Bootlegs of the Day: May 23, 2023 – Jerry Garcia

Sorry for being so late today with these. I overslept and had to rush to work. Then it was a very long day at work. Every muscle in my body now aches and I want to do nothing more than take a nap. But I’m here for you people and instead, I’m getting these fantastic Legion of Mary shows posted. :).

Legion of Mary – 1975.04.05 – Passaic, NJ

Legion of Mary – 1975.04.06 – Boston, MA

Legion of Mary – 1975.04.08 – New York, NY

Legion of Mary – 1975.04.11 – Upper Darby, PA

Bootlegs of the Day: May 22, 2023 – Bob Dylan

Happy Bob Dylan Monday. Today I’ve got several shows from Bob’s European tour with Carlos Santana in 1984. I’ve marked the times the show notes indicate Carlos actually playing with Bob but I didn’t spend a lot of time digging into it. So it is possible that I missed some.

Bob Dylan & Carlos Santana – 1984.05.29 – Sirmione, Italy – Press Conference

Bob Dylan – 1984.06.11 – Offenbach, Germany

Bob Dylan – 1984.06.14 – Vienna, Austria

Bob Dylan – 1984.06.20 – Rome, Italy – w/Carlos Santana in the encores

Bob Dylan – 1984.06.28 – Barcelona, Italy

Bootlegs of the Day: May 21, 2023 – Billy Joel, Bob Marley & Charles Mingus

Billy Joel – 1977-1978 – 52nd Street and The Stranger Demos

Billy Joel – 1977.12.11 – Uniondale, NY

Billy Joel – 2008.07.16 – Flushing, NY – w/John Mayer, John Mellencamp and Don Henley

Bob Marley – 1973.07.11 – Boston, MA

Bob Marley – 1975.06.27 – Boston, MA

Charles Mingus – 1959.07.04 – Newport, RI

Charles Mingus – 1964.04.10 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Charles Mingus – 1965.05.13 – Minneapolis, MN

The Babysitter (2017)

the babysitter movie poster

Netflix has been recommending The Babysitter to me since it came out in 2017. The plot sounded fun, and I’ve almost pressed play a few times. But it stars Bella Thorne who is like the new Paris Hilton – famous for being famous, and attractive and exploiting that attractiveness into social media points (and money, presumably). I have zero interest in watching anything with her in it.

In the years since I’ve very much become a fan of Samara Weaving. She’s terrific in films like Mayhem and Ready or Not, she was the best part of the recent Scream film. So when I realized she was the actual star of The Babysitter I decided to give it a spin. The film is pretty good, actually, and Samara is terrific.

The plot is full of clever callbacks and the dialogue is often very funny. The story involves a shy, nerdy 12-year-old (Judah Lewis) who is sort of embarrassed to be the oldest kid on the block who still has a babysitter but less embarrassed that the babysitter looks like Samara Weaving and is super cool and actually seems interested in spending time with him. He’s then full-on mortified when he learns she’s the head of a satanic cult and needs his blood for a sacrificial ritual.

From there, it becomes a Home Alone-type situation with the boy trying to keep the babysitter and her friends from killing him. Well, Home Alone where the violence is a lot more visceral and less cartoony. It is mostly quite a fun thrill ride. Even Bella Thorne is enjoyable. She plays a vacuous, superficial, dumb-dumb who is more concerned with her beauty than anything else (when she gets shot in the chest she is more worried that it will ruin her boobs than whether she’ll live or die). You could argue it isn’t much of a stretch for the actress.

The problem lies in the direction. McG started life as a music producer and video director and it shows. So much of The Babysitter feels like it belongs on MTV. It is filled with fast cuts, big needle drops, and neon-bright directorial swings. He draws clear influence from folks like Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright but has none of their panache or understanding of how to use stylistic flourishes to support the story. Instead, it feels like he’s just beating us on the head with them.

Had the script been given maybe one or two more go-overs and it had been helmed by a real director The Babysitter could have been a true cult classic. As it is, I’m once again swooned by Samara Weaving, and entertained by the story, but I leave it wishing there was more to it.

The Friday Night Horror Movie: Psycho III (1986)

psycho iii poster

In 1987 there was a made-for-TV movie called Bates Motel (it has nothing to do with the more recent TV series of the same name except for the location and existence inside the Psycho Cinematic Universe). I was 11 when it came out, which seems young to be watching a Psycho movie, but it aired on NBC so it must have been deemed safe to watch by my parents.

