Showing posts with label film. Show all posts
Showing posts with label film. Show all posts

Sunday, July 1, 2012

'The Blues Brothers' (playlist!), 'Stand by Me' and Oakland's Paramount Theater

the lobby of the Paramount Theater
The Paramount Theater in Oakland is one of my favorite places to be. Not only is it incredibly gorgeous, I've seen two of my most favorite movies there this summer: 'Stand by Me' and 'the Blues Brothers' FOR FIVE BUCKS!

CLICK TO LISTEN TO MY 'BLUES BROTHERS' SPOTIFY PLAYLIST (or click play at the bottom of this post)

Both of these movies have two of my most favorite soundtracks of all time. So there has been lots of singing. There has also been boo'ing, cheering and lots giggling. There is something so wonderful about seeing a movie that is near and dear to your heart with a room full of people that love it too.

Check it out for yourself! All movies on Friday nights, 8pm, $5.

July 13 - Apollo 13
August 3 - Ghostbusters
August 17 - Close Encounters of the Third Kind
September 7 - An American Werewolf in London
September 28 - The Breakfast Club

I've blogged about this before, but the Paramount also does tours every first and third Saturdays of the month, also for $5. See my slide show here.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

"The Shawshank Redemption" and Mozart

Prisoners of Shawshank Prison stop and listen to Mozart

Hey world. Sorry for not writing this month. My job situation has changed and I've found myself busier and more mentally exhausted. I'll get back into the swing of things, I promise.

One of my favorite movies of all time, The Shawshank Redemption, has been on tv a lot lately. And the scene where Andy plays the duet from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro over the loudspeaker is one of the many incredible scenes. And, it includes the line "pinch a loaf", which I always thought was pretty awesome.

Just to job your memory about what this is all about, Andy has been writing a letter a week to get funds to build a better prison library. After six years of letters, he receives a check, several boxes of books and other donated items. Including some LPs. And then he gets himself in trouble.

Just wanted to share with you.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Film Reviews from Noise Pop 2011: 'This is Noise Pop' and 'The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of José Gonzalez'

Bob Mould: interviewed in This is Noise Pop (photo BayTapper.com)

San Francisco Music Festival Noise Pop 2011 is on this week and I checked out a couple films this evening.

The first This is Noise Pop tried to answer the question: What is indie rock? Featuring folks like Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, James Mercer of the Shins, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü and more.

Read my review of This is Noise Pop

The second was a more meandering film called The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of José Gonzalez that follows Gonzalez into the studio and on tour. It features charming moments of humor, frustration, intimacy and animation. Plus, the music is gorgeous and there is some nose-picking.

Read my review of The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of José

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Alice Dancing Under the Gallows" - Theresienstadt and the Power of Music

"Music is a religion, music is god."

Never have I heard words that were any truer (at least for me personally).

Alice Herz-Sommer will be 107 years old this November. She is the oldest living Holocaust surviver. She has her friends, she has her health and she plays piano everyday.

Alice lived in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II. Theresienstadt was used as a Nazi front to show the public the daily lives of prisoners. It was the only Nazi camp where children were kept with their parents and where artists were permitted and encouraged to create.

Read my post about a concert featuring some of the music composed in Theresienstadt

Even though many of these prisoners were starving, they kept on creating. Alice was one of these people.

Alice Dancing Under the Gallows is a film due to be finished next year. To follow its progress see its twitter and facebook pages.

I want to be like Alice when I grow up. Her love, hope and optimism are truly an inspiration.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

'Cadillac Records': a review


I am a huge fan of biopics. It's very exciting to see the lives of real people illuminated in front of you. Knowing too much about the historical reality of their lives can get in the way however. Hollywood, as we all know, likes to "Hollywoodize" biopics: twisting and tweeking the details of lives to make them more interesting to the viewer.

I figure, you have to get over that. But sometimes it's hard.

Take the movie Cadillac Records: a biopic about the legendary rhythm & blues record label Chess Records. The movie stars Adrian Brody as Leonard Chess, Beyonce as Etta James, Cedric the Entertainer as Big Willie Dixon and Mos Def as Chuck Berry. I enjoyed seeing these notorious musicians come to life, but it was really hard for me to get past some of the added Hollywood aspect.

I cannot help but compare this movie to Dream Girls, but the big difference is that Dream Girls was an intact musical before it was ever a movie. And, even though everyone knows that the movie is based on the record label Motown, it's highly fictionalized.

