Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Beat the Heat With Chilly Willy

Since the mercury will be above or near the 90s for most of the week, I thought I would share some Chilly Willy cartoons with you. After the main cartoon is finished, you can choose some other Chilly Willy related items to view at the bottom of the You Tube screen.

Monday, July 30, 2007

TCM's Summer Under the Stars Festival

Starting Wednesday August 1st, Turner Classic Movies begins its 5th annual "Summer Under the Stars" festival. For the entire month, the cable channel suspends its regular schedule to feature entire days devoted to a single star, offering films and specials pertaining to the star of the day.

This is pure gold for classic movie fans. I remember a couple of years ago, it was a Saturday and the "star of the day" was Humphrey Bogart... my all-time favorite actor. I woke up early (as I usually do) and watched a couple of Bogie films as I got ready for the day. Since I had planned to do yard work, I got ready to head to Home Depot and/or Lowe's to pick up a few items that I would need. At 9 am, the film that gave us the line "We don't need no stinkin' badges" (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) started. As with most of Bogart's movies, I have seen "Treasure..." countless times. Even still, it was very tempting for me to kick off my shoes, plop back on the couch, and watch it again. Alas, responsibility got the best of me and I headed off to the land of home improvement. However, I made sure that my work was done by 4 pm so that I could catch the remainder of the Bogie spotlight.

This year's "Summer Under the Stars" kicks off with a day of movies starring Elizabeth Taylor and winds down on 8/31 with a 24-hour marathon devoted to former 007, Sean Connery. Some of the other stars featured during the festival include: William Holden (8/4), Jane Russell (8/7), Elvis Presley (8/16), and Kirk Douglas (8/26). Note to pjazzypar: TCM is airing one of your faves, "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers", at 4 am on the morning of 8/27 as part of the Kirk Douglas tribute.

For more scheduling info, please check out the following link:

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Web Find: Playa Cofi Jukebox

Thanks to my friend Barry, I was introduced to a great music website on Sunday night. Called Playa Cofi Jukebox, it allows you to hear the Top songs for any given year from 1950-1982. There are also links to the best songs for five year periods from 1950-1984, genre links (such as doo wop, jazz, and Motown), and a link to hear songs from the MTV era. I've already listened to artists such as Fats Domino (Blue Monday), Elton John (Little Jeannie), The Jefferson Airplane (White Rabbit), and Jr. Walker & the All-Stars (Roadrunner). If you wanna check it out, here is the link:

Spin City Playlist For 7/28/07

4 pm hour

Heart of Glass- Blondie
I Don't Want Nobody Else (To Dance With You)- Narada Michael Walden
Cool For Cats- Squeeze
Smooth Criminal- Michael Jackson
Think About Me- Fleetwood Mac
Saturday Nite- Earth, Wind, & Fire
I'm Doing Fine Now- New York City

On the Flip Side segment:
A Sermon- The Police (the B-side to "Don't Stand So Close To Me")

If You Leave- OMD
Hope That We Can Be Together Soon- Sharon Paige & Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
Every Time I Turn Around (Back In Love Again)- L.T.D.
Sheena Is A Punk Rocker- The Ramones
Animal- Def Leppard
You Talk Too Much- Run DMC

5 pm hour

Cut the Cake- AWB
Georgia- Boz Scaggs
I Go To Work- Kool Moe Dee
When Doves Cry- Prince
Bette Davis Eyes- Jackie DeShannon
The Groover- T. Rex
Burn Rubber- The Gap Band

The Guilty Pleasure of the Week:
Do That To Me One More Time- The Captain & Tenille

Do It Baby- The Miracles
Cheaper To Keep Her- Johnnie Taylor
Stool Pigeon- Kid Creole & the Coconuts
The Black-Eyed Boys- Paper Lace
Minute By Minute- The Doobie Brothers
Whatcha Gonna Do With My Loving- Stephanie Mills
Running Out of Lies- Johnnie Taylor

6 pm hour

Atomic Dog- George Clinton
Alligator Woman- Cameo
Time Out of Mind- Steely Dan
If You Really Love Me- Stevie Wonder
Rock Creek Park- The Blackbyrds
Look of Love- ABC
Giving It Up For Your Love- Delbert McClinton
If You're Not Back In Love By Monday- Millie Jackson
More Than A Woman- The Bee Gees
On Our Own- Bobby Brown
Glamour Boys- Living Colour
Keep the Fire Burnin'- REO Speedwagon
Harvest For the World- The Isley Bros.
On the Radio- Donna Summer

Saturday, July 28, 2007

WKUF Is Streaming Live!

I just learned that WKUF-LP 94.3 is now streaming live. As some of you may know, WKUF is the college radio station where I host a 70s and 80s radio show called "Spin City". Since the station's inception a few years ago, one of the goals has been to stream our broadcasts. Unfortunately, various obstacles made this a difficult undertaking. At any rate, you can now hear me and all the other live shows on the station right through your computer! Just click on the link below, which takes you to the page that lists the station's current schedule. From there, scroll down and click on the Listen to the NEW WKUF Student Webstream link. Real Player will open and voila, you can listen from anywhere in the world! I am on the air every Saturday from 4-7 pm. I hope you are able to listen.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd Set To Join The View

According to reports, ABC is close to bringing some much needed diversity back to "The View" by signing Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd as regulars. Goldberg would most likely serve as the show's moderator, a role previously held by Rosie O'Donnell. Shepherd (whose credits include "Beauty Shop" and the sitcom "Less Than Perfect") has been a guest host for "The View" over a dozen times since the departure of Star Jones-Reynolds.

Although I do not watch "The View" on a regular basis, I have checked out some of the more tumultuous clips from the show courtesy of You Tube. Say what you will about Rosie O'Donnell, but her outspoken nature did provide the daytime chatfest with some must-see moments. In addition to her feuds with co-star Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Donald Trump, the former "Queen of Nice" also came under fire for racial insensitivity when she simulated the Chinese language in a segment last December.

When Whoopi wants to be, she too can be controversial. Do you remember her self-titled sitcom from a few years ago? During its brief time on NBC, the series angered many people with its left leaning humor. Oh and let's not forget the infamous 1993 skit written by Goldberg which had her then boyfriend Ted Danson appearing in blackface.

If Whoopi and Sherri are hired for "The View", will this cause you to tune in or tune out?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Movie Memories: The Original Version of Hairspray

While changing my blog to a three column set-up (thank you Taj) and making some other adjustments a couple of Saturdays ago, I watched a couple of movies on DVD that I hadn't seen in awhile. One of them was the 1988 version of "Hairspray". Since the musical remake has just hit theaters, I thought I would take some time to discuss the John Waters original.

