Saturday Odds & Sods: Through Your Hands

Drug Store by Edward Hopper.

It’s been cold every day this year. Not Chicago cold, but New Orleans cold is damp and gets in your bones. It makes one feel creaky and cranky. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t need anything to make me feel crankier in the waning days of the Trump regime. We all just want him to exit the national scene before he wreaks more havoc. He plans to stick around but the events of the last week may make that harder than previously thought. Stay tuned.

I didn’t plan to make January John Hiatt-Edward Hopper month. It just happened that way. Once I used Stolen Moments for Album Cover Art Wednesday, the die was cast or did the cast die? I prefer the former.

John Hiatt wrote this week’s theme song for the aforementioned album in 1989. It’s a lovely mid-tempo ballad that I saw him open a show with in the late 1990’s. He sang it without accompaniment, then the band joined him for Drive South. Twas a great show.

We have multiple versions of Through Your Hands for your listening pleasure. We begin with the Hiatt original followed by covers from Joan Baez, David Crosby, and Don Henley.

Don Henley’s version was in the Nora Ephron-John Travolta movie Michael, which was about an angel come to earth. At least I think it was: I saw it in a movie theatre when it came out many years ago. I could Google it, but I’m on a roll so I won’t.

I miss attending the movies less than expected. I loved the outing and the big screen BUT I despise people who talk during the show. I’m a shusher from way back. The only one I have to shush now is Claire Trevor as she demands a handout. You’d think that the namesake of a movie star would have more respect. Cats: can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

Let’s strap on some angel wings and fly to the break. I’m tired of jumping.

I mentioned John Hiatt’s Drive South earlier.

We’re all still looking for true north. Will we find it in our second act? Beats the hell outta me.

The Case Of The Autographed Corpse: Erle Stanley Gardner was not just a first-rate mystery writer and provider of names for my cats, he was a first-rate do-gooder. After making a packet off his Perry Mason books, Gardner established The Court of Last Resort; a group that provided legal help for unjustly convicted indigent defendants. I guess that made him the Barry Scheck of his day, only without good hair.

There’s a swell piece in the Smithsonian Magazine about one of Gardner’s most interesting cases that involved an Apache shaman who was wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife. Jack El-Hai has the details.

Documentary Of The Week: The Yorkshire Ripper- Dr. A and I have been on something of a true crime bender lately. One of the best series we’ve seen is this four-parter originally produced by ITV. It tells the tale of a serial killer who terrorized the British Midlands in the 1970’s. He was dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper because the murders involved skilled knife work and evoked the memory of an earlier fiend. Netflix has shortened the title to The Ripper. It’s a gripping and ripping yarn.

Here’s the trailer:

I give The Ripper 3 1/2 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B+. It’s good albeit gory stuff.

The last word of our second act goes to The Smiths with a song inspired by the Moors Murders, which were a series of grisly child killings that terrified Morrissey as a kid:

It’s a pity that Morrissey has become such a right-wing asshole. He was once a helluva singer-songwriter.

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Stolen Tweet Edition: It’s time to bring some class to the proceedings.

If I ever grew a mustache like that Dr. A would disown me so I won’t. She likes Jimmy Buffett, so I’ll placate her with this song:

I must admit to liking the line about the “Ricky Ricardo jacket.” That does not, however, make me a Parrothead. I haven’t cawed or whistled in ages. I do like crackers so…

Next up, a new and probably irregular feature.

Talking Sopranos Moment: It’s time to pay another visit to Michael Imperoli and Steve Schrippa. Michael has a dry sense of humor and loves busting Steve’s balls. This segment begins with a discussion of hunting and fishing.

Good to know but is Steve faster than lightning like Flipper?

The Classic Movie List: In the 1930’s, Fred MacMurray was a dependable and charming leading man in films starring Constance Bennett, Irene Dunne, and Claudette Colbert, among others. One could even call him the poor man’s Melvyn Douglas.

In the Forties, MacMurray went on to stardom and made some excellent movies. The first time I saw Double Indemnity, I was shocked that the man I knew as the pipe smoking dad on My Three Sons had serious acting chops. He rarely played a rat bastard, but he was so good at it.

My Top Ten Favorite Fred MacMurray Movies:

  1.  Double Indemnity
  2.  The Apartment
  3.  The Caine Mutiny
  4.  Borderline
  5.  Remember The Night
  6.  Alice Adams
  7.  The Egg and I
  8.  The Absent Minded Professor
  9.  Dive Bomber
  10.  There’s Always Tomorrow

I recently watched an old A&E show about child stars on the YouTube. One of the former child stars was Barry Livingston who played Ernie Douglas the youngest of My Three Sons. He has fond memories of his teevee dad, so he wrote this song.

The video was directed by Barry’s real-life brother Stanley who played his teevee bro Chip Douglas on My Three Sons. It’s complicated, man.

Saturday GIF Horse: Here’s Fred in a flying car with Nancy Olson in The Absent Minded Professor:

What just happened? I forgot to remember to forget or some such shit. Let’s ask Elvis:

Thanks, Elvis. Which one are you, Grbac or Costello? he asked absent mindedly. Perhaps I should just play with some flubber.

Weekly Vintage Video: Todd Rundgren was having one of his sporadic periods as a pop star as the 1990’s began. This song from the Second Wind album remains a favorite. The video makes me a bit dizzy miss lizzy, but I like it too.

Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.

Saturday Classic: I posted a Shawn Colvin song from her most successful album yesterday. My favorite album by her is 1992’s Fat City, which features New Orleans’ very own Subdudes among other guest stars.

That’s it for this week. The last word goes to William Hopper, Robert Redford, and Raymond Burr in a season 4 episode of Perry Mason, The Case Of The Treacherous Toupee. The gents below all had their own hair in 1960.