I don’t remember anything about it except that I loved it, and that it briefly made me obsessed with all things Psycho. I’d never seen the original Hitchcock film or any of its sequels, but I certainly knew about them as they were part of the cultural zeitgeist. Sometime later Psycho III came on some basic cable channel late on a Friday or Saturday night. I don’t think I started it from the beginning but found it while flipping channels and stayed.

I don’t remember anything about it either, and in fact, didn’t realize it was Psycho III until tonight while watching it. What I do remember is a scene in which a pretty young thing does a sexy dance in a motel room while a young Jeff Fahey watches on. He’s naked while sitting in a chair holding a lamp in each hand, wielding one like a sword, or rather like a giant, misshapen cock.

It was about that time when my mother, who must have been watching the film in her bedroom, called out that I should turn the channel. I guess I wasn’t deemed old enough to be watching that one.

I’m not entirely sure why I decided to watch Psycho III tonight, all these years later except that I recently was surprised by how good Psycho II is, and thought maybe this one might surprise me as well.

It isn’t exactly bad, but it is exactly what one might expect from the third sequel in a 1980s horror franchise. It is darker and sleazier than the previous films but unlike Psycho II it has no interest in really empathizing with Norman Bates (though Anthony Perkins’ performance is still quite sympathetic).

The plot picks up soon after the events of the last film. Norman is still running the Bates Motel, and the corpse of Emma Spool has been preserved and speaks to Norman as his mother. Fahey plays a skeezy drifter who takes a job at the hotel.

The film opens with a woman screaming “There is No God” and then it fades in to Maureen (Diana Scarwid), a nun shouting that line again” while staring up at an icon of the Virgin Mary. She then tries to kill herself by throwing herself off the top of a bell tower, in a scene that resembles a similar moment in Vertigo.

The film was directed by Anthony Perkins and he fills the screen with references to the original film and other Hitchcock movies.

Maureen is kicked out of the convent and finds herself staying at the Bates Motel. She and Norman hit it off while Fahey generally acts like a dick. There’s also a journalist who thinks Norman may still be killing people, or at least probably killed Emma Spool.

Meanwhile, Norman is still killing people. Mostly pretty girls who turn him on. Mother doesn’t like that, you know?

There is no depth to the film, it doesn’t attempt to make Norman’s killings a mystery. It is very much a 1980s horror film with some pretty good kills, some really great lighting, and quite a bit of sex and nudity. As such it is pretty good. As the second sequel to one of the all-time great horror films (and the regular sequel to a pretty darn good horror film in its own right), it is disappointing.

I can’t decide if I want to watch Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990), but I definitely want to track down Bates Hotel now.

Bootlegs of the Day: May 19, 2023 – Van Morrison

Happy Van Morrison Friday everybody. Today I’ve got a bunch of shows for you – some old, some new, some with new sources. As always thanks to Arik for the help.

Van Morrison – 1973.05.24 – Los Angeles, CA

Van Morrison – 1973.10.06 – Los Angeles, CA

Van Morrison – 1981.05.23 – Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Van Morrison – 1981.10.22 – San Francisco, CA

Van Morrison – 1981.10.23 – San Francisco, CA

Van Morrison – 1981.10.24 – San Francisco, CA

Van Morrison – 1981.11.01 – San Francisco, CA

Van Morrison – 1981.11.17 – San Francisco, CA

Van Morrison – 2003.07.20 – Lucerne, Switzerland

Van Morrison – 2003.09.12 – Frankfurt, Germany

Van Morrison – 2003.09.17 – Bournemouth, England

Van Morrison – 2003.11.13 – Hamburg, Germany

Van Morrison – 2003.11.14 – Berlin, Germany

Van Morrison – 2003.11.19 – Leipzig, Germany

Bootlegs of the Day: May 18, 2023 – Neil Young

Neil Young – 2016.06.23 – Paris, France

Neil Young – 2016.07.05 – Rattvik, Sweden

Neil Young – 2016.10.01 – Telluride, CO

Neil Young – 2016.10.08 – Indio, CA

Neil Young w/Willie Nelson – 2016.10.23 – Mountain View, CA – Also includes Cage the Elephant show.