Saturday, July 30, 2011

Even Sound Won't Save You

Today Walton and I are hosting a BBQ. Back in PA I frequently would DJ parties and host outdoor gatherings. I love the whole aspect of hosting a party. Specifically with party co-host and expert Lauralie Navo by my side. While putting together a DJ set list has always been fun, my favorite part was creating an element of Ambience throughout the party. For Halloween Parties I'd cut together a DVD of graphic death scenes from horror movies, for a valentine's party it was a DVD of sex scenes and for 80's themed parties it was dance scenes/montage scenes from the 80's classics. As of late though (the last 2 years) I've gotten well.. a little lazy.

I began to instead play movies on mute. When picking a movie there are major elements to think about. Firstly, the film can never have too complicated of a plot or at the very least the plot can be overshadowed by the overwhelming vision awesomeness. Secondly the film should have plenty of HOLY SHIT moments be it ultra violence, graphic nudity and sex or just plain bad taste. Out of 1,300 DVDs... these are my 10 favorites to pull out in these scenarios.

10. Naked Lunch
Cronenberg is normally always a safe bet, however most of his movies are super heady. Videodrome, The Fly, Scanners all have great holy shit moments to them, but they also hit random moments of normalcy. Naked Lunch however never has time to have a down-time. Based on the 'unfilmable' novel by William S Burroughs, Cronenberg decided to instead focus on Burroughs drug-fueled writing of the novel more than the novel itself. It leads to some of the trippiest and fucked-up footage ever put to celluloid.

9. Fist of the North Star
Confession. I don't like manga and anime. I've attempt to watch and enjoy but in my 25 years I've only managed to find two animes that I wanted to own. Akira... and Fist of the North Star. I own Akira because well... it's a classic that any serious film collector would own. I own Fist of the North Star because it's fucking retarded. Now some people will tell you that it's a science fiction/post-nuclear war epic. Which I guess it is... but let's cut to the chase. It's about two guys... one can cut you with his fingers, the other can cause you to explode in one punch. These guys want to fight each other... this is their story. Fucking BAD ASS

8. Basket Case 2
But Matt? What if my party goers have never seen the original Basket Case you may be asking. To that I say who gives a shit? Basket Case 2 takes place immediately where the first one left off. It follows former siamese twins Duane and Belial Bradley as they take refuge in Granny Ruth's home for freaks. While it's definitely not packed with the gore and nudity that I normally require for these movies, it's 90 straight minutes of balls to the wall insanity and kinda cool special effects.

7. Street Trash
Street Trash is a basically plotless movie. It deals with homelessness and the gang war between different homeless people living in a junkyard. There's lots of sex and nudity and comedy to make the film enjoyable. But that's not enough, there's a second plot point about a mysterious case of cheap alcohol named Viper. Just one sip and you turn into a giant pile of goo. Eventually these two plot-points meet in glorious harmony.

6. Humanoids from the Deep
Humanoids from the deep is the touching story of mutated Salmon who just want love. They do have a shitty way of getting it though. They typically wash up on shore and then just rape the ever loving shit out of the first female it can find. There's a whole lot of nudity not to mention lots of gore and even a weird birthing sequence.

5. Terror Firmer
Picking just one Troma flick was very difficult. There's so many different choices. Toxic Avenger, Tromeo and Juliet, Polutrygiest ... chances are if Lloyd Kaufman directed it, it'll make you laugh and puke at the same time. Terror Firmer easily is the most fucked up of them all. There's fetus' being pulled out of pregnant women's chests, anal-raping with a funnel and fat man being eaten by an escalator... and that's just the first 20 or so minutes. Beyond that Lloyd's packed it with tits, shit and more tits... hell sometimes there's even tits with shit on them. This movie also has such fun and cheesy dialogue that it might be worth not muting it or at the very least putting the subtitles on.

4. Pink Flamingos
It's getting close to 40 years since Pink Flamingos first came out and it still has the power to induce vomiting. In all the years I've watched fucked up movies, none left me feeling as uncomfortable as John Water's breakthrough film. It has it all incest, murder, chicken-fucking, shit eating, blowjobs and rape. It's all done with tongue firmly in cheek; but that still doesn't make it any less unsettling, specifically when you factor in that everything you're watching is real. Like Terror Firmer the over the top performances and wacky dialogue is worth keeping the sound on.

3. Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky
Much like how I don't like Anime, I also don't like kung fu movies. Shocking since I'm self diagnosed with yellow fever. Regardless Riki-Oh is much more than you're average kung fu movie. It's one of the most impossibly violent movies ever made, most of the film makes little to no sense but it doesn't matter. It follows Riki-Oh and innocent man trapped in a demented prison system where the evil rule. If you've ever wanted to see a man strangle someone with his own intestines this is the film for you

2. Forbidden Zone
Before Danny Elfman was Tim Burton's go to man, he was the leader of Oingo Boingo, a band that made pedophilia super catchy. Before he was the leader of the band and turned them new wave, they were a traveling vaudeville act formed by Danny's brother Richard and Matthew Brightman. I can't explain this movie, nor can I think Richard and Matthew. It's about a secret doorway that leads to a hell-like realm where Satan is a tab-dancing crooner and is co-ruled by a midget, his evil wife and his constantly topless daughter.

1. Dead Alive

I want to say that you could go with any of Peter Jackson's first three movie. But while Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles are outrageous and bizarre in their own right... they hold NO candle to the goriest movie ever made Dead Alive. I've seen more conversations stop dead in their tracks while this movie was on than anything else. While it's a slow burn at first once you hit the 20 minute mark where a women eats her own ear, the film quickly turns into something else entirely. The final 30 minutes contain some of the most incredible ways anyone has ever been murdered on screen, not mention buckets of blood. The plot is loose enough. Boy falls in love with girl, Boy's overbearing mother becomes a zombie, boy must protect girl from Zomommie and her other zombie friends. Also there's a party scene that zombies crash. if you haven't seen or heard of this before... you're welcome.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Confessions of a High School Pop Punker

I graduated high school back in 2004. Throughout Elementary School and Middle School, it was impossibly uncool to like Punk music. Sure most kids like Green Day or Blink 182... but it wasn't until 2001 when groups like Simple Plan and Good Charlotte came out and made the music marketable. I was always dancing the line between marketable punk and local underground bands.

In my small circle of friends we all had the same albums that basically defined our high school experience:
New Found Glory
Blink 182: Take Off Your Pants and Jacket
Catch 22: Keasby Nights
Reel Big Fish: Turn the Radio Off
Rancid: And out come the wolves
Thursday: Full Collapse
Dashboard Confessional: Places We Have Come To Fear the Most
Further Seems Forever: Moon is Down
MxPx: Life in General
Relient K: Anatomy of Tongue-in-cheek
The Ataris: Blue Skies, Broken Hearts... Next 12 exits

When I was a freshmen I met Nick and Matt Howard. They invited me to join their band Mad Cow with drummer AJ Wood. We never wrote any original songs but learned a few songs to cover. We played a total of 3 shows before eventually breaking up. Meanwhile another group of friends formed a band called Butterface. They also lasted a few months and a few shows before breaking up.

Matt, Nick and I formed another band the following year called Off the Wall. We had a group of original songs and played a few shows, eventually we also broke up and I moved on to the acoustic Saint Mort stuff.

11th grade was the year that changed it all. My friends Brian and Clark had formed a ska band called the One Timers. They were playing a show at a local bar called Harry Kats. I attended the show and brought into the world of local music. Meeting some of the legends of our music scene, specifically Aynn and Tokyo Rose. The show was thrown by a kid named Jeff Shropshire. I tracked down his email address and asked him if he ever needed help with shows he could contact me for anything (clean up, etc). Shrop instead asked if I wanted to run a record label with him.

I don't think I could have ever guessed that with just one email, I'd be meeting my best friend. Shrop and I's record label was short lived. We met a few new local bands but didn't talk much. Shrop would enter and exit my life the next two years (as would Matt Howard).

That's the funny thing about life though. I graduated high school convinced the friends I had were going to be my friends for life. It wasn't until my 2nd year of college that I met the people who would be my best friends. They were the people there for me as I moved away, they are the people that text and call me everyday and they're the people I can't wait to see again when Christmas rolls around.

To quote one of the greatest ... I guess this is growing up

How I survived Comic Con 2011

Comic con is an event that takes place every July. The event begins Wednesday night and goes until Sunday Night. Being an exhibitor for Geekscape I arrive a day early. This is going to be a long entry no matter what i do, but I'll try to make it short.

Jonathan and I originally planned to leave for San Diego at 7am. However the Super Action Man T-shirts wouldn't be ready to be picked up until 10am so that slowed us down. We did finally arrive to San Diego at 2pm. When I arrived I was flabbergasted by what I saw. Geekscape's booth was located in the same aisle as fangoria magazine, full moon pictures, Troma Entertainment and Legendary Pictures. Jon and I grabbed lunch and then put the booth together. We immediately went to Zack Haddad's house where I went to sleep and Jonathan tweeted until almost 4:30 in the morning do to insomnia.

