Here in Michigan, summer giveth, and summer taketh away. Yesterday was a hot, muggy sunny day, a real sticky summertime day. Cut to some lovely overnight thunderstorms and we awake this morning to clouds, rain, and a chilly breeze with temps only in the low 60’s. That’s summer in Michigan to a T. My point? I guess I don’t have one, other than I’m loosely picking my daily Song of Summer based on what’s going on with the weather. And in Michigan, when it’s cool and rainy, a good place to take refuge is at the multiplex, catching a summer flick.
So many of the classic holiday TV specials from the 60’s and 70’s are still show on television every year; I’m talking you Rudolphs, your Charlie Browns, your Grinches…. and watching them is always an instant rocket ship back to my childhood. These shows are perennial classics for a reason, but every year I scan the channel guide for one show that’s rarely seen these days. I’m talking about ‘Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas.’ Made in 1977, it was shown on HBO in 1978 and aired on ABC in 1980, which is probably where I first saw it (our house didn’t have cable TV until the 1990s. For real.) It’s a charming little tale from Jim Henson and his muppeteers, with music by the underappreciated musical genius Paul Williams. If you’ve never seen it, then pull up a seat, grab a nice warm beverage, and slow your life down for an hour or so, and check it out. Here for you, in its entirety, is Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. If you love it, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t, you can buy a copy on DVD for about 7 bucks.
Christmas is now officially less than 1 week away, so PLEASE tell me you’ve at least STARTED your Christmas shopping. What’s that? You haven’t?? Good Lord, man, what are you waiting for?? Time is slipping away from you. I think the best thing for you to do at this point is click on this Amazon banner:
*UPDATE 12/9/14: Jingle Bell Rocks is now available on Cable VOD, Digital & DVD!!! It’s also playing in theaters around the nation throughout December! In West Michigan, it will be screening at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids December 19-23!!* As I wrote about last time, I kinda have this thing about Christmas music. I love all music, and usually have it playing all day long, and the holidays are no exception. As a kid, mom always had Christmas platters spinning on the console hi-fi, and those old records burned themselves into my brain, and they remain a vital part of our holidays to this day.
Guardians of the Galaxy has turned out to be the go-to fun flick of the summer. After suffering through some really dismal summer blockbusters that I won’t name here *cough*Transformers 4 piece of shit *cough* it was a very welcome relief to sit down for a couple of hours with one of my boys and let the entertainment wash over me.
These are a few of the things that wasted some of my otherwise super-productive time this past week. Enjoy.
The cream of the time-wasting crop for the week that was.
1. Star Wars Bloopers – I have VHS copies of the Star Wars films. I have Laser Disc versions. DVD versions. Blu-Ray versions. But none of them contained these rare bloopers, unearthed this week. You’ve always had a hunch that Stormtroopers weren’t the most graceful soldiers in the galaxy…this proves it.
October’s almost over, damn! Here’s my Top Five time-wasters for this work week:
1. Sarah Silverman pilot!! NBC passed on this Sarah Silverman pilot, called ‘Susan 313.’ Kind of funny, but I can see why they didn’t pick it up. Nevertheless, I love Sarah Silverman and wonder how this show would have evolved. I mean, ever see the pilot episode of Seinfeld? Ouch.
I spend a lot of time on the computer for work… As anybody who works on a computer all day long knows, that usually means a lot of browsing around. Every week, I’ll try to cover some of the things I dig and maybe turn you on to something new. Or maybe not. I don’t claim to be an arbiter of good taste, but I do think there are some many things out in the world worth discovering and exploring that don’t always get the attention in the mainstream that they deserve. I love the underdogs, the independents, the artists that march to their own beat….. Here are some of the coolest things I came across this week while, ahem, working: