Three music videos all pulled from movies that I both own and love. So you’re getting recommendations for good music and good movies in one go! You lucky, lucky bleeders!
First off, something upbeat and fun, from the movie Go.
Philip Steir featuring Steppenwolf – Magic Carpet Ride
Wherever there is injustice, you will find us. Wherever there is suffering, we’ll be there. Wherever liberty is threatened, you will find… The Three Amigos!
The Three Amigos – Blue Shadows
Finally, something that actually made me well up with tears just watching it again. If you see this film and can watch this particular scene without getting emotional… well, you just may be a psychopath.
Ah, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve played a little bit of old lounge music to friends or colleagues and been met with a stare that says “are you out of your mind?” Yes, some of it sounds like it could accompany long elevator rides but I still like it; it tugs at my nostalgia ganglion and releases warm showers of endorphins.
But enough about my bizarre biological processes! Enjoy a trio of soft tempo lounge music tracks accompanied by videos appropriate to the era, all provided – also appropriately – by the YouTube account SoftTempoLounge.
In the first days of VHS in our family – we’re talking about the early 1980s – there weren’t very many outlets from which a person could pop along and rent a video for the evening. Filling that particular hole around our area (if you’ll excuse the expression) was a man and his suitcase. I couldn’t tell you what the man’s name was nor could I tell you how it was that he became known to my parents; all I can say is that he would turn up every seven days with his suitcase of videos and as a family we would pore over the titles and select a handful of these marvellous things to hire for the week. I don’t remember many of the films we rented in this way either but one film – or, actually, a series of films – did stick in my memory.
Lemon Popsicle was released in 1978; the sequels that I remember were Going Steady and Hot Bubblegum, although it turns out there were many, many more. Even though I knew it was a foreign film back then it’s only now that I’ve researched the series of movies that it turns out these were Hebrew; moreover, this film has something of a cult status, apparently. My memory of the films was that they were 1950s America-based but it transpires they were actually based in Israel.
So, what’s the plot?
The main protagonist of Lemon Popsicle is called Benji (played by Yftach Katzur); he spends most of the film looking a little broody or moody or baffled or frustrated like this:
As a typical 1950s-era movie teen Benji, along with his two friends Bobby (the handsome one) and Hughie (the chubby one), is interested in having sex. Unlike his two friends, however, Benji has his eyes set on one particular girl: Niki. His friends are less discerning and none of them are experienced which means that the film progresses through two sexual adventures – one with an immigrant woman who has no qualms about playing around while her sailor boyfriend is at sea; the second with a prostitute – in order that the boys can gain some sexy sex knowledge.
Unfortunately for Benji, his handsome friend and the object of his affections also get together, and things get even more serious when she falls pregnant and Bobby isn’t interested in helping out. Benji – our nice hero – comes to her rescue and sells some things to pay for an abortion for Niki. She’s happy, he’s happy, everyone’s happy. Not so fast! The film ends with a party and it’s here that Benji sees Niki in the arms of Bobby again. The message of the movie, therefore, appears to be that nice guys finish last.
So, a far more serious movie than I remembered which touches on some strong subjects – sex, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion, the unfairness of life, the benefits in being handsome, the importance of having keyholes that can look directly onto a bed – and showcases an interesting, if fanciful, look at an America-modelled Israel in the 1950s.
Notably interesting parts from Lemon Popsicle now that I can pay some real attention to it include the first sexual scene in the film in which the immigrant woman “entertains” the three boys; there was more than a passing similarity to the prostitute scene in Biloxi Blues. Both feature an uncomfortable experience, a bedroom with boys waiting outside, someone in a naval uniform, even the staircase leading up to the apartment. The accompanying music was very good too so the movie’s worth checking out if the American music of the era appeals to you.
The other area of note is that I had no memory of the main girl Niki at all; her friend with the pig tails and glasses (and horrendously-dubbed voice) on the other hand lit up neurons all over my brain. Dolly from Moonraker also sticks in my mind. Aren’t predilections fun?
Lemon Popsicle was not the sex-comedy movie I remembered; there was less sex and less comedy than my younger self was convinced was there but the film was a lot better for it. Well worth a watch. I’ll have to get around to re-watching the sequels in the near future.
1978. The year after the Queen’s silver jubilee. And that’s about it. Three whole channels of televisual entertainment could be everyone’s for the low, low price of the licence fee, such entertainment to include, of course, Top of the Pops. Excluding all the bits featuring convicted-by-public-opinion paedophiles and sexual predators, it’s still wonderful to go back and look at some of the performances now. Here, have an audio/video threesome!
I’ve been watching a lot of science fiction television and films recently. I’ve also been watching quite a few space-oriented documentaries (astronomy programmes, solar system programmes, that sort of thing) too. So when I thought about updating the site with a trio of music videos the theme to tie in the choices was pretty obvious.
Sarah Brightman And Hot Gossip – I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper
Incidentally, Sarah Brightman has genuine plans to venture into space in the near future.
I’ve been lounging about on the new Myspace (here I am!) and discovering some new music, which is pretty much the point of the service. Not quite sure that the social aspect of Myspace quite works yet but it’s still in beta so things could improve. Anyway, here, have a few videos of artists I’ve recently discovered, all of whom roughly fall inside the techno electropop industrial gothy sort of genre. That’s a very valid genre.
