It’s hard to describe just how unstoppable Burt Reynolds was at his peak in the late 70s, but here’s a quick (if somewhat disconnected) example: I had a babysitter when I was in elementary school whose dad was a Burt Reynolds impersonator. And he was good. He was a dead ringer and he’d even borrow a black Trans Am from a friend’s car lot when he made appearances. And then he’d be mobbed at those appearances. Absolutely mobbed, even though everyone knew he wasn’t actually Burt Reynolds. He was close enough to get everyone in an absolute panic. That’s how long The Bandit’s shadow was; we could all shiver nervously in it as it was rebroadcast from a midwestern dad’s borrowed Pontiac.
Born in 1936, his breakout film role was as Lewis Medlock in Deliverance in 1972 and he played the leading role in The Longest Yard two years later, but let’s be honest: Burt Reynolds as we know him was born in 1977 with his role as Bo “Bandit” Darville. He had the exact mixture of goofiness and bravado to pull off the lead role in a ridiculous road film where he takes a bet of $80,000 to haul 400 cases of Coors beer from Texarkana, Texas back to Atlanta in 28 hours. Yes, that was the premise of one of the biggest movies of the 70s (Wikipedia says the film the film eventually grossed $126,737,428 in North America, making it the second-highest-grossing movie of 1977, right behind Star Wars). That’s how weird it was back then.
Reynolds proceeded to make a career of basically playing his own rogue-ishly charming self in a variety of films, including Sharkey’s Machine, Six Pack, Stroker Ace and maybe the most ridiculous film I’ve ever seen, Cannonball Run. Seriously, if you haven’t watched that film lately do yourself a favor and catch one of the viewings that are sure to make up cable TV’s programming this weekend. It is insane.
While Reynolds continued to work pretty regularly throughout the 80s and 90s, it was his role as Jack Horner in Boogie Nights that reminded us again how awesome he was and how integral he was to Hollywood in the 70s. It’s particularly fitting that it appears his final role will be as George Spahn, the rancher who owned the property where the Manson Family was arrested in 1969, thus marking the end of the 60s and the dawn of the era of Burt.
Ten-four, good buddy. Keep your shiny side up and we’ll see you at the next Cannonball Run.
Continue reading Godspeed, Bandit
Video: Drake – “In My Feelings”
Directed by Karena Evans. From Scorpion, out now on Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records.
Drake’s “In My Feelings” has been #1 since the week ending July 12, and I’ve been trying to ignore it this whole time. But this week marks eight weeks in the top spot of the Hot 100, so I guess it’s time to accept it.
Starting to wonder if maybe my dislike of Drake is irrational… I have never liked singy hip hop. I came up with hardcore. I’ve always believed, as Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly so eloquently stated in 1992, that “R&B-rap is bullcrap.” I didn’t even like “Regulate” back in the day. This seems completely arbitrary and ridiculous at this point. Nevertheless, implicit biases are hard to shake.
Is “In My Feelings” a good song? I don’t know. It’s a good meme. And it’s better than Post Malone, right? But it’s been the number one song in America all summer, so I suppose it’s earned closer scrutiny. I’ve listened to it a bunch of times in a row now, and it’s catchy for sure. I dig the video. Is that what New Orleans is like now? I haven’t been there since before Katrina.
But yeah, Drake. This is pop music in 2018. He’s led the Hot 100 for a 27 weeks this year in total, so this is what we’ve got. Love it or lump it.
Continue reading Number One Records: In My Feelings
Video: Felines – “Going Out”
From Saying It Twice Makes It Real, due later this year on Burger and Crunchy Frog Records. Single out now.
This is a cool, moody song from a band from Copenhagen who clearly digs the Velvet Underground. They approach it with classic Danish minimalism and a sense of brooding paranoia.
Tell me all about it
How you feel
About going out
About being high
Tell me all about it
They should pop over to Berlin and have Anton Newcombe produce their next album.
Felines: fb, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Continue reading New Felines video: Going On
Video: Escape-ism – “Bodysnatcher”
Directed by Alexandra Cabral. From The Lost Record, out September 7 on Merge.
Another minimalist disco jam from the twisted funkbone of Ian Svenonius. The video features the subtle but enticing dance moves of Svenonius and collaborator/director Alexandra Cabral as they get down on the craggy shore of a tropical island…or maybe Big Sur.
