Tag Archives: bob ross

The Unconventional Actor + New Music

 

 

When did you first encounter Jeff Goldblum? Maybe as a deranged killer in his 1974 screen debut in Death Wish? Maybe as a cynical journalist in 1983s The Big Chill? Or a brilliant if egotistical scientist-turned-fly in 1986s The Fly? Perhaps as the wise-cracking skeptical mathematician in 1993s Jurassic Park? Or maybe you’re not a film buff but noticed his face as part of one of the Internet’s earliest memes. Whenever it was, you’ve probably noticed that Goldblum has become one of Hollywood’s most enduring actors, someone who only seems to grow more famous, more heralded, more beloved through the decades, even though he’s always followed his own, strange muse. The guy primarily plays jazz music these days but is more famous than ever. Actor, pianist, husband, father, style icon, meme. Goldblum contains multitudes, but why? What does he mean? The Washington Post’s Travis M. Andrews decided to find out. He talks to Norman B about his adventure discovering Jeff Goldblum and the result, his new book Because He’s Jeff Goldblum. While we are talking about movies we called upon long-time Life Elsewhere contributor, film, and media critic, Bob Ross to give us an update on the state of movies now. The Oscars, or as Mr. Ross prefers, The Academy Awards. Bob also gives his appraisal of Jeff Goldblum. Plus we have new music from Such Small Hands. This is the solo project of Melanie Howard also known as the bassist for The Wedding Present. Brighton-based Melanie has created a stripped and raw version of her debut album, Carousel. She says, “These are live home recordings, completely acoustic. Each song is just my voice and my guitar, recorded down one microphone across two afternoons in March while, while my cat snoozed next to me in my living room”. I want to share two tracks with you, because, well, I think you’ll appreciate what Melanie Howard as Such Small Hands has created with Carousel: Raw Home Recordings

Show 423

Bad Books, Bad Movies, & Polite Behavior

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Since its publication in 1966, Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls has reigned as one of the most influential and beloved pieces of commercial fiction. Selling over thirty-one million copies worldwide, it revolutionized overnight the way books got sold, thanks to the tireless and canny self-promoting Susann. It also generated endless speculation about the author’s real-life models for its larger-than-life characters. Turned in 1967 into an international box-office sensation and morphing into a much-beloved cult film, its influence endures today in everything from films and TV shows to fashion and cosmetics tributes and tie-ins. Susann’s compulsive readable exposé of three female friends finding success in New York City and Hollywood was a scandalous eye-opener for its candid treatment of sex, naked ambition, ageism, and pill-popping, and the big-screen version was one of the most-seen and talked-about movies of the time. Stephen Rebello’s new book, Dolls! Dolls! Dolls! Deep Inside Valley Of The Dolls, The Most Beloved Bad Book & Movie Of All Time dishes the dirt on that hugely successful book and movie and uncovers how the movie has become a cherished widely imitated camp classic. 

Continuing on from over-the-top performances we asked film and media critic, Bob Ross to share his idea of best bad movies. He focuses in on the decade, ’79 – ’89 and suggests bad movies can also have great soundtracks, like Rock & Roll High School featuring The Ramones. Bob also warns that his list of bad movies should be watched alone for fear of ridicule by those with a more sophisticated taste.  

From bad books and movies, we turn to bad behavior. Vulgar, rude, obnoxious, unrefined are just some of the epithets used to describe the current President. Polite behavior seems to have escaped his daily routine. If it were possible, we believe he could learn a lot from Galateo: Or, The Rules of Polite Behavior. Although written in Renaissance Italy, it’s just as fresh and pertinent today. Editor and translator, Matthew Rusnak offers a droll take on academia, explaining how the author, Giovanni Della Casa, gives instructions for civilized behavior, which includes making sure nothing falls out of your nose when passing someone a drink.

Show #376

How To Enjoy Social Distancing

No matter who you are, where you live or how much money you thought you had at the beginning of this past week, the fact is, we are all now living in uncertain times. Is this the same feeling of uncertainty my parents suffered at the beginning and throughout World War Two? Can we equate this pandemic with anything we may have endured before? The rows of empty shelves at the supermarkets, the stockpiling of food and, yes, toilet-paper is bizarre and disturbing. Restaurants, bars, and almost all businesses are closed, streets are empty of people and rush-hour traffic has dwindled to mostly UberEats deliveries. “Weird!” “Unbelievable!” “Crazy!” Are just some of the descriptive words you hear repeatedly in any given conversation. And, a new vocabulary has stormed our everyday dialogue. “Coronavirus” may be slightly amusing if you choose to believe Mexican beer is associated with a plague from China.  “COVID-19” is just plain scary. Forget the initials, what does the “19” mean? Then, there are two words that you never thought you’d hear together, “Social Distancing”. Talk about a wacky contradiction. “Social distancing? It’s a bit millennial-biased!” Exclaimed my friend MS who also believes, “Good music stopped being made around 1977!” I will admit to feeling a little awkward when I first uttered, “social distancing”. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue and yes, it does come across as a bit affected. Yet, here we are letting each other know we are doing it, we are “social distancing”. Now what? To help answer that bewildering question, we called upon some of our favorite guests who also happen to have exceptionally creative minds to share their thoughts on how to enjoy social distancing.

