A cigarette dangled from Uncle T’s lip as he was finishing his last rep on the weight bench. Suddenly a recollection struck him that made the bar drop down to his chest, followed by a scream of agony. Seconds later his pain turned to joy as he realized that IT’S 2019 AND THIS YEAR COMMEMORATES TEN YEARS OF TNUC.
It’s hard to believe this website/blog/sacred temple has existed for an entire decade. What started out as a goddamned Myspace page eventually turned into our own desert island of music, film, culture, mixtapes, videos, obscurities, oddities, hijinks and pure adrenaline.
I’m seriously honored to have been your host (and #1 Uncle) for this long.
When I started TNUC it was nothing more than a simple visual feast. Thrown together were a few cryptic movie images, scantily clad hardbodies and what people in the 1980’s dreamed the future would look like. As the years progressed, the beast grew bigger and thus it needed more to eat. Videos. Mixtapes. Characters. Fictional Universes. It never stopped and rarely did it slow down. There was always something to chew on. I might not posses the sheer quantity of articles like other sites, but it’s honestly only because I hold out for quality paraphernalia that fits this Land of TNUC. The last thing I wanted was for this place to turn into a never-ending scroll of “news” you could find at 7,000 other places across the internet. Blah.
Breaking it way down, I hope UncleTNUC.com has been a little paradise you can escape to from some of the harsh realities of today’s culture.
OK, now it’s time to party. I’d like to spend a good amount of 2019 remembering and cherishing the highlights of this 10 year escapade. For the next couple articles, let’s begin by revisiting some of the key musical moments that inspired what became T N U C.
THE OUTRUNNERS – BLAZING SPEED AND NEON LIGHTS WITH YOU (2007)
This is the one. If there was a singular moment that I distinctly remember giving me chills and kickstarting my nostalgic psyche into overdrive, it’s hearing this song and watching this video. Those thick synths, the pulsating bass and accompanying visuals awakened something inside of me. This sent Uncle T on a Miami Vice binge, acting and talking like Sonny Crockett and hunting down all the synthesizer bliss I could get my hands on. Pretty soon I’d discover an underground movement coming out of a corner of France called Valerie (more on that later).
The Outrunners branded themselves as “the future sound of the past” and my God is that an accurate way to describe this sound. It just seemed so authentic compared to everyone else. I was already a fan of established groups like Daft Punk, Justice and Kavinsky, but while those artists dipped their toe in the water with this style, The Outrunners dove in face first.
Listen to those synths. It’s like cool little breezes coming through your window while driving to The Babylon Club with Manny Ribera.
♦ ♦ ♦
Ten years of TNUC. Ten years of passion, glory, power, seduction and pizza. Whether you’ve been following us since 2009 or you’re a brand new disciple, serious thanks for supporting and stay tuned for much, much more!
I know what some people are thinking. It’s Christmastime and why aren’t we doing something on Home Alone or Silent Night, Deadly Night? That’s because as great as those masterpieces are, it’s getting a little predicable and over-saturated on the internet these days. Let’s change gears for a minute instead.
On December 26, 1982, one of the greatest animations drifted onto our living room TV sets. I’m talking about the adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, the story about a snowman coming to life at midnight, featuring the musical spectacle of a song, “Walking In the Air”.
The half-hour special is told through pictures, music and has no dialogue, aside from an introduction by the late-great David Bowie. Check that out below.
People new to The Snowman might be thinking it’s a little light in the loafers for TNUC content. Sadly you couldn’t be more mistaken. If there was one word to describe The Snowman it would be PURE. Telling a story without words is a feat in itself and somehow they not only were successful in doing that but through music and drawings delivered a more impactful story than most big budget projects fail to do. For the past twenty something years it’s remained one of my favorite television specials to revisit. I urge every TNUC disciple to curl up with a warm winter cocktail and watch The Snowman.
“This attic’s full of memories for me. We spent all our summers by the seaside, and in the winter at home, by the fire, frost on the window, and snow. Snow. I was always making snowmen. One winter, I made a really big snowman. I got a scarf from him. You see, he was a real snowman. That winter brought the heaviest snow I’d ever seen. The snow fell steadily all through the night. Then when I woke up, the room was filled with light and silence, and I knew then it was to be a magical day.”
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
– Henry David Thoreau
The quiet solitude of nature, birds chirping and autumn’s majestic beauty weren’t the only things occupying the woods last weekend near the TNUC lair. A 30-year-old rubber latex RAMBO mask was hanging out down several paths of woodland serenity as well.
Just watch (and turn ↑ the volume):
This totally insane piece of high art hails from 1988 and was made by a company in France known for their horror masks called Cesar Masquerade. Looking over the factory’s enormous catalog of monsters, demons, ogres, werewolves and deranged freaks, I swear to you that nothing matches the sheer terror of this Rambo mask. The facial expression is pure Stallone. The hair is perfect.
This mask also strangely resembles every pizza cook I’d accidentally make eye contact with as a kid in the back of greasy pizza parlors.
Do you think Thoreau and Rambo would’ve got along? Henry could have taught John how to write poetry, while the warrior could’ve shown the philosopher how to aim explosive arrow torque tips at people’s heads.
I’m still in awe of this mask and how by a stroke of luck I found it. Now it’s time to put on the mask and shovel snow in the driveway…
Keeping up with discussions on all-things-Rocky and Stallone, now is probably a good time to shine a spotlight on the ravishing blonde powerhouse (and no, we don’t mean Ivan Drago).
Mention the name BRIGITTE NIELSEN in a typical crowd and I’m willing to bet the response will be an eye roll, smirk, sigh, the “ugh” sound or a quick chuckle. What those people fail to remember is that for all the wonky choices she’s made in her career and public life, BOY has she made some good ones and MAN do they outweigh the bad! In fact, most of her work (both creatively and publicly) fits right in the TNUC wheelhouse.
