Friday, October 31, 2008

Old School Fridays: Fight Song For My Candidate

For this week's Old School Friday theme, we are getting political... just a little. We were asked to select a fight song for the Prez candidate of our choice. I'm a supporter of Barack Obama and my selection this week is by John Lennon & the Plastic Ono Band, 1971's Power To the People.

This meme was developed by Marvalus View and Ms. Grapevine. The rules are simple:

1. Anyone can participate; any music genre
2. Old School is defined as music created before 1999
3. No offensive words allowed, please use edited radio version
4. Post a video of your favorite Old School song to take us back down memory lane
5. Add your name to the meme list so that others can check you out
6. Have fun & don't forget to leave comments for other participants

If you want to join in on the fun, click here.

As a side note, please be respectful of other OSFers (no matter who they are supporting) and their selections…continue to have fun.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

CTFD: The Zach and Miri Make A Porno Controversy

I don't know if you've heard, but there's controversy brewing over the new Kevin Smith romantic comedy, Zach and Miri Make A Porno. The film, which opens on Oct. 31st and features Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as platonic best friends and roommates who decide to make a porn movie to get out of debt has caused a ruckus due to its title and marketing strategy. According to the head of marketing at the studio releasing the film (the Weinstein Co.), some newspaper, TV, and outdoor ads have been rejected because it contains the dreaded five-letter word "porno". Along with various media outlets raising a fuss, the Motion Picture Association of America decided to get in on the act. Feeling that it was too suggestive, the MPAA banned the movie poster directly below (it will only be displayed in Canada and on websites and blogs like mine).


Once the above poster was squashed, Weinstein went back to the drawing board and came up with this ad:

Diane Levin, who wrote the book So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids, says she was shocked by the ads she saw for the film in Boston. "My expertise is with young children," Levin says. "I thought, they're going to see the stick-figure drawings and they're going to think 'Gee! this must be a movie for me!' "

The title of this post began with the abbreviation CTFD, which means "calm the fuck down" and that's what I would say to anyone making a big deal out of the ads for Zach and Miri Make A Porno. Any sane adult is in favor of protecting kids. However, some adults go overboard and that doesn't do kids any good. Children by nature are just like the monkey who hangs out with "The Man with the Yellow Hat". When they ask questions, why not try something wild and crazy like answering them! Like Kevin Smith said, if a kid asks "What's a porno?" answer by telling them "It's a movie not for you."

To read more on the Zach and Miri Make A Porno controversy, click here and here.

In unrelated (but ironic) news, Deep Throat director Gerard Damiano died last Saturday at the age of 80.

Although it has nothing to do with the Zach and Miri Make A Porno dustup, I still wanted to include the clip to one of my favorite songs from the Alternative Nation era. It's the video for Pets by the band Porno For Pyros.



Monday, October 27, 2008

Final Results of TV Adaptation Poll

The gang at the 4077th sewed up nearly half of the vote in the recent poll in which I asked readers to select their favorite TV series that was adapted from a movie. Coming in 2nd is a show that many felt was actually better than the film... Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Even though I provided an "other" option, there wasn't any series that received a write-in vote. However, I am glad that I included the option anyway. If I didn't, there would have been some disgruntled My Big Fat Greek Life fan wondering why the best show ever to star Nia Vardalos wasn't included in the poll.

Here are the final results:


M*A*S*H- 48%

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer- 24%

The Odd Couple- 22%

Fame- 18%

Friday Night Lights- 14%

Alice- 10%

In the Heat of the Night- 8%

Highlander: The Series- 6%

Clueless, What's Happening!, and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles- 4% each

Other- 0%

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Retro Mix Playlist For 10/24/08

In honor of lead singer Levi Stubbs, who died on 10/17, the music of The Four Tops was featured throughout the show. Since I focused on their 60s heyday, I also played tunes by other artists from the 60s as well as the 50s.

