“A Fine Fine Day” – Tony Carey

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A favorite of mine from the early days of MTV, this is a great (and sadly forgotten) example of 1980s mainstream rock. “A Fine Fine Day” managed to get into the top 30 of the Billboard charts back in 1984 and the video got a lot of play back in the day. The song is not only very good, the accompanying video is dramatically compelling as well. The mob-themed plot may not be all that original, but for a music video (especially from back in the day), it’s quite mature and adult.  I’m surprised no one has thought to cover this.  An exceptional, underappreciated gem.

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“Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace” – Terry Reid / Cheap Trick

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I first heard this song via Cheap Trick’s very heavy cover during the opening of Jonathan Kaplan’s classic late 1970s troubled youth film “Over the Edge.” Up until recently, I had no idea that Cheap Trick’s version wasn’t the original until I heard this on a Terry Reid compilation I picked up because I had always been curious about Reid, but had never heard his stuff before. Wow! As much as I love the Cheap Trick cover, this poppier, but still very heavy original is really cool. For comparison purposes, I am including a link to the Cheap Trick version below. I’m going to wimp out and call it a draw. A great song with two awesomely different interpretations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMeA0Vzs9BA

Dave’s Strange Radio now available to stream through Roku!

Dave’s Strange Radio is now streamable through Roku! Add the Shoutcast channel (which is free), search for the station using “strange radio,” and when you find Dave’s Strange Radio, add it to your favorites.

Next project: A microchip you can permanently attach inside your head to hear the station 24/7… You’ll have to sign a medical and legal waiver of course …

And, of course, you can still listen through iTunes and your Apple TV box (in the “Eclectic” section)  or online at:

http://www.davesstrangeradio.com

and now Shoutcast’s internet page (type in “strange radio”) to find it:

http://www.shoutcast.com/

Tonight’s playlist from my ghost DJ session on Dave’s Strange Radio

Everyone Alive – Local H

Teen Angst – Cracker

Can’t Leave Her Alone – The Godfathers

Chasing the Night – The Ramones

Everything Turns Grey – Agent Orange

Diner – Martin Sexton

Behind the Wall of Sleep – The Smithereens

You’re Gonna Get Yours – Public Enemy

Nasty Gal – Betty Davis

Bad Boyfriend – Garbage

Keep on Knocking – Death

The Girl Got Hot – Weezer

The Grooviest Girl in the World – The Fun and Games

Speaking in Tongues – The Eagles of Death Metal

I Am a Demon and I Love Rock and Roll – Sweatmaster

Hit the Beach – Hawaiian Mud Bombers

The Day John Kennedy Died – Lou Reed

I’m Losing You – John Lennon and Cheap Trick

Queen Bitch – The Hotrats

Van Lear Rose – Loretta Lynn (with Jack White)

Riot in Cell Block 9 – Flat Duo Jets

Miss X – MC5

Jesus at McDonalds – Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper

I’m Yours (Use Me Any Way You Wanna) – Ike and Tina Turner

Kick It – Peaches with Iggy Pop

Kiss Me Deadly – Lita Ford

Head On – The Pixies

What Goes On – Bryan Ferry

Don’t Think Twice – Mike Ness

Sick Boys – Social Distortion

F–kin’ Up – Neil Young and Crazy Horse

No Fun / Push It – 2 Many DJs

Young and Miserable – Outrageous Cherry

The Man – Patto

Well I … – The Candy Snatchers

Doggone It – Clarence Reid

Still in Hollywood – Concrete Blonde

Honey White – Morphine

Outcast – The Downbeat 5

Who Knows Where The Time Goes? – The Fairport Convention

Listen in here:
http://www.davesstrangeradio.com

“Ejection” – Robert Calvert / Hawkwind

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Hawkwind’s lead singer Robert Calvert released a very good hard rock / comedy concept album around 1974 called “Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters.” “Ejection” was the single from the album and it’s coolness is off the charts.

If you dig that, please check out this outtake version from Hawkwind that’s now a bonus track on “Doremi Fasol Latido”

There’s also a cover by the New Bomb Turks that’s pretty bitchin’, but I can find it on YouTube. It’s on their singles compilation “Pissing out the Poison.”

“It’s a Wonderful Life” (alternate ending)

They just announced a sequel to “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  This is completely unnecessary.  All they have to do is release the Director’s Cut with this alternate ending intact (which premiered on “Saturday Night Live”).

