LOCAL HOT SPOT OF THE MONTH: CABAZON DINOSAURS.

the wizard dinosaurs

the wizard cast
In the 1989 Nintendo-worshipping film The Wizard, three youngsters hitch to California with hopes of entering into a video game tournament with a $50,000 cash prize. While the movie certainly turned kids into Super Mario 3 and Power Glove disciples, I think TNUC speaks for many by saying it made us dream of California and dinosaurs even more.

wizard jimmy
Similar to how I blame the Ninja Turtles for 50% of my obsession with pizza, Uncle T holds The Wizard responsible for an early fascination with “Cali-fornia” from all the scenes portraying the west coast state as the ultimate sun-washed, dreamy place to live. The clear highlight that kept me coming back for repeated viewings more than anything else – yes, even more than the Power Glove – was the wild dinosaur park during the film’s final scenes.

This brings us to announce TNUC’s brand new monthly onslaught for 2016, ‘Heavy-Hot Spot-of-the-Month’. First up, California’s very own (and still fully functional) roadside attraction, the CABAZON DINOSAURS

the wizard dinosaurs.png
If you didn’t already know, yes….THIS PLACE STILL EXISTS. So last Saturday Uncle T and Lady T hopped aboard the old front wheel drive sleigh and headed for Cabazon, a town right outside of Palm Springs.

As the sun began to set behind the San Bernardino mountains and palms blew violently from powerful wind gusts, suddenly there in the distance appeared the two towering dinosaurs sitting to the side of the I-10 freeway. Truly a strange and surreal sight to behold.

cabazon dinos 2

IMG_2763.JPG

To much surprise the area appeared to have barely been tampered with. What I had pictured in my mind was almost exactly what stood before us. Living in California you get accustomed to overpopulation and massive amounts of development constantly changing things. Besides a few gas stations and a restaurant, Jimmy Wood’s dreamy dinos were still sitting in the middle of the desert surrounded by beautiful landscape.

2016:IMG_2638

The gift shop could still be found inside the Brontosaurus and the entryway was the same door through the tail, just like in the movie.

1989:
the wizard tail

Inside not a whole lot had been modified either. Same prehistoric fleshy walls, paint chipped green railings and shelving (just more stocked than it was in the movie). See below.

2016:
IMG_2640

1989:
wizard inside

The area through the gift shop where Jimmy runs up and opens his lunchbox was closed off, but I peeked under the curtain and saw that something had obviously been there not long ago. I asked the front desk girl if she had any fun facts about The Wizard and she looked at me like I was on a 9-day quaalude bender. She said her only knowledge was of the few scenes from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure that were shot on location.

However I did find out that construction began on the Cabazon Dinosaurs in 1964. They were built by Claude Bell, a sculptor for the popular amusement park Knott’s Berry Farm. The T-Rex and Brontosaurs took more than 10 years to build and ended up costing a fortune.

IMG_2707.JPG
Beyond the park’s two big giants that can be seen from the freeway, visitors can pay an $8 admission and go through a maze of medium sized dinosaurs in the back. I was praying the guy at the ticket admission window was a strung out Lucas Barton – living in the desert and waiting for Jimmy to return for a rematch – but sadly it was just some teenager.

IMG_2660

IMG_2699
IMG_2666

IMG_2725Up a spiral staircase inside T-Rex’s head is a spot to sit and gaze out at the desert through his chompers. 

Final Thoughts: Even if your not a Wizard or Pee-Wee disciple, by all means stop at Cabazon Dinosaurs to bask in everything it has to offer if you’re in the Palm Springs area. As for The Wizard, the movie gets a lot of immediate flack for being “basically a Nintendo infomercial” but I think it has way too much charm to be reduced to such a thing. For one, the cinematography is incredible and something that gets overlooked. The sun reflecting off the desert has a certain effect that makes everything in this movie glow. Pair that with a atmospheric score, a soundtrack that features Real Life’s “Send Me An Angel” and CHRISTIAN SLATER and what’s there to criticize?

wizard family shot

**Thanks for checking out our 1st entrant into the Local-Hot-Spot-Of-The-Month. Our apologies for getting off to a late start, but the good news is that February’s chosen hellhole is right around the corner! If you feel this entry was a little ‘tame’ compared to TNUC’s “Lost Legend” and “Deadbeat” champions of yesteryear, wait till you see what’s coming. Oh just wait.**

As always, past monthly countdowns are readily available here:
2015: LOST-LEGEND-OF-THE-MONTH
2014: DEADBEAT-OF-THE-MONTH

SPIROS SIGHTINGS.

spiros trees

spiros trees

SPIROS exists. This much I know to be true. After last gracing these lands with The Final Eclipse and opening his world to Uncle T via an exclusive invite to his villa, further traces of the Mediterranean phantom have been scant, but rest assured, there have been traces.