7 pm hour

I Can't Help Myself- The Four Tops
Ready Teddy- Little Richard
Without the One You Love (Life's Not Worthwhile)- The Four Tops
Leader of the Pack- The Shangri-Las
I Beg of You- Elvis Presley
Something About You- The Four Tops
Special Delivery- The 1910 Fruitgum Co.
Bernadette- The Four Tops
Saved- LaVern Baker
Rock Around the Clock- Bill Haley & his Comets
Helpless- The Four Tops
I Only Want To Be With You- Dusty Springfield
I Got A Feeling- The Four Tops
I'm Walkin'- Fats Domino
Havin' A Wild Weekend- The Dave Clark Five
A Place In the Sun- The Four Tops
Maybe I Know- Lesley Gore
Almost Grown- Chuck Berry
It's the Same Old Song- The Four Tops
I Can Hear Music- The Ronettes

8 pm hour

Reach Out (I'll Be There)- The Four Tops
Fields of Clover- The Box Tops
Stagger Lee- Lloyd Price
Sad Souvenirs- The Four Tops
Da Do Ron Ron- The Crystals
If I Were A Carpenter- The Four Tops
Be-Bop-A-Lula- Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps
Easier Said Than Done- The Essex
Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)- The Four Tops
I'm In A Different World- The Four Tops
Mess Around- Ray Charles
The Locomotion- Little Eva
I'll Turn To Stone- The Four Tops
Incense and Peppermints- The Strawberry Alarm Clock
Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me- The Four Tops
Hide and Seek- Bunker Hill
Peggy Sue- Buddy Holly
7 Rooms of Gloom- The Four Tops
I Saw Her Again- The Mamas and the Papas
Standing In the Shadows of Love- The Four Tops

The Retro Mix Video of the Week: Reach Out (I'll Be There) by The Four Tops

Friday, October 24, 2008

Old School Fridays: One Hit Wonders


Since there are so many cool one-hit wonders to choose from, it was hard to narrow down my selections. As many of you know, there are many definitions as to what constitutes a one-hit wonder. The criteria I used is as follows: a recording act who had only 1 song reach the Top 40 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.

For my first choice, I went with a song that peaked at #5 in 1968... "Girl Watcher" by The O'Kaysions. When I was a kid, their soulful sound led me to think that they were a Black group. As you can see from the clip below, I was mistaken. Just like other one-hit wonders before and after them, The O'Kaysions suffered from a lack of direction. This led to their break-up the same year that they had their one shining moment. According to Wikipedia, The O'kaysions have since reunited, with only one member from the original line-up.

My second one-hit wonder is by The Breakfast Club who, before they hit it big, had a female drummer in their line-up. The female drummer then left to form her own band and eventually struck out on her own in a quest for solo success. In case you were wondering, the female drummer's name is Madonna. If anyone has information as to whether or not her solo career ever worked out, please let me know. Anyway, The Breakfast Club were all over MTV and radio in 1987 with their one hit, "Right On Track" (which peaked at #7). This is one of my favorite songs and videos from the 1980s; it's too bad they weren't able to come up with a successful follow-up. Before The Breakfast Club called it quits in 1988, American Idol judge Randy Jackson joined them as their bass player.

This meme was developed by Marvalus View and Ms. Grapevine. The rules are simple:

1. Anyone can participate; any music genre
2. Old School is defined as music created before 1999
3. No offensive words allowed, please use edited radio version
4. Post a video of your favorite Old School song to take us back down memory lane
5. Add your name to the meme list so that others can check you out
6. Have fun & don't forget to leave comments for other participants

If you want to join in on the fun, click here.

You can watch the clips for both "Girl Watcher" and "Right On Track" in the player below.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #63: Celebrities Who've Survived Breast Cancer



Thirteen Famous Breast Cancer Survivors

As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With nearly 200,000 people diagnosed each year as having breast cancer, the disease touches many of us. Here are a few celebs who can count themselves as survivors.


1. Christina Applegate- On August 3, 2008, it was announced that the Samantha Who? star had been diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer. 11 days later, it was reported that Christina underwent a double mastectomy. She is currently scheduled to undergo reconstructive surgery over the next eight months.
















2. Diahann Carroll- The iconic actress/singer was diagnosed at the age of 63. In order to draw attention to the cause, she invited a camera crew into her treatment room for a nationally broadcast special.
















3. Sheryl Crow- In early 2006, the Grammy-winning singer was diagnosed with the disease. She underwent successful surgery later in the year and has become a passionate spokeswoman for breast cancer research.
















4. Melissa Etheridge- The award-winning singer was diagnosed in 2004 and underwent chemotherapy. Bald from the radiation treatments, Melissa made a triumphant performance at the Grammys the following year.
















5. Peggy Fleming- The 1968 Olympic gold medalist for figure skating was diagnosed in 1998. Her breast cancer was detected in its early stages and surgery was successful.
















