CATS!

… looks terrible.

I saw Cats on Broadway and thought it was about the dumbest thing I’d ever seen.

Turbocharged: The Unauthorized Story Of The Cars

On Amazon Prime (for rental, though, $1.99). Completely ridiculous, and I have no idea how accurate it tracks to the band’s actual history. A better writer describes it as

Exaggerated personalities, terrible wigs, and an unorthodox plot make this hilarious film the breath of fresh air the genre needs. Narrated by a snowman a la Rankin/Bass, Turbocharge revolves around The Cars’ reputation for being robotic and boring during live shows, and their supposed determination to correct that perception with the fans. Running alongside that thread is the assertion that bassist Ben Orr was secretly plotting to wrest the control of the group from co-founder and songwriter Ric Ocasek. In an unexpected twist, Phil Collins is delightfully in the middle of it all.

Very low budget, obviously doesn’t have any cars songs in it, and is funnier than it should be.

Heartwarming Pseudo-Sequel Or Cynical Corporate Bullshit?

I submit to you that it can be both. Here’s the full version of the commercial that aired during yesterday’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

From io9

Xfinity, if you are scratching your head for the connection here, is the digital cable, internet, phone, etc. provider owned by Comcast. Comcast owns NBC, which aired the parade. It also owns Universal Pictures, which owns E.T. So, basically what you’re looking at is major corporation dipping into a considerable bag of tricks labeled “Nostalgic Intellectual Property” and throwing Super Bowl commercial money at it.

Um …

This is either the best or worst thing I’ve ever seen.

EDIT: Video won’t embed because they want you to watch it on YouTube so they can try to talk you into buying the song on iTunes. Diabolical.

Finally

Only took me 38 years to get around to it. One lunchtime Target run and Wired YouTube video later, I solved a Rubik’s Cube. Twice. With this method, solving the bottom two layers is pretty easy. The top layer is where it gets complicated, with different algorithms for different scenarios. Will I actually memorize those? Doubtful.

The Song That Started It All

For The Replacements, I mean. This is the demo version of “Raised in the City,” which I hadn’t heard until Other Other Elvis hipped me to that song-ranking site. Far superior to the album version.

The band soon recorded a four-song demo tape in Mars’s basement and handed it to Peter Jesperson in May 1980. Westerberg originally handed in the tape to see if the band could perform at Jay’s Longhorn Bar, a local venue where Jesperson worked as a disc jockey. He eavesdropped as Jesperson put in the tape, only to run away as soon as the first song, “Raised in the City,” played. Jesperson played the song again and again. “If I’ve ever had a magic moment in my life, it was popping that tape in,” said Jesperson. “I didn’t even get through the first song before I thought my head was going to explode.”

Fappity Fappity Fappity Fap

I never hated Don’t Tell a Soul as much as some other diehard Mats fans, but always really wanted to hear these other versions, especially after reading Trouble Boys. Speaking of that, here’s Mehr, who wrote the liner-notes for this box set with a really weird format.

“While it’s impossible to unhear a record that’s been around for three decades, this version, Don’t Tell A Soul Redux, is the album the band made and intended to release. In addition to Matt Wallace’s mix, Redux also restores several crucial elements from the sessions, including original drums tracks, vocal takes and tempos that were altered in post-production…[and] the band’s original sequence of the album.”

The box also includes a contemporary live set. I saw them on that tour, and they were quite good.  My birthday is in a couple of weeks. You can pre-order it for me here.