Saturday Odds & Sods: Thru and Thru

Target by Jasper Johns.

It’s fall in most places, but summer is tenacious in New Orleans. We had our annual autumnal tease last weekend. It was a good thing because Dr. A and I masked up and went to an outdoor wedding last Saturday. It was an interesting mixture of cultures: the groom was Egyptian-American, the bride from Monroe in North Louisiana. As a guest the important thing was that the food was good and there was an open bar.

I haven’t mentioned my head injury since the destapling. It’s healing so well that I barely have a scar. Oh well, what the hell.

This week’s theme song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for the Rolling Stones’ 1994 album Voodoo Lounge. It’s pure Keith; one of his best songs. David Chase certainly thinks so: it was featured in the season-2 finale of The Sopranos.

We have 3 versions of Thru and Thru for your listening pleasure: the studio original, the Stones live, and The Sopranos edit.

Sopranos aficionados will recall that that was the hallucinatory episode in which Big Pussy not only met his maker, but appeared to Tony as a talking fish.

Speaking of fishy songs:

Now that we’re through with fish, let’s jump to the break.

We’re not quite thru with the word through:

We begin our second act in earnest with a segment about the much awaited Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints Of Newark.

David Chase Returns: It’s been a long time coming. The controversial final episode of The Sopranos HBO run aired in 2007. David Chase remains cagy about the ending to this very day. I’ve always loved the ambiguity of the ending, others do not. That’s their problem, not mine or David Chase’s. Capiche?

Chase sat for an interview with his homey, Vulture’s Matt Zoeller Seitz who used to work for the Newark Star-Ledger. You know, the paper Tony used to fetch in his bathrobe. Along with Alan Sepinwall, Matt is *the* Sopranos expert. Me, I’m just an amateur. Click here to be transported to Chase World.

I have a confession to make. I big footed my colleagues and told them I’d be the first to write about the new movie, which I saw last night. A review will be forthcoming on Monday. I want to watch it a second time before writing. Holy inside baseball, Batman.

Next up, another piece from Vulture

When Jerry Met Jasper: Jerry Saltz is one of the world’s leading art critics. He’s been with New York Magazine since 2006 hence the Vulture article. He’s written a stunning essay about the impact Jasper Johns has had on his life and work.

I’ll let Saltz explain the importance of Jasper Johns:

Johns had made his mark not as a throwback but as a genuine revolutionary — one of the biggest in American art history. For a full century before, beginning with the Impressionists, cresting with Picasso, and reaching a sort of endpoint with the Abstract Expressionists, most of whom were a few decades older than Johns, the making of art was ruled by the principle of purity and the vision of the artist as a history-bending shamanic genius. Johns initiated a new century, still ongoing, in which works could be purposefully impure, imperfect, and connected to the things of the world, while also being serious philosophical machines. In this, he had predecessors, like Marcel Duchamp and Yves Klein, and successors, like Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, and even Jean-Michel Basquiat. But the real track-jump happened, or started, with Johns — in part because, ironically, in rejecting self-consciously iconic grandiosity, he produced what turned out to be among the most iconic, if largely impersonal, works in all of art history. This is why Ed Ruscha called Johns “the atomic bomb of my education.”

Does that make Jerry Saltz a bombardier? Beats the hell outta me.

Saltz’s piece was inspired by a Jasper Johns retrospective at the Whitney Museum. It’s supposedly the best Johns show ever. I wish I could beam up there for the show, but I haven’t been able to get ahold of Scotty or Chief O’Brien. The latter is the Colmest Meaney ever…

Since that joke bombed, the last word of our second act goes to Johnny Clegg and Savuka:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I featured Gene Krupa album covers this week. The uber drummer is back, paired with Sal Mineo who played him onscreen. I saw it many years ago and recall liking it.

Gene Krupa had a cameo in the classic Howard Hawks comedy, Ball Of Fire:

Now that we’ve drummed and boogied, it’s Listomania time.

The Movie List: I used the ending of Little Caesar in my Georgia election law post, so naturally it’s time to contemplate the oeuvre of Emanuel Goldberg DBA Edward G. Robinson. Like Vincent Price, this movie tough guy was an erudite art lover. It’s unclear if either collected Jasper Johns but you never can tell.

My Top Ten Favorite Edward G. Robinson Movies

  1.    Double Indemnity
  2.    Key Largo
  3.    Little Caesar
  4.    The Woman In The Window
  5.    House Of Strangers
  6.   Two Weeks In Another Town
  7.   The Cincinnati Kid
  8.   The Sea Wolf
  9.  The Whole Town’s Talking
  10.  The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse

This was a tough one. He did a lot of fine work in his second life as a character actor. I refuse, however, to put a DeMille flick on one of my top ten lists. I have standards, y’all.

Saturday GIF Horse: Like father, like son, here’s Michael Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in The Many Saints Of Newark.

TCM Clip Of The Week: I really enjoy the TCM segments wherein an actor discusses their love for another actor’s work. This time, Chazz Palminteri, who has played his share of .gangsters, on Edward G. Robinson.

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

Saturday Classic: I’m in a Sopranos mood, so here’s a double dose of soundtrack albums via Spotify. The second selection includes this week’s theme song.

That’s all for this week. The last word goes to Humphrey Bogart, Edward G Robinson, and Claire Trevor in Key Largo.