Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bits And Pieces, Pre-Xmas

Besides staring into space and contemplating the joy of a world with pretzel M&M's, what's been filling the old brain-pan?

GREAT JACK KIRBY WEBSITE: If you love Jack Kirby, then this is the site for you. Updated far more frequently than THIS blog, these folks bring a dose of Kirby greatness to the webs. And the webs could always use that. http://kirbymuseum.org/blogs/dynamics

TRUE GRITTYNESS: Thanks to Paramount for the DVD screener, I was able to catch the Coen Brothers version of True Grit last week. It's pretty good. Thanks to Paramount and $20 in my wallet, I also picked up the snazzy new blu-ray edition of the original movie with John Wayne. The new one is really good, but would it be heretical to say the Wayne version was more (*gasp*) fun? Maybe it's all the great character actors... Strother Martin, Robert Duvall (as Ned Pepper), Jeff Corey, and even Dennis Hopper (!). Yes, Wayne's performance is "big", and the first movie has the classic big Hollywood sheen (could they have found any brighter and sunnier days?), but sometimes I like big. Anyway, all is well, they're both good and both are worth seeing.

CROWDED HOUSE: Neil Finn and co. are touring and as they did in 2007, they are releasing straight-from-the-soundboard CDs (or downloadable flacs or Mp3s) from most of their engagements. There are 12-ish available right now and more to come, and the sound quality is, as always, impeccable. Ordering info at: http://www.crowdedhouselive.com/catalog.aspx

GIGANTIC WHO: The Who have released yet another version of "Live At Leeds" in a vinyl-album sized box that comes with a zillion extras, but (most interestingly for me) a second live show from the same era. Beside the original show (on CD and also, in the fancy edition, in the original configuration on vinyl), this set also features the concert from the day after, which (according to Amazon's reporting) was preferred by the band but when unreleased because they thought there had been sound problems. Evidently there weren't, because here it is... complete with a performance of "Tommy."

Yessir, it's Xmas everyday 'round these parts... and incidentally, while in the mood, let me just say to my 19 faithful readers, Happy Holidays!