Game of Throwns Away

I can’t deny it … “Game of Thrones” has entered a wrap-it-up-quick-and-dirty phase since expanding beyond the end of the book sources. The quest to nab a wight was fun enough to watch, but was a grindingly obvious plot-pusher from the start. The revelation that wights collapse when their maker is killed an apt surprise — but then doing in the Night King becomes such an obvious game-ender that it’s obnoxious it doesn’t happen. My favorite zinger — the undead bear. A truly cool monster and a nice foreshadow that animals get to walk the night, too.

R.I.P.: Dick Gregory

I’ll be honest — comedians, even social-activist ones, are off my screen. The only funny-stuff albums I own are by Jonathan Winters, the Firesign Theater and Richard Pryor. And I almost never play them. So I know way more about Dick Gregory after reading his obits. Confirms my long-held belief that it’s possible to be an admirable figure and a crank at the same time.

R.I.P.: Paul Oliver

[I will try to supplement this later. Too pooped right now.]

A pioneer, no question.

For me, the two most pioneering works were his biography of Bessie Smith, which brought her back from utter obscurity in 1959 and made the case for her as a blues master, at a time when only [male] solo country performers were thought to be the “real thing.”(I did not know the book was not originally his idea. Oh well.) The other was his book Savannah Syncopators, which founded the discussion of links between African and African-American musics. I haven’t picked it up in a very long time and I’m sure it’s dated (not least because we know so much more about African musics now), but like I say, pioneering.

Good interview with lots of little-known scoop.

(Still) R.I.P.: The Pelvis

(Still) R.I.P. The Pelvis

Some people call it the album for only the most devoted Presley fans.

I won’t go that far (these good-is-bad-is-outside-in propositions give me sorassisis), but I will agree with Marcus that it is “perversely listenable.”

And you’ll pry my copy (the only one I ever saw and way more than I could sanely afford at the time) from my cold, dead, peanut-butter stained hands.

A Needed Negative Review

I’m sure not gonna subscribe to the WSJ to read this article. But it does prompt me to take note of the most justified negative review I’ve read in quite a while.

Namely the Number 9 item in this Real Life Rock Top 10.

When I heard this album my response was also WTF — then I realized it had been overhyped with scarcely a claim that the performances were outstanding (and Dion barely mails them in). Instead, fabulous producer on hot streak and exciting times for music and Dion has made killer records. Fooey.

 

 

R.I.P. The Original Soul of Godzilla

Hauro deserves a deep bow from this lifelong moster-movie fan.

BUT

 

According to us hardcores, there are three levels of Old Tech Monsters:

Worst: Lizards and frogs with shit glued onto them.

Meh: Guys in suits, no matter how nifty the suit (James Arness, as “The Thing From Another World” was the best, except I keeping seeing it wearing a cowboy hat since I found out who it was.)

Best: “Dynamation” and its relatives — this required serious art and craft and the payoff could be superb. If you haven’t seen “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad,” what are you waiting for?

Plug for Chester Himes

So there’s a new biography out there. And I certainly agree with the basic conclusion of it. I discovered Himes by accident because, strangely enough, he apparently had a huge fan in Missoula, MT who sold all his ’60s paperbacks to a local used store. I started out in the summer after I graduated from college with For Love of Immabelle and had to pick the shards of my brain off the ceiling. I resolved to read everything I could find by Himes and I have. My only mild disappointment was his autobio, The Third Generation, which seemed too careful and cleaned-up to me. (Well, Pinktoes has long porno-mechanical stretches mixed in with wonders.)