Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Carla Bruni: Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out

Yeah, like she would ever be down and out!
Once I lived the life of a millionaire,
Spending all my money, just didn't care,
Took all my friends out for a mighty good time,
Buyin bootleg whisky, champagne and wine.
Then I began to fall so low;
Lost all my good friends, had no place to go.
If I get my hands on a dollar again,
I'm gonna hang on to it till that eagle grins,
Nobody knows you when you're down and out,
In your pocket, not one penny;
And all the friends, you don't have any.
If you get back on your feet again
That's when you find you long lost friend
It's mighty strange, without any doubt
Nobody knows you when you're down and out.
When you finally get back upon your feet again,
That's when you meet your long-lost friend
Said it's mighty strange, without any doubt
Nobody knows you when you're down and out.
It's mighty strange, without any doubt,
Nobody knows you when you're down, you're down and out.

April In Paris: Basie

Here's the version of April In Paris by which to measure all others. From the 1960's, with a great Thad Jones' solo

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Obama In Paris

Obama in Paris, groupies in blossom
All of France buckle their knees
Obama in Paris, this is a feeling
No one can ever reprise
They never knew the charm of Barack

They never met him face to face

So easily were their hearts hijacked

John should just concede the race
Till Obama in Paris,
Sarkozy be careful too
What has he done to.. Carla's heart ?

from the nytimes, Maureen Dowd
It could have been a French movie.
Passing acquaintances collide in a moment of transcendent passion. They look at each other shyly and touch tenderly during their Paris cinq à sept, exchange some existential thoughts under exquisite chandeliers, and — tant pis — go their separate ways.
Sarko, back to Carla Bruni. Obama, forward to Gordon Brown. A Man and a Man. All it needed was a lush score and Claude Lelouch.
Even for Sarkozy the American, who loves everything in our culture from Sylvester Stallone to Gloria Gaynor, it was a wild gush over a new Washington crush.
Sarko is right and Barack is left. One had a Jewish grandfather, the other a Muslim one. The French president is a frenetic bumper car; the Illinois senator is, as he said of the king of Jordan’s Mercedes 600, “a smooth ride.”
But the son of a Hungarian, who picked a lock to break into the French ruling class, embraced a fellow outsider and child of an immigrant who had also busted into the political aristocracy with a foreign-sounding name.
After 200,000 people thronged to see Obama at the Victory Column in Berlin, christening him “Redeemer” and “Savior,” it turned out Sarko was also Obamarized, as the Germans were calling the mesmerizing effect.
“You must want a cigarette after that,” I teased the candidate after the amorous joint press conference, as he flew from Paris to London for the finale of his grand tour.
“I think we could work well together,” he said of Sarko, smiling broadly.
He did not get to meet his fan, Carla Bruni. “She wasn’t there,” he said. “Which I think disappointed all my staff. That was the only thing they were really interested in.”
He admitted showing “extraordinarily poor judgment” in leaving Paris after only a few hours. Watching Paris recede from behind the frosted glass of his limo was “a pretty good metaphor” for how constricted his life has become, he said, compared with his student days tramping around Europe with “a feeling of complete freedom.”
“But the flip side is that I deeply enjoy the work,” he said, “so it’s a trade-off.”
How do you go back to the Iowa farm after you’ve seen Paree?
“One of the values of this trip for me was to remind me of what this campaign should be about,” he said. “It’s so easy to get sucked into day-to-day, tit-for-tat thinking, finding some clever retort for whatever comment your opponent made. And then I think I’m not doing my job, which should be to raise up some big important issues.”
I asked how his “Citizen of the World” tour will go down in Steubenville, Ohio.
“There will probably be some backlash,” he said. “I’m a big believer that if something’s good then there’s a bad to it, and vice versa. We had a good week. That always inspires the press to knock me down a peg.”
He thinks most people recognize that “there is a concrete advantage to not only foreign leaders, but foreign populations liking the American president, because it makes it easier for Sarkozy to send troops into Afghanistan if his voting base likes the United States.”
How does he like the McCain camp mocking him as “The One”?
“Even if you start believing your own hype, which I rarely do, things’ll turn on you pretty quick anyway,” he said. “I have a fairly steady temperament that has at times been interpreted as, ‘Oh, he’s sort of too cool.’ But it’s not real.”
Obama kept his cool through a week where he was treated as a cross between the Dalai Lama and Johnny Depp.
A private prayer he left in the holy Western Wall in Jerusalem was snatched out by a student at a Jewish seminary and published in a local newspaper. In Berlin, the tabloid Bild sent an attractive blonde reporter to stalk Obama at the Ritz-Carlton gym as he exercised with his body man, Reggie Love. She then wrote a tell-all, enthusing, “I’m getting hot, and not from the workout,” and concluding, “What a man.”
Obama marveled: “I’m just realizing what I’ve got to become accustomed to. The fact that I was played like that at the gym. Do you remember ‘The Color of Money’ with Paul Newman? And Forest Whitaker is sort of sitting there, acting like he doesn’t know how to play pool. And then he hustles the hustler. She hustled us. We walk into the gym. She’s already on the treadmill. She looks like just an ordinary German girl. She smiles and sort of waves, shyly, but doesn’t go out of her way to say anything. As I’m walking out, she says: ‘Oh, can I have a picture? I’m a big fan.’ Reggie takes the picture.”
I ask him if he found it a bit creepy that she described his T-shirt as smelling like “fabric softener with spring scent.”
He looked nonplused: “Did she describe what my T-shirt smelled like?”
Being a Citizen of the World has its downsides.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Papelbon Outed At All-Star Parade

