Basement Party 2

Basement Party 2

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Slash Pack

Last weekend I watched "Scream 3." I don't think I had seen it since I saw it in the theater in February 2000. Then last night I watched "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" (which has to be one of the more clever names for a sequel I have ever seen). Why the sudden nostalgia for those turn-of-themillennial slasher pics? I don't know...I found "Scream 3" on my Netflix Instant Queue and was in the mood for some horror last Friday after watching "Texas Chainsaw 3D." As for "I Still Know," I found a copy of that for dirt cheap on vhs and picked it up a while back.

Watching those flicks certainly brought back memories of those times...I was in my first 2 years at Western Michigan University when they both came out. Those were interesting times for slasher pics, as they had been enjoying a new renaissance after the success of "Scream" in 1996-1997. "Scream" showed that smart writing, clever dialogue, a reverence for the classic horror films of history, and a young, hip cast of already established actors could be a formula for success.

Anyone remember how dead the horror film genre was by that point? The iconic slasher franchises from the '80s had died sputtering deaths, with 1995's edited-to-the-point of incomprehensibility "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers" being the most egregious of the bunch.

Oh yeah, and Paul Rudd was in it.
"Scream" led to "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Scream 2," "Urban Legend," "I Still Know," and even a revival of the Halloween franchise in the form of "Halloween: H20," where the "Scream Queen" herself (Jamie Lee Curtis) got to pass the torch to a new generation of nubile chickies.

But, like the snake that eats its' own tail, this resurgence in horror soon began to cannibalize itself, and the genre again sputtered out. What was the last movie to be considered a part of this movement? It's hard to say, but I think 2002's "Halloween: Resurrection" may have been it. It featured the young hip cast and dialogue, but it all seemed so stale by this point. So, once again, Halloween killed the horror genre...for a time.

The rest of the 2000s were filled with reboots of old franchises and "torture porn," but that is a blog post for another day. The actors and actresses from the millennial era of horror went on to varying degrees of success after their respective franchises ended, but in their prime they were the bee's knees to fans. They almost comprised what could be referred to as "the slash pack," not unlike the '80s brat pack: Freddie Prinze Jr., Joshua Jackson, Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Liev Schrieber, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Michelle Williams, Josh Hartnett...they were all featured in the movies I mentioned.

And how many of those movies had posters that looked like some variation of this? All of them.

And let's not forget the music on the soundtracks! Well, some of it was very forgettable, and it was definitely of the times. Such bands as Creed had songs featured in some of the movies I mentioned. Maybe you remember this angst-ridden, epic, toe-tapper from "Scream 3?"

Oh yeah, one thing "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" reminded me of was my incredible crush on actress Jennifer Love Hewitt. *Sigh*

You're still the one baby.

I'm a little short on topics of randomness, but one thing I heard this week that I really dug in the music world were the new tracks by ex-Metallica bass player Jason Newsted's new project, dubbed "Newsted." His band is a three-piece with him on bass/vocals and two guys I've never heard of on guitar and drums. Check it out, it has a distinct retro '80s thrash sound to it. Is this what Metallica could have sounded like if they didn't turn into humongous massive douches in the mid '90s? Perhaps.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Dawn of a New Age

Hey gang, how goes it? I hope everyone had spectacularly kick ass holidays, I know I did. I didn't have as much time off as I would have liked, but that comes with having a new job where you don't have the necessary time off accrued.

So far 2013 has been pretty kick ass. I can't help feeling that there is a different vibe in the air in terms of how people are feeling and doing. It's hard to pinpoint when it started...maybe after the election? But anyway, it's something not only I have noticed but others too. The Canadian Belle works as a cashier at a big box supercenter-type store and she observed that people were being nicer to each other over the holiday season. My mom had a similar observation herself when she was out shopping...people were being more polite to each other than normal.

Maybe these are isolated incidents but I don't mom's theory is that everyone was so happy the world didn't end on December 21 that they're now acting like better people. This theory may have some merit. The Canadian Belle informed me of some astrological info, saying that this is now another Age of Aquarius, and could account for changing attitudes. Maybe. All I know is something is going on, and good things have been happening to me for the last few months. As you know, I recently got a new job with higher pay (I was hired on election night). When my car broke down for good a few weeks later, a friend informed me he was getting a new car and I could buy his. The timing worked out great! Since I'm making more money, I'm paying off more debt, which is of course awesome. More money means more potential to do awesome stuff, and buy sweet collectibles (although I have kept that under control...for now).

And one more thing...some of you may not know this, but I have an 11 year old son from a previous relationship. He lives with his mom in Tennessee so I don't get to see him as often as I would like. Well, after years of not being able to stand being in the presence of each other, his mom and I formally buried the hatchet a week ago and have opened up all lines of communication (instead of using the little guy as the go-between). Now, you could say, "Well, JEP, maybe things are just going your way for once. It doesn't mean there has been a paradigm shift for how society acts." To this I would have to say, "If my ex can extend an olive branch, I KNOW something is up with the world!"

                                           Take it away, cast of "The 40 Year Old Virgin!" 

                                                     Harmony and understanding
                                                   Sympathy and trust abounding
                                                  No more falsehoods or derisions
                                                   Golden living dreams of visions
                                                        Mystic crystal revelation
                                                   And the mind's true liberation
                                                          Aquarius! Aquarius!

Anyway, things are just ducky in my world. I hope you all are feeling the same...and now, what you've been waiting for...RANDOM RAMBLINGS!

In my last post I mentioned buying a handful of cassettes. I have been busy listening to them, and one thing that has sucked is the quality of some of them has been lacking. I know it's a crap shoot when you buy stuff from thirft stores, and it's not like I'm out a lot of money, but it is disappointing when you wanna rock to something and it doesn't work. The Bryan Adams tape I bought was very hissy sounding, so I had to toss it. I kept the little liner notes though and hung them up in my basement cavern, so it wasn't a total loss. The Al Corley tape had a problem when I tried rewinding would not rewind past a certain point on the tape. Weird. I kept that one though, for it's pop culture schlock value. 

So far, the tape I have enjoyed the most was Winger's debut album. First off, I love this album cover. It might as well say in neon, "This came out in 1988!"
My friend John would describe this as "artwork you would expect to see in an '80s dentist office."

Most people would disregard this as pop-metal drivel, but these guys were talented. Allmusic gave this album 4.5/5, and they're a record reviewing web site that usually knows what they're talking about. They had this to say about them:

"Since Winger was marketed largely on the looks of lead singer Kip Winger, and since their sleazy rockers and lovelorn ballads cover the same old pop-metal territory, the band's high-quality musicianship tended to get overlooked. Guitarist Reb Beach earned wide praise from other musicians, and he, ex-Dixie Dregs drummer Rod Morgensten, and keyboardist Paul Taylor, bring a distinct progressive metal influence to many of the tunes on Winger. Even if the lyrics are standard issue, the album is impeccably composed, crafted, and played, with melodies, riffs, and guitar solos taking off in unexpected directions and keeping the listener slightly off balance -- no easy task in the cookie-cutter hair metal genre."

Little known fact: Reb Beach formed a band with King's X front-man Doug Pinnick called the Mob. They had only had one album, which was released in 2005.

Looks like Stewart was ahead of his time.

Staying with the topic of music, one of the awesome gifts the Canadian Belle bestowed upon me for Christmas was the autobiography of Gregg Allman which came out this past year, titled "My Cross to Bear." I'm about 1/4 of the way through it and it is a good read so far. I love Gregg's writing style; like Ozzy's autobiography, he writes the way he speaks. A lot of sentences end with words like "man,"or "brother." It almost creates the illusion that he is having a conversation with you. I have read some great stories in this book so far, one of which is when Gregg met the Doors. My favorite part of the book though was the story of how he shot himself in the foot to get out of the draft. Now that shit is hardcore!
I'm looking forward to reading about his short-lived marriage to Cher. I'm sure there were some fireworks involved in that relationship!
You know what old school character actor I like? George Kennedy. He's been appearing in season 12 episodes of "Dallas" I have been watching lately as Carter McKay, and I enjoyed his airline trouble-shooter character Joe Patroni in the "Airport" series of movies from the '70s. You may also remember him from "Creepshow 2" and "The Naked Gun" movies. He carried a certain gravitas, and his presence dominated any scene he was in. His booming voice commanded repsect. And he had bad breath.
I first recall seeing him in the '90s doing commercials for "Breath Assure." He never went anywhere without it!

On Friday I saw "Texas Chainsaw 3D" with my buddy Shane from high school. We're big horror buffs, and spent many hours watching the various '80s slasher franchises and cult classics of the '70s back in the day. It was a pretty decent flick overall. The best thing about it was how it picks up right at the ending of the original one from 1973, after a montage of clips from that film...I felt myself smiling a Jack Nicholson-size grin when that part came on! Bill Moseley (who played "Chop Top" in 1986's "Texas Chansaw Massacre 2") returns to the franchise as Drayton Sawyer, a part originally played by the late Jim Siedow. He may not look exactly like Jim, but he sure has the voice down!