In the film Etta James and Leonard Chess have an adulterous relationship that challenges racial stereotypes and employer/employee boundaries. As far as I know this is a fabrication, and it bothers me. I wonder what Etta herself had to say about it? I DO know that Etta was pissed that Beyonce got to sing "At Last" at Barack Obama's inauguration and not her...

I was also bothered by the character of Leonard Chess and the ABSENCE of his brother, Phil. It was the Chess Brothers that started and ran the label, it wasn't a one-man operation. But alas, Leonard was the more colorful character. He was a crude-mouthed, smart-ass and the role only brought that out in a very minor way.


Rich Cohen's The Record Men is a fabulous recount of the Chess story. Leonard Chess is quoted all over the book and his words are something right out of a Mel Brooks comedy routine.

"How to you celebrate a hit? You go to the bank, schmuck!"

or

"Who knew you could strike it rich with a few schvartzas and a reel-to-reel?

I imagine the producers consciously toned down... scratch that... DELETED the ugly money-grubbing Jewish Stereotype that was Leonard Chess. I guess as a Jewish person I appreciate that, but I still miss the personality.

What I did love about the film was much of what I simply love about the story in general:
  • Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf's frenemies relationship
  • Etta James' dramatic and traumatic life (her autobiography Rage to Survive stresses the fact that she owes Leonard Chess for keeping her alive and keeping her house)
  • Howlin Wolf's devotion to his band (he always made sure they got paid fairly)
  • Leonard Chess' devotion to his musicians (he took care of many of them, heightening his "White Daddy" status)
  • Muddy Water's womanizing
  • How the Rolling Stones loved and respected Muddy Waters like a god.

Chess Records has a fascinating story, and while I don't agree with some of the "Hollywood" type additions, I do feel that the essence of the label is treated fairly and with great respect in the movie Cadillac Records.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

JAI HO! 'Slumdog Millionaire' composer and Oscar winner A.R. Rahman performs at the Oracle Area in Oakland

A.R. Rahman shows off his two Oscars

UPDATE: This show has been canceled due an accident that occurred with set collapsing in Detroit. This show will be rescheduled. Fortunately no one was hurt in the accident.

A.R. Rahman is one of India's most popular and epic film composers. The Oscar winning movie Slumdog Millionaire turned American pop culture, at least mainstream pop culture, onto Rahman in a major way. This Saturday, Rahman graces the stage of the Oakland Coliseum with the Jai Ho: the Journey Home World Tour.

The show promises to be quite a show of Bollywood enthusiasm featuring changing sets, large images on LED screens and a spectacular cast of musicians and dancers from across the globe including Hariharan, Javed Ali, Benny Dayal, Blaaze, Shweta Pandit and Neeti Muhan. "Through the concerts," says the AP, "Rahman is attempting something many performers from outside the English-speaking world have tried and failed to do: transcend a regional, ethnic niche and become an international mainstream superstar."

I first fell in love with Rahman's music when I saw my first Bollywood Film, the Oscar nominated 2001 film, Lagaan. The music and the story remain my favorite (see "Mitwa" below). When the movie Slumdog Millionaire started to gain popularity...

READ MORE

My fav, "Mitwa" from Lagaan:

In the clip below, Bhuvan (the fabulous Aamir Kahn) and his friend Gauri, must convince their friends and fellow villagers in 19th century colonial India that while the task of beating the English colonialists, the earth and the sky belong to them and are worth fighting for.
Listen, O my friend,
What is this fear you have?

The earth is ours
And so is the sky.



And how can I not post this?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

'The Runaways': have women in rock music really come very far?

The Twilight girls aren't as bad as you might have been worried they would be...

The Runaways is a testament to how far women in the media and in the music industry have come and yet how far we have to go. There is no denying the importance of Joan Jett and Cherie Currie. Without them, there would be no Madonna, Lady Gaga, the Donnas or the Gossip. But watching a middle-aged man encourage female teenagers to flaunt their sexuality makes my skin crawl a little. You have to believe that these young women wanted to, let me paraphrase Kim Fowley, “dangle their sex in front of men and then snatch it away.” But it really seems like they had to do that just so that they could play rock and roll.

