Friday, May 29, 2009

Retro Commercials: The Monkees Pimp For Kellogg's

For awhile now, I have been meaning to bring back a feature that I used to do regularly on my blog... the retro commercial. Since I haven't done this feature since last fall, I thought I'd return with a vengeance and bring you not one commercial, but six!!

The commercials below were all spots The Monkees did for Kellogg's, one of the sponsors of their TV show. I discovered these when I bought the season one DVD set to The Monkees (they are included as special features). Luckily, someone (Hannah4Monkees) combined them all into one You Tube clip. Not only does watching these spots make me hungry for a Jethro Bodine-sized bowl of Rice Krispies (with a heaping help of sugar), but they also put me in the mood to hear some of those cardboard records of Monkee tunes that Kellogg's would sometimes include on the back of cereal boxes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Final Results of the Recent James Bond Theme Poll

The title song to Roger Moore's last outing as 007 came out on top in the recent "James Bond theme" poll. Although I expected it to finish in first, the performances of two themes in particular were surprising to me. I didn't think Nobody Does It Better would do as well as it did and I was surprised that Goldfinger didn't get more votes. That opening is hard to deny ... dum-dum-ba-ba-dah!!

It was cool to see some of the lesser known themes in the JB catalog receive some recognition as well (License to Kill by Gladys Knight, Diamonds Are Forever by Shirley Bassey, and All Time High by Rita Coolidge to name a few).

Here are the final results:

A View to A Kill by Duran Duran- 40%
Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney & Wings and Nobody Does It Better by Carly Simon- 27% each
Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey- 13%
Die Another Day by Madonna and For Your Eyes Only by Sheena Easton- 4% each
Other- 9%

Below is the video for the winning theme:

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Retro Mix Playlist For 5/22/09

7 pm hour

Grease- Frankie Valli
Only A Lad- Oingo Boingo
Missionary Man- Eurythmics
Sumthin' Sumthin'- Maxwell
Love Train- The Ojays
Sexy Eyes- Dr. Hook
Run To You- Bryan Adams

Now & Then segment's feat. artist: Depeche Mode
Fragile Tension (from their 2009 CD Sounds of the Universe)
Policy of Truth (1989)

Thank God It's Friday- Love & Kisses
Sanctify Yourself- Simple Minds
Inbetweener- Sleeper
Back On My Feet Again- The Babys
Say No Go- De La Soul

8 pm hour

Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo- Rick Derringer
Fancy Dancer- The Commodores
Take On Me- A-ha
Jimmy Loves Mary Anne- Josie Cotton
Cream- Prince & the New Power Generation
Long Time Coming- Ready For the World
Moonlight Feels Right- Starbuck

The Guilty Pleasure of the Week:
I Want It That Way- The Backstreet Boys

The Men All Pause- Klymaxx
Is It Love- Mr. Mister
Theme from Shaft- Isaac Hayes
What A Fool Believes- The Doobie Brothers
Happy Birthday- Altered Images
Give It Away- Red Hot Chili Peppers

Programming note: my show will not air on Friday, 5/29. It will return the following Friday (6/5).

The Retro Mix Video of the Week: Happy Birthday by Altered Images

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

American Idol Season 8: Is The Outcome A Done Deal Like Some Think?

Kris Allen and Adam Lambert

Although I normally don't follow American Idol, I've lately become intrigued by the eventual outcome of season 8. Based on what I'd been reading, it sounded like Adam Lambert had the A.I. crown sewn up tighter than those pants he likes to wear. For most of this season, pretty much everything I've heard in relation to the contestants has been about Adam. Hell, I didn't even know the name of the other finalist (Kris Allen) until I read the recent Entertainment Weekly cover story about Adam.

Once I read the EW article, I began to think that maybe it isn't a guarantee that Adam will take the top prize. This is because the writer of the article posed the following question: can an openly gay contestant win American Idol? The thought that a gay contestant couldn't win American Idol had never occurred to me, but the writer could be on to something. Having said that, both the writer and I realize that Adam hasn't officially come out (even though he has admitted that the photos of him kissing another man are real). Some may say, "duh, of course he's gay!" However, until he confirms that he is or isn't, all we can really do is speculate.

