Friday, March 7, 2014
Hello one and all! With more seasonable temperatures than we've been getting lately expected this weekend, hopefully we'll be able to thaw out a bit from this cruel winter. Get warm and cozy with these fun links!
Here are 31 reasons why my hometown of Philadelphia is the most underrated city in America. Woo hoo!
There is a new theory surrounding the identity of the character of Andy's mom in the Toy Story movies, and it's an intriguing one. What do you think?
The recent controversy surrounding a possible feud between 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen and screenwriter John Ridley reminds me of a slightly similar situation a few years back. Learn about TV writer Jeffrey Lieber, the unsung creator of the series Lost.
This blog was McDonald's Talk Central for awhile, so here's a throwback to that era. Here are Pop Rewind's 7 Missed McDonald's Items. At least some of it is better left in the past.
If you're a fan of classic Top 40 radio like I am, you may enjoy, or may have already heard, this hilarious audio, the famous (among radio fans) NINE tape. This recording, never intended for public listening, is a spoof of the tightening of Top 40 formatics that was happening in earnest at the time the tape was made, the early 1970s. Enjoy!
Finally, the University of Pennsylvania discovered an unusual item in their archives--centuries-old plans to launch warfare by strapping small animals with rocket packs at their enemies. History, folks.
Have a great weekend!
Friday, February 28, 2014
This month saw the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in America, and many things have been said about the band lately. One of those things is their talents as songwriters. This talent is evident not only in the band's own recordings, but in the recordings of their songs by others. The fact that the Beatles' songs can be interpreted beyond what the band did with them is a strong testament to their songwriting ability.
Here, without comment, are some of my favorite cover versions of Beatles classics. Enjoy!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
This week's Tuesday's Overlooked Film is the 1981 movie Continental Divide.
The film stars John Belushi as a hard-nosed Chicago newspaper reporter who makes a name for himself by exposing the actions of a corrupt city official. When Belushi gets roughed up by the official's thugs, his editor-in-chief sends him out to Wyoming's portion of the famed Continental Divide trail to cover a secluded ornithologist (Blair Brown) until the heat dies down back home.
Belushi quickly finds how unsuited he is for the great outdoors as well as for Brown's character, a serious-minded woman passionate about studying and preserving the bald eagle population of the area. Personality clashes ensue of course, as does a slow-burning romance. Can these two head-butting love birds make a relationship work? Spoiler: they certainly give it a try at the end of the film.
The movie contains a lot of opposites attract cliches, but it's interesting to see Belushi outside of a SNL/Blues Brothers context. Brown would go on to a mild success with the TV series The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.
Here is the film's trailer. Thanks!
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Great minds think alike. Recently, my good friends Todd Mason and Peter Carley both separately sent a link to me from the Web site Dangerous Minds describing the little known times that Neil Young contributed to recordings of the Monkees (an article you can read here). The full song that the article uses as an example of this pairing was the song "You and I," written by Davy Jones and Bill Chadwick, with vocals by Jones, from the band's album Instant Replay (the first album released after Peter Tork departed from the band).
The song is a more mature and harder-sounding song that is usual for Jones, which is to the singer's benefit. The teen idol trappings of the majority of his earlier songs with the band are absent here, and the song really lets Jones' vocal talent shine, as well as his growing sophistication as a songwriter. Young basically does his thing on guitar, and the pairing of him with the band is a fine one (and this is coming from someone who is not a particular fan of Young).
Here is the song in all its glory. Enjoy!
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Commercials for the upcoming Mr. Peabody & Sherman movie are all over children's television lately, and my kids are interested in seeing it. For their benefit as well as yours, I'm featuring here today the first-ever Mr. Peabody cartoon produced by Jay Ward back in the 60s. It quickly tells Peabody's backstory as well as how he met and adopted Sherman.
As a bonus, this clip also includes one of Ward's "Fractured Fairy Tales," this time telling the tale of Rapunzel.