From deep in the underbelly of Chicago’s most notorious bowling alleys – appearing in a formidable haze of cigarette smoke, misty sweat and poor illumination comes Pal, our Deadbeat of the Month for November!
Pal’s screen time in Uncle Buck lasts less than two minutes but reaches such a high level of pristine deadbeat-ness that you physically feel sleazy afterwards. It’s like coming home from the annual carnival and feeling dirty even though you swear you didn’t touch anything. It’s the atmosphere you were just exposed to that made you feel this way, which is exactly how one of Pal’s lucky ladies feels after he sweet-talks them for over 3 seconds.
While Tia (Buck’s neice) is sulking in the bowling booth not bowling, Pal slithers in and tries to strike up a conversation. Before he opens his mouth we’re already deep into deadbeat territory. All the distinctive traits are represented; a shit-eating grin, black eye, tight slacks, finger in his beer, toothpick dangling, cigarette behind the ear and a lip issue that’s up for debate whether it’s a toothpick injury or herpes.
Do you like all-terrain vehicles?
I got a red Bronco parked out back. Wanna go for a ride?
With his finger lodged in his beer, he asks Tia if he can buy her one (classic deadbeat move). He also takes a guess that she’s a college student, probably a cheerleader and that she looks firm (she’s in high school). Tia does a decent job ignoring him while Buck finally notices what’s going on and yells at Pal to scram. Buck’s reputation around the old alley is stuff of legend, so Pal wastes no time in getting the hell outta there.
I’ve waited eleven months to hoist this creeper onto our deadbeat mantle. Why so long? Because November is the month when John Candy movies are screened the most in the TNUC lair, so it felt necessary. Aside from Planes, Trains and Automobiles, which is actually a “Thanksgiving” movie, Uncle Buck just feels like a holiday film, even though it isn’t.
Thanks for the memories, Pal. Hopefully you’re still alive out there, driving your Bronco around wearing only a jockstrap or something, because your life beyond that brief glimpse is the kind of thing I spend a lot of time thinking about. You were truly destined for Deadbeat stardom.
Since I just summarized the scene and posted almost every frame…we might as well watch it again!
*FUN FACT* – The actor who plays Pal (Dennis Cockrum) reprised the role in the short-lived Uncle Buck sitcom. His name was changed from Pal to “Skank” in the show, for unknown reasons.
[NOTE: DEADBEAT-OF-THE-MONTH is an ongoing saga giving thanks and praise to a chosen deadbeat character each month. To see the rest of em’, go here]
A lot of people have been asking me who the ‘mystery’ artist was that pounded their way onto our Night Beast mix with the anthem “She’s a Witch”. I purposely held off on saying anything until I could devote an entire post to this band. Ladies and gents of the TNUC clergy, allow me to introduce Snakebyte, the most vicious bunch of assholes to hit Southern California’s airwaves in 1986!
Snakebyte were a 4 piece from San Diego who in 1986 self-released their one & only album, ‘Venomous’. All it took for me was one glance at the artwork to realize this ruthlessness needed to be listened to IMMEDIATELY. The front cover depicts three of my favorite things on earth – waves, boobs and snakes – so while I anticipated the record to be good, I didn’t think it would be this good. Trusting that everyone has already heard “She’s a Witch”, let’s continue…
The band’s sound is classic “chug-chug” metal. That’s not a professional musical term by any means, but it’s one I like to use when describing a certain guitar-squealing, synchronized-headbanging, Dorito-chomping sound that only a select few bands so genuinely possess. Snakebyte combine simple riffs with banshee-style vocals, delivering songs revolving around the (4) basic food groups (or themes) of heavy metal; women, horror, partying and…women. Some people might also call it “bonehead-metal”, which given the title should suggest a low intelligence form of music, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
CHRIST, listen to that power-howl at 1:08. As a kid that’s the sound I fantasized I’d hear as some psychotic band broke down the classroom door with their guitars to save us all from boring chemistry class. They’d tie the teacher up, stomp around on top of the desks and jam like heavy-metal-neanderthals for the rest of the afternoon (while little fingerless-leather-gloved fists pumped in the air!). It takes a rare bunch of musical meatheads to capture that type of energy.
Snakebyte come with a few surprise attacks as well. Just listen to “Mama Please”, a song that begins with some acoustic strumming that makes us assume it’s the album’s ballad, right? THINK AGAIN.
Those pleasant acoustics give way to a few “chug-chugs” and “pig-squeals” from the guitarist that sound like they were recorded in the bowels of hell.
The band pretty much vanished off the face of the earth post-1987, but I like to think that if they stayed around their sound wouldn’t have evolved too much. Bands always want to improve which is understandable, but in this case it’s cool to imagine Snakebyte specifically catering to that rebellious, bratty 13-year-old we once were, or at least dreamed of being at the time. As unheard of it as it is, ‘Venomous’ is a record that I believe deserves a rightful spot next to any Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Grim Reaper or Sammi Curr album.
If you manage to track down a copy, the original vinyl release will cost upwards of $100. But fear not, because in 2013 the band remastered the album which is now available on CD and Digital at this location.
Uncle T would now like to close this post with an exclusive sneak peek at what happens when Grandmother TNUC dares to enter her grandson’s bedroom.
College invites you to a showing of the latest fashion…in murder.
