Want to win the new book “JOHN HUGHES: A LIFE IN FILM”?

26 May

Click on the book cover


Here’s The Thing

17 May

I fell down the rabbit hole a long time ago regarding podcasts. There’s an amazing world of great conversations, interviews…great entertainment and information. I’m planning on doing a podcast sooner than later though increasingly, its later…and later (more on this in a later post).

One of my favorites is Alec Baldwin’s podcast “Here’s The Thing” out of WNYC in New York. Its actually been on the air since 2011, though, late to the party as I often am, I started listening regularly less than a year ago.  I’ve been a fan of Baldwin’s since I first saw him in Hunt for Red October (particularly this scene, and while we’re at it, this is another fave scene), various other movies, and numerous Saturday Night Live appearances.  And he was brilliant on 30 Rock (easily one of the best sitcoms of all-time), whip-fast delivery, funny and endearing even though his characterJack Donaghy is a pompous parody of an over-stuffed, right-wing CEO.  And speaking of 30 Rock and Baldwin, here’s one of the funniest-ever scenes, with Tracy Morgan.

Baldwin is often a crank whose and who seems like he can be a downright pain in the ass – witness those terrible voice mail messages to his daughter that leaked a few years back and numerous ugly run-ins with NYC paparazzi and ranting Tweets. However, he’s also extremely smart and a great conversationalist, and both attributes are utilized perfectly on Here’s The Thing.  He’s a damn good interviewer…inquisitive, and always very knowledgeable about the person he’s talking to, enabling some real in-depth conversations, that never feel forced.  This is the kind of interviewing I love – where its more of an actual conversation.  Charlie Rose first comes to mind when thinking about another interview show. though for me, he’s too staid.  And of course, there’s Jon Stewart (but not for much longer!).  Outside of that…the late night folks – Letterman, Kimmel, Fallon, O’Brien are great at what they do – but the guests on those shows are only there to talk about their movie, project, etc.

Here’s The Thing has had an amazing variety of guests – scroll the archives too see just how amazing.  Regardless of the guest, you’ll likely be interested in what they have to say, thanks to the conversational style and tone. For example, I never really gave much thought to the magician David Blaine, but was fascinated by his hard and sad upbringing, and how, very early on, he found his passion doing magic. My favorite interviews all tend to be with New Yorkers – John McEnroe, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, the aforementioned Blaine – as Baldwin is also a native New Yorker the conversations tend to be more relaxed, and for me very relatable – the settings are certainly familiar.  Baldwin telling the story of how in community college in Long Island he acted in a “Streetcar Named Desire” with an heir to the Pergament retail fortune had me rolling.  Another interesting and recent guest was actress Edie Falco (Sopranos, Nurse Jackie) and until that episode I never knew that both Falco and Baldwin have had long battles with alcohol (which both have been winning).

Whether the guests is an actor, comedian, author, the conversation is sure to be interesting.

Pretend You’re In A War: The Who & The Sixties (Aurum Press)

15 May Featured Image -- 1620


A review on a new book about The Who, “Pretend You’re In A War – The Who & The Sixties”

“…it is one of the most comprehensive biographies of this very important rock band’s first decade.”

Originally posted on The Recoup:

pretend youre in a warPretend You’re In A War: The Who & The Sixties
Mark Blake
Aurum Press

When asked how one could prepare for the intensity of his band’s live show, Who guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend replied, “Pretend you’re in a war.” Mark Blake’s biography of The Who uses this humorous quip as its title, and one soon learns just how accurate Townshend’s statement was. If anything, that statement is an understatement, for as one delves into the story, one discovers just how lucky we are that the band even survived the decade.

In many ways, the initial story of The Who isn’t radically different from that of many of their contemporaries: lower-to-middle class boys who did poorly in grammar school gravitated towards American rock and roll and British skiffle music, developing a love of Rhythm & Blues, often while attending art school. But what makes their story different is just…

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22 Apr

I’ve always been dubious on what is luck, or the result of effort and/or circumstance. But by every measure, I’m a pretty lucky.

Podcast Alert!

16 Apr

The Weapon of Self Distraction Podcast is coming soon…


Where Would I Be Without You Tube?

24 Dec

Merry Christmas to ME, upon finding THIS on You Tube, an absolutely SMOKING Winery Dogs show from Japan. And this was only their SECOND show.  Faves on here include opener “Elevate” the positively monstrous “Six Feet Deeper” (which goes into Portnoy’s epic drum solo), “I’m No Angel” the cool cover of Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” and Richie’s “Desire”..shoot, the whole show is amazing.

I was never a Dream Theatre fan, really, but always knew Mike Portnoy had few peers on the drums

Billy Sheehan I’ve been a fan of for years, since he blew my mind on David Lee Roth’s debut solo album. I don’t know how he can bend strings like that. Lot’s o’ folks say he overplays; in a trio format, he’s like a rhythm and lead guitarist as well as a bass player – he fills up space and the bottom end is always adventurous.

I’ve previously gone overboard without a life raft in regards to Richie Kotzen’s prodigious talent, but to sum up: the guy can do it all. You’d be hard pressed to find a lead guitarist who can sing like that – and vice versa.


Please Stand By

4 Dec

Trying to find the time to find the time!  Alas, for now:


The Recoup

going deep in the elm

Beyond Garbage Blog

Exploring the Possibilities of Recyclable Materials

Cavalcade of Awesome

All Pax. All Nude. All the Time.

The MMQB with Peter King

Analysis, insights on all things NFL


The Lowdown on High Tech

Full Disclosure

I wear my heart on my sleeve. It may not always be pretty but it's real.

Mr. Media

Video Podcast Interviews with Celebrities in Film, TV, Books, Sports, Politics and more conducted by Bob Andelman


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