Studio Playlist: Fat Tuesday

Goin' Back To New Orleans

Dr. John

Walking To New Orleans

Fats Domino

Tipitina

Professor Longhair

Iko Iko

The Dixie Cups

Go To The Mardi Gras

Professor Longhair

Hey Pocky A-Way

The Meters

Big Chief

Professor Longhair

Street Parade

Earl King

Tremé Mardi Gras 

Kermit Ruffins

Handa Wanda

Bo Dillis and the Wild Magnolia Mardi Gras Indian Band

Second and Dryades 

Galactic & Big Chief Monk Boudreaux

All On A Mardi Gras Day 

The Wild Magnolias

Fire On The Bayou 

The Neville Brothers

Right Place Wrong Time

Dr. John

Carnival Day 

Dave Bartholomew

Throw Me Something, Mister 

Buckwheat Zydeco

Do Watcha Wanna

Rebirth Brass Band

La Danse de Mardi Gras 

Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys

When The Saints Go Marching In 

Pete Fountain

Jambalaya Strut 

Dr. Michael White

 

Watch These Films: A Lovers' List

Casablanca

Michael Curtiz  

1942

Brief Encounter  

David Lean  

1945

Sabrina

Billy Wilder

1954

An Affair to Remember 

Leo McCarey

1957

Breathless

Jean-Luc Goddard  

1960

Splendor in the Grass

Elia Kazan

1961

Jules et Jim

Francois Truffaut

1962

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?

Mike Nichols

1966

Bonnie and Clyde

Arthur Penn

1967

The Graduate

Mike Nichols

1967

Woman Under the Influence

John Cassavetes

1974

Manhattan

Woody Allen

1979

Tempest

Paul Mazursky

1982

Paris, Texas

Wim Wenders

1984

I Love You

Marco Ferreri

1986

Betty Blue

Jean-Jacques Beineix

1986

Wings of Desire 

Wim Wenders

1987

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Philip Kaufman

1988

The English Patient

Anthony Minghella

1996

Shakespeare in Love

John Madden

1998

In the Mood for Love

Wong Kar-Wai

2000

Pride & Prejudice

Joe Wright

2005

Silver Linings Playbook

David O. Russell

2012

Blue is the Warmest Color

Abdellatif Kechiche

2013

 

Studio Playlist: Winter SOUL-stice

Soul Searching

Solomon Burke

People Get Ready

Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions

I’ll Take You There

The Staple Singers

Bring It On Home To Me

Sam Cooke

Sweet Soul Music  

Arthur Conley    

Soul Man       

Sam & Dave

I Got You

James Brown

Try a Little Tenderness

Otis Redding

Hold On! I’m Comin’

Sam & Dave

Shotgun

Junior Walker & The All Stars

Respect

Otis Redding

Cry to Me

Solomon Burke

Mercy Mercy Me

Marvin Gaye

Let’s Stay Together

Al Green

Whatcha See Is Watcha Get

The Dramatics

Let’s Groove

Earth, Wind & Fire

Dancing In the Street       

Martha Reeves

I Want You Back

Jackson 5

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

Diana Ross, Jackson 5 & The Supremes

Studio Playlist: GOODBYE LOU

ROCK AND ROLL

 

I’LL BE YOUR MIRROR

 

KILL YOUR SONS

 

WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT

 

HEROIN     

 

SATELLITE OF LOVE   

 

I’M WAITING FOR THE MAN

 

ROMEO HAD JULIETTE

 

SWEET JANE

 

I WANNA BE BLACK

 

VICIOUS

 

CAROLINE SAYS

 

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

 

ECSTASY 

 

STREET HASSLE

 

KICKS

 

CONEY ISLAND BABY

 

WHO AM I?

 

HOW DO YOU THINK IT FEELS

 

PERFECT DAY

 

Studio Playlist: Autumnal Equinox

Suddenly Last Summer

The Motels

Last Summer Days

Archer Prewitt

Indian Summer

The Doors

September

Earth, Wind & Fire

Wake Me Up When September Ends       

Green Day

Autumn Sweater            

Yo La Tengo

Autumn

Paolo Nutini

Autumn

Edgar Winter

Autumn

Malcolm Middleton

Grand Theft Autumn

Fall Out Boy

Autumn Almanac

Kinks

Autumn Shade

The Vines

Autumn Stone

Small Faces

Slippin’ Into Darkness

War

Changes

David Bowie

Waiting on the World to Change

John Mayer

October            

U2

Harvest Moon

Neil Young

 

Studio Playlist: The Oscars

The Continental (1934)

Con Conrad and Herb Magidson (Ginger Rogers)

Over the Rainbow (1939)

Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg (Judy Garland)

The Last Time I Saw Paris (1941)          

Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein (Ann Sothern)

Baby Its Cold Outside (1948)

Frank Loesser (Ricardo Montalban, Esther Williams)

Mona Lisa (1950)

Ray Evans and Jay Livingston (Nat King Cole)

Gigi (1958)

Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Turner (Louis Jourdan)

Moon River (1961)

Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer (Audrey Hepburn)

Call Me Irresponsible (1964)

Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn (Jackie Gleason)

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head (1969)

Hal David and Burt Bacharach (B.J. Thomas)

Theme from Shaft (1971)

Isaac Hayes

Last Dance (1978)

Paul Jabara (Donna Summer)

Fame (1980)

Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford (Irene Cara)

I Just Called to Say I Love You (1984)

Stevie Wonder

Streets of Philadelphia (1994)

Bruce Springsteen

You Must Love Me (1997)

Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice (Madonna)

Things Have Changed (2000)

Bob Dylan

Lose Yourself (2002)

Marshall Mathers, Luis Resto, Jeff Bass (Eminem)

I Need to Wake Up (2006)

Melissa Etheridge

Jai Ho (2008)

A.R. Rahman and Gulzar (Sukhvinder Singh, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Vijay Prakash)

We Belong Together (2010)

Randy Newman

 

We’re on a Mission from God

There have been plenty of movies made about Chicago, in Chicago, and around Chicago, but no feature film captures the visual and cultural essence of Chicago in 1980 better than The Blues Brothers. I was reminded of this the other night as my 17-year-old son and I watched it for the tenth time. The unimpeded view of iconic tall buildings across the cityscape made the best modern high-rises of Chicago easily recognizable (along with one in Milwaukee as seen from the bridge to nowhere in the famous car chase scene).

Thirty-two years ago Chez Paul was considered the finest restaurant in Chicago, crime was up, Jane Byrne was mayor and graft was a daily part of doing business with practically every city and county department. When John Landis, the director of The Blues Brothers, sought permission to shoot on Cook County property, he didn’t approach county officials; instead, he went to the mob. Like other American cities of a similar size, Chicago had yet to see the urban renaissance of young professionals forsaking the suburbs in droves for the urban experience, gentrifying neighborhoods that needed it as well as those that didn’t.

By the time John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, and Howlin’ Wolf had all passed, so too had Nate’s Deli, which was used as the location for the fictional Soul Café where Aretha Franklin belted out “Think” and where John Lee Hooker performed “Boom Boom” outside on Maxwell Street. In the following scene, Ray Charles performed “Shake a Tail Feather” at Ray’s Music Exchange, better known to Bronzeville residents as Shelley’s Loan and Jewelry on East 47th Street. James Brown performed at the Pilgrim Baptist Church on East 91st Street and the concert scene in Wisconsin at the Palace Hotel Ballroom with Cab Calloway was actually the South Shore Country Club in Chicago.

Today, Maxwell Street is there in name but a large percentage of the buildings have either been demolished or replaced. With few exceptions, where there were once thriving street markets, blues clubs and authentic soul food, there are now chain restaurants, sports bars and new condo developments. The bridges, roads and “L” trains that were so predominately depicted in the movie have been modernized by new train cars (and I miss the look of the old ones) and some very new stations, but not all are better.

The Chicago skyline has dramatically changed as well. The city has increased the number of tall buildings over 18 stories by tenfold in the last thirty-two years. Unfortunately, this hasn’t made it a more attractive skyline, just a bigger one. One must remember that the first skyscraper in Chicago (and thus the world) was only ten stories in height. Most buildings were only a few stories high and the vast majority of them, no matter when they were built, could not be considered good architecture—just urban infill and real estate. The difference is that this new litany of tall buildings that we see on the skyline detracts from the beauty of the skyline rather than improves it.

It’s not all bad. As the city changed so too did its politics, business investment, real estate, investment in education, and the perception of us as an urban society. There have been wonderful improvements made to the built environment in Chicago in the last three decades. To name just a few of the more thoughtful and meaningful building projects, we have seen countless preservation initiatives, sections of Millennium Park, the Gary Comer Youth Center, the Buckingham Fountain visitor pavilions and the tree planting of the boulevards and Lake Shore Drive. It is too bad the same skill and thoughtfulness was not instilled in many of the new tall building developments that now obstruct our skyline.

The plot of The Blues Brothers was to raise money to save the Catholic orphanage in which they grew up from tax foreclosure. The irony of the plot is that it was Cook County foreclosing on the Catholic Church and as an organized religion the Catholic Archdiocese does not pay property taxes.

In today’s election, once again we are being told how horrible our tax situation is and that we need to rely more on private enterprise and business expertise to save us from the horrible mistakes of government. It is an indisputable fact that we are paying less tax as a percentage of income than we were thirty years ago and seeing less done with our money domestically with what tax revenue we do have. Regardless of what we pay in taxes, we should be asking ourselves what our government is supposed to do for us. Shouldn’t our expectation of the government be to provide a physical infrastructure on which we base the way we live in good times or bad?

The government gave the automobile manufacturers paved highways, oil companies subsidies for exploration, and the western states power and water. Unfortunately, the projects of this great recession haven’t come close to those of the Great Depression in either scope or quality; and in the private sector, big building projects have done little for our skyline, culture, or sense of identity unlike, say, Rockefeller Center in New York in 1933. The private sector has not stepped up to the plate when the government has pulled back. In fact, more than ever, large corporations are looking for government subsidies to determine their geography. And, unfortunately, our government leadership has not effectively made the case as to why we should be investing in our infrastructure like no other time before.

Today, as we elect a president and hundreds of federal representatives, what is it that we seek from government? It seems the best investment our government can make is to develop and maintain a path that can bring neighbors together, helping to create both a political and physical environment that promotes interaction and a healthy exchange of ideas as well as a vibrant and divergent commerce. That is difficult to do when the path you use to seek out your neighbor is a muddy rut. Perhaps it is again a time to ask ourselves what it is that we can do for our country.

BL

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