Shot Of Rhythm

[ Friday, October 22, 2004 ]

 

Hymn of praise

I watched THE OFFICE SPECIAL last night night on BBC America. A two-hour finale to this great, great show, said special absolutely confirmed and strengthened my belief that THE OFFICE is one of the very best things TV - American, British or otherwise - has ever offered. Apart from being gut-bustingly funny (with a kind of humor that hits the first time and only grows richer with repeated viewings), THE OFFICE is also filled with a kind of realism - and poignancy - that most sitcoms (or dramas, for that matter) don't seem to care to aspire to. The characters are all fabulously wrought in writing and performance, and the emotional impact of some of the show's moments (of which I counted at least 5 in the finale) is startling. This is not just a great television comedy (although it's right up there with FAWLTY TOWERS in those terms), this is a great television show, period.

And, thanks to the refreshingly noble decision by the show's creators to end it after two seasons (plus this finale), it's relatively affordable to purchase the entire series. Do yourself a favor; you won't regret it.

On the box right now: John Mellencamp, WORDS AND MUSIC: COLLECTION 1980-2004. I forgot how much I loved "Just Another Day," which is one of his more minor hits, but would've hit #1 if I ran the charts.

REGISTER AND VOTE!!! IF YOU DON'T, YOU SPIT ON THE GRAVES OF THOSE WHO DIED FOR THE RIGHT.

Peace...

Dove With Claws [3:20 PM]

[ Wednesday, October 20, 2004 ]

 

Baseball is great

And the reason is because of things like the ALCS. Some of the best, most dramatic baseball I've ever seen played, with more stories and surprises than seemingly possible. I'm happy for the Boston Red Sox, especially since they beat the New York Yankees (who I've never liked), and even more so because they did it in historic fashion. These last four games were truly something to see, and it'll be very interesting to watch the World Series.

I love to see right-wingers fighting with each other, and the Pat Robertson/George Bush fued is a perfect example. I personally don't know who's telling the truth, nor do I care, but - especially when judging by Ron Suskind's fantastic NY TIMES article last Sunday - I have a feeling that Rev. Robertson might actually be telling the God's honest truth for once. And I emphasize the "for once"...

On the box right now: Mos Def, THE NEW DANGER.

REGISTER AND VOTE!!! IF YOU DON'T, YOU SPIT ON THE GRAVES OF THOSE WHO DIED FOR THE RIGHT.

Peace...

Dove With Claws [10:27 PM]

[ Monday, October 18, 2004 ]

 

A member of the country club

I can feel myself rapidly settling into a major country-music period right now. Instead of hitting up the usual suspects (Cash, Haggard, Loretta), though, this one started with the purchase of greatest hits packages from Randy Travis and George Strait. Now, I've always loved the sound of Travis' voice - which manages to almost out-Lefty-Frizell Lefty Frizell - and I've liked the Strait that I've managed to accumulate, by hook or by crook, over the years, but I've never devoted any serious listening time to either.

Both packages (Travis: GREATEST HITS on Rhino Records; Strait: 50 #1 HITS) have been real revelations for me. Strait's catalog is really outstanding, and Travis' material is a lot more solid than I'd ever given it credit for. (Granted, a greatest-hits comp is probably not the place at which to judge the entirety of an artist's catalog, but cut me some slack, Jack.) Both are straight-up heart music, with dulcet tones and top-notch Nashville songcraft. There was a period of time in which, thanks to a big-time dose of hipster self-righteousness, I'd never have given either Travis or Strait a chance. Luckily, just like Bob Dylan, I was so much older then but I'm younger than that now.

(Oh, and I love Martina McBride's "Independence Day." It's on two different country mixes that people have given me, and it is a great song.)

Speaking of Bob Dylan, I bought volume one of his autobiography, CHRONICLES. Appropriately, I don't know how straight he's playing with us, but there's a ton of great Dylan lines and stories in there. My current favorite quote (65 pages in) is where he describes that 1950s rock and roll singers sound like they're "navigating burning ships." Preach on, brother.

I'll be back later with some political stuff...

On the box right now: Craig Werner's Ultimate Country Collection, Disc 2. (This is one of the discs with "Independence Day" on it, if you hadn't guessed.)

REGISTER AND VOTE!!! IF YOU DON'T, YOU SPIT ON THE GRAVES OF THOSE WHO DIED FOR THE RIGHT.

Peace...

Dove With Claws [7:37 PM]