Saturday, 30 April 2011

adidas cool

adidas cool

What do,
Henry Hill
David Klienfeld
Chris Moltasanti
Bob Marley
Ian McShane
Muhammad Ali
Rocky Balboa
The Royal Tenenbaums
Run DMC
Ian Brown
All have in common? Yes of course they all wear adidas tracksuits and look cool.
cool in prison
Mind you, There's always one...

Friday, 29 April 2011

Thanks for the day off

MY HIT LIST # 67 SPINNING AROUND

On the delights of pure pop this 2000 comeback single from Kylie Minogue is noted for that video and those hot pants, but it is a perfectly constructed pop song. No more no less. Forget the irony, the campness the pretension at iconography. In pop terms this song delivers; that's all you need. In and of it's time the pop single is a staple.
Regular readers of this blog may find this a controversial choice, given that I have little time for the modern day sterile music scene, but occasionally in pop music they get it right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFMPnbiC1fc
Kylie Minogue-spinning around

...yes pop music

Thursday, 28 April 2011

MY HIT LIST # 66 I SAW THE LIGHT TODD RUNDGREN




I saw the light- Todd Rundgren-live
I saw the light- Todd Rundgren-studio
The man who's names looks like an anagram was a pop wonder kid who changed his leanings over his varied career. In a way his work is  associated with the ubiquitous AOR style that blitzed US airwaves, yet he is also a creative producer for a diverse range of bands and artists. His work has taken in the Avant garde, jazz, psychedlia, pomp and new wave. Quite an interesting musician is Todd. I really like this pop hit; it's simple, melodic and catchy and is an interesting facet of an interesting career.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

MY HIT LIST # 65 THE NAME OF THE GAME


ABBA another group swamped in the sea of irony and knowingness by unappreciative philistines. They were great and wrote hit after hit The name of the game is a composition that has the whole package of ABBisms and is a fabulous example of the group at their hit writing peak.
It's hard to single out a favourite of theirs but this comes as close to being mine. The thing about ABBA was the ability to condense an idea and an arrangement into a three minute hit. Musically on the money and with distinctive vocals from Agnetha and Anni-Frid. In 1977 it was a song that was everywhere along with it's predecessor Knowing me knowing you. ABBA, when reheard away from the white suits and the dodgy musicals produced some superb pop music for a decade and should never be dismissed or filed away in the kitsch drawer.
Like their final song said; Thank you for the music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjJMPsEP4Uc
Lasse Hallstrom's literal interpretation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ90ZqH0PWI
as seen on TOTP


*footnote
Abba were never allowed to be sampled before the film When we were kings at which point the title track by the Fugees used the Name of name game in a creative way. Not for the purists, but it's noticeable that it took an association with Ali for ABBA to allow use of one of their classics.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DJ3gyEy8KM
Rumble in the jungle

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

MY HIT LIST #64 RAINY DAYS AND MONDAYS

There are times when popular music transcends notions of popularity and desposability. When a popular song is 'more than' just a pop song. One such case is Rainy days and Mondays by The Carpenters.
A sad song with a vocal delivery by Karen Carpenter that is beautiful and yearning. The production by Jack Dougherty, and all the component parts are perfect.

The song is about depression, loneliness and the hook of rainy days and Mondays strikes a chord with anyone who has felt that low. Karen's own internal sadness and issues made her the perfect vocalist for the song.
Richard and the other backing singers also make an excellent contribution on this beautiful song.

Talkin' to myself and feelin' old
Sometimes I'd like to quit
Nothing ever seems to fit
Hangin' around nothing to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down
What I've got they used to call the blues
Nothin' is really wrong
Feelin' like I don't belong
Walkin' around some kind of lonely clown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down
Funny but it seems I always wind up here with you
Nice to know somebody loves me
Funny but it seems that it's the only thing to do
Run and find the one who loves me
What I feel has come and gone before
No need to talk it out
We know what it's all about
Hangin' around nothing to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down
Funny but it seems that it's the only thing to do
Run and find the one who loves me
What I feel has come and gone before
No need to talk it out
We know what it's all about
Hangin' around nothing to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down
Hangin' around nothing to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down
-Roger Nicholls & Paul Williams

with Karen on drums
different version

The song was The Carpenters fourth number one billboard hit. Inconceivably it never charted in the UK on release in 1971.

