Be careful there, Anita! You're going to poke somebody's eyes out with those things! And hold tight, dear readers, because today brings more Anita O'Day treasures. In this Go, Anita, Go, Cheerful Exclusive! you'll hear live, late-era Anita (post-heroin-self-rehab) (of course) performing with everything she's got at Tokyo's "Club Sometime" in 1978. Interestingly, no one even knew that this recording existed until 2006; it was found shoved in a suitcase in the back of Anita's gold-painted LeSabre (of course it was gold), along with several more tracks, their origin unknown.
From the easy swing of the opening track "Lover Come Back To Me," to her gorgeous take on "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever," and on to the conclusion with "Night & Day" (where her ensemble really lets it rip), this is Anita nirvana, especially if you're inclined (like I am) to all things Anita (and I know you are). As for the bonus tracks of unknown origin, I'm partial to "So Nice." The way she bounds like a gazelle from one note to the next is thrilling.
Buttah, buttah, buttah. Le Barbra has been with us so long, it's hard to remember when she wasn't around. I first became aware of her as a wee little thing when "Funny Girl" aired on TV as a "special" movie event - and she had me at "I'm the Greatest Star." In just one song, she seemed to channel Groucho Marx, Bugs Bunny and Buster Keaton, and brought it all home with sock-pow vocals. I'd never seem - or heard - anything like it before. I was hooked.
To say that she's disappointed me over the years is a bit of an understatement, and it's disheartening to watch her these days as she turns into a humorless grande dame, as if abandoning her singular gift for comedy - and musical-comedy - were the only route toward becoming a "serious artist." But whatever. I love early-Buttah, and late-Buttah, too. That's the advantage of a decades-long career. There's always something to like no matter where you look.
This terrific box set includes something for everyone. Not only does it span nearly the entirety of her career (going up to her first Broadway LP), it also includes a big helping of alternate takes of her biggest hits, and demos, too.
Sometimes, as my Cuban Luvuh noted, its a little strange. When you hear the demo for "Papa, Can You Hear Me" for example, you can understand why she included it, but it also feels like your memory's being messed with because it's not how it plays in your brain. Still, if you like Buttah, this is a big heaping (and fattening) slab of it. Mmmmmmmbuttah!
From butter to porn. Why not? In 1972, Ralph Bakski broke all the rules with the X-rated animated movie "Fritz The Cat." Based on the comic strip by Ralph Crumb, it was anything but politically correct, and it still has mild shock value today, mostly for the depiction of its black characters, which can be seen as "hip" archetypes or flat-out racist depictions (depending on your point of view) (I lean towards the latter) (but feel free to disagree). Does it hold up, otherwise? Is it worth watching now? Not really.
Yet happily, the soundtrack music by Ed Bogas and Ray Shanklin more than stands the test of time. Bogas started out as a psychedelic rocker, and with Shanklin, created wall-to-wall, finger-snapping R&B for both "Fritz The Cat" and "Heavy Traffic." The sound is ageless cool, as if the tracks were created for the best blacksploitation movie ever made. It may not be worth it to watch "Fritz the Cat," but it's worth giving it a listen.
She's back! It's Gunslinger Gilda, the Secret Song File's BFF! Oh, and it's not a machine gun hidden under her pillow this time, it's a machete (just to set the record straight). Also under her pillow? Her iPod, of course, first generation and still truckin'. If it ain't broke, she ain't gonna buy a new one, m'k?
But she does keep it stocked with fresh tunes. Her latest? Just the bangin' new CD by a pop-funk-punk group (what's with all the mash-up with labels these days?!). This band enjoys oranges (*cough*) and happens to be, um, a little bloody (*cough*cough*). Why this duo hasn't broken through to the mainstream is a mystery to Gunslinger Gilda, but they will if she has anything to do with it. Give it a try. Or you might see that machete sooner than you think. Yeeow!
You can cut a lot of oranges with a machete.
Leave a slice of whatever in the comments, if you like!