My wife and I got such a kick out of Despicable Me and its minions that we went to see the sequel on our own, our now-teenage son developing a serious case of eyeroll and "you've got to be kidding" disease. (His loss. We laughed.)
Not a lot of early synthesizer pop holds up for my ears, but I still find Gary Numan's Cars interesting, particularly the last minute of the tune. I think it might be the live drum track roaring away under all those layers. Numan was barely in his 20s when he wrote his breakthrough tune, which is about the little isolated kingdoms we build when we're in a car.
One of the songs from 1981's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, the collaboration between David Byrne and Brian Eno, America Is Waiting seems a bit prescient now about talk radio, politically charged religion, sampling and production techniques that became commonplace as digital technologies got cheaper. What's interesting is that Byrne and Eno had none of those tools; they did the whole thing with old-school analogue equipment and techniques, and I'm guessing a lot of patience.
Mel Smith died a few days ago, but I only found out a few minutes ago, while I was catching up on some reading. Smith was 60, and died of a heart attack.
What a funny guy. I first saw him on Not The Nine O'Clock News, which probably lost a thing or two in translation across the Atlantic, but which I still found riotously funny. He directed The Tall Guy, one of my favourite comedies, and later Bean, the feature film with Rowan Atkinson's Mr. Bean character.
And, of course, he had one of the many funny small roles in The Princess Bride.
One of the joys of having a child is hoisting the little one as they stretch their arms and pretend to fly. Photographer Rachel Hulin extends the illusion in a series of charming pictures that involve a bit of parent-erasing in the photo-editing stage. Click through to see more.
I was catching up on some recent recordings on the PVR with Nick this morning, and this made us laugh: a segment from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, in which the producers sent rising star but rather anonymous-looking New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey out with a camera to Bryant Park, seeking advice from fans for Matt Harvey.
The next Kings of Leon album, Mechanical Bull, is not out for more than two months, but an advance single just came out this week, with a title perfect for the height of summer. Supersoaker is as peppy as these guys get.
Last fall, Martha and I had the good luck to see David Byrne in concert in Toronto, during his tour with St. Vincent, a.k.a Annie Clark. They were supporting their album Love This Giant, and the backing band matched the horn-centric sound, and then some; there was a drummer and a keyboard player, and then eight (that's right, eight) brass players.
This video, from NPR, was recorded in January and captures the tone of what we saw. For a treat, skim through to 32:55 or so to see the whopper cover of Burning Down The House (one of three Heads song the band did during the Toronto date).
I'm not quite sold yet on what I've heard of the new Fitz and the Tantrums record, but I'll probably get around to getting a copy sooner or later. I liked the groove of the debut, which captured a real Sixties soul sound without sounding too studied; the new songs sound, though, like they're aiming for Eighties MOR. A headscratcher.
Here's one of the new songs that I like, recorded live for KCRW this spring.
An unexpected mashup of interests for today's TeeFury shirt. It's called Bounty Hunter S. Thompson, combining Boba Fett with Ralph Steadman's iconic drawing style for the ultimate gonzo journalist's work.
Yes, I'm buying it. It's available for the rest of the day (and early tomorrow, for a little extra).
I don't know why, but I can remember songs from 1979 better than, say, 2009. Maybe it's because when you're a teenager, your brain is just better at logging things ... even this discofied bit of southern rock from Wet Willie, which in spite of itself puts me in a not-that-bad-at-all mood. Crazy nights and lazy days? We could do worse.
The song is a cover, incidentally. The original was a minor U.K. hit for its co-author, one Michael Jackson ... not that Michael Jackson, but Mick Jackson, as he was billed. His version came out in 1978, and is a bit more discofied.
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.