It’s popGeezer’s 7″ of Ecstacy – a delicious unveiling of the best 45 RPM hits of all time!!
Orleans, “Love Takes Time”, Infinify/MCA, 1979
Perhaps I knew this at the time, but twenty-five years takes a little toll on the brain. So I just re-discovered that Orleans co-founder and co-front man John Hall had left the band two years before this single, taken from the 1979 album Forever, was released. Obviously, the departure of Hall, and his co-writing then-spouse Johanna, did little to damage the pop credibility of the band.
Orleans had been off the charts for almost two years, so “Love Takes Time” was something of a comeback for the band, who scored earlier hits with “Dance With Me” and “Still the One”. But “Love Takes Time” was custom-built for total popGeezer delight. Starting with sixteenth note accents on a high-hat cymbal and stubby piano chords, then propelled by groovy bass and a full-kit beat down from drummer Wells Kelly, Larry Hoppen’s warm tenor voice takes us right into the story of the risk of rushing into love.
This disco-era soft-rock gem was a staple of my Adult Contemporary radio days, reaching #11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and I’d swear it charted even higher on the AC side. Wish I could back that up with more than just this faulty memory, but I did do the countdown show every Friday. Let’s just assume I’m right.
Rhythmically, this song is more than a little like the Four Season’s 1976 disco hit, “Who Loves You?”, but it has a much stronger melody, swell vocals, a really great hook, and just enough syn-drum (on the 2’s of the choruses) to make it fun but not super-campy. Wells Kelly runs wild over the drums, keeping the tempo brisk and making all the fills doctor-prescribed perfect.
It’s just a happy little record, and one of my favorite things to come out of 1979… right up there behind meeting Mrs. popGeezer.
(researched from foreverorleans.com, orelansonline.com, allmusicguide.com)
Coming 11/11/2014 to home video, from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment. Forty-eight years in the making…..
Anticipated sub-$300 retail for Blu-Ray…
Anticipated sub-$200 retail for DVD…
Details coming today from a panel at SDCC.
If you’ve been around this blog, or ever put “popGeezer Radio” or “popGeezer’s Playlist” into the search box of this website, you know the (somewhat checkered) internet radio history of your popGeezer. In a nutshell:
- ZZQ102.com – 8/2009-11/2009 (oy)
- JDX1029.com – 12/2009-4/2010 (An iPOD and an XBOX360 made me cry.)
- popGeezer Radio, Vol. 1, 4/2010-8/2010 (Including the disaster that was the pGR Podcast.)
- pGR on The Prism – Spring and summer 2010 (Shuttered.)
- pGR on PlanetZ102.com/RockRootsRadio/LNR Network – Summer 2010 (including absences and station ebb and flow) – Present
- pGR on JDX1029.com – Fall 2010 – Present (Peace in the Valley for me.)
- popGeezer Radio, Vol. 2 on Loudcaster.com – End 2010 – Fall 2011 (My favorite stream provider, but they went out of business.)
- pGR on TCR1100.com – Holidays 2013 – Present
- popGeezer Radio, Vol. 3 (now known as pGR Prime), December 2013-Present
- popGeezer Radio GOLD! – Spring 2014
In April 2010, when I left JDX1029 the first time, I imagined a fictional popGeezer Radio Network – a concept based on classic radio syndication where my weekly feature show would air on multiple stations. It was imaginary, even though the slow growth to six stations by this summer – including two of our own streams – made me smile.
But now, effective tomorrow 7/18/2014, this idea isn’t that imaginary anymore. Tomorrow morning, your popGeezer debuts as the full-time host of the morning drive show – 6 to 10 AM ET – weekdays on Network Radio Network. pGR on NRNRadio.net will feature the station’s classic pop mix – the 70’s to the 90’s – and many of the silly features you’ve come to expect from the old popGeezer Radio show.