Even the Boston press recognizes the foolishness of Papelbon's remarks concerning the all-star game flap. I was standing near two jerks who were screaming "Boston sucks" at Francona and another guy shut them up fast and said, "Hey, let's show that New Yorkers have some class."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Highway Patrol

"Whenever the laws of any state are broken, a duly authorized organization swings into action. It may be called the State Police, State Troopers, Militia, the Rangers or the Highway Patrol. These are the stories of the men whose training, skill and courage have enforced and preserved our state laws."
Besides that snappy intro I can't figure out now why I liked this program
Frequently Asked Questions about Highway Patrol:
When did the Highway Patrol pilot Prison Break premiere?
Monday, October 3, 1955. The episode was filmed April 11-13, 1955.
What are the locations of the opening shot of the auto driving around a curve, and the "roadblock" shot?
Both locations were on the 101 freeway before it was finished; it was closed and therefore they could have full control of it. The precise locations are still unknown, but probably near Thousand Oaks.
Driving his car going up to the roadblock was Babe Unger with Guy Daniels as passenger [according to Guy].
What about the closing turnout sequence, backing out of the restaurant parking lot ?
This was at the Golden Pheasant restaurant on Highway 101, probably near Medford Road. This turnout sequence was the closing shot of the pilot episode.
A contemporary photograph of the Golden Pheasant , taken by Ron Hurwitz, is available.
How long did Highway Patrol run ?
For 4 seasons, from 1955-1959, and a total of 156 episodes. It was one of the most popular syndicated programs in television history. After the original run, it was sometimes rerun with the name "Ten-4".
When and where was Highway Patrol rerun ?
In the United States, reruns could be seen daily throughout the 1960s. Any American over 40 can probably remember Broderick Crawford bellowing "10-4" into his microphone. The reruns continued to be seen sporadically in some cities in the 1970s and even the 1980s.
In some reruns, the show was called Ten-Four. The opening of Ten-Four had Mathews in a '58 Dodge doing a turnout from a 4th season episode calling in on his radio - "I'm on my way, 10-4."
an Emmy Award ?
No. Syndicated programs were not eligible at that time (is this correct?).
What is a syndicated program ?
A program that is sold to independent TV stations all across the country; this is an alternative to selling a show to one of the major networks (ABC, CBS, Dumont, NBC) which would, in turn, feed the programming to its affiliates.
Who created Highway Patrol ?
Guy Daniels, who was the CHP's civilian public relations man, was told by the Commissioner, Bernard Caldwell, to go to Hollywood and "get us a show like Dragnet". So Guy approached Jack Webb who accepted the idea and was set to do a pilot. However, at about the same time Jack, who was passionate about jazz, got his pilot for Pete Kelly's Blues picked up by the network so he reneged doing a show based on the CHP. In the end, Ziv productions who needed a couple more shows to fill out it's 1955 season decided to do the pilot using Broderick Crawford as the lead. A lunch meeting between Brod Crawford and Herb Strock with Ziv executives was then arranged to discuss its filming.
A quote from Frederick Ziv:
"Well, in television my favorite program was Highway Patrol. It was a dynamic program. It was a dynamic program because the man with the badge had proved its appeal. Not the man in uniform. You put a man in uniform and you downgrade him. So, Dan Mathews, our head of our highway patrol, was not in uniform - he was head of the patrol. And the part was played by Brod Crawford who moved so fast that we edited our film accordingly. Today we hear about quick cuts, but quick cutting technique really was first put into television film in Highway Patrol. And if you look at previous television film, you'll find that it is not cut the way Highway Patrol is cut. It started a whole new trend." - Frederic W. Ziv (September 6, 1974)
source: Rouse, Morleen Getz. A History of the F.W. Ziv Radio and Television Syndication Companies, 1930-1960. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan,

Let's Grab A Kayak To Quincy Or Nyack,

Synchronicity: A trip to Amherst and Northampton, the passing of Jo Stafford and the online discovery that the great 4th grade teacher from PS 177 (circa 1957), Beverly Feuer, is alive and well in Nyack
Let's take a boat to Bermuda.
Let's take a plane to St. Paul.
Let's grab a kayak to Quincy or Nyack,
Let's get away from it all.
Let's take a trip in a trailer,
No need to come back at all.
Let's take a powder to Boston for chowder.
Let's get away from it all.
We'll travel 'round from town to town,
The whole wide world we'll see
And I'll repeat I love you sweet
Wherever we may be
Let's go again to Niagara.
This time we'll look at the fall
Let's leave our hut, dear,
Get out of our rut, dear.
Let's get away from it all.
So tired of the dull routine
Up to town on the 8:15
Back at night, off to bed and then
Get up and start it all over again
Let's motor down to Miami
Let's climb the Grand Canyon Wall
Let's catch a big tuna
In Laguna
Let's get away from it all
Let's spend some time
Way down in Dixie
I'll get a real southern drawl
Off to Reno
Won't play keno
Let's get away from it all
No place like home sweet home
It's a charming thought and cure
But until the world we roam
How can we be sure?
Off to Niagra
Next time we're digging the falls
Yes, we're leaving
We're hitting the road
Oh we're leaving,
We're hitting the road
Yes, we're leaving
We're hitting the road
Oh we're getting away from it all

Monday, July 21, 2008

Top Ten Reasons..

