Thunderball or: The Less Desirables Movie of the Week


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a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, Thunderball (1965), starring: Sean Connery, Claudine Auger and Adolpho Celi.thunderball-movie-poster-1965-1010189595

Per IMDb: “James Bond heads to The Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo in an international extortion scheme.”

Emilio Largo (Celi), #2 in the nefarious organization called SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion), creates an elaborate plan to have a flight-trained double agent have plastic surgery to imitate a French pilot named François Derval (whom they kill), who hijacks a test flight, killing the rest of the crew and delivering two atomic bombs. SPECTRE then uses the bombs as ransom for $100M (and yes, I typed it like Dr. Evil and you know you just said it like him, pinky to the corner of your mouth and everything) from the world governments or else the organization will destroy a major US city.

Secret Agent, James Bond (Connery) just so happens to be at the same health spa as the plotters of this elaborate scheme and gets in a tangle with one of them; a little back and forth between between snarky superspy and lackey villain. He stumbles through the plot and when all the “00” agents are brought in for a meeting, Bond recognizes someone from the spa. He asks to be redirected to the Bahamas to investigate. He goes and meets Domino (Auger), the sister of the pilot who was killed, Derval. Domino’s guardian, whom she calls her “uncle,” is none other than Largo.

Bond tries to keep Domino in the dark about what he knows, but at the same time becoming involved with her and investigating Largo at the same time. Largo even invites Bond to his house to entertain him and show him around, for lunch. Bond of course accepts the invitation and visits, but, not before he is caught trying to investigate the Disco Valante which is the large yacht owned by Largo. What did he find? What did he uncover? Did he get the girl? Of course, you’ll have to watch the film to see.

This is the fourth of the James Bond series. I have the entire series at least up until Skyfall on the 50th anniversary Blu-Ray Disc set that came out in 2012. I have had the pleasure of introducing my boy, 3B, to the world of James Bond. We watched the entire “Austin Powers” series and he liked that, so I wanted to show him where the inspiration came from. Frau Verbissener is a direct parody of Klebb from From Russia with Love and #2 from “Powers” (eye patch and all) is a direct parody of Largo. Of course, Dr. Evil is Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

In this film we are starting to get a real glimpse of the gadgetry that the Bond series became known for. There were hints in the first film, we are introduced to Q in the second and third, but this is where they ramped it up. A jetpack, Geiger counter watch and the now-famous Aston Martin DB5 which first arrived in Goldfinger, equipped with gadgets of its own, are just the beginning. The plots were very “Cold War” back then. And, the cinematography, as cheesy as it is now, was quite apt at the time. Green screen work, or just forefront work, in general was very noticeable. 3B is used to really good special effects, which these effects were great, they’re just dated.  Those kinds of effects were in their infancy at that time and while it was continuously growing, it wasn’t until the mid 80s that it really took off. It all looked over-the-top fake, to me.

I think with the exception of Klebb in Russia there’s a rule that Bond has to have a pretty woman (good or bad) and the whole film is full of them. As is always the case when they’re using Italian and other foreign actors the have to use voice artists for the screen actors to lose a good bit of their native accents. This had a lot of out-of-sync spots of that. But, overall it was one of the best of the early Bond films, to be sure. I like it a good bit, I’m just a Bond fan. The scenery, the lavish sets, the locations. The sharks (minus the frickin’ laser beams). It’s all part of the Bond charm. And, the fact that I get to introduce to, watch with and experience with The Boy, then that’s just bonus. Oh, and let’s not forget the awesome theme song sung by the great Tom Jones. Listen closely to the end of the title song and you’ll hear Mr. Jones warble and fade out. In reality, he passed out in the studio from holding that note so long at that pitch. He did it right on the take, but passed out. They left that in there. I think that’s cool trivia.

Rotten Tomatoes rates it at 86% Fresh with an Audience Score of 73%. IMDb has it at 7 out of 10 stars. You can only watch it on disc right now, so you can order it from, Netflix‘s disc service, if you’d like to see it. Again, I have the whole collection on Blu-Ray so that’s how I saw it. I rate it 4.25 stars out of 5. Have you seen it? What would you like to read/hear me review?

