Thursday, September 6

The world's safest dress

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Monday, September 3

Lou Reed and Various Artists: Perfect Day

In 1997, the song "Perfect Day" by Lou Reed was featured by the BBC in a lengthy corporate advertisement of its own music coverage. The trailer was shown on BBC channels and in cinemas and won both awards and praise from commentators.

This version was eventually released as a charity single in November of that year for Children In Need. The charity version features a host of well-known singers and performers, with Reed himself opening and closing the song, and was the UK's number one single for two weeks, selling over a million copies.

Wednesday, August 22

J J Cale and Eric Clapton: After Midnight

J.J. Cale (born John W. Cale on December 5, 1938, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) is an American songwriter and musician best known for writing two songs that Eric Clapton made famous, "After Midnight" and "Cocaine", as well as the Lynyrd Skynyrd hit "Call Me The Breeze". Some sources incorrectly give his real name as "Jean Jacques Cale". According to keyboard player, Rocky Frisco, "The 'Jean Jaques' was created by a drunk French 'journalist' who got thrown out of the venue and made it up to pretend he had done an interview". In fact, a Sunset Strip nightclub owner employing Cale in the mid-1960's came up with the "J.J" moniker to avoid confusion with the Velvet Underground's John Cale.[1]

Cale is one of the originators of the Tulsa Sound, a very loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz influences. Cale's personal style has often been described as "laid back", and is characterized by shuffle rhythms, simple chord changes, understated vocals, and clever, incisive lyrics. Cale is also a very distinctive and idiosyncratic guitarist, incorporating both Travis-like fingerpicking and gentle, meandering electric solos. His recordings also reflect his stripped-down, laid-back ethos; his album versions are usually quite succinct and often recorded entirely by Cale alone, using drum machines for rhythm accompaniment. Live, however, as evidenced on his 2001 Live album and 2006 To Tulsa And Back film, he and his band regularly stretch the songs out and improvise heavily.

Many artists, including Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young and Bryan Ferry, have noted Cale's influence on their music; several artists in addition to Clapton have made hits of Cale songs, and many more have covered them. Cale has often noted that he writes and records songs primarily so that other artists will cover them, but given the texturally spare but fine craftsmanship on his albums, this sentiment is far from universal. His most covered songs include "Call Me the Breeze", "Sensitive Kind", "After Midnight", and "Cocaine".

Cale is also well known for his longstanding aversion to stardom, extensive touring, and even continual recording. He has happily remained a relatively obscure cult artist for the last 35 years.

The release of his album, To Tulsa and Back in 2004, his appearance at Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, and the 2006 release of the film documentary, To Tulsa and Back: On Tour with J. J. Cale, have brought his understated discography and songwriting to a new audience. This mainstream exposure continued into late 2006 with the release of a collaborative album with Eric Clapton, The Road to Escondido.

Monday, July 2

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. This film by Robert Enrico is adapted from the story written by Ambrose Bierce. The short film does an excellent job of telling this great tale, about a man accused of trying to sabotage a bridge during the civil war. As the story begins, the man is about to be executed - by hanging from Owl Creek Bridge.

We enter the man's mind, as he imagines that the rope breaks - and he narrowly escapes the onslaught of bullets from the Union soldiers. Then he runs through an arched forest canopy - trying to return to his wife and child, who are waiting for him at his home. Most of the story takes place, during that brief few seconds, as he falls from his gallows - to the moment when his neck snaps. An incredible journey of mind.... look out, there's a sign post up ahead!

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Starring - Roger Jacquet, Anne Cornaly, Anker Larsen
Directed by - Robert Enrico

Tuesday, January 30

The Mystery of Picasso

In 1955, French director, Henri-Georges Clouzot had the most amazing idea. He would film Pablo Picasso as he painted 20 artworks, ranging from quick sketches to widescreen color oil paintings.

The oils are mesmerizing and give a fascinating insight to the artist's spontaneous process.

Dr Money And The Boy With No Penis

An experiment on nature versus nurture goes tragically wrong. On 22 August 1965 Janet Reimer was granted her dearest wish: she gave birth to twins. The two boys, Brian and Bruce, were healthy babies, but they would lead tragic lives, blighted by one scientist's radical theory.

Thursday, January 4

Podcast: The Flying Saucer

This is the first mash-up record from 1956, Flying Saucer by Dickie Goodman and Bill Buchanan.