Phil Spector + The Ronettes
An artist’s 1987 rendering of a Wilshire/La Brea aerial rail that never came to pass.
The Kinks perform “Village Green Preservation Society” (Live 1973)
Michelangelo Antonioni gave Andrei Tarkovsky a Polaroid camera in the 70s, here are the results.
“The staircases lace the hillsides of certain L.A. neighborhoods, and are historical reminders of a time when this was not a city of cars. City planners and developers installed them as direct routes for pedestrians—housewives and children particularly—to get down the hills to school, the supermarket, and transit lines. The city at that time was well served by trolleys, streetcars, buses, and light-rail systems. The staircases were clustered around steep hillside communities near these transit lines, especially steep-streeted communities that developed in the 1920s. Staircases abound in Silver Lake, Echo Park, Mt. Washington, and El Sereno, and the elevated areas of Highland Park, Hollywood, and Santa Monica, and can be found as far from downtown L.A. as Pasadena, Pacific Palisades and Avalon, on Catalina Island.”
- From Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angelesby Charles Fleming
“I Want Her She Wants Me”
My favorite song from one of my favorite albums, Odessey and Oracle . This track is actually sung by keyboardist Rod Argent (rather than Colin Blumstone) and it’s a perfect pop song. I could happily listen to it on repeat for months and months.
“Van Morrison was twenty-two or twenty-three-years old when he made this record: there are lifetimes behind it. What Astral Weeks deals in are not facts but truths. Astral Weeks, insofar as it can be pinned down, is a record about people stunned by life, completely overwhelmed, stalled in their skins, their ages and selves, paralyzed by the enormity of what in one moment of vision they can comprehend.”
With the publication of David Foster Wallace’s unfinished final novel, The Pale King, only little more than a few months away, BBC reporter and professor Geoff Ward visited his birthplace in rural Illinois for the radio documentary Endnotes that first aired on the BBC February 6th, and can be heard in full here.
He interviews his friends (agent Bonnie Nadell), his family (sister Amy Wallace), fellow writers (Rick Moody, Dom DeLillo, and former roommate Mark Costello), and colleagues (editor of his masterpiece, Infinite Jest, Michael Pietsch) for this, the first major documentary since the Wallace’s death in 2008.
Son of a Gun, the new Los Angeles restaurant from the geniuses who brought you Animal is open for business.
“Would You Believe”
In 1968 the teenage Nicholls was enlisted by Andrew Loog Oldham of Immediate Records to record a British response to Pet Sounds. Would You Believe, opened with this song, the title track. However because of financial issues the album was shelved, languishing for many years until Nicholls finally released it on his own label in 1998.
Thanks to Chad for alerting me to it.
MOONEY VS. FOWLER (1962) directed by James Lipscomb
If you’re at the Miami International Film Festival you can see this pioneering work that documents the 1962 Florida state high school football championships, pitting perennial rivals Miami Senior High and Miami Edison in a dramatic showdown at the Orange Bowl.
The documentary is a pioneering work in the cinéma vérité by Drew Associates (Primary, Crisis, etc), led by LIFE Magazine editor-turned-filmmaker Jim Lipscomb who had attended Miami High.
The title refers to the rival coaches Otis Mooney of Miami High School vs Hayward Fowle of Edison High School, who led their teams before a crowd of 37,000. The documentary - now celebrating its 50th anniversary - has long been admired by film historians, but was never available on home video. At the time of its original release, audiences weren’t used to seeing such candid coverage and Mooney vs. Fowle was deemed too controversial by the School Board for its uncensored depiction of the contrasting motivational styles of the two coaches and was never shown publicly in Miami.
Thanks to Chris Wells for tracking this one down.