Passages

A subforum to discuss film culture and criticism both old and new, as well as memorializing public figures we've lost.
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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Passages

#8276 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:19 am

I actually didn't know his music that well until this past winter when I got all four albums he recorded for Sussex. All wonderful, especially the live one from Carnegie Hall. I came across an interview he did for Rolling Stone - it sounds like he was very happy and content after more or less retiring at the end of the '80s. Funniest story from the interview: “One Sunday morning I was at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. These church ladies were sitting in the booth next to mine. They were talking about this Bill Withers song they sang in church that morning. I got up on my elbow, leaned into their booth and said, ‘Ladies, it’s odd you should mention that because I’m Bill Withers.’ This lady said, ‘You ain’t no Bill Withers. You’re too light-skinned to be Bill Withers!’ ”

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Lemmy Caution
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai

Re: Passages

#8277 Post by Lemmy Caution » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:39 pm

Bill Withers. Interesting case. Was a working class guy in the military then working on planes. Then decided to join the music biz when he was close to 30. Learned to play guitar, made some demos of his songs, then Boom! instant success. Then he had trouble dealing with success. Was a private perhaps prickly guy and had his own way about him. Married Denise Nicholas of Room 222 fame, and it fell apart quickly due to alcohol, jealousy and violence. Then after a relatively short career, and brief 80's comeback, Withers went back to his life.
Ain't no Sunshine and Lean on Me are just classics of simplicity and power.
If you want to go a little deeper, try his song Harlem.

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Passages

#8278 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:55 pm

We used to put on Lovely Day a lot in college, which is a personal favorite due to that nostalgia, though now it always reminds me of that scene in 127 Hours when he fantasizes about all the thirst-quenching soda advertisements in a state of dehydration! The song still gets triggered every time I go on a strenuous hike.

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Passages

#8279 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:59 pm

Lemmy Caution wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:39 pm
Bill Withers. Interesting case. Was a working class guy in the military then working on planes. Then decided to join the music biz when he was close to 30. Learned to play guitar, made some demos of his songs, then Boom! instant success. Then he had trouble dealing with success. Was a private perhaps prickly guy and had his own way about him. Married Denise Nicholas of Room 222 fame, and it fell apart quickly due to alcohol, jealousy and violence. Then after a relatively short career, and brief 80's comeback, Withers went back to his life.
Ain't no Sunshine and Lean on Me are just classics of simplicity and power.
If you want to go a little deeper, try his song Harlem.
I would say the first two studio LP's (Just As I Am and Still Bill) and Live at Carnegie Hall are solid albums. He made one more for Sussex (+'Justments), and I'd say half of it was on par with the previous three and the other half was simply okay. When he jumped to Columbia, his music became less earthy, less distinguished and pretty mushy. It's unclear how much of this was a compromise with the label - Sussex treated him terribly financially speaking, but reportedly Columbia went even further, showing little respect for him as an artist. He still had an occasional hit, and the Columbia years are best sampled on the Greatest Hits compilation from 1981 (he made only one more album after that), but it's less compelling than all four of his Sussex albums.

Robert Christgau's review of Sony's 1997 reissue of the Carnegie Hall album:
Beyond "Use Me," "Lean on Me," and "Ain't No Sunshine," does anyone remember this guy existed? What a shame. Far more than best-ofs obliged to respect the career he maintained after this hypercharged 1972 night, his legacy is right here, a moment of lost possibility. Withers sang for a black nouveau middle class that didn't yet understand how precarious its status was. Warm, raunchy, secular, common, he never strove for Ashford & Simpson-style sophistication, which hardly rendered him immune to the temptations of sudden wealth--cross-class attraction is what gives "Use Me" its kick. He didn't accept that there had to be winners and losers, that fellowship was a luxury the newly successful couldn't afford. Soon sudden wealth took its toll on him while economic clampdown took its toll on his social context. But here he's turned on to be singing to his people--black folks who can afford Carnegie Hall. A

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Lemmy Caution
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai

Re: Passages

#8280 Post by Lemmy Caution » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:24 pm

Bill Withers was an interesting storyteller in songs such as Grandma's Hands, Harlem, I Can't Write Left-handed, Who is He (and What is He to You). The last three contain a level of anger that adds some verve to the proceedings. Harlem has a somewhat unique use of strings, while the strings are also interesting in Ain't No Sunshine. He also did a fine cover of I Can See Clearly Now.

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FrauBlucher
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:28 pm
Location: Greenwich Village

Re: Passages

#8281 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:28 pm

As a kid growing up in the 70's his hits always seemed to be in rotation on AM stations playing from transistor radios that people carried around or sitting on stoops with speakers hanging out a window with the 45 of Lean on Me playing. Wonderful music.

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L.A.
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 7:33 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Re: Passages

#8282 Post by L.A. » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:52 pm

Thanks to Mick Jagger and Lenny Kravitz for introducing me to Withers’ music. Their version of Use Me is brilliant.

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Reverend Drewcifer
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:16 pm
Location: Cincinnati

Re: Adam Schlesinger (1967-2020)

#8283 Post by Reverend Drewcifer » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:41 pm

George Ogilvie - Co-director of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Shirley Douglas - Lolita, Dead RIngers, mother of Kiefer Sutherland
Lee Fierro - Mrs. Kintner in Jaws

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Passages

#8284 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:14 pm

Honor Blackman, Pussy Galore in Goldfinger and Cathy Gale in The Avengers pre-the Diana Rigg era. She also has an early role in A Night To Remember, and in the 70s a few notable horror roles including Fright and one of the final Hammers, To The Devil A Daughter.

