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Today I am very pleased to feature part one of a two part interview with John and Cris of The Deafening Colors. The second I heard their music I was immediately transported out of my living room and into the minds and worlds of these amazing song writers. You can find their new album here. Be sure to crank it on a good sound system or put your headphones on, there’s a lot to take in.


Carousel SeasonWhat is your name?

John: My name is John Arthur. I am in The Deafening Colors.

Cris: My name is Cristofer Slotoroff. Everyone calls me Cris, though. Even my mom. I am in The Deafening Colors.

What is your quest?

John: My quest is, to quote Tolstoy, to add my light to the sum of light.

Cris: I took a career quiz in the eighth grade. In a moment of preteen sincerity, I wrote “to paint my masterpiece.” Not sure of the medium, but I’m still working on it.
Tell me about your journey to Carousel Season. How does it differ from previous efforts?
John: It started with Cris’s early versions of “Diving Horse’s Ghost” and “Carousel Season.” It differs from previous efforts because it is so focused. This was probably the album that we’ve been trying to write during the dozen or more years since Cris and I first started playing music together in our parents’ basements in high school.

Cris: It differs, as John mentioned, in the realm of focus. Like, I can passably (and poorly) string vocals together, but they won’t be very good. John can play a bunch of instruments too, but this time, it just sort of turned out that John (who is an uncommonly good singer, and I’m not even just saying that) did all of the vocals and I did all of the instruments. It wasn’t a stated aim or goal or whatever. It just sort of started turning out that way. That’s more of an explanation of the process though rather than the journey.

To more accurately answer your question, I think the journey is, at least personally speaking here, borne out of necessity: I had a rough 2014 and I hadn’t made anything (musically, financially, personally, artistically) in a long time. I didn’t feel like myself. Wrong girl, wrong town, wrong people to surround myself with. Blah blah blah. Finally, something clicked and it seemed as if I had to look backward to go forward if that makes any sense. Looking back here, this all seems a little pretentious. Whatever. It’s true.

Reading the “About” section on your site makes it sound as if a minor fender bender may have started all this?

John: That was Cris’s fender bender. I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

Cris: Sort of. I was home visiting my family. I had already intended on recording a ton of stuff, so it wasn’t as though the idea wasn’t in my head. I didn’t mean for it to sound so dramatic, because it wasn’t. Let me set that straight for future reference. What happened is that I was driving to get a cheesesteak for lunch at Rose’s Garden Grille in Northfield, NJ, where John is from (and where he used to work in high school). John’s town is adjacent to my town. Anyhow, on my way there, I see this fender bender on the side of the road. It looked like the cops hadn’t gotten there yet. Nothing serious, but everyone looked a little uneasy. So I pulled over and then I realize it was actually someone I knew really well. I hadn’t spoken to her in so long, and we had a bit of a relationship when we were kids. She was there with her mother, and I’m really good friends with her older brother, so I run over and ask if everyone’s all right. They were, but they both didn’t recognize me until later in the day after I got in touch again, and then we kind of spent the whole rest of the winter break talking to one another while I was recording all of this stuff. I had forgotten or maybe misplaced in my memory all of these experiences. Also, I’ve been out of high school ten years as of 2015. So as we were talking it was kind of like rediscovering myself in some strange way. It was really cool to make something and rekindle an old friendship. I think the two had a lot of bearing on one another.

What do you think would have happened if Cris hadn’t had that experience?

John: We would have kept on recording and making music. Both of us constantly have recording, and the creation of art in general, on our minds.

Cris: I agree with John. We have been making stuff for years and we won’t stop. Like John sort of insinuated, we have been trying unconsciously, I think, to make this album for a very long time.

I need to know who Mary-Anne and Jerry Ryan are.

John: Mary-Anne is the girl you wish you had asked to the movies in 11th grade. Jerry Ryan is a philanthropist, music enthusiast, festival organizer, father, humorist, and all around good dude from Atlantic City, NJ.

Cris: Mary-Anne is the best kind of disaster, but you can only feel that way in retrospect – a person genuinely awful to the core, but nonetheless essential to helping you figure something out about yourself. I had one of those in my life at one point. I think it’s important to be optimistic, so that’s the way I choose to see that whole thing. Her name wasn’t Mary-Anne, but Mary-Anne has this classy old ring to it, so it kind of had to be “Mary-Anne.” “Maggie Anne” was considered too, because my roommate’s dog is named Maggie and she’s fantastic, but it wasn’t to be.

