Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kristin Chenoweth Gets Gleeful

Over the past few weeks, various bloggers and co-workers have been raving about the new Fox musical comedy series Glee. Based on what I've been hearing, I had planned to give it a look. However, I made sure I didn't miss the September 30th episode because of two words... Kristin Chenoweth. I've been a fan ever since her role as Olive Snook in the brilliant but canceled Pushing Daisies. She's now on my short list (no pun intended) of performers who when I see their name in the credits, I know they alone will make the movie/TV show worth watching.

In the episode of Glee, Kristin guest starred as April Rhodes, a boozy former classmate of Will's with an awesome set of pipes. As expected, Kristin gave her customary kick-ass performance. Below is the clip of her performing the Carrie Underwood song Last Name.




There are talks that Kristin's role on Glee may be recurring (if the producers of the show haven't signed her up for future episodes, they need to get on it yesterday). Even if this is the last we see of Kristin on Glee, I'll be checking it out again. The show sucked me in from the beginning when members of the glee club launched into Journey's Don't Stop Believing. If you want to check out the tunes featured on Glee, you can visit Glee Songs.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Tunes: Week 103


The theme this week is concerts:
What's the best concert you've attended? Lollapalooza '94- The lineup included The Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, The Breeders, George Clinton & the P-Funk All-Stars, and Smashing Pumpkins.


Note: The ticket stub below isn't mine (I found it on Google Images). My stub (for the Saturday show at Pine Knob in Clarkston, MI) is packed away somewhere.










What's your dream concert lineup?
James Brown


















Jackie Wilson






















Otis Redding












Yes, I know they are all dead. This is a dream remember?


Smallest/largest concert you've attended:



Smallest: Felix Cavaliere at a Novi auto show in the early 2000s. It was a fantastic show and I got a chance to meet him and get his autograph (on my 2-CD Rascals Anthology) afterward.




















Largest: The Police at The Palace of Auburn Hills in 2007. One of the cool things about that show was seeing people of various ages (teens through the 50s) in attendance.


















One artist you'd like to see in concert: John Mellencamp- I've heard that he puts on a dynamite show!

Monday, September 28, 2009

R.I.P. L.S.D.

It was announced today that Lucy Vodden died in London last week at the age of 46 after a long battle with lupus. Although she isn't a household name, Vodden was the inspiration for one of the most famous songs of the rock era... The Beatles' psychedelic classic Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds.

Vodden's part in the creation of the Sgt. Pepper track began at the age of 4 when she was schoolmates with Julian Lennon. Just like his famous dad, the young Julian had some artistic talent and drew a picture of his classmate. When Julian brought the drawing home and showed it to his dad, he called it "Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds". Dad took it from there and the rest is, well... you know.

Although the classmates lost touch when Julian left the school after his parent's divorce, the two of them reconnected when Julian learned of Lucy's illness. Once he learned of Lucy's passion for gardening, Julian sent her flowers and vouchers to use at a gardening center near her home. In an effort to lift her spirits, he also sent her text messages on a regular basis.

If you'd like more information on lupus, you can visit the Lupus Foundation of America.

Below is a clip of the song from the 1968 animated feature Yellow Submarine:

Final Results of the Patrick Swayze Movie Poll



With almost half the vote, "Star Wars for Girls" (better known as Dirty Dancing) trounced the competition in the recent poll in which I asked readers to select their favorite Patrick Swayze movies. Although Dirty Dancing's win was predictable, there were some surprises. I was pleased to see To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar do as well in the poll as it did. Even though it was made after Patrick's movie career had peaked and featured him in an atypical role, apparently a lot of people dug it (I did).

The lack of love received by The Outsiders in the poll surprised me a bit too. Greasers usually come out in droves to vote in my polls, but not this time. Maybe there was a Sha Na Na convention taking place somewhere.

