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Now in our eleventh calendar year!

PCR #533 (Vol. 11, No. 24). This edition is for the week of June 7--13, 2010.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello gang! Just some thoughts this week. Shall we begin?

"The A-Team"  by Mike Smith
Supersonic Man  by ED Tucker
My Favorite Band, Genesis  by Chris Woods
Book Review: Lincoln in the Basement by Jerry Cowling  by Lisa Scherer
Silmido (2003)  by Jason Fetters
City Of Brotherly Idiots .... Hearing What They Want To Hear .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith


When I lived in Baltimore I had many occasions to drive the hour or so to Philadelphia to take in a 76ers game during the heyday of Dr. J and Moses Malone. Though I enjoyed the games I'd always "have my head on a swivel" because of the rude and obnoxious fans sitting around me. This is a city that has, in the past, booed Santa Claus during holiday appearances. In fact, one year they pelted the jolly fat man with snowballs. One year the Phillies came to Baltimore to play an exhibition game before the season started. My friends and I were in our usual seats (we had season tickets) but about four rows below us were a group of Phillie fans. Like most stadiums, Camden Yards is a non-smoking structure. One idiot lit up his cigarette and, because of the way the wind was blowing, his smoke kept coming up directly towards us. So much that it began to bother my friend's girlfriend. After several polite requests to him to put it out we called an usher. When he approached the group the offending smoker held his cigarette down under his seat and played dumb. When the usher left the smoker began making comments about the "pussies" sitting behind him. Since I've never considered myself a pussy I decided to add a few comments of my own. Encouraged by his overuse of alcohol the man began to head my way. As I stood up to meet him he wisely changed directions, went back to his seat and within the inning he and his group left. I bring this story up because of the latest incidents that have occurred at sporting events in the city of brotherly love. Many of you may remember that earlier in the year a 17 year old fan who jumped onto the field during a Phillie game was chased down by security guards and tasered. Another fan, after having been scolded by security for his actions, intentionally stuck his finger down his throat and vomited over the family that had complained about him. Now last week the television broadcast of the Phillie/Padres game caught a four year old boy drinking a beer! I'd put the clip up but MLB has invoked property rights rules and had it pulled from YouTube. I don't think Ben Franklin would approve.


One good thing I'd hoped would have come out of the election of Barack Obama was that race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be put out of business. And while they seem to have slowed down some, there are still some idiots out there who have to look for racism where it doesn't exist. The most recent episode concerns Hallmark Cards, who recently released a talking graduation card featuring the characters Hoops and Yoyo bantering about how the graduate is going to dominate the universe. In their spiel they warn the planets to "watch your back" and deliver a warning to "ominous" black holes. Pretty innocent, don't you think? Not to the NAACP. According to the group the audio sounds more like "black whores." They also claim that card the is implying that black women are not as capable or as powerful as their white counterparts. Jesus Christ, give me a break! What upsets me the most is that not only has Hallmark apologized for the card they've ordered them destroyed. Why? You did nothing wrong! If it sounds like "black whores" tell them to get their ears checked. The concept of black holes was first discoverd in 1912 with the term "black hole" coined in 1968 by a scientist named John Wheeler. Where was the outrage then? I don't remember Martin Luther King railing about black holes in any of his speeches. Maybe I missed it. I don't argue that there is still racism in this country. But stupid things like this take away from the seriousness of the matter. And you know what the kicker is? This card has been out FOR THREE YEARS!


Tony Peluso, lead guitarist for the Carpenters who became a producer at Motown following the death of Karen Carpenter, died this week at the age of 60 from heart disease. Peluso, a four time Grammy Award winner, began playing guitar professionally while still in his teens, appearing with Bobby Sherman and Paul Revere and the Raiders. At the age of 21 he joined the Carpenters, where he remained until Karen's passing. He then signed with Motown as a producer and worked with such artists as Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson, the Temptations and the OJs. He most recently worked on the soundtrack to the film "Brokeback Mountain."

Cat Scratch Fever by Ted Nugent

Carrie - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Music composed and conducted by Pino Donaggio

The Motor City Mad Man. Terrible Ted. The Nuge. The Whackmaster. Sweaty Teddy. Those are just a few of the nicknames I can pull out of my old brain that relate to Ted Nugent. The title song is the true definition of a rock and roll song. Great opening riff, catchy lyrics, decent lead and lots of yelps. Besides, how can you not enjoy an album that features a song called "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang?" But my greatest memory of this album is that "Cat Scratch Fever" was the very first song Nolan taught me how to play on guitar. And 20 years later it was the very first song I taught my son how to play. Music is indeed circular. Enjoy:


When "Carrie" was released in 1976 I was still a film going newbie. I hadn't seen enough films to really understand how all of the elements of a movie combine to create a fun experience. And that includes music. The score for "Carrie" is very string heavy, combining those instruments to accompany the absolute horror on screen. But what makes music so important to the film, especially here, is how it can change the audiences mood. The opening credits, shown over young girls taking a shower, is very light and happy, only to slowly move to another emotion as Carrie White gets her first period. The same music is used at the end of the film as Sue Snell, dressed in white, approaches Carrie's make shift grave. Again, the slight adjustment in the music, as well as a dead hand shooting up out of the ground, and the audience is screaming. For several years Donaggio contributed several great scores to Brian DePalma films, including "Blow Out" and "Dressed to Kill." He also did the scores of films like "The Howling" and "Piranha." I'd like to think DePalma would have used him for "The Fury" but when you have the chance to use John Williams...

Notice the various moods the music portray here:


Hey, wasn't that John Travolta?

"Carrie" also featured a great song sung by Katie Irving entitled "I Never Dreamed Someone Like You Could Love Someone Like Me." It's a song that Carrie and Tommy Ross dance to at the prom. I tried forever to find it. For some reason the soundtrack to "Carrie" was not released until the mid 2000s. Which explains why I plunked $50.00 down at Footlights Records in NYC to buy the album that now rests on Mike's Record Shelf. Here's the song:


Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.