6. Kate Jackson- The former Charlie's Angels star battled the disease twice, in 1987 and 1989.
















7. Kylie Minogue- The singer/actress/author was diagnosed in May 2005. Later that year, she completed her chemotherapy treatment at a hospital in Paris.

















8. Olivia Newton-John- The Aussie singer/actress was diagnosed in 1992. She underwent a mastectomy and breast reconstruction.

















9. Cynthia Nixon-The Sex and the City star was diagnosed during a routine mammogram in October, 2006. In 2008, she began to serve as Ambassador for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
















10. Robin Roberts- In 2007, the Good Morning America co-anchor announced that she had been diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer (she noticed a lump through self-examination). As of January of this year, Robin had completed her eight chemotherapy treatments. She then underwent 6 1/2 weeks of radiation treatment, which was completed in March.
















11. Richard Roundtree- The actor best known from the Shaft films is living proof that breast cancer affects men as well. Roundtree was diagnosed in 1993, had a radical mastectomy and rounds of chemotherapy.
















12. Rene Syler- The former co-host of CBS News the Early Show was diagnosed in 2003. An activist for the illness even before she was diagnosed, Syler is a recipient of the 2004 Gracie Allen Award for Individual Achievement in the National Best Anchor category for her breast cancer series.
















13. Shirley Temple Black- The legendary child star and former U.S. Ambassador was diagnosed in 1972 after finding a lump in her left breast. She later underwent a mastectomy and holds the distinction of being the first celebrity to publicly announce that they had breast cancer. Shirley's announcement generated over 50,000 letters of support from her fans.















Leave your link in comments so that others can visit you.


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! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dancing With the Stars Recap

For a variety of reasons (sleep, MNF, etc.), I've been slacking on my DWTS viewing over the past couple of weeks. However, I was able to catch most of Monday's episode. Here is a brief summary:

* I am a sucker for watching dancing from the 1940s and 1950s, so Brooke Burke and Derek Hough's rendition of the jitterbug was my favorite moments of the evening. What made it even more impressive is that Derek didn't know how to do the jitterbug so he had to go online and print up instructions for him and Brooke to go through. The two of them in sync with one another and having loads of fun. Then again, how could you do the jitterbug and not have fun?

* Speaking of in sync, former boy bander Lance Bass took a spill during his and partner Lacey Schwimmer's performance of the West Coast Swing. Unfortunately I missed it because I was fixing some pancakes (more on that in an upcoming post). Host Tom Bergeron said that Lance did make a nice recovery though.

* Warren Sapp continues to impress everyone with his fancy footwork. I didn't catch it until rewatching the segment on You Tube, but during the interview segment Warren said in regards to partner Kym Johnson's dance teaching, "It's simple. Just go in the room and do what she asks me to do." When hearing that quote I'm like Prince circa 1980... I have a "Dirty Mind".

* Although it wasn't the best performance of the night, Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo didn't deserve to get the boot this week. They danced the West Coast Swing to the song "The Way You Make Me Feel". Since it is an MJ tune, Toni and Alec threw a little bit of The Moonwalk into their choreography. Unfortunately, Judge Bruno Tonioli didn't care too much for that part of the performance. But come on, it's almost mandatory that you do The Moonwalk to 80s era MJ music.

The player below includes the performances of both Brooke/Derek and Toni/Alec.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Levi Stubbs: An Appreciation

Shortly before the beginning of my radio show this past Friday, I learned that Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops had died at the age of 72. Because I was crunched for time, I just posted the news of Levi's death along with a link to another news report. Now that I have the time, I wanted to do a proper post about Levi.

Without question, Levi Stubbs had one of the most distinctive voices in popular music. Even if someone played you an obscure Four Tops songs, you'd most likely recognize the fiery lead vocals of Levi. In the TV special "Motown 40" that aired in the late 90s, Lionel Richie praised Levi's vocal skill. He said something along lines that he was amazed that Levi could sing the way he did without hurting his vocal chords.

Although most people are familiar with Levi Stubbs' voice, there are some who didn't know him by name. That's because he and the other members of The Tops (Lawrence Payton, Renaldo "Obie" Benson, and Abdul "Duke" Fakir) were more interested in group unity. Even though the decision not to alter their name to something like The Four Tops featuring Levi Stubbs cost him some recognition, it most likely also contributed to group's longevity without any personnel changes until Payton's death in 1997. It also helped that The Four Tops were a little older than most of their Motown labelmates and had been in the business for over 10 years by the time they had their first hit in 1964. As a result, they probably weren't as susceptible to the pitfalls of fame that affected such Motowners as David Ruffin and Florence Ballard.

