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BLOG TRACKS

This week's Spin: Bedknobs and Limpets
Blog
Posted on Jul 31 2014 by Greg


The music of two beloved live-action / animation movies -- both of which take place during WWII and have underwater sequences -- are showcased in two vintage records.








This week's Spin: TV Classic Top Cat on Records
Blog, TV, Music, Records
Posted on Jul 26 2014 by Greg


Hanna-Barbera's impeccably written and masterfully acted prime time animated series gets the vinyl treatment on two classic albums from the mid-60s.









BOOK REVIEW: "One More Time" by B.J. Novak
Blog, Books
Posted on Jul 15 2014 by Greg


Lots of critics are comparing B.J. Novak's writing to Steve Martin and David Sedaris and other contemporaries. I see a lot of James Thurber and especially Max Shulman. Maybe it's just me.

All I know is that this book is never-lagging, always entertainment funhouse led by a writer who's been staying very quiet and just paying attention to what's going on. And he's been doing this since he was a kid.

While there are adult moments, to be sure, in One More Thing, there's is also a lot of kid's eye-view stuff with the same inverted logic and gotchas you find in the other stories. Even the adult stuff has a child's fresh perspective on life and people. Don't let them beat it out of you, B.J. (Or may I call you "Beej," like Hawkeye on M*A*S*H?) There is outrage, but it's not bitter. The sharp digs are done with more of a headshake than a vitroilic spew.

Insight after insight, page after page. And when he seems to getting a little too close to an edge too far, he knows just how far to lean, making you wonder about what he's up to, then turns it around so you say, "OHHHH!" the way Edith Bunker used to when she finally "got" something.

Besides the cereal box story, which suggests Jean Shepard and Jerry Mathers, I LOVED the story about heaven. How did "Beej" know that's exactly the way heaven is? In addition to the free concerts, look for "I Love Lucy" live with the original cast. That's all I'm saying. Oh, and wait until you read "Wikipedia Brown!"

Worth reading and re-reading. I actually read the Dan Fogelberg story and "If I Had a Nickel" to my wife aloud. Most of the stories are best when shared. When's the last time you could say THAT about a book?



Now that I've read Novak's book, I'm in the middle of the autobiography of the writer he portrayed in "Saving Mr. Banks," Robert B. Sherman, in a book called "Moose." Very different books, but connected in a very unusual way.

The constable's responstable.







This week's Spin: Time Travel with The Sherman Brothers
Blog, Movies, TV, Music, Records
Posted on Jul 15 2014 by Greg


A young John Travolta, the voice talents of Paul Frees, music legends and more appear in two of the Sherman's most evocative musical scores.









"The Neighbors" has to move away from TV
Blog, TV
Posted on Jul 04 2014 by Greg


Buh-bye to Debbie, Marty, Larry-Bird, Jackie and the kids.

This is the sort of show that gains a following after it was overlooked in its initial run. A talented cast, savvy scripts, full blown musicals, it was something special in a sea of echhhh.

Fortunately, show runner Dan Fogelman ("The Incredibles," "Tangled") has a new show this season, Galavant, which also looks to be unique, creative and probably underappreciated, but he's to be commended for trying to do the impossible. Toks Olungadoye has a new series as well and here's hoping the rest of the cast goes on to greater success because they deserve nothing less.

Or maybe it could be discovered after its cancellation like Star Trek, WKRP and The Family Guy and become a phenomenon through its fan base. Stranger things have happened...









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