Cynics – I Need More …. Power Pop Friday

I’ve posted a song by the Cynics before and now they remain in my playlist. They had a great recording engineer…they always capture the guitar wonderfully.

There was quite a big garage band scene in the 80s from all over the world. These bands stuck close to their ancestors but with a little more punch in the modern recording. They avoided the dated sound unlike some of their more popular peers.

The Cynics were from Pittsburgh and along with the Chesterfield Kings, the Milkshakes, and the Fuzztones were early founders of the 1980s garage rock revival movement. They pick up where the garage bands from the 60s left off.

This band is not limited to garage rock. I’ve heard everything from power pop to folk from them in songs.

Gregg Kostelich started the Cynics in 1983. The other members were drummer Bill Von Hagen, vocalist Michael Kastelic who joined in 1985, bass player Steve Magee, and keyboardist Becky Smith who debuted with their first album, Blue Train Station in 1986.

This song is not from the 80s but from 2011. It’s off of their album Spinning Wheel Motel. The guitar walk-down in this song is great…you can hear it right after each chorus. It could have been made in 1968. My favorite part of the song? The intense feedback at the end!

I Need More

I hope this letter finds you wellThere’s not too much for me to tell

I mailed it from another highwayAnd I don’t know what I’m looking forI don’t know who I am so I’m taking it door to doorI try to understand, but I just can’t take it no more

It doesn’t matter what you sayPeople only pay to hear you play

I mailed it from another highwayAnd I don’t know what I’m looking forI don’t know who I am so I’m taking it door to doorI try to understand, but I just can’t take it no more

I’ve had as much as I can takeWhy does everybody have to break?

I mailed it from another highwayAnd I don’t know what I’m looking forI don’t know who I am so I’m taking it door to doorI try to understand, but I just can’t take it no more

Can’t take it no moreHey, what’s the scoreYou’re such a boreAnd I need more

Charles Monroe Schulz 

The Banner

On November 26, 1922…Charles Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He would have been 100 years old today. He would read the Sunday cartoon feature with his dad every week. Schulz had asthma and his mom would give him a pencil and paper in bed to draw and that started it all.

He created the Peanuts strip (originally entitled Li’l Folks) in 1950, introducing a group of characters based on semiautobiographical experiences.  That first year, the comic strip came in last place in the New York World Telegram’s reader survey of cartoons… however, a book of Peanuts reprints helped the strip gain a larger audience. Shulz encapsulated the kid’s point of view as good or better than anyone. The grownups didn’t talk; it was all about the kid’s world. When I was growing up I would not miss a Sunday Cartoon feature or holiday special…not to mention the movies that came out.

Schulz channeled the loneliness that he had experienced in his army days and the frustrations of everyday life into Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown was familiar because he was us. . Linus was named after a friend and fellow cartoonist Linus Maurer. Peppermint Patty was inspired by his cousin Patricia and Snoopy is based on Schulz’s intelligent childhood pet dog. Woodstock is just a miniature of Snoopy…he is drawn the same way.

Philip Van Pelt’s wife, Louanne, inspired Lucy Van Pelt, Linus’ sister. Schulz introduced the feisty…some say mean brunette, known for pulling away footballs just as Charlie Brown is about to kick them, to the cartoon strip in 1952.

The comic strip would explode and be a pop culture icon in the 50s until now. So Happy Birthday Charles Schulz!

When I was a kid I would occasionally get a Peanuts item…watch or something with them on it. My favorite characters were Schroeder and Pigpen since I stayed dirty much to my mom’s horror. No matter how much she tried…and she tried and tried to get me somewhere clean…it hardly ever happened. She got me ready for Church one morning and she had a brainstorm. She got me ready 15 minutes before we left. It was a cool spring day so she put a scrubbed-clean Max into the back seat of our car. When she came out she was horrified…I had dug around in the ashtray and was filthy…therefore Pigpen suited me fine.

In the late 1990s while my wife and I were dating…we would go to flea markets and antique shops and buy Peanuts memorabilia. We both had rediscovered The Peanuts in our 20s. Over 2-4 years we bought thousands of dollars of older collectibles. If being late on rent meant getting a rare Peanuts item…so be it! No, we were not the most responsible around at the time. It was a cool bonding activity between us and we still have all the things that we bought. At Christmas, we get a lot of it out and decorate the house. We slowed down when our son Bailey came along and we realized…hmmm better start saving money!

So the Peanuts were with me as a child and an adult and if we ever see a Peaunts item out and about…we usually get it.

If you get in the mood to watch The Peanuts… try A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Snoopy Come Home…their first two movies.

My role model Pigpen

 

 

Loretta Lynn 1932-2022

Very sad news that Loretta Lynn passed away at the age of 90. I met the lady one time and she was wonderful. She was the definition of the word classy.

When I was eight years old, my mom took me to Loretta Lynn’s ranch. I actually had breakfast with Loretta Lynn. My mom knew someone who knew her… we were at her Ranch that was just opened to the public. She saw us and pointed and said “come in here” and we sat at the table and ate with her. She was very nice. She kept asking if I needed anything and if I was having a good time.

She was one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met. Even though I was young, she didn’t talk down to me…she talked to me. It was a wonderful experience and even I knew at that age it was special…that this didn’t happen all of the time.

She wrote about real-life situations with women during her career. Her songwriting was honest and pure.

It saddens me that she just passed away. She is up there with Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, and a host of other country legends. I was happy back in 2004 when Jack White of the White Stripes produced her album Van Lear Rose.

Jack White of the White Stripes is a huge fan of Loretta Lynn. The White Stripes dedicated their 2001 album, ”White Blood Cells,” to her and invited her to share a bill with them at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan.

Jack White produced her album “Van Lear Rose” and he asked Loretta to write all 13 songs for the album. The title refers to the Van Lear Coal mines from her youth. White said he would have been happy just to play tambourine on the album as long as he got to work with her.