Of course, Adam's assumed sexuality shouldn't matter; but we know it does to some people. The thing is, will it matter to enough voters to cause Adam to lose? The question posed by the EW writer makes me now wonder about Clay Aiken's surprising (to me anyways) loss to Ruben Studdard during season 2. Don't get me wrong, I think Ruben was a deserving winner. However, all the buzz I was hearing led me to believe that Clay had the title in the bag. Since I don't remember, I'm depending on you longtime A.I. fans to answer a couple of questions for me. Were there rumors about Clay's sexuality when he was a contestant on A.I? If so, do you think the rumors kept him from winning?

Anyway, I'm looking forward to finding out how the season finale of A.I. plays out. For the record, I think Adam is going to win. Even though I feel that he fucked up Steppenwolf's biker anthem Born To Be Wild, I'm going with the buzz factor that surrounds him. Plus, his slowed down rendition of Tears For Fears' Mad World was superb. Even if Kris Allen does prevail, it may not have anything to do with viewers reluctant to vote for an assumed gay contestant. The EW writer also raised an interesting point when he said that voters generally prefer that A.I. contestants be humble (which could play in Kris' favor).

Do you think it's a lock that Adam Lambert will be crowned "American Idol"? If he loses, will it be due to his assumed sexuality or because of the "humble Kris" factor?

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Retro Mix Playlist For 5/15/09

7 pm hour

Call Me- Blondie
Principal's Office- Young MC
Addams Groove- Hammer
The Belle of St. Mark- Sheila E.
Things Can Only Get Better- Howard Jones
Voyeur- Kim Carnes
No Rain- Blind Melon

With or Without You segment’s feat. Artist: Keith Richards
Happy- The Rolling Stones
Take It So Hard- Keith Richards

Is It Love- Bob Marley
Unconditional Love- Donna Summer
Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)- The Offspring
Mad About You- Belinda Carlisle
Kung Fu Fighting- Carl Douglas
Sunshine- The Partridge Family

8 pm hour

Big Time- Peter Gabriel
Drive Me Wild- Vanity 6
Bullet With Butterfly Wings- Smashing Pumpkins
Cherry Bomb- John Cougar Mellencamp
Flashlight- Parliament
Walk the Dinosaur- Was (Not Was)
There She Goes- The La's
Driver's Seat- Sniff 'n' the Tears

Greatest Miss of the Week:
Heaven (Must Be There)-Eurogliders (peaked at #65 in 1984)

Take Me Home Tonight- Eddie Money
Tragedy- The Bee Gees
AEIOU Sometimes Y- EBN OZN
Black Cat- Janet Jackson

The Retro Mix Video of the Week: Heaven (Must Be There) by Eurogliders

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Birthday David Byrne

On Thursday May 14th, multi-hyphenate David Byrne turns 57 years old. In addition to being the founding member and main songwriter of Talking Heads, Byrne is a visual artist, a sometime actor, and an author. Plus, he rocks an oversized suit like no one else!

Because I'm a listomaniac, here are my top 5 Talking Heads tunes:

1. Nothing But Flowers
2. Life During Wartime (This Ain't No Party... This Ain't No Disco... This Ain't No Foolin' Around)
3. Once In A Lifetime
4. Girlfriend Is Better
5. Psycho Killer

What are your favorite songs by Talking Heads/David Byrne?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Tunes: Week 81

A little 3, 2, 1 Countdown

3 songs you can't get enough of right now

Ashes by Embrace

Did You See Me Coming? by Pet Shop Boys

You Get What You Give by New Radicals

2 artists you'd like to recommend to us.

Judee Sill- A first-rate singer/songwriter from the early 1970s, Sill only released two albums during her short lifetime.

JoBoxers- A British-American pop band fronted by U.S. born Dig Wayne (far right) and best known for their hit Just Got Lucky, they released two albums before calling it quits in 1985.

JoBoxers- Is This Really the First Time:

1 album you can't wait to purchase:

None... I don't buy albums/CDs anymore

Monday, May 11, 2009

Final Results of the Recent Sid and Marty Krofft Poll

In convincing fashion, the show that brought us a dragon mayor with a country twang and a talking flute named Freddy received the most votes in the recent poll asking you to select your favorite Sid and Marty Krofft series. Coming in a distant 2nd was Land of the Lost with 40% of the vote. Sadly, no fans of Magic Mongo, D.C. Follies, or Pryor's Place showed up, because they each received zero votes. I don't vote in the polls myself anymore. Otherwise, I would have showed all three shows some love. Especially Magic Mongo. After all, he's the only friend that we'll ever need.

