Tuesday, December 4, 2018

freakboy muses music: Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS


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A huge thanks to Gill Jacob of Realweegiemidget Reviews for inviting me to participate in her Regaling about Richard Burton Blogathon
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If you knew me in the 1990's, there is a real possibility you saw me on my knees rummaging through boxes of vinyl in search of Julie Brown's 1984 mini-album Goddess In Progress.  During that 7 year quest, (never call me a quitter),  I stumbled upon some unexpected gems.  

I was in a small, but groovy, mall music store in Kearney, Nebraska during the height of compact discs.  There I was, flipping through records, when a vibrant cover and a jaw-dropping title caught my eye.  While I was disappointed in not finding what I wanted, I was excited by finding Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS.  Good or bad, I knew I had to hear this 2-disc album.  


The unexpected surprises didn't stop with just finding the record.  I was stunned when I recognized an extremely recognizable name in the cast list.  Richard Burton.  I barely believed it until I dropped the needle on the spinning vinyl.  


Richard Burton's commanding, sophisticated, intelligent voice kicks off this tale of a 19th Century Martian invasion.  Burton portrays The Journalist and everything that occurs is seen through his eyes.  He keeps the listener enthralled during the excitement, tragedy and strange beauty within this unique version of H.G. Wells' classic novel. 


As for the music, it's more rock opera than traditional musical.  The songs convey the emotions of the characters and move the plot along.  A personal favorite is The Spirit of Man, where The Journalist meets a deranged parson and his wife.  It's a powerful song about the battle between giving up and remaining hopeful.  

The only negative aspect of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS is that Burton doesn't sing a single note.  Even with this deficiency, this 1978 album is definitely worth your time and attention.  If for no other reason than its a truly unique moment in the historic career of Richard Burton

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.

Freak Out,
JLH 

P.S.  A blogpost about my 7 year quest...

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

It's a day early, but...


I am thankful that what vision remains has remained stable over the last two years.

I am also thankful for the people in my online and offline life who encourage my creative endeavors.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving weekend, if you celebrate. 

Have a Happy Few Days, if you don't. 

Freak Out, 
JLH 

P.S. 


Friday, November 16, 2018

freakboy on film: A GHOST STORY

                        2017 
written & directed by David Lowery 





I'm waiting for someone. 













I could blog about how I had been wanting to see A GHOST STORY since last year.  I could carry on about how this beautiful, thought-provoking film was everything I wanted and a little more.  I could explain how the story takes the viewer to some unexpected places. 

I could blog about how strangely A GHOST STORY made me think of after death.  I could elaborate by saying that I hope the dead can't see or feel the pain left behind in their absence.  I could also go on to say that I hope we can't feel their pain because the living may not be the only ones in mourning. 

Instead, I want to blog about the odd thing which occurred while I was watching A GHOST STORY.  My sister and I were huddled around my tablet, quietly taking in the dream-like images before us.  My little, purple Bluetooth speaker was amplifying the phantasmagorical nature of this cinematic experience when the odd thing happened. 


Within the film, the ghost was having an emotional outburst, which caused the lights to burn brighter and books to be thrown from the shelves.  During this scene, the Bluetooth speaker started disconnecting and just as quickly reconnecting with my tablet.  The speaker's loud chime, indicating connection, binged four or five times in a row until I switched it and my tablet off and restarted the gadgets.  After that, everything ran smoothly and my sister and I experienced the rest of A GHOST STORY and thoroughly enjoyed it's haunting beauty. 

Afterwards we joked about the coincidence of the speaker acting up as the ghost was causing similar occurrences in the film.  I can't speak for my sister on this, but I fall into a grey area when it comes to supernatural and cryptozoology stuff.  I want to believe that Bigfoot is walking around isolated locations, that alien life forms are visiting Earth on a regular basis, that Nessie is lurking in a Scottish loch and that houses can be haunted.  Tragically, the multitude of ridiculous television programs centered on proving the paranormal has caused me to lean more towards the skeptical side.  

In other words, I really don't believe a ghost was responsible for the speaker glitch.  It was fun to acknowledge the spooky timing with the scenes on-screen, but I slept just fine that night.  However, if it was a ghost, then A GHOST STORY makes me wonder who exactly it was fiddling with my speaker. 


Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind film review.

Freak Out, 
JLH

P.S.  Here is a previous half-blind, supernatural film review...

Monday, November 5, 2018

The reasons why Rick's so-called final episode of The Walking Dead was...

L is for the lazy zombies that couldn't even catch a motionless rock. (Seriously, Rick should have never made it to the bridge)

A is for the assumption that Rick "Grimey" Grimes was actually going to die.  (I didn't get what I wanted for an early birthday present)

M is for the memory of the multiple reasons why I stopped watching The Walking Dead at the end of Season 5.  (Too many moments of characters in impossible situations not being bit or scratched by a zombie and my absolute loathing of Rick, for example) 

E is for the excruciatingly awful episode (Rick should've died), the excruciatingly ridiculous previews for the next few episodes (decaying zombies evolving...really?) and the excruciatingly painful talk of future limited series spin-offs & made for AMC movies. (For the love of George A. Romero, please STOP!!!)
🙄😑👎

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind rant.

Freak Out, 
JLH 

P.S. Here is a TV rant from last year...

Thursday, November 1, 2018

A Selfish November

These are the facts... 

November is my birthday month. 

My birthday, tragically, falls on Election Day. 

This is my second birthday since losing a chunk of my vision. 

I traditionally keep my birthday celebrations low-key. 

This is the promise...

I promise to do at least one nice thing for myself every single day in November.  

The nice thing might be as simple as listening to one of my favorite albums or watching a film I adore.  

Perhaps I'll take myself out to dinner at a special restaurant that I rarely visit.  

