The Beatles, Rain

Posted in The Beatles, Youtube Favs on July 31st, 2011 by Willie

No, I’m not talking about the horrible Beatles cover band Broadway show thing, I’m talking about the 1966 B single of “Paperback Writer.”  I’m posting “Rain” because I’ve met 4 people in the last two months that had NEVER heard of the song before, which to obsessed Beatle lunatics like myself, is just unfathomable.  Perhaps it makes sense.  “Rain” is rarely included on the best of Beatle compilations out there, and it was never on any of the main albums.  Of course, it did show up on Past Masters Volume 2, the second part of their epic singles release record.  Being a B-Side, “Rain” wasn’t played as much as “Paperback Writer,” a #1, and only got as high as 23 on the US charts.  It’s a shame, because its just as good and more revolutionary then “Paperback Writer.” “Rain” features one of Paul’s most intricate bass lines, Ringo’s first real psychedelic drumming, and just stunningly gorgeous harmonies from John, Paul, and George.  Also, its the first pop song ever to have backwards vocals, tacked on the end.  It’s the song that paved the way for the glorious psychedelic pop that was to come on Revolver, remarkable in that the Beatles were so good they didn’t need to include their masterpiece singles to pad out their albums, utterly unprecedented in music history.  So, for everyone who hasn’t sapped in the luxurious beauty that is “Rain,” enjoy.  PS- This was also one of the first music videos ever…so put that in your pipes and smoke it too!

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Larry David, the Stand Up

Posted in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fun and Crazy, Larry David, Seinfeld on July 30th, 2011 by Willie

I’m pretty sure this is from the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” pilot, but who cares where its from exactly, I’m not double checking Wikipedia.  All you need to know is that its genius and hilarious.  This is Larry returning to his roots, doing strait up stand up, and killing.  He riffs on masturbation, blow jobs from Jews, Clinton, Hitler, Chinese men, answering machines, and Jack Kevorkian.  It’s a brilliant montage of his best jokes, and it all ends on a joke that sums up his entire comedy philosophy.  Just sit back, press play, prepare to laugh, and thank me later.

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The Jackson 5, The Love You Save

Posted in Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5, Youtube Favs on July 29th, 2011 by Willie

This was the third killer single (I Want You Back, ABC) from the Jackson 5 after they made their killer debut on Motown.  It’s a song with a crazy soaring melody and complex vocal arrangement that came from the hit making geniuses “The Corporation,” the Los Angeles wing of Motown’s machine.  This performance, from Ed Sullivan, is lip-synced, but who cares, the recorded version is so insanely good that its still thrilling to see the boys go all out performing it.  For my money, this is young Michael Jackson’s greatest vocal achievement.  It’s the most exciting and challenging lead vocal he ever did, and he absolutely owns it, breathlessly showcasing his unlimited talent and potential.  It’s spellbinding to see how relaxed and confident Michael is on that stage.  He just exudes cool, even at 11 years old. I really think it’s almost impossible how god-like young Michael was.  He is simply one of the greatest child prodigies in music history, and that includes the likes of Mozart.  Unreal.

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Seinfeld, How it Began

Posted in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fun and Crazy, Larry David, Seinfeld on July 28th, 2011 by Willie

The “Seinfeld” obsession continues, this time with a great documentary on it’s unlikely creation and even more unlikely smash success.  It’s a revealing 6 part look into how the show started off as a quirky experimental program whose premise was wrapping a sitcom around a standup comedians act.  It was a totally novel creation springing from the minds of Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld.  The documentary is great because you see the enormous strain and pressure Larry David was under in the creation of this thing countered with the unnatural calm and ease that Jerry Seinfeld exuded during the whole creation.  The whole video series is great, a must for “Seinfeld” fans, which should just about include the entire human race. Sadly, Part 3 and 5 cannot be embedded! Stupid youtube censors. Don’t worry, I’ve provided links so you won’t miss out. Enjoy.

PART 3, Click here!!!!!!!

PART 5, CLICK HERE!!!!!!

