Archive for the Of the Day Category

Song of the Day: “Ruby, My Dear”

Posted in Music, Of the Day with tags , , , , on 14 August, 2009 by Ally

Today I happily stumbled upon Hisae Nakajima’s beautifully angular performance of Thelonious Monk’s (already quite angular) ballad Ruby, My Dear. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

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Song of the Day: “Gloria’s 100 Million Daughters” by Stephen Evens

Posted in Music, Of the Day with tags , , , , on 1 June, 2009 by Ally
Stephen Evens

Stephen Evens needs YOU!

Stephen Evens is a songwriter who has a lot of bitterness and resentment and is channeling it into writing songs to void it manifesting itself as a cancer or an abnormal growth. The songs are beautiful and the words are horrible. I don’t know why you don’t think that’s a good thing. It’s all our fault.

My good friend and bandmate Stephen just happens to be the man behind Stephen Evens. I hope you’ll trust me when I tell you his tunes are worth listening to attentively, not because I know him but because they’re quite marvelous. I especially recommend Gloria’s 100 Million Daughters, which makes my tummy go all funny.

You might even consider seeing his gig at the 12 Bar Club next Monday (8 June 2009). The password is “mukluks”, just tell him Big Vinny sent you.

Webcomic of the Day: Hark! A Vagrant

Posted in Of the Day with tags , , , , , , , on 23 May, 2009 by Ally
Hark! A Pony

Hark! A Pony

I fear I’m somewhat late to the party with this one. Last night I laughed myself silly reading Kate Beaton’s webcomic Hark! A Vagrant. And this morning I continue to chortle and guffaw.

With illustrations styled somewhere between Quentin Blake and Don Hertzfeldt, and references ranging from the historical to the downright surreal, it’s truly a joy to behold. So far my favourites include:

Wednesday the Cat
Pony Adventures
More Shetland Pony Adventures
Napoleon & Josephine
The Greatest Engineer in the World

Might I also add that glasses make you sexy? I might? Good.

Introduction of the Day: Only Connect

Posted in Of the Day, Television with tags , , , , , , on 10 November, 2008 by Ally

Victoria Coren’s introduction to this week’s edition of Only Connect made me laugh heartily indeed. Allow me to share it with you:

Hello and welcome to Only Connect; the quiz that tests not just knowledge but more importantly lateral thinking — That ability to switch lanes suddenly in the middle of a mental journey, without ploughing into a milk float and scattering yoghurt all over the tarmac of logic.

Life Affirmation of the Day

Posted in Film, Of the Day, Woody Allen with tags , , , , , on 9 November, 2008 by Ally
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Woody Allen in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

Woody Allen’s ensemble comedy-drama Hannah and Her Sisters includes a plot in which Mickey Sachs (Allen) believes he has a brain tumour. After being told by the doctors that he is in fact perfectly healthy, his initial elation is quickly replaced with an unshakeable fear of death. He briefly converts to Catholicism, much to the chagrin of his Jewish parents, but it proves useless because he is unable to believe in a God.

Later in the film, he tells Holly (Diane Wiest) the story of how he regained his joie de vivre. After a failed suicide attempt, he aimlessly wandered the streets, finally reaching a movie house. The film playing was the Marx Brothers classic Duck Soup.

And I started to feel, how can you even think of killing yourself? I mean, isn’t it so stupid? I mean look at all the people up there on the screen, y’know, they’re real funny and… What if the worst is true? What if there’s no God, and you only go around once and that’s it? Well, y’know, don’t you want to be part of the experience? You know, what the hell, it’s not all a drag.

And it’s true, you know. It’s not all a drag.

President of the Day

Posted in Of the Day with tags , , , , , , on 5 November, 2008 by Ally
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Yes We Can

I hate to be so predictable, but I simply have to write about the new President-elect of the United States of America. Barack Obama’s victory is truly awe-inspiring, even to a non-American like myself. I can’t imagine how good my American friends must feel right now, it must be wonderful to actually be proud of your country!

You simply cannot ignore how great a progression this is; for an African-American man to win the presidential election. Of course nothing is so romantically simple, Obama winning the election doesn’t suddenly make racism in America disappear, but it is a substantial and long-awaited victory for civil rights and for equality. His victory speech was deeply moving – take for example this excerpt:

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the colour of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes, we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes, we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes, we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbour and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes, we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “we shall overcome”. Yes, we can.

A man touched down on the Moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes, we can.

The video of the entire speech can be viewed on the BBC website.

Quote of the Day: The Third Man

Posted in Film, Of the Day with tags , , , , , , on 28 October, 2008 by Ally

Anna starts rummaging in her handbag for money — in the process some of the contents tumble out on the counter including a photograph. Martins picks it up.

MARTINS
Harry?

ANNA
Yes. He moved his head, but the rest is good, isn’t it?

Upon watching The Third Man for maybe a third or fourth time, that line affected me as it never had before. It’s just a small moment, but it perfectly mixes humour with sadness. First I laughed, imagining a blurred head on a botched photograph, but then the poignancy of it overcame me. That Anna would keep even a botched photograph of her dead love, and even carry it with her in her handbag, is too sad for words.

So I shall say no more. Except The Third Man is a truly great film on all levels.