Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Retro Mix Playlist For 1/30/09

7 pm hour

Freeze Frame- J. Geils Band
Why Didn't You Call Me- Macy Gray
Got To Give It Up- Marvin Gaye
Major Tom (Coming Home)- Peter Schilling
Talk Dirty To Me- Poison
Shout It Out Loud- Kiss
Would I Lie To You?- Eurythmics

The Guilty Pleasure of the Week:
Ice Ice Baby- Vanilla Ice

Pop Goes the Weasel- 3rd Bass
Bring the Noise- Public Enemy
We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)- Tina Turner
Put Your Hands Together- The O'Jays
Jump Around- House of Pain
Reap the Wild Wind- Ultravox

8 pm hour

You Sexy Thing- Hot Chocolate
Let Me Be the One- Five Star
Been Caught Stealing- Jane's Addiction
Baggy Trousers- Madness
Stop the Violence- Boogie Down Productions
Master Blaster- Stevie Wonder
Back To Life- Soul II Soul

With or Without You segment's feat. artist: Mick Jagger
You Got Me Rocking- The Rolling Stones
Lonely At the Top- Mick Jagger

You and I- Rick James
Killer Queen- Queen
What's the Frequency, Kenneth?- R.E.M.
Seether- Veruca Salt
Born In the U.S.A.- Bruce Springsteen

The Retro Mix Video of the Week: Back To Life by Soul II Soul

Friday, January 30, 2009

Ladies and Gentleman, Check Out TCM Underground Tonight

As part of its cult movie showcase "TCM Underground", Turner Classic Movies is airing the 1981 film Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains tonight at 2:30 am EST. The film stars Diane Lane as Corrinne "Third Degree" Burns, a rebellious teen who forms a punk band with her younger sister Tracy (played by Marin Kanter) and their cousin Jessica (Laura Dern). I remember that the USA channel used to show this film a lot on late night weekends. However, I didn't get around to watching it until this morning (I obtained a copy of the DVD from work several months ago).

The movie does a pretty good job of showing both the highs and lows of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. It also drives home the cold, hard fact that the same fans who worship you one minute can turn on you just as quickly if they suspect you of betrayal. Along with a young Diane Lane and Laura Dern, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains also features early film appearances by Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation), award-winning actress Christine Lahti (Chicago Hope) as Dern's mother, Tubes lead singer Fee Waybill as a has-been rocker, and ex-Sex Pistols Paul Cook and Steve Jones as members of a band called The Looters.

For more info on Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, click here. You can also check out the trailer below:

Old School Fridays: Originals vs. Remakes

Because the original is obscure, many are surprised to learn that one of the biggest songs of the 80s ("Mickey" by Toni Basil) is a remake. First recorded by the British group Racey under the title "Kitty" in 1979, Toni Basil did her take later that year. Until I learned that the original version was by a male group, I always wondered about the line in the song "Any way you wanna do it/I'll take it like a man."

Although Toni recorded "Mickey" in 1979, it didn't become a #1 hit and an anthem for cheerleaders everywhere until 1982. You can hear the original and watch the video of Toni's version in the player below.

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.

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

Monday, January 26, 2009

Retro PSA For Forest Fire Prevention

During last week's game of Tuesday Trivia, I had a question asking people to tell me the character that a red-headed actress was best known for playing. There were several guesses, one of which was Joanna Cassidy (above). This caused me to look up Joanna on Wikipedia, where I found out about this 1973 public service announcement that she did advising people to be careful in the forest. The ending is a little creepy, but it makes a strong point.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thank You Gal!

I recently received the "Lemonade" award from The Gal Herself. I discovered her blog during the summer of 2007. In addition to being mutual fans of Paul Newman, we also both participated in the weekly Thursday Thirteen meme. Since that site has been discontinued, we had lost touch. I'm glad she bestowed this on me because it also served as a reminder that I hadn't checked her out in awhile. Thanks for the award Gal!

