Catching Up…

Quote of the Day: “The freaks are rising up through the floor …” Oasis, “Bag It Up”

Getting Updated: 
  • The year’s almost over and I’ve heard a bunch of new records but the only one I’ve been playing over and over and over again is Dig Your Soul Out by Oasis. It really is my favorite Oasis record since What’s the Story Morning Glory. I know, I know: you’ve heard that before. But this time it’s true. I believe you have to love any CD that quotes the Beatles AND LaBelle in one track. And though there aren’t as many stadium-shout sing-a-longs as there have been in the past, the songwwriting is, for the most part, crisp and full of the kind of Oasis balls-out swing that still marks them, really, as the last real rock stars. And Noel Gallagher has written a song called “Falling Down” that is, far and away, one of the best songs he’s ever written: it somehow manages to be atmospherically autumnal, groovy, and rocking all at the same time. Sublime.
  • Speaking of, the new reunion single by LaBelle sounds wack. Other judgment withheld til I hear the whole album.
  • For some reason this past summer I watched a slew of Paul Newman flicks. I watched, in the span of about three days: Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, From the Terrace, Hud, The Long Hot Summer, and Sweet Bird of Youth. I also watched, in that same span, a coupla Marlon Brando flicks: A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront. I know that Brando’s considered the greatest–and I do think he’s done some of the best screen acting in the history of screen acting, especially in Waterfront and The Godfather–but when I think about Newman, who was in the same generation of 1950s-launched hearthrob/serious actors with Brando and Dean and Montgomery Clift, I have to believe that Newman really was the best. The most professional, the most versatile, the one who, at the end of the day, lasted, and left a body of work that transcended time, genres, and generation. Go watch Sweet Bird of Youth, if you can. Or The Sting. Or Hud. Or Cool Hand Luke. Watch Newman’s agile way of finding the depth in his often callow characters. Then come back and tell me that Brando–who did change the way the game was played–was anywhere as fluid and subtle a player as Newman. And, to quote cinematographer Conrad Hall, he was just so freaking beautiful…RIP Mr. Newman.

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