Friday, January 24, 2014

Today's best thing ever: Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra hamburger recipes

Video find: Rahsaan Roland Kirk and John Cage in "Sound???"

Today's best picture ever: Hayley Mills

Pop culture roundup: Jack Kirby! John Lennon! Peter Sellers! Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey! Dial B for Blog!

Via The Bristol Board, Jack Kirby's original art displaying a cut-away of the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building!


Today in Beatles memorabilia: John Lennon's Kenwood estate, the Beatles' home during much of his 1960s fame, is for sale for around $25 million. Check out lots of pics here.


Via Dangerous Minds: A star-studded, and bizarre, 1969 profile of Peter Sellers.


Ailing Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson and Who vocalist Roger Daltrey have recorded a new LP together.
"Going Back Home" is set for release this March, and will feature 10 originals from Johnson, from both his solo career and his bands Dr. Feelgood and Solid Senders, along with a cover of Bob Dylan's "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?" The LP was recorded last November at Yellow Fish in Uckfield, England. It will come out on the influential blues, soul, and R&B label Chess Records, which is being revived for this release.


Welcome back Dial B for Blog! The much-beloved comics blog by comics historian and talented graphics wiz "Robby Reed" returns with new posts today after a two-year absence. It's always been one of my favorite online stops.

Fab Friday: Vintage Beatles pics

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Video find: Shirley Ellis sings the Name Game

Vans creates Beatles-inspired Yellow Submarine shows

Check 'em out!

Today's best picture ever: Gorgo!

Pop stuff: Nebraska and Anchorman 2

What I'm watching, reading, hearing, etc.

Two very different nights at the movie this past weekend.

My wife and I caught "Nebraska," which is in contention for a number of Academy Awards, and rightfully so.

It's a quiet film -- in black and white, even -- about an old guy who's convinced that the sweepstakes letter he's received in the mail will pay off big money, and he sets off from his home in Billings, Montana for Lincoln, Nebraska, to collect.

At first, Woody (played by an extremely understated Bruce Dern) tries to hitchhike. A longtime drunk, he's not allowed to drive himself. But his worried son, David (Will Forte), ultimately agrees to drive, though he's convinced the letter is bogus.

Woody is a guy who never got excited by much -- not work, not his marriage, not his kids. He doesn't say much either. And, when he does, it's often not very nice. But to see his old man excited (in his way) and hopeful, triggers something in David. He's hopeful, too, that maybe he'll get a chance now, in middle age, to finally figure out his dad.

The duo pass through some rough yet beautiful, spare and quiet territory to reach their destination.

It's a film that could be very sad, and sometimes is, but mostly it is hopeful, and also very funny. There's a great, unexpected caper scene that you'll remember pretty much forever, and June Squibb as Woody's long-suffering, and insufferable, wife is side-splittingly hilarious. Where has this woman been all our movie-going lives?

Also very funny, in a completely different way, is Will Ferrell and the gang's second outing as Ron Burgundy and his 1970s news crew cohorts in "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," which I saw as part of my occasional "guys' dumb movie night" outings. It was an apt choice.

Ferrell is his generation's Chevy Chase -- a guy who can play straight and goofy at the same time, who has absolutely no shame when it comes to seeking a laugh. He's proud to look dumb, and we're happy to see him that way.

For a sequel, it's a solid movie, with lots of laughs and good pacing. There's some cringe-worthy stuff involving Burgundy's discomfort and cluelessness involving race, and a sequence in which he goes blind (I can't really explain), but it's clear that the only one being ridiculed is Burgundy, himself.

Even so, dumb as he is, you've got to admit Burgundy is pretty talented. Who else do you know who can figure skate and play jazz flute at the same time?

And, ultimately, it's Ron who exposes to us in this film the empty sensationalism of 24-hour TV news. This picture actually has a point!

Monday, January 20, 2014

It was 50 years ago today: Meet the Beatles released in the U.S., Jan. 20, 1964

Today's best picture ever: Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali

Music new releases Jan. 21, 2014: Beatles U.S. albums; Colin Blunstone!

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

The Beatles The U.S. Albums
Individual albums available, too:

On The Air Tonight by Colin Bluntstone

DVD and Blu-ray new releases Jan. 20, 2014: Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Criterion edition; Machete Kills; Borgen season 3; In a World; Muscle Shoals!

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

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray/DVD)

Machete Kills

Borgen: Season 3

In a World

Muscle Shoals