Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts

Friday, April 12, 2019

44



(Fast) Slow Disco - St. Vincent

I sway in place to a slow disco
And a glass for the saints and a bow for the road

Am I thinking what everybody's thinkin'?
I'm so glad I came, but I can't wait to leave?

Slip my hand from your hand
Leave you dancin' with a ghost
Slip my hand from your hand
Leave you dancin' with a ghost

There's blood in my ears and a fool in the mirror
And the bay of mistakes couldn't get any clearer

Am I thinking what everybody's thinkin'?
I'm so glad I came, but I can't wait to leave?

Slip my hand from your hand
Leave you dancin' with a ghost
Slip my hand from your hand
Leave you dancin' with a ghost

Don't it beat a slow dance to death?
Don't it beat a slow dance to death?
Don't it beat a slow dance to death?
Don't it beat a slow dance to death?
Don't it beat a slow dance to death?
Don't it beat a slow dance to death?

Slow Disco


Slow Slow Disco


Official Video Slow Disco


ACL Fest Slow Disco

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Batman at 80


They tell me Batman is now 80 years old.  Happy Anniversary/ Birthday, Bruce. 

This week, DC Comics released Detective Comics #1000, a big event book as it well should be.  I'll pick up my copy at my local comics shoppe (I asked for the Steve Rude cover - we'll see what I wind up with, because I genuinely don't care  All the covers were terrific, imho).  What happens in #1000 matters less than the stunning achievement of 80 years of Batman, a character dreamed up in the wake of Superman's overnight success, and whose most outstanding achievement is the ability to fit into any tone or version of the character you want and still remain, fundamentally, Batman. 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Ida Lupino at 101


Today marks what would have been the 101st birthday of screen actor, director and producer Ida Lupino.  Ida Lupino passed in 1995.

I first came to note Lupino in High Sierra, I believe (I can't recall anymore), and have gone on to try and watch whatever I see going by on TCM.  Yes, she's a terrific actor and has a presence that stills like the one above don't always capture.  There's an intelligence to her work that - when I learned she had gone on to do work behind the camera and established her own production company, just sort of made sense.  She had the misfortune of being a woman born two or three decades too early, who still managed to carve out a place for herself in a field controlled by men.

In 2018, a few retrospectives took place honoring her work and legacy.  Did I watch any of her films from these retrospectives on my own time?  No.  Something I need to rectify.

But I am glad that Lupino's reputation is getting elevated and the strides she made during her career are being seen by today's film fans and makers.

Anyway, I hereby pledge that before Ms. Lupino's 102nd, and pending availability, I will watch the following projects which she directed:


  • Never Fear (1950)
  • Outrage (1950)
  • Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951)
  • On Dangerous Ground (1951)
  • The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
  • The Bigamist (1953)
  • The Twilight Zone: The Masks (1964)

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Happy Birthday, George Reeves


Today marks the 105th birthday of George Reeves, the second man to play Superman on the screen, and star of the six-season series The Adventures of Superman.  Frankly, I think George is pretty great in the show - a kid's show in need of a an amiable Superman, pal to children and child-like folks like everyone's pal, Jimmy Olsen.

Go back and watch him sometime.  He makes being Superman look like some Grade-A fun.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

"Superman: The Movie" 40th Anniversary


Superman: The Movie premiered at the Uptown Theatre in Washington DC on December 10th, 1978.

I don't think I need to tell you guys I'm a bit of a fan of Superman, as both character and media staple.  And, I imagine, it started with this film.  After all, one of my earliest memories, writ-large, is my dad taking me to see Superman: The Movie in the theater and telling my mom how much I liked it when I got home.  It was all in that era before you know our hero will be fine when Lex dumps them into a pool with kryptonite chained around their neck.

In the 40 years since, the movie has aged incredibly well - a few bits now dated, others pointing the way for superhero movies and beyond, and all part of an era of filmmaking of sweeping cinematography, cutting edge practical effects, classical scoring and sincerity and humor in spades.  The performances have become classics upon which everything else is (rightly) judged, embedded in the (pop) cultural lexicon. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Mickey Mouse Turns 90



Happy birthday, Mickey Mouse!

November 18, 1928 Mickey made his first appearance on the screen at New York's Colony Theatre in the short Steamboat Willie.  The short holds up incredibly well, retains every bit of energy it had nine decades ago and remains just as clever, creative and funny as anything in animation today.

If you've never seen Steamboat Willie, here you go:

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Happy Birthday, Elsa


Today would have been Elsa Lanchester's 116th birthday. 