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/81249131/

Jason Segal as Nick Andopolis from “Freaks and Geeks” (1999-2000)

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Of all the characters that I most painfully identified with on the genius short-lived TV show “Freaks and Geeks,” it was Jason Segal’s Nick Andopolis character. Well-meaning, but WAAAAAY too f–king sensitive and intense for the room, the writers/producers absolutely nailed a very certain personality type that’s difficult to articulate or depict.

I love the facial expressions of Linda Cardellini’s Lindsay character as she’s trying to take Nick’s display of “love” in. I also like the way Nick tries to process the news that Lindsay needs a break in a way where he’s using every ounce of his being to try and keep it “cool.” That’s very, very good acting on Segal’s part.

For the record, age and maturity have helped me develop a very good bulls–t detector for myself over the years. My gratitude to everyone who knew me back in the day and still finds me friend-worthy these days. I fully understand it wasn’t easy.

“Patience” – Guns n’ Roses

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When “Patience” was released as a single in the spring of 1989, I remember more than a few people snickering about how Guns n’ Roses were jumping on the metal ballad bandwagon with “a little something for the ladies.”  And I remember being really pissed off at that assumption.   Yes, “Patience” is in many ways a departure from the onslaught of “Appetite for Destruction” and it is a lovely ballad.  But the song always struck me as really, really dark.  Not so much for the lyrics, but for the stark way in which the song is recorded.  The acoustic guitars slash (no pun intended) and sting at times and the echoey production sounds like it was recorded in a prison cell.  Coupled with the very public knowledge about lead singer Axl Rose’s often troubled relationships with women, the song becomes less a reassurance to an insecure lover and more about the singer reassuring himself that everything will be OK, to ride out the fears and insecurity he is facing with someone he loves.   Though I should point out the fallacy in making this assumption, since the song was composed by band guitarist Izzy Stradlin.  Still, In my opinion, the song is the best thing the band ever did.

Brilliantly used in Martin Scorsese’s 1991 remake of “Cape Fear,” during a heated domestic argument between Nick Nolte’s and Jessica Lange’s characters that is straight out of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

“Melvin and Howard” (1980) dir. Jonathan Demme

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Despite the fact that Jonathan Demme’s “Melvin and Howard” won two Oscars in 1981 (for Bo Goldman’s screenplay and Mary Steenburgen’s supporting acting turn), the film is one of the best forgotten films of the last 40 years. The film is based on the true story about a ne’er-do-well named Melvin Dummar (Paul Le Mat’s best performance) who allegedly gave a ride to a hitchhiker … billionaire Howard Hughes … and how Hughes left a $156 million fortune to Melvin upon Hughes’s demise. The film chronicles the ups … but mostly downs … of Melvin as he stumbles along, bouncing from job to job and making bad choice after bad choice in his quest for happiness and success. The Hughes inheritance seems to be the one break Melvin has been working towards his entire life … until that’s taken away from him too.

Many of the events of this film seem unbearably sad, except that “Melvin and Howard” … like Melvin … always keeps its chin up. Even though Melvin’s actions oftentimes seems tragically foolish, it’s his optimism … even in the midst of a crushing reality … that makes the film eminently watchable and a true joy.

The attached scene is arguably the best scene in the film, despite the badly synced audio. Melvin’s wife Lynda, played by Steenburgen, has just won a lot of money on a TV game show … money that she hopes will lead to a normal life. Except that Melvin blows the money on a flashy new car and boat. It’s this moment where Lynda leaves him and there’s a very touching piece of dialogue between the two:

Lynda Dummar: C’est la vie.

Melvin Dummar: What’s that?

Lynda Dummar: French, Melvin. I used to dream of becoming a French interpreter.

Melvin Dummar: You don’t speak French.

Lynda Dummar: I told you it was only a dream.

One of the funniest and saddest bits of dialogue ever in an American film. A great, great movie. One of Demme’s best.

“Funhouse” (1986) Eric Bogosian

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Arguably, Eric Bogosian’s first masterpiece … “Funhouse” is an intense series of monologues that set the pace for later showcases as “Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll” and “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.” Alternately funny and terrifying, it’s fitting that it shares the name of the Stooges most intense album. This is the full nearly 80-minute showcase. Enjoy it before someone decides to pull it from YouTube.