Monday, June 28, 2010

Great VHS Box Art pt.3 "Another State of Mind"

So, right about when I decided to feature VHS covers here on this blog some other guy comes out with a book doing the same thing, and it gets mixed reviews, and I get discouraged 'cuz I thought I had an original idea... then came the Intellivision project and summer. Anyhow, I knew I'd get back into it again when I found a good one, and Dude's book got dissed for not including so many great covers like this one, so as you can see, I just had post pics from the VHS box cover for the great punk rock doucmentary film "Another State of Mind"

That's an impossibly young Mike Ness sitting on the bumper of the same beat up school bus featured in the film, and a logo that screams Ralph Steadman. The whole thing could be designed by the guy, who knows? This is going back to 1983, when it would be possible for Steadman to still be working more commercially. Whoever it was, this image represents the classic hardcore punk graphic style, with stark black and white contrasts offset by (in this case, two) swatches of muted, primal color. The effect is an intensity level that is through the roof, even though the subject is in repose. It's so simple and effective, and it works every time. I can't be a dick and not post the back cover for you.

If you're an aging punk rock fan like myself, the film is like a time machine back to the early eighties. It's also a compelling story featuring some great performances and interviews, a ton of optimism, and a sadly unique philosophy on life. This hasn't resurfaced on DVD to my knowledge, so buy whatever format you can find it on.

Beer2-D2... The Future is NOW

This year's annual Kirby Derby in Raleigh, NC brought Star Wars fans a surprise as Beer2-D2 "rolled out the barrel" and treated fans and friends alike to delicious, and complimentary, Carolina Summer Wheat Ale.

The theme of the event this time out was "Kirby to the Future," so why make mobile kegerator in the likeness of a character from "A long time ago...?" As co-creator Tom Dowd puts it "R2-D2 is from a long time ago, Beer2-D2 is the future."

Dowd explains how the idea went from loving goof to full fledged Star Wars nerd scheme to get free beer. As the project neared completion he emailed The Carolina Brewing Co. with the subject line "Outreach" and asked if they would donate a barrel. They did, plus four more and some shirts. Success!

Doug Peterson, Beer2-D2, and Tom Dowd. These Star Wars fans "...are my kind of scum. Fearless and inventive."

There is no telling where and when Beer2-D2 will be called into action next!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Snapping Turtle

Cheyldra serpentina, the Common Snapping Turtle, as found in the Mid-Atlantic region. I was able to politely cajole this critter until it became irritated enough to get out from the middle of the road. He/ she was heading for the high ground either due to heavy rains or egg laying.

Most people never see one of these, and when they do, they take a photo like this...

That's fine, but you really don't get the sense urgency that was present while standing in the middle of the road. Now ol' MZ is some kind of woodsman or something, and this is not his first encounter with a snapper, so naturally he's going to photograph this turtle the Marvel way...

See how dynamic and engaging the second turtle is compared to the first? Aren't you rooting for this turtle to get the fuck out of the way already? The thing was approximately 15inches longs and rather nimble once it got going. A yuppie yelled at me to pick it up and carry it off the road, however there is no safe way to handle one of these without cruelty, so I declined. It crawled into the brush and disappeared.