Currently I'm deep in the heart of enemy territory. I wish I could loop number 2 on the monitor in the hotel lobby.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Jo Stafford: Pied Pipers

Three different clips I found that I combined into one:
1. Tommy Dorsey and the Pied Pipers join Frank on "Last Call For Love" from a 1942 video. 2. Tommy and the band kid around with a tune titled 'Trombone Man" until Buddy Rich gets serious with a drum solo. 3. This was Frank's first brief movie appearance in 1941 singing "I'll Never Smile Again"

About the Pied Pipers:
Originally consisting of eight members, The Pied Pipers had their greatest success after nearly half of the members left the group. The remaining Pipers (Billy Wilson, Chuck Lowry, Jo Stafford, and her then-husband John Huddleston) joined the Tommy Dorsey Band in 1939, backing Sinatra on many classic recordings. In 1942 The Pied Pipers broke away from Dorsey, and Huddleston joined the army, to be replaced by Hal Hopper, one of the original eight members. The group backed Johnny Mercer on several tracks during the early 40s, including "Candy" and "Blues in the Night." Their first single ("Deacon Jones"/"Pistol Packin' Mama") was released in 1943. Stafford had become quite busy with her solo career and left the group in 1944, to be replaced by June Hutton. Throughout the rest of the decade The Pied Pipers charted frequently, yet their popularity waned in the '50s.
"Dream" is a great (all accompanied) collection of 26 original mono recordings from 1939 to 1949, featuring vocals by Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, Connie Hanes and Johnny Mercer. The history of this popular 3-man, 1 woman quartet is complex and interesting, (and well-covered in the liner notes), but it's clear the group took off when they were hired in Chicago by Tommy Dorsey to sing with his band in 1939. The next year he hired Sinatra, the wisdom of this quickly becoming clear in The Voice/Pipers hit "I'll Never Smile Again," which enjoyed 12 weeks at #1 on the US pop chart. The group went on to have 11 more hits on RCA Victor, many featuring Sinatra, including #2 success "Oh, Look at Me Now!" with Connie Haines sharing the solos, Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" and the chart-topping "Dolores," but 3 years later they broke with the hotheaded Dorsey as their #1 hit with Sinatra, "There Are Such Things" was filling the airwaves. The CD has 5 hits pre-Dorsey, including "Polly Wolly Doodle All The Day" and the title tune "Dream;" 7 with Dorsey, Sinatra and Haines, including "Let's Get Away From It All; 9 with Paul Weston and Orchestra including "The Trolley Song" with Jo Stafford and "Candy" with Johnny Mercer and Stafford; and 3 with Skip Martin and His Orchestra, including "Kiss Me Goodnight." Some of the best big-band swing music we've ever heard, fresh and hot from the 30s and 40s!

Jo Stafford: NPR Interview

Images combined with audio from a 1988 npr interview of Jo Stafford and Paul Weston by Terri Gross
Paul Weston (born Paul Wetstein, March 12, 1912 – died September 20, 1996) was a US pianist, arranger, composer and conductor. Weston was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1933.
Weston became an arranger for Rudy Vallee's Fleischman Hour on radio. In 1936 he joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra as chief arranger, holding the position until 1940. He then became Dinah Shore's arranger/conductor and also worked freelance for the Bob Crosby Orchestra. His association with the Crosby unit took him to Hollywood and into film work, starting with Holiday Inn in 1941. Subsequent films as musical director include Holiday Inn (1942), Belle of the Yukon (1944) and Road To Utopia (1945). Weston arranged Ella Fitzgerald's album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook (1957), devoted to the music of Irving Berlin.
In 1942, songwriter Johnny Mercer, Glenn Wallichs and Buddy DeSylva formed Capitol Records and engaged Weston as musical director for the label. Weston also began working on radio with Mercer and Capitol songstress Jo Stafford. Stafford signed with Columbia Records in 1950 and Weston also joined Columbia. In 1952, Weston and Stafford married and had two children, Tim (born 1954) and Amy (born 1956).
Weston had a long career as a musical director for television including The Danny Kaye Show. He teamed up with his wife to produce a series of comedy albums based on Jo's ability to sing off-key deliberately while Paul murdered the piano accompaniment. They assumed the personas of "Jonathan and Darlene Edwards" for these musical travesties.
The couple retired from performing in the 1970s. Weston died on September 20, 1996, in Santa Monica, California. In 2006, Jo Stafford donated her husband's library and her own to the University of Arizona. She died in 2008.