If you are a fan of the Sid and Marty Krofft shows and don't already own it, you should check out the book Pufnstuf & Other Stuff. Although it's out-of-print, you may be able to find used copies by clicking here.

By the way, have any of you ever tried to describe the plot of one of Sid and Marty Krofft's shows to someone... only to be greeted with a "what the hell have you been smoking?!" look?

Here are the final poll results:

H.R. Pufnstuf- 60%
Land of the Lost- 40%
ElectraWoman & DynaGirl and Sigmund & the Sea Monsters- 35% each
The Bugaloos & Wonderbug- 20% each
Lidsville- 15%
Dr. Shrinker, Far Out Space Nuts, The Lost Saucer, and "Other"- 10% each
D.C. Follies, Magic Mongo, and Pryor's Place- 0% each

Below is the opening credits sequence to the winning show:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Retro Mix Playlist For 5/8/09

7 pm hour

The Boys Are Back In Town- Thin Lizzy
Just Be Yourself- Cameo
(Keep Feeling) Fascination- Human League
M.P.E.- Public Enemy
Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)- Joe Tex
You Spin Me 'Round (Like A Record)- Dead or Alive
A Moment to Myself- Macy Gray

On the Flip Side segment:
Stand On It- Bruce Springsteen (B-side to Glory Days)

Burning Love- Elvis Presley
Bad Company- Bad Company
Steamy Windows- Tina Turner
Cool for Cats- Squeeze
Tenderness- General Public
Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime- The Korgis
Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody- Brick

8 pm hour

Dangerous- Roxette
Rocket 2 U- The Jets
The Humpty Dance- Digital Underground
Love Is Like Oxygen- Sweet
In the Street- Big Star
Take Me to Heart- Quarterflash
One Headlight- The Wallflowers

Now & Then segment's feat. artist: Pet Shop Boys
Did You See Me Coming? (from their March 2009 release, Yes)
What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1988, featuring Dusty Springfield)

Major Tom (Coming Home)- Peter Schilling
Superfly- Curtis Mayfield
Sister Fate- Sheila E.
Photograph- Def Leppard

The Retro Mix Video of the Week: Cool for Cats by Squeeze

Friday, May 8, 2009

Old School Friday: Favorite Soul Train Performance

Growing up, one of my favorite Saturday rituals was checking out the show that was dubbed "The Hippest Trip In America". Although the "Soul Train Line" and the "Soul Train Scramble Board" were a big part of the show, the main attraction for me was the artists who stopped by to perform. Out of the countless Soul Train performances I've seen over the years, Joe Tex' appearance in which he performs his 1977 hit Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman) sticks out as one of the most memorable. Not only do I love the song, but the end of the performance is pretty funny. Thinking back, I recall being a bit startled when I first saw the end of the performance.

Monday, May 4, 2009

TCM Presents Latino Images In Film During May

As part of its annual "Race & Hollywood" series, Turner Classic Movies presents Latino Images in Film every Tuesday and Thursday nights in May starting at 8 PM EST. Hosted by TCM's own Robert Osborne and film historian Chon Noriega, the 32 film retrospective traces the evolution of how Latinos have been portrayed (both positively and negatively) on the big screen. Some of the highlights include:

Tortilla Flat (1942)- An adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel about a group of paisanos (fellows/countrmen) who live on the California coast, this movie stars John Garfield, Spencer Tracy, and Hedy Lamarr.

Giant (1956)- Starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and in his final big screen role, James Dean, a major subplot of this epic is the racism against Mexican-Americans in Texas.

Blackboard Jungle (1955)- One of the earliest films about juvenile delinquency, this movie features Raphael Campos as student Pete Morales.

Stand and Deliver (1988)- This fact-based story stars Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante, a dedicated high school math instructor who successfully teaches his underachieving students calculus.

My Family (1995)- Tracing three generations of a Mexican-American family, this drama features Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales, and Jennifer Lopez.

For a complete list of movies that TCM will feature in the Latino Images in Film festival, as well as other information on the retrospective, please click here.

