You Got the Touch

So I was watching an old episode of “Amazing Stories” on Encore… For those who don’t know “Amazing Stories” was a fantasy TV show from the 80s that was produced by Steven Spielberg. (Kind of like a more family oriented “Twilight Zone”) Anyways, I was watching this one episode starring Patrick Swayze called “Life on Death Row” when after only a few minutes into the episode I noticed something, the story was strikingly similar to “The Green Mile” yet this episode was made 10 years before the book was published, Interesting.

So what are the similarities you might ask? Well here we go… In “Life on Death Row” we first of all have our prisoner. Patrick Swayze plays “Eric David Peterson” a convicted murderer on death row. While in prison he develops a friendship with one of the guards who tries to console him. Early into his stay Eric and a few other prisoners make an escape attempt, but Eric is hit by lightning giving him the ability to heal. The prisoners are apprehended and brought back where the guard soon learns of Eric’s powers. Thus the guard starts using Eric to help a few prisoners and even gets help himself for his bad leg. Now aside from the escape attempt, this whole thing about a “healing prisoner” is quite similar to “The Green Mile” He even gets somewhat fatigued after he does it, just like John Coffey. Now I’m not saying Stephen King ripped of a cheesy 80s TV show, in fact I’ll bet “Life on Death Row” was probably even based off of an earlier story. I missed the starting credits so I’m not exactly sure, but there were a handful of Twilight Zone episodes based off of short stories so it’s a possibility. Basically I just found this kind of interesting and worth a bit of a peek. One thing is for sure it’s no where as good as King’s story..

T3: The Wessman Cometh

Well this weeks T3 is about none other than Cat Fancy’s very own Colin Wessman, for today (February 28th) is his birthday. So I went around asking the people that know Colin best to shine some light on what makes Colin the best Colin that he can be.

So what do people say about Colin?

1. “It’s all about that occasional dry wit, that’s when Colin shines.” – John Otteni

2. “He’s funny, he just don’t give a shit.” – Rev. Matt “Nancy Carstens

3. “He’s a snappy dresser.” – Sean Lemme

4. In context to Rock Band “He’s the only one that can do most of the expert drum parts” – Peter Williams

5. “He has like no emotions, and that’s cool.” – Paul Otteni

6. “I Love his singing voice.” – Jake Waluconis

7. “No offense, but are you just a really big fan of Harry Potter” – Waitress at IHOP

8. “He looks like he’s going to eat a baby” – Peter Olund (Back in Junior High)

9. “Happy New Year” – Nick Black (from Myspace)

And the best for last

10. “Colin is a great person; he is a hard worker, athlete and my personal favorite a friend. I like Colin for several reasons, 1)He is not uptight and is always ready to have a good time. Colin is someone I can be around and just him and I talk and have a good time by most of the time 2)joking. Colin though silent if you do not know him can produce some of the funniest improv that brilliantly feeds off of a previous comment. My favorite joke Colin made is when he was driving back to Dick’s in Matt’s’ car and he did the arm thing that Matt does. Just purely hilarious. I also like Colin because he 3) enjoys my stories. Not many people can appreciate the truth of many historical events but thankfully I have Colin to believe. Lastly, 4) Colin knows Dan which automatically makes him a really likable guy that he is.” – Kevin Lemme

And there you have it.

Alligator Lizards in the Air

America – Here & Now

America released their first album since 1984 more than a year ago, and I’m kicking myself for taking so long to pick it up. The band made a very deliberate effort to reconnect with the youth this time around, including having that Japanese guy from Smashing Pumpkins and bassist of Fountains of Wayne produce the album and featuring many guest musicians, including Jim James and Patrick Hallahan of My Morning Jacket. This really paid off, as the album does have a distinctly youthful sound, not at all what you would expect. The tracks tap into what made America songs hits, but doesn’t feel like a retread of older material. There are even a couple choice covers. It’s pretty fresh and nice to listen, it kind of reminded me of Sean Lennon’s last album from time to time. But if it’s the old America you want, they’ve got you covered as well. The second disc contains live performances of every song on History: America’s Greatest Hits, which is pretty generous of the band to include. But if you’re like me, it’s the new tracks that your going to be coming back to again and again. Overall, Here & Now is great choice for America fans both young and old and a worthy member of any music library. It gives you some great new material and all the old hits in case you don’t have any America CDs. And $9.99 for all 25 tracks on iTunes is a pretty good bargain.

Classic Album Tuesday: Traffic

Traffic – Traffic (1968)
Welcome to a new segment known as “Classic Album Tuesdays” or “CAT” Where we’ll look back at various albums we’ve enjoyed over the years and what not. For this week I thought I’d reminisce about one of my favorite albums currently enjoying it’s 40th anniversary, this being Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Traffic’s 1968 self-titled album Traffic. Though it’s certainly not one of the most memorable albums of it’s time, and probably something you wouldn’t expect to see in this kind of segment, It’s one of my favorite albums of the sixties.

