Thursday, January 9, 2014

Good Story 074: Muscle Shoals

Julie and Scott can't define "funky", but they know it when they hear it. Muscle Shoals is a terrific documentary about music, creativity, and life, and it's the subject of Episode 74.

Download or listen via this link: |Episode #074|

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Or subscribe via iTunes by clicking: |HERE|

More stuff:

Wilson Pickett - Land of 1000 Dances


  1. I will hopefully get around to watching this soon (I really want to) in order to add a proper comment, but first I'd like to add my typical pseudo-relevant comment since it deals with a past topic!

    I FINALLY read Jurassic Park and, man, was that a ride. The character I thought I would hate the most (Gennaro) turned out to be my favorite character and a story I thought would be fairly close to the film I knew so well was actually fairly different in some key ways and yet was better in every one of them. I'm not even sure why so much was changed, because on it's own there's some fascinating sci-fi, gripping adventure, some suspense (and horror!), and a pretty good cast of characters that would have made an excellent movie as is.

    Though I guess I would have missed the "clever girl" moment if it was a straight adaption since Muldoon wasn't quite so dopey in the book.

    I sort of lost interest in reading the sequel when I see what Crichton did with Malcolm at the end and saw who the main character in that one is. Sort of a polar opposite with Hammond in how they clashed throughout and I thought how the story ended with both was perfect as opposed to the movie where Hammond sort of just rolls over and accepts everything the second everything goes bad. Cutting out Wu when he was fairly representative of the mentality that allowed the research to happen was another mistake, in my opinion, in how he completely seems to misunderstand every aspect of the dinosaurs yet tries to "fix" them. But most of all, I really liked how Gennaro was handled in the book where he starts as a fairly aloof lawyer who you figure is the real scumbag but then shows to be the only real person involved who comes to understand what a horrible idea the whole thing is which started when the kids arrived. In the movie, the lawyer is the first to run to safety and abandon the children, but in the book, despite being scared out of his mind (and rightfully so) he DOES keep going back out with Muldoon to help find Grant and the kids and is finally pushed by everyone at the end to take ultimate responsibility for what he was involved in and to his credit he goes through with it and doesn't run away. All in all, it was an excellent read.

    Crichton was really on fire with this one, and now I'm gonna seek out more of his work even though I already have the sequel and the Andromeda Strain in my backlog. But first, to get to Muscle Shoals!

    1. I remember reading The Andromeda Strain after the movie came out. But I don't recall a lot of it and I've been meaning to reread it.

      LOVE Jurassic Park, both the novel and the movie, but I was never interested in the sequel.

  2. Brian Wilson has always gone on about how music is the voice of God, and it's probably the one thing that kept him together when so many parts of his life fell apart.

    I often wonder if that is why inspiration for musicians come and go seemingly so randomly. Like Bono of all people said: "It's like the songs come out of the mud." Books are a craft that can be learned, movies are directed, but music has always been so hard to pin down. There is no real formula for making a great song and if you look you can find songs from all over the world from every era that come and go from artists who can never maintain a lifelong career of quality. There is no band or artist that has had a lifelong career in music where everything has been quality unlike directors where their are several that have few blemishes or even some authors that remain constant throughout their lives.

    But music, no matter how much the record companies try to keep ahead of the game, can't be pinned down. They can push their manufactured pop idols, but they're not known for the music and never will be. But time passes and yet people still know Johnny Be Goode, Freebird, I Heard it Through the Grapevine, Land of 1000 Dances, and so many other songs even separated from the artists even outside of specific eras. I have no idea why inspiration for music is so unpredictable, but the Muscle Shoals Sound really emphasizes how unpredictable it can all be.

    It's about the right people at the right time, and nobody ever sees it coming. I guess that reminds me a lot of the Commitments, as well.

    Thanks for choosing this. I'm a music fan of a lot music from far before my time and this was a real treat.

    1. Exactly. Every time the music companies try to pin the music down it becomes very obvious to the listener that they are using a formula. Music is ethereal in so many ways.