Feb 28, 2015

Shearing Plays With Sassy & Staton, Plus Previn Pills And A Diamonelle-Like Secret Song!

Have you missed me? I've missed you, dear reader. But, as I always say, I'll never post just to post. Besides, the wait has been worth it. Ergo, Dakota. Isn't her face luminous? And the smile! Such nice choppers she has. And the wig. Perfection! Dakota herself is already perfection, but when you hook her up with the right musician, ka-boom! In 1957, one such ka-boom transpired when she collaborated on the LP "In The Night" (a Perfect-Dakota Cheerful Exclusive!) with blind, British-born piano master and jazz band leader George Shearing. 

To say that they bring out the best in each other is a wild understatement. With tracks that alternate between George and his crack quintet and tracks in which they back Dakota, the album is a jazz lover's dream date. Plus, no one sings "I Hear Music" with as much style and joy as Dakota. The LP was restored a few years back and sounds dreamy-perfect, as if it were recorded yesterday. 

George Shearing had a talent for finding just the right singer at just the right time in their career, like a certain jazz legend below who was familiarly known as "Sassy."

"Sassy" - or Sarah Vaughn to us mere mortals - joined George and his band in 1962 for "Sassy Meets Shearing." This LP hasn't undergone any restoration, and yes, you can tell, but don't let that scare you away. This is another Shearing dream date. Shearing was at the peak of his popularity - and so naturally found himself snubbed by the jazz establishment - while Sarah, a singular jazz vocalist who'd already hit the mainstream, is a great counterpart to Shearing's sleek Afro-Cuban rhythms.

Did you watch the Oscars last weekend? Were you, um, indifferent to the presentation? I know I was, and so were many others (Wesley Morris said it best). Why, it was enough to make one reach for a doll or two or-three-or-four-or-five. 

The Oscar show demands a palate cleanser, don't you think? Cue David Cronenberg. At your local theatre right now, his delicious black comedy about Hollywood is gleefully unspooling, and trust me, it's a doozy - and a soon-to-be-cult-movie. But perhaps your tastes run a bit more on the classic side.

If that's the case, you can never go wrong with Neely O'Hara and friends in "Valley Of The Dolls," a still-hilarious camp gem (and a staple of gayboy pajama parties since its release, though you don't have to be gay to love it). Plus, there's Sharon Tate's epically loopy performance as Jennifer North, drug addict and supermodel extraordinaire (she was Golden Globe nominated dont'cha know). As to the score by "Johnny" Williams, it does not disappoint, and of course includes all of the songs, like "I'll Plant My Own Tree!" and the pricelessly goofy "Come Live With Me." Trash has never glittered so brightly.

Oh, Hollywood. The Secret Song File conquered Lotus Land a looooong time ago - now it's they who come calling - but there was once a time when she played ingenue roles and just had to sit there, say nothing and "react" to the hero. Yeah. Didn't go well.

But all would soon change. Today, she cheers the up-and-comers, like a certain about-to-be-mainstream Welsh songstress, who glitters and glows like diamonds (*cough*). Her new album is sure to score high in the UK, like all of her albums have, but is international success awaiting? Let's assume it is and send her a fruit (*cough*) basket.

Speaking of fruit, are there any rhymes for orange? (and no, "forage" isn't close enough.)

Peel yourself a grape in the comments, if you like!

Feb 27, 2015

Bucket Of Sads: Logical Edition

And here's number three (because these things always happen in threes). A very sad day for logical creatures on every planet.

Feb 16, 2015

Bucket Of Sads: Louis Jourdan & Lesley Gore

It's a two-fer this time. One of Hollywood's most dashing leading men (who started out as a Hitchcock villain!)...

...and one of pop music's most enduring tunesmiths.