December 2009

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Tonight another year silently slips into the past like mime into quicksand. And to celebrate, here’s what those of us a PCWEI think are the best things to remember about 2009:
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A Tarantino Mixtape

Now this is just freaking cool. A group of audio/visual mashup artists called Eclectic Method have put together a sort of career retrospective of Quentin Tarantino. It blends scenes and music from all of his films, up to but not including Inglourious Basterds, into a collage of profanity and violence. Along the way it shows some the standard features of Tarantino films: dancing, bare feet, slamming trunks, and plenty of guns. All in all it’s pretty damn cool:

Instead of a normal Sunday Music Spotlight we’ll use this week to look back at the music that’s been featured throughout the year. So here’s a playlist featuring a song from each of the 50 bands that were featured on the Spotlight in 2009. Enjoy, and come back next week for the first band of 2010.

Merry Christmas everyone.

cajun cook, storyteller, and singer Justin Wilson
Y’all remember Justin Wilson? He was that crazy Cajun chef on PBS when we were kids (or at least when I was a kid, and if you’re around 30 then you’re with me). The old guy with the suspenders. I used to love watching him on Saturdays. He was kind of drunk, Cajun Julia Child. Fond, fond memories.

Anywhoo, I stumbled across something that absolutely made my year. THE find of the holiday season, hands down. Mr. Wilson was something of a Renaissance man it seems. In addition to being a gifted cook and fantastic storyteller, he was comedian (he recorded several comedy albums), a political activist (he managed the unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign of William J. Dodd), and a safety engineer. And one more thing: a singer. In 1973 he released A Cajun Christmas with Justin Wilson, selections of which are presented here for your listening pleasure:

A Cajun Christmas With Justin Wilson“Randolf the Rouge-Nosed Reindeer”

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Leave it to a Cajun to change “Rudolph” to “Randolf”, and insert some French into the mix. The title may lead you to believe that it’s a novelty recording, but actually Wilson can kind of sing, and the arrangement is very good.

“Here Comes Santa Claus”

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Again, the arrangement here is great. It sounds like you’re in the French Quarter listening to a mellow old jazz band. And that wouldn’t be a bad way to spend Christmas, now would it?

Videos
Duck Hunting story

A Christmas story

Making Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Most of me wants to hate the remake of Clash of the Titans, if only because it seems like a continuation of Hollywood’s rape of my childhood. But a small part of me actually wants to like it. After the first trailer came out I was cautiously optimistic. Now there’s a second trailer out. Check it out, then we’ll discuss:

Release the Kraken. Awesome. But doesn’t it feel like they’re showing too much? Guess we’ll have to wait and see. Clash of the Titans hits theaters March 26th, 2010.

EVERYONE PANIC!!!! GET TO THE GROCERY STORE AND BUY THINGS YOU DON’T ACTUALLY NEED, JUST IN CASE WE’RE SNOWED IN FOR WEEKS!!!! DRIVE 3 MPH, OR BETTER YET 65!!!! START WONDERING ALOUD IF YOU’LL BE ABLE TO MAKE IT TO WORK ON MONDAY!!!!

In case you haven’t heard, we’re getting a little snow here on the east coast. Right now in Baltimore we’ve got a dusting, and they’re calling for 1-2 feet by Sunday morning. This, naturally, has led to complete bedlam. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria! Well, not everyone is panicking. There is also that group of contrarians that barely wants to acknowledge it’s happening, much less do anything about it. I, predictably, fall somewhere in the middle. I think it’s pretty cool, though somewhat of a pain in the neck. But I’m not going to go stock up on milk or anything.

Anyway, to celebrate this momentous event, let’s check out some classic snow-related songs:

Frank Sinatra – “Let it Snow”

Squirrel Nut Zippers – “Winter Weather”

Snow – “Informer”

Longtime readers know how I feel about Radiohead. If you’re not up to speed, the short version is that I think they suck, and everybody knows they suck, but people think it’s cool to like them, so they pretend to. A basic Emperor’s New Clothes story.

So it’s not a surprise that I think someone’s cover of a Radiohead song is better than the original. What IS surprising is whose cover I think is better. He’s not exactly an established figure in the music industry. He’s not a teenager performing for the world of YouTube. He’s not someone you would even notice if you passed him on the street. He’s a homeless guy who went on the Opie & Anthony radio show to promote their Homeless Shopping Spree. During the course of the interview he let them know he played guitar and sang. So they tracked down a guitar for him and he played a couple of songs for them. One of them was this version of Radiohead’s “Creep”, and it’s amazing. Maybe it’s the different perspective the lyrics take when he sings them. Maybe it’s the raw emotion in his voice. Whatever it is, Thom Yorke should figure it out. Because, as the kids say, he got served.

via Deep Thoughts

It seems like just yesterday we were talking about how great Robert Downey, Jr. was in Iron Man, yet it’s already time to start talking about how great he’ll be in Iron Man 2. The movie isn’t set to come out until May, but the first trailer is already out, and it’s good. Really good. Mickey Rourke looks like serious badass as Whiplash. Scarlett Johansson is as hot as ever. And Downey looks like he’s picking up where he left off the first one. Check it out:

Iron Man 2 flies into theaters May 7th, 2010.

Ridley Scott has a pretty damn good track record. Blade Runner. Alien. Gladiator. Matchstick Men. It’s hard to argue with that body of work. But still, when I saw he was joining forces with Russel Crowe again to make Robin Hood I was skeptical, mainly because of the source material. Sure, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Disney adaptation, but looking at it critically it’s not among their best work. The Kevin Costner version in the early 90s was a train wreck, and I’m not just saying that because my first real taste of rejection came at a church dance, with that stupid Bryan Adams song playing in the background (apparently she was thinking “Everything I do, I do it for you, including just walking away without a word when you ask me to dance”. I mean really, who does that? Either say “no”, or come up with an excuse, but don’t just walk away. At least I’m not bitter…). These less-than-stellar previous attempts had me worried that even the superb tag team of Scott and Crowe could make the tired story interesting again.

Well, there’s a trailer out now, and I’m not worried anymore. It actually looks quite a bit like Gladiator, which is fine by me. Check it out:

Pretty damn cool, right? Robin Hood storms into theaters May 14th, 2010.

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