Several years ago, I noticed a certain musical trend coming out of Canada, which was the surprising number of Canadian punk bands that were making inroads into the United States music charts.
My first introduction to Sherlock Holmes came from my oldest brother, who became somewhat of a fanatic for a time, reading (and rereading) the fifty-six short stories and four novels. Me, I was more likely to watch any of the numerous movie adaptations that have been made over the years, and make no mistake, there have been many.
From Prince to The Jets to Hüsker Dü and many in between, the Twins Cities had a special magic going on during the eighties.Suddenly, The Andrews Sisters and Bob Dylan weren't the North Star State's only claims to musical fame.
Once, in my early teens, I nearly drowned. It’s no wonder that inherently dangerous water-set situations still give me the creeps. The film industry, always conscious that audiences are attracted to what they fear, has used water effectively as an antagonist in scores of movies over the years. Here are a few of the notable ones.
Outlaw country arose in the seventies as a reaction to what had been occurring in Nashville during the previous decade. The "Nashville sound" had smoothed all the edges off honky-tonk – removing much of what had made it traditional country – in order to appeal to a wider, pop audience. Waylon and Willie and the boys (and a few girls, too) reclaimed honky-tonk, but also reenvisioned it in the process.
Time travel, as a narrative device in fiction, opens up so many incredible storytelling possibilities. Granted, I barely believe in it as an actual real world possibility, but it sure is fun to ruminate on periodically. In fact, some of my favorite movies of all time include time travel as an element.
What do you call music that has been lumped together, but isn’t unified by similar rhythms, instrumentation, subject matter, or geographic origin? Back in the eighties to early-nineties, we called it college rock. It had no major defining characteristic, other than the obvious: if a song or artist was played almost exclusively on college stations, then it was college rock. For a while, that bond was more than enough!
In 1984, one of the last things that I thought would ever happen was for former body-builder Arnold Schwarzenegger to star in great movie. So convinced was I that it would never happen, that when it actually did, I almost didn't bother seeing it. The movie, of course, was The Terminator, which was also the first of many successes for filmmaker James Cameron.
Several things might come to mind when hearing the term "one-man band." It could be a raucous circus act, a performer who uses looping technology to build complex, but cohesive songs on stage, or a musician who sings all the vocal parts and plays all the instruments on a recording. In recent decades, an added wrinkle has occurred as some of these multi-talented musicians have even donned band names to obscure their solo identities!
Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly always dominate any conversation regarding the screen's greatest dancer, yet there were a number of notable female dancers who were also mega-talented. It's time to re-open that conversation!