Watching rock stars get too far into sex and drugs on film is nothing new, but watching a 15-year old girl who’s thin enough to break in half get strung out on cocaine and booze is, well, a little weird. During the movie I kept thinking, “where were these girl’s parents? Would this happen today?” Sadly, it does indeed happen today, it’s just packaged a little differently. Also, and luckily for this, minors have more protection. One can only hope that their parents are guardians help to make good decisions for them.

CLICK TO READ MORE...

What did you think of the film?

Girl in a Coma perform The Runaways hit "Cherry Bomb" with special guest Cherie Currie of The Runaways at SXSW March 19, 2010.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Musical Moments: "Hotel California" by the Gipsy Kings in 'The Big Lebowski' with Jesus

In the making the San Francisco, California Mix, I was reminded of one of my favorite musical moments of all time: the introduction of the character Jesus, played by John Turturro, in The Big Lebowski accompanied by the Gipsy King's rendition of "Hotel California."

The editing is perfectly timed with the music. Each frame tells you exactly what you need to know about this character, no more and no less: the rings, the purple outfit one long nasty fingernail, the hairnet, the tongue (oh gawd that tongue!), the bowling stance, the "Jesus" embroidery, the kiss he blows at Donnie...

The little dance Jesus does after his strike: it kills me every time.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The two songs from the Bollywood '3 Idiots' I just can't get out of my head

So my friend Kim was in town last weekend doing some research for her dissertation and wanted to see 3 Idiots, and I was happy to go again. It was just as enjoyable as the first time.

These are the two songs that I just can't get out of my head, thanks a lot Kim for posting them as your facebook status...

I can imagine that if you haven't seen this movie, these scenes are going to be completely out of context and totally bizarre. So read here for my review of the movie.

"Zoobi Doobi" - this is a dream sequence - obviously - Rancho (Amir Khan) and Pia (Kareena Kapoor) are falling in love. Some of it takes place at a wedding because they met for the first time at Pia's sister's wedding, which Rancho crashed.



and "Aal Izz Well" - Rancho and his college buddies sing about tricking your heart into thinking all will be good when fear comes, that way you'll have the courage to take it on. Enjoy the soaped up guys. And the toilet shots. HA. so funny.



Yes, it is totally silly, but that's what I love about Bollywood. I love the silly and ridiculousness.

And now you understand this picture.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Movie review: Aamir Khan stars in "3 Idiots": a Indian film about making your passion your work

3 Idiots ad in the lobby of the the Naz8 in Fremont, California

"Chase excellence and success will follow." That is the lesson of the new Indian film 3 idiots.

You know when Aamir Khan takes on a project, it's going to have some sort of social lesson. He has tackled British rule over Colonial India in the Oscar nominated Lagaan: Once upon a time in India and primary education of children with learning disabilities in Taare Zameen Par (Every Child Is Special) in which he starred and directed. Now Khan takes on higher education in India, a factory that churns out engineers, doctors and student suicide.

If you have never seen a Bollywood movie before, but enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire (which was largely a British film), this is an excellent first Indian film for viewers used to Hollywood's style. 3 idiots is huge already and I'm sure you're going to start hearing about it. It will be the first ever officially released film on youtube (12 weeks after opening, so around the middle of March) and it is Bollywood's biggest blockbuster with the biggest opening of all time

On the way home last night, my friend, who was born and educated in India expressed to me how much this movie hit home for him. To get ahead of the herd in India, students are pressured by their families to study to be engineers and doctors so that they can make a lot of money, marry and live in a big house. What if you aren't even good at engineering? What if you want to be a photographer?

Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so. Americans can learn from this message as well.

READ MORE OF MY REVIEW HERE

Monday, December 7, 2009

Obama on Mel Brooks at the Kennedy Center Honors

Obama said, quoting Mel Brooks in his own words:

"Look at Jewish history, unrelieved lamenting would be intolerable, so out of every ten Jews god designed one to be crazy and amuse the others. By the time I was five I knew I was that one."


Obama commented that most of the best Mel Brooks quotes are unfit to be mentioned at the ceremony. (He must have been talking about, "hey, where the white women at?" Or "excuse me while I whip this out!")

The President also said that he saw Blazing Saddles when he was ten, well under the age limit for the associated rating at the time. You will not convince me that this movie, about a black man taking a leadership position and proving his success with a heroic intelligence, did not leave a lasting impression on the 10-year-old Barack Obama.