I first saw "Hairspray" when it came out on video back in the late 80s. Since I'm a sucker for movies/TV series about the early days of rock 'n' roll, it drew me in immediately. As you may already know, "Hairspray" is set in Baltimore in 1962 and tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a pleasantly plump teenager whose life changes when she becomes a dancer on "The Corny Collins Show".

One of the joys of "Hairspray" is its interesting casting choices... regardless of a performer's box-office appeal. Along with a pre-talk show Ricki Lake in the lead role of Tracy, the movie co-stars Sonny Bono, Debbie Harry, Jerry Stiller, legendary R&B singer Ruth Brown, and Divine (in a dual role as Tracy's mom Edna and a racist station manager trying to block integration). Also featured in smaller roles are Pia Zadora and Cars' lead singer Ric Ocasek as two beatniks. Another casting plus is that the younger roles are played by performers who if they weren't, could at least pass for teenagers... instead of ones who looked like they are getting ready for their 10 year high school reunion. I know that "Grease" is the word, but 34-year old Stockard Channing in the role of a high schooler is really stretching it.

The dances, the hairdos, clothing, etc. also help set the mood for "Hairspray". You almost start to believe that it's really 1962. The use of some great platters on the soundtrack also helps with the overall tone. In addition to some of the big hits of the era ("Let's Twist Again" and "You'll Lose A Good Thing", for example), "Hairspray" also features some lesser known (but fantastic) tunes like "Shake A Tail Feather", "Foot Stompin", and "Hide and Seek". Even the film's anachronistic use of the 1967 song "Nothing Takes the Place of You" fits because it sounds like it was recorded in the early 1960s.

Another thing that I enjoyed about "Hairspray" is its satirical treatment of race relations in early 60s America (one of the subplots deals with the fight for and against integration). Most comedies set during this time period barely acknowledge that minorities existed... let alone tackle the subject of race. One of my favorite scenes is where Tracy, her boyfriend Link, and best friend Penny catch the bus to Motormouth Records over on the black side of town. In hot pursuit is Penny's mother (aptly named Prudy) who completely makes a fool out of herself in trying to "rescue" Penny. Prudy's hysterics lead to Motormouth Maybelle's classic line "Ooh Papa Tooney, we got a looney". When Penny falls for Motormouth Maybelle's son Seaweed, Penny's parents go so far as to hire a psychiatrist (played by none other than John Waters) to deprogram her so that she will start liking white boys again!

In addition to the "Papa Tooney" line, "Hairspray" has many other memorable quotes:

Edna Turnblad (speaking to Tracy and Penny): Now, I've got nothin' but hampers of ironing to do... and my diet pill is wearing off.

Motormouth Maybelle introducing the Gene Pitney hit: You can't hide your face in this godforsaken place. Here in your own city, there's a town without pity.

Response by a black dancer trying out for "The Corny Collins Show" when she is asked if she can relate to Lesley Gore's music: Look, she ain't no James Brown... but I can dance to Lawrence Welk if I have to.

Tracy to her mom: Oh mother, you're so 50s!

Beatnik Chick: Let's get naked and smoke.

I hope that the release of the 2007 version of "Hairspray" will lead people to seek out the original 1988 film. To quote Tracy's rival Amber, "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it."

Below is the trailer to "Hairspray":

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #5: Real Names of 13 Classic TV Characters

Thirteen Real Names of Classic TV Characters

The characters below rarely used their given names. When you look at some of the names below, it's easy to see why (Reinhold?). How many of these do you remember?

  1. Dorothy Ramsey- Tootie (The Facts of Life)
  2. Roy Hinckley- The Professor (Gilligan’s Island)
  3. Gordon Sims- Venus Flytrap (WKRP In Cincinnati)
  4. Penelope Brewster- Punky
  5. Reinhold Elmore- Dan Fielding (Night Court)
  6. Letitia Lawrence- Buddy (Family)
  7. Eric Cartwright- Hoss (Bonanza)
  8. Clarence Rutherford- Lumpy (Leave It To Beaver)
  9. Andrew Squiggman-Squiggy (Laverne & Shirley)
  10. Evelyn Martin- Angel (The Rockford Files)
  11. Walter Bradley- Cockroach (The Cosby Show)
  12. George Alonzo Gates- Gonzo (Trapper John, MD)
  13. Ernie Pantusso- Coach (Cheers)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens! (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

1. MamaLee gives you 13 reasons to go to work au naturale.

2. Lori tells you about 13 things that she loves that start with the letter "t".

3. Mz. Jackson lists 13 hazards of being a mail carrier

4. Lazy Daisy gives you 13 "g" words that describe her.

5. Wacky Mommy tells you about 13 of her favorite things to do on a hot summer night.

6. Miss Profe lists 13 things that make the summer months special to her.

7. Crux TT is all about Democratic and Republican politicians who did at least one good thing.

8. Are you in the mood for some good one-liners? If so, check out the TT by Comedy Plus.

9. Teamouse has some great brain teasers for their TT.

10. The Gal Herself shares 13 classic movies that are near and dear to her heart.

11. Book Mama gives you an extended TT on what she loves about having kids.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Blog Find: Christine Kane

Tonight I was planning on posting about Lindsay Lohan's latest legal mishap. Since I had recently posted about the sad downfall of singer Mindy McCready, I figured I should take a break from writing about celebrities fuckin' up (for just a little while) and tell you a story about a cool blog that I stumbled upon.

Earlier today I was checking my blog stats and found that several readers were being referred to me through Christine Kane's blog. Since I was unfamiliar with Ms. Kane, I decided to put on my deerstalker cap and do a little detective work. I found that Christine Kane (a singer-songwriter, performer, teacher and writer) wrote a "Thursday Thirteen" last week in which she gave away 13 copies of her latest CD "A Friday Night In One Lifetime". As an added bonus, she posted 13 links to other Thursday Thirteeners who have written about songs. Although I did write a Thursday Thirteen about song remakes a few weeks ago, I didn't find a link to it within Christine's post. By blind luck I found that although the first link said it was for "Deborah McDonnell", it actually led to the Thursday Thirteen I wrote on song remakes! I later found that a blog writer named Deborah McDonnell did write a TT that was song-related.

Since it appears that Christine linked to my post by mistake, I decided to send her a heads up via email. Although I have no idea how the mixup occurred, I thanked Christine for the exposure. I also let her know how much I enjoyed her blog. According to Christine's profile, the intent of her blog is to inspire people to live creatively, consciously and courageously. I feel that she succeeds on all three counts. In addition to a page where you can purchase her merchandise (CDs, DVDs, T-shirts, etc.), Christine also provides information on her workshops, women's retreats, and live performances. If you would like a sample of Christine Kane's music, at the end of this post I have included a link to clips of her performing two songs ("Right Outta Nowhere" and "There's No Such Thing As Girls Like That"). Before each song, Christine tells humorous background stories about the tunes.