Tomorrow afternoon at 3 PM ET, the popGeezer Radio Show goes syndicated beyond the borders of the old Radio Collective stations. Every Friday from 3-6 PM ET and Saturday from 6-9 PM ET, the show will be heard on Abram Radio GOLD WGLD. The three-hour show also continues to air in its old homestead locations:
- Friday at 9 AM & 10 PM CT on popGeezer Radio Prime and popGeezer Radio GOLD!
- Saturday at 6 PM CT on PlanetZ102.com and RockRootsRadio.com
- Sunday at 5 PM CT on JDX1029.com, where the current iteration of the show was born
- Tuesday at 7 PM CT on TCR1100.com
- Cadillac Jack’s Eclectic Avenue airs Sunday at 9 AM CT and Wednesday at 7 PM
- The Wilhelm Lollygag Experiment Talk Show airs Saturday at 9 AM CT on both streams, and again Saturday night at 10 PM on pGR GOLD! and 11 PM on pGR Prime
- The Appetizer Radio Show airs Saturday at 9 PM CT and Monday night at 7 PM on pGR Prime
- The popGeezer Wednesday Special airs every Wednesday at 9 AM and 10 PM CT on both streams
- An episode of popGeezer Radio (popGeezer’s Playlist, or old special show) airs every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 9 AM and 10 PM CT on both streams, plus once more Sunday at 10 PM for good luck!
Zoiks, I’m exhausted.
So that’s where we are, as of tomorrow.
Let me thank the Animal, the Barrister, the LNR, Christian, Cathy, Sam, Mick, Kestrel, Mr. Jeff, Cadillac Jack, Loyd and even [redacted, as per legal settlement] for the help, encouragement, enthusiasm and advice over the past five years. Thanks to Daryl, Mark D., the Beaver and TC for being brave enough to jump into a pool they knew was choppy, being able to float, and even swimming.
And thanks to my new guides – Adam, Tim and the air staff at NRNRadio.net; and Skip and everyone at the Abram Radio network stations. You rock. Well, we all do. That’s the point of internet radio, right?
Mahalo and K, thx, bye. See you on the radio.
Updated 7/9 AM:
The Amazon Appstore for Android has posted the Kindle version of the popGeezer Prime App! Click that pic and go get it!!!
Original post 7/8/2014:
Your one-touch connection to popGeezer Radio is ready to download from the Google Play store NOW! Very soon, the app will also be available at the Kindle App Store and the Blackberry App Store! Take just mere seconds to grab a permanent connection to our great music mix and shows!!
Saturday night July 5th at 9 PM CT, The Appetizer Radio Show premiers on popGeezer Radio Prime.
We’ll send you to D Grant Smith’s page for more details, but we’ll invite you to join us for this long-running program out of Texas. With a focus on great alternative and eclectic pop music, from new and established artists, The Appetizer is perfectly matched for our popGeezer Radio Prime music mix, and we are excited to have them join us. The show will debut every Saturday night at 9 PM CT, immediately followed by The Wilhelm Lollygag Experiment, and it will encore Mondays at 7 PM CT.
Your July 4th holiday weekend can totally have a popGeezer Radio soundtrack, if you wanna… And it starts Friday 7/4 at 9 AM CT!!
- Up at 9 AM CT this Friday on popGeezer Radio Prime, GOLD!, and – if the technical gremlins don’t attack – live simulcasted on all our pGR network stations, the 2014 popGeezer July 4th Holiday special, “Prince & The American Revolution“!!
- Immediately following that all-new special on popGeezer Radio GOLD!, we wrap-up the month-long replay of “Oh NO! It’s The 80’s!” with the pGR GOLD! premier of part 4, “1987-1989“. And after part 4 finishes, the whole 4-part series encores again in its entirety!
- Saturday 7/5 at 9 AM CT on both of the pGR streams, it’s a very special edition of The Wilhelm Lollygag Experiment. Our weekly pop-culture round table is hosted by Loyd Elmore with his very special guest — your ever-lovin’ green-eyed popGeezer!! Join the boys for a rollicking 90-minute exploration of “Comic Book TV (and movies…)”, recorded in the mess hall of popGeezer Labs! You’ll be glad you did.