Jo Stafford: Obituary

An excellent and very cleverly put together performance with Ella. The choice of songs may have come from personal experiences. Jo's nytimes obituary:
July 19, 2008, Jo Stafford, Wistful Voice of WWII Era, Dies at 90, By STEPHEN HOLDEN
Jo Stafford, the wistful singing voice of the American home front during World War II and the Korean War, died on Wednesday at her home in Century City, Calif. She was 90.
The cause of death was congestive heart failure, her son, Tim Weston, said Friday.
A favorite of American servicemen, Ms. Stafford earned the nickname G.I. Jo for her recordings in which her pure, nearly vibrato-less voice, with perfect intonation, conveyed steadfast devotion and reassurance with delicate understatement.
She was the vocal embodiment of every serviceman’s dream girl faithfully tending the home fires while he was overseas. First as a member of the Pied Pipers, who sang with Tommy Dorsey and accompanied the young Frank Sinatra, and later as a soloist, Ms. Stafford enjoyed a stream of hits from the late 1930s to the mid-1950s. Her biggest hit, “You Belong to Me,” in 1952, sold two million copies.
Ms. Stafford sang everything from folk songs to novelties to hymns. Her gift for hilarious musical parody was first revealed in the 1947 novelty sensation “Temptation” (“Tim-Tayshun”), a hillbilly spoof recorded under the name of Cinderella G. Stump with Red Ingle and the Natural Seven. It reached No. 1 on the music charts.
A decade later, a party act with which she and her husband, the arranger and conductor Paul Weston, had amused their friends became a secondary comedy career, in which they impersonated Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, an excruciatingly bad New Jersey lounge act “presented by Jo Stafford and Paul Weston.”
While Mr. Weston played the wrong chords and fudged the rhythm, Ms. Stafford sang a half-tone sharp. Mr. Stafford won her only Grammy, for best comedy album (“Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris”), in 1961. The Edwardses records, the last of which was a hilariously inept 1977 single of “Stayin’ Alive,” with their version of “I Am Woman” on the flip side, rank as classic pop spoofs alongside those of Spike Jones and Weird Al Yankovic.
But it was as a balladeer interpreting standards like “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Haunted Heart,” “All the Things You Are” and “The Nearness of You” that Ms. Stafford distilled as pure a vocal essence of romantic nostalgia as any pop singer of the 1940s and ’50s.
Jo Elizabeth Stafford was born on Nov. 12, 1917, in Coalinga, Calif., near Fresno and brought up in Long Beach. As a child she studied voice and hoped to become an opera singer, but because of hard times decided to join her older sisters Christine and Pauline in a country-and-western singing group, the Stafford Sisters, who performed on the radio in Los Angeles.
After the Stafford Sisters broke up, Ms. Stafford, with seven male singers from two other groups, formed the Pied Pipers, an octet that caught the attention of Mr. Weston and Axel Stordahl, arrangers for the Dorsey band. Reduced to a quartet, the group joined Dorsey and quickly gained fame as the backup singers for Sinatra.
In 1940, the No. 1 hit “I’ll Never Smile Again” established the creamy Dorsey-Sinatra-Pied Pipers sound.
Ms. Stafford recorded her first solo record with Dorsey, “Little Man With a Candy Cigar,” in 1942. Her first husband, John Huddleston, whom she later divorced, was a singer in the group.
Two years later, she left the band to sign with Capitol Records, the new label established by Johnny Mercer. Along with Margaret Whiting and Peggy Lee, Ms. Stafford became one of Capitol’s three female pop mainstays. Mr. Weston became Capitol’s musical director and Ms. Stafford’s arranger and conductor. They married in 1952. Weston died in 1996.
During the early Capitol years, Ms. Stafford’s U.S.O. tours and V-Discs (recordings specially made for servicemen) earned her the nickname G.I. Jo. In 1945, “Candy,” in which she and Pied Pipers accompanied Mr. Mercer, went to No. 1.
From the mid- ’40s on, Ms. Stafford was a major radio star, who sometimes used her show, “The Chesterfield Supper Club,” to acquaint the public with Southern Appalachian folk music. She recorded a groundbreaking album, “Jo Stafford Sings American Folk Songs” and followed it with “Songs of Scotland.”
The folk-pop singer Judy Collins has credited Ms. Stafford’s version of “Barbara Allen” as an important inspiration for her early folk career. In the late 1940s and early ’50s, Ms. Stafford and Gordon McRae teamed for a series of hit duets, including “My Darling, My Darling,” from the Broadway musical “Where’s Charley?” and the devotional song “Whispering Hope.” When Mr. Weston left Capitol Records for Columbia, Ms. Stafford followed him.
Her Columbia albums, like “Swingin’ Down Broadway,” “Ski Trails,” “Ballad of the Blues” and “Jo + Jazz” (with the arranger Johnny Mandel) foreshadowed the modern concept album. Her biggest hits for the label included “Make Love to Me,” a pop version of Hank Williams’s “Jambalaya,” and “Shrimp Boats.”
On several hits she was teamed with Frankie Laine, the most popular of which was their duet of another Williams song, “Hey, Good Lookin’.” After a falling out with Columbia in the late 1950s, Ms. Stafford returned to Capitol, then joined Sinatra’s label Reprise.
In 1966, Ms. Stafford went into semiretirement, and after “Stayin’ Alive,” she retired completely. She re-appeared once, in 1990, at an event honoring Sinatra. Many of her hits have been reissued on Corinthian Records, a record company Mr. Weston founded as a religious label.
Many years after her retirement, Ms. Stafford looked back happily on her musical life with Weston. “Our talents — his and mine — fit the music of the time,” she said. “And the music fit us. We were very fortunate, because if both of us were starting out today, we’d starve to death!”