Although Levi Stubbs is no longer with us, we still have the CDs, vinyl, etc. to ensure that his unmistakable voice is never forgotten.

On my radio show (The Retro Mix), I normally feature music of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. However, on Friday October 24 from 7-9 pm EST, I'll be paying tribute to Levi Stubbs by featuring Four Tops' songs from their 1960s era. During the show, I will also be including tunes by other artists from the 1960s and the 1950s too.

Below is an excellent Four Tops tune that you don't hear much anymore, I Got A Feeling. It was the B-side to their 1967 hit, Bernadette.

The Brillante Weblog Award


Earlier this month I received this award from my new blog friend Kristi of The Winchester Mantoni's...and other stuff. I've enjoyed reading her blog since discovering it back in September. In addition to what's going on in her personal life, Kristi also blogs about pop culture topics as well (she's a big fan of Dancing With the Stars).

Mucho appreciadio, Kristi! I am flattered and will now pass on the award per the following requirements:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. The winner must link to the person from whom they received their award.
3. The winner must nominate at least 7 other blogs for the award.
4. The winner must place links to those blogs on their own blog.
5. The winner must leave a message on the blogs of the people they’ve nominated.

And here are my nominees:

1. Pjazzy at Traces of a Stream
2. Barbara at Writing from the Inside Out
3. Mistress of the Dark at A Little Night Music

I hope you can find the time to visit all the blogs listed above.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Retro Mix Playlist For 10/17/08

7 pm hour

Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)- US3
Yes or No- The Go Gos
Changes- David Bowie
Survival- The Ojays
Bills, Bills, Bills- Destiny's Child
She's Strange- Cameo
Billie Jean- Michael Jackson

Common Thread segment: Belated 60th birthday tribute to Daryl Hall
I Don't Wanna Lose You- Hall & Oates
Private Eyes- Hall & Oates
Dreamtime- Daryl Hall
Throw the Roses Away- Hall & Oates

That Lady- The Isley Brothers
Spiderwebs- No Doubt

8 pm hour

Basket Case- Green Day
The Stand- The Alarm
Car Wash- Rose Royce
I'm A Greedy Man- James Brown
Woo Hah! Got You All In Check- Busta Rhymes
Hey Ladies- The Beastie Boys
Life During Wartime- Talking Heads
Messin' With My Mind- Labelle

The Guilty Pleasure of the Week:
Say You'll Be There- The Spice Girls

Go Insane- Lindsey Buckingham
(I'm Just Thinking About) Cooling Out- Jerry Butler
Dyslexic Heart- Paul Westerberg
Misunderstanding- Genesis
Gimme Gimme Some Good Soul Music- The Dramatics
Nothin' At All- Heart

The Retro Mix video of the week: Dyslexic Heart by Paul Westerberg

Friday, October 17, 2008

Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops Dead At 72

Levi Stubbs, who sang lead with The Four Tops on such hits as "Baby I Need Your Loving" and "Reach Out (I'll Be There)", died earlier today at the age of 72. For more on the story,click here.

Old School Fridays: Duets

When I saw the theme for OSF was duets, I was like Della Reese in Harlem Nights after Eddie Murphy punched her in the gut ("Ooh yeah... that's what I'm talking about"). By the way, that movie didn't deserve all the pans it got, but I digress...

Since the theme is duets this week, I decided to maximize the limit according to the rules and go with two selections. The first is a team up between two of my favorite vocalists from the pop/R&B genre... James Ingram and Michael McDonald doing their hit from 1984, Yah Mo B There. I'm not sure why the beginning of this music video features James and Michael working as cooks; but it doesn't matter 'cuz this is a helluva song!

The second selection this week is a remake of the theme to the 70s Saturday morning cartoon Josie and the Pussycats by alterna-rock queens Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donelly. This cut was recorded for the 1995 compilation CD Saturday Morning Cartoon's Greatest Hits. If you are a fan of both 60s/70s Saturday morning TV and alternative rock, I highly recommend it.

