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Good look at both movies, Mac. It's been a long time since I watched Mag 7, but I recall it being a better-than-average Western, but still primarily an adventure film. Seven Samurai, on the other hand, deals a lot more with the dramatic and character-related aspects of the story.

You're right about the score for Mag 7, though -- iconic. I happened to watch To Kill a Mockingbird at the cinema last night (the Cinemark chain runs classics twice a week in certain locations) and that too is a brilliant Elmer Bernstein score which received an Oscar nomination.

This sounds really good. I'll have to check it out.

I'm pretty sure when I retire, my whole life will be a long lunch break. As it is I try to aim for that now.

Unfortunately all the around-the-house work doesn't go away with retirement.

Thanks, Rob. Yeah, SS is just altogether more substantial.

Hope Grumpy gets well soon.

"Unfortunately all the around-the-house work doesn't go away with retirement."

That's just really sad. And I guess it expands to fill up the hours available?

I wonder if Grumpy is better yet?

Yes, it does. Of course having no children at home makes a HUGE difference. I sort of hate to say that because it sounds like you're glad they're gone, but it can't be denied that the lessening of the work load is nice.

I haven't heard from Grumpy. She goes mostly offline during Lent though so I don't expect to hear from her except for specific things like the movie post.

Just listened to the music from The Magnificent Seven out of curiosity, only to find it instantly recognisable. If I don't know it from the film, where do I know it from?

It's everywhere, in television commercials, in other movies, etc. It's like the Pachelbel Canon--ubiquitous.

Spellcheck does not like Pachelbel. It suggests bellyache instead.


I don't think the exact music is everywhere-but approximations and imitations are, because it's pretty much the archetype of Western (in the movie sense) music. I guess it's not real hard to do something similar to that basic theme, although I don't know enough about music to explain it.

Peter Schickele (musical humorist, sometimes very funny) had a fictitious classical radio station called WTWP--Wall-to-Wall-Pachelbel.

It used to the be theme for Marlboro cigarettes back in the day.


Oh, no wonder it sounds so familiar then. That alone would do the trick for anybody who watched TV back then.

Yes, I didn't recognise the introductory bars, but certainly recognised the rest from the ads!

There's a relatively recent pop song that samples parts of it prominently. Don't know who it is -- one of those current female singers who all sound the same.

I've been spared. Commercial pop now has gone from boring to decidedly unpleasant for me.

Yeah, it's one of those things I've heard a few times in a restaurant or a mall or something.

The only time I hear pop music nowadays is on Al Music Considered.


There is actually a whole lot of really good popular music being made right now. But I don't think much of it reaches a mass audience. I was really tempted a few weeks ago to post a tirade about pop culture occasioned by an attempt to watch and listen to Nikki Minaj's "Anaconda," which is both visually and aurally repulsive. But it seemed depressing and futile.

Meanwhile the old farts are going strong. The Elton John concert last night in the Mobile Civic Center was phenomenal, Mac! 10,000 people (most older than myself), 2.5 hours, his voice was really great and the band was amazing. Much better than when I saw him in the 80s. He is 68. Why anyone would possibly care about Nikki Minaj is beyond me.

I never did like EJ very much, but compared to Nikki Minaj, at least that one "song", he's Bach.

Interesting to see you tangent onto Pachelbel while discussing Seven Samurai and Magnificent Seven. Keep in mind the numerous remakes of Kurosawa's movies, and the reuse of the Magnificent Seven theme (for subsequent westerns and Marlboro commercials), and the assertion by playwrites/screen writers that there are a limited number of stories retold again and again, then see how Pachelbel's Canon has influenced music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdxkVQy7QLM

Heh--when I saw the link I thought it might be to that video. I sympathize with him, but I'm not enough of a musician to be bothered by the repetition of the chord progression. But then I never played the cello part, either. I think this is more of a case of natural resemblance than influence, though--it's your basic 1-4-5 stuff of which vast numbers of popular songs are composed.

Oh, that's funny. I thought that was what you were talking about earlier, Maclin.


You mean WTWP?

I guess in the end all tonal music comes down to "Louie, Louie."

My older teens listen to bands or musicians that I've never heard mentioned on radio or television. I don't know how well this chimes with the idea that "There is actually a whole lot of really good popular music being made right now. But I don't think much of it reaches a mass audience."

For example: Fat Freddy's Drop, Tom Rosenthal, The Mountain Goats. (The exception would be Johnny Flynn, who I have heard on TV.) Are these good? (I think they're OK, but I wouldn't go much further than that.) Are they reaching a mass audience? (Except for Flynn the YouTube views are in the hundreds of thousands rather than millions.)

I haven't been able to interest them in my own recent favourite, Stealing Sheep.

The people I do hear mentioned or played on television and radio mostly seem to be over-hyped and interchangeable mediocrities (to put it mildly). Not that I much put myself in a position to hear about them, so I might not have a fair sample. Mac's response to "Anaconda" led me to seek it out to see for myself, but I couldn't stick it for more than about 20 seconds. I did notice that it had hundreds of millions of views. (I just checked to see that I wasn't hallucinating that: 574 million.)

I don't catch too much pop or rock anymore, so my knowledge is rather limited, but my fave record by far of the last few years is The War on Drugs' Lost in the Dream. I think the whole thing is just brilliant from start to finish.

I haven't heard them. Of those Paul names, I've only heard The Mountain Goats, and they are indeed good. One name that always comes to mind in this context is Gillian Welch. Her best work is as good as anything anyone has ever done in the folkish singer-songwriter line. Though it's really not just her, it's also Dave Rawlins. As she said in an interview, it's a two-person band named Gillian Welch.

I keep meaning to listen to the Dave Rawlings machine to see if they are equally good, which I think they must be. They were in Nashville at the Ryman, and I thought it would be fun just to see them in there, but inertia overcame my desire to do anything about it.


War on Drugs is a little hard to explain. Some of it sounds like 80's guitar rock, some of it sounds like Dylan, and some sounds like the two mixed together. I'll post a couple tracks later today.

My impression of the DR Machine, for what it's worth, is that it/they/he is good but not as good as GW.

"Red Eyes" -- one of the more 80's sounding songs. But not quite. I really like the guitar work, and the quiet middle section that starts about 2:30 in. The reverb-laden, low-in-the-mix vocal on this one seems to take a cue from My Morning Jacket. It's also one of the shorter tracks. Some of them clock in at 7:00 or even 8:00 minutes.


No video for this one, which could've escaped from a Dylan record. I love the way it builds, and then just ends with a two-minute vamp, just chugging along and turning around on itself. One of the things that I like about the album is that he's not afraid to let the songs take their time and play out.


About 30 seconds into the first one I remembered that I have heard them, on Austin City Limits. They didn't make that strong an impression (obviously), but hearing that song again I really like it. The second one less so. I remember thinking that although their songs weren't especially striking they might grow on me.

Yes, that was my experience. I liked a few of the songs right off, but the rest took a couple listenings. I've had the CD for over a year now, and listen to it at least once a month. I have yet to tire of it -- it seems like every time I listen to it I hear something new.

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