Saturday Odds & Sods: In The Midnight Hour

Max Schreck as Nosferatu.

It’s been chilly the last few days in New Orleans; not Vermont or Minnesota chilly but it will do. Of course, we were subjected to a helluva storm before things cooled off. Cool air hitting muggy air tends to do that. The light show accompanying the storm would have been spectacular if it wasn’t so scary. I jumped a few time in response, but we didn’t lose power. It had to happen.

This week’s theme song was written by Wilson Pickett and Steve Cropper in 1965. It became a monster hit on both the R&B and pop charts shortly thereafter. It remains a classic as well as perfect for this feature, which goes live every Saturday at midnight.

We have three versions of In The Midnight Hour for your listening pleasure: the Pickett original as well as covers by The Jam and Roxy Music.

Now we’ve that waited til the midnight hour, let’s jump to the break. I suspect more music awaits us on the other side. Go ahead and jump.

This song is dedicated to everyone who finds themselves alone as this publishes:

We begin our second act in earnest with an article from The Cut one of New York Magazine’s many swell spin-offs.

America’s Sweetheart No More: Dr. A attended UVA at the same time as Katie Couric. Couric was the resident advisor of her dorm floor. She was not crazy about Katie back then: she borrowed a pair of shorts from her and never gave them back. Bad Katie. Dr. A has come to respect Couric over the years despite the shorts story. Dr. A is the reason I never bought the America’s sweetheart thing. Katie Couric is one tough broad.

Couric has published a warts and all memoir, Going There. That, in turn, led to a coffee shop interview with the Cut’s Rebecca Traister. Couric minced no words as she discussed a variety of subjects. She saves her harshest words for the men at CBS News who wanted her to fail. For the details, cut out of here to The Cut.

You know what they say about cuts:

There was a lot of Steven/Cat/Yusuf content last week so I opted to go Crow…

Dracula Time: Since it’s All Hollow’s Eve Eve, we have some Dracula content. My own personal favorite Dracula is Bela Lugosi. I recall seeing the 1931 movie for the first time on Creature Features as a kid. The hammy acting and glorious Todd Browning imagery has always stuck with me.

I give you Olivia Rutigliano’s list of 50 Dracs. Bela is only number two on her list, but I can live with Christopher Lee at the top. Peter Cushing is obviously the best Van Helsing. How do you argue with Doctor Who?

The second link is to *another* piece by the same author. It gets a bit Gorey, what can I tell ya?

The 50 Best, Worst, and Strangest Draculas of All-Time, Ranked

Edward Gorey designed the sets for the 1970s Broadway run of Dracula

I usually only use pop-up links, but I made an exception in this case cos the images are so freaking cool. Don’t forget to return to First Draft when you’re done wallowing in Dracula lore.

Let’s close out our second act with some Vampiric music. The stakes are low, but we have plenty of garlic to keep the undead at bay. We go from Bauhaus to Joan’s house then Neil’s house on the beach. Is it a house of mirrors? Beats the hell outta me.

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: The Death Of Stalin is a satirical movie from the mad mind of Armando Ianucci the creator of The Thick of It and Veep. It’s a swell flick, I give it 3 1/2 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B+.

Enough grading, here’s the great Steve Buscemi with Nikita Khrushchev who he played in the aforementioned movie.

Note that Steve B is whiter than Nikita K. It’s hard to be whiter than a Russian. Don’t offer me a White Russian cocktail, y’all should know by now how I feel about Vodka aka Russian Death Juice.

I believe Steve B never once banged his shoe on a table; not even as Tony B or Nucky T. Nikita K cannot say the same.

Speaking of shoes, here’s as odd a segue as I’ve ever done:

The Movie List: William Henry Pratt dba Boris Karloff week continues at First Draft. I love me some Universal horror movies and Karloff was the king.

My Top Ten Favorite Boris Karloff Movies

  1.    Bride Of Frankenstein
  2.    Frankenstein
  3.   Son Of Frankenstein
  4.   The Body Snatcher
  5.   The Mummy
  6.   The Lost Patrol
  7.   Isle Of The Dead
  8.   Bedlam
  9.   The Raven
  10.   Lured

I love Tom Petty as much as Universal horror flicks. He name checks Boris in this tune, so why not post it?

Saturday GIF Horse: Here’s Leslie Nielsen in Mel Brooks’ Dracula: Dead and Loving It.

Lest you think I don’t take vampires seriously, here’s Max Schreck in Nosferatu followed by Klaus Kinski 57 years later in the Herzog remake.

I don’t know about you, but I’d never brush a vampire’s teeth. Floss maybe, brush never…

Tweet Of The Week: It comes from the New York Daily News. The headline is inspired by Don Junior’s egregiously greedy trolling of the Baldwin incident.

While we’re troll talking, thanks to M Bouffant of Crooks and Liars for linking to my post, Trolling A Tragedy.

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

Saturday Classic: I’d never heard Viva Vaughan until I posted Sassy’s version of  Fascinating Rhythm in last week’s Friday Cocktail Hour. I gave it a spin on Spotify and enjoyed it, yea verily. I hope you like it too. If not, blame Quincy Jones, not me.

That’s all for this week. The last word goes to Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye in Todd Browning’s Dracula.

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