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“Do you mind if my friend sits this one out? She’s just dead.” – Bond

Excellence or: The Explanation


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So, the last week was a bit of a cheater week for me. Some scheduled posts (which, ohonestly a lot of them are) and many piggybacks. And, I told you that I was going to explain, if you’re at all interested. Perhaps you’re not, I don’t know. But, I’m going to lay it out and let you decide for yourself whether or not you want to read it. Here goes:

As I said earlier in the week, it’s been the same thing for the last two years. I’ve been doing it much longer but not as I was blogging each day. This time of year is when the Downtown Winston-Salem Parnership does their Excellence Awards for the year prior. I am the one that puts the video presentations together for the winners. I have to collect the list of winners from DWSP. I have to gather information such as company bios, histories and pictures of the projects, people, places from the winners. I have to get The BCPF to write the copy. I have to do the voice overs for the presentations. I have to compile the videos and sync them, albeit loosely, to the voice overs that I’ve already recorded. It’s about two weeks of work; to do it justice.

Well, I started receiving info last Wednesday. That two week window was out the, well… window. That’s the nature of the beast with this project, though. That’s no one’s fault, it’s just the way it is. So, the info started coming in and I had to get The BCPF to work on the copy. Our schedules were not cooperating and the poor thing, she had to stay up until about 2:30am last Thursday night/Friday morning working on it. She got seven of them done. Some of the winners didn’t get me stuff until Friday. With that, Jason, the president of the DWSP had to write a couple of bios and I wrote two. Yes, if you do the math, that’s 11 winners. ELEVEN! So, at about a minute average for each spot, that’s a lot of production.

It takes me about an hour for each minute of video. Placement, gathering the pics in some instances and picking the right music that fits with the slideshow. All that takes a good bit of time. More than just dragging and dropping, it’s work. I don’t like my work to look amateurish. But, I figured I’d recognize the winners, here, for those that weren’t at the awards ceremony on Wednesday morning. These are very short synopses, not even the full copy that I read for the presentations.

50 West Fourth – The old Forsyth County Courthouse was converted into luxury apartments and the renovated building is phenomenal. So many amenities and coolness while keeping this building’s history in tact.

Airtype – Bryan Ledbetter and his staff renovated a 1920s building and it is now a modern office that houses Airtype, a national design company, Camel City Goods that is all about branded WSNC merch and two modern apartments.

Burke Street Food Truck Festival – a shload of people flocked to this half mile food truck extravaganza. 68 trucks with artists and children’s areas, it’s just good stuff.

Crafted: The Art of the Taco – Chef Kris Fuller brings her successful GSO concepts to our great city and wows us to no end with her taco and burger creations.

Finnigan’s Wake – Do we really need a refresher on this place? It’s where The Less Desirables was born, it’s where The BCPF and I met and it’s just one of my favorite places in town. It’s the Official Emerald Isle of The Less Desirables.

Garner Foods – Garner Foods, known for their Texas Pete sauces and Green Mountain Gringo salsas and chips, moved into the Nash building on 4th Street and have done a lot of cool things inside, including a new test kitchen. That’s cool. I took the pics of that building and it was awesome.

Glass Door Salon and Spa – Erin Blakely opened this spa on Cherry Street in the Embassy Suites. She does great work with hair, nails and massage, but also a lot of stuff with charities, including purchasing Disney “Princess” dresses to visit children at Brenners Children’s Hospital.

Kimpton Cardinal/Residences at RJReynolds – The old RJ Reynolds Building was renovated and became apartments and a very nice Kimpton hotel. Don’t forget one of my favorite restaurants on the ground floor, the Katharine Brasserie & Bar.

McHugh Sisters Flats – a new dorm/apartment complex built at Old Salem for Salem College. It’s pretty righteous.

Pride Winston-Salem – the group that advocates for equal rights for all! Resources for the LGBTQ community and anyone else that needs them. They have a huge parade downtown and a food truck rodeo with drag shows and just a bunch of fun.

Wake Forest School of Medicine – an old RJR plant that was converted and turned into a medical school that will produce a lot of new doctors and medical scientists. That transformation was amazing.