There is just something so poignant and beautiful about that.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Top 5 classic songs of the 80's brought to us by John Hughes movies

Ferris Bueller in the shower: my favorite Hughes musical moment. Danke Schoen Mr Hughes!

I grew up on John Hughes movies just as I know so many of you did. I've watched Ferris Bueller, oh, maybe thirty times?

So many of these movies featured some of the 80s best tunes making them instant classics.

In honor of the late John Hughes, I've made a short list of some of those classic 80s tunes.

Click on the song and it will link to a youtube video.

1) Ferris Bueller's Day Off - "Oh Yeah" by Yellow

2) Weird Science - "Weird Science" by Oingo Boingo

3) The Breakfast Club - "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds

4) Pretty in Pink - "Pretty in Pink" by Psychedelic Furs

5) Sixteen Candles - "Turning Japanese" by the Vapors

And just for fun, here is one of my favorite musical scenes from any movie of all time: "Twist and Shout" from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.



Thanks for the great films Mr. Hughes!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bessie Smith: the first music video star? - Girls Rock Camp, celebrating women in music


In honor of Girls Rock Camp this week occurring in Oakland this week, I am celebrating women in music, past, present and future.

Today I want to celebrate Bessie Smith, definitely one of the greatest influences on women (and men!) in music today, and possibly the first music video star as well.

But first, let me tell you what's happening at the second day of Girls Rock Camp: the 70 campers or so will learn more of the basics of their chosen instruments, whether it be the bass, turntables, drums, guitar, keys or vocals. The girls will also continue to pick band names and write a song that they will perform for a live audience this Saturday at 2pm at the Oakland Metro Opera House.

After lunch they will learn how to make a zine and participate in a history of women in rock workshop, taught by yours truly. Bessie Smith is the first woman we will talk about and the video we're going to show the campers is part two of St. Louis Blues made in 1929. We want to showcase her powerful voice.

It got me thinking about what this video actually is. I have this way of using youtube just for the audio, but the sometimes the video is just as interesting (or bizarre or hysterical) as the audio itself.




Part I



Part 2

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Some Liked It Hot": book examining female jazz musicians in film and television 1928-1959


Do you remember that Marilyn Monroe was on tour with an all-girl jazz band (as a ukulele musician!) when she met Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in the 1959 movie "Some Like it Hot"?  These women were not a figment of the movie's imagination, but a real opportunity for woman at the time. This new book by Kristin McGree published by the Wesleyan University Press takes it's name from the film.

Women have been involved with jazz since its inception, but all too often their achievements were not as well known as those of their male counterparts. The book "Some Liked It Hot" looks at all-girl bands and jazz women from the 1920s through the 1950s and how they fit into the nascent mass culture...

Read more of my Examiner article here...

Watch this scene from "Some Like it Hot" with Curtis, Lemmon and Monroe. I believe the boys have dressed up like women to hide from mobsters (who shot holes in Lemmon's upright bass). In this scene Monroe sings the tune "Running Wild."



Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spinal Tap's long awaited reunion tour


Read at Rollingstone that Spinal Tap has finally gotten over its petty bickering and are going on tour. Here are the dates. I know you won't want to miss this.

I can't wait. This one goes to 11.

April 17 - Vancouver, BC @ Center for the Performing Arts
April 19 - Portland, OR @ Keller Auditorium
April 20 - Seattle @ Paramount Theatre
April 22 - Oakland, CA @ Paramount Theatre
April 23 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara County Bowl
April 26 - Los Angeles @ The Wiltern
April 27 - Phoenix, Ariz. @ Dodge Theatre
April 29 - Denver @ Paramount Theatre
May 1 - Houston, TX @ Jesse H, Jones Hall
May 2 - Dallas @ Nokia Theatre
May 4 - Jacksonville, FL @ Florida Theatre
May 5 - Miami @ The Fillmore
May 6 - Orlando, FL, @ Hard Rock Live
May 8 - St. Petersburg, FL @ Mahaffey Theatre
May 9 - Atlanta @ Fox Theatre
May 10 - Nashville @ Ryman Auditorium
May 12 - Baltimore @ Lyric Opera House
May 13 - Washington, D.C. @ Warner Theatre
May 14 - Philadelphia @ Keswick Theatre
May 17 - Columbus, Ohio @ Palace Theatre
May 19 - Cleveland, Ohio @ State Theatre
May 21 - Toronto @ Massey Hall
May 22 - Mashantucket, CT @ MGM Grand Theatre at Foxwoods
May 23 - Boston @ The Wilbur Theatre
May 24 - Atlantic City, NJ @ Music Box at The Borgata
May 26 - New York @ Beacon Theatre
May 27 - New York @ Beacon Theatre
May 29 - Detroit @ Fox Theatre
May 30 - Chicago @ Chicago Theatre
May 31 - Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theatre

