November 30, 2005

Eggman and Zimmerman take a cab

There's no doubt the meeting of The Beatles and Bob Dylan in 1964 was a momentous occasion in pop culture history. Dylan was a huge influence on John Lennon. One need only listen to "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" (whereupon Lennon does his very best Dylan imitation) to hear evidence. Dylan is said to have introduced the Fab Four to the chronic. Legend goes, Dylan believed the Liverpudlians were already "imbibing" because he thought the lyrics to "I Want to Hold Your Hand" included the line 'I get high', when in fact they were singing 'I can't hide, I can't hide, I can't hiiiiiide'.

After Dylan, The Beatles would go from writing songs like "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" and doing cover versions(!) of songs like "Mr. Moonlight", to revolutionizing pop/rock music with "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Eleanor Rigby", "Tomorrow Never Knows", "A Day in the Life", etc., etc., etc. Can you say catalyst?

Here's interesting video, taken from an old 8mm film, of Dylan and Lennon riding together in a taxi in 1966. Check out Lennon's thick Liverpool accent. And they both seem a bit hide, I mean high.

I've been a Beatles fan for over twenty years, and I've never seen this:

November 29, 2005

Too busy to drive


Here we have the great malady of the "modern age"-the inability to focus and concentrate on one thing at a time. Multitasking is the name of the game. A.D.D. be damned. I guess the suprise is they weren't watching porn. That's about as idiotic as someone taking a picture while driving.

November 27, 2005

Death Eaters are near


Someone here in Nac must have cast the "Morsmordre" spell, because Dark Mark has been spotted:

(last pic from The Daily Sentinel)

November 25, 2005

(clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas





farm


The Square Top of the Round Top Precinct Courthouse (Round Top, Texas)



Royers Round Top Cafe


Don't ask anyone to torch your fag around these parts, mate.



Store windows from shops on the main square in La Grange, Texas





County Courthouse (La Grange, Texas)


Hostyn Grotto (Holy Rosary Catholic Church-La Grange, Texas) saint



big sky country




Fayetteville Precinct Courthouse (Fayetteville, Texas)




various locales (Fayetteville, Texas)



persimmons tree

November 22, 2005

Hello, I'm Exquisitely Bored


Besides being boring, I now realize why I didn't dig Ray. Now, don't get me wrong. I like Ray Charles and his music. My problem with Ray was Jamie Foxx. I've just seen Walk the Line, and compared to Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of Johnny Cash, Foxx was just doing an imitation (albeit a really good one) of Ray Charles. Obviously, he was cast due to his uncanny resemblance of Charles when he put on a pair of sunglasses, as well as his piano playing skill. But Phoenix was/is Johnny Cash. Walk the Line is not a great movie (it drags towards the end), but his performance is worth the price of admission. All the the Oscar nomination talk is deserved. Reese Witherspoon is also excellent as June Carter. I can't see Jaime Foxx and not think "Ugly Wanda". I can't take him seriously. But Phoenix, he has...weight, intensity...gravitas. Walk the Line is by no means the greatest music biopic ever made. No, that title belongs to this, or possibly this.

November 17, 2005

But, I regress...


I get up each morning at 5:00 (my alarm actually goes off at 4:55). It's a habit I started ten years ago when I began my current job. I work in a town about thirty minutes away, and I felt the need to have enough "what if?" time so that even if something happened (car touble, alarm not going off, etc.), I could still make it to work on time. As I make love to my morning cup of coffee, I typically flip around the TV channels and try to keep away from this lying scumbag, former car salesman/a**hole, who will hopefully, and should, rot in Hell. I've discovered two extremely charming, completely sweet children's shows produced by the BBC's CBeebies division. Anyone reading this with young children will know what I'm talking about!

The first one is called "Balamory". It's set in the picturesque village of Tobermory, Scotland, on the Isle of Mull. I want to live there, so badly!