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Autumn Songs: Jo Stafford and Rosemary Clooney

The great Jo Stafford died at 90 on 7/18/08
Autumn Leaves, Lyrics by Johnny Mercer and Music by Kosma Berger
The falling leaves drift by my window
The falling leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sunburned hands I used to hold
Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all, my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall
Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all, my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall
I miss you most of all, my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

Tis Autumn, words & music by Robert Nemo
Old Father time checked, so there'd be no doubt;
Called on the North wind to come on out,
Then cupped his hands so proudly to shout,
“La-di-dah di-dah-di-dum, ‘tis autumn!'
Trees say they're tired, they've born too much fruit;
Charmed on the wayside, there's no dispute.
Now shedding leaves, they don't give a hoot –
La-di-dah di-dah-di-dum, ‘tis autumn!
Then the birds got together to chirp about the weather
After makin' their decision, in birdie-like precision,
Turned about, and made a beeline to the south.
My holding you close really is no crime –
Ask the birds and the trees and old Father Time.
It's just to help the mercury climb.
La-di-dah di-dah-di-dum, ‘tis autumn.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Give Me Some Skin

....And it would "only" take about 70 years for there to be a black president. Now wouldn't it be a hoot (amidst all the recent controversy) for this to be performed at the inaugural

Windsor Terrace Panoramic Scene 2

A panoramic scene connecting a panoramic movie taken in Bartel Pritchard Square with a movie taken at the intersection of 16th Street and Prospect Park West. In the second movie the filming of "I Hate Valentine's Day" is visible

Windsor Terrace Panoramic Scene 1

This incorporates some of the blocks near to the "I Hate Valentine's Day" film shoot:
A panoramic scene made from 2 adjacent panoramic movies taken in Windsor Terrace in June 2008. The first movie was taken at the intersection of Windsor Street and Fuller Place. It connects westward to Prospect Park West and Windsor Street

I Hate Valentine's Day 2

Some of these pics are mine, most are from filming in brooklyn as is the following commentary
I Hate Valentine’s Day is still shooting in Brooklyn, and this time they’ve outfitted an empty storefront on Prospect Park West to look like a tapas restaurant. They were doing some exterior scenes on Monday.
These two nice cops were assigned to the set. I don’t know how these assignments are divvied up, but movie and TV shoots always seem to get the nicest, funniest cops.
Earlier in the day there was a little kerfuffle when one of the businesses on the block complained because other businesses had been compensated by the production. Problem was, those other businesses had actually been used for the film. Eventually things were smoothed over.
Location manager Tim Stacker explained that his goal is for all of the businesses and residents impacted by a shoot to be happy. To say “Yes, they were here for a week, but it wasn’t that bad.” He told us that for a small production such as this one, a business used in a scene might get $500-$1,000 total for the whole shoot, even if the same locations are used for more than a week. Larger productions are able to compensate much more.
Here’s director (as well as writer and star) Nia Vardalos setting up a shot.
Filming In Brooklyn doesn’t get flustered too easily around actors, but the first time John Corbett walked by, well, we forgot why we had been standing around on a hot sidewalk and just stared, camera in pocket. But eventually we got our act together, and managed to take some great pictures.
Here’s John Corbet, getting lit.
Here he is, peeking outside, just before shooting starts.
Here’s Ms. Vardalos with actor Gary Wilmes. Is it just us, or is Mr. Wilmes looking a little McDreamy-ish from that angle?

I Hate Valentine's Day 1

They are filming this movie in my neighborhood. Someone got fooled for a while
...old store front around the corner from my apartment, which had been shuttered up for months, and was delighted to see that a new place would be opening up - a restaurant! It's called Get On Tapas. Amazing. Of course, I immediately thought of Michelle's 50 Best Pun Stores. There was even a menu and review hanging in the window, and I was excited to try this new exotic cuisine called "tapas." Still, the sign looked like it had been printed using Print Shop with a dot matrix printer, so I was a tiny bit suspicious about it. Thus, imagine my despair when, yesterday morning, I discovered that this restaurant is NOT REAL. Here's how it went down. Upon leaving for work, I stepped out of my apartment onto the sidewalk, only to be immediately greeted by a 19-year-old with a headset and clipboard. He says to me that I am not allowed to walk any further, because I'm wearing short sleeves. It's 87 degrees; of course I'm wearing short sleeves. He says there's a movie filming and I need to wait a few minutes. My super-old-school neighbor, sitting on his stoop, yells "these jokers want you to go put on your winter coat!" As annoyed as I was to be accosted by a teenager about my attire, I couldn't help but feel aflutter about the possibility of some incredibly famous, gorgeous actor only steps from my apartment. Who could it be? Jeffrey Dean Morgan? Patrick Dempsey? Within seconds I've already imagined "accidentally" bumping into Jude Law, spilling his coffee on him and having to invite him inside my apartment to wash up. Regardless, I wasn't in the mood to wait, so I cut around the block another way, and ran into the filming from the back side. Who do I see? Find out, after the jump! nia-vardalos-2004-vanity-fair-oscar-party-1zbenA.jpg Nia F*cking Vardalos!!! I find out that she's written, will direct, and star in a film that should be entitled My Big Fat Greek Wedding Part 2, since it's co-starring the same dude (John Corbett) who played her love interest in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The actual name is I Hate Valentine's Day, and IMDB tells me it's about "A florist who tries to convince a restaurant owner to date her without the fear of it becoming a full-fledged relationship." SOUNDS DELIGHTFUL! At the end of the day, I'm more disappointed in myself for not realizing Get On Tapas was fake. I'm not trying to brag or anything, but I live on a pretty famous block in Brooklyn...and it's not just because I live there. It's where Helen Hunt lived in As Good As It Gets (and also where she and Jack Nicholson have the final scene of the film). It's where Alanis Morissette had one hand in her pocket and the other one giving a high five. It's where scenes were filmed for Dog Day Afternoon, Pollack, Pi, Smoke, Blue in The Face, and Angie. In any case, I'm going to monitor this situation closely and start wearing a winter coat around the 'hood so I can blend in easily and perhaps "accidentally" sprain Nia Vardalos' ankle so that I can (reluctantly, of course) volunteer to take her place in the film.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Washington Heights Panoramic Scene

A panoramic scene connecting a panoramic movie taken in El Conde Steakhouse Restaurant on 184th Street and Broadway (4139) to a panoramic movie taken at the intersection of 187th Street and Broadway (approx 4360)

A Washington Heights (mostly tour)

The musical piece is entitled Guanta Rico from the band 3D , from an online review:
A tight, bright, infectious blend of island rhythms, contemporary jazz . Very accomplished, very musical a world-music hybrid of salsa, soca, frocuno and gospel ...3D draws from this multitude of influences to create a cohesive musical whole. Drummer Michael Tate and guitarist Chris Amelar formed 3D in 1999 to write and perform music that is diverse, dynamic and danceable. While their recordings feature original material, live performances by the band also include inspired interpretations of a wide variety of popular music. Showtime with 3D will take you from Havana to New Orleans, infusing a savory taste of melody and rhythm. Be assured, these men come to play. Latin rhythms seduced the members of 3D and made them record their first Latin album RITMO DE VIDA, a vibrant production filled with unforgettable melodies and kicking grooves. Curiously enough, Michael Tate and Chris Amelar, the founding members of 3D, are not Latinos, and this fact makes the end result much more significant. “I was both curious and intrigued when I was first approached about writing lyrics for their original songs”, admits Lino Iglesias who wrote the lyrics for three of the songs included in the album. “After listening to their music, I was pleasantly sur- prised. The melodies created by Michael and Chris are fluent, dynamic and contain a distinctive and progressive personality, influenced by R&B, Reggae, Soca and other Caribbean rhythms”.
Tate and Amelar are the founders and the core of 3D. The band formed in 1999 has evolved from a unique cover band to a powerful ensemble. The band takes its name from three words beginning with the letter D: dynamic, diverse and danceable. Keyboardist Lenny Underwood joins them in live performances and on this recording. This is their second album, the first one entitled World Beat Dance featured R&B, Gospel, Soca and the sounds of New Orleans. Drummer Michael Tate grew up in his native New York influenced by the music of Luther Vandross, The Meters, Tito Puente, The Eagles, Jose Feliciano, Beny More and Pedro Flores. His interest in the drums began at the early age of 6, when he traveled to the islands of St. Thomaand Barbados. At 12 he began to study music with significant mentors such as Yogi Horton and Bonny Bonaparte. Playing with Kid Creole and the Coconuts moved him towards the rich sounds of West Indian, Afro Cuban music and R&B. These are his music precedents, “but since I discovered Salsa with all of its percussion mixed with a great swing, I became a fan”, he explains. Chris Amelar was raised and still lives in the suburbs of New Jersey. He tried several instrumentlike the piano and trombone before eventually discovering the guitar at age 13. After high school Amelar attended and graduated from William Paterson University, studying with jazz greats Rufus Reid and Harry Leahey. His early guitar influences were George Benson, Al DiMeola and Carlos Santana, but his composing spirit lies with strong melodic writers including the Beatles and Stevie Wonder. “I became interested in Latin music after college and have since become a fan of Eddie Palmieri, Juan Luis Guerra and others. I used to listen to Santana and played his music in my teen years. Another sound that captured my attention was the sound of the Tres (Cuban guitar), which I heard for the first time on the record Mi Tierra by Gloria Estefan”

Really Old, Old Timers

from baseball card reproductions I got when I was Cooperstown in January

All Star Parade: Old Timers' Contingent


All Star Baseball Game Parade

Images I took at the parade today (7/15) combined with a popular comedy routine from the Bob and Tom Show. It's part of the Baseball Classics' collection