One of the joys of the Internet is discovering quality blogs/sites along the way. Another thing that I love is sharing these discoveries with as many people as I can.

Christine Kane Performance Clips

Mindy McCready: Then and Now

It's amazing what can happen in just over 10 years. There was a time when Mindy McCready was one of the rising stars in country music. In 1996 she had 2 top 10 country hits, one of which went all the way to #1 (Guys Do It All the Time). The picture to the left was taken during the time that she dated former Superman, Dean Cain.

Since then, McCready's life has played out like a stereotypical country song (domestic abuse, substance abuse problems, jail time, etc.). On the morning of Saturday July 21st, she was charged by Florida police with battery against her mother and resisting arrest. According to the Lee County (Florida) Sheriff's Department, deputies were called because of a domestic dispute. When they arrived at the house, McCready's mother claimed her daughter attacked her after drinking. The deputies stated that they saw scratches on the mother's face and say McCready's breath reeked of alcohol. McCready reportedly denied everything and called her mother "crazy." According to reports, McCready had to be restrained because she was resisting arrest. That's when she hit her head on the ground, which caused the gash on her face in her mugshot (the above right photo).

As much as the public gets off on seeing celebrities fall on their asses, they also love a great comeback story (tearful confessions on the talk show circuit, a lucrative book deal, Lifetime movie, etc.). However, some celebrities never seem to get it and continue down the road of self-destruction (making stops at "denial" and "public humiliation" just to name two). So, Mindy McCready, what's it gonna be... "Larry King Live" or "Cops"?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Drew Carey To Host The Price Is Right

On Monday, bespectacled comedian Drew Carey was named Bob Barker's successor as the host of "The Price Is Right". The announcement comes after weeks of speculation as to who would take over for Barker, who taped his final episode on June 6, 2007. Some of the other names that were under consideration for the job were Rosie O'Donnell, John O'Hurley, George Hamilton, and Mario Lopez.

I am slightly skeptical about Drew Carey taking over the skinny mike on the long-running game show. Although I think Carey is qualified for the job, I wonder if longtime viewers will be accepting of anyone other than Barker telling them about the next item up for bid.

What are your thoughts on Drew Carey winning the hosting gig for TPIR?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

It's Enough To Make Me Quote Sally Field

After returning home on Sunday evening from a weekend in New York, I was both touched and surprised to find that Taj (the author of the funny, creative, and thought-provoking blog "Taj Wanders With Coffee In Hand") bestowed the following award upon me:

For those who answer blog comments, emails, and make their visitors feel at home on their blogs. For the people who take others feelings into consideration before speaking out and who are kind and courteous. Also for all of those bloggers who spend so much of their time helping other bloggers design, improve, and fix their sites. This award is for those generous bloggers who think of others.

Let me take the opportunity to express my thanks and appreciation to Taj for honoring me with this award. Coming from a high quality blogger such as she, it really means alot. If you would like to learn more about the awards rules and the creator of the awards herself, please visit Writer's Reviews.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bon Jovi vs. Mijovi

It was recently announced that Jon Bon Jovi is demanding that the owner of energy drink Mijovi come up with a different name, saying that it's too similar to his own. However, Marcos Carrington says his coffee-based energy drink is named after his girlfriend Jovita and has no relation to the Jersey rocker.

In a letter written this past January, the attorney representing Bon Jovi objected to "Mijovi" as well as other words "itsmijovi" and "itsmilife" that appear in the company's marketing materials and on the can of the drink. "As you should be aware, one of Bon Jovi's most popular songs is entitled `It's My Life,'" the letter states. "We hereby demand that you immediately cease and desist all further use of the name `Mijovi' and `It's My Life.'"

This is one of the sillier lawsuits that I have read about in awhile. Sure the names Bon Jovi and Mijovi are similar. But asking Carrington to change the name of his drink is going a little too far. Does this also mean that the word "jovial" can't be used to sell a product?

Now if the drink was called "Hair Metal Hack", Bon Jovi might have a case because he would be the first person to come to my mind. Not that it should be, but just think if it was illegal for artists to name their songs/albums after previous tunes or cliches... Bon Jovi would be in an orange jumpsuit right now. If you think I'm exaggerating, here's a trip through the Bon Jovi discography:

Slippery When Wet
Bed of Roses
In and Out of Love
Wanted Dead Or Alive
Bad Medicine
Blaze of Glory

and yes... It's My Life

I could go on, but you get the idea. Writing this post was somewhat difficult because I had a hard time getting Bon Jovi's songs out of my head (surprise, surprise... I am not a fan). Luckily, I looked at one of my CD stands and saw Prince's "The Hits and the B-Sides". Once I played "Controversy" in my mind and popped an Advil, everything was alright.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Web Find: www.NewsGroper.com

Thanks to a gentleman by the name of Nathaniel, I was turned on to a very funny site called www.NewsGroper.com. The site consists of fake blogs by famous people. Some of the "bloggers" include: Al Sharpton, Donald Trump, Oprah, Barry Bonds, Nancy Grace, and Mel Gibson.

The Emmy Noms Are In...

The nominees for the 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were recently announced. HBO's "The Sopranos" (15 nominations) and the freshman ABC series "Ugly Betty" (11 nominations) lead the pack in the drama and comedy series categories, respectively. Other notable series with multiple nods include "Grey's Anatomy" (10), "The Office" (9), "Heroes" (8), and "American Idol" (7).

Below are the nominees in some of the major categories:

Outstanding Comedy Series:
The Office
30 Rock
Two And A Half Men
Ugly Betty

Outstanding Drama Series:
Boston Legal
Grey’s Anatomy
The Sopranos

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series:
Ricky Gervais, Extras
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Steve Carell, The Office
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Charlie Sheen, Two And A Half Men

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series:
James Spader, Boston Legal
Hugh Laurie, House
Denis Leary, Rescue Me
James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
Kiefer Sutherland, 24

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series:
Felicity Huffman- Desperate Housewives
Julia Louis-Dreyfus- The New Adventures of Old Christine
Tina Fey- 30 Rock
America Ferrera- Ugly Betty
Mary-Louise Parker- Weeds

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series:
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Patricia Arquette, Medium
Minnie Driver, The Riches
Edie Falco, The Sopranos

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series:
Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Rainn Wilson, The Office
Jon Cryer, Two And A Half Men

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series:
William Shatner, Boston Legal
T.R. Knight, Grey’s Anatomy
Hiro Nakamura, Heroes
Michael Emerson, Lost
Terry O’Quinn, Lost
Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series:
Jaime Pressly, My Name Is Earl
Jenna Fischer, The Office
Holland Taylor, Two And A Half Men
Conchata Ferrell, Two And A Half Men
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series:
Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters
Katherine Heigl, Grey’s Anatomy
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
Aida Turturro, The Sopranos
Lorraine Bracco, The Sopranos

I was surprised that in the Best Drama category, both "Lost" and "24" (last year's winner) were shut out. Another snub that stood out to me was the lack of acting nods for any of the regulars on "Scrubs". However, this was more of a disappointment than a surprise because "Scrubs" has never gotten its due from the Emmy voters.