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The Blues Brothers, Ray Charles, Twist it (Shake Your Tail Feather)

Posted in Ray Charles, The Blues Brothers, Youtube Favs on July 27th, 2011 by Willie

How about that keyboard reflecting in Ray Charles’s sunglasses?  That’s rock and roll, or more specifically, the blues.  This legendary scene, from the “Blues Brothers” movie, is and irreplaceable document of blues rock awesomeness.  The Blues Brothers were a group formed by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, two SNL geniuses who loved the blues and came up with this brilliant concept for a Chicago based blues group.  The dark suits, hats, and shades are icons of TV and movie magic.  It’s just another example of the insane role that the likes of Aykroyd and Belushi were on in the late 70s/early 80s when it came to dominating the coolest ideas of global comedy.  The original Blues Brothers band consists mostly of the first SNL band, and they really cook.  It’s a reminder of how huge SNL was in the late 70s that even the band members got starring roles in a blockbuster feature film.  The movie, directed by hot 80s director John Landis, is a crazy car crashing romp of great music and fantastic dance sequences, evidenced below.  Check it out.

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Cast at the Paley Center

Posted in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fun and Crazy, Larry David, Seinfeld on July 26th, 2011 by Willie

If you caught last Sunday’s episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Palestinian Chicken,” you know Larry David is on a hot streak.  There are a lot of genius comics in the world right now, but Larry is going for the throne of world’s funniest man.  I can’t get enough of Larry and the world of “Curb,” and because of my addiction, I found this awesome series of clips featuring Larry, Cheryl Hines, and Jeff Garlin talking about the creation and origins of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”  This is a long multi-video post, so be sure to click the more button so you don’t miss out on any videos.

VIDEO #1- Larry on the show’s creation.  Here Larry talks about how he thought his return to standup would be stale, so he decided to wrap it around a clever little mockumentary idea.

VIDEO #2- Jeff Garlin, director and executive producer of the show, explains how Larry coaxed him into starring on the show as Larry’s agent.
Read more »

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Paul McCartney, Sloan, Waterfalls, Coming Up

Posted in Paul McCartney, Youtube Favs on July 25th, 2011 by Willie

TLC ripped it off.  No doubt about it.  This song, “Waterfalls,” was a hit in England, but it was the first song of Paul’s unable to reach the top Billboard 100 despite the previous single, “Coming Up” reaching #1 in the US.  Hmm…”Coming Up” is one of my favorite songs ever, but I can’t embed it on my website!! Click that link above and watch it too, it’s the song that made John Lennon jealous and motivated his return to pop music, unbelievable.  Anyway, “Waterfalls,” from the same album, McCartney II, was released in the magical year 1980, and was Paul’s first post-Wings record.  It’s a slow thoughtful ballad recorded only with a Fender Rhodes electric piano and a synthesizer.  The lyrics are pretty good too, and so is the music video, but it all pales in comparison to Sloan’s driving and insanely catchy version of the tune, which I’ve thoughtfully included.  Sloan really brings out the genius of the song’s melody and lyrics.  They do it so much justice, that’s its clearly superior to Paul’s original.  Amazing.  So check out both versions of the song, and “Coming Up,” and seep in the elegant misty glory of “Waterfalls.”

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The Everly Brothers and John Lennon, All I Have to Do Is Dream, Cathy's Clown

Posted in John Lennon, The Everly Brothers, Youtube Favs on July 24th, 2011 by Willie

Dreams are mysterious and crazy things.  Sometimes you’ll have a dream and have no idea of what to make of it.  Songs simply about dreams, even sort of romantic cliched ones, are sometimes enough just to trigger those feelings of the novel, the unexplained, and the otherworldly.  Such is the case with the 1958 Felice and Boudleaux Bryant penned classic, “All I Have to Do Is Dream” performed by the Everly Brothers and Chet Atkins, (on guitar.)  Don and Phil Everly, are still out there today, singing their unique brand of 50s dream rock, living legends found unstoppable by age or changing trends.  The song is an intoxicating whirlpool of perfect close vocal harmonies, and proto-psychedelic lyrics about love and dreaming.  In the performance below you also get “Cathy’s Clown,” their gorgeous 1960 hit that really ensnared John Lennon of Beatle fame in its beautiful structure.  Speaking of the Beatles, the Everlys were always listed as a MASSIVE influence on John and Paul, and all you gotta do is see the video below to guess why.  Two boys singing pop with flawless harmony as if it was second nature.  The Beatles just took that as a device and added it to their already killer repertoire of songwriting and performing mastery.  As a bonus, I’ve included a demo by John in the 70s of him trying out his own version of “Cathy’s Clown.”  It’s brilliant and sad.  Enjoy.

