Friday, October 17, 2014

Cinematic Sacriledge, Nasties, Snake Plants & Felony: Link Update Round-Up

There are fewer things in life sweeter to me than variety. Chalk it up to a general joie de vivre or a severe case of clinically undiagnosed ADD, I like to shake things up on a fairly continual basis. This is crystalline in its obviousness when you scan through this latest update round-up.

For starters, my piece on Jean-Luc Godard's controversial 1985 film involving themes of religion and family, HAIL MARY, can be read in the latest issue of the best magazine dedicated to VHS subculture, Lunchmeat. 

In the spirit of Columbus/Indigenous Peoples' Day, the fantastic Actually Huizenga (whose work I have written about before on Dangerous Minds) has released a non-album single called "Red, White, Black & Blue." Even better is that it's a duet with Murphy Maxwell and has a corresponding photo shoot by brilliant photographer, Socrates Mitsios. I got to write about it as a collaborative effort of sorts for the fashion-travel-art-sex magazine, Live Fast. They are great and so is Actually. Definitely check it out.

Speaking of Dangerous Minds, I got to recently cover one of my absolute favorite composers ever, the criminally underrated Mort Garson. The man's an electric music pioneer and had one of the most unique careers in the history of modern music.

Being both a big fan of free speech, documentaries and director Jake West, it was only a matter of time I would delve into Severin's superb three-disc set, VIDEO NASTIES: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE. (You can read my piece about it over at Dangerous Minds.) Even if you're not a horror or exploitation film fan, you will still love this vital documentary whose issues are as vital now as they were back in the 80's.

One of my favorite slasher films, GRADUATION DAY, recently got a spiffy release courtesy of the always fabulous folks over at Vinegar Syndrome. It's tight little gem with some key surprises and an appearance by one of the most unique bands that came out of the New Wave scene, Felony. You can read about all of that and more right here.

So there you have it! There is much more where that came from, so keep your peepers peeled, your mind open and in the meantime, have a great evening!

© 2014 Heather Drain

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Post-Nuclear Expressionism: A Stephen Sayadian Sampler

Still from "Red White Acrylic Dream"
Imagine a time where filmmakers were shadowy figures of mystique, only mentioned at awards shows and, if they were really unlucky, clucked about in rags written by harpies like Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper. (And boy, if ever a name was built for literally harpy-ing, it was Hedda Hopper, but I digress.) In this day and age of social media and artists tweeting the exact specs of their brunch at Barney's, it is rare to see a living filmmaker still shrouded in mystery and falsehoods bordering on urban legend, but yet, all of this and more applies to Stephen Sayadian.

Album cover for Wall of Voodoo's "Happy Planet." Note the fish, a motif that appears again and again in Sayadian's work.

For the unfamiliar and unconverted, Sayadian is a former ad-man and current filmmaker and artist whose best known works include the post-apocalyptic, science-fiction adult film, “Cafe Flesh,” as well as the neon-expressionist sequel-in-spirit to the German silent film classic “Cabinet of Dr.Caligari,” “Dr. Caligari.” But his resume is much more than that. In addition to working with Francis Delia on the classic “Nightdreams,” in which Sayadian himself appeared in one of the most joy-happy moments in cinematic history as a dancing piece of toast, (In wingtips, no less!) Sayadian got his big start working as the advertising art director of Hustler Magazine, though the masthead often lists him as assistant art director. He made his official debut in the December '76 issue, with the article “Hustler's Sleazy Shopping Guide.” Starting off with a sense of humor that at times played out like Mad Magazine meets Grand Guignol, it wasn't long before Sayadian's distinctive visual eye and wholly unique thumbprint would come into full play at the magazine. 

From the January 1977 issue.
One of the most amazing things about seeing Sayadian's work in Hustler is realizing how young he was. Born on October 18th, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois, Stephen was all but 23 years old when he started at Hustler. Coming from a commercial background that included writing the fortunes that were included in the individual pieces of Bazooka Joe gum, he truly was the Madison Avenue Wunderkind when he was brought into the fold at Hustler. Sayadian left the magazine for awhile in late '78, right after the assassination attempt on founder and editor Larry Flynt. But as Larry healed up and became more involved directly with the magazine again, Sayadian returned and created some of the best and most memorable layouts in Hustler's history. This included “Red, White Acrylic Dream” in the July 1984 issue, which famously invoked such American advertising brand stalwarts as Bob's Big Boy, the Morton Salt girl and Aunt Jemima, coupled with text by frequent Sayadian collaborator, Jerry Stahl. It takes the “erotic nightmare” aesthetic that was used so beautifully in his films and in turn, he created something simultaneously poetic and ghoulish about our own culture. So much of modern American pop culture is completely riddled with advertising and commercial tactics, which is one of many layers in Sayadian's creative keenness. 

