Monday, January 29, 2024

Psychobabble's Favorite (and Not So Favorite) Monkees Songs...161 of Them Ranked!

A list of The Monkees' best-loved songs will inevitably be a cartload of the obvious topped with the usual suspects. "Daydream Believer". "I'm a Believer". "Last Train to Believer". Etcetera. That is not what follows. 

The Monkees were the first band I fell in love with, but it was not the big hits that caught my attention. It was the group's pervasive weirdness, which tends to get steamrolled in discussions of how cute, sweet, bubblegum, and ersatz they were. If The Monkees were the unadventurous, pre-fab, teeny-bopper bait they'd been accused of being for much of their career, I would never have paid them much mind. But that image is bullshit, although it does seemingly hold true for some of the songs that appear down at the bottom of this list, which is limited to their first-phase work (I refuse to ever listen to Pool It, if only out of respect for the band). 

These are very personal choices, hence the title of this post, and I'll do my best to express my reasoning, which will likely cause Believers to smash a piano with a sledgehammer while Nes, dressed as Zappa, conducts.  

Here they come...

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Review: 'The Terror'/'The Little Shop of Horrors' Blu-ray

Jack Nicholson is a lieutenant in Napoleon’s army who tracks ghostly Sandra Knight to Boris Karloff’s decrepit castle. 

It took two writers to compose a script that clearly just instructed, “Jack walks down hall and opens door” for pages and pages on end. Roger Corman commissioned that script for no other reason than to get his every penny’s worth from the sets he used for The Raven and take advantage of the three extra days Karloff agreed to make himself available. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Review: 'Atlas Artist Edition No. 1, Featuring Joe Maneely'

Joe Maneely is not as well known as, say, Steve Ditko or Jack Davis among comics connoisseurs. He didn't get a chance to be. After ten years of work with Atlas Comics, Maneely died in an accident on a train at the age of 32. 

One cannot help but ponder what might have been when viewing one of the roughly 3,500 pages of artwork he produced in his brief career. 215 of them are anthologized in Atlas Artist Edition No. 1, Featuring Joe Maneely. He was apparently game for any assignment, working on sci-fi, horror, medieval, old-west, war, humor, romance, and (aging least successfully, of course) "yellow-peril" stories (a-hem).

Monday, January 22, 2024

12 Monkees Covers

I have a music project called The Space and spent the last couple of weeks recording a dozen Monkees covers. 

I posted them on YouTube here, or you can check out individual tracks with the following links:

Monday, January 1, 2024

Review: 'The Devil's Partner'/'Creature from the Haunted Sea' Blu-ray


In 1958, director Charles R. Rondeau followed up his first feature, The Littlest Hobo, with a low-budget horror/mystery picture in which a strange young man, who apparently can't sweat, drifts into a small town after his grubby Satanist uncle croaks. Soon various animals begin killing the locals while the nephew gets himself a sweet deal working at a gas station. 

No rational person would include The Devil's Partner on a list of classic horror movies, but it's reasonably well made with an effectively creepy lead performance from Ed Nelson (who most might remember from his regular role on Peyton Place, but those more likely to dig this flick will recall from the "Valley of the Shadow" episode of Twilight Zone), a tight little script, a fair dose of originality, and one genuinely creepily shot scene in which a horse stomps a rummy. 

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