My son and I watched Birdman today (partly because the Oscars are tonight, mainly because we've been wanting to for a while), and having had the experience makes this Sesame Street parody that much funnier.
The second season of John Oliver's series on HBO launches next week; the first season was a staple for my son and me of topical, hilarious commentary (with some actual journalism folded in underneath the jokes).
Before Last Week Tonight even launched, Oliver made fun of how the show might be promoted. The trailer for the second season is very much in the same vein.
Around 1979, I got quite into the Kinks. In retrospect, it appears my interest came from the checkbox-ticking that adolescents of my generation went through after soaking up the Beatles, the Stones, the Who ... who was next? The Kinks would do, and before I discovered, say, the Small Faces, the Spencer Davis Group and so on.
Low Budget was a timely album. Even though Ray Davies seemed old(ish) to me at the time, as did all of that generation, he was all of 35. He was definitely still on his game. I thought it was cool that I was loving old songs like All Day and All of the Night, and here he was with a full album about the malaise that the savvier kids in the punk and new wave generation were obsessing about.
After Low Budget came the live album One for the Road, which made the Kinks back catalogue way more interesting, including songs like Stop Your Sobbing and David Watts, which had been covered by the Pretenders and the Jam, respectively.
My admiration of Ray Davies has been pretty constant since.
A few weeks ago, while I was waiting for a clerk in a Canadian Tire, I noticed an arrangement of stocking stuffer suggestions: small, modestly priced things that could be tucked away. Batteries? Understood that.
But Comet? Reindeer games aside, I can't imagine anyone getting excited about that!
Two years ago this month, Martha and I had the good fortune to see Peter Gabriel in concert. The tour was built recreating his 1986 album So, but included other material as well ... and came with a visually stunning (no surprise there) presentation, with massive lighting structures that had a puppet-like quality of their own.
This presentation of In Your Eyes came from that tour.
Seymour Stein has to be one of the most interesting people in the music business. He got his start in the industry at 14 (!), was still a teenager when he worked for Billboard, and went on later to found Sire Records. The iconic yellow label with the big S was a familiar sight on my turntable growing up; he signed the Ramones before anyone knew what punk rock was (Stein disliked the description), and later Talking Heads. And others you may know: the Smiths, the Cure, the Pretenders and some aspiring dancer named Madonna. He's now in his 70s, but still in the business.
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.