A Little Head Hunting

A few days ago I saw where the 2 goalies for the Carolina Hurricanes went down with injuries while the Canes were on the road in Toronto for a game with the Maple Leafs. Seeing as Carolina had no goalies available, the NHL rules stipulate that the home team (the Leafs) has to supply the opposing team with an “emergency” goalie, apparently meaning “anybody you can come up with”. (Kinda reminds me of the movie “Slapshot” with Paul Newman.) Anyhoo, the guy that the Leafs came up with was their f@&*ing zamboni driver (I’m dead-on serious here). The guy’s name is David Ayres and he will live in history along with Miracle on Ice team as one of the most insane and improbable developments in hockey history. The beauty part is that he actually recorded a win, stopping 8 out of 10 shots with a defense that musta been goin’ beserk trying to limit shot opportunities. The zamboni driver. Yeah man. Sign me up every time.

With all due respect to Bill Murray in “Caddyshack” (“the crowd goes silent as they await the new Masters champion”), you my friend are a full-on liar if you never fantasized about saving the day in a crucial sports situation. (“My God, Carl Yastrzemski has broken his ankle on a 3 and 2 count in extra innings and there’s nobody left to replace him! But wait! Here’s Jimmy coming down from the stands to stand in! Can you believe it folks!!??Here’s the pitch!! Holy Mackerel!! It’s over the wall for a Red Sox win!!!)

Next up, I enjoy watching the show “Ghost Hunters” whereby the hunters go into various places at night, flip the lights off to the point where their suddenly tripping over stuff in order to find evidence of spiritual activity with fascinating results. Ask yourself this question, “what amount of paranormal events would it take to freak me the hell out to the point where I become a God-Fearin’, full on believer in the afterlife”? I believe I know the answer to this inasmuch as I’d probably draw the line at a screaming, disembodied head floating across my bedroom.

Last, I saw a replay of the Rolling Stones concert in Havana, Cuba on AXS TV last night that I thought might not be so great inasmuch as the Stones were pretty much fossils and couldn’t execute in the way they did during their prime. Wrong!! That show was so spectacular that I think it’ll stick w/me forever even tho I wasn’t actually there. The highlight here was backup vocalist Sasha Allen who took a legendary rock and roll song and managed to ramp it up beyond what it already was.  (Listen to how sloppy this performance was at the opening and then pay attention to how strong and tight they sounded after she sauntered up to the front of the stage and HOWLED out her vocals. Not content w/that she then brings the best anti-war song ever to it’s conclusion with her smooth, haunting style over a suddenly strong rhythm section that brings back the effect of an urgent ticking clock.)

Sometimes it does take a woman’s touch to straighten out the guys. Here’s the video and don’t be afraid to say Hiya Fathead!

Jimmy

 

Just Sailin’ Across the Breeze

I really enjoy seeing snippets from the morning news broadcasts displaying people enjoying the beach, lickin’ sno-cones, smacking golf balls into unfindable territory and sailboats giving a sense of scope to an otherwise endless blue horizon.

Speaking of the latter, my Dad owned a small (10 feet at best) Sunfish sailboat during the 1970’s leading to my teenage siblings and my sub-teenage self to think it’d be a swell idea to take the Sunfish out to various local lakes and sail away the day.  Conceptually, this struck the unsuspecting eight year old me as a great adventure and just the thing to do.

Having unsafely strapped the hull of our noble vessel to the top of my Dad’s station wagon and storing the various other needed accoutrements (mast, sail, rudder, etc…) in the rear of the vehicle, we set off. Arriving at the lake with all equipment intact and incurring no injuries to the general public thus far we felt emboldened to put ourselves and our assumedly seaworthy ship in the water. (I like how my Dad figured this expedition dangerous to the point where he was willing to let me go out there but only under the condition that I wore a life vest.)  Being too young to understand that the vest shoulda set off warning flags in my head we headed off onto the lake in a sailboat that The Three Stooges would’ve considered overloaded.

At first everything was progressing famously what with the slight breeze, open water and Admiral Tom competently manning the sail ropes while steering us to a triumphant trip upon an unimpeachably pleasant cruise.  That’s when the weather came up.

When the first high winds of the oncoming thunderstorm hit the sail of the Sunfish, we capsized with what I would call “authority”.  A mighty struggle ensued involving the crew flipping our now upside-down (and only means of transportation) back to it’s original state minus the mast and sail. (They’re probably still sitting at the bottom of the lake.)

Alertly sensing danger, Mom and Dad vehemently encouraged us to hang on to a vessel I now refer to as the “Andrea Doria” then swim back to shore in spite of sudden and strong lightning strikes.  Therefore, I made a few decisions about one or two aspects of my future life…

  1. Being violently thrown overboard from a vessel of any size has a high uncoolness factor.
  2. I gained a sudden preference for motor-driven vessels when it comes to water-involved means of transportation.
  3. Never trust any member of my family again when they say stuff like “It’ll be fine” or “What could possibly go wrong?”