Cadeco All Star Baseball History

from a family history web site that information on the game's origins and its inventor, Ethan Allen
Read this document on Scribd: MAJOR-SMOLINSKI | ETHAN ALLEN

All Star Baseball

All Star baseball is in the air. The Cadeco All-Star Baseball Game was a big KV favorite in the 50's and 60's. I found some sample discs online and combined it with some appropriate kid baseball audio from a succeeding generation.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Rod's Kabbalah Konflict

After seeing Josh Hamilton crush 28 home runs last night

Monday, July 14, 2008

After You've Gone: Ella

past her prime from 1979, but it's still Ella
After you've gone and left me crying
After you've gone there's no denying
You'll feel blue you'll feel sad
You'll miss the dearest pal you've ever had
There'll come a time, now don't forget it
There'll come a time, when you'll regret it
Some day when you'll grow lonely
Your heart will break like mine
And you'll want me only
After you've gone after you've gone away
After I'm gone, after we break up
After I'm gone, you're gonna wake up
You will find you were blind
To let somebody come and change your mind
After the years we've been together
Thought joy and tears all kind of weather
Someday blue and downhearted
You'll long to be with me right back where you started
After I'm gone after I'm gone away
You will find you were blind
To let somebody come and change your mind
Someday blue and downhearted
You'll long to be with me right back where you started
After I'm gone after I'm gone away
You'll feel blue and you'll feel sad
You'll miss the dearest pal you ever had
Someday when you've grown lonely
Your heart will break like mine and you'll want me only
After you've gone after you've gone away
You made me sad and blue but now I'm through with you
And there's nothing more you can say
So jack be on your way
Miss Ella's ok

After You've Gone: Dixieland Gipsy Band

From Denmark's Dixieland Gipsyband:
Intense violin solos, crack guitar playing and spirited, charming vocals poetically united with banjo, double bass, crisp harmonica and musical saw. The Dixieland Gipsy Band delivers a fascinating, bold and seductive experience.
A bomb of traditional jazz and swing music of the 1930's and 1940's, it hits right in the heart, leaving splinters of Reinhardt, Grapelli, Armstrong, Asmussen, Mathiesen, Thielemans, Slim and Slam, making us all yell as one: "ohhhh yeahh... and ONE MORE TIME!"

After You've Gone: Woody Herman

I remember discovering Woody Herman in 1963. The series of albums he put out with this group (1962-4) was some of the best big band stuff I ever heard
from an amazon review of one of those albums
But Woody Herman's band never sounded better. No recording captures the mix of thundering punch and Fred Astaire lightness better than "Woody Herman 1963."
Some of the most thrilling moments in big-band jazz include the shout chorus of "Blues for J.P." and the stop-time moments of "Sister Sadie." This is updated First Herd whallop with hard bop harmonies, and the marriage is a natural one: Woody's band had always been identified with the blues.
There are the dynamic thrills-and-chills of "Sig Ep" and the controlled funk ecstasy of "Mo-Lasses." Wonderful wacky humor mixed with exoticism in "Camel Walk" and the roar of "Don't Get Around Much Anymore."
This album displays that at their best there was no better big-band drummer than Jake Hanna, no better rhythm pianist than Nat Pierce, no better tenor soloist than Sal Nistico, and no better lead trumpet sound than Bill Chase's.
There can be different, but not better.

After You've Gone

I was looking for a complimentary version of After You've Gone (it came to mind with Bobby Murcer's passing) for Woody Herman's great 1963 version (it will follow) and found Fiona Apple's version. Wow! The description below nails it
from jessie klein (abridged)
There’s this old standard, “After You’ve Gone”, that is one of my most favorite songs in the world.........
I’m not totally sure when I first heard it, but once I did, it got in my gut so good I started collecting various versions. Nina Simone has a slow burn badass version. Bessie Smith does a stop you in your tracks big mama version which even on a scratchy old recording from the 20’s has a super satisfying F.. You quality. Ella Fitzgerald sings it smooth and jazzy. And Dinah Washington does an incredible version that crackles sweet and dark like the top of a creme brulee.
But my absolute most favoritest version is by Fiona Apple. Ah, Fiona. Beautiful little weirdo genius. The best way I can explain it is, she completely, truly, deeply gets this tune. I don’t know who she’s thinking about when she sings it, but he screwed her over and she Will Not Ever Forget. She captures every angle of the little narrative- the sweet beginning, which essentially is a “please, please don’t go” then moves on to the part that basically says, “I’m so upset with you - how could you do this?”; but the most hair raising stomach flipping moment is when she gets to the line, “You’ll feel blue, you’ll feel sad, you’ll miss the bestest pal you ever had“ and delivers a musical right hook, a perfect pissed off punch that’s both wounded shout and accusatory hiss. The acoustic version of giving this straying bastard the finger.
Thanks to the wonders of our best friend Youtube, you can see her perform it right HERE. The song alone would be a joy, but watching her face (although it is occasionally obscured by some audience member’s crew cut) as she translates all the emotions is so beautiful and moving it makes me nuts.

