Sunday, 22 May 2011

American Hot Wax revisited (Alan Freed biopic)


Saw American Hot Wax today for the first time in about thirty years. Enjoyable enough, although more bitty than I remembered. There are good moments when Tim McIntyre as Alan Freed shows that the music matters to him, but as the film is given over to a concert after around the one hour point there isn't a lot of time to develop character.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Ode to Nightingales (Paul Makin)


 I mentioned the sitcom Nightingales in a recent post about BBC 4's new series The Night Shift. Originally broadcast on Channel 4 in the early 90s, it is now available on DVD and deserves the very highest praise.

Bigging Up PhoneShop


Still in new (or newish) sitcom mode  - I can't pontificate about doo wop all the time - I'd like to put in a word for PhoneShop, already broadcast on E4, but which has just started a run on Channel 4 last night.

In the Friday night slot, too - which would suggest a certain amount of faith in its potential, even if it's been securely sandwiched between very old Peter Kay material and Ricky Gervais.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Why new Icelandic sitcom is straight from the fridge (The Night Shift, BBC 4)


As a further contribution to this blog's intermittent series of non-musical posts, allow me to draw youir attention to The Night Shift, a sitcom set in an all-night garage in Reykjavik which promises to be, on the basis of the first two episodes broadcast last night on BBC 4,  pretty good.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Parrot Records on Matt the Cat's radio show



If you are reading this around the time of its being posted you may be able to catch Matt the Cat's Juke in the Back radio show dedicated to Parrot Records, available for a while as a free-to-download MP3 on the Rock-it radio Archives page here - but hurry, as newer shows will gradually push it off the list. You can find further details about this and other Juke in the Box programmes in the episode guide on Matt's own website here (scroll down to # 44).

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Three Coins in the Sewer (Alan Klein)


Delighted to see that at long last Alan Klein's Three Coins in the Sewer can be found on youtube. Recorded in 1962 when there was a craze for Cockney songs. (perhaps prompted by the longrunning success of Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be), it is a kind of masterpiece, given what Stan Laurel would have called "a half-assed digntiy" by Ivor Raymonde's string arrangement. But it's Klein's deadpan vocal which is the heart of the song, a parody of Three Coins in the Fountain which sounds like it borrows musically from the traditional On Top of Old Smokey.. And the sound effects (it's a Joe Meek production) are pitched just right: not so many that they swamp - if that's the word I'm looking for - the song.

Monday, 2 May 2011

I'm Still the Same Paul (radio play about Paul Robeson)


This is to bring readers' attention to a radio play about the singer and activist Paul Robeson by Annie Caulfield whch will be available on BBC iplayer till the 8th of May here (the above image is a screengrab.) Most BBC iplayer radio content (as opposed to TV) is accessible outside the UK so it's worth a try wherever you are.

I heard it at the time of its original broadcast and listened to it again this morning. The vague memory I had retained was that it was okay but a bit jumbled. Listening again, my brain oxygenated by a swim, I was rather more impressed than expected, and recommend it despite a few reservations.