Friday, August 09, 2013

Pop culture roundup: Brian Wilson and Jeff Beck; Stan Lynde; Neil Innes; Orson Welles

Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck, who has been recording with Brian Wilson, will also join the Beach Boys' mastermind on tour this fall, USA Today reports.
Talking to Beck about Wilson makes clear the latter's profound impact on already-accomplished musicians looking for a new direction in the '60s.

"I needed musical help around 1966, and (the Wilson-helmed Beach Boys masterpiece) Pet Sounds was dressing on a wound for me with all its amazing melodies," says Beck. "I was floored by it. So were The Beatles. It was outrageously adventurous stuff for the ear."

Beck was predisposed to like Beach Boys fare, which often celebrates what remains his passion: building and driving hot rods. "I'd hear that music and it would be an escape from the humdrum life," he says.

Wilson's new album has "the flavor of Pet Sounds," says Beck. "Once you hear it, you'll be whistling the songs for the rest of your life." Wilson says fans can expect "very mellow sounds, soft and sweet."


Cartoonist Stan Lynde, creator of the "Rick O'Shay" and "Latigo" comic strips, passed away this week at 81.
"Rick O'Shay" began in 1958 and ran for 20 years with an average daily readership of about 15 million people.

 In 1979, he launched another comic strip, "Latigo," which ran through 1983. Lynde died Tuesday in Helena, where he lived with his wife.

 Myron Stanford "Stan" Lynde was born in Billings in 1931 and was raised on a cattle and sheep ranch on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation. His mother gave him crayons and paper and taught him to draw to keep her young son occupied, said Lynde's sister, Lorretta.


Read a great, funny interview with former Bonzo Dog Band member, Rutle and Monty Python collaborator Neil Innes.


Footage from a lost, pre-"Citizen Kane" film directed by Orson Welles has turned up in Italy.
The 40 minutes of footage [was] intended to be shown with “Too Much Johnson,” a revival of an 1894 farce that Welles intended to bring to Broadway for the 1938 season of his Mercury Theater.

The cast of “Too Much Johnson” included several members of his Mercury troupe: Joseph Cotten, Arlene Francis, Howard Smith, Edgar Barrier, Mary Wickes and Welles’s wife at the time, Virginia Nicholson, billed under her stage name, Anna Stafford. The music was composed by Paul Bowles (who later wrote “The Sheltering Sky”); legend has it that an aspiring comedian named Judith Tuvim, later Judy Holliday, was one of the extras.
...Welles never quite finished editing the large amount of footage he shot for “Too Much Johnson,” and when the show folded out of town, after a disastrous preview in Stony Creek, Conn., he set the film aside and forgot about it.

Fab Friday: Vintage Beatles photos

In the studio.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Hear a lost Dylan track: Pretty Saro from upcoming Another Self Portrait set

Check out this video for "Pretty Saro," an 18th-century English folk song Bob Dylan recorded, but never released, during sessions for his Self Portrait album.

The song is included in Another Self-Portrait: The Bootleg Series Vol. 10, a compilation of songs Dylan cut for his 'Nashville Skyline', 'Self Portrait' and 'New Morning' album. The collection is out Aug. 27.

Review: Sophisticated Boom Boom: The Shadow Morton Story

The latest entry in Ace Records' Producers Series, Sophisticated Boom Boom features a diverse selection of music produced by "East Coast Phil Spector," Shadow Morton.

Georgie Morton was a colorful character who earned his nickname based on his propensity for vanishing from the studio for weeks on end only to show up weeks later, none the worse for wear from his drinking/partying binges, creative as ever.

Morton also was known for being "street," bringing a real sense of Brooklyn tough to 7-inch vinyl, especially on the first few singles he recorded with those gum-smacking "bad girls," the Shangri-Las.

"Remember (Walking in the Sand)" and "Leader of the Pack" (the latter not featured on this collection), used sound effects recordings of seagulls, waves and revving motorcycles along with spoken-word narration and Greek chorus-style background vocals to create high teenage melodrama. The songs provided a fresh soundtrack to American teens growing up in the early 60s.

Th music from this period is presented in excellent, mono. Highlights include the title track, recorded by The Goodies, who Morton hoped might be his "next Shangri-Las," and a couple of tracks sung by his fellow songwriter, Ellie Greenwich, including the lost gem, "Baby," a 1965 should've-been-hit recently covered by Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward on the new She and Him album.

The album doesn't just stay in girl group mode, though, moving forward to take in Morton's work with teen prodigy Janis Ian, including her controversial first single "Society's Child (Baby, I've Been Thinking)" and the late 1960s "heavy rock" of Vanilla Fudge and Iron Butterfly. The mercifully short single version of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is included.

Things wind up with a Morton-produced single for glam rockers Mott the Hoople and two tracks by punk pioneers the New York Dolls, who were, in a lot of ways, a male Shangri-Las -- except they wore more makeup.

The album is a fun survey of Morton's work in all its creativity and diversity, and also includes a generous 40-page booklet featuring a detailed essay on Morton with lots of photos. Lovers of 60s pop in all its crazy forms will enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Poster and new trailer for Thor: The Dark World

BBC Radio this week: Roxy Music; Led Zeppelin; Small Faces; Irish punk; Ray Bradbury, more!

Click the links to stream the following programs.

Roxy Music: The Thrill of it All Jarvis Cocker celebrates Roxy Music and reflects on their legacy.

Led Zeppelin Live in Concert Chris Hawkins presents Led Zeppelin at the Playhouse Theatre in London in 1969.