Once it flashes forward to the present it becomes your generic hack-up-slut-fest, and it has a wonky timeline, but it did have some sweet gory parts. It looks like the 2003 reboot will only consist of the two movies that came out in that franchise, as it appears they're going back to the beginning and negating the other sequels in the original franchise (part 2, "Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3," and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation"- the less said about the last one, the better). If horror is your thing, it's worth checking out. It had some sweet 3D effects too (I flinched when Leatherface threw a chainsaw in my direction)!

My favorite song (this week). "Twilight World" by Swing Out Sister

I remember this song from when I was a kid, but never knew the name of the artist. I recall one of their other big hits, "Break Out," but I thought that was their only hit. They had one more big success in the early '90s with a cover of the Dusty Springfield track "Am I the Same Girl?"

No, I'm not gay, but I do enjoy '80s sophisti-pop music, a genre of music that includes such bands as Level 42 and ABC. I really like singer Corinne Drewery's voice...she has a certain Annie Lenox quality at times. Plus she's hot. I know it sounds like something you might hear in a dentist's office, but like I said before, my taste in music goes against the grain.

And speaking of dentist's offices, remember earlier when I mentioned how some album artwork from the '80s looks like it belongs in a dentist office? Here's another classic example:
This album by Rush came out in 1989. I remember seeing it at a record store 4 years later and thinking how dated looking it was. Talk about a short shelf life!

Well, that's all I have for this week. You all be sure to come back to hang real soon alright?

Cuz when you get your friends together, there's never a dull moment in the basement.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Post-Apocalypse Post

So the world didn't end the other day, and I'm rather happy about that. Earlier this week though I was almost happy with the idea, due to everything that went down in Connecticut last week. I was about ready for the Lord to smite the Earth with a flaming sword. Sometimes man's inhumanity against man get me a little down.

But anyway, this is not the forum for such downer topics. We're here to talk about cool stuff. First on the docket:

Random Rambling!
Maybe it's just me, but doesn't the latest Kid Rock tune sound like Aerosmith?

Random Rambling!
This past week was the 14th anniversary of the passing of Chris Farley. I remember hearing about it when it happened and not feeling too surprised. He made no secret of his appreciation for the late comedian John Belushi, and he ended up following in his footsteps, doing rails of coke and acting like a loud wild man. I miss his work though, that guy could get me laughing like no other. This is one of his funniest moments...

Random Rambling!
Today is the 10 year anniversary of the passing of Joe Strummer, guitarist and singer for The Clash. They put out some amazing music in their short career. This song is one of my favorites:

Random Rambling!
My new favorite song (this week) is "Hot Love" by Aldo Nova. It is a prime example of your typical hard rock/AOR single from the early '80s. Aldo's one big song was "Fantasy," which I love, but this also has the tendency to get stuck in my head. Whenever I hear it I'm reminded of when I lived in Kalamazoo, as it used to be played on my all time favorite radio station out there, 92.5 WZUU.

The ZUU was the only hard rock/classic rock station I've heard that played such early '80s obscurities, deep cuts, and forgotten relics of denim jackets passed. I listened to it recently when I was driving through the area and it seems to have gone to the more traditional classic rock format, spinning the typical overplayed Bob Seger and AC/DC tunes that every other classic rock station plays. Kind of sad. But I's the tune:

Random Rambling!
On the eve of the apocalypse I ran to the drug store down the block and on the way back I heard the Prince song "1999." I really dig that song, and it seemed to be an appropriate choice for that radio station to play, as some people may have been partying hard due to the imminent end of the world. It also reminded me of what I was doing at the stroke of midnight, 1999.

I was a Freshman at Western Michigan that year, and was back home for holiday break. I had gone to a couple parties with my buddy Joe that night, the first one was at the house of one of my sister's friends while the second one was with some old buddies Joe and I graduated with. I got pretty loaded at the first one and  on the way to the second one I puked in Joe's car with my head hanging half out the window while we went down the road at 45 mph.

