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Literary/I Want My DVDs

We are usually against necrophilia, but if there is one corpse that deserves to have slow, magical love made to it, it’s John Belushi’s. He represents a golden era of comedy celebrity, and the world will never see the likes of him again.
February 1, 2006, 12:00am


Rugged Land

We are usually against necrophilia, but if there is one corpse that deserves to have slow, magical love made to it, it’s John Belushi’s. He represents a golden era of comedy celebrity, and the world will never see the likes of him again.

This book is an oral history of Belushi, compiled by his widow, Judith. It’s great. John Belushi was a famous person who wasn’t completely fake and gross. OK, wait, I guess he was kind of gross, but that’s what I like about him. He did coke. He sweated. He thought up amazing characters and made the whole world piss itself. He loved the Dead Kennedys and Fear.


PS: I went to the Chateau Marmont once and snuck into the bungalow where he died. On the walk up the little path, I thought I would sense his ghost or something, but no dice. I stood in the middle of the room and went, “John’s ghost, talk to me.” Nothing. Oh well, I tried.



Shadow of Light/Archive

Beggar’s Banquet

Of all the bands that have reunited in the past couple of years, Bauhaus is the one that felt most like a knife jammed into my heart and then twisted merrily in circles. The Pixies? Go ahead and trot out all your old songs onstage for jocks in white caps—it doesn’t hurt me. Gang of Four? Guess what—they were criminally overrated anyway. They had two good records and then they unleashed load after load of shit on us. So they can go ahead and reunite twice a year. I don’t care.

But Bauhaus? Come on, Bauhaus! I always saw them as the coolest, most perfectly image-conscious band ever. They never did not look incredibly cool. Even when they split off into Tones on Tail and then Love and Rockets and Peter Murphy solo, they always kept up a ridiculously cool front. Then they had to do this recent reunion show, and poof—they blew the coolness. The appearances weren’t even bad. They were just boring. It was like four anemic uncles onstage. And I mean, come on. This is Bauhaus we’re talking about. When I was in eighth grade, I really did seriously think they were actual, literal vampires.


Thank Christ we have this DVD, which contains all of the Bauhaus music videos, plus an entire live show from their golden years. Ohmyfuckinglord, these guys were the coolest-looking band in the entire world. Did I say that already? OK, then hear this too—all the songs, every single one, and all the videos, every single one, are 100 percent gems. There is not a stinker on here. This is the best DVD I have seen in ages.


Punk Rock Confidential

Can we stop pretending that punk isn’t really all about fashion and gossip? At least Fat Mike can. He just skyrocketed into our permanent good books by doing

US Weekly

, but for punks. That’s what his magazine

Punk Rock Confidential

is, plain and simple. Scoff all you want, but try to not read every issue cover to cover.


A-Trak: Sunglasses Is a Must

Audio Research DVD

Um, cool. A DVD about an award-winning DJ. Should be a real blast. What will there be on here, a 30-minute explanation of the history of the “crab scratch”? Sounds enthralling.

But hold your horses just a minute there, asshole. A-Trak isn’t just an award-winning DJ. He was like 14 years old when he was first crowned a DMC champ. It might be hard to muster an “I care” for that now that the vogue for what-once-was-called turntablism has gone the way of trip-hop and Guru’s


, but that’s a big deal. A prodigy in any artistic practice transcends trends. Wow, did I just think of that sentence? Seriously though, watching A-Trak really get into one of his routines is pretty fucking amazing. The detail, the dexterity, and the mastery that he puts into DJing make all the kids who press play on an iPod at the corner of a bar now and call themselves DJs look like retarded apes with all but one finger on each hand amputated.


A-Trak is now Kanye West’s tour DJ, so in addition to a history lesson that includes all of A-Trak’s early triumphs (some seemingly pre-dating his puberty), we get to see some behind-the-scenes shit from his life right now. This kid has come a long way and he’s still, what, 20 or something?


The Man Who Fell to Earth

Criterion Collection

Did you know that David Bowie recorded an entire soundtrack to this film, but director Nicolas Roeg turned it down and had John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas do one instead? Did you know that some of the music Bowie wrote for this movie then went onto his record


? Did you further know that you can see Rip Torn in an early role in this film? He plays a total lothario, which is pretty funny to behold. But the most important thing to know about this DVD edition of

The Man Who Fell to Earth

is that it is fucking amaaaazing. It comes with a little paperback copy of the book that inspired the film, it is a lush and crystal-clear transfer, the packaging makes you feel smart for owning it, and—most importantly—the film that is contained on it is an oft overlooked classic of sci-fi, drama, sadness, alienation, and beauty.