- Saturday night at 9 PM CT on popGeezer Radio Prime, it’s the pGR premier of an all-new series — The Appetizer Radio Show. Coming from the great state of Texas, and hosted by D Grant Smith, The Appetizer features new and under-appreciated alternative music and artists, deep cuts from heritage acts (like Willie Nelson), and pallet-expanding sound and information. It’s a perfect fit for the mix on pGR Prime, and we’re excited to bring it to you. You’ll hear The Appetizer every Saturday at 9 PM, with an encore every Monday night at 7.
- Sunday 7/6 at 9 AM CT, it’s the return of Cadillac Jack’s Eclectic Avenue! Cadillac opens his record collection, and accidentally releases Bob Dylan, Cousin Willie and a few other deviant types!!
“Transformers”, Movies In Disguise. Like, Really Disguised…. Here Comes The “Michael Bay Double-Team”! (Yikes, Wonder how many VS Models Heard THAT line before..?)
Time to double-team both the longest-running American movie of 2014 and the one with the biggest box-office opening weekend, Trans4mers: Age Of Extincition. Here’s your popGeezer, going first to get you used to the temp of the water, before Cadillac Jack grabs you for a cannonball of rage in the deep end:
I’m going to leave a lot of the heavy lifting, in terms of reviewing Trans4mers: Age Of Extinction, to our Cadillac Jack. Here’s why. When your popGeezer goes to a Michael Bay movie, thanks to years of practiced self-hypnosis, I turn off vast regions of my cerebellum. This enables me to survive the physical assault of noise, lighting and flash cuts, but it deactivates my ability to critically analyze a film. This means that for (dear lord is THAT number right?) two and three-quarter hours, I’m reduced to a giggling luddite. However, that luddite walks away from these cinematic techno-viruses alive, and after a few hours, I’m returned to full consciousness.
Having said that, here’s the big takeway from T4:AOE — transforming robot samurai dinosaurs (in disguise….). I don’t care how intelligent you are, that bit of information had to make you smile. And, even with the effects of temporary TBI, I smiled… and laughed, all the way through the thing. (It’s not a real movie, so I’ll just call it a thing.)
By both rebooting and sequelling the Transformers franchise, writer Ehren Kruger and directicon Michael Bay actually do improve on the scorched-earth nuke that was T3: Moon Me In The Dark. With a totally new cast, who have not been almost killed by Bay three freakin’ times, there is a renewed energy and a real sense that there is life left in this property. Not intelligent life…. but… y’know… something.
You can be one of the many who decry Michael Bay things for being… bad? loud? messy? But, Michael Bay productions are as distinctly signed as those by any powerful auteur you can name. Spielberg? Yes. Hitchcock? Yep. And his closest contemporary peer, David Fincher? Absolutely.
But what you have to say there is that Fincher is a fetishist who can tell a narrative story, and Bay is a fetishist who can’t. Or, doesn’t really want to anymore.
Bay’s fetishes are (do I have to list them?) fast cars, colossal explosions, and hot, hot, super-hot young women. And he seems to have a bad habit of loving jokes that are just a bit racist – especially with Asian people, if T3 and T4 are your key pieces of evidence. Other than the racism, his kinks are pretty harmless, if you’re just taking Maxim Magazine and bringing it to big screens. And with that example, you know who Bay’s core audience is, and who dropped $100 million worth of coin last weekend. But when it comes to the super-hot girl thing, Bay really amps it up to an uncomfortable level this time. Nicola Peltz, the lovely Snapple heiress covering the ingenue role this time out, is video-graphed with maybe a bit TOO MUCH love for a girl who was eighteen at the time the thing was being made. (As a point of reference, Megan Fox was 20 when making T1, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was the ripe old age of twenty-three during the shooting of T3.)
