bon Jovi and it thrived mostly in the mid-80s to early 90s until grunge came along.

Sleeze Beez is a glam metal band that formed in 1987. Originating in The Netherlands, the band’s classic lineup consisted of Chriz Van Jaarsveld, Jan Koster, Don Van Spall, Ed Jongsma, and Andrew Elt. They released four studio albums between 1987 and 1994. Their most popular being Screwed Blued & Tattooed which was released in 1990 and cracked the Billboard Top 200 albums chart on the strength of their single “Stranger Than Paradise” that was prominently featured on MTV.

Koster, one of the band’s founding members and dedicated drummer, struggled with a wrist injury for years and finally decided to give up playing in 1996. The band decided to call it quits after the release of their fourth studio album Insanity Beach, but reunited briefly in 2010 when they played two reunion shows.

On the eve of the band’s 30th anniversary in 2017, Limelight Magazine caught up with one of Sleeze Beez’s founding members and guitarist Chriz Van Jaarsveld who reflected on the band’s history.

Sleeze Beez drinking Grolsch (Dutch beer) in Panama City Beach​, Florida, in 1990. (PHOTO SUBMITTED BY CHRIZ VAN JAARSVELD)

LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE (LM): Sleeze Beez formed in 1987 and 2017 is your 30th anniversary. Although the band broke up in 1996 and reunited briefly in 2010, why do you feel that so many people are still interested in the band and your four studio albums? 

CHRIZ VAN JAARSVELD (CVJ): It’s great to see that our music is still alive at this day and age. Back in the day, we worked hard to get recognition and our input was relentless. We weren’t just a band, it was a way of life; non-stop dedication so I consider it rewarding and a compliment. It is great to know that our music lives on.

LM: Looking back on your nine years together from 1987 to 1996, what would have been the biggest highlight for the band and why? 

CVJ: I reckon that the biggest highlight for us was that we got signed by a major label (Atlantic Records) for a worldwide deal and got the opportunity to cross the Atlantic. When we started touring the U.S., “Stranger Than Paradise” was climbing the charts. The video clip was all over MTV and we easily adapted to the rockstar lifestyle. We took the stage by storm. It was great. It was what we wanted.

LM: After releasing your debut album, Sleeze Beez changed vocalists for their second album, Screwed, Blued & Tattooed. Why did you change vocalists and how did the addition of Andrew Elt provide stability and propel the band to more success? 

CVJ: It simply didn’t work out with the first singer. [There were] problems on a personal level and musical differences. The same old stuff. We brought in another singer, who filled the gap briefly but he actually couldn’t keep up with us. Round that time, I met Andrew at an “All Star” jam session organized by rock magazine Metal Hammer. Andrew and I shared the same bill. We actually didn’t gel that well because we both had similar ego’s [and] a certain attitude towards each other. (Later on, we became friends of course, brothers in arms). But, I acknowledged his qualities as a singer and performer and we unmistakably had some strong musical chemistry going on on stage, with mutual respect. So, when Sleeze Beez needed a new singer, I called Andrew up and asked him to come over to the studio. At first, he wasn’t that keen on it but when I went to a gig he did with his band and played him some of the stuff we’d been working on (I played him some tunes right there in the dressing room on a crappy cassette player under the noses of his fellow band mates who were not too pleased by that) he was instantly intrigued. When he came over to the studio, he was totally blown away by the new material. Jan, Ed, Don, and me were a solid unit already, ready to take on the world. Andrew was the last piece of the puzzle. From then on, we were ready for takeoff.

Sleeze Beez “Screwed Blued & Tattooed” charted on the Billboard Top 200 charts when it was released in 1990.

LM: In preparing for this interview, you mentioned that you listened to Screwed, Blued and Tattooed for the first time in years. That album charted in the U.S. on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. What can you objectively say about that album after so many years have passed? 

CVJ: I´m a bit of an “audiophile” and I got this great vintage amp recently. One night I listened to all kinds of music and when plowing through my CD collection I came across a copy of Screwed. For the first time in like 20 years I sat down and listened to the whole album. Objective, as if I heard it for the first time. It was quite an experience, really. I always only kept on hearing the flaws or parts that I found disturbing and could have been better (in my opinion). I’ve never been able to listen to it without analyzing (same goes for other albums we did or I’m on) but now I could really just sit down and enjoy the ride. I really enjoyed it actually, and I can imagine why it did for us what it did. There’s a great energy about it. Good tunes too. I actually played air guitar to it.

LM: You were also signed to a major label, Atlantic Records, for that album. How did you end up getting signed to them? 