Ian Svenonius says, “‘Bodysnatcher’ takes its name from the paranoid classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which cast communist influence as an outer space invasion. The body snatcher is a kind of mythic folk figure who represents the threat or the allure of total romantic or ideological takeover and surrender.”
Body snatch me, baby!
Escape-ism: bandcamp, fb, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Luluc – “Kids”
Directed by Katie Mitchell. From Sculptor, out now on Sub Pop.
Most songs written by adults about kids are condescending, but Luluc treats their kids with respect.
The teacher who prides:
“Why don’t you come talk to me?
You’ve got such a big chip on your shoulder.”
“No, that’s my armor til I’m older.”
There’s a bit of a “It gets better” message but more important — or at least more visceral — is the “We’re gonna get out of here” message. For me, looking back a few decades, my overwhelming memory of adolescence is the feeling of just wanting to get out: of school, of my dumb hometown, of my house, of my body. Flight.
Luluc gets this.
Luluc: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: The Imperial Sound – “A Man Like You”
Directed by Melissa Thornley. From The New AM out August 31st on Pravda Records.
The Imperial Sound is a new band made up of a bunch of Chicago music veterans including Frederick Mosher and Kenn Goodman of the New Duncan Imperials, the Service, and Pravda Records. For The New AM they’ve recruited some legendary Chicago singers, like Kelly Hogan and Nora O’Conner. “A Man Like You” features Robert Cornelius of Poi Dog Pondering on lead vocals.
It’s got stax of horns and an irresistibly funky guitar part and the chorus will get stuck in your head. I’ve heard the album and a lot of it is more classic pop and less classic soul than “A Man Like You.” It’s all good though.
Matt “Sal” Favazza of my beloved Krinkles plays drums and contributes vocals.
I first got into the New Duncan Imperials back in college. Songs like “Pensacola 99,” “Feelin’ Sexy,” and “I’m Schizophrenic (No I’m Not)” made it onto many a mixtape. I’ve always been impressed that the guys have managed to keep a small, independent label like Pravda afloat since the 80s.
Pravda’s 1991 compilation 20 Explosive Dynamic Super Smash Hit Explosions! featured early appearances of the Smashing Pumpkins and my pals the Sinatras. And it’s still in print! Buy it now!
Twenty-seven years later and Pravda is still releasing quality material. The Imperial Sound continues that tradition.
The Imperial Sound: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Courtney Barnett – “Charity”
Directed by Ashley Connor. From Tell Me How You Really Feel, out now on Milk, Marathon Artists and Mom+Pop.
This is the fifth single/video Courtney Barnett has released from Tell Me How You Really Feel. Keep them coming!
You don’t have to pretend you’re not scared
Everyone else is just as terrified as you.
That about sums up 2018, doesn’t it?
Courtney Barnett: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Low Cut Connie – “Oh Suzanne”
From Dirty Pictures (Part 2), out now on Contender Records.
Now that their Alex Chilton cover has opened my ears to the charms of Low Cut Connie, I can appreciate what they’re going for in “Oh Suzanne,” a song that I might otherwise blow off as a dumb modern rock throwaway. On closer listen this could almost be an album cut on the Go’s 1999 Sub Pop classic, Whatcha Doin’. So here we’ve got Detroit and Memphis by way of Philadelphia. Works for me.
Low Cut Connie: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Cat Power – “Woman” (ft. Lana Del Rey)
Directed by Greg Hunt. From Wanderer, due October 5 on Domino Record Co.
Chan Marshall is a badass. This is her first new music since 2012’s Sun and it was worth the wait. “Woman” features everything we love about Cat Power: spooky instrumentation, moody vocals, intimidating lyrics.
The doctor said I was better than ever
Man, you should have seen me
Doctor said I was not my past
He said I was finally free
What more could you ask for? Backing vocals by Lana Del Rey? You got it!
Woman woman woman whoa man!
Cat Power: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Kurt Vile – “Loading Zones”
Directed by Drew Saracco. New single out now on Matador Records.
Check out Kurt Vile, dodging the Philadelphia meter maids. He parks for free!
Kurt Vile: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.