In the early going, Peltz is rocking a pair of cutoff shorts that are… short, to say the least. So much so that the discussion of her shorts is big piece of character-defining exposition for her, Mark Wahlberg as her father and T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley, and our harshly-treated comic relief). As the action expands and expands, her luminosity while being covered with dirt, sweat and panic struck me as creepy. And I don’t think it was just my own hang-up. Bay kinda perved-out this time.
Okay, before I get asked to sign up for some kind of registry, let’s wrap this up. I think that Michael Bay’s stuff is review-proof, because it’s pure over-pumped popcorn. I don’t have any giant axe to grind with the man, especially since he is a truly distinct visual artisan. With Bay, it’s all about the shot – one at a time – and each one’s a gem to Bay. He’s not hung up on the story, that’s apparently someone else’s job. T4 makes no sense, is almost void of acting – only Kelsey Grammer’s gravelly toned scene-chewing and Stanley Tucci’s Greek-chorus style hilarious and brutal commentary on the absurdity of what’s happening are giving any kind of real performance – but it is a marvel of massively physical effects grafted with loopy (but also effective) CGI.
And – in the third act – transforming robot samurai dinosaurs – which is worth something, right?
Our Cadillac Jack, now, is here to tell you to, “TRANSFORM THIS! Michael Bay Takes The Fourth Installment of His Multi-Billion Dollar Franchise and Turns It Into a Two and a Half Hour Waste of Time and Money!
This is probably how the scenario played out for a lot of people. As we came reeling out of the theatre this past Saturday, squinting in the bright sun like newborn puppies after our interminable time in the dark, I turned to the two young people (who will remain nameless) who attended Transformers Age of Extinction with me and asked querulously, “So, how did you like the movie?”
“Awesome,” they both answered exuberantly. “It was awesome!”
“Yeah?” I asked. “What made it so awesome?”
“The explosions! The stuff blowing up! The explosions,” they replied, their eyes alight with the fires of the destruction of Hong Kong. “It was loud!”
“Yes, it was loud,” I agreed, never so grateful in my life that thirty-plus years in radio had already destroyed much of my hearing. “What did you think of the story?”
The two youngsters blinked, shaking their heads slightly as if hearing a noise from far, far away. “The story,” they asked.
“Yeah, the story,” I replied slowly, speaking as I would to someone who had just survived an auto accident or watching an episode of Gossip Girl. “What happened?”
“Well…” they began slowly. “There was Marky Mark and he found Optimus and the Army came after them and BOOM! They blew up Tokyo!”
“Hong Kong,” I corrected gently. “Anything else?”
“Dinobots!” They yelled triumphantly. “And explosions! Did we mention the cool stuff blowing up?”
This, my friends, is the danger of Disaster Porn. If anyone in your family exhibits any of the signs upon seeing Transformers Age of Extinction or any other Michael Bay movie, please seek medical and psychiatric treatment immediately.
I have a theory. You see, I don’t really believe Michael Bay understands what the rest of us mean by “the story.” For Michael, all the story he needs is:
The HERO enters camera-left. The VILLAIN enters camera-right.
They stare at one another and shout a few slug lines at one another
in the shadow of a soon-to-be-destroyed major metropolitan area
(It doesn’t matter which one unless you need to identify it for
financing purposes). Suddenly, they attack one another, without
warning and without reason. Five and a half hours later, the major
metropolitan area is destroyed and the HERO emerges victorious.
It doesn’t matter how he wins. It doesn’t matter why he wins.
It just matters that he wins and that in winning, lots of $#!+ blows
up real cool.
That said, Mr. Bay is very much aware of the fact that he gets a lot of grief for what some call the appalling lack of story in his films. The critics have certainly taken him to task over it, and the notes from the studio have surely mentioned it, even if his fanbase of young boys under the age of thirteen never seem to notice it at all. So, Michael hires a screenwriter, in this case Ehren Kruger, the ace wordsmith who has written every one of the Transformers movies except the good one (the first one) and says, “Fire up the typewriter, Ehren-baby! Write me a story that’ll shut those studio wussies up for good!”
