When I heard this song earlier in the week, I thought it was an Adele track that had bypassed me till now. Nope; it's a newcomer named ZZ Ward, whose EP came out in May and whose debut album apparently comes out in a few weeks. She's got pipes.
I made the most of my last weekday of vacation by taking Nick to see The Dark Knight Rises; nothing like a Friday matinee to feel like an indulgence, (even under the grim shadow of the mass killings at a midnight screening in Colorado overnight).
I liked the movie. I won't give away any spoilers, but Christopher Nolan has done a nice job of concluding the trilogy he wanted to make, while (I think) keeping fans happy. It also opens doors for DC and Legendary Pictures to continue with the seeds planted in this film, or reboot the whole story again.
The scope of the film impressed me the most. The script was written long before the Occupy movement and the 1-per-cent tropes of us-vs-them that have played out in the news and pop culture, but they're embedded in the movie .. in addition to themes of terrorism, crime, overreaching laws, hero worship, idealism, corruption, loyalty, and on and on. It's all pretty ambitious.
The set pieces are stunning, and I kept looking at the aerials of Gotham to figure out how Nolan's digital team pulled off creating a city that looks a lot like New York, but is not.
To go by Nick's judgment, we'll be seeing a second time before the summer is out.
As MOR as MOR gets, Year of the Cat is still a song that I don't mind hearing every now and again. I'm guessing the song is the first time I noticed the name "Peter Lorre," perhaps planting the seed for movies I would seek out for years. This performance, from 1976, was done for the Old Grey Whistle Test.
Or, as Martha calls the tune, Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch ... and I'm sure she's not alone. Nick and I are watching Little Shop of Horrors this evening (we somehow wound up talking about it weeks ago, and I found a copy today at the library), and I showed him this when we started hearing the one-of-a-kind voice of Levi Stubbs.
Here's a live Four Tops performance from their prime.
I read Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap Stories over the last week or so; it's a breezy read, perfect for the summer months, and I enjoyed capping each night of my vacation trip with Bachman's anecdotes from 40-plus years in the music business.
I quite like Vinyl Tap, and while I'm not religious about catching it, I like the tunes and Bachman's tone and how they fit into Saturday night. (The show airs on CBC Radio One here in St. John's at 8:30; it comes at 7 in most other time zones.)
I finished the book admiring Bachman. The stories, many of which come from the show, are genial, friendly, and a good many illustrate how Bachman has been impressed by the kindness of others, including his heroes, like guitar legends Les Paul and Chet Atkins. There's no bitterness or backstabbing (just passing references to mud being thrown when Bachman left the Guess Who at the height of their fame), but stories about an ordinary guy from Winnipeg who found himself in extraordinary circumstances. (And who, of course, knocked out one famous guitar riff after another.)
One of the items in the book is the pitch that Bachman put together for Vinyl Tap, which first launched as a summer replacement show in 2005. Program pitches are generally not made lightly, with a great deal of effort made on securing a pivotal meeting with the right pair of ears. Bachman, instead, typed a note that he gave to a technician for The Vinyl Cafe, who was good enough to pass it along the CBC food chain.
Here's the pitch:
Dear CBC Radio,
I'm a big fan of CBC Radio. This past Saturday's show of Finkleman's 45s I noticed that Danny said he was retiring. I would love his time slot, and my proposal is that I play music from my record collection and tell personal stories about the artist, song, etc. Instead of Finkleman's 45s you could call the show Randy's Rockin' Records or Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap, like Spinal Tap
from Randy Bachman
And that was it. Simple, no embellishments, and apart from a near-miss for the title that didn't get used, a clear and direct description of what the show would be, and still is.
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.