Ombudsman rejoices as Phillies take lead in season series

Armas, Nationals Revert to Old FormThe Post
Despite a strong start, we sometimes forget that Tony Armas, Jr. is nothing more than a six-inning pitcher. Last night, Frank Robinson forgot too and Armas gave up a run by walking the pitcher in the 7th. In the 4th, he gave up a three run shot to Bobby Abreu. The Nats could only muster three hits all night. Marlon Byrd’s homer accounted for the only two runs.

The Nats have now lost two in a row to the Phillies and trail them in the season series. Since I have a cheesesteak riding on them winning it I am quite concerned, particulary since a Phillies victory means I owe the Ombudsman Ben’s Chili Bowl. At least he could not watch last night’s game in HD.

More from The Wash. Times: Armas, Nationals come up short again

BoxscoreESPN


Zimmerman’s Play Puts Him In ContentionThe Post
If Dutch! is going to keep playing so well his nickname is going to have to change to ROY.

Team lacks consistency in center fieldThe Wash. Times
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Q&A: Heavy Metal Parking Lot 20th Anniversary

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Today is the anniversary of the 1986 Judas Priest Capital Centre concert that was immortalized in the documentary Heavy Metal Parking Lot. John Heyn and Jeff Krulik’s 16 minute video of Judas Priest fans tailgating perfectly captured the heavy metal zeitgeist of the mid 80s. The documentary made the rounds at local film festivals before bootlegs made it a cult classic.

Heyn and Krulick’s idea of filming teenagers tailgating before a rock concert became the PARKING LOT ODYSSEY, taking them to Harry Potter book signings, a Neil Diamond concert and even a short-lived cable series. But it all started with a two guys from PG County with some video equipment in Capital Centre parking lot. Recently, I interviewed Krulik, now a freelance/independent tv/video producer, about Heavy Metal Parking Lot. Heyn also contributed to a few answers and provided the images in this article.

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Q: What was the inspiration for Heavy Metal Parking Lot? Were you guys Judas Priest fans?

A: No. Not in the least. We were into punk rock and the like. But we were never dismissive of the music, and luckily we blindly plicked the Judas Priest concert. Their music really holds up. It’s classic and timeless.

Q: What parking lot were you guys in? Was it Stars and Stripes, Liberty Bell, etc.?

A: John and I have absolutely no recollection of the parking lot we started in. That’s pretty cool you remember the names of those lots. They all had patriotic themes. I remember it was particularly sad to see all that was left of the Cap Centre after demolition were many of those giant poles with the parking lot names on them.

Q: How many times was Heavy Metal Parking Lot shown in public?

A: If I remember correctly, John arranged a screening at DC Space in the Fall of ’86. Later that Spring I showed it at the Vinyl Event Record Convention in Silver Spring at my booth (I was a part-time record dealer) and then there were a few more showings, culminating in our opening slot at the AFI Theater at Kennedy Center in 1988 before the Chuck Berry documentary ‘Hail Hail Rock and Roll.’

Q: How long did it take to put the original documentary together?

A: I think we spent about two hours, 2 1/2 hours on site at the Capital Centre. That was it. Stumbling around the parking lot. Then John took the footage and months later really came back with the goods. He’s the genius architect behind it. My contribution was the equipment and the title.

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Q: To the best of your knowledge, when did bootlegging really get going? Was there a point when you realized, “Hey, we were onto something?”

A: You bet. It was 1994. We had stopped showing it around these parts in 1990, again at the AFI Theater as part of our own self-curated program called the ‘Don’t Quit Your Day Job Film and Video Festival.’ It was a gas. But we realized we couldn’t force our friends to watch it anymore, and that was it. Finito. But then out of the blue John got a call from Sophia Coppola and he’ll tell you what that was like…

John Heyn adds: Yeah, Sofia Coppola called me in ’94 to inquire about using clips from HMPL in her TV pilot for Comedy Central called High Octane. She was a fledgling producer at the time (most knew her from her role in dad’s Godfather III) She had tracked me down in Silver Spring thru the phone directory (there wasn’t any internet back then).