As for the pleasant surprises, the multiple nominations given to "Two and A Half Men" was good to see. I know that some people don't appreciate its style of humor, but it never fails to make me laugh. I was also glad to see Neil Patrick Harris and Vanessa Williams (take that Bob Guccione) get noticed for their fine work this past season in "How I Met Your Mother" and "Ugly Betty", respectively.

The 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards is scheduled to air on Sunday, September 16th at 8 pm EST on FOX. To download a complete list of the nominees, you can click on the link below.

Feel free to comment on any surprises/snubs that caught your eye.

From the Spin City Archives: One-Hit Wonder Edition

Until I return to the airwaves on July 28th, here is another playlist from my pre-blogging days. On this show (which aired on 4/15/06), I mainly focused on some of the one-hit wonders of the 70s and 80s.

What exactly constitutes a one-hit wonder is open for debate. In this case, I chose artists who only had 1 Top 40 single on the Billboard Pop charts. As a side note, two of the one-hit wonders listed below had hits as a part of separate entities. They are Sylvia (she was 1/2 of Mickey & Sylvia of "Love Is Strange" fame). The other is Shirley Goodman of Shirley & Company. She was the female member of the duo Shirley & Lee (who had the hits "Let the Good Times Roll" and "I Feel Good").

4 pm hour

Supersonic- J.J. Fad
Major Tom- Peter Schilling
Romeo's Tune- Steve Forbert
Leaving Me- The Independents
Undercover Angel- Alan O'Day
Angel In Your Arms- Hot
Whirly Girl- Oxo
Perfect Way- Scritti Politti
I'm So Excited- The Pointer Sisters (played as a tribute to June Pointer, who had died earlier that week)
Magic- Pilot
Heaven On the 7th Floor- Paul Nicholas
The Rain- Oran "Juice" Jones
Pillow Talk- Sylvia
TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)- MFSB

5 pm hour

Too Shy- Kajagoogoo
Hot Child In the City- Nick Gilder
It Takes Two- Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock
Why Can't We Live Together- Timmy Thomas
Lay A Little Lovin' On Me- Robin McNamara
Shame, Shame, Shame- Shirley & Company
Round & Round- Ratt

The Guilty Pleasure of the Week: Eres Tu- Mocedades

Funkytown- Lipps Inc.
Pop Muzik- M
General Hospitale- The Afternoon Delights
Breakin'... There's No Stoppin' Us- Ollie & Jerry
19- Paul Hardcastle

6 pm hour

Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly)- Icicle Works
The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades- Timbuk 3
Knock On Wood- Amii Stewart
Love Jones- Brighter Side of Darkness
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah- Judson Spence
Come On Eileen- Dexy's Midnight Runners
Black Betty- Ram Jam
Got To Be Real- Cheryl Lynn
I Got My Mind Made Up- Instant Funk
Thunder & Lightning- Chi Coltrane
Double Dutch Bus- Frankie Smith
Turning Japanese- The Vapors
Armed & Extremely Dangerous- First Choice

Thursday Thirteen #4: Old-School Video Games

This week's Thursday Thirteen is all about my favorite old-school video games.

I wonder if you pumped as many quarters into these games as I did.

1. Galaga
2. Space Invaders
3. Berzerk
4. Pole Position
5. Frogger
6. Pac-Man
7. Ms. Pac-Man
8. Centipede
9. Stargate
10. Gorf
11. Galaxian
12. Asteroids
13. Donkey Kong

Links to other Thursday Thirteens! (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
Damozel's TT lists quotes by our founding fathers.

2. Wacky Mommy provides some tips for her local paper.

3. HomeMom3 tells you 13 things about herself.

4. Sparky Duck lists 13 of his fears.

5. BookMama tells you the 13 things she hates about having kids (read it if you can, it's not as bad as it sounds).

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

LeBron James To Host Season Premiere of SNL

According to Variety, Cleveland Cavs superstar LeBron James will host the 33rd season opener of SNL. James joins a long line of sports icons such Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Chris Evert, and Peyton Manning who have guest-hosted the long-running sketch comedy series. If the "Lebrons" series of Nike commercials are any indication, I think that he will do an excellent job as guest host. According to an online source, we will be witnesses to the comedic stylings of LeBron on SNL's season opener on 9/29/07.

In case you missed the ESPYs (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards) the other night, here is a look at LeBron poking fun at himself in a Bobby Brown/M.C. Hammer musical number.

Review: The Police Concert At the Palace of Auburn Hills

On Tuesday night at The Palace of Auburn Hills, The Police took to the stage as part of their 30th Anniversary Reunion Tour. Because the trio last went on tour nearly 25 years ago, this reunion has been one of the most anticipated in quite some time. However, with that anticipation comes the risk of tearing a legacy to shreds. What's a legendary rock trio to do?

Leading up to the concert, me and the friend I went with speculated as to which song they would perform to open the show. We both guessed that "Synchronicity" would be the tune to get things started. (Cue the "wrong answer" buzzer)... they opened with "Message In A Bottle", which worked out just as well. The Police decided not to use supporting musicians or backup singers. It was just vocalist/bassist Sting, guitarist Andy Summers, and drummer Stewart Copeland rocking the Palace.

During the nearly 2-hour set, The Police delivered most of their hits (with the exception of "Spirits In the Material World"). Along with the hits they also performed key album tracks such as "Truth Hits Everybody", "Driven To Tears", and "Walking On the Moon". The trio displayed just the right touch, making changes here and there to the tunes we know and love... but not enough to render them unrecognizable. For example, there were parts of "Don't Stand So Close To Me" that were done in a slightly different key. They also extended the instrumental breaks on many of the songs as well, giving the show a jazz/rock improv vibe.

As a vocalist, Sting was in superb form. He can still hit those high notes and "ee oh" just like it was 1981. Also, the musicianship displayed by the three of them was sharp throughout the show. As a bonus, Summers delivered some killer guitar solos and Copeland used several other percussion instruments on a few songs ("Wrapped Around Your Finger", "Walking In Your Footsteps", and "King of Pain") in addition to his regular drum kit.