As John said: Jerry Ryan is a philanthropist, music enthusiast, festival organizer, father, humorist, and all around good dude from Atlantic City, NJ.

I’d like to add, he was pretty instrumental in our developing an early audience. Though John and I had been making music for years and playing the occasional show here and there around NYC, Philly, NJ/AC, etc. we were inherently not so good at promoting ourselves. We’re not very “band-y,” if you know what I mean? But we take the creating music part of things very seriously and Jerry was one of the first people to sort of say “hey, you guys NEED to play at my new festival and you NEED more people to hear this album.” Also, the lyrics of that song are almost 100% literal truth.

I absolutely hear a Beach Boys influence in your harmonies and even some of the production choices? Is that something that is conscious or instinctive?

John: I think it started out as instinctive but we picked up on it quickly and then it became conscious.

Cris: Hm. One of the things I like about the way that John and I record is that it’s not very “serious.” I don’t mean that in a way that contradicts what I’ve written previous to this. What I mean is that we are very serious about the music we make and extremely dedicated, but the process of doing it is entirely one of exploration. I imagine it’s probably a lot like telling some kid at an amusement park, “okay, we want you to make the greatest roller coaster of all time. So here’s all the tickets you want. Ride them all as many times as you’d like, see how much you can handle. Then, draw up the best roller coaster possible, it doesn’t matter if it’s crazy and doesn’t make any sense. We will try to build it!” We didn’t really model it on anyone else’s work. John did a lot of those harmonies first take. Like it’s almost all improvised, which is sort of crazy good, if you really think about it. Like, I’m still outrageously impressed with all of that and I was sitting there and clicking the  buttons and all.

John and I were just having this conversation the other day: “Why do people keep saying beach boys?” or “why surf rock?”  Neither one of us thinks of music in terms of genre, you know? We have a hard time categorizing other people’s stuff, so it’s nearly impossible for us to accurately describe our sound. I mean certainly we love Pet Sounds and the like, and I’m sure it played the role of a conscious influence along the way, but I think I was listening to more Run The Jewels and RTJ2 than I was Pet Sounds! In terms of Surf Rock, we have been listing that as a genre where applicable because it’s what other people seem to say about us. I think that’s because of the guitar tone I kind of prefer, which is actually really simple – just a few pedals and amps and all. Lots of spring Reverb. But actually, as much as I like equipment, my stuff sort of pales in comparison to what I want. We have made the most out of our gear. Believe me. I did some weird stuff to my guitars, I guess, but it’s nothing revolutionary or whatever. We keep things (cheap and) simple on the whole. We become restless easily too, so what happens next may be entirely different. Who knows?

In terms of production, I like being surrounded by music. I like bathing in it. I want it to sound, literally, like waves of sound are picking you up and tossing you around comfortably and maybe not so comfortably. So, more so than Brian Wilson, I think Loveless (My Bloody Valentine), You Forgot It in People (Broken Social Scene), and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot were influential production touchstones. Oh, also a lot of Dave Friedmann’s stuff with The Flaming Lips. In particular, Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi. Finally, (sorry for rambling here,) I think that it sounds a little Beach Boys or surfy or whatever because it’s about where we grew up, and well… I surf. I love surfing. I’m going surfing in a few minutes actually! There is a lot of kitschy BS associated with surfing and music around here, so I think I kind of wanted it to be as cool as I think it can be. Jersey Surf Rock, maybe? Like dirty water, crowded lineup, dodging jetties and shoobies and drainage pipes and all. That’s what the album sounds like to me.

The Beach Boys connection is maybe (…and somewhat ironically, given what people have said about it,) more Van Dyke Parks than Brian Wilson in that the subject matter is cyclical and reflective of a hometown aesthetic (if I can be so presumptuous). I can see where it comes from though, because of the harmonies and the guitars…but like, there was Carl, Dennis, Bruce, Al, Brian, and Mike. And probably others. John did literally every vocal on that album. I didn’t work with any session people. I don’t say that to brag, because I’m not exactly Mr. Proficiency on my instruments. I mention this because the line between vision and creation is not even remotely obscured when it comes to the two of us. We don’t have to relinquish anything to the creative or commercial whims of anyone else. I’ve heard of a certain Hoboken native who liked to remind the world just whose way he did things, and I think it’s admirable when anyone blazes his or her own trail in the arts. I think that someone more important than me once said “if you’re going to fail, it should be spectacularly…” or something like that.

What has the reaction to Carousel Season been?

