Thursday, April 2
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Tag: John Williams

Sunday Jazz: Ron Carter’s “Empire Jazz”

Sunday Jazz: Ron Carter’s “Empire Jazz”

Music, Sunday Jazz
For most of my life I assumed that when it came to other musicians offering their take on John Williams' timeless scores for the Star Wars trilogy, the be all and end all was Meco's Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk. Who hasn't gotten down to the stone cold disco groove of "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" at least once in their life? But it turns out there is actually more sweet Star Wars tuneage from that era. Take, for example, this week's Sunday Jazz entry. It's five tracks of the swingin' space jazz courtesy of legendary bassist Ron Carter -- Empire Jazz. And dig that cover art! It was released in 1980 on the RSO Records label. RSO (home of the Bee Gees) also distributed the official soundtrack for The Empire Strikes Back, so this release seems like a natural progression. OK, maybe no...
Commercials I love: The Force (Volkswagen)

Commercials I love: The Force (Volkswagen)

Advertising
Another year, another batch of uninspired Super Bowl commercials behind us.  But wait!  There were some worthy ones this year, not the least is this awesome one from Volkswagen called "The Force": This Passat ad already won me over for the Darth Vader costume and awesome John Williams "Imperial March" Star Wars score.  But as the parent of a 10-month-old, I couldn't help but get a little misty at the kid's reaction to the car starting up.  And if you thought this ad was hokey and sentimental, well you're right.  Except that it's awesome at the same time. There does seem to be some debate as to whether or not that's a little boy or girl in the Vader outfit.  The YouTube description says it's a boy, which means he's in his sister's room trying to Force choke her doll or something. 
GFS at the Movies: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

GFS at the Movies: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

Movies
As delighted as Potterphiles were when it was announced that the final entry in J.K. Rowling's seven-part series would be split into two movies, so were non-fans and haters bemused and annoyed.  So I think the first question that needs to be answered about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 is, was it a wise artistic decision or a cynical cash grab? I think it's probably a bit of both, but as a fan I think it was definitely a good move.  There is simply too much story to be crammed into one, three-hour film, a lesson we all learned the hard way with the Half-Blood Prince.  By devoting an entire movie to the first part of the story, Deathly Hallows flows much more smoothly and I didn't feel like I had to have crib notes or keep my head on a swivel. Director David Yates a
Gray Flannel Mixtape: Seinfeld songs

Gray Flannel Mixtape: Seinfeld songs

Music
These days it's commonplace for music to function as an integral part of a television show; think Grey's Anatomy, Smallville or Dawson's Creek. With Seinfeld, not so much. Nevertheless, there are more than a few classic moments during the series that can be called to mind with just a few notes. With that in mind I give you the Seinfeld Songs Mixtape. The following songs were played on at least one episode of Seinfeld, which started featuring much more non-original music during its last few seasons. There are numerous instances of songs being sung by characters on the show, but unless at least a small clip of the song was played or performed, they don't qualify for my mixtape. "Desperado" and "Witchy Woman" (Eagles), heard on "The Checks" - Here's a classic rock two-fer. "Desperado" ...