Although we had mid-level seats that faced the stage, the big screen monitors called to our attention things we wouldn't have noticed otherwise. We could see that Sting's bass appeared to have some mileage on it (the paint was worn off in spots). However, we took that to mean that it's broken in just the way he likes it. I also pointed out to my friend that Andy Summers must be a fan of "South Park" (his guitar strap said "Oh my God, they've killed Kenny!"). Another thing that I noticed is the 55 year old Sting's excellent physical condition (note to self... get book on Tantric Sex).

After they finished "Roxanne", The Police performed two encores. The first one surprisingly ended with "Every Breath You Take". Since this was their biggest hit, the predictable thing would have been to use this to close the show. However, Sting and the Boys came out and closed the show with one of my favorite tunes by them ("Next To You", from their debut album "Outlandos D'Amour").

As one might expect, the audience mostly consisted of people who could probably name the five original MTV VJs (give yourself a gold star if you can too). However, the 30 and under crowd were in attendance as well. The Police had most of the Palace crowd singing and dancing for most of the night. As we left, one guy complained about 3 young ladies who in his words, "stood up through the whole fuckin' show!"

Overall, The Police concert had a nostalgic feeling without becoming an oldies show. I felt as if I was being taken on a musical journey. It was fun trying to guess in which direction they were going to take the songs. To me, that's one of the best things about the concert experience. Otherwise, I can stay home and listen to the CD. The performance by The Police last night made me grateful that I was at The Palace to witness it.

My rating: 4 out of 4 stars!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Apprentice To Get A Makeover

In a last ditch attempt to save the fading reality series, NBC announced that "The Apprentice" will return mid-season with celebrities replacing unknown entreprenurial wannabes as contestants. Due to declining ratings "The Apprentice" had been cancelled, but was rescued by new entertainment chief Ben Silverman. Instead of going to work for Trump, the celebrity winner will donate their proceeds to charity.

NBC hasn't named any contestants yet, but they said they were looking for people with entreprenurial abilities in the areas of sports, entertainment, and fashion. Although an invitation has been extended to Rosie O'Donnell to appear on the show, her spokesperson quickly put the squash on that idea.

Based on NBC's criteria, here are a few celebs that I think would make ideal contestants:

Master P
Emeril Lagasse
Nicky Hilton
Lance Armstrong
Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
Jenna Jameson

Which celebrities would you like to see face "The Donald" in the boardroom?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Isaiah Washington Hired By NBC

Isaiah Washington can step out of the unemployment line. NBC has announced that the former "Grey's Anatomy" star has joined their upcoming fall series "The Bionic Woman" for a five episode arc. In addition to this, the Peacock Network stated that there are plans to develop an action series for Washington.

Although I didn't think Washington's career would be ruined, I am surprised that he got rehired so quickly. However, I am pleased because I think he's a fine actor and deserves a second chance. I will add this... if Isaiah finds himself in another on-the-set dustup with a co-worker, he should definitely avoid inflammatory terms such as the "f-word". Instead, call 'em an asshole or something. To the best of my knowledge, the assholes of this world don't have an advocacy group that might lobby to get Washington fired.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Barbara Stanwyck 100th Birthday Anniversary Salute on TCM

On Monday July 16th, Turner Classic Movies marks the 100th anniversary of Barbara Stanwyck's birthday with a 24 hour marathon of some of her films. The marathon begins at 6 am and includes such films as "Meet John Doe", "Annie Oakley" and "Sorry, Wrong Number".

Surprisingly TCM is not airing my favorite Stanwyck film, the 1944 film noir "Double Indemnity". I understand that it's Christmas In July, but TCM could have scratched "Christmas In Connecticut" from the lineup and aired "Double Indemnity" instead. But hey, that's a minor complaint. I'm just thankful that I am off this week so I can catch a good part of the marathon. For a complete list of the Barbara Stanwyck films featured during the salute and a profile of the legendary actress, please check out the following link.

David and Victoria Beckham Arrive In La La Land

On Thursday July 12th, soccer superstar David Beckham and his family (including wife Victoria, aka Posh Spice) arrived in L.A. with the paparazzi and fans mobbing them at LAX. Regardless of whether or not you are a soccer fan, if you follow sports you probably know that David Beckham signed a multi-million dollar deal with the L.A. Galaxy of the MLS (Major League Soccer). He is scheduled to make his debut as a member of the Galaxy on July 21st in a match against the Chelsea Blues of the English Premiere League. I have a feeling that on July 21st, most of the world will be focused on another British import... Harry Potter.

The MLS and American soccer fans in general are banking that David Beckham's arrival will save the sport in the States. There is no doubt that Beckham is a global pop culture icon (I can't think of another athlete who has inspired the name of a hit film) and that he will help to temporarily spike interest in soccer over here. Appearing at home Galaxy matches will most likely be the in thing to do for Hollywood celebs until the novelty dies down. The same thing happened with hockey when Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. However, despite soccer being the most popular sport in the world, it is my opinion that it is and always will be on the fringe here in the United States.

Many cynics (including me) believe that all the fuss over David Beckham coming to L.A. is tied to his marriage to Victoria. If you're a non-soccer fan like me, you never even heard of David Beckham until he tied the knot with the "pouty one" from The Spice Girls. Yes, they are a celebrity couple... I get that. But is the U.S. arrival of a once great but aging soccer star and his wife (whose main claim to fame is that she was a member of a group that hasn't had a hit in almost a decade) worth all the excitement?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Amy Winehouse: Will She or Won't She...

While surfing Yahoo, I found a link that said "Bookies are taking bets on Amy Winehouse". Call me George because I was curious as hell to find out why. At first, I thought the bet might involve whether or not she:

1. Wins the Grammy for Best New Artist*
2. Ever eats again and manages to keep it down (the girl can sing, but she needs to put some meat back on those bones)

* Amy released her debut album (Frank) in 2003. However, since her latest CD (Back To Black) is her breakthrough in the States, she'll probably make the Grammy ballot for "Best New Artist".

Apparently, British bookmakers William Hill are offering 1/2 odds on Amy not turning up for her next concert gig (scheduled for next Tuesday in Cornwall, England). This comes after she cancelled her scheduled appearances in the U.K. at last weekend's T In The Park and Oxegen festivals, and was photographed bending her elbow in her local watering hole despite citing "exhaustion" as the reason for her cancellation. I can see a parody already (They tried to make me go onstage and I said no, no, no).

In just a couple of years, reports about Amy's personal life have become legendary (drinking binges, eating disorders, domestic abuse against her husband, etc.). It's distressing when a mediocre talent like Britney decides to hit the self destruct button, so it's even worse when an artist of Amy's caliber heads down the wrong road. For Amy to site Elvis Presley and Dinah Washington among her musical influences is one thing, but she really doesn't want to mirror their offstage behaviour. I'm sure she knows how those movies ended.

