Friday, June 25, 2010

Some of Top5's Favorites

I always thought it would be fun to work at Blockbuster for the sole reason of having the opportunity to suggest DVDs for the movie-loving public to rent. So I got to thinkin', I have the forum to do just that (sorta) right here at Top5.

Here's the plan: I want to offer my suggestions to those of you who want an entertaining movie to watch but don't really have an idea of what to choose. And don't worry, I'm not going to recommend some "Artsy" film such as Fellini's 8 1/2 or Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho. Instead, I want to turn you on to Great Films (IMHO) that I'm pretty sure most everyone would enjoy.

I've selected my first two choices b/c they are fresh on my mind. My suggestions are...

1. A Simple Plan (1998) Starring Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thorton, Bridget Fonda, and Brent Briscoe

Three men come across a downed plane in the snowy woods of Minnesota. They find a duffle bag with over 4 million dollars inside. Finders, keepers? Maybe. But first they'll need a foolproof plan. So the three men start out with a scheme that's perfect in its simplicity....and lethal in its miscalculation of the human heart. Mistrust, murder, intrigue- are all soon at work in this stark, twist-filled thriller. (almost copied verbatim off the DVD)

This movie hooks and reels you in the first five minutes. Billy Bob is brilliant in his role as a slow-witted bumpkin in which he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Even "Fort Worth's Own" Bill Paxton, who I don't consider to be a good actor, delivers with a fine performance as well. However, I was mostly impressed with the performance of Brent Briscoe, who plays a Town Drunk so convincingly. It was an underrated performance by an actor who is still a virtual Unknown to most people.

2. Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)Starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones

From - At only thirteen years of age, Loretta Webb marries Doolittle Lynn and is soon responsible for a sizeable family. Loretta appears destined to a life of homemaking, but Doolittle recognizes his wife's musical talent, and buys her a guitar as an anniversary present one year. This gift sets Loretta Lynn on the gruelling, tumultuous path to country music greatness.

I usually enjoy Biopics about as much as Allen Iverson likes PRACTICE, but this movie is an exception. Sissy Spacek is terrific in this Oscar winning role. She sings all the songs on her own. Jaime Foxx didn't do that.

Anyway, Loretta and her husband Doo's relationship is what makes me love this movie. I laughed everytime Doo called Loretta "ignorant". "Are you so ignorant that...."

Usually if Tommy Lee Jones is in a is worth watching. Well...unless we're talking about Volcano.

Anyway, those are some of Top5's Favorites. If you decide to watch one of these movies and feel the need to discuss it with somebody, feel free to email me. We'll converse.

Loretta Lynn Rocks!

Top5 performances by Tommy Lee Jones

5. Warden Dwight McClusky - Natural Born Killers

4. Ed Tom Bell - No Country For Old Men

3. Samuel Gerard - The Fugitive

2. Woodrow F. Call - Lonesome Dove

1. Pete Perkins - The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada


Demand Satisfaction,

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Nashville Nostalgia Trip

I've stopped making mix Cds and if you are a reader of my Jive, you probably know why. I still love technology even though it has eliminated the art of making a mix tape. I've started making "playlists" to be added to the Franketeria, which is the largest gathering of MP3s ever stored on a CPU. If you know anything at all about gigabytes and/or storage space on hard drives, know takes a Terabyte to accommodate the Franketeria. If for some reason you have the urge to listen to Mantras and Chants of the Dalai Lama, you will find it here. Got a hankering for some Music of Zimbabwe? Fear not. We've got Daindiine Mukoma by Oliver Mtukudzi that will scratch you right where you itch.

My new playlist, "Christopher's Nashville Nostalgia Trip", is a musical testimonial on how diverse my tastes can be. How could someone who has a Waylon-esque hatred for Nashville Country create a playlist celebrating that same genre that he despises so much? To answer this question.....

A few days ago, I ate at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill somewhere in Oklahoma. This place celebrated it's namesake's entire catalogue by Only playing songs by Toby Keith himself. If you find yourself having difficulty getting a waitress to take your order like I did, you can be compensated with that much more of Toby. I'm pretty sure I heard Dream Walkin' twice.

