1997

Hans 2021 Song Draft: Round Eight-Pick Nine-Witness-Sarah McLachlan (1997)

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Modern Vinyl Image One
Image Credit: Modern Vinyl

Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Eight pick.

I remember when I heard Possession on the radio the first time. I was driving home from work and I was immediately in love. The music was stunning, her voice was stunning and I was captivated. Who is she, I thought to myself (I had no idea that Sarah McLachlan had two previous albums). I found the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy CD as fast as I could. It is a fantastic album. There is not a bad song on it.

When Surfacing came out in July 1997, I snatched it, too. It was released to coincide with the Lilith Fair. Though Fumbling Towards Ecstasy remains my favorite of her albums, Witness is my favorite single. The sixth track, it was never released as a single, has no chart information what-so-ever and it remains in the shadow of Building A Mystery, Sweet Surrender, Adia and, in particular, Angel. The album is one of two that reached #2 on the Billboard 200. It was the #1 album on Billboard’s Canadian Albums chart on August 2, 1997 and on Canada’s RPM Top Albums/CDs chart on July 28, 1997.

As an odd bit of trivia, this album is mentioned in the Starr Report, Ken Starr‘s investigation of the Monica Lewinsky Scandal, as was Altoid Mints, the movie Titanic, Billie Holliday, Elvis, Spinach Dip, Starbucks and Leaves of Grass. Monica apparently liked track #5.

This song speaks to me on so many levels. It’s a beautiful piece with beautiful lyrics… ~Vic

Sarah Recording YouTube Image Two
Image Credit: YouTube

Make me a witness
Take me out
Out of darkness
Out of doubt

I won’t weigh you down
With good intention
Won’t make fire out of clay
Or other inventions

Will we burn in heaven
Like we do down here
Will the change come
While we’re waiting

Everyone is waiting

And, when we’re done
Soul searching
As we carried the weight
And died for the cause
Is misery made beautiful
Right before our eyes
Will mercy be revealed
Or blind us where we stand

Additional:
Lilith Fair @ 20 (Billboard Article/Gil Kaufman/07-05-2017)
Official Instagram
Official Website
Sarah McLachlan Named In Starr Report (MTV News/09-16-1998)
Starr Report Unearths New Bedfellows (The Hartford Courant/Rock Critic Roger Catlin/09-17-1998)
The Pop Life: Musical Damage In Starr Report (The New York Times/Neil Strauss/09-24-1998/Web Archive)

No Official Video

Live From Mirrorball

Sarah Discussing The Surfacing CD

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Seven-Pick Six-Cop Land 1997

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Cop Land Miramax IMDb & Amazon Image One
Photo Credit: Miramax, IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Seven pick.

Category: Crime/Film Noir
Film: Cop Land

Written and directed by James Mangold, it was executive produced by the Weinstein brothers (though their names have been removed from the Wikipedia article). Released August 6, 1997 in New York (premiere) and nationwide on August 15, it was an incredible ensemble cast of Sly Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Robert Patrick, Peter Berg, Janeane Garafalo, Edie Falco, Michael Rapoport, Annabella Sciorra, John Spencer, Cathy Moriarty, Noah Emmerich, Frank Vincent, Malik Yoba, Arthur Nascarella and, cameos of Deborah Harry & Geraldo Rivera.

Sylvester Stallone put on 40 pounds to play Nowheresville, N.J., sheriff Freddy Heflin in Cop Land […]. His town is run by Ray Donlan (Keitel) and the other New York cops who have settled there with their families. He wears blinders when it comes to their lawbreaking and mob dealings. Moe Tilden (De Niro), the internal-affairs officer out to get the goods on Cop Land, correctly pegs Freddy as “a man looking for something to do.” Keitel’s [Donlan] exudes dangerous energy. He cares for his own as long as they don’t cross him […]. Robert Patrick brings sly menace to Rucker […]. Ray Liotta […], as Gary Figgis, [is] a tainted cop who sides with Freddy.

Mangold […] has a rare talent for finding the human drama in ordinary lives.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 15, 1997

Stallone IMDb & Amazon Image Two
Photo Credit: IMDb

Writer-director James Mangold […] wrangles an impressive cast […] and spins a compelling tale of cancerous corruption among a secretive group of New York’s finest who have settled in the fictional New Jersey burg of Garrison. [Stallone] indeed looks chunky and plays the sleepy, docile Sheriff […] with sluggishness to spare in a largely commendable performance as a half-deaf small-town dreamer. [He] is not given much in the way of memorable dialogue but, he makes the character work […]. [Having] yet to replace his LP of The River with a CD, [he] carries a torch for the local Jersey girl (Sciorra) he saved from drowning…the reason for his loss of hearing in one ear…[he] once longed to be a big-city cop but, had to settle for policing them.

