The Week in Review

It's Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week. People everywhere are in church, collecting palms. I always try to attend services on this day (I confess, even as a chid I thought Easter services went on waaaaay too long). But here in Wisconsin, we're preparing for 4 inches of snow. I left the house at 9:15AM to run errands and didn't get back until exactly four hours later.

The Tom Joyner Morning Show, which, if I'm not mistaken, originated in Chicago, is no longer on the air in Chicago. Although I haven't listened since I stopped commuting to work in the morning, I feel sad at this news. The show always made me start the day with laughter. If we arrived at my husband's job before 7:30 (we carpooled until I got a job closer to home), he didn't get out of the car until Huggy Bear had done his routine. And I have to wonder . . . is Steve Harvey's show (the replacement) really all that good?

Last weekend I rented the Cadillac Records DVD. My husband is a big blues lover and got me into it, which is why we chose Clarksdale, Mississippi and Memphis as a vacation spot two years ago. From the clips I'd seen, I'd feared it was more of a concert movie, but plenty of story mixed in with the performances, and we both enjoyed it. I am more impressed with Jeffrey Wright every time I see him. And Beyoncé (did I accent the right letter?) Knowles did much more than put on a blond wig and sing Etta James' signature tune; she did an excellent job of portraying a troubled real life character. And the actor who played Howlin' Wolf actually looked like the pictures of seen of the late singer, in terms of both his looks and his size. The filmmakers played with the sequence of events a bit, but they usually do when filming real stories), but I liked the triumphant note upon which the story ended. Since we have a copy of the CD Muddy and the Wolf, apparently the two musicians managed to get along long enough to record together . . . or maybe they just tolerated each other for financial reasons.

My only real beef with the movie was Adrien Brody's hair, which looked much too contemporary for a movie that ranged from 1941 until about 30 years later.

This morning I rented Miracle at St. Anna , but from the way my husband is snoring downstairs, I might end up bringing it back to the Red Box unseen.

Have you seen either of these movies? What'd you think?


Patricia W. said...

Glad we still have the TJMS here in Tampa or I don't know what I'd listen to, given the pitiable radio offerings here.

Been meaning to get Cadillac Records. Don't you love Red Box? Now that's my idea of a good video rental service.

DonnaD said...

I haven't seen either one and I confess that I really wasn't interested. I am so sick of seeing Beyonce. Period. I was watching "The Pink Panther" the other night and it was going well until she showed up. What - aren't there any other singers who can act? I'm sure much better than she can. Even in Dreamgirls, she was out-acted by everyone. But I digress.

I was curious about Miracle, but I've had my fill about movies focusing on war for now. I'll probably see it at some point.

Now a movie that surprised me was "Gran Turino". Clint Eastwood wrote, directed and starred in the film. It was a surprising character-focused movie and he and the rest of the cast were really good. Plus it had some interesting turns and a really good ending.

I haven't listened to TJMS since college. What saddens me about all this is that Clear Channel has basically decided profit is more important than their listeners. Like most radio stations, they have decided that syndication works best and that having DJ's who are in touch with the community are irrelevant. Nothing against Steve Harvey (who makes me laugh when I do get to listen), but it's just sad.

At this point, my radio stations are WNUA (smooth jazz, but may be replaced soon thanks to Clear Channel), WBBM780 (the news) and WLIT (when they're not playing Christmas Music), WLIV (they play a lot of 80s music) and Gospel 1390 (when the signal isn't too weak and they're not talking too much).

bettye griffin said...

You said it, Patricia! Redbox is the greatest. Wish I'd thought of it. There's no better deal that getting a movie for $1 a day. I'm delighted to see that there are movies coming out on DVD that I'd like to see (most moviegoers are younger, and the movies being made reflect this demographic).

Donna, are you saying that WNUA might be yanked? Say it ain't so! I love that station. And yes, we can get it up here over the state line.

I did mean to mention in my post but forgot that Beyonce is suffering from over-exposure. I thought her performance in this movie showed much more depth than in Dreamgirls. Maybe she hired an acting coach?

We did see Miracle at St. Anna last night. It's not for everybody, and it's a little overlong, but I did enjoy this change of storytelling from Spike Lee.

DonnaD said...

Yes Bettye, there's been talk about changing the format at WNUA. They've yanked a couple of their longtime DJ's and brought in some new people. They've let drive time be the Dave Koz show which is syndicated. (I don't mind that because his show is about the music and he does really good interviews.)

If the ratings don't improve, I'd wager that within a year, they're going to change the format; into what, I don't know. It used to be rare that you'd hear a song with a vocal lyric. Now every two or three songs it's a vocal. Not that they aren't good, but you can see where it's headed.

Sadly, it's the only station of it's kind in Chicago and to yank it would deprive jazz lovers of any stripe a chance to hear some great music.

Angelia... said...

I saw Miracle and loved it, maybe I will watch Cadillac Records this weekend, I am taking a long one...


bettye griffin said...

Donna, you are always so informative. Thanks for filling me in. I've got my fingers crossed that WNUA will stay just like it is. I really love their 9 o'clock treasure that they play when I'm heading home from work.

Angelia, by all means watch Cadillac Records during your long weekend. I think it was very entertaining. I hear you on the weekend. I've got 4 days off myself!