Last week we popped up to London and watched Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie perform at the O2 arena. It was a good gig from Mr Manson. It was a stunningly, incredibly, wonderfully awesome gig from Mr Zombie (I’m saying that I liked it). Since I quite regularly post three related music videos on this site in an attempt to convince the world (okay, Google) that I haven’t given up on the whole maintaining my own site lark you might be forgiven for thinking this would lead me to an easy Manson or Zombie video selection. However, I’m not going to do that.
Prior to the gig there was a short rock DJ set. We got to listen to Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, and numerous other tracks in keeping with the feel of the night to come. But in amongst those songs was something I’d never heard before; something I’d not heard, yet liked. I listened out for some words, noted them down in OneNote on the phone and then… forgot about it for a few days. Eventually, however, I did remember and did a bit of searching. The result was a South African group called Die Antwoord. The music style is called Zef. The song I’d been attracted to was called Fatty Boom Boom. The videos are deliciously fabulous. I bought the latest album, naturally.
If you come out of a glitter ball, I want disco!... not holiday action song that all the reps try to get you to join in with when all you want to do is drink to forget the horror unfolding before you. - Heleninstitches
I really don't get how Romania and Iceland got chosen. - Anika
It's irritating. The 50% jury vote in the semis is supposed to offset bloc voting but all it's done is weight the balance in favour of bland entries. Romania were last, which helps, and weird, which helps. Iceland wasn't thrilling, but it was okay; I can see how it got through. - Mark H
10 minutes until the first semi final. As usual, I've not checked out the performers in advance; it's far more fun to be surprised and horrified in equal measure as it's performed live on television and the web. - Mark H
Hostess for the evening apparently wearing a dress fashioned from aluminium foil. - Mark H
Austria first. Very 1980s look. Song is pretty unmemorable which is some achievement as it's still going. - Mark H
Birgit from Estonia now and a singer five months pregnant just to be different. Wearing a shower curtain just to be super different. Good to see it not being sung in English. White outfit and wind machine already looks to be the theme of tonight's performances. - Mark H
Hannah representing Slovenia now. I like the futuristic, quasi-military, quasi-avian uniform she's gone for. Quote from wife: "she's winning the shoe contest." Song's typically European disco. Not sure if I like it or not. - Mark H
Croatia. Men! Traditional dress! A song that translates as "misery!" Could be awesome. - Mark H
Not bad. Good harmonies. Pleasant sound, cracking-looking coats. - Mark H
A favourite to win now with Denmark's Emily de Forest. - Mark H
Hey! It's a white outfit and the wind machine's blowing! - Mark H
Oh, it started already? I've been catching the videos on the site, but I'm not dazzled by anyone this year. - Anika
First semi tonight; second on Thursday; final on Saturday. I've avoided all the videos this year as I don't think they tend to do the live performances much justice. - Mark H
"The three astronauts on board the International Space Station are getting a sneak peak of the latest Star Trek film just before people around the world get a chance to see it in theaters themselves." - Mark H
"Anyone else" and "people around the world" being phrases that mean "Americans". Just got back from watching it; very enjoyable and Benedict Cumberbatch is twice as excellent as you imagine he might be. - Mark H
"A new grammar and spelling test arrives in primary schools in England this week. It is the first time in a while that such emphasis has been put on grammar. Some of the questions will seem straightforward for many adults, such as where to place a comma or a colon in a sentence. But other aspects - identifying different types of adverbs or distinguishing between subordinating and co-ordinating connectives - might raise eyebrows." - Mark H
"So where do you draw the line between pedantry and slovenliness? Mount says the split infinitive is perfectly acceptable. "To boldly go, sounds better than to go boldly," he argues. The word "whom" sounds archaic so there's no need to worry about who and whom, he says. But anything that damages meaning and clarity should be avoided. For instance, the apostrophe should be defended at all costs, he says." - Mark H
"They may not be around any longer but their posters remain in perpetuity for us all to admire. TWA, once the glamour-pusses of the airline world, were flying here, there and everywhere and their ad campaigns weren’t afraid to show it either. Even the posters advertising their cargo routes rocked." - Mark H
"Perfect as a wine accessory for home or travel, the elegant wand, made with Swarovski crystals, uses natural frequencies to aerate wine in minutes rather than hours. Tested and appreciated by Sommeliers, this breakthrough collection creates the ultimate experience for wine aficionado and connoisseur alike." - Mark H
And via http://shop.philipstein.co.uk/Wine-Wands-How-it-works - "The elegant wand with encapsulated glass jewels uses natural frequencies to perfectly aerate wine. [...] Philip Stein® is the leader in mind-body wellness using natural frequency-based technologies in luxury products. The Wine Wand has been created to accelerate the aerating process of wine by replicating the natural frequencies of air and oxygen, and infusing them into the wine. [...] All Philip Stein® luxury products are permanently embedded with the natural frequency-based technologies and the Philip Stein® Wine Wand is a beautiful and indispensable part of any oenophile's collection." - Mark H