Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Fats Domino - ten rays of aural sunshine from a true rock 'n' roll giant

I gave a friend a Fats Domino greatest hits LP for his 20th birthday. I'd been bullying him into appreciating early rock 'n' roll (I was young and determined to spread the gospel). When he unwrapped it and studied the distinctly uncool, unthreatening-looking, fat little black man smiling benignly beside a piano on the cover, his disappointment was evident. "Just give it a listen," I suggested. I was relieved a week later when the birthday boy appeared at my door, raving about the album. (He might have been trying to spare my feelings, but that really would have been a first for him.) I've long ago stopped expecting anyone to share my popular culture enthusiasms, but I still suspect anyone who fails to react positively to The Fat Man's music of being  an anhedonic miserabilist. You don't have to respond to Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent or Carl Perkins - but if your system doesn't flood with endorphins the moment Fats Domino comes on the radio, it probably means you're a bad person. Not that I'm being judgmental or anything. If you've got Sky, and you've hooked it up to broadband, I strongly recommend visiting the Sky Arts catch-up section to download The Big Beat: Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll...

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Comey and Clinton performing "What Difference Does It Make?" - a slice of comic genius from last year

Yes, I know how behind the curve I am posting this splendid parody from October, 2016 - but I only saw it for the first time about ten minutes ago, and it's a gem. Enjoy!

The greatest Western movie posters of all time (WARNING: scenes of violence and lashings of testosterone right from the start)

(...and sexual and racial stereotypes. There are very few women in it. Or black actors. This may upset some readers. My heart bleeds.)

Ty Hardin died earlier this month, aged 87. If you're below the age of 60, or if you didn't waste your childhood watching television, you might not be familiar with the name. If you're anything like me, you'll instantly recall him as Bronco Lane in the TV series, Bronco, which ran from 1958 to 1962. One of the first things my parents did after arriving in London in the late '50s was to rent a television set from Rediffusion (television hadn't been introduced in Norway by that time). For the next five years, I feasted on a western diet - Cheyenne, Maverick, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, Wells Fargo,  The Rifleman, Bonanza, Rawhide, Wyatt Earp, The Lone Ranger, Laramie, Have Gun Will Travel, Davy Crockett... there was even a British-made series, Four Feather Falls, featuring puppets...

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Chelsea Handler, the former US soldier convicted of espionage, picks a fight with Ben Shapiro. Bad move.

United States Army Private First Class Bradley E. Manning was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment in 2013 for a whole host of offences, but mainly for leaking almost half a million US army documents. While in prison, Manning made the ultimate sacrifice and opted for gender reassignment surgery - unfortunately not performed without anaesthetic by fellow-inmates - and morphed into gorgeous, pouting Chelsea.  (I wonder how she's coping with the menstrual cycle.) As he left office, Barack Obama - who evidently can't resist a transgender traitor - commuted the latest US Army poster gal's sentence to seven years (that's 80% off for...well, for being a wonderful human being, I guess). So now he/she/whatever is out and proud and tweeting. Only he/she/whatever hasn't yet learned the basic lesson that, whoever you engage with on social media, make sure it isn't the bladed weapon that is the conservative commentator, Ben Shapiro - that's like juggling with razors: