Friday, December 31, 2010

Wanna Hear A Lot Of Smiths Songs?

Janice Whaley set herself a goal: to record every original song by the Smiths, all in the year 2010, using only her own voice to create every sound, both instrumental and vocal. Using pro-tools and overdubbing herself, she's created something quite unique. I don't even particularly LIKE The Smiths, but these versions are ethereal and compelling. Checks out her site for samples, she's asking for donations to complete the project via

(FWIW, I don't know Janice, I just came across this project and liked the cut of her jib...)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Falling Skies Sneak Peak

A very cool (if I do say so myself) trailer for Falling Skies has been attached to various movies playing at Regal Cinemas, and it's also been posted on line. It's at dozens of sites, so I grabbed the Collider edition below at random... check it out. Whet your whistle. Enjoy!

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.

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:

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!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Well, This Made Me Laugh

I know we're all waiting for the new CGI Yogi Beat movie... here's a sneak preview to tide you over before the premiere!

(thanx to Heidi!)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It's Been Awhile... What's New...

New #1: Caught the Roger Waters/"The Wall" show at the Los Angeles Staples center and was suitably wowed. It really is an impressive multi-media experience... however, I was reminded in my geezerish way why I don't see many big-box concerts anymore. Parking was complicated. It was raining and we got soaked for thirty minutes while waiting to clear security. Once inside, a beer and a bourbon cost $26. We had pretty good seats but it doesn't really matter when the idiot next to you insists on loudly (and badly) singing along to every song out of key, and the even bigger idiot in front of you plays air guitar, tries to get everyone around him to play air guitar with him, and screams at the stage like a banshee trying to get a reaction from someone, anyone in the band.

Anyhow, I hope Waters puts out a DVD of the tour so I see what I missed...

New #2: I'm just back from Atlanta and a discussion re: Falling Skies with the great people at TNT. Cuts are coming in and the show is looking really cool. I love it when a plan comes together! Summer 2011!

New #3: More new comics from Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man. Ditko, at 82-ish, continues to produce idiosyncratic independent work, emphasis on the "idiosyncratic." He's also evidently working from some place in the future, since his latest title, "Act 6", is copyright 2011. After going through a stack of his most recent work, I'm curious how his creative process works... if he scripts these stories in advance of drawing, writes them as he goes along, or what. Either way, I continue to be impressed with Ditko's desire to produce his own work in his own way. Ordering info is available from Ditko's publisher Robin Snyder at

New #4: Dragnet Season 3 (1969) is out on DVD. All sentient humans should experience Dragnet at some point in their lives. I watched Dragnet religiously when it was a TV Land staple many years ago, so I have most of these episodes firmly locked in my frail synapse. But a reminder is always appreciated.

But for the real devotees, the best Dragnet product is finally out in an Amazon exclusive, the glorious full color movie from 1953. It really is THAT good.