Never the bridesmaid - always THE BRIDE


Monday, September 17, 2018

Happy Birthday, Cassandra Peterson


Happy Birthday to Cassandra Peterson - our own Elvira, Mistress of the Dark!

These days, whether it's in full Elvira get-up or in her red-headed civvies, Ms. Peterson is doing great and seems like she's managed to make a career out of just being herself.  That ain't half-bad! 

Here's to our Queen of Halloween - whose birthday should really be considered the start of the Halloween season.


Monday, August 20, 2018

Happy Birthday, Amy Adams


Today is the birthday of Amy Adams, one of the finest talents of our era.

And, hey, we were lucky enough to get her cast as Lois Lane, plus she turned up that time on Smallville before she broke big.  So, entirely relevant to this blog.

Happy birthday to Ms. Adams.  We promise to watch her HBO show eventually, but we do not have an HBO.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Happy Birthday, Madonna!



editor's note:  I thought I lost this post, but found an open tab with a draft still available I was able to copy and add to.  This isn't the original post that went out, but I - for the first time in years - accidentally erased that post when I clicked the wrong button.  

Apparently yesterday was the 60th Birthday of Madonna.

Here at The Signal Watch, we salute Madonna as the person who told us it is 100% okay to like pop music.  You will not lose your edge by enjoying Madonna.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Happy Birthday Yesterday to Actress Jean Hagen


Born August 3, 1923 in Chicago.  Passed in 1977. 

You know her best as Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain, but she was also in noir films like Side Street, Asphalt Jungle and No Questions Asked

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Happy Birthday, Myrna Loy


"There ought to be a law against any man who doesn’t want to marry Myrna Loy." -Jimmy Stewart


Happy Birthday to the late actress, Myrna Loy, who would have been 103 today.

Loy is highly popular in classic film circles, and when you start making your way through her filmography, it's not hard to see why.  She's strong as both a comedic and dramatic actor, is the force-to-be-reckoned-with up against powerhouse leading men from Cary Grant to Jimmy Stewart, and, most famously, William Powell.  She's unaffected and a natural in front of the lens, whether playing a society damsel in a romantic tangle or the daughter of Fun Manchu (where it is deeply, deeply complicated to talk about how sexy she is in the role*).  And her version of side-eye should be given a copyright all its own.

Loy's career extended beyond the usual ingenue lifespan.  Like her friend Joan Crawford, she worked her entire life, remaining relevant (and never lost her looks, which, I mean, come on.  I'm human.) and as strong an actress as you're like to see when she was shuffled into playing mothers The Best Years of Our Lives, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House instead of sloe-eyed, knowing girls.  Or especially the judge/ spinster sister in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer.

Loy was deeply involved in American Red Cross and other ctivities in support of the fight against the Axis

For people who find "old movies" too stagey or unnatural, Loy is an excellent cure for what ails you.  She's style fits in neatly, and - I'll argue - informs a lot of what came after.  In her comedies, she's hysterical, and in any movie her tone and manner captures what other actors are still trying to pull off today when it comes to presence.  Pair her with a leading man worthy of her talents, and you've got a hell of a movie.   

Happy birthday, Ms. Loy!



*yellow-face.  She's in yellow face as an evil Manchurian.  The past (and a lot of the present) is super-racist.  Just FYI.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Happy Birthday to Lynda Carter


Today is the birthday of Patron Saint to The Signal Watch, Ms. Lynda Carter.  She's busy performing again this year, and set to reprise her role as POTUS on CW's Supergirl.  If we're lucky, she'll also be in WW84.

Here's to Ms. Carter on another great year.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

"Jurassic Park" at 25


Shortly after I graduated from high school, the first Jurassic Park movie hit theaters.  As a bonafide blockbuster hit, it made everyone a pseudo-dino expert (there are worse things), packed folks into theaters, made Sam Neill a bankable actor who sort of shrugged that off and went off to be Sam Neill, taught us that young girls imprinted on Jeff Goldbum as a sex symbol, made us all wonder where cliffs begin and end in dinosaur paddocks, and convinced me khaki shorts were an excellent look on paleontologists.