The Small Faces: All or Nothing Phil Daniels tells the story of the Small Faces. 

Bradbury 13 Adaptations of the classic short stories by Ray Bradbury.

Alternative Ulster The story of Northern Ireland's post-punk scene with contributions from Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers, Rudi's Brian Young and Terri Hooley of Good Vibrations Records.

Flight of the Conchords Rob Brydon narrates an improvised comedy about a novelty band.

The Goon Show Classic material from one of the all-time radio comedy greats.

The Man in Black A creepy raconteur, played by Mark Gatiss, introduces spooky tales.

Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone Strange, surprising Sunday evenings, the perfect journey to the Freakier Zone.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Video review: New 1966 Batman TV show action figures by Mattel

Here's a look at Mattel's new Batman and Robin action figures based on the 1966 TV show, out now.

Official BBC press release: Oscar winner Peter Capaldi is the next Doctor Who

News release:

In a special live broadcast, the BBC today announced that the role of Doctor Who would next be played by Peter Capaldi.

Amid much hype and speculation, Peter Capaldi was unveiled as the next Doctor during a special live television event on BBC One tonight.

Widely regarded as one of the biggest roles in British television, Capaldi will be the Twelfth Doctor and takes over from Matt Smith who leaves the show at Christmas.

Peter Capaldi says: “Being asked to play The Doctor is an amazing privilege. Like the Doctor himself I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can't wait to get started."

Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer says : “It's an incendiary combination: one of the most talented actors of his generation is about to play the best part on television. Peter Capaldi is in the TARDIS!”

Doctor Who companion, Jenna Coleman says "I'm so excited Peter Capaldi is the man taking on the challenge of becoming the Twelfth Doctor. With Steven's writing and his talent I know we'll be making an amazing show with an incredible incarnation of number 12. I can't wait to start this new adventure!"

Charlotte Moore, Controller BBC One says : “Peter Capaldi has all the genius and versatility needed to take on the mantel of the great Time Lord and make the role his own. He'll bring his own particular wisdom, charisma and wit to the Twelfth Doctor and take the show into an exciting new era.”

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning says : “We started thinking Peter Capaldi might be the right person to take on this iconic part a few months ago. But it was only when he did a secret audition at Steven's house under the cover of darkness that we knew we had our man. He's an extraordinarily talented actor who can seemingly turn his hand to anything. We can't wait to premiere his unique take on the Doctor on Christmas Day and we are sure he's going to become one of the all-time classic Doctors.”


Peter Capaldi is an award winning actor, film maker and lifelong Doctor Who fan.
He has enjoyed an illustrious career to date in both film and television.

Before securing the coveted role of the Twelfth Doctor, Peter first appeared in Doctor Who in 2008, playing Caecilius in the episode "The Fires of Pompeii".

Peter grew up in Glasgow and attended the Glasgow School of Art, while studying there he secured his first breakthrough role in Local Hero (1983). He has also had roles in Dangerous Liaisons, The Crow Road, The Devil’s Whore and Torchwood: Children of Earth.

It is his role as Government spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in the BBC comedy series, The Thick of It , that has earned Peter both international and award success. In 2010 he won the BAFTA Television Award for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Role and the BPG Best Actor Award. In both 2010 and 2012, Peter won the British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actor. A film spin-off from The Thick of It, entitled In the Loop, was released in 2009.

As well as appearing in front of the camera, Peter is an award winning film maker. In 1995, he won the Oscar for Best Short Film (Live Action) for Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life. He also wrote Soft Top, Hard Shoulder, which won the audience award at the London Film Festival, and wrote and directed Strictly Sinatra. Peter's stage credits include Professor Marcus in The Ladykillers at the Liverpool Playhouse, which saw the play transfer to the Gielgud Theatre in London.

2013 has been a busy year for Peter who has been seen on screen in the film World War Z and in BBC Two drama series The Hour, for which he was BAFTA nominated. Not only will Peter film his first scenes for Doctor Who this Autumn, but he will appear in the forthcoming film The Fifth Estate and the Disney film Maleficent.

Peter is currently filming new BBC One drama series The Musketeers, in which he plays Cardinal Richelieu which will launch in early 2014.

New Sherlock season 3 trailer

New music releases Aug. 6, 2013: Elvis; Polyphonic Spree; more!

Click the links to order discounted CDs, LPs and downloads from Amazon.

Elvis At Stax: Deluxe Edition (3CD)

Yes It's True by the Polyphonic Spree

Fear of Music (vinyl) by Talking Heads

I Got A Woman - Gems from the Decca Vaults (3CD)

Beating The Petrillo Ban: The Late December 1947 Modern Sessions

Great Westerns Themes: ( Includes My Rifle, My Pony, and Me)

DVD and Blu-ray new releases Aug. 6, 2013: Charlie Chan; Community; On the Road; Gunsmoke; Disney's Robin Hood; Friday, more!

Click the links to order discounted DVDs and Blu-rays from Amazon.

Charlie Chan: Collection

Community: The Complete Fourth Season

On The Road

Gunsmoke: The Ninth Season, Vol. 1

Gunsmoke: The Ninth Season, Vol. 2

Robin Hood-40th Anniversary Edition (DVD + Digital Copy)

Sword in the Stone: 50th Anniversary Edition (DVD + Digital Copy)

Fridays: The Best Of

The Cream Farewell Concert: Kino Classics Remastered Edition

Last Shop Standing: The Rise, Fall And Rebirth Of The Independent Record Shop