Thursday, March 29, 2012

Melancholy Songs, Dodgers Excitement, Dwight Howard: Overrated


For some reason I had a melancholy song kick yesterday, here are a few that grabbed my attention.

I love Madonna. Although the second half of her career has been far less stellar than the amazing first half, she's still releases some good songs. This is one of them, "The Power of Goodbye":

This is one of the sweetest songs of all-time. And I realized Elvis is woefully under represented on my blog. "Can't Help Falling In Love With You":

"The End of The World"- Skeeter Davis:

Yesterday I spent close to 45 minutes trying to find the definitive version of "You Belong To Me", but wasn't able to find it. Jo Stafford and Patti Page sing the two most popular versions of the song. A lot of other great people sing it too like Vonda Shepherd, Dean Martin, Patsy Cline. Avoid Bob Dylan's horrendous version if you possibly can. But when I hear a definitive version of this song in my head, none of the recorded versions match that.

There are some things that will make the definitive version of this song. For one, the song needs to be sung by a woman. I'd also give it a bit faster tempo and and it has to be sung with a lot of wistfulness. It's almost like the singer is expecting her lover to come back, but she isn't 100% sure he will. I don't know how to say it in musical terms, but the song needs to be sung with a throaty voice. I would love to hear Adele interpret this song. I hear some versions of this song with a country twang, that definitely doesn't help the song. The country twang actually is a distraction.

I can't say I'm a fan of Carla Bruni's version, but her version is intriguing:

The great Patsy Cline's version:

I thought for a minute this might be that definitive version I was looking for. This is an unknown woman singing this song. Her name is Stephanie Leigh, she sings probably the closest version of that definitive version I hear in my head. I like when she briefly increases the tempo at the :27 second mark. Also her voice is sort of close to that definitive voice I hear singing this song. Stephanie is also attractive and I like her personality. (Stephanie, stay away from "Body of Proof".)

And this is a different song with the same title. I love that both Carly Simon and the Doobie Brothers sing this "You Belong To Me". No one will ever top all the different acts that sing "The Locomotion", what a wildly divergent selection of people sing that song.

The Platters "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes":

I've been reading a lot about the new Dodgers ownership. The more I hear, the more excited I am. My only concern is how will paying $2 billion dollars to Frank McCourt to buy the Dodgers affect the new owners cash-flow. Besides buying the team, they also have to add players, renovate Dodgers Stadium and build up their farm system? It seems what was once a proud farm system has been left in shambles following the disastrous McCourt ownership. Other than those things all is good for this Dodgers fan. An established winner, Magic Johnson, is the face of the Dodgers, one of the most loved sports figures in LA history. It looks like the Dodgers have plenty of money behind them and a baseball executive responsible for a lot of the Braves recent success.

From Magic Johnson to a member of the Orlando Magic. One player I hope the Dodgers don't get is the overrated Dwight Howard. I do realize he doesn't play baseball, but I'm not sure how much he's playing basketball right now. After all that whining about where he wanted to play, he agreed to play for the Magic next season. After his pathetic performance last night I wonder how excited the Magic are about that now. Howard is one of those players that thinks the world revolves around him. Not only does it not revolve around him, I wouldn't even want him on my team.

I tried to find the same highlights that ESPN showed this morning of the Knicks-Magic game last night. But I couldn't find them on youtube. The highlights show a very disinterested Howard sort of playing. And it's not like he was playing in Dubuque, he was playing in New York. How can he not get fired up to play in New York. Oh yeah, it's because he doesn't care.

I realize a lot of the time that stats don't tell the whole story, but I think last nights stats for Howard are right on. He only played 28 minutes, because the Magic got blown out so thoroughly. And it wasn't like he cared anyway. He hit 4 of 7 from the field and 4 of 6 from the free throw line. The below 50% foul shooter was on a hot streak last night! Although the lack of free throw shots he took last night  indicates how inept of a performance he had last night. Not that the rest of the Magic were really trying hard or playing with any sort of urgency either. The Knicks, not exactly an offensive juggernaut, ran off 21 consecutive points in the third quarter. Why did Orlando even bother to show up. I'm glad I didn't spend my hard earned money to see that lack of effort.

