Tag: dance

Album Cover of the Week: For Twisters Only

Album Cover of the Week: For Twisters Only

Album Cover of the Week, Music
If there has ever been artists to get a ton of mileage out of one song, it's Chubby Checker and "The Twist." Yeah I know he had other hits in the '60s, but Checker hasn't been able to milk "Pony Time" for everything from song sequels to ads for Oreo cookies and the Social Security Administration. Today's featured album cover comes from Checker's commercial prime. It's a 1961 covers album entitled For Twisters Only, and it was clearly meant to capitalize on his biggest song, which had hit #1 in 1960. Surprisingly this LP (Parkway Records, P 7002) did not contain "The Twist" at all, but rather a host of hits from the '50s such as "Hound Dog," "Rock Around the Clock," and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On." Graphically this is primitive but appealing. There's the obvious choice of a ...
GFS home movies: SoulBoy

GFS home movies: SoulBoy

Movies
I don't think it's possible for me to watch a coming-of-age dance movie like SoulBoy without tracing some threads back to the godfather of them all - Saturday Night Fever.  The key story elements are all there.  Working-class boy meets a girl seemingly beyond reach, and sets about to win her through the power of dance.  He is oblivious to the adoration of a more down-to-earth girl.  Along the way he grows up a little, comes to resent his clownish friends, and it all ends with a climactic dance-off for all the glory. The two leading men - Martin Compston's Joe McCain and John Travolta's Tony Manero - seem to be cut from the same cloth.  They're both working class stiffs (Joe is a delivery boy, Tony is a paint store lackey), they both find purpose in dancing, and they both eventually
Listening Booth – Britney Spears, “Toxic”

Listening Booth – Britney Spears, “Toxic”

Listening Booth, Music
Yes that's right, that Britney Spears.  I scoff at just about every recorded utterance her name's ever been attached to, but damn if this isn't one of the most infectious pop songs of the decade.  Of course Britney's vocals are hardly what sells the song - that accolade goes to the crack production job by the Swedish duo of Bloodshy & Avant.  Whoever the hell they are. So yeah, here's the first and last really good song from Britney Spears, 2004's "Toxic".
Sweet fantasy: My five favorite Mariah Carey songs

Sweet fantasy: My five favorite Mariah Carey songs

Music
Yes, you read that post title correctly. I've made a lot of jokes about Mariah Carey over the years, but the fact is she is damn good at what she does. I and many others thought for sure she was going to be a flash in the pan when she hit big back in the early '90s, but at this point I have to admit that she's built a legitimate career for herself.   With the imminent release of Mariah's next album, E=MC² (itself a clever name that means (E)mancipation = (MC²) [Mariah Carey to the second power]), I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the music of one of the greatest and yet unappreciated performers of the last 20 years. So here's a list of my five favorite Mariah songs (my own Fave 5 if you will). "Fantasy" - C'mon, how can you not love a song that makes l
Gray Flannel Mixtape – Desert Island #1s

Gray Flannel Mixtape – Desert Island #1s

Music
I'm not sure what the origin of the whole "desert island" thing is when referring to music, movies, and other stuff you really like. Why not a tropical island? That one Tom Hanks got stuck on in Cast Away seemed pretty nice, didn't it? Oh right, the point. So apropos of nothing, I recently participated in a fantasy draft on a favorite message board of mine. But instead of drafting a sports team, we picked from a list of every song that has ever reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, now in its 50th year. The only catch was that each team had to select at least two songs from each decade ('58 - '69 was lumped together). That made things interesting, because the pickings for truly good #1 songs started to get real slim starting in the 1990s. Overall I'm pleased with my team,...
The guilty pleasures of Staying Alive

The guilty pleasures of Staying Alive

Movies
How can you tell the difference between a simply bad movie and a guilty pleasure? Well for one, when watching a guilty pleasure you may experience at least one out-of-body moment where you scream at yourself, "Dude, what the hell?! There has to be something better on TV right now. Infomercials, Leave It to Beaver reruns...anything!" And yet, objectivity is lost and you keep watching anyway. Such was my dilemma as I stayed up way too late in my hotel room last night watching the 1983 John Travolta magnum opus Staying Alive. I was conscious of watching a terrible film yet powerless to stop myself. I'm not sure what was most compelling - the cheesy dialogue, the horribly dated dance moves and costumes, or the fact that Frank Stallone not only dominated the soundtrack but actually had...