Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'm Not There - International Trailer

It's a good thing Kerry also posts on SoT or we'd risk becoming the Series of Dylans. But, here's a nice riff on the cue card scene - yet again - first featured in Don't Look Back. All the Dylans take part.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mary Black: song for Ireland

Her early career as the singer with the group De Dannan helped establish Mary Black's reputation and presence, especially outside Ireland. The very first song she recorded with them was Song for Ireland. It's a piece she's sung in many other places including during the peace process in Northern Ireland, at Stormont. Here she joins De Dannan to revisit the song.

Short profile of Mary Black, somewhat of an excerpt from the longer documentary Still Believing. Once you get past the long opening graphic,there's a fine bit of conversation and music from one Ireland's most well known singers. It's about 6 or 7 minutes long.

Once Upon a Time - Latest" I'm Not There" trailer

What more can be said?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sterling Harrison - Rainbow 65

I've justed posted a Dreamtime article on the late Sterling Harrison, the best soul singer you never heard of. Here's Mr. Electrifying at his home base, M&M Soul Food, way down deep in South Central L.A., singing the Gene Chandler classic, Rainbow 65. The 9-minute+ clip will probably have you - like me - desperate to see and hear Harrison in a better quality video, but we have to take what we have.

One of the delightful things about this clip is the interaction between Harrison and the audience, with one person providing backing vocals to Harrison's mock annoyance. Outside of soul and rhythm and blues, Harrison entertained his audience with jokes so blue they would have made Redd Foxx blush, and impressions of celebrities ranging from Moms Mabley, Al Green and Ray Charles to Ed Sullivan, Paul Lynde and Richard Nixon. And all the while he milked the room for dollar tips, giving the crowd their money's worth.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Babulu and Cuban Pete - Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball

"Ricky Ricardo" and his signature song, the paean to the Santeria deity, Babalu Aye. Arnaz began his career as a professional musician in 1936 and for a time was in Xavier Cugat's popular Afro-Cuban band of the 1940s. Arnaz would describe Cugat - who would be better known in later years for his May-December marriage to coochie-coochie girl Charo - as a "world-class cheapskate." Arnaz would go on to form his own musical group in Miami, where he would introduce the Conga dance craze and the Conga Line to America.

My other favorite song of Arnaz's is Cuban Pete, which he originally performed in the 1946 movie of the same name, and which he and Lucille Ball (her in the role of "Sally Sweet") would use to great effect in the road tour they created to convince studio execs that their I Love Lucy concept was worth backing. Jim Carrey's campy version of what was already a tongue-in-cheek novelty number was showcased in 1994's The Mask.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Melanie Safka - Ruby Tuesday

Here's Melanie Safka, better known simply by her first name, doing a pretty live cover of The Rolling Stones' Ruby Tuesday. If you follow Dreamtime, you might see I'm walking through days of the week a la Theme Time Radio Hour, and yesterday posted the Stones doing their original on The Ed Sullivan Show. That prompted reader TarBabyJim to mention Melanie's version, which I sought out on YouTube and from the available choices, thought this one from 1982 the best.

Jim runs a site - with the proposed intent of seeing Melanie inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A worthwhile goal for a lady who deserves the recognition. Melanie was the first female performer to have three Top 40 hits concurrently - Brand New Key, Ring The Living Bell and The Nickel Song - and was Billboard's #1 Top Female Vocalist for 1972.

Happy Birthday, Thelonious Monk!

Thelonious Sphere Monk - October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982.

I first discovered Monk while in college, purchasing an economy "twofer" double-album compilation of his music purely on a whim and the fact that I had $10 burning a hole in my pocket. After ah, indulging in substances of unknown origin, I spent that entire night listening to those two albums over and over again. Eventually, I realized that the two LPs hadn't somehow miraculously generated over seven hours of music, but that I was hearing new things each time I replayed one of the cuts.

I found that the same thing happened even when I wasn't stoned, and became a Monk fan for life.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Hot fiddlin' from Altan

The band Altan, from County Donegal in the west of Ireland, celebrated their twenty first year as a group in 2006 with a fine birthday concert in Scotland at the Royal Glasgow Concert Hall. If you click the tag Altan over there on the list to your right, you’ll find a clip of them playing there, with Mary Black joining in.

This video segment finds them in an informal mode, informally shot too, at Ballyshannon, County Donegal, earlier this summer. And just when you are thinking, Mairéad, aren’t you ever going to play? she does, and shows why she and the band are the best in the business two decades on and counting -- and the other members of the band were doing a great set before she started in, too. Even if you’re not so interested in Irish music, the energy and connection and spirit among the band members is great to enjoy.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Celtic Colours

The Celtic Colours Festival starts tomorrow on Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.This fesitval of Cape Breton and music from other Celtic lands takes place from 5 through 13 October this year, with appearances from the Chieftains, Dougie MacLean, Buddy MacMaster, Fiona and Ciaran MacGillvray, and loads more fine musicians in venues across Cape Breton. Cape Breton music is a style rooted in Scotland and shaped by Atlantic Canada. It's a festival, and a place, well worth visitng for the warmth of the people and the music -- though not always, in October, the weather... more at the festival's website, including ticket sales, transport information, and artist schedules.

photos above: Greg Anderson, Cathie Ryan, and Hanneke Cassel play the after hours festival club in St. Anne's, and Kathryn Tickell and Julian Sutton take the stage at the Marine Terminal, Sydney

in this video, Scots musician Karine Polwart and others talk about the character of the festival

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I'm Not There (But You're Getting Closer)

A longish, 7-minute clip from I'm Not There, originating from Italy, where the film has already been aired. You may want to follow this link back to YouTube - or pause it and wait for it to load entirely - before viewing.

It's easy to make a prediction about reactions when the film sees full release - it will be loved by Dylan fans, like me, who know the story and the legends so well that we're like a bunch of ancients listening to a recitation of The Odyssey. We know about the 10-year voyage, the trials, the return already. We don't listen for the story. We listen because it is the story.

The general reaction will be that it's confused, senseless, boring, impenetrable, chaotic, self-referencing, unapproachable, yadda, yadda. Except for Cate Blanchett, of course, who already seems to have become the Teflon Doll of I'm Not There. And that's okay. It's not for them. It's for us.

I've just watched the clip once, but I already love the "Dylan Goes Electric" scene (and notice the white sound wash of noise - following the story that much of the audience was booing because the sound mix was so awful). And Christian Bale does more than a creditable job as the Gospel-era Dylan, preaching and singing in what seems to be a grammar school auditorium.

It's always nice to have something Dylanesque to look forward to. Chances are I'll never see I'm Not There in the thea-tah, but I'll be first in line for the DVD.