Country radio snubbed “Van Lear Rose,” and the album received no CMA Awards nominations but it still reached #2 on the country charts and #24 on the Billboard 200. Lynn notched five Grammy nominations for her new music. In February 2005, she and White won Grammy awards for best country album and best country collaboration.

The album is great and this is the song that I liked best. If modern country music was this…I would actually listen! As I type this…I get mad all over again by the way country radio treated this album.

Van Lear Rose

One of my fondest memories
Was sittin’ on my daddy’s knee
Listenin’ to the stories that he told 
He’d pull out that old photograph
Like a treasured memory from the past 
And say child This here’s the Van Lear Rose

Oh how it would bring a smile 
When he talked about her big blue eyes
And how her beauty ran down to her soul
She’d walk across the coal miner’s yard 
Them miner’s would yell loud and hard 
and they’d dream of who would hold the Van Lear Rose

She was the belle of Johnson County
Ohio river to Big Sandy
A beauty to behold like a diamond in the coal
All the miner’s they would gather ’round 
Talk about the man that came to town
Right under their nose 
Stole the heart of the Van Lear Rose

Now the Van Lear Rose could’ve had her pick
And all the fellers figured rich
Until this poor boy caught her eye
His buddies would all laugh and say
Your dreamin’ boy she’ll never look your way
You’ll never ever hold the Van Lear Rose

She was the belle of Johnson County
Ohio river to Big Sandy
A beauty to behold like a diamond in the coal
All the miner’s they would gather ’round 
Talk about the man that came to town
Right under their nose 
Stole the heart of the Van Lear Rose

Then one night in mid July
Underneath that ol’ blue Kentucky sky
Well, that poor boy won that beauty’s heart
Then my daddy would look at my mommy and smile
As he brushed the hair back from my eyes and he’d say
Your mama
She’s the Van Lear Rose

[Chorus]

Right under their nose
Stole the heart of the Van Lear Rose

View-Master

I had view masters as a kid and loved them…tonight I was able to see some view master slides in a view master projector with a screen. I always wanted one as a kid but never could get it. I had the “click” model you held in your hand.

A few months ago…my cousin Mark came over. He and I collect things from the 50s-70s. Mark has been collecting View-Masters and the round slides. He shopped on Market Place and found someone with a 1950s View-Master projector. The projector is very clear.

dav

All of us (wife, son, Mark, and myself) spent over an hour watching the view-master slides on a screen that he bought from different people.

Of course, the slides are not 3-D when projected but it still was really cool. We saw Busch Gardens, Silver Dollar City, Acapulco, Sequoia, Kings National Park (I think), and some other places. It was like stepping back in time to the 60s or 70s which I guess was the idea. All the pictures came from the 50s through the 70s.

As a kid, I would spend hours clicking the round slide over and over. For some reason, I remember an outer space slide selection I had. The 3-D made it look like you could touch it. When my son was around 5 we got him one and he loved it. I would recommend picking one up if you see one somewhere…no matter how old you are…they are still fun!

Small View Master

The View-Master was based on the stereoscopic viewer, which dates all the way back to the 1800s.

stereoscope

Jasper Mall

I watched a documentary on a shopping mall in Alabama that is dying. It’s not a unique story at all. The malls I grew up with are starting to fade away. It’s a sad thing to me.

I came of age in the 1980s and in America, the place to be was the Shopping Mall. We would cruise around, walk around it, and go to the shops inside. No reason and very little money…just hanging out with friends or trying to meet girls. We had to travel to Nashville to see them but we had around 4-5 good size ones that we would visit. Is it the Malls I miss or just being young and cruising around? Probably a little of both.

This mall they are focusing on is in Jasper Alabama and it’s incredibly sad. Knowing these were once vibrant places but Amazon and other online sites have made them obsolete…not to mention the jobs that went with them. As I got older I didn’t really like going in them anymore but I still got a feeling of nostalgia when I think of one.

I would recommend this documentary…it’s not exciting by any means but an interesting story that shows how real people were affected by its dwindling popularity. They try to revive it with different things and to their credit…it’s still open. It was made in 2018 and wiki said they picked that mall because it hadn’t been remodeled since 1981 when it opened.

If you have time to kill and want to watch something different…you could do worse.

Real or Memorex? Lip Syncing and Backing Tracks

I saw an interview with Paul McCartney and he called out major bands playing live with backing tracks but refused to say which ones. I also saw an article about Motley Crue using pre-recorded tracks to bolster their sound.

McCartney: “To me the concert experience is at the heart of what music is about. You come to a show and you are in the room so it is the real thing.  I have been to concerts where I think, ‘Oh, I really am in the room with Tony Bennett and it is like he is in my living room’. That is a great part of the experience. I then think, ‘Wait a minute, people must think that about me’. When we make mistakes playing live, we always now turn it and say, ‘Tell you what  this proves we are live

McCartney and his band did just that when I saw him. They messed up an intro of a song…Paul laughed and went on.

Before you read the rest…I might be harsher than some people. I didn’t even like it when after 1981… the Stones started to fill up their stage with different musicians to sweeten the sound…and professional backup singers…I would rather hear Keith sing backup. The same applies to the Who… who did the same thing on their 1988-89 tour. That was more because of Townshend’s hearing problems but I would have rather heard the four of them and maybe a keyboardist…BUT at least those bands were not faking it…they didn’t hide anything…they just added more musicians.

Sometimes backing tracks have to be used…Backing tracks are sometimes used when a band cannot have an orchestra or an exotic instrument which I totally get. I’ve seen KISS use it when Peter Criss would sing Beth…I totally get that. I’ve seen The Who use a backing track for Won’t Get Fooled Again and Baba O’Riley which again I totally get. They don’t try to hide it…it’s a part that would be hard to duplicate live and is the main part of the song. That is the reason Keith Moon wore headphones while playing those songs so he would come in on time.

