Amoeblog

christmas records, hollywood icon style

Posted by Whitmore, December 20, 2007 09:11pm | Post a Comment


Celebrities, actors, politicians, actually any one with an ounce of fame and without an ounce of shame seem to always want to get into the glamorous record business. That is as true today as it has been for many, many a decade. And one of the simplest ways to back into a recording career is to release a Christmas record, either novelty or a heartfelt, weepy ditty. But I have to say it’s very odd when a cultural icon steps into these murky waters.

When Cary Grant recorded “Christmas Lullaby” in 1967 it was just a year after he retired from the movie industry, leaving as one of the most popular and respected actors of all time. Obviously, Grant learned a few things from his occasional, and unintentionally amusing, stabs at singing on screen. Check-out his performance as the Mock Turtle in the 1933 Alice in Wonderland, or his attempt with a ballad in Kiss and Make Up, because in 1967 Grant mostly recites “Christmas Lullaby” in that perfectly invented accent of his. He gently whispers to his sleeping daughter the joys she’ll find on Christmas morning, about the time Grant promises that angels will always be there to watch over and bless her he breaks into song … well sort of … I guess it was easier for the former Archie Leach to invent the actor we know as Cary Grant then it is for Cary Grant to invent a singer. But who cares, it’s still Cary Grant! Like Audrey Hepburn’s line in Charade whenshe asks and purrs, "Do you know what's wrong with you?  Nothing." 

October 15th

Posted by Whitmore, October 15, 2007 06:15pm | Post a Comment
                                                                                                      

1815 - Napoleon I of France is sent into exile on Saint Helena somewhere out there in the Atlantic Ocean.

1878 - The Edison Electric Light Company is incorporated.

1888 - The "From Hell" letter possibly sent by Jack the Ripper is received by investigators. Also known as the "Lusk letter," the letter is postmarked October 15 and was received by George Lusk . Upon opening the small box he discovered half a human kidney, probably from Catherine Eddowes, the fourth victim. Who ever wrote the letter also claimed to have fried and eaten the missing kidney half. Though, through the years, some have contended that it may have been a sick practical joke.

1894 - Alfred Dreyfus, an up and coming artillery officer and Jewish, was arrested for spying. So begins the Dreyfus Affair. He was pardoned in 1899 by President Emile Loubet while serving time in prison on Devil's Island. New evidence, actually old evidence that was covered-up by anti-Semitic army officers, found him innocent of all the charges and in 1906 Dreyfus was officially exonerated by a military commission.

1917 - On this date, just outside of Paris at Vincennes, Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan and spy  Mata Hari, was executed by firing squad for being a double agent and spying for Germany. Many have argued that Mata Hari never really was a double agent and was used as a scapegoat by the head of the French counter-espionage, Georges Ladoux, who had recruited Mata Hari to be a French spy. Of course later Ladoux himself was arrested for being a double agent. The facts of the case have remained a bit hazy, the official documents concerning the execution were sealed for 100 years, and more details won’t be revealed until 2017.

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scattered to the winds

Posted by Whitmore, July 26, 2007 01:50pm | Post a Comment

Scattered … That’s where I am these days, early July. Completely to the wind all up and down the west coast.

If I’m not in the middle of packing up some 350 boxes of household items, toys, records, and books, and moving from an island in the Puget Sound back to my native Los Angeles, I ‘m sitting in a van doing a small tour back up the coast to the northwest with the band Listing Ship, this schedule is hell.

(We've been waiting on the uber-semi-truck filled with 11,000 pounds of personal possessions, finally it arrived, I bid a big hello to the movers and all my newly-arrived-to-LA crap … found a change of clothes, found some musical gear, kissed goodbye my wife and son and hit the 5 Freeway North in a cargo van with six other band members, first gig tomorrow night. It’s hardly a coincidence my life is so scattered. “Can I self-medicate now, please, Doctor, sir, please?”)

Truthfully ...  (yet not exactly), the biggest excuse for not getting around to this post until now -- ostensibly about my favorite subject, 7 inch 45’s, (I had promised something blog-like for the good people at Amoeba almost two weeks ago) -- touring was the first dent in responsibility, but the installation of the magic window that is cable TV in our new rental and just in time for the Tour de France was actually the culprit.

For me, July is inevitably about my birthday, BBQ’ed sausages on the 4th (just meat--none of this mango/pesto/tofu crap, save those ingredients for a smoothie) and bicycle racing in France. My money for the 2007 Tour was on Alexandre Vinokourov. He would have been my choice to win the Tour last year but his old team, Astana-Würth, was ripped to shreds after five of its riders were implicated in the “Operación Puerto” doping case and scandal, leaving Vinokourov with only three teammates and not even a pot to piss in (pun intended). Last year in 2006 Vinokourov wasn't implicated in the doping scandal, however as of this morning all that has changed. On Tuesday Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for a banned blood transfusion after winning last Saturday’s time trial, prompting him and his team Astana to pull out of the 2007 Tour de France. I’m broken hearted once again. “So it ain’t so Vino.”

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Cat People

Posted by Job O Brother, April 17, 2007 01:12pm | Post a Comment

               INT. JOB'S APARTMENT - MORNING

               CAMERA PANS, SHOWING JOB'S IMMACULATE AND ECCENTRICALLY
               APPOINTED LODGINGS. SHOT ENDS ON JOB.

               JOB, (early 30's) is in bed, sleeping.

               At his feet, curled into a black round, is his cat, FANGS.

               ZOOM IN ON JOB'S FACE.

               His mouth and brow twitch slightly; he is dreaming.

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

               INT. JOB'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

               Job is in bed, sleeping.

               He tosses.

               He wakes suddenly, from a nightmare.

               He looks around, dazed.

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