Mike McCarthy's art is based on three original Pop Culture contributions that America gave the world during the twentieth century: Comic Books, Rock and Roll, and Drive-In Cinema (not just the physical things themselves, but the ideas behind them). The most progressive and brilliant period of this pulp trinity occurs between 1935 to 1977 ("Bride of Frankenstein" to "Star Wars", Will Rogers death to Punk Rock, the first comic books until the death of underground comics); and the Life and Death of Elvis Presley.

Elvis Presley is not just the king of rock and roll, he is the king of American Pop Culture.

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FEB 18th 2006,


LOS ANGELES-When Rolling Stone magazine picked the best albums of the year, they slotted Anaheim's Willowz in among such huge contemporary acts as the White Stripes, Bright Eyes and Sleater-Kinney, and legends Neil Young, Van Morrison and the Rolling Stones themselves. "Talk in Circles" (Sympathy) earns such high praise for its "sweet-and-sour cocktail of buzz-saw guitars," "catchy choruses" and "Stooges propulsion."

Never a band to do anything the simple way, Richie James Follin and company have hooked up with 20 cutting-edge video directors to make a provocative, high-energy DVD companion piece to their smash album, "See In Squares". Featured directors include Michel Gondry (who used Willowz music to score the underpants dance scene in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"), Joe Rublecaba collaborating with Artificial Army, Ace Norton, Emmy Collins (, H.G. Ray) and John Michael McCarthy.

Half of the filmmakers are affiliated with the Commondeer production company, including 23-year-old wunderkind Ace Norton. His ebullient trick photography video for "Ulcer Soul" presents the band as suburban superheroes, who by rocking out in their tiny house manage to conquer the laws of gravity--at least until the song ends, and the drummer falls in the pool.

In Toben J. Seymour's "Cons and Tricks," the Willowz play sneaky flies outsmarting the animated spiders who've wrapped them up in audio cable and want to electrocute them. Emmy Collins' "Questionnaire" turns the band into living cacti who crawl up out of the desert sand and crawl back in when the sun goes down. And in Buddy Gray's quirky "Making Certain," the band lives and plays inside a kid's dollhouse and snowglobe. The DVD's unquestioned highlight is the video for "Toy" (dir. Joe Rublecaba/Artificial Army), a wild Caribbean adventure in which bass babe Jessica is kidnapped by pirates.

With this DVD, the Willowz make the leap from amazing live and recorded performers to visual trendsetters. What medium will they conquer next? Stay tuned


Poster by Brian Dixon

LIBERTYFEST was held as part of a last great awareness effort following the two previous live music fundraisers.

This was the day that the amusement park was to have kicked off their new season. Folks marched and sang and played distorted guitar and JMM (with a little help from Poli Sci Clone and photographer Steve Jones) shot the whole event.

JMM is actively seeking out 3-D and Final Cut Pro editing help for this documentary DESTROY MEMPHIS if it is to be completed by September. Interested parties should contact jmm@guerrillamonster.com



No, it's not the Fantastic Four, it's "SAVE LIBERTYLAND": Filmmaker JMM, Law Professor Steve Mulroy, and 'stay at home Mom' Denise Parkinson (with son Casey!) made it onto the cover the March 1, 2006 Memphis Flyer to state their case: The city doesn't know who legally owns the rides that the Fairground threatens to sell (particularly the old wooden roller coaster and the carousel) Thanks to the efforts of activist Steve Mulroy, the city won't allow the auction of rides to go forward until at least April ( read it all here:) )

JMM continues to shoot footage for his documentary tentatively titled "Destroy Memphis".

(If any would-be editors are interested in helping JMM piece this doc together please email him at jmm@guerrillamonster.com)

in PARIS FRANCE May 12th!

Poster by Brian Dixon

Movie critic Paul Gaita once asked "Do the French know about John Michael McCarthy?" Well they do now! Thanks to the efforts of David Duez and Anne Del Tonette of ROCKENSCOPE (whom hosted JMM in April 2005 at Les Voutes for the French premiere of BROAD DAYLIGHT).

Now Parisians can thrill the timeless tickle of a french maid, an atom bomb, and an unwed mother - all shot on super 8 in Mississippi (and Memphis mon cheri!).

See http://rockenscope-english.monsite.wanadoo.fr


foto by Mike McCarthy
October 5th through the 16th.

Naturally I KNEW how we would spend this time. WHEAT is a co-conspirator friend of mine, an enabler if you will, a partner in arms in Guerrilla Monster, who allows my abstract visions to take form in reality. This trip would be no different.

When Wheat was not working with me he caught up with old friends, and looked forward to attending the 9th annual INDIE MEMPHIS FILM FESTIVAL which was premiering our OLGA, WILLOWZ and 200 SACHEN videos, the newly remastered TEENAGE TUPELO, and some other JMM goodies in a special closing night showcase called MEMPHICENTRIC (see below).

What follows in news item form is what Wheat and I did before he returned to his new home in dark Bradenton, Florida, where he bicycles at night using his cell phone for a headlight.

I want DESTROY MEMPHIS to have vignettes. Perhaps these are dvd menu items, apart from the narrative. But if these artsier elements can function to advance the story then I believe it serves this documentary better, albeit in a surreal way. The ZIPPIN PIPPIN inspired such a piece.
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Wheat arrived on Thursday afternoon (taking a bus!) from the airport and joined us at Casablanca where we waited on water. Earlier that day Director of Photography Iddo Patt, assistant Daniel Freeman and I had already taped former Director of Public Services and Neighborhoods DONNIE MITCHELL (who saved the W.C. HANDY house) and retired bio-chemist and author MR. DULANEY (who saved the Carousel). None of this would have been easy without the camera loan from Chad Schaffler or the previous sound work of John Markham.

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Click for larger version
foto by JMM
design by Ron Harris
Cadavera © 2006

“You can come back from the dead but you can’t go back home.”

One day in August 2006 as the 29th DEATHWEEK beat down upon us, black tressed CORI DIALS strolled into Sun Studio. When she told me that she liked to make her own blood and guts and play dead in photographs (meanwhile she sells health insurance!) we hit if off immediately! “Strange lass, this Cori”, I thought...with Tura Satana eyes, Bettye Page jaw, and Veronica Lodge hairline.

I accompanied CORI on a horror movie shoot where she was hogtied in the back of pick up truck for hours (without complaining once). At an incredible antique junkyard location she climbed into rusted out car trunks at dusk after winning the approval of a County Deputy who at first stood in our way. CORI doused herself in red karo syrup and cherry jello - just to play dead.

“I have someone dead you can play.”

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River City Tanlines

I've known Tanlines front-girl ALICJA TROUT for maybe 13 years? She played in the CLEARS and we shot an (unfinished) 16mm vid back in ‘97 that still sits upside down on my shelf. As the CLEARS, ALICJA and two male band mates; BRAD and SHELBY were 'high atari' in a look we conjured from mall fitted black tranny plastic and silver wiggage. A romanciful cousin to Eno and cheap beer.

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Last Starlet Cori Dials and Samantha Pinegar
foto by Steve Jones