The Retro Mix Playlist For 1/23/09

7 pm hour

Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)- Sly & the Family Stone
Souvenir- Rubber Rodeo
Good Thing- Fine Young Cannibals
Kinder Words- The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Rendezvous- The Hudson Brothers
I'm Alright- Kenny Loggins
Say You'll Be There- The Spice Girls

Double Retro segment's feat. artist: Herb Alpert
Spanish Flea- Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (released in 1965)
Diamonds- Herb Alpert w/ vocals by Janet Jackson (released in 1987)

Don't You Want Me (1995 remix)- Human League
Running Up That Hill- Kate Bush
Baby Let Me Kiss You- King Floyd
I Feel You- Depeche Mode
Rock the Casbah- The Clash
Are You Lonely- Labelle

8 pm hour

Bang On the Drum All Day- Todd Rundgren
Beautiful Girl- INXS
Groove Thang- Zhané
H.A.P.P.Y. Radio- Edwin Starr
Goin' Back To Cali- LL Cool J
The Deadbeat Club- The B-52's
Love Rollercoaster- The Ohio Players
Zombie- The Cranberries
Truth Hits Everybody- The Police
When Doves Cry- Prince
Rip Her To Shreds- Blondie
Flashlight- Parliament
Rockin' In the Free World- Neil Young

The Retro Mix Video of the Week: The Deadbeat Club by The B-52's

Thursday, January 22, 2009

M.I.A. Kicks A.S.S.

Courtesy of a co-worker who sits next to me in the cube farm, I was turned on to the recording artist M.I.A. Since I had heard the name, but never listened to any of her music, my co-worker let me borrow her copy of M.I.A.'s 2007 CD Kala. I realize that I am late to the M.I.A. party, but hey... at least I came, right?

Because the CD touches on a variety of genres (alternative hip-hop, dance, electronica, etc.), it's hard to classify. If there was a category in the music section titled "Damn good music", Kala would fit in perfectly. It's one of those albums that makes it hard to sit still because the rhythms are infectious. Every time I put it on, I find myself bouncing in my chair and bobbing my head. Some of the highlights on Kala are "Bamboo Banga", "Boyz", "Jimmy", "World Town"... aw hell, the entire album is outstanding!

If you'd like to read more on M.I.A., click here to get to her Wikipedia page. In case you happen to visit her official website, there are parts of it that are very busy (bright flashing colors) so you may want to have a pair of shades nearby.

Below is the video to the "Abbaesque" song "Jimmy".

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Debut of Diversity Ink

As a heads up, I will be one of the contributors to a new blog that is launching on Monday, January 19th. Titled Diversity Ink, the blog will deal with race matters from a variety of angles (personal experiences, current events, pop culture, etc.).

You can reach Diversity Ink by clicking here. I hope that you add us to your blogrolls and are able to take part in the discussions.

Final Results of the R.E.M. Poll

Although Losing My Religion is not in the corner, it is in the spotlight as it received the most votes in the "Favorite R.E.M. song poll". Understandably, many of you mentioned how hard it was to pick a favorite. Because R.E.M. has such an outstanding body of work, it was hard to narrow down the list of songs to include in the poll. Due to the number of quality R.E.M. songs, this was the first time that the "Other" category received so many votes. Apparently three songs included in the poll (Bang and Blame, Drive and The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight) aren't as popular as I thought because they each put up a goose egg in the poll.

Here are the final results:

Losing My Religion- 23%
Other- 20% (the songs mentioned by name were: At Your Most Beautiful, Begin the Begin, Crush with Eyeliner, The Great Beyond, Orange Crush and Radio Song)
It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)- 16%
Everybody Hurts, Fall On Me and What's the Frequency, Kenneth?- 13% each
Man On the Moon, The One I Love and Stand!- 10% each
Radio Free Europe and Shiny Happy People- 6% each
Gardening At Night- 3%
Bang and Blame, Drive and The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight- 0% each

Here is the video for the winning R.E.M. tune, Losing My Religion:

Friday, January 16, 2009

No Show This Friday

Because things have gotten quite hectic, I will not be doing my show on Friday January 16th. However, I hope to be back next Friday January 23rd from 7-9 pm bringing you a mixed bag of music from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Old School Friday: TV Theme Songs

One of the most popular TV partnerships was the teaming of Robert Culp and Bill Cosby on the 1965-1968 series I Spy. For this week's OSF, I'm focusing on the theme songs to two series that Cosby and Culp did separately, post-I Spy. Not only that, but both series feature characters who teach.

The first is the theme to the 1969-1971 sitcom The Bill Cosby Show, in which The Cos played high school gym teacher Chet Kincaid. Although it's been years since I've seen this show, I've never forgotten the funky theme song (written by Cosby and Quincy Jones).