And there you have it. Congrats to all the winners. I can get back to sleeping, having weekends and living, now. But, you know what? I love my jobs.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“For more than 10 years, Finnigan’s Wake Irish Pub & Kitchen has brought the Emerald Isle to downtown Winston-Salem. Its opening in 2006 was a major spark that helped catapult the downtown nightlife into the vibrant atmosphere that it is today. Don’t be fooled, though, this is not just a bar and restaurant, this is an experience. Finnigan’s Wake is a popular meeting place for businesses, groups and friends having that pint after work. Finnigan’s Wake has been hosting downtown’s St. Baldrick’s Day celebration since 2007, raising close to half a million dollars for children’s cancer research. Finnigan’s Wake employees, including owner, Phillip Kirby, raise money for the charity by shaving their heads in solidarity to the children. Finnigan’s Wake is a staple downtown and has major social capital; just ask any member of its famed ’90-Day Club.'” – Copy for Finnigan’s Wake

My Everything Would Crumble or: Strength (Eugeology Entry 7)


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I was a fan of the last entry on the Eugeology Train, a little non-Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy and it was pretty righteous. I know Eugene liked it and the jury is still out on Jon, he’s now a week behind on his review (*scowls at Jon*). This week, it’s a band that I’m only slightly familiar with, Enuff Z’Nuff. I know their two hits, “Fly High Michelle” and “New Thing.” This album, though, well… let’s talk about it.



#7 – Strength by Enuff Z’Nuff.

I always get EZ’N and Black and Blue and a couple of other late 80s/early 90s bands mixed up. It just wasn’t what I was listening to. Mainly because I had no point of reference with them. I’m not saying they all sound the same but it was just a bunch of stuff thrown out there that I hadn’t ever heard, only heard of. I never even heard even the hits until the 2000s, until either I got it on some “hair metal” VH1 compilation or when I got Sirius (before SiriusXM) and listened to “Hair Nation.”

This just wasn’t in my wheelhouse. Other than limited availability to me, I don’t know why. I like the two hits mentioned above. But, not enough to explore more. Luckily, I have Eugene to set me straight and let me tell you, it’s not for his lack of trying. He’s tried to introduce me to so much stuff over the years and my contrary arse just wasn’t having it. I understand it’s a flaw, I’m dealing with it. But, leave it to Eug to appeal to my sense (call it a need) for a list. You got me, Eug. You got me.

So, Donnie Vie has a distinctive voice.Very much so. It’s him and you don’t forget that. His voice is at times squishy, at times piercing, at times whiny, at times mesmerizing. The two things that it is consistently, though, is powerful and darn good. His lyrics are just sliding out of the cheese of the genre and are smart and story-telling. He paints a picture and it isn’t the skanky cock-rock kind of picture. Think of a hard rock Bob Ross. That’s what he’s painting. The range, not only in pitch, but in dynamics, of Vie’s voice is most prevalent in “Goodbye.” I loved that song. I am a sucker for the power ballad, though. You expect a rock ‘n’ roll voice from a band like this but he pours his soul and emotions into “Goodbye.” Also, the swing vocal style in “Mother’s Eyes” is notable and you should pay attention; close attention. On “Baby Loves You” I can see him standing prissy, a la Mick Jagger, puffing a fag (that’s a cigarette, by the way) and being extra saucy. I don’t know why. His vocal patterns aren’t necessarily predictable, either. You may expect him to go down but he throws an upward portamento in there and you’re like, well, that was cool. At least that’s what I say. And dang! “The Way Home/Coming Home.” That is some amazing vocal work. Okay, enough of kissing his backside.

I think the two things that worked against them in my mind (back then) was the overly glam look that I had my fill of. I still liked the stuff but felt I had had all I could take of it. When you’re full you can’t keep eating. The other thing, something I still can’t forgive them for, was the over-saturated and incessant use (even though it was the 90s it was still the 80s for this) of funky “metal” spellings, especially the insistence of “V,” “X” and “Z.” All of that aside, I was unfair to them. I see the error of my ways.

The songs are riffy and catchy. Great hooks, here. Harmonies are fantastic, throughout. The varying styles are interesting, too. “Long Way to Go” is hard rock CCR; scooping riffage in the opening track, “Heaven or Hell;” dissonance mixed with Major7th chords in “Mother’s Eyes;” the 50s inspiration in “Baby Loves You;” the pop rock anthem of “In Crowd.” That’s just a brief overview of the styles. This band had it going on.

Production wise, it’s pretty balanced. You get the vocals up front, sure, but the rest of the instrumentation was all clear, present and accounted for. With the brief list of exceptions, you’d expect a person who has taken on a stage name to match the cheesy band name (ahem, Chip Z’Nuff) to be a little more blatant in his bass playing, but he really doesn’t do much other than play second fiddle to the rest of the ensemble, although he has a few shiny moments. It’s tasteful, to be sure, but I would expect a little more. It’s okay, though. It works for them. Derek Frigo (RIP) and Vik Foxx are solid here and very good at their instruments, but however good they, along with CZ’N are, they’re overshadowed by the presence, if only aurally, of Donnie Vie.

