Poster for Orphan Black
Started this tonight, and I’m intrigued.
Roy Wood, “Songs of Praise”
The leadoff cut from his Boulders LP.
Talk Talk, “Life’s What You Make It (Extended Dance Version)”
A funky grinder with brains in the production. Dance to this, and sexy time could ensue.
Joe Simon, “Drowning in the Sea of Love”
I’ve been down one time,
I’ve been down two times,
But now I’m drowning
Drowning in the sea of love
Shit so classic.
John Hammond, “Preaching Blues”
Hammond plays the hell out of that National steel. Had never heard Hammond, though I’d acquired and held onto a few of his Vanguard albums since college. So, I slap a few on tonight, and wow. A distinctive blues stylist, whether solo, as here, or with a band. The latter actually the case, when “Robby” Robertson, Levon Helm and Garth Hudson joined Mike Bloomfield and Charley Musselwhite on Hammond’s Mirrorsalbum (1967).
Sidenote: Hammond is the “junior” of John Hammond the Columbia record producer and talent bloodhound (a pedigree of discovery or association that stretches from Benny Goodman and Billie Holiday through Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen to Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Ray Vaughan).
Keith Jarrett, The Köln Concert
And, yeah, the buddhas are onscreen the whole time, so, time for a new browser tab!
Ambrosian Choir, “Psalm 121,” from The Snowman and the Falcon
David Bowie, “Putting Out Fire,” from Cat People
The song’s video, it gives you a good sampling of the film’s visuals.
"Main Theme" from Duck, You Sucker
Lilting, lovely opening in this Morricone score that has little to do with a spaghetti Western that will not be fettered by subtlety. Just saw the trailer, and things blow up. Not in a CGI-skyscrapers-disintegrating-and-cityscapes-shifting way, but in a some-guy-put-explosives-on-a-bridge-and-blew-it-up way. Also, Rod Steiger in serious brownface. Complete with Mex-i-cahn AC-cent.
Ann Reinking, John Mineo, Ensemble “Charlie’s Place”/The Andrews Sisters “Over Here”
From the 1974 Tony Awards. You can see a very young John Travolta at the beginning and in the background. Marilu Henner is in the yellow skirt. And Ann Reinking jitterbugs up a frickin’ storm.
Your sobsister saw this show on B’way as a young thing, dragging my parents along. This was at the peak of the nostalgia boom in the U.S. The ’20s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s were being mined for entertainment, straightforward or camp in value, possibly to connect to a time when things made more sense. The social and cultural movements of the ’60s, the war, the Nixon years and Watergate had all served to spin the American compass.
Ruby Keeler and Ensemble, “I Want to Be Happy,” from No, No, Nanette
The then-60-year-old hoofer shows ‘em how they lay down the iron in the old days. What a life. Courted by gangsters as a teenager, married to Al Jolson at 18, the star of the archetypal backstage musical at 23. At 31, after a string of musicals for Warner Bros., she left performing for 30 years, then came back to do this show.
Original Cast Album, Applause
The most successful play produced by the late George Steinbrenner. The Yankees’ “Boss” also produced Seesaw and a few other plays that barely broke a month’s run. Who knew?
On that Applause tip, however, here’s “But Alive,” from the TV version of the play that was broadcast as the show reached the end of its run in 1972. A musical number set in the most brightly lit gay bar in Greenwich Village, apparently. That’s right: a gay bar stocked with homosexuals of every description dancing with Betty Bacall waay before your Will and Grace and Kurt and Blaine. Post-Stonewall and pre-AIDS/Reagan—the latter two, diseases inextricably linked in your sobsister’s mind—there was a brief efflorescence of consideration, even limited tolerance, of previously taboo ideas, perhaps driven by the still-potent liberalism churned up in the ’60s. Marijuana legalization and gay rights were being discussed in the public square, although both would be smothered as the War on Drugs and Christian fundamentalism emerged to dictate policy and attitudes. 40 years later, we’re finally coming around to consider that maybe we were on the right track back then, as marriage equality and pot decriminalization take on momentum.
I once spoke with an investment counselor, and his evangelical depiction of the stock market’s progress over the course of the 20th century put me in mind of those who believe in the world’s slow march toward Salvation, marked by delays and reverses, but inexorably moving onward and upwards. One might say that, as more and more minorities achieve varying degrees of equality and dignity in our society and as more and more social issues are addressed in ways informed by reason rather than superstition, bigotry and dogmatism, the U.S. is moving slowly towards humanism and enlightenment. But, as we’ve seen and see all around us, it takes very little for a frightened or willfully ignorant electorate to undo social, political and economic advances.
But for this Friday afternoon: a very young Bonnie Franklin, the 1970 Tony Awards and "Applause."
Oui. C’est vrai. Je suis un ananas.
Poster for Captain America - The Winter Soldier
I was going to post the Cap version of this poster, but Scarlet Johansson as the Black Widow in an Assumption of Mary pose but with tits and guns? Yeah, Chris Evans is great, but I’m going with SJ.
The movie was darn good. Saw it in IMAX 3D, and it was worth the 13 clams demanded. Nice exterior shots of Milk Chocolate City and its environs, btw. The Triskelion appears to be parked just off Rosslyn, VA (maybe Roosevelt Island?), and Cap looks to live on Dupont Circle—I await the Internet cognoscenti’s mapping of the various scenes: “There’s no way they could’ve gone from the Mall to K Street that way!”
Now, there are the usual what? moments one expects in D.C.-based movies. (As in, can someone explain to me which “committee” of the Department of Justice both has military on it and holds hearings open to the press? That’s just lazy screenwriting, folks.)
Better than the first movie and a bit clumsily linked via its epilogue into the Big Picture for the next Avengers flick, The Winter Soldier is a great superhero flick with enough human moments to ground the superhuman battles.