Sunday, October 14, 2007


Before I get to the big news:

Yesterday was a momentous day, though I'd forgotten:
Marge reminded me that it was precisely one year to the day yesterday that we first laid eyes on what is now our new home in Windsor, VT! Yep, one year ago yesterday, we first tapped a pair of local realtors to check out this place -- and now we live here.

Just FYI.

Now, on to the big news --


The band my son Daniel is part of is comin' to White River Junction!

Yep, Jeremy Latch, Sam Phillips and Daniel Bissette -- the threesome now known as "Mooneye" -- will be in White River Junction, VT's famed Main Street Museum (compliments of the amazing David Fairbanks Ford) tomorrow night, Tuesday, October 16 at 8 PM to open their ambitious October/November US tour.
  • Here's the scoop on the Main Street Museum, including contact info, schedule, link for directions, etc. -- see you there!
  • (For more on the Museum, click this link, too.)

  • Getting info on the Mooneye tour has been like pulling teeth, but I've got blood and molars on the carpet, so hopefully I'll know more in a day or two. Stay tuned, hopefully they'll be playing near you sometime soon.

    Can't wait to hear/see them play with my own ears/eyes -- I won't be missing a nanosecond!

    Mooneye has yet to record commercially in any venue, so I can't steer you to anything tangible/importable into your homes yet -- much as I ache for some for myself!

    However, Jeremy Latch has some music available on audiocassette now, though it's not listed on the Yeay! Cassettes website as yet --
  • nevertheless, go ahead and pay Yeay!'s site an immediate visit, tell the deadbeats to update ASAP, and place your order.

  • Here's how -- and I know Jeremy's tape exists, I've held the cassette in my own hand! You want to request Yeay 019, entitled Love Letters for Everybody, and you can order it for $7 postpaid (I think) from

    Yeay! Cassettes, PO Box 7, Turners Falls, MA. 01376.

  • To order, you just have to read this link's info first,
  • and then email to make sure my $7 price quote is correct -- PayPal is accepted, so don't let these necessary steps delay your ordering today!

  • Here's an archival post of a spring/summer 2007 performance of the band (in its earlier incarnation) --
  • Check out "Vipers in the Tires" by the Jeremy Latch Love Always Love Band, recorded June 13th, 2007 at the Brickhouse Community Resource Center, Turners Falls, MA -- the very performance CCS grad and Pizza Wizard creator Sam Gaskin saw/heard and wrote me about back in June.

    That's Dan on the left of the sidewise Brickhouse sign, playing bass. Circa June 2007, The Jeremy Latch Love Always Love Band featured Jeremy Latch (voice/guitar), Cory Bratton aka "Corey Mule" (drums), Sam Phillips (guitar), & Daniel Bissette aka "Pretty Danny" (bass). The YouTube video is described as a "lousy one take shot!," so keep your expectations in check, but it's a taste -- just a taste...

    And finally, a short bio of the Mooneye members, cobbled together by yours truly from scant info coaxed, at forkpoint over breakfast, by this wayward father:

    Jeremy Latch is from Turners Falls, MA, and Mooneye is the latest incarnation of Jeremy's The Love Always Love Band. He spreads music and joy everywhere he goes, including the bathroom. Jeremy (guitar, Casio keyboard, vocals) has written numerous songs and toured the US playing 'em, including "Spider Jones," "Mr. Whisperwalk," "Vipers in the Tires," "Alive and Dead," and more. As noted above,
  • Yeay! Cassettes has just issued Jeremy's solo audiocassette Love Letters for Everybody -- order Yeay 019, via this link and an email, per instructions.
  • Also note that Jeremy likes to skateboard and to draw graduated circles for hours, among other things.

    Sam Phillips (guitar, clarinet, vocals) is an artist/photographer and a native of Brattleboro, VT. He co-manages The Tinder Box on Elliott Street in Brattleboro, loves to skateboard and create music and forms, and struggles with what might be tendonitis.
  • Visit The Tinder Box venue on MySpace for more info, pix (including 'Zombie Tag') and insights -- here's the short form overview, folks:
  • "The Tinder Box is an art 'collective' with no collective organization, a music venue, and a lot of weirdos smoking cigarettes on some front steps.... Located on the third floor of 17 Elliot Street, it might be best described as a space for things to breathe--things that are too often suffocated and pushed out of a world geared towards money and the people who have it. We are motivated by a desire to create a place where rock shows, dance parties, and creation can exist for their own sakes. A large ballroom functions as an outlet for all kinds of public events, from bands to film screenings..." Kudos to Sam and his amigos for making this a happening place! Also note Sam's uncle, Bill Phillips, is the fellow who scripted feature films like John Carpenter's adaptation of Stephen King's Christine, There Goes the Neighborhood (which he also directed), The Beans of Egypt Maine aka Forbidden Choices, Fire With Fire, El Diablo, Rising Son, and many others.