Here are the final results:

Dirty Dancing- 46%
Ghost- 27%
To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar- 21%
Point Break- 19%
Red Dawn and Road House- 8% each
The Outsiders- 4%
Other- 0%

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Retro Mix Playlist For 9/25/09


7 pm hour

Up Around the Bend- CCR
Lucky Charm- The Boys
Fantasy- Mariah Carey
The Wizard- Uriah Heep
Girls On Film- Duran Duran
Debbie- The B 52s
Goin' Back To Cali- LL Cool J
Time To Get Down- The Ojays
Family Affair- Sly & the Family Stone

Now & Then segment's feat. artist: Third Eye Blind
Can You Take Me (from their 2009 CD Ursa Major)
Semi Charmed Life (1997)

Fall Out- The Police
Every Time I Think of You- The Babys
Goodbye Seventies- Yaz
Macarena (bayside boys mix)- Los Del Rio
Ashes to Ashes- David Bowie

8 pm hour

No Matter What- Badfinger
Charity Ball- Fanny
Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)- US3
Public Enemy No. 1- Public Enemy
Love Is the Drug- Roxy Music
The Killing Moon- Echo & the Bunnymen
Shout It Out Loud- Kiss

The Guilty Pleasure of the Week:
Wannabe- The Spice Girls

Put Your Mouth On Me- Eddie Murphy
Minute by Minute- The Doobie Brothers
Best Imitation of Myself- Ben Folds Five
Something So Strong- Crowded House
Like the Weather- 10,000 Maniacs
Me & Baby Brother- War
Kiss Me Deadly- Lita Ford

The Retro Mix Video of the Week- Charity Ball by Fanny (clip taken from The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Retro Mix Playlist For 9/18/09


7 pm hour

Upside Down- Diana Ross
People Who Died- The Jim Carroll Band
Rockaway Beach- The Ramones
Are You Gonna Go My Way- Lenny Kravitz
Here With Me- Dido
Where Everybody Knows Your Name (The Theme From "Cheers")- Gary Portnoy
Ain't We Funkin' Now- The Brothers Johnson

The Double Retro segment's feat. artist- Gary "U.S." Bonds
Quarter To Three (1961)
This Little Girl (1981)

She's Sexy + 17- The Stray Cats
How Do You Do- Mouth & MacNeal
Twisted- Keith Sweat
It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me- Barry White
She Drives Me Crazy- Fine Young Cannibals
I Can't Be With You- The Cranberries

8 pm hour

It's Tricky- Run DMC
Wham Rap- Wham!
That's the Way I Like It- KC & the Sunshine Band
He's A Friend- Eddie Kendricks
Sleep To Dream- Fiona Apple
Right Here, Right Now- Jesus Jones
I Won't Let You Down- Ph.D.
Brick House- The Commodores
Sex Type Thing- Stone Temple Pilots
Funny Vibe- Living Colour
Cruel To Be Kind- Nick Lowe
Since Yesterday- Strawberry Switchblade
Perfect Kiss- New Order
Is She Really Going Out With Him?- Joe Jackson
Parental Guidance- Judas Priest

The Retro Mix Video of the Week: Quarter To Three by Gary "U.S." Bonds

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze: 1952-2009

I am sad to write that Patrick Swayze has lost his battle with cancer. He was 57. While standing in the grocery checkout line at the crack of dawn Sunday morning, I saw the cover of The National Enquirer. It had a picture of a sickly Patrick and with a headline stating that he was going home to die. I knew then that his battle would soon be coming to an end. Even though The National Enquirer often has me shaking my head at some of their ridiculous headlines, they have a knack for being on the money when it comes to celebrity mortality.

Patrick Swayze was a rarity. Although he didn't have a string of box office blockbusters akin to a Hanks or a Cruise, his film career was iconic nevertheless. For many fans, they will forever think of him as Johnny Castle, the dancing rebel who pulls Baby from the corner and teaches her how to strut her stuff in Dirty Dancing. For those who may be wondering, I finally did see Dirty Dancing last month. Although it's been aptly referred to as "Star Wars for girls", I enjoyed it. Even though I can be cynical, I am a sucker for a cheesy happy ending and the finale had me bouncing on the couch.


Plus, Dirty Dancing showed that Otis Redding wasn't just a "dock sitter" by including the superb Love Man on the soundtrack.

Then there's Sam Wheat, the spirit who made pottery magic with his widow Molly (Demi Moore) in Ghost.

For many guys I know, it's all about Road House. With lines like "Pain don't hurt", "Take the biggest guy in the world, shatter his knee and he'll drop like a stone", and "A polar bear fell on me", you can't go wrong. Plus, it's got some kick ass fight scenes like this one:






One Swayze film that I think the sexes consensually agree on is The Outsiders.

