Happy 50th Bday Bill!

On December 17, Bill Hicks would have turned 50 years old. Sadly, he passed away of pancreatic canceer at the age of 32, but his legacy is growing bigger and bigger each year. Kudos to Keith Olbermann for this special report. For what Bill stood for (or more appropriately stood against) having his material and his ideas presented on a national news station in America means a lot. RIP Brother.

Hicks Vid of the Day: “It’s Just a Ride” (1992)

“A choice between fear and love.” This is Bill Hicks at his kind, humane, gentle core. Gentle, an adjective one probably would not associate with Bill, an otherwise harsh, caustic comedian- albeit, brilliant. I think of this anytime I feel down and need something life affirming, despite its simplicity, the underlying message of love and brotherhood (or sisterhood lol) trumps any notion of ignorance.

KLYAMER Shuffle: Chris

Inspired by Glen’s earlier post, I hit shuffle on my ipod and this is what came up….

Black Lips– “Born to be a Man” (2006)- The best way to kick off the list.

Bill Hicks– “My One Man Show” (1990)- Another one of my favorites!

Pixies– “Here Comes Your Man” (1989)- Wow, the third song in a row with the word “man” in the title.

Beat Happening– “Black Candy” (1989)- The first BH song I ever heard; one of their greatest offerings.

Descendents– “Clean Sheets” (live) (1987)- Damn, I’d love to have been present for this recording.

Elvis Costello– “Accidents Will Happen” (1979)- FUN FACT: In E.T. (1982), the character Michael (Robert MacNaughton) can be heard singing this in the scene when he comes home from school and is looking in the refrigerator.

Rage Against the Machine– “Mic Check” (1999)- Top five best 90s bands, end of story.

Minutemen– “This Ain’t No Picnic” (1984)- A lot of 80s underground shit in this mix.

Primus– “My Name is Mud” (1993)- I remember hearing this as a kid and thinking it was the most fucked up thing I had ever heard, until Frank Zappa….

Hüsker Dü– “Turn On the News” (1984)- Maybe the huskers’ best.

I would not say this list is totally representative of my tastes in music, but I enjoy everything here and I have for quite some time.

Classic Film Review: American: The Bill Hicks Story

Full Title: American: The Bill Hicks Story
Director(s): Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas
Year: 2009
Comments: Bill Hicks has been my personal hero since I was young enough to act out Goat Boy and it wasn’t sketchy. Well, that’s not true, Goat Boy was always sketchy. But, horniness aside, American does an amazing job of recreating Bill’s world for all of his fans to appreciate every nuance that made Bill Bill. Using a cut and paste style of animation (really something I and several other viewers have never seen before), the movie literally recreates the special events of Bill’s life. The whole documentary is actual stills of the people, places, and perceptions that mattered the most to Bill. Over these images we hear the voices of the characters that shaped our hero’s story the greatest. Everyone from best friend/music and film collaborator Kevin Booth to Bill’s mother the proper, sweet Mary Hicks. I think that’s what separates this documentary from others; the fact that it is so personal, with all the interviews coming from people who knew Bill very personally, instead of just random celebrities. Despite the caustic, dark, and savage comedy of Mr. Hicks, with this film we see Bill’s true vision to its greatest potential, we realize how amazing and unique Bill was (like we didn’t already?). This film and the people in it articulate Bill’s message of love, laughter, and the truth in some ways better than he ever did. This is a rather affectionate documentary and honestly, as a fan, I couldn’t ask for more. I’m so glad to see the “Dark Poet” get so much respect and admiration. At the end of the day, while I totally enjoyed this feature, very little of it was new to me, but that’s not so much a flaw of the film, but more of a case of my excessive fandom. I’d seriously recommend this to fans and non-fans alike, but for die-hards, I’d say from my experience Kevin Booth’s autobiography, Agent of Evolution (2004) is the most detailed account of Bill’s life. In general, watch and/or listen to Bill’s comedy itself- it’s life altering, life affiriming, and best of all just plain fucking hilarious.

In the spirit of Bill.

Grade: 9/10