Sunday, May 29, 2016

Some singers, mostly the songs of others (some more covers): Saturday Music Club on Sunday

Miriam Makeba: "Come to Glory"

Fontella Bass: "Talking About Freedom"

Lambert, Hendricks & Ross: "Jackie"

Monday Michiru: "Zanzibar"

Olivia Ong: "Ain't No Sunshine"

Melody Gardot: "Ain't No Sunshine"

Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings: "Your Long Journey"

Boa: "Duvet"

The Go! Team: "Catch Me on the Rebound"

The Go! Team: "Grip Like a Vice"

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Birthdays yesterday...Marijane Meaker, Harlan Ellison, John Barth...and today

Marijane Meaker, aka Vin Packer, M.E. Kerr, Ann Aldrich, Mary James...89.


first edition, Fawcett Gold Medal

current edition, Stark House/BC
first novel, 1952

and the back cover...

Harlan Ellison, 82

John Barth, 86

Today's birthdays: May Swenson, Fred Chappell, Meg Wolitzer, Ian Fleming, Walker Percy.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday's Forgotten Books (and related literature): the links: 27 May 2016: new links

The weekly assembly of reviews and citations of books and related literature not yet or no longer given much attention, usually less than they deserve. Hosted again next week by founder Patti Abbott; this week and last hosted here. 

Sergio Angelini: Murder in Miniature by "Leo Bruce" (Rupert Croft-Cooke)

Frank Babics: The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

Mark Baker: Out of Circulation by Miranda James

Yvette Banek: Four Strange Women by E. R. Punshun

The Bare Bones Crew: 1965 in DC war comics

Les Blatt: Behind That Curtain by Earl Derr Biggers

Ben Boulden: The Wolf in the Clouds by Ron Faust

Brian Busby: He Will Return by Helen Dickson Reynolds [revisited]

Bill Crider:  The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins; PaperBack (a series of back-cover blurbs)

Scott A. Cupp: Iroshi by Carrie Osborne

Martin Edwards: A Quiet Place by Seicho Matsumoto (translated by Louise Heal Kawait); One Deadly Summer by "Sebastien Japrisot" (Jean-Baptiste Rossi) (translated by Alan Sheridan)

Barry Ergang: Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse by Lee Goldberg

Will Errickson: The Happy Man by Eric C. Higgs

Fred Fitch: Trust Me on This by Donald Westlake

Paul Fraser: Weird Tales, January 1940, edited by Farnsworth Wright

Barry Gardner: Faithfully Executed by Michael Bowen

Ed Gorman: The Plastic Nightmare by Richard Neely

John Grant: The Wench is Dead by Fredric Brown
cover painting by Wallace Wood

Rich Horton: Coronation Summer by Angela ThirkellScience Fiction Stories, January 1955, edited by Robert A. W. Lowndes

Jerry House: Jeff Jordan, U.S. Agent #1 (December 1947/January 1948); Tom Swift and His Giant Telescope by "Victor Appleton" (Thomas M. Mitchell, in this instance)

Tracy K: Sweet Silver Blues by Glen Cook

George Kelley:  Galaxy Art and Beyond by Wally Wood (edited and annotated by Roger Hill)

Margot Kinberg: Burial of the Dead by Michael Hogan

Rob Kitchin: Murder in the Marals by Cara Black

B. V. Lawson: Trouble with Product X (aka Beware of the Bouquet) by Joan Aiken

Steve Lewis: Beware the Young Stranger by "Ellery Queen" (Talmage Powell in this case)

Todd Mason: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1973, edited by Edward Ferman; Fantastic Stories, September 1973, edited by Ted White; The Haunt of Horror, August 1973, edited by Gerard Conway

John F. Norris: Said with Flowers by Anne Nash

Mathew Paust: Winning Texas by Nancy Stancill

J. Kingston Pierce: The "Rap" Party: 10 Years of "The Rap Sheet" celebrated at "Killer Covers"

James Reasoner: The Man I Killed by Shel Walker (Walt Sheldon); weekly pulps

Richard Robinson: The Leper of St. Giles by "Ellis Peters" (Edith Pargeter)

Gerard Saylor: A Mind to Murder by P. D. James; Deadly Honeymoon by Lawrence Block

Steve Scott: Deadly Welcome by John D. MacDonald

Dan Stumpf: Keep Running by Keith Vining

"TomCat": The Milliner's Hat Mystery by Basil Thomson

Prashant Trikannad: Presumption of Death by "Perri" (Mary and Pamela) O’Shaughnessy 


Three issues from the shank of each magazine's run under these editors...of course, editor (and eventual tv producer) Gerard F. "Gerry" Conway wouldn't get too much chance to do more with his prose magazine than this second issue of  The Haunt of Horror, which would be folded before the prepared third issue could be printed (Marvel soon offered a large-format black and white comic book with that title, to join a series they'd already started and advertise in the Haunt digest issues). Rather sobering to realize that of these three magazines, Haunt almost certainly had the largest budget...while not a lavish one by any means...contemporary issues of Analog (from Conde Nast) and Vertex (from Mankind Publishing, also publishing slick magazines. if lower-budget ones) and even the slowly cheapening Galaxy/If group of magazines at paperback publisher UPD were somewhat more impressively produced than any of these three, as the two more durable magazines were already, or about to become, literal cottage industry, put together over home-office tables. 