My current desktop:

The second show is called "Charlie and Lola". It's a cartoon about two imaginative British children. I love most things British, and the cartoon is unabashedly, unashamedly British. I'm completely captivated by it, seeing as it's usually 5 a.m.-ish and everything as I groggily watch. Based on the community reviews at tv.com, I'm not the only adult who feels this way about it, although, I realize they could all be creepy pedophiles, so, here's a second, adult opinion.

Here's the theme song. Cute!

November 14, 2005

Tony Rome

video

Frank Sinatra, after losing his recording contract, movie contract, bobby-soxer fan base, Ava Gardner, and for a period of time, the voice, waged a remarkable comeback by winning an Academy Award for his performance in From Here to Eternity (1953). How a person whose career was as over as Sinatra's appeared to be could have gotten the part in the first place is the source of ancient Hollywood rumor.

Nonetheless, Sinatra went on to have a decent movie career (better than Elvis'), appearing in such classic films as The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Being the Sinatra fanatic I am, I can't help but also enjoy High Society (1956), Come Blow Your Horn (1963), and a couple of his "Rat Pack" movies, such as Ocean's 11 (1960) and Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964).

By the mid to late '60s, one can see that either the British Invasion had dealt even Sinatra's unprecedented career a blow, or he no longer cared about making movies. Whatever the reason, from that time period forward, he was cast in movie after movie (for the most part) as a cop or a detective. This phase of his Hollywood career began with a bang when he selected the role of Bogart-esque private detective Tony Rome in 1967.

The synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: "The tough, dashing private eye who lives on a boat finds his troubles beginning when, after being hired to escort the daughter of a wealthy businessman, the girl's diamond pin is mysteriously missing. The trail leads him to guns, bullets and love." It sounds a little like the plot to one of Raymond Chandler's great Philip Marlowe novels, The High Window, later made into a Bogart-less film version called The Brasher Doubloon.

Here's Frank pulling one of those old pull tabs from the first of many Budweisers we see him drink during the film.


Daugher Nancy sings the swingin' theme song.
It's hard not to laugh, though, with lyrics like these:


Mothers lock your daughters in
It's to late to talk to them
'Cause Tony Rome is out and about
And Tony Rome will get 'em
If you don't watch out
Tony Rome will get 'em
If you don't watch out

You see, by 1967, Sinatra was a long way from his skinny crooner days, when it was said he would disappear when standing behind the microphone stand.

Co-star Jill St. John didn't seem to mind. She would later play a somewhat similar role in Diamonds Are Forever.
Don't you know, if they look pretty good by today's standards, they were smokin', back in the day?
The plot is just as convoluted as any great detective novel, and all in all, Sinatra is pretty good. But, obviously, one never forgets that it's Sinatra. Any scene he's in, you can be certain, it's most likely the first and only take. He had no patience for the process of making movies. He would probably have told you, back when he still took acting seriously, that to do the scene more than once would take away from the believability. By 1967, he didn't have much "method". He could point
and point
and pointand point
and point
and point
yep, point
and point
and point
and point some more.
Note the Bud.

Because the film was made in Frank's world, there's lots of drinking. But didn't everyone drink and smoke in those days?
Some of the drinking had a point.
Note the odd gesture he's making with his left hand. What's that called? Oh yeah, pointing. Did I mention they drink Budweisers?
In between, Sinatra found work for his pallies, like best friend Jilly Rizzo:
and Beverly Hills restauranteur/con artist Michael Romanoff.
Since the film is set in Miami, there are great shots of beaches and buildlings you know are looong gone.

Tommy Vercetti's mansion?




The Fontainebleau Hotel, featured in other films such as Goldfinger and The Bellboy, is captured in all it's retro glory:




It's not a bad film, and it's definitely not the worst one Sinatra made. It's a good time capsule, if anything, of a lifestyle, a sensibility and aesthetic that was limping along, and soon to die, as the swingin' 1960s ground to a halt.