Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The TV Listings (13)

A rundown of my video postings during the second quarter of this year (or so - I think in fact I'll go up to the end of July). Lots of good stuff this year.

The Comedy/Movie Channel

The wisdom of Swiss Toni - a classic example of the tortured sexual metaphors which are the stock-in-trade of the secondhand car dealer and would-be Lothario, one of the great comedy creations of Charlie Higson in BBC2 skit series The Fast Show.

"Your lupins or your life!" - bumbling highwayman Dennis Moore, one of my favourite ever bits of Python.

Rab C. Nesbitt - Gregor Fisher's belligerent Glasgow drunk accosted for a vox pop interview on the street; possibly the character's first ever appearance, in BBC2 skit show Naked Video.

A seasonal drink - flamboyant Russian cocktail maestro Bek Narzi mixes up something special for May Day.

The Leaping Order of St Beryl - comedy genius from Peter Cook and Dudley Moore: trampolining nuns! (Posted together with Cream's I Feel Free - see below, under Music.)

Bright College Days - one of my favourite Lehrer songs. (Also below, under Music.)

One Thing On Your Mind - a Country & Western pastiche by Neil Innes, from his marvellous 1970s BBC2 show The Innes Book of Records. (Also below, under Music.)

An artist in the Arctic - an appeal for funding assistance from my e-penpal Cedra Wood.

Saturday afternoon is football - this is the finest hour of Ron Manager, a parody of the bumbling TV sports pundit created by The Fast Show's Paul Whitehouse: a poignant evocation of the special place that football holds in the hearts of most Englishmen who grew up in the 1970s. (Teamed with the Match of the Day theme music. Also below, under Music and Sports.)

Floyd On Food - the bibulous gastronome, latest of my 'Unsuitable Role Models', was my favourite TV chef. My brief appreciation of the man includes a couple of clips of him in action, cooking up a beef casserole and mixing a fruity cocktail. (See also below, under Music, for his show's theme song, The Stranglers' Waltzinblack.)

The Music Channel

Big Rock Candy Mountains - a 1930s hobo song by Harry "Haywire Mac" McClintock.

I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked - a marvellous lust song by Norwegian bombshell Ida Maria.

A cheesy 'Top Five' - the songs I find myself most missing from the playlist of my bar owner friend JK, returned to his home in Oz: Kokomo by The Beach Boys, America Sucks! by GrimSkunk (OK, not cheesy, this one; just a fun bit of Yank-bashing from the Canadian punksters), One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head, Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes, and Frontier Psychiatrist by The Avalanches.

Never Said and Divorce Song - two great tracks from Exile In Guyville, the superb debut album by Liz Phair, my 'Fantasy Girlfriend' for May.

Song of the Mariachi - for Cinco de Mayo, I post Antonio Banderas and Los Lobos singing the theme to Robert Rodriguez's Desperado.

Teo Torriatte - Queen's anthemic love song, with a chorus in Japanese!

I Feel Free - Cream's song seems irresistibly appropriate for celebrating my imminent ESCAPE from China. (Also: a marvellous skit by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore - see above, under Comedy.)

The Parting Glass - the poignant Scots/Irish farewell song, in a beautiful a cappella version by Canadian girl band The Wailing Jennys.

Bright College Days - Tom Lehrer's celebration of university life seems appropriate, as I am returning to Oxford to hook up with some old friends. Audio only, alas. (Also above, under Comedy.)

One Thing On Your Mind - a Country & Western pastiche by Neil Innes, from his marvellous 1970s BBC2 show The Innes Book of Records. (Also above, under Comedy.)

Top Five 'Hoopy' Basslines - a selection where the bass playing is a bit more complex and virtuosic: Led Zep's Bring It On Home, The Who's My Generation, Aerosmith's Sweet Emotion, PIL's Public Image, Joni Mitchell's Coyote (with the great Jaco Pastorius on bass), and in the top spot, Paul Simon's You Can Call Me Al (Bakithi Khumalo on bass).

'Vilnius Temperature' - two of the best instalments from young film-maker Saunias Baradinskas' fascinating series on the music scene in the Lithuanian capital: Purple Haze/Shut De Door by Garbonitas Bosistas, and Energy by Saulės Kliošas (whose lead singer, Justė Starinskaitė, is utterly gorgeous).

Last call - two great songs about the closing of the bar (and the romantic opportunities sometimes coinciding with that!): Semisonic's Closing Time and Tom Waits's I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You.

Match of the Day - the theme music from the BBC's much-loved Saturday night football highlights show. (Teamed with a beautiful monologue by Ron Manager. Also above, under Comedy, and below, under Sport.)

Time Is Tight - a superb live performance of one of their signature instrumentals by Booker T. and The M.G.s (headline band Creedence Clearwater Revival can be glimpsed watching from the side of the stage, open-mouthed in admiration).

Hail to the Duck! - a tribute to Donald 'Duck' Dunn, bass player with Booker T. and The M.G.s, who had recently died at the age of 70: five of his greatest basslines - Raise Your Hand (Eddie Floyd), Gimme Some Lovin' (Sam & Dave), Can't Turn You Loose (Otis Redding), Soul Limbo (Booker T. and The M.G.s), and Soul Man (Sam & Dave again).

Mad Dogs And Englishmen - I always think of this Noel Coward classic when I go out running in the midday sun.

Little Fly - an example of the remarkable singing and bass playing of rising jazz star Esperanza Spalding, my 'Fantasy Girlfriend' of the month.

Drinking Song - a traditional Mongolian party song that has become a regular highlight of the show for Beijing-based folk-rockers Hanggai. Two live versions here, one of them accompanied by Basque band La Pegatina when they visited Beijing in 2011.

Waltzinblack - The Stranglers' demented instrumental was the theme tune for the late, great Keith Floyd's wonderful TV cookery shows. (See also above, under Comedy/Movies.)

The Sports Channel

England's finest moments - to try to invoke some good fortune for the national side in the upcoming 2012 European Championships I dug up two glorious highlights from our oh-so-near run in the 1996 tournament: Paul Gascoigne's stunning goal against Scotland, and our 4-1 demolition of the Dutch.

The old and the new - more nostalgia/optimism about English football: juxtaposed highlights of Paul Gascoigne and Danny Welbeck.

Match of the Day - the very first use of the iconic theme tune for the BBC1 Saturday evening football show that was a centrepiece of my 1970s childhood. (Also above, under Music.)

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