Friday, February 27, 2009

Young @ Heart: the sweetest movie I've seen in a long time

It is possible to age gracefully.
It is possible to grow old without growing boring.
You'll laugh at how adorable these people are. You'll cry at how full of life they are. Please add Young @ Heart to your netflix queue.  I feel like calling my Grandmother and telling her how much I love her.

Founded in 1982, The Young @ Heart Chorus is a group of elderly folks (average age of 81) who have toured the world singing rock'n'roll songs from Sonic Youth to Jimi Hendrix. The film follows chorus members and director Bob Cilman through rehearsals, performances, illnesses and deaths.  One of the performances is at a Massachusetts prison and the other is at a sold out theater as final send off before traveling to Europe.

Yes, yes; we know the movie is celebration of life, music and spirit. These people have the most amazing energy and love of singing.  But I am moved by the originality of musical interpretation and how when these folks sing, you know they really, really, really mean it.

It's amazing how well-written songs can take on completely different meanings depending on who's singing them and how they are being sung.  When you hear a 80-year-old full of aching bones and muscles sing James Brown's  "I Feel Good," it takes on a brand new meaning. What about when a 83-year-old in a nursing home wheel chair sings the Ramone's "I Wanna Be Sedated"?  (This is a video you cannot miss, there are no words to describe it.) Here you'll get a certain perspective, wisdom and humor that missing from the original. This is not a bad-boy punk song anymore, but an old man who needs his pills!

Watch this video of "Fix You" by Coldplay.  This is Fred Knittle.  He passed away in early January 2009, but in the film, he's been asked to return to the chorus after a prolonged illness.  This song was supposed to be a duet, but his partner Bob Salvini died several weeks before.  Forget how much you hate Coldplay and leave your expectations at the door. In a voice reminiscent of Johnny Cash, Knittle sings of friendship, life, death, redemption, and brings me to tears in a way Chris Martin can't.  It's gorgeous.

These are some of the most unique cover songs I have ever heard.   Many of the vocals are rough and off-key, the blend is mostly non-existent, but the vocal phrasing is exquisite and the arrangements are terrific. The soloists make up their own melodies and rhythm and sing from life experience and age. These people don't have a personal history with the songs (born in the 20s and 30s, they are too old to identify the songs with their youth) but can identify with the words. Cilman has chosen each song carefully (You'll never listen to "I Will Survive" the same again).

One thing thing that Cilman says at the beginning of the film is that "you can always understand the words when this group sings them." As some of you might know, making the words understandable is one of the hardest things to do with a choir. Getting clear diction is very difficult.

The film doesn't really address how the songs change meaning because of who is singing them. Mortality, of course, comes up in many different ways like when the chorus members express their desire to continue singing after the death of Joe Benoit, a fellow chiorister. 

It's like working in an elderly home, death is a common visitor to this group and they keep on singing in celebration of life.  And as the founder of this group, Cilman never comments on how it affects him personally, he just keeps trying to get these fabulous people to learn and remember their words.  I'm so grateful for people like him who make it their business to bring joy to the elderly, it's incredible. (Shout out to Music Therapist Froman!)

As one of the audience members says after seeing a performance of the Young @ Heart Choir, "I'm never going to complain about being too old or too tired again!" 

Here's the trailer:



Here's the official film website and chorus website. And an interview with Cilman. 

Please, do yourself a favor and watch this movie. It's terrific.

Funkin out to "Paper Planes" Remix

Popped in my Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack this morning and was rocking out to this on my way to work. It's the DFA Remix of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes". It's all funked up. Very cool.



And while I'm at it, I'll also share an awesome track Everydaydude shared on Twitter called "Mama, I Got a Brand New Thing" by the Undisputed Truth from 1974. Turn this one up.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

GO SLUMDOG GO!: The alwaysmoretohear Oscar Review


Just in case you missed it, word on the street is that this 2009 Oscars awards ceremony was the most enjoyable show in a long time, with a few pitfalls. These are a couple of my favorite and not-so-favorite moments.

