Musings from the basement...

Here’s me being interviewed about GoodFellas and Raging Bull for TRT World’s Showcase

I recently sat down with TRT World, an international news outlet out of Turkey, to talk about two of Martin Scorsese’s landmark works, GoodFellas and Raging Bull as part of their Showcase series. Here is my interview: And here is the full episode, which is worth watching. They do a great job of diving into these topics: My book, The Films of Martin Scorsese: Gangsters, Greed, and Guilt, is due out September 20 of this year via Rowman & Littlefield. It is now available for pre-order. Learn more about it here.

Miles Davis, music, and toll of institutional racism

Miles Davis has been one of my favorite artists for close to 25 years. If I started going on about how his work has touched me, the scope of his influence, and the importance of his creative legacy, I’d be here all night. The act of expression through creation is sacred to me, and few exemplify this more powerfully than Miles Davis. Yet Youtuber Adam Neely makes an excellent point in the video below: A now infamous police brutality incident in 1959, just after the release of Davis’ masterful Kind of Blue album, almost robbed the world of 30 more years of groundbreaking music. It’s an unfortunate story all on its own, but it’s just one thread in a much larger tapestry. Miles was just…
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Sex, Saws, Stumps & Samara: Revisiting Fangoria 2005

This was originally published all the way back in 2005, at DVD in My Pants. The following version does not include all of the photos taken (by me!) for the piece. The formatting may be wonky, too. I’m posting it mostly to keep it alive online. Two days of axes, gore and bloody stumps might sound terrifying, but for fans of the horror genre, it was just what the (mad) doctor ordered on September 24 and 25 in Secaucus, New Jersey. For two days genre fans gnawed at Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors, where hundreds horror fans and a full slate of special guests offered up 48 hours of the mysterious, macabre and meaty. Read on as  launches the first in a month-long celebration of all things horror….
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There’s a Reason So Many Beers Are Named After Myths, Gods and Monsters

Originally published in the Philadelphia Weekly, May. 30, 2012, but long since taken offline (though available on the Internet Archive). So here it is in full. Drinking beer: It’s an act that transcends mere enjoyment, isn’t it? Throughout history, we’ve had an almost spiritual connection with our beer, one that leans toward the most fierce, primal part of who we are as human beings. Whereas wine is seen as civilized, refined, and at times erotic, beer conjures up something quite different—something wild, something untamed. In ancient days, triumphant warriors returned home from a day of plunder to down their ale while bragging of victory—intoxication swelling each boast into a bloated, fantastical account of deeds that defy human abilities. Small wonder, then, that so many modern…
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J.R.R. Tolkien, Hobbits, and BEER

Originally published on Celebrating the Suds, September 23, 2011 So, J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Yeah yeah yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “This is a beer blog. Why the hell are you posting about the dude who wrote about elves and hobbits and all that?” I’m doing it because Tolkien and beer go together like me and Kate Beckinsale. (Just go with me on this, please.) Tolkien loved his beer, something reflected in his fiction by way of the Hobbits’ passion for a pint and the way in which a good pub is shown to be central to finding true contentment. Throughout The Lord of the Rings, for example, Merry, Pippin and Sam are forever looking for…
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