Those tracks are not what I’m talking about. What I’m getting at is when a guitarist, bassist, or vocalist mimes what they were doing and you are NOT hearing it live. You are hearing what they perfected in a studio sometime in the past.

There are places when this has to be done. Many TV studios are not made for rock bands and they have to lip sync to a backing track…most of the bands don’t like doing it but if they want to promote a song they do. In music videos for the most part…they have to lip sync also… so there are times when there is no other choice.

When you are paying $100 for a ticket…I don’t believe lip-syncing or faking should be allowed or they should have to tell you they are doing it. I could take four more bloggers (any volunteers?) and we could mime to Jumpin’ Jack Flash…would anyone want to pay $100 for that? Many acts that dance and jump about…when you hear them sing you hear no panting or breathing hard and you SEE them panting and breathing hard. I’m not a fan but I admire the fact that Lady GaGa actually called some performers out for lip-syncing.

“I don’t think it’s cool to lip-sync, I’m not judging if people do, because it’s everybody’s own style and type of artist they’ve decided to be. But I think that if you pay money for a ticket to see a show then the artist should f**king have some pipes and sing their records for you”I agree with her.

Paul McCartney is 80 and sometimes his voice goes off… not a lot but sometimes…so what? Mick Jagger goes off at times…but that makes them human. I’m old fashion about this…  but I cannot respect anyone that goes out and mimes their greatest hits in a live atmosphere. I’ve been listening to a lot of concerts in the 70s… Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, The Who, Led Zeppelin, etc. How did they do it without autotune? How did they do it without an extra Jimmy Page guitar pre-recorded? If they messed up…they messed up…big deal…they are human. Some performers have said since the ticket prices are so high…they want to give a perfect show. No, I don’t want a perfect show…I want a real show warts and all.

What do you think? If you go to see a band live…do you want to hear guitar, vocal, or bass tracks that were recorded earlier? Live music…should be live… right? Am I’m expecting too much? It may not bother many people.

Artists who have been caught lip-syncing include Mariah Carey, Katy Perry, Milli Vanilli, 50 Cent, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Selena Gomez, Madonna, and more.

Ah…I cannot conclude this post without Miss Ashley Simpson…the poster child for lip-syncing.

Rolling Stones – Claudine

You won’t find this song on one of their original studio albums. They recorded it for Some Girls but could not include this on that 1978 album because of legal issues. It’s a cool country-sounding song covering a grim subject. The song’s official release date was November 21, 2011. It appears as track number 1 on the 2011 deluxe edition of the Stone’s Some Girls album.

Claudine Longet: The Singer Who Killed Her Olympian Boyfriend

Claudine Longet and Spider Sabich

Claudine Longet was charged with fatally shooting her boyfriend, Olympic skier Vladimir “Spider” Sabich on March 21, 1976. At the trial, Longet claimed the gun discharged accidentally as Sabich was showing her how it worked. Throughout the whole court case, her former husband, the singer Andy Williams was by her side as she told her story.

 Sabich was one of the most well know American ski racers in the late 60s and early 70s. Claudine claimed that she was showing the gun to him when it went off.  She informed detectives that their relationship was under no duress. Friends of the couple said he was about to leave her at the time. Claudine Longet and Spider Sabich met in 1972. Claudine was a well-known French actress and singer…likely most famous for her marriage and subsequent divorce to Andy Williams. They were the Aspen celebrity couple.

Longet was only charged with a felony of reckless manslaughter which resulted in spending just a few weeks in jail, at her convenience. This was because she had children from her previous marriage and the judge didn’t want her to be away from her children for too long. With that, Longet spent most of her jail time over weekends. She took years to serve her sentence of 30 days.

Cocaine was alleged to have been found in her system, and details in her diary allegedly contradicted what she had told the police about her and Spider’s relationship. However, in a blow to the prosecution, the blood and diary were deemed inadmissible to the case because they were apprehended without a warrant.

At the time Saturday Night Live also got on board with this story with a skit called The Claudine Longet Invitational

You had the SNL announcers describing someone skiing down a hill and then…

Uh-oh! He seems to have been accidentally shot by Claudine Longet! Yes.. and I’m afraid Helmut Kindle is out of this race!

Longet’s lawyer wasn’t laughing, and he sent SNL a cease-and-desist letter. In the following week’s episode, the announcer Don Pardo read a statement on air…the show’s first public apology: “It is desirable to correct any misunderstanding that a suggestion was made that, in fact, a crime had been committed. The satire was fictitious and its intent only humorous. This is a statement of apology if the material was misinterpreted.”

Claudine is 80 years old now and stays out of the news.

Keith Richards: I wished, and I think all of us did at the time, that that should have been on the original album, but there was some legal difficulties and stuff. But otherwise, she was a perfect ‘Some Girl.’

Claudine Longet: He was my best friend

Claudine

Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again, Claudine

Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
She only does it at weekends
Claudine

Now only Spider knows for sure
But he ain’t talkin’ about it anymore
Isn’t it, Claudine?