At first, I sighed when I saw this come through. Upon first listen it became background noise, but in fairness to the band, Eug and Jon, and to myself, I listened while working on something else, so it wasn’t a thorough listen. That first listen, I wasn’t impressed. There was probably more than an inkling of pent-up resistance from my younger days, too. I also thought that the album was about four songs too long. Second listen, I lost some of that edge. Third listen, I was nodding along. Fourth listen, just this morning – the first time I really listened – and I’m erasing all the reservation. I can’t think of any song to cut, I don’t care if their name is (still) cheesy and I don’t discount them any more. At least as far as this album is concerned. This is one darn fine album. It has “Strength.” Thank you, Eug, can’t wait to read your and Jon’s assessments.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“A little spark has started fire. My will to be alone is over now. I’d slay the dragon, walk the wire. This little girl just takes me higher and higher, and higher.” – “The Way Home / Coming Home” (Rybarski/Vandevelde) (Chip Z’Nuff/Donnie Vie)

Mangö Kölsch or: The Less Desirables Beer of the Week


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City Beverage, the Official Beer Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents Mangö Kölsch from Clown Shoes Beer, The Less Desirables Beer of the Week. unnamed-2

Now, I’ve never had any other Clown Shoes beers before, but I have had this one. I had it at Single Brothers Bar when I was washing TLD glasses (I use their dishwasher) and thought it was light and refreshing. It was a great beer. Plus, I love the brewery’s name. There’s some things I guess we need to cover. According to their carton, Clown Shoes says about this beer: We gook a light, refreshing German beer style and bastardized it. The atypical Kölsch is dry-hopped and has all natural mango flavor added. And it also says: Warning: This Beer is NOT Reinheitsgebot! which means that it’s not on par with the German Purity Law of 1516 and whilst I think the Reinheitsgebot is a fantastic thing, I like when people step out from under its “thumb.” I know this beer is fruity without being wimpy and it’s just a great drinker.

It’s only 5.5% so you’re not going to get blasted on it unless you chug quite a few in one sitting. BeerAdvocate rates the beer at 88 (Very Good) with no Bros Score. Untappd has it at 3.73 caps out of 5. RateBeer has it at 76 Overall, 92 in Style. That’s a bit of a contrast. Have you had this beer? What did you think? If you haven’t or just have a hankering for more, then head on down to City Beverage and grab your sixer. Tell them that its the beer of the week and get 5% off your order. Tune in tonight or tomorrow morning to hear what Caitlin, Danielle, Josh and I think of it!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“Founded in 2009, Clown Shoes is the result of a joke, spite, and a deep passion for craft beer. Naturally, we dislike clowns but find the shoes hilarious. They remind us of humor in life and to be humble. If you made it this far, thank you for reading the bottom of this package.” – Clown Shoes (bottom of the carton)

Take Your Stinking Paws off My Beer or: Craft Freedom!


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Dear Reader, did you know about the stupid law that stifles the employment and economic growth of the breweries (and local communities) in this state? Perhaps you don’t. To many, and understandably so, it’s under their radar. Most imbibers are blissfully oblivious because it’s not something that the big beer distributors want you to know. You’re asking what it is I’m talking about, I know. Well, I’m going to provide the copy of the petition from and let you read it for yourselves. It goes like this:

In North Carolina, breweries are allowed to distribute their own beer – up to a certain point. A misguided law, created to favor local distributors, now threatens the growing craft beer industry. The law mandates that once a brewery produces 25,000 barrels of beer in a calendar year (which is equivalent to the amount of beer N.C. consumes in about 1.5 days), it must engage beer distributors to distribute all of their beer. The distributor gains ownership of the brand and control over all sales, delivery, distribution and quality control during transportation – basically everything that matters to a company. The brewery loses almost 30% of its revenue and margin to the distributor, a devastating financial blow to any company, and enters a bloated distributor beer-brand portfolio in which it cannot compete or be adequately supported. Finally, regardless of performance, N.C. law makes it virtually impossible to fire a distributor and regain control of the brand. The brewery is locked in forever. Brewery owners have no choice, and no say in what happens to their business. This is currently the law. And it needs to change.