Maybe I'll splurge one day and purchase something slightly extravagant that I absolutely don't need but totally want. 

I may even do something I've been thinking about since April 2015.  I think it would be fun and awesome to order a copy of DARK EXCURSIONS and discreetly leave it behind at a restaurant or coffee shop or someplace.  In the fantasies of my delusional mind, someone finds my book, reads it, enjoys my emotionally damaged characters, and then passes it along to a like-minded friend. 

This is the first nice thing...

I started watching one of my favorite television series today. SWINGTOWN originally aired on CBS during the summer of 2008.  This series about young love and open marriage only lasted one season, but I've never stopped watching because I love the characters and how they change and grow throughout the 13 episodes. 

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words. 

Freak Out, 
JLH 

P.S. I briefly blogged about SWINGTOWN in December 2016...

Monday, October 29, 2018

Underneath my mind-skin... (a list that haunts me)


I've tried to write a few longer posts this month, but the words refuse to cooperate.  So here is a list of three pieces of entertainment that continue to haunt me long after I left the theater, switched off the television or turned the last page.  

1. THE EXORCIST (1971) 
The cinematic masterpiece seems like an amusement park funhouse after reading this psychologically dark and disturbing novel of demonic possession. 

2. CANDYMAN (1992) 
Guess who still can't look in a mirror and say his name five times. 

3. CHANNEL ZERO: CANDLE COVE (2016) 
I seriously enjoyed this television series about twins, creepy puppets and a small town harboring dark secrets, but I literally get chills when I think about its claustrophobic atmosphere or when I hear calliope music. 

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.

Freak Out, 
JLH 

P.S.  Oh, and have a Happy Halloween!  


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

My Parker Posey Library Meltdown

I cried last night.

I cried for what I've lost.

I cried for what I've gained.

I cried for the meltdown I experienced earlier that day, which left me feeling petty and childish.  

There are others with bigger problems than being half-blind.  I know this, but such knowledge doesn't restore my vision and erase my problems.  Yet, after crying myself out, I can find reasons to be grateful.

I am grateful for what sight remains in my eyes the color of dung.  

I am grateful for my Mad Scientist Glasses, which is the only reason I can type these words.  

I am grateful for my tablet, which can read me posts, tweets and e-books.  My world would be microscopic without this portable device. 

I'm grateful for the people who put up with my meltdowns.  Especially my sister Margaret.

My meltdown.

My gratitude.

Guess these two experiences comprise this emotional whiplash of a post. 

I rarely look at physical books anymore, unless I'm feeling particularly masochistic, but yesterday one caught my half-blind eyes.  

I couldn't quite make out the title but the author's name was so large that I was 90% certain I was seeing it correctly.  I slipped on my MSG and felt two distinct emotional responses.


Joy at seeing Parker Posey's autobiography.  She's been one of my favorite actresses since I first saw PARTY GIRL in 1996 and I never imagined the Broken Bow Public Library would actually get in her book. 

Sadness because the Broken Bow Public Library actually got in her book, but I couldn't read it.  As usual, when I'm feeling masochistic, I flip through pages, hoping somehow my eyes will magically be able to see through the haze and the grayness to the words just out of reach. 

I asked Kim, one of the groovy librarians, if she would please look up to see if Parker Posey's book was available as an e-book or audiobook from Nebraska Library Overdrive.  Yes, I could've sat down and searched on my tablet, but asking for help was quicker.  To absolutely no surprise on my part, it wasn't available, but I think I audibly sighed at the news.

I asked Joan, the groovy head librarian, if it was possible to suggest an e-book or audiobook to Nebraska Library Overdrive.  She said she could shoot an e-mail to the Library Commission, but there would be no guarantee.  I thanked her profusely and sat down in one of my favorite corners. 

I'm a cynical pessimist, or as I like to call myself, a realist.  I believed there was no way in indie cinema that a positive response would be e-mailed in return.  So, in my corner, all plugged into my tablet, which was plugged into the wall, I vented on Twitter. 

My venting was not about the library or Overdrive.  It was about my frustration and sadness at not being able to just walk across the room and read Parker Posey's book.  My situation was a special kind of torture and I was hating anyone who has their vision but wasn't using it to read books. 

I was so laser focused on my online bitching & whining that I didn't notice Joan approaching.  She said my name and I jumped out of my skin.  She apologized and gave me some news. 

Joan was about to e-mail the Library Commission but then she remembered something.  The Broken Bow Public Library had some credit with Nebraska Library Overdrive, so she purchased the e-book of "You're on an Airplane" by Parker Posey.  She explained that this e-book will only be available to readers who use Nebraska Library Overdrive through the Broken Bow Public Library.  


Yes, Joan essentially purchased the e-book so I could enjoy the words of one of my favorite actresses, though hopefully others borrow it.  Maybe it helps Joan is no stranger to the charm of Posey.  She enjoys Christopher Guest's films, which shows Joan has good cinematic taste and is awesome!

I hope it's clear why I cried last night.  This whole experience was extremely emotional and I'm not sure I handled it very well.  At least I didn't fling myself to the floor and throw a tantrum, even though I felt like it.  I internalized a lot and saved the rest for Twitter.  ;)

So, if you ever find yourself in Broken Bow, Nebraska, please consider swinging by, saying hi to the groovy librarians and experience the best damn library ever!  Don't be surprised if I'm hiding in a corner, absorbing everything going on around me.


Oh, as for Parker Posey's e-book...so far it's everything I was hoping for.  I just close my half-blind eyes and imagine Posey's distinct voice instead of my tablet's male, U.K. English, computer voice. 

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.

Freak Out, 
JLH

P.S. An old blogpost all about my admiration of Parker Posey...