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thirtyframesasecond
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:48 pm

Re: Passages

#8285 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:30 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:14 pm
Honor Blackman, Pussy Galore in Goldfinger and Cathy Gale in The Avengers pre-the Diana Rigg era. She also has an early role in A Night To Remember, and in the 70s a few notable horror roles including Fright and one of the final Hammers, To The Devil A Daughter.
Not to mention 80s sitcom, The Upper Hand, where she purred seductively as the grandmother of the family.

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Passages

#8286 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:06 pm

That Guardian obituary also reminded me of that Kinky Boots single that Blackman and Patrick Macnee did!

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fiddlesticks
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:19 pm
Location: Borderlands

Re: Passages

#8287 Post by fiddlesticks » Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:46 pm


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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Passages

#8288 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:12 pm


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brundlefly
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: Passages

#8289 Post by brundlefly » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:46 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:12 pm
Hal Willner from COVID-19
'Night Music' was a blessing and a joy, maybe so much so that tangles of rightsholders have turned blind eyes to the few episodes allowed to stay up on YouTube. Should you feel wanting or worthy, check 'em out. You might see stuff like Sonic Youth and the Indigo Girls and Daniel Lanois and the Evan Lurie Quintet and David Sanborn and his house band shove together "Red River Valley" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog." Stuff like that.
Last edited by brundlefly on Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Passages

#8290 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:13 pm

brundlefly wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:46 pm
hearthesilence wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:12 pm
Hal Willner from COVID-19
'Night Music' was a blessing and a joy, maybe so much so that tangles of rightsholders have turned blind eyes to the few episodes allowed to stay up on YouTube. Should you feel wanting or worthy, check 'em out. You might see stuff like Sonic Youth and the Indigo Girls and Daniel Lanois and the Evan Lurie Quintet and David Sanborn and his house band shove together "Red River Valley" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog." Stuff like that.
Steve Shelley posted a YouTube clip on social media and said Willner got Sonic Youth on national TV for the first time ever. I think Pere Ubu and the Pixies also made their national TV debuts via that show. I went to the Lou Reed tribute he put together years ago, and saw him introduce "Jazz '34" at MoMA, which I've already mentioned elsewhere here. Both were great, very sad he's gone.

PillowRock
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:54 pm

Re: Passages

#8291 Post by PillowRock » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:45 pm

fiddlesticks wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:46 pm
Al Kaline
As a native of Southeast Michigan (and one old enough to remember the last several years of his playing career), this one hurts more than most.
Between playing, broadcasting, and front office jobs he was with the Detroit Tigers for almost 67 years (first Major League game about a week after he graduated from high school). By all accounts, he was one of the most gracious and unassuming people around, much less first ballot Hall of Famers.

beamish14
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 3:07 pm

Re: Passages

#8292 Post by beamish14 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:24 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:13 pm
brundlefly wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:46 pm
hearthesilence wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:12 pm
Hal Willner from COVID-19
'Night Music' was a blessing and a joy, maybe so much so that tangles of rightsholders have turned blind eyes to the few episodes allowed to stay up on YouTube. Should you feel wanting or worthy, check 'em out. You might see stuff like Sonic Youth and the Indigo Girls and Daniel Lanois and the Evan Lurie Quintet and David Sanborn and his house band shove together "Red River Valley" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog." Stuff like that.
Steve Shelley posted a YouTube clip on social media and said Willner got Sonic Youth on national TV for the first time ever. I think Pere Ubu and the Pixies also made their national TV debuts via that show. I went to the Lou Reed tribute he put together years ago, and saw him introduce "Jazz '34" at MoMA, which I've already mentioned elsewhere here. Both were great, very sad he's gone.

My favorite Night Music appearance was the great Mary Margaret O'Hara's
"And now, our next performer describes herself as an ancient baby whose cranium never fused together." (O'Hara nods shyly)

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DarkImbecile
Ask me about my visible cat breasts
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Passages

#8293 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:26 pm


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DarkImbecile
Ask me about my visible cat breasts
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Re: Passages

#8294 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:56 pm


BigMack3000
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Passages

#8295 Post by BigMack3000 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:52 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:26 pm
John Prine, of COVID-19
This one cuts deep. I've always loved this acoustic rendition of "How Lucky" from the Colbert Report.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fw0rhcTgz8

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brundlefly
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: Passages

#8296 Post by brundlefly » Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:08 am

Prine appears on a couple of cuts on the Swamp Dogg album that came out last month, and its commiserative final track, which coasts on the delight of those two people enjoying each other's company, has now been made a heartbreaker.

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Reverend Drewcifer
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:16 pm
Location: Cincinnati

Re: Passages

#8297 Post by Reverend Drewcifer » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:57 pm

Garfield was the highlight of a terrific episode of Sports Night as Chuck 'The Cut Man' Kimmel.

On a sobering note, at the bottom of his Wikipedia page, Garfield is included among the 'Notable Deaths' of the '2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States' category. Wikipedia Taxonomy is kind of fascinating, but imagine living a life and this is how it all shakes out.

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domino harvey
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Passages

#8298 Post by domino harvey » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:38 pm

Reverend Drewcifer wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:57 pm
Garfield was the highlight of a terrific episode of Sports Night as Chuck 'The Cut Man' Kimmel.
I never knew that was him! That’s the funniest guest spot in the run of the series

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Passages

#8299 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:09 pm

Reverend Drewcifer wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:57 pm
Garfield was the highlight of a terrific episode of Sports Night as Chuck 'The Cut Man' Kimmel.
I had to check this out.

WmS
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:46 pm
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: Passages

#8300 Post by WmS » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:49 pm

Seminal experimental filmmaker Bruce Baillie is apparently at the end and his family is trying to raise money to get him into hospice care, per the Frameworks listserv:

https://mailman-mail5.webfaction.com/pi ... 23534.html

Very sad to hear of someone so important to American film, who made films of such utter beauty, lying on the floor waiting to die.

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