Regarding the odds on Amy making her next onstage appearance, a spokesperson for William Hill went on to say that she has cancelled too many gigs for them not to give odds. Can you imagine what those odds would be if Amy was touring with George Jones and Sly Stone? Speaking of Sly, his rep for missing gigs got so bad that he had to resort to getting married onstage to get fans to show up.

Maybe Amy's manager needs to use the "Cool Hand Luke" treatment to straighten her out.

Manager to Amy after dragging her out of the bar: You miss one gig, you got yourself a set of chains. You miss two gigs, you got yourself two sets. You ain't gonna need a 3rd set 'cuz you're gonna get your mind right and I mean right!

When it comes to making references and analogies, "Cool Hand Luke" is gold to me! But seriously, Ms. Winehouse... pull your packages together, get your ass on stage, and stop making headlines for the wrong reasons!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #3: Movie Quotes From 80s Comedies

Thursday Thirteen: Movie Quotes From 80s Comedies

When coming up with this week's TT, I decided to go back to the decade when we had an actor in The White House, Pac-Man ruled, and I wore a Mohawk haircut!

How many of these movie quotes do you remember? Answers are towards the bottom of this post.

1. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

2. Oh, this your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you must've been something before electricity.

3. I've been in prison for three years. My dick gets hard if the wind blows.

4. Can you describe the ruckus sir?

5. Oh Papa Tooney. We've got a Looney.

6. Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that.

7. Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?

8. When it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV.

9. Well, that is your name, isn't it? Calvin Klein? It's written all over your underwear.

10. Please baby, pleasebaby, please baby, baby baby please!

11. A- You can never go too far. B- If I'm gonna get busted, it is not gonna be by a guy like that.

12. I want to buy your women... the little girl... your daughters. Sell them to me. Sell me your children.

13. It seems to me the only thing you've learned is that Caesar is a "salad dressing dude."


1. Airplane

2. Caddyshack

3. 48 Hours

4. The Breakfast Club

5. Hairspray

6. Better Off Dead

7. Heathers

8. Fast Times At Ridgemont High

9. Back To the Future

10. She's Gotta Have It

11. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

12. The Blues Brothers

13. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Miss Profe lists her guilty pleasures of the small screen variety.

2. MommyBa shares some of her favorite quotes by Erma Bombeck.

3. Haley-O's TT salutes some of the most memorable Academy Award acceptance speeches.

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Scott Baio Is 45 and Single

After watching the Major League All-Star Game, I did a little channel surfing and came across the preview for a new VH-1 show I read about a couple of weeks ago. The show is called "Scott Baio Is 45 and Single" and is scheduled to debut on Sunday, July 15th at 10:30 pm EST. The premise of this 8 week show revolves around Scott's fear of commitment and why he is still... 45 and single. Considering the fact that he has dated women such as Heather Locklear, Brooke Shields, Nicolette Sheridan, and half the cast of "Baywatch", it's hard to drum up much sympathy for the man formerly known as Chachi Arcola.

As I type this post, I am watching a sneak preview of "Scott Baio Is 45 and Single" online. Here are some of the fascinating tidbits that I learned:

1. One of Scott's golf buddies is Jason Hervey. You may remember him as the older brother from hell, Wayne Arnold from "The Wonder Years". Hervey is also the executive producer of this series.
2. Scott lost his virginity to Erin Moran (insert Joanie Loves Chachi joke here).
3. Former girlfriend Julie McCullough (Growing Pains) does stand up comedy.

Over the course of the series, Scott is aided in his quest to solve his commitment problems by a life coach whom he refers to as "Dark Alley". He also comes across Ron Howard's brother Clint (the poster boy for cute child stars who grow up to be ugly adults) and has a cell phone conversation with Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli himself... Henry Winkler!

Even for a reality show, this one seems like a bit of a stretch. However, it may provide a chuckle or two during this long hot summer.

Scott wants to know why he is 45 and single. If given the chance, I would ask him a few questions:

1. If "Happy Days" was set in the late 50s/early 60s, why did he and a majority of the other cast members wear clothes and have hairstyles from the late 70s/early 80s?
2. What REALLY happened to Chuck Cunningham?
3. Why did it seem as if Ellen Travolta played Scott's mother on nearly every show on which he appeared? Were they a package deal?

Preview: Scott Baio Is 45 and Single

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You Might Be A Blog Addict If...

67%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

If you are reading this post, you may be addicted. To find out for sure, click on the box above.

As I type this sentence, my family and friends are surrounding me. Do I smell an intervention?

Talk To Me: The Life of Petey Greene

On Friday July 13th, the biopic "Talk To Me" opens in limited release. It tells the story of Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene (played by Don Cheadle), the ex-con who went on to become a radio/TV personality and activist in the Washington D.C. community. Directed by Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou), the movie also features Cedric "The Entertainer", Mike Epps, Keith Sweat, Martin Sheen, and Vondie-Curtis Hall.

After seeing the trailer for "Talk To Me" a few weeks ago, it spurred me to do some research on Petey Greene. He was born in the poor section of D.C. on January 23, 1928. After dropping out of high school, he joined the Army and served in the Korean War. In 1953, he received a dishonorable discharge for drug abuse.

In 1960, he was convicted of armed robbery and received a 10-year sentence at Lorton Reformatory. During his stay, he became the prison DJ. After his early release for good behavior, he talked his way into a job at radio station WOL and became the host of his own show (Rapping With Petey Greene). His radio success led him to TV. Along with his radio gig, Greene used his TV show (Petey Greene's Washington) to discuss topics such as racism and poverty. He also used his shows to talk about whatever was on his mind (check out the You Tube clip below from his TV series).

In addition to his media endeavors, he also participated in several demonstrations and founded Efforts for Ex-Convicts, an organization devoted to helping former prisoners get their lives straightened out. At the time of his death from cancer in 1984, his TV show was seen nationwide in nearly 6 million households. His stature in the D.C. community was so big that approximately 8,000 mourners showed up outside the church where his funeral took place to pay their respects. For more on the real Petey Greene, check out the following link:

Petey Greene- How To Eat Watermelon (let me warn you, it's not even remotely PC)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Digging Deeper Into the Spin City Archives

It is now less than 3 weeks before I am back on the air and I can't wait to be able to assault the local airwaves with music from the 70s and 80s once again. In the meantime, here is another playlist from my pre-blogging life. This was during the time when my show was free-form, focusing on different themes and genres every week. On this show (which aired on 12/17/05), I decided to spotlight the music from the decade of Reagan, Rambo, and Rubik's Cube. The response I received from this show led me to adopt my current show format.

Feel free to share any memories you have regarding songs on this playlist.