CVJ: After Screwed, Blued & Tattooed was recorded, we knew we had something good. So we started “shopping” the album to get it noticed by the bigger labels. When we did, we realized that the rumor was going around already. People heard of us, talked about us, and were interested or eager even, also due to our live shows. We had several executives from big labels coming over to the Netherlands to meet up and negotiate a possible deal. When Atlantic made us an offer we couldn’t refuse, we finally closed the deal. Atlantic was a huge player in the market, of course, and had many of our own heroes under their wing so we considered it a great opportunity to sign with them.

Sleeze Beez in the studio during the recording of “Screwed, Blued & Tattooed” in 1989. (PHOTO SUBMITTED BY CHRIZ VAN JAARSVELD)

LM: On the strength of the hit single “Stranger Than Paradise,” from Screwed, Blued and Tattooed, the band did nearly 80 headline shows throughout the U.S. and Canada that year. What do you recall about that tour? Did you have any venues that stood out? 

CVJ: We actually did a bit more. We crammed a whole bunch of shows in a relatively short period of time. I recall that it was one wild ride. “Stranger Than Paradise” was climbing the charts and the video was all over MTV. (Click HERE to see the video). Good reviews in magazines and radio airplay. We got quite a decent fan base that started following us around. We lived the rockstar lifestyle to the brink and enjoyed every minute of it (and every aspect for that matter.) We crossed the US in a frenzy, and rock ‘n rolled from city to city and the names of the places and venues became a blur (just like that part in the Spinal Tap movie where the band doesn’t know where they are anymore, shouting “Hello Cleveland!” That happened to us too and a lot of the other stuff as well, by the way). Also, it’s been a while ago too, of course, we are talking the beginning of the 90’s here. We played most of the venues and clubs that were known around that time. It was a blast!

Sleeze Beez “Powertool” was their third studio album and last for Atlantic Records.

LM: According to the biography on your website, your third studio album, Powertool, took three years to complete due to continuous struggle between the band and the label. What were some of the difficulties with Atlantic Records that came about that you’re able to say after all these years? 

CVJ: We had most of the material for Powertool ready straight away, really. After Screwed, Blued and Tattooed, we continued writing and recording demos. The thing was that Atlantic felt that the music didn’t have the same output, the same vibe as Screwed had, so they tried to hook us up with other writers and a producer. They flew us to L.A. and stuck us somewhere in Hollywood to write new material but that did not work for us. Although we were willing to collaborate, we stood our ground at the same time. Eventually we ended up in England, where we finally recorded the album, with producer Gary Lyons. The sessions went really well and Powertool saw the light of day fairly quickly. The thing was, though, that the Seattle Grunge scene emerged and spread like wildfire, right around the time Powertool came out. The record companies considered grunge the next big thing so they didn’t put much effort in bands like us anymore. They signed The Stone Temple Pilots in our place and after some struggle with lawyers, we were released from further obligations. Powertool had been released too late. If it would have been released on schedule, things would have turned out different, I’m sure.

Sleeze Beez final studio album was the aggressive “Insanity Beach.”

LM: Sleeze Beez fourth studio album, Insanity Beach, is one that Limelight Magazine enjoys very much. This album is more aggressive and hard-edged than anything you did before. Why did you take this direction at the time? 

CVJ: It was just a natural course our music took. It was how we evolved. Maybe it was a sign of the times as well. There was a lot of tension in the band back then, which oozes through the music as well. Also, the production is more heavy, a fatter sound. It’s a bit more dark, compared to its predecessors but a fine album nevertheless. Glad you guys like it!

LM: Is it true that the band was planning to tour behind this album but disbanded before you could go on the road? 

CVJ: Yeah, we had a tour planned and everything. But the truth is that we weren’t the band we used to be anymore. We’d outgrown each other over time and the ranks got divided. We weren’t a unit anymore. When the mutual spark is gone, it is better to part ways. It was the best thing to do, also to the fans: it wouldn’t be sincere to continue. So, we decided to call it quits.

LM: A lot of founding band members today keep the name and add members and perform the songs they recorded with a new lineup. Was there ever any thought about putting a new band together with the name Sleeze Beez after the 1996 break up? 

CVJ: It has been asked or suggested a couple of times by managers and people out of the music biz but we’ve never considered it. It would be betrayal. Although we had our differences at the time we broke up, we came out stronger. We are like brothers. We would never do such a thing. Sleeze Beez would not be that same band without any of its original members. Replace one or leave one out and the chemistry and magic are gone. It’s the sum of the parts that make the difference.

Sleeze Beez reunited for the first time in many years in June 2010. Pictured above, they are about to enter the stage at the GelreDome in Arnhem, Netherlands. (PHOTO BY EDWIN VAN HOOF, SUBMITTED BY CHRIZ VAN JAARSVELD)

LM: Sleeze Beez reunited in 2010 & 2011 for two shows, including a slot opening for Aerosmith in the Netherlands. How did the reunion come about? 