This meme was developed by Marvalus View and Ms. Grapevine. The rules are simple:

1. Anyone can participate; any music genre
2. Old School is defined as music created before 1999
3. No offensive words allowed, please use edited radio version
4. Post a video of your favorite Old School song to take us back down memory lane
5. Add your name to the meme list so that others can check you out
6. Have fun & don't forget to leave comments for other participants

If you want to join in on the fun, click here.

You can watch the videos for both Yah Mo B There and Josie & the Pussycats in the player below.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #62: 1970s Movie Quotes




Thirteen Movie Quotes From the 1970s

Below are 13 quotes from movies made during the decade of Pong and the Pet Rock. How many of these do you recognize? You can leave your responses in the comments section. On Friday, I will reveal the answers.

1. I think that I am familiar with the fact that you are going to ignore this particular problem until it swims up and bites you on the ass!

2. Oh come off it, MAJOR. You put me right off my fresh fried lobster, do you realize that? I'm now going to go back to my bed, I'm going to put away the best part of a bottle of scotch... And under normal circumstances, you being normally what I would call a very attractive woman, I would have invited you back to share my little bed with me you might possibly have come. But you really put me off. I mean you... You're what we call a regular army clown.

3. I'm worried about passing Mr. Mason's class and you busy signifying.

4. I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!

5. I know a woman who looks like a bullfrog but that don't mean she's the damn thing's mother.

6. This is for Allah. And it's goin' way out there, sucka.

7. Zero point two... Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

8. My mama didn't raise no fool. Now I got enough attention span to know what's happenin'. What's happenin' is I can recognize a poverty pimp when I see one.

9. We're finally getting out of this turkey town, and now you wanna crawl back into your cell, right? You wanna end up like John? You just can't stay seventeen forever.

10. Would ya just watch the hair. Ya know, I work on my hair a long time and you hit it. He hits my hair.

11. I'm gonna take this right foot, and I'm gonna whop you on that side of your face... and you wanna know something? There's not a damn thing you're gonna be able to do about it.

12. Aw come on, you're not gonna say that now! You're not gonna say that now! You're gonna pull that hen house shit? Now when the vote... the Chief just voted - it was 10 to 9. Now I want that television set turned on *right now*!

13. Fredo, you're my older brother, and I love you. But don't ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.


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! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Monday, October 13, 2008

Final Results of RRHOF Poll

In an outcome that surprised me a little, Run DMC received the most votes in the recent RRHOF poll. As many of you know, of the 9 nominees, only 5 will be inducted next year. Based on the poll, the following artists would be enshrined: Run DMC, Metallica, Jeff Beck, Little Anthony & the Imperials, and The Stooges. The inductees will be announced in January 2009. I can hardly wait.

Poll question: Of the 9 artists nominated for possible induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who would get your vote?

Here are the final poll results:

Run DMC- 46%
Metallica- 37%
Jeff Beck- 31%
Little Anthony & the Imperials- 26%
The Stooges- 20%
War and Bobby Womack- 17% each
Chic- 15%
Wanda Jackson- 13%

Below is the video to Run DMC's The King of Rock. With all the protests from people who feel rappers don't belong in the RRHOF, the opening to this video is quite prophetic.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy 60th Birthday To Daryl Hall

On October 11th, one of my favorite vocalists is blowing out the birthday candles... Daryl Hall. One of the things I like about Hall and Oates is that their music has touched on a variety of elements and influences. Along with soul music, they've also delved into such genres as new wave (You Make My Dreams) and arena rock (Head Above Water).

If you're a fan and haven't seen Hall and Oates live, do yourself a favor and check them out. I've seen them 3 times and I have fond memories of each show:

The first time was at Pine Knob in Clarkston, MI in 1996. My best friend and fellow H&O fan Gary (pronounced Jerry) was supposed to go with me. However, he was MIA due to an amorous adventure. As a result, a young lady who I'd been dating for about a month willingly filled in for him. I was pleasantly surprised when Hall & Oates opened with one of my favorite songs, their 1988 hit Everything Your Heart Desires. They also did encores that featured medleys of Sly and the Family Stone's Hot Fun In the Summertime and Billy Paul's Me and Mrs. Jones.