There’s blood in the chalet
And blood in the snow
She washed her hands of the whole damn show
Claudine

She shot him once right through the head
She shot him twice right through the chest
The judge says ruled it was an accident Claudine
Accidents will happen

And Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again, Claudine

Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again, Claudine

Hey go baby
Go baby

Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again, Claudine
Oh Claudine
Oh Claudine
Oh Claudine

Now I threaten my wife with a gun
But I always leave the safety on
I recommend it, Claudine

Yea she pistol-whipped me once or twice
But she never tried to take my life
What do you think about that
Claudine

Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
She only does it at weekends Claudine

Oh Claudine
Oh Claudine
Oh Claudine

What about the children, Claudine?
Poor, poor children
You’re prettiest girl I ever seen
Only see you on the movie screen
Hope you don’t try to make a sacrifice of me Claudine
Don’t get
Don’t get too trigger happy with me Claudine
Itchy fingers

Yeah Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again Claudine

Yeah Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again Claudine
Uh uh Claudine
Poor, poor, poor Claudine

TV Draft Round 10 – Pick 4 – Liam Selects – BoJack Horseman

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by Liam at https://othemts.wordpress.com/

header

BoJack Horseman (2014-2020) – Netflix

BoJack Horseman is a comedy series that satirizes the vapidity of Hollywood (or “Hollywoo” as it is known in one of the show’s running gags) and the Southern California lifestyle.  But it also is a deeply human show that realistically deals with depression, substance abuse, generational trauma, and other human vulnerabilities.  Oh, and it’s also an animated series about a talking horse.

Raphael Bob-Waksberg created the show and served as showrunner (as well as a writer and voice actor) while illustrator/cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt was the show’s production designer. BoJack Horseman ran for 6 seasons with 77 episodes on Netflix and was later syndicated on Comedy Central and MTV2. Every episode opens with a fantastic title sequence set to a groovy jazz funk tune.

Let’s meet the main characters!

Main Characters

bojack

BoJack Horseman (Will Arnett) – an anthropomorphic horse, BoJack became famous and wealthy starring in a 1990s sitcom about a horse who raises three human orphan children called Horsin’ Around.  As the series begins, BoJack is living on his past success while trying to revive his career.  He suffers from depression and alcoholism and his deep bitterness has made him cantankerous. I’ll be perfectly clear here that BoJack does some despicable things and it’s a testament to the show that he still manages to be a sympathetic character.

diane

Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie) – a human writer of Vietnamese origin but raised by an adoptive Irish American family in Boston. As the show begins, Diane is hired to be a ghostwriter for BoJack’s memoir.  Despite her introversion and repulsion at BoJack’s womanizing, they become close friends. They share a bond of suffering from depression and a neglectful upbringing.  A running gag in the show is that Diane’s ringtone is the voice of various public radio personalities.

mr-peanutbutter

Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins) – an optimistic and outgoing Labrador retriever who starred in a 90s sitcom that was a knockoff of Horsin’ Around. He believes this makes him BoJack’s peer and never understands why BoJack resents him.  Mr. Peanutbutter is introduced as Diane’s fiancé and they eventually marry.  His character began as kind of one-note joke of the type of person who would irritate BoJack but evolved over the course of the show into a more complex character.

todd

Todd Chavez (Aaron Paul) – a human young man who has been living as houseguest on BoJack’s couch for several years before the show begins. BoJack verbally berates Todd but secretly considers him a close friend. Todd has a quirky personality and frequently comes up with various wacky ideas (often working with Mr. Peanutbutter), and a penchant for “failing up” when these ideas succeed.  He’s also something of the conscience of the show having a way of confronting BoJack in the most disarming way. In season 3 he comes out as asexual and over the rest of the series learns what asexuality means for him.

princess-carolyn

Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) – a Persian cat who is BoJack’s agent and a former girlfriend.  Princess Carolyn represents the struggle for women to “have it all” working hard to eventually start her own agency and adopt a child.  Sedaris’ voice work is particularly notable on the show especially when she’s frequently given tongue twisters in her dialogue.

Supporting Characters

sarah-lynn

Sarah Lynn (Kristen Schaal) – a human actress who portrayed the youngest child on Horsin’ Around.  Sarah Lynn falls into the former child actor trope of seeking pop music stardom and engaging self-destructive behavior.  It’s revealed that she looked to BoJack as a father figure and was traumatized by his antisocial behavior.  When they reunite when Sarah Lynn is an adult it unfortunately leads to a codependent relationship and a downward spiral to the worst thing that BoJack does in the entire show.

herb

Herb Kazzaz (Stanley Tucci) – a human who served as the initial producer for Horsin’ Around and a friend of BoJack’s.  When Herb’s homosexuality becomes public, BoJack does not support him when the network removes Herb from his job. At the beginning of the series, Herb is dying of cancer and is reunited with BoJack and they have to deal with their troubled past.

hollyhock

Hollyhock (Aparna Nancherla) – a teenage horse who believes she is BoJack’s illegitimate child and comes to Hollywoo to have BoJack help find her mother.  BoJack grows attached to Hollyhock as one of his few living relatives but as often happens in this show, there’s trouble in their relationship.

beatrice

Beatrice Horseman (Wendie Malick) – a horse who is BoJack’s verbally abusive mother. A lot of the trauma that BoJack deals with is traced to the cruel parenting from Beatrice and his father Butterscotch (also voiced by Will Arnett).  The show depicts BoJack and Beatrice’s hostile relationship in her final years with several flashbacks to BoJack’s childhood and even to Beatrice’s life before BoJack was born.

margo-martindale

Character Actress Margo Martindale (Margo Martindale) – a real life human actor voices a criminally insane version of herself who gets involved in absurd schemes with the main characters.

