Saturday, July 8, 2017

Tired of the Summer of Love?

Remember the Troggs and "Wild Thing"? If you do, read on.

It's the summer of 1967. The Beatles have become Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; America's feeling up, up and away at the same time that the wind is crying Mary and urging us to break on through to the other side.

The Troggs from Nowheresville in England release "Love Is All Around" in October 1967, a gigantically uncharacteristic number for them and a smash hit all over the world. The album released in the U.S. in 1968 gathered up hits and misses from 1966 and 1967 and was a slightly sinister antidote to those who believed that all you need is love.

The "Love Is All Around" album from Fontana in 1968 is unavailable from Spotify, but you can easily piece it together from YouTube and other sources. Well worth a listen if your sweet tooth has been bothering you lately.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Up the Junction

Hey psychedelic rangers, don't let this one pass you by.

Manfred Mann's soundtrack for the film, "Up the Junction" -

Released in February 1968 as the score to a very gritty UK melodrama, it's totally in the Traffic - Family - Pink Floyd mood of the times. Spacey melodic songs and universally excellent jazz/psych instrumentals. It's Herbie Hancock's "Blow-Up" soundtrack meets Syd Barrett's Floyd. Who knew? This was the band known best for "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy."

Prepare yourself for a most enjoyable listening experience.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Who blacklisted whom?

One of the political Left's favorite bedtime stories is about the Hollywood Blacklist. Kudos to Allan Ryskind in his new book, "Hollywood Traitors," for finally blowing that tired old myth out of the water.
For those who still doubt, the book includes the Communist Party card numbers of every one of the late, lamented Hollywood Ten and records in great detail their efforts to steer films Joe Stalin's way.
For further proof, try to find a copy of their greatest hit, the 1943 Warner Brothers film, "Mission to Moscow," which ends with an avuncular Comrade Stalin talking about all the Soviet Union's great accomplishments under his leadership. There's even a delightful scene at the Moscow show trials where the defendant calmly points the finger at himself and the hero of the film, U.S. Ambassador Joseph Davies, praises the trials for meeting the norms of international law. It would be almost comic if you were unaware of the millions of dead that lay strewn in Stalin's wake.
As you can well imagine, Warner Brothers celebrates that film about as much as the New York Times recalls Walter Duranty's Pulitzer for looking the other way when Stalin was busily at work.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Avoiding the rush to war

Kudos to former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for this clear-eyed analysis of America's increasing rush to war in his new memoirs:

"... In recent decades, presidents confronted with tough problems abroad have too often been too quick to reach for a gun. Our foreign and national security policy has become too militarized, the use of force too easy for presidents.

"Today, too many ideologues call for U.S. force as the first option rather than a last resort. On the left, we hear about the 'responsibility to protect' civilians to justify military intervention in Libya, Syria, Sudan and elsewhere. On the right, the failure to strike Syria or Iran is deemed an abdication of U.S. leadership. And so the rest of the world sees the U.S. as a militaristic country quick to launch planes, cruise missiles and drones deep into sovereign countries or ungoverned spaces. There are limits to what even the strongest and greatest nation on Earth can do—and not every outrage, act of aggression, oppression or crisis should elicit a U.S. military response."


Friday, August 9, 2013

Heavy Stones night

On the turntable this evening:

The Rolling Stones Now!

No Stone Unturned

Between the Buttons (UK)

Ruby Tuesday b/w Let's Spend the Night Together

We Love You b/w Dandelion

We Love You (John and Paul vocal backing track)

Steel Wheels

The Rolling Stones Songbook by the Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra (to come down to earth)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dry martini, anyone?

With warm weather finally upon us, Paul Desmond's glorious "From the Hot Afternoon" album is the perfect soundtrack. Desmond who made his chops playing alto saxophone with Dave Brubeck dropped this bossa nova gem on an unsuspecting public in 1969.

Desmond explained his gorgeous sax tone to an interviewer this way: "I had the vague idea that I wanted to sound like a dry martini."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Keep The Summer Alive

I feel good about being an American this summer, and my summer soundtrack is going to be the new Beach Boys' album, "That's Why God Made the Radio." Yeah, it's been decades since Brian and Mike made a record together, and they're all pushing 70. But as someone wiser than me said 30-plus years ago, keep the summer alive. And keep on dancin'.