Monday, April 20, 2015

Song of the Week: A Friend in Weed

A couple months ago, I mentioned the band 7Horse was the opening act for a Kenny Wayne Shepherd concert I attended. They played this song during their set, introducing it as being inspired by their travels through the town of Weed, California.  Though the lyrics prove that statement was made with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Friday, April 10, 2015

MST3K Friday: Fugitive Alien Song

Last week, I watched both Fugitive Alien and Star Force: Fugitive Alien II from MST3K.  It's the only two-part episode in the history of the series.  Here's a song from one of the host segments.  The music you are about to hear is from the actual movies. The lyrics, however, are pure MST3K.

"They tried to kill him with a forklift."

Monday, April 6, 2015

Song of the Week: Moonlight Becomes You

Bing Crosby is known mostly these days as a Christmas crooner.  But in his heyday, Crosby was the number one entertainer in the world. A multimedia star, from 1934 to 1954 Crosby was a leader in record sales, radio ratings, and motion picture grosses.  He had 396 chart singles, including 41 #1 hits.

This week's song comes from the third Hope/Crosby "Road" picture:  Road to Morocco.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Song of the Week: Because

Everyone praises The Beatles for their songwriting and musicianship, but another thing that makes them stand out is their use of harmony.  There are few things as beautiful as their a capella version of "Because".

Monday, March 23, 2015

Song of the Week: Filthy McNasty

Horace Silver was a jazz pianist who played in the style known as "hard bop".   This week's song, "Filthy McNasty", was first released on the album Doin' the Thing which was recorded live in 1961 at Village Gate in New York City.

Friday, March 20, 2015

MST3K Friday: The Girls of MST3k II

"Uh, Merry Christmas, I guess."
"That's real nice, ma'm, but you're still under arrest."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Phantom Lady, by Cornell Woolrich

The night was young, and so was he.

What would it be like to be accused of a murder you didn't commit and nobody believes you're innocent? That's the situation Scott Henderson finds himself in in Cornell Woorich's Phantom Lady.

Henderson has dinner reservations at a nice restaurant and theatre tickets for two, but nobody to share them with. He decides to go into a bar for a drink and ask the first woman he sees to spend the evening with him.  He finds a willing partner and they spend the evening together without sharing names or anything about themselves.  When Henderson returns to his apartment he finds the police there; his wife has been murdered.  Henderson takes the police to the bar, the restaurant, and the theatre, but everybody remembers Henderson being alone. Is there a vast conspiracy afoot? Or did Henderson murder his wife and imagine his companion?

Woolrich was a master at capturing dread, loneliness, and the most intense desperation.  He adds to this in Phantom Lady with a ticking clock: each chapter is titled "The XXXth Day Before the Execution". You know Henderson will be convicted of the murder and it's up to the only three people who believe him to prove his innocence. This makes the book a tight, propulsive read.  As with the other Woolrich I've read, the writing is good and the stories are gripping, but there are a few flaws.  If you can overlook them, his books are worth searching out.

Woolrich writes noir straight up, no chaser.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Song of the Week: Air (Dublinesque) by, Billy Joel

This week's song is from Billy Joel's 2001 album Fantasies & Delusions. Performed by Richard Joo, this song has many characteristics of a typical Irish dance.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!