Okay, I have a feeling that the description of the characters makes the show sound kind of like a bummer.  But it is also wildly funny with clever dialogue and endless sight gags.  And the characters who are animals frequently exhibit their animal characteristics in creative ways. The show also pushes the boundaries with what an animated show can do.  Some of the standout episodes include:

  • “Hank After Dark” (Series 2, episode 7) – a thinly-veiled take on Bill Cosby that involves the way that media and the entertainment industry collude to protect sexual predators.
  • “Fish Out of Water” (series 3, episode 4) – a brilliant experimental episode where BoJack attends a film festival under the ocean that is done almost entirely in pantomime with fantastic visuals.
  • “The Old Sugarman Place” (Series 4, episode 2) – BoJack visits his mother’s dilapidated family vacation home and flashbacks of Beatrice’s childhood trauma are shown.
  • “Stupid Piece of Sh*t” (Series 4, episode 6) – We hear BoJack’s inner monologue as he goes about his daily activities offering insight into his depression and self-destructive behavior.  This episode hit me hard.
  • “Free Churro” (Series 5, episode 6) – the entire episode is BoJack delivering a rambling eulogy at his mother’s funeral, and it’s powerful.
  • “A Quick One, While He’s Away” (Series 6, episode 8) – none of the main characters appear in this episode where an investigative reporter unearths BoJack’s hidden secrets by talking to various ancillary characters.
  • “The View From Halfway Down” (Series 6, episode 15) – BoJack has a near-death experience which results in a surreal, nightmare vision of meeting with several deceased family members and friends.

One more thing I have to point out is that an incredible amount of talented people who lent their voices to this show. A selection of celebrities who provided voices to one-time or recurring characters:

Patton Oswalt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Matthew Broderick, Jane Krakowski, Olivia Wilde, Ilana Glazer, J.K. Simmons, Aisha Tyler,  Maria Bamford, Adam Conover, Keith Olbermann, Wyatt Cenac, Kristin Chenoweth, Cedric Yarbrough, Ken Jeong, Keegan-Michael Key, Jason Beghe, Brandon T. Jackson, Lisa Kudrow, Abbi Jacobson, Ben Schwartz, Philip Baker Hall, Lake Bell, Andre Braugher, Angela Bassett, Stephanie Beatriz, LaKeith Stanfield, Hilary Swank, Stephen Colbert, Anjelica Huston, Chris Parnell, Fred Savage, Amy Schumer, Tatiana Maslany, Garry Marshall, Ali Wong, Liev Schreiber, Ricky Gervais, Jeffrey Wright, Mara Wilson, Lorraine Bracco, Candice Bergen, “Weird Al” Yankovic, RuPaul,  Kristen Bell, Whoopi Goldberg, Randall Park, John Leguizamo, Eva Longoria, David Sedaris, Daveed Diggs, Issa Rae, Wanda Sykes, Audra McDonald, Gabe Kaplan, Richard Lewis, Stephen Root, Samantha Bee, and Alan Arkin.

Some celebrities who provided voices to animated versions of themselves:

Naomi Watts, Wallace Shawn, Henry Winkler, Paul McCartney, Scott Wolf, Daniel Radcliffe, Lance Bass, Jessica Biel, Leonard Maltin, Zach Braff, Felicity Huffman, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and Laura Linney.

If you’re interested in reading more about BoJack Horseman, I wrote a review of each season at the time they were released.

TV Draft UPDATE

Tomorrow morning we will kick off our last TV draft round! We have 8 more TV Shows coming…we all want to thank you… the readers who have made this possible and a fun experience. I also want to thank the bloggers who have reviewed all of these shows and we have covered every decade from the 1950s until now. Below are the picks that began in January and will end on July 3. Thank you… Paula, Lisa, Dave, John, Keith, Mike, Liam, Vic, Hanspostcard (who started it), and Kirk for all of the reviews below.
Round 1 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1. Doctor Who Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
2. The Sopranos Mike https://musiccitymike.net
3. Bozo’s Circus John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
4. Barney Miller Max https://powerpop.blog
5. The Wire Kirk https://slicethelife.com/
6. Police Squad Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
7. Only Murders in the Building (OMITB) Paula http://paulalight.com
Round 2
1. The Odd Couple Mike https://musiccitymike.net
2. Cartoon Town John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
3. Fawlty Towers Max https://powerpop.blog
4. Rockford Files Kirk https://slicethelife.com/
5. Mission Impossible Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
6. Firefly Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
Round 3 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Hogan’s Heroes John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
2 Seinfeld Mike https://musiccitymike.net
3 Starsky & Hutch Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
4 Perry Mason Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
5 Upload Paula http://paulalight.com
6 Lovecraft Country Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
7 King Of The Hill Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
8 Adam 12 Max https://powerpop.blog
Round 4 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Breaking Bad Mike https://musiccitymike.net
2 The X-Files Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
3 Columbo Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
4 Six Feet Under Paula http://paulalight.com
5 Shameless Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
6 Friends Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
7 Monkees Max https://powerpop.blog
8 JAG John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
Round 5 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Sisters Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
2 30 Rock Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
3 One Day At A Time Paula http://paulalight.com
4 Ray Donovan Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
5 Emergency Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
6 The Andy Griffith Show Max https://powerpop.blog
7 CSI: Miami John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
8 Mad Men Mike https://musiccitymike.net
Round 6 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 The Twilight Zone Max https://powerpop.blog
2 Tell Me Your Secrets Paula http://paulalight.com
3 My Name Is Earl Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
4 Ed Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
5 Get Smart Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
6 The Unicorn John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
7 The West Wing Mike https://musiccitymike.net
8 The Gong Show Max https://powerpop.blog
Round 7 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 All In The Family Paula http://paulalight.com
2 Trailer Park Boys Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
3 Downton Abbey Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
4 Life On Mars Max https://powerpop.blog
5 Burn Notice John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
6 Friday Night Lights Mike https://musiccitymike.net
7 The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
8 The Honeymooners Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
Round 8 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 New Tricks Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
2 SCTV Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
3 WKRP In Cincinnati Max https://powerpop.blog
4 The Two Ronnies John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
5 Star Trek: Voyager Mike https://musiccitymike.net
6 Siskel & Ebert Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
7 Sherlock Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
8 Curb Your Enthusiasm Paula http://paulalight.com
Round 9 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Jeopardy Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
2 Saturday Night Live Max https://powerpop.blog
3 Riverboat John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com
4 Suits Mike https://musiccitymike.net
5 The Kids In The Hall Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
6 Arrested Development Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
7 L.A. Law Paula http://paulalight.com
8 Resident Alien Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
Round 10 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Max https://powerpop.blog
2 John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com
3 Mike https://musiccitymike.net
4 Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
5 Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
6 Paula http://paulalight.com
7 Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
8 Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/

TV Draft Round 9 – Pick 2 – Max Selects – Saturday Night Live

I wanted to do a more modern show other than Life On Mars…and this would qualify as it…kinda. It has been on the air since 1975… a whopping 47 years. It’s been on life support at times but has always pulled through. It’s an institution at this point. There is not enough room on a post to go over every cast. Everyone has their favorites some were extremely funny and some were extremely bad (1980 – 1981 cast) and they all make up the history of this show. 