    Daniel Bissette (drums, trombone, vocals) says his music is "fueled by the frustrations of growing up in America." He is a native Vermonter (born 1985) and has been drawing and making music of one kind or another (drums, guitar, etc.) most of his life. His art appears in an Italian book on director Lucio Fulci, onscreen in Lance Weiler's feature film Head Trauma (2006) on its companion alternative soundtrack CD Cursed, and his first self-published zine was Hot Chicks Take Huge Shits (2006). He currently lives in Brattleboro, VT and has a select but exquisite vinyl collection, and has steeped in Moondog, Harry Partch, Alejandro Jodorowsky, vintage jazz and various European traditional and folk musics. Dan and his dad Stephen R. Bissette jammed on a humor piece for the mini-comic Trees & Hills and Friends (2006) and “The Alphabet of Zombies” for the Accent UK anthology Zombies (May 2007). His mother Marlene O'Connor and his sister Maia Rose Bissette-O'Connor are also artists, whose paintings, drawings and photographs have been showcased in various Vermont and New England galleries.

    Please note: Many of the graphics on this post are, of course, compliments of the great George Melies.

    Have a Marvelous Monday, one and all,
    if that's in any way possible for ya...

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    Closeup Blog-A-Thon: The Necessary Entry --

  • Tim Lucas at Video Watchblog often indulges various movie-related 'blogathons,' in which many bloggers create a virtual-community event; the latest Tim is participating in is a "Closeup Blogathon," and his posts start here (and continue afterward),
  • springboarding from Matt Zoller Seitz's The House Next Door blog post, " The Eyes Have It: Close-Up Blog-a-thon, Oct. 12-21," which explains all.

  • I usually don't participate, but this one was irresistible -- because there is one film that forever altered my understanding of the human face in cinema; one film that forever changed the function and importance and language of the closeup for this (then teenage) viewer; one film --

    Sergio Leone's Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo/The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966; US release December 29, 1967, so I saw it in the fateful year of 1968, the year of 2001: A Space Odyssey and so much more) transformed what movies were, are and could be.

    From it's opening shot, in which a desolate western landscape was suddenly eclipsed by Albert Mulock's face, without a cut (Mulock loomed up into the frame from below, left, placing him between the viewer and the blistering vista), Leone's masterpiece literally transmuted landscape into face, face into landscape, as no previous film or filmmaker ever had.

    Was there ever a western hero -- excuse me, anti-hero; the "good" moniker is pointedly ironic in the context of Leone's moral universe -- who filled the screen the way Clint Eastwood did? To my impressionable 13-year-old eyes, there wasn't, and to my 52-year-old eyes, there hasn't been a contender since.

    Before Eastwood's Blondie (The Man With No Name, named at last, though he was of course dubbed "Joe" by the undertaker in A Fistful of Dollars) dominated the film, the first iconic face -- moving with unnerving feline grace from full-figure framing in a darkened doorway, stepping into that door frame and locking-and-loading the convoluted tale with his first interrogation (over a noisy meal of beans) of a very nervous fellow about one "Bill Carson" -- was none other than the man who shot The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Lee Van Cleef.

    Since that monster movie had been the first powerful movie experience of my childhood, my earliest movie memory, Van Cleef was already hard-wired into my brain. Seen in this new context (though I'd seen Van Cleef in many westerns as a boy, those had been experienced on TV -- and he'd never been engraved on my retina in the way Leone was doing so here), synapses fired and exploded in my head.

    This lean face, hawk-like nose and narrowed eyes were those of human raptor: "The Bad" indeed. I can hear the Ennio Morricone guitar riff in my head whenever I recall this image:

    But greatest of all, my all-time favorite character in any film from any era, was and remains Eli Wallach as Tuco, "The Ugly." If Blondie was what we wished we could be in a dog-eat-dog world, Tuco is what we know ourselves to be. He is everything we fear we appear to be, and know in our hearts we are, however hard we try to transcend this sweaty shell of meat we're locked into. Tuco is appetite, hunger, need, desire, avarice, greed, passion, impulse, that which drives us all, a survivor above all, scraping out whatever he can from the dirt and stupidity of others. Tuco is a ruthlessly Catholic vision of man -- Tuco crosses himself constantly, though he wallows in the mud and dust far from whatever image of God he harbors.

    I fell in love with Tuco, this feral mirror image of myself and every man I've ever known, and the love is undimmed from then to now, the fans flamed whenever I re-experience this most magnificent of all westerns.

    I could go on and on, but there's really nothing more to say. Leone says it all in the film -- see it, for the first time (oh, how I envy those of you in that place of cinematic virginity!) or again and again and again, as I have and do and will this week.

    There's nothing more to say, ah, but to show -- I must to share the final images of Leone's cast of characters, their final closeups. Morricone's blessed score -- amplifying the bird-call I once heard in New Mexico, outside of Cerillos, a cry I laughed aloud at in recognition -- shrieks anew in my head:





    Have a great Sunday, and safe drive back from SPX, all you CCSers -- hope you all did well and have many fond memories and great tales (and sales!) to share...

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