Rewind: Googie

OVER AT L.A. Observed Kevin Roderick’s featured post is about architect Eldon Davis, “icon of Googie architecture” . He passed away last week here in Los Angeles. He was 94.
If you made toast at the tables at Ships, or sat in one of the booths at Tiny Naylor’s or had one of the scarily low-priced steak and eggs breakfasts at Norms, you know all about Googie. My mother often retold a story about how the two of were caught in the lunch rush at Googie’s — the coffee shop downtown — and were being ignored by the waitress. My mother’s patience was waning rapidly. and she said, I kept asking her — and not in a whisper — if we were going leave and not pay. I probably was about three or four, so “dine and dash” was not in my vocabulary. My mother was mortified. I don’t think we went back to Googies after that, but I have fond memories of all the beautiful shapes and shiny, fanciful space-age squiggles that really firmly place me back in my L.A. childhood.


Rewind: “Nobody Care About No C”

RICHARD PRYOR would have been 70 this week. Amazing. My friend Chuck sent this along this morning. I wrote about Pryor some years back and spent the day at the house. He was ailing then, but with strong mind. What was tragic, however, was that a man, whose trademark was his rapid-fire delivery and a fluid dancer’s physicality, now relied on issuing the rare, but well-chosen word and found himself relegated to a motorized scooter. Still miss him. Here he is at his prime. On Sesame Street !!!

Rewind: Shadows (1959)

TIME TO dip into Shadows again. Often billed as a film about “race relations during the beat generation” I see it more as one of the more interesting films about race — period — during any generation. Filmed in 1959, it’s brilliant in its herky-jerky, free-verse-and-jazz-score, wandering-toward-self way. It’s the film I would most want to “live in,” in that it is raw, full of feeling. It’s head and heart. It precisely mimics the way humans so clumsily deal with things that are too painful or complex to put into words.
And plus it’s such a moody beauty.

and here’s Benny, alone . . .

rewind: stan getz, blood count

LAST NIGHT, while sitting outside for a quiet dinner and talk with a friend and the long days of summer fast approaching, the conversation turned predictably to, well — Stan Getz. He’s always been part of my personal ambient sense-memory of summer as long as I can remember — both live and on disc — the bossa novas part of the soundscape, yes, but the standards, ballads and blues too. And so, it’s impossible to believe that been almost 20 years ago this week since he left the grand bandstand, if you will. So ingrained a summer tradition that I even had tickets (and still do) for a Hollywood Bowl show that was slated for later that very summer — he figured he had another one in him, too.

Here is one of the pieces Getz played as a set-list staple in the last years of his life, Billy Strayhorn’s “Blood Count.” Because Getz revisited this piece, it seemed, almost nightly when he was on summer tour or a short-jaunt set of gigs up-and-down the West Coast there are plenty of versions out there, however this one is particularly poignant and elegantly expressed:

And since you’re already in the room this too, a ballad written by Thad Jones, “Yours and Mine” … I was introduced to this piece via a concert in Santa Barbara at the State Theater and it never let go.

rewind: “what’s it all about?”

I’M IN the midst of pulling together video on cities in their “cool” periods (and defining what that means) and well, this time capsule brings up all manner of sense memory connections/sensations.

Quotable from the global YouTube comment queue: “michael caine was very sexy in his youth times”

Sonny Rollins at the start, Cher to finish it off . . . oh yeah, and of course, Micahel Caine in the middle.