Saturday Odds & Sods: Shoot Out The Lights

Deux Fois du Noir by Yves Tanguy

We resume our regularly scheduled programming after my Wag The Dog Incoherently post. Somebody’s gotta be normal in these abnormal times.

It’s been an interesting week in New Orleans. A 4,200 gallon oil spill isn’t huge by oil industry standards but it’s stinky enough that residents are raising a stink about it. A good thing: minor oil spills are way of life on the Big Muddy, which could be re-nicknamed the Big Oily or Big Greasy. Either way it’s not good. It’s actually diesel fuel. Vin Diesel was unavailable for comment…

The big local story this week was the sale of Gambit Weekly to the Advocate. Because of savvy management by owners Margot and Clancy DuBos, Gambit is one of the few alt-weeklies that has thrived in the internet era. The deal includes retention of Gambit’s crack editorial team including my friend Kevin Allman as editor. (In the interests of full disclosure, Clancy is also a friend.) Kevin helped bring the publication into online era, which made it an attractive proposition to the Advocate. One reason for the staff retention is that Advocate publisher Dan Shea was purged by the Picayune and has some empathy for other journalists. Imagine that. Besides, the Gambit staff is as talented as all get out. As far as I’m concerned, this is good news as it will allow Gambit to survive in a tough environment for alt-weeklies. Here’s hoping that the Advocate people will keep their word about letting Gambit be Gambit. So far, the signs are good.

This week’s theme song is the title track of one of the greatest break-up albums of all-time. It’s eerie to hear Linda Thompson sing sad songs written by her soon-to-be ex-husband. Shoot Out The Lights has developed into one of the signature songs of Richard Thompson’s live set. We have two versions for your listening pleasure: the original and a swell cover by Los Lobos.

Now we’ve shot out the lights, let’s take a shot at jumping to the break.

We begin our second act with an unusual personal story from Slate involving grief, golf, and Donald Trump. I am not making this up.

The Trump Tape: Eva Mantell’s late husband was a freelance journalist. He once interviewed Donald Trump for a golf magazine. As part of her grieving process, Ms. Mantell searched for the tape of the interview, which turned out to be quite  interesting. This is a beautifully written, deeply moving piece. Get thee to Slate.

Let’s stay in the wide world of sports for a moment with a piece that features a woman who coaches under one of Donald Trump’s fiercest critics, Greg Popovich.

Becky Hammon’s Journey: In 2014, Becky Hammon became the first full-time female assistant coach in the NBA. She’s thriving in her job as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs. The big question is how far she can go in pro basketball. As the protegé of one of the greatest coaches in hoops history, she has a chance to be the first woman NBA head coach. Louisa Thomas has the details in a fabulous New Yorker profile.

Listomania, Coppola Style: I love a good list article and Vulture is the source of many of them. This time around, Scott Tobias ranks all the films of noted vintner and auteur, Francis Ford Coppola.

Here’s my Top Five Coppola list. I’ll rank his wines another day:

  1. The Godfather if only for the opening scene and the casting of Richard Conte and Sterling Hayden in supporting roles.
  2. The Godfather: Part  II if only for the Havana scenes and Michael V. Gozzo as Frankie Pentangelli. I once blew my voice out doing a Frankie impression.
  3. The Conversation. Hackman, Hackman, Hackman. Cazale, Cazale, Cazale.
  4. Tucker: The Man and His Dream. The most underrated film in the Coppola canon.
  5. Apocalypse Now. A glorious mess. The documentary about its making, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, is almost better than the film itself.

I like Godfather III more than most people but Sofia Coppola is no Winona Ryder. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is also swell in a bloody, messy way.

Let’s set the Wayback Machine to 1926.

Saturday GIF Horse: I’ve never used  a tweet before in this segment but I wanted to keep the piratical theme going.

Let’s keep the tweets flying.

Tweet Of The Week: Bill Kristol is finally right about something.

Looks like they’re hitchhiking to me. That brings to mind an obscure pop song:

But Athenae has a point in her retweet of Kristol’s tweet:

I wonder what Tweety thinks?

Tweety Bird GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

You didn’t think I meant Chris Matthews, did you? Fuck him and his tingly leg.

Saturday Classic: The Jeff Beck Group were the original hard rock British blooze band but the original lineup only lasted for 2 albums. Rod Stewart and Ron Wood had other plans.

That’s it for this week. This week’s closing bat meme is a picture taken on the set of The Godfather. I like it because film noir great Richard Conte is lurking in the background.