Archive for March, 2009

45 @ 60

March 31, 2009


Today marks 60 years since the first 45 RPM record was released. “Texarkana Baby” by Eddy Arnold (RCA Victor) appeared on March 31, 1949.

(related posts: Reggae 45s part 1, Reggae 45s part 2)

Temposphere, KFAI 03/28/09

March 28, 2009


Luke loaned us the keys to the Temposphere sporty car again tonight. Without the aid of GPS we visited Kingston, Brazil, Australia, Hollywood, Mali and points beyond (and now that we’ve got the full CDs we heard some great deeper cuts from the latest Amadou & Mariam and Rokia Traore albums). You can stream the show for two weeks here or you can click through for the playlist.


Rokia Traore: Dounia

March 27, 2009

From her current CD, Tchamantché.

Made In Mali by Amadou and Mariam

March 22, 2009


Once again, US music fans wait for the release of new music already available in Europe and elsewhere for months. In this case, the new Amadou and Mariam CD Made In Mali finally has a street date, this Tuesday, March 24. The latest titles by Orchestra Baobab and Rokia Traore were presumably held up to coincide with American tours, so can we assume that’s the case with Amadou and Mariam, only seen in the US very rarely if at all? Yes, but… check the NYT article for more.

Beat Digging in West Africa

March 22, 2009

From the Voodoo Funk blog comes this enticing trailer of an upcoming film by Leigh Iacobucci about DJ Frank’s search for funky records from the 70s and beyond in Benin and Ghana.

Temposphere 03/14/09

March 15, 2009


We started off this week’s edition of Temposphere (sitting in for Luke Andrews) with a nice version of Shuggie Otis’ Inspiration Information by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings from the new Red Hot compilation Dark Was The Night on 4AD, and over the course of the evening worked our way through lots of samba, jazz, reggae and disco to brighten your Pi Day evening, coming almost full circle with a track from Horace Andy and Ashley Beedle off their new Strut CD called…  Inspiration Information (Volume 2). You can stream the show for 2 weeks here; playlist is posted on the KFAI site and here after the jump.


20 Actors (coda)

March 5, 2009


One more go-round with the 20 actors theme, and then we can give it a rest. More tough guys, funny guys, guys with hats, guys with mustaches. All unforgettable.

Spencer Tracy, Emil Jannings, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Fred Astaire, Boris Karloff, Robert Mitchum, Charles Laughton, Chishu Ryu, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Rod Steiger, Takashi Shimura, Daniel Craig, Bruno Ganz, Jeff Bridges, Jason Stathan, Jeffrey Wright, Tony Leung, Alec Baldwin, Daniel Day Lewis.

(related posts: 20 Actors, 20 (more) Actors, 20 Actresses, 20 (more) Actresses, 20 Actresses (grand finale))

Hobson’s Choice (1954)

March 5, 2009

It’s actually something of a relief that not every Criterion Collection release is an essential title, but regrettably/happily this one is.

Hobson’s Choice is a compact marvel of classic movie storytelling. Charles Laughton is unsurprisingly masterful as the boozy patriarch of a family in northern England but Brenda De Banzie is a revelation as his defiant daughter. It’s the type of role that could have gone to Kate Hepburn if this was a 40s American production but she may have imparted a subtext of insecurity to the character’s bravura. De Banzie’s Maggie follows her instincts with dead certainty and no apologies and is a completely formidable foil to the mighty Laughton. (Also among the great cast is a young Prunella Scales, the future Mrs. Basil Fawlty, as one of Maggie’s sisters.)

There are precious few clues that this movie comes from the hand of the director of Lawrence of Arabia, but while that movie suggests an outward infinity, Hobson’s Choice hints at the worlds within worlds of even small town life. And Maggie’s unlikely choice of a beau shows the potential for greatness from unexpected sources.