4 pm hour

Young Turks- Rod Stewart
Mirror Man- The Human League
Can You Stand the Rain- New Edition
Magnetic- Earth, Wind, and Fire
Theme from Night Court
Dear Jessie- Madonna
Early In the Morning- The Gap Band
The Pleasure Principle- Janet Jackson
Freeze Frame- J. Geils Band
Girls On Film- Duran Duran
It's Tricky- Run DMC
Goodbye Seventies- Yaz
West End Girls- Pet Shop Boys
Theme from L.A. Law- Mike Post

5 pm hour

I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man- Prince
Private Eyes- Hall & Oates
Mandinka- Sinead O'Connor
Lonely At the Top- Mick Jagger
I Wonder If I Take You Home- Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam w/ Full Force
Cold Blooded- Rick James
Hurts So Good- John Cougar
Alex Chilton- The Replacements
Better Be Good To Me- Tina Turner
Believe It Or Not (Theme from The Greatest American Hero)- Joey Scarbury
Rappin' Rodney- Rodney Dangerfield
Time Bomb- Public Enemy
Dancing In the Sheets- Shalamar
Theme To Miami Vice- Jan Hammer

6 pm hour

Boom There She Was- Scritti Politti
I Need A Man- Eurythmics
Sweetest Taboo- Sade
When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around- The Police
Wild Wild Life- Talking Heads
My Drawers- The Time
I Drove All Night- Cyndi Lauper
I Couldn't Believe It- David Ruffin & Eddie Kendricks
A Woman Needs Love- Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio
Theme To 21 Jump Street- Holly Robinson
Change- John Waite
Do You Wanna Touch Me- Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Hold Me Now- The Thompson Twins
Genius of Love- The Tom Tom Club

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Fall TV Preview: Chuck

While watching Wimbledon on NBC this afternoon, I was intrigued by a teaser for the upcoming series "Chuck". It stars Zachary Levi (Less Than Perfect, Big Momma's House 2) as a young man who is a computer geek by day (he works at a place called Nerd Herd) and a govt. operative by night.

After the brief promo, NBC included a web address (http://www.chuckssecret.com/) if you wanted to find out more. Their ploy worked because I immediately went to my computer. Although the address was somewhat of a red herring, it did have a link to NBC's website where you could watch a full preview for "Chuck". It has a promising premise that puts a comedic spin on the series "Alias". Check it out and let me know what you think.

Chuck Preview

TV Memories: The Rockford Files

This is Jim Rockford. At the tone, leave your name and message and I'll get back to you. That was the opening to every episode of, IMHO, the greatest detective series of all time... The Rockford Files.

When I was a kid, I used to occasionally watch "The Rockford Files" when it was in primetime (Friday nights on NBC). However, I didn't fully appreciate it until A&E started rerunning it in the early 1990s. I used to have friendly debates with my best friend about which detective show was better (he said "Rockford", my vote was for "Magnum, P.I."). Once I caught the reruns on A&E, I had to rank the dude with the gold Pontiac Firebird in front of the guy who drove the red Ferrari.

"The Rockford Files" tops my list for a variety of reasons. First of all, Jim Rockford is one of my all-time favorite characters. He has a soft spot for the underdog (probably because of his wrongful prison conviction), is loyal to his friends (how else could you explain him putting up with ex-con Angel Martin), and is great at getting out of tight situations (either with his mouth, his Andretti-like driving skills, or his fists). Of course, what makes the character work is the man himself... the one and only James Garner.

Although it's technically a detective drama "The Rockford Files" is one of the funniest shows of all time. Episodes of "Rockford" would often have me laughing as hard as any sitcom would. Whether it was his dad Rocky getting on Jim to give up the P.I. biz and become a trucker, Angel trying to weasel out of jam and selling out Jim in the process, or just a facial expression by Jim in reaction to the madness in his world, the show never failed to deliver its share of laughs.

"The Rockford Files" also had some of the most colorful supporting characters in TV history. Along with the regulars (Angel, Rocky, and Jimbo's pal on the force, Dennis Becker), the show also featured such guest characters as slick P.I. Marcus Hayes (Louis Gossett Jr.), aging hippie Sky Aquarian (Valerie Curtin), 4th rate pro quarterback "King" Sturtevant (Rob Reiner), hooker Rita Capkovic (Rita Moreno), and fellow ex-con Gandy Fitch (Isaac Hayes).

On top of what I already said, I gotta say that Jim Rockford had a fairly cool lifestyle. He drove a badass car, worked when he felt like it ($200 a day, plus expenses), had his share of nice looking ladies, and lived on the California oceanside in a mobile home. Sure he got beat up and shot at sometimes. Who said life was perfect?

Friday, July 6, 2007

"Sex and the City" and "Martin" Possibly Headed To the Big Screen

On Thursday, it was announced that the long awaited big screen version of "Sex and the City" is set to begin shooting this fall with all four stars on board. Apparently the hold up was due to Kim Cattrall wanting script approval and a salary closer to that of star/exec producer Sarah Jessica Parker. The powers that be won Cattrall over by sweetening the pot and throwing in a series deal with HBO.

In other news, it is rumored that the Fox sitcom "Martin" might be coming to the big screen as well... with all of the principal cast members taking part. Given the problems that Tisha Campbell had with Martin Lawrence towards the end of the series, I thought a full fledged "Martin" reunion was about as likely as Ike and Tina (Annie Mae! Annie Mae!) Turner getting back together. Since this is all speculation, I'll believe a "Martin" movie when I see it. However, if a big-screen version of "Martin" will prevent "Big Momma's House 3" from getting made, I am all for it.

TV shows making the jump to the big screen with the original cast intact can be an iffy proposition. The original "Dragnet", "The Munsters", "Star Trek", and "The X-Files" are the only instances I can think of where this happened. For the big screen version of "Dragnet" that came out in 1954, producers used the "3-D" angle to lure in fans. Although "Munster Go Home" was rerun on a regular basis when I was younger, it flopped at the box office. The "Star Trek" series of films and the big screen version of "The X-Files" were successful because both of those franchises have huge cult followings.

With that being said, I just don't see a large number of people getting excited over theatrical versions of either "Sex and the City" or "Martin". Now if Carrie Bradshaw and her crew somehow ended up in Motown and rubbed shoulders with Martin and the gang, that would be intriguing. I can see it now, Carrie and Sheneneh getting into a catfight over a pair of Manolo Blahniks (Carrie wouldn't stand a chance).