I received word from a museum curator friend of mine in Southern Italy that he received a request from a mysterious man, whose physical description and mannerisms matched those of SPIROS himself. The man requested a private viewing of the museums showcase of the paintings, as well as works of Max Ernst and Paul Delvaux. He said the man wandered around the galleries, losing himself in the surreal landscapes like a drifter at sea in search of the Siren’s song.

image1

I also heard of a correspondence he had with another fellow musician in which he confided that he was going on a tour of Southeast Asia in search of ‘The Lost City of the Emerald Tiger’ and the glittering temples adorned with jade that lie hidden somewhere amongst the dense jungles that snake alongside the Mekong.

Most recently, I heard of a rather strange encounter a friend of mine had while she was touring Italy. She told me that she saw a lone gondolier parked beside a bridge in Palermo, who promised to take her to a land of exotic beauty and intrigue. He took her hand, guided her into the boat and began to row and serenade her with songs of great passion, gently rocking her to sleep. When she awoke, she found herself enshrouded in mist, approaching a majestic villa atop a rocky cliff overlooking the Mediterranean…

tumblr_np4ub87rSm1rj6lpxo1_r1_540

And then there’s this. Perhaps as direct a piece of evidence that one could hope for that confirms SPIROS is out there. So far, all of my research on this video has lead to nothing but further questions and dead ends. It does appear that SPIROS has wrote the song, sang the song, starred in the video, directed it, and also had it filmed in his haunting villa. See for yourself.

Let’s examine the hard evidence if you will:

Blue lighting
Rolling mist
White linens
Long, flowing black mane
Venetian masks
Billowing curtains
That look 43 seconds in

Not to mention everything about the very nature of the song itself. Is this none other than our Mediterranean phantom himself? What do you think? Have you had any encounters or sightings yourself? Please, let us know.

-Kurt Sloan

Confused and bewildered? Who is this SPIROS we speak of? Check out these links to begin your journey:

SPIROS 1: A MIX SONG FOR YOU
SPIROS 2: THE MAGIC OF SPIROS
SPIROS 3: THE FINAL ECLIPSE

TEXTBOOK TRENCHCOAT-NOIR.

glenn you belong

glenn you belongR.I.P. Glenn Frey 1948 – 2016

He’ll be remembered by most for his groundbreaking work with The Eagles but over here at the Land of TNUC, Glenn Frey’s impact meant something completely different. When ‘You Belong to the City’ was birthed into this world during an episode of Miami Vice in 1985, this man brought us the gift of trenchcoat-noir. Make no mistake, this song isn’t merely a “slice” from this sacred genre of music or just another track pulled from its growing library…this is the granddaddy, quintessential, textbook trenchcoat-noir song of the century. FACT.

What are you babbling about Uncle T? What the hell is “trenchcoat-noir”? For starters, it’s a certain style of music that has an almost indescribable chilly-night “feeling” attached to it. Cold synths, smooth basslines and flashy production are just some of the ingredients that when this music hits, it inspires us to wander the streets at night with that trusty trenchcoat and a cigarette dangling from the mouth, while night rhythms echo in our minds. The pale moonlight and neon signs provide just enough light to guide you through the damp streets and dark alleys of the buzzing city. You pass by sports cars, people in nightclubs drinking Zima, steaming hot dog carts, sexy silhouettes, homeless people hovering over burning barrels and the usual leather-clad hooker on the corner named Sharise. These are the visuals that accompany trenchcoat-noir. Extremely polished. Masterfully slick. Rawness of the city. Tons of heart.

Time to listen and watch the five minutes and forty-eight seconds that started this entire movement. If this is your 7,000th listen to this song (like me), shut off all distractions around you and turn up the volume. It’s time for a revisit and to bid this man a proper farewell.

Right from the start it’s everything you could possibly ask for in a song. When that signature saxophone slides into my eardrums and down into my pants, I can’t help but stop whatever I’m doing and sink into an entirely new listening experience. Studio musician Bill Bergman isn’t just “playing” that saxophone. That sax is crying, aching and ripping into all of our hearts. I don’t think this instrument has ever sounded so rich and tough at the same time. It’s the perfect balance of elegance and BALLS.

But hey, if what you long for is the complete audio/visual experience, plant your ass to the all-white leather sofa and watch the Miami Vice episode “Prodigal Son” (Season 2, Episode 1). New viewers will quickly find out why the show is infamous for being so innovative when it came to music and fashion. Director Michael Mann wasn’t just throwing great music into these episodes because he could afford to. Songs like ‘You Belong to the City’ were carefully placed to accompany the story, provide exquisite montage and evoke emotion.

crockett trench
I feel like some people take this show for granted and forget how truly great it still is. With the tired “retro-eighties” revival thing constantly regurgitating images of Ferrari’s, palm trees and pastel leisure suits in our faces, it seems like some people only associate Miami Vice with these types of things, not realizing the level of quality and the intense magic of the series. If people have preconceptions of Vice being all style and no substance, they’re dead wrong.

