Saturday Night Serenade–Comfort Food

That Thing You Do! is a 1996 film written and directed by actor Tom Hanks. It’s the story of a fictional 60s pop band that became a one-hit wonder. Oh, but that one hit!

The movie is available to rent on YouTube, and it’s probably a few other places as well. While you’re stuck at home, it’s a great way to spend a couple of hours. I think of it as comfort food viewing.

The title song is a catchy tune I defy you not to keep singing all day long once you hear it. It’s happy and fun, and it was written by Fountains of Wayne founder Adam Schlesinger, who we lost to Covid-19 at the age of 52 on April 1. Lest we forget we’re still in the middle of a global pandemic.

Stay safe. Stay home. Hug your loved ones virtually. Our family has taken to having weekly get-togethers via Zoom. Maybe you can do the same. Because you never know.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–

Tonight’s serenade is a classic, and it doesn’t get much more classic than the Beatles. This clip of Yesterday is from a live 1965 television performance. It’s funny because the audience is so frantic about seeing the Fab Four, they don’t really appreciate the beauty of the song. I think true classics are like that–it’s only later that we recognize their value.

I’m beyond stoked about the new movie coming out at the end of the week. Yesterday, from the director of Slumdog Millionaire and the writer of Love Actually, is a fantasy musical romantic comedy about a struggling young singer who wakes up one day to discover that he’s the only one in the world who remembers the genius of the Beatles. When he begins to play their songs, everyone assumes they’re his original work, and his career soars.

The premise intrigued me months ago, the first time I saw a few short clips. It looks like a charming story about likeable characters, all punctuated by the music of the Beatles. In one hilarious clip, Ed Sheeran, as himself, advises our hero Jack to change one particular lyric to “Hey, dude.”

I can’t wait to see this movie, and as we have been hoarding a Fandango gift card since Christmas, awaiting a worthy film, I predict a date night in our very near future.

I hope this first official weekend of summer finds you well. Be sure to hug the ones you love. Maybe I’ll see you at the movies!

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Guilty Pleasure, But So Much More

We got the sad news this week that we’d lost a bright light from the music world.  Peter Tork was a member of the iconic 60s band, The Monkees.  While the television show ran from 1966-1968, the band itself continued performing until 1971.  And they continued to pop up now and then after that.

The group was a pre-fab boy band in its day, and much has been said about the fact that the members weren’t initially allowed to actually play their own instruments.  But the reality is, pre-fab or not, the members of the Monkees were/are actually talented musicians.  Not the least of which was Peter Tork, who played guitar, keyboard, bass, and banjo, among other things.  He was also an accomplished songwriter.

I loved watching The Monkees when I was a kid.  Back then, it was mostly about the silliness.  And Davey Jones, I won’t lie.  Boy bands are my guilty pleasure.

As an adult, though, I came to appreciate the music.  The songs, many of them written by Boyce and Hart, in a lot of ways encapsulated the times.  Like now, the 60s were about change, discontent, and disunity.

Through the years, The Monkees continued to get together from time to time.  We lost Davey back in 2012.  And now Peter is gone.

But happily, we still have their music.  For tonight’s serenade, I picked the original television version of Pleasant Valley Sunday, The Monkees’ pop anthem against the hypocrisy of the banal.

Kids.  They always know everything.  I remember when I knew everything, LOL.  The Monkees probably do, too.

In addition, I’ve added a more recent version of the song, a solo acoustic rendition by Peter Tork.

I hope this final February weekend finds you well.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Old Classic, New Take

Oh, Winter, you’re killing me!
Isn’t it time for Spring yet?

I suppose I shouldn’t complain.  South Florida has been spared the more brutal conditions to which most of the US has been subjected.  Still…

I’m ready for plenty of sunshine and balmy breezes, for shorts and sandals and sipping cocktails at an outdoor table and watching the world pass by.

Tonight’s serenade is a new take on a 1066 Simon & Garfunkel classic, Hazy Shade of Winter.  The Bangles covered it in 1987, and if I’m honest, this new version by Gerard Way sounds like the same arrangement.

That being said, I think the guitar is fresh and I’m thrilled that someone’s breathing new life into a great song here in 2019.  See what you think.

On this weekend in what feels like an unending winter, I hope you’re staying warm.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

P.S.  I’m including the original Simon & Garfunkel as well as the Bangles’ cover.  Maybe it can be said that each version represents their own generation.