Freddy gradually realizes that he doesn’t like how the town has turned out.

David Hunter
The Hollywood Reporter
August 11, 1997

I saw this at the theater when it came out and caught it, again, a few nights ago. I was born and raised in law enforcement and, worked in it, too (non-sworn). I’ve known good cops and I’ve known some really bad ones. I love a well written cop movie and this was an unusual one in that Stallone wasn’t playing a bad ass like Rambo, Cobra, Tango, John Spartan (though I do love that movie) or Ray Quick. This character was different…subdued. His scenes with Annabella Sciorra have Springsteen playing in the background which adds depth and texture to the mood. This is clearly a period piece as all the vehicles, hair cuts and clothing styles are, effectively, early 80s. The River came out in 1980 and music from the Director’s Cut, like Blue Oyster Cult‘s Burnin’ For You came out in 1981. This also manages to cover the Crime category via IMDb and the Film Noir category, simultaneously, via Historical Dictionary of Film Noir (2010). ~Vic

Trivia Bits:
There is a disclaimer at the end of the credits which states “This film is a work of fiction. It is currently illegal for New York City Police officers to live outside the state of New York.”
♦ Arthur J. Nascarella was a real-life NYPD officer.
Debbie Harry acted in the movie but, was edited out in the final cut. She explained on a live television special that although she was cut, she still got paid.
♦ In the scene in which Ray Liotta confronts Robert Patrick in the bar, the dart that Liotta shoves up Patrick’s left nostril was made out of rubber.
♦ Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise and John Travolta were considered for Sheriff Freddy Heflin.

Stallone’s Variety Interview 2019

Awards & Nominations

The Making of an Urban Western

Song Saturday: Gates of the Country

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Black Lab 1998 Image
Photo Credit: Paul Durham (the blond)
June 1998
Wikipedia

“Somehow I see, there are ships in her eyes…”

This Saturday’s playlist submission was never released as a single and it never charted…anywhere. It’s the last track, number 12, on the original 1997 debut release of Your Body Above Me by Black Lab. An alternative rock band founded in San Franciso, CA, in 1995 by Paul Durham, the band’s name is an amalgam of band names Black Sabbath and Stereolab. The album did have two hits, one of which peaked at #6 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

There is not a bad song on this album and I nearly wore out my CD. I took notice of them when an alternative rock station showcased their first track (the #6 hit). I love Paul Durham‘s voice and, the band has had many songs used in movies and television, most notably Spider-Man (2002), Blade: Trinity and Transformers.

Black Lab World (Official Site)
Paul Durham (Official Site)

Lyrics

Wayback Wednesday: Operation Northwoods 1962

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Operation Northwoods Image One
Image Credit: peimag.com

Fifty-seven years ago, today, a document…a memorandum was typed up. It was a proposal from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lyman Lemnitzer, submitted to President Kennedy via Defense Secretary McNamara.

Operation Northwoods Image Two
Image Credit: wikipedia.org
(Difficult to read on a phone)

From Wikipedia:

The proposals called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or other U.S. government operatives, to commit acts of terrorism against American civilians and military targets, blaming them on the Cuban government and, using it to justify a war against Cuba. The plans detailed in the document included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship and orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities. The proposals were rejected by [The President].

The John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board finally released the document to the public on November 18, 1997. The proposed operation came on the heals of the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion and Operation Mongoose.

♦ The entire Archived Document.
ABC News Article
Additional Reading
 

I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, here, with this data. Aaron & Melissa Dykes have done a terrific video investigation on this:

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 22

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song that moves you forward…

I just recently discovered Sia. She is amazing.


 


 

And, one more…

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 20

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song that has many meanings for you…

“So little time to make you see…
What can’t be undone…
Was maybe never meant to be…”


 

“And when we’re done…
Soul searching…
And we carried the weight…
And died for a cause…
Is misery made beautiful…
Right before our eyes…
Mercy be revealed…
Or blind us where we stand…”


 

“wasting time…
lost my mind…
where’s the sign…
look for higher…”

“tell the sun, warn the moon…
the night and noon…
we’ve been waitin’…”

30-Day Song Challenge: Six Day Bundle

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

Fellow blogger Britchy at Bitchin’ In The Kitchen challenged all of her readers to join in. I could not resist this fun as I am a music nut. That being expressed, I sit on day six so, this first post is a catch-up. Tomorrow, I will join the normal festivities for day seven.