Cover for the "Thing Fish" spread in Hustler
 Another hallmark layout was the collaborative piece with Frank Zappa for “Thing Fish” in the April 1984 issue. Based on Zappa's three-LP album of the same name, the spread featured model/comedienne Annie Ample, spaghetti used as a lewd metaphor, a giant reproduction of the infamous Pat Boone exposing his penis photo and, of course, the titular “Thing Fish.” (The latter was voiced by Zappa-regular Ike Willis on the album, but here is portrayed by a glorious creature designed by Jene Omens.) Frequent Sayadian collaborator, intensely skilled Austrian photographer Ladi von Jansky, lensed this spread, as well as the cover for the actual album. (Ironically, it is von Jansky's birth date and homeland that are often erroneously listed as Sayadian's, despite them being very much two separate individuals. In fact, von Jansky went to school with Milos Foreman and was, in his youth, the Austrian equivalent to James Dean.) 

Two geniuses: Sayadian & Zappa. Photo by Ladi von Jansky.
In addition to his print work, he also worked on a number of music videos, including both Wall of Voodoo's pioneering “Mexican Radio” with Francis Delia, as well as the latter-day incarnation of the band and their cover of The Beach Boys “Do it Again.” (Complete with Brian Wilson cameo and a Keene-faced beach bunny.) But it is his film work that has made the deepest and most seismic-type impact. In a world of remakes, personas, reboots and pretensions, there is no filmmaker, living, dead or demon that is like Stephen Sayadian. His fingerprint is unmistakably his and while Sayadian has influenced numerous artists since making his debut with “Nightdreams,” no one has ever come close to touching him.

While he has flown under the radar for the past several years, Sayadian himself has been surfacing more and more, between an appearance at last year's L'Etrange Festival in Paris and showing up for one barnstormer of a Q&A session with Stahl at the Cinefamily Event showing “Cafe Flesh” in Los Angeles. Could it be a sign of fresh and bigger things afoot? Absolutely, with a new film entitled “May's Renewal” in the works, which for the handful that have read it indicated that all signs point to it the being the best and most transformative Sayadian film yet. If 2014 has been the year of Jodorowsky's return, then 2015 will be the year of Stephen Sayadian.

Thanks to David Arrate for the Red, White Acrylic Dreams scans and super-special thanks to Stephen Sayadian for everything. 

© Heather Drain 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Death Game & Pop Life

"With love, there is no death"-Christopher Tracy

"Fuck death."-Anyone who has lost someone they loved.

Mortality. The word alone is enough to elicit depths of worry and dread, not unlike loss, illness and family reunions. It's one of those things most do not want to think about but the cycle of living has a way of wafting it all right under your nose. The scent is one part charnal house and one part weighted awareness. The more our loved ones, heroes and heroines shuffle off this mortal coil, it is hard to not feel, to quote Love & Rockets, haunted when the minutes drag.

Personally, I have an acceptance/hate relationship with death. It's the great inevitable and an essential part of life. You can't really escape it, so making moderate peace with it is a good idea. Yet, even though many view it as simply a transition to something else, whether it is heaven, limbo, Earth again or the great void, it flat out sucks for those of us who are still here. The dead ultimately are fine. They have moved on but yet it is us who are left to sift through the ashes, sometimes literally.

Out of the assortment of heroes and loved ones alike that I have lost in the past few years, the thing that haunts me the most are the lost acts, ideas and art that never came to fruition. When a close friend of mine passed away in '08, one of the things that hurt the most was all of the great writing he never got to do. He had some amazing ideas and coupled with his innate charisma with words and intrinsic understanding of film and music, there would have been some sheer magic he could have created. This is where I loathe death the most, though it's the worst the kind of hate, because it does not change a thing.