She said she was a big fan of HMPL. She had rented it at a cult-video store in L.A. called Mondo Video. Mondo Video had been renting it and promoting it (as a bootleg) for some time; through them it was reaching an audience of L.A. scensters such as Belinda Carlisle (the Go-Gos) and Hollywood actor/director Paul Mazursky. This admonition was the first inkling that we had a west coast word-of-mouth following, including film & music cognoscenti. Through the seven degrees of separation, Sofia Coppola turned her cousin Nicholas Cage and filmmaker-husband Spike Jonze onto it. We’ve susequently sent them “official” copies.

Recently Sofia wrote me to request the newly-released DVD. I sent her a copy in Paris, where she’s directing her latest film. She’s remained a (fanatical?) fan all these years.

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Not Sofia Coppola

Q: Did the success of Heavy Metal Parking Lot influence your career decisions?

A: It just re-inforced my decision that I love verite man on the street true life self-referential filmmaking. Sadly, it was almost 15 years too early for reality television, not to mention it was before the era of videos being submitted to ‘film festivals.’ It was doomed to cult obscurity early on.

Q: Initially, what stuck out about the Judas Priest fans? Have your views of them changed over time?

A: I loved those guys then. And I love them even more now. Those people feel like family to me. I’m most grateful that they never showed any aggression or hostility to us when we shoved our camera and microphone in their faces.

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Zebraman

Q: Was there one fan or part of the evening that stuck out more than all the others?

A: I remember absolutely nothing from the day we taped. All my memories are from the video. Everyone loves the one they call Zebraman.

Q: Your Web site notes that Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford loves Heavy Metal Parking Lot? What kind of feedback have you gotten from Judas Priest fans over the years?

A: Truthfully, most hardcore Judas Priest fans and/or devoted metal fans never even heard of the video. Maybe that’s different now, but for the longest time it was held close to the bosom of alternative rockers.

Q: When did Heavy Metal Parking Lot first appear in a film festival? How many has it been exhibited in?

A: I arranged a screening at the New York Underground Film Festival in 1997. Since then, I’ve lost count. But they’re mostly regional fests and alternative microcinema type spaces.

Q: What was your favorite description of Heavy Metal Parking Lot?

A: Alona Wartofsky once wrote in a generally positive review in the Washington City Paper that ‘the filmmakers don’t reveal themselves to be much brighter than the subjects on screen’ and I’ve always loved that line.

Q: Heavy Metal Parking Lot is now available on DVD (from Filmbaby). Had it been available for sale previously, or had it always been available only through bootlegs?

A: We had it on vhs for at least five years. Before that, it was the domain of the bootleggers and tape traders. Finally, John Heyn and the brilliant Todd Rohal (http://www.ghandshake.com) created the magnum opus DVD that we’re currently self distributing.

Q: Twelve years after Heavy Metal Parking Lot, you returned to the Capital Centre/US Airways Arena/whatever for one last time to film Neil Diamond Parking Lot? Was the magic back? Do you feel you captured the zeitgeist like you did with Judas Priest?

A: We were happily surprised to see that the metal fans and Neil Diamond fans shared some sort of common gene: passionate devotion. They were a lot closer than the 180degree arc that I thought first existed.

Q: You even did a Harry Potter Parking Lot and a “parking lot” series on TRIO. Did any of them give you the same satisfaction as Heavy Metal Parking Lot?

A: I’D say the whole PARKING LOT ODYSSEY has been gratifying. Each excursion has its own thang going. I remember when I went to shoot Harry Potter Parking Lot I was thinking ‘ugh’ here we go again as I lugged my camera out of my car, but then an hour later the results seem to satisfy. The TRIO tv series would have been more satisfying if it was on a network that people could get.

Q: Please tell us about any of your other films.

A: I’m getting THE LEGEND OF MERV CONN ready for the Maryland Film Festival. There’s a short trailer on my website. It’s part of THE MARYLAND TRILOGY which also ran at the New York Underground Film Festival. I hope to screen that at the AFI if they’ll have me back. There’s really a pile of short documentaries I’ve cranked out over the years, most available on my website http://www.planetkrulik.com, although I got lazy after 2003, and there seems to be some recent web meltdowns so forgive if some of this stuff doesn’t play at the moment. I’ve only been able to accomplish this output by the affordability and accessibilty of video. But it still requires a great deal of sweat equity.

Q: The first line of your obituary may contain, “…who created the cult film Heavy Metal Parking Lot.” Do you think that this will be your lasting legacy? How do you feel about that?