Film and media critic, Bob Ross, jaded as he sometimes pretends to be, always enthuses over his favorite movies. With a new book on the way, Demagogue For President – The Rhetorical Genius Of Donald Trump, Dr. Jennifer Mercieca turns away from politics to talk about baking while social distancing. The dry-humor of comedian, writer, musician, Dave Hill is unavoidable as he gives his sage advice on social distancing. While, best-selling author, Mark Haskell Smith offers pertinent tips for social distancing, plus enthusiastically raves about must-read books. Crosswords are Adrienne Raphel’s passion, her fascinating book, Thinking Inside The Box – Adventures With Crosswords And The Puzzling People Who Can’t Live Without Them was published just a couple of days ago, unavoidably in time for social distancing.

 

Show #365

Predictions & Resolutions 2020

Do you believe part of Nostradamus’s prophecies has come true? The famous French doctor and alchemist from the 16th century, apparently predicted the beginning of the Second World War, Hitler’s ascension, the fall of communism, President J. F. Kennedy’s assassination, India’s independence and the occurrence of Israel State on the world map. According to Nostradamus 2020, the much-touted sage had a lot to say about the coming year, including Trump will win again; Destructive earthquakes; Economic crisis; The UK will fall after Brexit, and a new king will take the throne; Wildfires on a staggering scale; Record storms; Kim Jong-Un will be removed from office; Sea level rise; Big war; Implanted chips; Humans will live on the moon. Although Nostradamus is certainly one of the most illustrious personalities in history, we here at Life Elsewhere are fortunate to be able to bring to you a distinguished panel of credible guests to offer their well-considered predictions. But, we didn’t stop there, our esteemed guests were also asked to share their resolutions for 2020. You’ll hear from film and media critic, the venerable Bob Ross; Binoy Kampmark, the learned professor and social commentator; Best-selling author, screen-writer and ex-art-punk-rocker, Mark Haskell Smith; distinguished anthropologist and author, Agustin Fuentes; Erika Bach, Athens-based musician, and videographer; Self-named hillbilly soul singer, Ronny Elliott; Copy editor, author and master of Tweets, Benjamin Dreyer; London-based, singer-songwriter & star, Arlo Parks.

 

Show #354

The Hurricane Hunter

“Imagine the worst turbulence you have experienced on a commercial flight and multiply that terrifying experience by at least ten!” This is the sobering response from Commander Justin Kibbey when asked what it feels like to fly into a hurricane. The Commander takes his time to answer questions, methodically and patiently. His composed tone implies if he were your pilot through turbulence in that commercial plane, you’d be thankful you knew you were in good hands. The Commander does emit a slight good-humored chuckle when answering a few questions, obviously aware they sound naive to the questioner. With hurricane season now in effect, we wanted to learn more than why TV weathermen scare us with confetti-colored spaghetti-like predictions on a digital map. Commander Kibbey was just the man for the task, he works for NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He is a Hurricane Hunter. He flies with a crew of at least 16 directly into hurricanes. They fly around and crisscross the massive storms, gathering data. On board are scientists, climatologists, and specialists feverishly collating information, almost non-stop for about 9 hours on each mission. Even with Commander Kibbey’s placid demeanor, the true tales he tells are troubling for the layman, especially when he gets to the part about “everyone throws up!” The work that Commander Kibbey and NOAA do is impressive and we are all the better for it.

Make sure you go to the NOAA site to learn more about what they do. It’s fascinating and full of remarkable information.

Also in the program, we call upon frequent contributor, film and media critic, Bob Ross to share his thoughts about hurricanes in movies. “You have to start with Key Largo!” Insists Bob, “It’s a classic, it’s a drama centered around a hurricane, and it stars Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Edward G. Robinson – you can’t do better than that!”

Plus, we searched for a piece of music that referenced hurricanes. Instead of rushing to the obvious choices, we dug deeper into our archives and came up Hurricane Betsy by Lightnin’ Hopkins, a plaintive song about a real hurricane in 1965.

The photo above shows the eyewall of Hurricane Katrina as seen from a Lockheed WO-3D Orion “Hurricane Hunter” aircraft. Photo courtesy of NOAA

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Show #330

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