All that said, a lesson for the living that I repeat time and time again is that the best use of death is motivation. We're still here to burn the ashes, create, love, scream and fight for ourselves and our work. Art isn't just for the artist, it's for those who aren't here quite yet and for those who can't be here. Let's rock.


Critics and the public alike have always had a strange relationship with pop music. The former tend to, for the most part, glower at it and hiss like a foamy-mouthed feral cat. The latter can alternately love with a blind, cult-like devotion, only to hastily switch to storming the internet with lit torches in hand. It's weird that such a fairly safe genre can elicit some pretty extreme emotions, but that is part of the fascination with pop music.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a fairly schizophrenic-musical environment, so genre snobbery is something quite alien to me. Metal, punk, klezmer, country, pop, exotica, etc etc. If the song is good, it's good. So when I heard The Flaming Lips cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" with Miley Cyrus and Moby, I was astounded. Not because of Miley but because it is really, really great. Not thing I went into it expecting it to be horrible, I was just not expecting it to wow me like it did.

This kind of collaboration may seem like it is from Mars, since the Lips are this fairly respected, psychedelic-art-rock band and Cyrus used to be Hannah Montana and has the sad distinction of twerking on Alan Thicke's son. However, if you think about it objectively, there is something kind of brilliant about that. The Lips are too weird (and probably "old") for Cyrus' demographic and she is too pop-tart for their core audience. Which makes it even more interesting because it is a real creative risk for both parties. Granted, it's one for a good cause, since a portion of the sales are going to the Oklahoma City based non-profit, The Bella Foundation, which helps low-income, elderly or terminally-ill pet owners with veterinary costs.

Some of the negative reactions to both the collaboration and the fact that Cyrus and Lips frontman Wayne Coyne (who looks like the world's grooviest professor/magician) are good friends, reminds me a lot of the critical and public flotsam that ensued when Metallica and Lou Reed worked together and released "Lulu." "Lulu" was an intense and brave album that was also quite good and definitely the best thing Metallica had worked on in several years. The only real thing that either Lou or Metallica had to gain was the feeling of creating a work that they personally loved. Over time, hopefully, both "Lulu" and the Lips cover of "Lucy" will be seen as ballsy creative moves with some gorgeous, rich moments intertwined.  (Also, for a really terrific article on the recent negative critical reaction to Coyne in the media, please check out Katy Anders' piece on her fabulous blog, Fascist Dyke Motors. Then read everything else on there because she is THAT good.)

© 2014 Heather Drain

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Future of Cinema Meets Article Round-Ups

2014 has already been one of the strongest and strangest years I have had, well, ever. Older projects are getting filled out and delved into further, while new ones are starting to take root. The best part is that I am only halfway getting started.

Before I segue into my "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World"-style post, one thing I have wanted to briefly write about is a discussion that has come up and more and more regarding film versus digital. Seeing quotes from directors who should know better proclaiming the digital wave as a sign that "cinema is dead," I have instant PTS of hearing a litany of old people griping about change. You know the drill. The younger generations are sending the world straight into dumbass hell, while their parents and grandparents grind their dentures on butterscotch candy and abandoned dreams. It's as old as time itself. Saying cinema is dead is tantamount to telling all the struggling filmmakers out there that they are screwed and might as well give up. But one thing they don't teach you in school is that the biggest element you need to survive in any of the creative arts is pure, undiluted tenacity. Someone tells you cinema is dead, then prove them wrong and make the best movie you can dream of. I grew up worshipping at the twin altars of silent film mavericks like Robert Weine as well as Indie Cult gurus like John Waters because these are artists that took what could be perceived as limits and instead, created new frontiers. Rip it up and start again.

I will always champion film preservation till my last breath. I love film stock with all of my cineaste heart, especially all the beautiful grain and texture it can possess. But there is a middle to be met here. You can love film, as well as embrace digital. After all, what makes real cinema is the right mix of vision, lighting, good editing, sound, heart and flat out testicular/ovular fortitude. These elements can cohabitate on any format. 

In other words, take care of the past, look to the future and never ever give up.


Now, speaking of the past, here are some of my favorite things that I wrote about in the past several months.

The Dance of Reality/La Danza de la Realidad

One would be hard pressed to think of a finer gift from the universe than a new film by Alejandro Jodorowsky and this year, we got such a present. Even better, is that it was well worth the nearly 25 year wait.