I think it's one of the greatest records ever made and that Karen Carpenter had one of the great voices. People that only appreciate the Carpenters on a misguided kitsch level are missing the point; the Carpenters were all about the craft and the talent. Rainy days and Mondays is them at their best.

Monday, 25 April 2011

SCOPITONE A-GO-GO


The mighty Scopitone

Probably the most famous Scopitone
The Scopitone was the forerunner to music videos. It was a device, much like a jukebox, that played 16mm film of French pop music and obscure American sounds. Its heyday was in the early sixties and the specially made films that appeared on it are fantastic examples of retro cool; certainly Mike Myers must have seen some of these epics when he dreamt up Austin Powers.
These machines were installed in coffee bars and cocktail lounges in Europe and appealed to the hep cats of the day. Far from being just kitsch artefacts the shorts promos have inventiveness and charm that perfectly suits the material and the era. Camp, burlesque references and cheesy routines make these short films eminently watchable. The sets and structure of these shorts are terrific fun and range from sparse studio sets to colourful and garish production numbers. They often dipped their toe in more, shall we say, rock n roll territory; witness this Rolling stones-esque effort from Antoine

Les Elucebrations

The most well known Scopitone is probably Nancy Sinatra's these boots are made for walking the song and film nicely sum up the Scopitone genre.The fact that they are predominantly French films gives them a uniqueness that is hard to replicate. Here's a taste and a link to more Scopitone mania, enjoy daddio.
Modesty Blaise
Si Jous Chante
Pussycat a go go
I want you to be my baby
Baby pop
Land of 1000 dances
web of love
telephone

Check 'em out here
Scopitone membership vid
more info here

Le Surfs-Ce Garcon

Sunday, 24 April 2011

MY HIT LIST HARLEM SHUFFLE BOB & EARL


In 1963 Bob & Earl’s Harlem Shuffle hit the airwaves. It was, and still is an exemplary record. The kind of record that captures the imagination and on its initial release certainly started a lot of peoples love affair with Soul Rhythm and Blues. It’s just such a fresh and exuberant record that it has stood the test of time nearly fifty years later. In fact it has become a standard which is always the mark of a great tune. Bob & Earl's Harlem Shuffle is great music pure and simple.
Original
Rolling Stones Cover
Obscure yet funky version

Saturday, 23 April 2011

JOHN SULLIVAN RIP

JOHN SULLIVAN RIP
1945-2011

Comedy writer of Citizen Smith, Dear John, Just good friends Roger Roger and most famously Only Fools and Horses.
Fools was a once in a lifetime show that Sullivan created and he bought characters such as Del Boy, Rodney, Grandad, Boycie, Marlene, Trigger, Denzil and many others into the nations front room for decades. I’m a great fan of the show in its thirty minute format and there are some memorable moments. My favourite single piece of Sullivan’s writing is in the Episode, Watching the girls go by; it is a three hander between Del, Rodders and Uncle Albert talking about love and relationships, and shows Sullivan’s under rated talent.

"I was in love once" "yeah triffic"


MY HIT LIST # 63 Buffalo 66


Vincent Gallo splits opinion but is definitely a talent, one who is a risk taker. In Buffalo 66 we see the mundanes of an extreme situation with a central character on a collision course with parental expectation (or lack of). From Badlands style attraction and chaotic opportunism. It is a movie of naturalism and absurdity, of mania and unwitting humour. Gallo is a ‘balls out’ performer and in Cristina Ricci he has a perfect foil.
The old Cassavette’s gang member Ben Gazzara and Anjelica Houston are excellent as the grotesque parents and there are other actor’s actors present in Mickey Rourke and Kevin Pollack. Rosanna Arquette and Jan Michael Vincent round of the cast in Gallo’s debut as writer star and director, along with music duties.
reviewed by Siskel & Ebert
There need to be more films where the creative mind just goes for it and has a fearlessness to go along with the talent. Hit or miss but having the guts to do it.