Jonathan and I hung around doing final touches to the booth waiting for it to be 6pm for Preview Night to begin. Beyond meeting some friends both new and old there is literally nothing to report about Preview Night. I handed out postcards then went to bed.

Our booth was rocking. The highlights of the day were meeting Ace Continuado (artist on Super Action Man), Sam Humphres (writer of Our Love is Real) and Dave Losso (creator of the Great Sandwich Detective). After the con was over I went to the Geekscape/Comikaze Party where Dave, Ace and I met Doug Jones. He is easily the coolest person ever. Everyone needs to meet Doug Jones and get a hug from him. It will change your life

I woke up discovering I had lost my voice from the party. I turned my only two interviews over to geekscape writer Shane O'Hare. He got to hang out with Aquabats (and then got to go to a free concert. I was a little jealous but he did offer me his second ticket and I declined). At the booth I got see Doug Jones again (and got yet another hug) as well as Axel Braun and the cast of Star Wars XXX and Spiderman XXX. Afterwards Jonathan, Alex and Robert of People vs George Lucas and the girls from Legendary pictures and I went out and had the most incredibly awkward night ever. Short version... our waitress got fired mid-meal because she was clearly drunk and possibly on some drugs. It was awkward at the time and hilarious the next morning! Also Lloyd Kaufman arrived to Comic Con

Today I got to meet some crazy people at the booth like Javier Grillo Marxuach (Writer of Lost and Middle Man), Brea Grant (Heroes Season 3) and UFC fighter Nate Quarry. I also got to hang out with the cast of First Edition. Sam Weller then dressed up like Mayhem while Jonathan dressed up like Super Action Man in what ended up being the funniest hour of comic con. Afterwards Jonathan, Dave Losso and I went to dinner and then checked out Lloyd Kaufman's panel. It was a fun night. Oh yeah and this happened!

The last day of Comic Con was greeted welcomely. I was tired from a busy week and was more than happy to go home. We taped our Geekscape episode (which I appear in briefly). Then I broke down the booth with Jonathan. After wards we went to Zack's to crash before returning the next morning.

So that was my comic-con trip. A little dull but I still can't wait till next year.

Monday, July 11, 2011

How I Met My Nostalgia

It's been a while since I last updated so let try to do this the best I can....

Friday wasn't overly exciting of a day as far as I can remember so I'll go ahead and skip that.

Saturday I went to my first ever Geekscape taping. I've been watching since episode one five years ago. Admittedly I was at Comic Con last year, so that was TECHNICALLY my first taping; but this was my first REAL taping in Jonathan's house with a guest on the couch. It was fun and I made a joke which made Jonathan and his guest laugh really hard. That made my day. You will have to watch the episode when it comes out however to see what that joke was.

After the taping Jonathan, Walton and I went to a BBQ at Walton's friend Charlie's house. It was a good time full of pig roasting, food and Karaoke. Good times were had.

The following morning I took the bus to Jonathan's. It was good to just hang out with him. We counted shirts for Comic Con and just talked TV show ideas. My car arrived as well. Walton and I drove to Target to get a Microwave.

Comic Con weekend is coming up in just a few days. I'm extremely excited for that. I've got some bad-ass interviews lined up.

Right now I'm sitting at the apartment watching How I Met Your Mother and its making me think of all my friends back home. Much like Scrubs its a show that we all loved; watched; referenced; lived and breathed. I'm currently watching Season 4; this season always make me think of my old Apartment with Shrop. We discovered the show back then. Well, shrop did. He watched 3 episodes of season one online and then immediately bought the first 3 seasons on DVD. We became so obsessed that Shrop's brother burnt us a copy of Season 4 so we'd be prepared when Season 5 started a few weeks later.

Shrop and I lived and breathed this show. We started to search for the best burger in PA after the episode best burger in new york (it's not in PA but the best burger is found at Dead Presidents; an amazing bar in DE). After watching the episode in which Ted makes his girlfriend watch Star Wars... we decided to have a Star Wars party. We started calling our shits "New Jersey". Every Monday we'd get together with friends to watch new episodes.

I guess the point is I'm feeling a little nostalgic.

I don't know where the future will lead me; Maybe I'll live in Cali forever or maybe I'll return to PA in a year... but I do look forward to seeing my best friends again; no matter when that is.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Walking in Los Angeles

So I've been here a full day. It's getting better. I'm taking it one day at a time, slowly adjusting and pretending that it's just a vacation for now.