I’m going to concentrate on the original cast and how the show became SNL. Most of you have favorite different casts…usually, the one you grew up with. 

Even if you don’t like this show or what it’s become…it was a cultural landmark and no one can deny that. It changed television forever. The show started because Johnny Carson wanted more time off. NBC had been airing reruns of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show on the weekends to fill space in their lineup. This allowed them to double-dip on profits from Carson’s outrageously popular show without spending another dime on production costs. He told NBC he would only be making four shows a week, which meant that best-of Carson shows that had been airing on Saturday nights would now need to be moved to a weeknight.

 NBC executive Herbert Schlosser sought to create a new show with an old format…a variety show to fill the slot on Saturday Night. He picked Lorne Michaels, a Canadian writer who only had a handful of credits to be the producer. Michaels started a show that was far different than Schlosser imagined but to his credit… Schlosser was behind it and pushed for it to be on the air. The first two shows were experiments but by the third show, they found the format they would keep to this day. The funny thing is…Johnny Carson never liked the show. 

Lorne Michaels made the show to appeal to baby boomers with a touch of Avant-Garde and “guerrilla-style comedy.” It was a game-changer much like All In The Family was to sitcoms. Late-night was never again a wasteland. This show helped open the doors for David Letterman and other shows to follow it. 

It started out as “Saturday Night.” The Saturday Night Live title belonged to ABC for a show hosted by Howard Cosell who was out of his league. After Cosell’s show was cancelled, ABC let Saturday Night have the “Live” part.

Who was the best cast through the years? This is a question that is debated over and over again. People argue and usually pick the cast they grew up with. I grew up in the Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo era. Personally, I always thought the original cast was the best era of the show. Yes, I thought the Murphy and Piscopo casts were very funny along with later casts that had Dana Carvey, Michael Myers, Chris Farley, Chris Rock, and many others that followed. The first five seasons had something extra that others would not and could not have. It had an underground feel that vanished after it became a pure comedy show. They had a massive amount of talent in that first class. 

John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Chevy Chase (though I liked his replacement better…Bill Murray), Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, and my favorite overlooked cast member Laraine Newman. They were the perfect cast for that time. 

Why do I like the original cast the most? They tried new things and went out on a limb. Some of the skits succeeded some fell flat but they were different from anything on TV at that time…and also at this time. That cast pushed the envelope and made the network executives worry. The host each week was usually under the radar actors, writers, comedians musicians, and sometimes athletes. The musical guests were mostly rarely seen performers that weren’t on tv…prime time or otherwise. Frank Zappa, Leon Redbone, The Kinks, Patti Smith, Ry Cooder, Kinky Friedman, and others. You would have more popular musicians like Paul Simon but the show gave you a great variety. 

No way would Michaels ever dream of that now…he usually gets whoever is the most popular to draw in ratings. He can no longer do what he did in the 70s because of that. He also used the complete ensemble. It was not Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo, and everyone else of the early eighties. It was about building an unknown cast and all of them having a shot…not a star-driven show that gave all the best bits to the big names. He made sure the entire cast had a lead in skits and parody commercials. Dick Ebersol who followed Lorne Micheals, was famous for getting stars in the cast and the show revolving around them.

A lot of the skits are now famous… Ackroyd’s Bassomatic, the Samurai, the uncomfortable but funny Word Association with Richard Pryor, The Killer Bees, The Mr. Bill Show, Weekend Update, Roseanne Rosannadanna, Land Shark, Bag of Glass, The Wild and Crazy Guys, the Coneheads, The Lounge Singer, Mr. Mike, The Blues Brothers and many more.

The writers for the show were not in the variety show comedy vein..they were not in the current SNL vein either. The style was more aggressive, especially with Michael O’Donoghue. He was a comedy trailblazer with National Lampoon and added black humor to SNL. Other writers were Franken and Davis, Rosie Shuster, Alan Zweibel, Marilyn Miller, Anne Beatts, Herb Sargent, Tom Schiller, and also Ackroyd and Chase.

The original group also did some serious skits along with comedy and trips into the bizarre (See the ultra-dark “Mr. Mike”). …It separated the original from any other cast.

I like the feel of the underground the first five years had but you can only be that for so long…popularity takes over. Those first 5 years (the first four were great…the fifth very good) set the foundation that holds to this day…just without the daring and danger.

Ann Beatts was one of the original writers who saw the popularity of the show rise beyond anything she ever imagined. She knew the risk-taking traits in the show would have to end because of it. “You can only be avant-garde for so long until you become garde.”

By the 5th season (1979-1980), it was a circus grown out of proportion. The cast by that time were usually bigger stars than the guest hosts.  Everyone left after that season along with Lorne Michaels. The show went on without him until 1985 when he rejoined. It was never the same again. Sometimes it was funny and sometimes not but it was never the same experimental show it was at the start. 

What other show would introduce “Acapulco Gold” and “Orange Sunshine” to a national television audience?

SNL2.jpg

The Bassomatic…something you cannot explain with words.

