Friday, January 25, 2008

TLC Doesn't Get It

If I were TLC, and I knew that people were going to be interested in "Trading Spaces" again because of the return of Paige Davis, I'd be promoting it up and down, right?

No. Because TLC is locked into a who-cares beauty pageant (move it back to Atlantic City WHERE IT BELONGS and I'll care again, thank you), that's getting all its promo time.

So remember. TLC, tomorrow at 10:00 p.m. NOT 8:00 P.M. Thank you very much.

EDIT: Not five minutes after this went up on my site, TLC threw a promo. Shows Paige Davis and the new TS logo. Many of the new cast members introduced in the just-ended season will be returning, and two of the "classic" designers - yes, the Gruesome Twosome themselves, Doug and Hildi - will be aboard as well!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Don't Put This Tiger In Your Tank

Here's a commercial for Esso, an earlier incarnation of Exxon, and take a look at that wacky image at the end - doesn't it remind you of the end of "Betty Boop, M.D."?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Steve Turre Is So "In The Moment"!

I often cringe when I hear the phrase "in the moment", partly because when word got out that Barbra Streisand had been enamored of Andre Agassi (prior to her marriage to James Brolin, and his marriage to Steffi Graf), one of the things she said was, "His tennis is... so in the moment."

However, that phrase may fairly be applied to Steve Turre, for over 20 years one of my favorite trombone players. Occupant of the trombone chair on "Saturday Night Live" since 1985 and runner-up for longest band tenure with Earl Gardner (Leon Pendarvis has been there the longest, 28 seasons), and very busy off the show as well, there is a great article in this month's International Musician that catches us up with Steve and some new projects he's working on, including an album with New York Philharmonic principal trombonist Joseph Alessi.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Mort Garson 1924-2008

The synth genius passed away last Friday at the age of 83 in San Francisco. He put out a slew of electronica albums in the 60's and 70's but TV fans of my generation remember him best for writing game show themes, the best known of which was perhaps the theme to the long-running "Gambit". Thick with electronic textures and gee-whiz effects, Garson's electronic themes became the template for many similar game show themes such as "Concentration" (Edd Kalehoff) and "Spin-Off" (Nick Nicholson).

In a world where so much game show music is out there, relatively few Garson cuts have made it onto the trading circuit (Those that have included his "Gambit" open and close, and the later "Magnificent Marble Machine" and "Battlestars".)

The man is gone, now let his music live on (all you music hoarders out there).

UPDATE: There is more Garson music out now. I guess someone was listening. If you go to The Television Production Music Museum and click on "Listen" and then click on "Mort Garson", you will be duly rewarded. The unknown cut #4 is the "Baffle" theme, and if you look hard enough you will find one other "Baffle" cue.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Height Of Hannah Fever

It's really weird. I had a student ask me yesterday in the most reverent and hushed tones, "I hear that Walt Disney died. Is that true?" Stopping short of telling the young man about the whole freezing thing, I informed him that yes, Walt Disney did die... forty years ago.


My two stepdaughters, different as they may be (one's 11, the other, 8), do share one thing in common - they both love the Disney Channel character "Hannah Montana". Played by talented teen Miley Cyrus, Hannah is a music star who leads an interesting life offstage as well, where she deliberately keeps a low profile and very few people know she's really a rock star.

Tonight, they will be in their glory.

Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City is going to be tonight's stop on the "Hannah Montana-Miley Cyrus Best Of Both Worlds Tour", and I am probably one of only a handful of people out there who got the tickets at face value. And NO, I AM NOT SELLING THEM. Don't even ask. Opening for Hannah and Miley will be the Jonas Brothers, another popular group championed by Disney. There's a possibility that Miley's dad - the ever popular Billy Ray Cyrus, your achy breaky hunk of a country star from the 90's - will show up too.

(I often confuse the Jonas Brothers with Nickelodeon's Naked Brothers Band, which is populated by offspring of the marriage of Michael Wolff and Polly Draper and is actually quite a funny show, usually written and directed by Draper. Nickelodeon is probably going to put more marketing oomph behind the Naked Brothers, as they cannot get pregnant.)

We'll make a day of it, complete with a visit to the brand-new Sonic that just opened in Waretown - the very first Sonic in New Jersey. Then the girls will go to the concert, homemade poster proclaiming their love for all things Hannah in hand. Tracy and I, meanwhile, have our earplugs all ready, because we're expecting lots of preteen and tween girls screaming at this thing. We'll report back later when our hearing pops back to normal.

Friday, January 04, 2008


By no means the official wedding portrait, but this is the best one I've seen so far.
Photo by Jennifer Malpass