Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mock Squid Soup Trivia Clues!

MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to present Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society!
How could your old pal, Cherdo, possibly pass up that opportunity to frolic with Mock & Squid? 
You can jump in the cauldron, too!

This month, everyone gets to throw a movie of their own choice into the pot.  Here's the wrinkle for May, a fabulous idea from Mock:  the week before our gathering, a trivia challenge on Friday, May 1st!  Everyone is invited to post three clues about his/her movie for others to guess.  

My clues for my movie are:

1. Universal released the film; Judd Apatow co-produced it.
2. The story revolves around a loss.
3. No romantic comedy/drama would be complete without a vampire.

Our next regular meeting is Friday, May 8th.  No need to sign up twice.  I'll use the same link list for both.  If you are interested in joining us, please sign on to the list below.

Z is for Zappa

There's no telling how many people saw the Warren Zevon post and wondered why I didn't save him for Z. The answer: he'd crowd out Frank Zappa! We can't abide by that. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for Yankovic

Every genre needs a jester; you have to be able to laugh at yourself. For that reason, I hope the long list of musicians parodied by Weird Al Yankovic appreciate his talent - as much as he appreciates theirs. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - but parody is just plain hilarious when it's done right. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X is for (Generation) X

In 1976, three Englishmen came together to form the punk rock group, Generation X. Tony James, John Towe...and Billy Idol. Bob "Derwood" Andrews would join later and free young Billy from the burdens of lead guitar and allow him to become the main vocalist of the group. Thanks, Bob...sincerely.

Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for Warren

Cynics and snarkazoids unite in praise of the great Warren Zevon. In all of music, there are few composers more daring with lyrics and themes. Mr. Z was a bit outlandish, at times. "Dark" and dismal worked for him, but he was not limited to that - no sirree! Warren's musical talents spread far and wide.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for Van

VAN is the MAN! 

Born in 1945 in Belfast, this critically acclaimed Northern Irish singer started his career in the 1950s in local showbands. 

By the late sixties, George Ivan Morrison became the rhythm and blues darling, the soulful master of such hits as "Brown Eyed Girl," "Wild Nights," "Domino," "The Mystic," and "Gloria."

Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for UB40

Someone said that I was doing the most famous musicians for my theme - nope, not at all. My A-to-Z theme is musicians that I like (or liked) and those that always have a place on my playlist. Granted, it's a pretty huge playlist. 

If you look under "U" (right next to Usher), you'll see UB40.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Tina

All hail Anna Mae Bullock, or as you might call her - Tina Turner. 

Born in 1939, little Anna Mae started out in Nutbush, TN. When her parents followed work to Knoxville, TN, Anna Mae and her sister, Ruby Aillene, stayed with her grandparents. As Deacon and Deaconess of the local church, the grandparents probably made sure young Anna spent a lot of time there - she loved to sing in the church choir. The girls would later join their parents in Knoxville, but in the end, all roads lead back to Nutbush. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for Springsteen

We're talking about the Boss today, peeps! 


The Jersey BORN TO RUN Bruce. 

The one, the only - Bruce Springsteen.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for Ray

He's Ray, man! Ray Charles! What can I add to his bio that most people wouldn't know already? The man is a soulful, piano playing, R & B legend - one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time. To top it off, he accomplished this in spite of blindness and poverty.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q is for Queen

Okay, raise your hand if you actually thought I'd choose any other group for the letter Q? I'm not seeing any hands, people...

Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon will always rule the letter Q in any countdown I author. The four met during their college years. All of them had dabbled in music and had experience with other bands. After graduation, they got serious about music. EMI Records and Elektra Records signed the band and their debut album, Queen, came out in 1973. Queen II followed in 1974 with more of the same. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Paolo

Paisley ( in Scotland) singer, Paolo Nutini, is in the top ten of my contemporary favorites. Maybe the top three. Yes, it's true - I like a whole lotta singers who currently have airplay in the current century. 

Born of a Scottish mother and an Italian father, Paolo had plans to follow in his father's footsteps and work in "the family chippy" (fish and chips shop) in Paisley. A teacher recognized his musical talent and he has said that his grandfather encouraged him, too. With those votes of confidence, he learned the music business - he even served as a roadie. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

#3 Son Has HUGE Problem With My "O" Choice

...cried the young man...

Gonzo is threatening to start his own blog over the "O" choice (the Outfield). 