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Star Wars NEW Deleted Footage

Posted in Star Wars on July 22nd, 2011 by Willie

Lets face it, since 1999, “Star Wars” has been a bag of shit.  I was 13 years old when the “Phantom Menace” came, old enough to have my “Star Wars” fantasy life crushed to smithereens by the atrocity that was George Lucas’s Death Star explosion of a movie.  It was sad because I had both the regular edition and special edition tapes, all the computer video games by Lucasarts, and even the collectable card game by Decipher.  Maybe “Star Wars” sucking was a blessing because it forced me to be less of a nerd, but it still was sad, because (to paraphrase Yoda, or old Jewish guys) an epic series it was.  I had read recently that Lucas is releasing the entire saga in theaters in 3D, which seems amazing, until you realize that people are gonna have to wait out the hideous prequels first before he finally gets around to fucking with the originals again.  Speaking of fucking with the originals, to keep this spirit alive, Lucas is including all the deleted scenes that no one has ever seen in the new Blu-Ray release coming out next September.  Will this be enough to get the hardcore fans to shell out another fifty bucks to own the trilogy that they already own in VHS, Special Edition VHS, Special Edition DVD, and non Special Edition DVD?  Probably, because this trailer looks so COOL!   Check it out!

The highlights look amazing!  Here are my favorites…

  • Lando and Chewie trying to make it through that wicked sandstorm.  Is that after they escaped from Jabba the Hutt?  If so that seems amazing!
  • The Ice Creature chasing R2-D2 in Hoth…scary!
  • The best moment, Luke peeling the fake skin on his robot hand back on…GENIUS!  How was that cut??

All in all, my ancient nerd neurons began to fire just looking at this thing, and I hope people just post all the clips to youtube so I won’t have to buy them.  If they do, I’ll post them right here, so stay tuned…Oh! As a bonus, I’m including one of those scenes right now! It’s from “Return of the Jedi,” and it shows Vader trying to contact Luke with the Dark Side while Luke is building his new green lightsaber!

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Thougths on the New Amazing Spider-Man Trailer

Posted in Comic Books on July 21st, 2011 by Willie

“The Amazing Spider-Man” is Sony and Marvel’s reboot of the billion dollar Spider-Man movie franchise…That’s right, a REBOOT of a film that only came out less than ten years ago.  Well, the trailer leaked a few days ago, causing quite a firestorm on the internet.  Everybody has their opinions, but not everybody has a website with their name in the URL.  I do, so I’m uniquely qualified to give you some professional opinions on what I like and don’t like about this film.  So, check out the trailer, and comb over my carefully color coordinated bullet points, and see if you agree with all my important opinions.

  • The film is directed by “500 Days of Summer” guy Marc Webb.  I liked that movie, and Webb seems like a good name for a guy directing a Spider-Man movie.  GOOD
  • Andrew Garfield from “The Social Network” is Peter Parker/Spider-Man.  He’s certainly skinny enough, but based on this trailer, he looks too sad to be either Peter or Spider-Man.  TBD
  • This is a Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) movie, not a Mary Jane movie…the difference here depends on if you prefer blondes or redheads. REDHEADS
  • Everyone is comparing the Spider-Man point of view scene to the Mirror’s Edge video game because it’s completely ripped off of that.  BAD
  • President Bartlett (Martin Sheen) plays Uncle Ben, and Forest Gump’s mom Sally Field plays Aunt May.  Fantastic casting.  GOOD
  • Just like the first one, the costume is impossibly knitted by a 17 year old boy, but this time, he messed up the dye job.  TYE DYE
  • Spider-Man builds his web shooters like the comic book.  Does he also make the web fluid?  Or is it still in his hands?  WEBS
  • Peter Parker is more of an emo loner in this one, and less of a geeky nerd…BAD
  • The depressed British guy from “Greenberg,” Rhys Ifans, plays Doc Conners/The Lizard.  GREEN
  • It’s dumb that they did a reboot because the origin story in Sam Raimi’s first film was 99% true to the comic.  Its gonna force them to make radical changes just to be new.  BAD
  • Lastly, I’ve been outside that building Peter walks by at the :50 second mark.  BEEN THERE
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