Rio Bravado #1: The Catastrophe of Success

Introducing Rio Bravado: the frenzied scribbles of the elusive mystery meat, a cryptic figure forever blazing a new trail in art appreciation. Or, as he himself has put it: "a blog devoted to all the things I like from the three springs of cultural nourishment – moving picture shows, type-written tomes of fascinatin’ fiction, and all the soulful music that’s fit to emit from my ever-lovin’ banjo. Law abidin’ Audiophiles, Bibliophiles, Cinephiles – the ABCs of art critic cretins – can all take a hike! This here is a ghost-town inhabited by reckless renegade writers and oratorical outlaws. And together we will plunder the federal mint that I call academia and spend its cultural credit where it can really count!"


At the forefront of Film but forever forlorn,
Of formidable secrets, full disclosure forborne.
In his Columbia fortress, he foraged for fame
His finesse to inform and his fears to inflame.
His foreskin foregone, so his fortune foretold
Though he forefended disfavor, was forced out of the fold.
So no more Forbiddens, just formula fraud
And forsaking his friendships, he forged a façade.
Foregrounded in fiction, fortified by the flag,
His memoirs foreclosed on his license to brag:
Former glory to forfeit, former friends to foray
Even foreign forefathers forced into the fray.
And as Longfellow Deeds might forebodingly say,
“Ol’ fork-tongued Frank: Phony for a Day”

~ Wordsworth

I bet you fiendish readers of mine assumed that in this months-long break from Bravado I was whittling away my precious time on frivolous pursuits like videogames or online dating.... Well nay, dear readers, nay! Unbeknownst to you rascals, I have been in monastic study of 'Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success,' Joseph McBride's definitive biography of the man who brought out the best in Barbara Stanwyck, the worst in Cary Grant, and the dipshit dopiest in Gary Cooper! The Name Above the Title himself.

It's essential reading for cinephiles. Firstly because most cinephiles haven't risen above the "I'm too cool for this Capracorn bullshit" stage and discovered the buried treasures of Ladies of Leisure, Platinum Blonde, and American Madness. Secondly because it is a case study of retrospective auteurism gone wildly off the rails. Here's a guy who sprinkled his memoirs with just enough self-deprecation to sell his artistic purity and independence as a bill of goods to blinkered 'film historians' willing to forego all methodological rigor and inquiry to lap it up. And when film historians and first-generation auteurists are gathered around the same contaminated well, you just know that the record is blemished forever. All so that face-saving Frank could reclaim some tiny fragment of his long-eroded glory before departing this life hand-in-hand with the little man of his dreams (who, let's be honest, probably looked a lot more like Harry Cohn than Henry Travers).

McBride pretty much has to contort the extant wisdom on Capra into a lot of unrecognizable bio-historical origami to return some semblance of balance to the lunatic lore that pervades just about everyone's understanding of the man, fans and detractors alike. On top of all this, there's just so much damn information, not just about Capra's childhood but about the political climate that shaped him and all but destroyed him as his career fell deeper and deeper into a tepidity wrought by paralytic paranoia.

It's just a damn compelling story. I implore you to read it. And if not, then phooey! I have more content in the damn pipeline for you to maybe engage with. Shitheads!

Radio Free Gunslinger #95:
And You Cry a Leopard Out of Your Eye

Your hosts for this edition of Radio Free Gunslinger are The Firesign Theatre

It is entitled And You Cry a Leopard Out of Your Eye

This edition was programmed by Zach Mitchell

The Content

First Sequence
Chris Reccardi - Delerium
Barry Adamson - Something Wicked This Way Comes
Black Dice - The Jacker
Chris Morris - Elephant
Nino Rota - Amore per tutti

Second Sequence
Piero Ulmani - Ma Na Ma Na (live)
Joy Division - Isolation
Stereolab - Brakhage
Béla Bartók - String Quartet no. 1: Lento (The Takács Quartet)
Aphex Twin - Windowlicker