Getting to write about this brilliant and heart-burrowingly great film for Dangerous Minds was a pleasure, matched only by getting to talk with the man himself. With generous thanks to both my fantastic editor and Jodorowsky's lovely PR guy Matt, I got to speak on the phone with the director/personal artistic godhead for an interview about his latest film. Sadly, our connection was pretty spotty lending to a fragmented conversation that was heavenly when it did connect and frustrating when it did not. The fact that it did last almost 30 minutes is both a testament to the seeds of a good conversation and (more than likely) the man's saint-like patience. But even with the wonky connection, Mr. Jodorowsky was incredibly gentle, assertive and nothing short of wonderful. (Also, quick thanks to my friend David Arrate for his audio assistance.)

Back Issues: The Hustler Magazine Story

Hands down, one of the best documentaries I have seen in a long time, Michael Lee Nirenberg's film is smart, fun, kinetic and has its own thumbprint while exploring one of the most subversive American magazines ever. Keep on eye on this guy, because I have a feeling this is just the beginning for the young filmmaker.

Massacre at Central High

After writing about Rene Daalder's powerful and still controversial feature film, I found out directly from Cult Epics that they are indeed prepping to release it. This will be the first legal domestic release this overlooked gem has had in decades.

Sugar Cookies

Bless Vinegar Syndrome for not only releasing this underground-meets-overground film but also for giving it such a gorgeous release. Every frame in this feature could be put on a wall in an art gallery. Great, great stuff.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, which also includes book projects, recent podcast appearances (Thank you Mike White, Rob St. Mary and Frank Cotolo!) and an event that equals my Jodorowsky experience in a multitude of ways. But I'm here to sell the sizzle, folks, not the steak. So in the meantime, enjoy!

2014 © Heather Drain

Monday, June 30, 2014

Print Your Own Revolution: Jon Szpunar's XEROX FEROX

DIY. Three delicious letters that hold more power than entire scripts consisting of the rest of the alphabet. The ethos of do-it-yourself is one that has spearheaded everything from political revolutions to cultural movements. The former in the past could inspire things like rioting and decapitation. The latter could be slightly more gentle, with one of its many forms resulting in the zine movement. This inspired an assortment of writers and simply enthusiastic fans creating their own magazines. This shined brighter in fewer fields than film, with horror and cult movies becoming a huge part of the DIY periodical zenith. At last, a tome dedicated to this rich, fun and occasionally troubled field has come out, all thanks John Szpunar's meticulously put together XEROX FEROX: THE WILD WORLD OF THE HORROR FILM FANZINE.

XEROX FEROX begins from, where else, the beginning, with its chapter/interview formatting starting with such genre film writing legends as Steve Bissette, Bhob Stewart, Gary Svehla, Tim Lucas and Chas Balun, as well as the young Turks that came along a little later, like Bill Landis, Keith Crocker, Greg Goodsell, Mike McPadden, Shane DallmannTim Paxton and Andy Copp. And they are just the tip of the iceberg! In fact, each individual profiled in this book ranges in personality, approach and aesthetics. From old school Universal Monsters moon-eyed love to a celebration of all things grue-filled and naked nubile flesh, all of them are unified by one very important thing. The sheer drive and need that only the purest of passion and enthusiasm can breed. It's like obscenity. Hard to define but you'll know it when you see it.

Matching the subjects enthusiasm is the sheer amount of research and care that both Szpunar and the book's publisher, headpress, put into this work. It is an instant historically important tome and a needed read for both genre film fans and nonfiction writers, young and seasoned alike. These are stories that were needing to be documented and bless all involved for doing just that. Hopefully, it will be a touchstone for other like-minded compendiums to bear fruit. Imagine XEROX FEROX-quality books covering the music zines, the poetry zines, the DIY comics, etc etc. All of this is art that is not really that old but yet is in continual danger of being lost due to its fringe, low-budget origins.

The only real negative with this book is how little women are featured. No singular woman is mentioned. It would have been nice to see someone like Maitland McDonagh get mentioned, since she's a great writer who has been in this field since the 1980's. Michelle Clifford does at least get mentioned in conjunction with Bill Landis, since she worked with him on the latter stages of Sleazoid Express, as well as being the main figure behind Metasex. This isn't necessarily Spuznar's fault, but is more of a symptom of a bigger problem that is the boy's club of genre film writing where women have been relegated more to the sidelines, only to be dusted off for the occasional female-centric bone thrown their way. It can be a well meaning thing, but the best surefire route to equality is just to treat a female writer like you would a male writer. But all that aside, this is a fine book that will inform and inspire those of any category. Long live the DIY press!

