Friday, October 25, 2013

NOW HERE'S SOMETHING WE HOPE YOU'LL REALLY LIKE:  I love Mr. Peabody and Sherman. I like Ty Burrell (though he's replacing Robert Downey Jr., who could've been perfect). Mel Brooks voicing Sigmund Freud? Sure. But good God, this trailer looks horrible.
TIME IS ON MY SIDE: I just saw Marsha's plug for Solisbury Hill's 7/4 time signature in the post a few days ago about the Hall of Fame and it got me wondering:  favorite songs with alternative time signatures?  Off the top of my head, there's Pavement's "5:4=Unity," which is basically "Take Five" for the skateboard set.  There's Julianna Hatfield's "Spin the Bottle," which manages to make 5/4 time seem less alternative and more juvenile, using the skipped beat (because the song wants to be 3/4, not 4/4) to convey the impatience of the POV character.  There are the twin 11/4 masterpieces (technically, 3/4 with a 2/4 thrown in every fourth bar)---PJ Harvey's exquisite "Miss Him" and the Allmans' nearly pentacostal "Whipping Post."  I'm not wild about screwing with time signatures just for the sake of screwing with them (ahem, Phish, and you too, deceased persons of Alice in Chains).  But all of the above are actual songs, not just etudes, and I have listened to each (other than "Solisbury Hill," for no better reason than that I only own it on LP and I haven't had a turntable since 1992) countless times for emotional, not intellectual, reasons.  Any others that you like? 

Don't say Phish. 
GRITTY, SCRAPITAL PUNISHMENT: One of the name partners records an ad for the Pawnee law firm of Babip, Pecota, Vorp & Eckstein.
HE'S BURNT UP LIKE A WEENIE AND HIS NAME IS FRED!  Empire Magazine attempts to rank the 666 greatest horror film characters of all time. Based on my scan of the index, The Exorcist, The Omen, and The Shining tie for the lead with six characters from each listed.
BUT GOD ALMIGHTY, HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT'S HAPPENED SINCE?  There's a new production of Les Misérables coming to Broadway this spring (some casting news here). Since our longtime commenter Randy caught this production in Calgary, we've got a sneak peak.
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As you may know, LES MISERABLES is returning to Broadway next year, in a much-hyped new production. A staging of this production recently opened to rave reviews in Toronto, and a touring production recently passed through Calgary, where I saw it. A bit of context: I'm a big fan of the original show, having seen two productions in Canada (in Halifax in 1994 and Toronto in 2005). And the soundtrack has been in relatively high rotation for me for two decades now. So I'm quite familiar with the original production, but not an obsessive who's seen it twenty times.

And, of course, here be spoilers.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

SCOTCHY SCOTCH SCOTCH: There will be a new Ben and Jerry's flavor for that upcoming underpublicized Will Ferrell movie.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

MAYBE THEY SHOULD'VE CONSULTED NATE SILVER: Vulture has crunched the numbers, and generated a list of the 100 Most Valuable Stars, based on a mixture of box office, studio exec's views on how much a star adds to box office, likability scores, Oscar nominations, Twitter mentions, gossip mag attention, and critical appreciation.  Some folks seem tremendously overrated (Daniel Craig at 17 when all his non-Bond or -Dragon Tattoo films have underperformed?  Mila Kunis at 20?) while some seem underrated (Adam Sandler at 43 when he's generally pretty invincible as long as he stays in his broad comedy wheelhouse?  Tyler Perry at 99?  I don't care for his films, but they do quite well, and he's all over them in terms of branding).  Much to discuss.
JOHN TYLER'S HEIRS APPLAUD POLITELY:  Via a recent AskReddit which wondered "What's the one fun fact that you most often tell people?", I now know that there is an existing photograph in which both Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt appear.

(Last time we surveyed your favorite amazing facts: January 2012.)
IS THE WATER WARM ENOUGH?  IndieWire's weekly critics survey features a good compilation of great soundtracks/scores attached to relatively lousy films.
I SMELT IT. I DEALT IT. AND IT WAS GOOD: While many of us read Dahlia Lithwick's work on Slate, it's only relevant here about once-per-year, and that one time for 2013 is now because she decided to wear Axe Body Spray for a week to see how it felt to smell "like teen boy spirit."

Monday, October 21, 2013

HE'S THE ONE WHO LIKES ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS:  The results of our Doodle poll on the 2014 nominees to the Non-Country Popular Music of the 1950s and Beyond Hall of Fame are not tremendously surprising -- almost unanimous support for Nirvana (52/54 votes, 96.2%); strong but not filibuster-defeating support for N.W.A. (32), Peter Gabriel (31), Hall and Oates (29), and Linda Ronstadt (25); decent support for The Replacements (17, too low!) and Yes (15) and not much for anyone else, though no one went home empty-handed.

In the coming weeks, the editors of this blog will work up some Keltner analyses on the nominees we haven't yet handled. I don't think much of the Peter Gabriel case, so maybe that's the one I ought to try to examine objectively, while I'd be total fanboy on Hall and Oates regardless my qualms over the video for "Out of Touch."  Meanwhile, go ahead and defend your ballot.
OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS:  Attention Christian Borle completists and fans of sugar: the entirety of MTV's sing-a-long broadcast of Legally Blonde: The Musical is available on YouTube, and now that my daughters know I'm not sure when I'll be allowed to put on anything else for them.

[Matt's April 2007 preview review is here; from July 2008, Kim and Marsha debate the conclusion of MTV's Who Wants To Be Elle Woods?]
THANK YOU DREW HENSON, DANNY AINGE, AND MARK HENDRICKSON: There's now an app to Kevin Baconize any pair of NFL, MLB, and NBA athletes.
THAT'LL BE IN MY MIND FOR THE REST OF THE DAY:  Hey, people who aren't caught up on The Good Wife yet? Especially after last night, get moving—and next week is what one of the actors has already called their "Red Wedding" episode.

The line for Best Supporting Actress-Drama now forms behind Christine Baranski.