I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx


by Kristen Bialik
April 14, 2017

Certain things will always be cool. A well-chosen pair of sunglasses, worn-out leather jackets, and drummers, just to name a few. But drummers are by far the coolest.

Though Louie Bellson-esque solos are rare today, drummers have made a place for themselves in our culture. Even Jeff Tweedy had to admit that if you’re by a river playing KISS songs in the summer, the chicks are gonna go for the drummer. But it hasn’t always been like that. There was a time when guitarists or brass players, with all their flashy mobility and melodies, kept the spotlight for themselves. Drummers had to carve out a place for themselves, and the beginnings and heights of jazz allowed them to do so. As musicians like Armstrong and Davis began toying with variation and soloist experimentation, drummers like Billy Rich and Gene Krupa were bringing style and mesmerizing technique to the rhythm section. They brought brought rhythm out of the background, blurring the traditional distinction between melody section and percussion section, and making jazz music one tumultuous...

Kristen Bialik is a writer, teacher and graduate student of Journalism and Mass Communication. In her spare time, she's a baker of pies and maker of stories.

by Network Awesome
April 14, 2017
Cameron Reed AKA Babe Rainbow tweeted about us one day and we had his first EP on Warp (and thought it was great) so we got back in touch with him in a jiffy (see, it's just that easy kids!). His curated episode of the Live Music Show is super interesting - just like his music. He found the not-so-discovered place between kick-ass brass bands and Minimalist composers. We caught up to him to get a lil more info, where's what he said:
1. Considering your own musical output I'm not surprised that your playlist is so varied, but I was surprised that you chose to start with the Southern University Marching Band's arrangement of "Stuntin Like My Daddy"! How'd you stumble across that one? 

I can't remember exactly. I think after hearing Hypnotic Brass Ensemble's cover of Outkast 'SpottieOttieDopaliscious' I just started searching for other brass covers. The energy in the video is...

Questions by Network Awesome writers and editors. We're a lot of fun - you can find us at apocalypse-themed parties, museums of science and industry, and snarky media-obsessed websites. 

by Thomas Michalski
April 14, 2017
It’s a simple truth that a piece of music’s commercial impact and its cultural importance are often two wildly divergent things. There are obvious exceptions to this rule; the oeuvres of the Beatles, Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin can clearly be pointed to both as artistic touchstones and heavy-duty unit-movers, but for the most part, real music heads couldn’t really give less of a shit whether an album turns gold, where it landed on the charts or how much it earned for some fat cat execs (and vice versa; those eyeing the bottom line can seldom be bothered with “art”). But as a student of music history, sometimes what ends up on wax and what ends up on the balance sheet intertwine to paint a picture of a particular moment in time that would otherwise be woefully incomplete, as in the case of Herbie Hancock’s 1973 masterpiece Head Hunters, which was recognized by the RIAA as the first Platinum-selling jazz album and by the Library of Congress as an aesthetically vital work worthy of preservation. But while Hancock’s name may be on the cover, it’s far from a solo effort; in fact, it’s rather doubtful the album would have reached the heights it did had Herb not had four incredibly talented musicians backing him up...
Thomas Michalski is a writer and radio host from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can keep up with his comings and goings over at http://www.voodooinspector.com/

by Kristen Bialik
April 13, 2017
Without knowing you at all, I can say that Fehérlófia is unlike any other movie you’ve seen. Sure, it’s animated. That’s familiar. And sure, there are some recognizable images. Like, in that the English title is “Son of the White Mare,” and there are both sons and white mares. In fact, the storyline itself is incredibly familiar, and in a way, almost universal. Based in ancient folklore, the story is culled from ancient tales of the Scythans, Huns, and Avars but it taps into a shared collection of stories around the world. Ones with kings, princesses, and dragons, epic challenges, numerical symbolism, and a hero’s journey. But like I said, it’s nothing like you’ve ever seen. In part because it’s in Hungarian and there are no subtitles. But mostly because of the colors (the glorious colors!). But more on that later...

Kristen Bialik is a writer, teacher and graduate student of Journalism and Mass Communication. In her spare time, she's a baker of pies and maker of stories.

by Johnathon Davis
April 10, 2017
When Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi/horror masterpiece Alien was unleashed to an unsuspecting public in 1979, production companies wanted their own similar feature to grab a piece of a lucrative new pie. Z-list movie companies were by far the most prolific and uninventive in this area. Inseminoid was unleashed upon the world with deservedly little fanfare in 1981, and hilariously is a Sir Run Run Shaw presentation- for any fans of Blade Runner, you probably remember his name on the Ladd Company logo at the beginning of the picture. Considering the budget of this movie was in the multi-hundreds, I’m pretty certain he had few problems finding the financing...
Johnathon lives in Portland, Oregon. He makes collages. He also writes things for Network Awesome, as well as his weekly movie review blog which can be found at http://fshomevideo.blogspot.com. You should read it, it's really terrific.