© 2014 Heather Drain

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The South Will Never Rise Again

Flashback all the way to the hallowed early 2000's. I still had a stomach for constructs like internet message boards, with one of the best being the one at Patty Mahlon's loving and meticulously constructed William Girdler website. It was on that very board where I first read about a Long Island erotic atrocity known as “Lulu & Friends” aka “Valley Stream Slut.” This film was helmed by a true Renaissance man, Keith Crocker. Keith, in addition to being the man responsible for the fabulous “The Exploitation Journal,” an early and seminal horror/cult zine, he also has directed some of the most unique and balls out features like “The Bloody Ape” and “Blitzkrieg:Escape from Stalag 69.” 

DVD Cover art of Crocker's "The Bloody Ape"
 Getting to know Keith via this message board, I was always impressed with his storytelling abilities, especially when related to his experiences as an independent filmmaker. The stories were often unflinching about the non-glamorous aspects of the business but always were tinged with a wink and a nod kind of humor. In short, they were a fun and terrific read. Out of all the great stories Keith wrote about on that long dead-in-the-ground forum, the tale of his one and only foray into the seemingly seamy world of X-rated film making was as harrowing as it was hilarious. Little did I know that years from then, that I would be watching this infamous film in the comfort of my own living room.

Lulu meets one of her "friends."
Not too long after reading about Keith's tales of “Lulu” and her randy friends, I had also read a review of an equally sexually inept adult film on the Girdler-Board sister-site-of-sorts, the now long defunct Brains on Film. That website's main man, Larry Joe Treadway aka Professor Tread, was one of the funniest and most unique film writers on the internet at that time. Out of the sizable body of review work he built up, it was his write-up of one of the most striking, brain-scratching and life-affirming-in-every-wrong-way-possible films, courtesy of the impressive film library at Something Weird Video. A film that, once seen, will stay with you like a drunken hug from your Southern uncle. That is, if your Southern uncle also happens to be wearing a beat up and stained Halloween superhero costume.

Something Weird Video's DVD release of "Bat Pussy."
The film in question was 1973's “Bat Pussy.” A film so obscure that the odds of its cast and crew ever surfacing are about as good as finding a photo of Frank Sinatra testifying against the Mafia. Dialogue rich with white trash psychodrama bordering on burma shave with the biggest “star” being an issue of Screw magazine, “Bat Pussy” is a film whose description will never do justice to what your eyes and ears will see and hear. I will, of course, though, give it my best shot. (It is a real shame that Tread's review of it is MIA since it has remained one of my favorite pieces of film writing ever, with him describing the movie as “John Waters' Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf. That might be the most accurate statement ever written about “Bat Pussy.”)

Best SCREW Magazine plug ever!
You may be wondering what do these two films have in common, other than being two extremely low-budget, ultra-obscure adult films? Not much other than a sense of human sexuality going directly past eroticism and into a transcendent netherworld that will leave you mystified, giggling and wondering why your sex drive just took a left turn to Albuquerque and is never coming back!

With “Lulu & Friends,” Crocker was given a lot of unenviable cards in his deck. Sure, his leading lady, our titular Lulu, is enthusiastic and gets an absolute A for effort. Her acting is a bit rough but she does try, with the highlight including a crude and funny spectral encounter. Actually, the women in the film all get an A for trying. One of her friends, a very attractive, dark haired beauty valiantly tries to get her boyfriend, whose bad haircut and horrible taste in underwear just screams coke head late 80's scumbag, to rise to attention. But it's no use. You really just want to reach through the screen and say, “Honey, it's okay. Go shower up and get a nicer man. One whose taste in bikini underwear won't make you instantly question where you're headed in life.” 

Bad decision making.
With “Bat Pussy,” the issue of male virility rendered flaccid despite the near-heroic attempts by giving women comes into play too. Unlike “Lulu & Friends,” where at least some of the couplings actually result in some sort of fruition, “Bat Pussy” is like one mobious strip of bickering and a man, the only man in the whole bloody film, whose failure to achieve any sort of usable erection starts to feel like it s an unintentional metaphor for our failure to ever achieve true greatness in this life. Or maybe he just had whiskey dick. You never know.

