As long as Eddie Levert is front and center with THAT singing voice, the O'Jays will always be, to paraphrase one of their better slow-jam songs, emotionally ours.
The listening musical public, irrespective of age, gender, race, and background.
Nashville summers used to have a live music treat called (I think) The Midtown Music Festival on a large vacant lot off Twenty-First street, within a stone's throw of Vanderbilt University's law school building on campus. I attended the show that Alex Chilton and the re-formed Big Star performed, and still recall a steady-paced, yet energetic, set full of jangling musical chords and wistful, melancholic raspy-voice singing by the late Mr. Chilton himself on a perfect warm summer's evening.
They played in the Blueberry Hill's basement Duck Room in St. Louis, Missouri about four years ago, and yep, the venue was packed like sardines. 'Cannonball' was the fourth song, and the room seemed to bounce with the force of heads and bodies moving in rhythm with that crazily infectious guitar thread.
Oh what a night, indeed.
I remember the movie quite well, but I also remember feeling non-plussed about its ending. Spike Lee had the confounding knack of writing and visualizing great set-up premises and narratives for his films, but that initial energy and passion always seemed to drain away into an abrupt and unsatisfactory epilogue. It was as if he spent so much of himself getting those two qualities spilt on the celluloid that he was too drained to then take the proper amount of time needed to decompress and think of a coherent way to wrap up the whole experience.
Still, Hollyweird badly needs, and sorely misses, the man's serious and fresh directorial product between the mid-1980s' up to 'Bambozzled'.
Stewart's brief bar-room encounter with Dan Duryea (never better in his patented on-screen 'smiling cobra' persona) towards the film's ending just hinted at what his bounty hunter undergoes when attempting to escort Robert Ryan's even more compellingly devious murderer character to justice in Stewart/Mann's follow-up film 'The Naked Spur'.
The Belmont should run all five Stewart/Mann cinematic collaborations in order on five consecutive days to really give film buffs a treat.
'Spartacus' is a MUCH better movie than 'Ben-Hur', regardless of what the Academy of Motion Pictures & Other Visual Drivel believed. Kirk Douglas made its three hour length go like his on-screen persona---terse, driven, and endlessly compelling.
Whereas probably most people sit, or more likely squirm, through 'Ben-Hur' just to see the justly-famous chariot race sequence, a viewer can even put up with the obligatory love scenes between Douglas and actress Jean Simmons, since Kubrick's visual staging of settings ranging from intimate rooms to legislative chambers and wide-screen outside battle scenes as well as Trumbo's witty and eloquent script makes 'Spartacus' a reminder that Hollywood can make 'em big, beautiful, and great at the same time when it wants to.
When I lived in Nashville over ten years ago, I used to read the Scene religiously every week for its diverse and fascinating cover stories ranging from Paul & Linda McCartney's combined business/sightseeing visit into town to a great profile on one of the Vanderbilt Fugitives literary figures, Peter Carey.
I remember the Marcia Trimble cover piece well. Gripping and haunting at the same time, particularly the toll that the tragedy ultimately had on the family.
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