Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day #21,348

Walk (km 2120-2128): Robson/Georgia/Beatty/sea walk to Kitsilano Beach via Science World/Cornwall

aprox km 2128 forgot to take my camera so this picture was taken from my balcony

Movie #1018: Call Of The Wild (1935, William Wellman)

There are a few things wrong with this movie:
1) how Loretta Young forgets about her "dead" husband almost instantly
2) the Jack Oakie character is quite annoying
3) the final scene where Clark Gable is so delighted to learn that he is now a slave owner
There have definately been better Wellmans. Almost makes me want to read the book: do we blame Jack London or do we blame Hollywood.

Today's Song: Baby It's Cold Outside
I wasn't aware that this song is considered a Christmas tune. The eMusic lists shows that it's a regular staple of Christmas albums past and present. Kinda odd for a make-out song.
The singers on Arizona Amp And Alternator are Howe Gelb & Marie Lorette Friis. I was unable to identify the woman singing with Cab Calloway.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day #21,347

Walk (km 2108-2120): Robson/Broughton/Alberni/Stanley Park/sea walk/Burrard

the beach
aprox km2112 Stanley Park

Movie #1017: Les Dimanches de Ville D'Avray (1962, Serge Bourguignon)

One of my all time favourites. Originally saw this on TV sometime in the 70s. This VHS copy from the library was in very bad shape with a washed out picture and white subtitles that blended into the b&w background. But even in this shape, the movie has a lot of power. According to comments on IMDB, all the prints of this movie are in bad shape. Let's hope somebody can find a good copy somewhere - I would definately watch it for the 3rd time if someone did.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day #21,346

Walk (km2099-2108): Robson/Denman/Alberni/Lost Lagoon/Tatlow trail/sea wall/Denman/(bus)/Robson/Hornby/Pender

chrysanthemums (just 50 cents)
aprox km2108 Chinatown

Movie #1016: Le Roman D'Un Tricheur (1936, Sacha Guitry)

More whimsy as Sacha recounts his life as a cheat. Like I've said before, I'm not a big fan of whimsy. Added problem: white subtitles on a b&w picture = lots of dialogue lost.

Today's Tune:
Don't Bring Me Down
Another day, another Goffin/King tune. This one was a hit in 1966 for Eric Burdon & The Animals. The Uniques from Shreveport Louisiana do an amazing job of mastering that fuzz sound and the vocal stylings of Eric Burdon.
On the video (audio only) we have Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day #21,345

Walk (km 2091-2093): Robson/Hamilton/Dunsmuir/Burrard/Georgia/Thurlow
Walk (km 2093-2099): Thurlow/Canada Place/Cordova/Water/Alexander/Hawks/Hastings/Glen/Pender/Commercial

Canada Place
aprox km2094 Canada Place near Burrard

Today's Tune: Crying In The Rain

We continue on rifling through the Carole King/Gerry Goffin songbook today with "Crying In The Rain". Originally a hit record by The Everly Brothers in 1961, this song has since become very popular with male duets. Besides the Everly Brothers we have Peter & Gordon (from England), The Dream Merchants (a male duet from South Africa) and Cheung brothers (I assume) Shung-Tak and Shung-Kei (from Hong Kong).
There is also another version by Art Garfunkel & James Taylor but I'll save you from that and instead add the video by James' sister Kate (just to prove that women can sing this song too).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day #21,344

Walk (km 2081-2091): Science World to English Bay with the Walking & Outdoor Meetup groups

the Walking Group meets the Outdoor Group
aprox km2085 English Bay (Vesna took the picture)

Movie #1015: Fighting Man Of The Plains (1949, Edwin L Marin)

I didn't hold out much hope for this one. Edwin L Marin doesn't quite have the rep of Randolph Scott's 1950s director Budd Boetticher. My hopes picked up when I saw the screenplay was by Frank Gruber. And it wasn't half bad. Always a pleasure to see Randolph Scott in action and the plot held my interest throughout.

Today's Tune: Chains
Today, we have another song from the husband & wife songwriting team of Gerry Goffin & Carole King. The Beatles only played "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby" at the BBC but "Chains" was released on their first LP in 1963. Our second version comes from Medway sensations, The DelMonas.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day #21,343

Walk (km 2074-2081): Thurlow/sea walk/sea wall/Stanley Park/Barclay/Gilford/Georgia/Denman/sea walk/Jervis/Melville/Bute/Robson

piled up stones
aprox km2077 English Bay

Movie #1011: Karbid Und Sauerampfer (1963, Frank Beyer)

A comedy but not a laugh-out-loud comedy. Whimsical tale of the situations a fellow gets into as he tries to get 7 barrels of carbide to Dresden in post-WWII Germany. Reminds me of a Harold Lloyd comedy. Whimsy is another thing that just isn't really my thing but I must admit this one is well done.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day #21,342