-Song and dance host Hugh Jackman was perfectly entertaining. Loved the intro. Loved Anne Hathaway.

-I am a big fan of the new best actor/actress format where five previous winners honor each nominee, it made every moment very special. Much better than showing out-of-context clips. I really hope they keep it this way.

-Could have done without the way they presented of "Best Score," I'm sorry, but that was boring and it all sounded the same.  Maybe they could have written a better arrangement. Maybe I just don't appreciate film scores. I dunno. I couldn't even find a youtube video of it, but honestly, I didn't try very hard...

-The "Musical is Back" medley number with Beyonce and a couple of those kids from High School Musical made my head spin. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, but there were musical references flying at me so quickly I didn't have time to identify them!  And Beyonce is in everything. She's amazing. 



And since I haven't shut up about it since I hear that an A.R. Rahman film was coming to the American big screen, I should probably say something about Slumdog Millionaire and its big win over the weekend. 

You probably know that Rahman won the Oscar for Best Song with "Jai Ho." And if you haven't seen the movie, or love the song as much as I do, here's the clip from when "Jai Ho" appears in the the film. The Oscar winning song appears over the credits, while the cast performs a very typical, yet out of character from the rest of the movie Bollywood-esque dance in the Mumbai train station.  Love the Spanish, so random.



This next clip is what I've been excited about since I first heard Rahman was getting recognized for Slumdog: the live Best Song performance at the Oscars.  I loved this, even though the Oscars people crammed all three nominated songs into one number. Whatever, it was still cool. And this year, it seems as if it was a "world music" explosion! Bollywood dancers, what look like Kodo drummers, my favorite: the Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa. And I love John Legend's voice.

It was also fun to hear Rahman sing. Did anyone else notice the weird mix of live singing over pre-recorded track?  Whatever. It was cool.  I wish M.I.A. didn't go and give birth right after performing at the Grammys last month, it would have been fun to hear her bit in "O Saya."




Go Slumdog Go! And congratulations to the people of India and Indian film lovers all over the world. This epic film industry has finally gotten it's international props. Hopefully this is only the beginning and there are many more amazing movies and awesome scores to be shared.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tequila!: The Champs, Danny Flores and Pee-wee

The scene is classic, the song: immortalized. And after a raucous New Year's Eve in 2001, I will never touch tequila again...

In 1957, a random grouping of musicians gathered in Los Angeles to record a group of songs for Gene Autry's record label Challenge Records. Pictured above Joe Burnas on bass, Dale Norris on lead guitar, Dave Burgess on rhythm guitar, Gene Alden on drums and Chuck Rio (born Danny Flores, the son of Mexican American fieldworkers) on vocals and sax.

"Tequila" was recorded last, and was composed on the spot based on a "raunchy" latin tinged saxophone solo written by Flores, the "God Father of Mexican Rock." The song was released as the B-side for "Train to Nowhere" but skyrocketed up the charts to reach #1 in March of 1958.

This group of musicians went on to become the Champs named after Gene Autry's horse, Champion. In 1959, "Tequila" won a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording. Flores parted ways with the band soon after due to inter-band feuding and went onto form the surf band, the Persuaders.

Even though he signed the rights away to most of his royalty earnings on the song, Flores has been immortalized by his cry of "tequila!" They played it at his funeral in 2006. His wife Sharee said he never got tired of playing it.

In 1986, the song appeared in Pee-wee's Big Adventure when Pee-wee dances his way out of certain death in a biker bar after knocking over dozens of bikes. He finds "Tequila" on the jukebox and borrows a busboy's ridiculous white platform shoes to rock this scene.

Enjoy.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

I love this moment: Ferris Bueller and "Twist and Shout"


I know we all love this movie, and we all love this moment.  I just thought you should relive it, just for fun. 

What I really love about this scene is how, twenty years or so after its release, a song recorded by The Beatles brings an entire city together.  I know it's a movie and these people were probably paid to do this, but all of these people KNOW this song. They LOVE this song.  And they are having a good time grooving to it.  It's just a universal super feel good moment.  It makes me smile every time I watch this movie. 

I love the folks dancing down the stairs, the window washer, the busty Bavarian float dancers shimmying their stuff, the little kid hold his hands over his ears and that one guy playing the Sousaphone (a wearable tuba) out in front who is totally getting down!

Enjoy.