What is petitioning for is that the ceiling of 25,000 barrels be raised to 200,000 barrels. That way there’s more room and more ability for the smaller, more independent and guys trying to make a living (and supply jobs for others) to compete and provide a healthy service to the economy and community.

You see, when the distributors have your beer, it’s added into a pool of other brands that that distributor carries. “Big Beer” like AB-InBev, Miller, Heineken, and their ilk put demands and/or incentives on the distributor to push and promote their beer over the “little guys.” Ever wonder why your grocery store beer selection is 90% Big Beer and that little bitty section is for the better quality and usually better tasting craft beers get the last 10%? I’ll tell you, it’s certainly not because those beer brands taste better. It’s because those big boys pay to have their stuff shoved down your throat. That extends to the purchasers and consumers.

Here in Winston-Salem, while we can still find Olde Mecklenburg Brewing‘s beer here and there, it’s not as plentiful as it used to be. How often do you see Hell Yes, Ma’am!, House of Clay, Moravian Rhapsody here? Probably never, those are from Raleigh Brewing and they’re stuck in Distributor Hell. You’ll see some of NoDa‘s stuff here, but again, it’s not plentiful. These are just some of the breweries that are stifled by this ridiculous law.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think distributors definitely have their place and have done some good. They do push some of those smaller brands, especially to the bottle shops like City Beverage. But, like most of the smaller breweries, I believe the use of them should be voluntary and not mandatory.

I think the executives of those three larger/smaller breweries said it best when they served as guest columnists for Asheville’s Citizen-Times newspaper:

“Imagine for a moment that you start a small business. You invest your life savings, take enormous risks, and work long and hard to make your venture a success. Years later, your hard work has paid off, and your business is growing. You want to invest more money and hire additional employees to expand your production and sales.

“Then state government comes to you and says: Hold it right there. Since you have made your business a success, North Carolina law requires you to give up control of your homegrown product and to transfer your brand rights to a needless third party – outside distributors. These state-mandated middlemen have taken no risk or stake in your entrepreneurial enterprise, they just want to reap the benefits of your hard work and dedication.”

Does that sound right to you? Heck no! If it does, then you’ve got some issues. That or you work for or own one of those a-hole distributors. I would recommend reading the whole article, which you can find HERE. I could go on and on but I wouldn’t do the cause any justice. But, we need to do something about this travesty.

Again, has set into motion a movement to have these nearly 90-year old laws changed. If this bugs you, then you can be part of the collective voice. Go to the website, sign up and sign the petition. It costs you nothing. You can buy a t-shirt if you’d like, but other than that, it costs you nothing but time. If you don’t care and just want to drink the beer that you’re given, then fine, ignore this whole plea.

I, The Less Desirables, The Beer Dads Podcast, Sipping NC: The Art of Drinking and The Man Who Ate the Town, all support this cause and we hope you stand with us and the hundreds and thousands of brewers, imbibers and lovers of beer to give the beer back to the people. Give them Craft Freedom!!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“The craft beer industry has contributed to the return of local manufacturing jobs and a rekindling of the entrepreneurial spirit in N.C. Our state and world grow and change over time – and the craft beer industry here is both changing and growing along with it. It is common sense that a law that is outdated should be amended to reflect the current times – this is all we are asking for. It’s time for N.C. to support this industry instead of curbing its momentum.” – petition

Piggyback the Nosh or: Restaurant Week


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It’s Restaurant Week and I wrote a quick piece about it on The Man Who Ate the Town. Check the article HERE.


Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

” PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE AND CANCEL as soon as possible to give other diners and the restaurant the opportunity to fill those seats!” – Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership

Silent Sunday or: Silent Saturday


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Yesterday, The BCPF and I walked a short morning walk, ate at Mary’s Gourmet Diner and then I went to work. We left the studio around 5:30p and went to eat, which was a small adventure, but we had wine and that’s okay. We’re back to the studio this morning to finish the work that I’m charged with. See you tomorrow…


Until then, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

CBGB or: The Less Desirables Movie of the Week


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a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, CBGB (2013), starring Alan Rickman, Malin Akerman, Justin Bartha.

Per IMDb: “A look at the New York City punk-rock scene and the venerable nightclub, CBGB.”

Hilly Kristal (Rickman) had a few businesses and marriage that failed, mostly because of


©XLerator Media

his hedonistic lifestyle of thinking that money was secondary and happiness and doing good was enough. Doesn’t always work that way. He tried another “club,” this time in the Bowery of New York City. His closest friends, even his daughter, figured he’d fail, as he always had. He wanted this bar, again, in the Bowery of NYC, to be a place for country, blue grass and blues, so he renamed what was going to be called Hilly’s on the Bowery, CBGB to reflect his wishes for the establishment.

