Monday, August 29th, 2005
"Gimme Some Sugar, Baby"
Who doesn’t love Bruce Campbell? No one, that’s who. Me, I had a full-size theatrical Army Of Darkness on my wall for much of high school and university (instant campus cred, dontcha know). If he’s not your favourite chainsaw-handed S-Mart employee, he’s your favourite geriatric Elvis or your favourite futuristic Old West bounty hunter. But if he’s your favourite author, well, you should probably read more.
Make Love! The Bruce Campbell Way is Campbell’s second book, and the follow-up to his surprise bestselling autobiography, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions Of A B-Movie Actor. As you can probably tell, Campbell is perfectly happy with his place in the Hollywood firmament – a cult and pop culture hero who occasionally gets a taste of respectability via cameo roles and guest appearances. That duality is the launching point of his new book, wherein he takes a sort of Curb Your Enthusiasm fictional real world approach. In it, he gets the opportunity to leap from b-movie stardom to the a-list by getting cast in a Mike Nichols film with Richard Gere and Renee Zellweger, but for reasons both his fault and not, it begins sliding into b-movie-ness and general chaos.
The novel is a thoroughly lightweight tome and includes no shortage of not-terribly-proficient photoshopped illustrations of Campbell in various costumes and disguises to ostensibly enhance the reading experience. It doesn’t always work, but it doesn’t really detract either – it just reinforces the irreverent tone of the book. Overall, it’s pretty funny if patchy. The first third of the book is most satiric as Campbell tries to land the role in the film, the middle third consists of barely-related episodes wherein Campbell tries to research various facets of his character and the final act is all-out silliness, not unlike something you’d find in one of his films. I actually preferred the Hollywood insider stuff the best – it seems pretty ridiculous, but I suspect there’s more truth in there than anyone would care to admit. I will have to get a copy of his autobiography – I bet that’s even more fun than Make Love! was.
And while on the subject of books meeting movies, Comic Book Resources has a review of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s Mirrormask, which isn’t due for theatrical release until September 30. Sony is doing their bit to build anticipation for the film by offering up a few clips from the film as well as a few video interviews with Gaiman and McKean and a making-of scene that we can expect to see on the DVD whenever that’s released. And whilst on the topic of Mr Gaiman, there’s a preview of his next novel Anansi Boys on his website. The book is out September 20 and he’s in town doing the promotional/signing thing on October 8, location to be announced. Update: The Gaiman reading/signing will take place at the Bloor St United Church. Tickets are $15 and are available from The Learning Annex. There’s a limited number of tickets available for people who want to get stuff signed, so if you have to get your Death: The High Cost Of Living trade paperback autographed, get your ticket now.
The New Yorker goes record shopping with Richard Thompson. RT endorses Cyndi Lauper, recommends New Age music as a genre ripe for commercial exploitation and muses about meeting the Queen. Sadly, I’ve had to remove Thompson’s October 20 show at Trinity-St Paul’s from my calendar. Just way too much going on that month and it’s costing me way too much money.
Zoilus ponders the question of why pop music is treated as worthy of consideration by critics but pop literature is not? What makes The Beatles important but not Danielle Steel? Interesting debate ensues.
In addition to playing the Ear To the Ground fest on September 18, singer/violinist/whistler extraordinaire Andrew Bird will be back in town for a show at Revival on November 11 with Chicago’s Head Of Femur.
Toronto Life talks to Metric’s Emily Haines about life in Toronto, where her band has one sold-out and one-soon-to-be-sold-out show at the Phoenix on September 28 and 29. Their new album Live It Out is out on September 27 and Haines has a couple of solo albums in the pipe for next year. Link from Soaring With Eagles.
I’m looking at the list of winners from last night’s MTV Video Awards, and there’s what – five videos total collectively sweeping 20 or so categories? That’s pretty much MTV’s entire video rotation, isn’t it?
More vinyl purchased this weekend – really nice condition copies of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Springsteen’s The River. I think I’ll be hunting down all of Bowie’s essential 70s stuff on LP – I just hope I’m able to find as clean copies of everything else as I did for Ziggy. Oh, and is it true he’s going to be touring this Fall?
Dear New Orleans – good fucking luck.
np – Suede / Dog Man Star