According to Technorati, Buttle’s World is ranked 494,735. I’d just like to thank all our loyal readers for helping us rise above number 494,736.
1 August, 2008
I’ve just seen a documentary that is transformative. I am exactly the target demographic for The Wrecking Crew, a film by Tommy Tedesco’s son, Denny.
Entering my fifties I’m discovering gaping lacunae in my musical knowledge. Only recently, for example, did I discover the Brecker Brothers. How could I have missed them like that? No idea. Man, could they play.
Well, I just got to shake hands with Hal Blaine, a life-long hero who I never knew by name before today. He was here with Denny Tedesco to present the documentary, and we had a Q&A afterwards.
It’s difficlut for me to put into words what it was like for me. Blaine, Tedesco, and a small group of session musicians (including Glenn Campbell and Leon Russel) turn out to be the musical muscle behind nearly every hit rock and roll song of the sixties and most of the seventies. Only about 120 of them are represented in the movie, but Blaine himself has been on so many records they’re still trying to count. With the help of two musicologists he is trying to reconstruct a list. He’s up to 5,070 in his database so far, but that’s only up through 1971.
It was like putting my life on fast forward and rewind over and over. With each snippet of a song – Beach Boys, Herb Alpert, Nancy Sinatra, Elvis Presley – I thought, “they did that one too?” Nearly every memorable tune I grew up with turns out to really be the product of the Wrecking Crew. Yes, they were even really The Monkees and Alvin and the Chipmunk’s band.
This is Tedesco’s first documentary. It’s a labor of love that’s taken him over a decade so far. Sadly, his father passed away before it was finished. But the connection with his dad makes an intimate emotional connection to the material that literally had me laughing and crying the whole time. In a stroke of genius, Tedesco has several of the musicians, now much older than in their heyday, play along with the original tracks. All at once you see who played that, how important it was to the song, and that they can still play it!
The film has the best of a first-time effort, in that it feels fresh and intimate, and Tedesco found a really good editor to shape the material. It flows well, has zero annoying interviewer footage, and benefits from Tedesco’s narration as not just his dad’s son but a witness.
Right now the documentary is just making the festival circuit, looking for distribution. Once they get that Denny hopes to have a DVD and, tantalizingly, a soundtrack album. It would have to be a box set, and would be the first time the musicians actually get credit on most of the songs.
They’re trying to arrange a post-screening concert with some of the guys – and maybe Dave Brubeck – for when it comes to the Mill Valley Film Festival. If I’m not there I’m either dead or in jail.
Spread the word, and if you see it coming to a festival near you just go.
I found a very nice article on the Wrecking Crew which covers even more players than the documentary could. It’s well worth reading.
Today Sen. McConnell offered several Unanimous Consent requests to lift the ban on deep-sea exploration. Democrats objected.
He asked if Democrats would allow increased deep-sea exploration if the price of gas reached a national average of $4.50. Democrats objected.
He asked if Democrats would allow increased deep-sea exploration if the price of gas reached a national average of $5.00. Democrats objected.
He asked if Democrats would allow increased deep-sea exploration if the price of gas reached a national average of $7.50. Democrats objected.
He asked if Democrats would allow increased deep-sea exploration if the price of gas reached a national average of $10.00. Democrats objected.
The designated objector was Sen. Salazar of Colorado, for those who are interested.
The RNC or McCain should grab that audio, trim it to thirty seconds, and run it. Over and over.
Well! Something is indeed stirring over at McCain HQ. They finally woke up to the fact that nobody writes a better pro-McCain ad than Barack Obama.
Here’s video of the RNC campaign spot the Democrats wrote.
Chertoff’s jackbooted goons still maintain that they have a right to paw through your data when you enter the country whether or not there’s probable cause.
Senator Russel Feingold is properly alarmed, and plans to introduce legislation that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches. So far so good. But get a load of the kicker:
…as well as prohibit profiling on race, religion or national origin.
What a maroon. We absolutely should be profiling on religion and national origin. Sheesh.
I can’t tell from how it’s being reported just what separating water into hydrogen and oxygen has to do with photosynthesis, but it does seem there’s been a major breakthrough in efficiency. This could make fuel cells quite viable. It certainly seems like good news for solar energy.