Anyway, I stumbled upon a few videos from the blues/country categories strangely based on themes for a TV show. If that’s what it takes to keep The Blues going then count me in…

Here’s a tremendous band called the Forest Rangers doing a number called “John the Revelator” followed by an equally impressive number dubbed “Forever Young” each featuring a different lead vocalist.

See u on down the road…

Jimmy

 

 

 

Bohemian Rhapsody-Redux

Chuck came up with some great commentary on the Queen/Freddy Mercury movie in response to the film and my own recent review.  Check it out.

Jimmy

Here’s Chuck’s slant…

I haven’t had a chance to write up a full review for the blog, but my take on it was that it was decent. Not great, but not horrible. On the plus side, Rami Malek was fantastic as Freddie Mercury. He elevated the entire film. He didn’t so much “play” Mercury. He became him. It was a marvel to watch. Another huge plus was the dead on recreation of their set at Live Aid. Everything about that scene was so authentic. My favorite part of the film. And of course, the music was stellar. Some of the greatest stuff ever recorded.

On the down side, the dialogue was hackey in places. The pace was too slow in some places. The timeline of their music was off in some places. (IE. Fat Bottomed Girls didn’t come out until 3 years after their first American tour).  They got a ton of facts wrong. ( IE. He didn’t tell them he was HIV positive until 2 years after Live Aid).  The other actors were bland. (Which, maybe, was the point in comparison to Freddie’s personality). The guy playing Roger Taylor drove me crazy. Taylor has a very (very!) high pitched speaking voice. This guy, um, did not. I cringed every time he spoke. Mike Myers was a little unnecessary. (We get that he used Bohemian Rhapsody in Wayne’s World).

I do get your point about them not focusing on May and Taylor and Deacon more. You and I are rock music nerds and would have loved to have seen a deeper dive into the 3 of them. But most of the movie ticket buying populace aren’t rock music nerds. No way this film makes half a billion dollars if it dove deeply into the life of Brian May. (It likely doesn’t even get made). Freddie is who people wanted to see.

Overall, in terms of stars, I’m right there with you, but for different reasons. 2 ½ out of 4.

Chuck

 

Bohemian Rhapsody-A Movie Review

Queen.  (The band, not the monarch.) Tailors of the triumphantly sonic rock sound stemming from their inception in the early seventies that so many of the second-stringers coming behind them found to be a band not only uncopiable but still mythical in many ways.  Subtle yet dynamic, alternatively humble and bold, honest but still occasionally playful in their sound they used their jazz/blues/classical and God knows whatever other musical roots to bring rock to it’s theatrical zenith.

But this isn’t an assessment of the band but rather the recent movie so let’s go…

I was initially stunned by the resemblance between the actors and the original Queen members (Hey! That guy looks just like Brian May!) for instance. This really helped supply the effect that I was now immersed in Queen-World but the movie as a whole has an annoying tendency to skip this initial platform of credibility and throw away a beautiful opportunity to establish and recognize the tightness the members of the group used to establish themselves as one thing, irreversible and continuous.

When I plunked myself in my seat I was happily expecting a flick about Queen but it quickly became apparent that I was watching a biopic centered around lead singer Freddie Mercury with only occasional references to why we listened to Queen in the first place.

Here’s where I started losing interest.

If your interested in Freddy Mercury himself then your in business. This film dives into his personal life highlighting his personal, conflicted relationships eventually leading to the near destruction of the thing he loved most, writing songs and performing them with the guys who took him in as a brother and stood by Freddy even when his ego got the better of him. While this movie runs two hours and fifteen minutes, plenty of time to give you a sense of Queen’s overall talent, little of that time was used to establish the most critical portion of Freddy’s life.  While I admit that Elvis Presley would have been a famous talent without the benefit of the innovative guitarist Scotty Moore, it sure didn’t hurt to have him around. Would Freddy’s superb talent ever been known if it wasn’t for the utterly unique sound of Brian May’s laser-like guitar, Roger Taylor’s huge pioneering drum effect and Fred Deacon’s whizbang bass (as well as songwriting from these three)?

That’s what I was expecting and got nothing but a few glimpses as to why Queen worked at all. Where I was expecting light, I got darkness, I don’t mean that metaphorically though. It seemed that half this venture was deliberately filmed in dimly lit locations like an Orson Welles picture.

The final scene of the movie actually delivers the sound and power that Queen is famous for but why did I have to wait two hours for delivery? Given that the musical advisors were original members Roger Taylor and Brian May, it’s mystifying they’d let this great music be tamped down, volumeless where volume was needed and unspectactular when spectactulerness was so easily within grasp. When I mentioned this to my daughter she agreed speculating that putting Queen’s stunning sound out there at the movie’s early points would’ve lessened the effect at the end. She’s probably right but she’s also seventeen years old and wasn’t available to hear this group in it’s proper time.