In 1997, I went to see them for a second time at Pine Knob. Between the first and second concerts, I had entered into a serious relationship with the young lady I took to the first one. However, since we had temporarily split up around the time of the second show, my best friend Gary was able to attend. My favorite memory of that show is when Daryl said, "we're gonna do a little adult" before they launched into Adult Education. If this isn't Gary's favorite H&O song, it's near the top of the list. As he sometimes does when he's hyped, Gary did something I call "The Gary Move". While seated, he simultaneously does a forward double fist pump and kicks out one of his legs. My description doesn't quite do it justice.

My 3rd Hall and Oates show was in 2005 at the Clio Amphitheater. About a year or so earlier, one of my older brothers (Eddie) was interested in checking out more from Hall and Oates. Although he was acquainted with a few of their songs, he wanted to get a bigger picture. I put together a CD for him and he was sold. A line he often quotes is from Maneater ("Ooh she's sitting with you but her eyes are on the door"). When I told him that Hall and Oates still tour regularly, he said he'd be interested in going the next time they came to our area. The concert was originally going to be on July 8th, but had to be rescheduled for August 9th (Hall was recovering from a bout with Lyme Disease). Along with many of their hits, Hall and Oates also performed such songs as The Spinners' I'll Be Around (which was included on their then new CD Our Kind of Soul).

Here are five of my favorite songs featuring Daryl Hall. All are Hall & Oates tunes except where noted.

1. Private Eyes
2. Back Together Again
3. Do What You Want, Be What You Are
4. Someone Like You (solo)
5. Some Men

Since I couldn't stop there, here are 5 more:

6. Rich Girl
7. You Make My Dreams
8. A Promise Ain't Enough
9. Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid
10. Maneater

Feel free to list some of your favorite songs featuring Daryl Hall in the comments section.

Below is the video for the song Someone Like You. It's from Daryl's 2nd solo album, 1986's Three Hearts In the Happy Ending Machine.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Old School Fridays: Prince

When I saw that the theme for OSF this week was Prince, I was quickly reminded of the ongoing battle he and the Universal Music Publishing Group has with You Tube. Although most of the Purple One's clips have been removed from You Tube. However, a few remain... but with no sound! Since I didn't feel like fuckin' around trying to find a suitable Prince clip on You Tube, I went over to Daily Motion and found a live version of him performing his #1 hit "Kiss" at a 1986 concert in Detroit. Although Prince and Universal are within their rights to have the clips removed from You Tube, I wish that they would reconsider. After all, it's the best kind of promotion... free!

This meme was developed by Marvalus View and Ms. Grapevine. The rules are simple:

1. Anyone can participate; any music genre
2. Old School is defined as music created before 1999
3. No offensive words allowed, please use edited radio version
4. Post a video of your favorite Old School song to take us back down memory lane
5. Add your name to the meme list so that others can check you out
6. Have fun & don't forget to leave comments for other participantsIf you want to join in on the fun, click here.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #61: Movie Sequels



Thirteen Movie Sequels

Earlier this week I did a post about reports of a possible sequel to "Bull Durham". That got me to thinking about other follow-up films. I've heard many people say that they are against sequels. I won't go that far because there have been some that are worthy follow-ups to the original film. On the other hand, most seem to exist for the sole purpose of padding a star's bank account.

Below (in alphabetical order) are 13 random sequels that I've seen over the years. They run the gamut from being exceptional to being straight up garbagio. For the most part, I steered clear of obvious film franchises such as Star Wars and Batman.

Along with any thoughts regarding the 13 follow-ups I've listed below, please also include in the comments section your choices for the best sequel you've seen and the worst you've seen.

Also, if you haven't voted in the RRHOF poll (in the top part of the left sidebar), please feel free to do so.

1. Aliens (1986)- Because of the 7 year gap between this and the original, any skepticism was understandable. However, this is one of the few sequels that arguably either matches or surpasses the original. It helped that the director of Alien (James Cameron) as well as star Sigourney Weaver were both back onboard.













2. The Bad News Bears In Breaking Training (1977)- Without stars Matthau and Tatum or director Michael Ritchie, what was the point?















3. Blues Brothers 2000 (1999)- Belushi's dead, 'nuff said.
















4. Bride of Chucky (1998)- Several months ago, I was channel surfing late Friday/early Saturday and caught this on the USA Network. Normally I don't watch theatrical movies on commercial TV, but I couldn't bring myself to turn the channel. Not only does this "so bad, it's good" movie feature John Ritter in a surprise borderline cameo appearance, but it also contains a love scene between Chucky and his bride (voiced by Jennifer Tilly). If you didn't lost your breakfast, lunch, and dinner after reading the last part of the previous sentence, props to you. The next time that Grey's Anatomy star Katherine Heigl complains about the quality of her storyline on the hit show (which might be tomorrow), the producers need to point out that she could do a lot worse (Bride of Chucky was one of her early films).