The best Star Trek parody…

TV Draft Round 7 – Pick 5- John Selects – Burn Notice

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by John from https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com

Burn Notice aired on the USA Network from 2007 to 2013, 111 episodes in all. It was created by Matt Nix, based in Miami, and was a single-camera show.

l-r: Sharon Gless, Bruce Campbell, Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar.

Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) is a spy. Or he was, until, in the middle of an operation, he gets a call informing him that he’s been burned, identified as an unreliable or risky operative. This comes as he’s closing a deal with a group of Nigerians, who take him out, beat him and leave him for dead. He wakes up sometime later in a hotel, being tended to by his former girlfriend Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar), a former member of the IRA, who tells him that he’s in Miami, his hometown.

At this point, he has nothing: no work history, no money, no contacts in the intelligence community; in essence, he doesn’t exist. He’s being surveilled constantly, and knows that, if he leaves Miami, he’ll be arrested. He needs to do something for money, and, more importantly, find out who burned him and why. He enlists the help of Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell), a retired operative and Michael’s best friend, in his pursuits. Sam has no money (he hits on older women to sustain himself) and is known as “the guy who knows a guy.” Both Michael (Army Rangers, Green Berets) and Sam (Navy SEAL) have a Special Forces background, which makes their work as private investigators a natural fit. Fiona invites herself to help them, and her contributions (mostly with firearms) are not insignificant.

Michael’s mother, Madeline (Sharon Gless), usually sits at home, smoking cigarettes and fretting about Michael and his brother Nate (Seth Peterson), but she occasionally gets involved in Michael’s business. One interesting example: when Michael needed a list of names from the DMV, he sent his mother in to get it, where she worked with (and became friends with) a clerk played by Tyne Daly (a reunion of the lead characters in the ’80’s series Cagney & Lacey).

In the fourth season, Michael inadvertently burns another agent, Jesse Porter (Coby Bell). The two eventually reconciled and Jesse joined the group for the remainder of the series.

The shows themselves relied on action and, more importantly, narration by Westen as to what he was doing and why he was dong it, as though he was narrating a training film for operatives. It was a show that had a lot of supporting characters (many of whom were only in one episode) and several interesting subplots. Michael does manage to work his way back into the CIA, only to be hunted, arrested, shot at, and bullied. His friends stood with him, his brother died helping him dispose of a particularly psychopathic agent, and Madeline makes the ultimate sacrifice for him at the end of the series.

There was a prequel movie made, Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, that aired toward the end of the series, that focused on Sam during his days as a SEAL. Tod Goldberg wrote five tie-in novels that were particularly good that you can probably get at your local used bookstore (that’s where I got mine).

I really enjoyed the series because the characters, as wild and off-the-wall as they seemed, were very relatable. You can feel the heat between Michael and Fiona as their relationship goes from “former lovers” to “lovers,” you can appreciate the friendship between Michael, Sam, and Jesse, and witness Maddie’s love for her sons and Michael’s friends. The series doesn’t seem to be running on TV, but relatively inexpensive used copies of the DVD’s are available on eBay.

TV Draft Round 4 – Pick 1 – Mike Selects – Breaking Bad

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. The remaining 7 rounds will be posted here. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by Mike from https://musiccitymike.net

Breaking Bad

Like many other TV bingers these days, there are few, if any, series that I watch in real time. After all, who has the patience to wait a week (or at a season’s end, over the summer) for the next episode to see what happens next in a suspenseful show. However, I did make an exception for the wild escapades of high school chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine maker Walter White on AMC’s Breaking Bad.

Why? Well, the plot was just so unique and more so, its production, especially in terms of camera work, was nothing short of spectacular. The ways that producer Vince Gilligan found to use the camera were ground-breaking. Come on, who would have ever thought of filming from the inside of a refrigerator!

Before I get to the tragic tale of Mr. White, there’s also the music. I don’t think I have ever been so taken by the impact of soundtrack songs like I was in Breaking Bad.  There are two magic moments that come to mind. I still get chills running down my spine when I think of how Tommy James & the Shondells’ “Crystal Blue Persuasion” and Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” were used to such stunning effects. For the unfamiliar, it may help to know that Mr. White’s “product” had a unique-to-meth blue color. And the Badfinger song’s opening line of “Guess I got what I deserve” show appropriately set the show’s final scene. (Kudos also to local Nashville band The Silver Seas for getting their fab song “Catch Yer Own Train” into Season One.)

As with my fave series, The Sopranos, here we go again with White and his former student and now partner-in-crime, Jessie Pinkman, falling into the unavoidable anti-hero role. However, seeing all this suspense and drama from a first-person perspective was the only way to go for Breaking Bad. And how could you not resist rooting for a guy who simply was trying to get some extra money together for his family before he died of cancer.

What really makes the show so habit forming is how what starts out as such a simple innocent way to make a few bucks steamrolls into a monster enterprise attracting a cadre of despicable characters. This includes the metamorphosis of meek Walter into the evil Heisenberg. Even his demure wife gets into the act to help when the couple finds itself with an accumulation of cash larger than most banks. While the show is full of violence galore, it’s these same things that also gives the show more laughs than you’d ever expect in a crime drama. For me, the funniest moment was when screwball meth-head Badger explains how the pizza place they just ordered from passes on the savings by not cutting its slices.

But, Breaking Bad also uses the often employed, but head-scratching literary device of coincidence.  What are the odds that a guy who takes up making meth in Albuquerque, New Mexico would also have a brother-in-law who is the local head of the DEA who heads the task force hunting down the guy behind the new blue meth showing up on the streets! I’ll save the spoilers as to how these two end up.

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, as Walter and Jesse respectively, both put in career-defining roles. And the supporting cast was just as spectacular, including Bob Odinkirk as sleazy lawyer, Saul Goodman, who would wind up with his own spin-off show, Better Call Saul, which is just about to start airing its final season.