CVJ: We were asked by a well-known Dutch agency to open for Aerosmith. They thought it would be a great event that way; The Beez reuniting on a bill like that. We actually liked the idea so we got together just for that event. Afterwards, we liked it so much that we decided to do one more gig at the legendary Paradiso in our hometown of Amsterdam – a farewell show as a closure that never happened back in the day. For the fans and for us, it was absolutely fabulous.

LM: How do you feel both reunion shows went? 

CVJ: It was great to hit the stage again together after all this time. When we got on stage at the Gelredome Stadium, we saw that the front rows were filled with Beez fans. It was amazing.

LM: Given that 2017 is Sleeze Beez 30th anniversary year, are there any plans to do another reunion? 

CVJ: Not at the moment but never say never…

LM: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? 

CVJ: Back in 1987, when Jan (Koster) and I started this band, we had actually only one song to our name; “Girls Girls, Nasty Nasty” and the record company wanted to sign us and give us studio time to record an album just on that one song only. Problem was we didn’t really have a band but we’d told the record company we did, to get a record deal. So, when we started recording the very first (and now obscure) Look Like Hell album, it was actually just the two of us, Jan and me, together with an engineer. We lived in the studio and we worked non-stop. We wrote a song in the morning, recorded it in the afternoon, and we did the mixing at night. Besides our own instruments we played all the instruments together. In the meantime, we got hooked up with a singer and in between recordings, we were frantically looking for a second guitarist and a bass player. We held auditions in the studio. When Don (Van Spall) came in and we jammed a bit, we knew he was the right guy for the job. He brought Ed (Jongsma) along, a solid bass player. We finished the last recordings with them. When the album was done, we had a band at the same time. That’s how it started and the rest is history.

Following our interview with Chriz Van Jaarsveld, we re-listened to Sleeze Beez four studio albums and put together our 10 favorite songs. We consider this an “essential playlist” of their music. If there were ever a compilation CD, we’d hope these tracks would make the cut.

“Damned If We Do, Damned If We Don’t” (Screwed Blued & Tattooed)

“Girls Girls, Nasty Nasty” (Look Like Hell)

“Raise A Little Hell” (Powertool)

“Rock In The Western World” (Screwed Blued & Tattooed)

“Save Myself” (Insanity Beach)

“Screwed Blue ‘N Tattooed” (Screwed Blued & Tattooed)

“Stranger Than Paradise” (Screwed Blued & Tattooed)

“Tell It To The Judge” (Insanity Beach)

“Warchild” (Look Like Hell)

“Watch That Video” (Powertool)

The Cassette Chronicles – Autograph’s ‘Sign In Please’

BY JAY ROBERTS (SPECIAL TO LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE)

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s that I have acquired through Purchase Street Records in New Bedford, MA.

The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from the 1980’s through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums.

These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

Autograph’s Sign In Please (1984)

“Day time, night time/Things go better with rock/I’m going 24 hours a day/I can’t seem to stop.”

For anyone listening to the radio in early 1985 when the Autograph song “Turn Up The Radio” gave the band their signature (and only) hit, that lyric was a great summing up of how it was to be a rock fan in the mid-1980’s. The song is still a hard rock anthem to this day.

As for the album the track was released on, Sign In Please had a few good companion songs but nothing that compared to the celebratory anthem that made the band so memorable today. The debut album’s 1980’s production decision to add keyboards to everything in an attempt to give songs a glossy sheen left the band sounding what is today described as an AOR sound as opposed to a straight up hard rock sound.

Sometimes that keyboard heavy sound works, such as with the track “Night Teen & Non Stop”, but for the most part it robbed songs of an edge that the material could’ve used. But when they weren’t overwhelmed by the keys, songs like “Deep End” really shined. And despite the impossibly cliched novelty song title and lyrics to “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend Isn’t Me” is a rather catchy rocker.

Steve Plunkett had a really cool voice with a full throated rasp that gave the band’s sound a little bit of roughness that didn’t get polished over. Unfortunately, the majority of the songs on the album just kind of fell flat.

As much as I enjoyed the big hit song when it was playing on the radio back in the day, the band quickly fell off my own personal radar after that. They didn’t have the staying power given the quickly growing slate of rock bands. But even with their status as a kind of one hit wonder band, you could do far worse than being remembered for “Turn Up The Radio”.

Notes of Interest: The band played 48 shows opening for Van Halen before they were even signed to a record label. They broke up in 1989 without ever really benefiting from the whole 80’s metal scene beyond “Turn Up The Radio.” However, guitarist Steve Lynch and bassist Randy Rand got the band back together in 2013. Steve Plunkett declined to take part in the reunion but gave his blessing as the band recruited a new singer and drummer.

Music and entertainment coverage since October 2006!