Sunday, December 10, 2017

Bye Fidelity

I sometimes listen to 1260 AM out here in L.A. For years it played classical music, a rarity among commercial stations.  Recently, it switched to rock oldies from the 50s and 60s (also getting rarer).

Maybe it's just my imagination, or maybe it's nostalgia, but I think oldies sound better on AM.  The basic sound works.  Songs were mixed then--in an age before FM took over--to come across on top 40 stations. Allegedly, Barry Gordy at Motown would listen to singles on a car radio before he'd release them.

So, if you're cruising and want an old-fashioned sonic experience, check out AM.  Keep turning till you get past all the talk and find some music.  Then you'll see. Or hear.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Get A Grip

I keep hearing there's a photo of Al Franken groping the breasts of a sleeping woman.  So far, I haven't seen it.  What I have seen is the photo accompanying this post, where Franken is posing to look like he's about to grope some breasts, or is posing as if he's groping some breasts, but his fingers are still a few inches away. At least that's what it looks like to me.

What's going on here is a bad taste joke which isn't funny, but it's far from the first time Franken did something like that.  In fact, some would say he made a career of it.

Leeann Tweeden, the woman in the photo, does have plenty to complain about--not just the photo, but Franken's aggressive kissing in a sketch they performed on a USO tour.  She says he groped her, though since she was sleeping (unless she was pretending to sleep), she has the same evidence we all now have.

Mind you, the photo is embarrassing to her whether or not he's touching her.  My point, small as it is, is that I've heard a number of people state something with certainty when they really shouldn't be so sure.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Morgan, Not Gary

Just Getting Started, starring Morgan Freeman, opens today.  Based on the trailer, it appears to be the story of two men in a fancy retirement community who are at odds (though the plot gets thicker, since the mob appears to be after Freeman).

Freeman is one of our finest actors.  An Oscar-winner, and five-time nominee, he's as reliable a screen presence as we've got.  But, in his later years (he's now 80), he seems to have settled into the role of The Guy Who's Old And Could Be Retired But Is Still Trying To Do Stuff.

He's been doing it for at least a decade, starting with Bucket List.  Since then there's been RED (which mean Retired and Extremely Dangerous), Last Vegas and Going In Style.

Maybe a septuagenarian has limited choices in Hollywood, but where is his Lear?

Thursday, December 07, 2017

I Wonder

I recently saw Woody Allen's latest, Wonder Wheel.  Boring, poorly written, don't bother.

But there was a moment that made me take notice.  Justin Timberlake gives Kate Winslet a gift for her 40th birthday, a collection of plays by Eugene O'Neill.  The book looked pretty thin for a collection, but okay, small print.

The film takes place around 1950.  I know this based on the look, and that Winchester '73 (1950) is playing at a local cinema, and that Woody said so.

So I figured sure, O'Neill at that point was considered the greatest playwright in American history (even though those upstarts Miller and Williams were making noise).  And Winslet says she once performed in one of O'Neill's plays in summer stock.

Her character has a young kid, and acted before he was born.  So I figured she's referring to the 1930s, maybe the early 1940s.  Which means the play would be something like, say, The Hairy Ape or Desire Under The Elms. Or maybe Anna Christie or Ah, Wilderness!.

And then she says the play was The Iceman Cometh.  Come again?  That debuted on Broadway in 1946.  Why would Woody pick it?  I know he writes these movies fast, but he must have known the date didn't work.

Did he want to choose one of O'Neill's better plays?  One that's well known?  And perhaps he figured the play's theme of pipe dreams fits his own movie.

Except the mistake takes you right out of the movie.  Good thing the movie was so bad I was glad to have something to think about.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017


Johnny Hallyday has died.  He was the biggest rock star in France.  I know, sort of like being the biggest polka star in Thailand.  But still, something special.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Danny Boy

Recently on Late Night With Seth Meyers, they had an interesting lineup: Jeff Daniels, Danielle Brooks, Daniel Caesar.

Daniels, of course, is a well-known film actor.  Brooks is an actress featured on Orange Is The New Black. Caesar is an R&B singer.

But what interested me is their names are all feature variations of "Dan."

Okay, it's no big deal, but it's the kind of thing I notice. (And hey, how much do you pay to read this blog?)

I do wonder, though, if bookers ever do this intentionally.  No doubt they try to have a varied lineup, but did someone in the office say "hey, we've got two 'Dan' guests already, let's find a 'Dan' singer to close out the night."

Monday, December 04, 2017

Soul Brothers

Not too long ago I ranked the fourteen songs on Revolver.  Now I figured I'd do the same for another mid-60s masterpiece from the Beatles, Rubber Soul, which happened to be released on a December 3rd.

This is the full-length British version, of course, not the emaciated American album I grew up with.

1.   Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
2.   Nowhere Man
3.   The Word
4.   Michelle
5.   Wait
6.   I'm Looking Through You
7.   Drive My Car
8.   In My Life
9.   You Won't See Me
10. If I Needed Someone
11. Think For Yourself
12. Girl (which made the "Red' collection of greatest hits, though I have no idea why)
13. Run For Your Life
14. What Goes On

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