So, without further ado…here we go.

Day One

A song with color in the title.
Oh, my, my, my…this immediately popped into my head. This was released in 1983…my junior year of high school.

Little Red Corvette

Day Two

A song with a number in the title.
Black Lab appeared on the Alternative Rock scene in 1997 with their début album release Your Body Above Me. This song is particularly haunting to me and I could listen to Paul Durham sing all day long.

Ten Million Years

Day Three

A song that reminds you of summer.
Dear Lord…the summer of 1984, the year I graduated. Myrtle Beach, alcohol & Prince. This was released ahead of the album Purple Rain‘s release and the movie of the same name. Have mercy… As a side note, Wendy in the background playing guitar in stockings and high-top tennis shoes is just bad ass.

When Doves Cry

Day Four

A song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget.
I love this song but, the person that it reminds me of…I wish I could rip them out of my head.

Set Fire to the Rain

Day Five

A song that needs to be played loud.
Oh, yeah…also played extensively at the beach for graduation…the louder, the better. We wore out a cassette tape.

Fantasy

Day Six

A song that makes you want to dance.
Honestly, this one is hard…too many to choose from. I will go with…

Say It Right

Thanks, Kristian for rolling the ball to Britchy. ~Vic

National Buy Nothing Day

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Buy Nothing Day National Day Calendar Image

November 23 is a busy, busy day of 10 celebrations. I will highlight Buy Nothing Day as our consumerism is out of control.

This observance always falls on the day after Thanksgiving, coinciding with Black Friday. Some of the ways to observe are pretty funny:
♦ Cut up your credit cards.
♦ Do the whirl-mart…the act of pushing your empty cart around, disrupting other shoppers and buying absolutely nothing.
♦ Do a Christmas Zombie Walk…become the expression of obsessed Black Friday shoppers.

It appears the Canadians have the distinction of starting the movement as a protest in 1992. Vancouver artist Ted Dave founded and organized it in September. It was moved to the Friday after Thanksgiving in 1997.

Just stay home. Do you really need to spend that money and deal with all the frenzy? Just so you know, this Black Friday is on a full moon. Watch out.

Buy Nothing Day Santa Claus Image
Photo Credit: abillionpeople.org & Adbusters

Also celebrated:
National Cashew Day (Yum!)
National Eat A Cranberry Day (More yum!)
National Espresso Day
National Day of Listening (Day after Thanksgiving)
National Native American Heritage Day (Day after Thanksgiving/Yeah!)
Black Friday (Boo!)
National Flossing Day (Day after Thanksgiving)
Maize Day (Day after Thanksgiving)
Your Welcomegiving Day (Day after Thanksgiving)

National Postal Worker Day & U.S. Postage Stamp Day

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Postal Worker Day Image One
Image Credit: imagesofpomona.blogspot.com

The 1st of July is a very busy day of celebration for the nation, leading up to Independence Day. It’s National Postal Worker Day, established in 1997 by a Seattle area carrier. I have two high school classmates that are postmen. They both really enjoy it. It can be a tough job, though.

If you are thinking “Neither rain nor sleet nor snow…” or something along those lines, the U.S. Post Office doesn’t have an “official” motto, really. There seems to be a bit of confusion from a modified translation of Herodotus’ quote regarding the courier service of the Persian Empire:

There is nothing in the world which travels faster than the Persian couriers. The whole idea is a Persian invention, and works like this: riders are stationed along the road, equal in number to the number of days the journey takes – a man and a horse for each day. Nothing stops these couriers from covering their allotted stage in the quickest possible time – neither snow, rain, heat, nor darkness. The first, at the end of his stage, passes the dispatch to the second, the second to the third, and so on along the line, as in the Greek torch-race which is held in honour of Hephaestus.

Postage Stamp Day Image Two
Image Credit: the-pa-in-connection.blogspot.com

It’s also U.S. Postage Stamp Day…naturally. The very first postage stamp was issued on July 1, 1847 but, no one seems to know who created the National Day for it. Lost to history, I suppose.

Also celebrated today:
National Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day
National Gingersnap Day

Cheers and enjoy!