What are your thoughts on these small-to-big screen ventures?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #2: Song Remakes

Thirteen Hit Songs You May Not Know Were Remakes.
The song title is followed by the artist who had the hit. The original artist is in parentheses.
  1. I Love Rock & Roll- Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (The Arrows)
  2. Good Lovin’- The Young Rascals (The Olympics)
  3. Bette Davis Eyes- Kim Carnes (Jackie DeShannon)
  4. Cum On Feel the Noize- Quiet Riot (Slade)
  5. Everytime You Go Away- Paul Young (Hall & Oates)
  6. Mickey- Toni Basil (Racey)*
  7. Tainted Love- Soft Cell (Gloria Jones)
  8. Nobody But Me- The Human Beinz (The Isley Bros.)
  9. Don't Turn Around- Ace of Base (Tina Turner)
  10. Love Hurts- Nazareth (The Everly Bros.)
  11. Louie Louie- The Kingsmen (Richard Berry)
  12. Nothing Compares 2 U- Sinead O’Connor (The Family)
  13. Black Magic Woman (Fleetwood Mac)

* Racey was an all-male group from the UK. Their version of "Mickey" was titled "Kitty".

How many of these did you know were remakes?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens! (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

1. Chris tells you about 13 books he's recently read

2. JennieBoo devotes her TT to classic quotes from filmdom

3. Karina gets you hot & bothered with 13 steamy music videos

4. Nancy tells us what she loves about man's best friend

5. TopChamp shares 13 holiday snaps (photos)

6. ThommaLynn shares her favorite TT posts (some are hers, the rest are others)

7. In this time of war, Ed has a special video TT

8. qtpies7 has 13 important tips for parents of teen drivers

9. Dana's TT involves quotes from one of her favorite movies. See if you can guess what it is.

10. Alisonwonderland's TT clues you in on her potential reading list

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


While listening to The Jamie and Brady Show on Sports Radio 1130 WDFN a few weeks ago, I learned of a website called notstarring.com. It focuses on actors/actresses and the roles they turned down, auditioned for, got fired from, or simply didn't get. After fishing around the site, here are a few interesting facts that I turned up:

1. Cary Grant was the top choice for "It's a Wonderful Life".
2. Nicolas Cage was considered for the role of John Bender (played by Judd Nelson) in "The Breakfast Club".
3. Brad Pitt auditioned for the role of J.D. (played by Christian Slater) in "Heathers".
4. Will Smith was considered for the role of Willy Wonka in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".
5. Geena Davis was considered to play the lead role of Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct.
6. Richard Gere turned down the lead role in "Die Hard".
7. Cuba Gooding Jr. was considered for the role of Pat Healy (played by Matt Dillon) in "There's Something About Mary".
8. Telly Savalas was originally cast in the lead role of "Cool Hand Luke".
9. Levi Stubbs (the lead singer of the Four Tops) was a favorite to play Louis McKay (portrayed by Billy Dee Williams) in the film "Lady Sings the Blues".
10. Brooke Shields auditioned for the role of Regan MacNeil (played by Linda Blair) in "The Exorcist".

If you get a chance to check out http://notstarring.com/, feel free to share any interesting casting choices you didn't know about.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Asa Buchanan, We'll Miss You

A couple of weeks ago in TV Guide I read that Asa Buchanan, the long-running "One Life To Live" character, is scheduled to die offscreen next month. Philip Carey, the actor who played Asa for nearly 30 years, turned down an offer to be reduced from "contract" to "recurring" status on the show. As a result, his OLTL days are over. They say that "business is business", but this seems to me like another case of a veteran soap performer being tossed to the scrap heap. My 1st thought about this development is that it's something a matador might step in... come to think of it, that was my 2nd thought as well. Philip Carey, Asa Buchanan, and the fans of OLTL deserve better.

Before I continue, let me say that yes... I am a longtime soap watcher. Beginning the day after high school graduation, I started checking out the ABC afternoon lineup. Although I occasionally watched "General Hospital", "Ryan's Hope", and "Loving", my two main shows were "All My Children" and "One Life To Live". For the next 10 years or so, I watched them faithfully. In a classic case of role reversal, I even got my college girlfriend into them as well.

During the height of the O.J. trial, the soaps were often pre-empted. This, coupled with that complicated thing known as "life", caused my viewing to fall off big time. Since my cable company added SoapNet (where AMC and OLTL air in primetime and on weekend marathons) a few years ago, I've been able to periodically check in to see what's happening with the citizens of Pine Valley and Llanview.

Out of all the characters on OLTL, Asa Buchanan is definitely one of my favorites. A bigger than life cowboy millionaire who never saw a bush that was worth beating around... he spoke his mind no matter what, providing some of OLTL's funniest and most memorable moments. Although he could be an ornery S.O.B., you always knew that Asa loved his family. If you were fool enough to mess with a Buchanan, Asa would make you sorrier than Brenda Lee! Along with loving his family, he also loved the ladies... walking down the aisle 14 times with 10 different women (don't ask)!

As I mentioned earlier, Asa Buchanan is scheduled to die offscreen next month. His death apparently will coincide with the soap's 10,000th episode. According to reports, several OLTL characters from the past will return for the funeral. Some of the performers reported to be on board for the special episode are James DePaiva (Max Holden), Dan Gauthier (Kevin Buchanan), and Tonja Walker (Alex Olanov).

I just can't help thinking that Asa's style wouldn't be to go quietly offscreen. I can picture him sitting in his mansion with a pistol in one hand and a glass of bourbon in the other as he growls at the Grim Reaper, "Hellfire death... you just try to take me!" Llanview and "One Life To Live" will never be the same.

Check out these Asa clips:

Asa confronts Todd Manning

Asa and Todd team up against Blair

Asa, Todd, and Blair outside the courtroom

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Music Memories: Aja By Steely Dan

During the height of the disco era, one of my older brothers purchased the album that served as my introduction to Steely Dan... "Aja". I was hooked from the beginning and have remained a fan ever since. When it comes to melding jazz and rock, it doesn't get much better than "Aja".

Something that really stood out to me when 1st hearing "Aja" were the lyrics. However, with songs that referred to "drinking scotch whiskey all night long" (Deacon Blues) and spotting someone "high at Rudy's" (Black Cow), it's doubtful that Donald Fagen and Walter Becker had an 11 yr old kid in mind when they were writing the songs that made up "Aja".

Since the lyrics were included with the LP, it also allowed me to sing along to my favorite tracks. Because my voice hadn't changed yet, I could actually hit some of those higher notes just like the background singers. Another thing that struck me was the distinctive voice of lead singer Donald Fagen, which is perfect for the songs of Steely Dan. Although he isn't what one would call a technically good singer, that's part of his appeal.

One of my regrets is that I have never seen Steely Dan in concert. A friend of mine has seen them a few times and said that in addition to their hits, they also perform many album cuts (such as the title track to "Aja"). About a month or so after buying tickets to see The Police, I found out that Steely Dan would be in the area this summer as well. Since I wasn't up for going without food for a week, I decided to take a pass on getting Steely Dan tickets. Oh well, hopefully I can catch them live somewhere down the line. Until then, I've got CDs such as "Aja" to keep me entertained.
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