In lieu of a pretty brunette, we have our hero's wife, a pale, bouffanted Shirley-type who vacillates between trying to turn on her man and bitching at him. With lines like, “You wouldn't know how to eat pussy if it was your dead grandmother's” (!!!) and “You don't love me, motherfucker!,” you can maybe understand why he is having a bit of a difficult time getting aroused. In fairness to her, what woman wants to hear her redneck amour droning on about how “we need to do this just like in the magazine” and that ever sweet bon-mot, “Darling, she meant nothing to me!”? 

Probably a relative.
At least with “Lulu,” there's a very loosely-restrained feeling of rompiness, rendered all the more surreal by Crocker's absolutely brilliant use of music. Honestly, the music saves a large portion of the sex scenes, which otherwise would be bordering on the unwatchable. Everything from funk classics to some incidental music most famous for being used on “The Little Rascals” movie shorts, all pop up throughout the film, as if it is an act of pure directorial alchemy.

That said, there is one mighty big advantage that “Bat Pussy” has and that is all in the form of its title character. Imagine Batman if he was a cornfed dame whose “lair” was a cement dinge-room, complete with a hobbity-hop in lieu of a car and the rattiest Superhero costume this side of “Rat Fink a Boo Boo.” If the words, instant awesome, came to mind then you would be correct! Here's a character that neither Marvel or DC Comics would want to touch with a 10-foot pole, which is their loss. Bat Pussy is all sorts of foul-mouthed, bent-moral wonder and yet, sadly, not even she can get a happy physical result from our hero. Her classy reaction? “You don't know how to fuck, motherfucker!” I hope this man got some good therapy afterwards, that is if he didn't end up buried under a bridge in Anywhere, Southern USA.

The splendor of the Bat Pussy Headquarters.
At the end of the day, while both “Lulu & Friends” and “Bat Pussy” may fail in the arousal department, they took, intentionally (“Lulu”) and unintentionally (“Bat Pussy”) their individual weaknesses and transformed them into a viewer experience that is as hilarious as it is harrowing and even Artaudian in its regard for the audience. Plus, both are still better than anything Julia Roberts has starred in. (Thank you, thank you and please, tip your piano player!) 

 ©2014 Heather Drain

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Counter-Revolution: A Mini-Tribute to Trumpeter Extraordinaire, Atlanta Bliss

The world of music is not unlike some strange, often decadent beehive. You have your preening lead singers and showoff guitarists, which are the equivalent to the mated Queen Bee. The music (and money) (and drugs) are the honey but what about the worker bees? They are the ones that do a lot of the work and yet, are often just relegated to drone status. But a great hive is nothing without its worker bees and one of the musicians who has had some of the absolute best line-ups is Prince. Rivaled only by Frank Zappa, Prince is one of those composers who has always had the best of the best in his band. From the Revolution to the NPG, dollars to donuts, if you're a musician who has worked with Prince, you are the true blue real deal.
Out of the countless names on that list, the one that is often unfairly neglected is Atlanta Bliss aka Matt Blistan. Brought into the fold during the tail end of the Revolution by fellow jazz musician/badass, saxophonist Eric Leeds, Blistan's trumpeting skills added some rich dimension to Prince's music. At times sonically evoking such greats like Miles Davis, he provided a mix of old school jazz and new world funk to an instrument that very few associate with megafamous popular artists.

Plus, the cat's got style. Even from the often brief glimpses of him in assorted Prince related videos and live footage, the white and black suits, thick head of dark hair and a mustache that would have fit in perfectly on Tyrone Powers, all reek of a man cool enough to be called Atlanta Bliss and get away with it.

Blistan continued to play off and on with Leeds after his time with Prince, as well as appearing on a number of Paisley Park artists albums, including George Clinton, Mavis Staples and Carmen Electra. (How is that for brain frying?) There's not a lot of info about Blistan after the mid-90's period other than a great home video clip on YouTube of him tearing it up on "Brazil" at a business conference from the late 2000's. Hopefully this will be an article I can expound upon more in the near future, but until then, consider this a mini-tribute to a fantastic trumpet player, great musician and overall cool guy. Matthew Blistan, thank you for bringing it.

© 2014 Heather Drain