John: It has been overwhelmingly positive—I’m thankful every day that we have people listening to and sharing our music. The best thing, for me, is that some of the songs are taking on a life of their own—”Jerry Ryan” was recently performed by a bunch of students for an Elephants For Autism charity music camp—watching the video of those kids performing a song we wrote probably made me happier than anything else has in my life (except of course my family and my wife)…hi, Khush. Hi, mom.

Cris: More positive than I could have ever imagined. It’s sort of surreal. Like, I remember just sort of mic’ing everything up and then playing the instruments, recording John, mixing it, mastering it, buying gear, restringing guitars or whatever, blah blah blah, and there was no audience for that, you know? Like, no one was expecting anything from us except for those really close to us. And then again, we’ve been recording music a long time so when we would tell our friends “no really, this is pretty good…” I think a lot of them were sort of skeptical. It’s funny – we used to tell people that if they didn’t want to listen to our 7” or our CD-R EPs, they made great drink coasters. We never took ourselves seriously and I think that kind of rubbed off on the music we made and the way people interpreted it. Also, I think that we may have been a little afraid to say something genuine… sort of like “who are we to say _____ ?” A lot of things clicked, though, this time around in a way they haven’t and I think we’re onto something even bigger.


Be sure to join us next week for the exciting conclusion of our interview with John and Cris of The Deafening Colors.

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Last night I got to see Ion Storm‘s inaugural show! They were amazing from the first song to the last. For those unaware I interviewed  them here. Go get acquainted with them and then come right back. It’s OK. I’ll wait.

Everything I’ve heard from them so far has impressed me, but those were only recordings. One really must see them live to get the full impact. First, amazing guitar tone and a pretty tight outfit. I know these guys practice up to 12 hours at a go and it shows. Their current bass player is a recent addition and it showed a bit, but overall he brought the low end. Drummer Tim was solid, fast, and interesting. I thought there was a moment when he was losing the beat, but it was just a part of a tempo change that was written into the song. Grady and Chris had some great harmonized riffage going on that seemed to focus around 4ths and it sounded great. My main complaint was the vocal levels. This show was at the Red Room and their vocals always seem low, but Grady represented growl well.

Oh, did I mention they have a Minotaur? His name is Drew. Look at him.

Do you have a Minotaur? No, you do not. I played bullfighter with Drew for a bit. It was good times.

This band has a lot to offer and brought the heat, which leads me to the title of this post. Look up there ↑ and read it again. At most there were three people up off their butts rocking out, including me and Drew. I wish that this was the exception rather than the rule. I know people want to blame smart phones etc, but it’s not that. In my estimation it’s our self reflective, self conscious society. To put it another way: we are afraid of having fun and looking like fools(Well, not me clearly. I played bullfighter with a Minotaur). It needs to stop now. Do it for yourself. Get up!! Dance! Bang your head!! Visibly enjoy yourself!!!

But also do it for that band up there on the stage or the one on the floor where the pool tables had to be moved to make room. They don’t spend 12 hours at a go writing and rehearsing so you can sit there drinking your PBR and golf clapping after every song. And I can guarantee you they didn’t do it for the money, because bands rarely get paid much if anything just starting out. This is a two way street. They are there for you and you need to be there for them.

Some pics from the show:

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Beta Lion. Mark Fulinara, Opie Tran, Dean Fulinara, JR Fulinara. That’s a whole lot of Fulinara!!! I wonder if they are related (hint: maybe).

You have a long history together and haven’t always played as Beta Lion. How did you all come together?

Mark:  It started with a high school video project for our friend and original bassist, Joel (whoop whoop!).  Dean was one of the only drummers he knew in the neighborhood, and I was the only A/V nerd he knew to videotape it.  They had a mic setup, but nobody wanted to sing, so I ended up singing for fun and we eventually become a band.

Opie:  We were actually originally called p.o.p. (part of the problem). The line up had already been established of Dean (drums), Joel (bass), Mark (singer), and our friend Ryan that played guitar (JR had not joined yet). I had met Joel through high school gym class and Mark was always in the same friend circle but we never really hung out. All I remember was walking to my class one day and Dean approaching me asking if I wanted to jam with them after school and so I did.  We played  random talent shows, house parties, and punk shows anywhere we got the chance to.  As years passed, Joel left so Mark took up bass guitar along with vocals, then Ryan left and we knew we wanted to keep the band chemistry tight as possible.  Back then, JR really dug the band and came out to all the shows. We figured he knew all the songs already and he’s a Fulinara so we asked him to join. He agreed and here we are almost ten years later still playing songs together.