The second theme is to the 1981-1983 fantasy/adventure series The Greatest American Hero starring William Katt as high school teacher Ralph Hinckley and Robert Culp as FBI agent Bill Maxwell. I recall watching this as a kid with my mother. She would always laugh when reluctant superhero Ralph would say "damn!" after one of his crash landings. Although the show itself was never a huge with the Nielsen families, the theme song (Believe It or Not by Joey Scarbury) peaked at #2 on the Billboard pop chart during the summer of 1981.

You can hear both theme songs in the player below.

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.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Please Take A Moment To Vote In the Current R.E.M. Poll... Thank You

Since I was struggling to come up with an idea for my next poll, I checked the book Chase's Calendar of Events for inspiration. When I found out that Michael Stipe turned 49 on January 4th, my dilemma was solved. Instead of doing a birthday post for the lead singer of R.E.M., I decided to ask you to choose your favorite song(s) from their catalog. Since deciding on a favorite song by an artist is about as difficult as a Lost cast member avoiding a DUI charge, you can select more than one R.E.M. tune in the poll.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Tunes: Week 65

This week we were provided a list of drinks and asked to give a song/album/artist that fits that particular drink:

Espresso: Breakfast In Bed by Dusty Springfield

Wine: Spill the Wine by Eric Burdon & War

Beer: Paul Revere by The Beastie Boys

Milk: The Cowsills (the family group appeared in commercials for the American Dairy Association promoting milk)

Water: No More Water In the Well by The Temptations

Tea: Toast and Marmalade for Tea by Tin Tin

Cappuccino: Cappuccino by MC Lyte

Margarita: An American Dream by The Dirt Band

If you'd like to participate, please visit the Music Memoirs site. Be sure to leave the link to your blog in the comments section so that others can check out your list. If you don't have a blog and still would like to participate, you can leave your list in the comments section of this post.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Motown Turns 50

Today marks the 50th anniversary of arguably the most influential record company in pop music history, Motown (founded by Berry Gordy in Detroit back in 1959). Some of my fondest childhood musical memories are hearing songs like The Temptations’ My Girl (whose opening bass line, in terms of recognizability, is the R&B equivalent of the first four notes of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5) , You’re A Wonderful One by Marvin Gaye, Honey Chile by Martha and the Vandellas, If You Can Want by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, I Want You Back by The Jackson Five, and Shotgun by Jr. Walker & the All-Stars on the radio (courtesy of WAMM-AM 1420 out of Flint) and at weekend family get-togethers.

Years later when I went off to college, my friends and I would often have Motown music (via the “Big Chill” compilations and various mix tapes) playing as the backdrop to our dorm parties. I recall jokingly debating with a friend about who was better, The Temptations or The Supremes (my choice was the former). Another recollection is that although those classic Motown tracks were decades old when we were jamming to them, it didn’t matter because great music never goes out of style. For example, Marvin Gaye’s classic album What’s Going On was and still is powerful even though it was released back in 1971.

One of the great aspects about the creation of the CD is that it has caused labels like Motown to make available songs that were either forgotten or never released. Some of the best aural investments I’ve made were when I purchased discs by the aforementioned artists, plus other Motown acts such as Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, The Marvelettes, The Isley Brothers and Mary Wells. In addition to these single-artist discs, I also had the good fortune to come across a various artists two-CD set titled “A Cellarful of Motown”. It consists of 40 tracks from Motown’s vaults, most of which had never seen the light of day. Included in this amazing set were tunes by most of Motown’s major acts, plus gems by such artists as Barbara McNair (Baby A Go-Go), The Contours (Baby Hit and Run), and Chris Clark (Do I Love You). That’s one of the amazing things about Motown; the quality of their material was so high that even their unreleased tracks were superb.

To help set the mood while typing this post, I put together a “Motown Mix” including such tunes as Nowhere to Run by Martha & the Vandellas, Nothing’s Too Good for My Baby by Stevie Wonder and The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game by The Marvelettes. I’m not ashamed to admit that it took me longer than expected to write this post because there were several times when I stopped to clap my hands, snap my fingers, and play “air drums” to some of the greatest music ever created. Now that’s what I call Motown Magic!