Walk (km 2069-2074): Burrard/Dunsmuir/Hamilton/Pender/Abbott/Cordova/Princess/Pender/Georgia/Commercial

a flower
aprox km2072 Pender Street

Movie #1007: Incident On A Dark Street(1973, Buzz Kulik)
You can't expect much when you buy your DVDs in the 2 for $2.38 bin at the Army&Navy. What we have here is a made-for-TV movie. And the picture quality is horrible to boot. I guess the made-for-TV movie of the 70s took the place of the Hays Code films that Hollywood had abandoned around that time. Which doesn't mean that it has to be cookie-cutter stuff (as Speilberg's Duel proved). However, for this one, the cookie-cutter is in plain view.

Today's Tune: Keep Your Hands Off My Baby

Here's a tune that has been a long time favourite of mine. I first heard this on one of those 50 cent LPs from days gone by called "Dimension Dolls". The others "dolls" on that LP were The Cookies and Carole King. "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby" was the best song on the album which is saying something because Little Eva's "The Loco-motion" was also on there.
The 2nd version here is by Minneapolis surf band The Trashmen.
If you prefer your music lo-fi, we have Belgium's The Moondawgs on the video.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day #21,341

Walk km 2062-2069: Robson/Georgia/Main/Cordova/Gore/(bus)/Robson/Nicola/sea walk/Alberni/Denman

three whatchamacallems
aprox km2067 Nicola @ Pender

Movie #1006: A Home At The End Of The World (2004, Michael Mayer)

Well, it was a good try. This material is very emotional and it would take exceptional talent to make this work. That kind of talent is not on display here - scene after scene falls flat.

Today's Tune: Rootie Tootie

Yup, we're doin' something way different today. This time it's a Hank Williams' tune from way back in 1947 instead of his later 1951 stuff that we've been featuring these last few days. And as an added attraction we've got the Berry Kids doing a rock'n'roll version from 1956. And sure enough, one of the Berry Kids was none other than Chuck Berry! Hmmmm.... maybe there were two Chuck Berrys recording in 1956? Both singles were issued by MGM records.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day #21,340

Walk (km 2053-2062): Robson/Hamilton/Cambie/Water/Powell/Cordova Division/Hawks/Georgia/a park/Keefer/Main/Quebec/Pacific/Nelson/Homer/Smithe/Thurlow/Robson

Angelo Calori Building
aprox km2056 corner of Alexander & Powell & Water & Carrall

Movie #1005: The Mayor Of Hell (1933,Archie Mayo)

Usual "Dead End Kids" stuff. I liked the part where the boys give Cagney grief because he ran out on 'em. Cagney explains that the reason he left was because he'd murdered some guy and so he hadda get across the state line. After the kids hear that they change their mind: well, since he murdered some guy I guess he's OK then!

Today's Tune: (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle
This is getting to be too easy: just dig up another Hank Williams tune from 1951. Here we've got Hank hisself, the equally legendary Johnny Cash and cult fave of many, Townes Van Zandt.
On the video, a feller in his livin' room

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day #21,339

Today' Walk: Burrard/Pender/Hamilton/Robson/Richards/Smithe/Howe/Helmcken/Davie/Bute/Thurlow
Today's Walk #2: Thurlow/Barclay
/Nicola/Coal Harbour Quay/Cardero/Comox/Nicola/Beach/Broughton/Davie/Thurlow/Haro

Westin Hotel
aprox km2050 Coal Harbour Quay & Broughton

Today's Movie: Road House(1948, Jean Negulesco)

I was just passing by the VHS tapes on my way out of the library. My eye was caught my a box that said "Ida Lupino Richard Widmark". That brought me to a stop. What's this? "Road House"? I've never heard of that one before - but with that cast, I'll give it a try.
And I wasn't sorry. This was a doozie. The first half is best with Ida playing the femme fatale to the hilt. In the second half Ida falls in love and loses her edge but Richard Widmark goes stark raving crazy (as usual for him) and he's a delight to watch as well. It's just that by the second half of the movie the plot has stopped holding water. But it's goofy all the way through. Dave says check it out.

Today's Tune: Hey Good Lookin'
Once again I dip into the Hank Williams songbook of 1951. This will be the battle of the guy/gal duets with Tennesee Ernie Ford and Helen O'Connell taking on Frankie Laine & Jo Stafford. The Replacements play at 7th Avenue Entry on the video.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day #21,338

Today's Walk: Thurlow/Robson/Cardero/Barclay/Denman/Pendrell/Stanley Park/Lagoon/Barclay/Cardero/Robson

yet more flowers
aprox km2042 Stanley Park

Today's Movie: Sherlock Holmes & The Secret Weapon(1943, Roy William Neill)

Sherlock Holmes fights the Nazis. Tedious.

