Archive for July, 2009

20 Shots: The Navigator (1924)

July 29, 2009


It’s been bothering me that I’ve been unable to attend Trylon Microcinema’s Buster Keaton series (the best way to see silent films: on a big screen, with an audience, and with live musicians). That, along with tracking down a copy of Rudi Blesh’s magnificent Keaton biography (discovered on The Dancing Image’s regularly updated Movie Bookshelf) inspired me to have a Keaton DVD marathon of my own at Casa Surface Noise. With a treasured copy of The Art of Buster Keaton box set I’ve been able to revisit (or in some cases see for the first time) two reelers including The Playhouse, Cops, and The Frozen North, as well as the features Our Hospitality, Sherlock Jr., Battling Butler and The Navigator.

The Navigator, despite being marred by the arrival of a bevy of un-PC cannibals at the film’s conclusion, is for the most part a brilliant merger of the minimal (a two character melodrama) and the maximal (the set is an abandoned ocean liner adrift at sea). Through a few twists of fate Rollo Treadway finds himself stranded in the middle of the ocean with Betsy O’Brien (fearlessly played by Kathryn McGuire), the woman who had just turned down his impetuous proposal of marriage. Conspired against by both nature and man made machinery, the thrown-together couple are nevertheless beginning to tame both (in the madly resourceful Keaton manner) when all hell breaks loose, yet fate steps in once again to save the day.

Global Beat, KFAI 07/22/09

July 22, 2009


I loved the focus of doing an all Reggae show last week on Global Beat, but it was nice today to get back to the original mission of the show (and the station): radio without boundaries. To that end we heard music from Mali, Chile, Spain, Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, Cape Verde, New York City and points beyond, from such artists as Milton Nascimento, Horace Andy, Oumou Sangare, The Afro Cuban All Stars and many others. There is a two week window of opportunity to hear the show via MP3 stream at the KFAI site, I’ve also posted playlists here and there.


Temposphere, KFAI 07/18/09

July 18, 2009


Somehow none of the artists I promised to play at the top of tonight’s edition of Temposphere wound up getting played. I humbly apologize to disappointed listeners, sometimes the show just takes a direction of its own. So instead of Gilberto Gil, Jon Hendricks and Tony Allen we heard other worthies such as Eddie Bo, France Gall (pictured), The Love Unlimited Orchestra and Manu Dibango. Far from a total loss. The show is available for your streaming convenience (for two weeks only, don’t dawdle) at the KFAI site; playlist is posted here and there, just click through.


Global Beat, KFAI 7/15/09: Reggae Special

July 15, 2009


As the calendar year flies by it was time to cool down the pace and present an All Reggae Edition of Global Beat. Tracks from Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, The Mighty Diamonds and Toots & The Maytals flowed like Appleton rum on a hot and humid summer day, and General Moses joined us in the studio for a great primer on Ska music, the direct antecedent of reggae. The program lives on for two weeks as an MP3 stream or Real Audio at the KFAI site. Complete playlist is available by clicking through there or here. (pictured: The Jiving Juniors, photo courtesy of Legends of Ska)


20 Shots: Jazz on a Summer’s Day (1960)

July 13, 2009


Feeling it would be impossible to do successfully, art director and photographer Bert Stern made a late decision to not travel to Newport and film the 1958 Jazz Festival, but fortunately was persuaded otherwise at the last minute. While Jazz on a Summer’s Day only features a fraction of the stunning 3 day lineup (with nice moments from Anita O’Day, Dinah Washington, Chico Hamilton, Jimmy Guiffre and others), Stern’s vision was to capture the day in full 360 degrees with performance footage mixed with shots of the America’s Cup race that was ongoing nearby and, most critically, much candid photography of the concertgoers who seem blissfully unaware of the cameras trained on them even when directly lit in the evening shots. Stern let serendipity be his guide for the day, part of the formula for great jazz as well as great  documentaries.

Temposphere, KFAI 07/11/09

July 11, 2009


On tonight’s midsummer edition of Temposphere new tracks from Céu, Nino Moschella, Lura, and Sa-Ra Creative Partners mixed nicely with classics by Marvin Gaye, Jorge Ben, Lee Hazlewood, and Dennis Brown. This two hour musical cocktail is available for your streaming convenience (up to 2 weeks from airtime) at the KFAI site. The playlist is ready for your vicarious enjoyment there and here by merely clicking through.


LP Covers: Global Tour part 2

July 8, 2009


Covers culled from the mad record bazaar called the Internet.

(related posts: Vintage Jazz Record Covers, More Vintage Jazz Record Covers, BYG Actuel Jazz LP Covers, Brazilian LP Covers, More Brazilian LP Covers, Reggae 45s, Reggae 45s Part 2, LP Cover Bonanza, Record Covers: Global Tour, Asian Pop Record Covers, 78 RPM Record Labels)

Temposphere, KFAI 07/04/09

July 4, 2009


It was a bumpier ride than I expected (tech issues, human issues), yet somehow I survived tonight’s edition of Temposphere, and when I wasn’t cueing up the wrong tracks (not the worst of it, I assure you) we actually heard some nice cuts from James Brown, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Cornell Campbell, Gigi and many others including a brand new track from the lovely Lura. You can stream the show (Real Audio or MP3) at the KFAI site for two weeks or so here, playlist is also available by clicking through.


20 Actresses (ultimo)

July 1, 2009


Mabel Normand, Bette Davis, Brigitte Bardot, Nancy Carroll, Jeanette McDonald, Ossi Oswaldo, Vivien Leigh, Pola Negri, Silvia Sidney, Marilyn Monroe, Eva Dahlbeck, Anna May Wong, Simone Simon, Ingrid Thulin, Claudia Cardinale, Eva Marie Saint, Elsa Lanchester, Eartha Kitt, Diana Rigg, Francoise Hardy

related and recommended: Allure’s recent post of wonderful early film actress ephemera.

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