What are some of your favorite Motown tunes? Who are your favorite Motown artists?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Retro Mix Returns To the Airwaves

After a holiday hiatus, my radio show (The Retro Mix) returns to the air on Friday, January 16th. For those unfamiliar with my show, I play a wide range of music from the 70s, 80s and 90s. A typical show might feature artists such as Pat Benatar, Green Day, Public Enemy, Steely Dan, TLC, Duran Duran, Al Green, Nirvana, Prince, Suzi Quatro, and Maxwell.

The station where my show airs (WKUF LP, 94.3) has a webstream so you can listen anywhere in the world. My show airs every Friday from 7-9 pm EST. To launch the stream, please visit and click the "Listen to the WKUF webstream" link in the blue box on the right side of the page. To listen, you will need Real Player, Winamp, or iTunes. For those who don't already know, I use an alias (Xavier B) on my radio show.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Web Find: Wait I Know This!

While on an Internet surfing safari earlier this week, I found a new blog that I will surely be visiting on a regular basis... Wait I Know This!. Authored by Eric Chilton, a broadcasting veteran who currently serves as the chief meteorologist at WFMY News 2 (a CBS affiliate in central North Carolina), "Wait I Know This!" goes back in time to revisit our favorite music, movies, and TV shows. Some of the posts I've read so far include ones on Sonny & Cher, Mork & Mindy, Bosom Buddies, and Paul Peterson (Jeff Stone of The Donna Reed Show).

In addition to the blog, Eric also hosts a podcast which is also called "Wait I Know This!". A TV trivia and interview show, Eric and his various co-hosts have had a variety of stars from yesteryear as guests. Some of the performers they've interviewed include Lana Wood (Natalie's sister), Don Grady (Robbie on My Three Sons), Kathy Garver (Cissy on Family Affair), and the aforementioned Paul Peterson. The podcast normally airs live every Sunday night. However, since they did a special "on-location" broadcast this past Friday, the podcast's next episode will be on Sunday January 18th at 6 PM EST. If you miss the live airings, don't worry because you can always listen to the archived shows by going to the blue "Talk Shoe" widget in the upper right corner of the blog.

Whether you grew up during the time when TVs had "rabbit ears" or if you're a member of the cable generation, be sure to check out Wait I Know This! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Elvis, the Actor: A Reevaluation

In honor of what would have been Elvis Presley's 74th birthday, TCM is showing a marathon of his movies on Thursday, January 8th. One of the common misconceptions about Elvis is that he was a lousy actor. Sure, many of his films were a waste of his talent; if Elvis were alive today, he'd probably own up to the fact that Harum Scarum wasn't Citizen Kane. However, it's asking a lot when you think about some of the weak plots/scripts that were put in the Pelvis' lap. For the majority of his post-Army movie career, the plots of Elvis' films were nearly identical:

1. Put him in an exotic locale

2. Have him ogle a bevy of lovely ladies and sing a handful of mediocre tunes

3. Roll the credits

Because of the substandard quality of most of his 1960s pictures, I can envision Elvis throwing a tirade at Col. Tom Parker similar to the one that Jack Lemmon directed at Kevin Spacey in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Elvis (to the Colonel): How do you expect me to become a better actor? With dreck? With this toilet paper you're giving me?

On those rare occasions when Elvis was given decent movie material, he acquitted himself rather nicely. For those doubters, check Elvis out in Jailhouse Rock, Loving You, King Creole, Wild In the Country, Flaming Star, and Roustabout. Another one of his films worthy of another look is the 1969 western Charro. I enjoyed it as a kid, but haven't seen in years; I'd be interested to see if it holds up well.

One of the interesting aspects of Elvis' movie career is the number of films that he was allegedly offered. According to, Elvis was offered roles in such classics as The Defiant Ones (he reportedly would have starred opposite Sidney Poitier in the role that eventually went to Tony Curtis), Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, West Side Story, and True Grit. We can only speculate, but it's interesting to ponder how things may have turned out for Elvis had he been allowed to grow as an actor.

Below is the schedule of Elvis films that TCM will air on his birthday (all times are EST).