We got to the second party with me feeling a whole lot better but unfortunately there was some drama going down. One of our buddies got black-out drunk and started throwing punches so the rest of the dudes locked him in a room. One guy we knew sat on the couch blubbering about it, saying "I can't believe he did that!" Lame. Joe and I decided to split after 20 minutes of having to listen to this guy cry and hearing the occasional thud of a drunken fist hitting a door. By this point it was 11:40PM-ish, and my parent's house was about 20 minutes away

As we pulled in the driveway a robotic sounding voice came on the radio that said "It is now 12:00AM, Eastern Standard Time." And what song did they play? "1999." It's a moment in history I won't ever forget. So what did I end up doing the rest of the night? Well, we went to a third party where I saw a friend named Mandy who I ended up bringing back to my parents hot tub. It was a fun night, and one of those magical evenings where the stars align to provide a time that can only happen when we're young and have our whole lives ahead of us.

Random Rambling!
I got out of work early this past Friday and went on an impromptu thrift store spree. I found something that I have been wanting for a long time: one of those nylon/snap button jackets, with the stretchy cuffs. It kind of looks like this:

How much did I spend? $3.50. Now I can walk around and pretend it's 1981 and do my best impression of Carmine Ragusa from "Laverne and Shirley." You all remember him right? If not, here's a pic of him with the Fonz and the "Happy Days" gang on one of the many crossover episodes they had with their spin-off:
Actually, this is me and my buddies back in high school. Those were happy days.

Oh yeah, have you seen Eddie Mekka (the actor who played Carmine) lately? Yikes!

Back to my thrift store purchases...I also picked up 3 old VHS tapes, and they were all good flicks: "Taxi Driver," "The Shining," and "The Good Son" (featuring Macaulay Culkin as a pre-teen psychopath). In addition, I also picked up 8 cassette tapes (I just bought a car that only has a cassette player so I'm trying to stock up on cheap tunes). Here's the list:

-Bryan Adams: Reckless - "Run to You" is a good jam.

-Asia: Asia. I own this on vinyl but it never hurts to have a back-up. This band is despised by most of the rock intelligentsia but I dig them a lot. It's just progressive rock merged with arena rock. And I like it!

-REM: Life's Rich Pageant - I dig on '80s college rock and I knew the Canadian Belle would dig it too.

 -Rush: Moving Pictures. Essential for any classic rock collection. "Tom Sawyer" may be overplayed, but the musicianship never ceases to amaze me each time I hear it. My favorite track on it though is "Limelight."

-Stevie Wonder: Songs In the Key of Life - Probably his masterpiece, I love the song "Sir Duke."

Van Halen: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge - Yes, I know, this is an album by "Van Hagar," but seeing as how I'm a fan of Asia you've probably realized I go against the grain when it comes to music (as in, I like a lot of stuff that most people don't). I grew up with this version of the band, so I can't help but dig it. Plus I like Sammy as a solo artist...he seems like a guy who just wants to have fun. I will admit the title is kinda lame though (the abbreviation for it is a CUSS WORD OOOOH!). Fave track is this one:

Winger: Winger - Like I said, I like a lot of stuff that most people don't (Beavis and Butthead in particular liked to slag this band a lot back in the day). Their guitarist is a monster though, and they wrote some fun party music. My favorite track from this album may be the all time best power ballad of the '80s...I had a buddy from Kalamazoo tell me recently that whenever he hears this song he is reminded of parties I used to throw in my garage, where '80s hard rock was always the soundtrack to good times. I consider that high praise:

And last but not least,

Al Corley: Riot In Color - You're probably thinking, who? Go ahead, google his name...yes, he was an actor who played John Forsythe's son on the '80s primetime soap opera "Dynasty." I haven't listened to it yet, but the main reason I got it is because it is the type of obscure pop culture collectible I just can't pass up...especially for 25 cents.

Before I go, I would like to give a shout out to my music soul brother Ben, who recently started a blog of his own called Washed Up Sounds. His knowledge of music, particularly old '60s and '70s obscurities, psychedelia, and garage rock, rivals mine. Whenever we get together we have the best convos about our favorite bands. Check it out, I'm sure you will find something you will enjoy.

I also recently came across a Tumblr blog that features pictures of gorgeous, all natural women from the 1940s to the 1980s. Check it out, and be prepared for some NSFW work pics of beautiful ladies. Here's the addy:

We had fun this week, didn't we boys and girls? I will see you on the flip side.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

At last...the long awaited return of greatness

So maybe you noticed I haven't had a blog post in...oh...6 months. Sorry about that. I kind of developed writer's block back around that time, and then got distracted by my new TV. It's not like I was lacking for free time either in the past half year...I ended up losing my job in late July and I was unemployed for 3.5 months.

