Wednesday, January 28


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B.B. King and Etta James. Etta is played by Beyonce in the new movie Cadillac Records. I'd be quite happy with the casting if I were Etta.

B.B. was great (and ageless 15 years ago) after the show signing autographs, I didn't have a pen.

Allman Brothers. Saw them all the time in the Chicago area at different venues. Always brought their kids.

Rolling Stones. Saw them more than the Allman Brothers. Can't match the electricity in the air they generate. First ticket to a concert of theirs, 8.50.

Jethro Tull. Saw them (Ian Anderson and company) at NIU. Love the flute and his playing while standing on one leg.

Wings. Bought a t-shirt in the parking lot. 10 bucks. It lasted about 10 years. Wish I had saved it.

Fleetwood Mac. Alpine Valley Wisconsin. Smuggled in wine flask. Guy in the tree on the lawn pee'd from his tree. We laughed.

Grateful Dead. Remember seeing a distant cousin of mine outside the venue looking for a ticket. Small world (this was in Chicago). He got in.

Led Zeppelin. Floor seats. One of their first "laser light" concerts. Saw bloody fight on the way out. Everyone lived.

Bob Dylan. He started out singing accoustic while sitting on a stool. Different but good. Hey, he was Bob Dylan.

Funny Games.

I like watching all kinds of movies.

Some I have a bad feeling about and watch anyway.

I never seem to learn.

Just last week I watched Hostel 2 on cable.

It was just as if not more disgusting than the original.

I texted Clint (with whom I had seen the first Hostel) the following:

"Just watched hostel 2. wish I could get back those 90 minutes of my life."

His followup:

"I wish I could get back the 18 bucks I spent on that movie. I bought the DVD."

That actually was kind of funny.

I forwarded our conversation to daughter Amy.

Her response:

"Like father like son. dumbass!"

Funny Games is by Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke.

I've seen one of his movies, Cache. It was dark and mildly disturbing plus I never really figured it out but I liked it.

His most successful film is The Piano Teacher.

Funny Games originally came out in 1997 and an American remake was made in 2008 - scene for scene.

I had never heard of it until I saw some listings for both versions of the DVD's on ebay.

I noticed it was showing on CineMax so I'm sure it will filter down to one of the cable stations I get pretty soon.

From Wiki, a short description:

Funny Games is an experimental 1997 Austrian horror film directed by Michael Haneke. The plot of the film involves two teenagers who hold a family hostage and torture them with sadistic games.

That should explain it.

Trailer for the 1997 version:

Trailer for the 2008 version:

Thursday, January 22

Holding on to the Earth.

The Indescribable Wow (1988) is the fifth (studio) album from American singer-songwriter Sam Phillips.

Holding on to the Earth is a single from it, co-written by her and T-Bone Burnett.

It always reminds me of Earth Day (from the Holding on to the Earth.. part of the lyrics). This song was part of a local radio promotion and of course driven into my head. I like it though so no matter.

Sam was married to T-Bone Burnett, made her screen debut in Die Hard with a Vengeance, and wrote music for and scored the TV show The Gilmore Girls.

She last released an album in mid-2008 named Don't do Anything.

If I close my eyes
I'm afraid I won't wake up
If I stop and listen
I'm afraid I'll hear too much

Trying to hold on to the earth
Holding on for what it's worth

I've got a long black cadillac
marble hot tub in the back
Champagne waterfall
solid gold question mark twenty feet tall

Try to paint a world of shapes
Over the holes as we're falling
The tightened grip is our mistake
As we're trying to hold on to the earth

Looking for his name
wet on brave lips carved on road
Look for flame and mercy
Hope that tired hands can hold

Wednesday, January 21

The Lodger (2009).

The Lodger is a story by Marie Belloc Lowndes.

It was written in 1912.

(Link to text of it HERE at Project Gutenberg)

Based on the Jack the Ripper murders, it is about a London family who suspects that their upstairs lodger is a mysterious killer known as "The Avenger."

The novel was the basis for four movie adaptions.

It was made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock in 1927, by Maurice Elvey in 1932, John Brahm in 1944, and as Man in the Attic in 1953.

The original movie, The Lodger, is a 1927 thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Another adaptation is coming out shortly. I'm not sure how it will stack up to Hitchcock's version but I'm looking forward to it. The Lodger is scheduled for limited release 01-23-09. With little promotion, the film will probably have a short run and I'll see it when the DVD comes out. I think I'll like it.

From Rotten Tomatoes: The Lodger


Hope Davis plays a woman who takes on a mysterious lodger (Simon Baker),... The tale that inspired Alfred Hitchcock's THE LODGER gets a modern sheen in this thriller that features a star-filled cast. Hope Davis plays a woman who takes on a mysterious lodger (Simon Baker), even as a serial killer is turning West Hollywood into a graveyard. But the murders aren't simple slices and dices; the killer is recreating the work of history's most famous killer: Jack the Ripper. Shane West and Alfred Molina also star as detectives investigating the string of gruesome crimes.


Director: David Ondaatje
Writer: David Ondaatje

The cast: Alfred Molina, Hope Davis, Simon Baker, Shane West, Rachael Leigh Cook, Donal Logue, Rebecca Pidgeon, Philip Baker Hall

The cast (as I know them): Alfred Molina (Doc Oct, Spiderman 2),

Hope Davis (wife to Nicolas Cage in The Weatherman),

Simon Baker (The Mentalist - new tv show),

Donal Logue (dad in Grounded for Life),

Rebecca Pidgeon (The Spanish Prisoner - wife of David Mamet),

Philip Baker Hall (Zodiac, Hard Eight - just saw this, not a bad movie).

Tuesday, January 20

Celebrate today with a smile.

Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job

WASHINGTON—African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America.
In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation's broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis.
As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind.
The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it.
Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, "It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can't catch a break."

Friday, January 16

Andrew Wyeth, 1917-2009.

Christina's World is one of my favorite works of art by Andrew Wyeth.

I always wondered about the significance of the scene but never pursued it.

Christina's World:

From Wiki: Christina's World is the most famous work by American painter Andrew Wyeth, and one of the best-known American paintings of the 20th century.

Painted in 1948, this tempera work is displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

It depicts Christina Olson, who had an undiagnosed muscular deterioration that paralyzed her lower body—likely Polio.

She was a strong and independent woman who did not let anything stop her from getting what and where she wanted.

She looks at her house, (implied line) dreading the crawl back but eager for the warmth it holds for her.

She, her brother, and Wyeth's neighbors are the subjects of a number of paintings of Wyeth.

Surprisingly, although Christina is the artistic subject of Wyeth's masterpiece, she was not the model - Wyeth's wife Betsy instead posed for the painting.

I have seen many reenactments of the scene on the photo site Flickr. Some are quite good.

Artist Andrew Wyeth, who portrayed the hidden melancholy of the people and landscapes of Pennsylvania's Brandywine Valley and coastal Maine in works such as "Christina's World," died early Friday. He was 91.

Master Bedroom:

(so much like Cubbie our dog - stealing a snooze on the bed when no one is home)

Wood Stove:

From Wiki:
Andrew Newell Wyeth (born July 12, 1917) is an American realist painter, also known as regional art.
He is one of the best-known of the 20th century and sometimes referred to as the "Painter of the People" due to his popularity with the American public.
He is the son of the illustrator and artist N. C. Wyeth, and the brother of inventor Nathaniel Wyeth and artist Henriette Wyeth Hurd, and the father of artist Jamie Wyeth and Nicholas Wyeth .

Monday, January 12

You, Me and the Bourgeoisie.

The Submarines are an idie pop band from Los Angeles.

The two members of the band, John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard, were introduced through a mutual friend. Before that they were solo artists.

You, Me and the Bourgeoisie by the Submarines:

If this song sounds familiar, it is probably because Apple used the instrumental version of it for it's iPhone 3G commercials.


Hazard is the great-granddaughter of American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Their song Brighter Discontent appeared in the season 4 finale of Nip and Tuck.

Another song of their's, Brightest Hour appeared on Grey's Anatomy.

They did a cover version of Little Boxes for the opening credits of Weeds, season two.

Friday, January 9

What do you think?

There are some opinions that this Rolling Stone cover makes Bush look sinister.

What do you think?

That reminds me of the O.J. Simpson covers that ran during the same week in June 1994: LINK HERE
(I have them stored in a box somewhere.)

And remember The Boss's (Bruce Springsteen) covers? (Oct 27, 1975) I had them at one time but have lost track of them.

I doubt that any of them will be worth much as collectables but it is nice to look back at them (I think - I haven't yet).

Tuesday, January 6

Ya, ya, ya. Beatles podcasts.

01-06-2009. No more - downloading suspended. I will leave the post up with the link - it looks interesting anyway.
This site has a Daily Beatle's podcast - the first time one can download Beatle's music legally (slight catch - commentary in Norwegian precedes the song - though it could be edited out of course). Link HERE (and an RSS link at the bottom of the page)

From their page:

English summary

Some weeks ago, - Norwegian Broadcasting - signed a deal with music rights holder organisation TONO in Norway. The new deal gives NRK right to publish podcasts of all previously broadcasted radio- and tv-programs that contains less then 70% music.

Podcast containing music may be up for four weeks, while our podcast without music stay up on our server forever.

One result of this deal, is that we now can publish “Our Daily Beatles” in English - as a podcast.

In this series from 2001, journalists Finn Tokvam og Bård Ose tells the story of every single Beatles tracks ever made, chronologically. Each episode contains a 3 minute story about each track (sadly for our international visitors - in Norwegian) and the actual Beatles tune.

This is - as far as we know - the first time you can download the Beatles’ music legally. Neither iTunes nor Amazon have The Beatles in their music stores.

Saturday, January 3

R.I.P. Delaney Bramlett.

Comin’ Home.

Delaney Bramlett passed away December 27, 2008.
The first I remember about Delaney and Bonnie & Friends was that they had a cut on the album, Duane Allman an Anthology.

(Great album by the way, I especially like the 13:00 minute version of Loan Me a Dime (Boz Skaggs).)

Anyway, this came out in 1972 and Delaney and Bonnie's contribution was the song

Livin’ on the Open Road.

Friends (as in Delaney and Bonnie & Friends) included at one time or another,

Delaney Bramlett

Bonnie Bramlett

Eric Clapton

Duane Allman

Gregg Allman

George Harrison

Leon Russell

Carl Radle

Jim Gordon

Jim Price

Dave Mason

Rita Coolidge

King Curtis

Bobby Whitlock

Jim Keltner

Jerry Scheff
Notes of interest:

All members of the supergroup Derek and the Dominos (Layla) had played with Delaney and Bonnie & Friends.
After the early 1970 breakup of their band, many of its ex-members were recruited by Leon Russell to join Joe Cocker’s band, participating on Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen recording sessions
Delaney has been cited as the person who taught George Harrison how to play slide guitar
Eric Clapton has said that "Delaney taught me everything I know about singing,"

Clapton became fast friends with Delaney, Bonnie and their band, preferring their music to Blind Faith's; he would often appear on stage with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends during this period, and continued to record and tour with them following Blind Faith's August 1969 breakup.

Clapton: "For me, going on [with Blind Faith] after Delaney and Bonnie was really, really tough, because I thought they were miles better than us."