Friday, December 05, 2003

Guess what? Today was a lot like yesterday, full of errands and so on and so forth. So I'm not finding myself with much time in front of the butterfly curtains as a result. Sigh. And right now I'm typing this at the radio station, keeping one ear on the high school basketball game we're broadcasting, so I can play commercial spots during timeouts, at halftime, and to put the station back on the music schedule when they're over. If you'd like to listen, you can go here.

I have, however, picked up one or two interesting things over the last few days, most notably the latest issue of Mojo magazine (the link should be good until Dec. 15), which is full of excellent articles about such diverse subjects as the Band, Bob Dylan, the Beatles and the shift in focus from psychedelia to a more rustic, back-to-basics sound in 1969 plus a review and piece on the recent re-release of Let It Be, an interview with OutKast in which Big Boi gets off the plane in London, all het up to meet Kate Bush, of all people; a fascinating feature on Fleetwood Mac's 1979 album Tusk, especially since it's one of my favorite albums. Plus, it comes with a not-quite-all-inclusive "best of 2003" CD, which features some interesting music from the likes of Louisville, KY's own My Morning Jacket, The Black Keys, Johnny Cash, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Uncle Tupelo (tracks from reissues are included). I had gotten out of my Mojo habit for a while there, but I have been a regular reader again for the last few months. I can't really afford it, but hey.

I also made another foolish purchase, the DVD of the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol (titled Scrooge) starring Alastair Sim in what has to be one of the best performances in the history of cinema. The movie's available on this disc in its gloriously oppressive B&W version, as well as the abominable colorized version, which I'll only watch at gunpoint, and not even then without a fight. Patrick (John Steed) MacNee has a small role in the picture, and introduces it here on this disc. I've written about this film, about a year ago in my "favorite Christmas movies and TV shows" list, but I just wanted to share.

I also watched an odd film last night- Valentino, by Ken Russell and starring Rudolph Nureyev as the title character, the "World's Greatest Lover" of the silent era. As is typical with a Russell film, its full of excessive visuals- sometimes vulgar and crass, sometimes quite beautiful- and he gets a decent, not great, but serviceable performance from Nureyev (who as an actor makes a great dancer) as well as Michelle Phillips as his possessive, pretentious, career-driven wife. Also making a positive impression on me was Felicity Kendall as casting agent June Mathis, who is always looking out for the cocky but naive Valentino. Not a great film, and in fact I didn't care for it when I saw it years and years ago, but for some reason I got caught up in it when I watched last night so I suppose my standards just aren't as high as they used to be. I'll leave that up to you, gentle reader. It must be Ken Russell Tribute Month on pay cable; not only has Valentino been airing, but also his nutball 1988 monster movie Lair of the White Worm, the reserved (for him) Women in Love, and his overripe take on the events leading up to the writing of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, 1986's Gothic. The Russell film I want to see, but have never had the opportunity, is his 1975 opus Lisztomania!. If I could only have seen it once for every five times I've seen his overwrought Tommy, I'd be happy. Russell misses more often than he hits (to me) but when he does hit, it's always worthwhile and often spectacular.

OK, guess that's all I got for tonight. Tomorrow, I intend to post new comics reviews, and of course those football predictions that I'm sure a breathless nation is awaiting.

Until then, in the words of Mick and Keef, "May every song you sing be your favorite tune".

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