He hired an artist fella by the name of “Taxi” to run sound for his new club. He gave a junkie named “Idaho” a job cooking what looks like old toilet water, but they call it Hilly’s Chili. He enlists the help of some biker gangs to keep people off of his back, giving them free drinks in exchange for “protection,” whenever he needed it.

One day, a dude by the name of Terry Ork shows up saying he represents a band called Television and they want to audition to play the club. He doesn’t really dig it but he doesn’t really not. He gives them a gig. They become popular. Following that, a slew of punk icons, still in their early days, come rolling through. Acts like The Ramones, Blondie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, The Dead Boys, Talking Heads and Patti Smith, just to name a few. CBGB became the birthplace of American punk. Speaking of which, the film also talks about the phenomenon that was Punk Magazine. The mag’s origin, the people that worked there, promoted there and counted on there to get their fix of the NYC punk scene.

I don’t know how truthful most of this film is. It seems plausible but improbable most of the time. It is entertaining, though. It’s NYC in the 70s, what could be bad about that? The story is gritty and dingy, as is the scenery, as are the sets. I’ll admit that I don’t know a lot about the punk scene, American, British, or otherwise, but I really enjoyed getting a (probably) convoluted account of the rise and somewhat fall (Dead Boys) of some of these punk pioneers. I also, admit that I enjoyed the soundtrack immensely. Bands that I normally wouldn’t care for, I enjoyed, even the Ramones, if you can believe that. It made me want to go and find the real backstories of these real life bands.

I liked the many cameos and supporting actors and actresses that had parts. Rupert Grint as Cheetah Chrome, Taylor Hawkins as Iggy Pop, Johnny Galecki as Ork and many others. Again, I’m not thinking this film was supposed to knock anyone’s socks off and it certainly didn’t. Total US theater gross for this film was $40,400. That’s not a typo, forty thousand, four hunderd. Including the Home Distribution tallies, it has made about $526,514. Still, small change for the movie industry with a large release.

I don’t know that the filmmakers knew how to handle the true history and made it a bit cheesy, where the source material should have been portrayed a bit richer. I am huge fan of Alan Rickman and this was one of the last films he made before his death a little over a year ago, January 14, 2016. I don’t know that I especially enjoyed his portrayal of Hilly Kristal but I liked that he gave it a shot.

Rotten Tomatoes rates the film at a dismal 8% Rotten and the Audience Score, while significantly better is only a 42%. IMDb has it at 6.6 stars out of 10. That’s actually not too bad. I saw the film on Netflix. I am rating it 3.75 stars. That last .75 is from the soundtrack alone. Not a great film but decent if you want a bit of historical fiction and some great music. Have you seen it? What did you think? What would you like to hear/read me review?

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“I opened CBGB because I thought country music was gonna become the next big thing. And it did… in Nashville.” – Hilly Kristal

Giving It Away or: Sippin’


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So, I’m in full-on work mode, but I want to make sure you know what’s going on that you may be missing. First, if you’re not following Sipping NC: The Art of Drinking on Facebook, you need to. If you’re into NC-based libations – beer, wine, spirits – then you’d like our show. But, today we put a promotion into motion. sippingncdrinking-prototype

We’re giving away a free tour for two of the Great Wagon Road Distillery in Charlotte. This is a tour with GWR founder/owner, Oliver Mulligan. It also includes a barrel tasting. Yes, tasting their fantastic whiskey and other libations… straight from the barrel. You don’t get any fresher than that.

Well, in order to win this, we need something from you. It’s not a lot. Just listen to the show.

In the latest episode of the podcast, we had Ollie in to talk about GWR, its history, its happenings, its delicious spirits, including the award-winning whiskey, Rua. Tell us which brewery in Charlotte that Ollie says they’re collaborating with to make a new rye whiskey.

gwr0061Do NOT post your response/guess here. Send us a message. Send it, via email, to

If you’ve never had Rua or any of the other awesome things that Ollie and GWR make, well, you’ve not lived. Time to start living. Send us your response. We will pick a winner from the correct responses next Thursday, February 23, at 4pm. So, listen, respond, win!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!
“Ninety percent I’ll spend on good times, women and Irish Whiskey. The other ten percent I’ll probably waste.” Tug McGraw

Going Back to Belfast or: All Hell Breaks Loose(Eugeology Entry 6)


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The last album in the Eugeology series was so neutral to me it was Switzerland. Jon dug it and, of course, so did Eug since it’s his list. We get back to being able to pick a side this week. So, let’s do it!