Save the Day is the latest EP from The Valerie Collective’s head maestro and it’s one that’s inspired by stalker films of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. College tempts us to enter a paranoid city filled with suspense, where long-legged model types roam the streets, too preoccupied in their commitment to perfection to notice that they’ve become victims of a voyeuristic-obsessed individual…until it’s too late.
The first three tracks – “Old Maps”, “The Gathering” and “Numbers” – soundtrack our predator gathering together the tools of his trade; leather gloves, mirror shades, glossy photos and his telescope.
College – Save the Day (Official Video) // directed by Jay Buim
The title track closes the album which features vocals by singer-songwriter Nola Wren over signature synth-stomp from College. The New York-based artist’s breezy delivery and lyrics suggest that this story has spontaneously switched directions. A female heroine has stepped into the picture and taken control. An ending that typically would have a group of beautiful girls running for their lives has turned into a nightmare for…the predator.
The digital EP is available now via iTunes while a vinyl collector’s edition limited to 300 copies will be up for grabs on December 1st. Uncle T has been friends and a supporter of The Valerie Collective since the early days of this movement. We can’t wait to see what College has planned for his North American live tour which begins on the 24th of this month (see dates here)!
When October comes to a close, Uncle T can’t help but sink into a brief period of blandness. Pumpkin guts, empty horror VHS boxes and fun-size Snickers wrappers blow around the TNUC lair like tumbleweeds in an empty desert.
But not this year. No, a mysterious package recently arrived on TNUC’s doorstep that yanked him out of his lumpy bean bag chair faster than ever before. A PACKAGE FROM THE FUTURE (one possible future). Let’s begin:
I opened the box and the first thing I saw were these four words staring up at me, almost in a hypnotic way. Still. I figured it was probably a care package full of hijinks from one of you disciples or a colleague of mine. Boy was I wrong…
IT’S THE KYLE REESE TRENCHCOAT (click photos to examine closely).
What we have here is no “tall-tale” or exaggerated TNUC fable. This surreal gift from the Gods arrived as a complete shock to me. When I managed to finally pick my jaw up from the floor from pure ecstasy and surprise, I laid the trenchcoat out which had been folded perfectly in the box, almost in military fashion. Whoever put this together did so with utmost care and detail. Underneath were several crisp photos of Kyle Reese storming the streets of Los Angeles wearing the coat, strapped with his trusty sawed-off shotgun.
It fit like a glove when I put it on, almost as if this person had studied Uncle T’s proportions and BMI (body mass intake). I slid my hand in one of the pockets and pulled out a set of smaller glossy photos attached to a ring. They were freeze-frame images of when Reese finds the coat in one of the opening scenes of 1984′s Terminator. As I gazed at the images to compare every detail from the sleeves to the buttons, I solemnly swear it is the same model jacket he stole from the department store after time-traveling to earth 40 years from the future.
Not knowing who sent this has my mind going in swirls. Could it be from a survivor of a future nuclear war? A lone warrior sending a signal to Uncle T, warning about defense network computers and H-K’s (hunter killers) that threaten to wipe out the entire human race? That bold statement “YOU ARE KYLE REESE” keeps repeating in my head – beckoning me to do something.
I at least owe the mysterious sender of this package a promise to roam the dark alleys of the city tonight and search for club Tech-Noir (in my new trenchcoat). I already predict what will happen as I grab hold of some homeless person in an alley…
Me: What day is it? The date!
Me: WHAT YEAR???!!!
As a lifelong supporter of trenchcoats, Terminator movies and all-things-Kyle Reese, THANK YOU phantom-trenchcoat-supplier-from-the-future.
Since I can’t share the coat with all of you, I’ll exit with this:
The inquiring mind of Uncle T has a few questions. Have you been waking up in the morning and not remembering the previous night’s activities? How about waking up naked in your neighbor’s doghouse while in the fetal position? Are you permanently banned from the local butcher shop for trying to steal the bloodsoaked mops from the cleaning crew? Are the local petting zoo’s in the area missing some of their livestock? Does the Widow Johnson complain that her chickens keep going missing? If so, today is your lucky day because TNUC has you covered. Introducing THE NIGHT BEAST mix, a 40+ minute audio-blast engineered to ease your symptoms and avoid those confusing mornings of trying to explain to your loved one why the bedroom window is smashed, the comforter has clumps of fur on it and the pillows smell like the meat counter at the supermarket. We’re not saying this is the cure, but it certainly should help. These tracks were carefully mixed with hopes of distracting those of us with nightly bloodlusts that refuse to subside. If you’re not experiencing problems like these, don’t worry. THE NIGHT BEAST is a monstrous blend of moonlit metal and synthesizer ooze that will have you banging your head over that bowl of Frute Brute in no time.
We’re less than a week away from Halloween. Time to make it count! Turn it up and press play.
2) DIO – NIGHT PEOPLE
3) ? – SHE’S A WITCH
4) STEEL BREEZE – BUMP IN THE NIGHT
5) OZZY OSBOURNE – BARK AT THE MOON
6) PLEASANT COMPANY – SCARY MOVIES
7) METROPOLIS – DARKEST SIDE OF THE NIGHT
8) BILLY IDOL – FATAL CHARM
9) MICHAEL SEMBELLO – ROCK UNTIL YOU DROP
10) YNGWIE MALMSTEEN – MAGIC MIRROR
11) THE WOLF SISTERS – BIG BAD WOLF
12) JAY CHATTAWAY – MAKING THE SILVER BULLET