And how was unemployment you ask? Actually, it was pretty awesome. I received my unemployment compensation as part of the 47% of scum bags Gov. Romney said were in this country and enjoyed myself. I visited family, read comics, watched horror movies, stayed up all hours of the night listening to Coast to Coast Am, and immersed myself into the world of "Dallas." My Canadian Belle and I were in the middle of season 3 when I lost my job and just last night we started season 12. What a wild ride it has been!

At any rate, I got a new, even better job in mid November, and things have been looking up for this basement dweller. At a work meeting this past week I became inspired to blog again and began jotting down ideas. I plan on tinkering with the format a little bit, and abandoning some of my former semi-regular features. You can expect at least a weekly post full of what I like to call "Random Ramblings." They're basically little bite-sized, easily digestible pellets of info about whatever I'm into that week, along with whatever happens to be on my mind at that time. I hope you all enjoy.


Random Rambling!
One cool thing I did on my hiatus from blogging was get together with a bunch of old college buddies to see the Beach Boys reunion tour for their 50th anniversary show at DTE Energy Theater in Clarkston, MI in late June. They put on one hell of a show, full of deep cuts and songs you never imagined you would hear live.
They're voices and harmonies shimmered with beauty, and their back up band and singers were top notch.

Here's a picture of the motley crew assembled for this historic occasion...all of us hadn't been together in the same space at the same time for 9 years. (That's me in the middle wearing the orange t-shirt. It's probably too hard to tell, but it says "Beacon Town Beavers 1985 District Champs." And what movie could that refer to?) You might recognize two of the guys (plaid shirt and bearded bro), they were featured in my blog post about my trip to the Motor City Comic Con back in May. Also, two very good friends drove up from Atlanta...the bald fellow on the left and his beautiful girlfriend. This bald gentleman has a blog I know I have mentioned before which you should check out (especially if you're a metal head). It's called  The Vintage Warrior
Drunkards Assemble!

Here's another picture from before the show of my lovely Canadian Belle wearing a vintage (from 1987) Beach Boys t shirt I found for her on Ebay!
Don't mess with her...she's on the Surf Patrol (with requisite aviator sunglasses).

Random Rambling!
I had an awesome Halloween. I went as Mike Nesmith from the Monkees and I got a lot of compliments on the costume...everyone said I looked just like him. The only thing I bought was the hat. Here's a pic:
Mike played drums instead of guitar that night!
The party was in Kalamazoo at the home of the bass player in my old band Fretbusters, Jesse. The Fretbusters had their second annual Halloween reunion that night. Sadly I have no video of us performing. Here's a pic of Jesse's sister Gail and myself on vocals as we did our best Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks impressions:
"You can go your own way!!!!!" (The cat-like Canadian Belle is behind us, and Gail's husband Herman Munster is on the left).

Random Rambling!
This next bit is not exactly retro related, but I thought it was interesting. On the day I was let go from my previous position, I also let my cell phone carrier contract expire. I had been with the same company for almost 10 years and decided enough was enough. I felt I was spending way more money than I should be. I signed up with Metro PCS and got a generic looking Blackberry phone that has unlimited talk and text for a whopping $25 a month. Yes, this means I don't have internet on my phone, but I haven't really missed it. If anything, I found having the internet on my phone to be just another distraction. The internet is more fun on a bigger screen anyway. I don't even have the ability to send and receives pics...just talk and text. This is know me, I try and keep it as low-fi/low-tech/old school as possible.

Random Rambling!
On a related note, I have been off Facebook a lot more lately. It's just not fun anymore. Whenever I log on I find myself grinding my teeth at all of the worthless noise and information on it. It's just another distraction in my life that I don't need...I'd rather read some old comics and watch "Family Ties." That's not to say there isn't good stuff on there by some of my friends (I'm looking at you Vintage Warrior!). The thing is, whenever I wanna leave a comment on a cool status, I have to contend with 20 other dudes whose comments I don't care about. So eff it.

Random Rambling!
I've been reading old Superman comics from the late '80s lately. These things are amazing...the characterization, the plots, the sub-plots, the earthy, realistic art work....for me, this is the golden age of comics. The creators involved included Jerry Ordway, Roger Stern, Kerry Gammil, Dan Jurgens, and George Perez. Not too shabby. Here's the cover to the latest issue I just read.

Random Rambling!
Has anyone been reading the Amazing Spider-Man lately? Shit is effed up! I can't wait to see what happens in the 700th (and final) issue. And then, in January, "Superior Spider-Man" debuts. I'm looking forward to seeing what all goes down.

