Summer is here! Hooray! Or to put it another way, can you believe I'm going to "Godzilla" this weekend? I know, right? That's when you know estivo is upon us, as the Italians say, when giggly, dumb-dumb movies are populating the world's movie houses and stories like this are all over the Internet. But what, you ask, does that have to do with the lovely ladies above?
Quite a bit, actually, because summer's the perfect time to listen to these gals performing on a certain Breezy Broadway Cheerful Exclusive!
It's actual name and participants must go unmentioned, of course (because Internet text crawlers are savvy li'l critters), so let's just say this: it was originally released in 1968, and then promptly - tragically - went out-of-print. Since then, it's become a cult favorite and difficult to find in good condition. For years, I've been listening to a botched, scritchy-scratchy LP-to-MP3 version that isn't even complete.
But in another blissful example of all-good-things-come-to-those-who-wait, it was recently restored and reissued (my head nearly popped off when I found out). I'm guessing that there's a few of you out there who'll say, "Meh. A re-recording of an overly-familiar Broadway score by them? Really? Must I?" To which I say, "Yes. You. Really. Must." Why? Because it's the most flat-out fun album you'll hear all summer.
Before he was James Bond, Daniel Craig, as you probably know, was in a lot of indie Brit movies, some of them awful ("Sylvia" was like watching paint dry) (to me) (plus it co-starred this awful thing), some of them pretty good (he was scarily convincing as a schizophrenic in "Some Voices") and some of them brilliant.
In the latter category, there's "Love Is The Devil," a challenging, sometimes disturbing, nearly hallucinatory bio-pic about the artist Francis Bacon and his rough-trade, thieving lover played by Craig. Since you'll need at least a few breaks from total frivolity over the summer, the movie's well worth seeking out if you haven't seen it - plus the soundtrack is wonderfully intense. If you're a fan of Ryuichi Sakamoto, this is a definite must.
But really, it's summer, so back to frivolity, and honestly, I can't think of anything more happy and frivolous than Mitzi Gaynor. Recently, my Cuban Luvuh insisted I watch a TCM rebroadcast of her 1974 TV special, "A Tribute To the American Housewife." To my surprise, it was almost insanely good. It also included the number below, which...okay, let's put it this way; her singing, her moves, her coy little winks, it's like she's the most talented HoJo's day-shift lot hooker ever in the whole wide world (a description the Cuban hotly disputes). No, really, it's that good:
Though it was shot in the early 70's, Mitzi's special (and the number above) feels very early 60's. And that makes me think of...Lounge music. And since it's summer, that makes me worry that you won't have appropriate music to play while lounging about on your porch (or patio or fire escape). So below, you'll find a genuinely cheerful, almost dizzying, collection of Lounge music compilations released in the late-90s - at the height of the retro-Lounge craze when everyone and their brother, it seemed, was trying to hawk Lounge schtick.
But these three are the absolute best of their kind, veering from the familiar to the obscure to the downright WTF? (in a good way). There's Jackie Gleason & His Orchestra, Nelson Riddle, Lee Baxter with Bas Sheva, as well as "exotic" treats from Ethel Azama, Percy Faith and Duke Ellington. All of it's very Lounge and, I think, oh-so-very Mitzi.
Summer time is fun-time for the Secret Song File. Whoopee! Oh, how she laughs and laughs - in her black satin scanties and hooker boots, of course, because it's already getting quite humid out (and we can't expect her to wear a burqa, can we?) (be reasonable). She'd like to keep the mood up, so she's currently blissing out to an upbeat, super-new CD by a talented singer-songwriting rocker lass from the Land 'O' Leprechauns.
Still don't know who she is? Maybe if you get yourself, um, a love tattoo - *cough*hint* - it'll help you figure it out. But if not, jump up and down for a while, create some much needed, um, mayhem - *cough*hint* - and perhaps it'll come to you. Just remember, Imelda Marcos has lots of shoes and Elaine May is a genius. There. I think we're done here.
Summer + humidity = schweddy balls. It happens.
Cool off in the comments, if you like. They're newly air-conditioned!