A: I’ve always joked that my tombstone will say ‘He Made a Lot of Films, But He Was Only Known for Heavy Metal Parking Lot.’ This is a bittersweet thing. I guess you could call it our 20-year albatross, but hey, it’s better to be known for something than nothing at all.

Q: Okay, probably the most asked question you get — will you ever produce “Return to Heavy Metal Parking Lot.” They are back together you know…

A: WE’d love to produce ‘Return to Heavy Metal Parking Lot. We’ve pitched this thing over and over and over. We got close at VH1 but then they went all Celebreality and that’s that. Can’t say I blame them.

Q: Thank you for you time, any parting words?

A: I’VE said too much already. I’m a blabbermouth. I love the sound of my voice. I love the clickety clack of my typing.

John Heyn and Jeff Krulik

John Heyn and Jeff Krulik

The story of Heavy Metal Parking Lot ends here…for now. We can only hope that Heavy Metal Parking: 20th Anniversary Reunion finds the backing it deserves. While we wait for that to happen, check out these sites below:

Official Site
Planet Krulik’s Heavy Metal Parking Lot site
Planet Krulik
Judas Priest
Rob Halford
Buy Heavy Metal Parking Lot from Filmbaby

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Nats start off road trip poorly, season series with Philly tied

Nats’ Bullpen In Giving MoodThe Post
Tied 2-2 in the sixth, P Mike O’connor was knocked out of the game with a line drive off of his ankle. The bullpen came in and gave up nine runs through the rest of the game to fall 11-2 to the Fleas.

More from The Wash. Times: Phillies KO O’Connor, Nats

BoxscoreESPN


I am busy working on a project for Metroblogging DC, so I don’t have time to post more than just the remaining headlines.

Hill’s next start is pushed backThe Wash. Times


Moving, not groovingThe Wash. Times

For Jackson, A Starting AdjustmentThe Post
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Nats crush Dodgers, 10-4, complete 7-3 homestand

At RFK, Nats Enjoy Comforts of HomeThe Post
A homestand that began with anger and frusturation ended with victory and happiness. Yesterday, the Nats took game three of their series with the Dodgers 10-4 at RFK. That clinched their third series victory in a row.

The Nats put five runs on the board in the third inning and a run in each of all the other innings but the 2nd and 7th. Alfonso Soriano hit his 11th homer at RFK (in 91 AB) while Dutch! hit his eigth of the season and Nick Johnson hit 2 more. Thomas Boswell notes that they are on a record pace for D.C. homers.

Ramon Ortiz even pitched well (The Post), giving up three runs over seven innings for the win.

On Saturday the Nats wasted the strong debut of Shawn Hill, who gave up only a run over seven innings. He was the Chevy player of the game, even though the team lost 3-1 (The Post).

More from The Wash. Times: Nats finally cooking at home

BoxscoreESPN


Robinson is not so toughThe Wash. Times
Frank Robinson’s soft spot for tough players who never make excuses is examined.

Nats mailbagThe Wash. Times
Mark Zuckerman answers three questions.

The Nats head to Philly to play the Fleas tonight. You would think a team as old as the Phillies would understand that baseball should be played during the day on major holidays, but nooooooo, they don’t. They need to change their ways, otherwise I am going start calling that city something like “North Chester” or “South Quakertown.”

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Welcome back ¡LIVAN!

Hernandez Keeps Nationals RollingThe Post
Some people may argue that he never left, but I have to disagree. Nevertheless, I cannot help but be joyful that ¡LIVAN! has returned. Last night he pitched six strong innings, giving up only two hits and not allowing a runner past second base. He did not have any walks either. In his final inning, as his pitch count got over 90, he faltered a little and gave up three runs, but in the context of a 10-4 (with 16 hits) rout, it was all okay. ¡LIVAN! has pitched well in his last three starts, going at least seven innings, giving up no more than 3 earned runs each outing. He has a two game winning streak.

About that rout — Alfonso Soriano is still on fire, hitting another homer and stealing another base. In short, Jim Bowden got lucky and still needs to go.

The sixteen overall hits and ten runs were RFK records for the Nats. They have won four in a row and six of their last eight.