Anyway, as I was having the Sirloin and Catfish (apparently a TK specialty), I realized that his songs of the 90's were vastly superior to his songs from this past decade. In the 90's, a mulleted Toby lamented that he Should've Been A Cowboy while last decade, he just wanted to Talk About Me. I think this is a quality relation when comparing the "country" music of these two decades.

Great song. Bad video. Beautiful Mullet.

So without further ado, and with my head held high, I give you "Christopher's Nashville Nostalgia Trip"...

1. Blame It On Your Heart - Patty Loveless
2. We Were In Love - Toby Keith
3. No One Needs To Know - Shania Twain
4. Just To See You Smile - Tim McGraw
5. She Don't Know She's Beautiful - Sammy Kershaw
6. Small Town Saturday Night - Hal Ketchum
7. Some Girls Do - Sawyer Brown
8. Straight Tequila Night - John Anderson
9. Carrying Your Love With Me - George Strait
10. Little Bitty - Alan Jackson
11. Two Pinacoladas - Garth Brooks
12. Strawberry Wine - Deana Carter
13. Time Marches On - Tracy Lawrence
14. I'm Alright - Jo Dee Messina
15. Goodbye Says It All - Blackhawk
16. God Blessed Texas - Little Texas
17. Down Came a Blackbird - Lila McCann
18. She's Not The Cheatin' Kind - Brooks and Dunn
19. Who Needs You Baby - Clay Walker
20. Better Man - Clint Black
21. I Can Still Feel You - Collin Raye

Where's Dwight Yoakum? Dear reader, I didn't have the heart to include him on this playlist. I couldn't do that to one of my all-time favorite artists.

I'm reasonably confident that your average music appreciator could listen to this playlist and enjoy it. I'm not as confident as I would be if I was presenting someone Chris Chamberlain's Musical Journey Through the 90's but how could I be? When I give someone that compilation, I do so with the same confidence that I'm sure the Epstein brothers shared when presenting Michael Curtiz their Casablanca script.

Great song. Good video. Beautiful Canadian woman;)

I'm reasonably confident that you will enjoy this playlist. The question is...will you admit it? I wouldn't blame you if you choose not to.

Top5 Worst Songs that I have ever heard:

5. Walk A Little Straighter Daddy (Billy Currington) Shudder...

4. Before He Cheats (Carrie Underwood) Besides being abused at every karaoke bar across America, this song glorifies its violation of Rule #3 in Video Joe's Code of Ethics.

Rule#3 states: Thou shall not *mess with another person's automobile.

Just so you know...

Rule #2 states: Thou shall not tamper with another person's food.
Rule #1 states: Thou shall not push someone in a pool who is fully clothed. Shoutout to Kirk Mike.

I'm not confrontational but if I catch anyone in the act of breaking these three rules.....


3. Hell Yeah (Montgomery Gentry) I worked at Rent-A-Center very briefly in the Fall of '05. I had to go to people's homes and repo their furniture while they looked on. Many of them were drug addicts. It was also a hostile working environment in that the assistant manager looked at me in the way Waylon Smithers might gaze upon Mr. Burns. As I was loading a refrigerator in the store, I heard and saw this song playing on all 50 or so televisions in the store. It was too much. I left the fridge on the dolly and bailed...mid-shift. I could take a lot of things but Montgomery Gentry pushed me over the edge.

2. Honky Tonk Bedok...I can't even write it. (Trace Adkins) I copied this directly from Wikipedia - As a youth, an automobile accident where Trace slammed his head on a bus and left both his arms, a leg, and some ribs broken as well as his nose partially torn off. Trace Adkins has also experienced a number of serious injuries as an adult. He had the pinky finger on his left hand partially severed and surgically re-attached. He was involved in a number of bar room incidents, and was also shot in the heart and lungs by his second wife.Adkins denies abusing her but comments that the relationship was marked by excessive alcohol use.

My point could a musician who has lived such a hard life perform songs like this?

1. Have You Forgotten?(Darryl Worley) I like to imagine Darryl Worley driving cross-country with Bruce Springsteen in the passenger seat. They are listening to the radio when all of a sudden, Have You Forgotten? comes on. It is the most uncomfortable three minutes of Worley's life as he senses The Boss trying hard not to laugh. After the lyrics, "And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden Have you forgotten?", Worley cringes and turns to Bruce. "O.K. so what? I'm not nearly as gifted as you.", I imagine Worley admitting.

That was fun.