I was. We both gave Bohemian Rhapsody 2 1/2 stars out of four. Here’s two original promo videos that Queen provided in the seventies.  I’ll ask you to please watch so you can see what I’m driving at here and don’t forget to hit on MAMEMAGAZINE.COM for more music-oriented content and as always, thanks for reading…

Jimmy

 

 

 

 

All the News That’s Unfit to Print

Hey, hey and Ho, Ho Dear readers! Lotsa stuff to get to today so let’s dispense with the niceities and proceed right to the usual buffoonery…

I saw in the news recently where there was a lady who had the power go out in her house and sensibly fumbled her way into the cellar to find and subsequently light a candle in order to gain some light thus enabling her to see where she was going and generally provide light to her now very small world.  Sound thinking, right? Well, these apparently simple tasks sometimes come with an unforeseen downside as we all know and this case is especially noteworthy as the “candle” she was trying to light was in reality a stick of dynamite.

Don’t get me wrong here, as a fellow citizen who also tucks my candles into the same type of drawers and in the same normally sensible proximity to dynamite I see this is as a triumph of the American Will. I ask you my fellow Americans, in what other country is it OK to accidently risk blowing your block to kingdom come while inciting references to Bugs Bunny and The Three Stooges?  No country that I wanna live in and that’s for damn sure.  (To our friends at the NSA who’re obviously reading this now that I used the word “dynamite”, I’m just goofin’ around here man)

Speaking of The Three Stooges, I normally refrain from commenting on people’s personal appearance because I’m a fine one to talk but I recently came across a guy who’s toupee reminded me of Moe Howard’s hairdo (“Hey Moe! It’s a tarantula!!)

Next up, why do people who had a sufficient amount of dozing say that they “slept like a baby”?  What’re u trying to tell me, that you woke up screaming every three hours?

Having seen the two previous posts, my daughter is trying to straighten me out on the state of modern music in apparent hopes that I’ll embrace some of the newer bands. If u consider her as Lisa Simpson and me as Homer you’ll get the idea that she’s usually right about alotta stuff and this time I want in on the ground floor. In this, the first case she confronted me with will be a band called “Cage the Elephant”. Having listened to their “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked”, they appear to me to be a cross between Run DMC and Paul Revere and the Raiders but form your own impressions with the video supplied below…

Jimmy  

Gimme Back My Bullets

Still a little hazy from the family get-together last weekend but not so much so that I don’t remember this outstanding performance by Cheap Trick as they covered Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Gimme Back My Bullets” during an AXS TV (“One More the Fans”) airing of various and tremendously talented performers doing Skynyrd tunes. While the other bands did their songs by the numbers (and sounded awesome doing it) Robin Zander and Cheap Trick topped that by bringing me back to that era just by NOT playing by the numbers and attacking the song with sheer attitude. Given that Cheap Trick and Skynyrd were contemporaries in the seventies, maybe my new “it takes one to know one” theory applies. Here’s a copy of that performance…

 

Jimmy

Heat Wave

Given the ridiculously fiery temperatures here in Philly lately, I thought I’d cool us all off with a little humor ala Rodney Dangerfield and Henny Youngman…

It’s so hot I demanded to have my tonsils re-inserted just for the ice cream.

It’s so hot that the local wildlife formed a committee demanding access to my air conditioning. (To their credit, they made a strong, well thought-out concession by begrudgingly yet willingly use the toilet while simultaneously promising not to pee in my barbecue grill for the next 3 months. In return, I receive a year’s supply of acorns but I hadda agree to flush the aforementioned toilet insomuch as the little varmints can’t reach the flapper. Man did I get the better end of that deal!)

Speaking of wildlife, the owl outside my window went from saying “who” to saying “what the f#&k?”.

A local chef told me that the lobsters are now voluntarily jumping into the pot.

It’s so hot that even South America is making fun of us. (Hey, at least we’ve never had to resort to eating our shoelaces, man.) Actually and having said it, I think I’ll book a flight to Africa just to cool off for a week.

It’s so hot that I suddenly got the hallucination that Donald Trump is president.

Now should the power suddenly cut out, here’s a few vital steps that will need to be taken…

  1. Open the windows as to let as much fresh air as possible in.
  2. Fill your bathtub with fresh water before you lose that option too.
  3. Go looting.  There’s a reason why we’re the greatest country in the world and we didn’t earn that distinction by sitting around being pansy-asses. (Anybody up for two hundred rolls of paper towels?)

As if things weren’t bad enough, I think that I finally figured the connection from David Bowie back down to Iggy Pop and the Stooges thru The Velvet Underground.  They don’t sing.  These bands vocalize their lyrics thru the spoken word or at least a sing-song version of it.   To prove my point I’ll ask you to listen to Iggy Pop’s “Nightclubbing”, Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes” and Bowie’s “The Jean Genie” which I, being a benevolent host, have conveniently supplied below…

 

I think the cool thing is that only took me 50 years to catch up with this concept.

Jimmy