Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Two for the Revolutionary Road

In the middle of a particularly bad day at work, I made a command decision to take a few hours of paid time off to cut my losses for the day and take in a movie. I decided to see a matinee of Revolutionary Road, Sam Mendes's film adaptation of the Richard Yates novel. Set in the mid-'50s, it tells the story of the Wheelers, who meet as young bohos in Greenwich Village, marry, and find themselves stuck in a rut seven years later. Frank (DiCaprio) has a deadening job at Knox Business Machines, where he spends his days in a cubicle doing meaningless tasks; April (Winslet) decides that they should move to Paris and rediscover their purpose in life.

And that's when things begin to unravel.

While I was watching the movie, I was reminded of another film, 1967's Two for the Road, directed by Stanley Donen, written by Frederick Raphael (Darling, Eyes Wide Shut), and starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney. I had just seen it again on the Fox Movie Channel a couple of weeks ago, and enjoyed it immensely (my wife, on the other hand, hated it).

While both films deal with marital difficulties, and contain many parallels, they reach entirely different conclusions. While I won't give away the ending of Revolutionary Road, I will say that Two for the Road is ultimately much more an affirmation of marriage. The love between Mark and Joanna Wallace, unlike Frank and April Wheeler's, ultimately keeps them together, because they need each other and genuinely care for one another, despite all the fights and tit-for-tat infidelities.

I recommend both films highly, although Two for the Road is definitely the better date movie for marrieds; Revolutionary Road is best seen without your spouse.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Florida Rocks Again!: Sweet Thangs...And Other Tastes

This episode of Florida Rocks Again! is entitled "Sweet Thangs...And Other Tastes," featuring the All-Time Greats from the Sunshine State doing songs with "Sweet," "Honey," and/or "Sugar" in the title, padded out with a set of songs having to do with food and drink.

THE MODS: Sweets for My Sweet
THE MYSTIC FIVE: Sweet Brown Frame
SAM & DAVE: Sweet Pains
MIGHTY SAM: Sweet Dreams
BETTY WRIGHT: Sweet Lovin' Daddy

JIM VOYTEK: Sweetest Gal in Town
WAYNE COCHRAN: Some of Your Sweet Love
BLUES IMAGE: Lay Your Sweet Love on Me
FRED NEIL: Sweet Mama
HOYT AXTON: Sweet Misery
MEL TILLIS: Sweet Mental Revenge

FREDDIE & THE KINFOLK: Mashed Potato Popcorn
KING COLEMAN: Mashed Potato Man
STEVE ALAIMO: Mashed Potatoes
WIZARD: Opus Ate
MOFRO: Nare Sugar

Series Hosted by Mal Thursday

Written & Produced by JM Dobies

Co-Produced by Jeff Lemlich


Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Return of BLOG!

BLOG! is back.

I know I have neglected it of late, and was phoning it in for much of 2008, but this year I promise to post more than the occasional playlist. 2009 will see a return of the hard-hitting, incisive blogging you've come to expect.

And more playlists, of course.

I will probably be hyping the radio programs a bit more in '09, and will be debuting a third show, working title The Texas Time Machine, which is sort of a Texan version of Florida Rocks Again!, in the spring.

We will be expanding both The Florida Rocks Again! Swag Shack at Cafe Press and the Online Superstore soon and very soon. But buy now and save!

Apologies for not posting the playlists for A Florida Rocks Again! Christmas, or the rocking "More of the Ones That Got Away" episode.

I spent the holidays in sub-zero temperatures in beautiful Southwestern North Dakota. Had a couple of excellent meals at the Dairy Barn and the best soup I've had in many years, the Creamy Tomato Dill, at the Dakota Diner. Read a few books, watched the Criterion Collection DVD of Two Lane Blacktop, and caught Fargo on TV.

The kids saw snow (and plenty of it) for the first time. It was pretty cool.

And bloody cold.