Other stat tidbits, Howard grabbed 5 more rebounds than a dead person, he actually had more turnovers: 6. He scored all of 12 points. But the stat that best indicates Howard's lack of desire was the Magic were outscored by 31 points while he was on the floor. 31!! This is suppose to be one of the best players in the NBA on one of the best teams in the Leastern Conference. (I suggest you read the one named writer Carles' article about Howard over at Carles compares Howard to one of the Kardashians and how they are famous for being famous. Well said Carles.)

Of course the Knicks did have a big advantage, they were playing without Amare Stoudemire. That will give the Knicks a brief boost.

A couple TV notes. "Body of Proof" isn't a much watch show for me, however I do end up watching all the episodes On Demand eventually. Last night I watched "Going Viral" Part 1. The episode is about  a plague/illness  that's sweeping through Philadelphia and has killed several people. Again this show is decent, but last night's episode was excellent. I was sad that I couldn't go back to On Demand and watch the "Going Viral" Part 2. I love all the characters. For instance, Megan Hunt and Kate Murphy (played by the gorgeous Jeri Ryan, who broke all those Borg hearts so many years ago.)  I like John Carrol Lynch playing the gruff Bud Morris. But honestly all the characters and the actors that play them are great. As a guest star Luke Perry, to my extreme surprise, was a great addition last night.

However I was disappointed by one thing about  "Body of Proof" last night. They killed off one of their hotties that's played by Nathalie Kelly. That's so wrong, TV shows should never kill off a hottie. There wasn't any lead up to Dani Alvarez's death either. One second Alvarez, was at a club waiting for her boyfriend. The next second she was rushing out to the street, getting hit by a vehicle. However it was the weird disease/plague she picked up that killed her. I'm hoping the reason why they killed her character is because she is moving on to a better situation.

I couldn't find a picture that does Nathalie Kelly justice. She's a woman that looks better in movement than standing still. Rest In Peace Dani Alvarez, long live Nathalie Kelly.

Finally with not being able to watch "Body of Proof" "Going Viral" Part 2 yet I looked for something else. I could have watched part, or all, of the season finale of "Alcatraz", but I just wasn't up for it. It has not earned a second season and I expect it to be cancelled any day now. I really wanted to watch the latest episode of "Smash", but it wasn't On Demand yet. (Come on Comcast! :)  I ended up watching the final episode of "Mad Men" Season 4 "Tomorrowland". Don and Megan, his secretary, go to California with Don's three kids. One of the places she takes them to is Disneyland. Tomorrowland is one of the attractions that Bobby Draper wants to see. I loved that we didn't see Tomorrowland in this episode. It was even more interesting now that I know what happens in the first two episodes of Season 5. 

I really liked the character of Megan in "Tomorrowland", but not quite as much in the first two episodes of Season 5. It also seemed Don was on the verge of telling Megan who he really was. It seems she knows all about his Dick Whitman past at the start of Season 5. When his kids saw the Dick + Anna on the wall of Anna's old house, he even told the kids a bit about his Dick Whitman past. I'd forgotten how much Betty Draper was throwing bedroom eyes at Don Draper in "Tomorrowland". (Although we don't see Jones in the first two episodes of Season 5, her absence was felt.) If "Mad Men" is ever searching for a new title, I suggest "The Many Wives of Don Draper". 

Anyway "Tomorrowland" was overall a great episode, setting up for Season 5. It tied together so many loose plot ends so well. Matthew Weiner is a genius when it comes to pacing, smart storytelling and visual flair. (Can you tell I love this show?) Hey Matthew could you possibly work with Veena Sud, the alleged show runner (maybe show killer would be better) of "The Killing"? She's terrible at all the things you are so great at. Her plots have too many loose ends and she drags out the most boring story lines to ridiculous lengths. (For instance Bennet Ahmed, who will be the new mayor of Seattle etc.) Of course one of the most boring story lines is who killed Rosie Larsen in the first place. Does anyone care at this point? I'm sure whoever is will be a killer that makes no sense. Also Matthew please tell her to stop all the rain in her show!


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