Gonzo Quote: "I was thinking you'd do it because you're so into the Beatles...they sorta sound like the Beatles."

Who did he think should get it? Ironically, another big favorite of mine. I love Oasis - love, love, love them. In the end, you can only chose one (that is why I also have to apologize to The Cure, Elvis Costello, Klaatu, The Rutles, Spinal Tap, The Cranberries, Clanad, local boy wonder Erick Baker, Pat Benatar, Aimee Mann, Aerosmith, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Counting Crows, the BeeGees...I think you "get it").

Kids; whaddya gonna do? And after all....

O is for Outfield

In 1985, the album Play Deep received a warm welcome in America - triple platinum, in fact. The Outfield had arrived! Though their band and sound originated in England, it was America that embraced the group above all others. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for Nilsson

Everyone loves a piano man. No disrespect to Billy Joel, but my favorite piano man was Harry Nilsson. I'm not alone in that opinion. 

Even the Beatles loved Harry. Harry was in good company; he developed close ties with all the Fab Four. John Lennon and Nilsson were close (if not notorious) friends and found their antics splayed out in the trade magazines in the 70s.

Harry Nilsson entered the world in 1941 in Brooklyn, New York. Abandoned by his father, his mother took him and his half-sister to Los Angeles. I'm not sure where the other half of his sister went. As a teen, he worked at the Paramount Theater. At the time, the Paramount was one of the largest theaters and hosted rock and roll acts. Nilsson learned piano chords from the musicians and soon became a skilled pianist. 

The next few years saw Harry honing his craft, writing and composing. All that effort paid off when he landed a recording contract with RCA Victor in 1967. Over a dozen albums followed and the critics grew to love Nilsson for his performances and compositions. The film Midnight Cowboy featured the Nilsson tune "Everybody's Talkin' At Me." Some of the biggest names in recording covered his songs: Neil Diamond, Diana Ross and Barbara Streisand, to name a few. The Three Dog Night hit, "One" was a Nilsson song. The Monkee's front man, Davy Jones, sang Nilsson's "Cuddly Toy."

It's not unusual to see Harry Nilsson's name appear in the credits of many top movies, like You've Got Mail, Forrest Gump, All That Jazz, Casino, Goodfellas. Harry was prolific. 

My favorite personal Nilsson memory: the first time I ever danced with a boy, the song "Without You" was playing. Yes, I remember who it was and I know I won't name him, but thanks for for inquiring. Unsure of who sang that song, I went to the record store and bought the 45. No, youngsters, not the Colt 45...I'm talking about the little-record-with-the-big-hole 45. You kids...I swear...

If you want to see a great documentary about his life, check out Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him)? The film is a fair and evenhanded look at his genius and madness; drugs and alcohol would take their toll. 

Harry Nilsson passed away in 1994 at the age of 52. Poor Harry; he definitely left us too soon. It's hard to listen to the radio without you...

Click on the banner & visit some of these great bloggers who are participating in the challenge!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is for Mick

Realistically, I don't feel like I have a choice with regard my "M."  Sure, there's McCartney...but I've tipped my hat to the Beatles already. Let's spread the love around, shall we?

For uniqueness, swagger, and longevity - no one has the moves like Mick Jagger. Clearly, the Rolling Stones were one of the most dynamic and influential groups that ever hailed from Great Britain. The man has rooster strutted across six decades and is still involved in music, stage and screen. What is this dude's vitamin regimen? Is he a Highlander (the movie, not the Scottish geographical region)? 'Cause in the end, there can be only one!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Legend

Half was through the challenge - I originally had a list of several musicians for "L" and I waffled back and forth. There's John Lennon, my personal favorite Beatle (Yoko follows me on Twitter, no friend's roll their eyes, which is the exact reaction I crave in all situations).  

Then there's Lenny Kravitz - love that modern day hippy-rocker, Hunger Games' stylist. How can I forget him?

Finally, I decided to pull myself out of the 70s-90s and get right into present day for L.

John Legend first appeared on my radar as one of the musicians on Lauren Hill's "Everything is Everything." It was a cool video accompanied by a great song - who wouldn't look it up? I saw the name "John Legend" and it occurred to me that it might be made up - and if so, it was a cool name. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for Knopfler

Get out those headbands, folks!

Though he is a producer, composer and songwriter, Mark Knopfler is best known for being the guitar playing front man of Dire Straits. Rolling Stone magazine gave him #27 on the list of the Top 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. I'm not sure how that honor holds up when compared to the fact that he has a dinosaur named after him: Masiakasaurus knopfleri!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for Journey

Ten days into the A-to-Z Challenge and there's one thing I can say for sure: J is for JOURNEY.