Today's Tune: Dear John
You never can go too far wrong with a Hank Williams tune. This one came out in 1951 on the flip side of his big hit "Cold Cold Heart". And of course folks still play it today: our flip side is Germany's The Montesas from their 2006 recording "Rockers... Shakers!".

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day #21,337

Today's Tune: Miserlou
More from my recent trip to Japan. Although all music is now free to download from the internet, I could not stop myself from indulging in my lifetime habit of rummaging through used music shops. In Tokyo, I came across The Surf Coasters very first CD release ("Surf Panic '95") for only 250 yen (about $3 CAD). On it they do their version of everyone's favourite Pulp Fiction tune, Miserlou. For added contrast I've included the version by the king of the e-z listening dual pianos, Ronnie Aldrich. Going one step further, we have a video of Korla Pandit playing "Miserlou" on the organ and piano simultaneously.
For a little background on this tune, check out the explanation in Space Age Pop.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day #21,336

I'm back in Vancouver but here are a couple more of the Japan photos:

Narita Airport (taken yesterday)

another photo from Akashi (taken Sunday)

I've posted this one before but since I'm just back from vacation in Japan, here's everyone's favourite Japanese tune.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day #21,334

castle with baseball park in background, Akashi, Japan

rapid train from Kyoto to Himeji (taken yesterday)

Yura River and bridge, Fukuchiyama, Japan (taken Friday)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day #21,331

kids playing around a whatchamacallit, Kobe, Japan

earthquake damage, Kobe, Japan

the harbour, Kokura, Japan (picture taken yesterday)

street, Kokura, Japan (picture taken yesterday)

Japanese garden, Nara, Japan (picture taken Tuesday)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day #21,328

Wakayama Japan (taken yesterday)

bridge to Shikoku island (taken today from inside train)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day #21,326

I'm back. The hotel is Himeji has no plug adapter for my laptop. They (and the tourist office) phoned around and there is no adaptor in all Himeji. Someone on the Internet said that they bought one at the Sadobashi store in Osaka so I went there today but they do not have the plug either. So, I'm using this loaner which is entirely in Japanese. I actually got these 2 pictures up - another miracle!

The Tosoborigawa River in Osaka (taken today)

The Senba River in Himeji (taken yesterday)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Day #21,324

Today's Walk: from Niigata Station, turned at Panasonic temperature display, continued over the river, along the river to the next bridge, over the bridge to "Book Off" store, down the street to Panasonic temperature display, back to station

river walkway
aprox km1934 Niigata, Japan

Today's Movie: Rebecca(1940, Alfred Hitchcock)

Not really my cup of tea this melodrama stuff. But quality all around.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day #21,323

Today's Walk: Toride Station going west, south to path along golf course, north to station

vacant lot (with flowers)
aprox km1927 Toride, Japan

Monday, May 4, 2009

Day #21,322

Today's Walk: from Abiko Station to the lake and then along the lake to Highway 8 (and return)

fish pendants
aprox km1920 near the lake and Highway 8, Abiko, Japan

Today's movie: San Francisco(1936, W S Van Dyke)

Drizzle during my trip to Abiko and out-and-out rain the rest of the day so this evening I'm curled up with my laptop watching another old Hollywood classic. Seems this one won the academy award for best picture in 1936. Well, there are a few good things to say about this picture: nice montage work on the earthquake sequences and a nice job by Jeanette MacDonald (whom I'd never seen before due to my aversion to musicals). However, the plot is absolutely horrid. It seems that Clark Gable is a nitwit because he doesn't believe in organized religion. Only when he goes down on his knees and gives in to the lunacy does a) he get his girl back and b) the San Francisco fire stops. Good god!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Day #21,321

Today's Walk: Rippongi Station to Shibuya Station
Today's Walk #2: Shinochanomizu Station to Mitsukoshimae Station/(metro)/Asakusa Station to Juyoh Hotel

Monday shoppers in Shibuya
aprox km1907

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Day #21,320

Today's Walk: Juyoh Hotel to Asakusa (and return)

Sunday afternoon strollers at the Senso-ji temple
aprox km1900 Asakusa Tokyo

Today's Movie: Gentleman's Agreement (1947,Elia Kazan)

Took some time off from doing the tourist bit to watch a nice Sunday afternoon movie. Finding Japanese movies with English sub-titles proved to be too hard so I went with another Hollywood blockbuster that for some reason I'd never seen before.
Couldn't really get behind this one. Was it too much like shooting fish in a barrel? Was it Elia Kazan's conduct a few years later in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee? And why such a sad ending for Celeste Holm's character?

Day #21,319

Today's Walk: Juyoh Hotel to Ikihabara Station

a wall of CDs, just 250 yen each!
aprox km1897 "Book Off" store in Ikihabara