I hope that all fans of the show did get to see the enjoyable El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, a Netflix sequel to the show that continues the story of Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman character. And as for the prequal of Better Call Saul, we fans look forward to hopefully seeing White and Pinkman appear on the show as its timeline moves forward and the show runs its course. And on a possible sad note, maybe we will find out why Saul’s lady friend, Kim Wexler, never made it to the Breaking Bad days.

In concluding, let me just say that this show is just so darn good that it is no surprise that in 2013 it entered the Guinness World Records as the most critically acclaimed TV show of all-time. That’s no surprise since how many shows have ever achieved the success of having each episode followed by a live recap and analysis show every week!

Buddy Holly – Raining In My Heart

Happy Monday everyone…if any Monday can be happy.

Raining In My Heart is a beautiful title of a song. This is not a rocking Buddy tune…but a gorgeous ballad. John Fogerty once said that a title of a song is the most important part. If you find a great title for a song you are inspired to work with it.

It was originally recorded by Buddy Holly with the orchestral backing by Dick Jacobs. On the single, it was credited to Buddy Holly and the Crickets, but an Orchestra took the Crickets place. The music and lyrics were written by Felice Bryant and Boudleaux Bryant.  It was recorded at the Pythian Temple on West 70th Street in New York City

Raining In My Heart was released as a single on Coral Records in 1959. It peaked at #88 on the Billboard charts as the B-side of “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”. This song has been covered by artists such as P.J. Proby, Ray Price, Anne Murray, Hank Marvin, Tommy Roe, Skeeter David, and many more.

Buddy Holly was among the first group of inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Holly #13 among “The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.

Gregory Porter sang a duet with Buddy in 2018…with the backing track of course. He teamed up with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. I really like this one a lot.

Raining In My Heart

The sun is out, the sky is blue
There’s not a cloud to spoil the view
But it’s raining, raining in my heart

The weather man says clear today
He doesn’t know you’ve gone away
And it’s raining, raining in my heart

Oh, misery, misery
What’s gonna become of me?

I tell my blues they mustn’t show
But soon these tears are bound to flow
‘Cause it’s raining, raining in my heart

But it’s raining, raining in my heart

And it’s raining, raining in my heart

Oh, misery, misery
What’s gonna become of me?

I tell my blues they mustn’t show
But soon these tears are bound to flow
‘Cause it’s raining, raining in my heart

Jayhawks – Big Star

I love this band…it seems I have a fondness for bands that released good to great music but never could get over that hump to mass audiences. Maybe if they would have cleared that obstacle their music would have changed…but who knows… maybe it’s a part of their appeal.

This song comes out in 1997 and was on their Sound of Lies album. At first I thought it was about the Memphis band Big Star and it is kinda…and also about The Jayhawks and loving what you have now. The album peaked at #112 in the Billboard Album Chart and #61 in the UK.

They have a Kinks tie… They recently backed Ray Davies on his albums Americana and Our Country – Americana Act II. Their 2016 album Paging Mr. Proust was produced by Peter Buck of REM.

They formed in the mid-80s in the Twin Cities .

Gary Louris when asked if the song is about the band Big Star: “Not exactly. Maybe in the back of my mind.” “You could say it about the Velvet Underground or Big Star or The Jayhawks,” “world’s unluckiest bands. They should have been bigger. But everybody in the audience started a band. Everybody that saw them started a band. The old cliché. But it’s true.”

 “I have a lot of famous friends.” “about achieving a place that you thought you wanted to be and maybe it would make you happy. It’s a typical human response. If I get there, then I’m finally going to be happy. And in reality, you probably won’t be. You should just be happy with what you have.”

Big Star

I’m flat-busted
Wild-eyed and free
I couldn’t get arrested if I tried
A has-been at a mere thirty-five

Straight, honest, forthright and true
Great expectations for someone
Doesn’t anybody know how to have fun
But I’m

Gonna be a Big Star
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday

Grape’s bitter
I’m no quitter
Revolutions come one by one
Seems it’s high noon and I ain’t got no gun

But it’s so hard
So hard
So hard getting by

Gonna be a Big Star
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday

Fine bourbon, Cuban cigars
Rude remarks observed at the C.C. Bar
I’m perfecting the finest art of wasting hours
But I’m

Gonna be a Big Star
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday

I’m gonna be a Big Star
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday

Droogs – Ahead Of My Time

The lyrics won’t make you mistake these guys for Bob Dylan but the guitar action is pretty cool in this one.

Several years before it became fashionable…the Droogs were playing what would later be called “garage revival”. They started playing together as pre-teens in 1966 and began issuing singles in the early to mid seventies.

Ahead of My Time was released in 1974. They missed out on the garage band sixties and they were ahead of the curve of the 60s garage band revival in the late 70’s.

They started to release albums in the mid-eighties and were part of the Paisley Underground Scene. They released 8 albums between 1984 to 2017.

The Droogs just released an album in 2017  called Young Gun and are still together doing their thing.

Ahead Of My Time

Hey babe, this must be your lucky day babe
I wanna kiss you if I may babe
Don’t care what people have to say babe

I’ve got to love you, the only way that I can
So please don’t misunderstand
They’ll tell you that I’m not your kind
But I’m just ahead of my time.

In your neighborhood, got a reputation that’s none too good.
For knowing things no young man should
I know baby, you would if you could

I’ve got to love you, the only way that I can
So please don’t me be your man
They’ll tell you true love’s hard to find
But I’m just ahead of my time.
I’m just ahead of my time.
I’m just ahead of my time.

We’re just ahead of our time.
We’re just ahead of our time.
We’re just ahead of our time.

Hey babe, this must be your lucky day babe
I wanna kiss you if I may babe
Don’t care what people have to say babe

I’ve got to love you, all the way babe