Wednesday, July 22, 2009 was a diamond, all right

Joe Gores vividly brings to life 1920's San Francisco in this prequel to Hammett's 'The Maltese Falcon.' Gores lived the life himself: both as a private detective/repo man, and it is these experiences; and the love he has for the great writers of the 30's/40's, which convincingly informs his masterful prose.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rant & Roll

YouTube has a number of live performances of Ed Hamell. This one, although featuring Ed being his usual polemic self, features, albeit momentarily, a more representative example of the wonderful musical racket he makes. Later albums are available from Righteous Babe records and should be purchased immediately.....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Out of my heads...

Charlie Kaufman
is one of the most interesting film directors working today (entertainingly, pun intended, Time magazine recently voted him onto their Time 100 list of most important people in the whole world.) Synecdoche, New York, is his most recent production - a phantasmagorical conceit about death and the elaborate preparations we make for it. As with his previous outings, the film employs a number of unusual cinematic devices; themselves utilised in a highly individual way, to create works of great originality - Kaufman's films always raise important questions about life and its relationship to art. Enough, already - go see/buy the picture. Synecdoche, New York - buy me now.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

No some misunderstanding...

Celebrating its fortieth anniversary real soon...taken from Dillard and Clark's second and last album, this, the haunting title track, is another wonderful example of the songwriting genius that was Gene Clark.

'Through the morning through the night.'

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thanks, Mike...

Karl Malden was much more than Lt Stone. Malden (who died on July 1, 2009) was a first rate character actor - a star of stage, movies and television - whose screen career started with Garson Kanin's 1940 film 'They knew what they wanted.' Malden's greatest big screen successes were in the 1950's. In a stellar five year period he received an oscar for 'A Streetcar named Desire,' played the part of Terry Malloy in Elia Kazan's 'On the Waterfront,' and, controversially, the role of the cuckolded Archie Meighan in, again, Kazan's, 'Baby Doll.' Many notable film roles followed - 'Patten,' being just one of the many memorable highlights. A great actor, with a career spanning eight decades, he, and the quietly convincing style of performance he championed, will be sadly missed.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Roadhouse blues..

Junior's first record was released on Demon records way back in 1990 - from which this, 'free born man,' comes. Junior Brown is nothing short of a phenomenon. Singer, songwriter, producer, lead, rhythm and steel guitarist and an inventor. But, as you will see from this virtuoso performance, Junior Brown is, mostly, Junior Brown.

New Doug...New Doug...New Doug...

....Coming very an excerpt from 'Survivor.'

Ghost writing...

David Eagleman
is to be heartily congratulated for writing this perfectly formed, highly evocative, meditation on life after life. Eagleman challenges the view that there are no answers to this oldest of questions - he writes deceptively simply, clearly and concisely, with humour, intelligence and an even-handedness rare amongst both his scientific contemporaries and those who challenge them. Sum is a great read - a thought provoking examination of the possibilities of possibility.