Remembering Bobby

Time to put to rest my attempts at Kaballah string humor. Unfortunately it's black arm band time and time to honor Bobby Murcer.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

We Love The Yankees, This One Especially

Here come the YANKEES
Let's get behind and cheer the YANKEES
They're gonna learn to fear the YANKEES
Everyone knows they play to win, cause
They're the New York YANKEES
Show them today why you're the YANKEES
No other way when you're the YANKEES
Wadda ya say we win a brand, new, ballgame
We're gonna shout when ya powder the ball
We're gonna scream, "put it over the wall"
The other teams gonna know what it means to play the Y.A.N.K.E.E.S
We love the Yankees
Shout it out loud , We Love The YANKEES
We're really proud of our YANKEES
And we're gonna win today
2, 3, 4, Hit, Run, Fight, Score, Go! Go! Go!
We're gonna shout when ya powder the ball
We're gonna scream "put it over the wall yo"
The other teams gonna know what it means to play the Y.A.N.K.E.E.S
We love the Yankees
Shout it out loud, We Love The YANKEES
We're really proud of our YANKEES
And we're gonna win today
Y.A.N.K.E.E.S. Yes
Y.A.N.K.E.E.S. Yes

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Yankee Kabbalah Kollapse 2

Girardi, the smart manager that he is, has been investigating the fine points of the Kabbalah.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I've Got A Gal In Kalamazoo

The previous post led me to find this great Miller youtube clip from Orchestra Wives. It has the added bonus of the Nicholas Brothers

It Happened In Sun Valley

A great Bill Finegan composition from the 1941 movie with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
Evidently according to the ever vigilant nycpublic school blog patrol that special magic is still present in Sun Valley
The lyrics for those wanting to karaoke:
Howdy folks, let’s go for a ride
Get your favorite one to sit by your side
Cuddle up in a sleigh, gitty up, Nellie Gray, and away we go
While you listen to the sleighbells ring
You‘re yodeling to your baby
You’ll feel nice and warm
No matter how cold it may be
Take a look at little Jack and Jill
They ski down a hill
That‘s a snowplough turn
And look, there’s a spill,
There‘s a spill on a hill
When you’re down it’s a thrill
To go up again
Ev’rybody ought to learn to ski
For that is how we first met
We were that Jack and Jill
That came down a hill
When I looked at you
My heart took a spill
Took a spill on a hill
It’s a thrill that I can’t forget...
It happened in Sun Valley
Not so very long ago
There were sunbeams in the snow
And a twinkle in your eyes
I remember oh! so clearly
That you nearly passed me by
Then it happened in Sun Valley
When you slipped and fell, and so did I...
It happened in Sun Valley
Not so very long ago
There were sunbeams in the snow
And I fell in love when I saw that
Twinkle in your eyes
I remember oh! so clearly
That you nearly passed me by
Then it happened in Sun Valley
When you slipped and fell, and so did I...
Now ev’ry year we go back and then
We recall that fall and that moment when
We were there on a hill
So we both take a spill
And we’re Jack and Jill

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yankee Kabbalah Kollapse

The Yankee 4 game kabbalah winning streak is over. Maybe it had something to do with the conflicting force field created by a red stringed Justin Christian.


from reelsportsfan
A truly unique and rare opportunity to witness the greatest game ever played at Yankee Stadium. Come see the original TV broadcast of Game 5 of the 1956 World Series when Yankees hurler Don Larsen pitched a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers, a feat that had never been done before or since in World Series play.
The only film of this game in existence has been preserved and shown to only a select number of people. July 10th will be the first time this historic game will be shown in New York City since the game was played nearly 52 years ago. Running time is approximately 2 hours consisting of the game broadcast beginning in the top of the 2nd inning through the final out, including all original commercials, as it aired on October 8, 1956.
Prior to the viewing of the game there will be an appearance and discussion with Baseball Hall of Fame Broadcaster Bob Wolff who called the play-by-play on radio for Larsen’s perfect game.

The Duke almost homered in the fourth inning

Coney Island: 1940

more on the The Barry Sisters:
were the first to bring popular adaptations of Yiddish folk songs to a mass audience. It took just one record or so for them to be established as the United States' leading exponents of Yiddish Swing. From that point on, their tremendous abilities --as international pop singers, a hugely successful sister act, and two fun, charming beauties-- quickly led to international stardom. No small part of their success was the wonderful talent of arranger, conductor, and composer Abraham Ellstein, a major leader of dance orchestras and symphonies.
Claire's voice is the higher; the late Merna's was lower. What did they sing? Everything from a rollicking Hava Nagila, Roumania, Abi Gezunt, Ay Ay Hora, Zuges Mir Noch Amool, Die Greene Koseene, and Dem Nyem Scher (same as Carmen Miranda and the Andrews Sisters' " Wedding Samba") to Around the World, Ciao Ciao Bambina, Cry Me a River, Misty, Why Don't You Do Right, and a fairly scandalous version of Who's Sorry Now. They were regulars on the "Ed Sullivan Show," Jack Paar's show, and "Tonight" in addition to being mainstays at top nightspots in several countries. The Barry repertoire included songs in nine languages. So, as long as you don't have fifty childhood bar (or bat) mitzvahs to get over, and even if you do, the Barry Sisters are the perfect pop blend of fun and first-rate talent.