Though the fiction they were publishing was about as good as that in any other fiction magazine in 1973.  Of course, when we look at the more talented contributors to these issues, that isn't too surprising...including knowing that "John K. Diomede" in two of the issues is a pseudonym for George Alec Effinger. The F&SF leads off with "Peregrine: Alflandia" as a fragment, not quite as free-standing as advertised by Edward Ferman's blurb, of the Secundis sequel to Peregrine: Primus by Avram Davidson. Essentially as the first chapter, it's a great teaser, even if Davidson was having so much fun with his more rustic characters' accents and idiosyncratic syntax, that it can be a little daunting at first, if clearly Davidson enjoying himself and sharing much of that joy. Basically, though, it's expert setting development and introduction of the first important characters, but the story is just starting to happen when the chapter ends. Set as it is in an alternate Mitteleuropa of the late 1800s, it has some of the feel of the (even better) Eszterhazy stories, which would begin appearing not much later.  

Even better as well is the first of the too-short series of Arcana stories by Janet Fox, in the Fantastic issue, "A Witch in Time," where she demonstrates how much she's learned from the best of the sword and sorcery writers before her, and matches all but the very best of their work. Fox had published her first professionally-published fiction only a few years before, with the Magazine of Horror in 1970, and was already doing impressive work, even if her hand would grow a bit surer over the next several years. I can only wish she had published more. Meanwhile, one of her models, Fritz Leiber, reviews as his only book in this issue's column Henry Mazzeo's fine anthology of horror fiction Hauntings, illustrated by Edward Gorey, and notes something I'd failed to fully perceive over the years (probably in part because I first read the book when I was nine years old), that taken together, as they are presented on the dust jacket, the Gorey illustrations present their own narrative.

And Leiber is of course present in the Haunt of Horror issue as well, with the second half of his first novel, Conjure Wife, reprinted justly as a classic. I will have more to say about all three issues (as you might well guess, given the bare bones on display here) with more time to devote to the task, but I will note the most annoying ads in all three issues are the stiff cigaret center inserts in all three, put in these and not a few paperbacks of the era (Dell Books, particularly, stick in my memory thus) by their printer/binders in collaboration with the publishers, as tobacco companies began to cope with losing access to tv and radio advertising in the U.S. True brand in the F&SF, Kent in the other two...even more enervating than the $20 astrological chart ads in the Fantastic (particularly considering how far $2o went in 1973) or the "anti-gravity device" or the "ESP laboratory" offered among the less savory classified ads in the F&SF (the pitches in the Fantastic tended toward witchcraft and related Hidden Knowledge, usually less expensively).

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Underappreciated Music: May 2016

Sean Coleman: Donovan at 70; Paul Simon's solo career

David Cramner: Bob Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Review: "Romance in Durango"

Brubeck Quartet: Time Changes 

Bill Crider: Song of the Day; Forgotten Hits; Film music and the joy of the new: Ennio Morricone 

Jeff Gemmill: Top 5; Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt

Jerry House: Music from the Past; Hymn Time; Tim Buckley

Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone & co.: "Thulasizwe"/"I Shall Be Released"

George Kelley: Don't Make Me Over: The Songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David; Do-Wah-Diddy: Words & Music by Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry

Sam Juliano: Choral Arts Society of New Jersey: "Songs of the Sea"

Kate Laity: Songs for a Saturday

B. V. Lawson: Your Sunday Music Treat

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival 2015

Evan Lewis: Songs

Steve Lewis: Music I'm Listening To

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Max Fleischer's Sing-Along Short Subjects

Todd Mason: some jazz performance television series in black and white; some jazz in 5/4 time (for May the 4th); some recent recordings of "I Put a Spell on You"; soundtrack composers for Night Gallery; Bebe and Louis Barron: "Bells of Atlantis"

Lawrence Person: Shoegazer Sunday

James Reasoner: Middle of the Night Music

Charlie Ricci: Arlo Guthrie: Presidential Rag

Luisa Domingo: Paul Hindemith, "Sonata for Harp" (1939)

Bhob Stewart: Anita O'Day

Vienna: Trudy Stevens dubbing for Lizabeth Scott

Bernie Williams Band: "Go for It"

Ennio Morricone and his orchestra: music from For a Few Dollars More

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday's Overlooked A/V: films, television, radio and more

Too Late for Tears
The weekly roundup of reviews, interviews, and other citations of (often, though not always) underappreciated examples of the dramatic and related arts. As always, please let me know if I've missed your or anyone else's contribution this week in comments... thanks. And, clearly, with two reviews this week, It's Too Late for very least, at CrimeFest 2016...