7:30 AM King Creole (1958)

A singer with a criminal past gets drawn back into the mob. Cast: Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones, Walter Matthau. Dir: Michael Curtiz. BW-116 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
9:30 AM G.I. Blues (1960)

An American stationed in Germany bets that he can make an icy entertainer fall for him. Cast: Elvis Presley, Juliet Prowse, Robert Ivers Dir: Norman Taurog. C-104 mins, TV-G, CC, Letterbox Format
11:15 AM Blue Hawaii (1961)

A Hawaiian playboy defies his possessive mother to take a job with a tourist agency. Cast: Elvis Presley, Joan Blackman, Angela Lansbury Dir: Norman Taurog. C-101 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
1:00 PM Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)

A Hawaiian fisherman is torn between a sexy nightclub singer and a nice girl with a secret. Cast: Elvis Presley, Stella Stevens, Jeremy Slate Dir: Norman Taurog. C-99 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
2:45 PM Fun in Acapulco (1963)

A trapeze artist tries to use love to conquer his fear of heights. Cast: Elvis Presley, Ursula Andress, Elsa Cardenas Dir: Richard Thorpe. C-97 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
4:30 PM Roustabout (1964)

A female carnival owner hires a hot-blooded young singer to save her touring show. Cast: Elvis Presley, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Freeman. Dir: John Rich. C-101 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
6:15 PM Elvis on Tour (1972)

Extensive concert footage highlights this documentary about the King's touring in the early '70s. Cast: Elvis Presley, James Burton, Glenn D. Hardin. Dir: Robert Abel, Pierre Aldridge. C-93 mins, TV-G, Letterbox Format

Below is the trailer for arguably Elvis' best film, King Creole:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Scrubs Comes To ABC

After 7 seasons on NBC, the hospital sitcom Scrubs made its debut on ABC Tuesday night. Although I tuned in regularly for the first 5 years or so, my viewing had fallen way off in 2006 due to a variety of reasons (NBC jerking it around the schedule, life, blah blah blah). On the rare occasions when I did watch Scrubs as it was winding down its run on NBC, I was a bit disappointed. Although Scrubs hadn't degenerated into a horrible show, it was just mediocre compared to the high standard it set during its first 5 years.

Even though my last time watching Scrubs was a letdown, ABC's steady promotion over the past couple of months had me hyped for the return of J.D., Turk, Elliot, Carla, Dr. Cox, "The Janitor" and the rest of the gang at Sacred Heart Hospital. When I watched the back-to-back episodes tonight, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Scrubs has made a solid return to form. All the trademarks of the series were there: quirky humor, off-the-wall pop culture references, and the ability to walk that tightrope between comedy and seriousness without drifting into "very special episode" territory (curse you Blossom!).

Joining the veteran cast members of Scrubs for a 3 episode stint is Courtney Cox as Dr. Maddox, the new chief of staff (replacing the retired but still hanging out at the hospital Dr. Bob Kelso). Although Dr. Maddox is a lot easier on the eyes, she is just as "profit first, patients a distant second" as her predecessor. Also worthy of note are the additions of Aziz Ansari and Eliza Coupe as two of the new "sucky" interns. Ansari plays Ed (a fanboy who's more interested in texting and discussing the Matrix trilogy than becoming a better doctor) and Coupe portrays the obliviously callous Denise (aka "Jo" because she reminds J.D. of Ms. Polniaczek from The Facts of Life). It was also cool to see Glynn Turman (Cooley High, A Different World) pop up in the 2nd episode as a dying patient.

In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, an article on Scrubs stated that although star Zach Braff and creator Bill Lawrence would be leaving after this season, there was a possibility that the show would continue with a new cast. I've since read an article on in which Sarah Chalke (who plays Elliot) confirms that this will be the last season. I hope that she's right. Eight seasons is a long time for a show and I'd hate to see Scrubs leave me wanting less.

Below is the opening sequence to the 8th season premiere of Scrubs, titled "My Jerks":

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Final Results of the Celebrity First-Time Mom Poll

With a margin of only two votes, Halle Berry edged out Jessica Alba in the recent hot first-time celebrity mom poll. Although her former co-star had a fondness for calling things hot, you apparently don't think that Nicole Richie is sending out any heat because she received no votes.

Here are the final results:

Halle Berry- 40%
Jessica Alba- 32%
Christina Aguilera and "Other"- 8%
Minnie Driver, Jennifer Lopez, and Ashlee Simpson- 4% each
Nicole Richie- 0%
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