And so, Ehren writes. And in his defense, it might actually be a decent story, filled with humor and compassion and heart, brimming with character and honest human emotion. In fact, I’ll even go you one farther and assume that Michael Bay actually shoots that movie, just as Kruger wrote it. So then, what happened? How did Mr. Kruger’s supposedly warm and wonderful story of Autobots gone wild get turned into a three-hour orgy of disaster porn?
Welcome to the editing-bay, my friends. This is where they take all the shot footage, cut it down and actually turn it into the movie we see in the theatre. The editors credited with this task on T4 are Roger Barton, William Goldenberg and Paul Rubell. But we don’t blame them, do we? No, for there is one other in that room. One who looms over the proceedings like a giant Scarecrow of Doom…the director, our pal, Michael Bay. And as the editors labor over the film, trying to make sense of the senseless and art out of anarchy, Mr. Bay makes choices. And given a choice between a quiet moment of story-driven emotion versus yet another scene of destruction and carnage on a Wagnerian scale, Bay picks the explosions. Every. Time. “But Michael,” the editors protest. “If we cut that scene then all of Act Two doesn’t make sense!” “I don’t care,” Bay bellows. “If I wanted to make boring talking head pictures, I’d go to work for PBS!” And scene by scene, cut by cut, the possibility of a good movie dies. Does it really happen like this? How should I know? But there’s a chance that somewhere amongst the detritus on the floor of the editing bay, that there is a really good Transformers movie lying in wait. I’d like to see that movie. God knows, I truly would. Because I sure as hell didn’t see it in the theatre.
First of all, Transformers Age of Extinction is too damn long. At two hours and thirty-seven minutes (over three hours with previews), it feels twice that long and needs to be cut by a good thirty to forty-five minutes. Every explosion, every car chase, every fight scene is extended, shot from a different angle and then extended again. All of this is included in the film! Bay considers himself a visual director, and, God knows, he does know his way around a camera angle or two, but T4 is an exercise in megalomaniacal indulgence on the part of a director who knows that no matter what he does, his movie will blow up at the box office and win the summer hands down. Is there no one to reign him in? Is there no one to tell him “no?” Don’t look to Steven Spielberg for help. Despite the fact that he executive produced all four of these films, I honestly can’t imagine that he’s ever seen a single one of them. He just counts his cut of the profits and laughs all the way to the bank.
And what’s up with the Autobots in this thing? All of a sudden they all have creepy-looking human faces that make them look more like the Bride of Chucky than the saviors of the Universe. Oh sure, the CGI has never been better, or the animation more seamless and realistic, but when the portrayals are all such two-dimensional stereotypes, who cares? The great Peter Cullen (who also played Optimus Prime in the original cartoons), John Goodman and Ken Watanabe are all wasted here, as their characters wrangle and complain, without real conversations, and shout battle cries and slogans for the next line of movie tie-in t-shirts. I swear if I could just hear Cullen’s Optimus utter one line that carried a touch of real emotion, a hint that he even gave a damn, I’d rip this review up and keep my mouth shut. I swear to God.
Speaking of portrayals, what about the human actors in this thing? Humans have never been a huge part of the Transformers franchise, but here, Bay has completely cleaned house on the human front and brought in a whole new cast, headlined by his Pain and Gain star, Mark Wahlberg. Mr. Wahlberg certainly has a pleasant screen presence and is a capable actor, certainly more than up to the task put before him here, but his character is such a loser. This washout as a dad, and this washout as an inventor, proves himself to be a washout as a human being early on. When Titus Welliver’s CIA stooge Savoy actually pins Wahlberg’s character’s daughter to the ground with a boot to the neck, holds a pistol to her head, and swears to her brains out unless he (Wahlberg) gives up the location of Optimus Prime — Wahlberg actually has to think about it! In fact, this whole movie is so filled with bad father figures refusing to deal with the results of their abysmal parenting, the only thing that could possibly have made things worse would have been if they’d released the film on Fathers’ Day!
