I just finished watching the sexy 1989 thriller Sea of Love that I picked up from the library. The title intrigued me, and it was a VHS. My DVD player is broken, so I’ve been renting VHS tapes. Well, the movie was a gem; if you haven’t seen it, you should. More appropriately, the film piqued my curiosity about the song it was named after, “Sea of Love”.
The song was written by Phil Phillips and George Khoury and, in 1959, Phillips’ version of the song charted at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart and #2 on the Billboard top 100. It’s had several reincarnations. In 1981, ‘60s rocker Del Shannon took the tune to #33 on the Top 40. In 1983, the Honeydrippers (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Jeff Beck et al) launched their version to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Since those early ‘80s covers of “Sea of Love” topped the charts, “Sea of Love” has come in to the hands of two less mainstream artists who have made it their own for respective soundtracks. Tom Waits covered it specifically for the aforementioned Sea of Love film. Indie crooner Cat Power played it as part of her 2000 album The Covers Record and her version was catapulted into the pop culture zeitgeist on the Juno film soundtrack.
Here are the different versions of the song in chronological order.
Danny Paul Grody’s Fountain is the first full-length solo recording by one of the founding members of San Francisco’s Tarentel and the Drift. For those familiar with these music/art based acts, Fountain is a sweet reminder of Grody’s subtle guitar work—a cornerstone of both projects that often doesn’t get center stage in the ambitious mix of instrumentation, field recordings, and sound-scapes that make up the bulk of these bands’ output. Not that Fountain doesn’t use employ these techniques. There is no shortage of organ and feedback drones, recorded environments, modulated delay and ambience, but the album’s core is Grody’s evocative finger picking style—a style he says is an attempt to integrate something of psychedelic folk masters of the ‘60s, contemporary minimalist composers, and African thumb piano music structures. The result is pattern heavy music that achieves depth through very little surface movement. Repetition is the key to Grody’s compositions and a patient, quiet, even half dreaming approach to listening yields the best results.
Grody once went under the moniker of Furniture—a name copped from Eno’s idea that music should become furniture in the room. Like many of Eno’s concepts, this one is not quite as ephemeral as it seems. Furniture after all is integral to a room’s atmosphere as well as its functionality. The deceptive stillness of Fountain achieves both aspects of this concept quite nicely, creating an almost marginal backdrop while at same time giving us solid, haunting melodies that are perfect for resting our thoughts and memories upon. While some of these pieces are certainly stronger than others, hopefully Fountain is just the beginning of a wellspring that Grody will continue to draw from.
Fountain is available at Root Strata. Grody’s award wining soundtrack collaboration for the documentary feature October Country will be available soon and can be heard at the film’s New York release Feb 12 -18th at the IFC Center in NYC.
I pressed “songs” on the iPod within my iPhone, and then pressed “shuffle”. The first song that came up was “The Loco-Motion” by Little Eva from an album called The Best of the Girl Groups Vol. 2. What a precious tune. It was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin and first topped the charts with Little Eva’s version in 1962. The song appeared on the American top 5 two more times, each from a different decade. Grand Funk Railroad released their chart-topping “Loco-Motion” in 1974. In 1988, it was Kylie Minogue who took her version of the song into the top 5.
Here are the three versions in chronological order. I’ve included the videos to get a real taste of the eras.
A game that has played gamers for the last couple of years with pushed back release dates and pant wetting anticipation is finally being released. The long-awaited return to Rapture is here on February 9th, 2010 in the sequel to the massively successful 2K Games game Bioshock.
Set 10 years after the events in the original game, Bioshock 2 continues the story this troubled underwater city. The theme is more family and psychologically focused, but don’t worry you’ll still get your fill of plasmids, atom and creepy splicers. One of the things I am most excited about is the new multi-player mode which allows up to eight players to battle it out online
With audiences of up to 150 million viewers, the Super Bowl is traditionally the highest-rated annual event on American TV. However, the reason for this has very little to do with football. The modern day Superbowl is a combination of virtually all facets of the entertainment industry. Celebrities appear, top musicians perform, patriotism is on display, highly anticipated movies are advertised, and new products are pushed to consumers for no significant reason other than the fact that they can be.
A pre-taped performance of Jay-Z with an orchestra performing “Run This Town” (without Rihanna, oddly) ushered in the experience. Later on, Queen Latifah sang “America the Beautiful”, but she got off to a shaky start probably because of microphone problems. Carrie Underwood then sang the national anthem in acapella with complete confidence. The half-time show was a mini-concert by the Who. Despite their rough voices, they were instrumentally great in their performances of “Pinball Wizard”, “Baba O’ Riley”, “Who Are You?”, “Tommy”, and “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.
The football game itself was an interesting match, the Indianapolis Colts, last year’s champions, were up against first-time competitors the New Orleans Saints. While New Orleans won the coin toss, a seemingly trivial moment that is treated like it holds the utmost importance, the Colts mostly dominated the game. That is, until the last quarter, when the Saints surged ahead by five points. The game actually ended 44 seconds early, with New Orleans besting Indianapolis with a score of 31 to 17. Quarterback Drew Brees held his baby on the field before accepting the Most Valuable Player award, with a noticeable gash on the side of his face. Meanwhile, the cameras cut to the celebration in the streets of New Orleans, noting how far they have come since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
With all of this drama, though, CBS routinely reminded viewers that the much-hyped commercials were on the way as if they were the main event. Some of these were for CBS’ TV shows, including a montage of NCIS-style head-slapping set to Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and a preview of a new medical drama produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Miami Medicine, that premieres in April. A funny, but intrusive moment came when Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory appeared on the screen to notify us that he hacked into the Super Bowl and that he wishes that whatever team you do not like is “less effective”. As for the rest of the commercials, I’ll detail the best and worst of them in another post.