Although the Robert Frost poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" was recited in the film by Ponyboy as he and Johnny gaze at the beautiful sky, I think the words apply to Patrick as well:

Nature's first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold

Her early leaf's a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Postscript: Shame on me for neglecting to mention Patrick's role as Vida Bohemme in To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar when I originally posted about his death. Even in drag, Patrick could whup some ass!



Final Results of the Recent TV Show On DVD Poll


Proving that nostalgia trumps courtroom intrigue, The Wonder Years narrowly edged out L.A. Law in the recent poll in which I asked you which TV show would you most like to see get a proper DVD release. Because The Wonder Years relied heavily on the use of popular songs from the late 60s/early 70s, music clearance issues is the reason it has never had any "complete season" DVD releases as of yet. As much as I would like to see it released, I rather it remain on the shelf than to see them use generic music as a substitute. Some may not think it's a big deal, but the hit tunes used on The Wonder Years helped set the mood and were a big part of its success.

I hate to see an entry toss up a goose egg on any of the polls, so I'm doubly disappointed because neither Moesha nor The PJs received any love from the voters.

Although there were four votes for "Other", only one person (Penny, who writes the blog The Winter of Our Discontent) provided the name of the show that they wanted to see on DVD (Ally McBeal) in the comments section. She will get her wish because 20th Century Fox is releasing both the 1st season and the complete series on October 6, 2009.

Here are the final results of the poll:

The Wonder Years- 23%
L.A. Law- 20%
Family Matters- 16%
Boston Public, The Six Million Dollar Man, You Can't Do That On Television, and "Other"- 13% each
Any Day Now and China Beach- 10% each
Batman- 6%
Cold Case- 3%
Moesha and The PJs- 0% each

Thanks to everyone who took part in this poll. Your input and comments are always appreciated.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Retro Mix Playlist For 9/11/09


7 pm hour

What's the Frequency Kenneth- R.E.M.
Stop the Violence- Boogie Down Productions
Funky Cold Medina- Tone Loc
Rip Her to Shreds- Blondie
She Don't Use Jelly- The Flaming Lips
The Urban Theme- Maxwell
Driver's Seat- Sniff 'n' the Tears

The Greatest Miss of the Week:
Can the Can- Suzi Quatro (peaked at #56 in 1976)
Metal Guru- T. Rex
Super Freak- Rick James
Freaks Come Out- Whodini
The Winner Takes It All- ABBA
Absolute Beginners- David Bowie
Friend & Lover- The Partridge Family

8 pm hour

Bad Girls- Donna Summer
Steppin' Out- The Gap Band
Should I Stay or Should I Go- The Clash
Tattooed Love Boys- The Pretenders
Only the Lonely- The Motels
Kung Fu- Curtis Mayfield
Wishing Well- Terence Trent D'Arby
Car Wash- Rose Royce

The Guilty Pleasure of the Week:
Barbie Girl- Aqua

Looking for Clues- Robert Palmer
Living for the City- Stevie Wonder
Shimmer- Throwing Muses
The Oldest Story In the World- The Plimsouls
Wild World- Maxi Priest
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap- AC/DC

The Retro Mix Video of the Week: Funky Cold Medina by Tone Loc


Friday, September 11, 2009

Little House On the Prairie Turns 35


On this day back in 1974, one of TV's most enduring dramas (Little House On the Prairie) premiered on NBC. During its primetime run, I foolishly dismissed Little House On the Prairie as a bunch of pioneer B.S.  I used to say  to myself, "How is this show relevant to me?"

My feelings about the show changed several years later when TBS aired back-to-back episodes during its weekday morning lineup in the late 1980s.  I started watching it and discovered that it was a damn good show.  Some may find it corny, but I liked the messages that Little House On the Prairie stressed such as the importance of family and showing compassion for others.  I also enjoyed that the show balanced the general likability of the Ingalls family and a majority of the residents of Walnut Grove with the nastiness of Harriet Oleson and her daughter Nellie.  I still feel sorry for the patriarch of the Oleson family (Nels) because he was such an easygoing guy who deserved a better fate than to have Harriet for a wife and Nellie for a daughter.  Some of my favorite moments of Little House On the Prairie was when Nels showed some backbone and stood up to Harriet.