Is it an iconoclastic master class or smoke and mirrors? It’s free form structure and method point to the first. I’m not sure but it’s a film I admire.
Get your face outta my pants

Friday, 22 April 2011

MY HIT LIST: TONY

Tony: London serial Killer
The Debut film from British director Gerard Johnson is an unsettling, disturbing, grim yet fascinating movie. Peter Ferdinanado is superb as the outcast who has a severe case of social ineptitude coupled with a predilection for B Movie action films starring Gary Busey, Rutger Hauer and the like. His way of dealing with his blank existence is to kill. It's obvious comparator is Henry: portrait of a serial killer. The way in which Tony dispatches his victims has a mundanity and ambivalence about it. It is set in and around Dalston and Essex Road North London and it paints a grim landscape in which Tony wanders aimlessly without a direction; literally and in life. The first we see of him is walking through a litter strewn Dalston market, empty of people, and at the end of the movie he is seen in the heart of London's beating west end. He is an outsider in both contexts. What is compelling about this debut is the way in which we are both repelled by and feel sympathy towards Tony. There is no trite, happy ending, no sting in the tail; we are left to draw our own conclusions about what happens to Tony. It is also worth a special mention for the soundtrack, composed and performed by The The; it is beautiful, haunting and stays with you long after the end credits. Much like the film, minus the beauty.
the beautiful and haunting Score by The The
TONY: London Serial Killer Trailer
TONY original Trailer

Thursday, 21 April 2011

CURIOSITY CORNER: A HOLLYWOOD YANKEE IN THE FULHAM ROAD

Mickey Rourke, Denzel Washington and Forest Whittaker take on the IRA the British Army, London and British accents in these three films trying to address some issues in a rather cack handed fashion. Curiosity value in all three. It's hard to think of these actors in these roles but presumably they were flown over in order to finance the films. The Crying Game received the most acclaim (though for the life of me I can't see why). They all have turns
from American actors doing a british with various success but show that sometimes in order to tell a story with deeper underlying themes you need a lot less as opposed to a lot more. These films were products of their times and show Hollywood dipping it's toe into troubled waters.


Web site Synopsis

For Queen & Country(1989): A British paratrooper, honorably discharged after nine years of service, returns to his South London home and a world of racism, poverty and crime - and the realization that the country he served no longer wants him as a citizen
A prayer for the Dying (1987):Martin Fallon is an IRA bomber who tries to blow up a troop truck but instead kills a bus load of school children. He loses heart and quits the movement and goes to London trying to leave the U.K. and start a new life. The IRA wants him back (he knows too much) and the local crime boss, Meehan, will only help him if he performs one last hit, on a rival crime boss. When Fallon does perform the hit, he is seen by a catholic priest. He refuses to kill an innocent again and must find a way to escape the police without killing the priest who can identify him
The Crying Game (1992): An unlikely kind of friendship develops between Fergus, an Irish Republican Army volunteer, and Jody, a kidnapped British soldier lured into an IRA trap by Jude, another IRA member. When the hostage-taking ends up going horribly wrong, Fergus escapes and heads to London, where he seeks out Jody's lover, a hairdresser named Dil. Fergus adopts the name "Jimmy" and gets a job as a day laborer. He also starts seeing Dil, who knows nothing about Fergus' IRA background. But there are some things about Dil that Fergus doesn't know, either.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

FILM STUFF: GADGETS IN BLADE RUNNER

Esper Photo Analyser
'A device that can find remarkable levels of
detail from a photograph'

Voight Kampff tester
'Used in analyzing the eye for unconscious emotional reaction'

Spinner Police Vehicle
'VTOL vehicle for use in urban environments'

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

MY HIT LIST # 62 EDDIE KENDRICKS GIRL YOU NEED A CHANGE OF MIND


'Why march in pick-it lines? Burn bras and carry signs? Now I'm for women's rights I just want equal nights'
Not only was Eddie Kendricks a legend as part of the Temptations but he went on to have a successful solo career.Girl you need a change of mind, less known than his hit keep on trucking this is a seven minute masterpiece from the former Temptation. It’s taken from the People hold on LP which was and is a classic pre-disco album.

TV version

Full version

Covered by many artists including D’angelo, Ohio Players, Charles Earland and Paris this song grows and grows. Written by Frank Wilson and Anita Poree and featuring the Young Senators and Carl Harris this song is full of drops, fades, crescendos and groove. It’s phenomenal.
'All men don't discriminate this man emancipates now I won't chain you up just fill your lovin' cup hey, hey you need me girl'

WELLISAIDTHAT