Let me clarify this, just in case we're not on the same page. 
  • Not the initial Journey with Robert Fleischman singing lead till 1977; come on, now! 
  • Not the Steve Augeri wailing-like-Steve Perry line up of 1998. 
  • As lovely as the story is of Filipino Arnel Pineda singing his lungs out and sounding like Steve Perry - nope, not that line up, either.
  • The only Journey that I recognize has Steve Perry singing lead from 1977 to 1998. 

"Appreciate the loyalty, Cherdo," Steve commented.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Last Minute Mock Squid Soup!!

MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are your hosts for Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society, meetings on the second Friday of each month. This month, each of us is choosing another society member's March movie to review.  Here is last month's list:

Horns - Cherdo
Death to Smoochy - Toi Thomas
Strangers on a Train - Brigit 
The Dish - angryparsnip 
Superman Returns - Tony Laplume 
Three Days of the Condor - MOCK! 
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead - The Squid
Oh, dear friends...Cherdo is sick tonight and I can't really do this justice. I'd planned to review Three Days of the Condor, one of my favorite all-time flicks. 

Let me just say this: 

TDOTC is a classic set in the cold war days when Robert Redford was king of the flicks. Good guy Joe Turner (Redford) is a quite, unassuming employee of the CIA who reads books - looking for secret messages and clues. When he stumbles on to something big, higher ups decide to squelch it by taking out the entire office. 

Redford, out for lunch, misses the hit. From that point forward, it becomes evident that he can trust no one - especially the ones who say things like "trust me" and "we're going to help." 

I'm not spoiling it by telling you the whole plot and high points. I'm too full of Mucinex and Sudafed.

This is a movie that was written, directed and cast the way it should be done every time! The story was engaging, well paced and I'm always afraid to leave the room - something might happen!

I miss movies like this. A lot. Fire up Netflix and watch this TONIGHT.

I is for INXS

The Australian group, INXS, got their start in 1977 as The Farriss Brothers. They played small venues and pubs - much like many musical acts. Probably every bar on every corner had a long list of bands that came and went. I sometimes wonder why one group falters while another finds fame and fortune. Long ago, I decided it wasn't just musical talent. Sincerely, there's a lot a musical talent out there - names you'll never know. 

Then I remember that INXS had one thing that the others didn't: Michael Hutchence. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

H is for Harrison

George Harrison was born in 1943 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England and that's already more introduction that necessary. This entire post represents just a drop in the bucket in the life and career of George Harrison.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G is for Glen

Born in 1970, Glen Hansard hailed from Dublin, Ireland, a son of working class parents. At the age of thirteen, he left school to pursue music. Man, that takes guts! I'm not sure I could commit to a sandwich meat option at thirteen.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F is for Frampton

Peter Frampton was one of those people destined to be a musician. As a youngster, music pulled him in; he took piano and guitar lessons and joined his first band by the age of twelve. David Bowie attended the same school as Frampton and at one time, the unknown musicians appeared on the same bill at a school event. How weird is that? It wouldn't be the last time they played on the same stage. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

E is for Eddie

New York, you might still be miffed that the Police Academy lost young cadet Eddie Mahoney to rock and roll, but face it - there's a cop on every corner...but there's only one Eddie Money.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

D is for Debbie

Not everything from Florida is hot. I know this for a fact because Debbie Harry was the coolest new wave chicks who ever fronted a band and she was born in Miami in 1945. In her youth, however, she was raised in New Jersey. Little Deb was even a choir girl at one time. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

C is for Cat

In 1948, Steven Georgiou was born in London. He showed an early interest in music, making an attempt to teach himself piano. At age 15, he picked up the guitar and later took a stab at art and cartooning. Personally, I'm glad that he decided to focus on the music because Master Georgiou was destined to become Cat Stevens.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

B is for Beatles

Welcome to day two of the Blogging From A-to-Z Challenge! My theme for the month is musicians. Specifically, musicians that I love and have impacted my life with their talent. Today, B is for Beatles!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A is for Ann

The Blogging From A-to-Z Challenge is finally here!

My theme is musicians - or more specifically, the musicians I've loved throughout the years. It's not a complete list, but it is a list of the musicians who consistently rise to the top of my personal playlists.