Archive for October, 2014

the movie no one saw but everyone loves

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by phanteana

October 31, 1974: the day Phantom Of The Paradise was introduced to the world as a cinematic oddity far beyond its time; it is a film that is indescribable to those who have never heard of it, and all spoilers are off the table because the experience must not be ruined ahead of screening time. once these novices see it, they either recoil in confusion, mock the tacky 70’s outfits, or attempt to dissect the plot and its themes regardless of whether or not they have a film studies background. it has a certain appeal that, despite its initial swandive (pun intended) at the box office, managed to rise from the ashes like the phoenix (also pun intended) and outlast many cult classic films that were released in the past 40 years. pretty remarkable, for a movie that hardly anyone saw yet everyone seems to enjoy.

Esquire Magazine (that’s right, ESQUIRE) has a piece on the Phantom’s legendary legacy, and what a story it is! Brian DePalma wrote the script 5 years before the film was released, inspired by the greed of the music industry. his protagonist was played by a college friend who towered over everyone on set, and his antagonist was a left-field choice known for composing such schmaltzy 70’s hits including “We’ve Only Just Begun.” it preceded Rocky Horror by a year, but it was still just as whacked out. yet Rocky attracted a devoted following from day one, while the Phantom struggled to find his audience. eventually, he did and his creator (DePalma) went on to build a lucrative career in Hollywood. sadly, the man behind the silver owl-like mask (William Finley) passed away in 2012. but his music lingers on, 40 years and going strong!

(author’s note: i love this film, as if it weren’t obvious enough. it has maintained a special place in my life for so many years and will continue to do so for many more to come)


building the perfect beast

Posted in Popular Culture with tags , , on October 30, 2014 by phanteana

ever read those career-oriented websites that feature articles on how to take cues from historical celebrities (i.e. Abraham Lincoln, Pocahontas, etc.) when it comes to improving professional images? some of them can be downright boring. but a recent posting on ZipRecruiter offers some timely advice (literally speaking, since tomorrow is Halloween) on this subject matter by relating it to some of Hollywood’s most well-known ghouls. Dracula, for instance, is a charismatic leader with solid people skills, can keep calm under stress, and is willing to sink his teeth into any project. the Wolfman, on the other hand, takes the work/life balance just a bit too far; sure, we all like to go out and enjoy ourselves after a long day at the office. but co-workers eventually notice habits like chronic lateness or falling asleep at the desk. so it’s best to limit the nocturnal outings to the weekend. Frankenstein’s performance review would suggest he take advantage of the free courses offered by his company, particularly if they can help with anger management. finally, zombies are the result of what happens when a job becomes tedious and completely drains its workers of life. but there’s a solution to that (and no, it’s not eating the bosses’ brains): networking!

“i found this job on”

audiovisual heritage

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , on October 27, 2014 by phanteana

if Marty McFly can save the Hill Valley clock tower, then we can save the archives.

dancing in the dark

Posted in Music, Popular Culture with tags , , , , on October 23, 2014 by phanteana

’tis the season for endless specials on Vlad the Impaler, Jack The Ripper, Mary Shelley, Bela Lugosi, and a who’s who of the Gothic Realm…and what better way to present a spooky series than on the BBC (especially when it includes a section devoted to Goth Rock)! according to, the channel will air “Goth At The BBC” on Halloween as part of its “When Gothic Was Born” series. BBC Four will dive into the archives and unearth classic footage of Goth luminaries including Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission UK (one of my favorites), and everyone else under the sun, er…moon. the only downside is that it’s not airing on BBC America.

anatomy of a rock star librarian

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags on October 19, 2014 by phanteana

here’s a repost from the Library Journal: Anatomy of a Rock Star Librarian.

(author’s note: i love the reference to Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves Of London.” it’s a fantastic song for this time of year, though the author goofed and stated Zevon was still alive when he actually passed away in 2003)



keynote speakers might want to consider hiring Mick Jagger, since he knows how to keep an audience captivated…and yes, we can forgive him for Freejack.

how soon is never?

Posted in Music with tags , , , on October 14, 2014 by phanteana

an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the penultimate honor for any musician. originally, the voting was conducted by journalists and other music professionals but in recent years it has opened up to the public. most of the acts that have been bestowed entry into the Hall of Fame are of no real surprise based on their lengthy careers and iconic presence (Led Zeppelin, U2, Elvis Presley, etc.). but the potential nominees for the class of 2015 includes what might rank as the most left-of-center choice in the Hall’s history: The Smiths.

despite releasing some of the most influential albums during the 1980’s, The Smiths are also known for their highly acrimonious divorce over 25 years ago. critics and fans alike agree that if they had remained together, their success would have been massive. but Morrissey and Johnny Marr have been at each other’s throats for years in a messy legal battle over royalties…or as this recent article from Entertainment Weekly states: “they just plain don’t like each other.” it’s a shame this is the case, seeing as how 2014 has been stressful for both: Marr’s sophomore solo album just doesn’t capture the magic of his former band, and The Moz revealed his constant cancellations are due to his battling cancer. an award like this would truly lift their spirits, and maybe even sway them towards a virtually preposterous (in their opinion, at least) direction: to share a stage for the first time since 1987.

hypothetically speaking, if The Smiths were to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, would they even bother to show up? most likely no. but considering Morrissey has no problem performing some of their hits in concert, perhaps that is a small sign of hope for those of us who dream the impossible dream.

….and this has always been my favorite Smiths song.

the 3 R’s: reading, riding, and remembering

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , on October 9, 2014 by phanteana

whether you live in a major city or a sprawling rural area, there is bound to be a library within reach. but with so many changes in our modern society, libraries are no longer merely brick-and-mortar institutions. some are on-the-go services, and this isn’t just relegated to Winnebagos; in Colombia, a teacher and his donkeys- collectively known as the Biblioburro– bring books to school children in rural areas. it’s a really wonderful concept, because some of these kids live in such remote villages and might otherwise not have access to library materials.

libraries provide patrons with a quiet place to work, play games, or read the latest bestseller. but there’s a place even quieter than the library itself, and no one is there to shush you if you sneeze or cough too loudly:

the Jüdischer Friedhof Krems, located in Austria, has been around since WWII. it is a burial site to nearly 130 Jews who perished during the War. in 2004, a library was designed by two artists as a means to allow visitors to borrow or add books, though its purpose is more of a memorial sculpture.