OK, it’s time to talk about when ‘You Belong’ showed up in other forms of entertainment. During an episode of Married With Children that aired in 1988, Al Bundy and Steve walk through the streets of Chicago looking for Marcy’s old Barbie doll that they sold while trying to start a baseball card collection. When Al and Steve start asking every bum on the street if they’ve seen the doll, a low budget SOFTCORE SAXOPHONE version of the song plays in the background, as heard in the scene above. Of course some glorious psycho on YouTube uploaded the scene and cut out the audience laughter, providing us with the best possible recording of this strange rendition. (Big thank you to my friend Jessica-Lee for reminding TNUC about this precious moment!).

trenchcoat noir

T H A N K    Y O U   G L E N N !
See you in the river of darkness, pal. Under the neon lights.

HOT DOGGIN’ HIT OF THE SEASON.

ski school

ski school

In honor of every snow leppard planning to hit the slopes this winter, last weekend Uncle T set out on a pilgrimage to find the perfect icy anthem fit for speeding down mountains of endless fluffy powder. This year we’ll commence the 1st annual Mt. TNUC Ski-Invitational. Pretty soon our slopes will be filled with snow leppards in neon one-piece ski suits, hot pink earmuffs, turtleneck/suspender combinations and sunset ombré sunglasses. Whether these spandex-clad long butts can actually ski isn’t exactly high on the priority list. The #1 rule that our judges rate competitors on is how ravishing they look. #2 is which hot doggin’ hit will take precedence over the rest and reign supreme for the season.

SPUDS_MACKENZIE_Hot_Doggin_Tshirt_1980s

Naturally we ended up choosing a track from the Hot Dog: The Movie soundtrack, a film that went far beyond our wintertime raunch-romp expectations when it first screened here at the TNUC lair. Hot Dog is a motion picture that truly has it all. Frothy babes, drunken ski bums, lonely rich women, a wet t-shirt contest, an evil German skier and of course no shortage of hot doggin’ hits. So here we go. Play this one loud and get ready to jump up on the couch for some brutal air guitar.


Mitch Ryder – When You Were Mine

If this isn’t a leg slapping, cigarette-dangling, beer-flying-through-the-air cry of the wild, I don’t know what is. So the next time a DayGlo bandanna and fanny pack goes whizzing by you, strap on those puffy muffs and get this song on repeat. Don’t stop playing it until you reach the bottom of the mountain and crash through the ski lodge and into the kitchen, face-planting onto your dream babe’s lap. Don’t worry about being the laughing stock of the entire ski resort. So what if you’ve had too many Löwenbräus and Long Island Ice Teas? All that matters is that you and that snow leppard you’ve been playing cat and mouse with all afternoon land comfortably in the lodge’s limited-edition Coors Light Beer Wolf jacuzzi at the end of the night, you’ve succeeded.

jacuzzi

FUN FACT: ‘When You Were Mine’ was originally written and released by Prince in 1980. Mitch’s cover version made it to his album Never Kick a Sleeping Dog (as well as Hot Dog: The Movie) and featured production work by John Mellencamp.

snow

tumblr_o08tgf4ny21re5o97o1_500

ski idiots

Even royal babes like Princess Diana of Wales and Sarah the Dutchess of York like to get in on the frosty fun.

BIG MIKE: THE REVOLUTION.

947023_1046848358709150_8449078673587309251_n

947023_1046848358709150_8449078673587309251_n

What better way to stampede into 2016 then premiering a brand new song + video from our colossal compadre BIG MIKE?! Over the past couple years his gospel has been growing and sweeping nations one by one. Have you bowed down to the Big Mike REVOLUTION? His new single is called ‘La Kölsche Vita (mit Veedel Kaztro)’ and sees the bulging barbarian once again collaborating with the synthesizer sensation Gianni la Bamba.  The video was shot in complete analog VHS format in Mike’s hometown of Cologne. The song itself centers around this particular area of Germany being the epicenter of Italo disco and the lifestyle that goes along with it. That of course starts with riding around in Camaros, working out in a combination neon track pants w/ Rolex glistening from your wrist and being a full time Casanova. Winter months are spent crisping under ultraviolet sunbeds. Summers are spent fighting snowstorms in the nostrils. Get the picture? Now watch the video!

The song pulls inspiration from one of my favorite Italian mustached strangers of the night, Clay Pedrini. Possessed by the humming of synthesizers heard inside seedy discotheques at 2 am, Big Mike channels a forgotten energy that I haven’t seen since Pedrini’s video for ‘New Dream’.

What else is happening with Big Mike? Looking back at 2015 – in the little downtime that he had from touring the world – he entered a 5-star, forty acre drug rehabilitation center in Scandinavia to quit his aggressive cocaine usage. His whereabouts remained unknown for months, with headlines in German newspapers reading “WHERE IS MIKE?”. Once a grizzly bear was discovered mutilated after being eaten in half by a man, authorities knew it could only be MIKE. At this point he was released from rehab and hiked back to Cologne through the Scandinavian woods. Now drug free but still the ultimate party animal messiah, he enters the new year a full time muscle disciple and tan addict, dedicating his life to only one drug…the IRON.

11390283_923760417686195_1968096088219168604_n

‘La Kölsche Vita’ will be released on a very limited maxi 12″ in February with an extended mix on the b-side. For now, TNUC has the exclusive free download right here!

12468044_1030354160360153_527354692_n

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: