James Paul McCartney, The Wings TV Special

Posted in Paul McCartney, Youtube Favs on August 30th, 2011 by Willie

Paul McCartney fans, do I have a present for you.  Did you know that Paul’s real first name was James?  Did you know that Paul did a music special for ABC and the BBC in 1973 called “James Paul McCartney?”  Did you know the critics hated it?  Did you know critics are mostly idiots?  Well, now that you know, it is my absolute pleasure to introduce this 7 part Paul McCartney extravaganza.  What’s extra special about this post, is that this TV special WAS NEVER released on VHS or DVD, so this is the only place you’re gonna find it for now.  You get Paul and his newly formed group Wings, featuring wife Linda and guitarist Denny Laine, performing some solo Paul songs, some Beatles songs, and some Wings songs, all with aplomb.  It’s basically a glorified series of music videos stitched together that you’ll find heard to turn off.  My only problem with the videos are Paul’s unfortunate mullet, his worst hair style ever.  Oh well, it shouldn’t stop you for enjoying the music, and it shouldn’t stop you for voting me in as CBS’s Best Local NYC blogger, which you can do by clicking here!  Paul McCartney told me to tell everyone everyday, so if you gotta problem with voting for me, take it up with the old knight himself.  Cheers!

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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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Classic Larry David

Posted in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fun and Crazy, Larry David, Seinfeld on July 18th, 2011 by Willie

Larry David’s rise to full on stardom was a long an interesting road.  He started off as a standup but got his first big break as a writer and performer on ABC’s answer to SNL, “Fridays.”  After “Fridays,” Larry made it to SNL as a writer for the 84-85 season.  He only ever got one sketch on the show, and it aired in the show’s last spot.  Right around the time “Seinfeld” got going in 1989, Larry had a bit part in Woody Allen’s “New York Stories.”  As”Seinfeld” grew in popularity, Larry could be seen and heard in bit roles throughout the show’s run, all in relative complete anonymity.  “Seinfeld” gave Larry massive showbiz and financial clout, but he was still not a star by any means.  When he launched his hugely successful HBO show “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Larry the performer really took off.  As “Curb” enters its eighth groundbreaking season, Larry has also officially taken his place as a pop culture icon; an anti-hero waging a war against awkward social moments, instances of perceived unfairness, and sleights against himself.  With Larry being such a big star now, it’s fun to look back at his more forgotten moments when he was still finding his comedic voice, and when he had much much crazier hair.  Below I’ve assembled some clips from “Fridays” and from his appearance in the Woody Allen movie for all you Larry fans out there.  Enjoy.

Clip #1 showcases Larry’s recurring character, Saully Mullens, from “Fridays” where he plays a hapless temp worker sent in for assignments way outside his realm of expertise. In this clip, Larry fills in for the US Secretary of State.

Clip #2 again finds Larry in a temp role, this time filling in for Gloria Steinham at an E.R.A. rally. I don’t know about you, but to me, Larry seems to be a cross between Woody Allen and Harold Ramis, all with a tough guy NY accent.

Clip#3 features Larry and Michael Richards in a sketch where a group of friends remember how much they tormented and teased each other. In the early days, its clear to see Larry’s natural nervousness and unease with performing, but also the enthusiasm and joy he was experiencing doing it.

Clip #4 is Larry’s small role in “New York Stories.” I’ve never seen this movie, and have no idea what is going on, but it’s clear that this scene probably inspired the “Seinfeld” episode where Kramer scores a line in a Woody Allen movie. “These Pretzels are Making me Thirsty!”

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