November 20, 2021

Muscle Shoals: Documentary about the studio but mostly the artists

The Muscle Shoals sound encompasses some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Rick Hall brought black and white artists together to create music for the generations. He is responsible for creating the "Muscle Shoals sound" and The Swampers, the house band at FAME Studios that eventually left to start its own successful studio known as Muscle Shoals Sound. Artists who recorded here: The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, George Michael, Wilson Pickett, Willie Nelson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Cocker, Levon Helm, Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Tamiko Jones, and Cat Stevens. (I was quite surprised to come across this docu and have it not be behind a paywall. I've had other nice surprise finds disappear quickly, which is to say that if you want to watch this free you might want to act fast.)
posted by dancestoblue at 5:46 PM PST - 24 comments

"molded Chocolate Ceremonial Scissors make your event a memorable one!"

If, like me, you saw the little bitey turtle opening the new science lab at the University of Lincoln with its teeny choppers and thought "I'll never be satisfied with those giant ceremonial scissors again..." you might be interested to know that there are actually a wide variety of ceremonial ribbon cutting scissors (including useless chocolate ones), ceremonial groundbreaking shovels, ceremonial apple gavels for no reason I can figure out, and ceremonial.... uh... wedding axes. Maybe you just want to give someone the keys to your city. I don't even think they ask for ID! And you can even get special awards shaped like your state... as long as your state is New Hampshire.
posted by jessamyn at 2:25 PM PST - 35 comments

The Snoop Sisters

Ernesta and Gwendolyn Snoop, two famous mystery writers, one a widow, the other a spinster, turn detective to solve mysterious mysteries. A pilot and four 90 minute episodes were produced for NBC's Wednesday Mystery Movie rotation series between 1972 and 1974, featuring silver screen stars Helen Hayes and Mildred Natwick. [more inside]
posted by Catblack at 12:10 PM PST - 13 comments

A nice sit down

When most people choose a calendar to pin on their wall they would usually go for some cute animals or a famous film star. So Kevin Beresford was surprised when his calendar, celebrating the benches of his hometown, Redditch, became a runaway success. The unique dullness of his subject matter has struck a chord with the British public, and he’s now grappling with hundreds of orders while his flat has turned into a full-time calendar factory. In the Guardian, Jessica Murray covers a surprisingly popular calendar along news about the Dull Club, which publishes its own singular calendar.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:24 AM PST - 25 comments

First conversations between God and the animals

God Creating Animals [more inside]
posted by waving at 10:00 AM PST - 10 comments

Voice Break Choir

A mini documentary on a transitional boys' choir for boy choir members aging out because of puberty in Sweden. From the New Yorker and via Kottke. Wish they had a place like this for all teenagers!
posted by ichimunki at 9:50 AM PST - 4 comments

"If you say Donna Summer, you're in deep trouble."

Oscar Peterson teaches Dick Cavett what other piano players' styles are like. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by sardonyx at 9:39 AM PST - 22 comments

Regarding the Pain of Others

From the BBC this morning, an hour's meditation on the nature, practice and moral questions regarding war photography: Regarding the Pain of Others [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 7:31 AM PST - 3 comments


Tennis star Peng Shuai has not made a public appearance since she accused Zhang Gaoli, a former Chinese vice premier, of sexual assault, sparking off discussions of #MeToo allegations. While the post was removed within minutes, the attention surrounding her has only grown as her silence has gained international attention. A statement and a few photos posted to social media supposedly by Peng Shuai by an employee of Chinese state media was unconvincing to an international audience. High-profile tennis players such as Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, and Novak Djokovic are calling for proof of her uncoerced safety. In an unprecedented statement, the WTA CEO Steve Simon has publicly declared that he is willing to lose hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business in China if Peng is not fully accounted for and her allegations are not properly investigated. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 7:20 AM PST - 63 comments

"But then her tiny nostrils flared, and I knew I was dead."

"The Woman With the Long Black Hair" by Zach Shephard -- "The string-dolls and paintings puzzled her. So much reverence . . ." -- and "We Love Deena" by Alice Sola Kim (previously) -- "I don't remember which attempt it was, how many people I had been so far." -- are odd, complicated fantasy stories in which people get the wrong idea about a woman who brings death.
posted by brainwane at 5:40 AM PST - 1 comments

Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted

Kyle Rittenhouse verdict sends a chilling message to Wisconsin and the rest of the country [Wisconsin State Journal]

Here's what legal experts say helped acquit Kyle Rittenhouse []

The Rittenhouse trial could never have been what Americans wanted [The Atlantic] [more inside]
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:44 AM PST - 221 comments

Stephen Sondheim's Crossword Puzzles

Stephen Sondheim is a master of wordsmithing, and that made him a great candidate to write crossword puzzles [Blog post with links]. But not just any sort of crossword puzzles. [How To Do A Real Crossword Puzzle, NY Mag. Archive link] His cryptic crosswords continue to be a bane to crossword lovers. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:22 AM PST - 12 comments

We Have Always Been At War With Blue

Sacré bleu: French flag changes colour – but no one notices [Grauniad] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 4:05 AM PST - 16 comments

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