Here Come the Swans

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Another guy I dig / Wii Fit / Big Country

#9--James McAvoy

Continuing with the versatility trend, I present you with number nine on my list: James McAvoy. Before I started writing, I was thinking about how to describe him. Hard task. Handsome, yet cute. Foppish, yet manly. Earnest, yet rougish.

Where I first saw him: Bright Young Things

The film that made me stand up and take notice: The Last King of Scotland
(Sure, Forest Whitaker won all the awards, and deservedly so, but I felt McAvoy's performance was criminally underrated. (I call this the "Tim Bayliss effect" when a great actor is overshadowed by a showier one. Mind you, I am not suggesting that Andre Braugher was the better actor on Homicide, but Kyle Secor put in great work for several seasons and was inexplicably overlooked. I feel this oversight was due to the larger-than-life character of Frank Pembleton. Anyway...)

Where else I've seen him: Rory O'Shea was Here, that Narnia movie in which he played a faun (versatility, I tell ya!), Shameless, Atonement, Starter for Ten
All of those adjectives I used earlier are on display with his performance in Starter for Ten, one of those charming films that Brits do so well.

The second part of this entry is about Wii Fit. Yes, I'm blogging about exercise. :)

My DH bought us Wii Fit last week, and I've been thoroughly surprised at how much I've enjoyed it. The game features different types of workouts, like yoga, aerobics, balance games, and strength exercises. As you might guess, I like the balance games. My favorite? This one called Lotus Focus? Advertised as "Zen," the object is to sit very still on the Wii balance board and not move. Sit on my ass and not move? That's the game for me! Sure enough, I got the highest possible score, and I'm darn proud of it!

Visual proof:

Here's a pic of my Mii hula-hooping:

I'll close with a YouTube video. Since my #9 guy is Scottish, here's a YouTube gem, a live TV performance from Big Country. Years ago, at a party, in an attempt to be social, I told this guy that I owned Big Country's greatest hits. Jokingly, he said, "How many songs are on that CD? One?" Har har. Like most one-hit wonders, Big Country had a large body of work, much of which was better than that singular song for which they are best known. Sadly, lead man Stuart Adamson took his life a few years back. Adamson, in addition to fronting BC, was also a member of The Skids, a band I've mentioned here on my blog. Talented guy; sad end. RIP Stuart.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chewy Rick Roll

Once upon a time, I started a list of my favorite songs of the 80s. In hindsight, it was overly ambitious, as I got really busy with school and other stuff. And now I'd like to revisit it, but I seem to have lost the file. Drats.

Well, in the meantime, I'm going to start a much more manageable list of Guys I Dig. Years ago on RT, I did something similar. Things are a little different now, most notably that as a married woman, I worry that my hubby might get the wrong idea. If you're reading this, hubby, no worries. You're the number one guy I dig. ;)

This one will only have ten guys, and no repeats from the last list.

#10--Chiwetel Ejiofor

Source of crush: Dirty Pretty Things

What else I've seen him in since: Children of Men, American Gangster, Kinky Boots, Inside Man, Love Actually (yuck), the HBO tsunami miniseries...

Why he made the list: First, and probably most obviously to those of you who know me, he's a Brit. Second, he's got a cool name. Third, he's of African descent, Igbo to be exact. (As a Chinua Achebe fan, I'm interested in Igbo culture.) Fourth, he's a fantastic, versatile actor. Go Chewy.

Years ago, my friend who was mentioned in the Big Supreme post bought a pet rat. Her name for her new rodent companion? Rick Assley, because, she said, Rick Astley sucked so much. I'm sure the rat has been reduced to dust now, and like I said earlier, I don't know what became of my friend, but wherever she is, I'm sure she's laughing at the whole Rick Roll phenomenon. I was--and have been--an unapologetic fan of Mr. Astley, and I guess they say any publicity is good publicity, so good on you, Mr. Rick Roll Creator for starting this crazy Internet trend.

My favorite Astley song is definitely "Cry for Help." I'm a huge sucker for gospel choirs background vocals, and Rick's tenorous voice is in fine form here.
(Note: Not one of the studio versions was embeddable, so here's a live clip.)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Don't Walk!

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you what could be my favorite 80s music obscurity, "Don't Walk" by the Big Supreme. ("Finding Karim Amir's favorite musical obscurities via You Tube" seems to be the reason for this blog's resurrection.)

I love this particular YouToob category. No real video exists? Let's make a video in which the only image someone sees is the record sleeve! Not that I'm complaining. I'm just glad that the Big Supreme is getting some recognition. And I guess the fact that "Don't Walk" has received 3,500 views in about three months makes me question that obscure label I gave it. By contrast, "Beautiful Imbalance," from the Margaret Thatcher-endorsed Thrashing Doves, has only been viewed a measly 738 times. And it's a "real" video.

Anyway, back to the Big Supreme...the summer I moved out of state, my best friend Marcie was going to London. My one request? Find The Big Supreme's record. This, of course, was the pre-electronic age of music, so no, I couldn't just look on Amazon. I gave her some money and wished her luck, but to no avail. She came back to the States Big Supreme-less. Years later, via eBay, I finally got my hands on the 7" you see on display for 3:28 in the clip embedded above. So, if you're reading this Marcie, sorry for the wild goose chase.

Edited to add: Yum squared, I first heard "Don't Walk" on CFNY.