Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The TV Listings (11)

Time for another roundup of my video postings, this time from the last quarter of 2011.

The Comedy/Movie Channel

Not the Chinese national anthem - for China's National Day on October 1st, I post an amusing parody of March of the Volunteers (by a YouTuber called ThDubya, who has a raft of spoof national anthems).

Crimewave - two great clips from Sam Raimi's underrated homage to slapstick comedy, as I enrol its lovely leading lady, Sheree J. Wilson, as one of my 'Fantasy Girlfriends'.

A Private Listening Party - Tom Waits has an amusing brainwave for promoting his new album, Bad As Me.

We Need Recruits! - the music hall recruiting scene from Richard Attenborough's Oh, What A Lovely War!, with Maggie Smith belting out a raunchy song to woo impressionable young men into the services (and the gorgeous Jane Seymour making her first - uncredited, blink-and-you-miss-it - screen appearance as one of the chorus girls in the background).

Baby, It's Cold Outside - the story of Frank Loesser's playful winter duet, with performances by Zooey Deschanel and Will Ferrell in Elf, by Cerys Mathews and Tom Jones, and by Frank Loesser and his first wife, Lynn (audio only, but magical).

Making a point - a disgruntled Chinese multi-millionaire in the northern port city of Qingdao (home of the famous Tsingtao beer) hired four workers to smash his Lamborghini Gallardo to pieces with sledgehammers. Apparently, the cigarette lighter wasn't working. Talk about a fit of pique!

The Music Channel

But not as we know it - Montreal-based folk musician Brad Barr does some bluesy experimentation with his remarkable custom-built guitar, fashioned out of an old metal fishing-tackle box.

The Theme from 'Shaft' - which, of course, Father Ted taught us is one of the best ways of driving the blues away. I linked to a couple of great clips of its composer Isaac Hayes playing it, but for an embedded video I chose a version by the marvellous Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

You'll Never Know - the latest entry in my 'Great Love Songs' series, with the original performance by film star Alice Faye and the subsequently more famous version by Ella Fitzgerald.

Both Sides Now - but not as we know it: here, the lovely Joni Mitchell song is performed in the Khmer language, by the band Dengue Fever (who are from California, but specialise in Cambodian pop); it's the end-credit music from the atmospheric 2002 thriller City of Ghosts, a promising directorial debut by Matt Dillon.

Yesu Wayinyanza  - a beautiful Kenyan folk song performed by the superb Muungano National Choir (a song with a strange personal meaning for me!).

The Long Way Home - after a most unfortunate experience, I turn to the wisdom of the great Tom Waits for consolation.

Need Your Love So Bad - my favourite blues guitarist, Peter Green, the original leader of Fleetwood Mac, performs the great slow blues ballad (and there's an additional link in the comments to a version by Gary Moore, performed as a tribute to Green, who had been a mentor to him as a youngster).

If You Gotta Go, Go Now - a Bob Dylan song done about a gazillion times better by the Cowboy Junkies (no video, alas; but a great recording of a great performance).

Needle and Spoon - Des McGarry and Black Cat Bone belting out some classic blues at an intimate little Harmonica Festival in Beijing's Jianghu bar a few years ago; not great sound or picture quality, but a lively performance. These guys had been The Jing's leading party band for several years, but had just announced their retirement at the end of last year - so, this was my farewell tribute to them.

We Need Recruits! - see above, under Movies.

Mr Romance - Chicago bluesman Andrew 'Jnr. Boy' Jones has some advice on keeping the ladies happy. It probably helps if you can play the guitar like that.

Baby, It's Cold Outside - see above, under Movies.

The Sports Channel

No entries under 'Sports' again in this period, I fear. Perhaps I'm just not very sporty any more??

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