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Found 12 results

  1. Joe Cocker's passing reminded me of this version of Dylan's "Just Like a Woman". This is such a soul full rendition: Always liked it. ...and come to think of it...a beautiful sexy version by Roberta Flack jeez I like that song!!!
  2. Yes, but was he the best defensive SS since Mark Belanger? It's kind of sad when you win 8 Gold Gloves, and are only the second-best left-sided infielder on your team, arguably only the second-best defensive shortstop in your team's history (Luis Aparicio is more famous), and nobody even remembers who you are despite playing as recently as 32 years ago. (Of course, Belanger is (unfortunately) deceased, and also had a career batting average of something like .032.) It's okay, Mark - *I* remember you. What's interesting about Smith and Belanger (and no, I don't honestly think Belanger was as good as Smith) is that they both played very vertical - [brooks] Robinson and Simmons play more horizontally, if that makes any sense. Yeah, both SSs had excellent lateral range, but they just "looked" like they were playing up-and-down as opposed to side-to-side. [BTW, I welcome people who grew up loving other teams to write about them and their players. All views welcome here, and the more information, the better.]
  3. Sadly, Tom Seaver has dementia. Tom Terrific, the Greatest Met ever, star pitcher of the '69 World Champion Mets, who surprised all of baseball with one of the most amazing upsets of all time, beating the Powerful Orioles in the '69 World Series, Seaver is usually described as one of the all time great pitchers in baseball. Yeah...so I was a Yankees fan growing up...but as the '69 Mets taught us--"Ya gotta believe"
  4. ESPN SportsCentury Documentary on Stan "The Man" Musial - the legendary hitter from "way out west" in St. Louis - perennially underrated due to his distal locale, but beloved by connoisseurs of the game as one of the all-time greats. Stan Musial: superstar, role model. In case anyone notices the discrepancy between the duration of Musial's Career (22 years) and that he's a 24-time All-Star, it's because from 1959-1962, MLB played two All-Star Games a year. "Stan Musial is geographically challenged - had he played his career in New York, we would have called him Lou Gehrig." -- John Thorn
  5. I was reading about "This Land Is Your Land," and didn't realize that Woody Guthrie had sarcastically written it in 1940 because he was tired of hearing Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" - instead of the lyrics, "This land was made for you and me," the article implies that the lyrics were originally, "God blessed America for me" (which has the same number of syllables and the same cadence). I suspect that many of today's younger Americans are more familiar with the terrifically wonderful parody, "This Land," released in 2004 by the company, Jib-Jab. Read on after the video for some surprising detail about the "real" song by Guthrie; in the meantime, take a stroll down memory lane and enjoy this fantastic piece of work: Now that you've been grinning from ear-to-ear, let me tell you something interesting about Guthrie's song: There is a fascinating and controversial stanza in the original, 1940 version, which Guthrie sings below: Was a high wall there that tried to stop me A sign was painted said: Private Property, But on the back side it didn't say nothing — God blessed America for me. [This land was made for you and me.] And the final stanza of the 1940 version which changes the song's entire fabric - this is a shocking and sobering set of words, which is not included in the 1944 version. The true, original meaning of this song was most certainly not unbridled, rah-rah patriotism - I've never heard Guthrie actually sing the version which included these lyrics: One bright sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple By the Relief Office I saw my people — As they stood hungry, I stood there wondering if God blessed America for me. [This land was made for you and me.] This is Guthrie singing his 1944 version:
  6. There is a long-forgotten type of Hollywood movie: The Film Serial, popular in the first half of the twentieth century - it was almost like a TV series, except that it took place in movie theaters. One subject was explored, in a series of short films (often 20-30 minutes long), presented as "chapters in a book," so to speak. "Black Arrow" was a film serial released in 1944, and consists of fifteen chapters. The star was Robert Scott, whose real name was Mark Roberts, and "Black Arrow" would be the only starring role of his entire acting career. I watched episode number one: "The City of Gold," which takes place in 1865. It deals with carpetbaggers who arrived in the South too late to join the money party, so they packed up and headed for "The Five Cities of Cibola" (which, in reality, were seven cities, allegedly in Navajo country in New Mexico, and (supposedly) filled with gold for the taking). <--- This is the current territory of the Navajo nation. If you've visited the Four Corners marker - the only point in the United States where four states touch - you've probably seen Native Americans selling Fry Bread on the side of the road: These Native Americans are Navajos, or should be. The last time I went - I've been twice - I bought some at a roadside stand for just a dollar or two, and the kindly lady fried it to order - it was absolutely delicious (albeit not the healthiest thing in the world, as it's made with lard), and didn't need any toppings at all (you can sometimes get them with powdered sugar or honey on top). If you're there, and see it, make sure to buy it and try it: This is the authentic product, and a genuine Navajo staple - you can read about it in the link just above. Also, if you're ever visiting the Grand Canyon, and stumble across a dive roadside Tex-Mex restaurant, you can sometimes find quasi-sandwiches consisting of things like beef, frijoles, cheese, lettuce, tomato (well, essentially a taco salad), but these are placed atop a piece of fry bread which is folded in half and eaten something like a falafel on pita, or an open burrito - if you see this, get it, as your culinary choices in this region are very limited, and this makes for a really tasty and satisfying meal. (See? We really *are* a food site at heart!) Trivia: Fry Bread was named the "Official State Bread" of South Dakota in 2005, the same year this community was founded - I kid you not. This thread, up until this point, must sound *really* weird, because it deals with multiple subjects that people simply aren't familiar with. That's one of the reasons it fascinates me. If you watch this, keep two things in mind: 1) The film quality is fairly poor, as it has not been preserved or restored. 2) It is *very* difficult to distinguish the three men, one from the other, so concentrate on the color of their hats, and pay attention to their names when you hear them; otherwise, they're nearly interchangeable. You'll also quickly detect that the white man and the Indians use the word "savvy?" to mean "do you understand?" *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** Three carpetbaggers (Jake Jackson (their leader), Shaman, and Becker) left the South, and headed out to the city of Big Mesa, to grab their share of gold, but to do so, they'll need to "make friends" with the Indians to finesse information from them. Black Arrow is a Navajo (played by Robert Scott), and his father is the tribal chief who is killed by a white man in a quarrel. The rest of the tribe ordered Black Arrow, out of revenge, to kill Mr. Whitney, the designated U.S. "Indian Agent," and a genuinely good person. Black Arrow refuses, correctly recognizing that Mr. Whitney is the Navajo's friend, and things get a little dicey from that point forward. One thing I appreciate about this first installment is that they treated the Navajos - if not with accuracy - with a degree of respect. Yes, there was "the broken English," the fire dance, the white actors playing the roles of Native Americans, but the Navajo were at least portrayed with some honor, and that's a bit more than I was expecting. I guess that, sometimes, you have to take small victories where you can find them. At the end of the chapter, there was an announcement for "Signal of Fear," Chapter Two in the serial, "in this theater next week!" These film serials were clearly designed to attract weekly customers into movie theaters - a very clever and probably effective tool. It would not surprise me if many were released in the summertime, so people would come into the air-conditioned theaters and escape the heat. *** END SPOILERS *** I found Chapter One, "Black Arrow," on Youtube, and at the very end, Chapter Two, "Signal of Fear," was just about to begin - it's possible that all fifteen chapters are on YouTube, but obviously there are no guarantees, since this is merely one user's account. I cannot in good faith recommend "Black Arrow," but if you have even the slightest interest in film history, it's an important and legitimate genre that would be worth less than thirty minutes of your time (I noticed that Chapter Two is less than twenty-minutes long). If you go to this link, then scroll down a bit, you will find: "Adventures of Black Arrow: Interview with Robert Scott" by Boyd Magers on westernclippings.com And just in case the link ever breaks:
  7. Earlier this year, I watched the 1927 silent film "The Lodger," which is widely considered the first "real" Alffed Hitchcock film (after he found his mojo), as well as the first filming of The Lodger, which was remade, in various guises, no less than four times, this being the third of five that I know of. Although this is a remake, Hitchcock had nothing to do with this: It was produced by Robert Bassler and directed by John Brahm, For those who don't know, Jack the Ripper was active in London during 1888 in Whitechapel, a district in the East End of London, in the borough of Tower Hamlets (there are (as of 1965) 33 "local authority districts" in London: 32 are boroughs, and, the 33rd is the "City of London" itself). A "district" is an unofficial, loose term for "neighborhood" - "borough" is an official term, and the district of Whitechapel is inside the borough of Tower Hamlets. If you read the Wikipedia entry for Jack the Ripper (above), it's really quite a grisly tale - the most troublesome fact? The Ripper was never caught. Since this takes place in 1888, I did some financial conversion for you to put the figures in 2016 dollars: Mr. Slade (played by Laird Cregar, an American actor) offers 5 pounds a week for room and board, which equates to 595 pounds today, or $731.85 - a considerable weekly sum for the rooms he was renting, and the meals he would be served. Mr. Robert Bonting (played by Sir Cedric Hardwicke) originally started his tea-broker business (in 1868) with 100 pounds, or $12,423 in 2016 dollars. Kitty Langley gave Annie Rowley one Sovereign: a gold coin worth about one Pound Sterling, i.e., one Pound. Since 1957, they've been minted again, but are used as gold bullion (they're certainly worth a lot more than one pound in 2016 - they're gold, and weigh slightly over one-quarter ounce (as of this writing, gold is trading for about $1,130 an ounce, so today's Sovereigns are worth $250-300)). Interestingly, and tragically, Laird Cregar went on a crash diet (which included prescribed amphetamines) to obtain the part in this film, and that caused a strain on his system that would eventually kill him this very same year, in December of 1944. Vincent Price delivered his eulogy, and Cregar currently has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Cregar died at age 31, and could have conceivably become much more well-known than he currently is - I suspect most of you reading this haven't heard of him. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** This may, or may not, be a major spoiler, so I advise you to skip this paragraph entirely until you've finished the film, even if you read the rest of the Spoilers Section: it is a known quantity, in advance, that "The Lodger" in Hitchcock's 1927 film turned out to be innocent in the end. However, the reason for that was because the big-name star of that film, Arthur Chesney, did not want his reputation sullied by being associated with Jack the Ripper (whom a certain percentage of viewers still remembered). I say this only because, if I remember correctly, there was some controversy about what Hitchcock really wanted (or am I thinking of "Suspicion?"), and given that there are so many remakes of the 1927 version, it seems highly unlikely that "the lodger" will end up being innocent in every single version. We're about to see ... How coincidental that the lodger's name is Mr. Slade. Robert Bonting, the landlady's husband, was a tea-broker on Mincing Lane, which was, in the late 19th century, the world's leading center for spice and tea trading. There are almost exact similarities between Mr. Slade turning the pictures of the old actresses (in his bedroom) around so he couldn't see them, and with what Arthur Chesney did in Hitchcock's 1927 film. For a moment, I thought the part with the two shrews in the tavern (playing the concertina) could be an upcoming sign of dullness, but it only lasted for a minute or two, and it had a dramatic reason for existing. I'm over halfway through this film, and am really enjoying it, even more than the Hitchcock version (which was, of course, silent). Speaking of which, the techniques Hitchcock used in his silent film were so vastly different, that they make for a fascinating study. For example, to create tension when The Lodger was descending the stairs, he couldn't use footsteps (there was no sound), so he had to show a close-up of a hand, sliding down the railing. Hitchcock, himself, admitted that footsteps would have made for a more-effective buildup of tension, and he would have used them had the technology been available. It's too bad he wasn't around for more color films, which have a very different strategy than filming in black-and-white. Look at this cinematography - what an imposing shot this is: *** END SPOILERS *** Listen to what I say here: Even if you don't think you like silent films, watch Hitchcock's 1927 version of "The Lodger" first, *then* watch this version. They make wonderful companion pieces, even though this is a remake - this is a splendid picture that stands on its own; it's better still when watched after the original: You'll love them both, and watching both makes both of them better: Even though these two films were made independently of each other, they are best viewed as a diptych, making sure to go in chronological order. Whaam!
  8. Having survived decades of verbal abuse, I am familiar with the term "gaslighting" as it is used to describe psychological manipulation designed to make a person doubt themself. It is impossible to read anything about Narcissistic personality disorder without seeing a section on gaslighting. While I was very familiar with the term, I never questioned why it was called that. I had NO idea this term came from a 1938 play, by the same name, on which this film is based. MINOR SPOILERS FOLLOW "Gaslight" is a brilliantly acted, beautifully directed film that stands the test of time. Ingrid Bergman is outstanding as the wife who is driven to think she is going insane by her controlling husband. She is radiant and so convincing as the happy young women whose life begins to spiral out of control. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this role, and I think it is well deserved. Her speech at the end of the film was the highlight for me. I didn't get up off of my couch and cheer, but I wanted to. Bergman's character, Paula, thinks she is going insane. One thing that makes her believe this is the way the gas lights dim each evening, even though there is no one in the house who could be dimming them. Charles Boyer is perfect as her charmingly sinister husband, and an 18-year old Angela Lansbury makes her film debut as the housemaid. If you are looking for this movie to stream online, don't get it confused with the 1940 British version with the same title. If you have lived with someone who has attempted to control or manipulate you, this film will resonate. If you haven't, you will still get swept up in the mystery and intrigue of a very well-crafted film noir.
  9. For your amusement, here's a New York Times from 1944 about a restaurant in Manhattan serving this exotic new thing called "pizza". The tone of the piece--clearly written for an audience totally unfamiliar with the concept--is fascinating, and goes to show just how far we've come I guess. 09/20/44 - "News of Food; Pizza, a Pie Popular in Southern Italy, is Offered Here for Home Consumption" by Jane Holt on query.nytimes.com
  10. I notice there isn't a thread on one of the finest songwriters of the 20th century - Townes Van Zandt. Unlike some other "songwriter's songwriters," I always always prefer Townes' versions of his own songs over the covers. As the (also) great Steve Earle said, "Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world, and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that." "Pancho and Lefty" "Waiting Around to Die" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDymc0CJ6pQ And my favorite of all time: "If I Needed You"
  11. Torment was originally released in Sweden as "Hets," and then in the U.K. as "Frenzy." Released in 1944, it represents Ingmar Bergman's first directorial work, although he wasn't the official director (he co-directed without credit, and also wrote the screenplay). This is the first film in our Bergman retrospective, as we're going in chronological order. Having watched about 45 minutes of the movie as I post this, I can tell you right now: It's worth your time! Of note: This was released during WWII, not that this is readily evident from what I've seen so far, but how could it not have affected things?
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