While Wahlberg does a decent job in a badly-written role, the only real reason to watch this dreck is the always wonderful Stanley Tucci. Whether it be the Hunger Games franchise or rom-com foolishness like The Devil Wears Prada or one of his myriad mesmerizing roles in score of other, much better films, Tucci is an electrifying screen presence, a celluloid Rumplestiltskin who always manages to spin straw (or in this case over-CGI’d crap) into gold. Granted his character arc is clichéd and his redemption totally unearned, as he largely makes his choices based on avarice and narcissism, but he is one of the few characters that you actually wouldn’t mind seeing again once this thing is over. Hopefully, in a much different, much better film.
As for the young lovers of the story, Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor, they are simply Bay’s usual version of vacuous eye-candy, much as Megan Fox and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley were in previous installments, and I will be surprised not at all if they both follow their predecessors into the eventual obscurity of a job with a paper hat in the very near future. In fact, the person who I feel the most sorry for here is Sophia Myles, an actress I dearly love watching, who gets things off to a good start by discovering the Transformium (yes, that’s what we’re calling the macguffin here, OK? Makes you feel a lot better about James Cameron’s Unobtanium from Avatar, doesn’t it?) in the first place, then disappears for the rest of Act One and most of Act Two. She re-appears in Act Three to run around willy-nilly with Marky-Mark and The Funky Bunch through the obliterated streets of Hong Kong, before being summarily sent home by Tucci, with a dismissive, “you should go somewhere safe.” Really? You think, Brainiac? And where the hell would that be? Ms. Myles should fire her agent, and thank god she wasn’t in enough of this movie to be included in the marketing campaign. I had to go home and watch Outlander, Tristan and Isolde and the Doctor Who episode The Girl in the Fireplace back to back to back just to stop my hands from shaking on her behalf. Oh, and just so he feels included in my tongue-lashing, the erstwhile Fraiser Crane, Mr. Kelsey Grammer arrives chewing the scenery from Day One, playing a human version of the Old Prospector character he played in Toy Story 2.
And about that story I earlier bemoaned? That a muddled incomprehensible mess? See, the government, for some reason, hates the Transformers now, even though they saved the world from the Decepticons. Finding the Transformium, the corporate baddies at Tucci’s KSI (think Apple with no soul) learned how to mostly create their own Transformers. But since they’re using Megatron’s old hard drive to boot them up, you can imagine how that goes. In the meanwhile, the CIA has entered into a partnership with a Transformer bounty hunter named Lockdown to capture Optimus in exchange for something with the vaguely suggestive name of The Seed. And as for the humans, Marky-Mark is dodging creditors and playing Bad Dad with his super-hot daughter, so totally oblivious to what’s going on around him, that he’s not even aware that she’s managed to build an entire life right in front of his nose without him even noticing. It’s a poorly crafted house of cards, held together by prayer and duct tape (or is that C4 and det-cord? I’m not sure). Frankly, the whole Return of Megatron storyline could have been hinted at here and continued in the inevitable T5, and we’d have been fine. Also, why did we have to destroy Chicago again? If you knew you were going to destroy Hong Kong anyway, why not just start the show in HK this time and give the US a break? Sheesh. That would save you a good half hour right there.
In the long run, none of it matters. Despite a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, T4 made one hundred million dollars (domestic) at the box office this weekend – making it the number one movie of the year so far – and over 300 million world-wide (with a 90 million-biggest opening ever-for China). And even managed an A- Cinescore from the adoring masses. Go figure.
I will say one thing, however. Amidst all the wanton destruction and violence and disaster porn, Bay and company did get the title right for this one. Extinction is the perfect word for this movie; the extinction of good action movie-making, the extinction of good story-telling and the extinction of any warm feelings I ever had for the childish joys of my youth. It’s Extinction, all right. And something is starting to smell.
Warner will officially announce this, and set a street date, during a panel at this month’s Comic Con in San Diego. But for now, just bask in the glow of that old Zenith in the corner. Batman: The Series is coming to home video in November.