Archive for April, 2011

Five Songs, Part 28

April 29, 2011

Well, the (now-desperate) job-search thang and the surrounding sea of storms have kept me from blogging much of late, but some things can’t go undone — like Five Songs. So here we are. And awaaaaaaay we go!

The Rain, The Park and Other Things — The Cowsills

One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show — Honey Cone

Work That Dream — November Group

Baby Don’t You Do It — Marvin Gaye

Jump Into the Fire — Nilsson

Five Songs, Part 27

April 21, 2011

Hi. Welcome to this week’s Five Songs. I think the first song says it all about my mental state at the moment:

Needles and Pins — The Searchers

Hanging on the Telephone — The Nerves

Bama Lama Bama Loo — Little Richard

A Someday Fool — MG & the Escorts

Rock and Roll — The Velvet Underground

MOVIE REVIEW: A ‘Conspirator’ to commit murder by boredom

April 18, 2011

No, despite appearances, this is NOT a love story. Robin Wright plays Mary Surratt and James McAvoy is the attorney defending her.

Despite my long aversion to films “based on true events,” I so wanted “The Conspirator,” Robert Redford’s latest direction job, to be a great and powerful one.

On the surface, the story — the trial of Mary Surratt, one of the people tried and hanged for plotting to kill Abraham Lincoln and his top Cabinet members — appealed to my fondness for American history. And the marketing was clever enough, too: opening the film on the anniversary of Lincoln’s death (April 15), and just past the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War (April 12).

So I plunked down my 10-and-a-quarter at Sierra Vista in Clovis and waited for the greatness.

I’m still waiting. Not that anyone would expect a thriller, but I walked away underwhelmed, at times supremely bored and feeling that this member of the choir had been beaten over the head for two hours. It’s a relentlessly bleak film, and besides, you know the end result going in. Sure, it’s essentially a film about a trial (albeit a milestone one; a law was passed banning civilians being tried by military tribunals after this). But what happens between points A and B doesn’t have to drag on and on. Perhaps this film, despite its striking big-screen visuals, would play much better on a small screen.

(more…)

Five Songs, Part 26

April 15, 2011

I resolve to have a post up in the coming week. Still on pins and needles about the job hunt and my personal race against time, and I’ve been starting to channel my writing on something bigger. Plus, I feel like crap. But I can’t not post Five Songs, can I? Here you go — and a spirited bunch this is, including something from the new Smithereens album, “Oceans 2011”:

Drivin’ Me Mad — The Three Degrees

Rose Garden — Southern Culture on the Skids

Sorry — The Smithereens

Fight Fire — The Golliwogs (from 1966, before they changed their name to Creedence Clearwater Revival)

The Story in Your Eyes — The Moody Blues

Five Songs, Part 25

April 8, 2011

Pardon the lapses between posts of late. The job hunt has taken on an added urgency of late. Not that I haven’t been jamming all along, mind you …

Anyway, welcome to this week’s Five Songs. Leading off: One of my all-time fave Connecticut rock songs, from the spring of ’77, by Charlie Karp and David Hull, aka the Dirty Angels. I’ve always thought it would be a great tune to start a movie with. (Come to think of it, if anyone knows how to get into the business of choosing tunes for movie soundtracks, please let me know.)

Tell Me — Dirty Angels

Let’s Call It Off — Peter, Bjorn & John

Christine — The House of Love

Baby It Can’t Fall — Iggy Pop

King of the Horse — The Delights Orchestra

Five Songs, Part 24

April 1, 2011

OK, I swear Five Songs isn’t going to start becoming theme central. But as this week draws to a close, I’m waiting to hear back on the out-of-town job interview I had Wednesday. I won’t know anything until early-to-mid-next week. Anyway, four of the five songs hit me in the car on the drive back to Fresno. The other was the song running through my mind while I was getting dressed.

And yeah, there are two Replacements songs. That was accidental, and I swear it won’t happen again. Or maybe it will. But I do know it has absolutely nothing to do with my old high school pal Gorman Bechard screening the world premiere of his ‘Mats documentary, “Color Me Obsessed,” to some rave reviews (at least on IMDB) at Tampa’s Gasparilla Film Festival the previous weekend. “Dose of Thunder” popped out of nowhere in the personal mental jukebox, in true Five Songs fashion; “Can’t Hardly Wait” was the byproduct of thinkin’ ’bout songs about waiting.

You won’t hear these two songs in the film. (Or any ‘Mats song. Gorman did a music docu without a note of music — nor with the band appearing on screen. The ‘Mats are his god, and after all, you can’t see or hear your god, can you?) But you can hear them here:

(And BTW: Since I finished up my list, I thought of another waiting song, so here ya go — a bonus six-song Five Songs:

The Waiting — Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Anticipation — Carly Simon

Can’t Hardly Wait — The Replacements

The Wait — The Pretenders

Dose of Thunder — The Replacements

Just Can’t Wait — The J. Geils Band