Allow Uncle T to break it down into three categories…
1) THE FILMS.
The 6’1″ Danish platinum princess made her on screen debut in 1985 with the fantasy juggernaut Red Sonja, playing the title character in this now-forgotten sword and sorcery action film. Not a very good movie by any means, but still better than 4,000 other far more terrible barbarian movies. Arnold Schwarzenegger co-stars, following the blockbuster success of Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer. To be honest. the movie has its flaws but is worthy of a revisit even just for the tantalizing visuals of busty nomads and loin cloths galore.
1985 continued to be a strong year for Brigitte as she landed the role of Drago’s wife in Rocky IV and then went on to marry Sylvester Stallone! (More on that later). ‘Gitte and Sly made Cobra the following year where she played the damsel in distress being night-stalked around the city and dimly lit parking garages. To me, it’s her strongest cinematic performance to date. In 1987 she landed her last major motion picture role in Beverly Hills Cop II, followed by a string of bombs including Bye Bye Baby, Domino, 976-Evil II and oodles of straight-to-video disasters over the next decade.
Her run may have been limited — but who cares? Examine that power pack of films…Red Sonja, Rocky IV, Cobra and Beverly Hills Cop II! Oh and you can add this to the mix: rumor has it that Brigitte was a big contributor to the casting of Stallone’s arm-wrestling/truck driving extravaganza OVER THE TOP. We owe her a debt of gratitude if that’s true.
2) THE MEN.
If there’s one thing Brigitte has done right in her life, it’s her plethora of great men! Married 5 times with 5 kids (the latest she recently gave birth to at 55 years old!), her lengthy list of male talent includes Sylvester Stallone, Mark Gastinau (NY Jets) and Flavor Flav…just to name a few. While the marriage to Stallone only lasted 19 months, one can only imagine the wild adventures a power couple of that caliber experienced. Sexual exploits, action movie role-playing, exotic encounters, the finest cuisine, nights in Milan…just the works.
In her autobiography, she revealed details about an affair with Schwarzenegger during the filming of Red Sonja, a promiscuous one night stand with Sean Penn and a bubble bath with that homely redheaded singer from Simply Red.
3) THE MUSIC?
Not many people know about Brigitte’s attempt at a music career. The model-turned-actress-turned-singer released two albums, the first effort Every Body Tells a Story in 1987. The single was a duet with pop star Falco of “rock me Amadeus” fame. It became a top 30 hit in Italy but even with the help of Giorgio Moroder, the track failed to capture the hearts of most and win the world over. Check it out:
Not the worst. Certainly not the best. Let’s cleanse our pallets by blasting the fuck out of ‘Angel of the City’ from the Cobra soundtrack featuring our blonde powerhouse and a sexy robot shoot. Stallone really had a thing for robots.
I hope you enjoyed digging into the career of Brigitte Nielsen. For the reasons explained, I’ve always found her to be a little bit fascinating. Now go watch Rocky IV and Creed II!
We’re now less than a week away from CREED II arriving in theaters, the highly anticipated revenge story following Russian monster Ivan Drago boxing Apollo Creed to death in Rocky IV.
I repeat…IT’S 2018 AND WE’RE ABOUT TO GET A REVENGE STORY FROM IVAN DRAGO BOXING APOLLO CREED TO DEATH IN ROCKY IV!!!
Naturally it seems like everyone is stoked for this movie, but in my opinion the excitement still isn’t enough as it should be through the roof. When Stallone announced last year that the project was actually happening, Uncle T totally lost his marbles, blasting James Brown’s “Living in America” repeatedly while doing naked cartwheels across his front lawn for twenty minutes. Rocky IV is one of my favorite movies of all time. The gripping story, soundtrack, training sequences, best montages in existence, Cold War themes, sexy robot, Rocky’s Lamborghini Jalpa. It’s a perfect motion picture and therefore this was a monumental announcement.
After the first Creed movie came out in 2015, TNUC and his colleagues talked endlessly about what it would be like to get a follow up story involving the Soviet killer Ivan Drago. Now after decades of watching Rocky IV, suddenly here comes the story of Apollo’s son, Adonis, ready to avenge the death of his father by fighting Ivan’s son, Viktor Drago.
Apollo was a critical opponent for Rocky Balboa and became both a mentor and good friend. But my biggest takeaway from the Apollo character is how much he loved America. Nobody cherished the United States like this son of a bitch. His flamboyant and over the top ring entrance with James Brown is still the first thing I think about when waking up on July 4th every single year since I can remember.
Let’s take a moment and revisit the scene…
This is another reason why I’m chomping at the bit to see justice given to those evil Soviets who killed one of my favorite American heroes.
If you’ve been sickened by this scene for the last 33 years, TNUC is right there with you. Now is the time to harness that rage and get out this week to watch Apollo’s son Adonis take down the Russians piece by piece in CREED II. The anticipation I’m feeling right now is more powerful than anything I’ve ever experienced for a sporting event.
Right after you’ve played the Rocky IV soundtrack 7,000 times this week, how about revisiting DRAGO’S POWER HOUR mixtape from last year? As much as Uncle T can’t wait to see the Drago family get pummeled, we still idolized the character enough to make a 50 min. music mix dedicated to the man.
Since everyone’s gone mental over the new Halloween movie (for good reasons because it RULED), Uncle T carved up a quick tribute pumpkin to the bastard child installment, 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch, zeroing in on the disgusting mask scene in the factory where creepy crawlers pour out of Little Buddy’s skull!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN disciples. What are your plans tonight? If nothing, what wild adventures did you encounter this season? Tell us in the comment section!