JR:  Since childhood, Mark and Dean have been the closest of family to me.  Every time our families would get together, we would sit around and play guitar and they would teach me their songs as I was a fan of the music.  Naturally when their friend left the band, I was the best choice to fill the gap or so I’d like to think!  Since Opie was practically part of our family, the chemistry worked out well.

What’s your song writing process?

Mark:  I constantly record these really crappy demos into my laptop.  They’re just pieces of songs, a verse here, a chorus there, maybe the occasional guitar riff.  Over time, I’ll piece them together into rough skeletons, then I hand them over to the boys and they put meat on the bones make them sound like real songs.  I feel really lucky to work with the rest of the guys, I always hear these crazy horror stories about other people’s experiences playing in bands.  Beta Lion is a fun band to be in.  We’re all split between Los Angeles and San Diego, so we’ll go for long periods of time without practicing, then when we do, we’ll do these crazy 8-hour practices with little or no breaks in-between.  But even if we haven’t been practicing, we all hang out pretty often, so we’re pretty good about communicating ideas to each other which I think is also super important.

JR:  It’s a bit vague but it really does vary from song to song.  Usually Mark and Dean will create rough demos of ideas they’ve been working on.  Most of the time they are small like a beat in a different timing, a chorus or guitar lead.  Sometimes it’s just a description of a feeling we want the listener to have.  Once we start to flesh it out, Opie will really start to hammer out the guitar leads based on ideas he’s been wanting to try.  I’m usually trying to complement what everyone else is doing to really drive their parts as much as I can. Little by little, we keep sculpting until it makes sense.  That’s when angels are born.

You all have “day jobs.” What do you get from performing in Beta Lion?

Mark:  I like that I get to cut loose and dance around like I’ve lost my mind for a bit.  Sometimes I feel like Hansel from Zoolander where he falls into a trance right before he miraculously pulls off his underwear to win the walk off.  It was definitely never about picking up girls, I think the band-angle never worked for me anyway.

Opie:  When I’m onstage, I’m the exaggerated alternate version of my normal everyday self.  Performing in Beta Lion is probably one of the greatest things to ever happen to me.  Since I was a child I’ve always had a need to perform and express myself.  Being able to have music as my medium and three other solid dudes to play it with is something I’ll always be grateful for.

JR:  An escape.  It’s sort of like watching a movie.  For that brief moment, you escape reality.  Dean jokingly once said, “Last night, we were gods!”, as he pretended to tuck himself into bed.

What inspires you most?

Mark:  Fortune cookies, Snapple bottle caps, and motivational posters.  No, but really, I’m a big nerd about movies, comic books, martial arts, and mythology so all sorts of pop-culture finds its way into our music.  For example, our song “Faces & Heels” is about this pro-wrestler from the 50’s named Gorgeous George that I was obsessed with for a while.

JR:  Movies and TV Shows.  They inspire me in many ways.  After an hour, I could be researching cases hoping to solve medical puzzles to fighting crime in downtown LA.  Most of the time I end up going to sleep with a package of Chips Ahoy on the nightstand.

Tell me about your latest CD.

Mark:  Well, we’ve been trying to keep up the momentum of releasing our demo earlier this year by following up with a 5-song EP.  It’s gonna be more ambitious than anything we’ve ever done.  Do you remember back in the 90’s when hip-hop and pop punk albums would have little mini-skits in-between songs?  Hopefully we can pull something like that off.

JR:  “I believe in Beta Lion” was a huge accomplishment for us.  We’ve been a band for quite some time but never had something tangible that truly represented us so this was something we’ve been proud of.  It’s a taste of things to come.

Why should someone see you live?

Mark:  Even though we’re a new band to a lot of people, we’ve been playing live shows together for over a decade.  I think experience, onstage chemistry, and basically growing up together is a pretty hard to beat combination.  If done correctly, NO CAN DEFEND.

Opie:  I always tell people when you see Beta Lion live it’s not so much the music you go to see, but the bond between four guys that you want to be a part of.  Don’t get me wrong we have great songs and play them well but its the overall vibe and show that makes us a worthy act.  We’ve played so many shows we are so comfortable with being on stage and its a lot of fun for us.

JR:  I think we bring something unique to the scene and genuinely, without motive, try to put on the best show we possibly can.  We also give out free kisses?

Why keyboards?

Mark:  Since we don’t quite have the budget for a real string section, a pipe organ, or laser guns, keyboards will have to do for now.  Dean also writes a lot of music on the piano, so it’s natural that a lot of it ends up in the final product.

Opie:  Opens up a world of new sounds which leads to new songs. Fills in the sonic spaces so other instruments can do more interesting things.

JR:  A lot of the music we write translates well on a piano. I feel it creates a fuller, bigger sound that we couldn’t accomplish without one.

Plans for the future?

Mark:  Hopefully to end off our biggest year ever with a bang, then following up with an even bigger one next year.

Opie:  Write and record more songs. Put out some EPs and tour more.

JR:  Where we’re going, we don’t need plans!

How did you all get into Muay Thai Kickboxing?

Mark:  JCVD and lots of nerdiness.  When I was a teenager, there was nothing I wanted more in life than to be a Muay Thai champion.

Opie:  I actually was the last one to get into it. Back in the days during practice we would take breaks and the guys would work pads in the street and I would hangout in the garage playing guitar.  It wasn’t till I was laid off from my job that I had a lot of time on my hands so I got really into cycling. I thought that Muay Thai would be a good compliment to cycling so I signed up for a fight gym and have been a hooked ever since. Every so often you can find us “warming up” wailing on the pads before shows.

JR:  One day I was outside fetching some water when a fly landed on the trunk of a banana tree.  I disliked flies. I punched at it several times.  I got in close and threw elbows and knees, kicking the trunk as hard as I could.  I killed the fly.  Not satisfied with its squashed remains, I kept kicking until its body disintegrated.  The tree fell down and that’s when I created Muay Thai.

If you could be one type of building or structure what would it be?

Mark:  The Deathstar or Castle Greyskull.

Opie:  Batcave

JR:  Something that birds will never take a dump on.  Maybe that huge tower from Lord of the Rings with my eye on top. I would love to see a bird try and drop a deuce on that!


Big thanks to Beta Lion. You can keep up with them at the following links:

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As mentioned in the previous post I am embarking on a series of interviews with my talented friends and acquaintances. This first interview is with Terry Sheldrick from Netheravon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom. Terry and I first met via guitar.com. (that site will come up a few more times in future interviews)

Terry’s band/music project is Dirty Face. It’s straight ahead rock. When I listen to his music I can tell the tones he recorded started in his head and he has a real honest vocal style that is easy for me to appreciate. In the interest of full disclosure I did do some design work for Terry’s album “Cocaine Woman”, which you can purchase at Create Space or Amazon. I recommend getting it from Create Space as Terry will see a larger cut of that and I’m all about supporting the arts!


Dirty Face is pretty much just you right?

TS: Yeah Dirty Face is just me. I kind of have been a one man band since I picked up the electric guitar. Just me and my brain!

What does your name mean?

TS: Well, the name came because of my 6 year old son. I never shave when going into a studio or when writing, not sure why just like to be the caveman singing dirty blues! Anyway, when returning home from the studio my son said I had a Dirty face and the name stuck!

What is your song writing process like?

TS: I don’t sit down and think I must write a song. Do that and you end up with a headache. I don’t play guitar everyday. Sorry, but you’ve either got it in your head already or you should just take up needle work!

Tell me about the writing and recording process for Cocaine Woman?

TS: Believe it or not but Cocaine Woman from lyrics to chords, chorus, solo, and bass were done within 15 minutes. It was the first song I had for the album. When I had that I just knew an album was born plus I had just found my old producer on facebook so believe in fate or not something was working that Christmas 2010! Then started recording in jan 2011!!

Did you do all the instruments?

TS: Yeah, done the guitar work also bass, solos, the drums where down to a good old drum machine I’m not really a gadget person I’m fairly lazy like that.

Did you have people sit in?

TS: No just me and my producer Ian Marshall wish I could of really but the budget was tight and I was and still am funding this all by myself! Maybe in the second album!!

Where did you record and what was it like?

TS: The Album was recorded in Salisbury City County Wiltshire England, It was a great feeling getting back into the music studio and meeting up with Ian again who I had not seen for awhile. For me it just feels like you are an 8 year old boy in a sweet shop; you can’t stop smiling!

Tell me a little about the gear you use.

TS: I have my beautiful Fender black top “Mexican” also an 8 track CD Boss recorder which I do all my work demos on. With so much to chose from in pedals “that’s when I get headaches” lol.

What have you learned from that process that will change recording the next album?

TS: This one is a difficult question really. I would have loved more time, money, backing singers, but really go with what you got. I’m a firm believer in not putting things on albums because it sounds nice for someone else; it should be always for you! The second album is something for another day in time, but what I will say is I’ll be playing on it!

Plans for the future?

TS: I want to at least give Dirty Face a shot, a chance out there. We all want to be loved, I’m no different! It’s a good album.

If you could be a plant, what plant would it be and why?

TS: I’ve smoked a lot of plants in my time! But the one I can remember as a child was the Bluebell. We used to go on school trips to Westwood. I was always blown away, hence there is a song called “Bluebell Woods” on the second album! Brings me back a smile again!


I want to thank Terry for taking the time to share a little bit of what makes him and Dirty Face tick. You can find Dirty Face on Facebook here: Dirty Face

Album available at Create Space or Amazon

And I leave you with a fun video of the title track off Terry’s album

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Haven’t posted in awhile. I have been quite busy with my new band. I do have some posts coming up soon, but for now check out my band, Ready For Paint, at our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ready-For-Paint/118637985902?ref=ts

Upcoming gig: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ready-For-Paint/118637985902?ref=ts#/event.php?eid=110538461201

If you’re in the Portland, OR or Vancouver, WA area please come check us out.

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Haven’t posted in awhile. That’s Some Kind Of Bad Muffin. Unexpectedly got asked to join a band. Super fantastico awesome! Been learning some covers and originals. So as things level out I plan to have more here soon. We’ll see how next week turns out.

And here’s our name:
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Originally released in 2003 Betty Blowtorch And Her Amazing True Life Adventures is a movie about the ups and downs of the band Betty Blowtorch. Anthony Scarpa spent two years filming the band and got some great footage. We get to see video shoots and record deals go south and Vanilla Ice doing a bong hit, but at it’s heart this is the story of the life of Bianca Butthole (née Bianca Halstead).

The movie opens with one of many Betty Boop clips that are unfortunately peppered throughout the movie. I understand what director Anthony Scarpa was doing, but I would have preferred they were kept out entirely. After that we see the band filming a video and this scene sets up the whole movie by showing you what Betty Blowtorch is all about right away. Off camera the video directors calls for “play back” and Bianca responds “No thank you. Sound” indicating they are not completely comfortable with the set up. They want to rock not pretend. A little bit into the shoot Bianca is on the receiving end of too much glitter confetti and has to take a moment to stop lip syncing. The filming continues until she can shake the glitter confetti attack. I love this scene because it highlights the ridiculousness and artifice of the music industry and the fact that Betty Blowtorch doesn’t quite fit in.

We then get to see the creation and disbanding of Butt Trumpet, the pre-Betty Blowtorch band. There are some great interviews with Thom Bone whose goal was to start “the last punk rock band.” His altruistic ideas and desire to sell $8 not $20 band shirts causes a rift within the band and leads to his leaving, or getting thrown out depending on who is being interviewed. The movie then shows us how Betty Blowtorch came to be in the post Butt Trumpet fall out. We get interviews with Duff McKagan, and get to see Rob Van Winkle, AKA Vanilla Ice, do a bong hit (did I already mention that?). And when the ending that I knew had to come does in fact come I was actually taken by surprise.

Betty Blowtorch And Her Amazing True Life Adventures has a few problems. The main problem being, for me, the length of the film and the editing choices. The Vanilla Ice segment could have been shortened (he does a bong hit btw) and there is a road story involving flinging pies and poo between vans that I would have liked to have seen put in the end credits instead of in the middle of the movie. Also there is a point where the band members have a falling out and we are given vague answers as to what started it; normal band tension on the road, managers mishandling communications. Scarpa could have delved a little more into this and gotten the band to open up so we could really know what was going on.

While Scarpa does find a narrative he needed to tighten this up a little more and tell a more concise story. I believe he could have cut some from this film and still honored Bianca’s memory. Though it is slow at times and could have been presented in a more compelling manner Betty Blowtorch And Her Amazing True Life Adventures is a great find and is for anyone who is a fan of rock music and loves an underdog (or wants to see Vanilla Ice do a bong hit-oh, and also rap about how big his manhood is).

This film is not rated, but is definitely for the “R” crowd.

Betty Blowtorch And Her Amazing True Life Adventures: directed by Anthony Scarpa; director of photography, Anthony Scarpa; edited by Anthony Scarpa; produced by Scott Milano, Jade Robledo, Anthony Scarpa, Kelly Spencer; With: Betty Blowtorch, Bianca Butthole, Blare N. Bitch, Sharon Needles, Judy Molish

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