Third Sequence
Tennyson - The Usual Mr. Nordin
Ornette Coleman - Beauty is a Rare Thing
Neu! - Neuschnee 78
Frank Sinatra - When No One Cares
Animal Collective - Moonjock

Fourth Sequence
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Woe-is-Uh-Me-Bop
Laurie Johnson - The Bachelor Life
Lou Reed - The Kids
Auterche - Cloudline
Lena Horne - I Don’t Think I’ll End It All Today

Mercury Rev - Meth of a Rockette’s Kick

Illusion Travels By Streetcar #117:
The New Left Fictions of Robert Kramer (1967-1975)

The cast for episode #117:

Stuart Collier
Jeremiah McNeil
Brian Risselada
Ryan Sarnowski
Tom Sutpen

This episode was recorded on August 21, 2016

Radio Free Gunslinger #94: Inclined to Solitude

Your host for this edition of Radio Free Gunslinger is Patricia Highsmith

It is entitled Inclined to Solitude

This edition was programmed by Stuart Collier

The Content

First Sequence:
Beat Happening - Angel Gone
The Holy Modal Rounders - Robbin’ Banks
The Feelies - The Last Roundup
Dirty Beaches - ELLI
Nico - Afraid

Second Sequence:
The Exploding Hearts - Sleeping Aides & Razor Blades
Veronica Falls - Bad Feeling
Petula Clark - Don’t Sleep in the Subway
Superchunk - Sunshine State
Tim Heidecker - I Saw Nicolas Cage

Third Sequence:
Mountain Goats - Color in Your Cheeks
Bob Lind - Mr. Zero
Phil Ochs - Ballad of the Carpenter
Ella Fitzgerald - Miss Otis Regrets (She’s Unable to Lunch Today)
The Replacements - All Shook Down

Fourth Sequence:
The 6ths - In the City in the Rain
Luna - Great Jones Street
The Clientele - Geometry of Lawns
Jonathan Richman - Lonely Financial Zone
Comet Gain - Moments in the Snow

Sun Kil Moon - Gustavo

Illusion Travels By Streetcar #115:
The Madness of Busby Berkeley (1930-1935)

The cast for episode #115:

Barry Anderson
Stuart Collier
Jeremiah McNeil
Brian Risselada
Tom Sutpen

This episode was recorded on July 28, 2016

Before and After #344: Robert Benchley



How to Read... with Richard Avedon! #30

Mia Farrow

Welcome to Show Business! #87

Original Caption:

Hollywood -- A pair of rising stars stand side by side on set. Frances Farmer, bright young star of the thirties, is making her comeback in Paramount's "The Party Crashers," while teenage actress Connie Stevens is at the beginning of her career. This will be Miss Farmer's first picture in 16 years. (1958)

Weekend #35

Poets are both clean and warm
And most are far above the norm
Whether here or on the roam
Have a poet in every home! #61

Stevie Smith

Radio Free Gunslinger #93: That's the Novel!

Your host for this edition of Radio Free Gunslinger is Samuel Fuller

It is entitled That's the Novel!

This edition was programmed by Zach Mitchell

The Content

First Sequence:
Brian Eno & David Byrne - America is Waiting
Frank Zappa - Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus
Tennyson - 7:00 AM
Claude Debussy - Golliwog's Cakewalk (Orch. by André Caplet)
(Orchestre National De L'ORTF; Jean Martinon, cond.)
Tommy Handley - It's That Man Again

Second Sequence:
Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra - Mingus Fingers
The Walker Brothers - The Electrician
Wilco - I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
The Beach Boys - Cabinessence
David Bowie - Abdulmajid

Third Sequence:
St. Vincent - The Strangers
The Goons - I'm Walking Backwards for Christmas
Tom Lehrer - The Masochism Tango (live)
of Montreal - Dour Percentage
Genesis - Harold the Barrel

Fourth Sequence:
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 9 in D Major: III Rondo-Burleske
(Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Bruno Walter, cond.)
Syd Barrett - Octopus
Daniel Johnston - Grievances
Can - I'm So Green
Eric Dolphy - Hat and Beard

King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 1