In my last blog entry I said that I'm going to give it a year and then either stay here or move back east; this did start a bit of a response on twitter/facebook. I do want to explain that for me, I never moved to LA with the plans of it being my new home or living here for life. i wanted to experience it, see it for what it is. Make connections. But I digress.

Yesterday was fun. That's the simplest way to say it. I started with watching Season of the Witch for Geekscape. I can't say I recommend it. After that I decided to go on an adventure, which was mostly inspired by hunger but whatever. I walked to McDonalds (really taking in the LA experience) and then Ameba Records. Ameba is an INCREDIBLE record store, specifically for a person like me. It's the type of place that makes you want to have a good job just so you can spend it constantly on shit there. I got 4 CDs which could all be called "Matt Kelly" Albums:
1. Pigeon John and the Summertime Pool Party - Pigeon John is one of my top 5 favorite rappers. Sadly he's not popular enough that his albums are easy to find. Luckily for me he's from Southern California so I knew if anyone would have his albums... this place would.
2. Wesley Willis: Rush Hour - I was actually shocked to find a Wesley Willis album there. I will definitely be returning in the future to find more
3. The Rentals: The Return of the Rentals - After Weezer broke up the first time, guitarist/back-up vocalist Matt Sharp formed the Rentals. If you know if them at all it's because of their single Friends of P.
4. The Blood Brothers: March on Electric Children - Blood Brothers is one of those bands I love even though you'd never expect them to be a band that I love. I only have two of their albums though; hopefully I'll get all 5 before the year is over.

I returned to the apartment to watch some That 70's Show and work on a ranker list. I Ate some Thai food with Walton for Dinner and then we walked to Ross' and bought some lamps.

I just found out my car will be arriving on Monday. I rank this as good news, now I need to find out if I can get a key to the building so I can leave and not be worried I'll be locked out.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tearful Farewells and Plane Scary

Well here I am; Laying on an inflatable mattress in my new bedroom. I've been in this state for 12 hours and at least 9 of those hours I was sleeping. Yesterday was a rough day; I was shocked however that when I woke up; I wasn't completely depressed like I thought I'd be. But let's go to the beginning.

Tuesday was my last day in Pennsylvania. I had it planned out perfectly, I'd wake up; go to the bank; have a wawa lunch. Spend time with my family and then have a Cheesesteak for Dinner, Eat some rita's for desert and go to Tom Jones one last time with my closest of friends. Sadly, I became so dizzy and sick that I only got the wawa. My whole family came over to eat Cheesesteaks and I was so sick I just laid on the couch. It wasn't until almost 10pm when I had the energy to do anything. that's when I finally ordered a cheesesteak. I watched a movie alone and went to bed.

Although 'went to bed' is just a phrase. I didn't fall asleep. I mostly tossed and turned. I suddenly realized 'shit, this isn't like last year... I won't be back in 10 days with my family and friends. I won't return to my bed. I'm there for a long time.' I started to cry. I started to think about how much I'm going to miss. It's amazing the things you don't realize are important to you until you're about to leave them. Finally around 430am I dozed off.

I woke up at 7am and quickly showered. The whole time my dad kept pointing out that I didn't look happy. He was right, I didn't look happy. I'm sure deep down I was very happy and excited but at that moment, I was so overcome with sadness. Looking at my mother and father not knowing when I'd see them in person again. Hugging my brother and sister was hard. Hugging my mom was even harder. I spent so many years being distant emotionally from my family, now that we're finally emotionally close, I'm physically moving further away than ever before. Before I left my mom gave me a letter and told me not to open it until I was on the plane.

My dad and I picked up my aunt and we began driving to the airport. We arrived, checked in my bags and had a lunch... but I had no appetite. At best I picked at my burger. I felt sick. I left to board the plane. I sat and I opened the letter and I cried.

"Dear Matt,
If I tried to say all the things I would love to say to you I know I'd cry. We are so proud of you and all your accomplishments. We know there is so much ahead of you and I know california is where you will meet your dreams head on. We are always in your heart every second of every minute of every hour of everyday. We will miss you so much no having you around, not feeling your hugs (that I love) but we are so happy for you to be able to live your dreams. Take hollywood by storm and make sure you get us front row seats at your first emmys. Keep God in your heart and close at all times. Also keep you Grandpop in your back pocket. If he were alive today he'd be telling me 'Smile... though your heart is aching' We love you Son. Mom & Dad"

It's been so long since I struggled to hold back tears. I'm so afraid I've made a mistake. Before the plane even left I kept repeating to myself, you can always come back.

The flight was continually delayed. We were suppose to leave at 1pm and it ended up being closer to 2pm. Behind me I had an obnoxious and spoiled little girl. She had a squeaky voice like Theodore from Alvin and the Chipmunks. She screamed, threw hissyfits and was constantly cruel and stand off-ish towards her mom. I put on my headphones and played music to sleep. We made a stop in Houston where we were delayed another hour. I was originaly scheduled to land at 5:30... I landed at 730 (keep in mind based on time difference that was 1030 Eastern time meaning I was sitting on a plane 9 and a half hours). I waited for the Super Shuttle to come and take me to my new apartment. The super shuttle drove much like the taxi cab in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Quick and jerky. Finally I arrived and was greeted by Walton and Gilmore. Gilmore proceeded to videotape the experience.

Due to hunger, being tired and jet lag I didn't do much. We got dinner across the street (which I once again barely ate) and then I went to sleep. The place is small, but it's nice. Part of me wants to just pack up and board the next plane home... but I know that's my nerves and my fear. I did say I was going to give myself 3 years before I give up... but I've changed my mind on that. I'm going to give myself a year to feel at home.

I need to explore, to work, to meet new friends and maybe find love. But if after a year... I still feel this way... then Hollywood may not be for me. It's always been my dream to write; but I think I love my family and friends more than that dream. And that's something I never ever thought I'd say. So here's to a year of self-discovery.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Final Weekend

Here I am sitting in my living room alone watching Incident at Loch Ness. This time tomorrow I'll be sitting in my new apartment 3,000 miles from everyone I've ever known. I'm sure to anyone who's read this blog the last month I've come off as many things whiny, a mama's boy, over the top... but I'd like to believe at the very least I came off sincere.

This was my final weekend here and who knows when I'll be back... perhaps i'll return in a decade perhaps I'll return in a year. I honestly don't know. This move however was never about moving away and never coming back. It was always about trying my best to fulfill my dreams of being a screenplay writer.

This weekend kicked off with my mom's surprise 50th birthday party. It also subsequently became a mini-farewell from my mom's side of the family. The following day was a farewell party from my dad's side of the family. Sunday my friends from Penn State had a farewell party and finally yesterday I had a fourth of july/goodbye party.

it was an incredible day. I was so shocked by the people who attended. Easily 30+ folks, some people I see every single day while others I hadn't seen in years. We swam, we listened to music, we grilled burgers and talked about the good old days. After the fireworks everyone left except Shrop and Tom my old boss. We sat and talked from 10pm until close to 2am

Have you ever had one of those amazingly deep conversations. The kind of conversations that can only occur at night fall. Conversations where every single idea and comment seems new and deep and important. But yet when the night is over you can't remember what made the night so amazing in the first place. We talked about baseball, real world, music, films, star wars, back to the future, comic books, DC reboots and thousands of other things. But deep down what we were really talking about was our lives... the things that we held dear... the things that made us the close friends we are. I'll always remember those conversations; even if I forget the exact dialogue.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Matt Kelly's Last Month in PA Volume 8

June 26th

Family vacation was began with a 3 hour drive with my brother Brian. We were driving to Ocean City, Maryland to meet up with my family at the hotel. As soon as we arrived we ate some much needed pizza. I discovered that the hotel had no wifi. This made me a little nervous but I couldn't figure out why. Brian's friends arrived an hour later and I didn't see any of them for a few hours. Finally they returned from the beach and we went out for dinner at a place called Big Peckers, which was extremely disappointing. After that we played some Putt Putt, out of 9 people I had the lowest score... I suck at sports.

June 27th

I woke up with a mild headache, I didn't think much of it, the family decided to go to Ripley's Believe it or Not which was exciting. I've always loved Ripley's and it constantly fascinated me. While I had a blast by the time I left Ripley's I was in complete pain. Because of these I wasn't even able to enjoy our spaghetti dinner and instead went to bed early.

June 28th

Wednesday we spent most of the day staying in until my dad's friend's wife arrived with her kids. They went to the beach and I stayed in and watched Scrubs. Then we went out for Pizza. We came home and watched Tosh.O and then I went to bed.

June 29th

It was our last day there and I decided to stay in. I was reading Steve Martin's Born Standing Up and thinking about the future. The next morning Brian and I drove home.


Driving home I was listening to my iPod and thinking about my childhood and my fears. I have a huge mix of emotions right now between scared, excited and sad. As I'm writing this all I can think is that I'm only going to wake up in this house 5 more times. I worry about work, about money, about friends, about family. At one point my dad jokingly said that I should just skype in for Christmas and I thought I was going to cry. I think of the things i loved as a kid that I no longer have in my life. I know I'm going to be okay... but I also know it's going to be a long rough road.