#6 – All Hell Breaks Loose by Black Star Riders.


©Nuclear Blast

Admittedly, I was never big into Thin Lizzy. This was much to Eugene’s chagrin. I know he wanted to slap me on numerous occasions and several times for this fact, alone. I’m not saying I didn’t like them, I just didn’t get into them. There was nothing wrong with them, just not something I got into.

Thin Lizzy certainly had their own sound and style for sure. Phil Lynott had a voice that stood out and you never wondered if it was him or not. Phil, sadly, passed away in 1986 after battling drug and alcohol dependency. The band officially broke up a few years prior, in 1984. Without Phil they couldn’t carry on, right? Well, long-time Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorman reincarnated the band using the likes of John Sykes and several other contributors. In fact, the band still tours as Thin Lizzy sometimes. However, the band thought it was time to record a new album and tour with that, but something just wasn’t right for Thin Lizzy to do so without Phil. So, Gorman announced that the new album was going to be released under a new name and was going to be called Black Star Riders.

So, new material was released and this, All Hell Breaks Loose, is the debut album for that incarnation of the band. While the name is new and the songs are new, there’s no mistaking who these fine musicians are writing for and who they’re channeling in their writing: Thin Lizzy’s fans and Phil Lynott. It is so modern Thin Lizzy. And for that, I commend them. They did right by changing the name and I think they definitely did right by not changing what buttered their bread. Ricky Warwick, also an Irishman, just like Lynott, sounds remarkably like the original voice of the band.

Not every song sounds like Lizzy, though. The title (and opening track) song, to me, is a bit more modern and rocking. The same for “Valley of the Stones.” Great riffs throughout the album. The harmonies are impeccable and are slightly left of center when it comes to the interval. It’s not always the same harmonious recipe, they switch it up, but again, just like Lizzy. Now, don’t get me wrong, even the songs that I don’t get a full dose of Lizzy, I get sprinkles here and there. I’m not harping on that and I apologize if I am repetitive, but I find it quite enjoyable, regardless.

The phrasings of the vocals, the timbre, the melody lines, it’s familiar yet fresh. You suspect you’ve heard this style before and if you’re heard this album, of course you have heard that style. But, it will bring their roots through. The lyrics of the songs are bright and hopeful, yet still quite rock and roll. There’s hints of other genres, too, though. I thought “Before the War” was The Clash when I first heard it. Of course that didn’t last long. It got rocked up. I can’t really pick a favorite song on this, I think they’re all fantastic, and for different reasons. There’s a lot of hair-bandish riffs and solos, which are always okay with me. They’re tasteful and that’s what matters.

The band (on this album), really, is a supergroup. Each member has experience with other big names. Scott Gorham, of course, is the backbone being he has been with Lizzy from very early on. Ricky Warwick sang for The Almighty for a while and has done backing vocals with Def Leppard because he and Lep’s frontman, Joe Elliott, are chums. Guitarist Damon Johnson was co-founder of the 90s hard rock band, Brother Cane and later played with Alice Cooper. Drummer Jimmy DeGrasso has played with David Lee Roth, Ozzy, White Lion, Suicidal Tendencies and Megadeth. Bass player Marco Mendoza has played with Whitesnake and I saw him live when he was playing with Ted Nugent (yeah, I can’t stand the Nug, but Marco was great) when he opened for KISS. Their performances on this album was raw, yet near-flawless.

I recommend you pick this up, stream it, download it, purchase it, everything shy of stealing it, as it’s a fantastic rock record and it’s a very fitting tribute to Phil Lynott and the legacy of Thin Lizzy. I really want to read Eug’s assessment and Jon’s will be interesting, as well. He’s always the wild card; just the way it should be.What about you, Dear Reader, are you familiar with this? Once you hear it, I’d like to hear/read your thoughts on it.

Thank you Eugene for introducing it to us.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the fools. When all hell breaks loose.  All hell breaks loose. I walk a murder mile wearing deadman’s shoes. When all hells breaks loose. All hell breaks loose.” – “All Hell Breaks Loose” (Warwick, Johnson, Gorham, Mendoza, Wharton)