These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

pondering the white album

i have set myself up. i really have. i recently listened to the white
album and recalled some comments made by beatles producer george martin about
cutting some tracks off the double album and creating one good album with 15 songs.

so as i listened to "glass onion" and "while my guitar gently weeps" the other
day, i thought of what martin said and i got to thinking about it. then it
stuck in my head and now i'm on a mission to choose 15 (maybe 17) songs from the 29 (i know already i'm excluding revolution 9). so i decided to pose the question to
jim h. he thought it would be a difficult thing to do, but wanted to
see what my list was. i've yet to create that list.

i know i can do it. but there are several problems in my trimming of the song list.
do i include my faves on the "new" album or do i choose songs by musical merit
and originality the way martin would have chosen them? my thinking is martin's way is
better for this purpose.

the white album is not my favorite beatles album (that distinction falls to
either abbey road or sgt. pepper's). but, till, the album does present
some really awesome stuff, great guitar riffs by harrison, gret lyrics and
styles coming together, since the band rehearsed and recorded separately
ifor many songs. their different styles really came out.

there's the from-the-throat "helter skelter" that really rocks, the simplicity of
mccartney's "black bird," lennon's "happiness is a warm gun" and "i'm so tired" both of which have nice time changes as the songs progress. the allusionary tracks of "glass onion" and "savoy truffle?" or the smooth "dear prudence," the rockin'
"revolution 1" or harrison's "while my guitar gently weeps?" do i
want to include a yoko backing vocal (as in "the continuing story of bungalow bill)?

do we even have an album without the ringo track "don't pass me by?"

i dunno. i will have my list by the end of the weekend and we'll see how it

i think john got off with the better songs on thw white album. it's only my humble
opinion, but it seems like it.

Friday, December 16, 2005

split personality

i just finished watching "Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde," the 1941
version with fames cagney playing the dual lead role. i have yet to watch the
earlier fredrick march version (for which he won an academy award).

i read the stevenson novel ages ago in college (in a lit. course where we read dracula and mary reilly). i have forgotten much of the storyline, except that hyde and jekyl become one, no longer meeding the potion to transform from jekyl to hyde. it's a nice psychological book about the dark side of man and trying to control that side. (plus it also gave the stuffy jekyl a way to exorcise his bad boy side without leting people know his true identity).

but, i digress.

i really enjoyed the movie. i thought cagney played the part well. great facial
expression. i thought the transformation was done well, as the camera finally
focuses on his face while he changes over to hyde. that happened several times
throughout the movie. i love the sexual undertones through dialogue, movement
and the showing of some leg (albeit lower leg area), without ever actually getting down to doing the deed on film.

the violence is there, too. it's implied and rarely shown. hyde does beat ivy, but you never get to see the bruises. he also attacks a man and beats him with a cane. but you only see the cane go up and down several times. sometimes not seeing the crime or sex is good. that's what these old movies have that modern-day flicks just can't seem to get away from.

dawn and i have gotten into watching old movies. we have a stack of them yet to watch that we've rented from the library. i've become a big fan of humphrey bogart.
i'm beginning to see through what i've watched that he's one of the best actors of all time. not just a movie star (like freak tom cruise, who can't really act), but a
genuine actor.

next on my list is sahara. another bogart flick.

Monday, December 12, 2005

reality shows

"survivor: guatemala" finishes last night with dani overcoming heavy odds to win top spot and the $1 million. it was quite a relief to have this season's show finally end. i normally enjoy the show, cuss when someone unjustly gets booted off and cuss even more when an ass on the show gets his or her way. the show itself has become a mold wich has been used over and over again,sometime sto predictability. you can almost guess what the next step is going to be. the producers need to do something new. i've suggested to dawn maybe an allmale or all female cast. the women would certainly prove to be catty. themen would try to outdo each other physically.

but i am most glad the show is over because no longer have to stand by mark's cubicle watching the tv overhead to see where contestant gary hogeboom is finishing off the episode and panicking every time he was didn't get an immunity or if his name came up for being voted off the show. in the early days of the season, i didn't have any phone numbers to talk with him. the numbers we had for him never got us anywhree. finally i got wise and called up his son jake, who's in real estate in the area, and got his cell. eventually i ended up talking to him for the folo up to the story when gary was booted, which i didn't get to write since it was on thanksgiving and i was not working that night. so for the past few weeks it was calming to sit back and watch for the sake of watching and not because i had to for a 10 or 12 inch story.


the saga does continue tomorrow night. it's the last episode of "the amazing race; family edition" and our family the bransens are in the thick of it with two other families for the big moolah. it's a two-hour show, starting at 9 p.m. that is going to be hard because after watching, i don't know if i can get a hold of them so late. they will be in new york. i have a cell number, but will they answer? will they talk? i don't know. if not, i may have to do a folo the following day as with survivor. we'll see. i tried a PR guy at CBS and not heard from him. i'll have to give him a jingle today at work to see if it's possible to chat with lindsay bransen, her dad and mom.

watching "the amazing race" has been extremely difficult because of my eye sight. the show is very fast-paced and switching from team to team is constant. the family's name is written on the bottom of the screen when they're talking, but it doesnt' last long. in addition, not being able to sit up close to the tv has not helped me at all. the overhead tv is several feet higher than my head and difficult to watch with my bad eyes.

so i hope no one from our area is on another reality show anymore during my time at the paper. it's always a hectic time. fuck saying "oh, you get to watch an hour of tv at work." nope, because sometimes i'm getting pages to proof, listening to the scanner, or i have to rush to finish up another article from a meeting i just came back from so i can stand by and watch th show, that my blood pressure is usually running on high.

goodbye reality shows.