Round 2 of Keith Appreciation

So, this song came up on my itunes shuffle on the way home from work yesterday, and after listening to it on repeat several times to drown out the commotion of the packed subway station, I decided that another Keith Richards Appreciation post was in order.

The above is from Keith’s tour with his band The X-Pensive Winos, sometime in the 90s. (The original song is “Winsome” by Jamaican artist Half Pint, by the way. In case you didn’t know, Keef is all about that rasta life.) 
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Confession: the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school, I went through a huge Keef phase, and there was this CD that I’d burned that I listened to literally every night as I fell asleep. It was all the Rolling Stones ballads that KR sings, which are surprisingly sentimental compared to the rest of the Stones canon. I wish I had it now…I can’t remember all the songs on it, but will list a select few as suggested listening.

Note: I’ve taken the liberty of choosing live performances so as to maximize the dichotomy between Keef’s craggy face/hairy chest and the content of the songs:

I read somewhere (his autobiography, probably?) that Keith is naturally very restless/jumpy, and that he used drugs like heroin to “calm down.” After listening to these songs, seems like it did the trick, eh?
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Life is a comedy in long-shot

In celebration of Charlie Chaplin, who was born on this day in 1889, here are some home videos of the Tramp being downright dashing (these are from the Unknown Chaplin series, basically a treasure trove of footage):



“‘Why can’t we take all the leaders of the different countries who are opposing each other in war, strip them down to their trunks, put them in a ring and let them fight it out?’ he used to say to me whimsically. ‘You would see all shapes and sizes – short and tall, lean and pot-bellied and knock-kneed – everything. And it would be such a ridiculous sight it would end strife right there.'” – Charles Chaplin, Jr.

"That’s a good terminal. I’ve thrown up there."

Reasons to like Play It Again Sam:

  1. The Casablanca references, obviously. A film nerd’s dream. 
  2. It takes place in San Francisco. I like to believe that Woody Allen, as the writer, choose SF as the setting solely so he could get the last scene right. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean. 
  3. It was the first film pairing of Woody Allen and Diane Keaton.
  4. Not to mention…Diane Keaton. She’s just the best. 
  5. The charming outdatedness of Tony Roberts’ character always calling his office to give the phone number of the place he’s currently staying. How did people survive without cell phones??

I don’t know what’s more hilarious, the spot-on dialogue or Woody’s slapstick humor. This clip has a perfect combo of both:

And of course, who wouldn’t want their own personal Bogey to give dating advice…
I can’t believe it took me this long to see this movie. The thing about Woody Allen films is that there’s so many it seems impossible for any one person to have seen them all. And that’s awesome, because it means I’ll be discovering equally hilarious movies for a loooong time…

"Wendyyyy…"

I recently re-rewatched Making ‘The Shining’ which is a documentary about exactly that. It’s a really interesting little film, the gist of which goes something like:

Shelley Duvall: *whines*
Stanley Kubrick: Stop whining, Shelley.
Jack Nicholson: *is awesome*

Seriously though, how cool is Jack? I feel like he never causes problems on the set, because he’s just too cool to care that much.

I also recently watched Room 237, which is a bunch of (sometimes ridiculous) interpretations about The Shining as told by 5 film critics. Some of it was fascinating, but…there’s a limit to how long you can listen to a woman interpret a skiing poster as an elaborate minotaur symbol when obviously it’s just a skiing poster.

Read some of the theories here and decide for yourself if it’s worth a watch.

The Beatles weren’t the Beatles without….

Fun fact: I’ve had this post in draft form since 2008. Not sure why I never posted it.

Another fun fact: It’s now 2013 and George Martin is pushing 90 years old WOW. 

Alright. Time to address the age-old question: Who is the real Fifth Beatle? There are a lot of opinions, and here are just a few of mine…

Brian Epstein – Probably the biggest contender. In terms of elevating the Beatles to pop culture icon status and securing them a permanent place in music history, Brian Epstein is to thank. It’s hard to come across a band who has such a close relationship with their manager as the Beatles did, and I think his untimely death was a huge factor in their eventual rift. +1 for Brian.

Lovin the popped collar, Brian. The man had style (tumblr agrees).
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Pete Best – Ok so he was there for the early rise of Beatlemania, and he was a member of the group for several years…but since he virtually disappeared after getting the boot, I don’t really associate him with the Beatles. Plus he charges 20 bucks for autographs. -1 for Pete.

About to get pwned by Ringo!
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Stuart Sutcliffe – Awwww Stu. I love Stu. But he wasn’t really that keen on being in the Beatles from the start, and had to learn how to play bass just to stay in. But he had a lot of artistic influence on John, and was also there when the Beatles started to get popular (and their crazy Hamburg days), so he definitely deserves some credit. It would’ve been interesting to see where he ended up. +0.5 for Stu.

Hipster Stu: was in the Beatles before it was cool.
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Yoko Ono – …no.

George Martin – In my humble opinion, Sir George deserves the most props and is my personal vote for 5th Beatle, although he has publicly denounced the title. I have so much respect for this man. He took the Beatles through their entire recording career, produced all their albums (except Let It Be…that’s another story), and was very much involved in their creative and musical progress. Many of the orchestral pieces were scored/conducted by him (think Eleanor Rigby), and you can hear him playing the keyboard solo in “In My Life.” What a bamf. +100 for Sir George.

Demonstrating proper guitar technique, undoubtedly.
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Sgt. Pepper Era = GM going along with everyone’s crazy ideas.
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Judging Paul’s engineering skills.
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Aww, cute.
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