Tag Archives: video

Ringo remembers Goldfinger

Boing Boing has long ago interviewed Peter Serafinowicz, so this might not be the freshest video to share with you. But there’s so much material in Peter’s back catalog that you might have missed this gem.

Context: On Peter’s BBC comedy series (excerpts of which are easily available on YouTube), he frequently imitates Ringo Starr’s “lugubrious” speaking style. Here’s his Ringo remembering being asked to do a James Bond theme (remember that Paul McCartney did the theme to “Live and Let Die”).

Film flashback: Born Yesterday

William Holden & Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday

The highlight of my weekend was seeing a classic film I hadn’t seen before: Born Yesterday, starring Judy Holliday and William Holden. I’m not sure how I missed this one in the past. Judy Holliday is outstanding in this, coarse (check out her shouting “What?” in the clip above) yet sexy and sweet, and smarter than anyone thinks. She’s the prototype for all the not-so-ditzy blondes in film — Legally Blonde, Clueless, any early Goldie Hawn movie.

The plot hasn’t aged too well. With its focus on the evils of business trying to influence government, it looks pretty naive these days — or maybe it could serve as a reminder of how things ought to be. But the characters are as fresh as ever.

The gin game scene from Born Yesterday

Kooky Christmas #11: “Deck the Stills” by Barenaked Ladies

Our wave of Kooky Christmas music is growing. My next selection is from a whole album of holiday oddity: Barenaked for the Holidays.

From the opening tune — a frenetic take on “Jingle Bells” — these songs all provide a new perspective on seasonal themes. You could choose almost any of these for the countdown.

#11: “Deck the Stills” by Barenaked Ladies

The strangest and most wonderful song on the album is “Deck the Stills”:

So wonderful, yet also so short. Let’s have another.

#11 supplement: “Elf’s Lament” by Barenaked Ladies

With all the excitement of Christmas and all the positive images of Santa, we rarely take a moment to consider the little people behind the big man. Yet these poor souls slave through the years, making presents for good girls and boys.
Sure, a few elves have been spotlighted through the years: Hermey in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, with his aspirations to be a dentist; Buddy from Elf; Legolas. But too often the elves toil unacknowledged.

In this song they make their protests heard.

“Elf’s Lament” (live) by Barenaked Ladies

Next on Kooky Christmas: more critique of Santa.

Kooky Christmas #15: “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” by the Ramones

For today’s Kooky Christmas I promised a trip to the beach, but it’s been a contentious day. Something extra-comforting is needed. We need good cheer. We need words of peace and love. We need music that can bring people together.

We need the Ramones.

“Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” by the Ramones

The song is terrific on its own, a three-chord punk rock classic. But what really knocks this out of the park is the video. Is it the terrible acting? The ridiculous characters? The wildly 80s outfits? The Santa “cameo” at the end? It’s all of that, delightfully juxtaposed against charmingly bland Ramones sound stage footage.

“Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” by the Ramones

Oh, Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee, how we miss you.

If you enjoy this song, you need to pick up The Edge of Christmas, an unbeatable collection of punk and post-punk holiday tunes. Several upcoming Kooky Christmas tunes are on it, so you can study ahead of the rest of the class.

Coming up on Kooky Christmas: Our long-promised holiday trip to the beach.

Kooky Christmas #16: “Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis” by Tom Waits

Today’s edition of Kooky Christmas comes to us thanks to a reminder from Uncle Crappy. He posted the below video on his site last Christmas, and the two of us discussed the song yesterday on Twitter. Great minds….

#16: “Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis” by Tom Waits

Maybe you’re one of those people who doesn’t like Tom Waits — finds him grating, affected, caustic, vocally lame, too hard to listen to. “Out there.” It’s OK. Everybody’s different, it’s all good. That’s cool.

Actually, it’s not cool. It’s not even OK.

Well, it’s not awful. You’re not hurting anyone physically or anything. But Tom Waits puts together words and music, and sounds and images — but for me, mostly words — in ways that capture life as we understand it. He’s amazing.

If you don’t feel the same way I do about his work, you and I can still be friends and all. But I’m always going to be sad for you, for what you’re missing.

Anyway, here’s this song Tom Waits wrote years ago, for the album Blue Valentine. The song doesn’t mention Christmas once outside the title; the holiday it mentions in the lyrics is Valentine’s Day. Yet it gives a nice picture of that feeling one has on Christmas Day, thinking back on those we’ve known and lost, past loves, past lives.

Look. Do you have 2 minutes and forty seconds? Not even three minutes, less than that. Watch the first two minutes and forty seconds of this video, and you’ll see and hear the core of what I like about Tom Waits’s music and performance. There’s more I like beyond this (and I’ll bore you with that another day), but for now, just spend two minutes and forty seconds on this video.

“Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis” by Tom Waits

There. That was it. Thanks.

Uncle Crappy suggests that a fan might do well to check out the live performance of this song from a performance at the State Theatre, in Sydney, Australia, on May 2, 1979. The studio version is good too of course, and the album has “Wrong Side of the Road” and “Whistling Past the Graveyard,” and “Romeo Is Bleeding,” all of which will make your life richer.

Tomorrow: Christmas, surfside.

Kooky Christmas #18 & 17: “Indian Giver” & “Gift of the Magi” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

Squirrel Nut Zippers had a big hit years back, “Put a Lid On It,” and I’ve been a fan ever since.

In 1998 they put out a Christmas album that’s like no other: Christmas Caravan. It’s a crazy, hot jazz album with some slow and sweet bits threaded through (and an eerie final track that makes you want to hug your sweetie close). It’s difficult to choose just one song from it, so let’s take two.

Kooky Christmas #18: “Indian Giver” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

You know that friend who gives you a lovely sweater or new and well-reviewed book, then borrows it from you right away and never returns it? This song is for her. It barely seems like a Christmas song at all, but Santa puts in an appearance so we know it counts.

The video is a fan video with photos of the band. The sound quality is good though.

“Indian Giver” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

Kooky Christmas #17: “The Gift of the Magi”

I was introduced to the concept of irony by the O. Henry short story “The Gift of the Magi.” It nearly exploded my mind. If somehow you missed this story in high school, you can listen to this song and use it as your Cliff’s Notes.

For those who have read the story (spoilers!): I never quite dug the problem in the story. Her hair will grow back. Heck, she can grow it long, sell it again, use the money to retrieve the watch from the pawn broker, and then grow it yet again and everyone is happy. What’s the big deal? Maybe my view is different from everyone else’s; my hair grows really quickly.

No video for this one, so you’ll just have to buy the song and listen. Heck, treat yourself and buy the whole album.

Next on Kooky Christmas: Not everyone likes the gifts people give these days for Christmas.