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Brian Matthew obituary

Radio and TV presenter of a pop music soundtrack for 1960s teens – and chronicler of their memories in Sounds of the Sixties

In 1957, two years into a job as a BBC producer-cum-announcer, Brian Matthew, who has died aged 88, was invited to present the BBC Light Programme’s Saturday Skiffle Club. Skiffle, that shortlived but vital hybrid that incubated British rock’n’roll, duly expired shortly afterwards, and so, in October 1958, the show was relaunched as Saturday Club, with Matthew as presenter.

Its first lineup is the stuff of a lost era: a crooner, Gary Miller; Johnny Duncan, an American expatriate scratching a British living out of the rock boom; a teen idol, Terry Dene, remembered now only for his ephemerality; and an eternal verity, Humphrey Lyttelton. The first record played by Matthew was Lonnie Donegan’s cover of Woody Guthrie’s Grand Coulee Dam. The following year Saturday Club was
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Inside Llewyn Davis has its pleasures and its flaws, as did the folk movement | Ian Jack

The Coen brothers' new film about a 1960s folk singer in Greenwich Village is a reminder of how authenticity became the rod that folk music made for its own back

The new film by the Coen brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis, evokes Greenwich Village at the beginning of the American folk boom. The date is February 1961. Metropolitan young Americans sit in smoky clubs listening reverently to music that they believe is purer, more honest and more heartfelt and therefore more elevating than the commercial mainstream of Sinatra, Buddy Holly and Doris Day. Folk music is still mainly a process of discovery and renewal rather than invention; singers tend to see themselves as curators of tradition. Lines such as: "Here's a song I first heard Leadbelly sing," remain the staple fare of introductions in a form that awaits the great singer-songwriter. Bob Dylan has just arrived in town but is still a
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

’12 Years A Slave’ and ‘All Is Lost’ – Sound On Sight Podcast #368

Ricky D, Simon Howell and Josh Spiegel sit down to discuss one of Sound On Sight’s most anticipated films of 2013, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave – and joining them is former co-host, Julian Carrington. After an hour long heated debate, the crew takes a few minutes to review J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost, a tense adventure drama about a man (Robert Redford) who must fight for survival after being lost at sea.

Playlist:

Lonnie Donegan – “Pick a Bale of Cotton”

Hans Zimmer – “Solomon”

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You can now hear our podcast on Stitcher Smart Radio.

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See full article at SoundOnSight »

Tony Sheridan obituary

Singer and guitarist who acted as a role model to the Beatles

It is generally recognised that the Beatles developed their frenetic stage act during lengthy engagements in the clubs of Hamburg's Reeperbahn district. Less well-known is the fact that a Hamburg-based English musician, Tony Sheridan, was something of a role model in this process, with Paul McCartney referring to him as "The Teacher". While in Germany, the Beatles made their first recording, as a backing group for Sheridan, who has died aged 72 after undergoing heart surgery.

He was born Anthony Esmond Sheridan McGinnity in Norwich, into a middle-class Irish family. At school he had a conventional classical music education, learning the violin, singing in the choir and performing in Gilbert and Sullivan. Everything changed in 1956 when, like many British youths, he heard Lonnie Donegan's skiffle record Rock Island Line. Sheridan took up the guitar and formed a skiffle group,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Wurzels member Reg Quantrill dies, aged 77

The Wurzels musician Reg Quantrill has died, aged 77. Quantrill was one of the last surviving original members of the Somerset folk band, who were known for their self-described 'Scrumpy & Western' style of music. The band were best known for their 1970s hits 'I Am a Cider Drinker' and 'Combine Harvester'. Reg Quantrill played the banjo and guitar for the band until 1974, when he left months before the death of original leader Adge Cutler. He was known for being the butt of several on-stage jokes made by Cutler and other members of the band. He also performed as a jazz musician, and was a close friend of skiffle performer Lonnie Donegan and clarinet player Acker Bilk. Quantrill later turned to acting, and had appeared on Maid Marian and Her Merry Men (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Mark Kermode's DVD round-up

We Need to Talk About Kevin; The Greatest Movie Ever Sold; A Useful Life; In Time; Jack Goes Boating

Whatever happens at the Oscars ceremony in Hollywood tonight, you can be sure of one thing: there won't be any statuettes handed out to the very best film of the year. While the board-sweeping success of a near-silent B&W beauty is a reason to be cheerful, not even the rule-breaking brilliance of Michel Hazanavicius's The Artist can outshine the excellence of my favourite film of 2011, which saw the Scottish director Lynne Ramsay making a triumphant return to our screens after a nine-year absence. Welcome back!

Superbly adapted (by screenwriters Ramsay and Rory Kinnear) from Lionel Shriver's supposedly unfilmable bestseller, We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011, Artificial Eye, 15) inhabits a painterly netherworld pitched somewhere between the subtle hues of European psychodrama and the bolder strokes of populist paedophobic horror.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Portrait of the artist: Julie Walters, actor

'The worst thing anyone ever wrote? "Julie Walters obviously thinks she's got good legs." That was painful'

What got you started?

I just had a desire to entertain from a very early age. When I was really teeny, I used to pull the curtains across the bay window and come out, play my plastic ukulele, and pretend to be Elvis Presley or Lonnie Donegan.

Who or what have you sacrificed for your art?

My health. I didn't realise how stressful acting is until I did [the BBC film] A Short Stay in Switzerland. There was a collage of my character having all these health tests. A real nurse was doing them, and she said: "Ooh, your blood pressure's really high." It was because she had taken it during filming.

Has fame been difficult to cope with?

It would be churlish to say it has, but it has its problems. It's odd for kids.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Portrait of the artist: Julie Walters, actor

'The worst thing anyone ever wrote? "Julie Walters obviously thinks she's got good legs." That was painful'

What got you started?

I just had a desire to entertain from a very early age. When I was really teeny, I used to pull the curtains across the bay window and come out, play my plastic ukulele, and pretend to be Elvis Presley or Lonnie Donegan.

Who or what have you sacrificed for your art?

My health. I didn't realise how stressful acting is until I did [the BBC film] A Short Stay in Switzerland. There was a collage of my character having all these health tests. A real nurse was doing them, and she said: "Ooh, your blood pressure's really high." It was because she had taken it during filming.

Has fame been difficult to cope with?

It would be churlish to say it has, but it has its problems. It's odd for kids.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV highlights 02/09/2011

  • The Guardian - TV News
Outnumbered | Wogan On Wodehouse | When Rock Goes Acoustic | Treme | Comedy Showcase: Chickens | Comedy Lab: Anna & Katy

Outnumbered

9pm, BBC1

The show that's given family sitcoms a good name returns for a fourth series. Tonight's plot centres on a family funeral and Pete losing his teaching job after resigning on a point of principle. Not that any ongoing story is necessarily what keeps you watching here. No, it's the details that make you squirm in recognition, as when Pete's mother ("I lack the warmth thing") suddenly remembers one of her klutzy son's childhood nicknames: "Cack hands!"Jonathan Wright

Wogan On Wodehouse

9pm, BBC2

Sir Terry chose the complete works of PG Wodehouse as his reading material on Desert Island Discs, so now gets his own show exploring the life and work of the great man. Many others, including Stephen Fry and sundry famous fans, talk about their adoration for the Jeeves & Wooster creator,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Sound And Fury: Bela Tarr’S “The Turin Horse” Plus More At The Cannes Film Festival

Sound design can be a filmmaker’s secret weapon. Psycho (1960) and Dirty Dancing (1987) aside, moviegoers are often hard pressed to remember the popular songs played in a film, let alone what a film itself sounded like. Yet in these layered, dense aural textures, every footstep and cigarette burn is meticulously tuned. Though it may never climb to the level of conscious analysis, this can have a deep psychological and emotional effect–particularly if the audience is treated to the top tier acoustics and audio systems of the theaters at the Cannes Film Festival.

The sound work and soundtrack in director Lynne Ramsay‘s Morvern Callar (2002) helped the film amass a cult following in the years following its release. They come together in one of that film’s most revelatory sequences: The Mamas and the Papas‘s “Dedicated To the One I Love” subtly shifts from sounding expansive and loud to
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Cannes salutes the women behind the camera

The festival has famously neglected the talents of female directors, but this year four are vying for the top prize, including Lynne Ramsay, whose dazzling interpretation of Lionel Shriver's novel We Need to Talk About Kevin is tipped for glory

Oone of the 15 golden rules of Cannes president Gilles Jacob, as set out in his new memoir Citizen Cannes, is: Never forget that a beautiful woman's face is the reason cinema exists.

A reflection of cinema itself, the festival has always been in the thrall of beautiful women: Faye Dunaway adorns this year's striking festival poster, slinked as she is in a mid-length black dress around the digits 64, while Marilyn Monroe in a sparkly playsuit is poster girl for the Un Certain Regard sidebar.

However adoring of on-screen beauty, Cannes has notoriously neglected female talent behind the camera, the Australian Jane Campion being the only Palme d'Or winner, for The Piano,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

David Letterman to Jay Leno: 'Don't hang around waitin' for somebody to drop dead'

David Letterman to Jay Leno: 'Don't hang around waitin' for somebody to drop dead'
David Letterman continued to mock Jay Leno Tuesday night, imagining the promo NBC is already running to promote his return to The Tonight Show (watch it after the jump), and reacting to Leno's Monday night "State of the Network" speech. "Lord knows I got my own problems, really, I got my own problems.... but I just can't help myself," Letterman said, explaining his decision to keep engaging in the latest late-night war. His first point: " said that we should not blame Conan for what's going on.... And I said to myself, No one is blaming Conan." His second point: Leno
See full article at EW.com - PopWatch »

Van Morrison: 'Beatles were peripheral'

Van Morrison has said that The Beatles's influence on the history of music is overstated. According to The New Yorker, the Irish singer-songwriter made the comment when someone in the city described skiffle legend Lonnie Donegan as one of a number of "pre-Beatles rock and roll" artists. He is quoted as saying: "That's a cliché. I don’t think 'pre-Beatles' means anything, because there was stuff before them. "Over here, you have a different slant. You measure things in terms of The Beatles. We don't (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

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