Saturday, January 24, 2009

Might win an Oscar

Last night Ereck and I watched the wondrous 1949 film The Third Man, and I was pleased by Anton Karas' indelible zither score. During the film I had a thought, and afterward I pulled out an old Beatles bootleg I bought in high school, something I hadn't listened to in years. Sure enough, there it was: "The Third Man Theme" as rendered by the Fab Four. It's a brief, very loose performance, presumably from the ragged Let It Be sessions.

But the fact that the Beatles had "The Third Man Theme" in their repertoire speaks to the fascinating range of their listening. They played music informed by so many genres besides their trademark rock 'n' roll: country, Broadway, Indian, musique concrète, circus, Baroque -- and, in this instance, iconic movie music. Great stuff.

The Beatles - The Third Man Theme

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Magic just off the I-5

Yesterday I visited Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. I kept readers up to date on my doings in a series of text messages, which I'm reproducing here.

1/21/09 11:12 AM
Greetings from Disneyland. About to ride Autopia. This is where you can drive a car to the theme park so you can drive a smaller car inside the theme park.

1/21/09 11:31 AM
About to board the monorail. Did you know I love monorails? xxoxo

1/21/09 11:37 AM
The monorail conductor sounds a little like Jeff Spicoli. xoxo

1/21/09 12:01 PM
The problem is getting stuck next to a particularly unpleasant family in a particularly long line. xoxox

1/21/09 12:08 PM
Do I recall correctly that Nixon press secretary Ron Ziegler operated the Enchanted Tiki Room? [Ed. note -- it was the Jungle Cruise.]

1/21/09 1:05 PM
Lines are getting longer; tensions are rising. The girl operating the Pinocchio ride just snapped at the woman in front of me. xo

1/21/09 1:12 PM
All safety announcements are in character and bilingual.

1/21/09 1:28 PM
Sleeping Beauty is saved by eros. xoxo

1/21/09 1:54 PM
Disneyland subtly or not so subtly reinforces the nuclear family. The Show White ride operator was weirded out by me riding alone in a car meant for 4 to 6. xo

1/21/09 2:08 PM
The irony is that Snow White is a story about people not in conventional families -- single women, a group of men who live together. xoxo

1/21/09 2:50 PM
Pirates of the Caribbean ride features wench auction.

1/21/09 3:02 PM
Every ride exits into gift shop. xoxo

1/21/09 3:39 PM
Either I'm on acid or I'm in the enchanted tiki room.

1/21/09 3:45 PM
Music in line at jungle cruise: "Moonglow."

1/21/09 4:29 PM
The American vernacular songbook is alive and well at Disneyland. I feel like I've heard five different versions of "Home on the Range."

1/21/09 4:31 PM
Now I'm just waiting for the live barbershop performance to start.

1/21/09 4:47 PM
It was the greatest thing ever, a barbershop flag ceremony. America!

1/21/09 5:40 PM

1/21/09 5:41 pm
Surrey with the Fringe on Top