It's now 25 years on.  Yesterday, June 11, marked the release of Jurassic Park in the U.S.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

On the Event of my 43rd

Slippery People
Talking Heads



What about the time?
You were rollin' over
Fall on your face
You must be having fun
Walk lightly
Think of a time
You'd best believe
This think is real
Put away that gun
This part is simple
Try to recognize
What is in you mind
God help us
Help us loose our minds
These slippery people
Help us understand
What's the matter with him? He's alright
How do you know? The lord won't mind
Don't play no games, he's alright
Love from the bottom to the top
Turn like a wheel, he's alright
See for yourself, the Lord won't mind
We're gonna move right now
Turn like a wheel inside a wheel
I remember when
Sittin' in the tub
Pulled out the plug
The water was runnin' out
Cool down
Stop actin' crazy
They're gonna leave
And we'll be on our own
Seven times five
They were living creatures
Watch 'em come to life
Right before your eyes
Backslidin'
How do you do?
These slippery people
Gonna see you through
What's the matter with him? He's alright
How do you know? The lord won't mind
Don't play no games, he's alright
Love from the bottom to the top
Turn like a wheel, he's alright
See for yourself, the Lord won't mind
We're gonna move right now
Turn like a wheel inside a wheel
What's the matter with him? He's alright
How do you know? The lord won't mind
Don't play no games, he's alright
Love from the bottom to the top
Turn like a wheel, he's alright
See for yourself, the Lord won't mind
We're gonna move right now
Turn like a wheel inside a wheel
What's the matter with him? He's alright
How do you know? The lord won't mind
Don't play no games, he's alright
Love from the bottom to the top
Turn like a wheel, he's alright
See for yourself, the Lord won't mind
We're gonna move right now
Turn like a wheel inside a wheel
He's alright
Love from the bottom
Alright
Love from the bottom to the top
Alright
The love from the bottom
Right now
Turn like a wheel inside a wheel

Friday, March 23, 2018

Today is Joan Crawford's Birthday


I noticed a lot of chatter online today about Joan Crawford and then that TCM was running some of her movies (I didn't watch them, I was doing other things).  Today marks the 113th birthday of Joan Crawford, born in San Antonio in 1905 but mostly raised in Jamie's hometown of Lawton, Oklahoma. 

I am happy to do what I can to be one of the folks who would like folks to remember Crawford for her long career, ever-transforming screen persona, and - frankly - stunning screen presence before she wound up in some campy movie in her final working years and was badly memorialized by Dunaway.

Even in not-great movies, Crawford is a force.  All that is apparently a shadow of what she was like in person, and I am sure she would have terrified me if I'd met her, but since seeing Mildred Pierce during college, still one of my favorite films, I've been a fan.  But there are still a ton of her movies I've yet to see. 

Anyway, happy birthday, Ms. Crawford.  I hope you're having a Pepsi somewhere among your fans and friends.


Monday, January 1, 2018

200th Anniversary of the First Publication of Frankenstein


Today marks the 200th Anniversary of the first publication of Frankenstein (or, The Modern Prometheus).  It's a book many of us were assigned to read.  As with any book, your mileage will vary.  Absolutely, that seems to depend upon interpretations and baggage brought to the book.

It is true that I am a fan of the Frankenstein films from Universal that appeared in 1932 and onward, but I'd read Shelley's book twice before seeing the first movie circa 1997. My Freshman year of high school I *absolutely* grokked the "wretch's" perspective and Victor's craziness, and of course the romantic torment that befalls them all.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy 95th to Stan Lee!


Say what you will about cheesy hucksterism, but I grew up knowing who Stan Lee and Marvel were years before I read a comic book.  Back in the 70's and 80's, Stan didn't just have his name on every Marvel comic ("Stan Lee Presents:"), and his name on every Marvel cartoon, he was also providing editor's note voice-over to episodes of The Incredible Hulk and other cartoons.  I knew what it was to be a "True Believer" before I ever read a word-bubble of Spidey's inner monologue.

Speaking of:  he also wrote the Spidey daily newspaper strip (in theory), which I read in collections as I got into comics.

Of course we can go back and forth all day about the Kirby/ Ditko/ Lee contributions that made up Marvel starting in '62.  But none of them would have done it without the others.  And, more than that, the longterm effect of Lee's boosterism of comics and comic-book characters is utterly incalculable in a landscape littered with superhero films, TV shows, cartoons, merchandise, toys, clothing, and where even Dr. Strange is now a household name.

I know Stan has made mistakes and not always made decisions that make sense to idealistic fans.  That comes with the territory of being a walking icon and making mistakes as you go.

But I'm grateful he's had a chance to see the world embrace his creations, watched his comic empire flourish for going on six decades, and become a household name himself.

Excelsior!