Anne Billson: Parkland and other JFK assassination films

Anonymous: The Crowd; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; The Wind; Three Colors: White

Bhob Stewart: "Terminus"; Carnival of Souls; Baby Doll; "Eyeborg"

The Big Broadcast: 22 May 2016
  • 7:00p Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
    The Simple Simon Matter 05/14/61) (22:51)
  • 7:30p Dragnet #265
    The Big Cut (09/14/54) (25:07)
  • 8:00p Gunsmoke
    Custer (09/15/57) (20:45)
  • 8:30p The Alan Young Show
    Home Available for Veterans (11/1/46) 
  • 9:00p The Halls of Ivy
    The Lame Girl and the Hypochondriac (03/12/59) (28:59)
  • 9:30p Phil Harris and Alice Faye
    The Television Test (11/06/49) (29:29)
  • 10:00p Mr. and Mrs. Blandings
    The New Freeway (11/08/50) (28:46)
  • 10:30p Four Star Playhouse
    The Hunted (8/14/49) 
Benjamin Poole: Tell Me Sweet Something

Bill Crider: Charade (1963 film)[trailer]

"BNoirDetour": Kay Francis and Walter Huston, 1931-1950

B. V. Lawson: Media Murder

Comedy Film Nerds: Jay Larson; Tim Bennett

Cult TV: The Avengers: "The Radioactive Man"

An initially rough-shape copy of "Bells of Atlantis" interesting curio scored by Bebe and Louis Barron (perhaps best remembered in some circles for their score for Forbidden Planet), and springing from a recital by Anais Nin, with visual imagery by Len and Ian Hugo, the latter the prime mover of the project.

Dan Stumpf: Station West

David Vineyard: Panic in Year Zero!

Elizabeth Foxwell: Four Star Playhouse: "Night Ride"

George Kelley: Sing Street
Love and Friendship

Gilligan Newton-John: Swedish Wildcats; What the Swedish Butler Saw (NSFW imagery)

How Did This Get Made?: Hell Comes to Frogtown; SolarBabies

Iba Dawson: Love and Friendship

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: Too Late for Tears; Ruthless; The Family Secret; Dick Powell in Richard Diamond, Private Detective and other radio

Jackie Kashian: Gina Devivo

Jackie Kashian and Laurie Kilmartin: The Jackie and Laurie Show
Escape from Fort Bravo

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Cinevent

Jake Hinkson: Too Late for Tears

James Reasoner: Escape from Fort Bravo

Janet Varney: Amber Tozer

Jerry House: Love from a Stranger (aka A Night of Terror); The Jack Benny Program: "Jack Hires Rochester"; TEDx Talks: "Growing Up in STEM as a Girl: Cassidy Williams"

Jim Knipfel: Kiss Me Deadly

John Grant: Seven Thunders; The Young Don't Cry; Operation Diplomat

Jonathan Lewis: Crush the Skull

Julie Seabaugh: Night After Night to @midnight: An oral history of Comedy Central (Part 1)

Karen Hannsberry: Great Villains! 

Kelley Robinson: "How It Feels to be Run Over"

Ken Levine: Mary and the Chicago Post

Kliph Nesteroff: The Mike Douglas Show: "Minnie Pearl and Anissa Jones", 1969
Stranger on Horseback

Kristina Dijan: The Man from Laramie; Pleasure Cruise; Double Harness; 3 Joel McCrea westerns; another 3 Joel McCrea westerns; Great Villains!

Laura G: The Private Affairs of Bel Ami; Woman on the Run; Susan Slept Here The Florodora Girl; Haunted Honeymoon

Lindsey: Walk the Dark Street

Lucy Brown: Case Histories
Julia's Eyes aka Los ojos de Julia

Martin Edwards: Julia's Eyes; Phoenix; Marcella; CrimeFest 2016

Marty McKee: Trial by Terror; Bounty Killer

Mitchell Hadley:  TV Guide, Dallas/Ft. Worth, 1 June 1956

Noel Vera: The Heavens Indivisible

Patricia Abbott: Sunset Song
Sunset Song

Patricia Nolan-Hall: Maverick: "Shady Deal at Sunny Acres"

Paul D. Brazill: contra carrying on with Carry On...

Peter Rozovsky: CrimeFest 2016

Pop My Culture: Rick Overton

Raquel Stecher: Anne of Green Gables (1934 film)

Rick: 23 Paces to Baker Street; Signpost to Murder

Rod Lott: Nature Girl and the Slaver; Snakes on a Plane; 4 recent psychopath films; My Amityville Horror; The Boy

"Rupert Pupkin": Manhunter

Ruth Kerr: Great Villains!; Touch of Evil

Sam Juliano: The King and I (stage)

Scott A. Cupp: Fathom

Sergio Angelini: Strait-Jacket

Stacia Jones: Candy: Try and Get Me! (aka The Sound of Fury); Dolemite

Stephen Baxter: Meg Mundy

Stephen Gallagher: Festival of Fantastic Films

Steve Lewis: The Dakotas: "A Man Called Ragan"

Victoria Loomes: My Fair Lady

Vienna: The Ice Follies of 1939