It all started in issue #698, with a dying Dr. Octopus repeating the name of Peter Parker over and over...with a twist ending that came out of left field.

Random Rambling!
So I watched most of that Superstorm Sandy benefit concert the other night. The Stones didn't sound too bad, it was pretty cool to see them playing live again. The Canadian Belle said Jagger was still doable...whaaaaaaaaaaaat!???
You would do this guy? I guess if rubbing up against dry leather is your thing, go for it ;)

I thought the Who's set was another highlight, particularly their performances of "Who Are You," "Bellboy" (featuring archival video of Keith Moon singing!), and "Baba O'Reilly."

Speaking of that concert, if you had told me 10 years ago they would have a reunion of the remaining members of Nirvana with Paul McCartney of all people I would have cried "bullshit." But there they were. Cool song too.

Random Rambling!
This is my new favorite song..."Driver's Seat" by Sniff 'n the Tears. I've heard this song over the years but never knew what it was called or who did it. (I always thought they were saying "Driver's Suit"). It was featured in a season two episode of "The Walking Dead" and has been used as bumper music on "the Coast to Coast AM" radio show. It was played on a morning radio show I was listening to the other dayand they actually said the name of the song and artist. I love the vibe this song's about driving at night, and it does sound like it would provide the perfect soundtrack for doing that. It's kind of eerie and creepy. Dig it.

Random Rambling!
R.I.P. Larry Hagman. What more can I made the character of J.R. Ewing a legend of TV and icon of pop culture. This clip is of J.R.'s best one liners. Even if you're not a fan of the show or have never seen it I guarantee you're gonna laugh at some point during this. Larry Hagman OWNED this character. 'Nuff said.

And to play us out, someone else we recently lost...Ravi Shankar. From the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh.

I hope you enjoyed this legendary return to my blog, fellow basement dwellers. I'll be seeing you soon.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy 70th Macca!

In honor of Paul McCartney's 70th birthday today, I'm going to post the video for his song "Arrow Through Me," from 1979's Back to the Egg album by Wings. I always love hidden gems in the vast discographies of some of my favorite acts, and had never heard this particular song until a few years ago. This is an example of an overly blow-dried Macca mixing some disco-flavored funk up (in the style of his buddy Stevie Wonder, as evidenced by the keyboards).

 Paul would have only been 37 when this song came out...just 6 months before I was born. Happy birthday Sir Paul.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Video Store Memories

I found this picture today of some kids perusing horror movies at a video store some years back (based on the fashions and hair, I'd say it looks like 1987).

This store appears to have a nice selection of horror films to choose from, most of which I haven't seen yet. Has anyone out there seen "Silent Night, Deadly Night?" I always wanted to but haven't gotten around to it yet.

When my family rented movies back in the day, more often than not it was from the grocery store. The selection was more limited than your exclusive video rental stores but there was the convenience factor; on your average Saturday night mom and dad could pick up some snacks, beer, and wine while sending us kids over to the video section to pick out that night's entertainment. I can still remember some of the selections from nights like that..."Inner Space," "Flatliners," "Misery," and the list goes on.

Does anyone remember that urban legend that sprouted up when the movie "Three Men and a Baby" was released on home video, about how in one scene you could see what looked like the ghost of some dead kid in the background? Word of this spread fast, and in a pre-internet world you could say it was my first memory of something "going viral." I can remember sitting in my mom's car outside of the Cohoctah General Store after renting it while she talked to a teenaged gal who babysat us. Mom had just heard of the rumor, and the babysitter said she had just heard about it too. That scene gave me chills before I realized later on it was just a cardboard cut-out of Ted Danson. We paused that scene multiple times trying to see if it really looked like a little boy. Here's a clip to refresh your collective memories:

When my family moved in 1994 from a house way out in the country to one closer to town we started renting movies from some of the local video stores. Prior to this, grocery stores were starting to phase out their video selections. When I was 14 I would ride my bike into town and browse the horror movie section of a store called Movieland. I believe this store is where I first heard of a flick called "Dawn of the Dead."

Anyway, that picture up top sparked some memories of VHS days gone by. Now that any movie we want is available at the touch of a button or click of a mouse (what is this, Star Trek?), we've lost that thrill involved with seeking out and finding a cool video based on word of mouth or cool box art. We're also missing that sense of community, where you can ask the guy next to you if he's seen a particular movie, whether it's good or not, if it has boobs in it, etc. Anyone out there have their own video store memories to share?