What I like most about Little House is that the Ingalls family didn't take shit from anybody.  Although you would be hard pressed to find a TV family more wholesome than the Ingalls, if you messed with them or those they cared about... you were gonna pay.  Below are some of my favorite moments of justice, "Ingalls" style:
  • Mary slapping the shit out of Nellie for insinuating that Mary's mother Caroline was having an affair.
  • Charles calling out Harriet in church because of the malicious gossip that she spread about some of the residents of Walnut Grove in the column she wrote for the town newspaper.
  • Laura's reaction when she learned that Nellie had been faking an injury after falling off of her horse.  This scene is still one of the funniest I have ever seen.  You can watch it below.


Due to its setting, Little House On the Prairie was never "cool" nor trendy.  Ironically though, because the overall message of the show will never go out of style, Little House On the Prairie continues to thrive while shows that were once hot like Dynasty and Miami Vice have fallen by the wayside.

If you are a fan of Little House On the Prairie, what are some of your favorite episodes/moments from the series?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Please Take A Moment To Vote In the Current TV Show On DVD Poll... Thank You


Note: Although 5 episodes of The Wonder Years are available on DVD (via two "Best of" collections), I included it in the poll because there has never been a complete season release of the series as of yet.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Retro Mix Playlist For 9/4/09

7 pm hour

Hot Blooded- Foreigner
Candyman- Mary Jane Girls
2 Legit 2 Quit- Hammer
Right On Time- The Brothers Johnson
Life In A Northern Town- The Dream Academy
Candy Everybody Wants- 10,000 Maniacs
Pop Muzik- M

Now & Then segment's featured artist: Whitney Houston
For the Lovers (from her new CD I Look To You)
How Will I Know (1985)

Let It Flow- Grover Washington Jr.
Welcome Back- John Sebastian
Under the Milky Way- The Church
Play At Your Own Risk- Planet Patrol

8 pm hour

Walk Like An Egyptian- The Bangles
Crippled Inside- John Lennon
One Night In Bangkok- Murray Head
Don't Fall In Love- Tony Toni Tone
Where Have All the Cowboys Gone- Paula Cole
I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips- Eric Carmen
Got To Give It Up- Marvin Gaye

With or Without You segment's featured artist: Ric Ocasek
You Might Think- The Cars
Emotion In Motion (solo)

Because of Love- Janet Jackson
AEIOU Sometimes Y-  EBN-OZN
The Humpty Dance- Digital Underground
Love Removal Machine- The Cult

The Retro Mix Video of the Week: Pop Muzik by M


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mount Rushmore: Sitcoms


For the 4th installment of my periodic series in which I select who/what I think are the 4 ultimate in a given category, I'm focusing on sitcoms.  Because there are so many shows I feel are worthy of being up on this Mount Rushmore, it was hard as hell narrowing it down to just 4.  Please note that these aren't necessarily my favorite sitcoms.  However, when it comes to quality and influence, the following four represent the ultimate for me.

1. I Love Lucy- Because it's never been off the air since it debuted in 1951, it's easy to take I Love Lucy for granted.  Even if you are like a certain sitcom character who claims to have never watched a single episode of I Love Lucy, you probably are familiar with the word "Vitameatavegamin".















2. All In the Family- Contrary to the title of the Gil Scott-Heron song, the revolution was televised when All In the Family hit the airwaves in 1971.  AITF put a comedic spin on a variety of previously taboo sitcom topics  (racism, homosexuality, menopause, etc.) without being preachy.  It also began the trend of American sitcom producers looking to the U.K. for inspiration.















3. The Cosby Show- When a show is indirectly responsible for resurrecting an entire genre, it's got to be on the list.  During its debut season (1984-85), The Cosby Show was one of only 6 sitcoms to rank in the top 20. A season later, that number nearly doubled.  Case closed.











4. Seinfeld- Featuring some of the most dysfunctional characters in sitcom history, "No hugging, no learning" was thankfully the rule in the Seinfeld universe.  Can you imagine Jerry, Kramer, and Elaine consoling George after the death of his fiancĂ©e Susan as the studio audience lets out a collective "Awww"?.  Me neither.











What four sitcoms would make your Mount Rushmore?