Please Take A Moment To Vote In the Current Sid & Marty Krofft Poll... Thank You!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The 2009 TV Land Awards

Since I have dogged out TV Land over the past few years for some of their programming decisions, it's only fair to give 'em props when they do something right. I don't know if any of you caught it, but the 2009 TV Land Awards (which first aired on Sunday, April 26) was outstanding! Here's a summary of some of my favorite moments:

*Host Neil Patrick Harris (who is quickly becoming one of my favorite entertainers). In addition to his hosting duties, Neil also did a Billy Crystalesque montage at the top of the show in which he appeared as cast members in TV series from the past and present.

* Cast reunions of TV series such as M*A*S*H, Home Improvement (where the hell are you Jonathan Taylor Thomas?), Married with Children, and Knots Landing.

* A "live blogging" bit where Neil would periodically read the online "comments" by someone watching the telecast and then reveal that they were "made" by a celebrity in the audience.

* The performance by Earth, Wind and Fire (winners of the "Entertainers" award) to close the show.

*Even with all this, my favorite part of the event was the tribute to Sid and Marty Krofft (who won the "Pop Culture" award), complete with an elaborate production number featuring the themes to many of their Saturday morning live-action shows. You can watch it below:

In case you missed the 2009 TV Land Awards, you may be able to catch a rebroadcast of it on the cable channel. You can also click the The 2009 TV Land Awards link to watch highlights of the event.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

TCM Airs One Potato, Two Potato

On Saturday May 2nd/Sunday May 3rd at 1 am EST, Turner Classic Movies airs the 1964 drama One Potato, Two Potato. Starring Barbara Barrie ("Nana" on Suddenly Susan), Bernie Hamilton (Capt. Dobey in the series Starsky and Hutch), and Richard Mulligan (Soap and Empty Nest), the film is one of the earliest to deal with interracial marriage. Barrie stars as a white divorcée with a young daughter who marries a black co-worker (Hamilton). Things are fine until her ex-husband (Mulligan) returns and sues for full custody of their daughter, claiming that a mixed racial household is an improper environment to raise the child.

I saw this film years ago on cable and really enjoyed it. If you've seen One Potato, Two Potato already or check it out tonight, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

The Retro Mix Playlist For 5/1/09

7 pm hour

New Years Day- U2
City Song (NY State of the World)- Luscious Jackson
Jungle Boogie- Kool & the Gang
He's A Friend- Eddie Kendricks
Steppin' Out- Joe Jackson
The Metro- Berlin
Delirious- Prince
WooHah!! Got You All In Check- Busta Rhymes

The Greatest Miss of the Week:
Ways To Be Wicked- Lone Justice (peaked at #71 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985)

Love the One You're With- Stephen Stills
In My Dreams- Dokken
Round and Round- Ratt
Change- Blind Melon
Fade Into You- Mazzy Star
Don't Knock My Love- Wilson Pickett

8 pm hour

Relax- Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Wet My Whistle- Midnight Star
Best of My Love- The Emotions
Little Green Bag- The George Baker Selection
Tribute to Bea Arthur: The Theme from Maude- Donny Hathaway
On and On- Erykah Badu
Tennessee- Arrested Development
Da Da Da I Don't Love You Don't Love Me Aha Aha Aha- Trio

With or Without You segment's feat. artist: John Fogerty
Lookin' Out My Back Door- CCR
The Old Man Down the Road- John Fogerty

Wild Night- John Mellencamp and Me'shell Ndegeocello
Will the Wolf Survive- Los Lobos
Kitty- Racey
Sheena Is A Punk Rocker- The Ramones
Heatseeker- AC/DC

The Retro Mix Video of the Week: Wild Night by John Mellencamp and Me'shell Ndegeocello

Friday, May 1, 2009

TCM Star of the Month: Sean Connery

For the month of May, TCM will pay tribute to the work of Sean Connery with a 15 film retrospective. Six of those films are from the "James Bond" franchise and will be airing for the first time on TCM. The Connery tribute airs every Friday this month (3 films a night), starting at 8 pm EST and kicks off with 007 double feature, Dr. No (the first Bond film) and its followup From Russia with Love. In case you miss them, TCM will be repeating Dr. No and From Russia with Love on Saturday 5/2 starting at 2 PM EST. For a profile on the Oscar-winning actor and a list of the films TCM will show, please click here.
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