Friday, February 06, 2015

Pop culture roundup: Tintin; Louis Armstrong; Great Books 1965; Shout! streaming channel

The cover of "Tintin and the Shooting Star" by Hergé sold for $2.8 million at auction this week.

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Lost recordings of Louis Armstrong, Diana Rigg and first "Doctor Who" William Hartnell appearing on BBC Radio's long-running "Desert Islands Discs" program have been recovered. The shows are available for streaming via the program's online archive.

Each episode of the show asks guests to name  eight pieces of music, a book and a luxury item they would want on a desert isle. The show has been on the air since 1942.
"Louis Armstrong's appearance on Desert Island Discs is the next best thing to hanging out with the legendary trumpeter," said Ricky Riccardi, archivist for the museum.

"Armstrong's in a frisky, quick-witted mood throughout the broadcast, tells some of his favourite stories about his rough upbringing in New Orleans and spins some good music - namely because he chooses so much of his own!"

Armstrong's favourite piece was his own track, Blueberry Hill. He also chose to take his own autobiography, while his luxury item - predictably enough - was a trumpet.

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Turns out 1965 (year of my birth!) was a great year for children's adventure stories. Here's a wide-spanning look, including everything from Lee-Kirby's Inhumans, Moomin, "Asterix and Cleopatra," "The Mad Scientists' Club," "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" and more.

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Shout! Factory, which turns out DVDs of cult classic movies and TV shows, along with an array of music documentary and concert videos has started a streaming TV station featuring free content.

It looks like the aim of the channel, which is available online and via Roku and other devices, is to promote the company's physical wares, but more than 1,000 hours of content is currently available for streaming with more reportedly on the way. Programming now available includes:
•     MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 (beginning with over 30 episodes)
•     HOME MOVIES animated comedy series
•     THE WEIRD AL SHOW
•     IT’S GARRY SHANDLING’S SHOW
•     FATHER KNOWS BEST
•     DENNIS THE MENACE
•     THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS
•     THE SAINT
•     FRIDAYS
•     Gerry Anderson collection (hand-picked episodes from Thunderbirds, Stingray, Captain Scarlet, Fireball XL5, Joe 90, and Supercar)
•     SECRET AGENT
•     KEVIN SMITH: SMODIMATIONS
•     Steve Martin Stand-Up Show Case, featuring STEVE MARTIN: COMEDY IS NOT PRETTY & STEVE MARTIN: WILD AND CRAZY GUY
•     MEL BROOKS: MAKE A NOISE
•     THE ERNIE KOVACS SHOW
•     Werner Herzog movie collection, featuring 16 acclaimed films and documentaries
•     Roger Corman’s Cult Classics (select movie titles)
•     The Marx Brother’s A NIGHT IN CASABLANCA
•     A ROOM WITH A VIEW (Oscar®-winning film by James Ivory)
•     DEATH OF A SALESMAN (Golden Globe® and Emmy® winning film by Volker Schlondorff)
•     HOOP DREAMS (A film by Steve James)
•     Award-winning films such as  THE LONG VOYAGE HOME (John Wayne), THE STUNT MAN (Peter O’Toole, Steve Railsback, Barbara Hershey), STAGECOACH (John Wayne), Bruce Beresford’s BREAKER MORANT (Jack Thompson),  THE RULING CLASS (Peter O’Toole)

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