Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Actors/Musicians... a ramble through YouTube and my mind on a hot Wednesday in July

My last post was about Duchovny's book. I'm still stuck on him at the moment.

I've never been a fan of "The X-Files" but I know David Duchovny from at least one other thing that he's done, and when the book "Bucky F*cking Dent" crossed my desk at work I knew I wanted to read it. (If nothing else there promised to be baseball.) While looking up the reviews I discovered that he'd released an album last year. I had no idea! Seriously, I don't watch tv and I don't always pay attention to the radio.

Before getting the MP3 though my mind wondered "Is it actually any good?" I listened to a few songs online, on YouTube, on Amazon, etc... but the jury was still out so I got the MP3. It's not bad. The critics say he's imitating others but that's to be expected for his first release. Okay. I'm okay with that.

This got me to thinking about other actors who have released albums. The first two that came to my mind were David Hasselhoff and William Shatner. Classics. Shatner is of course terrible in a cheezy, 70s kind of way. He doesn't sing. He talks while music is playing. Hasselhoff is of course classic 80s. He does actually sing but he also thinks he's sexy and the videos are just.... cheese. What can I say?

Further curiousity led me to this--

Now I don't want to just repost all the videos that are listed in that article. That wouldn't be right. Some of them have me curious though and I'm continuing my research and exploration of "actors turned musicians" through YouTube etc...

Kevin Bacon is mentioned in that article, but not this video:

This isn't bad. It's newer so it doesn't have the cheese factor that those older actors have.

I can't judge country music, but Jeff Bridges was mentioned in the article and his music actually feels kind of genuine, like he was made for this. Here's one example-

I almost missed Bruce Willis! I guess Bruce had the chance to sing a little in one of his movies and decided it was fun. He's not writing his own material, as far as I know. He's just having fun doing covers.
God, that's the whole concert! Oops! 22 minutes!
Try this instead, it's shorter, only 8 minutes- 

Steve Martin is a comedian, an actor, a writer who has published novels, and a banjo player. His banjo playing has appeared in comic form in at least one of his movies. Bluegrass music is something that I learned in school and when I was younger but it's not always featured in popular culture. It's what he plays though, and good for him. Even back in 1979 he has a banjo with him while doing comedy as shown here-

I'm not big on Steve Martin though, I'd rather listen to Russell Crowe. The article mentions him doing "Testify" with his band but I did some looking around and found some other things-

I'm trying to think of what I want to say about this one. I'm making a short list for another post and I think this one is going to be on that list.

Crowe covering a Bruce Springsteen song-

So now circling back to where I started. I think William Shatner might be in the article, and man he's just... crazy bad, cheezy...  I shared this in a couple of places earlier today-

Duchovny's music is better than this thankfully! It's interesting that Shatner embraces this stuff though and continues to perform over the years in this way. I guess if it pays the bills then who am I to knock it?

I'm not sure with Hasselhoff if I should share something old or something new. Maybe a little of both.

This is from 6 years ago and pretty much sums it up...

And for older stuff--

Which brings me back to Duchovny, although I could go on about Russell Crowe because I might be his newest fan. As I'm writing this blog post Crowe's music is growing on me as YouTube slipped into "autoplay" and his music is continuing in the background.

Duchovny's music is the newest of the ones I'm covering here. This fan video is less than a year old.

This song is one of my favorites, although I had to look up the lyrics because I originally thought there was something sexier, dirtier, than what he actually says-
The audio isn't perfect on this version I admit but he actually looks a bit more like a musician than he does in some of the other videos.

ThinkSayRecords is David Duchovny's recording label I believe and the official video for "Hell or Highwater" is over here-

So I'm not sure how well the music is selling. He did a tour last year I guess, and now he's busy with his tv series "Aquarius" again, working on Season 2. Looking around Twitter and there seems to be a pretty solid fan base. This amuses me. I'm willing to join them and go for the ride but I also need to up my game and find the Russell Crowe fans too.

Monday, July 18, 2016

"Bucky F*cking Dent" by David Duchovny

Bucky F*cking DentBucky F*cking Dent by David Duchovny

Wow... this book isn't perfect but it exceeded my expectations. I am not a die-hard Duchovny fan but I was intrigued by the title of this book when it crossed my desk at the library where I work. I do know who Bucky Dent is and in a job I had a long, long time ago I worked with a guy with disabilities who knew Red Sox baseball from the 70s down cold. This game in 1978 was one I had heard about repeatedly. I was 7 when it happened so my memory... not so great. So I went into this story curious.

Another reviewer mentioned Duchovny using autobiographical material for some of this book and I wondered about that. I wish I knew more of his personal story, or where to find it. I did look him up on Wikipedia but that didn't answer all my questions.

I felt like there were many layers with this book. Our narrator, Ted, is a well-educated guy who likes to get stoned so there's some big words and wanderings as he talks to us sometimes and the story gets a little wobbly. I've taken some classes in marketing and advertising so I understood the stuff that was mentioned here about the history of advertising in the 60s and 70s and whatnot. I got that. Then there's the baseball stuff. Some of the chapters start off with statistics and dates and I think baseball fans, especially Red Sox and Yankees fans, will groove that. There's also some sexually explicit stuff that definitely puts this into a not-for-kids category. This isn't a book for a 12 year old.

As Patrick (another reviewer on Goodreads) said “But he packs the novel with seemingly every random observation or quasi-humorous quip that entered his consciousness.

While it's overstuffed and at times frustrating, there's still much to admire in this tale of finding love amid life's disappointments. (less)”-- Patrick

That's a pretty good summary. "Meredith" said the audiobook was worth a read and I plan on getting that from another library to listen to in the car. I'm not big into audiobooks but I think it could be interesting to hear this in book in Duchovny's voice.

So yeah... well-educated white guy, named after some Red Sox stuff, with a degree from Columbia working at Yankee Stadium selling peanuts gets the call that his father is dying and goes home to help him out. Along the way he's getting stoned, listening to the Grateful Dead, and reciting poetry. Duchovny's got a team behind him obviously that helps him get several copyright clearances to include poetry, song lyrics, and other writings that another writer might not be able to include. It's all good. The ending kind of cheeses out but I don't think there was any other way.

On a side note I was impressed with Duchovny's ability to slide the plane crash from 1960 into the story as well as the Greek from 2004. I really meant to look up the Greek to see if he got it right. The trip to Sturbridge and Friendly's was nice. I know where that is. The Paul Revere Motor Lodge... well that's in New York state, but maybe in 1978 there was one in Massachusetts that has since changed names. I wonder if Duchovny knows the back roads from New York City to Boston. He might. His ex-wife's grandmother and other family members are from Massachusetts, and at the end of the book he gives credit to a scene that happened in New England where he got the inspiration for the book.

I have heard that some New Yorkers recognized their own neighborhoods in the stories too. Given that Duchovny is a New Yorker I guess that's not a surprise.

And now I've got "Box of Rain" stuck in my head.

View all my reviews