5. Grease 2 (1982)- When Danny and Sandy went flying off into the sunset via automobile (wtf was that all about?) in the 1978 original, that should have been the end of it. If you bring this film up to Michelle, I wonder if she'll be c-o-o-l about it or put a beatdown on you Catwoman-style.















6. House Party 2: The Pajama Jam! (1991)- We went to see this at the theater anticipating a lively follow-up to 1990's House Party. Although it was OK, it was a huge void missing... the late, great Robin Harris (who played Kid's father in the original). They tried to compensate by using clips of Harris via flashback, but it wasn't the same.














7. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)- Another sequel that I think lives up to the original. Hiring Sean Connery to play Indy's dad was a brilliant move because he and Harrison Ford played off each other extremely well. Thanks to the opening sequence featuring River Phoenix as a young Indy, the movie It was also answered some questions about our hero (how he obtained his scar, fedora, etc.).















8. Jaws: The Revenge (1987)- About the best thing that can be said about this mess is that it effectively put an end to the franchise... for now anyways. Co-star Michael Caine once said of the movie: "I have never seen it [the film], but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific!" Hey, at least he's honest.














9. The Karate Kid Part III (1989)- This third installment was a big comedown from both the 1984 original and the 1986 follow-up. One of my lasting memories of part III is that Ralph Macchio was pushing 30 at the time and looked every bit of it (the so-called "kid" had a gut that was visible throughout most of the movie).















10. The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (1991) - This follow-up to the surprise 1988 original didn't let me down. When I see that director David Zucker and writer Jim Abrahams are attached to a film, I look at it like Smucker's ... it has to be good.














11. Rocky III (1982)- Although not a great film, it's a definite improvement over the dreary first sequel. A lot of that has to do with Mr. T. as Rock's opponent Clubber Lang, who delivers some of the best lines in the film:

"Getting out while you can? Don't give this sucker no statue. Give him guts! I told you I wasn't going away. You got your shot, now give me mine. "

"Dead meat! "

and of course...

"No, I don't hate Balboa. I pity the fool, and I will destroy any man who tries to take what I got! "















12. Superman II (1981) - As good as 1978's Superman: The Movie was, this was better! One plus was that it gave The Man of Steel three formidable foes, led by Terence Stamp as the arrogant General Zod. Also, it was great to see Clark Kent get his revenge at the end of the movie on the truck driver who gave him a beatdown during the time that Clark gave up his powers to be with Lois... what the hell was he thinking when he did that?!















13. A Very Brady Sequel (1996) - 1995's The Brady Bunch Movie is one of the best adaptations of a TV show because it spoofed the ripe-for-parody sitcom by moving the stuck-in-the-1970s Bradys into the 1990s. The sequel continues in the same vein with several funny references to not only the TV series, but also addresses the "what if" question surrounding the attraction between step-siblings Greg and Marcia.
















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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bull Durham Sequel In the Works?

While watching P.T.I. on Monday, I learned that a sequel to the 1988 baseball film "Bull Durham" is on the way. After doing a quick web search, I found that Kevin Costner reportedly has met with director Ron Shelton to discuss reprising the role of catcher "Crash Davis". Co-stars Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon are also expected to return as pitcher Nuke LaLoosh and baseball groupie Annie Savoy, who are now married and owners of a Major League team that Costner's character manages. In the article I read, it referred to the proposed sequel as "long-awaited"... hmm. I didn't realize that the public was clamoring to find out what happened to Crash, Nuke, and Annie. Although I enjoyed the original film, I was content to have it end right there. Having said that, if done right, the sequel could prove to be worth watching.

In a side note, I doubt that Costner or anyone that he knows reads my blog. However, it is a coincidence that in my October 4th post I referred to Kevin Costner's film career as "dead" and now there's talk of him doing a sequel to one of his most successful movies.

