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Monthly Archives: January 2006

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I Second the Notion

Christopher posted at Just Ask Christopher about the must-see Hayao Miyazaki film fest on Turner Classic Movies this month. Every Thursday, TCM will be playing nine of the animation master’s films — both the English dubbed and original Japanese soundtrack versions. The program also includes two films he produced but didn’t direct, Pom Poko and Only Yesterday. Can’t wait!

I Feel Like Chicken Tonight

According to the AP, the old fashioned jingle has fallen out of favor in the advertising biz. Instead, agencies choose the cheaper and more familiar route of using existing pop songs in commercials (sigh). Although I’m no longer in that coveted 18-34 demo, everytime I hear some overexposed rock chestnut trotted out in a commercial, I roll my eyes and make a mental note to avoid their product. It makes me wistful for the pre-ironic, ultra sincere age in advertising, when people could get away with re-purposing Neil Sedaka’s “Calendar Girl” to sell cat-themed calendards for Purina Cat Chow (“January/Chow chow chow chow chow”). Have you ever noticed that Wrigley’s Big Red gum has had the same jingle since the ’70s? They must be doing something right.

Finger Lickin’ Gone

David from Other Stream has assembled an interesting page on extinct restaurant chains such as Arthur Treacher’s Fish ‘N Chips, Minnie Pearl’s Fried Chicken and Sambo’s. A former Sambo’s with its original chi-chi ’60s lighting fixtures (but little else, unfortunately) still stands here in downtown Phoenix.

Gruesome Twosome: J’aime Françoise Edition

Françoise Hardy: “Je Ne Suis Là Pour Personne”
Vogue Records [France] single, 1966 | BUY

Air featuring Françoise Hardy: “Jeanne”
CD: Pop Romantique: French Pop Classics, 1999 | BUY

Today I’m turning the spotlight on one of my fave singers ever, Françoise Hardy. When Ms. Hardy entered the music scene in the early ’60s, she bust open the “girl singer” stereotype with aplomb. She wrote her own songs, professed an indifference to the music industry, and presented herself as a chic folk singer (minus the passivitiy). Folk trappings aside, many of her songs truly rocked — check the guitar solo on “Je Ne Suis Là Pour Personne” for proof. Three decades on, she still oozed the blasé as only the French can on her collaboration with Air (which first appeared on their “Sexy Boy” single in ’98). Cool, baby.

By the way, if anybody has an opinion about this stuff whatsoever, please please leave a comment. I’m new at this mp3 blogging thing want to know how this stuff is going over. Good or bad, let me know!

Rona, We Hardly Knew Ye

It is here that I note the passing of Rona Jaffe, author of the frothy 1958 novel The Best of Everything. Just before she died, Ms. Jaffe contributed a fascinating audio commentary to the film adaptation’s DVD where she goes into detail about her young life in the ’50s publishing world and in Hollywood (although she never spills the beans on working with Joan Crawford, dagnabbit). Strangely, the NYT obit doesn’t mention her later novel Mazes & Monsters. The cautionary M&M concerned a group of college students caught up in a Dungeons & Dragons-like game, a popular success which later became a thoroughly cheezy TV movie starring young Tom Hanks. My mom had a copy of that book! That probably explains why she disapproved whenever I showed an interest in playing D&D games. Anyhow, Ms. Jaffe will be missed.

A Year of Movie Watching

My annual list of films seen for 2005 has been completed with a late New Years Eve showing of the Olivia De Haviland mental institution flick The Snake Pit (it sure beats a slurring Dick Clark). I saw a total of 184 films last year, just about the same amount as in 2004. For completion’s sake, here are the lists for 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, and 2000.