Maurizio Pollini, age 82.  Probably the most technically perfect of the major pianists who began their careers in the 60’s.  He studied under the obsessively perfect nutcase, Aurturo Benedetti Michelangeli.  Some considered him (and his teacher’s) playing too cerebral and cold, as if they were showing contempt for the music they were playing by playing it so perfectly.  I disagree.

You Look Like You Could Use A Laugh

So here’s one of my favorite Laurel & Hardy shorts. It’s almost 100 years old and still hilarious!

Perfect Day is historically significant for being the first movie in which someone says “Oh, shit.” (It’s ad-libbed by Uncle Edgar as the dog is helped out of the car at around the 13 minute mark.) The censors completely missed it.

Dylan Aleam Jacit

I’m taking Renfield Jr. to see Bob Dylan next month, so decided to familiarize myself with some of his more recent original material.  I think this song’s as brilliant as anything he’s done (admitting that I haven’t heard everything).

Can You Tell Me How To Get

There’s an excellent HBO (excuse me, MAX) documentary called Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street that you bastards absolutely must check out. It’s a miracle the show ever happened, and the story is fascinating.

And the outtakes are hilarious.

Andy Kaufman’s Helpful Hints

Renfield and I caught the new Kaufman documentary at the Indie Memphis Film Festival yesterday, which of course sent me down the YouTube rabbit hole later. These clips are not in the movie, but a good sampling of some of the things he did to enrage the locals during his Memphis wrasslin heel stint in 1982. Hilarious.

The guy they keep cutting back to is Dave Brown, weatherman and co-host (along with Lance Russell) of the local wrestling program on our NBC affiliate.

I’m A Sucker For These Beatles Stems

This rhythm section kicked major ass, and Mr. McCartney was obviously paying close attention to James Jamerson by Rubber Soul.

Best YouTube comment:

The craziest part about Paul’s basslines is that, at least on Rubber Soul and before, he was playing and singing this LIVE with no monitors.

New Watterson

Bill Watterson, the man responsible for a decade of Calvin & Hobbes, is coming out of retirement for a new illustrated storybook, The Mysteries, that is set to release this October. To help him create this book,  Watterson has partnered with caricaturist John Kascht. Here’s the publisher-provided synopsis for the book:

In a fable for grown-ups, a long-ago kingdom is afflicted with unexplainable calamities. Hoping to end the torment, the king dispatches his knights to discover the source of the mysterious events. Years later, a single battered knight returns.

According to the book’s publisher, Simon and Schuster, the two artists have been working on the book for years in “unusually close collaboration” with them trying out new ways to work and create images, calling the whole process “mysterious…in its own right.”