I ask you - what's not to love about this album cover? Sure it's textbook '50s lounge cheese, but that's precisely what makes it so great. The smoky font, the swooning lady, and the outstretched arms of one Mr. Ronnie Deauville all combine to produce a wonderful piece of cover art. Throw in the Atomic Age logo of Era Records and you've got a winner. Behold, 1956's Smoke Dreams: Sadly this cover marked the end of an era for Deauville, who in 1956 was involved in a car accident and was stricken by polio. He spent more than a year in an iron lung and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. For more about that, check out this post from People vs. Dr. Chilledair.
I'll get the unpleasantness out of the way right now - the Billy Quizboy/Pete White-centric Venture Bros. episodes need to stop for awhile. Billy and Pete are not nearly as interesting as Jackson and Doc seem to think they are, and diving deeper into their pasts, their relationship, or their neuroses doesn't really make for compelling television. Oh yeah, and I didn't see a Monstroso-heavy plot coming. Not sure they really know what to do with the character, outside of the deep voice and jokes about his size. Isn't he really just a more normal version of Baron Ünderbheit, a character they ditched for a few seasons? (more…)
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Wait, haven't we seen this already? Well, sort of. I featured this Iron Maiden classic in the summer of 2009, but today I give you a fresh take. It's "The Trooper" done bossa nova style by Andy Rehfeldt, who has a series of remakes on YouTube that are as hilarious as they are damn clever. It seems a little fast to be a bossa nova, but maybe that's just me. Regardless, when the chorus kicks in it really goes to a whole new level of win.
Like most people my age, my main exposure to opera has been through Bugs Bunny cartoons like "What's Opera, Doc?" and "Rabbit of Seville". The genius of those shorts was that they took high art and made it into something even attention span-challenged American kids could enjoy. But I imagine they spurred a greater interest in opera for only a very few. So it was for me. I always thought of opera as something other, unattainable and likely too difficult to enjoy. I can hang with a foreign film once in a while, but the thought of watching people singing in Italian or German while wearing tights was too much to take. I guess I always just regarded it as Broadway with more elaborate costumes and different languages. Classical music was a different story - while I still haven't grasp
I was going to go with "I wish I was taller" but it didn't seem to fit. Think you can do better? Enter here and share!
For those who follow these episode recaps, apologies for missing last week's of "Bright Lights, Dean's City". Real life got in the way for the first few days and by the time it got to Wednesday it seemed a bit pointless to write a recap. But real quickly - it was probably a B-, if for no other reason than it felt like the lesser companion to "Everybody Comes to Hank's". It was goofy but I think I'm done with the whole Phantom Limb/Prof. Incredible duo for a bit. So on to "Assisted Suicide", in which Dr. Orpheus returns and the show hits a high mark. As self-contained episodes go, this was one of the best over the past few years. The dialogue was crisp and funny, and there was just enough emotional depth to make it more than fluff. And did I mention Dr. Orpheus? Because he never g