Coming off of their psychedelic debut album that was Mr. Fantasy released in 1967. The then 4 piece Traffic (Led by 20 year old multi-istrumentalist Steve Winwood) decided to take a more blues/rock oriented approach to their sophomore album. With Producer Jimmy Miller (Other albums including Beggars Banquet and Blind Faith) Steve Winwood (Vocals/Organ/Guitar/Bass), Jim Capaldi (Vocals/Drums), Dave Mason (Vocals/Guitar/Bass/Harmonica) and Chris Wood (Saxophone/Flute) headed into Island Studios to work on what would be their most cohesive work in their entire 8 run.

An album blending many genres, from Blues, to Jazz, to Folk Traffic is filled to the brim with inventive and creative arrangements not to mention some very tight musicianship. With song-writing duties being split between Winwood/Capaldi and Dave Mason, we get many different kinds of songs that somehow manage to gel together. From the British Blues Rock of “Pearly Queen” to the Jazzy beat of “Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring” and who could forget Dave Mason’s “Feelin’ Alright” (Which would of course later be made famous by Joe Cocker) Traffic is a feel good album, especially well suited for cruising’ down the highway on a warm summer’s day. It was one of the first albums I got after getting my first iPod and it’s really stuck with me.

Favorite Tracks: “Pearly Queen”, “Feelin’ Alright”, “Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring”


Here are a couple stories from the Academy Awards that you might not have heard, unless you read IMDb or watch E!

Brad Renfro did not make the dead celebrities montage; people are pissed. I actually noticed this during the show, but didn’t put too much thought into it at the time. Now, the MPAA says that, “It is simply not possible to include everyone in that segment.” Which is pretty ridiculous, since he was one of the bigger deaths, uh, this year, and how could they not have enough room for 2-3 seconds? So, since the MPAA is not big enough:
In other news, Tilda Swinton said she had a “reverse Zoolander moment” when she won her Oscar. I think that’s pretty cool that an A-list British actress would reference Zoolander, there’s really no punchline here. Now that I think about it, all the acting awards went to foreigners this year… Come on, Americans!

Everybody Hates Kimmel

So that Jimmy Kimmel Oscar Special last night was pretty lame. I couldn’t believe Jimmy Kimmel managed to get all those celebrities (Robin Williams, Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, Josh Groban, whom Nancy loves) to sing that “I’m F**king Ben Affleck Song” An idea that I like in theory but unfortunately was poorly executed. I liked seeing Matt Damon show up in that dumb “F**king Matt Damon Song” though. I hear he’s a pretty good sport about making fun of himself (One instance being that he really enjoyed his portrayal in “Team America” a few years back) So good for him and bad for Jimmy Kimmel’s subpar special

Bringin’ Home the Gold

Well today was Oscar Sunday and it was indeed a both fun and satisfying ceremony. With host Jon Stewart at the helm, what we got was an amusing and exciting show with some big wins and mild surprises. First off let’s talk about Mr. Stewart. I wasn’t really a fan of Jon Stewart’s last Oscar hosting gig, but this year he was just fine. Not particularly thrilling but he did have a handful of clever wise-cracks and I had no complaints.

The winners in most of the categories I think were what most people expected. Daniel Day-Lewis was obviously a lock for best actor and Javier Bardem (Or as Regis Philbin called him in the Pre-Oscar program “Hogxavier”) was heavily favored, and I as well was as glad to see him get the win. It seemed best actress was regarded as a close race with Marion Cotillard ( From La Vie En Rose) taking home the win. Though when seeing that she wore makeup to somewhat downplay her looks, I couldn’t help but think back to other female performances that won also with help from heavy makeup. (Nicole Kidman for “The Hours” or Charlize Theron for “Monster”) Not to say that these weren’t good performances, I suppose I just mean that being less pretty (due to makeup) appears to be a great aide. Tilda Swinton for Best Supporting Actress was certainly a surprise (Beating the favored Amy Ryan and always talented Cate Blanchett.) I thought she was great in “Michael Clayton” so that was a nice treat.

For the most part, screenplays and directing went in the direction I think everyone was anticipating. I was quite amused by Ethan Coen’s loss for words in both of The Coen brothers acceptance speeches. “There Will Be Blood” only winning for Cinematography and acting I also found to be quite acceptable.

But out of all these awards, I couldn’t of been more happier than the film that took home the most coveted prize of the night. “No Country For Old Men” without a doubt deserved Best Picture and as Denzel Washington called out it’s name, I certainly felt a great sigh of relief. So I think for the most part we can all be satisfied with the ceremony this year. If they were rushed with writing it than it certainly didn’t show. Yes a competend and fair Oscar Show indeed… I’m already excited for next year.