Today I finished some mixes of recordings from Parts & Labour that have been piling up. Here’s the first 2 songs from the Victim Party’s set last Monday, June 24th. The songs are called “Rob Ford and Other Assholes” and “Hard Drugs”.
I also recorded myself playing Unchained Melody on piano this afternoon.
I started reading Trancendental Style In Film by Paul Schrader this weekend.
I’ve been a big fan of the movie Taxi Driver (which Schrader wrote the script for) since highschool, but only became aware of his body of work a few months ago. I’ve been slowly catching up on his films ever since. Once I’d read his Wikipedia entry I understood why I relate to certain aspects of Travis Bickle so much; because Travis Bickle came from the mind of Paul Schrader:
“Schrader was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Joan (née Fisher) and Charles A. Schrader, an executive. Schrader’s family practiced in the Calvinist Christian Reformed Church, and his early life was based upon the religion’s strict principles and parental education. He did not see a film until he was seventeen years old, and was able to sneak away from home. In an interview he stated that The Absent-Minded Professor was the first film he saw. In his own words, he was “very unimpressed” by it, while Wild in the Country, which he saw some time later, had quite some effect on him. Schrader refers his intellectual rather than emotional approach towards movies and movie making to his having no adolescent movie memories. Schrader received his BA from Calvin College, with a minor in Theology. He then earned an MA in Film Studies from the UCLA Film School graduate program.
I can relate to a lot of that, because I didn’t step foot in a movie theatre or go to a school dance until I was 16 years old, when I was able to sneak out of the house and lie about where I was going (though somehow I was allowed to attend and play punk shows at the Acapulco Delight when I was 15? WTF, that’s almost 20 years ago!). I’m fairly certain that growing up in a strict Calvinist-leaning religious home heavily contributed to my obsessions with music, media theory, entertainment and whatever other eccentricities I display in my adult life; one might even describe how I feel about music to be similar to religious devotion. To be fair, aside from the religious stuff I’m nearly 100% Scottish blood on both sides of the family, and it’s not uncommon for Scots to be artistically or intellectually gifted and simultaneously cursed with insanity / incredibly strong emotions. But hey, I come by it all honestly, and however it is that I got here, I’m here now…and I’m okay with that.
George C. Scott does a fine job of explaining Calvinism in Schrader’s 1979 movie Hardcore: