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You gotta L-I-V-E ... live!*

Well, here we are again! How's life? Gotten any new freckles lately? Let's hustle before these recommendations go out of season ...

*HAROLD & MAUDE has been in my top 10 ever since I saw it for the first time as a college sophomore. What about you?
What I'm into right now:

1. Ernie Kovacs. This week I went to a magnificent screening/celebration for Ernie Kovacs, that game-changing TV surrealist who would've turned 100 this year. The evening began with a screening of some of his best and lesser-known work, followed by an all-star panel featuring (among others) Blondie's Chris Stein, SNL's Hal Willner, Kovacs expert and preservationist Josh Mills (hi, Josh!) and film historian/accompanist Ben Model. Shout-out to those who said hi to me afterward, especially longtime reader/subscriber Ken F. Several Kovacs events are being held this year; keep up on Facebook. (YouTube has tons of his work, including this "kitchen symphony" that I see as a delightful influence on PEE-WEE'S PLAYHOUSE.)

2. MY FAVORITE SHAPES. As expected, Julio Torres' avant-garde comedy special rocked my world. I'd watch way more TV if more of it looked like this. 

3. This balloon-popping video. I can't stop playing it. This artist is living the dream.

4. ANTHONY BOURDAIN: THE LAST INTERVIEW. I got my hands on the latest installment in this gold-star series from Melville House. Among the pieces is a transcript of his chat with THE DAILY SHOW's Trevor Noah, taped a few months before Bourdain's death.

5. GLOW. This show just gets better with age, right? I blazed through the third season, which features some top-notch musical moments (Siouxsie, Kate Bush and Dolly, oh my!). Each character's story moves forward significantly, and Marc Maron may do some of his best acting yet. And oh, GEENA DAVIS! Such magic. 
  
6. The ZEROVILLE trailer. Based on a Steve Erickson novel and directed by/starring James Franco, this movie has been kicking around for a few years and finally has a September release date. It's gonna get weird. (This rough footage will probably disappear soon, but I think it's more enticing than the trailer.)


7. Iggy Pop's new music video. I wanna be your James Bond, Iggy.

8. Baby Shakes. Apparently, John Waters is a fan of this quick-and-dirty NYC punk band. "Nowhere Fast" is a good track to start with.
 
9. AMERICAN CULT: A COMICS ANTHOLOGY. Our pal Robyn Chapman is editing a book of comics about cults! She's about halfway to her Kickstarter goal, if you wanna get a copy and throw her some bones to help out.


10. The dude in a TV mask leaving old TVs on porches. This is, as the kids say, very on-brand for me. I'd tie it with the balloon video as the best performance art of the year.

11. STUCK IN THE 80s. This week I appeared on the long-running podcast to talk about Adam Ant and other nostalgic things. Listen while you rewind your videocassettes.

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na ... ALF CAKE!!

(Thank to Matt in Sykesville, Md., for sending the photo.)
And YOU recommend:

1. From Herman: "I'm enjoying the new 'Your Girlfriend' single from UK-based indie group Blossoms. It's got an indie take/'Jessie's Girl' vibe, and I think it's hilarious (with the Halloween-in-summer theme) that it's Wolfman pining over Frankenstein's girlfriend (The Bride of Frankenstein)!"

2. "Hubie Brown" (haha) called the hotline to say he's digging CHAOS: CHARLES MANSON, THE CIA, AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE SIXTIES. (Several of you have told me you're reading this right now.)

3. Our buddy Dean points out THE AMAZING BLACK-MAN, an incredible art exhibition featuring the work of Brooklyn-based artist Kumasi J. Barnett. From the description: "Riffing on classic superhero series including THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, SUPERMAN, DAREDEVIL and CAPTAIN AMERICA, the show features two hundred hand-painted comic book works pinned up in their clear plastic sleeves. For each work, Barnett has painted over the cover of an old Marvel or DC comic book, replacing familiar heroes with characters including 'The Amazing Black-Man,' 'The Media's Thug,' 'Whitedevil' and 'Policeman.'" Excellent. The exhibition goes through Saturday in Los Angeles.

4. Chris is digging the videos on GoodBadFlicks. Head over there to peruse the archive, which includes tons of so-bad-we-love-'em movie reviews. 

5. And finally, Dave S. adores the new single from the very well-named band Whitney called "Giving Up." Dig it!
 
HEY THERE: Tell us what you're into anytime at 929-515-1988, where I try to leave a new outgoing message every day. Email me at whitmath@gmail.com. I'll put your hot tips in a future newsletter!

Notable releases:

TV/STREAMING:
- 45 RPM takes place in 1960s Madrid and follows the launch of a rock 'n' roll label (Netflix, Aug. 16);
- Jim Gaffigan issues QUALITY TIME (Amazon Prime, Aug. 16);
- ZOMBIE TIDAL WAVE wants to be this summer's SHARKNADO (Syfy, Aug. 17);
- The doc I AM PATRICK SWAYZE debuts (Paramount, Aug. 18);
- THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONES stars John Goodman and Danny McBride and gives us reason to reactivate our HBO subscriptions (HBO, Aug. 18);
- AMERICAN FACTORY examines a factory in Dayton, Ohio (Netflix, Aug. 21);
- Aisling Bea stars in THIS WAY UP, a British comedy that also features Sharon Horgan (Hulu, Aug. 21);
- And cheers to THIS OLD HOUSE for celebrating its 40th anniversary (PBS, Aug. 22).

IN THEATERS/ON DEMAND (OUT AUG. 16):
- Linklater directs/Blanchett stars in WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE?;
- Springsteen saves in BLINDED BY THE LIGHT;
- GOOD BOYS features some tween misbehavior;
- Ooh, BUNUEL IN THE LABYRINTH OF THE TURTLES really is an animated film about surrealist director Luis Bunuel; and 
- DRIVEN tells the story of John DeLorean.

RAD BIRTHDAYS:
Aug. 16: Julie Newmar (pictured), Madonna, Steve Carell (Also, Charles Bukowski would've been 99 today.)
Aug. 17: Robert De Niro, Belinda Carlisle, Sean Penn, Phoebe Bridgers
Aug. 18: Robert Redford, Brian Michael Bendis, Malcolm Jamal-Warner, Andy Samberg 
Aug. 19: Ginger Baker, Peter Gallagher, Martin Donovan, Kyra Sedgwick, Matthew Perry
Aug. 20: Ray Wise, Robert Plant, James Marsters, Amy Adams 
Aug. 21: Kenny Rogers, Kelis, Kacey Musgraves

Aug. 12: Valerie Harper, Cindy Williams, Vernon Reid, Tori Amos, Craig Finn, Kristen Wiig 

Scott W. just returned from a visit to his grandparents' hometown of Oneonta, N.Y., which also happens to be Paul Reubens' hometown. While there, he couldn't resist stopping by Paul's former house to snap this pic. "The lady who came out the front door shouting to us when we were taking pictures turned out to be nice," he says. "She said Paul carved his name into some wood in the house, so it's been autographed!"

Do you have a retro pop-culture pic to share? Email it (whitmath@gmail.com) or text 929-515-1988.
Hang on to your ego,

Send email, texts and voicemail anytime. Also email for my mailing address or if you want to hire me as a writer/editor/speaker/dancer. I got moves like Ringwald.

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I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record,
Mr. Bubbles


"Discussing how old you are is the temple of boredom."
- Ruth Gordon

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Copyright ©2019 Whitney Matheson. All rights reserved.