What about you... are you interested at all in a sequel to "Bull Durham"?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

CD Review: The Way I See It by Raphael Saadiq

Through my job, I was fortunate enough to obtain a copy of Raphael Saadiq's latest CD, The Way I See It. From his days as lead singer of the R&B trio Tony! Toni! Tone!, Saadiq has been one of the leading beacons in keeping the torch of 60s and 70s soul burning. When I listened to The Way I See It for the first time, I was transported back to the heyday of the Afro pick with the "Black power fist" handle. The difference is that I was listening to it through the disc drive of my computer at work and not on a turntable at a family weekend get together. One thing that I'm thankful for is that Saadiq wrote an album of all-new material instead of taking the easy road and doing by-the-numbers remakes of classic soul tunes.

There are some who feel that contemporary R&B is deader than Kevin Costner's film career. However, as long as there are artists like Raphael Saadiq who recognize soul music's rich history, there is hope.

Below are titles to some of the highlights from The Way I See It:

100 Yard Dash

Keep Marchin'

Just One Kiss (a duet between Saadiq and British soul songstress Joss Stone)

Never Give You Up (Features vocals by CJ Hilton and a harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder. If you remember how Wonder introduced jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillepsie on his 1982 hit Do I Do, you'll appreciate Saadiq's introduction of the Motown legend on this track.)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Please Take A Moment To Vote In the Current RRHOF Poll... Thank You

For this week's Thursday Thirteen, please either scroll down or click here.

On Monday Sept. 22nd, the nominees for possible induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced. The inductees will be announced in January 2009, with the ceremony scheduled to take place on April 4th, 2009.

Over the years, I have had a love/hate relationship with the RRHOF. I understand that's it's next to impossible to have everyone agree with who should be/shouldn't be in the RRHOF. However, there are some things that piss me off about the nomination process:

1. The passing over of well-deserving older artists in favor of fairly recent "name" acts. Although artists such as Queen and Talking Heads are worthy of being inducted, there's no way they should have gotten in before acts like The Dells or The Dave Clark Five.

2. With the exception of Pink Floyd, the bias the nominating committee shows towards progressive rock. Although I am not a big fan of the genre, I think that at the very least acts such as Yes and The Moody Blues are worthy of consideration.

3. Accomplished R&B acts from the 60s and 70s who haven't even been nominated. Labelle/Patti Labelle, The Spinners, The Chi-Lites, and The Stylistics are just a few of the artists who haven't even made the ballot. Again, we can debate whether or not these acts belong in the RRHOF. However, I think they should at least get on the ballot.

Last year I wrote a post about the RRHOF that included a 2001 letter by a former RRHOF board member that was sent to Fox News. You can click here to read the post.

Because of the evolution of the music, one of the debates about the RRHOF that has gained steam over the last few years is which artists are considered rock and roll. Here are a few of the definitions of "rock and roll" that I found:

The American Heritage College Dictionary: A form of popular music arising from and incorporating a variety of musical styles, esp. rhythm and blues, country music, and gospel.

Dictionary.com: A genre of popular music originating in the 1950s; a blend of black rhythm-and-blues with white country-and-western; "rock is a generic term for the range of styles that evolved out of rock'n'roll."

Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: Popular music usually played on electronically amplified instruments and characterized by a persistent heavily accented beat, repetition of simple phrases, and often country, folk, and blues elements.

Because I belong to the school of thought that rock and roll is an umbrella term encompassing a variety of musical styles, I don't have a problem with artists such as Bob Marley, The Bee Gees, Isaac Hayes, and Madonna being enshrined in the RRHOF. However, I sometimes wish The Hall would change its name to something like "The Popular Music Hall of Fame" so that people could shut the hell up about "what is and isn't rock and roll" and concentrate on whether or not a recording act's artistic merits and influence make them worthy of induction.


Below in alphabetical order are the 2009 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Of these nine artists, only five will be inducted. Following each artist are my thoughts on who should/will get inducted. For the 4 that I feel shouldn't be inducted in 2009, it's not that I don't think they are worthy. I just feel that the other 5 should go in ahead of them. If you are curious as to why I feel that an artist will or won't be among the five to be inducted, feel free to ask me about them in the comments section.

Jeff Beck- Should and will get in.















Chic- Shouldn't and won't get in.











Wanda Jackson- Shouldn't, but will get in.













Little Anthony & the Imperials- Shouldn't and won't get in











Metallica- Should and will get in












Run-DMC- Should and will get in














The Stooges- Shouldn't and won't get in














War- Should and will get in














Bobby Womack- Should, but won't get in.














Let the debates begin...