More from The Wash. Times: Hernandez regains form & The L.A. Times: Streak Ends on Capital Offense

BoxscoreESPN


Groups at odds over parkingThe Wash. Times
More on the parking garage dilema at the new ballpark. While it is dissapointing that the Lerners are applying a suburban mall sensibility to parking, the planners should not have put the garage behind left field in the first place if they did not want it there.

T(H)OM LOVERROIt’s worth checking on SchuerholzThe Wash. Times
Loverro wants the Nats to see if Atlanta GM John Schuerholz would be interested is coming north. There are indications that two of his deputies, Dayton Moore and Frank Wren are already being looked at for the D.C. job.

NATIONALS NOTEBOOKTeam Finds Backup Plan To Be LimitedThe Post
C Brian Schneider is back (2 for 4 last night) from the DL which means that Nats now have one legitimate MLB catcher on the roster and two other guys who own the equipment. C Wiki Gonzales cleared waivers and has returned to N’awlins.

More from The Wash. Times: Schneider returns from 15-day DL


Don’t forget that the Nationals are playing this afternoon. The reason? A FOX telecast (Ch. 5 locally), which means you can actually watch them on TV, though it looks like a beautiful day to be at the ballpark, with highs in the low 80s.
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Nats instant tradition contest

Courtesy of Raw Fisher, we learn that the Nationals are holding a contest to come up with an instant tradition for the Nats. From the official rules:

The object of The Washington Nationals Show us your Pastime Contest is to submit an original entry of one of the following but not limited to; essay, poem,video or audio clip on what makes you the biggest Washington Nationals Fan. Washington Nationals staff members will judge all essays based on criteria set forth in the Judging section below. Once submitted if your entry is chosen by the panel of Washington Nationals judges your entry will be posted online on nationals.com and you will participate in the fan vote during the period between June 6, 2006 at Noon ET and August 6, 2006 at 11:59 PM ET. The entry with the most number of votes bi-weekly will be a finalist. The finalists will also be voted on by the fans during the period of August 14, 2006 at Noon ET and September 8, 2006 at 5:00 PM ET to determine the grand prize winner. Each one of the finalists will be given two tickets and asked to attend the Washington Nationals game on October 1, 2006 and the finalist with the most fan votes will be awarded the grand prize of 2 season tickets to the 2007 Washington Nationals. During the voting period fans will be allowed to vote one time per day.

I already put in for “Heart” from Damn Yankees.

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Nats take another series; Robinson turns into Dick Vermeil

GODDARD 8 JOHNSON 5
Astros Can’t Steal Win Against NatsThe Post
Charlie Slowes said that yesterday’s 8-5 victory may have been the most exciting in history, but after the game manager Frank Robinson was bawling in the clubhouse because he had to pull C Matthew LeCroy from behind the plate after 7 Astros stole bases and two errors. LeCroy to his credit, understood why he was pulled.

The Nats bats were alive, especially 2B Jose Vidro who had a 3 run homer and another RBI. Alfonso Soriano scored three runs and Dutch! and 3 RBIs to go along with some great glove work.

More from The Wash. Times: Robinson tearful after win

Video from Comcast SportsNet: Part I | Part II (Go to this page and scroll down if you cannot make it work from the two previous links)

I think he is really upset that so many Nats bloggers are on hiatus right now. Don’t worry, Frank WWN will be here through the holiday weekend.

BoxscoreESPN


Guillen exits early — againThe Wash. Times
Wuss Jose Guillen took himself out of the game because of a tight hamstring. Yesterday, it was a bruised cornea. Tough it up, Jose!

By Keeping It Simple, Johnson Seeks RevivalThe Post
Nick Johnson isn’t in a slump, he just ain’t hitting. My advice (again) — take some pitches.

District Puts Dispute With Comcast on HoldThe Post
Don’t expect anything to happen over the weekend in the District’s dispute with Comcast. The misguided legislation passed recently is probably not enforceable anyway.

If the District was going to do anything, it should have sued MLB and Peter Angelo$ the day after the Nats sale was completed. Once the Lerners own the team outright, MLB cannot threaten to delay the process.


THOMAS BOSWELLAt Last, Glimmers of Hope For a Resourceful TeamThe Post
Bos is a happy boy, the Nats have been winning lately. It is like 2005 all over again.

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